Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Injection instruction complete

So yesterday I had an appointment to learn how to give myself injections. It didn't take very long and looks quite simple. I am sure that feeling will change as I try to actually stick myself for the first time. The nurse told me that I can stick myself anywhere on the belly that I can pinch an inch (as long as it isn't too near the belly button). I told her that I was prepared and had been planning on this for years, hence the chubby belly! I am made for belly shots!!! She gave me a fake belly to practice with and I did fine. Hopefully the real ones are just as painless.

My 7 year old nice stayed the night Thursday night and knew that I had an appointment. She wanted to go with me but I informed her that I was learning how to give myself shots and she could not go. She is aware of the reason for the shots and is quite hopeful that they work and we have a baby. Anyway, I teasingly told her that I was going to practise on her when I got done and her response was: "But Jessie! I am only seven. I am too young to have babies." I cracked up!!! The birds and the bees talk is now complete for her! LOL

I will be ordering all of my meds on Monday. The nurse gave me the name of another pharmacy that might be cheaper. Their brochure claims that there is a pharmacist available 24/7 to answer your calls but someone obviously needs to inform that that 24/7 means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I have been trying to call since yesterday and no answer. I will try again Monday. So that about sums up where we are at right now. Lupron injection start on 11/11 and the real fun begins!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Don't Obsess"

Don't you love it when a fertile person gives you advice? Usually it is to tell you to relax or to pray about it. Both proven methods, I am sure. But I really love when a fertile tells an infertile to quit obsessing about having a baby. I realize that there are women out there that truly do obsess about babies. But these are not the norm. Just like Octomom is not the norm. The average infertile is not obsessive, but focused. And what choice do we have? If you had cancer would you just relax and let it happen? Or would you fight it aggressively? If you let cancer grow without a fight you will one day run out of time. Fertility is much the same way. We are given this window of opportunity in which to conceive and once its over, its over.

We don't start out "obsessed", really we don't. Here is a breakdown of how it goes:

First few months: Hey, lets make a baby. So you have sex.

Months 3-6: pay closer attention to your cycle and have sex near your fertile time.

Months 7-9: begin to take your temp at the same time every day and schedule sex.

Months 10-12: pee on an ovulation test every morning for a week, schedule sex accordingly. Make sure not to flirt with hubby on Thursday because you can't have sex until Friday. Gotta save those spermies! And make sure hubby does not plan to go out with his buddies on Friday night in case you need him home. Hubby no longer wear briefs, but boxers. You both take vitamins and cut out caffeine. You try any and all advice people give you, even if it means standing on your head after sex.

After the first year: you begin searching online and read the word "infertility" which strikes fear in your heart. You are sure that is not you so you keep searching. The truth hits you like a ton of bricks and you call your doctor, still sure that you are not infertile.

Your doctor runs tests and assures you that you are still young and that whatever it is he is sure that he can fix it. Tests come back with a few issues and he prescribes some magic pills and you return to charting your cycle and timing sex. By this time you are beginning to feel a bit like a circus monkey, performing on command.

Another year passes..........

You are now beginning to get worried. You have been trying for 3 years. All of your friends are parents now, some even pregnant a second time. You are in your mid to late twenties. Still young, but you can see 30 on the horizon. Everyone knows that once you hit your 30's your egg timer starts ticking. Fertility does not get better with age. But you are not going to panic. You are going to see a fertility specialist. This will fix everything.

Your RE (fertility specialist) runs more tests. And now even a surgery or two. You discover that your problems are worse than you had originally thought. Now you are on more pills. You have to schedule ultrasounds. You have to reschedule that mini vacation now because of your ultrasound and later your IUI.

Years 5-6: IUI does not work. Now onto IVF. You have to take time off of work to go to your appointments. You are running out of sick days at work so you have to cancel your vacation this year and use your vacation days for your many appointments to the RE. But that's okay since you can no longer really afford that vacation now that you are paying upwards to $10,000 to do this procedure. You have to plan your days now. Injections at 7 am, pills at 9am, pills again at 2 pm and pills before bed. No caffeine, get enough rest, relax. But don't forget your pills. Or your appointments. Or the injections. One screw up could mess up the whole cycle.


