Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And the Testing Continues...

Oh the joys of stirrups, speculums, ultrasound wands, and catheters. Sometimes I wonder if I should be charging admission!

But after a morning of more testing, I'm just happy to have it behind me. Another check mark on my calendar that puts me closer to the end of the testing portion of the program.

First I had my complete physical and pap, which wasn't so bad. Next I had the dreaded endometrial biopsy -- OUCH! But, thankfully it didn't last too long and I managed to survive -- even though she had to do it twice!

For those of your curious about the nitty gritty fertility stuff...
The endometrial biopsy (e-tegirty test) is done to check the receptivity of the uterus for embryo implantation. It's an immunohistochemistry test to determine if the beta-3 integrin protein is present or absent in the uterine tissue. Studies have shown that women lacking the beta--3 integrin protein have lower pregnancy rates than women who have the beta-3 integrin. Most doctors don't do this test, but it can be useful in cases of patients with prior failed If's. So if I'm found to lack it, then there is a treatment that the doctor can use to help restore it prior to the IVF cycle, consisting of special monthly lupron injections.

Other than that, I have one more test left to do (next week) before all my preliminary testing will be considered complete. It's a panel of day 3 bloodwork to test FSH, LH and E2. And then I'm done with the testing -- thank the good Lord above!

But for now it's more nail-biting as the results slowly roll in...

Will we or won't we be able to try again?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Club Motherhood

I used to think I'd have my two kids, my big house, and my high-paying career by the time I was 30. But at 33, I'm 0 for 3.

Okay, it's not that bad. I'm married to a wonderful amazing thoughtful guy, I've travelled and seen some amazing sites, I've moved around and lived in some beautiful cities, I've quit my job to write a novel, I've followed my dream of becoming a screenwriter, and I've been to Hollywood and had meetings with well known producers and directors.

In some ways, it's better than the life I once imagined. But still, when I look around at all the happy moms browsing baby stores with their high tech strollers and matching designer diaper bags -- I long to be one of them. I long to join the conversation, tag along on play dates, and be part of the exclusive club called motherhood.

Instead, I sit alone at my table, sipping a Starbucks latte, typing on a laptop, and longingly looking over at the women bonding over their shared experiences. An outsider eavesdropping in on a club she doesn't have the secret handshake to. An awkward teenager forced to eat lunch by themselves while all the cool kids crowd around the fun table. Up until now, I've been the cool kid. I've been the one at the table with everyone else. I've never known what it's like to feel left out -- until now. I used to imagine what it would be like when I was a mom. All the other moms and I would hang out together. We'd let our kids play together. We'd drink coffee and wine and brag and complain and gossip and solve all the worlds problems. We'd take our kids to the beach. We'd organize spa days and girls nights out and we'd bond over our similar lives of juggling work and kids and love. We'd have couple's nights and outdoor barbeques. We'd organize carpools. We'd watch our kids soccer games together and cheer and bring snacks for the whole gang. We'd rent cottages, and organize camping trips. We'd roast marshmellows over a fire-pit. We'd laugh, and cry, and lean on each other through all life's up and down's as our children grow up. We'd be the best of friends....

And then, I snap back to reality. I take a sip of my lukewarm latte, and I wonder if that will ever be me? I wonder if one day I'll be awarded the secret handshake and be invited to sit at the fun table?
I wonder if I'll ever be part of the exclusive club called motherhood?

I sure hope so.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Attacking My Husbands Sperm!

I became more and more upset about this news as the night went on. In fact, I had nightmares about it!

Apparently it is fairly rare. Only 5% of infertile women have these antisperm antibodies (ASAB). It's basically an immune issue where I am allergic to my own husbands sperm! If that's not a cruel joke of nature, I don't know what is!

Of course I searched the internet all night. Obsessively.

Steven Witkin, Ph.D., a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, says: "The immune system of some women see sperm as a foreign invader, like a germ, and their bodies make antibodies to attack the sperm."

Well that's just great!

And what kind of woman does this make me? It feels like just another slap to the face of how my body is failing me and how inadequate I am as a woman.

And the worse part is that there doesn't seem to be much they can do about it, except IVF, which of course, I've already done twice and failed. I've also read the use of a steroid can help when jumpstarting fertility treatments, so I must remember to ask my RE about his.

