Tuesday, May 31, 2011

3rd Time's a Charm???? (Day #1 of the 2ww)

So fate was in our favor and our IUI was scheduled for this morning - hooray, we didn't have to cut our little vacay short! We had the best time being AWAY and disconnected from most of the world for a few days. Unfortunately the shots made me pretty darn uncomfortable for the last day or two of the trip but nothing unmanageable - try to imagine having =water balloons inserted into your abdomen...that's sort of what it feels like. Squishy and icky and kind of sore on top of the nausea from my Metformin. This did not keep me from wolfing down some s'mores made with Nutella - if you haven't tried this heavenly combination, you should do so immediately!!!! (Trader Joe's Graham Crackers + Nutella (the more, the better) + a nice toasty jumbo marshmallow...or as my friend Janie's sweet little girl Claire calls them "marsh-a-mallows" - delicious, delicious, delicious and you don't have to wait for your chocolate bar to melt...YUMMMM-O!)

I only had one MINOR meltdown (I say it was minor, the Italian might say differently...he made the mistake of making a remark about what the hormones are doing to my temperment at the beginning of said meltdown...needless to say that took me from a 2 up to a 10 rather quickly - sidenote to ANY men out there who may have stumbled across this post...do NOT, I repeat NOT under any circumstances EVER make reference to a woman's hormones (undergoing fertility or not) - you will not win this argument). Any way, the doc's office called on Friday afternoon, only an hour after we had been in Boone to let me know that I'd need to take an Ovidrel shot on Sunday evening. I didn't have an Ovidrel shot with me as I hadn't been given a prescription for one this month yet, so had to begin an easter egg hunt all over Boone and Blowing Rock in order to find a pharmacy that would be able to get one. Apparently there aren't many infertile women in the mountains...after 2 hours on the phone with about 10 different pharmacists, the sweetest pharmacist at Boone Drug spent an hour calling all of their locations and finally the hospital in order to get it rush ordered in! Thank to Boone Drug! If they had a location here in Charlotte, I'd be a customer for life!!!!

So anyway, the Italian and I had to go in to REACH at 7am this morning for my blood work and his "donation" - then we were back at 11am for the procedure. We are feeling hopeful, the doc said that according to the numbers, the timing could not have worked out better - probably performed the actual procedure minutes before my actual ovulation time according to my progesterone levels. And the Italian's swimmers were awesome...more than 15 million (normal is 10 mil) - he was very proud of his contribution. :)

Unfortunately, the doc said that even though everything so far is lined up perfectly, there are no guarantees...at this point, it's totally a God thing. So I'm going to let go and let God handle this from here.

So today is officially day #1 of my least favorite period of time...the two week wait (2ww). June 14th is the date that we'll know something. We can't take a test before then due to the hormones in the injections that I've been taking (they'll show a false positive and I don't want to get excited about something that "isn't").

And I got an email today letting me know that my blog as been listed on the Stirrup Queen's Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer Blogroll: http://www.stirrup-queens.com/a-whole-lot-of-blogging-brought-to-you-sorted-and-filed/ If you or someone you know is searching for more real life stories about infertility and/or success stories, the Stirrup Queen's blog will keep you busy for weeks!!!!

Prayers are appreciated - prayers for patience, prayers for peace and prayers for a BFP on June 14th!!!! BFP = Big Fat POSITIVE :)


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho - it's off to the doc I go!!! (Tomorrow)

OK - so I just had to shoot up my follistim drugs sitting at my desk - that was one of the weirdest things I've done so far. These shots have to be taken at very certain times and unfortunately with my job, I can't always be in the privacy of my own home when THE TIME comes! It's super weird having to live my life according to my body's schedule. I'm used to telling IT what to do and when, not the other way around.

Doctor's appointment tomorrow which I'm actually looking forward to. I always like going to see the doctors at REACH...at least I feel like I'm moving forward when I'm meeting with them...during the 2ww (2 week wait) it feels like everything is standing still and I'm just waiting, waiting, waiting.

I do feel like a lab rat though...at the dr's for bloodwork several times each month and then the lovely ultrasound and not the cute kind you get where they rub jelly on your belly, you hold hands with your hubby and get to see your precious little baby growing inside of you. At this ultrasound, it goes IN, yup INSIDE...WAY INSIDE. The first time they did it I was totally freaked out. It goes in, WAY IN and moves around and they measure all sorts of things - the thickness of your lining (I was actually flattered at my last appointment the doc said, "lining looks good...REAL good and I don't say that to all the gals" - geez doc, you're making me blush), they also check both ovaries to see how many little baby follicles are growing (follies are basically little baby eggs - a "normal" woman produces one good one each month and then ovulates (releases one of the eggs) out of one of her ovaries).

