I was fine all weekend, but the last couple days it has really started to sink in that I will never have another baby :( That M was my last pregnancy, and that there isn't even a CHANCE of a pregnancy in our future. I think its just going to take some time to grieve and accept that fact. And I am sure I am going to have my ups and downs, but this is a lot to process. Because the decision is not mine...its not because we don't want anymore kids, or we cant afford anymore kids, its because we cant physically make anymore.
All of this had made me so much more grateful for my children, that if I never have another, I am still the luckiest woman on earth for having them. So so lucky. They really are precious gifts that too many people take for granted unfortunately.
IF was a huge part of my life for so long. It has become a part of me. But it also has had a hand in making me the woman and mother I am today. All the sorrow, tears, begging and praying, shots, and sleepless nights, were all totally worth being able to create these little gifts of life. All of it. I wouldn't for a second wish the pain of infertility on anyone else, but there is a positive side of it as weird as it sounds. Its such an emotional struggle that is forces you to be stronger than you ever thought you could be, and makes you realize whats really most important in life. So when you finally get those those, you hold them very close to your heart.
But god works in very mysterious ways. I believe that every experience we have the good and the bad, we have been given for a reason.
Over the last two years, I have prayed to god to please let me do this one more time, and I know I have been so amazingly blessed with these 2 beautiful children and I am forever grateful for that. But god, there is still a void in my heart. A void that only having one more child to complete our family can fill. I so desperately want this, please don't let that be the last time I get to experience such a miracle.Please.
Yes, these were my conversations with god.
And on Thanksgiving morning I woke up, peed on a stick and it was over. All these years, and tears, and pain and money and it was over. Just like that.
But two days prior on November 22nd, god had answered my prayer. Just in his own way. He brought me L, my 6 year old cousin who has had such an undeserving life. A child. For me to raise. Even for only a short time, an innocent child for me to love and care for. Someone else to call me that coveted title: "Momma".
And then I ran across this quote and had one of the biggest Ah Ha moments of my adult life :
God has another plan for me. Yes, its not what I had planned, but I believe this whole experience (especially with the timing) was given to me for a reason. This is something I never in my life imagined that I would be doing, fostering. Not in my wildest dreams. But its changing me. In big ways. Yes, I have to grieve what could have been and the life I was so hopping for, but at the same time I am celebrating the life I have been given.
Here I am 12dpiui, my usual test date. But not this time! This 2ww is the last 2ww I will ever have. The last time I will ever have a possibility of being pregnant, so I am going to milk it for all its worth. In all honestly, I thought is was going to be really really hard to wait until 14 days past my IUI to test, because usually I am DYING to know by 12 days. This time remains different, because its been easy. Almost too easy. I don't want it to end, I want to stay in my hope bubble.
Reality is though, is that deep down I don't think I'm pregnant. However in some weird way, I still have hope. Hope that it could be possible. I know every pregnancy is different, but I have had NO symptoms at all. None, zero, zilch, nada. Except for low back pain for the last few days, which could easily be from totting around a 25 pound toddler. I went back and through my blog, and found myBFP symptoms post after my successful cycle with M, and they were all typical pregnancy symptoms, none of which I have :(
So here I will stay in my hope bubble until the morning of Thanksgiving. To which I will wake up, POAS, and then regardless of the results, come out and face the world and enjoy my day and all its blessings. Because I really do have SO much to be thankful for.
I don't even know how to start this post....I've been faced with a very challenging situation over the last few weeks, one that I haven't spoke about to anyone. But its time to let the cat out of the bag. I'm just going to start from the beginning...
My uncle (my moms younger brother) was married in the 90's. Him and his wife were VERY dysfunctional, I cant even begin to get into to all of the details. Lets just say there were drugs, affairs, and abuse of every kind. They ended up having 2 children together, a boy and then a girl. Neither of them are or were fit to be parent in no way shape or form. They ended up splitting when the oldest was 8 years old, and she loved to Florida to be near her family. Since then, my uncle has not been a real part of their lives, never paid a dime in child support, and continues to live off my grandparents at 40 years old.
