-Emotion Sick-

The 30-day countdown has begun! Since we made this decision in July the transfer date has felt so far away, now it feels uncomfortably close…. Am I excited? Yes. Am I trying to stay positive? Yes. Am I nervous? Yes, in fact, every time I think about it, I feel physically ill.

The best way I can describe it, it’s like knowing this could possibly be the best thing to ever happen or potentially one of the most devastating. It’s like spinning the wheel of roulette with a million dollars on the line. Ufff, that’s big gamble. This last weekend I wasn’t feeling like myself, maybe it was stress, maybe it was nerves, maybe it was a tinge of depression or that I picked up a 24-hour bug – whatever it was, I felt off and I didn’t like it.

Friday night I opted to miss a good friend’s birthday celebration that I had been looking forward to, I just couldn’t do it, I wasn’t feeling well. I told Nick to go along without me and have fun, so he did. I spent the evening taking a hot bath and meticulously scrolling through the “embryo adoption and donation support group” to see if I could learn anything else outside of the 15,000 other times I’ve already scrolled through the previous posts.

When you are part of a support group you see so many stories. When I read these, I try to pick out similarities that resemble our life and our infertility journey. There are so many reasons why people desire donor embryo’s….. some have spent their entire life savings on failed fertility treatments and couldn’t afford it anymore…some can’t afford traditional adoption…some have been trying the traditional adoption route and its failed…some families already have children but want “one more” but they’ve already gotten snipped…some families learned they are carriers of genetic conditions only after birth of their first or second child and don’t want to risk passing that genetic condition to their future babes…some are single (older) females with their clocks ticking…some families have one partner (or both) who are unable to conceive…there are tons and tons of different reasons and there are tons and tons of different stories, not a single one is identical to the other.

I don’t necessarily find it helpful to spend my evening searching over support boards, in fact, it causes me so much unnecessary anxiety, but it’s hard to stop. By the time I put my phone down to call it quits, I’m convinced that our protocol is garbage and that our doctors have no idea what they are doing. I mean, Jane Doe said she took different medications for her embryo transfer and it worked and another person said that she had 4 donor embryo transfers that failed, so obviously that’s going to happen to us too. I rarely pick out the positives when I’m scrolling through posts.

Friday night I went to bed at 8pm and didn’t wake up the next day until after 9am. Over 13-hours of sleep… that is incredibly unheard of for me, I’m a 6:30am early riser, even on the weekends. I had some very bizarre dreams, but nothing fertility related…I dreamt we had bedbugs that looked like snowflakes with legs and my good childhood friend (Gus) died in an unmemorable way. I woke up sobbing, again. Thanks, fake hormones.

Saturday morning I felt much better, we did some major closet and basement cleaning in preparation to put our home on the market when we return from the Czech- we got a ton accomplished. That afternoon Nick’s cousin and her husband were having a party to celebrate the seasons- “Crocktoberfest”. Everyone brings a crockpot dish to share and you enjoy good company. It was great, so much good food and so many cool people. About an hour into the party, I started to not feel like myself again, I couldn’t shut my brain off ugh, enough is enough. We stayed about 3-hours, then I asked Nick if we could leave, I didn’t feel like socializing, which was totally not like me… if you give me cocktail and someone to talk to, I’m usually good for hours 😊.

The truth is, this was a family party, there were a ton of small children there and they were all so dang cute. I intentionally try really really hard to not let the fruitful fertility of others get to me, but it always does. It’s very difficult for me to be around so many young children and mothers, I yearn for what they have- I don’t care if that baby is crying/pooping/snotting/hungry/needy, I’d chop off my left arm to experience motherhood. The jealousy is overwhelming at times. Why do they get to reproduce so easily?

Over the years my emotional response being surrounded by children and mothers (specifically friends) has fluctuated, at one point in our infertility journey I would have refused to go or left the party almost immediately and cried the entire night. I’m thankful I don’t do that anymore, it would be a shame to miss out on these fun events. I’m thankful for the hard work I’ve done in therapy, because of this I notice these feelings before I have an uncontrollable reaction. I honor these feelings because these feelings are my reality. I own these feelings because they are mine and they are the result of years of heartache and disappointment that a lot of others will never, ever understand.

