Love Is…

…when your brother disassembles an elliptical machine to make sure it fits in an Equinox!

Yesterday, I drove to Jonathan’s house to pick up his elliptical machine that he has graciously let us borrow for the time being. While he was disassembling a few parts, I thanked him for doing this for us, as it is not physically easy to load up exercise equipment in a car and it is a little time consuming. However, knowing my brother, I knew he was having fun being in his element (he loves working with tools).

Jonathan is a very giving person that would drop anything he is doing for his family. This selfless quality is something he gets from my dad. He mentioned that he was happy to help us in someway, considering he does not know what he can do for us in our situation. Little does he know, his time and generosity is more than enough.

Jonathan, if you happen to read this, thank you.



The Honest Truth

I know what some people are thinking. My younger brother and his wife just had a baby. How are we taking this? I can assure you, I do not have any mixed feelings towards Jonathan for having a child before me. If anything, I have great love and admiration for him, his wife and their son. Sometimes I wonder why there are certain societal expectations that I am suppose to feel a certain way. I do not want to deny that some days are hard, but when it comes to family, the only feeling I have is love.

Since Jon and Caitlin announced their pregnancy, there was only one time that I really felt sorry for myself. Coincidentally, it was the day they announced their pregnancy to my parents. Every September, my dad and I celebrate our birthdays together with the rest of the family. Last year, the plan was for Jon and Cait to surprise my dad with a variety of baby items. I loved the idea and so did Steve and my sister, Alexandra. We were all thrilled that we would be a part of this memorable moment to share with our parents.  Finally, it was the day of the big reveal and I felt fine until the very moment my parents realized that they were going to be grand parents for the very first time. Mom and dad was taken aback by the surprise and while they were happily processing the news, they looked me in the eye for a few seconds too long. They did not have to say anything, I knew that while they were so happy, they also felt sorrow for Steve and myself. Despite this, I held in my tears until the moment I gave Caitlin her gift. For years, I have been waiting to purchase a little keepsake book for myself called, “Letters for my Baby”. Well, I was no where near pregnant and I wanted to get her something sentimental, so, I purchased her this book.

letters to my baby

When she opened her gift, I knew that she loved it instantly. It was at that very moment that I could no longer hold my tears back. I cried then and I cried all the way until we arrived at Benihana for dinner. Eventually the tears subsided until my dad told me that God was waiting to give us something special. Yes, you guessed right, I cried some more. Oh I felt terrible, but I could not help it. I was so elated for Jon and Cait, but I felt so sorry for myself, Steve and our struggles with infertility. After dinner, when we arrived back home and I was getting ready to leave, Caitlin approached me, hugged me and said, “I am not taking any of this personally, I can’t even imagine what it is like to be in your shoes right now. I want you and Steve to talk to us about anything, you know we are here for you both and I know that you are so happy for us”. This is one of the many reasons why I love Caitlin. I feel like she has always been a sister to me, even well before she got engaged to my brother.

I do not understand why our life took this course, but I have to believe that there is a purpose for it. I am confident that Steve and I will get through this and we are very fortunate to have a great support system rooting for us. I also believe that a positive attitude will take us far.

Besides, a little faith never hurt anybody.



Infertility Consultation

March 30th, 2017

I never thought we would be in this situation. Now, don’t get me wrong, I never assumed that I would get pregnant over night. I know better than that. However, the fact that I have been with my husband for 15 years and avoided pregnancy is pretty outstanding. Now, does this mean I get a prize for such feat?

In regards to my emotional state since we began this journey last year, I have been okay. Sure, I have had my share of feeling angry, frustrated, disappointed and sad, but for the most part, I look at the world with rose colored glasses. I have always had this thought that time is by my side, and I still feel this way.

When Steve and I had our consult with Dr. G, I was feeling pretty good. I felt fine when the medical assistant obtained my lab work (thyroid levels and pregnancy test as my period was a week late). I felt even better when I met my nurse Jamie and I’ll explain more about this later. Oh, but when the doctor came in, that is when this all hit me. Waterfall of tears that I have held on to for too long, the consequences of not sharing my feelings as much as I should.

A release, if you will.