She's no prize either because since then, she's had at least 4 abortions, sent her kids to live with my other aunt once for a year while she was homeless, has never worked a day in her life, lives off the government and what ever guy she is fucking that week, and get this....she is PREGNANT. AGAIN. But whats worse is she is pregnant by her sisters boyfriend, and IS KEEPING THE BABY. Really, it was just too late for an abortion by the time she found out, and she has already told the kids. I don't even have words for this.
She has always relied on my family (specifically my grandmother) to support her or help her out when she gets into a bind, and my grandmother does it because of the kids. They are her grand kids and just innocent children after all.
I BEGGED and PLEADED with my family to make her give this baby up for adoption, to let this baby have a chance at life and to give a deserving couple a chance to have a family, but she insists on keeping it. She is now 7 months pregnant.
But it gets worse.
She called my grandmother a few weeks ago saying that her boyfriends house is going into forecloser, and they all are about to be homeless and to see if she could take the kids for a few months (the kids are now 6 and 13). She doesn't want the kids to go to the "system" and has no where else to take them.
She has NO idea the burden and stress this has caused the whole family. My grandpa has been in and out of the hospital this whole last year, had a triple bypass, 4 strokes, and 2 amputations due to highly uncontrolled diabetes. My grandmother has lost 50lbs, has had a hysterectomy and a mild stoke this year herself. They are in their final years of life and are NOT fit to care for children any longer. My grandpa cant even take care of himself.
So my husband and I thought long and hard about this over the last few days. I cant help but think how unfair this all is. For infertiles who are desperately trying to have a child (including myself), and for the kids who are so innocent and don't deserve any of this. I've questioned god, her, and myself over this last week.
And well, we decided that the right thing to do was to take in one of the kids. The youngest, my cousin, who is a 6 year old little girl. I've thought long and hard about how this would work out, what this means for my family, how I would feel about investing all this time and money into her and then having to send her back to her MESS of a mother, and everything in between.
But at the end of the day, I am fully capable of providing a loving caring home to her. I realize that not everyone would chose this but we have a stable home with plenty of room, and we can give her a good life. Even if it is only for a couple months.
So me and my husband will be gaining temporary custody of her until her mother can get back on her feet. It could be 2 months, it could be a year. They are on a plane now, and will arrive this evening. We are working on getting all the legal documentation needed to do this.
I realize what a HUGE decision this is. But in the end, and in my heart, I feel it was the right one. Now I can only hope that things will go smoothly. I worry if she has behavioral issues, if its going to be the best thing for my girls and my marriage, and hello I will have another child to care for, but I just couldn't turn my back on an innocent child. Not with all the blessings we have been so lucky to receive.
I am once again declaring veganism! If you've been reading for a while, you'll know that I was vegetarian for almost 10 years before I got pregnant with M. Then in the first trimester I started getting these INTENSE cravings for beef! Not chicken, or turkey, or eggs, but all beef baby! I upped my spinach intake thinking I was low in iron and that would get rid of the craving, and well that still didn't work. Momma wasn't happy until I had a Wendy's cheeseburger in my hand! Turns out, despite being a beef eater once again I was still anemic. My OB put me on iron supplements, which I ended up having to take until 3 months post partum.
Well ever since then, I have maintained a mostly vegetarian diet. I only have meat maybe 2x per week, but I do eat cheese and egg whites. (Let me just preface that I was never a vegetarian for religious reasons, or diet restrictions, it was purely for ethical reasons and the fact that I don't want my 9 year old to have boobs because she has been eating hormone filled chicken breasts her whole life.)
So yes, I started eating meat, and yes, I have always prepared meat for my family (K and my H are big meat eaters) but I have always paid the premium for that by buying only all organic, hormone free, well treated animal meat. Period. It's not the meat that I have a problem with, its how people treat to put them, and the shit they inject into them just to produce more meat, to make more money, to then put them on our table that I'm not down with.
