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

Monday, December 2, 2013

Not much to report

Things are quiet around here. Baby Olivia is doing well and I am feeling more and more movement. Maddie is telling everyone that will listen about her sister. She also tries to look into my belly button to see her. LOL She claims that she can actually see her which is cute. My last OB appointment went well. I am still slightly anemic and have to take iron (yuck!!) but my BP was good which is a blessing (I have had issues in the past). I am trying to keep my stress down which is not easy with a 3 year old (Maddie) and my 2 year old terror of a niece. She is quite the handful. I am trying to decide when to stop watching her. As I listen to the two of them fight and scream I think that this week is a good week to stop. I love the child but she is aggressive and Maddie is passive and the fighting gets old very quickly.

We are ready for Christmas around here. The tree is up and we have most of Maddie's gifts purchased. She is super excited for Santa this year which is fun. We are also doing Elf on the Shelf but she is not as interested in that this year. After so many sad Christmases I must say, it is nice to enjoy them again. Not that Christmas is just for kids, but the sadness of infertility doesn't overshadow it like it used to.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Baby unBump

As of today I am 16 weeks. (yay!) I am four weeks away from the halfway point. It is hard to believe as it feels like yesterday that I was in FL. I am feeling great now that my migraines have finally subsided. I am not as tired and I have more of an appetite too. I don't even feel pregnant. And I don't look pregnant either.

For the skinny chicks reading this here is a fat girl anatomy lesson. There are 3 kinds of belly shapes we chubbies can have: D shape (rounded), B shaped (with an indent in the middle making it into the shape of, well, a B) and an apron belly (the worst of them all, it is a hanging belly, like that of wearing an apron). With Maddie I had a B belly. It sucked! But about this time in the pregnancy she had pushed all of my fat up and I could wear the right clothes and 'look' pregnant. My B essentially became more of a P then. I lamented the fact that I didn't have a cute bump back then. But my lovely blogger buddies assured me that I would round out and I did. At about 32 weeks.

With this being my second pregnancy I was excited to show sooner. And maybe have a nice, rounded out D. Because "they" say you show sooner. And "they" say that you get bigger the second time around. Well, what do "they" know? NOTHING!!! "They" know nothing at all. I started this pregnancy 15 pounds less than the previous one but with still a B belly but with an added, albeit small, apron belly (darn you, c-section!!). Little Olivia is hanging out very low. Maddie was higher. So I just look fat. Well, fatter. There is no fat being pushed up, no hint at rounding out. At all. I just can't suck my fat in anymore. And because of my B belly I can't wear fitted or ruched tops to help give me that rounded look. Do you know how hard it is to find winter tops that cover my belly but don't just look baggy and huge? Very hard!!! My regular clothes are too snug and I need maternity, but I am limited on what I can wear. Being fat sucks!!! I know, I know! I should have lost weight before I got pregnant again. I get it. And if it wasn't so freaking hard I would have. Actually, I did. I lost 15 pounds. It took months of hard work to do even that. Thank you Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism. I really appreciate that you hold onto my fat cells so tightly. Like BFFs.

And to add insult to injury I have an anterior placenta which means that it is in the front, keeping me from feeling her very often. I look forward to feeling her all of the time.

These two things are annoying. But honestly, it is no biggie. As much as I don't like them I am just thankful to be pregnant. It is a gift that I cherish, even with my ugly misshapen belly.

Friday, November 8, 2013

We are having a.................

GIRL!!!!!! We found out yesterday that all of the genetic screening came back negative and the baby is healthy. And that they baby is a girl. Maddie is excited to have a sister. Her name will be Olivia with the middle name either Reese or Nicole. We are leaning towards Reese though. Then it will be Madison Grace and Olivia Reese. I like the two together. We almost named Maddie Madison Olivia and then her initials would be MOM. I liked it since she finally made me a mom, but I loved both names so much that we decided to save Olivia just in case and now I am glad that we did.

Finding that we are having a girl was bittersweet. My sister has two girls and my brother has two girls and now I have two girls. We had all hoped for a boy this time, but it was not to be. We have two embryos remaining that we will use in the spring of 2015 and maybe then we will get our boy. Or twin girls. lol Either way we don't care. We are so thankful to hear that Livvy is healthy and that is all that matters.

Today we are preparing for a 10 hour trip to visit family in PA. It will be a long trip and I really hope that Maddie does well. And sleeps through most of it. It should be interesting traveling with a 3 year old. We haven't been back since February 2012 when we went for my MIL's memorial. It will be nice to go for a happier reason this time. Everyone is anxious to see Maddie again. Once we return home it will be a flurry of activity for the holidays. And in January we will start getting ready for baby Olivia. You would think that we have everything, but we don't. At all!! Maddie will be almost four when this baby is born. We sold her car seat and stroller and most of her clothes will be the wrong season. And now I think I want to sell the nursery furniture and go with white this time. So a lot to do!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

First trimester screening

On Monday I had my monthly appointment with my OB. All went well. I mentioned last week that my friend's sister was just hired there and I was not sure how that would work out. Thankfully it went well and my OB was totally cool about her not being part of my care. While there I even got a peak at the little one and he/she was very active.

Then yesterday I had my first trimester screening. I was not planning on declining any genetic testing as it is not accurate enough for me. However they offered the newer MaterniT21test and it is 99% accurate. It is also one that those that use donor eggs or donor embryos can do. Not all tests will work if you use a donor. I didn't know this before so for those of you considering genetic testing this might be helpful info. The results come back within 1-2 weeks. As a bonus we will know gender as well. I am super excited about this as we had a very hard time determining the gender with Maddie. She covered her lady bits every. single. time! This time we won't have to worry about it. :)

I really struggles with whether to to do the testing or not, regardless of accuracy. We would never terminate so what would knowing do? Ultimately we decided that knowing would prepare us if there was something wrong. Also, we have very little info on the donors and the donor mom was 36 years old at the time of IVF, so the risks are a bit higher. Overall the risks are low so I am not worried.

I am feeling great and am very glad to be in my second trimester. I am not showing yet but my chub is getting firmer. I am really hoping that I round out this time instead of my blubbery B belly. Last time I was pregnant during spring and summer and all of my clothes are short sleeved and light weight. I am going to have to get some warmer clothes soon. I wish that plus size maternity was easier to find. Big gals wanna look cute too!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hello 2nd Trimester!

Today is the last day of my 1st trimester. It also marks the last day of my medications. Can I just say how excited I am to stop taking them?! I am super, duper excited!!! I am also looking forward to less migraines and less fatigue. This pregnancy has been very different than with Maddie. Part of it may be due to having Maddie and an in home daycare. Before I was not working and was able to relax and rest as needed. With a houseful of kids and no break I tire out quickly. And the migraines. Oh, the migraines! I had them last time but they were not as intense. This time they have cause numbness in the left side of my face. Is has not been fun!! I had a whole RX of my migraine meds left but I got rid of them just so that I wouldn't be tempted to take them in a moment of desperation. Especially when I wake in the middle of the night and can barely function. I was afraid I would take one without thinking. So instead I take Tylenol. I am not even sure why I take them as they are about as effective as a Lu.den's cough drop. I pray that they ease up now that I am entering my second trimester.

On Monday I have my 12 week appointment with my OB. I am nervous about this appointment. Not because of the pregnancy though. My OB just hired a new nurse. And I know her. She is one of my sister's very close friends. One that I see at parties, baby showers and BBQ's. And now she gets to see my vag. And worse, my weight. I am going to insist that she not be a part of my care. There is another nurse that can do it though she is not always there. I don't want to make a fuss but I will insist upon a different nurse. Maybe I am being a diva but I don't feel comfortable with this young, thin, pretty, fertile friend of my sister knowing my weight, seeing my vag and knowing my personal biz. I know that she is bound by HIPAA laws not to talk about me to anyone, but I don't want to take that risk. If the OB and office cannot accommodate me I will be requesting a referral to another OB. If this happens I will cry. I have been a patient there for 9 years. It has been the one constant in the years of infertility hell. The only one to be there for almost all of it. He is also the reason Maddie made it. Other dr's (on call one and ER one) both dismissed concerns that he took seriously and was able to correct before I lost her (low progesterone, allergic reaction to meds, and pre-e). I love him!!!!! But I need to feel comfortable as well. So pray that this works out.

That about catches everyone up on the bambino. Maddie is doing great. She is very excited about Halloween. She can't wait to go "Hallow Treaking". Not sure how she came up with that but she is determined to call it that. LOL We are going to a trunk-or-treat tonight and tomorrow night and Boo at that Zoo tomorrow. I will be sure to get photos of her in her Dorothy costume. She is quite adorable if I do say so myself.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Looking for a couple that has donated embryos

I am active on several infertility forums and often read posts from couples with embryos that they are unsure of what to with them now. Understandably many of the struggle with idea of donating them to another couple. I would love to have couples that have donated to write a guest post for me to post here on my blog. I think that it would be good for those that have received embryos to see the other side as well as for those that are considering donating their embryos. If you or anyone you know would be interested in writing a post or even just answering some questions please email me at agreateryesblog@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Our little jelly bean

All went well last week. Our little bean looks like a bean. Here he/she is just hanging upside down. 

My first OB appointment went well too. My official due date is May 9th. I am now 9 weeks and beginning my wean protocol for the meds. I have switched from PIO to suppositories. My hips appreciate it!!!

