Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Overall, I am feeling very good emotionally. I am starting to deal with some very strong headaches. I am yet to have had a migraine but am having to take tylenol and ibuprofin every two hours in order to keep it at bay. This is a little frustrating, but I am so blessed to not have had a migraine yet and to only be dealing with this a week prior to retrieval. I can totally handle that.
Body-wise, I am definitely starting to feel that my ovaries are hard at work! I have stopped exercising at all in order to be cautious. I go in for my second acupuncture appointment tonight. It is nice to go and know what to expect. This will my last appointment before the "day-of" appointment. Our transfer will fall sometime next week, but we will just have to wait to find out when based on blood work and ultrasounds.
JB has started on his REI (reproductive endocrinology and infertility) rotation. He said it is going really well, and they aren't concerned at all that I am undergoing IVF this month. It is really nice to have him at a more reasonable time and be able to have some sort of schedule. Did I tell you that I didn't like his emergency medicine rotation? I really did not like it. He enjoyed the work he did on the rotation but the odd hours and swing shift schedule frustrated both of us.
Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was 63 degrees. Today I walked to work in absolutely frigid weather. Come on folks, support me here. How cold is it today?! Freezing!!
I plan to change my "vote" button sometime this week so if you haven't voted on where you are located, please do so as soon as possible. Also, don't forget to check out the "Song of the weeks" as well.
My blog also now indicates locations of the last twenty visitors. It's pretty interesting. Yesterday we had a visitor from Dubai! I assume that is Bara's family. WELCOME TO THE POLAR NORTH. I thought it may be fun to share the most recent cities to stop by the Polar North. Actually, it only keeps twenty cities in its memory and only updates its map each evening so this is actually the twenty people who visited late last night. Are you on the list? Don't worry, it only tells the city the blog hit came from so I can't actually find your house or anything. How fun is this!?
1) Glasgow, Kentucky
2) Reston, Virginia
3) Calgary, Alberta
4) Calgary, Alberta
5) Chicago, Illinois
6) Tulsa, Oklahoma
7) Boca Raton, Florida
8) Cincinnati, Ohio
9) Hartford, Wisconsin
10) River Forest, Illinois
11) San Jose, California
12) Hartford, Wisconsin
13) Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
14) Middle Island, New York
15) Rochester, Minnesota
16) Bellevue, Washington
17) Rochester, New York
18) Flushing, New York
19) Portland, Oregon
20) West Palm Beach, Florida
There's more that rises in the morning
Than the sun
And more that shines in the night
Than just the moon
It's more than just this fire here
That keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger
Than this room
And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the
Giver Of all good things
So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home
There's more that dances on the prairies
Than the wind
More that pulses in the ocean
Than the tide
There's a love that is fiercer
Than the love between friends
More gentle than a mother's
When her baby's at her side
And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegence I owe only to the Giver
Of all good things
So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home
And if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
Richard Wayne Mullins was an American singer/songwriter born in Richmond, Indiana. He is best known for his praise choruses, which have been embraced as modern classics by many Christians.
He often called St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) his hero and modeled his life after him by showing great compassion towards the poor and adhering to a vow of poverty. Often barefoot, unshaven, and badly in need of a haircut, Mullins did not look like the average American gospel music writer.
Unlike most artists in contemporary Christian music, Mullins did not consider his music his primary ministry, but rather a means to pay his bills. Instead, his ministry was the way he treated his neighbors, family, and enemies. Taking a vow of poverty, he accepted a small church salary and spent the last years of his life on a Navajo reservation teaching music to children.
He tragically died in an automobile accident in 1997.
Monday, October 30, 2006
All right, so I finally have a chance to post about my "night out on the town". Rachel and Tara invited me to BW3's on Friday. We had a great time, and it was good to "stay busy" while JB was his last night in the ER. JOHN IS NOW OFFICIALLY DONE WITH HIS EMERGENCY MEDICINE ROTATION. He starts Reproductive Endocrinology today. This is a little strange to me and a little strange to him being as I am a very regular patient there. I will keep you posted on how this goes.
- If you haven't checked out "Amy's adoption blog" recently folks, you better stop in. Amy is now a mom! Amy and her husband were chosen by a birth mom and now have a son!!! Amy I am so unbelievably happy for you. Amy and I connected very early in this infertility journey when we were both doing a slew of IUI's.
