Friday, May 13, 2016

Monitoring #1

The estrogen is really wearing me down this time around. Not to mention all the triggers in every direction I turn. This morning's ultrasound was in the same room we ran to during our Week 6 Bleeding Scare with Rosa & Robin. I can't seem to make it through an hour without tearing up. It's been tough, but I'm doing my best to hang in there.

My lining is slowly and steadily coming along. It measured at 6.3mm Type II today. My ovaries are being a bit obnoxious, albeit harmless, with a 22mm hemorrhagic cyst on my right and 33 follicles less than 10mm. That many follicles is ironic for a lady with a DOR diagnosis.

My estrogen is at 128, progesterone 0.3, I return on Wednesday for more monitoring, and increase the estradiol to 2mg three times a day.

The anxiety is pretty elevated. I was a little rattled waiting for my nurse to call... by 3:00pm I started thinking my doctor would call me to tell me that I was getting canceled. That's just the paranoia thanks to my history talking. My nurse called at 4:00pm, and said everything looks great. I don't feel great.

I also realized that if things go along as we're hoping, then I will be PUPO on Rosa's birthday. I can't possibly describe the flood of emotions that comes along with that realization. I think about it, and my eyes well up (which is, again, ironic for a lady with a Sjögren's diagnosis).

I am obsessed with P!NK's song Beam Me Up and have been playing it on my guitar. It always makes me feel better to sing to my girl, even if it gets broken up with tears. I just miss her. I really hope that she's looking out for her siblings.

I really hope that now is the time to make her a big sister.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Here we go again! My baseline appointment was on Monday, CD3, and went very well. Hormones were low, ovaries were quiet & lining was thin. Let's do this!!

I wish I could just let the enthusiasm and excitement take over, but there is anxiety and fear mixed in there too. I'm on 2mg oral estradiol twice a day... That is definitely cranking up the anxiety. Today, I noticed a bit more than usual hair loss. Am I just being paranoid? Am I subconsciously trying to sabotage the cycle before it even gets started? Or am I being proactive? I called my nurse to ask for my thyroid blood work to be added to the order at Friday's monitoring appointment. Better to check and be safe. 

I miss my baby girl. I just miss her so much. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

What are you wishing for?

Today is International Bereaved Mother's Day. I made an announcement during church to spread awareness, and to ask the congregation to keep all bereaved mothers in their thoughts and prayers. Father Bruce thanked me after mass and asked me to continue advocating. 

We went to the cemetery like we always do after mass. It was gloomy and raining, as I spoke a few words to my baby girl & her twin. They made me a mother. I held them in my womb, and gave birth to my darling Rosa 11 months ago. I will never forget the time we spent together and the bonds we formed in those short months. 

There was a lone wish flower to the left of Rosa & Robin's plot. I asked them, "What are you wishing for?" In my heart, they responded, "I'm wishing for you. For my brother. For my sister." I have faith that they are looking down on us all from heaven. They are guarding us and protecting us. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Monitoring #4 and #5

I'm just going to cut to the chase: CANCELED. My lining started to break down, so my doctor canceled the cycle. She said that she's not 100% sure that it's bad, but wouldn't want to throw an embryo in there unless she was 100% sure it was good. I'm taking seven days of Provera, will get a period, and then start again with the next CD1. Next time, we won't push so long with the estrogen phase. As soon as my lining is ready, we will go onto the next phase.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monitoring #2 and #3

Monitoring #2 was on Tuesday, April 19 (CD13). My lining measured at 9.6mm, Type I (squee!!), both ovaries were quiet with 15 follicles on the right and 16 follicles on the left, and my estrogen was 1,265. My instructions were to continue with 2mg Estradiol vaginally twice a day and return for monitoring on Friday. My transfer had to be rescheduled to two days later due to Dr. S's schedule. Two more days?!?! Awwww man!!! It's fine, but obviously a bit of a bummer to have to wait even longer! I just want my ninja squirrel with me right now!!

Monitoring #3 was on Friday, April 22 (CD16). My lining measured 8.7mm, Type I, and both ovaries were quiet with 12 follicles on the right and 14 follicles on the left. I'm continuing with the Estradiol and returning for monitoring on Wednesday. I got my instructions for the progesterone phase and transfer. Squee!!

