Looking back over 2014

As the Year comes to an end I thought 
I would share a few pictures from my year :)
I have so much to be thankful for, and although sometimes 
IVF makes my point of view a tunnel toward failure, this is not so.  
I have such great life and know deep inside it will all work out in my favor.

Paint night with sisters and friends!

And again this past month!

Bridesmaid in my best friends wedding! 

A Halloween Costume for Hunter!  Took me forever! 

Hunter's First Day at OLA

Nana and grandpa celebrate 74 years together!

Another Baseball Game

 Kids come over to play!

New Dining room table 

I got a new car!

New engagement ring on our anniversary!  (and first)

Girls Weekend bachelorette 

Another box of IVF meds


The Santa Baby Commercial! Please just pull the trigger while your at it

Am I alone on this one?  Living in limbo is not easy.  Will I ever be a mom?  Is this the round that will work? Will any round work?

A moment happened to me last night after snuggling into bed. It was a commercial.

I wanted to throw my water glass at the tv. I was pissed and upset.  I felt that it was the most hurtful commercial I have ever seen. Why? Because it's dangling pregnancy front of me.  5 beautiful pregnant girls dancing all cute and sexy.  I just didn't want to see it and was having a physical reaction - and of all times of the year? Christmas, the hardest holiday for us struggling to get pregnant people.  It hurt and after it was over I just about started to cry. Knowing my husband was laying next to me I held it in. 
I am in limbo! This is what it's about.  Pretending it doesn't hurt when it does.  
Feeling jealous over all class, age or size of woman at any given moment.

I know I can't erase the world. It just sucks to be in limbo.

*IVF Round 5 Update* To Blog (in-time) Or Not To Blog!

So I finally have our dates for IVF round 5 and I am once again..  Exited & Nervous!
It seems like I've been talking about this forever!

Now that I have my dates I am scared to Blog in-time about the play by play

  • Scared for it not to work.
  • Nervous for my personal story to be out there for everyone to read.
  • What if this is the last round and it doesn't work?

So many Fears and questions.
Ultimately I know what the answer is.
I will blog my day to day experience.  In-time
I totally respect people who delay posting and trust me I understand!
For me I feel that the reason I am blogging about my journey in the first place is to let people jump on board with me.  Delaying these posts leaves too much wonder.

  • The post are my true feelings in time
  • Postin that day leaves no room for editing the raw reality
  • I hope to enlighten anyone of the realities of IVF

Unsure if anyone even will follow along, it actually helps me.  It gives me a place to let it all out and share.  

So thanks to all my followers out there! Your comments are always appreciated. 

The scoop:
I will be going off BC Dec 27th
Injections start as soon as New Years Eve.  Retrieval to match up with my husbands sperm retrieval mid Jan. I will write post once I know more.  

5 Reasons Why You Should Stop Complaining About Your Elf On The Shelf Now!

I spent the morning stewing over a Facebook post by of all people... my sister.  "Am I the only parent who has zero interest in doing Elf on the Shelf? Hasn't this thing jumped the shark yet? It was followed by this link. http://www.mommyish.com/2014/10/25/i-will-never-buy-elf-on-the-shelf/
I read it and I get it, but it still doesn't make right what happened next...  over 20 people commented on this elf saying things like "It is awful", "don't do it", "it's all about the overachieving parents on pinterest"and my favorite "ain't nobody got time for that" lol!  Suddenly I couldn't help but notice other posts by people complaining of this toy.  

Why the fuss?  Why is everyone complaining?

I understand if a parent chooses not to do it for any reason they choose.  What I do not understand is the competition between parents and lack of empathy and understanding for parents who do? 

Here is my list of reasons I don't want to 
hear you complain about your Elf On The Shelf

1. Nobody likes a Martyr.  Definition: a person who displays or exaggerates their discomfort or distress in order to obtain sympathy or admiration.

