Thoughts for National Infertility Awareness Week

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I can’t believe it’s been two and a half years since I was officially diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve.  30 months of living with it.  When I think back to that time in October of 2013, sometimes I just laugh and miss how innocent I was.  Like I said in my last post, I didn’t know anything about infertility.  I was like the people who drive me crazy today – optimistic, ignorant, diminishing, naive.  National Infertility Awareness Week is an awesome platform because in this community that is exactly what we are missing the most – Awareness.

I can go on Social Media and find out what people are eating for breakfast, or what products they use to clean their bathrooms, or what deodorant they are currently sampling (true story.).  We are living in a society that overshares, I get it.  Heck, obviously I even participate in it (sans deodorant stories).  However, when it comes to infertility, I have come to realize it makes some people very uncomfortable.  It’s still some sort of taboo to talk about, and it’s absurd.  Maybe it’s because people feel badly and don’t know what to say.  Maybe it’s because they have popped out four kids in as many years and this is a problem that never even crossed their minds.  But maybe they are just like I was – blissfully ignorant.  I think my false sense of security stemmed from seeing so many older people having children and all the success stories I heard.  I never gave it a second thought that maybe these women getting pregnant at 47 were using donor eggs, or maybe they had frozen their eggs 10 years ago and were finally experiencing a successful transfer.  Maybe they had spent thousands of dollars and suffered terrible losses.  We don’t see that side of things.  We only see the successes.  And the blissful ignorance for me came from not yet knowing that behind all those amazing successes were many, many heartbreaking failures.  This is the reality we don’t see.  This is where we really have the need for awareness.  Not pity, not false optimism.  Just awareness.  From there, maybe some acknowledgement and empathy could emerge.

I know we all have a list for how our lives changed in not so positive ways since infertility.  I dedicated an entire post last week on how it turned me into a raging one upping pity monster.  On some days, I am still that person and I think that’s perfectly allowed!  But today I think I just want to make a brief list of ways infertility has unexpectedly benefited my life.  I would like to think I would have been evolved enough to learn these lessons in a less cruel way, but that is out of my control.  Anyway, here it is:

  1. I learned about my infertility in a very random way.  I hadn’t even been trying to conceive at that point.  I take this as a positive because if I hadn’t found out my diagnosis when I did, when I finally did learn about it two, three years later it would have been after trying (and failing) to conceive naturally and far too late to even have a chance at a biological child.  As it is, I have one chance, my little frozen embryo.
  2. Selfish moments notwithstanding, infertility has made me more compassionate and understanding.  It’s made me realize that outwardly a person may look like a million bucks, but no one really knows what is going on in that person’s body, heart, and mind.  On the contrary, I’ve found often it’s the people that complain the least that have the most to deal with.  We are all fighting our own battles.
  3. Infertility is such a shit show.  Life in general is just so tough.  So now, when a moment is good, I try to embrace it and enjoy it.  It may not last very long, and it will most certainly change.  This is something I struggle with, but I’m working on it.
  4. I’m mindful.  I really try to be self aware and feel whatever I’m feeling, be it good or bad.  Sometimes, this had lead to facing some harsh realizations about myself, and others.  Sometimes I don’t really know what to do with my feeling or emotions, or I feel ashamed of them.  But at least I acknowledge them.  That’s a step.
  5. I’ve become a lot more interested in physical fitness and wellness in general.  A recent hobby of mine is “rehabbing” recipes.  Instead of just baking cookies I will look for a “healthy” cookie recipe that doesn’t require butter and sugar, or instead of eating pasta I will substitute zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.  It’s actually been fun and believe it or not some of my rehabbed recipes are even easier to make than the originals and taste fabulous!
  6. Probably the best thing that has come out of my infertility diagnosis and the one thing I would never give up is my unbelievably strong bond with M.  Since being diagnosed up to now, M and I have officially moved in together, gotten engaged, and are getting married in June.  Infertility pretty much took over our lives, but through it all he has been a source of strength, positivity, and light around me.  I think about previous relationships I had and what would happen if I had to endure infertility with those partners, and very flatly it wouldn’t have worked out.  In the past, my relationships were very adversarial; we always seemed to be on opposing sides for some reason.  With M, I truly feel we are a team.  We love each other, we respect each other and we are each other’s biggest fan.  Our relationship has changed, but it is just as strong as ever.

So yeah.  I’m one in eight.  This is what infertility looks like.  It’s not always pretty, it’s not always good.  It’s not for the weak.  To all my infertility sisters, all I can say is that you are all bad asses!  You are all strong, beautiful women in all your messy, angry, heartbreaking, happy, caring, selfish, INSPIRING glory.  I am proud to stand with you.  I am proud to fight with you and for you.  You all rock!

