Saturday, April 15, 2017

Our Infertility Story - Part 1 (Pre-IVF)

As promised here's the first part of our infertility story. Our journey was over 3 years so I thought it best to split it up into 2 different entries...part 1 will go over our journey before IVF and part 2 will delve into our IVF journey.

After hubs and I returned from our Singapore/Japan trip in spring of 2013 we agreed that we were ready to expand our family. I stopped taking my birth control and started tracking my basal temperatures to help determine when I was ovulating in order to make the most of our baby making efforts. Three months after I stopped taking the pill I still had not had a period or established a normal cycle. This scenario was not new to me, as a teenager without birth control I would only have 3-4 periods a year each lasting up to 14+ days.

I made an appointment with my OB/GYN at the time to discuss my concerns. After some blood work my doctor put me on a low dose of Synthroid to optimize my thyroid levels for fertility/pregnancy. And even given my history of only having a few periods a year she told me to give my body another few months to start cycling on it's own again. After another 3 months without a period my OB/GYN referred me to a fertility specialist.

We had to wait another frustrating 3 months (without any periods) until we were able to get an appointment to see the fertility specialist. The doctor took down a detailed family and self medical history. After an in-office ultrasound she confirmed a diagnosis of PCOS. I was prescribed Metformin which the doctor explained had been shown to help increase fertility in women with PCOS. I eagerly started my new medication which promptly proceeded to provide me with a constant feeling of nausea. I was never able to even get close to titrating my dose up to the recommended level because I simply couldn't tolerate the constant upset stomach.

I knew there had to be another way and started seeking out alternative options. In the spring of 2014 I started seeing a naturopathic doctor who agreed that there was no need for me to be on the Metformin given my normal blood sugar levels. After completing an extensive hormone panel the naturopathic doctor switched my Synthroid to Nature-throid in order to fine tune my thyroid levels and I started using a low dose progesterone suppository in an effort to help stimulate my body into having a cycle. I also adjusted my diet and switched from a morning cup of coffee to a green smoothie. However, after all these changes we still failed to get pregnant.

Near the end of 2014 my fertility specialist suggested that I undergo an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) to take a look at my fallopian tubes and uterus in order to determine if IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in-vitro fertilization) would be the next best course of action. I was extremely nervous for the procedure as I had read many online message boards detailing how painful it can be. As they injected the dye via catheter I remember experiencing the most intense cramping and I was so thankful when it was over. The results of my HSG were no less painful and heartbreaking. The doctor said that due to extensive inflammation in my fallopian tubes it would be next to impossible for me to have ever have gotten pregnant naturally and suggested IVF as the next step. The news was so overwhelming and I was so unbelievably frustrated knowing that we had wasted nearly 2 years trying this and that when it would've been a miracle for me to get pregnant without the help of IVF.

Throughout this first part of our journey I think the biggest lesson I learned was that I needed to be my own advocate. A lot of times it's easy to take what doctors are telling you as the end all and be all. I wish that I had been more assertive, asked more questions, and pushed to be referred to a fertility specialist sooner. I can't help but think that maybe if I had done those things we wouldn't have wasted so much time before discovering my need for IVF.

Monday, April 10, 2017

End of a Hiatus

After a 2+ year hiatus from blogging...here I am 9 months pregnant, sitting on the couch binge watching Parenthood on Netflix. It would be an understatement to say that it's been a long journey to get here. We battled infertility for 3+ years before I successfully became pregnant. The entire time I went back and forth about whether or not to blog about the topic. In the end I decided against it because at the time I didn't know what the end outcome would be. I couldn't bear the thought of spilling my heart about our infertility challenges to only be left with a broken heart in the end.

Now that we've gotten so far along in the pregnancy, hubs has encouraged me to share our story. He thinks it's an important part of our lives that we may easily forget and take for granted if we don't document it. So the over the next few blogs I'll delve into the details of our infertility journey. I hope that our story may be able to provide some solace to other couples who may be going through the same or similar difficulties.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy Belated New Year

Happy New Year, loves! ...yeah yeah...I know we're almost half way through the month of January...better late then never?

Sorry I've been so MIA lately. Between taking our second trip to New York, starting a new job, and the holidays I haven't had a ton of time to blog. But now that things are starting to settle down a little more around hear I will definitely get back into the blogging groove. This year I'm also resurrecting my project 365, but this time instead of doing it in the form of a blog I'll be keeping up with it on our instagram which hopefully will make it more feasible to actually complete.

So stick around folks! We have a lot of exciting plans for this year!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thankful Thirty

With November typically being a month in which people reflect on things they're thankful for I figured there was no better way to kick of my list of 30s then with a list things I'm grateful for.

1. My husband
I'm sure I don't thank the saint of a man who has found it in his heart to love and marry me with all my flaws. Always dependable and steadfast I know I can count on him to look out for me. I'm lucky to have such a thoughtful and loving partner to walk by my side through life's ups and downs.