To be fair, I did read that this problem should not affect IVF in any way, but I can't help but wonder if this immune issue is somehow a contributing factor affecting implantation of the embryo? Nothing I read indicated this, but if I have one immune disease (actually 2 if you count hypothyroidism) then am I more susceptible to others?

And once again, the worry never stops when it comes to infertility. And the question still remains...

Why can't I have a baby?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Some Early Tests Results Roll'n In....

CCRM just called to give us some test results. I think it's so great that they are calling us as the tests come back, rather than waiting until they collect all of them. So far CCRM is getting an A+ from me. But enough rambling -- on with the results!

DAVE'S SA(Sperm Analysis):

Dave's count: 25 million
Normal count: 20+ million
Comments: Good

Dave's Motility: 32%
Normal Motility: 40+%
Comments: Not too bad, but a little below what they like to see. However, with ICSI, we don’t need to worry.

Dave's Morphology: 1 %
Normal Morphology: 4+ %
Comments: Not good. But it's high enough that with PICSI, high-mag and ICSI, they’re hopeful and fairly confident they can get the good sperm for the IVF cycle.

**We have had this test done so many times that none of this was a surprise to us, but confirmed what we already know, that the problem is part MF with low motility & morphology.



Dave: 0% (good)
Lisa: 56% (not good)
Comments: This means that I have developed antibodies in my immune system that attempt to prevent sperm from living. At 56%, it does not completely rule out conceiving naturally, but it would certainly be expected to slow the process down. The presence of the sperm antibodies means that when Dave's sperm (or any sperm, for that matter) is present in Lisa’s body, the body will attempt to reject it. Generally it will coagulate the semen, or even kill off the individual sperm. Doing IUIs (of which we have done 12!) bypasses this effect to some degree, but the antibodies are still present in the uterus, and so it can still have an impact and hinder the possibility of conception. This does not mean it’s impossible, nor can it be concluded that this is the definitive reason that natural or IUI cycles have not worked for us, but it is certainly a contributor. But doing IVF with ICSI completely removes any concern about the antibodies because the sperm is not required to live inside my body, and therefore it is a complete non-factor for IVF cycles.

**We've never had this test done before, so we were very interested to learn about my antibodies that have been basically attacking Dave's sperm. Unfortunately this still does not answer the question of why 2 IVF cycles failed for us, and why our embies are slow to grow and divide in the dish.


We're still waiting for the chromosome test that will help with that answer. And also the Sperm DNA fragmentation test, which again will help uncover even more. Oh yeah, and the beta 3 integrin biospsy.

But for now, nothing is precluding us from being able to have a successful IVF cycle! So that's the good news.

Luxury Expense or Basic Need?

It's no secret that the economy is tanking. People are losing their jobs, others losing their homes, gas is going through the roof. The average grocery bill has doubled. All around us, buckles are being tightened. Yet, here we are about to blow thirty grand on the 'chance' of having a child.

Some would shake their heads and call us fools. Others would say we are being frivolous. And even we have started to question what we are doing. Are we spending a lavish amount on money on a pipe dream? Throwing good money after bad? Wasting money that could be saved and grown for retirement? Used as a down payment on a house? Are we spending money that we will need if the economy gets worse and god forbid we find ourselves without a job? What if we really are headed into the next great depression?

Is IVF a just a luxury expense or is it a basic need? The basic right of every person to have a child --- to have a family. And what is the point of a big house, or fancy cars, or even a nice retirement fund if you have nobody to share it with, nobody to spend it on, nobody to leave it to?

For us, the answer doesn't come from our wallet --- it comes from our hearts.

Money is just money. But a family is forever.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IVF: A Full Time Job

TTC is one of the most stressful and exhausting jobs in the world!

I know what some of you are thinking -- how could a little thing like trying to have a baby be so exhausting? It's fun, isn't it?! Well. It's supposed to be. In theory. And for many lucky women out there it is. But for the rest of us, trying to conceive is one of the most excruciating jobs we will ever have. Forget a fun romp in the hay -- that went out the window a long time ago. For us, it's all about a grueling schedule that never ends. It keeps going and going and going... but we don't have the stamina of the energizer bunny. And so every month, every cycle, our batteries die just a little bit more.

