Saturday, April 25, 2015

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)... AKA The Week Life Keeps Kicking Us Down

I think this is going to be a four-part post, with the following pieces intertwined:
1. National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)
2. The week from Hell in our house
3. Motivational quotes/pics
4. Where do we go from here?

The theme this year is: You Are Not Alone 

Honestly, part of that does make me happy and I do want to shout it from the rooftops (if I had a voice to- more on my lovely laryngitis later). Infertility is certainly no walk in the park on a beautiful spring day, BUT having a week to really shove awareness in people's faces is kind of fun. I've been dedicated to posting something about it on Instagram every day this week. I try to raise awareness all year long whenever I can, but this week is extra special. It's all about letting others know it's ok to share their story and not to be ashamed of being infertile. It's also to educate those who don't know anything about it (the lucky ones as I like to call you). So many friends often say they feel bad they don't know anything about the process of IUI, IVF, etc and I automatically say "That's ok! Why/How would you unless you know someone who's gone through it or have gone through it yourself. I certainly was pretty clueless to all of this too before it affected us personally." It's only natural. But now that it does affect us, I like people to realize some of the following tips:

- Be sensitive to others... Not everyone gets pregnant easily, naturally, quickly, or at all. 

- Relaxing will not magically make us pregnant. I know stress makes things more complicated, but being reminded to not stress out will likely only stress us out more. 

- Telling us to stop trying & it will happen when we least expect it doesn't help. I know people mean well, and I know so many have conceived unexpectedly after adopting or after different things, and yes we can give it a break... but a lot of people forget that in our case we are missing a KEY factor in making a baby. Sperm will not just magically appear. Scott is infertile. Cold but true fact we have accepted. I cannot get pregnant without doing IUI or IVF (now apparently only IVF since we all know 6 IUIs is enough for me, I'm done with that route, bitter topic). It's like if I was missing eggs- relaxing and taking a break won't magically make more eggs appear. 

- 1 in 8 couples is affected by some form of infertility. Chances are, many people you know, are going through this (or have already). Not everyone is comfortable talking about their journey, and that's ok. But raising awareness so others might feel comfortable opening up is a good thing. This is NOT an easy journey to go through, even with support. Imagine all those suffering quietly because it wasn't okay to share it. It needs to be normalized. Families come in all different forms and pregnancies happen in different ways. It's all OK. 

- You can wear pink/blue sometime this week in support. 

- Give an extra hug to someone you know who is struggling to become a parent (or to someone who has). 

My FAV nurse drew a heart on my Bandaid this week. Just because. :) 

A big part of NIAW for me is not only to raise awareness and get our story out, but to inspire others with our story. My heart breaks for anyone having to go through this, but it breaks even more for those suffering quietly. When the news first hit us, we were devastated and didn't know who or where to turn to. I got lucky in finding blogs & amazing women on Instragram, but not everyone is as lucky. I would turn to Dr. Google like so many of us do- and although it's not always a smart thing to do that in a crisis, it certainly helped in this case. I found message boards, blogs, and hashtags of posts that led me to a support group. Social media and hashtags can do wonders (sometimes). One day I must have searched #infertility or #ttc (TTC= Trying To Conceive) or something along those lines and BAM, eye-opener: WE ARE NOT ALONE... There are other people out there struggling with this. Our paths and stories all look different, but we all want the same thing, to be parents. That one thread bonds us all together and the heartache/hope/wish/dream is the same. Instant sisterhood. Instant support. Instant understanding. Instant help. Instant motivation, courage, strength, and comfort. I need to update the links on my blog bc there are hundreds of amazing women out there blogging about their fertility journeys and they're all inspirational. I hope to someday help people in turn, and obv hope to someday be the one with baby bump posts and motherhood posts, rather than the cheerleader cheering everyone else on (like always the bridesmaid and never the bride... always the aunt and never the mom.. etc) but I have to have faith it'll happen soon. The biggest thing about this is that there are MILLIONS of couples struggling, and it's ok. It's nothing to be ashamed of and the more it's talked about, the more normal it will become to insensitive and ignorant people of the world. It's ok to get pregnant in other ways. It's ok to become parents in other ways. Our hearts are big, our dreams are big, and we will fight to become parents no matter what it takes. 

