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Day 4 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Shooting up Drugs & The Great Outdoors

Day 4 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Shooting up Drugs & The Great Outdoors

“Okay, I’m ready to go shoot up some drugs” I said to my husband.

“What?” he gave a what the f**k expression.

“You know, my IVF medicine.”

“Oh.”

“What did you think I meant?” I laughed.

“I don’t know.”

 

So that’s what I did, I went home and shot up some drugs. But these are the best drugs you can find, these are IVF drugs. They grow your eggs so you can have a better shot at having a baby. For what I’m paying they better freaking be top notch drugs. So even though I said yesterday I wanted Kurtis to give me the medicine, I went ahead and did it on my own again today. He offered to help but I thought it would be quicker if I just do it, rather than wait for him. He asked me, “Okay, you ready?” I told him I was already done. I didn’t even need to watch the video with the Menopur. I probably won’t need to watch the video for the Follistim either next time.

 

Right now I have have my puppy sniffing and licking me. Now he is just staring at me. He does that, where he will stare for the longest time. It’s really creepy when he does this in the dark. He’s a cute little dog. A wild one. So wild that I decided to put him in his kennel while I did my injections. The past few times he got way too close as I was trying to carefully do my injections. So I recommend finding a place away from pets or any small children, so you can focus on doing your injection without getting bumped into. I don’t like standing to do the injections. I learned that sitting down is the easiest way for me to do them.

 

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Husband, Kurtis, picking blueberries.

 

Today we took a nice drive out to Girdwood and did some blueberry picking at our secret spot. There was a whole lot more this year. We didn’t even have to go very far at all, maybe about 20-30 feet away from the dirt road. There were so many more blueberries this year compared to the last time we went blueberry picking a few years back. It was nice not to hike a lot like we had to last time, because someone found our secret spot before and cleared all the berries.

 

“There’s something so amazing about being outside, getting some light exercise, and collecting nutrients from the earth that will help my body and hopefully my baby when I become pregnant.”

 

We were definitely in bear territory. We found two huge piles of bear scat. I had my bear spray with me just in case. I like to wear my bear bell on my backpack to make noise so they know we are there. Most bears are afraid of humans and just by you talking and making noise they will leave, not all the time though. Luckily we didn’t see any. Years ago on one trail we counted about six piles of bear scat, fresh ones! So today I made sure to ask Kurtis if they were fresh piles of scat and he said no.

 

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Bear scat. Yikes!

 

We got a good amount of blueberries, about half a large ziplock bag full of them. Blueberry pancakes anyone? We will probably go out again before I fly out of state for my egg retrieval. I didn’t want to do too much walking around the woods today. Don’t want to twist an ovary. No seriously, that’s a thing with IVF. I read in one of the IVF forums that some women were taking it easy and not doing exercise other than walking because their doctor said there is the risk of twisting an ovary. “If a woman exercises excessively and/or intensely while her ovaries are enlarged, this increases her risk of experiencing ovarian torsion, a painful problem in which the ovary twists in on itself. While ovarian torsion is rare, avoiding vigorous exercise during IVF treatment is a good way to prevent this from even becoming an issue” (Vermesh, 2014). It’s not like I do vigorous exercise anyway, but it’s good to know to be on the safe side.

 

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Our bag of blueberries we collected today.

 

So when I went out blueberry picking on the side of the mountain I was extra careful and told hubby I didn’t want to go hiking to far up. Luckily we hit the jackpot with all the blueberries near the road. It will be lots of good nutrition for me and hopefully improve my egg quality. Plus I’ll have extra berries to freeze for when I’m preggers and need some good nutrition too. There’s something so amazing about being outside, getting some light exercise, and collecting nutrients from the earth that will help my body and hopefully my baby when I become pregnant. I love blueberry picking, it makes me feel connected to the earth.

 

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Thank you for reading. Check out my other blog entries by clicking here. Don’t forget to check out my Contest page to see how you can win!

 

 

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Sources:

Vermesh, Michael. “In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Exercise Limitations During Treatment” September 15, 2014. https://www.center4fertility.com/blog/2014/09/15/in-vitro-fertilization-ivf-exercise-148922

 

 

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Day 2 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Hydration, Migraines, and Grumpiness

Day 2 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Hydration, Migraines, and Grumpiness

Well today sucked. I had a migraine most of the day. I wasn’t sure if it was from the stims or because I have a history of migraines and they decided to come back. I had to wait for my doctor to call me back about whether it was okay to take Tylenol. She said it was fine. My head still hurts, hopefully the Tylenol will kick in soon. I just took my meds for Day 2. I was feeling crappy and just wanted to get it over with. I was not enthusiastic at all compared to how I was feeling yesterday. I feel irritable too. But I can’t tell if it’s because I have a migraine or because of the medicine. I did sleep pretty good last night though.

