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Sep 28, 2016

Second and Final

With the news of our negative beta, I shed a couple of tears, but to be honest, I felt like I already knew it was negative. We had a 50/50 chance, and unfortunately, it was not in our favor this time.

It was still tough to hear that voicemail.
We prepared ourselves as best we could.
After getting so many negative tests throughout the week, my heart just wasn't filled with much hope.
Maybe I already knew, in a way....to shield my heart as best I could.

I had already put the wheels in motion for our back-up plan, the day before my blood results.

And I'm about to get real honest....about our PGD results, about everything.
At first I felt an overwhelming need to protect our results, because I know that not everyone may have agreed with our route, or our choices, especially since some of those people are closer to us than others.

Here we are trying to nurture a potential life, and we kept getting bombarded with questions about the "other embryos"....and what our plans were for them.
Like it really mattered at that point or at any point in the future.

After going through the ringer for an ENTIRE YEAR with IVF, and battling this disease called Infertility for an additional THREE. YEARS. PRIOR we have hardened my edges and grown accustomed to shitty news, shitty results, and absolutely positively know when to keep things to ourselves.

But I do know one thing.
I am never doing this again.
Not that I'm not a strong fucking warrior in the face of uncertainty, but life must move forward at some point and I have dedicated a literal year to being a science project.

I couldn't ever imagine going through another year like this one.
Being prodded and poked on a daily basis.
Shoving hundreds, upon hundreds of needles into my body.
Injecting a lot of meds, that do a lot of fucked up things to my hormones, to my sanity, to my health.
To have professionals tell me I have old eggs.
That I'M broken.
That we may never collect enough embryos for testing.

Yes, we got over each and every hurdle.
Barely.

See, after we collected a "whopping" five embryos that developed into Day-5 blastocysts, we had them tested for our genetic match (MCAD) along with general chromosomal abnormalities.

And you wanna know what we were left with?

Two.

I went through Hell and back to harvest as many eggs as my body would give me.
After all three retrievals, I yielded 29 total eggs, of which 15 of them fertilized normally, and five grew to be blastocysts.
Of those five, only two embryos were genetically normal.

So the answer to what we will be doing with our "extra" embryos?

Nothing. Because we don't have any.

See, when we got the results of our final two, I was ELATED to even have the option to move forward.
But my next thought was, because we already decided, in stone, that we would be a one-child family, we were at a cross-roads.

What if the first one took and we had this extra embryo?

You see, Mark and I already signed on the dotted line to discard any extras.
And I must reiterate....that what I just wrote is OUR decision.

We did not want to donate and potentially see a product of both of us in the world.
We did not want to donate to science.
So the only other option was to discard.

I DARE anyone to come at me with their opinions on this. 
It's our choice and our life and yada yada ya. So peace out nay-sayers.

Anyways, even though we chose to discard, we both felt guilty, in a way.
Guilty that we might not be able to give a perfectly normal embryo a chance should the first one take.

The two embryos that made it were vastly different.

We had one Grade 5BB Blastocyst make it from our third retrieval.
This one grew slowly, and didn't make it to a "5" until Day 7. Two days late.
But it made it, and looked good.

The other one was the hatching Grade 6BB Blastocysts from our second retrieval.
You remember, the only one that made it?
This one grew according to a normal timeline, making to a hatching blast on Day 6.

I had asked if the embryologist could give us a recommendation, even though I already knew they would tell us to go with the 6BB.
And they did.

But we went against our better judgement, and the embryologists suggestion, and decided to give the 5BB a chance first.
This one was our guilt trip. The one we felt needed a chance, but may never get it.

Well....we all know what happened.
It was negative.
The whole transfer, and time before, and time after....seemed wrong for some reason.
My gut told me this one wouldn't work from the start.

I had questions about the transfer process, but kept quiet.
I never felt anything at any point that indicated I was pregnant, even the day of beta, when you would normally test positive, I still felt nothing.

But....being able to close the guilt chapter gave us both huge relief.
We now focus on the front-runner.
Our last shot.

We know the process, we are now transfer veterans.
I have questioned a few things from our first transfer, and pushed to have an endo scratch completed with this one.
Normally our doctor doesn't do the scratch until two failed attempts.
Well, we don't have that many.
So I got the ok and we will move forward.