Your whole life does begin to center around infertility. But is there any other way? Is this considered obsessive? To some it might, but really it isn't. There will come a time when you need to step back and take a break, maybe even quit altogether. But until then your life becomes a series of charts, pills, appointments and timed sex. This was not what you dreamed of as a young bride, but it is the life that you have been given. You make the best of it and hopefully at the end you are surrounded by your babies and it will all worth it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Faith, Hope and Reality

Eleven years ago my husband and I said "I do". Three months later we chucked the birth control pills, ready to add a little one to our happy home. We had faith that we would conceive soon thereafter. Just as 1+1=2 we assumed that man+woman=baby. Our assumption was wrong and our faith was tested. A few years later we had hope. We hoped that we would conceive or that we would adopt. We held onto that hope for a few years. Then reality set it. The reality of it all was that life was not always easy, nor was it fair. Why would a happy couple with a strong marriage not be able to have a child? Why would we have our dream within our grasp only to have it ripped away? None of this made any sense to us. It still doesn't. But it is our reality and we must accept it.

In the reality phase it is difficult to have hope or faith. Occasionally you dream that it might happen, or you are late one month and have a glimmer of hope, but this is rare. You try to put it out of your mind and focus on other things, anything that is not baby related. Now that we are preparing for our first FET with donor embryos I am trying to find where I am at. I want to have faith, but it is difficult to trust that this will end in a baby. The reality is that for many couples there is no positive pregnancy test or happy announcement. But I want to hope that we will be the exception, that we will be able to share our "good news" with family and friends this Christmas. I have faith that His will will be done, but reality is that His will may not be my will. I pray that my will lines up with His, but still hope that His will is for us to have a baby.

I am trying to put my faith into action. This past weekend I found some great deals on baby items and I actually purchased a few things. Very few. I have also begun to look at nursery decor and diaper bags (Timi & Leslie have adorable bags!!). I have begun a virtual hope chest just in case we get pregnant. But I won't make any big purchases until we see 2 pink lines because realistically we may not use them. I am finding that the lines between faith, hope and reality are blurring and I am not sure where I am at exactly. So I am going to hold onto all three and hope that my faith will make a baby a reality.

Question about Estrace

For those of you that have been down the IVF/FET route you may be able to help me out. I hope! My insurance pays for nothing infertility related, but they are covering some of our meds because they are for sustaining a pregnancy, not infertility related. My RE requires that I use Estrace name brand only but my insurance is not going to cover it. I thought for sure that they would, just maybe at a higher co-pay. We are using IVP pharmacy and they are by far the least expensive for the Estrace ($235) but I would still like to see about insurance covering it.

So my question is, how do I get them to cover it? I don't know why they are covering the Vivelle patch and the prometrium but not the Estrace. Any thoughts, tips or ideas???

Monday, October 26, 2009

HUGE, ginormous, amazing, wonderful blessing!!!

My sister and I have never been extremely close. Mainly because we have just chosen different paths in life. She is a little bit younger than me and has really had no interest in settling down and having the "American Dream", yet this year she got pg, engaged and bought a house. I worried about her being a mom as she has never really been around babies much at all. Through her pg and especially the birth of her daughter my sister and I have gotten much closer. I was there for the delivery of my niece and have been so thankful for the opportunity. My sister has surprised us all, including herself, and has taken to motherhood. She is an awesome mommy!!!

Over the weekend my sister got sick and I kept the baby for a few days. My sister ended up covered in hives and was terrified that it was something worse and she could not be around the baby. She hated being away from her!!! Today the doctor gave her the all clear and she came and picked up the baby. I was sad to see her go. Anyway, while she was here my sister told me that she really hoped that I got pg in December. She has never really shown much interest so this a pleasant surprise.

After she left I got a call from the pharmacy telling me that one of my prescriptions will not be covered my insurance (Estrace) and it will be $235, which is much more than I had planned. As I was searching for my insurance card to call and argue with them I got a call from my sister's fiance. He told us that they wanted to give us the rest of the money for the transfer, which is $3000. I could barely thank them, all I could was cry.

God has guided this embryo adoption/donation journey every step of the way. It is truly humbling to see how He is blessing us.

Dreading all of these pills

I had always assumed that if we ever did IVF or FET that I would dread the injections, but right now I think that I would prefer them over all of these pills! And I have not even started the majority of them yet. My morning consists of a Synthroid/BCP/antibiotic/2 folic acid cocktail. (The synthroid I already take and the antibiotic is for tonsillitis). Then at lunch I take 2 more folic acid and before bed is another antibiotic, 2 more folic acid and a prenatal the size of my pinkie toe! Today is my last day for the antibiotics which is really exciting!!! In three weeks I will be adding several more pills to the mix. I am starting to gag just thinking about it. Maybe I should crush them up and put them in mashed potatoes. Or, better yet, in some chocolate pudding!!! Now that sounds like a good plan! Think insurance would cover the pudding??

