Friday, December 12, 2008

It is official....We are having a.......

So I had my level II ultrasound yesterday morning and what an experience it was. My eyes were teary the entire time... and i think i had a silly grin the whole time. The whole time I was laying there while the first ultrasound tech did her thing, was pray. I prayed for thanks that God brought me to this point. A point where, in my darkest days, seemed impossible and would never happen.  I prayed that all was well with my baby that i was seeing on the t.v. screen in front of me. The tech wouldn't say too much (she was also training) and occasional made positive comments like how amazing it all was, and how much the baby was moving...i couldn't tell the baby was moving, actually i thought the baby seemed too still, but occasionally i would catch the baby move their hands and or legs.  I was relieved when the tech focused on the heart and i heard the heart beating. A big reassurance!

Then the second tech came in, the experienced one, and she went over some of the same measurements the first tech did and warned me that they would spend a lot of time on the heart and it was standard procedure. It did not mean anything was wrong at all... which i thanked her for letting me know. I would have certainly worried my own little heart out. But all looked great. The baby was not very cooperative and was in a position that wouldn't allow the tech to get the pictures she needed for the Dr. She would poke at the baby and baby would swat back with their little was very darling and so magical.  The baby is actually positioned under my belly button, and seemed very comfortable there. It would explain why my belly button area has been hurting and feeling some stretching pain lately.... it's been the baby the whole time! Well, the tech went to see if we would be able to determine gender, and she said the baby had their legs closed. Of course the baby would... the baby was being a bit difficult to work with... just behaving stubbornly!! LOL

Somehow the experienced tech was able to get beneath the baby and get the "Money Shot". We got to see from beneath that we are having a.....................


That is right, we are having a Jr. due May 1st!! He measured right on target to where i'm at and was weighing approximately 11 ounces!!! Simply amazing.  He was all ready displaying daddy's characteristics!!! When the tech finished and went to get the dr., there was a few minutes where i was sitting up and when the dr. came in to review the ultrasound pictures and take a look for herself, my son had gone to sleep!!! The dr. attempted to get the few pictures of the his heart that he wouldn't allow before and it took forever to get him to wake up, and the dr. could not get him to wake up. She would poke (rather hard too) at him with the ultrasound 'wand' and still he would not cooperate. I had to shift and lay on my side and that seemed to get him to move. And this was after being lowered a few times on the table laying on my back. He also seems to be camera shy like his father. My hubby doesn't like taking pictures and when the tech tried (on several attempts) to get a good profile shot of my son, he would immediately lift his hands to cover his face or drape it over his forehead . the tech was able to snap a couple profile was very funny!!!  i don't know how to post pictures up here, but i promise that i will learn!!! I will have some more free time beginning in January and I will not rest until i learn how.....i'm sure it is quite simply too!!!

Overall, the scan took about an hour and a half.  It was all just amazing that we have the technology to see a child inside the womb and see their little hands and feet, cute little toes, and their spine, heart and other vital organs. Simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!! I feel ever so grateful to God that this is possible. I'm looking forward to the following 20 weeks or so (i am exactly 20 weeks today!!) And will continue to find amazement in the whole process as my body changes, and just simply to believe that after our very long, painful, emotional and frustrating journey we are almost there.... becoming the family my husband and I had dreamt and planned on.  God is Great and God is good!! Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Updating..... and ALMOST 20 weeks!!!

Where does time go??? I can not believe how quickly time goes by and there has been so much going on it is no wonder that it is passing me by.  I do apologize for no updates since 13 weeks!!!! Here I am a couple of days away from being 20 weeks, the half way mark!! Time is certainly moving faster, yet seems to creep by!! I have my "BIG" ultrasound tomorrow.  I haven't seen my baby since i was just over 10 weeks.... i can imagine how big he or SHE is!! but then again i can't imagine!!! I of course pray for a healthy baby, but would love to have  a little girl.... hubby of course hopes for a boy.... in the end it doesn't matter, as long as the baby is healthy. I'm very nervous and pray for a great ultra sound. Unfortunately, being fertility challenged, I have heard and read too many stories of pregnancies gone wrong.... i lived it within my own family with my sister just last year! While i think and pray for our little angel that grew wings before being born, i do focus on my niece that is here with us.  It will be okay! I keep telling myself that at least!!

RE: Gestational Diabetes: 
I have a pretty good handle on it and is  under control. My diabetes nurse and dietician are always very pleased with my sugar levels.  I have managed to eat what i'm supposed to, while able to indulge on occasion on the foods that aren't so good for me or GD.  I am proud of the self control i manage to keep when out and about and trying to eat right when the options are so limited. For example, we had a birthday dinner for a family friend last friday night, and it was at a Mexican food restaurant. Now for those of you who don't know, Mexican food isn't the most GD friendly food (I am mexican and boy do i miss out on some of mami and papi's homemade food) I ate about 1/4 cup or less of rice and beans, only had one chicken enchilada and one beef flauta and loaded up on the green salad that was thankfully available. It was buffet style so all you can eat. Now i ate, and like usual, i wasn't full, and simply content....which isn't very fun!! But i fought the urge to eat another enchilada or load up on beans and rice (which were sooo very yummy) but my resistance paid off. My blood sugar level an hour level was 122 (levels an hour after meals should be less than 120) and a point or 2 over is nothing anyone ever gets concerned. i thought for sure my level would be in the high 130's or even 140's.  I rewarded myself with sharing a piece of birthday cake with my hubby.... believe had my levels been higher i would not indulge.  I handle the sweets and treats as rewards, if i'm doing really well with my sugar levels then i will give in and have  an extra slice of pizza, or i will have the big mac for dinner friday night.  I've only gained 6 pounds this pregnancy and this great, no one wants me to gain more than 10 to 15 pounds all together.  

RE: Pregnancy in general: 
Feeling well. Shortly entering the 2nd trimester i've had a bout of headaches. Most of the time they are sinus related and other times i can't seem to figure out what triggers them. They sometimes come out of nowhere, other times i wake up with one. I am prone to migraines, and i feel fortunate that i don't have migraines, and they are just small dull headaches. Tylenol sometimes helps, other times it doesn't. I have taken benadryl (okayed by OB and recommended by her too) and it has helped, but most of the time i try to just tough it out. I go a few days where i'm free of headaches and i'm thankful for those days!! I frequent the bathroom, and seem to have a routine at night...which i see it as preparation for baby. I use the restroom before bed, then usually between 12:30 and 1 am, i make a trip, and then again at 3:30-4 am... most nights these trips are without fail, on a rare occasion i get up only once or not at all, and other rare nights i get up 3 times. I usually hate waking up between 4:30 and 5 am, since most of the time i find myself awake for a long while after getting up. I am usually falling back to sleep when it is time to get up for work!!!

I have started to feel some movement too!! I was about 17 weeks when i felt 4 quick taps, nothing since. I usually feel some flutters or what i assume are flutters. Most of the time i feel it with a little bit of discomfort.... so i'm not always sure it is the baby or just some more stretching.  I also have sciatic nerve pain and some days and nights it is no problem, other days and nights it is quite painful. Usually after a very active day, my right leg and hip would hurt really bad. I have had it pretty much since the started gradual. Just some numbness in my right thigh if i laid or sat in one position for too long. By 10 weeks i was noticing the numbness when i also stood for longer than 5 minutes, by 13 weeks it would also occur if i walked for longer than 15-20 minutes and my hip would start to hurt. I did have an ultra sound to be sure to rule out a blood clot. No blood clot and so nurse practitioner said it was sciatic nerve pain. Since i have had back problems in the past, and possible a slipped disk, it had to be it.  I do stretching and in walking more often (i have to walk more anyway to help with GD) it has helped.  There are days where it is too much. The very worst pain and discomfort is when it hurts and have a burning sensation run through my thigh and my hip joints hurt and nothing helps alleviate the pain. If it every gets to bad, nurse said she would refer me to physical therapy.  I sure hope it doesn't get to that.

