Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Year In-Between...

I was just sitting here thinking about the title of my blog and how appropriately it has reflected our life. I originally named it before the last deployment. It was intended to be a diary that he could come to while he was away for that year. I knew I would continue to write when he returned, but I was worried the title would not fit anymore. But... it still does. Over our 13 years of marriage, we have shared 3 together. The timing of his training activities/deployments/field exercises.. always lands on our anniversary for some reason. He once said to me... "Hunny... it would not be our anniversary if I was home". This is soo true. I don't even know how we would celebrate it. Our first anniversary together was shared when I had to take emergency leave to see my grandmother in the hospital. Shortly after we left her, she passed away. The second anniversary we shared was in Ft. Rucker. It was the night before he went to SERE... so he was frantically packing up his bags. The third anniversary we shared was at Ft. Campbell. That was the night before he left me again for High Altitude training... so he was consumed with anticipation then as well. Oct 23, 1997. That is the only day that matters. It was a PERFECT day. We skipped on over to the courthouse in downtown Fayetteville and were wed by a country man. Our vows were unique. When the justice of the peace read them to us, we both confused his words for "In richness and in property". And we BOTH repeated them that way. We then went with a couple of my friends for an IHOP celebratory breakfast. Next, John and I went on our barracks honeymoon. Beer, pizza, and movies. To me... that was the perfect day.

I'm getting off track here. My point is... it is not only A Year Without Him. There are soo many times that he is gone during important life events. I'm not sure how we plan it this way... but it just happens. Today. I woke up wanting him here with me. I always wake up wanting him here. But today we might actually be conceiving a child (or two). It just seems odd that he's not here for that. Of course... I would not wait for this. We've been waiting for this for 12 years. It's time... and so what if it landed at an inappropriate time? It's happening... and it has to work. I can't wait to make new life with him. It was so incredibly, awesome the first time. I just want/need more. And now I'm off to my surgery!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Change of Plans...

Just a little update. I went in on Tuesday and the doctor said he thought we'd have a better chance if we did ICSI instead of just IVF. The only difference is that instead of just putting the sperm and eggs in a dish and letting them fertilize themselves, he will actually inject each egg with a sperm to make sure it has a chance to fertilize. This also means more money (300 euro per egg). At this point, I don't care about the money anymore. If it doesn't work, yeah, then you will hear me whining. He checked my follicles (for those that don't know what a follicle is, it is basically a little house that each egg lives in until they have matured enough to move out... that's my vision anyway), and there are still 8. They are growing and I think when I went in today I heard him say the biggest was at 20 (whatever units they measure follicles by). I was a little concerned about the number of follicles because originally he told me that he wanted to see at least 10. But that was when we were doing IVF only. So "I think", now that we are doing ICSI a smaller number is ok. At least that was the impression I got from him. John is still away in Poland, so I was a little emotional this morning. I went in expecting to start the process all over again. But after talking it out a little more, I felt safe to say 8 was enough. If we started over and ended up with 15 eggs... I'd still have to make the decision whether or not I wanted to pay for all 15 eggs to be fertilized. And at 300 euro a pop... that's just too many! So I am betting my money on these 8 and hoping all of them make it to the final stages... pretty please! I was given another prescription of the Puregon hormone injections to use until Saturday. On Saturday night I will take a different injection which will induce ovulation. I am scheduled to go in on Monday morning for Ovum pickup! Since I will be under anesthesia, I was lectured on finding someone to drive me. Since John is away, my friend Claudia offered to take me. Boy am I nervous about all of the possible what ifs. What if the retrieval doesn't get all of the eggs and we end up with less? What if even less can be fertilized? What if the fertilized embryo's don't make it to implant day? What if all of this is for nothing? I know those are all risks associated with doing IVF/ICSI, but I can't help myself from thinking about them. It is going to be a long weekend!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Is this Really happening?

My brain doesn't shut off anymore. Some nights I can't fall asleep or even get tired until after 3am. I've always been a night owl, but here lately it has gotten worse. By the time I fall asleep, it's time for Aidan to get ready for school. After he leaves I am finally exhausted enough to get some real sleep. And then.... I sleep, and sleep, and sleep. Before I know it, the day is half way done, and I haven't accomplished anything AT ALL! When I know I have to get up early the next day, I find myself dosing up on pm's. I know they aren't good for me, but I don't know what else to do. I asked the doctor if it could have anything to do with the hormone injections. He nodded and said this was hard to diagnose, and I should know after the egg retrieval. Which leads me to one of the many things keeping my brain running...

After my first prescription of 100 units of Puregon, I returned to Dr. V to check on the follicles. He said they weren't progressing much and that they were very small, but that there were about 4 of them. So he upped my dose to 125/150 alternating days and I returned to see him again 5 days later. At that time he found that there were 8 follicles (the largest measuring at 12). On the left ovary there weren't many follicles and they were very small. But on the right side there were several more and larger. He still wants to see more follicles (at least 10) and growth. So he prescribed 175 units of Puregon per day and asked me to return in 6 days. He seemed very positive that we will be doing the Egg retrieval surgery this week.

