Weekend Recap: Date Night Revamped and Food, Glorious Food

Hello everyone and happy Monday!!  I hope you're having a great day wherever you are.  I'm determined this week is going to be amazing just because I'm claiming it as such.

Monday will be awesome.  This week will be awesome.  Claiming it!

Date Night!!

Oh my goodness! I’m so excited. I mean it. I’m adolescent preteen excited lol. Tonight, my husband and I are going on a date!
So, you may remember that S. and I found that we were having a lot of trouble communicating. Everything seemed to be about #ttc and then being intimate (not intercourse, but intimacy) just wasn’t happening. Holding hands, compliments, flirty looks, were all out the door. We were, quite honestly, in a not so great place. Frankly, it was a horrible place. While all marriages have their moments, it seemed like the frustration of not being able to conceive was weighing heavy on S. It isn’t lost on him (nor I) that sperm counts and morphology can have a pretty big impact on the male psyche especially when they aren’t doing what they are supposed to. I’ve never once cast blame or treated him harshly because of it. But I know it has to hurt his pride when he is the only married one in the family who hasn’t conceived a biological offspring. Add to that the confession of wishing to be able to increase the family by at least two and you know he is a bit distracted by this journey.

That’s why I’m so excited about this evening. Tonight, S. has booked a couples’ Swedish massage with aromatherapy followed by dinner for date night. We haven’t had a couple’s massage since April of last year. It was such an enjoyable experience and very relaxing. I hope this one will bring the same experiences. 
Have a wonderful evening and we’ll check in with you soon!

Excited about Cramps?!

Yep!  You read that right.  I never thought I'd be writing that lol.  But this infertility journey has me doing all kinds of things.  Usually cramps for me mean Aunt Flo is headed to town.  Usually I do an internal pout and hope beyond hope that she isn't.  This time, I'm thrilled.

This time, it means we are rapidly approaching the next phase of our journey.  This time, we do things a little bit different.  In a few days, I start...birth control...

So, it may not have come as a surprise to you, but it certainly was to me to find out the first step in this IVF process was going on birth control.  Fortunately we have an awesome nurse and a great RE and her staff to explain things for us.  According to them and their site, I take birth control pills because it will decrease the chances of creating cysts that could interfere with the cycle start.  It also allows our RE to control the timing of the cycle.  That's actually a good thing for me because I have been known to have a few cysts just hanging out around my ovaries from time to time.  I don't want anything to stop us from moving forward.

Oh! Another benefit is the medication is to put my follicles on one accord.  Everybody will be on the same stage ready to be retrieved on a date our doctor and we choose.  No overachievers here lol.  I need everyone to cooperate.

I called my nurse today when I started cramping and told her I was a bit nervous that I would start early.  I wanted to know what to do.  She was great and calmed my fears.  I would just call her when I started and come in for my CD3 blood work and ultrasound.  (Ugh...anyone remember how much I dislike the trans-vaginal ultrasound when on my period).  I wait for a call from her confirming the results are what they want to see and then I start the pills that evening.

Then, there is a HOST of other stuff to get taken care of, but I'm ready.  I'm so very ready!  Keep us in your prayers everyone.

Have a great day!


22K reasons...and another waiting game

I meant to share this post sooner, but got so busy I didn’t get a chance. Hope you enjoy the laughter. I sure did!...

My husband is hilarious. I mean it. He is absolutely hilarious. S. and I were lying on the bed talking about upcoming financials for this ICSI. We know the base cost minus meds is $22K. We were discussing how we would pay for that and were reviewing the Fertility Friend loan information.

I happened to mention that this week (now last week) is my fertile week. I’d temped starting the week after menses to see if I could detect ovulation surge. We’d already baby danced, but I purposely didn’t mention that it was my fertile week because I wanted to be about intimacy and not fertility.

Ya’ll, I kid you not. My husband in his hilarity said, “wait, you’re fertile now! Like, right now?!” I responded I very well could be with all the signs and we've already made love once this week. To which he responded….”Oh, we have to get this done right now. We have 22 THOUSAND REASONS why we need to conceive this month!” 

 LOL. Then he proceeded to strip. Lol. Can I tell you how hilarious this man is and how silly?

I love my husband lol.

Fast forward to today (8/23) and my husband and I are still waiting for the financial rep to call us with information about the true costs of ICSI.  I'm beginning to get a bit frustrated because the longer we are in limbo, the shorter time for us to get stuff approved and set into place to begin.

My cycle should start about 3 September.  I will then start birth control and bloodwork/ultrasound visits.  But the 3rd isn't really that far away, so we really need an answer and soon.  I'm nervous.
Admittedly so.  

Today S. and  I went to a fitness assessment.  S. is in the gym every day.  It's a destressor for him.  I honestly loathe going to the gym.  I love the feeling I get after I complete my workout, but man do I lack the motivation to get there (just being honest).  Anyway, I know that I need to get into a gym for health reasons and not weight.

