Looking Back At Infertility

Man, 2008 seems like a lifetime ago. We were just starting. A newly married couple, ready to take on the world. We were into our jobs. We were having fun. We had a plan for life. That big plan was to raise a family. Not one of those HUGE families but a nice little family. We both agreed on 2 or 3 kids. We were never exactly sure and knew that it wasn’t totally up to us but knew that number was fairly close and we agreed on it. So, after we were married we went on our honeymoon. It was GREAT…Lake Como, Italy. What’s not to love? Water, mountains, wine, pizza! It was awesome. We just assumed that we’d “get the job done!”

WOW! Quite an eye opener. Fast forward 7 years. W-H-A-T A J-O-U-R-N-E-Y!!! After several fresh IVF cycles and several FETs, we have two wonderful daughters, 5 years old and almost 2 years old. Blessings.

They say what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. That’s sure true. I really think we handled it quite well. We had ups and downs, good days and bad days but honestly, for all of the stress we (Wendi) went through, I thought we did well. Maybe that’s because we ended up with two beautiful daughters. The outcome might have been different if we were unable to have children. The stresses of infertility are great. They over-consume your life. They fill your every thought. They wear you down. I think it proves our marriage can handle the battle field when things get tough. It really did. Thank you Wendi.

I’m not really sure where I’m trying to go with this post. Looking back 7 years I say WOW, that happened to us. We were that couple that went to lunch when we were going through IVF, only to see 3 or 4 pregnant ladies. It almost seemed like they were flaunting it. That wasn’t the case. We have no idea if they went through the same trials of life that we did.

I thought the same thing when we were pregnant and went out. What if some poor woman or couple is sitting there jealous of us because we are pregnant. They have no idea what we went through. It’s unfair to judge. It really is.

Would I take any of it back? Absolutely not. Call me an idiot. We have Kate and Molly for a reason. I always think to myself. Infertility is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to us.

Always have hope…

Life After Infertility

It’s been a very long time since we’ve posted.  Shame on us!  Thought I’d pop in and give a quick update.  We started our infertility journey back in 2008.  All did not go well when we started.  Finding out that both Wendi and I had infertility issues was a huge blow. It was rough to say the least. BUT, we did not give up, thanks to Wendi and now have two beautiful daughters thanks to Arizona Reproductive Medicine Specialists and IVF.

We’ll definitely try and post more often in the blog to keep everyone up to date.  We do have a couple of frozen embryos waiting for us…so our journey is not over yet.

Wishing everyone the best and keeping up the hope.

 

STDs and Infertility

STDs and Infertility

Often, infertility is unexplained. It can sometimes be very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of infertility due to so many factors that can affect fertility. If you do get diagnosed with infertility, make sure you talk with your doctor about possible causes such as common STDs. STDs can harm your body in many ways and can lead to infertility if not treated.

It’s also important to get tested for STDs when you are trying to get pregnant because you do not want to pass any STDs onto your baby or your partner. There are many common STDs that cause infertility but they can be treated with prescription drugs so make sure you are tested for STDs when trying to get pregnant.

If you are going through fertility treatments such as IVF, most IVF clinics will require some STD testing before they start the IVF cycle such as HIV/AIDS, various Hepatitis and possibly Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis.

Below are some common STDs that you will be tested for if you are seeking fertility treatment such as IVF.

HIV
IVF clinics usually always test for HIV if you decide to go through with IVF. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most commonly transmitted through sexual contact. Sexual contact can include vaginal sex, oral or anal. There are other ways to transmit HIV such as blood transfusions, needle sharing or breast mile but these are less common. Often, HIV symptoms will not be notices for years. The only way to tell if you have HIV is to get tested. Some symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Rash
  • Swollen lymph nodes and glands

Symptoms of HIV can also be similar to many other diseases and illnesses so never assume you have a particular disease or illness until you are properly tested by a professional.

Chlamydia

One of the most common STDs in the U.S. is Chlamydia. Chlamydia affects millions of people each and every year. It’s typically transmitted through vaginal or oral intercourse and is causes by a bacteria in semen and vaginal fluid.

If chlamydia is not treated it can lead to PID, which is pelvic inflammatory disease and epididymitis which can lead to infertility. Most symptoms of Chlamydia are hidden so it’s hard to know if you have it unless you get tested.

