Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Will I ever be a mom?

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There are days that I wake up and feel like I can conquer the world.  Then there are days like today when I feel like I breathe fire and can tear down the world.  I think about becoming a mom, almost too much.  But, I try really hard not to let it affect everything.  However, this week it has almost consumed me in its flames.

(Yes lots of dragon references today, I feel like Daenearys, that I will just be the mother of Dragons ((dogs and a cat that thinks he is a dog)).. I'll just go with it.)  I have been having these terrible dreams.  I will wake up in the middle of the night and think that I am done dreaming only to go back to sleep and dream again.  They are mainly about pregnancy and miscarriage.  And the scare the hell out of me.  

Other than not being a mom, I think that my 2nd most fear is having a miscarriage.  I follow many Instagram ladies that have had them, and I wonder if I am strong enough to handle them.  Can I pick back up and move on.  Because my dreams are consumed of them, I worry that is my fate.  

I look around at different people and wonder where our baby is.  I wonder what he or she will look like.  I wonder what the Dr. is going to say at our follow up meeting.  I always prepare for the worst.  Like when we were down in UVA/ Martha Jefferson and we met with that Dr. and he told us that we made perfect embryos... I lost it.  Then why didn't they stick.  Why didn't they stay?  What am I doing so wrong?  Nothing was answered.  I am hopeful that this clinic will answer my questions.  I think that will all the testing that they are requiring and how particular they are being they will have different answers.  

I also thought about this 3rd cycle.  I have hopes, because of the new insurance with Mischa's new job I don't have to worry about this being our last try.  I no longer have that hanging over my head.  I know that is a sore spot for many.  I understand the hate that comes with that.  But, please remember that I am still about 24k in debt from the previous cycles.  I thought also about being even more private in this cycle.  Maybe just not saying anything.  I can't decide on this part.  

We were at Otakon this weekend.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is Anime on steroids.  In recent years they have added more things, like the have Disney Princesses cause lots of people dress as them, and they have started adding comics and more pop culture.  If you like to people watch, you can get a good spot and just watch all day.  I try not to people watch too much, but I do enjoy it.  In recent years people have been bringing their kids.  When Mischa and I first started going they were few and fair between.  Now there are a lot more kids, and this year I saw babies.  Like baby babies.  I have often wondered what Mischa and I would do when we had babies.  What it would look like when we went to places like this or Busch Gardens.  It wasn't until this weekend that I realized that this is normal for these kids and babies and it could be that way for ours too.  I know many people that don't take their kids to many places.  They stop normal life until their kids are old enough.  And I am not saying that kiddos can go every where.  But, they can go to places.  I mean I am not going to take my baby to the movies, but I can take him other places.  

You have to live life.  You have to teach kids and babies that there are life experiences and you have to go out and see them.  I still wonder if I will ever be a mom.  I wonder if Dog mom is the only thing that will be in my being.  I also wonder if I can be happy with that.  I have lots to wonder.  Wowza.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Dear Baby Stine (Life)

Image result for life isn't always beautiful gary allan

Dear Baby Stine;

I wanted to write to you about some things in life, because last night I couldn't sleep thinking about them.  I may have wrote to you about these things before but, never-the-less  I think that I needed to say it again to you.  I want to first tell you about the song that inspired this; "Life isn't always beautiful" by Gary Allen.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.  First, your Dad will probably never hear this song, only because he doesn't like country music.. I hope to instill a love of all music in you; its how your dad and I connected.  Second; Gary Allen wrote this song after his wife died.  I know that this is a hard topic, but I think that the song is very important.  It is the meaning on the song that makes it great.  "Life isn't always beautiful; but it's a beautiful ride."

Life: your state of being.  When I was 14, a freshman in high school, I though a little bit about life after high school.  I did okay in school, but I wasn't the best.  During the summer between freshman and sophomore year, I decided that I wanted to go to college and become a teacher.  That is when I developed a plan, I would press really hard to get the best grades I could, graduate from high school and then go right into college.   Become a teacher at 21, get married at 23 and have babies and life happily ever after.  Please pump the breaks right here; life does not work that way.

Oh baby; life will work.  Your mom made some dumb mistakes during that sophomore year.  I dated a boy (not your Dad), that said college was for dummies and I didn't need it.  (This should have been where I let my many watchings of Matilda kick in. This is a movie that you will watch.  Miss Honey is having a conversation with Matilda's parents about her being smart and that they needed to start on the path to college.  The Wormwood's ((Matilda's Parents)) insult Miss Honey by saying that a girl like Matilda doesn't need college because she has looks.  Miss Honey talks about them needing Dr's and Lawyers that would be college educated.. you get it).  I went back to being so so in school.  It wasn't until I broke up with this dude and started dating your Dad that I realized the errors of my ways and it was a little late.  Then I couldn't get into a 4 year school.  I really had to work hard, basically I had to get my associates degree.  And then I didn't graduate from college until I was 24.  And I didn't get married until I was 26.  And I will still working on you.  

