Apr 27

The Full Embrace-IVF Success Program Review

During the six years that we suffered from infertility I was continuously searching the internet for tips to improve our chances, suggestions, success stories, etc. Although we have been extremely blessed to have two miracle IVF babies, I still research infertility on a regular basis. Once you have become a part of the infertility world….you never leave it. At first this blog was a place for me to talk about our infertility struggles. Now I dedicate this blog to trying to help others with their journey to completing their families.

Majority of my internet searches for good resources have come up empty handed. While I was preparing to do a cycle for my second little miracle I came across the IVF Success Program. I had heard some good reviews about it so I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and get it. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of info it included, at this point I had already gone through years worth of treatments and had a lot of knowledge on the subject.

This program is great for anyone looking to do IVF, whether you are an IVF vet or a first timer. Even though I have learned a lot over the last few years, the program still has information that I have never heard or thought of before. The program is NOT a miracle fix for your infertility struggles, but it does give a lot of suggestions for increasing your chances of conceiving, as well as some creative money savings tips (these are valuable to anyone that does not have IVF coverage – we payed out of pocket for everything and I am sure others do as well)

 

I think my favorite thing about the book is that it gives you a “fertility recipe guide”. The guide has suggestions on foods that are harmful to fertility and foods that actually increase your chances. In all my years of infertility I had not seen anything like this. If you are trying to find a resource that will give you some kind of “miracle cure” to infertility…..this is not it! If you find one….please let me know:). I will let you check it out yourself ….. IVF Success Program.

 

Good luck to all of you still trying for your little miracle babies!!! After 5 plus years of infertility we finally have a happy family of four. Just recently added our second addition to the family. If you would like to hear our story please visit Our IVF Journey. Hope to hear your success story soon!

>>>Check out the IVF Success Program Now<<<

Our Miracle Boys………………….

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Koby cropped photo shoot

Apr 02

Intro to “Life with Boys….”

 

Life with boys, where do I start, I guess I will start by saying that I have two rambunctious little boys. My oldest just turned 4 and the youngest is 16 months. My first was so active as a baby and a toddler that I have to be honest…..when I found out I was having another boy I didn’t know what to think. I think the best way to describe it would be to say that I was nervous or afraid of what I was getting myself into. I was thinking, “Lord, I can’t handle the one boy I have now, how on earth will I handle two of these crazy things????” But at the same time, I was always a bit of a “tomboy” and loved the idea of two active, fun little boys, which would hopefully grow up to be great friends.

IVF success stories

Life with BOYS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although my four year old has calmed down a bit from the active toddler that he was, he is still full of life, energetic, demanding, and can still be a real handful at times. When the second one came around we were convinced he was going to be the laid back, “easy” one…… This lasted about 7 months. Until he started crawling, sitting, etc……basically until he discovered how awesome it was to get into everything!!!!!!!!!!!!! Once he started crawling, he also started climbing, he is a climber. If you don’t know what I mean by “a climber”, then you probably don’t have one. My oldest, as active as he was, was actually not a climber. He was fully capable of climbing onto anything; it just wasn’t his first choice of things to do. The little one on the other hand, loves to climb everything, and he is good at it! If I turn my head for about 30 seconds, I can bet that he has ran into the kitchen and is standing on the table! This started when he was about 11 months old, as soon as he could walk. But I don’t know why I am so surprised by the climbing considering we were calling him “little Houdini” from the time he was about 6 or 7 months old. He was always getting out of things…..high chairs, car seats, the stroller, you name it. So the little “laid back, sweet one” has turned into being every bit as much as a handful as the older one was, maybe even more at times! Although he is sweet natured, he is also extremely head strong / stubborn ( I never realized sweet and stubborn could go hand in hand, but now I know they do).

 

Life with boys

I hate to even share this because it makes me feel like a less than wonderful mother, but I know I am not the only mom to have something like this happen…….My little one was about 7 months old, it was summer, and my oldest was 3 and ½ years old and just learning to go under water (something he had been terrified of just a few short weeks before). I unstrapped the little one from his stroller and was about to get him out. My oldest was already in the pool, at the steps (in very shallow water), and was practicing his new skill of going under water. All the sudden I heard my oldest struggling in the water, he had walked out a couple steps where he could still touch, but it was much deeper, and he was panicked. The steps were only maybe 5 yds away from where I was standing, about to get the little one out. Instinctively I ran to the oldest to help him (as soon as I started his direction a little boy, about ten, pulled him in a few feet to where he could stand easier), just a few feet away from the stroller it dawned on me that I had left the little one in his car seat hooked into the stroller, UNSTRAPPED. I immediately turned back to him and he was already standing up about to jump / fall head first out of the stroller. I don’t think I was away from him for more than maybe 2 seconds, but that was 2 too many! He fell head first onto the concrete. So now I have a 7 month old screaming with a huge not on his forehead and a 3 year sitting on the side of the pool screaming in horror that he thought he was drowning!!!!!!! Talk about feeling like the worst mom in the world! I was by myself and trying to comfort them both at the same time and worried to death that something serious would come of the fall. We went to the doctor and he stopped crying very quickly (in fact the “big boy” cried longer than the baby that just nose dived into the concrete). This is such a perfect example of taking care of two boys (or two little ones in general) and the chaos of just another day.

