Serendipity strikes again!

Serendipity. That’s what my BFF said this last week was all about. And she couldn’t have been more accurate. Last Monday we were dealt the nasty blow of a negative pregnancy test and a second failed IVF. Come Thursday morning at 3:55 AM things were drastically different and much, much happier.

My dog birthed her first pup in our (my and my husband’s) bed. She didn’t use the adorable and well fashioned labor and delivery room we’d set up in our spare room. She didn’t use her whelping box. She didn’t use her favorite patch of grass outside (thank goodness!). She used our bed with our fluffy down comforter and block printed tapestry. She did seem a bit more cuddly than usual, but in the wee hours of the morning I just wanted her to go to sleep so I could go to sleep. And that’s when it happened.

“Turn on the light,” my husband said.

“Why?”

“I think there’s a puppy in the bed!” And there was. Little Coco (temporary name) was there squirming and moving in his new location. With some quick thinking, my husband picked up our dog as I picked up the puppy, and we four headed to the room designated for this kind of fun. From there, our dog delivered six more puppies (we weren’t expecting the last one), and my husband and I were there to welcome each one into the world.

It was amazing. I didn’t cry. But I was in awe of my dog and the cutest puppies I’ve ever seen. There they were, in one second, alive and new and squirmy. They moaned and squeaked and huddled together, and my husband and I are totally smitten. Of course, we keep telling ourselves not to get attached as only one will be staying with us for the long term, but it’s pretty hard. They’re so damn cute!

After spending the first night in the room with mama dog and pups I even uttered something all infertiles will cringe at: “Maybe I’m not cut out for this parent thing. I need more sleep than that!” But we’ve gotten more sleep, the pups have grown stronger, and I am even more grateful for this magical event and its timing. Seriously. No better way to heal your own wounds than to share in the excitement of the birth of something. Anything. So while my husband and I have had random conversations about next steps and the wacky things our doctor is likely to tell us and the unlikelihood of us going through IVF again, we have talked more about the puppies, what a great mom our dog is, how excited we are to get to experience this, and how grateful we are for this distraction. But then I think it isn’t a distraction at all. Rather, it’s just helping us keep things in perspective. Showing us the good in our lives. The love we share. In the grand scheme of things, life are pretty fucking awesome.

Like any good friend, I will share some gratuitous pictures of the puppies. Beware: they are cute. Really cute. Incredibly cute. Well, sort of. They really look like little guinea pigs right now. In a few weeks they’ll look more puppy-ish. Yah!

Some cuddle bugs in the corner.

Relaxing after a little snack.

 

Siblings gotta snuggle.

 

When you’re tired of breastfeeding, just roll on your back and hope no one can hold on. Notice the tiny one that survived the roll?

We do have an appointment with our RE some time this week or next. A little cycle redux. Raise your hand if you’re excited for that?! We’re looking forward to closing this chapter of our story and seeing where the next one begins. There is some healing that needs to happen. Some deeper conversations on being parents. Some questions we have about how we move forward. Will keep you all posted, of course!

A continued thanks for all of the love and support and laughter and check-ins. I continue to be bolstered by this on-line community.

dfb and the puppies

My first good cry

What you are about to see may tell you more than you need to know about me. Namely, I laugh at the expense of other people. I do. I admit it. I am not ashamed of it. It’s just part of who I am. So when my husband showed me this video, I laughed so hard I cried. And then I cried some more. And then I made lemon bars.

Thanks again for all the love and support. It has propped me up in significant ways. Puppies are not here just yet, but last night I did feel two moving around in my dog’s belly. It was amazing and scary like some alien was going to burst forth from her stomach and hold my hand. Promise puppy pics when they arrive. I figure puppy love is best when shared.

dfb

PS: this one is another video I watched about 25 times today. If you like 80s stuff (Journey) and baseball (the Yankees), this is awesome. Even if you hate the 80s and baseball, this is a pretty solid parody. Go on and jam out with your bad self. I did.

