Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Two Week Wait

The famous infamous two week wait... 

Two weeks to wait and find out if we are pregnant or not for this cycle. But really, by now, 1 week has already gone by. Two weeks of trying to stay positive and calm. Two weeks of analyzing every single little twinge or symptom your body is going through. Two weeks of driving your husband crazy with said twinges and symptoms. Two weeks of wondering. Two weeks of waiting. Two weeks of constant chatter in your mind and anticipation. Two weeks of pure excitement. Two whole weeks...

Be patient.  Stay calm. Keep yourself busy.  Don't overanalyze every feeling in your body.

Yea, ok... easier said than done!

Honestly, believe it or not, I think I'm doing better than I expected to (just don't ask Scott because I guarantee his opinion will be way different! I think I am totally driving him crazy! Sorry hun... sort of!) ;) Two weeks is a long time to wait, and in our case it's really 16 days to be exact because that's how long from IUI to blood test results. The beta, blood test, is the mac daddy of pregnancy tests. I can pee on a stick but ultimately it's the blood test that is the most accurate. Technically we only need to wait 2 weeks, but that will put us at next Saturday and the nurse pushed it to Monday because of the weekend. I could probably drive out to the further clinic for the blood test on the weekend but since she said Mon, 3/24, I'm sticking with that. She said I could do the home test (POAS~ pee on a stick), but I'm not so sure yet if I will. I'm paranoid of a false positive from fertility meds pre-IUI (even though they should be out of my system by then) and also paranoid of seeing a negative and thinking it's over, to find out Monday it could be positive. The only way to be sure is to do it the right way so I don't think I'm going to cave yet. If I do, it'll be either Sunday or Monday morning because Scott will be home those days too... and waiting til the end of the school day for a phone call could be tough. ...Who am I kidding, by next weekend I'll probably be going insane.

The work week goes by much faster for me because I'm not next to the computer for 24/7 access for answers to my latest crazy question. Googling a symptom, predicted timing of certain feelings, things to look for, things to eat or to avoid, yup I've pretty much used every crazy question and wording to look for different results.  Hopefully this school week will go fairly fast as well, I'll try to keep busy over the weekend, and then it's here. It's not that far to go.

I've had a strong sense of positivity since last Friday, 3/7, the day before IUI. A strong sense of positivity, happiness, calm, excitement, all rolled into one. Just pure endorphins and feeling great. It honestly hasn't left me, overall. I've had a few moments here and there where it's gone to the back of my mind, but overall it's stayed with me and it's like a calm aura surrounds me. Whether this is a good sign or not, I hope it stays with me because I haven't had a headache all week and it's just left me feeling really good.

My dad always told me "Positive things happen to positive people". I believe that whole-heartedly and that's another reason I try to keep that positive glow in whatever I do and wherever I go. I've kept that attitude with me even through the first half of this 2 week wait because, well, it's technically our first real one! We've done the wait thing before, but looking back with our new knowledge in the past year, none of those waits would have resulted in a pregnancy anyway because we were missing one key ingredient. This time is different, there's a real possibility, so therefore I am more hopeful than before.

Scott is worried because I tend to get let down and skim rock bottom when my hopes are soooo high and then we face defeat. While he's somewhat right, I do always pick myself back up. With all our previous attempts, I would get excited, burst into tears every time my period showed up, and be bummed out for the day... BUT I would always process it and pick myself back up, ready to fight stronger the next time. Sure, I will be bummed if this attempt doesn't work, but in reality it's only our first real attempt with sperm. Our first attempt with IUI. Our first attempt in over a year... I can't expect it to work the first time because it's just not the way things work, so I'll head back to the clinic asap and start round 2 right away if needed. But until the determining factor comes our way, I'm fighting like mad with my positive mantras and positive thinking. Good results won't come from being negative. Good results come from being positive. I'm being super hopeful and I know Scoot is fearful of me being unrealistic, but I don't think I've gotten to that point... yet.

As I said in last week's post, I don't plan to announce the results of next week's test. I'm not giving any specifics until the time comes for a happy pregnancy announcement. Of course we hope that's sooner than later, we don't know what the future holds, but this is my thinking for now. Sure I'm being hopeful and looking for lots of signs from the universe (and my body) for signs one way or another, but I'm not posting any of those specifics until the time is right, either way.

If it's a BFN (big fat negative), I don't plan to tell anyone and we will move right into cycle 2 once my next period comes, repeating exactly the same steps we did this time.... repeat, repeat until we get a BFP (big fat positive). Once we get that BFP, I still don't plan to tell anyone, and we'll wait 'til we hit the safe zone of 12 weeks so we don't jinx anything.

