Opening your heart

I can’t believe how many emotions I have gone through since we decided to pursue starting a family again a few short months ago. I know we have a plan with our new RE but I am struggling right now. I’m struggling because it’s the holidays and that always reminds me that we don’t have children to create traditions with. Also it’s the time of year where we spend lots of time with our extended families which includes lots of small children, toddlers and pregnant people. I’m happy in the moment with them and then feel an aching emptiness when we return to our quiet childless home. I struggle with hearing people complain about there beautiful perfectly healthy happy kids, most of them know what my husband and I have gone through and because I don’t have public meltdowns think I’m fine when I’m not so they are careless with hurtful comments.

It’s hard to feel like people aren’t grateful for what they have when they have what you want. With that being said I am self aware enough to realize that I also need to be more grateful for what I DO have because besides this whole infertility thing I have a lot going for me. My husband and I have stable jobs with good pay, we have safe reliable cars, we have family all around us that is supportive and loving, we have a big house with lots of space for entertaining and out of town guests, we have a happy marriage. When I start to count my blessings I feel guilty for feeling sad about our fertility struggle because it’s only one part of our otherwise charmed lives.

This thought process has been making me feel like maybe I need to open my heart more to the other options we have in building our family. I know early on I wrote about adoption and why we weren’t pursuing it. I had a lot of fears when I wrote it and some of them are still present and totally valid. It seems that the fear of never parenting or having children in our home has begun to over shadow those earlier adoption fears. We have a big, warm, safe, calm, happy household and there are lot’s of kids out there who NEED exactly that. What about their fear? What about the cold, hungry, neglected, and abused kids that are already born? I was blocking out these thoughts about children in need because I had my own selfish agenda of a perfect little baby that was half me and half my husband. I’m starting to have a hard time ignoring the fact that there are children in need and I have the means to provide and care for them. I have love to give and they desperately need love. It’s starting to sound like the answer to our biggest problem and the missing piece to our puzzle. I feel my heart opening to the idea of fostering to adopt and adoption. I’m still scared , I know it’s not an easy road but neither is the road we have been going down for the past 5 years.

It’s ALL hard. Being infertile is hard. Having miscarriages is hard. Having multiple IVFs fail is hard. Trying to live childless is hard. So adoption is hard, well I’ve done hard before and I’m still standing. Maybe just maybe we do have what it takes. We won’t know until we open our hearts up enough to try. I feel my heart opening everyday I think more about it or read more about it. I don’t think my husbands heart will be ready until we have finished pursuing our treatments. I think that’s okay because it’s giving me time to research options and think about the potential hardships and how we might deal with them, a few that we may have to deal with are failed matches, drug exposed or addicted babies, developmental delays in toddlers. Those are a few issues that come to mind when I start thinking about and reading about pursuing adoption, especially through the foster care system. My heart still desperately wants a baby, and how we get that baby is becoming less important everyday.

New Doctor, New plan

We met with our new doctor yesterday and he was wonderful! He had gone over our medical records and history before we arrived which was helpful because of how extensive it is. He has been doing his job for over twenty years and is a co-founder of the clinic that we are using so we felt like we were in really good hands. He did say that our case is extremely difficult there is not a clear reason for our issues and it could be multiple factors. He did say that our history is and I quote”horrific” and he understood if we didn’t have any “gas left in our tanks” to go through more treatments. He even suggested maybe pursuing adoption and then revisiting fertility treatments once we already have a child in our home. I do think it was eye opening for both my husband and myself to have him be so understanding of the physical and emotional toll that our journey up until this point has taken on us and say if it’s too much you don’t have to continue because he wasn’t promising us a miracle by any means. In fact his plan of action is kind of like a scientific test of our fertility in action. We had decided previously that we will be pursuing the treatment that h e suggested to us, within limits that we felt comfortable with and we were extremely happy with his plan. It’s a one step at a time process and here is how it plays out if all goes according to plan.

Step 1: At the start of my next period( 2 or so weeks away) Start birth control pills. Stay on through all of December.

Step 2: Start Stims to grow eggs in January, Egg retrieval at the end of the month.

