The Beginning of a Life, The End of Another...

28 August 2014

Some thoughts on my grandma and her death on the eve of her birthday (August 29th).

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My grandma passed away on September 27, 2013. She had a massive stroke (it wasn't her first), was left severely disabled, and several weeks later, died from an infection she contracted while in a nursing facility. I was a few months pregnant from IVF #2 at the time. I was advised by my doctors not to visit her in the intensive care unit of the hospital, and later, at the nursing home where she was sent to "recover". Recover is in quotes because the nursing home eventually killed her. I never got the chance to hold her hand and tell her I loved her. I never got the chance to tell her how sorry I was that she had suffered a crippling stroke. My mom was going to try and set up a Facetime conversation, but she passed away before that happened.

It was stressful and traumatizing to see her in that state of being. My mom's face when she talks about the dark days after my grandma's stroke tells me everything that she will never actually say out loud. My grandma couldn't really speak or do anything for herself anymore. A fiercely independent woman couldn't even brush her own teeth.

Almost a year after her death, I am left feeling very sad and empty. I didn't get to say goodbye. There was no finality. My daughter is now here, and I am constantly reminded around every corner that my grandma is gone. I have visions of her when I go places we used to go together. I am haunted by what could have been; what should have been.

She was a quiet woman, and rarely ever discussed anything deeply personal. She lost her own mother when she was only thirteen years old. She never spoke of it to me. In the throes of our first IVF cycle, she told me she prayed every night that I would have a baby. I cherished every word of that short conversation we had about my infertility. She knew I was hurting, and there was nothing she could do about it. But her words gave me strength. I knew she was there for me.

When I found out I was pregnant, it gave me so much joy to call her and tell her the news. She was so happy for me and L. I never really talked to her again after that. It brings me some comfort to know that she knew I was pregnant. She didn't get to meet the baby, but she knew there was a baby. I like to believe that she is the reason the baby was a girl. She was working a little magic from up above. The passing of one strong female was making way for the arrival of another tiny strong female.

I won't get into the endless memories I have growing up with my grandma. There are way too many to count. I was lucky to know her for over thirty years. She was an amazing woman: smart, graceful, beautiful beyond words. She is a role model to me, and an inextricable link in the chain of my family's history. I miss her every day. I love her more every day. In her absence, I have an even deeper appreciation for the woman she was. She lives on in my mind and in my heart. One day, my daughter will hear stories and will see pictures of her great-grandmother who loved her so much even though they never had the chance to physically meet.

I love you, Grammy! Happy Birthday!



Baby Update: 21 WEEKS!

5 August 2014

Baby K is 21 weeks old today! 

I was terrible at documenting my pregnancy. I don't have those week by week adorable belly photos where I'm frolicking in a garden. Instead, I have a bunch of random iPhone photos of me standing in our teeny tiny bathroom in front of a dirty mirror. Regardless, they are going in the baby book (that I stopped writing in).

We also haven't done weekly photos of Baby K. I know, new mommy fails left and right! But, rest assured, there are literally thousands of photos of her. They just aren't exactly organized. I did buy those month stickers for her first twelve months, and we have been semi-good about taking her monthly photos. One of my mommy resolutions is to get it together in the photo department. I absolutely loved staring at all my baby albums when I was young (a little narcissist in the making), and I figure K might just be interested one day, too.

Baby K is 21 weeks old today. She is almost FIVE months old. Whaaaaat?! Every parent says this, but she is growing so, so fast. Too fast. Every day we get a new glimpse into her personality, and this little girl is quite a spit fire! She isn't shy about expressing herself, often with a loud voice! She's friendly and warm, and already makes us laugh so much (despite the fact that most of her jokes are fart jokes). I don't know where she gets all this fire from, but I think it skips a generation. I'm reserved like my grandma, and my mom is a spit fire. So, I supposed she gets it from my mama!

It is beyond a privilege and a joy to be K's mommy. I am grateful every day. She is my world, and my husband's world, and we would do anything for her. When I think about the road we traveled to get to where we are today, I haven't forgotten how tough it was. But those memories are slowing drifting off and making room for new memories with our little IVF miracle. We love her so much.



