What a journey it has been

Let’s see.  We arrived in Prague and found the car rental place with no issues and got our little yellow Fiat.  Heading to Zlin from Prague was super easy with the Tom Tom guiding our way.  It was raining pretty hard and we didn’t have very good directions to the hotel but Rob took a turn and there it was.  Zlin is much larger then we thought.

Our hotel sucked but since we had been up for over 24 hours we just ignored the flaws and went to bed.  We didn’t sleep so well but did get some rest.  Although the hotel room sucked the breakfast in the restaurant was great.  We loved it.

We headed to the clinic for our morning appointments.  The clinic ultra modern, ultra posh, and ultra nice.  There is a cafe that is really lovely and where we found a quiet moment to drink our espressos and read magazines.

Robs appointment went great as did mine although they doubled a couple of my meds to get my lining just a bit more thick.  I am borderline to ideal (7.3mm to 8mm).  After our appointments we had our consultation and our doctor said everything was just fine and no problems.  We sat out in the waiting room and saw our donor.  Well, I think it was our donor.  They reception area is where the patients and the donor arrive at the same time.  They are having their eggs harvested and the husbands have just made their ‘donation’.    Two other girls from my group were also there.  I am the only one that had a donor who is 5’3″ and there was only one donor sitting there that matched that height.  The others were quite tall.    I knew we would see them but it was so odd knowing one of them was giving me her eggs.  Needless to say I stared a hole through her.  She never looked up from her magazine.  The Czech girls are very private and certainly more so in this situation were privacy is at stake.

Once our appointments were done I stepped outside and cried my eyes out in Rob’s shoulder.  It all hit me just then.  At that moment I realized we were there.  We were doing this.    It was pretty surreal.  We got in the car and started on our drive heading to Germany.  We found a wonderful pension just near the border and slept.  The place was so nice and the owner was wonderful.  The house is also a music studio.  We slept like babies on overstuffed duvets.  Then at 10am I made the nerve wracking phone call to see how things went in the lab.

They harvested 9 eggs from the donor.  8 fertilized and 7 are maturing very well.  Rob and I cried and are so happy!! This means we can relax now and enjoy the rest of our free days.

We stopped in Frankfurt and found a cute hotel in the center of town.  Tomorrow we will visit the old town of Frankfurt and decide if we are going to stay here or head out more on the open road.  I think we are getting tired of driving and may just stop here and head back to Zlin on Sunday.  We visited a wonderful hotel/spa in Zlin just before we left for our road trip and plan to stay there on our return and after embryo transfer which will happen on Tuesday at 12:30pm (Czech time).

We are excited about getting back to Zlin and the transfer.  xoxo

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It’s starting to feel less stressful now

Last night Rob said, “I bet you won’t try to go to school and have a baby next time.”

Next time.   If all goes well this is it!  Then, he quickly said, “Knowing you though, you probably will or some other project.”  I replied, “I will do all this AND build a boat!”  We laughed hard.  It is true.  I seem to take on way too much.  Maybe its how I am built.   Lazy certainly isn’t an adjective I have ever heard used to describe me but I do love to be in bed! I could eat, watch TV, read, do my nails, lay around in bed .. if I could find the time  🙂

The Fundraiser/Bon Voyage was so much fun and I wouldn’t change a thing!  Opening the door and seeing Linda standing there made every second of planning worth it.  Also, seeing Kathy.   It was as if I had seen her last weekend.  We never skipped a beat.  I only wish I had had more time to spend with her.  I truly want to have a Spa weekend with her.  For some reason that just sounds so perfect.  Sitting in bubbles talking about life since high school.

I am still entirely amazed at the thoughtfulness and graciousness of our friends and family.  Having David and Tasha here was also so wonderful.  Our blended family is starting to gel and everyone is beginning to let go of the past and look forward to the future.  I love it.  I really do.

I wish I could find a way to thank everyone befitting of their generosity.  It would impossible.  I feel so lucky.

Today I took one of my last finals.  Another on Monday then the last on Tuesday morning, then off to the airport.  Yesterday I had my uterus lining checked and it was just perfect and within the ideal range.  Today I have an adjustment with the chiropractor quickly following that with an acupuncture session, then scoop up Rob and come home.  This weekend we pack and do the last bit of shopping (dog food and small sundries).  I got a couple of movie tickets from Groupon so we will definitely go to the movies at some point and relax.

It will all be worth it.  This is what I believe, what I know.  How could it not be?

