Had my niece today. Not sure what the people in the fertility clinic waiting room were thinking.....


You Are My Sunshine

My lite guy is 8 months old now, I can't believe how time has flown.

Some things I love about DC:

-He wakes up happy, all smiles.
-He has the best and most contagious laugh.
-He adores his Daddy.
-He loves to try new foods and doesn't seem to be too picky.
-He is learning new things so fast.
-He has the chunkiest most delicious thighs I have ever seen!
-He squeals when he talks, it's darling.
-He is at the age where he is beginning to reach for you.
-He loves the bath and shower and never cries when the water gets in his eyes.
-He can down an entire graham cracker and makes the best mess on his face.
-He loves his new puppy and snuggles with him.
-He's ours forever.



DC got a puppy and it was love at first sight for both of them! 

Meet Kona

We've been talking about getting a puppy to add to our pack. Today I picked up this cutie from our local animal shelter. He's 6 weeks old and cute as a button. There were 5 of these puppies born at the shelter. As we were leaving the puppies mom was also being adopted. I bent down and let her smell her baby. Then she licked my face as to say, "please love him for me." of course I will. :)

DC and Kona get along great. The want to snuggle each other but... DC tries to rip off Konas legs and Kona tries to bite DCs fingers and ears off. Not sure what to do about this.

I'll try and post more pics, but I'm blogging from my phone and don't know exactly how to do more pictures on this post.


Things That Make You Go Hmmm....

Years ago a client of mine was struggling with infertility. She went through many of the same tests and finally she decided she had just had enough.  She still wanted a baby and was open to other ideas off of the traditional fertility grid.  She found out about a researcher in Holland who has helped couples struggling with fertility.  How it works... Ian (the researcher) sends a nurse to your home who takes a blood sample.  The nurse then overnights the sample to Ian (I don't even want to know what that costs!)  He then analyzes your blood sample and can tell you what you are eating that is poisoning your body.  IT is very similar to 'Eating for Your Blood type'.  So from what I understand he sends you a report with things you should and shouldn't eat.  It is interesting because something you may think is healthy for you might actually be causing inflammation in your body and making you sick.  My friend said, for example, that carrots are on her don't eat list.  Very interesting.....  I know this approach sounds a little nutty, however, my friend did indeed get pregnant and knows many other women who have too.  The best part is that he guarantees you get pregnant in 18 months or your money back.  His costs are low....$1,600 per person.  Now that is doable!  We have an appointment to Skype with him on Monday and we will get more information then.  It may not be the answer for us, but then again it might be.  The Internet has mixed review on him and his ideas, but results don't lie and women are getting pregnant.  The only thing that has me wondering if this will work for me or not is that he mostly helps women with PCOS and I don't have PCOS, so we'll see.  Maybe he can help Heath...Who knows?  I am willing to try anything.

Sometimes I feel like finding a solution to this fertility mess is a full time job.  I'm fine with that.  If I'm not actively working on a solution then I feel helpless and sad.  So right now I am in work mode and I am going to figure something out one way or the other.

Oh and can I add the the list, the list of things I suggest not saying to a couple dealing with infertility.
  • Oh, you just need to relax and then it will happen.  (Don't say that because in my case all the relaxing in the world won't increase my egg count and it just makes me CRAZY when I hear that.  Also, don't get my hopes up.)
  • Now, that you've adopted you'll get pregnant for sure.  (First of all, I believe that when people get pregnant after they adopt it is because that adopted baby was supposed to go to that family and maybe wouldn't have if things had worked out differently.  Second of all, one may say that to a person who is totally infertile and then it just sounds extra insensitive.)
I'm done ranting for the night.  I promise to try and post more fun and positive things.

I Feel Like a Ping-Pong Ball

Earlier this week we went to the fertility clinic for them to do more blood work on me.  They explained it as a "hindsight" test.  I guess they can look back and learn what we can do differently on my next cycle.  The visit at the clinic was not supposed to be long, but of course it went longer, me and all of my questions could have kept us there all day!  I asked if we could speak with a nurse to go over all of my test results again.  A kind nurse sat down with us for an hour an explained and re-explained everything to me again and answered all of my questions.  I liked talking to her because she had struggled with infertility also and could honestly relate to us.  I asked her to talk to me as a mother, as a woman who has struggled, and as a nurse.  She gave us a lot of options and it felt like we could actually do something at the clinic and be successful with it. 

