06 March 2013

Baby Updates

Hello dear readers!

So many ask us for the updates on our baby plans.  It's always fun to share.  It's a really exciting time for us to have all this progress.  (Danny has just been GIDDY, you guys.  It really is the cutest thing I've ever seen.)  So - I just found out that on my next cycle we'll be able to finish up our IVF process.  What?!?  This is crazy!!  It is REALLY coming up!  :)  Luckily most of my surprising thoughts I'd been having awhile back about not feeling desperate for a baby are not causing me any heartache at the moment.  I've still been feeling really excited.  This sounds really weird, I know, but the other day when I was making that roasted chicken and holding it to rinse it (again, first time I'd ever held a chicken before ) - um, well, it felt like a baby.  I swear, the weight and floppiness of it felt like a newborn baby.  hahha.  Danny said the same thing, too.  And for that little moment, we were just full of curiosity about what it would really be like to have a baby in this home.  Goodness, it will be a life changer.  I can hardly imagine it.  Though this DARLING short video of a day in the life of a two year-old gives me a sweet hint.

Also, I hope it doesn't make you uncomfortable to hear about our journey.  I know it's not the normal topic of conversation for many.  Most people go through infertility in silence.  I think they may do it to keep their pain or any potential pain private.  But for me - way back when - I found that the route of silence actually produced MORE pain:  More loneliness.  More shame.  More self-pity.  More hiding (exhausting!)  More diminishing of your own your own voice.  More feelings that your very own wonderful & beautiful life is taboo to talk about.  More awkward moments.  More disconnection with friends, loved ones, and society in general (so sad!)  I've been open about infertility for years and honestly, I can't recommend it enough.  I could go on and on about why it's a healthy, healing, and empowering thing to be able to own your experiences - and share them with others.

How do you feel about sharing your own infertility experiences or hearing about them from others?  Do you prefer to not share?  Or have you shared & then felt better or worse?  I'd love to hear all thoughts & opinions!  I think it's such an important topic for women.

Also - for any woman out there facing this journey, too - here are a few technical details that might be helpful regarding my surgery and autoimmune issues:

My little surgery was successful.  It turns out I did indeed have endometriosis.  I'm so, so thankful that Dr. Braverman suspected it and knew what signs to look for (never once have I felt like he's just guessing or throwing a dart.  He really, really is SO thorough and the best I've seen for unexplained infertility.  And holy crap - I've seen so many of the so called best infertility doctors in New York - I can't even count them all.)

I can't stress this enough:

If you feel like your doctor is just guessing - especially while recommending expensive procedures - I would keep looking for a new doctor.

Try to find a doctor that works almost exclusively with patients with unexplained miscarriage or unexplained infertility.  I know there aren't many of them, but they're worth seeking out.  (FYI, my doctor works with patients from all over the world via phone.)


Here we are heading into the hospital before sunrise.  I feel very lucky but I didn't have any pain at all during or after the surgery.  So I can't give you a ton of tips.  But here are a few:

1.  Leave your jewelry (and wedding ring) at home.  They'll ask you to take it off during the surgery.  I forgot to take it off so luckily Danny could hold it for me.  But they're better left at home (take that from a girl who has lost TWO wedding rings!  yep.)

2.  Bring some water for after the surgery My mouth needed it so badly due to tubes and water restrictions.  Also, you'll want to drink tons of water anyway to get all that medication out of your body.

3.  Wear super loose clothing.  Your tummy will be a little round due to the gas they put inside your belly.  I wore Danny's jeans for the week following.  Luckily he retired that pair so I've just adopted them completely at this point.  :)

4.  Plan on a nice long nap afterwards (the drugs make you sleepy).

5.  Clean your home and launder your linens beforehand.  It's so nice to come home to a clean home.

And know that you can do it!  :)

Now that the surgery is done, my doctor will be checking on some autoimmune markers I have (cytokines).  These can also be related to endometriosis.  Sometimes the endo surgery can reduce those, but sometimes not.  If needed, he'll give me some medications to reduce those as they do affect fertility.  I'm afraid most doctors do not check for these and many people have ongoing infertility or failed procedures because of it.

In the meantime, we find ourselves looking at each other every once in awhile like, "What on earth?!?  Is it possible that this is all going to happen soon??"  We're super excited to see how the rest of this unfolds.

