Monthly Archives: June 2013

Confession Time

There’s one phrase that I’ve seen floating around lately that has been rubbing me the wrong way – “You deserve it”.

Of course I mean this in regards to someone finally achieving pregnancy status. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m happy for everyone who wants to get pregnant when they finally achieve this long-awaited goal. However. Doesn’t everyone who wants to get pregnant for the right reasons deserve to be pregnant? Doesn’t everyone deserve the love of a child if that’s what they want in life? Doesn’t everyone deserve to grow their family if that’s what they desire?

I was chatting with a good friend about this statement and related questions just the other night. As we were discussing this, she made a valid point – “By saying you deserve it, that says that anyone who can’t make it happen is because they don’t deserve it.”

This got me thinking. What if our last FET cycle is a bust? Does that mean that I don’t deserve to be a mother to biological children? What if for some reason adoption falls through? Does that mean that I don’t deserve to be a mother to any child? These thoughts make me question life decisions that I have made in the past. What did I do that was so wrong that I don’t deserve to be a mother?

I guess all I’m saying in this mini confessional is to think before you make this statement. Realize that there are so many men, women, and couples who want to expand their family, but can’t. Everyone equally deserves to achieve their goal of being parents in some way even if that means not achieving pregnancy.

Advertisements

Hiking, Traveling, and Racing

Every weekend since moving from NC to VA about a month ago has been packed with a variety of activities. This past weekend was no exception. Since E is working on a Masters in Physical Education, it’s no surprise that the majority of his classmates are interested in activities that require a lot of physical exertion. The guys in the class decided that we should try out an 8 mile hike up to the summit of Old Rag Mountain. As soon as E told me about the weekend plans, I clicked over to the state parks and rec website to do some research on what this hike would entail. 

The website showed pictures of amazing and breath-taking views; however, it also stated that this hike would be difficult and involved rock scrambling. When I think of hiking, I think of walking along dirt-packed paths and slowly ascending to the top of a hill/mountain/what have you. The rock scrambling element was new, but I’m trying to be open to new and different experiences, so I agreed to try it out. 

A group of about 15 of us arrived at the parking lot around 9:30 on Friday morning. The hike started off in a typical fashion. We walked about a half mile from the parking lot to the trailhead and then began walking along a dirt-packed path. Shortly into the hike, it started getting more challenging. The hills became steeper and I had to work hard to keep up with some of the other hikers in our group. I stopped every 20 minutes or so to take some pictures. Even though the hike was difficult, the scenery was amazing. How could I not document the incredible views?

Image

ImageAfter hiking about 2 miles, we reached the beginning of the rock scramble (which honestly seemed more like bouldering). Now when I say rock scramble I mean using your whole body to hoist yourself up the sides of giant boulders, crawling through rock tunnels, slipping your body through narrow gaps in the boulders, and climbing down boulders only to find more boulders waiting to be climbed. 

Image

ImageWhile the rock scramble portion of the hike only lasted for about a mile, it seemed like it lasted for an eternity. I don’t think I’ve been more physically challenged in my entire life. By the time the scrambling portion of the hike was over with, I was drenched in sweat and my arms, shoulders, legs, hands, and feet were screaming at me. 

Finally though, we approached the summit. We walked up a teeny, tiny hill and there it was. The top. An amazing feeling of accomplishment washed over me. Even though the journey to get to the top was extremely difficult, it was worth it. Just when I thought the views couldn’t get any better, they did. Our group spent about 30 minutes at the top – eating, drinking, talking, and congratulating each other on making it up there. 

Image

Image

Image

After an extended rest, it was time to head down. The hike back down to the trailhead was about 5.2 miles and took about an hour to complete. After all was said and done, our total hiking time came in at 5 and a half hours. Not too bad considering that most of the hikers had never climbed boulders before. The website suggested allotting between 7 to 8 hours to hike up and back, so I think we did a great job.

Despite being sore and slightly sunburned, E and I hopped in the car the next morning and headed up to Williamsburg where he was to compete in a half I.ronman distance race on Sunday morning. After visiting the expo and picking up his packet and goodie bag, we walked along the sidewalks of Colonial Williamsburg to find a place for lunch. After eating a delicious and filling lunch, we explored the shops in the area and then headed down to the James River area to rack his triathlon bike in the first transition area. Much to our disappointment, within minutes of pulling into the parking lot, it started to rain. We covered up the bike with plastic bags as best as we could and left it in the transition area to sit overnight. 

