Excitement v. Anxiety

We have some upcoming things in the next few weeks that I am super excited about! 

  • Hospital tour!!! 
  • Prenatal consultations with a few pediatricians 
  • 24 week OB appointment (viability!!)
  • Cloth diapering class 

After we accomplish the above items, we will start looking into childbirth/CPR classes to attend. 

While I am super excited, I am also anxious. But I am really *trying* to keep my anxiety at bay. I spoke with the midwife today about some of my current fears, like stillbirth. Knowing that my recurrent miscarriage history plays no role in this happening helps me some. Also, how uncommon it is. She did tell me it can of course happen, but to try and enjoy my pregnancy. So, I have started coloring again, and listening to my Circle + Bloom healthy pregnancy CD. I hadnt listened in about a month and it seems to help.

My anxiety has been up in other areas too, non-pregnancy related, like my safety. Just recently we got a gun, just in case God forbid someone breaks in or something.  Someone actually broke into our home that we still live in many years ago and we never found out who did it. I dont know what has caused my fears to resurface about this, maybe its my motherly instinct to protect my unborn child, who knows. Either way I feel better now knowing that I/we can protect ourselves if needed. 

Other news? 

I have gained about 20 lbs. total. My midwife seems to think I am right on track, but my MFM told me to “slow down.” LOL.  I mostly eat well, so there isnt too much more I can do. I gained majority of it during the first trimester. The cleaning ladies came today and commented about how much my bump had grown in the past 2 weeks. I hope so, I worry sometimes that he isnt growing as he should even though there is no reason for me to think this way. 

Here are a few bump pics since I havent shared on here in awhile!



Until next time friends! 

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FET #3: Stims Days 5-10

So far, so good! Nothing really new to report.  Mainly, I just feel like blogging so I figure I will record how the past 5 days of this cycle have gone!

Have been eating super healthy everyday, with the exception of a delicious Kit-Kat bar during lunch the other day. Meals have consisted of Quinoa, Garbanzo beans, avocado, sweet potatoes, organic chicken breast, grass fed beef, whole grains, eggs, protein shakes, salads, etc.  Will continue to keep this up.  

The rapsberry tea I am drinking every day after work is causing me to pee more in the middle of the night than usual. Ugh. I really need to drink it in the mornings, but I dont want to be peeing non-stop while Im teaching either. Since Spring Break starts tomorrow, maybe I will try it out in the mornings and see if it helps. Im peeing about 4 times a night now compared to my usual 2 times. Annoying, but prep for being preggo again I guess!

Circle + Bloom meditation is still going strong. Im now on CD 2, part 4. I have only missed 2 days since suppression started, and I was just too beat to get in the mood for it those nights. The power of the mind is amazing to me. During meditation, I have been able to shrink myself down into a mini size and get into my uterus! Sounds crazy right? Lol. Its part of the program, getting things all perfect in there for baby. I am proud of myself for being able to connect my mind and body so deeply. Pretty cool, and relaxing. 

Started Folgard 1x per day this week. I start vaginal viagra (I KNOW… wt*) this Sunday. What woman has to go on viagra? This one! This will boost my lining even more. Anything for baby, right? Anyways, who has been on this before? Hopefully no horror stories? Only on it for 5 days in all so not too bad. Oh, and for various reasons, we decided I will not be doing the Lovenox bloodthinner this cycle. Feeling satisfied with our decision about this. 

My in-laws from Ohio will be in for a few days next week during my break.  We are looking forward to this, and hubby took a few days off to hang with us. Im hoping to get some Vitamin D at the beach! The summer weather is back, its been hitting the 80’s again everyday, and I need a tan majorly. 

Hubby and I started watching that new OJ series on demand. Takes me back to the 90s and watching the live trial. Some of it pisses me off, like how did this guy seriously get off?!? Oh, and John Travolta…dear Lord! What did he do to his face? I cant take it! Anyone else notice this? 

Hoping everyone has a blessed week! Will update after Mondays lining check šŸ˜Š

Transfer Day “Stuff”

One benefit to being an IVF vet is that you know what to expect on transfer day and can prepare for it (for the most part).  

Since this is our 4th transfer (4th times a charm!), I feel more prepared than ever before. I am not really talking mentally, although I do feel good about that too. I am referring more to the fun (oh Lord, did I just say fun!?) side of all this I guess? If there is such a thing?! 

Anyways, here is what I have planned so far for FET #3, transfer day #4 (still a few weeks away)-

Transfer Day Shirt-Of course none other than a pineapple would be acceptable (followed by eating some pineapple core)! 

  

Transfer Day Pineapple Socks– ordered online & never worn before! Waiting for the big day to sport these.

  

Transfer Day Pink & Blue Baby Charm Bracelet-passed down to me by a family member, and fellow IVFer who had her miracle twin babies. She wore it during her journey, and now I am wearing it through ours.

  

Transfer Day Drink of Choice… Organic, Sparkling Pomegranate (carbonated water)- This old wives tale drink is delish and we have a pretty good stash ready to go post transfer. 
  

