My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics

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What a Year

Posted by auntiem10 on December 31, 2010

Today is the last day of 2010, and I am not sad to see it go. I wish that we could have completed our cycle this year, but if we get to start 2011 with a BFP, then it will feel like a fresh start. This year has been full of ups and downs, new experiences, big money spent, impatience, and frustration. I’m not sure what’s in store for the next 12 months, but I hope it’s a better year than this one!

January through March 2010: We suffered through one of the worst winters our area has endured in recent memory. We lived as frugally as possible and saved every penny that we could. In March, we decided to schedule our ODWU even though we didn’t plan to cycle right away. We were just sick of waiting and needed to take the next step. Took a fun trip east and touched a fertility statue like rebels.

April 2010: We flew to Denver for the ODWU, which was a whirlwind. I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and all the natural beauty in Colorado. Our hope was restored when Dr. Surrey told us that he was optimistic for us. We flew home, and I scheduled the additional testing that CCRM required (physical, pap, bloodwork, etc.). Created this blog and continued saving money.

May 2010: Decided to undergo Depot Lupron treatment after ER no matter what after local clinic messed up scheduling of endometrial biopsy, diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, shipped Cycle Day 3 bloodwork to CCRM, then received the results and chatted with Dr. Surrey about the plan, wrote a post about all the testing we went through before the regroup, made it official by paying our IVF deposit, struggled with jealousy over pregnant women in my life (little did I know about the bombshell that was to come in June!)

June 2010: Played nurse to our Boston terrier as she had major surgery to remove her anal glands, received my first of six calendars, attended the only baby shower I couldn’t miss, devastation ensued after finding out my sister-in-law is pregnant, decided to move up our IVF cycle ASAP, received second calendar, spent blissful hours tending our garden

July 2010: Continued shock and devastation over SIL’s pregnancy as they see the heartbeat, started BCPs for IVF cycle that was later canceled, received third calendar, became obsessed with the AMC series “Mad Men,” decided to incorporate CCS testing into our IVF protocol

August 2010: Started Lupron and stopped BCPs for IVF cycle that was later canceled, found out I had a huge cyst and IVF cycle was officially canceled, decided on monitoring and Novarel trigger shot to force ovulation (which failed), received fourth calendar, took a fun weekend trip, prepared myself for failure because of pinching in my ovaries

September 2010: Found out Novarel injection failed, started Prometrium-Lupron Overlap protocol, received fifth calendar, struggled with family joy over SIL’s pregnancy as well as friends’ pregnancies, got humiliated at church, received sixth (and final!) calendar once AF finally showed, finally passed suppression check and started stims, drove nine hours to Colorado for our cycle

October 2010: Celebrated 24 eggs retrieved (and blogged about the ER)and 19 fertilized embryos, found out SIL’s baby is a girl, got the call that six great-quality embryos were biopsied for CCS testing, received CCS results SIX days later (five normals!), first Depot Lupron injection, received first FET calendar, more struggles over baby shower planning for SIL, received second FET calendar

November 2010: Deluged with hot flashes, crappy mood ensued, second Depot Lupron injection, fun Thanksgiving trip to NYC

December 2010: Decided to transfer only one embryo, chose PIO over Endometrin as main source of progesterone and received third FET calendar, had a disaster of an acupuncture appointment, received fourth FET calendar, picked up FET meds, finished BCPs and started Lupron, received fifth (and hopefully last!) FET calendar, struggled more with baby stuff, passed first estradiol check!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!

Posted in About Me | 6 Comments »

Touching a Statue

Posted by auntiem10 on September 27, 2010

This spring, the hubby and I went on a little weekend trip to St Louis, Missouri. We had tickets to the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight regional games, but when our team shockingly lost in the first round, we decided we were too heartbroken to watch the surviving teams play. So instead, we filled our days with a visit to the arboretum… science museum… Union Station, and other sites. On the last day, we visited the St Louis Art Museum. And there, we saw a 1400-year-old Fertility Statue:

Cute, isn’t it?! (Haha.)

The security around that place was tight. Guards roamed all around, acting as eagleyes and chastising people who stood too close to the art. Despite our undeniable role in life as rule-followers, my hubby MADE me touch this statue, thinking its powers would spread to me. You had to be there, but it was hilarious. He stood watch until the nearest guard had her back turned, and he pumped his arm up and down to give me the all-clear signal. I tip-toed over to the statue and laid my hand on it. We giggled later and talked about how we are such rebels! Ha.

I wonder if this 1400-year-old statue served as a good-luck charm for many a woman back in the day. Will its powers still exist over ten centuries later? We shall see in early 2011! : )

Posted in About Me, Daring to Hope | 4 Comments »

Cringeworthy

Posted by auntiem10 on September 12, 2010

This morning we decided to attend a new neighborhood church. The senior pastor of this church is the man who married us, and he and his wife have been encouraging us to attend a service since we moved to the neighborhood last August. When we walked in, the pastor recognized us and hurried over to welcome us. He turned to me and asked, “How are you feeling?” Quizzically I wondered, “What is he talking about???” He knows many members of my husband’s family, so I wondered if one of them had mentioned our infertility struggles and he felt he should be sensitive to our pain. I told him I was feeling great, and we took a seat.

Just before the service started, my hubby’s distant cousin and her husband sat down next to us. As she walked past us, she said, “I hear congratulations are in order!” Suddenly everything made sense. Horrified, I realized that both she and the pastor thought it was us who are expecting a baby, not realizing that the pregnant woman is actually my SIL. Meanwhile, the senior pastor was apparently pointing us out to regular members of the church and telling them that congratulations are in order.

I sat through the service with a knot in my belly. Once it ended, the distant cousin asked me pointedly how I am feeling. For a crazy split second, I fervently wished that I could just go along with the chirade and play the role of pregnant lady for a minute. Of course, instead I politely told her that it was actually my DH’s brother and SIL who are expecting. She felt bad that she had mixed up the information, and I told her it was no big deal. We then had to correct the pastor, who again looked at me pointedly and asked how I was feeling, and then appeared bewildered when we informed him that the pregnant daughter-in-law was actually my SIL. And then we had to correct other church attendees. By the time we walked out of the doors, we were both cringing. It definitely felt like a giant slap in the face, but I guess for a few minutes, I learned what it must feel like to be pregnant and get to talk about it with others.

I said good riddance to prometrium after last night and am now playing the waiting game for AF. Tonight was Lupron Shot #5. If AF starts soon and everything finally works out with the suppression check, we may be in Denver next week!

