Negative!

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That was the result of the pregnancy test and that is exactly how I feel…NEGATIVE!

Don’t really have much to say for now. Just really disappointed and upset. I’m going to switch doctors to try to get a fresh start as well as looking into other options like fostering or adopting. I will have a child in 2014 one way or another.

#suckstobemerightnow

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JUST SAY NO!!!

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There is only one more day left of this 2 week wait and I’m a bit frantic! Not sleeping again because the anxiety of not knowing is crippling so I’m coming at you with a 3:00 am post! Why do I wake up at 3 am every time i can’t sleep…so strange! I obviously won’t post until the following morning so I can proofread this and make sure it is legible.

Every morning when I go to the bathroom, I stare at the First Response pregnancy test and I’m tempted to pee on that stick but then I think…as long as I don’t take the test, the hope is still there. I swear this temptation is like a drug and I just need to SAY NO!

Remember that commercial in the late 80’s about saying no to drugs?  If you’re any younger than 30 you’ve probably never seen it but it was quite poignant! I remember it so clearly! There were a bunch of kids and one adult talking about drugs and the adult would say, “Just Say No” and all the kids would scream “NO!” Then the adult would say, “Then Go” and the kids would scream “GO!” Then the adult would say “And Tell Someone You Trust” and the kids would scream “TELL!” That is exactly how I feel in this situation. Every day I look at that pregnancy test, I say no, then go and now I’m telling someone I trust which is my fellow women out there who are TTC!

My clinic calls taking a home preggo test “cheating.” Why is there such negativity around taking control over this process and trying to find out for yourself? Even though it is so enticing, I understand why it’s so important just to wait for that blood test. God forbid I get an false negative and be crushed days before I have to be or a false positive just to be so excited and let down when I take the actual blood test.

So I’m not cheating. Just say no, then go, and tell someone you trust!!! T minus one day and counting!!!

Top 3 Dumb Ass Things That People Say When You Are TTC!

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When you are trying to conceive through this whole crazy infertility process, you go through so much. The physical, mental and financial stress is so overwhelming and all you want is support from the people around you. A lot of the time, you don’t feel like answering people’s questions. That is one of the reasons I’m doing the blog. If you take the time to read it, it will probably answer any questions you may asks. The one thing you don’t want to deal with is dumb ass comments. It’s amazing that people think they are being supportive of you while saying the craziest things! I swear people don’t realize the words that are coming out of their mouth. You can’t make this stuff up lol! When I hear some of these comments, occasionally I just give a blank stare and shake my head but most of the time, I give a response. If you know me, you know that I usually can’t keep my mouth shut. I can’t just sit back and let people think it is ok to say this stuff. At least now I can blame it on the hormones lol! During my 5 plus years trying to have a baby, I’ve really heard some “winners” but I wanted to give you the top 3 dumb ass things that people have said to me through all of this. I have heard way more but these 3 comments I’ve heard most often and I think they are truly idiotic!!!  Hopefully people that I come in contact with will read this blog post and stop saying these things to me or any woman going through this!

Number 3 of the top dumb ass things people say when you are TTC!

For people who don’t really know me:  You can always get a dog!

For people who know me:  Why don’t you get another dog?

My response:  Actually, I already have a dog and two cats but for some reason, I just don’t think it’s the same.  Are we comparing apples & oranges here??? Do you feel that a pet will give you the same satisfaction as a child that looks up to you as their mommy?  Why don’t we swap!  You give me your baby and I will give you a pet…how would you like that? For those of you that know me, I am an animal lover but I’m not a crazy animal lover.  I love my animals but I’m not like other people who consider them like their children. While we love them, animals are considered property…not people!

Number 2 of the top dumb ass things people say when you are TTC!

Why don’t you adopt?  That would be so much easier…and cheaper!

My response:  Anyone who would say this is truly ignorant and knows nothing about the adoption process.  People think you can just go somewhere, pick up a kid and call it yours.  It’s not easier!  The adoption process is a long and grueling one; especially if you want to adopt a baby.  Do you know that a mother can put their baby up for adoption and then change their mind in some states?  Imagine you bring a baby home and you love it like it’s your own just to have it ripped from your arms because the biological mother has a change of heart.  No way could I go through that.  And if you try to adopt an older child (which I hope to do eventually), you have to deal with so many emotional and mental issues which is NOT EASY!  As far as being cheaper, I guess people don’t realize that adoption can cost you about $10,000 – $15,000 and if you choose to adopt a child outside of the US, it’s more.  You can’t just go to Malawi and bring a kid home like Madonna! It just doesn’t work that way.  Either way, it is my decision to try to have my own biological child and my wife and I will decide when we want to look into other options!!!

OK…drum roll please!

Number 1 of the top dumb ass things people say when you are TTC!!!

WHY DON’T YOU JUST SLEEP WITH A MAN?

My response:  When I hear this, I really have to ask the Lord for strength! You would be amazed how many people ask me this question…my mother has even asked me this! I guess people think that it’s no big deal.  Lord knows I’ve slept with many a man in my “straight days” but for the past 13+ years I have been a lesbian woman and I have NO desire to go back!  Another thing about this question that bothers me is that people think that it is ok to not only find a random man to sleep with but also to have unprotected sex with that man! During my “straight days” I always thought (and still think) that protection is so important.  So when someone says this, you are pretty much telling me that you don’t care about my health and it’s ok to open myself to HIV as well as a myriad of other STD’s!

When people say this to me, I feel like they have no respect for the relationship I have with MY WIFE!!! That’s right…MY WIFE!!! I’m married!  While some gay couples may make a decision to do something like this, which I do not judge them for doing…this is not for us.  If anyone knows my wife, they would know that “AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!!!”

Obviously only straight people ask this question because my gays know the deal.  Fellow lesbians…if a straight person ever asks you this question, I want you to respond like this! “Let me pose a situation for you. Let’s say you and your husband are trying to get pregnant and after countless unsuccessful tries, you go to the doctor and find out that your husband does not have active sperm. Would you then go find some other man to sleep with and have a baby with?  How would you feel about that?  How would your husband feel about that?”  After you say that, 9 times out of 10, they have nothing else to say! People also don’t think about this fully!  When you have a baby with a man, that man has parental rights under the law so therefore my wife would not be able to adopt my child and in some states where gay marriage is not legal (not mine thank god), the father can actually sue you for custody of the child if he doesn’t like the “gay atmosphere” in which the child is being raised.  I can go on and on with this one but I’ve ranted enough! LOL

So people out there reading this…before you try to offer one of these comments (or other dumb ass comments) to a woman that is TTC, please think before you speak!  Words cut like a knife and we are already going through so much!  You may have the best of intentions by saying this but the comments are still DUMB ASS!

Thanks for reading!

The Two Week Wait Sucks Royally!!!

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Four more days! Four more days! That’s what i keep telling myself today because I’m at my wits end with this damn 2 week wait! I will either be really happy in 4 more days or really depressed.

I think I did a smart thing by taking the day off from work on the day of my pregnancy test. I figured that I would not be able to concentrate at work and if they call me at work with bad news, I didn’t want to embaress myself with all the crying at work. Not a good look for the HR Manager! The last time I got bad news, I was at work and couldn’t control my emotions so I just stayed in the bathroom, did the ugly cry and then just went home and drank myself to sleep. This time I will spend the day with one of my good friends and have lunch. I’m thinking she may be my good luck charm because when i find out my first IVF was successful, I was on my way to see this same friend. If it is good news, I can celebrate a little with her before I go home to celebrate with my wife. If it is bad news, she’s a great drinking buddy until my wife is able to pick my drunk ass up! Sounds like a plan right???

I’ve read so many tips about what you can do to make the 2 week wait go faster. Tips like picking a new hobby, hanging out with supportive friends or reading. To me…that’s all a load of bull! Nothing makes this time go faster. I did like one of the tips I read, which I’ve actually been doing! Eat, eat & eat!!! Thankfully it’s restaurant week where I live or I would be broke with all the going out to dinner we’ve done lately! I do like to eat and since I can’t do everything else I want to do like drink, smoke cigarettes (don’t judge), and have sex, I guess eating will have to do. Was that TMI? My sincere apologies!

There is one other thing that I’ve done a great deal during this 2 week wait and that’s praying. I grew up going to church and praying every day and it is something I miss. Because I am a lesbian, I turned my back on the church because it is so hard to find one that accepts me. I’m a Christian and I want to be involved in a Christian church. I shouldn’t be forced to go to a Unitarian/Universalist church just because its the only one who truly accepts gays. It’s a shame that I start my prayers apologizing to God for only praying when I want something! I bet He hears a lot of prayers that start like that lol! I ask God for strength to get me through this and to give me the family I’ve always wanted. I hope He hears me.

I’ve been feeling really strange the past few days. Firstly, I’ve been sleeping through the night most nights which is so odd because I don’t sleep. I’ve never felt so rested and I’m not used to it lol. Secondly, for the past two days, I’ve had to eat something about every two hours or I’m starving. I can hear my stomach growling as I’m writing this! Lastly, my boobs hurt so bad…especially when I take my bra off and they never really hurt, even when I have my period. I don’t know if this is just wishful thinking or if they are really symptoms of me being pregnant! I pray it’s the latter! Either way, this is giving me so much anxiety!!!

I’ve been going back and forth on whether I should reveal if I’m pregnant or not on my blog. My initial thought was not to because I didn’t want to go through what happened with my last pregnancy. We waited to tell our friends and family about the pregnancy until after the first trimester since that is what everyone says you should do. Our friends and family were obviously so excited for us and it felt good to call around and share the big news. When we lost out baby at 25 weeks we were truly devasted and part of that devastation was calling everyone and telling them this horrible news. I had my wife do most of the calling but most people reached out to me and asked all kinds of questions about our loss. I felt like I relived this horrific experience every time I told the story. I don’t think I can go through that again! But when I spoke to my wife about not sharing, she thought I should! That was so odd to me because Nicole is such a private person. She loves the blog but isn’t the biggest fan about me putting our business “in the street” and she absolutely detests Facebook. We have joked about this time, not telling anyone if we are pregnant until they receive the invite to our baby shower! When she said I should reveal, I was truly surprised. She said that I wouldn’t be “true to my blog” if I didn’t share the results. She said that she thought the purpose of the blog was to share my experience through this whole process; both the good and the bad and the result of the pregnancy test should be included as part of the experience. I never thought about it like that but I do agree somewhat. I’m just so scared because a lot of our friends and family read this blog and I don’t want to get everyone’s hopes up and, in turn, get my hopes up on the chance that this doesn’t work out again. While I would LOVE to continue the blog if I was pregnant and share all the joys of being pregnant through a lesbian perspective, I’m trying to avoid potential pain! I would love to hear what you think, so if you have an opinion, please make a comment and share your thoughts. I haven’t made a final decision but I’ll keep you posted.

Love you all for reading! I’m out!!!

Day 3 Transfer! Check out my embies!

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While I would have preferred a day 5 transfer, I’m trying to look at the bright side of things. I love the number 3, so maybe that would bring me good luck. I will find out if I’m pregnant sooner because the transfer is happening earlier. Also, the fact that I have no embryos left saves me some money because I don’t have to spend $1000.00 to freeze & store embryos. Sounds good right???

The night before my transfer, I didn’t sleep a wink. I just sat up all night thinking about everything under the sun. I was scared about the transfer because my body was still in a bit of pain from the retrieval. I was nervous about whether all of this would work or not. I thought about how uncomfortable and annoying this whole transfer thing is and let me tell you why!

The main thing that annoys me is that everyone is telling you to RELAX! If I had a dime for every time someone told me I need to relax during this process, I could buy a kid on the black market!!! That was a joke people…I’m not crazy lol! Nothing about this process is relaxing…especially the transfer.

How can you relax when there is a cold metal speculum with no lube jammed inside of you? Sorry to be so graphic but it’s true. They don’t even warm up the thing and they say lubrication can harm the embryos. You would think after all of these years, someone would have invented a better tool…or some “embryo friendly lube”!

How can you relax when you are spread eagle in front of an audience? Even though my experience with this transfer was completely different than previous times, most of the time there are at least 2 doctors, 2 nurses and some students in the room…all focused in on your lady parts.

How can you relax when there are so many people around you saying RELAX, RELAX, RELAX? I’m sorry but that is not relaxing! It’s kind of like they are ordering you around and if anyone knows me…they know I don’t like to be told what to do!!! 🙂

How can you relax when you know you did all of this work to get to this point and you may be extremely disappointed? There is no relaxing when your mind keeps racing and you keep thinking about prior procedures and prior disappointments. You can’t relax when you think about the big ASS progesterone needle that you go home to every night!

That word…RELAX is a forbidden word in my book right now. To be honest…it’s more horrific to hear than the N-Word at this point! When I hear it, I cringe!!!

I do have to say that this transfer experience was as pleasant as it could have been. So during the transfer, you have one doctor who is right in between your legs with that speculum. Once the speculum is in, they clean your cervix which just feels like a douche times 10 and not painful at all. Then they put the catheter in and try to place it in the best spot for the embryos. While that doctor is down there, there is another doctor pressing on your stomach with that ultrasound machine so they can see exactly where the catheter is. This is really uncomfortable because they want you to have a full bladder and all you can think about is how you have to pee! When the catheter is in place, they do a “trial run” where they shoot a bit of water inside to make sure the catheter is working properly and it is being directed to the right spot. If that works out, they call in the embryologist who gives them the embryos and they put them through the catheter and into you. It’s cool to watch it on the monitor! Once that is done, the embryologist takes the syringe back and double checks it to make sure there are not any embryos left in there and if there isn’t, you are done! They remove all of these items from you and make you lay flat for about 30 minutes before they send you home. The whole process takes less than an hour.

The coolest thing about the whole transfer process is that when you are done, the embryologist comes in and gives you a picture of your embryos! If you get pregnant, that can be the first picture of your child…even if it just looks like a bunch of cells. I posted my embies so you can see. How cool is that???

I have to say that the doctors that are in the procedure with you make all the difference. I love my doctor but he isn’t the most relaxing person out there. My regular doctor was not there that day but I was really familiar with the other doctor that was actually doing the procedure. He’s seen me spread eagle before lol! But what was really great was the other doc who was doing the ultrasound. She just had a calming voice and instead of her barking at me to relax (like other docs do), she acknowledged how I was feeling and how hard it is to relax. She told me that when you go though this, a lot of this stuff is out of your control and you just have to kick back and trust the doctors to take over. That simple acknowledgement, as well as her calming voice and attitude made all the difference!

Now the 2 week wait until the pregnancy test begins! This wait is extreme torture so I’m sure I will post something that just deals with the wait.

For those of you who have a transfer coming up, here are some helpful tips:
1. They tell you they want you to come in with a full bladder. That’s a no no because they are just going to make you wait and the sensation to pee gets worse and worse and even painful. Just go to the office with a big bottle of water and keep drinking. By the time they actually do the procedure, you will have a full but comfortable bladder.

2. Bring your iPod/iPhone! Most places will have music playing in the background but you know what music will relax you. Make a playlist. I never did this before and decided to do it this time and it really helped. It was kind of ironic that as he was trying to get that speculum in, my favorite song came on and it went smoothly! FYI…it’s “Happy” by Pharrell Williams!

3. Take a deep breath in and blow it out as they put in the speculum. My friend told me this the night before my transfer and it really made a difference.

4. Eat pineapple core for 5 days after your transfer! Google this and you will read so much about it! There is some kind of chemical in pineapple core that helps with implantation. Go to the supermarket and buy a whole fresh pineapple. The trick to seeing if it is ripe is to try to pull the leaves out. If a leaf pulls out easy…it’s ready to go. Peel that bad boy and cut it into 5 equal parts (including the core obviously). Eat one part starting the day of your transfer and continue eating one every day until your finished. The core is kind of hard to eat so if you can’t get it down with the rest of the pineapple…just chew it up so you can get digest this chemical and spit it out. Who knows if this really works but it’s worth a try!

TA TA FOR NOW!!!

Embryologist Updates!

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One of the many parts of IVF that I completely despise are the daily calls from the embryologist post retrieval. Or should I say the daily wait for calls from the embryologist post retrieval. It makes me so mad that they don’t call you in the morning. Therefore you act like a ravenous dog looking for a piece of meat!

The purpose of these calls is to update you on the status of the embryos. All you want is good news in a hurry. The day after my retrieval, I kept looking at my phone to see if I had a missed call. The phone rang about 12:00…it was the clinic! When i tried to answer, my iPhone started to act up and shut down on me. I swear sometimes if I didn’t have bad luck, I would have no luck at all. It literally took less than two minutes to turn my phone back on and call her back and they tell me she is unavailable. Really??!! She just called! So I wait again. By 2:00, she hasn’t called me back so I call the clinic. They tell me “she may be in a procedure or something.” Im sorry but “may be” is just not good enough for me right now. Plus, the embryologist is literally down the hall from the clinic so why can’t you find out for sure? I wait another hour and a half and she finally calls me back. Only 4 eggs out of the 7 fertilized. Not too happy about that but remember my new saying for 2014…”it is what it is!”

