Thursday, August 30, 2007

Best thing about today....

Today overall was a pretty good day. Work was low key. My shoes were comfortable all day. :) The temperature in my office was nice. :) and I actually got some work done.

After work I rushed home so JW and I could go to our "IVF seminar." The embryologist did a nice little power point presentation about how IVF works, what the lab is like, step by step through all the procedures and information about what the different "grades" means for embryos. The nurse went over all the do's and don't's for the the egg retrieval and transfer days. A lot of it was review for me because I have a degree in reproductive endrocrinology from the Google School of Medicine.....but I think JW found it very informative.

Then we went out to eat at Maccaroni Grill. I had the chicken scallopine and it was great!! Now we're home and just kind of hanging out. I get to wear jeans to work on tomorrow and there will be a dessert for one of the secretaries birthday's. Woohoo!



I'm so glad to be done with the birth control phase of IVF. I'm hoping that my chest will shrink and I'll be able to fit into my bras for at least a few weeks.....we'll see what happens. The birth control pill was the part of IVF I was most worried about since my body responds weirdly and by weirdly I mean that my breasts grow. When I'm busting out of the DD bra I get a little nervous.

Now I feel like we're really moving forward....we're done with the BCP, we've had our mock transfer/hysterocopy, we went to out meeting. I know time is going to fly between now and retrieval and I'm predicting that it is going to crawl between transfer and beta.

****UPDATE: Today I ate lunch with the co-worker I wrote about earlier this week and some other ladies who work in the office. The conversation turned to kids and she mentioned that it took her almost three years to get pregnant the first time. This made me feel a little bad about writing about her on my blog. Then she went on to say that they got pregnant "like the day we started trying" for the second one......which made me feel less bad that I wrote about her on my blog. Her comments still irk me but I'll practice extending grace since she too knows that getting pregnant is not as easy as they made them sound in high school health.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Are you barren???

The youth group at our church is learning about the book of Genesis right now. We started at the beginning (literally) and have been reading and discussing it in our small groups. My small group consists of 9th and 10th grade girls. Tonight we got to chapter 11 where the Bible mentions Abram and his wife, Sarai, who is barren. We started to talk about what the word "barren" means. I was trying to emphasize that it meant she was unable to have children even though she was old enough to have kids, was married and wanted to have kids. And then here's what happens:

Jessica: So, like, I'm not barren because I am too young and don't want to have kids yet.
Me: Right. You are probably able to have kids but don't yet because you are unmarried and inschool.
Girls: smirks and giggles as they think about what it takes to make a baby and how they shouldn't be doing that at 15
Me: But Sarai is older, she's married and she's ready to have kids but can't.
Mariah: Are you barren?
I'm not sure what expression came across my face at this point but Mariah's next sentence was:
"Is it wrong to ask that?"

Seriously this is what came out of her mouth. I was totally caught off guard. I haven't discussed our situation with the girls from youth....I'm not sure how to explain infertility or what we're going through to them. I'm also not sure how having a baby will affect the time I spend with them and I'm not really ready to answer questions like "Are you still going to hang out with us if you have a baby?"

But back to the story. This gets me to thinking....Am I barren? Miriam Webster's online dictionary defines barren as:

1 : not reproducing: as a : incapable of producing offspring -- used especially of females or matings b : not yet or not recently pregnant c : habitually failing to fruit
2 : not productive: as a : producing little or no vegetation :

I'll be honest. The "incapable of producing offspring" part cuts like a knife. But I think I'm going to focus on the part that I made bold....the "Not YET pregnant" part.

I have identified with the women in the Bible who long for children--Sarai, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth. I've read their stories countless times but I don't think I've ever used the word "barren" to describe myself before.
The part that gives me hope is that I've read ahead of the girls so I know that eventually the Lord will change Sarai's name to Sarah and she will give birth to Isaac. I also know that Rachel, Hannah and Elizabeth all have sons later on. Obviously I can't read ahead in my own story but I'm hoping for the same blessing.

And as far as the girls are concerned I'm not quite sure how I responded...everything seems blurry after the "Are you barren?" part. I know that I didn't say "Yes" and for that I'm a little ashamed. I'm not just ashamed of being barren (which is a whole other post entirely) but I'm ashamed that I wasn't totally honest with my girls. Girls who are often brutally honest with me about their own lives.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thanks so much!!

Thanks for y'all's sweet and encouraging comments about my last post. Next time I hear the "well, now that I'm a mom...." line I will think about all my sweet internet friends and all your support.
I will probably also envision myself punching her as my sister suggested....HA!

