Monday, December 31, 2012

IVF Meds

My Ivf meds have finally arrived, and the fact that we are doing this is finally sinking in!   I was a little surprised by the size of the box when they arrived.  I knew it was over $4200 worth of drugs, and I knew there were a lot of drugs, but I wasn't quite prepared for just how many!  Tomorrow, Mark and I both start the doxycycline (an antibiotic) for the next 10 days.  The day afterwards, I will begin to take a baby asprin daily.   I am still taking the metformin, active birth control and a prenatal.  With every drug that we add, I feel closer and closer!

We are still waiting to find out the details of Mark's analysis, in a hope to avoid ICSI, but we still haven't heard anything back from the clinic.   I know that I emailed during the holiday season, but it was five days ago!  Send me an email already!  I really don't need the extra stress of checking my email five million times a day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Dark

Today, I am in an extremely dark place.  I have been somewhat hesitant about moving forward with IVF for some time now and it just keeps building.  I am ready to be done with treatments.  IVF is the end of the line.  With it still out there as a "someday"  I can still have hope, but what if we were to do it and would crush me.  I am not ready to do this, I am not ready to risk that hope.  I feel so overwhelmed, helpless, worthless and pressured.   Yes, pressured.  It's no one's fault really, but with the fact that Mark is all gung ho, and the fact that the funds have been made available, on some level I feel like I have no choice.  I just want a little control, is that too much to ask? 
I feel like my last few chances at control and normalcy were stripped away from me today at my saline ultrasound.  Not only am I going to require surgery before IVF to remove a polyp, but we were also informed that we may have to do ICSI.  This certainly does not fit the image of pregnancy and parenthood that I had for myself.  I am having a really hard time letting go of the image of my large brood of kids that were all born at home in my twenties, and utilized cloth diapers, homemade baby foods, baby wearing and child led weaning.  The idea of one, maybe two kids in my thirties is not what I wanted, and feels like settling.  Is it wrong to want my cake and to eat it too?  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Plan of Care Appointment

Yesterday was my plan of care appointment for my first IVF cycle.   It was also the day that I started the birth control pills that begin the drug regimen that I will be using.  As I sat at the IVF coordinator's desk looking down at the color coded, jam packed care calendar in front of me, I couldn't help but internally sigh.  The whole experience feels so unreal, so much like it is happening to someone else.  I actually have to wonder if it is worth putting myself through all the pills, injections, mood swings, and everything else.   I just don't have any hope.  I honestly can say that I am absolutely convinced that this will not work, and there is no wiggle room for hope in that conviction.  Worse still, at the moment I am not even sure that having children is still what I want.   That point, is where I waiver back and forth.  Some days it seems as though it is worth fighting for, and other days, it seems as though the last ten years of infertility have worn the fight out of me.  It is just that it would not be the motherhood that I had always envisioned for myself.  The large brood surrounding me in my twenties in an impossibility.  Coming to terms with a singleton, or possibly two in my thirties is a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around.
In a few short days, we will be attending Mark's family Christmas party.   I'm dreading it.  It's not that I don't love all the nieces and nephews, but time around them is always bittersweet, and during the holidays it becomes excruciating.  This year will be even worse for there are two new babies.  If our IUIs this past spring had worked, we would be nearing delivery right about now.  How that hurts my heart and makes the empty arms seem even more empty!  The family is trying so hard to be supportive, yet none of them really understand, and the well meaning questions and comments are often the last thing that I want to hear.   I swear if anyone else asks me about the possibility of miscarrying if the IVF works, I will end up curled up in a ball in the corner, mumbling incoherent sentences through my tears!
How are you getting through the holidays?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The IVF Consult

The IVF consult this evening almost ended in disaster.  Our appointment was set six weeks ago for six o'clock this evening.   At five fifteen as we were leaving for the appointment, I checked my voice mail only to find that the clinic had called.   The clinic wanted to push back by appointment by an hour.   As we drove over, we really had no idea whether or not anyone would actually be at the clinic.   Oh, the emotions!   I hadn't realized until that thirty minutes of uncertainty how much having the consult before Thanksgiving meant to me.   It was Thanksgiving 2011 when we announced to family our plan to move on to IVF.  I really needed to feel as though we had moved forward in life, in treatment in...well, everything. 
Fortunately, everyone was still at the clinic waiting for us, and the appointment went well.   We were given a number, a guess, an estimate of success of 76%.  It looks like we will be using a lupron trigger protocol, ironically, the protocol that I know the least about!
I start provera as soon as I get the prescription filled and then the real fun can begin!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The nerves...

.....are getting to me!  Tomorrow we have our IVF consult with the RE.   It's such a huge step, and I am both anxious and terrified of beginning the process.   All week I have been writing down questions to ask and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of all that I should know.  Anyone have anything that they wish that they had known before IVF? 

In other news, I am listening to Christmas music as much as I can while Mark is at work.   He won't let me listen to it until after Thanksgiving if he is around!  He is totally not a fan of Christmas creep! I am also preparing for Thanksgiving dinner.   Lots of shopping, ironing linens and such.   I may be crazy, but I decided to try out a bunch of new recipes this year.  We will only have a group of twelve, but it should still be fun!  I am almost finished with all my Christmas shopping as well, which should make the Holiday season a little less stressful, a good idea during an IVF cycle, right?


