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.

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.

Going Back 9 Months – Our Delivery Story in Short

Kate Delivery

It’s been way too long since I last posted. Baby Katherine is already here and is just shy of 9 months. Who ever knew that 9 months could go so fast? Let’s rewind to last December when our little princess arrived.

We went to the hospital for an induction on a Thursday, thinking that I would deliver by that evening. The induction began early that morning and I was hooked up to Pitocin and even had an epidural by 7 a.m. (The epidural was due to a low platelet count, not pain at that point.) The next three days were spent in Labor and Delivery….drugs, interventions, pushing, contractions….you name it!!! Finally on Saturday morning, we had a C-Section (my bones were too narrow to deliver her naturally!) It was quite the ordeal getting her into this beautiful world (induction + 3 epidurals + 3 days later = spinal and c-section and one tired mommy!)

I remember the moment that I first held her and I thought to myself mine, she’s actually mine! It’s an amazing feeling holding your baby for the very first time. Even more amazing is the fact that not too long ago we even wondered if we’d be able to have children. The once microscopic tiny frozen embryo was now a beautiful, dark haired baby. I am reminded everyday that miracles do indeed happen.

So now at 9 months we are enjoying life as a family of 3 and couldn’t be happier! I am so looking forward to keeping you updated in all the pleasures that life holds with a baby as well as the joys of celebrating a successful Frozen Embryo Transfer.

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!

25 Weeks Pregnant Today!

Our First Little Girl, Kate At 24 Weeks
Our First Little Girl, Kate At 24 Weeks

I am just at 25 weeks and can’t believe it! In the beginning, the pregnancy seemed to be going by very slow and now it seems like the weeks are passing by in the blink of an eye. I had a doctor’s appointment and an ultrasound last week and everything looks great. I always get excited to see the doctor. The appointments don’t consist of much other than a urine sample, weight and blood pressure, but just the mere fact that I am there as a pregnant patient makes it exciting in itself. As I have mentioned before, I really love my doctor and she always puts a smile on my face. I had to get a test done for CMV because I found out that a child in my school in a carrier. As I understand it, CMV can cause some pregnancy complications, including birth defects, but practicing good hygiene habits should help keep me healthy…. needless to say, hand sanitizer is my best friend.

I did get a call today from the doctor’s office because I needed to reschedule some of my appointments and I found out that she is gone the week that I am due…major bummer!!! There are three doctors in the practice and I have met two, so I look forward to meeting the third. You never know who will be on call when I deliver.

At my ultrasound everything looked perfect! She was hiding her face through most of it, so we didn’t get a lot of facial pictures. The ultrasound technician also mentioned how active she was. (Yes, I know!!!) They guessed her weight at about 1.8 pounds, which puts her at the 56th percentile. I’ll be anxious to see how much she weighs at birth.

This past weekend Mike and I headed to Babies “R” Us to begin our registry. Doing it on the weekend was not smart as the store was crowded with babies, pregnant women, and clueless dads. We did enjoy ourselves though and Mike had fun scanning all of the merchandise. We weren’t able to complete the entire registry, but we’ve got a great start. I need to do a little more research on some things and get some advice from my friends that are experienced moms before we add any more to the registry. As I told Mike, “It’s a work in progress!”

We are also in the beginning stages of starting the nursery. It has been cleaned out (thanks to Mike) and decisions are being finalized with bedding selections. We were able to order the crib and dresser a week ago and will have to decide on a rocker in the near future (I am waiting on fabric samples from the bedding to match up with fabric for the rocker.) I am envisioning a beautiful pink and white nursery when it’s all complete.

All in all, I am feeling great and loving life. I am able to keep up my energy at work and have continued with water aerobics about 3 times a week. I am falling asleep without effort and night and am frequently awakened by kicking and hand movements throughout the night. I couldn’t be happier and I am anxious to see what the next few weeks bring.

This Pregnancy Is Flying By!!! Almost 6 Months Along!