Some days just amaze me. There is so much to be done. So much to organize, so much to fit in, so much to coordinate and schedule! Trying to conceive has completely taken over our lives, and not in a good way. It's a wonder that anybody going through this process can ever get anything else done! If it's not peeing on sticks, it's driving to the clinic. If it's not sitting in a waiting room, it's going to the pharmacy. If it's not taking medication, it's listening to relaxation or IVF hypnosis tapes. If it's not doing yoga, it's making sure to get in a 5 mile walk. If it's not doing caster oil packs, it's getting a Mayan abdominal massage. If it's not getting reflexology, it's scheduling acupuncture. If it's not corresponding with my nurse, it's searching the internet for advice. If it's not traipsing to 3 different grocery stores and health food stores to get all the right foods and supplements, it's charting dates, mixing medications, and making a calendar to make sure we haven't forgotten anything.....

It's no wonder we're exhausted -- trying to have a baby is a full time job! And worse than a demanding career, you put in hours upon hours, evenings, weekends, and holidays -- and see no results. And worse than the demanding job of raising children -- there is no rewarding hug at the end of the day. No, not this job. It's exhausting, thankless, and you don't get paid. It's a complete and utter waste of time and money and energy. It consumes your every waking thought, robs you of a social life, and saps all the fun in life.

And it's such a demanding job, I actually feel like I need an assistant! Who knows, maybe it will be my new calling when this is all over. I will become a personal assistant to other tired and exhausted women going through IVF. And why not?! Women with children have nannies and daycare providers. Pregnant women have birthing coaches, midwives and doulas. Surely, we infertiles deserve a little help too!

Well, if you hate it so much why don't you just quit?

I knew you were going to say that.

We do it for the same reason that interns fetch coffee for unappreciative bosses. We do it for the risk that one day the job will pay off. We do it for the hope that one day our efforts will be rewarded. That one day we will look back and be able to say that it was all worth it. But until that day comes, it's back to the ol' baby-making grind.

One egg after the other...

Dr. Schoolcraft is Hilarious!

He's so deadpan.

But in a good funny kind of way!

It actually amazes me that he is a world renowned fertility doctor, because you soooooo wouldn't know it from talking to him on the phone. He's quiet and reserved and doesn't toot his own horn. He tells it exactly like it is, and no more. At times there is dead space on the phone while he waits patiently for you to ask him a question. He doesn't ramble on, or give long winded explanations, or go into any more detail than necessary. He says what he has to and that's all. Then he waits. Waits for you to ask questions. Waits for the conversation to come to an end. At points I am really hoping he'll take control of the conversation, delve into some amazing facts, tell me about similar success stories, or brag about his ability and lab. But he does none of that. It actually puts me at ease in a weird way. I don't want somebody blowing sunshine up my @ss. I don't want all the hype and smoke and mirrors. He's confident, very patient and willing to wait out any silence while I get together my thoughts, doesn't mind answering all my stupid questions, and seems to allow the patient some input into the treatment plan.

He's completely different than I thought he would be. But I like him. And by the way, he's given me an A+ so far for some of our test results. My uterus looks great. My hormone levels are excellent. My AMH is exactly where it should be. Now we are just awaiting some of the more complicated tests. Antibodies, chromosomes, sperm DNA. But so far, so good. And we meet with Dr. Schoolcraft (aka Dr. Stork) in another couple of weeks for the final verdict.

Can't wait!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Next Steps

Many of you have been asking me what happens next? How long do we have to wait to start our cycle now that the one-day workup is over?

Well, here's the deal...

We should be receiving test results over the next few weeks. Some tests will come back in a few days. Some will take up to ten days. Once all the tests are back, Dr. Schoolcraft will review everything and make his official diagnosis and treatment protocol. And in the meantime, I need to get even more tests done!

Next tests:

* Tuesday Sept. 23 -- Follow-up Appointment with Dr. Schoolcraft (by phone) to discuss my one-day work-up.

* Sometime next week (Date TBA) -- Complete physical & breast exam -- results need to be faxed to CCRM.

* Tuesday Oct. 30th -- Pap & Endometrial Biopsy with local clinic -- results need to be faxed to CCRM.

* Somewhere around Oct. 8 -- Day 3 Bloodwork with local clinic -- I will need to freeze and ship the blood directly to CCRM for testing.

* Oct. 16 -- Regroup Appointment with Dr. Schoolcraft to discuss official diagnosis and protocol plan.

And then, hopefully, we can set our calendar and move forward! If all goes well, I'm hoping to cycle November/December. I just hope I can get it all in before Christmas, because if not, I won't be able to start until the New Year. The clinic closes down for 2 weeks over the holidays and won't take a chance that my ER or ET falls during those dates. So keep your fingers and toes crossed!

