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New Contest Announcement: Fabulous Fans of HopingForBaby.com Contest

New Contest Announcement: Fabulous Fans of HopingForBaby.com Contest

Fabulous Fans of HopingForBaby.com Contest

It all comes down to the numbers! Here’s how this new contest works, the most active fans who help spread the word about HopingForbaby.com will win.

Help HopingForBaby.com reach 500 followers and the prize amounts below will double!

Prizes

First Place: $25 sent to your PayPal account

Second Place: $10 sent to your PayPal account

Third Place: $5 sent to your PayPal account

 

How to Enter:

  • Mention HopingForBaby.com in a infertility or IVF online group/forum (5x the entries). To show proof of this, do the following:
  1. Copy the URL link where you mentioned HopingForBaby.com.
  2. Go to HopingForBaby.com
  3. In the comments section of HopingForBaby.com paste the URL where you mentioned HopingForBaby.com and say that this is your entry into the contest.

Tip: Get extra entries for sharing, liking, or commenting on each new blog I post.

 

whos-awesome-meme

 

Contest ends December 1st, 2019.

More contests coming soon!

 

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Day 1 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): “You can do it!”

Day 1 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): “You can do it!”

As a way to psych myself up for my first day of my second round of IVF stims, I remember the immortal words of Rob Schneider in the many Adam Sandler movies, “You can do it!” Whatever the outcome may be, I’m choosing to be optimistic. This time around I don’t feel as stressed out or worried about the whole process. I’m not worried about the shots. Jam them in me! I’m not worried about the details of the trip down. I know where I’m going. I feel like I can relax more this time and have more space in my brain for other things.

 

I wouldn’t say I am entirely free of stress. I owe a decent amount of money to my credit cards and my Mom that I borrowed. I’ve been thinking of all the different ways I could make some extra money to pay off my IVF debt. I applied for a different position at work that would increase my pay but I haven’t heard back. I am planning on getting a second job after I come back from my egg retrieval. The logistics of applying to a job before I go down and then having to explain I’m out of state and not entirely sure when I’ll be back is a conversation I wanted to avoid. So I figured it was just easier to apply as soon as I get back.

 

I will say that doing on-call work and having the flexibility to choose my schedule has been amazing for me during this process. It was a good decision to switch to on-call for the time being. I don’t know how other women do it if they’ve had issues like me where it was delayed by several weeks. My first round was delayed two weeks due to a cyst and I was gone for three weeks from work. A flexible work schedule, or at least a large bank of accrued time off, is incredibly important to do IVF.

 

Although my second round is delayed, happily it’s not delayed by much, just two days. I’ll take a two day delay over what I dealt with last time where I had to wait weeks. They drew my blood and determined my cyst is non-functioning, which is a good thing. That means that my cyst is not producing estrogen and therefore I am good to go with my egg retrieval. The last cyst hung around for two weeks producing just enough estrogen to delay my retrieval by two weeks. Luckily this time my cyst is just hanging out, doing nothing. My cyst is like the houseguest who overstays their welcome. It eats all your potato chips while sitting in your favorite spot on the couch. What are you even doing here?! Time to get up out of here.

 

Today was my first day to take Leuprolide. I’m off to a good start, I bent the needle. I had the needle in the vial, lifted the needle and vial to draw up, and the needle bent. It’s a super thin needle and I was amazed at how easily it bent. I’m just glad it didn’t do that inside my stomach. Talk about freaky deaky! So be careful when you lift up the Leuprolide needle and vial, because this is the time when it can easily bend. I just tossed the needle and grabbed another one from the massive arsenal of needles they sent me. I may need to contact the pharmacy for an extra needle. I’m betting I don’t need to order another one because based on experience from last time they sent me extra needles and syringes I have no use for. But it’s always good to check.

 

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Doh! Accidentally bent Leuprolide needle.

