Monday, December 31, 2012

see ya later, 2012!

I tend to find myself not wanting to have fun lately.  I know that sounds crazy, but feeling down and out is almost more comfortable for me these days.  The effort that it takes to put a smile on my face seems daunting.  I've felt this way before (after every failed cycle), so I know that it will come to an end.  Smiling will eventually become more comfortable to me than frowning.  This weekend was a start.  I actually had fun.  Of course my heart still ached (I fear that the heartache may never go away), but as I said... it was at least a start. 
*Afternoon nap with my two favorites*(post)Christmas party with friends*Our first substantial snow storm*Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes*My sweet, precious Belle*

With that, I'm ready for 2012 to be O-V-E-R.  This year officially has been the worst year of my life.  I'm still in awe that I endured two IUI's and FOUR IVF's in a matter of twelve months!  I took thousands of milligrams of Clomid, injected myself with countless drugs, endlessly bruised my stomach and perhaps will forever have a sore rear end from the PIO injections.  I had more doctor appointments this year than I've had in my entire life.  Vaginal ultrasounds became normal.  Blood draws?  Needles?  Forget being scared of those things... in a sick and twisted way, I almost feel lonely without them. 

But... I somehow moved forward each month after getting bad news.  And although I feel so incredibly weakened by my infertility, I am somewhat in awe that I've made it to this point.  After twelve months of heartache and pain, I'm still fighting for my miracle baby.  2012 made me shed more tears than anyone should ever have to due to the longing and desire to bring a baby into the world.  But 2012 did not waver my faith and hope to do just that.  I still believe that I will be a Mommy.  That I will make Nick a Daddy.  That our miracle baby is just being really, really stubborn.

So... see ya later, 2012 (or, as they say en francais, a plus tard!).  Good riddance to you!  My only resolution for the new year is to keep moving forward.  To have the strength to keep fighting through all the pain of infertility.  To finally bring my miracle baby into the world.  To beat infertility.  And to bring true happiness back into my (and my husband's) life.

Happy New Year!
**Praying for all of my friends that this blog has connected me to... Praying that 2013 will be all of our year**

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

This is what our Christmas looked like this year (lucky for you (actually for me) I didn't capture any pictures of my (many) tears and swollen eyes):
Nick and I were on the same page this year with our ornament gifts.  We both chose ornaments that represent our most favorite vacation ever (our trip to California this past August).  Surprisingly, Nick declared that I won this year.  My ornament to Nick is the one on the right - a Shutterfly picture cube, Nick's ornament to me is the one on the left - a tourist couple that says "Aubrey & Nick California PCH Aug 2012".  I'm glad that I de-Scrooged myself enough this year to put a small tree up so that we could make this our sixth annual ornament giving night. 
We are fortunate and very blessed to have been able to spend this very painful Christmas with our families, who love and support us more than anyone else.  We pray that this will have been our last Christmas as just a family of two (and that maybe, with a lot of luck, our ornaments will be baby-related next year!).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Christmas Conversations and a Vow

Today is my first day back at work since Christmas.  I took yesterday off (as did most of my office) and I so wish that I could have stayed home today to dodge the post-Christmas conversations that are surrounding me by my co-workers, many of whom are parents (lucky shits). 

If I have to hear one more conversation starting with "what was the big gift this year in your house?!", I'm going to blurt out that it's great that your son/daughter got just the iPod touch or Kindle Fire or bike or Barbie dream house that they wanted... and that MY big gift was my period.  Seriously.  AF graced me with her unwanted presence on Christmas Eve.  How cruel is that (first Thanksgiving, now Christmas)?!  While children awoke in the middle of the night thinking that perhaps they heard Rudolph prancing on their roof, I awoke to cramps like I've never had before (Seriously.  They woke me up from a dead sleep.).  And to thoughts accompanying those gut-wrenching pains that my two should-have-been miracle babies were literally being flushed out of my uterus. 

Now, I get that just because I'm miserable, it doesn't mean that everyone else has to be miserable, too.  But it's just really hard dealing with this kind of a loss and then being surrounded by conversations highlighting just how much more fun and special children make Christmas. 

This was the Christmas that I was supposed to share the news of my pregnancy with my family.  This was supposed to be the Christmas that I would remember forever.  Instead, this Christmas is over, and it's the one that I want no memory of... I'm having a hard time letting it go though, because I'm not over this cycle yet.  The pain is still right there in the forefront of my mind.  It's so fresh.  My heart aches.  My eyes are swollen from tears that are shed every night.  I don't know what our next step is right now... we don't meet with my doctor for another week.  SEVEN days.  I don't know that I will make it... I need a plan.  Something to focus on.  Something to help me to move forward.

As I sit in my office trying desperately not to overhear my co-workers' conversation about what time their kids woke up to see if Santa came... I'm vowing to myself, that if I am ever so lucky to be able to partake in such a conversation that I'll do so quietly, with the understanding that someone next door might be crying inside, yearning for exactly what everyone else around them seems to have.  I vow that I'll never forget just how I felt this Christmas.

Sorry, Belle!

Dear Belle,

One of the very few things that makes me smile in the midst of dealing with infertility is plopping you down in a basket so that you can't get out.  I'm so mean.  But you're so cute.  And I love you so much.  Because you make me smile, even though my heart is so very, very sad.
Please forgive me.  I'll give you an extra cookie when I get home today!

Love, Mumma

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Somehow we made it through Christmas with at least a few smiles. While our hearts are still heavy and very broken, we are grateful for our time spent together and with our family today.

I hope that this Christmas brought joy, love and at least some peace to each and every one of my friends dealing with the heart aches of infertility.

Aubrey, Nick & Belle

Monday, December 24, 2012

Perfect cycle... Until the end.

I once read that dealing with infertility can, in many ways, be similar to grieving the loss of a loved one.  Except that, with infertility, the grieving doesn't really end (in many cases, such as mine).  Rather, you grieve your loss and then just as you rebuild your hope, faith and strength, the same (well, different - but the same) loss occurs again, and you're back to grieving. 

My acupuncturist also told me that the stress related to infertility has been proven to be similar to the stress of someone who's experiencing PTSD or to someone that's been diagnosed with cancer.  I know that it's difficult (and probably not even fair) to compare the feelings of loss, stress and heart ache to someone who is dealing (or who has dealt) with other very serious, very sad and very difficult illnesses and diseases, but my point here is that infertility is hard.  What I've been dealing with (and what I know so many of you out there have been dealing with) over the past couple of years, sometimes quite literally, knocks me off my feet.  Today, I feel like all of the air has been sucked out of my lungs.  Right now, it's difficult for me to find my breath and to keep moving forward.  Because, let's face it, I'm not really moving forward... I'm in the same exact spot that I was in two years ago.

This cycle should have been different.  Everything was perfect (well, everything up until my BETA on Friday):

My doctor just so happened to be the doctor on call the day of my Egg Retrieval (a Saturday).

My doctor was able to retrieve SEVEN eggs (this is the most eggs I've ever had).


It was confirmed that I would be having a DAY FIVE transfer.  My doctor just so happened to be the doctor on call the day of my Egg Transfer (we transferred two perfect blastocysts that were both already hatching)!

We got the report that FOUR of our embryos made it to freeze - we have FOUR frozen snow babies (perhaps the only silver lining in all of this)

That's pretty much where the "perfection" ends.  I ended up POAS on Thursday evening, the night before my BETA.  That's when reality first hit that I wasn't (that I'm not) pregnant.  I received confirmation that my HPT was correct the next day. 

As mentioned in my last post, we now have a lot of decisions to make.  We have four frozen embryos and are meeting with my doctor on January 3rd to discuss that process and whatever it entails.  We also have CCRM lingering, now in the front, of our minds. 

