Served On A Silver Platter

Happy 2014! Merry new resolutions and half-ass attempts at healthiness to you all. I for one have not really made any resolutions because they are made to be broken. I just can’t do that to myself this year, it’s exhausting. On the the other hand I have plenty of crafting projects, home upgrades, family events, a back log of recipe testing and last but not least the deepest most pertinent desire to have a little one running around this house! While I have many diversions and tasks to keep my mind from drifting off into the sea of sadness and “why has no one picked us??” thoughts; I am fueled to wholly focus on what needs to be done to become a mom.

Leading up to the fantastic moment I get to become a member of the mommy club and spend my life catering to another beings every need and wish…I decided it’s going to be all about me for awhile. Yes that’s right I’m just gonna do things for me, cook things for me, read things for me, buy things for me and serve everything to myself on a silver platter…literally.

After this last year of waiting to adopt and the pain and the losses and the depressing-ass-shit that all went down we decided (my husband and I) that we have nothing to lose in trying to conceive through IVF. This is a bit of a 180 from exactly one year ago when I was so certain, so very sure that adoption was THE WAY to start our family. I have always felt like we are meant to adopt, that not getting pregnant naturally was a sign. I still feel that it WILL happen but it just won’t happen in the way I romanticized it in my head. I’ve had my reality check. So we are doing this thing backwards, a reverse order of steps that most people take I suppose. We are not putting our adoption plan on hold but we are concurrently doing IVF and waiting to adopt at the same time.

This is how my first cycle of IVF meds came delivered with a cooler pack for the HCG and Gonal-F Injections
This is how my first cycle of IVF meds came delivered with a cooler pack for the HCG and Gonal-F Injections

It’s all happened pretty quickly once we decided IVF was a go. We got our financials lined up to do a multi-cycle plan. Basically we will have the option of up to 2 fresh and frozen embryo transfers that we paid for up front to get what I would sum up as bulk discount. We decided it was wise to plan on multi-cycles since my doctor will only be implanting one embryo at at time due to a condition I have called unicornuate uterus. With this condition I have half the size of a normal one. Carrying one child is already high risk, having twins is not an option and therefore implanting only one embryo. This is combined with my husband’s 1% normal morphology issue and my PCOS…all contributing to the ineffectiveness of natural conception.

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The week leading up to my trial embryo transfer, sonogram and consent form signing I was completely freaking out. I had started birth control which they use to take control of the hormones. My first day of the pill was the day I flew home from California after Christmas, the 27th. The nurse has instructed me to continue taking it until the 6th of January which is today, woohoo. Of course for me, birth control drops my estrogen levels and is a sure-fire way to a migraine. I endured a 3 day hell in which I had a hormonal migraine and had gotten a flu/cold from my family while visiting. Nothing like your head pounding to make you second guess everything you had set out to do. That was a fun pity party and no I was not excited about starting IVF. I was just plain terrified.

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Then I joined a group of women through my fertility med website. http://www.freedomfertility.com There are forums and monthly “cycle buddies” so I can talk with other women going through the same thing as me at the same time. Several of these women have already done multiple cycles and some it’s their first like me. I can not say how thankful I am to have these women, total strangers, to bring me out of my cloud of negativity. They shower each other with wishes for “lots of baby dust”, they are hopeful like me, nervous like me and having lots of emotions like me. It’s so easy to think things are only happening to you when going through such a difficult time. It’s so easy to believe absolutely no one understands what you are going through and you are alone in this crazy, isolating journey while the whole world is happy and couples make babies just looking at each other. It’s so much easier to just not try, I’ve thought, because trying and failing over and over again will break me into a unglueable amount of pieces. These women are doing it though, THEY are trying and they are EXCITED! I’m trying to be excited with them and to let myself believe that this WILL work. We hope for the best and plan for the worst, it’s excitement tempered by self-doubt.

