Thursday, July 31, 2014

Things I'll do differently...

Recently, a friend of mine who is going to start going through IVF shortly & who has been sharing her journey on Facebook shared this article after I had just read on someone’s Instagram that one thing she attributes her IVF success to is laughter immediately following the transfer.  This got me thinking about a few things I might do differently this time around and thought I’d share.

Laughter—if you remember from last time the day of the transfer I found out about 5 minutes before it was time to leave that Joe wasn't going to make it home from work in time.  He works out in the middle of BFE most of the time in cornfields and on farms.  He also usually works at least 30+ miles from home so it can be a challenge for him to get away.  It was nothing that we could do anything about, but I was really upset the entire way there.  I cried most of the way, (it’s an hour drive) and I was angry, hormonal, and frustrated, definitely not the way you want to go into an embryo transfer.  What should've been a special moment was just really aggravating to me.  For our next transfer on September 4th we will be sure that Joe is available so that I can be as relaxed as possible both on the way there and the way home.  I’m planning to bring my iPad with so that I can turn on Netflix and get a few laughs from some Archer or Family Guy.  I’ll put this article to the test.

seriously, when I think of clowns I think of Pennywise, not this super cute pink-haired clown with hearts on her face.

Stricter Bed Rest—although they say that bed rest can’t be directly linked to the success or failure of IVF, if the doctor recommends it, (which mine does) then I’m doing it.  I had two days of bed rest last go-around which was plenty, but I did not do nearly as much relaxing, especially immediately following the transfer, as I should’ve.  I was up and down the stairs trying to get cell phone service, I was lifting up the dog onto the bed for two day straight.  He’s only 20 pounds, but that was my limit.  I plan to be a little stricter on myself this next cycle. 

Pineapple core—do you guys remember the review I did on The Fertility Advisor? If you’re looking for some real expertise on fertility, Smita is your girl.  She is medically trained, and has gotten pregnant via IVF!  She beat infertility!  Back in late January I had a consultation with Smita and one of the things that she suggested was eating 5 pieces of pineapple, including the core, for 5 days after a transfer.  Pineapple core contains bromelain which has been said to aid in implantation.  Purely anecdotal, but worth a shot!

Acupuncture—I’m not 100% sold on this yet, but I do have an appointment on Monday in Peoria.  It was also something that was recommended by The Fertility Advisor, but I wasn't ready to take her suggestion too seriously at that time.  Now that I've gotten farther along on my journey, it is something to consider. 

Diet—I won’t really do much different than I did for my last cycle.  I do need to change my current eating habits because they’re horrible.  Once I got that BFN all I wanted was a giant glass of wine & 5 slices of pizza.  I’ve been carrying on with that more than I’d like to.  I’m giving myself until the day I start Lupron injections, August 7th, to be lax on the diet, then I will continue a high protein/low carb diet.  Lots of eggs, whole grains, leafy greens, fruits, veggies, etc. & will eliminate caffeine entirely.

Exercise—just like dieting, I won’t do much different than last cycle, but I do need to change my current exercise habits, because I have none.  I hadn’t been to Curves in over 3 weeks.  Tuesday was my first day back.  After the transfer I will need to take another break.

Essential Oils--I've heard a lot about essential oils lately & I'm lucky enough to have a family member who sells them and uses them avidly & she's going to send me some samples.  What really sold me was my girl Caroline at In Due Time shared some really interesting facts about oils and which oils are meant to treat fertility issues in women and men.  For women, according to Caroline, Progessence Plus, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, & Endoflex are recommended and for men, Mister, Blue Idaho Spruce, Clary Sage, & Endoflex.  If you'd like to know more about these oils and their benefits, check out Caroline's Blog.  Also, this is a really good video that explains what essential oils are and their benefits, and the way that they treat infertility.  They also discuss the importance of a well balanced diet for infertility treatment.  It is a bit lengthy, over an hour, but well worth the watch if you have some extra time.  
To some, these things might just sound silly, the might sound like quite a stretch, you might be skeptical of them.  Pineapple core, completely anecdotal, & laughter after a transfer?  If that’s the key to success, why aren’t all clinics equipped with a “humor clown”.  I know that IVF success cannot be attributed directly to these things, but when you’ve been trying for three years, you’re willing to try anything.  I remember before we were referred to an RE for infertility someone told me to stand on my head after sex, well, I was so desperate for something to work that I did it.  In the middle of my living room I stood on my head and had Joe hold my legs.  I don’t know if doing any of these things will truly help my cycle be successful, but I am willing to try just about anything.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guest Posting at September FARM!!

