My, how she's grown!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bizarre Foods

Have you ever watched Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel? The show tonight is about Samoa. They eat some weird crap over there! He had this bottle of sea slugs and when he poured it out it looked like snot!! Or cervical mucous (that's for you Kelly Y). Can you tell I'm an infertile when fish guts on tv reminds me of cervical mucous? Nice, huh? So, he took a big bite and this nasty, snotty, cervical mucousy stuff just dribbled on his chin. I thought I was going to vomit! I think he thought he might too. It was nastaaayy!!

I finished my adoption paperwork today! Notice I said "my" paperwork. Hubs still has to do his. I don't know when the poor guy is going to have time to complete it. He barely has time to sleep. Between his work and school and nagging wife he can barely breathe! I love him so much. We have to finish a monthly budget sheet showing how much we spend and on what as well as get tax forms, pet vaccination records, TB tests, fingerprints, etc. The first time I looked at the paperwork it was so overwhelming. But once I sat down and really took it step by step, it wasn't too terribly bad. I realized that Hubs and I don't disagree on too much. Don't get me wrong. We have our fair share of arguments...but we don't have disagreements on things like money, leisure activities, alcohol, etc. It was a nice thing to realize!!

(now Andrew is eating a bat...they shoot them out of the trees and lay them on the fire. Apparently the bats are vegetarian so they don't have to clean them first. Not sure why that makes them clean?? He just got a big mouthful of bat fur. Nice huh?)

Wish me luck at my RE appointment tomorrow. Hopefully I haven't ovulated yet. I realized today that I have gotten pregnant doing an injectible/IUI cycle 2 out of 3 times. I guess that's a good thing...that it actually works. Now if we can just make them stick around long enough to be born. Sigh....

I'll update you tomorrow after my appointment.

If you get the chance check out Kelly's blog...she is one of my dearest friends and is going through an infertility battle of her own.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Holy Follicle Batman!

I had a follow up appointment today. The good news is that I have several follicles on the left and several on the right. The bad news is that there is one BIG follicle on the left. It's measuring at 18 mm. For those of you who, may not know, the ideal scenario is for all the follicles to be pretty much the same size. When you have one that stands way out in front of the others, that's not a great thing. Of course, we don't want too many the same size because that's how you end up with sextuplets! The hope is that I won't ovulate on my own before the IUI. We know that I never ovulate on my own but we'll see what happens. We are continuing meds for 2 more days and will recheck on Wednesday.

I'm pretty sure that you have all seen a vaginal ultrasound wand...aka dildocam, vagcam, 2nd husband, etc. If not, here is one for your viewing pleasure.

And, just for fun, here is my view from the not so cheap seats.

I had an easy time at the lab today. She got me on the first try. I have a vein on my left forearm but it is "deep" as Maria told me. This means lots of digging. But, she got it and it wasn't too terribly painful. My pain threshold had increased by leaps and bounds going through all of this.

This is Maria. She is the sweetest person! Today when she came to the door to call me back she just looked at me and groaned! I knew she was coming for me without her even saying my name! Doesn't she just look like a sweetheart?? (holy cow! I just realized how pale I look...reminder...add more blush!)

This is Jennifer. She is the front desk person and doesn't stick me, but she always comes in for moral support. For some reason, when she is in the room, my blood seems to flow faster! We have a whole system worked out..I tell ya!! She is awesome too.

I am really trying to be excited and hopeful about this cycle, but I just can't seem to get there. I am going through the motions but I really don't care too much about it this time around. Don't get me wrong. I really want this to work and to have a baby next summer. But history tends to repeat itself. I don't know...we'll just have to wait and see.
I'm finding it really hard to diet right now. I'm doing the best I can with a few slip ups here and there but it's just hard! Plus the bloat from the shots makes me feel all huge. I have decided that after this IUI that I'm not going to the gym until we know if I'm pregnant. I just want to do everything in my power to stay pregnant if this works. I'm also weaning myself off of caffeine. That's a big job too. But I'll do what it takes. Please continue with the prayers and good vibes!
Off to work on adoption paperwork. I think I was a tad bit overzealous to think that we could have it completed this week!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A fish in the desert...

