Us

Us

Friday, February 24, 2017

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road

Well, hello there my beautiful readers. I've taken a few months off from the blog. Hopefully I'll be back to posting more often.

So as many of you know, we started our new treatment this February. The new treatment, to refresh your memory, is working with both my RE and an reproductive immunologist up in New York. I'm in Texas, so all communication between the two of us is through email. Let me tell you, it's been a whole month of stress because I've been going back and forth with both doctors. Trying to get prescriptions, the protocol, and then so much more. It hasn't been fun, that's for sure. This is infertility for y'all...

The new treatment consists of me doing IVIG (immunoglobulin infusions) once every 3 weeks. Just doing that is very draining. After doing the infusion which usually takes no more than 3 hours, I'm so tired and then feel so nauseous and get headaches. I didn't realize until a few weeks ago that they actually put Benadryl and tylenol in with my infusion. That's just to make sure I don't get an allergic reaction. I had no idea when I first went by myself. Afterwards, I drove home and I was seriously about to fall asleep at the wheel. It was so scary. The second time, I had one of my best friends drive me. I'm so glad she did cause it hit me hard on the way home. I got home and I seriously went to bed and didn't wake up until 7 the next morning. That was almost 13 hours of sleep. So my next infusion is next Wednesday and my lovely hubs is taking me. I'll continue doing the infusions until I have a good level of white blood cell count.

The other medication I'm on is Plaquenil...ugh...let me tell you about this "awesome" pill. Plaquenil is prescribed for people with malaria, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and a few other illnesses. I've been taking it for almost 2 weeks now and I guess it takes my body time get used to this new meds, but oh my gawd! The side effects are so not fun. I get headaches, nausea, vomiting, and no appetite. I've lost a few pounds just in 2 weeks. I have to force myself to eat. Well, and the hubs forces me to take at least a few bites of something. No fun at all.

I'm already taking 6 different types of pills, not including a few vitamins. I think I take about 9 pills twice a day. I take Metformin (1,000 mg twice a day), baby aspirin, Folgard (twice a day), prenatals, omega 3s, Plaquenil (yucky...twice a day), letrozale aka Femera, Gonal F (stims), of course Welbutrin (antidepressant), and Lunesta at night. Once I do my IUI, I will be back on Lovenox (a blood thinner injection, Endometrin, and Prednisone (corticosteroid). My poor body is so full of man made medicines. I am drained. I was glad I took those 7 months off of fertility treatments. I don't know how I've been doing this for 5 1/2 yrs, honestly. Just keeping my eyes on the prize and having faith in God and maybe a little wine haha.

Just a few of the pills I take twice a day. 

The other new medication I will be on soon is an injection called Neupogen. This injection is what chemo patients have to take since doing chemo lowers your white blood cell count. I'll be on this for the first trimester starting once I ovulate. The thing is, only one vial is almost $400. I will be needing about 14 vials. The total of all those comes out to $4,500. That's out of pocket because our insurance won't cover it since it's for fertility treatment and not a necessity. Ugh...so that's where we are now. Who has $4500 that just laying around?! No one! Unless you are a multi-millionaire haha. 

I've had many kind people asking if I they could donate money for baby Barker and even though I hate asking for money, I know that many of you are doing it out of the kindest of your heart and want to help and I can't say no if that's what you feel in your heart to do. So if you feel compelled to donate $1 or whatever you can, I'll provide my PayPal account info. 

I'm hoping that this fork in the road is just that, another fork. We've come this far and there's no way that something like money is going to keep us from hopefully having our baby Barker in our arms. Thank you all for being so supportive. It makes my heart so happy. I've been crying because I've received so many sweet messages and texts from friends and people I have never met, asking if they can help in any way. Thank you so so much and God bless you all <3

Love, 
Momma Barker


P.S- Here's my PayPal - mrssindibarker11@hotmail.com and I was informed to send it as a gift because if you send it the regular way, PayPal charges $0.75. Thank you again to you all that are wanting to help!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What may seem like years will just be a moment

Hey all! It's been a while and I've missed you all. So get ready for lots of catching up!

I don't know if you all remember back in May, we had our 4th embryo transfer but instead of one embryo we decided to do 2 embryos. We had to beg Dr Griffith, but he took a chance. Well, one or both had attached, but unfortunately at my 6 week check up at my REs, they couldn't find a heartbeat or a sac. I was definitely pregnant since I had my hcg done once a week and they confirmed it. I guess the world wasn't ready for this baby or babies. It broke our hearts to know that we wouldn't have yet another baby to watch him or her grow. You would think that by now I would be used to it, but it doesn't get easier. It doesn't get easier because that baby was alive and real even if it was for just 4 weeks. It was our baby and we had so much hope and faith that this would be the baby we would be holding in our arms in 9 months. Like I've said in past posts, I don't know why God makes us go through this or what His plan is for us, but my faith in God hasn't died or dwindled, it's actually grown. My relationship with my hubs is stronger than ever. 