I'm doing my best to make it through Christmas.  The honest truth is that I can't wait until it's over.  I can't wait to go to bed on New Year's Eve knowing that 2012 will forever be a memory that I will be happy to forget.

It's still hard to express my feelings about this "perfect" cycle - the hurt, anger, despair, sadness, heart ache and pain are much too fresh right now. 

I don't know how to move forward... but I guess, somehow, I just am.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another Negative

I'm not entirely sure how to even begin this post, so I'm just going to blurt it out. 

IVF #4 failed.

I'm angry.  I'm sad.  I'm heart broken.  I don't understand why.  I feel like my body has failed me... again.

Life is hard.  This is hard.  It doesn't get easier. 

Christmas is two days away and I feel so much pain.  I'm not sure how I will be able to enjoy myself over the next couple of days.  As families come together to celebrate Christmas with laughter, love and giving, I will be grieving the loss of my two precious embryos that were supposed to be our miracle babies. 

My heart aches and my mind wonders how I will make it through this... again.

I will post details of this cycle in the days to come, but for now, my husband and I are holding each other tight.  And we are still praying... for strength, comfort and for our hope and faith to soon be renewed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blessed is she who Believes ~ Luke 1:45

A very, very dear friend sent me a text message yesterday morning that lifted my spirits in a way that I can't quite explain.  It was one of the first things I laid my eyes on - as I blow dried my hair, I looked down and saw these inspiring words:

"And blessed is she who believed
that there would be a fulfillment
of the things that were spoken to her
from the Lord."
Luke 1:45

I pray that God knows, that even in the midst of my fear, worry, anxiety and my depression, that I still do Believe.  I Believe that I will be a Mom (someday, somehow).  And I Believe this because I Believe that God wants me to be a Mom.  I pray that, although my belief is sometimes overshadowed by my worry and doubt, that I will be Blessed (someday, somehow) by becoming a Mother.

For my loving friend who sent me this reminder: thank you.  Thank you for sharing with me (and with God), in my Belief.  Love you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Her Royal Highness...

A picture of the diva-dog herself...
I truly believe that my little Belle is an angel sent to me from God.  I believe that God knew exactly what I'd be going through at this point in my life and that He knew I'd need this little face to greet me each day when I come home to put a smile on my face (some days, her little face is the only thing that puts a smile on my face).  I also believe that God knew how badly I'd want a baby in my life, so he made Belle really human-like.  For example, this little diva will not lay on the couch (or on our bed) unless there is a blanket underneath her to snuggle up on.  If there's no blanket, then she'll make-do with a pillow to rest her sweet little head on.  If there's no blanket or no pillow, then she'll restlessly walk in circles around you until you assist her royal highness.

Oh B, I love you to pieces!  xxooxxoo

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas In Year's Past

As mentioned in this post, my husband and I started an ornament gift giving tradition back in 2007, our first year of living together.  As mentioned, we've Nick has since turned our tradition into a healthy little competition.  Admittedly, my husband has definitely "won" for the past few years.  I'm always excited to see what he'll think of year after year... he is so clever and thoughtful (two of the many reasons why I love him so much!!)!

Anyway, a new blog friend (hi, Erika!) suggested that I share our ornaments from years past with my blog readers.  So without further adieu, here is a peek at what Christmas has looked like for us over the past five years (Nick's ornament to me will be on the top and mine to him will be on the bottom)...

Christmas, 2007
Ok, so we I didn't start our first year of ornament giving off so hot... Nick got me an ornament of a yorkshire terrier (because I had been whining about wanting a dog for a good three years at that point - and I love little yorkies... Belle's half yorkie).  Sadly though, sometime over the course of five years, both ears have broken off. 

I got Nick two ornaments that year.  Truthfully, I have NO idea why I bought him the Santa ornmanet holding a rolling pin!  I think I just liked it for some reason.  That, and I totally slacked in trying to find an ornament for him, so I just grabbed the first one I saw while shopping at the Williams Sonoma outlet (waiting last minute like this is so un-like me... you would have thought that my mind was already consumed with infertility back then!).  I remember after having bought this first ornament, that I was at CVS during work one day when I saw this Red Sox ornament.  2007 was one of the years that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, so I bought this ornament for Nick as well.

Outcome:  Nick wins!  I clearly had my head up my you-know-where in 2007! 

Christmas 2008
Nick proposed to me in 2008.  We were engaged on December 22, 2008, which was also the night that we swapped our ornament gifts.  I had been hoping that my ornament that year would actually be a ring... but he kept me in suspense for a little longer that night.  Instead, I opened a little paw frame ornament (for a dog that I didn't even have yet!) that Nick picked up at Walgreen's - his mind was on more important things (ummm, PROPOSING!!!) that year!

That same year, we also bought our first house!  We were still living in our apartment at the time that we swapped our ornament gifts, but closed on our house on New Year's Eve day that year.  I chose to gift Nick the house ornament with our names in the windows.

Outcome:  This is a hard one because Nick got a whole heck of a lot of points for proposing to me in 2008!!  Ornament-wise, though, I think I win, but... that sparkly ring (!!!)... I'll call it a draw!

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009 was just a little over a month away from our wedding (February 6, 2010), hence my too-long hair that was desperately in need of a cut! 

Nick gifted me with an ornament that replicated the order that which our stockings hung on our mantle in 2009 (such great attention to detail... a man of my own heart!).  It was our first Christmas with Belle, so I think I had been stressing about where to buy her stocking for a couple of weeks (oh, the days when my sources of stress were regarding my dog's Chistmas stocking!). 

I gave Nick an ornament of our wedding venue.  The Hawthorne Hotel is a historic hotel in downtown Salem, MA and it is simply beautiful.  About a month later, the night before our wedding, Nick had left me with a gift to open... lo and behold, he had also bought this ornament for me (and he actually already had it on the night that we swapped our ornaments!) - great minds, I guess!

Outcome:  I think I win!  Afterall, this is one of my most favorite ornaments on our tree!

Christmas 2010
Note my dark hair in this picture... This was just a little after we had decided to start trying to expand our family.  Clearly, I thought it was going to happen quickly and that when it did, I wouldn't want to be hassled with having to highlight my hair every six weeks.  In recent pictures of me, you'll notice that I've gone back to the blonde...

Anyway, 2010 is the year that I started to slip with my ornament giving (I blame this on the beginning of infertility!).  This was also the year that Nick really, in my opinion, stepped up his game!  Our tradition doesn't just include swapping ornament gifts, but we make a night out of it.  We always order Chinese food for dinner and then cozy up on the couch for an evening of movies.  Hence, my husband's clever and thoughtful ornament idea that year... a Chinese food take-out box!

I, on the other hand, made an ornament with Belle's pawprint for Nick... I made him two, but only hang one of them each year on our tree.

Outcome:  Nick win's.  Again, the beginning of infertility on the brain for me.

Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011 was just after our first IUI... We found out that first cycle failed right after Christmas on December 28, 2011.

Last year, we went on our first camping/hiking trip together (in our ten years togther we had never gone camping, crazy, huh?) and this was the inspiration for Nick's ornament to me. 

I had a golf bag ornament customized to say "hit em' straight!" (it's hard to see in this picture, but the phrase is on the bottom of the ornament).  Nick demands that I say this to him pretty much every time he plays a round.

Outcome:  Nick wins.  Mine isn't too bad, but his is more special, I think.  Plus, infertility was (is) still on the brain!

