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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Not much longer now!

With the New Year right around the corner we are gearing up for our next attempt at an FET. Currently I am about 2 weeks from AF showing and once she makes her presence known I can begin estrogen. Then it is a waiting game for my mid-cycle scan to check my uterine lining. Everything hinges on that. If all goes well we should be on schedule for a late January transfer. I am starting to get excited!!!

In other news we did have an addition to our household. Meet Dugan, aka Doogie Bowser.



He is an 8 week old Maltese and just the cutest little guy. And yes, I know that getting a puppy right before an FET and possibly adding a baby or two to the family is insane! But Maddie has been begging for a puppy. And she "wuvs" her puppy. He looks just like our beloved Dudley that we had to put to sleep last year. I still miss him like crazy and while Dugan does not replace him, he does fill a void. So far he is a great little guy. He is doing very well with house breaking and sleeping at night. Let's hope it continues.

One last thing! There is a new EA blogger that just started her first cycle. Please take a moment to visit her blog, show her some love, and maybe even follow her! You can find her here. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

do they ever look?

Tonight I was browsing through the Donor Sibling Registry to see if there was any posting from the clinic that we used when we had Maddie. They were the only clinic in the entire area to have an ED program and I thought for sure that there would be something on there. There was not. So I just browsed through everything, taking a look into the lives of people just like us. People wondering where their child began their genetic journey. Or where they themselves came from. Then I wondered if Maddie's genetic family was out there somewhere sitting in front of a computer screen, browsing the Registry as well. Do they ever think about the 6 little embryos they donated? Are they curious to know if a child or two resulted from their generous gift? I know that I would. And maybe one day they will find us on there. I hope so.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Prayer for fellow EA momma

Another EA momma needs us to be praying for her and her family right now. She is currently 30(ish) weeks pregnant with boy/girl twins and her water has broken and should deliver in the next 2-5 days. Her little boy is doing well but she has known for some time now that her daughter will not make it. She has severe abnormalities and not expected to live long. I cannot imagine what they are going through right now and my heart is just breaking for them. I have known this woman for over 6 years through a forum that we both moderate.

Please keep her (M) and her hubby (J) in your prayers as well as her 3 year old little boy (EA baby from the same batch of embryos as the twins). Their family is hurting right now and they need us to pray for them. Thank you!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pampered Chef Fundraiser!

We have started our Pampered Chef fundraiser to help raise some of the money needed for our upcoming cycle in January. If you are looking for some great Christmas gifts look no further! There are a ton of great items to make your gift giving easier. No one left on your gift list? Then reward yourself for all of your hard work and buy yourself something nice!

Go here to view the catalog: Pampered Chef Fundraiser and enter Fertility Institute for Reproductive Medicine for the sale to count towards us. All funds will go directly to our clinic once the sale is complete. Hurry! Less than 2 weeks to place your order!

Friday, November 30, 2012

I am trying to make lemonade here, people!

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Yep, we have all heard it. We have all probably rolled our eyes at it too. This phrase is never said when things are going great so it is expected that it is not a well received quote. Today I was handed some lemons. I used to like lemons but now, not so much. So what was it? A house. My house. The house that I drive past several times a week and have wanted. It is not some beautiful, fancy dream house. No, I have one of those and it is like Ryan Gosling...fun to look at and dream about, but I am levelheaded enough to know it is out of my reach. No, this house is next door to my mom and is about 50 years old. It has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, an in ground pool, fenced in yard, a den with a separate entrance that would make a perfect in home daycare for me, hard wood floors and many other things that I like. It was foreclosed on over a year ago and I have wanted it ever since. And it is on the market and is dirt cheap. Like seriously cheap!!! But still out of our reach.

About 11 years ago we purchased a mobile home. We traveled for dh's job (I went with him) and were rarely home so it was the perfect choice. It is in a really nice park and well maintained. And very safe for when I am home alone. Once I quit traveling we were faced with a decision: buy a house or try for a baby. It was a no brainer, we wanted a baby. Seven years later we finally have that baby and are in the process of trying for another, but it has us no closer to owning a home. Dh is self employed and in order to keep from paying a fortune in taxes we take every tax deduction we can get. This makes us look dirt poor. And the years of medical bills (deductibles, fertility treatments, and copayments) have left us with a pile of medical debt that has hurt our credit. A lot! We have most of the debt paid down but the damage is done. We could afford the house payment easily, even with our current mobile home payment, and there is a first time home buyers asst program here that we qualify for that would give us $15k down yet we cannot get this house.

So for me, this sad news is a lemon. But my lemonade is that we will work harder to get out of the rest of our debt and rebuild our credit score. And we have a child and the chance at another. That is worth more than any house. But I still want that house!!! I thought about dropping some dead cockroaches in the window to scare off potential buyers, but they creep me out so there goes that. Maybe a few snakes? A ghostly noise? Mine traps?? Or maybe I should just pray, huh? :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Free IVF cycle contest

The Sher Institute in St. Louis is having a contest for 2 free IVF cycles, one for PI and one for SI. You have to submit a video for it and have until the 7th of December. There are only 4 submissions so it is really good odds. We would do it but have already invested so much time and money into our current situation that we would lose money so we are not entering. But in case anyone else is interested here is the website: http://haveababy.com/announcements/i-believe-video-journal-project/

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Update on our next cycle

If you have been following our journey you may know that our last cycle was canceled due to too thick lining. I was supposed to start my next cycle 3-4 days after stopping meds but it was 38 days before that happened. Thankfully it happened on its own and I did not have to take meds. I am not opposed to meds, I just wanted things to get back to working order before starting more meds.

So I started right before Thanksgiving and while I could have begun my meds for an FET we decided not to. Cycling now meant traveling in early December and things are too busy right now. I love Christmas and I really wanted to focus on that instead of meds, appointments, traveling, resting, and worrying about the outcome. So we will be waiting until January. If things go as planned (ha ha, snicker, snicker) we should be ready late Jan/early Feb.

In the meantime we are trying to raise some of the money for it. I know that if we drain our savings it will be hard to replenish it. Especially if I do get pregnant and have to start buying for a baby....or two. So we are having a Pampered Chef fundraiser show the first 2 weeks of December. It will mainly be online and I will post a link here once it begins. The money will go directly to our clinic and will be a big help towards covering the costs of the procedure. While I am excited to do this I am a bit nervous too. In order for it to be successful we will need to post about our next procedure on Facebook. While we are both very, very open about our fertility issues as well as embryo adoption, it is not something that I post on Facebook about. Also, I don't care to announce to everyone when we are cycling as I don't want a bagillion people asking me how it went if things are not positive. But that is a risk that we are going to take.

So that catches you all up on how things are going. Your prayers are appreciated as well try to raise some of the money as well as for our next cycle.

Friday, November 9, 2012

no news is.....

Well, just that. No news. Still no period. No hints. No teasing. Nothing. I am on CD33 which is really late for me. And no, I am not pregnant. In 11 days I will have to take Provera which I have never, ever needed before. My repro organs are jacked up with just about everything under the sun, but regular periods is not one of them. Now we are adding that to the mix? Great!

In order to do an FET before January I have to start the next cycle before Nov. 30th. With meds that should be no problem, but I don't want to have to use meds to start my cycle. If that is the case I would rather take the meds and wait until January and allow my body to get back to working on its own. But even if I do start in the next few days I will most likely still have to wait until January as starting a cycle now puts my lining check right around Thanksgiving. The clinic here closes early n Wednesday and will be closed until the following Monday. So no lining check for me.

I really have no idea what we will do. It is looking like January which is not all bad. Maddie was conceived on December 11th and I would prefer not to do the next FET around the same time. I don't want to be in labor on her birthday. I would rather have a few weeks between them. This is assuming that this whole thing works again of course. So I don't know what to do. Right now we are just waiting, waiting, waiting...............

Monday, November 5, 2012

an open letter to all RE's

Dear Dr. RE,

I wanted to take this moment to thank you for the work that you do. Without all of you many of us would never have the opportunity to even try to have a baby. The advancements in reproductive medicine are amazing and people like you make this possible. But, as in any field of expertise, there is the tendency to become far removed for the common man. I want to take a few minutes to share with you what it is like to be on our side of things.

When we come in for that first consultation we are usually a bit scared. We already know that something is wrong but we are hoping that it will be a simple fix. This is denial. We all do it. It protects us from ugly truth that you are about to share with us. So be kind. Be gentle. This is scary! We know that you are busy and important but don't rush through our appointments. Allow plenty of time to answer our questions and assure us that you care, even if you don't. We don't need to be coddled, just respected.

See us as people, not dollar signs. Don't try to push more expensive procedure just because it lines your pockets. And the same is try if we really do need IVF, please don't push us to do several IUIs when you know that we will be wasting our money. Be honest with us and give us the facts. We know you are not God and cannot determine with certainty what will work or not, but give us your best estimation. Remember, we are not made of money. The majority of your patients cannot just write out a check for IVF. Most of us have to work overtime, sell items, do fundraisers, mortgage our homes and even our retirements. We put everything on the line for just this one chance. And while we are talking money, have you considered reevaluating your prices? Maybe offer cash discounts? Or a sliding scale based upon income? Do you accept leftover medications and donate them to patients that need it? What about a referral discount? Also, make us aware of any resources available that could save us some money. We expect to pay for your services and to pay well. We don't have an issue with this so much as how outrageous these services can be at times. It often restricts us from being able to proceed. Please consider this when deciding on what to charge.