Whenever I have a (emotionally charged) moment, I try and reflect on what it means and really “sit in my shit” as my therapist would say. I try to take time to process, before I react. Yesterday, with the realization that our embryo transfer was less than 30-days away, I felt myself mourning again. I always thought I’d have a mini-me…an itsy, bitsy, tiny version of me that I’d stare at trying to find the traits that resembled me and the ones that resembled Nick. I wonder what our baby will look like? I wonder what our donors look like and if they’re good, kind/hearted people. I wonder where in the world (no pun intended) the two babies created by these donors live. I wonder if our future child/ren will ever meet their biological parents one day or if they’ll even want to. I wonder what our children will think about their conception when they grow up. I wonder if donors realize how much their precious gift means to families like us.

I wonder if this will work.

Xo,

Tessa

For those of you wondering how Dooz doggy-dog is doing, she is doing GREAT! Drain tube came out last week and this coming Saturday she gets her stitches out. She is most definitely getting all her personality back. Yesterday was the first time since the incident she actually took out her toys and chewed her bones. Yesterday was also the first day I had to holler at both dogs for playing too rough. It’s good to have her back to normal! 😊

uterus

.Screwed.

Last week I woke up at 5am to the realization that I never asked our coordinator if our new embabies had resulted in a successful pregnancy, so I emailed her immediately. She told me that this egg/sperm combo had resulted in 2 prior pregnancies, but the batch we were offered was created in August of 2018, so our possible future babies have at least two genetic siblings somewhere in this big world….so cool!!

In other news, something incredibly traumatic happened on Saturday night. It all started around 9:30pm when we returned home from dinner with friends, we were snuggling on the couch watching Game of Thrones when I noticed that our oldest dog, Dottie, was lying in a spot and position that was abnormal for her. I told Nick that she was acting weird and he reminded me that she was tired because we were dog sitting a friend’s dog for the last 5 days and earlier the neighbor’s dogs were over playing too. She was definitely tired, so I pushed it aside. 30-minutes later we were ready for bed.

Our usual bedtime routine consists of both dogs jumping in bed to get some love for about 15-20 minutes before we kick them off to their mats for nigh-nigh time. Tuna was the only one who jumped up, he hogged the attention until we realized that Dottie wasn’t even in the bedroom, super strange for her since she has been doing the same routine for 4 years- even when she is dead tired. We yelled for her to come and she slowly walked up to my side of the bed but didn’t try to jump up. I noticed her doing something strange with her mouth, so I reached down to pet her. My hand landed directly in a slimy wet spot. What the hell? I jumped out of bed and turned the light on so I could check it out. *GROSS WARNING* I had to pull apart her long hair and what I saw was absolutely disgusting, it was a huge open wound, the first thing I saw was bloody fat/flesh, I couldn’t tell where it started or ended- I yelled to Nick “SOMEONE SHOT DOTTIE!!” Nick jumped out of bed faster than anyone I’ve ever seen “What are you talking about???” He hollered. My hand was covered in gross goop.

He looked at the spot for 3 seconds and said, “It’s not a gunshot wound Tessa, she’d be dead, but we should probably go to the vet.” We quickly tossed Tuna in his kennel and within 2 minutes we were on the road headed to the emergency vet. We looked at our “pet emergency” magnet on the fridge and called them, their vet had just gone into emergency surgery and would not be unavailable for the next 2-3hours… well that won’t work.

We called their affiliate in Golden Valley and they were able to see her right away. Golden Valley happens to be one of the suburbs that Nick and I have talked about moving to but I have never actually been there. (*Side note: we are also in the process of selling and buying a new home) There is no better time than 10:15pm on a rainy, drizzly night with a bleeding dog to check out the area …Golden Valley it is.

They brought us back to a room right away to fill out forms and to inform us of the ridiculous office fee. Obviously, we didn’t care, fix our bleeding dog, please. The vet came in for a quick chat and then told us they would shave Dottie to see the wound to determine if she needed stitches.

