19 February 2018

Who I follow on YouTube (infertility / adoption)

I was watching YouTube the other day.  I don't make YouTube videos myself because I'm just not comfy on film.  Still, I was reminded of how important it is to let people know that there are people going through similar things as you.  I know when we first started with adoption, I found one or two people going through it.  The main couple I followed during adoption have all but shut down their YouTube so I won't link to it, but I did find that watching them helped.  So, here's the people I currently follow re: IVF.

In the order YouTube lists them:

#hangingwiththeholmyards - I found them while they were in the midst of the  IVF process, but they're currently pregnant with twins.

Ayla and Caleb - They've tried multiple things, including IVF.  Their focus is now on adoption.

Brad and Rach - They just recently had twins via IVF so the channel is now more about life with the twins.  Before the twins were born, lots of IVF/pregnancy posts which are still up.

Frankie IVF Journey - She just went through another round of IVF, results should be known soon.

Halie and E - Currently pregnant via IVF.  They're not updating much, but do still give updates now and then.

Kalyn and Robert - they're currently pregnant via IVF and have also fostered.

Kelsey Escoriaza - currently pregnant via IVF

Kristine Smith - This one isn't IVF related.  I found her while looking up stuff on plus sized pregnancies because I am a bigger girl.

McHusbands - I found them while looking up videos about IAC,  they had done a video about the bankruptcy because they had almost used them.  Instead they have twin girls via surrogacy.

Phil and Alex - They have two adopted girls and have also been going through IVF.  As I am typing this post up, they're in the midst of the two-week wait from their last round.

The Smith Shenanigans - Currently their channel is more about family life but before their twins were born there were a lot of useful IVF related videos (which are obviously still up).  She also occasionally offers up tips and support for those still in the midst of IVF.

16 February 2018

Friday update

IVF: My update is that there is nothing to update.  Our IVF coordinator is talking to the doctor about what we should do next.  If I don't hear from her Monday, I'll start nagging her again.

Weight: Down 2 pounds this week and 8.6 pounds in the last month.  Still relying almost solely on diet, with some occasional walks.  While I do eat some processed junk foods like fake meats but am trying to eat less of it.  I'm also making more substitutes - ex. I had been making our chili with meatless crumbles but recently switched to jackfruit.  At home I am meat and dairy free.  When we eat out I eat totally meat free and about 90% dairy free.

Toothpaste: I posted recently about switching from Lush Toothy Tabs to Bite Toothpaste Bits.  So far so good. If you haven't seen either, here's a picture of the containers for both products.  The Lush tabs come in a plastic bottle that is recyclable while the Bite ones come in a glass bottle with the first shipment and then a refill packet each other after that.  I have some pretty serious dental issues after a history of teeth grinding and various meds than dried out my mouth and caused tons of cavities so it's been a pain to deal with. I was just starting to use the Lush version at my last cleaning and the dentist was thrilled.  Guess we'll see how this new brand is treating me next month when I have another cleaning.

I think that's about it.  Life is kind of boring at the moment, which is fine with me.  Last year was stressful.   Right now just waiting for the IVF cycle to start is the extent of our stress.

12 February 2018

Still just waiting...

Wednesday will be two weeks since ending the meds meant to jumpstart my cycle.  They told me that most women start within two weeks and to let them know if I don't start.  I am a little bummed out.  I really thought it would just work and we'd get on with things.  Of course my body has to be difficult.  

Trying to stay positive because once we get beyond this, it moves quickly.  And I really do feel we have a good chance of succeeding the first time.  Our clinic has an excellent record.  And honestly I feel like we've gotten the troubles and dramas out of the way already.  I hope so, anyway.  

Guess we'll see in a few days what is next... I am sure the next protocol for this is much longer, so ready to get going with that.

09 February 2018

One more week...

Wednesday was one week since I stopped taking the med to jump start my cycle.  One more week to go and then I am supposed to contact our clinic to see about trying something else.  I am not that surprised that it didn't happen this week as I was busy throwing up.  Being sick is the worst.  I find it worse to be sick sick for like a week than I find dealing with bad MS days for the same time.  MS you adjust to.  Vomiting?  Not so much.  Anyway, hopefully I start this week as my understanding is that the next protocol takes more like a month.  So tired of delays, but whatever works.

02 February 2018

Toothpaste and shampoo

So, I really do love my Lush toothy tabs, but I've decided to try the Bite Toothpaste Bits because they have xylitol (which my dentist sort of demands I use).  They sell them on their Etsy store for $12 a bottle but since I already know I prefer the tablet form of toothpaste with charcoal, I ordered from their website where you can get an $8 glass bottle of them in a monthly subscription and then after the first shipment, you get a packet to refill your glass jar.  I ordered a few hours ago (Friday night) and already have a tracking number.  Will update after trying, but I at least highly recommend this style of toothpaste over the paste form.  The Lush Boom! Toothy tabs are $11 and come in a plastic bottle.

