Life without kids

99% of the time I spend picturing how certain events or moments would be better with kids. I really try to appreciate this time with just my husband and no real obligations, but that’s easier said than done. Our typical lifestyle is very baby/kid friendly as we often prefer to just hang out around our house, be with just each other and go to bed at a reasonable time. This weekend however, was not at all typical for us – and would have never happened if we had a baby.

On Friday we went to a local minor league baseball game. My MIL’s company sponsors an event every year so it meant free tickets and hot dogs for us (#lovefreestuff). I am a huge hot dog fan and let me tell you, these were a home run (get it – baseball game, home run – ha!).Anyway 2 of my 3 SIL were in attendance as well as our nephew and BIL. Our BIL & SIL had to leave early as it was our nephews bedtime, so we got in some good bonding time with my SIL. We were having fun so we decided to keep the party going after the game and head to a bar nearby (yes, I’m drinking until AF arrives, don’t judge). We had really great conversation for a few hours. We told her that we’d be going through IVF, we talked about our family dynamic, and really covered quite a bit. It was really nice AND we didn’t get home until almost 1 am! We haven’t been out that late in probably a year!

Saturday we went to pick out a new suit for an interview the husband has this week. It was actually pretty fun and didn’t take long at all, but DAMN those things are expensive! But he looked pretty effin handsome, so it was totally worth it. Then we went to a parade of open houses around town. It’s something our city does in the Spring and Fall to showcase all of the local builders. We’ve done it a few times and it is always fun. This time, I mostly was envisioning what kind of house we’d want if we aren’t able to have children. I like the idea of building a smaller, cozy yet entertaining friendly, house on a lake. I saw one room in particular I really liked –

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Doesn’t that seem like a great space for me to do my paper crafting? Plus I just liked the simple modern vibe and I LOVED the wall hanging. I love it even more now after the adventurous weekend we had (hold tight – the adventure part is coming!). All in all, we saw 10 houses and that was just enough. Then we went over to my uncle’s house, grilled out some dinner, and fished off his pontoon for a while. He invited us to go canoeing Sunday morning, but we we were pretty hesitant as our weekend had already been so busy.

Then a little voice in my head reminded me that we hopefully only have a short time left of “carefree” living so we should take these opportunities when they come. So we agreed to canoeing bright and early Sunday morning (ok, ok really it was 10:30 – but we had had back to back late nights!). He said we wouldn’t regret it and boy was he right. We had just an absolute blast! It had been years since my husband or I had canoed so it took us a bit to get our bearings. I did fall out early on and hit my arm pretty good on a rock. I had a nasty giant golf ball size bump for a while, but now it just looks a wussy couple of scratches (so much for my battle scar!). It was such a pretty river and the weather was just perfect. Then we had our little canoe group over for another BBQ and then were finally by ourselves cuddled up in bed by 8pm.

Can’t remember the last time we were THAT busy! But man, we sure had fun. Although we both feel pretty miserable today – itchy from from mosquito bites, sore from paddling/falling, tired from not nearly enough sleep, and just generally “off” from a few too beers on the river. So worth it though! I was also proud of us for making the most of this time without kids. It was also helpful to see what our lives might be like if we never have them. Maybe we will buy some kayaks and some overpriced name brand sportware and become super ourdoorsy! It’s just important for me to know that we’d be able to live – metaphorically and literally – our lives without kids. Our first choice would always be to be parents, but that may not be a choice we get to make.

Resolve to know more about your treatment

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National Infertility Awareness Week is coming to an end. I wanted to do one more post in honor of it and to be a part of the Bloggers Unite Challenge (we are celebrating 25 years after all!).

After 29 months of regular doctors’ appointments, I’ve realized how important it is to be your own advocate with your treatment plan. No one know yours medical history as well as you do. No one cares about the outcome of your treatment as much as you do. It is up to you to keep your doctors and nurses on their toes and ensure you are getting the best treatment possible. It’s not always easy to second guess your doctor, but they are people too and no one is perfect. Since I’ve taken a more active role in my treatment, I feel more empowered and more confident of the path I’m on. Here are some tips that have helped me take charge of my treatment:

Ask questions. This one is obvious, but easier said then done. It is very important to understand why a doctor may choose one way over another. Don’t be shy, a good doctor will be thrilled to explain his methods. Why start stims on day 3 instead of day 5? Why implant 2 embryos instead of 1? If you think of something after your appointment, call your clinic’s nurses line!

Do your research. Before choosing an IVF clinic (if you’re lucky enough to have multiple in your area) check out their stats on SART (Society for Assistant Reproductive Technology). All IVF clinics are required to report their stats to them, so it’s a great place to compare success rates. You can also compare your clinic to the national success rates. The stats I find to be the most indicative of a good clinic are percentage of cycles resulting in live births for fresh and thawed cycles (don’t ignore the # of embryos implanted or cycles cancelled either).

Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, question it. I’ve followed too many instructions that I wasn’t comfortable with to later regret it. If you feel like you need to do the IUI 24 hours after trigger instead of 36 hours, let them know. Obviously you need to take the doctor’s opinion to heart, but perhaps they weren’t thinking of something in your history. I’ve had nurses look at my history too quickly and give me the wrong dosing schedule. It’s up to you to know your history and be your own advocate!

Get a second opinion. Some doctors are better than others, some are more familiar with your specific condition, and some just may have more experience than others. It’s important for you to be comfortable with your doctor. If you just aren’t jiving with your doctor, find another one. Both times I’ve requested a change in doctors it’s even been within the same office. No one should question your desire to change, don’t be nervous to make the call, it’s more typical than you think.

Utilize the IF online community. If you wonder if anyone else has had luck with a specific treatment plan, there’s no better place to go than the IF online community. Post it to a board, blog about it, or ask in a facebook group. Your RE may have seen hundreds or maybe even thousands of patients, but that can’t compare to the millions of us online. Should you take your medical advice from ONE person online whose not a doctor? Of course not. Compare stories, ask around, and gather information. Bring it to your doctor and discuss it together, perhaps they’ll learn something too.

Just remember this is your journey, don’t be passive in it!

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