Friday, November 29, 2013

Two Truths and a Lie: Were You Right?

It looks like only three of you guessed correctly!

1. I have two differently shaped ears which caused the doctors to look into my kidneys when I was born. TRUE!

When I was born, the doctors noticed that I have a raised area in one ear, but not the other. Apparently a baby's ears and kidneys develop at the same time in the womb, so there was concern that one of my kidneys was also malformed. Tests were run and turns out my kidneys are perfectly fine.

2. I graduated high school in three years even though I failed one of my core classes my senior year. TRUE!

One of my friends decided to graduate in three years, so I decided to look into it as well. I was only a few credits from having enough to graduate, so I decided that my junior year of high school would be my last year. I had to take an online course through the local college to make sure I got some sort of "practical arts" credit (I took an entrepreneurship class,) but that's the only "extra" thing I had to do to graduate early. Unfortunately my father had a stroke and landed in the hospital the day of my presentation for my world history class, so I wasn't able to present. I emailed both my english and world history teachers (the two classes were taught together,) to tell them what had happened. When I got my grades, my english teacher gave me an "A" while my world history teacher failed me. One and only "F" I ever got in my school career.

Another fun story about me graduating early: The day before graduation, we had to do a run through to make sure everyone knew where they had to be on the big day. Everyone had a chair with their name on it, but mine was missing. I had to call my mom to come pick me up and go to my school to figure out what had happened. Apparently the professor who was teaching my online class hadn't sent in my grade to my high school, so as far as they were concerned, I didn't have enough credits to graduate. I had to rush over to the college and beg the teacher to grade my final project so I could graduate the next day. Thankfully I was able to walk, but it was a close call!

 3. Between myself and my two sisters, I am the only one who got their drivers license at 16. FALSE!

I'm actually the sister who got her license at the oldest age at 20. I just never felt ready at ages 16-18 to get my license and my parents also didn't have the money to buy me a car, so a license felt pointless. The only reason I got it at 20 was because I had broken up with my boyfriend of 3.5 years who always drove me around, and I needed a way to get myself to and from work and school. I ended up getting my license and buying my first car, a 2001 Ford Focus, off of a schoolmate for $1,500.

Thank you everyone for playing! I hope this was a fun way to learn a little more about me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful on Thanksgiving

As I sit here watching the annual Thanksgiving dog show, I have so much to be thankful for. Things like family, friends, my husband, our home, our health, and more. But the one thing I have to be thankful for this year that I didn't have last year is you girls.

You all have kept me sane this past year. I have became an advocate for my health because of you. The only reason I know so much about PCOS and infertility is because I started reading blogs the day I was diagnosed. You have celebrated with me, as well as lifted me up when I have been down. I have enjoyed celebrating with you and I hope that I am able to put a smile on your face when you have hit a road block.

Thank you so much for your support, advice, and friendship. While I would never choose to be in this special club, I am so glad that I get to keep fighting next to you wonderful ladies. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and for those outside of the US, I hope you have an equally enjoyable Thursday, free of pregnancy announcements.

Love always,

Monday, November 25, 2013

Two Truths and a Lie

I'm jumping on the bandwagon since I'm franticly packing to go back home for the holiday and feel like I need to post something for ICLW other than my welcome post.

My three things are...

1. I have two differently shaped ears which caused the doctors to look into my kidneys when I was born.
2. I graduated high school in three years even though I failed one of my core classes my senior year.
3. Between myself and my two sisters, I am the only one who got their drivers license at 16.

So, which one is a lie? I'll let you know in a few days if anyone was right.

Good luck guessing!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy November ICLW!

Happy November ICLW everyone! Not sure what ICLW is? Head over to the Stirrup Queen's website to find out.

A quick introduction:

I'm Aislinn, I'm 24 and married to my wonderful husband, Keegan who will be 26 in December. We are currently living in Mississippi, but we're both originally from Missouri (well, I'm originally from Canada, but that's another story...)

