Friday, October 9, 2015

4 Years by the Numbers

Recently I read an article with a picture of a baby surrounded by the number of shots it took to bring her into this world.  To read the article click here  It got me thinking about how many shots I have taken and what we have gone through.  Here are our numbers:

0  BFPs
1  amazingly strong husband that has been my rock through all of this
1  amazingly cute puppy dog that cuddles every time I need it
2  fresh transfers
2  FETs
3  IUIs
4  years TTC
5  IVFs
6  BFN phone calls
8  fertility doctors that have performed at least one procedure on me
11  embryos created and lost
19  different medication I have ingested or injected along the way
208  number of days spent in tears (approx once a week since this started)
550  approx number of daily shots from first IUI to the last IVF
1460  days of infertility treatments

$$$  amount of money spent on treatment (too scary to actually write down and publish)


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BFN

We sadly report that our results were negative.  As I sit here and type this I can't believe these words are even hitting the page.  I am just numb.  I am shocked that after 4 years we are now at the end of our journey.  Our chances of having a biological child is over.  We may pursue other options, but for now we grieve.  We grieve the loss of our embryos.  This was number 10 and number 11.  11 tries, 11 souls gone, 11 lost chances of bringing life into this world.  How does one bounce back from this?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bedrest

The first week of the 2WW was ok.  I kept myself busy, visited with friends and had family come over.  Went to the movies twice.  Went to gentle flow yoga and modified about half the class.  Went on a couple walks a day to increase blood flow. Not only is that allowed, but it is encouraged.  It wasn't easy but I did manage to get through the days ok.

Over the weeknd, Ryan and I went on another walk.  It was very casual and very slow paced always making sure not to increase my heart rate.  Nothing was out of the ordinary.  When we came home, I noticed I was bleeding.  My heart just sank to the floor.  It lasted a few hours.   I cried for a bit, and now I am just numb.  I haven't had any bleeding since then, but I've had bad cramps non-stop.  The bummer about cramps at this phase is it could go either way, it could be the beginning of my period or implantation cramps.  So I don't even know if I should be happy or sad about it.

From experience and from friends experiences, I knew to go on moderate bed rest immediately.  I called the clinic first thing in the morning and they put me on strict bed rest.  I can lay and sit and get up to go to the bathroom, but that is it.  So if I thought the first week was tough, this one is just going to be awful.

I went from feeling very hopeful to just a feeling of defeat.  This October marked 4 years of suffering and dealing with infertility,  I went to my first doctor to discuss infertility in Oct 2011.  Enough is enough.  It is inhumane to live like this anymore.  4 years of drugs and shots that make you crazy and you feel awful.  I just can't do this anymore.  And I'm not even touching on the financial toll that this has taken on us.  We are still hoping and praying for our miracle but I now fear the worst.



Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Thursday, October 1, 2015

2WW

The 2WW (two week wait) is the dreaded time after a transfer and before you find out if you are PG or not.  BFN or BFP???  This is by far one of the hardest thing about infertility.  This is now all mental.  I have done all that I can do leading up to this and now I just pray every second of every day that my embryos have decided to snuggle in and stay.

Right now I am still on blood thinners (nightly awful shots), estrogen, progesterone, steroids and vitamins and supplements.  Physically I have some minor cramping that has gone on non-stop since about a week ago but that's about it.

There are other things that I am trying to do to help.  I am on a website message board that is only for people with infertility.  I asked people that got their BFPs what they did on the day of the transfer and what they did during the 2WW.  Here is the combined list of all that research.  Do I really think that eating a brazil nut a day will be the answer to all my problems, probably not, but it sure doesn't hurt and they do taste pretty yummy.

FET & 2WW Protocols

Eat 2 or more brazil nuts every day
No cold foods during 2WW
Room temperature beverages only for 2WW
No raw fruits or veggies for 2WW
When laying down, lay of left side for improved circulation
Acupuncture immediately after before and after transfer
Crew length socks at all times for two weeks
Think happy thoughts
Pray
Eat pineapple core for bromelain 
Eat walnuts
Eat kiwi
Add ginger to water or tea

Add lemon to water or tea
Do not raise heart rate
Do not raise core body temperature
Watch comedies and try to laugh
Walk or swimming is ok as long as it is gentle
Light yoga is okay with modifications


Today's happy socks
Thanks for reading,
HEATHER





Tuesday, September 29, 2015

FET Recap

Today was our FET, our long awaited, highly anticipated FET.  We don't have the best news to share but we are trying very hard to stay hopeful and positive.  One of our embryos had some complications and it isn't looking too good right now.  We did still end up transferring both which I will explain in a minute and we still have high hopes for both of them.

I started off the day with a wonderful yoga practice at 7am.  While I was at yoga I asked Ryan to run to the store and pick up some last minute items.  I have been doing all kinds of research from women who got positive results and what they did on the day of their transfer and what they did during the 2WW.  Of course it was all over the place and I really don't feel like eating one kiwi will actually be the deal maker but it really helps my mental health to continue to do all I can to make this miracle happen.  So off to yoga I went and off to the store he went.  When I came back home I was greeted with a really sweet card from him.  I then took a bath since it would be a while before I can take a nice long hot one again and Ryan took Parker on a walk, then off we went.

We went to SDFC and checked in.  There was a friendly face in the lobby, a friend's mother was keeping her company before her ER.  She gave me a giant hug before I went in and it was very comforting.  First stop was acupuncture.  Ryan kept me company in the room.  Then about 5 minutes in, I realized I forgot my awesome socks.  Ryan ran back home to get them.  Staying warm is one of the good luck, fingers crossed tricks to try.  So I stayed and did my treatment sans socks for now, but rockin my awesome Motley Crue shirt.  Oh and we listened to Without You on the way to the clinic. It was our song at our wedding and always puts a smile on our faces.

This isn't a stock photo, this is our actual embryo.
Our perfect and wonderful embryo.
This is the one the survived the thaw strong and intact.


Next stop was the surgical center at SDFC.  The FET was performed in the minor procedures room.  I took my valium (they give you one to relax if you want one) and settled in to start to relax.  Then the embryologist came in to deliver the news.  We had two chromosomally normal embryos frozen in  June.  We had decided to implant both to increase our chances of a live birth.

This is our other embryo that needs some extra love and prayers.
We have not given up and hope.
This one fights just a little harder than it should have to.