2. Some parents actually enjoy it and have embraced this as a tradition.  Why rain on their parade?

3. Some of us have been trying for years and can only dream of having a little one let alone hide a magical elf around the house for them.  You sound like a jerk! 

4. If your kid is not even age appropriate you are just an idiot for even doing it let alone complain. 

5. Do it or don't do it.  Some of us just don't want to hear about how hard it is to do things for your kids or what parenting style you are choosing.  Save it for you mommy and me group.  

3 Day ReFresh Honest Review - I am not a coach!

I just finished the 3 Day Refresh by Beachbody

Determined to get back on track with my health and snap out of the bad habits I have formed these past few years, I had decided to take on the challenge.
The biggest problem with this product is that all of the reviews are mostly written by Beachbody coaches themselves.  Now why would they put down a product they are selling? 
I am not a Beachbody Coach and make no money for this product. 

How hard was it? Harder than expected although I thought it would be a walk in the park.  I am not an over eater and felt that the 900 calories a day would be a mild change.  It is the habits I was breaking that was hard.  I didn't realize how bad I had gotten.

Did I lose weight? Yes but not much.  I was extremely disappointed hearing people loosing an average 5-7 pounds. A few days later I noticed I lost 2 pounds

How do I feel? This is the best part, I feel amazing! I have more energy, I feel awake and literally refreshed!

(sounds like I am full of it but I really feel this way)

What I did to Prepare:
I read many reviews online waiting for my package to arrive.  The biggest complaint I read was the Coffee/Caffeine hangover people experienced.   
  • Now you do not have to cut out coffee if you are that addicted but.. to get the best results yes, it is recommended to consume coffee or black tea.
Luckily for me, my acupuncturist had recommended I  stop consuming all coffee and black tea a couple weeks prior.  I stopped immediately.  I had consumed 1-2 cups of coffee a day as well as 1-2 cups of black tea a day.  I have to admit I felt terrible for 3-5 days after quitting.  Groggy and irritable I felt like I was literally hungover.  The worst was the Migraine!  The worst I had ever had.

Water Water Water!  Start drinking more.  During the refresh you will consume much vitamins and minerals not to mention the Fiber Sweep.  Your body will need lots of water to absorb all of this or it will not work or could lead to terrible dehydration or worse.  Remember Water! 

Preparation Tips:
Stop drinking Coffee and Black Tea prior to Refresh
Take a day to read over booklet that comes with refresh
Fill your fridge with fruits and veggies
Get a travel container for your Shakeology
Container handy for water - it will help you remember to drink it

Day 1:
6am I woke up and drank 1 large glass of water 
7am I made a chocolate Shakeology (water only)
7:45am Gym
9:30am 1 Cup of Green Tea
11am Drank the Fiber Sweep
  • Fiber Sweep was very gritty! I want expecting this.  Tasted Good! 
  • I started feeling hunger pings!  I knew this would happen from reviews I had read!  I am also realizing just how often I snack.
1pm Lunch 1 Cup of Vanilla Fresh, 2 tablespoons Hummus, 1 medium celery Stalks 4 baby tomatoes and 12 strawberries.
  • Feeling full from Vanilla Fresh!  Had to take a breather and finish rest of lunch.  
  • I will likely pick a less amount of fruit next time

4pm snack of 5 carrots and 2 tablespoons of hummus. 
  • Was not hungry for this but knew I should stay on track.  I couldn't imagine consuming anything else today.
5:30pm Dinner Vanilla Refresh and 12 greenbeens steamed lightly salted 
  • I was actually surprised how small this was and I think my mind took over telling me it wasn't enough.  I spent the next 2 hours thinking I was hungry. Funny since just an hour earlier I was so.. full!  My stomach grumbled until I fell asleep

Tips I learned from Day 1
Again drink a lot of water!  Consuming so much fiber it is important to stay extra EXTRA hydrated.  
Get ready for the Hunger!  For me it was morning and night, I was fine all day.  remember this is only temporary!  