Today I am thankful for a warm bed, the wonders of the internet and laptops, an amazing husband and a beautiful life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

28 Days

I have scheduled our IVF consult for November 20th.   That is 28 days a way.  It feels so close and so far away at the same time.  It just seems so surreal.  I halfway expect to wake up and find all of it to be a dream.  I feel like I should be in a major planning mode, but there is nothing to plan at this stage, it is just waiting.  I am filling the time with deep cleaning for the holiday season, crafting, and ever so slowly getting over the inner and outer ear infections that I have been battling.

In other news, Mark is no longer working out of town, and I actually get to see him each night.  The change has been so good for us.   We also finally finished putting in the new flooring on our main floor.  We just need to get the new base moulding in and that will be one thing crossed off the list. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

This is huge!

We have a fairy Godfather!  A dear, sweet, amazing man decided to make our dreams come true.   He is providing the much needed funds for IVF.  Yikes!   Come January, we will be in full blown IVF mode.   I am speechless, and in absolute awe that someone would care enough to do this for us.   I guess all I can say is THANK YOU! 

That gives me roughly two and a half months to get as healthy as I can.   The goal is to lose twenty pounds and kick the soda habit.   It also means starting the metformin again!  I have been researching the best nutritional approaches to PCOS, so hopefully, I will succeed with my goal!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Today's garden harvest!

Cucumbers, lemon cumbers, habanero peppers, watermelons, honeydew melons, corn, acorn squash, strawberries, basil, parsley and tomatoes galore!  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Today's Tomatoe Harvest!

Our poor, neglected garden has been good to us this year!   That bowl full of cherry and pear tomatoes are just from this morning's harvest.   Tomorrow, there will be even more to pick, including our first ripe romas. 
This morning, I also picked the last of the green beans, a few zucchini and a few cucumbers.  I even picked our first  ever lemon cucumber.  
The corn is as tall as I am, but is still not doing much, I think it is destined to simply be a fall porch decoration.  The storage onions will soon be ready to be picked and braided.  The potato plants are up to my waist and flowering prettily.  I have tons of winter squashes on the vines.   I even have soft ball sized cantaloupe  (more than we will ever be able to eat!) that are growing quickly and should be ready to harvest in a week or two.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where We Are

I have been getting questions from many people as to where we currently are with the fertility treatments.  The above quote sort of says it all.   Right now we are taking a break from treatment for an undefined amount of time.   When our RE told us that IVF would be our last chance, we had already burned through all the money we had saved for treatment.  While the IUIs were fruitless, we are still glad that we tried them, because now we know how poorly I respond to the meds, which will increase our chances when we can do IVF.  Money was not our only reason for taking a break from treatment.
Treatment has been extremely difficult on me.  I simply reached a point where I was tired of injections and bruises, nausea and exhaustion.  I think the emotional aspect was the very hardest for both Mark and I.  So we let go.  We declared this the summer of fun!  We bought a boat, are planning lots of camping trips and plan to not live for the what ifs and possibilities.

We are not done forever, just for now.   We are talking about refinancing our house in order to pay for IVF, but we are unsure of the wisdom of that.  Interest rates are MUCH lower than our current rate, so we would be simply be trading interest payments for IVF.  On the surface, it seems like an okay plan, but I am cautious of it.  In the mean time, we are paying off debt as quickly as we can and loving life and each other!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

We bought a boat!

Mark and I have been doing a large amount of fishing this summer, so we splurged and bought a small, used fishing boat. We can't wait to get it out on the lake!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Should we, or.....

should we not?   The idea of moving on to IVF is weighing very heavily on my mind.   The RE says that he sees no reason why it shouldn't work, but in reality 60% of IVF cycles fail.   When I ran across that statistic today I was heartbroken.   The money that we had raised for an IVF has been whittled away to almost nothing due to out two cancelled IUI cycles.   Raising all of that money again seems impossible.   Then, to risk it for a 40% chance?   We are talking about an amount of money that could be life changing for us.  The difference of having debt for several more years, or being debt free (excluding mortgage).  I just do not know what to do.  I would give anything to hear someone call me mommy, or so I thought.  Where is the line in the sand that says when enough is enough?   

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The talk

Today was the day of THE talk with the RE.  No, we didn't break up, in fact we decided that we will be seeing a lot more of each other.   You see, it has been decided that due to my poor response to the meds, IVF is our only chance.   I haven't really thought about how I feel about that yet. 

I set an appointment with the financial counselor up for next Thursday.  In preparation, I went over our budget and projected income.  If Mark does NOT work any overtime (overtime is projected, but I wanted to be conservative), and our vehicles do not need too many repairs when they need licensed in July and August, then we may be able to swing an August IVF.  Most likely, it will be September, but we are going to try for August.   For now, I am on birth control to hopefully regulate some hormones, and I will also be continuing with the evil metformin.

