Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY is on the way! Due 8/2018

1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy w/o IVF!

Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Egg Retrieval Recap

I woke up this morning really excited about my 9:45 am appointment. Trite as it may sound, I am now one step closer to becoming a Mom. Having my parents nearby is priceless. We moved Mom and Dad 1.3 miles away after her diagnosis last August, and I was able to swing by their apartment and pick them up on my way. We arrived an hour prior to surgery, right on time. After some paperwork, they took me back and went over some questions and put an IV in. I'm seriously such a baby when it comes to drawing blood or getting an IV, so I always close my eyes. Good thing, because my nurse told me I was "juicy" and afterward, I saw her wiping blood off the floor. Of course compared to everything Mom has been through, including a port in her chest and in her head, this is nothing. I feel like I could get through just about anything (except lack of sleep), because I see her strength in all she endures. 

As my nurse was hooking me up to the monitors and taking my vitals, she made small-talk and I learned that she had a baby, unexpectedly, at 42. She was single, and living in Hawai'i. Years earlier, she had been told she couldn't have children and then and whoops! She moved back to the mainland because her parents live here and settled into her new lifestyle that she now loves. I told her it was a bit ironic that even with a diagnosed fertility problem, it just happened and now here she is, helping others.

Surprisingly, I don't harbor any resentment or jealousy against anyone who is pregnant or anyone gets pregnant easily or even on accident. I really realized that today after hearing her story and reflecting on it. I've heard that others who are trying to conceive (TTC) can start to feel that way, and it totally makes sense. I've actually been waiting for the envy to start bubbling up. Just like when you take medication, read the potential side effects, and then wait and watch for them to appear. But still, nada.

I think part of the reason I don't begrudge pregnant women and still find myself magnetically drawn to new Moms is be because we do not have a diagnosed fertility problem. We fall into the undiagnosed infertility category, along with 15-30% of infertile couples. I do have diminished ovarian reserve, but this is likely related to my age. My AMH level was tested, and I'm definitely on the low end. Some blogs I have begun following are written by women who have more than one fertility hurdle to jump over. Some also have male factors related to their infertility. This has to be much tougher, and my heart goes out to you if you're reading this and that applies to you. I know that would make everything tougher right now.
(women under age 35)
AMH Blood Level
High (often PCOS)
Over 4.0 ng/ml
1.5 - 4.0 ng/ml
Low Normal Range
1.0 - 1.5 ng/ml
0.5 - 1.0 ng/ml
Very Low
Less than 0.5 ng/ml
My AMH level is 1.0 

Another reason I don't shy away from excitedly asking When are you due? is probably because we haven't been trying too, too long. We were married at the end of November and while 6 months is the "required" time for the infertility label given my age (1 year if you're under 35), it isn't as long as most couples who consider themselves infertile try. It certainly does feel longer, but that doesn't count. I recognize that it has to be exponentially more difficult when you're going on a year of trying or even more. Not to mention chemical pregnancies or miscarriages that are fairly common and happen along the way to many women I'm sharing this journey with. While I don't pretend to know how tough that has to be, I would gladly trade years of trying for my Mom being well and not having stage IV cancer ... in 5 different areas of her body. Our journey is our own and though we may share commonalities, none are exactly alike. While seeing Mom go through this and the fear of what's to come is agonizing, she's here. I'm keenly aware that many women face the same journey I'm on or worse without their Mom by their side.

Lastly, I remain steadfast in my optimism, even when I'm not trying to "be" optimistic. It seems to be part of my basic nature; gift from my Mom. Don't get me wrong, we all have our days, and I am no exception. But I know that I will be a Mom, and that I will make Nathan a father. If this round of IVF doesn't work, we will do it again when we have the money. We may have to wait a year or two, but we will try again. And if that didn't work, we would try again or adopt, something my husband wants to do either way. We will be parents, it's just a question of when.

The rest of the procedure went off without a hitch. I woke up in recovery room with my husband holding my hand. My parents came in after him, and Dr. Werlin wheeled me out to the 'stang. Nathan went back to work, and I was quite looking forward to lounging around. But I am my mother's daughter, and instead: finished painting the bathroom, prepared a casserole to bake tonight, did a load of laundry and even some light gardening.

I'm resting now, and just received a call from my doctor. Of the 7 eggs that he retrieved, 6 were mature enough and have been fertilized through ICSI. I am okay with the number, but not thrilled. Two girls I've been following on instagram also had their retrieval today and between them, have 41 eggs! But then my optimism creeps in, and I tell myself that it only takes one. Marci, a girl I went to high school with, only had two eggs on her retrieval day, and she's 8 months pregnant.

My doctor will call  me again tomorrow with an update. We have decided to go with a fresh transfer, and freeze what is left. Depending on how they progress, we will either do a 3 day transfer on Saturday, or a 5 day transfer on Monday. Stay tuned!