Well, Hello There, Friends!

My beautiful, strong-willed, totally distinct twin girls turned 2 in September, I have so much to say about these lovely little girls! (We’ll get to that, maybe not as much in this first post as I would like).

I don’t even remember the last time I posted, or how long it’s been since I have archived all my previous posts.  Let’s just say, I have a love/hate relationship with the internet when it comes to sharing my personal life.  But I thought I might post an update and reconnect with this community a bit.

Life is not easy at the moment, currently I am unable to sleep for the third night straight and I am sick with bronchitis.  One of my girls got sent home from Montessori today and the doctor confirmed she has pink eye.  Last week, on the way home from Austin, a deer ran out in front of our new CX-9 and we had no choice but to hit it, fortunately we had no (human) injuries, just 4 hours on the side of the road waiting for AAA towing services.  We lost both of our commuter cars we had hung onto for 10 and 13 years in the last few months, one which was in a crash with a speeding tow truck (ironically, responding to an accident) and the other flooded in Hurricane Harvey.  Fortunately, and by some miracle, our home stayed dry in the hurricane!  Losing the two cars so close together led my husband to accept contract work that has him working out of town for at least 6 months, for the time being, we only get to have him home one day a week.  When he decided to take the contract work, I decided it was time to re-home our beloved, 5 year old Goldendoodle (bite history with one of my babies).  She is an incredibly smart and loving dog, but was just not compatible with young kids no matter how hard we tried with a 6-week behavioral modification training and giving it lots of time, patience, and of boundaries until they got more comfortable around each other.  Although I know it is the right decision for her to be with this family whose kids are grown and have lots of time and attention to devote to her, my heart is totally shattered in her absence as I don’t think I could have (or will ever have) a more loving and deeply connected bond with a pet.  It feels weird to even call her a pet, she is so much more than that to me, she is family and I am glad to have an open connection with her adoptive family.

On a positive note, my work is pretty fulfilling right now, and you guys, I finally have an office…like with walls and doors!  Goodbye open-concept cubicle life!  My kids are healthy, happy, and learning so much every day.  I started work on a master’s degree (MBA) this semester, before all of that in the previous paragraph went down.  I am about to complete my second course.  So far, I have found it to be a very rewarding experience with so much applicability to past experience and future career goals.  It might take me three years to complete, because I am not willing to be a crummy mom, employee, or wife just for the sake of a higher degree.  It’s nice to be wise enough to know my limits and set a reasonable pace!

Despite the girls going through some (normal) adjustments to these big changes and me being outnumbered by two year olds these days, they are pretty happy and incredible human beings that enrich my life’s purpose and joy beyond measure.  I can’t wait to tell you more about each of these beauties; for now, I will leave you with a few recent pictures.

 

 

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Big decision! Career Advancement or Fertility Treatments?

Recently, my husband and I were faced with a very big decision.  Although we’ve been TTC for several years, we’d never gotten close to even considering IVF until about a month ago.  After several failed, monitored clomid cycles and 2 failed IUIs, we took a 2 month break from fertility treatments over the summer to mentally and physically rehab and agreed to not talk about fertility treatments (although we did agree to take some natural fertility supplements over the summer – from GNC – I’ll write more about this product later).  

Finally, after 2 very quiet months of not talking about what we really wanted to talk about most, we started seeing a new RE and undergoing a few additional test and a monitored cycle to try and get out of this unexplained infertility category. They thought I may have hypothyroidism (nope!) or Endometriosis due to painful periods (still do not know for sure).  Finally, we had our long awaited results debrief with our RE, and he gave us an estimated 85% chance of success with IVF (at $10K plus meds I was able to secure for less than $2500 through Avella Speciality Pharmacy! Isn’t this low?!) or about a 5-10% chance with doing another injectable/combo IUI (at about $4K/month due to injectable med cost vs. just Femara or Clomid).  Immediately, we decided that IVF seemed like the only logical option with those odds, albeit these are only an estimate with no guarantees.  We scheduled our nurse consult and IVF seminar with the embryologist for the following Wednesday to get the ball rolling.  

The same day, I also received a call from a recruiter about my dream job!  Well, this job required a bit of travel, but was an executive level position in the industry I want to be in and comes with a huge pay increase – pretty dreamy for a 29 year old.  I met with the 3rd party recruiter and he wanted to schedule me with the president of the company for, you guessed it, the same day as my IVF seminar and nurse consult.  I almost turned down the interview, and then subsequently contemplated cancelling the interview up until the very last minute.  The interview went better than I could have wished for and he offered me the job on the spot with a very tempting pay package.  I expressed my extreme gratitude for the opportunity, and told him I’d need some time to think about it over the next week.  After the interview, I drove across town to the IVF clinic for the consult and seminar.  How could I be SO EXCITED about both options?!  How could I even consider taking this job when what I’ve desparately wanted and pursued for the last 3 years (a child) is finally, hopefully right at my fingertips!?  Do I even know what I want out of life?! 

