If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It

I had a pregnancy dream last night. Only my second one ever. 

The first one I had was while I was pregnant back in 2014, and that dream ended with me miscarrying. So, more of a nightmare than a dream I suppose. And oddly enough, that nightmare was right before our first miscarriage. It was awful, I chalked it up to nothing, but about a week later I found myself living it…the nightmare came true. Well, that was the past and the past is the past, right? 

Last night I was pregnant in my dream. Like I had a big belly and all. I was rubbing my belly and showing our baby love. The dream was quite vivid, and I even had my water break in it. We were at home when it broke, I was calm about it, and we made it to the hospital in time to deliver a healthy baby. We held the baby and were full of joy! Everything went as it should. No gender was revealed during the dream. 

This dream is another milestone for me to document in our journey. It showed us making it through a full term pregnancy, and bringing home a happy, healthy child. It felt incredibly real; you know how those dreams are. It brings so much hope for this upcoming transfer!

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! 

Blogversary 

Word Press reminded me this week that 1 year ago I started this blog. I can still remember the night I did. I laid in our bed, in the middle of the night, on medical leave from my job, just weeks past our third miscarriage, groggy from all the pain meds I was taking to numb my pain. I was in bad shape to say the least. 

I came across a blog titled “I am 1 in 4” that detailed a womans story through recurrent pregnancy loss.  I read it and it touched me deeply. I almost felt as if I had wrote it myself.  So I thought, hey what the heck, maybe Ill give blogging a try. Never did I imagine it would turn into what it has. With over 400 followers, I am truly humbled and blessed by the support I receive. 

Everyday I log on to read and follow your journeys. I comment as much as I can because I love supporting you. I yearn to blog when I havent in a few days; its like free therapy for me. Writing is in my blood, Ive always enjoyed it. 

Throughout the past year, this blog has taught me many things.

It has taught me patience and perseverance. Good things come will come to those who wait and dont give up. 

It has taught me not to compare my story with others. Everyones path is unique. 

It has taught me to be more empathetic towards others; that you never know what someone is battling on the inside. People can hide a lot through their smiles. 

It has taught me how amazingly resilient women are. Simply amazing!

It has taught me the unwavering strength and love of a mother. Like none other. 

It has taught me what really matters in life and what doesnt. Family is number 1; you cant take your money with you.

It has taught me how to be a more understanding wife. Venting, and seeing Im not alone. 

It has taught me how to cope positively. Writing brings no physical or mental harm. 

It has taught me how you can connect with someone you have never met through a terrible tragedy you share. Sad, but true. 

It has taught me to be myself and not worry if others will judge me for it. Life is too short to dwell on what people say. 

It has taught me that I will be OK, and that I am in charge of writing our happy ending. 

It has taught me many, many things, above all else, that I am not alone. 

Tonight, I am so thankful for all of these things learned, and for you as I reflect on this anniversary. 

Time Off

Today I told my boss about my upcoming FET cycle. By no means did I have to do this; I chose to. 

As a teacher, when we request a day off, we put it into a computer system and request a sub. The principal then approves it electronically. There generally is no face to face correspondence when a request takes place. The days are earned over time and can be used as needed.  I LOVE this perk about my job! 

Since I got my FET calendar, I have been requesting upcoming times off for appointments more than I normally would. So today I took my calendar in to my superior and explained why, even though she never asked about it or disapproved any of it. Note: this is part of my personality—I never want anyone to think I am just a slacker looking for time off. I have to explain. 

Anyways, I felt totally at ease approaching the situation, as the administrators I work with are very supportive. They all know that we have now gone through 3 IVF cycles, followed by 3 miscarriages—I have continued to teach there through them all. They have seen me at my best and my worst. 

What a relief to have this off my shoulders! My boss was great about it, and reassured me not to stress. This means a lot to a Type-A person like me! One more step in the right direction, right? 

3 More Sleeps

Until my (hopefully last) Hysteroscopy. It may seem almost pointless to some to even do it at this point; I have already started the suppression part of my cycle with Lupron injections, ordered all my other meds, and paid for the FET itself. Why bother putting me into a drug induced state again to see what my cavity looks like? 

Simple-we just want to know what we are dealing with. Thats it. We all have already agreed we are moving forward regardless of if the mass is completely gone or not, so its not about that. Although it would be nice to know that the treatment the past several months did work if it did. I cant imagine not finding that much out.

Anyways, I have my outfit (socks & lucky fertility bracelet included) all picked out for my procedure…how sad is this that Im now into infertility fashion? I guess a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Lol. Will post some pics of this attire after the procedure to bring you a few smiles. 

Oh, and is it pathetic that Im looking forward to the day off and the loopiness that comes along with all the poking and proding? No nervousness at all, Im ready for the twilight. This aint my first rodeo… Bring it on! 