About 2-3 years ago the technology of freezing embryos wasn't where it is today.  Today there is very little chance of losing an embryo in the thaw, about 4% chance really.  Well we have a way of always falling into those tiny minute crap odds.  One of ours started to leak and collapse during the thaw.  It was so unexpected.  Of all the things that could go wrong, this didn't even register as a possibility. Ryan wasn't back yet and I just crumbled into the arms of the embryologist.  As soon as Ryan walked in and saw me crying, I'm sure he knew.  I went from her arms around me to his.  We were both truly devastated.  We collected ourselves and the doctor came in.   We talked about what had happened and what the next steps would be,  The good news is that our other embryo did great and was looking really good.  The second embryo, while breaking down, still had a few cells in it and he recommended still transferring that one.  I asked if we should still have hope and his answer was that the odds weren't 0 so we should remain hopeful.  So with my fancy socks on we moved forward with the FET.


The bright white line below the green arrow are our embryos.
The whole FET procedure does not take very long at all.  You fill out some paperwork, sign some legal consent forms and they go over the procedure and what your limitations are afterwards.  There is a monitor connected to the lab and they flash on the screen our petri dish with our name on it and we confirm that it is ours.  Then they insert the catheter.  We had some HCG added to the embryo solution.  That is a fairly newer trick they are trying to help with implantation.  They whole procedure we can see on another ultrasound monitor to the side of me.  They insert the embryos and take a picture and we have a photo of the exact second they come back to me.  As soon as I saw them on the screen I closed my eyes and began to talk to them.  I welcomed them home and promised I would take good care of them for the next 9 months and hoped that they would stay.  When it was over you stay on the gurney for about 20 minutes.  As soon as the doctors and nurses left.  I put my hand on my belly to say hello and Ryan did too.

After the FET I went back to acupuncture for  my follow up treatment.  I then came home, ate some soup, only warm food for the next two weeks and practically melted onto the couch.  Between all the stress of the day I was exhausted.  Later, I watched comedies on Netflix.  I had read that laughing is really good, both for your emotional self as well as it physically helps increase blood flow to your stomach muscles.

Monday, September 28, 2015

1 Day To Go

Today was filled with hyper emotions.  It's been hard to sit still and concentrate on anything really.

I started off the morning with an early yoga class.  It was nice and yoga always seems to help a bit.  Then I came home and had my Dad and brother over to watch the game and have brunch.  I bookended my day with another yoga class that usually relaxes me, but today I just couldn't concentrate.

turmeric latte
After yoga I asked Ryan to take me to Cafe Gratitude for dinner.  Cafe Gratitude is supper yummy vegan food that we used to love in Los Angeles and they finally opened one in San Diego. We ate some great food, Ryan had the polenta and I had the gluten free ramen.   I also ordered my favorite drink, the turmeric latte.  Cafe Gratitude always asks you a question to contemplate while you are waiting for your food.  Ironically today's questions was "name an obstacle that has been really complicated that you overcame with a victory".  As soon as the waitress walked away, we both said, we will get back to you on that one.  Hopefully in a few weeks we will have a great answer for her.

I ended my day lighting the candle my Grandmother gave me, saying a prayer and pulling an affirmation card.  The card I pulled tonight is called Breathe Deeply.  It reads: Breathe big.  Let it all in.  Deep, full breaths invigorate you.  They release sadness and allow ecstasy to flood in.  Pause, inhale a long...slow...big...delicious breathe.  Exhale.  Remember, whenever the going gets tough, take a deep breath and trust that you are capable of greatness.  This was a great card to get tonight and read.  Taking a deep breath right now as I type this.

The plan for tomorrow is wake up and head to a 7am yoga class to get the blood flow going and awaken my body to the day ahead.  She does a lot of breathe work so I will continue my card work from tonight.  Then shower, walk Parker and then head to the fertility clinic.  10am is my check in time.  First up is acupuncture, then the FET, then acupuncture again.  Then home and hopefully laying around and relaxing the rest of the day.

We won't know if this has worked or not for about two weeks.  We respectfully ask that no one hits us up for the results until we are ready to share.  We will probably just need a day or two to soak it all in no matter what it is.  The last FET that ended in a BFN, we told people the exact date we were to find out the results and I just couldn't answer the phone or speak about it and having the phone ring all day just added to the sadness knowing that people still had some hope but we knew the sad truth.  Thank you very much for understanding.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Sunday, September 27, 2015

2 Days To Go

Today started yet another injection.  Today I started lovenox.  It's a blood thinner and it's an injectable and it is NOT fun.  I have never done this one before. That sucker burns for about 40 minutes.  It feels like pouring rubbing alcohol on a wound but from the inside.  And if all goes well and this works, I will be doing this injection every day for several weeks into the pregnancy.   The reason we are trying a blood thinner this time is because of the results from my miscarriage panel.   Hoping that I get use to this injection pretty quickly.

lovenox, latex free bandage, gauze and alcohol swab


The meds I'm on today are lovenox, steroids (oral medication), antibiotics for both Ryan and I (oral medication), progesterone (really gross suppositories 3 x a day), estrogen (estrogen patches on my stomach) and vitamins and supplements.

Today I also went and got a B12 shots and added vitamin D to it.  Those two fluctuate every time I get blood work and I just wanted to make sure that my levels were nice for the transfer.  A vitamin injection last about a week.  

Physically I am doing ok.  My stomach is slightly bloated and I still gets headaches.  Mainly I am dealing with the mental side effects.  The anxiety and the nerves are pretty intense.  We are getting so close to the finish line and no matter what happens, our lived will be forever changed and that a lot to think about.  We hopefully get pregnant and finally after all this time will fulfill our wish of becoming parents.  If it doesn't work, then that was our last shot and we would have to move on to donor or adoption.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Saturday, September 26, 2015

3 Days To Go

So yesterday I had my peace of mind appointment at the fertility clinic.  I had an ultrasound done to take a look at my uterine lining and make sure that everything was still ok.  I hadn't had a check in four days so I was really nervous.  I also hadn't spotted in four days so that was a good thing.  The results of the ultrasound were really good and really reassuring.  My lining measure 9.5 which meant it was still getting thicker even with the introduction of progesterone.  Progesterone collapses your lining from triple lined to a compacted single lined structure so usually it measure the same or smaller than the time before.  The previous time I had measure a little over 8. There was still no activity going on in my ovaries (that's what we want to happen).  The only thing she could see on the ultrasound was some fluid in my cervix and she suspects that's where the spotting was coming from and predicted that I will see some more.  When i asked if I should be worried about it, her comment to me was "If I was sitting here getting these results about my cycle I would be thrilled and wouldn't hesitate for a second to move one with my transfer".  So with that, I decided to go forward with our transfer on Monday.

I decided to treat myself to a massage.  The amount of stress and worry and anxiety that I am literally carrying on my shoulders deserved to relax a bit.  So I had an amazing massage that helped to relieve the tension.  It was a great distraction.

