June

It’s been three months!

After all that miscarriage stuff was said and done, I met with my doc to re-evaluate where we’re at and what to do going forward. We had it in our head that we would just do another transfer after I had some more testing done for clotting disorders and recurrent miscarriages. We knew how much a frozen transfer was, so we had our minds set and were ready as soon as they would allow. I saw my Kaiser doctor and she ordered all the bloodwork, which came back clear, again. Which is a good thing don’t get me wrong, but what the F*** keeps happening. Every. Single. Time? She also tried to do an endometrial biopsy (that lovely thing I had done before my last transfer where they scratch inside your uterus, but this time for testing the tissue). But she couldn’t get me to dilate, so it didn’t happen.

We were so set on jumping into another transfer, I have already purchased all the meds I will need, but doc said he wont do another until I get a hysteroscopy (scope to see inside the uterus to make sure there’s nothing going on in there) and the biopsy under anesthesia. Translation: Add a few grand more to that bill.

(Side note: I just learned the other day that people actually think that if you have infertility issues its because you have STD’s…no people, that is not the case most of the time! Neither Danny, nor myself have any STD’s. Actually we have been cleared of every single freaking test they have ordered for us!)

I decided it was time for a break. I had told Danny that if this round didn’t work I was going to take a break and lose some weight and just take some time to refocus. I am in quite a few IVF groups on Facebook and I started reading a lot about the Keto way of life (ketogenics/ketosis) and how women have switched to this way of eating to help with hormone issues, high blood pressure, PCOS and endometriosis. So many of the things I was reading resonated with me, so I researched the crap out of it and decided to give it a go. Day 2, down 3 pounds. Day 3, down another 4. It’s been about two months and I am almost to my first goal, I have lost 21 pounds, I have 3 more to go to my first goal. After a few weeks Danny hopped on board after he saw my success, he’s about 3 weeks in I think and down 15 pounds. I feel so much better, I’m not tired any more, I don’t have gastrointestinal issues anymore, my blood pressure is down and hope to get off meds for that soon (unless they were right and it’s genetic), my nails are strong and long for the first time in my life, and I don’t have inflammation problems anymore!

We decided that we would apply for a grant, in the hopes to help us afford this round. It’s a group called BabyQuest, they raise money and help couples struggling to pay for fertility treatments. I still cant fathom the amount of money we have spent, without success so far, it’s just unfair that there is no insurance coverage at all. I buckled down and started filling out the packet of paperwork, the doctors office had to fill out a packet and I had to write two papers, one about who Danny and I are and one about our fertility history. I got everything done and filled out a week before the deadline. We had such high hopes that this was going to be our chance to be able to do one more transfer and have it be successful.

We’ve been trying to take a small vacation since last September before we started all of this, we haven’t been anywhere since our honeymoon, almost three years ago! It just hasn’t happened, and with all the money we have spent we just fathom spending that extra money on a trip. My grandma had mentioned how much they loved Boise, Idaho. To be honest, I had to look at a map to see where Idaho was, yes laugh it up. We decided to take a road trip, we needed it!

We left at 3am on a Wednesday morning and drove 14 hours straight through Nevada, how freaking boring. We had three full days to explore Boise and the surrounding areas. It’s beautiful! There are literally trees everywhere, it is called “the city of trees”. We had an amazing time and found a little small town outside the city about 10 minutes that we fell in love with. It was so nice to just get away and explore a new place.

We got home last Sunday night and took Monday off to get some rest before going back to work. Tuesday morning Stella started throwing up around 7am, and couldn’t keep food down or anything in her body throughout the day. I was home with her all day, and had to rearrange my schedule Wednesday morning so she wasn’t alone until the vet could get here, and my mom took over so I could get to work. We got her some meds and testing came back clear, so we don’t know what happened but she’s all better now.

I was at work Friday and had just finished putting color on a new client and an email from BabyQuest came through. I didn’t even think twice and opened it…”Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you one at this time.” My heart sunk and it took everything in me not to start crying in the middle of my salon. So, there’s that. We haven’t really even talked about it since then. We’re not sure what our next steps are quite yet. The last month has been pretty emotionally rough for me (both of us probably), celebrating one of my closest friends second baby coming soon, and three announcements on social media of people due at the same time I would have been due, and a few more due at the end of the year. I know it sounds lame, but there’s been a few times lately that I’ve really just wanted to delete Facebook. It’s not that I have any anger toward these friends and acquaintances, I’m really happy for all these people, really, excited for them, I’m just so sad for us, and kind of pissed (for us, not pissed at them). We have friends that have had two babies in the time that we’ve been trying, its just frustrating, especially when there are no answers, nothing is “wrong” with us, and that its just “bad luck”. In the meantime we are working on our house, finishing painting a few rooms and changing out some old faucets and getting rid of crap we have accumulated in the last two years.

