1

Our Frozen Embryo & Family Growing

When I finally gave birth to Eli, I’d came to a decision on our frozen embryo…or at least I thought I had. After all the heartache & uncertainty surrounding whether we’d ever have a child of our own, & alllllll of the anxiety over my pregnancy with him, I was at a place, & still am, that I got what I prayed for & was content. If we never have another biological child, we will still be infinitely blessed. It was & has been everything I ever wanted & could have dreamed.

Now, on our frozen embryo, my feelings were initially that I never wanted to put my body through any more fertility drugs ever again. They’re a bitch & effect you fiercely. They also increase your chances of certain cancers & that, to me, as well as my husband who is in the field of cancer treatment, is scary.

At the same time, when I saw our last two embryos, one of whom is still frozen, on my Timehop yesterday from 2 years ago, I couldn’t help but feel something for them…it’s OUR baby…or could be if it survives the thaw & the stars align…nevertheless, it’s very hard to come to terms with the concept of giving away our child….or leaving them frozen forever…or, worse yet, throwing them away.

Also, oddly, someone I went to school with yesterday contacted me asking me about fertility treatment. She shared that she had went through a lot to have her first child, also had endometriosis, was struggling to get pregnant again, & was told by her OB that, while the laparoscopy helped increase pregnancy odds the first time, it did not subsequence times…which makes me a bit nervous.

Before infertility, I wanted 5 children…& then dropped to 3 lol If it weren’t for infertility now, I’d want all the babies 😀 & we do still want to adopt. Strangely, after having Elijah I want to adopt now more than ever. When I’d hold him & take care of him in the early days, I remember one time in particular I just cried when thinking of all the babies who are left to cry & not cared for in this world. That to me is heartbreaking. I am so glad he will always know love & never have to wonder if his parents will follow through for him. I want to give that to another child who may never know that same fierce love.

For the moment, like I wrote about earlier, we have decided to actively TTC again as my OB recommended. I’ve already bought an ovulation kit & plan on using two STORK OTCs again this cycle. We’ll see where it takes us.

Again, sorry the blog is a bit slower nowadays & a heartfelt thank you, to all of those who continue following along on this crazy ride with us. We love & appreciate each of you! ❤

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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.

2

Green M&M’s

In the beginning of our infertility journey, I stumbled upon a lot of blogs recommending you be your own advocate…& we though we were…until we realized we weren’t.

The BIGGEST thing I like to stress to others going through this rocky ride of infertility is this: BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!!!!!!!!!!

Having undergone 3 failed IUIs & 2  failed IVFs, only to later find out I had endometriosis & become pregnant on my own with the help of Femera & The Stork OTC, I cannot stress that enough.

During our last appointment with our old RE, we asked him about a lot of things.

What were our chances?

2% on our own.

Why was my egg quality not up to par?

“Research hasn’t gotten there yet.”

What could we do to improve it?

“Nothing, unfortunately. Have you thought about looking into adoption?”

Asking him about the fertility diet & an extra shot I’d read about that worked for another lady who underwent several IVFs that finally had success,

“You may as well go home and eat green M&M’S because that’ll do about the same thing for you.”

Little did we know at the time, he seemed to only want our green M&M’s….dollar sign edition.

I was never once asked if I’d been checked for endo. I was never once asked if I had symptoms of endometriosis. They found my husband’s low morphology & they focused on that, without looking further into possible issues in my body as well.

When I started seeing a new gyno, I told her about my period pain & our fertility struggles. She recommended I have a laparoscopy & I agreed…just before it, I almost canceled because I thought my periods weren’t that bad &, surely, by now if I had it someone would have asked. Someone else would have suggested it by now.

I was wrong.

Groggily waking up form anesthesia, I asked my husband what they’d found….all the while thinking he was going to tell me nothing. I was wrong.

He said something to the effect of, “Well you have it. It was stage 2 but she burned it out.”

I just stared at him. I couldn’t believe it. After all we’d been through this, THIS, could have been the reason for all the miserable failures.

After that, my OB put me on Femera beginning the second cycle after the lap. I’d seen The Stork OTC advertised somewhere and thought WTH, can’t hurt. So we tried it for the first time that month. It failed. And then I reluctantly to try another cycle of Femera, along with two more kits the wonderful people at The Stork OTC sent me in the mail.

& the unthinkable happened.

We got pregnant.

Unfortunately, as you’ve read if you follow this blog, the pregnancy ended in miscarriage. However, that is no testament to the product. Quite the opposite really. If anything, it proves how beneficial the product can be in treating infertility at home. If The Stork worked for us after all of our very expensive failures, I’d recommend it to anyone. A reproductive specialist may tell you that you may as well eat green M&M’s but, just remember, they’re also getting a lot of your green M&M’s.

