Friday, August 30, 2013

Let's Get This Party Started....

In the words of a sweet friend earlier this week, "I want your show to get on the road!!!".

Sweet, sweet summertime is coming to a close. It's August 30th... WHERE did the time go?! I can't even really say that it went quickly, because when I think back to the last week of June when I started moving from one classroom to another, and our Myrtle Beach road trip, it really did feel like  long time ago. It was a fun and very busy summer, so I can't complain, and I'm not. It's just crazy how the time passes and I'm always left regretting the things I didn't have time for like crafting, working on photo books, and cleaning the house. But as Scott keeps reminding me, summer isn't for that stuff though, it's about having fun. And I'm happy to say I definitely got to relax and have fun. If I had been cooped up inside doing all of the above mentioned things, I would regret not being outside. So I'm content.

Going back to work is always a little bittersweet, especially when I think of all the overwhelming and stressful situations that a school year can bring. But, when talking to said friend earlier in the week, she made a good point because now that summer is over, we can get this fertility show on the road!!! That was the key for me. I'm always TRYING to find a positive in any given situation (I start off negative but then I analyze it and turn it around if I can), and the exciting thing about summer being over is that our next appointment for the next step in this infertility journey is just 10 days away!!! That's something to celebrate... so let's get this party started!!

So what's next?
Many of our friends, coworkers, and family have asked this question, and the next step is soon!! More below... (side note: No, we don't ever get tired of hearing this question. It's not being intrusive, it shows you care. I wish others would ask this just once or show that they care somehow... this journey has really shown us who our true friends are, or sadly, aren't. I know it's a crappy situation that many don't understand- and I hope you don't ever have to if you're in that lucky boat- but it's crummy to feel that certain people in your life really don't seem to give a crap. I'm sometimes someone who doesn't like to bring up other people's touchy situations in fear of upsetting them, so it's always tricky, but we can quickly and easily tell who is supportive of us and who really cares, vs those that really just don't. Don't assume that if you haven't asked how it's going that I'm saying you don't care. It's other words and actions that show which category you fall into. We are VERY grateful for those that have ever showed any bit of support and care, just saddened by some that were unexpectedly not supportive.).

This is not to say I am always faking my smile... But when I know others aren't being sincere, this applies only to that. Most often, the smile is totally genuine and we have more stronger moments than not... thankfully!
Sorry for the rant, I've had a lot on my mind lately. Infertility SUCKS. It's a depressing and emotionally/financially draining thing to go through... but just because we are deeply saddened, frustrated, and overwhelmed, it doesn't automatically mean we are depressed. A dream of ours has always been to become parents, something that most people have the ability to do naturally and easily, often without even trying. So when said dream of yours cannot be attained without intense medical assistance and a huge dent in your savings account, it gets pretty damn upsetting. But that one part of our life does not define us and does not make us depressed, contrary to what others may think. We keep ourselves busy, go on adventures, and continue to live our lives as we have for the last 14 and a half years. Hanging out with friends and family makes it easier and makes us happier, also shows us we have support. Knowing others care keeps us positive and in good spirits, and gives us hope.  We are very lucky to have received that from most people in our lives.

Ok, so next step is a checkup with Dr. Werner (Scott's reproductive urologist) on September 9th. This is a followup to the varicocele surgery he had back in May. Quick recap, back in January we found out that there were 0 (yep, zero) sperm, hence severe male infertility factor. The possible cause of this (also referred to as azoospermia) is 2-fold. First was because of a varicocele, which the surgery should have improved. The second is a chromosomal disorder, Klinefelters, which causes testosterone to be very low. The surgery should allow for sperm production to begin, but it doesn't show up in testing (yup, the awkward cup test... I'm glad I'm not a guy!) until 4-6 months post surgery. So here we are, already approaching the 4 month mark! Wow! That really did go quickly! We are excited, but cautiously excited and nervous at the same time. I'm not trying to be negative (not my style) but I'm being realistic when I say I'm not expecting great results. I'm worried that the Klinefelters factor is going to hinder sperm production, no matter how successful the surgery probably was. We do keep joking though and saying that we need a swim team, but since it only takes one, we won't be greedy and will just hope for a solo swimmer, or a Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte! Hey, you can still register for a swim meet with just 1 solo swimmer! HA. We have to keep humor involved as much as possible. It's been fun for us to joke whenever we can. So we really would be over the moon with even a low low count.