Guest posting today over at September FARM today!! Go check it out! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

FET Scheduled!

Well, we’re already moving right along for our next FET! I am a person with very low patience so for me, moving this quickly is just what I want. The plan for our first FET is to start BCP tonight. I will take that until August 10th. I’m also supposed to start Lupron injections a.k.a. suppression shots on August 7th. I will take these for roughly 19 days. My transfer is scheduled for September 4th, about six weeks away. I am excited that we have a plan. If you've been reading my blog for some time now, you know that I’m all about having a plan, but never expecting to stick to it. Things change, and I learned to accept that a long time ago. Luckily these types of plans really don’t have much room for adjustment. They’re pretty strict on what I need to do and when I need to do it. I will have a baseline ultrasound on August 15th to make sure everything looks good & that suppression is working as it should. At the speed that 90 days went by, these next 38 should be a breeze.

I am happy that I will be able to enjoy a little bit more of summer. One thing that we should be able to do for sure this year is our annual Labor Day camping trip that we take on the bike. We will take all of our camping gear, hop on the bike, and head northwest for some camping in the Galena area. It’s beautiful and we've been doing this for the last 4 years. It’s one of my favorite things that Joe and I do together. I remember last year riding up in New Glarus, Wisconsin thinking, if I’m not pregnant by this time next year, I’m buying myself my Indian Scout… well, here we are a year later & let’s be realistic, I’m not going to buy a motorcycle, I’m going to continue to try and get pregnant. The one thing that hasn't changed is the desire to have a baby of our own. If anything that desire has only gotten stronger.

By the time we do our transfer we will be one month shy of TTC for 3 years. It really hurts my heart to say that, to type it, read it, & comprehend that statement. THREE YEARS. I know there are so many out there who have been trying two or three times that, but it is still a harsh reality for me. So much so that I don’t know what I’ll do when I actually do become pregnant. It will take the entire pregnancy in order for me to believe that it’s actually true. I’ll have to see & hold that baby in my arms before my mind will be able to accept reality I’m sure. I can’t wait for that day.

So our plan is to transfer one single embryo again. This is a very personal choice for each and every couple going through IVF.  I know in my heart this is the right choice for us.  For me, the risk is just too great with multiple pregnancies, although even with the transfer of just one embryo, cells can split & multiples can happen. Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said it best; we want a healthy baby, not just a pregnancy. If our doctor ever recommended that we become more aggressive and transfer two, then we would take that into consideration, but at this time one is the magic number.

Unfortunately, this time around I’m already planning for failure. I haven’t quite gotten back my optimism towards this cycle yet, but it will come in time. That BFN is just still too fresh in my mind for me to have my attitude turned all the way back around.  I know that we will never give up this fight for our baby.  This is just a new chapter in our growing book of getting pregnant. For the next six weeks I’m going to focus on the progress of the house, and enjoy the rest of my summer. We are so incredibly blessed that we are building our house and just enjoying life in general. I know September will be here in the blink of an eye, so I’m going to do the best I can to have fun & enjoy what’s left of the summer.

Weekend Recap

The last weekend of July is officially over...that means that August is upon us, school will be back in session & summer will be quickly dwindling to an end.  Here in Illinois I feel like we haven't had as much of a summer as we usually do.  Going to take advantage of these next few weeks & do as much as possible before it's time to bust out the sweaters and boots again.

Friday night Joe and I went for dinner then to downtown Utica for a wine taste & a quick stop at a local bar. I was definitely needing a few cocktails after the week that I've had.  I also only ate soft pretzels and bottle caps for dinner (deep friend jalapeno slices).  I was being bad and I didn't care, I needed to indulge a bit.

Saturday morning I woke up to AF.  Hooray for CD1!  So glad that it came so quickly.  I will call the doctor's office to report this & hopefully schedule my next baseline ultrasound and get the plan for a new cycle.  This cycle we will be doing a frozen embryo transfer or FET.  The positive side of the FET is that I will not be using any stimulating medication to grow follicles.  I will only use progesterone and estrogen to thicken my uterine lining.  From what I am understanding & from what I've read online, it sounds like I will do an estrogen injection for a couple weeks prior to the transfer.  Another positive, this will be a lot less stressful & my hormones should be less intensified than they were for the live transfer.