I know I have said it many times before, but I am just so amazed at how things have been working financially for us.   A little over a year ago, Mark was just starting back to work after two years of unemployment and we were in danger of losing our house.   Now we are capable or raising $12,000 in just a few months.   I wish that we had gone straight to IVF though, because of the large amount that we spent trying to do IUIs.   If we had, we would be able to do the IVF the end of June.  GRRR!  I know that it is the difference of only a few weeks, but it seems like forever.  How I wish our insurance plan covered IVF!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Waiting Place.

"The waiting place....
for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go 
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow 
or the waiting around for a yes or no
or waiting for their hair to grow.
 Everyone is just waiting."
-Dr. Suess 

 Time to pour my heart out!!!  I feel as though I am at this waiting place.  Waiting for all the ifs, whens, and mightsWe can't plan a trip because we might be pregnant.  When we have kids we will do such and such thing.   If we get pregnant this cycle we will (fill in the blank).  I'm tired of waiting for life to begin.   I don't want to look back at my life when I am eighty and realize that I spent it all in the "waiting place".  I don't want to reach 30 and feel that way!  Infertility has put our entire life on hold.  Yet, we don't dare put infertility on hold, because we only have five and half years left until the dreaded advanced maternal age kicks in.  My new goal is to live life to its' fullest in spite of infertility.  This summer will be filled with camping, trips to the lake for fishing and swimming, a carnival or two, parades, fireworks, barbecues and maybe even a trip to the state fair.

We will have the summer of a lifetime as soon as Mark is no longer working out of town to pay for treatments, I feel better from the side effects, we have spare money for fun, and more than three days without a doctor's appointment.  Yup, we are not going to wait any more.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


On Thursday afternoon I meet with our RE to discuss what to do next.  Apparently, he is concerned over my poor response during the last two cycles.  So am I, quite frankly.  That concern has given me a lot to think about.

Are we doing the right thing?  As I watch the savings account dwindle with each treatment, I think of the debt that could be paid off, the home improvements that could be made and the traveling that could be done.  Of course, if the treatments resulted in a real, live, take-home baby the costs will seem like nothing in comparison.  The rewards will outweigh the costs exponentially.  However, we are not paying for a baby, we are paying for a chance at a baby.  It feels like gambling.  Is a chance worth delaying the other things and experiences that we want out of life?  It feels as though we are playing Russian Roulette with our fertility, our dreams, and our finances.  Is it the right thing to do?  If I was responding better, I might not be so hesitant, but I have had to fight for EVERY. SINGLE. BIT. of follicle growth.  What if there is never enough?  Where do you draw the line between searching for baby and ransoming your future?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cycle two cancelled

I just got the call, this cycle is cancelled too.   We have a sit down consult schedule to talk about what to do next on the 31st.   I'm heartbroken.

The news....

My cycle day 26 follicle scan was this morning and the news was not as bad as I was expecting, but it wasn't good either.   The largest follicle is still stubbornly refusing to grow past 11 mm.  I am okay with that, it just seems par for the course for me.   The thing that turned me into a bawling mess is much worse.

This morning my scan was done by a different nurse practitioner than I usually have.  She seemed nice enough, that is, she seemed nice until we saw that I was still only at an 11.  At that point she started talking about how I might not be a good candidate for an IUI and that the answer may be IVF.  I lost it.   I became a slobbering, nose running, red faced sobbing mess.   So much for not crying, right?  IVF really is not an option for us right now, considering what we just spent on the last two cycles.  Also, if we can't get mature follicles for an IUI, how exactly are we going to get even more mature follicles for an IVF?  Did she mean a donor IVF?  Isn't it too soon to make that call after only two cycles when everything else checks out okay?  As all that ran through my mind, I tuned the nurse out completely and decided that she wasn't so nice after all. 

At this point, we could continue this cycle in hopes that we might see more growth, or we could cancel and move on to whatever next cycle brings.   The nurse didn't want to make that decision without checking with the RE first, and he was in surgery.  I am waiting for the phone call that will determine the fate of this cycle.   I can't decide which result I am hoping for.  On one hand, we have  sunk so much money into this cycle, so I don't want to throw it away by cancelling.   On the other hand, it is CD 26, and sinking more money into the cycle hoping for growth might be useless.   I wish someone else could make the decision for me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The night before...

It is late at night the night before my cycle day 26 follicle scan.  That's right, cycle day 26.  Sigh.   I can't seem to bring myself to go to bed.  It's that strange combination of excitement and dread that is keeping me awake.  I fully expect to go into my appointment tomorrow and find out that the follicle growth has stalled again, or even worse, the lining is done for this cycle.  I am not ready to hear that news.  I need good news, like I need to breathe. 
I don't know if it is a matter of being lonely because of Mark working out of town, lack of sleep, or if it is the meds, but I feel so fragile tonight.  Even though I love the nurse practitioner that does the follicle scans, I don't want to cry in front of her.  It's silly, I know that.   I know that I would not be the first or the last to cry in front of her when given bad news.   Yet, it just seems like avoiding crying is the last shred of control that I have.  I need that control.  I just haven't figured out how to avoid crying if the news is bad tomorrow. 