I have higher hopes with this one.
The one that will make me a mom.

I am also finding peace knowing that no matter what our results with the second and final attempt, we will closing this chapter of specialists and IVF by the New Year.

If it works, I will have my final appointment with the specialist, and take my final shot, all within 2016.

And if it doesn't, we can't say we didn't give it the old college try.
We are at peace knowing we have done EVERYTHING in our power to make us parents.

So thank you.
Thank you for your kind words as we keep shuffling through this process.
I lean on that comfort more than you know.

But we aren't quite finished yet.
The best is yet to come. :)


Sep 26, 2016

Expired

Last Wednesday, I was 5dp5dt.

(To non-TTC folks, this stands for five days past five-day transfer. Our embryo grew in a petri-dish for five days, so the day of transfer is based on how many days growth, get it? Good.)

And although I SWORE to myself I wouldn't Google symptoms or take a pregnancy test...I did.

Shocking.

See, waaayyyy back in the day when we were going through our Clomid cycles, and we're talking like late 2014 people, I purchased an expensive-ass Clear Blue ovulation tracker through Amazon and it came with a few digital pregnancy tests.

That ovulation tracker, by the way, was like $200 or something ridiculous.

And I used it for exactly one cycle.

Awesome.

Trouble conceiving will make you do weird things like drop a couple hundred on a piece of shit digital tracking device.....ONLY BECAUSE IT'S DIGITAL.

Anyways, of those digital pregnancy tests, I only used two, leaving me with one fancy digital pregnancy test that I just knew one day would read PREGNANT in bold letters.

What I didn't realize was it had an expiration date.


So on a whim, last Wednesday, I pull the test out of the drawer it was in, and wiped off the dust.
Yep...there was dust on it.

And lo and behold, there was a sticker on it that read: EXPIRATION 3/2016.

As in MARCH 2016.

Now, any normal person would look at this, like old cheese, and toss it right into the trash.

But not psycho IVFers like me.

Oh no...even though I KNEW the results would like not be in my favor (it's too soon!) and that the fucking thing was expired, potentially giving me false information in either direction....I still peed on it. And not even with First Morning Urine (FMU) which is the GOLDEN TICKET of pee for pregnancy tests.

Because anyone who has ever gone through the ringer in any fashion with having troubles conceiving knows....you just can't THROW OUT a pregnancy test.

Even if it's six months past it's expiration date, apparently.

So I started my shower that morning and watched as the little dots blinked away from one side to the other. Once they reached the other side, my results would be ready.

NOT. PREGNANT.

I immediately threw it out and hopped in the shower.

That was so dumb, I kept telling myself. And so starts my inner monologue.
But what if it's true?
Or what if it's too soon and I'm just messing with myself?
Should I go buy more tests?
No, I should wait. Because I said I wouldn't do this to myself.
But I want to know!
This can't fail. It just can't. Or can it?
What if it does fail?

What if, what if, what if....all damn morning.

And I was so embarrassed that I so quickly broke down and took a test, I didn't want to tell Mark.
But the idea of keeping such a ridiculous secret was making me even more nervous.

So I called him.

I did something epically stupid this morning.

And I'm sure he's thinking I crashed the car or something ACTUALLY important for such an early phone call.

I proceed to tell him what I did and all my thoughts about how I know it's stupid but what if, what if, WHAT IF.

And he talks me off my ledge, luckily.

It IS too soon. Stop testing. Stop worrying.
There is a reason I don't go to the doctor's for a blood test right away.
A blood test should actually be able to detect a pregnancy BEFORE a home pregnancy test, so why would I pee on anything before the bloodwork.

Obviously.

So anyways, as I know so many other women are likely in the same position at one point or another.

Don't. Pee. On Anything. Until. Beta.
(not that you're going to listen to me, I already see you eyeing those 3-packs on Amazon)

And here's an article I found all about expired pregnancy tests, if you're so inclined to read.

Thanks for reading about Mrs. McCrazy today. XO

Sep 22, 2016

September Goals


I can't believe I am even bothering to write a post on goals for September now that we are clearly more than half-way through the friggin' month, but hey, I couldn't be bothered with anything non-summer related until it was officially considered fall, amiright?

