All because someone was willing to share her story

They say that 1 in 8 couples fall into the infertility category but it seems like I have unknowingly surrounded myself with a higher ratio of couples who are battling this diagnosis.

– Of my core group of college friends (4 of us): 1 has endometriosis and got pregnant a few months after being off BCP, 1 has been diagnosed with unexplained and is pursuing treatment, 1 has not started trying for children and then there is me. 3 out of 4

– Out of my close group of friends here (again 4 of us): 1 has PCOS and does not have children, 1 conceived naturally after trying for a year and half, 1 has children, and then there is me. 3 out of 4

– Out of my close friends that I taught with at my last school: 1 has PCOS and is undergoing treatment, 1 has PCOS but is not pursuing treatment and 1 had repeat pregnancy loss

Apparently I need a warning symbol for people who meet me to let them know that if they want to have children naturally, they are running a risk being friends with me 😉

The sad thing is that I’m sure there were other friends with infertility but it is not something that is talked about often or at least not until the pregnancy gets to a certain point. Thankfully my friend with RPL slowly shared a little of her story with me over the years and when we reconnected a few months ago, she had the perfect words for me without even knowing that we were struggling with infertility. She has talked about wanting to change careers to nursing to be able to help women going through infertility and RPL My brain screamed “Tell her” but my mouth would not get the words out. We gave hugs and said our good-byes.

Every day after that conversation I had a nagging feeling that I need to call her and finally after some time passed, I picked up the phone and made that call. I told her that she didn’t have to go back to school to be a nurse but that she could find another position at an office to provide support and help to women going through this….that it was more important that she knew the words to say. I then spent time telling her our story and shedding tears through it. Tears of relief of being able to share my story and not feel like less of a woman and that telling her was a safe place and she would know what to say.

She told me that she would add me to her Wednesday prayer list because she prayed for the needs of the women in her life on Wednesdays. I loved that idea and started doing it myself. Then a few short weeks later I reached out to the women on Instagram to see if they would like to participate. I have been absolutely humbled by the prayer requests and praises and I have loved seeing the TTC community come together each week to pray for each other’s needs on Wednesdays…all started because one woman was willing to share her story.

I’d love to have you join us. If you’re interested, follow my Instagram account and please comment on the post that looks like the below:

TTC Sister Updates

I post it every Tuesday and then post the list on Wednesdays. My account is private to respect the privacy of the ladies that have private accounts and share their prayer requests for the group. If you do not want to post your information, please email me at Bloomsinthebreeze@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram – I’d love to pray for you.

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The dreaded PIO shot

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When I went through my teaching class with the nurse and got my calendar, I remember dreading the day that I would start the PIO shots. She was so calm when explaining how to do the injection and I questioned if she was crazy or not because of the side of the needle – 1.5″ needle…sure, no problem.

My pharmacy sent the PIO separately from the first round of meds and the box sat unopened for 4 days before I thought I should stop the avoidance tactic the the night before the injection was scheduled. I pulled everything out but did not see any type of directions with tips, etc on them so where did I turn? YouTube. Searching ‘PIO injection’ yields all sorts of videos and my husband and I spent 15 or so minutes watching a few of them before he suggested we stop because he could tell it was not doing anything for my nerves.

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The next morning we grabbed everything we needed and I texted and called a friend to help walk me through the steps and also give some suggestions. If you follow my Instagram account, you saw some of the text exchange 🙂 Here are some of her suggestions and some things I found on my own (all were lifesavers during this process):

– Roll the PIO bottle in your hand to warm it up a little bit. This makes it easier to draw it up in the syringe.

– There is going to be some pressure trying to draw the medicine back into the bottle. Either draw extra into the syringe (knowing there will be some that will go back into the bottle) or firmly hold the end of the syringe to not let any go back into the bottle.

– If the medicine is warm it makes it easier to go in. We soaked a wash rag in hot water and placed the syringe on it and then rolled it up like a burrito for ~ 30 seconds.image

– For the injection itself, she recommended I lean over a dresser or something of similar height and bent my knees while my husband gave me the shot. We have a tall dresser in our bedroom and our bed is tall so I leaned over the bed in the guest bedroom.

