Amber and Aaron

Amber and Aaron

The Fun We've Already Had...

  • Graham Tomas born July 31 at 5:04 P.M. weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz.
  • December 2, 2011: PREGNANT!!!
  • Paisley Kate arrived August 21 at 5:38 P.M. weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz
  • DUE DATE: August 25, 2010!!!
  • Dec. 14, 2009- PREGNANT!!!
  • Oct. 07,2009- Had elective D&C.
  • Sept 28, 2009- No embryo on ultrasound. :(
  • Sept 15th, 2009- We found out we're PREGNANT!!!
  • Sept '09- Aaron had varicocele repair.
  • July '09- IUI #1 with HCG shot= No such luck
  • April '09- Ovarian drilling surgery, followed by hospitalization for uterine infection
  • Jan-Mar '09- metformin + 3 rounds of clomid= no ovulation
  • Dec. 11, 2008- Hysterosalpingogram (Fancy word for shooting dye through the ovaries. OUCH)
  • Nov '08- Sent to RE. Tried metformin alone for two months (No ovulation)
  • Oct '08- Diagnosed with PCOS based on amenorrhea and crazy hormone levels.
  • June '08- Aaron convinced me to start trying.
  • June '04- Got Hitched!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

My favorite holiday of the whole year is Halloween. I love the costumes, decorating, parties, scary movies, candy, trick-or-treating, etc. There are no gifts involved and I don't have to see all of our crazy family members. Last year, I did have a minor melt-down while handing out candy because it hit me that I may never have a child to take door to door. Let's hope I do better this year. Sobbing scares away little children. :)

We usually have a big Halloween party to celebrate with friends, but due to the month we've had, I chose not to. Now I'm sad about it! I thought I'd include some of our past Halloween pictures.

Fred and Wilma Flinstone (we wore these to a freezing cold outdoor party) We were able to survive due to Colby's special party drink he made!

Whoopie Cushion and a Paper Doll (mine was made of cardboard)

Pinocchio and a Chia Pet (my costume weighed a ton!) I'm still surprised

that Aaron agreed to this one.

Loofah and a Bathtub (we won 1st place with this one during vet school)

And lastly, I want to share a picture of a gift Aaron bought me for Halloween. He thought it fit me perfectly. A little background for those that don't know me, I was an only child and an only grandchild on my mom's side. I was raised with lots of praise and encouragement. They tought me that if someone makes fun of you or is mean to you, it's because they're jealous. Let me tell you- that theory got me through school. I was always the shortest kid in class and we were pretty poor so I never had the coolest clothes, hair, etc. So in my defense, I think they did a great job parenting me!

Stay tuned- tomorrow I will post pictures of our furry babies in their Halloween costumes. Go ahead, make fun of us. We dress up our pets for Halloween. Further proof that we are well overdue for a baby!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Plan: The Lazy Approach to Infertility

This may not be much of an important post because I don't have that much important stuff to say right now. I'm not saying that I don't have anything to say because let's all face it- I always have something to talk about. And maybe it's never all that important.

My doc suggested that maybe I do ovulation tests this month to track things. I thought about it. And decided that I'm gonna pass. I've done ovulation tests plenty of times and get nothing accurate. My body loves nothing more than to confuse me and my docs. And infertility tests just add to the madness. So, no thanks. I give my patients "homework" all the time just to keep them busy. I know it won't make them better, but it distracts them. I'm not falling into that trap...

I am, however, watching my temps every now and then. So far, they've been all over the place but they are trending downwards. The other day I even got a 97.2 which is my normal pre-ovulation temp. So maybe we're getting there.

I considered checking my HCG this week to see how much it's lowered, but again I just haven't. It's terribly hard to motivate myself to put in all this effort when I never got pregnant while "trying". The month I did absolutely nothing... BAM! Pregnant. So I think what I'll do is just hang out, look at my thermometer on the dresser every now and then, and wait for a period. That will tell me that I ovulated. And after several failed months of my approach, I'll consider going back to the infertility doc. Until then, I'm pretending to be "normal".

