Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend & Where I Am Now...

Our Memorial Day Weekend in review:
* Working from home with B by my side on Friday * Husband jean shopping.  Not fun.  He's picky. *  Green smoothie breakfasts * Thank goodness for year-round caramel apple spice.  Take that, no-caffeine rule! * Brunch at our wedding venue/Memorial Service for a dear family friend * 5 mile walk on a pretty bike trail * Birthday present for my little boyfriend, aka my three year old nephew, whom I adore * My little family * My sweet, sweet Belle (who does not look happy in this picture, ha!) *

All weekend I was thinking about my little blog.  I've felt so disconnected from it lately.  I've been suffering through horrible writer's block and I just feel stuck.  Stuck, stuck, stuck.  My blog is about my infertility.  Infertility has become my life.  I've openly admitted before, that I struggle with trying not to allow my infertility to overcome every other aspect of my life.  The truth is, though, that I fail at this pretty much every single day.  Blogging about my infertility has always been a good outlet for me... A place to come to bare my heart and soul and my raw thoughts and emotions.  But that's just the thing... Lately I've felt like what else can I possibly say?  How many more times can I write about how sad I am?  How depressed I feel?  How I had to leave a wedding early because a friend announced her pregnancy?  Or, how I cried myself to sleep at night thinking about the unfairness of my struggle with infertility?  It's all been said.  I'm still sad.  I still feel depressed.  I still feel like I won't be able to make it through any sort of social function.  And I still cry myself to sleep, many nights, because this is so unfair.

I know I don't want to stop blogging.  I just know that right now, I don't know what to say.  I feel a bit empty.  So, my posts may continue to be a bit sparse.  Maybe (hopefully) I'll have more to say as my cycles with CCRM continue to progress?  Right now, with not a whole heck of a lot going on, I feel a little blah... I don't have a lot of updates - except that my estrogen and testosterone meds officially kicked my butt this weekend.  I suffered my first (and second, and third) hormone-induced meltdown this weekend (hence the need to take a five mile walk to clear my head and to complain the whole time about how much I hate infertility.  My poor husband.).  It wasn't pretty.  I'll just leave it at that.

I'm only 6 1/2 days in to my testosterone priming cycle and I'm ready for it to be over.  I want to stim.  I want to fly to Denver.  I want to figure out if retrieval will interfere with my new job training.  I want to get the show on the road.  Most of all, I just want to become a mom.  And even more than that, I want to know how I will become one...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life Happenings

Infertility is hard.  So much about it is hard.  The emotions, the last minute changes to an IVF cycle, the waiting... oh the waiting is so hard, etc. etc. etc.  And recently, I've realized something else that is difficult about infertility: life.  Yes, life.  Life happens as my infertility continues and that is hard.  Not only do the lives of others continue (so often hurting me to my core when someone else's (second, third, etc.) pregnancy is announced), but my life is continuing as well.  And to be perfectly honest, I haven't really been able to wrap my mind around this whole concept as of yet.

You see, in a way, because I'm dealing with infertility, I want my life to just stop.  I want to hit pause... to go through my IVF cycles, eventually somehow get pregnant or become a mother and then hit play.  I'd gladly resume my life then.  The thing is though, we all know that's not how it goes.  Life continues for everyone else and for us.  Infertility, which is the biggest, most stressful and difficult thing in my life right now, is not my.life (even though most days I'd beg to differ on that statement).  I'll be honest - - - I've certainly had a (big) hand in pushing things in my life away recently.  And while I'm not yet ready to welcome some of the friends whom I've pushed away back into my life, or to respond 'yes' for upcoming baby showers or other social events, I know that I need to open my eyes a little and to try to (dare I say) enjoy what is happening in my life.  Gulp.  That's a huge undertaking.  And I know I fail at this every single day.  I don't find the simple joy or the happiness in my life anymore.  I let my infertility overshadow it...

