Sunday, October 31, 2010

My past few weeks in photos!

I did mountains of laundry while JD was away on business. Literally MOUNTAINS.

Our puppies went on a roadtrip to northern ohio for the weekend with us!

Because I am completely OCD this is how I clean the basement:

This is how JD cleaned his half, UGH! (Hurts me to even look at it!)

Although I must say that now the basement is clean and there is TONS of room down there. We cleaned it so that there would be room for beer pong and flip cup at our halloween party and there was more than enough room!

My kitty took cute naps...

I went to an NHL game with JD.

I have been swallowing pills like it is my job and now I take even more than this:

I bought a keg for the halloween party

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Update on me!

I have been so bad about blogging lately and now that things are amping up again I am sure that I will get better about it. Here is what has been going on:

Sat= Complete melt down of epic proportions. I wish I could blame it on the alcohol but truthfully it was just the harshness of reality and I tried to run off and melt down alone but even the best laid plans don't always work out.

Mon= Ultrasound and blood work! I was really nervous about this since my body is generally pretty mean to me so I wasn't expecting much but I knew that I would be disappointed if my ovaries weren't ready to move to the next cycle of the FET. When my RE came in she said that it was still really early and that my estrogen was so incredibly high that I cant expect them to be ready yet. You could tell that she really didnt think that they would be ready. Well she began the scan and the right one looked good and she looked for the left one and had trouble finding it (as usual) which we took as a good sign and when she did find it we were so happy! She was in total shock and said they were ready!!!! So plan A is on and I start Lupron and doxycycline friday!!!!!!!! YAY!
That night I gave the girls a bath, which Bella loved and Lola hated!

Tues= I decorated the crap out of my house in preparation for our huge halloween bash on friday!

Wed= I made vodka gummies and jello shots in syringes for the party!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

FET is finally going to be in progress

Tomorrow I have my ultrasound to check and see if my ovaries have shrunken back down to size after my IVF cycle in aug/sept. I am soooooo ready to finally be doing something. While I have been swallowing at least 11 pills a night I really dont feel like I am making any progress so I need this.

On another note, I didnt realize how broken I was/am until last night. I always put on a strong face and try to make my life be a little less awful and last night I just broke down. I cant tell you the last time I cried for hours but I just couldnt stop. It became even more obvious to me last night just how unfair this world is. I will never understand why some undeserving horrible people get to be moms and I cant. I woke up today with eyes that look swollen, empty and dead. I dont want to be one of those people who look vacant and hollow but today, I do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Food for Thought

So, what do you think people would say to you if you were paraplegic instead of infertile?

1. As soon as you buy a wheelchair, I bet you’ll be able to walk again!

2. You can’t use your legs? Boy, I wish I was paralyzed. I get so tired of walking, and if I were paralyzed I wouldn’t have to walk anywhere!

3. My cousin was paralyzed but she started shaving her legs in the other direction and she could walk again. You should try that.

4. I guess God just didn’t mean for you to be able to walk.

5. Oh, I know exactly how you feel, because I have an ingrown toenail.

6. Sorry, we don’t cover treatment for paraplegia, because it’s not a life-threatening illness.

7. So… when are *you* going to start walking?

8. Oh, I have just the opposite problem. I have to walk walk walk – everywhere I go!

9. But don’t you *want* to walk?

10. You’re just trying too hard. Relax and you’ll be able to walk.

11. You’re so lucky… think of the money you save on shoes.

12. I don’t know why you’re being so selfish. You should at least be happy that *I* can walk.

13. I hope you don’t try those anti-paralysis drugs. They sometimes make people run too fast and they get hurt.

14. Look at those people hiking… doesn’t that make you want to hike?

15. Just relax, you’ll be walking in no time.

16. Oh do my legs hurt, I was walking and walking and going up and down the stairs all day.

17. I broke my leg skiing, and was on crutches for weeks, and was worried I’d have a permanent limp, but I’m 100% healed.