I keep looking over my list of meds and instead of fear I feel excitement. The injections are a little scary but I will not complain. And my RE allows progesterone in pill form and not the dreaded PIO shots! How awesome is that ?!?!?! It doesn't take much to excite me anymore.

Well, that's all for now. Gotta go take some more pills. bleh!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Great appointment today!

I had my protocol appointment today and everything is moving forward in an amazing way!! I return next Friday to learn how to do injections and begin lupron on 11/13. My transfer date is 12/11. I asked the nurse when people start to freak out and she said "right about now" and I did. Then she handed me a picture of the twins (that the donor couple had last year) and I just cried harder. They were beautiful! One had a head full of dark brown, almost black hair and big blue eyes. She was so pretty! The other one was bald, with big chubby cheeks and a mischievous glint in her eyes and a huge grin. Just adorable! As I looked at their precious faces it hit me that these two are my embryo's siblings. Talk about making it all so real to me. Only 7 weeks to go!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The "other" side

For so many years I have been outside looking in the lives of families with children. Outside the inner circle. Now I am approaching what could quite possibly be the door to the entrance of life on the other side of infertility and it scares me. Not for reasons that you might think, though. I am not terrified of motherhood, though maybe I should be. I am not fearful of regret or afraid of failure. I am scared to leave my fellow infertile sisters behind. So many of us have run this race together, watching friends and loved ones sprint past us, many times lapping us several times. So we all banded together, helping each other along when times got tough and we thought that we could not take another step. Now I feel like I am abandoning these sisters and I am not even pregnant yet.

I so want to be on the "other" side, I do! I want to feel the excitement, anticipation and even relief that accompanies crossing over. But I want all of you to join me. I want us to complete this race together, holding hands, banded tight. But it is not to be. If this is my time (and I pray that it is) I will cross over to the "other" side with all of you cheering me on. But know that if this happens I may no longer be running this same race, but I will be sitting on the side lines cheering all of you on, waiting to hug you on the "other" side.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More good news!!!

I received a call today from my coordinator at the clinic and the donor family came in for testing (like planned) and the results came back today. Everything is perfect!!! We had assumed that it would be, but confirmation is great! Also, they brought their twin daughters with them and the coordinator said that they are healthy, alert, and adorable! She even snagged me a picture of them!!! So on Friday I will get to see a picture of what our kid(s) might look like. How awesome is that? Most people using an anonymous donor never get that opportunity so this is a huge blessing to us.

I am so excited and I thank all of you for allowing us to share our journey with you.

ICLW Welcome!

For those of you visiting for the first time, welcome to my little corner of the world!! Here is a basic overview of my infertility journey:

Married 11 years
Diagnosed with low sperm count after 1 year ttc
Went the adoption route
2 failed adoption later returned to ttc
Diagnosed with azoospermia, endometriosis, PCOS, and blocked tube....we got it all!!!!
4 rounds DIUI....all negative
This past July began the embryo adoption/donation route
A match has been made and transfer scheduled next month

That about sums it all up! Infertility is doing its darnedest to make me cray, but I am still hanging on........though barely! My blog chronicles the embryo adoption/donation journey as well as the day to day struggles that we all go through. Infertility is a merciless enemy, but I believe that if we all band together we can get through it! I look forward to getting to know all of you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An "aha" moment

Today I went to see my counselor. I began seeing her this past February after learning that my sister was pregnant. Since going to he I have been growing and learning so much about myself. One of the most prevalent themes of our discussions is where God is in all of this. I try not to, but often I question His plan in all of this. What possible benefit can there be in being infertile? I know the basic answers, that everything happens for a reason. But why for me, in particular? Is it because there is something for me to learn? Someone I am supposed to meet? Some place I am supposed to go?

After 11 years I am no closer to the answer and left with even more questions. But today I looked at it through a new set of eyes. My counselor's mother was unable to have a child until she was almost 40 years old. Her mother struggles with the same thoughts and feelings that we all have today, but without any support or outlet. One thing that she learned through it all is that it was not about she, herself, not being ready to be a mother, but about her daughter not ready to be here yet. God has a plan for each of us, of that I am certain. My plan was to have 2-3 children by now. That may have been fine with Him except the child that we are to have might need to be 20 years old in the year 2030, therefore unable to be born until 2010. The hold up on my plan might be for the timing of a future plan. I had never thought of this before.

