Tag Archives: IVF

HOPE Award Best Blog Nomination


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I had intended on publishing another post this week, but that’ll have to wait (It’s about the TWW so it only feels appropriate to be prolonged ūüėĚ) because On Prayers and Needles has been nominated by RESOLVE as Blog of the Year! Pinch me ūü¶Ä! I cannot even begin to believe that I am one of five blogs chosen out of 200 submissions. ¬†What I am even more humbled by is the outpouring of support, shares, and votes to help support my cause. While I’m trying to thank and extend my appreciation to everyone, I know that’s nearly impossible so instead I decided I’d write a post to express my insurmountable gratitude.

Less than a year ago, I set out to launch a blog in hopes that in the near future I’d be able to form a local support group for women in CT struggling with infertility (which is in the works ūüôĆūüŹľūüôŹūüŹľ). There were numerous drafts and a myriad of reasons I came up with as to why it wasn’t the right time. Would anyone read it? How do you even start a blog? // Thanks Google ‚ėļÔłŹ // How would I be able to keep up with it while balancing the other facets of my life, especially my little wild one? Why hadn’t someone else done this? Would people pity me? Was sharing our story worth the embarrassment my husband might feel? If I were too raw, would I offend someone I know and love? Would the good outweigh the bad?

Doesn’t it always?! Infertility for sure is proof of that for us. Aside from the encouragement of my husband, there was “that one” glaring, blue-eyed reason why I couldn’t not get our story out there. Afterall, I promised myself, my husband, God, and my not-yet-conceived child that if all this worked, I would Pay-It-Forward as best I could.

To this day, I think there are thank you’s left unsaid and words left unspoken. This blog is my attempt to encapsulate all the gratefulness in my heart for those that were a part of our journey or are now a part of our journey on the other side of infertility. So this is my way of thanking every single doctor, nurse, receptionist, acupuncturist, patient and competent insurance company representative who brought us to where we are today, as a family of three. And beyond to thank my committed family, my circles of friends, those who know us personally and those who don’t, my IG fertility community, and everyone who takes time out of their busy lives to read, even if it’s just a skim or intermittent check-in. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

It was the resounding voice in my head saying “Even if you help just one person it will be worthwhile,” that finally convinced me to hit “Publish” for the first time. That was my goal, to at least be the support for one single individual who was where I had been. This nomination is affirmation that I met my goal and that feels so so good.

This nomination means that not only have I helped one person, but maybe even a handful. It’s proof that just sharing your story can be enough for someone who needs it in that moment. I’ve offered support to people I’ve known personally and others I’ve never met. Unintentionally, I have found that opening up about our struggles has provided me the opportunity to hear about other people’s journeys; sometimes it has allowed these men and women to see the beauty in their own battle that they were too ashamed to acknowldege.

More widespread, I hope that it means that the dialogue is happening, albeit mostly within this small circle of our social media following in the little state of CT. Yet, maybe just maybe, this blog , I hope, has inspired someone to open up about being infertile or given someone the courage to pursue IVF. ¬†Maybe it has given a fertile person a little knowledge about assisted reproduction. ¬†I hope that it’s a reminder that miracles do happen and just because a couple doesn’t have a child, it doesn’t mean they don’t long for one. ¬†I hope it’s that little birdie in your ear, that refrains you from saying “Just relax” to a couple TTC and “Do you want more?” ¬†to that mom fumbling to find ‘nacks at the bottom of her purse. ¬†Moreover, I hope that it’s proof that if you want to change the life of just one person, it can be so much more.

All of the above would not be possible without each and every one of you. ¬†From the bottom of my heart, thank you for voting, liking, and sharing. ¬†Thank you for reading and reassuring me that some of what I’m saying makes sense. ¬†Thank you for taking the time to share and spread my mission.

Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.                               -Anonymous

Infertility and this nomination have changed the world for me ūüĆć.


 

Lefty or Righty

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Pic via seltzergoods.com

With infertility sometimes you don’t know what direction you’re going in and/or you’re being pulled in a million different directions. You don’t know which way to turn, left or right.

Lately, I’ve been connecting with so many women on social media who are courageous enough to share their infertility. Sometimes reading these makes me feel guilty because so many journeys are longer and harder than ours. That’s when I had an “aha” moment about our particular story and began to look at it through a different lense.

Now stick with me, but I’m visualizing a successful pregnancy/IVF/IUI as the middle ground. To the left is the journey to get there and to the right is the point past the initial positive test result or completion of IVF or IUI.

For all of us, the IUI or IVF is relatively the same-a conglomerate of injections, bloodwork, procedures, monitoring, doctors appointments, and waiting. Some might get more side effects. Some might suffer from Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHHS). Your trigger shot or protocol may differ.  Yet, they all remotely resemble one another.

Our struggles, however, tend to vary greatly. Even if two women are suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) their journeys could look drastically different. Many of us infertility warriors struggle with infertility to the “left” or before we get to the point of IUI/IVF/conceiving some way; while others find their difficulty after, either with failed cycles, chemical pregnancies, miscarriages, etc.

In our case, obviously, the bulk of our infertility fight took place to the left. ¬†Us “lefties” might have to endure months, even years, of struggle to get to the point where IUI and IVF are even a possibility. ¬†For example, my husband needed to remain on medication for almost two years before IVF was in the cards and, even then [right up to his TESE procedure and my egg retrieval] we didn’t know if we’d make it to the point of having viable sperm for fertilization. ¬†Our extreme highs and extreme lows came before the initial BFP. ¬†The waiting and longing, tears and angst occurred prior to our IVF cycle. ¬† However the culmination of our struggle was the point in which our little Mikie “stuck” and , thanks be to God, stayed. ¬†The IVF and entire pregnancy were smooth sailing for us and as some might say, we were finally on the other side of infertility.