 

Apparently there are some women who sell their extra medication online. I know certain Facebook Groups ban the practice of selling extra IVF meds online. I think the thing that makes the whole thing a bit dubious is the fact that you have no idea how long the person has had the medicine just hanging around their house. Some of the medicine is not as effective beyond a certain timeframe. So them just telling you, “Oh yeah it’s still good” seems kind of suspect. I suppose buying and selling IVF meds online can be considered the “Black Market” of the IVF industry. I’m picturing a future where there are dealers on the street. A woman in a long trench coat filled with boxes IVF meds, attempting to be inconspicuous whispers, “Leuprolide? Menopur? HCG? What do you need?” The dealers online are quite tenacious. I don’t even ask for medicine online at all, but I get messages sent to me trying to get me to buy. Speaking as someone who has a little bit of medicine extra, I am saving it for my next round as a backup if I run short. Personally, I think it’s morally better to give away extra IVF medicine as opposed to trying to sell it. From what I understand there are some clinics who will take back extra medicine to give to those in need. So if you feel like you want to pay it forward, talk with your clinic about your options for your extra medicine.

 

Thank you for reading.

Check out my other blog entries by clicking here for the archives page.

Don’t forget to check out my Contests page to see how you can win!

Fertility Wars: Return of the Cyst

Fertility Wars: Return of the Cyst

November 1st is the last day for the Thanksgiving contest. Winner will be announced soon after.

 

So if you are a Star Wars fan you might appreciate the title of my blog today. As I stared at my ultrasound today it was obvious that my cyst had grown to epic proportions. It loomed large on the screen. A big black ball of “f**k my life.” Same crap, different day. I’d really like to learn more about the science behind these little bastards because being told there’s nothing I can do about it doesn’t sit well with me. This means I will need to change my flights around and my hotel, right during peak season for Thanksgiving. Fabulous.

 

As you may remember, I had a cyst I dealt with before. Although I’ve been told cysts are normal, I can’t help but wonder if in the future these little guys might morph into cancer. I really need to learn more about them. On a somewhat related note, I was watching a show on Netflix called “Haunted” where people give real life accounts of paranormal experiences. Kurtis and I have been watching lots of scary shows lately for Halloween. In the show this woman was convinced that she was abducted by aliens. During her several dozen abductions she believed the aliens were doing medical tests on her. She was convinced her cysts, fibroids, and endometriosis were caused by the aliens. Cue major eye roll and guffaw here. Lady, you may not realize it, but there are so many women out there with the same issues. Surely not all of us with reproductive issues are having our vajeens experimented on by little green men. But then again maybe that’s what they want us to believe. Bum bum buuuuum!

 

The other day we had an unexpected knock at our front door. It was the weekend and I was being lazy around the house. I went to the back bedroom to put on a bra (hey, it’s the weekend!) and Kurtis asked through the door who it was.

 

“Planned Parenthood” I thought I heard a woman’s voice say.

“We don’t have any kids” Kurtis said.

 

By that time I came out from the bedroom he was laughing a little.

 

“Who was it?” I asked.

“Planned Parenthood” he laughed.
“Really? What did they want?”

“I don’t know, but I told them we didn’t have any kids.”

 

We both saw the comedic irony of the situation and started laughing to the point where we were having full on belly laughs with tears. It’s so damn funny that these people are knocking on our door when we’ve been doing everything short of kidnapping to have a baby. God has a messed up sense of humor sometimes. I was laughing hard also because Kurtis’ response didn’t entirely make sense. I asked him what the woman said to him and he said, “nothing, she just walked away.” I’m sure they’ve dealt with way more awkward situations than that. She was probably walking away thinking, “Why the hell are those people laughing so hard in there? They sound like lunatics. Probably drugs. I should walk faster.” Drugs indeed, fertility drugs that is.

 

I had another big laughing fit a few weeks ago over cheesecake. Yes, cheesecake. Let me preface this story with the fact that my body seems to be incredibly sensitive to my progesterone-only pills and my mood swings are all over the map. Everything from wanting to cry for no apparent reason, to laughing just a little too long over silly things that aren’t really that funny.