Praying for those gearing up for an FET soon. Praying for lots of BFP's!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Not much to report

My computer died a few weeks ago. How in the world I killed a Mac I will never know! But I did. And that is why I haven't posted much or responded to other's blogs lately either. 

All is going well on the pregnancy front. I am 8 weeks today. I went to Urgent Care last night with a lot of lower back pain. It came on suddenly but since I had no bleeding I was fairly certain that it was a UTI. Is was and a pretty bad one too. But it's all good now. 

I have another ultrasound on Monday as well as my first OB appointment. I am feeling very well just tired. No morning sickness or anything. Just very, very tired most days. 

We told Maddie about the baby. She is pretty much disinterested right now. Though today she put a doll under her shirt and wanted everyone to see her baby kicking. Lol 

I hope that everyone else is doing well. I will try to read everyone's blogs over the weekend and try to catch up.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We have a heartbeat!

Yesterday was my first ultrasound and there was one perfect little heartbeat! Everything looks great though I do have a cyst that needs to be monitored. The 30th is another ultrasound and my first OB appointment. It's starting to sink in that we are having a baby!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

hate feeling great

Did you see what I did there? My attempt at poetry. Okay, so I rhymed. But I feel talented and quite witty, so please just humor me.

I am now 5 weeks pregnant. And I feel fantastic. Normally this would be great news, but to an infertile it is scary as heck. I guess even first time moms or those that have experienced a loss may feel the same way. When you are finally pregnant you want something, anything to reassure you. Morning sickness is a great sign. Peeing every five minutes another. Even heartburn and sore boobs make you smile. But I got nothin'. I am little bit tired and my boobs feel like right before AF but that is it. I do have a stuffy nose which is a telltale sign for me, but it is also indicative of a cold. With my last pregnancy I felt fantastic too so I shouldn't be worried, but I can't help it. I will be happy to feel great once I see this little bean's heartbeat in a week and a half.

Now watch me start vomiting every morning and have horrible heartburn. Just know if I do I will return with another witty title to announce my complaining. ;)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This time is so different

In 2009 I got pregnant with my daughter, Maddie. It was my first ever BFP. Ever. It took 11 years to finally see those 2 lines and it was amazing! I remember shaking while holding the test. That positive test was a culmination of 11 years of tests, treatments and failures. I honestly never thought that it would happen. When it finally did I was so naive and thought that God wouldn't allow us to get that far and take it away. And He didn't. Not that I was exempt, I was just very fortunate that His will included us having Maddie.

Fast forward to 2012. We began getting ready for baby number two. It took us about a year to find embryos but once we did, God would give us a baby, right? Then my cycle was canceled. Whoa! How did that happen? It wasn't supposed to be that way. Then I was to start my period in 4-5 days so that we could try again before the holidays. After 43 days she finally showed and it was too late, we had to wait until January. And then after the trip from hell, it was negative. What the crap??? I had begged God not to allow me to go if it wasn't going to work. Why had we wasted the money for nothing?

Between that cycle and now I watched several others have canceled cycles, negative, chemicals and miscarriages. It just seemed so unfair. These women deserved a chance at being a mom. I deserve the chance for another. Why did it have to be so hard? Between my issues and watching all of the struggles from others I feel like Eve in the Garden after she the fruit. No longer innocent. I know it sounds odd to say that even after 14+ years of infertility that I had even a shred of innocence left, but I did. Somehow I thought that after all we (and others) had been through that we would finally get our miracles. But that is not always to be.

So while I am insanely happy for the little one that I am carrying right now, I am struggling to remain optimistic. I pray daily for his/her safety and that God will allow us to bring this baby home. But I 'know' the truth, that anything can happen. Regardless of what may or may not happen we are determined to enjoy every minute that we have with this little one. I just wish that I had some of that innocence back so that I could be blissfully unaware of the dangers.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

And the second beta is.......

Perfect! It was 55 on Friday and 193 today. My first u/s is the week of the 17th. I was so relieved to get the call today. From Saturday to Saturday I was a crazy, psycho lunatic. I was tired and my boobs hurt and I was hungry all the time. Then Sunday I woke up feeling completely normal. And yesterday too. I ran out to buy more pregnancy tests (I know! I know! Its an addiction!) and it was positive even before the urine hit the test line. It made me feel better but not as much as the beta did.

Thank you all for your pryers and support. Praying for everyone getting ready for their transfers here soon. I look forward to having several pregnancy buddies! :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Those that are getting ready for transfers....

How are you doing? Liz? Baby on Mind? Shannon? Kim? Did I miss anyone? If you have a minute check in and let us know how you are doing and how we can be praying for you. And if you are fundraising please post a link to any fundraising sites or sales that you have going on so that we can get the word out. I hope that all is going well. Just a few weeks now for all of you!!!! So exciting!!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

PIO is of the devil!

I have taken PIO before but it was during weeks 8-11 of pregnancy. I was allergic to the sesame oil so I had to stop. I never felt any different on it so I was fine with trying it for this last transfer. Last Saturday (2dp5dt and 8 days after beginning PIO) I morphed into this evil, hideous creature. It. is. AWFUL! I am rude. I am short tempered. I would not be surprised if my head spun 360 degrees and pea soup spew from my mouth, I am that bad. I annoy myself. Imagine how everyone else around me feels?!?!? And then comes the evening and I am this sweet, docile person. Okay, maybe not sweet, but at least no longer the spawn of Satan.

I don't know if the PIO contains mini minions from Satan's army or if the hormones from pregnancy are causing this. I was like this with Maddie, and without PIO, but not to this horrific degree. I am also going to start monitoring my BP to see if that is playing a part. But with BP I don't know if it is a 'chicken or the egg' situation. Is my BP causing me to go all Hyde, or is my BP rising from the intense mood swing itself?

Hopefully this week I can get some answers. Before I get myself arrested. It could happen.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Beta Day!!!

Today was beta day and the nurse called to tell me that I am officially pregnant!! My beta was 55. Next beta is on Tuesday, then u/s in about 2 weeks. I will feel much better once we get past all of this part. But I am super excited!! I can't believe that I am pregnant!!!

I am feeling pretty well. I do have these insane hormonal surges. I will get insanely crabby and a hot flash. It doesn't last long, but it is really awful while it is happening. My boobs hurt and I am tired, but all in all I feel fine.

Tomorrow is Maddie's birthday party. It was a pain to plan because I had to know when I was going to FL before we could set a date. Once I knew that we decided on August 31 to give me a week after my trip to recover. We have had the mildest August weather ever so we planned an outside party at a park. I rented the pavillion, hired a princess (Cinderella) to make an appearance, and got everything ready. Then last week a heat wave started. And it ends Sunday. The day AFTER her party. Tomorrow is supposed to be 98 degrees with a heat index over 105. Lovely. Just lovely! I can't reschedule and there is no place affordable or available to move it to. So we will suck it up and just do it, but do it quickly. I will take it easy and though it won't be everything I had hoped it would be, it will still be fun. But what crappy weather! And with my hot flashes it should be really fun.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Greater......

There is no doubt about this one. No squinting. No wondering. A real positive. I took another 2 line FRER yesterday morning and it was still light so I was nervous. I went out and bought this digital and did the potty dance for 4 hours waiting to take it. It came up pretty quickly and it was beautiful to see!! Because my transfer was in the afternoon this test was taken at the beginning of 6dp5dt. I got my first positive a full day earlier than I did with Maddie. I was honestly prepared for negatives until at least tomorrow, if not a negative beta as well. I was so shocked that this worked!!!

I am feeling pretty well. I am starving all of the time and have hot flashes from time to time. Food tastes different and my nose is stuffy (same as with Maddie). And I am more tired than usual, but not too bad. I have my beta tomorrow and will be glad to hear my number. When I got pregnant with Maddie I was naive. I thought that since we had made it that far that things would be fine and they were. In January I thought for sure that we would get pregnant again and life would be dandy. But it wasn't. And in the past year I have watched many others get BFN's, experience miscarriages and even have no embryos on the day of transfer. No matter how hard we try there is no guarantee. But regardless of what happens the baby(s) that I am carrying right now are mine. I love them. And I will enjoy every single moment, no matter how long or how short. I just pray that I have many, many, many years with them!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A faint positive is still a positive, right?!?!?

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This was this afternoon. There was a faint line within 3 minutes and within 10 minutes it looked like this. A definite line.  A positive. And we are in shock. And over the moon happy. Praying that the line gets darker and for a good beta on Friday.

to test, or not to test....

Who am I kidding, I will test. I can't help it. Just the thoughts of it of waiting until Friday and hearing bad news from a nurse would just kill me. I would much rather be prepared if it is negative. And Maddie's birthday party is Saturday and we have company coming over to stay. I need to be past this and able to focus on her. Now this does not mean that I am not hoping for BFP,  I am, but I also know that life doesn't always work out the way we hope.

One minute I am so sure that it worked this time. So many things are similar to when I was pregnant with Maddie. I have had a day of extreme crabbiness. I was at the grocery and I wanted to run a woman over with my grocery cart. As soon as the thought crossed my mind I laughed because I thought the exact same thing before. Also, I have noticed that I am stuffy (same as with Maddie) and sweet foods taste super sweet too (again, same as before). Some of this can be explained by PIO and others from a cold. Or it could be pregnancy. Who knows. But it makes me think positively. I even woke up from a dream of getting a BFP only to fall back asleep and dream again. And again. I did this 3-4 times.

Then I have moments of knowing that this going to be negative. I begin planning our next cycle, worrying about how we will pay for it. I do try to avoid dwelling on these thoughts, but it is tough.