Back with a vengeance. Or just back:)

The-best-time-for-new-beginnings-is-nowSo.  Holy crap.  I haven’t written anything on this blog for a whopping 18 months.  Is that some kind of record?!  Well, it should be!  A part of me was just going to scrap this blog and start over fresh, but then I thought wait a second, I created this space so I could have a place to come with my thoughts, my rants, my failures, and my successes.  It was started honestly and it was also suspended honestly.  And, speaking honestly, I have a bit of trouble finishing what I start.  I am a very good starter, just not a very good follow through-er.  A teacher of mine once said having integrity is saying what you mean and following through on what you say.  So, here I am, picking up where I left off.  I don’t know if anyone will continue reading this, but hopefully you will.

So…..18 months.  548 days, give or take.  The last post I wrote was on November 6, 2014.  At that point my second IVF cycle had just been cancelled and we were taking a break.  Well, the break was fortuitous because in March 2015 during IVF cycle #3 I actually made it to retrieval, a first for me.  During that cycle 5 eggs were retrieved, and all 5 fertilized with ICSI.  Since I suffer with Diminished Ovarian Reserve, M and I were thrilled with these numbers!  3 fertilized eggs made it to Day 5, when we made the decision to have PDG testing performed.  1 embryo was deemed normal, and was frozen at that point.  That little precious embryo is still frozen in time today.

After that successful retrieval, M and I decided to try twice more, in June 2015 and September 2015.  Twice more our cycles were cancelled do to poor response to stims.  Our last attempt in September marked the end of trying to retrieve any more eggs from my reticent ovaries.  That part of our journey is now over.  It hit me very hard, actually.  Mentally I thought I was prepared for it, but when I got the call from my RE that she was cancelling the cycle, it was real and it was painful.  Throwing away calendars, lists, packing away unused medication, disposing of THREE sharps containers and seeing how the last year and a half of our lives had so revolved around our treatments was a harsh reality to face.  It was time for another break.

On October 30, 2015, M and I set off on another adventure because M PROPOSED!!  Yes, in case you have forgotten M and I are not married.  Long story short, we learned of my infertility after I got my AMH tested on a whim, and we had only been dating for about a year and a half.  Infertility took up a huge chunk of our lives from then on, and if it hadn’t been for my diagnosis and delving into the scary reproductive medicinal world, we probably already would be married.  But life deals us what it deems fit, so here we are.  Truthfully, it worked out perfectly.  If M had chosen to propose in the middle of any of our IVF attempts, of course I would have been ecstatic but also it would have been somewhat tempered by the enormity of the IVF process.  Once we closed the door on doing any more stimulation cycles, it felt very final.  Which was painful, don’t get me wrong.  But it felt like we were ready for a new chapter.  M decided to propose after we went to hear a radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, which was set in Grover’s Mill, NJ which just happens to be the next town over from where we live.  So this is a big deal for us, and all geeks 😉  It was about 11pm, I was in sweats and no makeup, ready for bed as that is pretty late for me (ha), and he just popped the question!  At first I thought it was just rhetorical, as we have discussed marriage often and he didn’t have a ring out.  But just as I said yes, of course I’ll marry you silly!, out came the ring!  I was like, oh wait a minute, this is for real?!  Yes, it was!  And it was just perfect.  Our wedding date is Friday, June 24 of this year.  We can’t wait.

So, back to our little precious embryo.  It is still frozen and waiting for us.  We are thinking of doing a transfer in September/October of this year.  It’s scary, since this will be our last chance at a child which is biologically both ours.  I don’t give two hoots about biology, but I do care that if we decide to try again with a donor egg, it is extremely expensive and will probably require a long wait while we acquire funds.  Maybe we will try a donor embryo?  I’m not quite sure.  A lot if riding on this one little embie, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on it (or us).  What will be, will be.

So, that’s where I’m at.  Other stuff has happened too.  I’ve become a certified children’s yoga instructor.  I finally earned my Associates’s Degree.  I’ve become more involved in yoga and fitness, which I hope to be able to incorporate into this blog.  I’ve faced some tough truths about myself, which I will also get into at a later date.  Oh yeah, and I’m getting MARRIED!!

Life is hard.  So I am trying to embrace the good when it happens.  I’m trying to have integrity by coming back to this blog, instead of just discarding it and starting new.  I’m a work in progress, but who isn’t?!

I look forward to catching up with some of the ladies I followed before my LONG hiatus.  And of course to making new friends and followers.  I’m thinking of starting an Instagram account as well.  Who am I?!

Peace and Love to all, xoxo

It has been a while…..