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And so here are all these drugs and needles before me, staring me down. I will serve them up to myself on a silver platter because during this time I want nothing but the best. I want everything around me to be aesthetically pleasing, to be a stress-free zone, a zen sanctuary. I will take them and be thankful that we have a chance to try and try our best. Bring on the 4 times a day stabbings in my stomach, the steroids, the catheters, IV’s and probes. I’ve made up my mind and I’m doing it, despite my intermittent terror. No one dare tell me they know it will all be fine and all work out because the truth is it might not be fine and it might not work out and for a lot of people it doesn’t. It’s life and it’s reality. People just can never think of anything else to say. The point is for me that I’ll give it all I’ve got and there is nothing else that can be done.

Being Diagnosed with PCOS: What does it mean for fertility? What, I need to diet?

This coming October will mark 4 years of marriage for Chris and I. We have had a great time together so far and have already experienced a lot of changes/life events. We have already gone through several job changes, purchasing and selling our house and buying our second home and moving across the country. We have had some stellar vacations and we have rescued two wonderful dogs. We are, by all accounts, happy but we have been looking to grow our family as many married couples choose to do.

I’ve been content for the most part, no need to rush things. Everything in due time…it all happens for a reason, all that jazz. I have been off the pill for over 3 years. 2 1/2 years ago I started looking into possible issues with fertility. I’ve never been regular in the period department so I guess in the back of mind I figured that there was a chance things could be “off”. I did bloodwork. I did ovulation predictors, charting my BBT (Basal Body Temperature)… Most recently I did a tortutous HSG, hysterosalpingogram which is a procedure where dye is injected to view if your fallopian tubes are open. (See I am already quite familiar with all the medical terminology and acronyms for things. I’ll try not to be one of those blogs spewing meaningless medical terms without first explaining them.) Then we moved and took a few months to get new doctors and settle in and what not. Two weeks ago, the morning before we flew out to California, we had an appointment at REACH fertility clinic and it is a full speed ahead approach: Full medical histories, more bloodwork, pelvic ultrasound, another HSG being ordered- grrrrreat, 3rd sperm analysis, financial advising, genetic counseling…OH MY GOD…we are really doing this, this is really happening to me, to us. Thank God we left immediately to go out of town, I needed the distraction from all that information.  It’s still not really sinking in. I think this whole thing is like having an out of body experience.

I was diagnosed with PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. My previous doctor had casually mentioned that I had the condition but nothing was suggested in doing anything for it or the severity of it or the implications of how difficult it may be to become pregnant. That doctor pretty much sucked if I do say so. She was extremely unhelpful, unavailable and just twiddling her damn thumbs while the years went by. Oops, there’s my frustration spewing out onto this blog…my apologies. I’ve done my own research in the meantime and talked to my new Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Wing, who seems very competent and actually the founder of this clinic. So far he has prescribed me Metformin and recommends a low sugar/low carb diet since one of the main issues with PCOS is insulin resistance, sigh.

I love carbs. Croissants, fresh baked bread, pasta and everything potato are my great loves. What the hell, I feel cursed! I don’t want to be one of those gluten free band wagon people, one of those crazy cranky Atkins dieters. I am NOT a dieter. Is it terrible that I am more depressed about this than the prospect of having to give myself injections in the stomach? Actually that will seriously suck too. Geeez, I’m being a real downer right now. Of course it’s 3:45 in the morning, my time clock is all messed up from flying across the country and I have the flu!

On the upside the doc says Metformin may cause some weight loss on it’s own, yay. I started taking it this week and since I have the flu it’s hard to tell how I’m reacting. We shall see. I got the results of the bloodwork today and found out that I am a genetic carrier for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. 1 in 50 people are carriers and is the #1 genetic cause for infantile death. Now we have to get Chris tested and see if he is a carrier. I am glad to have the information, being prepared is good but the more I learn the more I realize what a delicate delicate balance life is and what a miracle it is every time a healthy baby is born.

Diets I’m considering for PCOS so far are the South Beach Diet and Low Glycemic Diet. After we get some test results next week we may know more if we need to go straight to IVF treatments with ICSI or if we can try other less invasive and more “natural” methods first….to be continued….