Friday, July 26, 2013

Priming Cycle #2 and The Past Couple of Weeks

For some reason, I can't seem to form a coherent enough thought to share on my blog these days... it's my infertility's fault.  I'm currently in my second priming cycle and I dislike it as much as I did the first time.  It's just a long month of what feels like a whole lot of nothing.  Except exhaustion.  I can barely get myself out of bed in the morning.  It must be the estrace... or the testosterone.  Whatever it is, I'm exhausted!

Unfortunately, I'm finding it difficult to focus on my hope and faith (or, what little of it I have left) this time around.  I've been having a hard time trying to see a picture in my mind of a baby at the end of all of this.  I just don't know that it will work.  And to be honest, I guess I've never known it would work, I just have always thought it would... somehow, someway.  Lately, I've been trying to imagine a life without children.  A life where I will never experience pregnancy.  A life of just me, Nick and Belle.  My heart aches beyond belief with every single one of those thoughts, but I have to be realistic at some point.  Being a mother might just not be in the cards for me.

And then, when I go and write that... the sentence about not ever being a mother... tears well up in my eyes, my heart feels like it's drowning and I can feel myself start to hyperventilate.  That's when my hope and my faith pushes the realist in me out of the way.  Because, if I get so worked up over the mere thought of never becoming a Mommy, then how can I shift my thoughts away from something that I know deep down I'm truly meant to be?  How could God take I've always known I wanted to be away from me?  I have to believe that He couldn't.  That He hasn't.  And that He won't.

Shifting gears here... Since I've been MIA lately, this is what I've been up to for the past couple of weeks:
The weekend after we returned home from Colorado, we went to Connecticut to pick up Belle.  While we were there, my amazing Nana came for a week long 'vacation' at my parents' house.  My Nana is the best.  There's really nothing else to say... she-is-just-the-best.  I had been preparing all weekend for a presentation that I had to memorize and give at my upcoming work training/conference.  The picture above on the bottom right is one that Nick snapped of me reciting my speech to my Nana.  I love this picture.  I can just picture her sitting there, listening to me and nodding her head.  She's the best!
While away for work for my new job training/conference (I'm lucky: our conference was held in Massachusetts, so rather than having to hop on a flight across the country, like many of my colleagues had to, I just jumped in my car and drove 45 minutes down the highway), we had an evening clambake event out at Spectacle Island (a small island off the coast of Boston).  While on the boat out to the island, I was reminded why I love my city: it's beautiful.
The day my training/conference ended, I hurried home for a rehearsal dinner that evening, but first, I snuggled big-time with my sweet little Belle.  One of my husband's best friends got married last weekend and their rehearsal dinner was at the same restaurant where we had ours... almost four years ago.
The wedding was beautiful, right on the ocean.  I made my cute in-laws take me to the wedding (they were happy to) because I couldn't bare to drive there with the pregnant wife of one of my husband's other friends (I'm ridiculous, I know - but, I just haven't been able to deal with that announcement yet.).  Weddings are still hard for me.  On the one hand, it's nice to be reminded about love and how important love is to have in a marriage.  I'm thankful (so thankful) for the love that Nick and I have for one another, but on the other hand... being reminded of what that love is supposed to create?  Well that just upsets me.  And it leaves me teary-eyed, not because I'm so taken aback by the love that the bride and groom have for one another, but rather, because IT'S NOT FAIR (that they'll probably end up having a baby before us!) (Again, yes I know... I'm ridiculous.)!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Moving forward with a plan...

I've been away for the past week at a work conference and while it was beyond exhausting, it was a week that kept me busy, which was exactly what I needed.  I spent the week like a normal person, even indulging in caffeinated coffee (GASP!) and a few (maybe too many one or two of the nights) glasses of wine or beer during our dinner and evening events.  I needed that - the coffee, the wine, the beer... the feeling of being normal.  Since returning from Colorado, I've felt lost, distant, sad and frustrated.  I didn't have time to dwell on those feelings last week, though, which was a blessing.