Other than that all is going well. I am always nervous of course and think i will always be nervous in some way until i delivery a healthy baby.....and then again, after birth i'm nervous about a whole set of new problems!!! LOL

Well i sure hope to be able to update with ultrasound results after my appointment... if not tomorrow, then certainly by Friday!!! 

I also wanted to send out a hello to all my Fertility Challenged sisters.  I know the wait is agonizingly long and very frustrating. Please know that i pray for you all all the time and know that your turn is soon coming too!!! The wait is unbearable and so frustrating and most of soooo painful, but it will happen!!! I continue to pray for you all and know soon you will share your experience of impending motherhood.


Friday, October 24, 2008

13 Weeks Pregnant!!! ..... and Diabetic

It is official.... I'm a diabetic!!! i was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes...boooooooo!!!  My OB wanted to test me early due to my family history, my PCOS, and my weight. My fluffy self was predisposed to it.  So it was confirmed a few days ago.  I will meet with a dietician/nutritionist once a week through out my pregnancy. It won't be soo bad, and it will be okay. I had a a laugh when my OB's nurse called me with my results. I was honestly shocked!!! I really wasn't expecting it.... I guess my body is doing a poor shop of processing my body's insulin.... Did i mentioned i was caught by surprised??

I was surprised because when I went to take my first test,which was the 1 hr glucose tolerance test. Now i had heard many of pregnant moms experiences and it didn't sound like fun.  You show up to your lab, let them know you are there for the test (something i didn't do and sat for 40 minutes waiting for them to call, while i could have had it started when i got there). They give you this orange cold drink. Now the taste wasn't THAT bad. i don't like orange drinks unless is orange juice...this was far from orange juice. It was like drinking some sort of orange flavored medicine... I had to finish it in 5 minutes and i did, it wasn't to was sweet, but not horribly bad.  So once it is finished the lab notes the time and i had to return in exactly one hour to draw my blood.  WEll i did go back in an hour, i got those results back and i had just BARELY failed. The normal cut-off range is 140, I came in at 143!! Since i failed i had to repeat the test but it would be a 3 hour test. this happened to my sister and she passed her 3 hour test, it also happened to another friend and she also passed her 3 hour test. Most pregnant moms who barely fail their 1-hr test go on to take and pass their 3 hour test. SO i assumed i would repeat THAT cycle.

Uh-uh! Didn't happen. I drank the drink and my blood was drawn and hour, then 2 hours, then 3 hours from the time i finished the Orange drink.  The purpose is to see how your body makes and processes your body's insulin.  If it doesn't process it properly due to pregnancy hormones blocking insulin, your body's glucose isn't made and processed enough to convert into energy.  Un treated, GD will affect my baby.  So since i failed my 3 hour test (2 of the 3 blood draws came back with levels elevated), i have to now watch even more what I eat. I was trying to be careful before to avoid putting on more weight than my Dr.s wanted me to put on.  It will be okay, i'm positive of it. I wasn't too upset getting the results, but getting some information from the Diabetes Center that I will be working with throughout my pregnancy. That is when it became real to me, i guess.

I got some forms i need to fill out before my first meeting with the dieticians, and they also provided me some information of what I should avoid, what is good and not good to eat or drink while having GD. I was shocked to find out I am to AVOID mild at breakfast! It is okay the rest of the day, just not breakfast...who knew?!?! I was a bit sad about that, since that is when i would drink my milk for the day! They also provided a 7 day sample menu and it really isn't that bad. i can still a lot of yummy foods, just smaller portions and eating more through out the day. This is where I find i have some issues. Being always on the fluffy side, I have always eaten less... but obviously it wasn't the right way, or the right portions, or even the right foods, since i have maintained my weight all these years, but not lost weight like i have tried.  So i have to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks throughout the day. It is small portions, but it still feels like a lot of food.  I just have to work on being okay with eating throughout the day.

Today is the first day that I'm following the new diet suggestions. Not bad, even if i did make myself eat an actual breakfast... No more breakfast on the run. My usual breakfast was either toast with peanut butter or an whole wheat english muffin with a little jelly and 1 or 2 cups of milk.  NOw i will get up earlier and fix my self an egg or two, eat it with some cooked veggies, very little cheese with some salsa, or in a breakfast burrito style on a whole wheat flour tortilla, or with whole wheat waffle w/ sugar free syrup, or with instant oatmeal ( i have never really cared for oatmeal... i guess i better try again) all very yummy options. I'm just not used to eating breakfast like this except weekends.... but that isn't until 9 or 10 am..... eating at 7 am, that will take some getting used to.

All in all, it is a good thing  in the long run. It will help improve my eating habits as well as my husband's.  He should take better care anyway, he has diabetes in his family too. Well, at least it could be worse.... I could have not found out yet and gone another 7 weeks possibly harming my baby.  Now i can give my baby a better chance at starting a healthy life inside the womb.  all in all, all is going well. I'm 13 weeks today and therefore have one more week before graduating to the 2nd trimester... and i will breath a huge sigh of relief. As soon as i learn how to post pictures, i will. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What a difference 3 years make......

I meant to post this last week as my anniversary was here and has now passed, but still very significant for me. I needed to write my feelings of where i was at now 3 years ago. I don't remember the date specifically, but remember it being a Friday and the Blue Angels were in town for the weekend's Fleet Week festivities in San Francisco. It was a Friday afternoon that I and my loving hubby caught a BART train to San Francisco. I had an appointment with an OB/GYN at UCSF Medical Center. I'm not quite sure why i had made the appointment, but I think it was that i wanted another OB/GYN's opinion on the results from the D & C my OB/GYN had performed a month earlier.  A few weeks earlier my OB/GYN (DR. B) had told me that I had endometrial cancer, also known as Uterine Cancer, and her recommendation for treatment was to get a hysterectomy. OF course she referred me to an Oncologist, but i guess i wanted to get another OB/GYN's opinion. I will remember that Friday afternoon clearly. It was a beautiful sunny day in the City, and the Blue Angels were practicing over the city's skyscrapers and I can remember being in awe of the jets flying overhead as my hubby and I waited for the Muni Bus to take us to our final destination.

It was fairly quick appointment. The OB/GYN as UCSF Medical (Dr. X) reviewed the pathology report copy that had been faxed to him by Dr. B's office. He simply said that I indeed had cancer. He then went on to give me his recommendation for treatment. He was a nice older man, probably late 50s early 60s, and told me what he would recommend if it were his daughter. He agreed with Dr. B, and even told me some Dr.s out there would recommend treatment that is outside the box and would prescribe a hormone treatment. But there weren't enough studies to show that it was more effective than immediate surgery to remove the uterus.  So now i had been told by 2 OB/GYNs that I would need a hysterectomy.  I recall the ride back into downtown San Francisco on the bus be a gloomy one. My hubby and didn't speak too much.  I had done research and knew that usual course of treatment was a hysterectomy, but there was a little proof that hormone therapy with progesterone also helped women of reproductive age maintain their uterus, get rid of cancer and go on to form families of their own.  