3-minutes later, they brought Dottie in to show us what they were working with. I almost passed out, I couldn’t even look at the wound-I immediately felt woozy. What the heck happened to you girl? She looked so scared, she always hates the vet anyways and shakes uncontrollably, this was not any different, she was a mess, I was a mess, Nick was stoic. Her wound was a giant, it was almost the size of my palm, and it was open, bloody, and swollen. The vet told us “it’s a dandy” and that it likely happens over 24-hours age because of how swollen and infection it was. So gross. “She will need more than a few stitches to take care of this, we have to open it up, clean it out, and put a drain tube in”…….ugh, what? How the F did we not notice this, we are terrible dog parents!! He said it would take an hour and a half, then he brought her back for sedation. ☹

We waited in the lobby, only 2 other families that came in, the first had a dog that had eaten 2 rabbits a few days ago and now they suspected the bones were in her digestive track because she wasn’t eating and vomiting. The second was a family with an elderly cat, I only heard a bit of that conversation, but my guess is that it didn’t end well. God emergency vets are so depressing.

The time passed slowly, we talked about how in the world this could have happened, we had several theories. The receptionist called us up and went over all the medications that Dottie would need, 5 in total. Yikes. We were also informed that we needed to limit her movement, not allow her to play, and follow up with our vet right away on Monday to get further instructions, like tube and stitches removal.

Then they brought her out- she looked so bad, she could hardly walk, she was confused, her eyes were all goopy from the vaseline they put on for surgery. It looked like she had been crying, her eyes showed nothing but fear, I didn’t blame her, after all her left side was shaved, stitched and had a big nasty tube sticking out. My heart broke. They told us she was on a heavy dose of pain medication and that she was just coming down from the anesthesia. Poor sweet girl, you didn’t deserve this.

We struggled to get her into the car, partly because it was down pouring, partly because she was so high from the meds and anesthesia, and partly because Nick and I had absolutely no idea what we were doing and we didn’t want to hurt her more.

I sat in the backseat to try and comfort her, my heart was beating about a million miles per minute, I tried to hold it together but by the time we pulled out of the parking lot I was crying, I felt so, so, so bad for our fur baby.

She was still super messed up when we got home, we slowly got her into our bedroom where she could lay on her mat on our floor. It was a long night. I mayyyybeee slept 2 hours, I was on high alert all night, checking on her periodically to make sure she was okay.

The next day (Sunday) little missy was not herself, to be expected. It wasn’t until around 2:30pm when we got Tuna back from our neighbors that we got even a smidge of a tail wag, right after that our good friend, Lissy, swung by and Dottie was so excited to see her, she let out some excited cries (that’s how she loves to greet people she loves) and embraced all the pets. Glimpses of her spunk were popping through, plus she looked super stylish in the white shirts she got to wear all day to protect her tube.

Today (Monday) we had a follow up with our main vet, we were just there for an appointment 2 weeks ago, so Dottie appeared more comfortable. They checked her incisions and the tube, cleaned her up and said everything was looking “as good as it could.” We head back tomorrow to hopefully get her tube removed. They wrapped her up in some cute pink bandages, so her drainage wouldn’t leak all over our house anymore and sent us on our way.

Today was better, although she still isn’t moving around much, she has her attitude mostly back, like not coming inside and laying on the couch when she knows she isn’t supposed to. Today I watched Tuna try to engage her in play by dropping a bone on her head, she didn’t even flinch, my guess is that by tomorrow she’ll want to zoom around and I’ll have to yell at her because she is still on a zero activity restriction. 😊

So, the burning question- what the heck happened? Not knowing was terrible, there were so many theories but we figured it must have happened in our yard. Was it a stick that she fell on? Another dog scratch or bite? A sharp part of the fence or retaining wall? Did someone walking down the alley and intentionally hurt her? We searched our yard over several times, finally Nick noticed a clump of hair on a hex bolt that sticks out of our patio umbrella about a half inch. I’ve never noticed that dangerous bolt sticking out. Below it was more hair, that was the culprit. Dottie rips around the yard to get Tuna or other dogs to chase her..this time she must have ran between the umbrella stand and it gouged and tore her side. 🤢HOLY OUCH!!!!!!!!