Tips Needed 

Okay ladies! Its time for you to give me all the tips you have on intramuscular  injections like PIO and Del Estrogen.  I know if anyone has the best kept secrets its you all! Most doctors and nurses havent had those shots injected into their own ass, and although they give valuable tips, they are just not as valuable as yours Im sure. Experience is everything here! 

I did notice that my calendar says to do the PIO shots in the a.m. Im not sure why and need to ask.  Anyone else had the same? Might be an issue in the morning with mine and hubbys schedule if he has to do them for me. Anyone out there do their own PIO or Del injections? I must admit I did my own ass trigger shot because I hated the idea of someone else doing it for me. Although I pulled it off, it wasnt easy to do by any means. 

Until the Lupron Depot shots Ive had the past few months, no one had ever injected me in the butt. Lol.  Id much rather do my own shots, but I have a feeling its not going to be possible with these two. Can I do them myself? And what about heat, ice, position, etc.? Please inform! 

Keep in mind I have never done either of these two intramuscular injections before (just the trigger) so no info will be silly to me. All will be considered and appreciated.  I have only done Crinone with Vivelle/Estrace for my prior 3 transfers. Im thinking I will have my nurse mark the areas to aim for with a marker before I do the first one on my own?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to educate me in this area!

A Mothers Intuition

I have been confiding in hubby lately about a hunch I have been having. Maybe I could call it my motherly intuition?  

Recently, I feel very strongly that when we do eventually have our baby, it will be a girl

This thought may seem silly, or even superficial to some (trust me its not), but it has randomly been popping into my mind a lot the past few months. When it happens (usually out of nowhere), I catch myself smiling from ear to ear.  The weird rush that comes over me when it crosses my mind is hard to explain. I feel so full inside. 

Ive never had an intense feeling of the gender of our child before actually being pregnant with he or she. Completely clueless, in fact.  Only after finding out I was with child did I get the intuition of our babys sex and it prove correct. 

I have never been set on having a girl either, so Im not sure where this is all coming from.  Since our troubles TTC, all Ive prayed (and still do) for a healthy baby over and over.

Maybe its nothing, but I still want this inkling of mine on the record, and now it is 💗

The Infertile Mother 

After our first IVF and subsequent loss, I started to think about how it would be nice to stay at home with our child for the first few years of their life should we ever have one.  

By the time our 3rd transfer and 2 more losses occurred, I no longer was just considering being a stay at home mommy should we have a child, I was set on it. After all the trauma, I couldnt (and wouldnt) even ponder the idea of going back to work after a short maternity leave. 

Note: Im well aware all mothers struggle with going back to work after they have a child. I get it.  But Im going to be brutally honest here and share my inner thoughts on the topic (some might not want to hear them, if thats you, stop reading!) 

I feel like after all the injections, pills, surgeries, procedures, thousands upon thousands of dollars, tests, pregnancies, losses, bloodwork, scans, and appointments that I earned the right to stay at home with our awaited baby longer than the normal amount of time.  I didnt just accidentally get pregnant, I didnt just try a few times, get pregnant and deliver. In fact, I didnt even try for many years, get pregnant and deliver.  I didnt undergo the all mighty IVF and achieve success the first few times either! 

After everything I have given and lost, how could I NOT stay home with this child for a few, measly years??? Come on!

It wasnt until this year, 2016 (1 full year after out 3rd loss), that I have begun seriously considering going back to work after a maternity leave.  I must say I have even surprised myself (and hubby) with this new state of mind.  

Some background on my career-I am a teacher. I have been teaching for 6 years now, 5 years in 4th grade and 1 (this year) in 3rd grade.  I love working with kids and watching them grow, probably one of the reasons I want to be a mommy so bad. I also enjoy working with adults, teaching at the local college. I guess I just enjoy learning and teaching, and teaching and learning! I have my Masters and dream about getting my Doctorate eventually. 

I have always liked to succeed at my job, I dont mind working hard, giving 110%, or putting in extra hours. But infertility and pregnancy loss took a lot from me in 2014 and 2015. It didnt happen overnight, it was sucked out of me little by little, day by day. I didnt want any of my career anymore–I just wanted our baby. These diseases can change so much. Its nuts. 

However, my outlook right now is that I would like our baby, and my career. You know…kind of like a normal person!?! Im not sure if this will change. It very well could. But right now I am getting my self back I think.  I want it to stay that way. I hope it does. The group of adults I work with this year have made it really easy for me. I am blessed with where I am at right now career wise, and I would love to keep my position and have a smiling (sometimes crying!) baby to come home to everyday.

I know juggling a career and a baby wont be easy. But being a stay at home mom sure wont be either. Both deserve all sorts of props if you ask me.  And having a baby wont be all rainbows and unicorns anyway it is sliced, but finally, I feel ready for the challenge of having that family/work balance in my future should I be so fortunate. And for that, I am proud of myself!

FET 3 Protocol

Let me start out by saying that I had my final, 3rd injection of the Lupron in my behind yesterday…hooray! I am so glad I have reached this milestone. I am also so thankful to God that my side effects have been very minimal, which was a huge fear of mine going into it. He has 100% answered our prayers with this.