This week in the garden

I think May is my favorite month, because in our neck of the woods, it is planting season. The last few days have been spent getting my hands dirty and putting in the vegetable garden. I still have quite a bit to plant, but so far, the tomatoes, cucumbers, honey dew, summer squashes, carrot, onions, lettuce and green beans are in. Hopefully, tomorrow I will get the corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, garlic and winter squashes planted. I am also adding a few new herbs to the herb garden.

The peonies are in full bloom, and despite my best attempts at building a frame to keep them upright, they are lying flat again. I really need to split the bush this fall, but I am scared to. This bush was the first thing that I planted in our yard after we bought our house. The root ball came from my great grandmother's front yard, a place filled with many happy childhood memories. Walking past the bush makes me smile without fail. Splitting the bush might kill it, it's always a risk, so I keep neglecting to do it. 


The snapdragons are also in full bloom, and attracting lots of butterflies and damselflies. The other evening as I chatted on the phone on the front porch, I watched our cat stalking the butterflies. I guess better butterflies than birds?

 Right now we are harvesting strawberries like crazy, and this year they are the sweetest that we have ever had. We also had some voluntary black seeded simpson lettuce (our favorite) come up from last year. There is nothing like fresh garden lettuce!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Welcome, May ICLWers!

I just wanted to welcome all of you that are visiting from ICLW! 

To fill you in, Mark and I have been TTC for eight years, however it wasn't until recently that we decided to pursue ART.  We are currently in our second cycle of attempting to get to an IUI.   I have insulin resistance, PCOS, and I respond very poorly to the drugs!   Our last cycle was cancelled after follicle growth stalled out on us at an 8.   We are currently on CD 24, still taking Bravelle and hoping that my appointment on Wednesday will give us growth past our current largest follicle of 11 mm.  I am fairly convinced that this cycle will not bring us to the end of our journey, but I am hoping that it will give us enough information so that next one will!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ever so slowly...

The good news is that we had follicle growth at this morning's appointment.   The bad news is that it only brought us up to an 11.   The lining still looks great, so we are soldiering on with more Bravelle.   Three days at three vials each followed by two days at two vials each.   I go back Wednesday for another follicle scan.  That would make it cycle day 26.  I wonder if there is ever a point when it is too late to trigger even if the lining still looks good?   I think if this cycle doesn't work we may have to take a cycle off simple because of the cost!  We are at $2200+ for this month alone, and we still need to order three vials of Bravelle (at least) and do the actual IUI.  That isn't even counting the free ultrasound, and free drugs we have gotten, which would bring us well over $3000.  Life would be so much better if I was responding better!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Side effects...

   We have been switching back and forth this cycle between Bravelle and Gonal F.  The up side is that we have gotten better results, the downside is the side effects.    Last cycle, while I was using only the Bravelle, I found it very difficult to get to sleep, but what sleep I did get was restful and was enough to keep me going.   This cycle the difficulties with sleeping are amplified, which makes sense, considering that we doubled the Bravelle dosage.   It takes me hours to fall asleep and then I wake up with hot flashes that make me want to peel my skin off.   I was dealing with this and managing to hold it together until we added in the Gonal F.   Within the first hour of the first injection, I was ready for a nap, absolutely exhausted, yet I couldn't fall asleep.  Considering that I do all my injections first thing in the morning, I should have known it was a bad sign!  This has gone on for almost a week.   I am averaging about 2-3 hours of sleep a night.   I am soooo tired!  
   Also, last cycle I had absolutely no bruising at the injection sites.   This time?  My stomach is covered with yellow, green and purple bruises that hurt to touch, let alone stick a needle into!   Also, the skin around the injection sites is getting oddly dry and rough.  My skin is not healing as well from the injections, either, so I am beginning to resemble a much loved pincushion.  
   I am also very uncomfortably bloated, I am hoping that just means the follicles are growing and doing their thing, but I somehow doubt it.   Add in that it's time for spring allergies and I am one miserable, tired, hormonal grump!
  As I sit around the house doing nothing because I a so uncomfortable and tired, all I can think about is the garden that needs put in, the laundry waiting to be washed, the dogs needing walked etc.  Yet, I just cannot bring myself to do any of it.  I feel as though a stiff breeze would be enough to make me cry right now.  I am afraid that if I started crying right now, that I wouldn't stop.  I hate feeling this helpless....this fragile. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We Have a 10!!!

Who knew that 2mm could make me so happy!  Today is cycle day 18 and I had a follicle scan this morning.   I was fully expecting for the cycle to be cancelled, but we had growth!   Also, the lining still looks good, so we are going to keep going with the drugs.   Even better, my great nurse practitioner gave me another box of Gonal F and did not charge me for the scan.  Whoo Hoo!   I will be taking 225 units of Gonal F today and tomorrow, followed by 150 units (two vials) of Bravelle on Thursday.   Friday I get another follicle scan.   Grow, Follies Grow!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Better than the Original!

This cover is definitely better than LMAFO's original!

I survived.