I was certainly confused and unsure what my future would have held for me and my husband. We so badly wanted to have children and we were faced with possibility that we would not have that option.  Since i have the world's greatest husband, he took me to a place that he was sure was going to bring a smile to my face and we can forget reality for a little while. He took me to the Disney Store at Union Square.  Now my husband, before now, did not like to step foot inside the Disney Store.... I think i irritated him with my oooohs and awes every time i dragged him into a store. He fed the inner child in me and walked with me through out the store and even pointed to things he thought i would oooh and awe too. He also bought me the most beautiful Little Mermaid snow globe. I LOVE the Little Mermaid. This would be the 2nd to my now nice collection of Little Mermaid snow globes.  He knew what would bring back some joy and happiness to me, and he did it all on his own. We walked out of the store with our new purchase and had a quick dinner and headed home. 

My husband was always optimistic, even when I didn't want him to be so. As we all know, misery sometimes likes a little company.  For a few brief moments, life seem to pull the rug from under me, and thought for sure that I would not know what it would be like to feel my baby move and grow with in, but 3 years later here I am.  While it is hard for me not to worry all the time, i do manage not to worry about my little baby all the time, and I enjoy the pregnancy along with my husband. My husband is happy as can be, and is so loving and so helpful.  I fall in love with my husband all over again all the time. I am so thankful to God and to everyone who prayed for me and was by my side for the short/longest 6 months while I was in treatment for cancer. I was fortunate enough to catch the cancer early and after consulting 2 separate oncologist, and both agreeing that hormone therapy would help me.  I'm forever grateful to God that I responded to the progesterone treatment and was cancer free 4 months after beginning treatment with progesterone.  

It did take us 3 years after originally being diagnosed to conceive our first child, and although it was a bumpy road, we are here and expecting our first child.  I feel very blessed, and always felt blessed because after a gloomy moment in the fall of 2005, God took care of me and I can say now that I am pregnant. Which so far all is going great following my bleeding episode.  I had a sonogram last Monday where my hubby and I saw our baby flipping around and moving all around. It was amazing. We both laughed and I cried, and just felt so blessed. Many more blessings to come I'm sure! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Smooth sailing into choppy waters.....

I turned 8 weeks pregnant this past Friday and so far all was going so well.  I have had only mild morning sickness until then, with just a few moments here and there that I would feel like I would loose whatever meal i had eaten, but fortunately haven't thrown up anything...yet.  I also had my first pre-natal appointment with my OBs office and I was excited. I was hoping for another ultra-sound to see how the baby was doing. But no such luck. Unfortunately my OB's office doesn't have ultra-sound machines in their office, instead they send their patients to the main hospital.  I am also fortunate that the NP who did my exam understood how nervous we are.  It has been a long journey for us and she was understanding. She gave me a slip to get an ultra-sound done and also added that anytime I wanted an ultra-sound, i just have to call her up and she would write up a request for me.  

All went well and i went home to relax for the evening. My hubby and I got comfortable with a DVD and a pizza.  Shortly after 8pm,  i felt a weird trickle... i went to the restroom and discovered i was beginning to bleed. Now I didn't panick right away, i figured the NP agitated my cervix and it was just some mild spotting.  I put on a panty liner and went back to sit on the couch and enjoy the movie. After about 15 minutes something was not right. I swore it felt like i was bleeding for the last 10 or so minutes. I went to check the panty liner and it was full!! Dh checked on, as i must have yelled out something and was staring at it in disbelief.  I changed panty liners and sat back down. I still felt no change and knew it had not stopped flowing. I call OBs office and spoke to her answering service.  They paged the Dr. and she called me back.

OB actually sounded like she had been asleep, but oh well, i was bleeding!!! She told me that it happens to women in the first trimester. She instructed me to stay in bed or on the couch all weekend... i was to be truly a queen all weekend. If it were to get worse then i should call or go straight to the ER.  Well i wasn't hysterical because the bleeding seemed to have slowed and i had no major cramping.  I went to bed praying my little baby would be okay.  Even when I passed a small blood cot, i didn't panic.... i was uneasy but pretty much holding it together.  DH was calm too so that helped a lot.  All weekend i didn't do anything. My parents, along with my sister and niece, came to visit Sunday.  I got to spoil my niece and my mom cleaned my kitchen.  And my dad bought me pizza... my #1 craving right now.  

I met with the OB yesterday (monday) morning and she did another quick pelvic check and all seemed fine. She moved up my ultra-sound from Thursday to yesterday.  I rush to work to get some stuff in the mail that HAD to get in the mail, and drove back for my ultra-sound.  Ultra-sound went well i got to see my little peanut and saw that they were no harmed in any way.  I measured right on target for EDD of May 1st, 2009.... it was 8 weeks 3 days! The ultra-sound did not show any reason for my bleeding so OB wants me to take it easy and no exercising, no long walks, and unfortunately, no funny business with the hubby, for now at least.... Poor hubby it has been 9 long weeks of a 'drought'.  I am to go back to see OB in 2 weeks.  She didn't like that no cause was found....

So i'm counting down the weeks until the 2nd trimester.... i have to believe that it will be uneventful until then and beyond that too!! What really helped get through the weekend was a whole lot of prayers!! I prayed and prayed, but not only for myself and my situation.... I prayed for all my loved ones and for those that I dont even know.  It was very soothing and what helped me remain as calm as could be.  I also watched a wonderful movie in our DVD collection called "Facing the Giants".  It is a christian movie that is fabulous.  Now i'm catholic and i really believe that no matter what your religion is, this movie is simply about having FAITH.  Faith in knowing that nothing is 'impossible with God on your side'.  It really just reaffirmed my belief that all would be okay because i had God on my side.  Even if you are having issues at the moment in believing that, this movie is wonderful in helping you remember.  I always cry every time i watch it..... 

Well i'm approaching 9 weeks and morning sickness seems to be kicking up a bit this week after taking a small break last week... it hasn't been too much fun in the afternoon these last few days....but hey, it is reassurance that all is well with my babe!! till next update!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

And Baby makes 3...

Yup, we will be a family of 3 come May 2009!! We transfered two perfect embryos and one decided to stick around and get comfortable!! I am still in bit of shock that it will actually happen. AFter all years of ups and downs, after the river of tears I have cried, and all the frustration, I will be a mom! I think it will still feel a bit surreal until I start to show and I get to feel the flutters of my baby's movement within me.  My hubby I think is still in shock too.  We started to talk about what we think what gender the baby will be. I say girl, he says boy. Apparently his mom says it will be a boy... she has a feeling!! LOL I would really love to have a girl, but I am just praying for a healthy baby, a smooth pregnancy, and a joyful birth in May of 2009.

Honestly, I still feel nervous and i can't wait to really fully let that go and just relax and enjoy.  I really do hate that because of our long fertility journey I know just too much information. I just know of all the things that could go wrong.  There are so many things that can go wrong that the 'normal' pregnant woman would not even know. I really wish i was ignorant for it is blissful! But I am getting better on not dwelling on the negative...

 I really am trying very hard to just focus on the positive, like hearing the beating heart of my baby! It was such a wonderful sound and I was in complete awe. It was magical! I know that moms-to-be for years have been able to hear their baby's heart beat, but I just was caught up in the fascination of being able to hear the beating heart of my baby, who looked like a little lima bean, being so tiny! I couldn't help but to cry.  Hubby couldn't stop smiling!!! We are feeling very lucky and blessed to have come this far and we are so much more appreciative.  We will really cherish every single step of this pregnancy together. And my hubby is sure stepping up too. He has done the dishes, he helps with dinner (especially when I'm feeling to nauseated to touch raw foods), and always makes sure to ask how i'm feeling.  He still can't believe how often i have to take a trip to the bathroom... that part i can really do with out though! LOL

While I think that I will always worry a little bit, with time I will focus on all positives.  Every day, despite my fears and nerves, I pray to God to let God know that no matter what fears i may display, I really really do believe! I believe that God hasn't led me this far only to pull the rug from under us. I really do believe that come Mother's day 2009, I will be a mother! 

