Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gotta Get Me Some! - Molly

I just got home from a GNO (girls night out). We went to see Breaking Dawn (finally!). I think I have an answer to my fertility problem. TO ALL OUR FERTILITY problems.


Bella and Edward only got busy once, maybe twice. And BOOM! She was knocked up. Best part? Not having a 9 month pregnancy. It would be pretty cool. (minus the drinking blood)

Ok, I better go. Someone is demanding a little attention.

Penny wants me to stop blogging

DISCLAIMER - We are not special- Love H & M

Before we go any further with this crazy blog, we wanted to point out one thing.


Our stories, our "issues". They are not special. Our feelings and our frustrations, they too, are not special. But we are different. We are unlike others. 

The feedback we have received has been tremendous. There has been so much love and support. There has been genuine hope for our successes. We are truly grateful for the open hearts our blog has been received with. Each story, comment and thumbs up means so much to us and it will help us continue this crazy, irrational journey.

Haylee-  I have never felt special I just felt cursed because I waited until later in life to get married,  because we waited to start trying, because I focused on my career, because damnit, I wanted to have some fun….. because, because, because... you get it.

When I met Molly and found out her infertility “secret” I thought "how can I tell her anything that I am going through"??  I mean come on.  She has been pregnant (3 times!!), she has gone through so much more than I can even imagine.  So, for awhile I was hesitant about how much I told her and how much I talked when she asked me questions.  I was quick to switch the subject back to her.  As our friendship grew it just became second nature to put it all out there.  It wasn’t about whose story was worse or how much time has been spent.  It is about no matter where you are in your journey to have a baby, each of us has something amazing to share.  Whether you are at step one of fertility testing or going on 10 years of issues, our hearts go out to all of you dealing with any type of baby making issues.  Unless of course you are on crack.  You already know how I feel about the fertile crackhead population.....  

Molly- Reading Haylee's thoughts makes me love and appreciate her even more. Amidst what she was going through, her private battle, she was worried about me. She wanted to see me succeed. To turn it all around, my thoughts when I first met and spoke with her were, "at least I know I can get pregnant. How hard must it be to live in a world of unknown." I felt she deserved the success of a pregnancy more to get her the relief that her body would overcome and that the steps she had taken were not in vain.  In yoga we preach constantly that "it's not about the destination, but the journey". This journey is never the same for anyone. There is no black and white, just pools and pools of gray. 

Anyone who is in the crazy infertility boat with us knows that we each have to find our way to get there. For some, it will be longer, harder, more expensive and more emotional. For others, it might be the flip of a switch. One person is not more special than the other. We are just different. But it is up to us to see those differences and to support them. To be there as a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen and some arms to hug. To want and have a child is a divine and righteous desire. And we want, I want, everyone who has this desire to succeed. To be given this chance. My journey might take a while. And it's time I accept that.

We are not special. And we are okay with that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Days Of Our Lives.... Haylee

This entry is not entirely from me- and if it wasn’t posted anonymous I would totally give the person credit.

My personal comments are inserted in parenthesis.
Though I am in between cycles awaiting our next IUI, here it is and here is what many of us dealing with infertility issues go through each month.

Finding out you got your period, again:
Step 1: Expect arrival of your period (trust me, you are on a strict schedule and know)

Step 2: Check toilet paper hourly (or in between teaching)

Step 3: Feel slightly hopeful when your period is 30 minutes late (wait it is 30 minutes early, 30 minutes late, crap-  better check my calendar again or call Molly)

Step 4: Keep checking toilet paper hourly (or in between meetings)

Step 5: Light spotting

Step 6: Insert swear word (for me easy, the F word for sure or maybe a combo of some swear words I like to make up)

Step 7: Begin crying on the toilet (though I have never quite found myself here, I do move AWAY from the toilet before a big cry and say more curse words)

Step 8: Random thoughts include:
is this really my period or is it implantation bleeding?
Step 9: You still remain 1% hopeful but you just know it’s over
Step 10: Check toilet paper again
Step 11: Bleeding gets heavier.
Sobbing and runny nose begins.

