Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

He Gets It!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Let me start by saying that when the call came from Shelton’s brother last night to tell us about Tilton’s arrival, I was watching the season finale of The Mole. With no way to pause the TV when I saw his name on my caller ID, I hesitated to answer. I’m glad I chose to answer though.

After we’d hung up with Keith, I sat in Shelton’s lap just hugging him. He asked if I was doing OK. The day our nephew was born I was a wreck. But in all fairness, the day he was born we had just had our first appointment with our fertility doctor and everything was still so fresh. I had an ear-to-ear grin and told him I was fine. He asked again. I told him I was fine.

Anyone married knows that “fine” from the wife doesn’t always mean fine. So very sympathetically, Shelton asked one more time if I was handling the news OK. I told him that I couldn’t be any happier. I was thrilled to have my niece and so excited that they delivered a healthy baby girl.

Not that Shelton doesn’t get this, but the way he manages the emotions is far different than me. It meant so much that he asked, and kept asking until he knew I was alright. It also shows how much we’ve grown in this journey in the past two years.

Seven Years and Counting

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Yesterday was our seventh wedding anniversary. It seems like such a long time, and yet I know in the grand scheme, it’s just a small deposit in the years we’ll spend together. Now, more than ever before in our relationship, I know that there will be years (plural) together.

We get emails all the time from people asking us for our advice, telling us about friction in their own marriages as they go through this. We’ve also been told and read countless stories of couples who divorce during IVF or after. We tell them all the same – talk to one another, listen to one another, and remain positive. Without those three things, Shelton and I would have broken, too. This entire experience has made us a stronger, smarter, better couple, and if we get nothing else out of doing this, then I’ll say we spent three years and $17,000 on couple’s therapy. And it will have been worth every penny.

There is absolutely no way I could have done the past month without Shelton. He’s been an absolute rock and has made me and this process his top priority. I also wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else. I’m so grateful for him, and so in love with him, that I can’t think of any better way to spend our seventh year than letting a baby bump be the only thing that grows between us.

IVF Shots Day 18 – Stim Day 9

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Yesterday was kind of a roller coaster. I went from feeling great, aside from a little continued pain, to terribly nauseated and in bed at 9:55 on a Friday night. (Welcome to the rest of our lives I guess!)

Started the day with our LAST LUPRON SHOT!!! I’ll grant you, if I had to take those forever, it would be no bigs. I don’t even feel them. Nonetheless, good riddance! Then it was off to our fourth ultrasound and bloodwork of the week. This one had the best news yet, we’re done! My ovaries have responded incredibly well and we stopped our regularly scheduled shots yesterday. That means Thursday was our LAST MENOPUR SHOT!!! If you’ve never taken it, or are planning to take it, let me put it this way, it’s fire water. It’s like filling a syringe with fire and then injecting it into your belly. It’s so uncomfortably painful. So again, good friggin’ riddance!

The ultrasound was very busy yesterday. There were, from what we could see, 12 follicles (holding the eggs) on my right ovary and 5 follicles on my lazy left ovary. Our nurse “Y,” who we love!, did the ultrasound and showed us on the screen where my ovaries are actually touching. Afterward we spoke with “M” and I was like, no wonder I feel like none of my pants fit and I’m in so much pain. She agreed, the follicles are full and my ovaries have expanded and pushing out.

The other good news of the day? Retrieval is scheduled for tomorrow!!! We have to check-in at the surgery center at 7am Sunday, retrieval is scheduled for 8am, and we could be there for a few hours, including recovery. Sunday you ask? I’ve been told that not all IVF clinics make themselves available on weekends. Make sure yours is! Otherwise you’re compromising your cycle. They need to take those eggs out at just the right time. So I’m eternally grateful that our doctor, nurses and the entire surgery team are giving up a precious Sunday morning to poke holes in me.

Last night at precisely 8:00 I did my Ovidrel injection. This comes in a pre-filled syringe that’s been nesting in our crisper for the past few weeks. This is the “point of no return” shot, the “Houston, we are go for launch” shot, the “this shit is getting real” shot. This is an HCG injection (human chorionic gonadotropin) and is responsible for helping the follicles mature and triggering the release of mature eggs. It’s taken exactly 36 hours prior to egg retrieval. Apparently I was supposed to alert my health care provider if I had severe upset stomach and vomiting – good thing I didn’t go all the way.

The blood test showed that my estrogen was soaring somewhere around 2500 yesterday (400 is normal). The day before it was about 1500. So by my mathematically handicapped calculations, my estrogen increases about 41 points every hour. So I could very easily be around 3500 this morning. EVERYBODY LOOK OUT!!! I’m actually surprised that I feel as well as I do. I figured with estrogen that high Shelton would have stitches in his forehead and I’d be bawling because our dog’s bowl was out of water again. But alas, no tears. No need to panic.

Last night you would have thought Shelton and I had actually brought home a baby. We were just so romantical and sweet and whatever (insert nausea) with one another. We did a lot of talking last night. He told me he was proud of me for getting through all of this fairly easily, and for doing it at all. Thanked me for not going off the deep end and expressed how excited he is to have a baby. I pretty much echoed all of that – telling him there is absolutely no way I could have done this without him, and no way I’d want to have done it with anyone else.

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The Benefits of the IVF Waiting Game

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

I’ve gotten this question before and when I responded to a “KJ” last night, I thought this was something I’d go ahead and share with everyone.

“…wanted to ask you how the wait was cause it looks about 18 months for us…”

How was the wait? Honestly, it was a blessing in disguise. We first started trying five years ago and I think all the time – what if we had gotten pregnant then? Or what if we had done the IVF 3.5 years ago when we found out. I think about all the things we’ve done in that time – where we’ve gone, things we’ve done, our careers, etc. and realize that most of it wouldn’t have been possible with a baby. So while my ovaries have screamed at me more times than I care to count and I’ve watched nearly every person we know have a baby, including my little sister last week, and drooled, cooed, ahhed and jealousy watched them hold their babies…. I’ve been grateful too. I’ll never ever get this time back. I’ll never have this chance again to take a career risk like I did 2 years ago, or sleep in every Sunday morning with my husband, or stay out much later than planned with friends, or any number of other things we’ve done BECAUSE WE’RE IN OUR 20s! I’ll never get this time back alone with my husband, just the two of us. We’ve had eight years together as a duo and it’s been precious and perfect. I think we’re going to scratch our 7-year-itch by turning this into a trio!

Anytime someone asks about waiting, baby vs. no baby, and how they wish they could just get pregnant already – I remind myself, and them if they want, that it will happen when it’s supposed to happen. And rather than having spent the past five years pouting, moping and being generally depressed about the fact that we don’t have a baby yet, I spent that time enjoying my life, appreciating what I DO HAVE, and putting my energy into building as positive a marriage and life as I possibly can into which I can bring that little burping, pooping, screaming cuddly monster home.

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IVF Shots Day 11 – Stim Day 2

Friday, July 24th, 2009

What is a stim day you might be asking? It’s short for “stimulation” day. We actually started stimulating my ovaries yesterday. Full on sky rocket of the egg production, folks!

Today was like a 5 out of 10, if we’re grading things. I got to sleep in a pinch today and then powered through a full work day. I didn’t change out of my jammies until 6:00pm when Shelton got home, and then only because we needed to go to the grocery store. I’m still just so tired. I keep telling myself to take a nap mid-afternoon, but emails and whatnot tend to take priority. We’re not talking some long afternoon snoozefest, like a 30-45-minute cat nap to just refresh. Alas, it’s the weekend and maybe I’ll stock up on sleeping in and nap times for the next two days.

I think this headache might become a permanent part of who I am. Much like a new freckle or an inconveniently grown hair. I think this headache started on Sunday… I feel like I’ve lost track. The title of this blog should be IVF Shots…. – Stim Day 2 – Headache Day 94. It’s getting to be a bit ridiculous. Advil does not work. Tylenol does not work. I was recommended Excedrin Migraine, but that just makes my teeth chatter uncontrollably and I feel like I’m on a magic carpet ride. I asked the pharmacist tonight what she recommended. When I said I’m currently taking Lupron and Gonal-F she just stared at me blankly as if I were talking to her about something NOT in her area of expertise. Like car repair or modern plumbing.

So I bought ice cream. I love the no-sugar-added Edy’s Slow Churned. The texture is awesome and it tastes fantastic, and I don’t feel as guilty for loading up an oversized coffee cup drizzled, make that doused, in Hershey’s syrup. I also made sloppy janes for dinner (with ground turkey) and guacamole. And a sweet pickle. I told Shelton this was a practice run for bizarre pregnancy cravings.

The Lupron shot was easy this morning and the Gonal-F shot was fine tonight, except that since the injection spot is very sore. A friend asked if I were starting to feel like a pin cushion yet. Maybe a little. Shelton really is doing a great job administering the shots. He’s always takes the best care of me, but lately I’ve noticed him being a little more attentive. I told him last night that I feel like I’m loving him more lately. I’m anxious all day for him to return from work and all I want to do when he gets home is be with him. I was laying in the bed tonight waiting for my Gonal shot, watching him in the bathroom prep the needle, and I just thought how surreal this all is. That we’re actually doing this. That he’s been sticking me with needles for 11 days. Thinking about why we’re doing this. And I’m proud of us. Proud of us for coming as far as we have, for not letting this break us, for remaining positive, for talking about all of it.

It’s very true what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We are most certainly that. I’ve heard so many stories about couples whose relationships completely crack, and in some cases shatter, under the weight of infertility and IVF. Our pieces are securely in place. If we get nothing else out of this, I’ll be glad for the stronger relationship we have because of it.

Big Ball of IVF Nerves

Monday, July 6th, 2009

OH MY GOD! We officially start IVF a week from tomorrow. Eight days! I’m really starting to feel it. And when people ask how I’m doing, I’m starting to feel this wall come up. Imagine me not wanting to talk about it. I’m shutting down a bit, which isn’t good. When people ask questions I just want to recant with “Don’t you read the blog?! All the answers are there!” My dear best friend told me that she reads the blog, but she’d rather talk to me and have a conversation about it. Fair. I probably need that as much as she does. I hate feeling like this. The reality is seriously sinking in and I’m start to freak a bit. I told my best friend last night that I just don’t see the earlier part of next week being a good week. Between Shelton’s surgery and my first shot of Lupron (both taking place July 14), I feel like I might just lose my mind a bit. Oh, and let’s not forget that my baby sister is due any minute now. That surely won’t affect me!

I’m ready. I’m ready to do this. I’m ready to be pregnant, have the baby, lose my ass, and never sleep again. But I don’t like not having control, or knowing what’s next. And I feel like the next few weeks/months is going to be a steady stream of no control.

image And call me cheesy and hopelessly romantic, but I feel like it’s the end of an era. The end of the Shelton and Brandi that I know. The past eight years of my life with him have been incredible and easily the best eight I’ve yet lived. I love “us” and who we as a couple are. I love our lifestyle. More than anything this isn’t what I’m ready to let go of. While part of me doesn’t want to share “this,” there’s another part that knows that our baby can only make “this” better and stronger. While we sat together watching fireworks Saturday night, Shelton leaned over and said this will be the last 4th of July that we’re not parents. And I was just smacked with this wave realizing how right he is. I just keep singing the Dave Matthews Band song “You & Me” from their new album Groo Grux King: “you and me together can do anything baby.” I feel like I have to just keep repeating those words to myself. We can do this. We’ve faced challenges before, we’ll face them again. This could very well be the biggest yet, but we’re going to come through it just fine.

My feelings and emotions right now are all over the place. I’m feeling grumpy, tired and scattered. The right Snuggle bear commercial could send me into a crying mess. I feel like now more than ever I have to prove myself personally and professionally – for real, I can do all of this. And what if I’m not Wonder Woman, who am I going to let down? The most crushing would be to let down myself, but I don’t take that lightly no matter who’s on the receiving end of that.

For the first time since April Shelton and I do not have any plans this upcoming weekend. I plan on keeping it that way. I want this weekend to be a calm before the storm. I want to enjoy all the things that we love doing together really soak it in. I want us to both go in to next week rested, relaxed, and as calm as humanly possible, knowing that together, we can do anything.