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Hurdles

The dreaded 2ww (two week wait). Well, that’s what we thought, two weeks until I got my blood drawn to measure that HCG hormone in my blood stream, the fate of the “transfer”. Turns out, as I was laying on the table post transfer, doc says he will see me next Thursday for my beta (another word for this HCG blood draw)! Nine days and we would know! We decided to keep that to ourselves. We don’t get any of that fun stuff when you get to surprise your family and friends with the news that “IM PREGNANT”, nope all that goes straight out the window, especially when we have decided to be so open and share our journey with everyone. So, we thought maybe this would possibly be a way we could get some of that back, our families thought our test was a whole week later.IMG_0959

February 9

I slept for three days straight it felt like, a lazy bum I was. My transfer was on a Tuesday and by Friday I was ready to move and shower! By Sunday I had some super, super light spotting and most people would freak out (TMI for some of you, sorry), my stomach dropped for a second and then I thought “YESSSS implantation”! Every day following I was nap ready by 2 or 3pm, like couldn’t keep my eyes open, could fall asleep anywhere, so I did, I napped. Hard. Thursday morning was here, take my blood and then the wait. I tried so hard to stay busy, but I couldn’t do anything. They don’t call until close to the end of the day. I did make it to the grocery store and when I was pulling back into the driveway they called. “It worked.” “You’re pregnant.” I have no clue what she said, but I asked what my beta number was, I don’t think she was expecting me to ask, most people don’t even know what the numbers mean. I do. 35 she said, and my heart sunk. She told me not to worry, keep my meds the same, and we will test again Monday. I ran to my bathroom and peed on a stick, just for the simple fact that I knew it was going to be positive. IMG_0772

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February 13-20

HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, the hormone that measures pregnancy. This number needs to double or more within a 48 hour period. They like to see numbers closer to 100 on the first beta. We decided to go ahead and tell our parents and my brother that weekend. It still didn’t feel real, I wasn’t really having any symptoms like the last few times, other than being really exhausted all the time. Oh and sugar, lots of sugar. My focus was on Monday and those damn numbers better have doubled twice. Boom 243! 100 over what we were looking for. I was to come back a week later and do another blood draw and ultrasound to see the sack, and if one or both of the embryos took. We decided that Danny would miss that appointment and be there two weeks after for the heartbeat ultrasound. A week later I was back and my numbers were skyrocketing, 2474. And the sack was clear as day, one little one all by itself.IMG_0953

So, with IVF you’re a little farther along in your pregnancy than when you actually transferred. That little embryo was created before it was inside, so even though we transferred on January 31, I was kind of already pregnant a week or so. We started to get excited and told a few close friends and some of my clients. Its hard to lie and make up stuff when people out right ask you or send you messages out of the blue. Once we saw the sack, and I made it past 5 weeks I was starting to feel a little more confident. I’ve never made it to 5 weeks. I knew we still had one more hurdle to jump over, the heartbeat scan. I kept saying I was “hesitantly excited”, I guess it was my way of not getting too attached or excited. It was weird even saying “I’m pregnant” out loud, it just didn’t feel real. Until about week 7 (very end of February, beginning of March), the morning sickness, or I should say all day sickness, kicked in full force. But, only for a few days and I learned how to get rid of it, eat! I hadn’t had much of an appetite throughout the first few weeks, I actually lost 10 pounds.

March 6

Monday was here, I was really nervous, but I didn’t think much of it. Danny went with me that day, and my friend I hadn’t seen in 12 years from beauty school had an appointment right around the same time that morning at my office. I’ve been super excited for her to switch to my amazing doc, she’s had a hell of a time with the office she’d been with and I’m excited for her to try something new with some success hopefully! We wished them luck and in we went.

I updated the nurse on how I was feeling and she left the room so I could change. Her and the doc came back in and started the ultrasound. It was quiet for too long and I knew something wasn’t right. No heartbeat. I was 7 weeks 4 days by that point and heartbeat should start around week 6. The fetal pole was about a week behind, so the fetus stopped growing about a week before that. Danny just kept saying, “We’re going to try again.” Yes we are husband, yes we are!