Here's the medication schedule for progesterone phase through beta:

Thursday 4/28 to Saturday 4/30
*6:00am   PIO 1ml (*Thursday only)
6:30am     Estradiol 2mg vaginal, Oral Meds (Plaquenil, PNV+supps, Doxycycline, Medrol)
7:00pm     Estradiol 2mg vaginal, Oral Meds (Plaquenil, Baby Aspirin, Doxycycline)
8:00pm     PIO 1ml 
Sunday 5/1 to Thursday 5/126:00am     Benadryl 25mg
7:00am     Estradiol 2mg vaginal, Oral Meds (Plaquenil, PNV+supps, Doxycycline, Medrol)
2:00pm     Benadryl 25mg
7:00pm     Estradiol 2mg vaginal, Oral Meds (Plaquenil, Baby Aspirin, Doxycycline)
8:00pm     PIO 1ml
10:00pm   Benadryl 25mg 
**Metrogel Monday 5/2 at bedtime
**Progesterone suppository Tuesday 5/3 at 11:00am
**Doxycycline and Medrol stops on Thursday 5/5
I feel excited and ready. I can't wait for PUPO Ninja Squirrel snuggles!! 8 days until transfer and counting!!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Monitoring #1

Today is CD9, and I'm on the estrogen phase of my FET cycle. My jaw dropped to the floor when the doctor told me my lining was Type I and 8.4mm during my ultrasound. I told him how that was the thickest my lining has ever, ever been. Then he measured again and said it was actually 9.5mm and "growing before our very eyes!" I couldn't help but to let a "holy shit" slip out! I was so surprised!!

My estrogen is 968 and my progesterone is 0.4. I am doubling my dose of Estradiol (2mg vaginally twice a day) and returning for monitoring on Tuesday. My transfer is scheduled with my doctor on Sunday, May 1st. I am SO EXCITED to meet one of my ninja squirrels. 15 days seems so far away!! How am I going to keep myself occupied until then?!

It has been a bit emotional around here. Partially because of the estrogen... but mainly because of the wounds from my losses and intense infertility history. From the time of Rosa's stillbirth to the time of our transfer, my womb will have been empty for eleven entire months... I just can't believe it's been that long. Last night, I had a wave of guilt overcome me thinking about another baby in Rosa & Robin's sacred space. The only place they knew life... How can I share that with another baby? I know that it's time to move forward, and I feel in my heart that Rosa and Robin would want us to be happy. They would want us to try for a sibling. And for the most part, I feel excited and ready. I just need to be true to my heart and feel what I'm feeling.

I miss you and love you, Rosa Kimberly and Robin Kay. Please look out for your brother/sister... best guardian angels out there <3


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Remembering Frostie Ninja

Today is the two year anniversary of Frostie Ninja's transfer. That little embryo held so much hope. I was at peace and completely in love while I was PUPO with him. I envision that he is waiting for me in heaven with Rosa, Robin, Brooke & Brian (the two embryos who were abnormal from our donor cycle). In my mind, when we are reunited, they won't have aged at all. My cousin will hand Rosa to me, and she will be a perfectly healthy little baby. I will finish my pregnancies in heaven with all of the embryos who tried but didn't make it here on earth. I am going to have thirty babies in heaven, and there will never be a shortage of help with all my loved ones surrounding me. All of my heavenly pregnancies will be healthy and happy and blissful. 

The daydreamer in me lives on, and Frostie Ninja's spirit does too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Today is CD6, and I just got the "all clear" from the doctors to start meds for my FET cycle!!

I went in this morning for Baseline 2.0. The first baseline appointment was on CD2, and even though my hormones were low, my lining was still too thick. It was a little bit of a gamble waiting until CD6 to get back for a rescan - if there had been any follicle growth then I wouldn't have been able to start meds - but with my trip this weekend today is the earliest I could get back. Today's appointment went very well!! My lining measured at 3.8mm, was a Type III, and both ovaries were quiet. The doctor said I'm ready to start medications, and I'll get a call from my nurse later this afternoon with instructions. Squee!

I put a call into my doctor to ask a question about my Lovenox start date. I'm going to take the prophylactic dose along with Baby Aspirin, but when to start is questionable. My MFM said to start Baby Aspirin two weeks prior to transfer, and Lovenox would not be necessary. My previous MFM recommended Lovenox and Baby Aspirin, but did not give a start date. My RE said that I could do both starting with a (hopeful) positive beta. I think I'd feel more comfortable starting them both two weeks prior to transfer just to be safe. 

From an emotional standpoint, I feel ready to start this cycle. I am astonished at my level of calm going into this. It has been ten long months since I gave birth to my darling Rosa, and fifteen long months since I said goodbye to Robin. It is time for them to have a (hopeful) earthly sibling. I have been dedicated to a daily meditation practice (103 day streak!!), and training for the two half marathons was the perfect way to keep my mind busy while riding out the bench. Last week's race with Rachel was a lot of fun, though my performance was hindered by a little cold I picked up at work. And it was pouring rain, so that made my cold even worse. This weekend's race was so awesome! I got to meet a lot of my internet friends who also ran the race or traveled for the meet-up. The training leading up to the races was exactly what I needed. It felt so good to run fast and chase an aggressive goal, even if I didn't achieve it on race day. 

