Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You thought you had weird cravings!

One our our local radio stations, Mix 94.1 have the number one morning show in Las Vegas, Mark and Mercedes in the morning. The show's co host, Mercedes recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl so that has caused a lot of pregnancy related show topics. One of my favorite was when they discussed pregnancy cravings and of course the strangest ones came up. When I say strange I am not talking pickles and ice cream, I am talking WEIRD!!

So here you go, here is a list of the top 10 strangest pregnancy cravings, this list is comprised from a survey that was conducted on Gurgle.com

1. Ice
2. Coal
3. Toothpaste
4. Sponges
5. Mud
6. Chalk
7. Laundry Soap
8. Matches
9. Starch
10. Rubber

Yes I know, people actually crave chalk and mud, are you serious! So I started doing some research and what I found is that its actually not that uncommon, it actually has a medical name, Pica.

Pica is the practice of craving substances with little or no nutritional value. Most pica cravings involve non-food substances such as dirt or chalk. The word pica is Latin for magpie which is a bird notorious for eating almost anything.

The reason that some women develop pica cravings during pregnancy is not known for certain. There is currently no identified cause; however, according to the Journal of American Dietetic Association there may be a connection to an iron deficiency.

Some speculate that pica cravings are the body's attempt to obtain vitamins or minerals that are missing through normal food consumption. Sometimes pica cravings may be related to an underlying physical or mental illness, see I bet you didn't know that weird pregnancy cravings are really because you are nuts! HAHA just kidding.

I know what you are thinking, isn't eating that kind of stuff bad for the baby? And the answer is yes it could be potentially harmful to both you and your baby because eating non-food substances may interfere with the nutrient absorption of healthy food substances and actually cause a deficiency. Pica cravings are also a concern because non-food items may contain toxic or parasitic ingredients. But don't panic if you do have pica like cravings remember it happens and is not abnormal. The most important thing is to inform your health care provider to make sure you have a complete understanding of the specific risks associated with your cravings.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thanking God every day!

When I go back and read the posts that John has posted I literally get tears in my eyes. John and I are getting ready to celebrate four years together. It was four years ago on March 4th that John and I met and if someone had told me four years ago that I was going to move to Vegas and meet my husband within the first three months that I was here I would have told them they were nuts!

As much as I hate going through this fertility roller coaster I feel it has brought John and I closer together. John and I had a whirlwind before we got married, we moved in with each other pretty quick and then were engaged and married all fairly quickly, so I really like we are really getting to know each other and learning what the other is really made of. You really see a persons true personality when they are hurting. I have seen John cry and scream over this journey and he has seen me do the same. But in the end I we push on and we will succeed and we will be parents.

It was so funny the other night we were sitting at dinner at a casual dining restaurant that we go to all the time and I starting talking about IVF, and all the stuff that goes into it. ICSI, assisted hatching, PGD, PIO, and so on. His face was priceless he looked scared to death! Then I starting talking about twins and how wonderful it would be to have twins and what a blessing it would be. He looked very nervous at that time. As much as having twins would be a blessing I do think it would be difficult, can you imagine two of everything?!

John is always supportive and is my rock through all this, but I think the IVF talk was too much. I pretty much told him that I would just tell him when he needed to show up at the doctors office, and I think he is happier that way. Poor guy! I don't expect him to understand everything, that is my job! John is the type of person that wants to be shown two things and he will pick from there, so maybe I should show him two embryos and let him pick the ones he likes! HAHA
But my point is ladies, your husbands don't have to involved in every aspect of infertility in order to support you! It's just not their thing!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

His Name WAS Liam

Hi, folks John here. Every now and than the geek in me has been revealed here in many posts and is about to be again.

I am fan of the TV series Battlestar Galactica and watch religiously every week. This weeks episode "Deadlock" hit home for me in a unexpected way.

To make a long story short for those of you who are not familiar with show, there is a race of artificial beings known as Cylons. The Cylons, originally robotic in nature, evolved into human versions. The human versions, or skin jobs as they are called by the actual humans, are not able to reproduce with themselves. Essentially, they are infertile.

Through the course of the show we learn that humans and the human Cylon versions are able to reproduce. But eventually two human versions of Cylons are finally able to conceive.

Caprica Six, also known as Six after her model number, and Col. Saul Tigh, known to be one of the original 5, get pregnant. I have often joked with Shannon that we are Cylons since we have had such a hard time conceiving.

This episode had hit home for me as Caprica and Saul lose their baby. It reminded me of when Shannon had miscarried and we lost our baby. Reminding me even when do get pregnant again there is a chance we could miscarry again.