Posted in About Me, Struggles | 7 Comments »

World’s Best Partner

Posted by auntiem10 on September 11, 2010

While on our mini-vacation a few weekends ago, we did some antiquing. I found a beautiful Waterford-style vase with a daisy pattern tucked away in a store, so I bought it and we brought it home. (I love Waterford-style glassware and have a small collection in boxes in our basement.) Last night I arrived home to delicious smells and beautiful flowers. Pink roses and other flowers filled the vase, and my hubby had prepared an amazing homemade dinner of shrimp scampi, crab legs, and seared scallops! There was no special occasion–he just felt like it!

I am not posting this to brag. I just want to recognize my husband and point out how fortunate I am to walk through life with him. Life during the past two years has often felt like a struggle. We got married, and three weeks later we were at an RE’s office already discussing IVF. A month after that, we were failing our first IUI. And then our second. And then our first IVF cycle. The optimism has faded that maybe, just maybe we’ll get pregnant on our own. This past year in particular has been very difficult, as we were stuck in limbo and became “Frugal Frank” and “Frugal Francine” in order to save the money it will take to make this cycle happen.

The silver lining to all of these negative experiences is that they have made our marriage stronger. We’ve had to work as a team to make this dream happen, and we’ve clung to each other when it seemed like us vs. The World. I feel awful that the failure of my body has led us down this path. My inability to conceive has caused my husband great sadness and anger, and there’s nothing I can do to make it go away. Sometimes I am amazed that despite it all, he still loves me as much as he does. So to come home last night and see the effort he put into providing such a wonderful evening for me, the Bitter Infertile, I can only say that I felt like the luckiest girl alive.

Posted in About Me | 5 Comments »

Eye on the Prize

Posted by auntiem10 on September 4, 2010

It’s Labor Day weekend and in our corner of the world, we’re planning to cram the following activities into the next few days:

** Enjoy my DH’s birthday dinner at an awesome restaurant.

** Sleep in.

** Watch our favorite university try to win their first football game of the season. (No big deal if they lose–they’re still a basketball powerhouse… well, except for that Northern Iowa game about six months ago.) : )

** Celebrate the hubby’s, his sister’s, and his brother’s 28th b-day Sunday evening at the in-laws’.

** Enjoy the hubby’s preferred meal on Monday (slow-smoked pork–sorry to any vegetarians for the visual, but the man can really work a smoker!).

** Spend plenty of time with our doggies in the sunshine, playing frisbee in the backyard and going on walks.

** Try our (mostly my) best to live in the moment and not even think about infertility!

Posted in About Me | 1 Comment »

Babies

Posted by auntiem10 on August 30, 2010

We had a great time this weekend! It was great to leave town for a couple of days, enjoy each other’s company without a million other distractions, and do some sightseeing. I would have to say the theme of the weekend, for me, was BABIES. I was prepared for a zoo filled to the brim with children, but what I wasn’t expecting were all the new animal mamas–sea lions, gorillas, tigers, monkeys, and penguins! Everywhere I saw teeny tiny furry/feathery/whiskered/adorable little beings. We even saw a sign that talked about how this particular zoo is increasing the population of certain endangered species with in vitro reproduction!

On one hand, the baby animals really were adorable and brought a smile to my face, but on the other hand, it was yet another reminder of the mother/baby bond that exists in nature–the bond that I so badly desire but may never have. Gazing upon a sleeping mother gorilla in an enclosure cupping her baby in the palms of her hands, while I stood beside human mothers tending to their own children, I was struck once again by the feeling of void, the realization that life as “just the two of us” (my wonderful DH and me) simply won’t be fulfilling enough. I fight these feelings and stuff them way down because I know that I don’t have much choice in the matter. We can choose the best clinic, pay for all available technology, follow every instruction on our calendar, but at the end of the day, those embryos are either going to implant or they’re not. These feelings constituted only a blip of time during an otherwise perfect weekend trip, thankfully, but they were real and made me feel afraid of what the future holds.

The baby theme carried into the first day of the work week too… my non-pregnant SIL sent me this instant message this morning: “I emailed (pregnant SIL) for her to be thinking of dates that work for her baby shower. Thinking of January. Would you be interested in planning it with Mom and I?” Of course, I agreed to help with the planning and will  play the role of the dutiful and caring daughter- and sister-in-law. Could have said no, but my gut was telling me that I would have regretted being excluded. Sigh.

Posted in About Me, Struggles | 3 Comments »

Back to the RE Tomorrow

Posted by auntiem10 on August 19, 2010

Early tomorrow morning, I’ll be heading to my RE’s office for an u/s to measure my lead follicle. If it’s about 18mm, I’ll get to use my Novarel HCG trigger shot to force ovulation. If it’s smaller, then I’ll have more monitoring next week until my body is ready for ovulation. Hopefully AF will arrive about two weeks later, which would be right around my DH’s b-day in September. Great, his b-day gift will be coping with an extremely hormonal wife. : )

This weekend we’re taking a day trip to visit my mom, who lives a couple of hours away. She adopted a dog from her local shelter last weekend, so we stocked up on gifts and can’t wait to meet her. The dog (Honey) has been really nervous this week–jumpy and barely eating/drinking–and has been growling at my mom’s cat, but we’re hoping that with time, she’ll settle in to her new digs and accept the kitty. My mom is basically THE biggest pet lover ever and is willing give Honey a lifetime of companionship, but we’re all a little worried about her getting along with the cat. Hopefully it will work out.

This week has been difficult for me because yesterday marks the four-year anniversary of my grandma’s unexpected death. My grandmother was instrumental in my life and was the first family member I would turn to when I needed support or had news to share. She had neck surgery the first week of August 2006 and died in the middle of the night at home a week later. We think she had a brain hemorrhage, but my grandpa refused to do an autopsy. She cried out for him (they were sleeping across the hall from each other so that she could rest and recover), and by the time he got to her, she was gone. They were high school sweethearts and had just celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary the previous December.  She was only 68 and I was looking forward to spending at least 15 more years with her. It was not meant to be. I think of her daily and miss her terribly.

Enough of my downer attitude. I hope you are all having a great week–the weekend is just around the corner!