For the past 2-3 months I've been on drugs to help stimulate follicle growth because I wasn't ovulating on my own, but Dr. Katz wasn't totally satisfied with the size of the follicles. My right side is PCOS which stands for Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome which means that too many little baby follicles develop and there's so many of them in there that there is no way that any one of them can mature enough to release (ovulation) - so he started me on this Follistim stuff (the shots) - not as bad as I thought it would be, by the way...I'm actually getting to the point where I'm hardly fazed by needles anymore (is that even the way you spell that in this context? fazed, phased, phazed, whatever I'll spell it however I want).

Anyway, back to the appt...Tomorrow, HOPEFULLY I'll have SEVERAL decent sized follies (in the 20mm+ range) on both sides and he'll tell me when we can schedule our 3rd IUI. If the days add up correctly, it should be Tuesday...praying that it's Tuesday, please make it be Tuesday. We have a super fun vacay planned with some of our best friends up to our old stomping grounds Boone, NC for the holiday weekend and I don't want to have to cut it short, but we'll see! (again, adjusting to living life according to "the dictator" a.k.a. my hormones...which aren't even mine anymore come to think of it).

And speaking of this vacation - it is a perfect example of my type A, obsessive compulsive, anal retentiveness...this morning I sent my girlfriends a 3 sheet, Excel workbook detailing out our meal plans, tentative itinerary and shopping lists for the weekend. Thank God people are willing to put up with my craziness! I'm a real handful!

But you know, I've been this way forever. I remember when my parents moved when I was in college I found a box with my old diaries in it and instead of "Kelly loves so-and-so" or "She is so mean, she made fun of me for wearing Jordache instead of Guess", I had timelines and agendas for everything - Camping Trips, Vacations, Christmas Eve Dinners (i.e. Grandma & Grandpa arrive at 5:00pm, 5:30 pm Dinner in the Dining Room, 5:45pm open presents in Family Room (I was always anxious to get to the presents)), my self thrown 13th birthday party (that's right my parents wouldn't throw me a birthday party that year, so I made my own invitations, sent them out and planned my own...it was a smashing success until my parents called all of their parents and everyone had to go home)...I think I MIGHT get some of it from my dad, but it must have increased in potency with the next generation. If I weren't me, I might be quite annoyed by me.

So anyway, if it comes to mind, please say prayers for big healthy follies (but not too many - don't want to be Kate Gosselein, I can't pull off that haircut and there's no way Dave could pull off the Ed Hardy apparel once we reach our demise).

Happy Memorial Day friends! Hope you all have FUN plans for yourselves!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dr's Instructions: "Drink two milkshakes, stop running & call me in the morning..."

For those who don't know me, I'm usually a pretty active chick. Not like sporty spice active (I have absolutely NO hand-eye coordination, but give me a 5,6,7,8 with some choreography and I'll work it like nobody's business...complete with hair tosses). I also started running several years ago. Nothing makes me happier than throwing on my kicks and heading outside for a 2 hour run. I know, people think I'm C-razy...maybe I am, but I love it. Nothing clears my mind like a nice LOOOONG run.

So in February, when I self referred myself to the specialists at REACH one of the first things my doc asked me about was my diet and exercise regiment. I was feeling pretty stinkin' proud of myself as I proceeded to tell him that I ran anywhere from 30-45 miles a week along with occasional yoga, cycling and once in a while an hour here or there on the elliptical.

As for diet, I usually eat pretty clean. Now trust me, I'm not an angel all the time with my eating, I love my pizza, cookies, brownies and most of all Starburst Reds Jelly Beans - but on a day to day basis I eat really well...egg white omelets with veggies along with old fashioned oatmeal, flaxseed meal and walnuts EVERY, SINGLE morning for breakfast, usually chicken breast or salmon with spinach or broccoli for lunch and chicken breast, salmon or shrimp with broccoli roasted in olive oil for dinner and I snack on plain low fat greek yogurt with berries, more flaxseed meal and either almonds or walnuts in the morning or afternoon. All the "superfoods" the good stuff that you're supposed to be eating. All the magazines say so, right?

So imagine my surprise when my specialist says, "That's what I thought. I need you to drink a couple of milkshakes a week and chill out on the exercise." (insert record scratch here) -

uh what?????? If you're trying to have a baby, shouldn't you be focused on getting your body in the best possible condition that it can be?????

Well apparently the amount of exercise I was doing can lead to annovulation (which I had had for years). So for the past couple of months, I've been TRYING to really cut back - but I'm not gonna lie, it sucks. I know for many people a doctor's note to have ice cream every week and not exercise for more than 30 minutes or so would be a dream come true, but I hate it. So for the past week, I've been inching my mileage back up - I did a couple of 6 mile runs and it felt amazing (I can hear my phone ringing with my mother scolding me on the other line now)...

So I'm going to be careful and not go back to my 9, 12 or 15 mile runs, but I'll be sneaking in a few 6 milers here and there - I'm trying to establish BALANCE where I can.

OK - now time to break into my Follistim kit and shoot up with more hormones (which make me oh so pleasant to live with). I apologize profusely to my husband, coworkers and family for having to deal with my cheery disposition and mood swings over the past several months. And just a word of warning (husband), if you happen to mention that perhaps my mood swing is related to the hormone injections, just be prepared for the outburst to follow. (Don't say I didn't warn you)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Deep breath.....

