Monday, November 30, 2009

Babies Galore... None of which are mine!

You know how it feels like when you hear another one of your brothers/sisters/in-laws/cousins/friends/neighbors/co-workers/(*fill in the blank*) announce that they are pregnant?

Well today, I decided to sit down and count the number of babies that have been born since we started TTC.  It's amazing how many new additions there have been to the human race for the last 6 years, and these are just of family and friends, not including acquaintances and long lost high school friends (thanks Facebook!).

Since February 2004 the following babies have been born to DH and I:
Immediate Family
  Nieces: 5
  Nephews: 1
Extended Family
  Girls: 5
  Boys: 7 
  Girls: 18
  Boys: 19

That's a grand total of 55 babies!!

Babies Adopted: 3 (2 boys, 1 girl)
People Currently Expecting: 2

That's a heck of a lot of BABIES!!  These are only the ones I can think of right now.  I'm sure I'll think of more later.

Unfortunately, none of them are mine.

A couple of years ago, I jokingly said to DH that if another person tells us they are expecting, I'm going to the spa!  He didn't think that was very funny, especially with our track record.   Maybe I should cash in on some of those long overdue spa trips.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Empty Arms" Video

Time for another IF video.  I found this a while ago on You Tube, and have been waiting to share this.  A fellow member in one of the IF related groups at BabyCenter posted this in her journal a few days ago.  Time to share it now.

Check out the "Tears and Hope: The Infertility Awareness Project" website at

Then watch the "Empty Arms" video.

All I Want for Christmas is.... Not on the Black Friday Deals List

Yesterday was Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the entire year for retailer. My DH, B and I stayed the heck as far away from the mall as possible!  We slept in, and spent most of the afternoon at the coffee shop surfing, comparing prices of item, and planning our Christmas shopping for all the nephews, nieces, parents, grandma, etc.

So halfway through, B turns to me and say "So, what do you want for Christmas this year?"  Me: " I dunno.  I'll have to think about it...."

Really what I wanted to say was "A BABY! A BABY!  The same dang thing I wanted the last few years!"

Wouldn't it be great if I found out I was pregnant for Christmas?  What an awesome gift that would be!

Of course a baby is not something that you can find on the Black Friday circulars!  And it's not something you can put on your Christmas wish list when Grandma or MIL asks for one.  Sometimes I make up things just so that I have something to give them.  Things like CDs, or cookbooks, or a kitchen gadget, or gift cards for eating out.

All things that seem so selfish when the greatest desire in my heart is to have a baby.

Things I wish I could asked for: Maternity clothes, "What to Expect" books, pregnancy books, parenting books, anything related to pregnancy or parenting.

I have asked for Christmas wish lists from my SILs and friends with kids for suggestions for their kids this year.  And I wonder, when is my turn to be able to give them a list for my future kids?  How many years have I bought Christmas presents for everyone else's kids?  When is it my turn to be on the receiving end?

No, it's not about the money.  It's the time and effort put into getting thoughtful and wonderful presents for children I care about.  It's time for someone else to take the time and effort to do the same for my kids.

And if only we have a child/children there for that.

That's what I wish for Christmas.....

Our Journey So Far

In deciding to blog about my IF journey, I spent a long time going over my medical records to try and figure out where I've been. It seems like I've been TTC for as long as I can remember. DH and I have been married for 7 years, and out of those, almost 6 we have been TTC. Almost our entire marriage has been about TTC! No wonder I can't remember what it feels like not to be TTC! Anyway, here's short summary of our journey so far.

**For latest updates, please see my "Our Journey So Far" page.**

Oct - DH and I are married

Feb - Decide to start TTC

May - See OBGYN about difficulty in conceiving
Jul  - Go on Clomid
Aug - Go on Clomid
      - Have HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) done
      - Have SHG (Saline Infused Sonohysterography).   Discover a polyp
Sep - Undergo Hysteroscopy (#1) to remove polyp (#1)

Oct - First appointment with RE.  Decide to proceed with IUIs.
       - IUI #1 - BFN
Nov - IUI #2 - BFN

Feb - Undergo diagnostic laparoscopy.  Fix minor endometriosis.
Jun - IUI is cancelled
Jul - Forced to rest this cycle - 20 cysts discovered
Aug - IUI #3 - BFN

Jan - IUI #4 - BFN
Feb - IUI is cancelled. Another polyp is discovered.
Mar - Hysteroscopy (#2) to remove polyp (#2)
Dec - Hysteroscopy (#3) to remove yet another polyp (#3).