2. My mom
A strong and funny woman who has helped guide me through some of my life's challenging moments (aka: adolecence). I'm blessed to have you as a mom and friend.

3. My dad
The man I get my looks and extremely dry humor who has always been a quiet but strong source of love and support throughout my  life. I'm grateful to call you my dad.

4. My grandparents
The people who were always picking me up from school and taking me here or there when I was younger. And of course the ones who spoiled me rotten. I am so thankful that I've had the opportunity to spend so much time with them.

5. My in-laws
Bad in-law jokes tend to be an easy joke for most, but I really lucked out in the in-law department. They've always embraced me as part of the family and I'm blessed to have married into such wonderful family with my family so far away.

6. My friends
I've been fortunate to meet lifelong friends in all stages of my life. Although I love spending time with friends nearby I also love having low maintenance friends that live afar.

7. My dog
The first several months with my dog were challenging to say the least, but as she's gotten older she's been a great addition to our family. It's so nice to come home to her smiley face and wagging tail. She great at playing fetch with herself - a true "only child" and she loves a lazy day of naps just as much as I.

8. My health
Although I may be currently dealing with some minor health issues my general health is excellent.

9. My education
My family prepared me for success in the best way they know how and made sure that I had a first rate education starting from kindergarten all the way through college. Everything I have today is thanks to the education I was allowed.

10. My home
It's said that a home should be your escape from the world. And I can really say that's true of my home. From my cozy bedroom to my deck-filled backyard that's perfect for entertaining I love my home and it's been an amazing first home.

11. My job
Like many people I can always find something to complain about my job, but all things said I'm thankful for the opportunity to get paid well while helping people at the same time.

12. The opportunity to travel
Between traveling with my parents and my husband I've been able to see different places in and outside of our country. Now that I live in California it makes traveling even more accessible then it used to be when I lived in Hawaii.

13. The bus driver
I am so thankful for the bus driver that gets me safely to work and back home almost every day. Not having to drive myself to work allows me to catch up on my blogging or catch some much needed shut eye.

14. Friendly strangers
Sometimes all it takes is smile from a stranger or a customer who asks how my day is going. Friendly strangers really make the world a nicer place to be in.

15. Trashy reality TV
Kardashians, Hip Hop and Hollywood, Real Housewives, 15 Kids and Counting...I love it all (much to my husband's dismay). I know a lot of people hate reality TV but sometimes there's something to be said about how relaxing and therapeutic it can be to veg out in front of the TV for a marathon of Real Housewives.

16. My comfy bed
I love sleeping and my comfy bed makes one of my favorite hobbies that much better. And nothing makes you appreciate the comfort of your own bed than a restless night in an uncomfortable foreign bed.

17. Growing up in Hawaii
This is something I admittedly did not appreciate nearly as much as I should have when I was growing up. Growing up on a beautiful tropical island with my friends and family only an hour drive away at most is an amazing way to grow up. Beautiful beaches and amazing weather pretty much year round provided a great backdrop for my childhood.

18. Bay area weather
With just the right amount of seasons I could not ask for more when it comes the the weather in the bay area. I am grateful that it gets warm enough to wear shorts I'm the summer without needing air conditioning in my home and cool enough in the fall/winter to see the leaves change colors and have an excuse to wear a nice pair of boots and jacket without having to worry about snow ruining it.

19. Double stamp Tuesdays
Our favorite sushi spot has a stamp reward program and offers double stamps on Tuesday. My husband and I take advantage of this at least once a week. On a day that's not as stressful as Monday but not quite to hump day it's nice to be able to have an excuse to treat ourselves to some good sushi.

20. Acts of kindness
From the person who picked up my wallet and gave it to a BART attendant without stealing from me to the bus driver who let me on when I realized I left my wallet at home. Simple acts like these shine bright in my memories as horrible days that were averted thanks to the kindness of others.

21. Target
In December I'll be starting a new job working for Target. I'm grateful for the opportunity to shift paths in my career when I feel like I really needed it.

22. Ice cream
Always there to brighten up a bad day...thank god for ice cream. Enough said.

23. My gas stove
For most of my life I had a gas stove and it wasn't until I moved into an apartment with an electric stove top did I realize how much better a gas stove is. That being said I am very appreciative for having a gas stove in my kitchen that gives me superior control over the temperature in which I cook with.

24. Financial security
I'm extremely grateful for the financial security hubs and I have. I know that not everyone is lucky enough to never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or whether or not they can afford that new winter coat they desperately need.

25. Lazy weekends
Little in life is as satisfying as getting to cuddle in front of the TV in your PJ's all weekend. With the busy holiday season coming up soon it reminds me of how rejuvenating it can be to have no obligations at all. I'll take them whenever I can get them.

26. Fun co-workers
I can honestly say that I've stayed with the company I've been at for 3 years because I truly enjoy working with the people. The pharmacists and technicians I work with make coming to work bearable day in and day out. I will miss them dearly when I leave at the end of this month.