“Righties” have a different experience. ¬†They might get diagnosed with infertility and move forward with an IUI or IVF cycle within a couple of months. ¬†It all might seem like a blink of the eye, and before they know it they are Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise [PUPO]. ¬†That is, until the otherwise comes. ¬†Maybe the cycle failed. ¬†Maybe their beta confirms a positive pregnancy, but there’s no heartbeat at the 6 or 8-week ultrasound. ¬†Maybe this keeps happening time after time after time. ¬†Just like “lefties”, it’s not the injections and procedures that are the most painful for “righties”. It’s the roller coaster of emotions that’s associated with the ecstasy of hearing “You’re pregnant,” only to hear “I’m sorry for your loss.”

As a “lefty”, I cannot fathom the heartache that failed cycles and miscarriages must incur. ¬†It makes me feel so fortunate, and almost embarrassed in some respect, to ‘wallow’ in my struggle.

What I’m trying to get to is the realization that infertility is not a battle. ¬†Whatever your story is, first time success or multiple failed attempts, months or years, “lefty” or “righty” is really irregardless. ¬†Infertility is a struggle and the struggle is real.

While all of our circumstances and experiences differ, “lefties” and “righties” are still one in the same. ¬†We all cringe at the thought of hearing another pregnancy announcement. ¬†We all “trick” ourselves into believing we’re pregnant, even when it’s nearly impossible. ¬†We all yearn to rest a newborn on our chest and hear a little voice coo “Mama” for the first time. ¬†We all could write a book on trying to conceive and could pass a phlebotomist test with flying colors. ¬†We all cry and we all pick ourselves back up, with a little help along the way. ¬†We all have the same common goal: to carry, love, and raise a child of our own.

When 3 Become 1 and 1 Makes 3


Sounds like some mathematics problem, eh? Math is not my thang by any means, but when it came to fertility, probability mattered. By the point of transfer, I think we were both in so much shock that we actually made it that far, that the thought of three embryos didn’t even phase us. To boot, Dr. Lavy and his staff had gotten us that far that we weren’t going to doubt his recommendations then…or ever.

Recently, I have seen a lot of posts regarding transferring one or two embryos and I have received some outreach on the matter as well. The truth is it all comes down to¬†numbers,¬†circumstance,¬†numbers~ well I guess both. ¬†In the end your circumstance relates to your numbers, right? ¬†If you have 11 frosties (frozen embryo babies) ¬†then chances are your doctor is going to suggest transferring one. ¬†If you’re on your third round of IVF, with only a handful of embryos left to spare, they’ll probably recommend using two. ¬†If you’re us, everyone’s so dumbfounded how you even have embryos they say screw it, transfer them all. ¬†Just kidding…sort of. ¬†I mean our circumstances and our numbers were grim. ¬†At the day of transfer we had 3 embryos quality enough to use. ¬†Basically there was nothing left and it was a miracle in and of itself that we had gotten the two handfuls or so of sperm to even attempt IVF with ICSI at all. ¬†Moreso, we were open, maybe even hopeful, to the idea of having twins.

While I had envisioned transferring 2 embryos on a day 5 transfer, that was not the case. ¬†See, I couldn’t help myself. ¬†I was still planning it all out. ¬†Getting the call that we would be doing a day 3 transfer threw me off more than the idea of transferring three embryos. ¬†Strange, right? ¬†But as the doctor sat in front of us, scribbling as he usually did, he flat out said, “You won’t be having triplets.” ¬†He knew our circumstances. ¬†His recommendation was transferring three to get two or even just that “one”-it was the best probability.

That “one”. ¬†If only you could see him morning, noon, and night like I do. ¬†He is something special. ¬†My husband has recently been joking that he thinks the doctor added a little something to the embryo because being this cute and perfect couldn’t possibly be from just us. ¬†He amazes me each day as he combines words and “talks” about things we did the days before. ¬†He’s loving and affectionate, wild and sassy all- in-one. ¬†As his second birthday approaches, he’s a combination of that little infant that relied on me for everything and this autonomy-aspiring, mini spitfire who says “No, mommy” when I try to help him from tipping over the cereal bowl. ¬†He’s our “one” that was chosen just for us to protect, teach, raise, and adore. ¬†He’s the “one” who made us a family.

So as we dabble with the notion of turning 3 into 4, I get a lot of questions about if we try for another, will we have to do IVF again. ¬†Yes, we most certainly will and more likely than not my husband will have to have the TESE surgery again as well. ¬†We are not that infertile couple that had to do IVF the first time and then, as fate should have it, wound up pregnant naturally the second time. ¬†I sometimes envision it, but then am reminded of the circumstance. ¬†What’s the probability of getting this lucky twice?!

The Waiting Place

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Last week, I was reading Dr. Seuss’s “Oh The Places You’ll Go” for the umpteenth time when it came to me. As I read the words, “…headed, I fear, towards a most useless place. The Waiting Place…” I couldn’t help but think of all the waiting involved in infertility. For me, the chronic waiting, was one of, if not the hardest part of our battle with infertility.

Waiting for a doctor’s appointment. Waiting for bloodwork results. Waiting for AF to come and waiting for AF to stop coming. Waiting for positive OPK’s and then waiting for Big Fat Positives (BFP’s). Waiting for answers. Waiting for insurance approvals and waiting for meds to arrive. Waiting to start your first injection and waiting for your first monitoring appointment. Waiting for meds to work. Waiting for good news, bad news, any news. Waiting to trigger and waiting for retrieval day. Waiting for an embie update. Waiting for transfer day and implantation. Waiting for Beta Day after the most dreadful wait…dun dun dun…the two week wait (TWW).

It’s hard to do anything or think of anything else when you’re in the waiting place. ¬†It’s like being in limbo, unsure of your fate. ¬†I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again~ if it were guaranteed that after all the waiting, you’d receive your greatest gift, then it wouldn’t be so bad. ¬†However, unfortunately, that’s not how it often works. ¬†Sometimes there’s more waiting.

Waiting for the go-ahead to start another cycle.  Waiting to save more money.  Waiting to hear a heartbeat that may or may not come.  Waiting to make it to the safe zone or waiting to get your rainbow baby.

