My Little Man

Well, everyone, I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to post about this, I could probably come up with a few good excuses, and a couple bad ones, but instead I’ll just say that it took me too long and I apologize.  I am pregnant.

That’s right!  For anyone who’s been with me since the beginning of this blog, you know that we struggled for three years to conceive our daughter.  We tried naturally, we tried Clomid, then we went to a Reproductive Endocrinologist and finally got a diagnosis of PCOS for me, and some wonky (not the medical term) sperm from my husband.  After that we tried four medicated rounds of IUI, with only three being viable for the actual insemination part, and after a chemical pregnancy with the first IUI try, and two failed IUI’s after that, we took nine months off, regrouped physically and mentally, and then went back for IVF.  FINALLY, we had success!  Little E was conceived, carried, and born in June of 2013.  Phew… long ride… but we had made it.  Now, with a little lady on my hands, I wondered at the prospect of more.  Was I willing to go through fertility treatments again? I mean, after all, my husband and I were still considered infertile so it would take more medication, more money, more time, to conceive again, and I just wasn’t ready.  My heart wasn’t in it.  I was content, happy, finding my new balance in life with E.  *heartfelt sigh* But then…..

So, remember this post I wrote on July 13th of last year?  It was all about how I wasn’t sure a second kid was for me.  Well, three days later I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant.  Go figure!  To say I was shocked is putting it very, very mildly.  In fact, it was until recently that I think I actually kind of accepted what was happening, and I’m already 31 weeks along.  I am now elated, but at first I was scared and upset.  I didn’t know if this was something I wanted, or could even handle.  I’m still not sure I can handle it, but I know it’s something I want now.  HE is something I want.

That’s right, I have a little man on the way!

I’m hoping to post one day about how this is a wonderful thing for people who have suffered through infertility and can now have hope of a natural second, but I feel like I would need more than two minutes, and sadly, that’s all the time I have left this morning.

Until next time, lovelies!

-E

With Me At Birth

As my little girl gets older, I have more time in my day to reflect on her life.  I also have more brain power to do so because sleep gets better with each passing month.  Lately I have been intrigued with the circumstances that got her to us.  The crazy happenings that lead to her being made.  Her.  Not just a baby, but her.  Her personality, her looks, her being.  I am truly amazed by everything that had to happen for her to be here, and every day I feel like I have a new realization on just how amazing it is to have her, and why I have been overwhelmingly attached to her since the moment I first saw her.

Ignoring ALL of the tiny things that had to happen for her to be here, like the Big Bang, the solar system forming, and life evolving on our little planet, I think about just the things that had to happen for her daddy and I  to meet.  He grew up an Army brat, traveling to a different state every few years.  I grew up in a small town, and stayed there almost my entire life until college.  We ended up both living in the same state, both attending the same college, and both, somehow, befriending the same people on a campus of thousands of students.  It seems almost inevitable that we met, but I won’t go into all of that.  Let’s just say that we were meant to be.  Simple (is that simple?) as that.

Where it really starts to get interesting for me, is when we finally decided to try to have a baby.  We had just bought a house and figured that this was as good a time as any.  I was 25, he was 26, and everything felt right.  We went through all of the motions for having a baby.  I went off birth control, waited three months, we tried, and tried, and tried for a year with no results.  We then sought help, and began the process of fertility treatments.  Five rounds of Clomid, three rounds of IUI, and finally the big IVF.  Luckily IVF worked for us, but that is where my mind starts to be truly amazed, because that is when our little one was made.

After injecting myself with what felt like a million needles full of hormones, we had our egg retrieval.  There were only five mature follicles that would attempt to be fertilized.  Of those five, four fertilized and began to mature.  Of those four, two were chosen on day three to be transferred back to my uterus.  It all seems simple, doesn’t it?  But in reality it is insane.  I was born with millions of eggs, but only five were made to try IVF with.  Five.  Then, in a lab at our specialists office, an embryologist took five of my husbands sperm, and inserted one into each egg.  Four of those eggs became embryos.  Four out of millions of eggs were now becoming babies, humans, life.  The embryologist then decided that two specific ones would be transferred back.  Two, out of millions of eggs, were receiving the chance to grow and become babies inside my belly.  Back to where they came from, after having started their little lives in a lab.  Seeing the outside world before they saw the inside of me.  Imagine!  What a way to start life!  Of those two transferred back, our little girl decided to latch on.  To bury herself deep into my uterus, and to begin to live.  Developing from an embryo, to a fetus, to a baby, and now into an infant.  Absolutely magical.

…but what really blew my mind is this… this simple fact that half of my little girl has been with me since I was born.  It’s no wonder that mothers become to attached so quickly, as we have been carrying our babies with us through our entire lives.  She was with me when I was born, as I learned to walk, as I started school, when I cried, when I laughed, when I got married.  She has been with me through it all.  She has been with me longer than my husband.  Isn’t that absolutely amazing to think about?  She has always been with me, and that is why my love for her is so overwhelming, deep, and perfect.  My little egg.  One out of millions.