Monday, April 4, 2016


CD1 should be coming along soon, and I am feeling especially sappy tonight. I must have cried at least four times while watching DWTS (love that show!! So much passion!!). And now I'm laying here before bed thinking and breathing... And tearing up?! All signs point to hormones pulling all the stops! 

It's alright. Once CD1 is here, I'll call my nurse and we'll get on with our FET. It has been 10 months since I birthed my beautiful, still daughter. When her little body came out of mine, I felt empty in every way. My uterus, my heart, my soul... She took them all to heaven with her, and I was a broken shell of my old self. And like a butterfly, I went through a magnificent transformation. Somehow, I came out of the darkness as a better, more whole person. It was brutal and painful and dark and grueling. And it still hurts everyday to think about it all. I miss my babies so, very much. I could never put into words how isolating and deafening the pain was. Is. Sometimes, I step back and wonder how I endured it all... Was that really me who went through all of that?

I am looking forward to my next cycle. I simply cannot wait to meet my precious little ninja squirrel. I am so hopeful that s/he will make it into our arms. I have faith that his/her big brother and sister will guide us all. S/he truly has the best guardian angels in all of existence. 

And there go the tears again!

I ran a half marathon with my best friend this past weekend. It was awesome! The opportunity to spend the past few months doing the thing I love with the support of the people I love... It's beautiful! I have one more race this upcoming weekend before I hang up my racing shoes for what I hope will be a happy & healthy nine months. I am looking forward to meeting up with some long lost internet friends for the first time too!!

And one last thing: I made a promise to share a picture of the artwork created by my little sister. Here it is... It is so special to me. And breathtaking. I just love it!! 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Rosa's Rose

**trigger/tissue warnings**

Well, I just ugly cried at Micheal's. 

My sister is a talented artist, so I gave her one of the handprints Rosa made at the hospital. She drew a gorgeous pink rose, used the green handprint as a leaf on the rose, and wrote out Rosa's full name in fancy script. It is breathtaking, and it was her Christmas gift to us this year. I cried on Christmas Day when I opened the gift, and have been waiting for a sale so we could get it custom framed (expensive!!!). There's a 60%+20% going on at Michael's this week, so I jumped on it.
I did a little shopping before heading back to the framing counter. I wanted colored pencils for my coloring book, and wanted to get a gift for my niece's birthday. I passed by the aisle with memory books... the baby books were on sale. Deep sigh.
After I got everything I was looking for, I went back to the framing counter. The young lady at the desk was very nice and helpful. I showed her the artwork, and she helped me to pick out a few options. As she was pulling samples, my eyes locked onto the artwork. I could not control myself... The tears just started flowing at the sight of the gorgeous piece. And the thought that this is my reality for Rosa. I don't get to fill a baby book for her... I get to make memorial pieces and mount them in fancy frames. I should be, and am, thankful that I have this beautiful piece of art... But it's just not enough sometimes. I want her. I want Rosa. I want to stroke her soft cheeks, and trace a heart on her face with my finger like I did at the hospital. I want to see that face grow up, and light up with a smile. It's just so, tragically, heartbreakingly unfair.

The framed artwork is going to be magnificent. I picked out the most perfect frame and had it triple matted. Even with the sale, the whole thing cost $260. I don't care about the dollar amount, though wouldn't it be nice to spend it on diapers instead? Sigh. I miss her. I will post a picture of the finished piece when it comes in on February 26th.

God's Delay is Not God's Denial

Good morning, Blog Stalkers :)

I had my surgical hysteroscopy yesterday with Dr. B. All things considered, it went well. My septum was resected, and I had a D&C. I was anticipating a 4 week recovery to heal my lining, but woke up in disbelief and tears asking the nurse if it was true that Dr. B said two months. I don't remember speaking with him, but she confirmed that was indeed what he said. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. Another delay!! It's just so hard to be patient after going through everything that we have. 

When they moved me into the second recovery room, my husband joined me and without saying a word, he already knew how I felt about the two month recovery time. He is bummed too. He told me about his conversation with Dr. B, and showed me the pictures from my surgery. The reason for the additional time is because the section where the septum was removed is supposed to be smooth. It's not; the texture is fibrous and rough. So he is recommending two cycles before we proceed with our FET. 

