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Parenting After Struggles with Infertility & Loss' Journal
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Below are the 7 most recent journal entries recorded in Parenting After Struggles with Infertility & Loss' LiveJournal:

Thursday, December 6th, 2007
9:13 am
Hi, my name is Lisa and my husband and I have a 19 month old daughter, Dahlia Anastasia (4/29/06). She was conceived on our first cycle of clomid and metformin. We call her our honeymoon baby because we took our honeymooon to Disney World about 4 years after we got married and the day we came back from vacation I went to the doc and was ready to ovulate! I had a high risk pregnancy with lots and lots of testing and sonograms and she was a full term regular birth with induction and an epidural that didn't take. For whatever reason (probably the epidural) I ran a fever in labor and she had to spend her first 3 days in the NICU. We were discharged home together.

Dahlia wasn't our first baby. I have PCOS and we'd been trying to get pregnant since we got married. We tried "on our own" for 5 years and finally showed up pregnant! My cycles were so off all the time that it wasn't until I was more than 8 weeks along that I found out I was pregnant at all. We sailed through the rest of the first trimester and everything seemed to be going OK. We had an anatomical scan at 18 weeks and everything was normal. At 18w4d, my water broke. The hospital gave me Cytotec and I completed the miscarriage there. We got to hold our son and we named him Dante Alexander a few days later.

Infertility and loss has affected me very deeply. It colors every aspect of parenting. We try not to be too overprotective, but we worked so hard to have this baby that we do tend to be a little jumpy. In other ways, we are more laid back about some things. Knowing what is out of our control has helped temper my insecurity. Dahlia is most likely going to grow up an only child because we just aren't brave enough to take the gamble to try and have another healthy, full term baby given my history.

I hope to share experiences and perspective with other parents who have experienced infertility and loss, as well as get their thoughts on how it's different to parent after loss.
8:46 am
Hello. I came to this community by way of sassywoman.

My name is Jude, I'm 32 and married to Jennifer who is 33. We have one child, a daughter (August) born on July 1st of this year. She was conceived using anonymous frozen donor sperm.

I have PCOS and the longest I was ever anovulatory was three years straight. I had been told by various doctors throughout time that I did not have PCOS, that I was in early menopause, that I would never have children. I believed them, but always thought I had PCOS anyone. One doctor told me I was too thin for PCOS. Another sent me for an ultrasound and said I couldn't have PCOS because I had no cysts on my ovaries. Finally I got a doctor to do some blood tests.

When I finally got a diagnosis of PCOS and was put on Metformin, I started having actual cycles. At this point I thought it might be possible to have a baby, and saw a specialist who was very optimistic. He wanted to start right away, and we did. I did three rounds of Clomid, but the third was cancelled for "lack of response" even though the second cycle had a poor response too but the RE didn't believe in changing the dose. We moved to Follistim and did three cycles of that. The second, again, was a poor response and I started to feel like he was just pushing me along casually to IVF. After the second cycle, I called him and had a very heated conversation with him about being more aggressive for my last cycle and how I was not going to do IVF with him. He reluctantly agreed to more Follistim.

I became pregnant with twins that cycle. Unfortunately, we lost one of our twins at about 8w but didn't find out until 10w. From 7w to 14w I bled, sometimes substantially, from what was believed to be a subchorionic hematoma. All I know is that I spent those 7 weeks terrified of losing our other baby. Thankfully everything turned out okay on that end.

One thing I struggle with, with respect to infertility, pregnancy loss, and queer mamahood is Mama Guilt. Every moment that I don't 100% enjoy my baby, don't focus 100% of my attention on her, or wish I had a baby break sends me into fits of Mama Guilt. We worked so hard for this baby, spent so much money on this baby, and lost a baby... and I want a break? How dare I?

So yeah, that's where I am. Hi.

Current Mood: awake
Monday, December 3rd, 2007
8:58 pm
I'm not very good at intro posts, but I'll do my best.

My husband and I started TTC in March 04, shortly after we married, and when I was 25. I had been warned that due to my irregular cycle I might have difficulty conceiving (what I didn't know at the time was that anything over two or three days difference is considered 'irregular': my cycle is anywhere from 3.5 to 7 weeks). Six months later, just as I was starting to think I'd like to talk to an OBGYN, I had a cycle that was 9 weeks long, but a neg HPT. I called my GP who was worried it was ectopic. I was sent for an ultrasound, but there was nothing to be seen. I got my period soon after, but my GP sent me on to an OBGYN anyway. She had me track my cycle and BBT for three months, then I returned. I was on clomid (which made me seriously depressed, this was before I was prescribed the bipolar meds I'm currently taking), and after the dangerous levels of depression from clomid we switched to other drugs. None of which seemed to work. We had IUI with and without drugs. Eventually we were sent to an infertility specialist, recommended to us by friends who had conceived through IVF.

We did a couple more drug + IUI cycles, and were then switched to IVF, in May 06. Due to my history with depression we were very worried about the effect of the drugs. However, I was taking Wellbutrin by this point, which ameliorated them somewhat, although I still recall having serious mood swings. When it came time for transfer I had 16 follicles, and the doctor was very pleased. However, when he went in for the retrieval (for which I was under general because I have a seriously low pain tolerance) he found no eggs. Empty Egg Syndrome is very rare, but he had some strategies for fixing it. We were devastated however, and decided to take a break. We were about to build a house and thought we'd pick up after it was done.

The house, for the record, is still unfinished, although it's good enough to live in. Since all the important bits (roof, windows, carpet) were finished, we took a trip home to the UK. We had scheduled an appointment with our infertility doctor when we came back. I hadn't had a period, and I knew that they would shoot me full of progesterone to start one, so I took a HPT to get my 'official' negative so I could get the progesterone shot before our appointment. The test came back positive. We were both confused, so I rushed in to the clinic to get a blood test. It was also positive: I was five weeks pregnant!