It can be a most useless place for sure. ¬†I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get sucked into the uselessness of The Waiting Place. ¬†Unfortunately, when you have nothing left to do but wait, your mind doesn’t stop. ¬†You replay scenario after scenario~the good, the bad, the ugly. ¬†You read, Google, cry, Google and have a hard time thinking of anything else when you’re in The Waiting Place. ¬†All that can wear you down and cause you to fall in a slump…and “un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”

It wasn’t until our TWW when I finally realized that this could be my final Waiting Place and that it didn’t always need to be a useless place. ¬†My husband and I made a pact to avoid googling and not take a single pregnancy test before Beta. ¬†It wasn’t an easy feat by any means, but I’d recommend it to any of you in or approaching your TWW. ¬†It wasn’t until then that I realized the waiting period could actually be used in a productive way too.

Afterall, it is also in the waiting place that you’re getting one step closer. ¬†It’s a time to reflect and a time to breathe again. ¬†It can be a time to try new things and cross some items off your bucket list. ¬†It can be a time to reconnect and refocus on what matters most. It’s a time that will eventually shape you into the parent you’ll become because during that waiting you’ll learn a lot. ¬†You’ll learn about patience and perseverance which will make you a better mother. ¬†You’ll learn about yourself and your partner and most of all, life. ¬†Because life is not always easy and “bang-ups and hang-ups will happen to you.”

So try as much as you can to make The Waiting Place as useful as possible. ¬†When you’re finding that difficult, as you often will, look here for support and always remember:

“Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying, You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.”

Once you survive The Waiting Place that is infertility…

“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

The “I” in Infertility


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There’s a very fine line between living with infertility and letting it take over your life. ¬†The quest to have a baby can be consuming. ¬†Compound that with infertility and it’s hard to see life outside of doctor’s appointments, bloodwork, OPK’s, two week waits (TWW) and pregnancy tests. ¬†It can be difficult to not let it overcome you because infertility is a beast. ¬†But I’m here, on the other side, to tell you that it doesn’t need to be your be-all and end-all.

It’s all about finding the balance in life, which can always be extra tricky when you’re dealing with a stressor of some sort. ¬†¬†Sometimes when the topic comes up, you might say “We are trying.” Other days you might feel like giving a 20-minute mini-lesson on your infertility diagnosis. ¬†There are days when it’s just easier to wear a smile and yet other times when you need to let the tears stream down your face to get out a good cry. ¬†Allowing yourself good and bad days helps to keep the balls juggling so to speak. ¬†The moment you go too much one way or too much the other, the balls start to drop.

Much like anything that’s worth fighting for, you will also have to make sacrifices and not just the financial kind. ¬† ¬†Infertility tends to plan some days and months {even years} for you because of the intense scheduling, especially when in the midst of an IVF cycle. ¬†However, don’t let it dictate your life. ¬†Don’t waste away your days waiting for that one moment. Do girls nights and spontaneous romantic weekend getaways. ¬†Take on daring adventures, indulge in retail therapy, and pound back way too many shots. ¬†The infertility doesn’t go away but at least life isn’t slipping by either. ¬†Sure there will be times you have to “sit out” or say “Now isn’t a good time,” ¬†but more often then not, the infertility will still be there and those opportunities won’t. ¬†I found (and still find) myself so many times opting out of a bachelorette or putting off a vacation out of fear that a procedure or doctor’s appointment might come up. ¬†But it’s important to remember, infertility causes you to make enough sacrifices, so do yourself a favor-you deserve it.

That’s not to say it’s easy, nor will there be times that you can’t help but fall victim to letting infertility get the best of you. ¬†At those times, remember:

The “I” in infertility does not stand for identity. Infertility does not define who I am. It does not encompass all of me. Rather, it is just part of my story, as is being a daughter, sister, friend, wife, speech-pathologist, and so fortunately, a mother.

Since initiating this blog, I’ve had so many people, even my own dad, remark that they knew we were having issues but didn’t realize that it was that bad. ¬†That’s because I didn’t want infertility to define me and I still don’t. ¬†Even though I’ve overcome it, infertility is and always will be part of me. ¬†As part of my story, I’m inclined to share it to help others. ¬†So while the “I” in infertility doesn’t stand for my identity, I think I’ll let it stand for impact. ¬†It has made a profound impact on the individual and, more importantly, the ¬†mommy I have become. ¬†I hope that, through this blog and a support group, I can use my infertility journey to make an impact.

It Takes A Village

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They say it takes a village to raise a child and while that is true, in the realm of infertility it also takes a village to get you that child. Lately, I have been receiving more and more local outreach, which I am so extremely pleased by. Afterall, providing local support was why I created this blog in the first place. So I thought I’d share our “village” with you since word of mouth is the best advertisement.

1. ¬†Women’s Health Associates, LLC¬†New Haven & North Branford, CT ūüĎČūüŹĽ¬†http://www.wha-newhaven.com/home.php¬†(FYI: website is under construction, but you can at least find their contact information)

In prior posts, I’ve discussed how phenomenal this midwife group is. ¬†They’re just that good that I can’t help but reiterate it time and time again. ¬†My OBGYN group consists of four fabulous midwives, one of whom, Debbie Cibelli, actually delivered me almost 32 years ago! ¬†Given that she basically watched me grow up, she was very familiar with my case history and therefore was proactive in determining the cause of my irregular menstural cycles. ¬†Not only did I appreciate that and all the time saved, but she was also quick to refer us to a fertility specialist.

Some of you may be thinking midwife group~sounds a little earth crunchy and must mean no drugs. ¬†While they do specialize in natural deliveries, I loved their openness to whatever option was most comfortable for each individual patient. ¬†I ended up going completely drug-free but went in with a flexible mindset (AKA whatever I need to get this baby out of me!!!). ¬†They’re ability to naturally make the pain bearable was what helped me through. ¬† They also have great success rates in VBAC’s (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) if that’s something you’re interested in.

