Friday, September 21, 2012

We got the text we've been waiting for!

All I can say is that the news is good, it’s not about me, and it’s not about Todd.  I will share more in about 6 weeks, but for now, just know that it’s a happy Friday!!!

(I am surrounded by all men at work.  Luckily, they are all older and have been married for a very long time.  This bodes well for me when I randomly tear-up like I am right now.  Happy tears today!...and lots of smiles!!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Breathe, Laura

First of all, I want to say that I’m so sorry that it’s hard to leave comments on this blog.  I don’t know why that is.  I’m going to try to research it to see if there is a trick.  However, I truly appreciate the comments I have received.  I love you guys!!  It’s so fun to know that a few of you are reading this and enjoying our journey as much as we are.  (If you aren’t enjoying it, don’t tell me.  I like to pretend.)

I know I started this blog to document our trip through IVF.  However, right now, there isn’t much to tell.  I have a bone density scan this afternoon.  It’s supposed to be pretty quick and super easy.  I don’t even have to get undressed.  Finally, a doctor that doesn’t want to see me naked!  ;-)  The only rule is to wear comfy clothes with as little metal as possible.  Check and check!!

However, I did want to write today about our night last night.  Something hilarious happened.  I bet you’re dying to hear what, right?  Well, I’m going to build up to it…Laura style (which equals long-winded).

There are two things that you learn pretty quickly when you get to know me:
1.      I love to dance!  I dance a lot.  No, I should rephrase; I dance in public a lot.  Todd doesn’t love it.  He’s always telling me to stop when people are around.  I think it’s because he can’t hear the music in my head; otherwise, he’d be dancing with me.  I always tell him that he should be grateful for my lack of inhibitions about dancing because people look at him and think, “Oh, how sweet.  He stayed with her even after her head injury.”  J  See?  Silver lining.
2.      I talk a lot…and really fast when I’m excited about something.  I didn’t realize how bad it was until earlier this year.  I went to visit my cousin, Bradette, in Kansas City.  It was just the two of us all weekend, shopping for new furniture for her amazing apartment.  Anyway, at one point, she said, “Have you always talked this much?!”  Ha!  I’ve been a lot more conscious of my talking since then, but it doesn’t usually stop me.  You should hear me after a 5-hour energy has kicked in.  Todd says that when I get on one of my story tangents, he just thinks to himself that I have to stop at some point to breathe.  Oh, such funny people in my life.
Anyway, those two points come together to lead to the next part of the story.  I LOVE TO TALK ABOUT DANCE!!!  I started taking an adult dance class from my old dance teacher, Patti Parrish.  It’s like going home.  I didn’t realize how much I missed organized dance.  AND, it’s completely different to me now that I’m an adult.  I appreciate it so much more.  The things we do are so familiar because I grew-up doing them week after week, but now, I feel like I have a different understanding and appreciation for the stretches and steps.  Don’t even get me started on how much I love Miss Patti!!  I’m going to dedicate an entire blog to her soon, but I’m working on it.  J

SO, back on track.  I got home last night and was revisiting the entire 2 hours of dance class with Todd.  I know he has to love every story and watching me show him what I learned that night.  (By the way, if anyone has a suggestion for how to practice tap dances at home without ruining your taps or your floors, I would love to hear.)  I was so into my story as we moved into the bedroom.  Todd was on his side of the bed, checking his phone, of course.  I crawled up on the bed on my knees, completely consumed with the story I was telling.  Then, I went to sit back on my rear, Indian-style.  However, I was too close to the edge of the bed, and my rear literally went right over.  I hit the floor, catching myself with my right cheek and right hand.  Absolutely nothing stopped my fall.  It happened so fast.  When I realized I hadn’t broken anything, I immediately told Todd that I was fine, so he wouldn’t panic.  Then, we laughed.  We laughed, and we laughed.  It’s really one of those moments that you probably should have been there.  However, you just have to imagine this chatter box going on and on and on, climbing up on the bed, and literally falling backwards off the side.  It reminds me of that scene in Cruel Intentions when Ryan Phillipe pushes the girl off him, and she just rolls off the bed.  Very close visual there!  Silver lining…Todd found a way to shut me up.  J

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

J = :-)

This one’s for you, Mom!