So there you have it!  Five years of Christmas in year's past.  I'll be sure to post an update of our 2012 ornament gift giving night as soon as we mark it on the calendar

Friday, December 7, 2012

i love daddy

Waaaaay back when, when we first decided that we were ready to start trying to get pregnant, I bought this little onesie for my husband.  This is the only baby item that I have in my house.  It's been stuffed in the way back of my underwear/socks drawer for over two years now.  And, the other day as I was rummaging through that drawer trying to find a specific pair of socks, I caught a glimpse of it... and was immediately brought back to the time in my life when I bought this teeny tiny piece of clothing...
I was so excited that my husband was finally ready for our family to expand.  At the time, my only thoughts were how I would tell him and our families the good news (that I was sure I would have soon).  I had plans of wrapping this little onesie up and giving it to him the day that I got a positive response on a pee stick (which, I'm still convinced is impossible!).  But sadly, you all know how this turned out... Months after buying this precious little onesie, I stuffed it away so that it would be out of my sight and reach... my dream quickly started to slip away from me.

After one of my failed IUI's or IVF's (I can't even remember which one it was), I was sobbing in bed for, what felt like, hours.  I remember, amidst my tears, getting up and and grabbing the onesie to show to my husband.  I told him that even though he's already seen it, that I will still give it to him one day.  But the thing is, I just never thought that today, it still wouldn't be in his possession (or that our baby wouldn't have already outgrown it!) and that it'd still be stuffed in the way back of my drawer.

Anyway, as I took the onesie out and held it close to me, I was overcome with so much guilt.  I know I always say that "this is one of the hardest things about infertility", but this - the guilt - really is one of the hardest parts in all of this.  I'm the reason we don't have a baby.  I'm the reason why I haven't been able to gift this little onesie to my husband yet.  And while there are many, many, times that I'll hug him and apologize for all of this, he is always so quick to respond in the most genuine way telling me to stop it and that we're in this together.  I know that's true - there isn't anyone else in this world that I could imagine going through this difficult, painful and heartbreaking time with - I'm beyond lucky and grateful to have my husband by my side.  But, it doesn't take away the guilt that I feel deep down, every single day. 

What's ironic, is that in a time of complete desperation, pain and heartache, I've somehow found myself feeling a little closer to God than I have ever felt before.  Maybe it's because I've been clinging so tightly to my faith throughtout all of this...  In any case, though, I've been praying a whole heck of a lot.  Lots of prayers have been said for our miracle baby to finally join our family.  But, most of my prayers are for my husband not to have to bare this anymore.  Because he doesn't deserve it.  He deserves so much to be a daddy.  He deserves for me to give this onesie to him someday (hopefully soon).  I want it so badly for myself, but I want it even more for him.  I want to be rid of this guilt that I carry around with me.  I want to see our baby in this onesie... and I pray to God that He will give us that chance.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Them, too??

I'm not lying when I say that pregnancies are ev-er-y-where!

I went to CVS during work yesterday, for what else but more pre-natal vitamins (ugh!).  I swear my body has more folic acid in it than someone who has actually been pregnant for nine months... I've been taking the darn pills for two years!  Anyway, this is the first thing I saw as I stood in line to pay for my vitamins (that probably are a waste of money anyway)...
Seriously, Jessica?!  Share the wealth!  Come on... you JUST had a baby!  How unfair is that?!

Then I got home and as I sat down to eat dinner, I saw on Access Hollywood that the most perfect couple in the world are becoming even more perfect...
Yup, the adorably beautiful Royal couple are having a baby, too.  Duchess Katherine is preggers.  She already got to marry a Prince and now she gets to have a baby?!

So unfair... I married a Prince too and still no baby...
Nick really should be considered Royalty for having to deal with my royal-pain-in-the-butt attitude these days!

Monday, December 3, 2012


I really tried to enjoy myself and to enjoy my life this weekend - even with the absence of the only thing I want in the whole wide world.  And I think I succeeded, for the most part - even though my weekend ended with me telling my husband that I'm worried that there may be nothing else in our lives for us to be really, truly happy about without a baby. 

Anyway, we had a wedding on Saturday for my husband's best friend and the rehearsal dinner was on Thursday, so we decided to take Thursday and Friday off from work and spend a couple of days together.  The time off was much needed and we got a lot done... We did some outlet shopping on Thursday and crossed a lot of recipients off our Christmas shopping list.  When we got home, I decided to try to stop being such a Scrooge and I actually put up a small Christmas tree!  The weekend when I declared that we would not be putting up a tree, my husband obliged but then requested that we at least buy a small, four foot tree to showcase our "special ornaments"...

sidenote:  the year that my husband (then boyfriend) and I moved in together (yes, we lived in sin), we decided to start an annual tradition where we would buy special ornaments for eachother for our tree.  We've since stopped buying Christmas presents for one another and now just buy our ornaments.  My husband is very competitive about this and has even declared that for the past two years he's "won" the ornament present (he totally has "won" for the past few years - he always thinks of the BEST ornaments to buy!  He'll probably "win" again this year, too, because when my ornament for him arrived in the mail the other day, I was so disappointed with how it turned out...).  Anyway, since he takes so much pride in his ornament giving, I knew I had to take one for the team and put up the small, four foot tree...

... so, I said fine, he put the tree in the carriage at the store, bought it and brought it into the house where it sat in its box until Thursday, when I finally decided to try to actually enjoy this Christmas season.  And, wouldn't you know that I was actually happy once the tree was up and lit with all of our special ornaments from the past five years hanging from its branches.  It might be a small tree, but it's a special one, and it makes me feel happy and cozy when I'm laying on the couch (watching Miracle on 34th Street) to see the sparkling lights and beautiful ornaments - and my lights in the windows just makes it all that much more cozy!
My effort to try to be a happy person didn't stop there with our tree... I also partook in some Gingerbread House decorating with one of my nephews, who thought that this was just the most fun project ev-er!  Even though he just had to take a bite or two out of the roof gingerbread cookies, I think it turned out pretty good - and I'm glad that he at least had a good time with his miserable Aunt (who admittedly let him eat as much of the icing that his little heart desired!).
So, there you have it... I suppose I had a good weekend.  I'm glad my tree is up and I'm glad that I made my nephew smile.  I'm glad that I tried.  But, the honest truth is that trying to be happy doesn't actually make you happy.  At least, for me it doesn't... 

I'm praying for a Christmas miracle, for something that will truly make me happy, without having to try.

Friday, November 30, 2012


After having this post saved as a draft for a couple of days, I'm finally ready to share...

As you all know, I come here to share my truest, inner-most thoughts and feelings.  And while dealing with infertility has been, by far, the biggest and most difficult obstacle for me thus far in my life, and while yes, it has brought upon terribly painful moments of heartache, a part of me feels.... ashamed.

I try not to think about the feelings of others as I write (many times mindlessly) on my blog - I want to be able to share freely and without hesitation, the details of my journey.  As mentioned before, I'm writing here for me.  Purging my inner-most thoughts and feelings on Two Hearts and One Dream has been somewhat therapeutic.  But (very) recently, I started to reflect on some of my writing, thoughts and feelings...

And the truth is, that one of the most difficult things in all of this has been the inner battle that I've fought with myself... about my inner-most thoughts and feelings (that I've so freely shared here on my blog).  It's been going on for the past year and a half, but most recently this personal struggle has made me feel suffocated.  Almost as if infertility has taken some of "me" away from me.  I had always thought of myself (and hope that others think/thought of me in this way, too) as being a kind, caring, giving, and thoughtful person who much preferred to put others before myself.  Someone who truly loves to give.  Today though, I worry that I'm allowing my pain and my hurt to supercede everything that's made me a "good" person.