- I don't know if many of you know about Trisomy 18. It is a rare genetic disorder. Somehow, through Hannah's Prayer, I have stumbled onto quite a few stories of Trisomy 18. The first time I heard about this was when I heard about Jordan's Story. Then yesterday I heard about Eliot. The other is the story of Claire. Eliot went home to be with the Lord two days ago. Claire is now in her 30th or so day of life. You can find more information on Trisomy 18 on Claire's blog, however, to quickly summarize, most of these babies do not live to be born and very few of them make it to a year old. They usually pass away very shortly after birth. As a result, families whose children survive, often celebrate each day as a birthday -- almost as if it is a year. It is quite amazing, and the stories are very moving. These blogs may seem like they would be depressing, but if anything, they are moving and inspiring as you read about life perspective's for very strong people. These three families really inspire me, and if you have a chance, take a moment to browse these sites. I promise you won't look at today the same.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Anyways, we are home now. I have a Support Group meeting at 2:00 and sat down at my computer to blog only to see that the clock said 12:15. 12:15? I thought it was 1:15. We are having some friends over for dinner this evening, and John ran to the store, scurrying, in order to have the car back for me at 1:30. Instead, I called him, and told him that it was not near 1:30 yet. Daylight savings time had occurred while we were on our date. We had no idea! We thought we were doing good to sleep in until 9:30. It was only 8:30! Shucks!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
I just finished a fantastic book. At JB's 30th surprise party this past January, I asked everyone who wanted to bring a gift, to bring their favorite book! I, honestly, was thrilled with this idea, and will probably do it again in the future. John got some great books and has read many of them. He has yet to read The Kite Runner, a gift from our friends Tia and her fiancee' Rob. However, I am now done with it. I wish I wasn't. I wish the characters were still moving forward. I wish I could continue to look into their lives. There are so many things I still want to see them do. Now let me preface this glowing recommendation by telling you that this is not a light-hearted read. It is a very deep and moving book about a young Muslim boy growing up in Afghanistan during the last peaceful days of the monarchy, just before his country's revolution and its invasion by Russian forces. Written by Khaled Hosseini, he himself grew up in Afghanistan during the era that the book is set. He paints an amazing picture of a beautiful country torn apart by war. It is also a mature read with very mature themes. The language is not too bad which I was thankful for, but the subject matter is very mature and definitely not for everyone. This was borderline "too deep" for me. That being said, let me just say that Monday evening while JB was on call I laid in bed as 9:00 turned to 10 and 10 to 11 and 11 pushed its way toward midnight trying as hard as I could to get to a stopping point in this book -- a spot that I felt comfortable leaving the characters at until I could pick them up again. I finally did stop only to pick it up the next day during my lunch break and flip pages feverishly, attempting to finish before I had to return to work. It is actually completely irresistible. The characters are so beautifully painted and the descriptions so vivid that you keep forgetting this is not a biography -- forgetting that it is simply a piece of historical fiction. It is amazing, and if you can handle a deep, sad, and moving read, then give this a try. WARNING! SPOILER AHEAD!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Charlton 3A and I have gotten to know each other extremely well since I first entered its waiting room back in 2003.
Back in 2003, things in Charlton 3A were a lot different. For one thing, we shared a waiting room with the obstetrics patients. Let me repeat that. Someone, somewhere, thought that it would be a good idea if infertility patients shared a waiting room with women "on the other side".
It was horrible. Women wrote letters, voiced complaints, pitched fits. Not only were we sharing a waiting room, but we waited next to the children's play area. Go figure!
So in 2004, someone at Mayo agreed that this was idiotic. They decided to build a new waiting room. But for the next year, while the waiting room was being constructed, they squished us all into a waiting room half the size. One day I sat next to a 16-year-old, obviously not happy she was there, a woman having a fight with her boyfriend, and a family of five. It's the closest I have ever come to hyperventilating. I grabbed a magazine. Parents. Hmmmm....
Anyways, today, that is no longer the case. Charlton 3A now has its own private waiting room complete with water fall and no children on magazines, no kids running around next to you, and no pregnant bellies.
Okay, I got sidetracked. Sorry. Back to what I meant to write about. My experience today on Charlton 3A.
It went great! My ovaries are completely suppressed. I have to check at 3:00 and make sure my blood work echoes these results, but all looks well.
In addition, the mock transfer and cervical dilation went really well (as well as something with the word "dilation" and "cervix" in the same sentence can go). Dr. G., whom I wasn't very fond of originally, was great. I realized that our first meeting, in the operating room, with me yelling and him sweating, was not the best way to judge a relationship. He came in and explained that he was hoping today would help the transfer go much smoother this time. "I have you etched in my memory," he said. "And I have a plan for how to combat the obstacles we faced before." Aaaah. The transfer and dilation wasn't nice, but it was okay, and this dress rehersal will hopefully make opening night go great.
Afterwards, Roxanne, an ultrasound tech that has been with me since the beginning, said I deserved to do something nice for myself after this. I said I would like some chocolate. She surprised me and brought me a cupcake!!! Bravo Roxanne.
So, most likely, I will start my meds this evening for IVF harvest #2. We are actually looking at a harvest sometime around election day. So as the news people count down to election day (and the end of those horrid political ads!), I am also counting down to our IVF. I am also blessed to have my "free meds" from my friend! Even better.
