Monday, August 18, 2014

Our FET Anniversary!

Yesterday marks TWO years to the day since we transferred our last, little frozen five day blastocyst...now known as Hayden!!!

We had such little hope for that cycle. I pretty much marked it as a formality just to "get through" so we could continue on (in good conscience) with another fresh cycle. It's amazing how life delivers these surprises!

We went through a lot in those early days. Low HCG levels (I think it was 25.5 at 15 dpo), being slightly behind in growth in the beginning (five days behind via ultrasound...the nurse said it could go either way), then our four day  NICU stay for reflux issues. But Hayden is here....spunky, funny, beautiful, healthy, smart...so smart. She has such a strong personality already...it somehow fits with her being a fighter and survivor early on. Love her so very very much....

 My five day frozen blastocyst, right before transfer 

 My first + test with Hayden, the line was barely there!

 Our first ultrasound at 4 something weeks...she was tiny tiny tiny

 Getting bigger, but still behind in growth...told it could go either way...

 All caught up!!!! And near term at this point!

And now for some present day photos!




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!

I am SOOOOOOO excited!!! Beyond excited! I feel like a kid again!

We just planned and booked our Disney World vacation for right after Christmas!!!

We thought about waiting a few more years until Hayden is old enough to take part in more things and so she'll actually remember stuff but decided that Alex is just at such a magical age right now where she BELIEVES and LOVES all that princess stuff. This trip is really for her! Because she is going to lose her mind and I want to see her face and experience that magic right along with her!!! I'm not saying that she won't love it when she is eight or nine, but right now she will believe that an actress dressed up as Cinderella is ACTUALLY Cinderella...and the castle is ACTUALLY her castle! That's the magic right there!

As for Hayden, I'm sure we'll be planning another trip in about four years when she is five and Alex is eight! It's only fair, right (lol)???

So we are staying at a Disney Resort that looks pretty sweet. It has awesome pools and a super cool kiddy pool too!

We will be there for six nights...we leave the Saturday after Christmas (like two days later) and get in at about 2pm. We'll probably just relax and swim that day and explore the resort.

We are then going to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday and Monday for the whole day. We have a lot of things planned, but one of the highlights will be a character lunch at Crystal Palace-featuring Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends. I also intend to use one of our Fast Passes for a meeting with Elsa and Anna ;) Alex will lose her mind! My kid is a Frozen addict!!! We'll also make sure to hit Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain and the brand new Seven Dwarves rollercoaster ride thing, which looks awesome!

Tuesday will be a day of semi-rest. We'll do the pool in the morning and then Alex got into the Bibbity Boppity Boutique for 3pm. If you have no idea what this is...Google it! It's a must for girls wanting glamorous princess makeovers!!! It's amazing we actually got in too, since we didn't book it the full six months in advance-we totally got lucky!!!! After that-Alex will be all dressed up and we go to dinner at 1900 Park Fair. This will be so awesome because it's dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming, the step mother and step sisters. Apparently the interactions with the step-mom and sisters is hilarious! And Alex will be dressed up and I just love that!

Wednesday we are doing the Animal Kingdom and Thursday we are doing Epcot...we have another character meal that day at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall...Alex will be eating lunch with almost ALL THE PRINCESSES!

Friday we fly out at 7pm...so we have most of the day to lounge around the pool and hang at the resort!

So...as you can see from the sheer number of exclamation marks-I'm totally stoked! We really did the itinerary with keeping Alex's personality and desires in mind. This trip is for her. I cannot cannot cannot wait to see her face!

Plus, we are going around Christmas time, and everything will really be decked out! ANNNDDDD....I'm sure there will be some fun happenings for New Year's!

Planning was a bit stressful, especially because many people book things 180 days out...but we got reservations for everything we wanted..which was extremely lucky!!! Now I'm pouring over all the Disney World tip blogs and am getting slightly obsessed, lol....

C's IVF Update...

Kind of weird that I'm dedicating so much time to this issue! Kind of feel like my friend needs her own blog!

Anyway...now for the big update....

As I reported last time, C., had seven seemingly beautiful day three embryos that were being sent out for PGD. All seven were graded as threes or fours (four is the best).

She got her PGD results on Saturday and learned that of those seven embryos, only two were girls....and BOTH were unhealthy! One would have been born with Down Syndrome, and one lacked another X chromosome, so it would never have resulted in a pregnancy.

Two other male embryos were also unhealthy. SO in the end, she had three male embryos that were left that appeared to be perfectly healthy, based upon the tests they run. However, they only run tests looking for certain disorders.

To make a long story short (which I'm not good at)...C., and her husband were super upset! They could not believe that they had no healthy female embryos. They just naturally thought that IVF would work the first time, which I think a lot of people think is a given--especially if you don't really have fertility problems.

And I'll be honest here...I'm a human and not every part of me is good and kind. I was truly sad to see C., so upset, but kind of relieved that it didn't work. They had no respect for the process, the process had lost its integrity. The embryos had lost their integrity.