In my research and in both talking and writing to many other women who have experienced infertility, I do know that this is normal.  I know that what I'm feeling and what I'm thinking is all relative to what's happening in my life.  I know that others who have endured infertility have felt just how I feel.  I know, deep down, that I'm not a bad person.  But I want to put it out there, that while it might be easy for me to come here and type mindlessly about my pain and heartache - because those feelings are real and they are true - that in doing so, I may not always paint the prettiest picture of myself.  I've written from the depths of my heart.  But within the depths of my heart, there's a lot of pain and heartache.  A lot of worry and fear.  And a lot of envy and jealousy.  And for that, I'm sorry.  I feel a lot of sorrow and remorse for what and how infertility has made me feel.  I struggle with it, every day, on such a deep level.

So, in saying all that, I'm not looking for anyone to tell me that they know I'm still a good person.  God's the true decision-maker on that.  But, recently I've beeing praying a lot for forgiveness, for feeling like a bad person who has thoughts of envy and jealousy.  And I've also been praying for the strength to allow myself to genuinely be happy for someone else and to rejoice in others' miracles - even though I'm still waiting for mine.  Because that is the kind of person that I want to be.  I don't want my misfortunes to become and to define who I am.  Though it's true that I'm a glass half empty type of girl and while right now infertility is a lot of who I am, I don't want it to overshadow the girl who prefers to put others first. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


On our drive to work this morning, my husband asked me to remind him to stop on our way home to get Powerball tickets... The possibility of winning the $425 million jackpot tonight, while not likely, had us day dreaming for our entire stop and go (due to the lovely Boston traffic) commute...

After going on and on (and on!) about what I'd do if we won, I paused and said "yeah, but even with all of that money, we still wouldn't have a baby of our own".  And that sort of silenced us both.  Because the truth is, all the money in the world couldn't buy us what we want most in our lives. 

So, if we win Powerball tonight, this is our plan:

1.) Quit our jobs
2.) Go straight to CCRM
3.) Pay for everything (in cash!!!)
4.) Fly to Hawaii from Colorado to lay in the sun and to pray, pray, pray for a miracle... that not even all of that money could buy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I'm sad today.  Very sad.  A lot of "baby" things have been happening to people all around me lately - colleagues at work, family, friends, etc., etc., etc.  And you know what?  I want to ignore it all.  I want to run away and not have to be faced with any of it.  And yes, I know that's immature and not possible, but it's how I feel.  It's the truth.

Over the weekend, my husband and I went to a family birthday party and I literally spent the entire night dodging people.  I'm sick of being somewhere and being greeted by others with a hug and a blatantly obvious stare at my stomach.  Worse is being greeted by someone who has the gall to ask "any baaaaaabies?!?!".  Both of which happen to me - frequently.  Those awkward and hurtful enounters are bad enough, but then, having to be somewhere with the utmost angst that another family member or friend is going to announce that their family is expanding, nearly leaves me remembering why I don't like to leave my house these days.

After we arrived home from the birthday party, I told my husband that I'm exhausted from my own emotions.  I feel a little bit of pain in my heart with every breath I take.  The amount of energy that it takes for me to just get through one day seems insurmountable.  Couple that with another pregnancy announcement, birth of a baby or an e-mail from a co-worker announcing that her maternity leave will officially begin today, and that's when I feel crippled from my hurt.  And while I know this is probably the most selfish thing I could ever say write... right now, I just can't feel happy them.  All of my emotion is already being used up - by my own heartache, pain, worry and fear.

I know that I can't go through every day with these awful feelings and with all of this pain.  I know that this is not healthy.  And I know that there are much worse things that I could be dealing with.  But right now I'm too exhausted to try to do anything differently.  A lot of women who have suffered through infertility will say that there are times during their journey of trying to get pregnant that they experienced really dark days, that certain periods of time during their journey were the darkest days of their lives.  The entire journey of dealing with infertility is difficult - and anyone who has experienced it knows that.  But it's true - that some days you do actually feel 'OK', and then there are days that you just feel like you can't move, not even a half step forward - because that's how crippling the pain is - infertility is not fair and it's very scary.  So maybe I'm just going through one of those really dark parts in my journey...

Regardless, I hope it ends soon.  I'm tired of being sad.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Thanksgiving has come and gone and now the rush of Christmas is in full force.  Indoor and outdoor decorating has begun and the parking lots at the mall are packed to the max morning, noon and night (sadly for me, I work in a building whose bottom level is a mall, so it's rather difficult to escape the holiday craziness!  On the other hand, it's great working above a mall to get all of my shopping done during lunch breaks... along with the rest of the residents in the city of Boston and all of the tourists!).  I realized this weekend that Christmas is just not the joyous holiday season that I had so hoped and wished it'd be this year.  Nope, as a matter of fact, I actually turned into quite the Scrooge this weekend as holiday preparations began all around me.

You see, ON Thanksgiving night, I learned that yet again I'm not pregnant.  Not that I had thought otherwise, truthfully, but I did have visions and daydreams of possibly learning that I was pregnant on Thanksgiving.  That my husband and I would begin this holiday season more thankful than we've ever been before.  That we'd for sure have so much to be thankful for, to celebrate, to truly be happy about this holiday season.  That.... well, it doesn't matter... Because it didn't happen.  I'm not pregnant.  Again.

So, now you may have a better understanding as to why "Scrooge-like" feelings, thoughts and even actions have overtaken my body.  For example, this weekend as I decorated my mantle (what little I could do to try to get into the "holiday spirit"), I declared that there would be no Christmas tree in our house this year!  I know I certainly can't be bothered with that this year (my poor husband (!!)... who didn't argue with me about this and just (er....happily) agreed).

Anyway, the truth is that the holiday season is just a difficult time of year to endure the heartaches of infertility.  Last year at this time, we were just starting our first IUI.  We had so much hope and faith.  We were happy this time last year because we truly thought it'd work.  We never, ever imagined that we'd still be in the very same spot ONE.YEAR.LATER.  Sigh.  A year has passed - a year of sadness, anger, jealousy, envy and worry.  A year of enduring others' announcements about their pregnancies, a year of watching others' bellys grow (and only having a bloated, swollen stomach myself from all of the IF pills and injections) and a year of watching others' miracle babies be brought into the world. 


So this Christmas season (you know, the season that people say "the children are what make it fun"), if you want to steer clear of me, then by all means, I understand.  I'm not much fun to be around these days and I surely don't have many happy thoughts to express here on my Blog.  The Christmas season has already exhausted me.  But hey, at least I won't have a tree to take down at the end of it all....

Bah humbug.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!
Today I'm giving thanks to...

My family, who is alway there for me and who I can always count on - especially these days when life hasn't been so sweet...
My sweet Bellaboo, who always makes me smile, even on the saddest and most difficult days of all...
And finally, I'm especially giving thanks to my husband, my rock and my Love - without whom, I would be even more of a mess than I already am!  I will be forever grateful for your love, support, humor and strength during this extremely difficult time in our lives.  I Love You with ALL of my heart <3

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Yin and Yang

I woke up this morning in a really crummy mood.  After I showered, I sat on my bed and told my husband that I just feel sad today.  He sat down next to me, gave me a hug and a kiss and then we both continued to get ready.  And while I still felt overwhelmed with sadness, I tried my hardest to at least move on with my getting ready for work routine and to continue to just put one foot in front of the other.

This morning was a little different...  because of the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, rather than taking patients on Tuesday and Thursday, my acupuncturist scheduled appointments for Monday and Wednesday.  I ended up scheduling an appointment with him for first thing this morning - 7:00 a.m. - and then hurriedly rushed to work in hopes of not being too late.

Anyway, while at my appointment, as needles were being stuck into my body, we got to talking about random things: work, Thanksgiving and ultimately about my bad mood (solely due to my infertility).  My acupuncturist finished sticking me with needles and left me "to just relax" with these parting words "in Chinese medicine, we belive in the Yin and Yang... it's really a cycle.  Yin and Yang is a symbol which shows us that if things are going badly, don't get too down about it... because good is right around the corner...". 