Day 2:
6:30am I woke up and had a tall glass of water
7am time for my Shakeology
  • It was filling and again tasted great 
7:45am Gym
10am Green Tea
11:30am Fiber Sweep
1pm Lunch 1 Cup of Vanilla Fresh, Hummus tomatoes and broccoli with 12 strawberries
4pm Snack carrots and hummus
5:30pm Dinner Vanilla Fresh Cucumber dinner meal

Day 3:
Same as day 2 but no Gym

Day 3 was the hardest for me.  I could not wait for it to be over and I was feeling groggy in the morning.  My coach told me it was the toxins coming out of my body.

I weighed myself the morning of day 4 and had lost 1 pound.
I was shocked and upset.  I mean I was starving and it was REALLY hard.
A couple days later I realized that I actually lost MAYBE 2 pounds.

Would I do it again?
No  After some time away from it I realize it just didn't do much for me

How quickly everything can change.. IVF Update

One minute I am unpacking my meds preparing for my first injection, the next thing I know I am rescheduling and planning on seeing my doctor in January... 2 months from now.  You would think that I would be disappointed but couldn't be further from.  My husband has decided to get sperm retrieval surgery again! This time to be synced up to my retrieval!!  I could not be happier.  I had not pressured him knowing how terrible his recovery was the first time around and the fact he actually said "I will not do that surgery again"...   I cried all day once he told me.  I have never been so surprised.  It feels wonderful to know he wants this as bad as I do that he will do anything.. even go through that again.

This past week my husband had a sperm analysis.  It came back Zero (actually 2).  We have come to find out that he has not been off his testosterone long enough.  2 months as of now.  It takes 3 months for a sperm to develop once off testostrone so he shouldn't have been tested until December end earliest.   Although he has agreed to do the surgery our Dr. thinks it is best we wait the 3 months months.  

The Plan:

  • To both continue acupuncture 
  • Early January DH to get Sperm Analysis
  • 3 days later meet with Dr. to discuss next step  
  • Stay off the pill until meeting with Dr. early Jan
Hurry up and wait!  

My Husband went from ZERO sperm to WHAT with acupuncture?

Warning:  This post is about infertility and contains mature subject matter.

Today was a BIG day.  My husband went in for a Sperm analysis.

About 2 1/2 years ago he had gone through the whole process of the Sperm Analysis finding out that he had no sperm at all.  The Dr.'s decided that surgery would be our best option.  This was not much of an option and I give my husband huge props as it was VERY invasive unlike what he was told. He had an extremely long and uncomfortable recovery (6 months later he still did not feel right). We did get 5 viles of sperm of which we have used 4 of to date.  This round, it has been brought to our attention that the sperm in the 4th vile did not "twitch" to show they were waking up.  It is unknown which ones where still alive to allow the Dr.'s know which ones to pick. Knowing we have limited rounds left we decided to take a western medicine approach.  O.K. I decided lol! but my husband is on board.  My acupuncturist was just sure that she could get his sperm count up to a usable range.  I felt it was worth a try.  She put him on herbs as seen in my post here.   They quickly started working and my poor husband had to fight through some discomfort.  2 months later he is not only doing great but feeling better than ever.  I give him props for taking 3 pills twice a day for 2 months.  He was not as good at getting to acupuncture but was able to get there about every other week.

I just got the call, after doing everything they do to the seaman. 2 viable sperm where there.  (I can only imaging spinning and shaking in my imagination) Now this is actually considered zero sperm. To give you an idea, the average sperm count is 30-40 million sperm per milliliter.  Some men have up to 120 million sperm per milliliter. My husband had 2, not two million, just 2.  

Now because we are doing ICSI, I do believe that we are able to possible use this fresh sperm, even if it is just a couple.

To confirm that this will be an option I have called my Dr. to converse.  He confirmed that without doing surgery or using a donor sperm that he would like my husband to give a sample.  "You never know" he said. Now I do believe he is slightly pleasing me but heck I'll take it.  Chances are pretty sure that we will have to use our last frozen vile as well as expected.  They will try to only use what they can.

