a wonderful opportunity…

So the fertility clinic that I used to go to Fertility Centers of Illinois is offering a WONDERFUL opportunity to someone in Illinois who is struggling with infertility and looking at IVF – a free cycle!!  I wish I would have known of this while I was there, but it’s all good now.

Anyway, they are having a golf fundraiser to raise money to help couples afford IVF.  You can apply to receive this amazing gift – simply click here to be taken to the fundraiser’s web page, and then click on the application link.  That simple!  I hope this reaches someone in Illinois that this could really help to reach our ultimate goal: a baby in our arms.  Good Luck!

just a quick note…

Mother’s day is hard.  There’s no question about that.  I don’t think I need to rehash something that we all know and feel…but I did want to share this article written by Nia Vardalos (from My Big Fat Greek Wedding).  It’s a great way to explain what we all go through, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day that we struggle  with infertility and loss.

In some amazingly good news, my blog friend K from Waiting for Sunflower has had her little baby boy!!  I’m so happy for her.  She and I have almost parallel stories (PCOS, MTHFR, 2 miscarriages) – I’m so happy that she has finally gotten her Sunflower, she deserves every bit of happiness.  If you have some time, swing over to her blog and leave her a note of congratulations!

and we start again…

Well, this Saturday marked the start of a new cycle.  AF decided to show up on 10dpo…really?  Is that early?  Since I have PCOS, I’ve never in my life had a regular cycle, so I have no idea how these things work, but I thought a typical cycle went around 14dpo??  Oh well, at least she came in a timely manor, I didn’t have to face the negative HPT and since last cycle didn’t work, at least we can get going on the next one so soon!  (As my husband said when I told him, “…you gotta make lemonade out of things when, wait, what…you know what I mean…”)

So, CD3 today.

In other news, please keep K from Waiting for Sunflower in your thoughts, prayers, ritual sacrifices, whatever it is that you do.  She is getting nearer and nearer to her due date.  She will be induced on Friday morning unless the little guy decides to make his appearance before that.  Please offer her support as she prepares to meet her baby!

Also, in some way cool news, I got mentioned!!  On the website Spectrum Science.  There was an article written by Kaitlin
Doody called Online Infertility Community Celebrates National Awareness Week and in the article, there is a link back to my post about our #infertility campaign on Twitter!  How exciting is that!!!  And some of you were quoted from your Tweets that day!  Check it out and marvel at the power of social networking to help bring awareness about infertility, during NIAW and all year long!  We rock ladies (and gents…)!!

the campaign for #infertility…

So yesterday you may have noticed my blog about my Twitter campaign. I’ve met an AMAZING group of women and men through Twitter that are suffering or have dealt with infertility. Many of them have blogs, but not all do. It’s a great place to go for instant advice or support in this IF world. The friends I’ve meet through my blogging and twitter worlds are beyond wonderful. They have been there for me during my 2 miscarriages, through 3 of my 4 IUI’s (during my 1st one I had not yet begun to blog), during my worries of finances to pay for it all, new diagnosis’ and my continuing journey to find my way down this Long and Winding Road.

Well, I signed on to Twitter today at work like I do. I normally just check it when I have some spare time and see what people are up to. Offer support to those in a difficult place in their journey and rejoice with those who receive good news. I don’t know when or why the idea popped into my head, but I decided that #infertility needed to be a trending topic on Twitter. If you’re not familiar with how Twitter works, I’ll try to give a brief description. You get 140 words to say something to those that “follow” you – anyone who has signed up to can see what you say, and you see what others say, based on who you follow. They also have this trending topics thing, where if you put a # in front of a word, Twitter tracks it. The more people who say that word in a tweet, the more popular the topic becomes. On the side bar of your Twitter page there is a “top 10” of sorts of the words that are “trending” the highest – those that are mentioned the most by everyone who has a Twitter account.