I've been thinking of the Yin and Yang all day - I pray I'm at the very end of the bad stuff... and that good really is right around the corner for me. 

I'm afraid that my hope and faith are starting to diminish with each passing day...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Life's Not Fair

I remember when I was young, I would sometimes respond to my parents after being told "no" to something I asked for or to do (i.e. can I go to so and so's house? or, "can so and so sleepover tonight?", or "can you take me to the mall?", etc.) with "but it's not faaaaaaaaaairrrrrrr!".  My parents would then respond to my brattiness by saying "life's not fair!".  I would then surely storm up the stairs, loudly close (this way I could say I didn't slam it!) my door and proceed to sulk and pout until I forgot what I had asked for or to do in the first place.

Well, mom and dad.... Boy were you ever right!  Life Is NOT Fair!  Now, I know that a lot of people out there have it much worse than me.  A lot of people are dealing with issues and problems that for sure trump my heartache over infertility.  But, everything is relative.  For me, right now, infertility is the biggest, most difficult, and emotionally draining thing in my life.  And it is not fair that I (or that any of you, my fellow infertility friends) was picked as someone who has to deal with it and with all of the horrible things that come along with it - it straight out sucks.  Big time.

Last night I was watching MTV's The Challenge (I will forever be a Real World/Road Rules fan!) and as there always is on MTV, a commerical came on for Teen Mom 2.  My heart sank as I watched a preview for one of the teen moms talking to someone on the phone saying something along the lines of failing her drug test (she may have even threw an "again" in there as well - ugh).  I just couldn't help but think to myself how horrible every single thing about that is... First, MTV for even airing a show like that - don't they know how many people they are torturing?  People like me, who are dealing with infertility every day.  It just made me so angry.  I've never been a fan, or have even ever watched a single episode of that show.  And when one of the teen moms is on the cover of US Weekly, I can barely stand to flip through the magazine that I subscribe to (a guilty pleasure!) because my heartache from infertility runs that deep.

Anyway, I've struggled over the past few days to come here and find something worthwhile to write about.  I feel like I'm currently stuck in a really dark place.  The entire infertility journey in general, I think, puts you in a dark place - but for some reason, I've just felt especially low these days.  Maybe it's because I'm currently not doing anything (well, I've been researching the heck out of different protocols, have been trying to learn anything and everything I can about CCRM and have been going over (and over again) my prior IVF cycles' LH, estradiol, and follicle growth results) with regard to treatment - and I'm in a waiting game for my next cycle to start.  Whatever it is though, I just feel at a loss for words to even begin to describe my sadness.  Thus, my hesitance to come here and share anything at all... 

I've been thinking so much about the Thanksgiving holiday that's upon us... And I know that I have an abundance of things (and people) to be thankful for in my life... but, I just feel like being thankful is something that is really difficult for me this year.  So, if I'm absent from the blogosphere for a little while, you know why.  I'm trying very hard to gain my composure and fight through this excruciatingly difficult time in my journey of infertility.  And rather than come here with nothing but negativity to express (I think I've gotten the point across to all of you that I'm miserable), I'm going to try to muster up all of the hope and faith that I can find within so that I can find a way to drag myself out of this dark, dark hole...

Anyway... it's not fair.  Life is not fair.  Infertility is not fair. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hope & Faith

I feel a little "in the dark" today, read: down and out, in the dumps, you get the point...), but this Pinterest find has helped me out a little. And it will allow me to go to sleep tonight with more strength to hold onto what little bit of Hope (and Faith) that I've had today...

Since Then and Good (??) News

It's crazy to think that it has been three weeks to the day since we learned "secret cycle" IVF #3 failed.  Three weeks ago today, my world literally fell apart around me.  Three weeks ago today, I was an inconsolable mess and couldn't imagine being able to see beyond all of the pain that was inflicted upon me in a matter of seconds.  But, I made it.  I made it through twenty-one days of sadness.  Each day hasn't gotten better - I've mentioned before that the pain is actually worse with each passing day that I'm not pregnant - but, each day I do feel like I have a little more hope than I had the day before.  And that, I truly believe is a blessing.

We had planned to head to CT to visit my parents the weekend after my BETA test - in hopes of celebrating some miraculously good news with my mom and dad.  Sadly, that obviously wasn't the case.  We felt so hurt that we thought about just not going altogether - but, ultimately decided that getting away was precisely what we needed.  We both took that Friday off from work and drove down on Thursday evening.  It turned out to be a nice weekend for us to clear our minds and to have someone take care of Belle (and us!).  While in CT, we went for a nice "hike" (if you could even call it that...!)/walk on a "mountain"/trail in my parents' neighboring town.  We enjoyed eachother's company and talked a lot about our future... with or without children (please God, let us be able to follow our "with children" future plans!).

We headed back to Boston on Saturday and enjoyed a fall evening that included lounging on the couch, catching up on our DVR'ed shows from the week, snuggling with Belle and drinking delicious pumpkin beer with a cinnamon/brown sugar rim (and me, quickly passing out from both the beer and the exhaustion of still feeling so sad). 

Since then, we've had our first snow storm of the season (any evidence has quickly melted as we are currently enjoying weather of 70 degrees today!  Only in New England!!) and I've kept myself busy with some baking.  I made Erin's banana bread muffins for my father in-law who has been doing some work on our house.  I also made these delicious cupcakes for my nephew's sixth birthday party this weekend.  Delicious.
As you can see, life has moved on since that horrible day three weeks ago.  A part of me is so thankful for that, but another part of me is still there, stuck in the moment of that day, when I learned I wasn't pregnant (again).  I think that the sadness and heartbreak that I've experienced, on those days specifically, will always be something that is carried with me.  BUT... on the other hand, time continues to pass.  We have more chances - more months and more cycles - to try.  That's all we can do - keep moving forward (even though we're plagued and reminded daily by the horrible past) and not give up.  We will try and we will do anything it takes for our future miracle baby.

Now on to the good(ish)(???) news... My endometrial biopsy results were normal.  No issue.  Good news?  Yes.  But again, a part of me wishes something was wrong, or, just not quite 100% right.  Something that the doctor could say that we just need to go in and quickly/easily fix this or that and voila! you'll get pregnant!  But, no such luck.  My issue - and apparently my only issue - as we learned just about a year ago to the day, is my eggs.

So today I'm praying that in my great big pool (well, based on my FSH, my "pool" may not be big at all!) of ugly, bad eggs, that one - just one - is perfect enough to become my miracle baby...soon.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Reminder: Trust in The Lord

Yesterday afternoon I made a quick stop at the mall. I went into a store where I normally don't shop and decided to try on a few tops (that I didn't end up buying- I quickly remembered just why I don't shop at that store!). When I closed the fitting room door, this heart-shaped sticky note was staring me right in the eyes.
Perhaps it was God's plan for me to go into a store where I don't usually shop. Perhaps He wanted me to try those tops on because He wanted to remind me of something. Something that I should try to hold onto and remember in these days of heartache, frustration, fear and worry. I need to trust The Lord with all of my heart. I'm praying that if I do just that, that He will finally reward me with my miracle baby.

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Life & Friends

This is my life, people...

Some of what I've faced and have had to deal with the past two days:

Note: I work for an insurance company and attend employee benefits fairs during the year to inform people about their benefits offered from their employer (this time of year, I'm basically at these types of meetings every day, or at least I attend so many that it feels that way!).  Other representatives from insurance companies attend these fairs as well...