Your staff is one of the most important facets of your clinic. A beautiful waiting room, fancy lights and soft music are nice, but not nearly as important as an efficient staff. It should not take days to get a return call from a nurse. Prices should be explained clearly. Be kind when we call or sign in. Fax records or reports as soon as possible. Be clear with instructions. And don't get upset when we need to ask you to clarify something. This is new to us and we don't always understand. If you do not use emails to communicate, consider it. This allows us to ask our questions and your staff to communicate when they have a moment. And one of the most important things is to show compassion when telling us that our pregnancy test came back negative. Those words shatter our hearts into a million pieces. All of that time and money was for nothing. Please remember that when sharing this news.

These are just a few things that we, as patients,  hope to share with you. I am sure that some of my readers will add their thoughts as well. We are hoping to expand our families not have elective plastic surgery. No, we do not "have" to have a baby, this is not a life threatening disease, but it is something that we feel to our very core, that need to procreate. Your compassion and understanding is much appreciated.

Thank you,
Infertiles everywhere

baby #9?!?!?!?

I attend a church of about 200 people. It is a very diverse group. The church is located in a middle/upper class area but the people come from all over. We have men in a half way house ministry that attend, a couple of pharmacists, a doctor, several SAHMs, some homeschoolers, a couple of scientists, a truck driver, waitresses, you name it. We have it all. What we also have are some crazy fertile people.

In the past 2-3 months we have had 4 families announce that they are pregnant. This is after 5 births earlier this year. One of the 4 families is having baby #4, two are baby number #5 and one is having their 9th. Yes, their 9th! We have two Duggar-esque families. One had their 8th earlier in the year and now this one having their 9th. And then there is me, struggling to have a second. I can honestly say that I am happy for all of these families as they are good families and support themselves and care for their children. But why not me? I know we all ask this at some time or another and I asked it often during our 11 years waiting for Maddie. But I am there again. As I sit here and wait for my period to start (nope, not yet!) I wonder if I will get to join this group of super fertiles. I wish that God did things like we teach toddler: one for you, one for me. But alas, He does not. So again......I wait.....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

still waiting........

Seriously, AF, you are getting on my nerves! I took off my estrogen patches on CD12 and was told that I would most likely start in "3-4 day". I am now on CD25 and she is nowhere to be seen. Not even a peek-a-boo. Nothing!! I hate her! I don't even care that she is messing is holding up the FET as that will happen in its own time. What I am afraid of is just how bad this cycle will be. I am an endo gal and already have painful cycles. My lining was too thick for transfer (according to this RE) and I cannot imagine how thick it might be by now. This is gonna hurt!

So for now, no updates. Nothing going on. Just waiting and more waiting.........

Thursday, October 25, 2012

why Aunt Flo and not Uncle Gush?

I used to wonder how we came up with AF or Aunt Flo. Yes, I understand the Flo=flow part. I get it. Cute. Whatever. But did we really need to assign it a feminine name? Like a woman would really curse another woman with blood flowing out of her gina? Why not Uncle Gush or Cousin Drip? But today it came to me. Men don't play games. Women are catty and like to tease. As I sit here waiting for the elusive Aunt Flo to arrive I finally understand why our periods are of the feminine gender. No man would stay away when he is expected only to show up with a vendetta. Nor would a man arrive a week early and mess up a vacation. Women get angry and like to show you who is boss, much like AF is doing right now.

When my cycle was cancelled last Friday I was told to remove all 4 patches at the same time and that with my lining already at 16 that I should start in 3-4 days. Did that happen? Of course not! This crazy Aunt of mine decided it would be funny to screw everything up and wait. I can only imagine how bad this cycle will be when she finally does decide to show her ugly face. Why can't Aunt Flow be that nice aunt that everyone one envies instead of the crazy one you hide from at family gatherings?

sharing the cuteness

The other night Maddie was in bed with me and said "I cuddle" She then wrapped her arms around my neck,  kissed my cheek and said "I luv you, Momma." My heart just melted. Those 12 years of waiting were so worth it! I still marvel that she is really mine. That God gave her to us. Without EA she would not be here with us. We may never have a child's laughter to fill our home. But we do and she is such a joy. A terror at times, but mainly a joy! Here are a few photos of my cutie for you all.


Diva.....with upside down glasses

Creative dressing. Please notice the Elmo pj pants and mismatched shoes. But everything is pink so she "matches".
 I found a bunch of clothes for Maddie today at yard sales. She helped me go through them and made her own outfit out of Elmo pj pants, two different sandals and a pink dress. She keeps twirling around saying "I'm princess!".

She is going to be a Bumble Bee for Halloween

Monday, October 22, 2012

Holy Hormones, Batman!

On Friday I was wearing 4 Vivelle dot patches. When the nurse called to tell me that they cycle was cancelled she told me to remove all four of the patches at once and that AF would start in about 3-4 days. No big deal, right? Wrong! My hormones are all over the place. I am a crazy, schizo psychopath! Once minute I am fine, just enjoying the day. The next minute my head does a 360 spin and pea soup starts flying. And then I cry because I have no control. I am starting to get on my own nerves. And how do you get away from yourself?

I really hope that AF shows up soon so that this can start leveling off. Also, I think that the nurse said that I can start the patches again once that happens. But I was so upset when she called I can't remember if I was supposed to have a cycle and then start the NEXT cycle. So I will have to call tomorrow so that I can be prepared.

I am getting better about the whole canceled cycle thing. I am still not happy about it, but ready to get started again. I am tired of my life revolving around all of this. I had almost 2 years of just enjoying life and not feeling like I was jumping through hoops just for the chance of trying for a baby. Being on this roller coaster again is not something I missed. And it is a bad time to do this as almost every woman of childbearing age at church is pregnant right now. One just had baby #4, one is pregnant with baby #4, and two are pregnant with baby #5. Another just had baby #8. Yeah, it is a  fertile place. For the fertiles, anyway. And this is a small church of less than 200 peeps. I am yet again the one that is left out. And if we are successful I will be the last one again. When I had Maddie I was the last of 5 woman to have a baby in a 5 month period. By the time my shower came around people were so over showers.

I am trying to shake off this moodiness and get things ready for the next go round. And prepare my heart in case it is yet again canceled. I am so over infertility!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

cycle has been canceled

Just like, it is over. I went for my lining check and blood work yesterday. I called the clinic right away to let them know that both were done and to call me in the afternoon if they had not received the results. At noon the nurse called and she had not received anything yet. So I began making calls and trying to get things done and finally the most important one, the results of my lining, was faxed and the nurse said she thought it looked good but needed to let the RE see it. She called back 20 minutes later. My lining was too thick. I just couldn't believe it. I didn't even know that was possible and it looks like this really varies between RE's. Some do not care as long as it is at least 8 (I think that is right) and others want it no thocker than 12. Mine was 16 and my RE says it is too thick.

I had a fear of this cycle being cancelled due to the test results being delayed. Or because my consent forms had not been received yet (sent them priority mail days ago and they had still not been delivered). But not once did it occur to me that my body would not cooperate. I had such a great response last time that I assumed (foolish me) that it would be the same this time. And in a way it was, just too good of a response. Darn overachieving uterus.

So I took off all of the patches yesterday and should start a period in the next 3-4 days. Once that happens we can start over. I really hope that it does start soon as if it waits too long it will mean that I need to travel during Thanksgiving which would not be fun.

I am really surprised at how hard this has hit me. It has made me take a step back and try to get my head and heart in the right place. If this can throw me off so badly what will a BFN do to me? I even prayed that it be canceled if this was not the right time. Yet when that happened I was upset. And really it is not just the delay so much as it is the extra money. Each lining check is $265 and it feels like I am just throwing money away. But without it I would have spent money on traveling and even a FET that most likely would not work. SO in a way it was a good thing. It just hurts like a bad thing.

So off to eat away my sorrows. I am baking all day today to make myself feel better. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Priceless? I think not!

Yesterday my hubby and I were talking about the fees still due for the our upcoming cycle and this lead to how much we have spent to have a baby. Between the 4 IUIs with donor sperm, the 2 failed adoptions and 2 rounds of EA we are up to about $20K. Or an arm, a leg and half a kidney. Maddie is priceless but baby making is not! I recently reconnected with a coworker from about 15 years ago and found that they had fertility issues as well. They did IVF and then adopted spending $50k for it all. Does this strike anyone else as insane?!?! While I completely believe that doctors, nurses, embryologists and staff deserve to be paid and paid well. But $20k+ per couple? Just wrong. 

Now onto more important things: I leave for Florida next week! We got our consent forms and transfer of ownership forms notarized today and mailed out to the clinic. I have an appointment on Friday for my blood work and another one for my lining check. Later that day I should hear whether everything is a go or not and then I can decide whether to fly or drive. Hopefully fly, but we have to see how high the tickets are at that time. And then I have to start getting things in order. I need to pack a bag for Maddie and grocery shop for ready made foods for her to take to her grandma's house as well as for hubby to have here. I could let him cook for himself but then he might starve to death and die. So a-shopping I will go.