I actually have to wonder as I write this post if anyone is even reading my blog.
Well, if you are, and you continually see “J” throughout my blogs, I want you to know that it’s supposed to be a smiley face.  :-)  Some applications, especially on Apple products, turn the smiley face into a “J”.  I can’t explain why.  However, if you’re seeing one, now you know why.  Just pretend I’m sending you a smile.

Oh, and fill free to leave a comment, just so I know someone is reading.  I’ll continue to write without an audience, but I’m curious.

No Rest for the Weary

I am surprisingly wide-eyed and bushy-tailed today for not falling asleep until after 2:30am.  Ugh!  That was the last time I remember looking at the clock and wondering why I was still wide awake.  Being a problem-solving Engineer, I have narrowed down the potential causes:
1.       Todd wasn’t home last night, and I never sleep as good when he’s gone.
2.       I fell asleep for about an hour on the couch around 9pm.  This should not constitute being up half the night, though.
3.       I drank pop for dinner, and I haven’t had much caffeine for the past few weeks.
4.       I’m feeling the first side-effect of the Lupron shot (insomnia).  If this continues tonight, Tylenol PM will be welcomed into my nightly pill regimen.
5.       My mind was racing.
Most likely, it was number 5.  I have found that my mind is constantly revolving around IVF these days.  I find it hard not to have it somewhere on my brain at all times.  Sometimes, I wish I were a man and could only have one thought at a time.  Ha!  Kidding, men.  (Although, if there are any men reading this blog, they may be thinking, “Hey, that’s not nice, but eh, it’s true.”)  J (I promise a blog on the J or J soon.)

Anyway, we have two friends that I said earlier have recently gone through the embryo transfer process of IVF.  I think about them all the time…literally.  I wonder how they’re feeling, how their emotions are holding-up, will my experience be like theirs, etc.  I talk to one of them almost daily, and she truly eases some of my fears of IVF.  However, she also informs me of things I never knew we would experience.  It’s scares the bejeezes (really, spell check can’t tell me how to correctly spell bejeezes?) out of me but is also very refreshing, because I feel like I’m learning more and more about this process every day.

So besides just thinking about our friends, last night, I was preoccupied with acupuncture.  Odd, huh?  I never really thought I would be the type to consider using Chinese medicine.  However, I do believe in the powers of massages, so maybe that’s along the same lines.  I, also, highly believe in talk therapy, but that’s another blog in itself.  J  Sorry, I digress.  My friend that I talk to almost daily was told by her doctor that acupuncture would help the blood flow to her ovaries, and she was given a therapist that he highly recommends.  My doctor said the studies were inconclusive and didn’t seem to recommend/not recommend it.  Therefore, I decided to go about looking into finding an acupuncture therapist in Tulsa.  I figured it couldn’t hurt, and at the least, it would relax me.  However, as I started reading, I quickly realized that although the studies are still inconclusive, some show that if the therapist doesn’t know what they are doing, they can actually hurt your chances of getting pregnant.  Hello?!  Stop the train!!  I’m not sure I can stay onboard with this idea.  So what do I do?  I turn to Facebook.  J  If I can find some people in Tulsa that used a certain therapist and had successful IVF cycles, I’ll be jumping back onboard.  If anyone knows of such a therapist, please, let me know.