I'll try to update more life has become hectic since school started!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

I know this is stupid....

Okay, I know before I write this post that what I'm about to say is kind of stupid....but I have to get it off of my chest so I can function.

One of my co-workers is driving me insane. She often makes comments along the lines of "Well, since I became a mom...." or "I'm a mom so...." For example, last year there was a bad thunderstorm headed our way that potentially contained hail. I mentioned how I hate it when it hails while I'm at school because I just think about how if I was home then my car would be parked safely in our garage. She replied with, "That's how we're so different. I'm a mom so I'm just worried about my mother-in-law going to pick up my daughter during a storm."

Now that example is from last spring but she seems to repeatedly make these types of comments that seem to have the underlying implication that I'm shallow and self absorbed because I don't have kids to worry about.
Honestly it just stings because everytime she makes a comment about being a mom I want to say, "Well, I'm trying to be a mom but it isn't really working out!!!"

I know this is dumb because I know that she doesn't really mean to be hurting my feelings by mentioning how she's a mom all the time. She does probably mean to imply that I'm shallow but whatever!!! I should probably just try to avoid her but that will be difficult since her office is acrossthe ahll from mine.

On an IVF note, I start Lupron tomorrow morning!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

A pedicure, an appointment and the first day of school...

This morning I treated myself to a manicure and pedicure. It was great to sit in the massaging chair and relax. My toes and hands look great.

Then I had an appointment at Dr. K's office. I wonder if he noticed how good my feet looked in the stirrups.....JW came with me because I was having a hysteroscopy and then we were going to learn about all of our meds. (I'm still working on the picture.) Anyway, as they begin the procedure Dr. K tells JW that JW can stand up if he can't see the screen. JW said he was okay sitting and not seeing. So, Dr. K took a look and told me that my uterus looked "perfect" although in my opinion it was pretty gross looking. Of course I look away during most of the surgery scenes on Grey's though. I was really nervous about the hysteroscopy for some reason but I think the anticipation was worse than the procedure itself.

The weird thing about the appointment today was that there was different music playing in the office. Usually there is just instrumental music but today there was modern Christian music playing. It was kind of weird and unexpected since my RE is Jewish. Anyway, as we were waiting for the hysteroscopy my favorite Third Day song came on. I posted about the song a while back. Here is a link to that post:
(I can't remember how to make the link imbedded in a word) This helped me calm down a lot about the procedure. This song and laughing with my husband beforehand.

Then we met with the medical assistant and she went over all the medications I'll be injecting over the next few weeks. When we walked out of the office JW says, "I didn't understand why she was telling me everything at first and then I realized that I'd have to give you the shots." Priceless. In all the discussion about IVF I'm not sure how he missed that part!!

I also learned that I only have to do the progesterone in oil (PIO) shots until we get a positive beta and then I can switch to prometrium. I was so excited because sometimes the shots have to be continued for weeks and I was not looking forward to that.

Tomorrow is the first day of back for teachers. It is weird this year to be getting more prepared for tomorrow than for the actual first day with kids. Working in the office means that I'm making at least 3 presentations during inservice week and facilitating some small group meetings. Tomorrow is my big day. The Monday that the kids show up will be almost relaxing because I'll get to be in my office working.

So tonight I have to pick out a cute outfit to wear tomorrow....something that will go with open toe shoes so I can show off my pedicure.


Friday, August 17, 2007

10 year reunion....

In high school one of my favorite teachers was pregnant and lamented how she was going to be REALLY big and pregnant at her high school reunion. This stuck in my head and has been floating around in there for years along with the thought of "I don't want to be pregnant at my high school reunion." And once trying to have a baby became a reality it never occurred to me that we'd still be trying at this point.

Of course after struggling with infertility I could care less whether I'm pregnant or not at the 10 year. I am suppose to be on the committee to plan the 10 year reunion. Secretly (and not so secretly) I could care less. I don't really care where it is or what the name tags are like. I just don't want to pay TONS of money to talk to people that I didn't care to keep in touch with over the last 10 years. I've been trying to come up with a way to get off of the committee but haven't been struck by any bolts of genius in that regard. I know that I could technically just say, "No" but that isn't a word that comes out of my mouth easily.

Now, here's the ironic thing.....they finally set a date for the reunion and emailed me about it today....if this IVF works I will be 39 1/2 weeks pregnant. I have a feeling that I won't even be attending the reunion at that now I'm kind of looking forward to IVF working becasue not only will I be pregnant (woohoo!!) but I'll also have an excuse to ditch all the planning stuff...which is a nice bonus.