18. I’d ask you to be in my wedding party but the wheelchair will look out of place at the altar.

19. You’re being selfish, not coming on the hike with us, and looking at all of my track & field trophies.

20. Don’t complain, you get all the good parking places.

21. If you just lose weight your legs will work again.

22. If you would just have more sex, you could walk!

23. You don’t know how to walk? What’s wrong with you? Here let a real man show you how to walk!

24. You are just trying too hard to walk. Give up, and then you’ll walk.

25. Here, touch my legs, then you’ll walk!

26. Just take a vacation, and the stress-break will be sure to get you walking!

27. When *we* were young we only had to worry about having to walk too much.

28. And I bet a paraplegic going to a bookstore doesn’t find books about paralysis stacked next to all the books on running…

So here’s a little hint. If someone you know tells you that she’s trying to get pregnant and it’s taking longer than expected, DON’T tell her to just relax. Don’t tell her to adopt and then surely she’ll get pregnant with her own child. Don’t tell her that God has a plan for her. Don’t say, “At least it’s fun trying!”

Scheduling sex with the person you love isn’t fun. Getting vaginal ultrasounds every other day and intramuscular injections in your ass twice a day isn’t fun. Finding out every single month that – yet again – it didn’t work this month either is Just. Not. Fun.

DO tell her that you’re sorry she’s going through such pain/grief/frustration. Do tell her that you’re glad she told you. Do tell her that, even if you don’t bring it up (because you want to respect her privacy and understand that she might not feel like talking about it sometimes), that you’re there for her if she ever wants to talk or vent.

And DON’T feel that because she told you that it’s okay for you to tell your other friends, children, co-workers, neighbors, cousins, mailman, whomever – unless she tells you that it’s okay to do so. Your need to share news pales in comparison to her need to maintain a shred of privacy and dignity. The last thing your friend needs is to be at someone’s garage sale and get unsolicited advice from said secretary’s sister’s cousin’s dogwalker’s barista about how she and her husband just need to get really drunk one night and jump in the back seat of the car. Because she’s probably already tried that, too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Special Delivery

Today my FET meds arrived and we also ordered Follistim to stock up for next year since our insurance is going to change and we dont know how it will affect our med orders and co-pays. Here are pictures of my special delivery!

Vivelle patches are new to me so we shall see how those go!

The new "changed" me

I have been thinking lately how much infertility has changed me and what I have learned form it. I think that these are things that I would like to record and remember someday!

Fears that I have overcome:
-Having Blood Drawn: I have very bad veins and have always been terrified to have blood drawn because it is usually a very bad experience. Now I have blood drawn at least once a week if not daily. This is definitely a milestone for me.
-Shots: Even though I am a nurse I used to HATE shots. I cried the first time I had to give a shot in nursing school and now I give myself multiple shots every day and let Justin give me IM shots (the big boys) in my back and hip.
-Anesthesia: I have always been afraid of having anesthesia and I had it for my ER (egg retrieval) surgery.
-Pills/Meds: While I strongly believe in medicine and taking necessary meds, I didnt like to take anything that I absolutely didnt have to. Now I take at least 8 pills a day.
-Needles: I did ACUPUNCTURE for my IVF cycle!

Things that I have learned:
-Patience: While it is not by choice I am learning patience and fighting it the whole time =)
-True Heartbreak: Breaking up with boyfriends, having fights, losing friends; none of this even compares to TRUE and actual heartbreak.
-Hope Returns: No matter what happens and no matter how many times your hope gets shattered it creeps back up. It almost hurts more when hope creeps back up. Hope is such a blissful place..... you dont realize how scary life is until all hope is gone for a while.