I'm now 19w pregnant. Baby is due Apr 28, 2 months after my 29th birthday. Baby has been kicking away quite happily this evening, although still not strong enough for my husband to feel. We find out the sex on Friday (officially, that is. A number of techs have told us they think he's a boy).

I'm here hoping that I'll hear from parents how their infertility affected their relationship with their child. I'm worried that I'll be over-protective. I'm interested in knowing whether other parents found that was or wasn't true, or whether there are other pitfalls they've noticed in comparison to their friends who conceived more quickly.

PS I'm 'blaming' my mother's cooking. It was the first time we'd stayed with my parents since we were married, so it was the first time she'd cooked for me since we were TTC. She's always been very quick to get pregnant, so I figure that must be the common denominator!
10:52 pm
My introduction
I was already approved, but thought this would be good information to share as an introduction! I'm Robin, 30. Christian married to John (not a blogger), and our son is Homer Wallace, born in December 2006. We live in Memphis, TN, and I am a SAHM/volunteer.

~ LJ user name: rawee1, but my baby journal is beebeebeau (both friends only)

~ Brief summary of infertility/loss history, treatment and outcome: I became pregnant in 2005, lost the first pregnancy at 7 weeks (baby made it to 5w 3d). We tried again, got pregnant first try, and lost another one, at 12 weeks. With both miscarriages I had a D&C.
I sought help with recurrent miscarriage with a fertility clinic here in Memphis, and they treated it very scientifically, which helped me to emotionally detach myself from all of the medical processes. It turned out, through HSG diagnosis, that I had a septate uterus, or a little stalactite of cartilage on the "roof" of my uterus, which didn't have blood running to it, so when the zygotes attached there, they were dying of starvation.
I had a hysteroscopic metroplasty surgery (which was less painful even than a D&C) to scrape away that tissue until they reached tissue that would bleed, and we waited another 2-3 cycles for my uterus to heal before getting pregnant again (again, first try- I must release multiple eggs each cycle- I think God knew what was ahead for us with the uterus and wanted to at least make part of it easy for me). With this pregnancy, I went to the fertility specialist for the first 12 weeks, and was on progesterone supplements, baby aspirin, prescription strength folic acid- basically every precaution was taken, and it worked!
I had a long and obnoxious pregnancy, and dread doing it again, but we do want another child. My son, Homer, was born on December 7th 2006, at 36 weeks, 3 days gestation. Technically a preemie, he was 7lbs 11 oz, and 21 inches! I have always used ovulation predictor kits, so I do know the exact due date should have been New Year's Day! It was a lovely surprise to have him with us for Christmas, and I've lost 35 of the 60 pounds I gained while pregnant in a year's time.

~ Briefs thoughts about how you feel infertility/loss has impacted you: I think I am more scientific about it now, and more prayerful. My first miscarriage really made me push God away. I was so angry, avoided church for months... it was terrible. The second one I wanted to be different. I allowed people to visit and bring food, and I went to church to have the support of my Sunday School class. If anything, I learned that they were there for me like a family, to love me even in the bad times. I don't cry when I think of the lost pregnancies, because if they hadn't ended, I wouldn't have my perfect baby that I have now! To me,God really does know what He's doing, believe it or not. I feel like He can help us do to anything that is in His will, and prayer certainly doesn't hurt! Please know God is an extremely important part of who I am, and I will not be judged for my beliefs, just as I will not judge you for yours. :)

~ What you hope to gain from and contribute to the community: I think this will be a group who understands that it doesn't matter what you put in or on your children as long as you're taking care of them the best you can, and with all of your love. There are more important things in life to worry about than a child's poop receptacle... like whether your child survives! Whether the IVF worked! Whether we're ready to do this again! Perspective is really important, and I think with women who deal with infertility or pregnancy loss, things are instantly put into proper perspective. An adoring and supportive husband never hurts, either!

Best wishes to all of you in your journeys. I look forward to sharing. If there was ever a group of women deserving of extra love and kindness, it is those who have dealt with loss and infertility.

*Edited for religious sensitivity.
11:36 pm
Modification to the Approval Process
Hi, all. Since I don't know everyone applying and since I don't have time to poke around people's journals to make sure they belong here, I've added a short survey to the profile page that I'm asking new members (whom I don't already know) to return to me by email as part of the approval process. I promise to use it for screening purposes only (though you are, of course, free to use it as part of your intro to the community). I apologize for the added step, but in order to make sure that this is a safe space for everyone (without making a lot of extra work for myself), I feel it's necessary. Thanks so much!

I'm glad to see this community growing and hope it continues to do so (please do pass along the info to any appropriate friends or communities)! I'll post my into as soon as I have a chance and hope everyone else will, too.
1:45 pm
Intro Post
My name is Jennie.  Momma to Emma Grace born on February 27th, 2007.  Emma was conceived on our second FET cycle after a failed IVF in Jan 06 and a miscarriage during our first FET cycle in April 06.

I am grateful that this community is here.  I have taken myself off of all LJ parenting groups because I found them to be very harsh and judgy.  I think our experiences as mothers is really impacted by the roads we've taken to become parents.  Infertility comes with emotional baggage ... even after you're holding that sweet baby in your arms.  I'm still working through so much as a new mom and I look forward to taking this journey along with you!
2:23 am
Please read the community guidelines and introduce yourself! =)

(Consider friends-locking posts containing sensitive information, so that only members of the community will be able to view them.)
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