I’m that 1 in 8 person.

everything

It’s Infertility Awareness Week. I feel like I should say something during this week since it happened to me. I’m that 1 in 8 person.

Sort of.

It happened to me because I waited too long and my eggs got old and were running out. It happened to me because I was looking for that perfect guy to have that perfect family with. Yeah well time ran out and I realized I was 38. Like what the hell just happened.

So I was like “I’m gonna adopt!” Went through months of that and about 5-7k later and they wanted me to wait. Seriously wait. But they wanted me to wait until I paid down my student loan. Well fuck…I have 15 years give or take of student loans and changing majors and retaking failed classes. They wanted me to wait 6 month to a year. How much lower do they think my student loan will be in that time. Hell, I’ll probably still be paying it when I’m old and retired.

I cried. I felt lost. I was alone.

Then I asked myself “I wonder if I can get pregnant.” “I wonder if I can do this alone.”

My research began….

Next thing I know I have an appointment at a well known and super successful clinic in my area. I met them, we talked, then we setup some tests. Tests that would determine if I can get pregnant and the odds.

Tests came back that I had “diminished ovarian reserve” and I can’t remember the technical term but basically old eggs. They can tell all this by numbers given during certain tests. Bottom line, I had very old eggs and not many left.

I met with the doctor where she explained all this in greater detail. All stuff that was over my head but at the time it probably made more sense. Her bottom line was that she didn’t think I could get pregnant, much less use my own eggs. So her bottom line was I would have to use donor sperm (since I’m single) and donor eggs. That fucking hurt. I felt empty.

But…I didn’t give up. I did more research and found somethings to do to maybe help my old eggs which in turn would help my odds. So the fun began.

2013 – I did three IUI’s. These are basically one step down from IVF. You take some meds to get on a cycle they can monitor and then they inject the sperm way up there and hope everything happens naturally. I did this 3 times.

2014 – I did three IVF’s. Tons more meds, injections I had to do myself and all the fun shitty side-effects that come with this. And I was on the maximum dose of everything. One didn’t take, one was cancelled before the transfer (eggs didn’t mature into embryos), and one pregnancy (turned non-viable). All tests showed I was pregnant but the ultrasound showed an empty sac. Boy did I cry. Like ugly cry.

2015 – My last IVF. It took. I was pregnant. I didn’t believe it until I saw it on the ultrasound. I remember shaking so much and couldn’t get myself to look at the screen, but the nurse said to look. I cried. I cried happy tears.

Sept 29, 2015 – My son was born. 7lbs 11oz. Perfect. Baby. Boy. 15 mins of pushing.

April 28th, 2017 – Tomorrow my son will be 19 months old!

He’s perfect. He’s smart. He’s silly. He’s mine. He was created from MY EGG and donor sperm.

I worked hard. I took extra supplements and vitamins and on my last attempt, I even did acupuncture. Did any of it make a difference? Who know, but I did anything and everything I could.

I do know a bit about infertility, but I believe it’s because I waited so long in life. Would I have needed IVF if I was in my 20’s or 30’s? I’ll never know. But I’m happy to have gone through this and I’ve met some wonderful friends through IVF who will be life-long friends and family forever.

I’ve also met through the sperm donor site, Z’s half siblings. He has 5 half siblings (4 brothers and 1 sister). They are family now. Family means the world to me and because of this path, my son will have a bigger family because of it.

I am that 1 in 8 people. And I’m ok with that. 🙂

 

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Back to Work. Off to Daycare.

January 4th marked the first for a few things.

  1. Back to work from maternity leave.
  2. Z’s first day of daycare.
  3. Started the 21 Day Fix meal planning.

Getting up early was rough. Not gonna lie. Being off for a little over three months, not having to worry what time I woke up in the morning, or having any set routine was really nice. But once that Monday hit and I had to get up early AND had a completely new routine, wow, words can’t explain it. When people say that it’s hard to get a baby out of the house, they aren’t kidding!

But the good news is, I did it and still got to work by 7:30am. Every mother I knew told me that once they leave their baby at daycare (or even with someone they know), they cried all the way to work. Ha! I didn’t! Does that make me a bad mother? God I hope not. I did, however, feel sad and empty all day long. I mean come on, I’ve been with this little guy 24/7 for over three months! I was bound to feel something. Each day that got better.

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Photo: My desk full of pictures of Z to help this new momma make it through the day.

Lets get to the daycare topic. I had picked this place when I was 4m pregnant. Nice mother and daughter home daycare right in my neighborhood. They had another infant there so I thought it would be a great place.