Catching Up: The Birth Story

2 July 2014

I woke up on the morning of March 11th feeling good. I got a decent night's rest (by pregnancy standards), and I was trying to remain as calm as possible. I showered, dried my hair, and even put a little make-up on. I remember being much more of a basket case on the morning of our wedding! L busied himself with making sure we had everything packed in the car. We got a little giddy over taking the car seat with us. The empty car seat was sitting in our living room for weeks. The empty crib was assembled and waiting in our room. The changing table was all organized and filled with various baby-related items. I had been staring longingly at all of these unused items and furniture for a long time, and couldn't believe that the next time we came home, we would be a family of three. We took a few last photos of my pregnant belly and our dogs, and then we were out the door.

The car ride there went smoothly. I got annoyed at L because he was SO chatty. For the first time all morning it dawned on me that he was nervous. His incessant talking was infringing on my zen mood! We got in a minor tiff about it, which is so typical of us. My zen mood wasn't even ruined by the fact that we were running almost an hour late for our 10 a.m. hospital check in. We got to the hospital, and I remember texting my mom that we were there. She planned to meet us there later once we were settled in our room. It didn't feel real. Was I really having a baby?!

We checked in at the front desk, and they took us right back to the labor/delivery room that would be ours for the next several hours. It was a beautiful room that overlooked the Hollywood sign. The view was calming to me, and I recall looking out the window a lot throughout the course of the morning. It was a good reminder that it was just a normal day for most people, but for us, it would be life changing.

Our nurse, Ashley, checked us in, and together we discussed every detail of the labor and delivery process. Ashley was such a huge help! I was so thankful that we had scored such an amazing labor nurse. She told us her shift was ending at 7 p.m. that evening, so it was unlikely that she would be around for the birth of our baby. (Spoiler alert: the baby arrived well before 7 p.m.) But, she reassured us that we were in good hands no matter what.

By the time Ashley finished asking me a million and one questions, placing my IV, and getting me all comfy in my hospital bed, it was noon. My doctor had already called into the hospital, and was wondering what was taking so long. His original plan was to start me on Pitocin, and break my water on his lunch break. We hadn't even started the Pitocin and it was lunch time! At that point, I felt a little bad for being almost an hour late for our check-in. Oops. During this time, my mom arrived, and it was so nice to see her face. I had my husband and my mom there, and I was ready.

Nurse Ashley brought in the bag of Pitocin and started her up. She quickly explained about the monitors, and showed us how we could watch my contractions on the screen. She told us that the machines would sometimes beep, but not to get too alarmed by the beeping. Usually it meant that one of the transducers she had placed on my belly had shifted or fallen off. Then she introduced us to a new nurse who would watch me while she went on her lunch break.

I was only on Pitocin for what felt like a few minutes, before a super friendly doctor waltzed in the door. He introduced himself as Dr. F and said he was sent there by my doctor to break my water. I was so nervous throughout the entire process. It ended up not being too painful; just uncomfortable. Once my water broke, we discovered there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. This was the first time all day that I began to feel anxious. Dr. F reassured me that it was okay, and that everything would be fine. I was still worried, but couldn't dwell on it for long, because the painful contractions took over.

When the contractions first started they felt like a small wave of menstrual cramps. I could talk through them, and they were popping up every ten minutes or so. I knew that it was only going to get worse, but I tried not to focus too much on how bad it might get. From Day 1, I was fine with getting an epidural, so for me it was just a matter of figuring out when I wanted the epidural. In birth class, we talked a lot about how getting an epidural could stall labor and possibly lead to needing a C-section. I was trying to avoid a C-section, so I became fixated on the idea that getting an epidural "too early"= C-section.

After my water broke, everything started moving very quickly. They upped my Pitocin one notch, and the contractions were becoming painful. I couldn't talk through them, and I was laying there like a beached whale, sweating, and holding onto the bed railing. Nurse Ashley wasn't even back from her lunch break yet. At some point, the charge nurse came in, took one look at me, and asked if I wanted my epidural. I looked up at her and remember blurting out that I didn't want the epidural to slow down labor. She responded that she didn't think there was any reason I should be in this much pain, unless, of course, I wanted the pain. I quickly consulted with my "team" (L and my mom), and agreed that I wanted the drugs.

