Stick it to me!

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t keep my mind off the thought of the needles all night. The unknown is always worse than reality, thank goodness. The day after Thanksgiving is the craziest shopping day of the year, but for us we slept in, relaxed in our lovely hotel room and finally wondered into the world around noon.

After stops to play in IKEA and Sam’s, yes I said play, we finally made it home. My husband began to prepare for the first injection and I busied around trying to keep my mind off it. We settled on a time of 7pm each night, thinking just after dinner and just before our evening tv watching. Finally it was time. With our tools spread out, we both assumed our positions. We discovered the first time wasn’t easy for either one of us. He doubting our instructions and me doubting the entire process. Due to me takings the shots in the tummy area, we determined that my lying on the bed would be the easiest for him to ensure the 90 degree angle. And before I knew it, he had completed the first and largest injection. All I can say is that I am a lucky girl, as I didn’t feel much at all. The second shot burned a little, but again, he was amazing.

Once it was all over and I realized the first step had been taken, I became overwhelmed with emotion. But my sweetie was there with a hug and smile. We had done it! One evening down. We celebrated by splitting my favorite, a piece of red velvet cake I had snuck into the buggy at the store and an evening of Christmas classics, ending with our favorite tv show.

But the moment of bliss was short lived as I began to experience cramping and other symptoms. I made it to sleep, but was awoken as the cramping became more severe. Now I will admit, I’m not a fan of pain, but these were the worst cramps I have ever experienced. Doing only what I could think of, I re-read every document trying to understand if this was normal only finding notations, “call doctor immediately if major cramping occurs.” My major mistake was “googling”. Don’t do it, as it just makes your mind go to a dark place. Finally, after a couple of hours, I woke my husband, and of course, within minutes he was on the phone with the doctor’s office and half an hour later I was calm and assured all was normal. Take some acetaminophen and try to rest.20131204-220948.jpg

I realized then that I had the power to do this. It was up to me to remain calm, to remain focused, and to not try to go any of it alone. Although I had been telling myself and others this for weeks, when the first trial arrived, I lost my focus. So here I am, almost through the first 24 hours, smile on my face, trying to calmly watch the best rivalry in college football ( not sure how well I will succeed at that). I can do this, we will do this!

Just stick it to me, sweetie!

 

IVF Eve

So here we are.  Only three months since the entire process began, the eve before my husband gets to start injecting me with hormones.  It’s Thanksgiving today and understanding the impending strain everything is going to have on my body, we have taken a moment to pause and enjoy ourselves.  It’s funny, I keep acting like it’s my last hoorah.  Although, in reality it is the eve before the most exciting adventure my husband and I have ever begun – the adventure of trying to conceive our child.

For three weeks I have been preparing. I’ve stopped work travel, given up my glass of wine and cup of coffee.  Started eating more natural, ensuring I’m including protein and veggies in my daily diet.  (Well, except for today – Thanksgiving doesn’t count!)  I’ve finally stopped consuming everything I could online, deciding to instead just do what seems right.  Nothing in excess, treating my body as if I was already pregnant – preparing a wonderful home for my little eggs to hopefully grow.

20131205-091149.jpgI’ve been mostly positive, but at certain times the reality of our situation does hit home and I become overwhelmed.  The day the box of medicines arrived, we were like giddy children.  Taking pictures and referring to it as our “baby making box”.  Two days later, I was crying on my husband’s shoulder, staring at the box at the end of bed.  It was a short lived moment, as my darling is my perfect balance, and he knew exactly what to say.

For today, I am just thankful.  I am finding the fact that we are undergoing this process during the “most magical time of the year” quite amazing.  I have always loved Christmas.  Even with the sad memories of the loss of my grandmother New Year’s 1996 and my father-in-law’s passing in 2006, Christmas still fills me with happiness.  I suppose it’s because I have never let go of being a child in my heart (everyone knows that about me).  Christmas makes me feel that anything is possible.  The lights, the smells, the sounds all fill me with a tingly, warmth that is only possible this time of year.20131205-091203.jpg

So keeping that in mind, I am determined to embrace this process as a gift.  An opportunity for my husband and I to depend on each other, to be together just us, to know that our future is full of so many wonderful possibilities.  To just enjoy it (well, maybe not the shots), but the joy of the process.  Of seeing my body do something amazing.  And no matter what happens, knowing how blessed and lucky I truly am.

Today I’m just thankful!

 

The Decision

The day finally arrived.  We made our hour trek to Jacksonville, one that had already started to become all too familiar.  Although nervous, I think we both still believed that the problem would be an easy fix.  “Take these pills and hope it’s not  twins.”  But unfortunately, that was not to be the case.  We found ourselves with only one possibility available, the one we both had said we would never want to do.  The one we both feared…IVF.

