Monday, December 12, 2011

Identical Loss

I’m trying to be strong for you both. I can’t believe how happy and excited we were with the news that you would both be ours; hope and faith were renewed ever so briefly.  As I analyze everything I did and thought for those 9 weeks wondering if I could have done more or if I did too much; I realize it was never in my hands. I can’t imagine my heart will ever stop aching or that I will ever stop wanting you two. You were and will always be our miracles, our one that became two, and our two that left us too soon.  Please know that we love you and will always carry you in our hearts. One day we will meet again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

HPT Ups and Downs, and then Ups

I was doing just fine during my 2ww, but my anxiety got the best of me. I just couldn't believe that it would work, even though the Doc gave us a 70% chance with our donor eggs. We were so pleased with how smooth the transfer went. Our 2 blasts were placed right where they needed to be in a matter of moments, and I felt at peace. I managed to teeter back and forth for the next 9 days, it worked, it didn't work, and again and again.

Finally, last Saturday morning, I couldn't resist the temptation any longer because of the stupid websites I allowed myself to read about early HPT results. Damn websites! I took the test and got a BFN; I was crushed and obliterated all in one fell swoop. My hope was gone. By that evening I picked up the old laptop and began looking up the sensitivity of my HPT and thought maybe my HCG levels weren't high enough or maybe the test wasn't accurate. Please oh please let that be true! I couldn't allow myself to believe that I could still be pregnant after that. So, that weekend was very depressing. The thought of having to start over finding a new donor that we liked was too much to bear. We only had the 2 blasts, the last didn't make it to freeze.

Monday morning was 9dp5dt, and my hubs got up early to come with me to my beta test. I spent the morning and early part of the afternoon researching IVF success stories and looking for trends in negative HPTs and then getting positive betas, just in case in made me feel better. Which it did. Thinking I wouldn't hear from the Doc's office until about 3 PM, my cell rang at 1:30, I didn't answer. I planned on leaving work early to get the bad news at home with my hubs where no one could hear me cry and see our devastation. I began to gather my things to leave work when my work phone rang. The caller ID said "Lifesource Fertility Center," so I had to pick up before someone in my office saw that. I answered very nervously, and I hear Kim, the nurse on the other end. I quickly said to her "I wanted to get the bad news call at home, not at work." She quietly said "Olivia, that's why I'm calling you at work, I don't have bad news for you." I said "What do you mean Kim, am I pregnant?" "Yes, Olivia you are pregnant." I sat at my desk sobbing asking her to repeat it, because I didn't believe it at all.

My beta was 283 and we go in on Nov. 4th to hopefully hear the heartbeat or beats, depending if there's 1 or 2. I still don't believe it, and I won't for a while. Saying that we are excited about it is the understatement of the century. It is truly a miracle and I pray every day that it will continue and we can make it to having our family in June! Happy Birthday to me on October 31st; this is the greatest gift in the world.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What a Roller Coaster

It's all I can do over the last few days not to lay down and never get up again. Starting last Thursday on Day 11 of our DEIVF cycle, our donor's E2 levels dropped suddenly. My RE called with this news and of course I was freaked out. Friday he called, and the levels dropped again. He wasn't optimistic about continuing with the cycle. He left it up to us if we wanted to keep going. We decided to "Hail Marry" it and keep going. If we cancelled we would have to start all over, find a new donor, pay another donor fee, and more drug costs. Saturday our donor's E2 levels were back up to a good number, so Doc triggered her with a "Lupron Trigger" which I had never heard of; to prevent OHSS. At the retrieval on Sunday, the first 5 eggs he retrieved were very immature. He decided to give her an HCG shot and postponed the rest of the retrieval until the next morning.
During this time, I'm beside myself. I don't understand how this could go so wrong. I mean this is a 24 year old healthy and fertile gal.
After the retrieval on Monday, Doc calls; they got 10 more eggs that were still immature, but not as immature as the 5 from the day before. Good news, 2 of the 5 from the first retrieval matured and was ready to be injected for ICSI. He said the lab would watch the 10 from that day and see if they would mature on their own.
This morning, Doc calls and says, "The news keeps getting better." Music to my ever sensitive ears! 11 eggs were mature enough to be injected, and overnight 10 fertilized! Oh my god, oh my sweet baby Jesus! Thank you. I have been on a crazy and terrible roller coaster during this process and it's not over yet, but I am more hopeful now. We went from all eggs being very immature, and the Doc said he doesn't see them mature in the lab from the stage they were at very often, to 10 fertilized eggs!!! Our transfer will either be this Thursday or Saturday depending on how our embies look as the week progresses.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sometimes I Surprise Myself

I used to be what you call a "bad ass" in my professional life. I got a great job with a bank right out of college; I got my investment license, and succeeded in financial sales for almost 7 years. Then IF struck. I tried to fight it, but I stopped caring as much about my career. I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom once we had a child, and in the beginning I had no idea how long our struggles would last, so I checked out.