If you think something isn’t right in the care you’re receiving, speak up. Say something. Get a second opinion. Ask questions. & try the, “green M&M’s.”

They can’t hurt & they’re a whole hell of a lot cheaper.

In closing, BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE MY FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If something doesn’t feel like it’s going right, it’s probably not.

 

Fun fact: If you order The Stork through Target online, you can currently save 25%

15

Miscarriage Silence

A lot of women keep silent about their miscarriage & opt to struggle/grieve alone. I made the decision not to do so & instead spread awareness that it’s a common thing that happens to a lot of women, infertile or not. I wanted to give other miscarriage mama’s a voice. To say it’s okay to talk about something so deeply painful. 

As I’ve been open about that, I regret to say, I now see why a lot of women keep silent. Some of the things that have been said to me have been atrocious & just downright awful. 

One person commented something to the effect of, “God gives us good times and bad. God knows when to send good times into our lives.” 

Like my Mamaw, the woman I spent most of my most wonderful memories with in childhood, just died last week. The day before I had believed, after 3 IUIs, 2 IVFs, 2 rounds of Femera, & a surgery, I’d finally gotten my miracle baby. *Rejection buzz But yeah….I’m sure God doesn’t think I need good times right now 🙄

Another, less than an hour after we found out I was miscarrying, commented: “Maybe you just couldn’t carry it.”

 Uhm….thanks? Like that’s suppose to be some consolation prize for ensuring the worst month of my life. 

I’ve also had women tell me about, “one girl I know,” or a, “friend,” whose had 7 miscarriages but she has her miracle baby now….in other words, don’t worry, just 5 more miscarriages to go &, if you’re like her, you may have your baby too!! Great. 

I feel terrible for those other women but, the sad truth is, the people who tell you these stories don’t have a clue as to what they’re talking about. They have no idea how devastating & painful (emotionally & physically) miscarriages really are. So, if you don’t know, my advice is to say you’re very sorry &-this is the important part-shut up. 

I’ve been told about other testimonies that have nothing to do with miscarriage at all. & it’s not that I don’t care about listening to those, I do, when I am in the midst of miscarrying, however, it may not be the time for that. Just a thought. 

Something else I’ve noticed from being around other people who haven’t experienced this tremendous pain is that they have no idea what you’re going through. They truly don’t. They don’t know what to ask. Some don’t know what to do. And that’s completely fine. If all you can do is say, “I am so deeply sorry you’re going through this,” that’s all we want to hear. Offer a hug & move on. 

What is not okay is to do any of the above or discuss baby showers & pregnancies whilst sitting beside someone who is actively miscarrying. If you’ve read nothing else, please do not do that. Before that moment, I didn’t think my heart could ache any more than it already was. Wrong again. It’s like someone scrapped a little more of my heart out & poured alcohol all over the whole thing. 

Long story short, if you don’t know what to say keep it short. My sister worried she wouldn’t know what to say but, in reality, her response was perfect: “I’m so sorry. I love you. I’m here for you. I found the miscarriage earrings I got you for Mother’s Day & I’m going to mail them to you.”

That. That, my friends, is empathy. It’s saying your pain matters &, as someone who loves you, their heart hurts for you, too. That is all we, in this sad group of miscarriage mamas & papas really want. Just that. 

18

Work & Infertility Treatment

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No matter which method of treatment you choose for infertility, one thing remains the same: the Dr’s appointments.

When we did IVF, I had three ultrasounds (AKA monitoring appointments) per cycle. I also had to be available in a three day window for egg retrieval &, depending on that, available for another three day window afterwards for transfer (putting the embabies back in their home).

Even now with our upcoming course of treatment involving only using Femera & trying naturally for two cycles, there are appointments. I have an ultrasound to check for follicle growth (I’m guessing) & an appointment with my gyno’s nurse practitioner afterwards as she’s out of town. In addition, I have another appointment with my Dr. mid June for a second surgery follow up, as well as evaluating how Femera worked for me.

Not to mention that, if this method of treatment fails, we have a consult with another RE near the end of July. To add to the fun, he also happens to be located  over an hour away.

To sum it up, working while undergoing these treatments is hard. Sometimes, doing both can even be damn near impossible (depending on your job and other factors). For that reason, I know a lot of women who opt out of work completely to avoid the headache and added stress of taking off so much.

And then comes the rub…even though you’re available for a plethora of appointments, you’ve also lost a second income &, potentially, the ability to pay for these treatments. It’s a catch 22 at its best. You have more availability for treatment but less ability to pay for it.

As I recently graduated from grad school (wew!!), & even more so since I interviewed for a job, I’ve been thinking a lot about the above. Initially, I’d planned to look for work near the end of summer. I did, however, apply for some jobs with the belief that it would take until then to go through the hiring process. Well, friends, I was wrong! I got an interview a week later & an email this morning from them asking when would be a good time to call, “regarding a position.” Based upon my previous experience in the job market, I feel like that’s a pretty good indicator I’m going to be offered the job. If not, I’d expect the standard, “Thank you, so much for taking the time to interview with us. Unfortunately…..”