Next I went and got my hair done.  My last fertility clinic, didn't allow you to use hair color in the 2WW and hopefully after the BFP for the next 12 weeks.  So I got it done on the last day possible.  That was also nice and relaxing.

Then when my husband came home from work, he brought me a beautiful purple orchid.


With all the relaxation of the day, I still find myself laying awake at night contemplating all the What Ifs that are about to happen.  As hard as I try, I just can't quiet the chatter inside.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER



Friday, September 25, 2015

4 Days To Go

Today was a really hard day.  I had to say goodbye to aerial yoga.  I'm not allowed to do it after the transfer and you can't do it while you are pregnant either, so with some luck it will be on hold for about 10 months.  I have really grown to love this practice and it was tough to say goodbye.  I went to my regular 9am class and then hugged my teacher and said goodbye for now.  With all the emotions and hormones surging through me right now, I sobbed on the way to the car.

After yoga I headed to the chiropractor.  This FET priming cycle, I have included going to the chiropractor on a weekly basis.  It has helped a great deal with feeling better in a natural way.  I don't think that this is the magic answer to helping us get that BFP we are so desperate for, but I really believe the combination of what my RE does with all these complementary care practices is the right fit for us.  Dealing with infertility issues is such an emotional stressful time, I feel like my shoulders are in knots and glued up to my ears.  After a session with the chiropractor, I feel the stress deplete from my neck.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with my brother for a bit and then a friend came over for a visit afterwards.  It was nice to have some company and some time spent not worrying about our upcoming transfer.  With each minute of the transfer getting closer with more anxious I get and the more emotional I get.  I blame the hormones :)

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Thursday, September 24, 2015

5 Days To Go

With only 5 days to go I am starting to get really anxious about our upcoming transfer.  I've been hyper, sad, energetic and tired almost all at the same time.  Plus add the hormones and other drugs to that and my mind just continues to race.

So far the side effects are still minimal.  I am rocking some great teenage type acne.  I have headaches here and there, but they are manageable.  Weight gain has gone down to +2.

Since I am so anxious I was wide awake in the morning so I decided to get up and take a 7am.  It was a vinyasa flow class and it was just what I needed.  Plus I really like the teacher and her flow so that helped set my mood and tone for the day,

Next I went to labcorp to get my thyroid tested again.  My naturopathic doctor recommended retesting between 3 and 5 days prior to transfer just in case they need to reassess my dosage.   Since I just gave blood yesterday on one side and had the IV done on the other side, it was a little challenging to find a vein that would work.  Luckily the nurse was able to find one and it didn't take to long.

In the evening I had set up a support group meeting.  I can not put into words how extremely helpful this wonderful group of people have been.  They are a great deal of strength and comfort.  They are understanding and just getting hugs from them, helps to get through tough days like this.  I wish that I would have met these people in a different way, but I am truly blessed to have them in my life.

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

6 Days To Go - Intralipids

So last night I started spotting and freaked out that they were going to cancel my cycle.  By morning the spotting had stopped but I was still really nervous.  At 10am I went for my monitoring appointment.  Kristen was my nurse which was great because she knows me so well and could calm me down.  During the ultrasound, she measure my lining about 5 times and each measurement was over 8 which is great.  The lining is where it needs to be and it has grown since the last appointment so things are moving in the right direction. They took my blood to test the estrogen levels, which came back a little low but still in the normal range.  They added an extra vivelle patch so now I'm on 3 patches changed every 3 days.  I also got the rest of my calendar for the rest of the cycle.  Because of the spotting and my anxiety over all this, I requested another monitoring appointment.  I didn't want to go almost a week and then just show up for a transfer so I am going back on Friday for a piece of mind appointment.

At the appointment we turned in all of our consent and legal forms.  We both signed on the dotted line to transfer 2 embryos.  So it looks like we are going full steam ahead with transferring both embryos.

The bigger news of the day is that today was the day for my intralipid infusion.  This has been a long time coming.  I originally scheduled an appointment with a company that does them way back in June for September.  When I came back from Hawaii there was an email waiting for me from the company stating that they were going out of business in San Diego and they were cancelling my appointment.  I scrambled all of last week to find another place that could do in and compared cost.  The intralipids could have been done at my doctor's office, but the costs was really high.  I was able to find an outside company that did it for 1/4 of the cost and after 5 IVF cycles, every dollar counts at this point.
Here is some info about intralipids from an article on ABC News. 
Intralipid infusion therapy is a sterile fat emulsion containing soy oil, chicken egg yolk, glycerine and water.  The infusion is in liquid form and administered intravenously.  It is a non invasive procedure carried out in clinic as part of a treatment cycle.  Research has found that raised natural killer cell activity (toxic white blood cells) can act against an embryo and prevent its implantation into the endometrium.  This is known as implantation failure.  In addition, some autoimmune disorders can also have a detrimental impact upon the healthy implantation and early progress of an embryo which can also cause implantation failure and early miscarriage.  Intralipid therapy is designed to combat these factors.
My appointment was at noon today.  The company was located in a business park.  Inside it had a room for infusions, some admin cubicles, some offices and a giant lab where the make the IV drugs.  I walked in and picked a chair.

I have had a few friends do this ahead of me so I knew what to expect and what to bring.  I bought a neck pillow, a blanket, magazines, my iPod, some snacks and an eye mask.  They provided water and snacks, but none of the snacks were gluten free some I'm glad I brought my own.  The neck pillow definitely made it more comfortable.  The blanket was to put over the IV so I didn't have to look at it.  The magazines are really easy to read as compared to a book.  Remember you only have one hand, the IV arm is not that usable and a friend of mine that brought a book was unable to read it with just one hand free.  The iPod just helped to pass the time.  From start to finish I was there about 2 hours and 45 minutes but part of that was arriving early to fill out paperwork.  The eye mask was in case anyone else was in the room with me.  They have three chairs and can book all three at the same time if needed.  I would have worn the the mask if someone else was in the room, I am just not very good at looking at needles.  Luckily I had the room to myself.

I had a small amount of paperwork to fill out and a ton of questions to answer.  My main concern was making sure that every single thing was latex free.  After my last latex allergy issue with my last surgery that is the last thing I wanted to deal with.  After everything checked out they started to make my infusion in the lab.  The weird thing was that it was bright white.  I wasn't expecting that.  All the other IVs I've had have been clear so it was just weird.

