Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Truth About Me and My 10 Week Little Loves

I've come here to write many times since my last post, but nothing comes out. It's been hard for me to share my early pregnancy story here... I guess it's another side effect of infertility - something that's still very much a part of me. I want this blog to be a space of honesty and true feelings but that's where I get stuck. You see, I want so badly to come here and tell you how wonderful I feel, but the thing is... I don't. And I haven't.

I began feeling nauseous the day after I found out I was pregnant. The nausea (if I'd even call it that now) was completely manageable. I'd feel it in the morning, but once I forced myself to eat something as soon as I woke up, I'd end up feeling better a couple of hours later. But then it hit me like a ton of bricks on Thanksgiving day - all day nausea from the time I open my eyes in the morning until the time I close them again at night to go to sleep. Nausea like I've never felt before. Gagging and dry heaving at the thought of really any food or smell. Tears would stream down my face throughout the day out of pure discomfort, but also because I had wanted so badly to enjoy this - my pregnancy. To embrace it for all that it is, to be thankful and grateful and to truly feel blessed because these babies - they are pure miracles. And the thing is - I am thankful. I am grateful and I do feel blessed. More than I ever imagined possible. But I also feel horrible.

Nick brought me to my mom and dad's house in Connecticut one week so that my parents could help to take care of me - I had found it was near impossible to even walk into my kitchen without having to run to the bathroom and proceed to dry heave for the next twenty minutes. My OB had recommended that I eat something small every hour so it was nice having my parents help to make sure I did as I was told. My OB also ended up prescribing me two anti-nausea meds. The first, Zofran, worked on the first day I took it and then it just... didn't. So, Phenergan was added in to the mix and while I'm not sure it makes me feel better, it does make me sleep - and that's good because when I sleep, it's really the only time I don't feel sick.

I think I've finally turned a corner - I'm finding that I do feel better for longer periods of time throughout the day. Yesterday, Christmas Day, was great.  I felt good all day.  But, I did make a bee-line for the bathroom the second we arrived home from my in-laws house. Small steps, I suppose?

So... you see, this is exactly why I haven't wanted to post. This is the.last.thing I'd want to read if this came across my feed a year ago. A year ago... I can't stop thinking about it... Last year on Christmas Eve, I remember laying on a couch at my parents house in the fetal position in so much pain from the physical reminder that my IVF #4 failed. I remember the tears, the heartache the despair and depression. I remember it like it could have been yesterday. I still feel that pain. I don't think I'll ever forget - ever. I'll never forget the unfairness of infertility. I'll never forget the two and a half years of pure hell that I somehow trudged through every single day. And now that I'm pregnant... I just can't seem to shake it... So, I haven't wanted to post because I haven't really known how to - I haven't known what to say. And truthfully, I've been too sick to post. I've felt crummy (physically) for four weeks. Most of those weeks, so crummy that it's been hard for me to get out of bed.

But, my heart - oh my heart has felt so full. So full of instant and pure love for two 10 week old babies that are just now becoming fetuses. Two inch long living beings inside of me that deep down I never knew if I'd ever be able to create. And that just amazes me. My sixth IVF retrieval and transfer finally brought me what I have always wanted - and more! It blows my mind away... Mostly it does because I can't believe I made it through that many IVF procedures - through that much heartache after five failed transfers of eleven embryos. That I didn't give up on my body. I owe that strength all to God - I never knew I had that much faith to carry me through and to believe in myself. That's all from Him. And last night as I laid in bed with tears streaming down my face after getting so sick (literally), I felt Him so close to me... Almost as if He were tapping me on my shoulder saying 'I told you so. I told you I wouldn't let you down.'

And so, while I always imagined a pregnancy full of weekly belly bumpdate pictures and buying baby items from the day I learned that I was pregnant, I've come to realize that it's OK that I'm just not 'there' yet. These babies are oh-so-loved already and even though they are kicking my butt, I'm now just thinking of God and his reminder of 'I told you so' with every bout of nausea that I feel.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Miracles

I apologize for falling off the face of the blogosphere for the past couple of weeks... It's been crazy.  Beautifully and miraculously crazy.  Yesterday morning was my first ultrasound and that's when we got our first glimpse at our babies... yes, babies... we are having twins!  

It's not even possible to express in writing what my feelings are since learning this news.  My heart hasn't felt such happiness in years.  It's hard to believe this is real.  I don't think it has really even sunk in just yet.  

Of course, along with the happiness comes the fear and the worry.  But I'm trying to focus on everything but those feelings.  For so long I've focused on the negative and what I didn't have that I owe it to myself to enjoy this, for all that it is... for the two miracles that, my goodness, I already love with all of my being.

The symptom of severe nausea kicked in full force on Thanksgiving Day (I wasn't able to eat my mom's turkey dinner but instead laid on the couch never so happy and thankful to be missing out on a holiday meal).  I've battled the up-all-night and all day dry heaving until today, when I finally called my OB, who prescribed zofran.  One pill in and I already feel like a different person.  

And as I write about my first real symptom of pregnancy, it's important to make note here that I'm not sure where this blog will take me at this point in time.  My heart is with so many of you who are reading, and to be honest, I'm not sure I ever intended to write beyond my infertility journey.  I also know that I have a very, very long way to go to the day (God willing) that I will take home two healthy babies. 

God is so good.  And miracles do happen... I promise you... here are mine:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I Believe in Miracles

I can't even believe that these words are coming out of my mouth, but.... it worked!  It actually worked!  I.... am.... pregnant.  It is a miracle.  I am living proof of a miracle.

Somehow, I held out and didn't POAS during the entire nine day wait.  My blood test was on Friday morning and I waited all day for the call from CCRM.  It was the longest wait of my life.... but it was so worth it!  My nurse called and told me that my HCG level was 394.... a number I will always remember.  She told me I was four weeks pregnant and that my due date is July 24th.  Still, I can't believe it.... at all.