Throughout my trying-to-conceive (TTC) journey, pregnancy, birth, post-partum and everywhere in between, these ladies were amazing; not just the midwives, too.  The administrative assistants and nurses go above and beyond as well.  While TTC and during my pregnancy, I had the pleasure of being seen by all four midwives and have nothing but positive things to say.

Of course, Laura Sundstrum, holds a special place in my heart because she delivered my miracle baby boy. ¬†Please, please, please take the time to read Mikie’s birth story if you haven’t yet. ūüíě ¬†http://onprayersandneedles.org/2016/03/the-birth-story-of-miracle-mikie/

Just like love stories, every birth story is beautiful, but yours is my favorite, Mikie! Plus, you always hear the horror stories so it’s nice to hear a positive one once in awhile!

If that doesn’t convince you, then this will…Not too long ago I was talking to a labor and delivery nurse from Yale. ¬†I was saying how my husband and I were in awe of the labor/delivery and maternity floor nurses and staff after our experience. ¬†She asked who my OBGYN is and when I said Women’s Health Associates, she immediately said, “When the time comes for me to have a baby, I am definitely going to them.” ¬†If that’s not saying they’re the best at what they do, than I don’t know what is!

2. ¬†Yale Urology Center¬†New Haven, CT ūüĎČūüŹĽ¬†http://medicine.yale.edu/urology/

If you take nothing else away from this blog, know that a urologist specializing in male factor infertility IS your Fertility God if the issue is with your husband/boyfriend/fianc√©. ¬†Which also leads me to something I’d like to emphasize: ¬†infertility is not always a female “problem”. ¬†In fact, male factor infertility makes up approximately 30% of all infertility cases.

I digress and get back to our Fertility God, Dr. Stanton Honig ūüĎČūüŹĽ¬† ¬†http://medicine.yale.edu/urology/doctors/stanton_honig.profile¬†Check him out! ¬†Literally his accreditation and accolades are never- ending. ¬†I remember, when we first received our diagnosis from my OBGYN, no matter what I googled along the lines of top doctor for azoospermia in CT, Dr. Honig kept popping up.

What I personally liked best about Dr. Honig was that he was always positive about the outcome, but realistic about how we would get there. ¬†He set out a timeline and stuck to it almost meticulously. ¬†He was direct, but sensitive to the situation, professional, but humorous in a way that made everything seem less awkward. ¬†The moment I realized how vested he is in his profession, was after my husband’s TESE surgery, maybe 5 minutes into the car ride, he called with the unbelievable news that he had found some viable sperm. ¬†You could tell by his tone of voice that he was genuinely ecstatic for us.

If you’re dealing with male factor infertility and are in CT, you MUST heed my advice and schedule an appointment. ¬†Note, he is in high demand and appointments book pretty far out.

3. ¬†New England Fertility¬†Stamford, Danbury, and Hamden, CT ūüĎČūüŹĽūüĎČūüŹĽūüĎČūüŹĽ¬†http://www.nefertility.com/¬†¬†

My previous post titled¬†Name or Number¬†http://onprayersandneedles.org/2016/04/name-or-number/ goes into detail about the professionalism and compassion of Dr. Gad Lavy and his staff. ¬† Aside from being able to build a personal relationship with the nurses, I loved how Dr. Lavy explained our infertility scenario. ¬†He really broke it down, usually with some type of drawing or diagram. ¬†I’m a visual¬†learner so¬†I found that to be¬†uber helpful.

In addition, they offer a patient portal  so that your results are literally at your fingertips day or night.   Even though, Dr. Lavy, nurses Jen and Susan, and the rest of the staff see countless couples struggling with infertility, they were not at all de-sensitized to the situation (which I find can often be the case).  Being able to rely on them really relieved some of the stress.  We would always leave our appointments feeling more upbeat than when we had come in,

If you are concerned that you may have infertility issues, New England Fertility often holds free fertility testing and seminars. ¬†Check them out on Facebook to get more information, if this is something you’re interested in.

I believe, wholeheartedly, that had we chosen another fertility group we may have not gotten the results we did the first time around or at all.  Another pro for all of my Male Infertility Warriors, Dr. Lavy and Dr. Honig are buddies so they make a great team.

4. ¬†Craig Kelly & Jackie Kos of Kos Chiropractic¬†North Branford, CT¬†No website available, but you can like and follow them on Facebook ¬†to get more information ūüĎČūüŹĽ¬†https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kos-Chiropractic/183543721708117?fref=ts

I’m actually embarrassed to say that I never got the chance to go and thank Jackie and Craig for all they did to make my IVF cycle a success…the first time! ¬†So hopefully, at least in part, this can be a way to say thank you!

My work wife at the time, who also happens to be a close friend, was literally my therapist throughout my infertility struggle. ¬†She was always a big fan of acupuncture. ¬†Literally, if you told her you needed to quit eating donuts, she’d say, “Why don’t you try acupuncture?” ¬†So after the millionth time of her saying, “I really think you should try acupuncture…I have a great guy,” ¬†I made an appointment.

Both Craig and Jackie were experienced in infertility treatments. ¬†They were very informed and the practice was welcoming. ¬†The waiting room was always jam packed, too, which is always a good sign. ¬†You can read my post,¬†My IVF Tips¬†http://onprayersandneedles.org/2016/04/my-ivf-tips/ ¬†Let’s just say, next time we go for an IVF cycle, I will definitely be there. ¬†In fact, maybe I should start now to have some relaxing me-time,

The next two are recommendations for during pregnancy. ¬†I know you’re not there yet and may very well feel like you’ll never get there. ¬†But you will and when you do, I can’t recommend them enough. ¬†They were part of our “village” in a way, too ,so I couldn’t not include them on the list.

5. ¬†Raven’s Wing Yoga¬†Branford, CT ¬†ūüĎČūüŹĽūüĎČūüŹĽūüĎČūüŹĽ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†http://ravenswingyoga.com/¬†

Again, a little on the earth-crunchy side (which of course there is nothing wrong with) but may not appeal to the masses.  Let me tell you though, infertility or not, every pregnant woman should at least give prenatal yoga a shot.

