February 6, 2016

IVF #1 Underway

The birth control pills and I were BFFs for 2 weeks. Then... we decided to dissolve our relationship. I have to admit this break up occurred a little quicker than I anticipated; however, I was ecstatic! The birth control pills gave me a constant headache, and I never stopped bleeding! I bled for 15+ days!

The IVF nurse was concerned about my symptoms, so she discussed this with my RE. They decided it may be best to take me off of the birth control. However, there was a concern for the readiness of my uterus and ovaries. So, they had me come in for an ultrasound to take a look. Ultrasound showed calm uterine lining and calm ovaries (and one pesky cyst!). I was freaked out that the cyst would delay our start, but, thankfully, we were given a bright green light!! I was to stop the bcp and start Follistim in 2 days! I was thrilled!

Finally, 'let's get this show on the road'!! 

Baseline E2 and u/s:
E2 = 'less than 5' ... They shoot for 'less than 90', so this was perfect! [There's that damn P word again.]
2.3 mm uterine lining
23 antral follicles - right ovary
16 antral follicles - left ovary

IVF #1 protocol (so far):
Days 1-3:  Follistim (225 IU)
E2 = 87
Days 4-7: [decreasing] Follistim to 150 IU, [adding] Menopur 75 IU
Day 6 monitoring u/s (results below)
Day 8 u/s = ??? (on Sunday)

Day 6 ultrasound (after 5 days of treatments):
6.6 mm uterine lining
21 follicles - right ovary (average size 8 - 9 mm)
20 follicles - left ovary (average size 7-9 mm)

These follicles counts are pretty high, which is expected with my PCOS. On a normal day, I have multiple follicles in my ovaries. The injections are speaking directly to these follicles and instructing them to grow! And, they are growing! We'll find out more tomorrow!

So far, so good! 

January 16, 2016

Our last chance before IVF - success or fail?

I didn't win the powerball - not even $7.

I didn't win the 'last chance before IVF' lottery either. BFNs as expected. 3 eggs = 3 chances = Nada. 

Story of my life. 

Today is CD2. I actually cheered loudly when AF arrived. Lately, my luteal phases have been 17/18 days long! Pure agony when you know you're not pg, and all you want to do is move onto the next cycle. Well, this cycle she arrived on 15dpo, which was my norm before my LPs increased. I was thankful. 

So, finally we can get this show on the road! I've started the dreaded birth control pills. I'm to continue taking the BCPs until they tell me to stop. Likely, 4 weeks or so.

Our next appointment is in 3 weeks where they will instruct us on the injection administration. John says, "..where they teach me how to stab you?!" Oh my...... yes dear. 

January 6, 2016

How do I begin to process all of this?

IVF journey begins…. now.

John and I visited the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics yesterday for our consultation with our RE after moving onto IVF. It was a 4 hr+ visit with 7 different practitioners! Labs, ultrasounds, face to face visits, financial counseling, etc. I couldn’t help by laugh when the sonographer asked me if my head was spinning yet! I’ve managed an OB/GYN office and worked in billing/collections/coding for many years. No. Finally, all of my questions and concerns were being answered! I was relaxed and thankful.

Then, there was my ultrasound... So, a normal piece of our workup for IVF is a transvaginal ultrasound to inspect the anatomy of the organs involved in an IVF cycle and to ensure everything looked “good” in order to proceed. Well…. the ultrasound technician excitedly said, “Everything looks perfect!” I laughed and replied in my head, ‘Yeah….and yet I can’t ever carry a healthy pregnancy’ Like, seriously, if everything looks “perfect”, what is our freakin’ problem!!??

Here’s what she observed in all of its perfected glory:

-- Ovaries measured normal. Right ovary embraced 2 postovulatory “cysts”. Left ovary harbored 1 postovulatory “cyst”. (Normal findings after ovulation, except…. this meant I released three eggs on my current cycle.) I asked her how she could determine the difference between these structures and regular follicles (because to me, they appeared like large follicles). She explained the physiology. She pointed out blood within each of these structures, and I was truly intrigued. She was pretty confident I released 3 eggs this cycle. I am 5dpo… maybe she’s onto something.


We were NOT on IF treatments this cycle. This was a natural cycle. I had SHINGLES during this cycle, and I didn't O until CD70! WTH.

-- Uterine lining needs to be 6mm or more to invite an embryo during IVF. My lining was 13mm. Whoa, again...