I went back for more blood work on Sunday and as many of you know, they were looking for my HCG level to double, or for it to just be close to having doubled.  I was nervous all day waiting for the call, but when it came in, I was elated.  My HCG level two days later was 1,301.... another number I will always remember.  That was my last HCG check.  Now, I will go to my local fertility clinic for weekly blood draws to check my estrogen and progesterone levels so that my meds can be adjusted, if necessary.  My first ultrasound is in two weeks and I'm already on pins and needles just thinking about that day....

After learning that I was in fact pregnant, I finally drove to the drugstore and bought a box of pregnancy tests.  Nick was hesitant for me to take the test - we both have very bad memories from those darn sticks.  But, I told him that I just had to see two lines.... something that until Sunday morning, I've never seen.
Of course with all of this excitement and happiness comes a wave of other emotions.  First and foremost: fear.  It's so early.  So, so, early.  Most 'normal' people probably wouldn't even know yet that they're pregnant.  And that's scary.  There are a lot of hurdles that we'll have to jump over in the coming weeks and months.  But, I'm trying really hard not to focus on all of my fear and worry.  I'm trying to be happy in this moment.... a moment that after six IVF retrievals and transfers, I never imagined possible.  I had started to think that I just couldn't get pregnant.  That there was something more wrong with me that no doctor, not even one of the best in the world, could see.  I was wrong, though.  I can get pregnant.  I am pregnant.  And I will forever be thankful to those who helped get me to where I am today. 

I believe in miracles.  I'm living proof of one.
flowers from the man who I know will be the best daddy in the world!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tales of a Transfer

I wasn't going to blog about my transfer.  I was scared to share too much.  To put it all out there.  To be honest.  But, as the days have passed since my sweet, sweet embryos were placed into my uterus, I've realized that I need to do this - I need to blog about the day that I became PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise for all you non-IF'ers out there).

We arrived in Colorado, my favorite state of all-time, earlier this week.  We got ourselves settled into the hotel, went out to lunch and stocked up on some groceries and snacks for while I would be on bed rest post-transfer.  It has been nine months since my last local IVF transfer.  It's sort of hard to believe.  I mean, I knew my CCRM journey has gone on longer than I had anticipated with having to bank my embryos and cycle a second time a couple of months ago, but I still sort of can't believe that it's been so long... In fact, yesterday was seven months exactly from the date of my ODWU.  It feels a little silly, but in seven short long months, I've really become connected to Colorado - the place where my babies have been and still are.  Anyway, even though it has been nine months, the post-transfer feelings that I unfortunately had become very used to, have certainly come rushing back.  The worry and being scared beyond belief about whether or not this will work... Waiting to find out if my tiny little babies will live - wow - - - it's gut wrenching.

The day of the transfer started off well.  I made sure to snap a few pictures of me and Nick before we left the hotel - in hopes that these would be the last pictures of us before I became pregnant - before what we hope and pray will be our miracle babies were placed into my uterus, literally impregnating me.  I carefully chose the jewelry that I brought with me on this trip and made sure to wear each piece for my transfer.  One of my sweet infertility friends sent me the bracelet with the wing a couple months ago - it's a sign of hope.  I also was sure to wear both my acorn (symbolizing fertility) and HOPE necklaces and I pray that those little signs of hope and fertility will bring me just that. 
When we arrived at CCRM, I had my blood draw so that my estrogen and progesterone levels could be checked and then we were sent upstairs to the surgery center where I met my acupuncturist (I chose to do the pre and post-transfer acupuncture sessions).  I had done a few months of acupuncture locally when Nick and I took a short break from IVF treatment, and while it obviously didn't help me in getting pregnant, I do remember at least feeling relaxed for the hour or so that I had needles protruding from my body, so I figured why not.  I knew that the embryologist would be calling me on the morning of my transfer to give me an embryo thaw report and when my phone rang as I was filling out some acupuncture consent forms, what I heard was the absolute last thing that I had expected...

Sadly and shockingly (to both me and to the embryologist), one of my perfect 5AA embryos did not survive the thaw.  Anyone who knows CCRM, know that their lab has one of the best freeze/thaw rates out of any fertility lab in the country - and my perfectly graded, genetically normal embryo did not survive - what?!  Thank goodness I didn't really have much time to process this as the acupuncturist was literally tapping me on my shoulder ready for me to come back for my pre-transfer session as I received this news.  I knew that I couldn't let it bother me - I couldn't let this effect me and bring me down.  I gave the embryologist permission to take one of my other three frozen embryos to be thawed.

After the pre-transfer acupuncture session, an ultrasound technician came in and set up her machine.  She tested my bladder to make sure it was nice and full (it was actually way too full and I had to go to the bathroom to make it deflate a little) and then used the external wand to show us what to look for during the actual transfer of my embryos into my uterus.  The embryologist then came in with her machine (basically something like an incubator) and Nick was allowed to take some pictures of our babies on his phone.  Both were already hatching quite a bit and I'm not sure any of my other blasts from my one local IVF cycle that created blasts looked anything like these.  We ended up transferring one day 5 embryo graded 5AA and one day 6 embryo graded 3BB.  The embryologist assured me that they were both beautiful (but even if they weren't to her, they still would be beautiful to me - it always amazes me how attached I become to these microscopic embryos... my babies).  After the embryologist left the room, my acupuncturist came back for my post-transfer acupuncture session where I laid there quietly with tears streaming down my face, praying to God for a miracle.
Before I continue on and journal my bed rest post-transfer, I want to say how CCRM has changed my life.  I know that may sound odd because we don't even know how this will end yet... We absolutely could be back here in a couple months time - we could be crushed with devastating news or blessed more than that word could ever imply.  But, it's been quite nostalgic for me being here this time.  The journey that we've been on the past seven months has been excruciating, exhausting, frustrating, terrifying, sad, painful and confusing - but it also has given me more hope than doubt - which is something that I did not expect as we began down this road.  I never in a million years thought we'd "pass" the CCS testing - I absolutely did not think that we could create genetically normal embryos.  I never thought we'd make it to this day.  And we did.

