Here We Are

Here we are, right in the midst of our second IVF cycle. I don’t really know if this is considered our second because we banking eggs at this point. What constitutes a full IVF cycle? Whatever. All I know is right now we are here. We decided to do two egg retrieval’s back to back so that we could bank as many eggs as possible since eggs are the issue. I can already tell a huge difference from this cycle from the last- and I’m not just talking about the decrease in meds, but the length of time I am taking them. I have been doing shots for almost 3 weeks. July of last year when we did our first IVF I did not have any side effects, other than being extremely tired. This time around I just don’t feel “good”. I am tired. I am short. I just feel off. I am taking this as a good sign that my body is liking whatever the doctor is prescribing.

Low down of our “IVF Plan”:
On meds now. Egg Retrieval will be sometime the first/second week of February depending on how my body is responding to the meds. Praying they get an abundance of healthy eggs. Eggs will be fertilized and sent out for genetic testing. Whatever eggs are genetically normal will be frozen.
After my egg retrieval they will give me a shot- oh joy another shot- of progesterone to make sure I get my period.
After good ol’ aunt flow shows I will start meds again and have another egg retrieval sometime in March, hopefully. They will harvest my eggs, fertilize, send out for genetic testing, and whatever eggs are genetically normal they will freeze.
Then I will let my body heal. And if you mean heal by going to a music festival and drinking lots of booze, dancing my ass off, and staying up until all hours of the night, then yes, heal. My downtime just so happens to land during one of my favorite music festivals. Who planned that? This is my last hoorah before I get knocked up! Anyways, back to the point. I will let my body recover from all the stimulating meds and then I will start the meds for a an embryo transfer.
Next, embryo transfer. In our case we will hopefully have one healthy boy and one healthy girl embryo to transfer. The joy of doing genetic testing is that we will know the sex of all our little embryos. We will be transferring two, to increase our chances of success.
Finally and hopefully a positive blood pregnancy test!

I do have to say I am way more confident and have less anxiety this time around. Maybe it’s because there is not the looming pressure of an embryo transfer. Or because our doctor is a million times better than our last. All I have to focus on right now is growing eggs. I have been working out as normalish as I can. I cut my workouts down to three days and week I have had to lower my weight since I am not allowed to lift more than 20lbs. Do you know how hard that is? My precious puppy weights 25lbs. I have been taking all my antioxidants to help my egg quality. I have been doing my Circle and Bloom meditations.

We had our first appointment last week for my baseline ultrasound. I couldn’t believe it. I had 13 follicles!! Lucky 13! And this is before any stimulation meds. For me this is 3 more than I have ever had before naturally (I have low AMH). Obviously I have been doing something right with my body. I am not getting my hopes up just yet though because I know this rollercoaster. Just because I have 13 follies it doesn’t mean they all have an egg. But, this is a great start!

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vitamins for daaaayyyssss

whatcha know ’bout dis life…

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AMH aka Almost Motherf&!king Hopeless

Almost. Almost.

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone secreted by the cells of the developing antral and pre-antral folliclesantral and pre-antral follicles (or egg sacks) in the ovaries. AMH is a strong indicator of a woman’s ovarian reserve (OR). As women age, the number of follicles gradually decline, and AMH levels decline with age as well. In essence, reproductive endocrinologists can assess how well a woman’s ovaries are functioning, by evaluating her AMH levels.

Low AMH. .06 to be exact. FINALLY ANSWERS!

In laymen’s terms having a low AMH means my eggs are shit. Well some of them. A normal women my age should have around 17 eggs just laying around in her ovarian reserve. This does not mean that you only have 17 eggs left, this is just your reserve and gives an idea of how your ovaries are working to produce eggs. The most I have ever had is 10 (until recently when I had 13, but I will go into that later). It also means that my egg quality is not as good/normal as it should be. So, although I might have eggs that look normal from the outside, inside, the quality is abnormal and won’t lead to a viable embryo once fertilized. Basically my 30 year old body is more like a body of a 45 year old. As women we are born with all the eggs we will ever have in our lifetime. As we get older our egg quality may decrease and we start running out of eggs, which leads to menopause. The only good news is that I will go into menopause early. Hallelujah because I hate periods.

So where does this leave me now? I guess we have two options:

Donor eggs. Our last clinic was really pushing for the use of donor eggs after our failed IVF cycle. At first I agreed and was on board. We really just want to start our family already. At least our baby would have half of us- aka hubs. I even went as far as to look at the donor website. Some of the girls were really pretty and smart. They all had nice things to say about why the were donating their eggs, “I really want to help someone start a family. The gift of life is the greatest gift I could give someone.” Please, you just need money and that’s ok haha! (If one of the girls would have written that, I would have chosen her). I was imagining what our baby would look like. It would be half hubs and half some random girl. Sounds like a Jerry Springer show. I realized I would never see my self in our child. She wouldn’t have my sky blue eyes. She wouldn’t have my bitchy personality. She wouldn’t be my husband and my creation, something I just couldn’t grasp. So we decided to get a second opinion. Boy am I glad we did…