Step 12: You don’t have any tampons or pads because you refused to buy them last month. (I tried this “method” 2 months in a row- EPIC FAIL) Run to store (or in my case, check luggage there is always that emergency “just in case it happens” pack there).
Step 13: Another pair of
underpants ruined.  (This has honestly never happened to me, thank God).

Step 14: More tears and increased moodiness begins. Husband doesn’t understand why you’re crying on the toilet seat.  (Trust me, I have moved from the toilet seat, he is home by now and I am just a hot mess, he knows).

Step 15: Call fertility clinic and sob into the phone… “Hi, it’s
Infertile (insert your name). I’m calling on my Day One….”  (By the way, the “day 1” call is always totally shitty)

Step 16:
Screw you, Folic Acid pills. You are not taking any this week (for me I never stopped the vitamins, folic acid, prenatal pills etc etc)

Step 17: Buy a large decaf highly caffeinated coffee, chocolate and a bottle of wine. Enjoy (no chocolate for me, just Starbucks latte and wine- yum)

Repeat next month.

The Period. Punctuation for the end but also meaning a new beginning and starting fresh.

No more “fresh starts”, please and thanks 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Land of "What If" and a World of "I Might Be" - Molly

I live in the land of "what if" I'm pregnant and the world of "I might be" pregnant. Each. And. Every. Month. There are always those 2+ weeks of the month that I'm just waiting. Wondering. Trying not to think about it. Talking myself out of it. Preparing myself for the worst. Hoping for the best. Looking at the tissue every time I wipe (sorry if that's a bit descriptive), questioning if my bloating is cramps, or my swollen boobs are a sign of pregnancy. Counting and recounting the days on my calendar to see if possibly I'm late.

This is what my life has succumbed to.

While I am living in the land of "what if" and the world of "I might be", there are certain precautions I take - just to be safe.

If I think I might be pregnant, I don't twist, or do inversions. I don't lay on my belly or do any core work. I completely modify. In spin, I keep my heart rate low, even if it means I have to fake it to my class. In sculpt, I lower my weights, modify and keep my heart rate low.

I workout less, sleep more, and eat better. I don't lick the batter from the Funfetti mix or eat raw cookie dough. I don't go in hot tubs or take hot showers. I am diligent with my meds and I don't get my hair colored. I change my teeth cleaning appts if I need to and won't allow them to x-ray.

I sleep only on my left side and I give myself foot baths to help with circulation. I double up my appointments with my acupuncturist and try to watch more comedies (supposedly laughter can help it stick).


So you can only imagine how I felt when a student arrived to class, announced she was 4 months pregnant. I, like a good teacher, give her the modifications and her response is, "Oh, I don't need those, I'll be fine." Then for the next hour, I see her work harder than anyone in class, do headstands and twist, core work and spine work (on her belly).

I know some people just don't have to live in the Land of "What If" and the World of "I Might Be". Some people get pregnant, announce it the day after they test and everything is fine.

It just sucks that I'm not one of them.

"I want a new drug"- Haylee

Huey Lewis And The News wrote the song “I want a new drug”  Here is my version:
One that won't make me sick
One that won't make me dizzy
Or make me feel nuttier than a fruitcake or make my boobs feel like they could explode…..
Ok, all kidding aside, I really don’t want a new drug but I am currently on one.  I started Letrozole Friday morning.  I had been told the side effects (if any) are quite mild compared to Clomid.  Where do I sign?  Oh, right below the line acknowledging the warning that this “may cause birth defects”.  My husband and I did not take this particular release form well, however after research we were convinced it was the way to go. The Letrozole is proven to be better for the uterine lining and Dr. M uses this medication on a regular basis.  I am happy to report, so far only mild dizziness and yes, the mood swings are still with me.  This could be some back lash from being on birth control for 2 weeks.  Oh, I haven’t mentioned that yet??  Yes, thank God I was put on birth control; we were so worried we would get pregnant.  HA!