Posted in About Me, IVF Take Two, Testing | 3 Comments »

Logistics, Mad Men, and Lupron

Posted by auntiem10 on July 27, 2010

I’m glad to read that I’m in the company of other “Mad Men” fans! Don Draper is yummy! : ) We’re only on episode 10 of season one, so I’m sure we haven’t even gotten to the “meat” of the story yet. I’m pretty sure that soon, my hubby will be pouring himself an old-fashioned and wearing a skinny tie to work. : )

Over the past few days, I have:

  • booked a hotel room for the first part of my stay (when DH arrives on the 20th, we’ll probably move somewhere with a bigger suite)
  • partially paid our cycle fees (I’ll pay the rest when we’re given the all-clear with the suppression check)
  • booked a pet-sitter to stay with our two doggies during the time that my DH is with me in Colorado
  • ordered new food bowls for our doggies that will force them to eat slower (they both eat too fast and inhale their food and then choke on it, which is a constant worry to me and something that was going to cause me stress while a pet-sitter was with them)
  • Figured out from which pharmacy to order my Lupron

Speaking of Lupron, I learned from my nurse that name-brand Lupron is apparently no longer being manufactured. CCRM just orders the generic now, Leuprolide Acetate, which is excellent news for me. Generics are more likely to be covered by insurance companies, and in my case I’ll save over $100 by ordering generically. It’s not much of a financial break with all things considered, but it’s something!

Posted in About Me, Cancelled IVF Cycle, Money | 2 Comments »

Short on Time

Posted by auntiem10 on July 15, 2010

I have been short on both time and words this week. I have about four hours left until my big interview, so I have been busy preparing my portfolio and anticipating the questions I may be asked. Also, we have been spending lots of time with family and friends this week. On Tuesday night, I met a friend for dinner. We’ve recently reconnected after spending our childhoods side-by-side, and our meal stretched four hours while we gabbed late into the evening! Yesterday another longtime friend was in town with her family, and tonight my aunt will be in town. Tomorrow my stepmom flies in from upstate NY, and Saturday we are helping two of my cousins move. It’s a crazy week!

I’ve just been trying not to obsess at all about the IVF cycle that is now looming before me. My body is typically uncooperative, and I’m trying not to let stress delay AF if possible. I’m hoping CD 1 will arrive on Sunday after a 33-day cycle. If not, then I’m not sure if each day of delay also means a one-day delay on my calendar, or if my nurse will let me just take less BCPs. Does anyone have experience with a late AF after your nurse has given you a calendar?

Just before AF arrives, I always feel my ovaries “revving up.” I get slight cramps and just an uncomfortable feeling in my pelvic region. That started yesterday afternoon, so perhaps my reproductive system will surprise me and start right on time. We will see!

Posted in About Me, Cancelled IVF Cycle | 3 Comments »

Friday Funny: Honeymoon Embarrassment

Posted by auntiem10 on July 9, 2010

After the hubby and I tied the knot back in 2008, we traveled to a resort in Mexico for our honeymoon for a week of complete and utter blissful relaxation. It was there that a pretty embarrassing moment occurred in my life, and I want to share it with you!

One night we walked to a restaurant for dinner, dressed to the nines. I was wearing a pretty skirt, and underneath I wore a body smoother (you can probably see already where this is going). I had shed quite a bit of weight before our wedding (a combination of spinning classes + nerves!), so the skirt was pretty loose. It was flowy and comfortable, so I wore it anyway.

We met two British couples at the restaurant, and afterwards the six of us walked to a beach party where people were dancing. We had enjoyed cocktails throughout dinner, and my reflexes were not up to speed. My hubby walked toward a bartender to order drinks, and I decided to set my empty glass on the counter. As I stood up, I apparently stepped on the bottom of my skirt. Suddenly I felt an airy sensation at my midsection, looked down, and realized that my skirt was literally around my ankles! O-M-G.

I heard snickers from the British couples as I bent down with my most nonchalant air, yanked up my skirt, and tried to regain my dignity. My hubby was still working on ordering our drinks and hadn’t seen the whole debacle. Without saying a word to the British people, I darted over to him, grabbed his arm, and walked back toward our room. On the way, I told him the story, and he laughed so hard he cried. Once in our room, I promptly ordered our drinks from room service and attempted to erase this moment from my memory.

The rest of the week, it seemed as though I couldn’t get away from the British people. Everywhere we turned, there they were! Each time we saw them, my face would turn crimson and a squirmy feeling would make its presence known in my belly.

In hindsight, I wish I would have just laughed it off and made the most of it. : ) My family occasionally brings up this story and spends a few minutes making fun of me, and the story gives everyone a good laugh. I’m glad it happened on vacation instead of at work or something! I’m planning to wear this same skirt to my job interview next week, which is why this memory came to mind. Hopefully it will stay in place! : )

Please leave me a comment and tell me about one of your most embarrassing moments so I don’t feel so alone out here!

Posted in About Me | 4 Comments »

A Few Good Things…

Posted by auntiem10 on July 7, 2010

A few good things have transpired in the past 24 hours:

  • SIL’s first ultrasound went well yesterday, with one blob exactly where it should be. Despite my own personal sadness, this is good news for the family and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted her and my BIL to have received bad news. We were all a little worried about multiples, since DH and his siblings are triplets (Clomid babies).
  • We received a decent-sized unexpected check yesterday in the mail, the result of a national discrimination settlement with a large national retailer for which DH used to work in college. It’s enough money to cover our hotel expenses in Denver + petsitting fees!
  • OPK may have been a bit darker this morning (still negative though). It could just be that I’m now using a different brand of OPKs (CD 23 and counting, ugh).
  • I have a job interview next Thursday! Even though I have a job that I like, this year’s continuing layoffs and some other factors have compelled me to apply for a small handful of positions elsewhere, and this one sounds promising! However, as always, I am jumping the gun and already stressing about the timing of possibly being offered a new job and going through an IVF cycle. I wouldn’t be able to start until at least the end of August, and what if they don’t want to wait to fill the position?!

That’s all I’ve got for today. : )

Posted in About Me, Testing | 5 Comments »

Heading into the Holiday Weekend

Posted by auntiem10 on July 2, 2010

Whew, it has been one busy week for my DH and me. He is busy trying to sort out all the logistics that accompany the start of grad school, and we are both very busy at work. Our Boston terrier had hives one day this week and caused us some concern, too. I feel like time is flying this summer!

The upcoming three-day weekend is a much-needed break for both of us. Tonight we’re planning to kick off our shoes and cook a nice dinner in honor of our 5-year dating anniversary (which was yesterday). Saturday we’ll be preparing food for a Sunday BBQ Sunday at my in-laws’ house. DH is going to fire up his smoker and prepare ribs and baked beans, and I’m going to stay in the house and whip up some guacamole, homemade ranch dip, zucchini bread, and a strawberry pie. In addition, my mama is coming to visit for a bit.

