Saturday, June 30, 2012

You really can Youtube anything

You know the old saying, if you want to learn how to do something, go look on Youtube!  There are thousands, if not millions of how-to videos.  Wanna learn how to put on make-up?  There's a Youtube video for that!  Wanna learn how to French braid your hair? There's a Youtube video for that!  And yes, if you want to learn how to give yourself your IVF meds, there's a Youtube video for that as well.

Initially I had planned on taking my clinic's shot teaching class.  It's been several years since my last IVF cycle and I felt a little rusty on the ins and outs of correctly administering the shots.  Given how much is at stake, I didn't want to take any chances of screwing it up.  When talking to the IVF nurse, she was surprised that I wanted to take the class.  She understood but also suggested I could just watch a Youtube video on it.  This week I decided to take a gander myself and see what was out there.  After all, what could it hurt?  And I could save myself another trip to the clinic (each trip is at least 25 minutes each way).

So off I went in search of any videos.  I stumbled upon a couple of really good ones done by a nurse at a fairly well known reproductive medicine clinic.  I have posted the links below in case you are curious.

Subcutaneous shot   Intramuscular shot

As I watched the short videos, it all came back to me and I found myself nodding along, the scenes all too familiar.  Here I thought I had forgotten, but no, the information was stored in the part of my brain that stores the rest of my IVF memories; the things I can rattle off with almost no effort at all.  The upside?  I don't have to make that extra trip to the clinic any more.  I am confident in a way I didn't think possible that I won't screw it up.  I can do this again; the memories are there.  The strength is there.  Right where I left it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

All systems go!

This morning I completed the next step in the process before we officially launch our IVF cycle -- the saline infused sonogram.  A lovely sonographer, Heather, came and got me from the waiting area and actually remembered me from the last time I was there!  She's very kind and gentle which puts me right at ease given what I know she has to do.  Everything looks great; no surprises at all.  The doctor was very satisfied with the state of my uterus and how my ovaries looked.

The doctor also gave me the results of my blood work, specifically the Ovarian Assessment Report.  If you remember, this particular blood test is new to my clinic and is used to evaluate my chances for a successful egg retrieval.  It's a more involved hormone panel than I've ever previously done so I was interested to see the results.  It confirmed for the doctor that I do indeed have Diminished Ovarian Reserve.  Previously the doctor believed that I may not have this condition because there was no solid proof to back it up, only situational experience.  However, this test left no doubt that this is indeed one of the reasons I cannot conceive on my own. 

The test revealed that I do not have as many eggs as I should for my age.  While it sounds discouraging, it only  means that the medication protocol that the doctor is putting me on is right on.  This is a medication heavy cycle, and they will stimulate the heck out of my ovaries to ensure a good response and a good number of eggs.  The good news from all of this is that even though there is no test for egg quality yet, because I have been able to deliver healthy babies my egg quality is just fine.

So all systems are a go! Our next appointment at the clinic is August 10th with the nurse.  There we will sign our consent forms and make our pre-payment in addition to reviewing any last minute details or paperwork.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Since the burden of fertility treatments falls mainly on women, it is easy to forget the men that are involved in this process.  After all, we can't really do it without them, can we?  Even if you're doing this as a single woman or as a woman in a same-sex relationship, you still need the male half of the equation.

So to all the men out there -- regardless if you're providing just sperm or are an active participant in the entire process from start to finish -- Happy Father's Day!  Even though your role is much smaller, you are just as important.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Re-defining what's normal

Thinking back on how families used to be built "in the old days" makes me realize that it's time to re-define what's normal.  It used to be that a man and a woman met, fell in love, got married, and then had children.  And up until the last 50 years or so, it was assumed that a woman would stay home with the children while the man worked to support his family.

Now, it's not so simple.  Children now come into this world and into families in a large variety of ways.  Women are waiting longer to have children or not having them at all or having them alone.  Children are being conceived and raised in same-sex households.  More families are made up of adoptive children from all over the world.  There are blended families made up of step-children; cousins are treated and loved as brothers and sisters.  There are more mixed-race families.  Fertility treatments are widely used and accepted so that many more loving people can become parents.

This has forced our society to re-define what's normal when it comes to building families.  I used to pine for the old normal and I grieved for the old normal when it came time to begin fertility treatments.  But eventually I was able to embrace the new normal and appreciate the family it's given me.  Not just my own two (and hopefully 3 next year) children but the extended family that I've been blessed with.

So let's embrace the new normal or create our own version of normal, not because we're forced to, but because we want to.