I tried my watermelon trick again and it worked like a charm.  The IV was started on the first try. They connect the intralipids to a machine and the drip starts.  From this point, it takes a little less than 2 hours to finish.  So I put my neck pillow on, placed the blanket over they IV on my arm, put my iPod earbuds in and tried to relax.  The nurse didn't stay in the room with me, but about every 20 - 30 minutes would come in and check on me, ask me how I was feeling and then would take my temperature and blood pressure.

The IV was not painful but the whole experience was upsetting.  It brought about a lot of emotions.  I was mad.  Mad that I was there having to do this.  Mad that the whole infertility journey is just so unfair and takes forever.  Mad that I am in the position of pumping weird things into my body on the off chance that this will work.  I put on Pantera and just went with my feelings.  Pantera is the best band to listen to when you are upset, it is just angry pissed off music.  About an hour into the treatment, I started to feel less angry and just accepted of the situation.  I read my magazine and switched to listening to Velvet Revolver.

There was very little physical side effects of the intralipids.  The main thing is the arm with the IV in it got really really cold.  I was glad I had the blanket to cover up looking at it as well as keeping me warm.  I also got really tired towards the end.  As soon as it was over, i came home, through on some pjs and took a quick nap.  However, that could have been the stress and anxiety of the day finally being over too.

For those folks in San Diego, here is the information about the clinics in the area that do intralipid infusions.

Corum Infusion Services
858-576-6969 (phone)
866-484-4397 (fax)


Crescent Healthcare
858-547-8487 (phone) 
858-578-5372 (fax)

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER

Monday, September 21, 2015

1 Week To Go Before the FET

My transfer is scheduled for Monday morning one week from today.  The countdown is on and I'm starting to get really anxious and nervous.  I am doing everything I can to gear up for this transfer.
 
This is what I did today:

  1. Dental cleaning - When you get a dental cleaning, it stirs up a lot of bacteria and I don't want that going on during the 2WW so I got it done and out of the way today.
  2. Acupuncture -  I have had weekly acupuncture treatments leading up to the transfer.  Today it was all about relaxing.  I listened to the meditation CD about post retrieval and the transfer.
  3. Chiropractor - I have been seeing the chiropractor in conjunction with acupuncture since I have been priming for the transfer,  Since I have been so stressed and anxious, she helps with my shoulders and my back and I feel so much better when I leave.
  4. Yoga - no day is complete without yoga.  I try and go every day now.
Side effects:
  1. Crazy headache but it comes and goes which is a big improvement from the last cycle.
  2. Weight gain is at 4 lbs, thanks Lupron!
  3. Breast tenderness
  4. Bloated
  5. Pimples galore :(
  6. Hyper sensitive emotions = a lot of crying
Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fertility Jewelry

For this cycle, since it will be my last cycle no matter what the outcome is, I am trying everything I possibly can to get focused and try to stay positive.  I decided that I wanted to find a necklace with a fertility charm on it that spoke to me.  I could wear it everyday and remind myself of the goal I am working towards and the support that I have from those around me.  Plus we could use a bit of luck.

In my search I couldn't find a single necklace that I liked or if I did like it I felt it was very overpriced.  Then I started researching different fertility symbols and seeing if any of them spoke to me.  I found two that I really liked and decided to make my own necklace.

First is Kokopelli, known as a fertility god, prankster, healer and story teller, Kokopelli has been a source of wonder throughout the country for centuries. What I really like about Kokopelli is that he is connected to fertility, home and music all three of which are important to me.

There are many myths of the famous Kokopelli. One of which is that he traveled from village to village bringing the changing of winter to spring; melting the snow and bringing about rain for a successful harvest. It is also said that the hunch on his back depicted the sacks of seeds and songs he carried. Legend also has it that the flute playing also symbolized the transition of winter to spring. Kokopelli’s flute is said to be heard in the spring’s breeze, while bringing warmth. It is also said that he was the source of human conception. Legend has it, everyone in the village would sing and dance throughout the night when they heard Kokopelli play his flute. The next morning, every maiden in the village would be with child. (if only it was that easy!)

Second is the tortoise.  The turtle/tortoise is a common symbol for fertility for a number of reasons.  First, the turtle is a water animal and water is related to a fertile womb. Turtles also lay a large number of eggs and have a large number of offspring. Turtles have been linked with the fertility goddess Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and procreation. The turtle is also associated with the moon; the 13 squares in the middle of its shell are connected to the 13 full moons each year. The turtle also has 28 smaller squares around the outside of the shell which are associated with the 28 days of the lunar month which corresponds to a woman's cycle. Turtles are also thought to be protective, so if you are concerned about miscarriage, the turtle may protect your pregnancy.

So I ordered my supplies from the wholesaler and made my own jewelry.  I bought extras so I could share with others struggling with infertility that couldn't find anything they liked either.  My necklaces can be found on my Etsy page called Love Haight Designs.  I made both, one with a turtle charm and one with a Kokopelli charm.  I also priced them very low because most people struggling with infertility are also struggling with the funds to pay for all the treatment.  I hope that this is just a small thing I can do to support my fellow couples on a long and unfair fertility journey.  I alternate between the two necklaces but I wear at least one every day.  I'll take all the luck I can get and in any way shape or form that it comes in.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Friday, September 18, 2015

FET Progress Update

Today was my first monitoring appointment for this FET cycle.  I always try and make the first appointment of the day so hopefully I will spend less time in the waiting room.  So at 7:30am off I went to the doctors office.

At an FET monitoring appointment you do an ultrasound and get blood work.  The ultrasound is to check your lining and to make sure your ovaries are silent.

I have been off the birth control pills for a little bit now.  Now I'm just taking Lupron and wearing Vivelle patches.

My side effects haven't been too bad, just the usual Lupron issues of weight gain, headache and breast tenderness.  The Lupron shots themselves don't hurt, the needle is very tiny.  Next week I start the Lovenox but for not I am handling everything pretty well.

The results of the ultrasound were really good.  My lining is already at 8 and it is triple lined.  This means that it is actually ready right now for implantation.  However, the doctor likes to do the transfer closer to when I would have naturally ovulated.  The good news is that they moved my transfer up a couple days so it's a few less days of stress and anxiety.

Everything is based on working backwards from the FET date so I spent the day on the phone rescheduling all my appointments leading up to the transfer.  Next week is going to be a busy week but full of good things.  I have a couple more blood draws, an acupuncture appointment, another ultrasound monitoring appt, chiropractor, infusion, teeth cleaning, hair appointment and lots and lots of yoga.