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This post has led in a different direction than I had intended. I meant to just talk about what it was like to raise two little boys, but have gotten carried away telling stories! I think I will go ahead and stop here before it gets even longer…….I do plan on writing more post about “Life with Boys…” so I hope you will tune back in again for the next ones, even if you have girls, I’m sure much of what I talk about can apply to either.

Mar 26

Oldest Just Turned 4!!

Where has the time gone??????  It seems like just yesterday that we were wondering if we would ever go on to have children and now we just celebrated our oldest little boy’s 4th d-day!  He is absolutely obsessed with dinosaurs, so it was a given that we would have a dinosaur party for him.  I usually just do a simple sheet cake from wal-mart, but I had seen a dinosaur cake on pinterest and just loved it!  So, I decided to ask around and see just how much it would cost me.  There is one really popular bakery in the area, called the “Cake Lady”, that I called first.  She wanted to charge me $325 for it!!!  Ya right…..I ended up finding a very nice lady that does baking on the side, who was willing to do it for a VERY reasonable price.  She did an excellent job!!!!!!!!  I just had to share it…….

 

dinosaur cake cropped

 

If you are looking for some one in the League City, Tx area she is awesome…..you can find her on Facebook under “Lisa Leonard Alexander”.

 

He loved his cake, and everything about his party.  It was even more extra special because he had cousins and his Aunt come in from out of town….as a surprise.  Since he doesn’t have a bunch of friends yet, it was just family, we played at a park, opened presents and my husband cooked out.  You don’t have to do anything too exciting to please them at this young age, and this was really enjoyable for the adults as well!

If you are still trying for your miracle children, please do not give up!  If it can happen for us, it can happen for you too.

Hope y’all don’t mind me sharing some party pics…….

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ty bday

Mar 06

New Direction…..

So, I have been considering starting a new blog, even though I have been MIA from this one for a while now.  This blog is special to me because it is an online journal of our journey to becoming parents.  My problem is that every time I think of a topic for a blog post I realize that it is really more about our life now, and not really an “infertility post”.  I want to continue to blog, and do not want to give up blogging about fertility.  But I honestly don’t think I can keep two blogs up to date…..(I’m not even keeping up with this one like I should)!

Infertility success

So I have come to the conclusion that I will just convert this blog.  I will still be blogging about infertility, but I am going to stop being afraid to add other topics in as well.  This means you will be seeing more pics of our kids and hear me talk more about day to day mom stuff.  I hope this doesn’t offend anyone or push anyone away from my blog.  I know how hard it is to hear about other people’s “normal lives” while you are going through infertility.  Please just know that we are a walking, living success story…..  We went through many ups and downs: IVF’s, FET’s and miscarriages before ever starting our family.  So I hope instead of scaring some of you away, you will stick around and see that you can go on to have that happy healthy family you are dreaming of.  If we can go on to have two little ones, I believe that anyone can!  Please do NOT give up.eping this one up to date like I would like to).

I guess I am trying to say that I am going to slowly convert this blog from an infertility blog, to more of a mom blog with a variety of topics including fertility.

If you have not yet read our infertility story, please do so, I hope you will be inspired.  To those of you still trying to start your family, please do not give up….there is hope!

Dec 16

Christmas Time!

It’s that time of year again…..the holidays are in full force, and I know this time can be very hard for some.  Even though the holidays are usually full of family tradition and happy times, “normal” people don’t understand that seeing so many happy little kids, new moms, all the holiday pics, etc can be really hard for families still struggling through IVF.

Please know that your time is coming.  We were in your shoes for many years……five years to be exact.  We were trying to have kids and it just would not happen, no matter what how hard we tried, what procedure we did, or how much money we spent.  We still went one year to the next as a couple, not a family.

It’s not that you aren’t appreciative for what you do have, it is just that you are lacking one big piece to the puzzle.  This is something that a lot of people have a very hard time understanding.  That’s why they say things like ……….