I was required to lay flat once I arrived back to my hotel for the remainder of the transfer day and for the entire next day as well.  I, for one, am really not sure how I feel about bed rest and what good it does - or doesn't do.  My local RE does not require bed rest - she was OK with me getting up after 10 minutes of laying flat post-transfer.  From there, she said to just take it easy and not lift anything heavy.  After my first two, maybe three, local failed IVF transfers, I ordered myself to two days of full bed rest and we all know how that turned out.  So - the verdict on bed rest is still out in my opinion.  That said, I did follow CCRM's rules, though, and stayed put.  I kept myself busy with Netflix and have officially become obsessed with the show, Parenthood.  I was also pleasantly surprised by a call one afternoon from the manager of the hotel who was at the front desk letting me know that a package had arrived.  Nick went down to pick it up and came back to our room with something that put the biggest smile on my face - adorable mini bundt cakes from another one of my sweet blogging friends - someone who went through a similar journey as me at CCRM and who has been one of my biggest fans and supporters - someone who has truly shown me the ropes and whose friendship I will forever cherish.
And so now my bed rest is over.  I'm technically pregnant until I find out otherwise, which I am praying to God doesn't happen.  Normally I'd be one to test early - I'd have already stocked up on HPT's of all kinds just waiting on my bathroom vanity at home for me.  But this time, I don't have any HPT's and I don't know that I'll buy any, either.  I'm too scared for this to be over.  And while I still can't imagine this turning out any differently from how my five transfers have turned out in the past, I'm trying to hold onto whatever little bit of hope and faith that I still have deep inside of my heart.
We fly home tomorrow and that makes me depressed.  I want to stay here.  I don't want to go home.  I'm forever connected to Colorado and I don't want to leave.  And even though I'm praying that we don't have to come back here, ever, I hope that we will someday, to show our babies where they came from. 
Oh, and before I go - - - today while Nick is out golfing, I decided I needed a break from Parenthood so I did this:
(just a cut, though because of the lighting, it looks like I colored it) Six inches!  Because change is good.  And here's hoping that this trip is just the beginning to the biggest and best change of my life!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Who's the Culprit?

First, I just want to thank everyone for your support and mostly, for your understanding, as to my feelings after the comment made by 'that woman' last week.  I'll be honest: that comment hurt.  It hurt a lot.  Am I over-sensitive?  Yes, probably... and I know that.  But, the truth is, I get those comments very often and deep down I do understand why people (especially those who haven't suffered through infertility or who don't know anyone who has) ask that question, not realizing how deep their words can truly effect someone.  I get it.  But some days as an infertile, things just bother me more than they normally do, and that day I apparently wasn't reacting very well to my meds.

And well, speaking of my meds... which one of you is it?
Since starting Lupron and vivelle patches, I have literally had a splitting headache every single night as I lay down to go to bed and every morning as I open my eyes.  I can't figure out which one of these meds seem to be causing this mind numbing head throbbing... I've been on both Lupron and vivelle patches before and I most definitely do not recall this side effect.  I'm scheduled to increase the vivelle patches from one to four over the course of the next six days, so if my headaches worsen, then surely, it's from the vivelle (?).  Anyway, regardless of which one of these evil medications is causing my headaches, I do know this: they.are.horrible.  HORRIBLE, I say!  But, I'll gladly take on a constant headache if a baby is what comes from all of this.  Gladly! 

So, now, all of this leads me to my thoughts on my upcoming FET.  Oh.My.Goshhhhhh am I scared!  S-C-A-R-E-D.  Terrified, actually.  I just cannot imagine this turning out any other way than it has for every single one of my past IVF cycles.  An outcome with two lines is just unimaginable to me.  Unimaginable in every sense of the word.  I want to be positive about this, but I just don't know where to find that positivity, so instead I just try not to think about it at all.  And so, that's where I am.  I'm pretending that my FET isn't just right around the corner, because the fact that it's right around the corner means that I'll know if this worked pretty soon.  And again, that is terrifying.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Lady Who Ruined My Week

I have to get this off my chest... I just have to... so bare with me and my rant.

On Wednesday afternoon, my heart was crushed.  It doesn't take much these days for someone's words to hurt me to my core.  I'm sensitive as it is, but add in daily Lupron injections and those darn vivelle patches in preparation for my upcoming FET, and I'd say that anxious, stressed, tense and worried doesn't even come close to covering how I really feel. 

Anyway, I've mentioned before that my job requires me to meet with clients on a weekly basis.  This is always something that I have enjoyed doing - it's great that my job allows me to be out and about, talking to people (even if what we're talking about is boring old insurance).  But, over the past couple of years as infertility has burrowed its way deeper and further into my life, socializing isn't something that I'd say I enjoy... at all... especially with strangers.  Now, my clients aren't strangers per se, I do know these people, but they don't know me... not the real me.  They know me as Aubrey, the Client Executive, their contact for life and disability stuff.  They don't know what's going on in my life.  And they sure as heck don't see the pain in my eyes that is there 

So, as I mentioned, my heart felt like it was smashed into a million little pieces as I met with a new client on Wednesday afternoon.  This woman was very nice - we had a good, productive meeting - but when the insurance talk was over, we started to chit chat.  And that's when I always start to tense up... when it gets personal, because I know what's coming.  The woman started talking about her children... twins (I automatically think to myself, hmmm, I wonder if she suffered through infertility too?) and another younger child.  I could feel my heart beating faster.  And then it happened...