The rest of Saturday was pretty uneventful.  I stopped out at the property to see the progress of the foundation.  Saturday night we watched a movie and drank some margaritas and ate pizza.  I have to admit, it was a pretty boring evening, but I have also come to appreciate these weekends when there's nothing to do.  I did (probably out of boredom) order around $1,500 worth of kitchen & bathroom stuff for the house including a hammered copper apron sink for our kitchen!  So pumped! 

This is the back of our house.  The two bump outs are one of my favorite features.  The one showing in both pictures is in the kitchen, we will have a built in banquet with a table, the farthest one is in our bedroom.  We will eventually put a door in it that will lead out to our patio... each side of the bump out will have a window letting in lots of natural light, I can't wait!

seriously, cannot wait for this!  It was an investment, but worth it!

Sunday we finally got to take a ride.  We went for lunch & a few brews a couple towns over, about 25 miles away.  We went to the Marina and had a beer and sat down by the water, then we headed back towards our property to see the sunflower field at Matthiessen park.  Matthiessen is a beautiful state park about 2 miles north of where we are building.  It's got trails, canyons, all kinds of great hiking, picnicking, and relaxing is done there.  Lots of people bring their dogs, there is a part referred to as "Frisbee land" where you can fly toy airplanes, it's a pretty legit place.  There's a huge field of sunflowers by the airfield that has become a popular place to sight see at the park.  We finally stopped out there & I'm so glad we did, it is so beautiful. It was a perfect afternoon on the bike.  It's the only positive for me after a failed IVF cycle because it's something that I love to do and it's a huge stress-reliever for me.  Hope we can get a few more good rides in before our FET in August.

Ready to kick this last week of July's ass and start moving forward with our next cycle.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Today is a new day.

Today I woke up after a night of on & off sleep, a lot of killer cramping, and some really weird dreams, feeling ok.  Not refreshed, not great, or even good for that matter, but OK.  I wanted more than anything to keep sleeping all day, laying in my bed & not seeing the sunlight, but if I stayed in that mindset too long I may never come out.  I got up and took a shower and did my normal thing.  I put my make up on, did my hair, and put on a cute outfit.  I came to work and put on a brave face.  I had a few vulnerable moments, but I worked myself through them without shedding any tears.  Throughout the day, I tried to remind myself of all of blessings that we already have in our lives to take my mind off of the ones that we don’t.

For some reason I keep finding myself thinking that there is a deadline or a finish line to getting pregnant, when in fact, there isn't.  There is nothing that says that I have to be pregnant by a certain time or date.  Of course my biological clock is probably starting a slow tick, but there is nothing saying that I have to be pregnant by this time or X will happen…I have to remind myself that this isn't the case.  Although I am ready to move forward, I’m ready for AF to show up; I’m ready to do my FET, like tomorrow, there is no predetermined end to this.  The end will be that we will get pregnant, when we get pregnant.  It will happen; we have plenty of frosties left to try with.

I would've loved for this cycle to work on the first try, but maybe that wasn't a very realistic expectation.  So many women have reached out to me to say that their first cycle did not work.  That it took a FET for to get that BFP, that maybe I had some mild OHSS, that my body was on overload and an FET is just what I need.  I’m hoping that this is the case for me. 

I started to think about what I've learned from this process, and what I've determined is that strength is something I thought I knew a lot about because of other issues in my past, but really I knew nothing about it. And that perseverance is a requirement to beat infertility.  Simply put, YOU CANNOT GIVE UP.  You have to accept the fact that it probably won’t work on the first, second, or third time.  If it does, then consider yourself to be lucky.  I've learned that infertility is actually really common, 1 in 8 couples are infertile, but it’s not talked about nearly enough. People aren't educated about it like they should be, insurance doesn't cover it for most people like it should.  Facebook will be a constant reminder of the fact that you can’t get pregnant, but so many others can.  Sometimes you won’t be able to look at it because of this.  You will ask yourself over and over what’s wrong with your body.  As someone with unexplained infertility, this is always my question.  I only had a few minor spots of endometriosis, very minor.  Those have since been removed, but here we are with another BFN.  Joe’s sperm is good, I can ovulate on my own, my tubes are clear, I am in good health, I have no medical problems, I have two ovaries, my egg quality is good, so why?  I've learned that I may never get these answers.