Until then, here’s to hoping I can sleep tonight!  Thank the Lord my hubby comes home!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Light and Less Light Notes

On a light note…
The first Lupron shot was a piece of cake.  The best part was that Todd took Heather Nichol and me to dinner after!  It was such fun.  Love you, Nicho!!  Neither of them would decide on a location, so I picked Brook South, of course.  I got my usual, chicken wrap and mac & cheese.  Our hilarious waitress, Captain Morgan, called it crack & cheese.  I seriously love this mac & cheese so much, that I thought that was perfect.  It still makes me smile today...probably because I have leftovers in the fridge for lunch.  Yum!

Anyway, the shot was super-duper easy.  I felt a tiny prick when she started the shot and then it just felt like she was putting pressure on my skin with her finger.  Maybe she was. ??? The funny part is that you have to take a mood test each time.  This allows them to make sure that the shot isn’t throwing you into any type of depression.  Also, we learned that this shot will not cause me to gain the exorbitant amount of weight I was concerned I would gain!  They actually said a lot of girls lose on this shot because they’re more conscious of their eating and working out.  Yay!  See you later, pounds!  I started making sure I was more active this week.  However, next week, Todd will be home, so we’re really going to see what we can do to have fun and shed some pounds.

Funny story, though.  I just got an email from our Safety department at work.  It says they’re giving flu shots on Wednesday, October 17.  Immediately, I thought, I need to call Dr. B’s office to make sure I can have that since it's so close.  I called and told them it was this upcoming Wednesday because in my head it seriously was.  I was even staring at the date as I said it.  Sweet Esther told me it was fine, but it sounded a little early.  I told her I thought it was, too, but after all, it is October.  She politely said, “Well, it’s September.  You had your first shot yesterday, so from now on, blame everything on that.”  She always makes me laugh.  I just can’t believe I really thought that was this upcoming week.  So there’s my funny story for Friday.

On a less light note…
I have been having wildly vivid dreams the past few weeks.  I don’t know which of my drugs is causing these, but I love them…until last night.

I have a dear, sweet friend that passed away our sophomore year in college.  His name is Mark DePetris, and if you didn’t know him, you missed out on something special.  He was so kind…always…from the time we were kids until we lost him.  Anyway, regularly, I have dreams that he’s still alive.  He was best friends with Danny McCutchen, who was my best friend, so I was close to Mark.  Danny, Mark, and I are always hanging out in my dreams, doing different things.  I always remember these dreams very well, and I wake-up missing Mark but also happy to see him, again.

Anyway, last night was the first night I dreamt about him, and he had actually passed.  For some reason, I decided to have a fundraiser for his family.  He passed away just about 12 years ago, so I’m not sure why I had this dream at this time.  I woke-up missing him more.  It’s raining pretty good here today, though, so I take that as a sign that God says it’s okay to mourn our loss even this long after it happened.  He was a good man, that Mark DePetris!  Earth lost an angel, but Heaven gained one.

Silver lining of my dream…it had a funny moment. At one point during the fundraiser, I took my top off. I don’t know why. I do this in dreams, and I don’t understand it. It’s like I think it’s okay, but then I realize that I’m very embarrassed and highly underdressed.  J  To make matters worse, the white linen pants I was wearing started to fall down, too. I need someone to analyze my dreams!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here's to the start of the shots!

Ross:  You know, we should probably ask the doctor if she even knows how to deliver a baby that's half human, half *pure evil*!

That’s one of my all-time favorite lines from “Friends”.  Rachel is pretty far along in her pregnancy and completely hormonal.  This is Ross’ reaction to her being a bit of a biddy.  I just hope Todd isn’t saying that in a few weeks!!

Today is our first Lupron shot.  Not nervous about the shot at all.  We’ve been giving me 2 allergy shots, 3 times a week for almost a year, now.  I’ve even let Kamie and my nephews give them to me.  They’re nothing, and I’m not expecting the Lupron shot to be much different.  It’s the side effects that I’m anxious about.  I’m keeping a positive outlook, though.  We talk about the side effects a lot and make jokes.  However, that doesn’t mean I’m preparing for the worst, Mom.  ;-)  Here’s to the start of the shots!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What It's Like to Be Married to a Comedian

This post doesn’t really have to do with IVF, so sorry.  Todd makes me laugh on a regular basis, and I’m always thinking that I wish I had a way to remember at least some of the things he says or does that make my day.  Well, now I can share with you all and keep from forgetting.  Plus, these are the types of comments that I can read day after day and still smile about.  I love my hubby!

