Category Archives: Working

Today I Had Zero Shots

After the four yesterday, and the fourteen(ish) the week
prior, I am glad that part is over.  My ovaries are officially
giant, last antagon and stimming are finished, trigger has
happened.  All is quiet tonight. Tomorrow morning is our
retrieval.  I can’t believe it.  I feel like I’m in some
kind of whack time warp where tomorrow can’t come quick enough and
yet I can’t believe it is here.  Tomorrow our follicles will
leave the warm comforts of my body for a hot date in the lab with
some stud sperm.  Hopefully they have sharpened up on their
pick-up lines and are ready to make some magic. Tomorrow night our
potential babies will be made. It really is awe-inspiring.  It
can be easy to lose sight of the miracle of it all amidst the
logistics of the past, well really, two years.  There is so
much striving for a baby, so many things to pay attention to and
keep your eye on, appointments to go to, research to complete, that
those details necessarily come to inhabit more space in your mind
than that elusive baby, child.  But tomorrow really is the
beginning of life.  (Not intended to be a political
statement!) I am feeling good, a bit anxious about the process,
tomorrow’s news, the news Saturday morning with the fertilization
report, the news two weeks from tomorrow when we learn what has
come of this all.  How could I not be, with all that is riding
on it all?  I’m worried I won’t be able to sleep tonight but
am remembering all of the prayers being spoken for us tonight and
am finding peace amongst the internal, excited clamor. Goodnight
Moon.  Goodnight Hubs.  Goodnight sweet Pearls.
 Tomorrow night we’ll be apart but you’ll be well on your
way.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today Commences My Leggings-a-thon

We did it folks.  First injection!  (100 IU Follistim, 75 Menopur.)  Our amazing friend Monika came over to walk Hubs through it and they both did wonderfully.  Monika is a newer friend who has adopted me as her IVF friend after she saw the process through for our mutual friend Laura (referenced in my last post).  She is the sweetest and so generous with her time and listening and baking skills just because she wants to offer support and because she is addicted to hope.  She is the epitome of how to be a good friend to an infertile person (maybe I’ll have her write a guest post on the topic sometime.  You up for that, Mon?).

I used to be nervous about the injections but thankfully I’ve gotten over that-ish and now I’m just really eager for our first monitoring visit later this week.  I know the next few days I’m going to be thinking, “What is going on in there?”  I’m feeling good about it all and ready to get this show on the road after all of the waiting and preparing.  I’m sure there will be many emotions and not all so optimistic, but I’ll take the good cheer for now.

Speaking of good cheer, leggings are my comfort clothing and what I plan to unapologetically don for the duration of stimming as my ovaries progress from almond-sized to peach-sized (according to the nurse at our training last week).  Except for going to work, which I think is lame that I have to continue doing, but, whatever.  Yesterday was Hubs’ birthday and so I wore my tightest pants possible out for our night on the town with our buddies, bidding them farewell for the next couple weeks as we welcome the peaches.  And hopefully for longer if this all works out.

I’m going to try to blog daily-ish through IVF with brief updates, and they probably won’t be very profound, I’m just accepting that now.  But I think it’s worth chronicling a bit of what a couple experiences in this process.  I’ve also decided to include in each post some form of hilarity procured from the internet because of its power to help me step back from IVF tunnel vision.  Feel free to share any that you love in the comments section; that would make me really happy.

Happy Lenten season!: 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today is Next Month

It’s February 1st, as evidenced by the new red candlesticks out on the dining table (hip hip huzzah for Crate & Barrel Christmas clearance and gift card from my dad).  I’ve never been one for cheesy, illegitimate holidays, but this year I’ve been waiting eagerly to put these bad boys out and I’m guessing it has something to do with the abounding eagerness to get going with IVF that’s up in here.  In my mind and conversations with others, the phrase “We start IVF next month” has been on repeat.  But today, next month is here.

IMG_0349

We finally got off of the questioning roller coaster — IVF, adoption, IVF, adoption… — in mid-January and I was ever so ready.  The toiling and uncertainty were taking any potential restfulness of our “break” right out and I again found myself crying in inappropriate places like acupuncture.  We landed on IVF and were talking just tonight about how comfortable and at peace we feel with our decision.  Not because we feel especially hopeful that it will work — although as he pointed out, the odds at 45-55%/cycle are the highest they’ve been since trying to conceive — but because we’ve become increasingly certain that we want to give IVF a shot.  (I needn’t note pun intended.)  If we didn’t give it a try, I think I would always look back and wonder and ask “what if?”  And because the best predictor of IVF success is age, the best shot we can give it is now.  It feels really good to have sat with this decision and continue to feel at peace with it.

I’d like to say that, since then, I’ve been zen- and mother earth-like, but in all honesty it’s been more like an exhibition of failed nervous energy management.  Mainly in the form of trying to find something I can actually do during the wait like scheduling appointments and looking into a potential lower-cost option for meds, but also of course unnecessary baking/cooking and celebrating that Downton Abbey is now airing in the States.  (Nevermind how horrific the last episode was re: the poor infertility advice offered.  Although, I will say, if DA is taking up male factor infertility as one of its themes, I give it kudos.  Also, I forgive you, writers, for betraying me with Cybil’s pregnancy after all she went through last week.  May she rest in peace.)

So here’s our IVF timeline.  Of course this is all tentative and I’ve learned that with IVF you must expect the unexpected.  As someone told me the other day, it has a way of taking on a life of its own so the best thing to do is to expect it do so and roll with it.

Feb. 7: Predicted Day 1 of cycle
Feb. 9: Day 3 of cycle, start birth control for ~14 days, during these two weeks do testing (I have to repeat the saline ultrasounds, nooooooo!!!), nurse training, order meds, etc.
Feb. 24: Day 1 of Stim Phase (injections & every other day monitoring/ultrasounds)
Feb. 27: I turn 31!  Guess who’s getting a $12-15,000 birthday present this year?
March 5-9 (somewhere in there): Retrieval
3 or 5 days after retrieval (depending on embryo growth): Embryo Transfer
2 weeks after retrieval (approximately March 19-23): Blood test to learn the results

So, February is here and we’re a few weeks out from the real start of it all.  My acupuncturist gave me great advice today to enjoy the last week of a medication-free body and not paying attention to all the details that come with IVF.  Also, our trip was never able to happen so we’re doing a stay-cation next weekend and checking out a great local spa, so lots of good, relaxing distractions in place.

And now, in the vein of distractions, I share a YouTube submission by my dear friend and IVF supporter, Jess.  Some people have been asking how they can bring a meal or otherwise support us during IVF, which is so kind and thoughtful.  Jess will be sending out emails and coordinating that for us and we’re very thankful to her for that.  (I’d be curious to hear from others who have gone through this what kind of support they found helpful or wished they’d had, if you want to leave a comment.)

From Jess this evening: “Hoping you are having a Buttermilk the Goat type of weekend – well, except for the knocking your friends over part…”

And the same goes for you, my friends.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today I’m Drinking Dandelion Tea

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Like it would be yellow and pretty and smell yummy.  Wrong.  It’s kind of nutty and very bitter and resembles coffee in color more than chamomile tea.  But it is one of many things I’m changing lately to try to have only healthy things flowing through my body.

We have all but decided to go forward with IVF and have a tentative start date of December 31st.  (Yay, shots, happy new year!)  We would begin initial meds (birth control, which is so odd for any infertile woman to take) mid-December and stimulation would start the last day of 2012.  I hear the stimulation phase is the most intensive of the IVF process from a time and attention perspective, including shots a few times a day to stimulate your body to grow lots of follicles and every other day ultrasounds to monitor their progress.  This growing and watching leads up to a shot triggering the ovaries to release the eggs, retrieval surgery to get those puppies out, fertilizing them, letting them grow in the incubators, and transferring back in 3-5 days.  That’s IVF in a nutshell.  Oh, and the two week wait before finding out if it all worked.

It feels exciting to be moving toward beginning but also scary.  Obviously we’re wanting to do all we can to create a baby-friendly environment, hence the dandelion root.  I have to admit that it can feel very depriving and borderline masochistic to do all of these things.  But as my co-worker recently reminded me about scaling back with work hours, all mothers have to make sacrifices for their children and I’m just getting an early start.  This angle actually does help me a good bit, legitimizing and encouraging me forward in these decisions.

So, what I’m doing lately:

  • Eliminating processed foods, including diet coke (gasp)
  • Cutting way back (if not out) dairy, sugar, and soy to prevent inflammation and hormonal spikes/imbalances
  • Dandelion root tea and/or drops 3x/day and warm lemon water every morning for liver cleansing
  • Udo’s Omega-3 oil blend, vegetarian source of DHA (also ick)
  • Being a good girl with drinking lots of water
  • Acupuncture

As a vegetarian I’m used to having a limited diet, but adding these changes on top of that was beginning to feel overly restrictive and, enter feeling sorry for myself.  But I’m beginning to, instead, focus on being creative with all that remains — which, in reality, is most really good things.  If I were doing that Thanksgiving gratitude-a-day thing on Facebook I would say: Whole Foods iPhone App.  I’ve gotten some inspiring recipes on there and it’s helpful to view my market trips as time to stock up on good things to build up and nurture my body.  Mmmm, seltzer water.  Who needs diet coke?  Okay, fake it ’til you make it.

So as we’re looking to jump on the IVF track here in a couple weeks I’m yet again struggling a bit with the balance between doing my part in it all and yet acknowledging that I can’t control this process.  I’ve even wondered if we should postpone IVF until threeish months after I’ve consistently implemented all of these changes because what goes in my body now affects eggs that will be ovulated in three months.  But then I step back and wonder about all of the people out there who make terrible health decisions, abuse substances, live on doritos and are still pregnant.  These things help but are they enough on their own?  No.  Dandelion root can’t create life.  Omega-3s can’t create life.  I’m praying for an accurate perspective right now.

I also don’t want to get in a position of blaming myself or putting all of the pressure on me to perform just right in order to become pregnant.  As I’ve said many times before, a baby is not something I can earn or make happen for myself.  I would have done it by now.  The parallels with God’s grace really can’t be overlooked here.  I couldn’t make Him love me or earn my way into a relationship with Him.  It’s just a gift.  I don’t know how all of that works and applies in this situation with a failing body, but I do want to remind myself that He gave me that best gift already and that He is the same God I’m crying out to hundreds of times a day now.  He is a God who hears and I have seen that before.

In the meantime, in all the waiting and the hard work, I’m taking pleasure in the small things, like the holiday with family, the Christmas tree being up, a fire in the fireplace, and my amazing new fuzzy slippers.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reblog: Time Management and Infertility Treatment

http://theinfertilitytherapist.blogspot.com/2012/09/time-management-and-infertility.html

It’s hard to describe how much energy, time, money, thought, emotion, etc. infertility steals from you, so I worry that people don’t understand my not being able to do things I normally would.  I worry that people might think I’m obsessed with this and it’s all I think about, or that I should just toughen up and get it together, or maybe they just don’t realize what a toll it takes.  It’s a low-grade, always there pain at best, but of course there also are the really hard days, then there’s the time to make appointments, research treatments, process options, go to appointments, reschedule all the things you had planned for that time already, track down and pick up prescriptions, talk with your partner about decisions, and if you’re lucky, find time to let yourself feel what you’re feeling.  That’s a lousy description of it, but it’s the best I can do for now.

This post, from an infertility blog by a therapist, is so relevant to the way I’m beginning to think of things.  Working to conceive is part of my job right now and so it deserves and needs corresponding time and attention, and even to be a priority over other things I feel like I “should” be doing.  The last thing I want is to look back on treatments one day and wish I would have devoted more to them.

Love this validation today, and willing to half-a&% it for a while.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2017 Lenten Readings

West End Presbyterian Church

sweetbeetcityfarm

An urban farm in Durham

exploring the (in)fertility journey day-to-day

Maberry Miscellanea

exploring the (in)fertility journey day-to-day

From A to Pink | A Blog by Katharine Scrivener

The life of a 30-something writer, cystic fibrosis patient + advocate, with a penchant for hoarding books.

The Infertility Voice™

An Online Hub for the Infertility Community — by the Infertility Community

Childless in Paris

struggling with infertility while dealing with the Frenchies...

Barren & Unemployed

Slightly Dramatic, Completely Honest, One Woman's Journey with Infertility

IVF male

IVF from the male POV

anemptywomb

A great WordPress.com site

whatisarutabaga.com/

My journey to more conscious eating.

All These Things

exploring the (in)fertility journey day-to-day

Something Out of Nothing

From 0 sperm to a family of three

Tales of a Twin Mombie

Because when you're a parent, there's always a story to tell.

Risa Kerslake Writes

Formerly Who Shot Down My Stork?

acupofbliss

Reflections on lattes, life, and love

hopefulandhungry

The road to conceiving a baby....enjoying food and life along the way

Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day

%d bloggers like this: