Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Adoption Scam

I hate to have to share this, but this woman has broken so many hearts and I know we "the infertile community" are even more susceptible to this fraud than anyone else.  I want the word out so that everyone knows she exists and has done this to so many couples.

She fooled Blue and I for 24 hours… We were preparing for IVF2.1 and it just seemed like fate that she contacted S.I.F about a baby girl.  Even Blue got excited and that makes me sadder than anything else.  Luckily for us both S.I.F and I got a strange feeling pretty early on and followed our guts, which led us to a trail of broken hearts, fake babies, and fraud that cannot be prosecuted by law.

After this article was published another family contacted S.I.F about “Jessie Lynn”.  This family spent months “with” her, their story is the most heartbreaking I’ve heard.  Jessie encouraged them to decorate a nursery, asked them to send her pictures of the things they bought for their new baby girl, even encouraged them to tell their 3 year old that they were about to have a sibling… Truly awful person.

So, please don’t harden your hearts to the magic of adoption by accident (because it really does happen sometimes!) but be careful and guard your hearts because not everyone in the world is kind.

http://mom.me/baby/11687-uncovering-heartbreaking-adoption-scam/?utm_source=blogger&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=MMB08

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nope

Sorry I'm just now updating you all, IVF2.0 didn't work and I just haven't really felt up to talking about it.

The truth is I wasn't really up to it at all.  I would take an infant any day but I wasn't and am still not ready to go through the process of IVF again any time soon. 

I'm very impressed by the women who can go through multiple rounds of IVF back to back and keep their chins up.  I've always considered myself tough but I'm not tough enough to brave through what felt like PTSD again on purpose.

I'm just not ready.  And you know what? 

Thats OK.

For the first time in years I'm going to focus on me and getting healthy.  I'm working out, eating well, being a good mom and just "doing me."

Someday I'll probably feel upto IVF again but who knows when?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Why travelling for IVF is a blessing in disguise

This round has seemed to be fraught with difficulties that have stressed me out to the max…

I screwed up my meds:

I’m completely detached and when we were out of town for a fishing trip, Thursday-Monday I forgot that Monday wasn’t Sunday and didn’t reduce my Lupron dosage like my calendar said to do on Monday… Crisis averted, they said I should be fine.

I was over charged $1156 for my V.i.a.g.r.a suppositories:

The clinic accidentally forgot to write how many V-supps the pharmacy was supposed to send me so they just didn’t send any.  Luckily I had ordered my meds early enough that this wasn’t a big problem, so I just had them resend the prescription.  The pharmacy, MDR, called back to tell me that they were ready to send them and it would be $1150… I was stunned.  I told them that was a little too much money to not shop around so I had the clinic try Freedom Pharmacy.  They called to tell me they were ready to ship and it would be $204, I sputtered and then asked them to repeat that number, then asked them to spell the name of the prescription… I was flabbergasted!  So I gave them my credit card number and two days later a box of V-supps shows up on my doorstep, only problem, the receipt inside says I was charged $1360 not $204.  Now I’m just mad.  A week of battling them and calling back and forth between them and my credit card company finally results in them admitting that they re-listened to my conversation with them and indeed I was illegally charged.  I think they problem was that they quoted me the generic price but they only had the real deal V.i.a.gr.a in house so I got charged for that instead.  In the end we finally compromised on them refunding me 50% of the overage, so, in the end the meds cost $782 and a week of blood, sweat, and tears.

I have a big ass cyst:

I went in for my suppression check ultrasound and had a 15mm cyst on the left (this is after 3 months of birth control).  The ultrasound tech said the cyst looked like an endometrioma but she couldn’t say that for sure and normally a follicular cyst would kill your cycle because of messing with the hormones that they are carefully trying to control.  I called my clinic but both of my nurses were out and I finally got the call nurse who promised to figure it out.  She eventually called me back to say that they didn’t have the report yet but she thought it wouldn’t be a big problem and that I would only get a call back in the event that it IS a problem.  Lucky for me they never called back but I also spent 2 days stressing because I had booked a non-refundable hotel in Vegas (dumb I know).  On top of that I’ve been in a TON of pain, I’m not sure if it’s from the cyst or the meds but I’ve been on period strength C.e.le.bre.x for the last week.