-M
 
P.S.  Dr. Braverman believes there is a link between probiotics and infertility.  See his article here.
[He's now got me taking this particular strain of probiotics daily - based on my work-up.  (UPDATE:  I had to discontinue the probiotics as I found out they contain MILK.)  Also, he recommends these very specific supplements for autoimmune related infertility:  A very high dose of high quality fish oil - 4,000 mg/day (I take this one); antioxidants (CoQ10, pycnogenol pine bark, green tea extract); acupuncture; and a gluten-free diet.]

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55 comments:

  1. I'v been really open about our infertility since the beginning 11 years ago. I completely agree with you, silence is more painful for me as well. I find being open makes others comfortable enough to open up to me. I have been lucky enough to be able to comfort and encourage others because they knew that I truly understood. My journey to motherhood is coming to an end. In the past 11+ years I have been blessed and honored to experience the miracle of adoption twice and birth once. I am miraculously expecting our 4th baby and can truly say that my life was enriched immeasurably because of this trial. I would not trade my infertile stubborn body for anyone else's. It is mine and I have been so blessed because of its limitations. I was forced to search and find my way to motherhood and I grew and learned so much along the way. One of the biggest miracles for me was the adoptions of my two oldest. I thank God for their sweet birth moms and for them every day. I wish you success and peace in your IVF journey. It's been 10 years since I did IVF so my knowledge of the process is outdated and faded. I love that you are enjoying the process so much... I do remember the excitement and joy of each new possibility. I am praying for your sweet family.

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    1. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you so much for this.

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    2. I've been one of those mamas who have been blessed by RATCH's experience with infertility. She seriously brought me so much hope and peace. I remember during a particularly hard time, right before we were going in for an appointment with our fertility doc Rachel contacted me to tell me they miraculously became pregnant. It brought me so much peace and joy. Joy for her, and an assurance that everything was going to be OK for us whatever the outcome. I think about that day often. It seriously was such an answer to prayer. Now I'm just THRILLED miracle baby number 4 is on his/her way!!!

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  2. Praying for you both on this journey! It is indeed so exciting it's getting so close.

    It's been over 2 years of unexplained infertility for us and i'm having a really hard time at the moment. BUT i've been really open about it. The first year, I didn't mention it much but the few times I did (on my blog) I got beautiful messages from other women, also infertile or just sympathising and sending love.

    I suddenly no longer felt alone and like I had this amazing support network around me. It's still terribly hard as I feel like I can't take much more disappointment. But the third thing I did (after cuddling my husband and praying) was write about it and it's really helped me work through my feelings and have a plan in my head for coping.

    If something I write can help just one person (other than me) any fears about sharing my heart so publicly is worth the risk. (my blog - http://www.aheartfulloffrost.com/search/label/infertility)

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    1. Jess - love your desire to inspire others. I think having that purpose can be so healing. And isn't is amazing how healing writing can be? I started a journal after my divorce. Some of it is now awful to read. But it helped me so much in some dark moments.

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  3. I am a very private person by nature, so my husband and I have kept our journey with infertility mostly to ourselves. The problem for us is that other people don't understand or agree with the way we are handling things and I get very tired of justifying what is already an emotional and exhausting situation. My husband and I have both always felt called to adopt children, but thought we would have both biological and adopted children. Because of our call to adopt, we do not feel that putting time or money into fertility treatments right now it the best use of our resources. This is totally a decision for just the two of us, personally. I think that decisions about your family are so unique and personal for everyone and would never dream of telling someone else how they should grow their family, but we get so many unkind comments from people about our decisions. I WISH I had your courage to be more open with what we are going through and I just love reading your updates and hearing how brave you are.

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    1. I am sorry you get unkind comments :(. My husband and I also moved to adoption quickly in our journey. We also just knew. Thank goodness we followed our hearts. We adopted our lovely daughter 9 years ago and our sweet son 7 years ago. If people say or insinuate you are making the wrong choice just say you are sad they feel that way and ignore it. Do what is right for your family. Good luck!

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    2. I totally agree with Ratch. Whatever makes sense to you, it's the most important thing. I think this is a couple's choice. I know women who are fertile and decided to adopt and not be birth mothers. I think it's awesome! So many lovely kids out there needing parents! I think it's a great and honourable thing you are doing and you should be proud of it!
      You can also say that you do not judge how people live their lives and their fertility or infertility choices so you demand the same respect towards you.