I survived Mother's day.   The day involved lots of junk food, netflix and burying my head in the sand.   This year was particularly hard because I had hoped to be doing an IUI this weekend, instead it looks as though this cycle will be cancelled again.   Even so, this year had a glimmer of maybe attached to it that we have never had before.  I took my last dose of gonal-f this morning as well as a single dose of bravelle.  Tomorrow brings two vials of bravelle and the next day we will have another ultrasound!  I am expecting that Tuesday will produce no new follicle growth and for the cycle to be cancelled.  I do have to admit that I am trying to be much so that I have been buying into several of the old wives tales, such as using hot packs, drinking lots of whole milk and propping my feet up against a wall.   I feel silly doing these things, but I'm getting desperate!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cycle day 14

I had yet another ultrasound today.   Unfortunately, there has been no more follicle growth.   We are still farther ahead than we were at this point last cycle, so we are not giving up yet!   In fact, we are adding a new drug to the mix....Gonal F.   I go back Tuesday for another follicle check.   I wonder if people with a poor response to Bravelle get better responses from Gonal?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


It feels as though our checking account has been hemorrhaging lately.   In the last twelve days we have:
  1. Made an expensive trip to the aviary, buying both lunch and dinner out.   It was a rare treat for us and we needed the diversion.
  2. Realized that both of our window unit air conditioners needed had central air installed instead.  This was a huge splurge, but I just couldn't imagine a hot Utah summer with inefficient air conditioning and hot flashes from fertility drugs!
  3. Had new attic insulation blown in.  This was part of an energy conservation rebate program, and we will get 85% of the cost back from our power and gas companies in a few weeks.  It will save us money in the long run, but for now the money is gone.
  4. Spent a thousand or so on fertility treatments, with plans and hopes to spend even more if we get to the IUI.   
  5. Paid a ridiculous amount of money at the gas pumps to fill both vehicles' tanks.   This was a shock for me because I rarely let my SUV get below a half tank but this time I was nearly empty and the price made me cringe.   Good thing I only fill up about once a month!
It's times like this that make me grateful for the job opportunities that Mark has had this year.   It is really hard having him work away from home four days a week, but the pay is worth it.   I doubt we would be pursuing treatments without it.   I am amazed every time that I pay for an ultrasound, or another batch of drugs at how much things just fell into place for us once we decided to pursue treatments.  It makes me think that we are on the right path, and that this will be it...that we will be successful, and then I think of our last cycle being cancelled.   I refuse to worry this time around.  I will just go with the flow and everything will be golden......right?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

it's better.....

This morning, I had my first follicle check for this cycle and things look much better than last time.  In fact, they are already better than they were at the end of last cycle!   Today I had two larger follicles on the right side measuring 8.8 and 7.8 mm.  On the left side I had one measuring 6.7.  At this point last cycle, I had no measurable follicles.   In fact, last cycle, my largest follicle was just 8 mm and that was not achieved until cycle day 15.   I am already out pacing myself.  I am doing three more days of Bravelle, two vials at a time, and then I go back for another ultrasound on cycle day 14. 

I am so glad that today brought good news!  I had been getting really mired down with all the emotional muck of pursuing treatments   Today felt like I was seeing a little glimmer of the maybe someday.  I am going to be crossing my fingers and toes,and holding my breathe until Friday.  Oh! just let them continue to grow!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tracy aviary!

We visited tracy aviary last weekend with a few friends and the trip was totally worth it!  We even got to hand feed some of the birds which was a blast!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Here we go again!

We are well into the process of a second attempt at an IUI cycle.   I take my last dose of clomid tonight and begin injections in the morning!

I am apprehensive about this cycle because it feels as though there has not been as many changes to my protocol as I would like.  The clomid was upped to 100 mg a day from 50.   We are also doing double doses of bravelle from the very beginning so hopefully we will have some follicle growth this time. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

A letter about NIAW

For those family members that try and succeed, fail or don't understand:

I just wanted to let every one know that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week.    The reasons that I wanted to share are simple:
  1. You can visit the resolve website and get more information about infertility and why NIAW is so important.
  2. If people do not speak out, insurance companies will be able to continue to claim that fertility issues are not health issues.  While not having children may not be life threatening, the underlying causes have their own  medical side effects and symptoms.  Yet, those diagnoses still often have to go untreated.
  3. Infertility is treated as a taboo subject, yet it effects millions of people each year.   It's time for people to stop feeling ashamed of having a medical issue.   Shout it from the roof tops and get the support that's needed.   Infertility makes you feel so alone, and then you tend to isolate ourselves by not speaking about it.  It's time for that to end!
  4. Mark and I start another IUI cycle in 2-3 days.   Honestly, last month was heart wrenching, and bone shatteringly brutal when we found out the cycle was cancelled.   Add to that the ups, downs and crazies from all the drugs and I think I spent more time in tears than not last month.   It was really, really hard on Mark as well.   While we lean on each other during all of this, there are also times when we need outside support.  I have girlfriends that are great at listening, Mark's buddies....well, not so much.    An extra phone call or two might mean the world to Mark this coming cycle.   Especially since Mark will be working out of town for the entire cycle which gives him even less control and involvement than we had last time.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Lovely Blog Award!

I received the Lovely blog award yesterday!    In order to pass it on ....

Here are the rules:
1. share who gave you this award to you with a link back to their blog.
2. write down 7 random facts about yourself.
3. give this award to 15 other bloggers.

