Monday, November 21, 2011

Not sure where I fit in now: Pregnancy after Infertility

I know I haven't posted in a while, but for good reason. I haven't really had anything to contribute to my blog since it is about infertility. (Now that I've found myself on the other side of infertility.) Yes, our second IVF resulted in pregnancy! :) I've wanted to wait a while before posting anything new, because I didn't want to jinx it. We've made it to 12 weeks as of last Friday. Even though you would think we would be shouting for joy at this point, I feel like I can't really shout for joy until they are safely here. (Yes, "they" as in TWINS!) This pregnancy thing is a roller-coaster ride in itself. Especially after infertility, I am so paranoid.

What's funny is, that once you share with a few people that you are pregnant and have experienced infertility and miscarriages, they seem to want to tell you all their horror stories, or horror stories about other people they've know. (Like they can even relate.) I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!!!! LA-LA-LA...I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Okay, part of me wants to know some things, like hearing stories from former infertiles like myself who can relate with me. But seriously, I told this one gal that I was having twins, and she was like: "Oh yeah, my best friend was pregnant with twins, but then she lost them. Now she's pregnant again." (Um...rude? I'm already freaking out. Thanks, but no thanks!) One week I heard two different people's stories about them losing one of their twins. :( Sad. The part of me that wants to know, is to know what to expect if something does go wrong. The other part of me that wants to know is the part where things have turned out a friend who experienced spotting/bleeding, but then everything was okay.

So hearing all these stories from people has also caused some nightmares. I've had two dreams about waking up in bed with massive bleeding, but then I really wake up and I'm fine. Another dream I had was last week. In my dream we just had the babies, and a nurse comes to the side of my hospital bed, and tells me that they did all they could do, but they couldn't get my baby to breath. Ugh! Marc, ironically had a dream that same night that I had miscarried with one of the babies. I've been told that those dreams only manifest the worries that we both have about our little ones and the pregnancy. And not to take them too seriously. But still....SCARY!

Another thing about pregnancy after infertility is that I don't know where I quit fit in. It's like I'm being ushered into the pregnancy and moma world, when I still feel like I'm infertile. I remember seeing a gal who was well into her pregnancy and still feeling those jealous feelings, even though I was pregnant too. It was like I had to take a double take, and remind myself I was pregnant too. I don't want to make my friends in my support group uncomfortable by being around them, especially when I start showing, but I still feel like I'm a one of them. And technically I am still one of them. It's not like I can just get pregnant when I want to like most people. Still after having these babies, I will still be infertile. It's not like baby number 3 will come easy for us either. (Remember, my eggs suck.) We'll have secondary infertility, but it still is a form of infertility. On the flip side, when friends who share the good parts about being pregnant, and funny stories, it's like all the sudden I'm included on these conversations, which normally I would exclude myself from hearing. It's different.

As far as everything has gone, I have had a lot of nausea and visit with "Ralph." I know this may sound funny, but I love throwing up. It's like my babies are saying "Hi" to me. It's the only thing that makes me feel like this is actually real. That I am actually pregnant. I've heard that vomiting is a good sign the pregnancy is healthy. But who knows, someone may have made that up to make us feel better. It's been nearly almost everyday since hitting the 7 week mark that I've had to run to the toilet to ralph. Sometimes up to 3 times a day. (I've heard that twins or multiples can exacerbate nausea in pregnancy.) Now that I've reached 12 weeks, the nausea has seemed to taper off. But I still get a little here and there. The bad thing is that it comes quickly without warning. Sometimes I'm not ready for it. And there I am holding my mouth trying to make it to the bathroom fast enough. Gross, I know. But I gotta love it!

Our first ultrasound was at 7 weeks with the fertility clinic, UCRM. I was really anxious and was having flashbacks of our first miscarriage where the doctor didn't find a heartbeat. But actually seeing the heartbeats and hearing the heartbeats was the coolest thing. Our second visit was with my regular OBGYN at 10 & 1/2 weeks, and what was even cooler than the heartbeats was to see them both moving on the ultrasound. I didn't expect to see them move that early! I did have some light spotting a couple days after my 10 week appointment, so my doctor had me come it. Turns out that the bleeding was probably left over blood from the implantation. It did give us a scare, but a relief to see that everything was okay and see them again on the ultrasound. My next visit will be Dec 9th. And hopefully everything will be okay. I'm still so nervous about going to those appointments.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Adoption Fears

I have wanted to blog about the topic of "adoption fears" for some time. And although our circumstances have changed a bit, adoption is still a possible reality for us. So I thought I would go ahead and post this.

Many times when I've shared with others about my experience with infertility, one of the most common thing that comes up is adoption. "Why don't you just adopt?" or "What's wrong with adoption?" I want to be clear here, that I am not against adoption. I think adoption can be a blessing to many couples. It's just when I'm asked about it, I never know quit how to respond. All I know is that we are not ready to move that direction yet. We may in the future. Why I'm not ready yet? Well it's hard to say or explain to people the emotions involved with making this important decision. (Especially when they don't or will never fully understand.) I also feel like adoption has gotten a bad wrap by the media. I remember watching a Dateline episode of an adoptive couple, that was murdered, and it turned out to be their adopted son was the killer. Or a recent show on ABC, Once Upon a Time: The adoptive mother was portrayed as the "evil queen." This kind of media portrayal of adoption doesn't help either adoptive couples or birthmothers. It instills more fear. But even without the influence of media, fears about adoption are completely normal. The problem is that no one ever talks about them. Just like infertility is taboo to talk about, so is talking about adoption fears. To be perfectly honest, what is holding me back from adoption is my "adoption fears." So to help myself feel not so alone in this, and to help others understand my fears, I decided to make a little project out of this. I googled "adoption fears." I copied and pasted certain parts I felt were representative of my fears. (Though some "fears", I will agree are a little absurd; keep in mind I did not come up with these lists myself.) So here's what I came up with:


1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.

3. concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone’s safety.

4. reverential awe, esp. toward god.

5. that which causes a feeling of being afraid; that of which a person is afraid: Cancer is a common fear.


    1. FINANCIAL FEARS is this going to be affordable?

    2. DECISION MAKING FEARS about adoption routing. How to we spend our money wisely and choose the right professionals for us? What about

    using the internet? Advertising? Mass mailings?


    a. Fear a child will not become available to you.

    b. Fear of openness/open adoption

    c. Fear the biological parents will change their

    minds and take the child back.

    d. Fear the process will take too long.

    e. Fear you will be too old to parent or be


    1. Fear of pressure to take "any" child.


    a. Fear the birth mother will not take good care

    of herself during pregnancy using drugs, alcohol,

    or poor nutrition... also smoking.

    b. Fear about the genetic background as being

    inferior to your own.

    c. Fear the child could be emotionally disturbed.


    a. Fear you won't bond to the child

    b. Fear you'll have doubts this is "as good as"

    c. Fear you will later conceive- and should have


    d. Fear your adoptive child may later choose

    birth parents over you.

    e. Fear the biological parents may seek contact

    and disrupt your bond with the child.

    f. Fear you won't love this child as much as one

    produced biologically.


    a. Fear your family won't accept an adopted

    child, especially if racially different.

    b. Fear you will be stigmatized and others will

    doubt your "real" attachment and parent role.

    Fears stem from the pain of LOSS or possible LOSS.

