Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Some of you may remember one of my first posts back last year about a dear friend who lost her beautiful son to SIDS at a mere 1 month 1 day old.  I was heartbroken for her, and while I could never understand exactly what she is going through, I understand the loss of the dream when it comes to kids.  I never got to meet the babies I lost, and that changes things so much in regards to what you are dealing with. 

If you didn't read the post, and would like to, here it is:

Since this post I have continued to keep in sporadic contact with H.  She was fighting her demons and I always wanted to make sure she knew I was there, but never wanted to push it.  Especially knowing that I have something that she should also have.  At this point she may even read this blog as I follow hers (she's the only IRL person that even knows how to find my blog!), I don't know if she ever does.  If so I hope she realizes how much I care for her and think about her.

She had sent me a message a few weeks back and let me know that they finally got the coroners report back.  They were meeting with their ob/gyn and their pediatrician to get some answers.  At the time she wasn't ready, or able, to tell me what it said.  What she did let me know was that it was not SIDS.

I have prayed for her almost every day in some way, shape or form since this terrible tragedy 7 months ago.  7 months.  That's almost half of the lifetime that she got to spend with him, only 1 short month outside of the womb.  I imagine that everyday of these past 7 months have been difficult for her.  That going on with her life when she probably did not want to at times was taxing.  Draining. 

She finally let me know the cause of death.  I'm not sure it's my place to even say it in this blog, so I won't at this time.  Maybe later.  It brings tears to my eyes even remembering the hurt and sorrow I could read in her email.

Now onto the Wow part of this blog.  There is a good reason that I am dredging up this horrific past.  She sent me another email today.

She's pregnant!  Her perfect little Rainbow Baby is on his/her way!  Oh the joys of a Rainbow baby, I know as Bug is one.  H is due 11/26, so she's not very far along yet.  I will now add to my prayer for her to not only help her to live on with her son's memory filling her with happiness, but now also that she will have a healthy and happy 40 weeks (probably 34 or 35 more at this point), and that the first month, which I'm sure will be the hardest, will pass by without incident.  That H and her husband will be blessed with another little baby that will help to fill their hearts.  That will help to make the hole that will always remain in their hearts a little less painful.  I will pray that God has taken their first home to him simply to help watch over their baby #2. 

I will go see them as soon as this little one is born.  I will not make the same mistake the second time around.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Oh my, I cannot believe that I forgot to mention this!  BUT, I think it may just deserve its own post.

So, K and I were discussing our IF treatment options this weekend.  We did this after we joined a sailing club here in our new home town, after being without a club last year (boo!)...

So, I told him that I kinda wanted to try IVF one more time.  Just once.  Just to give him a little one that was biologically his.

His answer?  So do I.

Wow.  That was a big decision that I think we just made really easily.  We had already agreed to start counseling before we started treatment, so I am going to be finding us a counselor in the next couple of weeks.  We agreed just one try.  That if IVF doesn't work this time around, we will go the route of donor sperm and an IUI/AI.  It's just not worth the strain (financially and emotionally) to do it anymore than that.  Especially after the way we handled it (OK, really, the way I handled it) the last time around.

I haven't told anyone yet.  Just you guys know (which I recognize is, like, the whole world wide web, but no one that knows me IRL reads this yet!  In part, for this reason!!)

So, I think we have narrowed it down to two options for a clinic.  The first option is in our insurance network, and will therefore our office visits, ultrasounds and possibly lab work (if they do it right there) will all be paid by insurance and just subject to my responsibility.  I have also received a recommendation for this clinic.  They are also close to work, which is very nice (as those of you that have IF experience, I will be spending some time there!!).  The second clinic is not yet in network, although I have requested them to be recruited.  (OK, and here's where I admit that I am a manager in a contracting department for my health insurance company.  I do not handle the area I live in though, so this rep does not report to me, nor will I be making any decisions that would affect their joining, so no ethics issues here).  This clinic has come pretty highly recommended as well.

