Being Thankful

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Gathering with family, reflecting on what I am thankful for and a great big Thanksgiving meal….what could be better?

Some of you are also experiencing infertility and the hardship it brings to our everyday lives. Yes, infertility is very life consuming, but I challenge you to find other things in your life that you are thankful for…and maybe there are some reasons that you are actually ‘thankful’ to be on this infertility journey (sounds crazy…but read on!)

I am thankful for my husband. He supports me in too many ways to list. I have seen so many of his amazing qualities shine through while dealing with infertility. He is caring and courageous and he puts ‘our’ family first always. He is comforting during the hard times and lately that is what I’ve needed the most. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life.

I am thankful for friends and family. These special people are our biggest cheerleaders and supporters. It’s comforting to have people thinking about you during the tough times and to celebrate when you receive good news. I have even met a few “new” friends because of infertility. Connecting with these women who are experiencing the same things as you is extremely helpful and it feels good to offer them encouragement and also receive words of wisdom and strength from them. All of our family and friends mean the world to us and their support through our infertility journey has been so crucial.

I am thankful for my relationship with God. I have spent so much time in prayer lately, its nice to have that connection and to know He is always there and He does have a plan. I don’t always know what that plan is, but I believe that He does.
I am thankful for good jobs we love and financial stability. Without our jobs, we wouldn’t be able to pursue fertility treatments or live the life we lead. I am so thankful for the families that I work with each day and I’m so happy that I was led to pursue something that I am passionate about and enjoy.

I am thankful for our doctors and nurses. They work so hard to get you the results that you are hoping for. They really care and I appreciate how genuine and hard working these individuals are. It’s nice to have people like these in your team.

I am thankful for the little things. Warm baths during IVF injections, chocolate and sweets to curb cravings, smiling and laughing daily, “me” time to do the things I enjoy….and so many other little things that add joy to my life.

I am thankful for this journey and the person I have become because of it. Its hard to put these things into words but, I look at the world alot differently today than I did 3 years ago. I feel like I understand and value the miracle of life much more. Each child born is a special miracle, and to me, each child that gains wings and is held in our hearts rather than our arms is special as well. I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. I am stronger than I was before facing infertility face on. I am a better person because of this journey and for that, I am thankful.

Find things that you are thankful for and make a list. I bet you’ll be surprised at how many wonderful things you have in your life to truly be thankful for.

Picture credit here.

Weighing out the Options

These last couple of weeks have been spent doing great amounts of research by both myself and my husband. I am happy to report that there are multiple options for us for growing our family, but it seems that none of these options are perfect and this decision is not going to be an easy one. It has lead my husband Blake and I to many difficult conversations and arguments as well as countless hours scouring the web for information and stories about each option.

As I prepare for an appointment with our doctor on Monday, I began writing down the options that we have and the questions I have, as well as some of the pros and cons of each. As I do this, I cant help but feel that this is not ideal. I never thought we would be at this point where we would have to make such hard decisions. When you start trying to grow your family, you never jump to the thoughts of using surrogates, adopting or doing IVF.  But, now that we have done many cycles of medication and now a cycle of IVF that failed, we are at a turning point and we need to decide how we will proceed.

Here is a list of our options and some of my thoughts/feelings/questions about each. If you are someone who is also making a similar decision, I hope hearing my thoughts may help you in your decision. Please don’t judge me for my feelings and thoughts. These are real things that I have been processing for days and it has been difficult. So, by sharing I am not looking for judgment, but if you have any thoughts or useful information please feel free to share. Also, these items are not listed in any specific order. Just the order that they appear on my piece of scratch paper that I’ll be bringing to our doctor appointment.

IVF

Do we do another cycle of IVF? Would there be a change in my medication protocol? Why did our embryos degrade? In our situation, since implantation occurred but the pregnancy did not progress is the problem our genetic combination, egg quality, sperm quality, or my body’s ability to carry a baby?

IVF is expensive and our insurance doesn’t cover. So, we would need to figure out a plan financially to pursue IVF again. Also, IVF was very physically and emotionally stressful. A significant break would need to happen before we could/would attempt this again. Dealing with a failed cycle and knowing that the next cycle could also fail gives me a great amount of anxiety.

With IVF, we would be able to have a child that contains our genetic make up and would be  by blood “our” child.

SURROGACY

Depending on the cause of failure for IVF, this may or may not be an option. If our IVF failed due to our genetic combination, likely surrogacy would not be a better option than doing IVF again. There are different types of surrogacy, some where the procedure would be similar to IVF and the surrogate would carry the baby rather than me or it can also be like an intrauterine insemination where my husband’s sperm would be combined with the surrogates egg. This would be a way to get around the genetic combination issue (if that’s the issue), but it may cause for some awkward feelings if a child is genetically my husband Blake’s, but not my genetics. I am not sure that I would be okay with this option, but it is an option that is out there. I would need to do a little more research on surrogacy using the surrogate’s eggs before this would be an option for me.

With surrogacy, would you chose a surrogate that is a family member or a friend or  a stranger? Of course, there would need to be a lawyer to help keep this from getting messy.

Surrogacy would most likely cost just as much as IVF and probably more. If you used person that you do not already know as a surrogate, my research has shown that this can be very expensive. Covering their medical bills plus compensation for being a surrogate would end up being very expensive. And don’t forget that you would also have legal fees to pay as well.

This option could lead to a child that contains our genetic make up, if it is determined that my body is unable to carry a baby.

DONOR EMBRYOS

Couples that have went though IVF and have left over frozen embryos that they don’t plan to use can donate them so they can be used by others.

I think we would be most interested in having an anonymous donor and by the donor being anonymous, you would never meet them and there would be no legal fees because you are getting an embryo that was donated for use. You would however receive medical information about the couple and a physical description. I believe genetic testing is also done on the embryos.

What is the wait time to receive a donated embryo? What information are you given exactly about the embryo? Do you get all of that donor’s embryos or just the number that you choose (so if they have 10 embryos would you get all of them or could you say that you only wanted 5?) What would the cost of keeping those additional embryos frozen be?

With this option, our child would not be ours “genetically” but, if I am deemed healthy enough to carry a baby, I could have the opportunity to be pregnant and give birth to our child.

If we receive multiple embryos, there is a possibility that if we have multiple children, they would all have the same genetics. I think that it’s kind of neat to think that they would be brothers and sisters by blood.

What would be my medication protocol if we did a frozen embryo transfer with donor embryos? It would be less than a full IVF cycle, but I’d like to know what types of things would need to be done to carry a donor embryo.

Using donor embryos would be a similar cost to doing a frozen embryo transfer, which is much less than a full IVF cycle.

ADOPTION

There are many different means of growing your family through adoption. There are also many children out there that are in need of a “good home.” Loving and helping a child in need, to me, would be the best part of adopting.

With adoption, similar to using donor embryos, the child would not be genetically ours.

I also would not get to be pregnant and carry a child, which also means I would have no control over what the birth mother puts into her body throughout her pregnancy.

Adoption can be very expensive. I think if this was the option that we chose, we would want to adopt an infant and that process would cost more than a cycle of IVF.

NO CHILDREN

I don’t plan to pursue this option, but it is an option none the less. We could stop trying for a child and just be content as a family of 2.

————-

As you can see, there are multiple options for us. I am hoping that Monday’s appointment will give us some answers and more insight. The more information and insight that we can get, the better.

Many couples have been faced with similar decisions, have used the above options and were blessed with children. I have no doubt that whichever choice we chose, we will also receive a miracle one day. No matter how that miracle comes to us, we will be over the moon excited and will love them with all our hearts.out-of-hope-grow-miracles

Image credit here.

 

When You Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

I know, the common saying is “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” With our invitro cycle, I feel like that’s exactly what happened. As if all 18 of my eggs were in that one basket and it got dropped and each one broke. 

To fill you in, our IVF cycle didn’t end as we had hoped. We were given a glimmer of positive news after my first quantitative hCG blood draw, as that test showed I was pregnant! Implantation had occurred, but our numbers were lower than ideal. After a second blood draw, the hCG level had fallen, indicating that this pregnancy had failed. 

There is a multitude of things that go into an IVF cycle, so this type of news was crushing and devastating.We knew there was a chance that this could happen, but we put all our eggs in one basket anyways and hoped for the best. 

I have been trying to focus on the future and what is next. Thinking about the past is painful, so I’ve got to hold my head high and know that one day we will receive our miracle.

Here are a few thoughts that have been racing through my head these last couple of days as I process this loss and look towards the future.

*Technically, I have now carried 5 babies and lost them all. This hurts. But, what is the cause? Is it genetics? Do mine and my husband’s genetic make-up not work together? Or, is it me? Is my body unable to sustain a life within?

*Taking a break. Yes, a break is in order. Basically, our entire married life has revolved around producing a child. It’s been stressful and difficult. We need to take a step back from all of this chaos and focus on each other and our love for one another. I am unsure of the length of this break. It might be a few months or it might be a year or more. It’s scary to me to put this journey in hold. The longer it’s on hold, the longer it will be before we can hold a baby in our arms. But, we need a break for sanity as well as financially.
*It’s seeming like we will be pursuing options where our child may not have our DNA. It might sound bad, but it’s hard to switch gears and to think that our child wouldn’t look like us. They wouldn’t be tall and thin like my husband or have my blue eyes. I’m certain we would love them the same, but it’s just something I’ve been thinking about. We have been discussing a few different avenues of adoption, including infant adoption and a snowflake baby (embryo adoption). 

* I feel thankful. (Might seem a little odd after deal with all of this, but I do.) I feel especially thankful for all of the love and support we have as we ride through this journey of infertility. We have so many wonderful people in our lives that have let us know that they are here for us. A simple hug from a friend or a conversation that gives me hope seems to keep me going. I’m also so thankful that even if I can’t have a child of my own right now, I still get to spend each day with such a bright group of kiddos in my daycare. Their smiles and and snuggles these last few days have made life much easier. 

Although, we are going through a rough patch, we won’t be giving up. We will be continuing our journey towards parenthood. We have an appointment towards the end of the month with our fertility doctor. Looking forward to getting answers to our many questions and with his guidance deciding what the next steps will be.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. 

Photo credits: here and here.

2ww…

A 2ww (or 2 week wait) is usually considered the time between ovulation and your next expected period. Or, for this cycle for us it’s the time from Embryo Transfer to my quantitative hCG test. (Which will actually end up being a little longer than 2 weeks of waiting!)

The time during the 2ww usually goes painfully slow as you simply wait to see if this cycle worked. I have done my fair share of 2wws, but this IVF wait seems like it’s been one of the longest!!

It’s good to find things to keep yourself preoccupied and busy during this time. Of course, there will be times (maybe many times) that you will just sit and think or maybe sit and worry, wondering if the cycle worked. 

I have been doing my best to stay busy, but I have to admit some days have been tougher than others to find the motivation to keep busy. Here are some enjoyable things that have helped me keep my mind off of things:

-I met up with a friend from college for dinner. It was a nice little outing and was super fun to catch up with an old friend.

-The weather has been gorgeous, so we had a bonfire the other night. So relaxing to hang out by the warm fire on a cool fall evening.

-We celebrated at friend’s birthday. A group of us went out for dinner and stopped at our local brewery afterwards. I of course couldn’t have a drink, but it was still fun to get together with friends.

-We have went to church. We aren’t always the “best” at getting there each week. But, it was good to spend some time hearing the word of God these last couple of weeks.

-I’ve been busy with projects around the house. I cleaned my car, did some trimming and weeding in my flower beds, put up fall decorations and all the regular cleaning, dishes, etc.

-I have been praying a lot. Not only for me and my 2ww, but for others in need of prayers too. 

-We had friends over for yummy lasagna and football watching! Good food and a good game!

-I’ve been trying my best to relax by not having any extra obligations, sleeping in on weekends and I even bought an adult coloring book. I have to admit coloring is an extremely relaxing activity. I have been skeptical of this adult coloring book fad, but I’m happy I’m giving it a shot!

Here is rhe start of my coloring. Love the inspirational quotes on each page.

Wish us luck as this 2ww comes to a close. Soon we will be starting a new chapter. Hopefully our next chapter will be one of pregnancy. If not, however, it will be a new chapter of our continued journey towards parenthood.

Symptom check…Is it over?

It has been a exactly one week since our transfer! This week flew by, as I was quite busy with work! I have been noticing some possible “pregnancy-like” symptoms, but I think I’m hypersensitive to some of these symptoms just because I want to be pregnant! Also, I’m using progesterone suppositories and those, of course, can cause side effects that mimic pregnancy. Also, symptoms leading up to your period are likely to be very similar to pregnancy symptoms. So, how do you know what’s going on?! (Spoiler alert: You don’t!!!)

 Here’s what I do know! This week I have continued to be bloated. I’m not sure if it’s a sign at all, or just my ovaries still being slightly enlarged from stimulation and follicle growth. I have been able to squeeze back into jeans, but they are just not overly comfortable right now. Leggings have become my new best friend.

I have had little twinges of pain here and there in my abdomen and occasional cramps. Is this a sign? Could those embryos be burrowing in to my uterine lining and causing some discomfort? 

Sore boobs. Yep, they hurt. But, usually this happens before my period, so maybe a sign, or maybe not!

I have been tired. I’ve been going to bed relatively early and just feel tired and wore out! Is it because of a busy work week, or is something else causing this?

I feel hungry all the time. I feel myself snacking more and more between meals and just feel more hungry in general. And I seem to be craving sweets!

Sharper sense of smell? This is hard to gauge until regular smells make you want to vomit. I haven’t experienced that yet, but I feel like some smells have really caught my attention! We have had fruit flies in our house (yuck!) and the trap that we set out a couple of weeks ago hasn’t bothered me until the other day. While doing the dishes all I could smell was the fermented vinegar smell from that fruit fly trap! Hmmm….maybe it’s my nose or maybe it’s gotten more potent as its sat. Hard to tell!

And now for the trickiest symptom of all…this morning I started bleeding. Spotting, maybe? Or is it my period? As if right now, I don’t know. It seems a little late for implantation bleeding (our doctor said to expect that last Monday or Tuesday, as that’s when implantation should have taken place), but after reading message boards online, spotting during early pregnancy is “normal.” So what is this?! I feel like it might be my period and of course got in a good cry after feeling like this was all over. But, maybe it isn’t. I’m hoping it’s not over and hoping this is a pregnancy symptom rather than another period. 

As you can see as I evaluate all these signs…it really doesn’t tell me much. So, I just turn to prayer and pray that these are all “good signs” and pray that those little embryos hold on in there. 

My mind has been wandering all morning though. I’ve been thinking maybe taking a home pregnancy test would give me my answer. But, if it’s negative I’ll be wondering if it was just too early. If it’s positive, is this bleeding a chemical pregnancy? So, I’ve decided that a home pregnancy test isn’t my answer. I just need to wait another 9 days until my blood test.

Meanwhile, I’ll just continue to take things one day at a time. Spending the weekend relaxing and doing my best to keep the negative thoughts out. Even though, it’s natural to be thinking “What will be next for us if this doesn’t work?”…but that’s probably a topic for a whole different blog post.

Please send prayers that our little embryos hold on and that all these symptoms are pregnancy symptoms rather than medication side effects or my period making its entrance.

Picture credit here

Embryo Transfer

Yesterday was our Embryo Transfer. I realize that I am blogging a day late, but I did that on purpose. I needed yesterday to process our transfer and to organize my thoughts before sharing our Embryo Transfer with you.

Here is what our Embryo Transfer looked like:

-Due to our appointment being at 7am, we headed to Maple Grove on Friday night, rather than getting on the road so early Saturday morning. We ended up heading for a nice dinner out and stayed at a hotel near our fertility clinic.

-On our way to Maple Grove, we drove through some rain and saw these beautiful rainbows. I had Blake take a picture because what were the chances of seeing 2 separate rainbows at the same time when we were on our way to transfer 2 embryos? We have been hoping for a “Rainbow” …hmm… maybe this was a sign we will get not just 1 Rainbow Baby, but 2!?

The rainbows are a little hard to see– there is one on either side of the road.

