Wednesday, April 30, 2014

IVF Update


Today was our first IVF appointment.  We had a consultation with our doctor about the process (most of which I was familiar with) and set up some appointments and came up with a plan, which I am all about.  I am happy with our decision to move forward with IVF.  We know that I have a great response to the FSH so we should have no problem growing follicles.  Also, we are only planning on transferring one embryo so we will freeze the others & hopefully one day after we've had the children we want, we can donate our unused embryos to a couple in need.  What a wonderful gift that will be to give to someone.  

So here is our plan: May 20th I will have a fluid ultrasound to make sure that my uterus is free and clear of any endometriosis and is ready for IVF.  If anything is found I will have another laparoscopy done.  May 28th is our orientation where we go over everything and sign all of the legal documents that come with IVF. Since our doctors office is currently in an IVF cycle, the next scheduled cycle is July 9th through July 21st so our retrieval is tentatively scheduled for July 11th with the transfer to follow in either 3 or 5 days.  I'd prefer to get the embryos to blastocysts before transferring which would be a 5 day transfer.  FSH will be started approximately 10 days prior to retrieval, with Ganirelix to follow after 4 days of stims, then we will trigger with Lupron.  We will tentatively have the transfer done either July 14th or July 16th.  Two days of bed rest will follow.  Then hopefully by the end of July will will have a positive HCG test.  

We will have to drive to Rockford the night before the retrieval so that we are for sure there on time.  There can only be 35 hours between the trigger shot and the retrieval so timing is key for this procedure.  I started BCP tonight and will take that until the ultrasound.  I might have one natural cycle between the ultrasound and the IVF procedure, but as of right now we will not be trying naturally.  

We are both feeling good about this process.  It's definitely a very precise procedure, but is 45%-65% successful so we are feeling good about it.  There is always the chance that it might not work, but we won't really know much until we have our retrieval done.  They will tell us how many eggs were retrieved then they will keep us posted on the status of those eggs.  We are planning on both mixing the sperm with the egg and directly injecting the sperm into the egg, also known as ICSI (ik-see).  Dr. G thinks that we should do 50/50 so that we can see what works best for us and give ourselves the best chance of fertilization.  

It was definitely a lot to take in, but like I've said before, I've learned so much from this amazing community that I feel very confident about the entire thing.  I feel like I have a good understanding of the process and what my expectations should be.  Now comes that dreaded wait.  

IVF Update


Today was our first IVF appointment.  We had a consultation with our doctor about the process (most of which I was familiar with) and set up some appointments and came up with a plan, which I am all about.  I am happy with our decision to move forward with IVF.  We know that I have a great response to the FSH so we should have no problem growing follicles.  Also, we are only planning on transferring one embryo so we will freeze the others & hopefully one day after we've had the children we want, we can donate our unused embryos to a couple in need.  What a wonderful gift that will be to give to someone.  

So here is our plan: May 20th I will have a fluid ultrasound to make sure that my uterus is free and clear of any endometriosis and is ready for IVF.  If anything is found I will have another laparoscopy done.  May 28th is our orientation where we go over everything and sign all of the legal documents that come with IVF. Since our doctors office is currently in an IVF cycle, the next scheduled cycle is July 9th through July 21st so our retrieval is tentatively scheduled for July 11th with the transfer to follow in either 3 or 5 days.  I'd prefer to get the embryos to blastocysts before transferring which would be a 5 day transfer.  FSH will be started approximately 10 days prior to retrieval, with Ganirelix to follow after 4 days of stims, then we will trigger with Lupron.  We will tentatively have the transfer done either July 14th or July 16th.  Two days of bed rest will follow.  Then hopefully by the end of July will will have a positive HCG test.  

We will have to drive to Rockford the night before the retrieval so that we are for sure there on time.  There can only be 35 hours between the trigger shot and the retrieval so timing is key for this procedure.  I started BCP tonight and will take that until the ultrasound.  I might have one natural cycle between the ultrasound and the IVF procedure, but as of right now we will not be trying naturally.  

We are both feeling good about this process.  It's definitely a very precise procedure, but is 45%-65% successful so we are feeling good about it.  There is always the chance that it might not work, but we won't really know much until we have our retrieval done.  They will tell us how many eggs were retrieved then they will keep us posted on the status of those eggs.  We are planning on both mixing the sperm with the egg and directly injecting the sperm into the egg, also known as ICSI (ik-see).  Dr. G thinks that we should do 50/50 so that we can see what works best for us and give ourselves the best chance of fertilization.  