In the beginning, I, like most I’d presume, felt clumsy and foolish trying to hit some of those poses with an ever-growing belly. ¬†However, when it came to strategies for relieving the aches and pains associated with pregnancy, these stretches and techniques were spot-on; more like miracle cures.

I looked forward to my weekly hour of relaxation on Wednesday nights. ¬†After leaving class, I always felt lighter and re-energized. ¬†The real testament to what I learned in prenatal yoga was my natural childbirth. ¬†The knowledgable and experienced instructors taught me how to breathe into the pain and I used these breathing techniques during labor. ¬†They actually worked wonders. Prenatal yoga at Raven’s Wing is a pregnancy must-do as far as I am concerned.

6. ¬†Childbirth and Parenting Education of Greater New Haven ūüĎČūüŹĽ¬†East Haven, CT¬†http://www.childbirtheducationgnh.org/

Again, this does not only pertain to the couple who has overcome infertility. ¬†This is a call to ALL EXPECTANT COUPLES reading and please share. ¬†Even if you’re not in the New Haven area, you really should look into attending. ¬†Honestly, if you’re literally within a 50 mile radius and you don’t take advantage of this course, it would be your first parenting mistake-I swear!

First off, Louise Ward, RNC, MSN, who is part of the Labor and Birth Team at Yale-New Haven Hospital is as hilarious as she is skilled. ¬†My husband says that if she was his teacher in school, he’d be a molecular engineer; I’ve “diagnosed” him with ADD, so the fact that he was able to sit and attend to the two and a half hour sessions once weekly for five-weeks speaks volumes. ¬†We learned more in this course than I could’ve ever imagined, even if I had read 100 books. ¬†Classes were entertaining, informative, and interactive.

Louise was one of my greatest tools during my actual labor and delivery. ¬†She wasn’t there physically, but literally, I could hear her voice playing over in my head. ¬†She provided me with so much valuable instruction that I knew what to expect as I entered active labor, then transitioned. ¬†Her guidance was also another key factor in my ability to endure childbirth sans medication.

Aside from learning all there is that you need to know about childbirth, we took away a lot of other valuable information about the benefits of baby-wearing, dealing with “baby blues”, and infant care. ¬†We opted for the five-week childbirth classes (which also included a tour at Yale-New Haven Hospital) and the Infant CPR class. ¬†They also offer a variety of other classes, such as breastfeeding ¬†and car seat safety.

If you are in the local CT area and have been following, please share with others, especially on social media. ¬†Also, this is just my “village”. ¬†If you had your own “village” that you’d refer someone to, please comment below~I’d love to hear your recommendations! ¬†Most importantly, please if you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, please contact me so I can become part of your “village” to making a baby.

You can contact me on Facebook & Instagram @OnPrayersandNeedles or via e-mail @ onprayersandneedles@gmail.com

DISCLAIMER:  This is in no way, shape, or form a sponsored post and all opinions are 100% mine!

Faith & Fertility

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For a Type-A-ish person like myself, it’s hard to hear “It will happen when it is supposed to happen.” Yet, as a fairly religious person, it’s even harder to hear “It’s all God’s plan.”

Really?! It’s God’s plan for me to be infertile, while millions of teenage girls who can’t take care of themselves are getting knocked up? I mean it’s enough to make my blood boil. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve said it before myself. It is one of those sayings that naturally spew out of your mouth; similar to when someone passes away and well-meaning mourners say, “She’s in a better place,” or “He’s not suffering anymore.” Yes, of course that’s what we hope and try to believe, but it’s just one of those things we say because it actually sucks. It really sucks and we offer these sayings as some sort of solace and hope that it’ll get better. Yet in the moment it’s difficult to envision getting to that place.

Throughout our infertility struggles, I went to church most Sundays and prayed to St. Gerard and St. Anne in between. ¬†It’s not to say my faith wasn’t tested. ¬†There were times I was mad at God. ¬†There were even times when I said at the end of the day having a baby was about science, not God. ¬†When you’re in the moment, it’s only natural to start questioning your religious beliefs. ¬†What’s worse is that the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in extraordinary means for conceiving, such as IVF. ¬†One poignant moment I can recall was my sister-in-law coming home from her pre-Cana with pamphlets on the church’s views on infertility. She sent us a text of her “reading materials” and of course that’s the one I spotted. ¬†I immediately told her to throw it away. ¬†It’s not that I don’t believe what my faith teaches, but at the end of the day, my God wanted me to be a mom, regardless of how I got there. I wholeheartedly believe that, despite what any priest or doctrine states.

Now in hindsight, I can say I also believe, without a doubt that God played a role in blessing us with Mikie.  There was definitely science involved and without that would we have conceived? I highly doubt it, even at my most faithful moment.

I’m still on the fence if that was God’s plan, though. ¬†On one hand, I don’t think it’s God who plans for babies to be sick, people to be ridden with Cancer, and lives to end too short. ¬†I do think, though, that it is God who helps us at our darkest times, who comforts us in our grief, and who lifts us up when these unexpected life circumstances arise. ¬†On the other hand, maybe there is a predestined plan-not to cause undue suffering, but maybe to serve a reminder of a higher power and to teach life lessons. ¬†If I look at infertility as God’s plan for me, I can say it taught me how to let go a little and realize I can’t control my destiny. ¬†It taught me the importance of faith and and reminded me of all I was already blessed with.

At the end of the day, science had given my husband sperm, science had retrieved and fertilized eggs to produce embryos, and science had made it possible to transfer those embies back into my body. ¬†But it was in God’s hands what would happen next.

 

Make or Break Your Bank & Love Tank


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Photo Credit ūüď∑ @http://mmaler.com

Infertility is both financially and emotionally draining. Even the strongest of relationships are likely to endure a rough patch or two during the struggle to conceive. It can make or break you. As they say, though, if you make it, you’ll come out stronger in the end.

