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Infertility Awareness Week 2017

If you looked through my latest Instagram feed (or any social media really), you would probably never know that, for years, we struggled with infertility issues. Unless you glanced through the hashtags after some of the bump shots & pregnancy updates, you wouldn’t realize what it took to get here & how much this week will always mean to us.

Infertility is such a terrible thing & one major reason for this is because of how isolating it is. You feel it’s just you, for the longest time, because it’s not something we as a society bring up in conversation often. It’s not something that typically comes up in small talk. “Beautiful weather, today!” “Yeah, perfect for another round with the dildo cam to check my follicles!”

The above conversation just wouldn’t happen…& maybe that given example should not lol but I do hope more conversations surrounding infertility do! This year, the slogan for Infertility Awareness Week is Listen Up & I so hope that people do just that.

Not only is infertility extremely isolating, it also comes with a lot of ignorance on the part of those who have not struggled that can only make things more hurtful for those that do. I wrote a blog post a while back on What NOT To Say To Your Infertile Friend & another on helpful things to say instead if you would like to read more on that.

Personally, I am forever grateful that we were so open about our struggles. One reason being is that I, hopefully, educated a few people about the presence of infertility (1 in 8 couples struggle!!!). While many of my followers are from the infertility community, it is my hope that some were not & still read on, learning something along the way.

Secondly, had I not had the support of the blogging community & truly wonderful ladies I found on Instagram that were walking my walk, I don’t know how I ever would have survived it. It was one filled with many tears, breakdowns, sooooo many damn needless, surgeries, procedures, & just plain out grief. If you are struggling with infertility, please, PLEASE, do not go it alone!! Reach out to the wonderful community out there that I am so thankful exists.

Lastly, as we are rapidly approaching the arrival of our own rainbow baby, I hope that our story is a symbol of hope to those who are still waiting. We went through 3 IUIs, 2 rounds of IVF, several medicated cycles, laparoscopic surgery, & two devastating losses. We were told that our chance of having a child was 1-2% & we should look into other options. Despite it all, we are here! Praise the Lord! And I want that to give you HOPE! Anything is possible, our story is a living example of that.

My heart is with all of you still in the painful throws of waiting this week & always. ❤

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The Trauma Of Failed Infertility Treatments

We’ve often seen others talk about the heartbreak & financial burden of failed cycles but not so much the trauma that is attached to them.

Over the past few months, both our IVF cycles have crept up on my Timehop & while I’ve done my best to avoid the reminders, it has gotten to me on occasion. In truth, both Scott & I have talked about how we can’t even bare to look at them. To see the smiles on our faces & hope in our eyes in shattering because we know full well what those cycles yielded…failure. Repeated failure.

Even now, 20 weeks into my pregnancy, these images still bother me. Something I never would’ve fathomed before. I’m not sure if I’d feel the same about them if they would’ve been successful so I can’t speak to that but I do know how much each failed cycle traumatized me.

For one, you had people, medical professionals, (that were “specialists,”) building you up with things like, “oh, this is going to be your time!” “this is gonna be it for you!” “I have a good feeling about this!” “sometimes you have to do it more than once…..” over and over again. Until the end…when we were essentially given no hope (a 1-2% chance) & advised to look into embryo adoption, as well as other forms of adoption.

And then there is the piece of you who wonders who your little embryos would have been, the ones that couldn’t seem to be successful despite good & average grading. Each time I remember thinking about the hopes I had for them, wondering about who they would grow up to be, who they’d look like, & what their interests would be. I remember reading about the cycle of implantation & development into babies based on a 5 day transfer. I think, for me & our situation, I also can’t help but wonder if these embryos would’ve successfully implanted had I ever been asked about/checked for endometriosis then. No one can say for sure I guess but I am angry about this nonetheless.

Then we have the financial burden of all these treatments we are still paying for. We spent around 30, 00 for absolutely nothing with our old RE who we now lovingly refer to as Dr. Dumb ass lol

Not to mention the fact that my body had to undergo sooooo much with every try. I was injected with countless amounts of drugs that could increase my chances of two forms of cancer. I had two surgical procedures (egg retrievals) that were very hard on my body. I was so swollen I looked pregnant at the time, yet another cruel thing infertility treatment does to the body. I got OHSS & could’ve ended up in the hospital with each IVF. It effected my grad school & practicum performance, as I felt like death some days & was unable to go. I also suffered from a great loss of energy after the cycles & can’t say for sure if I’ve ever recovered from that aspect yet (as pregnancy also tends to cause fatigue).