Coming out with our story was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I'm constantly thankful that I was brave enough to make that decision. Sometimes shocked and sometimes proud because coming from shy me, it's a big step to publicize your struggles to the world. But it's also gained us so much support and has hopefully helped (or will help) others along the way too. It's been 2 years since I started this blog and I'm so humbled to hear when people are willing to read it or when I get emails from women who came across it on a google search. It makes my heart smile and that's why I post- awareness, support, and a healthy way to channel my emotions. 

A quick recap on this past week, AKA "The Week Life Keeps Kicking Us Down"...
1. Our house is on the market. Beautiful house & development, but we have power lines on our property/in the backyard... everyone LOVES the house and then bam, dealbreaker. :( We got the lines tested and they barely give off any electromagnet energy- to put it in perspective, the clock radio in the kitchen gives off the same as the closest pole in the yard. The microwave gives off about 10x as much as the closest pole. Translation- they're totally safe and just a potential eyesore if anything. Never really bothered us and they ended up blending in. We finally got an offer, after like 30 families turned it down, negotiated on price and came to an agreement. Realized our dream house is still available, want said dream house and now can't stop dreaming about dream house... then BAM buyers back out last Friday. Suddenly the poles are a prob for them, no deal. Strike one.

2. After our 6th, and most perfect, IUI attempt (most perfect in terms of EVERYTHING to possibly raise our chances of success in place) and me being super hopeful yet again, I got my period and BAM no baby. Strike two. (This was confirmed with a negative blood test on Monday, too, btw. So no chance of still being pregnant and what if it was something else, blah blah... nope. Not my luck.)

3A. I wake up Monday morning with a sore throat.... turned into a cold/post-nasal drip/laryngitis. I tend to get this every 1-3 years, usually in the beginning of spring, often around parent-teacher conferences (thankful it showed up after them, so there's 1 silver lining I suppose!). Not much I can do except let it run it's course, drink TONS of water and/or tea, and try not to talk more than I need to (Scott does love this part I'm sure). Since I kind of NEED to talk all day at school, that's difficult (try yelling to your class it's time to line up while on the playground... eeeek! Indoor play tomorrow I guess!). 

3B... In the middle of me getting sick (I happened to take Tues off as a sick day for myself to rest, before even losing my voice), I drove Scott to the ER on Tues morn. He woke up early with an unusual kind of stomach pain he's never experienced before and it lasted a few hours. It eventually started to move lower and to the right side. I called my brother because I knew he had his appendix taken out and described similar pain- at this point while talking on speaker phone and matching to Scott's symptoms, Scott started pacing the room and wincing in more pain. Off we went to the ER, which luckily is only 10 mins away. And how ironic I had already taken off from work, so I was home and didn't need to make any work arrangements. Long story short, we were there 3 hours (blood drawn, stomach pressed on painfully by the Dr, gross fluids drank, morphine trip to help with pain, IV bags) and finally a CT scan showed that it was actually a case of acute pancreatitis. His pancreas became inflamed, causing severe pain. Looking this up online, and talking to the Dr, this can be caused by heavy drinking. But the funny thing is Scott wasn't drinking heavily. We have a drink or two some nights of the week, and Saturday night had a few extra, but honestly nothing I would consider alarming, and nothing that warranted a hangover the next day. Weird. We also wonder if it was somewhat of a fluke caused by a combo of some drinking, diff meds he was put on for bronchitis last week, eating lots of meat, and obv being stressed. The kicker is that until the inflammation goes down, the Dr. said *NO* alcohol, protein, fats (and upon researching, also no dairy) because the pancreas works extra hard to process these foods.... they suggested a bland diet of rice and pasta. We threw in some fruits & veggies too. Poor Scott, his diet is so boring and restricted this week. Once inflammation goes down, next week he can have most normal stuff again but drinking needs to be VERY limited. Like 1-2 drinks, that's it. We know it's a healthier lifestyle and ironically were just discussing this with his nutritionist at the Dr the day before this happened, but there's a difference when it's by choice and when it's forced. It just takes more time to get used to mentally, and at this point feels like a punishment. He just feels like he's being kicked down and punished over and over, and is sick of being sentenced with for-life things... Testosterone treatment for life, he developed some odd throat/swallowing disorder and needs to use a daily inhaler to prevent it for the rest of his life, now having certain diet restrictions possibly for life, asthma for life, infertile for life, it's just a bit too much for a guy who is so completely amazing in so many ways. Nice guys finish last- it's not fair and he doesn't deserve this. 

