Monday, September 20, 2010


is a blessing.  I have struggeled through out my life with "living in the world" and "living for God."  As a teenager, I wasn't even sure there was a God.  I led my life for the moment, not thinking about the consequences of my actions.  And there were PLENTY of consequences.  I believe, as any Christian, we all have battles... our own weaknesses.  For the past year, I have felt a strong conviction, but have not either wanted or been ready to "deal" with it.  I knew what God was asking me to do and I have made many excuses why I shouldn't listen.  I finally listened.

It has been over three weeks since I have had any alcohol.  I know I sound like an alcoholic.  I'm not.  I would enjoy a glass of wine with a nice dinner (especially Italian), a cocktail on vacation, etc.  Its not that I think there is something wrong with Christians who drink, I just know that God is asking me to stop for what ever reason, right now.  I am not sure where this is going to go either.  Is it forever?  Not sure.  But for now... No VINO!  I have lost that desire.

I feel very good about it.  I actually feel more connected with God than I have in a long time.  I know God has wanted me to do this for a while.

Many of our friends are not christians.  That has been the other battle.  "Birds of a feather flock together," my mom would always say.  Its so true.  It is extremely difficult to stay on the right path when you are with people who have no path.  Finding friends that you connect with, let alone Christian friends (especially ones that are in a similar place (no kids)), is so hard!  We both feel as though we are in this limbo or imbetween stage.  I would say that 95% of our friends either have one child, or one on the way.

I joined a womens bible study which starts next week.  I am super excited and praying that God brings good Christian women in my life... and hopefully lasting friendships! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Photography class...

I am super excited!  I started a photography class today on "photographing people!"  I am super excited about that and can't wait to learn some new skills.

3rd opinion...

went much better!  I went to Reproductive Partners because I have heard SUCH great things.  I had to change medical groups to see this Doctor, but in LA magazine he was rated "top doctor!"  They have offices in Beverly Hills, Redondo Beach, Westminister, and La Jolla.  C and I met with Dr. Rosen.  He is AMAZING!  He is so honest, kind, and very thorough.  He really educated us on our past experiences, present and what our future options are.  C and I both had really good vibes from him and we both feel like we can trust him with our TTC future :-)  He walked us through our options... IVF or starting over with Clomid.  He said we should have started with that from the beginning.  Not sure why we were pushed to injections/IUI.  Because of our ages... 29 and 31, he feels that we should not necesarily rush to IVF.  This is why I don't trust all RE's!  Sometimes I feel like they push that because it makes the most $$.  I am really glad we went to see Dr. Rosen.

He didn't push one way or another, it was up to us to decide.  We both felt that we should start with a "clean slate" with Dr. R.  IVF is so final. We are only going to do two to three cycles of clomid and thats it... give it one last chance.  The good news is that I feel very good about this change, not stressed about clomid not working, it is also less invasive than injectables and less time consuming (less dr visits, bloodwork, etc.).  I am not necessarily hopeful it will work, but I am open to it :)

As for C's seman analysis...Dr R really wasn't that concerned because he had SUCH high numbers and motility, which is a relief!  He does want him to start taking vitamins and fish oil (everyone should!) and he wants to do another S/A.  We are also going to do a postcoital test,
which "checks a woman's cervical mucus after sex to see whether sperm are present and moving normally. This test may be used if a woman is not able to become pregnant (infertility) and other tests have not found a cause."  Dr. D never did that, he just pushed IUI.

Once we decided on our next plan of action I emailed Dr. R and recieved this in response...

"Sara - If you want to start this cycle, we could start you tomorrow, day 6 of your cycle (starting day 3-6 is equally good but we try to start everyone on day 5) or we can wait til next cycle.
If you want to start this cycle, please call our Westminster office, 714-702-3000, and set it up.  I will forward this to both the front office staff and the MD on call that day, Dr. Cassidenti.
Your chart is in Redondo but the computer has all my notes.
Let me know and good luck (PLUS: great decision)
Dr. Rosen"
This made me feel VERY good.  I feel like we made the right decision.  IVF may still be in our future, but at least now we have a fresh start, with a new plan, and a great new RE.  I am looking forward to it!
We decided to take another month off.  I didn't want to rush into anything and feel the pressure that comes with IF treatments.  I want to be in a good place.  Plus I needed to get my medical all lined up, switch groups, get referral, etc., otherwise we would be paying out of pocket... not fun!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Met with a new RE...

today.  It went well.  She took one look at the SA and said "this is a problem."  However, she was shocked that a second SA wasn't done.  All over my papers all that was stated was "pcos/uterine sepum," not "male factor," which means it was completely over looked.  Dr. A also stated that the majority of the time when it comes to IVF, both partners have the problem, not just one.  I carried this burden all last year and up until this point.   I went through 7 months of acupuncture every week, cut coffee, alcohol, slowed my exercise, battled with depression, etc.  I don't even care about the loss in thousands of dollars, but the emotional toll it took on me.  Horrible!

She wants C to do another SA, of course, but it will be very extensive.  She will culture it to make sure there isn't an infection, recheck the morphology, etc.  One thing really cool about this office is that they have an open lab.  She would want C to come and watch and see his lil swimmers on the screen.  I think thats pretty cool.  She said the person who runs the lab is someone with a Phd., not a tech or something.  They have had no mix ups here because of the individualized attention they give each patient.  She was pretty appauled at the lack of further testing Dr. D's office did on both of us.

If we go through the IVF process she would suggest ICSI, if his SA came back with the same result.  Good news is that sperm change month to month and she has some good suggestions for him...