"Sometimes I feel like a fish in the desert. Destined for water, but stuck in the sand..." (Larry Crabb, "Finding God")

I think we can all relate to this feeling. We are destined to be mothers, to be a family instead of just a couple, to enjoy all the ups and downs of having a child. But instead we stand on the outside looking in. We are gasping for air but all we get is sand. We have a thirst that is so intense...and there is no water to satisfy that thirst. I know in my heart that God is our source of water...that he is the life giving spring. If we will just go to him he will give us all the water we need. I can apply that to so many parts of my life...but infertility just doesn't seem to be one of them. So many bad things have happened that it really makes me wonder if my having a child really matters that much to Him. I talk to hubs sometimes about why bad things happen. We do things the right way, we are the best people we can be...and sometimes I just wish that God would bless us for doing the right thing. Hubs tells me that we don't do the right thing for a reward...we do the right thing because it's the right thing to do. And you know what? He's right. I know that God loves me...and the He does care about every aspect of my life. And just because I'm a fish out of water doesn't mean that he cares any less. My view is very limited...I know there is a much bigger picture out there. Regardless if I build my family biologically or through adoption or both, it will be the biggest blessing that anyone has ever had!

I'll just keep flopping in the sand until I find the water.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Too cute...

I found these pictures and just had to share!!!

Here is Patches in all of her glory!

And here is Lucy, the cowardly Rottweiler trying to run from the camera. Maybe she thinks the flash is stealing her soul?? She bolts any time she even sees the camera!
And you can see Molly...doing what she does best....sleeping!!

Annie...Annie...are you ok? **

By the looks of this picture I should say not!

We took our CPR and 1st Aid classes today. It was actually quite fun! Our instructor is an Austin firefighter/paramedic. He was really dry and absolutely hysterical!

I thought I would type out some funny things he said and did, but the realized that you had to be there. Just know that we learned a lot and if you ever need CPR, I'm there to help! So is the hubs! We're all trained up! (Excuse the photo quality...taken by cell phone)

Count this as one more check mark off of the list of things we have to do for adoption!
I finally heard back from my RE late yesterday and my estradiol level was 100. This time last cycle it was 115. So, we are on track and everything looks good. I will stay on the same Follistim dosage through Sunday. Then back for more bloodwork and ultrasound on Monday. We should have a better idea of things by then.
I came across something that I wanted to share...
Prayer invites God's presence to suffuse our spirits, God's will to prevail in our lives. Prayer may not bring water to parched fields, nor mend a broken bridge nor rebuild a ruined city. But prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart, rebuild a weakened will.
Here's to lot's of mending, watering, rebuilding...God knows we need it.

**I took my first CPR class years ago. And the doll/fake humans name was Annie. For some reason this has always stuck with me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fertility Waters???

Ok, sorry for 2 posts so close together but I just HAVE to comment on this bizarre story. You can read it for yourself here..

Nicole Kidman, who is 41 years old, miraculously became pregnant after swimming in a waterfall in the Australian outback. "Seven babies were conceived out of this film and only one was a boy. There is something up there in the Kununurra water because we all went swimming in the waterfalls, so we can call it the fertility waters now."

Here is my question? Why in the H E double hockey sticks are we wasting all of our money on fertility treatments when all it takes is a vacation to Australia and a good swim in a waterfall? I feel cheated! Why didn't someone tell me this before?

You know...I could create a business! I'll go to Australia, bottle up that stuff and bring it back to the states. If one gets pregnant swimming in it, how much better would it be to drink it! Multiple Mayhem!! Follistim be damned!! I'm going to be Sorry Dr. W. Your days are numbered!!

All is well...

Today was busy from the minute my alarm clock went off. I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, and headed to the lab. I actually ran into one of the RE's from the practice I go to. He looked at me like, "I think I know you...". Keep in mind that I had on no makeup and was wearing glasses. I am not one of those girls that looks beautiful au naturale...believe me. But, I digress..

The girls in the lab are just wonderful and I've been so much that they all know me by name. We all know that my veins are crap and it takes an act of congress to get a few drops. Turns out that they needed 4 vials! I had an infectious disease panel drawn in May but of course the lab lost it. I got two sticks from Maria and not a drop of blood. Then Diana stuck me and got blood both times. I think we got enough for all the tests, including my estradiol levels.
After having my blood drawn I went to my car and noticed that the front left tire looked low. Then I noticed a bubble in the tire. This happened a few weeks ago and I had to have the tire replaced....apparently it happens when you hit a pothole or scrub a curb...which I never do...right hubs?? =) We have warranties on the tires but guess where I have to go? You guessed it...the place that screwed me over yesterday. I knew I wasn't going back there so I found a different one closer to my house. They were able to replace the tire in about 45 minutes. Then I rushed home, got cleaned up and went to my doctor's appointment by 11:00.

When I got to the office I saw something that just made my heart sad. There were 12 women and 4 men in the waiting room. This is a huge practice with 4 doctors and I have never seen it this full. It just made me realize how infertility affects so many lives. I could just imagine what those women and men were going through. I've been through so many downs with infertility and I hate that anyone else has to go through it. I think about the first time patient..coming in not knowing what to expect. Most likely filled with hope and fear all at the same time. Then there are people like me with lots of loss under their belts. Then there are women (one I talked to today) who had their first child through fertility treatments and are pregnant for the 2nd time. I wonder if they have fear that they will lose the baby? My sister is a perfect example of having no fear. She has 3 children, no problems conceiving, no issues during...she never once thought that she might miscarry. I'm glad she didn't! Count it as yet another thing that infertility takes from us. We can't even enjoy being pregnant because we are so full of fear and doubt. We want to be in love with the little life growing inside of us but we are afraid to get too think that it's real....sigh....

So, back to the original point...I had been sitting in the waiting room for about 20 minutes(which is completely odd...Dr. W is mostly always on time. It's one more thing I love about her!). So I decided to call Keri, my nurse/friend. I was like, "What's going on back there? You having a party? Drinking martinis and getting your nails done?" About that time Susan came to get me and I went on back...hanging up with Keri as I went. We just laughed! See, I tell you...I love going to the doctor! I go in the room and Dr. W comes in...she always loves on me and asks me how I am. She always remember what's going on with me and is a huge cheerleader! Regardless of what it is. We did the scan and everything looks good. I have 2 good follicles on the right and a few smaller ones...and 5-6 good ones on the left. I am still waiting to see what my estradiol levels are to know what dosage of Follistim to take for the next 3 days. Overall, everything is how it should be. I go back on Monday for more bloodwork and another ultrasound. If it goes as it did last cycle, I will most likely be through with shots by Wednesday and do the IUI's Thursday and Friday. My clinic does back to back IUI's for better chances. I'll take all the help I can get!

After I got dressed I went out and talked to Dr. W for a while. We talked about marriage and life in general. I tell you...when this whole infertility thing is over, I want to be for real friends with this woman! We keep talking about having margaritas! She is such a blessing in my world. I know I say it alot...but it's true! Anyway...after the appt. I went to lunch with my girls and had a great time. They let me be loud and dominate the conversation. =) I heart them!
My diet isn't going so great today. Sometimes I just have to have something yummy. And today I had ice cream from Sonic. Take that weight watchers!!! And then the scale says to me....Take That Leah!!! Oh was worth every single bite. YUMMY! Speaking of dieting....I thought I would post some before/after pictures. I never realized how big I was until I lost weight. Holy Cow! Literally! This was after I had lost about 40 lbs. Poor hubs! By the way...isn't he handsome? I think so!!

November 2007 June 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What a day!!!

Remember me telling you yesterday that my car was making an awful noise? Well, we took it in to our normal place today and they told me that it needed new struts and strut mounts. Wanna guess how much they want to charge?? $955.00. I remembered that when we bought the car, used, that the dealer replaced the struts. They had to do it twice because the first time they used regular parts instead of Lexus parts. Blah blah blah... So, I went to the dealer where we got the car and a very nice guy named James helped me. He said that if that was the problem that they would help me and just charge me for parts. It added up to about $400.00. But he wanted to just drive it first to see if that was the problem. He didn't think it was the struts and his mechanic confirmed. Point of the story is this. A bolt was loose. That's what was making the noise. So, I went back to the 1st place and lost my mind! I told them that I no longer trust them and who knows how much money they have taken from us in the past. I asked for my $19.99 diagnostic fee back and got it! So, needless to say, it's been a HECTIC day. I'm a nice person and love people, etc. But I will turn into Frankenstein if someone does me wrong. Don't mess with my family, don't mess with my friends, don't mess with me! Heck, I'll even stick up for strangers! It's really bad sometimes...I have to reign it in. I'll be all like, "I'm not scared!! Bring it on!!" And hubs is telling me to calm down...that 6 foot 6 inch man might not like you in his face. I'm sure you get the point. =) Just call me Angel!!

So, more about me. I have a huge love for people but I also have a huge love for animals. I have 3 beautiful dogs and I love them sooo much. Hubs wonders if I love them more than him sometimes. I have Lucy the lovable Rottweiler. I found her on the side of the road 2 years ago. It was about 105 degrees outside and she was just pitiful! She weighed 40 pounds (full grown) and was all skin and bones. She now weighs in at a healthy 80 pounds. She is my lap dog! Then there's Patches. She is the cutest, nosiest dog I have ever seen. Her name is quite obvious!! See black/white dog below. Then there's Molly. She is my old girl...13 1/2. She is the perfect dog. So loving and sweet and obedient. She never really learned how to play so she's kinda awkward when we try. She lived in my grandmother's backyard until I took her many years ago. She's in the lap of luxury now! I would have a farm with horses and hundreds of dogs if I could! One can dream.... Oh, and speaking of dogs, I have to walk them everyday. They know when the time is coming! They start spinning and getting's quite crazy! I take the 2 younger ones on a mile and a half walk every day....and Molly only gets a short one. She can't go too far anymore.

I go back to the RE tomorrow. Nothing to report yet but I will post after my appointment. I am having lunch with all the nurses. Keri is my nurse and we became fast friends! We talk everyday and hang out. She had a baby 6 months ago and he's such a doll. He gives me my baby fix on a regular basis. Such a sweety! Keri is an awesome girl and I just love her. I think about how horrible it is to go through all of this, but if I hadn't, I would have never met my girls!! I'm friends with all of them! We usually have about 8 people that go to lunch together. It's fun. And it makes it fun to go to the doctor. Just so I can see my girls! I'm also glad that I am able to help my BFF Kelly go through all of her junk. You should visit her blog.... We've been friends forever and have been through a lot together. This is just one more thing to add to our list. Too bad it couldn't have been something more winning the lottery together!

I take my 3rd shot tonight. I remember when I first started the shots. I was a nervous wreck and took them at the exact same time every night!! Now, I forget to take them and have to set the alarm on my phone! How things change. It's really no big deal anymore! It's much easier to have my RE tell me what to do and when to do it. I really don't have to do too much. Heck! The last time I got pregnant we didn't even have sex! Hubs wasn't even in the room! hahaha

On the adoption front, we have our CPR/1st Aid training on Saturday. I'm looking forward to it. Then on October 2 we have a match picnic to meet case workers of the children in the system. It's really so very nice to know that we have options! I know I've already said it but it's true! I love having this to focus on. I just need to get focused on the paperwork! It's gonna take a while. Hopefully we can get through it in the next week or so. That might be a little ambitious though!

I hope everyone in the blog world is having a great day. I am wishing the best for everyone. I think about you guys everyday...and I don't even know you. All these blogs I've been's like your my friends that live right next door.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More useless information...

Tonight was my 2nd shot of this cycle. I am doing 200 IU's of Follistim for 3 nights. I still expect the shot to hurt everytime I give it to myself...but it never does. Hallelulah (that's what my niece says). I go in Friday for bloodwork and ultrasound. Hopefully everything will look just as it should. I gotta tell you, bloodwork is by far the worst part of these cycles. I have tiny little veins that run away screaming when the needle approaches my arm. Once the needle is in, the tiny little sh*t says, "No way...I'm not giving you any blood!". The blood goes into the tube Literally! It takes forever just to get one vial.

On a totally unrelated note, I have been unemployed (got laid off) since January. I have been looking for a job non-stop but nothing is happening. I would love to just not work, but it would be really nice to have an extra income again. We have some debt that we want to pay off and it would make things much easier. So, I'm stressing about all things money related and my car starts making this awful knocking sound on the front left side. So, now we take the dang thing to the shop tomorrow. Cha ching...cha ching...cha ching..

We have talked for quite some time about adoption and finally decided to move forward with the classes and paperwork for domestic adoption. We are working with a social worker and she is the sweetest person. Our goal, while going through fertility treatments, is to complete our paper work, take CPR/1st aid classes, go to specific adoption classes that the state of Texas requires, have our fingerprints done and do a homestudy. I figure this will be a great distraction over the next month. No matter what happens regarding having our own child, we still hope to adopt. We are looking to adopt an older child, between 6 and 10 years old. It's so wonderful to have something to look forward too. I gotta tell you...the questions they ask are something else. I appreciate that they are so thorough but durn! No privacy at all! I guess that's what us infertile folks get as a consolation prize. All aspects of trying to have a family are laid out for all to see! Literally! Who has lost count at how many people have seen their vagina? I remember, during our IVF transfer, wondering why exactly the embryologist needed to see what the doctor was doing! I think there were at least 7 people staring and my girly bits...or as my friend Keri possibles!
Speaking ok Keri, she has a friend that needs prayers/support/thoughts. She's had 3 miscarriages and just went through her first IVF cycle. She is now going through a horrible case of OHSS. She is pregnant but scared to death. She has been in the hospital all week and they are telling her they have never seen a case this bad. She has about 30 pounds of fluid on her and has had to have it drained off of her lungs. Scary stuff! All while trying to keep that baby growing! See what we have to go through to have a baby? And people who abuse their children just keep having them. Arggghhh!!!!

First Post (Original Title, eh?)