Money is a stressor in any marriage or relationship. ¬†Combine that with endless hours on the phone with the insurance company and countless repetitions of your saga to a representative and you’re bound to be exhausted. ¬†Even with the best coverage, you’ll probably incur some out-of-pocket expense. ¬†Some of the procedures and/or medicines may be denied. ¬†This happened to us in the beginning of our journey. ¬†The insurance company wouldn’t cover my husband’s medications. ¬†Because they were for fertility, we ended up basically paying a second mortgage for quite a few months until we could change policies. ¬†Worse yet, are those couples who don’t have fertility coverage at all or have exceeded their maximum coverage.

It’s imperative to do your research and find out what your fertility coverage is as soon as you’re referred to a fertility specialist. ¬†I’d also recommend going here ūüĎČūüŹĽ¬†http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/state-coverage.html#Connecticut¬†to see if and what your state mandates. ¬†Connecticut, for example, has a state mandate that allows lifetime coverage for 4 cycles of ovulation induction, 3 Interuterine Insemination (IUI) procedures, and 2 In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycles. ¬†Of course, there are caveats such as age and length of time you’ve been enrolled. ¬†For example, at the time, I carried insurance for my husband and I, which was through the Board of Education. ¬†I assumed this meant that it was publicly funded and therefore followed the state mandate. ¬†However, the city’s insurance was in fact private and only one of the three plans offered included the state mandate for fertility coverage. ¬†Naturally, open enrollment wasn’t for another few months, but I guess as luck would have it, time was on my side. ¬†I was able to change coverage wellllllll before our IVF cycle. ¬†I was concerned that while I still had the same insurance company, since I changed plans in less than a year, the state mandate might be null and void. ¬†The HR representative didn’t know the answer for sure, but said she’d look into it. ¬†She then (sitting at a desk with her children’s annual baseball pictures lined up behind her) tilted her head and said, “But really, in the grand scheme, what’s another year?” ¬†Note to all: ¬†NEVER say what’s another year, another month, another week, another day, another second to a woman yearning to bear a child, especially when you have your own brood to go home to and snuggle. ¬†Shame on her.

I digress, but honestly all of those doctor’s office phone calls, battles with the insurance company, dead-end encounters with HR can wear you down. ¬†It’s like having a part-time job on top of all of your real responsibilities. ¬†As if that’s not enough, the emotional stress sets in. ¬†It’s easy to fall into that rut of sadness and to distance yourself from those closest to you, even your significant other. ¬†The burdens of infertility can put a strain on your love life. ¬†There can be a disconnect caused by the “He doesn’t get it” and lack of drive because “What’s the point?~We’re not getting a baby from it”.

When you get to that point, it’s important to step back and re-evaluate the situation. ¬†Yes, you’re overwhelmed and feel like life is being sucked out of you, but you are also going through this for a reason. ¬†The both of you love each other, so much so, that you want to create something amazingly beautiful together. ¬†You must remember, that while his pain may be different, he is still hurting in his own way. ¬†And it’s like pulling a rubber band-the more you pull away and push him away, the sooner it’s bound to break. ¬†Think back to the way you were before you tried to conceive and make that your final destination.

In the end, only the two of you can understand what’s going on in your lives. ¬†Only the two of you, can support one another’s needs. ¬†Only the two of you can make that most special gift, that is uniquely yours…and in the end, the two of you will be stronger as individuals, but more importantly as a couple.

Name or Number

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I’ve touched on it but I don’t think I’ve done due diligence in singing the praises of our fertility group. Despite Connecticut being small in size, there are quite a few options for infertility clinics; New England Fertility just happened to be the perfect fit for us.

Coming to that decision was rather easy. After my OB gave me the initial news of our diagnosis, she offered two options that she’d refer us to. One of which is our local hospital clinic and the other being Dr. Gad Lavy of New England Fertility.

While both were statistically as effective, it came down to whether we wanted to be a name or number. Private practice offers that luxury of a more intimate and personalized experience, much like shopping local~and we all know we are big proponents of shopping small in this house ūüėúūüíé. I just know for us, especially given my husband’s anxiety at that point, opting for private was a no-brainer. Then after meeting Dr. Lavy and his staff at our initial consultation it was only further substantiated.

Obviously, I can only speak to our experience for opting to go private and have nothing to compare it to. We never felt like cattle being schlepped along this path, but rather always felt like everyone’s main concern at any given time was Mike and Morgan. Whether it was scheduling our next appointment, getting bloodwork taken, or undergoing a procedure, we were always met with a welcoming smile. Dr. Lavy and the two nurses we worked with primarily, Jen and Susan, were professional, but also down-to-earth. We never felt uneasy about asking questions or for any clarification. Afterall, it felt like we were going in a million different directions, so naturally we’d think of things afterwards. I always felt free to pick up the phone to ask the nurses anything. They seemed vested in their jobs, but they also truly seemed vested in our best interest. Getting us our baby was a united goal.

Specifically, when it came to the whole IVF process, Dr. Lavy and the NEF staff were beyond compare. ¬†I know it’s easy to say in hindsight because our first attempt was successful, but truthfully I was never scared of the process itself because I knew I was in good hands. ¬†The nurses were phenomenal during monitoring appointments to explain the follicles and what they were looking for. ¬†I always felt reassured leaving those appointments and loved their emphasis on “quality over quantity” {especially when you hear of so many cycles being cancelled due to Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)}. ¬†They also offered a patient portal in which the results were inputed promptly. ¬†I found it helpful to have that information right at my fingertips rather than having to log it myself for my own records.

At the point of retrieval and transfer, Dr. Lavy was amazing.  He has a great cool-as-a-cucumber persona that puts you at ease, as a patient, and his bedside manner is top-notch. Therefore when Dr. Lavy recommended a day 3 transfer of three embryos, we barely flinched because we had full faith in his judgement.  The embryo transfer was such a special and intimate moment and I felt like Dr. Lavy recognized and respected that experience.  The environment, the aura, everything about that day just seemed magical to me.