After completing the drop off, we headed to our hotel to check in and to find a good spot to eat dinner. Due to an early morning wake up at 4:30, we decided to turn in early and get a few hours of decent sleep. 4:30 rolled around quickly and we were headed down to the second transition area so we could catch a shuttle to the swim start. Even though it was raining as we were driving from the hotel, it stopped as soon as we got out of the car. 

Since this was the inaugural triathlon in Williamsburg, there was bound to be glitches. The first one was the shuttling. Clearly there were not enough buses for all of the athletes and spectators. Due to the shuttle delays, the event coordinators had to push back the swim start. I think E ended up getting in the water about 20 minutes late (no big deal). 

The swimmers were warned before the race began that the water was incredibly rough and choppy. I waited at the swim finish so I could snap a picture of E as he emerged from the water. E typically has his times estimated fairly accurately. I started to get worried as 30 minutes went by, then 35, then 40. I finally saw him in the distance after 42 minutes had passed. After the race was over, E explained that the water was very rough and this swim was the most challenging swim he’s ever experienced. 

Image

After the swim came the 56 mile bike ride. As E biked and biked and biked, I walked a mile back to our hotel to grab some breakfast and watch some TV before checking out. After inhaling a delicious cinnamon roll, I walked the mile back to the race site and checked the transition area to make sure that I didn’t miss E coming in to start the last leg of the race. His bike wasn’t there, so I waited by the transition area in order to snap a few more pictures of him coming in. 

After a short time, I spotted him biking up the hill and noticed that one of his knees was covered in blood. I came to learn after the race that another rider passed him very closely and startled him. This caused him to lose control of the bike and he went flying off. Don’t worry though, he’s okay and so is the bike. 

Image

After the bike, came the run. The last leg of the race. While E was busy running a half marathon, I finished up a library book. Around the 5 hour mark, I made my way over to the finish line area. After waiting only 23 minutes, I saw E coming around the corner. He sprinted towards the finish line and officially finished in 5 hours and 23 minutes. This was his fastest half I.ronman time yet. 

Image

I don’t brag about E and his accomplishments often, but this is a major accomplishment. He trains long and hard for these races while working full-time plus some. Seeing him finish faster and faster (and actually just finishing in the first place) is amazing. 

While I do enjoy watching E do his thing, triathlon spectating is hard work. I’m not so secretly glad that his next out-of-town race isn’t until September. Until then, he plans on running in some local races and training, training, training to beat this time in September. 

 

ICLW

Hello visitors from ICLW! 

I’m sorry that this post is 2 days late, but my husband (lovingly referred to as E on this blog) and I were busy this week. On Friday, we tackled an 8 mile hike here in VA and on Saturday, we headed out to Williamsburg so E could compete in another half I.ronman triathlon (Another post for another day). 

Since it’s been awhile since my last ICLW, I’ll give you all a brief rundown of our history. 

Married in 2006. Started TTC in April 2008. We’ve been pregnant 3 times (twice from Clomid in 2010 and a chemical pregnancy from IVF #2 in 2013), but I’ve miscarried each and every time. Over the years, I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, hypothyroidism, and LPD. We’ve run the gambit of treatments – from oral medications through IVF and FET. 

Currently, I’m on birth control pills for our third and final FET cycle in mid-August. We have three embryos on ice right now and we’re hoping that at least one of those babies wants to stick around for nine months. 

In addition to preparing for FET, we’re also in the progress of researching domestic infant adoption. I always seem to put the cart before the horse, but I’m a planner. I always need to know my next step. 

Welcome to the madness that is my world. I hope to get back into blogging more often because as you can see, I post fairly infrequently. 

 

Father’s Day

Image

That guy right there? He would be an amazing father. He’s already an amazing husband, brother, son, and friend. I can’t even begin to imagine all the amazing things he would do for our child.

It hurts my heart that I can’t make him a father. It hurts to know that there is a good chance that I won’t be able to give him a biological child. It hurts to see families celebrating around us and that we have to be left out of yet another holiday. 

I say this every year and hope that this year it’ll be the last time that I have to say this…”Maybe next year we’ll get to celebrate with our child.”

Maybe next year, E. Maybe next year. 