Side note: I liked that the nurses, doctors, and hospital staff never made me feel bad or weak for getting an epidural. In fact, they encouraged me to do whatever I felt I needed to do. I appreciated the lack of judgment regardless of my stance on pain medication.

The charge nurse called the anesthesiologist, and he and his team were in my room in a matter of minutes. I was off on another planet trying to breathe through contractions while some doctor that must have been part of the anesthesiology team asked me a bunch of questions. The charge nurse was like, "She's in pain. She can't really answer your questions." Did I mention that I loved the charge nurse? I wish I got her name. She held my hands while they administered the epidural. It wasn't painful at all (from what I can remember), and soon after, I was feeling much better...on one side.

One side of my body was completely numb, and the other side was feeling full on contractions. I started panicking because I had read birth stories where the epidural didn't work for some reason or another. I really didn't want to be one of those stories. Also, I hadn't mentally prepared myself for the scenario of "What if the pain meds don't work?" But before I had a full on panic attack, Nurse Ashley was back and she upped my epidural and then turned me on my other side. She explained that when they go in to place the epidural, they go in blindly. Sometimes it goes off to one side or another. The medicine was likely pooled on one side of my body, so I needed to roll over so it could work on my other side. I have no idea if I described that correctly. All I know is that I was overjoyed to get some relief from the pain.

I remember rolling over, and feeling a little light headed and strange. However, I just chalked it up to the epidural taking effect. Nurse Ashley left the room, and I tried to relax and get some rest. I didn't get much rest before one of the machines I was hooked up to began beeping. We didn't freak out because Ashley had told us earlier about the transducers acting up. So we calmly called her, and she was at our door right away. She took a look at the baby's heartbeat, and started moving the transducer thing around on my belly. Apparently, the baby's heart rate had either sped up or slowed down significantly. I can't remember clearly, because Ashley had me rolling all around on the bed in different directions. She decided she was going to check me vaginally, and it was then that all hell broke loose. Apparently, I was one sneeze, cough, or fart away from having my baby.

WHAT?

I was told to close my legs, and Ashley had her phone out and was calling my doctor. He was in the office treating patients. When he got the call, he apparently dropped everything he was doing, jumped in his car, and flew over to the hospital. They wheeled in all of this birthing equipment, and everyone was getting dressed in their bio-hazard looking suits. I was given oxygen, which Ashley told me was for the baby, and not for me. She said the baby was stressed out from all the contractions. She was actually in the birth canal and about to shoot out of me. A nurse who I will refer to as Nurse Bertha (because she looked stern and like she doesn't fuck around) was brought in to deliver the baby if my doctor couldn't make it on time. I briefly recall her reading a book in the corner, and then talking to the other nurses about her upcoming vacation to Disneyland. She was an old pro and none of this phased her one bit.

This entire time, I hadn't felt anything. Ashley explained that when I felt light headed and woozy before, it wasn't the epidural taking effect. I was actually in transition, and the baby was descending. Luckily, my doctor made it to the hospital quickly and sprinted in just in time. I was trying my best to stay calm. It was all very surreal. Before I knew it they were hoisting me up, and coaching me on how to push. All I can remember is that I was supposed to push as if I was trying to take a huge dump. Well, okay. This simple task became disproportionately difficult, because I couldn't feel my ass. I couldn't feel anything below my waist, and I was getting frustrated. Everyone kept saying, "PUSH", and I kept yelling back, "I can't feel anything!"

At one point, my doctor looked me in the eyes, and said, "You're doing just fine. You're fine." After that, I gave one final push, and the baby was born. I felt her slide out, and watched them put her on my chest. She was screaming. I stared at this beautiful creature that had just popped out of me. I had no idea what to do. I was frozen. But, before I could actually say or do anything, they whisked her away. She had inhaled some meconium. At the same time, I was laying on the bed, spread eagle, and my doctor was repairing what I would learn much later was a third degree perineal tear.

