Apr 29, 2016

In One Year...

I took this photo one year ago today.
I was sitting outside listening to the birds chirping, sipping coffee with my bulldogs, around 9:30am.

I had just been laid off from a job I (literally) poured my blood, sweat, and tears into, and was surprisingly optimistic about the future.

I suppose it's unusual to think this way after being canned from a job that I truly did love, but the company was changing and it was time for me to find something better.

And today proves that I did.

This week I received a hard-earned (and well deserved, imo) promotion with all the bells and whistles. New title, substantial recognition, private office, the whole deal.

It's a role I have been working towards for a very long time, although I wasn't able to fully realize my potential until I had a good boss and a good team backing my decisions.

I am counting my blessings because sometimes life just falls into place.
I am happy because I worked really, really hard to get to this position within my company, knowing it can only help with our future goals for our home, retirement, kids....everything.

I am a firm believer at sticking to your guns, rolling up your sleeves, and putting in an honest effort to get the most out of life. Staying true to yourself will eventually pay off, regardless of the hurdles in your immediate future.

Also a blessing? I have a belly full of big ole' eggs that are nearly ripe for the picking.

I am on Day 8 of my stimulation protocol. Although I am waiting for the official call from my nurse this afternoon, the ultrasound tech indicated the majority of my eggs are hovering around 15-17mm in size.

The ideal size before we trigger their release is between 18-20mm.

Growth is roughly 2mm per day, so as you can see, unless all Hell breaks loose, I am probably going to complete my stimulation protocol and do my final trigger injection (in dat booty) this weekend!

I have already given my boss notice that Tuesday will most likely be retrieval day, and I plan to take off Wednesday as well for recovery.

I would be shocked if this doesn't happen because belee me....I am starting to get uncomfortably bloated.

You know when you are on the brink of your period and you feel like you are just getting bigger and bigger but nothing is really happening yet?....Yea....that.

At first I was all worked up about not being able to work out. But between morning and evening stabbing sessions, multiple monitoring appointments and trying to get my new life together at work...I just haven't found the time this week.

I did try to do a light jog to the car one morning and it pretty much felt like my ovaries were going to explode and fall out my butt so maybe I shouldn't have been concerned in the first place!

Things that were surprising to me about this week?

I completely lacked the crazy hormones that I totally figured would happen.
Not once did I ever just start crying randomly or become irrationally angry.

I have actually been relatively chill...it's almost shocking.

I got nervous to start the shots in the first place, and was nervous to start the morning shots, and I am sure I will be nervous to have a 1.5" needle jabbed into my butt muscle this weekend.

But I'm feeling good for the most part.

The evening of Day 7's shots hurt the worst.

It hurts every time, but the pain is short lived and it's over almost immediately.
But man....last night was rough. My stomach is still tender to the touch so I don't know if my gut is just over being constantly punctured or what...but it was no bueno.

And then...this morning's Ganirelix shot was easy peasy. I didn't even feel it!

Like I said before, every day is different and I feel like I'm only going to have to do this for another day or so, and THAT'S what I'm focusing on.

And now I'm rambling...so if you're still reading...thanks!

I guess the original intent of this post was to say...a lot of shit can happen in a year.
Change is a good thing, and for me, this past year has made a lot of what I have been working towards a reality.

I always believed having a city job would be an un-necessary uphill struggle to expand our family.

My goal was to find a job at a company that would celebrate my career AND our hope for a baby....and shut down the stigma that the "good jobs" with the "good salaries" are only in the city.

That's not true and I am living proof.

You want something?

You fight to get it.
Learn the ropes.
Make the sacrifices.
Don't take the first offer on the table.
Know your worth.
Stay humble.
Let your voice be heard.

And with that...I'm off.
The chances of me updating the blog until post-recovery are slim, so please feel free to follow along on Instagram (@tgendooza).
Thank you for reading and happy weekend! XO
Apr 27, 2016

IVF Update: Stims Day 1-6

Good morning folks!
It's been a hot minute since I updated non-TTCers with where we are at with all this IVF junk.

I am currently on Day 6 of my stimulation protocol, but let's back up to Day 1 and chat.
Sound good?

Friday afternoon was considered Day 1 of the injections and I would be lying if I told you I wasn't a total basket case all day.
I was so incredibly nervous. I felt on the verge of crying the entire day.
This pit in my stomach wouldn't leave, and I kept thinking to myself...what am I getting into? I don't think I can do this? WHY do I want to do this?

I kept looking at my clock counting down the minutes.

Finally, I bolted from work a few minutes early, because immediately following my injections for the evening, we were scheduled to compete in a charity dodgeball tournament for my company.

To say I had EVERY EMOTION IMAGINEABLE that day was an understatement.
I got home at 5pm, looked at Mark...and just started crying.
A complete and total meltdown where I kept reiterating....WHY we are doing this? WHY does it have to be so involved? WHY do we have to go through this?

I try my best to keep my emotions in check because honestly, I don't want to freak out Mark. He has been through his own slew of emotions, but for the longest time, I just kept saying... oh it's no big deal...it's just a few shots! And...it'll all be over so quickly, we totally have this in the bag! 

And so on...but damn, when the time actually came to nut up or shut up...I totally crumbled.

And then like a damn light switch, I wiped away my tears, and got fucking angry.

I was angry that we have to go through all of this for something that should come naturally.

I was angry that we have to wait and wait and wait for the next step, then I have to STAB myself who knows how many times just to get eggs to MAYBE grow, and MAYBE become embryos, that MAYBE develop correctly, and then MAYBE survive a freeze and genetic testing, and then MAYBE survive a thaw and MAYBE get transferred correctly and MAYBE become a baby?!?!?

It's insane. We are insane. This whole process is insane.

And then we got to work. Disinfecting our work surface.
Mixing meds.
Switching needles.
Alcohol swabs on errythang.

Deep breathe. One...two...three....stab.
Okay. One...two....three....inject.

In a matter of seconds it was over.

And you know what? It's not that bad.

Each day has been slightly different.

My protocol included two daily injections on Days 1-4.
450units of Follistim.
Follistim is a cartridge of poison that is injected through a pen-looking syringe.
You load the cartridge into the pen, twist everything back together, add a needle, then dial up the dosage.
Fun fact....450 units is the entire length you can dial. Fun.
And other fun fact, as you plunge the liquid in, it clicks the entire fucking way down.

The needle is tiny and for me...the liquid stung a tiny bit.

Then comes Menopur.

This comes in 3 vials, a vial of diluent and, for me, two vials of powder.
So you plunge the needle into the liquid, draw everything up, squirt the liquid into powder 1, let it dissolve, draw everything up and plunge into the second powder, wait until dissolved, draw THAT up and switch to the correct needle.

My only tip with this is for whatever reason, the syringe kept wanting to automatically push the liquid out so we had to kind of hold it in place between powders to make sure we didn't lose anything.

Fun fact with this....it does burn. I'm not going to lie. The needle is tiny so that's not really the problem. We did fast and slow and it hurts (temporarily) either way. You have to remember it's all over if in a few seconds though.

I would say it feels like you have a cut that you are pouring salt into...but it's UNDER the skin.


The morning of Day 5 I had an ultrasound and bloodwork.
I already had 13 follicles growing between 9-13mm.
The nurse called to say my estrogen seemed high but it's in line with how quickly my follicles are growing.

My meds were adjusted slightly to make Follistim 300units instead of 450units.
Menopur stayed the same.

And bright and early today (Day 6) I started Ganirelix.
This will stop impending ovulation until we trigger.

My lovely TTC sisters told me the needle would suck because it's bigger and more dull.
I had heard you get headaches, injection site redness and itching.

So I was nervous.

But....it was actually pretty easy!

The ONLY side effects I have dealt with since Day 1 is that fact that I can seriously feel my ovaries.
They are definitely swollen and bigger every day.

Peeing is weird. Normally I just go and push it out, but now I sort of feel like I just "see what happens" and hope everything will eventually trickle out. :)

I have to go back in every day this week for morning monitoring.
I haven't had a moment to think about this, nor much time for exercise, but whatever.

I have a feeling we may trigger by week's end!

More info to come, my dear!

Also, as you may not know, this week is NIAW, or National Infertility Awareness Week.
Although I actually hate that I am included in this week...it's real and it's important to let our voices be heard about the trials and tribulations surrounding infertility.

A great post, if you are interested in reading, is from a fellow infertility blogger HERE.

Thanks for following along and thank you for reading!! XO
Apr 22, 2016

Bye Bye Body

Strength is important to me.
Not just mental strength, but physical strength as well.

For many, many years, I put my body through Hell and back.
Partying to extremes and far too often.
Endless amounts of cardio with very little weight lifting.
Starving myself and dieting the wrong way.

And then it leveled out.
My thinking changed and so did my way of life.

No longer did I have doubts about whether I would fit into my jeans from one season to the next.
Everything just sort of clicked and I could maintain my physique with just the right amount of effort.

I hit that sweet spot between partying and living a super healthy lifestyle.
Moderation is key and will always continue to be.

I put in the time, each week, to work out and eat healthy, because I like the results I get.

I like fitting comfortably into a bikini, or a crop top, or shorts, or a dress.
I like being about to wear both loose and form-fitting outfits.

I have confidence in myself.

So tonight, I start stimulation injections. insert crazy screamy face emoji
And although I have come to terms with the side effects of this situation, it doesn't mean I am overly thrilled about them.

I have worked so very hard to be strong...not skinny, and I'm about to throw it all out the window.

Bloating is a very real part of the territory in my near future.
So is weight gain, headaches, nausea, and a bunch of other fun stuff.

And I know I have to keep the bigger picture in sight.
The bigger picture is...all of this will be worth it.

My body, once solely used as a vessel for home renovations, physical fitness, and athletics, will now be a vessel for another being.

That is awesome and terrifying.

Sometimes I just shake my head because...well....so MUCH is going to change.

I have to keep remembering this is just a season.
A season of science and surgeries.
I will bounce back.
I have the strength to keep going and tackle the next hurdle.

The silver lining with the stimulation meds combined with genetic testing is....I have recovery time.
There is no hopping straight into a fresh transfer.
I get to recover and workout in between my stimulation protocol.

So for now, Sayonara beach body! We will meet again soon!!

Wish me luck with these shots tonight! I may be (slightly) freaking out still, but you can bet your ass I will have TuPac blasting in the background!

Happy Friday and thanks for reading!! XO
Apr 18, 2016

The Weekend I Met Lady Gaga

A non-IVF post?
Let's hop to it!

This weekend, in the suburbs of Chicago, was just GORGEOUS.
High 70's...sunshine...summer is here!!
I spent so much time outside I managed to get a little too much sun (totally forgot sun block, except for my foundation!) but it was All. Good.

Our weekend was rather productive!

I had picked out some flowers from Home Depot Friday afternoon, and had them staged to be planted first thing Saturday morning.

We woke up around 6:30...as usual, to the sound of dog whining.

A couple cups of coffee later and I hit the pavement for an outdoor run.
My new running shoes are working out nicely! No more IT band issues!

After I got home, I planted all my flowers, took a shower, and waited for Mark to get home.
We had planned to cruise around...bar-hopping....enjoying the awesome weather.

At the second and last bar, we figured we'd stay for one beer, but a friend wanted to meet up so we hung around a bit more.

A couple of beers later, the sun was starting to tire me out, so we planned to leave soon after.
The bar we were at is a local favorite...a divey, weathered bunker on the Chain o' Lakes.

It's favored by boaters and bikers alike.

So we're perched on a high-top, near the docks, and straight ahead I notice a small group of bikers walking down the dock towards us.

I whisper to Mark....that looks just like Lady Gaga.

No way....he replies.

My eyes get wide.....it IS her. It IS!! 
Even though she was wearing huge sunglasses, her iconic platinum blonde hair and nose gave it away.

Lady Gaga is right there. In front of me. Holding hands with her hot husband, Taylor.

Holy. Shit....I say much too loudly for how they were to us.

She looks towards me and I freeze.

Holy fuck! Holy fuck! What do you do in this situation!?!?!

Inside I am wanting to tackle her like a pre-teen to One Direction...but am trying to play it cool.


Without thinking, Mark and I both instantly hop up from where we are sitting and head out to the parking lot.


There were a couple of small groups of bikers hanging around in the same area, and they clearly had the same idea, because they were just "sitting" on their bikes.

That bike is hers...one of them says.

Holy Crap.

I spin around to see her and Taylor walking down the parking lot.....RIGHT. TOWARDS. US.

I had originally planned to see if she wanted to get a photo, but it didn't feel right, so I tucked my camera away as we approached them.


Like a total fucking goof....I blurt out...."Mother Monster! I love your work! You are an inspiration! Can I shake your hand?!"

She is so fucking cool...man!...she smirks and grabs my hand like we're old friends.
She then does the same to Mark.
Mark says how much he loved listening to her interviews on Howard Stern.

They both laughed after the quick introduction, then walked on.

Let's back up for a second....What kind of grown ass woman calls someone else Mother Monster?!?!
Hahahaha....I totally panicked. YOLO.

Granted, we totally ignored Taylor. I honestly could not remember his first name at the time so didn't want to say something even more ridiculous than Mother Monster...

As they walked past, I turned towards them and again blurted something totally ridiculous....THANK YOU FOUR SUPPORTING THIS BAR! (Like I fucking work there?! What is WRONG with me!)

I couldn't help it.
I was totally fan-girling.
Nothing could stop me.

I look at Mark and he is basically freaking out as much as I was so I didn't feel like a total asshole.



We then gathered our stuff, but not before I tried to slyly snap a photo.
Don't worry, I cropped out my sexy double chin already.

That's her! Platinum blonde under the helmet!
So cool right!?!?


The evening wrapped up on a slightly shittier tone, and I won't be getting into detail, but let's just say I am always shocked at the level of insensitivity and obvious jealously and...anger? of total strangers.

To put this lightly...if you feel as though spending your time comparing what I do/have/worked for/wear....is making you jealous or angry....walk away.

I am a happy person not looking for drama.
I don't think it's cool to complain about and judge other people.
I don't think it brings anything positive to the table, to walk around with a sour puss attitude all the time.
I also don't think it's normal to assume anyone owes you an explanation about anything if you weren't involved in the first place.

Like I JUST WROTE....comparison is the thief of joy...and I won't be a part of an obvious attempt take my life down a peg.

Don't like what I'm wearing? Zero fucks given.

Don't like my house or don't think we deserve it? Bless your heart...

Don't think we deserve to drive around in a specific car one day? Super fucking awesome! 


Quit following, stop reading, and for Christ sake....find something HAPPY in your own life.

Being miserable is like a full time job for some people!

I have found that when people make shitty, snarky, judgmental comments to others, especially when they don't even know each other, it's because they are having major troubles with their own lifestyle...and lacking major confidence.

It's QUITE a defense mechanism.

I found my tribe.
Go find yours.

Life is too fucking short to be a shit head.

I only surround myself with people that do not judge me, my life, and my family, and who only spread positivity.

Vile human beings need not apply.

I'll just be over here stabbing myself with needles to get pregnant and chilling in our pool.
You know, the one we spent all day Sunday cleaning?!

Summer is just around the corner!!!

Bye Felicia. XO
Apr 14, 2016

We got our Calendar!

The drive from our home to Highland Park is about an hour, and the commute never gets easier.
Driving horizontally across the state seems to take so. much. longer. than driving vertically (like to and from Chicago).
There is no interstate to jump on, it's basically just one lane side streets for-e-ver.

So Mark and I had our Nurse Consultation this morning.
During a consultation, the IVF nurse will have you complete all the many forms that have to be signed off, and give you your shot calendar with instructions.

She starts telling me that I will be on birth control through Sunday and will go in for my first baseline and blood draw Wednesday.

PERFECT! I say....that's actually my last day of the pills.

Really?! We've never given a calendar to someone that lined up so perfectly! What luck!

Ok...I'm thinking. This is good. The stars are already aligning.

So we finish all the consent forms and she pulls out her bag of tricks, aka, needles and vials and medication, oh my!

One by one, Mark and I stare at her while she shows us how to load a cartridge, or attach the needle, or mix the medication.
I feel like we've been watching her for an hour, and honestly, my ADD is starting to kick in, so there were a couple times I had to have her repeat herself because I kept going cross-eyed.

The more I stare at the needles, the less intimidating they look.

Like, I really think I can do this nonsense myself!
I'd like to have Mark double check my work prior to each injection, so I don't mix things incorrectly or have air bubbles or whatever, but I think I'll have the courage to just knock it out myself.

I start both Follistim (450u) and Menopur (150u) next Friday.

I take both shots to the abdomen each night for (4) nights until my next monitoring appointment where they will find out how I am responding to the drugs and what needs to be adjusted.

Ganirelix is joining the party at some point, so I'll have further instructions as they become available.

Otherwise, over the next few weeks, my life will be a series of stabbings and hoo-ha prodding until we get the green light to trigger!

I think my retrieval will occur the first week of May.

So that's it for now loves!!
T-minus one week and I plan to soak up the sun and care-free lifestyle as much as possible!!
Apr 13, 2016

The Thief of Joy


Going through something tough, and thinking that everyone else has it so much easier, is a total buzz kill.

If I have learned anything, it's that everyone always has something fucked up in their lives, that is perceived as easy to others. 

Everyone has something they struggle with.
And not everyone else has that same struggle.

For me, it's procreating. I struggled with an internal battle to come to terms with this broken feeling. That, as a woman, the one thing I was supposed to do correctly, I couldn't.

And all the while, friends and family around me would announce their pregnancies.
I would host baby showers, watch bumps grow, and ask far more questions than may seemed normal about how they were feeling or what they were going through.

And to the majority of people struggling to conceive, this may cast a dark shadow.

As sarcastic as I can be sometimes (although my husband might argue it's most of the time), I can assure you that never at any point have I been jealous of the success of others.

Because I know deep down, while this particular event may not be coming as easy as I had hoped, I think overall, my life has been rather successful. I am happy with how my life is taking shape and am continuing to work towards every goal, including expanding my family.

I'd like to think I am a particularly positive person. 
I try to see the good in most situations. 
I laugh at a lot of fucked up shit. 

I am sarcastic and witty, with a dry sense of humor, because honestly, although this is clearly a defense mechanism, the alternative is to fill my thoughts with overwhelming bouts of anxiety and depression.

Pregnancy happens. 
The expansion of the family is normal and should be celebrated.

I am beyond thrilled when people tell me it worked, even if it was unexpected!

I know my time will come and I know I am walking down my own path, and it may look longer than others, but I am trusting the process.

I am, and will be, so much more than a mother.
A mother is something that completely transforms your life, but I am still me.
I will still be the same quirky, creative, in-your-face person....but with a baby.
I will still do great things in life should nothing come to fruition this year.
My life is not over if this year doesn't take.
There will be time to hurt, and to heal, but I am still me.

I do not waste my time reading shitty comments about yet another celebrity's pregnancy and how some people don't think it's correct to go through IVF.

I do not waste my time getting upset when someone unfollows me on social media. #doyouboo
I have done nothing wrong.

I, hopefully, am a tiny light of positivity for anyone willing to reach out.

I want nothing but the BEST for all of us.

Every triumph, every failure, I am here....rooting everyone on from my little corner of the internet.

Pregnancy may come easy to some, but it may not to others.
Finding that perfect job may be easy to some, but not so much to others.
Some people can easily back away from peer pressure, but to others, not so much.
Some people may be in a pool of debt, while budgeting may come naturally to others.

There is always SOMETHING to be thankful for, and something else that may try to tear us down.

I urge those that are struggling with ANYTHING, be it infertility or otherwise, to find your tribe.
Let in those people. Allow them to become your beacon of hope to get you through tough times.
Let those people root for you.

Talk about it. Share it. 
I am not alone, and neither are you.

Life is for the living, my dear.

And I understand that when you are in the trenches, all you want is for a pregnancy to happen.
You want it so bad you would do anything to reach it.

The process takes an ungodly amount of time, it seems.

But the biggest part of the process, is to take a step back, and remember that you are your own person.
You, too, are a beacon of hope and light to others.
You are someone who is loved by many other people.
Don't lose sight of the person you were before you were in the trenches.
Pregnancy and motherhood is, perhaps, the ultimate goal....but you are still you with or without it.
Whatever is meant to happen, will happen in due time.

And until it happens, enjoy life.

Smile and laugh and dance and drink and connect and fill your time with other people that love you.

You are still a friend, a daughter, a wife, a fur-mom, a boss lady, a warrior, a crafter, a pioneer!
You are still all those things, before, during, and after pregnancy and motherhood.

Do not lose sight of YOU.
Compare yourself to no one.
They are not walking in your shoes.
Do not let envy and comparison rob you of the joy you have in your life.

There is a plan for all of us. Step back and let that plan come to fruition.
Even if it means letting go for a period of time, to get back to the real you.

You deserve nothing but the best, but you have to open your eyes.
And above all....


As always, thank you so much for reading! XO
Apr 8, 2016

Week in review

Happy Friday!
This week is wrapping up on a high note. Here are some highlights:

1. I told the boss man.
Those that follow on Instagram (@tgendooza) know that I was SUPAH nervous about doing this.
I have worked at various shitty jobs in the past, and there is no way in Hell I would ever feel comfortable telling any prior bosses ahead of time. But, after I found out some information about my current boss, I figured....what the Hell....and decided it would be better to let him know ahead of time (especially if I need time away at the last minute #unprofessional, or if I'm feeling terrible as an effect of the meds)
He responded positively, with a do what you gotta do response, and mentioned again that his wife had a terrible time with administering the shots.

2. I bought new running shoes.

Although I LOVED my old ones...they were just that....old. My IT band was starting to hurt in my right leg and whenever I start pain (outside of general soreness) I know it's time to change.  I bought them on Zappos HERE if you're interested!

3. My parents paid our credit card debt.
All you ttc-ers...do NOT get all "you bitch" about this statement. Let me explain.
First, I don't accept hand outs. Period. My dad, who is insane about un-necessary fees and interest rates, offered to pay off our current credit card debt, and in turn, I pay HIM back each month.
The difference being, I don't pay the credit card company thousands of dollars in fees this year.  I realize how incredibly generous this is, especially with his own cancer treatments and who-not.
At first I flat out refused. No way, no how.
But when he finally said he would be disappointed in me and angry if I didn't accept, I basically had to.  So now my dad's my bank until we get done with this IVF junk, and I thank my lucky stars that he taught me about finances. This is the first time I would have ever accumulated enough debt to actually get a fee in the first place! #crisisaverted

4. Mark loves me.
He was worried I hadn't called one evening when I left for work. I typically always call the second I walk out the door, but for whatever reason, I got tied up, left late, got stuck in traffic from a freight train (rage!) and walked in the door 30 minutes later than usual. AND forgot to call.
I didn't even think of it, but Mark mentioned he was really worried, and I just smiled.
I swear I don't ever think he gets worried about me, but I'm realizing more and more every day (especially with the next point) that he is really concerned about my well-being.

5. All of this shit arrived to my house this week.

I mean, I KNOW fellow IVF-ers are all .....pssh! been there done that! But seriously...that is A LOT of meds. And they all have to go INTO my body. I think when the needles first arrived, I was comparing just how far they go into my abdomen....assuming it might come out the other side.
I could not think of a better time to want a drink, and this is NOT the time to do it!!

6. I have kept our plants alive for over a month!
Now, I nearly killed one of them, but as a former black-thumb lady....I am pleased with the progress thus far. And to think I could kill a cactus!

7. No major side effects from pills/vitamins besides a never-seemingly-quenchable thirst.
The generic Synthroid dries me out. I honestly haven't even been drinking at my normal rate because I spend most of my time chugging water.
Drinking tolerance has lowered a lot. Tend to say "I'm so drunk" about 1.5 drinks in these days.
The addition of the other new supplement, Myo-Insotol, really is a mood booster! I have a ton more energy, it seems....at least for now.

8. Genetic follow-up went well...
I had a follow-up call with the genetics counselor at lunch today. We went over our PGD set-up, expected outcomes, etc. Obviously nothing is guaranteed, so I'm just trying to stay positive at this point.
A little math and statistics, if you're interested:
PGD Testing for our specific mutation will yield a 90% accuracy rate. Much higher than our original 1 in 4 chance of rolling the dice, but not quite 100%.
PGS testing for chromosomal abnormalities yields a 97% accuracy rate. This detects things like down's syndrome.

We can expect roughly 60-65% of all the biopsied embryos to be chromosomally normal, and of those 60-65%, roughly 75% of those embryos will also be mutation free.

This means that if we test 10 embryos, 6 of them should be chromosomally normal, and 4 of those 6 should also be mutation free.

However, I have heard of reports as low as 10% of the original 10 embryos making it.
All we need it 1, so I'm hoping to end up with 2 for good measure.
Anything else will be a miracle.

9. FINALLY....My new domain name!!
No longer does it have that gross ending.....blogspot.com.
I registered a real, grown-up, website domain, so now you can type in shehasgoodgenes.com and it'll show up! MAGIC!! (Unfortunately, the old blog name does not re-direct, because I just changed the name, not the whole blog...so just get on board, m'kay?!)

That's it for updates! Thanks for reading!! XO
Apr 7, 2016

Freak out!

Hi. I'm still here.
I'm sorry I had a minor meltdown yesterday.
I kept thinking about changing the blog name, which led to me questioning why I am blogging in the first place, which led to me (obviously) shutting the whole thing down.

I know, makes total sense.

I guess I was starting to get torn between trying to be a "good blogger"...meaning, I make sure to post on 'high-traffic' days, and find new blogs, and 'you-follow-me-so-I-follow-you', and making sure to comment, and then getting sad when I don't get comments, etc.

And my reality, which means....doing what I WANT to do. My brain doesn't work in a structured manner...so WHY am I trying to force the blog to be that way?

Anyways, these somewhat minor thoughts about blogging in general thwarted my brain into thoughts about how much I want to, and should be exposing to a bunch a strangers in the first place.

Should I keep updating everyone in detail?
What if shit really starts to go wrong? Do I talk about it?
What if I miscarry? I mean, I know plenty of people that have, but do I want people to know that kind of damage?

When I started blogging, it was an outlet many, many years ago...a distraction, if you will, to the overwhelming frustration we were going through trying to get pregnant.
I can't really describe that kind of frustration unless you have been through something similar.
As a Type A person, you make a plan and work through it until that plan is realized.
And this was a whole other beast.

So as the years past, we would gather information and hope for the best.
Well now....NOW we actually have a plan.
This is it.
This is the year to make or break us as parents.

Mark and I have already vowed that if it doesn't work this year, we accept that fate, and move forward without kids.

I know that may be black and white, and rather harsh, but we have watched others go through this FOR YEARS and have watched their lives crumble and the joy swept away and I will not let that happen to us.
No more.

We have been going through some sort of general frustration with trying to conceive for nearly four years. If this monumental act doesn't produce anything, we can at least say we gave it our best shot.
It sure as Hell wasn't for lack of trying.
Or sacrifice.

And because this whole process IS so BIG...I got scared to write about it.
How can I possibly include all the information and emotions in WRITING?
Can I do it?

Just like I was telling my parents, as we all stared in horror at the ENORMOUS box of medication and NEEDLES that arrived yesterday.....I don't have a choice. We just do it and don't look back.

If this is what we want (and it is), then this is the route we go.
And we will go, hand in hand, into war.


Because, my friends, we are now INFERTILITY WARRIORS.....and you don't back down when the odds seem stacked against you.

You reach out to your community, to your TRIBE, when you feel weak.
And, as I found out yesterday....they catch you when you bobble.

I will continue to write, if you continue to read.
I will write when good things happen, and when bad things happen to.

And if this resonates with just ONE person, who feels hopeless and is struggling to make sense of this crazy process....then I would call that a win in my book.

I can't thank you enough.
Those of you that came out of the wood-work, to support me and our efforts.

Thank you. XO
Apr 5, 2016

I hate it when balls fly at my face

You guys.
This IVF junk is NOT for the weak of heart.
Every day that passes seems to bring us a new and not necessarily exciting adventure.
My skin is getting thicker by the day.

So, last week I found out my thyroid levels were a tad higher than they needed to be, so along with birth control pills for suppression, I was also put on low-dose generic Synthroid.

It took about a week for them to work themselves out in my system, and after a weirdly over emotional Friday, my energy had returned and I seemed to be on the up and up.

I paid for my April medical premium and thought I had worked out all the kinks with the upcoming delivery for IVF specialty meds.

And then I got a call Monday night from the specialty drugstore, Prime Therapeutics.

We have an issue with your order...please call us right away.

6:30pm. Urgent. Cool.

So I pour myself a vodka tonic and spent the next 30 minutes of my life resolving a minor issue with the needle portion of the order.

No big deal, I thought.

They asked if I wanted to go ahead and file the claims since the order was scheduled for delivery Tuesday.

Weird....I thought they were supposed to be delivered Wednesday?
Well..either way is fine with me...sure, file the claims.

A few seconds go by and I finally hear the lady's voice again.....OK ma'am, your total comes to TWELVE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED.......

I didn't hear the rest of the actual total because I'm pretty sure I blacked out.

NO! I loudly exclaim.

There must be a mistake. I specifically chose a high-deductible insurance because of all of this.
I should be covered at 100% after I meet that $3,500.

Unfortunately, you are under a grace period with the insurance as your premium is delinquent, therefore, nothing is covered.

I get this huge pit in my stomach, but try to process everything in my head.

OK....so the check just needs to clear. No problem.
Can we please put a hold on this shipment? I can't pay for that out of pocket tonight.

Yes, we can void the order and try again after everything clears, but you will have to get authorization through Blue Cross to do so.

The next morning, after I tossed and turned all night, worried I had made a mistake with insurance coverage, I checked my bank account to confirm the check had, in fact, cleared.

Ok, good. Off and running.

At the same time, I had emailed my nurse because I never actually got a full report about my blood work and labs, and had also requested the laundry list of medications in writing so I could compare when they arrived.

She had responded by 9am.

I had Dr. Jacobs review your recent labs and ultrasound results.
They do show some diminished ovarian reserve – compared to about a year ago.
Your AMH is 0.77 (normal is 1 or greater)
Your antral follicle count was 14 a year ago, but is now 8
Your FSH is slightly elevated at 10.6 – this was 9 a year ago.
SO – what this means is that we will need to use a higher dose of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)
in order to get the best response possible from your ovaries. 

So. Many. Balls. In my face.