When we came home the other day there was a dandelion growing outside our kitchen window.  I have lived in this house for a year and a half and there has never been one until now.  A dandelion is a very common symbol of infertility for several reasons.  It is a symbol of hope and the root is a common herb used because it is high in Vitamin A & C and thought to help with hormone balance.  When we saw this in our window waiting for us we took it as a very positive sign.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Vacationing with Infertility

My husband Ryan and I went to Kauai on vacation for 8 wonderful days.  Ryan's Grandmother gifted us our hotel room and we had enough miles to fly there so it was even better since it was a no cost vacation.  We were both very excited to go.  The goal was to go there and de-stress and recharge our batteries in preparation for our upcoming FET.

The biggest mistake we made was thinking that we would also be able to take a vacation from infertility and that we would be able to leave our struggles behind.  What we failed to realize was that when we signed up for group tours (we went zip lining, rented atvs, went kayaking, rappelling and boating) that there would be a 'get to know you' introduction portion of the tour.  Inevitably they would ask where we were from and if we were married.  We were actually there celebrating our 5th anniversary.  Once we told people that we were married, the automatic next question was 'Do you have children'?  I answered, 'We have a dog that I treat like my child'.  Which if you actually know me, you know that is a very true statement.  

The first time someone asked me that question, I held it in for a minute, but then the next person to talk had just had a baby and everyone got all excited and was asking questions and the tears just started coming.  Luckily we were outside so I had sunglasses on and I am pretty sure that Ryan is the only one that knew I was crying.  He put his arm around me and I just stood there crying for a bit.  On another tour they asked everyone what they did for a living and when I said I didn't work, the tour guide assumed that I was a stay at home mom and went on and on about how my job was the most important and hardest in the world.  I was literally speechless and just stood there.  Again Ryan took my hand and we tried to just continue on.  Later that day I just broke down in our room and just couldn't believe that every day I had to exclaim to strangers that I was childless.  I just did not see that coming, it was very unexpected.

The first day of our vacation was the first day of meds for this cycle.  I'm starting off this FET cycle with Lupron for the first 10 days.  I had to bring all of our supplies on the plane with us.  I have a few friends that have had to travel with drugs before and asked them for tips and tricks.  Basically you need a travel letter from your doctor which is pretty standard.  Then we put everything into an insulated reusable lunch bag with some gel ice packs.  The only thing we didn't pack in the carry on was the sharps container.  We were told it was easier to pack it in the checked baggage and less hassle with TSA.  So we were all ready to go and in the security line.  Not thinking anything,  I turned to Ryan and said 'Are you going to carry the drugs or do you want me to?'.  Nothing actually happened, but I thought for sure we were going to get pulled into secondary.  They x-rayed our bag and then pulled it out for a quick inspection and then sent us on our way.  We had one single shot to do every day.  This will be out shot schedule for the whole cycle and we always do our shots at 9pm.  That way Ryan will for sure be home from work and we don't have to stress over it.  We had to calculate for the time change so we did the shot at 6pm Hawaii time.  It only interfered with a few  dinner plans and made us a few minutes late to watch the USC game, but other than that it was fine.

our tray table
The real adventure was doing the shot on the plane.  There was no way around that.  You have to do the shot within 60 min of the time you set every day.  That means we have between 8 - 10 pm.  Our flight was from 5 - 11pm.  We were a bit nervous to do it on the plane, even though I have several friends that have done it and told me it would be fine.  We were both just paranoid that there would be turbulence at the worst possible time.  When set out alarm and when it went off we pulled out everything at our seats and watched the back of the plane and waited until there was no one back there waiting to use the bathroom.  We went to the back and asked the flight attendants if we could do the shot back there by the jump seat and they said that was fine.  I had put an ice pack on my stomach back at our seat so I was ready to go.  Ryan prepped the shot.  The only issue with doing that on a plane is when he pulled the syringe out, some of the drugs sprayed a bit due to the pressure on the plane, but not a significant amount.  As we were doing the shot the flight attendant was nice enough to block off the aisle for us so we had a tiny bit of privacy.  All went well and the plane was super smooth, no turbulence at all.  The only problem was because we packed our sharps container, we didn't have anywhere to put the needle and there isn't a sharps container on the plane.  I had forgot that my friend told me to bring an empty water bottle and to put it in there until you can transfer it back to the sharps container later.  We just capped it and put it in my purse.  So we had to do yet another crappy thing like give a shot on the plane in now what feels like a very long infertility journey, but hey, we survived yet another crappy thing!

We still had an amazing vacation and lots of wonderful memories were made.  It was just very eye opening to both of us knowing and then realizing that we can never ever escape the pain and sorrow of infertility.  We can't go to an island and think we can escape it.  We can't leave our friends and family behind and think for one second that we won't have to answer any questions or that we can go one day without it being a front and center part of our lives. 

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Monday, August 31, 2015

I Survived the Scratch

Today was my scratch appt.  The scratch is the most painful appointment amongst all these other crappy appointments.  The good news is that it doesn't last very long.  The whole procedure takes about 2 min.  The pain is so sharp that it instantly brought tears to my eyes.  I am now about an hour post scratch and all I have is some mild cramping so as I write this, I have a heating pad on.

Ryan was traveling for work and I'm too wimpy to go to that appt alone so my Mom went with me.  This is us waiting in the lobby before the procedure.  Clearly it is before the procedure because I am still smiling.




  Here is a link to an article that talks in a little more detail about the procedure endometrial scratching.  Some clinics call the procedure a traumatic scratch.  My clinic called it a disturbance scratch.  The first step is just a lot of sterilization, jar on the left is iodine.  Then the catheter, and then finally the scratch.


Because I have had this procedure done before, I knew what was coming.  I am glad I can count on my Mom and that she came along.  I am even more happy that the scratch is now behind me.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Calendar & The Protocols

We received our calendar and all of our protocols and everything else that comes along with an FET.  Its exciting and nerve wracking, high anxiety, tons of fear and lots of hope and literally about every other emotion that goes along with it.  We have consulted with our naturopathic doctors, our reproductive endocrinologist, our acupuncturist, our friends in our support group, our friends in our online support group and of course the internet.  We decided on a protocol that we both feel comfortable with. We are literally doing everything we possibly can to help our embryos implant.

Our protocol includes; bcps, lupron, vivelle patches, prednisone, dexamethasone, lovenox, endometrin and antibiotics.  For treatments and procedures we are doing the scratch (Ryan is out of town but luckily my Mom is available and she will go with me), intralipids and acupuncture.  I have 4 blood tests along the way to make sure that all my hormone levels are where they should be and the last one is specifically to test my thyroid.  At the transfer, along with the embryos we will inject hcg in the catheter.  If I stay on track and all the blood tests and ultrasounds look good then our FET is tentatively scheduled for Sept 30th.  And then all that's left to do is hope and pray that this works.