After speaking with the nurse we went into another office and spoke with the billing/financial lady.  Now that was depressing!  The clinic offers all sorts of "packages" in regards to in vitro.  Some are as little as $9,000 and as high as $20,000.  BUT and there is a BIG BUT-- They have extra premiums you have to pay on top of those base prices.  For example, anesthetist fees, ICSI (where they actually inject the swimmer into the egg and they do that prior to each IVF attempt,) embryo storage, etc, etc, etc.  That price also doesn't include all of the many many medications that I have to be on to prep my body for the IVF and those can be as little as $2,000 up to who knows how much. 

One of the options discussed at the the clinic was embryo adoption.  That is where you adopt and then implant another couples embryo into your body.  I know it sounds strange and at first we wouldn't have been open to it, but what is the difference between that and regular adoption.  Now I know the explanation of the adoption to the child would be a little tricky, but we'd figure it out.  Embryo adoption starts at around $7,000 which is much more affordable, but then again there are a lot of extra premiums tacked on.

I felt like I was caught in a ping-pong game all day (and just in general too.)  One one side was something that seemed like good news and on the other side was the catch.  I would hear something wonderful and then the catch would come and come quickly.  Here are a few examples:
  • In Vitro is $20,000.  The catch, all those stinking premiums.
  • Embryo adoption.  The catch, you only get one shot at it and the embryos are usually low quality.  The success rate of embryo adoption actually taking is very low.
  • Your body can easily carry a baby.  The catch, chances of actually getting pregnant is a miracle.
I could go on and on with the list, but I won't.


Hope Restored

I gave myself Thursday to just sit home and feel sorry for myself. I don't even think I brushed my teeth until 4:00 and I didn't change my clothes or shower until 4:00 either. I didn't clean my house, I just let things pile up and I didn't care! It felt good to do that for the day but I'm not sure I could do it much longer; I think it would depress me further to not stay busy. The Lord was looking out for me yesterday. He sent Jenya with cookies which was wonderful to have a visitor and not to mention she looked after the baby so I could shower finally. He told Mindy to call me and tell me it's ok if I decided I needed more than one day to feel sorry for myself. The Lord also had many many people call, text, and email me telling me they love me and letting me know they are here for me. I had heartbreaking emails from friends opening up to me about their own fertility issues, which made me feel like people understood and gave me a sense of connection. The Lord also sent me Kandice who went to Chilis with me for late night chips and queso. Overall, the day was better than I expected and I felt the love people were sending.

When all of started to come to light I knew I needed to call Deanna. She too has been through similar experiences and I knew she'd know what to say. We met for dinner tonight and she knew all the perfect things to say. Basically she helped me find the hope I needed. She explained to me that money doesn't need to be the issue. She helped me come up with an action plan and that means so much, it's what I need.

I'm feeling like we can do this as a family! And for the record I never gave up. I kept having people say "well don't give up", whoever said I was giving up?? Not me! Just because I was frustrated and sad doesn't mean I was giving up for heavens sake. I have wanted children my whole life and come hell or high water I'm going to make it happen.

Please please please tell everyone you know that we are adopting:)

PS I'm typing this on my iPad and it doesn't support my spell check, excuse any typos please.


In the Meantime...