OK - so I have been contemplating whether or not to "go public" with our story for quite a while (nearly a year, actually). For nearly 2 years, my husband and I have been "trying" to start a family. We both hate that terminology..."trying"...isn't it just supposed to happen? - it seems like daily I get little notices or word that another friend, former client, family member, co-worker or acquaintance is blessed with a pregnancy, a baby, a blessing, a "happy accident", which by the way is synonymous with my all time favorite word...SERENDIPITY.

ser·en·dip·i·ty/ˌserənˈdipitē/Noun: The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: "a fortunate stroke of serendipity".

Now I hate to sound whiny, needy or ungrateful. I'm actually quite lucky, VERY lucky...and incredibly blessed. I have been blessed to have LOTS of "happy accidents" throughout my 34 years here on earth.

Exhibit A: My entire career to this point has been a "happy accident". In a former life while engaged, I was calling venues about possibly hosting our upcoming wedding reception at various locations and one gentleman at one of the venues actually took time to ask me what I wanted to do when I graduated from college...I thought about it for 2 seconds and said, "I think I'd like to have your job". From that point, he gave me a few tips about how to get started and within less than a year, I found myself as the Director of Catering for a local country club (with hardly any experience, mind you - that is unheard of in our industry) so to just happen into a position like this was....SERENDIPITY. (That engagement didn't pan out, by the way...another example of serendipity...but that's another story for later)

Exhibit B: On a whim, I decided to audition for the the cheerleading/dance team for an NFL team. Now I NEVER would have described myself as the prototypical NFL cheerleader...I was never a cheerleader in school, but I did spend 20 years of my life in dance training. Still, the usual course of negative self talk went through my mind, but I was determined to at least try...I didn't want to be 90 years old and say, "I wonder what would have happened if I had just tried?" Well wonder of wonders, I was one of only 3 NEW girls to make the team...3...what the heck! This little fair skinned, red head with freckles on her nose was an NFL cheerleader...are you kidding me? Serendipity strikes again. And a trip to the Superbowl, the Pro Bowl, some of the best friends I could ever ask for (from all over the country) and countless memories (and photos) later, I still look back and wonder...how in the world did THAT happen to me???

And finally and probably most importantly, one June night in 2002 as I was simultaneously coordinating a Bar Mitzvah, a Birthday/Pool Party and a Wedding Reception while helping to oversee the Club Grill, this "hot Italian guy" who was a member at the country club I was working for asked me out, and the rest as they say is history. Sure there were ups and downs along the way but there was something there that just wouldn't let go..."the development of events by chance in a happy and beneficial way"...my courtship with and now marriage to the Hot Italian can only be described as serendipity.

So that brings us to now...nearly 9 years after that original first date, almost 6 years from our wedding day and nearly 2 years from the day that we agreed that we were ready to "try" to start a family.

I just assumed that this "trying" would be brief (and fun)...little did I know that we were headed down a path filled with surgeries, procedures, ultrasounds, "deposits", pills, needles and worst of all....the dreaded TWO WEEK WAIT. Ugh, the two week wait. I miss the days where I counted my time by the weddings that I had on the books each weekend, by cheerleading practice, football games and appearances. Now, I count my time based on 28 day cycles, countless doctor's appointments, medications, trigger shots, IUI cycles and worst of all that stupid 2 week wait...2 weeks at the end of every 28 day cycle where I'm afraid to do anything. Afraid to run and exercise because what if I have a little weak embryo just desperately trying to "latch on"....afraid to have a glass of wine with friends or my husband because IF my least favorite relative Aunt Flo happens to show up on day 28 I won't be able to stop from asking myself, "what if it's because of that glass of wine that I had last week?"...afraid to stress out, because all of the doctors and experts keep telling us how important it is to remain calm and stress free...hello????? Have you met me??? Do you know what I DO for a living? I stress out about every miniscule detail of the most important events of people's lives so that they don't have to!!!! Stressing out is my livelihood. But finally, afraid to talk to anyone about it because if you don't know me, I'm a pretty stubborn and PRIVATE person. I don't like to make anyone feel like I'm seeking pity, I honestly do not want anyone to feel sorry for me...so why am I going "public" with this now? If I don't want pity why am I sharing my story?

I honestly don't totally know why.

I've prayed about it...A LOT and I keep hearing this soft voice telling me to share what we're going through...maybe someone else will read it and say, "hey, that's my story too". The one thing that I have learned through this "process" is that I am NOT alone...nearly every time that I have opened up and shared what we're going through I've learned that either the person that I'm talking to or someone near and dear to their heart is or has gone through many of the same things.

We're not alone my fellow infertile myrtles! And there ARE happy endings...happy endings come in various forms - through mild fertility drugs, IUI, more invasive IVF or even adoption. Some even come to find peace with a future without children to raise. So I'm on the search for our fortunate stroke of serendipity - our happy accident that will bring peace to my heart and mind.