I feel great. I feel relaxed and peaceful. I am having a little trouble sleeping, but otherwise, all is wonderful. I'll return for my next acupuncture treatment on Tuesday, and a week from then, we'll get this party started.
We also signed off a new number of eggs to fertilize. Dr. G. signed off with us as Dr. C. is out of town. He said he understood our concern. He understood trying to look at the front end while carefully contemplating the tail end. Exactly.
Keep the prayers coming.
I will provide an update sometime this afternoon and let everyone know how it went. I am so blessed with how fantastic this cycle is going. I have not had any migraines. I have not had trouble sleeping. I have not been moody at all.
Errr, JB is visibly shaking ... ummm ... JB is reaching over onto the keyboard to type something. I am trying to stop him. He keeps trying to type. He says he doesn't agree with that last statement. "What statement JB? I have not been moody at all. It's the truth." JB starts visibly shaking again. He looks ill.
No, just kidding. Mood-wise, I have seriously done pretty well so far but hopefully, this week, the stimulation medicines will start.
Let the games begin! I'll update the blog after the appointment sometime today.
JB, quit shaking.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
As they came around to take "memory" pictures for Char, I was able to secure a few for myself. Here is a picture of me at my desk at Mayo. This is where I work everyday. Check out the picture in the background. I asked them for something "Florida" and I got the Everglades. How cool is that?
Here is a picture of JB and myself during the retirement party.
Okay, let's lighten the mood with some trivia.
Almost 40% of Americans under 30 claim to own one of these! Oddly enough, the number is the same for either gender ... What is it?
Join the past winner's list. Now in alphabetical order to prevent hurt feelings.
- Cindy V.
- Gabbi x 4
- Kristen x2
- Suebaby x2
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Nearly eight and a half years since we got married, thirteen years after we started dating, and twenty years after we first met, I love him more than ever.
An example of why he is so great? Hmmmm ... just one?
The Medical School at Mayo Clinic has a yearly ball. We went the first year and had a great time. The next year, I bought a new dress for the ball. Then, my best bud Kristi up and had a baby and asked me to be the godmother and come out for the baptism. Like I even considered not going! No-brainer. I flew to New Mexico, and gladly missed the ball. I wouldn't have traded that opportunity for all of the world.
The next year, I looked forward to the ball and the opportunity to wear my new dress only to have an infertility treatment leave me out of commission.
So now, it is the fourth and final year for the ball. At last, I can wear my dress. We get the invite and find out that the ball is November 12th. The weekend after our transfer. If I feel anywhere close to how I felt last time, the last thing that I will feel like doing is going to the ball. I couldn't walk last time nevertheless dance. So that was that. Nothing to wear my dress to. He wasn't dissapointed. He's not big on dances, and I guess I am not either, but now I have the dress!
And then my husband stepped in. He invited me on a date for this Saturday night. A kick-off, if you will, to our 2nd attempt at an IVF harvest. He said that he didn't want my dress to go to waste. We had a very close friend bless us with a monetary gift with the instructions to "do something fun", and JB picked just that. We are going to a dinner in Minneapolis and then to a play at Guthrie theatre. John picked the night, the tickets, and the restaurant where we now have reservations. And I am supposed to wear my dress!!! How fun is that?
Seriously though, I am so blessed to have found JB. I am also blessed that he didn't give up on me. You may not know our story, but when I left for college, John was determined to marry me. I, on the other hand, wasn't so sure. Despite being less than lovely to him, he did not give up. He moved to Kentucky to be near me. He put up with my time of uncertainty and never gave up. How blessed I am that he pushed through and chose me to be his wife!
I thoroughly love being married to my best friend. It has now been over three years that we have been dealing with infertility, and I can honestly say that I am closer to him now than I have ever been. He is so good to me. He takes such good care of me and is such a fabulous individual.
Now that I have thoroughly embarrassed him, I will sign off. I love you JB. Saturday should be a lot of fun.
Oh, a few more side notes:
If you want to see a very cool blog, visit: Praying for Isaac Samuel and Remembering Rachel Grace. This is a woman on my infertility board. After nine years of infertility, she found herself pregnant with twins. Her son Isaac just came home from the hospital a few weeks ago. He was born at 23 weeks in Japan! He was 1 pound and 4 oz! While his twin sister, Rachel, went home to the Lord an hour after birth, Isaac is doing well. If you want to read a fantastic story, this is it. So amazing! I am simply enthralled as I read back (I've just picked up on the story recently.) What a blessing.
In other news, I spoke with my friend Michelle via phone today. I wanted to write a verbal congratulations to her and Hershal as they are expecting their first right around my 30th birthday in May. The picture above is from Michelle's wedding a few years back. Congrats Hershal and Michelle!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
As we pulled out the calendar post-acupuncture treatment, we realized that I only have one full week after this week before our IVF begins! It's unbelievable how fast this is gone. Woah. Now I really need to stay relaxed. Which, honestly, I have been completely relaxed. I'm sleeping great. Eating well. Exercising regularly. I feel really good.
