Friday, September 23, 2011


How incredible is the feeling when someone enters your life out of the blue and helps you in a MAJOR way? Just in time to push you in the right direction or to help you make a big decision.
Well, this has happened to us TWICE in the last couple of months. I know this is God's way of working and leading us in the right direction! I just know it!!!

1. Randomly on facebook I met a lady who is a friend of a friend and has a daughter who went through IVF- she also had a failed cycle. Long story short- she told me about Rachel's experience and how she found a wonderful accupuncture doctor named Judi Harrick. judi helped her tremendously through accupuncture getting her body ready for fertility treatment. Along with Judi, she did fertility treatment with Dr. Murray- the doctor who I am loving in Chattanooga. She now has twin boys! This led me to Judi AND Dr. Murray

2. Judi also mentioned Dr. Murray being wonderful when I told her we wanted 2nd opinions

3. My mother in law has a new counterpart who ALSO went to Dr. Murray! She just started working w my Mother in law 3 weeks ago. Right after our IVF cycle failed as we were moving to plan b. We met her and her husband and enjoyed talking to them about all of this and their experience with dr. Murray. This reinforced all of the incredible things we have heard about him!

So- before a couple of months ago I had NO IDEA that ANY of these people existed. Now 2 of them could be some of the most important people in our lives. I really think it is fate.

AND...Dr. Murray answered 2 emails from me yesterday AND called me today to answer a few more questions.
I have NEVER met a doctor like this in my life and feel so at ease and comfortable asking anything.

we can get in to his clinic to start stimulation on December 2, then retrieval around december 12th. Just in time to find out at Christmas if we will be having a baby. This would also give Judi over 3 months to get my body balanced and ready.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

900 NEEDLE STICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I decided to do the math with all of the fertility treatments, starting from day one of figuring this infertility thing out!
And this is coming from a TRUE needle-phob. My friend Erica in Mobile can attest to this fear of mine! :)

Lab- Blood draws- 22 times stuck in the arm

Shots during two rounds of IUI- 14

Shots during IVF, including progesterone- 33 shots
***NOTE***- To the makers of Follistim...A LARGER cartridge would be wonderful so you don't have to change cartridges to get the rest of the dose and take 2 shots!!!******


anesthesia- 1

IV for anesthesia- 1



letrazol- 4 months to try to "enhance" ovulation

accupuncture- 800 needles inserted. 15 0n average per appointment. Going since April and was going 2x a week April-August

b12, vitamin c injections- 34

flu shot- Just because I apparently can't get enough needles!


105 injections-lab draws associated with fertility
Plus 800 needle sticks with accupuncture

Almost 1000 sticks all to get pregnant! I am pretty proud of myself considering that I wouldn't even inject saline into my stomach during product training for my job!
And we are about to do this all over again! Maybe I can hit 1500 by end of year :)

Decisions Decisions

I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now. I'm not sure if it's because everyone around me is pregnant, and I am not joking when I say everyone. Of course I am so incredibly happy for my friends, but at the same time it is tough. And i'm not trying to have a pity party for us, but I just don't understand! WHY NOT US? Why do we have to go through this excruciating process when it is so easy for others? I guess nothing comes easy, but there is an underlying fear I have being so scared this will not work ever! I am so glad to have a wonderful supportive husband and a sweet friend who understands every bit of this emotional roller coaster as she is going through this too! I think we were separated at birth! She is my rock though-Thank you CD!!!!!

Ok, moving on to the positive.....

Last night we had our phone consult with Dr. William Schoolcraft at CCRM in Colorado. The consult was 250.00 and all paperwork was done via internet with a username, password and file online. We enjoyed our conversation with this amazing doctor. we had heard that if he doesn't think he can help you, he will turn you away. He didn't, so that gave us hope which was music to our ears. Basically he thinks it all boils down to the stimulation and the lab. Either my embies didn't like the stimulation I was on or the lab. So this really got us thinking about the lab, and how a lab can make or break a pregnancy!
he is also big on chromosomal testing to make sure there isn't an issue there. The tests he does are so innovative and I know this facility is top notch.
Problem is- it is in Denver. And I hate to fly. It's a 20 hour drive. I'm worried that my stress and anxiety of flying would affect my stress level which would not be productive in this and could really diminish my chances. Again- why can't things be easy.
Where is the magic wand right now that we can wave to make our decisions.