Here is my latest calendar (written out on my Chargers calendar).  It is so much easier to have it all written out.  With so many drugs it makes it much easier to keep track.  Its also a great visual to know where the end goal is.  Once I start the injections, I start crossing the days off and counting down how many needles I have left.  It's little things like that that help me get through the craziness of fertility drugs.  31 injections until our FET.  Our last IVF cycle we did over 80 shots so just writing 31 makes me feel so much better.
August

September

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Next Step is Finally Here

I finally got the all clear from all my doctors and started the next step of the process which is priming for the FET.  I started bcps last tuesday and I got in tomorrow for blood work and an ultrasound.  If everything checks out ok, I will get my calendar for the upcoming FET.

We are going to throw everything we can at this transfer which means doing every procedure, every drug, every supplement and every lifestyle change we can to hope and pray that this one works.

So far I have focused on my fertility focused diet and as much yoga as I can possibly do.  One day I did 3 classes!  I am taking supplements for health, being a vegetarian and for the transfer.  Next I am going to work on the mind part of this.  I just ordered some affirmation cards and I am going to start meditating on a more frequent basis.

As far as how many embryos we will transfer, at the moment we are leaning towards transferring both.  However we are always changing our minds so we still have time to change back to one only.  The final decision has to be made the day before the transfer so we have until then to decide for sure.

Lastly, my mantle of hope has grown a little bigger.  A friend gifted to Ryan and I a rock that says live to help us to remember that our infertility and our struggles don't define us, yes it is a part of who we have become but it isn't the whole part.  We have to remember to LIVE!

And on that happy note, Ryan and I are off to Kauai to celebrate our 5th anniversary, to relax and destress and get ready for our transfer.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lipoma Surgery - Follow Up

So the first day post-surgery I felt fine.  I did go to a yoga class, but I really should not have.  I pulled one of the stitches and it started bleeding.  I went to the doctor and he cleaned it up and then put a ridiculous amount of gauze around my arm and some more tape and told me I wasn't allowed to do yoga again until the stitches came out the following week.

The next day I woke up to just wanting to itch my whole arm off.   I figured it was the healing process, until I looked down.  I had bumps all over my arm and my stomach.  So I called the doctor to tell him I was having an allergic reaction.  Unfortunately this had happened before back in 2011 so I knew what was going on.  Back then I had surgery on my hip and I had an allergic reaction to the bandage too.  The doctor told me that I had developed an allergy to latex.  Since then, I have informed every doctor of my latex allergy and I haven't had another issue until now.

The doctor had me take photos and send them to him because this happened Friday night.  He confirmed that I was having a reaction and wanted me to remove to strips.  Turns out I am also allergic to the adhesive in the steri stips.  So Ryan took off the strips and I washed with antibacterial soap.  I woke up on Sunday with a horrific looking arm with blisters now from shoulder to wrist.  I went to the doctor on Monday and he walked in and literally said "Oh my gosh, I've never seen anything like that!'.  If I wasn't already feeling crappy, this just confirmed it.  He gave me a prescription for a week of steroids and told me to take tylenol pm because the steroids would keep me awake.  After a miserable 4 days, my arm has finally started to look normal again.

This was supposed to be a simple procedure with the healing time of a couple of days.  Ugh!!!  Why is every single thing I do have to be so darn complicated......


Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lipoma Surgery

ceiling tile view from my gurney
As a follow up to my earlier post, today was surgery day and it went very well.  I had 6 lipomas removed., 2 on my left arm, 1 on my left rib cage and 3 on my leg.  The surgery was at Scripps hospital. 

The prep started last night with another run to the store for a watermelon, which I ate from 8:30 - 9pm, the cut off for my last chance to eat or drink before surgery. We woke up at 4:45am so I could take a shower with antibacterial soap.  Then we walked and fed Parker and headed off to the hospital at 5:15am for our 5:30 check in.  The watermelon worked because they got the IV started on the first try even though they had to take a few vials of blood first.  

About 5 years ago I developed a pretty severe latex allergy.  Because of this, it required extra paper work extra bracelets and giant signs all over the OR.  I am so happy that they have all these precautions because it is not fun to deal with the reactions that latex causes.  Around 7am I kissed Ryan goodbye and they escorted him out to the lobby and got me in my gurney.   

surgery is so dramatic
I also have issues with anesthesia.  About 4 surgeries ago, the anesthesiologist suggested putting the dot behind my ear that is usually used for motion sickness.  Well it did the trick again this time, no nausea.  I also ask that my meds be given in the IV instead of sending me home to take oral pills and they always accommodate this request. That way I don't have to go home and force myself to eat when I am not feeling my best.  This time I got my first dose of antibiotics and my pain meds in the IV.  The only small issue i have is there is some pain at each of the sites.  My surgeon really wanted to put me on vicodin, but I absolutely hate pain meds and I really don't want them in my body any more.  I also don't want to do pain meds right before a transfer.  So I opted to skip the meds and only take Tylenol. Right before the surgery started, they told me I would be in recovery for about 1 1/2 hours.  I was shocked, I thought I was only in recovery for 30 min.  Ryan said that is how long I am in there once I am awake.  I turned to him and asked "I wonder what I am doing for the hour that I am out"?  Fast forward to this morning and the recovery nurse said that she checked me in and then walked away to do something and when she came back I was completely naked on the bed.  She said she had never seen anyone do that before. I took off the gown and all the blankets!  I don't have any recollection of doing this and sadly now I know what I do when I am knocked out and so does everyone else in the recovery room.  

Shortly after coming home, my brother came by and delivered some beautiful flowers.  Not only are they pretty but the smell amazing and now the whole house smells great.  I have the greatest brother!
flowers from my brother
I have an appointment on Thursday to remove the stitches.  My only restrictions is I can't take a shower until they are removed but I can survive two days.  Going to try yoga tomorrow and hopefully I can do some poses that don't let the fabric touch my bandages.

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Emotional Side of IF

The support group that I run in San Diego hosts guest speakers from time to time.  I am always looking for people aside from the REs that are involved in the infertility community to come speak at our meetings.  Dr. Karen Hall came very highly recommended by past Cookies members as well as my acupuncturist Jeneanne Paden.  Dr. Hall is a licensed psychologist that specializes in infertility counseling, miscarriage and third-party reproduction issues.

I have read a lot of books about living and dealing with infertility, but having a group discussion led by a psychologist was very different and really worthwhile.  She touched on a lot of things that really hit home.  IF is a very isolating issue to have to deal with.  One of the many benefits of the support group as well as this meeting was knowing that what I am feeling and going through is 'normal' and that I am not crazy for feeling/saying/acting the way that I do.

