What worked for me…

Wow, its been a really long time since I wrote in my blog. For anyone following, I’m sorry for leaving you behind. Once I became pregnant I got this sudden fear of sharing too much and wanting to just hog all the glory to myself. But now, I’m ready to get back on and share where we’re at! I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant, which means we only have 9 weeks tops until we welcome our little guy into this world!

IMG_9045

While I’m super nervous of what life will entail after this little miracle is born; life with two kids, how exhausted I’ll be, will breast feeding work, so many unknowns. But with these unknowns, I can’t help but think about how we got here and how special this pregnancy really is. The two failed transfers before this successful one didn’t give me much help. I was almost positive that I was broken, my body wasn’t capable of creating or holding on to a baby… The first two transfers I did so many things that were supposed to help with implantation. I drank red raspberry tea, I put my legs on the wall, I did bed rest for one and no bed rest for the other, I ate and drank only warm foods, etc… I felt like I did it all. So, when it was time for the third transfer I was kind of at a loss of the things I could do to help. People would say, “its either going to work, or its not, theres not much you can do to increase your chance.” That answer wasn’t good enough for me, I couldn’t just do nothing.

So, along with my protocol and doctor change I tried to research more things. I felt like with the first two transfers I was so stressed out, worried and sad that it wouldn’t work and maybe that had a lot to do with it. Well, I found a wonderful program that I thought would maybe be one more thing to help this transfer work and couldn’t find a reason it would hurt. The program is called Mindfulness Fertility Series. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this program as I truly believe it got me where I am today. It was a 6 week course that was designed to help reduce stress and be mindful of your fertility. I had to commit to an hour once a week from 4:30-5:30 which at first sounded quite challenging having a 5 year old in the house (keeping her quiet is not an easy task). But after talking with the husband, he thought I needed to make it work. He said you need to figure out a way to do this course, bribe her, offer her candy, whatever you need to do. So I did. Every Thursday from 4:30-5:30 I would let her watch whatever movie she wanted and could have a treat after as long as she was as quiet as could be and could be self sufficient for that hour.

So the class began, this was two weeks from time of my next transfer and I was already in a more positive mindset just because I had signed up for the course. This was a conference call that I had to call into which was very easy to do from my computer, and would be easy to do from a smartphone as well. I could see myself and the other people that were doing the course and felt this immediate sense of relief. I wasn’t the only one. I didn’t know any of these other women (there were 10-12 of us) but seeing their faces gave me a sense of realness. (I have an instagram with over 900 followers dedicated to my embryo adoption) This was the first time feeling connected to real live people even though I had no idea their situation. We all waited to get started and then we did. We started with 3 deep breaths, this was extremely relaxing and really helped ease into introductions. We then all told our stories, why we were doing the course. There was everything from trying to get pregnant naturally, trying to reduce stress before their next transfer or IUI, starting over after miscarriage or loss, etc… You could hear the hurt in some of their voices and I hoped that they felt like I felt, just a little bit better knowing they weren’t alone.

After every class Sarah would send us a detailed document of the things we discussed and things to practice before next class, this was helpful as we didn’t really take notes during the class. So after the first class we really dove into how to be mindful during this stressful time of infertility. Every class would begin with the deep breaths and a check in of everyone’s week. There was one person who was waiting to hear if her transfer had took and so seeing her face during the class just made me smile, no matter her outcome, she was so so brave for sharing with us her strengths and weaknesses. We spoke about our ways that we practiced being mindful that week, whether it was taking baths, walking through the forest and listening to the leaves crunch, practiced yoga, did meditation, found a meditation app or maybe we weren’t mindful at all, and for recognizing that, we were being mindful. There was a class that taught some basic infertility yoga poses, with a live yoga instructor that we could follow along (unfortunately, I missed that one but got to watch it later). We talked about the foods we are putting in our bodies and how important it is to eat Organic if you can. One of the classes even taught self hypnotherapy which is so very helpful in this whole process. A great thing about the class was the ability to go watch or rewatch the class at a later time, because well life happens. This class had Sarah and Amira teaching the class, helping us learn techniques and they do it so well.

What did this 6 week course do for me? This course helped me immensely dig much deeper into myself and learn how to do things I’ve never been able to do. One day after my transfer I was walking my dog through a wooded area near our house and I noticed myself smiling as I was walking. I noticed the beauty that I was walking through and I noticed that I noticed. I felt so mindful. Another time during this I took a bath; normally I’m looking at my phone, sitting in the hot hot water not disengaging at all. But this bath was different, I turned on one of the meditation podcasts that Sarah and Amira mentioned and was relaxing more than ever before. Another thing I did during this course was I found myself happy and calm, I found that I could accomplish this if I put my mind to it. I was scared the first two transfers, so scared it wouldn’t work. This time was different. Although it was scary I felt like if it didn’t work I would be ok.