There came a point when we were seeing Dr. Lavy and his staff more frequently than our closest family and friends. ¬†There also came a point when we became more than a name to one another and more like family. ¬†Time goes by so fast and we’re all so caught up in the craziness of our day-to-day lives, but just like with real family, there’s an unspoken bond and gratitude that we have for our fertility family. ¬†To everyone at NEF, we are forever indebted to you all and to anyone in need of a fertility specialist, here is their name & number ūüėŹ!

http://m.nefertility.com

50 Shades of Infertility


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Sorry Ladies! There is no Christian Grey in this one. Rather this is about the emotional gamete you run when struggling with infertility. ¬†Actually, I’m pretty sure these are things we feel when battling anything really. Like all grief, there are stages in which one feeling is more prominent than another and then there are those times when you have a myriad of emotions all in one instance. Regardless, it’s important to recognize these emotions and to learn how to cope with them.

I’m new to this whole blogging thing and social media genre, but I’d highly recommend following @missconceptioncoach on Instagram. This is not a plug by any means and I have no affiliation. ¬†I really don’t know much about her, other than what I’ve read on her IG. ¬†She seems to offer some great strategies for enduring infertility and I would’ve loved to have had this resource when I was in the midst of our journey. ¬†You can also probably make some great connections among her following.

With that said, it’s also nice to just read that another person has been where you’ve been in some fashion. ¬†There’s a relief in knowing that you’re not the only one who feels that way. ¬†This is your validation that it’s okay to feel any and all of these feelings.