What I am saying is it will work.  You just have to keep working at it.  I have to tell myself that all the time.  But, what I am also trying to tell you is: don't let a single person get in the way of your dreams and goals.  Make the dream and goal and go after it.  That is your life, not theirs.  If they love you they are going to help you get there.  That is how you know what love truly is.  And it doesn't have to be romantic love, it can be friendship love or any kind of love.  People who love you see you through.

Baby one more thing: talking about people who love you.  Blood does not ALWAYS equal love.  (I will love you no matter what, I promise!)  There will come a time where you find people in your life who will do something that is so kind and you didn't realize that they loved you, or even thought about you.  There will also be family that will act as your family and then they will turn a blind eye to you.  There will be family that will shock you, don't forget them.  People will pick you up when you are down, they are not always your family.  People will kick you when you are down, they can be your family.  I learned all this way too late.  I have a trusting heart.  I trust people not hurt me and then they do.  They really do.  I am sure that you will meet some of the people that I am talking about.  I will tell you.  I will tell you about friends that your Mom has that did a great act of kindness and told me about their babies before I just had to find out on facebook.  I will tell you about one family member that did the same thing, and how wonderful it was to know.  I will tell you about the family that just let you find out the hard way.  I will tell you how the have no regard for your feelings.  

Life: what a beautiful thing.
 Image result for life isn't always beautiful gary allan

Sunday, July 23, 2017

kindness

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Sometimes it is the little things the people do that make all the difference.  I never knew how much I would appreciate little acts of kindness until I went through this journey to my baby.  

Many people don't understand what it is like to open up facebook or any other form of social media and see something that brings you joy and pain all at the same time.  This is exactly what happens when I open up facebook or the like and see a baby announcement.  It is hardest when it comes from someone in my family.  Because, I think that they could tell me.  You don't have to call me.  A message or text will do.  But, they don't.  

I don't want to dwell on the above topic.  It is something that I feel like I could on about for days.  I could also talk about how family is really not there for you.  And how I am realizing that family is not about blood, it is about the people that you decide are a part of it.  I want to talk about something else other than being upset.

I have had some really kind people this year tell me that they are pregnant before I had to figure it out.  I cannot say how much that means to me.  It is probably the nicest thing that you can do for me.  I cannot thank you enough for thinking of me.  No matter how it is that you came to your baby, any step can be hard; I am rooting for you.  And I am in your corner!!!

Update:

As you know Mischa and I switched IVF clinics.  Not only because we believe that Martha Jefferson (MJ)/ UVA had no interest in us being pregnant, but because his new job covers IVF.  Even though this has me in a wreck; I am really happy about it.  I got to thinking... This place has fertility in the title.  MJ does not.  Sure is has "Reproductive" in the title, but they really didn't get to the bottom of why I can't reproduce.  

As I have said before when we met with the Dr she asked so many questions.  Ones that I didn't have many answers to.  I really thought that I knew all there was to this.  I found out that I really don't.  The protocols that MJ had me on where to suppress my system.  Which makes no sense unless I have a low egg reserve.  Which to my knowledge I don't.  But, I really don't know if MJ tested me for that.  I will find out when I go back to the new place and they go over all of our options.  But they are testing for everything.  They are recommending that Mischa have a Kerrotype test.  We were never asked to do this before.  Also once we make embryos they want to do testing on them as well.  It was suggested that MJ wanted to test our embryos, but he said that we made perfect ones so we should just go ahead that do another FET.  

I don't want to get into "Hot Topics" but all this testing sounds really great, if they can tell me why it didn't work.  Because I feel like such a fool sometimes.  I feel like when my OB said go to MJ or Shady Grove I should have picked Shady Grove.  But, I didn't.  I feel like I wasted a year.  A year that I could have had a baby.  Come this October if I would have done something different I could have a 1 year old.  This could all be over.  I could stop feeling so bad for myself.  But, I picked something else.  I regret it.

End of Update.

Kindness.