-- I have 27+ antral follicles. This is a great high # for IVF!

-- Uterine shape was “perfect”. [stop saying Perfect, please]

She was planning to do a mock IVF during my encounter, and I deferred. [I thought] There’s no way you’re inserting a catheter into my uterus (just to ensure a real embryo transfer is possible), if there’s a possibility of fertilization of THREE eggs. You crazy, lady!

So, here we are…. 

My RE has predicted before I’ve released 2 eggs before. I may be an egg machine in some sense. But, it seems it’s for no good reason. If we conceive, I have a history of recurrent m/c (miscarriages - one twin m/c and one singleton). So, I’m not hopeful, what-so-ever. Sucks to be negative, but these were the cards I was dealt. Cards full of heartache and negativity, thanks to Infertility w/ PCOS. 

So, what now?

I'm holding onto Hope that IVF will finally work for us. Now, we wait for AF to arrive, and when it does [yes, it will] I'll start BCP to begin our first IVF cycle.

January 1, 2016

I find myself here [again]... and I’m here to stay.

Nearly 2 years since my last blog post. And, nearly THREE years since the blog post before that. 


You know, truthfully, I’m not ashamed. Life is busy incredibly chaotic.

[So chaotic. I'm realizing now that it is what landed me in therapy in 2015.]

I hear people say it all the time, “I’ve been so busy!” and “Things have been so crazy around here!”.  I sometimes wonder if they really really know what it means to be “busy” and for things to be “crazy”. A normal day in our household consists of a Daddy who attends graduate school and teaches undergrad classes, a Mommy who works full-time, attends college full-time, owns and operates a graphic design business on a part-time basis, AND a little girl who attends preschool 5 days a week and participates in extra-curricular activities. I’m also about to pick up a 2nd 3rd job of sorts. 


And, hidden behind all that exists of a “normal day” is the constant reminder of….. our infertility. We remain a family of three wishing to be a family of 3 plus….

March 17, 2014

I found myself here.

I have to admit finding myself here was extremely emotional. So sad to see it's been so long since my last entry, but so incredibly joyous to know my time has been filled with the pure enjoyment of my miracle baby. Then, the astonishment that she’s about to be 3 years old. And, then… the anxiety, the fear, the despair… came over me. The reason I found myself here: my infertility.

I knew I documented my journey well over those years. I came to retrieve those details. It would have been easier to leave those details behind and never face them again. Or to bury them in this online world of my blog, but those details are a part of me. My infertility journey will always be a part of me, whether I like it or not.

So, here we are, nearly 3 years post the birth of our daughter – our first miracle. And, just over a year since we lost our second and third miracles. Now, we ask for our fourth…

January 17, 2013

Moments I don't want to forget - Nearly 20 mths

- Aiyana pats her diaper and says "pee pee". She does it when she pees. We ask her if she wants to go pee pee on the potty, and she runs to her potty. We take her clothes and diaper off, and she runs like a mad woman down the hallway and through the living room! She says "no" to a new diaper. Then, about 10 minutes later she's trying to put her diaper on herself. Silly girl.

- Aiyana's babysitter scolded me when Aiyana showed up at daycare, after being home with her Daddy for an entire month, with what she calls an attitude! Aiyana has a mean face. She points her head down, but keeps eye contact with you and scrunches her eyebrows!

- Aiyana loves to go outside. She made John and I go outside to play on the playground TWICE the other night in the 30 degree cold weather.

- For Aiyana, there's no longer any agony over me leaving to work. She gives me a hug and a kiss and says "bye bye ove yew."

- Aiyana knows how to unlock and use my iPhone very successfully. She knows where her apps are located. She knows how to get into and out of an app. She knows how to go back to the main menu of an app if she needs to. I can't believe how quickly she picked up iPhone operation.

- And lasty, Aiyana has a book of animals and common "things". We will ask her questions like, "Where is the chicken?" or "Where is the fish?", and she points to the correct one!

Gosh. She's growing up so freaking fast...

January 9, 2013


"When God says "no", it's because He has something better in store for you."

I'm so overwhelmed with the outpouring of support I've received since last Thursday. The offering of prayers, thoughts, hugs, shoulders, talks and tears has been in absolute abundance. I chose to share this pregnancy with a select few ladies - ladies who I've grown very close to over the course of 2-5 years. They stood beside me every step of the way. My phone was constantly vibrating or ringing. FB messages were constant. It was a little overwhelming at times. I hate so much attention, but gosh, I got through this so well with them by my side. They were constantly saying how surprised they were at how well I was taking everything. I'm so grateful to be surrounded by such amazing friends.