While away, I had a re-group with my doctor, who actually helped me to re-direct my feelings on IVF #5 (I shudder just writing that.  I have had F-I-V-E retrievals.  Ugh.).  I had been completely focused on what didn't happen this cycle: five of my seven eggs did not fertilize.  But, my doctor wasn't too surprised by this because of the fact that three of my local retrievals only resulted in four eggs with only two having fertilized each of those times.  Instead, my doctor was actually focused on the good that came out of this cycle: seven eggs retrieved.  And, I guess I had sort of forgot about that.

So, with that conversation came a plan.  I will be on a different protocol this time, with just as aggressive of an approach as my protocol last cycle.  The kitchen sink will, again, be thrown at me, but you know what?  Bring.It.On.  I'm hopeful that this protocol will result in just as many eggs retrieved and with a better fertilization result.  I'm trusting my doctor because that's really all I can do.

My cycle started yesterday and I began my priming meds.  I fasted all day (so not fun) and had my first blood draw of this cycle.  I have a calendar, all with tentative dates right now, but I have a plan.  And having a plan makes me feel better.  I'm moving forward, I'm focusing on IVF #6 (oh, that so just breaks my heart) and I'm trying to muster up every last ounce of hope and faith that I can.  I'm ready...

...even though I'm really tired of this and am really scared.  Really, really scared.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Reunited And It Feels So Good

We drove to my parent's house to pick up Belle tonight.  And she's the first thing to make me smile since coming home from CO.  I'm so thankful for my little munchkin!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Three Good Things

Three exceptionally good things did come from our week in Colorado... those three things are three meetings (real-life, in-person ones!) with blog and e-mail friends.  Yes, I met in-person, t-h-r-e-e friends with whom I have been e-mailing for months... all in a matter of one week!

Two friends are amazing women that found me from my little ol' blog - and while I'm going to keep their anonymity here (you both know who you are!), I do want to say a big THANK YOU for all of the help, guidance and support that you've both offered to me over the past few months.  Meeting both of you was so important and dear to me.

Another friend is someone who I bet a lot of you know from her own blog... Allison!  Oddly enough, Allison had a lay-over in Denver at the same time that Nick and I were there getting ready to head back to Boston.  Allison (and I got to meet her sweet husband, too) came over to meet me and Nick at our gate, and it was one of the best parts of my otherwise really crummy day!
Allison (and her little bump) is adorable!  It was so great to meet you, friend!

I've thought about, more than once, in the short period of time that I've been blogging about my (incredibly sad) life with infertility, deleting Two Hearts and One Dream altogether. Often times, blogging can feel like... well... too much.  Reflecting on my feelings about infertility can sometimes be just as exhausting as it can be helpful and those are the times that I feel like giving up on blogging for good.  But then I think about the friendships I've made, and it honest-to-God takes my breath away and gives so much more meaning to my measly little posts.

I'm so thankful for the relationships I've developed since creating my blog.  And while I so wish our friendships were formed due to bonding over something much more fun and uplifting than infertility, I'm still glad, nonetheless, to have each of you in my life.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Colorado: Day 7... A Bad Ending

On our way to the airport this morning, we received the (dreaded) call from the embryologist.  Of our 7 eggs, 6 were mature but only 2 fertilized.  My heart sank the second I heard the news.  All I could think was that my eggs must be bad...  really bad.  We were given minutes to make a decision: continue to let our two day 1 embryos grow and cross our fingers and pray that they not only make it to day 5 blasts, but that they are both deemed normal/euploid after the CCS testing.  OR, freeze them now and come back out to Colorado for another cycle, which would hopefully give us more fertilized embryos to do the CCS testing on, which in turn, would hopefully give us a better chance of getting at least one normal/euploid embryo, with the possibility to result in a pregnancy.

We chose to freeze our little babies today and do another cycle.


It honestly wasn't a decision that took us long to make (even though we were only given minutes to decide, it took me a nanosecond to figure out what I wanted had to do).  When we made the decision to cycle at CCRM, we made the decision to give our best shot at making this work.  Never did we think we'd have to throw another multiple, multiple, thousands of dollars into it, but we don't feel like we have any other choice.  We will continue do everything we can to make this work.  Everything.

My heart is broken.  I'm embarrassed and ashamed.  I feel so guilty for not being able to make Nick a Dad.  I feel like my body can't do the one thing that it should be able to do.  I feel like God let us down today.  Big time.