If you think of it, please be praying for Friday. There are a few things that are concerning me. The first is that, without using the birth control pill this time, my ovaries may not be completely "suppressed". They like to use the pill but changed protocol to help prevent my migraines. Would I take it back? Heeeeckkkk nooooooo. I have been completely migraine free. This in comparison to nearly three months of nearly daily migraines last cycle. Yikes! So I am happy they switched protocol but nervous that everything will be okay. If for any reason I am not "suppressed", they would have to delay the start and have me take more medication.
Another bit of nervousness is the dilation. This is not fun at all. I am glad they are doing it now instead of the operating room as we all know last transfer did not go as planned. This is especially important as I have been talking to JB and my acupuncturist about how to stay "relaxed" and "calm" once I leave his office and make my way over to the hospital. I don't want it to take an hour this time. I don't want it to hurt like it did last time so it is definitely better to have the pain now, this Friday, instead of two weeks from now. But either way, Friday's procedure is not a fun one.
The third bit of nervousness is that we will find peace with the number to fertilize. We still have not made a decision and need to make it be Friday. We have basically narrowed it down but need a little more direction.
I am also proud as I gave myself a shot of lupron this morning. I haven't done that at all during this cycle. JB is working three odd shifts this week. Today, Thursday, and Friday he works from 3pm-midnight. This means that he isn't really feeling "up" to getting up with me at 6am. Even right now, he has stayed in bed to try and catch a few extra hours for his late evening. He had me bring the lupron into the bedroom and do it with him watching. Which was a good thing. It is an easy procedure but has quite a few steps, especially to clean everything, and I had forgotten one of them.
Today is also a little sad for me. My friend Char, whom I work next to at Mayo, is retiring today. Char is such a cool person, and I will really miss her.
Also, Flordians. Do not tell me or even entertain the thoughts of telling me as you have already so kindly done, that there is a cold front coming through. Unless it drops below freezing, you are just not entitled to that sort of injustice. Sixty degrees is not a cold front. Honestly, and this is not an exaggeration. If it was sixty degrees here right now, everyone, (including me sad to say) would be outside, without hesitation, in their short sleeve shirts walking outside to work, taking a jog, sitting in the park for lunch. Sixty and "cold front" is hilariousness not seriousness.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Monday, October 23, 2006
A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates. You may visit the store ONLY ONCE !
There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the Shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch .. you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building! So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband . .
On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love the Lord.
The second floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, and
The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking.
"Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.
She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads: Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework.
"Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"
Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads: Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads:
Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Now JB, as I mentioned earlier, is allergic to cats. So he doesn't care to pet them if he can help it. Here is JB, hands in pockets. However, as you will notice, the cats did not care that JB did not want to pet them, pick them up, touch them, or anything else of the like. They seem to know who the allergic person is. Look at this cat hanging out on the wagon ride with JB.
I also decided that I would try to take one of those pics of the two of us that you take while you are holding the camera. Here is my first attempt:
Here is my second attempt:
And here is JB's attempt. Quite a bit better don't you think?
Anyways, we attempted (unsuccessfully) to get some cherry preserves for Gabbi. Unfortunately, Gabbi, darling, they are sold out for the season! They promised to have more in August. Hmmm, not sure we can promise him we'll be there to get some in August. Our life is pretty up in the air. But we will see. Anyways, hope I didn't show you too many pictures of JB and myself. But I guess this is my blog so there you go.
Today, I am going to get my hair cut and pick Tara up from the airport and hangout with the Rays. It shoudl be a fun day!
I wanted to answer some questions that you might have on acupuncture. I have allowed people to follow every step of this journey so I want to make sure you are right there with me on this step as well.
1. WHY ARE YOU DOING ACUPUNCTURE? First of all, we are not looking at this as the "cure" or the "answer". At the end of our last failed cycle, John and I discussed that the battle that wages in my mind is the most difficult. It is very difficult to relax both on the weeks prior, the day of, and the weeks following the procedure. So we wanted to find some activities that helped me relax. We feel that this is one of those activities. We completely believe God is the "decider" of whether we have a biological child or not, however, if we can enjoy the process, and be more relaxed, we feel that can only help.
2. WHY DO PEOPLE USE ACUPUNCTURE? As my ancupuncturist said last night, if I came in with cancer, he would say "go see the doctor, and I will help treat the symptoms of the chemo and the pain you experience". Acpuncture helps with "effects". They do not promise healing from diseases.
3. IS ACUPUNCTURE SPIRITUAL? Some people discuss the "spiritual" aspects of acupuncture. Like yoga, it has spiritual aspectcs, however, many people practice yoga on a completely unspiritual level. We, however, are not looking this as spiritual at all. We are looking at the relaxing and scientific aspects completely. Last night the only thing spiritually we discussed was that he believed prayer and relaxation would help ease my relaxation level as well.