We currently have three cats 

Mika, who we adopted in February, 

Carbon, who we adopted in August, 


this little man who we rescued adopted from our neighbors two nights ago. Anyone want a kitten?

As for the baby makin' stuff, I was diagnosed with PCOS on September 4, 2012. For the past year, we've tried au natural with the help of Metformin, but so far, no baby. The past two cycles, I convinced my OB/GYN to put me on Clomid, but still, no baby. Yesterday, we had our first appointment with our RE who we absolutely love. If this current cycle doesn't result in a pregnancy, we are doing a cycle of Letrozole (Femara,) trigger shot, and IUI in December. 

If you want to hear more ramblings about my lady bits, I'm also on Facebook and Twitter

Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Autumn Mug Swap

When Jessah over at Dreaming of Dimples posted about her Autumn Mug Swap, I jumped at the chance to participate. I had heard about swaps between bloggers before, but I had never had the chance to participate in one, so I was really excited about this opportunity. What better way to start off the blustery fall and winter seasons than with a brand new mug to sip cider and hot chocolate out of?

I was paired with Lauren from Outside The Frame. While we didn't know each other before the swap, we got to know each other quickly, both of us sending a few hints so the other person knew what kind of mug to get.

I told Lauren that I love owls and look what she sent me!

The cute owl mug was full of treats! 

A note, little note pad, perfume sample, lip balm and lotion! 


Thank you Lauren for the adorable mug and all of the goodies! I can't wait to make some hot apple cider! 

Interested in participating in a blogger swap? Teresa at Where The *Bleep* Is Our Stork is hosting an ornament swap during the month of December. You have until 11/22 to sign up!

Our First RE Appointment

I apologize if this post is not well structured, we got up at 4:45 to drive to the appointment, so to say that I'm exhausted is an understatement.

To sum it up quickly, Keegan and I both love our new RE, Dr. M. She's exactly what we need at this stage of our infertility journey.


After finding our way to Birmingham, and through the winding halls of the hospital, we found ourselves at the registration desk. We checked in, got a packet of information to fill out, and were told to make our way down to the waiting room. After a few minutes, a nurse took us back to a room in the infertility department, and also took my vitals. We were left to finish filling out the packet of information, and to wait for the doctor.

A few minutes later, Dr. M walked in and it was pretty much love at first sight talk. During our close to an hour long conversation, she sat at our level, made eye contact, asked questions and most of all, listened. I never once felt rushed or silly for making the decisions we have made in the past. She never once talked down at me, and she tailored our conversation in a way that showed that she realized I had done my research and knew what we were talking about.

While she didn't look at my Fertility Friend charts (she actually wants me to stop charting!) she did look at the copy of Keegan's SA that I brought as well as listened to all of the procedures and medications I rattled off. She commended me for the almost 40 pounds I've lost and also said that while my doctor doesn't sound like he's interested in treating us anymore, he did lead us down the right path over this past year.

We talked about treatment options and as of right now, our two suggested choices were doing a laparoscopy to check for Endometriosis, or do a few rounds of IUI with Letrozole (Femara.)

Side note: I brought up the idea of a laparoscopy, mainly because Dr. B suggested that be our next step. I know the symptoms of Endo, but I've always been confused as to what constitutes "painful periods." I felt like that was such a subjective term that I never brought up the pain I have the first few days of my cycle because I can control it with pain medications. I explained this to Dr. M and she suggested that since I do have somewhat significant pain, that checking for Endo wouldn't hurt. 

While I want to do the laparoscopy at some point, we're just not sure right now is the right time. We decided to go ahead and do an IUI cycle in December, assuming our current cycle fails. I'll do 5 mg of Letrozole cycle days 3-7, come in for a monitoring ultrasound around CD 14, and then do a trigger shot and the IUI. We were quoted the price of about $300 for the IUI, and anywhere from $20-$100 for the trigger shot, depending what insurance covers. I'm not sure how much the Letrozole will cost and we're not sure if insurance will cover the monitoring ultrasound, but overall, I can't see the IUI costing more than $600-$700. While not the cheapest option, it's certainly not the most expensive, either.