In a touching scene, between him and William Adama, Saul reveals the babies name WAS Liam, short for William. Although, Shannon and I will never know what the child we lost would have been we press on.

I look forward to see how the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica pan out and eagerly await how our own adventure comes to a climatic climax. I look forward to the day when I can say her name IS Claire or his name is Luke.

Inspirational Quote of Hope February 22, 2009

"The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope."- Samuel Johnson

Friday, February 20, 2009

Inspirational Quote of Hope February 20, 2009

"Listen now to gentle whispers of hope."- Charles D. Brodhead

IUI #3 is done!

This morning was what I hope will be our final IUI. I have been feeling really bad going into this cycle, I only had 3 mature follicles and I usually have more. Then this morning I got a call from John saying that he thinks he did a crappy job with his collection. So all the way to the doctors I am thinking "great they are going to cancel our cycle and all the shots were for nothing." What a great way to think, right?

But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that John had put in his best numbers so far, 20 million post wash, which is great!

So I was totally wrong. The good news is that our doctor said we can get into the March cycle for IVF, because our transfer and retrieval will be after April 1st, which is when we have our new insurance. So I was happy to hear that I don't have to wait until May for IVF. So lets keep our fingers crossed that everything goes well with the insurance, we are almost at the 30 day mark for our insurance to kick in, we are in the home stretch now!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You are doing what?!

With all the talk in the news about the octuplet mother I have been getting a lot of questions. I am pretty open about our infertility journey- and some of my co workers know what's going on with us. Over the past two weeks I have been asked "well what would you do with your embryo's" and "how many embryo's would you guys transfer". I truly love hearing what others have to say about fertility treatments, because people really have no clue.

One of the most controversial topics that surrounds IVF is what to do with leftover embryo's which are mature and growing properly. Especially in young women so many eggs are retrieved that there are far more embryo's that are mature and able to be transferred. In women under 35 the average number of embryo's that are transferred are 2 or 3, not 6 as in the octuplet mother. Now every case is different, I am talking the average person undergoing IVF. Your fertility specialist will tell you what they feel is best and leave the decision up to you and your partner. Some couples only want to transfer one embryo, because they do not want the risk of having multiples.

So in the instance that you transfer less embryo's then you have growing and maturing you have to make the decision of what to do with the embryo's. Most couples choose to freeze the embryo's in the event that:
1. The first transfer is unsuccessful they can defrost the leftover embryo's and do another transfer
2. If the first transfer is successful then the remaining embryo's can be used down the road for a sibling

In the event that you choose to freeze your leftover embryo's and you have a successful first cycle then you can continue to keep your embryo's frozen and when you feel the time is right you can make a decision about what to do with your left over frozen embryo's. If your family is complete and you do not wish to transfer the remaining embryo's that you can choose to put the embryo's up for adoption, destroy the embryo's, or donate them to stem cell research.

So I am sure you are wondering what my opinion is on the subject and really I do not have one. I feel that each couple has to make the best decision for themselves. John and I are not quite to the point where we have to make these decisions, but if we did not have twins I would absolutely use my frozen embryo's to have a sibling for my first born. If we did have twins or we chose not to have another child I would look into donating them to stem cell research. I definitely could not destroy them or put them up for adoption, as much as I would love to help another infertile couple I just could not put my embryo's up for adoption.

People do not realize that this is a very controversial topic and one that should not be taken lightly, but every couple needs to take their time and make the best decision for them. Talk to your doctor and get all your questions answered before making any decisions.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 18, 2009

"Hope is itself a species of happiness and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords."- Samuel Johnson

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Are you a smoker looking into IVF- then QUIT!

If you are a smoker I am sure you know all the risks that it can cause to a baby if you smoke while pregnant, but have you ever thought about how smoking effects your fertility? Now I know we all say look at all the crack whores who get knocked up on accident! If they can get pregnant then so can I. Beleive me I have thought that very same thing. But honeslty, smoking can affect your fertility and it has a big impact on your success rates of IVF.
Smoking while undergoing IVF can significatnely lessen your changes of concieveing, in fact smoking can add up to 10 years to women's reproductive age, so a 30 year old non- smoker has the same chance of getting pregnant then a 20 year old smoker.

Dutch researchers did a study with 8,400 women who had undergone their first cycle of IVF. All were aged between 20 and 40 and 43% were smokers. It was found that overall, the birth rate among smokers was 28% lower than non-smokers. Furthermore for those who did become pregnant, the miscarriage rate was higher among smokers (21%), compared to non-smokers (16%).