Our Pregnancy Is Flying By!
Our Pregnancy Is Flying By!

It’s crazy what a couple of weeks can make when it comes to pregnancy. It seems like things are progressing quicker, day by day. Our little girl is kicking, A LOT! It must be from the yummy treats her mommy is eating! Much of the kicking and moving around is around 9-10 p.m. when we are getting ready for bed! Yes, I said 9 p.m. We are getting old! Wendi’s belly is also growing like no other over the past few days. Her “baby bump” started out very low in her stomach but is now taking over her whole mid-section and rounding out very nicely! I’m sure we’ll be posting more pictures in the next week.

So, with all of these new changes and growth, it means we have to get our act in gear and get moving on things we NEED to get done. The nursery is one of our first tasks. I successfully cleaned EVERYTHING out of our second bedroom this past weekend. It’s now empty and ready to be worked on. We will first paint the new room (PINK, PINK, PINK!!!) and then we are going to get new carpet. After that, we will be ready to start loading it up with all of the baby stuff such as crib, dresser, her clothes and all of the other goodies we will be getting over the next couple of months.

Our next OB-GYN appointment is in 2 weeks and then we should also know when our next ultrasound is. This next ultrasound is going to be a good one. Our last one they were able to tell us the sex of the baby. This third trimester ultrasound should be able to show up much more detail and features of our little girl, Kate! I think the OB mentioned that we would have 2 more ultrasounds before Wendi delivers in December.

Last but not least, please bear with us for the next couple of weeks. Things are looking pretty crazy. Wendi just went back to school yesterday. She’s a elementary teacher. We’ve also received some requests from readers/experts so we are going to work on touching up the website to accommodate some of these requests.

One more thing, we are running a “Best Fertility Story Contest” so please enter here for a chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card!

22 Weeks Pregnant & Feeling Great!

Wendi at 22 Weeks!
Wendi at 22 Weeks!

I am 22 weeks and feeling better than ever. My belly is expanding and I am feeling our little girl move all around…such an amazing feeling! I had to head back to work this week, as school starts in a few days. I will miss my usual summer days of water aerobics; instead I will have to opt for the evening classes. I will definitely miss the bright summer mornings working out in the Arizona sun.

I didn’t tell my coworkers that I was pregnant, so arriving back at school this week was exciting in itself. I bought a t-shirt that said “Tickled Pick” to announce the wonderful news that we were expecting. Many friends and coworkers said that I wasn’t showing much, but not being able to fit into my old clothes is a sure sign that I am indeed pregnant and growing. I feel like I am walking around school glowing and am really happy when I am congratulated. (If everyone really knew what a feat it was to get pregnant in the first place!!!) I am anxious to see how some of the parents of my students will react, as parents are sometimes weary of having a “pregnant” teacher. They are concerned about the amount of time I will be away from the classroom. So needless to say, I am working on finding the perfect fit for a substitute teacher while I am on my maternity leave. That’s awhile off, so I thought I’d post something fun…I thought of “22” things I am enjoying at 22 weeks pregnant.

  1. Actually beginning to look like I am pregnant.
  2. Slowly fitting into my maternity clothes.
  3. Feeling so happy!
  4. Feeling the baby move.
  5. Seeing the baby move.
  6. Having Mike feel the baby move.
  7. Picking out our babies name, “Katherine”.
  8. Not having to keep my pregnancy a secret anymore at work.
  9. Buying the cutest little girl outfits.
  10. Trying to find her the perfect bedding.
  11. Picking out her nursery furniture.
  12. A hearty appetite.
  13. Energetic!
  14. Gathering advice from friends and family.
  15. Spending quality time with my husband.
  16. Thinking about all of the possibilities for middle names.
  17. Beginning to prepare the nursery.
  18. My ever-growing belly!
  19. Getting ready to register.
  20. Enjoying cat naps while I can still take them.
  21. My new body pillow.
  22. Thinking PINK, PINK, PINK!