I kept asking L and my mom, "Is she okay? Is the baby okay?" And they kept saying she was doing okay, but it was still a very scary few minutes. I remember glancing over at the other end of the room where they were "working" on my little baby. There were probably ten people surrounding the warmer, so I couldn't see any part of her. I couldn't hear her. I felt like I was free falling. L was by the baby's side the entire time. We didn't have that whole husband/wife coach/player connection that likely occurs when you have a much longer laboring experience. L was by my side, but everything happened so fast, that we were both a little in shock. From start to finish, I checked into the hospital around 10:45-ish and the baby was born at 4:28p.m. Nobody expected this. Since this was my first baby, I was told repeatedly that I could be in labor for a really long time. Nurse Ashley exclaimed, "You were made to have babies!" I chuckled to myself given how insane that sentiment sounded to me.

After what seemed like forever, I finally got to hold my baby. The pediatric specialist that was working on her explained that it was taking extra effort for her to breathe, and they needed to make sure that everything was cleared out of her lungs before they let me hold her again. She scored 8's on her APGAR tests at both one and five minutes. I was a little bothered and concerned by that, being the nerdy ass student I am, but she was perfectly healthy.

She had one eye open, and she was staring directly at me. This was my baby. Two surgeries, one round of IUI, two rounds of IVF, four and a half years of wondering, questioning, and agonizing over whether we would ever have a child. Countless months of bleeding, cramping, negative pregnancy tests, painful fertility testing, depression, anxiety, and total and complete loss of self.

She was finally here, and our lives just got a hell of a lot more awesome.



Catching Up: The Pre-Birth Story

19 June 2014

I am writing the details of these "Catching Up" posts in bits and pieces. Gone are the days when I can write an entire post in one sitting. I write a little here and there, usually in the evenings after the baby has gone to sleep. Here is an account of the final few weeks of my pregnancy.

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Almost the entire time I was pregnant, I didn't really think too much about the whole "giving birth" part of the deal. My "birth plan" was simple. I wanted to labor and deliver at a hospital, and I was not opposed to any measures that would keep my baby and myself safe. I was hoping for a vaginal birth, but, if I needed a C-section, I needed a C-section. The baby's health was my only concern. In my mind, I was being such a super relaxed, go with the flow, wind in my hair, chilled out mama. But, in actuality, I was scared shitless about what pushing a large object out of my vagina was going to entail, and I was basically hiding under a blanket hoping it didn't happen to me.

Looking back, I wish I had done more research and learned more about *cough* perineal tears. Spoiler alert: I tore. It was bad. I was not one of those ladies who prances around the day after giving birth, poses for photos in a robe that matches their newborn's onesie, and then goes for a light jog after being discharged from the hospital. No, no, NO. I was a HOT MESS. I actually couldn't believe the hospital let me go in the state I was in. They abandoned me with a screaming newborn, some Colace, and a pile of gigantic maxi pads the size of my head. But, another story for another time.

My due date was March 3, 2014. Officially, I think it was March 2nd according to the measurements at our 20 week anatomy scan, but when anyone would ask me when I was due, I would say March 3rd.

Starting at 37 weeks of pregnancy, I started seeing my doctor every week for check-ups. It became a little routine for us. We would go in for our check-up, and then I would reward myself with a Georgetown Cupcake. By the way, L took me to every appointment except one. That's L. Our birth coach spent a good amount of time poking fun at how ridiculous Type A, anal retentive husbands can be during labor. Some women don't like being fawned over. Some women do. L didn't fawn over me during labor (because I told him I would want him to back off. When I'm in any kind of pain, step off), but he was there for me and he still is. That's L. Good man.

At my 39 week appointment, my doctor declared that my cervix was softening (I think I was 80% effaced) and I was one to two centimeters dilated. He told me to pack my hospital bags, because the baby could come at any time. We had prepared for this moment for months and months (years, actually), and I was a mix of nerves and excitement. I called everyone I am close to and told them to get ready...she was on her way! Obviously, I had no way of knowing that the wait would last another two and a half weeks.