Thanks everyone who sent good energy, positive thoughts, and prayers to our girl!🐶❤️

xo,

Tessa & Dottie

screwed

Little Blue Pill

Holy bananas, it has been an insanely busy last 2 weeks, I haven’t even had time to write, where does the time go? Whoever preaches stress reduction while trying to conceive was clearly not a social worker 😊.

I finally started my first medication, good ol’ birth control, the medication I spent years and years religiously taking to avoid the exact thing I’m trying to achieve. How ironic. My lady bits decided to shed itself starting on October 10th, so on October 11th I began taking the cute little pill in that cute little blue package. I.freaking.hate.fake.hormones.

By October 15th, I was essentially a living, breathing, monster who was sleep deprived and always hungry. How do these pills have that much of an effect? The first two days taking it were easy-peezy, but then the insomnia set in. I normally consider myself an A+ sleeper, I’m routined to a fault and can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, not on these bad boys I can’t. On the night of the 16th, I woke up every 50-minutes after the clock hit midnight, it was awful. At 3:30am I woke up Nick to see if he was sleeping…of course he was, I had been watching him for the last 3 hours…I also had to tell him I couldn’t sleep, I felt it was important he knew. I’m confident that Nick would classify my habit of waking him up at night one of the most annoying things I do <devil smile>. He told me to go sleep in the guest room, which I did, but of course I was followed by a dog party that was sure to wake the entire neighborhood up if I didn’t let them snuggle. 5:50am quickly rolled around and it was time to get up and seize the day (sarcasm).

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it is incredibly difficult for me to function on anything less then 7-8 hours of sleep. It makes me feel physically ill and I’m essentially worthless. Is this preparation for parenthood?  The next night I took a hefty dose of sleep aid and went to bed by 7pm, by 3am I was tossing and turning again. I’ve forgotten how much I loath fake hormones. I wonder how I took them for so many years.. but then I remember that I was a wild woman and survived on very little sleep and cheap booze each night, truly impressive when I think back about it.

Once I started the birth control I emailed our coordinator to get our official dates determined, ie: lining check ultrasound, progesterone shots, time of FET. Exciting.

I got an email back from her the next day telling me to schedule my lining check on November 24th or 25th, before I even looked at the calendar I knew these dates were probably a Saturday/Sunday, because why wouldn’t they be the days my clinic is closed? Sure enough-they were, excellent, of course, its always something. I had to email back and see if Friday/Monday worked instead. I got an instant email back saying “Friday would be best.” I spent the next 30-minutes on hold with my doctors office only to learn the clinic was closed on November 23rd due to Black Friday. Good God. I called 5 more clinics, all closed. Jesus-is Black Friday a national holiday now?

It look my coordinator from the Czech clinic 3 days to respond to say whether or not Monday 26th would work instead, that was another long waiting game filled with anxiety. I had convinced myself our entire embryo transfer was screwed. Luckily, just like my lovely coworker told me, Monday worked just fine, whoofta.

Next step: try not to hurt anybody, discontinue birth control pills Nov. 9th, and start estrace Nov. 14th!

xo,

Tessa

hormones

Two of a Good Thing is Better than One

trust

Hooray! We finally got some responses to our question we’ve been waiting on since September 18th!! Here is a quick recap:

On September 18th, Nick and I sent an email to our coordinator in the Czech Republic asking “If possible, we would really like to match with an embryo that has other full genetic siblings. Is it possible to find a match with 2 embryos that have the same sperm donor and same egg donor that we can reserve, so we could have 2 children that would be full siblings?”

On September 26th (over 1-week later) we still hadn’t gotten a response, so I emailed again politely requesting a response to the above question…

On October 1st, I sent another email requesting, again, a response back and indicated how important this entire process was to us and that the lack of responses were beginning to concern us, even if the answer was “Sorry we are unable to fill that request at this time” I was pleading for some sort of freakin’ response, c’mon it’s been over 14-days!

On October 2nd, there was still zero response! I was getting beyond frustrated! What the hell!?  I emailed an emotion-filled letter to the general email requesting a new coordinator and expressing my not so great feelings. I had reached out to my support group and this was what they recommended to do, some people said they had similar experiences and requested a new coordinator and it was smooth sailing after that. What did I have to lose?

