NIAW GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey wonderful people! Do you want to win a book??? Do you want to win an awesome book about infertility?? Did you enter to win on Monday and not win??  Well, I think I can help you there!

As part of Resolve.org‘s NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week) I will be giving away a copy of the book Love and Infertility: Survival Strategies for Balancing, Infertility, Marriage, and Life by Kristen Magnacca. I was contacted last week by Terri Davidson (follow her on twitter! @marketingmaven), who works with the author. They are providing the book for the giveaway.

“Written after her own challenging experiences with infertility, Kristen Magnacca shares her and her husband’s story and provides much-needed life-saving strategies in the book. During the infertility journey, love and romance can often take a back seat to the basal thermometers, hormone shots, and medical procedures that millions of aspiring parents hope will get them pregnant. Infertility can cause frustration, hopelessness, miscommunication, and a radical change in couples’ daily lives – and in their relationships. The book, now published in paperback, explains how to keep the love alive while trying to create a family.” [citation for quote]

I’m really excited about this giveaway, and I hope you are too!!! A winner will be drawn on MONDAY, MAY 3rd, 2010. The winner will then have 48 hrs to contact me by email (somedaybabyt at gmail dot com) to claim your prize!

So you wanna win? Well, here’s how to enter! (You must leave a comment to this post for every entry so I know you’ve done it!)

MANDATORY:

1) Click the SUBSCRIBE! button on my sidebar (I hope I have this working right…) – 1 entry


OPTIONAL (for extra entries):

1) Add my blog button to your blog, (add your blog address to the comment) – 1 entry

2) Follow me on Twitter! @SomedayBabyT (leave your Twitter name in the comment) – 1 entry

3) Follow @marketingmaven AND @Kristenmagnacca on Twitter – 1 entry

4) Tweet this message: “I want to win an AWESOME book from @SomedayBabyT for #NIAW. You can too: http://bit.ly/d40fkR #infertility” – 1 entry (leave a link to your tweet in comment)

That’s all you gotta do folks! Good luck, and I’ll see you on Twitter!!

(This giveaway is being provided by the author of the book, Kristen Magnacca. The winner will be sent the item directly from her. Winners will be drawn using Random.org. Winner will have 48 hours from the drawing date to contact me by email somedaybabyt at gmail dot com with your address. After that, I will pick a new winner. I am not being compensated for this giveaway, I was contacted and provided with the book for the giveaway.)

#INFERTILITY CAMPAIGN GIVEAWAY!!

Hey wonderful people! Do you want to win a book??? Do you want to win an awesome book about infertility?? Well, I think I can help you there!

This is my first giveaway, and one I’m really excited about.  As part of the #Infertility Campaign that I’m organizing today (April 26th) I will be giving away a copy of the book Love and Infertility: Survival Strategies for Balancing, Infertility, Marriage, and Life by Kristen Magnacca.  I was contacted last week by Terri Davidson ( follow her on twitter! @marketingmaven), who works with the author.  They are providing the book for the giveaway (and stay tuned during National Infertility Awareness Week (April 25-May1) for more giveaways from them) to help our Twitter campaign and as part of Resolve.org‘s NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week).

“Written after her own challenging experiences with infertility, Kristen Magnacca shares her and her husband’s story and provides much-needed life-saving strategies in the book. During the infertility journey, love and romance can often take a back seat to the basal thermometers, hormone shots, and medical procedures that millions of aspiring parents hope will get them pregnant. Infertility can cause frustration, hopelessness, miscommunication, and a radical change in couples’ daily lives – and in their relationships. The book, now published in paperback, explains how to keep the love alive while trying to create a family.” [citation for quote]

Like I said, I’m really excited about this giveaway, and I hope you are too!!!  A winner will be drawn on TUESDAY, APRIL 27 2010.  The winner will then have 48 hrs to contact me by email (somedaybabyt at gmail dot com) to claim your prize!

So you wanna win?  Well, here’s how to enter! (You must leave a comment to this post for every entry so I know you’ve done it!)

