Monday, November 24, 2014

What's Next For Us

I know that posts have been scarce here as of late, but a cut back on social media has been in effect since my transfer on 11/11. I thought that I would at least give an update as to what our potential plan is going forward. After finding out that another seemingly perfect cycle failed, I decided that we needed, first of all, a break. I've been on fertility drugs for about a year now, even during those lulls I was on BCP so my body deserves a break. I really want to focus on getting to Curves 3+ times a week and trying to eat as healthy as possible during the holiday season. I plan to take a break from all infertility treatment at least until the end of this year which is about 5 more weeks, and maybe even longer if we feel like it’s necessary.

After I told Joe about our negative test result, he immediately suggested a weekend getaway. Even a midst building a house, we need this time together. Living at my parents, going through infertility treatment, building a house, and Joe working long hours six days a week has not done anything for our marriage. We are not in a bad place; we are just in a slump of exhaustion and frustration. We are ready to be in our own home but since that’s not quite possible yet, a weekend getaway will definitely suffice. This will be our Christmas present to each other, and it will be worth every penny that we spend. We leave Friday December 12th and are heading to Wisconsin Dells to stay at the Chula Vista resort for the whole weekend! I cannot wait!

This past weekend we went to see Eric Church, Dwight Yocum, and Halestorm on Friday.  It was so fun, it was the 5th time that we've seen Eric Church and he never disappoints.  I definitely overindulged in alcohol, but it was nice to let loose.  Saturday Joe and I went to our favorite place, Bartley's.  It was a fun weekend and I already feel like we are in a better place together.   

As far as our next steps to making a baby, maybe a month or two of the good old fashioned way of getting pregnant, but I definitely want a second opinion. I've decided I'd to see Dr. Ricardo Loret De Mola. He practices at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield Illinois. Although this will be a 2 hour trip for us one way, he is the #1 rated RE in the state, he has the best success rates and has great reviews. I was given his information by a friend of mine who recently got pregnant via IVF (1st cycle!) and is treated by him, she highly recommends him so I think he’s going to be the one we seek treatment from. I really hate the thought of leaving the doctor that I’m currently seeing, but I feel like a fresh perspective might be what we need for success.  I still need to check to see if he is covered by my insurance so fingers crossed!

What I thought would be the easiest failure to accept has inevitably become the hardest. I thought, I've handled 2 failed IVF cycles and 2 (ultimately) failed IUIs, what’s another? But all this failure has done was raise more questions as to why, why isn't this working for us? As far as we've been tested, we have nothing medically wrong with either of us. Although I have not been tested for a Vitamin D deficiency or any immunity issues, all of the normal infertility tests that are done have shown nothing. It makes things even more frustrating. And worst of all, it makes me question whether or not this will ever happen for us and thinking of the possibility that it won’t is probably the scariest thought I've ever had. I’m hoping that someone or something can help prove me wrong.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BFN, yet again.

So here I am writing that post that I feared, but expected I would be writing.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, with each failure it becomes harder and harder to be positive.  At first I felt like things might be working out in my favor since I was having cramping on day 3 & 4dp5dt, but when those cramps continued, I knew that things were not going to be good.  I tried to convince myself to stay positive, but it was impossible, although with each negative thought, there was a glimmer of, "but what if it's positive"...

Right now I am lots of things, angry, frustrated, upset, scared, confused, and feeling completely inadequate as a woman and wife.  At first, I never, in a million years thought that I would be going through this, now, I never thought I would be going through 3 failed IVF cycles, and still no baby. It's been about a year since my very first IUI and although I feel like we have made some significant steps, I feel like very little progress has been made.  It's been almost a year (and 3 IVF cycles later) since I got my positive result from my 2nd IUI.  Things just don't seem to be working like I thought they would, isn't IVF supposed to be the better choice of the two?  What is or isn't happening that should be?  Did the embryologists really pick an abnormal embryo 3 times in a row?  There are so many questions.