Fast forward several months to Jan 4th 2016…I drop him off, diaper bag packed for the week. They sent me a few pictures of him so I knew he was still alive. That night I go to pick him up and they gave me an update on how he did. The mother, N, told me that he napped either in the pack n play or the car seat. I didn’t process that until I got home and decompressed, and then it donned on me….the car seat!!!!

It was only weeks or a couple of months since I saw something on the news about a baby dying in their car seat while at daycare. So I flipped. the F. OUT! I don’t want my car seat used as a sleeping area. So the next morning, I spoke with N to make sure I heard her right. I didn’t want to accuse or jump down her back if I heard her wrong. So I asked her and she confirmed that’s what happened. I just explained that I wasn’t comfortable with that. He’s only 3m and I’d like him to sleep flat, either in the pack n play, floor, crib, whatever, but flat. She agreed. I felt a bit better.

UNTIL, I realized that I was noticing she didn’t have ANY toys. So I kept watching and checking the room out for toys when I’d drop or pick him up. No toys. One morning I brought that up and she explained that the other infant, who is about 1.5y likes to throw and climb on everything, so she puts them away. AHHHHH….good. She showed me where the toys were and what she uses to play with my son. All is good in the world.

He’s been there for almost two weeks now. When I pick him up and she puts him in the car seat, she’s talking to him, and he’s just smiling away. So he’s happy and that makes me happy. I didn’t want to be that overly protective mom but I will be if needed and at least I had conversations with her before pulling him from there.

When I was thinking about pulling him and even had some other daycare’s lined up to interview, it occurred to me that these other places had lots of kids, all different ages. Would he get the same attention? Would he just be sitting, or crying for a while until they get to him. At least where he’s at, there are ONLY two infants with two providers, so basically one on one attention. Sold.

Now on to the 21 Day Fix meal planning. Yeah, it was a good idea but not on the first day back to work and dealing with daycare. So I will start that back up eventually. I won’t be using it as a diet, because I don’t really need that (although I do still have some baby belly to get rid of), but more importantly it’s learning how to do portion control and eating the right foods.

So that’s that. 🙂

 

I need help with my…..Stupid Dilemma

You would think picking a donor would be easy. It’s not. In fact, I think it’s worse because you have access to everything about them, their family medical history, essay questions, their profile, college grades, the list just goes on. When you are dating someone or you’re about to marry someone, you don’t know all that information.

I have to order donor sperm again. The last two IVF’s I used the same donor and his last attempt did result in a pregnancy (but I miscarried). So do I go with the same donor or choose a different one. I’ve had mixed suggestions.

I narrowed down my favorites again and upgraded my subscription so I can see ALL their information. Part of this subscription is seeing childhood photos, usually three of them. So I have two selected. The original one that I’ve been using and a new one.

Option 1 – The original donor (6’4″, tall dark and handsome firefighter with dimples, 206lbs, straight thick hair)

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Option 2 – The new option (6’2″, they say unique hazel eyes, 180lbs, thick wavy hair)

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So I’d love to get your opinion. Comment which option you like and if you want, why. I know most people use their husbands sperm so it might be hard to answer this question but any help is appreciated. I’m single and can’t decide what I want more, dimples or hazel eyes, 6’4″ or 6’2″. This is so stupid, isn’t it? HELP!

My First Acupuncture Session

slide0I might have mentioned in a previous blog that my next IVF attempt will be my last. Well that sends me into a tornado of emotions. Sept 16th (two Tuesday’s ago) I had a D&C to clean me out. I chose this option so I wouldn’t miscarry naturally and be reminded of what didn’t happen. Since the D&C I’ve had daily spotting but nothing to be alarmed about. The day I had the D&C, I felt to renewed and refreshed. After my nap that day, I didn’t feel nauseous anymore, I didn’t have my cold anymore. Weird huh? I mean it’s like when they cleaned me out, they removed the stuff was was causing all this bad stuff. Maybe the clean-out will reset my body and my last attempt will be a true success.

The day after the D&C, I picked myself up, began thinking positive thoughts again and climbed back on the IVF horse. A new and close friend of mine, who is also going through IVF, found out she was pregnant. Her success has driven me to that much harder into making this work, or at least giving it everything I have, one last time.

