Prep Prep Prep Prep Prep

(Anyone else hear the Work song by Rihanna in their head when you read that title? (for the record I find that song very annoying).

Hysteroscopy is scheduled for Feb 22. Just to check out the uterus make sure she’s ready to go and the fibroids haven’t taken over in there. Hopefully there won’t be any issues with that.

First acupuncture treatment booked for Mar 9. Hopefully this will give me a head start in the lining department.

About 8 weeks away from my CD1 of  IVF. (Thank you POI for allowing me to predict my CD1 with such pinpoint accuracy). If anyone is taking bets, I would put my money on a start date of April 15.

This is where the control freak in me starts to take over. I need to be doing something to prepare my body for the upcoming cycle.

Here’s the pre-IVF prep game plan so far:

  • Workout regularly – 2 times a week HIIT workouts with weight training, 2-3 times a week yoga (this might be ambitious, but maybe if I write it down it will happen right?), maybe start training for a 10k run in May (starting in March both DH and I will train for the race-I may or may not run depending on where we are in the IVF cycle by race day, but I figure the training cannot only help things so training proceeds till further notice).
  • Watch diet – try to limit processed foods and salt intake, lots of home cooking, focus on good carbs, lots of fruit and veg, once a week red meat. Limit caffeine and alcohol of course.
  • Supplements – Platinum Naturals Prenatal vitamins with DHA, Vitamin D drops (1 drop daily), Folic Acid (1mg daily), Nutra Sea Omega 3 liquid (1 tsp daily).
  • Acupuncture – once a week till start of IVF cycle, then twice a week till transfer day.

I am debating whether to start Vitamin E pills and replacing my daily tea with raspberry leaf tea. It can’t hurt I guess.

That’s one benefit of IVF I guess, since I know exactly when I plan to be ‘pregnant’ I have time to prepare my body for it. Silver lining right?

In other news…

My sister just found out she is pregnant with number two. Happy news for sure. But my own feelings are pretty complicated at this point.

Of course everything about her finding out out stinks of fertility. So brace yourselves. She is about 8 weeks and had no idea she was pregnant until now. She is due in September some time. Which is crazy to IF me. How can you not know?! But leaving that aside for now. I knew it was coming. They are in ‘growing family’ phase of life so it was likely that she would be pregnant before this year was up. But now she will not only be pregnant but will have two kids under the age of 2 before we get to the Fall!

I don’t know how to describe this feeling. Bitter sweet comes close, but I don’t like ‘bitter’ because I don’t feel upset by the pregnancy announcement. It will be amazing to have another niece of nephew to dote on (Im voting nephew this time because I think two boys so close in age will be so much fun). And the two will be so close in age, ‘irish twins’ basically. It will be a blast to watch them grow up together. My sister will definitely have her hands full for the next few years! And hopefully this means more baby sitting time for me, which I always enjoy. She will definitely need more help, and I am totally there for her.

At the same time I will hopefully be going through my first IVF cycle in April. So I will not only have to deal with my own complicated feelings and crazy hormones, but I will have to watch her belly grow and likely have her baby before I am even done all my IVF cycles (assuming we get more than one kick at this).

I’ve always fantasized about experiencing a pregnancy at the same time as my sister so we can share our experiences together, and so that the cousins can then grow up together as well. That is what we had growing up with our cousins and we are all still such great friends. It is the one thing I really am starting to feel like I am missing out on when all the cousins kids get together and they are all such great friends.

And then the whole ‘I didn’t even know I was pregnant’ line feels like such a slap in the face.  I wish I could do that. I wish I could just be pregnant and not know it. I wish I could text my sister a picture of my positive pee stick to tell her I am pregnant too. Ugh. That’s the ‘bitter’ part I guess. More of a punch in the gut. My journey is so different and I don’t get to do any of those ‘normal’ things. And those that can be ‘normal’ don’t even realize how great they have it.

It isn’t jealously but I guess it comes close. I don’t for a second wish anything but the best for her and her kids. But it is getting harder and harder to separate my own feelings with those that come from comparing yourself to others. If that makes any sense. I am sad for me. That I don’t get to be ‘normal’. But I am not sad or upset or even jealous of those that can. They are lucky and they should take full advantage of it. That is just not my story. And I need to be able to deal.

I guess my feelings are more like FOMO- Fear of Missing Out. That’s how I feel. I feel FOMO. But it isn’t a fear. It is real. I am missing out: MO. 

 

 

 

 

The Therapist.

We had our mandatory therapy appointment yesterday. 

 It was not too bad. I tried to go in with an open mind. But I’ve never been to a therapist before so it’s hard not to be open minded about something I’ve never experienced. It’s all new to me. 

AG has needed therapy to deal with his exam anxiety so I guess he might have had a bit more to go on. But still this was an entirely new experience for us. 

That being said, and even though this was ‘forced’ upon us since we are using donor eggs, I can see the value in it. 

She was nice enough. She asked some tough questions and brought up some good points that we will likely discuss more going forward. Most had crossed my mind before. But AG was surprised by a few thing he had not considered. A few even stumped me. But overall it was a good session. And we have some further areas to explore as a couple. 

Some things that we need to discuss further:

How and when we will tell others about our DE IVF journey. 

I am already thinking about this on a daily basis. AG doesn’t have as much of an issue with it and is ready to tell everyone now. I am not so sure. I just need to decide when will feel right for me. 

One thing we haven’t really discussed is what we will do if we are so lucky as to have embryos left over from our lot that we will not use. Honestly I don’t think this will ever happen. I think we are more likely to use all of them and wish we had more to keep trying. But that being said there are some serious considerations if we are in that position. And especially if we do decide to donate to another couple. DH seems ok with donating. But I’m not convinced yet. Especially if we have any children from this lot. How will a future child feel about having other siblings out there?

This is already complicated by the fact that our egg donor has two children of her own and potentially two that have come from her egg donations. So a total of four half genetic siblings may already exist. That is going to be stressful enough for any future children. Let alone allowing a few more to exist through embryo donation. 

Another issue we both need to discuss is what we will do in case there is a risk that the child may be born with a disability or developmental issues. Or what if there is a risk to my life.  What if we have multiples? Triplets for example. Would we choose to selectively reduce to reduce the risk to all? These are things we have discussed. The chances of multiples are reduced since we will only be transferring one embryo at a time (mandated by the government on a funded cycle). But it is not impossible. 

I am already freaked out by the thought of carrying multiples. I don’t think my already weak uterus will be able to handle it. So I am positive I will be more than upset if we end up with multiples. But these are decisions we need to discuss now.  

Apparently, the risk of post partum depression is higher in mothers that use a donor egg. So both of us will need to be on the look out for that. That is news to me and I will be sure to tell all my family to watch out for that if and when the time comes. 

One thing that I thought was actually quite funny was that neither of us agreed on the number of kids we wanted. It makes sense though. We both have been prepared for zero children. So we never really talked about how many children we wanted. It just didn’t make sense. But I feel like that is one of the most basic things most couples talk about. 

He said 2. I said as many as I can. My theory is that, if through some miracle I am able to carry a baby to term, I am not going to stop until we have exhausted our embryo lot. That being said, when I thought about it some more, I think after 4 kids I might not be as inclined to continue. Plus we would have to consider my health, our ages and financial ability to even support that many children. So I guess there is a limit to what I want too. But honestly I would be ok to stop at 2 if we are so lucky. For now though just one will be plenty. Thank you very much. 

I did get a bit emotional talking about our situation in general. I am starting to realize that I am more bothered by my infertility than I previously thought. It always takes me by surprise. And I will probably have many more bouts of crying before we are done. 

Overall it was a pretty productive conversation. And I think it really did help AG and I to start thinking about the future and how things could change for us. I am definitely looking forward to discussing this some more with him. 

#MicroblogMonday: Random shit I think about

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How may embryos will we get?

The ED (I feel like I should name her, is that weird?) has an egg lot of 7 mature eggs.

DH’s swimmers have literally never fertilized an egg before. Of course, all his stats are great and there is no reason to believe they are not  up to the task. But do they need like a practice egg or two to get it right?

Obviously not all eggs fertilize. And not all that fertilize grow to viable embryos for implantation. But I wish there was a statistic that could tell me how many we can expect to see. The clinic will use ICSI to encourage fertilization. I think the standard stat is that this results in a fertilized egg 75% of the time. DEB USA guarantees that we will have at least one viable embryo to transfer. The coordinator at the clinic said that she has never seen less than two embryos result from a DE lot that came from DEB USA.

I am hoping for at least four, but will be content with three. In my head the magic number of IVF cycles before I will give up trying is three. I figure after 3 tries with good embryos and (hopefully) a decent lining if it isn’t working then it wont work at all and we need to move on. So I would like to have at least three good embryos to give this our best shot.

Here’s hoping.


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Real Estate and Eggs Estate

In the last 24 hours, my sister and her husband just bought a house!

They have been on the search for over a year now. With their growing family, they have wanted to move out of their 2 bedroom condo for a while. But both are notoriously slow decision makers and my sister is very hard to please. She is a total perfectionist so it is just difficult to satisfy all her requirements. Especially when it comes to a forever home!

I don’t blame them for taking their time. This is a huge decision and needs to last them a long time. Plus housing prices in our city have been growing exponentially, so the same home they were looking at two years ago is almost $100,000 more expensive now, and that is for a fixer upper! Plus sellers are getting tens of thousands of dollars above their asking price and most have a bidding war to sell the place. They lost out on two houses because their offer was just not high enough. The market has been crazy here and there are no signs of a slow down.

So this is a big deal. They saw, liked, offered, inspected and signed off on the final purchase agreement all within a 24 hour time frame. The house closes in June so they have a few months to sell their current place and then move. When I spoke with my sister on the phone after the dust settled she said it did not feel real yet. It just happened so fast!

I am so excited for them! The place looks great from the pictures I’ve seen. Very little in the way of renovations needed. And it is close to their current area so they won’t be moving far.

With all of their excitement I thought I would hold off on telling them about our big purchase. It seemed a bit awkward. Sis: Hey looks like we are buying a house today! Me: Hey isn’t that funny, we just bought eggs!

I think we will tell the family this weekend when the timing is a bit better.

I have often thought about making the switch from condo to house. But the truth is I am a total condo girl. DH would be totally happy with a house. He is real home owner. Takes pride in all things home related. He enjoys a Saturday spent browsing home decor and home renovation stores, even if it is just window shopping. It is one of the things I love about him. In comparison, I am so lazy and unmotivated. Don’t get me wrong, I loved decorating and designing our place. But once that was done I didn’t want to worry about upkeep. I just don’t want to have to worry about shoveling snow or mowing lawns or taking out the trash on garbage day. I am perfectly happy paying someone else to do all of that for me. I know we can do that in a house too, but with just two of us it just did not make sense to have so much space.

If we are lucky enough to add to our family, I don’t think I will change my mind. I think I will always want to live in a condo. And we will probably stick to a two bedroom and just make it work.

In an alternate reality, where I am not infertile, we have a huge house. At least five bedrooms. With a kid to fill each one. At times the house gets so noisy with kids that you can’t hear yourself think. And of course we would have a housekeeper/nanny to take care of the house and kids.

But unfortunately that is not this reality. For now we take care of ourselves (with the help of some home automation Alexa is awesome!) and spend our money on nice vacations. And this year a batch of eggs that will hopefully lead to one kid that can fill the second bedroom in our two bedroom condo. Not a bad reality. Just a different one that the one 14-year old me imagined.