Once that is all done I will have to pack for myself. I need sunscreen, a couple of books, and flip flops for my trip to the beach. Yay me! This time next week I get a day to relax before my FET. It sounds like heaven to me!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

and the plot thickens.....

Why, oh why is nothing about baby making easy? I mean really, does it have to be so hard? Other couples, you know, those normal ones that procreate for free, get to have fun while making a baby. We infertiles have so many freaking hoops to jump through and none of it is ever easy. Or fun.

So today I received a call from the clinic nurse to discuss my transfer date. I thought that I would be instructed to schedule my lining check and told which day to be there. Well, that is not the case. I was told to have my lining check on the 19th and then I would be given the exact date if all looks good. It looks like it will be on the 25th, but need to be there a day early in case. BUT if the lining check or blood work shows that I am not ready then that date may change. So my options are to schedule a flight now and hope for the best. or wait until the 19th and pay at least $200 more. Or drive 14 hours alone.

I really think that I will be driving. If I schedule the flight on the 19th it will be a minimum of $500 plus I will need a rental car for 4 days. This is getting to be more than we want to spend. If I drive it will be $200 in gas and maybe a hotel room on the way there. I have someone to stay with on the return trip which is nice. But even if I have to get 2 hotel rooms it will still be a lot less expensive. And if I drive I can have the flexibility that I will need if the dates change at the last minute. Had I realized that a natural cycle would be so uncertain I would have requested a suppressed cycle and had a date set in stone. Or a better chance of it being set in stone. Being that I like to plan this is really stressing me out.

My prayer is that I will either fins a great deal on a ticket and can just fly. Or if I drive that I can find someone to go with me. I do have someone that would be great but she is helping with Maddie while I am gone. If hubby gets his compression stocking then he can go with me, but we don't know if that will be ready in time. Decisions, decision!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

gettin nervous

Today is CD1. Gulp! That is right, it has begun. No more just talking about it, we are really doing this. In the next 15 days I have to book a flight, begin (and remember) meds, have an ultrasound and blood work, take an airplane out of state alone, rent a car, and get hopefully get knocked up. All of this will my normal crazy, hectic schedule. Ahhh!

Now that it is really happening I am nervous! The last time we did this I was just so excited and busy that I never had time to even think about it. I just did it. But this time it is different. In 25 days our lives will change forever. We will either have a BFN and remain a family of three or a BFP and become a family of 4....or even 5. E-ver-y-thing will change. Woah!

For better or for worse, this is it. Here we go!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

24 day cycle??

For the most part I am a regular kinda gal. Well, aunt flo is anyway. She comes around ever 28-29 days like clockwork. I have had the rare 32 day cycles and even a 26-er in there, but never anything less. Until this month. I started spotting tonight so tomorrow will be CD1, just 24 days since my last cycle. This is just crazy! It throws off my whole groove.

So tomorrow (if I do indeed start) I will start Vivelle and then on Monday I will be calling the clinic to get my FET date. Woah! And that means purchasing my plane ticket. I won't need a hotel as there is a church in the area that has a place that I can stay while there. Hubby has a call into family that lives there (haven't seen in years though) to see about picking me up from the airport. If I can save on the rental car that would be great.

So much to do and so little time. I am also trying to raise a bit more money so that we don't have to dip into savings as much. I made $120 at our yard sale yesterday and we will have it again next Saturday and I hope to make about that much again. If not, hubby has two kidneys and only needs one, right??

Monday, October 1, 2012

you know you are infertility when......

I think that most of us have seen a version or two of these "You know you are infertile when..." kinds of posts, but this morning I read on that had some really good ones on it. It was over at Still Standing and is worth the read. Here were my favorite two:

--you are more worried about having a nice pedicure for in the stirrups than your butt hanging out--

--you look up every weird symptom and hope it comes up as a pregnancy symptom...hmmmmmmm, I have a lot of ear wax today, I must be pregnant!--

I had not read these before but I can relate to both! Seriously, my feet being pretty are much more important than my butt and all my lady bits being on display. LOL

So add yours! You know you are infertile when........

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Help bring this little boy home!

Take a moment to read this story about Porter. His family is trying to bring him home and are trying to raise the rest of the money that they need. Porter has special needs and needs to come home as soon as possible. Your donation enters you into a giveaway and it ends tonight. If you can help, please do!

Raising money for treatments

I know that for the majority of us paying for IUIs, IVF and even EA is a challenge. Most of us do not have thousands and thousands laying around. Some take out loans, borrow from family, have a yard sale, sell a kidney, etc. If you adopt traditionally you may find that family and friends are quick to do fundraisers, but with medical treatments many are reluctant to help. And most of us reluctant to ask. It is almost taboo. It leaves most of it on our shoulders and can be quite discouraging.

We are currently getting ready for our FET and while we have the money in savings we are hoping not to have to dip into it for all of it. We still have $2500 owed to the clinic for the actual FET, $265 for the u/s to check my lining, at least $250 for my airline ticket, and then the hotel and the rental car. We just paid $525 for the MET and we were able to come up with $400 of that by selling an item and an unexpected refund check. For the lining check and the airline ticket we are trying to raise that as well without using our savings. So we are having a yard sale. I don't have a whole, whole lot to sell, but we hope to raise at least $100 this way. After that I am not really sure what we will do. We only have 3-4 weeks to raise it so it may not happen.

So what are some ways that you have raised the money? What tips do you have to help others? Please share your ideas and I will later post all of the compiled suggestions.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Why don't more clinics educate patients?

I was reading a post today about EB on a mommy forum. They were discussing a news article or something and as I read the responses I was shocked at how many people, even those with stored embryos, have no idea about ED/A. One claimed that she would never donate her embryos because you don't get to choose the embryos and what if they were not great parents. Having not done IVF this is not something that I am familiar with. I know that clinics will give you paperwork and such and also have you decide what happens to the embryos in the case of death or divorce, but do they educate you on your options for donation? Do they tell you that there are several ways in which to do this? Or do they encourage only donating to their clinic if they have a program?

It saddens me to think that there may be many, many embryos that could be donated to waiting couples but people are just not aware of their options. Did your clinic educate you on your options? Is there any literature available to clinics to pass onto couples to help them decide? If not, then maybe this is something that we, the ED/A community could work on.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Meds are on their way!

I received a call from the pharmacy today to give me the total for my meds. I knew that insurance was going to cover it and that I could get a 3 month supply at a bit of a reduced rate, but we all know things happen or information is incorrect. So I was hoping for good news but prepared for the worst. I got the call today that insurance approved it for the 3 month supply and that my copays are really good. I am getting Vivelle and Crinone (which is like $260 a box and I need 2....maybe 4....a month) and the total for 3 months is $200. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!! I am so thankful that it is covered!! They will be delivered tomorrow and I will be ready to go once I start my next cycle. About 2 weeks to go before CD1. WOOT!

Questions? Just ask!

I know that many people are curious about embryos adoption and have questions so here is your chance. Ask away! If I don't have the answer I know that there are others that will. Or if you have a question for me personally ask that too. Not sure if I will answer but I might. I am not exactly shy. ;) But if you ask about my weight I will lie. Just like I do on my driver's license. I still says that I am 150. Lies! All lies!!! But a girl can dream, can't she?

So what do you wanna know?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Are you? Will you? Have you?

My blog is about infertility in general, parenting a child after infertility almost completely sucked the life out of me, about me, and a lot about my biggest passion: Embryo Donation/Adoption. So I wanna know: Are you in the process of ED/A? Are you considering it? Have you even thought about it? Is it the path that you have already chosen and walked and are now on the other side? I am just curious as to how many ED/A hopefuls, mommas, mommas-to-be, and even papas we have out there. If you have a blog too post a link here if you want me to add you to my blog list (its over on the right...see it?) I get emails on a regular basis from people saying that they are so excited to read a blog about ED/A and that they feel so alone in this. It surprises me as I know so many that have done it or are in the process. I want to make these blogs available for those interested in reading about it. And if you don't want to link your blog to me (you should though....I am awesome) that is okay. I just wanna know who all is out there!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mock transfer went great!

I had my MET today and everything went very well. I must say that I was nervous as I have never had an u/s or test that did not show cysts, polyps, or fibroids. Or a combination of the three. I am so used to it that I was prepared for it today. But nope! Nothing! My uterus was beautiful! All ready for a baby. So now I wait 3 weeks for my next cycle to start and then I start my meds and schedule the transfer date. Not much longer now!!!

Welcome ICLW peeps!

It has been a few months since I participated in ICLW and it is nice to be back. For those visiting today, thank you for stopping by. A little about me and this blog:

My name is Jess and hubby and I have been married for 14 years. It took us 11 years to finally have a child through the miracle of embryo donation. And we are now working on baby number two....and maybe three. I am about 5 weeks from my transfer date. This blog will chronicle that journey as well as be about me and my life as an infertile and as a mother after infertility. Feel free to stick around. I think it is a pretty interesting place, but I don't sleep and am a bit delusional so what do I know? :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

5 weeks to go

It just hit me last night that we are really doing this. How did this happen?!?! I feel like I have been planning and preparing for this but forgot that it would actually happen. It is all becoming so real. When we drove home from the hospital with Maddie I couldn't wait to have another baby. I want her to have a sibling. But there has been a part of me that was afraid that we would never get a second chance and yet, here we are. It is REAL.