And most importantly, my husband. I still think this hit him a lot harder than it did me. I've mentioned, I always expect the worse. I hate for people around me to be sad and/or emotionally hurt inside, and I hated to know he was hurting. This kind of thing is never wished for, but parenting our daughter and now this miscarriage has only brought us closer. Since we became pregnant with Aiyana I don't think we've had one argument (it's pretty damn remarkable), and it feels good to know you found the person you were meant to spend the rest of your life with. John and I have been through so much together. We've grown so close and so incredibly strong.

To deal with the pain, I redirected my thoughts to the good that surrounds John and I, and I realized that there is so much good around us right now. The best being our ham of a daughter, Aiyana. She's constantly ensuring we have a smile on our face and sharing in laughter. She's hilarious, and she gets cuter and cuter as each day passes. I can't wait till she starts having conversations with me, because she is so freaking entertaining. She's the best good there is.

January 8, 2013

Confirmation 2 of 2

Follow up ultrasound today showed an empty uterus with a normal lining. Hopefully this means my bleeding will stop soon. My ovaries appeared normal - almost didn't appear polycystic anymore. One ovary didn't have any visible follicles, and one ovary did have a few.

I can't believe how quickly and... dare I say it??... easy it was for my body to pass the tissue. I was in pain for about 1 hour, but after that I've been feeling fine. I'm so grateful this was physically painless. Now, emotionally, we need to heal.

Confirmation 1 of 2

Both of my beta (HCG levels) numbers are back:

19,023 on Friday

36 hours later they were 707. They fell quite a bit. :(

But, there's my confirmation. Now, John and I have closure, we can move on and start the healing process.

I have a follow up ultrasound scheduled for 2 pm today. I'm curious to see if I passed both sacs at the same time or if there's one left. By the looks of that low number, I may have passed them both.

January 6, 2013

Just a thought...

“Some say you’re too painful to remember. I say you’re too precious to forget.”


I guess I always had a tiny bit of hope. But, I was expecting the heavy bleeding and cramps any second now.

This morning I awoke to heavy bleeding with small clots. By this evening I was cramping heavily and passing large amounts of tissue. I am planning on going to work tomorrow. Miscarriage.

January 4, 2013

First appointment w/ ultrasound (6w4d)

Appointment w/ ultrasound yesterday. Not good news.

There are two sacs, and they both appear to be empty. One sac measures 7.5 weeks and I should be 6.5 weeks exactly. I'm 100% positive of my dates. At either 6.5 or 7.5 weeks, we should see something in the sac, a baby, a yolk sac, and/or a heartbeat. There was nothing.

Everyone says "I'm holding out hope it's too early to see anything" and "I'm praying you still get some good news". I appreciate the thoughts, the prayers and support.

It sucks to work in Obstetrics. I see and hear of all of the bad stuff - the miscarriages, the stillbirths, the complications, the maternal deaths... all of it. I know there are perfectly healthy pregnancies and deliveries (I had one with Aiyana.).

I always go in expecting the worse. When I told John I was pregnant with Aiyana, I immediately told him not to get too excited. I was expecting the worse. I did the same with this pregnancy. I don't allow myself to get too excited about holding a healthy baby. I just can't. I attribute it to working for an OB, but also all those years I closely monitored my cycles. I witnessed my body gear up for ovulation, then nothing happened. Disappointment over and over and over for 3 long miserable years. When my body didn't ovulate, I wasn't surprised. I became numb to it. Numb. Yes. Kind of like how I'm feeling now.

My OB will check my HCG levels. First draw was this morning. Next draw will be Monday. Tuesday we'll go in for a follow up ultrasound.

December 31, 2012

6 weeks & 19 months

This pregnancy hits 6 weeks today. I'm expecting the nausea alarms to go off TO-DAY. ::::knocking hard on wood::: I have no symptoms. No sickness. Very occasionally bouts of queasiness. The only two aliments I've experienced thus far are round ligament pain (RLP) and ovarian pain.

I knew the RLP would be worse for me with this pregnancy, but I didn't know I'd start feeling it the.day.of.my.BFP. Geeeesh. It has improved though.