I'm right.

Let's go with that.

But first! Thank you.
I have said it before and will continue to preach it from the mountains...the love and support we receive from our friends, family, and followers means the WORLD to me.
I am so grateful for it.

Our transfer news and details are so very exciting, and I am so glad I get to share the highs and lows with so many wonderful people.

In an attempt to simplify my life a little bit, and let go of some stress, please know that I still cherish everyone's thoughts and comments, but trying to respond to everyone is overwhelming.

I promise I read every comment on this blog, and every comment on Facebook and Instagram, and every text and every phone call and voicemail.
I'm not so good at responding to each and everyone individually.
I guess that is a good thing that this little blog has grown in such a way that I am reaching a bigger audience these days.

Please forgive me.

Now back to the task at hand.

September and early October are typically one of two of the busiest times for us each year.
It's always those transition months that seem never-ending with tasks to prep one space or another.

In May, we are scrambling like crazy to get our outdoor areas up to par for swimming and shenanigans.

And during September, we are scrambling to close the outdoor stuff before it gets too cold.

And, lesbihonest, before I decorate for Halloween.
Which literally must commence on October 1st so I can dedicate an entire month to spooky.

Without further ado, here is my list of goals to knock out before all the golden leaves falls off the trees:

1. Close the pool (Mark will most likely be doing this solo since he swears a lot in the process and it stresses me out)

2. Deflate the enormous pool floats (the ones that survived at least, RIP Flamingo and booze canoes), tuck away all the lawn furniture, and murder all spiders/bugs that decided our basement was their home over the summer.

3. Attempt to re-pot some thriving outdoor plants and see if I can keep them alive over winter.

4.  Switch out my plastic-by-the-pool summer drinkware for my festive and fancy wine glasses and champs glasses....that I'll only be able to stare at, unfortunately....all. winter. long.

5. Wash, fold, and store all beach towels and pool-related items.

6. Change out the guest room bedding and lobby decor for more soothing, demure tones.

7. Get my crockpot back on a normal Sunday rotation. There is NOTHING more defining in a midwestern suburban Fall than a crockpot and whatever football is on tv.
Not that I'm actually watching it ;)

8. Deep. Clean. Everything. on the inside of my house. I cannot decorate for Halloween until I get rid of the actual cobwebs everywhere. Or does that make it more spooky?

9. Professionally clean our carpets. Even though I have no idea where this money is going to come from, I would rather not eat food for a month than go another season with carpets that have seen far to many "accidents" from the pets in the last six months.
These poor animals cannot catch a break and I'm pretty sure if you haven't bought stock in baby wipes, hydrogen peroxide and paper towels, then hop on it!
Because we have gone through an IMMENSE amount.
That is all.

10. String up the Christmas lights. Oh you bet your sweet hillbilly-ass I'm the one that does it months ahead of time. I think it's smart though, because then I'm not freezing my ass off in December!

11. Stay Pregnant.
We have a loooong way to go in the process still, and I'm just hoping that bebe is still thriving and growing!!

So tell me, what do YOU do to prep for colder months?!

Thanks for reading!! XO

Sep 19, 2016

PUPO: Our Transfer


I am officially PUPO.
Pregnant. Until. Proven. Otherwise.

Although, I have to admit, I don't really care for that acronym.

PUPO means, of course, things could work out.
But they also could not.

It just seems so.....pessimistic? Is it just me?
I'm gunning for a bit more positivity, I suppose.

Moving on....

Instead, I'm looking at it as I am technically, currently pregnant.
We are technically, currently parents.

Sounds a lot nicer don't you think?

The little circle of cells up there?
That's our baby.

I know, it's so cute, you don't have to tell me! ;)

Friday was transfer.
It was a day filled with all the feels.

I woke up and was surprised as to how warm it was.
I guess for a September day I was expecting more fall-ish weather.
But I'll take summer temps for as long as I can get!

I had coffee on the porch and we made cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Afterward, Mark decided to mow the lawn and I went for a walk.
Not a .....sweat-to-death-burn-as-many-calories-as-possible walk.

Just a walk. In the nice weather.

The entire time I kept getting choked up.
Thinking about how these are the last few hours of ME. How I currently am.
How life currently is.
After this it's all about keeping this baby safe and healthy and thriving, no matter how small and minuscule it is.

And then I got back and checked Facebook and Instagram and realized just how many people have been rooting for us.
The comments alone brought me to tears.
Like I said, I have been a ball of emotions for a while now.

I showered, got dressed and put on some light make-up.
We headed out just before noon and arrived in Highland Park right on time.

I was scheduled for 12:50pm.

And man, did things move fast after that.

This wasn't the whole...wait around for at least an hour and fill out a shit ton of paperwork, just to wait around some more for transfer.

No, this was....sign one paper that states you know how to act like an adult and not do crazy things while pregnant.
My wrist identifier was put on.
My name was called.
We headed back.

The nurse showed us our room with a huge smile on her face.

This time we were there to celebrate our victory.
We made it to transfer!

We changed into our scrubs.

The mood was light and funny and we cracked jokes the entire time.
With each other.
With the nurses.
Everyone.

Mark was required to wear scrubs this time, and apparently they are one-size fits all, because he looked like a convict straight out of the 8 Mile movie.

I couldn't stop laughing!
He kept asking the nurses if they had a bigger size, because this garbage bag didn't quite fit over his waist....as they sagged to his knees.

We met with the embryologist that told us our embryo thawed beautifully, and was told to pop my Valium.

Yesssss Ma'am.

We headed back to the transfer room.
At this point, it seemed too quick, and I wasn't sure if the Valium was working yet.
I did NOT want to feel that catheter being shoved through my cervix!

Apparently they were, because the nurse told Mark to sit down in a chair next to the transfer table.....and I promptly sat there because I thought he was talking to me. Ha!

He quickly stood me up, chuckling,  no, no....they aren't putting the baby in him darling, you sit here....and showed me the table.

They got me in my stirrups and talked us through the process.

The embryologist came in to confirm my identity and we were off and running.

Dr. Jacobs entered and started probing me with the speculum, wiping everything down, and getting the catheter ready.

I cramped a bit when he put it in, but was really more mesmerized by our embryo on the big screen above my head.

They had magnified it over 1,000 times and it was the size of the softball on the screen.
A pile of beautiful cells wiggling around.

They shrunk it back down to 100 times its size and we watched as a second, thin catheter scooped it up, and was preparing to place it through the original catheter in me.

The nurse dictated each step, like he was announcing a baseball game.
We were literally rooting out loud as the embryo was moved from one dish to the transfer dish, to me.

The nurse had a stomach ultrasound going and showed us the catheter entering my uterus, then a quick thrust forward, and a small flash of light occurred on the screen as the embryo left the catheter and landed in me.

Making me officially (technically) pregnant.

I cried more than I imagined. The nurse had tissues ready.
This mess of emotions is not uncommon.

I felt relaxed (hello! Valium!) but Mark was gripping my hand tightly the entire time.
The whole process was so surreal.

I got up shortly after and peed since my bladder was rather full.
(They require a full bladder of water during transfer.)

After that, we got dressed, I gave Dr. J a huge hug, and we were on our way.

All in all, we were there no more than a half hour.

I went about my business at home, after napping for a couple hours to wear off the Valium.
I did had some slight cramping after the transfer, but that subsided within a few hours.

So we are officially PUPO!!

And I am SURE everyone is wondering how and when I know if it worked.

So, you have to think of it this way.
Transfer day is the equivalent of someone who is not going through infertility treatments, have sex with their partner just after ovulation and the embryo makes its way down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus.

Those people wouldn't know they were pregnant for a couple weeks when they missed their period, right?

For me, the missing-my-period day is called Beta Day.

Beta is the blood draw to determine if my hcg number is "high enough" to confirm pregnancy.
If that number is good, then the next number, taken two days later, needs to be double or more the first one.

That means bebe is growing accordingly and on track.

Capiche?

So tell us when we will know!!

You will know when I know, and when I know is early October.
We will obviously be telling family and close friends first before I update the blog, but no worries, you'll get your turn, sound good?

Until then, my goal to is to avoid symptom-spotting, and Googling, and just trying to keep busy.
Which shouldn't bee too much of a problem since work has picked up substantially.

Thank you again for all your kind words in the last past few days.
Our friends and family and my TTC tribe cannot be beat!!
XO

Sep 15, 2016

I am not defined by Infertility


I have been blogging for just over four years.
My reason for starting a blog in the first place was to fill my time with an outlet.
A place to vent my frustrations and crossed hurdles because I really wanted a baby and had no clue just how long it would take.

Days turned to weeks turned to months....ultimately turning to years.

Four years, 3 months to be exact.

And in that time I have accomplished many things that make me whole outside of motherhood.
I have grown as a career-woman, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a person in general.

Since 2012 I went from a job that I thought was good to a new job that is great.
I climbed the corporate ladder and have settled into a position that is both comfortable and challenging.
I stopped commuting to the city after 15 years.
I gained some extra time at home.
I learned what worked for me with fitness and can now commit to hitting the gym in the wee hours of the morning on a consistent basis.
I learned that wine is delicious, a good cocktail can't be beat, and there are no off limits foods. You just have to be smart about quantities.
I learned that I can maintain and renovate a home much larger than I ever thought I would purchase, and also act as landlord for a rental property.
I became a better, more compassionate friend.
I narrowed my circle of friends and love them with fury.
I have grown more patient, loving, and understanding with my husband.
I have stepped in as a sister and daughter for family when they need me.
I learned I can do hard things. Much harder than I ever imagined.
I learned I am the rock for troubled times with people I may or may not consider family.
I learned many people look to me for advice, and I'm happy to share my experiences and insight.
I have said a hard NO to situations and events that weren't suited for me.
I stopped feeling guilty about who I am as a person.

A person...who laughs too loud, who cracks one too many crass jokes, who loves too deeply at times, who ugly cries at inopportune moments, who is a logistics queen, who is sharp as a whip with math and planning, who wipes up drool and poop on a daily basis, who wears sweat pants (or no pants) and ratty t-shirts when not in public, who doesn't find the need for make-up unless it's at work or a social event, who loves dry-shampoo but adores a long bath, and fresh sheets, who is enthralled by Instagram, who is a shameless blogger, who opens up to anyone that will listen, who doesn't get too wrapped up in politics and avoids religion like the plague, who loves big hair and red lips, but only when the time is right, who doesn't really watch TV, unless it's HGTV, who works hard for the money and everything I own or want or need in this world, and who took infertility by the horns and said a huge FUCK YOU to the thought that we couldn't have children.

And the list can go on and on.

What I wanted from this blog was a voice, freedom of expression, and avoidance of definition.
Far too often I see bloggers attempt to find their niche, and then realize they have fallen down this rabbit hole and can't get out.

Can fashion bloggers post more than their OOTD and the latest trend?
Can food bloggers post more than recipes?

The answer is yes, if you play your cards right.

A niche can create a pigeon hole effect, when really, you are dying inside to share your real thoughts.

I am currently what would be considered an infertility blogger. I share my experiences in the hopes that someone will find my blog and feel that they are not alone, navigating the great unknown through trying to conceive and IVF.

I am also hopeful that I can close this chapter of my life this month.

To move onto a pregnant blogger.
A mom blogger.
A working mom blogger.
A hilarious blogger.
A tell-it-like-it-is blogger.
A home renovation blogger.
A cocktail blogger.
A dog-mom blogger.
A suburban blogger.
A LIFE BLOGGER.

However you want to define it, it has always, and will always continue to encapsulate my entire life.
The good and the bad.
The ups and downs.

I am ready to be done with this chapter.
I will never forget this struggle, but I am looking forward to not being in the depths of its grip anymore.
I am so much more than infertility.
You'll see.

And with that, I'm out!
The next time I blog I will officially be PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise).
You can follow along on Instagram (@tgendooza).

Wish me luck and thanks for reading! XO

Sep 12, 2016

Oh No! PIO


Welcome to the shit show, folks.

I have officially started the crazy week of medication as of Sunday.

This week I am on a total of FIVE different medications.