In fact, I let my infertility overshadow getting a pretty big promotion at work on Friday.  After receiving the call with an offer, I bawled my eyes out about it while talking to my mom on the phone.  I was, and am, so overwhelmed.  How can I put 100% into a new position?  My life is consumed by my infertility.  I will probably (fingers crossed everything goes as planned) be in Denver for a week to ten days or so in July and I'm completely petrified that the training for my new role will overlap with my retrieval.  I feel like my life is saying 'move over infertility' - and that scares me.

I'm also sad to admit that infertility overshadowed my time with my family this weekend.  My mom, sister, my sister's boyfriend and I flew to Washington DC and spent the weekend with my Nana, Aunt, Uncle and cousins, who basically were like siblings to me growing up.  Don't get me wrong - I had a wonderful time (it's quite impossible not to have a wonderful time when we're all together), but my infertility is always there.  It's always on my mind and in my heart.  I don't want my infertility to overshadow times of joy and happiness like these.  But, I just don't really know how to keep it at bay.  I don't feel strong enough to push it away or to truly find joy and happiness in the other parts of my life.  At this point, I just don't think it's even possible...

While infertility certainly isn't my.life, it's definitely always there.  I know I need to make an effort to learn how to *live* while struggling through the heartaches of infertility...  I suppose it's something that will come, in good (or bad... we're talking about infertility, here.  Nothing about it is 'good'!) time.  In the meantime, I'm awaiting my cycle to begin with CCRM and hopefully, with God's grace and goodness, I won't need to figure any of this out...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cha cha changes...

Hallelujah!  It's the day after Mother's Day.  Phew!  I made it!  We made it!!  This year was a difficult one for me.  It really hit me this year.  Last year, we were in the fairly beginning stages of IVF (this time last year, we had only one failed IVF cycle under our belts and were in the middle of our second) and we were still optimistic that IVF would work (so naive).  We never thought that we'd be where we are today.  As I'm sure none of you did, either.

Anyway, yesterday, my husband and father-in-law gave me, what I'd like to call, a non-Mother's Day gift... They painted the inside of my house!  Our house has, what you'd call, an open floor plan.  Our front entry-way goes into our family room, which goes into our dining room, which goes into our kitchen, which goes into our hallway - so, this was a big job.  And they got it all done yesterday by 2 p.m.!  I love this kind of a change.  Anything to make something more fresh and clean - LOVE it!  Before, the walls were painted a pretty (but boring) shade of cream/off-white-ish.  Now, they're a lovely sage green-ish color.
The color is prettier in person!
Oh and allllllllso... I did this, too, this weekend:
Left: before, Right: after
What's a change, if it's not a big one, right?!  I had decided about a week ago that I wanted to go back to my natural hair color.  I was sick of the up-keep, the roots and also the cost of getting my hair done once every six weeks.  I'm sure I'll be blonde again before you know it, but hey... that's the beauty of hair :)

Sometimes change feels good.  It's absolutely what I needed this weekend!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I don't really have it in me to write a post about how I feel today, on this Mother's Day (I'm emotionally exhausted from attending a wedding last night and learning that yet another friend is pregnant... with baby #2).  I will say, though, that it doesn't feel good- celebrating a day for those who have everything and the.only.thing that I want and so long for.  My heart aches.  It aches for me and for everyone else out there who has an empty heart and empty arms today.  And the truth is, I'm not sure, however my journey with infertility ends, that I will ever be able to fully appreciate Mother's Day.  Right now, I feel like this day will forever be tainted.  This day may forever come with a lot of sadness.  And  I know it will always hold very, very painful memories.
Funny Mother's Day Ecard: Peace and comfort on Mother's Day to all of us who are only mothers in our hearts.

But that said, Mother's Day will also hold a lot of happiness and good memories.  I will forever give thanks and gratitude to my mother, who has become one of my best friends, on this day.  

