Monday, December 8, 2014

everything is about to change

everything is about to change.

although i’ve cherished our time…with just us two, i'm ready. i'm almost in my third trimester and it still feels like a dream sometimes. this bouncing baby boy will be on his way soon. he is going to turn our worlds upside down. and i can’t wait.

i’m excited for all of the firsts that we are going to experience together. 
his first smile. 
his first word. 
his first step. 
all precious moments that we will share.

i know parenting this little man won't be easy and it won’t always be fun. but it will be worth it. everything we’ve endured over the last five years was all for this. all the shots. the debt. the tears. miles traveled. hope followed by despair. it was all for what’s just around the bend. and i’m so grateful that i get to experience this little miracle with you.

you are going to be an amazing father. 
you’ll teach him how to ride a bike. 
how to be kind and courteous to others. 
to be a gentleman with the ladies. 
i know you two are going to be the best of friends.

so on this day that we celebrate 6 years as a married couple…
we also have something else so amazing to celebrate. our son. he will be in our arms in 100 days (if he is punctual). and he will reside in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

thank you for loving me. for choosing to fight for us when things got hard. and for walking by my side throughout our difficult quest to grow our family. it wasn’t an easy road that we took to get to this place. but i’m so blessed that you continued to trudge forward with me after each failure. because this is what we were fighting for….our little baby sunshine. and he's almost with us.

i love you, A….with all my heart. 
happy 6th anniversary!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

a low tech way to improve male factor infertility

before i started this blog, there was a brief period of time in which we thought my husband’s sperm was to blame for our infertility. his initial semen analysis tests showed low motility and morphology. at one point, an urologist even suggested that he undergo surgery for a varicocele (40% of men having trouble conceiving have one).  we did a lot of research to understand what hubby could be doing differently to improve his sperm quality.

what we found in our research was that heat and the sperm do not play well together. since my hubby is a cyclist (at the time he was racing motocross) and a firefighter, working in heavy gear in high temperatures, i really was concerned that he wasn’t keeping the sperm makers cool enough. that his sperm were being overheated. or damaged. i read about truck drivers having issues with their sperm because they sit so much in hot trucks.

but it wasn’t realistic to think that he was going to give up his job or hobbies because we were trying to conceive. he avoided hot bathes and hot tubs. he took supplements, asian herbs and reduced the number of hours that he was sitting on the bike seat. over time, his motility and morphology numbers improved. after about 6 months, our RE no longer thought that my husband’s sperm were playing a role in our inability to conceive.

in our case, lifestyle changes and alternative treatments helped to improve my husband’s sperm quality. it is for that reason (and because many of my readers are still in the trenches struggling with male factor or unknown infertility) that we’d like to share a new product that may be able to help your spouses’ swimmers.

the product is called snowballs (yes, a very fun, quirky name) and they are cooling underwear for men to help lower scrotum temperature and improve fertility. snowballs are designed using thin, organic cotton and can be comfortably worn all day. the snow wedges (the cooling mechanism) should be frozen and worn about 2 hours each day.

research shows that the testes of men with fertility problems tend to be warmer by an average of one degree celsius. if that temperature can be lowered on a consistent basis, fertility should improve.

if snowballs had been on the market four years ago, we definitely would have tried them to help improve my husband’s sperm quality. hopefully this product can help you save you from needing IVF or help improve your IVF success rates.  can’t hurt, right??!

if you're interested in trying this product, snowballs is offering DofD readers a 10% discount using the discount code: dimples10.

baby dust to all my ttc sisters!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

sharing our story on television

the documentary filming in los angeles
over a year ago, 
i was contacted by a production company in new york city that produces some widely recognized and popular reality TV shows. they were interested in doing a show on infertility. following different couples through their baby making journeys.

candidly, i was ecstatic because i felt like this show could spread some awareness and true understanding of what infertility is like and how devastating it is. whatever i could do to help them get this program off the ground, i was going to do it.

after a screening phone call and then a Skype interview with the producer, it seemed that the project was moving forward. initially, the producer thought it might work to film in my hometown and follow my husband and i and some other couples that i'd met through my local IF support group. so i connected the producer with couples in various stages of infertility - pursuing adoption, IUI, IVF, living child-free after infertility, surrogacy, etc. 

then after weeks of screening phone calls and Skype interviews with the other couples, the producer told me that she didn't think it was going to work. in order for the show to be entertaining, you have to have all different personality types represented. think sex in the city. she basically told me "it is not surprising that the women you connected us with are your friends because they are a lot like you". low drama and relatable. apparently, i am a carrie and my friends are too.

next we decided to explore whether the program could work if we expanded the project outside of my geographic area. so i gave the producer a list of bloggers that i thought represented a good cross section of both personalities and stages of infertility. honestly, i don't even know how far that went or if she even contacted any of them.

needless to say, the project fizzled and i'm sure the producer moved onto something else as i haven't heard from her in a while. big fat bummer for the infertility community in my opinion. but whatevs.

fast forward to a couple months ago. i was contacted by two producers in california who are filming a documentary on egg donation. they are filming egg donors, egg donor agencies. fertility doctors, intended parents, etc. they wanted me to participate in an interview and provide my perspective as a recipient parent. 

i've always been super open about our infertility journey. i believe, at my core, that it is important to talk openly about the topic to remove the stigma and prevent people from suffering in silence. these are two among countless other reasons that i've continued to share our story. 

but this felt different. with infertility it always felt like my story (well, mine and my husband's) to tell. with egg donation, it feels more like "our" story. it belongs to us, our donor and our unborn child. if i had decided to participate, i would definitely have made sure that K is okay with it. but i can't predict how our child would feel when he's older and this is his story too. once i put something out there, i can't take it back.

like most documentaries, i'm sure the producers want to try to show all sides and angles of egg donation. and candidly, there are some sensitivities and issues surrounding the topic - especially regarding donor anonymity, treatment of donors by agencies and the relatively unknown health risks for egg donors. at the end of the day, i couldn't get a good sense of what the producers' "agenda" was so i couldn't be certain that egg donation wasn't going to be portrayed in a negative light. i guess it was ultimately the lack of control on how our story could be spun or used that prevented me from participating. i felt like our baby boy's story is too beautiful to risk having it be part of any negative media about egg donation. 

all that being said, i'm pretty certain that our story will not be shared on television. however, i still have high hopes to someday to flip through the remote and see someone else's infertility being shared. it is an important topic and i'm so thankful for the people that are willing to give infertile couples a voice. 

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