Her therapeutic communication was on point. She reminded me of myself when I talk to my patients. She handed me a kleenex and gave me a few minutes to catch my breath and encouraged me to cry and let it all out.

So I did.

We talked about all sorts of different things. She recommended vitamins, yoga and weight loss (15 pounds to start) for the basics and then we talked about our plan of action. I provided my HSG report and disc that I had last year along with Steve’s last two semen analyses. She wants me to have a Sonohysterogram (SIS) to make sure my right fallopian tube is patent and pelvic ultrasound for a follicle count. Steve will do another analysis this week to make sure his counts are still trending up. I will be put on femara and we will have at least two to three rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI). If this does not work, we will discuss in vitro fertilization (IVF). Yup, that’s the plan.

I felt emotionally drained after our appointment. We had lunch, came home, took a nap and then I cried for the rest of the evening and most of the day Friday. How did we get to this place? Infertility? Us? Yes, this is real life. I felt overwhelmed, scared, and disappointed that I have left myself hold on to these feelings to deal with on my own. We are going to need support to get through this and we have it, we have our family and our friends that are by our side and I am thankful. I just need to remind myself that while yes, everyone has their own personal problems and issues going on in their lives, mine are just as important.

I scheduled my SIS and pelvic ultrasound for next week. Jamie, my nurse, informed me that my TSH levels are on the high side of normal. Dr. G wants me to start taking 25mcg of synthroid starting tomorrow. Perhaps this explains my fatigue, difficulty sleeping, irritability and weight fluctuations!

Before I end this post, I previously mentioned that I would elaborate on why I felt better when I met my nurse Jamie. While driving to our appointment, I asked the universe to show me signs of comfort once we got to the office. As soon as we sat down to fill out paperwork, a gentleman sat in front of us and introduced himself. He shared his story of heartache we know all too well. First sign from the universe, reassurance we are not alone. My nurse Jamie? Well, that’s just it. Second sign from the universe, Jamie is my best friends name. When Dr. G came into the room, the first thing I noticed was that she was wearing purple scrubs. Third sign of the universe, purple is my favorite color.

As you continue to read on and get to know me, you will quickly discover that I am a spiritual person. The universe is so good to me and while some things in this life are not easy, I have faith that everything will be okay.



Our Story

In October 2015, I visited my gynecologist for my yearly exam and to have a discussion about family planning. I expressed my concerns that I was off birth control for a number of years but was unable to get pregnant. Dr. S recommended ovulation predictor kits to monitor ovulation. He scheduled an hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test for January 2016 and for my husband, Steve, to do a semen analysis.

This is when our journey began.

The HSG test indicated that my left fallopian tube was patent, but my right fallopian tube was not. The interventional radiologist assumed that it was most likely a spasm as it is common to have them during the procedure. She was not at the slightest concerned that it would hinder my ability to get pregnant. I was relieved. Around the same week, my husband did his semen analysis and we discovered that he had great sperm counts, but poor sperm motility. He was referred to a urologist right away.

My dear husband has been through so much this past year. He has done a number of semen analyses and he had blood work that indicated testosterone is on the “low end” of normal so he was started on 50 mg clomid every other day. There was no improvement with medication so he had a scrotal ultrasound that found a left sided varicocele in June 2016. He had a varicocelectomy in October 2016.

Semen analysis results one month (September 2016) prior to varicocelectomy:

Sperm Count: 109 million (normal >=15)
Semen Volume: 1.0 ml (normal 2.0-6.0)
Initial Motility: 28% (normal >=50%)
Type 3+: 1% (normal >=25%)
Sperm morphology: 4% (poor prognosis)

Semen analysis results three months (February 2017) after varicocelectomy:

Sperm Count: 148 million
Semen Volume: 1.0 ml (normal 2.0-6.0)
Initial Motility: 42% (normal >=50%)
Type 3+: 18% (normal >=25%)
Sperm morphology: 6.6% (good prognosis)

We were so relieved to see an improvement three months after surgery. Dr. Y discharged us from his services and recommended an infertility specialist in our area. We just had our consult with Dr. G a few days ago and we have a plan in place.

We are one step closer to having our family.