- Yesterday at the employee benefits fair I attended, a gentleman from the company's vision insurance provider randomly asked me (literally, out of the blue) "do you have any kids at home?".  I told him that I didn't, then looked away and couldn't bare to look at him anymore for the remainder of the day.  My name is Aubrey, and I hold grudges.  Even with perfect strangers.

-  Yesterday, at the same fair, I bumped into someone that I had worked with previously.  The first question she excitedly asked me while staring at my stomach was "Any baaaaaaabiessss?!?!".  I let her know that no, I don't have any children and then cursed her out in my head for the next five minutes (I actually may still be cursing her out in my head... man, these grudges that I hold...).

-  As mentioned in last night's post, we found out that one of our couple friends are expecting... again.  I was so upset, I had to (Blog and then) go to bed right away so I wouldn't be a grump pathetically sulking around my house for my husband to see for the rest of the night.

-  Today at work (at another company's benefits fair), there was a nurse from a local hospital doing blood pressure screenings for employees.  She was about 5 months pregnant and we had a nice conversation about nursing (a profession I'll forever regret not going into!) and then she asked if I had children.  Lately I feel as if I have a sign across my forehead begging people to ask me this question.

-  There was also a chiropractor at today's fair who I got to talking with... she started telling stories about how she gives her patients x-rays before treating them.  And wouldn't you know that twice... TWICE... she found out that people were pregnant based on their x-ray.  Excuse me while I barf, because in the world of infertility, IF, a pregnancy occurs, we know right away.  There is no question.  We have the BETA results to prove it, only 14 days after retrieval.

-  Today, after the benefits fair I attended, I stopped at The Container Store to make a quick return.  In line, I was sandwiched between two beautiful women who were both pregnant.  Seriously.  This is my life.

* * * * *

Now that I'm done with my rant, I just want to mention how truly thankful I have become for this Blog.  I've recently learned that I actually do have (a few) followers and I'm so grateful that my words have helped others somwhere out there.  I know that others' Blogs have helped me in the past... and they still do!  I don't write this Blog for anyone other than for me.  I've mentioned before that writing here is somewhat therapeutic for me - if I can somehow be of help to someone else out there, though, then that's just an added bonus. 

Anyway, before I get myself going on another rant (this time about why I Blog), I just want to thank those of you that have reached out to me.  Your stories have truly inspired me.  Your suggestions, advice and guidance have given me more hope than you know - especially at a time when I really need it all(!!!).  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Hugs to all of my new friends (somehow without even knowing you, I feel closer to you than I do to my real-life friends these days!).

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sad about feeling sad

I'm sad.  And I feel sad for even feeling sad about this, but it's the truth and it's how I feel.  We just learned that one of our couple friends are pregnant again with their second child...

Somewhere deep down I am happy for them.  I know that their daughter deserves to be a big sister as much as I deserve to be a mother, but on the surface I feel sad, hurt and even more let down.  I'm finding that I've been asking myself over and over again lately, "why her and why not me?"   From the girl working out next to me at Barre, to my colleague at work, to many, many friends and even family, I'm wondering why them and why not me??

I told my husband tonight that I'm really trying to find the good in all of this... To see that maybe there's a perfectly good understandable reason that we were chosen to deal with the many struggles of infertility... But as the months pass with no positive pregnancy test, I'm not sure that I will ever see "good" in any of this.

Heading to bed to try and escape my living nightmare and to dream of my perfect, hopefully soon to be conceived, miraculous baby... Uggggh...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I love you, my angel, because you ALWAYS make me smile :)

Deja vu and an update...

I've been in a bit of a funk the past few days.  While I'm happy (I tried to think of a word that adequately describes how I feel - "happy" probably isn't the right word since I rarely am truly happy - about anything - these days, but "happy" will have to do for this sentence) that we have a plan and know what next steps we will be taking as we continue to battle our struggle with infertility, it's all just starting to feel too much like "we've already been there, we've already done that".  You see, almost one year ago to the day is when we met with our RE for the very first time (November 16th, 2011).  And here we are... in the same place... Literally. 

The nurse from my RE's office called this afternoon to let me know that it looks like I need to have blood drawn and tested for infectious diseases... again.  I distinctly remember having oh, about a dozen vials of blood drawn last year - on November 16th, 2011 - and now I'm reminded that almost exactly one year later, here I am... again.  I understand insurance protocols and the need for all of this to be tested again.  I get it.  I mean, I'll have a dozen vials of blood drawn daily if it means my insurance will cover multiple cycles of IVF, but, it's just a slap in the face.  The harsh reality of what we've been through in a matter of one year (two years total) washed over me today - it was like someone dumped a bucket of ice cold water on top of my head.  I can't believe, almost one year later, I'm not even pregnant.  I can't believe that I'm preparing for another cycle of IVF.  IVF has now become the most unexciting thing ever (to me).  I know what a month of IVF entails now.  And I wish I didn't.  I wish I had the same excitement about starting IVF that I had back in April, 2011.  I wish I had the feeling that it was going to work.  That it had to work.  But I don't.  IVF doesn't guarantee a baby.  Heck, IVF doesn't guarantee seven babies (the number of embryos I've had transferred).  As far as I'm concerned, at this point in my journey, the only things that IVF guarantees are a bruised stomach, a month of insanity and a crushed spirit.  But, I keep doing it because what else am I going to do?  I can't give up.  I need to keep fighting for my family.

Nothing else is as important to me than my (hopefully future) family.  I am 100% committed to plugging away at whatever needs to be done to become pregnant - no matter how depressed it makes me feel.  I truly believe that I deserve to be pregnant just as much as the gal on the mat next to me at my Barre workout class the other night (seriously, the girl next to me at my workout class was about six months pregnant.  As I've said many times before, I can't get away from it - pregnancy literally surrounds me - oh, and that girl... she's pregnant with her second child.  Just thought I'd throw that one out there).  My life right now is entirely consumed by infertility.  My thoughts while I'm awake and my dreams while I'm sleeping - consumed by that horrible "I" word.  Sadly, everything (and everyone) else has just taken the backseat in my life right now.  My future miracle baby is front and center on my mind.  I'm not sure where this energy and "umph" came from (actually, I do...  Thanks God!) - but I feel (kinda.sorta.alittlebit) strong (watch, I'm probably jinxing myself.  Don't blame me if I have a post up tomorrow wallowing in my depression from my infertility saga!).  As much as infertility has weakened me, I know that I cannot give up.  I won't let anything or anyone stand in my way of becoming a mother.

Infertility journey updateI had my sonohysterogram (SHG) and endometrial biopsy done (um, can you say ooouuuuuuch?!?!) and I was beyond thankful to have my mom there with me.  The SHG was fine - I felt some cramping while the technician inserted the saline, but all in all, it wasn't too bad.  The endometrial biopsy though... man, did that one hurt!  I wasn't really expecting to feel much of anything (but boy was I wrong!).  A year ago when I had the HSG done, I didn't feel a thing.  I've read on lots of blogs and posts from infertility forums that many women were in a lot of pain from the HSG so I just figured I had a high pain tolerance... I guess not, though!  During the biopsy, I must have looked a little squeamish becuase the medical technician looked at me and mouthed "are you okay?" - I felt funny saying "No!  This is not fun, you can stop now.  I'm in pain.  OWWWW!!!", so I just nodded my head to let her know I was okay and then I just tightly closed my eyes until it was over.  The procedure only took about 30 seconds but it felt like an eternity!  I should have the results from the biopsy in the next couple of days - the piece of lining that they took out needs to be sent up to a lab for testing.  My doctor was able to let me know right then and there the results of my SHG and everything looks fine.  I don't appear to have any inflammation, polyps, etc. in my uterus.  As far as my doctor can tell, it's totally clear.  Which is great news.  But, a part of me sort of wishes that something stood out to my doctor.  Something that, with some sort of quick procedure, I'd be good to go.  Something that we'd be able to say "THIS is why I haven't gotten pregnant!" - but, I guess I really do just have some sh&*%y eggs!