    Steps to healing and repairing: It is important not to be "victimized" by losses in life. Life always has "speed bumps" and "detours." Action steps include:

    Grieving, Grieving, Grieving

    Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge is power

    Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

    Support Groups, Therapy when needed, Rituals

    Credits: Ellen Roseman


    • I couldn’t love another mother’s child the way I love my own.
    • If I have an open adoption, the birth parents and grandparents will know where we live and will have more reason to return to take their child back in the later years.
    • If I have an open adoption, the birth parents may feel like they have the right to discipline my child.
    • If I admit my weaknesses as a parent and as a spouse, an expectant mother will think less of me and will never choose me as an adoptive parent.
    • Being overweight makes me less appealing as an adoptive parent.
    • One day my (adopted) child will tell me that she wants to live with her birth parents and she wishes she’d never been adopted.
    • The birth father will contest the adoption.
    • The birth mother will change her mind at placement and choose to parent.
    • The birth grandparents will convince the birth parents to not place for adoption.
    • My family/my husband’s family will treat our child different because he was adopted.
    • I won’t feel a mother-child connection.
    • An open adoption means that a birth mother can come by the house unannounced any time to see her child and expect to be given certain rights; we’d have no privacy; she’d want to live with us.
    • A closed adoption means my child will have severe psychological issues of not knowing who he is or where he came from and be bitter because he didn’t know.
    • An open adoption is giving my identity away to strangers whom I do not know or trust.
    • No one will ever choose us because there’s something wrong with us (our child is too old, we have a biological child, we’ve been waiting too long).
    • Our pass-through expenses (extra expenses we agree to pay if the birth mother needs it) will simply be too expensive.
    • The age gap will be too large between kids
    • Getting to know birth mothers and expectant mothers means I’m trying to be coercive and make myself look good.
    • Being an adoptive parent means I’m a baby snatcher.
    • Being an adoptive parent means I think I’m entitled to another mother’s child.
    • We will never adopt.
    • The birth parents will live too far away for an open adoption.
    • The birth parents will live too close and the adoption will be too open.
    • Using an adoption agency means that I’m trying to buy a baby, and the caseworkers are coercive and try to lure expectant mothers in.
    • All adoptees are bitter.
    • All birth mothers eventually become bitter.
    • If I take a gift to an expectant mother when I first meet her, it will look like I’m bribing her. If I don’t take a gift, it will seem like I don’t care.
    • I won’t know how to be myself around a birth mother.
    • Being myself will turn an expectant mother “off.”
    • Networking on the internet will surely lead me to scams.
    • Advocating for adoption will mean that all the adoption “meanies” will attack my blog and my family.


    1. Fear of "not knowing"

    Women will express the fear of "not knowing" where their child is. This fear is often perpetuated by movies and dramatic stories of children ripped away from their mothers never to be seen again.

    The terms of adoption are drawn up by you and the adoptive parents you have chosen for your child. These terms will give you as much or as little contact with your child as you both agree upon. Knowing where your child is will depend upon how open or closed you want your adoption to be.

    Placing your child does mean that after finalizing the adoption, you cannot, by law, turn around and demand your child back. It does not mean, however, that you will never have contact again.

    Reading the real-life stories of women who have actually placed their children in modern-day open adoption agreements will alleviate, to a great extent, this fear.

    To read these stories, click here.

    2. Fear of Child Abuse

    Consider that children living with their own biological parents have not had them screened for suitability. Most couples who have their own children will never go through the grueling quality controls and screening that couples seeking adoption will have to go through. Nor will they pay the huge legal fees that adoptive parents will have to come up with. Adoptive parents cover the entire cost of the adoption process, even if the birthmother changes her mind at the end of the process and decides to keep her baby.

    The demand for newborn babies and the risk of legal liability is so great in Canada today, that fear of abuse doesn't need to be a concern in your decision to adopt.

    3. Fear of Rejection

    Many women fear that their child will be angry at them for "giving them up" to adoption. Today, however, birth mothers have the opportunity to explain their decisions to their child, either in a letter or in person.

    When given detailed reasons why adoption was chosen, a child can come to an understanding that all parties involved in the process acted out of love and the desire for the child's happiness.

    This kind of openness and dialogue is extremely important in the child's development and often leaves them with a profound sense of being loved.

    Testimonials from adopted children show not only their depth of understanding about why they were placed for adoption, but they demonstrate an immense gratitude for the sacrifice that their birthmother made on their behalf.

    To read some of these testimonials click here.

    4. Fear of Unbearable Loss

    Many women express the fear of suffering unbearable pain and loss after the long nine-month journey with their child. One cannot deny the fact that there will be pain and that the mother will grieve for the loss of her child. But there is loss with parenting and abortion as well.

    A young mother who chooses to parent will also suffer loss. She will lose her ability to live without the responsibilities of parenthood. There are many sacrifices that a single mother will have to make, including financial sacrifices. She may lose the friends who do not have parenting responsibilities, and who can live a more carefree existence than herself. She may suffer the inability to spend her money and her time as she chooses. There are many losses and joys to consider with parenting a child.

    Abortion also brings about a deep sense of loss, that is often unanticipated by the birth mother. Many women suffer for years following an abortion. They may suffer from feelings of guilt, anxiety, anniversary grief, reoccurring thoughts of their child, or of the abortion procedure itself. Many women feel a deep sadness that their child is not alive and wonder what the child might have grown up to become.

    So with each choice comes a closing of the door to other possibilities. Again, reading the stories of birth mothers who have placed for adoption might help to alleviate the concern about pain and loss.

    Experience shows that women who have made a carefully thought out decision to adopt, who have acted for the right reasons and who have received good counseling will not regret their decisions. In fact, in cases involving successful adoptions, many women see their situations as incredibly enlightening and are extremely grateful and humbled by the experience of having made such a difference to so many lives.

    Check out the stories from these women yourself.

    5. Fear of Painful Pregnancy

    Many women fear having to go through nine months of pregnancy. How will the pregnancy change their bodies? Will they gain weight that they will be unable to shed? Will they have stretch marks or other medical problems resulting from birth and delivery?

    And then there is the gossip factor that can be paralyzing. What will people say when they find out about the pregnancy? These fears are a reality, but they can be worked through with the help of a skilled counselor and with peer support from other women in a similar situation.

    It is true that pregnancy will affect the woman's body. It is true that people might whisper and talk about an unplanned pregnancy, especially if the woman is still in high school.

    This is where good counseling becomes crucial. Finding a pregnancy care center with programs and an active support group is essential. Counselors can help a young woman through all of the stages of the adoption process and give her the tools she needs to deal with the possibility of gossip and the fear of pregnancy and birth.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Bad Timing

    Of all the times to get an eye inflammation, of course it had to be the time during my "2 week wait." UGH!!!! Really?! So I have a weird eye inflammatory disorder called iritis. It flairs up on me every once in a while. It's been 4 years since I had this last (of course right before Marc and I went on a cruise.) This stupid eye thing keeps coming up during the worst time. And I can't wear my contact lens!! I HATE wearing glasses!!!! It causes redness and irritation to sunlight, entering from a dark room to a light room causes pain, pain/pressure behind my eye. The eye drop meds. for it makes my vision blurry in which ever eye is affected, but it beats getting permanent vision loss, or damage. Maybe it's been a blessing in disguise, because I've been focusing on my eye pain more than this IVF 2 week wait period. But it's also got me paranoid. "Are the eye drop meds. okay to take if I'm prego?" The doctor said there are no studies on it. "Maybe my iritis is a bad sign, like since I have inflammation, maybe my immune system is on alert and it's going to kill off my embryos." I'm frantically googling "iritis and infertility." Or I thought on a positive note: "my sister-inlaw was unable to wear her contacts during pregnancy because they irritated her eyes...maybe I'm pregnant? " The eye doctor wants to do a work up on my to try and find the cause of this iritis. But until then I'm wearing my glasses and no eye make up since I'm doing eye drop meds on the hour/every hour.