  1. D E N I A L ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† It’s a pretty standard first step in any grieving process. ¬†Denial is a real thing; you just don’t want to believe that it’s real. ¬†You’re in denial that this is happening. ¬†Maybe you should get a second opinion. ¬†You’re in denial that it could be true. ¬†For me, the denial was so real in the beginning that, even knowing there was absolutely no sperm, I still symptom spotted. ¬†I still thought maybe by some divine intervention I could still possibly get pregnant naturally. ¬† Confession: From time to time, even now, I still think this.
  2. A C C E P T A N C E                                                                                           There comes a point that you then accept the circumstances.  The sooner you get to that point, the closer you are to your final destination.  Duly noted: easier said than done.
  3. S A D N E S S
  4. A N G S T
  5. S H O C K
  6. S H A M E ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Even though 1 in every 8 couples is infertile, there is still a stigma. Hence the shame. ¬†You’re ashamed that you’re the 1 in 8. ¬†You’re ashamed that your body is failing you. ¬†You’re ashamed that you’re not “female or male enough” to reproduce naturally. ¬†Once you rid yourself of that shame, there’s a whole new world awaiting you.
  7. H O P E L E S S N E S S
  8. P R E S S U R E
  9. M O U R N I N G ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You’re mourning a loss. ¬†Many infertile couples endure literal loss, which is a pain I cannot even imagine. ¬†Yet without miscarriage, there is mourning of a different type. ¬†You’re mourning the loss of conceiving the way you’re “supposed to”. ¬† You’re mourning the loss of something you’ve never even had. ¬†You’re mourning the loss of your plans and dreams of how starting a family would be. You’re mourning a childless life.
  10. D O U B T
  11. H O P E
  12. J E A L O U S Y ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You’re jealous that your friend is pregnant and you’re not. ¬†You’re jealous that so-and-so just posted on FB that she’s expecting again and you’ve never even seen a positive pregnancy test yet. In fact, you’re even jealous of strangers. ¬†You’re jealous of the lady in front of you at Starbucks rubbing her cute baby bump. You’re jealous of the girl registering at Babies ‘R Us. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† This was a hard one for me. ¬†I’m not a naturally jealous person. ¬†To be blatantly honest, there is not much for me to be jealous of because I have such a wonderful¬†life. ¬†I have an amazing husband. At the time, I worked in a rewarding field. ¬†I’m blessed with the best family and friends around. ¬†But there were many times that jealousy got the best of me. ¬†I’d say, “I’m not jealous of her. ¬†I just wish it was me.” ¬†Whatever way you twist it, that’s jealousy.
  13. B I T T E R N E SS
  14. G U I L T [because of 12 & 13] ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Then you have this constant feeling of guilt when you feel jealous and bitter. ¬†You feel guilty because you love your best friend and you want to be happy for her. ¬†You feel guilt for being a bad person and for being so selfish. ¬†You feel guilty that your “expecting and mom friends” go radio silent about baby/kid stuff when you walk in the room.
  15. G U I L T ¬†because of your G U I L T ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Then you feel guilty for feeling guilty. ¬†It’s not that you’re not happy for them. ¬†You’re just sad for yourself. ¬†Anyone is your position would feel this way, right? After all, we are only human.
  16. S E L F -P I T Y
  17. D E S P A I R
  18. C A U T I O U S  O P T I M I S M
  19. H O R M O N A L and not just when it’s ūüíČ time.
  20. S T R E S S ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You’re stressed if you’re making the right decision. ¬†You’re stressed if you can manage the injections, doctors appointments, failed attempts. ¬†You’re stressed if you can afford it. ¬†You’re stressed at home. ¬†You’re stressed at work. ¬†You’re stressed all. the. time.
  21. H E A R T B R O K E N
  22. G R A T I T U D E ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† It could always be worse and I had so much to be grateful for. Even though it felt as though my world was shattering sometimes, I just had to look around me to be reminded of all that I am blessed with: my husband, family, friends, health, happiness. The list goes on, but it’s important to step back sometimes to not dwell on the one thing you don’t have, so you can better appreciate all the good you do have at that moment.
  23. A N X I O U S N E S S
  24. C H R O N I C ¬†W A I T I N G ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You’re in a constant state of waiting. Waiting for your next doctor’s appointment. ¬†Waiting to get your blood work results back. ¬†Waiting for insurance to process your paperwork. ¬†Waiting for your next menstrual cycle. ¬†Waiting to start the meds. ¬† Waiting to trigger. ¬†Waiting for bad news. ¬†Waiting for good news. Just waiting. ¬†And it’d all be fine if you knew for sure that after all the waiting, you’d finally get your sweet baby.
  25. P O S I T I V I T Y
  26. E X H A U S T I O N ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† All that waiting is exhausting. ¬†You’re not just physically exhausted. ¬†You’re mentally, emotionally, financially exhausted.
  27. L O N E L I N E S S ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Even someone, like me, who has the biggest support system known to man can feel lonely. ¬†It’s not that you don’t feel the love and comfort. ¬†You do and for that you are beyond appreciative, but let’s face it-nobody knows exactly what you’re going through~not even your spouse 100%. ¬†And that can be a lonely place.
  28. F R U S T U R A T I O N
  29. E A G E R N E S S
  30. I M P A T I E N C E
  31. A N G E R ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You’re angry. ¬†Not always, but sometimes. ¬†You’re angry with yourself. ¬†Angry at your spouse. ¬†Angry at your doctors. ¬†Angry at God. ¬†Angry at the insurance company. ¬†Angry at the complete stranger next to you complaining about being up all night with her teething infant.
  32. P A I N                                                                                                                         Both literally and figuratively.
  33. E X C I T E M E N T ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You’re excited for the next step. ¬†You’re excited to start a new protocol. ¬†You’re excited to meet a new doctor. ¬†You’re excited that they retrieved some quality eggs.
  34. D I S A P P O I N T M E N T ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You’re disappointed that the results weren’t different and the new medication didn’t work. ¬†You’re disappointed that only half of the eggs were quality enough to fertilize. ¬†You’re disappointed that it’s a day 3 transfer, not day 5 like you thought. ¬†You’re disappointed that it didn’t work this time, but…
  35. H O P E F U L ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† that you’ll be a mom someday.
  36. D E T E R M I N A T I O N
  37. C O N S U M E D                                                                                                         All day & everyday by #ttc #ivf #baby #babynursery #babynames #pregnancy #fertility #maternitydresses #babyshowerthemes #whythef*#%amidoingthistomyself
  38. O V E R W H E L M E D
  39. D I S G U S T                                                                                                                      I vividly remember being completely and utterly disgusted when a colleague decided to announce to an entire group before a meeting how disappointed and upset she was that she was having a boy instead of a girl.  It literally made me sick to my stomach.
  40. T O L E R A N C E ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† But I had to remind myself that not everyone sees through my perspective, nor do I see through theirs. ¬†Had pregnancy come easy for me, maybe I would’ve had the same feeling. ¬†Probably not-but we must be tolerant of one another for nobody knows until they’re in your shoes.
  41. S T R E N G T H ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. ¬†This has made you a stronger person. ¬†Not only do you need to be strong to physically endure this, but you must also have mental strength. You probably don’t even recognize the strength in yourself, but you see it in your significant other and in your relationship. ¬†Your bond is stronger than ever because together you’re unstoppable.
  42. C O M P A S S I O N ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Everyone has a story. ¬†There are so many couples who have fought a harder and longer fight than we did. ¬†You may not always be able to empathize but you can sympathize. ¬†Through your own struggle, you’ve learned that everyone has a battle they’re fighting (divorce, addiction, Cancer). You’re compassionate enough to realize that today just might be one of their bad days.
  43. P E R S E V E R A N C E
  44. D E P R E S S I O N ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Looking back I’d have to say that there was an exact time I could pinpoint when I probably could’ve been considered depressed. ¬†It was September. ¬†It had been almost a year since our diagnosis and months of medicine for my husband with no change. ¬†I was up to my knees in insurance appeals and starting another school year. My biggest fear was going back to work and seeing how many coworkers had gotten pregnant over the summer. ¬†I was at my breaking point and I couldn’t control the tears. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Luckily, my best friend was attuned to me. ¬†I never had to say anything at all. ¬†She just knew. ¬†She knew I needed extra phone calls and extra check-ins. ¬†She knew I needed something outside of infertility to focus on, so we planned a vacay. ¬†It helped get me out of my funk…a little. ¬†Thank you & love you ūüėė!
  45. S T U C K. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Up until that point infertility had me pretty stuck. ¬†I didn’t want to book a flight for my friend’s bachelorette because I was going to be pregnant. ¬†I couldn’t plan a weekend getaway because I didn’t know when my next doctor’s appointment would be. ¬†I didn’t know what size bridesmaid dress to order in case I was expecting. I was living life in the what-ifs and it had me stuck for a long time. Funny part is that by the time I said screw it and just booked that vacation I ended up being eight weeks pregnant on the trip and sick as a dog!
  46. I N S A N I T Y
  47. S L E E P L E S S N E S S ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You’re tossing and turning back and forth unable to fall asleep because of ¬†numbers 2, 8, 10, 16, 24, 33, 41 -hell all of them. ¬†And you’re crying because you don’t know how much longer you can handle this and keep it together.
  48. I N S T A B I L I T Y ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You know-the kind when you’re at a wedding on the dance floor belting out¬†“I wish that I had Jessie’s girl” and someone leans in and says “Are you guys trying?” And you lose your sh*t, running to the ladies room while uncontrollably crying? ¬†It’s those kind of high highs and low lows that this roller coaster that is infertility can ensue.
  49. F A K E N E S S ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I don’t mean this in a bad way, but like any difficult situation you have to fake it ’til you make it. ¬†I can’t tell you since launching this how many people have said to me “I had no idea” or “I knew you had trouble, but I didn’t know it was that bad.” ¬†It’s not that I was being secretive, but I didn’t want to be that dark cloud or elephant in the room during happy times. ¬†It wasn’t easy to always put on a smile. ¬†In fact, that was probably one of the hardest parts of it all, but ¬†then I remembered #22.
  50. P R I D E ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† You might not be there yet, but you should feel a huge sense of pride. ¬†You should be proud of yourself and your SO. ¬†You should be proud of how you’re juggling all of this and how you’re handling everything thrown at you. ¬†You should feel proud because not everyone can do what you’re doing. ¬†One day, somehow and someway, a little someone is going to be very proud to call you their mommy.

P.S. I’d love to hear your thoughts & any other shades I should add to the list! ¬†Just comment below!