Overall did it work?  Technically no. Will we get a baby from it? Time will tell.  In the end I will take this all as a good thing.  Did not get the best possible results but good all the same.

Check Out My Blog Refresh!

I have finally decided to refresh my blog.  As you all can tell that my posts have been slimmer.  When I am  on downtime from an IVF cycle so is my blog!  Coming up on a possible round #5 I have simplified things!  I look forward to giving the play by play as I go.

So.. What do you think?

The Color Run Boston Foxboro Stadium Short Video!

My Stepson Hunter and I had such a great time at the Color Run Boston this year!

It is called a "Fun Run" and we now know why!   We plan on making it a family tradition for years to come.
I made this movie for Hunter to keep forever.  
Enjoy our pictures from the day

5 Things Not To Say To An IVF Patient

In lieu of my 5th round of IVF approaching I am re-posting this favorite post.  It has been a challenge to stay positive and I have most recently noticed how I have withdrawn from many friends and family.  I do believe it has much to do with the fear of words or conversations below.  In fact I know I avoid certain people for saying some of the things below.  

I hope this helps education someone out there.

So you think you can empathize with someone going through IVF?  Maybe you held your best friends hand as she went through the madness.  Spoke to her in her deepest lows about adoption or what if's?  You cried with her before during and when her baby was conceived you worried with her until he/she came.  This is all great and I am not here to discredit any ones experiences with or friendships with someone going through a hard time conceiving a baby.

I am an IVF patient myself.  I have gone through 2 rounds of which one was an 11 week miscarriage.  I have heard on a regular basis each comment below.  I know that people love me and none of this is meant to hurt me but I am here to help others out there.  It does hurt.
The best thing to say to someone embarking or in the middle of IVF is nothing.
A listening ear and and open mind is best thing a person can offer.  And to be there.  "Do you need Me?"  "I am here if you want to talk"
Here is my person list of what not to say to a woman going through IVF.

1. "Relax and it will happen"  Now this is what I think immediately after "relax? I guess I can't talk to you..    and no it may not happen"  I immediately start preparing myself for the worst in my head as I smile and say thank you.  I start resenting the fact you told me to relax.  Like I am unable too in your eyes.   I don't know why but I guess I am trying to protect myself.   Understand I am in a moment of "unknown" hormonal on fertility drugs and you saying this to me could actually be hurtful.

2. "I know someone who conceived on their own after rounds of IUI and IVF"  This is a huge no no. First of all you are saying it took this poor soul rounds to not conceive. And Second you are comparing me to someone I am not.  Every situation with Infertility is extremely different.  Every Round is different.  This may sound helpful but really for all you know your friend is unable to conceive without IVF 100%  (Like myself) So understandably I have nothing positive to feel when someone starts story telling to me.

3. "Don't worry, It will happen I just know it"  What are we to say to this.  Thanks right? This one may be hard to understand but try..  I have limited the people around me whom I talk to about my IVF journey. All of them I have told have said this to me.  It is kind, I know, but my thoughts are always the same: I am doing IVF in hopes - not a sure thing.
We are in the lowest most venerable place talking about our fertility problems.  A simple "I am here for you" would be better.  Even more "If you ever want to talk or vent please call me I am here"
Telling someone success will happen where it is uncertain makes me feel uncomfortable to talk to you or open up. Almost like you are ending the conversation or do not want to entertain my thoughts of it never happening, being scared or feeling alone.

4. Complain about your own kids or worse offer one up as a joke:  This has surprisingly happened to me more than I wish to admit.  "Are you sure you are up for this" As their toddler climbs all over them.  As if it is just so hard on them to be a mom.  "A MOM!  WHAT I WANT TO BE. Now I get it I was a nanny for over 10 years.  Kids are hard.  But remind yourself and refrain from complaining about being a mom around someone whom is trying so hard to become one.
Offering to give the person one of your children as a joke is just awful and not funny to an IVF patient.