To my Sister's still struggling with infertility, don't loose hope, even when it really seems hopeless.  It is difficult to remain hopeful and to maintain the faith, but it will happen. It really does happen in God's time.  God is great and hasn't forgotten, it just isn't the time yet.  After 5 long years of ups & downs and through my journey with fighting Cancer, here I am 7 weeks pregnant! All my Fertility challenged sisters, I continue to maintain you all in my prayers, and know that your time will get here!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Waiting Game

Life is all about waiting. Infertility is definitely the biggest Waiting game I have played! It certainly tries your patience too! As I sit here being 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant, I wait to see if indeed my baby or babies are really sticking around! I was to have an ultra sound this afternoon to see if my babies would have heartbeats, but it was not to be. Dr. had some complication during a surgical procedure she was doing and had to reschedule! So more waiting!!! Well at least i have a more probable chance of seeing a heart beat.... a baby's heart beat usually is seen via ultra sound anytime between week 6 and 7 of pregnancy.  I have heard of many women going in during their 6th week and see not heart beat, only to go a week later to see it beating beautifully away. So I now sit and wait, patiently wait!!

It has been a few weeks and I'm still having my pregnancy register with me. There are times that I can't believe i'm pregnant after 5 long painful years of struggle.  I do hate that I do know too much information and worry over all the things that could go wrong! The pregnancy symptoms I feel reassure me most times that all is well and I actually have a baby, or two (or even 3) growing inside my belly.  But some nites it is still hard to really really believe it.  Especially when there is cramping.

Now cramping I know very well is very normal in early pregnancy, but it still causes me to worry just a little bit. I have great fears that the rug will get pulled from under me. But even in my moments of fear, i pray to God, to Jesus, to Mary and all Saints that all is well and I am indeed going to have my babies!! I do believe, even when I express my doubts and fears, I do Believe!!! 

Now I just wait to confirm that my fears have all been for no reason necessary, and my babies will have beautiful heart beating on Wednesday... the all familiar Waiting game i will play patiently until Wednesday afternoon!! 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Baby Incubator....

Hello blog world! Well it is official.... dh and I will be welcoming a baby or babies by May of 2009!!!! Our first IVF attempt had worked and I feel great being able to say it!!! I'M PREGNANT!!! 

I had my first pregnancy test Friday, I tested at home using a home pregnancy test (HPT) Friday morning even though I was not supposed too. But i had to make sure it would be positive...i had to emotionally prepare myself for any outcome. So when I checked the HPT and saw the 2nd line confirming a positive..... i was so happy and breathed a sigh of relief! The 2nd line was a little faint, but it was obvious and could be seen clearly even if it was a little light.  HPT  detects the hcg level. Now i was still a bit nervous to hear what the HcG level would be. The hcg level is the pregnancy hormone that is tested for, and I have never gotten a good assuring 1st hcg level.  So when Dr. called that afternoon with good news.... i knew it had to be higher than I have ever gotten before. And it was! It came in at highest ever has been a 21.  Now I had to wait until Monday (today) to retest to make sure the hcg levels were increasing as they should. Hcg level is supposed to double every 24-48 hours or so. How they double give the Dr. a good idea if there should be concerned with the viability of the pregnancy.  Now, one must keep in mind that even some of the slowest doubling times for hcg levels have resulted in normal healthy pregnancies!

So I spent the weekend happy and in somewhat of a daze that my pregnancy test was as high as it was! It was reassuring, despite experiencing some cramping over the weekend, that I was feeling more and more nausea and feeling some other unpleasant pregnancy related symptoms! So I got up this morning looking forward to my blood test to see where my hcg level was now. I tested again at home using a HPT first thing this morning, and I was sooooo happy to see the 2nd line be darker than it was on Friday. It was now as dark as it the test line!!!! While some may argue that it doesn't matter how dark or light it may be, a line is a line and if it's positive that is all that matters! But let me tell you, for me it was such a big deal.  My hcg levels have a history of not going up as they need too, so I saw today HPT as a sign that it was! And I was right!!! Today's hcg level was 378!!! So I am definitely breathing a huge sigh of relief and living in the moment and not thinking of all the things that can still go wrong!!!!

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of enjoying the bliss of ignorance, having struggled for soo many years trying to conceive, I know of many things that can go wrong.... but I refuse to cheat myself from enjoying and relishing in the fact that I'm PREGNANT!!! I'm a baby or babies' Incubator!!!! I will know if both embryos we transfered are sticking around or if only one of them decided to take up residence in my uterus on September 8th... 2 LONG WEEKS away!! LOL But I will enjoy being pregnant!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Results are in!!!

Got a call from my RE's office this morning giving me fertilization report... and here is what is going on with the Eggis retrieved yesterday morning:

24 total eggs were retrieved
23 of 24 were viable, meaning mature
21 of the 23 Fertilized!!!

This means we have 21 embryos! 21 Babies growing!! Dr. said that this is beyond what they ever expect from anyone so this is an excellent report. With this many growing embryos, we will no doubt make it to a day 5 transfer. Transfer would be on Wednesday, 8/13! I'm excited. I will get an update on Monday, and transfer will be scheduled then!

Will keep you posted on what is reported on Monday, but a very good chance all will be well and will transfer two great, healthy Blastocysts!!!

Hunting for Eggs in August....

Egg Retrieval (ER) was yesterday, on the lucky 8th day of the 8th month of year in 2008... 8/8/08! The Chinese culture believes that the number 8 is very lucky, so lucky that they planned the Olympics opening ceremony to be on this date, and to start at 8:08 pm local time! I have always thought of 8 as my lucky number myself no real reason just that it was my birthday. So 8/8/08 was the day for my ER. I wasn't sure of how many eggs to expect them to retrieve, since i had about 16 that were mature and a few close to it with another few that were a lot smaller. I walked into the OR at my RE's clinic a little nervous, and a little excited as I couldn't believe the day had finally arrived!
I was the first ER of the day, and I had to be there at 6:45 am and we were on time! Nurse immediately prepped me for surgery. It was a very surreal feeling for me. I still could not believe that this day had arrived. I had been so patiently waiting for over a year to do this, and it was here. I was so nervous in the days leading up to ER. So many things went through my head. Part of it was hope and belief that this IVF cycle was going to work and also had fear that it would not! Some days i did fear having hope and belief, but as I await transfer of 2 beautiful embryos, I am less afraid to be hopeful and really believe our time has arrived!
I dressed in the gown they provided which was really nice. It wasn't your typical hospital gown that one has trouble keeping it close from behind, i can't describe the texture but it was nice. It was lined with some sort of insulation that once i was dressed in the pretty purple gown, a tube was inserted in one of the openings and the insulation quickly filled with warm air. I put on some really cute white socks with cute purple bear paws on the bottom to give me some traction... not the ordinary plain slipper socks i've gotten from other hospitals. The nurse took all the vitals, and blood pressure was a bit high, which is usual for me before anytime of's my nerves that get the better of me. She struggled to get a good vein in my arm for the I-V i had a case of a 'runaway vein' which is not like me because I have great veins. But i hadn't had any fluids since dinner the night before so that was forgiven! LOL Once she found a vein that didn't run away, I was ready for the OR.
It was a bit eery walking into the OR seeing the table where I would be laying on, and all the medical equipment. I was nervous and the nurses could tell. We joked a little bit to help ease my nerves. I layed flat on the table, arms spread out and an oxygen mask placed over my nose and mouth. The last thing i remember after the anesthesiologist told me I would be feeling a bit woozy soon, was the nurse lifting my legs and placing them into the stirrups....then the next thing i know, i'm waking up in recovery with 2 neighbors awaiting the same procedure. I never saw them as our curtains were closed, but i could hear them. When i left for ER, no one had arrived, i was the only patient. I woke up rather quickly from anesthesia which was nice. I felt the semi-painful cramping in my lower abdomen area, confirming to me that the procedure had indeed taken place. Nurse checked in and asked if i wanted my hubby to come back and sit with me. I remember shaking my head yes, as I still had the oxygen mask on.
He came in and sat beside my bed and asked how i felt. The nurse walked in with some gatorade and tylenol to help with the cramping pain. I never realized she removed the oxygen mask and that i didn't have it on until about 10 minutes later. Nurse told me 33 eggs were retrieved and thought that was a whole of eggs! I was surprised i didn't feel more uncomfortable in the days leading up to ER. She went over a few more instructions and then my RE walked in and she said all went and looked great. She retrieved 25 eggs. I wasn't sure of the exact number then as i got 2 different numbers. But it didn't matter as i knew i would get an exact number the following morning. I got dressed, used the restroom, and walked out my RE's clinic at 8:45 am, exactly 2 hours after arriving! I had a good day, not too much pain and drinking lots of gatorade. Shhhh don't ever tell my mother, or my Re for that matter, but i felt fine after ER that hubby and I went to eat breakfast! I've been under anesthesia enough times to know how my body reacts to it. I do well fortunately and don't suffer an nausea and can eat just about anything i want, in moderation of course!
Now that this part of the process is done and over with, I patiently await transfer day! We are all hoping for a day 5 transfer...and with that many eggies, i don't see why that won't happen!! Stay tuned for the fertilization report!