Well, despite all good economical sense, I declined the job and chose to instead invest more money into fertility treatments rather than make nearly twice as much money in the next year.  I’m really money smart, huh? 😉  

My older sister who is an OB GYN surgeon and working mom of 2 boys, encouraged me to read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which I found to be an interesting read for working moms and moms to be who are in leadership positions (although it did not convince me I could or wanted to “do it all”). My husband and I had made our decision.  At the end of the day, at the end of our life, what is more valuable?  Wealth or a legacy?

Sure, we can probably have both eventually, but we’ll have to find another route.  The wealth part is definitely going to come second to the legacy part for me.  I am very much at peace with the decision, and was very open and honest when I turned down the position.  I told him I had chosen to pursue a life-changing decision to start a family at this time in my life, but that I would love to have discussions with him regarding future openings on his team.  He was very receptive to revisiting in the future, and respected my decision and honesty.  

Well, the good news is I also talked to my current boss, and they are making a new position for me that will actually be a nice promotion as well as a move to a direct contributor position (rather than my very stressful job managing a team of 6).  More money, less stress, no responsibility for others, and also a dream of mine to obtain this particular job title/role. I proposed it and they were completely on board.  I am very comforted that although I turned down a seemingly much better position, I was able to be real with my boss and the executives at my company, and they moved mountains to support me and keep me here in this next chapter in life (fingers crossed I’m able to begin that chapter soon!).

Isn’t God’s timing funny?  I found this particularly odd yet also perfect timing for God to present me with these opportunities.  If I’d been offered the job 2 months ago, I would have accepted it in a heartbeat and just rode out the natural approach to fertility – wait and see, because at the time I thought we’d exhausted our resources and energy for treatments.  So grateful for His perfect timing, and I pray that a child from this upcoming IVF cycle is in His plan for us.  

Have you had to make big, confusing career decisions related to your pursuit of fertility treatments?

4th Anniversary – The Perfect Summer Evening under the Stars!

Last Friday, my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and it was probably the best yet.  We really had a simple evening, but it was perfect and beautiful other than my husband getting rear-ended on his way to pick me up and having an little snafu with my car key that required him taking me to work in the first place.  Because of that little incident resulting in a slight delay, we ended up having to grab a quick dinner at Chipotle, but hey – if you’re not going to a fine dining establishment, Chipotle is as good as anything!  We didn’t want to be late to the main event, the Fallout Boy and Paramore concert!  We just grabbed a couple of lawn tickets and we completely lucked out with it being the coolest night of the summer (thank you, Polar Vortex!) to relax on the lawn.  We live in South Texas, so let’s just say that 75 degrees and breezy is a pretty rare and beautiful thing in the month of August!  Also, the concert was amazing!  Great quality music and very high energy and light-hearted.  We used to go to concerts every week when we were in college and now we go to about one or two a year.   This one was just different, we have sort of “grown up” with these bands over the last 10 years throughout our twenties and they are both much more mature than when they started – I’d like to think we are as well.  It was just great feeling like carefree, young 20 somethings just having fun and singing along at a rock concert like old times!  A nice relief from 2 almost thirties struggling through infertility and just signed up for IVF.

To my husband…the last 4 years of marriage have had their ups and downs, to say the least. It’s been 8 and a half years since we met and became best friends instantly. In those 8 and a half years, you have never failed to support me and love me unconditionally even when I was far from lovable. Despite all the good times, we have also triumphed over some very serious challenges  (ahem, infertility and the marital woes it tends to cause), and I’m so happy to have you by my side and going stronger than ever!

It’s was also a bitter sweet day, also being the anniversary of my beloved Granddaddy’s death 2 years ago. He made such a huge impression on myself, my siblings, and really anyone who ever met him from what I know. He was passionate about developing and encouraging other people to become their very best personally, professionally, and in their relationship and service to God. I am so blessed to have experienced his influence in my life and only wish I’d had more time with him.  Additionally, my Grandmother had a bit of a health set-back this week, suffering from a stroke while undergoing maintenance chemo for multiple myeloma.  She is the strongest woman I know, and I know she will overcome the challenges she’s facing. Lord, please heal Grandma so she may continue to uplift, strengthen, and set a shining example of grace, beauty, and Godliness for our family for many years to come.

Baby Books – My Husband is the Cutest!