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fish Update

Due to popular request, I am giving this update on the two fish convicted of assault and harrassement. They are both still being held in isolation from the other fish. Sheriff Aaron feels that they will learn their lesson and behave. I believe that they are fish and lack the ability to learn a lesson. We'll see who is right...

I'd have already flushed them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Own Version of Animal Planet

Warning: this post may not be suitable for all readers. It contains violence and adult language.

The day began like any other. The fish tank was peaceful and it's occupants were happy. Until three adorably fat goldfish decided to move in. Aaron returned to work and left me to ensure their acceptance by the other fish and to make sure they liked their new home. Everything was going well until several hours later...

One of the sweet precious little goldfish was being chased and picked on by an ugly, evil fish in the tank. I'll call him Bandit. I was none too happy to see this rude behavior so I thumped the glass several times (which Aaron repeatedly tells me is a big no-no) and called the fish some bad names. It did not deter him. This fish was unstoppable.

Granted, Bandit Fish is about 1/4 the size of the sweet angelic goldfish, but with attitude like that, there was no telling what he was capable of. I knew he must be stopped.

So with a net and incredible bravery, I caught him.... after knocking over all of the plants in the tank and thoroughly freaking everyone else out. Not to mention the watery mess. But peace was restored with Bandit in custody.

Or was it? Next I notice that another of the sweet goldfish is being terrorized (aka: followed around) by Bandit's evil brother, Outlaw. I'm not sure that Outlaw isn't the meanest hombre I've ever seen. Facing the potential for pecks on my arm by fish, I then netted Outlaw in with Bandit.

They knew the jig was up. I was ready to deal out their punishment immediately, but was told to wait until the Sheriff came home. I feel that their crime is punishable by flushing, but we'll have to see what Sheriff says. Until then, they're thinking about what they did while hanging out in their netted prison...

A picture of one of the good guys:

For those that are concerned about my sanity based on this post, don't worry. It's just that I've had 2 days off from work so I'm well-rested and happy. My usual bad attitude will return shortly. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Keep on keepin' on

I went for my 2 weeks post-op today. Dr. D feels that we can start trying again immediately (would have anyways) and that I may actually already be on my period. (When did it become a question of maybe?) I hadn't bled at all since the D&C and then started heavily bleeding last night and today. He feels that it's early for a cycle but that it probably is. After all, my body does not follow the rules. If there's one thing we've come to know, I am NOT normal!!!

He suggests I do ovulation tests and track temperatures to watch for ovulation. My worst fear is that this screwed up my "new and improved" cycles. I do not want to go back to amenorrhea and shots of provera. My cheeks are finally not sore letting me sit comfortably. :)

I have learned of so many girls that I know who have infertility and/or miscarriage experiences. It's almost like joining a really sucky, exclusive club. We all have different stories and lives and outcomes. But what we share is the frustration and fear and sadness that comes with the journey. You always hear of someone worse off than you, who has suffered more and been through it longer. And you think, wow, I don't think I could have survived all that. But you do. And you are stronger for it.

When this began, I never dreamed I would go through what I've gone through. It happens to other people, not me. But here I am. 16 months in to this... 3 surgeries....1 hospitalization....1 miscarriage. Where will this path lead us next? Impossible to know, and that's what keeps me going. The hope that the next little turn will bring a baby into our home. And until we have traveled every possible road, I have to keep on truckin'.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Almost 2 weeks post-op

We had another good weekend. Nothing big to report, just enjoying spending time with family and friends. We went to the OSU-Missouri game on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun and we won!!! It's awesome to have a winning OSU season. I've had to cheer them on through so many "less-than-winning" years, it's a nice change.

I go in for my post-op recheck on Thursday and it should be pretty uneventful. I'm just hoping he tells me I can start trying again next month. It's never a good sign when you're supposed to prevent pregnancy while trying to conceive. Kind of a step in the wrong direction. Pretty sure I'm going to try again anyways even if he tries to sit me out of the game.