Other studies have shown that there is only a decrease in IVF success rates when a woman is a heavy smoker, smoking more then 10 cigarettes a day. Researchers have stated that the large amounts of tobacco in the body prevent the uterus from being receptive to the embryo, therefore making implatnation more difficult for the embryo.

So while there is no conclusive evidence, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle, so if you are a smoker, light or heavy, and you are getting ready to undergo IVF, STOP SMOKING NOW!

IUI #3 with 3 growing follicles

Well- I had my day 8 ultrasound and blood work this morning, and everything looks good! My blood levels are good, and I have 3 mature follicles that are growing like weeds. I have one at 15mm and 2 at 13mm, which means that I will most likely trigger on Wednesday night and have the IUI on Friday. I think its kinda funny because John has had all these weird things happen with the number 3, and now I have 3 follicles and its our 3rd IUI- so maybe its a sign.
They always say 3rd time is the charm lets hope this is it!

Inspirational Quote of Hope February 16, 2009

"Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work."- Rita Mae Brown

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 15, 2009

"If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream."- Martin Luther King, Jr

An update on us!

Today is day 5 of stims- AKA day 5 of Follistim shots. I have my day 8 appt with Dr. L I always get nervous before my appts, because I want to know what my ovaries are doing. I always worry that they are going to stop working. So I will update after my appt tomorrow. Wish us luck, we are looking at our 3rd IUI in the next few days.

What exactly is infertility?

Suffering from infertility does not mean that you are unable to have children, it means that a couple has failed to concieve after trying for on year. A person dealing with infertility does has the reduced ability to have children, but it does not mean they are sterile- that is, physically unable to have children.

For many couples, infertility is a crisis. Fertility problems often come with feelings of guilt or/and inadequacy. But a diagnosis of infertility is not necessarily a verdict of sterility. Up to 15% of all couples are infertile, but only 1% to 2% are sterile. Half of couples who seek help can eventually bear a child, either on their own or with medical assistance.

Men and women are equally likely to have a fertility problem. In about 1 in 5 infertile couples, both partners have contributing problems, and in about 15% of couples, no cause is found after all tests have been done, called "unexplained infertility."

I love what others have to have when they learn that we are suffering from infertility- what we have to learn to do is block out others opnions and stay focus on our path.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Inspirational Quote of Hope February 14, 2009

"Life without idealism is empty indeed. We just hope or starve to death."- Pearl S Buck

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Bailey Multiples

I have been watching The Bailey Multiples on TLC and I find it so touching and interesting to watch other couples who have endured infertility. This paticular couple, Stacy and Steven Bailey went through IVF and had eight frozen embryo transfers before getting pregnant with sextuplets. They transfered 4 embroyos, due to all the failed attempts and all 4 stuck, and 2 divided into idential twins, giving them 6 babies. The identical twin boys dies in utero and the remaining 4 babies were delivered healthy and happy. I am sitting her on my couch bawling my eyes out, maybe its the hormone injections, maybe its because I know exactly what that couple is feeling. I cannot wait to have that moment of "we're pregnant" and going through the entire pregnancy and then the delivery of our child. While, I would love to have twins, anymore then that scares the crap out of me. I know God does not give us more then we can handle, but twins seem managable to me. To have that moment in the delivery room when you hear your child cry for the frist time will be the most memorable moment of my life and I cannot wait to experience that with John.

The Bailey multiples are perfectly healthy and happy today and will celebrate their 3rd birthday on February 17th, 2009. Happy Birthday Bailey kids!

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 12, 2009

"None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of hope of freedom to those who are not free." Pearl S Buck

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back in the Game!

Well, after a much needed break from fertility treatments and one surgery we are as they say "back in the game!" Although its a little sad because part of me was secretly hoping that we would have "break cycle miracle baby" but no such luck. The only thing that makes me feel better about that not happening is that my body was still healing after the lap so getting pregnant was almost impossible, we did't even try, doctor's orders.
But today I had my day 3 ultrasound and blood work, everything looks good so I was given the go ahead to start my daily injections of Follistim. Giving myself those shots is nothing now, today my assistant walked in my office as I was doing it (I had the door closed) but that's how close she and I are, and I am very open about our fertiliy struggles.

So I go back to the doctor on Monday for my day 8 ultrasound and bloodwork, so hopefully my follicles get a growing here in the next few days and give us lots of healthy eggies!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 10, 2009

"There is nothing that fear and hope does not permit men to do."- Marquis De Vauvenarques

Health Risks involved when taking Birth Control

I know it seems strange seeing the words birth control pills on a blog about infertility, I'm sure you are thinking I am trying to have a baby, why the hell would I take birth control pills. Hey, I am totally with you on that! I will never take birth control again, god knows I don't seem to need them. But it's very common for women going through fertility treatments, espically IVF, are prescribed birth control pills. So knowing the risks involved is espically important.