MANDATORY:

1) Click the SUBSCRIBE! button on my sidebar (I hope I have this working right…) – 1 entry


OPTIONAL (for extra entries):

1) Add my blog button to your blog, (add your blog address to the comment) – 1 entry

2) Follow me on Twitter! @SomedayBabyT (leave your Twitter name in the comment) – 1 entry

3) Follow @marketingmaven AND @Kristenmagnacca on Twitter – 1 entry

4) Tweet this message: “I want to win an AWESOME book from @SomedayBabyT.  You can too: http://bit.ly/cIvm6y #infertility”  – 1 entry (leave a link to your tweet in comment)

5) For every FIVE (5) tweets you post with #infertility you get ONE (1) entry in the contest (leave links in comment) – Limit of 10 entries on this one

6) When we reach our Trending Topic Goal (and we will, I KNOW we will), the FIRST person to email me a screen shot of #infertility on the Trending Topics list will receive FIVE (5) extra entries!!  Send the screen shot to me via email: somedaybabyt at gmail dot com.  I will notify the winning person and then you can add your extra entries in comments.

That’s all you gotta do folks!  Good luck, and I’ll see you on Twitter!!

(This giveaway is being provided by the author of the book, Kristen Magnacca.  The winner will be sent the item directly from her.  Winners will be drawn using Random.org.  Winner will have 48 hours from the drawing date to contact me by email somedaybabyt at gmail dot com with your address.  After that, I will pick a new winner.  I am not being compensated for this giveaway, I was contacted and provided with the book for the giveaway.)

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.

just keep moving…

I had a rough day yesterday.  I got 2 hours of sleep as I went to see Harry Potter in IMAX 3-D at midnight, then had my blood test at 6:30 am, which meant I woke up at 5:30 to get ready and leave after going to be at about 3 am.  Yeah.  Then my heart jumped in my chest every time the phone rang waiting for the call.  If I’m honest with myself, I really thought it had worked this time, even though I always tell myself it hasn’t worked.  But, I was pretty tired the last few weeks (though that could be from not sleeping well), and my breasts have been a bit sore (though, not as much as when I was pregnant), and I’ve been peeing a lot more than normal (I NEVER wake up at night to go, except when I was pregnant).  So, I wasn’t experiencing the symptoms to the same degree as I did when I was pregnant with Zippy, but it was enough to give me hope.

So, when I got the call and it was negative, needless to say I was pretty crushed.  I managed to get through the day at work fine, but as soon as I jumped in the car to go home, it was over.  It also didn’t help that it took an hour to get home yesterday, as opposed to the normal 30-45 min – traffic was extra heavy!  I was sitting in my car, wiping the tears that were streaming down my face.  Driving in heavy traffic while extremely tired, upset and crying is NOT a good idea.  I’d recommend that you all never do it.

Last IUI I was not nearly as upset about the negative result.  Granted, I was sad it had not worked, but I never thought it had that time because I had zero symptoms.  I think the combo of having some small possible symptoms and being extremely tired really got to me.  Today I’m better, but still have to concentrate hard not to cry.

I’m at the point now (again) where I just want this all to be over.  I want a baby so badly.  I mean, I’ve wanted that for the whole 2 1/2 years we’ve been trying, but it’s really building up right now.  I’m worried we had our 1 shot and I blew it.  We have enough to try again, but pretty much that will be it.  Justin and I had a short conversation yesterday that after this, we will most likely have to stop.  I don’t even want to think about that.  How can I stop?  How can I live 3 years without – I can’t comprehend that right now, so I’m going to stop writing about it.

I miss the happy person I used to be.  It took me a long time to get to that point, but I was truly happy and things did not bother me – I did not let them.  Why stress or worry I would say?  Things will work themselves out.  I miss that person.  I was not one of those annoyingly perky people, I was just happy being who I was and happy with my lot in life.  I want that back.  I don’t want to be the person that looks away in pain when I see a pregnant stranger on the street or a happy family walk by.  I don’t want to be the person that stares in anger and jealousy at a pregnant belly, or that cries in pain at the happy family – the one I fear I will never have.  I hate that person, I wish she would go away.

I’m in a rough spot right now folks and trying to crawl my way out.  It just is so unfair, and makes no sense.  I need your help.  How do you get through the darkest times in this battle?  I tend to turn to donuts, which is not helpful at all!  I’m going to spend the day with my best friend tomorrow.  Took 1/2  a personal day, and I’m hoping that will help me clear my head a bit.  She’s known from the very beginning that we were trying to have a baby, she was the only one we told we were trying until we got pregnant with Zippy.  She’s been with me through the miscarriage and all the struggles.  She’s just moved closer to where I am which makes me very happy.  It’s still a bit of a drive, but much closer than it used to be!