We agreed to at least do consults with both, and go from there. 

I'm excited.  I'm nervous.  I'm hopeful.  K told me this weekend that he really does want another baby.  This is great news as so do I! 

Phew.  Wish me luck!  We were planning on starting treatments sometime after Bug turns 1, which is in July!


Nursing at Daycare

So, I have been extremely fortunate in that the daycare we put Bug in is very close to my work.  So, every day at lunch I go and nurse her.  I love it because I get to see all the different things that they do with the babies, I get to see the good and the bad days, and I've gotten to know the teachers really well.  Overall it's been a great experience, and I can probably count on less than two hands how many days I have not been able to go due to work duties interfering.

So, one day last week after I nursed her and was leaving she fussed a little.  This was new, but one of the teachers occupied her while I left and she was all good.

This weekend she go her oh so known congestion.  The congestion that comes about every few weeks, and last time she had it turned into Pneumonia.  Bummer.  Poor little thing. 

So, this morning she wasn't feeling real well.  That was evidenced in the number of times she woke up last night, which, of course, left mama tired this morning too.

I went to nurse her at lunch, and she had just spit up pretty much everything in her tummy shortly before.  Needless to say, she was hungry and NOT in the mood to wait for the letdown.  Finally she held on long enough between cries and got her letdown.  She fell asleep while nursing, so I put her in the crib and patted her back for a few before I got ready to leave.  She ended up waking up and crying before I had made it away from her crib.  As it wasn't her actual nap time, I went ahead and picked her up and calmed her down (because it was very very unhappy crying).  So, she calmed down and I snuggled with her a little more then passed her off to one of the teachers (that she normally loves!).  Bawling ensued.  I'm not sure if it's just because she doesn't feel well, or if the dreaded separation anxiety is hitting.  Or maybe a bit of both.  Either way, it was heartbreaking and I didn't like it.  Not. One. Bit.

My poor little buggy.  I really hate that I can't just make it all better.

K got the stomach bug that I had this weekend.  Except his only lasted 24 hours, lucky dog.  He was down for the count for that time frame though, poor guy... I felt his pain.  He apologized for not taking good enough care of me while I was sick, it was really cute.

He's out of here again Thursday morning.  Catching his flight out at 6:00am.  Luckily the crew security line goes fast, so he doesn't have to be there at like 4:00am.  But, I'm gonna really really miss him.  His due home date is 4/15, which is the day AFTER my birthday.  Oh well, that's how it goes.  I just hope that they don't keep him out again this month like they did last month.  I feel like we've only had about 2 weeks together in the last 9 weeks or so.

Ahh the life of a pilot's wife!!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Sick Sick Sick..> TMI ALERT

Me, not bug.  It was HORRIBLE!  I caught this awful stomach bug!  Of course it happened when Kev and I were cleaning out our house back where we are from to get it rented out.  Needless to say I was worthless.  I caught this stomach bug that's been going around.  It started with vomiting, then moved onto (TMI alert) diarrhea.  Sunday evening the vomiting stopped, but the diarrhea kept up through Monday (and a 4 hour drive home!), Tuesday (and unpacking and switching stuff from the trailor, garage and apartment), Wednesday (and attempting to clean the apartment), and Thursday (and going back to work).  I had the ache's and pains with it.  Pepto Bismal was my best friend.  Of Course, this was all during a few days off of work right after Kev got home from being away for almost 3 weeks, and Bug was going to daycare.  Adult time was planned.  For those of you Pilot Wives and young babies ~ you know how important this is!  Needless to say, Adult time was not happening.  Stupid stomach bug.  Ugh.  Sucky sucky sucky.

On another note, I received some milk bags in the mail from S2, the second mama that I donated milk to.  I thought that this was extremely sweet!  It was not necessary, as like I told her, I would be pumping and freezing anyways, but it is also very much appreciated.  I go through SO many of those milk bags it's not even funny.  Except for this week, as I'm trying my hardest to keep myself hydrated during this stomach bug issue.