Hello fellow bloggers and friends.  It has been a long while since I’ve written.  To be honest I don’t really feel like writing now, but I am making myself because hopefully writing and catching up on all your stories will help to get out of the rut I am in.  Since my 2nd IVF round was cancelled in early September, I really haven’t been doing anything to try and conceive.  I thought taking this time would rejuvenate me and give me some time to focus on other things.  In some ways this has happened.  I am in the middle of taking two classes to finish up my degree and I also started a knitting project for M’s Christmas gift.  However it hasn’t been as easy as I was hoping (why would I even think that it would be?!).  I think this time away from actively trying to conceive has actually been more difficult because I don’t really have anything to do.  When I was going through all the testing, surgeries, shots, ultrasounds, etc., that didn’t leave much time to think.  It was pretty much a full year of activity.  Now there is just the let down of how all that time, money, and energy didn’t amount anything.  When I let myself wallow, it’s quite depressing really.  October came and went.  It was October 2013 when I found out the extent of my fertility problems and this entire roller coaster started.  I was fairly down for most of the month.

This afternoon I am going to see a psychologist.  I went once to therapy and it really wasn’t helpful.  I am going to try again today with another therapist.  I am nervous.  I am hoping maybe seeing her will help me deal with some anger issues that have always been there, but that have gotten progressively worse since trying (and failing) to conceive.

I told one more friend about my infertility.  She was supportive and only wishes I had told her sooner.  It felt good to tell someone, but at the same time it highlighted how little most people really know about fertility.  I myself didn’t know much about it until I was “lucky” enough to start on this journey (/sarcasm).  I am going to write a blog post soon about the pros and cons of telling vs. not telling in regards to infertility.  I would love to get some opinions on this.

This blog is sort of all over the place.  I don’t want to give the impression that I am in this horrible sad place.  I still do my best to remain positive and have been taking care of myself for the most part.  For most of last year I cut coffee out of my diet completely, although my RE and nurse told me this was not necessary.  Now I have been allowing myself to have one cup in the morning.  I also allow myself to have a glass of wine with dinner a few nights a week.  Growing up a first generation American with European parents, wine is a very normal part of our culture and I would drink one glass with dinner each night.  This was enjoyable for me, but I pretty much cut it out completely as well.  After doing research and again consulting with my doctor and nurse, I decided to add it back in a few nights a week.  Other than that, my diet remains the same; I’ve also still been taking my supplements and practicing yoga about 4 times a week, which I truly believe keeps me from slipping to a dark place.

In the middle of all this, my relationship with M remains very strong.  I am very happy and proud that we have each other.  This may be TMI, but we haven’t been having as much sex as we used to.  It’s not like we go an absurd amount of time without it, and I think our sex life is still healthy.  It’s just not as frequent as it once was.  Most nights, unfortunately I am just not in the mood.  We have talked about this because I don’t want us to start feeling disconnected from each other.  M is understanding and we are still extremely close and secure in our relationship.  I am so thankful for him.  M-centric blog post coming soon 🙂

If anyone is reading this, thanks for wading through all my ramblings.  It’s been a while, and I just wanted to poke my head out of the sand and say I am still here.  I am still trying.  I am still hopeful ❤

Another day, another cancelled IVF cycle

The title says it all, doesn’t it?  What I was fearing the most happened and unfortunately my second IVF cycle was cancelled, much like the first one due to a poor response.  Actually, this cycle was worse than the last one in that only one follicle was larger than 10, although I had ten follicles to start with.  They just didn’t grow.  This cycle I also added acupuncture to the mix along with quitting working out entirely and just resting.  There were the obligatory tears on cancellation day (last Wednesday) and some heavy moping for a couple days.  On Friday I went in for a follow up consultation with my RE that left M and me actually feeling much better.

We went over how the past two protocols didn’t seem to even rouse my scrambled eggs at all, and she made two professional suggestions – #1 try one more time with my own eggs on an Antagonist protocol, or/and #2 move on to donor eggs.  The past two cycles I have been on a Microflare protocol, which is typically used on women with DOR such as myself.  Cycle 1 I started on the protocol on CD3, and Cycle 2 I took BCP’s for two weeks and then started the protocol.  I’ve never tried Antagonist protocol.  Donor eggs have always been a consideration from the start of this journey, since I knew egg supply was so severely lacking.  Believe it or not, this consultation made me feel better because I was sure my RE was going to suggest not even trying again with my own eggs at all.  Hearing her say that we have one more protocol to try if we choose was reassuring to M and to me.  Obviously nothing is guaranteed, but at least there is hope.