-There was a lot of excitement (and some anxiety) before our Embryo Transfer. But, I was mostly excited to be at this point in our journey and knew that I would be leaving the clinic “Pregnant” or as many social media sites would say “PUPO” (Pregnant until Proven Otherwise). –Such a funny word! Hubby and I had a good laugh about it!

-Once we arrived at the clinic, we were taken back to the “Transfer Suite.” The nurse double-checked our identity, had me get into my gown and booties and take 600mg of Ibuprofen before the transfer.

-After meeting with the nurse, the embryologist came in to go over our embryos with us. She handed us a pamphlet that contained our “Embryo Report Card”and went over it with us. We had started with 18 eggs. 10 of those eggs were mature and were fertilized using Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI (A process where each egg is injected with a viable single sperm, rather than surrounding the egg with sperm to let fertilization happen more naturally). Of those 10, 6 achieved fertilization. And currently, only 2 embryos were still thriving. The rest had degraded. This was unfortunate. Yes, we were thankful that we had 2 remaining, but we had hoped that this cycle would yield extra embryos so we would be able to expand our family in the future if this cycle worked, or if this cycle failed we would be able to use frozen embryos. It is much cheaper (about 1/4 of the cost to transfer frozen embryos) and I also wouldn’t have to go through the physical and emotional stress of doing injections and Egg Retrieval — So in a sense, having additional embryos to freeze would have been like a little insurance policy.

-After meeting with the Embryologist we had to wait a little while so our doctor could finish up with another Embryo Transfer. While we waited, I shed some tears. I was feeling much more anxiety now than excitement.

-Then our doctor came in and said he knew it was a bit disappointing that we only had 2 embryos left. He also said that one was stronger than the other and most likely just the one would make it. I was happy to hear that he hoped one would make it, but I would have felt better knowing that both of our remaining embryos had a good chance at survival.

-Then it was time for the Transfer. It was a relatively quick procedure. The lights were dimmed and soft relaxing music was played. My hubby was able to sit right next to me through the whole thing. A catheter was placed at just the right spot in my uterus where the embryos would be placed.

-The Embryologist then brought the embryos in. They were placed in a small tube that was inserted through the catheter that was already in place. They were inserted and that was it!

-I had to rest for about 10 minutes following the procedure and then we were free to get dressed and head home.

I’m not sure why, but I of course had an image in my head of what Embryo Transfer was going to be like. I felt like we were going to get to see and meet our little embryos, but they were just talked about and we didn’t actually see them. I also was so excited that I would be leaving the clinic “Pregnant.” But, I was so anxious about why all of the embryos had degraded that I really was feeling down and not excited at all. I felt like this was just like leaving most fertility appointments where once again I had been dealt another “crappy hand of cards.” It seems each time that there is something that just doesn’t work. So, I really should be used to these feelings, but this day I was hoping things would be different.

Once we arrived home yesterday, I was able to just sit and process of my mixed emotions. I cried a lot, prayed a lot, took a nap, and did a little research on things. Afterwards, and today, I am feeling better. I am feeling more much more hopeful. In my research, I found out that usually only 30-50% of embryos make it to a day 5 transfer. So, statistically, it was kind of “normal” to experience what we had.

I am supposed to be taking it easy these next few days, which I have been doing pretty good with so far. Lots of relaxing! Today, I decided to dig out my Fall decorations, making sure not to over do it. The season of fall just resonates Thankfulness. While putting out decorations I found this framed bible verse that I display during this season of Thankfulness. It made me realize even more that I have so much to be thankful for. Especially for these 2 small embryos that I carry within.

 

 

Lots of waiting!!

These last few days have included copious amounts of waiting. Waiting to start feeling better for me (It’s been a long week with a lot of cramping, bloating, and soreness. Today I’m finally feeling better!) And waiting for updates on our embryos at the lab!!!