I'm sort of at a loss on how to end this blog post, so I'm just going to call it quits here.  A tout a l'heure!

Friday, November 2, 2012


Well, Wednesday has come and gone.  I awoke with nerves galore and what felt like millions of butterflies fluttering around in my stomach.  Our consultation with our doctor was at 10 a.m. and I couldn't keep my anxiety at bay.  We arrived right on time and waited about a half hour to see our doctor (so annoying).  But, the time finally came for us to take our seats in her daunting office and the second she opened her mouth to speak to us, the butterflies instantly fluttered out of my body.  I'll start my re-cap with this - she has hope for us... a lot of hope.

We went over a lot of things.  We pretty much reviewed each and every one of the steps we've taken thus far in our journey.  We discussed day three vs. day five transfers, the possibility of next time (yes, we are still going to subject ourselves to more cycles of IVF!) pressing our luck and waiting until day five - but ultimately it was decided that there would really be no advantage to this (although, until I have a day five transfer, I will probably always wonder about this... unless of course, I become pregnant after a day three transfer!).  We also talked about what might be happening to my really good looking embryos once they're transferred into my uterus - do they even make it to day five?  Is the issue really with my eggs, or are we now talking about another issue with my uterus?  To look further into a possible issue with my uterus, I will be having a couple of tests/procedures done so that my doctor can get a better look at my endometrium lining (which has always looked okay on ultrasound) and also my uterus, to confirm that there isn't any sort of inflammation or scarring that may cause an embryo (or two, or three, or in my case... seven!)  not to implant.

As mentioned above though, we will be doing another cycle of IVF with my own eggs.  I was worried, prior to our meeting, that my doctor's tune may have changed at this point, what with having three failed IVF's and all... but it most certainly has not!  She, again, seems to have more hope than I do.  She told us that while donor eggs are an option that will always be there for us, she really sees no reason why I wouldn't have a chance of becoming pregnant with my own eggs in any given month with or without IVF.  She believes that it's a matter of just being able to know when - none of us has that magical crystal ball - so that's the hard (perhaps hardest) part in all of this.  IVF gives us a slightly better chance because we end up with (in my case) a couple more eggs to work with in a cycle. 

So... we reviewed all of the protocols that I've been on in the past, and we agreed that my body responds best to the Antagonist type of protocol.  I've been on two different types of the Antagonist protocol and in these two cycles, we ended up with our best looking/graded embryos, so, we'll most likely stick to this type of protocol for my future cycle(s).  Since I'm already too far into my current cycle and because we want to get the uterine/endometrium procedures/tests done this month, we won't start our next IVF until my next cycle.

In addition to all of the above, we also spoke a little about other natural "remedies".  While I'm still doing acupuncture twice a week, I am no longer taking herbs (it is not recommended (by my acupuncturist nor by my doctor) to take herbs while also taking infertility medications during a cycle).  That said, my doctor did tell me that I could feel free to take 50 mg. of DHEA and 50 mg. of Co-Q 10 up until retrieval.  DHEA is a male hormone (so weird) and there are some thoughts that it can help with the quality of follicles, eggs and embryos.  Co-Q 10 is an antioxidant supplement/vitamin and there are also some thoughts that this too, can help with the quality of follicles, eggs and embryos.  My doctor isn't convinced that this is true for either of these supplements however, she assured me that she would have no problem with me giving it a try (since Wednesday, I've been taking my pre natal vitamin (how annoying - I've been taking this one for two years now), DHEA and Co-Q 10 supplements - I will try anything!).

We have hope again and for that we are truly thankful.  We have been blessed with a doctor who really believes that we will have a baby of our own.  A doctor who is full of so much knowledge and intelligence, who doesn't give it to us lightly, who is frank and to the point - but most importantly, a doctor who wants this for us as much as we want it for ourselves.  We are blessed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween (Circa 2009)

Happy Halloween from my little Lady Bug!!

This was from Halloween three years ago when B was still a puppy.  She hated her costume so much that we haven't dressed her up since!

The last time Nick and I dressed up for Halloween (2009), we were the teenage couple from the movie Juno.  Today I'm thinking seriously?  I dressed up as a pregnant teenager?  Is this some sort of sick joke?!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Many of my relationships have been on my mind lately...  I have mentioned before that I believe infertility has forever changed me.  Infertility has become a part of what defines me and it is something that I will (unfortunately) carry with me for the rest of my life... regardless of how it ends. 

Along with the pain, tears, hurt, anxiety, worry and many, many other emotions that infertility has bestowed upon me, it has also made its effects known by way of spoiling a lot of my relationships with others.  A little more than a year ago when I started to really worry about what might be going on with my body and as I started to ask myself why the heck I wasn't getting pregnant, I was very private with my struggles.  Other than my husband of course, a close friend and co-worker were the only two people that had any idea something was going on, and this was only because I somewhat sporadically shared some of my worries with them.  When my husband and I met with our RE for the first time last November, we decided to keep our infertility journey as close to our vests as possible.  We didn't want to announce our struggles with really anyone, as we had hoped they wouldn't matter... we truly believed our first IUI would work and at that point, why would we worry any of our family or friends about our bad luck with our encounter with infertility?  Right before our first IUI, I ended up coming clean to my parents and sister.  The frequent doctors' appointments and hormonal roller coaster that I was on from the Clomid cemented the fact that I needed some additional support, guidance and love from my family.

After our IUI's continued to fail, we decided to fill my husband's family as well as some additional very close family members in on our struggle.  I also started to slowly let some of my close friends and some co-workers, who I trusted, know what we were dealing with - and how it had, at this point, completely turned our lives upside down.  Initially (and sometimes I still feel this way), I really wanted to keep our infertility journey very private.  But as it progressed and we were on our way to our first IVF, we were filled with more hope than ever before, and we were convinced that IVF was just what we needed and that at the end of that cycle, we'd finally get to call ourselves parents to be!  Welp, here we are... seven months later... and I have no belly to boastfully rub and to talk ever so sweetly to...  All I have is a constantly bloated stomach full of bruised injection sites.

I digress... back to my relationships.  Yes, my relationships have suffered immensely, thanks to my infertility.  Part of me doesn't care and is totally fine with this.  Another part of me is terribly saddened.  You hear it all the time, that friendships come and go and that you're lucky to have at least one true friend in your life (I'm very thankful and beyond blessed for my one true friend - who I know is probably reading this!).  Truthfully though, I think perhaps I may have a couple of true friends... but that's about it.  And I think I'm the reason for all of my other friendships to have plummeted recently.  You see, once my husband and I decided we were ready for our family to expand, it was all I could think about.  As the months passed with no positive pregnancy test, my spirits were crushed.  During this time, as friends announced their pregnancies, it was difficult to be happy for them.  It was even more difficult to have to see them and to have to pretend to be happy for them.  I pulled away from oh so many social outings with my friends.  At first I did so beause what if I were pregnant?  If I wasn't drinking a glass of pinot noir, my friends would surely know something's up!  Then, as we became more entrenched in fertility treatments, my days became governed by doctors appointments, blood draws, ultrasounds, nightly pill-popping and giving myself shots in my thigh or belly (and sometimes right in my rear end!)... It became hard to go out for dinners after work or on the weekends - first, because of the crazy IVF-induced schedule that I was on and second, because I became (and am) so miserable, that sometimes putting a smile on my face and looking happy was such a feat that the thought of it alone exhausted me.  For weeks (and even still now), the only place I felt comfortable was at home, alone with my husband, where I felt safe - where I felt like I didn't have to think - about anything - where I wouldn't encounter another pregnant person or where I didn't have to worry about my eyes instantly welling up with tears should another friend announce that their family is growing (why them?  why not me?!). 

