Tuesday, December 31, 2013

worse or better

I had my local stim check yesterday morning. 
Unfortunately, the nurse that called me from CCRM was not nurse sweet pea nor was she very informative. I had to really draw information out of her and didn't really get much clarity or reassurance regarding my questions. But here's what I know…and it's a bit of a mixed bag.

Last cycle, after four days of stims (with 300IU of follistim) my estrodiol level was 80. Yesterday it was 47 after four days of stims (with 450IU of follistim). Ugh. More drugs and less response.

However, it does look like I'm showing more follicles and consistent growth this time. So that's good. Here's what they saw in the ultrasound.
(1) 8mm, (2) 7mm, (1) 6mm, (4) 5mm, (1) 4mm
4 follies on the right and 5 on the left….so 9 is much better than 7 (follicles last time).

Dr. S's instructions were continue taking the max dose of stim meds and head to Denver for monitoring. So after a long day of traveling, I arrived in Denver this evening to ring in the New Year in the Mile High City. I'm such a party animal that I'm starting my meditation CD and will be asleep by 10pm.

Lowlights of the day
-  Delayed flight and arrival into Denver. To save money, I didn't fly direct and had a pit stop in Portland so it's been a REALLY long day.
-  Giving my injections in the airport in full view of everyone because the bathroom was so dirty, I didn't want to open my suitcase on the floor and put my meds on the counter.

 Highlights of the day
-  A sweet family helping me with my bags and wishing me luck with IVF. The dad said "you're going to be pregnant soon so we might as well start helping you with your bags now."
-  The rental car guy upgrading my vehicle to a brand new Infiniti SUV because they had so many all-wheel drives on the lot. No Ford Focus for me. It still has the new car smell….and leather, heated seats.

Happy almost 2014! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

the last cycle has begun

This is my hail mary cycle. My leap of faith. The one that's gotta do the trick. At the beginning of my cycle, I was pretty relaxed. So much so that I forgot to start my estrace until the following day. Apparently, it wasn't a big deal and all was still okay.

But now, I'm starting to get a little worried and scared. Terrified if I'm being honest. I don't even want to think the "what if this doesn't work" question because…it HAS to work. All I can do is pray and be thankful for all of you angels out there who've supported us over the years.

Yesterday, I had my local monitoring appointment (suppression check) down in sunny San Diego. La Jolla to be exact. A and I were visiting his family for Christmas. It was sunny and 78 in December. Perfect weather. I'm hoping that is a good omen for the start of my cycle. 

At one point during our trip, I had a mini estrogen-induced breakdown. It. was. not. pretty. But I'm so grateful this guy was there to pick me up despite all of the ugliness and move past it. He reminded me that what we've been going through for FIVE very long, exhausting, emotionally-draining years is not easy. True that, A.

Nothing about this journey is easy. In fact, I'm currently engaged in the biggest fight of my life….battling infertility. Trying to stay positive and keep sight of my dream…our baby. The reason I've put myself and my marriage through the ringer. 

Dear God…
please let it all be worth it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

'tis the season

....for holiday cards.

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail. It lifts my spirit and reminds me of the wonderful friends and family that are thinking of us during the holidays.

This year, I haven't received very many cards. My guess is that people are just behind since we lost a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. I hope my beloved cards are still on their way.

If you haven't ordered your Christmas cards yet, it's not too late to get them out and spread some holiday cheer. My favorite place to order online cards is minted. They have the cutest design templates and free overnight shipping. Here are a few of my fave designs.

wonderful year holiday postcards
aquarelle no.2
white noel holiday ornament cards
reinpet holiday photo cards
If I'm being honest, I haven't sent Christmas cards the last few years. But I used to love creating my cards using beautiful photography and amazing designs. Sitting down with a hot cup of tea and addressing them to the people I love. 

I've gotten away from it because I felt like nothing in our lives changed. It felt like if I didn't have a beautiful baby or little one to incomplete family wasn't enough. That I was just shining a light on what is missing in my life. 

