Struggling


This little blog here started after our infertility journey had begun. It was a long journey, so that’s not surprising. I actually started writing prior to turning 30…which magically, I have still not done. #still28

Since the beginning of the infertility challenges, we kinda went through it all. Along the way we “passed” people that were lucky enough to not have to take all of the steps we took.

First, was trying for a year. At the time, we were young and all the numbers checked out fine so the docs said, “get.it.on”!! For the record, no doctor actually used that terminology. 

Next, was Clomid cycles. We actually had good friends that (at the same time) were successful using Clomid to get things going. I’ve read several blogs with other medical challenges (which we don’t have) who have also had success, multiple times, using Clomid.

There were months where we “stopped trying“, like so many people advised as well as months of holistic paths, which didn’t work either. As time went on and more invasive procedures and even exploratory surgeries to take a more aggressive approach, Dr. Le felt like we needed more intervention. Which ultimately lead to IVF and THANKFULLY The Nuggets.

That story has already been written though. My struggle comes from almost a jealous place. Forgive me Lord.  I hear people talk about infertility and I immediately think,”well what’s the story, because if it’s not like mine… then they had it “easy””.

I seem to forget I’ve also read stories about couples going through 4, 5, or 6 cycles of IVF and others who never conceive and I can only imagine they think my struggles were easy.

I want more children. At least one more but it’s not like everyone else and its not easy. I hoped we’d be one of those couples that, as Dr. Le put it, just had to get things going and would be able to conceive the old fashion way but alas, that has not been the case.

We have limited chances and I’m scared of what happens when those chances run out. Sometimes, I don’t accept my infertility and that it’s a problem. When no one can tell you why, it leads me to false hope.

I’m SO grateful for my Nuggets and I have to remind myself it’s not my story to write. God has written it already and it’s perfect.  If the boys are the completion to our family then I will learn to accept and cherish all I’ve been granted.

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Xoxo

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More Children

I once read a quote that said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”.

He probably laughs at me quite a bit.

I’m always making plans.  I want to do XYZ this year. Then, next year I want blah, blah, blah and so on…

I’m one of three children.  I’m the middle child; does that shock you at all? I have two brothers and we’re all four years apart.   Momo said that she wanted her babies, to be a baby before introducing another baby.  Makes sense.

kin

Although my brothers and I are all good friends now that we are adults, it wasn’t really that way growing up.  I mean, what 8 year old boy wants to play with his 4 year old little sister?  It was a little different with my younger brother and I because what 5 year old girl wouldn’t want to love on a baby brother?  Switch it back again; what kind of relationship will a 14 year old boy have with a 6 year old younger brother.  It’s too big of a gap. My plans were always to have my kids close in age, to hopefully encourage tight friendships at younger ages.

There it is again, my plans.

My mom is also the second oldest, of eleven.  You read that correctly.  E L E V E N.

How awesome is it to be part of a big huge family?  Very. My grandmother was pregnant for 20 years practically.  She obviously had zero infertility issues.  Talk about built in best friends.  Shoot, that’s an entire basketball team.  All of my aunts and uncles are pretty close but I know relationships changed from when they were kids to adults.  My mom moved out, along with several of the oldest siblings, when the youngest were still in grade school.  That would have apparent effects on relationships.

People ask me all the time if we’ll have more kids.  One of my (31 first) cousins has four children.  She once told me that people have actually commented to her, “There is a way to prevent that you know.” Like she needed to be enlightened to the idea of birth control.  We have other good friends that have three daughters. The mom told me that people always assume, and comment, that their third little girl was an accident.  What would happen to the world if they have another one!  Gah.  What is wrong with people? Why is it that anything more than 2 children is SO outside of “normal”? WHATEVER.

Now, even more that we have children, I want more. I read a blog on Scary Mommy recently that cracked me up. It was a mom of three claiming to be crazy because she wants more children.

It’s not for everyone. A friend of a friend has one child and she told me, “Just having one made us realize that’s all we want”.

The boys couldn’t be any closer in age. Two minutes is pretty much as a close as you can get.

But since my plans never really go according to plan…I’m not sure what’s next. Do we want more? Yes. How does that look for us? I don’t know. Will it mean more fertility treatments or dare I consider it actually happening without assistance?

Will it even happen at all?

That’s up to Him. I have to constantly remind myself that whatever the outcome is, there is a greater plan in play.

These guys would make such good big brothers.

reading blog

XOXO

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Too Soon

I cannot believe The Nuggets will be an entire year old next week.

It doesn’t feel like an entire year has passed since the night my water broke, and in the wee hours of the morning, I was finally able to embrace them in my arms.

Since then, a lot has happened.  Obviously.

Weston Lain is a whopping 22 lbs, 6 oz and is 29″ tall.  That puts him in the 75-95 percentile.

I mean, who wouldn’t think I’d have tall kids?  Duh.  I’m 5’11”.

He is also starting to take very cautious steps but hasn’t coordinated more than one or two.  He had TWO more teeth come through on the bottom this week, which has also made him, let’s just say….feisty.  That brings his teeth count to a total of eight.  Weston is eating pretty much everything I put in front of him.  Except eggs.  When he puts scrambled eggs in his mouth, he immediately opens wide, puts his tongue out and eggs come tumbling down into his lap. He does like chicken nuggets, cheese, cheerios, waffles, toast as well as, all the usual fruits and veggies we’ve been munching on since about 7 months.

Corbin is still my little peanut.  Josh actually got me a peanut charm for my bracelet after the boys came home from the NICU.  My little guy, that started off at 4 pounds, is now rocking in at 20 lbs even and is 28″ long.

He is musically inclined like The Hubs (this mommy had zero to do with that) and even though he seemed slower to get moving, I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Weston started walking around the same time.  Corbin is also mimicking your words more closely.  He watches your mouth intently when you are trying to encourage him to say something.  He says ma-ma! Although, I’m sure he doesn’t actually mean me.  He is waving bye-bye as well and it melts my heart.  Corbin’s smile is an adorable snaggle tooth grin.  His two teeth on the bottom still and three on top, with one of his front teeth missing.  When it comes to food, Corbin is a more finicky eater. If you give him time though, he will usually eat whatever you give him.  Even eggs!  Not a fan of green veggies unless there is apples mixed in with them.

I have two very healthy and happy boys.  And although it feels like it’s too soon for them to already be a year old, it feels like a million years ago that we struggled to get to this point.  I call it selective memory….remember the good, try to forget the bad.

Mother’ Day

Wow.

My first Mom’s day under my belt.
We didn’t do anything special. Went to church. Thought about going to brunch but instead made a drive by…saw the lines of people waiting and decided breakfast at the house would be just fine.
The Hubs got me beautiful flowers.
And a card that was uber sweet. It said something along the lines of “you, and our family, are my happily ever after”.
Awwwe. So cute. Don’t gag at the mushy-ness.
No really. I cried.
The Nuggets. Well they’re my boys and nothing could be better than having them this year.
I can’t seem to put into words my emotion.
Shows my awesome writing skills.
I mean, just look at them…
Being a mom is something I always knew I wanted to be. I never stopped to think  that it would be anything except something that happened naturally…and exactly when, and how, I wanted it to occur.
In mother’s days past, I’ve been wished a “happy Mother’s Day” by cashiers or waiters and had to grin and bare it. Squeak out the word “thanks”, while tears threaten behind my eyes. Some people have the approach that Mothers Day is a day to celebrate all women but to me, (and I can have an opinion) it is truly a day to celebrate and appreciate moms.
I waited a long time to be called Mommy and therefore it’s hard to put into words how fantastic it feels to be able to celebrate Mother’s Day, as a mom.  (No the Nugs are not saying Ma-Ma yet.)

Now to the lady that helped make me the super-awesome-totally-talented-mom-wife-friend-woman I am today…

Mary Maureen Momo Margaret Pellatt Maltz
Don’t let her little stature trick you, she is a force to be wreck’n with. I love her. Thanks for all you’ve done and all the things you continue to do for me. Here is to a great Ma/Momo!!
Actually, here’s to all the Mom’s out there!!
Xoxo- Lindsey

What A Difference A Year Makes

So last year’s Valentine’s Day was ultra super duper special. Our retrevial took place on V-day and the transfer five days later. The rest is history 🙂

Going back and reading my own posts brings tears to my eyes.  I was so desparate. Scared. Nervous.

Now I’m just uber thankful and completely and totally in love.

I’m still so in love with The Hubs.  The man that supported me and loves me more than words can express.  He continues to support me, encourage me and love me.  He’s a great daddy too.

And I’m also in love with those two little embryos 4BB and 5CA….


that grew and grew and became Weston Lain and Corbin William

 


Valentine’s Day may be a fabricated Hallmark holiday but it will definintely have a special connection to the Allen Family. 

Fluttering

More like skipped a beat altogether, but fluttering was happening! Ultra sound number two went great!  I’ve been released to my OB-GYN so I can progress to a normal, happy pregnancy!  :o)

It’s official.  The Allen’s have twins on the way.  We got to see the Nuggets and even got to see/hear the heartbeats, which I was not expecting, so my giddy-ness hit new heights.  Let me add, as the doctor walked in, I was wiping away tears after hearing my stupid car’s transmission needed to be re-built and it would cost us $4000.  I just felt like we can’t catch a break here.  Then I was quickly brought back to the positive when we saw all that fluttering.  We are telling the Maltz side this weekend and then The Hub’s side the following weekend.  So we’ve still got it under wraps.  We’ll make it social media public in a few more weeks.  I’m bursting though. 

As we left yesterday, I totally hugged Nurse Nina and Dr. Le and said thank you a billion times.  I sort of felt strange though because we were in the open part of the office and there were other patients around.  Since I don’t know where they are in their infertility journey, I was nervous about making them feel bad.  Then I thought, well hopefully we will give them confidence in IVFmd and their staff of miracle workers.

After leaving cloud 9, it was back to reality and dealing with my car.  We purchased a used Buick Enclave in Nov 2011 and the thing was a damn lemon.  Then we learn that the transmission needs to be re-built and I think, “no biggie, that falls under power train warranty”…except it was a 5 years/100,000 miles warranty.  I thought it was just 100,000 miles and therefore our warranty went up in January. Two stink’n months ago.  With $4000 worth of repairs, we said forget it.  We were so upside down and it turned out to be just not a good investment.

So now I’m cruising around in this….


2013 GMC Terrain

It’s really nice.  It’s a lease.  I’m worried the money piece of it was a dumb idea again but we were really in a pinch and didn’t have many options.  I’m not a person that does debt well.  I like to live within my means or even under it so this has been really hard for me.  But with two nuggets on the way, we needed something reliable and safe.  It’s much smaller than my Enclave but equally as fancy (if not nicer) with all the bells and whistles.  In three years when it’s time to trade it in, then we’ll see if we made another horrible financial decision and go from there.

Lots of changes and lots to look forward to in the future. I’m so excited.  So excite.  But also really, really nervous.  We go from no children to two at once!  I’m good with it because with the past 5 years of trying I was worried we would have only one child.  Which is hard, ask anyone who is an only child. But twins!  That’s like a built-in-best-friend! :o)

Oh The Suspense!

So let me tell you how Friday went.  I asked the Hubs to come with me because I was nervous how I would react to bad news if we received it.  We get there at 9:00 and my heart is racing, palms are sweating, anxiousness galore.  I’m trying to be positive and believe that I’m pregnant.  I mean, I had one symptom (sore abs??) so that is a good thing. 

I thought, obviously, we would get the results at the office that morning.  Nope.  Melissa drew my blood and then said they would call us around 11 am.  OMG.  Emotional roller coaster.  So the Hubs went to work and I went home, I took the day off, to chill out.  I distracted myself by doing chores and reading a book.  11:00 am comes and goes and no call (except the Hubs).

At noon (finally!!) Melissa calls and I can just tell by her tone of voice she had good news.  She said beautiful words to me, “congrats Lindsey you’re pregnant”!!  I was beside myself.  Very very very happy.  Melissa also said not only was it a positive but I had a quite high beta number – 556.  What that means, is the amount of HCG (pregnancy hormone) in my blood.  The importance of that is, if the number is low (less than 25) it could be a chemical pregnancy.  No chance in that with a number as high as 556!  Additionally, a more “normal” number is around 100….I had 5X that! Such positive news!

As soon as I hung up I burst into tears, got down on my knees, thanked God and then called the Hubs.  He was elated.  He was at lunch with a coworker and after I shared the news there wasn’t much more to be said at that point.  After we hung up, he continued to text me periodically throughout the day… “I’m so excited”, “I didn’t think it was ever going to happen”, “I love you so much”, “I cannot believe how happy I am”.  When he finally made it home, he had brought me three bunches of flowers (I like the make the arrangements myself) a giant hug, and a huge smile.  Although I always wanted to “announce it to the Hubs in a special way (positive pregnancy test as a gift, little baby socks, etc.) due to our journey, this was equally great. It was a really fantastic day, I love you baby.

The Hubs and I disagree on announcing this to family yet.  I would really really like to wait at least until the end of March, which would put me at 8 weeks.  Still not out of the “danger zone” but much better.  The Hubs doesn’t understand my fear of having a miscarriage and then having to discuss it with other people.  He doesn’t understand how hard it would be for me.  He says, “just tell people you don’t want to talk about it”.  Well I have to talk about it as soon as they ask how the pregnancy is going and, God forbid, it’s not, ya know?  So we’ve agreed (him reluctantly) to wait and tell everyone at Easter.

Today, I went for my second blood draw and they are wanting to see the number more than double.  I will get a call around noon with the results and also to schedule my next appointment, which would be my first ultrasound to look at the little Nugget.  If everything goes well, I’ll be released from IVFmd to my Ob-GYN and hopefully have a normal, wonderful pregnancy.

How do I feel? Emotional-wise I’m: amazed, blessed, nervous, super happy, anxious, ecstatic all rolled into one.  Physically, I just have the sore abs and a bit of cramping.  That’s it.  No nausea or anything (woohoo) but I should probably wait to see what is to come before I celebrate.  A fellow IVFer that had her baby last year said, be cautiously optimistic – I feel like that’s appropriate.

This journey of life is about to make a HUGE change and we are more than excited!

Patience (or Lack There Of…)

So let me tell you how this two week waiting period has gone for me.

First, I’m pregnant!! I can just tell! Power of positive thinking! Research the Internet on percentage of success rates on first IVF.
Next, I feel exactly the same.  I have no symptoms, there is no way I’m pregnant.  Research the Internet for anyone else with no symptoms. Learn about people who’ve had to go through SIX IVF treatments.  Positive thinking going down the drain…
Then, maaaaybe I’m pregnant.  I don’t have the “typical symptoms” but I do feel different. More Internet research.
Now, I’m so in my head it’s not even funny.  I’m not pregnant one minute and the next I am.

I don’t know if this my way of trying to cope with getting a negative beta result on Friday or not.  I started off only being positive and thought that it would be the best approach.  But then one evening when I couldn’t distract myself enough from thinking about it, I broke down.  I guess I just admitted to myself that it might not happen.  IVF isn’t magical and it definitely isn’t a guarantee.   The percentage of success for a couple like us, are the best they can be, but they are still only 60%.  That is not that great. 

Today is Wednesday.  The doctors and nurses at IVF MD told me NOT to be pee on a stick before my appointment on Friday.  They stated so many times people get false positive and false negatives because of all the drugs.  I would be devastated if I had a false positive…buuuut sometimes I think it would be better to get the negative news at home where I can bawl my eyes out in peace verses trying to keep it together in front of the nurses and anyone else in the office.  I’m too nervous and afraid of getting a negative so I’ll just wait until Friday.

My experiences so far (Warning: possibly TMI):

  • After the transfer, I was bloated and slightly sore for about a day.  I stayed on the couch allllll day.  Insert the Hubs awesome nursing skills again.
  • The remainder of last week, I worked from home and took it easy.  My ovaries were still sore, I was still bloated but not as bad and some of the weight gain had started to decrease.
  • I think it was Friday evening I had a major cramp that almost took my breath away.
  • Saturday we ran a few errands but halfway through the day, I was done.  I felt like maybe I was over doing it b/c my ovaries were uncomfortable again.
  • Sunday we did church and then since the weather was nice, we went to the park.  We only walked around leisurely for about two mile but again, I was done.
  • This week, I’m back at work but I feel more bloated.  Like half of my pants don’t fit and I’ve been living-in-yoga-pants-kind-of-bloated.  I’m worried about Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (the name is pretty self explanatory).  My abs hurt, kind of like I did a lot of crunches but not quite the same type of “pain”. Maybe more like when I stretch they feel really tight…? Maybe from sitting on my butt so much?
  • I don’t have any more cramps, I haven’t had any bleeding (possible sign of implantation), my boobs aren’t especially sore, I’m not nauseous and I don’t really pee any more than normal. Ugh!

I have two more days.  I can make it two more days.  I asked the Hubs if he would go into work late on Friday so he would come with me for my blood work.  Mostly because I will really really need his support if it’s a zero.

Transfer Complete

Yesterday was the big day. Dr. Le was very positive and hopeful, as are the Allen’s.

These are the lil embryos that were placed

The embryologist came in and told us that they both looked beautiful.  The lil one on the left was a 4BB and the one on the right was 5CA.  You and I were thinking the exact same thing…what the ????  So she explain after The Hubs looked at her like she was an alien and said, “uhhhh what’s that mean exactly?”

It’s the ranking of how good/far along the embryos are at the time of placement.  The number is how far along in the stage it is, 1 being not far along at all and 6 being the egg is hatching.  (Yep, we humans hatch our eggs too.)  So 4 and 5 were really ideal.  The two letters are harder to explain and I’m not going to try except that DD is really not good and AA is the best.  Again, our’s were pretty ideal.  We also have 7 other embryos that are being frozen.

The rest is kinda history.  Dr. Le said again, “I expect you to get pregnant” he also added “otherwise I don’t know what to do, everything we’ve done in this IVF cycle has been just right“. That is both encouraging and slightly worrisome <– except I'm not worrying (huuuuummmmmm).  He showed us a picture that a previous patient gave him and it was the picture of a 3DD embryo that was hers.  Next to the pic of the embryo was a pic of an incredibly cute newborn.  Dr. Le told us we would never have recommended placing that embryo but it was her only one and her last option.  Miracle.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading the Life blog over the past year and I feel that it really puts things into perspective for me.  And it says a LOT of things I need to hear.  I seriously read the posts over and over again.  I keep thinking I’ll permanently change the way I view things (that’s the goal).  I digress.  What I feel is a common theme throughout their philosophy, is something along the lines of, it’s okay to fail.  It’s okay when things don’t work out.  It’s more important to focus on what you do after the failure/disappointment,etc. Whatever failures happen in your life, only set you on the path to success in another way.  I’ve come to peace with the fact that IVF was what we’ve been faced with on our path.  It became our only option and all the other years of trying to conceive got me to this point.  I’m stronger because of them and need to embrace that the past cannot be changed and the future cannot be controlled, I’m just along for the journey.

Which brings me to the fact that I’m trying so hard not to worry now because, what can I do about it?  Nothing.  It’s done.  It’s God’s work and always has been.  This is really how I need to approach things more often.  I’m a totally worry wart – of the worst kind.

Lastly, I pray that one, or both, of those lil eggs hatch and stick and I’m granted with carrying a child(ren) that I’ve wanted my whole life.  If not, I will most definitely be very very sad but the aforementioned attitude will need to make a come back pretty quickly. 

The waiting game until March 1st is going to be tough but I’m totally on the positive-thinking-train and although I’m aware failure is an option, I’m not focusing on it.  At all.

Huuuuuuummmmmmm

Huuuuuummmmmmm……

I am attempting to stay calm and stress-free.

Howdy. Thursday is go day.

I’ve been to see Dr. Le every day this week and that trend will continue tomorrow, and then Thursday is when it all goes down.

I received a sheet of paper from Nurse Nina with LOTS of instruction for the next 7 days.  Before she gave me the paper (which looked like got into a fight with a highlighter) she said, “Lindsey, take it one day and one step at a time or you will get overwhelmed”.  Do these people know me or what?!

When Dr. Le checked me out today he said, “everything looks great, I expect you to get pregnant“.  I expect it too.  I’m not sure how I will handle it otherwise.  I mean, God only puts mountains in your way you can climb but whoa….  Let’s not go there.

  • Follicles (eggs) look good and there are like 15-20 that are ready (super great).
  • The follicles are HUGE just the right size and I can feel them <– totally weird.
  • Lining looks ideal
  • I’m feeling nice and healthy and I’m ready!

I am sooo ready.  Our Valentine’s Day will be spent doing a bunch of nothing because I’m going to feel like poo.  Whenever I am given anaesthetics I get all nauseous and therefore will be hanging on the couch for the day. 

Although The Hubs is a romantic man (so rare) so maybe I won’t lose all hope as to what he could have up his sleeve.
The key here is…

Serenity