On Sunday, we’ll be heading over to my in-laws’ for their annual party. My pregnant SIL will be there, but I guess she won’t be arriving until dinner time. I’ve convinced myself that the best thing I can do regarding her pregnancy is to hide my emotions. I know it may not be right, but it’s what I feel have to do because my in-laws just don’t really “get it.” To bring attention to my own grief will either cause a rift in the family or turn me into an outcast, I think. I’ve already faked excitement to my SIL, MIL, and FIL so that I appear to be cool as a cucumber about it. Yes, I will have to give myself a pep talk before driving over there, and yes, I may cry on the way home if the convo revolves around pregnancy/baby talk. And we may have to abbreviate our visits in the coming months as her belly grows. I just don’t want anyone walking on eggshells for the next 7+ months on my account.

Monday I plan to do absolutely NOTHING. I plan to get all of my laundry, grocery shopping, gardening, errands, and house-cleaning done at some point during the weekend. We may have a movie marathon or spend some time lounging outside, but I do not plan to do a single productive thing. I need a day to just unplug and veg out. I can’t wait!

Happy July!

Posted in About Me, Struggles | 1 Comment »

Dr Surrey Update

Posted by auntiem10 on July 1, 2010

Yesterday I heard back from my nurse regarding Dr. Surrey’s feedback after reviewing the digital images of my endometrioma. This is what he said:

Looks like she now only has a single mass down from the three seen here. Let’s just repeat in one cycle.”

This week has been full of good news. My TSH level has been basically cut in half with the help of Synthroid, and no surgery is on the horizon yet (well, except for the egg retrieval!). At the beginning of the next cycle, I’ll go back to my local RE’s office for one more ultrasound to make sure nothing bad is growing in there, and a few days after that, I’ll start BCP!

In other news, today is my 5-year dating anniversary with my wonderful husband! I simply could not ask for a better partner, and I can’t say enough good things about how amazing he is. Despite the struggles we are enduring with infertility, I truly do feel like the luckiest girl alive!

Posted in About Me, Dr Surrey, Testing | 5 Comments »

Our Summer Hobby

Posted by auntiem10 on June 29, 2010

I’m in another lull in treatment, so I thought I would share some photos of our newest obsession–vegetable gardening!

Early this spring, we decided to start a vegetable garden, in the hopes that we could save money at the grocery store and that hours spent gardening would help the summer pass more quickly. We bought a little greenhouse with peat pellets, along with some seeds, and nurtured the plants indoors starting in late March. Within about a week, our zucchini plants started shooting up, followed much later by bell pepper plants, jalapeno plants, and green onions.

In April, my darling husband spent hours tirelessly tilling a patch of grass in our backyard. During the second weekend of May, we planted everything in the ground and crossed our fingers that our hard work would pay off.

Thankfully, our plants are thriving! It is so rewarding to walk outside and see healthy green leaves and blossoms. Gardening is good for the soul!

Here is our very first baby zucchini, growing a little each day.

Here’s another little zucchini plant, which is just starting to grow!

Here is the view from behind the garden, with plenty of huge zucchini leaves on the right, bell pepper plants in the middle, jalapeno plants on the top left, and green onions in the rear.

Here’s a close-up of a jalapeno plant… in the past 48 hours, two jalapenos have begun to grow! One teeny-tiny little green bell pepper has also begun to grow in the past few days!

And I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pictures of some beautiful snapdragons that have recently bloomed!

Mother Nature is such a beautiful thing!

Posted in About Me | 6 Comments »

To Tell or Not to Tell? That is the Question

Posted by auntiem10 on June 26, 2010

How much information do you tell friends and family regarding your infertility experiences?

I am really interested to know how much you tell your family and friends about your infertility procedures. Do you completely shut them out? Do you give them a glimpse into your life? Do you explain the procedures in detail? Do you let them read your blog? Or do you fall somewhere in between?

My DH and I were open books about our first IVF cycle. Why? Because we thought it would work, and we wanted to share our excitement with our friends and family. When it ended badly, we regretted telling them. Having to answer questions or give details while holding back tears was just terrible. Some family members felt the need to give us their uneducated opinions–in fact, my asshole stepdad was mad at us for proceeding with IVF because we “could have used all that money to adopt.” Obviously he has never felt that ache to conceive children of his own!

Going into IVF #2, no one IRL knows about our plans. All of our friends and family think that we’re waiting until next year to move forward. My DH and I both feel that this is the best decision for us, but it will be difficult to keep such a huge secret from family members/friends we are close to. However, it will enable us to move forward without having to hear others’ opinions, see pitying looks, or answer intrusive questions.

Now we’re trying to figure out what to tell coworkers, family, and friends who will surely notice our absence. We hate being less than honest, but we know that vague answers aren’t going to suffice. We told them all last year about CCRM, so we don’t want to mention that we’re going to Colorado because they will surely suspect. We’ll have to figure something out soon!

Posted in About Me | 8 Comments »

Break Out the Bubbly…

Posted by auntiem10 on June 25, 2010

… because my darling husband just received his acceptance letter to graduate school!!! He just called me, totally ecstatic. It’s sad to say, but in the 20 months we’ve been married, almost all of our financial investments have gone toward trying to conceive a baby. We bought a house last summer, but other than that, we’ve been in a constant state of saving money for IVF cycles. I am so thrilled that we are finally going to put money toward something for which my DH can benefit and be proud of himself. A Master’s degree will likely lead to some new awesome opportunities professionally!

We have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge, and we were waiting until he was accepted before popping the top. Tonight we will toast to new opportunities for our family!

It’s going to be one crazy fall! : )

Posted in About Me | 6 Comments »

Weekend Fun

Posted by auntiem10 on June 25, 2010

Sooooo glad it’s Friday! We are gearing up for a busy, but fun weekend!

Tonight my DH is meeting me after work, and we’re going out for dinner at our favorite Thai food restaurant (again!). Afterwards we’re going to a sold-out concert to have our faces melted off by awesome rock gods! : ) We’ve been looking forward to this concert for a couple of months, and it’s finally here! We don’t go to many concerts, but we LOVE live music.

Tomorrow we have three different things going on:

  • Our newly-married friend Jack will be in town with his new wife,
  • My aunt and uncle are hosting a graduation party for my two cousins, one of whom graduated from high school, the other from college, and
  • My pregnant cousin and her husband are going to be in town for a sporting event, and they want us to meet up for dinner.