On October 4th, I woke up bright and early to a response directly from my coordinator: “I’m so sorry but at the moment we haven’t any double donor embryos suitable for you. We must waiting if you want.” Not the response we wanted, but hey- at least we tried. This email wasn’t going to change our plans and I was satisfied that we finally received an answer. I emailed her back and thanked her for the response and I ignored the fact that it took 20-days to get back to us, I was just grateful to get an actual response.

On October 5th, I woke up to an unexpected email, again from our coordinator: “Dr Hana found 2 genetically tested embryos with following characteristics: Donor egg 25 age, 0+; eyes brown / hair: dark brown 163 cm (5’3”)/ 63kg (138lbs) × Sperm donor 21 age,0+; eyes: brown / hair: black 181 cm (5’9”) / 81 kg (178lbs) The date for your transfer could be on 3rd Decembra if want. Please, let me know if could be ok for you these embryos.”

I took a shower before waking up Nick so I could process the email and think about the characteristics. It was just yesterday that she had said there wasn’t any options, so I had quickly shut that possibility out of by brain and was again focused on our embryo that we had previously accepted.

For those of you who like comparing options like me, the 1 embryo that we initially accepted had the following characteristics: Egg donor – 27 age; 0+; eyes: brown / hair: light brown; 165 cm (5’4”) / 60 kg (132lbs) × Sperm donor 21 age; 0+; eyes: green-brown / hair: brown; 184 cm (6’0”) / 75 kg (165lbs).

Once I was out of the shower I woke up the sleepyhead and told him the news, the first thing he said was “really?” the second thing he said was “lets do it!” I sent an email off to our coordinator to tell her that we gladly accepted these 2 embryos 😊 😊 😊.

The first thing our family and friends asked us when we told them we had two embryos was if we were transferring both at the same time to try for twins. The answer to that is a big fat NO. Although we have the option to transfer 2 at a time, we will only be doing 1, financially and mentally, we think 1 is plenty. The remaining embryo will remain frozen under our name and we will go back to the Czech to get it transferred, they will not allow us to transfer it in the US. In a perfect world the embryo transfer we are doing on December 3rd will be successful, we have about a 65% chance of success, so fingers and toes crossed. If it is successful, we’ll wait until we are ready for baby #2 and travel back to hopefully have a sibling. If it is not successful, I’d be traveling back solo (due to cost and time) a few months after to transfer our second embryo and hope for success!

Who would have thought there was so many things to consider with a double-donor embryo transfer in another country…

xo,

Tessa

Superstition, Fact or Fiction?

TWO MONTHS until our transfer date! The nervous-excitement has officially hit me, last week I dreamt about transfer day on two different nights, one nightmare and one (just) okay dream. In one of the dreams, our fertility clinic had no records of us doing treatment which meant no embryo to transfer and no one would help us because no one spoke English. I woke up sweating and sobbing, it felt so real.

In the second dream, we somehow got pregnant with twins even though we only transferred one embryo. The twins I was pregnant with were not related and the clinic couldn’t tell me how it happened.  We had two babies from 4 different donors…. I wonder how many bizarre dreams I’ll have before (and after) transfer day.

Anyone who has underwent any form of extensive fertility treatments knows the term “PUPO.” PUPO means: pregnant until proven otherwise and it is a commonly used term in the infertility world. PUPO is supposed to create a positive mindset around the terrible anxiety of the dreaded 2-week wait to see if you are indeed, pregnant. A lot of women choose to wear some form of good luck clothing on their transfer day, it could be a shirt, socks, undies, leggings, you name it-I’ve seen it all. Usually the clothing has some form of transfer day saying like “Keep Calm It’s Transfer Day” or “Mother of Embryos” or some form of representation for fertility- like a pineapple because it represents welcoming and hospitality.  People do all sorts of mood busters to help them on that anxiety filled day.

