Monday, October 28, 2013

And, it's a……

Who would have thought that I would have waited 14 weeks to blog again about this pregnancy?   In some ways my quietness is a bit of a backlash to being so public last time.  But, the real reason was that I had a new job. 

As much as I like what Sheryl Sandberg has to say with Lean In, there’s also reality.    After the friend and colleague who hired me at my new job was let go, I felt a bit vulnerable.   I waited until the 13 week mark before I told them, and I have to say it went well.  In fact I almost wished I had told them earlier because it might have made the first trimester more bearable.

That’s another reason I didn’t write.   I didn’t want to sound ungrateful.  I remember being part of the infertility community and reading the complaints from the newly pregnant.   I longed to have morning sickness.  Well, I’ve had it and it is overrated.   For me it wasn’t morning sickness, it was all-day misery.    I questioned the wisdom of this last round of treatment—did I really think I was up for another pregnancy?

And, if I’m really being honest, it has taken me this long to feel comfortable about having twins.   Being an only child, having more than one was always a stretch for me.  Did I ever think I’d be the mother of three?  Not in my wildest dreams.    How did we end up with twins?  We put in two “perfect embryos”.  You have to understand the math and logic behind IVF.    As I talked about in my previous blog, the frozen embryo process is far from perfect.  We had four embryos frozen and only two survived. 

Even with the phenomenal fresh success rate our clinic has, their frozen success rate is average.  You have a 50% chance that you will be successful…thus one out of two should survive.   The likelihood of twins is 30%, which meant we had a 15% chance of having twins.    And, if you do have twins, almost 30% don’t make it past the first trimester.  This was my experience last time when I lost F’s twin at 11 weeks.  

But, here I am.  Twenty weeks pregnant with twins.   And, I’m starting to feel normal again.  I’ve returned to working out and have more energy to hang with Mr. F.   I’m keeping an eye on my blood pressure and hoping that the preeclampsia will stay away and I’ll make it full term with these little ones.  

And, now I know why I have two…. I’m blessed with the unmatched pair, we have a boy and a girl on the way!  I was all prepared to have an all-male hockey dynasty, but now I may have a little Cammie Granato too!   

Thanks again for all the love and support along the way….

Saturday, June 29, 2013

PUPO Again

I don't know if it was lack of time or a desire for normalcy that kept me from blogging these last six months.  The problem with infertility is that it mars the happily ever after after dream:  Girl meets boy; they fall in love and get married; and when the time is right they have a baby.   Yet, many times it doesn't work the way it is supposed to.  

I enjoyed blogging about my journey to Mr. F and have been thankful for the many kind words I have received from people who needed to know that they were not alone in their struggle.  Yet, when it came time to think about a sibling, I went 180 degrees the other way.   At first I didn't want to tell anyone.  I wanted to sneak away for our FET [frozen embryo transfer] and then simply announce the a normal pregnancy.   

The fault with that plan, however, is that it would require a great deal of fibbing and orchestration since we do have a toddler to manage.  So, first we told our parents and caregivers.  We were going to need their help for appointments in January and June.   Once I did that, the seal was broken.   I started casually mentioning it to people.   Yet, I still couldn't start blogging about it.

I had many posts in my head.  The decision to try for a second child was not one that we came to lightly.  We were concerned about my health--and that the last pregnancy ended up in what was undiagnosed pre-eclampsia.  We were concerned about energy level and adding to it with a second child.  Bottom line for us, however, is that I felt that it takes science to get us pregnant and a higher force to determine whether or not it is meant to be.  We had four embryos waiting.  We needed to try.

I only wanted to try once.  In the months leading up to transfer I tried to lose a bit more weight, get in shape and have fun.  Because once the shots start again, the fun ends...activity limits, alcohol limits, caffeine limits.  I actually cried after the last game of hockey I played.   Hockey has always been one of my greatest stress reducers.  

There was some detachment to this process.  Last time I did acupuncture regularly.  This time I did none, feeling that our donor quality was so strong I didn't need to.  Plus, I have a joyful little boy, anything more is a bonus.   Yet, one phone call yesterday broke through my shield.   As we were walking around enjoying Portland before our transfer appointment, the embryologist called us.

"We've thawed the first two and they're not looking very good.  Do you want us to thaw the rest and pick the best?"

All of a sudden our confidence was shattered.  What if we had no embryos to transfer?  What if this time didn't work and we couldn't try again.  I kept saying that I'd only do it once, but with the caveat that I wouldn't know how I really felt until we were in the thick of it again.

We arrived at ORM [Oregon Reproductive Medicine...still in my opinion one of the best DE clinics in the country] and they quickly hustled us to the OR.  I figured that was a good sign.  If they were prepping me for transfer, then something must have survived the thaw.  The embryologist came in shortly with Dr. Hesla.  She was quite pleased that they were able to thaw the remaining her words, "they are perfect".   

So here I sit, PUPO [pregnant until proven otherwise] with hopefully #25 settling in for a forty week stay.  

Back at you on July 10th with the results--most likely on a new blog site.  I'm currently in the process of revamping Marketing Mixology to be about all facets of my life.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Infertility Never Leaves You

Nothing like the start of National Infertility Awareness week to get you started blogging again.  It took more than that actually…. it took an interaction with a stranger in the most unlikely of places.

We had a garage sale today.   Hadn’t really planned on it, but our neighborhood was having one and I had stacks of things to go various places:  the used bookstore, Goodwill, the music store.  

I ended up putting the books out for the garage sale.   In an effort to encourage people to buy more, you could pay a dollar for one—or get five for two dollars.  What a deal.   I hadn’t really expected anyone to buy them, but all my favorite infertility titles were out there:  The Infertility Cure, Taking Charge of Your Fertility,  and even a children’s book I had from my initial bout of infertility with my first husband.

There was a man browsing the titles and I saw him pick them up.  He looked through all the books, I think trying to find a fifth title.  He didn’t find one, so he asked if he could have all of them for two dollars.    I looked at him and simply said take them.  I wish you luck and hope.  And, then I cried.  [And I’m still crying as I write this.]

Even though we are one of the fortunate ones to have had the means to an end, I am still so sad that one in eight people have to suffer through this nightmare.   Most people would be surprised to know that someone in their family or close circle of friends has been suffering.  Often because of shame or guilt, the topic is never discussed.   

Wondering what you can do?   Here are a couple of suggestions:
  • Don’t ask married couples when they are planning to have kids.   Most will mention it when they are ready and need some encouragement for that next step.  
  • If you are in a position to decide on company medical benefits, have compassion and cover infertility treatments.   The cost of treatment or adoption is astronomical.  Couples usually find themselves in debt or without savings by the end of the journey.   Treatment is often postponed, which never helps in age-related infertility.
I know that when many of us cross over to the family side, our infertility warriors who are still fighting can feel left behind.  Just trust us when we say that we never forget the pain, it often surfaces at the most unlikely of times.  

Keep the hope. 

Mr. F, dreams do come true.
Mr. F just weeks away from his 2nd birthday.