Friday, August 1, 2008


TGIF???? Usually I enjoy Fridays because it is Friday.. the end of a work week and you have 2 days to enjoy and do as you please! Today has been an unusual "bad" Friday!!! It sucks big time when your past comes back to bite you in the ass!!! I found out that I can not apply for a new health insurance coverage until probably 2011!! Why 2011, because in February 2011 will mark 5 years of being Cancer Free.  Most insurance companies are not willing to take you on as  a risk unless it has been at least 5 years since your diagnosis and treatment.

If you pay for your medical insurance, you know that health care is extremely expensive! We have had to pay for our own medical health coverage since 2004.  We have been satisfied with our care, but not too happy with the ever increasing premiums year after year. Well this year, my husband's company offered health plans at discounted premium rates. So my husband and i decided that we needed to find a more affordable plan.  So we found one and applied. In the meantime, my husband canceled our existing coverage before finding out if we would be approved.  Well, HE was approved and I wasn't!

What is frustrating is being reminded again that I had to deal with Cancer in the first place. Wasn't it enough that I had to face the possibility of giving up my dream of having my own children, that I almost lost my entire uterus and would have be pushed into menopause before i was even 30??? Why can't the fact that I faced cancer, stared at it the face and beat in with in 6 months of diagnosis be awarded?? I mean I understand why they wouldn't want to take the risk, but it doesn't make me feel any better.  I had to just laugh at the irony of being denied also for the medication I'm on for the "pre-existing" condition. I'm on Metformin to help with PCOS, the culprit for me getting cancer in the first place, therefore continue to stay on it to help prevent.

I've explored options, the state of California does have a program to help insure those who are denied covered due to pre-existing conditions.  That is great, I can get coverage through the major Health Insurance companies in the state, the only catch is that there is a waiting list, that could be a 4 month wait.  It is funded by the state and well if you live in California, then you know we don't have enough to fund programs like this one.  

We have 30 days from termination date to get re-instated with our previous health plan, which was July 1st.... July had 31 days. Hmmmmm wonder if they will take us back??? I can re-apply for individual coverage, but could also be denied because of the 'pre-existing' condition. Never mind the fact that i was under the same exact insurance company when diagnosed and successfully treated for cancer!! Hope the weekend goes better.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Feeling like a Pincushion...

I'm sure it could be a lot worse!! I started my injections on the 17th w/ Lupron and I added Follistim injections to the mix on Saturday, the 26th.  Follistim is the medication to stimulate my ovaries(aka FSH)! Lupron injections are in my thigh and the FSH injections i'm administrating in my belly area.  Not fun!!! I don't like needles at all!!! My hubby pretty much did ALL injections during the IUI treatments.  Those FSH injections were in my upper arms.  Now, I am giving my own injections, for some reason my hubby really didn't want to do them.... 

Now, I don't necessarily look at myself as I do injections. I typically just zero in on the area the injection is to go into, and then as I position the needle, I close my eyes tight!!! LOL I don't have too many bruises and the lupron injection don't always hurt. Occasionally I will hit a little vein as I remove the needle from my thigh, it bleeds. So far it is only on my right thigh....weird.  Luckily for me, i haven't felt that many side effect some women get from lupron injections. One major side effect I was praying not to get was the headaches! Luckily i haven't suffered from those awful headaches i have heard other women suffering from! I get mild headaches here and there, but nothing really painful!! Thank you God!!! another side effect also is hot flashes. Now while i was on medication for treatment for cancer, i suffered from serious hot flashes!!!! And they were HOT!!! i do have some mild hot flashes but nothing as unbearable as they were while i was on the other medication.  I just find myself waking up at 4-5 am feeling hot, while my hubby is wrapped up tight in our comforter! But other than that, that is it so I'm not complaining!

FSH injections, i've been on before and don't usually have any side effects from them.  I can see little prick marks where I've injected myself in my tummy.  It helps, so that way i'm sure not to inject the same spot twice.  It isn't too painful while injecting myself, it is after I withdraw the needle.  I am left with a painful burning feeling.  It usually continues to hurt until after I go to bed, and usually anything that rubs against the area irritates it so I have to roll down my pj bottoms and fall asleep on my side or back....which is horrible because i love to sleep on my tummy!!! Oh well, just prepares me for pregnancy!! 

These injections are a walk in the park compared the injections of progesterone in oil (PIO) i will have to do.  Now these, my hubby has no choice in injecting my.  He has to do them for me, as they go in my backside.... tooshy/hip area.  I've seen the needles that I will be using.... I'm not looking forward to them at all!!!! I've been warned...they are painful! Hopefully I won't have to stay on them until week 12 of pregnancy...hopefully my body will do what it needs to do and produce enough to sustain my pregnancy!!!

I had my first ultra sound this morning to check progress. After 4 nights of FSH injections, I have potential of 16 follicles in my ovaries. 7 in my left and 9 in my right ovary. I also have a bunch of little ones that couldn't be measured today, but some of them will grow enough to be measured at next ultra sound! so It's exciting because I'm on my way.  Now, as I continue FSH injections, we wait to see how quickly these follicles will grow! I don't have another ultra sound scheduled yet, but will be in 2-3 days i'm sure! All the injections and the pricking will be worth it in the end, but in the meantime, it's hard not to feel like such a pincushion!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Cheekies!!

Cheekies has arrived!! Cheekies is my nickname for my niece, Alyssa! She made her entrance in this world on July 17th at 4:36pm via C-section.  She weighed 6lbs and 14 oz. and 19 inches long.  She has a head full of dark hair that looks like it will be curly.... my sister always wished her hair was curly, and now maybe her daughter will have it.  She is just so beautiful I wanna cry every time I think of her.. I just love her to pieces!!! My sister and baby are both home now and settling into a routine.  The rest of her brothers and sisters should be making their way home today and then they can all meet. It should be a special occasion.  Hopefully when I stop by after work before my appointment, I can witness the siblings meeting their new baby sister....that is going to be such a special moment. But then again, maybe it would be best that it just be them... 

so let me tell you a bit about her birth....