Missing LB’s Awesome Whistle
(For the record, I stink at whistling, but it doesn’t keep me from practicing.  I think it drives Todd almost as crazy as when I dance or sing in public.)

Todd:  So I just heard someone behind me trying to whistle to get someone's attention.  Sounded just like your attempt to whistle, same airey three tone sound.  Not realizing we are 2000 miles apart, I whipped my head around thinking I would see you there trying to get my attention.  To my disappointment, it was a 4 foot tall Arabian man with a beard so long it covered his junk.  So.... You have the same whistle as the Arab Santa!!

Laura:  You made my day!!

Todd:  Good!  Isn't it fun being us!!

It sure is, honey.  I love being married to you!!

Todd’s Conditioner Bottle Malfunction
(Todd travels a lot…and I mean a lot!  This was bound to happen to him.  Oh, and we’re absolutely obsessed with “Friends”.  That’s where the quotes come from.  This entire excerpt was texted to me from him…not by memory, but he would have gotten it pretty close.)

Just go to hotel, was going through my usual, set out suitcase rack, put suitcase on rack, unzip, take dop kit to bathroom, unpack kit……..
Ross: (gasps) OH NO!
Rachel: What? What is it?
Ross: Oh, major shampoo explosion!
Rachel: Uh, look Ross, this really isn't easy.
Ross: Oh, it's all over everything. Why? Why me? (looks up)
Rachel: Because you took three hundred bottles of shampoo?
Ross: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. You were saying?
Rachel: Well, yeah... Okay, look it's about me and...
Ross: Oh, not another one! Oh my G... And this is moisturiser. It's even harder to clean! Why? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Rachel: Wow! Well, clearly this is not a good time.
Ross: Duh, you think?
It was the kind where you unpack and wipe off EVERYTHING.  Then turn kit inside out and wash in tub

He even sent a picture.  Hilarious!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Terms for Pregnancy & Blog Name Change

New Terms for Pregnancy
The other night, Todd and I were lying in bed talking, and I caught myself saying, "Hey, did you know so-and-so is pregnant, naturally?" We got a good kick out of it. I didn't realize, but we have been using terms "pregnant through IVF" or "pregnant through IUI" a lot lately. Apparently, that's how we refer to pregnancy, now, but we've added "pregnant, naturally". It's crazy how much our lives have changed in just over a month.

Blog Name Change
So, I changed the name of the blog. Apparently, some people didn't get "Making Movies Jealous". I won't name their names for fear of embarrassing them, but you know who you are, Bradette and Mom. Oops! There it is. J Mom actually said I was the weirdo for knowing what it meant. Ha! She makes me laugh.  Anyway, just so you know, Todd and I talk about how we’re so in love that it would make movies jealous…hence, the old blog name.  Hope you enjoy the new one more!

Thursday is our first Lupron shot.  Please, pray for us that it does exactly what’s it’s supposed to do…and that it’s as easy of a shot as everyone says it will be.  J  Happy Tuesday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Making Baby Provence - In The Beginning...

Hello, Blog Stalkers!  J

I decided to start a new blog for multiple reasons.  Basically, Todd and I are diving head-first into the process of In vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to get pregnant.

What I have found is that talking to others that have gone through the process is the biggest help in the world.  (I, actually, have 2 girlfriends that just went through the transfer phase within the last couple of weeks.  That is the step where they put the embryos back inside the woman in hopes that she will end up pregnant.  We are praying for great results from them.  On top of that, we have a girlfriend that just had twin girls from IVF in March.  They are precious and so healthy!)