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  4. I love that you are being so open about your infertility journey Mara! I am rooting for you and Danny as I think you would make the most precious parents ever:) Though my husband and I have been fortunate enough to not have to struggle with infertility, we did lose our first pregnancy in a miscarriage (but are now 27 weeks pregnant with our second - a boy!) and my heart just bleeds for women out there who have suffered pregnancy losses or an inability to get pregnant. It is just heartbreaking. I feel that anything you share that could potentially help someone else who may be struggling is worth its weight in gold! So keep sharing. We love the updates!

    And PS: I have been taking probiotics for almost a year now and cannot believe the amazing changes they have made in my body. I cut back dairy and introduced probiotics to my system before we started trying to get pregnant and it has had such a positive impact, I can't say enough good about it! I am continuing to take the probiotics while pregnant (upon doctors recommendation of course), and I firmly believe that they are the sole reason I have been able to avoid many of the more uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms that plague other women (gas, bloating, constipation, hemorrhoids, heartburn, etc).

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    1. Jessica - thanks for the sweet encouragement! AND - looooved hearing that probiotics improved your health. So, so great. I'm sold on being super diligent about taking these daily.

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  5. thanks for share.

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  6. I know this may sound SO strange but I came across your blog yesterday through a search on coconut oil of all things! anyway I love it! you and your husband truly live out the meaning of "be the change you wish to see in the world! Anway as I fell asleep I thought about you both getting pregnant and having a child (I know strange!) but I wanted you to know I'm sending you guys all my positive energy!!
    Also thought Id share that Joel Osteen has been doing some amazing sermons on the topic of achieving your goals/ dream/ overcoming obstacles. Download his podcast and listen to the sermon "Power of Your Vison". This helps to realize the power of our own mind and that God delivers once we truly, deeply believe in our dream!

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  7. Talking about and sharing my infertility journey was so healing and theraputic for me! It was three years of doctors, tests, miscarriages, etc. If I had stayed silent, I think I would have gone crazy. Infertility is a huge emotional roller coaster and had I kept silent, I don't think I would be the person I am today. Infertility is like a four letter word - women don't like to talk about it - but I NEEDED to talk! And in doing so - I have been able to help other women. I'm thankful for my journey - it brought my husband and I closer together and I grew as a person. God definitely worked in my life ...

    I completely agree with you about probiotics! I have been gluten free for over four years and I also take probiotics. I'm a big supplement girl! And I did acupuncture for my infertility (also "unexplained". If I had a quarter for every time I heard "Everything looks great! You are super healthy. I don't know why you aren't getting pregnant!" I would be rich ...)I also go to acupuncture for my thyroid disease. Love acupuncture!

    I do have a happy ending to my story - I gave birth to twin boys at the beginning of the year. And it's SO WORTH IT. I see them and I'm just overcome with gratefulness, thankfulness, and love. I, too, wouldn't change my journey to my boys. I think it's made me a better wife, mother, and person.

    I'm sending happy thoughts and many prayers to you and Danny. Your blog and the sharing of your infertility journey helped me during mine! I so appreciate it! (Especially your post on an infertile woman on Mother's Day. Such an eye opener for me to change my attitude!)

    Thank you!!!

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    1. I just love it when you comment, Mara - it's so fun to know there's another Mara out there! :) And thank you for this beautiful story. It's incredible that we can still have such an amazing journey - even when things don't turn out the way we expected.

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  8. I'm glad to hear that things are going so well! Fingers crossed for good news at the end of this process!

    Just a note for other readers: I recently contacted Dr. Bravaman's office, and due to new regulations he no longer does consultations over the phone. (Though I can't remember the details.) He was nice enough to speak with me generally for a few minutes, but in order to become a patient I will need to travel to his office. I'm sure his office can explain it better!

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    1. oh wow - THANK YOU for letting me know about that. I didn't realize.

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  9. Mara,
    I agree that you should be open. I never had infertility problems-just the opposite--so it helps me appreciate what I took for granted. Believe me, washing a chicken is NOTHING like bathing a newborn baby! Ha Ha. There is nothing sweeter than bathing a WARM, SLIPPERY, SWEET SMELLING, COOING, BABY THAT LOOKS JUST LIKE THE MAN YOU MARRIED.

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    1. What an insensitive comment.

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    2. Especially insensitive to those that adopt.