Transfer Day Snack of Choice…Brazilian Nuts! Another old wives tale for sticky feet. All stocked up!

  


Transfer Day Reading-recommended to me from a few ladies in my IG community. This book is so adorable & perfect for any couple trying to conceive! 

  

Transfer Day Therapy- Circle + Bloom meditation continues. Except now its transfer day/post transfer listening time!!!

  

Im sure a few other transfer day things will be planned as we get closer, but I just couldnt contain myself from being excited and thinking about it all today!! 

Prayers for a nice, thick lining at Mondays appointment. 


FET #3: Stims Day 1-4

I have tried to set a daily (home) routine for this cycle. So far stims days 1-4 have gone like this:

Before work:

  • Wake up & make a vanilla flavored protein shake containing acai, maca, pomegranate, bananas, avocado, & almond milk. Sounds like a lot of random stuff mixed together, but its actually really tasty and filling! 
  • Take all oral meds (Estrace, baby aspirin, prenatal)
  • Do Lupron stomach injection 
  • Today was the first day I cut out coffee! 

After work:

  • Cook a healthy dinner
  • Take a candlelight bubble bath while drinking my raspberry leaf tea (2 cups per night)
  • Read our couples devotional together 
  • Listen to my Circle + Bloom meditation CD as I put my legs up the wall (fell asleep like this the other night)

 

  • Do ass injection (only every 3 days for now). Have 2 down so far. Bled during 2nd one. Ugh. 
  • Early bedtime!

Tonight I went to acupuncture for the first time during this FET cycle. Ive done it during all our prior cycles. Its a must for me! Ill be going weekly for now. I go to the same lady each time. She goes the extra mile for me, massages my neck and feet, helps me with visualization, and so on. Tonight she asked me if it will be a girl or a boy, and I told her GIRL for sure! She smiled. 

Overall, I feel pretty good. Headaches here and there since the estrogen started this week, and some emotional bits too. Hopefully I can keep that under wraps and not fly off the handle completely. I went from being in a menopausal state for months, to the polar opposite. I dont think it helps either that our state testing is in about a week. Kids are stressed to the max and so I am.  

Ready for April to be here already! 

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

This might sound somewhat insane, but recently after our 3rd IVF loss, I asked my RE if there are any safe anti-anxiety medications I can go on should I become pregnant in the future.  I guess this conversation has been crossing my mind again as we are approaching the month of July.  The truth of the matter is, should we plan to do a FET in the fall, it will be here before we know it.

Being a recurrent miscarrier, my anxiety is through the roof once I see those 2 pink lines.  Because for us, those 2 lines mean that the battle has only just begun.  Sometimes I feel odd because most of the women I meet in the infertility world are most stressed about going through the treatment cycle itself and whether or not it will even work.  Rightfully so, because calendars, stims, retrievals, transfers, and 2WW’s, are all extremely stressful things to endure.  But unlike most, when it comes to stressing, we spend the majority of our time thinking about miscarrying rather than the other things, even before the treatment actually begins.

Of course, my RE informed me that there are no “safe” medications for anti-anxiety when pregnant, which is what I figured. She gave me the option of going on a “safe” anti-depressant before I become pregnant, and continuing it through my pregnancy.  I really do not want to do this, considering I am not on any antidepressants now.  And isn’t this situation usually the other way around anyways? Like, a non-pregnant woman may be on antidepressants, but once she is pregnant, she weans herself off the meds. Here I am, a non-pregnant woman who is not on antidepressants, but wants them should I become pregnant! Totally backwards.

At times it pisses me off that what is supposed to be a time of joy and bliss, is now a time of anxiety and fear for us.  I feel like something primal has been stolen from within me.  Probably because it has. Could these feelings mean I am not ready to move forward again in a few months?  Does it mean I need more time to heal mentally?  I don’t believe so. No matter how you look at it, those losses will never go away.  It doesn’t matter how much time passes by.  It still happened to us and we will never get over losing our children.  I believe our fears are justified, and they are a part of us now.  Sure, I’d really just like to go back to being my old, normal self before the RPL days, but I don’t think that is humanly possible.

Regardless of the fears, neither my husband or my mom want me to go on an anti-depressant solely for pregnancy purposes either.  And even though they say some antidepressants are “safe” for pregnant women, there are still risks involved and I don’t believe the benefits will outweigh them.  Ladies, please feel free to share your experiences with this.  For now, the short of it is, I need to find additional relaxation techniques to do in conjunction with the prayer, support groups, coloring, yoga, and acupuncture to get me through a future pregnancy without losing my mind. I never thought I would need to think this far ahead in terms of pregnancy anxiety, but I do.