4. WHAT IS THE "PLAN"? I am going to go in for my first appointment on Tuesday of next week. I will do a few appointments in the weeks leading up to the procedure and the weeks following. The day of the transfer, I will go in before my hospital report time. Our acupuncterist then said we need to work to keep me in a "relaxed state" during the time I am waiting and in the room getting the transfer done. Hopefully, having the "cervical dilation" done this next Friday will help this transfer go more smoothly then the second one. Hopefully I can avoid the catheter as well. Then, as soon as we leave the hospital, we will return to his office for another session.
5. IS IT PAINFUL? It is not supposed to be painful at all, but I'll have to let you know. He said that he can thread his needle through the diabetic needles I use for my lupron shots. These shots do not hurt at all. So I can't see that this will hurt.
6. IS IT EXPENSIVE? Actually, it is very reasonable. It is comparable to the price of a massage or pedicure!
7. DO YOU KNOW PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE THIS? I actually first got the "itch" to look into this after an online friend used it in her last IVF cycle. Then, I posted a comment on Hannah's Prayer and was amazed at how many women had used IVF, some with success and some without.
Here are some questions ans answers from the National Institute's of Health (NIH) website.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture began to become better known in the United States in 1971, when New York Times reporter James Reston wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery.
The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.
Does acupuncture work?
According to the NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, there have been many studies on acupuncture's potential usefulness, but results have been mixed because of complexities with study design and size, as well as difficulties with choosing and usings placebos or sham acupuncture. However, promising results have emerged, showing efficacy of acupuncture, for example, in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations--such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma--in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. An NCCAM-funded study recently showed that acupuncture provides pain relief, improves function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, and serves as an effective complement to standard care. Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful.
For more information, you can visit the National Institutes of Health's website.
I hope this answers some questions for you. If you have additional questions, feel free to ask me. I don't know a lot, but I will be glad to help.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Do you know how hard it is to get out of bed when it is still dark outside? I'm not sure what is worse ... that my ears now hurt every time I go outside (is it already time for my hat?) or that it is pitch dark when the alarm goes off and nearly the same when I make my way back home at 4:30. Yuck. It was worse when I taught in St. Charles. Dark when I drove in. Dark when I drove home. It is wonderful that it is nearly 11:00 in the summer before darkness sets in. But 4:30 is entirely too early.
This should be a nice weekend. Tomorrow, JB has off on the same day that I have off so we are going to probably go to a local apple orchard (if they are not frozen), pick some apples, and make some apple sauce and maybe do some baking. This should be fun. We'll also go to church tomorrow evening as JB has to work on Sunday.
Tonight we are going to go meet with this local acupuncturist. He is actually located about one block from our house. We are going to discuss the possibilities of doing acupuncture in conjunction with IVF. I posted a comment about acupuncture on my infertility discussion board online (Hannah's Prayer) and was dumbfounded by how many women had done it with success (or done it and simply appreciated the relaxation it brought). I am not looking at this as the magic cure. However, I do think it may help me relax, and JB was impressed that two of the studies actually used a placebo. This means that they everyone in the study actually had acupuncture done, but the people that had it done correctly still saw an increase in pregnancy rates (meaning the success can't be mental). This is a huge indicator that there is some benefit to the use of acupuncture. Actually, as I understand it, the Chinese use acupuncture and herbs as one of the first-lines of treatment for infertility. It would be something we could try to use somewhere down the road when we are done with IVF either after having a biological child/ren or not. I'll let you know after out appointment this evening what else we find out.
We went to the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) Bible Study last night. It is one of the first times we have been able to go this year because of John's unfortunate schedule. It was great to return. It's always a great study and at least a decent meal.
I also learned that yesterday on my blog, some people were purposely posting anonymously because they were embarrassed by their answers. So the question is, what was their embarrassing guess? Was it passing guess or using the bathroom with the door open? HA HA HA! (Not sharing any names here of course.) If you have no idea what I am talking about, check the comments from yesterday's blog. I'm still trying to figure out what this anonymous person who posted anonymously ... gave for an embarrassing guess. Hmmmm ....
Right now, it is 6:55 a.m. on Friday morning, and JB has already headed off to the clinic for his shift. I suppose I will need to wear a hat today on my way to work. It is 33 degrees and supposed to snow again today.
Not complaining. Just sharing facts folks. Cold hard facts.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The show is called TEST TUBE BABIES and will be on PBS at 9pm I believe but check your local listings. It is the complete history of the story of IVF. If you miss it on TV, you can actually go here and watch it online. I'll try to repost how I feel about it after it plays.
Oh, also, my ears were cold yesterday because it was 33 degrees! Some people thought I had an earache. I think those people lived in FLORIDA!