Baby Barker 4 and Baby Barker 5 <3 My angels
Since this was my 4th loss, my RE was concerned and recommended I get an appointment with a reproductive immunologist, Dr Braverman. The only bad thing about that is that he's in New York, but he still works with people all over the world and Dr Griffith and him have known each other for years. I made a phone appointment with Dr B and 2 days later he called and we chatted for about 10 minutes (free 10 minute consultation). I called the hubs and he also joined in the phone call. I was very impressed with Dr B and both the hubs and I were very excited to know that we had another plan ahead of us. Dr B said that the next step would be to do an immunology testing (yay...more blood work!) and ovarian assessment report (basically blood work to see how many eggs I have left in my lifetime). I got the kit about a few days later and had the blood work done. 17 vials of blood later, they overnight it and said I would get the results in 6 weeks. Once I started my period, I had the OAR blood work and they sent that out as well. I was surprised that Dr B called me 4 weeks later with my tests results. I had mixed emotions. I was nervous, excited, and scared. I didn't know what they had found and I think being in the unknown made it worse. So Dr B said that I have a very strong inflammatory profile, which 93% of his patients have. He said I have low white blood cells (which makes sense why I get sick all the time), but can be fixed with meds. I also have natural killer cells which is a type of white blood cells that fights anything "alien" in my body. NK cells can also be treated with intralipid infusion treatments. 

Immunolgy kit
More blood work. Woot! 
Ovarian Assessment Report
**Intralipid infusion treatments is a synthetic product composed of 10% soybean oil, 1,2% egg yolk phospholipids, 2.25% glycerin and water. Based on research performed at SIRM and elsewhere, infusion of IL lowers Natural Killer cell activation (Nka) as effectively as does, intravenous gammaglobulin (IVIG.) When indicated IL (as with IVIG) is infused 7-10 days prior to ET and one more time again after a positive pregnancy in women whose Nka is due to an autoimmune causes (antiphospholipid antibodies and/or antithyroid antibodies). In cases of alloimmune implantation dysfunction (DQa and/ HLA matching between the embryo recipient and the male partner) the same applies but in this situation the infusion is repeated at 2-4 week intervals until the 24th week of pregnancy. 
We have supplanted IVIG with IL therapy in a significant number of women undergoing IVF , and who had immunologic embryo implantation dysfunction. The results thus far have been excellent, way beyond our initial expectations. 
At last we now have a safe and inexpensive alternative to IVIG therapy…Intralipid! What is more, IL costs about 10 times less than IVIG, is not a blood product and is without significant side effects. ** source from https://www.carefertility.com/ivf/viewtopic.php?t=39200

Dr B suggested I get a laparoscopy done because I have unknown endometriosis. I actually had the laparoscopy done 2 weeks tomorrow. I'll get to talking about the surgery a little later. I also have another DNA mutation called DRB11 (Go me...not!). Luckily, he said everything is fixable with meds and he guarantees me getting pregnant and having a live birth, but all in God's hands. After he finished telling me all of this, I cried for about 5 minutes after we hung up. My tears were not sad tears, they were happy tears. I was just so relieved and a bit overwhelmed by everything he had said. I finally got the answers I've been waiting for and know exactly what is going on with my body. 

Like I said, I had a laparoscopy done 2 weeks tomorrow.  The morning of the surgery, I was pretty relaxed. I guess I am just used to the many surgeries I've had in the past 5 yrs. Dr G had spent almost 2 hours removing scar tissue possibly from endometriosis and other things he found in the way. Then, I spent about an hour in the recovery room, but when they were about to let Justin come see me, they started to panic. My blood pressure was scary low and I just remember having about 3 nurses trying to get my pressure up, so I spent another 30 minutes in recovery before the hubs could come check on me. The first week was hard. I could barely get up to walk to the bathroom, but they told me to try and walk a little to help heal faster. I felt great the first day since I still had anesthesia in my system. The next day was the worst. I felt like I had gotten ran over by a train. I couldn't cough, which sucked because I had had a bad cold just 5 days before surgery so still had a lot of mucus and bad cough. Sneezing and laughing was painful and if you know me, you know that laughing is my favorite haha. The first week I had help from the hubs and friends. I want to say that I am truly blessed to have these friends that are more like family to me. I know I can always count on them. Also, I needed help since I was hosting Friendsgiving at my place. I had no idea that I would have surgery 6 before the event when I planned it. Oops! With lots of pain killers and lots of help from everyone, I made it through the day! 
The morning of surgery. So excited!
After surgery...loopy Sindi haha
4 hours after surgery. I was soooo bloated from the gas that they filled my uterus with, I looked 5 months pregnant. 