So, like I said, I decided to make #infertility one of the Top 10 on April 19th…So I said: “we should try to make #infertility a trending topic…who’s in??” Soon I had a few of my followers joining in on the idea! We were tweeting to each other about making people more aware of infertility or supporting each other through laughter (@fromiftowhen mentioned she’d like to get shirts made that say “I was out of the office b/c I was getting knocked up by my doc”). Soon there were a ton of tweets going back and forth in the IF twitter community mentioning #infertility and trying to get others to join the campaign! I shared some statistics on infertility “National Survey of Family Growth 1995: approx 6.1 mil women & partners in US are affected by #infertility that’s10% of reproductive-age pop” which were retweeted (repeated by someone else so all of their followers could see what I said) by @wombwarrior.

Soon I decided it was time to go on the offensive and attack the current trending topics, hoping that would help.
we can DEFINITELY beat the iPod on Trending Topics!! Join me… #infertility
iPhone and Bieber – you’re gonna go DOWN on trending topics! #infertility
Hekla, Justin Bieber & iPhone are trending…can #infertility own them all???

Soon mini topics were started by other Tweeters like @wombwarrior asking, “What is the tweet-size version of your #infertility story?”  To which I answered: “My #infertility story: 3yrs3mo TTC. PCOS & MTHFR mutation. 4 IUI’s (3 failed, one ended in m/c on 3/19/09) 2nd m/c on 1/25/10.”

Other topics were discussed: what has infertility taught you?  Who supports you in your IF journey?  I got to know so much about my IF Twitter community today, it was amazing!  I also “met” a ton of new IFers on Twitter and got a lot of new followers.

In the end however, we did not make it to the Top 10 Trending Topics today – but I’m not giving up!  National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24-May 1, 2010.  This week was created by Resolve, a great organization focused on bringing issues of infertility to light and making sure that we are spoken for in this world!  I’m going to re-launch my campaign on April 26th (that’s next Monday) to get #infertility to be a Trending Topic on Twitter!  I’m hoping with some planning ahead and getting the word out there we can do it this time!  I’m even going to try and get the word to Ellen DeGeneres via Twitter (thanks for the idea Twitter ladies!  I’m not sure who @ replied her first, if it was you, let me know so I can give you credit here) to have she and her fans help our #infertility trending campaign.

I know this may not seem like much of a goal to have set, but I really think it will be an amazing thing to do.  Too often for those of us faced with infertility there is shame and silence.  We feel shame that our bodies don’t work like other peoples, that we can’t procreate with out a lot of help from outside sources.  It’s a taboo topic and many IFers, men and women alike, stay “in the closet” for fear of what the outside world will think.  I know I bite my tongue often when it comes to issues of infertility, though I’m trying hard to not do it as often.  If we can claim this one small victory, just one day of awareness on a website that is frequented by millions of people around the world, think what that could do for infertility awareness!  I know and am prepared for the other side of this spectrum, for the awful comments we will also get, for the insensitive people who will make fun of us, or not understand us, but I think it’s a price I’m willing to pay, and I hope my Twitter friends are too!  This is a victory I want to claim, some small thing that I can do to help the infertility world…

I can’t do this with out you, my fellow Tweeters!  Spread the word!  Blog about the campaign!  Tell all of your friends, IRL (in real life) and online!!  Please help me to achieve this goal – together I KNOW that we can do it!  We will begin on April 26th, whatever time zone you’re in when that day roles around, begin to add #infertility to all of your tweets, even if they’re not about infertility!  Every tweet counts!!

Thank you, thank you so much to everyone who participated on April 19th – even though we didn’t make it, I think it was an excellent trial run for the big day, April 26th!!  I want to thank you all, but I know I won’t get everyone who helped.  I’m going to try and list you all and if you see I’ve missed someone, leave me a comment or Tweet me and I’ll add them to the list (same goes if you’d like to be taken off the list)…here goes (I’ll be using Twitter names and linking to their blog if they have one):

notpregnantjust, HopefulMamaHack, My_Baby_Love, BustedKate, OpMommyhood, AzoosBeyotch, fertilityauthor, Thegirlwithpcos, WannaBeMom, sonjathegreat, BundledJoy, WaitingLisa, _Nikke, fertilitywire, PCOSChick, yourgreatlife, IVFoldbird, Born2bamummy, OklaLN86, chasingamiracle, Candidly_Andrea, StolenEggs, autoimmunelife, FutureMrsVic, braving_ivf, misdconception, Caretta74, fromiftowhen, wombwarrior, InfertileNaomi, tillien, fertilitychick, fertilityguy