Do you have any children?
Ugh.  Even after two and a half years, I still, still, don't have a good answer to this question.  A simple No just doesn't seem to cut it... While my eyes are filling up with tears because of some stranger's inability to realize that you just don't ask this question to someone, that's all I can say, though.  So, I told this woman that no, I don't have any children.  To which she replied...
Oh yeah, you're too young.
And then, just like that, she was done.  She moved on to the next person in the room, my co-worker, who does have children.  I don't even know what she had asked him when I suddenly and quietly whispered I can't.  I don't think she heard me.  She was too far into her conversation with my co-worker about his children at that point (two that were born during the two and a half years that I've been trying for just one, mind you).  But it doesn't matter if she heard me or not.  As I said, my heart was crushed. 
You see, here's the thing... and it all goes back to thinking before you speak.  Would you ask someone who is bald if they have cancer just because they have no hair on their head?  I'm willing to bet that most of you are answering that question with a No.  So, then, how could you ask someone, just because they are a female who looks like she is of the child bearing age (whatever that means) if she has children?  I understand that this may seem like a normal question to ask - people have babies everyday, having a baby is what a woman is supposed to be able to do... I mean, what's the harm in asking someone if they have children, right?  Well... let's think about it:
1. That person might not want children.
2. That person might be trying (with all of their might, with all of their hope, their faith, and even their darn bank account) to get pregnant.
3. That person might not be able to.
4. That person might be pregnant with a donor's egg or sperm.
5. That person might be pregnant with their own egg and their partner's sperm and they haven't yet told anyone, you dummy!
As I drove home that afternoon, with tears streaming down my face and steam coming out of my ears from my anger, I realized that what really sent me over the edge wasn't necessarily her initial question asking me if I have children.  No, it was how she followed up to me letting her know that I don't have children - she said that I am too young.  What I wish I could have responded to her with is this: 'No lady, I'm not too young.  I am thirty one years old.  My husband and I have a lot of love to offer a baby, probably more than you could ever imagine.  We have good jobs and will be able to financially support a child.  We are not too young.  I am not too young.  But since you asked, as it turns out, I'm actually too old to have a baby.  Though I'm thirty one, my eggs are in their forties.  So, thanks for the reminder you big, fat, jerk!
Moral of the story: don't ask another woman if she has any children.  Just don't.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's a Sunshine-y Day

I've recently been nominated by two of my sweet blog friends, rainbeforerainbow and Donating Hope, for Sunshine Awards. This Award is given to bloggers whose posts brighten your day.

 Sunshine Award

The rules are as follows:

1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award
5. Link your nominees and let them know they’ve been nominated.

So, without further adieu, here are my questions (and answers) from rainberforerainbow:

1) If you had to choose one person, other than your significant other, to live with for the rest of your life, who would you choose?
I would have to say, my sister.  She's my best friend (if you don't include Belle) second in line to Nick.

2) What is one skill/talent you’ve always wished you had?
I wish I could run.  I know that if I worked at it, I could do it, but I wish it came easy to me.  I wish I were one of those people who enjoyed it.  Who, when they have a bad day, they go for a run to clear their mind.  Ha!  If I were one of those people, I'd be a stick... Infertility causes you to need to clear your mind quite frequently.  And since I'm not a runner, I just let trashy TV do that for me :) 

3) What would you say is your signature recipe? If you don’t have one, what’s your favorite thing to cook/bake?
Anything sweet... cookies, cupcakes, brownies, cakes... Mmmmm!  I love to bake, but sadly haven't donned my apron in what feels like eons. Try to find a cookie/cupcake recipe sans chocolate!  I've scoured Pinterest and anything that looks remotely delicious is something that has some sort of chocolate in the list of ingredients (now, don't go thinking that this has caused me to eat any healthier... because, instead of eating the chocolate-y goodies that I normally bake, I literally just came home from the drug store (to buy baby aspirin for my FET prep) with three... yes three... bags of candy (swedish fish, sour watermelons and cherry twizzler bites).

4) What occupation seems like the last thing on Earth you’d want to do?
This is a great question... Normally people ask you what job you'd want to have if you could do anything at all, but something I would not want to do?  Hm, does insurance (my current job) count?  Just kidding... sort of.  I guess I'd have to say anything that's outside and in the cold.  So how about a ski instructor... I'd hate that.  I can't stand being outside when it's cold.  I love being INside when it's cold - where there's hot chocolate (see, there I go with chocolate again!) and a fire.  So basically, I could be someone that serves hot chocolate at the ski lodge, but I sure as heck could not be the ski instructor (plus, I don't know how to ski, so there's that, too!).

5) What was your best subject in high school?
Francais - hence, the reason I decided on that as my major in college.  My company is actually a Canadian company, so sometimes general e-mails are sent in both French and English... and I get giddy (because I can normally pick out at least one or two French words... yes, I have lost most, if not all, of my French speaking/reading skills).

6) If you could create a holiday, when would it be and what would it signify/celebrate?
My holiday would be a day to celebrate the fact that infertility no longer exists in this world (wouldn't that be nice?!).  It would specifically be for all of us, who have so unfairly had to deal with infertility's horribleness.  We wouldn't have to work, cook, do laundry or do much of anything on that day.  Basically it would be like Mother's Day, but for those of us who so sadly had to deal with all of the terrible side effects from dealing with infertility for so long.  Aubrey for President!

7) If you could, what one illness/disease would you cure?
Cancer. Definitely cancer. Every single kind of cancer. I've heard some really sad things lately and it makes my heart bleed for so many people out there whose lives have been affected by this horrible disease. Life can be so unfair.

Infertility, of course, and ALS would be close seconds.

8) What movie makes you cry?
Beaches. LOVE that movie.
But honestly, everything makes me cry. I cried just last week watching the 'Farewell to Finn' episode of Glee.
9) Other than your SO, who is the hottest person on the planet?
I totally have a thing for Jake Gyllenhaal.  LOVE him!  And I totally thought Reese Witherspoon was crazy for kicking him to the curb!

