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!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

PUPO!!!

We have officially been reunited with our beautiful Ninja :) The transfer was quite an experience! They brought our embryo into the room in an incubator. We saw the embryologist load Ninja into the catheter, she pointed him out in the tube, and then handed him over to the doctor. We watched on the screen for a little white speck. I saw it! That was our Ninja! And in true ninja fashion, he went so quickly that John didn't see. 

I had to take a progesterone suppository this morning at 11:00, and then we reported to the clinic at 1:15. I had to fill my bladder. I knew it wouldn't take much... I only drank 8 ounces. I ended up having to empty my bladder twice because the nurses said I was too full! I also tried out the laser acupuncture and listened to the Circle + Bloom frozen embryo transfer program. 

Before that, we went to church this morning. It is Palm Sunday, so John picked up one for each of us. Then we noticed that one of them was actually two fused together!!! If that's not a sign, I don't know what is!!!

Hang on tight, Ninja! I'll do my best to remain calm, positive and stress-free for the next nine days. All you have to do is pick a spot that you like and snuggle in tight :) I love you!!!

We are so proud of our Ninja :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Final Lining Check

It's good!! 6.5, Type III, blood work is good. TRANSFER IS ON FOR TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm continuing with my regular meds - PIO, Estrace, doxycycline, medrol. I will do one applicator of Metrogel in a few minutes, and a progesterone suppository tomorrow at 11:00. We are to report to our clinic at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon.

SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Frostie Ninja will no longer be a frosty in a matter of hours!! Wish us luck!!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

FUIF Hill Repeats

I was having a pretty decent day until about 4:30pm. Then it unraveled when I got some news. At first, I ignored the usual reaction and string of emotions, and just tried to tell myself that I was ok. Turns out, I'm not ok.

I'm angry. I mean A.N.G.R.Y. I am so fucking pissed at infertility. It takes so much. It hurts so much.

I went to my therapy session, and vented a lot of it out, but I still left feeling pissed as all hell. I knew there was only one thing that would help: an ass-kicking, pavement-pounding run. When I got home from therapy, I got myself situated to do my PIO shot, but first geared up. The plan: jab my ass with an inch and a half needle at 8:30pm, and then go out and run hill repeats.

Best.idea.ever.

I decided to dedicate the run to all of the Dreamers and anyone who knows the pain of infertility. Coda came along and helped me. We went out for our warm-up mile, and from the first stride we were both on a mission and full of fury. I ran each hill repeat with a different aspect of IF in mind, and when I got to the end of the interval I shouted "FUIF!!"

  1. Hill Repeat 1 (60 seconds) - Infertility in general - FUIF!!
  2. Hill Repeat 2 (60 seconds) - All the BFNs - FUIF!!
  3. Hill Repeat 3 (60 seconds) - All the painful CD1s - FUIF!!
  4. Hill Repeat 4 (120 seconds) - Chickin, Petey Nugget & DH <3 - FUIF!!!!!!!
  5. Hill Repeat 5 (120 seconds) - Becky, Baby & DH, who are in my prayers <3 - FUIF!!!
  6. Hill Repeat 6 (120 seconds) - The Dreamers - FUIF!!!
  7. Hill Repeat 7 (60 seconds) - All of the losses (including our arrested embryos who never got a chance) - FUIF!!!!!
  8. Hill Repeat 8 (60 seconds) - All of the broken dreams - FUIF!!!
  9. Hill Repeat 9 (60 seconds) - All of the countless sacrifices for a chance at this dream - FUIF!!!!
I have to say that I actually feel better. And I can't think of a better way to get the muscle moving after my PIO shot ;) 

And on a humorous note, I left the house with the intention of pounding the shit out of the pavement. A half mile into the warm-up, I found myself turning back towards the house because I had to take a... errr... potty break... LOL!!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

PIO & Co.