Up close of the incision in my belly button...ouchie. It 's as  painful as it looks.

2 days ago. Finally bloating has gone down. Now, I have lots of bruising and my right incision hurts. My belly button hurts every now and then.
I have a legitimate excuse to lay around and do nothing hehehe!
I am still in some pain, but not as bad as last week. Right now my main focus is to take it easy, which is very hard for me. I'm an up and go kind of girl. Oh and I've been banned by Dr G from working out and running for the next 5-6 weeks. I cried when he told me that. I know, it's silly, but working out and running is my joy, but I know that this will all be worth it. Also, I don't want an umbilical hernia. OUCH! It doesn't sound like fun. The next step towards Baby Barker 2017 is to call Dr B once I go through 2 cycles, then we will start medications and the intralipid infusion treatment. All of which will happen after we get back from PARIS!!!! I'm so excited. We are going 4 days after my birthday, on January 11th. Some people go somewhere tropical in the winter, but we are not like most people. We love the cold so so much! After our trip, we will be ready start again. I'm hoping that our IUI will be in late February or early March. 

Well, you are all caught up on my journey. It only took me 7 months to updated you haha. Sorry! My life hasn't been interesting other than us going to San Francisco and Napa for our 5th anniversary. We went for 8 days and it was so much fun! I would tell you all about it, but it'll take me 2 posts, so I'll just show you photos. Enjoy!!!



Charles Krug (Robert Mondavi's brother owns this one. It's right across from Mondavi lol)

Del Dotto Winery

Giants and Cubs. The Cubs won, of course.







In memory of our sweet boy, Jamieson <3

Vote Vino lol



Griswold!!!! One of our favorite movies is Christmas Vacation


Castello Di Amorosa

Such a beautiful castle. I want to live here. The hubs bought me $500 worth of wine :D

I love us!
Sir Lancelot the cat
I couldn't bend that darn finger hahaha!

In the torture chamber. The guy that owns the castle bought these from all over. They are legit.

Spikey torture chair. Tour guy said it wouldn't hurt if you had jeans on...lies! Haha

Add caption

This goat was eating the olives.

I love goats


I have more pictures, but like I said, it'll be a long post. Thanks for stopping by!

-Mrs B

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reminding Rewinding Removing Regretting

Hey all! So while I'm here sitting and waiting to hear news about our last embryo transfer and when I do, whether good or bad, I will announce much much later. Thank you for all that have text/messaged me asking when we are finding out. If I knew, I would tell you. Anyways, I'm here trying to rest and just be stress free. I'm taking advantage by watching lots of movies and shows, but mostly movies about pregnancy and parenting. Here's a list of my favorite movies in no particular order. Trust me, I'm good at picking movies :)

Maybe Baby
This movie is super cute! It is right on point with the whole charting, checking ovulation, and all that "fun" stuff us infertile myrtles have to go through. I mean, who doesn't love Hugh Laurie?! Am I right? He's soooo dreamy. One of my favorite quotes of the movie is "Women's eggs are like boiled eggs. You never know exactly when they're done for perfection. You have to grab them when the moment arises." Isn't that the truth?




What To Expect When You're Expecting
I remember when I saw the trailer for this movie and thought, ugh, another cheesy movie about pregnancy. Well, it is cheesy and it is another movie about pregnancy, but I couldn't help and get attach to all the characters. My favorite character as to be Elizabeth Banks. Her and her husband have been trying for a baby for 2 yrs without any luck. When she does end up being pregnant, she runs to the swimming pool where her husband is swimming and jumps in the pool with 5 pregnancy tests. I can relate to her character so much. Especially when she finds out that her "mother in law" (played by the gorgeous Brooklyn Decker) is pregnant at same time as she is. So funny! I can watch this movie over and over again.

Baby Mama
This movie is super cheesy but I love me some Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Basically, Tina Fey's character is wanting to be a mom but is stuck in a dilemma. She doesn't have a male partner to help her become a mom so she decides to get a surrogate after failed attempt to adopt. The movie is just plain silly and no thinking is required, which is great for me as at the moment, I really don't want to think much haha.


The Back Up Plan
Ok, not a fan of J-Lo (gasp, I know!) but I do like her character in this movie and also in What To Expect When You're Expecting. So J-Lo's character is wanting a baby and decides to get help from the sperm bank. She ends up pregnant but falls in love with a cute guy. It's cute because they both fall in love but she hasn't told him that she's pregnant by help from the turkey baster haha. Super cute movie.