I love watching Giuliana and Bill and love how they have shared their fertility struggles with the world. I cry every time I watch because my heart hurts for her and I know exactly how they feel. we watched the episode from Monday night after my friend who I mentioned above texted me and told me G and B were at CCRM! They are going to do IVF with dr. Schoolcraft. With the doctor that we had our phone consult with just 3 hours before. They could go anywhere in this world and they picked him. Is this a sign? It all adds to the major decision we have to make! Again- where's that magic wand?

So- here are our options:
Please pray we make the right decision!

Dr. Murray- Tennessee Reproductive medicine, Chattanooga, TN

Dr. Ahlering- SHER Institute St. Louis

Dr. Schoolcraft- CCRM Colorado

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fertility Fun in the SL!

Sunday brian and I drove to St. Louis Missouri for our day of fertility appointments. It's only a 4.5 hour drive from Memphis, boring drive, but completely do-able! brian finally caved and bought an ipad on Friday knowing we will be doing lots of traveling- especially retrieval-transfer time. He was able to work the whole way there which is great! It's all about billable hours-haha! Now if I could just pry the ipad from his hands to be able to use it!!!

We enjoyed the hotel as it was raining and dreary outside and then went over to the mall. I was disappointed that we missed the grand opening of Nordstrom by just a few days! Sunday night we went to the lobby bar for a drink before dinner and they had tango lessons going on which was definitely some amazing people watching! Then we had dinner at a wonderful restaurant called Harvest. They use all organic, fresh local ingredients. They had a scallop corn dog- wierd I know but it actually worked. My sis in law and her boyfriend came out to meet us since they were still in town from a wedding in the are the night before. We had a great night.

We started the day off Monday with a phone consult with dr. Rink Murray in Chattanooga, TN- which is 5 hours from memphis. he set the bar EXTREMELY high for our other appointments. We talked to him for 1.5 hours and he had so many great ideas and wonderful insight, next steps, etc. I loved everything he had to say and he had the best personality. We also appreciated how he broke everything down into terms we could truly understand. I LOVE that he does all of the testing and is super involved in the process. The only thing he does not do himself is the bloodwork. I did not even see my doctor one time until retrieval day. Nor did my doctor do either of my IUI's. he has already followed up letting us know he typed everything up from our appointment. Talk about being on top of things!!!! And I love that he has more of a "boutique" practice. I definitely wouldn't just be a number here. My feeling that I had before this appointment was that this would be my favorite, and so far he is the front runner!

The second appointment we had was with dr. Sherman Silber. He was a nice man and has a crazy amount of experience. We started this appointment off in the hospital with an ultrasound. i had 29 follicles which we were happy with. But he proposed the mini-ivf, which only makes 3-4 eggs, then he freezes them for 3 months before transfer. I want to MAKE more eggs because I will be 35 next year- the clock is ticking. We also don't want to wait 3 months for a transfer. All of the tests are done in the hospital which is intimidating to me. I also didn't love that I felt like I had stepped into 1980 in the office. Nothing was new or updated- there were tons of VHS tapes everywhere. Then we were shuffled into a non- friendly room with an administrator wanting us to secure our date with 500.00. I think this man is incredibly talented, but this is just not for us.

Our last appointment was at 3 PM with Dr. Peter Ahlering. he is with the SHER Institute. We really liked him alot. he met with us for about 2 hours and had some really good ideas. They are big on it all being about the sperm and egg and not all being created equal. They have an incredible lab and a microscope they use for sperm selection. I never really thought about some sperm being better than others, but with this technology they can "hand select" the best ones to ICSI the egg. You could have a perfect egg, but if the sperm isn't right, it won't work. he does not think I have an egg quality issue. He thinks I was under stimulated with the wrong protocol. He also does all of the tests minus the bloodwork himself.

Speaking of protocol- not one person really likes the antagonist protocol that we used for IVF. No matter what dr we pick, we will not be doing this same protocol.

next up is CCRM in Colorado with Dr. Schoolcraft. I have decided I would prefer to be within driving distance. But I will be anxious to hear what he has to say and how he would proceed with next steps-treatment plans.

We are so glad that we did this yesterday as everyone had different insight and ideas. We are ready to proceed with another cycle soon. Now we just have some big decisions to make! :) We are feeling extremely positive and learned alot from our first IVF experience.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paperwork OVERLOAD!!!!!!!!

I am literally cross-eyed from filling out paperwork for fertility doctors! WHEW!
However, I am not complaining because I am so excited about our quest to find the perfect doctor. next week is our big week. We have 4 consults in one week. It's funny how they just so happened to fall within the same week. Here is what our busy week looks like:

Sunday- Travel to St. Louis and have a day of fun!

monday- 9:30: Phone consult with Dr. Rink Murray in Chattanooga (
Dr. Murray used to be with the clinic I have been going to but moved to Chattanooga. We have heard just amazing things about him and are so excited about meeting him! My initial thoughts are that he may be "the one" and I am glad he is our first consult. Kind of like looking at a wedding dress and finding the one you really love, then coming back to it after you see others.