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The Fundraiser

Wow.  Just wow.  We raised $1,224 from the Bon Voyage/Fundraiser! Incredible!! This has truly been a lot of work but more then anything it has truly been the single most important event that brought together friends and family.

I am beyond exhausted at the moment and will write more tomorrow after some sleep.  My head is still spinning from everything! Incredible!!

Posted in Raffle | 1 Comment

my heritage

I guess I am ‘nesting’ in some ways and very curious about my own heritage, family, who I am – which is odd because my heritage won’t pass to our little embryos but still … its been on my mind lately.  I had a mini-breakdown yesterday because I haven’t heard anything from my own family.  I called my Mom and cried my eyes out, blaming myself, thinking I had done something that has kept them all away from me.  Why hasn’t any of them (my brothers or her) called, emailed, facebook’d, anything?  Isn’t this an important time in their lives too?   I know everyone has a lot going on especially my older brother Hamilton who is dealing with incredible health issues and I understand.  I need to call him but I am not sure what to say.  We have not been close for a long time.

Families are just different and mine is fragmented to say the least.  I think we love each other but we have individually had our own set of challenges that ultimately kept us from being close.    These are my half brothers and even though I think this is the first time I have ever even uttered those words, it is a fact.   I talked to Rob about it and I think he is right that I cannot take it personally that we are not close and accept that this is what it is and hold my head up.  For whatever decisions I have made in my past I certainly do not want to be judged by them, nor would I judge anyone else.  I just really want to be supported by those I call my family.

I called my Mom back today to ask her about my heritage.  I learned my grandparents names today (her parents): Antonia Felizardo and Antonio Anselmo.  She did not know her father, only his name but he was from Sicily and came from an Italian family.  My grandmother and her entire lineage is Brazilian all the way back to Portugal (and Africa).   My great-grandmother’s name was Teresa Felizardo.  My mother is from a small town outside of Sao Paulo called Piraju.  For the first time in my life I actually researched this town and saw images online.   My younger brother Milton has been there with my mother to visit and my older brother Hamilton was born there.

My biological father (who passed away in 1994) was English/Scottish.  I did not know him but met him.  His father, my grandfather, was from Scotland and broke the Scottish lineage when he married a Britisher.  My grandfather was a well-known corporate attorney in Houston, Texas.  My father was an only child.  I was also the only child from the marriage of my mother and father.

I have no cousins, or grandparents, or uncles, or aunts.  I have two nieces that are my older brother Hamilton’s daughters.  I love them both very much but rarely see them, unfortunately.  They live in Florida.   My mother and my younger brother live in Houston.

I think I was meant to be in a large family with lots of women in my life, children, traditions, week-end gatherings, BBQs, holiday and recipe trading.  I love to be hugged and need constant affirmation and encouragement.  I do much better when I feel close and cozy and do horribly alone.   I am like a pack dog 🙂

I have latched on to Rob’s family so hard that I may wear out my welcome! I love the bond I have made with them and hope they accept me and my neediness.

There is no blame for all this and I do not fault anyone.  It is what it is .. and I am OK with that.

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ivf stims

Tomorrow I start stimulation drugs that get everything ready for the transfer.  We leave two weeks from tomorrow.  I’ve read that these drugs are pretty narly and I am going to feel pretty poopy.  Not sure how I am handling everything right now without losing my mind but somehow I am.  I do have my freak out moments.

Here we go …….

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The generosity of people is unreal

Rob and I are completely blown away at the generosity of our friends and family.  It is almost unbelievable to see the out pour and love we have received.  We feel truly fortunate to be surrounded by all these amazing and wonderful people who care about us so greatly.

Every day a package arrives with a donation for our raffle and each day tears stream down my face when I open them to see the thought and love placed into each of them.  There are no words to express our gratitude but we are SO very thankful to everyone.

Here is a link to the donations we have received so far.  There are more on the way as I type this:

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=lf#!/photos.php?id=102590826483913

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Meet our donor, well .. Visualize our donor

We received the donor’s detail and thought we would share them with everyone

—————————————-

Education:  University student

Height /in cm/: 164  (5′ 3″)

Weigh /in kg/: 54  (118.8 lbs)

Eyes: brown

Hair:  brown

Age: 22

Children : 0

Successful donor  (meaning our donor has provided her eggs before and the recipient got pregnant. )

Attractive

No genetic diseases are known in her family. Both her parents are still alive.

