Day #3 of IVF

Tonight’s cocktail- day 3 of injections! I’m injecting myself this week as Devin travels for work. The needles are not bad but for some reason tonight as I was injecting myself I started to feel faint and dizzy and had to lay down. I’m sure I will get more used to it the more I do it each night. Yes, I’m being a big wuss! 😂

I did give myself injections a few months ago when Devin and I tried 2 Intrauterine Inseminations (IUIs) earlier this year that were obviously not successful. I don’t think I have shared our experience with IUIs earlier this year on the blog yet.

If you don’t know what an IUI is, it’s basically a first step fertility treatment that is far less invasive, less costly, and less time consuming than IVF. Essentially the doctor put me on Clomid (a drug to make a woman ovulate more strongly) and then monitored me to see when I was ready to ovulate. 2 days prior to ovulation, I had to inject myself with a drug that would make my body release an egg within 36 hours exactly. Then 36 hours from the injection, Devin gives a sperm sample, the doctor “washes” the sperm and then injects the sperm inside my uterus right near where the egg is releasing. IUIs sound good in theory but in reality the success rate of IUIs is only about 10%. I am glad we gave it two tries as I know some people that IUIs have worked for. It’s still so weird though- they put hundreds of millions of sperm right next to my egg and nothing happened. I knew the success rates and statistic, but I still don’t get it.

Back to the IVF. So far I have not felt much different from the injections but today I have had terrible headaches all day long, like behind the eyeballs migraine kind of pain. Back to work on a busy Monday after a holiday weekend I’m sure didn’t help either. Apparently headaches are the #1 side effect and totally normal so I am not worried and just need to power through. Tomorrow I will go see my doctor and they will draw blood to see how I’m responding to the medications and adjust as needed.

Time to sleep. Extra rest is recommended during this process and actually it is recommended not to exercise very much (or if I do exercise to only do gentle exercise like walking). I’ll use this time to have an excuse to hit the snooze button on hitting the treadmill in the morning if I feel like it! Goodnight! 😴

The Beginning of our IVF Journey

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Shit just got real. The medications that I will be taking over the next 2 weeks have arrived at my house- to say the least, it was slightly overwhelming when it came in such a large box and I saw all of this! I will be (and Devin will be helping) injecting my thigh with up to 3-4 medications a night over the next two weeks. Sometime between December 6th and 8th (depending on when the doctor determines my eggs are ready), I will go in for an egg retrieval. We are hoping that they retrieve somewhere between 8-10 eggs.

After that, it is well known that most or about half of the eggs will either die off or not fertilize. We are hoping that after genetic testing, and our embryos making it to day 5, that we will have a few (3-4 would be amazing) viable and healthy embryos to be frozen. After the egg retrieval, I will recover and then we are not looking at an embryo transfer until mid-February. We need to give my body time to go back to normal after all the egg stimulating medications and also prep it to healthfully receive the embryo. There will be more medications prior to the embryo transfer, but more information on that later.

This whole process is really interesting. Beside just wanting to have another baby, I am enjoying going through the IVF process as well, being the dork that I am, out of sheer fascination for medical technology and what our modern medicine has been able to achieve.  The genetic testing that they will do on our embryos is fascinating. We will not only be able to know if the embryo is genetically normal, but also its gender. Assuming we have a few viable embryos at the end, and we get to pick gender of what we implant, how crazy is that?!

Also from having a legal background and being a lawyer, the paperwork we had to fill out to start this process was much more than I anticipated, but it was interesting nonetheless to think about all the possible legal scenarios when going through the paperwork. We spent about an hour each filling out the paperwork.

No joke, it felt like buying a house. We both had to sign and notarize a ton of papers to start IVF.  Questions that we addressed in our paperwork were essentially: If you and your partner die simultaneously, would you want your embryos donated to science, discarded, or donated to a family member? What if only one of you dies? Do you want to pay a monthly fee to store your embryos, and if so, for how long? Do you want to insure your embryos? Do you give your doctor the authorization to discard genetically abnormal embryos? It kind of felt like a mix of being at work  and being in the middle of doing our estate planning.

On another note, I am excited to get started. Today is my last day of the birth control pill and right after Thanksgiving I will start all my stimulating medications. I’m looking forward to time with family and friends this week, and I am thankful for such wonderful family and friends.

On a final note, my low carb regimen is still going really well. I am still really enjoying the food and feeling good. Honestly I do not really miss eating differently. I like the structure of this eating regimen and feel good doing it. It’s also a whole different motivation to do this diet for reasons other than vanity/weight. But still, weight loss is a side benefit from this. Just last week, wy weight dipped into the 130’s for the first time in over 4 years. I consider myself to have been in the best shape at our wedding, and my weight is now right around wedding weight! I don’t mind being as slim as I was at our wedding…I’ll take that as a plus. And I’m cooking a lot more for my family now. Low carb inspired that too, so I am thankful for the low carb lifestyle as well for making me feel great!

Thankful thankful thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

The Question I’ve Been Waiting For; 1-Month Low-Carb Check-In

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I knew it was inevitable and just a matter of time before Alexander would start asking for a brother or sister. It was his 3rd birthday this weekend, and ironically timed with his birthday was the first time he asked us this question. He asked me while I was at his pre-school picking him up, and then later on he asked his Dad the same day before going to bed. He actually said he prefers a sister.