We're getting ready to board our flight back to Boston and while I want nothing more than to get the heck out of Colorado right now, I also don't want to leave.  I don't want to leave my two embryos behind.  I don't want to continue on with my life, knowing that we have to do this all over again.  I can't imagine going into work tomorrow and carrying on with stupid insurance, because that's what it is: stupid.  It's all stupid.  Nothing is more important to me than this.  Trying to imagine how we move on from here is impossible today.  I will call my nurse tomorrow and am praying that we can start up again with my next cycle, which should begin in about two weeks.

I mentioned that yesterday we had 1 immature egg.  The lab is going to continue to watch this little guy today and if it matures, they will ICSI it, and we are praying that it will fertilize overnight, giving us a total of 3 embryos.  If this one does end up fertilizing, it will be frozen tomorrow.  The embryologist wasn't convinced that this would go in our favor, but we're praying... because at the end of the day, that's all we can do.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Colorado: Day 6 (Egg Retrieval)

Well... we officially did what we came here to do!  My retrieval went well this morning... I'll just cut to the chase:


I was honestly hoping for more than 7 (remember, 7 is the most we've ever gotten in our four previous IVF cycles at our local clinic), but deep down was praying for at least 7.  God answered my prayers and I feel very blessed today. 

We arrived at the surgery center at 9:30 a.m.  I was called back, changed into my surgery garb, had my vitals checked and then had the IV inserted into my wrist (always the most painful part of a retrieval for me).  I met with both the doctor on-call and the anesthesiologist,  and then Nick was able to come back and sit with me until I was wheeled out and ready to go.
I awoke feeling great - a little groggy, but really good overall.  We spoke with the embryologist, who confirmed our retrieved number of eggs, and then I got dressed and said goodbye to CCRM.  Is it crazy that I was the most emotional about that?!  We started our CCRM journey almost a year ago (!!!) (August 2012 was our phone consult) and here we are... finished with the egg retrieval: a huge step forward in this process.  My nurse told us to stop at Starbucks on our way back to the hotel to celebrate (she was really happy for us that we got 7 eggs!) and so we did just that.  I haven't had a sip of coffee (or caffeine for that matter) since April.  To say I thoroughly enjoyed it would be the understatement of the year!
I'm praying for strength and positivity to hold me over until tomorrow's fertilization report from the embryologist.  I have no idea what tomorrow's results will hold for us.  I'm trying not to rack my brain thinking about all of the possible outcomes from here on out.  We still have a long way to go... but are thankful for having made it this far.

Before I end this post, I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts, well wishes and prayers today (and throughout this entire journey).  Your comments, e-mails and messages made my heart swell and have meant the world to both me and Nick.  I'm simply just overcome by the support and amazing friendships that I've made as a result of this little blog. XOXO

Friday, July 5, 2013

Colorado: Days 4 and 5

Fourth of July started for me with a bright and early trip to CCRM.  My ultrasound and blood draw went well - the follicles that we have been monitoring grew since my last check and things looked pretty good.
After my appointment, we decided to go for a walk.  We happened upon a little Fourth of July celebration and watched some of their events.
After our walk, we decided to lay low and spend our Independence Day lounging at the pool - an activity I can honestly say that we've come to perfect!
After we were all pooled and sunned out, we headed back to our room and that's when I got the call.  My retrieval?  The one that was supposed to be Sunday, but that I thought would be pushed back to Monday or maybe even Tuesday?  Well, it all changed... My retrieval is tomorrow.  TOMORROW!!!  It got pushed UP! 

I was instructed to trigger last night and then go back in for one more blood draw this morning.  We booked our flights home to Boston (we leave on Sunday afternoon) (I can't believe that the end to this retrieval week is actually in sight) and then went out to dinner.
And I snapped these pictures as we walked back to our car in the parking lot, which show just a little of Colorado's beauty (I really do love this place!):
This morning, I arrived bright and early once again at CCRM for my final monitoring blood draw - Eek!
We celebrated this one little feat in this really, really long and really, really emotional journey by driving to Boulder for the day.
* * * * *
My mind is currently consumed by tomorrow's egg retrieval.  My last one was back in December and a part of me just can't believe that we're about to do it all over... again.  For a fifth time.  Ugh.  I'm really scared.  Really, really scared.  Not so much for the actual retrieval, but more so for the results of the retrieval.  And then for the fertilization report.  And then for the day 5 results.  And then for the (please God, let us get to this point) CCS testing results.  We have come so far in our journey with CCRM (and with infertility in general!), but there is still such a long way to go.  We have a lot more hurdles to overcome and I'm having a tough time imaging a result any different from my past cycles. 