It was definitely a lot to take in, but like I've said before, I've learned so much from this amazing community that I feel very confident about the entire thing.  I feel like I have a good understanding of the process and what my expectations should be.  Now comes that dreaded wait.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

An Infertile & a Newborn


There's a lot more to beating infertility than just getting pregnant. To me, small victories just bring me one step cloer to winning this battle. I think I overcame one of my biggest hurdles last week when I met the newest member of the clan, baby Jase. One of my closest friends Jen had her first baby last Thursday and boy is he perfect. We welcomed Jase David Keegan, 8lbs 1oz. into the world seven days late. Although I probably “know” like one million pregnant people, I’m not close with hardly any of them. This is the first time that I went to the hospital and held a brand new baby since we’ve been treating for infertility.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of kids in our lives. Most of our friends and family have kids. My best friend Jodie had her first baby when we were just 19 years old, followed by her second a year later and is expecting again. Most of the people in our social circle have young kids and babies; in fact, we are probably the minority without kids in our group of friends. But this was a new first for me as an infertile.

I honestly had no clue how I would feel about meeting a new baby. I knew that I was so excited to meet him and see my best friend with her first child, but I didn’t know how I would feel inside, would I be jealous or upset? I really didn’t think so, but you really never know until you experience it how you will truly feel.

Luckily I feel like the farther I get on this path, the more welcoming I am of things like this. I have a better understanding of my journey and am more secure with what is to come in our future. I think a year ago things were so up in the air, there were so many uncertainties, I had so many insecurities and unanswered questions that I struggled with things like this. I didn’t know how to handle it; people didn’t know much about what we were going through so they didn’t understand. I feel like I have evolved over the 8 months that we’ve truly been treating for infertility. Prior to being referred to Dr. G and being “diagnosed” we just assumed that we were having infertility issues since we couldn’t get pregnant. We really had no idea. There were a lot of tears and fights that I wasn’t sure were justified or not. It was a scary time. I wasn’t sure how to have a conversation with my own husband about the situation, we were on two different pages about things, and there was a lot of internal struggle for a long time for me. It’s amazing how far we have come.

Of course the minute I laid eyes on baby Jase I was just in love with him. He is so precious and perfect. I held him for a long while and he was so calm, he didn’t make a peep, just a whole bunch of funny faces. I can say, with true sincerity and honesty that I am beyond happy for my best friend and her husband. I get excited to visit with them, I was so happy to make them a home-cooked meal and deliver it yesterday. I’m happy that I am able to do the things that a best friend should do without letting my infertility get in the way. I can’t wait to see this little guy grow up. I’m excited that we have a new member of the tribe, and hopefully our babies can all grow up together and become as good of friends as we have become. There are so many downsides to infertility that being able to say that you’ve overcome even just a small part of it feels amazing.

Welcome to the world Jase!

An Infertile & a Newborn


There's a lot more to beating infertility than just getting pregnant. To me, small victories just bring me one step cloer to winning this battle. I think I overcame one of my biggest hurdles last week when I met the newest member of the clan, baby Jase. One of my closest friends Jen had her first baby last Thursday and boy is he perfect. We welcomed Jase David Keegan, 8lbs 1oz. into the world seven days late. Although I probably “know” like one million pregnant people, I’m not close with hardly any of them. This is the first time that I went to the hospital and held a brand new baby since we’ve been treating for infertility.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of kids in our lives. Most of our friends and family have kids. My best friend Jodie had her first baby when we were just 19 years old, followed by her second a year later and is expecting again. Most of the people in our social circle have young kids and babies; in fact, we are probably the minority without kids in our group of friends. But this was a new first for me as an infertile.

I honestly had no clue how I would feel about meeting a new baby. I knew that I was so excited to meet him and see my best friend with her first child, but I didn’t know how I would feel inside, would I be jealous or upset? I really didn’t think so, but you really never know until you experience it how you will truly feel.

Luckily I feel like the farther I get on this path, the more welcoming I am of things like this. I have a better understanding of my journey and am more secure with what is to come in our future. I think a year ago things were so up in the air, there were so many uncertainties, I had so many insecurities and unanswered questions that I struggled with things like this. I didn’t know how to handle it; people didn’t know much about what we were going through so they didn’t understand. I feel like I have evolved over the 8 months that we’ve truly been treating for infertility. Prior to being referred to Dr. G and being “diagnosed” we just assumed that we were having infertility issues since we couldn’t get pregnant. We really had no idea. There were a lot of tears and fights that I wasn’t sure were justified or not. It was a scary time. I wasn’t sure how to have a conversation with my own husband about the situation, we were on two different pages about things, and there was a lot of internal struggle for a long time for me. It’s amazing how far we have come.

Of course the minute I laid eyes on baby Jase I was just in love with him. He is so precious and perfect. I held him for a long while and he was so calm, he didn’t make a peep, just a whole bunch of funny faces. I can say, with true sincerity and honesty that I am beyond happy for my best friend and her husband. I get excited to visit with them, I was so happy to make them a home-cooked meal and deliver it yesterday. I’m happy that I am able to do the things that a best friend should do without letting my infertility get in the way. I can’t wait to see this little guy grow up. I’m excited that we have a new member of the tribe, and hopefully our babies can all grow up together and become as good of friends as we have become. There are so many downsides to infertility that being able to say that you’ve overcome even just a small part of it feels amazing.

Welcome to the world Jase!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday to all my lovely ladies!  Anyone else feeling like this today?  I'm so thankful for coffee!

I really wish the weekends didn't go by so damn fast!  It feels like the week flies and the weekend flies even faster! WTF?  


The plus side is that the weather is finally starting to get nicer here in Illinois.  The sun is out, and the temps are starting to climb ever so slightly.  We had perfect weather on Saturday.  Of course we had a ton of errands to run.  We stopped at CNJ Style & I ended up buying a super cute maxi dress & a fun tie-dye tank.  It was also Glycolic Saturday at Skin Dimensions so my mom and I went and got our complimentary peel.  My skin is so amazing right now.  Nothing like pampering yourself for FREE!!  I bought a fun new OPI nail polish, Dutch Tulips, since all products were 20% off too!

so in love with the tie dye tank (I got the aqua) and the dress!  C'mon summer!


Saturday night we stayed at Grand Bear Lodge in Utica.  It's seriously 5 minutes from our house, but we won the stay at a bar back in December and we finally got to use it.  It was so much fun.  It really felt like we were on vacation even though we were just a few miles from home.  We went in to Utica and went to August Hill for a flight, then a cocktail and appetizers at bar down the block called Canal Port.  Our friends Jessica and Mike ended up being at August Hill too so we went back there for a while to visit with them. 
Back at the hotel we decided we were hungry so we had dinner.  We decided on the mac-n-cheese pizza, it was so good, but soo filling!  We ordered Sam Adams Boston Lagers and got to keep the glasses too.  You can never have too many of those.  They're the 30th anniversary edition glass too so they're not the same as the originals that we got from the brewery last year.  After dinner we hit up the hot tub for a bit before calling it a night. 


Sunday we spent the day finishing up with the house.  Carpets are being shampooed today & we close on Wednesday!  Another chapter closing.  I will miss our little brick bungalow, but I'm happy to see it in a family-friends' hands.  I know he will take great care of it.  I'm glad to pass it along to someone I know.

Ready to see this month end.  It was a pretty tough one for us in terms of our infertility journey.  Deciding on IVF was something I never thought we would have to face.  Wednesday is our next appointment and IVF consultation.  I'm looking forward to making a solid plan & having a strong grasp on everything that we should expect and what we should be doing in preparation until July comes around.  I already feel very confident about this and feel as though we made the right decision.



Have a wonderful week everyone!! 


Weekend Recap

Happy Monday to all my lovely ladies!  Anyone else feeling like this today?  I'm so thankful for coffee!

I really wish the weekends didn't go by so damn fast!  It feels like the week flies and the weekend flies even faster! WTF?  


The plus side is that the weather is finally starting to get nicer here in Illinois.  The sun is out, and the temps are starting to climb ever so slightly.  We had perfect weather on Saturday.  Of course we had a ton of errands to run.  We stopped at CNJ Style & I ended up buying a super cute maxi dress & a fun tie-dye tank.  It was also Glycolic Saturday at Skin Dimensions so my mom and I went and got our complimentary peel.  My skin is so amazing right now.  Nothing like pampering yourself for FREE!!  I bought a fun new OPI nail polish, Dutch Tulips, since all products were 20% off too!

so in love with the tie dye tank (I got the aqua) and the dress!  C'mon summer!


Saturday night we stayed at Grand Bear Lodge in Utica.  It's seriously 5 minutes from our house, but we won the stay at a bar back in December and we finally got to use it.  It was so much fun.  It really felt like we were on vacation even though we were just a few miles from home.  We went in to Utica and went to August Hill for a flight, then a cocktail and appetizers at bar down the block called Canal Port.  Our friends Jessica and Mike ended up being at August Hill too so we went back there for a while to visit with them. 
Back at the hotel we decided we were hungry so we had dinner.  We decided on the mac-n-cheese pizza, it was so good, but soo filling!  We ordered Sam Adams Boston Lagers and got to keep the glasses too.  You can never have too many of those.  They're the 30th anniversary edition glass too so they're not the same as the originals that we got from the brewery last year.  After dinner we hit up the hot tub for a bit before calling it a night. 


Sunday we spent the day finishing up with the house.  Carpets are being shampooed today & we close on Wednesday!  Another chapter closing.  I will miss our little brick bungalow, but I'm happy to see it in a family-friends' hands.  I know he will take great care of it.  I'm glad to pass it along to someone I know.

Ready to see this month end.  It was a pretty tough one for us in terms of our infertility journey.  Deciding on IVF was something I never thought we would have to face.  Wednesday is our next appointment and IVF consultation.  I'm looking forward to making a solid plan & having a strong grasp on everything that we should expect and what we should be doing in preparation until July comes around.  I already feel very confident about this and feel as though we made the right decision.



Have a wonderful week everyone!! 


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Resolve to Know More... Recap

Really wish that this NIAW didn't have to end, and you know what, for me it doesn't.  I will continue to advocate for awareness about infertility.  And hopefully I will one day have a success story that I can share that will inspire others to continue the battle no matter what.  

I’m so glad that I decided to participate in this year’s NIAW.  It has been an amazing week of sharing stories and photos, finding new bloggers and IG-ers to follow, and most importantly, realizing more and more with each story that I encountered and each blog entry I read that we are all so alike in so many ways.  It’s very reassuring to realize that in no way am I alone; to know that I am not the only 1 in 8 out there; to know that there is a chance of success, that all hope is not lost.

This community has done more for me than I ever thought possible.  I’m eternally grateful to all the women out there who have reached out to me in support.  I’ve been inspired by so many and I hope that my story has inspired others.  I am also eternally grateful to the many women who have extended their thoughts and prayers that aren’t themselves infertile.  One of the best things I’ve gotten out of this entire situation is an AH-MA-ZING support group.  I never imagined that we would have so many supporters out there.  I will never be able to thank them in the way that I would like to, each and every one of them, individually, with a hug, a bottle of wine, and a Reese’s peanut butter egg.  As much as I wish I could, extending my gratitude via social media will have to suffice.

There are definitely some unfortunate issues we are faced with, re-evaluating friendships/relationships, struggling with the sincerity of your feelings towards others that are expecting, dealing with grief, loss, the financial burden, the emotional and physical toll that will be taken through treatments.  There is just a lot to deal with, plain and simple, and it’s not fun, and it will be hard, and tears will be shed, and anger and frustration will be part of it.  There is no way around those feelings.

With all the pain and negativity that comes with infertility comes the silver lining, that glimmer of hope, that light at the end of the tunnel that keeps us all chugging along, being poked and prodded more than we ever thought we would be to finally reach that finish line and have a baby.  That reward will be worth every bit of the struggle that we faced.  I will continue to dream about that day.  I will be positive and optimistic, and I won’t let this fight bring me down.

Resolve to Know More... Recap

Really wish that this NIAW didn't have to end, and you know what, for me it doesn't.  I will continue to advocate for awareness about infertility.  And hopefully I will one day have a success story that I can share that will inspire others to continue the battle no matter what.  

I’m so glad that I decided to participate in this year’s NIAW.  It has been an amazing week of sharing stories and photos, finding new bloggers and IG-ers to follow, and most importantly, realizing more and more with each story that I encountered and each blog entry I read that we are all so alike in so many ways.  It’s very reassuring to realize that in no way am I alone; to know that I am not the only 1 in 8 out there; to know that there is a chance of success, that all hope is not lost.

This community has done more for me than I ever thought possible.  I’m eternally grateful to all the women out there who have reached out to me in support.  I’ve been inspired by so many and I hope that my story has inspired others.  I am also eternally grateful to the many women who have extended their thoughts and prayers that aren’t themselves infertile.  One of the best things I’ve gotten out of this entire situation is an AH-MA-ZING support group.  I never imagined that we would have so many supporters out there.  I will never be able to thank them in the way that I would like to, each and every one of them, individually, with a hug, a bottle of wine, and a Reese’s peanut butter egg.  As much as I wish I could, extending my gratitude via social media will have to suffice.

There are definitely some unfortunate issues we are faced with, re-evaluating friendships/relationships, struggling with the sincerity of your feelings towards others that are expecting, dealing with grief, loss, the financial burden, the emotional and physical toll that will be taken through treatments.  There is just a lot to deal with, plain and simple, and it’s not fun, and it will be hard, and tears will be shed, and anger and frustration will be part of it.  There is no way around those feelings.

With all the pain and negativity that comes with infertility comes the silver lining, that glimmer of hope, that light at the end of the tunnel that keeps us all chugging along, being poked and prodded more than we ever thought we would be to finally reach that finish line and have a baby.  That reward will be worth every bit of the struggle that we faced.  I will continue to dream about that day.  I will be positive and optimistic, and I won’t let this fight bring me down.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Favorites

I decided to give this new link-up hosted by Amanda at Meet at the Barre is hosting.  Sometimes it's hard to break a habit, but I think it's good to try new things so here we go...

Favorite Moment: I actually had two this week, one was getting the pre-sale Eric Church/Dwight Yocum The Outsiders Tour tickets.  I'm so super stoked for this concert.  This will be my 4th time seeing Eric Church in concert and he never disappoints.  C'mon November 21st!  Second, and most important, we got our appraisal back on our build and it came in at exactly what we needed it to. Basically meaning it appraised for what it's going to cost to build.  I'll be honest, things were adding up quickly so I wasn't sure how it would all work out.  So excited that we finally made it over that huge hurdle!  Onto the next!

I'm pretty sure this is exactly what will happen as this house is being built!

Favorite Song: Actually I found an old Too Kool Chris CD in a pile while of burnt discs when I moved back to my parents.  If you're not familiar with TKC, he's an old school techno DJ from the 90's.  True techno music, not what you hear today.  I guarantee that you would recognize a lot of his songs/samples. The entire album puts me in THE GREATEST mood.  #raveratheart


Favorite Social Media Moment: I reached a few Instagram milestones this week (most likes on my "we are 1 in 8" photo, and 600+ followers!) & it couldn't have been a better week to do so thanks to NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week).  I gained some new followers and found some amazing new women in the infertility community.  I'm very open about my story and I'm always excited to get the chance to share more about our journey.  I just want to say thank you to everyone new and old, who has followed us on our journey.  So appreciative of every one of you!


Favorite Quote:  If you do follow me on Instagram then you already know that I'm a huge fan of quotes and I love the Rhonna Designs App.  Here's my favorite quote from the week that I made in the Rhonna Desings App with her new "nautical chic" stickers.


Favorite Pin: Loving this look.  Totally could rock my leather leggings with an oversized shirt and fun scarf before it starts getting too warm.  Check out my other Style pin boards!


Favorite thing I’m looking forward to: we are staying at Grand Bear Lodge, a big resort that we won a free night-stay to back in December.  Really looking forward to a night out with just my husband, we’re going to do dinner and possibly hit the winery.  Also, next week is our IVF consultation and I’m actually really looking forward to it.  I feel like I’ve already got a ton of knowledge about the IVF process, but none of it has come from our doctor, hopefully it will be a promising appointment.



Friday Favorites

I decided to give this new link-up hosted by Amanda at Meet at the Barre is hosting.  Sometimes it's hard to break a habit, but I think it's good to try new things so here we go...

Favorite Moment: I actually had two this week, one was getting the pre-sale Eric Church/Dwight Yocum The Outsiders Tour tickets.  I'm so super stoked for this concert.  This will be my 4th time seeing Eric Church in concert and he never disappoints.  C'mon November 21st!  Second, and most important, we got our appraisal back on our build and it came in at exactly what we needed it to. Basically meaning it appraised for what it's going to cost to build.  I'll be honest, things were adding up quickly so I wasn't sure how it would all work out.  So excited that we finally made it over that huge hurdle!  Onto the next!

I'm pretty sure this is exactly what will happen as this house is being built!

Favorite Song: Actually I found an old Too Kool Chris CD in a pile while of burnt discs when I moved back to my parents.  If you're not familiar with TKC, he's an old school techno DJ from the 90's.  True techno music, not what you hear today.  I guarantee that you would recognize a lot of his songs/samples. The entire album puts me in THE GREATEST mood.  #raveratheart


Favorite Social Media Moment: I reached a few Instagram milestones this week (most likes on my "we are 1 in 8" photo, and 600+ followers!) & it couldn't have been a better week to do so thanks to NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week).  I gained some new followers and found some amazing new women in the infertility community.  I'm very open about my story and I'm always excited to get the chance to share more about our journey.  I just want to say thank you to everyone new and old, who has followed us on our journey.  So appreciative of every one of you!


Favorite Quote:  If you do follow me on Instagram then you already know that I'm a huge fan of quotes and I love the Rhonna Designs App.  Here's my favorite quote from the week that I made in the Rhonna Desings App with her new "nautical chic" stickers.


Favorite Pin: Loving this look.  Totally could rock my leather leggings with an oversized shirt and fun scarf before it starts getting too warm.  Check out my other Style pin boards!


Favorite thing I’m looking forward to: we are staying at Grand Bear Lodge, a big resort that we won a free night-stay to back in December.  Really looking forward to a night out with just my husband, we’re going to do dinner and possibly hit the winery.  Also, next week is our IVF consultation and I’m actually really looking forward to it.  I feel like I’ve already got a ton of knowledge about the IVF process, but none of it has come from our doctor, hopefully it will be a promising appointment.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Resolve to Know More... Infertility Humor, Dictionary, & Costs

Once you get past the initial acceptance of the fact that you are an infertile couple, you are 1 in 8, you can start easing off the anxiety breaks and start laughing about it a little bit.  If you don't you will be sincerely miserable at all times because having a baby is all you will think about, it will constantly be on your mind 24/7 so you've gotta learn to laugh a little bit about it.  Even though it's a serious disease that causes so much heartache, we can always force a smile through the tears thanks to infertility humor in the form of eCards. 



The more you start to learn about infertility, the more you start to realize it's really a community and a culture. You'll start finding blogs and Instagram-ers & other social media outlets to follow & you'll start delving a little bit further, submersing yourself into that culture.  You'll start using acronyms for everything.  You'll refer to your miserable, old, AF (Aunt Flow), you'll talk about how you got a SMILEY face today on your OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kit), you'll say that you will BD (Baby Dance) with your DH (Dear Husband), and sometimes you might get a little graphic and talk about your CM (cervical mucous) or your FMU (First Morning Urine).  If you'd like to learn some more fun acronyms, check out my TTC Baby Ridley Timeline & Dictionary page that I made specifically to help others decipher what the heck I'm talking about half the time.



Then there are the costs of being treated for infertility.  I can't say much about it because I have insurance coverage for infertility treatments.  Even with coverage, it's amazing how much some of these procedures and medications can cost.  The laparoscopy I had back in October was $20,000, with insurance I paid $575. The first time that I used Follistim, they gave me 900iu which is basically three vile's which cost me about $488.  The 3rd time I needed it, it was no longer covered by insurance and 300iu was going to cost $500 out of pocket.  This is why I switched to Gonal F.  I was able to get a coupon from my doctor and only paid $4 for 600iu.  I just read an IVF statistic that the average cost is between $8,000-$10,000 and can take an average of three cycles to get a positive.  I know that I am very blessed and it's very rare to have insurance coverage for infertility.  I'm not sure without the coverage how we would be paying for it or if we would so willingly be moving forward with IVF.  There are some wonderful grants and different financial assistance programs available to those who are in need of some additional funding.  There are also couples who have fundraisers that you can donate to.  One that is near and dear to my heart is my beautiful friend Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples.  Her "Piece our Family Together" Puzzle Fundraiser is one of the best ideas I've ever heard of.  For your gift of $25 (or more), your name and/or family's name will be written on the back of a puzzle piece. As all of the pieces have names, the puzzle will be assembled. Jessah will be updating her blog with the progress of the puzzle as it is formed so you can see the beautiful puzzle you're helping to create for their baby.  What an amazing and beautiful way to honor those who have donated.  I urge you to (if you can!) to help those who are collecting donations. The financial burden of these procedures and treatments can cause many people to not move forward because the costs are just too high.  Many people spend their entire life savings on these procedures.



If you would like to know more about NIAW or about the disease of infertility click these links below:
www.resolve.org/infertility101

Resolve to Know More... Infertility Humor, Dictionary, & Costs

Once you get past the initial acceptance of the fact that you are an infertile couple, you are 1 in 8, you can start easing off the anxiety breaks and start laughing about it a little bit.  If you don't you will be sincerely miserable at all times because having a baby is all you will think about, it will constantly be on your mind 24/7 so you've gotta learn to laugh a little bit about it.  Even though it's a serious disease that causes so much heartache, we can always force a smile through the tears thanks to infertility humor in the form of eCards. 



The more you start to learn about infertility, the more you start to realize it's really a community and a culture. You'll start finding blogs and Instagram-ers & other social media outlets to follow & you'll start delving a little bit further, submersing yourself into that culture.  You'll start using acronyms for everything.  You'll refer to your miserable, old, AF (Aunt Flow), you'll talk about how you got a SMILEY face today on your OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kit), you'll say that you will BD (Baby Dance) with your DH (Dear Husband), and sometimes you might get a little graphic and talk about your CM (cervical mucous) or your FMU (First Morning Urine).  If you'd like to learn some more fun acronyms, check out my TTC Baby Ridley Timeline & Dictionary page that I made specifically to help others decipher what the heck I'm talking about half the time.



Then there are the costs of being treated for infertility.  I can't say much about it because I have insurance coverage for infertility treatments.  Even with coverage, it's amazing how much some of these procedures and medications can cost.  The laparoscopy I had back in October was $20,000, with insurance I paid $575. The first time that I used Follistim, they gave me 900iu which is basically three vile's which cost me about $488.  The 3rd time I needed it, it was no longer covered by insurance and 300iu was going to cost $500 out of pocket.  This is why I switched to Gonal F.  I was able to get a coupon from my doctor and only paid $4 for 600iu.  I just read an IVF statistic that the average cost is between $8,000-$10,000 and can take an average of three cycles to get a positive.  I know that I am very blessed and it's very rare to have insurance coverage for infertility.  I'm not sure without the coverage how we would be paying for it or if we would so willingly be moving forward with IVF.  There are some wonderful grants and different financial assistance programs available to those who are in need of some additional funding.  There are also couples who have fundraisers that you can donate to.  One that is near and dear to my heart is my beautiful friend Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples.  Her "Piece our Family Together" Puzzle Fundraiser is one of the best ideas I've ever heard of.  For your gift of $25 (or more), your name and/or family's name will be written on the back of a puzzle piece. As all of the pieces have names, the puzzle will be assembled. Jessah will be updating her blog with the progress of the puzzle as it is formed so you can see the beautiful puzzle you're helping to create for their baby.  What an amazing and beautiful way to honor those who have donated.  I urge you to (if you can!) to help those who are collecting donations. The financial burden of these procedures and treatments can cause many people to not move forward because the costs are just too high.  Many people spend their entire life savings on these procedures.



If you would like to know more about NIAW or about the disease of infertility click these links below:
www.resolve.org/infertility101

Monday, April 21, 2014

Resolve to Know More... What is Infertility


The simplest way to explain "infertility" is the inability to naturally conceive a child, but there is so much more to it than this.  There is no website or book that can truly explain what it means to be infertile.  If you’re not infertile, you can never really, 100%, understand the concept.  Even an infertile person cannot always grasp the full extent of what infertility is to another person.  To me, it is a personal story, a personal experience, it can be related to by others, but your definition is just that, yours.  The beautiful thing about it is that there are so many unique and inspiring stories out there. 


First off, infertility does not define me, there is a lot more to me than just being infertile, but I do advocate for it & accept that it is part of my life.  I’m open about our journey; I share my pain, my frustration, my thoughts, my fears, and so much more on my blog.  My Instagram is chalk-full of photos and quotes about it.  Infertility is a lot of tears, anger, confusion, heartache, & letdown; it’s a whole lot of disappointment & negativity.  Its feeling like you might be less of a woman or a wife because you can’t give your partner a child.  It’s jealousy of others who can get pregnant without sticking a needle in their abdomen.  It’s a lot of waiting.  So much waiting.  It's constantly reminding yourself not to give up, which is a challenge within itself. It's so hard when you think back on how long you've been on this path and although you've made strides, big strides, you still haven't gotten where you wanted to be, and you never really know if you'll get there.  It can be a huge struggle when things don't go how you are expecting them to and you have to take steps back and revise the plan.  I would say that is what the majority of the journey is, revising the process, learning what works and what doesn't, and becoming stronger and stronger with each cycle.  


The more individualized part about infertility is treatment, are you taking Clomid, are you using injections, what kind of progesterone are you taking, how many procedures have you had, how many tests or surgeries do you have, have you lost pregnancies or was your first try successful?  Are you looking into adoption, or egg donors, or surrogacy?  This part of the journey is different for every one of us.  But here is where we can all relate again, what we want in the end, is a healthy baby in our arms.  We are all after the same dream, the same goal.  Some will be fortunate enough to achieve that dream and some won’t, that is a harsh reality. 



I am confident that we will achieve our goal.  I feel like IVF will be the way to get us that baby that we want.  Although we are all on our own individual paths towards a baby, we all have the desire to become a parent.  What I want is for someone who doesn't know much about infertility to be able to understand that infertility is an entire culture of its own.  We are a tight-knit community.  We form on of a kind friendships, we send each other care packages, we support each other, and it’s a beautiful thing.   If you are just starting down your own path of infertility, know that there is SO MUCH support out there, any question that you have can be answered and has been asked by someone else just like you.  I encourage you to search out this amazing community, we are pretty easy to find and there are more of us than you can ever imagine. 


If you would like to know more about NIAW or about the disease of infertility click these links below:
www.resolve.org/infertility101

Resolve to Know More... What is Infertility


The simplest way to explain "infertility" is the inability to naturally conceive a child, but there is so much more to it than this.  There is no website or book that can truly explain what it means to be infertile.  If you’re not infertile, you can never really, 100%, understand the concept.  Even an infertile person cannot always grasp the full extent of what infertility is to another person.  To me, it is a personal story, a personal experience, it can be related to by others, but your definition is just that, yours.  The beautiful thing about it is that there are so many unique and inspiring stories out there. 


First off, infertility does not define me, there is a lot more to me than just being infertile, but I do advocate for it & accept that it is part of my life.  I’m open about our journey; I share my pain, my frustration, my thoughts, my fears, and so much more on my blog.  My Instagram is chalk-full of photos and quotes about it.  Infertility is a lot of tears, anger, confusion, heartache, & letdown; it’s a whole lot of disappointment & negativity.  Its feeling like you might be less of a woman or a wife because you can’t give your partner a child.  It’s jealousy of others who can get pregnant without sticking a needle in their abdomen.  It’s a lot of waiting.  So much waiting.  It's constantly reminding yourself not to give up, which is a challenge within itself. It's so hard when you think back on how long you've been on this path and although you've made strides, big strides, you still haven't gotten where you wanted to be, and you never really know if you'll get there.  It can be a huge struggle when things don't go how you are expecting them to and you have to take steps back and revise the plan.  I would say that is what the majority of the journey is, revising the process, learning what works and what doesn't, and becoming stronger and stronger with each cycle.  


The more individualized part about infertility is treatment, are you taking Clomid, are you using injections, what kind of progesterone are you taking, how many procedures have you had, how many tests or surgeries do you have, have you lost pregnancies or was your first try successful?  Are you looking into adoption, or egg donors, or surrogacy?  This part of the journey is different for every one of us.  But here is where we can all relate again, what we want in the end, is a healthy baby in our arms.  We are all after the same dream, the same goal.  Some will be fortunate enough to achieve that dream and some won’t, that is a harsh reality. 



I am confident that we will achieve our goal.  I feel like IVF will be the way to get us that baby that we want.  Although we are all on our own individual paths towards a baby, we all have the desire to become a parent.  What I want is for someone who doesn't know much about infertility to be able to understand that infertility is an entire culture of its own.  We are a tight-knit community.  We form on of a kind friendships, we send each other care packages, we support each other, and it’s a beautiful thing.   If you are just starting down your own path of infertility, know that there is SO MUCH support out there, any question that you have can be answered and has been asked by someone else just like you.  I encourage you to search out this amazing community, we are pretty easy to find and there are more of us than you can ever imagine. 


If you would like to know more about NIAW or about the disease of infertility click these links below:
www.resolve.org/infertility101
 
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