As I sit here in the quiet of my thoughts, I realize that I blinked and 2017 is almost over.  It has been pretty rough.  This journey has brought a lot of heartache and sadness.  It has brought a lot of things.  It is hard not to shut everyone out and try and protect myself.  Especially when you feel like people lie to you.  I feel like that a lot.  More often then I would like to say.  If you have a friend or family member that is going through this process I have some tips for you:
1. Be honest.  Don't say one thing because that is what you think that they want to here.  More times than not, it isn't what they want to hear.  They wanna here the truth, because when they find out the lie, then they think that you are lying about everything.
2. Be kind.  Any little act will do.  If we can be one of the first few to find out your are pregnant, that is the most kind thing you can do.  If we don't have to find out through social media even better.
3. Spend time with us.  We aren't freaks.  We aren't some weird science experiment.  And we don't talk about this 24/7.  Spending time with us helps us not think about what is going on all the time.
4. Check in.  Once in a while ask the person how they are doing.  I promise it is not always so heavy.  
5. NEVER EVER NO MATER WHAT begin a sentence with "We weren't even trying."  This is a nail in the coffin, seal the deal, I am never talking to you again sentence.  I know that this requires some thought.  But, I don't want to hear about how easy it was for you to get pregnant.  Because, lets face it, it is not easy for me.

There are many more things that I can say.  

But, that is for another time.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hazel Eyes

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I have been thinking, thinking, and EVEN more thinking.  And yet I feel like I have nothing to say.  Or maybe I have a lot to say.  IVF take 3 is taking it's time on me and it hasn't even begun.  The entire UVA/Martha Jefferson has me in such an up roar, that sometimes I cannot think straight.  I'm not sure how one place can just ignore you.  How, they don't send your records, and then bill you for something that your insurance covered and paid.  I will never get it.

I have been thinking about the point in all of this.  A period comes at the end of the sentence and it has to be time to end this part of it.  A lady that I follow on Instagram has come to the end of her IVF journey.  The cannot afford or emotionally afford to go on the journey any longer, my heart breaks for them.  I always wonder what that will look like for Mischa and Me.  It can look different, and I am not saying that we are at the end.  I just wonder.  Anyways..
I wonder sometimes what I am doing.  What is my purpose.  I think that sharing my story and awareness is one, but there has to be others.

I was talking to a friend about the "Infertility Club" as we have named it; we were talking about how different people have tired to connect with us over this.  How these people want to be a part of this club.  All I could say/ask.. Why do you want to be a part of this club?  Trust me, that answer should be NO!  This is not something that I WANT to bond with you over.  If we happen to share this, then okay, we can bond.  But, don't make shit up in order to talk to me and then try and bond.  I am not okay with this.  

I am not okay with being a made a fool.  I am not okay with people asking me things, because they think that something is wrong and that I will know.  I am not a doctor.  I can't tell you what is wrong.  And don't assume that because you have been trying that something is wrong.  I have been trying to make my baby for 5 years.  That is a long time.  I could have a 4 or 5 year old right now.  I have a 5 year old boxer, that I thought would grow up with my 2 legged child.  This is not the case.  I had to fight for all of this.  I had to find a doctor that would stop looking just at me, and I have had to pay and am still paying about 24k for all of this.  I didn't that I was made, but I guess that I am.  

In those 5 years I have learned a lot.  You will learn a lot.  You will do things that you NEVER thought possible.  You will do things that you NEVER thought possible.  You can find God or leave him.  You can become closer to your spouse or not ( I am closer to him, just in case you were curious.)  You will depend on strangers.  You will become friends with people, and then unfriend people.  You will do a lot.  

But...

Trust me when I say that you DON'T want to be a part of this club, that you don't.  You don't want to explain to people that you are not a mom because your babies are in heaven (Disclaimer: I believe that about my Embryos, you don't have to.  That is just my choice.)  You don't want to tell people that you just meet that you got up this morning and made a trip to an IVF clinic, all before most people get out of bed.  When I say that you don't you don't.  You don't want you friends to feel sorry for you (but you are thankful, that they are and they pray for you.)  You don't want this.  You really don't want this.

So while my ball of nerves are working... Pray for me or whatever you send in happy thoughts do that too.  Cause I am a mess.  And the ball is at the top of the MT and I am about to get crushed.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Ponders of the Wonders

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I want to first say that;  I am on this weird spiritual journey.  Before, I didn't think of myself as spiritual, nor did I think that I would become closer to God, however here I am.  And, 2nd I know that many do not believe/ or think that God has a hand in this.  I am sorry if you don't feel that way.  I am also sorry if I offend you.  Now, moving on.