If you do happen to have symptoms of Chlamydia, they can include:

  • Painful intercourse for women
  • Painful urination
  • Discharge from the vagina or penis

Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea commonly affects men and women between the ages of 15 and 29, however, anyone can contract the disease. Commonly known as the clap, gonorrhea is caused by bacteria that live in bodily fluids. Gonorrhea is usually contracted through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If left untreated, gonorrhea can also lead to fertility problems, including PID and epididymitis. Gonorrhea symptoms typically take between 2 and 10 days to manifest and include:

* nausea and vomiting
* in women, bleeding after sex
* yellow or bloody vaginal discharge
* green, white, or yellow discharge from the penis

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Syphilis
Syphilis is usually contracted through sexual contact with an infected person. If caught early, it is easily treatable, however, if allowed to progress to its later stages, it can result in serious health problems, including blindness and psychological disorders. Men are more likely to contract the disease, though women are also at risk. Syphilis symptoms appear in stages and include:

* sores, called “chancres”
* brown rash
* sore throat and swollen glands

Genital Warts
Genital warts are caused by the HPV virus, and are transmitted through oral, anal, and vaginal sex. It is an extremely common disease, with over 100 different strains. Many genital warts sufferers will exhibit no symptoms. Those that do illustrate symptoms tend to develop cauliflower-shaped warts on their genitals and in the pelvic region. These warts can grow on the:

* vagina
* cervix
* penis
* scrotum
* anus

Herpes
Herpes is a very common STD, and is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with an infected partner. Herpes is a lifelong disease, but can be managed through medications. Herpes symptoms tend to appear as outbreaks, which may be months or years apart. Symptoms include:

* itching and burning around the genitals and anus
* lesions on the buttocks, thighs, vagina, or penis
* vaginal discharge

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a very serious disease that can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, contact with infected blood, or by using infected needles. Hepatitis B can become chronic in some sufferers, leading to severe liver damage. There is now a vaccine available to protect against this disease in those who have never been infected. Many sufferers will exhibit no symptoms while others will experience:

* nausea and vomiting
* fever
* loss of appetite
* abdominal pain

Trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis is a very common STD and is usually transmitted through unprotected vaginal sex. If left untreated, it can cause fallopian tube inflammation, complicating fertility. Symptoms are often invisible in men, however women commonly produce symptoms. Symptoms of trichomoniasis include:

* yellow-green vaginal discharge
* pain during sexual intercourse
* itchy genitals

Pubic Lice
Sometimes referred to as crabs, pubic lice are actually small, parasitic insects that feed off of human blood. Pubic lice attach to coarse hair all over the body, particularly in the genital region. Pubic lice can be easily transmitted through close contact with an infected person. Symptoms generally include itching and irritation.

For more detailed information on sexually transmitted disease, visit Epigee.com.

Changes Are Coming! Website Redesign & Additional Features

This is just a quick note to let the PregnancyIVF Wendi, Mike & Katecommunity know that we are going to be making some changes with the website. We will be redesigning the site to offer a cleaner, more user friendly site and we will also be adding on features to help the community voice their opinion as well.

We are in the planning phase now but hope to have these changes completed within the next 1-2 months. If you have any suggestions, please let us know by commenting on this post or you can always send me an email at mike@pregnancyivf.com.

Thanks for your support and have a great day.

Single Embryo Transfer Next Week!

We are less than a week away from our FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer). This is our last frozen embryo and to no surprise we are hoping we are blessed with a sibling for our dear daughter. I had my ultrasound yesterday to check my uterine lining, it was a 10.5, which to my understanding is great. I assume it will continue to thicken as we get closer to the FET. It is so different going through the process this time around, mainly because we are distracted with a 15 month old-the distraction may indeed be a good thing. Just like last time, I have been doing acupuncture twice a week and will continue to do so up until the transfer. On the day of the transfer, I will have a treatment right before and right after the procedure. Here’s to positive vibes!

Kate is 1, New Venture and Hope

Kate 1 Year Old
Kate 1 Year Old

Well, our little girl, Kate, just turned 1 this past week. This year has definitely flown by but with many memories that we will hold tight forever.

Kate was our first successful FET after many failed IUI’s and a failed fresh IVF cycle. Our hopes were definitely down after the failed tries but we got through the tough times and now we have just put the first year of Kate’s life on the books with many more wonderful years ahead of us! What a wonderful year it has been….the best year of Wendi and my life. There have been ups and downs and challenges and tough days but this little girl puts a huge smile on our faces each and every day. We love her with all we have…and couldn’t imagine life without her!

We have a lot of things going on right now as well. We have 1 frozen embryo left that we will be using in an FET after the first of the year. If he or she is as feisty as Kate, we’ll likely be blessed again! That is our hope as we journey back into the life of fertility treatments and the stress it brings!

We will also be launching a new web venture, FertilityPod, which is a social network and expert community aimed to help those struggling with infertility to offer support and hope. It’s something we can use ourselves as we battle infertility and we hope others join us to help get through this stressful and tough part of trying to start a family. Look for the launch shortly after the new year! You can also follow us on Twitter @FertilityPod.

Other than that, we just want to enjoy each and every day with Kate. She is our miracle. We are blessed and we want to soak in each and every moment with her.

Wishing everyone else out there who is struggling to start a family the best of luck. Especially to all of the females who sacrifice so much going through fertility treatments. We know first hand that it’s a very tough thing to go through but there is hope and support. We’re always here as well to chat with anyone who just needs some support or someone to talk to about their own fertility journey.

Homemade Baby Food – Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker

Long before Miss Kate was ready to begin solid foods, I knew that I wanted to try to make her food from scratch. Call me crazy, but I just felt it was something that I could do for my baby that would give her the best nutrition possible. (It didn’t help either that I could no longer give her breast milk!) So, one might say that I was still feeling a little guilt from the whole “breastfeeding issue” – but now I was ready to tackle homemade baby food. Before she was even ready to begin solids, I went out and purchased a baby food maker, the Beaba Babycook.

Yes, you can make baby food without this, but simplicity is key with an infant. The Beaba Babycook allows you to cook and puree the food all in one machine. So right around 6 months we got the okay from her pediatrician and her gastroenterologist to start rice cereal. All I have to say is yuck – tasteless, blah, bland, nonsense…well not totally, we buy one packed with iron and probiotics. It wasn’t long before Kate was ready to move on to something tastier. I thought a great 1st food would be one of our favorites, sweet potatoes. At first she wasn’t sure, but after a few days of trying, I think she realized it wasn’t half bad. That isn’t to say we haven’t had some bumps in the road with feeding, she definitely has turned her nose up at some things – and then sometimes things that I think she’ll hate she actually loves. I really enjoy making her food and coming up with different concoctions to satisfy this little princess’s palate.
At 9 months, she is eating 3 meals a day and we have even incorporated meat (not so fun to cook) into her diet. Some of her favorite things are Mango Chicken (mangoes, chicken and carrots) Thanksgiving Turkey (turkey, cranberries, red potatoes, carrots, and sweet potato) and Green Surprise (broccoli, peas, and pears.) Who knew that a 9 month old could be such a little gourmet?

All in all I really am having fun cooking for her. We do try to buy as much as we can for her that is organic, especially when it comes to meat. I try to make things ahead of time and then freeze them using the Beaba Freezer Tray.

Currently she has a hearty appetite and it very adventurous in trying new things, much like her mommy and daddy. We are hoping in the next few weeks we can move on to more textures and possibly some foods that she can even feed herself. Miss Kate is well on her way to being a great eater and we are sure that she’ll eventually transition great to table food.

Bon Appetite!

Okay…WOW…How Time Really Flies!

So, here we are, 9 months after Kate was born. We have not updated this site in a long time and it’s much overdue. This will be a quick post to just let everyone know we are doing well and we are finally getting into a much needed routine with Kate. She is the love of our lives and we couldn’t ask for more. Here is a pic of us earlier this summer. We will be posting on the blog regularly once again so please check back soon!

Hope everyone is doing great!

32 Weeks! Not Much Longer and Kate Will Be Here!

Baby Kate at 32 Weeks
Baby Kate at 32 Weeks

First off, we’d like to apologize for not updating in awhile. People are correct when they say that things will get hectic trying to prepare for a new addition. We just hit the 32 week mark and all is well but yes, things are busy! Kate is definitely an active little girl. Sometimes her kicks and moves catch Wendi off guard and scare her a bit! It’s probably the time when Kate will start running out of room in her mommy’s belly so that means a little less comfort for everyone!

Over the past month we have gotten quite a bit done. After this weekend, we will almost be done with the nursery. The carpet is getting installed tomorrow. The room has been painted pink. The only major thing left is waiting on the crib and dresser to be delivered and assembled.

Other than getting the nursery ready for Kate, we’ve attended some pregnancy related classes. I went to the Daddy Boot Camp a month ago. Last week we attended a breast feeding class at the hospital we’ll be delivering at and this weekend we have a Labor and Delivery class that runs Saturday and Sunday.

Wendi is trying to get things organized for her substitute at school while she is on maternity leave and other than that, it’s time that we make our final “must do” list before she arrives.

At this point, 32 weeks, anything can happen. We want to make sure that if Kate decides she wants to meet us earlier, that we have things ready for her, as much as humanly possible!

Well, that was a quick update. I’ll let Wendi fill you in on the rest. She’s a little more detailed than I am but I just wanted to send a quick update for everyone.

Have a great day!