Dr. M agreed to changing protocols as we go, letting us dictate how aggressive (and expensive) we want to be. What I love most about her is that she gives us the treatment options, backs them up with both her opinion and facts, but ultimately lets us make the choice. One of the things that irked me most about Dr. B was that he would either dictate exactly what the protocol was going to be without my input, or would go to the extreme opposite and have me make up my own treatments. While I've done my research, I'm not a doctor. What I need is a doctor that will give me all of the facts and figures about a treatment option, as well as their opinions, but ultimately allow me to make my own choices with their guidance, which is what Dr. M does.

She also kicks ass because she's allowing us to do some of the monitoring (like lab work) at home so that we don't have to spend the time and money to drive the 2+ hours for a five minute blood draw.

Overall, we're both extremely happy with Dr. M. While I hope we get pregnant soon, if we don't, I feel confident under her care and won't mind going to see her a few times each month.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Decision

Thanks to all of your comments on my last post, we decided to make an appointment with the RE. I filled out an online form Friday afternoon, thinking they wouldn't get back to me before Monday and they wouldn't have a spot open until the new year.

How wrong I was.

I got a call back maybe an hour later, gave the nurse our information, and hung up with an appointment for the upcoming Wednesday (tomorrow.)

When I got off the phone, my hands were shaking. I think it was a mix of emotions: scared, happy, nervous, sad. While I'm excited about moving forward, I'm sad that it's come down to this, that we weren't able to conceive on our own. I'm also nervous about treatments and scared about the cost. Like most couples going through infertility, we're not made of money.

I'm only seeing a fellow tomorrow, so I'm not sure what exactly is going to happen or how much we're going to decide on treatments, but it's a start. Since the appointment came up so quickly, I didn't have a chance to send over my medical records (not that they asked for them...) so I made up a binder with all of my Fertility Friends charts from the last year and a half as well as Keegan's SA report and a list of our questions. Can anyone think of anything else to bring?

We leave tomorrow at 5 in the morning for my 8 o'clock appointment, wish us luck!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Decision I Never Though I'd Have To Make

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that tonight Keegan and I had a dinner date with one of Keegan's co-workers and his wife who just recently went through IVF. They're the first couple we know in real life who's dealt with infertility, so we wanted to pick their brains about the steps they went through in deciding on their RE since we've decided we need to break up with our OB.

The couple, P and A, were so easy to talk to and extremely helpful. We both went over our histories and Keegan and I explained what we're hoping our next steps are. They mentioned that they ultimately ended up at an RE in Birmingham, about 2ish hours away from us, who they loved. They felt like they got great care, the staff was attentive, they really had nothing negative to say (except the $13,000 they spent.)

Then they dropped the bomb. They said that before they went to their RE, they saw a OB about an hour away that does infertility treatment up to (not including) IVF for free.

Yes, you read that correctly, for free.

A said that she did several rounds of Clomid and a few IUIs with this doctor and only had to pay for the medications. Apparently this doctor and his wife suffered from infertility, and providing free infertility treatments is his way of giving back to the community. According to A, his bedside manner isn't the best, but they ultimately had good things to say about him.

You'd think it'd be a easy decision to make: either go to the free doctor, or pay out the wazoo for an RE.

I'm not finding it so easy.

There are a few things about this "free doctor" that make me wary, besides his bedside manner. Apparently during a Clomid cycle, he does do mid cycle ultrasounds, which is a step up from my current OB who refuses to do so, but he doesn't do blood work. A also said that if you're doing an IUI and need to come in on the weekend, he'll make you come in on Friday because he doesn't work weekends. He also apparently doesn't keep any sort of records. I looked up his website and there's not much to it.

