12 Weeks

Yesterday we sat through our mandatory IVF class. The amount of knowledge and information that was thrown at us was enough to take our breath away.

During our class the nurse talked about the usual, taking vitamins, don’t smoke, try to eat a balanced diet, try to do something to relieve any stress you may be having, only have adult beverages in moderation, basically just try to live a healthy lifestyle overall.

Then the nurse started going over how the egg evolves from an egg on retrieval day, to an embryo, and then on day 5 to a blastocyst. Seeing pictures of this and being able to see through the microscope at what the lab techs look at every day, is pretty darn cool. After day 5, we have the option to do PGS (Pre Genetic Screening) on our embabies. This will screen our little ones for any genetic abnormality that may lead to an unsuccessful attempt or miscarriage. If we do decide to do this testing then whatever embryos are left will all give us a greater chance of being successful AND we could know what gender all of our embies are at that point, if we choose. Our hold up? Normally, a fresh embryo cycle lasts 6 weeks from BC pills to transfer. If we decide to go with PGS testing then our IVF cycle will last around 12 weeks. 12 WEEKS! That sure is a long wait for a mama and daddy who were ready to have some offspring like yesterday. When we discussed it after the class we talked about how we have already been together 6 years without kids, what is a few more weeks at this point? Especially if it could give us better chances with a successful pregnancy.

We had to sign legal documents agreeing to the clinic’s terms. We also had to think about if we had any leftover embies when we decide that we are finished having kids. We would LOVE to have 4 kids if we are able to. What if we have extra after we have our 4 babies? What will we do with these ‘leftover’ embryos? We have decided that we would donate them for embryo adoption. Our Dr. told us at our consult that the clinic currently has a 1 year wait list for embryo adoption. I mean, how cool would that be to be able to give a couple who are unable to have their own biological children a chance to take on the roll of mom & pops? Also, how weird is it that we could potentially have little baby A’s out there that we are not raising ourselves? It almost makes me a little sad that we could decide we are done having children but still have some embryos left that we aren’t going to use because in my mind, those ARE our kids already.

We will be starting the official process towards the end of March. Since we plan to do the PGS testing and a frozen transfer, we won’t be transferring until the middle of June. I am so excited to see what is ahead for us and hopefully be able to begin a countdown to Baby A.

A letter to my friends

To my friends, I’m sorry if I have been absent in the recent months. As it turns out this idea of IVF has consumed my entire life and mental capacity.

It seems that IVF is all I can talk about these days. I want to talk about it constantly. I could say the same thing over and over and over again and still not feel like I have spoken enough to get it off of my chest. Even after all of the support we have received from you, I know that some of you wouldn’t understand the struggle and that you would get tired of hearing about it constantly, I know this and I don’t blame you. I actually totally understand it.

My Facebook feed has quickly changed from seeing all of your posts to being completely full of stranger’s posts from an IVF group. Quite frankly, I am OK with this for now. I have gained so much knowledge from these stranger’s experiences. My faith and hope that this will work out for us has significantly increased just by living vicariously through these people’s lives.

At any other time in my life, I would put you all before myself and do anything you needed at any given moment but I have decided that during this, I need to be a little more selfish. I need to make sure that I am putting myself and my husband first. This journey means everything in the world to both of us and I am going to do anything and everything in my control to make sure that we are successful even if that means I need to be a little more selfish and self-consumed in the upcoming months.

I know that you will understand this by the outpouring love, support and encouragement that we have received from all of you. Don’t worry I will be back to my normal, not self-absorbed self, before long. & I can’t wait to be able to tell you that we are expecting our Baby A or A’s. Our baby/babies will be the luckiest kids in the world to have people like you in their lives.

xo

 

Did I win the lottery?

Yesterday my husband and I received some of the best news that we have heard in a while. After a couple months of horrible, no good news, the financial director at our clinic finally called us and let us know that our insurance will cover up to 2 FULL rounds of IVF. I feel like I won the lottery.

For the last couple of weeks I have been completely stressing myself out by googling the price of IVF, googling the price of medication (the one thing I learned from this experience is Google is not your friend. Stay away from Google, people.), wondering how in the world we were going to come up with a chunk of money that size in a little over a month, and worrying that we would have to push this process back so that we could save money.  I overwhelmed myself with the thought of having to borrow the money and having a monthly payment that could cover a brand new car.

After the stress, I became angry. Angry at the fact that we are facing this difficulty. Angry at the fact that people ‘accidentally’ get pregnant all of the time. Angry at the fact that there are SO many unwanted pregnancies. Angry that my body can’t do what it is supposed to. Angry at the fact that we have to go to such an extreme to be able to have a family.

But, as it turns out, we are very blessed and very lucky to have this opportunity and to have insurance pay for this much. If we get enough good embryos out of our first retrieval, we could potentially get all 4 kids we want out of one full round of IVF (best case scenario) and not have to pay for anything but meds out of pocket. I know that our situation is very much so out of the norm. I know that there are others out there that have spent the price of a house on IVF. I know that there are others out there whose insurance will not help them at all, who have to live with the fact that they cannot afford IVF and will never have children. I am very much aware of this and my heart aches for those people.

The sigh of relief I released when the financial director told me this news was exactly what I needed. This was the light that I needed to continue on with this journey. I am 100% ready to explore down this path and see what our future holds. Now, let’s get to making some Baby A’s in that petri dish.

Thanks for your helpful…. advice?

 

Have you ever wondered what to say to someone who you know is trying to have a baby and may be struggling with it? Well, I’ve heard and been told many things, some that are absolutely ridiculous, during this journey. Sometimes it’s best to just not say anything at all. I know that it is people’s instincts, especially those close to us, to try to help and offer their advice but quite frankly, if you’ve never been down this road, you have NO idea what it is like and your advice is completely irrelevant. You should check out my Google history because I have googled, repeatedly, the sure ways to get pregnant fast. Oh and not one of them were helpful.

