Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Some days we need a little sunshine

Three amazing ladies nominated me for the Sunshine Award. With what's going on, it's nice to be able to read and think about something other than infertility, so here's a post about me based on their questions. 
Questions from Allison at Belle Haven Drive:
What was your favorite year in school (grades 6 through 12), and why? My favorite grade was probably my sophomore year. I was so involved in so many activities (dance, cheerleading), sports (basketball, track) and friends that I just remember being really happy that year.
What was your least favorite year in school (grades 6 through 12), and why? Sadly, the following year when I was a junior, was probably my hardest. I moved from NC after my sophomore year to live with my mom in St. Louis. It was a tough transition going from being so involved to being the "new  girl". 
If you could choose any profession (no matter the education and intelligence), what would it be? I have always, always wanted to be a pediatric oncologist nurse. Ever since I was a little girl. I was even a biology major in college until I started working in accounting and just changed my major because it seemed like the right thing to do. 
Can you please post five of your wedding photos? I LOVE WEDDINGS! We were married on the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus on June 12, 2011 after dating for TEN years. Best day ever.

What is your favorite sport and why? My favorite sport these days is to watch NFL football and college basketball. I LOVE the Tarheels. Probably since I grew up about 15 minutes from campus. I also enjoy watching tennis. 

To date, what’s the most meaningful “thing” you’ve learned about life? To be happy. (which isn't always easy)

Who are your favorite musical artists/groups? Favorite musical genres? Songs? Wow, this changes on a weekly basis. I'd say one of my favorite groups is Mumford & Sons. 

Who are the most beautiful celebrities in your opinion, and why? I think Scarlett Johansson and Carey Mulligan are stunning. 

Have you found any hidden gems on Netflix, and what are they? I don't have Netflix. I have so many shows on my DVR that I can hardly keep up with, I can't imagine adding anymore. I'd never leave my house.

Where should we have a TTC sisters trip? Vegas? Quebec? The beach? The mountains? Without a doubt the beach. Especially coming from the -6 degrees that I woke up to this morning.

Below are the questions from Jennifer T at You Must Believe There Are Miracles:

What's the best gift you've ever been given? Other than donor eggs? Because that is my #1 best gift ever. 

If you could have been a child prodigy, what would you have wanted to be skilled at? Art, I've always wished I had a bit more creativity.

When others fine their way to your blog, what, if anything would you most want them to get out of their reading/view experience? To think that I give anyone just a hint of courage to keep going and know they aren't alone, gives me joy. This is a hard road, and I would never want anyone to feel that they have to walk it alone.

What is the one thing that makes you laugh the hardest? My husband. :) 

If you had four wishes, what would you wish? (had to add an extra wish for all of us wishing to get pregnant/have a baby) 1) I wish to be myself again after all of this infertility is in the the past 2) I wish to look into my child's face and for them to know how much love brought him/her into the world 3) I wish that my friends also facing infertility find peace and happiness with their own children 4) I wish for my husband's dream that has been put on hold because of our struggles to finally come true. 

If you could star in any show or movie which one would you pick? What would be your role? Top Chef and I'd want to be Padma Lakshmi. I want to eat all of that amazing food (and look that good!).

What are three things you are obsessed with right now (other than getting pregnant and having a baby)? Movies - I always try to see all the movies up for best picture, Cooking - I LOVE to cook, Vacation - all I can think about is going somewhere warm and away from the frozen tundra that is currently Indianapolis.

And finally, questions from Small Town Family:

What sounds do you love? I love the sounds of waves crashing. Something so peaceful and serene about sitting on a quiet beach with a book.

If you could be any animal what would you be, why? A cat. At least one of mine…they seem to live a good life. :)

What do you do on Sundays? Sunday's are "our" days. My husband and I usually sleep in a little, make or go out for breakfast, watch football or a movie, grocery shop together, cook a big meal on Sunday night and go to be early. My version of a blissful day.

Why were you given your name? Not sure of an exact reason other than my parents really liked "Suzanne"

Where/what/how is your favorite getaway? A beach. This girl loves to relax in the sun.

What do you like about your job? I like the responsibility that I have. The trust that the owners of my agency put in me and the appreciation I get from my employees.

Cold or hot? Most definitely hot. Did I mention it's -6 in Indianapolis? 

How old were you the first time you thought you were in love? I was 16. We were together until I was 23. Real love came a year later when I met T.

What/where is the farthest you've ever been away from home? Anguilla on vacation in 2013.

Name one thing you miss about being a kid? I miss the freedom of not having the worries and stress that goes along with being an adult.

I've done these before, so I'm not going to nominate or post other questions, but I totally suggest anyone that hasn't posted anything like this on your blog to do so, it's so nice to learn little things about each one of you outside of infertility. :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Where I Am Today

This post may be a lot of rambling. Maybe it won't be. But there is a lot on my mind lately. So I'm going to try and articulate it into words somehow.