Now, on with the show....

Hope -- Our Most Renewable Resource

Forget water! Hope is our most valuable and renewable resource.

No matter how bad things get, no matter how many times we fail, no matter how bleak the outcome looks -- we, as humans can't help but hang onto hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better. Hope that somehow everything will all work out. Hope that on the other side of our pain, is light.

Last week I was engulfed by grief, I was tired, exhausted and felt that I could not possibly do this again. I felt like the pain would kill me. And now, once again, I am filled with hope. So full of hope, that I'm at it again. So full of hope that nobody could convince me that this isn't going to work. It's actually crazy how renewable hope is, even when you don't have a reason to be hopeful. Even when logic warns you against it. Hope creeps in, takes hold, and pushes us forward. How else would we ever get out of bed in the morning? How else could people fight cancer? How else could we get over the death of loved ones? How else could we send our children off to war? How else could we survive famine and disease and natural disasters?

It all comes down to hope. It's there in everything we do. Pushing us forward. Giving us strength. Holding our hand.

There is a quote by O.S Marden that reads: "There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow." And I beleive that. It is as true for me as it is for you. There is nothing more powerful, valuable and renewable than our ability to hope.

Because without it, we have nothing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Mile High City

That has a nice ring to it, don't you think? It just sounds like a good place to have a baby. As we drove through the flat plains, through the rolling hills, and even into the rocky mountains, we were once again filled with excitement. This is the place we are going to create our baby! This is where our baby is going to spend it's first three to five days on this earth, before even being placed inside his own mother! But I approve. I like this place already. Besides, any city that has over 300 days of sunshine a year is okay by me.

As we pulled into CCRM I was already picking out baby names. Denver or Colorado or Aspen. Maybe even William, after our new famous doctor, Dr. William Schoolcraft. Or how about Lonetree? Okay, maybe not...

My nerves were in high gear as we checked in. The anticipation of all the procedures was overwhelming. But they greeted us with a smile, took us on a tour, and helped to ease my anxieties. But alas, we came here for tests, and tests were were going to get. It was too late to run screaming for the hills at this point. Fortunately these doctors and nurses are pros. They were a well oiled machine. They greeted us with a schedule for the day and herded us from one appointment to the next.

Sperm sample, check.
Business office, check.
Ultra sound and Doppler, check.

Even the hysteroscopy wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. They used gas to dilate my cervix, did a mock transfer, and inserted the camera without too much pain and cramping. Dr. Surrey was fast as he could be, and had the procedure done before I knew it. It was over. The thing I had been dreading all week, was behind me. Not only that but Dr. Surrey told me that my uterus looked great! The elusive Dr. Schoolcraft was out of town, so we weren't even able to meet the man that could be responsible for creating our future baby. But, no worries, he left us in good hands with Dr. Surrey and plans to do a follow-up call with us next week. For now I was just relieved to be given the news that I have a healthy, happy uterus. The blood flow from the Doppler was excellent. He saw no signs of distress during the hysteroscopy. We passed the first big test! And we were thrilled.

Next our nurse went through the in's and out's of the procedure with us, went over some sample calendars, and of course the mixing of the medications and injection training -- which Dave is already a pro at! We signed more consent forms than you do when you buy a house. And after two hours of instruction, we were tuckered out and ready to get on with the last step of the day -- my least favorite part, the dreaded blood tests! Some couples get matching tattoos. We get matching blood tests. Whaddya gonna do?

All in all, the one-day workup flew by and was not nearly as bad as I expected. Sure, we were poked and prodded, but we survived. And now we were done! They weighed us down with binders of information, blood shipping kits and instructions for several more tests to do at home -- an endometrial biopsy, day three blood work from my next cycle, a complete physical and breast exam. But we didn't care, we were done for today, and we were outta there! And there was still a couple of hours of sunlight left for us to explore with.

Neither of us have ever been in Denver before, so even though we were completely exhausted from our long hard day -- we decided to explore the area for a couple hours before dark. We took a short drive to Red Rock and walked around. It was stunning. And as we sat high above the city, looking down, we couldn't believe we did it. Our one day work-up was over, and we were now headed into a new IVF cycle with a renewed sense of hope.

This is going to be the one -- I can feel it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Crazy Train is Leaving the Station!