There is also an entirely different realm of “old wives tales” that will help lead to a positive pregnancy test…

  1. Eating pineapple core for 5 days after transfer is supposed to help with implantation.
  2. Eating 5 brazil nuts per day from the start of your period helps with lining and implantation.
  3. Drinking 4oz of real pomegranate juice a day will boost blood flow and help thicken lining.
  4. Eating McDonalds fries right after transfer, helps decrease irritation from the transfer.
  5. Wearing warm socks all day long helps your uterus stay warm for the embryo to implant.
  6. Wearing socks on transfer day that were gifted to you from someone who wore them on their transfer and had a positive will increase your luck.
  7. Only take lukewarm baths to avoid “cooking” the embryo or baby.
  8. Anywhere from 1 day to 1 full week of bedrest after transfer to help implantation.
  9. And in the other hand, return to regular physical activity right after transfer to help with blood flow to help with implantation.
  10. No sex ranging from 1-12 weeks to avoid a miscarriage and embryo failure. (What the?)

The list goes on and on, some are likely based on science where others are clearly debatable, sometimes they even oppose each other. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t tried nearly 95% of these. Ha!

Reality is, I’ve read about 40,000 books on increasing fertility and it’s all about nutrient, diet, exercise and lifestyle. The caveat to that is there is a wide variety of opinions based on the authors. I read one book a few years back that raved about the benefits of a vegetarian diet, so what did I do? I turned vegetarian (no meat or fish) for over two god-damn years because I thought it would boost my fertility! In late May 2018, my acupuncturist and fertility specialist suggested that I start eating meat before our next cycle, so I did. This was right after we returned from our 2-week European trip. I had ample opportunity to eat some of the best (meat) cuisine in Italy and France, but I didn’t, because I thought I was helping my fertility. I chose to eat a bratwurst 8-days after we got home because my doctor said to… and it was freakin’ delicious!

We started eating mostly organic and rid our house of all the chemicals/cleaners/skin/makeup products that had phthalates and other crap that was linked to fertility problems. We even started wearing natural deodorant…pee-you. I took up running, which I learned to love, although I don’t do it nearly enough now. I decreased my drinking and stopped regularly smoking cigarettes. That’s right for those of you who didn’t know me then, I was a regular smoker before the first 2014 surprise pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I’m guilty of indulging in too many adult beverages and puffing on the cancer sticks every once in awhile with friends. 😊 (We’re all human, no judging!)

We’ve spent thousands, I mean, thousands, of dollars on acupuncture, massage, chiropractor, vitamins, supplements, books, psychic readings, essential oils, healing stones, guided meditation music. The list keeps going…I mean.. I’ve slept with antique worry dolls and rose quarts stones under my pillow for the last 2 years…All to try and increase our chances of having a baby.

It’s laughable and semi-pathetic all the things that we have tried to get pregnant. In 2-months I’ll be half-naked sitting in a room getting our Czech Republic baby put into my uterus…will any of these things matter? Will this work?

Long story short, people who are going through infertility will try a ridiculous amount of things (and spend a fortune) for something that SO MANY PEOPLE TAKE FOR GRANTED. Pregnancy is easy for some people, and for others- it’s far from. You will never-ever know what this struggle is like unless you’ve personally been through it, please remember that if you are ever tempted to give unsolicited fertility advice to an infertile friend, because they’ve probably already tried it.

(Side note: for those who read my last blog post “Relief,” and wanted to follow up, I have still NOT GOTTEN A RESPONSE! I sent a follow up message last week, and today I sent a message to the main email requesting a different coordinator.)

Xo,

Tessa

pineapple

Relief!

Great news! Our (second opinion) doctor happily agreed to perform our initial ultrasound and rewrite our medications so we can order them here instead of the Czech Republic! What a major relief!  If she said no we would have had to order them from overseas, which takes forever and costs an arm and a leg to ship. Honestly, if she would have said no to the ultrasound, I have absolutely no idea how I would have figured that out. Glad that worry is off the table! She is truly awesome and very supportive, I’m excited for her to be apart of our journey going forward.

Last week felt insanely busy, aside from the doctor appointment, work and normal life expectations, my mind has been constantly going going going… like last week I realized, what if this double-donor embryo transfer works and we want a full genetic sibling in the future…is that possible? So, I searched my support boards and found, yup it’s possible, people reserve additional embryo’s all the time, they just pay for storage. Sweet, that’s not a problem, we’ll gladly pay for storage if it means the possibility of genetic siblings. Why didn’t I think of this question a month ago?