Infertility hurts. It hurts a lot, for a number of reasons. It hits you where it hurts the most, your hopes & dreams, mental health, physical health, as well as financially. It is a burden I would wish on no one.

May we all be a little kinder to one another, we never know what another person is going through.

“You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes & walk around in them.”

How have your cycles effected you?? Are you experiences similar? Different?

13

The Lottery

When I woke up this morning, I was nothing but a ball of nerves…filled with pee since someone at the Dr’s office told me to have a full bladder…which I ended up not even needing.

When I finally got called back, I was full of dread. I didn’t want to go. It was the strangest thing. I literally thought of just sitting there but Scott was standing up as soon as they got out half of  our last name so that wasn’t an option lol When we got back the tech started off by saying, “So what’s been going on?” & we froze. “Have you had some bleeding, or something?” & then our eyes widened. Had my Dr. wanted us to have this ultrasound because she thought something was wrong?????? We answered her & filled her in on what Doc thought it stemmed from. She said okay, “well I’m not gonna be able to tell you anything today.”

More nerves.

It was a transvaginal ultrasound, hence the not needing the surplus of liquid I was instructed to fill my bladder with.

She had warned us we probably wouldn’t hear the heartbeat because it was so early but said she would try for us. Time seemed to speed by as she clicked a bunch of times. She told us she was just snapping a bunch of pictures for now. Near the end, she said the words we were PRAYING so hard she’d say, “I see the gestational sac. Here it is,” pointing to the screen, “and this little flicker is the baby. It’s measuring right at 5 weeks & 1 day.”

We were both speechless. When she’d said she saw the sac my body went into a bit of a shock. I couldn’t believe it. We were stunned & just so, so thankful.

I never believed we’d get here. After all the failure & all the heartache here we were….having our first pregnancy ultrasound. There are not words for how good that feels.

I am so incredibly thankful for every single person that has been invested in our journey. Those who have followed along, cheered us on, believed in us, PRAYED for us, sent us good vibes, & just cared to ask how things were going….thank you, will never be enough. Above all, I keep telling everyone this is all God. We were a double IVF failure, a 3 time IUI strike out, & had a 1-2% chance of getting pregnant on our own without invasive treatment.

With the right OB, a whooooooole lot of God, & some mild fertility drugs (Femera & progesterone), we have arrived.

Now….we just need your continued prayers it stays that way!!!!!!!!! We both feel like, for one, we will feel a lot better once we get through this week/next since I’ve miscarried in the 5th week twice & somewhere in between the 5th & 6th once. I am really hoping we get in with my Dr. soon as well so we can rest a little easier we hope.

 

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Think Before You Post

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As pregnancy & infant loss awareness month is quickly approaching, I urge all those posting fake pregnancy announcements to think before they post.
To 1 in 8 people who struggle with some form of infertility, your post is not funny at all. In fact, it’s downright hurtful.

It’s hard enough as it is for those struggling with infertility to keep seeing the pregnancy announcements of others come & come when they still haven’t had an announcement of their own. While we are happy for our friends, it’s a reminder, time & time again, of what we still haven’t gotten to experience.

This month, & always, I urge you to think before you post. Your post is not funny & has the potential to harm someone you care about.

Lets Save The Boobies & Remember The Babies this month (& always).

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

 

 

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The Cost Of Infertility, Dollar Sign Edition (Continued)

A while back, when we finished up our slew of IUIs & two failed IVFs, I wrote an updated blog post on what infertility had cost us money wise. You can find that full post, broken down in details, here: https://wordpress.com/post/disorderlylove.wordpress.com/1938

The total at that point in time came out to be $26, 647.48.

Since then, we’ve had the following expenses:

-Laproscopy with anesthesia: $1000 (insurance covered the additional cost).

-Pregnitude: $40.00

-Femera (2): $30.00

-1 follicle ultrasound (when I did not ovulate on my own): $200

-The Stork: $79.99

-Progesterone after positive HCG: $15.00

-Blood work through the ER to re-check my HCG $300.00 (Our insurance did not cover this as I was out of town & we just have terrible insurance all around).