So I began my Google search for an acupuncturist who specializes in infertility. I found one who happened to be in the same wellness center where I go for chiropractic readjustments and in the future some massages. I emailed her and explained my situation. She scheduled a time with me which was last night. It was supposed to last an hour and a half but it ended up being more like two hours. She went over a questionnaire that covered just about everything. We went over a ton about my IUI/IVF history, menstrual cycles, and much more. We discussed my diet and routines.

She had my lie on the table face down, without my shirt on (bra on). She said she was going to do a detox first. This would get rid of bad energy so that when I start back up on my next attempt, the bad energy will be out and she will be boasting the good energy. I couldn’t see what she was doing or how many needles she used but it seemed like she used maybe 15-20. She had relaxing music playing and she left me to relax for about 20 minutes.

She returned and removed the needles, had me put my shirt back on and lie on my back. The next set of needles would be to boast the good energy and blood flow. She put them in my legs and around my ankles. She placed on right below my belly button. She asked me if I felt it and I said no. She removed it and placed it differently and when she pushed that needle in, wow, I felt it. That’s what she wanted.

She then checked my pulse positions and when they were good, she removed the needles. I asked her about the pulse positions and she said that we have six pulse paths, three on each side. She can listen to each of those paths and determine what is wrong and where to place the needles to help those pulse paths regulate to a more even pulse. Interesting.

She recommended that every night I warm my feet, either by a form of heat or a hot foot bath, right before bed. Then to apply some Organic Sesame Oil to my feet and ankles, applying pressure to certain pressure points. She showed me where and how to do this by giving my feet and ankles this massage. Boy, did that feel wonderful! The sesame oil has a warming effect and because so many fertility points are in the feet and ankles, I need to keep them warm. She also suggested I use this same oil on my abdomen, to warm up the ovaries.

As for food, she said to eat warm foods now. But it’s important to keep my inner body warm. She suggested affirmations and positive talks to the baby energy. Some of this sounds weird but I will do whatever I’m asked to do.

Normally she sees people once a week but since we are on a tighter timeline, I asked her about seeing me twice a week. So we scheduled out the next three weeks. I see her again tomorrow (Thursday). Insurance pays 80% of treatment up to 30 times a year. I’ll double up to get it going then once I begin birth control or injections, I might shift to once a week. I don’t want to use them all up in case I do get pregnant, I want her to treat me during the first trimester to help keep the baby healthy.

IVF #3 – Three transferred

I’m a tad behind in posting this but last Thursday was my transfer day. I had three early blastocysts so they decided to put them all in hoping one sticks. Of course I was extremely nervous that all three would take but then I remind myself that that would probably NEVER happen – it’s not like I’m in my 20s with no issues.

I had thoughts of being very productive while taking it easy the last three days but for some reason I wasn’t. I wanted to finish scanning my photos, organize my jewelry making storage cart, get some Etsy done and figure out how to use Hootsuite, wrap some more scarf balls, maybe paint another floorcloth, see where I’m going with this? I had plans. The only things I got done were I logged into Hootsuite and renewed my Etsy items. The rest of the time I laid around watching TV/movies.

I felt lost. Sad. The 2WW is horrible. I keep thinking that it should take 2-3 days for implantation and so many women can feel when that happens. I know others don’t feel it but I kept trying to figure out if I was feeling anything. I had a couple of cramps, pinches, but nothing that I think is implantation. So I became sad. Sad that this one didn’t work either. Sad that I had nothing and no one to keep my mind off of this horrible hell of a two week wait.

There are other women in the same cycle group that I’m in on Fertilethoughts.com and they are all getting geared up to start peeing on a stick. I did just about every day during the last IVFs two week wait, but I’m so scared to see that negative this time. Some reason this cycle is so much harder. Maybe I’m scared that I only have one more try left. Maybe part of me is trying to come to terms that I may never be a mother. I’m sure I’ll buy some and start some time this week but the fear is still there. I’ve never wanted to much in my entire life.

So today is 3dp5dt (three days past five day transfer) which means that it’s still too early to start testing.

No symptoms to report really.

I hope tomorrow is a better day.

IVF #3 – Retrieval day, 9 of 13 collected

This morning was retrieval day. My appointment was at 9:30am so I was there an hour an a half before. They got me checked it, vitals done, dressed in gown and comfy on the stretcher.