What else I have learned is that reading their blogs (Thanks for keeping one, Rachel!) prepares me for what is to come…and helps me realize when I start feeling the symptoms that it really is completely normal.  Infertility treatments are no joke.  We’ve only dipped our toes in them, and already, we’ve had some pretty interesting and painful experiences.

Also, I figured that blogging might be therapeutic…kind of like journaling but without the lock and key, so you can follow along in our process.  Even if no one reads this, at least I’ll remember what all we went through in the future.  Once I hit 30, I realized my memory wasn’t quite what it used to be.  It drives me nuts not to be able to remember certain things.

What I hope is that this blog can keep friends and family informed of where we stand in bringing another Baby Provence into this world.  We are very open about our journey to have a child together, so why not share it with the world-wide web?!  So here goes…

The Vasectomy
For those that don’t know our story, Todd has three children from a previous marriage.  Shortly after our lovable Kamie was born, he had a vasectomy.  This was Pre-Laura, so you can understand his lack of judgment.  Kidding!  If there is one thing I have learned from this, it’s that God really does have a plan for everything in our lives.  Anyway, Todd’s vasectomy happened somewhere in 2002-ish.

The Reversal
In March 2010, Todd and I were married.  It was a lovely ceremony, and if you missed it, you can see some of the preparation in our other blog (  However, now is the time to discuss babies, not weddings.  J  In October of 2010, we started visiting infertility specialists and urologists to find out what our options were to get pregnant.  The first infertility specialist we saw will remain nameless because I cannot recommend him.  He did nothing for giving us any warm, fuzzy feelings about using him to help us in our process.  However, we did like the urologist, Dr. Steve Miller of the Tulsa Urology Specialists group.  (And yes, he listens to Steve Miller Band during surgery! Reminds me of Phoebe's OB in Friends that was obsessed with Fonzie.  Sorry, I digress.)  We decided that since his operation was cheaper and only required one of us to have a procedure, we would go that route.

In May 2011, Todd had his reversal.  I won’t go into the details of his operation and recovery, but if you haven’t heard him tell the story, it’s nut-, I mean gut-wrenching.  J  Hee hee!  Sorry!!  Couldn’t resist.  After that, he had check-ups about every 3 months.  The first check-up was awful.  There were no sperm.  We cried.  However, Dr. Miller assured us that this was not the end.  We could still get sperm later down the road.  After 12 months of check-ups, he encouraged us to consult an infertility doctor.

The Infertility Doctor
To say we hit a homerun with Dr. J. Clark Bundren is an understatement.  We found Dr. Bundren through two friend referrals.  Dr. Bundren is a pioneer in the “sport” of IVF.  He was on the team that made the first “test-tube baby” about 35 years ago.  Todd and I both think he’s phenomenal.  Unlike the first infertility specialist we had seen, Dr. Bundren is also a certified OBGYN (meaning he can deliver our babies and do all of my well-woman check-ups), he’s patient, and he talks in terms we understand.  The first appointment (August 7, 2012), he did a full work-up as well as a detailed consultation with us.  He didn’t seem hurried at all.  We were there for over 2 hours.  It was wonderful.  We left there knowing that I had a lot of problems we were unaware of, but somehow, we felt comforted that it would all be okay.  At this appointment, we learned I had a tilted uterus, a misplaced ovary, polycystic ovaries (PCOS – which I had been told about 5 years earlier), a shortened cervix, and either a large polyp or endometriosis in my uterus.  Yikes!  Also, I’m very low on my vitamin-D (18/50), so I have to start taking a Vitamin-D pill once a week.

The Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy
Within a week and a half (August 17, 2012), Dr. Bundren had me on the operating table performing a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy.  This is where he makes 2 very small incisions, one in my belly button and one just a few inches below.  He can go in with a laser and scope and see everything inside of my abdominal cavity.  At this time, he removed as much endometriosis as he could and burned off some of the cysts on my ovaries.  I was under general anesthesia, so I thought it was great…until Saturday.