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    3. I can understand why someone might be offended by what Marilyn wrote. But I know that Mara and I weren't. I think Marilyn was just trying to describe what a joy it is to bathe the giggling slippery baby that looks like her husband. I imagine for her and for many others that is one of those moments of happiness and joy in parenting. I'm sure she wasn't suggesting that an adoptive parent would have any less joy at bathing a their baby, just that it is a moment of joy for her when she sees her husbands features in this beautiful child.

      Again, I understand the need to be sensitive to others, and I appreciate those who are aware of the feelings of others and are sensitive to an issue that could cause pain to those without children at all or those who adopt. Thank you for your compassion for those who often suffer silently.

      But sometimes we speak out of exuberance for what we have without thinking how that will affect someone without. No harm is intended...and hopefully no harm was received. It's simply a parent who loves that little bathing routine, which really does sound so sweet. (much better than when Mara and I rinsed a chicken :)

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  10. Your blog is so amazing and I wish you and your husband the best of luck during this time! I too suffer from infertility due to a burst appendix that happened when I was four and we have just started the IVF process, and it is not nearly as frightening as I thought it could be. Best wishes!

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  11. So happy to hear this amazing progression! My thoughts are with you both.

    I had a surgery to remove my gallbladder (of all things) and it threw off my hormones, so I needed a boost. Even though I knew it, and the doc knew it, I still had to go through all those infertility tests (so uncomfortable). I was grateful to go through the process and glad the science was there. Luckily, I only needed 8 shots till I got pregnant, but still.

    I found I was private about the struggle, even though it was pretty minor. Then after the baby was born, I became so open about it. Like, look what I did and you can, too. I even offer that little bit to my friends who are trying so they know they can reach out to me if things don't happen in the time they thought it would. People need a friend - like you!

    I'm going to go get those probiotics. In addition to CoQ10, and a heavy folic acid, I also took Life Extension's mitochondrial energy optimizer with biopqq. It helped cell division. I would be curious to know what Dr. Braverman thinks.

    Also, a chicken does feel like a baby. That's good practice!

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  12. Praying for you! My mon suffered from endometriosis and tried to conceive for 10 years and finally got pregnant (with triplets!) through IVF.

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  13. This couldn’t be truer. When I was silent about my infertility it brought on a lot of shame and pain. When I let the word out on my blog I felt like I was taking control. I was in the driver’s seat. I made the shots how I would feel that day...instead of the other way around. We decided to go through IVF. I felt like I had so many cheering us on because we were so open. Thankfully it worked and I am currently 19 weeks pregnant! Hang in there. Its a long journey, but the end result is beyond worth it. Thanks for sharing your update.

    http://theconfessionsofaredhead.blogspot.com/

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  14. Mara,

    I'm totally new to your blog, but I LOVE IT! Have you guys considered adoption? My mom had infertility treatments for seven years and got pregnant with my baby sister who sadly passed away after eight hours on this earth. My parents adopted both my little brother and I and they say it was the best thing they've ever done.

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    1. Adoption is such a beautiful thing. We definitely have planned on it as a possibility for the future and will take the steps to make it happen if I don't get pregnant.

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  15. I am (mostly) open about our infertility. I feel like it takes too much energy to keep it a secret (we're 5 years in). It also stops people with insensitive comments for the most part. It's relieving to not be asked a hundred times when we are going to have kids, because the people closest to us know that we are trying- and hard.


    Good luck to you in your journey. Wishing you lots of luck.

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  16. I would love to be open about my infertility but my husband is very private and won't agree to let me share it. I've told a couple of close friends, but they have children so it's hard to have nobody who remembers what it's like to want a child without having one (or one on the way). I hate that there's a stigma on talking about it, and I hate that anyone has to go through it alone. I love my husband but sometimes I need to vent to someone who isn't in it with me...oh well. That's what anonymous blog comments are for!

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    1. I should have also said that reading blogs like yours makes me feel less lonely and sad about things when there's nobody I can talk to (and the Internet forums for this sort of thing are just terrible, unfortunately). So thank you for sharing about your journey!

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  17. I adore how open you are with your infertility. It's quite refreshing and sweet that you face it with smiles and positive energy.
    Also, thank you for an inspiring and uplifting blog. It's wonderful

    I'm rooting for you and Danny!

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  18. I have several friends who have done IVF, and I was really surprised to read that they hadn't checked you for endometriosis prior to your IVF treatment. Just out of curiosity, do you know why they waited and then froze your eggs?