“Just relax and it’ll happen.”

OK, yeah I get it, it’s not good to be stressed while you’re trying to make a mini version of yourself. But, when we first entertained the idea of starting a family, I was so relaxed about it. No OPK’s, no pregnancy tests, when my period came, it was no big deal. I was relaxed and guess what, I have no baby to show for that, do I? Maybe that’s where the confusion sets in, though.

“Maybe you’re off on when you’re ovulating”

Hey, that thought never crossed my mind. Thank you for your light bulb moment.

“Well I got pregnant the first month trying.”

Oh okay, I mean good for you and that’s great BUT you really are the minority. We can’t all be fertile myrtles like you.

“You’re young, you still have plenty of time to have kids. Your time will come.”

Does age really matter at this point? And also, exactly I’m YOUNG, I’m the most fertile I’m ever going to be. At the same time, have you ever wanted something right this minute so bad that you can feel it ache clear down to your bones? Time doesn’t mean a thing to me right now.

“Well, can’t they just unblock your tubes?”

This is a question that I have gotten a lot. People want to try to understand what is going on and why. I know that it comes whole heartedly, not intended to be an annoyance and as much as I try not to be annoyed by it, I am. If it were that easy to do, believe me, IVF wouldn’t be on the plate.

Any complaint about someone’s own pregnancy. For example: morning sickness, being uncomfortable, weight gain, or heartburn.

I would give anything to be in your shoes at this exact minute. I’d take morning sickness all day long for every day of my pregnancy or gaining 50 pounds or any of your complaints, really.

My Personal Favorite:

“Well my husband and I obviously have enough sex because we already have a baby”

I don’t even have a rebuttal for this one.

You know a hug and an “I am here for you” is sufficient enough. Less is more.take for granted

I bet you wish you would have married someone different…

Can I talk about my husband for a whole post? I mean, I can and I hope you are ready to hear about him. My husband, AJ, has been a best friend and part of my support system for going on almost 10 years now, 6 of those we were a couple. I can remember before we started dating I told him that I would marry him someday and he completely blew it off. Well, honey, I was right after all. Nothing new there (ha ha)!

AJ has supported me through all of my big life changes but during this journey of trying to make a mini version of ourselves, he really stepped up and has gone above and beyond.

The thing about AJ is that he has ALWAYS wanted kids. His mom told me a story how when he was around 10 years old, he would talk about how many kids he was going to have someday. Seriously?! How adorable is that?! What 10 year old boy walks around talking about the kids they will have one day?!

When we started testing, deep down I knew that it was me that had the issues and I thought that I would be okay with it. Then the doctor told me that our sole problem is that both of my tubes are blocked and I think I went into shock right then and there.

At first, I casually walked out to the car and told him, “Yeah, I’m the problem. Both of my tubes are blocked.” then I reached out to the very few people we had told about the testing and what was going on in our personal lives. I remember telling them as if I was just letting them know what I was going to be having for supper that night, no emotion behind it at all. I am not usually an emotional person but then we started trying to have a baby and BAM! I turned into Sobbing Sally.

Just a couple days later as I was folding laundry I drowned in all of the emotions that I had been suppressing. AJ popped his head in to ask me a question just in time to find me a sobbing mess. He sat down and embraced me as tight as he could. I told him that I bet he wishes he would have married someone different, someone who could have babies the ‘normal’ way. He just told me how much he loved me and assured me that we were going to make it through this.Couples who struggle with infertility are 3 times more likely to divorce, but in our case I think that it has strengthened our love, bond and marriage. And I know that all of this has definitely taken it’s toll on him too but he would never let it show because he constantly is trying to be a rock for me.

For my husband, I am forever grateful for you, and I can’t wait to hopefully one day soon see you as a daddy to our Baby A or A’s.

How the hell did we get here?

I’ve known my husband and his family for as long as I can remember. We were best friends and later took the plunge on dating. Here we are (almost) 6 years later, married, living in our first home and trying/praying/hoping for a baby.

We just got married in May of 2017. We decided we would start trying for a baby right away. I was convinced we would get pregnant right from the git go, it’s almost kind of embarrassing. I mean, when we were younger it was beaten into our heads how easy it was to get pregnant and it only took one time. Well, they were wrong. It definitely is not that easy for all of us.

After 8 months of negative pregnancy tests, I decided to reach out to my doctor and see if we could run some tests. Everything we did checked out normal. The doctor decided to start me on Clomid the same cycle that I was scheduled for an HSG. I was SO hopeful for this cycle. HSG raises your chances of conceiving and Clomid was giving me some big juicy eggs, I was definitely going to get pregnant this month and have a November baby.

I went in for the HSG with so much caution and hesitation. Is this going to hurt? Am I going to be one of the lucky ones who will say it’s just ‘uncomfortable’? The technician assured me that it wouldn’t be any worse than period cramps and it was a very quick procedure. Well, she was right about one thing. That was easily the worst pain I have ever experienced to this day yet. I knew something was wrong with how intense the pain was and can I just mention that I have a very high pain tolerance. Afterwards the doctor said that the procedure was so intense because both of my tubes were blocked. No, that can’t be. I swore I heard her wrong because I was still trying to come to from the excruciating pain I was just in. So, I asked her which tube was blocked and she just looked at me sadly and said, both.

So here we are still trying to digest this past month and waiting on our consultation with the fertility specialist where it is likely that we will be told IVF is our future if we are wanting to start a family.

I am choosing to share our story, our past and future struggles, and hopefully someday great news with you. This isn’t how either of us planned for our lives to go but this is our journey and we are waiting for baby A.