I understand that not all people can afford to buy happy meat for their families, that today's society makes it hard to be vegetarian or vegan, or that a lot of people don't know how to properly maintain a vegetarian diet, but being veggie is easy for someone like me. Even as a child I was never a big meat eater, and salad is my favorite food for gods sake! No lie!
So I am going back to what I believe in, and going 100% meat, cheese, and dairy free. I will not push my beliefs on my family (although I do think little M is just like her mom, she is not a big fan of meat and salad and vegetables are also her favorite food) or anyone else, but I will always advocate for the ethical treatment of animals and cruelty free meat, whether I eat it or not.
And I can finally wear my Kiss Me I'm a Vegetarian Hello Kitty shirt again :)
Today I am 6dpiui and doing fine, but the days leading up to this point have not been so great. And just like how everything about the beginning of this cycle has been different, so has this 2ww....
I started spotting at 2dpiui, and spotted pink, red, brown, and everything in between on and off until 4dpiui. That has NEVER happened to me. I have had 6 IUI's, 2 HSG's, 2 Saline Sono's, and never once spotted after any of those procedures. I have even joked in the past that my cervix is made of steel. So this was driving me completely batty. BUT I did have sex that day, so I chalked it up to my cervix being irritated from the IUI and my husband having moves like Jagger.
Now that that drama has finally commenced, we've moved onto happier times. Surprisingly, this 2ww is actually flying by! I started progesterone on 3dpiui, and although I haven't experienced any real symptoms yet, I *think* I had some mild cramping on and off on 4dpiui. Which is a great sign in my book. The cycle I got pregnant with M, I had mild AF type cramps from 4-7dpiui.
And just to leave you all on the edge of your seats a little longer, I've decided not to test on my usual 12dpiui this cycle, but rather wait until 14dpiui (on Thanksgiving) to test. This is the last time I will ever get to hope that I could be pregnant, so I want to hang onto that and stay in my hope bubble as long as possible.
I took the girls to get their pics done last Friday for our Christmas card this year and here are a few of my favorites so far! And don't let these pictures fool you....M did NOT want to have her picture taken. Like at all. She kept running and screaming NO CHEESE, NO CHEESE, NO BOW, NO CHEESE the.whole.time. But my fabulous friend (who is a photog) managed to get some amazing shots. They are beautiful and I love them :)
Today was the big day. Our final attempt to have baby # 2 together. If you would have asked me how I really felt about this day a few months ago, I would have totally lost it. But today, surprisingly enough, I was calm and clear. It was almost like I was in 3rd person. Talking with the staff at my clinic, laughing, hugging and praying....All knowing that this would very well be my last visit. It was strange...
Last night I baked 2 pumpkin loaves to bring to the clinic this morning. My way of thanking them for helping me have a family. I mean, its the least I could do. I am so close with so many of the staff there and they have all been so supportive and amazing. One loaf was for the staff to share, and 1 for my RE with a little note thanking him for being my biggest cheerleader over the years.
I also brought....get ready for this...a fresh sperm sample from my husband so they could do a basic S/A. We don't plan on using any birth control and we needed to know exactly what we have going on in there. I also figured if there was anything, they could add it to our frozen sample to use today, because heythe more the merrier! Well I really didn't have to worry about either of those things, because there was none.
That's right. No sperm in his sample. Not one sperm at all. Nothing.
I have to admit, although I wasn't expecting anything much I was surprised there weren't a few. But my husband, my husband on the other hand was shocked. He thought for sure there would be some...I don't know, maybe a few hundred thousand. (For all those non IF'er a normal sperm count is 20-150 MILLION)
So that far distant dream that every infertile has of one day having that "surprise miracle BFP" will never happen to me. Ever. That is for certain.
And this even more cemented how done we really are after this. Talk about pressure. The sperm guy at the clinic was sweating bullets!