I think this whole process is starting to hit me. I just realized that we are actually doing this! 3 months ago I was completely in the dark about the IVF process and it didn't even cross my mind that we would be doing it soo soon. I thought we would try injections only... but I had no idea we would actually be making PETRI DISH BABIES (yup... if it works I will be calling them petri dish baby 1 and 2). I'm freaking out a little. The money is a huge part. We have saved for a while, and it will be devastating to see that money go to waste if this doesn't work. I'm also scared to do this alone. John had to go off on a little adventure in Poland, so I'm stuck here to do the surgery without him. Yes, I have my friends... and I love them for wanting to be there for me. But I want/need HIM. I feel like he is often gone when I need him most. Oh... how loving a soldier can be soo satisfying, yet soo painful all at the same time. Argh... I miss him. Which leads me to the second reason my brain won't shut off...

My emotions are running wild. Maybe it's all in my head, or maybe it's the hormone injections. But I can't seem to make it through one day without breaking down somewhere over something extremely retarded! John snatching a menu from my hand (REALLY????)... a sappy song on the radio (GAY!!!)... WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????? My god I feel like a moron! Crying in front of people I just met too (STOP!!!!). Anyways... yes... I am excited... but no... I am not getting my hopes up. I know how this works... I know it's not always in the cards. I want more babies. John wants more babies. But I don't believe it is really happening. How could it be when we have been trying for 12 years? 12 years of hoping... and 12 years of having that hope crushed. And... I'm laying it out there for everyone to see. Is that wrong of me to get people excited if it's just a shot in the dark? Ok brain... you can shut off now!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Open Book...

That's right... I am a huge open book. I don't care who knows our lives, our ups, our downs. I put it out there. Through blogging, through facebook, even an occasional hit on my business page. I figure if you don't care to know... you don't have to read it. But the way I see it, I have hundreds of friends who do care about what goes on in our life. They are excited to hear about our Germany adventures, our fertility treatments, my photography, what's happening with my pre-teen. I think we have a pretty interesting and amazing life. I love it... why not share my experiences with the world (or at least my friends and family)?

That being said... I'm just going to jump right into the TMI. John and I started seeing the fertility doctor just about a month ago. We hoped that we wouldn't have to do procedures like IVF. I was praying that all we needed was a little kick. Maybe a shot or two of those amazing fertility drugs they make these days. But after our first Ultrasound a couple of weeks ago, we found out that we don't have many options at all. I only have one tube remaining after the ectopic pregnancy. And well... it is completely blocked :(. So there is absolutely no way for the egg to travel down the tube or the sperm to travel up the tube. Our only option now is In Vitro Fertilization. I've always had it in the back of my mind, but didn't actually think we would go through with that so soon. We have a little money saved up, so decided to just go for it!

He started me off with a Monats-Depot shot. Don't ask me what that was for... but it made me bloated and bitchy.. and oddly hungry! I was told to come back in on day 2 of the next cycle... which was today! He did another ultrasound, more blood work, and prescribed me Puregon injections for the next 5 days. I am supposed to take 100 units each day. Let me just say... I put John in charge of the first injection and he jacked that all up. He gave me 175 instead of 100! Hahaha! What am I going to do with this boy? I told him he would have to suffer the wrath of the extra hormones he just gave me. You think this gives me a license to nag for the next few days??? Hehehe! Anyways... I go back in to see him again on Monday to check on the follicles. From there we decide if I need more or less units of the Puregon. The plan is to stimulate enough follicles so we have plenty to extract next month... but at the same time trying not to overstimulate my body. If that happens, I will have to give my body a little break before we can move on to the next step. And that could mean months. We don't have too much longer before this next movement... so I'm hoping to get this going as soon as possible!

I did want to touch on one more thing that I have noticed here. As an American, I was raised to hide my body from the world. So when it came time to see the OBGYN, I was always embarrassed to have my girly parts all out in the open. I even neglected to go in for my annual checkups because of that. The Germans are different with this kind of stuff. They definitely aren't ashamed. So when I see the Doctor here, there are no paper robes to hide behind, and you don't have a moment to re-dress yourself after he is done looking at you. He will let you know what needs to happen while you are getting dressed, and expects that you will be comfortable with that. At first I was a little taken by it and I was provided with a blanket to cover myself. But when I went in today, I had nothing. I sat on the table naked from the waist down. I looked over my shoulder once and realized that the nurse had even left the door to the reception area open. When the Doctor came in, he was followed by a female nurse AND another Male. It didn't seem to phase me much this time. I feel free and relaxed. Like I do not need to be ashamed of my body anymore. So I have a few fat rolls and stretch marks. Why does it matter as long as my husband loves me for ME.