Friday, January 11, 2008

Alexis and Jennifer!

Finally after about 2 years of listening to the Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer show on Sirius, I called in! Me! I was so nervous, but the anticipation was worse than anything. I felt pretty comfortable once I was on air with them. Driving was a little distracting though. If I call again, I think I'll make sure I'm parked somewhere!

Anyway, it's Martha Stewart's daughter Alexis, who I believe is 41 and her co-star Jennifer Hutt who is in her late 30's. The show is great. Their viewpoints are funny and real.

You can read their blogs and listen online.

I will post again when they have a recap of the show on their site. I recorded it. I was smiling and shaking afterwards :) I am going to send Alexis one of my onesies once my website is up and running!!!

Oh, she did say that she wishes IVF was covered for everyone, but understands why it is not. She doesn't feel it is everyone's god-given right. I disagree, but I kept my mouth shut. :(

I feel a little bit better now about calling in again!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fertility and Hope Bracelet

I am so excited. A friend of mine from the Nest TTTC Board creates fabulous jewelry. She is going to create a bracelet for me that incorporates 3 symbols very important to me. A turtle, a hope charm and rose quartz.

Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz is a delicate pink stone connected to love and serenity. It is known as a healing, protecting stone, said to help mend a broken heart. It is also said that Rose Quartz is a fertility stone, and a protector during pregnancy and childbirth.

The Turtle
The turtle is a powerful symbol of both fertility and protection. A Sea Turtle lays anywhere from 50-150 eggs at a time. The hope is that she may bestow her fruitfulness on the wearer. In Native American culture the turtle represents strength, patience and the power to endure and preserver.

You can see her designs here.

I'll post pics when I receive it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Just Relax! Why didn't I think of that?

As infertiles, my husband and I have been through everything. It's been 25 cycles. I've had 1 IUI, 2 IVFs, acupuncture, herbs, yoga, counseling and have stood on my head. I've done it all and basically know it all. When you go through this, you gain some sort of control by empowering yourself with all the knowledge you can take in about infertility. Below is a list of things not to say to anyone... whether you know if they are going through infertility or not. We know that everyone means well, but when you really think about what we are going through ... I mean really think about what it must be like to want a child more than anything in the whole world ... something that comes so easily to everyone else.

"--any complaint about your current pregnancy--"
I would give anything to have morning sickness.

"Do you need to borrow some my husband's swimmers!"

"I had a neighbor who tried for years, and once they adopted, poof! - They got pregnant!"
"Why don't you just adopt"
"Once you stop trying you will get pregnant"

5% of those struggling with infertility then go on to get pregnant during or after they adopt. The reason it seems higher is because you hear the good stories.

"Miscarriage is just soooo common you know."
"It's probably for the best."
"It probably wouldn't have been a healthy baby anyway."
"At least it happened early."
(the above are regarding miscarriage)

"Are you pregnant yet?"
Believe me the answer is still no, and I'll be shouting it over the rooftops when it does happen.

"I don't know what to say, I never had any trouble having babies."

"Just relax"
"Stress wont help"
"You need to calm down"
"Don't think about it so much"
"You'll never get pregnant if you are stressed out"
"Maybe you're trying too hard."
Ah, my favorite "category" JUST RELAX. I mean, what a simple solution! Here's the thing 90% of IF's have a medical condition that causes their IF. So guess what? Relaxing won't help. And imagine trying to relax when you are going through the most stressful time in your life. An ongoing life crisis. Month after month of pitfalls. Holding on to hope that all the shots, all the money, all the tears will have an end soon. Studies are still out on whether stress is a factor or not. It CAN cause delayed ovulation in some. However, most of us are at the point where we are triggered for ovulation anyway. And believe me I do TRY to relax.

"You're still young you have plenty of time"
Well... I want a child now. I don't have plenty of time. I have a disease growing inside of me that keeps getting worse. My eggs are getting older and so am I. I didn't want to have a child after 35.

"God has a plan"

"It will happen, I just know it"

"If it is meant to be, it will happen"

"Enjoy this now while you have your freedom"
After $30K dollars on infertility and 2 years of our time I think we MAY have thought this through.

"Maybe it's a sign that you're just not meant to have biological children"

"It's not that big of a deal, some people never have kids"

"So and so tried for 8 years and then they got pregnant"
Okay, well I don't have 8 years nor do I want to even think that it might take me another 6 years to have a baby.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Lil' History :: 2007 - Present

January 2007
Started Acupuncture

February 14
My HSG showed one partially blocked tube (left side).

March 5
Start of our first IUI cycle
First U/S and B/W. Started stimulation. This involved several days of injections in my stomach.

March 14
We were told our chances of multiples was high since we had 8 large follicles. It was a little scary, but the risk was worth it.

March 26
IUI failed

April 12
Started with New Acupuncturist. My last one didn't communicate with me very well and didn't alter my treatment at all as we went through our cycles.

May 2
Had a protocol appt. with Dr. Wakim to start our first IVF cycle.