Feb - IVF - BFN
Aug - consulted with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner and start on herbs.
Sep - 2nd month of TCM herbs
Oct - 3rd month of TCM herbs
Nov - Stop TCM herbs due to cold
Dec - Month off for the holidays

Jan - Meet with RE to discuss IVF.
Feb 1 - Started on BCPs
Feb 21 - Started Lu.pron
Feb 24 - Last day of BCPs
Mar 5 - Started stimulation meds
Mar 19 - Egg Retrieval - 8 eggs retrieved from left ovary only
Mar 21 - 6 eggs mature out of 8, only 1 fertilized.
Mar 22 - Found 2nd egg fertilized.
Mar 23 - Embryo 1 only still at 4-cells, and Embryo #2 at 2-cells
Mar 24 - Both embryos arrested, transfer is cancelled.
Apr 13 - Post-IVF consult with RE.  Did Karotype testing.
May 12 - Karotype test came back normal.
Jun 23 - Nurse's consult for July IVF

**For latest updates, please see my "Our Journey So Far" page.**

Wacky IF Lingo

The infertility world has such wacky acronyms!  Especially if you are new to TTC (that's "trying to conceive") all the infertility lingo can mind boggling.  This is especially true if you read lot of infertility blogs and boards.  Here's a list of commonly used acronyms.  I will add to this as needed in the future.

2ww ~ Two week wait (the time between ovulation and period)
AF ~ Aunt Flo, period, menstruation (most dreaded in the IF world!)
ALI ~ Adoption, Loss, Infertility
ART ~ Assisted Reproductive Technology
BD ~ Baby Dancing/Bedroom Dancing (having sex)
Beta ~ Blood test for pregnancy
BFN ~ Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test)
BFP ~ Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test)
BIL ~ Brother-In-Law
BMS ~ Baby Making Sex
B/W ~ Bloodwork
CD ~ Cycle Day (day of your menstruation cycle)
CM ~ Cerival Mucus
DH ~ Dear Husband
DPO ~ Days Past Ovulation
E2 ~ Estradiol - a female hormone that is tested to monitor the ovaries' response to stimulation
ENDO ~ Endometriosis - condition where tissue that lines the uterus or womb grows outside the uterus on other organs or structures of the body.
ER ~ Egg Retrieval - process to remove eggs from the ovaries for IVF.
ET ~ Embryo Transfer - process of transferring embryo(s) back to the uterus during IVF.
FET ~ Frozen Embryo Transfer - process of transferring a previously frozen embryo back to the uterus.
FIL ~ Father-In-Law
FSH ~ Follicle Stimulating Hormone - responsible for stimulating the growth and development of eggs in women, and sperm cells in men.
hCG ~ Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (detected in home pregnancy tests) - hormone that supports pregnancy.
HPT ~ Home Pregnancy Test
HSG ~ Hysterosalpingogram (x-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes)
IF ~ Infertility
ICSI ~ Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (injection of single sperm into egg)
IM ~ Intramuscular, injection directly into muscle
IRL ~ In Real Life
IUI ~ Intrauterine Insemination
IVF ~ In Vitro Fertilization - procedure where eggs are surgically removed from the ovary and fertilized outside the body.  The fertilized eggs are then placed back in the uterus.
KMFC or KMCX ~ Keeping My Fingers Crossed.
KU ~ Knocked Up
Lap ~ Laparoscopy - minimal invasive surgery using very small incision so a laparoscope can be used to view the inside of the abdominal cavity.
LP ~ Luteal Phase - second half of the menstrual cycle after ovulation
M/C ~ Miscarriage
MFI ~ Male Factor Infertility
MIL ~ Mother-In-Law
O or OV ~ Ovulate or Ovulation
OHSS ~ Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
OPK ~ Ovulation Predictor Kit - kits used at home to help predict ovulation.
P4 ~ Progesterone - hormone that supports pregnancy.
PIO ~ Progesterone In Oil
PMS ~ Pre-menstrual Syndrome
POAS ~ Pee On a Stick (to take a pregnancy test)
PCOS ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - Hormonal disorder.  Enlarge ovaries containing numerous small and painless cycsts.
PG ~ Pregnant, pregnancy
RE ~ Reproductive Endocrinologist (fertility specialist)
SA ~ Semen Analysis
SHG or SIS~ Saline Infused Sonohysterography (saline infused ultrasound of the uterus)
SIL ~ Sister-in-Law
Stims ~ Follicle Stimulation drugs
SubQ ~ Subcutaneous (under the skin) injection
TCM ~ Traditional Chinese Medicine
TTC ~ Trying to Conceive
U/S ~ Ultrasound