We met with the doctor after and discussed what to do next. Because of my insurance, and he didn’t want us paying out of pocket anymore, he advised us to get another look with my OB/gyn just to make sure. I was looking at a D&C, he said it is called a “missed abortion”. It’s when the fetus has stopped growing but your body hasn’t recognized it yet and hasn’t passed it (miscarrying).IMG_1062

The next day Kaiser got us in for an emergency ultrasound appointment. They saw the same thing, said I was measuring about 6 weeks 4 days. She recommended that we just wait another week, it cant hurt. If everything is still the same then they can do a D&C or this pill to force a miscarriage. The D&C sucks, but the benefit of doing it would be that it assures everything is gone out of the uterus, and they can test the tissue for any chromosomal abnormalities. We chose to get all of our embryos tested for chromosomal abnormalities because it lessens the chance of miscarrying. With a miscarriage the body can sometimes not shed everything and then they would have to go in anyways and do a scope, then D&C.

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March 8

A full day back to work was actually a relief. I was getting color mixed for my last client and in walks Danny around 3:30 with a bag of peanut butter M&M’s. He never takes time off work and he had already taken off Monday and Tuesday and then left early Wednesday to take me to dinner, he also forgot I wouldn’t be done with work until 5 haha. Dinner was amazing. About an hour after I fell asleep I woke up, 11:45 and started the beginning of a very long night. I threw up for almost 7 hours and couldn’t see straight. I was so sick, I couldn’t decide whether it was food poisoning or the flu. Whatever it was, was horrible! I kept Danny up all night, he tried sleeping in the guest room and couldn’t. He had to call into work again, and we both finally slept a little that morning. By that night I was starting to feel a little better but still couldn’t eat.

March 10

A whole day of sleep was exactly what I needed. My entire body hurt so bad from throwing up, laughing hurt. Danny got home and for some reason we started laughing, he thought it was even funnier that it hurt me to do so. A little while later I started spotting, my heart sunk, I was holding on to a tiny glimmer of somehow a little miracle happening.

March 11

Danny had to go to start a fun little side job Saturday morning, but we knew we had to go into the emergency room when he got home. I have a negative blood type and whenever you are pregnant, or miscarrying, or anytime there is bleeding during a pregnancy you need to get a Rhogam injection within 72 hours of bleeding. So in we went at 3pm, they were quick to get me back to draw blood and get my vitals, then we sat for 3 hours. I finally went up to check with the nurse and all of a sudden they pulled me straight back for an ultrasound. I explained to the tech what was going on and he said, “I think I saw a heartbeat.” I tried to stay calm. Then when he did the internal ultrasound he didn’t see it. Thanks a lot dude! Around 8pm they finally called me back to get the injection and told me to follow up with my appointment I already had a few days later.

March 14

I had rescheduled all my clients from Friday to Monday, then had to move them from Monday again to Wednesday. I just wasn’t feeling good and had some pretty bad cramping. Tuesday was supposed to be my appointment but I called and we decided to move it to Friday since nothing major had passed yet. Mid day came around and I had some pretty significant tissue pass and I thought it was the end of it all.IMG_0956

March 17

Back to the doctors I went thinking this would all be over, but I knew something wasn’t right. We did an ultrasound and I was shocked, it was still there! It was no longer in my uterus though, it has moved its way down into the cervix. He was pretty persistent about scheduling me for a D&C that evening but I just really didn’t want to. I’m not sure exactly why, but I know that I’m sick of being poked at, its just gotten really fucking annoying! He said that it should make its way out within a day or so, I figured if I’ve gotten this far, what’s a few more days? He then came back and offered to do this pill insert that helps force it along, yes please, I’ll be going now.

We cancelled our plans for the evening, I wasn’t feeling much, but we decided it was best to stay in and wait around. I enjoyed a few glasses of wine, five, five glasses of wine. I slept like a baby last night!

Currently, its noon, Danny is at his fun little side job, I am still in my pajamas hanging out with the dogs. We are having a few friends, neighbors and my brother and girlfriend over tonight for tacos (so Irish of us), probably exactly what we need right now, tacos make everything better!IMG_1071

 

 

 

 

We’re not exactly sure what our next plan of attack is, but this wont stop us. We have 5 healthy little frozen embryos left waiting for us. We just will wait and see when my body is all done with this and ready for the next round. Pregnancy rates are higher after a miscarriage 😉IMG_0650

 

 

 

 

 

Round 2

Did you miss me? I know it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. Not that I haven’t had anything to write about, I just haven’t made the time to sit down and do it!