Even though these things are all true, at least for me, I will not let infertility get the best of me.  I won’t let it defeat me.  I will have moments of vulnerability, but I will always regain my strength & keep fighting.  I know that there is nothing really profound or eye-opening in this post, there is nothing that all of us infertile’s don’t already know, but it is so important to me to share my story, share my feelings and thoughts, share the struggles, and hopefully one day share the joys because someone out there will hopefully read this and be able to relate or feel better about their own situation.  I know for me, reading the stories of other bloggers going through similar situations really help me understand my own journey better.  It reminds me that I am not alone in what I’m feeling or experiencing.  I am so thankful to all of you who are not ashamed to share your stories.  I will continue to share mine.  I will continue to grow from this experience into a strong, determined woman who will one day become a mother.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Yep, you read that right, today I got the call that our first cycle of IVF did not work... another BFN.  There isn't much to say right now.  I've only known for about 2 hours, but I find it best to write my raw emotions, so here I am.  I am honestly heartbroken and feeling completely defeated.  It's so frustrating when you're told by the doctor and his entire team that this was a perfect cycle only to get a NEGATIVE test result.  I've heard some different things, like the possibility that I did have some mild OHSS which could attribute to the negative result, I'm hoping that is the case and a FET (frozen embyro transfer) will be more successful for us next month.  

I'm so thankful to the TTC community & all the love and support that I have from friends and family.  I truly have one of the best support systems I have ever seen and could ever ask for.  Continued thoughts, prayers, and support are greatly appreciated.  Hearing success and failure stories are also relieving to some extent. There are so many beautiful women out there who have been through much more hell than I have who are so much stronger, & their words of encouragement are really making me feel a lot better about our results.  

I'm known and often complimented on my positive spirit towards this whole situation, but with a broken heart, a pounding headache, and swollen, bloodshot eyes, today I am deciding to not be my positive self. I'm going to grieve this loss, for a 2nd time now, and wallow in my sorrows for one day.  I'm going to eat an entire box of Velveeta macaroni shells, drink a fully caffeinated cherry Dr. Pepper, & have several glasses of wine with dinner.  Then, tomorrow morning, I'm going to get up and start a new day, I'll put on a brave face and begin to move forward with our next plan of attack.

I was instructed to stop all meds, (hooray, no more PIO shots!) so I ripped off my Vivelle patches, and am looking forward to no shots in the butt for a while.  As soon as I have a period I am supposed to call back to the doctors office, if I have it soon enough I will be able to do a FET in August.  I will start 3000mg of Vitamin C for 3 days tomorrow to help kick start AF.  I am trying to remember that I still have 6 embryos on ice, one of them is bound to work, right?

As always, I know this is not the end of the world.  I know that this wasn't part of the plan, and that there is still hope.  It's never easy getting those negative test results.  We are nearing 3 years of TTC and I've only seen 1 positive HPT in those entire 3 years.  Although I am broken and sad, I am so thankful to everyone who has called, texted, messaged, commented, etc. checking in on me to see how I am doing.  If it wasn't for my amazing husband, family, friends, and support system, I don't think I'd be able to move forward as quickly.  It's so hard to say this right now, but we will not give up, and I know one day we will get our BFP.

Monday, July 21, 2014

7dp5dt & Weekend Recap

I can’t believe I’m already 7 days past my transfer!  So crazy to think that was a week ago already!  We will have our first beta very soon & will need to have four consecutive positive results to confirm our pregnancy.  So far I’m feeling pretty good all around.  Still just some slight cramping which has begun to subside as of yesterday.  I’m really hoping that they are attributed to implantation of our precious embryo!  I was pretty tired and lethargic all weekend too.  It seemed like it took every bit of energy I had to get out of bed to do any errands or running around.

Friday I came home from work to my TTC Exchange Favorite Things package from my girl Jenna and it was amazing!  Such an awesome care-package full of her favorites including Dirty Dancing on blu-ray, a bag of dessert flavored skittles, and BBW products!  I know this girl would be one of my real life BFF's if we lived closer, thank you Jenna!

