Thursday, January 26, 2012

Socks from Finland

Several weeks ago, Cristy at Searching For Our Silver Lining organized a sock exchange and I signed up! I was paired up with a blogger I wasn't familiar with but was excited to get in touch with someone new. In turn I've started following JustHeather over at BattleFish and I'm so glad that we've "met".

After we exchanged info, I found out she lived in Finland! So neat! I live in plain 'ole Ohio! :)

I just received the socks that she sent and I love them! They're even made in Finland!



She also sent me the cutest little angel charm that she made. I'm trying to find a place to put it so that every time I see it I think of her and all of you ladies that I've gotten to know over the last few months. Maybe in my car, then I'll have you guys with me everywhere I go and especially on my drive to the RE's office!

I'm really glad that I've gotten to know such wonderful people even through our shared difficulties. Somedays we're able to make it through because we know we have someone to share it and walk through it with us.

Thanks again JustHeather, I love them!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pre-conception Massage

My sister called me the other day and was so excited about this spa she found that offered pre-conception massages that are aimed specifically at IVF patients. I was skeptical of course but I got on their website and did some research. When I called, they were very knowledgeable about the whole IVF process and the best times to come in. According to their research, these specific massages can increase your chances of conception by 65%. Now, I haven't actually seen this research yet, but if it can help us with this process - sign me up!!

I'm thinking it's similar to accupuncture during IVF from what I'm reading... "Massage therapy can help facilitate the conception process physically by breaking up adhesions and increasing pelvic blood supply, and emotionally by reducing stress and cortisol levels..whether you are trying naturally or in conjunction with appropriate medical treatment. In fact, research shows the pregnancy rate for women treated with massage techniques prior to their next IVF transfer to be 63% higher than the national average success rate for IVF."

The girls I've talked to at the spa said they recommend 2-3 treatments during your cycle. Once prior to retrieval, once between retrieval and transfer and then just a relaxation massage during the 2ww. So, I've got an appointment this Sunday for my first massage! I'm not sure what to expect but I'm looking forward to it.

Have any of you girls tried something like this?

I listened to my first Circ.le and Blo.om session today, massages scheduled and first Lup.ron shot on Friday. I think we're full speed ahead!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

So, about that letter...

Remember the letter to my family and friends that I've been so obsessed with sending out? Well, I got it to a point that I was happy with and finally showed the "finished product" to hubby before hitting send. He knew about the letter but hadn't read it until one night this week. I knew he wasn't real keen on the idea of sending this letter, but I thought once he read it he might change his mind.

Umm, no.

He wasn't sold on it. Honestly, I think it made things a little worse and brought up some suppressed emotions for him.

I've never really shared alot on here about details of our situation becuase for me, it didn't matter. We're all here together working towards a common goal. Details are different for everyone but the finish line is the same. We're doing IVF w/ ICSI and to our knowledge, a low sperm count is our only "issue." Low enough though that we skipped IUI's all together and jumped directly to the big gun. The events of the last few years have been really hard on him and there are times that I see it even more plainly.

Reading that letter was one of those times. He's afraid that sending that letter will only create more questions and more talk. His family was one of the specific groups he mentioned regarding people "talking." He didn't know why I felt like we needed to share all of this with alot of people who hadn't even made an effort to be there for us over the last several years. One thing he said was that "all of this is my fault." More emotions kept showing the more he talked.

I didn't even try to convince him otherwise or explain my motives. They were pure and I honestly think most people assume it's a "female" issue and then he wouldn't have to worry about these types of questions. But the more he talked the worse I felt. I felt guilty and sad for making him feel this way.

I know how IF has affected me but it certainly changes our husbands too. Needless to say, that letter won't be leaving my draft folder anytime soon. My main concern and loyalty has to be to my husband. I still feel like it would be a good thing but if he's not convinced yet, I can't rush it. We have to be on the same page as much as possible, we're the two walking down this road - not anyone else.

So for now this blog will continue to be my outlet. Only time will tell how much we share with other people, maybe we will at some point down the road. I'll just focus on our upcoming IVF and take care of my hubby as much as I can. I just wish that I could take some of his pain away. This is not his "fault", it's simply the hand we've been dealt. We'll keep working through it the only way we know how - together.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

All I Ever Wanted

So my sis and her hubby had to go away for the weekend to a formal wedding about two hours away. She was worried about her little boy (14 months) being good and being able to sit still during all the festivities. The rehearsal dinner is tonight and the wedding tomorrow afternoon. She is a hairdresser so she'll be doing hair and makeup for the girls all morning tomorrow. That's alot to expect a 1 year old to sit through so she asked if we could babysit this weekend... of course we said yes!

He's been at our house since about noon today and is always so much fun. It's fun to pretend that he's ours and to imagine what our lives will be like once our babies finally arrive. Sure, there are plenty of other times that it bothers me that we still don't have kids and my younger sister does... but I try to push that part aside as much as I can.

He just woke up from a nap but was still a little sleepy... hubby picked him up and laid down on the couch with him and now they're both asleep. This is all I ever wanted...


You think we could run away before they get back from the wedding and just pretend this little guy is ours? :) It melts my heart to see hubby curled up with him.

One of these days it will happen. That's what keeps us going.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This and That

First off, thank you to all of you ladies who commented on my letter to family and friends. Your thoughts and feedback really helps as I'm putting the finishing touches on this letter.

I guess I should've clarified that our immediate family knows of our struggles, infertility and IVF(s). Both sets of parents, my brother (wife), sister (husband) and a few close friends know what we're going through. But that's about it. I wrote the letter with our extended family and friends in mind; aunts, uncles, cousins, other friends, etc. There are probably about 50 people on the e-mail so far. I may add some more personal/ emotion to it but this is going to so many different people I have to be careful.

I'm really not sure what I expect from sending this letter. There will be a few who read it and do nothing. Others will talk about it amongst themselves, and I'll probably hear from some of the remainder. But maybe this letter isn't at all about their response. Maybe it's simply about us - taking the next step, pulling the curtain back and saying here's what we're facing. Putting a face to this disease and creating awareness.

In the last several years, I've struggled with being angry at people who seemed to ignore everything we're going through. Maybe some of the blame lies with me for being so private and not sharing more of our story. Either way, it's made me more sensitive to things that people around me are going through. I remember being conflicted after getting pregnant last year (IVF #1) and thinking "all these people are here now and genuinely happy for us. But where were they when we needed them most?" That same crowd quickly dissipated after our miscarriage, mom says it's because people don't know what to do... my response is "try something!"

My sister knows my feelings about all of this and sent me this quote the other day:

"If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success."

I can't say it any better than that. There are alot of you out there who have/ are experiencing the same thing. I think that may be some of push behind this letter, I want and need people behind me during all of this. If there are people out there who can read that letter and still be absent from this part of my life, I know where that relationship is going. This is me, opening the door and saying "Come on in!" and I'm sure some will. But if others choose to continue standing on the porch, all I have to do is shut the door. How they respond is out of my control.


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On another note, we are officially in IVF #2! We went in for bloodwork Saturday and also got all of our meds ordered. I've been so excited about starting again but on the way to Dr. A's office I got really emotional. The last time I walked in his office was the worst day of my life. We hadn't been there since the miscarriage. We had a consultation with him the week after but at a small satellite office.

When we sat down with a nurse to order our meds and go over the treatment plan I started feeling better. We're IVF with ICSI again but with a little addition to the stims. She was an angel and explained everything so well, but then sat and answered our questions and talked with us like friends. She didn't ignore our loss and that we were so close last time and that they would work even harder to make it happen this time. Things like that make me remember we're at the right place.

For our last cycle, all of the meds were ordered from Wal greens Specialty Pharm. Since then, they've found a new pharmacy in Europe (London) and the stims are considerably cheaper! For any of you with IVF coming up, ask your doctor about IVFmeds(dot)com. I know for us it's a savings of almost $1,000 between the Menopur and Bravelle! That's always a nice surprise!

We don't start any injections until the 27th so we're in the waiting stage (again!).




Friday, January 6, 2012

A letter to family and friends

Below is a letter that I've written to send out to family and some friends to share our struggle. DH ("J") has not read this letter yet, but he seems hesitant about sending it out. I thought I would post it on here to get some feedback from some friends. After 4.5 years, I'm tired of struggling in silence and dealing with this, for the most part, alone. For me, it's time to speak up and do something. I know that there are so many other couples out there struggling through this awful battle and maybe our story can help them. I may tweak it a little still but let me know what you think.

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To our family and friends – It’s no secret that J and I have wanted to start a family for some time now. We’ve never really shared a lot about it because it is such a private thing. However, maybe by saying something it will prevent this disease from being in the shadows forever. Chances are that with infertility affecting 1 in 6 American couples, you know more people than just us who have been touched by it. Maybe our story will educate one person so they realize they are not alone. Maybe it will educate another person so they can reach out to someone they know and not be afraid to help them on their journey. Maybe awareness and making a difference starts with us…

We became pregnant with our first child after a successful in vitro (IVF) procedure. While we never got to hold that child, we believe that we will be able to one day. And while that gives us hope, our hearts are still broken by that loss and the fact that our arms are still empty here. Most of you probably have no reason to know a whole lot about the IVF process except the crazy news stories that surface every once in a while. Those extreme stories are also very far from what most couples truly face. But before you make a judgment call and say “I would never…” take a good like at your own children or grandchildren. Now, try to imagine your life without them. And even if you didn’t have to, aren’t they worth moving heaven and earth for if it was in your power to do so? Sadly, for 1 in 6 American couples, it takes those measures to bring our children into this world. We haven’t rushed into these decisions or taken them lightly, and we’ve shed a lot of tears and said a lot of prayers.

We will be pursuing another IVF procedure at some point this year. If you have sincere questions, we’d be happy to answer what we can. If you do not agree with our choices, that is fine as well; but keep in mind we’re not asking for anyone’s approval. We do not plan to share the exact timeline of it as we would like to maintain a little privacy. But we do ask for your love, your support and your prayers during this challenging time in our lives. Take a minute if you would to check out this link www.tearsandhope.com. We hope that it will help you better understand our struggle and our dreams.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Year Ago Today

What a difference a year makes...

A year ago today, after an IVF procedure that seemed to be picture perfect, we heard the most wonderful words we'd ever been told... "You're pregnant!"

We never imagined that one year later we would be embarking on our second IVF journey. I'm due to start my period on Wednesday and that will trigger the start of our cycle. I'm excited about starting again and the hope that it brings but I have mixed emotions especially because of the timing. I know they're just dates but you girls know that dates are linked closely to our emotions. This whole IVF cycle will cover the same dates that we were pregnant last year.

I'm sure that there will be days where this will be overwhelming but we feel that we're making the right decision. We can't change what has happened but at the same time, that baby will forever be a part of our lives. Miss Conception put it best when she said she hoped to meet her twins (Michael & Alena) sibling soon. That has stuck with me and helped me as we're moving forward. Our baby's sibling is out there and we're hoping to hold them soon.

I know there are alot of you ladies out there who will be cycling with us and I wish you all the best of luck. If I have one piece of advice after going through this once it would be to enjoy every single minute of it that you can. It's an emotional journey but it is wonderful and beautiful. I'm excited to have the opportunity to be doing it again and what the future might hold.

So thankful to have all of you by my side, and as close as my computer, this time around. In the few short months that I've been blogging, I can't put into words how special and helpful it is for me. I never imagined that I would feel so close to people that I've never met and that live states or even countries away from me.

Looking forward to your continued support and friendship and hoping that I can be there for alot of you as well. Here's to great things to come in 2012!!