Update & Water Ultrasound

I have written in a while… 16 months to be exact.

A lot has happened in the past 16 months. We moved into my in-law’s basement, which was a nice slice of humble pie for us in our early 30’s. After all we don’t want to be THOSE millennials. We’re both grown adults with degrees and full-time career jobs. But nevertheless, they offered, and we felt good about it.

Our main goal moving-in was to pay off all our debt and save up enough $$$ to pay for our first round of IVF. We estimated that this would take us approximately 15 months. It’s been 12 so far, since moving in.

We have all of my husband’s student loans paid off. Mine have been reduced significantly. We bought my car so I would have something reliable and economical to drive for the next 5-10 years, which set us behind on our money saving goal. But the good news is that we found a new fertility doctor who has given us a lower quote for IVF!

We are looking at $16,000- $17,000 without genetic testing, and around $25,000 with genetic testing. But we find out in a week if we need it or not. This will solely be based off of whether or not I am a carrier of the gene for CF, Cystic Fibrosis. If I am a carrier, our children will have a 50% chance of having CF. If we do genetic screening, we can find out which embryos are not affected so that we implant only healthy embryos.

But genetic screening is an additional $7,000-$9,000. Super expensive! So, fingers crossed that I’m in the clear. The good news is that my odds are low: 1.5%.

Other good news…

My blood work came back for all of my hormone levels, and everything looks great and in the normal, healthy zones. Also, I’ve now had an ultrasound and a water ultrasound. The regular ultrasound was to see if I had any cysts, polyps or abnormalities on the outside of my uterus, and I was scotch clean.

Today I had a water ultrasound to measure all of those things, but on the inside of my uterus. And while this was possibly the most painful feeling Ive ever had in my nether regions, the doctor did not find a single problem! Yay! So, my body is ready for babies!

In a week and a half my husband gets TESE surgery, where they will knock him out with an IV and extract sperm with needles. Sounds lovely right? We’ll be picking up some heavy pain killers for the poor guy. We’re excited to find out how the little guys are: motility, quality, health. If all is well, they’ll be frozen and hubby will be done!!!

Lucky man. And that would be the completion of all our preliminary testing. After that our plan is to save up the rest of the money and go through our first cycle at the end of July/beginning of August!

I can’t believe our time is coming. It feels so good to finally be making some real progress and getting closer and closer to growing our little family.

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Waiting is hard

You know when you think you’re doing well, yet you can’t seem to kick that sad feeling that  you have in your gut? I go to work and I feel happy that I am earning money that will go toward IVF. I am accomplishing my dreams one day at a time by making money. This is a good thing. But then I come home to an empty house and the sadness returns.

As a teacher I find joy in helping my students. But then there are days when my students are disrespectful and selfish and rude. And on those days, I hate my job and wish I had chosen a different profession. But I must work because I want my own babies, and working will bring that blessing into my life faster.

People seem to feel sorry for me, but sense my sadness. And so everyone has slowly left me alone. I am alone. Sometimes I like being alone. I don’t want people thinking this is who I am, a sad person. Yet, I am sad. And I can’t seem to really hide it. And so, I hide from people.

Infertility has affected me in such an emotional way that I have officially arrived at depression. It’s not one of those paralyzing depressions. I can still get up, go to work, come home, clean, eat and whatever else. But I am not happy. I don’t see much joy in anything I do. I am depressed.

I often find myself frowning instead of smiling, especially when I finally get into my car to drive home from work. I am allowed to be human in that moment and not be a mentor to my students. I’m allowed to feel the emotions that have been held just under the surface all day.

I’m not sure what the point of this post was, other than just needing to vent. But waiting is hard. Waiting for your life to really begin is a difficult thing to do. I’m afraid this next year is going to go by very slowly.

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TMFB: Donations

TMFB,

I just want you to know that many people are already crazy about you. I have received donations to help pay for your creation from at least 6 people now. They all love me and your dad, and they love you too. When you come, you will see how special you are to them as they helped foster bringing you into their lives.

We are loved and blessed by good family and friends.

Love you,

Mommy

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TMFB: Twins

TMFB,

I imagine often how you will look and what your personalities will be like. I feel the need to write to you in plural form because I am planning on having more than one of you.

I also keep having this strong feeling that when we do IVF, I’m going to have twins, one boy and one girl. I know you are going to be strong spirits and that you are going to be leaders. I can’t wait t have you in my life.

Love,

Mommy

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To My Future Babies

So, now that we are working toward saving our money up for IVF, I have felt my heart and my spirit heal quite a bit. And I feel like I have been given something to hold on to and to hope for that is very tangible. I feel happy and peaceful after having made it through a storm of unexpected emotions.

It reminds me of how I felt when I decided to give myself hope for marriage. I was single 8 years past the time I had expected to be married. I was ready long before that finally happened. And I went into depression feeling hopeless and powerless when it came to marriage. The day came when I decided to change my mindset. So, the biggest thing I did for myself was to tell and remind myself daily that I was just a step away from finding my future husband. And I wrote blog posts to my future husband, telling him things I wanted him to know about me. And this process gradually healed my heart and helped me gain confidence, confidence to actually do online dating on 4 different dating sites.