 

Telling work

I haven’t told work about our upcoming IVF cycle.

Not that I don’t want to. My plan was always to tell them as soon as we were sure we were going through a cycle.

But that happened at the end of January. That also happened to be right when our annual reviews are being completed, which will determine our raises and bonuses for the year. Also I would like to ask for a raise this year. I feel I deserve it. I have worked hard, helped us resolve some major challenges and have not received a cost of living increase in two years. I believe that at the very least I should get a raise equivalent to inflation.

With that in mind, I thought it might be best to wait till after I have my performance review and salary/bonus discussion to tell them my future plans.

I mean this:

“Hi. Just wanted to let you know, I am planning a possible pregnancy through IVF and will need some extra time off during the day to allow me to go to appointments in the next few months. Oh also I would like a raise, even though I will be in the office less, on huge amounts of hormones that will make me a bucket load of fun to work with this year, and, if all goes well, will be going on mat leave next year.”

Doesn’t quite sound like it will be met with much enthusiasm from my employer.

I know legally they can’t penalize me or fire me for going through IVF. Also we recently experienced a lot of employee turnover due to some pretty bad management in other departments, so it is highly unlikely that they will do anything as drastic as fire me or even do something to cause me to consider leaving now. Plus my boss just had a baby of his own, so I’m guessing he’s a bit of a softy when it comes to family planning right now. So there really is no reason for the paranoia. But I am just being cautious.

I should find out about my review and bonus etc by the end of this month. Once that is all out of the way I will let HR and the president (my boss) know about our IVF plans. That being said, I wish I could tell them now since I have to miss some work to see the therapist on Monday and will need to go in for a hysteroscopy in the next week or so. It makes life so much easier when everything isn’t a secret.

Mandatory Therapy

Finally I heard back from the therapist who is supposed to meet with us to discuss the emotional implications of using a DE.

To recap, I emailed her last Tuesday (Jan 31). When I did not hear back I called and left a voicemail on Friday (Feb 3). And again on Tuesday (Feb 7). I even emailed the coordinator at the clinic and asked why she wasn’t responding.

Apparently she has been away for the past week and only just got back (on Tuesday according to the coordinator). And my email landed in her junk mail. Regardless, I am not sure why it took her two days after she got back to respond to my voice mails. But anyways. She apologized, and since this is mandatory, it is not like I have much choice.

She explained the process. DH and I will need to come in to discuss the emotional impact of using a DE. It will be a 2 hour session and there will be a $250 charge. She books up pretty quickly (she only works Mon Wed Thu) but since we are not starting till April we have a bit of time.

On kink though, DH leaves for New York next weekend and is not back till mid-April. And we are planning to get started on the IVF cycle the minute he gets back. Since I am on HRT, I can pretty much predict my day 1 in April will be a few days after he gets back. That way if the first cycle produces an insufficient lining we can just keep going without loosing too much time.

I told her we have already selected our donor. And her reaction implied to me that there really wasn’t much to talk about now that we have already selected a donor. (I guess most people have issues finding the ‘perfect’ match?) So if we were to schedule a meeting in April,  there would be a lot less to discuss. So it all sounded like this was a session that would be almost pointless by the time we are able to see her.

I don’t mind doing it. I mean it can only help make sure that I am being sane and rational about this whole process. I feel it will be very helpful for DH. I have been dealing with the reality of IF and loss of my own eggs for over 20 years now. I read up on it, participate in the forums online. I have this as outlet to discuss what I am going through. DH has really only had since he has met me, and even then we weren’t actively looking into IVF until last year. He is a med student, so gets the process well enough. But psychologically he might have a bit more to discuss and process than I do. And as a couple it can only help make sure we are both on the same page.

Turns out, the therapist had a cancellation for Monday at noon. So we got that appointment. So that’s it then. DH and I are all set to meet the therapist on Monday.