LilySlim - Fitness goals

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Feeling Uplifted

That's the power of a runner's high talking ;)

In all seriousness, I'm starting to feel hopeful about the path we are on. Here's what's on the horizon:
May 21 - mini consult with Dr. J, my original RE. I have a lot of questions for him and hope to do some IUIs over the summer.
August 20 - appointment with Dr. KK, the reproductive immunologist. She will do an in depth ultrasound (abdominal and transvaginal) along with extensive blood work. I heard something about 22 vials of blood. Wowzers!
September 29 - follow up with Dr. KK. We will get our results along with any treatment recommendations she may suggest. I don't know how I feel about the treatments offered, but plan to research them with all this time we have.
In the meantime, I'm reading everything and anything I can get my hands on in regards to:
Egg Donation - I checked out a few books from the library. I'm starting to warm up to the idea of egg donation, and see this as a viable option. 
Reproductive Immunology - as I mentioned above, I don't know a whole lot (yet) about the treatment options offered by the RI. To be honest, what I have heard so far makes me freak out just a wee bit (read: freak out a lot). I don't know if I'd be comfortable doing these treatments. But I am still very interested to hear about it all, and at the very least I hope we'll get a more clear diagnosis out of this. 
Improving Egg Quality - mainly in the way of nutrition. I don't know if any effort here will really make a difference, but it gives me something to do while I wait the 133 days until we get results from Dr. KK.
 
 
 
 


Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Have Been Quiet

There honestly hasn't been much to say. The past 24 days have been slow, painful, and at times unbearable. In between the stretches of sadness, depression, and heartache, there have been moments of sunshine, hope, and happiness. The emotional roller coaster of infertility continues to live up to its name: one minute, I am laughing, the next sobbing.

But through it all, I have mostly known that I'm going to get through this, and in the end I am going to be alright. I admit that sometimes it has been hard to go about my 'normal life' due to the emotionally fragile state in which I find myself. I have had to withdraw from my family, friends and even my support groups at times to make this a little bit easier. In turn, I have missed out on a few things that I am sad to have missed.
I regret that I missed Easter with my family, but know it was for the best as we were nearing the end of the 2ww with our precious Ninja. I needed to remain calm and stress-free.
I regret that I missed a reunion with three amazing couples whom I have not seen in a long time. But I think I did the right thing by staying home because it would have been too painful to see two brand new baby bumps on two out of the three other ladies. And I didn't want to put myself in a more vulnerable position with the other couple who has been insensitive in the past. 
I regret that I missed my best friend from kindergarten's baby shower. But again, I know it was the best move to protect myself at this time (especially being the day before Mother's Day).
I regret that we were not able to celebrate the excitement of a new pregnancy on Mother's Day as we so hoped and wished we would. But that part of the plan is not up to us, and there is nothing we can do to change it. We must move on.
Where do we go from here? Aside from the grief that goes along with an IVF BFN, that question has been the primary source for my stress over the past 24 days. During our cycle with Frostie Ninja, I had resolved not to think ahead any farther than the next step. And I did an excellent job at doing that... I honestly did not think ahead about all of the many what if's.

Maybe that's why it has been so difficult the past 24 days. Because it all hit me like a ton of bricks. How many times do we go about our lives stressing about what could be? Think of all the time you've spent worrying about things that might have been that never were (thankfully). I don't want to live like that... I don't want to worry my days away. So I have no regrets for how we went about our cycles with Ninja.

We are in the midst of coming up with a new plan. It has been overwhelming and confusing when considering all of the options. I admit that anytime I have thought about it in the past, I have quickly dismissed the thought because I knew I was going to worry myself sick. Well, now here we are. I have to face it.

Our choices so far:

  • IVF #4
  • IUI #5, 6, 7, 8......
  • See a Reproductive Immunologist
  • IVF with Donor Eggs
  • Adoption
IVF #4 is a big HELL NO. I don't know if this will ever be an option ever again. But I do know that it is not an option for right now. I cannot go through the anxiety that goes along with another round of fert reports. The 1-6 days after ER are simply too stressful.

IVF with donor eggs and adoption are good options, but I don't know that I'm ready to go there. At least not today I am not.