But I'm done with that. Our family...just us three (including the pup)...we're enough. So gosh darn it. I'm going to send some holiday cards. And you should too!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hi. My name is Jessah...and I am an addict.

I have a drug problem...of the prescription nature.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin. 
Follicle Stimulating Hormone. 
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. 

Otherwise known by their "street" names.

The high that I get from these drugs is like no other. 
Each injection fills me full of hope. Hope that I will someday carry a baby in my womb. Hope that I will bring a child into this world. Hope that I may still be a mother....if it is God's will.

My dealers (la farmacias) are trying to take me to the cleaners. But some very special ladies (who've kicked the habit because they got knocked up), have offered to donate their drugs...on the DL. Y'all know who you are....A BIG FAT THANK YOU! I still don't have all my fixes but this big score will definitely help.

I'll start shooting week from today. 
I'm jonesin' hardcore. 
Ready to do this!

Monday, December 9, 2013

"The Baby Chase" Review + Giveaway

Happy Monday y'all. 
I love to read books. A good book is like a good friend....priceless. 

So when I was given an advance copy of The Baby Chase and asked to do a book review and giveaway, my answer was...heck yeah. Especially because the author, Leslie Morgan Steiner, is an esteemed writer (I'm talking the NY Times bestselling kind). She is also a speaker and domestic abuse survivor. 

I couldn't put this book down. It hit really close to home considering our struggles with infertility and the fact that we are nearing the end of the road. We may be forced to consider some other alternatives or give up our dream to have a baby if this next cycle doesn't work. 

The book follows a couple's journey through international surrogacy. The husband in the book is a firefighter....same as my husband and the wife is a nurse. The characters are very relatable and you'll become quickly engrossed and invested in their story.

Steiner debunks the myth that international surrogacy is exploiting women in third world countries. The characters just want to become parents and find an unconventional way to make their hope of a family become a reality.

The Baby Chase is a great book about a very brave couple and their determination to become parents. It also includes some background on the history of IVF and surrogacy around the world. It shows you what we are fighting for, who we are fighting for, and why. It's definitely a must-read.

The book was released a few weeks ago (I'm a little late on my post). You can purchase a copy of the book a local Barnes and Noble bookstore or online here. Or for a free copy, just leave a comment telling me a great book you've read recently to be entered to win.

Good luck! 

***Congrats to the giveaway winner Stephanie at Icing on Our Cupcake.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

helping others

I've always been really good at helping others.

Hosting a baby shower for a deserving friend.
Building homes for those in need and spreading the word of God.
Adopting a family for the holidays.
Organizing a gift drive for the Children's Receiving Home.

These are all things that I am comfortable with. Making other peoples' lives better or day brighter. 
But I'm not good at accepting help.
It's uncomfortable for me.

But after several friends expressed their helplessness regarding our situation and communicated how much they want to support us and make this journey easier on us, I finally relented. And my best friend set up this page to help ease some of the financial burden of our out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Humankind never ceases to amaze me. Especially at the holidays....such an expensive time of year. It warms my heart that people care enough about us to love on us in this way and keep us in their prayers as we embark on this next round of IVF.

CCRM IVF calendar - 13 days until injections

Some of our friends have offered to share the button above and You Caring link via their blogs or social media which has been a huge blessing. More than anything, I'm happy that our story is being shared to help raise awareness of infertility, the huge strain it places on couples, the great lengths at which we go to have what comes so easily to others and the isolation that many of us feel during the holidays.

If you want to help raise awareness but aren't infertile or don't feel comfortable sharing your own story, please feel free to share our story.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

5 years

five years ago today,
just us two...
we stood barefoot on the beach 
and exchanged the vows we wrote for one another.

neither of us had any idea what the next 1,825 days would bring,
but we knew
 whatever it was...we would face it together.

side by side.
hand in hand.

we've experienced...

but we faced it all
always together. 

i don't know where i'd be without you. 
likely, a ship lost at sea.
you are my rock.
my anchor.
my best friend.
my light at the end of a dark tunnel.

thank you, A...
for walking this journey through life with me. 
i'm looking forward to seeing what the next five years brings.

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