Intralipid infusion drama:

My order never got turned in for my first intralipid infusion, mostly this is my fault, I waited until the last minute to have my doctor here cosign the order (which is necessary since hospital privileges are required to prescribe an infusion here.)  I got a call from the infusion center and hour and a half before my appointment to tell me they never got the order and they’d called my docs office which is closed for the day, by the way, this is on Friday so I’m effed if I don’t get someone to sign this thing!  I called everyone I know that I thought could help but I don’t have any doctor friends with privileges at this hospital, I even called my docs cell but she was in training out of state and didn’t get the call until too late.  Finally I got a hold of her on call doctor who agreed to sign the order, 10 minutes before my appointment.  After my infusion started we finally heard back from my doctor’s office saying that she had signed the order the day before and sent it over, they even had the fax confirmation.  So in the end this was mostly an IT glitch but still took me half a day to solve and stressed me out to the max.

The above 4 reasons are why I think travelling out of state for IVF is actually a good thing.  We leave Thursday and then the real world goes away for a week.  Yes, it is expensive, but it’s only a fraction of the cost of IVF and stress plays a huge role in getting/not getting pregnant.  I can’t imagine trying to sneak away from work here and balance life and a toddler with the actual process of IVF.  It would be too much for my type-A personality. 

So instead Blue and I will be taking a baby-cation.  Vegas here we come!

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Please


 

This week has been productive in the IVF2.0 world.  I got important docs signed and notarized, blood drawn, appointments scheduled, meds ordered and this afternoon I get the joy of another sonohysterogram…

 

I went through a pretty angry stage this week, as I’m sure most infertiles do when they realize this is what it takes to just TRY to have a baby.  No sex, no spontaneity, just doctors appointments and test after test, oh and of course money, lots and lots of money.

 

As I was grouching to my mom I heard myself telling her I know I should feel lucky, we have 4 frozen chances, we can afford this, and to top it off we have a beautiful son at home.  It’s strange how differently I feel this time around, last time it was depression and desperation, this time is mostly frustration and anger.

 

And then my miracle melted me and reminded me it is all so worth it in the end… I went to pick him up from day care and as I was talking to his teacher he looked at what I had in my hand and grunted hoping I would give it to him, I said “no” and he looked my right in the eyes and signed “please?”  Talk about a proud mama!

 

He had signed it a few times before but always prompted by me saying it first and encouraging him (and mostly about food!)  But yesterday he used it on his own with no prompting and not in reference to food!

 
 


Have I mentioned he LOVEs food?  That is a post for another day but oh man does that baby love food!  He still can’t eat much but hopefully Thursday we’ll find out if his allergies have changed at all and maybe we’ll be able to add in another food.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Return to the rollercoaster...


I feel like I should probably explain why I’m so petrified of falling into the infertility black hole again….

 

We originally decided we were going to go back to Vegas in June.  In February I called Dr. Sher’s office and spoke with his nurse about scheduling and set up a consult with him.  While we were on the phone she mentioned our frozen embryos and said something about quality…

 

It’s important to note that when we went through our IVF cycle to get Marek I had all but given up.  I handed it all over to Dr. Sher and when it was time to transfer I never even asked about embryo quality because I figured all it would do was make me worry more.  I decided then that Dr. Sher was the expert and I needed to let him do his job without over thinking it.

 

But this nurse offering to share embryo quality without me even asking was just too tempting…

 

Here is what I learned (and subsequently OBSESSED over, causing me to travel so far back down the rabbit hole of IF that I delayed our next round another 3 months…)

 

As a note, SIRM uses Graduated Embryo Scoring (GES), if you want an explanation you can find it here.

 

Out of 6 expanded blastocysts…

2 Graded 95%

1 Graded 85%

1 Graded 75%

2 Graded 50%

 

We transferred 2 embryos, which resulted in 1 baby, the embryos transferred were a 95% and a 50%.  This blew my mind!  I never asked so I just assumed he transferred the best two embryos.  Instead he transferred the best and the worst.  I immediately read WAY TOO MUCH into this.  I was convinced that this meant we had hope for the other 4 because we still had 2 great ones left! 