I started antibiotics yesterday for my MET, which is tomorrow.

My prescriptions have been faxed to Freedom Pharmacy and I will call them today to get those ordered. Thankfully my insurance is paying for all of it. How awesome is that?!?! For 3 months of Crinone it will be less than $140 and for 3 months of Vivelle it will $65. This is amazing and we are truly thankful.

I should start my next cycle in 3 weeks and at that time I will begin the meds. And get the FET date and book my flight. If you add that all up it is just 5 weeks away. Just five! Holy cow!

Monday, September 17, 2012

can fear and faith coexist?

Things are really beginning to move forward with for our upcoming cycle. The problem that I face is fear. God brought us to this clinic. He provided the embryos. We even have the finances. Yet I fear. Where is my faith? Why am I struggling with fear this time? Then I realized that faith cannot exist without fear. If we had nothing to fear we would not need to place our faith in God, so the two must both be present. You can have fear alone, but not faith alone. This helped me to put it into perspective and to rest in Him and trust that our needs will be provided.

I have two main fears: that it will not work and that we will not have the money, the money being the biggest fear right now. I said that we have the finances and thankfully we do have enough money in savings. The problem is that we need about $800-1000 of work done on our roof, a wall torn out and replaced in our kitchen, and the flooring replaced. The more we use for EA the less we have for those things. And those repairs must be done. If the FET costs rise too high we will be unable to proceed. This is what scares me!!! But God has already provided for the next step. I have my mock transfer on Friday. When it was just the SHG we had hoped that it could be billed to insurance as it is a diagnostic procedure for uterine abnormalities as well as for infertility. My insurance paid for my last one so we were hopeful. But this clinic does some fancy digital 3D thing and it cannot be billed as it is only for infertility. And it is $525, more than the SHG would have been. I started to get a bit panicky about it but hubby assured me that it was okay, we will be fine. Then I remembered a check that we had received from our insurance company that I had yet to cash. It was reimbursement for an out of network test hubby had had done. The check was for $300! So we are cashing that and using it for the MET. And there is a pair of shoes I bought (I have plantar fasciatis and need ugly, old lady shoes) but I really hate them and am returning them. There were....gulp....$150 and we will use that towards it as well. (for that kind of money I want to love the shoes...these just make me cry they are so ugly). So that is $450 for the MET this Friday! See? God is providing!!

Our next big obstacle is the travel costs, mainly the flight. Hubby cannot travel that far yet with his lymphodema so my grandmother was going to go. But the tickets are running close to $400 right now and we can't afford for both of us to go. Driving is just too far and still $500 in gas plus an additional 2 days of travel. This may mean that I am going alone which is fine, but not my first choice. I hate that I don't have an actual date yet and have to wait until my next period to know that. I like to plan!! You would think that 14 years of infertility I would have learned that "planning" is totally useless!!

Our last obstacle is the meds. I am only going to be on 2: Vivelle and progsterone suppositories. Last time I used Prometrium and they were $25 with my insurance which was awesome! But this RE does not like them as they are not technically suppositories so he is sending me an RX for 2 different ones to choose from. If insurance does not cover them we may be in trouble as I have heard they could run around $600. Gulp! I already know that my insurance does not cover the PIO so that is out. Thankfully I have been gifted 2+ boxes of Vivelle so that is not a concern at all. And insurance pays for those (high co-pay though) if I need more.

While I am sure that I will fight my fear until this is over, I am trying to have faith. I know that God will provide, I just do not know how. And like I said, I like to have a  plan. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Countdown begins

So much is happening so quickly! We officially chose our embryos today. We are the proud parents to 2 blasts and 6 day three embryos. It ended up being an easy decision as the other one that we were interested in had already been spoken for. That was exactly what we had prayed for and we are at peace that we have the embryos that were meant for us to use.

Today I also had my initial blood work done (infectious disease, thyroid, blood type). The nurse is mailing out my RX's and instructions. The first signs of AF are here so I will be calling my local clinic tomorrow to schedule my SHG. Once that is completed (and all goes well I pray) we wait for my next cycle to start and away we go! Yes, that is right, my next cycle. In October!!! I am a bit nervous as this time I will use just Vivelle patches and progesterone. Last time I used both of those plus bcp's, lupron, Estrace, and Heparin. There will be no suppression this time, just following my natural cycle. But I will leave it in the doctor's and God's hands.

So in 6-7 weeks I should be boarding a plane to meet my embies. I could be pregnant by Halloween!!! How crazy is that?!?!?!

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to choose embryos

On Saturday we received a packet of embryo profiles. There were about 15 or so in there and it was exciting to open the envelope knowing that our potential future baby could be listed inside those pages. Then the actual process began and I can honestly say it is not as easy as I thought that it would be. Last time we were not given options. Last time we were next on the list and they called with a set of embryos that were available and we could pass or accept. Not THAT was easy!

So now we have to choose which profile to accept. It started out easy enough. We eliminated any that were mixed race or and any that were not caucasian as that was important to us. Next to go were the ones where the mother was 40+ years old. We were down to about 7-8 now. Next we removed the ones with only one embryos. Then it was those that did not have a live birth. This one made me sad though, to know that these couples went through so much and did not get their take home baby. But it scared me to think that it may have been from issues with the embryos themselves. One of these profiles included a genetic mother that was age 21. It was a top pick for awhile, but the risk was too high for me.

So now were were down to about 6 profiles. One had a history of chlamydia and I am not familiar with this STD and was not sure if there was any risk involved with it. Combined with this was another family history of cancer so we eliminated this one as well. Two profiles had a stamp on them that said "advise recipients of potential risk" and that the donors had not been tested for something (not sure of the abbreviations). I did not care for that so those went as well.

We have whittled it down to two profiles. Both mothers are about the same age, mid thirties. Both have similar characteristics. The biggest differences are the number and age of the embryos and the number of live births.

Profile one: Singleton from the fresh cycle, spontaneous pg so not other cycles done. There are 2 blasts and 6 day 3 embryos.

Profile two: Singleton from fresh cycle, twins from frozen. Available are 13 day 3 embryos. (I am not sure if day 3's were used for the twin cycle or if they had blasts)

So, do we choose the one with more "success"? Or the one with blasts? Are blasts better than day 3 embryos? I thought that they were, but I never really had to look into it. My previous clinic only used blasts. I am uncertain as to why this one has both. Maybe someone could enlighten me.

I have to call tomorrow to choose our embryos. Profile one was the one that the coordinator mentioned to me during our phone conversation. They only want out of state recipients and that is the only reason the clinic still has them available or they would have been snatched up already. The packet also stated that there were other families reviewing the profiles and some may be spoken for by the time I call, so profile two may not even be available anymore. That would be nice so that we would not have to even make a choice. But if we do, what should I ask? How would you choose?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Known vs Anonymous

One of the the most important decisions you will face in EA is whether to go with a known or anonymous donation.  Both have positives and negatives and often we find ourselves leaning one direction only to go the opposite. Today I would like to take a moment to discuss the two and why we chose the path we did.

In the beginning of all of this we were certain that we would go with a known donation. We believe that open adoption is the best so why should embryo adoption be any different, right? Well, EA is a different ball game and sometime you have to change the rules. Even though we are going the anonymous route for a second time I do believe that known is still the route I prefer, but not always possible.

There are pros and cons of both. For known you will get a complete health history, access to changes in health situations, and the ability for all genetic children to know each other. The cons are that you will be linked with this family forever and if there is ever a disagreement it could become awkward. I am not saying that this will happen, but it can. Also, some donors have specific requests for donor couples and you will need to comply.

For anonymous the pros are that you never have to deal with anyone else. Once you sign the papers you are finished.  This is usually (though not always) a less expensive option. The cons are that you have no access to the donor family at all. Ever. Some clinics will contact them in the event of a life threatening illness, but not all will. Also, children will not have the option to meet their genetic family.

In 2009 we posted an ad on Miracles Waiting hoping to find a match. During this time we began searching for an RE to use locally once we found our embryos. During one of the consults we were presented with the option to use embryos they had available, but it would be anonymous. We struggled with this decision. What if our child wanted to meet their family one day? What if she needed bone marrow? What if, what if, what if?? Then two things were said to me that changed everything:

*Just because the embryos were donated anonymously do they not deserve the chance at life? And if so, why not you? Why not me? Someone will use them, why not you?

*If someone abandoned a baby at a hospital and there was no information on that child, would you adopt him? Or walk away because you will not have a complete health history? Or say no because he cannot meet his genetic family one day?

After this I knew that this was the path that God had chosen for us. And looking at my daughter I am so very thankful we went the route we did. For our second attempt we tried a known donation again but after 2 failed attempts and the frustration of no communication we felt like anonymous was our path again. And God is working it out perfectly!

The choice to go known or anonymous is a personal one and each family needs to do what is best for them. But neither option is less than the other. Both are amazing! But for those starting down this path I urge you to open your heart and mind to other possibilities. Do not get so stuck on one idea that you miss the opportunity that God may have for you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Embie profiles are on their way!