May 20 (Cycle #19)
Start of our IVF cycle
First U/S and B/W. Started stimulation.

May 29
HCG Shot (trigger for ovulation)

May 31
Egg Retrieval
We went to Magee at 6:30am. DH did his thing while I was prepped in the OR. I got an IV for sedation and was taking into the OR. DH’s count went up dramatically. We think it’s due in part to quitting smoking AND the herbal remedies he has been taking. I woke up about an hour later. They were able to retrieve 15 eggs and to my surprise I only had mild cramping. I was told I might have cysts and had to go for an ultrasound to clarify. I was a little upset about that.
Started the intramuscular progesterone shots.

June 1
Ultrasound/Fertilization Results
My ultrasound came back negative, the cysts where just blood vessels around the uterine lining. The embryologist called to let us know that 11 of the 15 eggs fertilized via ICSI!
Symptoms or wishful thinking :: tired and crampy

June 3
9:30am transfer. We had 1 very good (8B), 2 good (5B and 6B) and the rest were Cs and Ds. We had to make a quick decision about how many to transfer. Dr. Wakim suggested 3 and we took his suggestion! We were only going to do 2, but we wanted to have the best chance at a good outcome.

June 4
the Shots Continue
DH is a pro at the shots. They hurt, but I can handle it. Needless to say my butt is very sore ☺

June 8
One Week Left 'til the Beta
Symptoms or wishful thinking :: Sleepy, had a dream about 3 babies, could smell a glass of wine from across the table, colored discharge.

June 9
Symptoms or wishful thinking :: Had dream last night about having a baby and forgetting to feed or change it’s diapers!, cramping before bed.

June 10
Symptoms or wishful thinking :: 98.6, had to pee a million times in the morning, bad dreams all night.

June 11
B/W to check Progesterone, levels were very high. Have some hope this might mean something good!

June 15
We were completely heartbroken but determined and still full of hope to move forward.

June 19
Met with Dr. Wakim to discuss our next steps. We decided to change our protocol slightly and had some chromosomal testing done. All came back fine. We decided to move forward with 2-Cycle Plus (2 fresh/2 frozen cycles). We will try 2 more IVF attempts for a total of 3 before moving onto adoption. The thought of these last 2 not working scares me to death.

August 2007
Today I started my own company (Lil’ LJ). DH has always said he hopes that our lil’ ones are just like me and will rub my belly from time to time asking how Lil’ LJ (Little Loree Junior) is. I will be selling baby onesies and t-shirts with messages on them. I will be selling a category called Worth the Wait that focuses on infertility. I will also try to build awareness of IF and ENDO through the website. I am very excited/nervous/frightened of what’s ahead!

Aug 5
Started Lupron for IVF #2. We have a much more laid back attitude this time as we know what we are in for!

September 13
Found out IVF #2 failed. Again, we are very upset, but amazingly still hopeful. Adoption is becoming a less scary, more welcoming option with every failure. I’m finding that as we travel down this road, it’s becoming more and more apparent that in the end, it’s all about wanting to build a family no matter how we get to that point.

I decide that a 3rd Lap is worth it if it will help my pain or infertility in the slightest bit. It is a hard decision, but I am willing to go to any length for Lil’ LJ. I had an HSG and it showed clear tubes!

December 12
DH attended the support group with me tonight. I was so glad to have him there and he enjoyed going as well.

December 18
Today I had a 3rd Laparoscopy for removal of endometriosis. I will find out at the post-op exactly what they found, but we know that the endometriosis was pretty wide spread again and I had alot of new growths. It was on my ovaries, abdominal sidewall, rectum, uterosacral ligaments, etc. Dr. Mansuria doesn’t know that any of these areas would directly affect fertility, but I’m still hoping that “cleaning” me out again will be a positive step for us.

A Lil' History :: 2003 - 2006

I thought a good way to start this blog would be to look back at the past few years. I'll try to make this as quick and concise as possible.

November 6, 2003
Our First Date

July 2004
Diagnosed with Mild Endometriosis via Laparoscopy

November 5, 2005
Our Wedding Day!

December 2005
Stopped BCP and decided to start TTC! We knew we might have an issue and we were both very ready to start a family! Saw my GYN for a preconception appointment. Decided to try naturally for six months and then go from there.

July 2006
2nd Laparoscopy
Per GYN's recommendation, met with a surgeon at Magee and set up a Laparoscopy for July 31. The results showed endometriosis stage III and was all throughout my pelvic region. Both tubes appeared blocked and one was cleared of it’s adhesions. Dr. suggested that we may need IVF. We knew it was now time to move onto an RE.

September 2006
Met with Dr. Wakim, our RE at Magee. He suggested that we try 3 months on our own since a blocked tube had been cleared. After that he suggested IVF, but if finances were an issue to try one IUI. He was worried that too many medicated cycles would result in my endometriosis getting worse. DH was tested and we found out that he had a low sperm count as well. We might be in for a long road ahead!