Last week I realized that I've been counting on the chance that I'll get pregnant again right away. I just assumed the quicker I had everything taken care of, the faster I could do it again. I am trying to remind myself that it very likely won't go that well. It took us 14 months to get pregnant the 1st time. I am just unwilling to accept that it could be that long again or that it may not ever happen. To see those two encouraging pink lines again...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Infertility is no one's fault

I just found an online article in the New York Times titled, "The Gift of Life and it's Price". It's discussing IVF and the costs, risks, etc associated. The media does a fantastic job at casting a terrible light on infertility and the treatments of it. We rarely see the struggle a couple actually went through to become a family, or the medical condition causing the problem. You hear about the costs, the babies who have problems, the octo-mom, overzealous doctors...

You miss the part about the couple who is completely financially and emotionally prepared to welcome a child and finds out that they can't without help and maybe not even with. These aren't single, teenage moms who are on welfare. These are your friends, neighbors, and co-workers who would love a child with all their heart and have the resources to care for them.

Some of the ignorant comments from readers following the article:
  • "People want miracles, and they want someone else (you and I) to pay for them."
  • "Society as a whole CAN NOT AFFORD to indulge these people. If they can’t have children, get over it or adopt."
  • "These people are very selfish just because they want a child genetically related to themselves."
  • "Do we really think it's a good idea to use technology to allow people to *perpetuate* these substandard genes?"
I don't even know where to begin. Let's start with the fact that no one else is paying for what we're going through. We've paid about $8,000 out of pocket this year alone. My insurance covers VERY little. And yet as a society, we pay for extraordinary costs associated with diabetes complications, obesity and smoking. I have always taken great care of myself, eat healthy, exercise, etc. and was unfortunately born with a disease that I could not prevent and which causes my infertility. So, don't worry about paying my bills.... you aren't.

Until you walk in my shoes, don't you dare tell me what you think I should do or how we should build our family. When you are fortunate enough to bear children without any effort, it is probably pretty easy to say, "just adopt". I have always planned to at some point. But that doesn't take away my yearning to feel a baby grow inside of me and to have a baby that we created. Furthermore, don't act like adoption is a "cheap" alternative. It is NOT!!! It is an incredibly lengthy and emotional process and it costs more than IVF in many cases.

We have enough hurt, sadness and anger without people judging us. The day that someone tells you that you may never have children and you walk away knowing that it "just wasn't meant to be", then you can judge me. Until then, try to remember that we are just people who want our own family too. And we're going through hell and back to get there.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Glad I wore my brown pants...

So, a moment of insanity washed over me yesterday and I decide that we should go see "Zombieland" last night. (I know, we're in the movie-seeing-mood now that it's getting cold) Weird choice for me seeing that I have about 4 true fears in life:

1.) Being stuck in a room with a lot of children by myself.
2.) Midgets. I know it's ridiculous. Kinda relates to the herd of children thing.
3.) Taco Bueno closing down or getting rid of their mexi-dips and chips.
4.) Zombies and/or the living dead.

I love scary movies. The scarier, the better. Except when it includes the living dead. Totally freaks me out and I turn into one of those whiny girls clinging to their date, refusing to look at the screen. So imagine Aaron's surprise and curiosity when I suggest it. I saw the previews and knew there would indeed be zombies. The name itself kinda suggests that there might be. And yet, I thought Woody Harrelson looked funny enough in it to subject myself to the terror that is zombies.

It was actually worth it. I am still 100%, truly, positively, undeniably terrified of zombies. But it was a funny movie. I was paranoid and overly twitchy last night on our way home and before bed. And I watched the entire movie with my feet tucked up into my seat. But I watched it... and I survived. I guess I've just turned my blog into a movie review site, although I have absolutely no credentials for judging a film. Ooooh, and we're super excited that Saw VI comes out this month!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Couples Retreat

Aaron and I decided to go last night to see Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn. Well, not with Vince Vaughn, I'm sure he had other plans. I should say "starring". The premise of the movie is that a couple is really contemplating divorce because their marriage is falling apart. Why you ask? Oh, because they've been dealing with infertility for 12 months.

Only 12 months... That was when it just started to get bad. Up till then we still had hope. Anyways, I digress...

So there I sat through half of the movie, missing the funny parts because I was wondering why we are handling this so well. What makes us immune to the fighting or depression or even divorce? Infertility can wreck your life and it definitely changes your relationships. All of them.