I finally spoke to the donor embryo coordinator at the clinic today and we discussed the next steps. We need to choose our embryos next!! WOO HOO!!! She is sending me the profiles but is highlighting one that may be right for us. There are 2 blasts and 3 or 4 three day embryos (can't remember) and they are good quality. They have had them available for awhile but the donor family wants only out of state recipients and they have not had many of those. The donor mother was 35 when they were created (not as young as I would prefer, but still okay) and they had a singleton after transferring two of them. The donor couple matches us in height. The donor father has my hair color and eye color, the mother is blond hair and blue eyes which is not us at all, but honestly, we don't care. I told her to reserve them for us but we will make a final decision once we review them profiles.

She is also sending me the order for blood work and the SHG (mock transfer). I should start AF here in about a week and at that time I will call my local RE to schedule that. If that goes well we order meds and schedule my travel dates. Now it is getting real! And exciting!

This past week we upgraded Maddie to a twin bed. I moved all of the baby furniture into the spare room. It looks so....out of place there. I pray that we get to fill it again. It scares me that we may end up having to sell it instead. But we will take it one day at a time and pray, pray, pray!

I am starting an EA website...need input

I started on my embryo adoption journey back in 2008. I had heard of this as an option a few year prior but never really though much about it until years later. At that time I started perusing websites, forums and blogs trying to find answers. I was fortunate enough to have a situation at a local clinic fall into our laps and we had to look no further. Fast forward to late 2011 when we started the journey for baby number two. My previous clinic had closed so we were back at square one. Even with my previous successful EA baby and with my connections in the blogoshere and forums I still felt like i was floundering. I knew that there were many options but which one was right for us? And which clinic should we use? I had to start calling any and every clinic on the SART website that listed that they did FETs with donated embryos. I used EA sites as resources but quickly found that they were poorly kept up or biased to their particular program. It was frustrating to say the least. I hated it! I even put it on hold twice because I couldn't take it anymore.

So now I am ready to help find a solution to this problem! I am going to start a website with any and every resource I can find for both embryo adoption and embryo donation. I want to include blogs, forums, clinics, matching agencies, lawyers, etc. Everything!!!! All in one place. So when someone is ready to start researching EA they don't have to go through what many of us have had to go through. I have tried to do some of this with my blog but my blog is personal and while I will still share myself with the website I would prefer to keep the two separate.

So here is where I need your help! I need a name. I have a blog dedicated to just EA (though I rarely update it) and I named it Dreaming of Conceiving. I can keep that one or I can go a different route. I would love something pertaining to snowflakes but have to be careful as there is already and agency that uses that name. So submit your suggestions please!

I would also like to know what it should include. What would have been helpful to you? I will also need one or two others to help me moderate it and update it as well as research clinics that have EA programs. If you are interested please email me at agreateryesblog@gmail.com.

Here is what I plan to include (so far):

*List of clinics with programs along with pertinent information (wait times, prices if disclosed, availability, etc)

*List of EA/D blogs

*Differences between EA and ED

*List of lawyers that deal with EA

*Forums that are for EA/D or that have a place on their forum for EA/D

*Feature different couples that have done EA

*Statistics and news stories pertaining to EA/D

*Support for donors (would love to find a donor to help with this one!!)

So help a girl out! Let me know what you think? Speak up! Now is your chance!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Control....and the lack thereof

Yesterday I had my consult with the new RE. During the discussion of protocol I asked about heparin as I had used did the last time. He did not use it as standard practice and wanted to know why I used it. There really was no good answer. My previous RE had mentioned me using it during our consult as a way to combat thyroid related miscarriages. When I had received my medication list it was not included. I asked about it and he seemed confused as to why I would want to include heparin and did remember his earlier intention of using it. We included it in my protocol and since it was successful I have a hard time not using it this time. The RE said that all people suffering with infertility deal with this same issue, lack of control. I was surprised to hear him say that! I honestly did not think that they "got it". They stand there with the equipment and knowledge to give us the chance to do something our bodies fail to do and they have so much control. To understand that we have NO control was great to hear. It showed that he cared enough about his patients to try to empathize with them.

He went on to explain that some things that people want to try are more of a hindrance than a help and heparin is on that category. He said "Just because you were wearing red shoes the first time you got pregnant doesn't mean wearing red shoes again will work." I said "It depends on just how sexy those red shoes are!". He laughed and we agreed to no heparin. I gave up that teeny tiny bit of control I thought I had.

In many ways this is an exercise in faith. I have to relinquish my control of the situation and give it all to God. I have faith in so many areas of my life, but this one I struggle the most. Probably because I have seen so many go through treatments only to get a BFN or to miscarry. It seems so wrong, so unfair for that to happen to anyone but especially to someone that has spent so much time and money to get pregnant. But I am trusting Him and that may mean a baby or it may not. Though I am praying it means we will have a baby or two!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Consult today. Great news!!!

Today I had my phone consult with the RE in FL. It went great! He was funny, personable and very kind. He explained everything very clearly (though I knew most of it as we have done it before) and went over my health history. Everything looked good so he said we were a go and in a day or two the coordinator will be calling me to the choose embryos, schedule my SHG here locally and order my blood work. I should have the SHG done in the middle of September then we begin the meds. FET should me sometime in October or early November!!

Another great bit of news is that I will only have to make 1 trip, not two!! This is fantastic news!!! It will same us time and money which is always a good thing.

I am so excited right now I can hardly stand it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

and here we go......

Monday is my phone consult with the RE at the clinic in Florida. After that we talk to the donor coordinator and start looking at embryos. I am sure that the pre-testing will begin as well. Scarya nd exciting all wrapped in one! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

first official expense


This is a receipt for the paperwork that I mailed to the clinic today. It is now official! We are are on our way to ttc baby number 2. We have decided to go with the clinic in Jacksonville. We chose them for a few different reasons, one of which is that there is no wait at this time. We should be able to get started very shortly. Well, as "shortly" as anything infertility related goes. Once they receive my medical records and new patient forms someone will call me to schedule my phone consult. From there I will do any testing and begin choosing our embryos. ***And Chelle, to answer your question, they do have several sets of mixed race embryos currently available**. And then it is just a matter of scheduling, getting my meds, and traveling. We are hoping that we will be ready by November at the latest, maybe even October.

When I spoke to the clinic last week I told them that I needed to get back with them before we scheduled anything. I have been so torn on which clinic to choose. Last time everything just fell into place without much effort on my part. This time we have too many decisions to make. But as soon as I hung up I felt like this was the place to go. DH told me to call right back and get started and I did. Then I asked to speak to the financial office again to clarify something and my original estimate was off by about $500. And I might have to travel twice. Then I began to doubt. Is God really going to provide the money needed? Is this the right place? Is this a sign to look elsewhere? Doubts just flooded my mind. Then I was angry that finances was even a consideration. Teenagers get pregnant for free every day. Crack whores make money while getting pregnant. And I have to pay. And pay a lot! Then I felt guilty. God HAS provided the money for us and I need to just rest in Him.

We received an inheritance from my MIL's estate. Not a large one by any means, but enough to get a new used vehicle, pay off some bills and try EA again. The problem that I am struggling with is that the more we spend on EA the less we have for bills. Hubby racked up some medical bills over the last year and we want to get all of that paid off. But we may not be able to. And that is okay. I would rather make payments on the bills and try for a baby now. So I am learning to be thankful and patient. Thankfulness is not so difficult, but that patience one is HARD!

So sit back, buckle up and let's enjoy this ride together!! I could really use the support! ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One step closer....

I finally heard from the clinic today. Their program sounds great but there are still two details that I need to know before a decision is made: how many trips are required and the cost breakdown. The coordinator did not have the financial information and passed it along to the person that does and she is supposed to call "in the next day or so". I will call her tomorrow. I am ready to get moving on this. Oh, and the best part about this clinic is that they have 20 sets of embryos currently available and while some are mixed race there are several caucasion ones (our only criteria) and once we have our phone consult we can get started. I like this!!!! I also like that we can reserve all of the embryos in the batch for future use if we so choose. You don't find this very often with anonymous programs. Actually, I have not seen this before.

So we wait...again. But hopefully only a few more days.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Communication....or the lack thereof

We all have pet peeves. Some hate nail biting. Others hate incorrect use of words. I have one. Okay, I have several (I am quite picky) but the one that is probably my biggest pet peeve is non-communication. Several years ago I was the asst. manager of an optical office. My "boss" was a 22 year old kid that I did not get paid enough to babysit. He was also one of those that never returned calls or forgot to call to inform patients that their glasses were ready. I hated for him to answer the phone because I knew that if it was something that needed a return phone call it was not going to happen and then I would have to try to take care of it. I feel that if you work in customer service, or just if you are a decent human being, you should communicate. I was not perfect but I tried my dead level best to return calls.

Since we started this journey for baby number two back in February we have met more than our fair share of bad communicators. And it is DRIVING ME CRAZY!!! The whole things started with the first donor couple I met through Miracles Waiting. We started with emails and we both responded very quickly. I was completely honest about anything and everything concerning our lives so that there were no surprises. We spoke on the phone and she "chose" us though she was preferring someone that could do the FET right away (we knew it would be about 6 months). I did tell her that if at any time she needed to choose a different couple that could do the FET now that I understood but asked that she please inform me right away and she assured me that we were "the ones" but promised to communicate.

So things began moving forward and I was speaking with the coordinator at her clinic to get things started. Here we found communication to be an issue. The coordinator was bad about returning calls. So I emailed and while she would respond it was only to answer half of the questions I had asked. Or she would refer me to someone else in the clinic and I would have to bounce around, never really getting answers. Then one day I was told that the clinic was getting "conflicting information" from the donor couple. I was floored. I emailed them and........nothing.

