Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Birdies for Babies 2011 - September 24

Birdies for Babies sponsored by FCI is on September 24, 2011!  Pat and I registered today!  We are so excited to see the joy it brings to the 2011 couple!  I talked to them and the relief and happiness they are feeling is so heartwarming.  I love hearing the funds raised are going to a very grateful and appreciative couple who truly will be happy by the donations and gift money raised.  That is what I love most about this outing.  It feels like yesterday we were in their spot feeling in a state of awe!  What a very HAPPY time!  We felt we were living a dream.  I kept saying to Pat that it felt like we were being granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation because the joy that organization gave me 12 years ago was relatively the same as B4B!  Our guardian angels were nearby last July.  It turns your world upside down in a time of such despair.  This is an outing and organization very close to our hearts.  Please come out and play or consider donating!  It really does change the world for a the most significant way imagineable. 

Register or donate here!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh the Places You'll Go.

Well, we do have one frozen embryo still in Chicago that we still have not used.  We were given the choice to either have it destroyed, donate to science, or to ship it to Cincy by a third party company with us.  Being that I have no genetics involved, it really is Pat's choice.  It was the weakest of the embryos that survived to a blastocyst stage so it can't go in alone.  It must be transferred with 1 or 2 other embryos.  I asked Pat what he would feel most comfortable doing...he said morally we can't leave it behind.  It deserves a chance just like the others.  ....and I agreed!  For all we know that could be the one!  We have made the arrangements to have it transported to Cincinnati to the lab of our new doctor.  Our last embryo from our first egg donor will be making the trek to Cincy with us.  Little does he/she know we travel alot!  haha ....He/She better get used to it.  :)  With all these arrangements being made, I can't help but to start to get excited for our upcoming cycle with our new egg donor (who we know!!) and new doctor!  We pretty much are having an entirely different experience with this IVF stuff.  New doctor, new nurses, new lab, new EVERYTHING!  In a way, it is going to be a breath of fresh air.  Everything about this has changed.  Even I have changed anatomically!  Being on a cyclic HRT protocal in the interim, my body has already changed to be more of a "normal" cycling female.  I have always cycled since I was an adolescent, but not like I am with this priming time.  I kind of like it... :)  I feel "normal".  Makes me feel like my uterus is priming perfectly.  The progress my uterus has made since August of 2010 to August of 2011 is night and day!  Small, but exciting news!  One step closer to our next attempt.  Fall can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not all Sunshines and Rainbows.

Not all posts are sunshines and rainbows...  Some people out there use words to describe me as: Strong. Couragous. Fearless. Open. Brave.  Hero.  Inspiring.  These words have always been words that have been floating around since the start of my journey.  At times I believe them, at others - I don't.  However, this week, I was surely the opposite of all those words. 

I was relaxing with Pat in our living room watching mindless television winding down on a Sunday evening.  Life was good.  We were just relaxing after enjoying a nice meal out together.  It was a simple end to a simple day.  I log into my computer to do my usual websurfing as Pat starts to study.  And then the unexpected hit me unlike anything I could have predicted.  A close friend of mine trying to get pregnant for 1 month had just announced her pregnancy on facebook.  As I read the words, my heart fell into my stomach. 1 month?!?!?!  Really?!  Life is too cruel.  This is beyond unfair.  I was in a completely mixed state of mind.  On one hand, I was ecstatic for my newlywed pals with such a grand announcement that is one of the happiest moments of their lives, but at the same moment, my insides were starting to tear apart.  On the other hand, I was just sad and having the world's biggest pity party.  My eyes filled with water as I stared at my computer.  Pat looked over and asked "Katie, are you ok?"  I couldn't get any words out of my mouth.  I shook my head and then started to sob.  Pat ran over to me on the other side of our sectional sofa and he just held me real tight until the pain stopped.  My insides were just in so much pain.  The pain was unbearable - nothing I have ever felt.  I couldn't even breathe...and then started to hyperventlate.  That's right, I was having my first panic attack with this IVF journey of ours. He started to rock me back and forth to try and soothe me as he was holding me as close as he could.  Nothing was working.  The pain was growing exponentially.  He closed my computer and just wanted to calm me down.  I lost all sense of my rationality.  I was a complete mess. I had officially lost control.  I was beyond help for 3 hours.

Soon after I went upstairs to just lie in bed by myself and just stare at the wall.  I just couldn't calm down.  I have no explanation for these feelings as they came completely out of left field.  My face was swollen.  I was hardly able to breathe.  Now I physically was in pain from how hard I was crying and struggling to breathe through all the hyperventaliating.  Pat told me he felt so helpless since there was nothing he could say or do to change this.  He was right.  There was nothing ANYBODY could do to change this.  4 hours later - it is now 1am.  My breathing is coming back to me.  Pat put a warm towel over my face to get the swelling down.  Now Pat and I are just emotionally and physically EXHAUSTED.  I started to say tell him that I am not a strong person.  People are wrong.  They don't see this side of me, I am weak, I am a coward, I even try closing my eyes to visualize myself outside of many of my situations in life convincing myself this is all just a giant nightmare I need to wake up from.  Who does that?!  ME!  How ridiculous.  If only others who think I am strong could see me at my weakest.  I am coward who is just looking for an escape.  So I told Pat - please don't tell me I am strong anymore, just look at me...this is the opposite of a strong person.  Nobody should look to me for support.  I am falling apart.  I am not a role model anybody should have.  I am just a giant coward who has lost her sanity.

