Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Rain

Several weeks ago, I arrived at work, got out of the car, and headed towards my#favoritenotfavorite alley.  It was barely sprinkling so I made the decision that I did not need an umbrella.  About 10 steps into my walk, the Heavens opened and the skies came flooding down on me.  I squealed like a little girl and quickly began to run for the door, carrying all of my bags that have earned me the beloved name of “bag lady” at work.  I ran as fast as I was able to, not realizing what I was doing.  All I could think about was getting out of the rain.

I realized that morning that infertility is just like rain.  I dream about getting out of this phase of my life.  I plan and plan and plan how I'm going to get out of it the quickest.  What I know deep down is that enjoying the rain can be quite a life lesson.

Rain helps things grow.  Infertility helps me to grow.  I told myself that morning that when infertility was really feeling like a downpour, I should remember to stop and enjoy how it feels to be able to dance in the rain and enjoy this time when I am growing so much.

Not two weeks later, the craziest thing happened.  As I turned the corner for the last stretch of my drive to work, the rain started.  I pulled into the parking lot and sat, thinking about if I should carry an umbrella.  I didn’t.  Instead, I whispered, “God, help me to learn to enjoy this rain.”  I climbed out of my car, grabbed my many bags, and began to slowly walk into the building, letting the rain fall all over me. As I entered my alley where I have receivedso much bad news along this journey, the rain began to pick up its intensity.  I didn’t speed up my pace, though.  Instead, I relished in the feel and the smell of the rain.  However, as I neared the end of the alley, the rain began to lessen.  It was amazing.  It was at that moment that I smiled, realizing that even when things get harder, God is always in control.

And can I just tell you how good the rain felt?!  I knew that day was going to be a good day!

Yesterday was my due date. It was the day that we thought we would give birth to our son. I have been waiting for it to come for months, anticipating how I would react to the day. That morning, I asked Todd if he remembered the significance of the day.  Not surprisingly, he had not forgotten. I spent my drive to work in tears.  In fact, I spent several moments that day in tears.

I even had the opportunity to take a pregnancy test with a small amount of hope that being “2 weeks late” was going to be the next page in the story that God is writing for us.  (I am never late, so this was quite a phenomenon for us.)  It didn’t turn out exactly as we had hoped.  I was imagining how we would get to surprise all of our friends and family with the miracle news.  Instead, the negative sign on the test gave me another chance to show my God how faithful I am becoming that He truly is holding us close to Him.

My heart longs to be a mother. My body physically aches at times from the repeated losses. I was afraid that yesterday was going to be a complete mess of a day for me if I didn’t focus it correctly.  Instead, I reached out to someone I knew that would be able to comfort me.  I spent my evening at dinner with one of my dearest friends.  I cuddled with my husband.  Despite the tears that did come and go throughout the day, I learned to dance in the rain.

I know that someday, this rain will end.  Trusting God for that does bring me peace.
Here we are this summer, enjoying the rain with our two favorite girls.  Yes, we were wearing shower caps for part of it.  No better way to enjoy rain than being silly in it.
This is the view I had one morning at a lake house we rented.  Instead of locking up inside the house, my dad and I enjoyed each other's company...and the rain...from the back porch.

Friday, July 17, 2015

My Submission for the Bloggers Fertility Conference

I am super excited that I was able to participate in this online conference.  There are so many wonderful bloggers on this.  If you get a chance, follow along.  There is so much great information being shared by these ladies.
Here is my submission.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Online Fertility Conference - Starts July 13th

I am honored to be participating in an online Fertility Conference starting July 13th.  I hope you will join me in following each of the entries from these awesome bloggers.
P.S. I haven't written much lately because I have been giving you all a break from reading my blog after the daily Cycle 5 posts. Plus, I have been working on a couple of other projects when I get a chance to write. I will be back very soon, though.

Just so you know, there is no real update on Colorado or CCRM. We are still waiting for all of our records to arrive at their office. We are still planning to go out there for the full-day of testing sometime in August. I will keep you posted.

Happy Little Friday! (Sorry I stole that, Dayna, but it's so catchy...kind of like burns my biscuits, huh?)

Friday, June 26, 2015

“Have you ever considered adoption?”