The most important thing that I have learned is how truly and deeply I love Justin. I would not, and could not, keep my head up and live each day without him. He is the ONLY person who really knows what we have been through. He can look at me and know what I am thinking and know that I am hurting without me saying it.
Justin and I have been together for 7 and a half years, and that is such a long time considering I am only 25. We have long surpassed our "honeymoon phase" but our love has never changed. There have been hard times along the way and battling infertility doesnt make things any easier. You will often often hear women say what a strain infertility is on a marriage and this is true. Throughout the first year we were TTC and going through medicated cycles and doing IUIs I thought that Justin wasnt as involved emotionally as I wanted him to be, I wanted him to voice more to me. Nothing puts more of a damper on your sex life than having doctors tell you when and when not to have sex.... trust me it takes all the spontaneity out of it and makes it more of a chore.
After we passed the one year mark of treatment and started questioning our RE (the old one) Justin became so much more involved. We went through injectable IUIs and then moved on to IVF w/ICSI and the relationship that we have has grown so much stronger. I feel so much closer to him and I really hate me be apart now.
Justin travels a lot for work and this did not bother me before but now I find it hard. He is the only one who gets it and I need him. If I need to cry and be mad it is his shoulder I want to cry on. He is so special to me and I think recently and through our failed IVF we realized that we are all that we may ever have and we need each other. I cannot imagine having gone through this journey with anyone else, I wouldnt want to go through this journey with anyone else and I love him more than words can say.


Blog Facelift!

How do you like the new fall look?

If you haven't been here is a while then welcome back and if you are new welcome! Please leave comments they make me feel like im not talking to myself! =)

Monday, October 11, 2010

More updates!

First of all please look at the last 2 blog entries also because I just posted them due to the fact that I have been a bad blogger lately!

I baked chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips that other night and they are sooooo good! Anyone who knows me knows 2 things: I hate chocolate and I hate baking. So this was impressive!

We have begun our FET cycle. For those who do not know here is some info about FETs:
Why Choose Frozen Embryo Transfer?
Many couples choose to have FET performed if they have had previously unsuccessful IUI procedures or if they have had extra embryos remaining from an initial IVF cycle. Some couples do not like the idea of destroying embryos simply because they are "left over" from an IVF cycle. Other couples know or suspect that they will need to do IVF again in the future and prefer to freeze their embryos in order to make future IVF cycles less stressful physically for the female.

In order to perform IVF, numerous embryos are created in order to ensure that healthy and viable embryos are available for transfer. Many couples decide to freeze some of these embryos in order to allow them the opportunity to get pregnant again in the future or for use in a later IVF cycle. Couples receiving donated embryos also must go through the FET procedure, as all donor embryos need to be frozen for at least six months to ensure health and safety.

Embryo Freezing
The FET procedure involves having your embryos frozen, or cryopreserved. Embryos can be cryopreserved at various times after fertilization, ranging from one day after fertilization up to five or six days after. Embryo cryopreservation allows your embryos to be kept healthy and viable for up to ten years. The freezing procedure is as follows:

Your embryos are placed inside of special glass vials, that look much like straws.
These embryos are then mixed with a special solution, called cryoprotectant. This cryoprotectant prevents ice from forming in between the cells of your embryo.
The glass vials containing the embryos are then inserted into a controlled freezer filled with liquid nitrogen.
They are cooled slowly until they reach a final temperature of -196° C.
Embryo Thawing
Before FET can take place, your embryos must be thawed after the freezing process. When your reproductive endocrinologist decides it is time to begin the FET procedure, your embryos will be removed from the freezer and thawed.

The embryos are allowed to thaw naturally, until they come to room temperature.
The embryos are then steeped in four separate solutions to help remove any cryoprotectant used during the freezing process.
Your embryos are then warmed to body temperature (37°C) and mixed with a small amount of culture medium.
The Frozen Embryo Transfer Procedure
The FET procedure is actually fairly straightforward. It is very similar to typical IVF embryo transfer procedures: your body will be monitored for ovulation and endometrial development and then the embryos will be transfered into your uterus.

I am on BCPs now to try and shrink my ovaries back down to normal size after my IVF. I have to be on it for 3 weeks (all of the active pills) and then go in for an ultrasound and some blood work. My RE said not to get my hopes up that they will be small by then but let me tell you... MY HOPES ARE UP. FET cycles are so long that even if my ovaries are ok on oct 25th my transfer wouldnt be until the week after thanksgiving and if they arent small yet then my transfer wont be until the week before christmas... are you kidding me!?!?