I received the award from dogmomchasingthestork, I happen to love her blog because of how cheerful she is!

My Random Facts:
  1. I love least I love gardening once I get started, but getting there is the hard part.   Just call me lazy, I guess!
  2. My favorite food is mashed potatoes!
  3. I have had cataracts removed from both eyes and I have glaucoma.
  4. I love all things purple or green!
  5. I have been having an affair with coke cola....I keep trying to resist but the siren call is too strong.
  6. My not-so-secret pleasure is reading on the backyard swing.
  7. I love to craft...but almost never love the end results of my projects.
I sending this award off to:
  1. Our pathway to parenthood 
  2. Not all dreams are free
  3. Just beginning
  4. Happy Lady bug's Life
  5. pretty certain my ovaries suck

Okay.....I know that I am short by 10 blogs...but I will add more as ICLW continues and as time allows!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Welcome April ICLW'ers!

If you are here for ICLW, welcome!   I look forward to getting to know you better!

As a bit about me...

Mark and I have been married nine and a half years and half been TTC that entire time.    Last month we were all set for our first IUI, but I had follicle growth issues and the cycle was cancelled.    Any day now, CD 1 will arrive and we will begin again!  

Feel free to look around, I can't wait to read your comments!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


“I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home…. I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.” - Nancie J. Carmody

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It feels as though we are in a flux of transitions right now.   Absolutely everything seems to be in the process of changing for the better.

We are at the transition in time where it is too cold for most spring gardening, but too warm to not desire to get my hands dirty.   I started many of my veggies from seed months ago, and the plants are eagerly awaiting the great outdoors.   I know that the sun just makes me freckle, but I can't seem to get enough of it lately!

Mark is also transitioning to a new job...again.   I know!  He has only been with his current company for four weeks or so.   However, he has been offered a job that pays $15 an hour more, and has  much better benefits.   It's hard to turn that kind of money down especially when we are paying for fertility treatments out of pocket!   The downside is that he will have to stay in company provided housing four days a week because the job site is about two and a half hours away.  At least the company is working four ten hour shifts so that all the men get an extra day home with their families every weekend.

 Any day now, CD 1 will arrive and we will transition into a new cycle.  I am scared, excited and more apprehensive than I was last cycle.   I so badly wanted to be one of those girls in the infertility world.   You know?  Those girls that get pregnant their first IUI cycle, with no complications from meds and an easy uneventful pregnancy.  I really don't quite feel ready to dive into the ultrasounds, appointments and injections again.  In fact, I think I am approaching a place where I am ready to be done, and move on.   Mark's not there, though.   We have talked about doing three IUI cycles and then revisiting the topic of stopping treatment.

I guess that's another transition that is slowly occurring, isn't it?  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rhubarb upside down cake

With spring being here, my rhubarb plant that is nestled into the corner of my strawberry bed is growing full force.    Since my strawberries are not ready yet, I couldn't make the typical strawberry rhubarb,  I made the next best thing, Rhubarb upside down cake!  The downside is that there are two varieties of rhubarb the red kind and the green kind.  I have the green kind so mine isn't as pretty as Martha's, but it still tasted delish!  Swing over to Martha Stewart's website and check it out if you need a solution for a rampaging rhubarb plant!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring has sprung!

I feel like spring is officially here!   I have been spending a little too much time in the backyard swing with a book lately!    I sort of took me by surprised when I noticed that the sugar snap peas and lettuce are coming up in the garden and the flowers are sharing their color!  


 My erysimum is showing off it's beautiful yellow flowers.  I couldn't get a picture that was more in focus though, because as soon as I knelt down someone thought it was time to play!

She just couldn't understand why I would be down on the ground if it wasn't to play with her!   Silly Willow, puppy!

My June bearing strawberries by the front porch are in bloom and smell so good!   I am really glad that we got the stepping stones in the bed already because the plants are growing like mad this year!

The candytuft under the tree in the front yard is a new addition this year and I have to say that I am thrilled with it!  I can't wait for it to spread a little more!


Mark spent the afternoon working on a garden project that I will show you later this week.  I am really excited about it and can't wait to share!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm back......

I took a bit of a break from life after hearing that my cycle was cancelled.   I locked myself away with a couple good books, a craft project and some spring cleaning.    I spent my day today emptying my cupboards in order to scrub them out and reline them with new shelf paper.   Now that I am feeling a little renewed and refreshed we are starting another cycle!    In just about an hour I take my first dose of Provera.    Hopefully, this time will leave us with better results!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Today was my follicle check, and the follicles had actually shrunk and my lining was thinning.

The cycle has been cancelled.

It is days like today that make me question everything that I believe. Deep down I know that everything happens for a reason and that you are never given more than you can handle. Yet, today it feels as though God is a big, mean kid dangling what I want in front of me.....only to pull it out of reach the moment I get close.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Poor baby!

Yesterday broke my heart! Mark had all four wisdom teeth removed yesterday, two of which were impacted and sideways. The surgery went great, but as soon as we got him home the vomit fest began! Do you know how hard it is to vomit without spitting? He would vomit and start bleeding again, once the bleeding stopped, he would vomit again and so on. I felt so helpless to make him feel better! This morning he is mostly back to normal. Only minor pain and barely any swelling. I have to say I am jealous, I was in intense pain for almost a week when mine came out! Though I am glad that he is doing so well so quickly, he has even stopped most of the pain meds.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We have growth!

