Sunday, July 15, 2012
After a week of committing to adoption, I feel excited. Bob's excited too. It's a pretty neat space to be in ... moving towards the very near future of being a mom and a dad. We could have a baby in about 6 months. Then again, we could have a baby in 2 years. This small detail in timing will totally depend on when a birth mom (and birth dad, if he's involved) pick Bob and I to raise their baby.
So what this means for us is that we are mentally getting ready for what is about to happen. Yes, there is a lot of paperwork and there are people to meet and training sessions to attend, but the amazing thing is that at the end of this path, we are going to be parents. *Smile from ear to ear.*
So ya, this is what we're doing. It's pretty great. We've got lots of stuff to learn and things to prepare and just all around get ready for a baby. The perfect little baby that is going to grace our family at some point in the pretty near future.
Shout out to Stash who is about to have her little baby very, very soon!
Listening to: The Rolling Stones - Shake Your Hips
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
We are adopting.
We feel good. Relieved. Happy. Excited. Scared. But honestly, mostly we feel like it's meant to be.
I am not religious, but I am actually a spiritual person, deep down when I look past the skepticism and logic. And you know what? I'm sick of being a non-believer in fate. I'm tired of thinking that nothing in this world is meant to be. That fate is playing a nasty joke on my maternal instincts.
I am meant to be a mother. Bob is meant to be a father. We together are meant to be a family, with children. It's just going to be a bit of a different process than we initially thought it was going to be.
We went to see the adoption agency yesterday and we immediately felt good. Right. At ease. Comforted. What a contrast from sitting in the fertility clinic waiting room feeling scared, sick inside, jealous. Those feelings are not for me. I avoid them at all cost. But there they always were, plain as day, every time I walked through those elevator doors.
So here we go, on to a new chapter, a new journey. It is not what we'd anticipated, but we are thrilled.
Our families have been more than gracious and open and so freaking amazingly fantastic about it all. I am so supported, and this is the greatest gift anyone could have ever given me in this life. I am honoured to be a part of a circle of people who are so so so cool. Thank you to each and every one of you who have been a part of our decision - you know who you are. A special shout out to my mom for believing in me and telling me I can do this.
Making this decision has not been easy. But it makes sense. To both of us. For the first time in a long, long time, we feel destiny tugging at our hearts. This is an amazing feeling.
Deep breath - diving in head first. Although I know the water will be choppy, I've dipped my toes in and the water's warm. Welcoming. Feels good. Finally.
Listening to: Bob Marley - Redemption Song
Friday, July 6, 2012
Not much new to report here in fertility land... AF is scheduled to make an appearance on Monday and that's ok. I've been doing a ton of thinking over the past few weeks... weighing out all my options and my history and what the possibilities are for the future. No concrete decisions made in any one direction. We've got an appointment with an adoption agency on Monday morning. Deep breath.
So this weekend I'm going to focus on clearing my head, having fun and relaxing my body. This will be good for me in so many ways - with AF coming, I have a lot of pain headed my way, not to mention the insane number of hours I've been working, the few walks I've had a chance to take with Moonie, the few times I've been able to sleep beside Bob over the past week (he was travelling for 2 days and I was travelling for 2 of the other days)... I need some time to decompress and relax. I have some work I have to do, but I'm going to stick to a couple hours each morning and then MOVE ON with my days. Sounds like a plan.
So ya, that's where I'm at in a nutshell. Just heading out for dinner with the boys! Happpyyyy weekend!!!!
Listening to: Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Prostaglandins - any of a group of about a dozen compounds synthesised from fatty acids in mammals as well as in lower animals. Prostaglandins are highly potent substances that are not stored but are produced as needed by cell membranes in virtually every body tissue. Different prostaglandins have been found to raise or lower blood pressure and regulate smooth muscle activity and glandular secretions. One such substance, which stimulates contraction of the uterus, is used clinically to induce labour; another has been in experimental use as a birth control agent. Prostaglandins also control the substances involved in the transmission of nerve impulses, participate in the body’s defences against infection, and regulate the rate of metabolism in various tissues.
In more normal terms, this is how prostaglandins relate to infertility:
- Prostaglandins are released into the abdomen instead of inside the womb
- Prostaglandins released by the implants seem to be out of phase with their release by the uterus
- Prostaglandins are produced at the wrong time sending the wrong message
source: Endo Resolved
To give you a sense of what my cycle is like, every month about a week before my period (CD 20), I start getting cramps, lower back pain and PMS, indicating that my period is on its way. This pain is very normal to me, but I know it's not "normal" ... it involves me laying on the couch with a heating pad, trying to ease the pain out of my lower back, my abdomen, my hips and my thighs. I am unable to function at a normal level, unable to socialize, unable to move off the couch. This intense, early pain, from my research, indicates a higher than normal level of prostaglandins.
After having tried to conceive for 8 years, you would *think* that at some point an egg and sperm would have connected. Only makes sense. You would also think that at some point, the fertilized egg would have implanted in my uterus. Studies have shown that women with endometriosis have higher than normal prostaglandin levels, which would result in more severe uterine contractions at the wrong times (i.e. too early). As a result, prostaglandins would signal to my uterus to start contracting and any fertilized egg would be kicked out. Resulting in early miscarriage.
Over the past 8 years, I've had two clear instances where I was convinced that I was having an early miscarriage. The first was when AF was late and I took a HPT (home pregnancy test). It was positive. I took another one that afternoon and it was negative. You will never get a false positive on a HPT, unless you were on specific fertility enhancing drugs. I wasn't. I went to the doctor and he confirmed that I was not pregnant. But that I must have been earlier that week.
Another time that I was convinced I was miscarrying was a couple years ago when AF was on time, but it was beyond painful with dark brown, thick blood. The dark brown blood continued for a day, followed by my regular period the next day (dark red). The pain during the thick brown blood time was over the top intense. I couldn't figure out what was happening. I was convinced it was a miscarriage.
I am not one for self-diagnosing, but honestly, all the signs are pointing towards high levels of prostaglandins. The too early monthly contractions. The intense contractions when AF comes. The brown spotting I have experienced before every single AF since I've started noticing. And of course, infertility.
Last time we were at the fertility clinic, I brought up my concern over my body's inability to sustain an implanted embryo and Dr. T agreed that it may be an issue. But we will never know until I do IVF. Only then will we have scientific, physical evidence as to whether the eggs are being fertilized. Only then will we know if my body rejects fertilized eggs.
For women with endo, from what I've read it looks like there are three key reasons that they can't get / stay pregnant. One - issues with release of the egg (I ovulate just fine). Two - scarring, lesions, polyps and cysts in the uterus (my laparoscopy in November 2011 indicated I had none). Three - high levels of prostaglandins, resulting in too early / too strong contractions and a toxic environment in the uterus as a result of too much of certain hormones. Bingo.
Following a day spent on the computer yesterday looking up all sorts of endo-related topics, a lot of thought went into IVF and a lot of discussion with Bob ensued. I feel we may need to go and see Dr. T again soon to really get the scoop on what my actual IVF success rates are. We know what the clinic's overall success rates are (about 60% per transfer), but this includes transfers for couples with every single infertility issue under the sun, which, in most cases, don't include endo.
What do you guys know about endo and IVF? I would really appreciate any insight that you have into this.
Listening to: Rebecca Ferguson - Glitter and Gold