The first PIO shot is tonight - as in 23 minutes away! I am a sicko in that I have a strange curiosity about pain. I want to know what it feels like and have found out that as long as I know how it hurts that I don't fear it as much. I think this probably explains my marathon addiction too :) After my first marathon, it hurt so much that I didn't know if I'd ever do it again. But then a year later, I decided what the hell, I'm just gonna try it again. Next thing I knew, I was totally hooked!

That's not to say that I'm going to like getting IM shots. But in this case... I welcome the opportunity to inflict pain upon myself for the next several weeks if it means that I get a baby at the end. And not just any baby... FROSTIE NINJA!!!

I'm so truly excited and hopeful about our reunion. I had a little talk with Frostie Ninja today while I was 'visiting' her at the clinic. I told her that we have to work together and both try our best. I'll do the best I can to stay calm and relaxed and prepare the perfect home for her. I hope she tries her best to grab on tight and snuggle in. I know she will... I really think we can do it!!

I'll be back to update this post after my shot. I'm going to attempt to do this myself, but will call Johnny if I can't manage on my own. Wish me luck!!!

*************************************************************

I'm back and happy to report that self-administration of PIO is not that bad :D I did it!! 

I totally screwed up the needles when drawing the PIO up... I drew it up with the 22g, and then switched to the 18g thinking that was the needle I was supposed to inject with. As soon as I took the cap off I panicked big time!! Thankfully that moment of doubt prompted me to go to the Dreamers and say, hey is this right?!? (In much more decorated verbiage, lol) They told me that I switched the needles. THANK GOD!! So I put the 22g back on and it seemed so much smaller after seeing the 18g!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

NINJA RUN!!!

I had been dreaming of doing a "Ninja Run" ever since our little ninja existed. Well, today I DID IT!!! Coda & I ran the course from our house to the clinic and back home again. It was so awesome to literally run to Frostie Ninja :D

A little about the pictures:
  1. Left 1: New Shoes! Aren't they pretty?? I just got them on Friday night. They were long overdue... I had put off the trip to the running store because it was too depressing. I didn't feel like I had earned it. But after completing the Team FUIF March Challenge, I rewarded myself!
  2. Left 2: Before the run in what is coming together to be my SuperCici costume. I plan to wear the shirt & skirt along with a cape and a few other accessories for the Superhero Half Marathon.
  3. Left 3: That building behind me? Yeah, Frostie Ninja is in there!!! Not for much longer though!! ONE WEEK TILL TRANSFER!!!
  4. Middle Left: Me & my favorite running buddy visiting Frostie Ninja!
  5. Middle Right: We made it home! Mocha is thankful that I didn't drag her along ;)
  6. Right 3: Coda is soooo tired :)
  7. Right 2: Look who just ran 10.6 miles for the first time! Good job, Coda!!
  8. Right 1: 10.67 miles in 2:07:25 - woohoo!!
  9. Middle: Me & Coda feeling proud!
  10. Bottom: The elevation map... that was one mean hill!!
I literally shouted out loud, "FU IF!!!" after every mile. It felt so good! 

ONE WEEK TO GO!

And let me tell you, it's gonna fly by! I have three very intense days coming up at work. Two are 'instrument sampling days' where I will teach almost 200 third graders how to make a sound with a clarinet. That means that I have to change 200 reeds and sanitize the mouth piece 200 times. Plus, tolerate the honking and squeaking. That will be on Monday and Wednesday. Then on Saturday, I have honors band. I am the event coordinator, so it's been super busy getting ready for that. The day of the event will be nonstop. I'll be on my feet from 7:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon, and lucky if I get to take a minute to sit down with a slice of pizza.

On top of it all, I have to get ready for this little old FET ;) I'm starting PIO on Tuesday - just two days away!! And I have my final lining check on Saturday. I'll have to go in to the clinic at 6:00am before going to honors band.

After getting through that, I'm sure I will just collapse. The next day, Sunday, I will go in for the transfer. Thankfully, I have spring break the following week. I plan to catch up on a lot of rest!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Transfer Schedule

We are officially scheduled for our transfer....

