Sunday, May 29, 2011


Sorry I've been MIA, some amazing things have been happening in my life:
-lake weekend with the girls
-got a job that in my mind is a true "dream job" for me. It combines teaching and nursing, I can work 8 hour days instead of 12's, and have a more routine schedule. Many good things to come with this new role that I start Tuesday.
-my very good friend is getting married in 6 days, so we've had a month of preparation and bridal showering, which has been great.
On the baby front, no I'm not pregnant. But, I am happy to report that my last cycle which was a "break" cycle found me actually ovulating on a decent day, and having a normal luteal phase (aside from some spotting here and there). Moreover, I am satisfied to say that my much needed break lead me to the title of this post: surrender.
It's not all positive, I won't lie. In the realm of babymaking, I do, to date feel like somewhat of a failure. I have worked hard, peed on many a stick, used sperm friendly lubricant, taken my temperature, had tons of sex, taken 3 months of clomid, and now, as I enter my 23rd month since we decided to have a baby, and our 15th cycle post ectopic pregnancy of trying, I have not succeeded.
I surrender.
I surrender.
Literally picture me, tears rolling down my face, hands up in the air, and I yell "I surrender. God help me, I want to be a mom more than ever, show me how. Give me this gift, I beg you. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change those I can and the wisdom to know the difference." Bear in mind I am not a very religious person. I've spent the better part of the past year questioning God's existance and his reasoning for the curveballs that flat out plow into us some sunny Tuesday afternoon. But, I have to believe there is a plan. I have to believe that one day, somehow, all of this struggle and defeat will lead me to something amazing. And at that point, I'll turn around, look back, and share this with someone who needs me to be there for them.
I was supposed to start Femara this cycle, and today is cycle day one. Just typing that deflates my energy because here I am again, at the beginning, another cycle, another month gone, another empty uterus shedding itself for whats to come. I am not doing Femara this month. With my new job I have decided to allow myself another month off. I really need a break. I really feel like the best statement is, "I cannot do this anymore." So, of course we'll still try, non medicated, and I dont really have a plan. I suppose if I want to do ovulation testing I will when the time comes, but I'm really not sure right now. Its like for the first time in my life I don't have a plan and I really don't care. Cause, I've done everything that I can do, so maybe letting go is the key.
I know this post seems depressing, self loathing, pointless. But oddly enough my new revelation is calming to me, it really simply feels "ok." In my heart of hearts I finally know that everything is going to work out, it just will.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is Alcohol Off Limits?

If you would have asked me this question two years ago when we started TTC I would have said, "yes." Now, the line is more fluid and rigid, and my answer varies. Almost two years have gone by and, lets face it, embarking on this crazy road alcohol free is effing nuts.

I'm not saying to go ahead and get hammered every weekend if you are trying for a baby, but find a happy medium. For me, I usually don't drink once I'm in the two week wait. This is the time after I've ovulated and have possibly (hopefully) had my egg broken into by a sperm.

I once read a study that said the most important days of development for a baby are days 17-47, as these are the days when the brain and spinal cord are formed. This means that when you are a mere 4-5 weeks pregnant the most important (in my book) organs are formed, followed by the heart (also pretty dang important) which starts beating at 6 weeks and 5 days gestation (or thereabouts). Its amazing how that little person has a beating heart at just 6 weeks, but has to hang out in our tummy until 40 weeks. Seems a bit excessive to me, but I'm possibly the most impatient person on the planet.

Back to the vodka, wine, beer, gin, and whiskey. Once I ovulate I abstain, for the most part. I will on occasion have a glass of wine with friends, but only one glass. Then once AF shows, I drink like a fish to cope with the idea of starting yet another cycle. I have a support group online of women struggling with infertility and one of them has patented the statement "drink til you see pink." Meaning, don't give up your wine until you have a positive pregnancy test. This is a little bit balsy for me, but it works for her.

I also cannot help but think of the thousands, probably even millions of women out there who were (in my opinion) lucky enough to have an "oops" pregnancy and how they didn't change there lifestyle until they knew they were pregnant. They probably didn't figure it out until they were about 6 weeks along, when their period is a couple weeks late and they finally stop worrying and take a test. By this time they've likely had a few drinks, and most of their babies are totally fine.