The other reason for not wanting to tell everyone right after the test results is it takes the excitement away from sharing the news when the time comes. If everyone asks, they'll be looking for how we react and guess on their own, or start telling others our news, or their predictions. If everyone knows on the day of test results, it rips me of the chance to share the news in fun, creative ways (which we all know is SO my style! =) ). I've been googling cute pregnancy announcement ideas for over 2 years now. If everyone knew right away, where is the fun in that? There isn't any. And because of our struggle and our journey, I feel we will be even more excited than some who haven't struggled, so I don't want the announcement part to have to be less, just because everyone knows the exact weekend conception possibly happened. I know everyone is super excited, and trust me, I am SO grateful for that, but I also want to put ourselves back on even playing field with the rest of the world for at least one part of our journey to parenthood. Super cute announcements are something I've daydreamed about, and if everyone knows immediately, it just deflates that. I'll also ask that when we do start sharing the happy news, whenever the time comes, that you please don't share it with others who may know us. I want everyone close to us to hear it from us, not from another family member or friend. It's our exciting news and I want to share it our way because it's something that means a lot to us and that we'll have to strategize about. It'll be fun and I know everyone will be excited for us but I want it to come from us. If there's someone you want to tell or think we might have forgotten, just ask.

I think that's it. Not much else to report except that we're just a week away from possible life-altering news. After the IUI last weekend, I was in NYC with my cousins and talking to one about motherhood. I suddenly stopped and said "Omg, what did we just do?! This could be real!" Realization set in that I could really, actually, be declared a Mommy soon... AHHH!!! :) :) :) Life-altering, yes.. but also SO unbelievably exciting. We are SO ready for this.

Scott was off yesterday and we went up to New Paltz for lunch. The main reason we went was also because I've been dying to go to this cute little cupcake shop there. We tried their cupcakes at a wine event last month and although they were mini versions, they were the best cupcakes I have ever had. For those that don't know, I am not a big fan of cakes and cupcakes usually. I think it's the frosting.  I hate standard frosting/icing. I used to eat cupcakes upside down when I was little, for this reason. Ever since nursery school, I remember flipping them over and just eating the cake. For my birthday, my mom would make cupcakes for school, and mine was always plain with no frosting. See, I've always been a bit quirky. I will choose ice cream cake over regular cake or cupcakes every time, hands down. I love strawberry shortcake and cakes with fillings (cannoli cake, strawberry custard, chocolate mousse, carrot cake), but that's about it and it's not always my go-to dessert.... Until Moxie cupcakes came into my life. Oh my gosh, these things are just so amazing. They're gourmet cupcakes with all kinds of fun fillings and frosting flavors... and they're just so darn cute. Whenever I do end up pregnant, I have a feeling what some cravings might be... yikes. We stopped yesterday and I fell in love with the place. They had a tic-tac-toe board in the corner by their window-seat cushions, so we sat there and I snapped these pics.. Yum!! 

So, that's it for now, on the two week wait anyway. I'm half-way there. I hope this is all it takes for Baby #1, just given all we've been through so far. I sincerely feel that the universe owes us one. Scott especially. He's been through the ringer more times than is fair. His job is getting eliminated at work, and April 4 is his last day. We just found this out for sure 2 weeks ago. He was only given a heads up of even the possibility of this just a few days before. Every Best Buy store, company-wide, is cutting positions in a few weeks. Every store is losing 1-2 managers, as well as supervisors, district staff, etc. Unfortunately, Scott's the one out in his store. I refuse to think of it as a defeat though. He will hopefully get a severance package and he's been applying everywhere under the sun for a replacement job. I sincerely think that we will be okay and that one day we will realize it's a blessing in disguise. I'm not too fond of the life of a retail wife, specifically on holidays, nights, weekends...  basically every time I'm home and Scott's not. So, with hopefully a better schedule in a new job, we can get some nice quality family time out of this new development. When one door closes, another opens... I'm seeing it as a blessing in disguise and a new opportunity for us. Having said all of that, I feel the universe owes us one. It can't keep kicking Scott while he's down. It's not fair to say you can't reproduce and have children... and then take away his job. Yes that's happening, but I believe there will be a good outcome from it. There just has to be. 

I started reading a book this morning called The Power. I'm not that far in, but it's all about positive thinking and the power behind it. The power of the law of attraction and love. Having positive thoughts will attract positive things, positive people, and positive experiences. Having negative thoughts will attract the same things, negatively. Love is at the center of positivity, and will attract amazing things. With one week left of this crazy ride, and approaching Scott's farewell to Best Buy (and possibly retail), we need to remain positive so that positive things will come to us. Ideally, being a baby and a nice new job with good hours for Scott. None of that is possible with a negative frame of mind, so I'll keep staying positive until both come true for us. 

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."

 This was me, feeling happy and on top of the world just the other night. 

Timing is everything... Just believe and have faith.

I know you're all cheering us on, and thank you so much for that!! We've been so blessed by all the comments and thoughts, prayers from all of our supporters. Please keep in mind that I never tire of hearing people are on our side cheering us on. There's a difference in asking us what results are, and telling us that they're thinking of us. It shows you care and I don't take it as being nosy or annoying at all. It's comforting to know we aren't alone in this and we are appreciative of all forms of support we have received from you all. Thank you times infinity!! 


It's Go Time...!!