Step 3: Wait for embryos to hit blastocysts roughly day 5. This is where the test begins. We have never had our embryos make it to day 5 or blastocyst they have always put them back day 3 or frozen them before day 5 because they never looked like they were going to make it. New doctor explained that is not normal at least a few of our embryos over our last IVFs should have made it to day 5 and blastocysts. He is calling this a stress test on our embryos. Here is our first potential split in my road.

Step 4a: IF our embryos make it to blastocyst we will do PGS on them to check for genetic abnormalities.

Step 4b: IF none of our embryos survive to blastocyst for testing we are done using our own embryos. We will discuss the options of donor eggs or adoption with the doctor and move on accordingly.

Step 5: IF embryos that made it to blast come back from testing as genetically normal I will have a test done called endometrial receptivity assay. It will consist of a mock cycle with transfer prep where they will do and endometrial biopsy on the day that would have been transfer day. My biopsy will be tested for inflammation and will also be sent to Spain to be tested for it’s receptivity. They will actually be able to tell if my uterus would have been receptive to implantation of the embryos on that specific day of my cycle with that specific transfer prep. If it comes back as receptive we know exactly what cycle day and exactly the dose of prep meds to do for transfer. If it comes back as not receptive we try again another month and based on the previous sample either wait longer to take the biopsy or take it sooner. This is a new test and it’s not completely proven but it seems worth it to us to have a better idea of when my uterus would be receptive to implantation or IF it is receptive AT ALL. We also think this test would be beneficial even if we end up using donor eggs and creating embryos, then we have a better chance of them implanting in me!

Step 6: Transfer embryos that have been tested and are completely normal, on most receptive day for implantation.

So as you can see it’s going to be an extensive process if we make it all the way through it. There are several points at which things could go wrong and then we would not move on to the next step of the process we would have to re-evaluate. We are happy with the plan as it’s completely science based and we believe it will give us an accurate and final answer to whether or not we will be able to build our family using our own genetics or not. Hubby and I both agreed that by doing this we will feel as though we have given this our absolute best and we will both be content to move onto other means of creating a family whether that would be with donor eggs or adoption will remain to be seen.

Now here are my unfiltered feelings on our new plan. I’m extremely happy with it. I think it will give us the answers that we have been searching for. I think it may yield answers that might be difficult for my husband to accept. I am staying in a positive mindset BUT if our history is any indication of the potential outcome of this “test” I am apprehensive to think that any of our embryos will make it to blastocysts when previously they never have before. That does not mean that I don’t have HOPE that they will. I absolutely am hoping and praying that we get the outcome that we want, which would be a happy , healthy child, created from our own embryos. However, I have become slightly jaded by our history and everything we have been through up until this point. As much as I can hope and pray that we make it through every step of this process my heart and my head are telling me to prepare myself for disappointment and struggle. Although I am trying to fight those feelings, I really hate to go into this feeling like it’s not going to work. That is not a good mindset to have. I am happy that we will be able to go through the holidays and not have to worry about doctors appointments or shots and we will start the new year with a new plan and renewed hope for building our family. I am happy that this new plan has steps and we can focus on and take things one step at a time. We are trusting our new doctor and his plan for us but I’m also giving it to God, I’m giving him the stress and the worry, I am letting go of trying to have any kind of control over the situation and I know that whatever is meant to be for us will find a way to happen.

Make Plans, God Laughs

So after my last post I was floating on cloud nine and super excited about our follow up appointment with our doctor to go over our test results and discuss our options. I was resigned to the fact that he was going to suggest donor eggs and I was ready for it. What I was not prepared for was for him to say that he thought we should try IVF again with MY eggs. WHAT?! I’m not a doctor but based on my history and latest results this was NOT the conversation I was expecting to have. He talked a lot about PGS, the genetic screening of embryos before putting them back, it would require me to grow the eggs mix them with hubbys stuff and let them grow for between 3 and 5 days then they take a cell from the growing embyro and test it to make sure its genetically normal before putting it back.

He kept saying it would increase our chances because he thought the majority of our loses have been genetic and he thinks this will help. I can’t tell you how much I DISAGREE and how DISAPPOINTED I was with his plan. My reasoning behind it is simple. I have never produced a lot of eggs, the most I produced in a single cycle was 8 and from those 8 we ended up with 4 okay embryos, we put back two in a fresh cycle and then froze two and put them back on a fet. We had a chemical during the frozen. My last IVF cycle I made 3 eggs and we got 3 embryos and put all 3 back. My beta came back at 65 then went down from there. Out of all those scenarios how would genetic testing of our embryos have helped us conceive? We have put back every viable embryo we have ever created together and never ended up with a baby.