I tested this morning and it was a BFN. Today is 5dp5dt, but my transfer was in the afternoon, so it is not quite 5 days yet. More like 4 1/2 which is very, very early. And the test was a generic store brand that I can't find how sensitive it is either. Today I will buy some FRER and will test again tomorrow.

For now I am going to go nap. Oh, wait, I can't. It is 7:30 am and even though I slept over 7 hours I am exhausted!!! Maybe the PIO? Or maybe pregnancy??? Hmmmmm.....only time will tell. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Meet the embryos!! Just below the plus sign is a dot? See it? That is the embryos! They transferred two expanding blasts. All went well and the trip was a great one. I went to the beach yesterday and had crab legs while looking at the ocean. Then I had a massage this morning before the transfer. All in all a relaxing few days and hopefully I will bring home a souvenir. Or two. ;-)

Monday, August 19, 2013

PIO...what am I doing wrong?

My hiney hurts, peeps! I am only 3 shots in and wowzer, I am feeling it. I did PIO in sesame oil back when I was pregnant with Maddie. I only lasted 2 weeks as I ended up being allergic. This time I am using PIO in cottonseed oil and the oil seems thinner and the shots are a breeze. But every single one leaves a knot. Every. single. one! I never had a knot with the other one. And I didn't do anything special. Just filled it up and shot it in. I even used the larger gauged needle as I didn't really feel it. This time I use the larger to fill and thinner to inject and I can't feel it at all which is awesome. But the knots! Ohm, the knots!!!! I double my amount today too so I am skeered that it will really leave a knot.

So what do I do?? Ice the spot? Rub my bum? Heat?? Help!!!! My poor bum is begging for help.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Planning, packing and PIO

I can't believe it, I leave on Wednesday. Wednesday! Wow that is just a few days away. Between now and then I have a lot of packing and planning to do. Maddie is staying with a family friend (at night, during the days with her dad). I need to pack her stuff as she is going there on Tuesday night. I have most of my shopping done and know what I am packing. A friend is coming over to watch my babysitting kids so I have to plan that too.

We are still $250 short for the transfer. My flight was $120 more than we had hoped. And the PIO was an unexpected $120 for 2 weeks. We will most likely have to dip into savings but that is okay. Not my first choice, but we can live with it. And there are still 3 days left before I leave. You never know how God might bless.

Oh, and the PIO. Ouch! I forgot how uncomfortable it is. The actual injection is not bad, but the soreness afterward is not fun. I am doing them on my left side right now since hubby is here to give them to me. I am right handed and don't have a great range of motion in my neck to turn left so I can only of the right side. I am saving that side of my hiney for FL when I have to do them myself.

In just a few days I will be lounging on the beach (if it doesn't rain) and the next day meeting our embies. Not much longer now!!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Embryo Adoption....getting started

Once you decide to begin researching embryo adoption/donation the next question is "Where do I start?". One of the most challenging aspects of EDA is that there is no central place to begin. No one place with a compilation of resources (that is not run by a program). I am working on starting a website just for this, but until now I will post this to help those beginning the journey.

First things first. You have to decide whether you want to do embryo adoption or embryo donation. This may give you pause because many do not realize that there is a difference. But there is. Most people use the term Embryo Adoption (EA) as it is easier to understand, but there is a difference between the two. EA is when you go through an agency and have a home study. Legally there is no such thing as 'adopting' an embryo, however the process is similar. EA can be an open, semi-open or closed/anonymous 'adoption'.  ED is when you either go through a clinic or find a match on your own (and even this one can be more EA than ED if a home study is required).  Rarely is ED through a clinic anything other than anonymous.

There are pros and cons to both routes. With EA you have the option of knowing the donor couple and having a relationship, however the process is longer and more expensive. With ED is only anonymous (with a few exceptions) and the wait can be longer, but it is typically less expensive.

Once you decide which route to go you can begin researching specific clinics and programs. If you choose EA the most popular programs are Snowflakes, NEDC, Embryos Alive, and Cedar Park. They all require a home study (Embryos Alive will accept a dossier or a home study). The NEDC requires you to travel to their clinic for the transfer, the others ship the embryos to your clinic. The fees for the home study, shipping, and transfer will vary, but average $6000-$8000.

If you choose ED through an anonymous clinic program you will need to find one that offers this service. This can be difficult to find but with a bit of work you can find many options. You can start by calling clinics near your. Also, there is a link at the top with a list of some of them. This site has a list as well: Clinics. No home study is required though some require a psych evaluation. The average wait time is about a year and the fees again vary greatly, with most in the $5000 range. Some can be as low as $3000 and other up to $9000. If you are willing to travel you can sometimes find programs with lower fees even with travel.

Another option is to find embryos yourself and either travel to the donor's clinic or have them shipped to you. Some spread the word on blogs, forums and other sites. Miracles Waiting is a great site to find a match. Recipients pay a one time $150 fee to join. By choosing this route you can save quite a bit of money and still have an open donation. However, your wait time can be much longer (but not always) and you have to do all of the work yourself (legal paperwork, shipping, etc).

And lastly, there is the option of double donor. California Conceptions uses donor sperm and donor eggs and their success rates are some of the highest out there. The offer up to 3 cycles for around $12,000. The downside is that if you get pregnant the first try it is quite expensive. But you are pregnant so that matters little if you can afford it. The upside is that if you don't get pregnant you get another try (or 2) for that price which is lower than you would pay for 3 tries at most other clinics. They do not offer a single transfer price either. I am not as familiar with this program but this site is a wealth of information: CC.

There are other programs and clinics available, but this is information will get you started.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Had my lining scan today and..............

Everything is great!! We can proceed!! WOO HOO!!!!! I am so excited! I have booked the flight, hotel and rental car. The only thing left is to order my progesterone. I was supposed to do Endometrin but he has been using PIO in cottonseed oil and has had better pregnancy rates with it. So I am needing to order this now. An added expense but I am willing to do it if it could help. I am praying that insurance covers it. And if anyone has any to sell for cheap please let me know!

I fly out next Wednesday, the 21st and my transfer is Thursday. This is really happening!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Not detached yet not fully excited....but almost!

This is my 4th attempt at a transfer. The 4th in a year. For someone that has regular cycles this was a surprise to me. Some of the delays were holidays. One was finances after our negative result. Another was surgery and healing. And now we are ready again. At least physically and financially (almost). But emotionally I struggle. Or have been struggling I should say. My previous post I wrote about detached I feel. I feel detached from the cycle, not the embryos. I have this dread that something will go wrong and we will cancel again. Once we have the green light my hope and excitement will be in full force. I just need that green light!!!

When we were doing our IUIs we had a bagillion setbacks. The first 2 cycles were canceled due to me ovulating on the wrong side. The third I developed an infection and the donor sperm sample count was low. The next cycle was better. Then another canceled cycle to do more testing. Then another 2 failed cycles with a new donor. All negative. As you can see, I am no novice in the disappointment department. When it comes to ttc I live in a "what can go wrong will go wrong" kinda world. I don't 'want' to live there, it is just my reality. Yet each time I am knocked down and kicked yet again I brush myself off and try, try again? Why? Because it is worth it!

I pray that this cycle is a go. I pray that this ends with a baby or two. But regardless of where this ends, these are our embryos and we will see this through. We are committed to at least one more transfer. If nothing else, these embryos will meet Jesus. My heart will hurt, but they will be free. I don't want my purpose to be only to let them go, honestly, I don't. But it is a comfort to know that the four little embryos from our previous cycle are now in Heaven. That was where God wanted them. Our job was just to be a vessel to release them. Not the job I wanted, but a necessary one.

So until next Wednesday I will remain on autopilot. I will make my appointments, change my patches, and have my blood drawn. I will prepare my body for the embryos by cutting back on caffeine, taking my vitamins and relaxing. But I am not ready to officially plan my trip. Not until I get "the call". Once that happens I will be giddy with excitement. I will call and book my flight, hotel and rental car. I will notify the sitter and pack Maddie's bag for a stay with her Nana Sue. I will buy my sunscreen and travel items. And I will dream. I will dream about the embabies and their futures. And I will continue to dream and hope until the very end.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Just not feeling it this time

I am finally beginning my cycle. I am on CD3 and my lining scan is next Wednesday. If that goes well then we will choose my transfer date and I will book my flight, hotel and rental car. Yet in the midst of it all I am feeling so blase. Usually I anticipate starting my meds and begin looking at flights and planning what to pack. This time I keep forgetting my meds and have not even thought about travel arrangements. The canceled cycles and failed cycle are just too fresh still. My heart is guarded thinking that it won't happen this time either. Yet it just might happen. I hate feeling this way. I am sure that once I get the green light things will change but until then I will just continue as is.

I am still trying to raise the last $200. I am posting some things for sale today online. I have procrastinated on this as well for the same reasons. I am also someone that works better under pressure.

So here we go. Again. Maybe.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Storage fees

In August of 2012 I had my first consult with my current clinic. Shortly after we chose our batch of embryos and paid the reservation fee which included $400 storage fee. Our plan (that word always makes me roll my eyes) was to use some of the embryos in October, have a baby in 2013 and then pay the storage fee on the remaining embryos for us to use in a year or so. But that 'plan' did not go, well, as planned.