....PRAY for a miracle that this insemination works... and also please please please tell EVERYONE you know that you know a family looking to adopt.  :)


Since I last posted there has been a lot that has happened.  I will start where I left off.  After my positive ovulation test on Monday I called our fertility specialist and made an appointment for first thing in the morning (Tuesday) to do our insemination.  I could hard sleep, it was worse than Christmas when you're 5 years old.  Our appointment was at 7:30 in the morning for my husband to "make his deposit."  We then had to wait two hours to come back and do the actual insemination.  During the 2 hours they test the "sample" and do a special wash on it get rid of what we don't want and to keep what we do want (the healthiest of swimmers.)  While the lab was doing that we went to breakfast, I was so anxious the whole time and just trying to keep happy thoughts.  We made it back to the office a little bit early and they called us back to a room.  When the nurse practitioner came in she was holding a syringe with the "goods" in it and a piece of paper with the lab results.   Before she did the actual insemination she wanted to go over the lab results.  To say the least she was not positive. She gave us A LOT of information but after about 5 minutes she started to sound like Charlie Browns teacher.  She told us that my husbands swimmer count was high but the motility was low and a lot of other stuff I can't remember.  She basically said, insemination isn't likely to work and we needed to consider in vitro.  While she was telling me this I am sitting there half dressed, feeling totally deflated, and feeling like someone punched me in the gut; I just wanted her to do the insemination so that I could go home and cry my guts out.  I felt like she just kept talking and I finally said, "well lets just do this, while we are talking everything in that syringe is dying."  The procedure hurt and was the worst of all procedures so far, not to mention I was holding back my tears and just wanted to leave.

I felt bad for my husband, he was feeling awful and didn't want to talk about it.  At first, before we could recognize what was happening it seemed like a wedge was being driven between us.  Tension and stress was high and we were frustrated.  Thankfully he recognized what was happening and told me that we can't let the stress of it get between us and he is right, we can't and we won't.

I went straight to work on Tuesday and tried to be positive in light of the news we had just received earlier that day.  I was hopeful for a miracle.  Then Wednesday came and so did the phone call... I was at work all day Wednesday again and still trying to be positive until the phone rang.  It was our nurse (our real nurse, not the one that did the insemination,) she was calling to give me the results of some tests that I had done earlier in the month.  This was a surprise to me because I thought I had already heard back on all of my tests.  Bottom line--she said my eggs are good but I don't have many left.  She said it would take a lot of medication to stimulate my follicles (follicles produce the eggs.)  She also began to sound like Charlie Browns teacher...but I did hear the part where she said, in vitro is probably your only option and that might not even work unless we can get some seriously healthy embryos...

I hung up the phone and tried to hold it together, but it wasn't happening.  I went in the bathroom and sobbed.  I just wanted to leave and go home to lay in my bed, cry, and then feel sorry for myself.  I also just wanted to get my arms around my sweet little baby boy and thank the Lord for him!! I had clients for the rest of the night and so leaving wasn't an option and not crying wasn't an option either.  My poor clients (that happened to be all men) had to watch me cry while they were meeting with me. 

My problem isn't that we are having fertility problems, my problem is that in order to expand my family it is going to cost us A LOT of money.  I absolutely HATE that money is dictating something as important as this.  Adoption can cost as much as $50,000 and in vitro is $20,000 for a guaranteed live birth.  Money really does make the world go round.... 

Now I know I am being Negative Nellie and I know miracles happen and I know the Lord has a plan and I know things will work out and I know I need to be positive and blah blah blah.  But right now is NOT the time tell me these things.  Right now I need a day or two to just be mad and to cry and to throw a little fit.  When people tell me to "have faith" or "be positive" I really just want to punch them in the nose because I feel like they minimizing my grief. And usually it's people that have popped out a bunch of kids and have no idea what this feels like.  I do have faith in the Lord and I KNOW he has a plan for our family and I am hanging onto that, but right now I need time to process all of this, to be sad, and make a plan.  I know the Lord will provide, but we need to do our part. 

  • At least you already have one child.....
  • Look how easy it was for you to adopt your first child, that will happen again.
  • Just have faith
  • Be positive
  • So and so got pregnant when the Doctors said they wouldn't
These things are fine to say after the shock of the news is gone, just now when its so fresh and sensitive.


Smiley Face

We had a meeting at work this morning and it was necessary for me to take my ovulation test at work. I didn't hide what I was doing, you can't work with a bunch of women and expect too much privacy. So at the appointed time I went in the ladies room and took my test. Someone was waiting for the bathroom and so I had to wait for the results in our break room. I was glad to have some people there with me while I waited. It seemed to take forever, but after it was done blinking I saw a smiley face! That means tomorrow is the day of insemination, wish us luck!