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– Either you or whoever is giving the shot should massage the area afterwards. This helps prevent it from staying in one area.

The last item that I never thought would be recommendation but turned into one would be to film video the injection (does this age me that I typed film first?). I use the front-facing camera, pressed record, and keeping only my in the shot, talked to her going step by step over everything I did that she recommended and then just talked to her about various things….including calling myself crazy because I never would have thought I would be recording my thoughts while get an injection. Talking through it made the process go by quicker and kept me relatively relaxed during it.

So after all the work-up and stress I put myself through in anticipation of the PIO shot, it was not bad at all. I’m only 2 days into the injections but they are less painful than most of the other ones I have done. In all disclosure, the area where we did the first injection is a little sore but I think that it is because I did not move around as much as I should have after the first shot (we ran errands but that also involved a lot of time sitting in the car). My opinion may change in the coming weeks if the soreness gets worse, but so far PIO is a breeze.

Oh hormones…

There is nothing like a box of fertility meds to throw you off your normal pattern. While this may not be the typical response to the meds, I’m sharing my story so it’s out there just in case it will help someone else. Not all of the meds below are specifically fertility meds but I am including all meds that are on my treatment calendar.

BCPs – I was on ~day 4 of my period when I started a generic pack of birth control pills. I forgot how nice my skin was when I was on BCP in the past (you know, when I thought I needed them to prevent a pregnancy when we weren’t ready for kids). I didn’t have a major breakout but the little one I had cleared up much faster than it ussually does after my period.

Baby Aspirin – Nothing to note here that I was able to notice. I started this the same day as the BCP.

Prenatal vitamins – The calendar from my dr calls out to make sure that you have started them but I haven’t stopped taking them since we started TTC. I like the CVS gummy prenatals. They will run a BOGO sale every once in awhile and I stock up then.

Lupron – I had one prior experience with Lupron prior to this cycle because I used it with Ovidrel to trigger a few months ago and it was not a positive one terrible and caused me to have welts. Within 30 seconds after the inejection, my skin turned red, became very itchy, burned, and of course the wonderful welts started. I remember googling as quickly as possible and found out that some people have this reaction is the drug gets on the skin.

Prior to taking the med this cycle, I researched and found some of the side effects – headaches, hot flashes, insomnia, weakness, cold or flu symptoms…etc. Where is the meme that says something along the lines of “for once I want a side effect to be extreme sexiness”. 🙂 The first week wasn’t bad and I though I might be one of the lucky few who did not experience the side effects.

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With the drop of estrogen once I stopped taking BCP, the hot flashes and headaches started. The headaches weren’t too bad and I just made sure to drink plent of water throughout the day. The hot flashes were the worst. I am taking the Lupron at night so the hot flashes would go throughout the night. Me on little sleep is never a good thing but me in little sleep and my hormones being off – I was a mess. Not emotional per se but my normal type A self just didn’t have my normal drive and  became rather apatheic (I’ll touch more on this further down). Thankfully the worst of it only lasted two weeks because I started Estradiol at that point.

Estradiol (AKA the fertility version of the little blue pill) – Yes, the pill is blue. Yes, it did increase my sex drive. Yes, it took away all of the negative side effects of the Lupron. This one deserves a gold star! Side note: I did talk to my acupuncturist (who treats a lot of patients who see my RE) and she said that everything I was experiencing was normal.

One thing I touched on above was my change in attitude. I fought feeling anything last cycle and this one I’ve embraced it. I’ve started a vision board and reevaluated some life goals I have. It has been a breath of fresh air and I’ve started working on some projects that I have always wanted to do but always said I was too busy with work, etc to devote my time to a side project. I’ll share more of that later once I get further along.

Hopefully this helps anyone who is curious as to possible side effects of these meds. I have another ppt tomorrow and will be start the dreaded PIO shot on Saturday. What does everyone else think about the meds?