"Have you ever considered adoption?"
Adoption?  What is that?!
No, in all seriousness, yes.  We have considered adoption.
We have also considered natural conception,
timed-intercourse/medicated cycles,
natural-cycle IVF, and
mini-IVF (is there a difference in these last two?).
We have eaten a clean diet,
tried the PCOS diet, and
We did acupuncture,
massages, and
We have taken Metformin,
fish oil,
pre-natal vitamins, and
folic acid.  (In all reality, we have been swallowing over 20 pills a day since we started down this road.)
Would you like your first 28 shots in the thigh or
the stomach because the following 63 shots will be in your rear.
Or if you’re lucky and your doctor doesn’t make you take the Progesterone shots in the rear, do you want
patches or
Speaking of, do you want Estrogen as a shot,
cream, or
Do you want ICSI/IMSI/PICSI or
petri-dish fertilization?
One embryo,
two embryos, or
three embryos at transfer?
We have looked into egg donors,
sperm donors, and
embryo donations.
Did you know you can get eggs and/or sperm from a known donor or
unknown donor?
Let’s not even mention the eye color, hair color, race, religion, intelligence level, sexual orientation, or 183 other options on those sperm and egg donors that you have to make.
Genetic testing or
luck of the draw?
Do you want updates via phone or
(Don’t even get me going on what happens if you miscarry.  You can have your miscarriage in the form of natural,
chemical D&C, or
surgical D&C.)
We have researched fostering,
adopting, and
We realize you can adopt domestically or
You can get an Indian baby (because we are) or
a non-Indian baby (because we don’t look like we are).
There are the open adoption or
closed adoption decisions.
In many of these cases, do you want a boy or
a girl?
Are you set on a baby, or
would you like an older child?
By the way, don’t forget you need to pay for this.  Will you borrow,
finance, or
pay cash?
Whew, my brain hurts.
So, have we considered adoption?  Yes, amongst a few other things.  It’s just not that easy.  “Just relax,” though – we’ve got this under control.
Oh, and biology PSA coming to you – adoption isn’t what people do to get pregnant.
These are just some of the decisions that someone with this disease will face.  Some of us will have additional decisions; some of us will not have to face all of these decisions.  I can promise, though, that all of us have, at one time or another, considered adoption.
Anyone else ever notice that infertility can feel like a Chinese food buffet with all of the options laid out before you?…and many of them are unclear as to what they really are?!

I am doing a link-up with Lisa at Amateur Nester for this blog entry.  Go check-out her blog if you’re in the mood to be encouraged.  If you don’t like being encouraged, well…I’m sorry.  J

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

IVF Cycle 5 – Shot Count

It may seem strange that I always like to post my shot counts on my blog.  However, if you have ever had a consult with a new RE, you know that one of their favorite questions pertains to what kind of shot protocol you have done in the past and the results of those cycles.  Therefore, I use my blog to review my shots before said consultations.  Plus, isn’t it nice to be able to appreciate how many shots an IVF patient endures each cycle?!  J
For the record, cycles are easier on the shot protocol when they stop right after retrieval.  J  Leaving out Progesterone is nothing short of a blessing from God.
1.       5/4 evening – Gonal-F 450IU
2.       5/5 evening – Gonal-F 450IU
3.       5/6 evening – Gonal-F 450IU
4.       5/7 evening – Gonal-F 375IU
5.       5/8 evening – Gonal-F 375IU
6.       5/8 evening – Menopur 75IU
7.       5/9 morning – Ganirelix 250mcg
8.       5/9 evening – Gonal-F 450IU
9.       5/10 morning – Ganirelix 250mcg
10.   5/10 evening – Gonal-F 375IU
11.   5/10 evening – Menopur 75IU
12.   5/11 morning – Ganirelix 250mcg
13.   5/11 evening – Gonal-F 300IU
14.   5/11 evening – Menopur 75IU
15.   5/12 morning – Ganirelix 250mcg
16.   5/12 evening – Gonal-F 300IU
17.   5/13 morning – Ganirelix 250mcg
18.   5/13 evening – Gonal-F 225IU
19.   5/13 evening – Menopur 75IU
20.   5/14 morning – Ganirelix 250mcg
21.   5/15 evening – Trigger Shot!!! – Ovidrel

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

IVF Cycle 5 – Calling Colorado - Consultation with Dr. Schoolcraft

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
First of all, happy birthday to my dad and my multiple friends with birthdays today!

