ART- Assisted Reproductive Technology

embryo_transfer pictureI’m super excited to be able to share some resources to help others on their infertility journey! When I started the process of Embryo adoption/donation I didn’t have these resources and I am so thankful that I do now! Choosing a clinic can be scary and sometimes overwhelming, but these resources will be very helpful in helping you make decisions.

One Website that has soooooo much information: https://nccd.cdc.gov/drh_art/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=DRH_ART.FindAClinic&rdRequestForward=True

Below is a direct link for finding clinics in the location you are looking into and will give statistics on the ART of the particular clinics…

https://www.cdc.gov/art/artdata/index.html-

  1. This is where you can put in your state or city and it will bring up every single licensed fertility clinic in that area! So for instance- if you put in California, it will come up with 77 clinics.
  2. Then once you click on the clinic you choose it will give you information like this
Clinic Service & Profile  
ART for single women Yes
Donor egg services Yes
Donor embryo services Yes
Embryo cryopreservation services Yes
Gestational carrier services Yes
SART member Yes
Verified lab accreditation Yes
2015 Clinic Summary Number
Total cycles 1013
Banking cycles 108
Pregnancies 277
Deliveries 212
Total infants born 239
Singleton infants 186
Multiple-birth infants 53

Here is some National data that might be helpful to you that came from the CDC website- these are numbers from 2015

National Services & Profile  
ART for single women 98%
Donor egg services 91%
Donor embryo services 74%
Embryo cryopreservation services >99%
Gestational carrier services 87%
SART member 81%
Verified lab accreditation
Yes 92%
No 6%
Pending 2%
2015 National Summary Number
Total cycles 231,936
Banking cycles 45,779
Pregnancies 74,665
Deliveries 60,778
Total infants born 72,913
Singleton infants 48,820
Multiple-birth infants 24,093
Multiple-infant births (e.g. twins, triplets, or more) with at least one live infant are counted as one live birth delivery.

But it has so much other info too!
Another site that would be helpful in your journey would be-

http://www.sart.org/

SART- Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

This site has so much current information on IVF or other fertility treatments. SART can help you find a clinic, predict your success and give you facts and success rates! I would say these things are so very important when doing any sort of Fertility treatment.

One article that I enjoyed reading from SART

Yoga Helps Infertility Patients

Nov 01, 2017

Author: ASRM

Published in: ASRM Press Release

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE’S

2017 SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS & EXPO

Note: Press room open Sun. October 29, 2pm-5pm CDT; Mon. October 30-Wed. November 1, 8:00am-5:30pm CDT. 210-582-7029

San Antonio, TX– Infertility patients who do yoga see reduced stress levels and higher pregnancy rates according to new research presented this week at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress in San Antonio.

A team from New Delhi examined the impact of yoga on pregnancy rates for women who had already undergone one unsuccessful IVF treatment.  Over 100 women undergoing frozen embryo transfers were randomly assigned into either a control (no yoga) or treatment (3 months of yoga sessions) group. Following embryo transfer, 63% of the women in the yoga group achieved pregnancy as compared with 43% in the control group.

A team in Chicago presented preliminary results of an ongoing research project on the value of yoga for infertile patients. They reported enrolling 26 patients into online or in person yoga training, with preliminary findings showing a significant reduction in anxiety scores from patients in both the in-person and online arms of the trial.

“We know infertility patients suffer from very high stress levels. These studies show that yoga represents a promising therapy for reducing patient stress during infertility treatment and even potentially improve outcome of such treatment,” said Richard J. Paulson, MD, President of the ASRM.

Because in case you didn’t know, I love yoga!!

So as always, I really appreciate all of your support and love, and I hope that I can help others like they have helped me. Love you guys!

xoxo

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Third times the charm…

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I sure hope so! We have been through so much and I want to have a victory! I want to be able to thank the Universe or my lucky stars or whoever, I want to cry happy tears and celebrate the victory of becoming pregnant! I want to be able to be able to share with our donors that the little embie made it, that they were the one and that I will do my very best to keep them safe and comfy for the next 9 months. I want to be able to tell little JJ that this one worked, that she will have a sibling when she’s 6 years old. I want to go into our 12 year wedding anniversary weekend with lots of sleep and yummy eating and not one drop of alcohol because I have a growing baby in my tummy. For the last 2 transfers, I wanted these things too but as we keep going with the motions I can’t help but say I want this one soooooo bad!