Results so Far!

I'm in a meeting so I can't do a real post but these are the texts I just got from my husband regarding his blood exposure (see posts below).

All but the HIV tests are done. All is negative. When the HIV AIDS test is done he will call me straight out. 

You pretty much have to inject AIDS/HIV to get it so that means I'm pretty sure I'm I'm the clear.

Praise Be! Phew!!


Uncle Larry

My family was taking family photos recently and who should appear....Larry King and his wife Shawn.  While everyone else was whispering and saying, "That's Larry King," I just piped up and said, "Hey Larry, you wanna be in our family photo?"  He was such a great sport and he jumped right in and took about 10 shots with us.  Then after he hung around for a few minutes and told us a story about him and President Reagan.  It was fun. 
(When Larry agreed to be in our picture we were all kind of scattered and so in this particular photo we are missing a few people, but it was easier to post this pic because my husband isn't in it and I don't have to blur his face.)

Bit of Sunshine

While I sit here and wait for the phone to ring to tell us we are A-OK (see blog post below) I decided to blog about happy things. 

All of my life I have waited to become an auntie.  Next to being a mom I think that being an auntie is the greatest thing ever.  When I married my husband I inherited about a million nieces and nephews and they are all great!  Unfortunately, none of them live even remotely close and most of them are older; I think our oldest nephew is 31, I don't think he'd appreciate me bouncing him on my knee.  However, last December my brother and his wife blessed us with a beautiful baby girl and I adore her.  The best part is that she lives only a few minutes away.  I am ecstatic that my son will have a cousin close to his age that lives near by.  I hope this little girl grows up knowing how much I love her and how long I have waited for her.

Uh Oh

I don't know if you have noticed or not, but I am very general when I talk about my husband and you will rarely if ever see a photo of him on here.  He has requested that I keep his identity private, I respect that and I don't mind.  I only refer to him as "my husband" or "Mr. P." or "Mr. Practical."  With that said, as a part of keeping his identity private,  I also keep his profession private.  That one is hard for me because what he does for a living is a huge part of our lives.  I only mention this because it is relevant to the story I am about to tell because you might have questions and unless I know you, I can't answer them. Bummer I know!


When he got home from work today he informed me that he had accidental exposure with 2 individuals blood.  He was wearing gloves but the gloves broke (I'm thinking we need to upgrade those to better ones!)  Anyway, the two individuals got blood tests last night and now we are just waiting for the results.  If the results come back with bad news (HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, etc), then we are screwed.  We are screwed because he will have to undergo tests for the next 6-12 months and there will be NO baby making.  That means no fertility specialist, no insemination, no you know what!  I am a little wigged out right now and I want them to hurry and call us back with the results.  I guess on the bright side I didn't ovulate today and so I don't need worry about going in tomorrow for insemination without knowing the results of the blood tests.

BTW, no one ever told me that pre-natals can make you feel sick.  I hate the way they make me feel :(


Not Today

I believe I have made an almost full recovery from my time with the Valuim.  I wish I could say it was a complete recovery, but until I get the videos of me acting like a loon off my husbands phone I don't think I can consider it a full recovery.  Today, I was excited to take my ovulation test, it seemed like it took an eternity to give me the results.  Sadly, today was not the day of ovulation, but I do have more time for it to be the day. 


Dazed and Confused

Yesterday was my HSG test.  I wish I could say that I remember everything that happened but I can honestly say that I don't... My doctor had prescribed me a Valium to help me relax because the test is said to be quite painful.  We got to the hospital and after I registered and signed my consent form I was instructed to take the Valium.  Now for a girl that never takes medicine, the Valium had quite the affect on me.  Within a few minutes I could tell it was working and within 20 minutes I started acting really funny.  I don't remember much, but I remember I couldn't get my hospital gown on and I needed my husband to help me.  I also remember that I kept apologizing to the nurses for acting like an idiot (even though I don't think I did act like an idiot.)  After the procedure my husband kept trying to take my phone from me so that I couldn't make calls, however, I wouldn't let him take it from me and I did indeed make a few calls.  LOL!!!  Two of my girlfriends called my husband and asked if he was going to work and if they needed to "babysit" me and/or my baby.  My dear sweet husband thought it would be a good idea to video me while 'under the influence', those videos will be destroyed.... I decided that I don't like the way that drug made me feel and I hope to never take one again, I can't figure out why people wanna feel like that on purpose, I hated it. 

