As I write this I’m on 7dp5dt and I have a lot of catching up to do on my blog, but I wanted to go ahead and post this in case there is a mama in waiting who needs it!
Below you wil find a prayer I wrote for my embabies one night when I couldn’t sleep.
Today was retrieval day! The hub and I arrived at BFC at 8:30AM and we’re immediately greeting by one of the smiley nurses. She escorted us to a small office, took our “sample”(aka the swimmers) and led me to a small cot where I would undress and go over the protocol for my medication after the procedure. Emma, the nurse helping us through the instructions and answering all of my questions, really put my mind at ease. Dr. Corona took me to the room where the procedure would be done, and it was only a few minutes before she had an IV in my arm and I was drifting off in to a sweet dream. The last thing I remember was a small disagreement with Dr. Corona about the dangers of natural birth. I’m pretty sure she got the last word. I woke up way before the designated hour and a half that I was expected to sleep and when the nurse came in to check on me, I had managed to reach my phone on the table beside me and began texting my husband, family, and friends sending sleepy eyed selfies of me giving the thumbs up. I wasn’t really in pain, I know a lot of readers are hating me right now, but for the one person wondering if it is possible to feel almost completely normal after a retrieval, I’m living proof. The mild cramps I did have were nothing compared to my monthly menstrual cycle. I was discharged shortly after I woke up and spent a good part of the day sleeping, only because it was recommended that I rest. I think I could have gone about my day, otherwise. The best part is, Dr. Corona retrieved ten eggs! I will know sometime tomorrow how any were fertilized. I can’t hardly wait.
Here are a few things I did leading up to retrieval. Take what you want and leave the rest!
1. Walked at least 20 minutes a day on the treadmill, five days a week, for at least a month before retrieval.
2. Purchased and practiced the Circle and Bloom meditations religiously and will continue to do so until the end of this cycle.
3. Drank lots of gatorade instead of water for a week leading up to retrieval.
4. Had two massages in the two weeks leading up to retrieval.
5. Bathed in Epsom salts often.
6. Ate extra fiber for two weeks leading up to retrieval.
7. Took extra care of myself and did things to pamper myself and avoid stressful situations. I treated myself like I would treat someone I cared about if they were going through this life altering procedure.
…And I prayed without ceasing.
That’s all for tonight. I’m anxious about my eggs getting fertilized, but I’m gonna try my best to get some rest.
Note: This post was originally written on Nov. 29, as of now I am in Barbados! I am behind on updates, but more to come soon!
I can’t believe I’m on cycle day 6! I really thought I would have blogged more by now, but with the holidays in full swing, I didn’t end up having as much time as anticipated.
I was so excited to begin my injections (never thought I would say that).Prior to starting the injections I was on birth control for two months. Did I mention how much I despise birth control? Between quitting smoking, starting birth control, and three family thanksgiving events, I swear I have probably gained twenty pounds. I have done myself a big favor and decided to take a break from the scale. I closed my eyes when they weighed me at my last doctor visit, telling the nurse not to tell me my weight. I know that worrying about the size of my butt is not a priority right now and that I need to focus on being healthy. So I went to Target and bought a few things that fit me and my new “voluptous” figure comfortably and got back to focusing on the matter at hand, baby making!
About those injections, right now I’m on my 6th day of a Menopur/Clexane/Aspirin regime and, for the most part, it hasn’t been half bad. Unfortunately, I did get a massive migraine on Sunday (day four), which continued in to day five. Even writing about it makes me feel ill. I didn’t think I was supposed to take Advil, my drug of choice, so I was popping Tylenol like candy, to no avail. My husband called Barbados Fertility on Monday morning and they ended up telling him I could take Advil!! Phew… I’m not sure why this works, but taking two Tylenol and two Advil simultaneously can usually knock out my worst headache. I highly recommend it. By mid-afternoon I was pretty much migraine free. I relaxed all day to avoid a relapse.
One thing I have noticed since I started the process of planning and preparing for Barbados is that I haven’t had the mental clarity for anything that requires focus, which means I can’t really do my job well. I am an artist of sorts, a creative type, and my work requires me to be fully present in the moment and for my mind to be sharp. I feel like I have a blanket over my brain. I guess you could call it a “baby blanket.” I hope this feeling doesn’t continue in to pregnancy, should I be so lucky. On one hand I feel somewhat peaceful, almost blissful. On the other, I feel lazy, like I have no motivation beyond the will to find my next meal and something good to watch on TV. Speaking of which, I think it’s time for a nap!
I have the absolute highest hopes that this trip will end in a bfp, but if it doesn’t work out I want to remind myself, ahead of time. that God has a way of working things out and all will be well. I also want to have some good info about moving forward, should I decide to do a second round of IVF. I found this very detailed bulletin on Fertility Friends UK outlining the reasons your IVF may not have worked and solutions/things to check for next time. So, here it is, Agate’s Guide To Learning From Your Failed IVF Cycle.
I have yet to read the entire bulletin, because I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook and not over-Google myself in to oblivion, but judging by what I did read, I do believe this could be very helpful for someone considering a new cycle following an unsuccessful one.