Friday night Joe and I had a little date night.  It was nice; we haven’t really done that in a while.  We went for Mexican food at Mr. Salas’s in town.  I had mentioned how good a margarita sounded, but ended up ordering a Sprite since I’m PUPO.  If you know my husband at all, you know he likes to have a drink almost everywhere we go, especially on a Friday after a long week of work.  He actually ordered a Coke because he felt bad for me that I couldn't have a margarita.  I thought that was a sweet gesture, but told him if I am in fact pregnant, it'd be a long 9 months of not drinking for him if he's going to feel bad every time I can't drink!

Me and ma boo-thang!  Scarf is from Charming Charlie... lots of people were asking via Instagram

Ate as though I was eating for 5, steak quesadilla and a taco!

Saturday was grocery shopping, lunch, and then the afternoon at my aunt’s pool.  It took a lot for me to get my suit on just to go sit at her pool.  I couldn’t believe how tired I was, I had no desire to venture out of the house, but it was beautiful out and the summer is quickly dwindling away so I figured I better get out for a bit.  Joe spent the day on the bike with his friends going to some of our favorite stops in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.  Again he felt bad that I wasn’t able to go, but I told him no more bike since I’m PUPO.  I crashed around 8:30 Saturday night. Also, I got my bill in the mail from doc, approx $15,000 for everything. This is before insurance for us, we are lucky that BCBS will cover 80% of this cost!  

Sunday was spent again in bed for the majority of the morning.  Joe bottled his beer & we stirred up his strawberry wine.  Once he was done with all of that we hit Menards and Home Depot.  He took me out to the property.  I haven’t been out there in about a month.  The forms are all up and concrete is supposed to be poured tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath.  I will be so happy when all of this concrete is done so that my builder can get in there and start hauling ass.  He is chomping at the bit to get moving and so am I, but I've kept my distance from the whole house thing so that I can avoid stress as much as possible. 

this is what we did all weekend!

A commitment-free weekend is just what I needed following our transfer, and the next two weekends are actually also commitment-free which I’m excited about.  It’s pretty rare in the summer to have weekends with nothing to do so I’m taking full advantage of them.  The weekend I am looking forward to the second weekend of August when we go to see Motely Crue and I host my best friend’s baby-shower.  I’m so excited for her 3rd baby!  Also really hoping that I can share a small sliver of my pregnancy with my best friend.  This will probably be her last baby & we have talked about being pregnant together for years, when the time finally came for them to start trying again they were able to get pregnant after several months of trying, we unfortunately, have not been able to yet, until now!


sparkles + lattes | dream big + buy the shoes

{the farmer's wife} | baby ridley bump | saraphrasing life | flowers in my hair | top free mmorpg

eat drink + be mary | rhapsody + chaos | sugar, spice + everything life | lot 48 | treasure tromp

rad maverix | behind the camera + dreaming | KALIWOOD | September FARM | courtney stitches

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hey there party people!  So glad to be back! 

Favorite Moments:
 Our embryo transfer was Monday and I'm feeling really good so far.  I went back to work yesterday since I was feeling well enough and I sit most of the day anyway.  Only a few short days until we can hopefully confirm a pregnancy! 

Just a little recap, we had 34 eggs retrieved, 21 fertilized, 7 made it to blastocyst, 1 was transferred, and 6 were frozen.  Also, shout out to my girl Beth & Beth & Harrison Slatery for the beautiful bouquet of flowers for me to look at while on bed rest! You rock girlfriend! Love you lots!

Also, I got my first ever Ipsy bag this week and I love it!  So glad I splurged and spent the TEN DOLLARS it costs for this adorable bag & all of the contents!  

Favorite  Pin:
similar here (but not quite the same)

Favorite Bed Rest Activities:
watching Hemlock Grove

drinking massive amounts of smartwater & reacting to Hemlock Grove

snacking all day while drinking water & watching Hemlock Grove. I ate good snacks though...

Other Honorable Mentions Watched:
What About Bob, a classic

& The Grand Budapest Hotel, if you've seen any other of Wes Anderson's movies like The Royal Tenenbaums or Moorise Kingdom, then you'll appreciate his latest flick.

Favorite Find for the House: 
This is my newest category for my Friday Faves.  These will pop up every now & then as we start purchasing items for the house...
imagine this vanity... (we will have this custom made into a 60" vanity rather than 48")

with 2 of these vessel sinks...

Favorite Funnies:

Happy Friday Fab Friends!

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