You see, they fill your abdominal cavity with a lot of carbon dioxide to give them room to move around in there.  Well, not all of that gas is emitted before you’re closed-up.  Therefore, I had gas moving around inside of my body with nowhere to go.  I had about 3 bouts of excruciating pain, the worst I can ever remember feeling in my life.  I thought my ribs were cracking and my lung collapsing.  It was awful!  However, with much back-rubbing from Todd, walking around the house in circles, and flailing my arms about like a bird, Todd finally gave me enough pain medicine to knock-out a horse.  J  I was able to sleep most of the night with only bad (instead of excruciating) pain.  The worst of it was over!  However, Todd quickly informed me that he was going to ask Dr. Bundren about a 9-month epidural for when I got pregnant.  I don’t know if the tears or screams scared him the most.

The Post-Op Appointment & Lupron
Our post-op appointment was September 4, 2012.  Dr. Bundren reviewed with me everything he had told Todd after the procedure.  His nurse went over all of the vitamins and medications I needed to start taking.  At this point, I am taking 14 pills a day.  Most are horse-pill vitamins, so they aren’t that bad.  However, fish oil does not love my stomach, yet.  Then, Dr. Bundren told us I definitely have Stage 3 endometriosis.  There are only 4 stages, so mine was not good.  Between that and my cystic ovaries, I’m completely infertile right now.  We had already assumed this, so I didn’t cry.  I just kept smiling and waiting for what else I knew was about to come.  Then, he told me I would have to take the Lupron shot for 4 months.  There it was.  The big, fat good news!  As if IVF medications aren’t fun enough, some of us future IVF mommies also get to endure a state of menopause for several months.  He’s decided only to do 4 months with us because of the situation with Todd, too.  I don’t remember his exact reasoning, but we trust his decision explicitly.  Anyway, starting September 13, 2012, I will have a Lupron shot every 4 weeks.  Then, the fun begins…night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, etc.  Everything a woman in menopause goes through, I may, too.  Guess this will give me experience for my elderly years…silver lining, right?  This will last for 4 months.  Todd said he was going to look into getting an upright deep-freeze for the garage with a stool in it for me to sit in when the hot flashes hit.  It’s fun living with a comedian!

Explanation:  The point in the Lupron shot is to put your uterus into a state of rest, so it can heal from the laparoscopy and hysteroscopy.  If it does not heal properly, you cannot carry a child.  You can get pregnant, but you will miscarry.

After Lupron
Once we are finished the with Lupron shots, we will have Todd tested to make sure his guys are ready for the next challenge.  I will go on birth control pills for about 3 months to let my ovaries go into remission from PCOS and to let them rest-up before the stimulation begins.  Sometime in the Spring of 2013, we should be starting IVF.

One more thing I would like to mention is that Todd and I now know that the pain he went through for his vasectomy reversal was useless.  Even if it had been successful, there was a large chance we would still be going through IVF ICSI (I will explain more about the ICSI part later).  Our recommendation is to gather as much information from an urologist and an infertility specialist as you can beforehand.  Had we gone to Dr. Bundren from the beginning, all of this would be a very different story.  Who knows, we might be announcing the birth of our child right now instead of the beginning of a long process.  Oh, well…God’s teaching me patience!

Now, I promise not all of my blogs will be this long.  However, a lot has happened so far, and I wanted to make sure I had it all down.  Todd and I are both anxious about the future, but most of all we’re just excited and optimistic.  We can’t wait to have Baby Provence join our family.  The kids can’t either.  And for those that know me, you won’t be surprised to know we have settled on a boy name and have a good idea of a girl name.  However, I’ll save that for another post, too.  I may be a planner, but I’m also fickle!!  J

Thanks for reading and following us on this amazing journey of the greatest mixture of Science and God we have encountered in our lives.