NIAW Bloggers Unite – Day 1 & 3

After some not so positive news this week, it is great to be part of this blogger conference.

Please go out and show some support for my fellow Day 1 and Day 3 bloggers.  They have some great advice on self advocacy and listening to your gut during this difficult road of infertility.

You can find their blogs and post as follow:

Miss Conception – Blog
Aimless Ambitions
Dreaming of Diapers
Let’s keep the infertility conversation going and #startaskin

Beta Results

So we went to get our beta yesterday morning.  My nerves were in knots and my wife probably had the worst sleep she has had in weeks the night before.

I decided I was going to wear yellow to try to brighten my spirits and be in a happy place knowing that we may or may not receive happy results. I got to the clinic and went to have my blood drawn.  The medical technician who had assisted during my transfer came in the room while they were taking my blood.  She asked me how I was feeling and I told her that we would see soon.  She said that she would be thinking about us and wishes us the best.  I checked out and asked the front desk specialist if they would leave the results on the voicemail later today.  She indicated that they usually do, so I should be good to go.  My wife and I had agreed that this time around, we would let them leave a voicemail so that we could find out the news together.  I did not want to get bad news again and have to call her to relay the bad news.

  
Around 12:30 I got a call from the clinic, I watched the phone ring.  Then five minutes later the clinic called back and left a 14 second message.  I informed the wife that the message was there staring me in the face.  We went back and forth texting each other from work on whether we should listen to it or not at that moment.  We finally decided we would wait till we both got home and listen together in the comfort of our own space.

The afternoon dragged on and I got home before my wife.  I decided to sit in the backyard and wait for my wife to get home.  I listened to music and checked social media.  I was on pins and needles but tried to focus on the positive that I was selected to be part of a blogger conference to celebrate NIAW and that it was my blog post day.

My wife arrived home and we listened to the message.  The fellow said they had my results and that we needed to call them back.  NOOO!!!! You were suppose to leave the results on the message!!! We decided to call the RE on-call, I know like crazy people, but we could not wait all night to know the results.

The RE on-call was a senior fellow who knows us well (she performed two of our IUIs two years ago) and was like oh I am sorry they did not leave the results, they should have.  She was driving so she could not look them up right away but told us that she would call us back once she got to a stopping place and could look up the results.  We waited for the phone to ring which seemed like 15 minutes, but was probably five.  We answered the phone and she immediately said I am sorry I have bad news, “Your beta was negative.”  My heart just sank, it was like I was spinning and she was talking but I was not hearing her.  I told her it was ok, we understood. She immediately said “no it is not ok, we want you to get pregnant and I am so sorry it did not happen again.”  She wanted to know who had left the message so she could follow up, as she indicated she always wanted to leave results and not let people wait and wonder waiting on a call back.  I informed her it was the fellow and she reassured us that she would follow up with her.

We stood in the kitchen in disbelief, holding each other and crying.  We really thought this was going to be our time.  So many things had gone well and aligned that it just did not make sense that we did not get the result we hoped and prayed so long for.

For the 2nd year in a row during NIAW, we are heartbroken and unsure what will happen next.  We will schedule a follow up with our RE and hope that she has some ideas on how we can move forward…infertility sucks…

  

NIAW Bloggers Unite Conference – Day 2

The national organization for infertility, Resolve.org has encourage supporters to #startaskin about issues that affect the infertility community.  I am more than honored to be part of this NIAW conversation, thanks to a fellow activist and blogger, MissConceptionCoach.com.  Below is the link to this conference and my post regarding what needs to change for our lawmakers and legislatures.
Miss Conception Coach
niaw Bloggers Unite Conference, Day 2 – Lawmakers and Legislators

Three years, three surgeries, two doctors, four donors, one biospy, eight IUIs, one fresh IVF cycle and one frozen embryo transfer later and we are still on the road to parenthood. We knew this was not going to be easy but never in my life did I believe it would be this difficult. As we come to another fork in our journey, I am thankful for all of our TRUE family and friends who have supported Heather and I through this journey and continue to be there for us as we move to the next path on the road.


