Thursday, October 31, 2013

Too much loss and sadness

It's been a crazy few weeks in the blog world. There's been entirely too much sadness and my heart continues to ache for my dear friends as they cope with loss and heartache.

Outside of the blog world I have someone that is so very dear to me that is waiting for what could be tragic news for her very long sought after pregnancy. She's at her twelve week mark when she should be breathing a sigh of relief, not this. She has meant literally the world to me this last year as we've traveled side by side through our infertility. She makes me laugh. During a year in which laughter has been a challenge, no less. I would give anything in the world to change what she's going through right now. Her heart is broken and there's nothing I can do to fix it. My dear, N...I'm hoping for the miracle that you so deserve.

This makes me ask...have I mentioned how much I hate infertility and the hell that it has brought upon my friends? On me? I know without a doubt that we have all been changed by what we've gone through. I hope that one day I can look at this and know that it made me a better person. Rather than a bitter one. I truly hope that's the case. For all of us.

The past week has been difficult for me to blog about my piddly mock cycle. It's so insignificant in comparison to what's going on around me. I will say it's not going well. At least it wasn't last Friday. I'm still on patches and have added in Estrace. I'll find out tomorrow if my lining has finally decided to cooperate. However, it's doubtful. It had a long, long, long way to go.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A time to come together

One of my sweet blog friends, Holly needs all of your prayers for her precious, Brinly & Jude. She's 17 weeks and her water broke last night putting her babies at risk.

We have all become such a tight-knit group that have supported one another through laugher and unfortunately many tears. Lets all of us rally around her as Holly and her husband, Darren face this uncertainty and pray that God works a miracle for them.

YOU, my dear Holly, are so loved.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm Walking on Sunshine

Over the past few weeks I've been nominated by some of my sweet blogger friends, AubreyWell-IntentionedHolly, and Kasey for the Sunshine Award and the Libster Award. Thanks ladies!! I know they probably thought I was ignoring them, but I wasn't...I kept track! I was so focused on our cycle that I couldn't put two sentences together that wasn't related to that. I tried to mix up questions from everyone. 

But NOW...I've got nothing but time!! So let's do this!! 

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

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?

That's easy, my sister. She's 10 years younger than me but I can't remember a moment since she was born that we haven't been super close. She's hands down one of my favorite people. 

2) What do you do for work (I'm always curious to know what everyone does all day long)?

I work for an ad agency. Though sadly, I'm the lone "non-creative" person and I'm nothing like anyone on Mad Men. I'm the Controller, so I just handle the money and HR (crack the whip/party pooper, because no, you legally can't say that to your co-worker no matter how "creative" it sounds). 

3) If you could choose any 1 person to spend a day with  - dead or alive - who would you choose? What would you do? 

I would most definitely pick my mother. I'll spend the rest of my life wishing I had just one more day with her. I wouldn't want to do anything but spend the day outside talking to her. Telling her what she meant to me and how much I loved her. I'd want to tell her about my wedding day and how happy I was, but it was bittersweet without her. I'd want to tell her about all the loss and heartache of our infertility. We'd laugh and we'd cry, most likely with my head on her lap and her playing with my hair. (I never did out grow that) 

4) Who is your best friend?

Jill. Who would have thought when I met her more than 8 years ago that she'd become one of the most important people in my life. We're kindred spirits and we crossed paths for a reason. No doubt about it. Pretty sure I wouldn't have survived the past 5 years without her.

5) What would you say is the best piece of advice for someone who is just beginning their journey in the land of infertility? 

That's such a tough one. I think I would tell people that decide to wait until their older to find out about your fertility at an earlier age. I think I'll always advocate that from here on out. I would say find a support system. Whether it's friends, family, forums or blogging. You need that. I also think you should never be afraid to challenge the doctors. They don't always know what is right for YOU. Sometimes that means a second, third or fourth consult.  Always, always be your own advocate and educate yourself. 

6) Are you a cat or dog person? 

I love both. I grew up with both. But as an adult, I've only had cats. This little guy is a giant lump of love, and kind of a weirdo.

7. Do you have any tattoos and what are their significance? 

I have 2. One I got right after my divorce when I was only 23. It's on my back (it's small) and has no significance other than it was me "moving on" at a difficult time of my life. 

The other is a butterfly on my wrist. The main color is teal which is the color for Ovarian Cancer. I got it the summer my mother was ill. 

8. Where did you come up with the name of your blog? This intrigues me? 

When I first started TTC, every other day they were talking about the celebrity "baby bump" watch. That was how I chose "hoping for a baby bump". 

9. 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)? 

I would love to continue blogging. I started this blog because I wanted an outlet. Just to be able to get my feelings out because very few people in "real life" know or at least knew of my struggles at that time. I still keep my blog mainly private to only a few people that know me. Those that do know me and read my blog, have also struggled with infertility and understand the sensitivity in which I write about. I do hope to continue blogging. It's become very therapeutic for me. I hope that my topic isn't always about loss and grief, but rather happiness and yes, my goal is to be able to move my blog into a "pregnancy" blog one day. 