Negatory Ghost Rider

I have been with my husband for nearly ten years. We dated for about four and we’ve been married for six. In that span of a decade (that sounds crazy to write), I have seen him cry only three times. The first time came on our wedding day when I walked down the aisle. I know this may sound cheesy, but that moment was pretty awesome and he was all teary-eyed. The second time came when his grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is fine, but she is a central figure in my husband’s life, and he thought she was going to die. We all did. The third time came yesterday afternoon around 3:15pm when I got off the phone with the lab.

I am not pregnant. Little Evie and Arturo decided not to stick around. I am sad. I have cried. I’ve told those closest to me who knew about our second IVF. I am grappling with a swirl of emotions that begins with anger, crashes over to sadness, swings back to frustration, and touches on acceptance. Regardless of where I am in the moment or have been in the last 24 hours, I have learned so much from these last few years of infertility. I know that my husband and I can withstand pretty much anything. I know that I can commit myself to something that is, essentially, out of my control. I know that my close friends and family and even strangers on the internet can and do prop me up during my darkest times. What I don’t know is how we will move forward. I mean, I know we will, but I don’t know what our path to parenthood will be. And, gasp!, if we will really become parents. I don’t say that in a sad, longing way, I just don’t know if I have it in me and my bank account to make it happen. And while that reality can be a bit sucky to come to terms with, I must continue to tell myself that while this infertility bullshit has had a huge impact on my life and where I thought I’d be right now at the ripe old age of 35, I refuse to let it define me or my husband or our marriage or the happiness we have in our life. This is yet one more moment from which to learn, from which to access what we really desire from life.

For now I am throwing all of my hormones and pregnancy lust at my dog. Yes, my dog. She is popping with puppies any day now. Amazing how animals can be there for you when you need them most. She is going to have six puppies. We’ll have a home birth. And one of the pups will stay with us forever. Pretty cool. Will I cry when the pups are born? Yes. Will I cry more than a normal person watching a birth? Probably. But there’s no better medicine for a slightly broken heart than puppies. Lots and lots of puppies.

As usual, I thank you all for reading, supporting, cheering, uplifting when I needed it most. And for reminding this ovary-challenged girl that she is not alone.

dfb

Surviving the 2ww: shopping

This is how I have been spending (pun intended) my 2ww (this is the only husband-approved acronym, so I had to use it). Ok, minus the heels, the heart bag, and the really small white couch. But you get the idea.

I am slightly fascinated with this element of IVF: my husband and I have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to make a baby, but during these last few days I feel absolutely driven to shop. Like all I want is some cashier to hand me what I’ve just paid for … immediately. No waiting. No ultrasounds. No blood tests. I just want the goods. Now.

Mix in my desire to shop with my poor self image, and that leaves only one place from which I can gain extreme shopping bliss: Brooks Running. See ladies, I must confess, I am a runner at heart. I love it. I love being alone. I love the meditative thinking. I love how I feel. It’s not about speed much of the time, but when all goes well on a run, I feel unstoppable. So after my first IVF went south, I quit cold turkey. I’ve run into stores. And I once ran to the car, but I have not laced up my shoes, donned my shorty shorts, and strapped on the sports bra in seven months. FUCK INFERTILITY!!!!! But at Brooks Running I was able to buy just a little bit of my former self and it felt amazing. Two pairs of shoes, a cute top, and my favorite running skirt in another color lifted my spirits like nothing else. Ok, a soft serve twist cone is pretty powerful. But you get the idea.

I don’t know when I will be testing out the shoes or wearing the shirt in a race … honestly, I hope it’s not for quite some time … but for now, for tonight, my 2ww got just a bit easier.

Go forth and shop, my friends.

dfb

I’m like In-N-Out: no freezers needed

Our embryologist just called. Her name is Jane. She passed on the news that we have no embryos to freeze. The little guys did make it to pre-blastocyst, but didn’t move past that mark. Not going to lie. This isn’t the best news. In the millisecond after she told us the news, my mind went to thoughts of — well, then all of the embryos are probably bad; this isn’t going to work; I passed up some really good wine last night! But then Jane said the best thing ever: “Clearly we chose the right two to put back in. Good work!”

Thank GOD for good, compassionate women in medicine. I don’t mean to say that my male doctor hasn’t been awesome or that all woman are super fabulous, but at this moment, Jane and her female intuition lifted my spirits like nothing else could. And she’s right, the two best, the two survivors are on the inside now doing their thing.