Since I am taking them all at the same time, I have no idea what is causing what side effect, but they include: needing to pee every 20 minutes, hot flushed cheeks, night sweats, night chills, crazy swinging emotions, and confusion.

Confusion meaning, I will walk into a room to do something and forget what I came in there.
On repeat for eternity.

Luckily, two of the medications will go away after my Friday transfer.
They are Medrol and a Z-pack.

I have to take a 5-Day Z-pack antibiotic prior to anyone shoving anything up my hoo-ha.
I did this with all three retrievals and am doing it for the transfer.
This eliminates any possible infections that could occur during transfer.

Medrol is a steroid. I think that is what is causing the hot flushes and constant peeing.
From what I have read, it helps tell my body not to reject the embryo.

I am also on 3x daily Endometrin. This is a vaginal suppository. It provides the hormone progesterone....right up where it needs to go. :)

I haven't bought pads since I was 14, but here I am....doing that exact thing.

Every two days I change out my estrogen patches called Minivelle.
I am applying them to my outer thigh is a small gathering.

They are making me cry uncontrollably at points like when I see puppies, and making me rage out when my husband does something insane like ask me to grab a magazine at the store that I was planning to go to anyways.

Fun.

And then....the dreaded PIO.
PIO stands for Progesterone in Oil.

This is an intra-muscular injection, to be administered in the upper-outer butt cheek.
(Think right up where your bikini line is).

I spent a literal hour trying to work up the courage to administer this fucking thing myself.

My stomach injection used a 1/2" very thin needle. Some hurt more than others, but the pain is temporary and I could easily reach and do them myself.

This fucking injection is with a 1.5" needle, and the needle is much thicker.

So I draw up the liquid with a needle that could easily be used as a horse tranquilizer.
The progesterone is in sesame oil so the consistency is a bit thicker than the other meds.
I switch out the needles to a slightly thinner gauge one, and prepare my ass with an alcohol swab.

Then I proceeded to pace around the house, trying to find a good position that "allows for me to relax my butt muscle."

Yea. Right. Because that is exactly how I felt. Relaxed.

After sweating bullets for an hour, I end up blubbering to Mark that he needed to do it for me.

I walked him through the procedure.
Told him NOT to hesitate, freak out, or go too quickly.
We did the countdown. 1..2..3..A quick pinch...and the needle is in.
He draws back a tad to check for blood.
No blood.
Then he proceeds to inject the medication.
It's a slower process, so all in all, I think it was about 3 minutes...maybe less.

I hop up and massage the area with a heating pad, while slowly walking on my treadmill, to help disperse the medication.

The oil, if it gets too cold, can lump up just under your skin, and that is no bueno.

So we got through day 1.

Unfortunately today, my butt muscle is incredibly sore.
No bruising, but the muscle below the fat is very painful to push on.

TTC sisters...please tell me this part gets better?
I went for a run this morning and I actually thought my ass muscle turned into a painful brick.
Sitting in the car on the way to work was a joy as well.

I have to alternate these injections daily through the first trimester of pregnancy, along with the suppositories and estrogen patches.

Anything to keep the baby growing though, right?
Phew....one day at a time.

Thanks for reading. XO

Sep 9, 2016

One. Week.

First up, I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for those that reached out with comments, questions, love, thoughts, prayers....you name it, from my last post. We will get through my dad's hurdle just like we have gotten through all the other hurdles this year.

I'm not going to lie, between three rounds of IVF, endless insurance coordination, hundreds of shots, our cat's broken jaw, financial troubles and my dad's cancer and depression, this year has been trying.

Topping off my filled-to-the-brim-cup, with the fact that I currently have four estrogen patches slapped on my thigh....which is finally rearing those fun hormones everyone keeps talking about.
I have already ugly-cried twice since upping the patches.
Hold on to your tray tables, this is going to be a bumpy emotional ride in the very near future.

I promise though...I am doing okay. WE are doing okay.

BECAUSE....we are in the FINAL. COUNTDOWN.

Sing it with me now....



My emotions are all over the place. Happy, nervous, anxious, emotional, frustrated at times (we'll get into that in a bit) but mostly....