I'm not terribly sad about this possibility of missing the reunion altogether since two of my good friends are getting married in Feb 2008 and March 2008 so I know I will see all the people I still talk to at those weddings. And yes, I still talk to people from high school. In fact, these two weddings both feature grooms that I met in the 6th grade!

Oh and on an IVF note, I got the HUGE box of medicine today. I took pics....which I'll post later!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One Year Blogiversary!!!!

Today is the one year mark from when I started this blog. A year ago we were just about to start clomid. I honestly didn't think we'd be dancing with infertility very long. I figured that we were young, JW's numbers were good, nothing seemed to be wrong with me.....I figured we take a little clomid and make some babies.

Here we are a year later and starting on the journey toward IVF. What a difference a year makes.

It has been a long road. The journey has been tough....emotionally and physically. And although I'm longing for a baby even more now than I was a year ago I can't say that the journey has been all bad. We have learned a lot along the way. JW and I have grown closer together and closer to the Lord. I have learned so many things about my husband that I wouldn't have known if we'd gotten pregnant on our own. I've also learned so many things about God too. He is good....even when my arms ache to hold my baby and my eyes are swollen from all the crying and my heart hurts beyond belief....He is good. He is faithful.

I'm also so excited about all the women I've "met" on this path toward parenthood. I have drawn so much encouragement from reading your blogs. Thank you for encouraging me. I am also 100 times more informed about what exactly the reproductive system does and how exactly an RE manipulates it than I was a year ago. Thank you for educating me. Thanks for being my internet friends. I wish we could all go out to dinner.....and not talk about infertility at all.

I also want to say a special thank you to my sister. I'm pretty sure that she is one of the only people who reads my blog and knows me in "real life." Chris, I love you and you have been such a source of strength for me through this journey. Your own journey to build a family through adoption has amazed me. I'm so thankful that the Lord blessed me with a sister who is such a close friend. I'm excited about the possibility of our kids being so close in age.....Cousins who aren't 5-25 years apart in age?? Can you imagine all the fun they will have??

As good as this has been I honestly hope that this blog eventually closes because I've moved on to a mommy blog. But until then I'll keep blogging away. Dance on!!

Good thing I got that Google School of Medicine Degree

Yesterday I was skimming through a book about IVF. It was given to me by a friend and is very informative...although I already know most of the info from the internet.
Anyway, I noticed something in the Stage #1 of IVF chapter that mentioned a hysteroscopy and mock transfer. We had discussed doing IVF back in June but it was cancelled because of our insurance but I did recall that the nurse at the time initially scheduled a hysteroscopy. The current nurse hadn't said anything about this during our phone conversations. So, I called and left a message that went something like this:

"I was wondering if I needed to schedule a hysteroscopy at some point. Also, I have to use F.reedom Drug and my insurance company likes to fill Gonal-F not Follistim. Call me!"

So she called back today to say that oh yes I definitely needed a hysteroscopy and to call the scheduler and set it up. So I call the scheduler and she told me that I had to do it before CD 10....which is Friday!! This is very frustrating to me because I've been off of work all last week and Monday and Tuesday of this week but I have a workshop to go to Wednesday and I'm a little frustrated that I had to be the one to call and suggest this procedure. I set up the hysteroscopy for Thursday at noon.

Later the nurse called me back and said "Oh, it doesn't have to be done by CD 10. Monday will be fine." I mentioned the F.reedom Drug and Gonal-F business again and she seemed confused again. I have this sinking feeling that they are going to call it into the wrong place again and then act put out when I call to correct it......but maybe they'll prove me wrong.

A running theme throughout this process seems to be that as a patient you have to be an advocate for yourself. I just wish that doctor's offices would be on the ball enough so that I didn't feel like I had to be my own advocate quite so much.
I wonder what would have become of me without my internet resources. We would probably just be having sex and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting.

Good thing I got that degree from the Google School of Medicine!!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

The burden of my heart...

In the past week I feel like a lot of people around me are hearing the word "No" or the word "Wait" from the Lord. We heard it when our IUI didn't work and if you're reading this and you heard it then you know who you are.

I read a story on another blog that I wanted to share here. It is the story about a mother and her oldest son. The boy tells her that "when I ask for something you say no half the time." And in the moment she replied, "Well then you should be thankful for the half of the time that I say Yes."
After a blow up later in the day she is apologizing and comforting her son and she tells him:

“I love you even more than you have the capacity to realize at your age. I want you to know that I will say “yes” to you whenever I can, but sometimes I have to say, “no.” There are times when I will be able to give you a good reason for the no, but sometimes I don’t have a reason that you will understand or even like. You’ll just have to trust me.”