Eventually my mom came back. When I was called back, my mom was in the ladies room. When she did finally reach my curtained off room, she told me what just happened to her. On her way from the ladies room, she decided to go upstairs and go the food bar and get some food. She didn’t want to eat breakfast in front of me since I could eat or drink anything. So nice. The food bar was closed and she headed back down to the first floor. As she walked out of the elevator, he shoe caught on these plywood-type of boards that were on the carpet areas for movers to keep the carpet protected. The board came up a bit and mom landed on both knees, then slid sprawled out, face down. My mom was terrified, embarrassed and shaking like a tree. She just had her knee replaced back in April and it’s still healing. Two guys saw what happened and ran to help her. So did the security guard and two of the nurses. She finally got up and headed back to see me. As the day went on, she is stiff and sore. The security guard gave her some numbers to call if it ends up being bad. Those boards were supposed to be taped down the the movers said they didn’t think this would happen since not many people were in the building. Poor mom.

When mom arrived next to me and told me this story, she was laughing, which made me laugh. She painted a lovely vision of a beached whale – her words. So it was fun to laugh and not think too much about what was about to happen.

I love being put under anesthesia so that’s never a problem. It’s just the whole process is a bit nerve-racking. I must have emptied my bladder 14 times but finally it was my turn. We head to the OR and it’s as cold as a meat locker. Everyone is very nice and make you feel very comfortable.

The anesthesiologist gave me a tad of juice to relax me and I absolutely love that stuff. I would love to bottle it up and take a sip right before bed every night. Next thing I know I’m waking up in my curtained off room. Mom comes back and sits next to me.

The doctor came in and said he retrieved 9 eggs. Of course you always hope for more but I’m super excited with this number. Last IVF only 4 were retrieved so this is more than double. I’m happy and pleased.

The nurse brought me some crackers and water and I inhaled it all. I was so hungry. When I was ready, they had me walk to the other side of the room to make sure I’m okay to leave. I was. I never have any problems waking up.

The lady that went before me does. She was still there waking up when I left. They retrieved 41 eggs from her. Holy crap! I can’t even imagine the discomfort she was in when it was uncomfortable for me and I had 13. According to her records she always has a hard time waking up so they were prepared and took great care of her.

My mom drove me home and I had some lunch – real food and then took naps on and off all day long. The cramps got pretty bad but nothing I couldn’t handle. Just made me lazy and not wanting to move a lot. My mom was kind enough to drop my prescription off that they give you in our Goodie Bag, and it was for Hydrocodone, which I’ve never taken before. I thought the cramps would go away but they didn’t so I was happy she filled it and brought them home after she got off of work. I took one tonight hoping it will help me sleep more comfortably and maybe they won’t be as bad tomorrow. The last two IVFs I had very mild cramping and it didn’t last all day.

Tomorrow between 12-3pm is when I should expect the big call. During this call they will tell me how many fertilized, if any are dividing, and if how many cells they are.

Medications: I started taking the Estrace (sp?) tonight and beginning tomorrow I start taking progesterone suppositories 3 times a day. I hate this part but I’ll do what I have to do.

It’s estimated that Transfer Day could be Thursday, which would make it a day 5 transfer. This date could change depending on the daily progress. I can’t wait! I hope tomorrow and this week turn out well.

 

IVF #3 – Injection day 6, 5 measurables

Today I had my appointment at the Towson location. Usually Saturdays there consist of a long wait, but today was different. I ended up being a bit late but by the time I took out my Kindle and read a page or two, they called my name for blood work. I sat back out in the lobby and read a couple more pages and they called me to go for the U/S.

The technician did her thing so quickly that I couldn’t keep track of measurements. I asked her how many total there were and she said 11-12 but I don’t think she really counted. She was busy measuring the larger ones. I thought I saw one around 7mm, another around 9mm. The nurse said it’s still early so I hope that means others will catch up to the larger ones. I was in and out within half an hour. World record!

I left and ran a couple of errands. Got home and ate some breakfast. Then it was back outside to do yard work. I ended up missing the call from the nurse but she left my new instructions.

Tonight the dose stays the same. Tomorrow morning I add in Ganirelix along with my normal 300 Gonal-F. Tomorrow night I start an increased does of Menopur, 225, and same dose of 150 Gonal-F. The nurse also mentioned that they measured five follicles. I’m confused though. I’m supposed to be starting the Ganirelix when my follicles reach 14mm but I’m pretty sure none did. So why start me on this now?

Monday is my next appointment and when my regular nurse calls I’ll ask her why. Plus I’ll remember to get a copy of the U/S results like I did for IVF #2.

I’m not looking forward to the Ganirelix. I remember having to use a bit more force to push the needle in, compared to the other injections. Last time I used my normal force and I couldn’t break skin and it just made a nice hole in my skin. I almost passed out. It’s hard having to give yourself injections.