  • "Take a multivitamin. A daily multivitamin can help provide selenium, zinc and folic acid — trace nutrients that are important for optimal sperm production and function.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in antioxidants, which may help improve sperm health.
  • Reduce stress. Stress might interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm. Stress can also decrease sexual function.
  • Get regular exercise. Physical activity is good for reproductive health as well as your overall health. But don't overdo it. Men who exercise to exhaustion show a temporary change in hormone levels and a drop in sperm quality.
  • Watch your weight. Too much or too little body fat may disrupt production of reproductive hormones, which can reduce your sperm count and increase your percentage of abnormal sperm. You're most likely to produce lots of high-quality sperm if you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Watch out for toxins. Experts think certain workplace and household substances might have an effect on sperm quantity and quality. These include heavy metals used in industrial workplaces, pesticides and chemicals in solvents. Use protective clothing, proper ventilation and face masks to reduce the risk of absorbing such toxins.
  • Quit using tobacco. The sperm of men who smoke may be misshapen and may move more slowly than those of nonsmokers. Smoking can also damage your sperm's DNA. Experts suspect such damage could even affect a baby's growth and development and increase a child's chance of having certain health problems, including cancer. And chewing tobacco isn't safe either — it also may cause low sperm counts and damage. As if that weren't enough, tobacco use can increase erectile dysfunction. Research shows men who both smoke and drink alcohol have lower sperm counts and motility than do men with either habit alone.
  • Limit alcohol. Heavy drinking may reduce the quality and quantity of sperm. Limit alcohol to no more than one or two drinks a day. The combination of tobacco and alcohol is particularly harmful.
  • Steer clear of illicit drugs. Marijuana can decrease sperm density and motility and increase the number of abnormal sperm. Cocaine and opiates can contribute to erectile dysfunction, and amphetamines can decrease sex drive.
  • Skip the tub. To maximize the quality and quantity of your sperm, avoid hot tubs and baths. Spending more than 30 minutes in water 102 F (40 C) or above may lower your sperm count. Saunas and steam rooms may have a similar effect.
  • Avoid hormone havoc. Anabolic steroids, usually taken illegally, can shrink the testicles and drastically reduce fertility. Anti-androgens used to treat prostate enlargement and cancer interfere with sperm production. Testosterone supplements also decrease fertility.
  • Stay cool. Increased scrotal temperature can hurt sperm production. Experts know that hot work environments, tight underpants, prolonged sitting and use of laptop computers can all increase scrotal temperature. They are still studying how these activities affect fertility." (sited from the MayoClinic).
We'll see... I have another appointment on Tuesday with one more!  I have already spoken with him on the phone and he is SUPER nice!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


When you hear people say to be your own advocate, BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!  I picked up all of my medical records from Dr. D's today because I was planning on getting a second opinion, which I still am.  But after going through all my paper work, which is literally hundreds of pages, I came across two important pages that Dr. D never informed us of.  On 07/08/09, C had a s/a done.  He had high #'s... 276 mil, a 4out of 4 on moltility, BUT only 8% morphology this equals Moderate Teratozoospermia. i.e 92% of his sperm is mishaped and cannot either reach my egg or penetrate it!  I cannot believe it!  How did this happen!?  I can't believe we went through all of this heartache of IUI's and BFN's for nothing!!!

We are still going to get a second opinion.  I have an appointment tomorrow with one RE and another next week.  Dr. D was right... IVF may be in our future.  Through research, I found that is what is recommended, possibly with ICSI.  However I am pissed that he NEVER mentioned this.  This should have been our FIRST recommendation not our last resort.  It would have been emotionally better on us all.  I think he somehow over looked it.  This sucks, but at least I finally have some answers (and its not all me! ha!)!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Not much to report...

Currently 9dpo.  I'm not really feeling anything (as if  I should!?).  I am just trying to stay busy and not think about the possibility.  It is the worst when you get your hopes up for nothing.  I would rather be surprised :)

C and I had a great weekend relaxing.  It was nice having the three day weekend... to do nothing! We did spend some time with friends, which was really nice.  They have an amazing pool and an adorable Baby.  C and I got to play with him which was really fun.  I got to envision (a little) what it would be like for they two of us to have a baby.  C would be SUCH a great Dad!  He is so good with kids. I can't wait till it happens!!  I know it will... one way or another!!

No more news... Ciao!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A few pics from paradise... Enjoy!

Enjoying a Mai Thai!!!  On vacation and all :)
Yummy Mai Thai's!!

On a hike to the falls
The magnificent falls
a gorgeous lookout spot!

I'm kinda excited...

I am getting a part-time job!  Well, kinda.  My husband is a branch manager of a mortgage company and also writes loans.  His office is VERY successful, they were #1 in the country last month (GO SEAL BEACH!).  He is so busy and needs some help. 

Last night he proposition me about helping make fliers once a week for a couple hours, which I agreed to do.  And, because he has so many Realtors, he wants to send thank you baskets to the new ones each week when he closes a loan for them.  I thought that was a fantastic idea!  So I am going to put together 'lil baskets (bottle of wine, Metlife snoopy stuffed animal, a metlife balloon, etc) and deliver!  I'll be going in on Thursdays for 3-4 hours...I am surprisingly excited!  It will be nice to get outta this mess of a house (remodeling... ugh!)!  I love being a stay-at-home wife but this will be nice and give me some purpose... another way of supporting my hardworking hubby!

Another thing I'm really excited about is I signed up for a women's Bible study on Thursday mornings.  I think this will be a good time since I will be with other women who also may be stay-at-homes!  I need some good Christian friends... really difficult to find!
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