So for now, we have made an appointment with a Reproductive Immunologist (RI) to see if we can get some answers there. They look at fertility from a different point of view and focus on the impact of the immune system on reproduction. Many REs don't value the field of RI, but we have consulted with six REs and they have all come up with the same thing for us: unexplained infertility and no baby. Maybe they will find something worthwhile for us? Maybe not. But at least we'll be able to move forward knowing that we tried everything. Unfortunately, it is a long wait... our initial consultation is on August 20th. That is 96 days away....... depressing!!! But at least we are in double digits and moving towards something. More depressing is that we won't get our results until September 29th (136 days...............).

In the meantime, I have an appointment with our original RE next week. I have a loooooooong list of questions, and am looking forward to hearing what he thought of our two cycles with the other clinic. Maybe he'll see something. Probably not. But I'm hoping we can do a few IUIs while we wait for the RI.

Also in the works is the possibility of donor eggs. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on which addresses the topic. We have consulted with the two best clinics in the state for DE. It is a lot to think about.

Wow, so I guess after being quiet for such a long time, I really had a lot to say! If you made it through all of that, good for you! I have a sticker for you! Lots of love to you all <3

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BFN

Just like that, it is over. John & I took a half day from work so we could be together at home to listen to the message. I turned my phone off at 9:45am because I knew the call would come in before I made it home, and I didn't want to be tempted. I prayed as it powered down that we would turn it on at noon to get the best message of our life.

Instead, we heard Nurse Jessica's sad tone telling us that it was not good news, and she was so sorry that she had to leave us a message to tell us. My beta is zero and I am not pregnant.

I was numb to the news for a few hours. I didn't even cry as John and I hugged each other and he said words to fill the silence. He said things like, "I really thought this was going to be it for us." All I could say was that I was sorry.

We only laid there for a few minutes until I rallied the strength to tell the girls on IDOB. John got up to make lunch, and we decided to spend the day taking over the "should be a nursery but is actually a crap room."

Before...
We have lots of work to do here
Color samples... purple for the Fabulous Room, blue/gray for our bedroom 
What do you think of the paint colors? We are thinking Dark Purple only for the accent wall.
We still have work to do in here, but got a lot done today.
The plan is to make the room into a Fabulous Room. I have no freaking clue what we're going to put in there... honestly, we have so many empty rooms in this house. It really saddens me. Maybe a second music room? Crafting room? Day dreaming room??

By 4:00, I decided that I was ready to call my clinic and schedule our WTF appointment. As I was on hold waiting to talk to someone, the other line buzzed through... it was Dr. M. He said he was so sorry (and sounded like he really meant it). I told him that we understood that this outcome was a realistic possibility. He apologized that Nurse Jessica had to leave a message. I told him that was actually our preference. I then told him that we are not the "take a break and think it over for a while" type of people. We want to schedule our WTF appointment ASAP so we can come up with a decision and move on quickly. He then offered his first availability on Thursday at 3:30. Good. I already feel better knowing that we have an appointment.

Dr. M said that he has some ideas to improve our cycle for the next time. While that is wonderful to hear that he actually has hope for us, we are one IVF cycle short of reaching our lifetime max covered by insurance. While we have the means to pay OOP a bit, there is also a limit to the depth of our pockets. And there's the tempting double-edged sword in that our insurance covers egg donors. Is it time to give up on the dream of a biological connection to my child? Can I possibly be ok knowing that my little girl won't have my bouncy curls or the unfortunate family nose? Or is it more important to move onto something that will work? Now?

I have been around the block enough times to know that I shouldn't tempt fate by saying, "I don't know how much longer I can stay strong and keep this up." So for now, I'm going to stick with this: "FUCK YOU INFERTILITY!!"

Sunday, April 20, 2014

7dpFET

The first week has gone by so easily. Almost too easily. So, of course, yesterday I started to crumble just a tad.