Tuesday we received a message from our fertility clinic (they leave messages on a secure voicemail so you can check them when it’s convenient for you since most contain private and sensitive information). The message included some great news, that fertilization had taken place and that we would be having a 5 day transfer (so 5 days after retrieval). The number of days that the embryos spend in the Petrie dishes depends on the number of viable embryos. If you have more embryos (5+) they will culture them for 5 days until they are a blastocyst. At the 5 day mark, they are able to grade each embryo and make sure they are transferring the strongest ones back to your uterus. If there are fewer embryos after fertilization (less than 5) they will do the transfer 2 days after fertilization because the uterus is a better incubator than the ones in the lab. So, the chances of survival are greater when they are placed in the uterus sooner. The drawback to this earlier transfer is they are not able to grade the embryos to know which ones are the strongest. So, all in all, I was happy to get the news that a 5 day transfer was scheduled for us!

Wednesday -Thursday I continued to check our secure voicemail. Any updates would be left on there and I didn’t want to miss a thing! I was hoping to get a number of how many embryos we had, but there were no messages left these days. I guess no news is good news, right?!

Friday  (today) I received another message. We are still scheduled for a 5 day transfer and need to check into the clinic at 7am tomorrow! The message said we will get an embryo “report card” that shows the quality of the embryos (I still want to know how many…but I guess I’ll have to wait one more day!)

Here is a picture diagram we received on retrieval day. I’ve been following along to see how big the embryos are getting. It is so crazy that humans start like this! So amazing!

Continue to send prayers as we prepare for Transfer Day and the upcoming weeks which will also include lots and lots of waiting!

Retrieval!! 

Today was our egg retrieval!! We had 18 eggs retrieved! So happy that there were lots of little eggs in those follicles!

Had to take a quick picture before retrieval! Lots of excitement (and a few nerves too!)

Here is step by step how our retrieval appointment went.

*We arrived an hour before the scheduled retrieval. Once admitted we went to our egg retrieval “suite.” (A room with a large comfy chair for me and a table and other chairs for hubby and a TV)

*Next hubby was taken to go do his collection and I changed not my gown (and special little booties!)

*My vitals were checked and  I was given an oral medication to help me to relax. They also got my IV in. (I was super impressed at how well our nurse did with my IV. The last time I had one a few months back, I was poked 6 times, and they ended up putting the IV up in the crease by my elbow and left a huge bruise on my arm!– this nurse did one little poke in my hand and it was set!)

*Then we had to do some waiting until it was “time.” We had brought with a little bag with magazines, books, etc. which was nice because there was a fair amount of waiting throughout the day (especially for Blake)

*Our doctor came in and visited to explain the procedure and I was ready to go!

*The procedure room was warm and dark. There were 2 nurses that got me all set up.The procedure room was right next to the laboratory. Even the embryologist came out to introduce herself. It was nice to meet the lady that would be handling my eggs in the lab.

*When the procedure started, I was partially sedated. I mostly just felt tired and little dizzy, but I was still awake!

*Our doctor inserted the aspiration needle and ultrasound. There were two screens that I could watch. One that showed the ultrasound view and one that showed the Petrie dishes in the lab as she poured the contents of the follicles into the dish to look for eggs. Hubby was also able to watch on a screen in the egg retrieval suite. Here is a video he took of the retrieval. You can see the needle poking in the follicles and drawing out the fluid from each one. Science is so awesome!! I’m so happy I was able to be “awake” to watch this during the procedure!

*After the retrieval we waited for the anesthesia the wear off and I had some animal crackers! No nausea for me, but I was definitely tired. I’m pretty uncomfortable in my tummy…almost like cramping. It doesn’t really hurt if I don’t move, but standing up and walking is quite painful. Happy to have the week off to recover and get ready for transfer day!

*After the eggs were retrieved, they were fertilized in a Petrie dish and we should find out tomorrow how many of the 18 fertilized. From what I’ve read, usually about 70% will fertilize. Looking forward to that call tomorrow to get an update on our embryos!

Thank you for the prayers as today went just as planned!

This Man…

Infertility is not easy. In our case, I’m the “problem.” I have PCOS which is the root of our infertility. Fortunately, Blake is “all good.” No issues for him as far as fertility goes! In some ways, this does bring some jealousy on my part. I’m the one having all of the procedures, injections, etc, while he seemingly sits back and watches.

I am so thankful for him though. The further we go through this journey the more and more I appreciate having him by my side.