Right now my thoughts are, consultation with my current doctor to get his perspective.  If he says "this is just the way science works" and doesn't have any other suggestions for me, then I think it will be time to get a second opinion.  I have already been researching other RE's in the area and I'm pretty certain of who I will go to see.  I really wish that it didn't have to come to that point.  I like my doctor and his team a lot, but what are we missing?  I refuse to do another transfer without changing something in the protocol.  Maybe we need another fresh cycle with more testing done on the embryos.  I don't know what the answer is right now.  All I know is that this completely sucks and I wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemy.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Recap

I usually can't get it together enough on Sunday night/Monday mornings to do a weekend recap post, but since I'm enjoying day 3 of 5 days off, I have plenty of time to write a post.  It seems like my days off are flying by & the weekend was no exception, it went by so fast!

Friday night we stayed in.  We watched a movie & had a few cocktails. Did you guys know that the best seasonal beer of the year is finally out here in Illinois?  If you've never had Shiner Holiday Cheer, then I urge you to stop what you're doing and go to your nearest liquor store and get some.  It's a Dunkelweizen (dark wheat ale) brewed with peaches and pecans and it is sooo yummy! It's definitely our favorite seasonal beer of the year and definitely helps brings out the Christmas spirit in us! I finished off my Friday night with a bottle of merlot, perfect for a chilly fall night.

Saturday night we celebrated my friend Jessica's birthday.  We had game night and pizza at her house, it was a blast!  We played Clue, which seriously took us over an hour to play 1 game, I swear that we were not following the rules properly.  We also made it into a drinking game, if you were accused of the murder you had to drink and if you didn't have any of the cards that a player guessed, you had to drink.  We also played Cards Against Humanity, if you haven't played I highly suggest it, and Spot It.  I'm pretty certain that we cashed about 5 bottles of wine and a shit ton of beer.  So fun!

Sunday was a day to relax. I laid around with Frankie catching up on the DVR and tried to sooth my sore butt on the heating pad.  The PIO injections are hurting worse than ever this time.  It basically feels like I did 1 million crunches, but I didn't.  Later in the day I went out to the house to clean up the garage since our appliances will be delivered sometime next week!  I ended up vacuuming the entire house up and hardcore organizing things the best that I could.  There was so much stuff scattered everywhere it was giving me anxiety every time I saw it,  I felt 100% better about it after I put my magic touch on it.  Joe got a couple of the gables sided with the cedar shake and it looks so good!  I'm so happy with how all of our choice are coming together!

I can't believe that our transfer is tomorrow!  This cycle seriously went by so fast, I was so preoccupied with everything else going on in our lives that I didn't have much time dwell on things like I have in the past.  I will undoubtedly be a nervous wreck during my 2ww know that if it doesn't work this time, that we need to take a break for a while.  I'm hoping to be just as preoccupied during that time to help keep the negativity at bay.   

Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday Faves

Favorite Moment:
I had a doctor’s appointment Monday & everything looked perfect. But other than that it was relatively quiet & boring week which I was totally OK with!  Once the weather gets cold, which it started to later in the week, I have ZERO motivation until I get used to the weather.

Favorite thing I’m looking forward to:
Having a 5 day weekend is pretty awesome! I’m off on Tuesday for Veterans Day which also happens to be TRANSFER DAY! I had Monday scheduled off & then decided to take Wednesday too since I need a day of bed rest after the FET. I’m planning on doing some sleeping in, some window painting (before the transfer of course) and a lot of movie watching on Wednesday. Having a long weekend also means that next week will be short 2 day work week too! Hooray!  So ready to take on transfer #3!

Favorite Pin:
how perfect are these boots?! OMG.  Of course this pin leads to Nowhereland!

House Updates:
This week we got our propane tank installed & filled and our gutters put on. Nothing extremely exciting, but small steps in the right direction are always good! Now all we need is our power which we are still waiting on Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) to complete. It’s very frustrating because we are pretty much at a standstill until we get power. Now that we hit daylight savings last week it’s dark at 5pm so Joe has no day light to work in when he gets off work. Since we have no power, we also won’t have heat. We need the electricity for the HVAC to be able to finish their duct work & test the furnace. My patience is wearing very thin with ComEd to say the least!

