Infertility Grants — September 9, 2017

Infertility Grants

This week we’ll be talking about grant and funding options for infertility. I’m sure this is not something that one wants to read at 1am but I have so much on my mind that I have to write.

For instance, I’m wondering how this is going to get paid for. Like most couples going through this (unless you are rich) the money can be hard to save. Not only do you have your monthly bills to pay for but you also have to save for this HUGE expense. And don’t get me wrong I’m not saying paying for a baby isn’t worth every single penny we have spent and are spending, it’s just well… hard. I don’t want to put the exact amount out there but if you do the research you’ll come to find out IVF is the cost of some pretty nice cars, a down payment on a house, or lots of money in your savings account.

Another thought: what if we can’t come up with the money and we can’t receive treatment? This is hard. I will keep saying this is hard because it is. With how advanced my condition is we don’t have more than 2 years or so to have our babies. That means by the time I hit 30 I’ll most likely have to have a hysterectomy so the endometriosis can’t continue to grow. I think it’s important to go through IVF because I can’t have children naturally. I’ve gone through my story and won’t go through it again but when you have had one tube removed and one that is non-functioning it makes things more difficult.

One more thought: Holy shit there are grants! I had no idea there were fertility grants available for those going through infertility. I still have research to do about the organizations, what criteria they are looking for and what types of couples these organizations sponsor but I’d love to give every option a thought. From the little research I’ve done there are two grant options available that we can apply for. The other three or four have very specific listings like you have to live in a specific state or be of a specific religion. The two I plan on applying for are the Baby Quest Foundation’s grant and the Tininia Q Cade Foundation grant. Baby Quest helps up to $16,000 and Tininia Q. Cade foundation will help up to $10,000 per family. I know it’s probably a shot in the dark and we may not even receive help but I have to try.

Throughout this process we said we would do whatever it takes. If I have to sit down for a few hours and relive my college days of writing essays on why we should be chosen to receive a grant that’s what I’ll do. If I have to sell toothpaste until I’ve asked every single person I know if they’ll buy some I will. I am telling you the yearning I have to becoming a mother is a feeling I’ve never felt. There’s a passion that I can’t explain. I’m also scared. Scared that something will go wrong and my dreams will shatter. I’m afraid I’ll never get to hold my baby, someone I’m already in love with and they haven’t been created or held or kissed yet. I’m afraid I won’t hold little fingers moments after birth. And I’m most of afraid of letting myself down. Because the only thing I’ve ever wanted was to be a mother.

Until Next Time

xoxo

 

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Hello Friends! — August 25, 2017

Hello Friends!

It’s been SUCH a long time! So much has happened, yet time seems to stand still some days. I’m at a point in my journey where the pain is now chronic. If I don’t have a heating pad, ice pack or a comfortable place to sit I am very much in pain. Pain so much that it starts in my lower back and radiates up to my shoulders. I cramp randomly and I never know when they’ll happen. I don’t sleep because of the Lupron and am now seeking the help of a physical therapist.

For those that don’t know Depo-Lupron is a shot that stops a woman from having a period. I had it last year but don’t remember much of it because it was only one month doses. This time I got the 3 month dose. Lupron will force your reproductive system into menopause. You know all those times when your mom says “Is anybody else hot in here?” and you think okay you’re a little nuts… that has turned into me multiple times a day. I have hot flashes so bad it gets hard to breathe and I start sweating. There is nothing anyone can do I am supposed to be hitting a window where they will plateau. I’m hoping those moments are coming soon because I don’t want to relive this again 20-25 years. After this we’ll go through the IVF process. I am ready right now to start the process. I would start tomorrow if it were possible, however, we all know that unless you’re famous or just have a very well paying job, it takes time to save up the money for IVF. As I’ve stated before we have agreed to do whatever it takes to do this. I don’t think either of us have wanted something more in our lives.

I’m going through physical therapy because I can’t keep taking medications to help with the back pain. I am seeing a woman named Ellen and she is amazing! She knows about scar tissue and the damage it can cause to your organs. She explained to me that my lower abdominal muscles were extremely weak. She said my intestines were stuck in places it shouldn’t be and my pelvis is tilted all the way to my tailbone (ouch!). I have 30 sessions with her and she is hopeful we’ll be able to get my body in a better place. This will not only allow me to start working out again but it will be a better vessel to carry a baby(ies). Ellen knows about endometriosis and it’s effects on the female body. She has also an adoptive daughter. For me I really need to be able to connect to the staff at my doctor’s offices. At the IVF office I know one of the nurses and all the other women are so incredibly invested in us getting pregnant that I feel like I’ve connected with them. The staff Kettering Hospital is always great when I go there if I’m having a real bad flair up. And now Ellen. She was telling me about her journey through adoption and that it wasn’t easy but she now has this beautiful daughter whom she is very thankful for. I can already tell we’ll be laughing and healing at the same time!