While this is a great news for financial reasons, I’m stuck on the fence because of our infertility & journey to parenthood. But it got me thinking a lot on our current dilemma. A dilemma that many other infertile know all too well. It has also inspired me to write an upcoming blog post on HOW to balance work life & infertility TX.

But I need your help…..any input/information is appreciated!

Thank you, friends!


What are your thoughts on infertility treatment and employment??? How did/do you balance work life and treatment??? What words of advice would you give others?????

 

 

8

Happy Anniversary, Wordpress!!!

 

Wow! Hard to believe, a year ago today, my adventure in the blogging word began! 13100738_1701293423442282_415235978305208461_n

When I started this blog, I had just had my HSG done a few days prior….& swore I’d NEVER have another again! Thankfully, my gynecologist took care of this during my laparoscopy last Friday. *sigh of relief

At the time I was fiddling with names & browsing layouts, I had believed, with everything in me, our infertility journey would soon end. Surely, we though, with just a few IUIs, we would have the positive test we had hoped for. One IUI came, two, & then three…all yielding the same result. Our journey had not ended, it had only just begun….

If you’ve followed along with us, you know we’ve also done 2 IVFs within the past 6 months. Two of the most invasive treatments available for us infertiles & still nada, zilch…sorta. We do still have 1 embaby in the freezer.

A year ago, we never imagined our battle with the infamous infertility would bring us to where we are today….which is one of the reasons, even back then, I declared myself more than just an infertility blog. Blogging about social issues that are close to my heart (rape culture, etc), a few of my favorite things here & there, &, recently, of travel tips.

Even though we are still not at the end of our infertile road, I am still thankful I did this, if nothing else for the distraction of all the stress & heartache infertility brings.

Fast forward to today, my laparoscopy was this past Friday, during which time we discovered that I had stage 2 endometriosis. My gyno removed this, cleared my tubes out in the process, and we follow up with her a week from today.

I am hoping she will feel IUI’s may be a hopeful prospect for us at that time. If not, I would really like to move forward with an FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) with our one embaby that made it to freeze.

Additionally, we are near the end of being certified foster parents, another new topic recently added to the blog. I look forward to the new adventures that will bring & how it will help us to grow as people.

You never know what a year can bring…..I never would have imagined.

Happy Anniversary, WordPress!!!! THANK YOU, SO MUCH TO ALL OF MY FOLLOWERS!!!!!!! ❤ This journey would be damn near impossible without all of your love & support. I hope you all stay tuned for whatever is in store for us next!! Hugs to you all! 

~Ces

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12

Laproscopy 


We were up not so bright & early at 5:30 yesterday morning. After slipping some leggings & a t-shirt on, the husband & I were out the door. 

We checked in at OP surgery &, after about an hour, I was taken back to be prepped. I got to wear one of those highly fashionable hospital gowns I’ve grown to love so much for pelvic surgeries & lay in wait of my pre-op nurse. 

After going over my info, she informed me she needed to take, “a lot,” of blood for plasmax.What is this, you ask? A MEGA huge syringe about the width of a half dollar & longer than anything in the blood container dept I’ve ever seen. Ever. As she was getting it ready, she asked if anyone had explained this to me & I said no. She responded that she wasn’t an expert on it but it had something to do with my Dr. using this blood on me to prevent infection. 

Nearing the end, I started to feel weird & she yelled for another nurse, saying, “I know what’s about to happen, you’re white as the sheets.” Flipping me back, she shoved some stinky stuff below my nose, & tossed a white cloth on the head. The anesthesiologist, who observed this fun, then asked if I wanted some, “happy juice,” now before being wheeled back to surgery. After the above excitement, I jumped on that offer. 

I don’t remember when exactly  I fell asleep but don’t remember anything after this until waking up to a new nurse in recovery. When my husband was brought back, I immediately asked him what the Dr. had said.

 The verdict is I do in fact have endometriosis & was at a stage 2. It was covering both ovaries, as well as a few other random tiny spots here and there. It is now, thankfully, all removed. She also informed Scott that she wanted me pregnant in 3-6 months as to prevent a regrow any time soon…we have no problems with this 🙂 


My follow up appt with her is two weeks & we’ll be discussing options as far as the possibility of IUIs during that time. 

While we are very angry our old RE never bothered to test me for endo or even go over a symptom checklist at the least, we are extremely thankful to have an answer as to why all our other fertility TX’s may have failed thus far & hopeful that maybe, just maybe, we are one step closer to meeting our sweet rainbow baby after fighting such a hard battle.