SQUA-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

::happy dance:: ::happy dance:: ::happy dance::

Here's the schedule:

April 8 start PIO, doxycycline, medrol, and decrease Estrace
April 12 final lining check
April 13 NINJA TRANSFER!!!
April 15 blood work
April 22 beta


Originally, they wanted to schedule us for April 10th with Dr. Evil (boo hissssss), but I asked if we could schedule for after April 12th. I'm the event coordinator for honors band that day. It is always a stressful, labor intensive and exhausting day. Thankfully, we are able to do the transfer the next day AND with another doctor.

Getting all of that information made me feel a bit sick to my stomach at first... But now, I'm just feeling excited!! Squa-weeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Lining Check #3

Watch your fingers and toes, I'm in a pissy mood today. I don't know exactly what it is, but as I was driving to the clinic I found myself crying behind the wheel. I was thinking, "This is not really my life, right? This is all a big joke?" 

When I arrived, I said hello to Frostie Ninja from my car and felt a lot better. It's wonderful to know that he's in there, under a deep freeze, waiting for my body to be ready. I walked up the stairs to the second floor, signed in, and then sat with the fishies for the few minutes it took them to call me back. I imagined myself as one of the fish, just swimming around with no worries in the world. Then I started to get angry at the fish, because they surely have no troubles reproducing, laying their eggs... hell, they'll even eat their babies. Assholes.

The phlebotomist called me back, and I had my blood drawn. She told me to take a "big breath" right before she stuck me with the needle. Who are you kidding, honey? Just stick the damn thing and get it over with. I'm fine. I know she was just trying to be nice, but like I said before, I'm in a pissy mood. I'm mad at fish for crying out loud, so of course she's on my list too no matter how sweet she is.

Then I moved over to the ultrasound waiting area. There were a lot of women waiting. One couple was all perky and upbeat. I wanted to punch her in the face for being happy when I'm not. Again, I know it's not her fault that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but still. Shut up. Then another woman walked in wearing a pretty dress, nails perfectly painted the sweetest shade of pink. Who the hell has their shit together this early in the morning? And to go to the RE?! I side eyed the shit out of her.

Finally, the nurse called me back into the ultrasound room. As she was pulling my file up on the computer, I asked her, "This is all just an April Fool's joke, right?" She totally did not get it. She asked me what was the joke. Ok, so obviously she doesn't get infertility humor. She must be a fertile. Lucky bitch. (Again, I don't really think that. Just bitter!)

The doctor took a while to come in the room, so I chatted on my phone with some of the Dreamers. I bitched and complained a little, which didn't really make me feel better. Then the doctor came in, a doctor who I've never met before. He's one of the founding doctors of the practice, and I've decided to nickname him Dr. Beaker. He looks like a muppet, and the white lab coat just took me to Beaker.

He small talked with me a little bit, and asked about my dose of Estrace. When I told him that I was on two tablets vaginally three times a day, he paused. I blurted out, "Yeah, I have a pretty stubborn lining. Stubborn reproductive system as a whole, actually." Way to make a great impression with the doctor, Cici. But you know, I'm in a pissy mood, so I don't give a shit.

Then good news! Dr. Beaker called out the first measurement, "Type I, 6.8..." and took my measurements three times. The other two measurements were over 7! Surprise! He said that he thought I was ready to move onto the next step, but that my doctor would look over today's ultrasound and make the call. This put a smile on my face and in my heart :D

As I was getting dressed I noticed that the doctor left my last ultrasound picture up on the screen. In total JenTee fashion, I ninja-ed the situation and took a picture with my phone.


Now I'm just waiting for a call from my nurse to let me know what the plan is. In the meantime, the universe still seems intent on pissing me off. I got to work, and one of my colleagues was in a chatty mood. I just wanted to be left alone, but she wanted to tell me about her plans to do the Couch to 5K again, and wanted advice about running shoes. I was trying to answer her questions, and then some students walked in, and my colleague gawked all over this little girl's beautiful hair cut. Shut up, shut up, shut up!! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lining Check #2

Whew! The fluid is GONE!!!