This revelation does not make the wait easier or fun, but it does help me to put it into perspective. It is difficult not to become somewhat self absorbed while trying to achieve the dream of motherhood, but from time to time I need to step back and see that it is not always all about me. And now I can think about what my little embryos may become one day. Maybe one of them will end world hunger. Or find a cure for cancer or even infertility. Whatever it is I hope that they are very wealthy and can support me in the way that I was meant to be!!! Mansion, limos, furs and diamonds here I come!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Busy! Busy! Busy!

WOW! This past week has been crazy busy!! Last week both my hubby and I got sick. It was just a virus but it knocked both of us on our butts for a few days. During this we had to prepare for a wedding that we were both in. Right before the wedding I began to feel worse and went to the clinic and found that I had tonsillitis on top of it all. Yay me!! During the whole ceremony on Saturday I had a cough drop in my mouth trying to keep from disrupting the wedding. Afterwards I went home and slept for 11 hours straight. On Sunday I began to get worried because I was not feeling better yet. Actually, I was feeling worse. So I googled it. Never google symptoms!!! My symptoms were pointing to mono which would have really upset me! I have this fear of something interfering with out transfer and mono could have easily done so.

Now it is Monday and the wedding is over and we are both feeling better. Thankfully it was tonsillitis and not mono so all is good! This week I am trying to get my house under control from last week's hectic schedule. I am cleaning out my car in preparation of selling it. *sniff*sniff* I have my appointment this week for the protocol for our transfer (yay!) And then all of the regular day to day stuff that keeps me busy. But I am not complaining. In a year from now I will hopefully be begging for this kind of busy again! Especially if we have quads!!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Officially Day ONE

Today is officially Day One! Here is my first birth control pill, ready for consumption. I also received a call from the clinic today. The donor family is coming in for their blood testing this Sunday!!! And I have my protocol appointment next Friday, the 23rd. I am giddy with excitement! And fear!!!!! This is all so real now. Well, as real as it can be for now. I am sure that once I start the injections that it will be even more real!

So there are two prayer requests at this time: 1.) that the donor couple pass all the necessary testing and 2.) that the rest of the funds are provided. We only have 25% of the money together right now. Between now and the transfer we should easily have half of the money, but that still leaves us with about $2000 to come up with. I am planning on selling my car for the remainder of the amount, but am praying that I don't have to do that. I would rather sell my car later to put a down payment on a mini-van!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It comes in 3's

They always say that pregnancy and death always come in threes. Have you ever wondered who the all-knowing "they" are, these so called experts? But I digress. Whether there is a scientific reason behind the thought or if it is just random, it does seem that these two events do come in sets of three. So what does that mean for the infertile? It means that with every pregnancy announcement comes the hope that we will be a part of the set of three. First announcement, you hope to be either the second or the third. After the second announcement you frantically begin ttc, hoping to be announcement number three. When someone else sweeps in with the third announcement you feel dejected, that all hope it lost. Until another announcement and the cycle continues.

When you are infertile you look for anything to give you hope. It has been quite awhile since I have been in this cycle as we have not been ttc for a few years. Now that we are approaching our FET it is all coming back to me. This past Sunday at church the second pregnancy was announced. So my mind starts its endless series of craziness and I am hoping to be #3. If someone else announces before we are pregnant then I will convince myself it is because we will have triplets and will be our own set of three. Hey, I never said I was sane!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Can it be????

Was that red that I saw? Is aunt flo cooperating this month and arriving right on time??? Or is she playing peek-a-boo and planning on arriving later next week? If she is here to stay then I will be starting BCP's this Wednesday! When I told my hubby the good news he was less than enthused. I asked if he even knew the significance of me starting my period and he said "Yeah, it means that you will start taking the crazy pills." Poor guy! All the things that he must endure for us to have a baby. (said with extreme sarcasm)

So next week, the crazy pills!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another day closer

Each day brings us closer to the transfer and it is starting to become real to me. I have actually allowed myself to look at maternity clothing online and even nursery decor. Things that I typically avoid at all costs. But now I am having fun dreaming. This could get expensive!!