Weekend Plans:
Saturday we are celebrating my bestie Jessica’s b-day by having game night & pizza at her house. Cards Against Humanity, Catch Phrase, and Spot It are a few of the games we will be playing. I expect lots of wine will also be drank! I’m looking forward to a low-key night in with some of our very best friends. I got her an adorable personalized gift from Etsy that I will definitely share once she gets it.

Favorite Recipe:
This tomato basil tortellini (or ravs as we call it in the Illinois Valley) was so amazing!  Perfect for a blustery night, pairs well with a glass of wine, and fills up a hungry husband. 

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!  Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Wardrobe Resolution Month 2 = EPIC FAIL

You guys, as a writer it is my job to be brutally honest with my readers and with that I must say that I failed a bit miserably this month!  Only 4 days in to October I caved and bought myself a pair of booties from Target.  I won't go over all the ways that I justified the purchase to myself, I'll just chalk it up to the fact that I gave in to my impulses more than once.  Are they adorable?  Absolutely!  Have I worn them practically every day?  You betcha! But that still doesn't mean that I needed to buy them.

Purchase #2...Everyone in the blogosphere knows of Little Baby Garvin and if you don't then you've been living under a blogging rock!  You know how fabulous her chalk art is, well not only did she draw the cutest, most Hocus Pocus-y, Halloween print, but she collaborated with an awesome Etsy Shop and came out with this adorable off the shoulder, gold foil, sweatshirt to be shipped just in time for Halloween!  I didn't even flinch or blink twice when I added it to my cart & let PayPal do its job!
Purchase #3...Here's where I started feeling really guilty.  I have been on the hunt for a wool, hooded, winter coat for a few years.  I have a fabulous puffer coat from Victoria's Secret, but the wool coat that I am wearing is old and in pretty bad shape.  I somehow ended up on Macy's website and almost bought a $230 Calvin Klein hooded coat, but I decided against it and ended up with the Laundry by Design for only $159.  I'm glad that I didn't end up with the splurge purchase because, as fabulous as that coat is, I didn't need to spend that much on a coat.  It's not that we don't have the money for these types of things, it's just the fact that I don't need them so I really shouldn't be buying them.  I need to remind myself of the saying that I'm trying to live by, "memories over materials" and this month I totally blew it! 
CK on the left, Laundry by Design on the right

So, after spending the money on the coat I decided to take the pile of clothes and a couple of older coats to the homeless shelter to donate to their store.  I refuse to bring things to Goodwill because they charge ridiculous prices for their clothes so I always donate to more locally owned places like the hospital underseller or our local PADS (homeless) shelter.  My original plan for the clothes was to take them to a consignment shop so that I could make some money back off of them, but donating them instead was my way of making up for my purchases this month.

After I blew it on these first few purchases the rest of the month was a total wash.  I ended up with 2 pairs of jeans, 2 scarves, and a couple shirts from Old Navy.  EPIC FAIL is the only way to describe this month in terms of my spending.

Although this month was a total failure, I am still feeling good about my spending habits.  I have definitely made some major improvements on my habits, but clearly have a long way to go.  I praise the ladies who have made a commitment to a year of the Wardrobe Resolution because they are just rock stars that I am no where near being yet.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Monthly Favorites - October

Make Me Up Mia

Linking up with the lovely Mia and Kelli for another installment of my monthly faves!

Ugh! I can’t believe this month is over already!  The winter is coming so fast and I am not ready for it at all.  Although October through December are my favorite months holiday wise, I hate the weather that comes at the end!   October was an absolutely beautiful month here in Illinois, but I fear it will soon take a turn for the worse!  Last year our first day of snow was on 10/22 and it didn't seem to quit after that.  So, onto the favorites:

One.  Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies—or pumpkin anything…

Let’s be honest, we are all a #basicwhitegirl deep down inside.  We love pumpkin spice ANYTHING, we love our scarves and Uggs and leggings and Northface jackets.  It’s ok, I’m proud to be a basic bitch.  One thing I found this year that I’ve never tried before, these Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies and they are fabulous!  I ate the entire bag in 2 days. Ooops!