**** Now let me make this very clear....I would never have wished anything "bad" to happen to C., or the pregnancy if she got pregnant. I would never wish a miscarriage on anyone. But I'm kind of satisfied that it didn't work. She was just so sure it would, so cocky about it. And believe me. I know how bad that sounds and I read it and cannot believe I'm actually writing that down! I'm not that type of person...but this situation....its just been hard.

So on the day that would have been C.,'s transfer, they met with the doctor and decided to freeze the three male embryos. C., said that she would have just gone and transferred one, despite it being male...because, while she wants a girl, she wants a little baby more. Her husband, however (in an extra douche-y move), talked her out of it.

So they are going to try another IVF cycle for a girl. And this is where I get upset again because they will be making EVEN MORE embryos that will never be used...all for their quest for a girl. And they are going to try to get insurance to cover it...again. Which really makes me insane! They just seem so ungrateful! And they are using the system completely....

So yeah...that part really sucks...even more embryos going to waste. My satisfaction was short lived when I thought about that.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Remembering...

Ok, so I guess one good thing to come out of C's cycle is that I am remembering my own IVF cycle and how very terrible it was...and realize again how lucky we are!!! I mean, seriously, would COULD go wrong DID!!! I've been reading through some of those old posts and I am shocked that I had a baby out of that cycle. So I'm going to post a link to the start of my IVF cycle, my baseline, for anyone that wants to read about how bad the whole thing was (follicles not responding, shrinking lining, decreasing estrogen levels, broken vials of Lupron, etc etc)! Or if you know anyone going through IVF who is discouraged, send them the link...it's proof that a beautiful baby can come from a completely screwed up, crazy protocol, cycle. Of course, our fresh transfer didn't work...but our frozen from this completely crazy cycle did!!!

http://onemunchkin.blogspot.com/2012/02/baseline-check.html

This link is for my FET, where I conceived Hayden. It talks about the process and about the "early days" with Hayden when we didn't know if she was going to actually make it...I love that I have all of this documented. It reminds me of what a fighter she was. Not so surprising that she's so spunky today!

http://onemunchkin.blogspot.com/2012/08/fet-updateand-stuff.html

Hope this helps someone!!!

UGH.

In my last post, I told you all about my friend "C"., who is having IVF for the only reason of gender selection. I made my feelings well known.

SO...just to update, and because the whole thing is making me crazy...here are the stats:

C., had her retrieval on Tuesday and they got ten eggs; seven were fertilized.

They called her today to say that ALL seven were still growing and looked beautiful-they were all three's and four's (a grade of four on day three is the best). Kind of not surprised by this, since she doesn't have fertility issues after all!!!

They are sending all of the embryos out for PGD today and she should know by Sunday if she has any healthy girls in the mix. With seven, I'm sure she does.

So like I said, this whole thing is making me crazy and I'm struggling to handle it with grace. It's not my life, my body, my embryos...but I still don't have to like what she is doing. It is out of my control though.

One thing that bugs me is that all seven embryos are doing great. I know this sounds odd to complain about, but that means there potentially could be SIX healthy embryos that are completely discarded "just because". This really upsets me. It upsets me when I think of how hard I worked for my babies and how hard so many women are still working.

I'm not overly religious, I'm not that into organized religion (although I do believe in God and do pray almost daily for the safety of my kids and family--something no one really knows about me). I support gay rights completely, stem cell research, I'm fairly liberal...but this just seems wrong to me.

When she told me the news, I actually felt like crying. I was hoping she wouldn't have so many, that there would be less being discarded.

And I'm also wondering where the "fairness" is! Out of 21 eggs retrieved, I only had one healthy enough to make my beautiful baby. I went through hell that cycle. Everything that COULD go wrong, did. I'm so extremely lucky we have Hayden here with us. And she just gets to float through her cycle on a cloud with everything, everything going perfectly. Ugh...all those healthy embryos :/

So I'm just having trouble with the whole thing. I went into IVF after giving it a lot of thought. I knew that we wouldn't discard any of our embryos, even though I have only every wanted 2 or 3 kids. But as I see it, I had a responsibility to ALL of those embryos because WE chose to create them. We would have also considered embryo adoption if we had a ton left over. Because lets face it, I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle six kids, lol. I guess it's important, more so than I realized to me, that the integrity for life stays in the whole process.

 I fully realize that I sound "holier than thou"...but no thought went into this on her part. All she could think about was that she wanted, "needed" a girl. She didn't consider any moral dilemmas. At least if you're going to do this...truly think about it, understand what you're doing, even if you make a decision to discard. Don't just go into it with a flippant, blase attitude without doing the research. And perhaps this is what bugs me most of all by this situation.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The "Price" of Wanting a Specific Gender....

Oh hey! Look at this! Blogging TWO days in a row! I'm awesome ;)

So, in regard to the title, this is not about me. This is about a friend. Who really really really really wants a baby girl. In fact, she wants one so badly, she is "making" it happen.