I’m not sure how we’re going to fit everything in, but our plan right now is to try to hang out with everyone throughout the day. I’m not ecstatic about seeing my cousin’s bump again, but we are close and I can’t turn her down. She does not come to my town very often. I think it may be easier to handle with my dear husband beside me to squeeze my hand.

Sunday we’ll be gardening (we’re getting baby zucchs!), housecleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Domestic day!

My objective in 2010 has been to make my best effort to really enjoy my weekends, because if we are lucky enough to conceive a baby, we won’t have all this alone time again for a long time. I would gladly trade in all of my quiet time for a cooing newborn, but for now I’m just going to work with what I have and make the most out of life. : )

Posted in About Me | 3 Comments »

The Baby Shower I Can’t Miss

Posted by auntiem10 on June 19, 2010

Despite my best intentions to avoid baby showers for the entirety of 2010, the one I’m attending today is unavoidable. I’ve been dreading it since my cousin told me about her pregnancy during New Year’s weekend. I know how rude and awful that makes me sound, but it’s true.

She and her husband got engaged during the fall of 2009. Her brother, a U.S. Marine, was scheduled to leave for Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in February, and they obviously wanted him to attend, so they organized a wedding on short notice. They got married on January 16th of this year, and it was a very fun weekend.

A few weeks before the wedding, my aunt, cousins, and I had a slumber party at my grandpa’s house to relive the fun times from our childhood. My cousin rode with me back to my grandpa’s house after a fun dinner out, and on the way she dropped the bombshell that she was unexpectedly six weeks pregnant. Her wedding was not for another two weeks, so she asked me to keep the news top-secret so that she could get through her wedding day without having to answer questions about her pregnancy.

She seemed a little shellshocked about her suprise pregnancy and was a little sad that she and her husband would never have time to enjoy married life as a couple. During that conversation, I was shocked by how opposite we were on the “I want a baby” spectrum.

She’s due August 4th, and the baby is a girl. Her name will be Abigail, a name I love but wasn’t considering for our child (if we’re lucky enough to conceive one). Throughout her pregnancy, I’ve struggled with the fact that Abigail will be born before our child. My cousin is five years younger than me, so it’s just sort of a tough pill to swallow that I couldn’t have a child first.

In my life, 2010 has been the Year of Baby Showers, and I have skipped them all. I’ve sent a gift and a card, but that’s all I could manage. I’ve skipped showers held in honor of both fertiles and infertiles. I’m not super-weak emotionally, but I just didn’t feel that it would be healthy to attend a shower while I’m still in the trenches. But this particular shower is non-negotiable.

So today I will go and celebrate the impending arrival of my newest cousin. I’m going to put my own feelings aside and think of someone else for a change. I will lock away my sadness and jealousy and will find the strength to endure the baby talk, adorable clothes, and cutesy games in honor of a cousin who deserves all of the love our family can give her. And I can only hope that when it is my turn someday, she will be supportive.

Posted in About Me, Struggles | 9 Comments »

Lulu Update

Posted by auntiem10 on June 18, 2010

Thanks for the good wishes directed toward Lulu the past few days! Her surgery was successful, and she is doing pretty well. The removal of her anal glands was smooth sailing apparently, which is great news. We had decided to have the vet clean her pearly whites while she was under anesthesia, and much to our surprise, she ended up needing to have SIX teeth pulled! They were so loose, they were floating in the root. She just has bad genes, I guess!

After work on Wednesday, my hubby and I headed to the vet clinic to visit our little pup post-surgery. Her vet thought that seeing us might bring her some comfort. She was having a reaction to anesthesia and was trembling and shivering, despite blankets and a heating pad. She was very out of it and couldn’t stand up on her own. We petted her and talked to her, and after about 30 minutes she seemed to calm down. Shortly before the clinic closed, she was able to stand (very wobbly) and pigged out on some canned food, so she got to come home with us.

She couldn’t control her bowels at all Wednesday night or even yesterday, but luckily all she has wanted to do was sleep, so it hasn’t been too yucky. I stayed home with her yesterday, and she really seemed to improve throughout the day. I took her back to the vet late in the day yesterday, and he was very happy with her incision sites. She is eating, drinking, and has control of her bowels again at this point, so she is definitely on the mend. She’s taking a narcotic that makes her very sleepy, so she’s doing plenty of resting.

I have loved doting on her while she recovers, and caring for her yesterday made my heart ache, thinking how much I long to be a mother!

Posted in About Me | 3 Comments »

Lulu’s Surgery

Posted by auntiem10 on June 16, 2010

Today our adorably sweet, hilariously clumsy, eternally good-natured Boston terrier Lulu is having major surgery.

I am a basketcase. She has chronic anal gland issues, and the time has come to have them removed. She needs this surgery to prevent future emergency situations, but I hate it. Reluctantly, I drove her to the vet clinic this morning with a cinderblock in my belly, and she is there now having pre-surgery bloodwork to confirm that she’s a good candidate for surgery.

This surgery is risky because of the possibility of nerve damage that can leave her incontinent. She’s only three, so the thought of having her in diapers for the rest of her life is heartbreaking. Her surgeon assures me that he has never caused a dog major complications with this surgery, so I’m trusting him. She may have short-term loss of bowel control, though.

I am very thankful that this surgery is not life-threatening (the only major risk to her life is bleeding), but she is my baby and it’s not easy for me to let her go under and know that she’ll wake up in terrible pain. I feel a tremendous sense of guilt, even though I know that this surgery is much needed. The gland ruptures she has suffered have been very painful too, and this surgery will put an end to them, once and for all.

More than anything else, I worry about her pain level. Recovery from this surgery is supposed to be very painful, and I don’t like the thought of her feeling excruciating pain. Her surgeon has a high-tech laser that will minimize invasiveness and prevent major bleeding, so my hope is that her pain level will be lessened with this technology.

If she’s doing well enough this evening, the vet will let her go home for the night. I’ll have to bring her back in tomorrow morning, but it will be worth the extra drive to have her home tonight instead of in a cage at the vet’s office. Our home is quiet and familiar to her, which I think will help her to rest. If she’s not doing so well, though, then she’ll have to stay overnight. I’m prepared to go into total nurse mode tonight or tomorrow. : )

I would appreciate it if you could spare her some good thoughts today!

Posted in About Me | 8 Comments »

An Ode to Triplets

Posted by auntiem10 on June 11, 2010

Happy Friday! Lately I feel like I’m just living for the weekends. To me, every Friday means I’m one week closer to October and the start of our IVF cycle! Time is flying for me (it’s already June 11th!), but as much as I adore summertime and its mindbending humidity, I’m still somewhat impatiently awaiting the fall.