I am not writing this blog for sympathy or pity but to break the silence that surrounds infertility and the way it affects all of those that are involved. So after three years of struggle, I want people to know that infertility is : emotional, physical and mental. Not only is your body on a roller coaster but so is your bank account, mind, soul, faith, marriage, family and friends. Be kind to those around you…

How do we get cheaper healthcare costs? One way is for clinical research to develop new therapies and drugs that will have a positive affect on a disease. As someone who works in the clinical research space, I know all to well the importance of research and development to find new and/or better therapies for diseases. Often when people think of diseases, they think of cancer, diabetes, HIV, etc., so many do not realize or began to think that infertility is a disease. Dictionary.com defines a disease as “a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.” Infertility results from the body’s reproductive hormones or organs not functioning properly. Infertility is not something that people choose or that has happened to them for choices that they have made, but a disease that is developed just like cancer.

Consequently, our lawmakers, legislators and researchers need to spend more time, money and effort to try to find ways to improve infertility care. A quick search on ClinTrials.gov only lists ten infertility studies currently being conducted in the United States. That is a big difference from 4,126 clinical trials being conducted on breast cancer research. US Breast Cancer Research indicates that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer. It is also the case that 1 in 8 couples will experience infertility. Therefore if the same percentage of people can be affected by cancer as they can be infertility, our lawmakers really need to invest in improving the treatment of this disease. We need our leaders to push the government health agencies and pharmaceuticals companies to realize that infertility is a growing disease that needs attention and funding to promote change.

Prior to starting the fertility process, I had a number of doctors tell me that my cycle, and hormones looked great and that I should not have a problem having kids. Fast forward three years, eight IUIs, one fresh IVF cycle and one frozen IVF cycle, and I am still trying to have a child. I have had hundreds of blood tests, a handful of surgeries and procedures all to receive an “unexplained” infertility diagnosis. It is beyond frustrating to be told that for whatever reason you are not getting pregnant or staying pregnant but we can’t tell you why. That should never be a medical diagnosis for someone. We need our lawmakers and legislators to work harder to develop better preliminary fertilty testing and fertility diagnostics throughout the process. People who are suffering from infertility should not continue to throw thousands of dollars at treatments not knowing if they are the answer to their disease.

Thus, let us #startasking our lawmakers, legislators and leaders to push for infertility research so that we can provide better diagnosis, treatment and cheaper care for those that are suffering from this disease.

Two Week Wait…Fear of the Beta…

Crazy to think that the end of our two week wait falls in line with National Infertility Awareness Week. This time last year, we were convinced that IVF would be successful for us, yet we fell victim to infertility yet again.

So here we are again a year later during NIAW hoping and waiting for good news. We are officially 12dp5dt today. Hard to believe that our transfer was over ten days ago, it seems like it was weeks ago, but I guess that is always the feeling when you are waiting for something you want so bad you can’t describe. 12 days ago I was filled with joy and lots of positivity, now the closer we get to beta, the less positive I get. I am going to go ahead and apologize for this long post as I go through my feelings over the past 11 days.
Day 1dp5dt – Thursday- I spent the day at home resting and taking it easy from the transfer the day before. I laid on the sofa and watched TV, while making sure that I ate every two hours to fuel the growth and implantation of our little one. While resting on the sofa, I did have some mild cramping and pelvic pain, so let’s hope that was the beginning of our blastocyst hatching and implanting. One of my friends sells LuLaRoe (which if you have not tried their clothing, check it out now) and they have a big online community. I posted a picture of our embryo resting on my legs in my LuLaRoe leggings and the support was amazing. Hundreds of women who do not know me from anyone else, sent us prayers, good luck and positive success. Needless to say I was feeling overwhelmed with joy and hoping that finally this might be our chance for success. My wife had to go in the office to get things done before we left for my work trip to Vancouver the next day. When she got home, we went to dinner with her parents. Her mother definitely treats her like her baby (yes still at 36) and wants to see her before we leave for any trip out of town. At dinner, I had a big appetite, like I felt like I couldn’t eat enough, even though I had been eating every two hours all day. I had some mild cramping and my boobs began to hurt. When we got home, we finished our packing and got ready for our early flight to Vancouver the next day.

Day 2dp5dt – Friday – Started with an early morning flight, so not a lot of sleep the night before. My wife was super sweet and would not let me lift anything. I think if she could have but a bubble around me, she would have. While on the plane I had a little dizziness and mild cramping around my ovaries and pelvic area. We arrived to Vancouver and had a late lunch with my co-workers and then spent the rest of the day vegging out from the long travels. I was feeling exhausted from the traveling and time change and just wanted to sleep.