I emailed our coordinator Michaela to see if there are additional embryos from the batch we were offered. 12-hours later, we had a response and the answer was…nope. There are no embryos left that were created from that same egg and sperm donor. Dang. *Side note: We were informed there are 3 genetic children that have been born from this batch, meaning, if it works, our child would have 3 full siblings somewhere in the world!*  She offered the option to reserve embryos created with the same sperm donor if we’d like.

Nick and I talked about it for a few days and 5-days ago Nick sent this response back to Michaela: “If possible, we would really like to match with an embryo that has other full genetic siblings. Is it possible to find a match with 2 embryos that have the same sperm donor and same egg donor that we can reserve, so we could have 2 children that would be full siblings?”

Well, we haven’t gotten a response back yet. I hate waiting. Whenever it takes more than a few days to get a response I worry that we are being greedy and annoying, or that our questions are frustrating to them. The funny thing is that they’ve been nothing but fantastic to work with and have been very responsive to my (many) emails. Even still, I find myself feeling insecure when I haven’t gotten a response back. I have to continually remind myself that this is our life, this is our future, we get to ask all the questions, we get to know our options, we get to be annoying.

Chances are I’m reading way too far into this, maybe she is looking to see if another batch of embryos meet our criteria? Maybe she has to talk with the doctors before she can offer us another set of embryos? Maybe she was sick a few days and couldn’t respond? Maybe she doesn’t respond after all, and I send another email asking the same question after a week. Regardless, I’ll survive and it will be okay. 😊

xo,

Tessa

babies

Here we come, Embaby!

Dearest Embaby, our flights are booked and we’re coming to get you! We’ll be there on December 3rd! Holy, it feels real now. I’m so nervous for the possibility of yet another disappointment I could puke, but so hopeful I’m excited. This works for people, I’ve seen it! 73-days away. Ahhhh the anticipation!!

I’ve got so many emotions running through me right now.  I’m so eager, I’m so hopeful, I’m so optimistic, I’m so nervous, I’m so vulnerable and I’m seriously…grieving. I think my grief is from throwing in the towel and the helpless feeling I have about giving up the ‘biological dream.’ Hello again grief, I didn’t miss you.  This stupid grief feeling has been difficult to shake since we booked our tickets, maybe because we are really doing this?  I’ve been trying to remind myself that these are exciting times, I should be happy and looking forward to the future, not grieving what we can’t have, that ship has sailed. Honestly though, it’s just so freakin’ hard sometimes. Some days when I’m stuck in a pity- party, I just want to stomp my feet and scream like a 3-year old “THIS ISN’T FAIR!”

I know screaming like a 3-year old will fix nothing, but for a few seconds it might give me some relief, because this sh*t isn’t fair…. why me, why us?! On some days when I’m feeling exceptionally vulnerable to the reality of our infertility the negative thoughts hit me and the word “never” distorts my logical thinking… We’ll never be parents, We’ll never know what it’s like to experience the unconditional love that comes with children, We’ll never have a daughter with my brown curly hair, We’ll never have a child that has my husband’s beautiful green eyes, We’ll never look at our children and question which physical traits were inherited from Nick and which were from me, We’ll never know what it’s like to look at a child that is 100% our combined genetic material…………….the ‘nevers’ go on and on.

Luckily, somehow I’m always able to pull myself out of these icky negative thoughts, somedays it takes longer than others, but I always step out of my pity-party at some point and remember….DNA doesn’t make family, We’ll get our family one way or another if we just keep moving forward, We’ll make fantastic parents- it doesn’t matter where our children come from! We have so much love and support, our children will be so loved too, We can do this, we will do this! I am strong and we are stronger together!

See, that’s a lot of thoughts swarming around in my brain. Thank god for therapy. 😊

Uffta. Back to reality. What if this actually (like, actually-actually) works and we get pregnant? How crazy-cool would that be?! Someone would definitely need to pinch me.