    And to add to the stress of this, the day this flared up on me, my doggies also tried running away twice! I had a little bit of a breakdown Wednesday night after the second time they ran away. My poor husband was trying to track them down, while on the phone with the eye doctor, and dealing with my mental breakdown. It hurt even to look at the light glaring from my cell phone, so he also helped me call/text people at work and help find a replacement for me so I could go to the eye doctor. I originally had an appointment for today, Friday, but I couldn't wait that long. Iritis is serious and I could loose my eye sight. So I'm glad I went in to the doctors sooner. I was trying to hold off long enough so I didn't have to miss any more work. But I heard that yesterday, the day I was gone for my appointment was a hard day at work. So I'm kind of glad I missed it.

    On another frustrating note: I've had some spotting today. Now I'm thinking, great! IVF didn't work. I'm probably trying to start my period. My one sister-inlaw, whose been through this infertility/ IVF as well, reassured me that it's probably okay. My other sister-inlaw bleed really bad the first month with my niece, she didn't even realize she was prego until a month later because she thought she had a period. My spotting did subside. I did buy a preggy test today at the grocery store, I was wanting to wait till Sunday to take it, but I'm half tempted to take it now. I know last time with IVF, I was prego, and the preggy test did indicate pregnant, but it took a long time to show up, so I knew last time something was wrong. My HCG level after the blood work came back at 20, which it needs to be at least 100 to be considered a viable pregnancy. So I know if I take a pregnancy test now, it might not mean anything. Plus I've got all these hormones in me that the nurses said could through off a home pregnancy test. So I really won't know for sure until monday, anyway.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Trying to be Thankful.

    Here I am, day 5 post embryo transfer. I'm still doing okay, despite the sad news that our 4th embryo did not make it to a blastocycst. So we will be unable to preserve any embryos from this cycle yet again. The embryologist whom I talked to reassured me that they did transfer the best embryos, and that this embryo not making it has no reflection on how the other three embryos will do. It was enough to make me a little upset. I cried for a little bit, because this is likely the last time we will do IVF, and we won't have another shot at it.

    It's hard not to get a little discouraged. I've also been getting some cramping as of yesterday and today. Although the doctors did say a little cramping or spotting post embryo transfer is normal and could occur over the next couple of weeks. My mind is still racing as to what this cramping is. Is it due to implantation? Or is my body trying to reject the embryos? Sorry for the TMI, but my nips are still a little sore, so that's a good sign I'm thinking. Or is it because of the hormones? It is so hard not to be paranoid and read into these symptoms. Imagine what 9 months of pregnancy is going to be like for me? (If I get lucky) Or anyone facing pregnancy after infertility, for that matter.

    I am trying to be grateful that we at least have had the opportunity to do IVF twice. I know there are infertile couples who can not afford to do this. I read of a woman in People magazine who lived in poverty and suffered from infertility. She also suffered from several miscarriages, which ultimately led her to go crazy. Fertility treatments were too expensive for her, and adoption was even more expensive. Sadly she kidnaped a baby girl from a couple in fear that she would never have a child of her own. She did have a son of her own later on. Her kidnaped daughter eventually figured it out that she had been kidnaped as an infant, around the age of 18 I think. And since then, the woman has been sent to prison. Although what this woman did was a terrible, horrible, horrible thing, and rightfully was punished. I can't help but feel sorry for her. I know exactly what she was going through and there was no help for her. She probably felt so alone.

    I'm thankful for the financial help we received from family members to help us with our first IVF. And while my husband was out of work. We've been blessed in so many ways. I'm glad we were able to do IVF again on our own, without needing help this time. I know if it doesn't work out, we could always adopt some time in the future. (Though it may take some time for me to get to the point where I want to adopt.) I'm thankful certain things have lined up for us to do IVF again. One in particular is that I am finally feeling well again. I don't feel depressed. It took me a LONG time to feel well enough to be able to handle doing IVF again. To have the strength to face this, despite having two miscarriages. And although I will be sad and grieve if this does not work out for us, I don't want to go down that black hole I was in again. I want to move forward with our life together.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Embryo Transfer

    Our embryo transfer was yesterday. I had a mix of emotions of both excitement, nerves, and calmness. During the morning while I was getting ready, the words of Celine Dion's song: "New Day" came to me while I was in the shower. This song she wrote about her first son, through which she received via IVF. Then I thought about how she did IVF 7 times to get her recent twins...Ugh, I don't think I would have that kind of strength. (or money) The words "waiting for a miracle to come" was what stuck me the most and I started to get a little teary eyed. But then I was like: No. I'm not going to do this. So instead I thought of Adam Lavine/ Christina Agulara's song: "Like Jagger." Now that song just makes me want to DANCE! Thankfully changed my mood quickly. :)

    On the drive down to my appointment there was a red Hummer that switched lanes in front of us with a tire cover that read "Think Positive" So that has been my mantra. Not only literally thinking positive, but also "Positive" as in pregnancy test.

    The actual procedure was pretty easy. Easier than a pap smear. We saw our embryos or "babies", as our doctor called them, on a TV screen. I love how the doctor referred to them as our babies. Very sweet. Which is SO cool to see them magnified on a TV srceen, by the way. And then we saw the embryologist suck them into a tiny pipet via the TV. He handed them over to the doctor, and before we knew it, we were done. I didn't even feel anything. They gave me some Valium and I was pretty much out of it for the rest of the day. Marc and I stopped at In-and Out Burger on our way home to eat lunch, but I don't remember much after calling my mom and texting a few people. I was out of it until 7pm. I almost forgot, I do remember soon after I got into the car to go home that 80's classic song came on the radio, Real Life's "Send me an Angel". I thought how appropriate for our situation. Marc made me dinner and we watched War of the Roses.

    Today, day #2 of bed rest I've just been taking it easy. I have to admit, it has been pretty nice. I've been in a good mood so far, but I'm starting to get a little board. I've been in bed mostly. Slept in till 9am, watched a little of the Today Show and Price is Right. (PLINKO!!!!) Listening to music with a little facebook, and viewing pictures of our recent vacations...Oh St. Thomas how I miss you. Watched The Devil Wears Prada. And hung out with the doggies outside on the lawn chair. It's such a nice day outside. Anyway, now I'm back in bed again, here blogging...since I'm board. :) I'll probably call Marc and my Mom and bug them a little. :)

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    IVF Egg Retrieval

    IVF Egg retrieval was this morning. The doctors only retrieved 9 eggs. We need at least 6 of those eggs to be good enough to fertilize. We will hear back from the embryologist on Sunday to give us an update, and hopefully we will schedule our embryo transfer for Monday or Wednesday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my prayers said. I'm a little sore and I'm walking around holding my tummy...I'm a wimp. But over all I'm doing fine. My doggy Isabelle has been laying on my tummy and her warm body feels good on my sore tummy. Marc took me out to a late breakfast after my surgery. It was this cute little place called "Eggs in the City." Quit fitting for our situation. Our eggs are literally in the city (SLC) right now. Hopefully becoming our babies. I am planning on attending the temple tomorrow. We will just wait and see.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Finding a Balance

    My last ultrasound appointment went okay today. I'm a little discouraged because my left ovary is not cooperating. My doctor has been trying to find a fine balance between stimulating the left ovary, without overstimulating my right ovary. After today, it sounds like my left ovary follicles are not going to be good enough to fertilize. We won't know for sure until the day of the egg retrieval, which will be Friday morning. We not only need a miracle to get pregnant, but we need a second miracle to get my left ovary follicles to grow large enough.

