Welcome… thanks for stopping by!

I bet you are either:

  1. Trying to conceive
  2. Experiencing or grieving a pregnancy loss
  3. Entering the phase of parenting after infertility/loss

Some days are harder than others. Often the light at the end of the tunnel seems unreachable.

But, I’m here to tell you: YOU CAN DO THIS.

The fact that you found my little corner of the world wide web proves to me that you WANT to move forward. We can’t predict what the outcome of our struggles will be, but I guarantee you are on the right path. You landed here which shows you are empowering yourself with information and connection.

Information will allow you to advocate for yourself and make informed choices. Connection will remind you that all those thoughts that run through your head, all those emotions that overwhelm you, and all of the challenges that lie ahead are COMMON (as much as we all wish they weren’t).

I’ve been there. I get it.

As you read my story, you will see that I made it through.

I’m beyond blessed to be a Momma to our beautiful Angel Emme, and my vivacious earthly son Wyatt. I believe there may be another soul (or two) waiting in the wings for the right opportunity to join us. But, much like you, I have NO CLUE what the next leg of my journey looks like.

I’m currently taking a hiatus from Awaiting Autumn.

Right now, I’m not awaiting anything.

Being a mother, a wife, a friend, an entrepreneur, and a volunteer in my local fertility community is where my focus is these days. My words are flowing, just not on these pages.

I’d glad you found me though. And I hope you leave with a lesson or two to comfort you.

Welcome to my story – a journey through unexplained infertility, ectopic pregnancy loss, and into motherhood.

To be continued… 

 

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And some things stay the same… 

I still frequently go to acupuncture. My acupuncturist is an amazing woman who has helped me on so many levels beyond just fertility. 

Today at my appointment, I told her that I’ve just been exhausted lately. I attributed it to staying up past midnight for a week straight, being the Mom of a one year old, running my own business, the change in seasons and you know, the full moon. 

She asked if there was a possibility I could be pregnant. 

I told her there was a chance –  isn’t there always when you aren’t using birth control? – but it was like a 0.01% chance.

 My gut said not pregnant. 

Well… 

Curiosity always gets the best of me. 

I dug around in the bathroom cupboard and found an ultra sensitive pregnancy test. You know one of ones from my ectopic days that literally detect anything. It was even expired. 

I peed on it anyway. 

Do you get where this is going? 

I ain’t no magical unicorn. I’m just a regular (in)fertile woman who can’t resist the urge to POAS. 

I still don’t have my period one year postpartum due to breastfeeding. I clearly need to get to bed earlier and listen to my gut. 

Whomp. Whomp. Whomp. 

Hi single red line! I didn’t miss you, you little bitch. 

Hear my story on the Beat Infertility Podcast

The Beat Infertility Podcast is hosted by Heather Huhman, a fellow infertility warrior. Each episode features a success story and an update from a woman who is currently undergoing treatment.

Back in December, I met with Heather to share my own success story. It aired on today’s episode. Listen to it here.

episode35

 

 

 

(In)fertility & motherhood: a cycle of emotion

Yesterday, Infertility, why me? posted this video:

 

I 100% agree with Missy Lanning when she says, “Motherhood started the second I decided to conceive my child. That’s when the love began to form.”

I have never lost a child.

I have never been pregnant.

But…

Deep down in the essence of my soul, I know that I am a mother.

I love my babies, who are not here yet, but will be someday.  

Each month, I feel:

  • Joy as we prepare for ovulation
  • Hope we as we wait out the 2 weeks
  • Grief when the cycle ends unsuccessfully

This wheel of emotion builds my love even stronger.

My heart longs to feel my babies inside me and finally hold them in my arms.

If this month isn’t the month, we will continue to wait until the time is right. And when that time comes, our hearts will overflow.

Momma loves you.

Xoxo

Explaining the unexplained… or not?

A BIG THANKS to everyone who commented on yesterday’s post! 🙂

I used my brain, your feedback and Mr. Google to compile the following list of questions to discuss with our RE.

What is our success rate for IUI? Is there anyway to increase our chances? What is the possibility of doing 2 consecutive IUIs in one cycle? 

Our RE recommends 3-4 IUIs before moving onto other options. Success rates are at 10% per cycle. 1/3 of couples will conceive using IUI.

She doesn’t see the need to do more than 1 consecutive IUI per cycle as my husband’s counts are good enough to justify only needing 1 IUI.

What’s the game plan if the next IUI fails? 

With our demographics, sperm and follicle counts, she thinks we are good candidates to try IUI up to 4 times. If that doesn’t work, we can try IUI + injectables.

The success rate for IUI + injectables increases to 20% per cycle.

Many patients chose to skip IUI + injectables and move straight to IVF. That’s also an option for us, but she doesn’t want to push us to move to IVF without at least trying a few more IUIs.