Simply put, tomorrow is our first IUI procedure!!!!!! :) :) 

I am sooooooo over-the-moon excited... beyond excited... I was practically jumping up and down at school for most of the day today (or I was on the inside anyway)! :) :) :) 

Ok, so let me back track and fill in some of the blanks and tell about my past week. 

If you read my last post, being on Clomid last week was quite a trip. Day 2 of really having it in my system was near awful. I was so excited to be done with it, and finished it up on Sunday night~ Wahoo!! Hit the road, sucker! Buh-bye 'til next time, Clomid! ;) 

This past week was pretty uneventful, on the fertility front anyway. I had to patiently wait til today for monitoring... but I was pretty anxious ALL week long. Then, finally, Thursday night arrived!! I got my trigger shot out of the fridge (a shot that I would have to inject into my stomach at some point before the IUI procedure to help release the egg follicle? Idk what it does 100% really, but it's super important and it had to stay refrigerated.... and I had to bring it with me to the clinic this morning in case it was to be given then). So I prepped that in a lunch bag cooler last night, threw it in fridge, and anxiety instantly set in. I was so nervous/anxious/excited that I felt like I was gonna throw up. I can't believe it's almost here!! 

I was freaking out all week with all kinds of crazy paranoid questions and "What If..." scenarios. I rarely come up with questions for Drs.... but I'm pretty sure I'm setting a new record for the "crazy/neurotic/paranoid/annoying patient" at the clinic. All kinds of crazy things have popped into my head that I'll email our patient coordinator. Yikes I feel weird but they've been good about it! LOL... This week my fear was that I would ovulate before my monitoring appt today. Then we'd miss the chance and lose a month. They said it can happen but usually is timed really well. I was so afraid I would be that one person who went early (when I NEVER go early... usually am late), but I feared it. Clomid and acupuncture would probably set it early. So the only way to really calm myself (aside from peeing on a stick for ovulation predictors), I took my temp each morning this week to see where I was at. Each day it was like clearing a new hurdle. 

Luckily it stayed level all week, even this morning. PHEW!! 

Up at 5am again, I was ready to leave at 6 and off to the clinic. I got there just before 7 and was #4 in line (10 had showed up by the time I was called in... busy day!). I was quickly called in for blood work (becoming a pro now!) and then went in for my ultrasound/follicle scan. While in there, I smiled and laughed because the machines are apparently named and this one was Belle, from Beauty and the Beast... c'mon, for the Disney nut in me, how appropriate is that?! ;) I asked if they're all Disney princesses and they said yes, the others are Ariel and Jasmine. Awesome. I'll take that as a cool sign! 

Follicle scan showed that my uterus lining is great (too thin isn't good) and that I have one good-sized follicle on the right side... good to go for IUI on Sunday morning...

YAYYYY!!!!! :) :) 

I was all smiles and super excited to pass the next test/round. The nurse said I would do the trigger shot at home tonight, between 7 and 9 pm, and showed me how to do it. I even asked her to mark the spot for me because I would likely forget or freak about it, so she drew a circle in pen to the left of my belly button. Talk about no guessing... self injection for dummies. ;) She assured me I would do fine and it would be quick and easy... it's a tiny needle, it's all pre-measured, and I would be fine. I was already mentally pumping myself up to do it myself. 

Then I was off to school/work and luckily showed up only 5 mins late, and SUPER excited. Literally everyone I passed in the hall could tell I was on a happiness high and had good news. I've been so open with anyone and everyone at work and they all know our history and what's happening. So now it was written all over my face as I was bouncing through the hallways and filling in my best friends at work all through the day. :) Fun stuff!! 

During morning recess, one of my little sweet pea kindergarteners made me a card. After recess, she walked to her seat and casually tossed it on my desk, smiled, and kept walking. It said "To Mrs Ricci.... From Victoria" and this was the pic...

While I know this may not look like much to many people, or maybe simply triangles or mountains... all I saw was pink & blue (baby colors). She wouldn't give a reason for making it, she just smiled and blushed. Another good sign of the day... the rest I'll share in another post bc there are too many. 

Now here comes the really cool twist of fate... or so I believe. 

Fast forward to the afternoon. The kids are having snack and I'm talking with our classroom aide. I'm walking around the room handing out snacks, talking to the kids and to the aide, and then come over to sit at my desk with my aide.  I don't normally have her in the room in the afternoon (2 random times a week for afternoons) and I usually keep my phone behind my desk with my things. But today, I had her and my phone happened to be on my desk because I had just been on it during my break the previous class period. The MOMENT I sat down, my phone rang (it's on silent so I wouldn't have heard/seen it if was in the usual spot) and it was the clinic. I answered immediately without hesitation (not typical for me, being in class) and it was the nurse from this morning with an update...

Nurse: I just got your blood test results and it shows you're starting to ovulate on your own!

Me: Ahhhh!! OMG! What does that mean? Do we miss it? Will we miss it? (excited/panicked) Ahhh!! (LOL)

Nurse: You should come in tomorrow for the IUI instead of Sunday... and you need to go do your trigger shot NOW.