Yesterday, I received an email from Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine.  That’s where Dr. Schoolcraft works.  They said that Todd and I had officially completed our registration information and were set for our consult with Dr. Schoolcraft on July 7.  Then, as I was reading through one of the 35 pages of information they had sent me (I’m not kidding, y’all), I saw a note where it said that once you had completed steps 1 and 2 of registration, you could be put on a cancellation list for a potential earlier consult.  I checked my notes, and sure enough, we had completed steps 1 and 2.  I dropped them a quick reply to put us on the cancellation list, and in a matter of minutes, I received a call saying he had a cancellation for last night.  I was ecstatic!  I called Todd.  We agreed we could make it work, and we set the appointment.

Soooo, we talked to Dr. Schoolcraft last night.  Oh, I was nervous.  I have had these consults so many times, and I still get nervous about all of them.  I worry that we will constantly try to talk over each other since we are on speaker phone.  I worry that I will forget to ask questions.  I worry that I won’t have the right information prepared.  And I love it!  Every time we have a new call, we get new information and new hope.  He didn’t disappoint last night, either!

Dr. Schoolcraft talked us through our previous cycles.  Then, he said he would be willing to let us cycle with my eggs.  Yay!  He, also, said that if we are going to consider donors at some point, he thinks an egg donor will be the answer.  I specifically asked him why he didn’t think we needed to replace the sperm, and he said that with Todd’s history of conceiving 3 children, his sperm should be fine.  I even asked if the vasectomy being so long ago could cause the sperm to deteriorate, and he said it wasn’t an issue.  Y’all, you cannot understand the relief this gives us!  Each time I tell the story, I tear-up.  Once again, God has come through for us!  We are willing to move on and discuss an egg donor at some point.  Moving on and discussing a sperm donor is a much trickier subject!  It’s complicated.

We have a lot of work to do before we can go see them.  I have to gather records from 2 different doctors, which is not as simple as just calling and requesting the records.  There are several other details that have to be worked out before that can happen.  Anyway, we are discussing and praying about if this is the direction we want to continue to head.  If so, at some point, we will head to Colorado for a day of testing, meetings, and a procedure for me.  Hello, dear anesthesia.  J

I am excited for this new hope.  Now, if only I can finish building my direct line to God, so I can see what He would like us to do next…

Monday, June 15, 2015

IVF Cycle 5 – Going “Home” - Consultation with Dr. McKinney

Thursday, June 4, 2015
We met with Dr. McKinney yesterday.  It was a little strange walking into their office.  I told Todd that I felt like I was going home, but to an abusive home.  They aren’t abusive people, but IVF is starting to feel a bit sadistic.

Dr. McKinney spent an hour with us.  At some point during our visit, both of her nurses found us to hug our necks.  It was nice to feel love.  I did tell Todd that I felt famous in a place I didn’t want to be famous, though.

We had to break the news that we had cheated on her with Dr. Ahlering.  Of course, she understood.  She said that if we wanted to look at other REs, she wanted us to consider Dr. Bill Schoolcraft in Colorado.  Anyone follow Giuliana Rancic?  (By the way, I love this article about her and her struggles.)  I had actually looked into Dr. Schoolcraft before we really got into IVF.  He has some of the best success rates in America, so I wanted to know if he would be an option.  At the time, I thought his prices were too high; throw in the cost to travel to Colorado last-minute, and we ruled him out.  I used to think that I wouldn’t be able to quit IVF without trying Dr. Schoolcraft.  When I learned about Dr. Ahlering last year, I changed my opinion to be that I wouldn’t be able to quit IVF without trying Dr. Ahlering.  Maybe this is God taking us full circle.  Regardless, Todd and I will do our research and discuss this option.

Dr. McKinney also suggested that if we are ready to consider moving onto donors, she would suggest we pick an egg donor and fertilize half of her eggs with Todd’s sperm and half with donor sperm.  Truthfully, our hearts are not ready to move onto donors.  If you have ever seriously faced that decision, you’ll understand how it’s not an easy one.

All in all, it was really good to see Dr. McKinney and her staff.  As much as I may joke about feeling too comfortable there, it really is nice to feel like we’re home, again.  If I had to do IVF anywhere, I would want it to be with Dr. McKinney.