Anyway, as far as the results of my test go, the PA who performed the test said everything looked good.  I am hoping that the test blew my tubes open and will make it easier to become pregnant, we will see.  Now I am just waiting to ovulate, once that happens we will go in and do the IUI.  Wish me luck!  They have me on so many meds right now and it is making me so sick, I hope this isn't what morning sickness is like, yucky, but I'll gladly take it to have a baby:)


Fertility Testing Update

Disclaimer: There might be a TMI (too much information) ALERT needed for the post. 

Today I went in for my blood test and an ultrasound.  The purpose of these tests is to help the doctor determine my female health and the condition and age of my eggs.  I was slightly nervous for this test because it has always been my joke that my eggs were expiring and that I needed to have babies sooner than later.  I was afraid my joke could actually be a reality and I wasn't sure I was ready to have that confirmed.  Anyway, I had my husband stay home with the baby and went alone because it was going to be an easy appointment.  They drew my blood first.  When she was drawing it I said to the nurse, "So for my appointment today he isn't going to look up my dress is he?"  She started laughing and said, "He's going to look up your dress alright."  Huh?  Ummm, no one has EVER told me that there is more than one way to get an ultrasound!! I thought this was going to be the situation where they put jelly stuff on your belly and ran a little thingy over your stomach....WRONG, they don't run it over your belly, it goes somewhere else.  It wasn't a big deal, I just wasn't prepared for it.  There are some things I'm learning the hard way.

So, the doc said so far I am looking good.  My follicles (the little guys that can turn into eggs) are looking good and healthy, my ovaries are alright, my uterus is doing what it should.  The doc said that as soon as the blood test results come back (3 days) he will know for sure that things are good or if we have cause for concern.

On Thursday I go in for an HSG test. I don't understand this text exactly, but from what I understand it is an x-ray of my lady parts.  They fill me up with a special dye and look at my fallopian tubes and uterus.  They are checking for blockages and other problems.  Everyone says this test hurts, I guess I'll find out for myself.

After my test Thursday we will wait until ovulation and then do insemination.  (I warned you at the beginning that this post was going to be full of more information than you probably wanted to know.)  So right now I am on femara (it's like Clomid without the crazy factor, you get with Clomid,) it is supposed to help me ovulate.  I am also on what feels like 100 other medicines, I don't usually take any meds and so remembering has been chore! Overall I am so thankful for modern medicine and thankful for the chance to expand my family in this way.  However, if I had to/get to adopt all my kids I would be the happiest mom on the planet.  I'll let you know how Thursday goes.


Adoption Finalization

Just before Christmas we finalized DCs adoption.  It was wonderful to be there with so many friends and family members.

Open Adoption

If you would have asked me a year ago if I would be okay with an open adoption I would have told you there was no way.  Things have changed.  We made the decision early on that we didn't want DC to ever feel the emptiness that so many adopted people feel.  It seems that the vast majority of adopted people I have talked to admit to always feeling like something was missing.  It doesn't matter how incredible their adopted family is/was, adopted kids generally always feel a little space of emptiness.  The thought of DC growing up with that makes my heart hurt.  From the research we have done we have come to learn that adopted kids at the very least want to know their story.  They want to know where they came from, who they look like, and why they might be slightly different than the rest of the family.  Some people are happy to just know their story and maybe even see a picture of their birth parents.  Other people end up wanting more, they want to meet or sometimes even get to know their birth families.  We have also come to discover that the only relationships that really need to change are who mom and dad are, all of the other relationships can stay intact and the adopted kid can grow up with a happy and healthy life.  **Disclaimer: Of course this is only true if the birth family is healthy and if is in the best interest of all parties involved, I feel this kind of goes without saying.** 