3 strikes.

House stress.... Fertility stress... Health stress.... That was strike 3. NO MORE BAD NEWS... Done. TIME TO FIGHT BACK! (Wise words from my friend, Ryan) :) 

 So where do we go from here?

We're currently (I think) at the bottom, ground zero. I was on cloud 9 two weeks ago, thinking of the possibility of everything suddenly working out for us. Now we are laying on the floor with only one direction to move in... UP. We can only go up from here. Time to start climbing and building strength/motivation again.

We have decided we are done with IUI. Before this past cycle, I initially wanted to try for a few more times, but I keep putting my ALL into every cycle. Physically, mentally, spiritually, I've done it all. Every factor was in place this time to boost our chances and it still didn't work with all the odds in our favor. So I've kind of lost faith in the process and can't put myself through that again for only a 20% chance of success (even that is prob higher than it likely is).

Moving on to IVF seems like the best option for us, and the step that makes the most sense to come next. Originally I thought I would like to keep going with more IUIs, like up to 10 or so, but I've had a change of hearts. Most clinics seem to suggest IVF after about 3 or 4 IUIs, bc if it hasn't happened by then, it probably won't. Even though insurance covers the bulk of IUI, we are still paying a lot each cycle, and if we keep going, we will end up dishing out the cost of IVF anyway (just spread out). I can't keep putting myself through this emotional turmoil for such low chances, it only makes our hearts ache more, and we certainly aren't getting any younger. So it finally hit me, reluctantly at first, that if this past cycle didn't work with ALLLLL those perfect scenarios in place, then we need to close the door and move on. So IVF, here we come... eventually.

It hasn't been decided exactly when we will start the IVF process, but I definitely want to before another school year starts back up in September. So that gives us a few months to play with. I think another break is much needed for my mental and physical well-being, as well as our bank accounts. I'm still on the fence of whether or not to start up before school lets out, or wait until we are back from a vacation in early July. There are pros and cons of each. But ultimately we need to have an IVF consult with our Dr, so I'll set that up soon now that the dust is starting to settle a bit around here.

To be honest, the IVF process terrifies me and scares me to my core. I know I said the same about IUI, and acupuncture, and blood draws (HA! That's all child's play at this point), and I became a pro at those things (who knew... it still seriously amazes me). I know I can, and will, survive the IVF process as well (as SOOO many women have, and so many who inspire me on a daily basis, a lot of them now moms), but still scares the heck out of me. There will be extra needles, extra meds, BIGGER NEEDLES & some that Scott will need to inject into my fatty rear end... ughhhh, seriously cringing at that thought... of the needle AND trusting Scott to do it (we joke about him happily stabbing me), and having to go under for the egg retrieval procedure... all are making me shout OUCHHHH in my mind. But I suppose I have time to adjust to the thought of it, build up lots and lots of inspiration and motivation, suck it up, and just do it. It's all for a baby, and because of that I have to keep my eyes on the prize at the end. It will all be worth it some day when we hold our baby (or babies) in our arms. Some day that wish WILL come true. We are doing all we can to get there.

NIAW comes to an end today, but infertility awareness will forever be a part of our lives. It's been one hell of a week, for all kinds of reasons, but I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It cannot rain forever, and things have to start looking up. They just have to. I already feel mentally way better than last week. This one took longer to get over because of everything else that hit us at the same time this week, but we will boost forward again. I've said it before and I'll say it for the rest of my life, Scott is my sanity in all of this, and I would not be able to cope with things so well if it weren't for his strength and support. #TeamRicci has made it through many obstacles and we will make it through this one too. I'm so lucky to have such an amazing guy as my husband and the father of our future babies. I'm forever thankful for you, hun. I love you! <3 We will get through all of this as well, because we'll do it together.