REWIND time line here and I will catch you up.  I was prescribed birth control due to a cyst in my left follicle.  This isn’t your normal cyst, but a water pocket inside the follicle that does not dissolve after ovulation thus preventing the follicle to totally close.  The fertility medication is the main cause for the cyst(s) and with one present you are not able to take any fertility medications until the cyst is gone.  If fertility meds are given the cyst could burst.  Yes, I said burst.  Doesn’t sound cool at all.  So, I developed a cyst this meant we were on our own to try for the month.  Once again sad I reminded myself, this could be the month for us.  Did you know how surprised I was when the pregnancy test came up negative?  Anyway, back to the office I go for another ultrasound.  Low and behold the luck keeps getting better, ANOTHER cyst (in the right follicle this time).  I am not going to lie, I pretty much lost my shit.  How is this possible??  I didn’t take any fertility meds??  Why me?? Was there something I was doing to make these pesky things keep appearing is there something I could do so I wouldn’t have to deal with them ever again? Etc etc.  I was told the cysts (even without fertility meds) are quite common in all women.   They do not prevent you from getting pregnant they prevent you from taking fertility medication.  There is nothing including stress that makes you more prone to getting cysts, it is just something that happens.   Good to know.  I am still f’d in my girly parts.  Leaving the office with my prescription for birth control in hand it was the first time I didn’t cry.  I couldn’t wrap my head around what was going on.  I was VERY angry.  An anger I had yet to experience.  Luckily, my husband, family and amazing group of friends were there to listen to me vent over a nice bottle of red wine.  Mmmmm. 
Fast forward to my next appointment, birth control worked- no more pesky cysts!  Whoot!

So now that you are totally caught up, just a couple more days on the Letrozole and back for another ultrasound to check out those (hopefully) fiery large beautiful follicles.  This will be our last round of IUI before we sit down with Dr. M and discuss her plans for IVF with us.  Clearly, it is our hope we don’t make it to that particular face to face meeting (though we love Dr. M).  We hope it is a different type of face to face meeting.

It is hard for me to remember what it feels like to not be on fertility meds and hormones.  My husband and I did take about 3 months off this summer in hopes to clear everything out of my body medication wise, take the stress away from the appointments, tests, sticks, pricking, prodding and not to mention that amazing “must have” sex we had moved into.  Nothing was as spontaneous anymore and it was saddening.  Our hope was to be one of “those people” and just get pregnant on our own.  You know, step 1- go to a bar get completely wasted, step 2- go home & shag your faces off- boom! Step 3-  BABY! 
Clearly, none of the above worked.
Cheers though, I know there is a light at the end of this tunnel.  I also know how much I do have to be thankful for.  I hold that close and each day these things are what keep me smiling. 

“A day without laughter is a day wasted”- Charlie Chaplin

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Attitude of Gratitude

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. …
So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged; God is over all.
Count your many blessings; angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. 
(Hymn 241)

Today in church the topic was Gratitude. One lady spoke of "the attitude for gratitude". If challenged, we could make a list that would never end of all the things we are grateful for. It would be relatively easy to do. And that list - it would be LONG. If asked, we could make a list of all our trials in life. And that list, though some might be longer than others, we could probably count those on our hands, maybe our toes. But it's funny, that despite the LONG list of things we are grateful for, the SHORT list of trials seems to consume us.

I am especially guilty of this.

But today, something rang true. Something clicked. And I realized that I have not possessed the attitude of gratitude. I have wallowed. I have pitied. I have allowed myself to NOT see all that I have been blessed with.

This ends tonight.

What's next for Molly?

One of the most difficult things about this process has been feeling good about the direction we are heading in. I have really struggled accepting that we are now in the running for IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and that it will mostly likely be how we conceive a child.