 

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I tried to eat healthy today. I had organic steel-cut oatmeal. It’s not my favorite, but I might as well eat it since we got a big bag from Costco. I’d like to go blueberry picking so I can add some to my oatmeal. It would taste so much better with some berries mixed in. I had a yummy taco salad for dinner. It’s healthy and tastes amazing. I am almost finished with the water I need for the day, at least 64 ounces.

 

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Right now I’m lying down with the heating pad on my stomach. I read that doing this after injections eases the pain. It seems to be working. I decided to have hubby give me the shots again because I just wanted to get it over with and didn’t want the stress of psyching myself up to do it when my head is already throbbing.

 

I’m just lying here and seething with irritability. I’m not a happy camper. But I need to stay focused on my end goal of having a baby.

 

Not to mention I’ve been poked, prodded, and gone through so much already over these past two years, so I want him to do his part. I think he wants me to do it myself so I can have practice before I go out of state without him for the retrieval (he has to work). But I am damn tired of being a human pin cushion and want some help, in a way he is able to help me. Boy we really do get the raw end of the deal as women don’t we? Everything falls on us if we want to make this happen.

 

I’m just lying here and seething with irritability. I’m not a happy camper. But I need to stay focused on my end goal of having a baby. But right now I just feel like I want to get this whole IVF experience over with. I’m sorry this post isn’t more upbeat, but I wanted to write authentically. Take care everyone.

 

Thank you for reading. Check out our Contest Page to see how to enter Hoping for Baby’s most recent contest.

 

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Day 1 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Excited & Nervous

Day 1 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Excited & Nervous

I feel like I had to wait forever to get to the point of starting my first round of IVF, in reality it has only been about five months from the decision to start. Today my husband stuck me with both Follistim (300) and Menopur (150). I wanted him to do it the first time so I can get a sense of how it would feel. I’d like to practice doing it myself either tomorrow or the next day, because I will be out of state for the egg retrieval while hubby works back home.

Before we got started with the injections for the first time ever, I stood in front of my big FedEx box of medication and said my prayer of positivity, which came straight from my heart,  “Mama-say mama-sa mama-ko-sa. Mama-say mama-sa mama-ko-sa….Hey Macarena! Ahhhaay!” I smiled and raised my hands in gratitude.

My husband’s schedule is already locked in for the year, so he wasn’t able to come down with me for the retrieval. My little bum of a cyst on my ovary threw off our plans we had set to take this time off together. For some reason I was panicking thinking that we’d have to postpone IVF for another year until he can get more time off. But my nurse out of state told me that he could just come down before me and freeze his sperm and we can still stay on track for the year. What a relief! Although it’s disappointing he cannot be there with me for the retrieval, I am so thankful my amazing Mom will be by my side to help. My clinic requires someone to help me after the surgery. Even though I will be doing medical appointments daily, I’d like to start looking into some fun things she and I can do while we are there. I need to fly out of state again in about a month (or whenever I can afford it) so they can do the transfer of the frozen embryo (FET), if I am lucky enough to have an embryo to transfer. I think they said I can do this one on the weekend, so hopefully I can have my husband with me.

My sonographer said it best, “Let’s hope they have a good Easter Egg hunt with you.” That’s the hardest I laughed in my recent appointments.

Before we got started with the injections for the first time ever, I stood in front of my big FedEx box of medication and said my prayer of positivity, which came straight from my heart,  “Mama-say mama-sa mama-ko-sa. Mama-say mama-sa mama-ko-sa….Hey Macarena! Ahhhaay!” I smiled and raised my hands in gratitude. My husband made his usual weirded out face when he thinks I’m crazy. He’s used to this kind of stuff by now. He pulled up a chair to the kitchen counter and we both worked together on learning how to do the medications.

 

The two injections I took today were not as painful as I imagined they would be. The needles are actually thin and somewhat short so I didn’t feel much pain. The Follistim had some residual stinging afterwards but not too bad. Probably even less pain than all these friggin’ blood draws I’ve been doing lately. My veins in my arm are looking pretty spotty and sad. But one trick I learned when I have to do my labs is to run quickly up the multiple flights of stairs to get my blood flowing. That makes it easier for them to find a good vein, even if I haven’t had much water yet that morning.

 

I’m so happy to be starting my stims. If you haven’t done IVF before and you are about to start, just focus on following along with the individual steps in the videos from your clinic. Take it one step at a time. I think once I’m done with this round of IVF I’ll write up a how-to guide or something similar to help others. But at this point in time I really don’t have much advice, I’m a newbie to this game. My sonographer said it best, “Let’s hope they have a good Easter Egg hunt with you.” That’s the hardest I laughed in my recent appointments. I loved that! So here’s to my upcoming Easter Egg Hunt. Hopefully they can get some good eggs for my retrieval. Thanks for reading and good luck to you wherever you are in your fertility journey.