And isn't that exactly what our Father would say to us. The Lord loves us more than we have the capacity to realize. He sent his only Son to die for us. The Lord sometimes says "yes" and sometimes says "no." And we don't always understand or even like the "no's" but we must trust that the Lord knows what is best for us because He is our Father and loves us.

So, I will say “Yes, Lord, I will trust you in the no’s. I will remember that you love me and I will recall all of your yes’s.”

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me. Psalm 138: 8.

If you want to check out more from this mom, their family blog is She has several things she has written on the side bar under "Leigh's thoughts" that are blow you away inspirations. Actually, the entire blog is a chronicle of this family's amazing journey to walk by faith and put their hope in nothing but Jesus Christ as their middle son battles cancer.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

CD 1 again....

Well, it's official. Today is cycle day 1 of cycle 24 in this journey. I start the birth control pill on Saturday. Have I discussed how ironic it is that I never took the pill to prevent pregnancy but now I'm taking it to try to get pregnant? The pill is actually the part about IVF that freaks me out.
I took birth control for maybe three months before we were married. It increased my bra size by two cups. Now, normally a woman might be excited about an increase in bra size but when the lady at the speciality bra shop where I buy bras told me that she thought I really needed an F but maybe could squeeze into an E I knew I was in trouble. A 28 F?? What a ridiculous bra size!! My mom started to freak out that I wasn't going to be able to fit into my wedding dress which had already been ordered so I stopped taking the pill and have been pill free ever since.
But I'm scared that this might make my chest grow again....and I totally don't want to deal with that.
Perhaps the fact that the pill is freakest part of IVF to me is a sign that I don't really know what I'm in for. I've read everything online about RE's website; stirrup queen's summary, random other articles, etc. They all pretty much say the same thing so I'm just ready to meet with my doctor next week to discuss exactly what we need to do.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Moving on up....

We got the call this afternoon that our beta was negative. IUI #3 with injectibles was a bust and we're moving on to IVF. Weirdly I'm totally okay. I'm disappointed but excited and ready to move on to IVF.
So now we're just waiting on Aunt Flo to arrive so I can start the birth control pill and we'll be on our way.....The nurse told me a ton of stuff when she called but it is all kind of a blur....I know step one is to call when my period starts and step two is to take the pill. I'll figure out the details and ask questions on that first call I guess.

I know that 6 months ago I never imagined that we'd be doing IVF because I didn't know our insurance covered it and we certainly couldn't afford it out of pocket.....but they do cover it and here we go!! Once AF arrives this will be the 24th cycle of trying to conceive....2 years down....hopefully not long to go!


Friday, August 03, 2007

Sometimes I wonder if IUI is a big waste of time.

I have concerns about the whole IUI procedure. I understand the point of it all but....if you abstain for a few days before the IUI then you might miss the beginning of the "fertile window." In our case JW has either been out of town the days following the IUI or I've been so sick or uncomfortable because of a cyst that "exposure" after the IUI wasn't even a possibility. So basically we have cycles were the one IUI is our only chance. For this reason I'm not that shocked that the first 4 IUIs haven't worked and I'm not to optimistic about this one. Of course with IUI you have about a 20% chance of conceiving and this is our fifth statistically it should happen, right??? Ah, if it only worked that way.

On a side note, I have been going around and around with Dr. K's office about the first visit we ever had with them. They billed it to our insurance as "routine" and the insurance said, "RE consults, pelvic exams and ultrasounds are not routine--DENIED." So since then EVERY time I go to the RE the receptionist tells me "You have a balance on your account." And EVERY time I explain that it has to be resubmitted to our insurance and that I've left countless messages for the insurance girl at the office. Finally, I spoke to the insurance girl and she told me that I needed to contact the other office and talk to the billing coordinator there because she didn't know if she would remember to call her....wait a second, isn't that your job?? Oh well, we have already discussed that Dr. K needs to put me on the payroll HERE
So today I received yet another bill but upon discussion with the insurance found that they had paid it and Dr. K's office should be getting the money today....Woohoo!! I'm so excited that the next time I go I won't have to hear "You have a balance on your account."

Now all I need to do is sort out why in the world the ARTs clinic build JW's semen analysis and prep for IUI as "routine" as well.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Saturday Night at the local Kwik-E-Mart

So what do you do for fun on the weekends? This past weekend we went to dinner with my sister and her husband than we cruised the local Kwik-E-Mart. We had so much fun and yes, we took pictures in a 7-11....don't judge. Anyway, here are a few of the pics. There are more posted on the other blog.