It seems like I should have started this blog long ago....I've been through so much that it almost seems impossible to write it all down. As all of you bloggers know, it's hard to come up with a name for your blog, a title for your post, etc. But, the name of this blog could not be more true. Infertility makes you absolutely crazy! One of my best friends is going through some major issues as well. She just suffered her 4th miscarriage and knows exactly what being a crazy infertile means. She sent me an email the other day about how crazy she got over analyzing pregnancy tests. She talked about holding them to the light a certain way, then taking them apart and holding them over a light bulb...just to see if there was the slightest hint of a second line. I imagine a drug addict...trying desperately to get that last little bit of _____(insert drug of your choice). Frantically trying, but ultimately losing the battle. That is what infertility does to us. It makes us lose our freaking minds! We hope and pray and wish and make deals...mostly to no avail. It tests our faith in ways that we never thought possible. So, what do we do? We go for more...we want answers NOW! Let's do whatever we have to do to fill this void!! Mortgage the house? Done!! Spend retirement savings?? Done!! Geez Louise!! See!! CRAZY INFERTILES!

This is going to be a long post...apologies ahead of time.

Hubs and I got married in March 2005. By August 2005 we were ready to have a baby! I'm one of those folks that infertiles hate. I got pregnant the first month we tried. Now, before you get too pissy with me, read on. The pregnancy was easy other than the spotting. No sickness, no tiredness, no food aversions. We had our first ultrasound at about 8 weeks and everything looked ok. By my 12th week I started bleeding and 2 days later miscarried. I didn't have the luxury of a D&C (that came a few years later) so it all happened in the doctors office..bathroom to be exact. It was HORRIFYING to say the least. Once we were able to breathe we just knew that we would be able to conceive again. After all, I happened ON THE FIRST TRY! Surely it will happen quickly this time as well. Well, weren't we stupid. After doing 4 cycles of unmonitored Clomid with my gynecologist we decided it was time to bring out the big guns. We went to an specialist. Let me start by saying that the first time I met my doctor I did not like her very much. We had words and I told her that if we were going to be in this together and I would have my pants off most of the time that we had to get something straight right now! She apologized and now I am totally in love with her. But I digress... we did more Clomid/IUI cycles and then a diagnostic lap surgery. Everything look great in there. We moved on to Follistim/IUI and the first cycle was horrible. I think I only had one follicle. Wash, Rinse, Repeat next month (May 2007). Better response, horrible spotting, horrible HCG numbers. Surprise, ectopic! It took about 2 weeks to figure out what was going on. I had horrible pain and trouble breathing so they brought me in for an ultrasound. There was no pregnancy in the uterus but there was blood in my abdomen. This is an immediate prescription for go to the hospital now, you are having surgery in 2 hours. Turns out that the embryo had nestled snugly into my right fallopian tube. Not exactly the best place for it to be. And the tube was on the verge of rupture..hence the bleeding. Surgery was fine and the tube was saved. This is when I fell in love with my doctor...although she's a woman...and I'm not a lesbian...but you know what I mean. We decided to go onto IVF in August of 2007 and it was a huge bust. Horrible response, no pregnancy, etc.

(Let me interrupt by saying that I've always been a big fat fatty. Dr. Wonderful never mentioned that this could be causing issues). After asking tons of questions Dr. W said that maybe if I lost weight that we might have a greater chance of getting/staying pregnant. She was actually scared to tell me this! After all we have been through. So, I finally got my act together and have lost 51 pounds this year. After losing 40 we decided to try another Follistim/IUI cycle (May 2008). I had a great response, tons of follicles. The ultrasounds were so much easier. Everything was perfect. Including getting pregnant. Everything was going perfectly. Of course, I had been pregnant twice before with horrible outcomes so I was nervous. But my HCG's were beautiful....probably multiples because they were so high. They rose accordingly..I was sick...I was tired...I had major food aversions... We went in at 5 weeks and saw 2 sacs! Twins! We went in at 7 weeks and saw heartbeats and what looked like a 3rd sac. The heartbeats were a little slow and they were measuring a couple of days behind but it was all normal....they usually catch up. We went back in a week and there was no growth and no heartbeats. There were definitely 3 sacs this time. Dr. W was stunned. She has never seen a triplet pregnancy where at least one doesn't make it. It was awful. So, here is where I get the blessing of a D&C. Next day it was all over. So, here we are wondering what to do next. We were going to take a long time off and I was going to lose at least 60 pounds but we have started another Follistim/IUI cycle. I took my first shot last night.

Whew!! Now that you are all caught up it will be lots easier to give you snippets instead of an entire biography!!