This being said, one additional resource we plan to use is visualization through Circle + Bloom.  If you missed my prior post about the Circle + Bloom CD programs, they are designed to reduce stress and provide a therapeutic mind-body connection through visualization techniques.  If you research it, you will find that the techniques have shown effective in cancer treatment and education.  I actually received my Circle + Bloom FET 3 disc audio CD in the mail today and  I wanted to share a coupon with you in case you have any interest in purchasing a CD yourself….Circle + Bloom coupon


  

They have audio CD’s for natural cycles, egg donation, pregnancy/delivery, PCOS, energy improvement, sleep, IUI, IVF, etc. Obviously, I have not listened to the FET CD yet, but I have listened to the free Healing & Recovery CD for pregnancy loss and it is really amazing.  To me, the CD is just as, if not more, relaxing than yoga or acupuncture.  Down the road, we plan to purchase the Pregnancy CD as we go through another FET cycle.  I am hoping that I can listen to it frequently and calm myself down when I need it.  Of course, that is if we ever see those 2 pink lines again.

Resources + Support

I have been working diligently on locating resources for those struggling with infertility, IVF, and/or RPL.  I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful things I have found thus far.

To date, we have received no outside assistance for any of our fertility treatments.  Unfortunately, we live in a state that is not mandated to cover infertility treatments (only diagnostics).  This has been quite difficult for us, as I am sure it has been for others, too.

Below are two different programs you can apply for if you have the time & energy to do so (we have been working on our applications as we speak):

Pay It Forward Fertility– A non-profit organization that has helped 18 babies be born to date so far!! Priority is given to those who show a financial need, are uninsured for fertility treatment, have no prior children, and who have already spent a lot on fertility treatments…that would be US!  The first application date just recently passed, however the next deadline for this year will be released soon.  There is a non-refundable $50 application fee, but this program pays for the total amount of IVF treatment (no meds or IUI cycles) if you are selected. The grant is paid directly to the clinic.  The application packet is a total of 21 tedious pages, not including the doctors portion and the personal stories that should be submitted from each partner.  Catches (if you want to call them that): A background check is required, the female patient must be under 40 when starting the IVF cycle, must be used within a year of award date, must be used at a SART clinic in the US, takes 6-8 weeks after deadline for recipients to be chosen.

Baby Quest -Also a non-profit organization that grants financial assistance for a wide range of infertility  treatments such as IUI, IVF, gestational surrogacy, egg freezing, etc.  This grant favors patients with no prior children as well.  There is no minimum or maximum income allowances to qualify for this grant.  Also requires a $50 non-refundable application fee.  However, if selected for the grant, an additional $250 is required for background checks.  The deadline for this application is November 18, 2015.  This packet is 8 pages in total without the personal stories and doctors portion.  From my understanding, this grant will not pay the entire amount of treatment, perhaps just a portion.  But this grant will cover the cost of medications, unlike the other, as long as the medications are not covered by insurance.  Money for medications will be paid directly to the pharmacy and money for treatments will be paid directly to the clinic.  Catches: must be used within 3 months of receiving the grant, female patients must be under 40, takes 4 weeks after deadline for recipients to be announced.

Support

I have also found a great infertility support group on FaceBook called, Beat Infertility which I believe some of you WordPress ladies are part of.  This is a private group of women who are all TTC. It features weekly podcasts from women who share their stories.  Some of these women have finally achieved pregnancies, while some have not.  Each podcast focuses on a different topic such as Male Factor, Unexplained infertility, etc.  I love this group because it is truly supportive.  I have been part of other FB groups that are so large and not really supportive. This one is different. You post questions and you get honest answers, & you share stories, both good and bad.

Circle + Bloom -I actually found out about this site through the weekly podcasts on Beat Infertility.  Circle + Bloom is all about using visualization techniques to support women who are TTC.  The woman who created the program battled secondary infertility and pregnancy loss.  If you go to their site, you will see they offer audio CD’s for a wide variety of those TTC.  They have an IVF Cycle CD, FET Cycle CD, Natural Cycle CD, Safe Delivery CD, Men’s CD, Blissful Sleeping CD, and more for purchase.  The prices range from $60 to $10.  They also have a free download for those who have suffered a loss. I purchased the FET CD for down the road, and I downloaded the free audio for miscarriages (healing & recovery is the name of the CD).  I thought it was so heartfelt that the miscarriage download was free of charge.  What’s more, this CD is really helping me heal.  If you make any  purchase on this site, you get a free subscription to the “My Hopeful Journey/Infertility Survival Kit” app.

Fertility Deals-While on the Circle + Bloom site, I found this resource.  It is amazing!  It led me to the non-profit programs, such as Baby Quest & Pay it Forward Fertility, and so much more.  Here, I was also able to find a 60% off offer for a Circle + Bloom CD which dropped the price down significantly for the FET CD (I had to email the company and ask for the discount, they responded quickly!).  There are various coupons for ovulation tests, prenatals, books, magazines, consultations, etc.

My Hopeful Journey/Infertility Survival Kit App– this app is super cool (free with Circle + Bloom purchase)! It comes with an organizer for doctor appointments, medications, lab results, journal, & tasks.  I love this already & haven’t even used it! It has a TTC blog feed built into the app, which we will now be featured on! In addition, it has a “101” category that defines all the IF jargon for you, a directory by state of all the infertility clinics out there, financial programs (Cade Foundation was another I saw) available, events happening, etc.

These resources really remind me how we are so not alone in this battle even though at times it may feel like it.  Hope this list is helpful to someone out there!  Sharing is caring šŸ™‚