Mom- I hope it goes without saying how much I love and appreciate you.  Your care, love, support and understanding sometimes blows me away.  I am so thankful for our relationship.  I don't know how I would have made it though my thirty years of life without you.  Especially during the past two years, as I've navigated my way through infertility.  I know you are always there for me.  That you hold a lot of hurt for me (hurt for you, too) and that you would do anything in this world to make all of this go away for me if you could.  I love you more than words could ever say.  Thank you, thank you, thank you... for everything and more. xoxoxo, Aubrey Blair

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Re-Group & a Plan!

I had my re-group with my doctor yesteday afternoon and I have a plan!  Well, a tentative one at least...

I guess I didn't really expect it to be anything more than it was.  Our conversation was all of ten minutes.  I didn't have many questions - I mean, I know what my results are.  I know that I'm a poor responder, that I have a high FSH and a low AMH, that I have DOR and that my chances are less than lots of other women.  I'd be lying if I said that the words 'donor eggs' didn't come out of my doctor's mouth.  They did.  But, I expected that.  I know that donor eggs is a wonderful option that I may need to look into at some point down the road.  But, not right now.  I'm not ready to give up on my own eggs knowing that I do in fact have a chance.  Because, I do have one - a chance, that is.  This time, my doctor didn't give me a perentage of success with IVF with my own eggs, but he did say that with having seven or so resting follicles, it's absolutely worth a shot.  I could be, as he said, 'the exception to the rule'.  I will begin my IVF cycle with CCRM with a month of priming/prep.  I will then be on a very aggressive (their strongest) protocol and to quote my doctor, they'll be "throwing the kitchen sink" at me.  The CCS genetic testing will be crucial.  But again, these are all things I already know.  Our call was a formality... A formality to get me to the next step in this process.

I immediately called my nurse after hanging up with the doctor.  She called me back right away and let me know that if we get things started with my next cycle at the end of May, that we'd be looking at a retrieval date of mid-July.  Ahhhh!  Getting that news was exciting - and then getting my tentative IVF calendar was even more exciting!  The only drawback here is that the first two weeks in July are the absolute worst two weeks for Nick because of his work schedule.  After going back and forth on whether or not to push everything back a month, we (quickly) decided to put ourselves first.  If my Mom or sister (who so graciously offered to hang out with me for the first few days in Denver before Nick is needed - thanks guys!) need to accompany me, then so be it!  A lot of love and support is already going into our hopefully miracle baby's life :) (ugh, that's being too positive, huh?).  At any rate, things are moving along.  I feel somewhat accomplished in just having gotten to this point!  I've quickly learned that there's nothing quick about cycling with CCRM - it's a long and drawn out process, but boy do they cross their "t's" and dot their "i's".  I just pray that this is all worth it.  Sigh...

So, with that, I now wait (yet again) for my next cycle to start.  Obviously, it'd be great if it didn't start... but if it does, at least I have a plan.  And a calendar :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I kid you not

Yesterday, I was at a client meeting for work and there was a lot of down time.  My client and I chatted about what we each did over the weekend and the following conversation ensued:

Client:  My friend separated from her husband over the weekend.  It's so sad.  Thankfully, they didn't have any children, though.  In fact, that could be what caused their separation.

Me:  Really?  That's so sad... (already annoyed.  Really, lady?!).

Client:  Yeah, I had another friend who tried for a long time to get pregnant.  She ended up getting divorced and then got cancer and she died from all that IVF stuff.

I kid you not.  She really said "from all that IVF stuff".  First of all, she's clearly an idiot.  And second of all, it took all I had in me not to slap her across the face and then run out of there.  I mean... the nerve of some people!  I will just never understand how some people don't think before they speak.  This woman has no idea about my infertility or the fact that I've been on loads of hormones from my four fresh and one frozen IVF cycles, but still...  think lady.  Just think.  And then, once you've thought about what you're going to say and if you still want to sound like an a-hole, maybe make sure what you're saying is even correct before blurting it out!