Well, I think that’s all I have for now. I’m going to try to get some sleep but it looks nearly impossible at this point 😉 I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead of them and a GREAT National Fantasy Football Day on Saturday!

 

Until Next Time,

xoxo

My Mom Told Me to Stay off Facebook but… — July 25, 2017

My Mom Told Me to Stay off Facebook but…

Welcome to another late night post! The title of this blog is dedicated to my mommy. She saw that I got offended by a post going around social media. For those that haven’t seen the post it is an ultrasound of twins. People are posting that they’re pregnant only for the end of the caption to say we just wanted to say congrats to whomever is having these babies. It had been about the tenth time I saw the post and out of frustration I said it is really insensitive to post fake pregnancy announcements. Ya know, like the ones where everyone says they’re pregnant on April Fools Day, only for it to be a joke. Now after that I got feedback about my post, specifically from mommy. She said right now I’m too sensitive to be seeing things related to pregnancy so I should probably should stay away from social media. BUT we all know I have to play devil’s advocate here and now that I’m an adult I can (sometimes) go against what my mom says to do. (Although I could fail miserably while not taking her advice in the first place lol) She just understands what I’m going through, the serious amount of medication my body has undertaken over the last 18 months and the fact that it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. Anyway, I got some criticism saying that if we can’t find humor in some things then we’ll never be able to laugh at anything. So there are mixed reviews and my mom is just trying to protect me from getting my feelings hurt unintentionally by what one person posts. To be fair she is right. I’ve never experience a level of sensitivity like this. And for those who know me know I’ve always been a sensitive person but I feel like my emotions are a roller coaster. Not all days, but some days. There are days when I cry asking the universe why I’m not good enough for a baby. There are days when I’m angry or frustrated that I can’t get pregnant after 9 months of marriage. Then I just sit and wonder ‘why me’? I wonder if there is something I did in a past life to have to go through this now. Maybe it’s to make me appreciate the journey we are going on. AND speaking of journey’s, this Wednesday at 3pm I will be going to our IVF specialist for my Lupron shot! I have waited very anxiously to see what was going to happen. I’m so thankful for the nurses and Dr. Karnitis for doing everything they can to help us. From answering all my phone calls, voicemails, and seeing me when things seem to be a little less than urgent. I am blessed to have such an amazing support staff and although this shot is going to burn like hell it’s the very first step to take to get to IVF. This road is going to be long, expensive, and worth.every.penny. The day I get to create a life inside and hold my little baby Young for the first time will be amazing. I don’t even have words to describe that feeling now. All I can say is that feeling is a yearning. A yearning for someone I already know I love unconditionally. I have a yearning to hold them close to my skin, smell their sweet baby smell, all while delicately kissing each part of their face. Trying to become a mother is full of overwhelming, heartbreaking, hopelessness. But for us we can’t keep silent, even if people don’t understand. My goal is to just educate one person on how endometriosis can severely change the life of a young woman. So I’m sorry mom but I won’t be staying off Facebook because a message needs spread around the globe that women need more affordable healthcare for reproductive health. Infertility needs to be considered as a general service, instead of a specialty service that we no option but to pay out of pocket for. Infertility needs to be brought up because there are also women who can’t afford to seek treatment, therefore feeling lost. If I lose friends or lose supporters along the way through this, that’s on them. I’m on a mission and I Continue reading

Faith, Hope, Love — July 10, 2017

Faith, Hope, Love

1 John 5:14 He heard her.  And not only that, but in due time, He will answer.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about our journey through infertility. I have all the faith in the world that what is supposed to happen will happen. But I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t want to have a super power to see the future. Having faith in the universe is what keeps me going. The faith my husband puts, not only on me but our marriage and hoping one day things will be okay. This brings me to my next word: Hope. I remember talking with dad about what the progress is and what it means for us. For those not in the inner circle there are a lot things I have to explain because it’s all quite confusing. I had called my dad just needing to talk to him, get his advice. He said something that stayed with me. He said ” The worst thing to have is hope”. Now for most people you’re probably thinking “what in the world?” or “why would he say that?”. I understood immediately what he meant. Russell and I had just had our first IUI at this point and I was in that dreaded two week wait period. That’s when my dad said hope is the worst thing to have because you can get let down so easily. Take for example, about 3 months ago I gave myself the trigger shot to release an egg and we were to try on our own. Once we were waiting for what could happen I was already rearranging the bedrooms and daydreaming of what a nursery would look like. I went and got paint samples to see what would look best in a gender neutral room. I cleared out the office to make room for a baby crib, glider, functional yet usable pieces of furniture, a dresser with changing table and dreamed of the decor for the room, and I didn’t know if a baby had been created or not. Two weeks later we all know what happened… Aunt Flo decided to show up shattering my dreams. The next month was our IUI and the same shattering dreams, pit in the bottom of my stomach feeling came over me. The constant throughout all of this has been love. Love from my husband. Love from my family. Love from my friends. Love from people trying to understand what endometriosis is and askin questions so they understand. Love from some of the best co-workers a girl could ask for. Love has shown me that it can be hard, real hard. It can be stressful, it can be heart breaking. But in those heartbreaking moments I try to find the light. Without the love from everyone I would be lost. For example, I saw a woman who had to be about 8 months pregnant today. I waited on her and her family and I kept catching myself starring at her belly, wondering if I’ll ever get to experience that feeling. The feeling of life growing inside you but also that undeniable connection between a mother and her baby. Will I get to kiss a little newborn baby’s face and watch them grow from little babies all the way up to becoming an adult? I don’t know the answers to those questions. But I continue to have hope. Hope that one day someone will call me ‘mommy’. In the meantime I have to realize things happen when they’re supposed to and that each person’s journey will vary greatly.