This chick I know told me once that her OB said she could have one beer or glass of wine a week while she was pregnant. I personally think her doctor is on crack, but whatever. Take that information and store it away if it makes you feel better. I once saw a chick in a bar who was like 8 months pregnant drinking a beer, and my husband had to take me home cause I was ready to karate chop her, or be nice and give her my number, in case she wanted to give the kid up for adoption. People never cease to amaze me

Do whats right for you, I guess. But, now that we've brought it up, doesn't a glass of wine sound amazing?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Cause all I know is everythings gonna be alright..."

Today I really believe this statement. Hopefully I'll believe it tomorrow, too.

To my husband: I love you.

"No One" (Alicia Keys)

I just want you close
Where you can stay forever
You can be sure
That it will only get better

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cause
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all i know is everything's going to be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

When the rain is pouring down
And my heart is hurting
You will always be around
This I know for certain

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cause
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all i know is everything's going to be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel

I know some people search the world
To find something like what we have
I know people will try, try to divide, something so real
So till the end of time I'm telling you there ain't no one

No one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Plan

Sorry its taken me a few days to update since my appointment. Honestly its taken us a little while to process things and decide what we're going to do. Let me explain.

It starts with the number 2.2. My AMH is 2.2. Right smack in the middle of normal. I have great egg reserve, and though I may have PCOS, if I do its so mild that it shouldn't affect my ability to conceive. So lets re-cap for a minute: I have enough eggs, I have two patent tubes, we have enough sperm, I have a normal uterus, and I do ovulate. So, whats the problem? The only identifiable problems are: I ovulate later than normal which could mean its not a strong ovulation and therefore cannot turn into a pregnancy, and/or my uterine lining is old when a fertilized egg enters the uterus it cannot attach. I have had one miscarriage, called an ectopic pregnancy only because the baby never made it to my uterus. This was extremely uncommon and has been written off by two different doctors as "a fluke." To me (and my RE agrees), that means that I need something to make me ovulation sooner. The #1 solution to that is Clomid, which for me, worked 1 out of 3 times. Conclusion: Clomid doesn't work for me.

After going over all of this, my RE still recommended IVF. To me, in the spectrum of fertility treatment, its a huge jump to go from oral medication to IVF. For my husband and I one IVF cycle will cost close to 9000.00. Holy Shit. That's a lot of money. The RE's rationale was that because I didn't react to Clomid, I would probably need injectable medications which can be about 300-500 bucks a cycle, I think. Plus the cost of IUI (intrauterine insemination) is about 500.00 making one cycle about 1000.00 or so with injectable medication. IUI is not nearly as effective as IVF, and the advantage of IVF is that they manipulate fertilization in a lab, so if there is an egg or sperm or sperm meets egg problem, they'll find it. If IUI fails, they cannot tell why it failed.

As much as I kind of thought I wanted to go to IVF, knowing that with my minimal issues it will probably work, once it was offered to me, I panicked. The RE told me he would do whatever treatment I wanted, but that his recommendation based on overall cost, and statistics was IVF. He did say that I had time to continue to try on my own, and could revisit IVF in a couple years because I have good egg reserve, so I'm not- in a sense- going to "run out" of eggs for a long time.

The bottom line, after a few days of soul searching and talking with my husband about where this journey has taken us is: we're not ready for IVF. I am also not very happy with my RE because his office has made several mistakes in their communication with me about costs of tests, they made me drive to my last appointment because they said they needed to see me in person, but my RE once I got there said that was wrong. I just don't know that I would trust this office to monitor me during an IVF cycle, if I ever decide to go that route.

I called my OB/GYN (the original doctor I was using who was treating me with Clomid) and asked for his help. I told him we wanted to try a couple of cycles using Femara, which is also a pill like Clomid, but works in a different way. It is used in women who don't respond to Clomid, and works to provide ovulation in a "normal" timeframe which would be on CD 14-17 (my ovulation is on CD 23-25). He agreed to work with me on a couple Femara cycles. He also said that if I was wanting to try IUI (recap: IUI= intrauterine insemination, so sperm are washed and the best ones are put directly into the uterus) he could perform that in his office as well.

So, we are going to take the summer to try Femara, and possibly do an IUI. Then, if after the summer I still haven't conceived, we will go to a different RE for a second opinion.

Whew, its been quite a week. Lots of crazy things have happened to me this week, and to people in my life. But we are almost through, tomorrow is another day, in the words of Dorie, "Just keep swimming."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Find what you already have..."

Tomorrow is Mothers Day. It's a day that makes me happy, grateful, and sad all at the same time. But, instead of letting the green monster of jealousy, or the blue monster of sadness take over I am grateful for all that I have; some of the most supportive friends in the world, a great mom, aunt, grandmother, all of whom deserve a "Happy Mother's Day" in my book, they've all come together to help me grow!

I get to watch many of my girlfriends be amazing mothers to their children, they have taught me so much without even knowing it, and I am so grateful. Though, I do hope to join the ranks soon. I feel as if I am a mother already, I nourish my body to support any potential baby, I do yoga to keep my spirit calm, I even talk with my ovaries sometimes about sending my husband an I a great egg to meet up with his sperm and make a baby.

Someone I know shared this with me recently, one of her friends who is on her way to motherhood found a very creative way to tell friends and family that she and her husband were expecting.
Please watch:

I always think of great ways to tell people when I finally get to make the announcement that our little one is on the way. If I get to announce it by 4th of July I want to attach an American flag to my little one's ultrasound photo and say something cute like, "God Bless America.....and our little one arriving (insert month) 2012." Another good one is to take a picture of my husband and I in matching clothes or something cheesy and do the old "matching t-shirts: 25 dollars, ordering photos: 3 dollars, knowing there are actually 3 people in this picture, priceless." That would be fun too, right?

If you are a mother, Happy Mothers Day, if you want to become a mother, sticky baby dust to you. May all our dreams come true!

But for now, find what you already have and hold onto it, here's a quote my mom gave me:

"Life is too short to live with regrets, so love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones that don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grasp it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting Again!

I called Monday to get my lab result and hopefully speak with my doctor, as it had been a full week since I had the blood taken for the AMH test to see if I have PCOS, or if I have a low egg reserve. To my surprise and anguish the secretary told me that the next appointment would be the following Monday because my RE is out of the office at a workshop all week.
I was really fuming, but calmly said, "Ok thats fine, but can I please talk with a nurse to get my result." Guess what? The nurses are out this week, too. Cool. Not. Being a nurse I really hate it when my patients yell at me about something that isn't in my control. So I finished up with the receptionist, and then called my husband hysterical that I would have to wait another week for results.
He told me to calm down. This really pissed me off and he got the anger I had stored up because of waiting for the result, the anger I should have directed at the RE's office, and the anger I had at him for telling me to calm down. Oops, poor guy.
Here's the thing though: my husband got the results of his semen analysis one hour after he provided the sample. This really nice embryologist called with his thick Australian accent when we were still driving home from the appointment (our RE's office is 1.5 hrs away) and said this to us, "how do I put this in laymans terms? You da man." Yep, thats what he said. Men. Always making eachother more big headed then before...ha ha, literally in this case. So we've know for a week now that my husband is fine, and has more than enough sperm that swim well. He has no flipping idea the anguish that I am going through. I mean, c'mon, we've tried for a baby for almost two years ..... and I keep playing back what I've been told by both my doctors: "in 1/3 of cases its the man, another 1/3 its the woman, and in the last 1/3 its the combination." Let me break this down:
- its not my husband, he's DA MAN
-its not the combination of us, he's knocked me up before it just didn't work out.
Whats left? That'd be me. So, of course I'm a nervous wreck. After mellowing out a bit, and venting A LOT, I decided to write my doctor an email asking him to at least give me some overview of what the lab showed to calm my nerves until the follow up. He actually wrote me back later that day:
"Although I can't provide you with a complete answer without having your chart and the ability to speak with you; I am pleased to tell you that there is nothing to worry about. I have reviewed your results and I believe that you'll find them to be reassuring"
Thank you doc! My heart rate is now controlled, and I can breathe without holding back tears. I'm not sure what this exactly means, but my interpretation of it is that I don't have PCOS, and I have enough eggs. Maybe I'm wrong, but I guess the bottom line is that if he is happy with the results, then I should be to. This must mean he can help us to have a baby.
Now c'mon Monday. Honestly, who asks for it to be Monday? I'm loosing my mind. Its official.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


On a personal note, I didn't not have my appointment on Friday, as planned. My lab test result wasn't back yet, so we had to cancel, I'm hoping it will come in tomorrow and I can finally get a plan.

But, there are so many other things going on in the world right now other than my desperation for a baby. May is brain cancer awareness month. Scarlett Grace is a 6 month old baby girl who is fighting brain cancer. Her parent's have a blog to keep updates, and throughout the United States people are reading and supporting this family.

Please lend your support to this family as they fight for their daughters life: