Then and now: has society really accepted infertility?

A few days ago, I mentioned how we recently learned a couple we know adopted their children. They are good friends and next door neighbours to my husband’s Aunt and Uncle. We’ve met them many times, but I never knew how they became parents.

When I saw them last Saturday, they congratulated me on my pregnancy. As the conversation flowed, I told them that we did IVF and they admitted how they understood our struggle to conceive.

After getting married, Joanne and her husband tried to conceive for 4 years before pursing adoption. At that time, fertility treatment options were unheard of. They have an adopted son and a daughter who are now in their 40s.

When Joanne told her Mom they decided to adopt, her Mom could not believe they were not waiting longer or trying harder to conceive their children naturally.

This reaction is very similar to how my Mom reacted when I told her we were pursuing fertility treatments – “Just relax, it will happen“.

Joanne and I both found it fascinating that time (45 years +) hasn’t changed the way the people react when they find out you are having difficulty conceiving and have chosen an alternate method of becoming parents.

We are very fortunate to have made significant advances in terms of medical treatment for infertility; however, we still have a long ways to go with educating society about infertility as a whole.

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The joys of being remote from your fertility clinic

It’s 4:30 am MST. Wayyyyy too early if you ask me. We are just waiting at the airport for our flight. 

We got some great news before bed last night. 

  1. The apartment we rented lowered our rent by $100/week
  2. We have access to laundry

After I found this out, I ended up removing quite a few pieces of clothing. I’m still a horrible packer though. I never backpacked Europe for a reason. 

Yesterday didn’t go quite as expected. I went for my blood work just after 8 am. Got in at 8:30 am. 3 techs and 3 pokes and 35 minutes later, they finally got my blood. I have deep, difficult veins. I always tell them where the best spot is, but if the tech isn’t listening or isn’t confident, they often miss it. Now, I’ve got a new bruise on top of last week’s bruise. 

This delay meant that I missed the 9 am pick-up, but my blood would be going on the 11 am pick-up. No biggie. Last time the clinic received my blood about 2 hours after pick-up. My fertility clinic is also an hour time difference behind us which means they would be there if the results came through end of the day. 

Well, they didn’t receive the results. 

I was instructed to maintain the same dosage of Puregon and Repronex and to NOT take my Orgalutron until the clinic gets back to me.

Surprisingly, I didn’t let this stress me out too much. Although, I was dreaming about it last night. My local health care always pisses me off. I’m glad we will be in B.C. in a few hours where I will have access to the on-site lab at the clinic. 

I’m also looking forward to getting settled and enjoying our mini-IVF vacation. 

Hopefully I can catch a few more ZZZZ’s on the plane. I don’t do well on lack of sleep. 

Goodnight… er, I mean Good Morning 🙂

Oh, I almost forgot: It’s easy to get through security with your injectibles meds. No hassles at all. 

On the path to positivity

This cycle is different. 

It’s not just because it’s my 1st IVF. 

It’s just all around different. 

I’ve come so far from the person I was when we first set out trying to conceive. This Lindsey is different. 

I no longer live in fear. I am no longer am anxiety-ridden. 

I know there’s no sense in worrying about the what-ifs – what could go wrong – with this cycle. We will face whatever crosses our path if/when we need to. 

I am truly taking this one day at a time. 

At the beginning of this month, I set the following intentions for our IVF journey:

support, truth, honesty…

love, strength, grounding…

confidence, trust, belief in the journey…

a sense of calmness and serenity…

health, happiness, joy, openness and peace. 

I can honestly say that’s exactly how I’m feeling. 

I am at peace with the process. I have belief in the journey. 

I know we will conceive our children.

I can’t guarantee it will be with this cycle, but it’s much easier to live in hope than despair.  

There is light at the end of this journey. I can see it shining already. 

Today I choose hope

 

Proud (in)fertile moments (Part 1)

Last Saturday while at my adorable godson’s 1st birthday, one of my MIL’s best friends walked up to me and said, “Oh I hear your sister is expecting! How exciting!”.

Ugh, how did you find out? OH yeah from my MIL. She doesn’t understand the concept of secret, only within the family, hasn’t been announced publicly yet. *sigh* 

I replied with, “Oh yeah, she is.”

She said, “You must be so excited. 1st grandchild for your parents?”

I took a deep breath before stating, “Um no. My brother had his first child in April.”.

Dig that knife in a little deeper lady. 

She exclaims, “Wonderful!”, and obviously continues on, “Did you hear that so-and-so are pregnant? You know they are keeping their wedding date even though they announced their pregnancy just before it. I guess those things don’t matter these days.”

“Excuse me. I need a glass of water.”

And I walked away.