What additional testing is available to dig into our “unexplained” diagnosis? Is there any way to rule out mild Endometriosis as a cause of our infertility? What about any uterine abnormalities? 

Our RE was not willing to entertain additional testing. She was really focused on the fact that studies are inconsistent in their results. She doesn’t want to make me have to go through more invasive procedures and face more risks if there isn’t conclusive evidence that the testing (example: laparoscopy) will solve any fertility problems or increase our chances enough to make it worth it.

She was also convinced that any major uterine or tubal issues would have come up already in my previous testing.

Yes, this would be my biggest red flag right now. Our RE seems VERY scientific in her approach. She’s all about the odds and the numbers. Statistically, she thinks we will conceive if we continue treatments. On one hand, I’m glad that it seems like she is looking out for my best interests. On the other hand, doesn’t that answer seem like the easy way out? I hear so many stories about couples who finally receive a diagnosis other than unexplained a couple years into the process. Doesn’t this mean there’s always more testing that could be done?

Does an explanation for our unexplained diagnosis really matter though? Isn’t getting pregnant more important than getting answers? I’m torn here. My husband thinks getting pregnant is all that matters. I am an answers kinda person. Why does my curiosity always get the best of me?

Can we do immune testing (for natural killer cells, etc)?

No, our clinic does not do immune testing or treatment. Once again, she referenced inconsistent studies. She stated that it’s not overly common in Canada to pursue immune testing, but it’s more popular in the States.

Once again, I’m not convinced. Looks like Mr. Google and I have another date coming up. 

What would be our success rate for IVF? How long is the wait list? What is a basic overview of the protocol? 

The clinic rates for IVF success within our demographic is 55-60%, with a 30% chance of conceiving twins. Most patients will get pregnant within 1-3 cycles of IVF. There is currently a 2-3 month wait list. We went over what a basic IVF schedule looks like.

I asked what happens if 3 IVFs fail? Do we qualify for additional testing then? Obviously not willing to go that far without testing, but it was worth asking. She said any issues that could be identified or tested during the IVF process would happen within the first 1-2 cycles.

Are there any additional medications, supplements, or practises we can follow to improve our fertility? 

No, we are healthy and doing the right things except we could try some antioxidants. She gave us a bottle of Fertil Pro LQ  and recommended we take 1 pill/day each. Yes this was FREE and she joked it will probably be the only free thing we get from her. *eyeroll* Nice. 

She also suggested I could consider loosing some weight, but then, she back-peddled and said something like it’s not THAT much of an issue.  *gasp* Ugh, I know. I gained about 8 lbs of emotional eating poundage thanks to 3 months on clomid. Yes, I have a BMI that is higher than it should be. I’ve always been round or should I say curvaceous? Who doesn’t love a woman with some nice ta-tas? These wide hips are meant for child-bearing!  Guess me and my treadmill are getting reacquainted. I might as well kiss that fresh batch of brownies good-bye. I just baked them last night 😦

The Verdict: to be determined… 

My husband and I decided we have until the end of March to make a decision. We know we will proceed with 1, maybe 2 more IUIs. We need to decide when we want to start cycling again, and what to do if we have to proceed beyond IUI.

In the meantime, I’m going to put together a list of pros/cons for each possible option and take a deeper dive into explained infertility.

I’m not sure I’m 100% comfortable with our RE’s approach, but then again, maybe I just need to trust the process?

What are your thoughts on my RE’s perspective?

What to ask when meeting with your RE

Tomorrow afternoon is our check-in with our Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). 

We booked this meeting because:
1. Our clinic recommends you have a meeting every 3 months to discuss
any required changes to your fertility plan
2. We are still unexplained
3. We are still not pregnant

I plan on asking for some additional testing (sono-what?).

I also want a clear direction for what to do if our next and potentially last IUI fails.

IUI again? IVF? I sometimes wish there was a flowchart to follow.  Answer yes move to square 2, answer no move to square 4. Wouldn’t that be easier!

What are the questions you ask your RE (especially if you are unexplained)?

Making amends: infertility resources for family & friends

I knew calling my Mom last night would result in an argument. Sometimes I think I should avoid all people when I’m (in)fertile emotional. I was rude. I cried and yelled at her. I hung up promptly after realizing she wasn’t understanding and that it was just making me madder. But at the same time, I needed to get those feelings off my chest (maybe a little more tactful next time).

After I talked to my husband and calmed down, I realized that I should offer my Mom some resources to allow her to better support me.

I put together an apology email with a PDF from our fertility clinic that explains the IVF process in-depth and links to the following online resources:

What resources have you given to your family or friends to help them understand your (in)fertility?

Are there any other sites you would recommend?