My re-group with my doctor at CCRM is tomorrow.  I'm nervous, excited, frustrated, scared, anxious and ready.  I'm so ready... to know more and to learn more.

Oh, and Mother's Day... it's Sunday.  Blah.  Tear.  I'm sure I'll have more to say on this at some point, but right now I think I'm so focused on trying to forget that Sunday is even coming that I've blocked it from my mind completely.

Oh, infertility... you've crippled me today :(

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tsougrisma and Good Luck

Today (and every year) at my husband's family's Easter lunch, we played tsougrisma... And I won!

Nick's aunt hosts Easter and every year she dyes a basket of eggs red. The dyed red eggs symbolize the blood of Christ and their hard shells symbolize the sealed tomb. When the egg shells are cracked, that symbolizes Christ's resurrection.

From Wikipedia, here is a description of the game, tsougrisma:

The rules:
The game is called tsougrisma (τσουγκρισμα in Greek) and it involves two players and red eggs.

Each player holds a red egg, and one taps the end of her/his egg lightly against the end of the other player’s egg. The goal is to crack the opponent’s egg. When one end is cracked, the winner uses the same end of her/his egg to try to crack the other end of the opponent’s egg.

The player who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players is declared the winner and, it is said, will have good luck during the year.

In the, ohhh, about ten (maybe more) Easters I've spent with my husband's family, I've never won this game. My egg is always cracked right away. Someone else is always declared the winner of good luck (and how true this has been!). But this year, my egg won!! Could this be some really symbolic foreshadowing?!

God, I hope this was somehow your way of telling me not to give up and that maybe, just maybe, this will be MY year! Could we possibly find another good egg?!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 3 Results

My nurse called and I just finished doing a praise the Lord dance!

My Estrogen was 41, and they want it under 50.  So, that's good.

My LH was 9.  They'd like to see it under 6, but more importantly, they want LH to be less than FSH.

And so, with that, my FSH was... drum roll please... 13.6!  Is this good?  No, they want to see FSH under 10.  But, you know what?  I don't care!  It's not over 18.6!!  It's under 18.6!!  Phew!!!  I can breathe again!

I've never had an FSH result under 10.  I already know that I have high FSH, low AMH and that I have diminished ovarian reserve.  Fine.  I get that.  I've already dealt with it.  I was just so, so, so worried that my FSH result would have been much higher than my highest-ever of 18.6.  I was worried that it had drastically increased in the recent months that have passed.  That I'd have no chance of another cycle working - so much so, that it wouldn't be worth it even going through the motions... for a fifth time (I cringe just typing that).  I know that my chances are less.  In fact, much less than someone who doesn't have high FSH or low AMH.  But I'm still looking at it like I at least have a chance.  And right now, I believe that a chance is all I need to finally be able to meet my miracle baby. 

I have about a million questions swirling around in my head right now.  Luckily (and thanks to my fellow CCRM friends), I already scheduled a re-group with my doctor for Wednesday afternoon.  I'm hoping to get my questions answered and to find out what protocol is suggested for me... (an aggressive one, I'm sure).  After that, I should be able to work with my nurse on putting together my IVF calendar(s) - something I'm so eager to finally get done!

I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders this afternoon...  I am so thankful and so relieved.  But now I wait... again. 

In the meantime, I will celebrate Easter again this weekend (someone explain to me how Greek Orthodox Easter is different than ours!  Actually, I know it's because we use a different calendar, but still, I don't get it...) and I will surely stuff my belly full of feta, moussaka, baklava and all things Greek.  Opa!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


This morning I decided to finally walk a couple of blocks down Boylston Street from my office to pay my respects to the precious lives lost and to those who were so gruesomely wounded on April 15th.  My heart is broken for all who were affected on this tragic, tragic day.  Many other visitors were there as well, doing the very same thing.  The memorial in Copley Square seems to grow by the day.  Boston is strong and we have so much support. 
Today, I'm a whole heck of a lot more thankful... for all that I do have.
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