Day 3dp5dt – Saturday – My coworkers wanted to have a good brunch so we hit up a good place not far from the hotel. While walking around Vancouver, I felt pressure and some tingling. After brunch my coworkers went off to explore and my wife and I went to the mall. I brought a new pair of heels for our work party and the wife brought a new pair of boots. While walking around in the mall I got hungry, tired and continued to feel cramping and tingling. We went to a cafe had a light appetizer and just watched people walk by. It was perfect, I felt like I was back in my favorite place, Paris. We headed back to the hotel to get ready for our group dinner. As I got dressed for dinner, I realized that my boobs were really starting to ache more, so glad that I packed my two most supportive bras. We went to the restaurant for dinner and had drinks with the team beforehand. While l wanted to have a drink, I was ok with not having a drink as I truly felt like our little one was growing inside me. Dinner was good and my coworkers wanted to go out, but all I wanted to do was lay down as I was physically tired.

Day 4dp5dt – Sunday – A free-day in beautiful Vancouver to explore. We decided to take the trolley hop on and off tour so that we could see more of the city without a lot of walking. We arrived to find out that the tour was delayed due to a run that had taken place earlier that morning. As I watched the runners head back to their hotels, I thought about how much I miss running and not feeling like I can be entirely me, as I do not want to jeopardize anything in regards to making this a viable pregnancy. We saw the beautiful sites of Vancouver and as we rode around on the trolley, I felt like I needed to hold on to my boobs as they bounced in pain. We got off the trolley at Stanley Park and as we walked around, I felt the tingling and fatigue again. We waited for the trolley, which took almost an hour to come back and pick us up. I started to get hangry, luckily I found a pack of almonds in my purse to hold me over until we got to Granville Island for a late lunch. The dizziness, tingling, mild cramping and fatigue continued while we walked around Granville Island. Yet again at lunch, I was a member of the clean plate club and ate like I have never ate before. That night we went to an oyster place not far from the hotel. I felt the same way in the evening as I had during the day. Once we got back to the hotel, I passed out from exhaustion.

Day 5dp5dt – Monday was another early day with back to back calls. I was feeling a high level of stress trying to figure out how I was going to get all the work done that I needed to, spend time with my wife, relax my body and stand in our conference booth for two hours. I finished my calls and decided I would go to the hotel gym with my wife. I got on the treadmill and started with a brisk walk. I then decided that I wanted to run a little, probably not the best idea, as soon as I started running, the tingling feeling started. I slowed down to a brisk walk and the wife of course was like you need to stop running. 😉 That night, we decided to head to a different area of Vancouver and check out an Asian place and bar that my wife had found online. Since it was not a quick walk, we took a cab to the restaurant, which was probably good because once we got there I had waves of pain come and go throughout dinner. We walked to a bar not far from the restaurant and I had another cute virgin drink. I have to say, I am quite proud of myself resisting the alcohol. In the past, I have had a drink here and there during the two week wait, but I made a vow to myself that I would remain alcohol free this time around. As we got back to the hotel, I had the tingling and mild cramping yet again.  

Day 6dp5dt – Tuesday – I woke up to breasts that felt like a ton of bricks. They felt heavier, lumpy and more tender than the days before. We walked to a breakfast diner which was really good, yet again our little one was glad that I was eating and let me clean my plate. Luckily, I had the afternoon shift at the booth, so Heather and I had time to get work done before I had to walk to the convention center. I walked to the convention center and yet again the tingling and cramping continued as I walked. If I am pregnant, it is clear that this baby is active when I am active. That afternoon, the weather was great so we decided to take advantage of our free evening and head to a restaurant on the beach. While waiting for our table, I got a little lightheaded and very hungry. Luckily, I found some nuts and dried fruit in my purse to hold me over. Dinner was great, we saw a whale in the ocean and got to watch the sunset over the beach. It was a perfect evening. It was like the heavens were looking over us telling us that everything was going to work out for the best. Let’s hope so.

Day 7dp5dt – Wednesday – Since I had the morning shift at the convention center, we didn’t have time for a good breakfast, so we walked over to Starbucks and grabbed breakfast to eat while we worked in the room. Yet again, while walking to and from the convention center, I experience the tingling again. That night, we had a work party, which required me to be on feet in heels for three hours plus. I had waves of nausea, dizziness and my back and feet hurt like crazy from standing. When we got back to hotel, I had quite a bit of cramping and fear that things were taking a turn for the worst.