10) List one of your favorite quotes, and why it means something to you.
Jeremiah 29:11.  I've carried this verse around with me for years.  Reading it or hearing it just soothes my soul.  It helps me to believe that God will come through for me in my journey of infertility.  It helps me to have hope and faith in Him.  I pray that this verse will have even more meaning to me someday very soon.

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And now, here are my questions (and answers) from Donating Hope:

1) Sweet or savory?
Sweet, sweet, sweet. I'm currently unable to eat chocolate in preparation for my FET and I've never craved a single M&M more in my life. Not being able to eat chocolate during the Halloween season is so hard (and don't even get me started on not being able to drink coffee (not even decaf) during the pumpkin spice latte season... it's so sad)!

2) What is your favorite season and why?
I love them all, but my favorite would have to be winter.  It's just special.  Nick and I got married in February, so the winter reminds me of that extremely amazing day in our lives :)


3) Favorite Bible verse or inspirational quote?
Jeremiah 29:11 (see question 10 above)

4) Favorite outdoor activity?
I'm stumped. I'm not really an outdoors-y person.

5) Favorite indoor activity?
Does nothing count? Or, does snuggling with my little Linky Loo count? Because that's my most favorite thing to do. Snuggle with my pup.

6) Any book recommendations?
Nope. Sadly, I have no time to read. I barely have time to read all of your blogs these days. So sad. My job stinks. But, I want to read this.

7) Do you dye your hair?  If so, why and do you remember your natural hair color?
Ohhh yes - I've dyed my hair with blonde highlights since my Senior year of high school. I slowly but surely added more and more highlights that, over the years, became lighter and lighter. Recently, I dyed my hair back to my natural color, though, and I'm LOVING it. I've had to do one full-head dye since then because the color faded quite a bit half way down my head. I may do a full-head dye again, but before I have a bunch of chemicals painted on the top of my head, I'm waiting to see if CCRM will be able to work a miracle for me.  Hopefully I'll have really crappy hair color for the next year or so!
8) Any tattoos? If so, what is the significance behind them?
No tattoos... But if I were to get one I'd get a very simple, very plain and very small (like, the size of my pinky nail) cross on the front, fleshy part of my hand in between my thumb and pointer finger or right above my ankle.

9) What has been the most significant moment/realization of your journey to parenthood this year?
Two things: 1.) I'm strong. Stronger than I ever imagined possible (though, it's funny, because most days I don't feel strong.  I feel so much weakness on a daily basis as I battle infertility) and 2.) I will never, EVER, not think before I speak again. Truly. I've been so let down by so many people since learning of my inability to get pregnant.  Much of the reason I've been let down is simply because of others' words.  Words can be so hurtful, even when they're not intended to be... Hence, the reason for the good ole saying "think before you speak."

10) What are you hoping to find under the tree this Christmas?
Anything baby related, because I pray to God that Santa will actually have a reason to shove some onesies, binkies, blankies, etc. down my chimney this year.  But, if baby related items are the last thing I'll want to see come December, then I'll settle for a michele watch (I've been eyeing these for months!) or a right hand ring (I keep telling Nick I'll wait for this until I have a baby... but that's getting old...).  A girl can dream, right?!
*     *     *     *     *
OK, here are the bloggers whom I've nominated for the Sunshine Award:
And here are my questions for YOU!
1) Why do you blog, and will you continue to blog when (I'm being positive for ALL of you!!) you get pregnant/have a baby(ies)?
2) What do you do for work (I'm always curious to know what everyone does all day long!)?
3) What would you say is the best piece of advice for someone who is just beginning their journey in the land of infertility?
4) What would you say is the best piece of advice for someone who is not going through infertility, but who doesn't know what to say to someone who is?
5) What is the item of clothing you want to buy most for this fall season?
6) What is your biggest pet peeve?
7) If you won the lottery, what would be the FIRST thing you'd do?
8) What is your middle name?
9) Where would you live if you could move to anywhere you wanted in the whole wide world?
10) How many siblings do you have - are you the youngest, middle child, oldest or an only child?
Ready... Set... Go!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

So... Now What?

Thank you so much for all of your amazing support and for your sincere happiness for our miraculous report of having FIVE euploid (normal) embryos.  We are still beyond happy and are so pleasantly surprised with how things have turned out thus far.  But, with that enormous amount of happiness, comes a lot of confusion.  I don't get it... If all five of my embryos are genetically normal, then something else must be wrong with me.  If all five of my CCRM embryos are normal, then I'd have to believe that at least one of my eleven embryos that were transferred here in Boston, had to have been normal... I mean... right?!  Wouldn't that only make sense?

Well, I had the chance to ask my doctor those very questions last week, and unfortunately, I didn't exactly get the answers I was looking for... Apparently, my doctor doesn't really know if CCRM's protocol could have produced better quality eggs than my protocols and cycles locally here in Boston.  And, when I asked if there could be anything else wrong with me... if there's anything else I could test for, I was told that I've pretty much done all I can - I've had a hysterosalpingogram which showed no blockages, I've had a hysteroscopy which showed no fibroids or polyps, and I've had the BETA 3 Integrin test which showed that I do not lack the protein necessary for implantation.  Based on those results, my doctor strongly believes that I do not have a uterine issue.  Rather, he said, we know what my issue is: my issue is my eggs.  UGH.  I swear, no matter how far I get in this process, my bad eggs will always haunt me.  I asked if, at this point, because I have five normal embryos, I would be on the same playing field as someone who doesn't have high FSH, or as someone who doesn't have a crappy egg reserve, or as someone who doesn't have bad and ugly eggs.  And, unfortunately, my doctor explained to me that no, I would not have the same chance of success as that of someone who, I would like to call... normal.  Blah.  At this point, I was sort of done with the conversation.  I didn't ask what my chances are or how much lower my chances are... I just didn't and don't want to hear it.  My doctor went on to advise me to transfer two of my best embryos (two 5AA's) and then he congratulated on my good embryo report.  Click.