Me: Omg Omg Omg... Ok. Done! OMG. Yay!! Thank you! 

(The rest is a complete blur and I probably left out some parts. I don't even remember saying goodbye- hopefully I didn't just hang up on her!- and the next 15 mins passed so quickly it was like being in a tornado with the Tasmanian devil in Looney Tunes.)

Ok, so now excitement sets in even more! It's all a blur but I gathered my aide knew what was happening from the phone call, and as I was trying to explain it all, she was just like "Go, Go!! I've got it... go!" She stayed with the class and I ran down to the nurse's office. We were both super excited and it was just happening so fast. 

My meds were packed safely in a lunch cooler, tucked in the fridge in the nurse's office (just something I happened to do in the morning because a few parents and kids were near the teacher fridge when I arrived and I wanted to hide it). So luckily the nurse already knew what it was and it saved me explaining time. I ran down to her office, and called Scott on the way to tell him the day and time was changed and that I had to trigger now!! I get to the nurse, explain quickly about the new game changer and ask if she can help... No scratch that, I think I begged. I could have done it, but having her there made it so much easier. I've known her for most of my life so I'm totally comfortable with her. We both were excited and I didn't even have time to think about what was about to happen. We were mumbling different things to each other and just excited and adrenaline kicked in. Here's some of what I remember: 

Me: SOOO, in a weird twist of events, the office called and said I need to do the show NoW bc I'm going to ovulate on my own! Can you help me? Do you mind? 

School Nurse: OMG! Yes! How exciting! I can't believe it's happening! Yes, of course! 

Me: I was all prepped to do it tonight, and was pumping myself up mentally. I was going to watch the video online but now I have no time and don't wanna mess up or hesitate! Ahh!! 

Nurse: Is it sub-q or I-m? (Or something like that- some acronyms I didn't know!)

Me: umm- what?? I have NO idea what those mean! I don't know! :( (although NOW I know- you learn something new every day! haha)

Nurse: where is it going? Muscle, where?

Me: oh! In my belly... I even have it circled (lol... Dork)... Right here! 

Nurse: ok, sub-cutaneous. In the fatty part, not intramuscular. (Ah ha!... Plus I googled it later.. Thanks Dr Google!) What's even in this? What is it?

Me: idk, just do it!
(We're both giddy and laughing... Scrambling to get it done ASAP)

Me: ok so the nurse showed me and all we gotta do is get rid of the air bubble, clean the spot, wait 30 secs so it doesn't sting, and go! 

Nurse: I don't think I've ever watched the clock a full 30 seconds but we will! Too funny! (She knows I'm a basket case about certain things... And a baby when it comes to this stuff). Ok here we go...

Me: (standing in her office, with my dress up- thank god for leggings!!... I must have looked ridiculous!).... I'm not gonna watch but ok let's go! 

Nurse: ok, done! That's it! 

Me: that's it?! Are you sure? Did it all go in? You got it all? Wow! That was fine! Ahh!! (Super excitedly)

Nurse: yup! Got it all, see? That's it!

Me: (hugging her) thank you! Thank you! OMG! 

Nurse: this is so exciting, Stace! ...and wow, this is a first!! Ha! (Giving fertility med injection at school- lol). 

Me: wow, I can't believe that just happened! I didn't even have time to freak out about it! So exciting! And now it saves me time from freaking out at home... I prob should have watched. Oops. Oh well, over and done! Ahh! 

That's how I remember it. And it all happened so quickly. No time to even snap a few pics to document the event or show how brave I was! It's all so crazy to me. The timing of everything. The fact that I chose last min to put the meds in her fridge so she already knew about it... The timing of the phone call... The change in days for the iui. It's all so funny to me and I can't help but smile at it all. 

So that was that, and trigger was done... I excitedly flew/bounced around the building updating the few close friends I could find, then calmed down and returned to my class, who was now listening so nicely to a story read by the aide. She is a lifesaver. And possibly a good luck charm. I would have been able to find her to fill in if needed but it was so much easier since she was already there with me. Saved time and explaining. 

So now I'm ok cloud 9 and it hasn't stopped. I hope it never stops. I went to acupuncture after school and was feeling myself and very zen, positive, happy, and relaxed. It's all going to be ok. I just feel it. 

So today (it's now Saturday morning as I finish up the post I started last night), Scott and I will go to the Norwalk office, about an hour and a half from home. That's where they have our donor sperm frozen so we only have to go to this office for IUIs. Off we go soon, for a 10am IUI. Can't even explain how excited I am, but here's a visual for those who know me best. I texted Scott's mom last night to tell her how I'm "soooo freakin excited!! I was bouncing around all day with excitement, just like on wedding day" (at our wedding ceremony, I was SO happy that I was literally beaming and bouncing up and down!). She said something to the effect of "That's my sweet Tigger" (because, duh, he bounces with excitement and he's one of my fav Pooh characters... Scott loves Pooh, I love Tigger), so it was very appropriate for how I am when I'm feeling on top of the world (Imagine Dragons "On Top of the World" song comes to mind... Which played twice in car yesterday). 