We are on our 4th attempt (2 canceled and one unsuccessful) and I received a bill in the mail today for the storage fees. How did we get here? How did we find ourselves with still no baby and owing even more money? I hated to tell hubby but he surprised me with an "okay, we will just have to pay it". But we won't pay it until after this next transfer. We have 4 embryos and there is a chance that we will use all 4 this time (if one or more does not survive the thaw). My first instinct was to not pay it if we get a bfp. But then I thought about the what if's. What if we have a miscarriage? What if we want to try for another baby next year? If we start over with new embryos our price goes from $1100 to $3400. That is a BIG difference. But I was still irritated with it all until I remembered something I had read recently. Someone on a forum said (about an unplanned pregnancy but it still applies) "never make child bearing decisions on the here and now, but on what you want your Thanksgiving table to look like in 20 years". For the infertile this is not always in our control. Sometimes we do everything that we possibly can and still never bring home a baby. But if I allow the here and now of the financial strain and irritation determine my future I will look back and regret it. If we pay it and keep trying and still get a no, then at least I will know that we gave it our all.

But I still don't like it. Just sayin'.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Who is scheduled for a transfer soon??

There are several of us that are planning on having their transfers soon, but wanted to see if there are any others out there so that we can all be praying for one another.

Elizabeth is August 13th.

My tentative date is the week of August 23rd.

Shannon is Sept. 19th.

 Kim September 19.

Baby on Mind is Sept 22nd.

Liz could have a August (?) transfer if the most incompetent clinic of on planet earth gets their act together and ships her embryos. (praying, praying, praying!!!)

Any other bloggers that I have missed? I want to be praying for everyone. Most of us have had a lot of struggles and setbacks and could really use the prayers. I know that I could!!!

Potty Training

Before my parenting journey started I had grand idea. I would be this cross between June Cleaver and Carol Brady. I had 12 years to prepare for this role and I would be the best mom. EVER! I would keep my house immaculate. I would bake cookies and brownies while making a gourmet meal for my family. Laundry would never pile up. My children would hit every milestone on time, if not early. I would be the mom other moms hated yet secretly envied. And then there is my reality. It is nothing like I envisioned. There are days that we have no clean clothes. At least not the clothes we want to wear. Dinner is a $5 pizza from Little C.easers. Maddie used a bottle until she was 16 months. And she is almost 3 and finally is potty trained. I thought that it would never happen!

My beautiful, sweet, princess is stubborn! She has known "how" to use the potty, but wouldn't do it consistently. She would ask for a diaper instead. I was getting frustrated! How hard could this be?!?! She is almost 3 and I am 36. How can I not teach this kid to use the potty?? Other kids are potty trained at 18 months. Many at age two. Then I took a step back and realized that it was not so much that she wouldn't, but that she couldn't. She did not have the bladder control. She would be running and just pee and never stop and notice. She wasn't making the decision to pee, it just happened. So I let it go and last week she asked for big girl panties. And it has been 10 days and she is doing great! No accidents in 3 days!!! It is so nice to be done with diapers!!!! She loved her diapers though.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cycle starts in 3 weeks!

I am very fortunate that my cycles are regular. I have enough other issues that if I had that too I might scream! So I should start my next period in 3 weeks which means that it will be time to begin our next cycle!!! I am getting excited. I should be in FL around the 20th-23rd of August. I should be home in time for Maddie's birthday. I am not planning her actual party date until after I have a transfer date.

I have everything ready to go for this trip. Well, everything that I can have ready. My sitter is lined up. My credit is waiting for the flight. I will book my hotel once I have a tentative date but will wait until my CD13 scan before booking the flight and rental car. Oh, a question about rental cars. Because I will only have 5-7 days notice to rent the car it will be higher than if I do it sooner. But if I do it before things are set in stone and the cycle is canceled again we will lose that money. We recently received an offer to join AAA and I am considering it. It is a good service to have in general, but the discounts available are an added bonus. Also, we would get a $25 gift card to Hertz rental cars. Any experience with them? Do they tend to be reasonably priced? I am trying to decide if it is worth it or not to get AAA. We do have roadside assistance with our phones so it is not necessary to get AAA but we do not get any discounts for having it. Thoughts??

Also, I may need to purchase Endometrin if anyone has any to sell cheap. I also have two boxes of Crinone that I can trade or sell if anyone is interested. I won't purchase anything until I receive a BFP, but want to know my options.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Needing some closure....maybe

Can I just be honest and share my heart for minute? I am struggling right now. A lot. We actively began trying for baby number two in October. Had the cycle not been canceled and I gotten pregnant I would be due right about now. Maddie would have a sibling and we could close this chapter of our life. But that was not to be. Then we finally did get to have the transfer and it was negative. And then another canceled one. I feel like this past year has completely revolved around all of this. We spent the years 2000-2004 trying to adopt. Then 2005-2009 trying treatments which ultimately worked. And now another year gone. Sacrificed for infertility. I am over it. So very over it all!!! But I am not yet ready to give up.

In the past 6 months 5 women at church gave birth. And three more just announced that they were pregnant. But I am not one of them. I thought that I would have been by now, but I am not. I am the only woman of child bearing age that has not had a child int he past year. And I don't think that I am exaggerating either.

I am finishing up AF for July and in 4 weeks I will begin my estrogen. And then about 3 weeks later I will travel. God has been blessing us financially in that the airline waived the $200 rebooking fee and my last u/s was covered (I had to pay half due to my deductible) and I have a $130 credit to my account. And my next one may be covered which will mean a refund of that credit and no more money due to that clinic. This leaves us with $300 to raise instead of $700. This is great and I see things falling into place. But they fell into place last time too. And it was still a negative. Even after I prayed and begged God to cancel that cycle if I was not going to be pregnant from it. I know there is a reason for it all, I just cannot see or understand it all.

I am ready to have this next cycle done and over with. Either I will be pregnant or I will return to work. If we have the two remaining embryos we will keep them until next year and proceed at that time. Hopefully then I will have a job and an FSA to help pay for the next FET. I want to move forward. I NEED to move forward. I need closure. Yet I don't want to give up either. I have a "Big Sister" shirt for Maddie but it is a size 3T. I had envisioned her wearing it, but she is now in a size 4T and the shirt is too small. I can't help but wonder if that is a sign. And what if this cycle is canceled? Do I take that as a sign? I just wish that there was some sort of guidebook for all of this. A text or something from God to tell me what to do. But there isn't. So until I have clear direction I will press forward. And hopefully 2 pink lines will be my destination.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

the day I was diagnosed

Today I read a blog post from Liz over at Wishing on a Snowflake (great post btw! you should read it) and she asked:

I'd like to hear stories about how you were handed your diagnosis, whatever it might be, if you're willing to share. Was it in person? Over the phone? Obviously no one ever wants to get an IF diagnosis, but were you at least okay with how it was approached?

I decided to post my story here. For me it has been over 14 years ago for part of our diagnosis and then 8 years ago for the rest so it is a bit hazy now. It just feels like I have been infertile forever.

In 1999, after we had been married about a year, I made an appointment with an ob/gyn. We had been trying for about 8 months at that point but I had had severe menstrual cramps since I was 16 and had always worried about having endometriosis. The dr was quick to schedule a lap and while in there he said that I was fine (I struggle with this as the pain continued to increase and later I was diagnosed with stage 3 endo, but I can't change this part). While I was in recovery he had hubby give a sample and a few days later we got a call saying that his counts were low and we needed to see a urologist. His next sample was better but still super low. It was 250,000 the first time and 2.5 million the next. And his morphology and motility were low. While waiting for the appointment with the urologist I had done some research so I knew that things were not good with counts this low. The urologist pretty much dismissed us. He told hubby to lose weight and have a great day.

At that time we decided to skip all fertility treatment and move onto adoption. We stayed there until 2005 and after 2 failed adoptions we were finished. My heart just couldn't take anymore. We now had insurance coverage for diagnostic testing and I went into high gear wanting answers. I had been having an abdominal pain for over a year and thought it might be something fertility related so my new ob/gyn ordered an u/s to look for cysts. There was one but it was not too bad so we tried bcp's for a month. The pain remained so he scheduled a lap. Having had one I was not worried, thinking that this was would be no big deal. Just go in, remove the cyst, and continue towards IUI or something. But that was not the case. I remember hubby telling me that they couldn't get it all and that it was bad. Bad? What was bad? Did I have cancer? He really didn't understand infertility or endo, but he was sure that it wasn't cancer and I now had to wait for my follow up for answers. The gyn had told me but I was too out of it to remember. During my f/u I learned that my endo was severe and I would need a full in patient surgery. And my right tube was blocked as well.

We scheduled the next surgery and then had further testing for hubby to see if his count was still low.

I remember that call like it was yesterday. My gyn knew that we were dealing with severe MFI and I really don't think that these results would be a shock to us, but they were. His nurse called is to say that there was nothing. No sperm present at all. Not even dead one. None. None?? How is that possible??? And how was I going to tell him? We both were in shock and it wasn't over yet.

My surgery was 3 months later and I lost part of my right ovary that day as well. And my left ovary was adhered to my colon and unable to be removed. It had a cyst encasing it which they did remove, but there was only so much they could do. So we have no sperm, one tube, one functioning ovary, part of another ovary and endo. Fabulous! How do you have a baby like this?

From here we moved to our first RE that told us that IUI with donor sperm was an option. Four other RE's agree that my chances were slightly above nil for it to have worked. We wasted $5000. Our only option was IVF with donor sperm and maybe donor eggs. The REs were afraid that my now 3 surgeries (I am up to 5 now, but 3 at that time) had damaged my ovaries and my quality may not be very good any more and to consider donor eggs. All I kept hearing was cha-ching. More and more money. Around $30k. There was no. freaking. way!