After a flurry of rushing around, we are all set to hit the road. Dave's dad booked our flights on his air miles (thank you Jim!), my Aunt is coming to watch our dog (thx Aunt Helen!), vacation days have been approved, hotel is booked, car rental confirmed. All systems are go!

Some of you might be asking, why Colorado -- that sounds expensive??? You got that right!

But after researching and consulting with three top fertility doctors, we have chosen to go to CCRM for our final IVF cycle. They have the best stats in the whole country, and Dr. Schoolcraft and his lab are also said to be the best you can get. So, if he can't get me pregnant, then nobody can! But first we have to go for our one day work-up and pass all the tests! Then, once the results come back, he can make a determination on whether he can help us or not. And hopefully make a plan. But first, it's a day full of tests, tests, and more tests. Why do I feel like I'm suddenly back in school?? And for those of you who know me and my medical phobia, you know that an entire day of this is my worst nightmare come true. So hopefully it will all be worth it. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

Here's the run down on our upcoming whirlwind tour:
Arrive Thursday. One day work-up on Friday. Fly home Saturday.

(For those of you who aren't fluent in fertility-speak, feel free to zone out here.)

8am -- Dave to give his 'sample' for analysis. We're also having a SCSA fragmentation screen done, which we've never had before, so we're pretty excited. We're also doing antibody testing and chromatin assay, which will give us more clues to this puzzle than we've ever had before!

9am -- Baseline ultra sound and doppler. I've never had a doppler done before, so I'm very interested to learn more about the blood flow to my uterus.

9:30am - Meet with the business office. In other words -- they are going to lay out exactly how much this is all going to cost us. Don't fall off your chair, but we're expecting somewhere in the ballpark of 30-40 grand for testing and one IVF cycle!!! Somebody please kill me!

10:15am - The doctor will perform a hysteroscopy, which I am VERY freaked out about. This is basically where they insert a camera into my uterus and get a first hand look at it. To date we've only ever had ultrasounds and X-rays with dye and saline solution, all which are helpful, but can't give the doctor the exact information they need. Hopefully all is well, or we will need to schedule surgury to correct it first.

10:30am - We have a re-group meeting with the doctor to go over what he saw during the hysteroscopy, etc.

11am - We have our nurse consultation to go over all the details of our upcoming cycle. Calendars, procedures, injections, more injection training, etc. etc.

12pm - We meet with the lab, go over details, and sign consent forms.

1:30 - Blood draws for both of us. I HATE THIS PART! Oh man, and I have a feeling they need A LOT of blood. We'll be testing for hormone levels, thyroid levels, communicable diseases, genetic screening, chromosomol screening, antibody screening, immune issues, and then the standard regular work-up that they normally do.

2pm - Nurse and doctor consultation and next steps plan.

3pm -- I think we're done!

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it. And this is on top of the thousands of other tests we've already had done. But CCRM leaves no stone unturned, and I suppose we should be thankful for that. Besides, that's what we're paying them the big bucks for.

Oh yeah, and hopefully a little thing called a BABY!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The World Championship's of IVF -- The Final Round!

Like anything, the deeper down the path of infertility you go, the harder it is to turn back. But at some point, the cost of fertility treatments become too high. At some point, you realize, that THIS IS IT. This is your last hand. You've played the game. You've lost. You know what's a stake. But here you are, back at the table -- for the final round. How you made it here you'll never know. But here you are, sitting in the final round of the world championship of poker. Your fingers sweat, you're heart pounds, you hold your cards close to your chest and you look around at all the other women at the table. Some are older, some younger, some worse off, some better off. Another round of IVF seems unbearable in every way imaginable -- financially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. But you've come this far. You've made it to where you are. You look down at your cards. They don't look so hot, but still, they probably aren't the worst one's at the table. People have won it all with worse hands than you. Still, the odds are not in your favor. You feel pressure mounting from all sides. You know this is it. This one hand could determine the rest of your life. And now comes the big question... do you fold, check, raise, or go all in. You consider folding -- walk away from the table, decide to live a child-free life, but you know you will always wonder what would have happened if you didn't throw down your hand. You can check -- try naturally for a while, wait and see how your hand will turn out. You can raise, get some more testing done, do some less invasive fertility treatments, maybe even another cycle of IVF with your local RE. OR. You can go all in -- you can push all your chips into the middle of the table and risk it all. You can take out a loan, fly straight to the best IVF clinic in the country with the best doctors and labs, and do one final round of IVF with all the trimmings. You can only check and raise for so long. At some point -- you've got to walk away from the table or go all in. But which one? If you go all in, you could lose everything. If you walk away, you will never know if you could have won. You check your cards again. You look around. You calculate the risk. You weigh the odds. And then? You toss all the numbers and odds away. You consult your gut. Does your gut tell you that you are willing to risk it all on a sub-par hand? Do you have the guts? Do you have the stamina? Do you have the stomach? Do you feel lucky? You might win. You might lose. You see your life flash before your eyes. The overwhelming sense of fear pulses through your body. But time waits for no woman. And suddenly it's your turn. It's do or die. It all comes down to this.... So what's it going to be?
I don't know about you. But I'm going all in.