Right after Christmas, before New Years, I started injections again. This particular one I was familiar with, Lupron, we started our last cycle with these, they keep the body from ovulating. They want you to do that when they do the transfer that’s when you can actually get pregnant, with or without science. So, this little tiny vial of medicine will run you around $900, the pharmacy at Scripps La Jolla is a discount pharmacy and I have gotten all of my meds there throughout this whole debacle. They sell this handy med for around $400, and my office had called in 2 vials. I thought it was weird because I didn’t think I needed that much, so I went down stair and added up how many units I would need and compared that to how much was in the vial I used last time. I came to the conclusion I only needed one, then I took to my IVF support pages on Facebook, I started asking around and a girl pointed me in the direction of an app called GoodRx. Boom, $164 at Walmart around the corner from my house. I was super excited I saved us this much for just one med, but then I got frustrated thinking of how much we spent on meds last round! I called my new coordinator at my office and asked her to call my RX into Walmart, she’s the worst, I literally had to argue with her just to call it into another pharmacy! Look lady, we have spent every last penny we have with your office and you cant just call in this f***ing prescription!?! I was pissed. She finally did it.

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During December we decided to get back into our workout routine. I had gained weight and bloat from all the meds and hormones and just wasn’t feeling great. I also found this fertility challenge that caught my interest. A fertility doctor from Australia had put it together and it seemed interesting. It was basically how to rid your life of crap that could be harmful to your fertility and your life in general. Honestly it was all things I’ve heard for years, not just in the fertility realm, and things I’ve wanted to do in our home that I just didn’t have the motivation or reasoning for doing. Things that we just do naturally out of habit, things we use every day and think nothing of. So out it went, all the cleaning supplies ridden with chemicals that just sit under the sink, right next to where we keep our food and the dishes we eat off of! We also got rid of all the plastics in our kitchen, and switched to all glass. We added a lemon drink every evening that at first we couldn’t stand, but after a few days, and some tweaks, we love! We’ve both been feeling amazing lately, maybe its just a mental thing but whatever it is we’re feeling good and healthy and I was ready to take on this round. I was in a much better state of mind (and body for that matter) this time, I was feeling confident.

The more and more reading and research I’ve been doing I have found that FET (frozen embryo transfers) have a much higher success rate. Now, with that said, my doctor has a high rate with fresh transfers, but I have found that recently a lot of offices don’t even do fresh transfers. Which, I now, can totally understand why! I do not think my body was ready for my last transfer! I was a mess, I was bloated from all the meds and the OHSS, I was uncomfortable and I don’t think my body even considered holding onto that little embryo. For those of you who have been wondering, our last little embryo that we transferred was a girl. My mom said that’s why it didn’t work, she’s always said I’m meant to have a boy hahaha.

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During all of this I had been seeing my regular doctor, which was crap because I have crappy insurance. I went in to follow up on a blood pressure check, they’ve been having trouble nailing it down, trying to figure out if it was high because of everything I’m going through with fertility treatments. Well, she then proceeded to give me an EKG and liver and kidney blood tests and wanted me to get an ultrasound on them! Talk about giving me a heart attack. I’ve had very little medical worries and this completely scared the shit out of me. Turns out everything came back completely clear! That’s when I decided to switch to Kaiser. Luckily because Danny is with Kaiser I was able to get in even though enrollment is closed in San Diego currently. So January 1 I was switched. She ran a full blood panel on me, because of my age and health there is no reason I should be having issues with my blood pressure unless its genetic. I came to find out I take after my dad even more than I thought. I have been suffering from high blood pressure for years and it has gone untreated, that’s why I was always hot all the time, good old genetics (sorry future children). A little medicine and tah-dah I’m like a totally new person.

New Years creeped up on us and we were supposed to go to my clients house for a big party, but I had started meds a few days before and I wasn’t feeling great, and then the rain came so we decided to stay in and cook a fun dinner. The first three weeks of January were pretty uneventful, just filled with work and a few little side projects and my one little injection in the morning. I had a new client in for a haircut and she gave me a pair of LuLaRoe leggings and I fell in love, they’re the softest most comfortable things in the world! I then found a pair that I had to have for my transfer, storks! They’re not the cutest things but what they represent for me made me have to have them. Crazy people buy these things online for $80, no thanks. I reached out to a family friend/customer of ours that I knew sold LuLaRoe and she had a pair! I’ve also been looking into becoming a consultant, me + clothes + working from home = dream come true! I’m working on getting Danny on board.