Here are some of the reasons I’m so thankful for “this man…” ::

He is calm.  Always. I’m the one who easily stresses and easily gets uptight when things aren’t going well. Each failed cycle, I was crushed. Meanwhile, hubby was always calm and encouraging. Always remaining hopeful and rather than dwelling on the past, looking to the future and what treatments we will try next.

He is helpful and handy. It’s so nice knowing that when things break around the house, he will have a solution for fixing it. Occasionally, I’ve been under the weather through treatments and he will help out– even of its just by making a pizza so I dont have to cook dinner. Might seem like a small gesture, but helping with the small stuff is huge most days.

He is hardworking. Being a lineman is not an easy job. I know that he puts his life on the line during some of the nastiest weather to keep everyone’s lights on. If it weren’t for his hard working nature, paying for fertility treatments would be out of the picture. So thankful that he works hard to support us and our future family.

He always encourages time for relaxation at the end of the day. Relaxation is important, especially through the stressful times of infertility. I tend to be more of a busy body. If Blake is gone, I won’t sit down. I’ll be busy working around the house until I go to bed. But, Blake encourages me to relax. Forces me to take time at the end of the day just to sit (usually in front of the tv). He will also encourage me to to hop in the bath if I’m not feeling well or if I had a stressful day. Sometimes he even gets the water going and all set up. It’s the little things that make you feel extra appreciated. And a hot bath always makes you feel better!

Lots of hugs. (I don’t want to sound cheesy)…but a hug and a kiss before work and after really make my day better. Just knowing that he is by my side makes every day better.

He loves me no matter what. At my worst and at my best. Even when the root of our infertility is my “fault” he makes me confident that we are in this together. I’ve heard many stories where marriages fall apart due to infertility. It is stressful and hard, but I am confident that our love is stronger because of it.

 To share some appreciation for my amazing hubby I put together a little IVF survival kit for him. This journey is as stressful for him as it is for me. Also, these upcoming appointments will include lots of waiting in the clinic, so I figured he could use a magazine and a new book to help pass the the time. I also included some of his favorite snacks and a shirt that I am hoping he will be able to wear when we are through with this IVF cycle.

Did I mention I’m super THANKFUL for this man??!  Thank you Blake for all that you do. Those of you struggling with infertility, be sure to thank your significant other. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to work through this together. Those of you that don’t have to deal with infertility, thank your significant other anyways. Having a partner for life is the best.

Trigger Time! 

Tonight I did my hCG trigger shot at 9:30pm. Actually, our friend and neighbor who is a nurse ended up giving it to me! I did this same injection throughout our Letrozole cycles, but due to the importance of this injection I figured I’d phone a friend for some assistance. Giving yourself intramuscular injections with a inch a half long needle isn’t easy. So, I figured I’d ask and know that it was getting done the right way, rather than me getting super nervous and worrying about hitting a vein, etc. This was my final IVF injection and injection #58!!

Timing is very important when it comes to this injection because ovulation will occur 36 hours after. It is at exactly 36 hours later that my egg retrieval will take place to get all those mature eggs out!! So, Monday morning at 9:30am is our scheduled egg retrieval!

 I was instructed to inject a 1/2 dose (5,000 iu rather than 10,000 iu) of Novarel. After reading in our in vitro handbook, it seems that women who are at higher risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) are to inject a lesser dose of hCG to hopefully avoid OHSS. OHSS is a condition that occurs with the use of stimulation medications to induce the growth of many follicles. Mild cases of OHSS include having soreness and swelling in the ovaries. There are more severe cases as well that can lead to stroke or even death. Click here for more details regarding Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. I read that drinking lots of water and staying hydrated can help, so I have been sure to get plenty of fluids since I started stimulation medications and will continue to do so these next few days! 

Our egg retrieval was scheduled after today’s ultrasound which showed continued follicle growth. Along with the follicle growth has come some discomfort! My tummy is feeling tight and I have felt pretty “wore out” in general today. Happy it is the weekend so I am able to relax and getting excited for our upcoming egg retrieval!! I will be sure to update on Monday with how our egg retrieval goes! Wish us luck!!