Getting this information from my RE cemented the decision for us to try IVF one more time with my own eggs.  My RE is a very up front person and not one to sugar coat anything.  I like this because it makes me feel like I can trust her, and she will tell us the truth even if it’s difficult to hear (like at the beginning of this journey when I was literally in tears in her office, so shocked by my infertility news).  Sometimes it’s tough, but at the same time I would always rather know the reality of a situation, especially about something as important as my fertility.  We will try the Antagonist protocol, and keep our fingers crossed!  If we are not successful, we will most likely be making the decision to move on to donor eggs, but we will cross that bridge when (if) we get there.  I am not opposed to donor eggs, I just want to make sure I exhaust all possible options before we take that step.  I guess I mentally want to feel like I’ve done everything I can to conceive my own child with my own eggs, and then I can feel at peace about making other decisions.  I’m so grateful we will be able to have one more chance.

With that decision made, M and I have decided to take a short break from IVF for the next few months to enjoy the fall and the holidays.  I am also going back to school next month, I have 12 more credits to take in order to finish up my Associates Degree.  IVF has taken so much of our time, energy, and finances that I think we need a small break to regroup.  We plan to start our third and final cycle in late January/early February after I celebrate my (gasp) 35th birthday January 23.

I have to say I am actually looking forward to a little time off from actively TTC.  We are not going to be doing any charting as the chances we can conceive naturally are slim to none (besides my lovely issues we also have M’s male factor to contend with).  So we are just going to let the pieces fall where they may.  I am looking forward to getting some running in for the next month or so until the weather gets a little too cold for my taste, and M and I have signed up for a charity 5k in early October.  I am also excited to focus more on my relationship with M.  Thankfully, our relationship is stronger than ever, but we have been so focused on doctors and shots and ultimately disappointments that we have not had a lot of fun, silly time.  It will be nice to get back to that.

During this break I will continue to take my supplements, but after some consideration I do not think I will continue with acupuncture.  It’s very expensive and my insurance does not cover it.  In the research I’ve found through Dr. Google, it seems to state that acupuncture has been promising to infertility because of increased blood flow to the uterus, and also because of its relaxation benefits and stress reduction.  In talking to my RE she seemed to reiterate these findings, especially emphasizing the stress reducing benefits.  She said that anything I can do to reduce stress with be beneficial physically, in all areas.  I personally think my yoga and the occasional professional massage can help me with blood flow and stress, so I think I will be utilizing these two things in place of acupuncture.

Of course I will still be blogging as well!  Maybe now I can get to the sundry part of this blog and write about some other things that are important to me.  Scrambled eggs is a huge part of who I am right now, but it is not the only part!  I thinks it’s time to devote some time to the rest of me as well 🙂  As always, thanks for listening (reading) and for all the lovely comments I’ve received.  They help so much ❤

Obligatory first post.

Hello fellow bloggers!  This is my very first post on my very first blog (bear with me).  I decided to start this blog because, well, just read the blog title!  The scrambled eggs in question are mine and the sundry is all the other parts of my life that do not involve the scrambled eggs.  Let me start at the beginning. Last October (2013) I was hit with a pretty hard blow of finding out that I have the eggs of someone at least 10 years older than me (If you know nothing about fertility, just suffice to say this is not good.).  Since then my love M and I have been tossed into the world of doctors appointments, scans, blood work, surgery, needles, and the occasional trip to a back room in the RE’s office to sit on a pee pad and watch porn.  M has really only been subjected to the latter of those things, all the others were basically me.

I will go into more details in a later blog (maybe blog #2?).  But for now this whole infertile world is just weird for me.  It’s extremely time consuming and unexpected.  It also brings out a lot of jealousy and ugliness in me which I don’t really feel badly about but I do know it’s not healthy, nor does it solve anything.  So I thought I would write.  So that’s the scrambled eggs part.

Now here is the sundry part!   I am a 34 year old Jersey girl.  I work in engineering at a public utility company.  I like my job.  I am in the process of obtaining my Associates Degree in 6 months and after would like to pursue my Bachelors Degree.  I am a late bloomer in the education department, but it will get done.  I love yoga!  It is my passion and I would love to teach someday.  This will have to be a part of the 5 year plan, maybe 8-10 year plan.  But I will do it.  I love to volunteer, especially with domestic violence organizations.  I love reading  murder/mystery books and watching true crime TV shows.  I also love self help books and quotes about peace, love, yoga, etc.  What can I say, I am a pretty interesting chick.

My 8 year old Shi Tzu and M are the most important people/fur baby in my life.  Everything else takes a back seat to them.  But I also have some pretty kick ass friends.  I am not close to my fam, but my friends are the family I have chosen, and they have chosen me.

So this is me.  I hope someone reads this.  If not, I will keep rambling and maybe someday someone will.  I am just a regular person doing my best and trying to figure it all out.