I got the doctor I like today for my ultrasound, though I had to hold the giggles back. Last night, a few girls & I on the Dreamer page were getting silly and nicknamed our doctors. Long story short, Dr. Doogie came through the door today and I could hear the theme of Doogie Howser in my head :D

My lining is measuring at 5.2, is Type I, and the fluid is gone. This is a big improvement from the last time! I asked the doctor to explain if there are any concerns because there was fluid a few days ago. He told me that fluid in the lining at the time of transfer is a big deal and would require canceling the transfer. But as long as it clears out before the transfer, then there are no implications to be concerned about. He said that just because it was there a few days ago doesn't mean that our chances are reduced at all (unless it's still there at the time of transfer). I am so relieved!! I also asked him if it's ok for me to be running and doing core and strength workouts right now. I got the green light :D

I am increasing my dose of Estrace from 2mg taken orally twice daily to 2mg taken vaginally three times a day. My nurse explained that this will help the body to absorb it more efficiently to thicken my lining. I have heard of "smurf cootch" from some of the ladies on TB. I am not looking forward to this!! But obviously, I'll do whatever it takes to get my lining in perfect condition.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lining Check #1

Well, shit. That didn't go well at all.

Strike 1: Dr. Kim did my ultrasound. It was obvious that he still remembers me, and our awkward consultation. I still intensely dislike that man.

Strike 2: My lining is a Type II... on the sixth day of estrogen, I get the feeling that it shouldn't be. Dr. Kim asked me if I was still bleeding... no....

Strike 3: There is a sack of fluid in my lining. This is extremely alarming. We found out on the night of our trigger for IVF #1 that we had fluid documented in my lining. This was the first time I heard that was even a thing. Dr. Jurema insisted that it was alright to proceed, and that the fluid had resolved itself. The result of that cycle was obviously a BFN. We will never know why... our embryos probably arrested... and if by some miracle they did make it to blastocyst, maybe it was my lining. I don't know what it was, but it is something that I carry around as a regret.

I have said from the beginning: if the conditions in my uterus are not ideal, then I don't want to go forward with the transfer. We can't take any chances with our one and only embryo. My nurse will call me this afternoon with further instructions. I will ask her a lot of questions and tell her that we want to cancel. She will tell us the truth.

I feel so angry. And deeply disappointed. I feel like this is never going to happen for us. I know I'm just saying this, and that I don't mean it, but... I want to give up. I hate this. I hate my body for betraying us time and time again.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Baseline & Estrace

I guess today is CD4. I had my baseline on Wednesday and everything looked good to get started with our FET cycle. Everytime I think of, say or type that we are doing a FET cycle... I still can't believe it. I feel so incredibly lucky to have this chance.

I started Estrace on Wednesday, and return for Lining Check #1 on Monday. I forgot about the lovely headaches I get with Estrace. And the weepy mess I become. But it's really not too terrible. I can tolerate it just fine.

I am only allowing myself to think one step at a time. I can't waste time, energy or valuable vibes with negative thoughts. I can't think about what happens if... It's just too final.

I am channeling every ounce of my being to my uterus, willing it to create the perfect home for our ninja. Like the C+B guides me to envision, I picture two open arms in my uterus ready to embrace our embryo. I am calm. I am warm. I am soft.

I am ready.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mad at the Universe

I woke up this morning with a "hangover" from last night's pity party. That in and of itself pisses me off. How is it possible to be hungover when I haven't touched a drop of alcohol in seven months?! Augh. The emotional stress of infertility is far more powerful than any substance you can abuse like alcohol or drugs.

I just feel like life is so unfair. I am so mad. I'm mad at my ovaries and my body. I'm mad that people die of cancer at the age of 33. I'm mad that so many of us are hurting day in and day out. I'm mad that people even have to go through the suffering and loss related to infertility, miscarriages, and diseases. I'm just so mad.