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  19. They had done some preliminary checks for endo. But there weren't any of the normal signs and I've never had any symptoms. It was during the egg retrieval cycle that they noticed things weren't going as planned and then suspected endo. It was always the plan for us to freeze the embryos first, though - as I was going to receive the autoimmune drugs and get my blood leveled out before the implantation.

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    1. Ah, I see. Thanks for sharing your personal lives with the world. I know I appreciate hearing about your journey. :) Best of luck! I'm praying for you.

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  20. (First - That is such a cute picture!)

    I can't even express how thankful I am for you and Danny. That you are always so open and honest about your journey together, especially when it comes to the harder things like infertility and dreams of a family. I am sure it's not for everybody to be so open about their struggles, but oh my gosh - I wish it were easier for everyone! It's certainly nothing to be ashamed about. And it is such a tough thing and I think that if people were more open about it, it would be so much easier to find support. You can find all sorts of medical information online, but nothing compares to hearing real stories from real men and women about it.

    Just over a month ago, I had a missed miscarriage. I haven't shared it yet on my blog, because I've needed time to think about what to say and how to say it. I will probably do so sometime this month, especially now that we've found a name for our lost baby. But being able to talk about it openly with friends and family has been so freeing.

    Every time I see your blog, I say a little prayer for your embryos and am waiting for some good news for you guys. :)

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  21. After years of infertility and now understanding the exact problem (can we say CLOSURE?!) we found out the only way we can become pregnant is through IVF and IMSI (magnification of the embryo by 8000 times=less chance of miscarriage=amazing). For those not aware of this new microscope, do some research on IMSI. Regular IVF uses magnification of 400 times while this special high powered microscope uses up to 8000 times. This increases the viability of the embryo because it can see ANY defect from the egg or sperm (mainly sperm) that could cause a miscarriage later on. We are fortunate to be able to use IMSI for our specific male fertility factor, so I hope this info helps others who read this blog.

    We're reasonably open about the fact we are pursuing IVF this fall but not being totally specific on WHEN. While we're being cautiously and happily optimistic, we don't feel like just telling anyone. The main person of support is of course my husband. Of course, my mother, sisters and only a few close friends are in our inner fertility circle. If per chance the first IVF round doesn't work out, it would be so hard for me to have to then tell everyone it didn't work out when they ask "So, how'd IVF GO!!" and try to put a smile on my face and pretend. Of course, my inner circle will be there for me but not all my neighbors, church congregation, co-workers, etc. What I find is that I crave the peace, privacy, solitude and a little distance from too many people when I go through my ups and downs with any trial. I need to have my space and time to re-group and re-center, and then I can face the world after I have a little time to sort through my emotions and heal.

    All I can say is thank heavens for husbands, they can be incredible support through infertility and we forget that while they don't express the same emotions as women do in this trial, they grieve and have sadness and often feel helpless. The natural "fix it" in their genes wants to make it work out. My husband doesn't always know what to say when I have some bad days with infertility (it is truly a rollercoaster ride) Instead, he just holds me and lets me get it all out. Men have a way of balancing us women out by providing strength, comfort and perhaps more logical--less emotionally charged--support and perspective.

    Best wishes and may we all have morning sickness this year!

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  22. Your blog is so cute!! I myself have been struggling with infertility for three years now and it is so hard to deal with sometimes. Lately I have been keeping it in because sometimes I feel like a failure because I haven't been able to give my parents those grand babies. It also hurts when everyone around you is having babies and you are just stuck. I have had a really hard time with doctors and have not been able to find the right doctor for me. All the doctors I see just give me a shot to start my period and then call it good and never really explain to me what the problem could be. I had one doctor that found a possible problem of cysts on my ovaries and tried something that could fix it but it didn't do anything. When I went back to him again he tried the same thing like we hadn't tried it before and of course it didn't work again. I have stopped seeing him and just frustrated with doctors and don't know where to turn to fix this problem. I am really wanting to start a family and just don't know where to go. It has been really hard. Thank you for your blog I can't wait to keep reading it and hope it could shed some light on where I should go. I have kept quite for so long but now it just feels so good to share my frustrations with people and find out that there are people out there with the same problems as me. So thank you and I hope everything works out for you and you will get to partake in the joy of having children!

    I have a blog as well where I talk about finding your true self and finding out who you are as well as will be talking about infertility. Check it out sometime. byouloveyou.blogspot.com. Thanks again!

