Endurance Brought on by HOPE

Endurance Brought on by HOPE

I’ve often wondered why I try so hard. I mean, this general wondering can be applied to just about everything in life – work, marriage, child rearing. Anything. But, for me it’s mostly that relentless need to keep the pursuit of a growing family. I believe this is where Proverbs 30:15-16 comes into play.

I’ve failed at many things in my lifetime most of which I simply stand back up, brush myself off, and walk on in another direction. So, what is it that keeps me going in this relentless battle to have my babies?

In this journey, I’ve always felt like if I could just try IVF that’ll be all I need. If I can just do that, if it fails, I will finally have closure and can move on. Last year, we did IVF, had our first frozen embryo transfer, were pregnant with twins, and subsequently miscarried both. If you’ve been following our journey, you know that we’ve been spending these last several months healing. #miscarriageisnojoke Read more

So, How Much DOES Infertility Cost???

So, How Much DOES Infertility Cost???

The financial cost of infertility is substantial.

Almost immediately, after deciding to seek medical help, dollar signs began orbiting my thoughts. I knew treatments were expensive but I wasn’t counting on them being rejected by insurance… thanks a lot Anthem. 😠

Yep, infertility treatments as well as diagnostic tests are all forfeited by our insurance. Read more

Guest Post: Judy & Tim’s Story

Guest Post: Judy & Tim’s Story

Judy is a long time friend of mine. We met at church back in 2009. She was the first fellow infertile myrtle I met on this journey and has been such an encouragement to me. She’s been my prayer warrior, example, confidant, and sister in Christ through my toughest years. She shares in my sarcastic sense of humor (which I LOVE!) and as I read her post submission, I found myself giggling, crying, and nodding my head in agreement shouting “YES!!!” at so many of the details. I believe you will be doing the same, perhaps even with eyes wide open and arms raised high as mine were!

I am so excited to share her and Tim’s story because they offer a very unique view. Read more

Our Miscarriage Story: When Grief Takes the Helm

Our Miscarriage Story: When Grief Takes the Helm

At 13.5 weeks, our miscarriage is done. It’s ironic that this would have been the weekend Brooks and I would share our good news with the world – we are pregnant with twins. But instead, it’s the weekend we got to lose our babies.

Monday, at 3:30 in the afternoon, we started to bleed heavily and that bleeding didn’t slow until the delivery of “Twin B” at around 10:30pm. While the process went smoothly and everything happened as it should have, we were not expecting this amount of blood to come. It scared us a bit and we went to the ER just in case. My levels were checked and I was given IV fluids. Everything seemed fine.. physically at least.

Read more

Grieving Through Miscarriage

Grieving Through Miscarriage

This is going to be a unique post. I am writing about something I know very little about. Infertility is known ground. I am confident in it. But now, I am navigating through new territory and am in a learning curve. At the risk of embarrassment, misunderstanding, and confusing all of you, I am going to attempt to write about and discuss this as I am wading through it. Read more

IVF: Phase Three {Egg Retrieval}

IVF: Phase Three {Egg Retrieval}

We’re finally past the egg retrieval phase and recovered (for the most part)! As promised, here is our account of this long-awaited phase. Keep in mind, I’m sharing a lot of info here so it’s another detailed post.

The day before the transfer I didn’t have any injections or meds to take! Wahoo! The day was pretty normal. I actually felt fantastic and the bloating wasn’t bad for most of the day. Then, late afternoon my belly popped. I couldn’t believe how big it was! That later retracted as the evening went on.  Read more

IVF: What I did in Phase Two {STIMS}

IVF: What I did in Phase Two {STIMS}

I don’t know about you but I like knowing what’s coming. I typically don’t like surprises and I LOVE biographies. I am so appreciative of the couples who are writing posts about what they experienced in the various phases of IVF, IUI, and other infertility facets. I wanted to share my own insight of what to expect when you’re stimming… practical advice and symptoms check.

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IVF: What I did in Phase One {BCP & Antibiotics}

IVF: What I did in Phase One {BCP & Antibiotics}

In preparation for IVF, I’ve been reading many, many blog posts about real life expectations and experiences. It’s one thing to read a doctor’s website about the processes and procedures but it’s another to read true accounts. Both have something to offer.

I really wanted to give you all another source of information about IVF. I am in no way a doctor. I’m just a woman going through this for the very first time. Please don’t use my information in place of a physician’s instruction or account. My testimony here is for information purposes only. Just a FYI of sorts as to what happened during my IVF.

I will be writing a series of these for each phase. This first phase is the Birth Control (BCP) and antibiotic stage.