Well guess what? It worked, that transfer worked and I’m happy to say I believe this course really helped me get where I needed to be in my mind in order to be successful. The Mindfulness Fertility Series not only helped me learn about my body pre transfer, but it also helped me through my pregnancy. It helped be aware and how to come back to center when I needed it most. I can’t recommend this course enough and I highly suggest if you’re struggling to get pregnant naturally, or going through an IVF cycle you enroll in this course! You won’t be sorry 🙂

The Early Bird special starts today 9/17 and expires 9/20- Class starts on 9/27

You will be so happy you signed up!

https://payhip.com/b/v6YV/af5b9ea009ed4bd

Mindfulness Fertiity Series copy

Thanks for sticking around everyone! I truly appreciate you and your comments and support. xoxo

cropped-jessica-joy-3.png

The Lil’ Embryo That Could…

lil' embryo that could photo

It has been a while that I have come into this space. When I first started this blog, it was meant for educating the world of infertility and also a space for me to write down all of my feelings; fears, accomplishments, daily motions that go along with the dreaded infertility. As you all know we adopted 4 embryos last April from a lovely family and are just now coming up on that year of knowing them. We had two transfers that did not succeed and from there we decided to switch clinics. Switching clinics meant that we would have to transport these embryos to another clinic in Seattle and hope that this was the right place for us, and our embryos. When I first went to the new clinic I got such a great feeling, it was warm, comforting and the staff was like night and day from the last clinic. Now not many people really know me, but those that do know that I am a sensitive soul, need a lot of coddling and I felt that after all we been through this was definitely the case this time. The nurse remembered my story and my situation every time I came in for my appointments. She would remember what we did the last time and it all fit together like a puzzle. I remember years ago at one of the clinics I went to, I was treated like a new patient every single time. Every time I would go in, I would have to re-tell my story and where I was in the journey, it was awful! This new clinic like I said was different.

When the clinic gave me my transfer date, they told me the doctor that I would be with, and to my surprise it was not the doctor that I had been seeing. I had originally said there was no way that I wouldn’t be with my doctor but when they told me the soonest date I could transfer was with this other doctor, I just agreed. At first I was scared as I had never met him before but when I read his background I felt better about him. He was one of the first doctors in the embryo transfer world that had created the catheter that would pass the embryo to the patient. That to me seemed really important, so I then became excited. It was about 2 weeks before transfer that they let me know the for sure date and then we would start the medications. I started some progesterone gel that you insert vaginally, progesterone in oil injections, and estrace. I felt like at this point me and the husband were pros at this and couldn’t wait to get started. And so it went… the days leading up to transfer I was very calm but optimistic, different than the times before.

TRANSFER DAY… Oh man transfer day. It was truly amazing and I get chills just thinking about it. We go into the office and wait for my in office acupuncture. The lovely acupuncturist comes out to get me and asks if my husband would like to join us? We looked at each other, smiled and agreed that that would be awesome! I took my valium and got on the bed where the lady inserted the needles while explaining what they were for. It was euphoric almost and one of the most special things was having D there. After acupuncture they led us into the transfer room and I got undressed from the waist down and lied on the table. Shortly after the doctor came in. He was so calm seeming and I had explained to him that I had done my research on him, he smiled and was impressed. At this point I was super relaxed and was so excited D was sitting next to me. We watched the camera as they did a mock transfer, just seeing exactly where the embryo would go and I felt so confident that this was the one. They brought in the embryo from the lab and in it went. It was quick and painless and the embryo was in! After transfer, we stayed in the transfer room where the acupuncturist came back in to insert needles in me. That was really relaxing and seemed like it was working, again a sense of euphoria. So, after we left and went out to lunch where I had a burger and fries and was so ready to take a nap.

THE 2WW (two week wait)… Well this two week wait was definitely different. I was way more calm than the previous two. I felt like everything went so different that this had to be the one. I took walks with my dog, we took our daughter to the snow, I enjoyed the thoughts of being pregnant and I didn’t once POAS (pee on a stick). Luckily this 2ww was only 9 days so didn’t feel nearly as long.

TEST DAY… I had to be at the clinic bright and early and for this I was ok with that! They drew my blood and then I was told that it would be several hours that they would call with my beta numbers. I went to target, killed some time and then went home and watched One Last Shot, a documentary about a couple with infertility. I cried the whole time thinking I wasn’t sure if I could handle the heart break again, I honestly wasn’t sure.

THE CALL… “Hi Jessica, this is Beth from ***, I wanted to let you know that your first numbers are great and you’re pregnant, and you’ll need to stay on your medications and come back on Monday to make sure your levels are rising…” I was in utter shock. I’m not sure I knew what shock felt like before that, but that call definitely left me in shock. I was sweating and crying and called D asap. He sounded also in shock and we were just so happy that this one worked. D said he prayed that morning and I said I did too (I’m not the praying type). After sharing the news with my very closest loved ones I had to wait until Monday to make sure it was going up! Longest weekend of my life. Oh and what did I do as soon as I got off the phone? Immediately peed on a stick or 4! And there two lines! img_6825.jpg

And so, there I was, I was pregnant! What?! I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe that it finally worked. Yes there were so many things that helped this transfer and this little one was definitely meant to be… My levels continued to go up and things were all looking good and we are happy to say that…

After many years of infertility, 3 costly frozen embryo transfers, 135 injections in my back side, and a whole lot of heart break, WE ARE PREGNANT… Due Nov, 2018

baby clothes

Love Always,

cropped-jessica-joy-3.png

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

cropped-jessica-joy-3.png

Third times the charm…

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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

cropped-jessica-joy-3.png

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

jessica joy 3

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,

cropped-jessica-joy-3.png

 

I won’t let infertility win…

img_5236

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

cropped-jessica-joy-3.png