So with that, we're praying for a miracle...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Colorado: Days 2 and 3

Things are progressing here in Colorado.  My follicles are growing, but still, I'm trying not to think too much about what they are (or aren't) doing.  I will have another blood draw and ultrasound tomorrow.  My retrieval is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, but I wouldn't be surprised if that got pushed back a day or two.

Aside from blood draws, ultrasounds, IVF Physicals and genetic counseling classes (a requirement for anyone who is having CCS testing done on their embryos), we've been enjoying ourselves as much as we can while we've been here.

Yesterday, after my IVF Physical, I treated myself to a mani/pedi before lounging at the pool for the remainder of the day.  Then, last night, we ventured into Denver and went to a Rockies game.  We didn't stay too long - the temperature was still in the nineties last night and we were way too hot to stay much longer than it took for us to scarf down a hot dog and pretzel!
After my appointments this morning, I picked Nick up from a local golf course and let him know that we had to trek back up to Denver so that I could pick up some more meds at a local pharmacy.  And because we were only about an hour away, we decided to drive up to Mt. Evans.  Mt. Evans is the highest point, drivable, in North America.  The views were amazing and I'm convinced that Disney's Thunder Mountain ride was inspired by this drive!
And then we sat in traffic on the ride back to our hotel.  Nick loves when there is traffic in places other than Boston.  You see, I complain about the Boston traffic day in and day out and will often say 'We should move here!'...'Or there!' while we're in the car (and in the traffic) and I'm just about to lose myself over the ridiculousness of it taking an hour+ for us to make the 20 mile drive home from work.  So rather than listen to Nick explain to me that Denver is just like Boston, I snapped some pictures :)
Wishing you all a safe and happy fourth of July tomorrow!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rewind and Colorado: Day 1

Yup, that's right... today is Day 1 in Colorado!  Ahhh!  But, before I get to that, let me back-up... Last week was crazy.  Just c-r-a-z-y.  Day 1 of my cycle was on Monday morning and waking up to AF truly couldn't have stressed me out more.  Monday was that I was hoping would not be the start of my cycle... I was traveling for work on Monday until Tuesday evening and knew that if AF came on Monday, I would absolutely need to be seen for a local blood draw and a baseline ultrasound the next day.  BUT, not being at home, I needed to find a different local (to where I was) doctor's office, who would be willing to help me out.  As stressful as this was, thankfully, it couldn't have turned out any better.  Phew!  I ended up getting the 'all clear' on Tuesday afternoon and was told to start my stim meds on Wednesday morning.  Oh, and I was told that my travel to Denver date would officially be Sunday the 30th (yesterday).  We booked our one-way flights (we decided to just wait and see how things go here in Denver, and we will book our flights home once we definitely know when my retrieval will be), hotel reservation and rental car and the next morning, I began my twice daily regimen of injections and pill-popping. 

The rest of the week flew by and I spent my weekend preparing for a week+ away from home while enjoying the best family-time ever.  On Friday, my cousin flew in from Washington D.C. and her visit couldn't have come at a better time.  It was just what I needed to keep me from worrying like crazy over what the next week and a half may (or may not) bring.  My sister, cousin and I had a great time together, which is no surprise.
I took my cousin to the airport bright and early on Sunday morning and then rushed home to pack.  We had an engagement party for Nick's cousin yesterday afternoon and left early so that we could catch our flight out of Boston at 8 p.m.  We arrived at our hotel after 1 a.m. last night (well, I guess it was technically this morning) and I woke up bright and early this morning for my ultrasound and blood draw at CCRM.  I suppose things are progressing as they should - I'm truthfully trying not to put too much thought into any of the results that I see on the ultrasound screen.  Every day is a new day and I'm just praying that with each new check, more follicles are able to be found and measured. 

After my appointment this morning, Nick and I had breakfast at the hotel and then drove south to Colorado Springs where we visited the Garden of the Gods.  We walked through some of the trails in the park and almost forgot why we're even here in the first place!

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