And the verdict is….

Mr Strength and I had our follow-up IVF appt today. As we were driving to the drs office I felt more nervous for this vs any other appointment we have had thus far. Was she going to tell me I was infertile? Was she going to say what I feared… My eggs are bad? Or is she still not going to have an answer? As excited as I was to finally get some more answers, I was also terrified of those answers.

She came in and first said she was so sure I was going to be pregnant. With that said, she thinks there is something going on with my eggs… Not entirely sure what it is and there’s really not a name for it. But her personal opinion is she knows I have PCOS. However, she thinks me having PCOS may actually mask my actual egg reserve. She thinks because I have PCOS, my AMH level is really high; but she thinks my ovaries and eggs may actually be older than what the blood levels show. So her recommendation is to def use our frozen embryo. She was so excited we actually got to the blast stage and have a frozen embryo because many people don’t have any left to freeze. If the frozen embryo doesn’t work she recommends trying another fresh cycle so she can change the medicine protocol completely. She would like to treat me like she would with older patients to push my ovaries as hard as they can go. The reason for this is I should have gotten around 30 eggs with PCOS vs the 12 she retrieved.

Even though I didn’t want to do another IVF cycle, I feel like I would regret it if I didn’t give it one last shot with this different protocol. I don’t ever want to look back and wonder what if we would have tried it?. I told Mr Strength if this little frozen bean doesn’t work I would maybe consider one last round.

My RE said we def should not give up yet and we aren’t at the donor egg stage yet. So why not see where this may lead?


Bring it…

ImageAs 2014 quickly approaches, it’s so easy to look at this previous year and think how depressing the outcome was.  Here I am, another year passing and not pregnant.  But then I look again and realize how much further I have come; and hopefully that much closer to our family.

The good things… we have our IVF consult on Friday January 3rd.  I am looking forward to see if the dr has more answers for us; or at least see what other options are out there for us.  I am looking forward to my long-deserved break from hormones.  This past year I have been on fertility treatment after fertility treatment with no break; or at least no break from hormones (birth control included).  I can enjoy becoming myself again without the irritability, the emotions, and the moodiness I have had continually this past year.  It will be nice to really laugh again; maybe get the “light” back I have felt has been diminished through this process.  I am looking forward to our little frozen one.. the hope that it can possibly grow and be born this year.  I’m also looking forward to getting back my exercise routine; endorphins are amazing and really make this whole process bearable.  And lastly, I am looking forward to spending time with my husband.  This past year especially, has really been a challenge and has tested us both.  I am so thankful to have such a supportive and loving husband that will never give up; even when I say I am done.  This process has really bonded us together and I can’t imagine my life (how screwed up it is at times) with anyone else.

So 2014… bring it.  I am ready.  I am ready for another 365 days of challenges.  And most of all, I am ready to see where this journey takes me.

Christmas brings hope…

ImageAs the week trugs along since my failed beta, I have undergone my grief, my bitterness, and my anger.  Now with Christmas almost over, I have come to the realization of acceptance, relief, and hope.  I am trying to accept the failed IVF cycle as a learning tool; maybe I can FINALLY get some more answers to why things have not worked out for Mr Strength and myself.  I am feeling relieved because IVF is over and also looking forward to a month break from the hormones and the emotions; a little mental health R&R if you will.  I am also feeling hopeful of the possible answers and also to our frozen embryo that survived.

Another blogger recommended me to read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”.  I ordered that evening and I received the book in the mail yesterday.  I was quite surprised it almost looked like a textbook; but I am 27 pages in and I have already learned so much!

As discussed in my first blog, I was diagnosed with PCOS.  Before going to a fertility specialist, I would chart my BBT (Basal Body Temperature); and I never really had any spike to indicate ovulation.  After losing about 7 lbs, I started to notice a spike.  By the time Mr Strength and I got to the RE, I lost 14% of my body mass and each month I had spikes on my BBT chart; I was finally ovulating on my own!  This book has taught me that BBT isn’t enough; you also need to take the cervical fluid in consideration as well.

