2016 we are breaking up….

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Don’t get me wrong, I have to admit 2016 was a pretty awesome year.  I got to plan the wedding I never knew I always wanted, I married my soul mate, and we bought a cute little house that we are now making our home.  M and I got to enjoy just being a regular couple.  However, 2016 has become like this comfortable relationship that I just dread leaving, but I know I must move on!

I feel like this year was the calm AFTER the storm.  We had so much heartache in 2014 and 2015 with our infertility, 2016 was like this peaceful oasis.  So now that it is at a close, it’s making me a little nervous.  We still have our one little embryo frozen since 2015.  We really need to settle on a time to schedule the transfer, but I have been dragging my feet.  I’ve said it before, but this is our last chance to have a biological child and right now that tiny sliver of hope is still alive.  Once we complete the transfer it will become REAL.  And all hope will be gained or lost.  Now I also have to reiterate I don’t care about biology.  My own relationship with my biological family is pretty strained with most members, so it’s not important to me.  It’s just that if this doesn’t work, we will be starting again at square one, and that’s what is scary.  It’s just like making the decision to end a relationship or stay with it – it may not be the best but it’s comfortable and starting all over is such a PAIN!!

With all of this one thing is still sure – I still want to be a mom.  Probably even more than that, lately I really want M to be a dad!  He is so patient, mindful, and just a big kid himself!  I would love for him to have the chance at being a parent.  So we will not give up, and we will have to bite the bullet and transfer sometime soon.  Now we just have to figure out when….

2016 has also been a big year of growth and learning new things.  The two years prior were so filled with infertility related goings-on that there was not much time left for anything else.  This year I finally went back to school by taking a few classes, I got much more into cooking and recipe rehabbing, I learned I liked to decorate and have been doing so in my new house, and most recently – and this is supper exciting – I have started learning about and purchasing essential oils!  I have used essential oils sporadically for the past few years, mainly just for yoga purposes or to get to sleep.  A few weeks ago I took the plunge and bought a whole starter kit from Young Living Essential Oils.  Well I have been obsessed ever since!  I am still a newborn and have only used a couple oils so far, but I will be writing about my experiences soon!  (side note:  if anyone has any experiences or suggestions in this area I would love to hear them)

I have also attempted to reorganize my blog, although that has been less than successful.  I am trying to venture into other topics other than fertility, but it’s been a bit challenging to convey that.  I would essentially like to have a static front page and then just categories readers can click to see blogs related to infertility, fitness, cooking, etc.  It’s getting there but I have a long way to go.  If anyone has any tips for creating a better blog please let me know!!  I am open to all suggestions!

So 2016….it’s been real!  Real emotional, real stressful, real fun, real enlightening, real AMAZING.  It’s sad to let you go, but bigger things await 🙂

 

So this happened….

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I got married!  Yep, for the last two months I have been busy planning a wedding, no big deal 😉  M and I finally tied the knot, almost 4 years to the day we started dating.  Four years together, almost 3 of those fighting the infertility monster.  Four years of happiness, sadness, excitement, disappointments, adventures, and just LIFE culminated in an absolutely beautiful sunset ceremony on a picture perfect day overlooking the New York City skyline.  We invited 60 of our nearest and dearest to our little shindig and if I do say so myself it could not have been a better.  It was touching, emotional, intimate, and just US. So yeah, that happened!

A couple weeks post-“I do” and now we are in the process of looking for a house.  We have a pretty tight timeline since our lease is running out on our current place and it’s really just too small for us now.  The rest of the summer will probably be a mixture of house hunting, money managing, getting together with friends, going to the beach at least once, and just savoring our newlywed status.  Oh yeah, and I’m going to have to get used to a new name!  Holy sh*tballs.

So everything has been going well.  Our relationship is as solid as ever, we had a fairy tale wedding day, hopefully buying our own home in the next couple months, and I will be continuing my education come September in a Bachelors to Masters degree program into which I was accepted.  However, as all of you well know, there is still that nagging monster whispering in my ear every chance it gets–the infertility monster.

As a reminder, I have one PGD tested frozen embryo waiting to be transferred since March 2015.  Of the five stimulation cycles I endured, only once did I make it to retrieval.  Five eggs were retrieved, three made it to Day 5, and one tested PGD normal, so here we are.  One would think I would be ready to go full steam ahead with this little emby that could/might.  Well, I’m not.

This little emby is my last chance at a biological child.  I am not going through any more stimulation cycles to try an retrieve more eggs.  This is it.  Right now, he/she is out there.  Frozen in time.  A little sliver of hope.  Once he or she gets put back into the real world, in real time, there is a 50/50 chance of implantation, and even then there is no guarantee it will result in a healthy pregnancy and birth.  That’s a lot of pressure for a single little embryo.

Don’t get me wrong.  Biology isn’t very important to me.  I want to be a mom.  I do want to experience being pregnant, so using a donor egg would be an option I would most definitely consider.  Possibly even a donor embryo, for financial reasons.  I just want to be a mom to a child, to love them and raise them.  Biology doesn’t dictate that.  Love, compassion, and connection is what is important.  The thing is that is another long, expensive, process that we would have to start.  We would have to begin another journey.  And to be honest it’s just an exhausting prospect.  In September of 2015 I hit the end of the stim cycle road with my fourth cancelled cycle (fifth cycle total).  As much as I was mentally prepared and knew that would be my last cycle regardless of the outcome, the reality hit me very hard.  The disappointment was palpable, and seeing M’s disappointment just made it all the more bitter.  So if this transfer is not successful, in my practical mind I am ready for it and know what the next steps can be, but nothing is going to be able to prepare me for the reality of that moment, all I know is that it will be unpleasant (to put it mildly!).

Right now, there is hope.  I guess I am scared to have that hope dashed.  Hope is a very dangerous thing.  It’s awesome to have it, to believe in it.  But when that hope is gone, it’s the worst thing in the world.  I try not to let it in sometimes, but it has a sneaky way of worming it’s way into my subconscious and it just sits there whether I want it to or not.  Such is the human condition I suppose.

Maybe some would say to me – “But C, what if it DOES work?  What if this little emby that could becomes the little emby that DID??”  Well, that is very easy.  That would be the best thing in the world.  It wouldn’t take away any of the pain of the last few years, but it would sure as hell put it all into perspective.  It would just be awesome and awe-inspiring.  It would be everything (no pressure!).

So I ask of my fellow infertility warriors – any advice??  Thoughts on transfers?  Best time to have one?  Any suggestions on what to do to prepare?  How long to prepare??  I welcome all thoughts and suggestions!  Please share!

 

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