Monday, October 21, 2013

spread some happiness

Life is enriched by many things. 
Making new friends. 
Relishing small moments. 
Receiving an uplifting package in the mail. 
One of my favorite small moments is sipping a steaming cup of hot coffee, tea or cocoa from a cute mug. Over my almond milk latte this weekend, I decided to organize a mug swap to spread some happiness. Join me in meeting new friends and swapping mugs.

How it works.
This swap is open to all bloggers and instagrammers (in the US).
If you'd like to participate, just leave a comment on this post with your blog name or Instagram name AND your email address. The last day to sign up will be Oct 31st.

On Nov 1st, check back to find out who your swap buddy will be. After matches are posted, you will contact the person you're matched with, swap addresses and mail out your mugs.

You can choose a cute, pretty, inspiring, or fun mug from one of your favorite stores. I've seen super cute mugs lately at Pier One, Anthropologie, Home Goods, Target, Etsy, and Starbucks. The mug must be new and something you'd like to receive. The max price you should spend on the mug is $15 but you can spend less. If you find a mug for less than $15, you can include a card, some treats or other small gifts in the package as well. 

On Nov 20th, I will host a link up where bloggers can share their mugs so we can see all of the happiness that was spread. For Instagrammers, you can post your new mug package images on IG using the hashtag #autumnmugswap

Why November 20th?
According to Bizarre and Unique holidays, it is a Beautiful Day. A day created to share in the beauty all around us. What a perfect day to share the happiness we received from a fellow blogger or instagrammer.

Please feel free to repost the mug swap graphic on your blog or Instagram (and link back here for details) to share this fun swap with your followers. They may want to spread the happiness and join in the fun.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

mad love

I've got mad love for this girl and she's feeling a little low today so stop by and give her a virtual hug for me...would you please. It's rather ironic that Aubrey nominated me for the sunshine award (for bloggers who's posts brighten your day) because I'd definitely say the same about her blog. 

The rules for the sunshine award are as follows:

1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post (and since I'm not a very good rule can copy the icon from this post)
2. Link to the person who nominated you (that would be yours truly)
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award
5. Link your nominees and let them know they’ve been nominated

1) Why do you blog, and will you continue to blog when (I'm being positive for ALL of you!!) you get pregnant/have a baby(ies)?

I blog to connect with this wonderful world of female bloggers. My hope is to continue blogging however I understand why there are so many abandoned infertility blogs. As it is, I can barely keep my head above water sometimes. Add taking care of an infant to the mix and I just don't know how I'll do it all. 

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

This is the world I live in from 9 to 5 everyday...24/7. I work in the high-stress world of advertising. I'm an account executive. It's kinda like Mad Men minus most of the drinking and all of the smoking. If you want to know exactly how my work life plays this.

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

I guess I'd say...don't wait. Part of me wishes that I'd not been so hopeful that we'd conceive on our own. That I wouldn't have taken so many breaks. We wasted precious years that we can't get back. My eggs were rotting everyday and I didn't realize it. Thinking back to my first IUI, my follicle count was so much higher than it is now. If I'd not been so damn scared of IVF, I'm certain I'd be a mom by now.

4) What would you say is the best piece of advice for someone who is not going through infertility, but who doesn't know what to say to someone who is?

Just say "I'm sorry that you have to go through this and I am here for you". That's it.

DO NOT say "it will happen" because unless your God (which I'm pretty sure you're not) don't know that is true. And DO NOT share other people's success stories. We know you're just trying to be encouraging. But for every story about the person that stops trying and gets pregnant, there are three stories of people who did everything and never had a baby. Those stories just don't get shared as often as the lady who goes on vacay and gets knocked up.

5) What is the item of clothing you want to buy most for this fall season?

Easy. Leather skinnies.

6) What is your biggest pet peeve?

People that talk during a movie in the movie theater. Or a pet peeve I recently discovered, people who are super vocal in church like saying "amen" and "uh-huh" during the entire sermon.

7) If you won the lottery, what would be the FIRST thing you'd do?

Tell my hubby that he can quick his job and focus on becoming a professional cyclist.

8) What is your middle name?

Selena. Yep, like Selena Gomez. I may not look it but I'm actually a quarter Mexican. And the only that really gives me away is my grandmother and my middle name.

9) Where would you live if you could move to anywhere you wanted in the whole wide world?

Oh boy. This is a really hard one. Hmmm...I'm not sure. Somewhere warm. Hawaii, maybe. San Diego. If I had enough money to live on the beach, that's about the only thing that would be worth dealing with the traffic. Maybe Boulder. I'll have to continue to ponder this one.

10) How many siblings do you have - are you the youngest, middle child, oldest or an only child?

I have a half sister on my mom's side and a half sister and brother on my dad's side. They are all younger than me. But mostly, I grew up as an only child. I'm closest to my sister on my mom's side. She's beautiful and sweet. I'd like to introduce her on my blog...except that I've learned by now that she'll call and ask me to remove her picture. She's a very private person. We are opposites in a lot of ways and learning to navigate our differences. 

And the bloggers (so hard to choose only 10 but hoping these ladies haven't been nominated yet) that I'm nominating for the Sunshine Award are:
And below are your questions. I'm looking forward to learning more about you lovely ladies.

  1. What do you do for work (always curious to know what everyone does all day long)?
  2. What is your favorite quote?
  3. What is the item of clothing you want to buy most for this fall season?
  4. What is a great book that you've read recently?
  5. What is your signature recipe?
  6. What is your middle name?
  7. Tell me a secret (about anything).
  8. What is the scariest thing you've ever done?
  9. What is your favorite way to de-stress?
  10. How many different cities have you lived in?
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Monday, October 7, 2013

one step at a time

We had our regroup this morning. Basically, it wasn't anything new. A pretty quick phone call which confirmed what we already figured. 