Two.  Panera Hazelnut Crème K-Cups
I love hazelnut coffee with hazelnut creamer and 1 Truvia, that is my ideal cup of coffee.  I’ve tried many a hazelnut K-Cup in my life too, but these Panera ones are extra yummy!  I’ve been trying to avoid artificially flavored things, but my coffee and my creamer I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up!

Three.  Scarves
Of course the Zara scarf seems to be the most coveted of the plaid blanket scarves, but I was at Old Navy a couple weeks ago and found something sort of similar.  I love the cream, red, and grey plaid and I can’t wait til it gets cold enough to warm up with it!  I'm also totally obsessed with this crocheted infinity scarf I found it a my favorite local boutique, CNJ Style! I love the wine color too, perfect!

here's the Zara scarf, so cute!

Here's mine... sorry I'm not a fashion blogger, this is the best you're gunna get!  I couldn't find the exact one online, but here are some similar. These actually say mens, but I bought mine in the women's section.

here's the crocheted! so cute and warm!

Four. Weather
October weather is just to die for.  I mentioned it up top, but it definitely deserves a spot on my list.  It was a little all over the place in terms of temperature, but we've had some really beautiful days in the 60’s and 70’s with the sun shining, it’s those last few nice days before winter rears its ugly head.  Unfortunately, the nicest weekend of the month we were working on the house rather than being out on the bike enjoying a last cruise.  It’s been stunningly beautiful down at our new house.  We live right on the Vermillion River, and I definitely cannot complain about the scenery.

Five. LP SmartSide 
I have to say, I'm really happy and impressed with my choices of colors for our house.  They are turning out beautifully together & and I cannot wait to see the outside completely finished.  I'm so in love with our siding and so happy that we decided to go with the wood rather than the vinyl.

I'm so happy with the way the garage & front door pops with the color of the siding.

These 3 gables will be done in a sand colored shake! So excited!

This is probably the truest picture as far as color goes, it's called Montana Suede.

I apologize for the short list!  Happy hump-day everyone!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Right On Track: 1 Week Until FET #3

I had my ultrasound yesterday and my lining is right where it needs to be, at a perfect 12.75!  We are right on track for our transfer to happen on lucky 11/11 at 10:30.  I have high hopes for this transfer.  If this transfer doesn't work then we will be taking that infamous break, at least until next year if not until the house is done.  I feel differently about this cycle than I have any other, but when I look back on it, I've felt a little different with every cycle.  This one in particular though, I've been completely focused on so many other things like our house that I haven't had much time to let my mind wander into that abyss of negativity & doubt.  

One of my fellow Instgrammers (@ivfshannond) posted this about how our minds change & we get a little more lax with each cycle.  I couldn't agree more!  I actually forgot to take my Doxy for an entire day, I've slept through my Lupron alarm twice this round, my mind is just in other places and whole process becomes the norm, I don't have to think twice about an injection (maybe I should so I would remember!) I can't help but wonder if my mind being off of this cycle might help just a bit. It's funny how things change. 

 I have to give a special thanks to my dear friend, fellow blogger, and infertility conqueror, Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples, I came home after my doctors appointment to a thoughtful care package from her.  She's been a wealth of knowledge and a total inspiration to me and to many others in the world of TTC, thank you so much Jessah, you are a beautiful and thoughtful person!  I can't stress enough how much the TTC community & my TTC sisters have done for me.  The love and support I've been shown from women I've never met, from different countries, & different backgrounds is just surreal.

A week from today I'll be making my 3rd and hopefully final trip down to Rockford to have our frosty transferred back home.  I'm banking a lot on the saying "3rd times a charm" and that "11/11" might have some magical powers to it and praying that I finally have some good news to announce on Thanksgiving!

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