One could ask, if this "free doctor" is so great, then why did P and A ultimately end up at their RE? Well, P had an SA done at the beginning of their journey which, according to their OB at the time, came out great. When P and A ended up at their RE after a year or so at the "free doctor," they repeated the SA and found out that P has severe male factor infertility, something "Free Doctor" didn't find out or even bother to check. No matter how many free IUIs they had, P and A would have never gotten pregnant without IVF with ICSI.

These things make me nervous, let alone the fact that he's giving away free infertility treatments. The saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" keeps running through my head.

My heart is telling me to make an appointment with the RE, someone who has statistics I can look at, who's associated with a well known university, who has rave reviews from this couple, as well as another blogger I've spoken to. But my head is yelling at me "free treatments!"

Ultimately it boils down to the fact that I'm scared, and I'm mostly scared about spending the money. Our insurance isn't going to cover anything, so we're paying out the pocked for everything. I'm really scared about paying an RE to increase my dosage of Clomid once and I get pregnant, something this "free doctor" could have done for, well, free. On the flip side, I'm scared of going to this "free doctor" for another year, not getting any closer to being pregnant, and having to go to an RE anyways. If that happens, will I regret not going to the RE in the first place?

This is a decision I never thought I'd have to make. I was honestly ready to move onto an RE, but now I'm faced with this "free doctor" that could knock me up for free, or cost us another year of our time.

What would you do?

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Need To Break Up With My OB

It's a similar situation to knowing you need to break up with your boyfriend of a year and a half. Your relationship started off great, you learned more about each other, and had some intimate moments, but these last few months have been less than ideal. He's forgotten key information about you, seem distracted when you're having a conversation, and is seeing other women.

You're afraid to break things off because there have been some good times, he's a cheap date, and you're afraid of losing mutual friends.

But, it's time.

All jokes aside, it really is time for me to leave Dr. B. As I said above, he's forgotten key information about me and has been distracted at our appointments. We've stuck with him for so long because he has helped us in the past. He diagnosed me with PCOS, gave me Metformin and after some pushing, Clomid. He's also relatively cheap since he's covered by my insurance. However, I feel like he's just giving me Clomid so he can say he tried everything to help us before turning us over to an RE. Our last appointment was what really solidified the fact that things need to end.

From having a nurse who had no idea about my medical history interrogate me about my medications to having to explain that I couldn't have my annual exam that day because I was on my period, the entire appointment was a mess.

What really made me upset was that Dr. B went back on his word again. At our last appointment, we decided that I would do three rounds of Clomid, and then we would discuss doing a laparoscopy to check for endometriosis. If we decided not to do the surgery, or if we did and everything came back clear, Dr. B would refer us to an RE with a suggestion of IVF because he had done all he could for us.

Apparently our plan changed without my knowledge. Dr. B said that if this cycle failed (Clomid cycle #2,) we would do a "few more rounds," do a laparoscopy for sure, and then talk about moving to an RE sometime in the future, around summer 2014.

I was livid. I felt like Dr. B had forgotten everything we had talked about a month ago and was just pulling a general plan out of his ass. I felt forgotten, like a number, like he had given up on me and was more interested in taking care of his patients that were easy, that were already pregnant. He also refused to do mid cycle monitoring, even though he expressed yet again his concern about us becoming parents to the next set of sextuplets. We spoke for less than five minutes before he was back out the door.

On my way out, his nurse told me that we would do my annual exam next time I was in....which would be at the beginning of my next cycle.

So, now I'm on the hunt for an RE, but I have no idea where to start. I know from a quick Google search that the nearest RE is about two hours away, but there are many more in the four hour range. I know that my insurance covers nothing related to infertility, so finding a doctor in my plan isn't a necessity.

How did you ladies find your REs? Were they referrals from your OBs or other bloggers? I'm not sure if we'll need IVF, so I don't know if comparing statistics is the correct way to go about things. I've heard that some REs charge for a simple consult, but I don't have the time or money to do consults with every doctor that's within a day's drive from us.