I also recently learned that Tara had never been to Fazzoli's. Tell me people, how many of you have not been to Fazzoli's. This will break mine (and Josh's heart). THIS PLACE ROCKS. If you come visit here, I will DEFINITELY take you all to Fazzoli's. Kristen & Brandon ... let's go after church sometime!
Okay, Trivia time.
Over 85% of men say that this is something that a woman should never do - ever!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The first is the mother who smothered her twin sons. They were crying, so she killed them and then rolled over and went back to sleep. The second story concerns the brand new baby found in a trash can. (The baby survived!) These stories utterly confuse and bewilder me. I am really past the point that I tell God I don't understand why these women are mothers. I've come to peace with the fact that life isn't fair. However, I can't wrap my mind around why anyone would do this.
The U.S. began to issue "Safe Haven" laws back in 1999. This is basically the idea that a mother may leave her child at a hospital or police station. I thought this was a fabulous idea. Two million couples in the U.S. are currently waiting to adopt! If this mother doesn't want her child, let's allow her to leave the child at a hospital instead of throwing it in a trash can or smothering it. There are people lined up to adopt infant children.
And this brings me to abortion. I have my own feelings about abortion which are probably fairly obvious, and I know some of you reading this blog disagree with me. I also know that there are friends of mine who have had an abortion, and you have shared this fact with me. You know that I love you just the same, and I am not here to make you feel bad. I'm not here to argue a woman's rights at this point in time or to make anyone feel bad.
All I wish is that prior to getting an abortion, a woman had to participate in two activities. The first is that she would have an ultrasound. My friend Kristi, who has struggled through both of her pregnancies has told me that once she saw that child, it was so obvious how real he/she was. You can see the baby and the heartbeat at six weeks along! This is commonly when women find out they are pregnant. It is often after six weeks that abortions take place.
I also wish that all women considering abortion could meet a woman on the "other side". A woman like me who would give nearly anything for that opportunity and would gladly raise her child for her. I would love to sit down with this woman for just five minutes. I would love to share my heart and tell her what a blessing she has been given.
Yesterday, the U.S. population officially hit the 300 million mark. It is so difficult to comprehend that a baby is born every few seconds, and yet we still wait. I have been blessed to find peace with this waiting and how wonderfully strong it has made my marriage, my faith, and my walk with the Lord. However, at the same time, I wish more than anything that the gift of life would be appreciated by everyone as much as it is by me. Life is such a precious gift. Pregnancy isn't something that "just happens" as people try to tell you when you are young. It is a miracle that doctors aren't able to recreate with accuracy. It is something that only God can do.
Okay, I'm sorry for the step onto my soapbox. I was just grieved by these stories and really wanted to share my heart. There's my heart. Now my heart has to take a shower and get to work.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
I also heard from Tara who is loving Oregon. Here is proof that Tara cut her hair! Actually, JB loves long hair so I thought he would scream when he saw the picture, but he said, "Hey, I like it." So there you go Tara. Donated the hair to a good cause, and JB approves. Well done.
In other news, I got the disappointing news that my friend Stephanie had a failed IVF yesterday. My heart absolutely cracked for her. Knowing that pain and the difficulty surrounding these events, I truly feel for her during this time. She is strong, and I know she will be fine. She is also blessed with a fabulous husband, but keep Stephanie in your prayers during the next few weeks as she recovers and prepares again. She has one sticky baby remaining.
As for me, I must tell you that I feel like I am in one of the best places infertility-wise that I have been since we started procedures three years ago. I also feel like my perspective is the best it has ever been. I pray that this continues even after I start taking the heavy meds. I am currently taking progesterone every evening and lupron shots every morning. I am blessed because so far, despite being fairly sick with this cold, I have had ZERO insomnia or migraine issues. This has made this cycle seem like a breeze.
I feel like I can go into this next attempt with a much less "desperate" feeling, knowing that I will be okay no matter what. John says I should write this down (and I guess this blog qualifies) and go back and read it later if the medicine starts talking louder than my normal brain (as opposed to my medication-ridden brain).
I also heard back from an acupuncturist here in town. We are seriously contemplating doing acupuncture before and after the transfer. We are still trying to figure out the logistics of this. Most of the articles we have found indicate the procedure should be performed 25 minutes before and 25 minutes after the transfer. This isn't possible as I would have to go to his office and it takes longer than 25 minutes to get "processed" and into the operating room, and then after the procedure I am on bed rest for a solid hour in the hospital. But John is going to do some research to see how "tight" this window needs to be, and we will see.
I can't believe we are now only about three weeks away. Time is really flying. In some other bits of news:
- No I didn't take a sick day yesterday, and no, I'm not taking a sick day today. What is with me?
- I am still feeling pretty crummy.
- I found shoes to go with my dress for Keith and AD's wedding.
