taking a break

It looks like life has helped Mike and I make our decision for the next step. I’ve been offered a seat in a 3-month class which I will attend in place of work, the same class I was offered back in August before we started our first IVF cycle – which I decided to pull myself out of. Since this is the last time I’ll be offered the class I didn’t think it was wise to pass it up once again, so I told my work to sign me up. So all fertility treatments will be put on hold until this class is over. Although we had already discussed taking a break, I was still torn over the decision of putting treatments on hold for 3 months, but I was able to resolve those feelings. I don’t want fertility treatments to consume our lives, and I can’t allow myself to pass up awesome opportunities that I’ll regret later. 3-6 months seems like a long time to wait to start again, but it’ll give me some time to finish up some things I’ve been putting off.

In the meantime, we’ve decided to try to sell our timeshare in Vegas to pay for the next IVF cycle, pending a good genetics screening of course. We’d been talking about selling it for a while, but are still looking for a good company to sell it through. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. If the next cycle doesn’t work, then we’ll most likely move on to IUI with donor sperm. I just feel like we need to give IVF one more shot, especially since my mind is not yet willing to cross that barrier to using donor sperm. I’m sure I’ll be more open to it later, just not yet.

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In other news, we finally adopted a dog. Her name is Cayenne, and she’s a one year old American Pitt Bull Terrier. She’s so beautiful and sweet! I know Pitt Bulls have terrible reputations for being aggressive and mean dogs, but it’s just not true (unless you train them that way, of course). We adopted her from a shelter where she was taken in as a stray. When we visited with her she was just so sweet – and the only dog in the place that wasn’t barking like crazy! We don’t have her home yet since we just got approved by the shelter and she has to go to the vet to be spayed before we can pick her up, but it shouldn’t be more than a few more days now. I’m so excited to get her home. I’ll make sure to post pictures soon.

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One last note on the infertility front – I still haven’t had the miscarriage yet. I’m not sure when it’s going to happen, but I feel pretty adamant about having it without the help of meds. I feel like my body should at least be able to miscarry naturally. I don’t really see any harm in waiting it out. Has anyone had any experience with a blighted ovum miscarriage? How long after you found out did you miscarry?  Any information would be helpful.

to pee or not to pee

I broke down tonight and bought a 2 pack of F.irst R.esponse pregnancy tests tonight.  The box has been staring me down, teasing me to rip it open and take the test now now now!!  But I’m strong and holding out.  Although….I may give in to test tomorrow morning, I have yet to decide.  I just don’t know if I can hold out until Friday. I’m eager to get positive results, not so eager for the negative. The good news is that I have arranged for Friday off, so I can either celebrate or wallow in self pity once I get the results.

In other news, I never heard back from the clinic on whether my embryos made it to blastocyst, but I’m guessing they didn’t since we just received our finalized bill in the mail which did not include the cost for cryopreservation. That’s disappointing because I had really expected to have at least a couple to freeze after fertilizing so many embryos. What a waste! I’m a little confused, too, because my clinic said that not many of their patients (about 10%) have embryos that will make it to blastocyst. But I’ve read online much better statistics for other clinics…some even say they wont do a transfer unless it’s a blastocyst transfer! I trust my clinic that they do a good job (they are ranked top 10% in the nation and have a 40% success rate for live birth according to SART statistics), but it just seems like they would have a better rate of growing the embryos to blastocyst. It may have something to do with the culture they use, but of course I’m only guessing since I know very little on how that works. If anyone has any info in this area, please feel free to share.

Okay, so in a completely off topic discussion not related to infertility, Mike and I have decided to get a puppy! We’ve been talking about it for a long time (years actually), and we’ve finally decided it’s time. We’re waiting until after Christmas since we’re flying to California to see my family, but hopefully we’ll have our new puppy in January. It’ll be like a birthday present for me (my birthday is January 8th). We’ve decided on a Labrador Retriever since they are supposed to be really good with children and pretty easy going. Mike wants a chocolate one, although I think they are all cute! We don’t have any pets now, so we’re starting to do some research on how to train a dog and looking into what we need to buy for the house. I know it will be a lot of work, especially in the beginning raising a puppy, but I’m really looking forward to bringing home an addition to the family.

Alright, that’s all I have. I’ll update tomorrow on whether I went through with the test (and of course the results). Although I might need some cheering up if I post negative results, so be prepared with comforting words.

stressed

Anyone have suggestions on how to relax?  Because I am very bad need of it.  Lately work has been stressing me out to the point where my chest starts feeling very constricted and I get a sort of tight pain.  I try to clear my mind and not think about what is stressing me, but it doesn’t seem to be working.  And to be honest, the things that are stressing me are really not that bad.  In fact, it’s down right overreacting.  But even as I acknowledge that I shouldn’t be so upset, it makes me even more upset.