Ending on another positive note, I have to share the highlight of my day yesterday. A coworker at school breeds Bernese Mountain dogs, and one recently had 2 puppies. She brought them by yesterday for a visit and I was in puppy heaven!! This little cutie is 8 weeks (they get very big!) and is off to a new family today. They look like such stuffed animals and were THE cutest. It put me in total puppy love and now I want a puppy of our own. If we are lucky enough to move before September, maybe we can make that happen. We've always said we'd have a dog after kids, and that has taken forever as well. At this point I'm thinking it would be nice to have a dog already trained and settled before kids arrive. But summer would be best for me to be able to help/train it since I'm home more, so maybe that will work out for us. Who knows. We would get a different kind because these beauties are too big, but seriously HOW CUTE is this puppy!!!! I finally got to smile again this week. Thanks for pointing that out to me, Jess. <3 :)

For real. highlight of my day!!! She is NOT a stuffed animal, just one of the cutest puppies ever!!!

That's all, folks... for now. ;)

As always, forever thankful for your love & support!! Thanks for reading!

Stace <3

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dear Karma, You've Got it all Wrong

I repeat:

Dear Karma, 

You've got it all wrong. You've clearly confused us with someone else. Is this really what happens when you follow the rules and try to always be kind & fair? That's crap... Enough is enough. It's on.


I'm heading to bed very shortly and will try to update later in the week to fill in any blanks, but basically you can tell this cycle did not go as planned. Got my period this weekend. Game over. 4 good follicles this time, my uterine lining was perfect, my hormone levels were excellent, I was hopeful, I prayed multiple times daily, I did all the right things, only to be shot down again. I'm done. Spent, drained, exhausted, frustrated, sad, hurt, and angry. Feeling broken because I can't make this happen for Scott, but in a sense hopeful he knows he can't put the blame on himself. I can't make it happen either. 

I can't keep putting my ALL into these cycles with only a 20% chance (or less) of success. It's too difficult. I wanted to keep trying a few more times but honestly each failure hits me harder and harder than the last. I think I'm out of hope and then I somehow build up more than before. Same goes for motivation and drive, but that only means each fall is that much harder as well. The impact gets more and more intense. And this one was big. So I can't keep doing this for such a low shot of success. 

Our next move will be IVF. We're giving ourselves a few days to continue to process this and to give ourselves a mental break. But then we will set up an IVF consult with our Dr, figure out what we can handle financially speaking in terms of time, and go from there. Ideally between now and August so it can be done or started before a new school year starts up in September, but we'll see. This isn't the route we wanted to go (only bc of cost, extra meds/needles, more invasive procedures, etc) but I know I can build up strength and motivation to get pumped up for it in time. And if it is the path that gets us there, so be it. I can suck it up and do it for our future baby/babies. I know tons of strong women who have gone through it, some silently, and I admire ALL of their incredible strength. Plus it's for our family, and it's to make a baby, so I can do it. I just have to mentally prepare myself and start training. 

The second piece of this Karma crap is that we had another, unrelated, emotional bomb to deal with this weekend. Our house has been on the market & we finally got an offer. After negotiating back and forth, we agreed on a price and signed the offer. While waiting on inspection date and whatnot, we suddenly got word Friday morn that they decided to back out of the deal and no longer want the house. Then my period arrived. Two slaps in the face from the Universe & Karma. Two doors of opportunity slammed in our face. When just last week I was on Cloud 9 with the possibility of having both things work out for us. I feared it was too good to be true bc we don't have that kind of luck. Scott reminded me that after being kicked down so many times, it would be fair and it would be ok for luck to finally go our way. But nope, let's mess with them again and pull the rug from beneath their feet yet again. So back down square 1 we are once more. 

So again I say, Karma, you've got it all wrong. Enough is enough. Now it's war. 