I posted soon after about this and that day I received an email from another woman that had embryos and she really felt that our family was a great fit. The story went much like the one above. At that time hubby and I decided to quit all attempts at a known donation and to return to anonymous as we had done previously. My heart was a bit sad at this as I had hoped to have a relationship with the donor couple. But I was so done with this lack of communication.

Fast forward to now. We are ready to go! We just need to decide which clinic to go with and there are two that we really like.  One I am not sure of the details so I called last Wednesday and left a message for the donor coordinator. Her voicemail states that she will return your call within 24-48 hours. Late Thursday I tried to reach her a second time and I was then informed that she was out of the office until Monday. On Monday I called again and left yet another message. Then I went to the internet to search out reviews of this clinic and while a lot was really good there were several people that mentioned how difficult it was to reach the donor coordinator. Some as far back as 2008. This really bothers me. How am I supposed to trust this clinic if they cannot return simple phone calls? The other clinic we are considering has been great about calling back and for that reason we will most likely go there.

Now I must go. I need to call the car dealership that has yet to return our 3 phone inquiries regarding a van that they have for sale.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I made "the call" today

It is time. Time to start for baby number two (and maybe even three....yikes). We have the money and we are ready to go. Now we must decide which clinic we are going to use. It is a toss up between Jacksonville Fertility Clinic and the Fertility and Surgical Associates. I have spoken with the second one and like them a lot. The first one I called today and am waiting to hear back. The only information I have on the Jacksonville one from another patient. If what I have been told is true (you get all of the embryos and if the first try is unsuccessful you pay $1400 for subsequent tries with all of the embryos in the batch) then this is the one we are leaning towards. Both of them have about the same initial fees. Now I need confirmation on the their program and to know the wait times before we decide.

I am a bit nervous to start this whole process again. What if it doesn't work? What if it does and we have triplets?? Well, whatever the outcome we are ready to try again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What options do you have for your embryos?

Anyone that has been through the trial of infertility know just how difficult it is. Each step is agonizing. What steps do you take? Should you wait? Is adoption the path we should choose? Is it time to see an RE? Which RE should we see? Is IVF right for us? How many embryos should we transfer? Every question we ask revolves around bringing a healthy baby home. Too often we do not put a lot of thought into what will happen if there are embryos that we are unable to use. Yes, we understand that the possibility is there, but it is not the main focus when in the midst of fertility treatments. But when everything is over and the dust clears we are forced to face the decision of what to do with the remaining little embryos.

There are a few options available to couples faced with this dilemma. You can discard them, donate them to research, leave them frozen until you pass away and let someone else handle it, or donate them to another couple. Most people know about all of these option except for the option to donate them.  I have not been through IVF and have not been faced with this decision. However, I am the recipient of donated embryos and wanted to help spread the word to those that may be considering their options.

What to do with your embryos is not an easy decision for most and definitely not one to be taken lightly. Each couple will need to do what is best and right for them and their family. But during this time please take a moment to consider donating your embryos to couple that would otherwise never have the chance to have a child. There are several ways in which to donate:

*Anonymously through your clinic. Some clinics have programs that will accept your embryos and allow another patient use them. You will not receive any information about the recipients nor have any contact with them. This option is good for couples that would prefer not to know what happens or if there are any children that result from the procedure.

*Find a couple yourself through Miracle's Waiting. This site is matching site where placing and recipient couples can find each other. All legal contracts and transferring of ownership are done by the two families. Some people also look to blogs, message boards and other forums featuring embryo adoption or donation and will find a recipient that way. You can choose that the recipients complete background check and provide references or even have a current home study, though this is not as common. People looking to find embryos through MW or forums are usually hoping to keep costs down as it is much less expensive than using the agencies that find a match for you.

*Embryo Adoption. Snowflakes, the NEDC and Cedar Park are organizations that will allow you to be matched with couples looking to "adopt" embryos. Adoptive families undergo a home study and you can choose an open, semi-open or closed situation. All embryos will be shipped to the recipient family's clinic (unless you request they travel to your clinic) except with the NEDC as they do the transfers at their clinic.

*Embryos Alive will find a recipient family for your embryos. Recipient couples must do a home study or a dossier before being chosen.

There are more clinics and programs out there but these are some of the more popular ones available and a good place to start when looking for information on donating your embryos. If you are reading this then you are most likely considering this option and I want to thank you for that regardless of what decision you make. I have an amazing (almost) 2 year old that was from an anonymous donation through our clinic. She is amazing and I cannot imagine life without her. To the right of my blog are a list of blogs that pertain to embryo donation/adoption. Feel free to read them and learn more about couples that grown their family through the selfless donation of other couples.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Clinics with EA/D programs?

I have a list of clinics that I know for a fact that have EA/D programs and am trying to keep it updated. I have found a few more clinics to add but if you know of one that is not currently on my list (link above) please post it here or email me at agreateryesblog @ gmail.com. Please include as much information as possible: Name, location (or link with that information), costs, if a home study is required,  approx. wait time and if it is for current patients only.

I know that there is a sit that has a list of clinic but I have found that list to be incredibly inaccurate.  Finding clinics is so difficult and I am trying to compile a list to make it easier for those that are just beginning the process. Thanks!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

EA still so foreign??

I am a member of a forum called Baby Center. They have a forum on there called the Debate Team. Why I read there I will never know, but I do. Today someone posted a question about whether you can be pro-life and pro-IVF. I was surprised, no shocked, at how little people really know about IVF and embryos. Some of the posts there stated:

*with IVF you have to destroy unused embryo
*there are just not enough families for all of the embryos
*and somewhere in there Octomom came up. Like she is a reputable source!
*some had no idea that you could even donate embryos

I am pro-life and pro-IVF and a Christian. Yes, you can be all three. However, I think that if you choose to do IVF you need to do so responsibly, knowing that there may be embryos left over and have a solid plan on what you will do with them. I posted on there to educate them on the fact that while yes, there are many, many, many embryos currently in storage most are going to be used by the genetic parents. And that there are more waiting families that embryos available for adoption/donation. And that just because someone has 6 embryos does not mean that all will survive the thaw or implant.

Do you find that people still don't understand EA? Or even IVF which has been around quite awhile? Do you try to educate them?

Friday, June 29, 2012

I hate to see a baby suffer :(

As much as infertility pains me, nothing hurts my heart more than to see a baby suffer. Today I read about a little 3 month old baby girl with severe GERD. We hear this diagnosis and we think, oh, she spits up. But it is so much more than that. Her's is so severe that she has to hospitalized and even has seizures from it. I had no idea that was even possible! What is worse is that her insurance is denying her the medication she needs. How is that even right?? The medication would keep her from going into the hospital as often but they refuse to pay for it. Sadly, her family is struggling and the extra $300 a month is killing them. If you are able to help here is her ChipIn site: Help Everly. And even if you can't help you can pray for this little one.

**I do not know this family personally so donate at your own discretion. I first read her story here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

it is just not time yet.....

I hate writing that, but it is true. I so badly want another baby. Right now! Or at least be on the waiting list for embryos. Right now. But to add one more thing to my plate would most likely cause me to be institutionalized.  My life is consumed with caring for Maddie, watching my niece every day and taking hubby to therapy (lymphatic therapy for his leg). He started with a month of visits but it has now been extended for 3 months. The therapist is 30 miles away and the session lasts 90 minutes. With traffic we are easily gone for 3 hours. Thankfully I don't take him every day. His friend takes him the majority of the time but is out of town right now so it all falls to me for the next week and a half.

Add to this that Maddie is the poster child for "terrible twos" and there is just no way to that I can add a consultation, testing and dealing with clinics to this list. Right now I have 4 baskets of laundry to fold, a sink full of dishes and a floor covered in toys and books. Hubby will fold the laundry but I have to bring it to him (his leg is in a soft cast and mobility is an issue right now), the kids will pick up the toys but I have to supervise, and the dishes, well those are left to me. I just don't have the energy right now to care let alone actually do anything about it all.

So we continue in "wait" mode. I hate waiting. Detest it really. Yet it is what is best. I am so tired of waiting. Yet I am just plain tired right now so there is no other option.

On a good note though, Maddie is sleeping much better! Not great. Not even really good. But much better. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A hidden danger in our homes

Ten years ago today a friend of mine lost her 18 month old daughter. Was it a disease? No. A car accident? No, not that either. Then SIDS? No, not SIDS. She lost her daughter in an accident that should never have happened. She died from a 100% preventable accident. So why wasn't it prevented? Why didn't this woman protect her precious little child? Because she didn't know. And maybe you don't either. I had no idea until until I learned of Cheyenne's death that this was even possible.

If you have children, watch children or are trying to have children you MUST read this story!! I will summarize it for you but please take a moment to follow the link and read her story. Cheyenne died from a window blind. You are thinking that you have heard about the dangers of window blind cords before so this isn't new. Tragic, but not new. But Cheyenne did not die from the pull cord. Her mom, like all of us, had put that out of reach to protect her baby. No, Cheyenne, while in her crib, grabbed the cord that held the slats together and that was what wrapped around her neck and killed her. You can read the full story here: PFWBS: 10 years ago today.

