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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thyroid, Vitamin D and IF

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

infertility colored glasses

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

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

thyroid issues and ttc

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

For those that have asked

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

Planning my trip

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

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

Monday, April 22, 2013


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

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

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hope & Despair

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

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

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

Monday, April 15, 2013

fatty is getting fit

In February I went to the doctor and they weighed me. Why do they do that?? Seriously, I know that I am fat. You reading those three large digits doesn't make me know it more. I are what I are and I are fat. But that all changes now! You see this fatty is getting fit! About 5 weeks ago the hubby and completely changed how we eat. We don't diets. They never work and all I do is end up crying everyday, dreaming of cheesecake and chocolate. Instead we made a lifestyle change. We have been eliminating processed foods from our diet, we no longer drink soda and limit coffee, our sugar consumption is waaaayyyy down and we upped our fruits and veggies. Especially veggies. We used to eat 1-2 servings a day and now we are between 5-7 a day. Huge change!!! And it feels great too!

During the last 2 months (5 weeks of which I changed my eating) I have lost 14 pounds! This is the most that I have lost on my own (pregnancy was good to me and I lost 30 lbs) in years. When I married my hubby I was smokin' hot and skinny. Okay, maybe not smoking, but not bad at all. Look, my boobs were bigger than my belly back then.

  photo 009_9.jpg

But now, not so much. Oh, I am still hot. ;-) But now I am a hot chubby chick. ;-) So now that I am on my way to losing weight it is time to start exercising too. We have a local church that has a gym that is free to use. It is really nice and I used to go before I had Maddie. Tonight I am attending an orientation and will start working out there again. Hopefully I can get back to my skinny self. Maybe then my daughter won't look at my wedding photo and ask who is kissing her daddy. LOL

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

tic tock, tic tock

Time is flying by and May will be here before you know it! Why does that matter? Because May we try again!!! AF just came....and went....and now it is just the waiting game until she returns in 21-ish more days. Then the meds and appointments start. And about 3 weeks into May I will live for Florida. Between now and then life will be hectic. We are planning a yard sale on the 20th. We are collecting donations of items from people to help raise the rest of the moolah we need. My sister and I are doing the sale together. She has a crap-ton of baby stuff that she is selling (for herself) but anything that does not sell she is giving to me and the following week a local place is doing a Baby Bonanza sale that I will take the remaining stuff to. They charge you $40 to sell there, but if we have enough it will be worth it. We are hoping to make $500 between the two sales. More would be nice, but $500 would be awesome! Anything will help though.

I am nervous about trying again. Getting a negative was so much harder than I thought it would be. I hate the thoughts of going through it again. But try we must. And try we will. Soon! While I am nervous I am also excited. I dream of being pregnant again. Had I been a fertile gal I could have been a Dug.gar. Or maybe a surrogate as the twos really are terrible at times and having 19 littles running around might drive me batty. But I really do enjoy being pregnant and desperately want another chance. But I remind myself that it is up to Him and I want His will. And I pray that His will includes a sibling for Maddie.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ready to start a website

I have mentioned before about wanting to start a website dedicated to embryo adoption and donation resources. Every website out there is run by a clinic or matching/adoption agency. While there is one that tends to be less biased than all of the rest, it is hard to find one that will give you all of the options that are available. So I am planning to start one that will do that. One that is not personal opinion, but one that will give people a step by step on how to start the process, which agencies are available, how to ship embryos, a list of lawyers that handle contracts for transferring ownership of embryos, clinic programs, etc. I have a name chosen and now I just need to decide which service to use. Because this is all out of my pocket I don't want to spend a fortune each month. Yet free sites have super long URLs and I don't want that either. So I need something that is inexpensive and easy to use. I have used MSN's and it was like $15 a year and the URL was of my choosing. The problem was that it did not have a lot of options and I was unable to change my billing info and I ended up having to shut it down.

Any advice? Suggestions? Help! Also, share you thoughts on what you think would be helpful on the site.

Monday, April 1, 2013

needed this today

Sadly, the past few weeks have been sad and disappointing in bloggy land. It seems like every day there is another loss, another negative. Between this and my own negative cycle 2 months ago it is hard to be optimistic about my next cycle. Each time I read about another blogger suffering from a loss or a BFN I hurt for them. And I feel that pain all over again. I hate that infertility is wrought with so much sadness. I can't help but wonder if it will work next time. A part of me wants to just stop now and and not put myself through this again. But the truth is that no matter what I have to try again. I am not ready to give up.

So this pic is for all of you that need it today. I hope that it is as much an encouragement to you as it was to me.