Thursday, January 31, 2013

Life As An Infertile In A Poem



You're so caught up in life and such;
It seems we've fallen out of touch.
You, you've got your family,
Me, stuck with infertility.
You don't understand or know why,
The sight of your baby makes me cry.
You wonder why I never call;
I wonder if you care at all.
Is this a rough patch or is this it?
I'm ready to give up, I think I'll quit.
I never knew it would hurt this much,
You're so caught up in life and such.


Julie

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Working Woman Housewife Part 2: Do You Have A Clean House?

Since I am snowed in over my lunch hour I am back again with another Working Woman Housewife post and it is time to tackle another topic all working housewives dread...cleaning.  I wouldn't say I have a clean house, it usually teeters between acceptable and kind of a mess.  I also don't like clutter so maybe I am being picky.  When we have a really off week I would call our house an all out disaster.   'Clean' is such a relative term.  Others who have seen my house may say, oh its not that bad and yet others may think it is the most disgusting thing they have ever seen.

One thing that is important to me is having it in the acceptable to nice range when we have company.  I hate people seeing my house in its 'natural state'.  A clean house to me is a representation that I've got my shit together (or maybe just too much time on my hands).

We have devised a loose set of chores for my husband and I.  I do most of the cooking, he always does the garbage, we share the dishes (loading and unloading the dishwasher) about 25/75 with me carrying the majority of it.  The same goes for vacuuming and dusting.  We split laundry about 50/50 and fold our own clothes and put them away.  For the most part I am happy with this.  We have gone to both extremes.  At one point I had made up a chore chart and we had assigned duties each week.  I loved how clean it was most of the time, but it was too structured and I found myself dreading doing my chores, so we backed off of that.  We have also let it get too far that things get out of hand and nobody is doing cleaning.  Yuck.

One thing that I read and tried out for awhile was taking 10 minutes at the end of each night to tidy up.  Put away any last dishes, wipe down the counters, put away and left out shoes and it really made a difference in my mood in the morning.  I need to start doing that again.

How do you handle cleaning?  Do you and your significant other share the responsibilities or is it all on you?  What works for you and what doesn't?

Julie

Stay tuned for Part 3: What Happened To Date Night?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Click to Unfriend

So I have to admit I have been lazy.  I promised I would share my 2013 goals with you and I have yet to get on that.  I realize February is just around the corner and will do my best to get those up.  In the meantime I want to focus on one of my goals that I know will be extremely difficult for me this year.

Goal: Reconnect with old friends worth connecting with and let others go that aren't worth holding on to. 

Honestly, this is harsh.  It is much easier to just click unfriend or hide on facebook, but to make a conscious decision to let old friends go is very hard.  I truly believe each person you meet makes an impact on your life (whether good or bad) and that makes you who you are today.  However, people grow up and sometimes that means growing apart.  This is a normal part of life and you can't stay best friends or even stay in regular contact with every person you ever meet so you have to decide.  Who is worth holding on to?  You need to find the connections that make you feel whole.  The ones that you are getting as much as you are giving. 

Maybe this is easier for some people than others.  I tend to hold on to everything.  Old clothes, old purses, things I don't need and even people.  It is not easy for me to just let go.  I wouldn't say I'm the best friend out there, but I will say I am loyal.  I keep most of my promises and if I tell you something, I mean it.  I get excited about things and when I get let down it hurts.  Therefore it is hard for me to let go of friendships.  It tends to take me much longer than the other party to realize the friendship has been over for a long time.  I have to talk myself into seeing that I am doing all the giving and it is no longer beneficial to me.  I then have to literally end the relationship.  I can't just let things drift away because then I break down and continue to try and hold on as tight as I can.

I will be honest, I have done this.  In fact you may have been on the receiving end of this.  I usually send it in email format so I can write out my thoughts and take my time to be thoughtful and say what I really mean.  Honestly, this has actually SAVED more friendships than it has ended.  If the relationship is worth holding onto the other person will be honest and truthful back. 

If Yes - They may respond with, I haven't been as good of a friend lately.  I want to make this work if you still do and then we continue to work on the friendship and it grows back into a mutually beneficial friendship.
If No - The response will be defensive and unwilling to see your last ditch effort to see if things can still work.  You can then move on knowing you made the right decision.

We all grow up.  We all change.  Our lives take different paths and that is normal.  We have a choice who we want to take with us though on our path and it is important we are choosing the right people.

Julie 

   

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend in Pictures

Bringing back the '90's in this black mini - which was actually from the '90's!
The first of many meals - sushi!
Stroke of Genius - Start of painting
Keely and I  enjoying girls' night!
Clouds...
All a little different!  We had so much fun!
Instagram makes everything just a little bit better :)
Having fun spectating Keely trying on bridal dresses!
 Overall I had such a fun weekend!  It was so great to be able to relax and take my mind off things for a bit.

Julie

Friday, January 25, 2013

Consent Forms

Hello again bloggy friends.  I've been writing a lot because I have A LOT on my mind lately.  This just goes to show you how life consuming IF really is.  Today I pulled out the paperwork for the: Consent to freezing (cryopreservation) of fertilized human eggs (embryos).  This basically gives our consent to freeze the embryos, but also when should be done with them in the event that something happens to one or both of us.  

This is a big decision to think about.  I'm going to go ahead and put this at the top of my biggest adult decision ever.  We have some options:

  • Dispose of in an appropriate fashion
  • Transfer to Practice for anonymous donation to other patients
  • Donate to Practice for research
  • Transferred to another party
Due to my beliefs there are really only two options that I have to choose between and that is donate or transfer.  My first instinct was donate.  If the situation ever came up I think it would be a wonderful gift to give another couple who has been through infertility.  Then that other option came up...transfer...  I don't know who I would transfer it to, but what if a family member ended up going through similar struggles and needed a donor.  Wouldn't I want them to have the option to take ours?  Who knows? That situation might not come up at all, but what if it did?  Then there is the burden of legal documentation, responsibility to that person for financial payments for the storage.  Then again what if I donated, I am dead and my poor family has to wonder if there is some potential genetic connection to me out in the world somewhere and they will never get to meet him/her.

Haven't I made enough decisions already and now I have to think about dying and what to do with my poor defenseless embryos.  

These are the decisions infertile couples have to think about when trying to grow their family.  Thank your lucky stars if some of the biggest decisions you ever had to make about your future child was what to name them and what color to paint their room.  Sorry for sounding so bitter. :(

Julie

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Resolving Cyst - IVF Cancelled Cycle Part 2

Hey Everyone,

Thank you so much for the kind words yesterday.  I am still extremely sad that I don't get started, but happy they have this protocol in place to catch things like this so that my "baby maker" is in perfect condition to get started with IVF.  I spoke with my doctor this morning and she told me the resolving cyst on my left ovary is the reason things are all out of whack this month.  My lining was a little bit too thick and that follicle had already started growing along with my estrogen being too high.  It needs to be under 50 and mine was at 70.  Damn you cyst...Damn you!

She said the majority of the time these cyst will be gone by the next cycle and that will solve all the other problems.  That is why there is no other changes will be made until we get started next month.  The good news of all this is the trial transfer went "well" (painful, but went okay)...this involves the steps they would take during the actual transfer, just without the embryos.  You have to make sure your bladder is full to the brim so that they can get the embryos up to the uterus.  Apparently one full water bottle between Fort Atkinson and Madison did the trick, she said it was perfect.

Anyways, I am so excited to have a visitor coming this weekend (from the BIG CITY) who I know will help take my mind off of all this.  She has this amazing talent to always bring an excitement for fun activities and fun we will have!  We have set up to go visit my sister-in-law and we are going to A Stroke of Genius which is a place you go and everyone paints together the same artwork.  They also serve WINE!  You better believe I will be indulging in that!

What is one more month in the scheme of the rest of my life.  Right!?!  I still believe there is a plan for me...it is one off the wall unusual plan, but I know once we get our baby/ies they will be the most loved baby/ies on earth!  (After I scold them for taking so long :).)

Julie


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cycle CANCELLED

I am so bummed right now.  After my appointment today my cycle was cancelled due to high estrogen levels.  I have't gotten a chance to speak to anyone about it yet, but we have to for sure have to wait until next cycle.  Another whole month to wait :(  I will update you when I understand this better.

Julie

Julie

Monday, January 21, 2013

Waiting for AF

Sheesh that has never come across my mind before, waiting for my period (Aunt Flow) to show up?  Yes, we can't get started until my period arrives and not that I want it to, but I like knowing when things are going to happen and now that I have my meds. figured out that is the next step...waiting for AF.  According to my "schedule" it should arrive tomorrow since I started tracking I have been fairly regular, but right when I have things figured out is usually when things go a-muck.  I expect this to be no different.  So right now I am approximately CD30 and 13DPO (based on my estimated ovulation, which was painful this month...unless that was just gas, then I have no idea...LOL).

This weekend I had a major meltdown.  Everything seem to come to a head and I just felt so tired of it all.  I cried... hard, I stared into space, I laid around and did nothing all day Sunday.  Today I woke up with a new light, a new inspiration, I caught a glimpse of my tattoo in the mirror (my hope sign) and felt ready to close a chapter and begin a new one.  In the old chapter I leave a lot of pain, sadness, uncertainty and stress.  In this new chapter I feel proud of myself for making it this far, pride in the strength of my marriage and bond my husband and I have formed, and amazed that no matter how many times I have been knocked down that I have been able to get back up.  In this new chapter I know that I am ready to take on the injections, take on the hormones and whatever else crosses my path during this IVF cycle.  Bring it on!

Julie

Saturday, January 19, 2013

You Have To Be Kidding Me

I don't ever remember life being this complicated?  My entire 4 years of college suddenly seem easier than acquiring IVF meds.  Now I need to have my doctorate and pharmacological degree to figure all this out and deal with the "professionals".
Here is the story:  After my last appointment I was told the pharmacy would be calling...they never did.  So I called.  Like I had mentioned my protocal had changed at the last minute so that my trigger shot to help me ovulate would be lupron NOT Ovidrel.  The first thing I told her was that I didn't need the Ovidrel if it was even on the perscription.  She said are you sure????...Then I doubted myself and called the clinic and left a message.  The clinic called back to confirm...NO Ovidrel and they sent an updated prescription.  So I called the pharmacy and she immediately said...Got the new prescription we are all set.  Problem solved???  Yea right!!
Obviously you need to sign when FedEx delivers over $3,100 worth of meds so I worked from home Friday morning to get the delivery.  It is almost noon and nothing...11:45 I get an email..."Sorry we missed you..."  WTF!!! No knock? No doorbell?  Did this guy sneak up to the door.  Ugh so I callex FedEx.  The meds could be delivered now after 4:00.  Ok off to work and now we have to be past all these screw ups right?  Nope.
I get home from work, the FedEx man shows up...I give him a glare (which he didn't notice).  I open up my meds. like it is Christmas morning (yea right) and what is the first thing I pull out? The mother f#%&%# Ovidrel!?!?
You have got to be kidding me.  So it is 4:30 on a Friday afternoon and I have to call the pharmacy and after a short nasty conversation run to the post office to send back the f@#%% Ovidrel.  So that was my day.  How was yours?
Julie


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meds. Are Ordered - IVF Is Getting Very Real

Seriously does everything have to be such an ordeal?  I called to order my IVF meds. yesterday (because we need them NEXT WEEK!) and the first thing that happens is my prescription is messed up.  Originally the doctor's office had sent over the original protocol which included 2 Ovidrel trigger shots, well due to the last minute change that instead we are going to use Lupron that was taken off the prescription completely.  The first thing on the list they were going to start filling and get a quote for was...guess what...Ovidrel...WTF?!

What if I hadn't asked they would have sent the wrong prescription, if I wasn't paying attention I could have gotten all the way to trigger day, had the wrong trigger and some serious problems.  If there is one thing I have learned with IF it is to be diligent and check everything, check and then double check, and then check with someone else just to be sure.  You have to take charge of your own health because the doctors are busy caring for tons of others and mistakes happen frequently.  So after two calls to my doctor and about 4-5 to the pharmacy I "think" things are all set for delivery tomorrow.

Anyways, things are really starting to move and groove and I appreciate all the comments, personal messages and prayers that are being sent my way.

One other thing I wanted to mention is that those cute little mittens I made the other day, I am going to add to my store as a fund raiser.  If you are interested, check out the details here at my Store.

I'm mostly thinking family and friends, but I should be able to work something out for bloggy friends too :)

Julie

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Overwhelmed

That is how I feel after our appointment...overwhelmed.  Here is the down low.  We spoke with the doctor and she said we have a unique plan set up based on all the testing that has been done so far.  Since my AMH came back off the charts (in a good way) we are going to start with a low dose of stimulation to get started and make changes as we go if needed.  Here is how it will go:

1. Cycle Day 1 - call to set up baseline appointment (most likely this will be next week)- that day or day after where they will do a blood test, and U/S if everything looks good there they will do a trial transfer.  This is also the day we write the big check out.

2. I will then start on meds. Follistim and Menopur daily and have frequent U/S appointments to see how I am progressing.  Once I have a lead follicle at 14mm I will start on Gonal? which will prevent me from ovulating so the rest of the follicles can catch up.

3.  The hope is to have 20 ripe follicles to be ready for retrieval which I will take Lupron to have me ovulate and then back to the doctor for the actual procedure which is done under sedation 36 hours after I take the shot.

4.  After retrieval they will perform ICSI:

ICSI is a technique of gamete micromanipulation in which a single sperm is captured in a microscopic glass pipette and meticulously injected into the cytoplasm of a single egg. Harvested, mature eggs are selected to undergo this delicate procedure. 

5.  Then we wait for either a 3 day or 5 day transfer (they call and update us daily) where they will "grade" our embryos (this is what the united egg and sperm are now called).

6.  Hopefully day 5 we will come in for transfer which they will place two of the embryos back into my uterus.  

7.  I then begin PIO (progesterone in oil) shots 2x per day until the cycle is ended or until I am 11 weeks pregnant.

This is from memory and I know I am missing a few things but you get the idea.  Somewhere in there I will take estrace, low HCG and baby aspirin.  After we spoke with the doctor we spoke with the IVF coordinator who gave us our prescriptions and a few more details.  Finally we did the injections class and the nurse was watching Dick practicing and said, "you have done this before?" talking about injections and he said, "Yup, I was a farm kid."  She laughed and told him he needed to be more gentle with me than with the cattle.  

The main concern my doctor had was hyper ovarian stimulation because of my AMH number.  Through careful monitoring and using the Lupron instead of the Ovidrel it will hopefully reduce the risk of that happening.  There was a lot more information, but I can't remember it and you don't need all those extra details :).  That is all for now.  Ready or not...here we go!

Julie

Monday, January 14, 2013

Next Up: IVF Planning and Injection Class

I wanted to share this post with are wider audience which is why I plan to link it to my facebook friends.  Some of you might know me, but have no clue that any of this was going on in my life.  We have currently been at TTC (trying to conceive) game for 40 months (over 3 years and 3 months) it has been a hard and miserable road.  Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be undergoing IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization).

My goal with sharing this to a wider audience is not to specifically highlight my story, but to spread awareness about infertility.  Therefore if you want to follow my story you will need to sign up for my blog to get alerts or bookmark this page, I won't be sharing future posts on facebook.  Going through this myself has opened me up to an entire world I never knew existed and would have known nothing about had we gotten pregnant the old fashioned way (sex).  However, for some reason hardly anybody talks about it.  There is nothing to be ashamed of, but many couples choose to keep it quiet.  That is okay too.  I choose to speak out so that maybe one other couple out there doesn't feel like they are alone even if I never hear from them.  The truth is I HAVE heard from many of you and I admire you all for your strength and courage.  Stay strong!

Man oh man I wish I was going to one of those birthing/breathing/breast feeding classes at the hospital tomorrow rather than an injection class  (a class that they teach you to mix the medications preparing for IVF correctly and then have your partner inject them into your butt-cheek a place where you have a little extra "skin".

Tomorrow I will be going to the doctor to get my IVF "treatment plan".  A lot of friends and family have asked me to keep them in the loop on what is all going to happen during IVF.  Below I have linked to a step by step listing of how and when everything will happen.  This way I can share my personal feelings/experiences rather than explaining each step every time.  I will refer back to this link in the future.

This is directly from my Fertility Clinic's website:

At this point, after countless pokes, prods and testing there is nothing wrong (that we know of) with either of us other than some very mild endometriosis on my part (which I had removed this past September).  In fact we are by far well above average in count and numbers with all the testing we have done and have been told we would make fabulous donors.  So the time has finally come, we plan on doing IVF once and if needed a FET (if needed and if possible).  IVF is not guaranteed.   The outcome however will take us to the fork in the road, one path is on to parenthood and if failed the other takes us a new direction.  We will not be pursuing additional fertility treatment after this is all said and done.  (Unless we magically come into a large unexpected sum of cash.)

Last but not least I wanted to let you know about a special guest blogger I have coming up soon.  She has been with me through much of the heartbreak and sadness with me without ever actually experiencing infertility first hand.  She is going to be offering her story of balancing on the fertility-infertility line and what that experience has been like.  As always, stay tuned!

Julie

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Working Woman Housewife Part 1: Make Life Just A Little Easier

Hello All!

I wanted to start a series of more light-hearted posts so I don't seem like a 24/7 raging hormonal be-atch!

 Sometimes I am just a regular person trying to make life a little bit better and a little bit easier and that is what I want this series to focus around.  I've chosen to write about topics that I come across in my daily life being a wife, working full time and part time, and having way too many hobbies and also trying to simplify life just a little bit.  (Hopefully as I get into this series I can add being a MOM that list as well :) )

So let me set the scene: It is 5:01 PM and you are headed home from work.  There are so many things you could be doing, but the #1 thought crosses your mind.  "What will I make for dinner?"  You get home, sit and think about it, look through some recipe books find one and then realize you don't have ground cumin!?

Do you:

1. Run to the store to pick it up and then add another 10 things in your cart you don't need?
2.  Make the recipe anyways and realize...oopsies it would have probably tasted a lot better with it?

Now for me...I have a grocery store literally in my back yard.  When I say literally I mean it:


That blue grey corner of the house is mine, that big building in the back is my grocery store.  So it usually isn't a big deal to run over there.  For most I can only assume it is more difficult!

So how to solve this dilemma you ask?  A weekly dinner menu!  I sit down on Sunday plan out the entire week of meals and do my grocery shopping for the week based on the menu.  I reserve a couple nights for "leftovers" but it is insane how much anxiety this takes out of your daily routine.  If you are lucky and you get your husband on board he may even offer to get things started for you or GASP make the meal himself.  I find myself able to easier set out the meat needed in the morning to thaw, taking less time to make the meals because I don't think about if I have such and such ingredient.  I also find myself cooking better, healthier meals and including more vegetables (which I also usually include on the menu).  We also eat our a lot less because we have the food in mind that we are going to be eating that night and it just makes sense to save money and eat what we already have.

I've noticed that sometimes we get busy or have an off week and forget to write up the menu and I get frustrated by what to make for dinner.  It is a simple task to add to your life, but in my book very rewarding.

Does anyone else do this?

Does anyone else have a different system that they use?

Julie

Stay tuned for The Working Woman Housewife Part 2: Do You Have A Clean House?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Motivation

This has been a reoccurring theme in my life lately.  What is motivating me?  What motivates me to work hard, be healthy, be a good wife, be a good person, want to have a baby?  Is it something internal?  Is it money or the things money can buy?  Is it just that I am doing what I think I "should" be doing?  What is it?

Lately I have been running into some issues in my professional life that have caused me to question this exact thing.  If you are wondering, I am in sales and it is obvious that to a large extent money motivates me.  It isn't the number one priority in my life, but in order to be a successful sales person it has to be pretty far up on the list.  For me I don't think it is just the money but more, the feeling of success, pride in work, reassurance of doing a good job AND money.  A few things that have happened lately in my "career life" have called all of these things into question and so for just a minute in order to get my life priorities straight I wanted to reflect on this question in conjunction with my overall life.

As I sit here and write this I am not sure I know the full answer.  Let's start by applying this to infertility.  What is motivating me to push through all bullshit that infertility treatment brings, the pain, the ups and downs, the financial struggles, the relationship ups and downs?  I really want to focus on my true desire for the outcome of this before I take the leap of IVF.  Is it the actual fact of being pregnant, being a mom, having a baby, passing along my genetics, passing along my values and morals, seeing my husband be a father?  I really can't just pinpoint one thing in this situation either.  The truth is I could go through IVF and the end result could be that NONE of this comes through.  I could end up still not being pregnant, not being a mom, not having a baby, no passing of genes or values or ANYTHING.  I could just be back where I started from.

So what does that mean?  My answer is HOPE.  Hope is the only thing I can really pinpoint as my motivation that all these mini-motivators will come true.  So here I am back at the drawing board, back to where I started over 3 years ago when we decided we wanted to have a baby.  There is no certainty, but only hope.

Julie

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Year, Same Goal

Well I still feel the happy kick of the New Year feeling, but moving forward into 2013 we have the same goal.  We want to have a baby!  As we near our IVF appointment I keep looking for signs in hopes to keep my attitude positive.  So I was excited to get an "in your face" (in a good way sign) in the form of a fortune cookie:
A little corny I know, but how cool!  Maintaining the course seems to become more and more difficult as the stakes go higher and higher.  My goal moving forward from today is to try and stay calm.  This has been difficult the past few days due some things going on in my life, but I started reading:
This has helped me to wind down at the end of the night, drink my bedtime tea and make one aspect of my life seem simple.  I want to continue to do this each night.  I have also been really focused on getting better with my sewing and crafting.  Here are a few things I have been working on:

Just getting started on an apron from my new "Vintage Apron" book
Continuing to refashion and recycle old clothing into new things...
Now an apron for my niece!

100% Wool Blanket
Now cute wool/sweater mittens!
First pair I made
So I have been keeping busy, but trying to not be too busy.  I just keep reminding myself I need to "stay the course."  Thank you delicious Chinese takeout for the reminder and delicious egg rolls!

Julie

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 + 2012 Wrap Up

Well can you believe it?  2013 here we are.  Looking back at 2012 it is easy to gloss over all the good things that happened and focus on the emotional stress that 3 failed IUI's and overall infertility brought my life, but there were just to many good things that happened in 2012 to do that.  Looking back through my goals and creating new goals for 2013 (will post more about this in a future post) helped me realize that 2012 wasn't as bad is it seemed at times.  To top things off I had an amazing end of the year vacation and holiday season to share with you in pictures.  So let's get started!

December 23, 2012 - My brother and sister-in-law and I participated in the Santa Hustle down by the lake front in Milwaukee, WI.  We had so much fun dressing goofy and seeing all the Santas!


December 24 - 25

Christmas was wonderful this year.  I spent Christmas Eve with my family at my Grandma's house (below are the ornaments we gave to my Grandma) and Christmas day bartending with the Mr.


December 26 - 29, 2012

Over Christmas my Dad asked me if I would be interested in going on a father-daughter fishing trip up in northern Wisconsin complete with a fishing guide.  I had the week off so I thought...why not!?









December 30 - January 1st

Next we made our way back down south to meet up with my brother and his family at my parents cabin.  We have made it a tradition of spending the weekend up there and going out for an all you can eat buffet (complete with crab legs) for New Year's Eve.


We had so much fun!  I am able to go back to work feeling revitalized and ready for the new year!  We begin preparation for IVF on January 15th with our injection class and planning appointment.  I'm so nervous, but also excited.  I need to go into this with a positive attitude!  I'm sure many posts to come, but need to get caught up on life right now.  Happy New Year!

Julie