PRACTICAL ADVICE

  1. Your life won’t be too impacted by this phase. You’ll have some side effects from the drugs especially if you aren’t accustomed to them. But, as far as your day-to-day, nothing should be affected. You aren’t needing to change your exercise regimen, lighten your schedule, and you’re definitely not in the phase of having to see the doctor every couple of days. So enjoy the calm before the storm! Use this time to have fun and rest up a bit.
  2. BE PREPARED and do some research! I would spend some time creating an Instagram (IG) account and finding some TTCers out there. The TTC Community on IG is fantastic. You will need those ladies and couples as you go through this procedure. Plus, it’s been a good resource for articles and pictures of different journeys. I knew better what to expect during stimming (phase two) because of watching others post about it. What’s really cool is when you find someone who is walking the same path as you on almost literally the same day. That’s your cycle buddy – someone who starts stimming, has their egg retrieval, etc. on the same day as you (or close to it). You can reach my IG account at the bottom of this page via the IG icon.
  3. BCPs really are the devil. I had not been on a BCP for over a decade and in my normal everyday life, I don’t take any meds. So, starting this regimen just really messed me up! Know that weird things will happen in your body.
  4. PROBIOTICS are your friend! The antibiotics completely wiped out my digestive system. I knew this would happen. We all have taken antibiotics at one point or another and we know that they can make a person constipated. Yuck! So, I stayed up on my diet and ate probiotics to keep that part of me healthy.
  5. You WILL have weird dreams and nightmares! Expect it. It’s ok. It’s just the meds. This stopped when I finished taking these meds.
  6. DO keep your exercise regimen. If you aren’t already doing so, then at least take a good walk, play with the dog, go for a hike, something(!) and as much as you can. Doing so will help clear your mind, de-stress you, and work off any frustrations & nervousness you may be harboring.
  7. Water – drink a ton of it! Keep your body ridding itself of toxins!
  8. CREATE A FOLDER or BINDER! You are going to have a lot of paperwork, calendars, instructional sheets, lab orders, lab results, ultrasound pictures, and the list goes on. I found that I was quickly swimming in paper. So, grab a folder or binder. Get as OCD as you’d like with this and create a space to have all of your papers. I am currently in the stimming stage of IVF and have lots of appointments. I take that folder to EVERY appointment, even if it’s just labs or ultrasounds. Seriously, take it everywhere!
  9. Gather together a PERSONAL SUPPORT GROUP. You may not be blogging or posting on FB or IG your every infertility move like we are. That’s ok! And you may not have come out of the infertility closet yet, either. But, I highly encourage you to come out of that closet to a small group of people around you. Be selective in doing so. They should be folks with a gift for coming along side someone in their pain. People with a servant’s heart. If you’re private and want to keep your IVF happenings on the down low, then I wouldn’t choose someone who is a bit of a gossip. That’s just common sense. You will want these friends and/or family to pray for you throughout your process, be there for you as you’re going through treatments, and lend a helping hand. They are your cheerleaders. GO TEAM GO! As heroic as it would be for you and your husband to do this solo, we as humans can’t do it all. So, at the very least gather these people as prayer warriors. Then, decide from there if you want them to help in any other way. The girls I’ve gathered together for me personally (not Brooks obviously) have been so awesome in supporting me. It can be them asking me to coffee or me asking them to breakfast. It can be lunch dates, simple texts saying they’re praying for us, or coming over for prayer. It can be a shopping date, movie date, or a simple hug. A meal brought to your house or a bouquet of flowers. There are so many ways to support. This isn’t just for us Infertile Myrtles; it’s for anyone going through cancer, divorce, loss. It’s an all-encompassing principle – we can’t do this alone. #LOVE

BCP/ANTIBIOTIC SYMPTOMS

  1. Lots of vivid dreams, weird dreams, and nightmares.
  2. FOOD CRAVINGS! – holy mackerel I couldn’t get enough caesar salad and burgers! 🍔
  3. FOOD AVERSIONS! – Brooks and I usually eat eggs and bacon/sausage everyday for breakfast. But we couldn’t go near eggs the entire time we were on the meds. 🙊
  4. Constipation – take your probiotics!
  5. Nausea & dizziness – this made me crave breads and sugar. 🍞
  6. My boobs hurt 😣… OUCH!
  7. Headaches
  8. Feeling a little out of it; distracted; in lala land
  9. Loss of sleep – I would constantly wake up in the middle of the night.
  10. BLOATING – see below.
  11. Weight Gain – I gained about 4 or 5 lbs in a week’s time but then lost it very quickly. I also noticed that the weight was being carried in my belly only.
  12. Acne

Don’t let all this scare you. It seems like a lot but this all happened throughout the course of a month. Also, a lot of the above is typical PMS stuff. So, girls don’t be scurd! 💪🏼

Other Links:

IVF: An Intro & First Steps

IVF: What I did in Phase Two {STIMS}

IVF: Phase Three {Egg Retrieval}

Finding JOY in Miscarriage

So, How Much DOES Infertility Cost?

Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor! Consult your own physician before starting any new regimens (medicine, food, exercise, and the like). What was described above is my personal account of the IVF procedure. Your own experiences may look different (and likely will). This is to be used as a simple example & guideline for one woman’s procedure. Happy IVFing!

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IVF: An Intro & First Steps

IVF: An Intro & First Steps

IVF INTRO

What the heck is invitro-fertilization or better known as IVF? In the 80’s, this treatment was known as “test tube babies”. This is a unique fertility treatment that we couples are afford these days to {hopefully} grow our families. It is the most expensive treatment available to us and is also the most invasive. Double bummer. But, the good news is that it also has the highest success rates of any treatment. Read more