Re-blog: Share Your Story!

Day 6 of the Bloggers Unite conference!!! Whaaattt?? Time is flying by for National Infertility Awareness Week…! Morgan from onprayersandneedles.com tells us about opening up about her infertility journey with her blog.  It’s a brave thing to do, but some days I wonder how I would have managed to make it through this infertility journey so far without my blog and meeting so many inspirational women.  Read more of Morgan’s story below!!

Hey Girl Hey! My name is Morgan Libero and this is my blog to help promote awareness and provide support for all things infertility related, with a whole lot of realness and a little bit of humor (believe me, every bit counts). We’re surrounded by the most loving and tight-knit support system of family and […]

continue to read more here… #niaw – Day 6, Bloggers Unite Conference – Share Your Story! —

Advertisements

reblog – Let’s Break The Internet With Infertility Awareness! —

I totally missed Day 5 of the Bloggers Unite Conference – bad Dani!!! I was exhausted driving back from DC yesterday (I know, excuses excuses!!) :-s

Day 5’s topic is about #StartAsking for insurance coverage.  As I have the best insurance coverage, I think, in the whole of the US (I have a worldwide insurance policy) I can talk about the benefits that everyone should have available to them – I have coverage for infertility diagnosis and infertility treatments (IUI, IVF, ICSI etc), including medication – I even have coverage for Genetic testing.  There is no $$$ limit, but I can only have 6 life time IUIs and IVFs. It’s quite amazing really!  So I have already used up half my life time allowance.  I still have to pay the 10% copay…but it is no comparison to those couples who have to pay the full amount.  Infertility is stressful enough as it is without the added financial burden and bills to track and pay.  It makes me mad that infertility treatment is seen to be ‘an option’ like cosmetic surgery is ‘an option’.  You can read more about this at missconceptioncoach.com below

In a perfect world, the tens of thousands of women and men suffering from infertility who consult reproductive specialists every year would know that their medical treatment would be covered by their health insurance. Infertility is, after all, considered a disease as stated by the World Health Organization. Yet the establishment of an “Essential […]

keep reading more here…via Day 5 – #niaw, Bloggers Unite Conference – Let’s Break The Internet With Infertility Awareness! —

Reblog – Start asking friends and family for support —

Day 4 of the Bloggers Unite Conference at missconception.com!  I don’t know who this lunatic blogger is, she is harping on about something for infertility awareness week…..oh wait….it’s me! I’m excited to be part of the bloggers unite conference this year, and very grateful to Miss Conception for hosting it!

I discuss how we opened up to our friends and family about our infertility journey and yet had never actually asked for support from them.  I assumed I didn’t need it.  But I was wrong. People find it hard to know how to help their infertile loved ones, so if you ask, they will leap, I have no doubt about that as we have experienced.  I suggest ways you can ask for support from your friends and family.  You don’t need to be as open about your infertility journey as we have, but knowing when and how to ask for support will help get you through those tough days. Click the link below to read more!!!  XXX

Hi! My name is Dani. My husband, Chris and I, have been trying to conceive (TTC) since December 2013. We were diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility‘ in January 2015. I decided to blog about our journey of TTC as I quickly realised that talking to friends and family about our situation can be difficult. It can be hard for them to […]

…..read more of my blog post here via #niaw – Day 4, Bloggers Unite Conference – Start asking friends and family for support —

NIAWBLOGGERSCONFERENCE

Reblog: Be your own advocate. Listen to your gut. Know your body —

Day 3 of the Bloggers Unite Conference and Bri from dreamingofdiapers.com explains the importance of being our own advocates and asking questions to our OBGYNs and Reproductive Endocrinologists.  For me I certainly have learned that Doctors can get into their set ways of thinking and have certain biases (I wrote about this a while ago), sometimes they simply forget you are first time IVF patient, generally forget things, or apply a ‘catch all model’ to your infertility treatment.  So asking the right questions can help us all move forward on our path to our long desired babies.  Bri is currently pregnant with her sister as a gestational carrier/surrogate, she has some amazingly interesting perspectives… so you should go check out her blog! But first read her post for National Infertility Awareness Week link below….

There are so many topics that we could talk about with the hashtag #StartAsking but my focus will be about being an advocate for yourself and asking questions to your ObGyn or Reproductive Endocrinologist. When you are trying to have a child, many questions go through your mind. Some of you ask and some […]

continue to read more here…. #niaw Day 3, Be your own advocate. Listen to your gut. Know your body —

Why can’t we make a baby? #NIAW

Why?  Why me?  Why can’t I make a baby like all my other friends and family? I have so many questions about why after almost 2.5 years of trying to conceive and failing miserably, month after month.  What have I done to cause this?  Why won’t my body just get pregnant? What am I doing wrong?

It’s human nature to want to know why things happen.  But these are the type of questions that run through my head round and round, continuously ever since we decided to grow our family.  I have yet to answer any of these questions.  It is exhausting.