- I finally found a pair of brown shoes and tossed my old ones that were ripped in two places. 'Bout time!
- We ate Nik & Willie's pizza last night for dinner. I love that place. Bravo Rachel for introducing us these take and bake pizzas.
- We have been having some difficulties keeping up on housework and planning good meals between me not feeling good and JB working 60+ hours a week. I am all stressed about it. John just says, "'Tis life!"
Deep in the quiet of my soul- the truth i know
tested by sorrow, pain and tears- through bitter years
waiting for answers to my prayers- you were there
the days and nights you brought me through
shaped my faith in you
It's the simple things- i hold on to
it's the simple things- i find in you
it's to you i sing and to you i cling
it's the simple things
it's the simple things- that make me see
it's the simple things- that set me free
as i learn to wait you renew my faith
through the simple things- knowing you're my Lord
Finding your promises of hope- the words you spoke
friends beside me on this road- to share the load
pouring my heart out unto you- and listening too
resting in your perfect love- i can't get enough
These things that i could never live without
the means of grace to guide my heart
when i'm lost in this world of doubt
you bring me home (to the simple things...)
(You can click on the link over to the right to listen to it)
Yesterday JB was in the ER until 6:00. His schedule is not something I am fond of. His one day off this week is Wednesday. Wednesday is the one day I work a full day at Mayo. This week he also says some late shifts (1pm until midnight). I give people like my Aunt Linda, married to someone who continually works this schedule big-time props. It is really difficult to get any routines down at all.
This morning I am thinking of one of my dear friends in Hearts like Hannah. She goes in for her blood test today following her IVF two weeks ago. I so feel her heart and the internal struggle waging right now. It is a very exciting and overwhelming day. This is her first IVF, and I so do not want her to ever feel the pain of a negative result and knowing those two little babies didn't make it. If you think of it, remember her today in your prayers as she awaits the results.
Later today, I will try to put a new "Song of the Week" up so look for it!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I started my lupron shots today. The alarm went off at 6am, and I remember telling JB I needed my lupron and could he do it because it had been awhile, and I wasn't sure I would remember how to give myself a shot. They say it is like riding a bike, but riding a bike and holding a needle above your thigh doesn't feel the same to me. So before I knew it, John was back in the bedroom, shooting my thigh. He does such a great job. Didn't really even feel it.
I tried to go back to sleep but my congested head, runny nose, and sore throat told me otherwise. I needed some tylenol, a throat lozange, and a glass of orange juice. I have now had all three and am feeling quite a bit better. Better enough to find my way back into bed after I put this post up. John is on until 4 today and until 4 tomorrow. The plan is to try and go to Saturday service tonight if I am feeling well enough.
Our journey toward a second IVF is moving along without incident. We have not made an official decision about the number of eggs to fertilize yet. We think we know what we want to do but are still waiting, thinking, and praying some more. When I go in for my ultrasound and cervical dilation on October 27th, we will draw up the new paperwork with numbers that we feel good about.
I have also begun to toss around the idea of using acupuncture with our transfer. My new friend Amber in Kentucky used it for months prior to her retrieval to improve embryo quality. We are not concerned about embryo quality as that isn't the issue in our case, however, yesterday, I met a friend for lunch who has been using acupuncture to treat her migraines. The acupuncturist got on the subject of IVF and produced an article on its success when used immediately prior and immediately post transfer. The success is basically attributed to the help in relaxation.
I thought I would post a few of the articles here. I know a lot of my blog readers are medical persons, and I was curious as to what you thought about the findings of these articles? Mayo actually has an acupuncturist on staff so it is something to consider.
I could consider going to an acupuncturist before we go in that morning and then immediately after we get out that afternoon. Or we could maybe see if we can use Mayo's acupuncturist and get it done in the hospital room. Most of these studies dealt with using acupuncture 25 minutes prior to transfer and 25 minutes after getting out of the operating room. In nearly all cases, statistics of pregnancy went up by about 12-15%. It doesn't seem like it could hurt either way so we are thinking about it.
Okay, I am now going back to bed. Hopefully I will wake up feeling much better.
Friday, October 13, 2006
It was also sad to see that as of yesterday, all the pretty Mayo plants went wilted over as far as you could go. I mean, seriously, they are just gone. Froze to death. In one night. It's also sad to see so many green leaves on the ground. I am assuming this was because the frost came so early and the wind was blowing so hard. Will we get any more of fall? I did hear we are supposed to get some 50's later next week. Sweet relief.
Joanna, my friend from Hannah's Prayer, made a good point in one of her comments. I know that my fellow Floridians miss not having seasons. And I am with you on that. I think the seasons are wonderful. I know you all hate the fact that it is basically the same for twelve months with a variation of about twenty degrees. I feel the same way. It is basically the same here for twelve months with a variation of about twenty degrees. It's either zero or twenty below. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you Minnesotans (and forced-to-be-Minnesotans) are with me here. Winter is way too long. It could be May before I run outside again. T-O-O L-O-N-G!