We had resolved ourselves to never having a child when we learned about EA. I cannot tell you how I felt that day. It felt like Christmas and birthdays all rolled into one. We were given hope back. And that hope is sleeping next to me right now laying her feet on me and starting to stir. EA gave me back everything my body had taken from me. And I am forever grateful!

So now it is your turn: I'd like to hear stories about how you were handed your diagnosis, whatever it might be, if you're willing to share. Was it in person? Over the phone? Obviously no one ever wants to get an IF diagnosis, but were you at least okay with how it was approached?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Just twiddling my thumbs

Currently I am in a holding pattern, waiting for July AF to arrive and then leave and then for August AF to arrive so that I can begin my meds. I am about a week from my July one so only about 5 weeks until I start my meds. So not too bad!!

While waiting we are raising the money needed for travel. The good news, actually GREAT news, is that we don't need as much as we thought. The first piece of great news is that the airline will waive the rebooking fee, giving me the entire $350 to apply to another flight. YIPPEE!!! That is a savings of $200. Then, if that wasn't enough, I called the local RE's office to ask if my last u/s could be billed to my insurance since a mass had been found and it was no longer an infertility issue. Previously the woman working in billing refused to even try to bill my insurance because 1) I don't have IF coverage and 2) I am not technically a patient there (just doing monitoring). However, when I called, the new woman in the billing department informed me that the u/s HAD been billed and HAD been paid!!! Insurance covered half of it as I had not met my deductible at that time. So I have a $130 credit on my account there. Also, they will bill my insurance for my next u/s as well. If they pay it all I will get a refund. If not, then I will just owe $130. Either was it is a win-win for us! This leaves us just about $300 to come up with which is not bad at all. I am hoping to have it all here soon.

So all in all things are moving forward and going well.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

scarred by infertility

Today was a good day, yet the scars of infertility were present. Some physically, others emotionally. My incision has yet to heal completely. Today it began to bleed a bit. I am on antibiotics and it is getting better, just not finished healing. As I was cleaning it today I noticed all of the scars around it. I have had 3 laps and all have left a mark. Its a good thing my body is not bikini friendly or I would be really upset about these scars. ;)

Today I finished going through baby clothes. I allowed myself to keep one box of items. The rest I will give away or sell. It was so hard saying goodbye to them. Each article of clothing had a memory. Her first Christmas. Birthday outfits. Those worn in professional photos. So many memories!!! I kept those that I want her to have one day and those that I still love in case we have another baby girl next year. I am glad to have this job finished. It was a bit traumatic.

One other thing today that I experienced. I was shaving my legs and Maddie asked to do it too. Typically a mother would say "No, shaving is for mommies.". But I can't say those words. I shaved before I was a mommy. What if I say this to her and she sees someone shaving that is infertile and says something like "Why are you shaving? You're not a mommy.". I know, I am reaching here and most likely this would never happen. But what if it did? I do the same thing when telling her why she can't wear make-up or why she can't cook or drive. Or whatever else she wants to do way before her time. I was hurt by the innocent words of children and the thoughts that my child could accidentally hurt a woman already suffering just pains be. It is crazy how infertility shapes and scars us.

Now on a lighter note, here is a funny from Maddie. This morning she put on a pair of my high heeled shoes and said: "Mommy! Dreams do come true!!". I heart that kid!!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Adoption? Donation? What terminology to use?

In my years of blogging about embryo adoption/donation I have encountered many different opinions about the correct terminology to use regarding the process. Most recently I was admonished for using the term "adoption". In the past it has been for using donor vs. placing parent and for use donation over adoption. I am just going to be honest, I don't think that it really matters what words you use. Really, I don't. As long as you are open with your child and love them to pieces, that is all that matters. For me, I go more the way of the donation route. We didn't do a home study, our embryos were from an anonymous donation and we view it similar to that of donor eggs or donor sperm. Do I use the term adoption? Yes, I do. Why? Because people understand it and relate to it. But do I think that adoption is a better term than donation? No. It is all in what you are comfortable with and what best describes your situation. I don't think that Maddie will be scarred because I tell her about how she came to be and use the term "share" instead of "adopt" when referring to embryos. Yet if I use adoption terms to help her understand, that is fine too.

What do you call it? Donation? Adoption? What do you call the donor couple?

And on a side note, where are my followers going?? I lost 3 in the past 48 hours? Did I offend? Am I smelly? Did I bore you??? I promise to be more entertaining and wear deodorant if you return. Maybe. ;)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oops! My mistake. (post-op appt)

Yesterday was my post-op appointment. The first thing my doctor says is "Good God, you made me work!!". LOL  I knew my surgery was more complicated than my previous ones, but did not realize just how much. When he got in there it was actually not a hydrosalpinx (fluid filled tube) as originally suspected, but a 7-8 cm corpus luteum cyst that was attached to my bowels, tube and ovary. He had to drain it to even begin and then called in a general surgeon to detach it from my bowels. He then removed it, taking part of my tube and part of my ovary as well. He showed me the pics from it and yuck! I so did not need to see that.  This tube has always been blocked and this ovary is attached to my bowels and unable to detach without losing it, so this ovary is "uselss" unless we do IVF. Which we have no plans to do. Yet I felt sad that another part of my reproductive organs had been removed. I already lost part of my other ovary years ago. Now a tube and part of the other ovary? There really is little left. I have always dreamed of getting one of the surprise pregnancies one day. You know, the ones that fertile people get? Yeah, one of those. Like at 49 or something crazy with my luck. But my chances of that happening are slim to none. More none than slim, too. Now it is even slimmer. At least some part of me is slim though, right? Glass half full. ;-)

All in all I am healing well. My incision is starting to get infected so I am on antibiotics for that. We are on track for an August transfer. My OB was glad to hear that as I need the time to heal. Now to continue replenishing the Baby Fund. Another $500 will allow us to not use our savings as all, which would be awesome! I faxed a letter to the airlines for review and should hear back in 5-7 days whether they will waive the $200 fee because I canceled the flight. If they do not waive it then we will need $700 instead of $500. Praying they waive the fee!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My inspiration for telling Maddie's her story

I recently shared that we had begun telling Maddie how she joined our family. You can find that post here.  Many of you commented on the way I told her and I wanted to give credit to the EA momma that originally shared the "tomato baby" story. Below is original post that inspired me. It was her story that encouraged me to start a little garden to have a launch pad for talking about seeds and telling Maddie her story. Our little garden has also been a great way for me and Miss Maddie to bond. She loves taking care of her little tomato babies and gives them a drink every day. I love that we can share this time together and love it even more that it can illustrate the beautiful way she joined our family.

Here is the original story:

I was also struggling with how to tell my daughter (who celebrated her 4th birthday in June) about how she came to be my daughter. The question of "to tell or not to tell" was never a question for my husband and I since our daughter has a tan (native american/hispanic) skin tone and we are light skinned. Hopefully I won't offend anyone by writing this, but I do beleive that we should "tell" our children. As long as a single person besides the mother and father of a child know about the embryo adoption the possibility of the child being "told" at some point is too great to ignore. I feel that it is best if the "telling" is done by the parents in a positive way rather than by "who knows who" in "who knows what" way "who knows when". I know that is probably easier for me to say than for people who have children who like them since there was no question that I would have to "tell" my daughter. The answer of how to tell my daughter presented itself over the summer.

Our family has a "garden" of EarthBox planters on our patio. This year we planted tomatos, corn, and watermelons. Each food had its own EarthBox. My daughter had the best time planting and watering the seeds. She was so excited when they sprouted. She called each of the sprouts "tomato babies", "corn babies" and "watermelon babies". She was thrilled when the babies were "born" (bore fruit). One day when we were picking the tomatos from the tomato EarthBox, my daughter noticed a stringy vine that had grown through and wrapped itself around the tomato plants. At the end of the vine was a single half-open bud. My daughter looked back and forth between the bud and its surrounding tomato plants, then said matter of factly "Mommy, that tomato baby doesn't look like her family." "No, he sure doesn't" I replied. I'll never forget what she did next. She petted the bud gently and then attempted to hug it and said "It's okay little tomato baby , I don't look like my family too. Mommy, why don't tomato baby and me look like our family?" I froze in panic. I'd had four years to come up with a good explanation and still didn't have one. I hugged my daughter (and the "tomato baby")! and told them that I would have to think about how to say it but that I would tell them in the morning. Then I stayed up half night and prayed that the answer would come to me. It did. When my daughter woke up the next morning the first thing out of her mouth was "Did you think about the stuff to tell me and tomato baby?". After breakfast, we went out to the patio. The half-open "tomato baby" bud had bloomed into a single perfect miniature sunflower. "MOMMY !! TOMATO BABY IS SO PRETTY
!!!!". my daughter exclaimed. "AND ,AND, AND, AND, TOMATO BABY ISN'T A TOMATO BABY SHE'S A SUNFLOWER BABY. HOW IS SHE A SUNFLOWER BABY MOMMY?" I asked my daughter to look up above the tomatos and tell me what she saw.
"The birdfeeder"
"and what's inside the birdfeedeer? "
"Yes !!! So why do you think sunflower baby doesn't look like her family?" , I asked.
"Cause we put the tomato seeds in the tomato family EarthBox and they got big and they are tomatos and the sunflower seed went down in the tomato family Earthbox and she grew up and she's a sunflower baby." she answered.
"Yes !!! They look different because they came from different kinds of seeds. So why do you think you look different from your family?" I asked.
After a moment of intense thought she responded "Because you put a tan girl seed in your tummy, Mommy ?"
"Yes, that's exactly right , because I put a tan girl seed in my tummy."..... ......... .