 

Then I had my consult with Dr. Sher.  He was realistic and kind but also crushed a lot of my hopes.  He said he “hoped” we have 1 baby in those 4 embryos.  According to him the grading doesn’t matter anymore once they reach blastocyst stage, it just gives you an idea of their chances of getting to that point.  He reminded me that only 50% of blasts are chromosomally normal and that due to our DQ alpha match statistically 50% of our “normal” blasts will match my immune system and likely be miscarried.  (I know there is a chance we can still carry one to term, which is why I’ll be on intralipids until 24 weeks, but it is small.)

 

I went from having little hope (thinking the only embryos left weren’t as good) to having over inflated expectations about quality to then having little to no hope again…

 

And then the PTSD kicked in.  How did I get on this roller coaster again without even realizing it??!!

 

And so I decided I clearly was not mentally ready for another round of IVF… and I’m not even sure I am now, but I have stepped back emotionally and am trying really hard not to obsess.  I ‘m not sure if being back in blog land will help that or make it worse?  Time will tell I guess.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vegas 2013


I really want another baby, for many reasons, but I’m terrified of trying to get pregnant again, and I’m terrified of being pregnant again…  I was so blessed to get pregnant, but I was TERRIBLE at it!  Some people are glowing beautiful pregnant women, I was not.  Every turn held more scary news and more complications, and that was after busting my butt for 2.5 years to get pregnant.  Am I really ready to do that again?
 
Remember when my feet looked like this?
I’m worried that infertility will take over my life again, I’m worried that trying to have another baby will take away from the energy and time I have to spend with Marek.  I’m worried I’ll slip back down the infertility black hole again and somehow it seems like I just made my way out of there!

I feel like I’m going into this round more prepared.  I realize that statistically speaking I only have 1 baby in that cryo-tank, even though I have 4 frozen embryos.  But will I still be able to think rationally about it when I get those 3 negative pregnancy tests, or worse, if I get a fourth?

Will those failures send me into another downward spiral?  Is it worth it or fair to Marek to even head down this road?

 And then I see two siblings together and my heart melts.  My baby LOVES babies, he hugs (or tries to hug) every baby he sees.  If I could just skip right to the baby part I’d have 4, but the parts before that are hard.

He still kisses open mouthed, I hope he gets over that soon and doesn't start again until he's 20!
 
Are you sure I can't just give her one hug?
 
So I finally got over my waffling and committed.  Vegas 2013 here we come!  Dr. Sher's August cycle.  Please wish us luck that no matter the outcome I'm able to be the same mom to my wonderful miracle boy.


I need another one of these precious faces!


Monday, March 18, 2013

My 44 day miracle and faith restored....


Back when I was hopeful that Blue and I might still make a baby on our own, when I was still symptom spotting and blissfully na├»ve, I goo.gled something along the lines of “early pregnancy symptoms” and it brought me to a website called twoweekwait.com.  From there I spent time obsessing with all of the other hopeful mommies-to-be and eventually the mommies-that-might-not-be…  It was my first infertility resource. 

The one thing that always amazed me on that website were two women who regardless of their fertility struggles always supported everyone else, from the teenager who didn’t want to be pregnant to the 10 year battle scarred warrior. 

These two women’s blogs were the first I read, they inspired me to read other blogs and eventually start blogging myself.  Through them I found S.I.F’s blog, and S.I.F. as most of you know has become one of my very best friends in real life. 

As I continued to blog and eventually meet more women in the trenches there were a few along the way that I latched onto a little more than others.  Not all of the connections made sense, not all of them even have a similar story to me, maybe I just connected more with the way they write or the emotion they put out, who knows?   But as anyone who blogs knows, we connect more with some than others.  Along the way most of these women got their miracle baby/ies, one way or another. 

One of these women I’d connected with kept struggling and my heart broke for her a little more each time, just like it did for those first two women I’d met through twoweekwait, and for S.I.F...