    Your new follower,

    Kristin Schouten

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    1. Kristen,
      I was diagnosed with Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome during a laparoscopy surgery a few months ago. My doctor had suspected PCOS due to irregular and often anovulatory cycles and irregular hormone levels and it was confirmed during the surgery. Because my PCOS was advanced and due to the size of my ovaries (about 4-5 times the normal size, because of all the cysts) she prescribed another surgery called an ovarian wedge resection. That surgery has proved successful thus far, as I ovulated for the first time that I can remember just two weeks after the surgery. My doctor is a part of the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, and they treat people from all over the world (I live in Oregon). Their results in treating women with infertility are very successful. For example, in women with PCOS who had the ovarian wedge resection at the Institute 80-85% resumed regular ovulation after the surgery. I would highly recommend the Institute. http://www.popepaulvi.com/
      Best of luck to you.

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  23. I'm newish to the blog and love following along on your journey. I have been diagnosed with PCOS and have just completed my 2nd IUI after a year of trying naturally, 6 months of pills, 3 of shots and 1 month of shots + IUI.

    I am curious, is there somewhere you've outlined your fertility journey, step-by-step? I'd be interested in seeing what your first diagnosis was, what your treatment was and how that leads you to where you are today. Also, have you always been diagnosed with unexplained fertility?

    Thanks for your thoughts and I'm cheering for you guys!!

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    1. Here's a few things I've tried so far. I should do more of step by step, but this will give you an idea:

      http://www.ablogaboutlove.com/2012/06/perhaps-my-last-chance-at-getting.html

      Definitely get that infertility meditation CD!
      Also, I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility until a few doctors knew to take some thyroid antibodies I had seriously. That led to other immunology tests and the discovery that I had other autoimmune markers that are a problem for implantation and pregnancy.

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  24. i think it is inspiring that you and danny are so open and honest about your journey and what you are goiong through :)

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  25. Well I think I've shared with you my feelings, but I want to share them with everyone :) Cory and I were not open about our IVF when we decided to do it. We thought it would be exciting just to turn up pregnant rather than share with everyone the struggle we went through to get there. Turns out we didn't end up pregnant after two rounds of IVF and it was very VERY hard to go through by ourselves. I was very sad that I had no one to talk to about it, and was kicking myself for not sharing the experience with anyone. We ended up sharing it with family members later on after we had some time to heal, but I definitely wish I would have shared it with everyone while it was happening. We did however enjoy the fact that we were even able to try, or rather able to afford to try. And we truly appreciated every little detail of the process, but talking with family members about it would have made it even more enjoyable. Now we are truly open about everything and it has made infertility turn into a growing process rather than an internal pain. Xoxxo

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    1. Liz - I just love, love your perspective SO much. I'll always be so grateful that we got to chat in AZ. That meant so much to me. You are wonderful.

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  26. So, the fact that my stomach has literally been bothering me my whole life could be the reason I've had one miscarriage, 4 failed IUIs and 4 failed IVFs!? Ugh. I wish my insurance covered Dr. Braverman!

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  27. Mara and Danny,
    I follow several blogs in the infertility community and appreciate the openness and vulnerability of those willing to share their story. Even more I value those who are working to get to the bottom of unexplained infertility. There are so many couples who struggle for so long to get pregnant and put their hopes (and sometimes their life savings) into procedures that may or may not work. Finding the underlying cause is critical and been overlooked for too long. The plethora of autoimmune disease is also puzzling. Many of the infertility blogger talk about gluten intolerance, celiac's disease, hashimoto's hypothyroidism, and other autoimmune issues. Hopefully by all of us sharing this information we are helping to paving the way for to get answers sooner and less pain for those traveling the same course in the future.
    For those who don't struggle with infertility, this is a window to see what pain everyday comments can cause when someone may have even been trying to make friendly conversation. I live in Utah, where children are abundant and most families are super-sized compared to the rest of the nation. At a recent company dinner we were asked by every single woman how many children we have. Probably close to thirty women asked us this in a three hour period. The next question was almost always "do you plan on having any soon?" Several times people became disinterested once they learned we were childless and the conversation ended abruptly on their part. No offense was taken on my part(I know they have no idea of what we have been through,) but the night certainly didn't leave me with a cheery,friendly feeling.

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  28. LOL This is what I get for doing several things at once...several grammatical errors. It should say "many infertility bloggers..." and "paving they way for others..."