I got really emotional and called Mark.
I kind of gave him the jist...I was absolutely not expecting this and it made me rather upset.

Right when I think we are off and running, we are hit with yet another hurdle.

I gathered my thoughts, calmed down, and after a series of emails...sorted through the rest of the morning.

I have no choice but to tackle my ovarian issue head on, and was given a couple supplement options to hopefully help as well.

The nurse recommended a powder supplement Myo Inositol 2000mg, twice daily, and CoQ10 600mg (in pill form) daily.

She also confirmed the type of CoQ did not matter at this point, because after a decent amount of research, I realized there were a few options to choose from.

Blue Cross confirmed the end of the dreaded grace period (what an oxymoron) and initiated a re-claim with the specialty meds.

I spent roughly 40 minutes on the phone sorting through all the details, and the cute $12,000 price tag went back down to $3,000, as expected.

And then, of course, I started Googling.
OMG....I was so overwhelmed, I closed my browser and said a little prayer instead.

Please Lord let me keep positive spirits and a sense of humor through this whole thing.

It is literally my only option.

I guess I was thinking this would be a simple series of A,B,C and then baby.

But really it's like A...then sub-heading aa, followed by C, and back-tracking to Paragraph 3, and did anyone read the friggin' Cliff's notes?

Every day we have been given a new set of directions, a new set of meds, a new agenda, and a new list of tasks.
And every day I have to resolve that it's OK and keep moving forward.

Eye on the prize....if only I could see better.
I hate it when balls fly at my face....(there goes my social life).

Thanks for reading!! XO
Apr 1, 2016

IVF Update: Week 1 Suppression

We made it to Friday.
Thank the lawd baby jebus.
I can't tell you how happy I am knowing last week was awesome, because this week has already thrown me for a loop!

First thing's first.
I had a baseline ultrasound Monday morning and a bunch of blood drawn (FIVE vials) to re-test for all the crap we did about a year ago, but needed to update.

Turns out my thyroid is a tad higher than they'd like to see right now.
Although I am within the normal range (between 2-4 is considered normal. I am 2.55) the nurse said I would need to lower that number a tad while going through IVF and ultimately a pregnancy.
I didn't blink an eye when she said I would be starting generic Synthroid right away as well as birth control.

So I have been taking Lutera and generic Synthroid for about a week now.
I kept Googling side effects because I swear, this week has just knocked me out.
I feel like I could sleep for 3 days straight!
I took the week off from the gym to let the new drugs settle in and figure out how I am feeling from them.
I keep sleeping through my alarm and am groggy all morning, which isn't exactly ideal.
Hopefully this will subside when I start back up at the gym.
I need all the energy I can muster!

The logistics have been out of control.
We scheduled our nursing consult for the 14th to go over how to administer the injections and to hand over all the signed paperwork (ie - sign our life away). I am assuming I'll be getting our calendar with injection protocol at that time as well.

But in order to move forward with all this, we have to pay for something.

Originally it was a deposit towards our deductible....just under $2,000.
But since we also have to order all of our meds prior to the 18th, the billing department wants to determine how much those will end up costing me because the chances of me maxing out my deductible with the meds alone are pretty high.

My deductible is $3,500 and one cycle of medication typically runs an upwards of $7,000.
I should know the damage soon and pay for whatever I need to get going.

Mark has to do another SA after his new insurance kicks in and we have to rifle through a bunch of paperwork this weekend.

I have a follow-up phone call with the genetics lab on the 8th.

My current time-line is to complete one cycle of birth control (3 weeks of pills plus 1 week of period), followed by another baseline and the start of my stimulation injections.

Retrieval is tentatively scheduled for the week before Mother's Day if all goes as "planned."

Holy. Shit.

I am feeling good though.
Positive and relaxed as I possibly can be...all things considered.
My goal is to just stay on top of any unanswered questions at this point.
It's kind of nice not to have to figure everything out for once.
I have someone calling me and telling me what needs to be done each week.

On the home front, with the addition of some greenery in the dining room, I have officially closed the books on interior renovations for this season.

We have our sights on the outdoor areas now.
Mark has a couple of projects he wants to tackle and I'd like to plant some more flowers in the empty beds around our home.

But honestly, I am taking a break from the never-ending upkeep of this home for a hot minute.
I can assure you my hormones are going to be nuts during injections and there will be a period of recovery after the retrieval.

Emotions will be high and our finances will be tight, so anything I add to that plate will probably only stress me out more.

So there you have it folks, one week down, three to go.
Thanks for reading!!