Yes, it would be great to have arms like Angela Bassett and a stop traffic figure like my girls Jennifer Hudson and Jill Scott, but I've neither the time nor the money.  So, I just want to tone some things up. I want to lose a few as well, but I know that pregnancy will definitely put that on hold lol (and I don't mind at all).  So, I asked the assessor/trainer what happens during pregnancy.  Her response was they adjust lol.  She has no idea.  I told my husband that I would listen to what our doctor says when the time comes.  I know there will be days of bed rest (like after the retrieval and transfer) and times where I myself will be extra cautious or just plain sore.  So it may take a while, but I'm all about it.

All of that being said, S. and I still need an answer for our fertility finance question.

And when we know.  So too will you!


ICSI Bound?

The last I wrote it was to tell you all that S. and I were taking a bit of a break from #TTC.  That didn't exactly last long.  We stopped purposely tracking and doing basal temps, but we both acknowledged that we would probably not have success with natural conception.  We already know that IUIs won't work with us, so we decided to visit our RE again and see if now was the time to try something else.

It most certainly was.  After talking with the doctor, asking tons of questions, and discussing what we hope to have occur, our RE would like for us to try for an Intra-cytoplasmic injection of ICSI. ICSI differs from traditional IVF in that a single sperm is injected directly into an egg, instead of fertilization taking place in a dish where many sperm are placed near an egg.  This is a preferred treatment for those who have a low sperm count and poor morphology like S. 

Now, we're on a fast track for everything. S. and I are filling out the paperwork for a fertility loan this week.  The cost for us, including medication, will be approx $26K.  Yep.  That's right.  $26K.  Our insurance won't cover anything EXCEPT blood work and initial lab work for diagnosing an issue with infertility.  Even though we already know what the issues are, we have to retest to make sure nothing has changed in the nine months that have passed since our last failed IUI.

That $26K seems so grossly unfair considering we are attempting to have life, but many insurances now cover termination of life.  The same comparison was made when S. and I adopted our daughter. It is just ridiculous the cost, but we are more than willing to move forward.

Assuming approval, the office has already began drafting protocol.  I will start birth control in September.  Then comes the constant monitoring and the ultrasound while on my cycle and all the fun things.  Egg retrieval and finally transfer will occur 6 weeks later in October. 

How crazy is that?  If everything goes as planned, in six weeks, I'll be looking for double lines on a plastic cartridge.  In ten months, we may be welcoming a new member to our family.

Here's to research, plans, and information.  Let's see what happens!!!

The Real

Hello everyone. I’m back again on cycle day 4. I was pretty bummed about Aunt Flo’s visit this time even though I knew it was a serious possibility. I have never had a cycle run as late as this one did and I was pretty annoyed by it, but it is what it is. This cycle has been pretty tame in comparison to others I’ve had. Still crampy and light to medium flow, but I am okay with it.

S. and I had a quick conversation yesterday about a longer conversation we need to have tonight. S. thinks it is time we go forward with attempting to lock on IVF financing. I would love to, but I think there are some other conversations we need to have first. As some of our #ttcsisters and #ttcmisters have shared in our beautiful #ttccommunity, trying to conceive can certainly take a toll on relationships. The fun and spontaneity of being intimate with your spouse or loved one becomes replaced with timed intercourse, basal temping, cervical mucus tracking, ovulation calendars, and more medical professionals than at a medical school. It can get overwhelming. Combine that with a cyclic interaction of grief every time a pregnancy test reveals a #BFN and it can be a bit much.

My husband and I both love each other very much. There isn’t a doubt in my mind of this. We are both also devoted to God’s path for us and our marriage, but we need to reconnect. We need more than to reconnect. We need to focus and build from scratch. I’ve recently felt like I’m pushing so hard to give him the experience of being a father from conception that I’m negating the experience of fatherhood he has received through interactions with our other two children. While he has been an active part of our son’s life since he was two (child from a previous relationship), I felt he missed out on the phase of newborn to one. While he has been there since the early weeks of our daughter’s placement with us to her bubbly toddler self today, I felt that he was robbed of pregnancy. That wasn’t or isn’t my assumption to make.

The truth is we love our family and every experience in it. We love being parents and we would love to be parents to more children one day. But, recently, in the space of trying and miscommunication to no communication, it’s been admittedly difficult. It is my personal belief that we need to stop for a while. We need to spend some time being S. and K. We need to spend some time being husband and wife. We need to spend some time being friends. Our being mommy and daddy will be even more enhanced just by that.

Admittedly, this conversation will be a hard one.  But it's needed.  I can't remember the last time things just flowed.  Everything seems to be strained and while that is part of any relationship, communicating is core to making it work.  Painful or not.  So, I'm praying God's grace and peace over our future conversations and decisions.

Anyone else getting back to basics before continuing on your journey?