At my 40 week check-up, I was like, "Soooo, how about that baby?" And my doctor was like, "You're getting closer!" Then he striped my membranes. Or, I think he striped my membranes? He didn't really tell me what he was doing down there, but I nearly jumped off the exam table it was so painful. Whatever he did was more than a cervix check. That's my doctor though. He never really explained anything to me for nine months. After I had my cervix/tonsil check, I hobbled out of the office, and became convinced that something was finally happening. I was starting to feel light contractions, and my doctor even said he would be surprised if I didn't deliver within the next few days. Ha HA.

For the next week, I had inconsistent contractions. I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvic region, and {TMI alert} I had a day and a half where my body performed its own natural cleanse. I was pumped. I had learned in birth class that this was a positive sign that your body was preparing for labor. Score! Now I just had wait for my water to break, and we would be on our way.

I hit the 41 week mark with the same light contractions, but nothing really changed. I was now 100% effaced and still one to two centimeters dilated. I was really anxious to get the show on the road. I felt huge. After expressing his shock and awe that I was still pregnant, my doctor told me he would support whatever I wanted to do, but he wouldn't let me go past 42 weeks. Joy. We decided that 10 a.m. on March 11th would be my induction time, because being 42 weeks pregnant sounded like an awful idea to an exceedingly uncomfortable me. If the baby hadn't made her appearance by then she would be met with Pitocin.

My quick thoughts on induction. First off, I never thought I would need to be induced. At 39 weeks, my body and the baby felt ready to go. It goes to show that you can never really predict anything when it comes to labor. It's such a crap shoot. Second, I was deathly afraid of Pitocin because everything I read said that it would cause contractions to speed up and feel like they were ripping you in half. Due to the fact that I got induced, I had nothing to compare my contractions to. They definitely ramped up rather quickly and felt strong to me, but it wasn't like I had been in active labor for hours and then they introduced the Pitocin. Also, they only had to increase my Pitocin once, and I was good to go. So I would say "Don't fear Pitocin" but every body and every birth is different. All in all, I am cool with the fact that I was induced. Do I wish that I had gone into labor naturally? Of course. But, at 41 weeks, 3 days, I felt like my little baby cooked as long as she needed to cook. We were ready to meet the tiny dictator.

The morning of the induction with our fur babies, Emma and Henry!
Up next: Baby's fast and furious birth and some thoughts on postpartum recovery.



Catching Up: It's Positive...Huh?

6 June 2014

I am going to attempt to pick up where I left off last June. I feel terrible about disappearing and failing to post any updates after sharing so many details about my IVF/infertility experiences. I was in a weird place. I will explain a little more down below. It has been a wild ride. Let's see what I remember.

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To state the obvious: our second IVF cycle worked. Getting a positive test after almost five years of negatives was the most surreal feeling. I was on Cloud 9 for maybe half a day? After that I immediately began over-analyzing my beta levels (HcG) and tearing my hair out over whether the numbers were rising quickly enough. Are they doubling? Why aren't they doubling? What does that mean?! My doctor's office was like, "Chill out, your numbers are great!" But I was completely paranoid. If you are going through fertility treatments and get a positive test, don't ever Google anything related to beta levels. It'll get ugly really fast.

After obsessing over my blood levels, then came the early ultrasounds with my fertility doctor. Hands down one of the coolest aspects of IVF is that you have the earliest photos EVER of your kid. Is it weird that I still occasionally stare at a photo of my daughter as a five day old blastocyst? I'm in complete awe.

We finally "graduated" from our reproductive endocrinologist to our OBGYN when I was about ten weeks along. Actually, the fertility clinic had to kick my ass out of their office. I knew I had to move on, but I had grown so attached to my RE and the nurses that it was pretty painful to leave them.

I had bad "morning" sickness nearly the entire nine months. I had to be on prescription medication until the day I delivered. My OB kept saying, "It should go away by 15 weeks." "Oh, it'll be gone by 20 weeks." Then, "Well, sometimes it hangs on until 24 weeks." Finally, at like 35 weeks, he shrugged his shoulders and admitted that I was just "one of those women" that feels like shit for 40 weeks. Thanks, Dr. K. Do I at least get a special trophy or something with my name on it? Nope? Okay then. Moving on. Also, I want to note that I did not have hyperemesis gravidarum. I was in bad shape, but it never got that bad. Those poor women.