    There was some discussion regarding whether or not we will retrieve enough eggs. If we don't retrieve enough eggs, (at least 6 good eggs), we might consider doing Artificial Insemination instead. If this is the case, I don't know what to do. We could continue with doing this IVF cycle, but knowing that our odds are very low to even get a viable embryo. Everything until now has been fairly easy. After my appointment, I did a little retail therapy at the Gateway and spent way too much. All I know is that I'm doing everything I can do. Marc gets to stab me in my upper butt tonight with "Big Bertha" needle tonight with the HCG shot. Tomorrow night I get a break from injections. (Yeah!) And Friday morning will be the big day of the egg retrieval and hopefully the embryologist will be making our baby(ies). We will have more answers then.
    I can't help but beat myself up for waiting too long to start trying to have a baby. I wish I would have listened to my mom, and not taken advice from other couples to wait to conceive. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long after our first failed IVF to do a second IVF cycle. My eggs really are soggy. :( I'm only 31, but it feels like my eggs are like I'm 41. Left ovary, PLEASE COOPERATE!!! You only have 36 hours to grow those follicles!!!

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    People Watching

    I love people watching. Being that I've been through fertility treatments before, I love sitting in the waiting room and watching other couples. (Flipping through a magazine in hand, so I'm not obviously watching.) We all know why we are here. There is like an unspoken awkwardness. Especially for they guys. I giggle to myself if I see a guy in the waiting room by himself...waiting for his "appointment." I know I shouldn't, but come on...It is kind of funny. I joke that the husbands have the easy part. But then my co-worker pointed out they do have the hard part of supporting the wife with her emotions from all the medications.

    Yesterday, for my ultrasound appointment, I saw a couple come in for their pregnancy test. It was kind of hard not to over hear what they were there for, since they were the only ones in the waiting room with me. They were very well dressed, the husband in a suit, and the wife in a dress. They must of had somewhere to be afterwards, like a wedding event, or they had just come from the temple...assuming they were LDS. Who knows? They both looked so nervous, however the husband looked more nervous than the wife. His knees were bouncing like crazy in his seat. Seeing them there took me back to a year ago, when we came for our pregnancy blood test, waiting for the results. I wish the fertility clinic would have prepared us more for that day. I don't like how you come in for a blood test, and then they send you away, and say they will call us with the results within a few hours. I wish they would have more resource information regarding help when things don't turn out. It would have been nice to know about (The National Infertility Association) Information for online support groups, etc. They do give you a counselor's referral in our folder with all the IVF info. But who wants to pay someone more money? And honestly, I feel like a support group has been more helpful than counseling. It was like we walked away from it last time, after the miscarriage, going "Now what?" I'm truly grateful I found a support group. As that couple left the fertility clinic, I wished them good luck, as they did for me. I silently said a prayer for them after they left.

    Speaking of people watching, I probably fell victim to someone else's people watching. I felt so stupid! Like I said earlier in my last post, the injections on my belly cause swelling and redness around the injection site. Because of this, the drive down to Salt Lake to go to the fertility clinic for my appointment was uncomfortable. I had unbuttoned my jean shorts and half way zipped down my zipper so it wouldn't put pressure on my sore stomach. Forty five minutes later, by the time I finally got there, I had forgotten I unbuttoned and unzipped my shorts. I got out of my car, and saw a couple walking out of the clinic, and as I got closer to the door, I saw my reflection in the glass door with my shirt flipped over to the side, and my pants wide open! Ah!!! Yeah! I felt so stupid. Anyway, just trying to keep some humor in this whole situation. I can laugh at myself at least.

    So to update on where we are at. We have 9 immature follicles at this point, which the doctors are watching closely as they grow. That's why I keep going in for ultrasound appointments. My right ovary has 6 good follicles. My left ovary looks a little sad, with three follicles. The doctors are concerned that my left ovary is not responding as well. We need at least 6 good eggs, to make this worth while. Last time we had 12 eggs. 8 of those fertilized, and out of those 8 embryos, only 3 survived, 2 looked good to transfer, which we did. And the other was poor quality, so we decided to discard it. I was hoping for more this time, but I knew it was doubtful. It is probably unlikely that we will have enough embryos this time to preserve as well. I think we will transfer as many embryos as we can get! Hopefully, if we are lucky, we will get 3 good embryos to transfer this time. We started the cetrotide injections, which will help prevent premature ovulation. And I will go in tomorrow for another ultrasound to see where we are at. Wish me luck!

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011


    This week we started our injections for IVF #2. I can say that my apprehension has kicked in now. Not because I'm afraid of needles, but it all just seems like it is coming up so much sooner than our last IVF cycle. My acupuncture appointment helped calm me down thankfully. This time around we are doing an Antagonist protocol. The doctors usually use this protocol for people like me who are poor responders to the medications or have diminishing ovarian reserve. I have both those problems. The good thing about doing the antagonist protocol is that there are less injections. :) But because of that it does feel like it crept up on me too quickly. Now that I've finished the birth control pills (to help my body adjust to the hormone medications) Here is our schedule:

    This week:
    Start FSH and HGH hormone injections Monday. Daily Repronex, Siazem, and Gonadal RF Ultrasound Thursday to determine when to start Cetrotide. (to regulate)

    Next week:
    Week of egg retrieval. Continue injections until told my follicles are mature. HCG injection 24 hours before egg retrieval. Fingers crossed! Egg retrieval and ICSI done by embryologist. Babies being made in petri dish! Start Progesterone injection intramuscularly (Big Bertha needle!/ Crazy hormone. Cue the emotional tears.)

    Following week:
    Transfer week...a.k.a. Knock me Up!!! Depending on what the Doctor determines, we may do a day three embryo transfer as early as Sept 10th, or a day five embryo transfer as early as September 12th. (better odds with a day five transfer.) The days we do all this is closely monitored by the Doctors, and determined by what day my follicles are mature enough.

    So far I am doing okay with the injections. They are tiny needles that go subcutaniously in my belly, so they aren't bad. The only one I don't like doing is the Repronex. I get red welts around the injection sit, which is a normal reaction, and it hits were my pants hit at my waist. Urr! But no bad reactions. I don't feel weird or emotional at all yet. Like I said earlier, I've been calm mostly up until now. That may change once I start the progesterone. I was crazy on that last time. But at least I'm prepared for that. LOTS of comedy movies!!! I just hope things go well. I hope my body responds well to the medication. I hope we are able to retrieve enough healthy eggs. I hope I don't go into ovarian hyperstimulation. I hope I don't have a lot of pain after my retrieval. I hope we have enough healthy embryos to cryopreserve. I hope my embryos will implant in a healthy location. I hope they implant the first time. I hope my body won't reject the embryos. I hope they grow. I hope God allows those spirits to join our family. I hope for twins. I hope I can carry them full term. I hope I won't have another miscarriage. I hope if I do get pregnant, that I will be able to enjoy being pregnant, and not stress out about having another miscarriage. I hope for healthy babies. I hope my doggies will like being a big brother and big sister. I hope Isabelle won't go into depression since she won't be the "baby" anymore. I know Sebastian will be okay. He loves kids.

    I know what our odds are. The Doctors say it's about 60% successful, but that is a "human statistic." I know it is 100% up to God if this works. I'm just trying to do all I can do to fulfill his commandment. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon, 1st Nephi, chapter 3, verse 7 "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (thank you Kiersten Daines for pointing out this scripture in your book.) I don't know how our little spirit children are going to join our family: whether biological or adopted, I just know they are there, and I'm going to do whatever I can to get them to join our family. There are times when I can feel their presence.

    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Still on Schedule for IVF #2

    My hysteroscopy surgery was this past Friday. They found nothing! The Dr. believes that what they saw on the ultrasound was just a bubble or air pocket from the sonohysterogram appointment. Probably because my uterus was contracting so much during the procedure, it formed this bubble. I don't know. They said everything looks good, so we are still on schedule for IVF this month. A week of worrying went to waist. But I can say that I'm glad we did the surgery because, if we didn't, we would know if my uterus was okay to transfer embryos to. Now we know everything is okay.

    I get to start my injections this Monday. Since we are doing different medications (Antagonist), this round of IVF I won't have to do as many injections. But they are stronger meds, so hopefully I won't have any bad reactions. I had a screening ultrasound appointment yesterday and we determined that we will do ICSI with our IVF cycle this time. (ICSI is injecting the sperm into the egg, rather than just letting the sperm swim around the eggs in a petri dish with a regular IVF cycle) Even though my husbands sperm can fertilize my eggs at 100%, the fact that I have a diminishing ovarian reserve means that they may not be able to retrieve as many eggs. The embryologist can pick out the healthiest sperm, so it would be in our best interest to do it. (Anything that can improve our chances. ) Since I have sucky eggs.

    My appointment was a little exhausting. They also train you how to do your injections at this appointment. They sent me over to the pharmacy to pick up my meds, but the pharmacy was a little confused with the human growth hormone injections. They did not have the "brand" of HGH that the fertility clinic prescribed, and taught me how to use. They were also confused how I was suppose to get five days of injections out of one vial. So they sent me back to the fertility clinic, so I can get instructions on how to mix the meds and give myself injections with this different brand of HGH. Turns out that the pharmacy was suppose to give me five vials, not one vial of the HGH. So I had to head back to the pharmacy to pick up four more vials. I felt like I was being bounced around like a ping pong ball! Like I said, EXHAUSTING. But better to be safe than sorry, right. Sometimes I wonder about medical people and their miscommunications...Ugh! Anyway, now I get to play chemist, mathematician, and doctor in my bathroom. Mixing meds and giving my self injections! Yeah! Luckily needles don't scare me. I will just have to review the online instructions a few times to make sure I'm doing all this right. On top of all this madness, I got to pay for everything! Lets just say this baby or babies will be nicknamed "Car-payment-baby/ies" IVF #2 here we go!

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Sonohysterogram Appointment

    Sonohysterogram: the word itself is scary, the actual procedure is even scarier! It is a procedure where the evaluate the uterus by using a balloon and saline to outline the uterus to look for any abnormalities. They say it's comparable to a pap-smear. Wrong! Much worse. The first time I had this procedure done was about a year and a half ago. I passed the test, but barely. I had a tiny polyp, which they said was nothing to worry about. If it were bigger, then they would be concerned it would block and embryo from implanting. All I remember was how painful it was, but worth doing it again a second time to see if the polyp had gotten any bigger over this last year or so. Especially before we do IVF again.

    My appointment was this past Friday. Marc had to work, but luckily my mom was in town to go with me. I had taken the Advil like I had been advised an hour before my appointment. (I took 800 mg, even thought they told me 400mg should be fine.) I feel like I'm one of "those" patients that the Doctor's don't look forward to because I don't do well with pain. You know, like at my job, at the dentist. I know certain patients are difficult to get x-rays because of a gag reflex, or have sensitive teeth. "TLC" patients. I'm a TLC patient at the Fertility clinic. I'm sure of it. The nurse takes me back and request that I fill the pee cup to take a pregnancy test. Wouldn't that be awesome, I thought! Then I could just skip all this and go home! But then again the reason why I was here is because I can't get pregnant and I'm currently taking birth control pills to gear up for my upcoming IVF cycle. Highly unlikely. Yep, negative! So that means I can't get out of doing this appointment. Dang it!

    So my doctor proceeds with the sonohysterogram, my mom to my left, with me squeezing her hand. I did okay and I tried to focus on my breathing. It was painful. Even with 800mg of Advil in me. At one point the doctor asked me if I wanted him to stop. But I persisted, because I wanted him to get the information he needed. He was seeing something suspicious on the ultrasound, but couldn't get a clear image. We tried a Lortab to see if it would help with the pain. But unfortunately it wasn't working fast enough. He told me that my uterus was contracting (like a gag reflex) and was something I couldn't control. Even with all the Advil and slow breathing. So this made it difficult for him to proceed. I tried hard to relax and he was able to get some images on the ultrasound. I sat there watching him capture some images, and taking measurements on the ultrasound, but he seemed concerned. I jokingly said! It's cancer! Trying to take the ease off the stressful situation. He said it might be the polyp, but was unsure still. He tried hitting it with the catheter, and then tried flushing it with saline. (Which killed by the way.) I could feel my body trying to pull away, which wasn't smart. I could tell that he didn't want to hurt me so he stopped. He then told me that it would be best if I came back so they can put me under, and go inside with a camera to get a better image of what was in my uterus. Whatever it was, they are going to need to surgically remove it. Thankful that it was over, I got dressed and waited in the room with my mom.

    I sat there with my mom waiting for him to come back in the room. He was taking a while, so I went up to the ultrasound to get a good look at the images he had still up on the screen. It looked like a three bulges of white ovals on the screen and a atrophied sack around it. My doctor came back into the room. He told me that it was probably one of two things: one being that the polyp had gotten bigger, or two, it could be calcified embryonic tissue. It is possible that with my last D/C surgery after the miscarriage, that they were unable to remove all the tissue, and there was some that remained and calcified. (But that doesn't make sense to me, because my HCG levels had dropped down to zero after my D/C, and I had an empty sac last time. There was something in this sack on the ultrasound.) It is possible that I had another miscarriage and was unaware of being pregnant. He said that the nurses will call me back on Monday, (today) to schedule an appointment for me to come back to do surgery. This may also delay my IVF cycle by one month to let me heal. So, I've got a week of unknown ahead of me....what is this in my uterus???

    So now my head spinning. It's probably just that polyp we've been watching...just the polyp, just the polyp. Nothing to worry about. But if it is calcified embryonic tissue, was it from a year ago with my last miscarriage? Or is it from a new (3rd) miscarriage? How long have I been carrying around a dead tissue in my uterus? And of course, this is stirring up old emotions for me regarding my last two miscarriages. I've been looking back to see if I missed something. My cycles have all been on time, or within a day or two. I do remember having an emotional break down in February or March and telling Marc that I felt like my emotions were out of control. Similar to when we did IVF the first time with all that progesterone in me. I would be fine one moment, but break down in tears the next moment for no reason. I remember specifically telling Marc that I felt like I was having another miscarriage, even though I had no proof. Just that my emotions were similar to that when we had that miscarriage. But I don't know if it was just my depression from infertility that was messing with me, or if I really did get pregnant that month and didn't know. All I know was that I was grieving. Grieving hard. I'm also now thinking: Great! Does this mean that if we do IVF again, am I going to have another miscarriage? (confirming all my fears about doing this again.) However, if it calcified embryonic tissue, whether from a year ago or new, I still think I'm okay to proceed with IVF still. I feel like I grieved it and I'm ready to move forward. I'm done with grieving. It just kind of sucks, that's all. But on the bright side of things, the doctor did find something and maybe that will get us closer to achieving our goal of being parents. Who knows at this point. I'm going to try not to let myself think about it. It's probably just the polyp, right?

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    A Glimpse into Our Future.

    Today was a day I would like to label as "A Glimpse into Our Future." We met with our new doctor at the University of Utah for an IVF #2 consultation. He is the head of the reproductive endocrinology department at the University. Just by luck, we were able to get into seeing him, since our other doctor no longer works on fridays at that clinic. I felt more at ease this time. Maybe because I know exactly what we're getting ourselves into this time. We aren't traveling through uncharted territory, so to speak. Been there, done that. Let's do it again, for kicks and giggle's. Literally, "baby kicks" in the belly, and laughter and "giggles" of a child or two. :)

    He is recommending trying some new medications, and possibly upping my dose of meds. from our last IVF cycle. Also, he is recommending transferring three embryos this time. Which we totally agree with if we are lucky enough to get three, since my follicle count is low. Even so, with transferring three, the chances of getting pregnant only go up 5% more than if we were to transfer two. And the possibility of actually having triplets or more is still low, so we feel like it's a risk worth to take. So now we look forward to starting our second IVF cycle soon.

    Funny thing: when discussing with the doctor, he talked about how recent studies are showing that stress can effect the success rates of IVF. (No duh!!!) As previously thought a year ago that stress had no impact on having a successful outcome with IVF. Looking back a year ago, we were full of stress during our first IVF attempt. Fast forward to present, and I would say we are in a good place, happy, and living without that same stress load. Let's be realistic for a moment, I'm not saying that just because I'm less stressed means that this IVF will work, but it does up our chances. The doctor then proceeded to say that I should do things to help reduce the stress while we go through our second cycle. He said "some people like to meditate (check), yoga (check) , read scriptures more (could work on that one) know, like don't go and build a house or anything during your IVF cycle." My husband and I both looked at each other and laughed. Funny, being that we are thinking about building a home. We've already met with an architect. We haven't moved forward with anything yet, but we are still in the dream stage of things. I don't think we will proceed forward with the house, until we know the outcome of our IVF cycle. But it does give me something to look forward to afterwards, and keep my mind off of my infertility/and or pregnancy. Especially if we don't get prego. But the doctor did say that the dream stage is good. We had a good laugh.

    So on our way home from our consultation appointment, we accidentally missed our exit off the freeway, as we were goofing off, singing in the car. Marc can really rock a song, by the way. We figured while we were headed that direction anyway, we would stop by and look at this model home we are basing our floor plan design around. We're tweaking a few things with our architect. Anyway, the last time we had looked at the home, it was in the framing stages. Now it is complete. Of course it was beautiful, and just as I had imagined walking through it the first time with the rough framing. I could easily picture us in that home. It does get me excited to move to that new stage in our lives together. Wouldn't it be great if we got pregnant, and built this dream home of ours? Ahhh, dreams and wishes. If only they can come true like they seem to do for other people. All those disney princes stories we were told as a child of happily-ever-after. But it is good to have hope and something to look forward to. I don't expect everything to work out like we wish for. I'm trying to be realistic. But it's nice to live this fantasy world in my head for awhile. To have a glimpse of hope for our future, where hope did not exist before.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    50 Months of Trying, Ugh! (I'm tired of dealing with this.)

    In yoga today, I was in a deep meditation. I'm seated with my legs crossed (indian style) in front of me with my palms pressed, centered to my chest. We were in a breathing/meditation exercise and were instructed to breath deeply in and out. As we took a breath in, we were guided to bring our arms up and out above our head. And on the exhalation, bring our palms back to heart center. We were to repeat this several times. This is what I was visualizing and meditating upon:

    As I breathed in and stretched my arms toward the heavens, I imagined reaching into heaven for my child. My baby. And as I exhaled and brought my arms back in towards my chest, I imagined bringing that baby down to this realm, on earth, to be with me, in my arms. On the next breath in I imagined something completely different. As I reached my arms back up towards the heavens, I imagined my infertility, in the shape of millions of butterflies, escaping my body and sending them out and away from me, and as I exhaled back, with my palms to my heart. I felt peace.

    What struck me differently about this meditation is that I've (of course) always meditated about pregnancy and a baby during yoga, but I never before meditated about my infertility. It was like I was saying goodbye to my infertility for a moment and it felt so good. Like I didn't care about it anymore. My infertility wasn't controlling me.

    I do have to say that these last couple of months, I have been feeling better. But I think it's the result of a few things. One, obviously, I'm on some "happy pills". But two. I've made the decision to rule out living childfree. Living my life without children just isn't for me. I've got too much "motherly talent" in me that it would be a waste if I didn't have children. In fact, even my name Ra'Chelle stems from the Hebrew name Rachel which literally means "motherly" (if you were to look it up in a baby name book.) I think that decision alone has helped me come to terms with Plan B: Adoption. If I can't have biological children of my own, then of course I would adopt. I'd adopt tomorrow if I could. I think what is holding me back from adoption at this point is that we have unexplained infertility. It would help if the doctors had an answer for us as to why it's difficult to get prego/ and maintain a pregnancy. But since I've been pregers twice, I have reason for hope. Having unexplained infertility is not allowing me to have closure and move on to Plan B. But I think I'm getting so tired of my infertility, that I'm getting closer to moving towards Plan B.

    We did meet with an adoption agency last week, just to get information, so obviously I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I can't say that I was inspired to move towards that direction yet, but it did get me thinking....We could always sign up with the adoption agency, and if for some reason, we got called because a birth mother was interested in us as a potential couple to place her child, we could always make the decision to say yes or no. If we weren't ready, we could pass on the opportunity, till it was right for us. But I was a little intimidated by the fact that some couples have been waiting almost up to 4-5 years in some cases. And I don't like how writing up an adoption profile seems like you are having to compete with other couples. It seems to me like these adoption profiles are like "Christmas brag letters." (Look at us! We're a fun couple! Choose our family! Look at all these fun pictures of us!) If it were up to me, I'd have each couple fill out a standard personality questionnaire/ likes and dislikes/ interests... so the birthmother gets an idea of what these people are like, and have pictures to see what they look like. That way it would be less biased. And if I were a birth mother choosing a family, I'd look for a couple that looked most like me and the birth father of the baby or go by a strong feeling that that's couple the baby needs to be with...but that's just what I would do. But whatever...I'm not in those shoes. And I'd rather be in my shoes than hers....That has got to be one of the hardest things to do. But I won't let my mind go there.

    Anyway, so Plan A: IVF again! Yes I've made the decision to to it again!!! I did it. I made the appointment for the consultation. July 22nd! It's with a different Doctor this time, so we will see. I guess all I can say is that if if doesn't work, at least I gave it my all, and I will know that I at least tried. It's better to regret something you did do than to regret doing something you didn't do. So I'd rather regret spending the money on this expensive procedure and know that I tried, then not doing it at all. I know it sounds like I don't expect the IVF to work, but it's hard to get my hopes up. Either way, I've come to the conclusion that I will become a mom. Whether it is through IFV biologically, or through adoption.

    I've just come to the point, like I've said earlier, that I'm tired of dealing with the infertility. I'm ready to move on. Move to that next phase of my life. Our life together as a family. What's funny is that I've added up in my head how many times we have "tried" unsuccessfully. If you think about it, we've been trying to get pregnant for a little over 4 years now. We started trying in April of add that up in your head: 4 years, that's 48 months plus May and June equals 50 months we've been trying to get pregnant! Ah!!! That seems crazy! Theres got to be some point where I'm going to have to realize I may not get an answer why we have difficulty getting pregnant. I may have to accept that "unexplained infertility" is our diagnosis. I might have to accept that we may not get an answer. That scares me. But in order for me to move on to Plan B, I may have to come to terms with that. All I know is that I'm done dealing with infertility. It's escaping me slowly, like a weight is being lifted as these "infertility butterflies" are flying away from my body. (Please Pray for us.)

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Going back and forth...stuck somewhere in the middle.

    So I'm stuck somewhere in the middle. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not in a hurry to move forward with making any decisions regarding our infertility, but definitely out of the funk from the past, and not looking back. And feeling a little better thanks to some new "happy pills." I would say that being somewhere in the middle is like taking a step upwards out of my depression. But being in the middle means I'm going back in forth in my head in regards to a lot of things. Do we do IVF again? Am I ready? Some days it's yes, some days it's no. Do we look into adoption. Do I want to adopt? Some days it's yes, some days it's no.

    But I will say the one thing I know I'm ready for, and that is to be a parent. And I know I'm willing to do anything to get our babies here. We've already made the decision that the option of living childfree is not in the picture for both of us. We don't like the idea of a donor egg or sperm, I'd rather adopt. And I wouldn't mind using a surrogate, but it's so freaking expensive. I know some day I will have a child. But I know that having a child, whether biological or adopted, will not cure my infertility. And if I did miraculously have a biological child, the infertility will still be there when the time comes that my child asks for a brother or sister. I've come to accept that my infertility is something that will be a life long battle. It will always be there. Learning how to cope with it, and incorporate it into my life is, and continues to be a challenge. I don't think my insecurities and emotions from my infertility will ever go away.

    One thing about being in the middle is that it is safe. No risks, no changes, everything is the same. I'm still not pregnant and probably won't get pregnant without help. What's frustrating is that we still have unexplained infertility. I feel that's one of the reasons why we haven't moved forward with another IVF is because I'm afraid if we do it again, the same thing will happen and I'll have another miscarriage. We did do the expensive genetic testing and it came back normal...which is good, but bad in that they still haven't found out why it's been so difficult to get pregnant or why I've had two miscarriages. And where I've been pregnant before, I still have hope. I wish they could find something wrong so I could get closure, or make it easier for me to want to adopt. If I knew my uterus was incapable of carrying a child or I had ovarian cancer and had to have all my female organs removed so I could never get pregnant, I could morn it and move on with adoption. But because there is no "diagnosis" and everything looks "normal" it's hard for me to move on. Because I've been pregnant, I still have hope. Ugh, I hate hope.

    My more humorous side thinks that having a surrogate or adopting would be great. Then I wouldn't have to worry about my body going out of whack with stretch marks and hormone changes. I wouldn't have the stress of being pregnant and constantly worrying if something is wrong or about having a miscarriage. I'd skip the scary labor part. Nor would I get postpartum depression. (I apologize to people ahead of time if I ever do get prego. I WILL be one of those annoying paranoid pregnant women/moms who will need a lot of TLC from the Doctor's office.) I've jokingly said that I think Michelle Duggar, from TLC's 19 Kids and counting should be my surrogate.

    I called and tried to make an appointment the other day for an IVF consultation on one of those days I was feeling gung-ho about doing IVF again, but their computers were down, so I have to wait and call back when their computers are up and running again. Maybe it's a sign I should wait. (I'm always looking into "signs" with my infertility.) Haha. Who knows? Anyway, I'm still somewhere in the middle...not sure what I'm going to do. :P I think I want to do IVF again, but if it doesn't work for us, I want to get to the point where I can be more open minded about adoption. To be honest, adoption still scares me a little. All I know is that there is no where but moving forward into my future...sometime in the future, but just not right now. Now I want to stay safe in the middle. No risks, no changes, everything is the same, safe in the middle.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Royal Wedding

    Okay, so you can laugh at me, but I have to admit I was somewhat intrigued with the whole Royal Wedding thing. Yes, I was one of those who woke up early to watch it at 2am, only to fall asleep after one hour of watching guest arrive. Blah! (Thank goodness for DVR!) If I would have known I was going to be watching a bunch of who's who and a hat-fashion show for an hour, I would have skipped it and slept in for an extra hour longer! Anyway, but don't worry, I wasn't obsessed to the point that I bought into any "Royal China" with pictures of Kate and Will. But I did watch the Lifetime movie about them. ;) Maybe the reason why I've been so into the whole thing is because they are around my age and it's that whole fairy tale and carriage. But as we know, life after marriage isn't always a fairy tale. Of course there are the joys in marriage that make it a fairy tale, but no one talks about the difficulties after marriage, like infertility. As a little girl, I was spoon fed princes stories with happily ever after, and I ate it all up. Anyway....

    So I posted a comment on facebook that I've been thinking about lately. I said "Congrats to Will & Kate! I thought the Royal Wedding ceremony was beautiful! But there was a lot mentioned about children. I hope she (they) don't have to deal with infertility. How would that be for pressure?" My friend posted a comment back telling me about a co-worker who grew up in Japan. She said "My co-worker grew up in Japan and got to witness the country's hype over their princess and her inability to concieve again after her daughter was born (of course, everyone was waiting for the boy...) she said it ruined the princess mentally and physically, the stress of being in the public eye under that type of scrutiny" and "Yes, and that was part of her point, that the press in Japan focused soley on the princess, as if it was her struggle alone..."

    Kate is 29 years old. By her age, I had already been trying to get pregnant for 2 years, now I'm at 4 years of trying. I really hope they don't have to deal with infertility. I'm sure with the amount of money that went into their wedding, if they had to, I'm sure they'd have enough money to make sure a "Royal Heir" was doing IVF over and over again till it worked. The thing that I like about Kate and Will is that they come across as a very normal couple, in a not so normal way of life. I'm sure they would do things "their way" and not the "old fashioned-expected-because-it's-only-propor way." So if, for instance they did have to deal with infertility, I could see them doing it their way, or breaking the "rules" a little. (surrogate/donor egg/adopt.) Like they "broke the rules" regarding their wedding vows by omitting the word "Obey." :) But who knows, under the pressure of being royalty and producing an heir, and in a lot of cases a "male" heir, I don't know what I would do.

    As we learn, there is a lot to be learned about the past. And infertility has been around since biblical times. So I've already talked about biblical characters who've suffered from infertility, but there are others in my family history that have suffered from infertility as well. I have two aunts who were unable to have biological children and chose to adopt. My grandfather's sister along with her husband to live child free. But if we dive further into my family history, yes we find Royal's who dealt with infertility in their own way. They've even made movies about these people! And I'm kind of a geek who like those kind of movies. Even if the movies aren't completely accurate, since they are movies, they make for good stories. I am english, french and scottish and german, I think that's all? So basically I'm a european mut. From what I've been told, we have a family history connection to the english royal line. And I've been told I'm also related to William Wallace. Yes "Braveheart" William Wallace. So the two movies that come to mind are "The Other Bolyn Girl" and "Braveheart." In The Other Bolyn Girl, King Henry the 8th divorces his wife Catherine for not being able to produce him an heir, and marries Anne Bolyn who went crazy trying to get pregnant and had several miscarriages. She tried to get her brother to sleep with her to get her pregnant, that's how desperate and crazy! And both were beheaded. Her sister, Henry's mistress Mary, I believe gave birth to a girl: Elizabeth. Or maybe it was Anne's daughter? I can't remember. Well, anyway that was his only child he had that was of royal line, so it must have been Anne's daughter. I'm sure King Henry would never admit, but he probably was the source of the infertility. And then in Braveheart, though the princes was not infertile, her husband the prince was a homosexual and according to the movie, didn't even have sex with her. That would be very difficult!!! I'm sure she felt a lot of pressure to reproduce an heir! So how was she to get prego? Handsome Mel Gibson (William Wallace) of course! There are two other movies that I like that also involve infertility: "Marie Antoinette" with cute Kiersten Dunst and "The Dutchess" with Kiera Knightly. I'm not sure if I'm related to either one of these women, for that I would have to ask my mom. Since her side of the family is big on family history. Anyway! Talk about the pressure of having to produce a male heir!!! Ah!!! These women went through extraordinary and difficult things, and I have a great respect for them because I can relate. Even crazy Anne Bolyn. So even though I have infertility, others have experienced it. I'm not the only one, even if it sometimes feels like it. I'm just glad I'm not a royal. :P

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Interview for

    So here are the interview questions and answers for being interviewed by
    How long have you been dealing with infertility?
    My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for four years. This struggle has included two miscarriages, thus far. My first miscarriage was after a year and a half of trying, while I was on clomid. The baby had no heartbeat on the ultrasound, and had stopped growing during week six. Though I had a miscarriage, which was difficult, I thought: "Hey I got pregnant, it'll happen again!" So we optimistically continued to try, and try, and...nothing. Finally after a year after our miscarriage, and no pregnancy on clomid, we sought the aid of a Reproductive Endocrinologist at The University of Utah, Reproductive Center. We did a few rounds of IUI's without results, which led us to do IVF. We did our first IVF cycle in May 2010 which resulted in my second miscarriage. We were devastated. What also makes it difficult is that we don't have an answer or diagnosis to explain why I have difficulty getting pregnant and maintaining pregnancy. We have unexplained infertility.
    What has been the most hurtful thing someone has said or done? How have you responded?
    Oh my goodness, I have a list. I'll try to keep this short and straight to the point. There are eight types of responses I've come across so far. Type 1: The Smug Mom-they brag about how easy it was for them to get pregnant. Type 2: The Joker-they feel uncomfortable, so they try to use humor, but in actuality they are humiliating you with their comments. Type 3: The Blamer: They validate everything bad you have thought about yourself. For instance: "You waited too long." Type 4: The Miserable Parent-they complain how hard it is to be a parent. Type 5: The Know-It-All. They say "Have you tried this or that?" or "You should try this or that." Type 6: God's Messenger- They say "Maybe it's God's way of telling you that you won't have kids and you should adopt." Type 7: Overly Anxious Person-who once you tell them you are struggling with infertility they will constantly check in on you. "Are you feeling okay today?" Type 8: The Innocent Child-in their world, only a mommy, a daddy and brothers and sisters exist. They don't understand and are confused that you don't have children. The most hurtful people I've come across so far have been Type 1, 4, and 6. There is no one or right way to respond because it depends on the situation. Sometimes I keep my mouth shut, while other times if I'm brave enough, I try to educate them about infertility.
    What has been the most valuable thing someone has said or done? How have you responded?
    Most of the time when I open up to people about our struggle with infertility, all they want to do is offer solutions. "Have you tried this or that?" Which is not helpful. But I have one really good friend who just listens to me. She doesn't judge or offer solutions, she listens and validates me, my fears, and my hopes. The most valuable thing has been having someone who listens.
    Where have you found strength? How do you cope?
    I find strength and hope through my own mother and my miracle "baby" sister. I am the oldest of four children, three of which she had no trouble getting pregnant with, but after my sister JaNae was born, the doctors found that she had endometriosis. I witnessed my mother struggle eight years following her third child to try to conceive again for a fourth child. Even I, at the age of ten can remember feeling as though someone was missing from our family. When I was ten she had a miscarriage, and finally two years later, and despite the doctors telling her that she wouldn't be able to have anymore children, she got pregnant with my baby sister Jessica. I feel the same way now, struggling with infertility. That someone is missing in our little family. I often will have dreams of a child, in particular a little girl, and being a mom. I try to draw strength due to my belief that the little spirit that is going to join our family is trying to tell me that they are there and waiting to join us too.
    Of course the experience of infertility is filled with troubles, what has been the most challenging part of your journey?
    I would say the most difficult and challenging part of infertility has been dealing with the roller coaster ride of emotions. Depression and isolation. Hope followed by disappointment, month after month, year after year. Especially when I finally saw a positive pregnancy test, only to find out I lost my babies. It's easy to let yourself finally become numb and lose faith. Women are already emotionally hormonal beings anyway. Add Infertility to your life, and your emotions are exacerbated ten times. One minute I'm fine, and the next minute, some thought or comment can trigger an emotional breakdown. Some days are so difficult that I just want to go home, straight to bed and cry. I recently began seeing a therapist whose been able to help me work through my grief and break down my barriers of fear.
    The teachings of the Gospel are centered on families, how have you made sense of infertility within this framework? How have you found a place of belonging when it is easy to feel isolated and so different?
    In all honesty, I do feel very isolated at church so it is difficult for me to answer this question. I not only feel isolated at church, but in society in general as well. I have, however found a place of belonging which is with my infertility support group through
    What advice would you give to other couples dealing with infertility?
    Reach out and find others going through the same thing. Find a support group! Don't be afraid to open up about your struggle with infertility. Silence only makes it easier to isolate yourself and fall into depression. Talk to each other, and let your spouse know what you need or don't need from them. Take time to listen to what they need. For instance: My husband and I are on different pages when it comes to adoption. He's ready to adopt now, and I am not ready to take that step. We would get in arguments all the time about it. It wasn't until I listened to what his needs were, that I realized he needed to be reassured that I wasn't going to wait till I was 40 years old before I was going to consider adoption. I reassured him that I would do what ever it took to become a mother and that becoming a mother was more important than me becoming pregnant with our own biological child. I told him that I needed him not to pressure me into adoption when I wasn't ready for it. I told him that I know adoption is great and I see the good that comes from it, but seeing that adoption has helped other people doesn't negate the fears I have about adoption. I have to work through those fears before I could be ready to take that step. Even though we had a disagreement, by talking with each other, we are now on the same page, and we understand one another.
    What is something you have learned that you would have not learned otherwise?
    I've learned that I can not blame myself. I could try to find some lesson to be learned from this trial, but this is life, and part of life is suffering. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I could torture myself with all of my imperfections and past sins to find a reason why we're struggling with infertility. But that is what Satan would want me to do. I know Satan wants to project his depression on us because he will never be able to have a family of his own. Keeping an eternal perspective is what allows me to see beyond my grief.
    Infertility is just one realm of life. What is another realm where you have found joy and great fulfillment?
    I try to take care of myself where I can. So I exercise, yoga, swimming, take my dogs on walks. I go get massages periodically. My husband and I like to travel. (when we can afford to.) I also blog about infertility: to get my feelings out there.
    Is there a scripture or Conference Talk that has been particularly helpful and comforting to you? Which one? Why?
    Ironically the Ensign, April 2011 issue recently came out with an article on infertility, by Melissa Merrill called Faith and Infertility. Normally when I get the Ensign in the mail, I flip through the articles and all I see are articles relevant for families with children. Usually it gets set aside with all the other unread Ensigns. This article was exactly what I needed. In all honesty I have lost a lot of faith. It was inspiring to read about other couple's who have struggled with infertility as well and who were so candidly open about their battle with infertility. One woman admitted she felt anger towards God. Another questioned their own personal spirituality and tried to find reason or fault with themselves, for their cause of infertility. I have felt all those feelings. I also try to remind myself that the Bible does not include too many stories about women. But the few women who are mentioned in the Bible are women like Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth who also struggled with infertility.
    Is there a quote that has been inspiring to you?.
    "And now as I said concerning faith-faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things: therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." Alma 32 vs. 21
    "41. But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from your afflictions." Alma 34 vs. 41
    How has this adversity changed your marriage? What have you done to strengthen your marriage?
    When my husband was going through months and months of unemployment, I saw how it affected him. No matter what I did, I could not help him. I saw him feel as though he had lost his identity. No matter how many resumes he handed out, it was still out of his control. There was only so much he could do. Likewise, going through infertility has been a similar process for me. I've felt as though I've lost my identity as a woman. Despite all the fertility treatments we sought, it is still in God's hands to deliver us a child. We have learned to connect on a deeper level because of these trials and can relate to one another's frustrations.