Please take a moment to read it. Then share it, pin it and tell someone else.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Infertility or not....

parenting a toddler is hard! Nothing prepares you for this! LOL At the end of the day I feel as though I worked a 40 hour work week. Actually, that would be like a vacation. So what is Miss Maddie doing that is driving me towards insanity, you ask? Where do I start?

The other day Maddie kept telling me she had to "poop!!" Her diaper was dry so I took it off and placed her on the big potty. And nothing. I went to put on her diaper and she totally freaked out. I then got out her potty chair and let her run au naturel. She kept sitting on it and nothing...again. So I turned to throw something away and on my way back into the living room I noticed something just wasn't right. It took me a moment to realize that there was a big people size turd on the carpet. Gross!!! She was now wearing the potty chair bowl on her head and squatting and pointing at her poo poo say "Oh no!". How this all happened in less than 30 seconds I will never know!

Then another night she had had her bath and was dressed in a night gown and diaper and laying on our bed watching TV. Hubby and I were in the living room watching our show and here comes Maddie walking through the living room. Naked. Carrying a dirty diaper to her bedroom to throw away in her diaper pail.

Today she put her hands down her diaper and then showed me her poop covered fingers. Lovely!

Not everything is centered around poop though. Oh, no, not at all. This afternoon she dumped her lunch onto her tray and proceeded to smear it all over her body and hair and then tossed it onto the floor. All while I was yelling at her to stop but I was unable to get to her as I was feeding my niece. 

Right now she is sharing chocolate covered raisins with her dad. She is sucking off the chocolate and giving the raisins back to dad.

I love this kid! She keeps me busy, wears me out, and turns my hair gray but I wouldn't change it for the world!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oh, Pinterest! How I love thee!

Have you jumped on the Pinterest train yet? If you haven't you really do not know what you are missing. And that ain't no exaggeration! It is genius! For those that are not familiar (if there are any left out there) Pinterest is a place to find, keep and organize ideas. Like if you see a recipe that you just have to try you can "pin" it to your Recipe board. Then later, when you are feeling creative, you can easily find it again and dazzle your family with your amazing cooking skilz.

My favorite things to "pin" are recipes, DIY projects, party ideas, and craft ideas. I have made several things too and all but one has been great. Are you a pinner? What are your favorite things or people to follow? I did find RESOLVE today on there and they had some nice IF related pics that I pinned.

If you are not a pinner you really should become one. You know you wanna be cool like the rest of us! ;)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


In the early years of IF it really sucked to see all of my friends have babies before I did, but it was worse when they all started having baby #2, #3 and even #4 while I still waited for my first one. But to have fellow infertiles lap me really sucks!!! Not that I am not happy for them because no one deserves it more than those that have walked the road of infertility, but I am sad for me. Soon after we found out I was pregnant with Maddie 3 fellow infertile friends that I know in real life all announced that they were pregnant as well. It was a sweet time as they had been through a lot. Now ALL THREE of them are pregnant again. Yes, all three. And to top it off the two women at church that had a baby just a few months before I had Maddie have had a baby and one is pregnant. But I expect this from fertiles. It is my fellow infertile sisters leaving me in the dust that reminds me just how jacked up my reproductive system is.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Is she really almost 2 years old?

Maddie will be 21 months on the 25th. That means in 3 months she will be 2 years old. Where did my baby go? I have cherished this time and wish that I could rewind or even play parts of in slow motion. I may never get to do this again and hate to see time pass so quickly.  She is now a kid. A child with opinions. She is talking more every day. She takes her shoes off and puts them away without being told. She plays alone in her room. She throws her diapers away. She helps her cousin with her bottle. She has her favorite shows, Boo's Coos (Blue's Clues), Go! (Go, Diego, Go!) and Buppies (Bubble Guppies, my personal fave. "What time is it? Its time for lunch!" and "Everybody line up, line up, line!"). She is an individual. It is crazy!!! But I love to watch her grow and mature.

Now, what to do for her party? I am not a "theme" person. I like it coordinated and a color theme, but not like a character theme. But it is not about me, but Maddie. And she loves Elmo. A lot! So we may do an Elmo theme as much as it pains me. But I already have her outfit and it is not Elmo. Is that okay? Or do I need to get her a new outfit? Or scratch the theme? What to do? What to do?? Whatever I am going to do I want to get started soon. I love party planning and like to make things myself and need time to work on it. I just can't believe I am even thinking about this already. She just turned one! Time really does fly!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

allowing myself to get excited

We have been hoping to pursue EA again this year and try for baby number two (and maybe three). Hubby has been super excited and can't wait to get started but I have been a bit reserved. Life has ca-razy!!! I am caring for my nieces and Maddie all day, taking hubby to therapy most days, working my ministries at church, and taking care of hubby as he has a soft cast on his leg right now. All of Maddie's care and the house and everything is falling to me right now. And Maddie is just starting to sleep better, but barely. Just the thoughts of getting started in the process is overwhelming to me. I know that we will be on a wait list for up to 6 months but I just can't think about it right now.

Then this week things eased up a bit and I think that I might be ready to make that call and schedule my phone consult. I even started looking at some maternity clothes and baby stuff again. It is kind of exciting! But scary as there is no guarantee that it will work. But I can't think like that. Just one step at a time!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My love/hate with Mother's Day

For some reason I always assumed that once I got pregnant or adopted that I would embrace Mother's Day. I thought that I would anticipate the day, wake up with a smile that morning. I would be "in the club". Yet that is not the case. I no longer hate the day, but I don't love it either. It is difficult to love a day that so many dread. It is a bit like being married 9/11/00, before 9/11. Each time you state your anniversary date you hope that the person asking did not lose someone that day. Like it feels "wrong" to have enjoy that date while so many people lost loved ones. Mother's Day is a bit like that. When I hear someone wish a woman (a stranger) "Happy Mother's Day" my heart immediately skips a beat as I look at her face to see if she is trying to hide her pain. Has she lost her own mother? Is she dealing with infertility? The loss of a child? Does my joy cause her grief? Does she feel her heart shatter when she sees Maddie grab my face and give me a kiss and call me Momma? It hurts my heart to know that I now may cause others pain.

 I love the idea of Mother's Day as a mother's job is never ending. It is often a thankless job and mom's deserve to be recognized and honored on a day all their own. I just wish that it didn't come with a price to another. The days before Maddie were hard, but Mother's Day the hardest of them all. I would wake with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. Many times I did not get dressed and vegged in front of the television stuffing my face. How can I now celebrate the same day? How do I ignore the person that I was and embrace the one that I am now? In reality I can't. The two people have become one. I will never forget those years of waiting and the truth is I don't want to forget. It are those memories that make me who I am today. Infertility has taught me compassion, empathy, and patience. I am a kinder person for having gone through it all. So this, my second Mother's Day, I will celebrate my own mother, my daughter and the journey that brought me to to her. But I will also take time to pray for those hurting and I hope that you will join me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maddie is my "never"

After so many years of infertility I never thought that we would actually have a child so in that way Maddie is my "never". But she is my "never" in another way as well. Before having a child of my own I made many statements about what I would "never" do or allow. Maddie has tested almost every theory I had! I said that I would never allow a baby to have a bottle past her 1st birthday. Maddie had one until she was 18 months old. I said I would never let a child sleep with me. Yep, Maddie is in our bed at least half of the night. And tantrums? I was never going to allow those. Ha! Maddie has definitely shown me!! It is funny how I was able to be strict with any and every child that I cared for as a daycare worker, a nanny, and watching kids in my home yet I totally cave when Maddie challenges me. Not every time but man, this kid pushes boundaries. But I gotta say, I love this little terror. Maddie will be 21 months this month. She is talking a lot and learning new things every day. While I enjoy this stage immensely I miss my "baby". I have baby fever like crazy right now. Crazy being the operative word here. Maddie still does not sleep through the night and the thoughts of having two kids waking me every night is enough to cause me to crawl into the fetal position and look for a happy place. Yet I still want another bambino. I little, bitty squishy baby. I want another one of those! Yet I feel guilty for wanting to try again when there are so many still waiting for one. But I know that me having a child does not change what happens to another infertile. We all have our own unique path to walk and each step is our own. But I want to make it all fair and every infertile have one before anyone can have a second one. But I don't get that choice, though I wish I did. So we will take the next step for us this summer and see where it leads us. Praying that it is to a sibling for miss Maddie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Not sure I like this!

I logged in today to see that my page had the new Blogger layout. I am not sure if I like this or not. Actually, I might like it but I dislike change. Change throws off my groove. But I will get used to it and most likely prefer it over the old layout. This week is NIAW and to be honest, I have done nothing. No posts on FB, no blog posts, nothing. I had planned to at least post something on my FB status and I still might, but life is so crazy right now I haven't put a lot of thought into it. So tell me what you have done and maybe I will borrow (aka steal) your idea. ;-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

For your viewing pleasure!

Maddie is getting so big! I haven't shared a photo of her in ages so I thought I would do that today.

