All In The Name of Hope

I want to grasp hope between my fingers and never let go.
But, when sadness and doubt enters my heart,
Hope, like tiny grains of sand, slips away from me and is carried by the wind like dust.
I then, in the end, feel like I am left with nothing.




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.



Hysteroscopy & Mock Transfer

Today was the day for my scheduled hysteroscopy and mock transfer. Steve took the day off and accompanied me to my appointment and I am so glad he did. I was feeling anxious and scared this morning and I worked myself up to tears before we left the house. So far, the HSG test and sonohysterogram have been pretty painful for me so I was very apprehensive for today’s happenings.

The drive to the clinic was quiet. Traffic was light and I admired the green pastures from my passenger side window. Once we arrived to the clinic, I was asked to pee in a cup and sat around in the waiting room until my name was called.  I had a good cry while we sat alone in the waiting room. It is funny how I always have me emotions in check until I am physically present in the clinic. Life is a great distraction until I have to go to the clinic and face the reality of infertility. We sat quietly until my name was called to go to the back where I met a new gal today, her name was Tonya. She obtained my weight, height, vital signs and lead us to the exam room. I asked Tonya if the procedure would be painful and she said that between the HSG test and the sonohyterogram, many patients have said that the hysteroscopy is the least painful. That gave me relief for about two seconds, but then again I knew with previous experience that I would not be one of the lucky ones that would not experience any pain. She was kind enough to give me 600mg of motrin and encouraged me to drink a bottle of water because my bladder needed to be full for the mock transfer. After about 15 minutes, she asked if my bladder felt full and I looked at her and said, “dear, I have nurses bladder”, and she kindly handed me another water bottle. Another 15 minutes passed by and an entourage of people entered our room. Steve immediately turned away from the medical equipment and faced me while Dr. G greeted us and explained the procedures. In our room we had Tonya, Dr. G and her medical scribe, OB/GYN resident Dr. L and two ultrasound techs.

First up, the hysteroscopy. I was told that Dr. L was going to do this procedure and I gave her my blessings because she needs all the experience she can get. Besides, I remember my nursing school days and how I was grateful for my clinical experience. While she was inserting the speculum, I shared a story about how I successfully inserted my first foley catheter in a woman getting prepped for a cesarean delivery of twins in the operating room during my mother baby rotation in nursing school. A few moments pass by and I was relieved that things were going smoothly until I was told that my cervix was facing downwards so she had to adjust the speculum. Dr. G ended up having to pull the speculum downwards so Dr. L could insert the camera into my uterus. During this time, Tonya was beginning to inject saline to open up the uterus. I looked to my left and I watch the camera take pictures of my uterus on the television screen. I immediately saw a small uterine polyp and Dr. G also noted this finding as well. I then asked her how long this part will take and she said about 30 seconds. She then said to her staff, “… and this is the code word for when she is starting to feel the pain”. Let me just say this; the pain was unbearable. Absolutely unbearable. I never in my life felt this type of pain and it drove me to tears. They took the pictures that they needed while I was sobbing and they did the mock transfer with ease and precision. It all happened so fast that I still do not remember when the ultrasound tech was doing her thing, all I do remember is her pushing down on my uterus with her equipment and it was uncomfortable.

After the mock transfer, Dr. G sat me up, consoled me and she said she wanted to check my TSH levels again to see if the synthroid is working and my prolactin level. She also mentioned  that I will need to get the uterine polyp surgically removed before embryo implantation. Once I lose 15lbs, we can start the process to have our baby/babies.

Our Tentative Plan

  1. Embryo Creation (once I lose 15lbs).
  2. After embryo creation, operative hysteroscopy and polypectomy.
  3. Frozen embryo transfer.

We have a plan in place and from what I understand, they will be doing our pre-IVF report too. We told Dr. G that we do want genetic testing for our embryos and she was pleased with our decision. She gave me a hug before we parted ways and gave me a few words of encouragement and acknowledged how difficult this must be.  Her compassion and sincerity is something that makes this process so much easier. That and the fact that my husband was available to hold my hand today, even though it was painful for him too (apparently, I have a strong grip!).  Another day, another procedure and now Dr. G has a road map of where she will implant our future embryo/embryos.

I have a lot of work to do, but I am excited and I am going to allow myself to be excited. My brother is letting us borrow his elliptical machine and I will be picking it up sometime this week. I can do this, I CAN DO THIS.

Thanks for reading.




Thoughts of the Moment

My hysteroscopy/mock transfer appointment is this upcoming Monday. I am not looking forward to having a camera in my uterus, but after our appointment, I think we will have enough data needed to complete the pre-IVF report.

I believe we will also be meeting with the IVF nurse to discuss our plan of action for this summer. After my first initial appointment, I was able to lose half the weight my doctor recommended.  I was really proud of myself, however, my weight has been fluctuating so much lately, I am starting to feel discouraged. I could do a better job monitoring the type of food I am eating, but I also have other variables that are making things a little bit more challenging;

  1. Hypothyroidism makes me feel bloated and sluggish. I need another two weeks until my body will feel the effects of the synthroid.
  2. I was put on birth control specifically the mock transfer next monday. Now, we all know the side effects that come with birth control. NO BUENO.

Now, somethings I could improve on my own include; no alcohol, no pop and less carbs. I am not willing to give up coffee, but I am willing to monitor the amount of cream and sugar I like to indulge. I could do much better but at least I am trying.

I am starting to feel a little excited for our IVF journey, but it is incredible how my mind goes above and beyond to protect my feelings and my heart. I am too cautious because I know better, but gosh, I hope this is all worth it in the end.





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.



PreIVF Report

We have decided to obtain a PreIVF report that analyzes our health data and develops an IVF prediction model that will determine how many cycles of IVF we will most likely need. I told Steve that I do not want to make any decisions without it, as it is pointless to hypothetically assume which route we want to pursue if we do not know our odds. Do we want to do a refund program? What about the multi-cycle program? I have no idea, but until I know the numbers, I am not interested in making any plans.

I mentioned recently that I am not a planner. Planning, to me, makes me feel like I am suffocating. I do not write to do lists and I write in my calendar only as a reminder of pertinent things I have done during the day, after the fact of course. Planning, interferes with my spontaneous spirit that thrives on adventure. I can go on, but planning is for the birds.

Despite my disdain for planning, it seems like we have no choice in the matter. Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to appreciate time in a different sense than I am use to.