In other news, I’ve watched so much HGTV and TLC I am ready to renovate our house, buy a wedding dress, look for a new house overseas, help out a friend with a hoarding disorder, redesign a bathroom, add some curb appeal to our yard, become a Cake Boss, and bring a little Disney to my backyard. Whoa. What I wouldn’t give for an old fashioned Lifetime movie about a scorned woman who fell in love with her 14-year-old paper boy and is now pregnant with triplets. The good old days of bad TV.

dfb

How to know you have too many hormones in your system

1. You cry when you watch the ESPY awards and the clip about Pat Summitt touches on her six miscarriages before she finally conceived.

2. You cry while watching Yes To The Dress (guilty pleasure these days!) when one of the brides tells her story of living with cerebral palsy. She looked amazing, by the way.

All is well here with Eva and Arturo. They slept well. We slept well. Of course, our very pregnant dog isn’t helping our sleep much these days. Pesky pregnant ladies. She needs to go out often and she’s been having wild dreams. Is this was happens when you’re seven months pregnant? Let’s hope I find out.

Happy weekend!

dfb

Let the games begin!

We got the call this morning that a Day 3 transfer was in our future. Sure we would have loved a Day 5, but since I have advanced maternal age at the ripe old age of 35 1/2 (HA!), the clinic’s protocol is to go with a Day 3 transfer if there aren’t five 6-cell embryos. I had four 8-cell and two that were 5-cell. So, I just missed the cut-off. Oh well. Lucky for us, we had some choice this time. We were also part of a new study that takes pictures and video of the embryos growing, and gives a recommendation as to the healthiest ones in the batch. So with some choice and some added information, we decided to return two, grade 1 embryos to their homeland. The winners were embryo A and embryo E. From here on out, they will be referred to as Arturo and Eva. My dad thinks this is a little wacky, but I figure I should start talking to the kids as they settle in for a lengthy lease.

We did have lots of conversation about how many embryos to put back in. We are fortunate to have a doctor whom we not only respect but we also trust. He suggested two so we’d hopefully have more to freeze. Why waste a good one if all three took, was his theory. I like that. We would also be prepared (if you can be) for twins. Triplets, no way.

I saw my acupuncturist directly after my visit and have been instructed to eat pineapple daily until Sunday, and chicken once a day until my pregnancy test. I spent lots of time on the couch, watched some bad tv, napped, and otherwise told Arturo and Eva to enjoy the new location.

As I think back to my last cycle and the two week wait, I have vowed to do some things differently. I know that as my blood test date approaches (7/23) I will get anxious and crazy, but I’m hopeful some changes along the way will help me cope with the uncertainty.

1. I will not google. Well, I’ll google things like yelp reviews and stupid baseball stats and funny videos, but nothing fertility related.

2. I will do my best to embrace any and all symptoms I experience. I already have some mild and wacky cramping from the high dosage of progesterone I’m on (all confirmed normal by my doc), but bloating and boob soreness and anything else will just be part of the experience and not a sign of something bad or good.

3. I will meditate for one hour each day. I made myself a playlist comprised of some really great music my yoga teachers play. I listened to it prior to retrieval and during the transfer, and it really soothed my nerves. I have a space all set out for my meditation, some embryos to focus on, and some baby dreams to have!

4. I will practice gratitude daily. In each of my yoga classes when the teacher asks us to set an intention I say the same thing: gratitude in my thoughts, gratitude from my lips, gratitude in my heart. I have said this in every class I’ve attended since joining the local studio, and gratitude is something I strongly believe in. Regardless of what life throws us all, we must be grateful for what we have. Especially during this period of uncertainty and wait, it is gratitude that will lighten my burden. I realize I sound like a complete hippie nut job, but I’m ok with that.

For my first act of gratitude, I want to thank all of the ladies who read this blog and cheer me on. As I told my husband this morning …. if I only had the women in my real life (both colleagues and friends) you would think having a baby was as easy as getting dressed. So, it was on-line and among strangers that I learned that I was not alone. This is a gift I can never thank you enough for.

More to come. Eva and Arturo say hello!

dfb