P.S... Happy National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), as of today. April 19-25. The theme is You Are Not Alone. 1 in 8 couples is affected by infertility. One in Eight... that is a scary high number. Be aware, people. Be considerate, sensitive to others, and kind, especially when talking about/complaining about/asking about pregnancies, babies, etc. You NEVER know who your audience is. But to those of you suffering, You are NOT alone, ever. <3 <3

Thanks to all of you for your continued support (phone, text, email, letters, hugs, or simply just by reading this). It's appreciated more than you know!! <3


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Impossible is Nothing... **Updated Prayers, Please**


WOA.... I have felt everyone's prayers, positive vibes, thoughts, love, juju, etc. Loud and clear. You guys are a powerful bunch it seems. SO much so, that this morning's follicle scan went into overload. 

There were actually TOO many growing/developing egg follicles, which can be a bad thing. I have no desires to be the next Octomom or Kate Plus 8. My IUI cycle is in danger of being canceled and there's a very high possibility of that happening. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for that because I will probably cry if that's the case, but I know it's better than the possibility of having every egg fertilize and stick. That would SO be my luck... 5 failed attempts and then bam all at once. Plus my lining was actually PERFECT this time (Come on! WTF!). The Dr. today was hesitant to cancel but told me loud and clear that there is a very good possibility of it not happening this cycle, turning our backs and letting this cycle play out on its own like a girls-only retreat. My assigned Dr is the one on monitoring tomorrow, thankfully, so he "chickened out", as he put it, to "punt it to Dr. Murdock and let her make the decision tomorrow". Hehe :) I totally respect that and I do honestly 100% understand this. It's not good for anyone to have wayy too many eggs and risk doing an IUI with that. 

So I return tomorrow, NO meds tonight, to see what happens and make a final decision in the morn. I held it together in the office and then once I called Scott from the car I couldn't help but turn into a full out baby. He assured me there's nothing we can do, it is what it is. Dr H even said it's not a bad problem to have. If I had no eggs, that's harder to fix. This would just mean a lower dose on my injections next time. 

I've been trying to let it sink in and try to mentally prepare myself for it to be canceled. BUT it's not my style to give up without a little glimmer of hope. Like Disney-esque, fairytale hope. I emailed my nurse to see if it was even worth coming out AGAIN tomorrow (hello 50 min drive one way... and another day waking up early on spring break... but it still beats going out there before school and waking up earlier, so it's a good week to have to go out there 3-4 times). She wrote back a little while ago and said she had my Dr review my report from this morn & she does think it's worth going tomorrow. With no medication tonight, I might have a few follicles that beat out the rest and a few that stop growing. Of course I am taking that little glimmer of hope and I'm running with it, full speed. I see this as the door open just enough for us to possibly slide through before it closes. 

Anything can happen. Anything is possible... Nothing is impossible. Miracles can happen, right? 

So, please, again I ask for your support through prayer. They are definitely working, without a doubt. We just need to specify and fine-tune them a bit. Let's hope for the lead follicles to be in the safe range of numbers and the smaller follicles to STOP in their tracks and not get in the way. Basically, I'm asking for prayers for us to still be able to proceed with this one. My lining was perfect. I have had a really good feeling all of a sudden. Things are aligning, I just need them to come together and balance out. 

If it doesn't work out, I will be ok. Bummed, but ok. I'm getting better at the shots and the hormones haven't consumed me or made me crazy this time (At least I don't think so... Scott, don't chime in if I've been awful. And if I have, I'm sorry hun!).

Prayers please! 
THANK YOU in advance!!!

S & S

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Prayers Requested

It's been almost 2 months since my last post. I've debated whether or not to keep things quiet in terms of when we decided to start back up with fertility treatments, OR to continue to keep it all out in the open. Both have their pros & cons, and although normally I'm very open about everything, I was starting to get frustrated about having no news to report...and I was hopeful that if it worked immediately upon trying up again, I could finally surprise people with an announcement when/if it does work. 

Well, after a 7 month break, we started back up in the beginning of March with another IUI (the first since August)... and it didn't work, AGAIN. In case it had worked, we tried to keep it a secret and didn't tell many people at all that we were starting up. It was only a few people at work who needed to know for different reasons (like the possibility of me being late to work on a few mornings, apologizing for being super cranky on fertility drugs, possibly having to miss a meeting, etc.). In a sense it made it easier when it failed because there were less people to tell. But the hurt is still the same, so really what's the difference. Going right into another cycle, I decided I wanted & needed to call upon all of you for prayers. 

