Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friends are Everywhere

A BIG Thank You goes to all that have donated Vivelle patches to me recently!!!  It still amazes me that people are continually so generous to us.  We are constantly reminded that we have really made some AMAZING friends through this process!!  Thank you for your donations to us!!  Love all of you!  I know all your patches are full of good luck too! :) 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is Your Mama a Llama?

I thought this video was pretty interesting considering we are about to have an egg donor cycle!  I have always wondered how this process will affect the child later in their life (especially the teenage years).  I have always been at peace with this decision, because I never had a decision in the process.  Everything was decided for me when I was a child.  I had a decade and some years to understand and accept this situation for what it was, and I have.  I feel extremely lucky I still have options available to me.  To me, it was always, this is a miracle that I would be even able to carry a baby with all the scientific advances and techniques we have available to us.  After watching a short interview with an egg donor child, it answers some of my questions I did have.  Of course all situations are different and all people differ with how they feel or what they share, but watching this video brings comfort to me.  This is an extremely prevelant avenue to explore and used to increase chances for IVF couples.  The statistics are in our favor.  A family is a family no matter how they come to be.  I think the child really gets a good sense of how badly they were really wanted before they were even conceived, and that is a pretty cool feeling.  :)

After speaking with several psychologists about this topic, we were asked how and when we would share the truths about our conception story with our future child(ren).  We both had the same early as possible.  Being on the same page with this makes life so much easier.  The sooner the better for everybody!  Having secrets only confuses everybody.  As stated in the video, we want our children's identity to be known from a very early age so they didn't have to figure it all out later in life.  We want our child to have a full understanding of how they came to be and to always be able to ask us questions about it whenever the questions would surface.  Being open and honest is what we feel is the best policy for us!

Interview with an Egg Donor Child

Friday, November 11, 2011

Our Guardian now a blogger too!!!

With all the hoopla getting ready for our upcoming cycle, our egg donor and I are constantly texting, chatting, phoning, or what have you...The thing is, my last egg donor was anonymous. I was blinded by the other half of this process. I only was able to hear the facts- the medical updates. Sure those were important, but now I am so curious to hear from her angle. Our egg donor, Samie has become interested in writing a blog of her own. It is entitled, "The Hopeful Stork". You will feel her positivity, high energy, and passion shine through.

We all know that it takes a very special person to donate. It takes a warm, generous, and loving person to truly "get" the time, emotional tug, and efforts of each step of the process. With Samie starting her own blog, I thought how cool is this?! We can link our blogs together to make it a complete story! Also - we get a glimpse of the other side that I have and will ever experience. Her explanations of the emotional and physical journey she is about to go on is all there. As the recipient of her eggs, I am so intrigued and I know this will help educate people on what the process ACTUALLY entails straight from an egg donor! As she calls it "the truth". This will show you the physical hurdles, the emotional demands, the often incoveinent process, yet rewarding all in the same breath. Sounds like alot, right? Well, her side of the story will be covered as well. Also - I am sure she will experience different emotions with this cycle because she knows us and will be able to hear the outcome as we find out the news. Before she was an anonymous donor and did not get to follow up with the results. Feel free to follow her side of the journey as well as mine! It already is such an amazing story thus far and you will be able to know why Pat and I feel so honored to be her recipient couple.

She is amazing in every sense of the word. Her blog had me cry already and I haven't even started my hormones yet! haha She is our guardian angel and the words "thank you" doesn't even begin to cover the gratitude we are already feeling....

Our nurse coordinator, Lizzie called me today from IRH and FDA testing was all cleared today!! WOO HOO!! (Yes, we talk just about daily!) We are cleared to start! She mentioned to me that Samie was so tickled and excited to be doing this for us and it is so sweet to see from her position. She says you know this just feels so right and now knows what I was referring to when I talked her up so much at my last appointment. I always seem to get the chills when talking about her....

I was always told by my mother as a child, "Yes, your baby may have some physical traits that look like your future egg donor, but it will have your heart. But what I shared with my mom today, "I knew she would be the best donor because not only is she a beautiful person on the outside, but she also has the biggest heart...and that is the one most important trait I want my baby (or babies) to possess.

Treatment plan now has dates set to it. Yep, this is the part where it starts to feel so real! Medications are ordered and picked up, dates are set, and yes - Christmas is right around the corner....are you thinking what I am thinking? :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Foundation: Me and You

“I, Kathleen Megan, take you, Patrick Lloyd….”