I know I’ll make it through all this, hopefully with a happy bouncy baby at the end, but at this moment, it doesn’t feel like it will ever get to that point.

what’s been going on…

Hey guys.  Sorry.  I’ve been lame about posting.  Life happens sometimes.

With my last post I was talking about possible financial help that would be coming our way.  Boy did it!  We were approved for a medical loan through MedicalFinancing.com which was suggested to us from our clinic.  It’s kind of like getting a credit card specifically to pay for medical procedures.  They cover a wide variety, but one of the things they cover is infertility.  Can you believe it?  Someone actually recognizes that infertility is expensive and no one can afford it!  So, this is a loan that we will have to pay back with interest, but the monthly payments are MUCH easier to handle than paying for every single appointment the day I have them – MUCH easier!  It sucks we had to take out a loan, but it’s good to know we don’t have to worry about costs for the time being.

Also, I mentioned that we got a grant through a program at work.  This was also a blessing, as we had already gotten a very generous grant at the end of last year, which helped us to conceive.  Unfortunately, we ran through all that money and lost our child.  So, we are VERY grateful that they were willing to help us out a bit more.

And – I have some amazingly wonderful friends and family.  At the beginning of this cycle, husband and I were pretty desperate.  We basically did each appointment, one at a time, not knowing if we’d have to cancel the cycle because we ran out of money.  We started with enough for one appointment and one box of meds.  We got meds from the clinic luckily, so we were able to do appointment #2.  Then realized if we stretched it, we could make #3.  After that, they said we were ready for IUI.  It went very fast, and luckily by that point we had found out we were approved for the loan.  We barely squeaked by, but we made it.  So, because we were unsure how things would go, we pretty much hit on all of our options from day 1 of the cycle.  We contacted the financing company (which worked out), we contacted the company that gave us our previous loan to see if it were possible to get another smaller grant (which worked out) and we also sent out a letter to our families asking for any help they could offer.  We both felt bad and awkward asking, but we were desperate and at the point where we thought this might be the last try until husband is done with school.  I also got a phone call from my best friend one day asking if she could send out a call to some of our old friends for help.  Again, I felt awkward doing that, but we were desperate.  Well – that worked too!  We are now at the point where if this cycle didn’t work, we have enough to try again, and maybe once more after that if we’re very careful!  I just am stunned by the generosity and the luck that we seem to have fallen into.

If by some small miracle (fingers crossed!!!) this past IUI did work, then all the money we’ve received will just about pay off the loan that we took out.  That is beyond amazing to me.  Going from desperation to grace in about 2 weeks is beyond description.  I often times don’t know how to even express the gratitude I feel towards everyone who has helped me out, my grant representative, my family, my friends, even the loan company!!!  They have all helped the husband and I feel blessed, loved, and extremely lucky.

So yes, we had our #2 (well…really 3rd, but I’ve started over since the miscarriage counting the IUI’s) IUI procedure last Thursday and Friday.  Right after the procedure on Friday the husband and I jumped in the car and headed out for our annual anniversary trip to McGregor, IA.  We’ve gone there every year since our honey moon (so 5 years now) for camping, B&B at the Little Switzerland Inn, and hanging out with my sister and her family on there boat on the Mississippi.  It was amazing to get away from everything here in Chicago for 4 days!  No work, no puppies that pee on the floor and then I step in it, no thoughts of IF – just pure fun and vacation – and sleep!!  I’ve been dog tired the past few weeks, trying to get money worked out, unpacking the new apartment, 2 am wake ups by the puppy, driving over an hour a day to get to and from work now, and just being generally cranky the last month (apologies to the husband for that one).  I really needed this break, and it didn’t disappoint.  I’ll try to post some pictures up at some point.

So, now we’re on the TWW for the blood test after IUI.  We’ll see.

Also, is sad news, please keep Maybe Baby? in your thoughts.  She and I have very similar stories and timelines with the loss of our babies this year.  She had recently become pregnant again, quite unexpectly and on her own without medical intervention, but found out yesterday that she had lost the baby.  It’s hard enough to loose one child to miscarriage; she is having to deal with the loss of two babies in the same year.  I grieve with her.  If you have a moment, head over to her blog and leave her a comment.  One big thing that helps us IFers get through the tough times are words from those who have been there and really do understand the pain.

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