Chris and I are 1 in 8 couples of child bearing age in the US that struggle with the disease that is infertility.  We tried the good old fashioned way – sex – for 11 months before we went to seek specialist help from a reproductive endocrinologist doctor after we discovered that Chris’s testosterone levels were “below normal”.  It turned out for us that testosterone levels do not actually matter that much when it comes to fertility.  Chris actually had super sperm, and lots of them!  But it did lead us to start the typical tests for diagnosing infertility.

We thanked our lucky stars that all our test results came back normal – there was nothing seriously wrong with either of us.  In fact, we passed all our tests with flying colours, we were top of the class!  But this put us into the category that 20% of infertile couples are diagnosed with – unexplained infertility.  This meant that the doctors could not tell us why we hadn’t been successful so far in trying to conceive the way they teach you at school.  We were about to embark on a journey that was going to take us beyond what they taught us at school – we were going to try to get pregnant with medical assistance.  We were heading into the world of the unknown.  We knew little to nothing about infertility.

At first it was difficult to explain to our friends and family why we were seeking treatment, because there was nothing ‘technically’ wrong with us.  The infertility was inexplicable!  It was embarrassing, it was awkward to explain.  So this is why I started this blog, to help us get over this difficulty in explaining what we were doing and why, as well as helping to explain our feelings about our disease in general.

Unexplained infertility in someways has been a good thing – there is always hope that this treatment will work.  But ultimately it is difficult to accept that there is just no known reason that this isn’t working for us.  In some cases, going through medically assisted treatment for infertility can reveal the explanation of a couple’s infertility.  But in our case, after 3 IUIs (Artificial Insemination) and 3 cycles of IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation), 1 suspected ectopic pregnancy,  and over $90k of medical bills we are none the wiser as to why we do not have a baby in our arms yet.

Conception is a wondrous act of nature, but it is also an incredibly complex process  – there have to be many stars in line for a healthy baby to be born.  For something that is the very basis of our human race’s existence, we still know very little about the disease that prevents us from growing our families.  It’s incredible, right?

I am currently in the dreaded two week wait of our third (and final) IVF cycle.  If this cycle fails, apart from being devastated, I do not know how we will ever be able to move forward without knowing why this has happened, why medical treatment didn’t work for us.  Our infertility will never leave us.

For National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), the national non-profit infertility organisation Resolve is promoting this year’s theme #StartAsking.  The theme is about promoting the questions that we want to be answered, whether this is asking for our Employers to provide insurance coverage, asking for legislation that supports family building options or asking our friends and family to support us.  For me, the one question I have and want to raise more awareness about is to:

 #StartAsking for more targeted research on unexplained infertility.

Perhaps if we can understand more about how or why some couples are infertile, then better focused medical interventions can be developed to defeat infertility.

I want answers!!!! But we won’t ever get answers if we don’t talk about infertility and unexplained infertility.  It shouldn’t be a secret.  We can do this by speaking openly about infertility, by getting organisations like Resolve to help raise our community’s voice and build awareness.

If you would like to know more about infertility, please visit Resolve.org.

If you would like to help, you can contribute by fundraising or donating for Resolve.  Or just comment below with your questions and thoughts to join in the discussion!

wishniaw.png

National Infertility Awareness Week #StartAsking

It’s almost National Infertility Awareness Week here in the US, 24-30 April 2016.  I don’t know if there is an equivalence in the UK, Canada, Australia, NZ or wherever you are in the world, but seeing as my blog lives in an international community I believe it should be an International Awareness Week (So doth Dani declares!).  So join us!

Here are some ways you can ALL get involved to help spread awareness of this disease, whether you are infertile or an infertile loved one’s supporter.

Learn more about infertility.  Because knowledge is power.

If you are family or a friend of an infertile loved one then change your facebook profile picture to this.  You can download the picture from here.

niaw-facebook-cover-image-2.jpg

If you are 1 in 8 couples you can change your facebook profile picture to one of these:

niaw-facebook-cover-image-1.jpg

or my favourite…..

niaw-cover-image-7.jpg

Let people know that infertility is a disease by using the phrase, “the disease of infertility” whenever you talk or write about infertility.

If you don’t know what to say to someone who has infertility, then you can read this article: “25 Things to say (and not to say)” from Resolve.  If you are finding that some friends just don’t understand your infertility and are saying unintentionally hurtful things – share this link with friends and family so you can help them to help you.

Infertility is a couple’s disease, there is a mis-perception that infertility is a woman’s disease, this is not true.  So don’t forget all the men who are affected too.

what-to-say-image.jpg

So what am I doing for National Infertility Awareness Week?  I have been prepping some microblog posts, one-a-day, on the subject of this year’s theme #StartAsking – I will also be posting on my personal facebook page – eeeeeeek!!!!