Let's see...what else can I share about the pregnancy. I didn't have a baby shower despite some generous offers to host one for me. I resisted going to birth classes for months until my OB made me feel like a total shit for not going. Then I signed up and learned how long I should hold out before getting an epidural. Kidding. Sorta. I did get to roll around on a birth ball with a bunch of other pregnant women, and that was pretty fun.

All in all, pregnancy did not come easy for me. I was a nauseous hermit most of the time.

The stress of infertility never really goes away. It just kinda morphs. You stress about getting pregnant, and then when you finally achieve that, you worry about staying pregnant. I had a lot of trouble acknowledging the pregnancy out of fear that I would jinx myself. That fact alone became more and more ridiculous as I was walking around with a huge growing belly.

It was definitely a lonely time. I felt like I didn't fit in anywhere. I was pregnant. So, understandably, I couldn't go cry to anyone with fertility issues. But I still carried the hurt and trauma of so many years of struggle. It was all very confusing and conflicted, and it kinda broke my heart every time I sensed myself being weird when I wished I could just be carefree and happy.

Ultimately though, those forty one and a half weeks that I carried my daughter were the greatest gift of my life. I can say this now that I have given birth and I am looking back on all of it. At the time, I was so wrapped up in surviving each day of the pregnancy, it just wasn't possible to really enjoy myself.




Changes

5 May 2014

First off, Happy New Year...five months late! 

I haven't been around for awhile. There are a few reasons for my absence. The most important being this...


After almost five years of trying to get pregnant, our sweet baby girl was born March 11, 2014. 

I hope to explain more later. There are a lot of stories to tell.

In the meantime, I have been attempting to update my Instagram whenever I have a free moment. You can find me there.


A Transfer & Some Waiting.

15 June 2013

On Friday morning, I had two beautiful 5 day old blastocysts transferred into my body. All along I was praying that we would make it to this day...and it finally happened. The transfer procedure was very quick. We looked at our two little ones under a microscope and watched them via ultrasound machine as they were placed back inside me for the next nine months (we hope). Before I knew it, I was in my bed resting for the remainder of the day. They gave us a picture of the little blasts to go home with, and I can't stop ogling it. The beauty of that cluster of cells was enough to knock me off my feet. There is something so incredible about this process.

Now we wait, we pray, we laugh, and we love. We have been through a lot to get to this point, but the show isn't over yet. Hopefully, it has just begun.

Thank you to everyone who have kept us in your thoughts and prayers. We are very grateful for all of your support and love!



Lucky 13.

10 June 2013

I wanted to pop on here and provide a little update for anyone who is following along.

21 eggs retrieved.
15 mature.
13 fertilized.

I am taking it easy while recovering from my egg retrieval. The retrieval went pretty well, aside from the horrible nausea upon waking up from the anesthesia and some aches and pains. The lab called this morning and told me that of the 21 eggs that were retrieved, 15 were mature, and 13 of the mature eggs fertilized normally.

We are very, very cautiously optimistic. Let me explain.

For a normal woman going through IVF, these appear to be great numbers. HOWEVER, retrieving eggs and getting them to fertilize doesn't appear to be our issue (judging from IVF#1). Our issue is getting these little embryos to survive to their day 5 transfer and beyond. So crunch time really sets in for us after fertilization (a.k.a. in the next few days).

We were also slightly disappointed because our last IVF looked like this on day 1 post-retrieval:

23 eggs retrieved.
15 mature.
15 fertilized.

I was preparing myself for the fact that we would not be able to live up to a 100% fertilization rate like with IVF #1. However, when you actually hear the embryologist telling you that you have less embryos to work with this time around than your last IVF (which failed) you tend to get nervous. Last time, we lost all of our embies except the two that we transferred (which didn't take). So naturally all kinds of questions and thoughts are swirling around in my head. For the most part, it is just too early to tell if this cycle is any different from the last one. But, I am scared.