Truthfully, I dreaded the day he would ask this question. How do you explain to such a young child that it’s something that you want to give him, but it’s just not happening and you have no control over it?! Thinking of this day and how I would explain this to him was such a dreaded moment.

Devin and I enjoyed our sibling relationships growing up (and continue to enjoy/benefit from these relationships as adults) and this is a huge reason why we want to give Alexander a sibling so badly: so he too can experience having siblings. Not that there’s anything wrong with being an only child, and I know there can be many, many benefits to only having one child. We just…always envisioned he would have what we had growing up: a partner in crime and sibling to confide in and learn from. And we never expected that we would experience secondary infertility.

So, we still hope we’ll answer his wish, and our wish. In the end, hearing this question from him did not hurt as much as I anticipated in my head. I was prepared for the question, and knowing we are about to begin more diligent efforts to make this happen with IVF made me feel more calm about all of it. Next week I will see the fertility doctor and attend a 1-hour appointment to teach Devin and I how to administer all of the fertility medications. I will be ready to take notes! Black Friday begins the actual medications. I will keep everyone posted…….

As for my 1-month low carb check-in: It’s been 1 month since I’ve made this my full time way eating again. I feel really great and lost 6 lbs this month. I don’t really want to continue to lose more weight as I’m pretty happy where I’m at now, so I started eating breakfast again and I am no longer intermittent fasting to keep my weight more stable.

This way of eating has had numerous great effects on me. I feel healthy and more energetic, and it has caused me to cook and experiment more in the kitchen.

I learned a lot from this past month. I remembered how much I love low carb eating and how it can be really wonderful if I make efforts to change up and vary my meals. Also, there are so many great low-carb products on the market these days that make this way of eating much easier.

I also remembered that cheating makes me feel like shit. This past Friday night, I decided to eat 2 pieces of pepperoni pizza. Because truthfully, I was feeling bored of my usual meals and if I was going to cheat, pizza is what I wanted. So I ate the two slices, and it was quite tasty going down. But for 2 days after that, my stomach was not right. I will not go into details about that- lol. I think the gluten/wheat in the pizza put my stomach into shock after eating no refined carbs/sugars for a month. It made me want to stick to this way of eating that much more. Clearly, my body was rejecting that food for a reason.

So continue on I will….with a heart full of hope and belly full of bacon.

Happy #loveyourlawyerday

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Today apparently is #loveyourlawyerday. I didn’t always know I wanted to be a lawyer. In my younger years, I said I wanted to be an author (I loved writing poems and short stories, particularly in elementary and middle school). I always instinctively knew I wanted to be a mom though; that was without a doubt from day one. It’s interesting how our lives end up–where life takes us, and how our passions ultimately guide us through life. There was no part of me that said to myself at any point that I would choose between family and career– I was going to have it all.

Writing is such a big part of lawyering, so naturally my profession ended up being a good fit. I started college as a business major but was not 100% certain about it. I took a political science course as one of my first general education courses, and fell in love with it. I immediately switched my major to political science. I LOVED my political science major; I remember brimming with excitement to go to class and I even shared that enthusiasm when writing my 30-40 page long poli-sci papers, as crazy as that sounds.

By the time I hit my junior year of college, I was like wait, what now? What the hell does one do with a political science degree? I thought about working for the Department of State, but the thought of having to spend a few years in a third world country was scary. It seemed that law school was the logical next step unless I wanted to be a teacher or work for the government overseas, and so I went to law school.

During law school, I envisioned I would end up doing products liability or wills and trusts. But, after the recession in 2008 which just happens to be when I graduated law school, jobs were majorly slim pickins’. I ended up finding a corporate counsel job doing Medicare compliance in Bradenton, FL. So I packed up my chihuahua and my tiny 500 square feet apartment from law school in Miami and made the move. It was scary- I moved from a big city to a small town where I did not know a soul. But it all worked out in the end.

I really had no idea what I had got myself into but really needed a job, and knew that being a corporate counsel would be a good gig with normal hours. Nine years later, I absolutely love what I do.  I love that I get to be creative, help people, and my field is anything but stagnant. It’s constantly growing and changing, and keeps me on my toes. I love that a huge part of my job involves relationships with people and clients. It is rewarding and a lot of fun.

Enough about how I got here and now onto why you should care about #loveyourlawyerday. It’s not always peaches and roses for us. The job market is flooded with attorneys and I still know many people I graduated with or that went to law school that are struggling to make decent money or find a good job. I also know many that literally  in a heartbeat would trade in their $200,000 debt and return their law degree if they could. We also suffer the scrutiny of people making comments that they hate attorneys and making jokes about us, that is until they need us and then all of a sudden we are lifesavers.

I have been criticized several times throughout my career- literally- for thinking too much like a lawyer. And here is me thinking, WTF, is that not what you hired me to do? Or for being too “black and white.” As I think to myself, OK fucker….you will thank me when that attention to detail pays off.

My first boss out of law school literally bought me a pair of thong underwear, that creepy sucker. And then a later boss basically assumed once I had a baby that I would not be coming back to work, because ya know…chauvinism took over. I came back to work from maternity leave brimming with enthusiasm more than ever, because I now had not only a husband to make proud, but also a son. I really want my son to grow up knowing that women can have it all. I will show him that. We can be lawyers. And moms. And we can do it with finesse.

So lastly, do love your lawyer. Because no one is easy on us and the job is not as glamorous as many people think it is, particularly for us lady lawyers that also have even more important “clients” at home. We work our asses off, but it is ever rewarding.