We actually know about 4 couples going through divorce right now and none of them really have anything all that bad going on. And they've all been married less time than us.

Aaron and I have always been great at making fun of bad situations. The worse things around us get, the more material we have to work with. You know when you think your day can't possibly get any worse and something unthinkable happens, and you just start laughing uncontrollably. Welcome to our life. Totally there.

He is my best friend in the world and when things like this happen, it only pulls me closer to him. I realize how much I need him in my life and how much he cares about me. This will make us love a baby so much more in the end because our baby will truly be a miracle. And our marriage will be that much stronger. I feel like we have truly survived a storm and come through it even better than before. (Note to Aaron: don't get too full of yourself, I can change my mind.)

So I think I'm going to skip out on the couples counseling for now, although it might be fun. And I totally recommend the movie. Don't let my long boring post deter you! It's really funny.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Starting Fresh

First of all, the D&C was by far the best idea. I don't even have to think about how things would have went at home. I had NO pain when I woke up, and it was the closest thing I can imagine to just having things "disappear". I had a tiny amount of spotting yesterday right after surgery but have had none since. Awesome! And I feel really good. I actually feel better. Now I realize that I think the pregnancy was making me feel pretty sick.

My operating room nurse who took me back to the OR told me that she lost a baby 26 years ago and she still misses that baby even now, especially on her due date. She did go on to have one baby, so she told me to keep hope. I bawled when she told me so she hugged me and the anesthesiologist put me to sleep so quickly through my IV that I don't remember anything else. She was just so kind to acknowledge what I was going through.

Funny story: Aaron, my mom and I were in the waiting room with just one other man. He was dressed very nicely and carrying a briefcase so I thought he might be a doctor. He was originally walking very slowly and almost painfully, but after downing four cups of coffee in a 10 minute time frame, he really got some pep in his step. He politely said hello and then asked if one of us was having surgery. I said I was and he immediately said his wife was having cataract surgery, followed by asking what I was having done. I told him D&C which I know he doesn't understand because his response was "that's great". Well, during my surgery, my poor support team was left alone with him. He went on to tell Aaron in an excited manner about how they just discovered another ring around Saturn. He had even printed off an article and pictures to show him... :) My question is why do we waste time and money on crap like that and none on paying for infertility or studying it?

My next question is why do my toenails look invisible when I don't have nail polish on them? This is why you will NEVER see my toenails unpainted...

This is what they should look like... I immediately repainted them when we got home.

So, I'm trying to look at today as a new beginning and not an ending. We will always miss this baby and this will forever change me as a person. But it will not stop us from trying. We are only that much more determined. Now we just have to wait for my hcg levels to come down and try again...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Racking up the surgeries

I struggled with my decision all night last night and this morning. I called DeLene who is the OB/GYN nurse practitioner and a good friend of mine. We talked things through and decided that I will have the D&C on Wednesday. But to make myself feel absolutely right about it, we're going to repeat the ultrasound right before.

I need to gather my strength by seeing inside my uterus one last time. I mean, what if a roaming, homeless little embryo stumbled across my unoccupied gestational sac and thought, "this might be a nice place to stay... for let's say 9 months." Yeah, I know, there won't be a change. It will be one last glimpse at my failed pregnancy. But I need that for closure and to go into this without extra regret.

And as much as I dread it, I am ready to put this in the past. I can't look forward to our future with such an obstacle in my path. I appreciate the comments so much. It was pretty much unanimous for having the D&C. It just really hits home every now and then how much this hurts. No one should have to do this. But it's just the way the cookie crumbles. I'll update everyone on Wednesday after surgery. I'm starting to think there should be a surgery punch card. Buy 3, get one free...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo...

I was given two choices: 1.) Have a D&C to empty out my uterus. 2.) Wait until my body decides to have a "natural" miscarriage. I was hoping for choice #3 being keep this pregnancy and have a baby. Apparently, that wasn't in the cards so then I was hoping for pretend it never happened, have a regular ol' period, and have everything reset to normal. Again, not an option on the table.

