On Wednesday February 10th sometime, we'll officially be "PUPO" for our TWW (pregnant until proven otherwise). I'm excited, but at the same time I'm scared of being let down again. We've been through the negative tests time and time again, we've been through the ectopic, we've been through the miscarriage, but an IVF embryo transfer we have not yet experienced. This is a little miracle already an equal portion of us both, and I don't know how I'll feel to not have this little tiny piece of us not survive. We will only be putting one embryo in on Wednesday, and nothing is a guarantee in this process. I'm trying to remain calm and most importantly trying not to stress over what's to come, but I also see myself going into the mode where I'm emotionally beginning to protect my heart for future disappointment. When people talk about infertility being an emotional roller coaster, I'm not quite sure that that statement actually begins to describe the process....it's only a fraction of the description in my own opinion.
All I can ask for now is another miracle, and hope that all the stars will finally aline for us in this journey.
February 10th is the day! Our frozen embryo cycle will take place in 3 weeks from tomorrow on Feb. 10th. I've already started medication and will continue to take more medication up until the day of our blood test that confirms whether or not we're pregnant, which will be Feb. 24th. Lots going on! XO Kristina
YAY!!!!!! I've NEVER been more excited to start my cycle before - EVER! I finally feel like progress is occurring. The last 8 weeks have been so extremely hard to get through. The holidays helped time pass a little quicker, but mostly it crept by at a molasses pace. I started taking injectable medication on the 10th of January (which I will continue taking over the next few weeks), so the pace is finally starting to pick up and my cycle starting is proof of that. So today is Day 1 of what will hopefully be the first day of our "pregnancy cycle" through IVF!!! In approximately 20 days the embryo transfer will occur. Basically they will thaw out one embryo at a time and only place one or two embryos into my uterus (depending on what the doctor and we agree upon). The remaining embryos will stay frozen for future use. After the day of the transfer, we will wait two weeks (the dreaded TWW), to find out if we're pregnant or not. This TWW is considered the PUPO period (pregnant until proven otherwise), during an IVF cycle. Interesting to think about.
I'm praying this is it, and remaining positive that 2016 is our year. 2015 was so extremely hard on me mentally and physically with fertility, but I also know that through all that we've gone through - it has made me stronger, and it has made our marriage stronger! I know that everything happens for a reason....and I need to find the positive in the negative that has happened. We can use all the prayers you have over the next few weeks for our little embryos! Again I cannot thank everyone enough for all of the support we've received. The letters we've received with words of encouragement, or emails, texts, and donations....they amaze me.....everyone has amazed me. We are truly so blessed to have so many caring people in our lives.
By having this blog, my goal here still simple: I want to share my own journey of infertility with everyone....to bring awareness and understanding to the topic. My husband and I are 1 in every 8 couples who struggle with infertility - that's a HUGE percentage of the population. So please again keep in mind those around you who may battle with infertility. Grasp a better understanding on the subject and educate yourself.
Much love - Kristina XO
As of today, we still have 11 embryos dividing and continuing to develop. I'm still so stunned at the amount - it's quite amazing actually! Per our fertility doctor, instead of doing a fresh transfer of embryos this week, the next step for us will to be to freeze all embryos and let my body heal a little bit (I've physically been through so much). This way when they do the embryo transfer, my body will be healthier then it is currently. My estrogen went sky rocket, too high to do a fresh embryo transfer as it could be harmful to the embryo, and I certainly do not want to risk that. Also I'm still high risk for ovarian hyper stimulation (OHSS):
The next step is to continue on my progesterone supplement for another 8 days, then discontinue and wait for a period. After a period, I will begin 20 days of birth control. I will then work with the fertility doctor on more meds and monitoring, and approximately 20 days after that, will be the frozen embryo transfer (FET). We will then wait two weeks for a positive (hopefully) pregnancy test.
So for now.....we wait, and enjoy the holidays with some wine. Gotta see positive in something :)
Just to update everyone with progress in our IVF cycle, we had our egg retrieval yesterday Monday the 7th. 17 eggs were retrieved, and that's a great number to start with. I just received a call from the fertility doctor that out of the 17, 12 eggs were good to fertilize, out of the 12 fertilized eggs, 11 developed into embryos. WE HAVE 11 EMBRYOS SO FAR! Music to my ears! Tomorrow we will find out how many have survived and progressed, but right now I'm ecstatic! I really feel good about this, and hope that it's finally our time!
I'm beginning to be afraid......afraid of failure again. Time has made things brutally honest for me in terms of the amount of time we've been trying over the years. In the years we've been trying, we have had family and friends who have been pregnant and gave birth to little ones that are now celebrating up to their 4th birthdays. I'm scared to watch these little ones grow even older before we're able to bring a little baby of our own into this world to love. I'm not sure that some people, even friends or family of ours who are parents, will ever understand what emptiness comes along with this. I would have loved to have been that person to get pregnant right away, and be on number 2 or 3 by now and growing our family to party of 4 or 5. For us unfortunately we aren't so lucky yet.