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  29. My mother in law had rheumatic fever as a girl and it left her unable to have children.I'm sure the stigma in the 60's was bad because back then, everything was pretty much kept a secret. Not sure how IVF was back then, but I'm sure it was something nobody ever talked about.

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  30. Mara! I want to thank you for your beautiful blog. I've wanted to write a comment for the longest time but just haven't. After reading your blog one day last year I decided it was finally time for me to talk about my struggle with infertility. After finally writing about our personal struggle to have a baby on my blog our world changed. My heart changed. I feel like I"m more honest with myself being able to talk about our situation. I have now had two miscarriages. It looks us 1 year to get pregnant again after the first one. Our problems is that we now can't do infertility treatments. Because, as we have found out I don't' have a problem getting pregnant but for some reason I have a problem staying pregnant. Talking about what I am and dealing with has really helped as well as brought new friendships into my life. Though I hate infertility and that anyone has to struggle with it I am so grateful for the beautiful friendships it has brought me. There is such strength in realizing I am not alone.

    Your blog has helped open my eyes to a whole new world, new options and new hope. Thank you for your strength, testimony and faith. I am excited for you and Danny as you figure out the next steps. It's always so wonderful making steps forward. Thank you again for helping me open up about our struggle. It really has helped heal my heart. I can now say I'm not confused, angry or heartbroken over losing two babies. I am happy that I have the ability to be a mother one day and truly look forward to that beautiful day. In the mean time I continue to find happiness in everyday life! Surrounded by wonderful family and friends! Thanks again!

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  31. The only experience I have with IVF is through my awesome brother and sister-in-law. They tried for 10 years to get their first child. As long as I live I will never forget the look on my brother's face when their daughter was born. He walked out of the delivery room and with tears in his eyes said, "She's here, she's so tiny and she's so perfect." We hugged and cried together. My deepest prayers and wishes go to you and Danny that you can be blessed with this most righteous desire.

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  32. I totally agree with you Mara- I am all about being open. I find it so healing- but I also try to be careful that I don't use it as an excuse for being grumpy, or sad, or a victim of this hard thing that my hubby and I are facing. I also want to be sure I don't tell people about my experience so as to get their sympathy or compassion. I just want to be as genuine and real and authentic as possible with these experiences. Especially since they are hard, but also have such an amazing way to refine and strengthen. That aspect of it is also so important to share. Thank you for sharing your experiences, disappointments and triumphs. I find so much hope from reading them.

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  33. Communicating about it matters. You don't feel as alone and you get important feedback. I could not imagine if I was unable to read blogs, connect with people, share my frustrations sometimes. It would all get bottled up inside.

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  34. Unfortunately I fall in to the small camp of women who have been open about it with most people I know, but still get asked stupid questions, get insensitive remarks (after about 4 years of trying my own mother told me it was about time for a new Grandchild) however most people just say nothing. So everyone knows and I am still alone.
    Thankfully there are people online like Mara, who I read when I can, and I do have a small group of friends online going through the same thing.
    Unfortunately my husband isn't that supportive either. He tries. I think. But he's one of those "if it happens, it happens" people and will be happy with it just being us forever. Despite him knowing that I will not be. And that makes me feel guilty.
    Today, April Fools Day, is the 6th year anniversary of us starting to try.
    We did one IVF cycle last year which didn't work and I subsequently just fell apart. We had a 6 week overseas trip, then the Christmas break and then a spinal injury. I've got another overseas trip in 6 weeks and then hopefully it will be straight back to another IVF cycle. And this time hopefully we can average more than one cycle a year!

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  35. I've just come across your blog today while trying to do some research on endometriosis as my doctor wants to book my in for a Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy surgery.
    I've had a similar history to yours, marriage, infertility, divorce and am now with someone I consider my soul mate.
    My journey to have a baby started 8 years ago and caused a lot of pain and grief. 2 miscarriages took its toll on my marriage which ended soon after. I now look on this time as a learning experience.
    My partner & I have been together now 4 years and started trying to conceive a year ago. Another miscarriage last July, then problems - no ovulation. I've just been told by my doctor that clomid is not working for me and the best chance for now is this surgery.
    I wanted to leave a comment as I feel like it's good to be open about these things but feel a lot of people I know are uncomfortable when I speak about it.
    I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog posts - I find them inspiring.
    Thanks Mara!

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