I pulled away from a lot of most of my friends.  But, don't get me wrong - I do have a handful of friends that know exactly what's going on in my extremely painful journey of infertility.  Some of these friends are ones who I'm grateful that I've told.  Sadly, others are people who I wish daily had not a clue about my husband's and my plans for expanding our family.  The reason for my regret is largely because of the way certain people have handled my confession.  I know that there are many bloggers out there who have written posts about what not to say to an infertile.  And I could actually create a post about this myself.  But the truth is, a lot of people don't know what to do and don't know what to say to someone who is in my situation.  And I get that.  I do.  But, sometimes I just wish that if you were a true friend, that this wouldn't be an issue.  And maybe I'm cold-hearted for even thinking about it this way - but my friends who have responded in just.the.right.way are people that I will be forever grateful for.  And I've started to realize that perhaps my friends who have responded in a way that has caused me a lot of hurt, well, are they really a friend?  Maybe it's OK that I've pulled away from these people.  It's a hard realization to come to.  Relationships... all relationships... change.  They grow, and sometimes they fail to grow, as a result of life experiences and situations that people encounter and face. 

All that being said, I'm most thankful for my family and for my husband's family who have embraced us, prayed for us and prayed with us, who have been beyond understanding and who have lent us some great shoulders to lean on (and to cry on) during this very difficult time in our lives.  Family members are your true friends.  And I'm lucky enough to have a few really good friends who have become family to me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Secret Cycle IVF #3 - the details

Today marks one week since we learned that our secret cycle IVF #3 failed.  Saying that, writing that and seeing that still brings tears to my eyes and leaves me somewhat numb.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, none of this gets easier as time passes.  The hurt, pain, fear and worry is magnified after every unsuccessful month/cycle.  I could write a novel about the emotions one deals with because of infertility, but I want to focus this post on the details of my third IVF and how it all came about... And why we had so much more hope this time...

I had mentioned that my acupuncturist wanted me to add another month of herbs to my initial three month plan...  After a lot of tossing and turning over this, I decided to go ahead and do a fourth month, until one day I had a very strong feeling that I wanted to do another cycle of IVF.  My husband and I spoke about it and we decided that we would go ahead with our third IVF, but this time we weren't going to tell anyone about our plan.  No one at all.  I wanted to move forward with an IVF cycle without having to report anything back to anyone.  In my mind, I thought that this would be less stressful.  I thought that perhaps it would allow me to focus less on every blood draw and ultrasound result... and truthfully, it did.

For secret cycle IVF #3, I was on the Clomid-Antagonist protocol (interestingly enough, this is the protocol that Dr S. said he would put me on should we choose to do a cycle at CCRM). 
  • September 25th was CD1 (cycle day 1).
  • I started taking 100 mg of Clomid on September 27th.  My last dose of Clomid was on October 1st (CD3 through CD7).
  • I added Follistim injections (450 iu) on September 28th (CD4).  My last injection of Follistim was on October 5th (CD11).
  • I added the Ganirelix injection (this is the antagonist shot that prevents early ovulation) on October 3rd (CD9).  My last injection of Ganirelix was on October 5th (CD11).
To my complete surprise on Friday, October 5th, my doctor told me that she expected that my retrieval would be on Monday, October 8th.  October 8th was CD14.  A few things to note about this:
  1. Prior to any of my infertility treatment, when using OPK's, I would always get a smiley face detecting an LH surge on or around CD14.
  2. For my other two IVF's, my egg retrievals were on CD19 and CD18, respectively.  I had always thought that this seemed "off" based on my OPK LH surge results.
My doctor needed me to come in the following day though, Saturday, October 6th, for one last blood draw and ultrasound.  This is when secret cycle IVF #3 became a little less secretive.  My husband and I had been planning to visit my parents in CT that weekend, but with us having to cancel our plans at the very last minute, we decided to just fill them in on what had been going on...

My sister also pretty much knew what was going on.  At the end of September we were at a wedding together.  I was doing my Follistim injections at the time (which have to be refrigerated) (another reason why IVF patients prefer to remain at home and are unsocial during a cycle) so I had to stuff my clutch purse with ice packs to keep my medicine cold.  Also stuffed inside of my clutch were the essentials: mints, lip gloss, etc.  Throughout the night, my sister randomly asked to use my lip gloss - each time I would give it to her, she'd remark that it was so cold and finally, I think she put two and two together...

After my appointment on Saturday, October 6th, it was confirmed that my egg retrieval would be at 9 a.m. on Monday the 8th.  I was instructed to take my trigger shot Saturday night at 8 p.m.  We were worried going into the egg retrieval.  My doctor was the RE that was scheduled for that day's surgery, which we were thrilled about.  She met with us prior to the procedure and let us know that there were really only two follicles that she would be focusing on.  This cycle was no different from the other two in the fact that I did not produce a large number of follicles (thanks, FSH.  I HATE you, I really do!).  I, so badly, wanted more than four eggs this time, but after our talk with my doctor prior to my retrieval, I was nervous and didn't know what to expect...

So... when the nurse reported to us that my doctor had retrieved SIX EGGS, we were ecstatic.  We had SUCH a good feeling about this cycle!  We were sent home with instructions to start the PIO injections that evening.  In addition, I was instructed to start Endometrin (suppositories - gross - since my IUI cycles, I always requested the PIO injection instead of the Endo - the injection is so painful, but is much preferred (in my opinion at least) over the suppositories!) twice a day.  I ALSO was instructed to wear a Vivelle estrogen patch starting the morning of my transfer.  We were very pleased with the additional steps that we were instructed to take this time post retrieval/transfer.  We were so optimistic that these additions would give us our miracle baby.

The next day we learned that, of my six eggs, three fertilized.  Truthfully, I had hoped for more than three embryos so that we'd have a chance of freezing at least one, but we still felt like we were ahead of the game at this point.  We had one more embryo this time than we had the last two times!

On October 11th, I had a day three embryo transfer.  We transferred ALL THREE embryos and the doctor told us that she thought these were the best looking embryos that we've ever had.  The embryos were graded as such:  one grade A/B 8 cell, one grade B 7 cell and one grade B 6 cell.  Again, we were ecstatic.  I immediately felt connected to my little babies (I stopped referring to them as embies and called them my babies).  I even named them - all of them.  I just had so much more hope this time.  I put myself on bed rest that day when I got home and stayed in bed for the next two days after that.  I was not going to let anything get in the way of my beloved babies implanting in my uterus. 
My husband and I prayed together nightly for at least one of our babies to make it - We would have been thrilled if two of them made it - And we would have been beyond blessed if all three of them had made it - Really, we weren't concerned about the potential for multiples. 

I didn't record every symptom, twinge, flicker, cramp and flutter that I felt during the 2ww this time - I didn't want to obsess over it - I chose to be positive this time.  I chose to believe that I was pregnant.  I chose to trust in God and to let my Faith carry me through the excruciating 11 days of the unknown following my transfer. 

Sadly, you know how this cycle ended.  Thinking back on my positivity is very difficult for me.  I'm not a positive person by nature (something that I, admittedly, would like to change about myself), but this time, I really believed in mind over matter.  And this time, I guess I learned that it doesn't really matter if I'm positive or negative - Positivity won't fix my high FSH.  Positivity won't make me become fertile.  Positivity won't make me a Mom.

...Praying for my doctor today.  I'm praying that she is lead to another plan for us.  A plan that will work.  I'm praying that she still has hope for us... so that we can still have hope for ourselves...
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