…..”if you just stop trying so hard, it will happen”

…..”just relax, it will happen when it is time”

…..”I’m pregnant…. we weren’t even trying” (from someone who    already has two kids that they “weren’t trying” for)

…..”just get drunk, it worked for us!”

These people don’t mean anything negative, they just don’t know the right thing to say.  Plus, they just can’t relate, even if they wanted to.

Just know that you are not alone in your feelings, and that there is nothing wrong with them.  I have always had pretty thick skin and these things never bothered me that much.  I think I just understood that it was ignorance, not them being insensitive.

I also found that being extremely honest could shut them up in a hurry.  For example, if they say something like ….. “just stop trying and it will happen….” I would respond something like… “we were just “not trying” for four years and nothing ever happened, not even a pregnancy scare!”  And usually they would get quiet pretty quick.  Or if they would say something like…..”will y’all be starting a family soon?”  I would say…. “it isn’t that easy for us, we have already spent thousands and gone through numerous miscarriages.”  This turns the uncomfort level immediatly on them.  I know some of you would never feel comfortable responding this way, but it worked for me.  Not only did it change the subject but I also felt it taught some people a lesson and even gave me opportunities to educate people about infertility.

I am really just writing this post to tell everyone Merry Christmas and that there ARE others out there that know just how you feel during these times.  Hope you can appreciate the blessings you have and know that it will be your time soon.  Merry Christmas!

 

Nov 19

Little Boy’s First B-Day!

bday6We just celebrated our little one’s first b-day this past weekend. It was a great weekend with family. Don’t really have many friends with little ones, so it was really just close family members.  It was so nice to have both of our families together, we don’t get to enjoy that very often!

He is so quickly coming into his little personality; he is very sweet and VERY mischevious at the same time. We have our hands full with him and big brother, but I know that we could not have been more blessed.

No matter how far removed we are from IVF I will always know how lucky and blessed we are to be parents. I know there are still so many of you out there struggling to make it through the hard times. It will pay off in the end. I share my story in hopes that it will encourage some of you to continue trying. We could have easily given up long before we had a baby of our own, but we didn’t and now we are a family of four! I hope y’all don’t mind me sharing some pics of my little one on his first b-day……….

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Nov 05

MIA …. Again

So, I know I have been neglected the IVF world lately.  Have not been updating the blog, going to IVF forums or anything.  Don’t really have a good excuse…. other than raising two little boys and having a full time job, doesn’t leave for much time left over! But I am looking forward to getting back to it. No matter how many years go by, I will always be a part of the infertility world. 5 years worth of infertility never gets erased from your mind.

I plan to continue to write about fertility issues and anything related to making babies, but I am also going to have post from our day to day life as well. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone….I want the infertility world to see that no matter what you go through, you can go on to have a happy, healthy family.

Our newest addition is about to turn one year old already! I can’t believe how quickly time flies with little ones. It seems as though the koby drawerwait to have children could not have gone any slower, but now that they are here, time flies. He is already walking and into everything! I thought my oldest was a hand full (he really is), I think the baby is going to be even worse. But….I am not complaining, I know just how lucky we are to have these two little miracles.

 

 

Please visit our IVF success story if you have not already read about our journey to parenthood.

Here are some recent pics of the boys, just being boys!  Sorry the quality stinks, most of them are phone pics.

ty koby kitchen

 

tykoby milk

May 14

Mother’s Day Blues

I know Mother’s Day is past now, but I just wanted you to know that there are people out there that understand your Mother’s Day blues!  Having to face Holidays, especially one specifically designed around Mom’s, can be really tough when going through infertility.  Just wanted you to know that you are not alone, and that your time is coming!!

This is my third mother’s day as a mom, but I will never forget how it felt to want to be able to celebrate the day, and not know if I would ever have the chance.  I was optimistic that it would eventually be my turn, but you can’t help getting discouraged when year after year you still don’t have a family.

I don’t know why we had to wait, and wait, and wait to start our family when others started it before even wanting to.  But I do know that whatever the reason was it was worth it!!!  I can’t imagine our family being any different at this point.  If one of those three babies we miscarried would have made it, then we would not have our two boys.  For this reason, I can now appreciate those years that we waited.

I hope my story can encourage some of you to not give up and to keep pressing forward.  Keep in mind that it will be your time one day….I hope that day comes as quick as possible for you!