I wanted to give a little update.  I don't really have much to go on.  I have been bouncing around to different doctors in the past two weeks.  I really hate them.  No offense, but it is NOT my favorite place to be.  I had a recheck at the Dermatologists office... I am starting to hate going there.  My skin is clearing up, but I spend maybe 10 minutes with her, for her to yell at me again about not using hand sanitizes, then she gives me some new cream, and off I am again for another 2 months.  I don't like weather I hate the 10 minutes, or I hate the new medications more.  Good news is the next appointment I will be able to break free and only have to see her once a year, unless I need a refill.  The other thing is, I really didn't care that my skin was breaking out.  I was more worried about my hair falling out.  And now that that has stopped, I don't feel the need to come at all.  But, I will keep going.  
I also went to the eye doctor.  Which was fun.  My eye doctor is an older guy that has been in town for a long time.  He loves to shoot the shit.  So, I bring Mischa with me, and they talk, and I just focus on my eyes.  I am more blind than last time, and I finally got my eyes dilated.. I have a detached/ floating Retina.  So, how he explains it to me.  You do nothing, until you get in a fight with one of your friends at a bar and you decide to Jello wrestle, and I get knocked in the head really hard and see flashing lights.  Then I have to go to the emergency room, for them to laser my eye back together.  I laughed so hard, my bar days are over, and I hate Jello.  But, you know what I will remember that.  So, I guess his job is done.

So I had my first blood drawl with the new Fertility clinic today.  Wasn't that bad, but the nurse that made my appointment forgot to tell me that I was going to have an internal sonogram.  My text with Mischa after the appointment went something like this, "Had my first appointment with Dilly today." I really have to laugh at this.  This new place really has these rooms set up.  All the supplies are sitting on the counter.  Pads, tampons, whips, you name it, its there.  I should have brought my phone back to photograph.  But I was a little nervous this time around and left it with my mom in the waiting room.  This place also runs like a well oiled machine, not like UVA.  It is also pretty bad when your Eye Doctor tells you not to use UVA; for anything.  Now, I can't say that they are all bad.  When my Pappy had trouble with his gallbladder they saved his life.  And around this area you can't escape them.  You have to go more north in order too.  So, what can you do?  

Anyways:  I really want to thank all of you for the love and support that you have given me over the past 3 years.  From encouraging me to switch OB/Gyn's to all the positive energy that you have given to me.  It really makes doing this a lot easier.  I am really greatful!  Now, get off of here and enjoy the birth of America!!!  Love, Baby Dust, and Lots of Fireworks!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Take 3

Image result for the scientist by coldplay

I want to first begin by saying that I NEVER knew that I liked Coldplay until I couldn't get this song out of my head.  Please don't quiz me on Coldplay songs or try to get me to sing them, because I probably don't know the words.

I have waited a long time to look back into IVF/ Fertility treatments, since stopping things in December and not being pregnant yet again, I wanted to be done with it all, and I wanted to push it all out of my mind as far as I could get it.  You could say that I have been living somewhat of a "normal" life since December.  To be honest I don't remember what normal life was like.  I got to watch Hockey like a crazy fan, I got to pretend that we were just a normal couple who decided to wait to have kids.  It was bliss.  It was all a lie.  But, that is okay... it is the one lie that I enjoyed for a little while.

I am not sure if I have said this, but I am getting more proud of myself.  I keep meeting new people and not telling them about IVF.  It used to come out like word vomit.  So now that I it doesn't, and I can control it a little bit better I am really relieved about it.  (So..I use the phrase "Word Vomit" a lot.. I realized that you might not know where this is from.  Please watch the move "Mean Girls" then you will know :)  Trust me, it is really funny.  And at that time it was pretty accurate on how clicks were.)

I think that I have been trying to pretend that I don't need IVF or fertility treatments.  As we all know this is not the case.  I went and talked (one time, cause I didn't like her) the a counselor.  She made a few good points, but she wanted to coach me and not counsel me.  The one point that she made was that she felt like I was trying to convince the world, of what I cannot convince myself.  Science is just that, and we have come a long why with it.  But, there is still so much further to go.  A lot of Doctors will NEVER look at the male side of infertility.  Trust me this is not just a female thing.  But, that is a fight that I cannot take on my own, I need to stick with what I can do.  