Kev leaves again already next Thursday :-(  they kept him out long this last month, and that was after keeping him out long the month before... then him getting called out for a few days during his one week home.  It really sucks.  It's gets very lonely sometimes when he is gone, we have only been living in our new city for just under 2 years.  Needless to say, being pregnant and then with a young baby hasn't been conducive to making a lot of friends.  BUT, I wouldn't change it for anything.  We're living the dream, Kev is working his dream job (although not dream company LOL), I'm loving my job, we have our long awaited baby.  I really couldn't ask for anything more.  So I just take deep breaths on my tough days and move on.  It'll all come together, and I'm working on the friend front.

In fact, I need to text the one that I'm working on now and see if we're still on for the fish fry at church tonight!! 

Happy Friday everyone!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eats on Feets, and other stuff

I promise I'm still here!  It's been crazy around here for a bit.  Kev has been working, so that's been crazy. 

Bug was sick, poor little thing.  She had pneumonia!  It's really scary when they get that sick.  Luckily she didn't have to go to the hospital or anything, but her left lung was pretty full.  Luckily we caught it in time and a round of antibiotics did the trick.  She is a reflux baby, and it seems as though she is fighting congestion constantly because of it.  I always know to give it a week.  So I did.  But then at the end of the week none of our tricks or meds were helping, and she seemed to be getting worse.  So I took her in and the pneumonia was there!  UGH.  But, she's feeling SO much better now! 

My mom (nana) was in town this weekend.  We were having my uncle do our taxes, but he only got hers done, boo.  Oh well, I'll get ours done later I guess!  But it was nice because Mom helped quite a bit around the house getting things done that were in dire need of being done, and we got to see some family.  My cousin has two little one's, the youngest is not quite a week older than Bug.  It was so neat to see the differences between the two.  My Bug has some chunky cheeks!  As it turns out, just like her mama had when I was little.  A family friend posted a picture of me on FB, I mighta been around 5, and Bug is a duplicate!  She really is my mini me!  I always knew she was, but that just made it seem that much more obvious.

I bring up Eats on Feets because my freezer became full again.  So, I contacted the mama that I donate to for little S, and offered her up some milk.  Turns out, her freezer was full too!  YIKES!  She's been doing really well with her breastfeeding, and only needing to supplement an ounce or two every feeding.  I am SO happy for her!  But with that being said, my freezer started to bust at the seems, so I had to find me another mama in need of donations!  I had received a message back at the beginning of the year, right after I had donated quite a bit to S, from a couple of mama's.  There had been one that had been working on getting her supply up, and her daughter, B, was about the same age as S.  (OK, that's a lot of letters, are you keeping them all straight?!)  So, I contacted her and asked if she was still in need of donor milk.  She was, and was very happy that I had contacted her!  It took us about 2 weeks to meet up, as she lives about an hour and 1/2 away.  But, this weekend we did it.  They were driving up on their way through to do a family function. 

So, have I mentioned before that donating milk feels like a drug deal going down?  Because if I haven't, it does. 

So, we planned on meeting in the parking lot at Starbucks near my home.  I told her to let me know when they were about 40 mins out, so that I could gather up the milk.  She did, and so I pulled ALL the milk out of the freezer, bagged the oldest for her, but the newest on the very bottom, and the oldest that was left in the drawer of the deep freeze.  This way it is easier to reach and doesn't get buried underneath the newest that I freeze daily.  So, it was nice out and my mom had just made it into town.  We bundled up Bug, and walked up to Starbucks. 

