IVF become SO emotional

Well folks, we finally have started our IVF journey. As opposite as it may sound, when your time comes to go down this path the very first step is….. BIRTH CONTROL. Yes, you heard that right, as part of protocol, they put you on birth control for 3 weeks and a few odd days depending on where your cycle falls. We made some fun out of this and I made sure to text my husband and tell him not to worry cause I can’t get pregnant now that I’m on birth control (ha ha!).

This week and next week are our easiest weeks. The only medication I will be taking daily during this time is the birth control, a baby aspirin, my prenatal vitamins and Vitamin D 4000 IU. After next week, the meds just keep adding on. I don’t even like taking Advil when I have a headache but here I am putting many medications and vitamins into my body all to hopefully help us start our family.

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Oh the irony…

I don’t know if it’s my body trying to get used to the bc pills, the anxiety of how this will turn out for us, my husband being gone for the past week, the busyness and stress of work right now (thanks Uncle Sam) or maybe it’s a combination of all of them, but I have turned into Bipolar Betty.

My poor husband. He has to hear about every meltdown or any small thing that sets me off. Let’s just get this out there, it’s never him, I’m never mad at him, he just is the one that has to hear about it. This week I realized that I forgot to pay one of our bills this month, I mean really not a big deal, pay it and be done with it, right? Wrong. I went on for an hour having a total meltdown over this until my husband was able to talk some sense into me and pick me up off the floor.

I cried at least 10 times yesterday literally over everything, I cried because my husband won an award, I cried at a commercial on TV, I cried because it was snowing and then I cried and I thought to myself, “Why are you crying?”. I didn’t have any reason other than I just was. This is coming from a person who rarely cries, honestly, not much makes that happen, but this journey sure will.

I haven’t even started stimulation injections yet and I am already this emotional, I wonder how the next 6 weeks are going to go? I made a comment to my husband about how we still have 6 more weeks of this and I’m not even into the worst part yet and his only reply was, “Bring it on.” Seriously, that man is a Godsend. I would not be able to go through this without him.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we endure this journey that could be so life changing for us and as our wait for Baby A, God willing, comes to a close. Also, maybe ask the man up above to give my husband the strength he will need to listen to my meltdowns. Thank goodness he grew up with 2 sisters and dealing with these type of things is second nature to him.

 

It’s not so bad to wait

Currently, we are in a waiting phase. Our past few months have been full of ‘hurry up and wait’ moments. We have had moments completely full of excitement that we are finally getting somewhere and moments that have been full of waiting, dreaming, hoping, wishing and waiting some more. Both my husband and I are instant gratification people. When we set our minds on something, we make it happen and will go to all ends and extremes to achieve it. Then, we decided we wanted our own Baby A.

We have been told over and over that God’s timing is perfect. We have been told that He will make it happen when the timing is right. We have been told that God is in control. We have been told to have patience because God has a plan.

After initially feeling a bit defeated when learning what our future held and at the same time begging God to just let this happen for us and we would never ask for anything else ever again, I have realized something so completely important. It’s not so bad to wait. Not everything has to happen so instantaneously. There is so much truth behind those things we were told.

Just because we have been asked to wait, does not mean that we are sitting around twiddling our thumbs. We have filled our time with preparation for our future, laughter as our days to give our full selves to each other one hundred percent of the time are numbered, learning and making every moment count. This waiting period for us has been a hidden blessing.

When the time finally comes that I can tell my husband we are expecting the way I have always dreamed about or when we get to argue over baby names or when we finally get to share the moment of bringing life into this world together or when we get to teach our mini’s to ride a bike or take them to their first wrestling or dance practices, the wait will be worth it. The wait will make things that much sweeter.

 

 

 

His timing, not mine.

It has been about 5 days since we took a leap of faith and shared our story on social media. When I started blogging I only shared my posts with, like, 4 people. I was so hesitant to let people in to see me so vulnerable and raw. Once we learned that IVF would be our future, I immediately wanted to share our story mainly because I wanted to open conversation with others and luckily my husband was on the same page as I was. But here’s my problem, I like people to think that I am hard, have thick skin all of the time and that there isn’t anything that’ll shake me. I’m not a crier, I see the positive side of almost everything, I can go with the flow, and I do have thick skin but I’m human and sometimes my guard does comes down and that is what you see in my blog, all of these vulnerable, raw moments. So with that being said, there was a lot of hesitation and once I finally posted it, I immediately felt like I couldn’t breathe because I didn’t know what kind of feedback we would get. Was it going to be positive, negative, or would there be any at all?