While I'm going to miss certain members of Dr. B's staff, I'm ready to move onto an RE. I'm excited to work with someone who gets women pregnant for a living, instead of someone who throws medications at me with one hand while they're delivering a baby with the other.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project

Scary Mommy Nation

As hopeful mothers, soon to be mothers, or mothers to little ones, our main hope is that we will be able to provide for our children on a day to day basis, but also on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unfortunately, not all parents are able to provide basic food for their children on a day to day basis, let alone on a special day like Thanksgiving. 

For the third year, Scary Mommy has put together the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project. In her own words,
"The Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project gives these mothers and their families an evening of food, love and warmth, without the stress and worry they battle the rest of the year. 
Innocently born out of a blog post in 2011, and now an official 501(c)3 non-profit, the project has helped over 1,700 families to date celebrate a Thanksgiving they wouldn't otherwise have had. Read the testimonials, see yourself in these faces and ask: How can you not want to make a difference?"
How You Can Help:

Go to this page and donate any amount you're able. 100% of your donation will go to a family in need, and in turn, you will receive some information about the family you helped create Thanksgiving for. Give $50 to support a whole family, or they will partner your donation – whatever it is – with other donors. Every dollar counts, so please give what you can.

You can also send checks to: Scary Mommy Nation • PO Box 20866 • Baltimore, MD • 21209

How To Receive Help:

The 2013 Thanksgiving Project is open to all moms struggling to celebrate this Thanksgiving. If you need help this year, please apply here. Please get your application in by November 15th, so they can ensure your card arrives in ample time.

I don't normally post about charities; I believe that everyone should support a charity that holds a special place in their heart. I also know that infertility treatments eat up all the money we have. I also believe, however, that no one should go hungry on Thanksgiving, especially children. I know that there was a time in my life that I needed help to stay on my feet, so I would love to pay it forward and help out a mother and her children for just one day.
Scary Mommy Nation

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Puuuurrrr-fect Halloween

The whole trick-or-treating part of Halloween last night was a fail. We went to one of Keegan's co-worker's house who normally gets hundreds of kids during the night, but since it was raining, we got maybe 30. We ended up bringing over pizza and just hanging out, so it was a nice night, overall.

The biggest surprise of the night was when Keegan and I got home. We got out of our cars and heard this loud mewing coming from our neighbor's house. There is an older white cat that hangs around their house, so we figured she was complaining about getting wet. We walked over to see if we could coax her into our house for the night, but couldn't find her. We looked and looked until finally Keegan looked up. To our surprise, there was a kitten clinging to the top of the roof (blue arrow) mewing its little heart out. We were able to coax it down to the edge of the roof (red arrow) and Keegan got a ladder to rescue it.

We took the kitten inside, dried it off, and gave it some food and water which it wolfed down in no time. Since we have two other cats, we kept the kitten in a spare room by itself overnight, and as far as I know, it cuddled up in its towel and went to sleep. We took the kitten to our vet this morning and were surprised to find out that it's a neutered male. Our vet assumed that since he's neutered, he was probably at a shelter at some point and may have been adopted. We were debating whether or not we should become a three cat family, but now that we know he might be someone's pet, we're just going to hold onto him until we (hopefully) find his family. I've posted the picture below on our local Humane Society's Facebook page and are waiting to see if we hear anything. 

Little mister is lucky he's so cute. I stepped barefoot into an ant hill during our search, so now my feet are covered in itchy burning ant bites. He's all fur and bones, but one of the happiest, cuddliest cats I've met. The entire time we were with him last night, he was purring up a storm which of course melted my heart. I sincerely hope we find his family, but if we can't, I won't be upset adding another fur ball to our family. 

We found Mr. Kitty's owner, apparently it's our neighbor. Keegan talked to her and she said that she leaves him outside "all the time" and is aware that he "sometimes climbs the roof." 

I'm so upset about this. This kitten was skin and bones, and when we took him into the vet, we found out he has fleas. She "might" pay us back for the $108 we spent this morning to update his shots and get him flea medicine, but I'm not holding my breath.