Even with the evening's events, Pat grabbed my hand in response to me spill my honest thoughts he responded quietly, "You are the strongest person I have ever met in my entire life.  You ARE my hero.  I wish I could be 1/10th of the person you are.  You would put yourself in pain so just one person feels less pain.  You face scary situations and handle them like it was the norm.  Nothing scares you.  You have faced and beat cancer, one of the scariest diseases, and are now facing one of the most emotional battles and you still can smile through everything you have been through.  Your smile that lights up a room does not even begin to show what you have endured up until this point.  Plus you have helped hundreds of women out there.  Your heart is bigger than anything I have seen in the world.  You get emails daily from women who see that same spark in you that I do.  You inspire others and you inspire me everyday.  He then told me to look in the mirror and that he has no idea how lucky he got to marry such a strong, fearless woman and that he was proud to have me as his wife.  Then he used a saying from our yoga class. You just need to say neti neti neti.  Seriosuly!  .......and he was right.

Then I started to cry again, but now happy tears...he reminded me of everything we do have and the joy that is so close, yet so far.  I gradually started coming back to reality.  And that's how my Monday morning was started.  It was strange.  Once I saw the sun shining through my window following my alarm clock, I was OK because I know my turn is coming.  It was a strange epiphany.  I just have to wait for it.

As you can see, I am not made of steel, I am only human with a boatload of emotions.  My inner passion exaggerates these emotions at times.  Sometimes even out of my control.  It is hard because when dealing with our future family.  My emotions are ALWAYS at an all-time high, and I know that it is ok to be sad sometimes, I just have to do it in smaller doses. We are all only human and being sad sometimes is ok.  I think it is just part of the journey.  I am happy for my friend.  They deserve everything and more.  I just wish it was easier for us.   :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicago Tribune Article

Well, we got an email late last night with the link to the Chicago Tribune article.  It was pretty late but once I saw it on my iPhone I sat up to go get my laptop.  I tried to wake up Pat, but no luck...he was half asleep when I was talking to him or in the middle of a dream...not sure.  I just forwarded it to him bc he was waking up in a couple hours anyways.  I clicked the link and BOOM our picture pops up....I giggled.  Brought me back to the morning the photographer was in our home and we were laughing with him throughout the shoot.  The story was written nicely.  It was FULL of information!  Also - they seemed to take certain parts of our conversation and use them throughout the article.  It was nicely put together....I would expect nothing less from the Chicago Trib...nice work!  Here is the link to the article!  It will be in print tomorrow!  Don't forget to pickup a copy off newstands tomorrow!  We are stocking up!  This is our first and probably only time we will ever be in the Chicago Tribune.  On a funny note, we thought our baby is already a celebrity and he and/or she doesn't even know it yet... haha

Our Chicago Tribune Article

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Family of My Own Conference - Chicago - Saturday, August 13 - IT IS FREE TO ATTEND!

This is a big week for Pat and I.  We are preparing for the A Family of My Own Fertility Conference - Chicago!  I am preparing my speech and putting some final touches on it.  Realizing how much we have learned through the past 9 months, we would love to speak at a conference offering so many great resources to help educate couples who just started or to further deepen the knowledge of starting a family.  What people don't realize is that there are so many options.  Knowledge is power in infertility.  I feel like we have all gotten our Ph.D's in infertility because we feel we have seen it all and have done extensive research on various topics!  There is even better news!  The event is FREE!!  What a deal!  Come and check out all the informative seminars!  It is for both people just starting on their journey and people who are still in this journey.  It is a great place to be surrounded by people who are in the same bubble.  Plus, there are so many great speakers!  Pat and I will be speaking as well!  Let us know if you are coming this Saturday!  Also - I can't wait to see who wins the raffle with the prize of a FREE IVF cycle!  Whoa baby!  What an amazing raffle!  It will change a person's life!  :)

Register today!  Check out the website and learn more information on the event!  It is going to be a GREAT DAY!  Let me know if you are going!  We are so excited!!  :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Should I or Shouldn't I? ...that is the question.

With the turn into a new month, the last month of summer, I thought I better start getting things in order for our upcoming cycle, or at least make sure everybody involved was on the same page. I called our clinic and confirmed all appointments, made sure I was taking the correct medication to prime my uterus in the interim, etc.  After the formal call to get on the same page with our checklist of to-do items, I felt like all was ready.  Just now have to wait for the date...reminding myself that patience is a virtue.  :)  Before I hung up the phone with the Donor Egg Coordinator Nurse, I asked a question that I was unsure if i even wanted to ask...but I did.  I started by saying, "our egg donor" was never told the outcome of her previous cycle....and I am not sure if this is against any HIPPA violations, but we were wondering if we could know the outcome of that cycle.  (you could imagine my facial expression, I am sure).  She answered, well I don't know if that is a violation, but I am sure I could pull her file and word it to you in a way that wouldn't be a direct answer, but can maybe infer.  Also, she just finished donating a couple months ago, so the data is fresh and she would not need any more work-ups done prior to your cycle.  I thought OK - that's good, so what was the result of her last cycle?  I just wanted her to spit out the answer already...haha  she said she would be right back so she can read her chart...
About 30 seconds later as I was still questioning why I even opened this can of worms in the first place, she said, "Katie, I can tell you that the doctors here have ZERO reservations about her donating her eggs again in general.  She would be an EXCELLENT egg donor to choose.  Her egg quality was above average and she responded well to all the medications and produced an abundant amount of eggs for her previous cycle.  I responded, You made that sound like there were multiples!"  She just laughed and said.  "She would be the perfect egg donor for you Katie.  We have ZERO doubt".  ...and I was able to breathe again.  I am so glad I asked!  Makes me even more excited!

He knows I have a problem with the whole patience thing...
he would buy me a gift I can't open yet!  The suspense is growing..
He is my prana.

On a side note - Pat bought and wrapped a present that can't be opened until the day we find out we are pregnant.  I wonder what it could be!  Better question is - how am I not going to open it right now?