After my injection, I sat down with our list of questions with my RE. She pulled up the scan I had last month when I was bleeding and compared it with the scan I had that showed my mass a few months prior to the Lupron treatment. Good news-the mass wasnt showing on the scan from last month. Of course we cant be sure it is completely gone until my Hysteroscopy in a few short weeks, but its a great sign so far. If its not gone, its at least shrunk! Another answered prayer. 

We discussed immune therapy with intralipids and IVIG, the differences between them, my antiphosphilid results, the studies, etc. Based on my panels and our discussions, and although they offer them at one our of their clinics, I wont be doing these treatments at this time. I feel good about this decision.

Next up was the Crinone v. PIO talk. Ive always been on Crinone for my transfers (fresh & frozen) whereas the recommended protocol for most FETs is PIO. My progesterone levels have always been great, even when we experienced losses. I pretty much refused them in fear of hitting a sciatic nerve or something, (I know not likely) but I have chronic, horrible spinal issues to begin with, and couldnt stand the thought of any additional back pain. My RE was always OK with our decision because of my reasoning. However, I am now ready to go all in and give myself those ugly intramuscular ass shots everyday for 12 weeks (I hope!!) at this point instead of using the Crinone gel. I dont want to look back and feel there was ANYTHING more I could have done. This means no more vivelle either, DEL it is. I know so many of you ladies do it, and I can do it too. I just had to be ready and I am.  I know its not that bad and Ill be just fine!

We are still undecided on the Lovenox, or blood thinner this time around. We talked about it and it could go either way. I am pretty sure this will be a last minute, go with your gut decision. I have plenty leftover from our last FET.

We moved conversation on to the Zika virus. Ugh. My RE showed me some things recently released by the CDC. Although no mosquitos with it have been found here in Florida yet, it is predicted they will be here by the spring due to our climate (right when we transfer!). There isnt much we can do, other than wear bug protectant, stay indoors at night, away from water, and wear condoms when we have intercourse. If hubby got bit, he could easily give it to me. You can get bit and be asymptomatic too. No immunizations will be available for a long time it seems, as I asked because I seriously considered waiting it out to transfer. 

I live next to two empty lots and have some water behind my house. We usually get eaten alive during the summer months.  Its horrible. Needless to say, I think Ill be investing in a HazMat suit soon to be safe. Doubt that, but I have already started reading into Essential Oil mosquito repellent blends I can apply and such. I wont be using and inhaling a chemical based product everyday when pregnant thats for sure. We arent sure about our Bahamas cruise either now with this crap. Going to play this one by ear and see how things play out over the next few months with the virus. Trying not to stress about it, just be proactive. Not like we can control nature. 

On my way out I saw my very pregnant nurse. You might recall me posting about this a few weeks back and how incredibly tough it was. This time when I saw her, I hugged her and told her congratulations. I didnt plan to do it, it just happened that way. I think I just needed time to process it all. God made it really easy for me to be happy and at peace when I saw her this time. Again, an answered prayer! 

Anyways, I called WIN fertility for a bundled FET price quote, got all my presciptions handed to me for upcoming bloodworks, and so forth. The most exciting part of the day was setting up my calendar and transfer date! It made it all feel so real again. We will be transferring almost 2 years ago to the day of our first transfer.  I am ready and praying for all good things. Really, just praying its His timing now, because if its not, I know it wont happen. 

Just in Time For Valentine’s Day!

Awhile back I posted about renovating our master bedroom. Neither my husband or I have bought any bedroom furniture throughout our entire 16 year relationship together. I still had my parent bought dressers from when I was 14 and thats what we were currently using. 
We always envisioned a dreamy & romantic master suite, with a headboard and the likings. This year our dream came true just in time for Valentines Day!

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

We ordered all of the furniture from Bassett’s HGTV design studio. It was super cool, we got to pick out the color, fabric, and finishings on everything. It took about a month to come in but was worth the wait. Designing everything made us both happy because after waiting so long we didnt want to settle for something we half liked. 

We tore up the original carpet and baseboards that were in the room when we bought it back in 2007 and replaced them with a dark laminate flooring and larger baseboards. We also painted the walls light grey, with a darker grey accent wall behind the bed.  Love the colors!

The finishing touches were things like the throw pillows, drapes, roman shade, brushed nickel rod and finials. I didnt have to buy any accessories thankfully, I was able to reuse items from around the house thanks to my moms help.

We are in love with it all & havent gotten out of bed much since the arrival! Instead we have ordered pizza, cooked spaghetti, and rented movies like, “The Martian” & “Tomorrowland.”  I was also blessed enough to receive a handmade card from my hubby with the most heartfelt poem and “cuddle coupon” inside.  

I am off today in honor of Presidents Day and will be heading to my RE for my LAST lupron injection. Also, we will review our FET protocol for this time around.  Wish me luck!