This chapter of our journey begins on Nicks 34th birthday, AKA: November 30, 2018. Last year for Nick’s birthday we were riding dune buggies in the Dominican Republic now this year, we’ll be hopping a flight to hopefully make a baby, what a lucky guy. Anyways, we fly from Minneapolis to Vienna, Austria, and we land on December 1st. Our frozen double-donor embryo transfer will be on December 3, 2018! *Happy dance* 😊 😊 😊

The process of transferring a double-donor embryo: As I said in a previous post, the transfer of the embryo only takes a few minutes, it’s an extremely quick and painless process. In-and-out. It’s the days of prepping my body before and after that take work because everything must be timed precisely. At the start of my next period (in October) I will begin taking birth control, the birth control pills are meant to manipulate my cycle for my body to be ready on December 3rd. With an embryo transfer, there is only a small window where an embryo can nestle warmly into the uterus to create a baby, and that’s around cycle day 20-22 (*based on a 28 day menstrual cycle).  Therefore, the point of taking the birth control is to sync up my cycle so that December 3rd is smack dab between cycle days 20-22. The doctor tells me when to stop and/or re-start the pills. This means I might go 5-6 weeks without having a period due to the birth control. I follow the doctors lead and trust that he knows what he’s doing.

The second medication I’ll be taking is estradiol, which starts on day 2 of my transfer cycle, so probably around November 14th-ish. This is taken orally 3x per day. It’s a tiny little pill, but it packs a punch. By punch, I mean a nice array of side effects that are highly unpleasant, at least for me they are for me. The goal of this medication is to thicken my uterine lining to make it like a 5-star hotel suite for our embryo.

The third and last medication that I have to take is progesterone, I start taking this 5-days before my transfer, ~November 28th-ish. Progesterone can either be taken vaginally by inserting (4) nickel sized dissolvable egg-shaped tablets into the V 2x per day, or a 1x per day injection into your butt cheek. (Side note: Ladies, imagine the over the counter vaginal pills for YI, the progesterone suppositories are just like those, but 4 times worse because its 4 of them at ONE TIME. So basically, gross.) Without hesitation, I opted to take the 1x per day injection, plus I have 5 bottles left from our IVF.  If I get pregnant, I’ll have to do these daily until I hit 12-weeks.

We can either order our medications from Europe (the scripts are so hard to read) or we can ask my doctor here to write the prescriptions so it’s more convenient to get. I have an appointment on September 21st with the doctor we saw for our second opinion at OGI Maple Grove. I’m hoping she will agree to re-write the prescriptions for us, but if she doesn’t, that’s fine, at least we tried 😊.

We also need my lining check (done by a vaginal ultrasound) on cycle day-11. Likely to occur around November 23rd.  We are hoping that the second opinion doctor will also agree to do the ultrasound for us (fingers crossed).  The results of the ultrasound get sent to the doctor in the Czech, either by me or the clinic who performs the ultrasound, they said it didn’t matter. The only nerve-wracking thing is that if my lining is not where it should be on the ultrasound (millimeter thickness wise, they are looking for 8-10mm) the transfer could be moved or cancelled. I’ve never had an issue with my lining so I’m not that concerned, but wouldn’t that suck? At least we would get a trip out of the deal.

So that is it, I only have to take 3 medications (and do an ultrasound) for the embryo transfer, its easy-peezy as long as I remember to take and do everything correctly. I have to take the progesterone based on the Czech time, so 7-hours ahead of Minnesota until pregnancy is confirmed. Yikes…..I always get confused with time zones so I think I’ll let this be in Nick’s wheelhouse.

When I was typing this, I remembered a funny story from when we did our IVF, I majorly messed up on 2 of the injections prompting mass hysteria and a frantic emergency call to the afterhours on-call nurse who returned our call 3-hours later informed us it was fine and not to panic. It wasn’t funny at the time, but now looking back its kind of hilarious. 😐 I can be so careless.

Hopefully nothing like that happens this time around!

In other news, it’s our first fur babies 4th birthday today!  Happy Birthday Dottie, we love you!!!

Xo,

Tessa

Dottie Bday

Next post: Prepping: Mind, body, spirit.