Even though it's our first round of IVF, I think it has the absolute potential to knock me down emotionally if it's not successful. I'm deathly afraid of this happening. Even though I have my husband next to me walking this pathway, I don't want to feel alone as I did when losing babies to ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage again - I cannot go back to that dark alone place. I need this to work....I'm desperate for it to work. After over a years of trying, and 2 devastating losses, I need this to work.
Currently I'm on 3 types of injectable medication for this IVF round so far: Menapur, Gonal F, & Ganirelix. To say it's been easy since I started meds a week ago would be a lie. It's been extremely tough for me physically and mentally. I'm holding a smile still though and keeping my "eye on the prize" (as someone advised me to do). Every day I have a doctor's appointment - every other day blood and ultrasound monitoring, and every other day acupuncture. It's been hectic to say the least, but we're making the best of it. I'm trying to keep my schedule outside of work and dr. appointments busy, to help time pass a little faster (or at least trick me into thinking that's what's happening). Egg retrieval will likely be Dec. 5-7th, we should know more on Thursday and Friday after those dr. appointments of blood and ultrasound.
For those who have been a constant encouragement, we thank you tremendously. Even if it's just a little positive text randomly, it helps to know that we're loved so much and surrounded by people who really care about us and what we're doing. I've said it multiple times, we're truly blessed to have so many in our lives that have stood behind us through all of this - since our last miscarriage and even prior to that in our journey. It's times like this that really show who is there for us.
I can't believe that today is the day, but I finally start my IVF stimulation medication today! I've never been so excited to start my period as I was this past saturday, let alone get to stick myself in the stomach with a syringe full of medication tonight. As odd as that sounds.....I think you'd have to be in my shoes to actually know how how exciting this really is. As of right now, everything has been paid in full - the entire IVF cycle as well as medication. The only thing left to pay for is just the freezing and storage of any left over embryos. I'm thrilled the time is finally here, and I cannot thank each and every single person who has helped us out financially and emotionally over the last few months to help us get this far after all our heartache prior to this.
I have meds each night from tonight until Thursday night (Turkey Day), and then go in for blood and ultrasound on Friday AM. I'll know more on Friday of where to go from there, but I'm assuming it's much like an IUI cycle where they will continue me on the same medication (possibly add more), and bring me back on Monday of next week for blood and ultrasound again. If it's much like an IUI cycle, then I'd assume egg retrieval late next week? I guess I will have to wait and see. SO EXCITED!
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers......we're hoping for a baby Shuput out of this cycle, and we're putting all our emotions on line hoping that it comes true!
Update again soon! XO
Only 3 more days of birth control left, and only 1 more week until I start my stimulation medication for IVF. Our final IVF was this morning, and the appointment was both educating and intimidating. All documents are signed, which was quite an experience in itself! I never thought to think about what to do with our future embryos in case of my death, my husbands death, both our deaths, or even divorce. You really do sign away an extremely important part of your life before it even begins.
IVF will be so much different then an IUI cycle, which I have become a pro at in the past. There's so much more medication involved with IVF, so I hope that it's easy to keep up on a daily basis (I'm crazy so I'll probably have to set alarms daily for reminders). My first ultrasound and blood will be in 3 days (on the 19th) which is very exciting because it's one step closer to starting the process. I know as we get closer, time will go by so fast up until they do the embryo transfer.....and then the 2 week wait will crawl by until we receive news of whether we've succeeded or not.
On the financial end of things, we also have the entire cycle to pay for in 3 days which is both scary and exciting. Scary due to the obvious "going out on a limb" financially reason, and yet its's super exciting to "go out on a limb" to try to achieve our goal - A BABY. We've received so much support that we are eternally grateful for. The discounts and free meds that our doctors have supplied due to knowing we're completely out of pocket has been a Godsend. The wonderful donations we've received from our friends and family will never be forgotten and forever grateful for.
More info to come very soon!!!
Well I've learned that birth control and I are not friends..... I have had extreme migraines the past few days, to the point where they make me throw up which is never fun. I keep telling myself "It's all worth it" - which in the end I hope this falls true. Only 2 more weeks of these pills and hopefully I'll never have to take them again. I cannot wait for my next cycle to start!!! I've never been excited for a period to come. 14 days and counting! Next step is meeting with our doctor for our final IVF consult on the 16th. Here we will basically sign our life away (kidding). I honestly cannot wait! More updates soon! XO
We have officially began our IVF cycle. I had blood and ultrasound testing this morning, and test results all came back normal (YAY). I will start the birth control on Friday the 30th, and end it on November 19th. The 19th we will have more blood an ultrasound testing to be sure that everything still looks good. On November 24th we will begin the stimulation medication as well as monitoring. Assuming all goes well, our egg retrieval should fall around the week after Thanksgiving. I'll update as we move further on into the process as well.
I'm extremely excited yet nervous to enter a whole new fertility routine. My nurse went over the calendar/list of medications from start to finish with me, and it's so much more then what I'm previously used to, but with each pill and/or syringe....it will all be worth it!
We're also extremely blessed that our team of doctors/nurses have also been able to stock pile some medication for us since we're completely out of pocket cost for any fertility treatment. We still have to place an order of medication as they weren't able to supply all of it, but every little bit is extremely helpful and we're very thankful for it. Leaving their office with a bag of meds literally made my day.
We again cannot thank everyone for all of the love and support over the last few months. Everyone has been so helpful and uplifting. Warms our hearts. XO
I'm extremely happy to report that today is my "Day 1" of my cycle since the miscarriage. Tomorrow I have scheduled blood and ultrasound, and if all are okay (which we will know late tomorrow afternoon), then our IVF cycle will officially begin with taking birth control - ironic I know, but the first requirement. So in approximately 4 weeks, the real magic will happen when my next cycle "day 1" begins by taking IVF stimulation medication. From there, things will happen extremely quickly. This is the biggest step we've taken thus far over all the years in fertility, and we're very excited. We can only remain positive about everything new that will happen to us in the next few weeks.
We again cannot thank everyone enough for all of the love we've received over the last few months. We've had an outpour of so much support on so many different levels, it's quite humbling. I can't wait to keep everyone updated on the next chapter of our journey. XO
I know that beyond this day, I think about the loss of my pregnancies often....possibly every day. Today I will be participating in the "Wave of Light" at 7PM, by lighting a candle of my own in remembrance of our loss. I'm sure this very small task will be very hard for me, especially since our last miscarriage is still so fresh in my mind. I know that there are so many others not only participating in this event, but remembering their own loss as well. Please participate in lighting a candle of your own at 7PM in any time zone, and think of your own loss or someone you know who's had a loss,
"Each and every day in communities across America, expectant moms will feel their baby’s first kick, parents will listen to their newborn’s first cry, and families will celebrate the birthday of a healthy baby.
Also each and every day approximately 13 babies will be lost to SIDS and other sudden unexpected infant deaths, more than 70 new parents will have listened sadly their stillborn baby’s silence, and countless lives will be lost to miscarriage.
I never thought that I would experience miscarriage, let alone suffer from infertility. However, I know that I'm not alone - my journey is similar to so many other's across the country and all over the world. It's a topic that most don't talk about because they're scared, frightened, or even embarrassed about. Please just do this one thing for me, if you've experienced any of this loss yourself, please reflect on your feelings and remember your baby. Every 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, I am 1 in 4."
I posted this as my Facebook status today, I'm beginning to think that people are probably getting tired of seeing my infertility posts, however these are things that matter to me - and are extremely important to me as well as personal and dear to my heart. I share my story for so many reasons, and my heart gets a little fuller each time someone reaches out to me to share their own story that is similar. I'm not alone.....they're not alone......you're not alone. It's important to remember this, even I have a hard time remembering this myself sometimes when I feel like the most important people in my life have forgotten.
I'm recovering well from the miscarriage and looking into the future. My heart is happy although the sadness still dwells.....I don't think it will ever go away. My HCG level was finally a "zero" as of September 17th. We now wait for my period to come on it's own (within the next 30 days). We will then have a cycle of birth control, and then move right into our IVF cycle. My heart couldn't be any fuller with all the love & support we've received. I don't know if we could ever be able to show how thankful we are. The future is bright.
I can't begin to express how thankful Allen and I are for recent developments in our journey with infertility. A good friend of ours put together a "GoFundMe" page last week, in our honor to raise money for IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) (http://www.gofundme.com/babyshuput). We can't express how extremely grateful we are, and have no words for all the generous donations we've received thus far. It's amazing the amount of support we've received, all the "likes" and shares of the page we are equally thankful for that have occurred on Facebook. The outpour of support and positive comments and emails have us honestly lost for words. It's an overwhelming feeling to have so much love and support surrounding us. We're truly blessed to have such wonderful people in our life.
Moving forward this is our current plan: On thursday the 10th we have another blood test that will hopefully have an outcome of an HCG level (the pregnancy hormone) down to zero in my blood. Once that's at zero I'm technically no longer pregnant after the miscarriage we've suffered. We will then wait for a period cycle on my own to start, and if that doesn't occur within 30-40 days then we will take a medication to bring on a period cycle. I will then go onto birth control for a month (2nd cycle), the next cycle (3rd cycle) we will begin IVF medication to start an IVF cycle. We are very excited yet nervous to begin this next step, but we have a lot of cheerleaders in our corner and that help us remain positive. I'll continue to update on where the process is.....it's a lot to explain let alone understand, but I certainly hope that we have people following and enjoying our story.
Thank you again everyone!
If you happen to see some teal ribbons this month and are curious as to what they're representing, well September is PCOS Awareness Month - support! Below is a brief description of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS that I found to help gain some understanding:
PCOS is an incurable disorder that affects over 10 million women worldwide and about 1/2 don't even know that they have it. It is the most common endocrine cause of infertility and serious weight gain in women. The more than 50% that do not know they have PCOS are in danger of Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes, Risk of Heart Attack is 4-7x higher, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Endometrial Cancer, Increased Risk of Breast Cancer and Heart Disease.
Facts of PCOS (I cut this list a little short and stuck to some main facts):
1. Women with PCOS have higher rates of anxiety and depression than women without the syndrome.
2. Worldwide, PCOS affects 6% to 10% of women, making it the most common endocrinopathy in women of childbearing age.
3. Elevated insulin or insulin resistance are not part of the diagnostic criteria for PCOS but are seen in the majority of women with PCOS.
4. The diagnotic criteria for PCOS states that a women has PCOS if she has at least 2 of the following 3 criteria: a. Irregular or absent periods, b. blood tests or physical signs that show high androgens, c. Polycystic ovaries
5.The United States spends an estimated $4 billion annually to identify and manage PCOS.
6. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea due to the influence of androgens affecting sleep receptors in the brain.
7. Women with PCOS can have monthly menstrual cycles and still have PCOS.
8. Despite its name, not all women with PCOS actually have cysts on their ovaries.
9. PCOS is the most common cause of ovulatory infertility.
10. The cysts typically seen in PCOS are actually the result of a hormonal imbalance, not the cause of the syndrome.
11. One of the earliest signs of elevated androgens in adolescents with PCOS is acne.
12. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in women with PCOS at middle age is 6.8 times higher than that of the general female population.
13. Women with PCOS have a higher incidence of gestational diabetes, miscarriages, preterm deliveries, and stillbirths.
14. It is estimated that 50-70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance.
15. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to numerous chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. With treatment, these conditions can be prevented.
I have not been diagnosed with PCOS, however my infertility doctor has told me that my body has PCOS tendencies. This means that my body has some characteristics of the disorder even though I have not been diagnosed with it. My acupuncture doctor also treats me as a PCOS patient, again even though I have not been diagnosed with it.
I can't tell you how many stories that I read of women who are affected by this disorder, and the pain of infertility that it causes them - it breaks my heart. Please keep these women in your thoughts in prayers not only this month but always. Also think about the friends or family members that may be struggling with this disorder.....the number affected by this disorder are staggering, and it's likely you know someone with it. 1 out of every 10 women.....that's a very large number!
Lyrics of a Coldplay song.....I cry every time I hear it. For some strange reason the song always seems to come onto the radio during the times in my life where I've lost something irreplaceable. The title is "Fix You", I can't imagine what or who could fix this loss in our life, but it certainly is a wonderful thought to have someone pick up all the broken pieces and put it all back together as if it were just one happy story that never fell apart. I officially miscarried our precious angel that I grew to become so attached to in just a few weeks. I always thought that when miscarriage occurs that the physical pain lasts for one day or two at most, well let me tell you I was wrong in thinking that. On average 1 week physical pain occurs (although it can last up to 3 weeks), and I am here to say today is day 8 and I'm finally physically starting to feel better. The pain continues to remind me of what we've lost, brings tears to my eyes daily. It's getting a little easier with each day that passes, and I find it easier to talk about it now which is why I'm finally back to blogging today. I've come to the realization that this pregnancy just wasn't meant to happen, although the question as to "why" still lingers in my mind and likely always will. The emotional portion of it will remain within in me forever.
As we move forward on our journey of infertility, we've possibly decided that IVF is the next step to take. We've had 10 IUI's done, so it seems logical to move to the next step. The thought of IVF is frightening......going out on a limb and spending $14-20K for a possibility is a hard thing to wrap our mind around. The end result is what matters though, and "if" IVF can supply our dream to us, then the money means nothing and it becomes all worth it. The pain of what we've endured thus far will remain, but the material portion of it doesn't exist in a world of achievement. We have an appointment this afternoon with our fertility doctor to discuss what our next steps will be (she's been hounding us to take the IVF route since after IUI #7). I'm hoping we leave with questions answered and a positive attitude of where we're going from here on our journey. I feel like today there's a possibility that a door may open and bring a whole new positive aspect to the road we will travel from today. I just hope that if we chose IVF, I can keep the financial thought of it aside and not let it get in the way by stressing me out. In the past with each IUI cycle we've had, the thought of the amount of money we were spending out of pocket clouded my mind and stressed me out tremendously (during IUI #1-6). This last round of IUI's (#7-10) I did much better not worrying about the financial standpoint of it and I felt better about myself for not thinking about it.
I just wanted to thank everyone again for all their thoughts, prayers, thoughtful gifts, and supportive messages. We're so blessed to have all of you in our lives. And to 3 people during the worst of times who reached out to check on me constantly, I'd like to share a special thank you:
***To my "Toe Cramp" - You were there from the very start and I'm not sure emotionally how I would have been without you throughout it all. You were able to walk me through the entire process and I'm so very grateful for that. Although you weren't physically here with me, you held my hand through each hour and I can't thank you enough for all of it. Thank you so much for reaching out and being there for me.
***To my "Ish"- I can't thank you enough for constantly checking in on me, asking if there's anything you can bring me, or to even offer to come and sit with me. The thought that you had asked constantly made me feel like I had someone there even though I was physically alone (and if I could do it again I'd except the offer, because doing it all alone was not a great choice). Just know I appreciate you.
Where does our journey from here go? I hope that we ourselves know soon. I do know that what we've experienced thus far is extremely emotional and physically stressful and painful, however I don't want to stop here and just give up. I want to move forward keeping what we've struggled with in our hearts, but to also hold our heads up high and still believe that our miracle is a dream that we'll grasp one day - hopefully soon.
Yesterday I decided for myself that enough was enough. I can't continue to wait for this miscarriage to happen naturally because it's only damaging my emotions further. I decided to speak to my doctor last night who approved me this morning for one last ultrasound.....which I went to this afternoon and the result was no different then a week ago. I needed that last ultrasound to confirm for me emotionally that it's okay to give up on this pregnancy and to take the misoprostol pills. I cried as all my nurses hugged me and gave me encouragement to not give up and left the doctor office to grab my 5 prescriptions (antibiotics, pain killers, misoprostol, etc) and made my way back to work for the remainder of the day. So to give a little education on what misoprostol is, it's basically a drug used to start labor or induce abortion.....not something I physically could give myself without that second and last ultrasound. It will begin to take effect within 2-4 hours of taking with minor cramping, which will lead to heavy cramping and bleeding within 4-6 hours (basically going into labor to pass all tissues inside of you including the fetus) to having a full bore miscarriage. Pain will last for sometime depending on your case. I will then have to repeat the process and take it again in 2 days to ensure that all tissue has passed so as infection doesn't occur. This is a pretty scary thing for me, but far less scary then surgery. This will happen in the privacy of my own home hopefully without any complications (which unfortunately can occur). Emotionally so far I'd like to think that I'm doing okay. I think that having a second ultrasound really helped me accept that there's no longer a viable pregnancy and it's time to throw in the towel. I guess the first step to healing is acceptance, so I'm headed in the right direction right? Baby steps. However, I can say the last week hasn't been easy....I've had multiple friends post photos on social media of their own progress within their happy healthy pregnancies, and even 3 (YES THREE) "I'm pregnant" announcements. Those were all tough to swallow, but I need to put myself in their shoes.....they're happy and proud and want to shout it from the rooftops as I would want to if I were them.
I'm so thankful for those who have reached out with words of love and support via texts, emails, posts, etc have all been so heart warming. For those who sent flowers and even a dozen gourmet cupcakes.....not sure how I'll eat them ALL LOL, but those gestures of kindness we're very thankful for. We have the best family and friends in the world, and in times like this it really shines through to us. We can only try to hold our heads up and think positive after this all passes. Thank you everyone from the bottom of our hearts.
So it's been 6 days since we've been informed that we will miscarry, however our choice to naturally miscarry has not yet happened. I'm feeling myself become more and more overwhelmed with being technically pregnant and knowing that there's no life there. Each day that passes is becoming harder and harder, even more so then when we delivered the heart wrenching news. I'm beginning to lean towards taking the pills to chemically bring on a miscarriage so it will be over with, and the thought of this devastates me. I'd like for it to happen naturally and not as though I am physically making it happen myself. I've been reading a lot about how to survive emotionally after a miscarriage, in hopes that I can go back to being normal. It's tough to put on my fake smile and not show the world that I'm crumbling inside. I came across an article that I thought was fairly useful in coming to terms with things: "Allowing yourself to grieve the loss can help you come to accept it over time".
There was also a list of the grief process and what should be expected:
1. Shock/Denial: "This isn't really happening; I've been taking good care of myself"
2. Anger/Guilt/Depression: "Why me?" "If I would have...." "I've always wanted a baby so bad, this isn't fair." "I feel sadness in my life now more then ever."
3. Acceptance: “I have to deal with it, I’m not the only one who has experienced this. Other women have made it through this, maybe I should get some help.”
Each step takes longer to go through than the previous one. There are unexpected and sometimes anticipated triggers that lead to setbacks. Examples of potential triggers include: baby showers, birth experience stories, new babies, OB/GYN office visits, nursing mothers, thoughtless comments, holidays, and family reunions.
I've also been thinking about what the future holds for us in terms of "trying" any further. I've been wanting to give up on the IUI process for a while now, but the thought of IVF and $14-20K is too much to swallow for another "what if". I have thoughts about giving up often, but know deep down I'm not ready to give up. I know people who have given up and we're not ready to do that. That may be their plan, but it's certainly not ours. We will survive this, it's just how we handle it and where we go from here that determines the rest of our journey.
I wish I had good news to share from our ultrasound last Thursday the 13th, but unfortunately I do not. It was confirmed that the baby stopped growing and that there was no heartbeat. Our happiness was crushed in one simple instant that we thought was going to bring us so much joy. We were given three options, surgery (D&C), pills to help bring on miscarriage, or just wait naturally for the miscarriage to happen - we chose naturally. It's been 4 days and nothing yet has happened, so we may be forced to chose another option. At times I feel like I'm a really strong person, but then again there are a lot of moments where the emotions completely overtake me and my eyes feel up with tears and I can't help but feel weak and sorry for myself - I feel so broken. We have to wait 2-3 healthy cycles before we can start to try again, and I'm not sure what our plan will be when that moment comes......but I do know that we're not ready to give up on our dream. I'm not really sure what more I can write about right now, I just hope and pray that one day the pain of all of this will be replaced with a tiny bundle of joy. Until then the constant roller coaster of infertility plagues us.
Today is 7 weeks, and tomorrow is our ultrasound to see if there's a heartbeat in our little miracle. I will say the last 9 days have gone by at a snail like pace, and to be honest I'm not sure how exactly I got through them thus far. I'm trying as hard as I can to keep my mind occupied and to stay away from googling every little tiny question that pertains to pregnancy.....but saying it's tough is an understatement. All I can say to myself now is "tomorrow we will know more", and I think that's enough to get me through today......or at least the next few minutes. Tick tock, tick tock......
The last few days I've been thinking about all of the people struggling with infertility more then usual. My heart aches for each story I read or hear. I just want to reach out to anyone who's struggling with infertility right now and say this - DO NOT GIVE UP. I know that it's not easy at times - I know that there's pain, tears, and emotional trials.....but please do not give up. It's been such a long road for myself and my husband, and there were so many times that I thought to myself "why are we putting ourselves through this?" or "maybe we're not meant to be parents". Please try to stay strong.....there are so many success stories and one day that story could be yours! I'm praying right now that my success story is thriving inside of me at this very moment! I just know that there are so many out there that would be amazing parents.....please do not give up.
Update on our miracle: Today marks 6 weeks pregnant for us, which puts us half way through our first trimester.....and it's still a day to day process. On Monday the 3rd we got to see our little miracle during an ultrasound (both sac and yolk sac were seen which was a great thing). It's a little bit smaller then expected by a couple days, but it was there....in the uterus where it belongs and that was enough comfort to last me a few days. Next Thursday the 13th, we go in for another ultrasound to see the heartbeat (please pray for us all that there's a heartbeat....I'm praying every single day that we get to see that little heart fluttering on the screen). To say it's a constant waiting game is an absolute understatement. I'm grateful for this miracle but I'm also still so scared that something will go wrong......I'd be lying if I said I don't think about loss. I can't bare to think of it, but those thoughts are there and real.....because it can happen. We are so extremely thankful for this tiny miracle, words just cannot do justice to show just how thankful we are. However, we're still "Waiting on Our Miracle".....we just hope that this is our success story. I pray that this is our success story.
I added this quote below because I do think that infertility brings a lot of darkness in our lives sometimes. Even though the fertility process is tiny steps in the right direction, it always seems like there's always hurt and pain around the corner with each cycle that goes by. Try to see the bright side of things......see the stars.
I've been on the fence about this entry for a few days, but I decided to break the cardinal "12 week wait" rule, and get it all out there now. On Wednesday the 22nd, we found out that we are pregnant. Today I'm exactly five weeks and petrified to have something bad happen. My decision of "airing out the laundry" so to speak was basically why I started this blog to begin with.....to be an open book about our infertility journey. I know that either way good or bad, I'll share the news because it's all apart of this path we're on. Inside I'm scared.....extremely scared of something to go wrong. The thought of devastation is something I don't want to relive again - nobody should ever have to live that, but there are women and couples that live it every single day. Since the 22nd, I've had blood draws to test my HCG levels: Here they are (normal rates should double every 48-72 hours):
Beta 1 July 22 (exactly 4 weeks) : 69.6
Beta 2 July 24 (48 hours later): 155
Beta 3 July 27 (72 hours later): 375
Beta 4 July 29 (48 hours later - exactly 5 weeks): 650
Now even though the I'm being told that my numbers are good and rising steadily, I can't help but google (yes I know it's the devil), to see what everyone else's "average" rates are. I'm finding that mine are fairly low - meaning some people are high in the thousands already. However, I need to quit doing that because it's driving me nuts and likely causing me to stress....which isn't good. The thought of not knowing if everything is okay NOW....and control is out of my hands, it unimaginable......leaving me impatient like no other. Staying calm and positive is the only thing I can possibly do, and trust me it's not easy.
So what happens from here? Well we're cautiously optimistic and continuing to stay positive.....and thankful for the blessing we've been given each day that it remains. We have an ultrasound on Monday (we'll be 5 weeks & 5 days), and a lot will be determined good or bad during that time. So keep us on your prayer list and hope and wish for the best for us......the 3 of us are currently hanging in there and need all the positive vibes you can give. XO
Happy Monday! Even though I dislike Monday's, due to the simple fact that it's a sure sign that the weekend is over and it's time to go back to work for the next five days, I'm finding it's important to look at each day in some sort of positive way (even Mondays). I mean take today for example: Today after work I get to go home and see my husband, relax & put my feet up, and watch the season finale of the Bachelorette. It's the little things in life right?! I'm learning that these tiny little things really do help me get through my Monday, or any day of the week. What gets you through yours? Better yet, to look at it on a broader spectrum....what gets you through your cycle each month? For me it's the thought of expanding my family, to get to see the look on my husbands face when a child of his own comes into this world, getting to debate which characteristics of our child's look like our own, getting to decorate a perfect little nursery for our special edition that will come one day, or the thought to even get to think....will it be pink or blue? These things are all the positive things that I use to try to get me through each cycle, even though speed bumps will try to slow my motivation. For me, those speed bumps have been many years of a negative test, an ectopic pregnancy, and lots of money flying out of our @ss so to speak. I can't continue to focus on those things....but instead focus on the good in all of this, the final achievement in which we're striving for - the baby! It's hard to be so positive about something you feel is so far out of my reach, but if I can't hold my head up and focus on something positive, then why am I putting myself through this to begin with.....ask yourself that. Try to stay positive even when the worst of the worst days come. One day the sun will peak over the clouds and shine.....it may not be today, tomorrow, next week, or next month, but try to remain positive and know that something good will eventually come of all of this.
I wanted to start this page to share the positive things about my journey....but to also share my whole story which is also full of doubt, insecurity, & emotion. Infertility is full of so many ups and downs, a true roller coaster of emotions is the easiest way to explain it. I wouldn't be "real" if I didn't share everything I felt, even on the worst of days.
I'm finding it extremely hard to find the light at the end of the tunnel the past couple days. I'm not sure what's going on, but I just can't seem to find that my glass is half full. I'm starting to feel like nobody understands me, nobody knows what I'm going through, and no matter how much I explain what I'm feeling (until I'm blue in the face and tears are streaming down my cheeks) nobody really gets me. Even though I'm physically not alone, I feel so alone......stranded on this island and there's no hope of survival on it. It's starting to make me wonder if I'll always feel this way, if I'll always have to have the fake smile like internally nothing is wrong. Then I realize.....this months cycle is finally taking it's toll on me, and I'm beginning to wonder if we'll ever be blessed with the one thing we're trying to achieve here, or if we're spending all this time, money, and emotion on false hope. This wednesday is the day when we find out if our latest fertility cycle has worked or not, and I'm trying with all that I can to not feel that we're out yet again, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't. Nobody wants to get their hopes up to have the door slammed in their face yet again. This is all odd because last week I was so optimistic, I felt grounded, I felt like good things were happening. This week I feel as though that the rug I was standing on was ripped right out beneath me as if it were an illusion all along.....as if it were never there to begin with and I'm being told I'm crazy to think it ever was.
I read an article about another couple struggling infertility, and the wife wrote her husband a letter where she states to him, "I feel like we are in the same boat, but I am doing all of the rowing while you are enjoying the scenery. Or I am the one on the front lines taking all of the hits and when I turn around to look for you, I see you standing there, just hanging back, cleaning your gun and not worrying about all of the bullets flying through the air. It is as if we are in a burning house together. And the two of us are running in different directions, bumping and tripping into each other. I’m screaming to hurry and get out, while you stop to make a sandwich and sip on a tall glass of tea." This article in it's entirety hit me pretty hard. I thought to myself, "Thank goodness I'm not the only one that feels this way.....". Even though I'm not alone, the fact of the matter is that I do feel alone sometimes during my cycle, especially towards the end. Like I'm ashamed of admitting that my doubt is overcoming me, and I feel like I can't tell a soul that I'm giving in to the fact that another cycle is approaching us and I'm going to have to begin this all over again. It's like a slow moving rickety carnival ride that I'm not allowed to get off of, just hang on and go another time around while my husband is standing on the sidelines waving as I go by. It's hard to grasp that even though I'm the one with all of the doctor appointments, the needles, the probes, the conversations full of the tone of voice from the nurse that feels sorry for me delivering constant bad news month after month......that my spouse is going through this with me. I think I forget this fact quite a bit.
Now at this very moment when I'm feeling all of these things.....the doubt, the insecurity, the being alone, feeling like nobody understands me or the situation I'm in.....I HAVE to also think that there could be this tiny little miracle growing inside of me RIGHT NOW. So in order to try to gain some comfort I need to snap out of it, and jump off the wagon of negativity and search for something positive. I found a Pinterest board this morning that was a little helpful to me..... it helped to realize that I'm not the only one feeling this way at this very exact moment. There are so many other women and couples out there trying to stay positive when they too also feel defeated.
I think I need to focus on the understanding that what we are going through is not easy, or an situation to be taken lightly. There are so many things that I wasn't aware of or prepared for, but I'm trying to remain calm, level headed, and positive.....but some days I let my negative self get the best of me. All I can try to do moving forward is to try a little harder in finding that my glass really is half full.
I thought about this for quite sometime before I actually made the decision to begin to type this entry. I came across an article that seemed to hit the nail right on the head on the topic. There's no easy way to try to explain the emotions when someone who's never walked in your shoes begins to give you advice. Family, friends, & acquaintances all have questions, comments, & opinions.....and I sometimes find myself nodding and fake smiling at the things that they say - wishing that the conversation would just be over already. I mean....I get it, most of the time what they say aren't meant to be hurtful or malicious. I'm bringing this up mainly because it's something that most infertile beings struggle with when we share our own story. I guarantee if you're a person struggling with infertility, you have had the moment where someone makes a comment that makes you cringe inside, makes your head want to explode, and you begin to think how ignorant they are for saying it. You instead politely try to smile and nod your head, but they don't fully understand the impact that it's having on you. Those awkward moments seem to add up at a rate that compares to the nations deficit....well maybe not that quick, but you get the point.
One thing that fertile beings need to understand about people who struggle with infertility, is that they've become a little bit more soft inside....a little bit more sensitive. This can be because of so many issues.....the additional hormones one is taking, the negative result at the end of a cycle as months or even years go on, the shame that they put on themselves because they can't fulfill the one thing that they want so bad - to give their spouse a child. Let's not forget the wear and tear that it takes on our emotions, our body, and our bank accounts.
Let's share some examples of what I'm talking about:
“You need to relax. All that stressing is causing your infertility.”
Everyday stress does not cause infertility. A large study published looked at 3,000 women, from 10 different countries, found that high levels of emotional distress before a treatment cycle did not negatively affect the outcome. In other words, feeling stressed out doesn’t prevent your infertile friend from getting pregnant. You may also want to consider what came first – the stress or the infertility. Your infertile friend probably wasn’t stressed out about getting pregnant until she discovered it wasn’t happening the way it should.
“But you’re so young! You have plenty of time to get pregnant.”
Not always so. Being young doesn’t make you immune to infertility, and time is not always on your side. While being younger usually increases the chances of fertility treatment success, it doesn’t always, and it never guarantees success. Know the facts. It’s recommended that women under 35 see a fertility specialist after being unable to conceive for one year.
“Whatever you do, don’t give up. It’ll happen.”
I know this seems like a reassuring thing to say, but unfortunately it isn’t. One problem with this is it makes it sound inevitable that things will work out in the end. The truth is they may not. Being told, “Don’t worry, it’ll happen,” tends to be translated internally as, “Stop complaining because it’s not a big deal anyway.” The other problem with this statement is it implies “giving up” isn’t an option. But deciding to stop treatment, or even deciding not to pursue treatments at all, is sometimes exactly what a couple needs to do.
Adoption can be a wonderful option for some couple, but it’s not a decision that should be made lightly. Suggesting adoption in a flippant way ignores the financial and emotional costs of adoption. Also, adoption is not always possible. There’s an application and approval process to adopt a child, and not everyone who wants to adopt will pass the screening process. Also, adoption doesn’t take away the pain of being unable to have a biological child, so offering the option as a comfort doesn’t usually go well. Adoption doesn’t replace having biological children, but is instead another way to build a family.
“Trust me, you’re lucky you don’t have kids!”
Infertile couples aren’t clueless. Who hasn’t been seated at a restaurant next to a loud, messy family? Or endured a long plane ride next to a screaming baby? We know babies cry and puke. We know children are messy and loud. We know our lives will change drastically when we have kids. Please don’t downplay our loss by making your blessing sound more like a curse.
“Maybe you’re not meant to be parents.”
This one’s my personal favorite – it really hurts, but if this were true, then how can anyone explain why truly bad and even abusive parents manage to have children? Being qualified for the job is clearly not required. No one knows why bad things happen to good people. Please don’t play God by telling us why we haven’t conceived.
Take these things into consideration as well:
Now, after all of that.....I want to explain something further. Please know that I'm not broken, I'm not an emotional wreck (all the time), and nobody should have to feel like walking on egg shells around me when the topic comes up - after all I like to share my journey. All of the above doesn't mean that you can't ask me questions or give comments and/or opinions. I'm just trying to educate those that don't know.....these things aren't easy to hear and certainly don't help my situation at all. I'm simply just trying to create a family of my own, and unfortunately it's not happening as easy as it does for others, and that alone is enough emotional stress then one needs. Please know that when you have good news of a pregnancy, a birth, or even sweet stories about your little ones - I do love to hear these things. However I can't help my own emotions inside, & asking the higher being above us all "why not me?" at the same time. I can only ask for you to try to imagine yourself in my shoes as tough as that may be. Emotional times do happen....and sometimes I may lose grip on what the point of this journey for me may be, but I'm not walking it alone.
Me In A Nutshell
My name is Kristina and I'm 37. Originally I'm a Southern CA girl, and I'm now living in the "burbs" of Chicago. I love my son, my husband, my family, my fur babies, and my wonderful friends. I love wine, love to relax, love to have a good time, I'm a little adventurous, love to people watch, and I'm always down for a last minute road trip to virtually anywhere. I'm obsessed with the smell of racing fuel...weird I know - and fresh cut grass! I love to be home, but hate to sit at the house. If I'm excited I get pretty random - sometimes I talk about multiple subjects at once - I'll admit it's probably hard to keep up. My husband and I battled infertility for 5 years before having a successful pregnancy - our son Colton Charles was born September 30th, 2016, Although we have had success with the birth of Colton, our battle still continues with infertility. I've learned it's a wonderful & beautiful thing to share with others the journey that we've walked in the world of infertility. Welcome to our story.