Yes that’s right. I politely excused myself instead of punching the crazy old lady out. 

A proud (in)fertile moment.

 

 

My IVF protocol

I’m on the Long Antagonist IVF protocol.

Right now, I’m on Day 11 of a 21 day birth control cycle. Over half way done!

Since a few people have been asking, here’s my medication list and our tentative timeline.

IVF Medication List

Drug Dosage  What is it?
Marvelon 1 pill daily Birth control – used to suppress ovulation for 1 cycle prior to IVF
Puregon 225 IU Used to stimulate ovaries. Also referred to as Follitism.
Repronex 75 IU Used to stimulate ovaries. Also referred to as Menopur.
Orgalutron 250 mcg Used to prevent premature LH surge, allowing for a delay in ovulation. Also referred to as Ganirelix or Antagon.
Estrace 2 mg 2x day Estrogen supplement used to help maintain uterine lining
Prometrium 200 mg 3x day Used to increase progesterone
Doxycycline 100 mg 2x day Antibiotic used to prevent infection post-retrieval.
Asprin 81 mg daily Used to improve blood flow to uterus (I think?)
Dexamethasone TBD Corticosteroid used to relieve inflamation; part of the immune protocol
Intralipids TBD Administered via IV; part of the immune protocol

After my DOR diagnosis, they increased my Puregon from 150 to 225. So far, everything else has stayed the same.

IVF Timeline

Date(s) Action
July 28-August 16 Take birth control
August 20 Blood test & ultrasound
August 20-24 Puregon & Repronex injections
August 25 Blood test & ultrasound
August 25-26 Puregon & Repronex + Orgalutron injections
August 26 FLY TO CLINIC!
August 27 Blood test & ultrasound & intralipids. Injections: TBD
TBD Egg retrieval
TBD Transfer
TBD FLY HOME – Pregnant til proven otherwise! (PUPO)

Just when you least expect it

Yeah,  you guessed right. It’s time for another prego announcement and it definitely isn’t mine!

It’s my sister.

Yes, you read that correctly.

She got engaged last Saturday (as in just over a week ago). Friday afternoon, she contacted the family to discuss doing a destination wedding THIS December. Through our convo,  she admitted to me that their timing is based on the fact that she’s pregnant!

W. T. F.

I’m not sad. I’m not mad (even though she did lie to me after calling numerous times last month to ask me questions about trying to conceive). 

I’m just a bit shocked.

I knew they started trying. I wasn’t sure how serious they were and I didn’t expect another ”first month trying” prego announcement.

Why does this happen with everyone around me –  sister, both sister-in-laws,  my best friend’s wife?

I am even more disappointed in how my Mom and her reacted to our IVF especially since they both were aware of her pregnancy then.

Wake up people!  When are you going to finally see that a whoopsie pregnancy is not in my cards?

Besides another niece or nephew, the best thing about this situation is that my sister’s drama-filled life will take some of the attention off of our upcoming IVF cycle. Score one for us.

I’ve said we will try to make it to the wedding. Most of my close girlfriends think that we shouldn’t even entertain the idea of going. Who knows what will happen between now and December?

No matter what,  she still is my sister. I am happy for her fiancé and her.

I just wasn’t expecting all that this week… Life has a mysterious way of throwing you curve balls. There’s no doubt about that.

IVF: what does it mean to you?

I just came across this article on Facebook: Bobbie Thomas: No more whispers, I’m going IVF and I’m proud of it. What stood out for me was her pride. Proud of IVF? Huh? 

In vitro fertilization (IVF).

Fear, guilt, shame, why me? 

That’s the zone I’ve been living in lately.

Now, it’s time to change.

Earlier this week, I watched a webinar hosted by Zahra Haji from YogaGoddess and Molly Nichols from The Mind Belly Connection. The webinar focused on how to restore faith in your body’s ability to conceive, whether through natural conception or ART. If you are interested, watch the Fertility Faith webinar replay.

This webinar made me rethink the way I’ve approached my (in)fertility. I’ve spent too much time focusing on the negatives and looking for outsider reassurance that everything will be ok.

The change needs to come from within me – and me only.

Changing my mindset isn’t an easy task, but it’s necessary to make this journey less emotionally taxing.

(In)fertility is not dirty or shameful. It’s a medical condition that many of us can not control and could not have prevented.

I am proud of my husband and myself. We are strong. We are capable. And, we are taking control of our diagnosis by choosing the next best path for us on our journey.

To me, IVF means:

  • Hope
  • Courage
  • Strength
  • Determination
  • The right choice

IVF is not the worst thing to happen to me. In fact, it could be the best thing if it helps us to conceive our child.

What does IVF mean to you?