27. SHN season tickets
This is the second year hubs and I have been SHN season ticket holders and we have yet to be disappointed. I love having great musicals to look forward to year round. Not to mention the perks of being able to buy tickets in advanced for shows that aren't included in our season.

28. Online shopping
Online shopping has taken the shopping experience to another level. With free shipping and returns your home becomes your dressing room (sans overly flattering mirrors). And with websites like ebates who gives you with cash back and coupon codes for shopping it's like being paid to shop (that might be a stretch... lol)

29. Care packages
Nothing says I love you from family and friends from afar like a care package. Big to little it doesn't matter...when someone takes the time to curate and mail a package to me it always warms my heart.

30. Google
Thank goodness for google! Always there to answer those nagging questions like "who's that actor in that movie?" or "how yo tell a coworker how to stop singing at work?" on a whim. I can't even remember a time when I had to do without the convenience of google.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Not So Dirty Thirty

October marked my thirtieth year on this planet. We celebrated the momentous occasion bu going to CPK to partake in one of my favorite desserts, butter cake, and then we caught a double feature at the drive-in. It may not be what most people think of when they think of how they want to or how they had celebrated their dirty thirty...dirty isn't really my stye anyway. Hubs and I did it low key just the way I like it.

warm buttery goodness

beautiful birthday flowers from hubs

With such a big birthday under my belt I figured some life reflection was in order. Throughout this year I'll be doing a series of reflections of things I've learned, things I'm grateful for, things I aspire toward, etc. So stay tuned for some hopefully interesting reflections on my life and what lies ahead.

Monday, September 22, 2014

NYC Advice and Tips

Getting Around: Use Public Transportation
Before we left for New York we looked into possibly buying a 7 day pass for a hop-on-hop-off style bus. We have them all over San Francisco and it seems like the easiest way to get around in the city without getting lost. However due to the higher cost we decided against it and went with the 7 day unlimited metro card for $30 each.
We found that getting around in New York was very easy with the aid of our friend Google Maps. We did a lot of walking which is made relatively easy due to their grid like numbered streets and avenues. And with the help of Google Maps we always knew which subway or bus we needed to take to get to where we wanted.

Attractions: Buy Online and Go Early
We considered buying one of the many city passes available for New York. However, after careful consideration of the attractions we actually wanted to go to it was cheaper for us to pay the individual entry fees instead (especially when you take into account that many museums offer discounted/free entry days, student discounts, or are donation based).
We purchased most of our attraction tickets online a day ahead of time which meant we didn't need to stand in line at the attractions to buy tickets. This ended up saving us a lot of time. We also tried to go to the attractions earlier in the day. We went to the Top of Rockefeller Center as soon as they opened and because we bought our tickets online ahead of time we had no lines to wait in to get up. Not to mention that it was so nice and peaceful up there since there were only a few other people at the top while we were there.

Tapings: Only if You Have an Extended Stay in NYC
The tapings we went to were great and definitely a ton of fun. But if you're only in NYC for a few days don't waste your time. Going to the tapings was a huge time investment between standing in line to pick up tickets and then standing in line to get into the studio. Attending the live tapings we went to took up a good 5-6 hours of our day. If you have a short stay in New York don't waste it all by standing in line. There's so much more New York has to offer.

Broadway/Off-Broadway: TKTS for Deep Discounts
Tickets for almost every Broadway and off-Broadway show are available at the TKTS booth in Times Square. There are only a handful of extremely popular shows you won't be able to get there (ie: Wicked and Book of Mormon). I think it'd also be safe to assume that if a show has won any Tony awards this year (especially best musical or best play) you'll need to buy your tickets ahead of time.

While I'm no travel expert hopefully those of you who may be visiting New York for the first time will find these little tidbits helpful.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Motown: The Musical

Good morning, ya'll! Last night we went to see the first musical in our SHN 2014-2015, Motown: The Musical. This was our second year with season tickets and we decided to pick up a set of 4 tickets this season so that we could share our musical experience with some of our friends and family. We tried to figure out which of our friends and family would enjoy this show the most and ultimately decided to bring hub's dad and girlfriend with us. It seems like we made the right decision as they reminisced about growing up with the music of Motown.

 The music for the show was great! I mean how could it not with all the super hits that came out of the Motown record label? With songs like Ain't to Proud to Beg, What's Going On, and ABC the music of this show definitely had the audience bopping along. The story follows the conception and life of Motown Records by legendary producer and song writer Berry Gordy.

For me the plot fell short, so much focus was put on the music of Motown which is great, but I still feel like they could've done more with the story. I understand that clearly the focus of the show would be the amazing music they made, but there are other similar musicals out there like Jersey Boys and Beautiful: The Carol King Musical that focus highly on the music and are still able to make time to tell a story. My final thoughts...go for the music, but don't expect much of a storyline.