This weekend will be especially fun, as we are going out for a fancy Italian dinner with the hubby’s parents, siblings, their spouses, and his grandma. Have I mentioned that my husband is a triplet? His mom had PCOS, and she was given a magical pill called Clomid. A few months of unmonitored TTC later, she got her BFP. Excited, she and DH’s dad went for their first ultrasound, at which there were unexpectedly three strong, flickering heartbeats on the monitor. His dad just barely managed not to faint and famously exclaimed, “You’ve got to be sh**ting me!” At 31 weeks, an emergency c-section performed on my amazing MIL led to the birth of Baby A (my BIL–3 lbs 0 oz), Baby B (my SIL–1 lb 12 oz), and Baby C (my darling husband–2 lbs 6 oz). All three babies were very premature and ill. My hubby’s lung collapsed and required surgical intervention, so his man.boob is a little disfigured. : ) Thankfully, within a few months, all three babies were home and thriving, and today they are very silly, very funny, and very close.

Another weird triplet fact: DH and his siblings each married a person whose birthday is either December 10 or December 11. My b-day is December 10. DH’s sister’s husband’s b-day is also December 10. DH’s brother’s wife’s b-day is December 11. Weird, right?! I guess they like Sagittarians! You should’ve seen the shock on their faces when I told them my birth date!

Anyway, the restaurant we’ll be visiting on Saturday is the same one where we got engaged. It’s also where DH’s grandma and grandpa met many moons ago. They have THEE most amazing chicken spedini and stuffed mushrooms. Afterwards, everyone is coming to our house nearby and will be excitedly greeted by our four-legged doggies. I’m looking forward to it!

Posted in About Me | 11 Comments »

Optimism

Posted by auntiem10 on June 8, 2010

I’m not sure why, but today I’m feeling so gosh darn optimistic about our upcoming cycle! I may be a fool and way too naive, but I can’t help it. For the first time since being labeled an “infertile,” I truly feel like we’re getting the best care. I never 100% trusted my RE at my former clinic, and it turns out that I had good reason not to trust her.

Edited to Add: I fully realize that there is a chance that our cycle may not be successful, but I think I will find comfort in knowing that we are going to the best. And I apologize if the first paragraph of this blog entry is insensitive to anyone out there who has not found success via CCRM.

Part of my positive attitude is probably the result of telling my boss yesterday about our upcoming cycle. He is actually the only person, besides us (and you of course!) who knows of our plans. The hubby is waiting until next month to clue in his boss, and we aren’t planning to tell friends/family until our cycle is completely over (which I’ll talk about in a future post). My job is very project-based, and projects due in late August are already being assigned to members of my team. I wanted him to know so that he can schedule around me during the month of October. My boss and his wife went through IVF and now have a 2-year-old son, so he knows all about the emotional, physical, and financial burden placed on those enduring infertility treatments. He learned about CCRM through a neighbor who (successfully) cycled there, and yesterday he referred to it as “the Mayo Clinic of infertility.” It felt really great to hear him say that, and he was 100% supportive of the fact that I’ll be missing up to two weeks of work this fall. I am lucky to have a supervisor who totally empathizes with our struggles.

Today marks one week of really tracking what I’m eating, and so far I have lost 4.8 lbs since last Tuesday! I feel great already, honestly. I’ve totally eliminated coffee from my diet at this point, reduced my soda intake to one/day, have been eating a more vegetable-based diet, and have been walking briskly at least 30 minutes/day. I’ve been drinking at least 80 oz of water/day, and I haven’t drank a drop of wine or booze in over a week. We’ve been focusing on eating more homemade foods (like making homemade pizza and BBQ sauce) instead of buying processed foods. This saves money and helps us to know exactly what is in the food we are eating. We also tried our first grass-fed steak and organic produce. I’m really excited about our new healthy lifestyle and am trying to approach it like it’s just another part of our IVF protocol.

Last weekend was great! On Friday, we drove with our pooches to our favorite park (near our old house) and briskly walked around it. Then we came home and enjoyed a yummy dinner and started watching the HBO miniseries The Pacific (which is great if you enjoy WWII history!). Saturday I drove to my hometown, had one of my high school best friends cut my hair, and then had lunch with my college best friend. It was great to see both of them. My college friend has a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old twins (with whom she got pregnant basically the first month of TTC), but she is so amazingly supportive of our IF struggles. She asks a lot of questions about the procedures and always makes sure to let me know that she is praying hard for us. I just ❤ her. Sunday my hubby went fishing with his buddy, and I cleaned, gardened, and relaxed. In the evening, we made an out-of-this-world BBQ chicken pizza together. Cooking together is really one of our favorite things, and it was so much fun. It was truly a great weekend!

Today is Cycle Day 33 and there is still no sign of AF. I’m starting to feel those familiar rumblings in my reproductive region, though, so I’m sure she is preparing to rear her ugly head. In just four months, I’ll be waiting for AF so that I can get the show on the road! Sometimes the wait seems neverending, but other days (like today), time seems like it’s flying. I think it helps that the wait is during the summertime, when we usually stay pretty busy. It will be here before I know it!

Posted in About Me, Daring to Hope | 4 Comments »

All’s Quiet…

Posted by auntiem10 on June 4, 2010

Just a few updates since my life is pretty quiet right now:

  • R had a great first beta after a DE cycle at CCRM!
  • I’m still employed, so I am hoping that I was wrong all along on the layoff situation. : )
  • The hubby submitted his application materials for graduate school today!
  • The hubby and I signed up to receive shipments of organic fruit/veggies from a local CSA. Our first shipment will be delivered on June 15.
  • Tomorrow I get to travel to my hometown, hang out with two of my best friends, have my hair cut, and do a little shopping. Can’t wait!
  • It’s going to be 92 degrees F here tomorrow–yuck!

Hope you have a great weekend! : )

Posted in About Me | 8 Comments »

Nose to the Grindstone

Posted by auntiem10 on June 2, 2010

So far, I am still employed this week. Yay! Perhaps my paranoia regarding layoffs was all for nothing. This will be one of the few times in my life in which I’ll be GLAD to be wrong! : )

Today is Cycle Day 27, and we are kind of at a standstill with our treatment plan. This cycle I attempted to detect my LH surge on the OPKs I purchased in April, but I couldn’t get a definitive second line. I think the absorption left something to be desired, because as far as I know, I ovulate monthly. Once AF starts, I’ll wait until at least Cycle Day 5, and then I’ll head into my local RE office for an ultrasound. They’ll measure the three endometriomas that were visualized during our ODWU, and Dr. Surrey will use that info to decide whether medical intervention is needed.