Against my RE's wishes, I walked in ready to go out with a bang. My plan was to use all of our 5 vials we had left on this last Hail Mary Cycle. My RE (and everyone else at the clinic) thought I should save 1 vial...just in case I win the lottery, but I cant. I just cant have that hanging over my head. I will always feel that tug on my heart. Because I do desperately want a second child with him.
They started the thaw, and all I could do was pray. Pray we had decent numbers. And then the sperm guy called up.
3 Million post wash. They really like it to be at least 5mil, but what can you do?
And if you would have told me THIS a few months ago, my stomach would have sank and I would have been on the verge of puking. But this time was different. I've been preparing for this. I took a deep breathe, held onto my hope and said lets do this.
It went well, they took it really really slow, and I've had hardly any cramping today (which I normally have). I took it easy today, because you know I'm trying to get pregnant here and oddly enough I feel good. Even with 3 million sperm, even though I know all odds are against us, I feel good.
Pregnancy test is on Thanksgiving. Lets hope I have even more to be thankful for this year.
I went in for my first monitoring appointment with Mr. Wandy today and this cycle is already turning out to be different. First of all, my right ovary is dead. Once again, I didn't produce any sizable follicles on that side even though we started out with a higher dose in hopes to kick start both ovaries. My RE thinks that's just they way my body is now, and the only way to wake it up would be to give me much higher doses of stims. But with IUI's, that's not really an option with out having a VERY high risk for multiples, so high that that's out of the question. So lefty is just going to have to pull all the weight around here!
I had 3 follies on the left side, a 20mm, a 16mm, and a 15mm. My lining was better than the previous cycles at a 8.5. I cant believe I was pretty much ready to go on CD 10. This is the response that I used to get! These last 2 cycles I was using Bravelle because a dear friend gave it to me (and lets be honest, fertility drugs are MUCHO expensive) and I just wasnt getting great results. Bottom line, what I've learned is that I have a MUCH better response on follistim than I do with Bravelle!
I will do one more 75iu follisitm shot tonight, trigger shot tomorrow night at 11:30pm, and go in for my insemination on Thursday at 9:30 am! Now I just have to keep everything crossed that we have a semi decent sperm count after the thaw on Thursday.
My RE seemed VERY optimistic and thinks I responded beautifully. And for the first time in many cycles, I walked out feeling great. Great about my appointment, great about this cycle, and great about the future!
M has only been 22 months for a few days, and literally overnight has started doing an array of new things. She can unlock my iphone, get to the camera and take pictures and videos with no assistance, as well as find her favorite apps like Talking Gina, Shapes, and Elmo.
I've lost count of her word count because she pretty much repeats everything. She is putting 2 words together consistently now such as "My Cheese" 'Baby Sign" "Mommy No" Sweetie (the kitten) down" and "Sissy School". But her favorite words remain, No, Stop and Mine :) Toddlers...
She also has become more fluent in sign language. We started teaching her the basic signs at around 7-8 month. At around 15-18 months we began expanding on that and I am AMAZED at how much she can sign. She really loves signing, and that's all she wants to watch, is her Baby Signing Time DVD's. And its something I feel comfortable letting her watch as much she wants! It really is like learning a second language, and she has successfully learned both over the last few months. It makes me so happy!
Right now she can sign the following consistently:
-More, Please, Thank You, All Done, Eat, Again, Stop, Play, Yes/ No, Share, Telephone, Music
We had a great Halloween this year! M was going to be Piglet, but it turned out to be a 91 degree day yesterday, so we had to go to plan B! Too bad...the Piglet was so cute too...
Thank god one of my good friends had a beautiful Princess dress that was just the right size!
K's was a Vampire this year and let me tell you, as soon as she got that costume on she was IN the role. She is so animated and dramatic naturally so when you pair that with a costume, it really comes out! She was a fierce vampress!
Her BFF and her mom came over for dinner and to trick or treat with us. Her BFF was Marilyn Monroe and they had a blast together! They don't get to see each other as often anymore, so these times are special!