Prayers and good thoughts welcomed for our (hopefully) lucky 13.



Eye of the Tiger

7 June 2013

Well, folks, we are approaching one of the most crucial stages of any IVF cycle: the egg retrieval. This Sunday, I will faithfully don a sexy hairnet and flattering hospital gown. I will be under light anesthesia while my doctor carefully goes in and extracts my eggs. Then, they will (hopefully) fertilize and grow healthy and strong in preparation for the egg transfer sometime next week.

For IVF1, I remember being nervous, excited, and giddy. I remember affectionately patting my slightly swollen belly and talking to my little eggs. Awwww, such a heart warming scene. This time around, there have been no heart warming scenes. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited. But this cycle has taken so much more out of me. Walking into our doctor's office lobby, I look like an IVF cautionary tale. That scary, exhausted woman with ruffled hair and glazed over eyes that makes you want to run out of the office? That's me. I am bloated, crampy, nauseous, and still dizzy. But, I am hanging in. Hanging on. Clawing my way to the finish line. We are throwing everything but the kitchen sink into this IVF cycle. Any random vial or syringe of fertility medication my doctor has happened to stumble upon in his office has been injected in my belly; my pudge, as I have been lovingly calling it. This time around, I can't even lightly pat my belly, because my belly fucking hurts.

I am living in yoga pants. I have had way more sex this week with my doctor's ultrasound wand than I have had with my husband in longer than I would like to admit. But, when it comes down to it, if this is what gets me to my future baby then this is what gets me to my future baby. I have resigned myself to this fact.

It is "eye of the tiger" time. Let's do this shit.



IVF Part Deux

4 June 2013

Here are some details about IVF Part Deux.
  • We just finished Day 8 of the stimulation injections in preparation for the egg retrieval which is coming up probably at the end of this week! 
  • This cycle has been a lot tougher for me physically. The second Lupron Depot shot really did a number on me, and I have been off balance, dizzy, and fatigued for days upon days. It makes sense. The Lupron sucked almost all the estrogen out of my body (my estrogen level was less than 20 when we started this cycle), and now estrogen is pumping back into my body at warp speed. This IVF protocol is intense and aggressive, and my poor body is so confused. 
  • I almost fainted at my doctor's office due to the above bullet point. That was kinda embarrassing. 
  • My belly looks like someone with a tiny fist punched me and caused bruises on both sides of my belly button. I have to do more shots than I did for IVF #1, and I am worried we are going to run out of room on my stomach. 
  • In other Lupron news, my hot flashes and night sweats are gone. I no longer feel so angry and troll-like. I imagine that normally it might take longer for the Lupron side effects to go away, but since I am amped up on fertility meds, maybe some of my side effects are disappearing at a faster rate? 
  • This cycle is going to be considerably more expensive than IVF #1. This time around I was under-suppressed due to the Lupron, so I am taking more drugs to get my follicles going. The under-suppression makes me nervous, but my doctor doesn't seem to be too worried. 
  • Menopur shots burn like a mofo. After numerous painful experiences, L and I have found that injecting the liquid very, VERY slowly helps a ton. 
  • Last cycle, I was obsessed and paranoid about doing everything the "right" way. I listened to an IVF meditation CD. I did fertility yoga. I saw my acupuncturist. It was a picture perfect cycle...until it wasn't. This time around, I am not doing any of that mostly because I have been so freaking dizzy. Also, I have done so much preparation for this cycle as it is, so I am just trying to chill out and let my body do its thing. I believe in my body. I am so proud of my body. I know that it is working its absolute hardest. 
  • My brave husband, L, gives me my shots every night just like with IVF #1. But, this time, we are having fun with it, and we play Daft Punk and Pharrell's "Get Lucky" during the injections to cut the tension in the air. Playing music in the background really seems to help. Please oh please say we get lucky this round!!

Lastly, L and I are taking this time to just love one another and thank our lucky stars that we have such amazing families and so much support in our lives. This is a very special time for us, and we are taking it all in. 


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