He was expecting to retrieve 7 eggs. We got 7 eggs. 6 were mature. 4 fertilized. Since we froze the embryos at the one-cell stage,  we don't have any information on the quality. But visually, they appeared to be fine. Since we got the response we expected, no need to tweak my protocol. Estrogen priming protocol again.

Many of you have asked about this. Why did we have to make the banking decision so early? Why couldn't we let the embryos grow to day 3 or day 5 to see what we had before making a decision? It has to do with the freezing. CCRM has got this down to a science. They've tried freezing at all different stages and found that the survival rate is best when the freeze earlier. The risk of loss to the embryos from freezing is 1-2% which is very low. 

Did you learn nothing, my friend?
At one point, Dr. S said "after this next cycle, you can decide if you'd like to transfer or cycle again to add to the bank of embryos. I'd like to have at least 10 embryos to work with." I think I saw smoke coming from A's ears. He was livid at our ODWU when Dr. S brought up coming back for a second cycle before we even started the first. And the doc did it again. Hubby does not like looking ahead like that. But honestly, A's right. This is it, Dr. S. We got nothin' for ya after this next cycle. 

I almost f*cked up. Bad. And my hubby was pretty pissed at me. The day after our retrieval the embryologist called to give us our fertilization report and find out if wanted to bank/freeze our embies. Hubby and I discussed it. We agreed to bank. I dropped hubby off at the house and went to Target to get a thank you card for my bestie that we stayed with in Denver. As I was driving, I started freaking out about the money (that we don't have) and felt like we made the wrong decision. I called the clinic and asked if it was too late to change our minds. She said "yes, I documented our call and froze them immediately. You'll have to stick with your original decision." I wasn't upset which should've been an indicator that we made the right decision initially. 

When I got back to the house, hubby accosted me in the hallway and took my phone. He looked at the call log and said "why did you call CCRM at 11:15AM? What did you do?" I told him what I tried to do and he was really pissed at me. "Really" he said "you would make a decision like that without discussing it with me first. Especially after we already decided together". He was right. I was totally in the wrong. 

But the heck does that man know me so well? That's crazy that he knew I'd do that. Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying thanks for those of you that understand and validated our decision to bank. 

This study really help me feel like we made the right decision as well. 
The gist: Only 16% of the patients that didn't bank embryos (that had less than 10) made it to transfer. As opposed to 42% of the other group who did the banking.

Dr. S wants me to taking all of my poor responder supplements as soon as possible. Not sure if I've posted that here before. But a few of you have asked what I'm taking. 
Here's the list.

Myo Inositol 2gm (2x daily)
Melatonin 3mg (at bedtime)
Co Enzyme Q10 400mg (2x daily)
Omega 3 fatty acid 1000mg (1x daily)
Vitamin C 500mg (1x daily in am)
Vitamin E 200IU (1x daily)
L-Arginine 1000mg (2x daily)
Pycnogenol 100mg (1x daily)

No matter how you slice it, I have at least 3 more cycles before I could potentially do a FET. I haven't done my beta integrin 3 test which is an endometrial biopsy performed after you ovulate. It has to be done before I proceed to transfer to make sure I have the protein that can be missing with some endo patients. My question for the doc was regarding his recommendation on the order of things. Should I jump right into another stim cycle? Then do the test cycle. Then transfer. Or take a month off from stimming and get my beta test out of the way first. 

He said there is a recent Cornell report that shows some women's receptors can get overloaded from IVF. He said "if you respond well, you're probably going to respond well whether you wait or proceed." But since I'm a poor responder, I could benefit from taking a cycle off and giving my body a little break. Done. I'll take whatever advantage I can get. 

Still waiting for my period. 
Then I start the beta test cycle. 
Then my final stim cycle. 
Just taking this one step at a time.

Friday, October 4, 2013

square one

I'm pretty sure this is what depression feels like. After my egg retrieval (6 days ago), my nurse told me that my period would come between 4 to 14 maybe I'm just PMSing. I hope so. 

In my logical mind, I know that we made forward progress this cycle. It may not have been enough to proceed with CCS testing and a transfer. But we have four embryos on ice. Yet, somehow it feels like we are back at square one. I feel sad, lonely and empty. It just doesn't ever seem like this chapter of our lives is going to end.

I feel like giving up. But know that I won't. That I can't. We've come this far. Finally, we're closer than we've ever been. But I really don't want to play anymore. I want to take my ball and go home. Crawl under the covers and sleep for a month. 

Wake up. Check my bank statement. See my savings reinstated. Go to Italy on a European vacation. Like people who don't have to spend tens of thousands of dollars for the mere chance of having a baby. Yes, I'm having a really big pity party right now.

I'm stressed about coming up with the money for our next cycle. And if I'm being honest, I'm pissed that I couldn't just be one of those "one and done IVFers". 

Fine, fine. I have to experience infertility. But couldn't I be one of the ones that IVF works for on the first try. It's really sad when I'm even jealous of other infertiles who only had to go through IVF once. If my first IVF attempt at my local clinic would've worked, I'd be blogging about going into labor right now.

Based on my retrieval and transfer dates, my due date was supposed to be October 9th. Next Wednesday. If it had been a success, I'd be huge and uncomfortable. Anxious about labor. I'd have the nursery decorated and a name picked out. Instead, I'm drinking a glass of wine, alone, 40 thousand dollars in the hole, stressed about coming up with another 20 thousand more....and generally thinking that life sucks.

Taking a melatonin and going to bed. Yes, at 5:30pm on a Friday night. 

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