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Infertility Thanksgiving, of sorts.....

The holiday season can be so hard for so many of us going through the very tough and unwelcome journey of infertility.  So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I started to think about what is it that I am thankful for?  May people say things like they are thankful for friends and family.  But every year, I struggle with this!  I want to say I am thankful for family too, but I wish I had a family of my own to be thankful for!!

So, even though I am going through this IF journey, I am thankful:
  1. For the support of the FEW friends and family members that know about our IF journey.  This is a painful and lonely journey to be on, and support can mean a world of difference!
  2. My faith, knowing that no matter what happens God has a plan for me, even though I may not always know what it is.
  3. For people who are, and have been PRAYING for DH and I for our journey to parenthood, no matter what it may be.
  4. That we live in an age where medical advances have given us hope to have babies when conceiving is difficult or "impossible" for some of us.
  5. That DH and I are on the same page on how to proceed with our treatments.  It was not easy starting treatment at first, but now after 4 failed IUIs, we are looking forward to IVF next  year!
  6. That DH still has a decent job in this economy (I am currently not working)
  7. That DH and I are able to pay for past treatments (some covered by insurance), and that we will be able to finance our future treatments somehow.
I am praying that next year I can be thankful for a healthy *baby or pregnancy*!!

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Infertility Is" Video

I found this "Infertility Video" a few months ago and thought, geez I wish I should share this with those who know about our efforts of TTC but have not gone through it.  No matter how much you love and care for us, it is hard to describe in words how we feel.

This video is for those special people in our lives, and also for you who are TTC.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Harder Than I Thought!

Oh boy!  Blogging is harder than I thought!  Not so much the blogging itself, but where do I start?

I am looking at the many blogs out there and I wonder if I can really do this?

Can I really put down in words what I feel?

Will people really care what I have to say?

How do I describe what I have gone through in the last 6 years without boring everyone to death, and yet I feel like I need to?

I have so much to say, yet where do I start?

It sucks to feel like an amateur in blogging, but yet I've been around the block in the infertility department!!

So all I ask is to please bear with me as do this and hope and that people will actually read what I have to say!


A New Journey

Well it is time to take a new journey again. After almost 6 years of trying for a baby and a few breaks in between, my hubby and I have decided to start on a new journey of TTC (trying to conceive) again.

I have decided that after years of reading thousands of other people's TTC blogs, it is time for me to start my own. I realized that blogging is possibly the best way for me to share my valleys and peaks with others who has, is, or will be going on the "fun" journey of TTC. It is also the best way for me to journal and remember this journey. After 6 years, I can honestly say I can't remember a lot of the details and wish I kept a better record of all the experiences. All the doctor appointments, blood draws, fertility drugs, etc. Even going over copies of my medical record is hard for me to decipher exactly what happened.

So, from now on, I'm going to blog about it!

Today, I finally called the fertility clinic to set up an appointment to see RE after being away from the clinic for almost 2 years. My next appointment is set for Jan 13th 2010. It has been a tough decision for us to make this appointment.

I will post a brief history of my journey, but that will be for another post! As of today, I am officially blogging!