As usual, please feel free to prayer, send positive vibes, and hope that one day Baby Young will make an appearance!

Until Next Time

xoxo

Endo Update — June 28, 2017

Endo Update

So I went to see Dr. Karnitis at Kettering Hospital today. It was a routine ultrasound because I’ve been having a lot of pain in my lower back and pelvic area. Like so much so that I cried on Sunday and had to leave an event early. So thankful to say everything looks great. My ovary (or what remains) has several follicles on it, which in and of itself is amazing! My uterus looks great and has a nice thick lining. Basically, Dr. Karnitis says my body is at it’s peak for holding a baby. However, the road to getting there is going to be more difficult than we thought this entire time. So let me give you a little insight as to what has happened. For a while I wanted to stay private and go through this with my husband and family but then that became a lot and I just started not talking about our journey. BUT, I need an outlet and I feel like this is a really good outlet for me.

When Russell and I first met Dr. Karnitis, we were going over my previous surgery notes. Again, he was so shocked that I’d had that much surgery in such a short amount of time. Then he started talking about my AMH levels. I’d never heard of that and I’m assuming you haven’t either. AMH is a hormone that your body, more specifically for a woman it’s in her ovaries. Your AMH level is going to tell a doctor at what percentage you are able to conceive. What I didn’t realize is my AMH level is at a 0.1. This means my reproductive system functions at the level of a woman who is 42 or older. For a woman my age my AMH should be 1.1-3.2. So this means I have less than a 5% chance of conceiving on my own.  This part of the blog is important for what I’m leading into.

Today, I wanted to talk about surgery #5. When it would happen, if it would happen. Dr. Karnitis and I are on different pages with what is best but I am going to go his route first. (He is very insistent that we are doing no more surgery but we may have to resort to that) We have decided to go with pain medication to help me be more comfortable. I can’t tell you all how hard the last few weeks have been. I can’t function. I can barely function at work but have to pretend I can do things because my bosses have been more than understanding throughout this entire process. We have also decided that I am going to do 3 months of Lupron to quiet my system so the inflammation won’t cause as much pain. The down side is the amount of hot flashes but if the medication works then I’ll take hot flashes over unbearable pain any day.  Also, it is his belief that my tube is officially non-functioning. He says with the IUI we attempted last month and the fertility meds we’ve tried I should have been able to conceive but if my tube isn’t working that explains alot. Which means there’s only one way to have a baby…. IVF. If/When we go down this road we have already decided to freeze some embryos that way we know we’ll be able to have more than one child. It won’t be easy and it will be expensive but I won’t give up.

So here’s what I need from my friends and family. I need you to pray, send positive vibes, whatever it is you do to the universe or the deity in which you believe. I need this Lupron shot more than ever and IF insurance does not cover it I will continue to be in pain. By the way EVERYONE needs to write their Senator about this healthcare bill because women like me will loose their insurance because I have several pre-existing conditions. Anyway, if we have to pay out of pocket for Lupron (which would be a 3 month dosage) it would be $4,030.99. Yes, you read that right. Over $4,000…which if I haven’t mentioned I don’t have. So we have some decisions to make. I am hoping my insurance company will pay for this medication, I can be comfortable and we can make a serious plan of action. I know two women who have been in my shoes and I read the blogs and follow other infertile women on social media. They give me hope. They make me cry along with them. I know their struggle. I feel their yearning to become a mother. Just last night I was in so much pain I was crying and telling Russell it isn’t fair that he has a partner who can’t conceive a baby. A partner who is a failure. I feel guilt. I feel lost. He has never waivered when it comes to our journey. He says he wouldn’t choose anyone else to be his wife and that no matter what we have each other.  His reassurance gives me peace of mind and lets me know I just need to take things one day at a time.

Well there’s your endo update! There are  few blogs I didn’t share on social media so if you want to check those out they are down below!!

Until Next Time

xoxoxo