I've felt a little lost lately. I have days where I'm positive, but I also have these deep fears that continue to smack me in the face and to be honest, have really affected me and my mindset.

I'll back up a bit.

The decision for donor eggs came swiftly for me. Our one and only IVF was a complete disaster. For those of you that remember that time, know, that's probably an understatement. Rather than continue with my own eggs at the risk of still walking away with nothing, we quickly (and I mean quickly, because it was the same month as my retrieval) moved on. In that SAME month, we miraculously became pregnant only to find out it was ectopic AFTER we had a D&C that has now left my uterus in question to ever carry a child.

Does that sum up my 2013 in a nutshell?

My decision to do donor eggs has not wavered. I still know in my heart it was the right decision for us. From the second those follicles were retrieved from Goose, they were mine. When I heard that I had six  perfect blasts, those have been my 6 babies and every day I think of them.

Still, all of the waiting of these past few months since Goose's retrieval has given me time to reflect, to think, to wonder. I now look at every mother and child and try to see the similarities between them. I look at my husband and wonder what features my children will have of his. I look at my own reflection and grieve that they will never have any part of me when I look into their sweet faces.

That was all okay with me when we made this decision because they would be a part of me as I would give them life. I would carry them for 9 months. But what if I don't get that chance now? What if I am completely removed from the equation? This haunts me.

I know that no matter what the next few months bring, I will do anything to bring life to those precious embryos that are waiting for me in Colorado. There is no other option for me. If a gestational carrier is what we have to do, I will do it. But, the grief when that decision is made, will be difficult.

I know. We're not there yet. But I know that everything, and I mean everything hangs by what happens in this next month or two. But it doesn't even stop there.

I was told in December, and this is something that has taken me a bit of time to even have the strength write because it scares me, is that I am at an increased risk now if I'm able to get pregnant, of placenta accreta or percreta. That transferring two embryos may not even be an option and that I could at the end of a pregnancy, end up with an emergency hysterectomy.

I've also bled now for almost 2 full weeks. All the "complications" of a hysteroscopy include excessive bleeding. Of course, some of these complications can lead to a hysterectomy. So add this to my current worries.

Google is my friend. Google is also my enemy.

So yes. I'm scared. I'm trying to just relax and remember that CCRM has a plan. They are doing everything they can to make this work. Some days, the fear still takes over.

I can't help but wonder if I'm always going to have that sick feeling in my stomach when I expect that I'm about to hear news that someone close to me is pregnant. There are several right now, that every day, I wonder about. I'm expecting a call anytime and I hate that I know it will devastate me. I hate that I still can't handle baby showers. That's it takes everything in me not to hide every baby photo or comment on Facebook. I hate that this is who I've become and I fear that I may never be who I was before.

I'm angry that we've spent almost $65k in the past year alone, but I have never had a transfer. Each time I say that out loud…or write it for that matter, it makes my blood boil. All that money, but thus far, not a single actual chance. My only chances were my 3 angel babies that were all on our own.

I also had cycle day 3 blood work done at my OB's office back on January 3rd. I don't know why I requested it. Maybe it was just to put a nail in the coffin of my own eggs once and for all.

E2 - 120 (elevated, but not awful)
FSH - 7.5 (a year ago it was 18.5)
AMH - .28 (a year ago it was <.16)

There is no doubt I have DOR. I don't know what I wanted these tests to tell me. Maybe that I didn't go from <.16 to a big goose egg in a year? (no pun intended)

So this is where I am today. A giant mix of fear and anticipation, of anxiety and sadness. I'll get through. What other choice do we have, right?

*I also want all of you ladies to know that between surgery and my busiest month of the year for my job (corporate controller/accountant), my blogging, commenting has been minimal and I'm so sorry. I will be catching up with you all over these next few weeks, I promise!! xoxo

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Home Sweet Home

I was going to write multiple times the past two weeks. I meant to write while Indianapolis was a frozen tundra and I was stuck at home for 3 days. I started a post the night before my surgery when we landed in Denver on Thursday night. I thought I'd be able to write a post after my surgery on Friday.

On all accounts I failed. So I'll start from scratch.

T and I managed to work from home and avoid the -30 below wind chill temps that were swirling around Indianapolis last week. We worked side by side on the couch, watched movies, ate chili, made cookies and went absolutely stir crazy.

I was so nervous about the airport being back up and running in time for my flight out last Thursday morning. Luckily, we managed to get out on time and arrived in Denver by 8:15 am. We walked out of the airport and the local weather was a balmy 45 degrees. Literally a heat wave compared to what we just left.