When we were just about there, I texted her and let her know so.  As we are walking through the parking lot, this man starts walking towards us with a smile on his face.  As he gets closer, he waves, so we wave back.  'I wonder if that's her husband' I say to my mom.  So he calls out 'Are you Mandi?'  I say 'I sure am, you must be S's hubby, I'm sorry, I don't know your name!'  He laughed and introduced himself, then took the cooler and one bag from my mom to carry the rest of the way to their car.  When we made it, S and I gave each other a big hug.  It's such an experience to do this.  We gave them the bags of milk and they quickly put it in a cooler.  We chatted for a bit and even laughed about how it felt like a drug deal.  After all, it is liquid gold! 

We also talked about how it was that some mom's could make so much milk (me) and others don't make enough.  As she pointed out - at least some of us that do make an abundance are willing to donate it to those that do not!  We chit chatted for a bit longer, and then she got on the road with a promise of more milk in the future. 

One thing that was different about this one was she insisted on sending me some milk bags.  I let her know clearly that it was not something that she had to do, as I was going to buy the bags, pump the milk and freeze it regardless.  But, I also said, I wouldn't turn them down.  So I got a message a couple of days later asking for my address so that she could have some shipped to me from Amazon.  I haven't received them yet, but it is such a sweet thought on her part that she would be willing to send them my way to help out.

Needless to say, I cleaned out over 400 ounces from my freezer.  Then I brought home all the stuff that was backing up my work freezer (oops LOL).  I'll bet that it doesn't take me but another 2 weeks to replace all I gave away.  Wow.  Guess my two mama's will get an offer of milk at the end of the month/beginning of April!! 

So, Kev and I are going to Toledo this weekend to get the house ready to rent out.  The economy is so bad there that we cannot sell it (even though it's got so much going for it!!).  Everyone wants to offer so much less than we owe, and the bank won't agree to take it.  Ugh.  So, rent it out we will do.  But, of course, being a pilots wife.... we had to change our plans up.  I was going to go tomorrow, but now not until Saturday.  I'm taking some time off the beginning of the week to take care of things here after we get it all here.  Ick.  Should be fun ha ha. 

Another day down, and my little bug is almost 8 months old! I can't believe it! 

Here's to a happy and healthy day :-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Infertility, the IVF Final Chapter

I've been trying to figure out when to put this one out, and I know when I do I will forget a lot.  Because I don't want to read it over after I have written it.  I just want to get it out there.  Really, when to put the words in writing that will be very difficult for me.  The hardest chapter, one that had lasting consequences.  Tough, life altering consequences.  After this post I will update on the after effects of what happened, and how it all got fixed.

So, here goes.

It all starts in May, 2008.  I talk to my RE's office on May 19.  They tell me we're changing the meds protocol, again.  The fact that I responded to the antagonist protocol the way I did made them want to go back to a Lupron cycle.  So they tell me that we'll extend the amount of time on BCP's, then up the dose of Lupron (suppression) and keep a low dose of repronex (stims).  Then, they will start in with ultrasounds and blood work on day 3 instead of day 5, and keep a close eye on me.  Apparently my case had become quite the talk of the office.

So now, I just have to wait for AF to rear her ugly head.  We feel hopeful, but scared.  After what we'd been through we wanted to remain cautious, but optimistic.  So AF comes on June 5.

Let's get this party started.  I start taking the BCP's.

June 13 I start my Lupron.  As before, the side effects are horrendous.  But I'm getting better (slightly) at dealing with them. 

Baseline u/s looks good (did I mention that all of these u/s are trans vaginal?  I've never let so many people look at my vagina as I did during this time.  Hello to the world she seemed to be saying).

June 27 I start stimming.  I get more and more hopeful.  This is it, I think to myself.  It has to work this time!  The odds are in our favor!

June 30 I have blood work.  My estrogen levels look good!  Wow, I breath a little sigh of relief. 

July 2 I have more b/w and another u/s.  We are looking at somewhere around 30+ follies, and my estrogen levels still look great.  Oh man, oh man, we're looking better than ever before!!