I immediately decided on D&C. Why wouldn't I want to move on with this? But today, the wheels in my mind started spinning. And now they're spinning out of control. Everytime I've had anything medical done this year, it's turned out bad. From the minute I walked into the infertility clinic, I've received very little good news. Most of the time it's "I'm sorry to tell you...", "This is not what we were wanting to see...", "Looks like you're in the small percentage..." Point is: nothing has worked out easy for us.

D&C's are performed on gazillions of girls all the time. The risks are minimal. Things should go smoothly. Blah,blah,blah... I've heard all of that before. And then I got really sick and had a 3 day stay in the hospital for an unknown infection. "I've never had this happen before."

No, I don't want to wait on a miscarriage that may be painful and may take 4-5 weeks to come. But I don't want to risk having even more complications develop from a surgery that I don't have to have just to avoid pain and waiting. To tell you the truth, I don't want to make a decision on how to end my pregnancy. It's impossible to feel okay about either one.

I'm totally open to honest opinions on this one. Don't worry about saying the wrong thing, because there is NO wrong answer. I just need to know what you all would do in these shoes. I've already heard from girls on both sides and what their experience was. And I appreciate your thoughts so much.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Party Time

Raw sushi.... check!
Turkey lunchmeat.... check!
7 mango margaritas.... check!

I've had a great weekend considering the circumstances. This is the toughest blog I've ever posted considered the large amount of tequila I've consumed this evening with my mom and husband in tow. Nothing like a crapload of margaritas to lift your spirits and numb your sadness. Now it's sleepy time for this girl...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nice Empty Gestational Sac

Not a shocker today- my ultrasound showed the same empty sac I had 4 days ago. Maybe it's a little bigger, but still empty. No baby. Even as I emptied my bladder for the transvaginal part of the u/s, I prayed so hard that he would find a baby with a heartbeat. Maybe you shouldn't pray on the toilet?

My doc was called out to deliver twins (not only do they get to have twins, but they do it during my appt time...) so I saw his nurse practitioner who I love. She's getting me set up for the D&C next week. Hopefully she'll call me with a time soon. Then Dr. Dachaeur will be calling to talk to me about everything.

Thanks again for the positive comments, e-mails, cards, phone calls... You are the most amazing group of people ever! This would be so much harder without the encouragement. I'm going to go eat lots of raw sushi and have some mango margaritas this weekend. Wish I could find a rollercoaster and a horse to ride. Kinda chilly for waterskiing. But I'm back to hot baths!

There's always next time...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hope: that dirty tramp

Of course I'm having a rough week. Not a good way to start a Monday finding out your only pregnancy in 15 months isn't going to work out. And even better- that my body isn't clever enough to figure it out. Awesome.

But to make matters worse, I started feeling better yesterday. Strange that I'd all of a sudden feel the clouds lifting. And that's when it hit me- I'm hopeful. I'm praying for that once in a lifetime, never going to happen, we've never documented something like this kind-of miracle that my baby is actually fine. "Woops, we were wrong on Monday. Yeah, I know we've looked at a gazillion ultrasounds and this is our specialty, but you really fooled us. "

I know deep down how things will really go and I know how I'm going to leave feeling. But it's so hard to realize something is wrong when I have had NO bad symptoms. My stupid little uterus is just ticking along like it's actually doing something productive. In reality, it's just nourishing an empty placenta. Stupid uterus. I guess at least it's persistent. It doesn't just give up.

Aaron and I went to Stillwater yesterday to hang out for the day and it was great. We laughed and joked around and just enjoyed being together. We were just a normal couple having a good day. And I love him so much for giving me that. And for never faulting me for any of this. He has stood beside me 100% even though I know it hurts him too. I've never loved him more than I do right now. And he's the sole reason that I will try again. I will make him a dad.

In conclusion, infertility still stucks. Now my good friend, Hope, also sucks. We've officially destroyed the possibility of either of us becoming a parent before the age of 30. And I'm about to have to look at another dismal ultrasound tomorrow and then talk about our "options". What a spit-in-your-face, kick-you-in-the-kneecap, call-you-a-turdbucket kind of week...