 

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How to Mic Drop on Naysayers about Infertility Treatment

How to Mic Drop on Naysayers about Infertility Treatment

Once I decided to go public with my infertility struggles I received a mix bag of responses. Most were supportive, more than I expected went through the same thing, and a few made some really sideways comments. But I was anticipating this. I was expecting a variety of responses and was pleasantly surprised how many were supportive. We cannot be educated on every subject, and expecting others to understand where you’ve been when they haven’t even heard of the diagnosis or treatment you are pursuing is asking a lot of others.

 

My goal in talking with others about what I was going through was multifaceted. But when it was all boiled down I simply wanted to be understood. I reached a tipping point where it was healthier for me to speak up rather than keep everything bottled in. I was very careful about how and when to start opening up to others, and I think that helped. The decision to go public with my struggle was done to reach out to others who may be struggling too. There is strength in numbers. I no longer feel I am marooned on an island separated from others. Now, I stand strong with a growing number of women who are not afraid to speak up.

 

We need to face facts, the more silent we are on the subject of infertility, the more likely our own pain and others will fester in that silence. One way you can develop thicker skin around peoples comments is to anticipate resistance, and believe me there can be a lot. Most of the resistance tends to come from people hiding behind a computer screen and would usually never say these things to your face. But you need to expect it if you are going to speak up. If you decide you are ready to be more open about your infertility, here are some tips to arm yourself against the worst of the worst naysayers. Please keep in mind these are mostly for entertainment purposes, so use discretion on if and when you use any of the following below.

 

How to Mic Drop on Naysayers about Infertility Treatment

 

1) On Religion

  • God gave us the technology to cure medical issues, including infertility.
  • Pose the question, “So you are agreeing to not take life-saving antibiotics or use any medical intervention at all because it is God’s will for you to be sick and potentially die, right?”
  • Doctors are often in the position of saving lives, how is this different from assisting in the process to begin life?

2) On Adoption

  • Ask them how much they think adoption costs. Let them know how fertility treatment tends to be way more affordable, sometimes it’s half the price. Some people report IVF to be one-fourth the cost of adoption. Ask them if they would pay four times more to have a child that is not their own when they could have a good chance of having a biological child.
  • Agree with them if you are considering adoption in addition to fertility treatment. Tell them adoption would be amazing and enlist them to start a crowdfunding account to support the adoption costs. If they really want to help you build a family they will do whatever way they can. But the ones with the agenda of vomiting their “adoption or nothing” stance will be left with nothing to say if you simply agree.
  • Ask them why they haven’t adopted yet. Or why are they not adopting all the children of the world?

3) On Selfishness

  • Simply tell them you want the experience of giving birth, and ask them if they knew this was possible without your own DNA (with donor egg and sperm). You might blow their mind when you drop this knowledge. I love seeing people’s expressions when they learn about embryo adoption for the first time. Embryo adoption (also known as embryo donation) allows couples who’ve already completed their family to give another infertile couple the ability to bring life into the world. Essentially it’s like adoption but pre-birth and minus the legal fees.
  • Ask them if it is selfish to have the same ability of giving birth that many other women have.
  • Ask them if they plan to have children biologically. If they say no, ask them if they’ve been sterilized yet to ensure they follow through on their beliefs.

4) On Overpopulation

  • Ask them how they’ve been personally affected by overpopulation.
  • If they bring up how people are destroying the planet by consuming too much of the earth’s resources, agree with them. Ask them if they recycle, use solar power, never use a car, and only eat wild grown plantlife. Teach them ways to stop being overly consumptive.
  • Reassure them you will not be like Octomom. Because the dummies always bring up Octomom like that scenario happens every time with IVF.
  • Ask them their solution to overpopulation. They might learn they have more in common with Nazis than they realize.

 

I wrote this piece mostly as a way to let off steam and to laugh about some of the stupid things people say. It is mostly meant for entertainment purposes but feel free to use any of these gems as you see fit. Modify them as needed depending on the situation. These are snarky responses to get to the heart of the matter more quickly, rather than dancing around the subject. In an effort to educate people about infertility, I usually use the approach of gently guiding people with a series of questions (think Socratic Method) until people realize their faulty logic. The Socratic Method is a much more useful and tactful form of debate as opposed to calling someone a Nazi. 

Top 5 Ways to Scratch the Itch of Wanting to be a Mother

Top 5 Ways to Scratch the Itch of Wanting to be a Mother

 

Many of us who struggle with infertility, especially for a good length of time, may begin to feel we are losing out on time. It can be incredibly devastating to hear the news that your odds of success are low, or that they are good but face a let down every single time you lose another pregnancy. Maybe you just want to take a break from trying to conceive. No matter what your situation, for many women there is one undeniable reality, the biological urge to have children is so powerful it can take over our lives if we let it. The awareness of our Biological Clock can lead us to act a smidge neurotic at times.