My sister's fiance called me just before 7 am on the 17th letting me know that my sister's water had broken. I imagined my sister freaking out because I knew that it had not even been a week since her last day of work and she didn't have things ready for baby's arrival. I asked to speak to her, took me a bit to convince her fiance to let me talk to her, and she was doing well. She was just packing her hospital bag.  I hurried and got ready and headed into work. I did call my dad before he started work and before he would loose cell phone connection, and let him know his first grandchild was on her way. I also made arrangements to pick up my mom later that morning.  My mom is so cute, as I told her i would pick her up around 10 am to go to the hospital, she worried that we would miss the birth! You see, my mom had c-sections for both my sister and I, and they were planned. She didn't experience the water breaking or any of that. so i went into work for a bit to mail out some client information that needed to go out that day. I picked up my mom and by 11 am we were at the hospital with my sister.

Let me tell you that my mom was nervous and I was a little bit. I was really more anxious. I could not wait until the baby to be born.  I was more nervous because I had my IVF class the same afternoon at 3pm at my RE's clinic. I was so afraid my sister would have the baby while I was in the 2 hour class. But then I thought God was answering my prayers when the midwife came in around 11:30am and discovered the baby was breeched.  The baby was now head up and not head down as we all thought she was. My sister had a Dr.'s appointment the week before and the dr. said the baby was head down.  Now, who knows if the Dr. made a mistake a week earlier or the baby flipped around in the week.  Who really knows, point was that my sister would need to have surgery.  So the midwife and the dr. said it would not happen until until 6pm. I thought great I would be here by then and I wouldn't miss anything. So I leave my sister around 2:15pm execting to be back before they wheeled her into the Operating Room. 

As I sit through the IVF class and listen for the first hour to the same information I all ready knew, and could only think of my sister in labor and that my niece would be born by that afternoon. So after the first hour and half of repeating information, we break for a few minutes before we were to go over the injections and how to administer them.  At this time i also read the text message my sister sent before 4pm saying that her c-section was moved up and that it would be before 6pm, but not sure of the time yet.  So of course i had to work really hard to stay focused.  Luckily, I all ready knew how to do the stimulation injections. Now the progesteron injections..... wow! I'm glad my husband will be doing those, but I'm not looking forward to them.  We get out just after 5pm and I immediately call my mom to check on my sister. Well wouldn't you know, my mom tells me that baby was born a short while ago. I was crushed!!! I so badly wanted to be there to see my niece soon after birth and to be there with my sister as soon as they wheeled her into recovery. I was so sad that I wasn't there. My mom knew how badly I wanted to be there.  Oh well, what I could I do at that point.  I thanked God that my niece was safely in this world and my sister was recovering from Surgery!

As I drove from the RE's clinic to the hospital, in bumper to bumper traffic, I started to feel angry that my Fertility Challenge once again got in the way of something important in my life. I was angry that because I HAD to do IVF to get pregnant, I lost an important event! So I wallowed in my anger and pity for about 10 minutes,then I told myself that I just needed to be happy for the blessings that God had just given us. Once I focused on that, I was only upset at the amount of traffic i was in!!! When I finally made it my dad was waiting for me in the main entrance to the hospital and as soon as I walked in, he engulfed me in a huge hug! He was so happy to be a grandpa, and I was so happy to be an auntie (or titi as my niece will be calling me) and all the emotions I had fought back on my drive to the hospital came spilling out. I cried in my daddy's arms how I was supposed to be there and I wasn't. He just held me and said it was okay, the important thing was that I was there now and the baby was here safe and my sister was safe. How can one argue with that??

I took the elevator up the recovery room where my sister was. My dad didn't come up because only 1 person at a time was allowed in there. My mom met me at the elevator on the recovery floor and took me to my sister.  She was there holding my niece looking like the happiest mom in the world. Tears immediately clouded my vision and I blinked them away and busied myself in washing my hands.  I kissed my sister and congratulated on her on a beautiful baby. When I took my first good look at my Cheekies, everything else just didn't matter!! All that mattered in the universe at the moment was Alyssa!!! She is just the cutest. So my sister gave her to me to hold for the first time, and when I picked her up and hugged her to me, the tears i had no idea i was holding back, just came down running down my cheeks. I could not stop staring at her or giving her kisses on her big ol' cheeks!! I apologized to her for not being there, apologized to my sister for not being there for her either. What my sister said next let me know that all would be okay. She said for her and for Alyssa, "it is okay Titi, you had to go.  You had to go so you can give me some cousins soon" I had to laugh at the concept...which is so very true!!

I held her a while longer until the nurse asked to check her out again. My parents and I left to go eat dinner and by the time we came back my sister was moved into her room.  We all just took turns holding my Cheekies and she was asleep the whole time. I couldn't tell who was happier the new parents or new grandparents.  I was so happy that our family had come a long way and full circle.  A few years ago, i wasn't sure this would or could happen, that we would be together as a family sharing in the most beautiful moments in the world..... Welcoming a new blessed child into our family!

I will have learn how to post pictures on here because my Cheekies is too cute not to show her off.  I just feel so full of love for this little angel, and I can't wait to watch her grow!! I love all my nieces, nephews, and godchildren and I love them all the same! To add a new baby to my group of 'kids' is so wonderful.  The only way this is different is that my sister will be calling on me more often than any of my cousins and best friend ever did to babysit!!! LOL AND I will have to arm wrestle with my dad to see who gets to babysit anytime my sister needs it!!!! It is so much fun to watch my dad and his granddaughter. Before we knew what my sister was having, he asked for a granddaughter! He got his wish, and 3 days before his birthday too!! We celebrated my dad's b-day with pizza and cake in my sister's hospital room and he couldn't have asked for a better birthday party!! We all couldn't have asked for a better or more special celebration!!

Stay tuned as I update on my current IVF cycle.... 5 days of Lupron injections and faring well!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Knock, knock.. Who's there?? "Hi, it's Anxiety and friends..."

I have started the processes to start IVF.  I had my ultra-sound (u/s) this morning to check my ovaries to make sure there had been no activity, to make sure there were no cysts present. Now I knew there shouldn't be since i have been on birth control pills (BCPs) since June 12.  I stayed on them even though we had canceled the IVF cycle last month, since I didn't ovulate on my own and I would have to induce anyway, figured I should stay on BCPs to help level out some of my out of control hormones! So all looked great and I got the go-ahead to start Lupron injections tomorrow night. For those of you who don't know what this medication is, don't worry, I didn't know about either until I realized that we would have to continue our quest for our family via IVF.  Lupron helps maintain my ovaries "quiet".  With IVF, Dr.s do not want your body to take over and ovulate before THEY are ready for the woman to ovulate. IVF is very scientific, but it also very much controlled (as much as the Dr.s can control), so I am to stay on BCPs until this sunday, and will be on Lupron injections throughout my cycle.  The Dr. will lower dose once I start stimulation injections, and may take me off lupron all together if she sees that it is hindering progress of my ovaries.  

Once the stimulation of my ovaries begin, we want the ovaries to produce a nice number of follicles.  The more I have the better, since not all the follicles will mature and fertilize.  It is all very scientific and never imagined that my journey to motherhood would include more than just my husband and that conception would take place in a lab rather than our bedroom.  Well, I have learned early on in life, life doesn't always go the way you imagined it will happen.

So on the eve of my first set of injections, my emotions are all over the place.  I am trying to stay as relaxed as possible, but I am finding it a bit hard to do. I am not sure what it is that I'm feeling. I can definitely describe it as anxiety.  Right now I am very thankful that I was able to allow myself to listen to my husband and agree with his logic and marched forward with doing the Shared Risk program.  I think it would have been a lot worse if I felt that IT HAD to Work this first time because we only had one shot!! I know that we have a plan in place in case it doesn't work, but I still want it to work the first time!! I woke up this morning feeling very nauseated and nervous and couldn't explain why!