I feel like I've lost a bit of myself due to IF. I suppose I should cut me some slack. I sometimes miss my "bad assness," especially in work situations. Currently I'm temping at a non-profit association, and it's perfect for my needs. It's 30 hours a week and for the most part stress free. I make less than I made while I was a server for Red Lobster in college, but can you put a price on not being stressed out with work during IF? No you can't.

I've been along for the temp ride for 3 months and have been doing a fine job, coasting along. I decided to let them know that I am awesome and I want to work there for more money directly for them, but didn't know how to do it. The old me would have never taken this job in the first place. I had a brief discussion with the boss, and he agreed, they value the work I do and don't want to lose me. So, I composed a very professional and slightly "bad ass" email stating my requirements for salary and how I can contribute going forward, and sent it off. I was a bit nervous that I had over stepped my bounds, but to my delight the boss walked by my desk the next day and said "I think we can make this work for you, and soon!"

Yay! Victory for me! So, I guess I may put the former versions of myself on the back burner to cope with what's going on in my life now, but that doesn't mean it's gone for good.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Morning Smoothie

Welcome ICLW'ers! This is my first month doing ICLW and I'm very excited to be apart of it. Although my blog is very new and only 3 posts in; I wanted to share my favorite morning smoothie recipe. It's both healthy and very tasty.

Kick Ass Healthy Smoothie

1 banana
1 apple
1 handful of frozen strawberries
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp powdered spirulina (amazing super food I'm recently addicted to)
1 cup of soy milk

Blend away until smooth, and voilĂ ! You have a delicious and filling smoothie. You can add ice if you like it colder too.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Basket

Well, now that we've accepted our donor things are moving so fast it seems. We are scheduled to start our 1st DE IVF cycle next Monday! I can't believe it! I thought for sure we would have to wait while our cycles got synched. The weird thing is they are already synched! It feels serendipitous. It was so comforting when I saw my doc this morning because he told hubby and I that we could not have picked a better donor and he thinks it is a great match. We were thrilled! I mean, we didn't really pick her; she sort of fell into our laps. We enjoyed an evening filled with utter excitement about getting started and all the great things that could be to come. Sometimes it's cool when we can still get excited like we used to before all this IF shit, ya know? There is still that small voice in my head that's telling me, "Don't get too excited, this is YOUR body we're talking about here. Something is bound to go wrong." Damn that voice. It's probably right.

I've been thinking a lot about the donor process. We really weren't active participants like many people are when looking for a donor. We just put our names on the anonymous donor list and got a call one fine day when we got matched. I feel very satisfied with not having to look through a database of pictures and profiles of potential donors. I understand that many couples want to be apart of this process, and need to have a say in all of the qualities that their donors possess. As for me, the connection we felt about our donor's profile was so special that we didn't really care about the details of her medical history, or the fact that she isn't my identical twin. We are just so happy that this could actually happen that those details just don't seem important. My family history is nothing to write home about and so why should we place that emphasis on our donor. When hubby and I met I didn't make him fill out a questionnaire about his family history and all that jazz; he didn't have me fill one out either come to think of it. It's a good thing he didn't, what a waste of time that would have been!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Celebratory Sushi