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Not sure if it was all the hormones or what, but I hacked all my hair off! I’ve been wanting to for a while, and I finally had my friend do it for me and I’m in love with it! Danny keeps telling me how much he likes it, I think its because I actually wear it down now. It felt good to have some change during all this.

January 23 snuck up on me and I was in for my last ultrasound and blood draw before switching everything up. I had already started oral estrogen, then the next day was my last little, teenie, tiny Lupron injection. It’s funny now looking back to when we started all this and I was so terrified of that little bitty needle. The following day was here, it was a Wednesday, the day Danny and I had both been dreading! When I picked up the new needles for the PIO (progesterone in oil) injections and he saw them, he was quiet for a few and then said, “I don’t think I can do that to you!” This injection, unlike the others, is intramuscular, right into that glute muscle and the needle is freaking huge. We were both dreading this day for months, I even called my mom to see if she would be home to do it for me. I would do it myself but I cant reach back there! I had read tons and tons of advice on how to do these the best way possible, watched YouTube videos, everything. I was ready, kind of. I even filmed it, its pretty hysterical!

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There we were in the kitchen, super nervous. He finally injected it and I didn’t even feel it!!! Well, the next day I did, holy crap. This is quite the process, prep injection, me start breathing and then start uncontrollably laughing (every single time) because I know exactly when he’s going to do it, its the second breath every damn time! We have our system down now though, ice the skin just a little not to stiffen the muscle or harden the oil once its in, inject, rub the area for 10 minutes and then heating pad. Every single night, switching upper butt cheeks. The soreness the next day is totally bearable just inconvenient. We have found that the left side hurts way worse than the right, every time it feels like he hits a nerve, that’s when we added the ice pack. I get horrible headaches the following day around 3-4pm from these injections, but slowly they’ve started to go away. Oh, and these will continue through about 12 weeks of pregnancy once that actually happens.

Transfer day was the following Tuesday up in Newport Beach again. We left bright and early, and made it there right on time. This transfer went way more smoothly than the first one, it was quick and easy, I laid on the bed for 20 minutes and was freed to head home and lay on the couch for three boring days! Just like last time we had meals made for us from our amazing neighbor family, I had coloring books, Sudoku and visits to heat up my lunch and let the dogs out. You all are beyond amazing and the best friends we could ask for!

Last Friday I was free to move and shower finally, and I had a stop at the doctors. We spent the weekend going on walks, that’s all I’m allowed to do right now, and hanging out with my family a little bit. Keeping myself distracted is my main focus right now, and tomorrow I get to go back to work, woohoo!

2016

This year has been quite the rollercoaster. When we actually sit back and think about everything we’ve done, accomplished and been through it can be overwhelming. But, we’re here, alive and well and successful so we don’t complain.
I feel like toward the end of the year, EVERY YEAR, everyone complains and says how much this year sucked. True, we all go through some shit, but I feel like people don’t really look at the positive things that happen in between some of those major sucky events that happen in our life. 2008 was the absolute worst year of my life. I lost my grandpa suddenly on Father’s Day, my dad in a motorcycle accident in September and my Aunt in November. All sudden and all devastating. But I tried looked at the positives, my Grandpa passed in his sleep with no pain, my dad may have had some pain, but they said he didn’t and we got to say goodbye to him. My response to everyone, was and always has been, “he was the happiest I’ve ever seen him. He had lost about 80 pounds that year and started riding again, rode up to Canada and back, he was happy and at peace with himself.” My Aunt was sick, but it happened fast, cancer sucks! Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of tears and heartbreak, there still is, I literally cried writing about my dad. Other than thinking of all those things when I think of that year, I also think about getting the chance to go to Europe at the beginning of that year, all my friends were still living here and we had the best summer ever, and seeing all the people that my dad had an impact on made it better.

I saw this thing on Facebook the other day that made me try to really think about those good things that happened this year, in between all the shit we’ve been through (with a smile on our faces, for the most part). This thing was a simple jar, when something good or happy happens to you, you write it down, fold it up and put it in the jar. At the end of the year you go through all these little notes and read them. I feel like too often, even when you really sit down and try to think of good things that happened to you over a year, they sometimes can be hard to remember. They can get lost in all the shit that happens to us or to people we love.