Also, when my next cycle starts, I’m supposed to contact my primary nurse, Dawn. She and I are going to try to estimate when to add me to CCRM’s official calendar for October. So far in 2010, my cycles have been wacky in length–42 days, 33 days, 39 days, and 33 days. I’ll be happy when we are finally on the calendar, even though the dates may change by a week or so.

Since we are in limbo once again, the hubby and I are focusing on healthy habits. We’re increasing veggies, eliminating booze and coffee, decreasing caffeine. We’re tracking our caloric intake online, too. I know that my ovaries probably don’t care if I skip out on that McDonald’s extra value meal, but our focus on healthy eating has been a long time coming. If nothing else, it’s a good distraction while we count down the days until October! : )

Posted in About Me, Testing | 4 Comments »

Memorial Day Weekend 2010

Posted by auntiem10 on May 31, 2010

It’s been an uneventful Memorial Day weekend for the hubby and me this year, which is fine by me. Typically we run from house to house for BBQs, graduation parties, or family functions, so our laziness this weekend is unprecedented. We hung out with some family on Saturday, but for the most part we were free to do whatever we wanted. My DH smoked ribs on his smoker for over three hours yesterday, and we enjoyed an amazing meal. It’s been great having basically a clear agenda!

Tomorrow evening we have tickets to a minor-league baseball game. My DH’s parents are on an Alaskan cruise, and they gave us their tickets. I’m excited about a “date night” with the hubby!

This week may be an interesting one for me professionally. If my managers are forced to cut someone from our team, I may be on the chopping block. I’ve already updated my resume and applied for a couple of jobs that are right up my alley. I’d prefer to stay at my current job so that I would have the vacation time to devote to our time in Denver, but I want to be prepared if I am let go. I’m not letting it ruin my weekend!

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What a Great Weekend

Posted by auntiem10 on May 23, 2010

I had the best weekend! Although infertility was never far from my mind, I tried to remind myself that right now, I have the time to sit back, relax, and enjoy myself. Once our family grows by one (or possibly even two), I’m sure my weekends will get a whole lot busier. Might as well try to make the most of the quiet time I have now!

We gardened…

 

We tried new recipes…

We cuddled with our four-legged friends…

I baked bread…

We walked in our favorite park yesterday and in our neighborhood today…

And now we are going to obsess over LOST tonight!

I am a homebody, so this weekend was the epitome of perfection for me! : )

Posted in About Me | 1 Comment »

It’s Friday!

Posted by auntiem10 on May 21, 2010

First of all, congratulations to Susie at Six Months (At a Time)! Stories like hers certainly bring me hope, and I feel that her story may help others who stumble upon this blog.

I am so ready for the weekend! In my area of the world, we’ve had a rainy, dreary week. Thankfully, the weather is going to dry out and warm up just in time for a nice couple of days off. The hubby and I are going to finally plant our vegetable garden tomorrow morning. We’ve been growing our plants indoors from seeds for about eight weeks, and we’ve already tilled the patch of ground. We’ve just been waiting for a favorable forecast! We’re growing zucchini, bell peppers, jalapenos, and green onions. We are vegetable garden virgins, but so far our plants are thriving indoors. : ) Hopefully they will yield some yummy veggies!

Tonight we’re heading to our favorite Thai food restaurant. It’s been a while, and I can’t wait. We love this Thai place so much, we named our Boston terrier after it!

Speaking of our Boston terrier, she is feeling much better. The incision site is starting to close up, and she’s back to running around our house and acting crazy like usual. We’ve skipped our nightly dog walks all week because of the rain and to avoid exposing her rear end to many germs. As a result, both of our terriers are extremely stir-crazy. She’s healed well enough now that a nice long walk will be possible tomorrow. I can’t wait! We’re planning to have her checked out the week of June 14th and then schedule her gland removal surgery for a few weeks after that.

On an IVF-related note, I have a question for anyone (CCRM patient or not) who has stimmed with a Standard Lupron protocol: For how many days did you stim before triggering? Please leave me a comment!

Posted in About Me | 7 Comments »

Canine Crisis

Posted by auntiem10 on May 18, 2010

I am STILL waiting for the results of my Cycle Day 3 bloodwork. I confirmed last Wednesday that the shipment had been received by FLC. I know there is no rush since we won’t be cycling for months, but I would like to know the results! I sent an e-mail to the IVF inbox and am hoping to hear something today (although Tuesdays are my primary nurse’s usual day off). Maybe another nurse will send me the results.

In the meantime, we’ve been dealing with the latest health crisis of our 3-year-old Boston terrier, Lulu. We adopted her at eight weeks old and have sought the best possible treatment during several health crises: respiratory infections, a luxating patella, atopic allergies that caused hives to appear on her body and in her throat, and the latest issue: rupturing anal glands. Ew, right? We jokingly call her the Million Dollar Dog. : )

Last May, her anal glands ruptured in the middle of the night. She doesn’t scoot on her rear end to indicate a problem, so we are never aware of the problem until it swells. We rushed her to the emergency vet and then established a plan with our regular vet to express the glands bi-weekly. Our vet suggested switching her to a specialized, very high-fiber diet, and that seemed to do the trick. She has been doing very well for the past six months, until this past Sunday.

We found a huge area of swelling on her rump Sunday morning. I drove her to the emergency vet, but they didn’t offer to do much for her. Yesterday our regular vet thought it was a serious enough situation that he came in on his day off to examine her. She ended up having a minor surgery that involved anesthetizing her, lancing and flushing out the infected area, and infusing the area with a high-powered antibiotic. I picked her up in the afternoon and she slept all evening. This morning she was playing with our rat terrier (who is her BFF), so it appears that she is on the mend.

We have made the difficult decision to remove the glands once the area has healed (4-6 weeks). This surgical procedure has a reputation for being very painful, and there is a potential for nerve damage and incontinence. The specialized diet/regular gland expression was considered the last resort before surgery, so at this point we don’t really have a choice. We consulted the founder of our vet clinic when making this decision (and he performed yesterday’s surgery), and he told us that if she were his dog, he would agree to the surgery. So around July 1st, she’ll be undergoing this procedure. The founder of our clinic, who has 30 years of experience, will perform the surgery.