I was talking to a friend of mine today who is under the age of 30 and is recovering from her second stroke within a five year period. She told me today that she was told by her doctor that because she is a smoker and is on birth control as well as suffering from high blood pressure she was at risk to have a stroke. She also thinks that stress had something to do with her stroke.

A recent study confirmed that women were at and increased risk of having a first-time heart attack by 30 times when they smoke 25 cigarettes or more a day and
take a daily, low-dose birth control pill.

Lynn Rosenberg, an epidemiologist at Boston University School of Medicine
in Brookline, Mass., and her colleagues, conducted the research to find out
whether the newer, low-dose birth control pills that contain less than 50
micrograms of estrogen per dose are safer than the oral contraceptives of the past.
Based on her findings, Rosenberg says that in terms of causing cardiovascular disease, today's low-dose contraceptives "do very little, except in a heavy smoker."
Light smokers and non-smokers do not seem to be putting themselves at greater risk of developing heart problems by taking low-dose oral contraceptives, Rosenberg states in her report.

High dose birth control pills had risks even in non smokers, so the important of talking to your doctor and making sure that you are on a birth control pill that has a lose dose of estrogen is very important. Most women would rather not take birth control then stop smoking, because they feel that it is too hard to quit smoking.

According to the American Lung Association 22.4 million women smoke and about 10 million of them take birth control pills annually.

Rita Redberg, a cardiologist at the University of San Francisco, agrees with
Rosenberg's findings that today's low-dose birth control pills do little harm to
the heart. The study's findings show there is no reason why women should
not take oral contraceptives, says Redberg. The risk of having a heart attack
from low-dose birth control pills is very low, if any, especially if the woman is
under 35 years of age, doesn't smoke heavily, and doesn't have high blood pressure or diabetes. Experts do agree that blood clots and high blood pressure rise in women over the age of 35, so a heavy smoker who is still taking birth control over the age of 35 is raising her chances of having a heart attack. Remember, differenent ages, different risks.

So when you hear an ad for birth control or look on the package and its urging you not to smoke, listen to it, your heart may just thank you one day.

I am not in the least advising you to not take birth control bills, but just be careful listen to the doctor and do your best to live a healthy lifestyle.
Many of us dealing with infertility will turn to birth control during fertility treatments in order to regulate our bodies or will turn to birth control for family planning after we have children its just important to be careful and watch the health risks.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Here we go again!

Well after recovering from my lap, which was so easy! Here we are again, cycle day 1- and we are starting IUI #3- I have my day 3 appt. on Wednesday to get my first ultrasound to make sure everything looks good, get my blood drawn and start my medicine. I am excited, as much as I hate being on this rollar coaster I am ready to get going and get pregnant already! We have been on a 2 and a half month break mostly because we didn't want to be going through an IUI cycle during the holidays as well as I wanted to have the lap surgery and we had to take the month off to have the surgery.
So here we go again!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Inspirational Quote of Hope February 8, 2009

"The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring." Bern Williams

Our dog's praying for us!

The dog in this photo is the spitting image of our beloved dog Daisy and currently acting as our only child. I bet she prays for us like this when we aren't looking. Could you pray for us too?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 7, 2009

"Practice hope. As hopefullness becomes a habit, you can achieve permanently happy spirit."- Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, February 6, 2009

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 6, 2009

"I steer my bark with hope in the head, leaving fear astern. My hopes indeed sometimes fail, but not oftener than the forebodings of the gloomy." Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Believe it or Not?!

Can't get pregnant- go to Ripley's Believe it or not in Myrtle Beach, SC!
Today it was announced the MYRTLE BEACH, SC Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium in Myrtle Beach will host the fifth stop of a three year, multi-city international tour of the world famous Ripley’s Fertility Statues! They will premier in Myrtle Beach on February 5, following crowd-pleasing stops at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums in New York’s Times Square, Grand Prairie, Texas, Williamsburg, Virginia. and Orlando, Florida.

Thousands of people have seen the statues while on display all over the country. Some are very serious about touching the statues, believing in their powers to help them conceive. Others want to avoid touching the statues - for the very same reason!

Amazingly more than 2,000 women have reported they became pregnant shortly after touching the wooden statues. Many of them had been told by doctors they would never be able to conceive! Since the women’s stories became public in 1994, millions have visited the statues.