I can’t help but want to share a pic of our family with you.  I hope all of you can appreciate that I am only sharing it to encourage you, not at all to hurt anyone.  Please feel free to share your thoughts / feelings about mothers day.  It is so helpful to hear that others have similar feelings.

family pic

 

Mar 28

Sonia’s “Rescue ICSI” IVF Success Story

As you all know, I have been around the infertility world for quite some time now, and until a few weeks ago I had never heard of a “rescue ICSI / IVF”.  While viewing one of the IVF forums I read regularly I came across someone’s post about rescue IVF.  One of the ladies responded with her success story and was nice enough to share with us as well.  For those of you searching for info on rescue ICSI, I think her story will be very encouraging!!  Thanks again for sharing Sonia :) .

Sonia’s IVF Success Story:

1. How long were you trying to conceive and what methods did you use?

We were trying to conceive for 21 months. 8 month naturally and 13 months on medicated cycles.

  1. What methods did you use throughout your fertility journey?

You name it we did it. We started with just Clomid. Then Clomid with IUI, then Clomid and some other drugs with IUI, then more IUI, then finally moved on to IVF.

  1. Did you do anything to increase your chances? (acupuncture, certain diet…etc.)

I tried anything and everything to increase my chances. I did acupuncture once a week for 3 months prior to starting my IVF cycle with an acupuncturist who’s specialized in fertility. This included lots of herbs prior to starting the medicated cycle. I did yoga, I did a lot of deep breathing exercises to relax. I went to a therapist once a week so I can clear my head and be mentally ok and process all this IVF craziness. I put together a chart of food groups I should concentrate on and eat after googling and reading thru people’s suggestions for increasing my odds. Took Royal Jelly (for egg quality), added buckwheat and wheat germ, almonds, walnuts, kefir, lots of berries, eggs, chick peas, avocado, flax oil, green shakes and green tea, and basically followed the fertility diet Food pyramidfood pyramid which I feel helped me:

 

4.Please share details of your fertility journey. (bfn’s, miscarriages, how you got through the hard times… etc)

Every month I held on to hope that it would be our lucky month. But every month I got a BFN, didn’t even come close to a positive pregnancy. My husband was super supportive and like everything in my life, once I put my mind to something I go full force and don’t stop until I reach my goal. I was always very sad when friends and family members announced they were expecting and I thru a  pity party for myself, but I didn’t dwell on it for too long and just refocused that negative energy to positive vibes towards my goal of having our own baby.

Once we started our first IVF cycle, I was so positive it would work for us. We got 5 eggs on retrieval day and I was so excited for that phone call from the embryologist the next day to see how many fertilized. Well I was in total and udder shock when she called to say that NONE of the eggs fertilized. I didn’t understand. I didn’t even contemplate this being an option for us. We were both “perfectly fine” according to our RE. Unexplained was our diagnosis. And now, after all this time, we’ve come to find out that our issue was fertilization.

The embryologist asked if they could perform rescue ICSI and of course I just said yes, although I had no idea what ICSI or a rescue ICSI was. She explained that the chances of success were very low but at least they would try. Obviously I went straight to my best friend google and started looking for answers as to why this would happen, and wanted to find success stories to give me any hope for the next 24hrs. I couldn’t find anything positive. Some dr’s don’t even perform rescue icsi due to the low success rate. At that point, I threw in the towel and felt it was all over for us. After all this time, we finally had our answer of why we couldn’t conceive, fertilization issues.

The embryologist called back the next morning to say that 4 out of 5 fertilized and I was to come in for a 2-day transfer the next day. 2 days sounded very short compared to the 5 day blast success stories I’d been reading about on the forums. The RE said that the embryo was better off growing in its natural environment to give it the best chance of success.

Well he was right. A few days after our transfer, I was sitting at work and felt a very sharp but quick pain on my right side. I just sat there and new that was implantation. I was so sure I was pregnant I didn’t even POAS for fear that it was defective. 13dp2dt – Beta was in at 346. 9 months later, our beautiful and perfect baby boy was born weighing at 7 pounds 8 ounces 2 weeks early via c-section.

What a roller coast ride of emotions. But worth every minute of it when I look at him.  We are will use our frozen embie from that rescue ICSI cycle and hope one will make a sibling for our little guy one day.

Thanks again for sharing Sonia….I know there are many people out there that will get some comfort in hearing your story.  Wishing you luck at your attempt for a sibling!!!  Hope you will come back and update your story in the future :) .

Click to read more IVF Success Stories!!!

Mar 25

Top Ten Ways Infertility….