I’m torn about posting this, because I want to keep everything positive, but this is my journey and all great journeys have highs and lows. I want to be able to acknowledge them both and find peace wherever this adventure takes me.
35 days until we head to Barbados. I’m actually really excited about the trip, aside from my excitement about the possibility of a successful IVF procedure.
I have a bucket list of things I want to do while we are there and I recently asked my husband to come up with something he would really like to do, because I want him to get as excited as I am. I know he really wants us to have children, but he may not be quite as enthusiastic about this adventure we are going on in order to make that happen!
I am thinking about our trip constantly. I am also changing my lifestyle little by little. Here is my dirty secret, I have been a smoker for a very long time. Well, that may be an overstatement. I started experimenting with cigarettes around the age of fourteen and slowly progressed over the years in to becoming a full blown pack a day smoker. I never thought I would be a “smoker,” and through my infertility journey, there has always been a fear in the back of my mind that I was preventing myself from getting pregnant by smoking, but then again I have quite a few friends who smoke and had no problem getting pregnant. Don’t get me wrong, I think smoking leading up to pregnancy is awful, but smoking is an addiction like any other and I try not to judge myself or anyone else for their personal journey and struggles. I tried to quit a thousand times. I could not quit. I couldn’t even not smoke for a DAY, not ONE DAY. I realize now, cigarettes were basically controlling my life. I say, “were” because guess what?! I am 22 days smoke free!!! Once we booked our trip and got our official IVF cycle date, I met with my psychiatrist and we made a plan to help my quit smoking and then to taper off any meds that I was on. I took Chantix for about three weeks and I quit, that’s it. I just quit. I had no major physical withdrawal symptoms, just some irritability and hunger. I’m not sure if it was the Chantix, or this Allen Carr on demand program that I purchased online, but by God, something worked! Honestly, it’s a miracle. Ive barely wanted to tell anyone for fear that I will wake up one day and just decide I wanna be a smoker again, but at this point, I don’t foresee that happening.
Well anyway, I actually meant to go over my bucket list in this blog, but it seems to have gone in a different direction. I guess I just needed a moment to celebrate myself the fact that I do have will power after all, and that I already care immensely for this baby (or these babies) that I am hoping to have. I care for the idea of them, more than I have cared for the reality of me. I hate that my own health wasn’t enough, to motivate me to make the change, but whatever the motivation was, I realize now, I am worth it. Through this process I am learning self care. All of the sudden I matter, I have to be careful with me, because someone else may be depending on me, because I may be carrying a life sometime soon, but haven’t I always been carrying a life?My life? Why have I felt undeserving of self-care? No matter the outcome of this IVF cycle, I’m going to try to remember the importance of self-care, and I hope anyone reading this knows YOU are worth it, it’s okay to love yourself and to take good care of yourself. It is not selfish, it is healthy.
That’s all for tonight. Sweet Dreams.
My story starts with three years of unexplained infertility. I wasn’t “freaking out,” so to speak. It was just something that bothered me and lived quietly in the back of my mind. I didn’t get really serious about looking in to my infertility until I found out I had the BRCA2 gene, AKA the breast cancer gene. I knew I would eventually like to get a preventative mastectomy, but I also knew I wanted breastfeed, so I decided I needed to get busy getting busy! Well, not exactly… We actually got busy visiting our local fertility clinic. Long story short, I had two failed IUI’s over the course of a year and then my Dr. said I needed to move on to a laparoscopy or IVF. I began looking in to IVF at my clinic and pretty much anywhere and everywhere else. Did I mention my local clinic sucks and it is only one of two in my area (both suck)?! The crazy thing is, I live in a fairly large city, the Capitol of the state I live in! Yet, our fertility clinic ranks 4th in our state. I swear I looked at almost every clinic in the U.S. and then I began looking abroad. What I hate most about my local clinic is that it feels like a cattle call, they give us absolutely no personal attention, sometimes run about an hour behind, and when they finally call your name, you are placed in a waiting room with a bunch of other people almost touching knee to knee. Not my idea of a good time! By the end of my last visit, I was determined not to put any more of my heart, money, or time in their hands. So I continued to pray and search for options.
This is when the most amazing thing happened, I found the blog, Always Katie, where a girl named Katie (you may be thinking, “thanks Capt. Obvious.”) told her story of doing IVF at a clinic in Barbados called the Barbados Fertility Centre, or BFC for short. Her blog was so informative and it sounded like she had an awesome experience, not to mention she ended up with twins!! It’s never even crossed my mind to take a trip to Barbados, but from that moment on it was pretty much all I’ve thought about (still is).
My husband who is a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy was highly skeptical of my proposal. I made him read Katie’s blog, he said, “well, she seems like a normal girl.” That seemed to ease his mind. If a “normal girl” like Katie could do it, my meat and potatoes guy and his crazy wife surely could! Did I mention the cost was significantly cheaper than our local clinic and we would get a two week vacation?! Score! So that was it, we were going to Barbados.
To be continued….