My abdomen/ovary area definitely feels active. Left side hurts a little from the injection site, but nothig crazy. Right side feels fluttery because it's almost go time. :) all very welcomed feelings! 

This will be my last detailed play-by-play update until we are pregnant, whenever that may be. If it takes a long time and we encounter more hurdles, I will eventually post that, but my plan is to now keep it between Scott and I moving forward. It's kind of like we are now back on even playing field with the rest of the world who does it the "natural" way, with no fertility complications. The only difference is we need to go to the Dr office to monitor, get some meds, use some donor sperm, and get some medical assistance. Otherwise it's just like starting all over again, so to make that easy for others to understand and respect, it's like starting over and I can just flatly say "we are trying to have a baby". We are back in the "trying" stage and that feels great! 

I've been so open with everyone because I needed to be for support. I needed to tell everyone who was interested bc I wanted to share, needed to share, and it's just what I do, I let people in and share my life story. But now, it's about me and Scott. So I won't be answering any questions from outsiders so that I don't feel pressured to gIveevery update or jinx anything when I do get pregnant. I don't want everyone to know right away bc I'm scared of losing it and  having everyone know. 

Most people ask out of genuine care and curiosity and I know they mean well, but a few people in diff parts of my life ask every week or so how it's going (please do NOT feel guilty if this is you... I guarantee the people I mean aren't even reading this so don't worry!) and it's hard bc now that I've told everyone, how do I back track? If if was 2 years ago and we had no issue, everyone wouldn't know... Only a few close friends would. So I want it to be back like that. It may not happen the first time, but then again it may. You never know. But I struggled with how to handle this and what to do when everyone starts to ask after this weekend bc it's been so public. Then the answer came to me as clear as day, from my BFF Alli (Shmalli) :) She sent me this text out of the blue yesterday...

Simply put... She is INCREDIBLE and it's clear why I love her and why she's one of my favorite people Ever. Immediately I knew what to do and what to say to others. She didn't even know I was internally struggling with this. So I started to plant the seed in everyone's mind and send that message yesterday. I felt perfectly at ease with it and I ask that everyone respectfully not ask us how it's going or ask for updates, unless it's been like 6-8 months with no announcement. Everyone knows the timing so I'm sure people will pick up on symptoms or clues I can't help, but that's it. (Keep in mind tho, I pee a million times a day anyway, not pregnant... So that will def not be a sign to watch for. Haha!) We'll tell our inner circle early on and that's it. The rest we will wait for the safe zone of 12/13 weeks after the first trimester. I'll blog about other things or Ttc things but nothing super specific until the time is right. Hopefully that is sooner than later but we will see. It's mostly out of our hands, so I have to give it to God and those loved ones up above who I know are looking down on us, smiling and helping however they can. So here on out, I would appreciate prayers, positive thoughts, texts, support, and all that happy positive jazz, just no questions. 

"Positive things happen to positive people." (My dad... What a smart guy!)

"Everything happens for a reason... Just believe." <3 (my life motto) 

So now... For today, after the IUI, I'm off to NYC for the afternoon/evening to see Cinderella on Broadway!! Mom is visiting for her 60th bday and I wanted to take her to a play. One aunt and 2 cousins are coming too to celebrate, and we've had this day planned for a while. Ironically I had a weird feeling when we got tickets last month that the iui could be today so we got night tickets just in case... Thank goodness!!! Today is also a dear friend's birthday (Happy birthday Carol!!!! <3) and I know that's a good sign bc she's been so supportive. Anyway, so yes, seeing Cinderella on IuI day. The office assured me it's ok to do anything I want today, and going to the city is a fun and calm thing. I'm not running a marathon for goodness sake! :) So I'm excited to spend the night with family and one of the greatest fairy tale stories of all time. <3 

Cinderella has some wonderful quotes, so I find it so fitting for me today! 

You said it, sister! Cinderelly is a smart cookie! <3 

Calling on all positive vibes and good luck charms today!! Quite a few with us today.. 

What I'm wearing: 
-a Team Ricci shirt we designed in Disney a few years ago (Scott's idea, and he's wearing his, too!)

-Kokopelli necklace I borrowed from a friend 2 years ago. 

-fertility bracelet I got last year

-Alex & Ani bracelets from Shmalli (path of life, water lily, and ladybug... All for good luck and guidance)

-lucky socks from a dear Ttc sis, my fav Jersey girl, Vanessa. They're cute knee socks which will keep my legs nice and warm :) Thanks, Vee!! <3

-something pink and something turquoise, my fav colors... And also a share of pink/blue for baby vibes. 