I remember being frozen.  After hearing the words, I think the world just stopped.  The doctor was talking, but nothing else sunk in.  IVF, IVF – that’s all that was going around in my head.  It was like an echo in a deep cavern that just wouldn’t end.  As I felt tears start to well, I caught myself and snapped back to the moment.  The doctor was still talking, explaining why, trying to be sympathetic to our situation.    We wrapped up the meeting and, although we still had no idea what we were doing, we scheduled the next step with the IVF nurse for a consultation.

Trying to put it behind us, we stopped to run some errands and found ourselves in a particular mobile service store.  We had been discussing upgrading our phones, and before we knew it we had passed away the hours, lost in the craziness that is purchasing phones at this particular establishment.  It was a nice break, but of course it was only a break and soon we found ourselves at home facing “the decision”.  Would we actually consider IVF as a solution?  What about the cost, the drugs, me going crazy?  Ok, so that was mostly me with the irrational questions.  My sweet husband was the one to talk me off the ledge, as usual.

Only a few days later, we met with the IVF nurse.  She was delightful, well, considering as much as you can be delightful under the circumstances.  I found myself contemplating the process.  Butterflies were growing in my stomach, and then the moment of truth.  The nurse with the price came in.  I think we both held our breath, and to our delight we were presented with a number that was beyond our dreams.  I think we both actually smiled at each other as we realized this was truly an option.

We left with a lighter heart, although I was terrified, the thought that we had one last option to make our own child a reality was beyond my dreams.  Weighted with papers outlining procedures, drugs and schedules we headed home.

A few days later, my husband texted me while on a business trip that the last piece of the puzzle, the price of the medications, had come in.  We were a go!  The decision was made and he began the grueling process of planning the next two months of our lives with the nurse.  By the time I arrived home, I had a calendar full of appointments, deposits paid, drugs ordered.  We were ready for the biggest adventure of our lives!

The First Heartachel

Reality struck our household hard the month of August 2013 with the news of our probable infertility. What broke my heart the most was the loss that my husband felt. I had never allowed myself to believe that he longed for a child as much as I did. This is the selfish side of being a woman. Because we are the ones that deal with the physical signs that conception has not occurred, you tend to feel you are the only one that feels that loss each month.

My sweet husband, having recently lost his mother making him an orphan at 42, had settled his heart on making our family the main focus of our future. In my ignorance, I had thought this was a recent realization caused by his sense of loss, and not a long-term desire. I will forever be sorry for that doubt and for not understanding that our partners’ sense of loss is just as great as those of us with the potential to carry the child.

I was surprised by how much hearing the words “infertility clinic” broke my heart initially. My mind went immediately to a dark place: we won’t be able to afford it, I won’t go “x” far with this process, maybe we should just give up and adopt. But my darling spouse was the hero of the moment, always focused on the positive, seeing everything as a chance to make our dream a reality. But secretly, we both still hoped it was an easy fix.

We made the first appointment with the clinic to meet with the nurse and tried to prepare ourselves for the unknown. If there could be a worst part to the story, it was that we really had no idea what was wrong, we only knew my doctor couldn’t help us – we needed a professional.

So with only questions in our pocket and no knowledge of infertility, we approached our first appointment with the doctor’s nurse. What we discovered was an overwhelming list of steps to be taken in order to diagnose our exact issue. And so we began, literally working down a very long list of tests that both of us had to complete. My one consolation was that I knew no stone could possibly have been left unturned with pretty much everything you could think of being tested between the two of us.

And then we waited to hear what our fate might be.

A new journey begins

Less than two months ago, my husband and I sat in a doctor’s office and faced a harsh reality. A reality we never thought we would ever have to live. The reality that is infertility. While we knew something had to be keeping us from the dream of family (I hadn’t had a birth control pill since 2007), we kept thinking that other factors were just in our way. I travelled too much; family needs had kept us apart;  work and life had us too stressed.  You name it and we had entered it into our normal dialogue each month as to why nothing was happening.

But finally, with the dawn of my 38th birthday, I realized something had to be done and I started the process of finding a doctor that could help us get answers.  The negative of moving as often as we have, is the inability to maintain a constant relationship with a health care professional.  Therefore, leading me once again down the path of a new doctor.  After some digging, and a very small list due to our current location on the beautiful Palm Coast, I found one that I felt comfortable with and set the appointment between my hectic travel in July.

In the back of my mind, I think I always knew there was a bigger issue at hand.  You always hear about a woman’s sixth sense, but I think it’s as simple as you just know.  Following some initial tests, I was called back in to the office and just felt that my husband should be with me.  We found ourselves faced with numbers and data that even baffled my doctor and her immediate decision was – Infertility Clinic.

What we both had convinced ourselves was probably a simple pill fix or use of a kit, turned in to a moment of sheer heartbreak and realization – would our family every grow?