Here's what I know: someone who ends up transferring a euploid (normal) embryo, has a 70% chance of implantation.  Even though my doctor said differently, I can't seem to understand how I wouldn't fall into that same bucket of chance for success.  Yes, my eggs suck.  Yes, the most eggs I've ever had retrieved was 10.  Yes, I've had a cycle with a really bad fertilization rate.  BUT... I have five normal embryos, people!  FIVE!  And so... I believe, I have to believe, that there's a pretty good chance of something else being wrong with me... Or... maybe CCRM really does work miracles?

So, at the end of last week, I took it upon myself to call a Reproductive Immunologist in NYC.  If I want to move forward in having auto immune issues tested, there are some next steps that I have to complete.  I'll need my local doctor to contact the RI in NYC for a Physician consult.  The RI in NYC will provide my local doctor with the list of blood tests that I'll need to have ordered.  My local doctor will order the tests and then would receive the results a couple of weeks later.  I would then sign a release for the results to be reviewed by the RI and then I'd plan to meet with the RI to hear my diagnosis and a potential treatment plan.  Only thing is... I'll need to figure out how to coordinate care with CCRM if I have an immune issue... And that's probably the biggest hurdle I need to figure out at this point.

While thinking about all of the other (immune) issues that I could have last week, I also heard from my nurse at CCRM with a laundry list of things that I need to complete before transfer: thyroid blood test (scheduled for tomorrow morning), Physical and PAP (scheduled with my PCP on Thursday - I also plan to ask my doctor on Thursday if she can e-mail the RI in NYC for the Physician consult so that I can hopefully get started with all of that blood work) and the most annoying to-do was having Nick's and my blood drawn for communicable diseases.  Blood draws themselves don't bother me - but these specific blood draws have to be done using CCRM's shipping kit, which I paid to have shipped overnight to us for Saturday delivery on Friday afternoon.  This means, Nick and I got to spend our morning at a local hospital waiting to have our blood drawn, then explaining about a million times to the phlebotomist and her manager that the blood then needs to clot, be spun and given back to us so that we could freeze and ship it back to our doctor in Colorado.  Luckily, after a lot of frustration on my part, we ended up walking out of there with our vials of spun blood that is currently being frozen in our freezer so that I can ship it back to CCRM tomorrow morning.  It's not until CCRM has ALL of the results for ALL of these tests that I can move forward and set the tentative transfer date that I was given (in November) in stone.
And so, that's where we are... sort of in a tangled web right now.  We're trying to have as much hope and faith as we possibly can right now... and I'm trying to train my mind not to think so negatively.  I just still can't imagine this turning out any different than it has in the past.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Praise God

...from whom ALL blessings flow!

I received the biggest blessing of my life today (to date).

My heart is so full.  I haven't felt this much pure happiness in years.  My head is puzzled, trying to figure this all out... but rather than making myself crazy tonight, I'm going to enjoy this amazing news.
I have five pretty darn good chances of making the biggest dream of my life come true.  And I can sleep tonight without the fear of waking up to face a day that might bring some really devastating news. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Baby Blasts!

Just a quick update from Amtrak as I head down to New Jersey for work...

WE HAVE FIVE EMBRYOS THAT MADE IT!  They were biopsied, the biopsies were sent off for the CCS genetic testing and my baby blasts were frozen.

Both of my frozen embryos from CCRM IVF #1 survived the thaw, so we ended up with a total of eight altogether.

The results are:

1 day 5 embryo, graded 3 BB, and
4 day 6 embryos, graded:

The 5AAs are 'perfect' and the others are 'good'.  One of the little guys came from one of the frozen embryos that they thawed on Friday.

For the next two to three weeks I will pray, pray, pray.  I know that these blastocyst results are good.  I'm trying so hard to be present in this success... to be thankful and grateful.  But the truth is, I'm scared.  I'm really scared.  This next report will be... everything.  I don't know how I'll sleep at night...

Friday, September 6, 2013

And we have....

.... 6 embryos (8 if you count the 2 that are frozen from our first CCRM cycle)!  9 of the 10 were mature, 6 of the 9 fertilized and 2 are still being cultured and watched.  I'm.... happy, relieved, thankful, grateful and scared.... Really, really scared.  My heart is very sad that we are getting ready to board our flight home.  I want to stay here until I know more.  I don't want to leave my embryos behind.  It's an odd rush of emotions.... to say the least.

We have a LONG road ahead.  We will be praying with all of our hearts for a good blastocycst report next week.  I will be on pins and needles until then, but will try my best to be present in this one very important accomplishment.  

Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts, for your love, support, thoughts and prayers.  We are infinitely blessed for each and every one of you.  Please continue to pray for our 8 embryos (babies).

And now.... it's back to Boston....

.... with smiles on our faces and happiness in our hearts.... at least for now.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Quick Egg Retrieval Update

We arrived at CCRM this afternoon at 12:30 p.m.  I was prepped, my IV was inserted (by far the worst part in all of this!) and we waited to get the show on the road for my retrieval at 1:30 p.m.
The procedure went well and I waited, not so patiently, for the doctor to come over to give us our egg count...
...which was ten.  Ten eggs.  10!  Me... Ten eggs. The thirty-one year old girl whose eggs are supposedly the age of someone who is in their mid-forties.  I'm still in shock.  And I know that the number of eggs is just that - just a number.  Anything can happen between now and tomorrow when we get the fertilization report.  We are trying to be positive and are hoping for much better results than last time.  We are praying that our luck will finally start to change. For now we are grateful, thankful and are relishing in this small miracle that we were given today.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More from Colorado

Have I told you all how much I love Colorado?!  This state... don't be surprised if I pack my bags and move here for good!  We've been trying to enjoy ourselves as much as possible in the midst of doctor's appointments, ultrasounds and blood draws.  Everything seems to be coming to an end - my best guess is that I will trigger tonight for a retrieval on Thursday.  I should know for sure later this afternoon.  My right side has still proven to be a complete bum ovary, but my left ovary is certainly pulling the weight with about eight good sized follicles as of this morning.  I'm pleased so far with my results - I know that I will never be someone who produces oodles of eggs, so if I can get eight, then I'll be glad thrilled!