Keep trying with my own eggs. Dr. Acacio is one of the best fertility doctors in Southern California. That was the one great thing that came out of our last clinic. A secret referral from a couple of women who worked for our last clinic to one of the best doctors in Southern California. (Now that tells you something). I never looked him up because his clinic is 1 1/2 hours from our home and I never thought of traveling. Worth it. The first thing he asked us when we sat down anxiously in his office was “Why would you be thinking about using donor eggs?” We explained our history and what our last clinic had told us, but Dr. A repeated, “You absolutely do not need to be looking at donor eggs yet.” Really? Who was this guy. I loved him already. We did our homework this time and we asked all the right questions. After a very eye opening appointment we sat convinced that us together, could still create a baby that was all our own. A little background: Dr. A came up with the protocol I was on at my old clinic 10 years ago. He sold it to them 10 years ago and has not used it since because it doesn’t work. Especially on someone with low AMH. 10 YEARS. Just that information alone told me that the clinic we had just come from was a blast from the past. Dr.A works with a lot of “challenging” cases and has high success rates of IVF in women with low AMH. He was the only doctor that ever wanted to know why. Why does a young woman like me have low AMH. This was important to me because it shows he cares and wants answers. I asked if it could be from using fertility drugs for so many years, but he seemed to think not. He has done several studies and has come to find that autoimmune disorders in women can lead to low AMH and unsuccessful IVF cycles. (An autoimmune disease is when your own body starts attacking itself. Affecting different organs or functions in the body). Mind blown. Diagnosis and treatment: there is a blood test that I will be taking to see if I have an autoimmune disease and whether or not I do have a disorder, I will be receiving intralipid treatments right before our transfer and when pregnant to ensure piece of mind.

I bet you can guess, but we decided to keep trying with my own eggs. God knows, you may have to fight a battle more than once to win. And other ladies who have low AMH, keep fighting, keep researching, keep believing. It is not a death sentence. IVF can still work, it may just be a longer more windy road.

 

 

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Hello. It’s me.

I can’t believe it has been a whole year (and a little more) since I wrote my last blog post or have visited this site. I think I needed a little break from the infertility community. Not that I don’t love and appreciate each and every woman I have met and connected with, but I felt like all this energy was going into being “infertile” and I really needed to focus on being fertile. I finally feel back on track with life. So with a little push from friends I decided it was time to get back on the blogging train. I really do want to document this journey so that when we do kick infertility in the face and my children are old enough to understand how badly they were wanted and why mommy got so fat and gross, I can share this journey with them. So lets recap what has been going on. If you haven’t gotten  your lifetime ear full of infertility shenanigans yet and you care to know what has been going on in the life of R Lee T, read ahead. Or don’t. I don’t care.

We got a puppy last January! I told my husband 2 years ago, “if we are not knocked up by January (2015) we are getting another dog!” So as the year went by and January came again, it was time to get that puppy, because no baby. I would like to introduce you to our French Bulldog, Pierre Louis Tieman. He is now 1 year old. He is my little angel puppy. Hopefully I get pregnant soon because I don’t know how many more puppies my husband can take.

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Pierre with his big sister Dorie

 

We decided to do IVF in July. Long story short: We FINALLY found out what the underlining issue was for us not getting successfully pregnant. (it only look 5 failed cycles of clomid and fermera, 2 failed IUIs, a new doctor at a different clinic, and 4 years). I have low AMH. If you aren’t familiar with this, get familiar. If you have been diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” make sure they test your AMH. It basically means my eggs are shit and my 30 year old body is more like a 45 year old. We got to a transfer, but for whatever reason our embryo did not want to implant.  Another failure. (I will be writing a blog post solely on this experience).

g_tieman-i-do-so-much-lifeinlove-hubby-toocute-bigday-fingerscrossed-specialinstructions_23895139054_oMy Mom’s got hitched after 32 years! It was one of the best days ever. How cute are they?

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I turned 30. Fuck.

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The last thing I remember from that night.

 

We went to Hawaii for my birthday and my Mom’s birthday. It was great. We really needed a vacation and some time to just be. Be silly. Be spontaneous. Be normal.

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I got my shit together. AKA my body. I have been using infertility as an excuse to why I haven’t worked out in 4 years. We all know it is very hard to stay/get motivated in that department when you are pushing hormones and emotions through your veins constantly. But, I got to tell you. This is the best I have felt in 4 years. My body is stronger and more ready for a baby than ever.

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Shameless selfie time. My hard work. It may not be perfect. But it is mine and I am proud of the work I have done to get this baby maker back on track.

 

So much more happened this last year, but these are a few of the big moments. And that brings us here. Now. “A thousand disappointments in the past cannot equal the power of one positive action right now.”