The five-foot tall wooden statues were acquired from the Ivory Coast (Cote-d’Ivoire) of West Africa in 1993, and were placed in the lobby of Ripley Entertainment’s corporate headquarters in Orlando. Within months, 13 women, including staffers and office visitors were pregnant.

Following a December 1995 story in the Wall Street Journal chronicling the phenomenon, after the story hit newspapers the demand to touch the statues because very great.

In 2001 the statues were retired to the Ripley warehouse, much to many's dismay. But due to high demand they were brought out of retirement and put on display at the Ripley headquarters in Orlando where they have been seen by hundreds each month who made a special pilgrimage to see and touch the statues.

“For years now, we have been inundated with requests to make these statues available once again at our odditoriums throughout the world,” said Edward Meyer, VP Archives & Exhibits for Ripley Entertainment. “Amazingly, people are still finding out about them and call us wanting an opportunity to come in and touch them. Due to this demand, we have decided to tour them again.”

Here is the schedule of where the statues will be appearing over the next few months. I can tell you that being a woman suffering from infertility that I will be traveling from Las Vegas to Hollywood in May to touch the statues. It has been stated by Ripley's that the statues will be made available to the public and couples looking to conceive will be able to view the statues for free and touch them.

Orlando, Fla. - Jan. 8 - Feb. 1; 8201 International Drive, (407) 345-0501
Myrtle Beach, S.C. - Feb. 6 - March 1; 901 North Ocean Blvd., (843) 448-2331
Wisconsin Dells, Wis. - March 7 - March 26; 115 Broadway, (608) 253-7556
San Francisco, Calif. - April 1 - April 26; 175 Jefferson Street, (415) 771-6188
Hollywood, Calif. - May 2 - May 31; 6780 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 466-6335

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 5, 2009

"Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier."- Anonymous

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 4, 2009

"Justice devined has weighed: the doom is clear. All hope renounce, ye lost, who enter here."- Daniel Alighieri he Inferno

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Inspirational Quote Of Hope February 3, 2009

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see"- Henry David Thoreau

All about adoption

A few weeks ago I attended the Catholic Charities adoption orientation. After two years of being childless we have begun thinking about adopting. Chatholic Charities of Southern Nevada is a great organization. I have several friends who have adopted through them and they have nothing be wonderful things to say about them. I really learned so much during the two hour orientation. I learned all about the different kinds of adoption from closed adoption, to where you know nothing about the birthmother or her family or medical history to open adoption where you know everything about the birthmother including her medical history.

One thing that I thought was so interesting is they talked about how you have to decide what types of psychological issues you are willing to deal with, such as depression, alcolism, or addictions. At first thought you are thinking "I don't want my kid to have any of those things in their background" then you think, wait a minute, do I really even know what is in my backgroud? I mean my own biological children would have depression and addiction in thier background, and who knows what else? Its not like I can pick up the phone and call my great great great grandparents and ask them what was wrong with them. So it's important to know that we all have things in our past, and it's how we raise our children that is important that they will mold them into the adults they will become.

Another point that I was so surprised about what the average age of the birthmothers is 26. That was much older then I had expected, I guess I thought all the birthmothers would be teenagers, not young adults. I mean crap- I am only 28- so I am 2 years older then the average birthmother.

I was very impressed with the amount of education that Catholic Charities provides to both the birthmothers and the adoptive parents, becaue of that eduacation they have very few adoptions fall through at the last minute, because everyone knows what to expect, and there are no surprises.

I walked about from that orientation armed with lots of informaiton, and we are going to fill out the inquiry paperwork and start to go through the process, we can stop at anytime and pick up where we left off at any time. I beleive that John and I are meant to be parents, we just may not know where our baby comes from.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Had a rough night

Tonight was a rough night for me, I have been doing really well lately- actually I have not been thinking about having a baby lately, I have been too busy with other things. But tongight John and I were eating dinner and I completely burst into tears. We are gearing up to start IUI #3 in a couple of weeks and I am just so sick of this. I want to be pregnant, why is this so hard for us, I want us to be parents. One thing I need to remember is that having emotions at this stage of my life is completley natural- and its healthy to let it out, I cannot keep it all bottled up all the time.

I feel like the world is either telling me I am going to get pregnant or its laughing at me. I have gotten three cans of formula in the mail the past month! FORMULA, sent to me, not sent to resident, it was actually addressed to me. I also get coupons for baby stores, its almost cruel!

Inspirational Quote of Hope February 2, 2009

Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into."- Mahatma Ghandi

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Inspirational Quote of Hope February 1, 2009

"Faith is not belief.Belief is passive. Faith is active."- Edith Hamilton