I had another monitoring appointment this morning.
They checked my lining. It's still hovering at 9.5mm.
My estrogen levels were a tad lower last week so I'm hoping they are more in line today once I receive the official call-back.

My patches have been upped from 2 every two days, to 4 every two days, and they will hover at that number for the foreseeable future.

So here's a recap:

Things I'm nervous about....I start progesterone in oil (PIO) shots Sunday night. Shots are shots are shots, but THESE shots are BIG. And they go in my upper ass cheek. And I need to figure out how to do them myself. And if this all works out, I'll be doing them nightly for 8-10 weeks. Super.

I had the nurse give me targets on my ass at today's appointment. Marked with a sharpie, my ass officially looks like a chubby blank-faced person staring wide-eyed into the distance.

Otherwise, I am really not nervous, per se, about the transfer. I am just chugging along counting down the days. Knowing I will be happy as a clam on Valium for the big event eases my mind about, well, mostly everything, to be honest.

Things I'm frustrated about....our insurance. Remember when I thought we would be submitting our huge ass genetic testing bill to the insurance and they would waive their magic wand and reimburse me?

Yea....not so much.

Turns out, the lab we are using will most likely be considered out of network, as they don't contract with insurances and have no National Provider Number. We have no idea what we will be reimbursed with, if anything.

It started out with a total processing time of 30 days, and now it's 45 days after the first 3 weeks of collecting information, so maybe, just maybe we'll see a check in October?

And then the amount. Well, since it's out of network there are a couple other variables.

1. Out of network typically only covers 50% of billable procedures.

2. But 50% of what, you may ask? It's not 50% of what I paid....of course not. It's 50% of whatever the national average is for this type of testing. Which I have no idea.

We'll see what happens. I have been BEYOND frustrated at this point, so am trying to come to peace with the notion that we just paid $12k for a baby and be done with it.

(And yes, I am still fully aware this is far less than what other people pay for IVF, but I didn't anticipate it. I had no back-up plan. This was all kind of out of pocket, and well...let's not compare, ok? I'm stressed out enough about it already.)

Things I'm excited about.....duh...GETTING PREGNANT!

Also, Saturday is my LAST abdomen injection!! WOO fucking HOO!

Things I'm looking forward to.....closing the IVF chapter. Good riddance.

Things I'm not looking forward to.....not drinking. Let's be honest, I like a good cocktail. I'm sure I'll find comfort after a stressful day in other ways, but red wine by a fire in the dead of winter can't be beat.

Also, I'm sure I won't be jealous AT ALL for being husband's DD for the next 9ish months.
that was sarcasm.

We'll get through it. :) I'll be busy renovating a nursery anyways. :)

So that's my recap. The next time I am at a fertility clinic I will be GETTING PREGNANT!
Halle-frickin-luleh!!

Thanks for reading!! Happy weekend! XO

Sep 7, 2016

Laughing Through Tough Times



I have been thinking a lot about the meaning of the word strong, and how it relates to me.

A lot of times, I feel strong at the gym, that's a given.
I can lift, move, push, pull apart....handle a lot of things.
That makes me physically strong.

But what about mentally?
This year has done nothing but proven that I am also mentally strong enough to handle some rather difficult shit.

Sorting through the mess, making the tough decisions, but not let the tough times overtake the good times.

That makes someone mentally strong.

I think a lot of this strength also comes from allowing myself to laugh through the pain.
To step away from the hurt and heartbreak and remember that laughing is really some of the best medicine. 
A deep, belly-filled laugh can do wonders....one that makes you tear up, and your cheeks hurt.

The bad times AND the good times are just seasons of life, blips in time....this too shall pass.

So you try to make the most of the good, and learn lessons from the bad.

Labor Day Weekend went off without a hitch. Family visited and we fulfilled all the fun stuff we had hoped for. The weather was beautiful and I had no intention of wallowing in self-pity.

That doesn't mean it was without drama.
There is never a good time to go through something terrible, unfortunately.

Anyone that has ever been witness to a family member or close friend with mental issues, like depression and anxiety, knows that it's tough.....really, really tough, to push through and make sense of everything.