Here is her Easter photo. There were some really great shots of her but only one or two without her tongue hanging out. Not sure why she feels the need to do that in photos. (It is a pic of a pic so it is a bit blurry)

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

At Chuck E. Cheese

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Here she is throwing a royal fit. She wants to sit IN that little truck and is furious that she won't fit. Normally her tantrums are not funny but this one was. She kept opening the door and trying to gt her foot in it to sit in it and drive. She did this for almost an hour. Crazy, stubborn kid!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Maddie and her little boyfriend. They are adorable together. They are always kissing each other and holding hands. One day they were passing a baby doll back and forth. I see trouble in our future!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Red light! Green light!

I swear that is what my life feels like, a game of Red Light, Green Light. Especially in the infertility department. Here it is in bullet points:

*started ttc: Green light
*testing reveals a lot of problems: Red light
*decided to pursue private domestic adoption: Green light
*first attempt failed: Red light
*began waiting again: Green light
*second attempt an epic fail: Red light
*began ttc again: Green light
*4 failed IUIs: Red light
*pursued EA: Green light
*first contact on Miracles Waiting: Green light
*they changed their mind: Red light
*found a clinic program and had successful pg: Green light
*second attempt at EA: Green light
*first contact through MW: Green light
*no response from donor couple: Red light
*second try with a different donor couple: Green light
*no response from them: Red light
*found a clinic in CA: Green light
*asked if interested in adopting a baby boy: ??????????

Yes, you read that right. We were asked if we were interested in adopting a less than year old baby boy. That is about all I know right now. The mom does not want (how sad) him and family cannot keep him so they are considering their options. Does this sound promising? No, not at all. But I have no idea what God has in mind and we are open to whatever He wants. But seriously, can we just get some directions here?!?!? This up and down, stop and go stuff is getting old. All of the these situations contact us and then they don't work out. I wish that we could get a clear answer on what is going to happen in our lives. I feel like a kid playing a game of Red Light, Green Light waiting for the next color to be called. Ahhhhh!!!!!!!

hubby is home!

Things have been so crazy around here and I just haven't had time to update. Hubby's kidney function began to go back to normal on Saturday and by Monday he was great and ready to come home. It is so great to have him home! Now just to keep him healthy now.

Friday, April 13, 2012

when life hands you lemons

....make lemonade. Or so the saying goes. But sometimes that is not possible. I think that this is one of those times. Back in December dh ended up in the hospital with cellulitis and septicemia. There was a day or two that we were not sure if he was going to survive, but praise God, he did! At this time he found a new primary doctor and went to work on improving his health. He had a ton of tests done and found a few issues that needed attention. He also began to work on losing weight. It took a few months but we finally found Medifast and it worked. He lost 6 pounds the first week! All seemed to be going in the right direction.

Then came Tuesday. It was like deja vu. He was back in the hospital, this time with fevers spiking over 104 degrees WITH Tylenol. It was scary!! This lasted 2 days and then things started to get better. his white blood cell count was going back to normal, his cultures came back normal, his heart rate was normal again. Things looked good, like he could come home today. But then we got news that his kidneys were not functioning at 100%. His creatinine was slightly elevated bt his BUN was still normal. Today his creatinine increased more and his BUN is high now too. They told me what they were concerned about but the name escapes me. Basically they are checking to see if he is in renal failure. They did an ultrasound on his kidneys and we should know more tomorrow.

They have thrown around a few ideas on what is causing this but they are not certain what exactly is going on. There is a chance that the antibiotics caused it but they changed them and it is still increasing. They also mentioned that Medifast might be a problem but he was only on it for 8 days and has been off for 5 days now and I would think that at some point it would have quit going up. So really, we just don't know what is going on.

I will be honest, I am concerned. Very concerned. If he loses function in both kidneys he will end up on dialysis. He will now be a candidate for a transplant with his current weight. If he has kidney issues he will not be able to continue Medifast, the first diet to ever work for him. I am just not ready to lose him and kidney issues are scary. I may be completely overreacting but I can't help it. Maddie needs he daddy. I need my hubby.

Please pray for him. And if you know anything about kidney issues that you could share please feel free to contact me. Also, Maddie and I could use a bit of prayer. She is having a really hard time with all of this. And I am so stressed out right now. Between going to the hospital, caring for 2 kids during the days and not sleeping I am exhausted. I just want him home and healthy.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

sleep training sucks

Really, it does. It is by far the worst part about parenting. I can handle the melt downs and power struggles. I can handle the messes and getting into things. I can handle just about anything except sleep training. If she didn't wake me up 4-5 times when she sleeps with us I would just let it go and let her co-sleep until kindergarten. But this 2 1/2 foot creature is a bed hog. Hubby and I are in no way small people and Maddie takes more space than both of us combined. How is that even possible?

Wednesday night hubby had someone over to discuss business related stuff and the guy stayed too long and Maddie fell asleep before he left. She slept horrible that night. Then Thursday I decided to rock her alone in her room and try to get her good and sleepy before I tried to lay her down. The moment I move to get up she freaks. She arches her back and screams. Ridiculous! After 30 min of this I set her down and got out the tool box. Now, I did not try to disassemble her to look for a loose wire. Promise! I thought about it but I refrained. No, I took her bed apart and converted it to a toddler bed. Then I laid next to her to see if I could get her to lay down that way. And did she? Yeah right! Not my child. At that point I threw my hands up and went to the living room. She climbed up on my lap and went right to sleep. *insert eye roll here* The good news was that when I laid her down there was no crying and she slept in her room all nit. Half of it was with her on the floor but who cares?!?!? It was in her room!!

Last night I did a repeat of holding her to sleep and laying her down and it worked like a charm. Only last night she was up at 2 am. I tried to keep her in her bed but when she started to want down to play I quickly gathered her, her baby, her blankie and her puppy and brought her to bed with us. If she wakes up fully the kid is u for hours.

So now we will try to get her to like her new big girl bed and fall asleep in there. We will work on staying there next. Maybe I should just use some duct tape.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

sleep training night 2: SUCCESS....sort of

So last night was much of the same. I did wait a bit longer to lay her down, until she was good and sleepy; drowsy but awake. The instant I picked her up to take her to bed she arched her back and started crying. I laid her down and shut the door and it got worse. After 3o minutes of pure torture I went in but did not pick her up. I sat next to her bed and tried to calm her down. I offered to hold her hand and lay there but she wanted none of it. She wanted OUT!! I gave it 5 more minutes and I brought her out to the living room again. She fell right to sleep and I laid her down immediately and she stayed asleep. So while this part was not overly successful the next part is: She slept ALL NIGHT LONG! In her OWN bed! Yeah, you read that right. Nine and a half hours of blissful slumber. For her, not me. I woke up 3 times to check on her. But she SLEPT!!

Honestly, rocking her to sleep does not bother me. I actually enjoy it. Probably why she is so spoiled now. If she will sleep all night I could care less how we achieve it. So I count night 2 as a success. Now onto day three!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

sleep training night one: EPIC FAIL

Since I had all of these years to prepare to be a mom, 12 to be exact, I thought for sure that I would be perfect. Stepford almost, just not so creepy. I was going to breastfeed until at least a year, use cloth diapers, make my own organic baby food, and maybe even solve all of the world's problems in my spare time. I was prepared! Then I had a baby. Maddie started out with jaundice throwing a wrinkle in my nursing plans. I could have still nursed but her numbers were so high we decided to supplement. She then refused to nurse. That coupled with 8 weeks of migraines I gave up.

Now cloth diapering I did so much better. I lasted 13 months with those. High five to me! But making my own baby food? Not so much. But Maddie really didn't care for food until she was 8 or 9 months and I had been given so much food from a friend that there was never any need. So that one does not count. But my biggest challenge was not one that I had even planned for: sleeping. Maddie was a great sleeper at first. But she was jaundiced and it makes then lethargic. That first week was awesome! She slept for 3 hours and we would wake her to eat and then she went right back to sleep. For a tired momma recovering from a c-section it was heaven. Then it was over.

Once she recovered she never slept well again. Hubby and I would take turns but we were always so exhausted. Then at 3 months the ear infections started and things just got worse. Maddie's chronic ear infections caused her to develop even worse sleep habits. To her sleeping meant waking up in pain. It was not every night but I don't think that her tiny brain understood that. She just knew that she did not like how it felt to wake up. We have battled these ear infection for 15 months and now that they seem to be over (crosses fingers, toes, even eyes) we have decided it is time to teach her to not only fall asleep alone but to stay in her bed all night.

Last night was the first night. We started a routine of bath, brush teeth, read books then bed. I let her pick a baby to take with her and she had her blankie and cup of water and we went to her room. She walked to that room like a man on death row going to the chair. It was pitiful. As soon as I hugged her and told her that I loved her she started to scream. And scream. And scream some more. After 30 minutes I went in to comfort her and put her back down. Her whole body quivered and shuddered and she hugged me so tight. I tried to put her back down and the screaming started again. I just couldn't do it. It broke my mommy heart. So I carried her to the living room and held her. She quickly fell asleep but continued to shudder for another 5 minutes. I then laid her down and she woke up and cried but I remained strong and left her. She only cried for 10 minutes, this time without ear piercing screams.

Though not a total loss it was not as I had hoped, yet what I expected. She lasted in her room until 1 am and then cried until I brought her to bed with us. Yes, another bad habit. But one we developed to keep our sanity. The problem with cosleeping with her is that she hates if I move at all and wakes if I do. I move a lot so we both wake up often. I am always so tired and dread night time because of this.

We will try again tonight. Hopefully it will go better. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!