My friend Ebby, who thinks cold is cool and snow rocks the world, called and left a message just to rub it in my face that the white stuff was flying. Ebby, I don't mind the white stuff. I mind the frigidness accompanying it. Real cute Ebby. Real cute.
Okay, despite the fact that this is the POLAR NORTH BLOG, I do try to refrain from killing the topic of weather. So onto other excitement.
In other news, I had lunch with a dear friend yesterday. I won't put her name on here because I am now going to share the miraculous gift she gave me, and I don't want to get her in trouble so I'll keep her anonymous. Needless to say, she had a slight mix-up with her medication during one of her IVF cycles which resulted in the cycle having to be cancelled. The pharmaceutical company heard about the mix-up and the wasted Gonal, felt bad, and gave her FREE GONAL!
Now some background for you non-fertility-challenged blog visitors. Gonal is the grand-daddy of infertility medications when it comes to your pocketbook. It's the medication that causes the pharmacy cashiers to say things like, "Holy buckets! That's more than my paycheck!" or even, "I won't say this out loud," as they scoot the receipt over toward me. Unfortunately, because I do not ovulate on my own, every IUI (artificial insemination) we tried (five), required heavy doses of Gonal. (Some women can do the IUI without the medication, but I couldn't). And IVF, of course, requires Gonal. I won't go into the details of how much it costs but an average cycle ranges between $1,000 and $3,000. And that amount is our HALF. Mayo pays 50%.
Anyways, my dear, anonymous friend is currently waiting to find out if her first attempt with IVF worked. She also has one "sticky baby" in reserve, so she is very hopeful that she will not need any of her leftover Gonal. So, yes, you guessed it. She has given me her Gonal. Now, technically, doctors tell you not to share medications. However, these are closed cases of precious liquid that will, hopefully in her case, have to be thrown in the trash. Thousands of dollars worth of medications. JB and I did tell her, however, that if for any reason, she does another harvest before the meds were to go bad, we would pay her for them. But we are praying hard she gets pregnant and we save a few thousand dollars.
Pretty cool, huh? Thank you my dear, anonymous friend. I can't wait to celebrate your good news with you.
We also went to the Rochester Towers potluck last night. It was fun. Interesting. I ate cold baked beans. I had never really heard of serving baked beans cold, but obviously people here do that. I also ate sausage drenched in beer. Don't think I'll eat those again. We were the youngest couple there, however, we sat next to our friend Susan's daughter and her husband and five-year-old daughter, Kayla. Kayla is a frequent occurrence in the Rochester Towers. She is often over at her grandparents' house. She is also adopted. Before we knew it, her father was telling the story of her adoption -- how at 44, he thought he would never be a father, when he met a woman through his job as a counselor who's daughter was pregnant. Long story short, the daughter picked them to parent her child. It was quite a story. He talked quite candidly about having to watch his wife sit in the pews at church while all the mothers were honored on Mother's Day. (Reason number 8 I do not attend church on Mother's Day.) I have never had a conversation with a male about infertility and adoption like this. John and I were both blessed by seeing how well their open adoption worked and how much of a blessing Kayla was in their lives. The potluck was fun, but I'm glad it finished by 7:15 because we had forgotten to tape Survivor! Thank Goodness I remembered it was on.
It is currently 5:30 on Friday morning. Why am I up already? I am not feeling well. Got some doozy of a cold and am feeling really cruddy. I really needed a throat lozenge, and you can't really suck on those while you are sleeping. I debated for about twenty minutes whether my throat was soarer than my desire to lie in bed. My throat won out. I am tempted to call in sick today, but I am just not a "call in sick" type of person. I read that people actually get mad at people that go to work sick because they spread their germs. That may be true, but I bet you fifty bucks my boss would rather I spread my germs than not come into work. So, I'll manage.
This is, I realize, the first time I have really been sick in well over a year. Maybe two years. I think that's a pretty good track record. Of course, I've been sick from my medications, but that doesn't really count.
I also realized that since I entered the work force in 1999, I have never, ever called in sick. I think that is a pretty good track record as well. I have left sick a few times when I was a teacher and didn't have anything big planned in the afternoon, but I have never called in and said I couldn't come to work. I've decided to try and keep that going as long as I can. I'll manage work today. I'm only a half day at Mayo. Then I'm having lunch with a good friend at one of my favorite lunch spots: Jasper's. Then I'll be working from home for RLSF. Then the weekend is here. I can manage!
Thanks for reading my early morning babble. Have a great weekend.
I also wanted to share an amazing video about surrogacy with you. I cried and cried as I watched this video. NURSE BECOMES SURROGATE FOR INFERTILE COUPLE. There will be an ad and then the video will play.