Monday 1 PM- Ultrasound for Dr. silber before our consult
He likes to have this done right before his meeting just to see what he's working with. And hey, it's been over a month since I have seen this lovely wand that I was so hoping to NEVER see again- haha! What's another ultrasound, right? Dr. Silber created the ICSI process which I thought was really cool!

Monday 2 PM- Face to face with Silber

drive 5.5 hours back to memphis

Tuesday- 5 PM- Phone consult with SHER Institute in St. Louis
We were hoping to get a face to face with them on Monday, since we will already be in SL. But it looks like we aren't going to get a spot and will be doing a phone consult

Wednesday 5 PM- CCRM phone consult with Dr. Schoolcraft
I have to admit, I am most excited about this appointment. This man is seriously the Fertility guru and has a wealth of knowledge. Not that others don't, but I feel a little star struck with Dr. Schoolcraft-haha! His success rates are outstanding. The only problem is that I am a freak about flying. Hate it! I act like a complete fool and don't like one thing about it. I honestly never fly unless it is for work- pitiful I know! So, trying to eliminate stress and flying don't mix well.

And we are still toying with the idea of a fertility clinic in Birmingham that is supposed to be phenomenal. they don't do phone consults though, so it would be another trip out of town, but Birmingham is only 3.5 hours away!

Please pray that we will find the perfect doctor to fit our needs! I am so excited to share my findings after our consults :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Today=great day!

Lots of things have made me a happy girl today!

Getting to do the introduction for my sweet cousins senior speech this AM.
She attends Hutchison School which is all girls and they each have a senior speech throughout the semester they get to create and read. Her senior class was so sweet and I loved seeing the bond these girls have with each other. Seems like yesterday I was picking her up in the PreK carpool line!

I am so excited about my MISSONI finds at Target today! My mother and I met there to take a peek at what they had and women were grabbing up everything they could as fast as possible! It was nuts! I love Target and can always count on them to do something like bring in a spectacular designer who is upwards of 1000.00 to their store to create some affordable Missoni pieces! Apparently for the first time in history their website crashed bc of Missoni hitting their site today!

Had Lunch with 3 of my favorite nurses :)

Going to Dinner with a couple who went through IVF several times and now have a 7 month old little girl!!!!!

Brian setting up hotel reservations for Sunday night in St. Louis at The Ritz Carlton. Looking forward to our appointment at the other fertility clinic on Monday!!! and a much needed one night get away

That I finally have my medical records from the fertility clinic!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Can't beat some retail therapy!!!!

Every girl needs a little retail therapy every once in a while- especially after fertility treatments! Yesterday I worked in a little town in MS that has my favorite boutique- Janie Rose Boutique, and I couldn't resist a few things. I was trying to be practical (planning cute dresses for football games is practical, right?) and left with a few dresses I am in love with ! I Still have some more stupid IVF weight hanging around, but hopefully that will come off soon.

I am so excited about this fun dress!

judith March is one of my favorites and this was a must have for the Alabama-Ole Miss Game in Oxford. Nothing Says ROLL TIDE like some cute houndstooth!
I hope the weather will be permissive in october for this still! It is Memphis though and it could easily be in the 90's or in the 50's- guess I will need to find "plan B" outfit too!

Janie Rose updates what they have in stock every day and will ship anywhere!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Not Yet, striving to get to yes!

As hard as it is to understand sometimes I have to remember that God Has a plan and answer for us. I loved this so much!!!

Taking charge of MY fertility!

Since we got our bad news I have decided that I am not going to let infertility beat me! I will win this battle no matter what it takes. I will not back down. And the most important thing I have learned so far is that educating myself is key! before we get our second opinions later this month I want to know as much as possible about my diagnosis and why i am not getting pregnant.
I went into my first IVF thinking that the doctor would take care of everything and I was majorly wrong! I would have asked a million more questions had I known.

Here is what I am doing:

Accupuncture with a new doctor specializing in fertility

Going organic- yes this is tough, but it is possible

Phyto-estrogen foods- since my diagnosis is low estrogen which basically holds a pregnancy, I want to incorporate lots of these foods in my diet. I have a HUGE list of foods that are rich in phyto-estrogen. Flax seed being the best, which luckily I can sprinkle on various foods I eat!