...but not enough! At today's follicle check I was happy to find out that we had growth, just not enough. The left and right ovaries are mirroring each other with an 8mm, 6.5 mm and several smaller follicles a piece. With the goal of an 18 mm follicle,we are not where we need to be.
The answer? More bravelle injections! I will have two doses for both today and tomorrow. Then a single dose per day for the following two days. The next follicle check is on Tuesday!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Last dose...take two!

Today was my last dose of least the last of the second set of bravelle injections! My next follicle check is on Thursday, so until then I guess I'll just let those follicles grow! I still feel bloated, and the injection sites are itchy....but I think it's the adhesive from the band aids causing it. I am reluctant to skip the band-aids though, because they minimize the irritation of my pant's waistline against the injection sites.

Yesterday was a sad day for me for two reasons. First, I hit 29! The last few birthdays have been hard because with each one the biological clock seems to tick a little louder! Secondly, I said goodbye to a dear friend. Yep! No more coke for me. We'll see if Mark can survive the caffeine withdrawals and the fertility drug crazies at the same time, Muahhahahaha!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mood swings!

A little advice? Don't start any home improvement projects while doing fertility matter how small the project! In the space of ten minutes I went from shaking with rage and yelling at Mark, to crying, to laughing with joy! The cause? Hanging new curtain rods. I would have hated to see what a bigger project would have caused!

Follicles? Ha!

Yesterday was my follicle check and things were abysmal. I don't have any numbers or measurements to report because after I was told "there's not much going on on either ovary", I was afraid to ask. That being said I have a new protocol. Let's here it for plans changing last minute! I now get to have three more doses of bravelle. I go back in to have a follicle check in a week.

Here's the thing though, that means that the earliest that I would trigger would be cycle day 15. It seems like most people trigger between CD 12-14. Anyone trigger CD 15 or later?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Waiting.....and Bravelle

It seems that when you are dealing with infertility you are are always waiting. Waiting for a cycle to begin or end, waiting for a positive, a diagnosis or a doctor. Today I sit here waiting for my appointment. Today, I get to see how my follicles are developing for the IUI. We had decided that Mark would go to work and not accompany me to this appointment, but now that it is too late, I have changed my mind. It just suddenly struck me that in a few short hours I could get a glimpse of our potential future children. I wish I had thought of it earlier so that I could have Mark there with me. Yet, if wishes were fishes I would have an ocean full of babies by now.

The Bravelle injections have been a piece of cake. I have been really surprised and pleased at how easy and painless they have been. I wish everything with infertility was so easy! I am still a little nervous about the HCG trigger shot that hopefully I will get to take this weekend. Side effects have been relatively mild so far. I have been a bit more tired recently and more easily annoyed. My lower abdomen had been feeling very bloated, but that has subsided.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My HSG experience

This post may be a little too much information for some, but this blog is for me, and I want to record what this IUI process is like in reality. I can't do that without mentioning body parts or other personal details. Skip it if you are uncomfortable!

Yesterday I had my first Hysterosalpinogram or HSG. I have only one word to describe it.....ouch!!! That had to be the most physically painful event of my life. I laid on the exam table breathing deeply and mentally telling myself that I could get through thirty seconds of pain...anyone can get through thirty seconds of pain, right? After the first thirty seconds the dialogue turned into how I just got past thirty seconds, I could surely do thirty more. Even so, I was opening my mouth to have the doctor stop when she said something that was equally exciting and terrifying.

" We have spillage on both sides, that means no blockages...and we're done. Now let me just get all this stuff out of here."

The "here" part means my girly bits. Yeah, can we say terrifying? I was on the table imagining myself with some cyborg looking vagina at that point.

All in all, the test was a relief, however. The fallopian tubes were completely clear and ready to go. We did discover that I have an arcuate uterus. This, depending on who you ask, could be a problem. My RE was very quick to try and reassure me that an arcuate uterus is not linked to difficulties getting pregnant or carrying to term. I however asked DR. Internet this morning and he had something else to say. Apparently women that experience a loss often have an arcuate uterus, something like 6.5% of the time. However, research hasn't really been done within the general population so there is really no way to know how many people with an arcuate uterus go on to have healthy pregnancies. The other school of thought is that it is a normal variation much like attached or detached earlobes.

So I replaced one worry with another. Greeeeaaatttt.

In other news, I take my first Bravelle injection today, and of course, Mark started his new job this morning which means that I am on my own. I'm going to go poke myself with a sharp object now.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy ICLW!!

...And welcome! I am looking forward to cyber visiting!

Yesterday I posted about the stress of Mark having been laid off again. Two hours after I posted, he had a new position! The relief was amazing. Things have just been falling into place for this IUI. It makes me feel hopeful, and apprehensive because I don't want to be disappointed.

My HSG is in about an hour and I am very nervous! I also took my last dose of clomid this morning and tomorrow I have my first Bravelle injection! I am feeling very bloated this cycle, which is something new, so maybe that is a good thing!