I am also trying a handmade knockoff of the Lush Godiva shampoo bars from this Etsy shop  because the same style / scent is $10 for a three oz bar with a tin or $9 without vs the actual Lush version that is $13 for a 1.9 oz bar.  Hopefully this is even just a little bit close,  because honestly the Lush Godiva bar is the best shampoo I have ever used.

01 February 2018

Diet vs exercise

I think one of the toughest parts of trying to be more healthy and trying to lose weight is that thanks to having Multiple Sclerosis as well as some permanent residual scarring in my lungs from Sarcoidosis  I find it really tough to do the exercise part of the ideal health / fitness routine.   I do try to walk or get on the Simply Fit Board at least a few times a week.  Still, there are times when even  that is a struggle for me.   Living in a warm climate means that in the more extreme years, walking outside is rough even in "Winter'.    If I overheat or just do more than my body finds to be too much, I feel horrific for days.  And generally speaking, my body lets me know what is too much only after I have gone beyond that point.  So I started just walking laps inside in our apartment where one of the main rooms has AC and the other has a fan.   Some days that works, sometimes even the AC isn't enough to keep my body feeling okay.

Needless to say, I have to rely mostly on the diet aspect.  I am losing weight.  I'd just like that boost that being able to maintain a consistent exercise plan would give me.  I know that diet is generally considered the more important of the two but I do feel like a slacker when the fitness part and me aren't friends.  Like this week, I just haven't had it in me to do the walks.  I have thought of trying, but the body is like don't even try it lady.   So I try to think about the fact that even the hubby who loves hot weather asked me if the apartment felt too warm.  We're talking 8-9pm.  Usually it's me needing to blast the AC.   Even with confirmation that it wasn't just me, I still felt bad that I couldn't do more.

Trying to keep a more chill attitude about it and focussing on the diet and its results.  But some days or every weeks are tougher than others when you want to do more and physically cannot.  Must learn how to focus on the good more and let that go.  It's tough though.

31 January 2018

1 year since IAC closed

Today is the one year anniversary of IAC (Independent Adoption Center) closing. I don't think about it much anymore, not since we decided to go the donor embryo route instead. When it does come up though, I still feel pretty angry and cynical about adoption. I was watching documentary "One More Shot" on Netflix. It focuses on a couple who end up going the embryo donor route after having dealt with infertility for several years. There are other people interviewed though and those secondary interviewees included one couple that chose adoption. The wife was wearing an IAC shirt and I just cringed. Since the documentary was filmed over a several year period starting a few years before IAC went under, I did actually wonder if we'd see them lose everything. Luckily they were one of the couples who did actually complete an adoption through IAC in the years before they closed.

Since the closure, I've seen posts about people involved with IAC hosting fundraisers but haven't heard of anyone truly benefitting from those. I have been contacted by someone from IAC letting me know of their new adoption related business. Not sure how she thought that was in good taste. There were some very nice people there, but they were paid to be nice. I do somewhat blame them all. They knew how many families they were bringing in vs how many expectant mothers were using their offices. They knew. One did save us a few thousand dollars at the end, so I probably blame her the least as she answered our questions about the money grab at the end honestly instead of with an answer that would have been in the best interest of the company.

 Knowing what I know now I wish we had gone for the donor embryo route straight from the beginning. I would not recommend adoption to anyone unless they have a friend or family member coming to them and asking them to parent their child. There's always the foster system, but since the main goal is (and should be) to get those children back with their biological family whenever possible, it's obviously not for everyone. 

There needs to be a mass overhaul of the private system. There are some protections for birthparents up until finalization, as there should be. There are practically no laws or protections beyond that. Agencies can take on as many prospective parents as they want, collect the money ahead of time, operate like a pyramid scheme until they cannot pay the bills, then walk away. There is nothing preventing this from happening again. There have, to the best of my knowledge, been no punishments of any sort for those who did just walk away despite the fact that they didn't follow the rules that are in place for such an agency closing. My understanding is that most of the people who ignored them are still working in adoption.

 Hopefully in the next few months we'll get pregnant. I feel like our odds as better than they were with adoption, which is odd to me. I always thought adoption was it. Now I see it as the least secure option. I have heard of too many people who lost so much time and money only to end up elsewhere starting from scratch. I've heard of people paying multiple agencies only to get scammed and failed matches, losing more money along the way. No one truly prepares you for how hard it is to try to adopt. They prepare you for matches that fall apart. They say that's the worst. I am sure it is the worst most of the time. But the reality is you may be with an agency that can never deliver what they promise, don't vet their expectant mothers well (if at all), etc.

 I'm just glad that part of our lives is closed. But when you're betrayed by those trained to handle the most sensitive of issues -- people who provide counseling as part of their jobs? It does leave you feeling a lot more beaten down than some of the other let downs life throws at you. It also leaves you quite angry that these people can just move on to the next company and do it again with no repercussions but a nice healthy bank account, filled partially by you.

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