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This year, for us, has been a lot about focusing on us and each other. We have made conscious decisions to distance ourselves from people and situations. Its time to focus our energy on important things, things that are important to us. It might sound a little selfish to some, but I think it is a good kind of selfish. I guess this “maturity” and/or “selfishness” comes with getting older, or just what we’ve been going through, seeing the true colors of some people or just not enjoying our time with others. Others have completely taken us by surprise with the love and support we had never seen from them, for that we are so grateful and cant thank you all enough!

This year has come with quite a few bumps and bummers as well. Danny’s brother, wife and kids made a huge move to Turkey at the beginning of the year. Its been hard not seeing them and watching the kids grow and change, but it’s where their life has taken them. We started our fertility journey in April, all the tests, painful tests, poking and prodding, gaining weight because of all the hormones, and negative pregnancy tests have all been a huge bummer on us emotionally, but in the end hopefully all worth it. Our families have had their bumps as well, its hard watching shitty stuff happen to the people we love.

The way Danny and I look at it is, we’re all here, we’re all healthy near or far, we’ve had a pretty successful first (almost) year of starting our own business. And we would also like to thank all those people who have sent us business, offered to help on those long weekend days in the garage, supported us by purchasing projects from us, doing some of your Christmas shopping with us, letting us make your visions come to reality, bringing us tools, and making us meals. Each of you has supported our fertility journey, we wouldn’t have been able to afford this if it wasn’t for you, and also my mom and Rich, your financial help and loans as well as your emotional support has really gotten us through this (as well as talking Danny and I off a ledge at some points haha)!

We hosted our neighborhood Ugly Sweater White Elephant Pot Luck Christmas Party last week and we had so much fun! We have quite the group of crazy neighbors!

On the fertility front, it has been kind of nice to not have to worry about anything the last few weeks. No alarms reminding me when to stab myself with a needle, trying to schedule my clients around said needles and doctors appointments. I have been working with my family doctor to make sure I’m healthy in all other areas, we’re working on some things. I wasn’t supposed to have any appointments until next week, but they moved up my endometrial biopsy to this morning. In other words, the scratched the lining inside my uterus, yes it’s as bad as it sounds! It was freaking terrible, he couldn’t get to the uterus so he had to pull it down, holy crap. The “body guard” (she has to be in the room because he is a male doctor) was literally fanning me with my file.

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“Most failed cycles occur because the embryo was genetically abnormal and not healthy enough to develop into a baby. Sometimes other factors play a role, too. For instance, if the uterine lining is not optimized, then it may be more difficult for an embryo to implant. Women who have had multiple failed IVF cycles, despite seemingly good quality embryos, may be candidates for what we call “endometrial scratching”….Studies suggest that, in women who have failed prior IVF cycles, endometrial scratching appears to improve the implantation rate of subsequent cycle.”

“The mechanism behind endometrial scratching is not entirely understood, but we speculate that disrupting the lining of the uterus releases growth factors that help to improve embryo implantation…Some studies suggest that endometrial scratching may be as much as 70% more likely to result in a clinical pregnancy as opposed to no treatment.”

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I’m feeling totally fine now, just during it was horrible. I kept telling myself, “giving birth is going to be worse!” I start injections again next week, and one more later in January. This round won’t be nearly as time consuming, expensive or as many medications as last time, so I’m really looking forward to that!

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you following our journey. Talk to you next year!

Celebrating

Thanksgiving was a success for the third year in a row! We love hosting it and our turkey this year was huge and super yummy!

(I’m terrible at remembering to take pictures and especially when I’m cooking, but we managed a few)

 
It was also Danny’s 31st birthday a few days before turkey day. I surprised him and got his windows on his truck tinted and a gluten free mini bundt cake so I could have some haha.


We’ve been keeping busy with work on the weekends and trying to prepare ourselves for another transfer, shooting for the end of January. So I’ve been able to enjoy some libations lately, until I start meds again toward the end of this month.

If you know me, you know how much I love decorating for Christmas. Every year I have my stuff ready and my tree right after thanksgiving. This year I haven’t been as excited and almost hesitant but trying to force myself to decorate. We’ve been through some shit this year…a lot…but we are both so thankful for what we have and the small success we’ve had starting our little business.