 

I decided to try out this local pie shop for the first time. I picked up a miniature cheesecake and good Lord, it was the most divine and magical cheesecake of my life. I was in love! The following week I decided to get it again on my Friday as a reward for my busy week. I went there but they were closed. Then I went the next day, closed again. And again a third day, still closed. You’d think by this point I would have checked their hours. Come to find out their hours are pretty limited. The fourth day I finally was able to walk through the doors and I gushed about how sublime their cheesecake was and how I was ready to buy more. “Oh, I’m sorry we ran out yesterday.” I settled for a pumpkin pie instead and told myself that I would soon be back for the cheesecake again.

 

I was re-telling this story to my husband and for some reason I found the set up to the story and the ultimate let down to be incredibly hilarious. I’m laughing each time I say, “So I went back again…” I was laughing so hard I had to lean on the counter to keep myself upright. Kurtis’ expression was that of “what the hell is so funny?” Maybe what struck me as hilarious is that this damn cheesecake is symbolic of what I can’t get from life. First world problems, right? But do you see my logic? The cheesecake could represent anything that I want really badly but cannot have (i.e., a biological baby). Now you get it? Still doesn’t make sense? That’s okay, it makes sense to me. Perhaps there is even greater symbolism that can be gleaned from the fact that when I returned later I ordered a pumpkin cheesecake, because again, they had no regular cheesecake. Maybe the pumpkin cheesecake represents our future child using an egg donor, hence the pumpkin in the mix. My quirky little cheesecake story might only be funny to me, but I think the real lesson learned here is that I really want that f**king cheesecake. So the quest for cheesecake continues.

 

Thank you for reading.

Check out my other blog entries by clicking here for the archives page.

Don’t forget to check out my Contests page to see how you can win!

Featured Image Credit: Goodberry’s Belconnen

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The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Many parents will tell you they sacrificed so much for their children. Many women going through IVF will tell you they have already sacrificed greatly for the hope of having children. Sometimes I feel those of us who struggle with infertility issues are already mothers-in-the-making. We know what it takes to give up our time with our partners to put in extra hours at work, working weekends when we could be spending time with them. The time away from visiting with our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. Time away from social gatherings where we connect with friends. Often we develop a one-track mind and it becomes all about making the possibility of a child a reality. What will it take? What will we give up? It all comes down to time and money.

 

But one thing I’ve learned through this process is that I don’t view this the same way most people do who do not struggle with infertility. Yes, the sacrifices are great, but what I’ve already gained is so much greater. Loss and struggle are some of the best teachers in life. I’ve developed a fierce commitment to my goal and I’ve grown in many ways. When I was feeling lost and confused I learned the value of intense research for solutions. When I was feeling disconnected from everyone and couldn’t bear to talk about my pregnancy losses, I learned to opened up and realized many of my friends, family, and a massive online community went through the exact same things I had. Being able to not only relate to others but put all of our research together, weigh the options, and together help each other out with the end goal in mind of “how can I best help this woman fulfill her dream of having a baby?” Sometimes it’s as simple as suggesting a certain test be looked into their doctor hasn’t tried yet, or a financial option they hadn’t even considered. Rallying together as a group and helping each other achieve our dream of motherhood has brought me such a feeling of connectedness that I never in my life experienced.

 

I’ve learned to speak candidly with my husband about how I feel, and to truly listen to what he is feeling too. Learning to compromise together, whereas when left to my own devices I would have steamrolled ahead with my own big plans. Being able to stop and consider his needs when planning for our future has been incredibly important. I told him how I made the decision to take on some temporary debt in order to have a shot at having a child. That temporary debt could have gone towards paying off the condo and moving into a bigger house. We’ve always talked about paying off the condo early and getting a nicer house, so it was a big deal to postpone this for a bit. I knew this would be a huge sacrifice but I also knew that if we wanted the opportunity to have our own child I needed to do IVF now. My timeline for fertility is significantly less than the average woman, but I have many years to plan for moving into a house. Shifting timelines for everything was a sacrifice, but that’s all it comes down to, simply shifting timelines. We compromised and agreed that we would focus on knocking out my medical debt these next few months before our FET (frozen embryo transfer). Being able to get past our emotions, talk about it, and come up with the best solution together has helped us both become more mature as a couple.