This time one year ago, I was beginning my first whole day of being married. I was probably finishing up getting my hair and makeup done, and was getting ready to dance the night away with my brand new husband. Possibly still engraving each second of our wedding in my memory. The last week has been full of memories for me. I remember how it felt to go through my last week of "single", finalizing schedules for the big day that was coming in 6...5..4.. days.  And then the Friday before the wedding came, and our guests had arrived, and thinking "holy cow, this is it!!!!".  The rehearsal dinner at Papa Joes, and the best pasta and wine ever surrounded by our closest friends and family from all over the country.  Life was good. I stayed up talking to my mom to the wee hours of the morning in my bed, overcome with so many emotions - still in disbelief it was the day before OUR wedding. I couldn't believe I was staying at the house I grew up in on my LAST night as a Dennis girl.
“To be my lawfully wedded husband….”

And then the day arrived. Saturday morning dawned bright, beautiful and crisp - the PERFECT fall day that I dreamed it would be.  It was November in Chicago not a cloud in sight!  Having all my sisters and closest friends come to my house at 6am to get ready. I remember laughing. A lot. And smiling so much my face hurt. Getting ready with my girls and having my hair done by the same woman who shaved my head during my cancer treatments and my makeup done by a MAC makeup artist. It was every girls fairytale dream.  The last minute jewelry decision, the "don't forget perfume", "have you eaten today?", "drink water!", "who has the rings?" questions and demands. My heart was racing all morning knowing that 1:00pm was coming so fast. And then! It was time. My mom pulled everyone together to leave for the church as the limo arrived 15 minutes late, and then it was time to walk inside the church and waiting the last five minutes to see my love. I read his letter he had written to me seconds away from walking down the aisle.  I cried reading his last words as we being two singles.  Already tears were in my eyes knowing I was marrying the man made for me. I remember not looking at my dad while we waited to walk the aisle because I knew he would be my tipping point and I would start bawling. I remember the way he looked at me and said it's about that time with a fatherly smile showing how proud and happy he was and laced his fingers with mine and proudly walked me down the aisle and gave me to Pat. And then all I remember were Pat's eyes. He grabbed for my hand with a smile so big.  Also - The way he held mine through the entire ceremony whispering "you are soooooo beautiful"... His voice as he vowed to love me forever. And then the magic words "man and wife"!!!!! ....I had a husband....!  It was the wedding of our dreams...the ultimate fairytale wedding.

“To have and to hold from this day forward....”

And it's already been a year. I can't believe how much has happened in the space of a year. How much we've had to adjust to each other, learn from each other, and depend on each other for the highs and lows life has thrown at us.  We are a strong couple.  Without Pat, I could not face alot that I am currently facing.  He shows me what is important in life and how to be the best person I can be. For those that know us, we complement eachother perfectly. We are two opposites that did attract. We fill the voids of eachother's weaknesses making us 1 complete whole. We show eachother different experiences. Together we are a dynamic duo and can beat anything and I truly believe this.  For the first time, I am not scared of anything life throws at me because at the end of everyday I know I have the best husband who completes who I am. I am very lucky to have found him. Even after one year of marriage everyday seems just a little better than the day before. I could not have asked for a better partner in life.

“Until death do us part.”

Pat, you are without a doubt, the man of my heart. I love you more today than I did a year ago. My respect for you has grown, and I love finding ways to honor you. I will strive to create a home filled with love, acceptance, courage and grace. My heart is forever held by you.  You are an amazing man, and I am so proud, and blessed, to call you my husband.

Happy First Anniversary, my love, my friend, my Husband.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chicago Sun-Times

Back in September, we worked with Jane from the Sun-Times.  She made several visits to our home.  Some to chit chat to hear more of our story and some to take pictures.  Jane was amazing to work with!  We found her to be such a delight (and one of the biggest dog lovers!) :)

Everything seems to be falling into place and right on schedule.  We couldn't be happier with how things are progressing.  So far, everything has gone very smoothly!  (Knock on wood!)  It's funny how I have changed since the first time we did this with our Anonymous egg donor.  Yes, I am still excited like the first time, but I am now more of a calm excited.  I know what is up ahead unlike before.  This time around instead of seeing things through the eyes of somebody who has never seen or heard these things, I am now more seasoned and am going to enjoy the steps as they come for what they are.  There are details that are much different working with a different clinic and new doctor, but it has been a breathe of fresh air.  We feel surrounded by love at this time of the year.  Maybe it is because our anniversary is fast-approaching and we feel the warmth from that day with such wonderful memories and the holidays are fast approaching.  For those that know me so well, I am Christmas obsessed!  So many things to look forward to.

I have my post-op appointment tomorrow morning with Dr. Scheiber over the phone.  All will be well I am sure.  He will just confirm the results we have already heard and talk about any questions we have with what is to come!  I look forward to checking that off the list as we move forward.  Each week brings more to look forward to! Wow! Time is flying! :)

Hope is in the air...I can just feel it...

Chicago Sun-Times