She underwent all the medical and psychological tests being in accordance with Guidelines for Oocyte Donation of The American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

—————

This makes me VERY happy.  As many of you are aware my mother is Brazilian and we had originally planned on going to a Latin country for DE but this proved impossible due to strict laws, etc.  When we submitted the list of our physical characteristics that the clinic in Zlin requests of all patients, I did note that I am a Brown eyed, Brown hair girl although I am very blonde in the photo we submitted to them.   No, I am not a true blonde 😛

So this donor fits me well. I am also 5′ 3″ and was 118 pounds once .. when was that?  🙂

We couldn’t be happier.

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My cycle has begun

I am sitting in the waiting area of my doctors office. I just got the Lupron injection that starts my cycle. The nurse asked me to wait 20 minutes to make sure there are no adverse reactions.

I love this place, my Doctor, the staff and nurses. Yes, its a community clinic but its some of the best care I’ve ever received.  My doctor, Katy, went to great lengths to arm herself with every aspect of both my medication and the treatment.  My overall health is paramount here.

When I arrived for my appointment with the nurse the desk staff were so kind in letting me know how excited they all were.  They told me they are really looking forward to seeing me throughout the pregnancy.  It was so touching.

Then the nurse called me in for the injection (which goes in the butt!).  She is a quiet nurse, reserved and to the point. No jokes or funny business.  The injection was painless. As I was leaving she said, “My daughter is the joy of my life. You are on my church’s prayer list for a successful transfer.”

I fought tears and gave her a bear hug that she wasn’t expecting and she felt awkward.  Too bad!  I am hugging you!  She then told me sit outside for 20 minutes in her  “back-to-business” nurse self.

It is simply amazing — this power of love.

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Heartbroken, but I have to stay healthy

It appears that one of the 4 girls that cycled in February (from our close group and friends at IVF Zlin) didn’t get a BFP – meaning her results were negative.  When I read the news today I just felt sick .. and nervous .. and a bit depressed.   I felt so down that I started to question everything.  Am I going to have the same results?  Is this going to work?  What about all I have asked of my friends and family? Of Rob?  The money. The emotion.  The stress.  Then I had to pull myself up and remind myself that yes .. that could be me too, but I will be damned if I am not going to try my hardest.  Life throws you challenges and you take them on.  This is a risk I am willing to take.  I am heartbroken for our friend and I will also support her in whatever way I can and hope she will not give up her dream regardless of what happened this time.

I kept my massage appointment today and that definitely relieved a lot of tension.  I am going back next week for 2 hours this time! I didn’t realize I needed that so much.  The therapist is wonderful and after the massage we sat and talked about a regime for me before I leave for the transfer.  I couldn’t swing the acupuncturist this week but hopefully will be able to in a week or so.

Kathy, if you are reading this .. thank you!  Your amazing friendship means the world to me and your loving advise to stay healthy and take care of myself, centering and focusing, has been wonderful.  I love you so much.

So everyone .. we leave in 5 weeks.

Breathe Marina Breathe.

Posted in Realities | 2 Comments

Meds

I picked up the single injection medicine today.  What a relief!  The meds box coming from Prague just cleared customs so it ‘should’ be here in a few days but I am super happy that I got the backup Rx from the doc.  Thanks Doc!

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I need chocolate STAT!

This has to have been one of the most stressful weeks I have had in a long, long time.  Not only did I have mid-terms, I also almost had to postpone our cycle.

It appears that the medication being sent by the clinic is lost in transit.  The package left Prague on the 22nd of January and has yet to arrive.  Now you might be thinking I have plenty of time since we don’t leave in 6 weeks but the issue is that I have to take the most important one when my period starts, which is more than likely coming today or tomorrow.

I have spent the last two days trying to get one of my doctors here to re-write the prescription from the clinic in Zlin (no pharmacy will take the foreign script).  One doctor said no, another said she had to wait to research the drugs, and finally one would write it but it would cost around $600 for just one of the drugs needed.

Finally today the doctor who was doing the research agreed to write the prescription and will administer the injection.   This was such a relief.   She is also the doctor I see at our community clinic so the cost was very affordable in comparison to a retail pharmacy.  Since I am on unemployment I have funding assistance which gives me prescriptions for an incredibly reduced cost.  As well, seeing the doctor is usually just $20.

All is well now but man oh man was I a basket case.

Posted in Appointments | 1 Comment

… and you thought I was through with being poked.

I made an appointment with an Infertility Acupuncturist to start having weekly sessions.  Acupuncture is a common program for women going through an IVF cycle as it supports not only assisting with minimizing uterus contractions which is one cause of miscarriage, but also aides in an overall healthy mind and body.  It also assists in preparing the uterus for the incoming embryos.