Thank you, thank you everyone – hope to see you again on April 26th!

the big o & twitter…

So today it looks like I got a +OPK (finally, I’m on CD-26)!!  I think…it’s hard to tell sometimes, but it’s the darkest it’s been all cycle.  On my last cycle my +OPK was not as dark as the test line, but that cycle I got pregnant going by that, so I’m going to say that today is the day, or at least, the start of my fertile time!  I’ll keep watching my temps and test for a few more days to see if it gets darker or lighter…

In other news, I’m starting a campaign of sorts on Twitter today.  I’ve found an awesome community of IF tweeps (?), tweeters (?), twitterers (?)…anyway, a lot of them are people that I follow on their blogs, but with twitter there is an instant support network when things go good or bad in the IF life…If you’re not on Twitter, you can ignore this appeal (or join to help!).  If you ARE on Twitter, I’m trying to get the word #infertility trending today.  All you have to do is tweet something and add the word #infertility with the little hash tag/number sign thing-y.  I’d love to bring some more awareness to the world about infertility and all the crap we have to go through!  If you can help, that’d be awesome!

Hope you are all well and that your cycles, pregnancies and/or new babies are going great!

if and celiac disease…

A good friend of mine was diagnosed with celiac disease about a year and a half ago.  If you’ve never heard of it, I suggest clicking this link to read about it on WebMD.  A brief description of what it is: “Celiac disease is a digestive disorder characterized by intolerance to dietary gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Consumption of gluten leads to abnormal changes of the mucous membrane (mucosa) of the small intestine, impairing its ability to properly absorb fats and additional nutrients during digestion (intestinal malabsorption).”

It is a very serious disease and the only “cure” is to completely cut out all gluten from your diet.  As you may imagine, this severely limits ones food choices.  Although, a lot of G-free foods are very tasty!  I’ve had a lot since she was diagnosed and made many myself.  When it’s a matter of life or death (which it is for her…if she has gluten it could kill her) you find ways!

Why am I bringing this up here?  Well the very lovely and talented Stirrup Queen posted a link on her Twitter to this article linking celiac disease with infertility.  Celiac disease blocks your body for absorbing nutrients (such as Vitamin D, calcium and Folic Acid…seem important?), there by causing fertility issues and recurrent miscarriages.  The article points to a blogger, Waiting in Sunshine and her post about her celiac’s and infertility.

I think this is an important issue to look into for those of us still in the trenches.  In April I go in for some big blood work to see if there is any reason I continue to loose my babies.  The PCOS explains my difficulty getting pregnant (though with metformin now, we seem to have helped that problem out a lot) but now we’re looking into why I can’t stay pregnant.  The MFM doc I saw didn’t see any reason in my ultrasound and past testing to explain it.  What if all my tests come back okay?  What then?  I don’t think I have any of the celiac symptoms, but the blood test is so easy to check for it, and I know there are clinics that offer free testing for it all the time.  It would be something to look into if there is no other explanation.  I’m not putting this up here to make everyone think that there IF/miscarriage issues are caused by celiac disease.  I’m just saying it’s certainly something to consider if all else fails.

remembering our babies…

Hey all…I know I’ve been gone a while, and I’m not really marking a come back with this.  I’m still not ready to deal with what is going on in my TTC world.  I just can’t write it all out yet…I promise I will, so please don’t leave me…

This post is about something I just heard about today (thanks to Maybe Baby?).  If you go to this website, you’ll find out that today all around the world people are lighting candles to remember the children that we have lost.  What you’re supposed to do is light a candle at 7:00 pm to remember your little one or perhaps to remember a child that a loved one has lost.  Please, if you are able, join with us and light a candle tonight.

05_04_51-candle_web

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