-ER visit when I was having a miscarriage while on vacation: $300

-Miscarriage blood workup: FREE! The one thing that has been covered since it was blood work (blood work is free for clinic employees). I believe, had we not had insurance, this would’ve cost us around $800.00

-Femera: $15.00

-Follicle Ultrasound: $200

-Progesterone: $15.00

-The Stork (2): 159.98

-Pregnitude: $40.00

Total additional cost: 29, 042.45

Also, I cannot resist pointing out that, after the 29, it reads 042…which is where we’re at right now. So, even if our infertility journey FINALLY ends tomorrow, that will be how much we’ve spent at this point.

Infertility is a ridiculously expensive thing, more so than I would have ever imagined. Fortunately, 15 states do cover infertility TX…unfortunately for us, we don’t happen to live in one of those states…though we border two of them..how fair is that? lol

10

More Answers

I got a call from my doctor’s office today about the blood work I had done two weeks ago.

The nurse started off with (after the initial hello, I’m ___ from Dr.___ office), “Well, overall, everything came back normal.”

& my heart sank because I thought we hadn’t gone anywhere. I thought, after all of this time, we still had no answers.

But she continued.

“You do have a blood clotting factor. So she wants you to go ahead & start taking a baby Aspirin, about 87 mgs, daily before you even get pregnant. When you do get pregnant, call us back immediately & we’ll start you on a blood thinner injection called Levonox.”

Poor girl went on to try to assure me the shots weren’t he bad &, “we’ll show you how to do them,” until I chimed in with, “after all the shots i’ve had for IVF, I’m sure it’ll be nothing.”

I was probably the most ecstatic person a medical professional has ever informed they had a blood clotting issue that would require further treatment. I AM OVER THE MOON!!!!!

I’m sure if you are, or have ever been where I’ve been, you get it. After a miscarriage, two miserable/hellacious/insert all other synonyms for terrible here, rounds of failed IVF, on top of the 3 preceding IUIs, then the laprosocpic surgery, & then the oh, wait-miracle baby…just kidding, I am past ready to know why. 

&, after the worst summer of my life that has consisted of nothing but bad news, I was well over due for some good today. I needed some hope. I haven’t seen any in a while & it is much welcomed.

I’m hoping that this was the reason I’ve miscarried around the same time in both pregnancies & that, FINALLY, we will be able to stop it. Hopefully.

Be hopeful with me friends!!!

&, again, I’ll jump back on my soapbox for a minute to reiterate:

  • If you ever feel you aren’t getting the care &/or attention you need, GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! I REPEAT, GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!!!!!!! If you want something done, ASK FOR IT!!!!! Bring up your concerns & how you’d like them to be addressed!!! I.E. me asking for blood work
  • Lastly, as hard as it is with infertility & all its hell/absence of glory, don’t lose hope. After all, some Disney movie says miracles happen all the time……

 


My snapchat update of the day to all my friends (thanks, for limiting my words & forcing me to resort to drawing them like a 2 year old again Snapchat. Not cool).

Bless her heart, one friend responded, “oh, no!!” To which I quickly replied….


Don’t feel bad…I just said wow in my own head as well.

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TMI Fertility Post

Well, another TMI fertility post that is.

This week, I noticed some thick egg white discharge when I’ve been in the bathroom. On one occasion, there was quite a lot & it looked pretty thick & was very sticky.

Why am I sharing this graphic information??

Well, I found out I was miscarrying a little over two weeks ago. Since then, I never expected my cycle to fall back into rhythm so quickly. I’m hoping that the TMI above is a sign that my body is already back in gear & everything will go as planned (for once).

My gyno predicts I’ll reconnect with my period around the 25th. When I do, I’m suppose to call her for another round of the infamous Femera (which is totally not so bad in comparisons to her bitch ass cousin Clomid).

After that, we plan on using two more of The Stork OTC’s this coming cycle since they worked so well for us before. In summary, The Stork, with the help of Femera, was able to get us pregnant when 3 IUI’s & 2 rounds of IVF with ICSI could not. To us, that says something. A lot actually.

Until then, I’ll just be hanging out anxiously awaiting the results of my 13 vials of blood for recurrent miscarriage. If you pray, please throw a few up that they found something there. Finding an issue that’s fixable would make me feel much more confident for what lies ahead in the future.

If you’re still reading this, wish us luck!!!