Yesterday I got my flu shot which my RE said that I needed. It was my first flu shot ever. After I got it (at Walgreens) the nurse told me to walk around the store for 10 minutes in case I had a reaction. Well, that sounded reassuring!!! For 10 whole minutes I wandered around imagining horrible side effects that would prevent the transfer. I kept waiting to collapse in a fit of seizures and start foaming at the mouth or something. I don't think that those are actual side effects, but nothing has been easy on this journey so I assume that the worst would happen. With my luck I would have some freak reaction and make it into medical journals! But thankfully nothing happened and I was able to go on my way.

My hubby also got his blood work done this week. Of course he whined about it hurting. Wait till I have to start my injections!! I may stab him a time or two so that he might know what real "hurting" is like!! So now we are just waiting for aunt flo to make an appearance. My BCP's are sitting next to my bed, ready to opened. And waiting for the call from the clinic to let us know if the couple got their blood testing done. Other than that, we are ready to go!!! Bring on the embies!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Belly is Baby Ready

I had the privilege of babysitting my new niece tonight for a few hours. It was fun to inhale her sweet baby smell. We cuddled. We rocked. We looked at Coach advertisements. I want to train her right!!! ;-)

So while I had her here I decided to use her to get my belly baby ready by introducing it to a real live baby. I laid her on my belly, hoping some of her baby mojo would find its way into my uterine wall. We talked to my lining telling it to get ready for one (or two) of these. Hopefully my body will cooperate and my embies will stick around for nine months! So now that my uterus has had a pep talk all we need to do is float a few frosties up there before the mojo wears off.

Monday, October 5, 2009


You can get 10 free tests, no shipping fees! I selected 10 HPTs since I will be needing them next month anyway! You can get them here: http://www.freeopks.com/

Maybe a Match!

I just spoke to the coordinator at the clinic and they have a couple that is donating their embies and it looks like a very good match for us!!! She read me their health history and stats and it sounds perfect. The couple had twins with their first IVF and have 6 embies frozen. The dr needs to review everything on Wednesday and then they have to get the couple there for infectious disease testing. Here is where prayer come in: The couple lives a few/several hours away and they need to some to the office for testing. Please pray that they come soon! Hopefully by this weekend. The clinic has agreed to waive some of their storage fees for them to encourage them to come in soon.

I will begin the BCPs on CD3, which is next week. If things are not in place for these embies then I may have to allow a period then start the cycle again, but if they are ready then we are ready. The money is due 2 weeks before the transfer so that gives us, what? Four or five weeks?? AHHH! Can this really be happening!?!??! I am so excited!!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

WIll this be the week?

When I had my last appointment the coordinator told me that if I have not heard from her by my next period to give her a call. Well, I am due to start this Friday. So I will give it to Wednesday before I call, but hopefully she calls me first. If all is ready on their end I will be starting BCPs this week or early next week! It is kind of scary and a lot exciting! So much to do!!!

We have someone coming to look at our place this week so tomorrow is going to be a day of spring cleaning. Or would it be called fall cleaning?? A friend is coming over to help me all day. Though I am home all day right now I have been quite remiss in doing any deep cleaning. When I worked I kept up so much better. Now that I am home I am in front of this computer much too often and things pile up. And I have been "planning" on having a yard sale so there is boxes of stuff in the office just taking up space. So I want to clean that up and then make everything else sparkle. Nd hopefully they will love the place and we can begin packing for a move. If we move I am sure that we will be so busy I won't have time to worry about the upcoming FET.

So off to clean before my help comes over tomorrow. I would hate to ruin my image as a clean freak!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Answer to prayer????

When we first got married I traveled with my husband so we decided not to buy a house but a mobile home instead. After a few years I quit traveling and we planned on buying a house. Well, you know how plan go! Eight years later and we are still here. I don't regret it as it is a nice place to live and very safe. Also, we stayed here because we chose to try to adopt and to try various fertility treatments. It seems like every time we had money saved for a down payment on a house we would have an opportunity arise and the plans for a house never materialized.

Our most recent plan was to sell this place and move into my mom's house for a few months. Then embryo donation became available and we put moving on hold again. Mainly because selling a mobile home is so difficult right now with banks not wanting to finance them. So we were hoping to get through the transfer and then try to sell it after the new year. Well God might have different plans for us! We got a call tonight about a family moving here to be closer to their family (friends of ours) and they are interested in buying our place!! They are coming to look at it next week and want to move soon. This would be awesome! And if we get what we are wanting for it then we will have enough for the transfer!

Please pray that if this is His will that this works out! I will update next week!