I am SO not patient enough for this.

Here are all the pills that I currently take:

The Great Cat Debacle

My cat, Nittany, had a rough week last week. On wednesday I dropped him off to get neutered and a front foot declaw. They said that it is better to do this all at once because cats dont handle anesthesia very well so we listened to them.

On thursday they called and told me that I could pick my little buddy up. After work I went straight to the vet's office to get him. There were no bandages on his hands but they assured me that it was perfectly fine because he hasnt been bleeding at all. We leave and he rides the whole way home on my lap. We pull in the driveway, I carry him to the door, set him down inside and this is what immediately follows:

All that blood came out of my poor cat in like 2 minutes. When I picked him up be would be constantly dripping blood everywhere. IT WAS SO SCARY! I immediately called the vet and they said to get him back ASAP. I grabbed a towel, swooped him up and ran out the door with only my cat and my keys.

When we got to the vet the bleeding had slowed down significantly (of course). They looked him over and he had blood all over his fur on his back legs and tummy because his neuter split open and his little ex-balls were bleeding. Both of his front feet were bleeding too from the declawing. They wrapped his arms up like this:

Then when I got home I looked in the mirror and this is what my clothes looked like:

Then my poor boy laid on the couch with me for the whole rest of the day and didnt move. Poor baby

New Kitchen Facelift!

When we bought our house we upgraded to get a non-white paint color but the whole house had to be one color so my whole house was a creamy yellow, which is pretty. BUT, I am so incredibly sick of it. UGH! So I have gradually painted many rooms in the house. I painted our bedroom before we moved in and it is a tiffany blue-teal color, I also painted our bathroom this color. Then I painted one of our guest rooms a light green and its bathroom a light blue color. Then I painted our bonus room or "family room" navy blue! Then came our entry hallway which is bold dark red, I LOVE IT. I never stop getting compliments on the color! Well it was time to paint the kitchen. The day of beta I began and I didnt stop painting each day till it was done. We also added all of the hardware to the cabinet (knobs and drawer pulls) which I love and I think they add so much character to the kitchen!
A messy before picture of the kitchen:

Here are my sample colors on the wall:

And some after pictures: (the middle and last pic have the new valances and the curtain panels are coming soon!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

trying to put my feelings on an invisible shelf that I just cant reach

Last night I took my first BCP to shrink my ovaries for this FET cycle. It marks the start of this FET cycle which is really odd because I dont feel like I have moved on. I feel stuck, I feel lost, I feel like I should have a hole in my chest that is still bleeding. Infertility is so hard to cope with because your pain cant be seen, they cant remove it like a tumor, they cant fix it with a cast, they can only tell me to "try again". So, here I am, trying again.
trying to look strong while I feel weak
trying to find hope that is gone
trying to feel normal in a crowd
trying to stop looking at the picture of our embryos
trying to move on
trying to put my feelings on an invisible shelf that I just cant reach.

I feel like I am on a treadmill at a dead sprint and I just cant keep up.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Last wednesday I was so happy. I had the day off work and Justin called off sick to be with me on beta day. We went and had my beta drawn and everyone in the office was so excited and happy towards me. They all told me that they "just knew" this was it. We felt that way too. They asked if I had POAS and I told them for the first time ever I had not, that I was just too scared. We left feeling like that day was going to be the best day. We went and had breakfast and then Justin dropped me off to have my eyebrows waxed and my haircut. I went there with all intentions of cutting a few inches off and getting some bangs, this was the NEW me... the pregnant me... the happy me. We then went home and I began painting the kitchen so that I wouldnt go crazy waiting for the phone call.

At 1:47pm as I stood on the kitchen counter edging above our archway I looked at Justin and said "I just all of the sudden feel like bad news is coming". Right then my phone rang.... it was them. I grabbed my phone and answered. All I remember is the nurse saying "We got your numbers back (at this point I was thinking YAY NUMBERS!) and it was negative." :::insert panic here::: I looked at Justin and just shook my head as my eyes filled with tears that were soon running down my face. How could this be happening?! All I remember after this is sitting on my kitchen counter completely devastated and crying so hard that there was mascara dripping onto the counter.