So! That being said I finally made Danny get my xmas boxes out of the attic and we picked up our tree last night. I was so excited that this year our tree wouldn’t have to be up on a table. Roxy was a puppy last year and was obsessed with chewing everything so that’s the route we went. But this year we weren’t worried. She doesn’t really chew anything now and we were getting a bigger tree again and it’s going on the ground.

Being at Home Depot picking out our tree brought some of that xmas spirit back. That smell!!! Me sifting through trees, making Danny unwrap them and then telling him that “he’s not the one” or “he’s crooked” as he throws all the string at me.

Anyways, we get home eat some Chinese food (yes I had a gluten allergy attack the next day) and Danny heads out to get the tree ready to bring inside. I start unloading the boxes. I put a few strands of lights on the rug and our neighbor texts us and as I’m writing back I hear a crunch. I looked down and Roxy is sitting next to the mini lights and one is broken. She fucking chomped down on it!!! Are you freaking kidding me? All my dreams of a tree on the ground went down the drain as I put my finger in her mouth and down her throat searching for glass. Danny runs in pissed and trying to find glass on our brand new rug (mixed with glitter). We found most of the glass but some went down to her belly.

That put the kabash on that for the night. Our tree is on the little table with no lights or anything on it yet.

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Our tree has been there almost a week now and I finally put lights on it with my dad’s angel ornament on it and that’s about it. We keep planning on hanging the lights outside and I just keep getting over it. We even blew up our 4 foot snowman we’ve been so excited about inside last night just to see it and mess with the dogs. (Such assholes)


I finally decorated the house the other night and it looks so cute. Having our neighborhood “ugly sweater party” over here has forced me to decorate 😉 Danny absolutely hates all the glitter that comes with our decorations. We were putting the tree skirt around the tree and he said, “I hope we have a boy” I literally couldn’t stop laughing! He came home from work today and said there was glitter in the bed of the truck…how the heck does glitter end up in there?!???


I saw this on a facebook support page that I follow, her friend made it for her and I thought it was so special!

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Transfer

Recovering from the egg retrieval wasn’t horrible, I was pretty bed ridden for a few days with cramps, but bearable and boring. The day after was our 4 year anniversary, its crazy to think of what we’re going through now and everything we’ve done in the short time we’ve been together. Never did I think this is where our life would take us, but here we are and we’re trying to handle it as best we can. We also did a craft fair at Bates Nut Farm that weekend.

A week later we were back in Newport Beach ready for my transfer. November 8, 2016, no no not election day…TRANSFER DAY!!!! We were super excited, and we had our minds set. We decided we would transfer 2 embryos, if the two best were a boy and a girl that’s what we wanted. Well, that didn’t happen. The doc slipped and told us the best one was a girl and that he really thought we should only transfer one. We had 6 good embryos and 2 that they were going to watch and probably wouldn’t make it to freeze, but they did! So we had 8, transferred one and froze 7. Danny was set on listening to the doctors advice.

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The transfer went well, uncomfortable, but it went and we got to watch on the ultrasound. No that’s not the actual embryo, its the fluid that the embryo is in. The embryo is about the size of a fleck of dust at this point. After that was done, they had me just lay and relax for about 20 minutes, I also was about to pee my pants. They had me drink a ton of water the whole way up there and I was dying! The doc came in and said, “well, you’re technically pregnant, we just have to hope it sticks.” It was weird to hear that and think that I was actually pregnant, for the time being at least. I was on strict orders to be on bedrest for 3 days. It was really hard! You don’t realize how much you get up and move around until you’re not supposed to.

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We are so lucky to have moved into the best neighborhood ever! I lived in our old house for almost 20 years and never had the friends in that neighborhood like we do here. My first night home my mom and Rich came over with homemade (gluten free 😉 chicken noodle soup and we celebrated Rich’s birthday. Danny’s mom came by as well and brought me the biggest stargazers I’ve ever seen in my life. My neighbor Kristen texted me everyday all day long to check on the dogs, make sure if they needed to go out, and if I needed a break she would take them over for a play date with DodgerDog. The second night Lease and Jill made us a yummy dinner, and the last night Candace made us a full blown taco bar! I’ve also never had a “nothing bunt cake”, Grace and little Jasmine brought me a GF one and Danny only got two bites, it was amazing! Kristy and Janelle visited me for a little bit with flowers in hand. I seriously cant thank you all enough. It took the stress off me and especially off Danny, to have dinner every night when he got home and leftovers everyday for him to take to work. It’s rare you come across friends like this and let alone all within a few houses!