You are trying to reason with someone that is just a shell of a person.
You are begging them to SNAP OUT OF IT ALREADY! 
And they nod their head in compliance and then go right back to acting crazy.

You are dealing with a person that has a chemical imbalance in their brain, and they are very, very good at manipulating a situation and sucking you into the drama. 

It takes a very strong minded individual, and safety net of family and friends to rally around and step in as needed to get the help they need.

And sometimes those issues become so large that family members can't do much to help the situation, so you waive the white flag and call in the professionals.

So that's what we did. 
As much as I hated to see my dad whisked off in an ambulance, I knew it would keep him safe, keep us sane, and get everyone the much needed stability we are desperately craving in our lives.

Making that hard decision does not mean you don't love that person.
Hell, it means you love them so much you just want the best for them.

And it's hard when they are screaming at you that YOU ARE RUINING EVERYTHING.

But it will get better. 
This is one of many steps in the right direction. 

Mental anxiety takes a decent amount of time to get back on track, work out the medication, talk with specialists, continue therapy, each and every day, as much as needed, for the rest of their life.

Parents are supposed to take care of their children.....so when the roles are reversed, it's....odd.
But absolutely necessary, sometimes.

I have always been very level headed in the face of uncertainty....and will likely crack a joke here and there to keep the mood light.

I'll cry later. 

But now, right now we have things to coordinate and stuff to fix and a party to throw and people to entertain and a LIFE to LIVE.

It gets better.
The sun will rise tomorrow and although you may be tired, you are healthy and breathing and ALIVE. 

My PSA with this, is if you know someone dealing with depression, TALK ABOUT IT. 
There are millions of others in a similar situation, and it really does take a village to heal that person.

It doesn't make you weak.
It makes you a fucking warrior for going against hearsay and what-ifs and fighting for the life YOU and THEY deserve. 

Take the steps. Make the calls. Because life is for the living....man.

Thanks for reading, XO.

Sep 2, 2016

Hello, September


Happy Friday, loves.
September is here and in full swing.

And to be honest, I know this is so very un-like me, but I was actually thrilled to check off the last day of August this week. I have been waiting for September for what seems like an eternity.

I know this month will be just about as busy as every other month, but I am doing my best not to have a ton of actual plans, which is nice.

The transition between seasons typically brings a lot of housework, although I have been diving into projects here and there already.

Window washing, spider-web removal, the hacking-down of our huge overgrown sunflowers, you know....typical stuff. :)

Over Labor Day weekend, we are hosting a few family members, and plan to fill the weekend with fun activities.
It's also Mark's 38th birthday!
A trip on the boat in Lake Michigan and a pool party sound ideal to say sayonara to summer, don'cha think?

I must say, the change in my Lupron protocol has done wonders to my mental state.
Reducing my nightly injection units from 10 units to 5 units has really cleared my head.

I feel like a functioning adult again!

The estrogen patches have been working out as well.
I was warned that I would turn into a bitch, so I don't know if maybe I am already at max-bitch-capacity, or what, but I have actually felt NICER and more productive in the last week.

Imagine that!

Morning gym sessions have been consistent. I am going 4 mornings per week, Monday through Thursday, and then Friday morning's I have monitoring appointments.

I want to lose 3 pounds - Mean Girls

....not really, but I weighed myself Thursday for the first time in about a year, and was surprised to see I had lost a few pounds since the nurse weighed me at one of my visits.
I'll take it knowing I'll probably put them right back on once I start progesterone injections.

At my appointment this morning, the tech said my lining is growing at a good rate.
It's thickness is 9.3mm today. Anything over 8mm is greenlighted for my transfer.

I kind of freaked out because I thought....well if it's already 9.3 it'll be like 18 in two weeks!
And that's not good....because a too thin or too thick lining could mean cancellation.

But the tech calmed me off the ledge by saying a lining is not like making eggs...where they keep growing. It will hover around that number, maybe go up, maybe go down...we'll have to see what it's doing next week.

Phew!

My protocol will stay as-is for the next week or so, at which point, I will begin ramping up the medication in preparation for our transfer.

I can't believe it's only two weeks away!!

More updates to come. I hope everyone has a kick-ass Labor Day weekend!
Thanks for reading! XO