 

I’ve also learned to endure incredibly devastating losses. My first pregnancy loss was the worst for me emotionally. I was in bed for two weeks and was incredibly depressed. But after a total of four losses I’ve learned to be more resilient. I now have many people I can turn to for support and have developed a concrete treatment plan. I now have answers as to why some of the losses happened and a hopeful solution too. Now it’s just a matter of doing the treatment plan of IVF with PGS, the one step I have left for our first round is traveling back down for our FET.

 

I’ve come a long way over these past 2.5 years of infertility. I’ve learned one of the best ways of dealing with my situation is to focus both on what I need to do today as part of my treatment plan, while also looking at the big picture. The big picture for me includes doing a visualization. In that visualization I pull away from the current moment and look at my life and these struggles far  into the future. Being able to see myself in the future, and ask myself did I do everything I can and are there no regrets? There is a sense of comfort I get from looking at the big picture. Where does that comfort come from? I know that I am doing everything I possibly can in order to make my dreams come true. And who wouldn’t be proud of that?

 

Thank you for reading.

Check out my other blog entries by clicking here for the archives page.

Don’t forget to check out my Contests page to see how you can win!

Featured Image Credit: Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

 

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All About Balance

All About Balance

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel like you are balancing all aspects of your life, like those creative pinterest posts? Currently, I feel like I am an amateur plate spinner like you see in the circus that spin plates on the end of sticks. In my left hand I’m spinning the plates of “health” including taking all my vitamins, blood pressure medicine, and following my suppression phase regimine of progesterone BCPs for my next round of IVF. In my right hand I spin the plates of “work” and trying to manage work with my health issues is proving difficult. Finally, I am spinning the plates of “baby” on my head. Now imagine all this plate spinning while walking down a set of janky stairs. The stairs represent my precarious health while on progesterone pills that leave me feeling like crying for no reason. Also I forgot to take my blood pressure medicine the other day which triggered a massive migraine I’m still dealing with. In a nutshell that’s how I’m feeling, like an amateur plate spinner attempting to walk down a crappy set of stairs.

 

But as with everything in life, this is a temporary feeling and a temporary situation. I am counting down the days until I’m off these progesterone-only BCPs. I was talking with my mom recently and I was thinking back to my turbulent early twenties. I think part of my mess of a situation could be linked to the BCP I was on back then. I don’t know why I never considered that before. I was off of BCP until recently when my doc recommended it for lining up my schedule to do IVF. I feel similar to how I did years ago, like a sad panda whiny mess of a human. It’s amazing how seemingly simple tinkering with hormones can change how you view situations completely.

 

But at least I have the insight now to know this is what’s going on. So what am I going to do about it? I need to ramp up my self-care routine. Here are a few of the things I plan on doing while I have to ride out this situation until October 30th, when I stop the BCPs:

 

  • Listen to music more
  • Watch funny Youtube videos
  • Clean the house
  • Avoid the news (since it’s pissing me off lately)
  • Blog more 🙂
  • Visit family
  • Read for fun, not just for school
  • Take a warm bath

 

I am currently in the suppression phase of IVF where I’m only taking the BCPs. I start my injections for my second round of IVF on November 1st. My doc is changing things a bit with my medicine. And I am happy to say that we have one PGS normal embryo on ice! As I mentioned in my last post, we are saving a lot of money by doing two egg retrievals back to back before I actually transfer any embryos. So my little “kidsicle” is suspended on ice until we can do our first FET probably sometime early next year. Money is our biggest obstacle right now, saving up for the flights to go down there and the hotel. But my clinic said that we can do the FET on the weekend so that would work well with hubby’s schedule so he won’t have to take time off from work. Despite my current throbbing migraine and financial situation, I am still hopeful for our future. I always find a way to work things out, and I’d like to add “starting a family” to that list.

Thank you for reading.

Check out my other blog entries by clicking here for the archives page.

Don’t forget to check out my Contests page to see how you can win!

Featured Image Credit: Everydayhealth.com

 

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