A few minutes later I went into autopilot. I stood back up and just started painting. I painted and painted and painted. Its almost like I thought there was going to be another phone call... one telling me that they made a mistake... one telling me that everything would be ok. The phone never rang. I dont think it ever sunk in that afternoon. We went and met Amie and Chris for happy hour at Marcellas and I gladly drank way more sangria than was necessary. When we left we got in the car and as we drove away it hit me.... I was drinking, drinking because I wasnt pregnant, drinking because our IVF didnt work, drinking because it was all that I could do. It was then that I realized it was over, our dreams were shattered. It was that moment that I for the first time knew it really may never happen.

After crying myself into a migraine I walked in the door and went straight to bed, at 9:30pm. I crawled in bed and crashed like I hadnt slept in weeks. I worked the next day even though I could barely pull myself out of bed. I didnt want to see the sun, I didnt want to smile, I didnt want to talk to my patients and pretend that everything was ok because the truth is it wasnt ok, and I wasnt ok. I didnt want to see anyone. I just wanted to lay there and pretend that this wasnt my life but that wasnt an option. So I worked. Autopilot set back in and I felt like a zombie, I wasnt happy, I wasnt sad, I didnt feel at all.

I came home that night and painted. Justin was gone all night and I just painted till there was nothing left to paint. Then I packed because, THANK GOD, we were going out of town that weekend which we needed more than I can even express.

Friday came and we went to our Drs appt and we worked and we left for the weekend. It was so nice to be away, to be out of our house full of medicine, needles, sharps containers, and things that reminded us of all that we just lost. We had a great weekend away.

Then we came back. I walked in the house and wanted to turn around and run back out. I wanted to pretend this wasnt reality. Since then all I can seem to do is cry. Everytime I am in my car I cry. When I lay down to go to bed I cry. When I sit and stare at the TV not even really seeing or hearing it because of the screaming thoughts in my head I cry.

Its so hard to explain how it feels to fail an IVF cycle. You have pictures... pictures of the babies that were growing in the lab, the cells were dividing and multiplying and life was being created. That is, until they put them into your body. Its almost like losing children.... or failing them at least because they were there and they were growing. What am I supposed to do with these pictures now?! We grew so attached to them, we looked at them everyday and talked about them. These were our kids, or so we thought.

This past weekend marked:
I.5 years
18 months
78 weeks
548 days
13,152 hours
and 789,120 minutes
since we started trying to conceive this baby.

Here was are:
8 rounds of clomid
Hundred of shots
Hundreds of blood draws
Thousands of pills
7 IUI cycles
1 IVF w/ICSI later and still no baby.

That is so many failures, so much lost hope, so much wasted time, so much pain, so much money.

The stages of grief are as follows:
Shock stage*: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.
Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
Testing stage*: Seeking realistic solutions.
Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward

I am somewhere in between denial and anger. I wish I could go back to denial, it was less painful there.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The perfect cycle with the imperfect result...

We had out WTF appointment on friday with our Dr and this is what happened:

She cannot believe I am not pregnant. After hearing my number of eggs, my fert rate, my embryo quality, the 6dt and that I got 5 blast frosties she was sure I was pregnant(she was not able to do my ER and ET d/t timing). She said she would have given that cycle a 75% success rate at ET time... yet here I am not pregnant. There is no indicator as so why, nothing went wrong, nothing needed changing. It was the "perfect cycle".... with an impefect result. She's shocked, we are shocked, and I wish I had something to blame it on. She thinks that they embryos must have been chromosomally weak or abnormal. We want to go right into an fet which she thinks should go well bc we have good frosties.... but who knows. I start bcp on cd3 and around cd21 we check so see if my ovaries are small again yet (she said not to get my hopes up which made me want to scream and cry)... my hopes will be up I can guarantee that.