Denver here I come!

Reproductively Challenged

I hate failing.

But more than that, I hate being told I can't have something that I want. I've never been very good at that. If I wanted something, I've always found a way to get it. I just worked harder. And I've always believed the old saying, if at first you don't succeed, try try again. But suddenly, slowly, the thing I've just taken for granted my whole life has been taken away from me. And I've gone from sad, to mad, to angry, to desperate, and the very depths of despair. Are you kidding me? EVERYONE can have a baby! Look around! Happy couples, not-so-happy couples, teenagers, single mothers, poor people, rich people, crazy people, homeless people, sick people, bad people, drug addicts, murderers, mothers who leave their children in dumpsters! There are millions of abortions and unwanted children every single day. And here I am. Unable, to have the one thing that I so desperately want. It doesn't seem fair. Yet, here I am. This is my reality. It's as if God handed out baby tickets to everyone but me. I'm healthy, I love my husband, we’re good people, come from great families, take care of ourselves, exercise, eat healthy -- the list goes on. Why are we being denied? It's that question that drives me to keep going. Surely, I'm just not trying hard enough. Surely, god isn't denying us on purpose. He's trying to teach us a lesson. The lesson of perseverance. That age old lesson that if you want something badly enough, it can be yours, if only you dedicate yourself to achieving it. You push through the tough times, you keep on trying, you never ever give up. Then, and only then, will you succeed. I've hung onto this philosophy for most of my life. In everything I do. I believed that I could achieve anything if I only put my mind to it and stuck with it. Isn't that what we are always taught? But I've been at this 3 years, over a thousand days. I've plotted, I've charted, I've eaten all the right foods, used all the tricks in the books, I've assembled my team. Doctors, nurses, acupuncturists, massage therapists, nutritionists. I've dedicated my all of my time, energy and money to the cause. I've failed over 40 times. I have wasted tens of thousand dollars. I have cried tens of thousand tears. I have picked myself off the ground, every single month, wiped off my bruises and ploughed ahead with a better more hopeful plan for next month. I have prayed to a God that has abandoned me, held onto hope when there was none left, and kept going when I had no strength left. I have put up the good fight and lost. So now what? Is it over? Have I lost? Or is God testing me, trying to see how much I can take? Holding the baby I want so desperately, just around the next milestone, if I'll only take the chance and go one more round further? Is this the point in the Hollywood movie, where most give up... but not our hero. No, she picks herself up and gives it one last try. And is rewarded with everything she wants by doing so. I've been here before. Tried to convince myself, that this is that time. Only to end up right back in the same spot, questioning the exact same thing.

Do I give up? Or try it one last time?

Sharing Our Journey

Where do I even start? And why start now? Especially since we're on the last leg of our fertility journey?

Maybe because it's been a long lonely difficult road. One that we tried to keep to ourselves, because hey, who wants to scream from the rooftops that they can't have a baby? Who wants to share all the trials and tribulations of peeing on 18 thousand sticks, being poked and prodded month after month, and scheduling love-making with a plastic cup in a sterile room. Not to mention all the crazy highs and lows, the days I can't stop crying, the pangs of jealousy, fits of anger, and of course the ultimate hole of depression (which I must admit, I've fallen into more than once.) The truth is, infertility sucks! And it just gets more difficult with every day that passes.

But we're lucky. We have friends and family who love and support us. I've discovered a whole on-line network of women who are struggling with the exact same thing day after day that will commiserate with me in my hour of need. And we still love each other more than anything in the world. So even though we're nearing the end of this long miserable road, we still have a long way to go. And we're not hiding anymore. It is what it is. Warts and all. It's been over three LONG years of trying to conceive for us, and we have decided to give it one last shot.

We thought you might like to come on the journey with us....