I am feeling so optimistic about this IUI. I know it sounds silly, but I followed a link to a link to a link on the internet yesterday and accidentally ended up on the webpage for a support group in my area for moms of multiples. I can't help hoping that it's a sign. I know it's silly, but I can't seem to help myself.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

here we go again!

Mark has been laid off. Again. We have just barely recovered from the last lay off, and this time we are in the middle of an IUI cycle.

Strangely, I am not overly worried about the lack of income, I'm worried about the IUI being successful. It just seems so crazy to intentionally get pregnant (hopefully!) while we have no income. A part of me wants to just cancel the IUI and call this a clomid cycle......but, I turn 29 in less than a week. The biological clock is ticking louder than it ever has before. We have money in savings, a renter, fewer debts than last lay off and Mark might qualify for unemployment. We have always had enough, even during our last LONG stint of unemployment. It just hasn't always been easy. Adding the stress of a potential pregnancy, and the costs of the IUI seems as if it should be a bad idea. I just.......can't bring myself to feel that way. A part of me feels as if we would never get back to where we are in our fertility journey if we were to back away now. It has certainly taken us long enough to get this far!

Should we cancel this cycle to save the money.......or should we use it while we have it and hope for the best? I just don't know.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cyst free!

Yesterday was the day of my first baseline ultrasound. The good news is that I am completely cyst free and we are all set to go with the IUI! I did the injection training with the nurse and I am feeling a lot more confident about it. Today I started the clomid, towards the end of the week I will start Bravelle. Wednesday I have my HSG so I will also be on an antibiotic. Wish us luck!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

of ultrasounds and tree stumps.....

The time has come to talk of cabbages and kings...or rather tree stumps and ultrasounds.

Mark has had some extra time at home this past week so we have been spending the time in true spring fashion and have been hitting the yard work. Today found us pulling out tree stumps from the yard. Two down and only three more to go! Earlier in the week we were putting in stepping stones and mulching the strawberry bed. Nothing quite says spring like getting your hands dirty!

In other news, today is cycle day 1! This means that tomorrow I get the luxury of my first baseline ultrasound as well as getting my blood drawn a few times. Such is life, eh? I am nervous, but also very excited because now we can actually start progressing with cycle instead of just waiting. Patience has never been my strong point!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fly Guy

An insight into the mind of cats! I wonder if this is what Nutmeg is thinking when he brings us birds, mice, grasshoppers, spiders, beetles....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I got my drugs!!!

The drugs for this cycle just arrived and I have to admit that I was more than a little excited to find only four syringes! Yeah, for only four injections! Now it is just a matter of waiting for the right timing to begin the process. I wish my RE had already given me the protocol so that I could know what to expect, but he doesn't want to make a final decision until my baseline ultrasound in a week or so. The anticipation is killing me!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The pharmacy

Our new RE works hand in hand with a mail order Walgreen's pharmacy that has great prices on fertility drugs. I have to say that I am very excited to see my box arrive on Tuesday. It looks like the drugs for this cycle are going to run us $339.44 after the small bit that the insurance will cover. I was actually expecting the cost to be higher, so I am quite happy with that number. Of course that means that the baby fund shrunk a little this week, but at least it is progress right?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The new RE

Today was the big day. I met with our new RE this morning. He seems to think that I just need a little more help in the ovulation department than what clomid alone can give me. In fact, he feels that at this time IVF would not be a good option, and that we should explore less invasive options first. The trans vaginal ultrasound that I was freaking out about was A LOT less horrible than it sounds! However, both ovaries are completely riddled with cysts. It was really interesting to see as well as heartbreaking. At this point I start taking metformin again and provera. I have to do a blood draw on cycle day 2 as well as a baseline ultrasound (eww...). Cycle day 7 I get the joy of an HSG test. This one REALLY has me terrified after reading the comments from this post. The plan is to try a cycle or two with clomid and follicle stimulating hormone to see if I can get enough hormones to trigger ovulate. Wish us luck!

Monday, February 27, 2012

I guess...

....that it is my fault for putting the basket down while the clothes were still warm from the dryer.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I see the new RE in under a week and I am terrified! A part of me is afraid that he will be convinced that we shouldn't try further. Irrational I know, but the fear is there.

I think that it equates to the same fear that I have of the IVF. If we don't do IVF we can at least have hope, and a someday procedure. If we do go through with the IVF and it fails, then that hope is gone, that someday is removed from the equation. I think I could live without children for the rest of my life as long as that hope was there, the possibility. I wouldn't want to, and I wouldn't like it, but I could do it. To live without children and without the hope seems so very insurmountable. The hope of fertility treatments has been the only things to hold me up through the last few years, I don't know what I would do without it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Almost there!

The IVF fund has increased again to a whopping $10,112.00!!! Mark is home from Cedar city so the crazy overtime has come to an end. That will slow down our progress some, but we should still be able to reach our goal of $12000.00 by the end of March.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I just got this book! The master recipe is awesome, it has to be the best bread I have ever tasted, and the simplicity of the process is awesome! It is so nice to just be able to pull a blob of dough out of the fridge and have fresh bread thirty-ish minutes later!