Now that Mr Strength and I have decided to take a little break from treatment, I am looking forward to observing my body.  I will tell you right now, I do not expect myself to get pregnant on my own; honestly, I don’t expect that whatsoever.  What I am looking forward to, is trying to manage my PCOS by solely diet and exercise.  This will let me know if I am ovulating on my own and I won’t need the help of birth control to keep my hormones in check.  I love learning something new and I love trying to achieve answers.  Also, if I know that I haven’t ovulated yet in my cycle I know I can live my life normally.

Before my diagnosis, once my period was over I wouldn’t drink; nor would I do anything that would endanger my possible “pregnancy” such as snowtubing, rollercoasters, hot tubs, etc.  Lets face it, I barely ever have a drink, go snowtubing, or ride a rollercoaster.  But TTC almost makes you feel like a prisoner.  You feel like you cannot enjoy the things in life because you could possibly be pregnant and you don’t want to do anything that could cause harm.  As it turned out, I have had 2.5 yrs of my life living as a prisoner.  If I charted my cycles appropriately, I could have done most things I wanted leading up to ovulation; then once I ovulated I could watch closer on what I should/n’t be doing.  In result, this could mean a little more freedom for me; and possibly start to enjoy life again!

I shall keep you updated on what I find out.  I’m not sure how long Mr Strength and I will be on this “mental health R&R” but I’m going to take it one month at a time.  I’m looking forward to eating right again and losing the little weight I gained during my IVF cycle.

Hope.  Hope lets me feel peaceful and helps me look forward to the future that lays ahead of me

Sometimes I’m just bitter…

For the most part, I stuck to yesterday’s post.  I went out, shopped with my mom and enjoyed the afternoon.  However, once I spotted a girl who was maybe, 7-8 months pregnant smoking a cigarette, my day took a turn for the worse.  I started crying.  Why?  Why is a girl like that pregnant; obviously not caring in the world about who she is carrying because she is smoking a cigarette.  Why do people like that seem to pop out tons of children and yet I am here with no child?  Life is just unfair sometimes; plain and simple.  I try not to let these feelings take over my life because, ultimately, they do no good.

After seeing that, I got home and decided to wrap all the Christmas gifts.  Bad idea.  My mind wandered to that girl smoking a cigarette, then to Christmas.  This was supposed to be the best Christmas ever.  I was supposed to find out I was pregnant.. I was supposed to be carrying a little bean I could tell my entire family about at our Christmas dinner.  I was supposed to be so thankful when I go to midnight mass, that FINALLY, I was given the greatest gift I could ever imagine.  And reality set in none of that was going to happen… how am I supposed to smile at Christmas?  How am I supposed to act like I am okay?

I remember reading another blogger said hindsight is always 20/20.  Maybe it’s good we can’t foresee our future because if we knew about the upcoming struggles we would never want to move forward.  Isn’t that the truth?  If I found out at the starting gate of this very bumpy road, it would take all this treatment and, lets say 5 years to conceive and have a child, I wouldn’t even want to track this road.  I would want to find a shortcut;  a quick, smooth path to get to the finish line.  Who, in their right mind, would voluntarily choose this route?  I know I wouldn’t; that’s for sure.

I have to keep faith and keep my hope alive… and remember the words of that blogger.  Hindsight is always 20/20.  I have experienced it.  If it wasn’t for all my previous life’s struggles I wouldn’t be where I am now.  Even knowing all of that, it doesn’t make this any easier.  Sometimes I just want a sign.. some sort of knowledge, in the end, it will all be okay.

Dust myself off… Again…


It is a new day… a day to decide what I can do.  I have two choices: I could choose to wallow in my sorrows and feel sorry for myself, OR, I can dust myself off and move forward.  All I know, feeling sorry for myself is not going to give me a child.  Honestly, it would be so easy to lay in bed all day, put on movie after movie, cry intermittently, and wonder what is going to happen with my life now.  But that is not going to give me a child either.