Yesterday was my endometrial scratch. When first told about this, I immediately was freaked out! Scratch?! That sounds terrifying. You’re telling me you are going to scratch my uterus? OWWWWWWW! At my old clinic I had several very painful procedures with lack of compassion or care and so this had made me so nervous for anything. Fortunately, I have the most kind and gentle nurse that has made everything so far comfortable and very clear to understand. She tells me everything she’s doing step by step, but the very best thing about her is that she remembered me from last time and I felt like she truly cared about what she was doing.

So now, I start my meds and I got the strong meds ordered from the specialty pharmacy, we have paid for our FET and we are on the road to Transfer #3. While most people that get pregnant don’t share when they had sex, conceived and all of the details until 8-12 weeks, my whole life as an adult hasn’t been that way. I’ve been poked and prodded like a big giant science experiment for a very long time, and nothing is private at this point. We know the sex of our embies, we will know exactly how far along we are, we know lots of things about their genetics, we know that they are healthy up to this point, etc… I don’t get to have a glass of wine and just get frisky and get pregnant. I get to tell our children that they came to us from baby seeds, or adoption, and you know what? I’m ok with this. This is our journey, and on the days that I am down in the dumps and feeling sorry for myself, I try and remember that our babies, including little JJ are meant to have their story, they are meant to come to us in the way that they did. Little JJ is a light in this world that shines so bright and I can’t imagine her being in any other family than ours, since day one, I knew it was meant to be. So, future babies we’re here, we’re ready for you to be part of us, part of this life, this family.

For the next few weeks,

-pomegranate juice

-water

-pre-natals, DHA, vitamin D, folic acid, baby aspirin

-light exercise

-meditation

-baths

-YL essential oils

I also have something pretty huge that I’m putting together for my blog, and can’t wait to share. It’s quite time consuming so it will be a while before its ready, but I think it will help so many people out there with their questions! So stay tuned for that…

Thank you all so much for your continued support and if you know someone out there who is struggling to conceive let them know they aren’t alone, let them know there is so much support out there!

xoxo

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Sharing…

Sharing…

It is very vulnerable of me to share. I go back and fourth about how much I want to share and with whom. I originally had connected my blog to my facebook and then I got a comment from a friend and disconnected the two. It felt weird having my middle school friend knowing all of my business. But then my sister asked me why do I not want to share, why do I not want people I know to know. I had told her that it felt like then people would think I am crying for help or looking for this pity support. She told me that is not what people think.

So, the other day I connected my facebook to my blog again… I got several comments on Facebook from family and friends of well wishes, etc… And you know what? It felt good. It made me feel like I was heard and that this is a real part of me and it is happening, every single day.

One of the goals that I have with my blog is that people learn that they aren’t alone in this infertility world and if that means out of my 200 facebook friends, maybe 2 will go through or have gone through it themselves, then maybe I helped them in some way. Before I connected with Instagram and Facebook in the infertility community I felt very alone. I felt very frustrated that people would say the stupid things like “it will happen when you least expect it”, or “its just not your time”, or “put your legs on the wall and have sex every day”, oh the list goes on. I still chuckle a little when people say these things but I know that I have such a big community of people who have also heard these things that I can bounce them off of them and vent to people who “get it”.

When I learned of Embryo Adoption/donation I was shocked, it felt so foreign and when I told other people in my own circle of people, they were also like, “woah, I’ve never heard of that before!” But, with that said, now that I know so much about it, I feel so confident to be able to share about it, I feel so confident in promoting it and have real life experience with it. I have so many highs and lows with it that I feel like I now could be someones mentor on the subject and help someone get started on the process, just like so many were for me. The same goes for regular adoption. I feel so passionate about it and would support anyone who made that decision and feel that my knowledge could really help someone make the decision to move forward.

I know my blog right now isn’t where I want it. I want it seen, I want people to ask questions, I want to help others feel comfortable sharing my story to maybe help them share theirs. Sharing is hard, and while I thought people would think I’m sharing too much, I needed to get past those people, because this is my story and I’m going to do me.

So, as I sit here with my super cute new lap top cover (pineapples are the best!), and type away, I hope this hits home to some. Don’t be scared to share, you are brave and strong and just be you! xoxo

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Let it Be…

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Sometimes you just have to let it be… Sometimes you have to feel the feelings before you can move forward… Tomorrow I turn in the consents to our old clinic so that they’ll release our embryos and I can then transport them to the new clinic…

While I was pretty down yesterday, it was so dark and cold and I felt really lonely and bored, today was a much better day. It was another day where I found myself wanting to cuddle up with blankets and take a nap but it was also a day of more clarity. I feel glad to know that we are about to get this show on the road.

Earlier this week I got to babysit a friends 2 month old baby boy for a little while and wow did that make the want and desire for another baby feel heavy! He was so peaceful and really didn’t do much except sleep, but he was just a sweet little peanut and I cannot wait to one day soon have my own baby boy! I was online today and so badly wanted to purchase this “little brother” outfit, but I refrained (hubby would be so proud)! I have purchased a little onsie and a jammie for our future baby boy and luckily already have a few hand me downs 🙂 I cannot wait for the day I can say I’m pregnant and for it to be real, the day that I can truly see him in his room and his big sis holding him. The two embryos that we have are so very special and I have very high hopes for them.

We as a family have high hopes for 2018, and not too sure what it will involve, but don’t worry you’ll all be finding out…

I’m looking forward to 1/24 as thats when we’ll be having our talk with the new doctor about the embryos, what the plan is exactly going to look like going forward. The doctors protocol is different enough from the old clinic that I feel confident its going to be a good plan. So if all goes well we’ll be pregnant for our 12 year wedding anniversary! I’ll of course be updating along the way, but may be a little discreet with dates and such 🙂

Anyway, trying to get motivated to exercise and get healthy again after the Holidays so if you have any good ideas pass them my way!

Love you all, thank you for following my journey!

xoxo

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Happy New Year!

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And there you have it! We have entered to 2018, and I think I’m ready! Our 2017 was a whirlwind and seemed to have lots of ups and downs. Hubby and I seemed to stay healthy for the most part but poor little Josie girl had her fair share of ear infections and strep throat which led to her having her tonsils and adenoids out. The weather here in Washington was really gross until about June and then the rain went away and it got super hot! Never seems like theres a happy medium… 2 weeks before Christmas Darrell surprised me with the suggestion we head to California for Christmas and I had never been so excited to go back with family for the Holidays. I knew what it meant; a very long drive, jumping from house to house, a whole lot of packing, and much more, but all of it sounded wonderful! So we went. We soaked up so much sunshine, so much sand, and as much family time that we could have endured and although we’ve only been home only less than a week, I miss California so so much. But, here we are back in Washington and its time to get this year moving.

So far I’ve not been very productive and feeling a bit lost. Josie went back to school yesterday and Darrell went to work and although I was sad our family time was over, I was glad to have time by myself to get things done. So, I spent the day cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, you know all the housewife type things… Today I woke up feeling different. I woke up feeling unproductive, and just down in the dumps. I once again felt defeated by infertility and I hated it. I am so fearful of the future and while I’m confident in the clinic that we now have chosen, I’m not that confident in myself. I also never do well in limbo so while I know transfer won’t be too far away, I HATE waiting. So, for now, we are working on transporting our little embies to the new clinic and getting started on my cycle. There are some days where I want to scream out to the world, “don’t you know the shit I’m going through?!” but I don’t. I stay quiet. I quietly think my thoughts and just work through them.

I don’t know what this year will hold, but I can only hope that one of these little embies will snuggle in tightly and we will be able to welcome a baby into our lives. I’m trying to stay positive and really appreciate all of your love and hope for our family.

Always XOXO,

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Getting back on the train… and stuff

Well, I’m happy to say, we are moving forward with transferring one of our 2 sweet embryos again… While this journey is very long, hard, sad and time consuming, I’m proud to say that it humbles me and helps me know who I am. As Christmas is approaching, I realize that I need to be in the now. We have our Josie girl who deserves not only the very best Christmas, but also she deserves for her parents to be present. I feel like infertility takes over my mind/life and my family that I have now, are the ones I am so thankful for. Yes, I question why its been so hard for us, why things just aren’t working out, but in all reality, this is just part of our life, not all. The bigger part is the little girl whom we adopted 5 and a half years ago, the little girl who I love so very much and I find many days I am not present because of my infertility. My husband is my other part, my other half. I also need to be present there. We are our unit right now, and if and when that changes, we will very happily welcome whatever that means.

The other day Josie says, “Mom, you are always on your phone”. I almost started crying. I felt awful, like the worst mom ever, and realized that things other than her and hubby are consuming me. I felt angry at todays society, that texting, facebook, instagram and all the other stupid things consume so many people. I realized the other day, that this needs to change. I like my social media, don’t get me wrong, but theres a time and a place. In 2018 I really hope to lessen my usage during the day. My instagram that I created for my embryo adoption has been the best thing for me. It helps me feel connected to the infertility world and I hope I have it for a long time, but I hope to be able to keep it to the evenings or when Josie goes to school. The other day, I got a comment on my instagram from somebody I used to be friends with. She doesn’t follow me but clearly goes on and sees what I’m up to. Well she commented on my post in such a negative way that it was kind of a wake up call. I realized that these places where I choose to share my life don’t need to be for everyone. I will keep it public, but I’m not looking for controversy or any negative support, so I will block and delete if I get that.

Some goals for 2018-

Less social media during the day

Learn to meditate

More yoga

Get to California to see family at least twice

More hiking

Blog more

and many many more…

I’ve not had a lot of thoughts to write about lately, but really hope I can check in more often! So this post was a bit of rambling, but just some random thoughts!

Love Always,

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I won’t let infertility win…

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Oh, I have so much to say and don’t know where to start. The beautiful flowers in this picture are from our embryo donors, I can’t express how special it was to receive them but it meant so very much. When starting the process of embryo adoption/donation, we had no idea what it would entail, but we are so lucky that we met our match and we feel so blessed to have it gone the way its gone… They not only donated their embryos to us, they have so much hope for them and know that they have so much potential.

With that said, unfortunately we have lost 2/4 embryos with my FET’s 😦 this has been an emotional ride and at times I have felt like too much to handle. With my first transfer, I thought it would just work, I would get pregnant and stay pregnant. Well, not so much, it failed. The questions remain; what failed? Was it my body? Was it the embryo itself? Was the unfreezing process? Was it the incompetence of my clinic? I don’t know and unfortunately I don’t know if I ever will. After the first failed transfer, it took many many days to get through these questions and processing it all. Nobody understood exactly the amount of pain I was in but I also didn’t need to share that with the world. Within about a week I was ready to move forward. I put the picture of our sweet embryo away and got ready to start the process again.When I got the call that I wasn’t pregnant I set up my wtf appt with the RE. Unfortunately he was out of town, so it would be about 3 weeks before we could go in. Once we went in, I had a list of questions and concerns to go over. Someone very dear to me who had been through the process many times helped me come up with some main points to discuss. This was important because during this infertility journey I have felt like these doctors rag doll and I let them run my show. I feel like they are so smart and know what they’re doing so they should be able to lead me the right way. Well, I went in with my questions and guess what, almost everything I said was shot down or bypassed. This was not what I was expecting but once again, I thought, he’s a doctor and knows best. So, we left with a plan of starting the process again and to go for transfer number 2, protocol the same, nothing different. What a fool I was/am, to listen and not demand a protocol change.

Estrogen and progesterone shots were exciting this time. Every time D and I would head upstairs for my 9pm shots, we were giddy and excited. It was like we both had the feeling that this was gonna be the one. During my 2ww after my 2nd transfer I rested for 3 solid days and then continued to be gentle with myself in that 2 weeks. I felt what I thought were symptoms every single day. I had twinges, sore breasts, cramps, you name it it was there. I was convinced it wasn’t just the progesterone, I thought “I am pregnant”.

Well, I got the dreaded call 10 minutes before I had to go pick up Miss Josie from the bus. Boy was that the wrong time. Why they had to wait 4 hours to call and tell me this horrible news, no freakin’ idea. So I pick up the phone, I hear “Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you” in the background and the nurse says, “oh hi Jessica. I’m really sorry to tell you that your pregnancy test was negative”. Not only was I shocked that it wasn’t positive, but I wondered why the f couldn’t she have gone in a quiet room and showed some compassion. Mind you the nurse that called was the same nurse that tried to do my SHG and hurt me so bad while causing so much trauma and fear. So there it was, the very sad news.

So, that day sucked, and the day after that sucked too. It didn’t get easier very fast especially as the next day was hubby’s birthday and we didn’t get to celebrate what I thought was going to be great news. This time hit me harder than the last. I guess I felt like now that I’ve had 2 failed FET’s then it was never going to happen. While I watch my family members fall pregnant, time after time, and it all comes so easy and naturally, it really makes me question any spiritual connection I thought I had. People said, “oh God is on this journey with you” “this is the one, God told me so” “I can feel it”, and after I got the news, I decided that I need to get back to reality and know that there is no magic or higher power that is going to make this happen. My body, the embryos and the doctors are in control at this point and if it works one day, it will be because of those things.

So now, 2 weeks after my negative results, I am moving on. I have switched clinics, with a consultation next week and we have some high hopes for whats next. I am sad still, and more scared than ever, but I can’t let it get me down. I will not let fertility win, not now and not ever. We want a baby in this family, more than ever… Miss Josie asks about the baby seed all the time and we just let her believe its just going to take a long time to grow, we will do everything in our power to complete our family, but right now, its not complete, we aren’t done yet.

Thank you so much for following my journey!

xoxo

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