After posting my blog and a quick blurb about our reality we had so many people reach out to us. It was amazing. People I haven’t talked to in years sent me messages telling me they are so glad I shared our story and that they had a similar story. Complete strangers reached out to me to tell me their story. Complete strangers reached out to me to tell me they have been touched by our story and will be praying for us. I learned that there are many people who have been through IVF or who have had a close friend/family member go through this process. When we posted our story, it was incredible to see how many people were open to sharing theirs with us. It made my heart ache to hear others stories and to hear them say how they didn’t feel comfortable opening up to people about their experiences. It makes my heart hurt that they had to face this struggle on their own. I had people reach out to me and tell me to make sure that AJ and I lean on each other through this and that we are kind to each other everyday. I heard stories from others who said that their infertility ruined their marriage because neither them or their spouse were sure how to handle that much heart break. This breaks my heart right down the middle. Maybe if we lived in a society that was more educated about infertility or one that doesn’t look the other way when the talk of infertility comes up, there wouldn’t be so many relationships being broken by it. I agree, you should be able to lean on your partner during this, but at the same time, the more people that know, the more people you have to talk to about it and you aren’t relying 100% on each other to put all the pieces back together every single time you break. It’s hard to think about anything else or put energy into anything else once you get started down this road and that can weigh so heavily on both of you. Just having someone else, like a neutral ground, to listen to you blow off some steam can make a world of difference.

It’s 2018. I don’t think infertility is as scary as a topic as it used to be, but it still isn’t something that gets brought up very often. I totally get it, I was a little embarrassed by it at first as well and had a hard time talking about it. I kept thinking I’m 23, how in the world am I not reproducing like a rabbit? I should be reproducing like a rabbit. But as it turns out, our story is different and these are the cards we have been dealt. God is in control. He is always in control. I truly believe that He will bless us when the time is right. His timing, not mine.

AJ and I were so extremely blessed when we posted about our struggle publicly. As his mom said, we have an army of people praying for us and our story really has touched so many people. We have received nothing but positive feedback. We are still overwhelmed by all of the people who have been encouraging, kind, shown their support and love, who have let us know that we are in their prayers or who have told us that they are thinking of us. I have no words to accurately explain how thankful we are for all of these people who are in our corner and cheering us on. Not only are we blessed to have all of this support but our future Baby A or A’s are already SO blessed to come into this world someday with all of you rooting for them.

 

 

Are you sure?

I had surgery to tie my tubes on Friday. Yes, I’m 23 years young and already have my tubes tied. I guess when they don’t do the job that they are supposed to, we might as well just kiss them good-bye.

When the nurse brought me back for surgery prep, she did all the normal tests and then started asking me questions. It started out with if I had ever had a heart attack, a stroke, fallen and hit my head in the past 6 months, when I ate/drank last and if I had any metal in my body. Lastly she asked me what I was there for and what kind of surgery I was having. I told her a laparoscopy to either tie my tubes are remove them completely. She asked me if I was sure about that and I told her I was positive. She came back in the room 10 minutes later and asked AGAIN. I gave her the same answer and her reply was, “Well I am going to talk to your doctor to see what he is doing during the laparoscopy today.” OK lady, I’m pretty sure I know what I am here for, I’m already not excited about it and I’ve never had surgery so I’m a little nervous as it is, so could you just take my word for it and leave it alone? I saw her outside of my prep room talking to my doctor and he gave her the same answer I did. I wonder how silly she felt. I mean I do get it. I’m only 23 years old and I don’t have any children. Most doctors won’t tie your tubes unless you have kids, have a medical reason (me), or are a certain age.

My surgery went great and when I woke up, I really wasn’t in much pain. I slept for most of the day. The day after and today, I have been more sore than I was the day of. My husband, as always, has been a saint. He has kept track of when I take my pain meds, when I can take them again, when I take ibuprofen and when I can take that again. He has made sure I have ice packs and even has gotten up in the middle of the night to grab my meds. My paperwork says I can’t lift anything over 10 pounds, I’m super stubborn so I haven’t exactly been following that rule, except for when my husband gets mad that I am carrying something that looks heavier than my limit (I keep reminding him I just had surgery and I’m not incapable of doing these things, but he does not agree with me on that one). I’m not too sure what I did to get this lucky, but I am so blessed to have him.

Now that surgery is over, we are one step closer to our IVF cycle and to our Baby A. The anticipation and the wait may nearly kill us, but (hopefully) it will be so worth it in just a few short months.

 

 

 

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.