The ovarian pain was pretty painful 2 nights ago. I actually considered going in to the ER. I was freaking myself out that it was a possible ectopic. Don't google, "At what week does ectopic pain start?" Because, all of the answer will be 5.5 weeks, which I *was* 5.5 weeks. Ugh. This ovarian pain felt like I was having a strong ovulation. I chalked it up to be pain from the corpus luteum cyst. I was able to sleep that night, and the pain was gone in morning and hasn't returned! Whew.

NYE today. 2012 was very good to us. Looking forward to a very challenging 2013!

First OB appointment on Thursday! :)

Aiyana is 19 months today! Here is some recent pics of my beauty!

December 20, 2012

Ok, so I *did* give up...

I'm upset with myself that I gave up on blogging, but, honestly, I'm figuring out that I wasn't doing it for Aiyana. It has always been for myself. I'm content with the big lapse in time on my blog, because I have tons and tons of memories and photographs to remind me of what was going on in my life during that time.

It has certainly been absolutely busy! We are juggling SO many things right now. Things haven't changed much since my April update.

- We are still preparing ourselves for an out of state move in the summer. It's not 100%, but it's possible.
- I'm still dabbling in Photography. Not sewing so much at the moment.
- I'm giving more attention to my business, because I'm hoping it thrives in 2013. It used to allow me to work from home.
- I'm still working full time.
- John is still in school full time. He will graduate in May!!

Some new things:
- we've adopted a new lifestyle called Paleo
- and as a result I've lost more weight
- but all of those pounds don't matter, because I'm PREGNANT!

We found out on Saturday! I promised John I wouldn't test during the week, because it was his finals week. Luckily, Friday morning I got a BFN. Friday was his last exam day. I was worried if it came up positive I wouldn't be able to keep it from him. Saturday morning it was positive! Our completely natural Christmas BFP! 

I love how my blog was a sort of journal of my pregnancy with Aiyana, so I can't stay away now. I'm back, and hopefully it's for good! If you're my friend on FB, please don't say anything on my wall. We haven't announced on FB yet.

July 5, 2012

6 months

{You know what's really confusing and hard for me to grasp? In November 2011, Aiyana wasn't 6 months yet, so why is this post named 6 months and my last post was "5 months"? Technically, she didn't turn 6 months until the last day of November. Oh well. It's my blog. Just go with it... Aiyana was 6 months in November 2011... not really, but whatever.}

November was FULL of firsts!!

11/1 - officially rolling over
She hates being on her belly for tummy time! Hates. So I'm not one bit surprised she waited so long to master the roll.

11/1 - first solids - applesauce
I was in no hurry to shove a spoon in Aiyana's face. I read up on Baby Led Weaning and loved it, but didn't really feel the need to follow it to a T. I was going to listen to Aiyana and let her tell me when she was interested. I didn't really know how I would know... Like, I knew she wouldn't just come out and say "Hey! Mom! Give me some of that pizza!! Now!" Well... she kinda did... actually.

It was pizza delivery night at our household, and John and I were enjoying our pizza in the living room. (I know! Really bad habit.) Aiyana was in her exersaucer... moaning, whining, yelling... and jumping! This was unusual for her. She's always quite content unless she needs something... like MY PIZZA! She was clearly staring at my food and then, over at John's food. Wow. She's telling me she wants some... ok. (Blank stare at pizza.) There's nothing on my pizza she could have... The only thing in the house that I could offer her was applesauce! And she ATE it! She loved it. She moved it around in her mouth, opened her mouth when she wanted more, and swallowed it with no chocking! My "First Time Mommy" Gut felt good, and not because it was full of yummy horribly unhealthy pizza. But because I listened to her cues and followed, and I felt good about that!

11/27 - cut first tooth
Luckily, no major issues! Just a little fussy at times!

11/23 - sticks tougue out and blows.
I don't know who taught her that! :P

11/25 - started her fake laugh
So funny! 

Thanksgiving was amazing! John and I have so much to be thankful for. 

Black Friday - The day that may have changed my life forever. My sister and I stood in line for hours at Best Buy in the FREEZING cold! It was so worth it! 

I've always wanted to buy a DSLR and learn how to shoot in Manual. I've become very frustrated with my point and shoot camera. It's a great camera when it's in the right mood, but any other time I get crap. 

Here are some shots from the first 48 hours with The Rebel:

And Aiyana's 6 month picture!