10. How did you and your husband meet? 

I actually married very young to my high school sweetheart. That marriage was over by the time I was 23 because of drugs, alcohol and cheating. Not many fond memories of those times. However, when I sold the home I had with my ex-husband, I moved into an apartment over Trevor. A few "spottings" and run-ins at the pool and guess who knocked on my door one Friday night!? That was 12 years ago!! We dated for 10 years before finally tying the knot! 

OK, here are the bloggers whom I've nominated for the Sunshine Award: 

1. Amanda at Genuine Greavu
2. Sarah at Where the Heart is
3. Heidi at Hidden Infertility
5. Erin at The Gypsy Mama
6. Emily at Eat Love Procreate
7. Mrs. Lost at Where is that Bird
8. Sara at The Baby Games
10. Augusta at All In One Basket

So sorry if I duplicated anyone!!  

My questions for you all of you:

1) Was there a particular moment in your infertility journey that made you realize that you wanted/needed to start blogging? 
2) What was your favorite vacation spot ever? 
3) What food could you never live without? 
4) If you could spend one day with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? Why? What would you do? 
5) Favorite article of clothing? 
6) We have so many tears through you have a REALLY funny moment that you've shared with your husband through all of this? (Here's mine Tears, Laughter, 180 miles and Little Friday Humor)
7) Your child's 16th birthday present...a new car or a nicely wrapped stack of fertility bills and  bus pass?? 
8) What one thing would you go back and tell your 20 year old self? 
9) You are going on a trip and lose your suitcase. What one item are you going to replace first the second you get where you're going!?
10) What is the best part of blogging your IF journey? 

Feel free to answer any questions in the comments if I missed you!!!
Aaaaaaannnnnnd GO! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thank you, my dear Goose

The past few days have been riddled with anxiety. It all came down to these past few days and how many blasts we would have to transfer, how many chances we'd have, would we be able to try for a sibling...

In our heads, we kept saying that four would be good. We would be content if that number frozen had been four. If it were less than four, yes, it would definitely be a better shot than we've yet to have, but what if it didn't work? The pressure would really be on. I would have stressed over it. I have no doubt. But realistically, about half make it to freeze-quality blast. Four is realistic.

Six was what we wanted. What we hoped and prayed for. Six would give us multiple chances. It gives us options. But six, is 67% of nine. That seemed unlikely.

They said they wouldn't call us until today. However, we knew that the best quality would be frozen yesterday and any that they waited to continue to develop would be frozen today. Did I mention the wait has been excruciating?

SIX!! We have 6 perfect frozen blasts! (Quality: 2 - AA, 3 AB, 1 BA)

I am thrilled beyond words. In 2 1/2 years, this is the best news we've gotten since trying to conceive. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, for all of the prayers and words of kindness and good thoughts directed toward my little embies.

I can't quit thinking about Goose. I wish I could hug her. I wish I could tell her how excited I am about all the chances that she's given me. I know that I thanked her in my letter, but even without knowing her, I feel so incredibly close to her. I will never, ever forget what a perfect stranger did for me. Regardless of her motivation, it is still a gift of life and I just hope and pray that my body can take what she started and create a cozy little home for one (or more) of these little ones.

Last bit of good news I have is about me. I finally started my mock cycle on Friday. I did not have a period, but they believe was because my lining was so thin, and they were comfortable starting regardless. So for the next few weeks, I'll be pumped full of hormones to try and figure out the right combination for a perfect FET cycle. I'll also have my Integrin biopsy on November 4th to determined whether or not I'll have to do two months of Depot Lupron before my FET. I hope not...but whatever it takes, I'll do.

All I know is today is a happy day for us. We've had so few, that I'm holding on to this one and I choose to believe that the wind is changing for us.

Much, much love to all of you for continuing to cheer me on. xoxo

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 3 - My Nine

Of course CCRM calls me when I'm in the middle of my ballet barre class. Luckily, I was taking no chances and have been carrying around a pad of paper and my phone everywhere I go. 

Sprinting out the door to take the call may have been the most my heart rate increased during that entire workout. Well, that and then having to wait till after class to call T, send texts and update my blog. 

All NINE are still going! 

8 are between 6 & 10 cell and show less than 10% fragmentation
1 is a 5 cell and shows 15% fragmentation

The embryologist sounded really happy with the report and said the quality is looking great, so I'll be happy for now! I do know that usually only make it to quality blast stage in order to be frozen. Which means three more go-to-beds before I know for sure how many shots at this I have. 

I may need to drink/medicate myself into a coma until Monday. 

I mentioned this the other day, this is completely new territory for me. So feel free to chime in on what I can realistically expect will make it to freeze? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Territory

It's strange to know I've gone through as much as I have in regards to infertility. Yet, I've never received a fertilization report. Such a small step in all of this to wonder over, to be nervous about, to anticipate. 