You begin to take your struggle very personally. And you start to question who you are and what you were put on this Earth to do. THIS is the ONE THING I was supposed to be good at - having a baby. Growing up in the Mormon faith, I always assumed I would be a mother, have a family and that the process would be smooth and swift. Despite getting married "later in life" (I was 28), I still did not comprehend that this would be my struggle at 33 (almost 34).
Five failed IUI (intra-uterine inseminastions), 2 different doctors and some very aggressive drugs later, NOTHING. It baffles me. Totally and completely BLOWS my mind that doctors can manipulate the body to produce eggs, time when those eggs are going to "release", then place the sperm RIGHT NEXT to the eggs and NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING happens. The kicker - I HAVE BEEN PREGNANT BEFORE! 3 times! What I thought was a struggle in keeping a pregnancy has now turned into a struggle just to get pregnant.
To add to the hurt and the feeling of ultimate failure is the dark place that you enter when you see the "not pregnant" on the digital test. I have seen one too many. Especially when EVERYONE around you makes it look like a piece of cake. I can't be mad or blame people for living their lives. I can't expect people to wait for me to pop out a kid. I know that. Believe I do. The flip side is that I am truly happy and excited for people when they receive their joyous news, I really am (despite the jealous feelings that boil up inside). BUT. Yes, there is a BUT. BUT, it hurts. It hurts because it only points out your failures a little bit more. I guess I shouldn't say "failures", but your "INABILITIES".
If one thing could come from this blog, from us sharing our stories and getting "real". It would be the understanding and a realization that your ability, your greatest blessing on this earth - YOUR KIDS- are a total and complete miracle. That's right. Your crying, waking up every 3 hours, barfing, dirty diaper, tantrum throwing, suck the living life out you kids ARE A MIRACLE.

giving blood again
We understand that being a parent is HARD work and sometimes, you need, NO you deserve to complain. But here are two girls WISHING, just wishing to be you. And you might wish you could sleep in, travel or go to a nice dinner without having to order chicken fingers (don't get me wrong, I see these things as a blessing), but again, here are 2 girls who would give it all up. Everything. For a little miracle, a little piece of ourselves.

my first order of blood tests- results to come
So what's next for Molly? Appointments. Lots of them. Drugs. Lots of them. Giving blood, tests, scopes, ultrasounds, injections, more drugs, more tests,  and more blood....until we have our own little miracle.

It's the right step for us.

Meet Haylee's Uterus....the surgeries

To back up I think it is important to explain the surgeries I had to go through.  It is crazy to think Joe and I started this journey of having a baby in 2009.  With it almost being 2012 I sit back and realize some of my friends now have up to 4 kids.  It just puts the time into prospective because it is so easy to go on "auto pilot" when dealing with infertility issues.  Everything just begins to blur together.  This appointment, that appointment the do's, the don'ts, the times, the yes', the no's...etc.  Here are “highlights” from the surgeries.

Uterine Septum
I was diagnosed with a Large Uterine Septum, (I am not doctor therefore do not expect me to talk in any type of professional terms) basically my uterus was shaped like bunny ears.  Oh how cute...  NOT.  The uterus is supposed to be shaped like a roomy, spacious upside down triangle.  What this meant was there was no way without surgery Joe and I could have ever gotten pregnant.

The surgery would consist of making a 1 to 2 inch incision right above the bikini line  (cutting through the stomach muscles) to access the girly parts and going in through the vagina- along with pumping gas into the uterine cavity to create more space for them to work on the uterus.  Once in the uterus would be sliced to create that spacious triangle shape.  You may ask, how is this possible? Well, after the slicing and dicing is done they insert this triangle shaped BALLOON into the uterus.  The balloon then makes a home there for 10 days (important to note it also has a tail- don’t all balloons?).  Dr. M said the surgery would take around 2 hours, I would get to go home after I woke up, recovery shouldn’t be too bad (about 4 to 6 total weeks) and then I should be fixed.  Hooray!  Let’s do it!

Here is what happened:
I had to start hormones before the surgery- estrogen and provera, this was my first stint with hormones.  Holy crap, my poor husband.  He could say “hi” wrong and my reaction would range from crying to yelling to not talking.  It was pretty intense and I hated every moment of it.  Fast forward to surgery day in the hospital going over last minute details with Dr. M:
-Do not be alarmed if your left or right shoulders have a lot of pain after surgery this is just the gas exiting.  Um, ok?  This is weird it would pick a shoulder, but whatever, I went with it.
-In the case I started to lose too much blood during surgery, Joe, can you authorize Haylee getting a transfusion.  WTF, I thought this was a in and out type deal!  haha
-You might be able to feel the balloon, it may cause cramping and it is possible that the tail may fall out.  In the case the tail comes out just have Joe stick it back in.  ARE YOU F-ing KIDDING ME?  This is where I drew the line.  Joe really doesn’t need to know my girly parts that well.  Ew. 