I allowed myself yesterday to grieve.  Grieve for the child I thought I was carrying, grieve for the two little embryos that didn’t make it, grieve my dream, once again, has slipped through my fingers, and grieve for myself.. and Mr Strength.  After a full afternoon of that, I decided I needed to get out of the house.  Mr Strength and I went out to dinner, I enjoyed a nice tall beer (something I haven’t been able to have for awhile), and we went to see a movie.  Him and I discussed our possible next moves if our little frozen bean doesn’t work out.  So now I know we have a plan in place; I am feeling a little better.

Honestly, the hand I have been dealt frankly just sucks.  Period.  However, I know I am not alone going through this heartache; and I also know people have had it worse.  We can feel sorry for ourselves, but, most of us learn to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.

To me, life without a child(ren), is not an option.  It is just a question of which road to take to reach our goal.  Which road do we now choose to take?

Absolutely heartbroken…

Negative. Our one-and-only IVF cycle has failed. I got the call from the drs office and there was a brief silence, a sigh, and then the words “I’m so sorry…. The test was negative”. It felt like the air was knocked out of me. Once again, another negative. I got off the phone and I just cried uncontrollably into my pillow… Then I realized I have to break the news to Mr Strength which brought on a new wave of tears. How was I going to tell him it failed?  I took a breath, yelled down to him and broke the news. He came running up the stairs to hold me and all I could say between my uncontrollable sobs was “I’m so sorry”.

If I could say this entire experience has made me feel more of a woman I would be lying. I have never felt more less of a woman than I do right now in this moment. And also a failure as a wife. I have been through 6 rounds of Clomid, 4 rounds of injectibles, and now a round of IVF; all ending in negative results. Nothing has stuck.  Not once have I gotten a positive test result. No chemical pregnancies.  No miscarriages. Nothing. Nothing to at least prove I am capable of getting pregnant. Capable of bearing my husbands and my child that we so desperately want.

All I can do is wonder what is wrong; what is wrong with me?  It has to be me; it’s the only thing that makes sense. Mr Strength has had great swimmers; minus the morphology issue.. And that was fixed when we did ICSI with this cycle. 1 out of 5 of our embryos survived to the blastocyst stage. That’s only 20%!  Now i can only assume since I’m not pregnant the two that were transferred probably didn’t survive to the blastocyst stage either. If that’s the case, only 1 out of 7 of our embryos made it the be a blastocyst. That is only a whopping 14%!!  14%!!!  50% is the average number quoted one should expect would survive to the blastocyst stage.

Are my eggs just bad?  Is it possible to be 29 and be tested with great egg reserve and good egg quality still really only produce bad eggs?  Is Mr Strength and I a mismatch genetically?  I can only assume since nothing else worked this has been the problem all along. My ovaries have always produced great numbers in every treatment cycle I have done; its not like I haven’t had a bad cycle here and there.

We have one little bean in the freezer and that is it… Our last hope of having our genetic child. Mr Strenght, of course, wants to give IVF another shot. I just can’t do it anymore… Emotionally. This entire process slowly has taken everything I have out of me. I can’t bear to have another failed IVF cycle. I cannot bear to be reminded, yet again, something is wrong… more than likely with me. There are so many other options out there if this one little frozen bean doesn’t stick.   Do we maybe need to use donor eggs?  I am very prideful and I would sort of feel less of a woman if we had to go that route. But is it really fair to deny Mr Strength the possibility of having his own genetic child because of my own pride?  Probably not.

There is so much to think about but we won’t know all the answers until we have an appt with my RE. And will SHE even have the answers?

Once again I find myself at a loss… here we are again at the reproductive drawing board. Why?  I just want to know why?

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock…


Well, Mr Strength and I are in the final countdown for my beta test. To be honest, I am completely nervous/anxious/scared/excited for tomorrow. I am looking forward to finding out if we have a sticky bean or not; but petrified to hear that it didn’t work. I have been so hopeful for so long that each of my cycles were going to be successful, but then having Aunt Flo show up makes me question anything will ever work. Mr Strength says to just stay positive, but it’s so hard when you constantly get knocked down. Well fingers and toes crossed we have a little bean(s) in there. Hopefully I’ll be able to sleep tonight!

IVF Survival Tips


Well as I’m trying to keep my mind occupied and trying not to think that my beta test is less than 48 hours away, I decided to make a little list of IVF survival tips that helped my cycle go smoother than I expected.

I remember receiving that huge box of medications, syringes, needles, gauze, alcohol swabs, etc and completely freaking out. Most of all, freaking out that most of those meds would be injected in me within 10-12 days; it really scared me. But the little things I did kept my mind sane and focused:

1. Get a day planner. For each day I drew a line down the middle and separated each day by AM/PM. I would then list the medications I would take orally and inject in the AM and/or PM. This kept me focused on one day at a time so I wouldn’t freak out about the big picture. Also, because depending how quickly you stimulate, I only filled in the calendar a week at a time.

2. Get a pill organizer. Yes, I felt like I gained about 80 years needing to purchase an AM/PM weekly pill organizer. However, you are taking a lot of meds and it is very easy to forget something; even if you write it down. Also helps keep your mind focused one day at a time.

3. If your RE allows, see if you can get an anti-nausea medication before your start your shots. I got sick a few times during my injectible cycles so I was very paranoid I was going to get very sick. The dr mentioned the pills but I asked for them a few days into my stim cycle; just to be proactive. Thankfully I only needed to take a pill on 2 occasions. With those occasions I was so happy they were there.

4. If your RE recommends Gatorade and salty food.. Listen to them! I was supposed to drink 32 oz of Gatorade a day during my stim cycle. I did not have too much bloating and I think both of those items really helped. Mr Strength bought me a hot pink 32 oz water bottle so I would be able to keep track of how much I consumed per day. Would really recommend this

5. Progesterone shots. Need I say more?? Actually, they aren’t too bad surprisingly! Mr Strength wasn’t able to be in the same room when I would administer my injectible cycles.. But he HAD to give me these shots… With the super long needle! When our RE told him that, his face went white instantly.. Poor guy 🙂 however, he has been such a trooper.. I had him start small and give me one of my stim shots so he could get used to the feeling. Quickly he got confident with the little shots he felt that he would be okay with the big needles. Thankfully, he loved playing darts and I am very happy for that as well; it doesn’t really hurt! However, get a heating pad.. And heat up your bum after each shot. This def helps

6. Progesterone shots continued. Remember that lovely day planner?? Your drs office will draw two big circles; one each bum cheek; targets really. We made a little “road map” in the back of our day planner.. We made two circles and alternated back and forth to each circle and strategically placed the needles so they can be as far away as possible from the previous shot that was given. I think this has helped me since my buttocks are not lumpy yet, nor really sore, and I’m 13 days in! Who knows, maybe that’s normal.. But I would like to think our little “map” helped us out a bit!

7. Stool softer, stool softer, stool softner!!! Did I happen to mention stool softner??!! After your egg retrieval you will begin the progesterone shots which will slow EVERYTHING down. I began fiber supplements when I started my stim cycle but then switched over to stool softners after the retrieval. Yes, you have reached age 80 again with this, but a girls gotta do what she’s gotta do!

8. 2ww… Need I say more?? This is the worst part of the entire process! It is so easy to over-evaluate every single thing; especially since the progesterone shots could be creating the symptoms to begin with. Try to keep yourself busy as much as possible. I learned to crochet a few months ago.. Thankfully I’m not very good so it takes all my concentration so I can’t think about anything else! Lol. I also started watching tv series on netflix, and now I started this blog. Puzzles are also a great outlet… I enjoy Sudoku since it also keeps my mind occupied.

Hopefully a few of these tips can make your IVF cycle as easy as possible. It is very overwhelming at the beginning and just the little things to make yourself organized makes a huge difference 🙂

Here is that “road map”:


Today is a hard day…




I am currently 8dp3dt and today has felt like an emotional struggle.  As the days trickle closer to my beta date (which is Friday December 20th), I am getting more and more emotional.  I would like to blame the progesterone for this “incredible” mood; however, after all of my Clomid and injectible cycles have ended up in negatives, it is hard to imagine anything will work.  Here is a little feedback on my IVF cycle thus far:


12/6/13 ER: 12 retrieved, 8 mature, 7 fertilized via ICSI

12/9/13 ET: Transferred 2 Grade 1 embryos on Day-3.  My RE wanted to transfer my embryos early instead of risking waiting to day 5.  Because I have responded well with my injectible cycles and none ended in pregnancy, she still isn’t 100% sure why I haven’t gotten pregnant yet.  So she wanted to give me the best chance possible.

12/12/13: Only 1 out of the 5 embryos left made it to the blastocyst stage; it was able to be frozen.

I was quite saddened by this news since the stats of 1/5 aren’t too good and worried about the 2 little ones in me currently.  I wondered maybe this could be that extra reason on why things haven’t been working.


It is so easy to get caught up into the “symptoms”- monitoring every little cramp, twinge, vivid dream, moodiness I have had this past week.  I keep telling myself the progesterone shots can mock pregnancy symptoms.  I am trying my best not to POAS (Pee On A Stick) and stay in my little denial cocoon as long as I possibly can.  I know by saying I believe this cycle has failed is only my defense mechanism kicking in.  I’m not going to lie, every little cramp and bloated feeling I have I get a little ting of excitement; maybe this is really happening.  But as Friday gets closer I am finding myself an emotional, scared, moody mess thinking it is almost impossible to achieve the pregnancy I so wish for


Cheers! To infertility…

Well after 2.5 years TTC, many pills and countless shots later, I have decided to enter into the blog world and share my story.  I am married to my high school sweetheart and I am so thankful to have found such a great supporter and my best friend to go through this unforeseen journey with. Him and I have always planned a family.. I was the type of person who had my life completely planned out: I would graduate college, find a great career, marry my best friend, then a few years later have our first child by age 27 and have child number 2 by age 29- life looked like a bed of roses at age 25. Well, my “journey” wasn’t at all what I planned….

My hubby (We shall call him Mr Strength) and I decided to “start trying” a little after a year of marriage. Seven months later- I have an annual with my OB-GYN and he decided to check my thyroid for any abnormalities but told me a specialist wouldn’t be needed until we weren’t successful after one year. My thyroid results came back normal.

After 13 months of multiple negative pregnancy tests and ovulation kits later, I made an appt with an RE. After the many tests, my diagnosis was PCOS and Mr Strength only had borderline low morphology.. Our prognosis was very good!

We started out our treatment with 3 months of Clomid and intercourse. When that did not work, I opted to have laparoscopic surgery to make sure I did not have Endometriosis. This test came back all clear!   The next step was 3 more months of Clomid with IUI added to the protocol; everything came up negative.

Next step of the drawing board- 4 injectable cycles with IUI. Once again, all came up negative.

And now, here we are to the present- I am currently in my 2ww of my one-and-only IVF cycle.

I never would have have drempt this would be my life.  As hard as this journey has been I have also realized the strength of my marriage, and most of all, my own strength. As many days I have experienced the worst of lows and wondering how I could go on, I have learned to just keep moving forward and never look back.

When I was first headed down this path of unknown, I sort of felt embarrassed and ashamed. Now I have learned the most comfort I have found is knowing I am not the only one out there in the world going through this struggle of infertility. Because of this, I wanted to share my story in hopes of helping maybe one person out there… always remember you are NEVER alone.