Friday came around and I was free, I didn’t even know what to do with myself. I had practically been bed ridden for almost 2 weeks at this point. We had a packed weekend planned so I took it easy, I was starting to feel like I was getting sick, plus my good old neck pain was back, probably from laying around for so long. We helped my bestie with some household upgrades Saturday and on Sunday we took a drive up to Julian. Bad idea with an uneasy stomach and a cold. But, a lady reached out to us a few weeks ago on Facebook and wanted to carry some of our stuff in her store! So up we went and we stopped at Danny’s parents on our way home for lunch. We also found some time to finish a few projects for customers that needed to be done that week. By the time we got home I was a disaster, nauseous, swollen lymph nodes, headache, the works. And terrified to take anything.

Monday my doc wanted me to see my general doc to make sure what was going on. Monday night I couldn’t keep anything down. Sounds weird, but I was secretly excited, pregnancy sickness, hopefully.  I saw the doc and the chiropractor on Tuesday, I had already started feeling better, no cold or anything, just sinuses and a mixture of everything. Our neighbor brought me an amazing massager to borrow and some oils for my diffuser. My body had been through so much at this point and was just fed up.

Finally Wednesday was here, test day. They drew my blood early in the morning and I would hear back from them by the end of the day. I spent the day keeping myself busy, changing my hair color again and cleaning. We decided I wouldn’t answer the phone and let them leave a message so we could listen to it together when Danny got home from work. The office called right around 4:30, I wanted to listen to the message so bad, but I didn’t do it. I laid on the couch and tried to relax and then my phone rang again, they were calling again, this cant be good. So I answered, they obviously needed to talk to me and the office was closing soon. She told me my test was completely negative, my HCG levels were zero, no chance that it even stuck at all and that I needed to stop all meds. I was in shock, we knew that this was a possibility, but I had so many symptoms, which were probably from the estrogen and progesterone I was taking. Danny called a few minutes later, I was a mess. The next few days were hard, but here we are trying to figure out our next steps.

I’ve been meaning to update the blog I just needed time to figure out what to say. Today I have an appointment to talk to the doc later this afternoon to figure out what we’re going to do next. We’re hosting Thanksgiving again this year for the third year in a row, which we love, so that’s been keeping me busy and distracted as well!

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Support

This whole process I think I’ve been pretty lucky! I have taken everything in stride and just followed my directions, word for word. They could have told me to sit upside down every night and I would have just done it, no questions asked, well I ask a lot of questions but you get the idea. 

I’ve also felt pretty good during this whole process, surprisingly. Until last weekend…everything caught up to me, the hormones, the injections, all the extra meds, going under anesthesia, it all just hit me. 

Our biggest concern was sticking to the plan, Gatorade, salt and high protein. This was to make sure I wasn’t going to get sick from the over-stimulating (google OHSS if you want to know more, it’s pretty f**ing serious). We did our job. Danny, annoyingly I might add, would make sure there was way to much salt on all my food when I wasn’t looking, check how many Gatorade bottles I had that day, and stuff me full of chicken and protein shakes. I’m sick of chicken! 

If I were to get sick we would have to freeze all the embryos and wait until I was better (and not dead) to do the transfer. I was pretty laid up the 2-3 days after the retrieval, super sore and really tired, but again feeling okay. The weekend hit and we had an event that we had to go to early Saturday morning. By Sunday night I was super bloated, my stomach was hard as a rock. The anesthesia mixed with taking progesterone, estrogen, antibiotics, steroids and whatever they did to get all those follicles out, all added up and I was pretty uncomfortable. And a few other things going on in my body I won’t mention, didn’t help either. 

I never knew what IVF really put people through, not only the woman, but their partner as well. It’s mentally exhausting and a crazy emotional rollercoaster. Having a support system is such a huge part of it, just a simple “how is everything going”, means so much. All Danny and I do is talk to each other it’s nice to hear from a friend every once in a while. Those few people who have been there, checking in with us, bringing us brownies and planning meals for when I’m laid up and Danny’s left to fend for himself, stopping by to see if we need help, offering to help with the dogs, mom for helping us figure out how the hell we were going to be able to do this, motivate and push us in the right direction, we can’t thank you enough, because of you this has been just a little bit more bareable. 

So, they retrieved 32 follicles. 24 hours later 21 fertilized, but only 15 fertilized normally. They let them grow and 4 days later they do the PGS (genetic screening) which brought our embryos down to 8. Here they are…