Off to surgery I went!
Given my recent incredible luck I had a terrible reaction to the anesthesia and pain medication combo.  They admitted me to the hospital for the night.  When I came to the shoulder pain was extreme, my girly parts hurt & I had to go to the restroom- pee.  This led to Joe having to unhook me from all the machines and walk me to the restroom every 15 minutes-  I am not even kidding.  It was awful.  Not to mention I couldn’t move any faster than turtle speed from the meds & pain.  When I wasn’t peeing I was out.  The next morning I felt better and they released me. 

Fast forward- Balloon removal day!  Woohoo!  Dr. M said everything looked like it was healing nicely.  She told me to cough as hard as I could and then proceeded to RIP the balloon out of my vagina.  Fffff???  Couldn’t you think of a more humane way to remove this thing?  Hurt like hell.  She told me that for the next 3 weeks Joe and I could have sex but it had to be condom sex.  Wait, what?  The news just keeps getting “better”!  Condom sex with my husband?  Yep!  Lucky us.  Guess this is standard because you don’t want to take a chance getting pregnant while the uterus was still healing.

Week 4 in office check up.  Gas was injected into my uterus so Dr. M could get the full view.  This time the gas started to exit almost immediately out my shoulder.  A lot of pain.  She looked for awhile and then told me to sit up.  I knew from the look on her face something wasn’t right.  The surgeries didn’t work and I require another surgery.  Tears.  The next surgery was scheduled (hysteroscopy only).
I left her office and cried more. 

5 weeks later surgery 3.  Dr. M is confident this is it and though reluctant, we believe her.  After all, she is one of the best infertility doctors in the US.  People fly from all over the world to see her. 

-Surgery went well and it didn’t take nearly as long since it was one procedure
-I was able to go home though really groggy and remember nothing about the drive (I do remember it was snowing).
-The balloon they inserted this time was much bigger so the cramping and pain was much more obvious.
Once again, my amazing husband took really good care of me and luckily this time it was from our own home! 

Same details as above for recovery weeks, balloon removal deets and that amazing condom sex. 

The best result of this final surgery was success!  No more surgeries required!  Bring on the clomid and sexy time (this means no condom sex)!  :)

Now, for those of you that have ever thought we don’t want or like kids, you now know a TINY bit of what Joe and I have been going through since 2009. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This is me, Haylee