….changed our lives.  We started trying for a baby when I was about 22 years old. Little did I know that infertility would change our lives. It sounds a little dramatic to say “it changed our lives”, but in many ways it did! At the time I was still finishing up school and can actually remember thinking, “I hope I don’t get pregnant right away….I would like to finish up school first”, I guess I should have been careful what I wished for. Not only did I get to finish school, but I got about 4 years of my career under my belt before we finally went on to start our family.

Here are the top ten ways infertility changed our lives:

boys blue 1.) The main way that infertility has changed our lives is that, in the end, it gave us two beautiful children to show for all the heartache. I wanted to start here to say that no matter what you are going through, all the struggles are worth it in the end! If one or two of our miscarriages would not have happened, our boys would not be here…..I truly believe they are the children we were meant to have. It may seem like a cruel way for God to give us the children we were meant to raise, but they are here now and that is all that really matters!! If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t want it to be any different.

 

2.) Some may argue that this next one is not true…..and I am not doubting the parenting of any non-infertile couples. But I cannot help but think that we are better parents because of infertility. Of course we are not perfect, no where close to it, but I think we really appreciate being parents and what a gift it is to have our two little miracle boys.

 

3.) I became a part of a community that I will always feel linked to. Before infertility I never did anything “social” on the computer…..probably did not even know what a forum or blog was:)! Now I am sitting here writing a blog post for my viewers. I also still post on the forums that helped get me through the hard times. Although we are through our struggles, I will always be a part of the “infertility world”.

 

4.) Not now, but for a while, I would not hold other people’s babies. I never really thought to myself, “I can’t hold a baby”, but at some point I realized that when others would offer to hold babies I never would. I am a pretty strong person and honestly never felt any jealousy over other people having children (although a lot of women do, so don’t feel bad if you are one of them)…..I just had no desire to hold a baby. I think it was my weird way of protecting myself from possibly feeling empty for not having a baby of my own.

 

5.) I completely lost my summers! We are both teachers, so we always did IVF during the summer. With my RE that meant giving up my summer completely. I had to be in the office three times a week to draw blood and do ultrasounds, so no going out of town. I was told no lifting anything heavier than half a gallon of milk, no swimming, no sex, etc. So…basically I had to sit at home, waiting for my next appointment, so I could obsess over the numbers.

 

6.) This may be a bit of an excuse, but I feel like infertility really helped me to get out of shape. I was always an athlete growing up and really enjoy feeling like I am in shape. When we first started IVF I had been doing pretty good working out at the school’s faculty weight room. Of course I was told nothing other than walking, so I had to quit. I know that IVF only takes about a month but when you are starting and stopping procedures over and over, it seems like one big long marathon IVF! Also, we ended up pregnant three times (before finally getting pregnant with our first born son), so the restrictions were carried until the miscarriage would occur. Only making a non-successful cycle that much longer!!

 

ivf success stories7.) I became a pro at injecting myself. For a while I felt like a real junkie….shooting up in my car, storing meds in a friends fridge, even having to ask a good friend to inject me! At first I only did the shots in the stomach and hubby did the ones in the butt, but after soo many cycles I got to the point where I could even do the PIO shots with ease. To this day the smell of an alcohol swab triggers memories of injections. I am sure y’all can relate to this!!

 

8.) Sex Life. Need I say more? At first all the restrictions did not mess us up too bad, but eventually having to hold back from having sex for months at a time really screwed us up. I think this is very normal for infertility to screw up your sex life….for many different reasons. It took a while to get back to normal, but I am happy to say that we are. If you are still having trouble in this area…..it will get better!

 

th_money_stacks9.) Debt. I probably don’t need to elaborate much on this one. For those of you with IVF insurance (I’m jealous)….most of the rest of us have accumulated a lot (is that a big enough word) of debt trying to have our little miracles.

 

10.) I will never look at twins the same again. This one is on a lighter note, but if I see a pair of twins I automatically want to go up and ask the parents “are your little ones a result of fertility treatments….I understand what you went through :) ”. Of course I would never do that, but I honestly do see twins and automatically think infertility.

 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, if you would like to hear more from IVF Success Stories….please subscribe to blog. Infertility WILL change your life, but believe it or not you will be grateful for all the heartache in the end! Don’t give up….if we can go on to have two little miracle boys, you can too.  Please feel free to reply to this post!!  I always love to hear feedback and to know that there are others out there thinking the same things :) .

Feb 25

Progesterone Recall…

th_SyringeI came across a forum post this morning about a recall….just thought I would share.  It is not all progesterone, only if it says it came from “Village Fertility”.

There is one other drug as well.  If you think this may apply to you, here is the link to the recall: Waltham Fertility Recall

If you have any fertility questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me or reply to any of the post!!!

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