Reading, reading and more reading/researching
***I highly suggest Dr. Schoolcraft from Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine's book "If At First You Don't Conceive" VERY good info I wish I had known from the start!

getting 2nd and even 3rd opinions

Having a positive outlook and not giving up on this!

Seeing beautiful every day (Thanks to some great inspiration by a sweet new friend. You have to check out Seeing Beautiful-)

researching fertility clinics and having phone consults

reaching out to others who have been through this for their advice

Qigong- Meditation-stretching exercises to help the chi flow and create balance and harmony

herbs and vitamins

Cutting back on stress!!!!!!!!!

20 min foot soak every day and warming my lower belly per accupuncture dr's instructions

Keeping myself busy and surrounding myself with positive

Monday, September 5, 2011

Adventures with a new accupuncture dr!

I am so excited about the new clinic I switched to for accupuncture! I have so much great information and Judi (my new dr.) is the fertility guru and has helped so many people get pregnant after failed IUI, IVF and natural cycles. This will involve pretty big lifestyle changes, but I am willing to do whatever it takes!

I have been going to accupuncture for 6 months twice a week at a clinic I liked, but a major language barrier made optimal communication very tough. Overall, I truly feel better with my sinuses, allergies and asthma in better shape. But unfortunately I am still lacking in the fertility department! I was ready for a change of scenery and someone who would be very thorough.
I had a sweet friend reach out to me about Judi Harrick and what she did for her and about 15 other people she knew. Bottom line is they had fertility treatments that did not work, went to Judy and stuck to her plan and got pregnant! Whether they conceived naturally, or did another fertility treatment with Judi's accupuncture integrated in. Since I have found out about her I can't tell you how many stories I have heard of "You have to go and see Judi- my sister who had a failed IVF got pregnant after she treated her" which gives me lots of HOPE!

So, how does this work? Herbal supplements, diet, one on one time with her getting to know my body and what she can do to help it, and of course the accupuncture treatments weekly. I spent 3 hours with her for my first appointment! It's all about getting the Qi (pronounced chi- which means life force within us) to be full and move smoothly and balanced.

So here are the rules:
No smoking- easy, didn't smoke anyway
No alcohol- I will def. miss my wine!!!!!
No caffeine or coffee- easy, not a fan of either really. Except for Pumpkin Spiced Latte time!
Decrease strenuous exercise- I can def. handle that! :)
Eat as organic as possible- Great habit I have needed to get into anyways! But tough when choosing restaurants
Increase whole grains, decrease animal product intake- this will be a little tough bc meats will only be 10 % of diet.
Eat warm, cooked food. eat root foods and dark greens- Pretty easy
Avoid raw and cold foods- hard
Don't drink iced drinks while eating- very hard
No white flour, white sugar or dairy! HARD HARD HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This will be the most difficult for me

So basically my diet will consist of: 50% whole grains, 40% lightly cooked veggies, and 10% meats!

I am nervous but excited to do this. I definitely don't want to fail! I am willing to do whatever it takes to have a baby and what great habits to get into in the meantime!!! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Asking for prayers!

Today has been hard. One of the toughest days I have ever had. My sweet grandmother who has always been super "with-it" able to stay a step ahead in her late eighties has been struggling.
Well, this AM about 7 she was rushed to the hospital to find out she had a stroke. Apparently this happened 10 days or so ago. She has been struggling with her blood pressure recently (over the last few weeks) and her doctor passed it off as ANXIETY! She has gone in to see him several times during these last few weeks his direction has been for her to take xanax when she feels anxious or not normal. Way to go there dr- way to be passive! My opinion is (and I don't have a MD behind my name, but red flags are red flags) when all of this came about he should have sent her off for tests! tests, tests and more tests to make sure everything checked out ok as she is almost 90! Just because you are healthy up until now does NOT constitute for a diagnosis of "shes fading fast" or anxiety. C'mon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank God for the ER doctor today who ordered those tests, and lots of them, to find out that indeed my grandmother has had a stroke. After a long day in a shared room with the most obnoxious lady EVER who would not shut the hell up for one second- and I am not joking, she is finally in a room and will be undergoing more tests to figure out what to day. I am broken hearted seeing her in this state. I have been blessed to have her in my life for 34 years now and can't stand to see her suffer.
Please pray for my sweet grandmother. If you all knew her and what an amazing woman she is you would all love her as much as I do. She is the most selfless person in the world who spends her life praying for everyone who needs it. Now it is her turn.

And also please pray I don't have a sprained wrist as I face planted down my parents 3 steps on their back door tonight while letting their dogs out!

This is an absolute MUST Read!

i was absolutely speechless after reading this amazing story and had to share!!!!!