For some reason, these four women continued to be childless and honestly my heart and hope broke a little more each day, and I lost a little more faith in God's desire to perform miracles each day that these women lived without a child to call their own.  Somehow my own success didn’t matter in regards to my faith, because these four had been left behind.  I thanked God many times for helping me to survive my journey to Marek, but I purposefully didn’t thank him for my miracle, because I wasn’t sure I believed he handed out miracles to faith-lacking infertiles like me.

And then, as S.I.F and I like to joke, Uranus moved the hell out of the way and those four women, my special four, all in a matter of 44 days, got their miracles.  Each story is a little different, it’s not like they all brought home their bundles in a 44 day period, but each one hit an incredible milestone which means something vital to each of them, and in turn meant something vital to me, and my faith.

January 9th, Henry was born!  My incredible friend Kara, who I’d met in the very beginning and cried crocodile tears  for many times along the way finally had her take home baby…

February 13thLisaB reached her second trimester. In a history plagued with early losses and heartbreaks for Lisa, she could never really trust a pregnancy before this milestone, and today she’s still chugging along at 17 weeks, almost half way there!!!

February 13th, I was already on a big high because of the first two, but still aching for my other two, and then, out of the blue, Cheek’s mom called…  and in a day it appeared S.I.F’s life was going to be forever changed, and so was mine…  Overnight we all became a whirlwind of activity to prepare for a baby with one week’s notice.

February 14th, with my heart already about to burst, Lisa got her first doubling beta ever,  on their third and final attempt at IVF they finally got their dream answer!  Lisa is the odd man out, I haven’t known her through my whole struggle like the other three but I latched on to her and her story from the first time I visited her blog, I’m not even sure she’s stayed too current on mine, (because sometimes it’s not fun to read stories of success when you’re still hurting) but I still thought about her often, and checked up on her blog even when I didn’t keep up on anyone else’s.

February 21stCheeks was born.  The most beautiful little girl I’ve ever met got to meet her momma for the first time. And I got to sit in the waiting room wondering how these miracles had all happened at once…

And then I did the thing I said I wouldn’t do, I thanked God for these 4 babies, and for Marek.  I told him I was sorry that I had lost so much faith.  I cried so many tears of joy, and laughed because no one would ever really understand what it meant for me that all four of these miracles had happened in just 44 days, especially because there is no other tie between these four but me...  Why had I latched on to these four?  Why did these four mean so much?  How could all four of these miracles happen in just 44 days?  There is only one answer in my mind, the big Man upstairs.

I waited on baited breath until today to write this because I was waiting to hear how Lisa’s last US went, and, as icing on the proverbial cake, it went perfectly. 

My heart is full and my faith is restored.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hawaii

We just got back from a great trip to The Big Island with Blue's family.  We spent 10 days in the sun alternating between relaxing/playing and chasing our little crawler around in the sand/water.

Have I mentioned that Marek LOVEs to swim?  Blue took him on his first swimming lesson just before he deployed with Marek was 2.5 months old.  He likes it more and more everytime we take him and Hawaii wasn't any different.  Now he actually tries to get away from us so he can swim on his own, its really hard to hold on to his slippery little body in the water!

I didn't think much about our Hawaii trip last year until we got to the security line at the airport to fly home... then it all hit me.  This is where my bad contractions started last year...  I remember curling up in a ball in the security line and debating wether to get on the plane or go to the hospital.  I ultimately made the right choice to get home and ended up going to the hospital 2 days later.

Most of the time its hard to remember back to how hard pregnancy was, or even how hard infertility was.  There are still alot of triggers that take me back (and by surprise) but most of the time I'm a pretty in the moment momma.

I'm so thankful for this little miracle and getting to be the one that pulls the rocks out of his mouth and holds on for dear life as he tries to swim away from me in the ocean!


Playing with Sand...

Eating Sand....
 
Eating Rocks....

Totally oblivious to the Seaturtle at his feet, wishing he was eating sand or rocks...
 

 




Monday, January 14, 2013

"Does that mean camels are ugly?"

I watched my niece and nephew this weekend (4 and 6, respectively) while my sister-in-law took a class.  We were driving down the road and the subject of camels came up, hoping to share a little trivia, I asked them if they knew what camel humps were made of.  They suggested water (as most people assume) and I shared that they are actually made of fat.