Here are just some of the issues we discussed that are appropriate to share here:
  • The stress level that comes with IF is huge.  It is truly a crisis.  It is similar to being diagnosed with a life ending disease.
  • It is important to remember to continue to live life and be present in our marriage.  Find an activity with your spouse that you can get lost in and not discuss infertility.
  • It's OK to put a bubble around us to protect ourselves.
  • Take ownership of your own happiness.
  • IF is a grieving process.
  • We have to let go of the fairy tale of how it should have been.
We talked a lot about marriage and the struggles our relationships are put through when dealing with IF.  Ryan was out of town for this meeting, but I took some notes and we will try some of the communication techniques that she described.  My hope is that by trying some of these things it will help ease some of the pain that IF brings to our marriage.

If anyone is looking for therapy in San Diego, Dr. Hall was very professional and very experienced in this area.  Here is her info http://www.infertilitycounselingandsupport.com/san-diego-infertility-counseling.htm

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Slight Delay in Plans

So about 2 years ago I started noticing this lump in my left rib cage.  It is a nothing thing except very irritating.  But my focus was on infertility so I ignored it.  Anyways fast forward to now and I have 7 of these annoying lumps (called lipomas), 3 in my leg, 3 in my arm and the same one in my ribs.  3 of them are very painful.  I went to a surgeon yesterday and he is going to remove them on Monday.  It will be under anesthesia and I will have to be on antibiotics for 10 days.

I have decided to postpone the transfer.  Both antibiotics and anesthesia wreck havoc on my body, especially on my cycle.  I usually have breakthrough bleeding.  Since I have waited so long for this opportunity, I want everything in the best possible state within my control.  Therefore, this will delay the process.  This will push back my plan to start in July to priming in August.   That will put the transfer in September or early October.

Both Ryan and I are in agreement to put it off but it's still tough to wait even longer for this to happen.  If these things weren't painful I wouldn't be doing this, but these little suckers are very painful.  Just another minor setback in our infertility journey.

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Shrine to Fertility

     Over the years we have received various good luck charms from family and friends.  Today I decided to put them all together and create a shrine to fertility.  Hopefully putting all of that love and energy in a spot where I can see it, will really help me feel the support that I desperately need.  At this point in our journey, it is so very important to stay positive which is something I really have a hard time with.  Thanks to all that have added to our shrine.

     My brother gave me this wooden stretch Saint bracelet as a good luck charm.  He isn't Catholic, but he is religious.  He has one too that he wears. I was wearing it the day we found out that we had two normal embryos which is the first time I have ever gotten good news from the doctor.  I had a friend that was also going to get a phone call from her doctor and I kept it on until the phone rang for her.  She received good news too!  The power of the bracelet.

     My friend who is Catholic, gave me this St. Gerard laminated prayer card.  St. Gerard is the patron saint of expectant mothers.  I used to keep it in my car so that I looked at it every day, but now it is on the mantle.  The St. Gerard prayer is written on the back and reads :  O good Saint Gerard, powerful intercessor before God and Wonderworker of our day, I call upon thee and seek thy aid. Thou who on earth didst always fulfill God’s designs, help me to do the holy Will of God. Beseech the Master of Life, from Whom all paternity proceedeth, to render me fruitful in offspring, that I may raise up children to God in this life and heirs to the Kingdom of His Glory in the world to come. Amen.


     My Aunt gave me an amazing gift.  She gave me a special pouch with some very special items inside.  My Aunt is very spiritual and spends a lot of time with Native American friends and loves the spirituality the culture provides.  She was very close to a woman named Phyllis Big Left Hand.  Phyllis was Southern  Cheyenne.  I met her a few times.  Once Phyllis blessed me at a Pow Wow in Los Angeles years ago.   She was raised by a medicine man in the traditional ways of their culture so she was the real deal.  The leather that the pouch is made of is buckskin.  It was gifted to my Aunt during a healing ceremony on the Pima Reservation in Arizona.  Inside the pouch is all spirit sage, tobacco, cedar and lavender.  The all spirit sage, tobacco, cedar were also gifts from Phyllis.  They were meant for my Aunt to inspire her to learn the old ways and songs.  The stone my Aunt found at a crystal shop when she was looking for something for me.  She said the stone placed itself in her hand.  The stone is the shape of an embryo which is what drew her to it.  My Grandmother contributed by added some lavender to the pouch.  Not only does lavender smell great but it is also my favorite color.  In the Native American culture the turtle is the oldest symbol for Mother Earth and often a sign of fertility for many tribes.  Other Native American tribes see Turtle as a symbol of persistence and endurance.  The beadwork along the edge of the pouch is symbol of a Cherokee medicine wheel.  Then my Aunt said she blessed it off before she gave it to me.

     Lastly, my Grandmother gave me a candle for Christmas.  She saw that this candle had a picture of a baby on it and thought it would help to bring me good luck.  Technically it's a picture of a statue known as Divine Child Jesus.  But hey, if she thought of us when she saw it and thinks that it will bring us good luck, I'll take it!  At this point I will take all the luck and good thoughts anyone wants to send our way.  Ryan and I lit this candle the night before our transfer and said a baby dust prayer.(shown in a previous post called Egg Retrieval).  

Thanks for all the love and support!  The mantel looks lovely.  Here's hoping some baby dust is coming our way! Please still keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  It means so much to us and we really appreciate.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Monday, June 29, 2015

Saline Infusion Sonohysterography (SHG)

My last RE ordered a SHG back in November.  An SHG is checking for adhesions, polyps, fibroids and any other abnormalities in the uterus.   It came back 100% unremarkable meaning there were no issues.  My current RE ordered another one just to make sure nothing had grown and again the test came back unremarkable.  You would think that when a test come back perfect they would have a better term than unremarkable, it makes my uterus sound so boring.  