Is this a side effect of the medicine or of my bitterness over infertility?  Could be a little bit of both.  I think it mainly has to do with the fact that since I can’t talk about what is going on with my personal life, all my anger is being redirected towards work, and I’m starting to hate it.  I used to love my job.  Now everything just pisses me off.  It’s getting to the point where I don’t even hide my irritation anymore.  But it’s not the irritation that I’m worried about hiding…it’s the tears that threaten to present themselves whenever I feel overwhelmed at work that I’m concerned with.  I don’t even like Mike to see me crying, I would hate to humiliate myself in front of all my coworkers.

 So please, anyone who has found ways to relax and manage their stress, leave me some suggestions.  I’m open to (almost) anything.

heart-to-heart

Lately I’ve felt so stressed out and tense, so taught that I could snap at any minute.  After I found out the results of the ultrasound and the canceled doctors appointment, I was disappointed, but not surprised.  Then Mike’s follow up with the urologist got canceled.  Ok, that sucks, but we’ll reschedule, right?  Yet Mike still has not been able to reschedule.  He left a message – no return phone call.  The next day, no return phone call.  When I found out he hadn’t bothered calling again, I almost had a breakdown.  I don’t like myself like this.  I knew I was overreacting, but I couldn’t help it.  My chest felt so tight, and I just stared at my computer for about 10 minutes trying to calm myself down.  Finally, I was able to distract myself enough to calm down, and I dropped it.  I didn’t want to get in a fight over the issue because no good would come from it.  But it started making me question whether Mike really wanted to get to the bottom of our problems – and if he even wanted to have a baby!  These thoughts kept flying through my head, so I deliberated on them over a few days before I realized something….I had never asked Mike if he wanted to go through with IVF. 

Ever since the doctor told me that we would most likely have to do IVF w/ ICSI, I just accepted it.  That day I came home and told Mike the results, and I thought that was that.  When Mike kept reminding me that he still had more tests that could be done, I acknowledged it, but I never expected any real results.  So while the ultrasound was disappointing (only because of the lack of knowledge), I wasn’t all that surprised.  But everytime I mentioned IVF, Mike would brush it off.  I usually just ignored it and kept going forward with my plans (at least in my head).  He even made a comment at one point saying that he didn’t understand how people could put themselves through the emotional rollercoaster.  Although that did make me pause for a moment, I brushed it aside.  I never stopped to consider the fact that the decision needed to be mutual.  That we would both be going through this emotional rollercoaster, and it needed to be a decision that we made together, not just mine.  And to tell you the truth, I realized that I was afraid to ask him, because I didn’t know how I would handle it if he told me that he wasn’t willing to go the IVF route.

 I’m not very good at bringing up emotional subjects that put me in a vulnerable spot, but I knew this one was important.  I broached the topic with him when we went to dinner the other night at the little mom and pop Italian restaurant across the street.  And for the first time, I asked him what he thought.  He explained to me that the thought scares him.  That we could invest so much time, money,energy and emotion for something that may or may not work.  At best, we may have about a 50% chance of conceiving.  While that sounds great compared to 0% naturally, it’s still a lot to risk for a maybe.  We’ll be going into debt and having our lives consumed with it until we get pregnant.   He explained that it’s not that he doesn’t want to do it, but that he just didn’t want to let his mind go there unless it was absolutely necessary.  That I can understand.

I explained to him that the thought scares me that I may not be able to have a child of my own.  It scares me to the point that if I let myself think about it, I start crying.  I am in no way in a rush to have a child, but the thought that it could never happen terrifies me.  So the decision of whether or not to do IVF if it’s necessary is not even a choice for me.  I don’t care if it’s 50%, or 25%, or 10%.  I have to give it a shot.  If in the end it’s just not succesful, I’ll have to figure out what to do next .  However, that’s one point that I won’t let my mind go to.  So I can completely understand why Mike feels the way he does.

We ended up agreeing that we will give IVF a shot if it comes to that.  We don’t know how many times, we’ll have to decide as we go.  But we made the decision together, and a lot of my stress has been relieved.  I’ve heard of marriages ending over the stress of this kind of thing, and I do not want this to come between us.  Having a baby together is supposed to be one of the most wonderful things that can happen between us, and when it eventually happens, I don’t want it tainted with arguments over getting there.

back to the unknown

I’m verrryyy late in posting this, but things have been crazy lately with finishing up my college class.  Mike had his ultrasound on Wednesday, and preliminary results are that it is neither a cyst or a varicocele.  Which is good….right?  Except that now we have no freakin’ clue what is wrong!  Not only that, but Mike was supposed to have a follow up appointment with the urologist yesterday, and that appointment was canceled due to the doctor being in surgery all day.  Mike hasn’t been able to get ahold of the receptionist to reschedule, so now we’re just waiting.  Ugh!  Did I mention that I hate waiting?

Actually, I have been trying not to rush things and get anxiuos about timelines, but now time is actually getting tight.  I have a class that I’ve been offered that starts in early September, which is a great opportunity.  But it’s 3 long months.  And from what I hear, it’s an incredibly hard class with lots of studying and no time off.  I debated for a long time whether I should turn it down, but it’s just too good of an opportunity to pass up.  If Mike and I had more answers and we knew we would be doing IVF during that timeframe, then I would definitely turn down the class.  But right now, everything is put on hold until we find out what is going on with Mike, and whether there is something that can be done to increase his sperm count.  My issue is that I don’t want to find out that we have to go IVF, and then not be able to go to the orientation while I’m in the class.  And we can’t get on the list to do IVF until we go through orientation.  I know I am stressing myself out more than I need to, but I really can’t help it.

Anyway, on a totally random note, I used my reusable grocery bags for the first time today. Yah! 🙂  The grocer was not surprised at all and actually mentioned that he had canvas bags from another store.  And I just found out that Annapolis, MD is trying to pass a law to ban plastic bags, and wants to eventually issue reusable bags.  Maybe people are more environmentally conscious around here than I originally thought.

I did it!

So I’ve been in search of reusable grocery bags for several weeks now, and I finally bought some!  I’m very picky, so there were a few conditions the bags had to meet:

     1) affordable, meaning no more than $10 each
     2) durable
     3) washable
     4) long enough handles to carry on my shoulders
     5) and cute, which these ones definitely are!

I got the recommendation from Annika (a post my sister actually pointed out to me).  I’m waiting on their delivery, which they said would take up to 7 days, but I’m very excited 🙂  I’m trying to make a genuine effort to become more environmentally friendly, and this is one of the first steps I’ve taken.  I also picked up a recycle bin yesterday (I’ve been terrible about recycling). 

My next step is to stop buying disposable water bottles, so I am now in search for good reusable ones.  I did see the SIGG bottles, but they are a bit on the expensive side ($23 each).  If it were up to me, I would buy them, but it’s convincing my husband that they are worth it that is a problem.   I’m of the opinion that we would spend more than that in two months of buying the disposable kind at the grocery store, so why not?  But he thinks we should go down to WalMart and buy the $3 ones.  I’m just worried that they’ll make the water taste funny – I am very picky about the taste of my water!  If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

back to real life

I’m back from vacation in California, where I visited my sister Crystal and her husband Joe, and of course my adorable nephew Jack (in the video from my last post).  It was an awesome trip!  My sister and I went to a spa the day after I flew in, where we got a half hour in the sauna and then an hour massage – verrry relaxing indeed!  After the massage, neither Crystal or I wanted to get up from the tables, so we just layed there for a few minutes trying to get up the strength 🙂  On Saturday, we had a party for Jack’s first birthday, where he got a taste of his first ice cream and pumpkin cake.  He was making some hilarious faces!  Every time he took a bite of the ice cream, his face would pucker up from the cold.  He seemed to like it, though.

The day I was supposed to leave (my flight got delayed), I had Jack all to myself for the first part of the day.  Both my sister and her husband had to work, although Crystal was able to take off from work early.  That was the first Jack and I were alone with eachother for an extended period of time, and I have to admit I was a little nervous at first.  I’ve never taken care of a baby, so I know very little on the how tos of it all.  But it’s went well.  We played with blocks – which consisted of me building them and him knocking them down –, I read him a few books, and then we made pancakes together (well, I carried him on my hip while I made pancakes with one hand – I was impressed with myself).  When he was having a hard time napping, I put him in his Ergo baby carrier and went for a walk, which quickly did the trick.  He’s was very good for me, thank goodness!  He’s teething, so there were time when no one would do except for “maaamaa”.  The teething must not have been too bad the morning I had him 🙂

It feels good to be home, where I can sleep on my comfortable pillow top mattress instead of a couch, but I miss my family already.  I think my nephew made me realize more how much time matters.  The last time I saw him was when he was about 6 weeks old, and it’s amazing how much he has grown since then.  He’s starting to take steps on his own, he’s talking a little – he says “mama” and “dada”, and I’ve been trying  (unsuccesfully) to teach him how to say “Aunt Holly” 🙂  It truly amazes me how much personality he has. 

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