And before I left, I focused on all the fertility symbols and good luck charms I have on my dresser. It's a shrine of sorts, with the following: Triple goddess pic and egg figurine borrowed from a friend, prayer for motherhood card I got as a gift, baby dust from another dear Ttc sis Laura (who just had a BeAUtIfUl baby girl last week!!), an evil eye bracelet to ward off negativity, a pink and blue rainbow loom bracelet from a friend's daughter (just happened to be pink and blue), a figurine of the nativity/manger, a "just believe" sign, a worry doll from Guatemala (I think... A former student has Fam there and brought it back 2 years ago), a few other prayer cards and medals, rosary beads blessed by the Pope (also from Vanessa- her mom came back from Italy recently). I said a prayer, really zoned in on the baby vibes, and we were on our way!! 

The last little ray of sunshine and hope today cane from one of our "nieces". All our close friends' kids are nieces and nephews to us, and my good friend Amy from work has been so so so supportive of Team Ricci from the start. She's a great friend to me and to Scott, and we just adore her daughter Cayleigh, who's about 14 months old. Ever since explaining IUI to Amy, we use the "turkey baster" reference and just laugh at the thought. When I ran to tell her yesterday that it was happening this weekend, she was in shock and so excited for us. "Wait, ThIS weekend?! Turkey baster time?!" (Something like that) She joked that she had to get out her turkey basters at home, which she never uses. Well, this morning she sent us these pics of Cayleigh (who just looks like such a little Cindy-Lou Who... I can't stand it, she is SO cute!!!) 

LOL!!! Scott saw it first and as I was getting ready, I just hear him start cracking up hysterical. He kept saying "oh my god" and laughing. Now I know why, and she granted permission to use these (thank you!!) bc they are just too precious!! Haha!! It cracks me up every time! 

That's it, folks!! Here we go! Positive vibes are appreciated, in all forms. As always, thanks for the support. We are so thankful to have so many people who are such an amazing support group to us.

Stace (& Scott)
Team Ricci <3

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Clomid Roller Coaster

Day 3 of Clomid... already a roller coaster ride... (*sigh)

Let's just say I'm thankful it's Saturday and I don't have to be at work, around people, or feel like I have to do much. This drug is kicking my butt and I have 2 more pills... ahhh!!! 

I've found tons of hysterical ecard jokes about Clomid and fertility drugs  (& 1 fav about IUI) in general, and they're making me feel a little more sane, and making me laugh. So that's all good! I'm overloading today's post with them so you can get an idea of what I'm experiencing. 

Ok, let's backtrack a bit...

This month's cycle was THE MOST anticipated ever, in my whole life. We spent many months waiting for my period and hoping it wouldn't show, as a sign of pregnancy (back in the naive days, before we found out Scott is infertile). Last week was quite the opposite~ I wanted it to show up and was anxiously awaiting it and stressing over it. As soon as it showed up it meant we were officially starting IUI cycle #1~ on with the show!! Let's go Mother Nature, c'mon!! I was off from school all last week so it would have been convenient for it to show up then, as I could have gone to the clinic without having to rush to work after, but nope, Aunt Flo loves to mess with people... especially me. She decided to wait a few days longer than normal, making one of my longest cycles in a few months. Of course. When I went to acupuncture last Friday, it was already a few days late, so she amped up the treatment and it was pretty intense. I could feel the needle spots still that night in certain areas (my feet and wrists) and it was giving me a mini panic attack because I couldn't stop "feeling" the sensation of it and it kept freaking me out. Usually when I leave there, I'm fine. Well, whatever spots she pinpointed, it worked because the next day we were in the clear and my cycle had begun. SOOO weird that I'm writing this online for everyone to read, but whatever, it's life, and it's an essential part in baby-making, so here we go! I know it was bound to arrive soon anyway but I really do think acupuncture gave it an extra boost. 

Never have I ever had to tell so many people that my cycle had started... wow. I had to let my acupuncturist know so she could plan out my next appointment. I had to tell the clinic so I could schedule my baseline monitoring day. I had to tell a few friends who were anxiously awaiting it like I was (so funny!). One friend joked that I should get a shirt that said "I have my period!!". LOL. Everyone all up in my business but for good reason. I have never been so thrilled to get it before, and I literally cheered when it finally arrived. Wahoo! 

On with the show, let's make a baby!! Screw the old-fashioned way, we're all like Superheroes up in here... fertility drugs, acupuncture, Doctors, blood draws, ultrasounds, more fertility drugs, a catheter, some donor sperm... that's way more interesting and romantic. 

Truth~ it really is no joke. Catheter to be exact, but same idea. HA!
I could go to the clinic on day 3 or 4 for monitoring. I wanted to go on day 3, but had to choose day 4 and here's why....

Monitoring MUST occur between 7 and 8 am at the clinic. It's a walk-in, first come, first serve style. The clinic is an hour away from school. This means that even if I am first, I will be arriving late to school, walking in after the kids. Ok, maybe not a big deal to the avg person, and yes my school/staff/principal know everything because I'm so open about all of this and it makes it easier. I also have an aide in the classroom with me for the first hour and a half... BUT I am super neurotic and get all wigged out about showing up even 5 mins late. I love to be there a good 10 mins before the kids, and that's late to me. I try to be there 20-30 mins before them, so walking in at 8:15 with the kids, or later, makes me all crazy and throws off the day. Now throw in the fact that we were just off for 11 days (February break was 9 but we had 2 surprise snow days in the beginning), and my room wasn't set up for after break, plans weren't ready, and I hadn't realized the cleaning crew cleaned and moved furniture, so I had to fix a few things. I wasn't thrilled with starting the week like that. I know that having our baby is WAY more important than my job, but I also knew if I had a little wiggle room, going on Tuesday would be way more ideal. The office said Tuesday was fine, so Tuesday it was... day 4. Sigh of relief!

Tuesday was also easier because I was scheduled to go to a math workshop that day, not be at school. The workshop didn't start til 8:30, and people often arrive late all the time. So I emailed the instructor and said I may be late~ she wasn't a bit worried and said not to stress or rush. I hadn't realized the workshop location was actually so close to the clinic, so I arrived early and beat a few of my coworkers there even! Phew!

So for monitoring days, I have to get up at 5am. Normally I'm up around 6:20/6:30... but the clinic isn't only an hour from work, it's an hour from home. And I wanted to be there early to be in as quickly as poss. I left at 6am and got there just about 7. I was the second person and was called back for blood work almost immediately. That went super smoothly (yay! I drank like 2 glasses of water on the way there.. had to stop to pee at a gas station and then almost peed my pants before arriving at the clinic too but I just wanted to be there and not stop again! LOL). I went in for my ultrasound (had a few hiccups, like the fact that my Dr confused me with a different patient/who I was/reason I was there, and didn't seem to recognize me... but as long as the next ones run better, it's all good), got info on my drug protocol and next steps, and was back on the road by 7:30.

Now comes the fun part... Clomid. If you don't know, and according to Wed MD, Clomid "is used to treat infertility in women. It works by stimulating an increase in the amount of hormones that support growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation)." Even though I am not infertile (as far as we know!), it's usually taken in IUI cycles to help make a stronger ovulation, more predictable ovulation, and also possibly increase the number of follicles that develop and mature. This means I could potentially develop a few strong follicles, rather than the 1 that I release every month. And yes, this is where the chance of multiples comes in to play. Chances of twins or triplets is a bit higher when on Clomid. It's not a high % but it is increased. If too many follicles are developed (more than 3), the Dr will cancel the cycle and try again next month to hope for less. We don't want me turning into Octo-Mom or Kate plus 8... no offense, ladies. I could not handle that. I want to be a mom to 1 or 2 babies, not have to home school any more than that. I get paid to teach a room full of kids, I don't want that many at home.

I got my Rx for Clomid and was set to start on cycle day 5, which was Wednesday. I got 5 pills (50mg each- low dose) and need to take one a day for 5 days (cycle days 5-9). I read (and got advice from a dear friend with experience) to take them at night so that if any side effects came, I would sleep through them, like nausea or anything. She, along with a few others, said that they didn't experience any of the crazy side effects and were good to go, so hopefully I would too. Here's how my last few days have been, and I've only taken 3 so far...

Day 1:
I took the first pill Wed night around 8:30 and went to bed around 10, so I was fine. Thursday at school I felt mostly okay, just really tired. Maybe slightly irritable, but wasn't sure if it was in my head. I went for coffee with a great friend/coworker after, and was feeling mostly ok then too, just sleepy. But it's winter, and it was mid-week. So I didn't know if it was me, the pill, or something else. I went to a basketball game at school with another friend/coworker and was fine there, took my pill on the way home (same timing) and got home around 9:30, went right to bed. I got a great night's sleep because I wasn't up late by any means.

Day 2:
Woke up instantly in a bad mood. Super cranky and SOOO tired. I did not want to get out of bed. At all... I contemplated swapping schedules with Scott for the day. Kept thinking "It's Friday! Yay... I should be in a great mood... It'll pass". It didn't. Usually I snap out of the sleepy fog after I shower, or at least by the time I come downstairs for breakfast. Nope. Wasn't going away. I was cranky. Whiney. Exhausted. In a bad mood the whole way to school, even though I tried to snap out of it and think of reasons to smile~ It's Friday. The sun is shining. It's Friday. I don't have to do much today (so many crazy events at school in our schedule that there was lots of "fun stuff/specials" so I didn't have to physically teach much yesterday. It didn't help. I just felt off. And it continued through the day. Most of the morning I wasn't so cranky but was just so sleepy. The kids were tired too and I joked with a few that we could just have nap time all day. At lunch I had to put my head on the table and just kept saying I just felt blah. The afternoon it got progressively worse, and I just was on edge, although I kept fighting to show it. I'm one of the happy/cheery/energetic/always-smiling and chipper people at school. The second that's off, I have a lot of explaining to do and I just didn't wanna do anything or deal with anything. I wanted to be home, in bed, and not have to talk to anyone.