On Saturday, we spent the day at Breckenridge.  Nick has been there before to ski, but it was nice visiting during the summer when there wasn't an ounce of snow on the ground.  He took me to his favorite place that he remembers... a little crepe cart/stand.  I devoured a banana foster crepe and then made my way to a french bakery and shoved a croissant down my throat.  Those extra 5 lbs have now turned into about 7 - I'm not kidding.  I was weighed this morning for my IVF Physical.  Awesome.
On Sunday, we headed over to a nearby town to do some outlet shopping.  I was really excited about my new purse, which I have been eyeing at Nordstrom for weeks, but didn't want to spend the money on.  Then, we went to the pool, and I watched my husband try to perfect his handstands.  Seriously.  That's my husband.  I think I gave him an A- on that one :).  Nick got back at me for taking a picture (and then posting it on my blog) of his handstand skills by ordering a frozen strawberry coronita at dinner that night.  I was so jealous.  I still am.  I might make Nick drive me to that Mexican restaurant immediately following my retrieval (actually, that's probably not a good idea... kidding... I guess I'll stick to Starbucks)!
We brought three Netflix DVD's of Breaking Bad with us and finished the first season on the third day that we were here.  LOVE this show!  We bought the second season at Target yesterday because we just couldn't wait to get home for more Netflix DVD's.  We devoured this amazing banana pudding ice cream while watching our show last night.  And yes, that is a half gallon tub of it... I know, I know, I'm gross.  But, this flavor didn't come in the pint sized containers, so I begged Nick to forgo his usual Ben & Jerry's milk & cookies flavored ice cream to share this with me for the rest of the week.  It's SO good (we don't have Blue Bell ice cream at home, what the heck?!).  Luckily we only had sushi for dinner last night and then hiked/walked Tinsley Trail again in anticipation of devouring that banana pudding ice cream deliciousness!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Love It Here

We arrived in Colorado on Thursday afternoon and I just love it here!  Colorado feels so clean and new to me.  Everyone appears to be healthy and happy.  It's beautiful and in a weird way, I sort of feel at home here.  

After my appointment at CCRM yesterday morning (my right ovary seems to not want to respond much at all, but I have 8-10 follicles that are making up for it on my left side), we headed over to Tinsley Trail for an early morning hike/walk.  The view of the mountains from pretty much anywhere you are in this state, is just amazing to me.
After our hike/walk, we headed back to the hotel for breakfast and I added to the 5lbs I've already gained from infertility meds this cycle by consuming a ridiculous waffle with a giant dollop of whipped cream.  I then treated myself to a manicure and pedicure while Nick golfed and then we relaxed for the rest of the day by the pool.  It was a great day.  BUT, the greatest part of my day?  That was when we walked into our hotel room last night after visiting friends of ours from college who live in Colorado Springs.  We walked into our room and there were two beautiful bouquets of flowers from two of my best blogging friends, Amanda and Suzanne.  I truly couldn't sleep last night because I was thinking about how lucky I am to have met such amazing women throughout my ordeal with infertility.  While infertility has been the absolute worst part in my journey throughout life so far, this horrible season has also blessed me, beyond measure, with some of the most caring, loving and supportive friends that there are.  And for that, I am lucky.  Truly lucky.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What I've Been Up To and 31

I've completely neglected my blog lately, but I have a few reasons... 1.) there's just not much more I can say about infertility and how it makes me feel (pretty darn horrible).  I've hit (yet again) another severe writer's block because of this.  And, while I do have lots of thoughts that enter my mind about infertility, it's just too exhausting and emotional to come and share them all here sometimes.  2.) I've been B-U-S-Y.  Mostly it's been because of my new job.  It's in-sane, people.  Just insane.  I guess on the one hand, being busy with work is a good thing... a good distraction.  But, on the other hand, my new job leaves me in tears almost every night of the week, so that's the not-so-good-at-all part about it...  And 3.) I started my sixth (so sad) IVF cycle.  We leave for Colorado late next week.  I started my lupron injections this morning and already had one cry fest in the car after my barre workout class this morning.  Though, that could have been because it's my birthday today (and my sweet husband's too!), and that just brings upon lots of sadness.  I've never been a big birthday person anyway, but annual celebrations just aren't fun anymore.  And they're not really very happy, either.  Like, not at all. 
So, to divert my attention away from entering my thirty-first year of life sans a baby bump today, I'll share a little of what I've been up to while not blogging! 
We had my sweet niece's second birthday party a few weeks ago.  She referred to herself as a princess the entire day and I loved it.  I kept asking her if she's a big girl now and she would say "Noooo!  I uh princess!".  Adorable.  I might steal her.  Kidding... Kind of.
I've been spending too much money.  Way too much money.  But, after a few really long weeks at work, and tears almost every night for the past... I don't even know how long... a little too much retail therapy is necessary.  Luckily, I have a cute sister to share in the destruction of bank accounts.  I'm a bad influence. 
My new job is focused on pro-active client meetings, so naturally I'm out of the office quite frequently.  But, when I'm not on the road meeting with people, I can work at home.  In fact, working from home is encouraged, which has actually been a little difficult for me to get used to... but do you know what hasn't been difficult to get used to?  Spending more time with my little love.  She's so happy when I'm home all day with her.  She even helped me with my work a couple of weeks ago (I was probably down the hall crying or something, so Belle took over!):
My sister, her boyfriend, and Nick and I got pool memberships this summer at a local marina.  And it has been heavenly (minus the loud kids who frequent the pool and who scream, splash and basically break every rule that the place has!  And the parents of those maniacs are even more annoying!).  
 And lastly, while I don't want to celebrate my own... I had a blast celebrating my mom's birthday with her last weekend.  We spent the morning shopping, the afternoon at the pool and the evening having a great dinner together.  Happy Birthday, again, Mom! 
And that's all... I'm all caught up!  And now I'm off to finish this work week with hopefully no more tears today... And with lots of prayers for good things (actually, just one good thing will do!) to come in my thirty-first (ugh) year!