I'm trying to see the positive there is in the world... it's very hard to see the light right now. Maybe making a list of the good will help?

  1. Frostie Ninja is "normal" and waiting for transfer.
  2. John. Mocha. Coda.
  3. Baseline scan looked good this morning. As long as blood work comes back normally, then we'll start prepping for our transfer tonight.
  4. Ladies from TB & Dreamers who understand.
Ok, that did help. I'm going to try to focus on the four points listed above, and force the negative out. 

I just wish this wasn't so hard.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One of those days

I am having one of those days. You know the kind. I just want to bury myself in chocolate ice cream. One small problem: the freezer door was left ajar the whole day, so we now have ice cream soup :-/

The spoiled ice cream was just the icing on top of the cake. Today was a friend's funeral... really, very sad. She was 33 years old, and lost her 11 month battle with leukemia. It is hard to see her boyfriend, John's best friend, deal with the loss.

I got home from the funeral, and just wanted to curl up on the couch (with some ice cream... dammit, still pissed). I noticed a box on my front porch. I forgot that our meds order was coming soon. I opened it up to find three more boxes of Endometrin and a box of Metrogel. Wait a minute, I didn't know my nurse ordered these for us!!! We have more than enough already in my house, we don't need these!! I don't want Endometrin to begin with... now I have six effing boxes of the stuff.

Augh, so I put my pajamas on, and figured, fine, just get to the couch and ice cream. Then realized that wasn't going to happen, and the tears started to flow. Stupid, I know.

Whatever, I am pretty sure I'm PMSing in some way or another. I've been spotting and cramping all day... my nurse said I may or may not bleed after coming off the pill. I just hate this all.

I have my baseline appointment tomorrow morning, but the mood I'm in right now, I could care less. I am just having one of those days. Ya know?

Monday, March 17, 2014

FUIF Fitness Friday Challenge

I must admit that when I saw this check-in group getting formed, I thought to myself, "Here we go again..." It is next to impossible to maintain any level of fitness when pursuing IVF. At least it is for me.

I am a marathoner who has been on the sidelines since we started with the RE last April (holy SHIT, it is almost our one year mark...). Prior to all of this IF stuff, I had a very active and fit lifestyle. I averaged anywhere from 35-50 miles a week with at least two core & strength workouts a week. My nutrition sort of took care of itself. When I'm in training, I gravitate naturally towards a very balanced and healthy meal plan. Of course I like to indulge in a few treats here and there, but that's ok when you're burning hundreds of calories a day in training. In addition, my stress level was always decently in control because running was my great equalizer. It's the perfect way to blow off steam or do some soul searching.

Sadly, it's not possible to do the above when your ovaries are bursting at the seams. I figured out quickly that I could still run at certain times during my cycle, but I had to scale it way, way back. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this setback put me into a depression. I went through phases of, "Ah, fuck it!" and I'd either end up on the couch with a bowl of ice cream to drown my sorrows. Or I'd defiantly lace up and run my ass off (like the night before my lap... I hadn't run anything longer than 4-5 miles in weeks, but I went out and forced 14 miles. Not really a smart move on my part). By the time August rolled around, it was looking pretty certain that we were heading for IVF, so I gave up on the running almost completely.

Three rounds of IVF later, and my running fitness level is next to nothing. I am at square one while all of my running buddies are whizzing by me with their medals and celebratory long run donuts. Fuck.

So then up pops the post, "Is anyone interested in doing a fitness check-in on this board?" In the past, these check-ins have just depressed me even further. But I decided to give it a go. And so far... it's working! We're about a week and a half in, and I'm on track to meet or surpass my goals :D

My FUIF Fitness Goals:

  1. Workouts - I'm doing a modified version of the 30/30 challenge (30 minutes of activity a day for 30 days). I've tried "streaking" before (not what you think... running everyday without a rest day) and absolutely hated it. I love running. But I also really value rest! So my workout goal is to do 210 minutes of exercise a week (30 minutes x 7 days = 210 minutes... but I can distribute it however I want). My philosophy: I'll run when I can. If I can't run, I'll walk. If I can't walk, I'll crawl. If I can't crawl, I'll eat chocolate ;)
  2. Nutrition - regain the balance in my diet. Try to limit how much we eat out, and minimize "binge" eating (especially with oreos and ice cream... oh, my weakness!!). I'd like to make a meal plan and do some preparation over the weekends.
  3. Emotional Health - reduce my stress level. I'm still seeing my therapist, and I'm doing Circle+Bloom every day (HOORAY for the FET program!!!). In addition, I'm trying to remove the stressors from my schedule as we get ready for our transfer (bye bye MIL! See you in May).
Week One Progress:
  1. Workouts - 210 minutes of exercise complete! I went for a few runs, a few walks with the dogs, and did a core and strength workout (and was very, very sore for days). Felt so good to move!!
  2. Nutrition - I made a meal plan for the week and mostly stuck to it :) I'm still indulging in a daily treat, but it's within reason.
  3. Emotional Health - I totally admit that I've been falling asleep during my C+B sessions. I need to find a different time of day to do this so I can be more aware of the work I'm doing in this area. 
Week Two is in progress, and so far, so good!! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

CCS Results

This past Wednesday was a normal day at work. Jazz band in the morning followed by 4th grade lessons throughout the day. As my students were packing up from the 11:28 lesson, I was completely surprised to see a missed call and voicemail from my nurse. I knew that we'd be getting a call soon, but was never given a timeframe. I thought maybe Thursday or Friday we'd get this very important call.

It took all my strength and will power not to run over to the window (only place where I get service) and check the message that instant. I was tempted, but didn't want to lose it in front of my students. One student was taking an especially long time packing up. I ran over to help him saying, "I don't want you to be late for lunch!" Gahhhhh!! Move it, move it, move it!!!

When I was alone, I ran over to the window, said a quick prayer, and then hit the button on my phone to listen to the voicemail. I listened for clues in Nurse Jessica's voice as she started her message... Does her tone sound like it's good news or bad? Please, please, please let this be good news. Her intro sounds all business like... or is that her pity voice? Oh, god, is she getting ready to say the worst news? Her pitch just dropped and her cadence just slowed. Please, please, please don't say the worst. Then her tone picked up about ten notches as she said, "I have really good news for you today!"

Our embryo is chromosomally normal!!! I started crying the second she said those words and didn't stop for about 30 minutes. I was so happy!! And it was like all of the stress from the past several months just came pouring out of me. I couldn't concentrate on the rest of Jessica's message (she was giving me instructions for our FET cycle. EEEEEEE!!!!! We're going to have a FET!!!!), so I saved the message and hung up the phone. I called John and told him the news (through tears again, he was so cute, he said he wished I wasn't crying. When will he get it that I cry when I'm happy?!?!).

There was much celebration and rejoicing. To be honest, we are still blown away, humbled, and head-over-heals happy about this news. We have a fully hatched grade 6C blastocyst with 46 normal chromosomes. This is the best news ever!!! 

We will have a transfer in April, and we are now praying that my uterus will become the perfect home for Frostie Ninja. Please, please, please stick around little one!! 



Saturday, March 15, 2014

I am a Sneaky Ninja Dreamer!!

Thanks for making the trip over here from my original blog. I love, love, love that blog, and will continue to utilize it (I plan to publish blog posts on a delay over there, but in real time over here). I just decided that I wanted a more private place for our story.

I have a few IRL friends who are invited to follow me on my other blog. That's all well and good, but as we continue on this part of our journey, I would like to have the chance to keep a few thoughts to myself. Mainly, I don't want to share our FET timeline with anyone IRL. It's not that I don't want them to know what's going on... I just don't want to deal with being asked for results when I'm going about my day to day business. If you're reading this blog, then I'm sure you know what I mean, and I can stop explaining right there.

Stay tuned, people! More to come later :) For now... it's sleepy time! Sweet ninja dreams!!