The day before I noticed a touch of a breakout on my neck. Well, yesterday it was flaring. I mean, it was and still is BAD. Don't believe me? Here's the evidence:

Top Left: fully exposed and not looking so good ~ Top Right: operation cover-up part 1
Bottom: fully covered up, but coming out for NIAW! Podcast has been recorded!
I pray that the breakouts are a good sign for our Ninja, and not just an unfortunate side effect from the Estrace or PIO. It's normal for me to breakout a bit before my period (and also before ovulation) but this is to an extreme unlike any other cycle. 

I tried to put it out of my mind, and went to my friend's home studio to record our podcast. I am a bit nervous that people won't want to listen to it... I think it is too long, but Matt insists that people will listen. I'm just going to let it be. I hope it is helpful to someone somewhere out there! It felt good to talk it out, and I had fun playing with the microphones :)

Today is Easter, so we went to church. I prayed extra hard for our Ninja along with prayers for all the Dreamer babies, including and especially Petey Nugget and Rowan Elizabeth. As we were leaving church, I sneezed... and it hurt. It felt like a sudden and sharp pain in my right ovary. John told me not to sneeze (haha, yeah, ok) and we went along to the grocery store.

The flowers we bought for our Ninja! Happy Easter, Ninja :)
Now, we are spending the rest of the day just relaxing. I am sad that we are not spending Easter with our families, but we decided that we needed to eliminate any potential stressors during this time. Only two more sleeps until our beta!! Wish us luck!! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Visiting Ninja


Every day from February 21st through April 13th, this was my view. The sun wasn't always beaming like that. Sometimes it was pouring, most times it was gray. But those bare trees were always there.

There'd always be a song playing from my car stereo. Something I picked out just for Ninja. And I'd look up out of the sun roof while I did my Circle + Bloom program.

For those seven weeks, I looked forward to visiting Ninja everyday. It was our special time, and no matter how tough my day had been, I'd always smile as I pulled into the parking lot.

I am loving this time right now. Being with Ninja 24/7. It's awesome. I am trying to acknowledge all of my thoughts and emotions. Hold onto the positive, and let the negative go. I hope and pray almost every second of the day that Ninja will be our baby.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blood Work

I went in today, 2dpFET, to have my hormone levels checked. Specifically, my progesterone and estrogen. The nurse told me that the levels would fluctuate, but my numbers are both good and above what they look for at this point. They want progesterone over 20 and mine is 44, and estrogen over 80 and mine is 699. I am to continue on the same dose (1cc PIO and two 2mg Estrace tablets). I will return in one week to have my blood drawn for my beta.

John & I are planning to go to work on beta day for a half day. I'll get my blood drawn before I go to work, and then we'll both meet at home to listen to the message or take the call together. Some of my friends have asked me if I think I can make it without testing. I know without a doubt that I won't test. I just can't see a negative test again. After the way I tortured myself testing for IVF #1, I can't do that again. I promised myself that I'd go beta or bust for IVF #2, but then we never made it to transfer. I didn't bother testing for the IUI cycle we did in January while we were consulting with new REs. I knew there was no reason to... I still remember the last HPT I took on October 21st. It was beyond depressing to see the stark white test staring back at me. So, no. I won't be testing early. Not a question about it.

The only way I'm taking a HPT during this cycle is if we get a positive beta. THEN I'd want to test and see those two lines for myself :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

1dpFET

I'm not really sure if I'm 1dp5dt or 1dp6dt. It doesn't really matter because I'm not planning to test. Beta or bust, all the way!

I will say that I feel all the usual side effects from the progesterone. Cramping and slight nausea are my usual suspects. And, of course, the 'occasional' mood swing ;)

What is really wonderful are the moments when I remember that Ninja is with me right now :) For example, I was driving today and listening to my IF Playlist. I was singing along and then realized that I wasn't alone in the car! Then I sang to Ninja (and got teary eyed while singing "I Just Haven't Met You Yet"). John & I ate by the bay, and we proudly pointed out that it was Ninja's first trip to the water.

After I finished doing my PIO shot, I was laying on the couch with the heating pad. John walks in with his saxophone and plays a song for Ninja <3 Truly the sweetest thing he has ever done to my knowledge.

I am loving every second with Ninja, and pray nearly every minute that he sticks around. I am so in love and can't get enough of my sweet little Ninja!!