Life As We Know It
Oh this movie is one of my many favorites. Yeah, it has Katherine Heigl (another not so favorite actress) but it has the handsome Josh Duhamel...drool! 


Away We Go
This movie is sooooo me! I'm a huge hippie at heart. Plus, who doesn't love them some John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. Looooove them!


She's Having A Baby
I'm a huge Kevin Bacon fan and this movie always makes me cry! It's crazy. I just love it when he realizes that he does want to have a baby. I'm sure all guys go through all the emotions Bacon goes through when he finds out his wife is pregnant.


Waitress
I love this movie! I'm a huge Kerry Russell fan. I can watch this movie a million times and still cry. Especially at the end when Adrienne Shelly's (RIP) daughter appears as Kerry Russell's daughter in the movie. Ugh. It just pulls at my heart strings. Oh and did you know it's going to be a musical?!!! Music and lyrics by Sarah Bareilles. Super excited about it.

And last but not least...

Parenthood 
I love this movie! Maybe because it's a Ron Howard movie and I just love him, but I feel like it hits right at home with parenting and all the joys that come with it ;)


That's all for now, folks! If I remember any other movies, I'll make sure to add to the list. Do you have any pregnancy/parenting movies that you love watching? Let me know!

-Mrs B

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rice Paper Fakin Bacon

Guys! I made rice paper fakin bacon for lunch today. I'm not a bacon lover *GASP* I know, I know, everyone thinks it's weird, plus I'm not a meat fan either, I'm like 98% vegetarian. I will eat seafood every now and then. I was a hardcore vegetarian for 5 yrs about 7 yrs ago. You can even ask my parents and they'll tell you that even when I was little, I would choose veggies over meat. Meat has always made me sick. My doctor thinks I might be allergic to something in meat? Who knows. Anyways, I was craving a BLT but without the bacon. I blame it on the progesterone, estrogen, and prednisone (steroid). Those pesky extra hormones. Progesterone can sure play tricks on you. It can mimic pregnancy symptoms which sucks cause I'm only 2 days past 5 day transfer...woot! Let the crazy paranoia begin haha. Anyways, here's the recipe for the delicious fakin bacon. Yum!!! 

Rice Paper Bacon Recipe (Recipe by Vegan Rice Paper Bacon)

INGREDIENTS

  • Rice paper (I used 2 sheets and it made about 8 strips)
  • 2 tablespoons Neutral Oil (I used Vegetable Oil)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (Next to the BBQ sauce at store)
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup (this only gives a slight sweetness to round out the flavors, but you can feel free to omit or reduce it)
  • generous pinch of ground black pepper (Didn't use pepper)
  • pinch of paprika (Didn't use paprika)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (See notes for microwave instructions)
  2. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade in a wide bowl until the nutritional yeast is incorporated well; prepare a second wide bowl filled partway with water.
  3. Prepare a metal, oven-safe rack with a sheet of parchment paper. (Skip this if microwaving).
  4. Cut rice paper into thick strips, or to the size that you want. Note that the strips will shrink in size a little bit when cooking. Some brands of rice paper will crack a little bit when you cut them; Use a large, very sharp knife to minimize this.
  5. Take two strips and stack them. Holding them together, dip them very quickly into the water. (UPDATE: if you have kitchen scissors, try dipping 2 whole rice paper sheets stacked together into the water, then cutting them into strips instead. I don't recommend cutting wet rice paper with a knife, it's not as easy as it seems). They should then start to stick together on their own. Gently squeeze excess water from the fused pair of rice paper strips.
  6. Dip the fused pair of rice paper strips into the marinade and coat it fairly generously; place it onto the parchment paper.
  7. Repeat with additional rice paper/rice paper strips until the rack is filled. NB: Periodically stop to whisk the marinade again and re-emulsify it; the oil will start to separate over time.
  8. Bake for about 7 to 9 minutes, or until crisp. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the tray partway through. The strips can burn easily, so keep an eye on it and take them out as soon as they're done. The end result will be mostly crispy with some slightly chewy parts. :)
  9. Once fully cooled, store leftover rice paper bacon in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. It will stay pretty crispy.

That's it! Enjoy! I promise you won't miss the real bacon. Trust me.
The magical ingredients 
Before going in the oven

Crispy Fakin Bacon

"B"LAT was delicious

I can finally enjoy a BLT guilt free (P.S- I use Dave's Killer bread or Silver Hills Gluten Free bread)
Let me know if you are brave enough to try this Rice Paper Bacon :-)

-Mrs B