Me? I just wanted a healthy baby. I'm not saying that to toot my own moral horn. Honestly, when you don't think you'll ever have **any** babies, you're (or at least I was) not as picky. It has nothing to do with me being a better person, etc etc. I was just more desperate. I think it's natural to want one gender over another at first. But how far do we go??? Side note, I will admit that I was thrilled to have girls...

So I have a friend who has two little boys. She and her husband are desperate for a girl. And to make a VERY long story short, she is seeing "my" fertility specialist and is undergoing IVF and PGD to make sure she has a girl.

I try not to be judgemental. And I'm somewhat successful, but it has been hard lately (she's stimming now) because infertility and fertility treatments are very near and dear subjects to me. She has never had any difficulties getting pregnant, despite "technically" having PCOS (although she fits no criteria for it, other than having cysts on her ovaries). But, because she has cysts, she is able to get her insurance to cover her IVF fully. And she basically lied to everyone and said that she's being trying to get pregnant for over a year when, in reality, she has been having protected sex to MAKE SURE they DO NOT get pregnant because IVF with PGD has been her goal the whole time.

So my issues with all of this:

A. She's lying to the doctors and insurance and basically committing insurance fraud
B. She's trying to be hyper stimulated so insurance will cover the IVF because that's the only way they would without her doing IUI first. I've been through hyperstimulation. It sucks. So I kind of feel like this is a mockery of what I went through. Because it's obviously all about me ;)
C. She's taking appointments and time away from other women who are desperate for these services and who need them!
D. There are women out there who would be thrilled to have one healthy baby, much less two like what she has. I feel like she's kind of ungrateful
E. If you want a third child, it should be because you want a third. It shouldn't be that you want ONLY a third IF it's a certain gender
F. Insurance is covering a 15K procedure when she has no issues conceiving. Do you know how many women would kill for that insurance???!!!! There are zillions of women who can't afford fertility treatments
G. Does picking the gender = playing God? I don't know. I really don't. People could say that IVF is playing God too. I do not subscribe to this belief though for a few reasons...
H. One of my biggest issues is what happens to all of her leftover embryos??? Will they be discarded simply because she only wants a girl and only wants one more child? Not having any actual fertility issues, chances are that she will have leftover healthy embryos. It breaks my heart to think that they will just be discarded.

So these are my issues. And I tried not to sound too "judgy" and failed. I know...failed miserably. And I'm actually ok with that. Coming from MY perspective and with my experiences...I hate that she is doing this. I hate that she wants to talk to me about it and tells me how easy the whole process has been (really???!!!! Oh wait, you have two kids so you aren't going through the process while being desperate for a baby and emotionally exhausted and worried sick that nothing will work).

 I hate that she talks to me about the medicine like she's an expert. I put in the research. I know how things go. I HAD to do this. Don't liken our experiences because they ARE NOT the same.

I guess it also really irks me that she is so sure of her success, so sure that it will work on the first go. Me...I went through treatments never sure of anything. Would I have any good follicles? Will I hyperstimulate? Can I even get pregnant? Can I get pregnant again or was Alex my one allotted miracle? Will I miscarry? How long will I have to do treatments? Will anything work? Why isn't this working?

And I was lucky. I have two beautiful girls. And,comparatively, my treatments did not take too long before I found success. My point is...I was sure of nothing. And it was exhausting and nerve wracking and just plain scary. So yes, hearing about how everything has been "so easy" is a slap in the face. Hearing about how sure of her body she is does, I will admit, makes me jealous. I can't help it. It's my leftover infertility baggage.

So...I don't know what's going to happen...I just hate this situation.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's My Kid's Fault...

...And by "kid", I mean kid #2. Yes, my beautiful, spunky little Hayden Charlotte is primarily the reason I haven't blogged in-ohhhh-close to three months.

Ok. She's my scapegoat. She can't really talk yet. Perfect scapegoat.

In reality, I've been the following:

A. Unmotivated to write
B. Busy with play dates and soccer and gymnastic and going to camp on the weekends
C. Not allowed to sit at my desk and write for longer than 5 minutes without my little one having a major fit
D. Too exhausted at night to think about doing anything more than staring blankly at the TV

Seriously, baby girl is going through some serious separation anxiety and wants to be on me with me all. the. time. Love her dearly, beyond dearly...but mama needs a break.

Anyway...we have had a busy summer, despite not taking our normal trip to Australia! Alex has been playing soccer and doing gymnastics and is growing like a weed. Her newest request is to have her ears pierced. I'm not opposed to it...but this is also the kid who gets a tiny scratch and thinks her arm is going to fall off. So yeah, holes in her ear lobes...I'm not sure how she'll handle that.

Hayden is 15 months, has most of her teeth, can say about 10-12 understandable words ("talks" a ton though) and is a walker (and climber...kid climbs everything!). She is a big ham and loves to dance and get attention. She is not quite as laid back as we originally thought and can be quite the diva. She definitely has a strong personality...which isn't surprising. She was our fighter after all, our last frozen embryo....She survived against the odds!

Life has been chaotic...but good.

Unfortunately, my child is screaming at me while trying to crawl up my legs, so I guess this is all I'm allowed to write for now.

Now for a recent pic...I better do this super fast :)