I managed to get through the school day but my day wasn't over. I had another acu appt and dinner plans with one of my oldest childhood friends. In theory, both things should make me feel better and happy, but I didn't want to do either of them and felt myself getting more emotional. I got to acu and she always starts by asking how my week is. That's when I burst into tears and just lost it. I felt stupid. I felt crazy. I felt embarrassed. I felt off. I felt like someone else, or like I didn't have control over myself. I kept thinking if it was still in my head, since so many others experienced nothing. I just couldn't stop crying and couldn't make sense. I was also dreading the appt because of how last week's left me imagining those certain points. I was just a hot mess, simply put. Total psycho. Not me in any shape or form. And feeling like I can't possibly go through this every month, over and over again, until it works. Wow. Melissa calmed me down, didn't judge (well, I hope not), grabbed me a tissue, and gave me tips for calming down. She assured me I am going through A LOT and it's ok, and I need some fun distractions.

I told her I was freaked out about the treatment spots today, and also torn. I want to do whatever we can to amp up the chances of IUI working, so whatever the cost, I want to do it. But I also am a huge baby and don't want it to hurt, so it's a fine line, but we need to do what we need to do. She wanted to see me ideally near cycle days 6, 7, or 8, and it just happened by chance that she could see me on Friday (she's only in this office 2x a week) and Friday was day 7. So even tho AF took forever to arrive, it suddenly is meshing kind of well with the schedule, how weird. Maybe this really is all happening for a reason, as part of a bigger plan. ;) So, day 7 it was, perfect. She said it was a pretty prescribed protocol yesterday, with 5 specific points (some bilateral), but she wanted to throw in an extra spot that's a calming spot, to help me out. That spot was inside the ear (weirrrrrd!!). I laughed and cringed but whatever, let's get going I guess.

She did 2 inside each year... weird weird feeling, different than the squishy parts of your skin, since it is cartilage... but woa. Not AS bad as I was freaking about, just different. Kind of like piercing your ears in a sense, but in the harder part. Eeek. Oh well... all for my well-being.

The 5 specific points for yesterday were:
1. Foot, between big toe and second (both feet)
2. Leg, inside of shin, below the knee (both sides)
3. Above the knee (both sides)
4. Ovaries (both sides)
5. Below belly button (just 1)

No hands, no scary foot spot... PHEW! I was feeling good. Ironically, after the first leg one, I told her I liked that one because it doesn't typically hurt and I just like it... and she said that one has a direct connect to the ovaries. How funny of all I happened to mention.

While laying there, I closed my eyes and started to relax. But I started to feel like I was spinning in a spiral. As if I had wayyyyyy too much to drink, but obv this had not been the case. I felt as if half my body was spiraling clockwise and the other half was spinning counter-clockwise. Woa. Super weird, but if I opened my eyes it stopped. I figured I just needed to breathe and it was energy starting to flow. I already felt so crazy so I didn't tell Melissa because I didn't want to sound more insane than I know I already was, although I normally would have. Around that time, I know she was still nearby and she said she wanted to put a 3rd in each ear if I was up for it. I wasn't too thrilled with it but whatever, so I said ok. As soon as she had those points, the spinning stopped. Talk about magic. I'm so so so intrigued by the science and magic of it all. It's really powerful, and I am super sensitive and receptive to it all, so wow. Needless to say, I felt a million times better when I left, and almost like myself. I could breathe calmly and I was feeling better. I gave her a big squeeze of a hug and thanked her, and I was ready for dinner! Boy was I glad I hadn't canceled dinner plans!

I went out with Kortney for din and we happened upon a super cute cafe for dinner. It was just a cute cozy local place we hadn't tried yet, and it was perfect. We split an order of fried pickles (YUMMM!), mussels in a tomato, garlic, wine, and chorizo sauce, and each got burgers. It was all amazing and I felt more like me by the end of the night. I was still super tired but glad I got out, and glad it's the weekend.

Day 3:
Being Saturday, I'm just so glad I am not at work. If I had to take Clomid all through a week of school, I would be an emotional basket case. Hot mess. Major psycho status. I did wake up with a headache today and it's not going away, so I'm thinking that's my side effect today. I normally get these headaches during my period because of hormone dips, but it's long gone. Also get them when I don't exercise and that has been on a low all week too. So, prob a combo of no exercise and Clomid. Scott was so supportive this morning~ he let me vent about all my crazy symptoms yesterday, and helped me feel like I'm not crazy and it's out of my control. 2 more pills to go, and then done for this month (I would love for this month to work and be done. But we'll see what's meant to be).

Sorry, Scott!! :(
So now,  I finish the last 2 pills tonight and tomorrow... then I have the week off until Friday. Friday is cycle day 14 and when the clinic said to come back in for monitoring. They will do more blood work and a repeat ultrasound. They'll check how many follicles are ready and what size they are. If there are more than 3, the cycle will be canceled, so we don't want that. Friday will determine a lot, like if I will need the IUI procedure next weekend, or if I will go back a few days later for more monitoring, until my body is ready. Then we'll schedule the IUI and then wait the longest 2 weeks of my life to see if fertilization occurred and if I'm pregnant or not.

Til next time!!!