Our last IUI was on March 8th, which ironically was the same date of our first IUI in 2014. Same date a year apart, starting for the first time and starting after a break. Kind of ironic. I in NO way planned that- it didn't hit me until it was scheduled, and I went woaaa that's a little weird. It also happens to be a friend's bday that day, so it was easy to remember. Of course we were super hopeful, no matter how hard I try not to be, it's damn near impossible. Especially for me, being little miss sunshine over here. We had 2 good egg follicles again, but my lining was thin before IUI, so who knows. I tried everything under the sun to help thicken my lining (Pomegranate juice & doing yoga poses like laying on the floor with my feet/legs up a wall) but who knows if helped... either way, it was still a BFN (big fat negative). 

So here we are, almost mid-cycle of our 6th IUI. I have been doing the same protocol as August & March: 5 days of Femara pills (which I like to call "crazy pills" bc they usually make me super cranky & irritable, I hate them) followed by 3 days of FSH injections (FSH is follicle stimulating hormone). I had to swap from Gonal-F to Follistim this time for injections (it's the same drug really) because our insurance decided to change which one they covered. Weirdos. JUST when I had gotten super used to Gonal-F, let's change it up and add anxiety right back into the mix. It honestly wasn't too bad though. It freaked me out the first night because the pen clicks loudly as you inject it but in a sense I now like that bc I know it's going in. It also stings for a few mins after, which is not fun, but I have to toughen up and stop being a baby. I went back Monday morning for monitoring (blood draw & ultrasound to check on how many egg follicles and what size they are). Turns out I have 3, but they were still too small to do anything with, measuring at 11mm each. I think they like to see them somewhere around 17-20mm, or somewhere like that. So I was instructed to keep doing injections and return Thursday (tomorrow) for a repeat checkup/scan. I'm assuming by tomorrow they will be just about ready, and depending on how ready, I will then await instructions on when to inject Ovidrel (the trigger shot, with induces ovulation about 36 hours after you inject), and IUI will be scheduled from there. My guess is some time this weekend, Fri/Sat. But it all depends on my egg follicles and how they're developing/growing, and what my blood works shows in terms of whether or not I am ready to ovulate on my own soon. 

Some pics from this cycle (injections have been Fri through last night, and I continue tonight):
My nightly setup, pretty much. 

Excited, Anxious, Hopeful, Scared, Nervous, ...You name it!


I have to keep reminding myself it's a tiny needle... and it goes into a nice big piece of fat on my belly.. haha 

Night one of injections- when it stung. I instantly started crying and said "I'm just so over this."

The many faces & emotions of an IUI cycle... and Yes, we did a shot for a shot. You have to make it fun somehow, in some way possible. Blast the music, record & document the new nightly ritual, and take a shot. 

Last month I was almost ready to trigger at the same point as the Monday check, so I was surprised that they were growing slower this time around. I was a little bummed at first but now am totally at ease with it. Scott isn't able to take off from work or be late this week, so slower growth allows him to go if it ends up being Saturday. 

Multiple injection sites on my belly... can't see 'em, but they're there. 

Bruises from blood draws

ME, Self-injecting... SHOCKER!! 
Hey, it's the ONLY thing I feel in control of. 

Sweet, sweet gift from a TTC Sister who's IUI cycle is around the same time as me this time. 
Lucky socks :) 

That's where are to date. Still plugging away. Still hopeful. Still trying. Still nothing to share, as more and more babies are being born to friends we know... every month it seems there's another pregnancy or birth announcement. But that's life- we are in our 30s and that's the way it goes. I have so much to be thankful for, so as much as we want this so badly, we also have so many things to be grateful for as well. So I have to keep that in perspective too, in the meantime. 

Now come the prayer requests. I'm not very religious in the Sunday/church sense, but I have kind of found my own spiritual connection of things I believe in and find hope in. Whatever your religion is, whoever you pray to, however you find spiritual comfort, Scott & I would appreciate your prayers & support. This has been a long road for us. It's been dark & upsetting at times...Many times. We are MORE than ready to bring new life into the world. Please pray for us, however you feel comfortable. My prayers are that IUI works and that we are blessed with a child. I won't push the twins thing, although that would be an added bonus, never having to return to this process again. At this point we would just be truly blessed and thankful to get pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy, and deliver a healthy child (or 2). I'm becoming a human yo-yo of emotions and don't want this to become my life for years to come. 