I was told on Monday that I would not get a call on the day of retrieval. This caused me quite a bit of anxiety. After all the waiting and ups and downs these past few weeks, don't they realize how frantic I am to find out how many eggs are retrieved? Either they don't, or the don't care, but they were true to their word, no call.

I was able to get a quick, early dinner with Trevor before he headed out of town on Monday night. It certainly was strange to send him off to Denver while I stayed behind. He's been a champ this past month. It has not been easy on him giving up allergy medicine, alcohol and his beloved mocha lattes. But he never complained. Not once.

His appointment at CCRM was at 9 am yesterday. He was in and out pretty quickly and I made him recount every single detail (much to his delight...he spared nothing and even provided a few pics of the "room", funny guy). He was also in charge of packaging together the gift we had for Goose. Here's the one photo that I'll share, since I'm quite certain none of you care about what kind of magazines CCRM keeps on hand in the special "boy" room.

 Love this man. What he does for us and for me on a daily basis reminds me how lucky I am. 

I have to thank Danielle, a former infertile that beat the odds and welcomed her son last week, that has not only been a fabulous friend but also helped to create a custom designed necklace that spoke to the connection that we will always feel for our Goose. She created the perfect gift that was personal and one of a kind. Thank you, dear friend and most of all CONGRATS on your little man!! She lurks among a lot of our blogs and some of you may have seen comments from her. She's a keeper and if any of you are ever interested in checking out her fabulous handmade jewelry creations, Finding Felicity, I highly recommend it!

Writing my letter was one of the hardest parts of all of this. How in the world do you thank a woman for giving you a chance at a child? It was not an easy thing to express. I'm happy with how it turned out and I hope it means as much to her, as it did to me to write it.

I also want to thank my bestie, Jill for lunch yesterday. She knew I was in need of a distraction, and boy, did I! No question, I'd be in a padded room without her love and support!

Not to mention, the cupcake for dessert really hit the spot! 

I received my phone call from the lab this morning and it was pretty, darn good news.

18 eggs retrieved
15 eggs mature
9 fertilized normally
3 are still being watched

Dr. G was the doctor that did the egg retrieval yesterday and he said she did really well. Now we just hope and pray and do lots of dances to the embryo fairies that those 9 are great quality and maybe even those 3 stragglers can still fertilize.

They will next check the embryos on Friday and call me with an update. It was surreal getting that was a first and it gave me hope. 

Thank you everyone for all your sweet comments and prayers during this crazy week! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Goose is NOT Cooked

I'm way past due for an update. I felt like the news was so up and down it was hard to blog about it because the next day, it changed...and then changed again. So I waited.

I'll start with my regroup with Dr. G last Tuesday. He was feeling really positive about the cycle after the slow start. Even went as far as saying he was thinking we'd get 15-16 eggs. Wha?!? So different that what the nurses had been saying.

But then...on Thursday, the nurse that called with the update, was not feeling good about it. There had been little change from Tuesday, the follicles seemed, stalled. She even still said the cycle could be cancelled. This completely threw me because it was so different that what Dr. G had told me. She said that her next check would be Saturday and then they'd have an idea of what would happen. She said that I wouldn't get an update and only get a call if they cancelled or if Goose was going to trigger.

So all day yesterday I waited. Waited for the phone to ring...or not ring. I knew based on the sizes on Thursday that a trigger was unlikely yesterday.

However, as we sat watching Sunday football, my phone rang and CCRM popped on my screen. My heart stopped. Which would it be? Cancel? Trigger?


The nurse said that while she was certainly "pokey", it seems she's come along in the end. Here was the potential contenders:

Left - 23, 23, 22, 18, 18, 16

Right - 18, 17, 16, 16, 15, 14, 14

I'm hoping that those 14's can maybe plump up just enough by Tuesday morning. T flies to Denver tomorrow and returns on Tuesday.

I can't believe this is (actually) finally happening. So thank you for all the well wishes, prayers and Go Goose dances you sent my way this past week. Maybe just a few more for good measure? That Goose has a successful retrieval and that we then can have a good fertilization report.

Something else the nurse made a point to tell me. Goose is very sweet. She said it was the first time she had met her, and she really wanted me to know how sweet and kind she was. It made my heart soar just to hear that. I thanked the nurse, for telling me.

As far as me and my body and where I stand, it's still going to be a struggle. After stopping my bcps and having a negative hCG 3 weeks ago, I've had no period. I went in for an ultrasound and labs last week to see where I was in my cycle.

Cyst (small) in each ovary
Fluid in my uterus
Lining 2.4mm
E2 - over 300
p4 - 1.5
LH - elevated

So basically, I'm all over the place. My lining is so thin, it's not surprising that I haven't had a period. However, my hormones indicate something completely different. Yesterday I was instructed to do a shot of Progesterone in Oil (OUCH!) and hopefully that will help to bring on a luteal phase. I may or may not bleed, but hopefully my levels can get to a point that we can start the mock cycle later this week. Here's hoping!

Big week for us. I'm nervous, excited and scared. It all comes down to this.