My unremarkable uterus (it's the black oval in the middle)
I am writing this post mainly out of frustration of my very first RE who I spent 2 year with and three IUIs and three IVFs all of which were BFN!   When I was first diagnosed as infertile, it was such a shock.  You are thrown into this world of unknown and you hear works and phrases you just don't understand.  My RE came highly recommended and I just followed him blindly.  The only thing he tested was my Vitamin D, AMH and FSH and STDs on both of us.  They then sent me in for the dreaded HSG test and after that came back fine, we jumped right into the IUIs.  After those failed, we were pushed into IVF before we knew what hit us.  At that point, the tested Ryan's sperm and then it was full speed ahead with failed back to back to back IVFs.  Even though my SHG came back unremarkable, I find it crazy that a simple and pretty much painless test wasn't performed before any infertility treatments.  I have many friends in the IF world where they did find something on that test and usually it needs to be dealt with before you can move forward.  There are several other tests that can be run before jumping into treatment and I suggest doing them all.  Not only are almost every single test cheaper than one failed IUI, the heartbreak you receive after hearing the news of a BFN is devastating.  If you can ward those off by some simple tests, do them.  Other important, but usually overlooked tests are: MTHFR (tests for a gene mutation in which you can't process folic acid), Iron (if you are anemic, the chances of implantation failure is extremely high)and thyroid.  Insurance covered all these tests for me including SHG because that is a diagnostic test and not fertility related.  
So back to the SHG.  This test is relatively quick and relatively painless.  The first time it took about 5 mins and the second time it took longer only because they had to insert the catheter twice and by longer it was about 10 minutes. The picture to te left is all that is needed for this test.  The container on the right in the saline and they don't even use all of that.  The container in the middle is the iodine for cleaning.  Below that is the catheter and the syringe is to fill the saline into the catheter.  

Here's hoping that everyone out there is unremarkable as well :) 

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Follow Up Lab Results

Yesterday we met with the two naturopathic doctors that we have been working with.  Ryan had the day off so he went with me to get my results.  The doctors work in the same office (they are actually married) and I have worked with both so we had the appointment with both of them.  It was nice to get both of their opinions on my lab results and what to do going forward.



The reason for the recent lab work was twofold.  First, we wanted to recheck that all my critical vitamin levels were where the needed to be.  Since I am a vegetarian, I am always worried that my levels aren't where they need to be.  Last year my results came back severely anemic at 12.  I have been working really hard to get that where it needs to be.  Secondly, we did some autoimmune testing and some blood clot testing.  This is more commonly referred to as a miscarriage panel.  Usually if you have 3 miscarriages, your doctor will run it.  Since that is absolutely the last thing we want to happen, we just paid out of pocket for this lab panel.  It cost is about $700.

Our results were great, or maybe I should say par for the course, they didn't show anything wrong with me or anything the doctor would be concerned about.  This also means we have no idea why this isn't working.  By default we are again, undiagnosed and by default that points to egg quality.  But looking at the glass as half full, there is no reason not to hope that it will work this time.  Especially since we have two normal embryos to work with that are waiting for us.

The vitamin/supplements that I looked at were Iron, B12, Vitamin D and looked at my thyroid again.  Everything came back where it should be at except my Vitamin D came back low for the second time in a row.  I was taking 5,000 units, then upped it to 7,000 and now I am going to try taking 10,000.

The most exciting news is that I can start to cut back on the obscene amount of pills that I take.  As I finish off bottles, there will be no reordering for most of them.  Here is what my FET protocol looks like so far:
Medicine
Levothyroxine 75mcg 1 x day  - (I have to run this by my RE to get his approval and for the prescription)
Dexamethasone .75mg per day - I start this steroid once I start the interlipids

Supplements:
B12/B complex
Vitamin D3
Selenium
Probiotics
DHA
Iron
Vitamin C
CoQ10
Vitamin E

And that's it!!  Compared to my prep for ER this is so much more manageable.

Ryan and I are feeling both anxious and nervous.  Ryan is more hopeful than I am.  I am scared for another bout of depression if this fails.  The last BFN did a number on me so it is very hard for me to get too excited.  I'm glad that I have Ryan to think the positive thoughts for both of us.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

PS If anyone out there is looking for a naturopathic doctor, I can't recommend these two enough.  They both are very kind and compassionate doctors which is so very important in dealing with infertility.  They also look at things that your RE doesn't even consider.  I just like that they are looking at my whole body and not just my ovaries in order to get EVERYTHING in working order.  Here is their info: http://sandiegonaturalhealth.com/


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Aerial Yoga

As I mentioned in my Next Steps post, I am back on track and going to yoga again.  I really missed my practice and I am beyond excited to be back.  My RE in Los Angeles suggested that I start doing yoga on a regular basis to help with blood flow as well as all the stress I was dealing with.  Sadly during my stims I had to cancel my membership.  With my bloated stomach full of bruising and my headaches, aerial was out of the question.  Now I am back to normal and back regularly practicing at Trilogy.  I have about 2 months before my FET so my focus in on mind, body and soul and yoga touches on all three things for me.

After I quit my job and moved to San Diego I discovered Trilogy Sanctuary and aerial yoga.  Trilogy is a rooftop studio and the views are amazing.  It is literally the most amazing yoga I have ever done.  I have been practicing there since September.  I do aerial yoga but they also have some amazing restorative classes.  I love the balance between the two classes.  There is a Balance and Restore class as well as Yinki and I take both.  Just walking in there, I feel the stress of all this just melting away.  It is short lived, but I will take any relief I can get.
chandelier pose

  I absolutely love this photo.  This pose is called shoulder stand.  When I first started I couldn't do this pose.  My teacher stood behind me and helped me get into the fabric.  I also would have my feet locked in to be able to balance.  Today I am able to do the pose and free my feet.  It is an amazing feeling especially when I live in a world without progress and without being able to reach certain goals, it helps to remind me that I AM able to conquer and attain.  Hoping that this feeling of growth and achievement helps take away all the hopelessness that I have felt for so long.


This is my beautiful teacher Olivia.  She is absolutely amazing and so supportive.  I love having her as a guide in this part of my journey.  Anyone in San Diego, come on down and join me in a class.













Thank you for reading,
HEATHER

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Regroup

We had our regroup yesterday with our doctor and came up with a FET protocol and strategy.  We have a few things that are up to us to decide before we move forward.  Our doctor wants to do another test to make sure my uterus is still normal.  We are also doing a few blood tests with our naturopathic doctor just to make sure that we are checking everything we possibly can.

The most exciting news we received  yesterday was  that we found out the gender of our two embryos.  We have decided at this time that we are going to keep that news to ourselves.  We want to keep some part of our reproductive life to ourselves :)  If we actually get a BFP, then we will share.


The first thing we need to do is another sonohysterogram (SHG).  This is a test to make sure there is nothing in my uterus that would interfere with the embryo implanting such as polyps, adhesions or fibroids.  I had this done last year and there were no issues.  My doctor wants to do another one to make sure there hasn't been any changes.  This is a painless test that only take a few minutes in the doctors office.

The first big decision we have is how many embryos to implant.  If we implant both we have a 65% chance and if we implant only one, we have a 50% chance.  Obviously if we implant both then we also have a higher chance of twins which we would be totally fine with.  But if it doesn't work, we would have nothing left to try again.  Or if it does work and only one takes, then we don't have another chance for a sibling.  We have up until the day before the transfer to decide.  Knowing us we will go back and forth a million times before we make up our minds.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER