Wednesday, June 1, 2016

12 Years and Counting...

Today, June 1st 2016, marks the official day twelve years ago that we started trying to have a baby.  Today marks the 12th year!  12!  TWELVE! Fuck!  I can't think of anything else that I have tried doing for twelve years over and over again (with only negative results) that I haven't given up on yet. Seriously....fuuuuuuuck!

So as I sit back and reflect on this, and this number, I have come to realize that I am either one of two things:

  1. A complete dumbass
  2. A complete badass

Anyone that knows me would have to agree I'm most definitely a little bit of both, but I like to lean towards the second...a complete and utter badass. So as a self-proclaimed badass I'm just going to raise a glass of wine tonight and toast to my badass-ery! Yes that's a real least in my world, and since it's my blog I'm using it! :) 

How many people do you know that would try over and over (and over...and over...and over...and over...) again with nothing to show for it? I just continue to pick myself up off the floor (literally) and try again.  The next round of shots and stirrups seem to be getting longer in between the round before, but I'm still at it. I'm still fighting. I'm still trying. I'm just not ready to give up yet. That in itself is what makes me a badass!  I may need to give up soon and move on, but for now, in this moment, I will continue to wear my invisible badass cape, raise a glass of wine and reflect on these past 12 years. I will reflect on the amazing friends I have made (and the friends I have lost). The pressure this has put on my marriage and the knowledge of knowing that my marriage is rock solid because we have come out swinging and fighting and have done it together. The fact that I have no regrets knowing that I have tried almost everything in my power. So many reflections, so many memories, so many struggles, and yes, so many triumphs. 

I also raise a glass to all of the couples out there still fighting, like us, to beat this disease and to overcome the hand that was dealt to us. To those couples that have tried & moved on to childless lives, and to those that have resolved your family building, you too, are all badasses!  So here's to us...all of us!  
The #1in8 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Don't Stop, #StartAsking

As soon as I saw this years Blogger's Unite theme, I immediately got excited. Not only because I love to overuse #hashtags on a daily basis on my Twitter and Instagram accounts, but because of the open-ended topic.  There were so many possibilities.  So many directions I could go.  So many ways I could use my blogging voice to speak out about infertility. I had so many ideas running through my mind, and just like that...I couldn't think of a single thing to type.  I had too many ideas running through my head, and I just couldn't narrow it down.  One week goes by and my blog canvas was still blank. Two weeks....nothing.  I started to panic, but decided to give myself just a little bit more time before I was going to force myself to narrow down my ideas....that's when it happened, out of no where my topic hit me like a ton of bricks! Ms. Marty!

Let me first start with a little bit of background....a little foreshadowing on this blog post if you must. Our local Resolve support group decided a while ago to have a donation garage sale to raise money for those of us traveling to Washington D.C. in May for Advocacy Day (eek!  This will be my 1st time at Advocacy Day! I. Can't. Wait!).  We collected items, set the date, advertised, and held our garage sale with an amazing turnout.

We met a ton of interesting people throughout the morning.  We explained to each person that stopped by, that this was a donation garage sale and we were raising money for our Resolve support group to attend Advocacy Day.  We expressed that if an item didn't have a price tag on it, just make us an offer and it's yours.  We even placed our post cards on the tables explaining our support group and what infertility was.  We talked about our journeys and how infertility affected the three of us there that day.

I couldn't believe the amount of people that then opened up to us about their struggles with infertility, someone in their family that struggled, a close friend that went through it.  The stories never stopped.  All morning we heard them. We weren't alone in our journey, and now neither were they. The donations kept coming. The prayers, the tears and then...Ms. Marty arrived.

She was an angel.  An angel sent to us, straight from heaven.  We started by welcoming her to the garage sale and explained what we were doing, who we were and a bit of our stories.  You could see her stop in her tracks (and to this day I can still see that beam of light radiating off of her...and her halo!) She then told us about her story. She talked about her amazing children that she never thought she'd be able to have in her late 30s and she talked about her sweet and precious angel baby that she lost when she was 41. She started asking us questions and listened to each of our journeys while she looked around. After we finished our stories she immediately stopped what she was doing, held up her hands and just prayed for us.  Literally stopped and prayed out loud for US!  I will never forget her or that prayer. Tears stream down my face now as I type this remembering that life changing moment.  It was at that moment that I knew what I was going to write about. I just had to write about her! Ms. Marty gave me hope, but she also reminded me to never stop and to never give up. She will never know just how much she affected me that day.

After 5 failed medicated IUIs, one failed un-medicated IUI and 2 failed IVFs, my journey may be over (or maybe not...) but my voice will never be silent. I will never stop asking questions about why infertility is not treated like any other disease.  I will never stop asking insurance companies to cover infertility treatments and making it more affordable.  I will never stop advocating for infertility rights.  I will never stop being a voice for those that aren't comfortable talking about it goodness, it took me over 9 years of trying before finally talking about it out loud.  I will never stop asking for help, for funds, for support.  How could I ever stop? Infertility is nothing to be ashamed of! #StartAsking for support from your friends, your family, your congressman, your insurance company.  Don't stop!!

I am an IF warrior.  
I am brave.  
I am 1 in 8.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Was it Really Only a Dream?

Have you ever had a dream that felt so real you couldn't tell if you dreamt it or if it really happened? I had a dream like that last night. I dreamt that I was pregnant.  This wasn't just the normal dream of being pregnant that I've had a million times before,  it was more. It was least it felt real.  Everything about it was real. I had a bit of the belly (the lovely baby bump that I've wished and prayed for) and I couldn't stop rubbing it.  I could feel the flutter of the baby move inside of me.  I could feel my body changing and I felt different. Everything was different.  I could feel the emotions (of what I can only imagine) of pregnancy. I wanted to scream and shout it from the rooftops that I was finally pregnant. That it finally happened to me!  I could literally feel all of these emotions in me.  I couldn't stop smiling and rubbing my now pregnant belly. I could really, truly feel the baby! It was the most AMAZING feeling in the world! It was the miracle that I prayed for all of these years.

Then I woke up.

I was awake and I couldn't stop smiling!  I was finally pregnant! My baby was finally inside of me. I actually woke up relieved and at piece, full of excitement, and smiles. The first thing I did was rub my stomach, but here was no baby bump. I immediately gasped.  I sat up straight, panic stricken! I couldn't breathe! I almost started hyperventilating.  It was just there!  I felt it! I rubbed around frantically all over my stomach trying to find the baby that I just felt! It was JUST there!  What the fuck!  What happened?  Where is my baby bump?  WHERE IS MY BABY?!?! I couldn't think straight. I couldn't get my bearings. I was so confused!

Could this experience really have only been a dream?  No!  Impossible! It felt SO real.  It wasn't like any other pregnancy dream I've ever had in that past.  I could feel the excitement and joy in my soul.  How could this only be a dream, when everything I had just experienced wasn't like any other feeling I had ever felt in my life.  Why was the universe playing yet another cruel and evil joke on me.  Where did my baby bump go? 'What the fuck' was all I could keep saying over and over. It probably took me ten minutes to really realize that everything was a dream....or in this case, a nightmare! There was no baby.  There was no pregnancy. It was only a dream...

I just hope I NEVER have a dream like that ever again.  It was too real. It was too hard to accept that it was only a dream.  It was cruel.

Just when I thought I  may be ready to move forward, childless, a dream like this makes me realize that maybe I'm not. Maybe one more try.  Maybe one more IVF.  Maybe one more attempt.  Maybe one more surgery.  Maybe...

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Merry" Christmas

If you remember my post from last year at this time, Christmas was not so joyous or merry. It was a very hard year. An extremely hard, emotionally draining year.  We finally tried IVF (twice!) after four failed IUI's and both of them failed.  Christmas was just not what it used to be, at least not that year. I ran out of the mall, for God's sake, when I saw Santa with all the happy little kids and families.  I was green with envy and my heart was extremely heavy with such a deep, dark sadness. Something like getting pregnant seemed so easy to so many people everywhere I turned, I just couldn't stand it anymore. I broke into a million pieces.

This year, I'm happy to say that I'm in a much better place.  We did officially try again this year (an IUI we told no one about back on the 4th of July) that once again failed, but that's ok.  I'm here, I'm healthy and I'm going to enjoy the season and the much needed Christmas break.

We decided to once again not go anywhere for Christmas this year.  Every year we traveled and we made sure to spend time with both sides of the family and even made sure to keep track of which side we spent Christmas Day on, so we could alternate.  This meant traveling to different states every single year. First we flew every year, and then after we got Zeus (our black lab) we started driving in order to take him with us.  Then a few years later, we adopted Poseidon (our chocolate lab) and we then traveled with 2 dogs.  It was chaotic, and expensive, but we loved it. It was great spending time with our families.  Last year I needed a break.  I needed to wake up in our bed with my husband, in our house.  I need the quiet.  I needed  peace.  I needed the break. I needed just him.  Luckily, Dave agreed.  This year we decided to do it again.  Not because we needed the quiet or because I was sad and in a bad place, but there was something special about waking up in our own bed that made it perfect.  Something that everyone else has always experienced, except for us. We never woke up in our own bed before last year.  14 years together and last year was the very first time we woke up on Christmas morning in our bed, in our house.  Something I think others take for granted, and something others don't think about. When was the last time you woke up in your own bed on Christmas morning.  Chances are, if you have kids, the answer is last year and many other times before then.  Last year was our first, and I wanted to do it again.

You can call it selfish. You call it whatever you want, but I wanted to do it again. When you don't have kids, you're always the one that has to travel.  You are the ones who have to go to all homes (in different states). Yes, I have invited my family down for Christmas, but of course they want to spend it in their homes with the kids...and who could blame them.  I most certainly don't.  I just also hope then, that they don't blame us for wanting the same thing.  For wanting to wake up in our home on Christmas morning..with out without kids. I feel guilty for not traveling, for not spending the time,energy and money to travel like we used to. Maybe next year we'll travel again....maybe we won't.  Maybe next year we'll have kids...maybe we won't.  We don't know what lies ahead.  We only have the here and now, and this year we will spend it in our house, alone, with each other.

We may only have two human stockings and two dog stockings hung again this year, but we have each other, our families, and our amazing friends.  Whether you travel, stay home, are surrounded by a huge family or spending the day alone, I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and happy new year!  May your lives be blessed and may all your dreams come true!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I Hate You Olivia Pope

For the past couple of months I've been struggling to come up with a topic to blog about.  I have about 5 different drafts that I started and never finished.   I'm not going through any treatments, work has been CRAZY, and we've been talking about maybe just moving forward childless.  So writing has taken a back burner at the moment.

This past week I was super busy at work and my TGIT (Thank God It's Thursday) shows had to wait.  Saturday I finally got a moment to sit down, pour a glass of wine and catch up on Scandal. I just love Olivia!  Everything about her. I want to be Olivia Pope! I'm also a huge fan of Olivia and Fitz (unlike my sister who really wants to see her with Jake...a debate we have often!). I love them together. I love their chemistry, their passion, and their dreams of the future together. Although I must say, I haven't liked them the past couple of weeks when Fitz moved her into the White House without her permission....but here I digress!

This is the time to stop reading this post if you haven't watched the episode on 11/19/15. Last chance....

Anyway, I'm sitting on the couch all snuggled up, drinking my wine, watching the episode and it hit me.  I'm watching the Planned Parenthood debate going on and nothing phases me. Then they pan to Olivia. She is sitting in a waiting room.  My stomach twists in knots. My heart drops. I put down my glass of wine as slowly as I can as the tears start falling uncontrollably from my eyes.  I'm sick to my stomach and I think several times that I'm going to puke.  They are now in the room and she gets into the stirrups...the stirrups I know all too well. The stirrups I get into over and over again trying so desperately to become pregnant are the same ones she's in about to end her pregnancy. I'm sick and crying non-stop. I turn away and can't watch wishing it would all just end. I bury my head in the couch cushion just sobbing. Screaming for her to stop..."I'll take the baby" I cry out.  I can't turn off the TV because I'm shaking so hard.  How could she?!? I hate her!  I now HATE Olivia Pope! I once wanted to be a Gladiator and now I want to destroy her. I hate her so much!

Yes, I know she's just a character on a TV show.  Yes I know my reaction is irrational. Yes, I know I may be a bit (or a lot) pathetic because I have this much hate for a make believe character on a TV show that I once loved. Yes, I know people in real life that have had abortions. Yes, I've supported their decisions. Yes, I understand that it's a woman's choice to do what she wants with her body. Yes, I still hate her.

I hate her because she has had what I want. I hate that I hate her so much. I hate that all these feelings that I thought I was moving past, came back in a matter of 10 seconds.  I hate her for doing what she did. I hate her for making me cry in a way I haven't cried since my last failed IVF. I hate her for making me cry an hour after the damn show has ended. I hate her because I'm jealous of what she had. I HATE HER.

I thought I was ready to move on, but maybe I'm not.  Maybe my hate for Olivia has only made me realize that I'm not quite ready to move forward yet. I still don't know what we'll do, where we'll go from here or what lies ahead, but I'm not ready to give up. If I can hate a character so much and have SUCH a reaction to her decision, I guess I'm not ready to be child free just yet.  So yes...I still hate you Olivia Pope, but thank you. Thank you for making me realize I'm not ready to give up and move on just yet.

But yes....right now, at this moment in time, I still hate Olivia Pope!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 15th

To most people, October 15th is just another day in October. Another day to fight for breast cancer. Another day at work, school, or home. It's just another day.

To the men and women who have suffered with infant loss, miscarriages or stillbirth, October 15th means something else entirely. This is the day of remembrance.  This is the day for them to grieve, all over again. This is the day where they honor their babies who have left this world all too soon. This is their day.

Too many of my friends will be remembering and honoring their angel babies on the 15th. Too many of my friends will be grieving and suffering all over again on the 15th. Too many of my friends grieve every single day.  Too many of my friends have holes in their hearts and empty arms.  Too many friends.

One of these dear friends of mine is Lisa. Lisa and her amazingly strong husband have suffered more in just a few short years, than any couple should ever have to endure in their whole lifetime!  My heart breaks for her, yet I am so inspired by her courage and strength. Her love for the Lord continues to grow over each passing day even through the times I know might have shaken my faith. I don't know how she gets up each day, how she makes it through, and how she inspires me and others around her. Her strength and courage is like something I've never seen before. Her determination to look infertility and loss in the face and just give it a big middle finger makes me love her more and more. She has suffered more miscarriages after losing her son Jake, and somehow still manages to get up each morning and try again. We actually cycled together this summer (which means we had an IUI at the same time).  Both of our attempts ended in a negative test result, but together we rose above it. I love this girl more than she will ever know. To know her, is to love her.  <3 You can read more about her, her story, and her inspirational and emotional journey on her blog Hope After Hope.

So what can you do to help?  How can you show your support to these women who have suffered so much when you don't know what to say? You want to help, you want to be there for them, you want to take their pain away but you don't have the words and you don't know where to begin.  This is what you can do.  You can light a candle on October 15th at 7PM. That's it.  It's called the Wave of Light.  This is the day where we can all band together, show our support and come together. I will light my candle and share on my Facebook and Twitter pages to show my support for all of my friends that have already lost way too much in this lifetime.  Please do the same. We may not know what to say, or how we can help, but letting our friends know that we are here for them if/when they need us is a start. This will show our support for them.  They are not alone in this. They are never alone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I Suck at Getting Pregnant!

We all know I completely suck at getting pregnant! There is no "A" for effort when it comes to infertility, getting pregnant, or staying pregnant for that matter.  I suck!  I suck big time!  I can't seem to change that, so I decided to find the silver lining around the infertility gloomy cloud in my life!

I decided to focus on the positive and let go of the negative, so I went ahead and created a list of all the things I'm really good at when it comes to infertility and the things that I suck at big time!  So here is goes....

When it comes to infertility I SUCK big time at...

  • Getting pregnant
  • Seeing 2 lines on a pregnancy test
  • Keeping an embryo (or embryos!) in my uterus for more than 10 days
(only 3 things I majorly suck at...not too bad!)

When it comes to infertility I'm AWESOME at...

  • only seeing 1 line on a pregnancy test! (as you can see from our latest attempt!)
  • getting shots in my abdomen and ass! I'm a freaking super-star at this!!!
  • evicting any & all  foreign objects from my uterus on or before day 10! Nothing foreign in this angry uterus...heaven forbid my uterus become friendly and happy and invite others to stay! Damn bitch!
  • knowing the exact times of all injections, pills and doctor's appointments when it comes to infertility, but I can't tell you what I had for breakfast!
  • taking any song and making it about my loss!  Yep...even a Backstreet Boys song! I can't even listen to their Incomplete song the same way! HA! Sorry ladies...that BSB song is NOT about a breakup, but it's about my infertility and the fact that I can't get that damn 2nd pink line to show up to the bathroom pee party on a freaking pregnancy test!  Don't even get me started on other song lyrics that I can make all about me, and not the intended hurtful breakup it was originally written about! BooYah! Now that is talent right there! 
  • getting in stirrups without any direction!  I know what to do, and sometimes I don't even wait for the nurse to leave.  Why wait?  I wear a sundress or skirt every appointment for easy access....just take off my shoes and hop on up! :)
  • Mr. Ultrasound Wand Selfies!  I'm a fucking rockstar at this! 
As you can see by my picture, in 3 different dresses, I have no self control when it comes to ultrasound wand selfies! None!  You have to find a way to lighten up the appointments and have a little fun...and this is what makes me a self proclaimed fucking rockstar :)
I don't know how I could have gone through so many appointments before thinking of this!  It makes every appointment from here on out, so much more fun and entertaining! :)

  • making some beautiful embryos! Our first try at IVF, we made a grade 1 and a grade 2 embryo (aka A+ and A- if they were pretty much they were totally kick ass embryos!) 

  • finding super socks for each occasion.  I must admit, my superwoman ones with the red capes for the 2nd IVF (transfer day) were my favorite by far! And let's not forget about my bad ass (literally) socks for the egg retrieval! 
  • looking like a homeless princess in the hospital gowns.'s not a pretty thing, but I think I was able to sport the homeless princess look every single time...or maybe not?!? 

  • finding the BEST band-aids for each shot! This 37 year old had her inner 7 year old come out with all the princess, pink polka dot, Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse band-aid.s...and I loved every single one!!!  It made this whole horrific process funny! Refer to the second bullet above...


Last but not least....
  • When it comes to infertility, I'm pretty KICK ASS at trying again and again.  Just when I think I've had enough and can't go on, I'm back in the stirrups (literally!) trying again.  It's almost like a really expensive addiction (really, really expensive!) that I can't get enough of. I'm really hoping I can stop the addiction one day when I'm throwing up from morning sickness and changing dirty diapers at day I can only hope!

As you can see by the two lists I've created, evidently I am much better at this whole infertility thing than I first thought.  But honestly....I really wish I sucked at it, because then I would be a mom by now.

Anyone know a good therapist for my angry uterus...I think she needs to be put on different meds, because the ones I've tried haven't worked yet! :)