Since then my daughter occasionally volunteers to people, "My mommy is white but I'm tan cause my Mommy wanted to have a girl grow in her tummy but the girl seeds in her tummy wouldn't grow good and the nice people had a pretty tan girl seed and they shared the pretty tan girl seed with my Mommy and the doctor put the seed in Mommy's tummy and I got big and I was born."

I think knowing she came from a "tan girl seed that the nice people shared with Mommy and Daddy" has made my daughter feel comfortable about who she is and how she came to be at a level that is perfect for her age. I don't know if this explanation would work for everyone, but it sure has worked for us !


Friday, June 14, 2013

My next transfer will be........

Today I am a week post-op and doing a lot better. I am still having some discomfort throughout the day and pain if I overdo it, but all in all I feel a lot better. AF is finally gone and that helps too. I spoke to the nurse at the clinic and she said that the RE wants me to wait until I have two full cycles before we begin again. My surgery was more invasive than we thought it would be and I need time to heal. We are also going out of town in July so an August transfer works better for us anyway. This also gives us some time to put a little more money aside for it as well. We have the entire transfer fee in the bank and possibly have the full $350 credit for the flight (still have to fax it for review). But I will still need the $265 for the u/s, about $100 for the rental car and $150-ish for the hotel. I would love to have all of that in the baby fund before August. I am sorting clothes next week for a consignment sale and hope that I make a bit from that to add to it.

So for now it is a waiting game yet again. But I am used to that by now! Aren't we all??

Thursday, June 13, 2013

telling Maddie how she came to be

All kids will ask, "Where do babies come from?". It is a part of life and one that must be explained. For fertiles you have several age appropriate options. You can tell them that the come from mommy's tummy, the hospital, the stork. Take your pic. Even as they get older and you have "the talk" with them it is all pretty straightforward. But what about third party reproduction? How do you explain donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryos or surrogacy to a child? To someone that doesn't understand the biology of it all? I will tell you, it is not easy. Though I do think that donor embryos will be easier than some of the others, it will still not be easy.

My Madison is going to be 3 years old this summer. She is maturing and talking so much and we have decided that we will talk about her origins now, even though she cannot begin to understand. She looks just like us so she will never question why her hair or eye color or skin color is different than ours. It isn't. She looks just like us. Probably more than a genetic child would have. It is really crazy!! And amazing! So for us we either have to sit down and tell her one day or always make it a part of her life. We will make it "the norm" and start telling her now.

This morning Maddie and I went out to tend to our little patio garden. We have some tomato plants and they have the first tiny, little green tomatoes growing on them. Maddie loves to give them a drink of water, talk to them and kiss them good bye. This morning she mentioned that the pepper plants didn't have any tomato babies and she wanted to share them from the other plant. How perfect of an opportunity to start telling her story!!! So we found one that my niece had picked off and put it over with the pepper plant. I then told her that a nice family shared her with us and we put her in my tummy to grow. Her response? "No. Mommy and daddy make me." I will say that this kind of shocked me!! She has no idea about babies as she isn't not around pregnant women or ask about babies. It was funny that she was so determined that we made her. LOL My stubborn little girl is going to argue this one, I can see. But I have laid the groundwork and will continue to do so. Hopefully she will be more accepting as time goes on.

Friday, June 7, 2013

surgery update

I am home now. The surgery went longer than anticipated and he had to call in a general surgeon as well. He said that my tube looked really bad (and was very swollen) and I am so thankful now for them finding it and being able to have it removed. My tube could have burst and could have been deadly if there was an infection in there. Also, my endometriosis was really bad too and he cleaned that up as well. Thank you for all of the prayers!!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Surgery tomorrow (and pics of my counter tops)

Tomorrow is my laparoscopy. I am not really nervous, but really hoping that it is a simple procedure and nothing more is found. I feel like I have been in the vicious cycle of what can go wrong, will go wrong. I could use a break! I had a moment today of fear. I never had it before and this is my 5th or 6th surgery. Something about having a child now makes me think about the actual dangers of going under and not waking up. Today I took a few minutes to write down the info I have on her genetic parents. The clinic has since closed and no one knows what I know (general idea of where they live, occupation, etc). My nurse would give small non identifying tidbits and I remembered every one of them. If I die, that information dies with me. I couldn't live with myself if I took that to my grave and Maddie never had it if she wanted to look for them one day. I know, it is morbid, but I had to do it. She will always know that I loved her as everyone can share that with her. But this was something that no one else could do for her.

Now, onto brighter things! I finished painting my counter tops. I lurve them!!!! Here are photos and instructions if anyone wants to see them: Counter tops

Saturday, June 1, 2013

surgery and other updates

My lap is scheduled for Friday morning at 1:30 on Friday. I have to be there at 11:30 and man, will I be hungry by then! I hate later surgeries! Last time I got a burger on my way home. And it was the best one ever! :) I have everything lined up for it and have Maddie staying with friends that night so that I can rest. She sleeps with us and I don't want to chance her kicking me. I am still waiting to hear whether I will have to pay my deductible with this or not. I assume they will tell me when they call this week. If not, they will spring it on me during registration for surgery. I love how they assume that people will know what exactly what their insurance covers and be prepared to pay $1000 up front like that. I have a fairly good understanding of my insurance (and had to deal with them when I worked) yet I never know what they may or may not count towards my deductible. And without the diagnosis code there is no way for me to find out. So I will cross that bridge when we come to it.

In other news I now have a note from my doctor as to why I was unable to travel last month. I am submitting this to the airline for them to review and consider waiving my $200 rebooking fee. I made  a dozen cupcakes (Pumpkin with whipped cream cheese filling and icing and Banana cupcakes with dulce de leche filling and a brown butter cream cheese filling and a caramelized slice of banana on top.......mmmmm) for my doctor's nurses to butter them up before asking for the letter since I knew they were the ones that would have to actually take care of it. And it worked! I got the letter within 2 hours!!! I will fax it next week and hope for the best!!

So now it is just a matter of time, surgery and healing before we can try again. Until them I am staying busy. Crazy busy actually! This week I am not watching any kids and am tackling some DIY home improvement projects. I am starting with painting my counter tops to look like granite. I currently have hideously ugly mauve counters. I detest them!!!!!!!!!! And have lived with them waaaay too long. I have a lot of counter space and some of them are not standard. To replace them would not be cheap so painting it is. I bought everything last night and will prepare everything this weekend. And take before photos too! Then on Monday it begins. Next will be painting the kitchen walls and replacing the cabinet hardware. Lotsa work but it will be worth it. I hate what is there now!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

selling my baby things

I have decided to sell most of my baby stuff. No, we are not quitting, but we are being realistic. We are still hopeful that we can have a second baby, but at this point there will be at LEAST four years between babies. Even if we have another girl the clothes will begin to be outdated at that time. And Maddie is quite tall and wearing a size 4T already (won't be 3 until late August) so it could be another 5 years before the stuff is used. And this is IF it even works next time.

We are keeping the baby bed, changing table and rock-n-play sleeper. The rest is going to a local consignment sale this summer. I will also keep one tub of my favorite items to save for another baby as well as for Maddie when she is older. While this is the right thing to do it feels a bit like throwing in the towel, giving up. But I am not. I am purging the old and focusing on the future. And the money that I make from selling it will go towards the baby fund.

Now to go and pack it all up. And cry a few tears as well. But also praying that soon I will be buying new things for a new baby. Maybe even a baby boy this time. :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

unexpected kindness

Growing up my family never went to church. I rode a Sunday School bus for many years and was very involved in church. From a young age I was interested in God and learning more about Him. During that time I had many people that came into my life that mentored me and guided me spiritually. Some I am still very close to, some were there for just a season. There is one family that I was very close to until I became a teenager and while we stayed in contact we are no longer close and all went our separate ways. Now years later we are in the same church again and while not close we are friendly. The other day the husband was not feeling well and his wife, who is unable to drive, needed a ride home after church and I agreed to take her. This couple knows of our struggles to have a baby and recently I shared with them what we were doing. When I dropped her off at home I helped her take her stuff into the house. While there her husband asked me how things were going and expressed his regret that we had to cancel this cycle. He then asked that I let him know when I was ready to leave for FL and the date of the transfer as he and his wife wanted to set some time aside that day to pray for me.

Too often we hear insensitive comments about infertility and ttc, but this was not one of those times. This is from a couple that has never struggled. They don't understand this pain, yet they have compassion. They understand that 'I' hurt and they care about that. They want us to have the desires of our heart and are committed to praying for us to fulfill that desire. It really touched my heart that someone cares enough to pray for us in this way. To care. To try to understand. If only we could all learn to love others in this way.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

skipping right to surgery

I had called last week to ask my OB about ordering my HSG. He readily agreed but he said that he had to code it for infertility. After thinking about it some more I called the nurse in FL and asked her what I needed to do if the HSG did show a hydrosalpinx and she said that it would need to be removed. So in light of that, and the fact that there is a 75% chance or greater that it IS a hydrosalpinx, I just don't see the point doing the HSG. I asked the nurse if there was any reason that I couldn't just go right to a laparoscopy and she said no, but it would be up to my OB.