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Happy New Year

As 2014 closes and 2015 looms not too far away, what are you hoping for? {I think I know what most of us are hoping for this coming year in this community ha}… We are heading down to San Felipe for our annual New Years trip and I am excited to get out of town leaving technology, tv, social media, babies, and pregnant friends behind. So as I won’t be able to post during the new year I will leave you with this great passage that really called to my heart and will be reflecting on in my own life for this coming year. Here’s to an amazing 2015. Cheers!

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. Ecc 3:11 (NLT)

So much of our energy is spent on looking forward or remembering backwards. We pine for what’s been lost and can’t wait for what we don’t yet have… and all the while, beauty is right before us…

God has made EVERYTHING – yep, ALL things – beautiful. Whatever you are experiencing now is laced with beauty. You don’t have to reach backwards or forwards to a grasp a sense of beauty or purpose because beauty permeates the world – it’s carried by the love and grace of God in and through all things…

You could be reading this thinking “there is nothing beautiful about the pain I’m in right now…”

I know exactly how you feel… most of us do… And while deep tragedy ravages our heart, it does reveal a beauty that’s concealed in easy times: the deep well of friendship, community, the comfort of God, discovering your strength, the capacity of the human spirit, the hope of eternity. Hope is not born on mountain tops, but in valleys when you’re looking to the heights and peaks that you’re yet to climb…

While you’re dreaming or remembering… or perhaps you’re waiting for the door to open on a particular season in your life; let the season come at its appointed time. Don’t take the beauty of what God is doing in your life today for granted.

Wanting summer to come in the middle of winter only causes frustration! After all, winter has its own purpose in the cycle of seasons. Without it, the trees wouldn’t be so green or so strong. And you miss the beauty that cold can bring – snowflakes, tree trunks, frozen water… winter has a beauty that is not seen in summer…

Wherever you’re at today, ask God to show you the beauty in the season. Let the rhythms of grace be unforced and free flowing. As you continue to hope for tomorrow and glean from the wisdom you learnt yesterday, LIVE today, take every moment given to you and look for the beauty that God has placed all around you in every season. Time will pass, it can’t be stopped… what you hope for will come, but you’ll never relive this moment, so take it, breathe it in and live it all out.

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where have i been?

It has been a little over a month since I have written a blog post or have even checked in on fellow bloggers. The truth is I haven’t really been in the mood to write about what feels like the never ending battle of infertility. I feel like this blog is a blessing, but also a place where I find myself putting too much negative, yet sometimes humorous attention on infertility, instead of sending out positive vibes into the universe like, ” I am fertile!”. So where have I been and what have I been up to?

As I wrote a while ago I started taking Zoloft to help with my lows. No shame here. I freakin love it. I should have started it a year ago. I think I may have been a little too hopeful that it would be a magic pill making everything perfectly perfect. Although it has improved my mood, my motivation, and my emotions, I still have bad days, but they are few and far between and not so low. All in all I would recommend it to anyone who needs a little lift.

My brother in law and sister in law had their new baby in November. A beautiful baby girl named Elle. I don’t know why it was so hard this time around. Maybe because we had been trying to get pregnant before they were even married and now they have two kids under 2 years old. It could also be the fact that I really wanted to have the first girl in the Tieman family. I mean come on they got the first baby! Don’t be selfish! I didn’t go meet her until a week later. I know I am being a little dramatic here, but I was having a hard time processing everything. It took be by surprise how emotional I was about it all since I had been doing so good, but the minute she went into labor I broke down. Anyways it’s all good now and I just think she is the cutest.

We have been going on a lot of mini vacations. We went to Palm Springs to celebrate one of my oldest and dearest friends 30th birthday and surprise engagement! She asked me to be in her wedding next year and I couldn’t be more excited for them.

Earlier this year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and went through radiation, which she completed in July and is now breast cancer free. Yippee. Earlier this month though, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Unrelated to her breast cancer. It is early stage, but she will have to get a hysterectomy next month and depending on what they find she may have to go through radiation again or chemotherapy. We are praying that they won’t find anything else. I just cannot believe it. Diagnosed with two different kinds of cancer in one year.

I am really trying to get into the Christmas spirit this year since we were out of the country last year for the holidays. Hubs and I got a tree right after Thanksgiving and I decorated the house to the nines. Did I mention that he let me get a pink flawked Christmas Tree? Yes you heard right. A. Pink. Tree. It’s a beaut.

I gave up Facebook… Sort of.

I started meditating daily. I listen to fertility affirmations before I go to sleep at night and sometimes I listen to relaxing meditations during the day to give me more energy or take a break from the chaos. I have found that it has helped put me in a positive mindset. It has helped me to see that I am deserving of happiness.

I am still climbing and we recently went on an outdoor climbing/camping adventure in Joshua Tree. It was sooo muchhhh funnnn! First, I love camping. Second, I love climbing. And Third, my sister and hubs younger brother came along and it was a great time. Joshua Tree has amazing top roping and I have to say I am better outside than in the gym.

All in all I have been a busy girl, but I have also just needed a break from this infertility world. I will be back soon, but until then have the happiest of holidays xoxo

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