My nephew was quiet for a minute then asked, “Does that mean camels are ugly?”

What a profound question! I’ve always wondered when societal prejudices/stereotypes start effecting how children look at the world and I guess the answer is before the age of 6…

I paused for a minute (while my mind was busy being blown!) and responded with this.  “I don’t think being fat or skinny makes you beautiful.  I think that one camel would think another camel looked strange if it didn’t have humps at all.”  We left the discussion at that.

Hind sight is 20/20 of course but I really wish I hadn’t suggested that looking different made you ugly.  I want my children to understand that beauty is a function of who you are, not how you look, but how do you explain that to your child when they throw something like that at you?  With an adult I feel like we could have had a long discussion about societal conventions of beauty but with a kid you need to put it into a few sentences and how is that possible when you’re not expecting it?

Maybe the answer is the Socratic method… maybe if I were a perfect parent/aunt the conversation would have gone like this:

Nephew - “Does that make camels ugly?”
Me - “What do you think makes a camel beautiful?”
Nephew – “Its fur? Its long legs?”
Me – “What about bears?  Is a black bear more beautiful than a brown bear or a polar bear?”
Nephew – “Polar bears need more fat to stay warm than other bears so maybe fat is prettier on them because they need it?”
Me- “What if a polar bear had 3 cubs instead of 2 and had to share some extra food and so they were skinnier than normal, would that make them uglier?”
Nephew – “No because they were taking care of their family.”
Me – “What do you think makes a human beautiful?”
Nephew – “Their hair/weight/eyes (fill-in-the-blank physical attribute).”
Me – “What about the way they act or how they treat their friends and family? Are they still beautiful if they are mean?”

And so the conversation goes…  Maybe Socrates had the right idea, let them come to their own conclusions with just a little guidance in the questions. Maybe at the end my nephew would still think that fat humans are uglier humans than skinny ones, but maybe I could have changed his view of the world? 

In the end I’m just glad I got to have that conversation before Marek was 6 years old, it reminded me how important it is to let him know everyday that he is beautiful and that I am beautiful, because we are ourselves and there is no one else out there like us.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas and New Years 2012

I plan to do a full 2012 look back soon but for now I figured I’ll give you a little run down on Christmas and New Years!

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Little Crawler

Our little buddy started crawling 2 days before Christmas (7 months, 3 weeks old).  He’d been up on his knees rocking back and forth, scooting backwards, turning circles, etc for a whole month but didn’t quite pull off the coordinated forward crawl until he got the right motivation…. Christmas presents!  After the initial coordinated crawl it only took him 3 days to be able to go where ever he wanted, even on slippery hard wood.  I think he’s a little too independent for my taste…

My family’s tradition is for the whole family to get together Christmas eve, so the whole 25 person family came to our house, ate Mexican food and laughed.  We had a few close friends join us too, including S.I.F. and a friend of ours who did IVF 5 weeks after us.  It was so fun to see Marek and her son together and Auntie S.I.F. loved having both boys to snuggle.

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Auntie S.I.F. and her boys

Marek was incredibly patient for all the photo ops I subjected him to.  I found these fun Christmas head bands at Joanns and some how he tolerated each one long enough for me to get cute pics!


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Merry Christmas!

Santa's Reindeer

Two days after Christmas Marek managed to get slap face, AKA fifths disease (and possibly stomach flu, jury is still out if the slap face caused those symptoms or not?)  He then proceeded to give it to my mom, who gave it to my nephew, S.I.F., and another friend who we spent New Years eve with…  By some miracle Blue and I never got it (despite getting puked on, in the face…)  So the new year was rung in with way more vomit than normal!

We spend NYE out “at the lake” (my parent’s house.)  We cross-country skied, ice skated, drank brandy ices, set off gobs of fireworks, hung out around the bon fire on the lake, spent hours working on a 1000 piece puzzle, played cards and of course ate Black Eyed Peas for good luck.


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Hanging out by the fire watching fireworks!

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Family Tub Time with his cousin
 It was a great 2012!