When I brought that point up to the Doctor he even said oh well there is a stipulation that if you don’t have enough embryos to test then it’s not worth it and they won’t do it because if you only have a few we will just put them all back anyways. HELLOOOO THAT’S ME, THAT’S BEEN ME EVERY SINGLE IVF CYCLE, what could possibly change that now? As I sat in shock with him continuing to state that we can just try it I started to look around the room and tune him out, I saw the not so strategically placed pamphlets for PGS all over the office we were in. From there I started to feel like he was simply pushing us towards this because he must get some kind of kickback for sending people that route seeing as it’s about $2,000 out of pocket for the testing.

I cried all the way home and unfortunately my husband couldn’t understand WHY, to him this sounded like great news, we can try again, with my eggs, with %100 our embryos and we had never tried PGS before so to him we were trying something different, I tried to explain to him we never tried it because we aren’t people with an excess of embryos trying to decide which ones to put back, we have put them ALL back and it’s never worked. I felt like it wouldn’t work. I told my parent’s about the appointment and they were confused, what is he doing different from any other doctor you have gone to then they said, I told them nothing except charging us an extra $2,000 and setting us back a month to test our embryos. They got it. I felt physically sick after the appointment and I told my husband I didn’t think it was going to work and I was scared and didn’t want to go through with another IVF just like the ones we had done before. They were hard on me physically and emotionally and unfortunately I wouldn’t be going in blind this time.

I took a few days to sort through these emotions and the following Monday I found out that a new science based IVF clinic in a hospital 10 minutes from our house had opened. We knew it was going to open but didn’t know when and didn’t think it would be so soon. I called and made an appointment, we go in about two weeks and we had to wait a month for the appointment. We were told at the other clinic that they don’t like to cycle people around the holidays so we would have to wait until January to start so we didn’t see waiting another month to go to a new clinic as a setback. I don’t know what this doctor is going to say and I might not love his plans for us either BUT if we end up going the route of trying a traditional round of IVF again I would much rather do it 10 minutes from home than 2 hours, that alone has taken a lot of the overwhelmed feelings away from me.

This is a really long post but all of this has been marinating in my head and I have to get it out. It’s been an incredibly stressful and emotional month. First I was blindsided by the new doctor and then a week ago my cousin who I wrote about in my previous post, the one who had breast cancer and was real with me about trying again, she passed away. It wasn’t completely unexpected because her condition had been deteriorating rapidly but her death was sudden, she went into cardiac arrest. We pray that she went quickly and painlessly and is now a guardian angel looking over us with all our other family that have gone too soon. Losing the person who I was always able to talk to about my fertility issues and get a real and honest response from has been hard. She and I would always text in the middle of the night we would both have insomnia from steroids, mine for fertility and her’s for her chemo. I have found myself struggling to fall asleep since she has passed, once I do I sleep soundly but I sit awake looking at the clock until 2am before my eyes give out and close unwillingly. I cry thinking that I want to talk to her and tell her what’s going on and I want her honest feedback and it’s not possible. I have taken talking to her, just in my head now, hoping that my words reach heaven and she can find a way to send me the answers that I’m desperately looking for.

Losing my Aunt and then my Cousin both to cancer within 6 months of each other has been the hardest thing that my family have ever dealt with. Through all the sadness and tears I see the little faces of my young cousins, nieces, nephews, and last but not least my cousins 3 year old son that she had to leave behind. They are smiling and innocent and continue to bring us joy and laughter through these impossibly hard times. It has only cemented for me the feeling that children are the ultimate bringers of joy and happiness and one way or another my husband and I will find a way to bring a child into our family, I see clearly now that it is worth fighting for.

Shopping for Genes (get it)!

I’m SO happy about all the wonderful responses I received after my last post. I have dug deep into all the fabulous donor egg blogs suggested to me. Every post I read from them I could relate to and seeing there adorable baby announcements and bump posts gave me hope that those are all in my future too! We received our latest test result from the new doc and we knew my AMH was really low .5 but my FSH came back in the normal range however I had a really low ATF (amount of resting follicals on day 3). The low ATF plus the low AMH plus our history of failed IVFs and the fact that I only made 3 eggs the last retrieval almost 3 years ago puts us in the position of DE as our best option moving forward.

If you can’t tell already I have warmed way up to the idea of donor eggs. Like so warmed up that I already picked a donor! Which is why I can’t wait to get the show on the road with this process. So here is what happened. I did massive amounts of research and spent every night reading blogs written by wonderful women who used donor eggs and have beautiful babies and are living happily ever after or are currently pregnant and loving every second of there new bumps and I decided that this was our next step. It gives us a chance at having nearly everything we want. Literally the only box it doesn’t check as far as fulfilling our wants is that genetically I won’t technically be related, but I will have carried the baby for nine months and birthed it so I dare anyone to tell me after all that that he or she isn’t “really” mine. Some new information I have read about donor eggs says your body decides which genes are expressed and that possibly some DNA gets passed from me to the baby in the placenta or something. All very cool stuff but at this point being genetically related to my child has become very unimportant to me. I have an absolutely beautiful sweet niece from my brother and his wife and while I don’t think we look identical by any means she calls me her twin and acts very much like I did when I was growing up and honestly if that’s that closest connection biologically that I end up having to a child I am perfectly fine with that. I have made my peace.

Once I decided that I was fully on board with DE I went on our clinics website and checked out our options through them. They offer fresh DE which seems to be what most of the other DE mommy bloggers have used, at least the ones I have read. In fact if anyone has used Frozen donor eggs from a bank please leave a comment because so far that option is much more appealing to me but I haven’t read many first hand accounts of people using it. After discussing it my husband and we thought Frozen DE from the bank our clinic works with would be a great option for us, we live a few hours from our doctors office so logistically it works better and I like that we know how many we are getting it won’t be another added anxiety of whether or not our fresh donor produces enough eggs. We would receive 8 frozen oocyte eggs and there is a guarantee that if none of the eggs once mixed with the sperm grow into a viable transferable embryo we get a new set for free.

So I search the egg bank website for hours every night writing down donor numbers that appealed to me based on there baby pics and general info. Then I dug into each profile checking medical histories and essays they wrote and personality qualities and narrowed it down from there. I nixed women with anxiety or depression listed, even if it was listed as situational. If I get to choose my kids genes I’m going to avoid passing on those things that I myself carry that are not desirable if they can avoided! Anyways I got really nitty gritty with it and I had showed my hubby a few and he wasn’t excited about them and neither was I so I kept looking. Then I found HER, she has my dark curly hair, a really big pretty smile, she’s tall, which a lot of the donors weren’t and I am, and she has brown almond shaped eyes like me. We don’t look identical but I would say we have enough of the same characteristics that shes a really good match for my physically. I LOVED her answers on her essay she seems so sweet and NORMAL and her medical history is pristine. When I showed my husband her adult picture which we were able to view after signing the anonymity contract with the egg bank he said she’s the one. I had felt that same sense of calm when I opened her picture for the first time myself, it was like oh here she is and she is perfect for us. Actually I think finding her is what finally made the decision for me that I was not only 100% on board with donor eggs but if I got to use her eggs and her genetics then I was EXCITED about it. I’m ready to get started making OUR baby with the genes that we got to pick, now I just hope they fit(haha). I’m really getting into this genetics humor.

Down the worm hole we go

Updates galore here!

* Moving SUCKS, it’s super stressful so I have been dealing with that
* Trying to get our other home market ready, we were mid basement reno when we had the bright idea to move so we still have to finish it before we can sell. STRESSFUL
* Met with the new RE and we really liked him he is doing some repeat testing to see where we are at to begin potential IVF, due to traveling we won’t be cycling until December, potentially very exciting!

On to the nitty gritty from our appointment, this doctor is super science focused. He wants us to do genetic testing on any embryos we create before putting them back in order to maximize our chances. He doesn’t believe or put much stock into the immunological mindset which was the focus of our last two doctors so we at least feel like we are taking a different approach this time.

He also discussed that my eggs may just be complete shit and that could be the reason we haven’t been able to have a successful pregnancy. He said that is a real concern based on us only retrieving 3 eggs on my last IVF cycle . He’s doing an ovarian reserve work up and we should have more answers after that. I already got my AMH level back and it was a whopping 0.593 which for a 28 year old is pretty low. They are going to day a day 3 FSH and sono then give it to me straight based on those three results together but I have a feeling he may say it’s not worth trying with my eggs which will of course be heartbreaking.

If you recall from my previous posts hubby and I talked at length before our appointment about hard no’s and lines we wouldn’t cross. We are already second guessing the limits that we put in place for ourselves due to the potential news of my probably bad eggs. I call this phenomenon going down the infertility worm hole. You talk hypothetically about things and say I would NEVER do that and then once you start getting bad news and you start to run out of options you start to rethink those NEVERS and they become MAYBES. I was completely against donor eggs as an option and hubby was completely against adoption so pending these results about my eggs that leaves us CHILDLESS with NO OPTIONS.

So down the worm hole we went, all of a sudden hubby wants to talk about donor eggs, he’s not sure he can love a baby thats not genetically his but he is convinced I can love ANY baby, he wants me to think about them. I’m over here calling adoption lawyers making him meet with them so he can understand it’s not the 1950’s and closed adoptions don’t exist anymore I need him to be realistic in understanding the process and how long it takes and our chances of getting a newborn and the issues that come from raising an adopted child nowadays when open adoptions are the new normal.

Have I mentioned I’m a jealous person? I feel like all our our potential options leave me in 2nd place, hear me out. My thoughts on Donor eggs are that it would feel like I am simply a vessel to birth my husband and some other woman’s baby, he gets what he wants, a biological child and I get to sit and smile while all the unknowing strangers tell me how much my kids looks just like me even though I know that impossible because we aren’t genetically related. Not that that is important to me but selfishly I feel like if I don’t get to have a biological connection to our baby my husband shouldn’t either. That way we are both on the same page and have the same feelings. With donor eggs he gets what he wants and I get to deal with all the hard feelings, not fair. With adoption we are both in the same boat because neither of us would be biologically related to the baby. However we then have to deal with bio parents and bio families and some potentially messy feelings from the baby regarding being adopted and those are hard feelings too.

I guess I’m kind of just venting here but I know some of you have used donor eggs and had good experiences. Are my feelings of jealously and resentment towards my husband normal and will they go away? Because at the end of the day I really do want a family with him and I really do want to be pregnant and have that experience and a newborn baby and I guess I’m hoping that if I can work through my feelings and issues with it that a baby created out of love by the two of us potentially using donor eggs wouldn’t feel the abandonment or have to deal with the identity issues that often come up in adoption and we could just end up living happily ever after. So see my hard NO turned into a MAYBE and is now teetering on the edge of a PROBABLY. Wish me luck in the worm hole.

Big Moves

Wow it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been on here and so much has gone on. First off one of my best friends had her baby which I was very happily anticipating but her birth story turned into a nightmare. I won’t share all the details because it’s her story not mine but I was so shocked by it I had to share. This was her second baby she was a full week overdue and the hospital sent her home twice, the second time she was 5 cm dilated and was having contractions every two to three minutes, hellooo active labor anyone?! SO two hours after being sent home she ended up having her baby in her bathroom at home immediately after her water broke! Thank god they are both healthy and okay but it was so traumatizing for her to go to the hospital and not receive the help she was asking for that she said she’s probably done having kids because of it. Damn, she’s a total rock star at pregnancy and childbirth and I was hoping to keep in her in my back pocket in case we end up needing a gestational carrier, thanks a lot hospital! I feel so bad that the hospital failed her and again I’m just thankful that nothing bad happened it could have been very dangerous.

Back to the title of this post. Hubby and I are making BIG MOVES, as in we are making a literal move to a new house! Friends and family who read this SURPRISE ! We weren’t planning on moving but an opportunity to good to pass up came along and we decided to jump on it. We are at the tail end of renovating our own basement which has been a 6 year project ugh and once we finish we are putting the house on the market. We will be moving into my inlaws house. I know I know this doesn’t sounds ideal to most of you reading BUT my inlaws have a home in FL and would like to spend the majority of there time down there now that they are retired. The home they own where we live is HUGE and so when they come back into town to stay for a month at a time or so there is plenty of room for us to all have our privacy and not drive each other crazy. I am super excited for the move I have always loved there house and they are giving us free reign to make it our own which to me means some paint and new furniture! I will be sad to leave our current home we gut renovated it when we first bought it almost 8 years ago and have put a lot of blood sweat and tears into it. With that being said the house we are moving into is a perfect home for a family, aka BABIES so I am excited to move and get settled before we start any cycles with our new Dr. I have to say it feels really good to finally be making some big moves in our life after feeling pretty stagnant for a few years, cheers to making big exciting changes!

Doing Things Different This Time

As our appointment with our new fertility Dr. approaches we are discussing more and more how we would like to do things differently this time around. This discussion began after a really helpful talk I had with one of my cousins who is a built in bestie. She reads the blog and also because one of the things were doing different this time is sharing with others what we are going through I had told her we were gearing up to give things another go. Like I said we are close so she was able to give it to me straight, not just say oh that’s exciting good luck! She said she was worried, worried about me falling down the infertility treatment rabbit hole that I had before, worried about my health, mental and physical, the immediate effects of all the medications on my body and mind but also the long term effects those drugs could have down the line.

You see my cousin has reason to be worried about me and my health because she is fighting stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She was diagnosed at age 35 not even months after delivering her first baby boy ( she did not need or use fertility treatments). In fact our family is riddled with illness from chronic anxiety and depression to various forms of cancers, like I said in the post Selfless Love we are all still grieving the loss of my Aunt, my mom’s little sister, who we very recently lost to colon cancer. My cousin’s worries are not unfounded they are very real and something that I had not previously given much thought to because of course before i had on baby blinders and was willing to do literally anything to make our baby wish come true.

In an effort to do things different this time we are talking more about things like my future health and also hard limits that we are setting so that we can try to avoid that spiral of doing whatever the Dr. says is “best” in the moment agreeing to whatever they suggest. As a couple our hard no’s are donor anything, eggs, sperm, embryos. We had to draw the line somewhere and for us that’s where we aren’t willing to go. My personal limit is no high dose steroids. They really screwed my body up our last go around, I lost a significant amount of hair when I finally weaned off of them and two years later I’m finally growing it all back. I am not willing to do that to myself again and I don’t see how putting my body in that state will help us conceive a child.

Most important is that I’m being more vocal with my husband about what I think I’m going to need from him if and when we start the process of IVF again. I told him I need to feel like I’m being supported, I need to feel like I’m coming first, and I need him to check in with me and make sure I’m doing okay before giving his time and attention to anything else. He has wonderful parent’s( I seriously have the best in-laws) BUT they can be a little bit needy and my hubby is there go to guy. However he is also my go to guy and I’m going to need him more during any treatment we do and I need to feel like our little family comes first, he understands that and is going to make sure I’m taken care of before running to help them every time they call. ┬áLast time we did IVF I tried to take it on myself and act like it wasn’t a big deal and I could handle everything and ended up isolating myself and feeling alone and misunderstood by him. Lack of communication. I’m hoping that all this self awareness I have found will be helpful to us moving forward. It already feels different this time. I think because I’m going in with a different mind set. A baby isn’t EVERYTHING, it’s a piece of our family puzzle that we are missing right now but we have plenty of other pieces in place holding us together. I’m feeling that wonderful sense of possibility again and it’s making me feel hopeful for the future!

Courtney Stodden

I’ve been enamored by this woman (girl) and her subsequent marriage to her MUCH older husband for years now. It’s been mostly bad publicity for them over the years which is totally enticing but once I saw her on the Mother Daughter experiment which is a therapy show that was on about dysfunctional mother daughter relationships I started to have a soft spot for Courtney because that show brought to light that she was clearly exploited by her parents as a teenager and married off way to young to a way too old man to pawn her off or gain some kind of fame from the scandal. However after watching the show I simply felt bad for her that her mom wasn’t there for her like my mom is, In fact her mom tried to steal her husband YUCK!

This post has much more to do with the latest news articles about Courtney, in the past few weeks it has come to light that Courtney and her much older husband have suffered a miscarriage. She announced her pregnancy VERY early, around 4 weeks, which a young naive 21 year old might tend to do, lord knows I did at 23 with my first pregnancy. I was heartbroken and sadden to read that she had a miscarriage around 12 weeks and her personal media accounts showed her drinking alcohol and saying she was struggling deeply with her loss. I remember coping similarly after my first and subsequent loses.

Today I read that she felt compelled to and then in fact did shave her head in order to begin a new chapter to try to move forward in dealing with the loss of her child. I felt her pain! I can’t tell you how many times during the depths of my sadness over infertility and loss I felt the same deep sadness and actually thought about shaving my head and starting fresh after every loss. At certain times my own personal vanity felt like too much to try to keep up. Normally I don’t even like to wear much makeup or do my mousy curly hair. During the darkest times washing and throwing my hair in a knot on top of my head felt like too much to fuss with. I definitely contemplated pulling a Brittany Spears 2007.

I actually commend Courtney Stodden for shaving her head, however people choose to deal with there losses are there own. I think it’s brave of her to make an outward display of her pain for other to see. I was never brave enough to share my pain verbally let alone show an outward physical display of it. So for that I say good for you Courtney! She deserves to grieve her baby how she feels she needs to even if it makes the general public uncomfortable and I hope she is able to heal from the sadness as time goes on, lord knows it takes time.

Changes

A few things have happened since we decided we are going to “try” again to have a baby (not that we ever stopped trying we just stopped fertility treatments for two years). First I started having pain on my lower left side, worse than normal ovulation pain or a simple cyst(fluid filled) which I have had many of before. I headed in to the OBGYN for a sono and meeting. I ended up seeing a nurse practitioner as it was a last minute appointment. The sono took a long time and I’m almost a pro at knowing what is on the screen since I’ve had an ungodly amount of transvaginal sonograms in my life. Basically I could tell she was measuring what looked like a cyst. I wasn’t surprised when the NP told me that I did in fact have a cyst.

I was surprised to find out that it was not on my ovary but IN my ovary and it was not a simple cyst( fluid filled) it was a complex cyst which is filled with fluid and what they call debris that could be tissue or old blood. I informed her that I have endometriosis that has been diagnosed with laparoscopy and she said it might go away on it’s own or if it continues to grow or the pain gets worse it may have to be removed. I am to go back and check on it in November. I had her note in my chart that I am going to see fertility Dr. in September and she was very nice about giving me a copy of the sono and visit to bring with me to show him.

After lot’s of googling I have self diagnosed my complex cyst as an endometria which is a complex cyst also known as a chocolate cyst, basically it’s filled with old blood and is an extension of endometriosis. I have feared that over the past three years since my laparoscopy to remove my endo that it has comeback full force, I have had an increase in my overall abdominal discomfort and pain throughout the month not just during ovulation or my period. I am fairly convinced that after finding this cyst it’s going to be necessary to have another laparoscopy to remove the cyst and any other endo that is surely there before pursuing any type of fertility treatment intervention including IVF. This is disappointing as I was getting excited about the potential of starting another IVF cycle but now I’m starting to feel anxious that by moving forward with this we may end up getting more answers than we want about what I’m convinced is my ever declining fertility.

Naturally I’m worried that my eggs are completely scrambled and that there’s only a few left. It’s been a kind of ignorance is bliss this last two years without anyone formally telling us just how low our chances of conceiving actually are. I’m scared to lose that ignorance again and be tossed into that mindset that my body is failing me again. I’m scared but not so scared that I don’t want to move forward with trying again.

A huge positive has come from the decision to pursue treatment again and also from starting this blog where I have the outlet I need to express my feelings. I have come out of the closet as infertile to friends and family! I have always been extremely tight lipped about what my husband and I were going through when we first started treatment. I didn’t really share with even my closest friends and family members about the lengths we were going to try and conceive and keep a child. Bottling it all up was hard on me and my husband and our marriage and our parents because they didn’t feel like they could talk about it either if we weren’t willing to.

This time I have decided to do things differently, I’m telling everyone, I’m shouting it from the rooftops, we are trying to have a baby! It has been like a little weight being lifted off my shoulders with every friend of family member that I have finally come out to about our past ordeal and what we are currently taking on. This whole community of women that I found through blogging has helped me so tremendously to see that I have no reason to be ashamed of my infertility and that opening myself up and sharing my story only makes people understand me better and can unknowingly help others who are still struggling in silence. I see myself growing with my ability to talk to others and share my failures not just my victories, it’s okay to not be okay all the time. My attitude has changed and I’m happy that I don’t feel the need to hide what I’m going through anymore. I feel like I can be me %100 without having to sugar coat my feelings, it’s been freeing. I’m looking forward to moving ahead with either surgery or treatment or whatever we decide to do after meeting with the fertility doctor and most of all I’m looking forward to feeling like i’m not going through it alone because I have friends and family who know what I’m going through in my corner rooting for me.

Selfless Love

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I’m not sure if I will have the chance to become a parent but if I do I have had the absolute best examples of how to parent lovingly and selflessly from my own parents.

Flashback to my post Dogs are NOT babies, they are however wonderful companions and my urge to get one has been growing steadily as time as gone on. I found a dog rescue near my home and have been visiting it weekly for about a month feeling more comfortable every time I went in, I was gaining confidence and sure I would be able to properly train a dog. My husband was aware that I was visiting the rescue but had no desire to come with me and still maintained we would be a pet free home.

A few days ago the rescue received a new shipment from another state of dogs and in the shipment were Chihuahua mix puppies. Teeny tiny little babies, I was a goner. I fell head over heels with this little bitty puppy and immediately filled out my application to adopt her. I would deal with my husband later. The next day after my references were checked and I was approved I brought my mom and went back to the rescue and held her and spent some time with her. The only thing keeping them from letting me bring her home was that my husband had to come and meet her and sign the papers too. Stupid me I told them on the application I was married.

I called my husband to see if he would meet me there after work, they would reserve her for us until he could come. To my surprise and huge disappointment he REFUSED to come meet her. He cited his allergies to pet dander and said that we had already talked about it and his mind hadn’t changed about getting a dog. I begged, pleaded, cried and tried to make him understand how much I needed this how much I need SOMETHING. I even enlisted the help of my mother in law and nothing helped. As you can imagine this caused a gigantic epic fight between he and I, my heart was broken that he was unwilling to even try to meet her or bring her home on a trial basis to see how his allergies were. She is so tiny and projected to stay under 15lbs that I doubted she put off much dander but he wouldn’t budge. It was the most pain I and disappointment I have felt from him in our whole marriage. It brought up all kinds of issues between us such as sacrifices and decision making issues and if our partner ship is equal or if he just thinks he is the boss. Anyways that whole night was a huge shit show of tears and fighting but overall constructive communication about issues that apparently had been under the surface and this dog decision brought to a head.

The biggest shocker in this story is that after fighting and crying and talking the real decision that was came to is to TRY IVF AGAIN. I know I know I didn’t want to try again but apparently my heart isn’t as closed off to it as I thought it was and we are going to try a different doctor and hospital that we actually know a few people that went to and had great results but not the first time. The fact that this is what came out of me trying to adopt a dog has been really surprising to me, my husband doesn’t think a dog will fill the emptiness I feel and he shared that he still desparately wants a baby of our own which he hasn’t expressed in the past two years he has been acting totally content with the way things have been but this pushed him to make his wants and needs known too. I guess falling in love with her showed me that I’m willing to risk opening my heart again and if i’m willing to be brave enough for that then I feel ready to try for a baby again. So here goes nothing !

PLOT TWIST
My mom has been thinking about getting a dog for about six months, she recently lost her little sister to cancer and my Aunt always had dogs. My mom witnessed how much love and comfort her dog brought her towards the end of her life. She thought she could use some of that love and comfort as she deals with her sadness over losing her sister. HOWEVER my Dad, who is very much like my husband said NO. He always joked that if my mom ever brought home a dog that’s how he would know she wanted a divorce. My mom had gone to the rescue with me on that fated day that my husband refused to show up and meet the puppy. She told my Dad how heartbroken I was over the whole situation and low and behold THEY decided to adopt that same puppy so that I could come and visit her ( we live 5 minutes apart). I have always felt grateful to my parents, they have given me anything and everything I have ever needed or wanted even as a married woman not living in there home and I don’t mean in a spoiled brat way just an unconditional love and support that is the most incredible thing in the world. The fact that my Dad went against his word that he would never have another dog (our last one passed away like 15 years ago) and let my mom adopt this puppy so that we could both love her and snuggle her and that maybe she could help both of us heal our hearts has been the greatest most selfless gift ever given to me. I am truly grateful for my parent’s and I sincerely hope that I get to become a parent so I can show a child this kind of unconditional love.

The puppy in the picture above is my parent’s new puppy, isn’t she cute?!