I sulked the rest of the day, and woke up feeling better. I still have some moderate bleeding and cramping, but nothing out of the norm. I did have a strange reaction to either the anesthesia, my autoimmune system being in shock, or anxiety. Starting about 10:00 last night, I had tingling in my hands, arms, feet, and legs. It has eased up, but I still feel it in my feet. I will tell my RE or my nurse when she calls today, and I'll tell my rheumatologist at my appointment on Tuesday. Weird!! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snow Day Tears

**possible tissue warning***

My husband & I were eating lunch and talking about the snow storm. We are snowed in, not a plow in sight, and it's still coming down hard. Good thing we have nowhere to be! We are enjoying a warm, cozy day inside relaxing, cooking, and coloring. The conversation was light and merry until he brought up the snow storm from March 5th... and then the flood gates opened up for both of us. 

March 5, 2015 was the beginning of the end for our dear, sweet Rosa. It goes down in my personal history book as one of the worst days of my life. It was two days before my birthday, the snow/rain storm caused flooding in my house, and we were first learning of Rosa's fatal diagnosis. 

All it took was one little mention of that storm to bring back all of the horrible memories that we've both been holding in... 

How I miss my darling Rosa & Robin. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Thaw, Biopsy, Refreeze

Our four little ninja squirrels were thawed, biopsied, and refrozen today. Dr. S said they did beautifully, and all four survived. Now we wait about two weeks for results. PRAYERS!!!!!!

Dr. S also said that she looked over my films from my hysteroscopy and saline sonograms. She and another doctor discussed my case and decided it would be best for me to have another hysteroscopy to have my septum resected. She said that she's being overly cautious and that there's a chance that they'll get in there and decide to leave it. Given our history, she is being extra thorough to make sure there are no stones left unturned. Fine by me! Make sure everything is perfect before we give it another go! 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Getting Ready

I'm happy to say that I'm in a good place these days. It hasn't been easy, but with a lot of dedication to my self-care & sleep hygiene, my anxiety, depression and insomnia have been under control. Dare I say that I've felt "normal" and like my old self lately? Maybe that's not entirely true, losing Rosa & Robin has changed me. They made me a better person, and the old Cici is never coming back. I miss them so much, and think about them everyday. 

I have been meditating daily with the Calm app. It's really great & I highly recommend it! I have also been coloring, making daily entries in my gratitude journal, praying, running, reading, and doing yoga. It's a lot of work to keep myself balanced, but it is worth it!

My first week back at work was a success. Even with four doctor appointments scheduled, I was able to keep my stress level under control. I felt a little blue on Tuesday, but I managed to complete my tasks for the day. I went for a run after work and rang the bell at my church. I have no idea why the bell is there, but my husband and I have made it part of our Sunday ritual to ring it twice after mass. One ring for Rosa, and one ring for Robin. 

Now about those doctor appointments: my rheumatologist gave me clearance to do my FET cycle. The prednisone did a good job of getting my blood work back in line. She said that now that the Sjögren's and (possible) lupus are well controlled, it's a good time to get pregnant. Fingers firmly crossed!!

We had our preconception consultation with our new MFM. It was a very emotionally draining appointment. I cried through more than half our time with the doctor. It was so upsetting to hear his explanation of Rosa's fetal demise. We were grateful that he took the time to explain it to us, and now have a better understanding of why she died. But, oh my aching heart, it's just so hard to dig up all those painful and helpless feelings again. The doctor said that her demise was entirely fetal and not maternal... In one way, it gives me hope that I will be able to carry a healthy pregnancy in the future, and relief that my body didn't attack or harm my daughter. But in another, it just makes me so, so sad that Rosa was so sick. It doesn't compute in my head anytime I try to apply logic. She was so pure and innocent. How could her body have been so flawed? 

The doctor said that Rosa's condition was genetic, although it was something that isn't screened for in standard testing. Her placental analysis doesn't show any genetic abnormalities, and if we had done an amniocentesis or CVS, they both would have come back normal. Apparently, there is a test we can do for our embryos, but it's considered "experimental" and not covered by insurance. We could never afford to do it, so we're going to have to hope and pray that our four embryos are ok. The doctor said without anymore information, he can't give us a reoccurrence rate other than anywhere from 1:10,000 to 1:4. Just the thought of going through another pregnancy like Rosa's.... I can't think about it too long. It's too scary. This is the part where I remind myself that doctors are not God. I will continue to pray on it and have faith that God will see us through. 

I had my hysteroscopy on Thursday, and it was rather uneventful. My doctor called me today to check on me & to see if we're ready to proceed with our cycle. We are just waiting for results to come back from my endometrial biopsy and embryo testing, then we are ready to go. She wants me to go in on Tuesday for a saline sonogram to look at my arcuate uterus one more time just to be certain that the septum isn't going to cause any problems. I appreciate how thorough she is being with us. 

That's pretty much it for now! I'm still on the pill (blech!) and just getting all our little ducks in a row.