Bora Bora
Wedding 7-7-7

I grew up and went to college in Kansas City.  After college life and career opportunities led me to New York City, Houston, back to Kansas City and finally to Denver.  It was the first time I felt “at home”.  It was the place I truly began to grow as a person.  This is also the place where I met my husband, Joe.  We were married atop Keystone Mountain in a beautiful ceremony in 2007.   Over the years we have had many obstacles and losses come our way… hell, we have made some mistakes too, but one thing has always been for sure, our support and love for one another is everlasting. 
We decided before being married that once we were we wanted to have OUR time and do as many exciting and crazy things as possible….  And that we did.  Traveled, ate, played, shopped, traveled, ate, drank, played and traveled more… you get the picture!  And I cannot leave our “furkids” out of this story, 3 cool pooches- Meadow, Enzo & Kona (RIP Rocko).
In 2009 the decision was made to “pull the goalie”- this was a big deal.  Actually, Joe didn’t believe me when I said lets go for it.    So here we are thinking, ya, this will be great it will probably take a couple months or so and all will be good, just like everyone else, right?  At 6 months of trying and nothing my OB suggested we look into having some fertility testing done, just to be sure.  I reluctantly made the call and set up an appointment.  The appointment was for 6 months out!  Holy shit.  I kept thinking FOR SURE something would happen between that time and the appointment ….  Not so much.  We were lucky though (insert smile) Dr. M was able to get us in in 4.5 months instead of 6.   Testing began and we found out there was no chance we could get pregnant on our own without surgery.
After the tests results I quit my full time job to focus on everything that had to be done.  In addition to my full time job I was also teaching yoga on the side, so when I quit my job I switched to teaching & coaching as much as I could.  Yoga is where I met Molly.  At this point NO ONE besides a couple close friends, my Dad & little brother knew what was going on.  Molly had been to a few of my classes so I knew who she was, but I never really had a chance to talk to her.  Once we had a chance to talk, I liked her, she was cool.  Then came “that day”…. 
I had probably gone back to teaching a wee bit too soon after the first surgeries, but I was tired of laying around and ready to get back in the classroom…  thus I had a limp and was really uncomfortable.  No one seemed to notice (I was in the clear I thought), but she did… bluntly (I love blunt people) she said, “What’s going on with you, are you ok?”…. to that I had NOTHING- I thought this was MY secret no one would know outside of my “circle”… then I thought I could get by with saying, “Oh I had surgery” (usually this makes people feel uncomfortable, not so much with Molly).  She followed with, “On what”? 
NOW WHAT THE F do you say?  So what did I say?   “My uterus”….  And that is the where our friendship began.

I used to not be a huge believer in the reasons why people come into your life.  Honestly though, I have made the transformation to believe this 100%.  Everyone does truly come into your life for a reason.
Infertility really is a lonely and sometimes very scary place, even with support.  My hope is that from us opening our lives and sharing our stories you will find laughter, unconditional support and non judgment.    Unless of course you smoke crack and in this case you probably already have 5 kids and you don’t get my support… just sayin.  ;) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This is me, Molly

Despite our difficulties in getting pregnant/keeping a pregnancy, I am grateful for the life I have. 

Wedding 2007
Italy - 2009
Penny 2010
Paris - 2008
  1. My relationship with my husband has only gotten stronger. When we got married we dreamed big about having "our" time together before baby comes. I don't even know why we went on birth control, he traveled 5 days a week. Hindsight is always 20/20. I wish we would have never tried to prevent pregnancy, but then again, I am grateful for the time we have had to build and strengthen our marriage.
  2. We have gone places and done things we would have never had done if we had had kids. We have traveled to some amazing places. London, Paris, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Turkey. Multiple trips to Hawaii and stateside cities have quenched our thirst for adventure. I am glad we have had the opportunity to do these things.
  3. We got our dog Penny. If we would have had a baby, we would have never of gotten our vizsla Penny. She is the light of our lives. She is our baby. She has given me someone to love and take care of. 
  4. The chance I had to study and now teach yoga. It was always something that sounded cool to do, but I would have never have taken the leap to enroll in training and teach multiple styles of yoga. I have met so many amazing people in the yoga studio. I have nourished so many relationships based on the common ground of a yoga mat. 
  5. The faith, understanding and sensitivity I have gained from my personal trials. People don't talk about miscarriage or infertility. It is a lonely place. Having a baby is a total and complete miracle. It is an amazing gift from Heaven and people are way to casual about it. I have felt Heavenly Father's presence in my life, especially when I was at my lowest. I know He loves me and I know there is a special plan out there for me and my family. One day, I will meet my children in Heaven and I will know, raise and love them. We will all be together one day.
It's funny how things in life lead you to meet different people. Friendships start, some change or grow closer and others become distant. I met Haylee in the yoga studio. We were teaching back to back. One day I noticed that Haylee seemed uncomfortable, so I asked what was wrong. Who would have known that the conversation that happened next would lead us to such a strong bond/friendship. Together we have laughed, cried, screamed and well, let's just say we have felt every emotion one can feel. We lean on each other though. This blog is the next step. The step in letting others into "our world", what we feel each and every day. And maybe, just maybe someone else will get something out of all our hurt and all of our joy.

Yes, there will be joy. One day, there will be a lot of joy.