We went straight to CCRM to get my pre-op blood work out of the way. When walking through the door I immediately recognized Jessah from Dreaming of Dimples. She's just as cute and sweet in person (more so!) as she is on her blog. We (and the husbands) went out for a great lunch. We talked about our struggles, our lives and really just had a lovely few hours together. She certainly gave me a bit of peace going into my surgery on Friday. I have such high hopes for her and A and will be thinking about them these next few weeks as they find out how many CCS normals they will have for their future family.

Thursday evening we went to dinner with some of our close friends that live in Denver that were kind enough to let us stay with them. There was something about having a cozy home to recuperate in vs. a hotel room. They are such great people, some of our closest friends and I cannot thank them enough for how supportive they've been.

Sierra was the sweetest little 6 year old that even gave up her bedroom for us. Going to miss her!

Friday morning I arrived at CCRM bright and early. My surgery nurse was awesome. So sweet from the beginning through recovery. I know that sometimes I get a little anxious over my care considering how easy it is to feel so far removed when you are a patient at a clinic 1000 miles away. I will say that every time I am there…it's a reminder of why I made the decision to go there in the first place. I really, really like Dr. G and I feel completely confident in his care for me. He said my surgery was very "easy" and he was really happy with how it went. He was also "thrilled" by my period that I had last week. He told me that multiple times how happy that made him. While he can't say yet if the surgery will work…only time will tell, his confidence has kept my hope alive. My recovery was a bit rough. I woke up and was doing okay in the beginning, but as the pain from the balloon that they had inserted into my uterus to keep it from collapsing or any more scar tissue build up set in, I started to get very nauseous. Nothing was helping. The kept me there an hour or so longer than they expected and when I left I still was feeling pretty rough. I just wanted to get back to bed where I could sleep.

Before Surgery: Happy Suz

After Surgery: I was sure I was dying, but I tried to smile

The rest of the weekend was low-key, hanging out with our friends and their kids. Watched football, played games and got lots of rest. I flew home today, T flew to Chicago for work. Did I mention how awesome my husband was this weekend? If I didn't, I'll mention it now. He certainly earned a couple gold stars.

Next steps are:

I started Estrace 2x a day for the next 3 weeks. I'll then start Prometrium for 10 days. Once I have a period, I'll do nothing for that month. With my next period, I'll schedule another office hysteroscopy at CCRM to see how things look. We'll then do a mock cycle to try and stimulate my lining to grow. I am not sure exactly the doses yet, but I do have my patches, estrace and viagra on hand and ready to go, so it does seem like they are ready to throw the kitchen sink at my lining. I know that should we have to do a second mock cycle, they will add the delestrogen injections.

The bottom picture shows all the scar tissue and the top photo shows after it was removed.

There is one more thing that we'll have to do. Rather than do the Beta-3 integrin test, we are now treating my endometriosis without the test. Considering I had no period for 6 months and we now know my cervix was sealed shut, we know that blood was going out through my tubes, rather than my cervix which has probably made my endo even worse. I'll be doing 2 months of the DepoLupron to treat that before any transfer cycle. I do not know when that will be yet, whether it will coincide with my mock cycle or be after.

Regardless, it looks like late spring or summer before I could even think about a transfer cycle.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A sign of good things?

Okay, I'm way to skeptical of my body to believe that quite yet, but…for whatever reason I'm wanting to shout this from the roof tops…


That's right…after 6 months and 16 days, I got my very first cycle day one. The first one that I've had since I became a patient of CCRM. 

Now for the record, Dr. G did say after he broke up the scar tissue in my cervix that I may finally get a period, albeit probably light considering my thin lining. But, people…it's heavy. It is. Full. ON.

Now, that doesn't really change the fact that my uterus wasn't all pink and cushy and plush looking as it should have been less than 2 weeks ago and we're a long way from that being fixed, but, can I just tell you that this was a giant relief for me??? It was a sign that maybe, just maybe, I can still be fixed…

We spent our New Year's Eve at home last night because I'm battling a nasty bout of bronchitis. Still, I can't complain about being at home with my hubby, our fat little lumps of love (yep, the cats), a fire and a few movies. We didn't do our normal toast…you know, the one where you say this was a tough, crappy year, and this coming year is going to be our year…we had said that 3 NYE's in a row…that obviously isn't working since every year seems to top the year before of crap news…instead, we went a little more simple. (Well and we didn't really have anything to toast since my throat and chest has been on fire)

The spotting began last night, and I emailed my nurse at CCRM the second I realized it. She called me back within minutes. (see…this really is major news!) She said that as soon as I see bright red, it's cycle day one…but it will probably be light and that's okay. I was instructed to start bcps on cycle day 3 just to control the timing with my surgery next week. 

It couldn't have possible come at a better time either. 

Cycle day one…January 1st, 2014. 

Happy New Year to you all!!