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Six Questions

My friend, Sarah, tagged me in a recent blog post... I was instructed to choose six questions and then answer them.  Since my blogging has been sparse lately (to say the least), I figured this would be a great opportunity to get back in the swing of things!

1. My favorite beauty secret or product:

This little tube of amazing-ness is my go-to beauty product.  I've been wearing this under eye concealer for YEARS.  But ever since infertility meds have bestowed upon me some awful discoloration under my eyes, I've developed a whole new love affair with this concealer.  If I go make-up-less, I still always sport this under eye concealer.

2.  A personal trial that I've had to overcome:
Infertility, infertility, infertility.  The only thing is that, clearly, I haven't overcome this trial... yet.

3.  A current dream I'm hoping to achieve:
Becoming a Mom.  And buying Nick one of these for his car:

I can't stand these signs, but Nick has always said (pre-infertility) that he would absolutely buy one for his car someday.  At this point, if there really is a baby on board one day, then I'll appease Nick.  I'd do anything for there to be a baby on board!

4.  Who inspires me?

My Nana.  She is the best.  Honestly, just  My Nana is kind, caring, strong and funny.  She has always been a part of my life, and I am so, so lucky.

5.  My favorite picture and why:
My honeymoon pictures are my favorite pictures that I have.  Why?  Because, that's the very last time I can remember being truly happy.  We didn't wait long after we were married to start trying to expand our family.  After my second or third failed IVF (I can't remember which one), I went around my house and took down almost every single picture that I had framed or hanging up.  My heart was (and is) so broken that I couldn't stand to look at photos of myself with a genuine smile on my face.  Photos that depicted my happiness just killed me.  They kind of still do.  It's hard remembering a time of true happiness, because it's been so long since I've felt that.  I've slowly started putting pictures back up around my house... but it's still hard to look at them sometimes.

6.  My favorite part about marriage and what I've learned since becoming married:
My absolute favorite part about marriage is sharing every single thing in my life with my best friend.  My life isn't just my life anymore.  It's our life.  I could write a novel about how Nick is the best husband in the world (and I'm sure he could write a novel about how I'm the most difficult wife in the world!).  I think the most important thing I've learned since becoming married (and since having been faced with infertility), is that we will not let anything break us.  That we will always be there for one another.  And that, at the end of the day, if it ends up just being us, we are still really lucky... lucky to have each other for ever and ever.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'm Lucky For Friends Like You!

I'm all over the place lately, so bare with me.  The past few weeks have been difficult.  But, I guess that's really no surprise.  When you're infertile, difficult days are the norm.  I've been blaming my overall sadness lately on this priming cycle.  I just feel stuck - I'm currently, technically, "cycling" but I'm not stimming yet.  I'm just ready to get the show on the road and to start stabbing myself in the stomach every day with an insane amount of hormones (seriously.  I know that's weird, but it's sort of true).  I'm feeling really impatient.  And sad.

My mind has certainly wandered over to the dark side.  I'm overcome with thoughts of this cycle being as much of a bust as my last cycle.  I'm beginning to wonder if we made the right choice by going to "the best" fertility clinic in the country (my wallet is starting to wonder that, too).  Are my eggs that far gone that it doesn't really matter where I go for treatment?  Should I even be doing this?  Should I just give up?  Should I just work on making the best of my life if it turns out to be a life without children?  Maybe it will work for everyone else but me...

I had a break down over the weekend.  A complete cry-fest.  I sobbed to Nick telling him how I just wish I knew.  I wish I knew if children of my own just aren't in the cards for me.  If I knew, I'd be able to work toward moving on... On to a life with me not becoming a Mom.  Sometimes that's one of the hardest parts in all of this: not knowing.  Not knowing if I will ever pass my genes on to my child.  Not knowing if I will make Nick a Dad.  Not knowing if I will become a Mom.  Not knowing if any of this will have been worth it.  It kills me.  It just completely kills me.

I somehow picked myself up after my fit of hysteria over the weekend.  The work week started and I've been beyond busy ever since.  My job is stressful, but it keeps me going and I suppose for that, I'm thankful.  But, do you know what else I'm thankful for (and here comes the point to this post)?  I'm thankful for you.  For my blog friends, who just lift me up exactly when I need to be lifted up.  Who cheer me on with words of encouragement that truly mean so much to me.  Who care and who get it.  Who, without,  I honestly don't know how I'd maneuver my way through this really crappy road of infertility.  I walked in the door today after a really, really, long day at work to find this:
Jessah, thank you for making me smile (when I needed it most).  For making me feel less alone.  For caring so much about someone else, even when you're in the trenches of infertility yourself.  And mostly, for making me realize today that this IS all worth it.  That I still have some fight left in me.  That I'm not ready to give up on my miracle baby.  You helped me realize today that the not knowing part is actually a good thing (though it's still hard).  Because that's what allows me to keep trying.  In fact, the not knowing part is actually a beautiful thing (once you peel back all of its awful layers!).

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.
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