I just really hope we are making the right decision for her. There is really no right or wrong answer. This must be how kind of like how it feels to be a parent. If we don’t do the surgery, it is highly likely that she will continue to have these problems and need constant gland expression. If we do the surgery, we’re risking nerve damage and she will have to endure great pain while she heals. Our two dogs are our babies, and we don’t want them to be in pain. In the long run, the surgery will improve her quality of life, so I know it is the right choice. My heart will break to see her in that much pain, though.

For now, we are busy playing nurse to our little dog. We’re administering her medicine, holding warm compresses to her rear end, and trying to keep that region clean. If nothing else, I’ve been focusing a lot less on my infertility!

Posted in About Me, Testing | 7 Comments »

Perspective

Posted by auntiem10 on May 16, 2010

Thanks so much to those who gave advice on my last post. The BBQ was fun and pregnancy announcement-free, thankfully. There was an adorable 2-year-old little girl there that made my uterus ache, though! There was also a TON of baby talk!

It had been a while since we last saw these friends, so I tried to just keep the topics light while catching up. This girl has major baby rabies though, and inevitably the subject of having kids came up. I was surprised when she bluntly asked, “When are you guys planning to start having kids?” My husband is adamantly against these friends knowing anything about our struggles, so I just tried to respond nonchalantly and maintain some kind of truthfulness. She knows about the laparotomy I had in 2007 (you can click the About Us tab for more info), so I just stumbled through saying that because of that surgery, we aren’t sure how trying to conceive is going to go. I’m a bad liar and didn’t want to make up a story, so I felt this response was sufficient. 

Maybe I should’ve lied, though, because she refused to let the topic die! She asked whether I’ve seen a doctor to discuss our chances, and then she started giving me advice about infertility treatments. Ha! If only she knew how well-educated I am about this subject! She works with women who have conceived with pills like Clomid, and she thought we might want to try that. It was hard to keep a straight face! Then she talked about how other co-workers have had to resort to IVF (which she clearly thought was extreme), and that she knows they have had to spend “several thousand dollars” out of their pockets. : ) I played dumb and gave nothing away, fortunately. I found the whole conversation very funny, and it gave me some perspective. IVF seems like a pretty commonplace procedure to me nowadays. I realized that I’ve been caught up in the world of vaginal ultrasounds, stimulating injections, and egg retrieval surgeries for a while now. Hell, I even feel that traveling to a fertility clinic in Colorado is not a huge deal at this point! Yet from her perspective, even oral drugs like Clomid would be a huge deal. I remember feeling so confused once upon a time by all of the acronyms used on forums (IUI, IVF, TCOYF, FSH, E2). I’ve come a long way (unfortunately!). Now I realize just how deep into this battle I currently am. I hope and pray that the end is in sight!

She then mentioned that she and her husband want to buy a bigger house before they have a baby, so they are going to start looking as soon as possible. Before we left, they invited us to a beer and wine festival in July, and she mentioned that she might need to be the designated driver (presumably because she may be pregnant). So if all goes according to her plan, the announcement will be coming soon! I’ll definitely be working on my fake happy face for the next few months! : )

Posted in About Me | 8 Comments »

BBQ Fears

Posted by auntiem10 on May 15, 2010

Tonight we are attending a barbeque, and I’m leery of a possible pregnancy announcement.

My hubby’s old high school buddy has earned his MBA, and we were invited to a celebratory BBQ. This buddy married his high school sweetheart. Another high school buddy attending tonight also married a girl from their high school. To put it mildly, I don’t have much in common with these two couples. They love to rehash their high school days, full of memories and inside jokes, and I usually sit there feeling awkward. I believe they think I’m weird because I’m so quiet–only, I’m really not very quiet at all; I just don’t have anything to add since I wasn’t there! Despite knowing these two couples for 4.5 years, I have never found my comfort zone with them. I find myself getting stressed over the mere idea of hanging out with them, but of course I don’t want to come between my husband and his longtime friends. I always just suffer through it for his sake, as bad as it sounds.

Both guys were groomsmen in our wedding in 2008, but we have seen them only a handful of times since. We live in a different part of the city, and our lives just don’t intersect often anymore. Meanwhile, the four of them live just a few blocks apart and are BFFs.

The last time we hung out, there was quite a bit of conversation about having babies. One of the girls, who is a teacher, has an exact plan. She wants to get pregnant in the summer of 2010, take her maternity leave in the spring of 2011, and then enjoy the whole summer with her baby. She has it all figured out and I am sure everything will work out perfectly for her. It always seems to work out that way for others in my life!

So I am going to be cringing a little bit more than usual going into this BBQ tonight. Of course, there’s a good chance that she might not be pregnant yet. I assume they are starting to TTC though, if they haven’t already. I am not close to either girl and know that I am going to have to plaster a big fat smile on my face when the time comes.

As if infertility doesn’t cause enough stress without having to worry about friends’ possible pregnancy announcements!

Posted in About Me | 3 Comments »

Hubby’s Decision

Posted by auntiem10 on May 14, 2010

My hubby K made a big decision this week: he has decided to attend graduate school! A large university located about 30 minutes from our house offers a Master’s degree that interests him greatly, and his employer offers a great reimbursement program. The degree is broad enough to apply to different technological industries, so he wouldn’t be “locked in” to one field (although he loves his job).

This additional education could greatly benefit the company for which he works. On Wednesday morning, he presented his ideas to management, the results of which could cut printing costs and improve the customer’s experience with the product. His manager was very excited about his ideas and said this could eventually lead to an entirely new department being developed at his company! She encouraged him to “think big.” He works for a large, very well-known company, so the opportunities are endless.

His manager then asked him to write a proposal (to be given to upper management) describing his ideas for helping the company save money and create a more interactive user experience. He also started filling out his application to grad school! The summer application deadline passed on April 1st, but he may be able to enroll as early as the fall semester. He would begin by taking six hours and work his way up to 15-18 hours per year, with a goal of finishing within the next three years.

Of course, we have been discussing the ways in which this will impact our family. He may have to miss a class or two while we’re in Denver this fall. He’ll need to juggle working full-time, having a newborn (hopefully!), and attending classes/completing homework. And obviously, school comes with financial obligation. We will just have to sacrifice to make it work for us, because it is a fantastic opportunity.

I am extremely proud of him. He is so selfless and has given up so much in the name of our infertility. He has actually wanted to attend grad school for the past few years but has always put it on the back burner so that we could save money for IUIs and IVFs. The time has come to make a financial investment for once that will benefit him, and I can’t wait to cheer him on as he graduates in a couple of years!

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