In our situation with DC we are so blessed to have adopted him from a WONDERFUL family!  His birth mothers family is incredible and we are so blessed to have them in our lives.  (The birth father and his family aren't quite as healthy, we will save that for another day...)  We knew early on that it would be in DC's best interest to know his birth family and to have a relationship with them.  It was important for us to let go of any insecurites we might have had about him being close with his birth family, especially because this was in his best interest.  I also had to ask my family to let go of their insecurites.  We reassured our parents that they are still the grandparents and that they weren't being replaced.  But can I say it's great having grandparents that live so close! When I need a babysitter I call Grandma and Grandpa first and they are always so excited to have him.  I feel comfortable leaving him there because I know they love him and also want what's best for him.  They are happy to see him and to have a relationship with not only him but my husband and I as well.  We are lucky and blessed.

My hope is that DC will feel complete as he grows up, that he won't have the emptiness I fear he could have.  I want him to know there are soooo many people that love and care about him.  We will always be very clear with him who his parents are and I hope that he will grow up to understand every ones important roles in his life and that he will understand his.  And if at any time it seems that he is overwhelmed or if for some reason he can't handle this, then we will reevaluate and make decisions based on what is in his best interest.  But for now, he is one lucky kid because he has three sets of grandparents and lots and lots of family to love him!

He's Not So Sure About Peas

Too Much Information....

I started my period yesterday... Yeah, I said it and I'm owning it. We are beginning into the not so magical world of fertility testing and you can't begin many of the tests until your cycle starts, so hence my announcement.  I have had many of my friends ask how it's going, I decided my blog was the best way to let everyone know how it's going without having to explain it a million times.

Here is our story and I will update it whenever there is something new to tell.  We have been trying to have a baby for close to 2 years now.  I have had a couple very early miscarriages and other than that no pregnancies.  About a year ago we went to our family doctor who gave us orders to get a blood test for me and for my husband to get his swimmers checked.  I am not sure why but it took us a year to actually go in and get tested.  I think we were afraid to hear bad news.  Well, we had maxed out our out of pocket expenses for 2011 so we finally went at the end of December and did the testing we were dreading. 

Anyone who had ever done any sort of testing knows that it is a LONG wait until you hear the results.  Our son DC had an appointment with our doc a few days later, so while my husband was there with our son he asked for the results.  Much to his dismay the doctor (who we won't be seeing anymore) sent her very young CNA in to deliver a referral slip to a fertility specialist and bad news.  Within a week we were sitting in the fertility specialists office discussing our options.  He had looked over our results and said not to worry quite yet, we weren't beyond hope.  Thank heavens. 

We left the office with a plan and that felt great!  We feel so hopeful knowing we have such an experienced confident specialist working with us.  His office staff was so helpful and everyone was so NICE!  They made us feel comfortable and spent all the time with us we needed and answered all of the questions we had. 

Monday I go in for a more extensive blood test and an ultrasound on my ovaries.  Then a few days after that I have to go to the hospital for another test, they tell me it's going to be unpleasant...  Then in 10-14 days we are going to try insemination!  At that time they will also do a more extensive test on my husbands swimmers... Bottom line is by the end of the month we should know what the problem is.  I am trying so hard not to get my hopes up about the insemination, but I just can't help it.  The doc says it usually doesn't work the first time, I'm trying not to forget that.

Meanwhile, I am SO thankful for my sweet baby boy.  He is perfect and we love him so much.  He filled a hole in my heart and everyday he makes life wonderful.  I am thankful things have happened the way they have otherwise we might not have him and that would be unimaginable.  No matter what happens this month with our testing I am going to do my best to just put my trust in The Lord.  So far he has followed through with all of his promises and I need to learn to trust his timetable.  Adoption has blessed our lives in ways we could have never imagined and so if we end up adopting all of our kids then we will be the happiest people on earth.

I'll let you know how the testing on Monday goes....