Day 8dp5dt – Thursday – I had cramping all night while laying in bed. I had to be in the booth all day, so we hit up Starbucks again to grab breakfast and lunch. The convention was very slow since most people had left the conference with it being the last day. It was nice because I got to sit down quite a bit with the traffic being slow. My boss called me while I was in the booth to check in as there had been quite a bit of work drama surrounding the trip. I explained to her that I was so exhausted just in general and that I really didn’t have time or care to get involved in the drama. I truly was exhausted, not sure if it was the time change finally catching up with me or my body working overtime. I returned to the hotel to get work done before we headed out for our last dinner in Vancouver. I decided to get oysters and mussels as I had a craving for seafood. Dinner was great, but unfortunately when we got back to hotel, I had terrible cramping again. After a hour or so of cramping, my stomach got upset and I spent the night going back and forth to the toilet with diarrhea. Not sure if it was from the seafood or the hormones. Let’s hope it was the seafood.

Day 9dp5dt – Friday – Woke up early with fear that AF was near and that we were going to over sleep and miss our meet up time to head to the airport. I showered and got ready for our flight. While waiting on my wife to get ready, I finished a couple of work things that I hadn’t completed the night before so that people would not be looking for things from me while I was in the air. We got in the taxi to head to the airport and again the cramping continued off and on. This time accompanied by some dizziness and mild nausea. We ate before we left the hotel, so it was not because I was hungry. We got to the airport and decided we would all eat again before boarding our 5-hour flight. I didn’t think I would eat all of my breakfast since I had a few donuts and fruit before we left the hotel, but yet again I cleaned my plate. While on the plane, I got hungry again a few hours later, so I ordered a fruit/cheese plate. I continued to have cramping on and off throughout the flight. We got to our layover location and I was very moody. I was so impatient and pissed that I had to go through customs. My wife tried to calm me down, but I was ragging. We ended up just having enough time after customs, security and walking to our gate (which I swear was on the opposite end of the airport) to grab a quick sandwich before boarding since it was dinner time. The second flight was thankfully shorter but the cramping continued until we got home.

Day 10dp5dt – Saturday – After getting home from the airport after 1am, I really wanted to sleep in, however our cats had a different idea after us being away for a week. They whined, cried and scratched at the bedroom door until I finally got up. I took my temperature and it had declined from the day before. Not sure if it was the time change, the lack of sleep or what, but immediately it concerned me because we want my temperature to stay up so that we can keep growing our little embryo. I headed to the bathroom, fearing what I would find, but glad to not have AF present. I went and laid on the sofa with the cats, while my wife continued to rest. While laying on the sofa, I felt stronger cramping, which really made me fear that AF was very near. I was so nervous that I got up every hour to check. My wife got up and made us brunch. We just laid around until it was time for us to get dressed and ready to head to dinner and our Broadway show. If we had not had show tickets, I know we would have continued to just sit around. Throughout dinner and the show, I continued to have cramping here and there, with some sharp pains coming and going. In addition, I had a little back pain, which scared me since this is generally a pre-AF feeling for me. Luckily, we came home and AF had not showed up.

Day 11dp5dt – Sunday – After finally falling asleep around 1am with nerves, I woke up around 7:30 to sore breasts and cramping, this invoking a fear that AF had finally arrived. I immediately checked my temperature which had gone back up a little bit from yesterday. I went to the bathroom with anticipation to make sure I was not bleeding. Luckily there was no blood, so I went ahead and decided to shower so I could change my patches and put in my progesterone gel. After I showered, my wife woke up in a panic thinking, I had started my period as well. I reassured her that I had not, but felt like I could at any moment. We decided since we were up to go ahead and get our errands done so we could relax and enjoy our afternoon. As soon as we got in the car, the headache and hormone rush began. Not sure if it was because I hadn’t eaten yet, or if my body is producing HCG, let’s hope the latter. We ran our errands and returned home to relax. The weather was great, so we sat on the back patio and just soaked in the vitamin D for a while. It was nice to relax for a little bit, but you could have probably cut the tension with a knife, as we are both feeling very anxious about our beta test. I tried to stay busy all night and not think about our beta today, but it is all that is on my mind. Let’s hope we finally get our good news that we have been waiting years to hear.