Reaching a turning point in IF treatment can be very difficult. Hubby and I were just cruising along this summer; we were taking a two month hiatus from treatment, and we were just getting out of our hole from our first IVF failure this past May. We were trying to get psyched up to start yet again in September. Many of our discussions leading up to now about how long we would continue to try IVF before we moved on to other options had always ended like this: “We won’t know until we’re there.”
One fine day about two weeks ago, I got a random call from the donor coordinator at our clinic. I began having a mild panic attack as she starts to tell me, “We have a match for you.” I had totally lost track of time! We put ourselves on the donor waiting list six or more months ago as a “just in case.” I explained to her we weren’t quite ready for that step, and we really wanted to try again with my own eggs despite our four cancelled cycles.  She suggested we come in to see what the process is like; she said it can make it easier knowing what to expect when the time does come that we’re ready to move forward. So, we decided to go in to view the donor profile, couldn’t hurt right?
I must admit, hubby and I were surprised by her call. We began casual chit chat (Yes, this is the second time I’m using “chit chat” in my blog after only three posts) about how we felt about this development. We were excited and intrigued. I almost felt like I was betraying my body and my genetics for feeling that way. But what have my ovaries ever done for me up to this point except screw thing up royally? I had to begin thinking about what was really important to us; was it genetics or starting a family together?
At the clinic, we met the donor coordinator, Kathy; the sweetest and most caring person I think we’ve ever encountered during this whole journey. She gave us plenty of time to go through our potential donor’s profile. As we read through her thick folder we kept commenting on how good we felt. We weren’t sad or upset; we felt a connection to this person, this angel who for some reason made us feel at ease with this process.
Afterwards, we went out for some celebratory sushi. We were both very excited and nervous about our experience at the clinic. We were on the same page about being open to this if it made sense for us. My ovaries aren’t going to magically cooperate and start responding to medication, nor are they going to start producing more follicles. I got what I got, and I sadly don’t have any more. Those were the cold hard facts that it’s taken me two years to feel at peace with.
I’ve never felt so in tune with my path before. I usually go along, reacting to things as they come up. This time I felt a little more in control of what’s been laid out before us. This wasn’t an easy decision; we thought about our options, and one wasn’t necessarily right or wrong. In our minds, we had been approaching this decision for some time now. Each cancelled cycle takes such a toll, both emotionally and financially, and we know that my female organs have mind of their own. What if we waited for something that could never happen and then it was too late. So, we chose the path of least resistance; we chose to take a chance, and go with the donor.
A huge weight feels like it’s been lifted and we are once again hopeful. I’ve been grieving the loss of having a genetic child a little bit at a time for the last year and I’m ready to move forward with our family building. We couldn’t have known that it would take this opportunity and the gift of an angel to pull us forward and keep us filled with love and hope. More to come!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Like Strawberry Wine

I smile thinking back to when I first laid eyes on him. We were 17 (reminds me of the song “Strawberry Wine”) and completely unsuspecting that something very powerful was about to take over us. We fell pretty hard, and we continued to fall hard through college. For a short time after college we took a break to “find ourselves”. We knew when we came back together it would be forever. I can’t even describe the connection we've always had except to say its complete adoration for one another.

Getting married was as it is for most, a very big time in our lives. We became a unit. We weren’t quite ready to start a family, so we enjoyed our time together; bought a house, focused on our careers, and got a puppy. It was fun. Until that point in our lives we were completely unaware of what was to come.

I had a feeling, call it my women’s intuition, that getting pregnant would be a challenge. I’m sure it also had something to do with me having had health issues which led to my surgery in late 2005 to remove my pelvic adhesions and uterine fibroids. The doctors could never give me a definitive reason why that happened, nor did my OBGYN bother to mention how that could impact my fertility.

So began our adventure in baby making. We were so excited about TTC, and actually got to enjoy it for a few months. Each passing month my intuition grew stronger that something just wasn’t right in my body. We started our IF journey, and month after month we learned more about the issues that were standing in our way of starting our family. It seemed our bad news came in stages, and each stage was worse than the one before. Through it all we thought IVF would be there. If all else failed we could get pregnant through IVF. It seemed simple enough, but once we finally got rolling with trying cycle after cycle they were all cancelled due to my funny little ovaries that just don’t want to cooperate. Don’t they know they’re mucking it all up for us?

We finally got to complete a cycle. You know you’re infertile when you’re happy to have at least completed an IVF cycle, even if it was unsuccessful. Of course, we weren’t happy, we were completely devastated. We know that with each passing cycle our funds dwindle and the future big decisions we thought we would never have to make become more imminent. Honestly, the only thing that makes this bearable is him. He loves me unconditionally. You think you know what that means and then IF strikes. You’re at your complete worst: depressed, sad, grieving, hopeless, jealous and just plain hurt; and he’s there looking on the bright side, he’s got you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where do I begin?

I've been contemplating the start of a blog for some time now. I once read that if you can find your voice during infertility (IF), it can provide you with so much solace, but boy have I struggled to commit to doing this. I think my hesitation has been that it has taken me 2 years since this struggle began to even be able to find my own voice. Like many of you, I've never been a writer, but have had an impressive internal dialogue going my entire life. I decided it's high time to translate my internal chit chat to this blog in hopes that it will help me to cope, and if it helps a few of you that's just icing on the cake!

Since my inception into the IF community, I've been amazed at all of the incredible women who put their stories out there. I admire each and every one of you and in so many ways I feel that I have a family out there, even though we'll never meet. This crazy IF journey  has been a huge turning point in my life and for better or worse I am forever changed by it. 

If I  had to sum up what this journey means, it would be to never give up on what our hope have a family of our own ONE DAY.

Thanks for reading!