Hope (For the Second Time Around)

This entry is intended to give those of you who struggled with infertility the first time around, a little hope.  I am here to inform you that out of the three other women I know in real life who have gone through IVF, two of them have been successful in getting pregnant naturally the second time around.  Isn’t that amazing?  It is so exciting for them, and I hope that it is exciting for you too.  Just because you struggled so much, and went through so much heartache the first time around, does not mean you have to face this type of hurt the next time you try.  Not that it is full-proof, or that it is a guarantee, but it does offer a glimmer of hope.

The most impressive thing?  Neither of them were “trying.”  No scheduling sex, no temperature taking, no ovulation tests, NO HORMONES!!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  Too good to be true?  Fantasy… right?  Well, it is possible.  I offer you all love, good vibes, and hope.  For those of you continuing on in your journey for more babies to love and squeeze, I wish you all the luck in the world!

A Bad Infertile?

Today I went back to the fertility clinic for the first time since I was seven weeks pregnant.  It was… strange, but absurdly familiar.  I never thought I’d be back so soon, since my little one is only eight months old, but after an email exchange with my reproductive endocrinologist, we both decided that it would be a good idea for me to have my AMH tested.  Since it went from a 6.9 to a 1.3-.67 in just one year, it is likely that I have Premature Ovarian Failure.  I asked my RE if he thought it would be a good idea to see how much it’s dropped in the past year and a half so that we could decide on a course of hormone therapy once little miss is weaned.  If it is at an undetectable level, then I would not go on birth control (which would be needed to control my PCOS symptoms), I would go on hormones to help with the premature menopause.  Wow, forgot how messed up I was — reproductively speaking!  I also found out while I was there that my best blood taking vein was permanently scared from all my blood draws during IVF.  Holy cow.  That is unreal!  I guess it’s to be expected when I only have one usable vein though.

Anyway, while I was there, one of the guys at the front asked me if I was there for my second round.  (I had little miss with me).  I quickly, without thought, said “NO WAY!!”  Then I laughed and said “she is only eight months, so I definitely need a little time!”  He then said “Oh, okay.”  I guess having someone with fertility problems be so quick to say “NO!” when asked about more babies is rare.  So, does it make me a bad infertile if I am pretty sure that I will not want to have another baby?  Is it okay, in our community, to decide that an only is the right choice for their family?  I know that when someone struggles so much for babies, they can sometimes get baby fever so bad that they will continue until their bodies crash (I saw a lady at the specialist who had a three year old, a one year old, and a four month old — all conceived through fertility treatments), desiring as many babies as possible, but I do not feel that way.  I feel like another baby would be too much for me.  I think it is important to go with what works for your family, for your sanity, and for your heart.

My husband and my little girl are my entire world.  I cannot imagine sharing it with anyone else.  Could my mind change in the next few years?  Yes, maybe, I’m keeping my mind open, but I wonder if I am in the minority when it comes to be an infertile who desires to have only one child.

Any other infertiles who stopped at one on purpose?

(I will post the results of my AMH once I hear back from the RE — Hopefully tomorrow!)

Thank You, Robert G. Edwards.

I am ashamed to admit that I had not heard of the passing of Robert G. Edwards this past April.  Not that I would have recognized the name, which shames me all over again, but the story would have caught my attention.  He is one of the two men who “discovered” IVF.  One of the men who is the reason that I am a mother.  The reason my world is filled with joy, and love, and laughter.  The reason I am overwhelmed with emotion at every moment of the day.  And he passed, and I did not know.  I was unable to take a minute to say a thank you to the universe for providing a man who had a vision.  A vision for being able to help infertile couples around the world.  A man who refused to give up after many, many failures.  Years of failures.  I can account to years of failure too!  His motivation to keep going, just so he could help others have babies.  It is amazing.  He deserved the noble prize, and I am happy that he got it before he passed.  If I had a noble prize, I would have handed him mine.  I would have loved to give him a hug.

If you’d like to read a little about his life, please read this.  And if you have had success, or even if you haven’t and you are relying on IVF to give you a family, please send a big thank you and a big hug into the universe for him and his partner Patrick Steptoe (who passed in 1988).  Their work was not always appreciated as it should have been, but I owe them so much for my beautiful baby girl.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I Will Not Vote For You

Hello, all.  I’ve missed you!  I have become a bit lonely on my mommy blog.  Not that there aren’t a lot of wonderful women who I connect with, but I am going to leave the mommy blogging to the hilarious ladies.  I miss connecting with others on a deeper level, about things that not everyone can understand unless you have been there.  I have fallen into a blogging slump, even though I constantly feel like there is more I’d like to say.  I think I will be moving back to this blog, at least that is my goal at the moment.  It feels nice to be back and to see that my blog is getting more views than ever in my absence.  I hope I have been able to help others while I’ve been away.