Day 2 post retrieval, the call comes in at about 1:30 and thank god I was right by my phone and it decided to work! By this time, the embryos should have made additional cells. The embryologist said they should be at 2 to 4 cells at this point. Two out of my four didn’t make any cells so they are out. Out of the two I had left, one embryo was a 2 cell and one was a 4 cell. The embryologist said that these 2 look really good and that she wants to schedule my transfer for the next day. In this ridiculous game we play, you can either have your transfer or day 3 or day 5 but day 5 is supposed to be better as the embryos are more mature. To me…this call was bad news and it really upset me.

Just to give you a comparison, my last IVF was extremely different. They retrieved 14 eggs. I had a day 5 transfer and by day 5, i had 8 really good embryos left (we did do ICSI). We transferred 2 embryos and froze 6 to be used later and we got pregnant. By now you know the rest of the horrific story on that one so I won’t go through it again.

Seeing as though I’m just a little bit of a control freak, this whole process, especially this part is really hard for me. My transfer will be tomorrow so we will see what happens! Pray “sticky thoughts” for me!!! I can use all the prayer i can get!

Of course i am writing this at 3 am because my insomnia is still in full swing so i really should try again to sleep. Good night!

Retrieval day is here!!!

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Ok folks! Weeks of subcutaneous injections, 5:30 am fertility clinic runs, and fights with other hormonal ladies about their place in line is now over!!! Hooray…its egg retrieval day!!!

This is the day where you start out going to the clinic a half hour before your retrieval time for no reason. They want you to hurry up and wait! Waiting is not good for me because my mind wanders. I sat there freaking myself out because of the bad experience I had with the anesthesiologist the first time. Lets just say blood was spewing everywhere! My wife is trying to calm me down because if your blood pressure is too high, they may not do the procedure!

Then they bring you into a changing room where you have to put on that fashion forward hospital gown and lovely hat! You would think someone would create something a little more fabulous after all these years lol! Nicole (my wife) and I always take a picture before the procedure which I posted…dont we look too cute???

Here comes the anesthesiologist!!! Ok ladies if there is one thing you should know about all of this is that there are many “professionals” that you will come in contact with during infertility procedures but know that NO ONE KNOWS YOUR BODY BETTER THAN YOU!!! When he came in, I told him that my left arm is not good for drawing blood and putting in IV’s. I told him that this has been a problem my whole life and I told him about my previous experience with another anesthesiologist. He said what everyone says “oh I know this won’t be a problem. I do this every day and I can already tell that this is a breeze.” Against my better judgement, I let him do it! Here we go again! He is digging in my arm, I’m bleeding all over the place and crying! He says “I guess you were right.” No sh*t sherlock!!! Then I had to cuss him out and blame it on the hormones lol! He wanted to do it again in my left hand and that’s when I put my foot down. I was ready to walk right out of there but he finally listened and put it in the right arm with no problem. Ladies…don’t let these doctors always tell you what to do! You have to speak up sometimes and be responsible for your own care!

They wheel me into the OR, strap me into these stirrups and one by one more people come in to check out my vajayjay!!! I like to call it “spread eagle in front of an audience and the show is about to start!” Why don’t they knock you out before the show?I really don’t want to know how many people are looking at my lady parts!

They must have started the meds right after that because the next thing I remember is waking up and being in so much pain. This was way worse than the last time I did this. I was moaning, groaning and crying and the sarcastic anesthesiologist comes back and says “are you in pain?” Really??? Did my loud moaning and the tears give it away? I swear I’m being punished for some reason. Then i had to fight for the good drugs which he finally gave me and i started to feel better. At that point, i just wanted to go home!

At the end of the day, they told me that they retrieved 7 eggs. They did “natural IVF” which to me is pretty much an oxymoron because none of this crap is NATURAL. This only means that they put the eggs in a petrie dish, throw our sperm specimen on them and wait for them to fertilize naturally. We chose not to do any ICSI, which means they would take an egg, use a needle and inject sperm directly into the egg. ICSI results in more eggs being fertilized but we read so many studies about the correlation between ICSI and babies with severe heart defects. Since we lost our last baby to heart defects, we were not going down that road again.

Now we have to wait for daily calls from the embryologist to give us updates on how many fertilized, how many didn’t survive and when our transfer is. I’m praying that we get at least 3 embryos to transfer on day 5.

Thanks for reading!!!