A Fresh Start

After writing over at Blogger for the past 3 years, I felt like it was finally time for a fresh start. I was having some issues with people finding my blog by searching by my first and last name. Even though I do occasionally post pictures of myself, I like to maintain some anonymity. Since I’m not tied into G.oogle over here, I think that I should be able to remain more anonymous. I wanted to say thank you to all of my readers who have continued to follow my journey over here in this new space.

So what’s been going on since my last post?

FET #2 and a move.

First up – FET #2.

Back in April, we geared up for our second FET cycle. We decided to stick with the same protocol as FET #1 because my progesterone levels were decent for once – L.upron for suppression, E.strace to build up my lining, and E.ndometrin for progesterone support. The cycle was pretty uneventful and moved along quickly and soon we were ready for transfer day. Since our last thaw was essentially a disaster (we lost 4 out of 6 embryos), I was terrified that the same thing would happen again. When we got to the clinic, we learned that they thawed 4 of our 7 embryos and 3 of the embryos survived the thaw. We ended up transferring 3, grade I embryos. All of the embryos had great cell division before the transfer, so we were hopeful that this would be it for us.

Because of the chemical pregnancy with IVF #2, I refused to test before my beta. Thankfully, I had work and Advocacy Day happenings to keep me distracted. Since a 14 DPO beta would fall over a weekend, my nurse scheduled my betas for Thursday and Friday. E picked me up from DC early on Thursday morning and we drove back to NC as quickly as we could. I only had to wait about an hour after my blood draw to receive my results.

Negative.

I could tell from my nurse’s tone of voice that she wasn’t delivering good news. Not only was the beta negative, my progesterone was also low.

Of course I had to go in for a follow-up beta the following day before stopping my medications.

Negative again.

I immediately told my nurse that my protocol needed to change. Especially since this upcoming FET would be our last TTC cycle. I’m tapped out. My heart can’t handle all of this heartbreak anymore. She agreed with me that things needed to be different and spoke to my RE about changes to the protocol. We decided to switch from progesterone inserts to PIO and from E.strace to estrogen injections. L.upron suppression will remain the same. Honestly, I’m terrified of all the injections, but if it’ll give me my baby, then bring them on.

This cycle will also be different because E and I moved to VA about 2 weeks ago. Thankfully, all of my monitoring and blood work can be done locally. I’ll only have to drive back to NC for the transfer. It’s a little strange not to be going to my clinic for everything, but we’ll make it work. As of right now, L.upron will begin on or around July 25 and the transfer should be August 19. Lucky me gets to start birth control tonight since my nurse wants me to have a period before prepping for FET.

So that’s what’s up on the TTC front. Another big happening in my life right now is our recent big move.

E has been offered a faculty position at a widely recognized military academy, which means that he’s been given the opportunity to attend graduate school for a year. It’s strange being out of the military community, but we’re making it work.

This move, by far, has been the most stressful move I’ve experienced in the past 8 years. This move marked my 7th move thanks to the military. We received orders about 3 and a half weeks before E was scheduled to start his first class, thanks to sequestration. Since we didn’t know if this move would actually happen, we decided not to put our house up on the rental market until we had orders in hand. Orders finally came. Thankfully we bought in a great school district, so our house rented out only 4 days after being on the rental market.

After the house was rented, we focused on the moving aspect. E had to clear the military post, I had to finish working, and packing and cleaning needed to happen. Clearing happened. Last day of work happened. Cleaning happened. Packing happened. Everything went fairly smoothly except for the packing. Our movers were pretty terrible and ended up damaging some items and scraping up our newly painted walls. I was so stressed out on move out day that E had to send me to a friend’s house while he stayed behind to supervise.

After the moving came the driving. Our drive only took about half a day and we spent the night in a hotel since we wouldn’t be able to get into our new apartment until the following morning. The unpacking happened quickly because I hate looking at boxes and E is already finished his first week of class.

We’re getting used to living in a smaller space and I have to keep reminding myself that this is only for a year. I miss my friends terribly, but I’m finding some new ones slowly. I joined a gym and have been participating in group exercise classes for about a week now (Operation: Get Fit Again is underway). I’m preparing to go to my first RESOLVE support group meeting later in the month. I’m researching domestic infant adoption. I’m job hunting.

Lots of changes are going on. Some good. Some scary. We’re trying to make the most of this experience and hoping that good things come out of it.