Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Turkey Box

While reading, please keep in mind this occurred months ago. Not during a time that having a turkey box would be normal...if there ever is such a time.

When we began a more aggressive fertility treatment- I was thrilled. I feel great when there is progressive, forward movement. I feel energized, with a purpose and gung-ho on the whole fertility thing. (And yes that is how you spell gung-ho. Wikipedia told me so.) So when I was told I would be doing a shot when the time was right that cycle, I was beyond excited. (And no, not that kind of shot...which does sound way more fun).

I called the specialty pharmacy I was told to and knew I was in the fertility treatment club big time when the phone tree began; "Press 1 for fertility treatment." Wow. This pharmacy primarily delivers specialty drugs for baby-making purposes. Who knew there was such an industry? So I pressed 1 of course and spoke with the nicest customer service individual who prepared my delivery. Actually every time I call I speak with insanely nice people- but I'm sure they get paid a lot to be nice considering one shot costs almost $200. Insane.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! And in the spirit of giving thanks (albeit, a little late) I wanted to share some things I am thankful for this season.

1. My faith. While I have always had it and God has been the foundation of my life, He has been incredibly close more recently. The peace I can feel during hard times is only from Him. The ability to see a glimmer of hope does not come from my own pessimistic personality. And the wisdom to know that everything, and I mean everything, will be perfect in the end can only be from the One who created my life.

2. My husband. He is incredible and the most loving man I have ever met. When he says he loves me, there is no doubt that he means it. When he says that he would still marry me today knowing all he knows now, I know it is sincere (and that he must be just as crazy as I am). When he says that we will have a family by blood or by love, I know that I could not have found a better father for my children.

3. My dog. If you have ever met him, you will understand. While he may be tightly wound and have some anxiety issues, he loves us very very much.

4. And I don't mean my dog is more important than her-my best friend. She has been a rock during a few tough times; being a freshman in college, living in a house with six girls, waiting to get engaged, planning a wedding, learning how to be married, begging to start trying for a family and now waiting for my family to arrive. She knows what I need when I need it and is always there for support or a distracting break from the chaos. I am very thankful to have such a blessing in my life.

5. My family. Despite how large, loud and weird we all can be I will always be thankful for them. They provide the humor that is needed when you feel down. They can remind you that you are not the only crazy person in the world. They will have your back when you need it even if they are miles away. And my family is a testament that blood does not always make a family, and for that I am forever grateful.

5. My friends. New, old, coworkers and all. I have amazing friends. Some are text friends, some are far away friends, some are going out to dinner friends and some are a mixture of all. I know who to call when I need people to pray for me, who to call to have a girls night out, who to turn to if I just need to laugh or who to call for x, y or z- I know someone will be there for me and I am very thankful for that.

6. Yes, this list could go on forever, so I will stop. But just know I am thankful for so much more; my health, job, reliable transportation, house, health insurance, doctors, Texas winter, baked goods, Christmas decorations, coffee, pumpkin anything and the list could go on.

So I hope that everyone had a very thankful Thanksgiving! Now it's time to get Christmas decorations up, watch Elf, bake some yummy holiday goodies:)

Friday, November 9, 2012

It's Worth It

So before any specialist proceeds with treatment options, an extensive amount of tests must be done. Dear husband was all on board until he realized that meant for him too....

Now any woman who has been through this or is educated at all on the testing process knows that female tests vs male tests is not even a close comparison.

Female tests include blood work, catheters, exams, prodding, poking and so much more. Male tests include....having fun. And we are even lucky enough to live close to our clinic where fun can be had in the privacy of our own home. 

Despite a little procrastination and dramatization from the hubs, the test was scheduled. Now for the amazing and sweet part....

When he went to drop off his...test....and was leaving building, he ran into a man holding a toddler in the lobby. The man looked at my husband and said:

"I know it's awkward, but it's worth it."

Then looked at his son and smiled.

Oh my gosh, I was in tears when the story was relayed to me. My husband knew that story would win him even more brownie points for the day and he was right.

All testing came back great- no problems on that front. But that story has stayed with me. Many women tell you it's worth it, to stay strong or keep with treatment. But for a man to say it to another man during a very vulnerable and awkward time is more rare and provided much encouragement to myself and my husband.

So thank you to the stranger who filled us with hope and provided encouragement during an uncomfortable time. It meant the world to us. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spina What???

A few months back, I had to go in for an HSG (hysterosalpingogram). This is a process where a catheter is sent through the cervix, dye is injected and then an x-ray is preformed to show uterus and fallopian tubes. Sounds lovely right? Now my only point of reference to this test was my mother and the nurse when scheduling it.

When I told my mom what I was having done- her automatic response was to tell me how painful her experience with a similar procedure had been. The nurse when scheduling it told me I may want to bring someone to take me home and to take some advil before coming. So naturally I planned for the worst assuming it would be the most painful experience of my life. Some women on forums, etc even said it was worse than child birth. Wait..what??

I was terrified..but I went, on my own, to have this HSG done. They prepped me with a gown and brought me into the x-ray room. The tech proceeded to tell me how this will all go- that there are no meds administered, I would lay flat on a table (no cushion) and that I had to lie still even if it hurt. She told me some women try to jump off the table, others call her horrible names- but that she was prepared for anything. This was going to be amazing....

So she gets me on the table and has to do a 'baseline' x-ray of my pelvis area. Then she and the doctor come back after reviewing the baseline. He introduces himself to me and then proceeds to say:

 "I reviewed your x-ray. I wanted to tell you..."

Now at this point I am freaking out.. Tell me what? I have no uterus? I have a huge tumor? No, no, no... its even better.

"I wanted to tell you.... you have a back problem."

My response "Um what?"

"Have you heard of spina bifida?"-the doctor non nonchalantly asks me.

"Yes! And its never good!" At this point I am only slightly freaking out.

The doctor goes on to explain that I have spina bifida occulta- which means hidden. When the vertebrae are forming, they fuse together from each side. All my vertebrae fused but the last one- which only partially completed. He let me know that there were probably no issues with my spina bifida and that someone would have already noticed malformations on my back if it was a problem. Oh thanks doc.

He went on to tell me 10% of Americans have this, most never know. But he just wanted to tell me since he noticed it. He told me that only heavy working out could impact it, like weight lifting and kick boxing. Oh darn..less work out for me.

Well then we went on to the catheter/HSG test. Thankfully the spina bifida story got my mind off the catheter...which I did not even feel. I must have a rock star or numb cervix but I felt no pain. The doctor and tech were thoroughly impressed by me- which I take pride in (you gotta take what you can get).

All that to say, everything looked great with the HSG.

Other than the Spina Bifida.

Lets Start At The Beginning

The beginning seems like a good place to start- but it is difficult to know where the beginning is.

First, I am married to my best friend and high school sweetheart. I know it seems a little ridiculous and very 'Texas' but just know that was never my plan. However, after moving to East Texas in high school I met someone I knew was different than all the other boys. I remember telling myself that whatever happens, this person has set the bar high for whoever I end up dating. Little did I know then we would marry 4 years later. We married in January 2008 in a beautiful small town, lots of people, wedding.
My father and grandfather married us.

Pretending to dance:)
Six months in I decided we were ready for a dog. His name is Connor. He is half beagle half schnauzer- all intense love with a bit of anxiety. A very cute mix.


Fast forward to almost three years later when I convinced my dear husband we needed a a baby. After much whining and maybe some tears (no shame...many of us have been there) we started 'trying' December of 2010. Part of the persuasive argument was that not everyone gets pregnant right away and that it could take awhile. Now, if I am just being honest, that was just a tactic for him to agree to my timing. In my head I was thinking 'yeah right, my family gets pregnant just looking at their spouse.. 3 months tops'.

Little did I know how accurate my 'tactic' would end up being. We tried for a few months but knew something was off. A doctor change, some low grade fertility meds, hormone supplements, and 14 months of trying led to a pregnancy! Unfortunately that pregnancy did not last and we miscarried twins at 8 weeks- surgery at 10 weeks. After a 2 months (mandated) break, I started with a fertility specialist, whom we love. I now know I am dealing with PCOS, but all other aspects of baby making parts work. Uterus, fallopian tubes, his parts- all in good working condition.

While this process has been frustrating, painful and exhausting- we, as a couple, have grown so much. And I, as an individual, am stronger and happier than I was before. Which, if you ask my best friend if she thought I would make it two years of trying, with difficulties along the way, I am positive she would say something like 'hell no'. But I have, in no small part to her friendship, others support and the God that has made me for this journey.

Now for this blog- why did I choose to start one? Let me make it clear how odd it is that I am here, doing this. I don't love blogs. I may or may not have made fun of others that have blogs (my apologies). But as I am going through this journey, I realize how important it is to share your story.
1. Infertility seems to be taboo- people just don't know how to react. You should try it sometime- bring up not being able to start a family or something to that effect and see people's reaction. It is pretty funny, people just don't know how to process the information.
2. Also, too many women struggle with something they assumed would come naturally. There are few sources of positive support for those women and couples. There is 'support' in blogs and forums, but often the message is so discouraging and all consuming that, for me at least, it made me feel worse. Infertility is one small issue I am dealing with. It is not who I am, what my marriage is about nor what I will become. My life and my God are bigger than this.
3. So many odd and hilarious things have been happening because of fertility treatment that it would be unfair not to share the love. I know, fertility treatments don't sound fun or funny....but trust me there is humor in all life has to offer.

So, to wrap up this incredibly long intro to my life, let me be clear of what this blog is and isn't. It is not a sob story of infertility. I will not go into detail of my condition or treatment for multiple reasons, but one is that is can be exhausting and somewhat boring.  It is not a place to give advice for others infertility. I am not a doctor- I am one person with unique issues trying to figure it all out.

This blog is a place to share my story in a positive way. A place for those dealing with infertility and their friends/family to get an insight of how I manage and enjoy life. Also, every entry will (hopefully) not be about my baby making issues... I love to cook, read, learn about my Father and spend time with friends/family.

So thank you for indulging me in this extra long, somewhat run-on post. Please come back, share your experiences and spread the love to your friends and family!