I can’t wait.  It’s coming out of my weekly allowance though and that’s just fine.

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Presumptuous Nesting

I saw a stroller on display out of the corner of my eye at Target today.   I went and pushed a few of them around.   I couldn’t help myself

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Every day is busy!

I need to time manage better.  I get so engrossed in what I am doing that the time flies by!!  School is going great but I do need to spend more time on my homework instead of reading blogs, updating mine, planning, mapping, obsessing .. yep, that is I.

Hotels are pretty much booked now and I have updated the calendar below and copied it to a page on the navigation bar called Calendar for easy access 🙂

As well, a LOT of people have messaged or emailed stating they are sending items for donation.  I am overwhelmed by the amount of generosity I am seeing.  We are so fortunate to have the friends and family that we do.  Just incredible.

xoxoxo

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must …. feel …. better

I have felt pretty bad for weeks now.  It was so bad I went to the doctor and he gave me antibiotics and said I had an upper respiratory infection.  They didn’t work and I still feel terrible.  Then it hit me.  I quit smoking!  I also forgot to mention that to the doctor.  I guess I didn’t think it was related.

After reading a few sites on the net it appears to be a very common occurrence.   I am actually going through withdraws from nicotine and ridding all the toxins.  There are thousands of posts on the very symptoms I have, as well as a physicians note:

When we smoke and for all the years that we smoked each and every puff on a cigarette destroyed the cilia, or tiny little hair-like projections lining our respiratory tract. These cilia are responsible for filtering out all the impurities we breathe on a daily basis. They line our nose and reach all the way down into our lungs. When we quit smoking, the first thing, essentially to start repairing itself, is the respiratory tract……and as soon as we take the last puff, the cilia start to regenerate themselves. In some people these cilia grow back faster than others.

Coughing is a natural byproduct of the reemerging cilia. It makes no difference how long or how much you smoked, the rate of regrowth can and is different in most of us. The faster the cilia grow, the more likely we are to cough lots in the first weeks of a quit. Our bodies are healing and our lungs are clearing themselves of all the toxins and impurities.

One person recommended eating several bananas a day, apples, loads of water and drinking a detox tea that has ginger.  I am relieved to know what is going on now because it was really worrying me.  OK.  Off to get the tea.

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

Flights booked!

We booked our flights last night.  Yaay!!  I need to update the calendar below though.  We are flying into Prague instead of Vienna.  The travel time to Vienna was just way too long and the same price.

Wow.  Now on the list is reserve an apartment in Prague for ET rest and a hotel room in Zlin for the night we arrive.  Also, we have lots to do for the fundraiser.

My medication is being shipped out today from the Zlin clinic.   I am so happy.   So is Rob.  We are feeling so good!

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Checking off the list!

Rob wired the deposit to the clinic this morning!

Wow.  I can’t even believe it.  I am so proud that we managed to save a bunch of dough this past month.  I would also like to thank my school for the lovely award they gave me for books which I promptly deposited into the baby fund (I hope they don’t read this).  Hehe.

Last night we met with the venue manager and looked at the room options for the fundraiser.  We have the room picked out and now need to pick the date which will more than likely by Saturday, March 5th.

Tonight we are going to book our flight.

The clinic also sent my dates after I received approval from my professors to take my finals early in the week:

First appointments at the clinic and donor egg collection – March 17th
The big date! Egg Transfer – March 22nd! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh

We are planning on doing a lot of city hopping on the 5 days off and then after the transfer we will hang out in Prague for a few days and leave on Saturday the 26th from there.

This is really happening!!  I can’t even believe it.

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Another Zlin Video

This video was uploaded to one of the forums where I am a member.  Thought I would share it along here.  Very cool time-lapsed vid.

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Update: We changed clinics.

After much deliberation and talking to other ladies going through this on various forums, especially my cycle buddy Sharon, we have decided to move to a different clinic in the Czech Republic located in Zlin.

This clinic has AMAZING pregnancy stats and they are less in cost, which was SO important.  They are affiliated with the clinic in Brno but have different doctors and do things a little bit differently.  Medications for the donor and recipient are different too but whatever formula they seem to have mastered is showing incredible results.  We are very happy with the move.

The Town of Zlin video:

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Making the deposit. No not that one!

We managed to save just over $1,000 and are sending the deposit, required by the clinic, on Wednesday.  Pause. Wait for it ……………………

 

 

 

YAAAY!!

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