I decided to just make an appointment with my OB and went in yesterday. I told him that I was having a ton of endo like pain (which I am and I thank the crap ton of estrogen for that) that I would like to have a lap done to remove any adhesions. And while he is in there could he remove my tube as well. He was perfectly fine with this request and my surgery is scheduled for June 7th. If all goes well there is a possibility of proceeding with my next cycle. However, we are supposed to be out of town in July so this may throw things off and we may have to wait until late July/early August. So all in all the news is good and things are still going in the right direction.

My prayer requests are these: that if we have to pay our $1000 deductible that we can work out payments. With the $500 we lost when the cycle canceled and the $500 we will need to pay again to try again we will not have the $1000 right now. Secondly, that everything goes well and we can continue trying for a baby.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I get knocked down.....

Wow, I cannot tell you how bad today was. I was not prepared for it at all. When the RE said that my lining was a 13 I wanted to jump up and do a happy dance. I would have too had it not been for that vagi-wand. I just couldn't imagine anything else being wrong. It was just January when I had my last u/s and everything was fine. It never occurred to me that something could change so quickly. but it did. And now it is over. For now.

Today I was really considering not trying again. I am honestly tired of it all. This has been a 15 year battle and when you add up the surgeries, tests, failed adoptions, unsuccessful IUIs, infections, set backs, canceled cycles and an unsuccessful FET a few months ago it gets overwhelming. Very! But then I look at Maddie and know that she was worth every. single. minute. Every tear. Every dollar. Ever failure. Everything! And with the support of my amazing hubby we will move forward.

Here is where things stand right now. We canceled the flight and have been credited the $350 towards a future flight. There is a $200 re-booking fee but we are going to email the customer care department and ask if it can be waived. But if not at least we didn't lose all of the money.

I spoke with the local RE and they will order the test but the diagnosis code is for infertility. That is the only code they will use. Considering this is more than just infertility (could be a sign of infection....though unlikely) I am hoping to have it covered by insurance. I have a call into my OB about having him order it and since I also have endo and am having pain from it maybe he can code it in some other way. I also called the imaging place recommended by the local RE (stating that it was the least expensive place) and if it is self pay it will be $300. I was pleasantly surprised as I thought it was be triple that. It might even be less if my OB comes and does the test, but I still have to check on that.

Tomorrow I will call the nurse in FL back and ask her a few questions. Mainly I want to know what needs to be done if there is fluid in there. If I will need to have a laparoscopy to correct it I may opt for the lap from the start to expedite the process. I also need to ask how long I will need to wait before trying again. And I am praying that my period starts soon so I can get started on all of this. Last time it was supposed to start in 3-4 days and it took over 40 days.

Thank you for all of the words of encouragement and support. It was greatly needed and appreciated. You all are awesome!!!!

Maybe it is time to give up

I went today for my lining scan and at first everything was perfect. My lining was right where the RE wanted it (had been too thick previously) and I was so excited. Then the RE (my local one) said that it looked like there was fluid in one of my tubes. My heart just sank. I knew that this was it, the cycle was doomed. And I was right, it has been canceled. I am devastated. I have to stop meds today and schedule an HSG. I have no idea if this will be covered by insurance. I don't even know who I should call to have it ordered. My local RE is one that I only see for monitoring. I called and left a message with both my OBs office and the REs office and hopefully I will find something out tomorrow.

A part of my just wants to quit. Maybe it is time,  I don't know. Hubby is being really supportive and encouraging, but I just don't know if I can keep doing this. I hate throwing so much money away. This time it was for absolutely nothing. I will have nothing to show for this. Well, maybe more medical bills.

I am just sick over all of this. Sick and tired and discouraged. I just don't know what to do. Maybe God is telling us to stop. Maybe not. I just wish I knew.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

getting closer!

Flight booked                        CHECK!

Hotel booked                         CHECK!

Appointments scheduled       CHECK!

Rides to the airport                CHECK!

Sunscreen purchased             CHECK!

Hair dyed                               CHECK!

Things are moving along! I have to still reserve a rental car but am waiting until Thursday to do that. Most places won't refund your money if you cancel it so we are waiting until after the lining scan on Thursday. I have just about everything else ready to go. I do need a pedicure and hope to get that Thursday as well.

There was a change of plans on the meds. My copay went up a LOT for the Crinone so I am sticking with the Endometrin. If anyone has some that they no longer need I am interested in it if I get a BFP. I have enough for 6 weeks but will need another 6 weeks worth if pregnant.

Now my biggest decision is whether to buy any pregnancy tests. I haven't decided if I will test or not. Most likely I will. I am not good at waiting at all. This time I might get the cheapies from the internet. Any recommendations to help feed my addiction????

Friday, May 10, 2013

Everything is in place....almost!

So I have decided to use the Crinone instead of the Endometrin. The best answer that I could get from my insurance is that the Endo would be $125 a month and the Crinone $45 a month (I think). Even though I have more of the Endo it will cost me more in the end. Almost double, actually. So I will be gifting the Endometrin to someone that needs it. Please send me an email if you are interested.

I have my lining check on Thursday and will start progesterone then, antibiotics shortly thereafter. My flight is booked. I have decided to rent a car while there though driving in Jacksonville is giving me anxiety just thinking about it!!! But to use cabs and shuttle services will be over $100, more if I want to go to the beach. And I want to go to the beach!!! So a car it is.

I do not have a hotel booked. Someone recommended hotelcoupons.com to me and they have a coupon you can print for a walk in special for the Hampton Inn for $70. I am thinking about trying to use this as it the hotel is right by the hospital and that is a great price. Have any of you used this site or coupons before?

Before I leave I have a TON of stuff to do. A TON!!!!!! Tomorrow we are having our yard sale finally. Every single Saturday we have had rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be 70 and sunny with maybe a spot shower in the afternoon. Hopefully we have a great turn out and make some money. This will go towards lining scan and spending money while I am there. The flight and transfer are already paid for, the cab is cheap and the meds are paid for. Not much left, praise the Lord!!!

Also, my hubby is having the house cleaned for me while I am gone so I need to get everything picked up for her. She is a friend that is starting her own cleaning business and she is giving us a great deal. I am excited about this!!! How wonderful to come home to a clean house!

The days leading up to my departure are filled up. I have an all day activity at church the Sunday before as well as watching a friend's 1 year old twins the day before. It will be crazy! But I will appreciate the quiet and solitude that much more. And the beach. Must appreciate the beach!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Endometrin or Crinone??

So I start my progesterone next Thursday. Last time I used Crinone and it was my $45 copay. I have two boxes left (about 2 weeks worth). I was also given a month's worth of Endometrin and the clinic is giving me another 2 weeks worth. However, I have no idea what my copay will be and insurance won't tell me. Neither will the pharmacies until I get an RX sent to them and they process it. This is ridiculous!!!! I have no idea why my insurance company can't tell me.

So, has anyone ever had one and not the other covered? I would just stick with Crinone but now I am not even sure if that is covered. Crinone is also 2x a day, Endometrin 3x a day. This is a real pain in the butt!!!

If anyone has one or the other they want to trade or sell cheap please let me know!!! Or know of a pharmacy that can check my benefits without me placing the order?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Flight booked and date changed

Yesterday I scheduled my FET for the 23rd, but when I went to book the flight I was not happy with them at all. Some were 8+ hours with two layover. Others meant I had to find a ride at 4:30 am. (yuck!!) And another was putting my return flight in the middle of rush hour or near midnight. So I called the clinic and they said that I had a 2-3 day window that we could play with so I ended up finding a good flight with a good price for the 21st. So my transfer date is now the 22nd. WOOT!

I am still needing to book the hotel. I had one chosen but I called to ask about shuttle service (that a website stated they had) but they do not offer it. They are really close to the clinic which I really liked since it would keep the cab fare down, but now I have to start over. I will most likely stay closer to the airport, but that means I will not get to go to the beach since that would mean more cab fare. I guess that we shall see what I can find.

Ahh!!! In 2 weeks I will be in Florida, ready to meet my babies!!!!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

And so it begins!!!

Today is CD1 and I started my meds for the transfer. WOOHOO!!!!!!! I will call on Monday to schedule my lining check, get my transfer date, book my flight and hotel and start getting everything ready. My transfer will be around the 23rd. I am super excited and super, duper scared. I am still waiting on my results from the lupus anticoagulant test, but should have that on Monday. Everything is moving along!

In other news I have purchased my domain name and have started my EDA website. It will be a site to educate and provide resources for all things EDA related. I am adding links to ED and EA blogs and have already added those that are listed on this blog. If you do NOT want yours added please let me know ASAP. If you have one that you DO want added please let me know that as well. I am really excited to get this up and running and hope to have it ready in about a month.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thyroid, Vitamin D and IF

I had my appointment last week with my endocrinologist and got a call yesterday about my results. I don't have any actual numbers yet (they will be mailed to me this week) but the nurse said thy my thyroid function is "normal". Once I receive the actual numbers I will check online to see if they are "optimal" for pregnancy and not just "normal". She did increase my Synthroid from 75 to 88mcg to "level me off". I am not exactly sure what that means, but okay.

I asked the doctor about ttc and if there is anything that I should do differently. She said that as long as my T3 and T4 are fine then, no, nothing. My RE agrees with this so I feel better. She did mention that those with Hashimoto's (antibodies) sometimes test positive for lupus anticoagulant. She has an accent and I did not realize what she had said then so I came home and researched it and found that it is true so I called yesterday to request that test as well. I go today for that. If this comes back negative then I will feel great about moving forward. And if it comes back positive at least we will know to treat it with blood thinners. So either way it is a good thing.