July 5 my b/w and u/s look great.  They are talking about Egg Retrieval (ER) and Embryo Transfer (ET).  Oh my, we've never really talked about those before.  Could this really be it?!  They mention maybe triggering on the 8th.

K and I can't help but to be excited, happy, and nervous.  We have no idea what to expect at this point.  No clue, but we just KNOW it will work, as do friends on my online community.  After all we've been through, this is our cycle, we just know it.  Our hopes are so high, we forget to keep them in check so that they can't come crashing down.  Every infertile does it.  They let themselves get so caught up in believing that this cycle will be it.  HOPE.  We cannot help but to hope.  It's a necessity to have during this struggle, but it is also what breaks us down.  With it we're broken, but without it we are nothing.

July 7 we have our last u/s and b/w.  My estrogen is at 3100 which is a good number.  I have 10 great looking follies.  They tell me that they'll  call me later with date and time for trigger, but it'll probably be July 8.

Somewhere in all of this we did a mock transfer with the doc.  It went smooth.  He feels that my uterus is beautiful and perfect.  Never thought I'd be so glad to hear that!

Wait, did you just say Trigger?  We've not gotten to do this yet!  Panic mode!  We don't know how!  It's more meds, and it has to be in the hip area, right?!  Isn't that what we remember from our IVF training?  Oh man oh man oh man.  Deep breathing.  Slow down. 

The call comes.  Trigger tonight (July 7) at 11:30pm.  Come in for the ER at 10:00 am on 7/9.  But that morning, you have to POAS and make sure it comes back positive.  Ohhhhhh my, it's happening.  It's really really happening.

K and I are in tears we are so happy.  That night he has to wake me up and give me the shot.  Painful?  A little, but almost a relief.  We stop everything else.  Now we let my body do it's thing and hopefully they'll get out a lot of little eggies!

Making it through July 8 was just about impossible.  I couldn't concentrate at work.  All I could do was picture what my body was doing, and what my little eggies would do in their petri dish.

July 9 is a crazy day.  I get to the docs office and they take us back to a room.  They give me an IV, which the nurse manages to screw up and blood is shooting all over the wall and the floor.  I won't watch.  They give me two drugs, one is waking anesthesia and the other is a relaxer.  It works pretty quick and I'm feeling laid back.  About this time K has to leave the room.  They lay me back and get the ultrasound going.  They take a very long, ugly looking needle and go in through my vagina, and through my uterine wall.  I know it would hurt if I could feel anything.  I pass out for a little bit (from the meds) and wake up to watch them on the u/s.  I can see them going into each follie and pulling out my eggs.  My future babies.

Poor K has to give two samples because they get so little usable sperm from the first.  We try not to let this stress us out.  I relax the rest of the day and wait for the next days update call.

14 eggs were removed.  11 were fertilized.  1 fertilized abnormally.  That left 10.  'That's a great number' we keep thinking.  Every day we get a status report, and while some are slow growing, we have 2 that look like prime candidates for transfer, and another 2-3 that look good for freezing.  Our hopes grow.  This is really happening!  We're going to be pregnant!!

We go in for the transfer.  I have to have a full bladder.  It's so full that it's painful.  Kev gets to stay in the room with me this time.  They turn on the u/s machine and take a catheter tube with our two best embies and transfer them back into my body.  I lay back for about 20 minutes, until I think my bladder may explode.  They give us a couple of ultrasound pictures of those little embies doing their thing, and we pray, harder than we've ever prayed, that they will implant.  At least one.  For the next two weeks I have to use progesterone vaginal suppositories.  They are unpleasant, but I don't care.  If it means I get pregnant, I'll do anything.

We forget the u/s pictures at the office.  I cry.