Not even a year after I had begun this blogging to my future husband and 3 months after I began online dating, I met and married the love of my life. Ironically we didn’t meet online, but at church. However those online dates really gave me back my confidence, which drew him to me, along with my optimism and healthy perspective, which I regained through this thought process.

So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to start writing blog posts to my future children. We expect and desire to have more than one baby. And with IVF, you can choose the amount of healthy embryos that are implanted. Well, we are going to do 3 each round. If I have twins, great! If I have triplets, I’ll probably be done. Ha ha! But I’ll finally have my babies!!!

So, here is my first post to my future babies:

I just want you to know that we already have names for you. Ha ha! We actually have 8 solid names that we love, 4 boy names and 4 girl names, but there are two that we are particularly in love with, and we feel that these two names are destined for our future children, for you.

We are slightly superstitious with this naming process because it seems that as soon as we voice aloud the names we love, everyone else begins naming their children the same names that we love, which is the opposite of what we want for you. Both of us having grown up with unique names, we feel that this is a special thing and that it is something we want for you. Also as a high school teacher, I have so many students with similar names and I can see how it leaves them feeling less special to be named something generic for their generation.

So, if your names have been stolen from us before you make it into our life, we will reconsider for your sakes. But just having a list of names that we cherish for now really gives us hope and excitement for you, whenever it is that we finally get to meet you.

We can’t wait!

Love you with all our hearts,

Mom and Dad

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IVF = Hope for us

So, my husband’s blood work came back, and we have some great news! They said his hormone levels were in the normal range for sperm production, which means Invitro Fertilization is a possibility for us.

After crying for an entire week about every crazy emotion that hinged upon this possibility,  when I heard the news I cried some more. Ha ha! But this time, they were tears of relief and gratitude. I have had some real on-my-knees, heart-felt prayers to God lately, petitioning and pleading with Him. I’ve been asking him for answers, and for the strength to endure those answers.

Going through IVF is doable. I can handle this! Is this what I would have chosen for myself? No! Is this ideal? No! But, it is my path to my babies. I will walk this path. I want my babies!

Financially, we both feel strongly that we need to first get out of student loan debt. So, we’re dedicating one year to living off my husband’s income alone and saving up all of my income, which will pay off the loans. Which means we will be debt free in a year!

Then we’ll do the same for a second year, which will be enough money for 1-3 rounds of IVF. We’ve been told that is what we should expect to pay for one pregnancy. If we have twins, great! We’re 30 and 32. We are more than ready for our little family to grow. If it grows even faster than the expected, awesome! If we have triplets, we might retire from the IVF business. Ha ha! But either way, we’re aiming to remain debt free after baby #1 is created.

So, we’ll live this way, keeping our budget down and saving up my entire paycheck for a third year, while I am hopefully pregnant, so that we can also save up a down payment for our first house. If we can handle this, we will push ourselves to save this way for 2 more years while I work from home and raise the first batch of babies. (I can say that, right? After all our babies are going to be made under a microscope in a lab.)

We are happy to have answers and direction. It’s nice to know what we need to plan for. It’s nice to know what to expect. Going through 2 years of infertility was hard, feeling lost and not knowing what the problem was.

I now feel peace and acceptance of this process. I’m sure some time in the future I will understand why this was God’s path for me. For now, I am just gearing up for the next phase. We’ve got 3-5 years of pinching pennies, saving hard and potentially welcoming some beautiful babies into our family. Let’s do this!

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Semen Analysis Death Blow

My poor husband had to undergo a truly disappointing visit to the urologist yesterday. Not only was his appointment and hour and half late, but he was given some pretty hard news. Well, WE were given some pretty hard news.

The main goal of this appointment was to find out the result of his semen analysis. And… well… the result was there were no semen at all. Zero. Zilch. What?!

It turns out he is missing the vesicles that connect the testicles to the penis, the vesicles that transfer the sperm to the penis. They are simply not there, never developed. Something about a congenital disorder.

So what does this mean? What are our options?

Basically, there is one last option for us and our future biological children. My husband will need to get some blood work done to test his hormone levels. If everything looks fine, they will examine his testicles to make sure there is indeed sperm in them. And the hope is, they can remove the sperm with a syringe and perform IVF.

However, if sperm are non existent or irregular and not fit for reproduction, it’s game over for biological babies.

We are not opposed to adoption. If it comes to that, we would be more than happy to accept this as the will of God and pray and seek out the spirits that He leads us to care for. We will love and cherish those babies forever.

But for now, our hearts and our future as parents hinge upon a few blood tests.

I definitely cried my eyes out yesterday and reassured my husband several times that I love him, that I will still have frequent sex with him, that I still very much consider him a man, and that none of this fertility business changes my feelings towards him. It only makes me hurt more that he has to be the one to be diagnosed with the problem.

Oh, and this means I’m off Clomid… for now. Hooray? Yes. Hooray! It kind of made me irritable.

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