I honestly am excited, but also am very nervous and anxious! I'm scared that it might not work, I'm scared that it does work and loose my babies early on as I have in the past.  I'm just scared and I don't like it!!! I am being optimistic and am trying to think positive. It is hard sometimes because after 5 years of disappointments, remaining positive sometimes is hard. I am very thankful to God for my husband, because he hasn't lost all hope. He remains positive and luckily has enough for the both of us! I will be moving forward full of excitement, full of nerves, and anxiety! I pray that I can say that I am free of all nervous anxiety once i start injections and my cycle continues to move forward! 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A trip to Labor & Delivery....

My sister will be 38 weeks pregnant this time flies!!!! She is going to have a big baby too, as my sister is pretty big...and looks so adorable pregnant. It still trips me out that my kid sister is going to have a baby!!! We are anxiously awaiting the birth of my Niece Alyssa, and she is all ready being dramatic and seeking attention from inside her mother's womb!!! I stopped by my parent's house yesterday evening after working really late, as my sister wasn't feeling too well and I was a bit concerned.......AND........ I wanted to remain in an area with cooler weather. I was not tempted to drive into 98 degree weather when I can linger in 75 degree weather!!

So we were concerned because my sister had not really felt the baby move in a few hours, and even after trying some of the tricks that get the baby going, the baby still didn't move much.  On Monday, my sister on her way to her Dr. appointment with her fiance, were hit by another car. It was a strong enough impact that it caused airbag to deploy on her fiance, who was driving. Thank God that my sister's air bag didn't deploy. Thanks to God that no one was injured and she felt fine and the baby continued to move like normal and even got a little excited as she was pretty active most of the day. She did call her Dr. but they told her it was okay not to come in since she felt fine and could feel plenty of movement from the baby. I on the other hand have been nervous since then!!! So I really encouraged her to call the Dr. on call last night to see what they said, after all, it is better to be safe and overly cautious than to be really sorry. 

So we went and they hooked her up to check baby's heart rate, and she had a nice strong heart beat. My sister had also been feeling unusual pains and not sure if they were contractions or not. My poor sister is over analyzing everything, and it is hard to tell for her....especially since she is soooo close! Anywho, all is well, no contractions were registered and the baby's heart beat was fine. It was so weird to hear that heart beating.... it is amazing there is a whole new human being inside my sister.  It is truly a miracle! I keep telling my niece to make her entrance on a friday afternoon.... so I won't have to miss work!! LOL  That way I could spend an entire weekend with her! Let's see if she listens!!

It is amazing that my niece will almost be here, just as I start my journey in having my own family.  AF arrived in town so now we can move forward with IVF!! The loan is all in place and we are ready to go! I will start birth control pills again later today, and will start  Lupron injections next Thursday, and the following Thursday (2 weeks from today) I will Follistim injections to begin stimulating my ovaries into action. They have been pretty quiet for over a year now, so hopefully they won't take to long to begin producing and hopefully they don't get too excited and produce too fast! If all goes well, I will have Egg Retrieval (ER) on or around August 6th and Embryo Transfer (ET) either August 9 for a 3DT (day transfer) or August 11 for a 5DT.  I am hopeful that it will work, we will transfer 2 embryos at the most, unless they are really bad quality.  We don't expect that to be my case so 2 babies to transfer to their home sweet home! 

I do believe that there is a time for everything, and I am very hopeful that my time is rapidly approaching. With my sister having a baby, my baby(ies) will have a cousin to play with and be close too. I was so afraid my poor baby(ies) would be alone and not have any close cousins to play with or be close too! I have cousins (they are sisters) who have had kids really close to each other.. one set of cousins babies are 6 months apart, and another set of cousins who's kiddos are a year apart, and these cousins are so close to one another, it is really adorable.  I will also have hand-me-downs too!!! A lot to look forward too!! Hopefully the next trip to Labor and Delivery is to watch the miracle that is my niece, be born!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back on track.....Almost

Hello my cyber readers.... all 3 of you!!! LOL Actually i'm not sure how many actually read my random thoughts.... but hello to anyone out there.... I know I have at least 1 !! haahaahaaaaaa

No I'm not loosing my mind... not at the moment at least. I'm just waiting out this cycle to finish so that I can start IVF. Yes!! after a YEAR of trying to ovulate and trying to be financially stable to do IVF, we are finally moving forward.  I should have started Lupron injections last week and would have started injections to stimulate my ovaries this week, I hit yet another bump in my all too bumpy road to conception.  After much deliberation and after speaking with my hubby we decided to move forward with IVF with my new cycle (which is the current one i'm on now) and when AF arrived for a visit the 2nd week of June, we were ready to start. I applied for the Shared Risk program through my RE's office.  I was very hesitant in applying. Basically we pay a flat fee of $22k for multiple discounted IVF cycles. It will be 3 IVF AND 3 FET cycles for one flat rate. Paying for each of these cycles would be about $40k. Either way it is ALOT of money.  

There are some guarantees, if there is no baby that we take home after all treatments, we will get 70% of our $$ back. Of course if there is a baby, we are successful. So I had been stuck on "what if" we were successful the first time, we paid $22k for one cycle instead of $10k it cost per IVF cycle. My hubby broke it down for me. He said so what if we paid $22k for one cycle, if we are successful isn't that what we want most, a baby?!? Hard to disagree with his reasoning, so I took the plunge and applied for a $22k loan to cover the cost of the program!!! Let me tell you,  have had plenty of sleepless night thinking about that debt we are about to incur!! I just worry about money too much and is a source of stress for me.

Luckily through ongoing therapy, I am not feeling guilty for wanting a baby so badly I'm willing to go into some serious debt for a baby! I am working part-time with my hubby's firm to make some decent extra money.  I am working most evening on setting up appointments and going on client appointments, but at least I'm working alongside my hubby. If all goes to plan we can pay off this loan in about a year or 2 at the most..... 

So now I stay on birth control pills (BCPs) to keep my cycle regular, since we had to postpone starting because my Dr.'s office failed to tell us my hubby had to get his "swimmers" tested... I was only told I needed to get some blood work done to see if I "medically" qualified.  SO we waited almost 2 weeks after informing my Dr's Financial Counselor that we wanted to apply for shared risk for ME to get all testing done and submit application to Shared Risk.  Not once did the counselor say they would also need a Semen Analysis (S/A) from my hubby... so one wasn't scheduled sooner and when the counselor submitted my file, she submitted old S/A report from June of 2007.  So they went off an old report and initially denied me acceptance into the Shared Risk Program because that old report would mean we would need to do an extra procedure in the whole IVF process.  This threw a monkey wrench into our plans.  This procedure i speak of is called ICSI, where the "lab" helps my hubby's 'swimmers' penetrate my eggs to fertilize them.  Well, no one ever mentioned to me that this was even something we had to worry about since all tests have always come back with an "Excellent" response from all doctors who review his "swimmer's" report.  Well we all ready had a test date set but it was a few days before i was to start lupron injections and not enough time to get the financing in order and would only be able to move forward if we were not going to go through the Shared risk program. 