5. Recommend or ask about Adoption:  If I wanted to adopt we would not be putting ourselves through all of this in the first place.  Asking about adoption feels like you are trying to come up with a solution to a problem you know nothing about.  It also makes me feel as tho you don't think what I am doing is right or worth it.  This in turn makes me not want to talk to you.

Again in the end if you want to be there for your friend say these things:
"I am here for you"
"If you ever want to vent, I am a listening ear"
"I can't imagine what you are going through but I'd love to hear all about it if you are ever up for it"
And actually be there.   Sometimes it is hard to pick up the phone and ask to hangout when I am in the middle of in vitro shots.  I can't drink and have to be home or available at a certain time to give myself an injection.  Yuck!  I can still do things just reach out and be willing to accommodate and adjust a little.

"If you ever need someone to be there at an appointment I would be happy to be there with you"

My Infertility Melt Down

As many of you know I have been struggling with infertility for years now.  I have completed 4 rounds of IVF and am about to start my 5th round sometime soon.

I am realizing that I am completely freeking out!  
Like everyday ..all the time!
I am: Anxious, Moody, Bajigidy, Stressed, Sad, Mad, Angry and Scared Shitless!  
I just can not shake it and this is most upsetting.   I am trying so hard to have "hope" and to "live in the moment" but reality is feeling very heavy that this may just not work.

Desperate to feel better going into this round do any of you have any tips on how to stay optimistic?
I am currently trying breathing technics for my anxiety and stress.

Thanks :(

*IVF UPDATE* Round #5 Taking the Positive Road

I am officially a lady in waiting.  Round 5 is Pending.  I have control over when it will actually happen but I think I have decided to start injections around early/mid November.

If you have been through the roller coaster of previous IUI or IVF rounds you may be the only people that truly understand.  This is not meaning to sound insensitive or aloof to anyones feelings for what you may have endured but the toll it has taken on me, my spirit, my body and emotions is reckless and unforgiving.  

Round #1 - I felt so exited!  I just knew that it would work and hey if it didn't it would the next round.

Round #2 - I had survived a pregnancy loss at 11 weeks terminated with DNC.  I had let time go by and felt hopeful - exited even.  I really wanted to be a mom and pondered a lot about the # of eggs to put back. 

Round #3 - I was a seasoned pro.  I went to every appointment by myself and thought to myself "sweaty.. don't drag him to every appointment"  to all the other woman.  I felt entitled.  It had been a lot of appointments.  Too many blood draws to count. Ultrasounds and injections.  I was a robot.

Round #4 - Starting to get nervous I was still exited.  I made a whopping amount of eggs over 1 dozen!  But sadly only 1 poor quality embryo was formed.  

This was about 6 months ago.  I am finally back to "normal" 
The drugs are what kill me.  I turn into a different person.  A lesser version of me and the sad thing is when I am in the moment I think I am myself.  My poor husband.  It takes months to wash it away!  

Round #5 - Is Now.  This is our last round. I am feeling exited.  It has been since the first round that my husband came to any appointments.  
  • I have decided to have him at both the retrieval and transfer this time.  
  • No talk of this not working allowed
  • Positive
  • Enjoying each day as a gift
  • I am allowing myself to google baby stuff, dream about being a mom
pic form my first round

My Anniversary! Wedding Pictures

It's Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary today! 
I can not think of a better way to celebrate than posting pics!  

When we were talking about getting married the hardest decision for us was where.  Hometown area or a secluded beach somewhere alone or with my husbands 3 kids.   After much hemming and hawing it fell on my lap.  I just knew that there was no option.  We could not run away and get married even with both of us having been married before.   There are children involved.  No matter what we wanted for ourselves... No matter what the support was or was not around us.. the right thing to do was to stand firm ..at home and get married with family and friends invited and hopefully there.

We both forgo-ed a bridal party and had my husbands kids stand with us.
They were are whole lives at the time and are forever.

DIY flowers and decor.

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