Today I’d like to discuss something that is making me upset.  Deep down in my bones upset.  Lately, social media is the go to move for everyone.  It isn’t just for celebrities and news anymore.  It is for stores, movies, music, and everything else you could think of.  The amount of competitions online is reaching an all time high.  “Like, comment, and share to win ______!”  Well, heck, I’d love to win ______!  Who wouldn’t?  This is fine for things like free scarves, gift cards, Ipods, and things of that sort, but this is not for babies.  Confused?  Let me explain…

For the past couple weeks, I’ve had a friend on Facebook asking everyone to go and vote for her cousin to win a free IVF session.  Now, free IVF is amazing.  Phenomenal, even!  What a prize!  What a gift!  Everyone who has to reach the point of IVF deserves help to achieve this goal.  Not many people on this planet have the type of money to go all willy nilly and do IVF without a second thought.  A lot of people go into tremendous debt in order to start a family, or TRY to start a family, as it is not always successful, and when it isn’t, these families continue to climb into debt.  By the way, I refuse to hear the words “they should just adopt!  It is a guarantee!  They are just being selfish”  Because, no it isn’t a guarantee, and it is just as expensive, takes years, and isn’t at all selfish!  And those who claim it is selfish are usually those who do not struggle.  So, don’t go there, please.

So, yes, she wanted everyone to go and vote for her cousin.  I was intrigued, and quickly disgusted.  I clicked the link and saw that there were at least 50 entries for this contest.  A contest!  Just using that word to talk about this makes me queasy!  Giving the gift of IVF should not be a popularity contest.  These people should not have to put their heart breaking stories online for everyone to see, and have people vote on who’s story is the saddest.  If someone has to do IVF, their story is sad.  Something is preventing them from conceiving a child.  Something you are told is the easiest, most natural thing in the world, is impossible for these people without the help of science.  Expensive science.  Expensive, invasive, emotional, painful science.  And you want to put on a show and make them dance for you?  Shame.  Shame on these fertility clinics that do this to these poor people.  They see these people every single day.  The struggle, the pain, and they smile and say “I know!  We will make them compete!  That will get a lot of traffic on our website!”  Absolutely revolting.

So, no, I will not vote for you, or anyone.  I know what it is like to need to do IVF, to worry about it financially, to long for it emotionally, and I still wouldn’t vote for someone in a situation just like mine, because every vote for person A, is a non vote for person B, C, D, E…..  How can I say that one couple deserves a baby more just because I know them, or a friend knows them?  Why is this happening?  Why doesn’t anyone see why this is a problem?  I understand the desperation on these people, and using them to promote your business is sick.

Cut it out, fertility clinics.  If you want to give someone a free IVF session, do so with a random drawing in-house.  Do not put on a show with these peoples lives and feelings.  IVF is hard enough, but losing your chance because you have less Facebook friends?  Infuriating.

The Birth Control Choice Is In….

…and it’s…. condoms!  Whoa!  No one was expecting that, were they?

It was a strange decision that had a lot to do with my not wanting to take the chance of the progesterone only pill drying up my milk.  This is a thing.  Just Google it and you will be shocked by how many women have had this problem.  It’s just not worth the chance.  It may be a 1 in 1 million chance, but that is enough of a chance for me.  With breastfeeding, PCOS, DOR, the likely possibility that I have primary ovarian inefficiency which will lead to menopause within the next 2-3 years, AND condoms…. I think our chances of conceiving accidentally would be pretty low, if not non-existent.

Right now I am really terrified that I have a cyst on my left ovary.  I’ve been feeling twinges ever since giving birth, but I assumed this probably had something to do with GIVING BIRTH, but it’s been worse and worse over the past two days.  I remember them mentioning a small cyst on my ovary during one of my pregnancy ultrasounds (most likely a leftover follicle from the IVF), but geez, you’d think pregnancy hormones would have kicked that thing out of there?  Dried it up? Something…  Guess I did not get that lucky.  I just really hope I do not have to deal with a rupturing cyst.  This is like a period multiplied by 1,000.  It’s not quite on the level of epidural-less birth, but it is still pretty horrific.  I am usually hunched over the toilet throwing up, screaming, and sobbing.  Not sure how I’d breastfeed through something like that?  Let’s just send out some vibes that will kill this (likely) cyst!

 

Oh, and in happy baby fertility news… I have a friend who, after two years, 3 IUI’s, a fresh IVF, a chemical pregnancy (early miscarriage), and an FET, was FINALLY successful and is now about 12 weeks pregnant!  The FET was successful!  I am very excited for her.  It gives me hope for all of you who are out there still trying.  I know it’s hard and you want to give up, but please don’t.  I’m not saying it has to be fertility treatments, it can be adoption.  Just any way to have a child.  If you want a child, please continue fighting for one!  And if there is anything I can help you with (although I’m certainly not a professional) please let me know!  I am here to answer questions!