Last week, my husband and I were on vacation together, which turned into a stay-cation due to impending IVF and not knowing what to expect as far as required appointments or when my cycle would start.  The stay-cation was glorious!  Why have we never done this before?!  Being relatively new homeowners, and newer to our community (we used to live inner-city, and now we sort of live in the outskirts of the suburbs), there was so much to see and do around town together.  My husband is an attorney and works very long hours during the week (love that he’s employed, but I despise the hours), so this was just a wonderful little retreat from all of the hustle, bustle, and loneliness that comes with the territory of being an attorney’s wife.  (I work, too, but my schedule is more of a 40-50 hr/wk gig vs. 70-80 hrs.  I don’t mean to complain or sound ungrateful, I just long for more time with my sweet husband.)
 
Enjoying our stay-cation, just being young and silly together like old times, and excited about our upcoming IVF cycle, we stumbled into Barnes & Nobles one day to pick up some parenting and pregnancy books.  Although we’ve struggled with infertility for the last 3 years, we’re in a really good place and delusional incredibly hopeful about the prospects of IVF.  I’ve decided the only way to approach this is to truly believe it will work, so we figured it’s time to start preparing ourselves for what is to come in this next phase in our life.  I picked up “I’m Pregnant” by Lesley Regan and “Fit & Healthy Pregnancy”, and my husband picked up “Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!” and “The Expectant Father” after combing through the array of options available on the bookshelf.  There are several other best selling pregnancy and baby books I want to read, but I steered clear of the real popular ones for now.  When the time comes, I’ll bum them off of my sister, SILs, or friends who are new mommies. 
 
Anyway, we read them for a bit that evening, and finally I go to bed.  I wake up at around 5:30 am to realize that my husband has still not been to bed!  Here I am, snuggled up in bed for nearly a full 8 hours with our Goldendoodle’s head on my tummy and my King Charles Spaniel snuggling my neck, but no husband to be found! Frustrated and a little concerned, I walk into the office where my husband is curled up in the chair reading his parenting books.  I said, “honey – what are you doing?  This isn’t a race!?  Don’t you want to come to bed?”  He says, “I’m not tired – and this parenting thing is just too exciting!”.  I just melt. 
 
I was thinking, awe – that’s the cutest thing ever!  But I’m going to be annoyed when he’s sleeping all day long and we sort of lose a vacation/stay-cation day together.  Again, he surprises me.  He came to bed for about an hour after a little coaxing, only to get up and take Tucker (the spaniel) to the vet for his teeth cleaning as he promised he would and spent the entire day by my side doing all sorts of fun things.
 
He’s seriously the best.  And I know that he’s going to be an amazing dad! 

My first blog post! And IVF #1!

I’ve thought about blogging for a little while, as I’ve received so much value from following other people’s blogs and YouTube vlogs related to infertility and pregnancy.  Finally, I’m going to give it a shot.  I don’t know if anyone will want to hear what I have to say, but it might help me to relieve some stress and have a bit of additional support as I go through this whole infertility thing.  I think my sister and sister-in-laws and closest girlfriends may secretly be sick and tired of hearing about it – maybe even my mom and mother-in-law too.  Lol, well I know there are others out there going through similar struggles who can relate better.

We are about to start an IVF cycle!  Going into this whole TTC thing, I was pretty against the thought of IVF.  Didn’t think it was for me.  However, when we’d exhausted our other options (clomid cycles, femara cycles, femara + IUI twice, various different vitamins and supplements, etc) without any sign of pregnancy, I finally decided it was time to see a specialist.  What in the world took me so long?!  I realized I knew a very influential person in the infertility community who’s worked with fertility clinics throughout the state of Texas, so at the very least I should ask her for a referral to her very favorite Reproductive Endocrinologist.  Turns out, she knew just the guy.  And I was able to get an appointment very quickly.  This doctor was able to use all the diagnostic testing and history we already had on file, with just a few additional tests required, and convince us that our best bet was IVF.  He didn’t try to sell us on something we didn’t want or need, but when presented with several different options, there was no doubt in my mind that IVF was next.  So, here we go!

I’ve got my meds ordered and stocked in my fridge, and am currently on birth control pills until August 20th when I go back in for my baseline ultrasound, test transfer, HSG, and consent signing.  IVF contract is paid and I have no regrets.  I’ve done injectables before, so I’m not scared of the needles or the retrieval, just scared of the heartbreak I’ll feel if it doesn’t work.  But mostly, I’m hopeful.  Very, very hopeful that it will work on the first shot and we’ll have remaining embryos (not too many, though!) that we can and will use for subsequent pregnancies.

Dear God, please give us incredible success in this IVF procedure.  We come to you praying that you will bless us with one or two little ‘bears’ to love and nurture, and teach about the love of God.  Our family needs these little miracles, and will give them all the love and resources we have to give and then some.  Amen.