Also, prayers would come in handy because we have finally put somewhat of a timeline on our current plan. In a sense, it's only been 5 tries. In a sense, 1 worked. I WAS pregnant. But since it didn't last, it's hard to say if it's 1/5 or 0/5 because we didn't walk away with a baby. In a sense 5 tries is not a lot, but in a sense it is. To you lucky "normal" couples who can jump into bed and end up naturally pregnant 2 weeks later, 5 tries is nothing. They say to try for a year before seeking medical assistance. So 5 is nowhere near that. To the fertility Drs, 5 is a lot. I'm not sure why, but they often say after 3 or 4 attempts, move to IVF. We wanted to give it like 8-9 tries before going there. 1 because insurance covers it (mostly, anyway), and 2 because more tries puts us at more of an "ok, we tried all we can" feeling. The thing is it's only about a 20% chance of success each month (same as regularly conceiving... crazy, huh?). Those numbers SUCK. Leave it to me to be in the 80% that doesn't work. 

We have been trying to avoid IVF for a few obvious reasons... Financial expenses, WAYYY more drugs & needles (seriously, universe, WHAT are you trying to do to me- You've made your point, I get it!), more invasive (surgically removing my eggs), etc. Basically it just scares the heeby-jeebies out of me. I know SO many strong & amazing women who have done IVF and have made it all look totally doable, but I know I would just mush into a giant baby unless it was the only option to have the baby we want.  However, the chances of success are much higher with IVF- around 60% on avg I think. Much better... but it better be after paying so damn much for it. 

So, after talking to our Drs last week in length (My Dr was SO sweet to call me at home to discuss my weird hypothetical Qs and sobs of why this isn't working... after I cried in front of a diff Dr that morning at monitoring just asking "WHY isn't this working yet?"), and letting it all sink in, we decided that we will try IUI a few more times and give it to the end of this school year. Being April 1 today, that's not too much time. It's 3 months worth- so could be about 3, maybe 4 more cycles. If no pregnancy occurs from that, we are throwing in the towel and will explore IVF options for the summer. I will be off from school, it gives us a bit of time to try and save up a little more money, and it just seems like the right thing. I can't imagine starting IVF at the beginning of a school year, so summer seems to be a good downtime for me mentally. 

This isn't exactly the decision I wanted to make. I want for IUI to work. I know it's possible. Lots of people do have babies from IUI. As far as we can tell, I have no issues and there are no red flags. Same with the donor sperm. So I'm not sure what the deal is, but it's getting frustrating. I wanted for it to work, and to stick, and to be done. But it hasn't yet. So since I can't do this forever, we decided to cap it soon. It still gives us a few more hopeful tries, but I can't deal with the highs & lows fertility treatments forever with only 20% odds. Eventually, we have to go all in. 

My BFF is super pregnant, and super fertile. She was trying to transfer her fertility vibes to me. 

Here's to hoping!!

So, again, prayers requested, please. However/whenever/to whomever you pray, please send a few out for us to be successful soon. We can't do it alone & the only way to get support is if people know you need it. 

Thank you!! We are forever grateful. 

Stace & Scott

Self explanatory, I think. (Read the shirt)

Pretty much my motto for life... 

P.S. The only thing I'm hesitant about posting this is getting lots of Qs about whether or not it worked. I have gotten pretty strong but constantly hearing "did it work? When is your next appt? When is your pregnancy test?" and things like that only stress me out. So please do not ask. Let us know you're praying & thinking of us, and that's the best kind of help. From there, we often let people in and tell them lots of details we are comfortable with anyway. But getting asked the other specifics don't help as much. Because when the day does come that we finally do get to have a successful pregnancy, we want to be able to share it on our terms and not have everyone figure it out ahead of time or share the news for us. I wasn't a bridezilla but I will def turn into a mom-to-be-zilla for stuff I've waited sooooooo long to be able to announce & have some element of surprise & fun in.