I’m smiling to myself as I write this because I’ve found myself having serious conversations with my husband about kids, maybe a bit too early into our relationship. But I just felt compelled to, because I knew what I wanted out of life. Almost all of my friends have shared the same experience. Many of us are not shy at all about speaking up about when we expect to have children in a relationship, and that can kind of freak out our partners if they didn’t think that far ahead yet. I’ve also known friends who broke off their relationship because their partner couldn’t get on board soon enough and they chose to move on. Our desire to settle down and have kids can seem to dictate our lives. Sometimes we just need to take a chill pill. Once you get to the point where you found the love of your life, you are ready to start a family, but things are not going according to plan it is frustrating beyond belief. It is a real test of not only your relationship but also a test on how you adapt to the situation. No matter where you are in this process I think it may help to find an outlet for acting motherly, while we wait to become mothers.

 

Top 5 Ways to Scratch the Itch of Wanting to be a Mother

 

  1. Babysit

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We all have friends and family in our life who have children. Start to pay attention to which ones sound like they could use a good break from parenting for a bit. You could offer to watch their kids while they have a much deserved date night. Maybe they are going through an intense time in their life. Say they lost a loved one, or are dealing with a medical issue that limits the quality time and attention they want to give to their children. Or maybe their daycare has inflexible hours and they need someone to pick up and drop off their kids while they are at work. If you are able to help out, why not let them know you are available? Make that time you spend with their children quality time. Teach them something new, read them a book, teach them a few jokes, play a board game or video game with them, try a new hobby out together. If you don’t have children and are wanting more experience this is a great way to do it.

 

2) Become a Mentor

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Look into opportunities in your town to become a mentor for a child who could really benefit from hanging out with you. Look into the Big Brother Big Sister program. This opportunity can be great for the couple who may be thinking about being foster parents but may not have the resources yet that are required to become licenced. By being a mentor you are still making a positive impact on a child’s life, with the flexibility of maintaining your current lifestyle. Depending on the child and their needs, you could bring them out with you to the fun stuff you are already doing. Take them on a hike, go to the movies, take them to the state fair, bring them to the library, or try out something new together. Ask them what they would like to do for fun and what they expect from you as a mentor.

 

3) Work with Kids

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I’d recommend that if you don’t have much experience with kids try babysitting first. Try babysitting kids of different ages and temperaments to get a feel for how to be flexible and meet the needs of different kids. If you are serious about starting a career working with kids consider the possibility of being a teacher, daycare worker, tutor, school librarian, or social service work with at-risk youth (field I’m in now). There are many options to choose from, check your local job listings.

 

4) Become a Foster Parent

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Although I do not have personal experience with this, I am seriously considering it. One thing I learned recently is there are different agencies within my city to help place children into homes. I had assumed the only foster agency in my city was the Office of Children’s Services, run by the state. But I learned about several non-profit agencies who are committed to helping place children into good foster homes. They can provide a wealth of information, training, and resources to get you going in the right direction. Why not look into an orientation or open house? Call them up and ask questions about what it takes to become eligible. If you are intimidated about the potential for behavioral issues, ask yourself if you are emotionally ready to take this on right now. Do whatever you can to help the child, the best way you can. I like the commercial I saw recently with the simple, yet powerful statement, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.”

 

5) Get a pet

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Our puppy. Believe it or not this is his super relaxed face after getting belly rubs from his daddy. Blissed out!

Check out the animal shelter or ask around to see if your friends have any puppies or kittens they want to give away. You can even foster pets these days too. Pets can brighten our day, make us laugh, and become a special part of the family. We help them as much as they help us. I was going through another miscarriage while at the same time our Sheltie (looks like small Collie) passed away. It was heartbreaking to experience two losses at the same time. After some time passed both my husband and I wanted to get another pet. We got a new puppy and boy did he keep us busy! It was a little overwhelming at first, especially since he was the first puppy I ever had (we had always gotten older pets growing up). But with some time and attention I was able to teach him a good amount of tricks and I can happily say he is now potty trained! Thank god for that.

 

Try to think outside the box. This goes for men too, seek out ways you can act like a father figure. If one method doesn’t really seem to be a good fit, try something different. Dip your toes in first before you decide to fully commit. One way to do that is to ask a lot of questions and learn from others first. But also don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Even if you feel like you are sucking at it, you are gaining valuable experience and challenging yourself to try something new. Tell me if you’ve tried any of the suggestions above and what has helped you. What would you like to add to the list? As always, thank you for reading.

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