I take 4 days off to remain on bed rest.  I barely move, except to go to the bathroom and get food when Kev isn't there.  I play on the computer, I watch TV and movies.  I relax.  I have some strange cramping, but the doc says that is normal.  On the second day the office calls and tells me that 3 embies will make it to freeze.  They say they will call back once they are frozen.  This is not the normal person that called with all of my lab updates, so when I don't here back 2 days later, I call them.  Oh no, they tell me, none of your embies made it to freeze, we're so sorry, the tech must have gotten two cases mixed up.

This is when everything begins to unravel for me.  I'm heartbroken.  They said those embies looked so good.  I let myself go down the path of ' if they didn't make it, did the two they transplanted make it?'  It was tough. 

I try not to think about it.  I try to live as normal a life as possible in the remainder of the TWW (two week wait).  I drive myself crazy with every little sign that could mean AF or pregnancy.  Why does mother nature treat us cruelly by making the symptoms all the same?

Then I spot.  I feel broken.  I call the office.  'Don't worry' they tell me, 'that happens sometimes, could be implantation bleeding'  But I worry.  How can I not?  After all we've been through, all the emotional and financial strain.  What if this doesn't work? 

July 25, 2008 comes.  This is my beta (blood test) to see if it worked.  I'm nervous.  I go get my blood taken in the morning.  I tell K when they call me with the results I'll conference him in.  The next hours drag by slower than anything I've ever been through.

The phone rings.  And I know.  I know the answer.

I answer the phone and quickly put the nurse on hold and call K.

'I'm sorry' she says to us.  'You are not pregnant.'

July 25, 2008, the day my world fell apart.  The day that the shell of a person I had become broke down into dust.  The day I didn't even know if I could continue to live my life, knowing that my embies, my perfect LIVING little babies, died.

Two years, to the day, before I became whole again with the birth of my beautiful daughter.

I sit in my office and sob.  I can't even talk to K I'm crying so hard.  'Come home' he tells me.  I can tell he is heartbroken too.  Once I calm down enough I walk into my bosses office and simply say 'I need to leave.'  She takes one look at me and says Go.  I know I look like death warmed over.

I beat K home.  I can't go in the house.  The empty, silent house.  That should have been filled with baby cries in 38 more weeks.  We go shopping instead.  We go out to dinner that night.  We are broken and I don't feel well, but I can't go home. 

That weekend we get a hotel room.  We try to relax some.  But AF comes.  Harder than she ever has before, as I basically miscarry my two little babies.  I practically sit on the toilet for hours because it is so heavy, and the clots are huge, and I hurt so bad.  Physically and emotionally.  I cry.  I cry for myself, I cry for Kev, I cry for my babies.  I cry for the future that looks so bleak, and the possibilities that are no more.  I cry because we have come so far, only to fail again. 

Looking back now, this is probably when I began the blame game.  The game I swore I would never let myself play.  Blaming K for us going through IF.  The 'it's his fault but I have to deal with all the meds, side effects and procedures.'  Blaming myself for my embies not sticking.  The 'my body rejected my beautiful little babies for no good reason.'  Blaming everyone around me because they had never dealt with anything like infertility, and they didn't know how to comfort me.  I refused to go back to counseling. 

I spiral out of control.  I start drinking too much.  I start fighting with K.  I tell him that when I look at him I see what he cannot give me, what we should be able to do naturally, and I can't stand it.  I am a cruel cruel image of my former self.  I hate the person I have become but I cannot stop it.  I say things that I can never take back, and to this day I am so sorry for that.  I wish I hadn't let that happen to me.  I wish that I could have held myself together.  I wish I could have realized what was happening and have gotten help for it.  I'm not proud of the person I was during this time frame.  In fact, this is the closest that I'll ever be able to honestly say I disliked myself.  I did.  But, it is another aspect of my life that made me the person I am today.  I am so lucky that even after all that I put K through, that he was able to continue loving me.  He is a strong strong man, and one that I will never, ever treat this way again.  I can only thank God for him.

This is where I let Infertility ruin me.  This is where I let Infertility win.