If there is something, ANYTHING, I assume we can proceed with IVF soon. (Unless numbers were super high then we could probably try naturally for a bit? It would be a huge money saver, and at this point what's a few more months? But not expecting those results, although that would be the best case scenario.)

If there is nothing again, it doesn't mean we are done. I can't remember the next step (and will find out on the 9th), but I think it's 1 or 2 things... 1: Wait until October or November to test again (those would be the 5 & 6 month marks). -OR- 2: Go ahead with a needle biopsy to poke and prod (ouch, sorry Scoot!) and see if they can find any stubborn swimmers (Again, only 1 or 2 needed!). I know I've mentioned this before, but it's so inspiring that it's worth repeating. Dr. Werner had a couple in our same situation (probably minus Klinefelters, but still), and they came back at 4 months to find nothing, but when they did the needle biopsy, they found 2 sperm (YES, just TWO!!!), used 1 for IVF, and it worked!!! WoW. I know this isn't everyday stuff, but the fact that it happened is a miracle and enough inspiration for me. It CAN and DOES happen. So you really just never know. Keep the faith and don't stop believing.
So although this next appointment may not really give us a lot of answers, it also will at the same time. Even if it's upsetting news, it doesn't change where we were before, and it's the next step down our path. It's still one step closer to the baby that so many tell us we will have someday. I expect many more obstacles along the way, but each one is that much closer to the real thing.

In other news, I am starting to wonder if prayers are beginning to be answered. One of my big ones certainly was answered very recently! At work, I'm switching grades again and moving back down to teach Kindergarten. I'm entering my 9th year of teaching and have done K once before (2 years ago), but it was broken up with going back to 1st grade again last year. So even though I've done it, it was a rocky year for different reasons and I was uneasy about taking it over by myself. For those that don't know, I teach in a small school thats K-8 in one building, and our enrollment flip flops every other year. Ideally we used to have 2 sections of each grade, but over the past 5 years or so, we've been back and forth because every other year seems to be an incoming class of just 1 kindergarten, so it throws off a different grade every year or so and we can't always keep 2 teachers on a grade level. Being the newest classroom teacher (yup, even after 8 years), I'm usually the one who moves. So this year a few of us swapped and I was projected to teach the only K class. I had a wonderful teaching partner next time, and I was nervous about taking it all on by myself since it's been 2 years and I wasn't confident in it. K is different from other grades because there's a lot more family communication, involvement, and events that are different from upper grades. We are the first impression some families have of the school. So anyway, sorry for the long explanation, but the background is important. Our expected number for K was only 18 in June, so that was 1 K class, no problem. Over the summer, new families started to register and just before I went to Florida at the end of July, the numbers jumped up to around 24/25. Now I am fully aware that this is average in MANY (most) schools elsewhere, but our small school average is around 18-20, so this is a lot for us. Also, K has so many unknowns with behaviors and special needs, so I was nervous about having 25 children in a grade I wasn't yet as fully confident in, AND (most importantly) knowing that IVF preparations would likely begin at some point in the school year. When I left school on July 30th before heading on vacation, I left the room set for 24 students and literally prayed out loud in the car, asking for God to please only give me whatever I could truly handle. If I was meant to tackle 24 (it has since gone up to 26) in K, and all that went with K, ALONG with possibly IVF and a possible potential pregnancy, then bring it on. But if not, then please please PLEASE split the class in 2 and bring back my teaching partner from last time. Typically our school will split the classes around 25 if possible. So on vacation, I got word that it had split and now I have a nice small class and my teaching partner in the room next door with the other half. THANK YOU, GOD!!

Another dear friend of mine knew that I had been worried about this for the reasons mentioned above, and she told me the other day that it's a good sign, it's all working my way, and this is the first of many blessings for us! Her prediction is that it will be a pregnant year and that this plan of mine is working great... it will all work out perfectly.... Thank you, we sure are hoping and praying for that to be!!

So again, Team Ricci is excited to get this show on the road!!! :)


  1. Can't wait for September 9th for you & am hoping so badly for good news but as always I love your optimism & I also still feel strongly that whatever the case, you will be parents very soon! Hope work goes well, countdown until next Summer is on hehe xx

  2. YAYAYAYA! I am so excited for your appointment, I hope you get some good news. Either way, yes, let's get this party started!!!! :)