I am participating in Miss Conception Coach’s Bloggers Unit Conference!!!!  Watch this space for my article!  You can follow her on wordpress and see all the inspiring articles for the conference, her instagram is @missconceptioncoach – she posts lots of beautiful and inspiring words of wisdom 🙂

NIAWBLOGGERSCONFERENCE.jpg

My local infertility support group is running an information desk at our local clinic throughout the week, and I will help man it for a few hours to make people aware of who we are and what the support group does 🙂

As part of Resolve’s Advocacy day some members of my local infertility support group are visiting Washington DC to talk to members of congress about important family building issues.  I can’t go because I have to work (Boooooooo) but they will be taking my letters I have written to our Senators and Congressman with them!

And of course I will be doing all the social media stuff too.

 

OK that’s a lot for now!!!! TTFN!!!

 

IVF Diary vol III: 10 -14 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Wait and Hope Phase Day 3 (i.e. the bit between Egg Retrieval and Transfer!).  PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

Medical procedures undertaken. Egg retrieval – I wrote about it in a separate post here.  Basically the procedure went well, but I was in pain immediately waking up from the anesthetic.  I had Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) by the time I got to the day of Egg retrieval, so the pain was to be expected (according to the doctor – I was oblivious).

Any results? 17 Eggs retrieved, 12 of these were mature, and 10 of those fertilised.  The clinic’s protocol is that if you get 7 or more fertilised eggs then they aim for a Day 5 transfer.

So when I woke up from the egg retrieval, the doctor tried to explain to me the symptoms of OHSS and that I need to watch out for certain potentially dangerous symptoms – such as shallow breathing and vomiting.   Apparently she explained all of this to Chris in a whole lot more detail whilst I will still recovering, which was a good thing, because my exact recollection of her words were shadowed by the pain I was having in my abdomen!!!

I put together a nice little chart showing how for this cycle my estradiol levels sky rocketed in comparison to my previous cycles and what we got out of them.  Remember, we are trying for quality not quantity!!!

estradiol results.jpg

What are my symptoms?  The day of my egg retrieval surgery (Monday) and the day after (Tuesday) I was practically in bed for most of it, or sedentary on the sofa.   I was suffering with gas (farts and burps galore!), pain in  my abdomen particularly above my belly button and below my lungs.  The pain killers really weren’t helping much with the pain, they just caused constipation, so I gave up on them.  I could barely eat a plate of food.  I ate small portions of soup and bread, I tried to eat salad, but that filled me up after a few bites and made me feel nauseous. I couldn’t even drink much water/gatorade my tummy felt like it was about to puke all the time.  Wednesday I braved work because I had to get up and move around.  Mentally I was fine, but the lower half of my body was not playing ball.  So I left work after lunch to work from my bed instead because all I needed was to lie down propped up.   Lying down completely flat and sitting upright/standing weren’t particularly comfortable, but hunching over a bit was OK. I went to bed last night swearing that if I was not better in the morning I would be calling the clinic for an ultrasound.  Well despite a crappy nights sleep, I did feel a bit better once I got up.  So I weighed myself and measured my waist.  No change – but I was still almost 8 inches wider round the waist and 5lbs over my normal weight.  I wasn’t getting worse – just not any better, I decided not to call for an ultrasound.

This morning we both waited until 0800 before getting on with our lives because this was the time that the clinic would have called if we were to go in for a Day 3 Transfer, just in case some of our embryos weren’t surviving.  But they didn’t call, and we breathed a sigh of relief.  Although we know from our last cycle, that this doesn’t mean we have good quality embryos waiting for us on Day 5.  So without any updates on their progress until the day of our transfer, all we can do is hope they keep growing strong.

How do I feel today? I was feeling really down yesterday about my OHSS symptoms and frustrated with my body.  I am not a good ill person.  I was pretty grumpy at Chris too.  On Tuesday I decided to enlist the help of my friends and gave this status update on facebook:

“Please send us a happy thought for us as I tuck myself up with a hot water bottle, drinking fluids and electrolytes and eating salty food as I try to ward off the symptoms of ovarian Hyper stimulation syndrome so that we can transfer our embryos this week!!! Anything to make us smile would be greatly appreciated! Post your favourite funnies below! (Although not too funny because my tummy hurts!!!)”

In the spirit of National Infertility Awareness Week‘s theme #StartAsking….I decided to ask for help from our friends to help us get through this rough patch!  I am glad I did 🙂  I received many funnies…and gave me a smiley warm feeling inside that my friends were thinking of us.  They say laughter is the best medicine!

Also, if I am honest with myself I am nervous that we have one less embryo than from IVF cycle 2….but I must remind myself QUALITY not QUANTITY is important!!!!

What’s next? Our Embryo transfer is scheduled for 0700 Saturday morning!!! Yikes!!  I can’t wait to be PUPO – Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise 🙂  Oh and I need to do this progesterone in oil injection on my own.  *GULP* my mountain, my nemesis :-s

The Final Countdown!!! 

160414_IVF3_Calendar_Countdown.jpg

 

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.