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Sending love

3 Jan

Just wanted to send some love today to Kate at Infertile in a Fertile Land, whose sweet son Ellis Cameron (twin to Arlo John), recently passed away due to a known fetal heart defect. They knew they would not have very long with him and are grateful for the the 15 wonderful days they got to spend together as a family.

To Kate, Jason and Arlo, I am so very sorry for your loss.

Send love and celebrate his life here.

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Scary points

12 Oct

It hit me last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, why I’m so crazy anxious these days. It’s because this is the general time frame when my only other dips into the pregnancy waters have ended. With my first miscarriage, I was so naive and out of sorts that I honestly don’t even know how far we got exactly. I want to say 6w4d, but I’m not entirely certain. I know we got to the ultrasound where we should have seen a heartbeat, and we did not. I know we never saw 7 weeks.

My chemical? Really went south between the 2nd and 3rd beta. Sound familiar? Of course the numbers were low from the beginning. My first beta was 17, the second was 44 (doubled! More than! Clearly didn’t matter!), the third was 15. And I’m also trying to take heart in the fact that during that whole roller coaster, my betas were each 48 hours apart. I’m taking it as a good sign that they decided they didn’t need to repeat the third beta until a week from Wednesday. The same was the case for Theresa and she just saw two amazing little heartbeats!

This goes back to a conversation I remember having with Cristy at some point (I can’t remember if it was on the podcast or not), that everyone who has experienced miscarriage or baby loss has a “scary point” in pregnancy, where their loss(es) happened in the past. I was talking yesterday to a support group friend who is about two weeks ahead of me and also pg with twins. She’s naturally worried, of course, but not a basket case like me. She has never lost though (and knock on everything, I hope she never will). I was reading back through Alissa’s blog last night too, and at the eight week mark she wrote:

“So today I am 8 weeks and I can’t believe I am starting all over again. Everyone hates the worry and the stress of the first trimester and honestly I can tell you that I have been doing pretty well with it. Of course I am nervous for each ultrasound, hoping with everything I have that I see that sweet little heartbeat. But I am more nervous for the second trimester. That is when everything went to hell for us. So for now, I am trying to stay calm and believe that this will work out however it needs to. At this point, I can’t do anything much to alter the outcome, so I will trust in my little baby. One week at a time.”

Her scary point is the point at which she lost Michael and Alena. Speaking of which, today is their angelversary. Please go read Alissa’s moving tribute and send her some love today! Wait til you see the very special present Alissa and her husband got for the twins.

So this is my scary point. There’s some comfort in realizing that, knowing there’s a real reason behind the madness inside my head (which by the way guys, you’ve only seen the tip on iceberg).  I’m also so hesitant to actually call myself “pregnant.” I was looking at my HPT lineup photo yesterday at work and noticed that I feel so removed from them. I’ll have trouble doing that until we have a successful ultrasound (if we ever do). We’ve never ever seen a heartbeat on an ultrasound. So even if the third beta is good, I’m still going be a basket case. I’ve got two weeks of basket casery ahead of me, if this journey continues. Guess I might as well settle in and get used to it!

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In other news, I’ve got a real tale from the waiting room for you. I met a woman from my clinic while waiting for my bloodwork on Wednesday who has been through 5 IUIs and 3 IVFs. She’s never had a positive pregnancy test and never had anything to freeze. She was there for her beta following her third IVF cycle but she said she took an HPT the day before and it was negative. My heart went out to her! She said she’s looking at February for their fourth round. I asked her if she was planning on having any further testing before entering into another round. Karyotyping? Endometrial biopsy? Anything? These terms all seemed foreign to her. The crazy thing is – she’s a physician! She said she was doing her fellowship at Harvard no less. She has about six months before her fellowship ends and she has to move back down south, where of course there is no IF coverage. So she’s trying to squeeze in one more cycle before then. At this point, I politely suggested she get a second opinion. I know I’ll probably never see her again, but I hope, hope, hope she finds her way to success.

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There was so much good news around the blogosphere this morning!

Ali @ Not All Dreams are Free got her BFP follow FET #1!

B @ Just Cycling Along got good news on beta #4 following a little scare!

And now for something completely different, Keiko @ The Infertility Voice is going to be on The Katie Show!

Go wish these ladies luck! Love good news.

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5 days til beta!

Baby steps.

7 Oct

I want to thank you all again for your kind words of excitement and encouragement yesterday. They honestly meant the world to me and I read them over and over again. I still feel like I’m walking around in a surreal yet blissful dream state, while also having this strong feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Baby steps. I’m trying to take this one step at a time. The next step after yesterday’s flurry was to get as strong a line or stronger today as yesterday. I actually dreamed of getting a much lighter line this morning and feeling like an absolute idiot for yesterday. However, this morning’s test was just as dark, if not a hair darker, than yesterday.

I’m not going to post the picture I took though, because I had a moment of absolute panic yesterday that I didn’t handle everything in the best way. Did I flaunt it? Should I not have posted two pictures, or any pictures? I’m one of those infertiles who meets others’ BFPs with a mix of excitement and jealousy and anger. I’m guilty of having my happiness for others be directly correlated to how much it seemed they “deserved” it.

Wrong. So wrong, I know it. But I’m just being honest. So I know my test yesterday was met by many with similar mixed feelings. Some swallowed them enough to comment, others probably didn’t comment at all. I don’t blame them for that one bit. I am guilty of the same. At the same time, I didn’t want to not post, or to give a vague, short post either. As a reader, I don’t appreciate that. I get invested in the stories of the blogs I read and comment on. It’s hard when a blogger goes silent, only to reemerge at some later point fully pregnant.

Beyond that, if this isn’t meant to be, and I’m not sure it is, I want to share that journey too. All of it. The rise and the fall. So yes, thank you for sharing in it with me yesterday. And please know, I did my best and I respect that it may not have been the easiest for some. Though for me, even if this doesn’t work, I’m so encouraged by the fact that at least for some stretch of time, it went in the right direction.

Baby steps. I got my clinic to move my beta to tomorrow, though I don’t expect the results until later in the day. My clinic is technically closed tomorrow so I’m actually afraid I might go in for my test and then wait by the phone all day for no reason. Can’t worry much about it now though. Only thing to do is carry on.

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In other news, my dear friend Cristy is hosting another one of her sock exchanges! I can’t express how much it meant for me to have fun socks to wear during my procedures. All the clinic staff came to know me as the girl with fun socks, and by the way, everyone I’ve ever played the exchange game with is currently pregnant. Go to her blog to sign up. It’s easy.

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 Tonight I’m learning how to give myself my own PEO injection. DH will be out of town this week and without any family or IF friends living nearby, I’m forced to finally grow a pair and do this myself. We were thinking we’d try the thigh since that’s definitely an easier spot to reach than the backside, so last night DH gave me my shot in the thigh, just to test the pain factor. And OMG ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Most painful shot ever. I could barely walk after. No way in hell am I ever doing an IM injection in my thigh again. So awkward bum shots it is! Luckily, Keiko made a video yesterday making this look even kind of fun. Though I know it’s really not. Anyways, it’s a good problem to have and I’m not complaining.

A few updates

27 Sep

If you haven’t already heard, episodes four and five of Bitter Infertiles are now available for your listening pleasure. Between these two episodes, we cover everything from therapy and antidepressants, to the Muppets and MTV. We chat about male infertility (well, how males deal with infertility), celebrity infertility, and Kardashian infertility. We also interview the popular Single Infertile Female (aka Leah) and review Keiko Zoll‘s new eBook! It’s basically a smorgasbord of infertility goodness. So how can you get in on the fun? Remember, you can subscribe to our blog. You subscribe on iTunes. Or you can even listen now on Stitcher!

I must say I’ve been touched by a recent series of posts by our fellow bloggers and listeners about how different topics we’ve explored have inspired or impacted them, or even just got them thinking. Trisha wrote a very open and honest post yesterday about anxiety and depression. Belle talked about how she too has been diagnosed with PTSD, in large part due to infertility. And then there was Alissa’s touching post about how IVF is supposed to work. Seeing how this project is starting to impact people in both big and small ways makes it all the more rewarding to be part of.

Speaking of Bitter Infertiles, a couple of episodes ago (crazy that I can say that now!), we asked for our listeners to send in their two week wait survival tips. We got some good ones, but we want MORE. So, as someone who’s about to enter into an FET TWW, I’m making a special plea to please send us your tips! You could very well end up on the podcast! Just email us at bitterinfertiles@gmail.com and let us know: How do you stay sane during the wait? Be sure to let us know whether or not you’d be comfortable with us mentioning your name, or if you’d rather be kept anonymous, that’s cool too.

So yeah. My FET is tomorrow. Less than 12 hours away. Nuts. Here’s a quick rundown of FET-related things if you’re interested:

-I survived taking all the meds while on a biz trip to NYC. My cousin had to do my IM injections but she handled it like a champ. The first two nights were fine, I was staying with her at her apartment. But the third night, she had to come meet me at my hotel. Thing is, I was sharing a small room with a girl I supervise. So I had to scope out the lobby bathroom, see if it would be adequate (it was, big, brand new, clean, and virtually empty as it was in the basement), then I had to find out how to get my hands on some ice. I brought Ziploc bags to get ice from the ice machine, only to find out they didn’t have ice machines. Turns out you had to call housekeeping to bring you some ice. So that presented a whole new challenge. And I don’t know if it was the ice in a bag (vs an ice pack) or the stress of the whole situation or WHAT but that night’s shot hurt like no other. But we got it done. And I managed to take my estrogen pills at every meal, despite eating three meals a day for two days with either a coworker, a client, or both.

-I’ve managed (I think) to temper any hope that’s bubbled up about this transfer. I’m trying to look at this FET as one of a series of three or four as we work through our seven embryos. I have hope, yes, but hope that ONE of the series will work out. Not necessarily this one. I still wish I could bury my head in the sand and have someone wake me up when it’s over, but unfortunately that’s not possible when you’re talking pills, and IM injections, and time of work for transfers, and other such things that require brainpower. Speaking of the series of FETs…

-I think I’m done taking breaks. Of course I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, but I’m feeling right now that I’d like to just fly through these FETs and then if we’re not pregnant after all of that, then take a nice long break to first and foremost, lose some of my infertility weight, and also just get balanced and focused again so we can figure out the next step. I think the next step would be another fresh cycle but we have to see. I’m not making decisions that far out. But for now, if this FET doesn’t pan out, I’d like to go right into the next one. I figure I can squeeze one, maybe two more in before the end of the year.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for tonight. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll post about how our transfer went tomorrow. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly.

Socks!

7 Jul

I just got my beautiful fertility socks in the mail from my new friend Amanda over at Reading Each Page and I must say, I love them! Clearly Amanda has great taste…. check these babies out!

Bugs! See how my pup insisted on getting her paw in the picture too??

Wonder Woman socks! Note the little capes! Hehe.

And they came with this nice note from Amanda, which is definitely going in the keepsake box:

“Dear Shelley, I wanted to make sure your feet were set for both retrieval and transfer. Good luck on your IVF cycle! Amanda”

Thanks again, Amanda! These will definitely bring me love, luck and levity in my procedures, I’m sure! I’m planning to wear the bugs to my ultrasound on Monday.

And a big thank you to my dear friend Cristy for organizing the whole thing! I just think this whole fertility socks thing is wonderful. Those of us who have done or are doing assisted cycles know what it’s like to strip down to our skivvies, several times a week during monitoring. Having some cozy, fun, endearing and special to put on our feet as we stroll into the ultrasound room makes the whole process much more enjoyable. And I find that the clinic staff really appreciate the fun socks too!

To learn more about the meaning behind fertility socks, go here. To get in on the next exchange, start following Cristy’s blog, I’m sure she’ll do another one soon if enough people are interested!