The other thing she tested was for vitamin D deficiency. My levels came back super low (common in those with thyroid issues) and I am on an RX of 50,000 IUs a week for 3 months. Once I learned this I of course turned to the world wide web and found some very interesting information from an RE about it. Doctors have only recently started testing Vit D and understanding the implications of being deficient and it's impact on our health.  And RE's even more recently started studying the links to infertility. This is a great article that everyone suffering from infertility should read. I have had 4 primary doctors, 1 endocrinologist and 4 RE's and this was the first time that I was ever tested. The research is still new but there is definitely something to consider. It has been linked pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and a lower pregnancy rates with IVF and FET. This is what got my attention!

I will admit, I was shocked that my levels were low enough to warrant an RX. Then I started researching what foods actually contain vitamin D and there are very little. I do drink milk, but not daily.  Same with salmon. I love mushrooms and they have a ton. And I go outside 3-4 times a week and never wear sunscreen.  And I take a pre-natal. All of these are good things to do, but obviously not enough. And I thought that green, leafy veggies contained vitamin D but they do not. So it is not easy to consume a lot of vitamin D in our diets.

As of right now we are still going to proceed with our May cycle. I should start next week!!! We are still trying to have the yard sale. We have a ton of stuff, but it has rained the last 2 Saturdays and is supposed to rain this week as well. The following Saturday is a holiday weekend (not always good for sales) and the next one will be right before I travel. We are really hoping that this week will work out!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

infertility colored glasses

Something that I have noticed through the years that I use infertility as a time frame for life. Someone mentioned that they had turned 40 recently and I thought "forty isn't old".  But then today someone asked me my age (a man no less....doesn't he know better?!?!?) and when I said that I will be 36 it sounded old. But that is because in my life 36 is so close to 40 and 40 is when I want to finish trying to have children. That is only 4 years away and that is not long at all.

I do this in other things as well. It is not that I have been married for almost 15 years, but that we have been ttc for 15 years. On Mother's Day I divide it pre-baby and post-baby. Other life events and holidays are clouded by infertility. My first Christmas after being diagnosed. Thanksgiving and the only one without a child. My first New Years as a mother. Infertility defines so much. Do you view life through infertility colored glasses?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

thyroid issues and ttc

Back in 1999-2000 I went from trim and slim to round and bumpy. In just over a year I put on 65 lbs. I was sleeping 10 hours at night and a 2 hour nap every day. I rarely ate and I barely functioned. It was awful. I was also having trouble with my hands in the mornings. My knuckles hurt and I always felt swollen. I finally went to a doctor and he checked my thyroid and tested for rheumatoid arthritis. I hadn't heard anything in 3 days so I called and my doctor was on vacation and the one filling in gave me the results. Normal. I remember crying, feeling hopeless, not knowing what was wrong with me. Hubby was certain that I was dying. A few months and 20 lbs later I got a call. It was a nurse from the doctor's office and they were going through records and noticed that I had not started any meds for my thyroid. I was shocked as I had been told that I was within normal range. Apparently only one test result was back and the other doctor was not aware of both tests and somehow it was missed. So now I knew and this time my tears were that of relief. It is scary to be so out of control of your body. So I started meds and while the weight never came off I finally quit gaining.

Fast forward a few years. I was feeling good and had gotten lazy and was no longer taking meds. And then bam! A repeat of the previous years. I put on 28 lbs in 2 months. That is a LOT!!! I knew the signs and symptoms so I returned to my doctor to get back on meds. However my TSH was 'normal' at 2.64. I really didn't care what the test said I knew that I didn't feel good but my doctor wouldn't treat me. The same doctor that told me I would be on meds for the rest of my life. So I switched docs and got the same response. Being the stubborn person that I am I decided to skip all of the primary care docs and found and endocrinologist. My first visit she was not convinced that anything was wrong but ran tests anyway. Everything was normal except one thing: antibodies. I was positive for thyroid antibodies. I know very little of all of this but she did say that it would cause the same symptoms as a high TSH and put me back on meds. Not long after we moved forward with EA and at that time I had told the RE about this and he put me on heparin during my cycle. And that was the cycle that I got pregnant with Maddie.

During my pregnancy and since I have just gone to my new primary doctor. She has been good and I like her so it was easier. And when I requested to be tested for antibodies she told me she would include it. And then in January I did another FET and it was negative. Before it I had mentioned that I had used heparin previously and he saw no need as it did not help those with hypothyroidism. I had forgotten about the antibodies and never even mentioned them. Now that I have been dieting and not losing like I thought I would (I am only down 2 lbs and not the 14 I had previously thought) I decided to return to my endo. I requested my labs from my doc and found that she had in fact not tested anything other than TSH. So I turned to dr. google and found that those with antibodies may have trouble getting pregnant, that the body could attack the embryo and prohibit implantation or cause a miscarriage. Now I am concerned that our next cycle is doomed if I can't get this figured out.

I am going to push for the heparin no matter what. Even if there is no need for it other than peace of mind. I will feel much better being on it. I am also going to my endo tomorrow and hope for answers. I really, really want to proceed next month but not if it means certain death to these embryos. They deserve the best chance I can give them.

If anyone has any suggestions, advice or insight please share!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

For those that have asked

I have a Go Fund Me account where you can donate. You can find it here: Snowflake Baby Fund. And for those needing to raise money this is a good site. They do take a higher percentage than Paypal directly, but it is a good way to share your story and keep it all in one place. I will comment on my previous blog post and leave my Paypal address as well.

Planning my trip

I should be starting my next cycle in about 2 weeks. At that time I will book my flight and my hotel. I have begun looking into prices and hope to book soon as the prices for flights are already higher than January (that is what I get for choosing Florida!) and hotels are filing up fast. There are no direct flights and I am looking at up to a 5 hour layover. Not exactly how I would choose to spend my time, but give me a good book and I am good to go. The prices are at about $400 right now and I pray they don't go over $500 in the next two weeks. We have budgeted $500 and hope to keep it around that. There are many, many hotels to choose from and I am looking at some about a mile from the clinic. I wish they were on the beach but those are all too far out. I will be using a shuttle to and from the airport and a cab to the clinic so something close to the clinic is best. I am thinking of staying at the Wyndham there but have never stayed at one. Does anyone have any experience with them? I really just don't want bed bugs, clean sheets, clean toilet, and no communicable diseases. And a hotel that doesn't glow under a black light would be awesome!!! LOL

We are doing well with raising money. We need a total of $2000. We have $712 in the Baby Fund account right now. One of my moms that I babysit for owes me money (she pays in one lump sum) and from that I will be depositing another $275 as of right now. I also have $130 cash to put in today so that totals $1117. We have a yard sale scheduled on Friday evening and Saturday morning and hope to raise another $100-200 from that. Maybe more! If we have at least $1500 we will definitely proceed. We have decided to put the flight on our credit card if we don't have enough saved but we are hoping not to do that. All in all things are going very, very well!!! I have had two blog readers donate which was a huge blessing. It amazes me how generous people can be to those that they have never met in person.

Monday, April 22, 2013


This week is both ICLW and NIAW. So what does that mean? Is it text speak for something? Nope! It looks like ti though. They are actually two separate events. ICLW is a monthly challenge to comment and get to know other infertility bloggers. You can find more info to the right. See that little box over there? Up just a little. Yep, there is it. Click it and you can read all about it.

NIAW is National Infertility Awareness Week. Not much explanation is needed for that one. :) So what does that mean to you and me? It means that this is the time to spread the word. Do something to help educate others on infertility. Or maybe share your struggles with someone. IF is such a taboo subject (maybe its because of s-e-x or, dare I say it, sperm is involved??) and we deal with a lot of misconceptions and inconsiderate comments. This is partly due to the fact that people know little about infertility. They just don't understand it. But we can help them understand by breaking the silence. Whether it is a Facebook status, a blog post or just telling a close friend about your struggle. Whatever it is try to find a way to help spread the word this week. And then let us all know what you have done and maybe help someone else find their courage.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hope & Despair

There are many situations in life that cause despair yet we must find a way to hope. Illness, death, divorce. For me it is infertility. So much of the last 15 years has caused me to despair. Failed adoptions, failed cycles, and many pregnancy announcements have all contributed to my despair. Yet the only way to move forward is to find some hope.

After finally having success with having Maddie I had put most of that despair away. I thought for sure that though we would always need medical intervention we would still be successful. It never occurred to me that our FET in January would end with........nothing. Nothing but a traumatic travel experience, a depleted savings account and several one lined HPTs. Oh, and a few seashells. That is it. Nothing to really show for all of the time, money and travel. It was such a waste. Yet it wasn't. I had to go through that to get the chance to try again at a much reduced rate. But what if this doesn't work? I have to hope that it will or I couldn't proceed. But if it doesn't it may mean that our hope has ended. If we have no embryos remaining we will have to stop. And that causes despair. I am not quite ready to quit. Yet I am tired of this struggle. So very tired. Almost 15 years of my life has been dedicated to trying to add children to our family.  We skipped vacations, postponed buying a house and gave up on a career just to do this. And yes, it was worth it. Maddie was worth ever. single. day. Every tear, every dollar, every test. And trying again will be worth it as well, even if things do not end how I want them to. I will know that I have given it my all. I won't be left with what-ifs and what might have been's. I will know that this is the path God has chosen and I will have to move on.

But until it is over I will try to gather as much hope as I can and leave despair behind.