It wasn't meant to be this cycle! The only reason we decided to move forward was because we wanted to do IVF through Shared Risk.  Plus, an audit of my office was scheduled for the week that all IVF procedure were to take place. I could have canceled the audit but had no rescheduled date.  For my sanity, I need to know a date, since these audits could be unannounced! I much prefer announced visits!!  So I just felt we needed to postpone to straighten everything out, which it has. My hubby's swimmers are just fine and we can proceed with IVF through Shared Risk as I just got notified today that we were approved WITHOUT ICSI.  If you can imagine, going through fertility treatments being told your hubby/male partner was fine and therefore wasn't a source of concern, all of sudden it seems like there was a problem all along would make you feel like you have been blind-sided.  Dr. called me and apologized for the "drama" and I was angry at first, but that only lasted a day.  It just wasn't meant to be this cycle......

So I decided that we should postpone IVF for a cycle. Heck, I have waited 12 months to do IVF, what is a few more weeks? Not much in my opinion. I have plenty to keep my mind occupied for the next few weeks.  This way i know that I will be able to take a nice little vacation and just RELAX!!! This is something I haven't been able to do in a long long time!!! So it looks like I'll be going through IVF procedures 2nd week of August and I will be on vacation at least by the end of that week.  I will enjoy some time away from work and enjoy a good book AND my niece!! My sister is due at the end of July (which i think baby Alyssa will be making an entrance sooner than that) so I will be able to enjoy my new niece as well!!! Fun times ahead.......... 

Finally!!! After much doom and gloom of the last year, finally a cheerful, STRESS FREE horizon awaits!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Finding Emotional Balance=Some kind of Normal

So it's been a while! I've been very neglectful to my journal writing... bad bad me! But I've been trying to find an emotional balance within myself in hopes of being as close to my normal self.... whatever my normal self is! I continue with therapy although i've had a few weeks break from it as my therapist went away on vacation. So far okay. No emotional break downs and find myself relatively calm.  I have been able to see how much I do try to shelter other people feelings and avoid the "truth" of my fertility woes! Therapy has helped me not do that anymore. I am starting to be more open about.

I have a cyber friend, but also a friend IRL as we met once "SHOUT OUT TO MY GIRL POLLY".  I would post a link to her blog here but don't know how.. sorry! She is amazing. Her strength is admirable. I know it is difficult journey she is on and may not feel very strong at times, but Polly, i know you read my blog from time to time and I don't say this nearly enough, but I really do admire you and you have such an amazing strength!!! I know you will be blessed with a child very soon as I don't know anyone else who has been through as much as you and deserve it so much! We will both overcome our Fertility Challenge and have our much deserved family in 2009!!!! I look up to her as she goes through her journey and how vocal she is about it.  I up until only recently, would never admit to anyone of my personal fertility struggles.

Therapy has helped get past whatever it was that kept me from saying and admitting that I have fertility challenges.  I am thankful to be able to do so now more than before. With my YOUNGER sister 34 weeks pregnant, I have occasionally gotten the question of "when do my hubby and I plan to start our family?" and you Fertility Challenged gals recognize the tone of voice in which the person asks it in... the tone that is suggesting that we don't have any babies by CHOICE! I don't even bat an eye anymore and let them know, hey it isn't because we aren't trying.... I just can't do it without medical intervention. As a matter of fact, I've had 2 pregnancies result in early miscarriages. They immediately apologize for my lost and I appreciate, rather than resent, their "I'm sorry".  

Slowly but surely I'm dealing with it much better than before. I think it is healthier for me in some way.  Now when I succeed in getting pregnant through IVF, I will be able to say it proudly.... IF I so choose to share that truth! Which is getting closer to happening!!!! 

So I'm finding myself being more of who I want to be and less being what I expect others want me to be.  It is funny, i have family saying how much fun I am to be around... Didn't realize I wasn't fun before LOL, but i guess maybe I had been a fun dud before, as I was too worried about what others wanted me to be, or what I thought they wanted me to be. I'm enjoying letting some of that go and being a little more relaxed... of course a quick shot of Tequila would loosen anyone up!! LOL I kid I kid.... i don't always need tequila to loosen up, but it sure makes us all a little more interesting and fun!!! LOL 

I'm suddenly craving a margarita...........cheers!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I have issues....

After a couple therapy sessions, I am faced to admit i have some real issues that go beyond Infertility!! I started going to therapy because i was not having any luck finding a local support group and really needing to talk to someone who could in some way relate in the pain and anguish I was experiencing TTC now for 5 LONG years!! I did a quick search for therapist covered under our medical insurance, made a few calls and spoke to a few to find a therapist i was comfortable with. So that is how I came to meet with Dr. J.  I told my hubby the night before my first appointment that I was going to go to therapy. Now, my loving hubby doesn't really believe in psychologists and was a bit surprised to find that I felt i needed therapy.  It was hard at first to make him understand that I couldn't talk to my mom, his mom, my BFF, my sister, cousins... no one really because they have had little or no problems TTC and all have beautiful families of their. The only one who might be able to relate a little maybe my sister, as it took her a while to get pregnant, but after maybe a year or 2 of TTC she is 28 weeks pregnant now.  It is hard for me to talk to anyone I told him.  I tried to explain to my hubby that i want to be at my best emotional state when we start IVF so that I can handle either result... a BFN or even handle a BFP.

He couldn't quite understand why I would have any negative thoughts if we got our BFP and why I would have anxiety over it.... I should think positive. He is right I told him (what every man likes to hear right....LOL) but what he had to understand is that I've thought positive for 5 years, and after 4 IUI cycles, 2 miscarriages, and endless cycles of no ovulation, it is getting really hard to remain positive.  I told him that it would be hard for him and others to understand why I would feel so anxious when we achieved pregnancy, because unfortunately since we have tried so hard for so long, I know all the things that could go wrong in a pregnancy.  I don't think he really understood, but he told me he supported me in any decision I took and would be beside me through it all.  My hubby says and does things that make me fall in love with more and more all the time, so the next morning was no exception. As we got ready for work, it was the day of my first therapy session and my hubby asks me as we are kissing goodbye, if I wanted him or needed him to go to therapy with me.  Immediately tears come to my eyes and I smile and thank him, but I needed to do it alone for now.  I am the one with the issues and I just need to talk to someone, but if I needed him to go I will ask him.

That was 3 weeks ago, and therapy has helped a lot. To just be able to go and talk about your fears, anger, frustrations, and agony and have some one validate them is just so wonderful.  I have also learned some hard truths about myself.  Not all good things either. But that is the journey of therapy i guess. I have never been to see a therapist for more than one session and that has only happened once.  So far I have learned that I worry too much for other people's feelings and worry way too much of what is thought about me.  Going through this infertility struggle, i have mostly kept the struggle to myself, maybe out of shame, or maybe out of fear of getting other people's pity...i really don't know, maybe for both reasons.  I have always made myself available for my friends and family to count on me when they needed me, but when I have tried to reach out, i got rebuffed once, and assumed no one had time to listen to my problems.  In putting peoples needs before mine, I have not let them know when I need from them. I'm working on not feeling shame about going through infertility treatments, and as i talk to people and that annoying question that comes up about "when are we having kids?" more and more I simply respond with "we are trying, having some difficulty with that, but with much prayer and some infertility assistance hopefully soon".  

I now realize that many times i refrained from being truthful about our fertility challenges because i was too concerned with making the other person embarrassed or uncomfortable.  I also worried about whether or not my hubby wanted the world to know, but now I know he could care less and it's been up to me to say or not.  So little by little I will work on my issues and address my emotions while struggling with being Fertility Challenged.  In time I hope that I can loosen up a bit, enjoy life once again, and be a better person.  I am finding some relief in therapy and with time I hope to better accept all the things I can not change, and be able to see and change the things I can.  I have not lost all faith in God, and although it may waver on some days, I pray and have faith that we will be blessed with the family we so desire and deserve as will all my Friends that our on this same painful journey.

Now I just pray for strength from God to help me get through another Mother's Day with an empty uterus and empty arms...