So let me go back to the beginning...
The Hubs will now be referred to as Mischa (if you watch the American's you will know where this is from, if you are not watching the American's you don't know what you are missing), I know what this is close to his real name, but I am not super creative here.  
In December after begging and pleading I finally got UVA to send us to a specialist.  Stephanie, one of the nurses that I like, said that we hope to see you soon, and I explained that Mischa was getting a new job, and that we had to go where the insurance told us.  She really thought that we were coming back, but what she didn't know is that I had no desire to EVER set foot inside that office again.  I began to hate it.  I felt like the had no interest in getting us pregnant, and all they wanted was money.  I remember looking around the office one day, on the day that I was running late and so were they... several woman were sitting in the office.  I tried really hard not to look around a judge, however it was harder than I thought.  I kind of got good at reading these peoples faces even though many of them I had not seen before.  I could tell which one was there for the first time, just by how hopeful she look.  I could tell from the shoe that this other lady was wearing that she was going to get pregnant with in the first or second go round.  Her shoes were super expensive, she had a key ring with a Lexus key on it, she was carrying a coach bag (it was not knock off), and lastly her hair and nails were done super nice and on trend.  I wanted to punch her.  I knew that she had lots of money and could do this process as many times as she wanted to.  And then I wanted to punch the office in the face.  I'm good at being angry.  I knew that if I had to wait any longer then I would probably become a ragging bull in a China shop.  Luckily as soon as I finished my thought, I was called back.
I am really thankful for the new job that Mischa got and the insurance that it provides.  I am also glad that I like getting a 2nd opinion, and not just because they say what I want to hear.  Because most of the time, it is better.  This time was better.

Mischa and I were super nervous when we went to Shady Grove.  For different reasons, he was worried about the cost.  I was worried about what they were going to tell me.  I knew that our new insurance provided some type of coverage for fertility, what I was worried about was that I felt like we had tried everything.  I thought that we were going to be turned down.  I was very unprepared for this meeting.  Mainly because I thought that we would be turned away.  But, this doctor was hopeful.  Her first sentence after introductions was remain hopeful, she said I know that is hard, but remain hopeful.  She said that more times than I could count.  We went through general questions, in fact many more that UVA... some of them I couldn't answer, because I just didn't know.  But, she said that her nurse would take care of what I didn't know.  Holy crap, you mean I don't have to do this all by myself?  We still don't qualify for IUI, and that is okay.  I can deal with that.  But, we can still do IVF.  We told her that we couldn't sign anything until we knew costs.  Our insurance is really picky also, so everything has to be done when they say.  But, lucky for us, this time... it will only cost us $375.  The finance lady and the receptionist were so stunned.  The Receptionist asked Mischa  what he did for a living ( I can' tell you all, sorry).  He told her, and she was like damn, never leave, he said he didn't plan on it.  We were gasping as we left the office.  We couldn't believe that it was true.  We are still in shock.  I think that we are coming to terms now.  

So, we will be going through take 3 some time in the near future.  New office, new doctor new meds... oh and they put you on prenatal vitamins that they recommend.  And I had to sign this waver that I was taking care of myself with breast self exams and ob/gyn care.  UVA never had me do any of that.  They didn't even care what vitamins that I was taking.  I feel like I am getting care, not just trying to have a baby.

So, now with renewed hope, I wish you love and baby dust!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Little Moments

Well, I'll never forget the first time that I heard
That pretty mouth say that dirty word
And I can't even remember now what she backed my truck into
But she covered her mouth and her face got red
And she just looked so darn cute
That I couldn't' even act like I was mad
Yeah, I live for little moments like that
-Brad Paisley

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There are very few times where I am not thinking about when my baby will come.  The reminder is sometimes almost more than I can take.  Yesterday was a time where there were moments where I forgot and then there were moments that I was reminded.

Yesterday, Hubs and I went to one of our favorite places, Busch Gardens.  We have been taking friends with us, because it is more fun with more people, and we enjoy company.  When I was thinking about having fun, when I was tasting the food, I wasn't thinking about not being pregnant.  But, when I got on one of the rides, I was reminded that I had tried so very hard for a year. You see there are some things that are reminders of a year of trying.  Not being able to hold my bladder is one of them.  

I really do enjoy the moments when I am forgetting.  Not that I can totally forget about it, I just like when I don't have to remember.  I did really really well this last month.  I met a few new people and I didn't tell them about the IVF journey.  I just talked, one did ask me about having kids, and instead of it coming out like work vomit I just took a deep breath and I said, "Not Yet."  Which makes me pretty proud.  It is hard sometimes not to just say it.

Another little moment is my hair. My hair is growing back and not falling out.  This I noticed big time yesterday.  One reason is because I took a straightener to my hair.  The other I could put it up in a bun, and nothing came out.  I know that people lose their hair for many reason's, but it was the 2nd worse thing to happen other than not being pregnant.  Many may have not noticed that my hair was getting thinner, and I am okay with that.  But, I have happy to say that my hair is better again.

It's really funny how different moments sneak by you.  How time "Stands Still for no man.."  I could spend so many of those moments thinking about what I don't have.  But, I try hard to focus on what I do.  I also try to focus on things that need to be changed.  I am working hard on that.

"I live for little moments.. Like that."