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NIAW 2019!

It's National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) again and this year's theme is #infertilityuncovered  #NIAW19
So, let’s get uncomfortable.
Let's talk about the #1in8 couples who are diagnosed with infertility.
Last year I focused on the facts, this year I’m focusing on me.
No sugar-coating here, so buckle up.

In case you missed it, or need a refresher here's part 1:
My first facebook post about our struggle

This week also means it has now been over *4.5 YEARS* since Chad and I started trying to start a family. To some people, that may seem ridiculously long, but to others, that's just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve met people who have waited TEN YEARS before having a successful pregnancy (this is the part where you pray it doesn’t take that long for us).
Don’t pray? That’s fine. Don’t agree with our journey, that’s cool too. We have a great support system, with or without you…but the more, the merrier.

A lot has happened since we said “I do” in 2014.
Death. Cancer. Buying/Selling houses and moving. Suicide. Infertility. Doesn’t sound much like “happily ever after” does it?

“Hey, at least you get to have fun trying” … uh no, you try charting your cycle every month, peeing on ovulation tests multiple times a day, “doing it” because an app says so, whether you’re exhausted or bloated or just want to watch tv, and then see if it’s still fun. (Spoiler Alert, it’s not).

As strange as it may sound, I still consider us lucky.
Sure, we’ve still never seen a positive pregnancy test.
But we’ve also never had our hopes crushed by a chemical pregnancy, cried through a miscarriage, gone into early labor due to an incompetent cervix, or had to hold a stillborn child in our arms. I’ve met several amazing, strong women who have been through all these things, and I am honored to be able to call them my friends.

Now, it’s time to be honest.
I lied to you all last year.
We knew exactly when our 2nd transfer would be.
May 22nd—Chad’s 40th birthday.
I know, I know. I had just
If it worked, the due date would be February 7th—my 30th birthday. What could possibly go wrong?

We started injections on May 4th.
I say we, because Chad has been promoted to Fertility Med Administrator.
Delestrogen injections on Monday & Friday, into my upper butt/hip area.

Progesterone in Oil (PIO) began on the 17th.
PIO is MISERABLE. It’s thick. It’s high volume. It needs to be injected slowly, and even after applying heat and massaging the area, you still end up with bruises and lumps. Every. Single. Day. Through the end of the first trimester. Also, vaginal suppositories. Multiple times a day. Sexy, huh? All baby making is.

On the 22nd, I had to drink 1 quart of water an hour before the transfer. A full bladder makes it easier for the doctor. It also makes it extremely uncomfortable for the patient. When you’re past the bursting point, they wheel you to the procedure room. Feet and gowns go up, lights go down. The catheter is placed and they insert the fertilized embryo. After they confirm the little embryo is in place, they wheel you back to the room. You’re supposed to lay flat for 10-20 minutes after the procedure.

I have NEVER had a bladder that full before. It hurt SO bad, I was afraid I wasn’t going to last the 10 minutes. Chad tracked my nurse down and she brought in a bedpan. I was too excited to feel undignified. Best pee of my life. ⛲️ Seriously.

I spent the next 48 hours on bedrest. It sounds super awesome to lay in bed all day watching tv right? Yeah, it’s not. I was instructed to only get up to go to the bathroom, then back to bed. Well, there were A LOT of bathroom trips. And nausea. Just the smell of food was enough to send me running. A friend picked up Mod pizza for me, and I couldn’t even eat that.

To make things even more interesting, we flew out on the 3rd day for a wedding in California. I wasn’t allowed to pull my own suitcase. I had to bring all kinds of needles through TSA (but I did make myself a cute bag to take them in—which is now one of my best sellers). My PIO lumps glowed in the x-ray machine and I was patted down by security. Then I needed help putting my shoes back on 😂

The family went wine tasting. I walked the kids to a bakery. The wedding was at a vineyard. I drank cranberry juice out of a wine glass to ward off the questions. I had never realized how alcohol is just part of everyday life until I couldn’t have it. 9 months is going to be rough…but worth it. Just think how skinny I’ll be when I can’t have wine. Or soft Cheese.

Blood draw for beta was May 31st.
It came back negative—you are NOT pregnant. Again. This not working had never even crossed my mind. With those dates, it HAD to work. Well, it didn’t.

Since then, we’ve taken a bit of break, especially after my sister-in-law committed suicide in September. I’m happy I can be there for my brother and my nephews 💗

It was SO nice to just feel “normal” for a change…until it wasn’t.

Where are we at today?

We have one little embryo left in the freezer, but have some testing to do first. Then we may decide to use it, or start fresh.

The Endometrial Receptivity Assessment—a medicated transfer cycle, but instead of transferring an embryo, they take a biopsy of the uterine lining to establish the best day to implant an embryo. For most women, this is 5 days after ovulation, but 3 in 10 women come back as pre or post receptive. The biopsy is sent out and 238 genes involved in endometrial receptivity are analyzed to give a personalized window, down to the hour.

I just finished birth control pills (that’s how you get pregnant, in case you were wondering) and am currently on a round of antibiotics. I go in tomorrow for a blood draw to check hormone levels. If all goes well, we begin injections this Friday for the ERA on May 16th.
Fingers crossed this gives us some answers.

This journey has led me to opening my 2nd Etsy shop (Inconceivable ... feel free to like it!) which has completely taken off in the last year. It has already caught up and surpassed my original shop. My goal when I opened it last April, was to bring humor, support and #infertilityawareness. I include a note with every order, encouraging the women and men who are on the same crazy ride as I am, and letting them know I am always here if they need to talk. I get messages from people about how grateful and thankful they are for the note, or that they are crying “tears of joy” almost daily. My “customers” (I’d rather call them sisters or friends) send me progress updates, photos, etc. and I *LOVE* getting them.

Someone recently pointed out to me that what I’m doing is a “ministry” … and I never in a million years would have thought of it that way, but I see it. I started a prayer & support group
I ordered cards to start including with my orders, and they should be here any day. If you are interested in joining, let me know and I’ll send you an invite. These strong, brave, amazing men and women (myself included) could always use more good juju in their lives.

..............................................................................
This post may be longer than last year’s. It was easier to write. I feel less ashamed and less embarrassed, and more supported. I never could have imagined the outpouring of love and support I received last year. So, thank you, to all of you.

Feel free to reach out. Feel free to ask questions. Anything, I’m an open book.
Feel free to learn more. Feel free to spread #fertilityawareness


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