Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween folks!

I love Halloween - it gives us adults fair license to dress up in costume and eat lots of candy! WOOHOO!

I sort of chickened out for dressing up completely for work. I thought that wearing a complete witch costume to work at the city MIGHT not be the best idea. So instead I took the hat and wore it with some added dramatic black eye makeup for good measure! Not to bad and my boss actually like it!

The other weird news is that the temp did a wonderful thing today - it went UP UP UP! WOOHOO again! It is like 64 degrees and sunny. There is a delightful balmy breeze too. I love it and am going to try and suck up every once of warmth I can! Weather in NE Ohio just about kills me sometimes!

Not much going on in the TTC front - CD11 today and according to my signs and symptoms...... we are officially in "my fertile time" (this is where a great sound effect would be perfect)
DH is completely under-whelmed! This just means scheduling in our "babydance" time in the evenings. Yes, I said schedule! We have both found if we don't schedule the time, one or the other of us will fall asleep before we get to it! LOL - yes we ARE getting old! Gone are the spontaneous days of hot, steamy impromptu sex in the kitchen or living room. I miss the old days! Such is life in the "baby lane"

I am pretty sure our biggest dilema tonight will be what to have for dinner. I am voting for Chinese! We shall see! Not too much else to share - I hope to hear from some of my visitors soon!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Did I mention I hate the cold?

Welcome welcome,

We actually had our first real snowfall yesterday and I really HATE IT! It did melt almost immediately but I know this is the start of something cold and icky! I am not looking forward to this winter in the least. May it be mild and quick - AMEN!

If you have had a chance to check out the blog, then you might notice that I have been busy tweaking the site. As this is my first foray into designing a site of sorts, I am feeling pretty good about my effort! (pats herself on the back) I hope to add many more pictures and links as soon as possible. I am also really looking forward to getting any feedback or visitors comments as well.

I want to tackle one possibly awkward subject before I go any further.

Some of you have noticed we added a Paypal donate button to the sidebar of our blog. You probably are asking yourself what this is all about. After opening up to friends and family recently about our infertility journey, the inevitable question we get is...
" what can we do to help?"

Our first hope and wish from everyone is that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers. That really means the world to us. Our second wish is for people to talk about this "hush hush" issue. Get the word out and don't be embarrassed about it! Our third wish is for your love and support during this difficult and emotional journey. We need you more than you probably realize!

In order for us to do at least one cycle of IVF w/ICSI it will probably cost us approximately $10,000 to $15,000. We obviously don't have that kind of money on hand and do not want to finance this and put ourselves into a big hole. Jim and I have devoted all of our extra finances to be put away into our IVF fund. We are adding daily to our savings and will continue to do so in hopes of saving enough money as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence due to my aging ovaries and what the doctors like to call my "advance maternal age" - (gotta love that at 37yrs)

That is where the paypal donation button comes in - this is our last wish - if any of you feel you would like to do something a bit more tangible to help us along in our journey - we wanted to give you a quick and easy way to do so.

Please know that whatever you have offer, be it love, support, or donations - we appreciate it all equally! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining us on this journey.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another dreary day waiting to ovulate...

Hey all,

Still trying to figure this whole blogging process out....yes - I know I am WAY behind the times but everything comes slow to me - Deal with it!

So it's mid-week and I am in the first 2 week period of my cycle which I lovingly call "waiting on the eggie". I am currently cycle day 9 and hoping to "pop that perfect eggie" soon!

What follows here is my description of an average TTC month - *PLEASE NOTE* If you are squeamish - Do not read as you will probably be rather grossed out by all the bodily functions mentioned! You have been warned :)

Nothing like reducing your days to waking up every morning to temp at the same time, checking your cervical mucus, checking your cervical position, setting out your ovulation predictor stick to pee on later (woohoo - so much fun peeing on things - that's a whole other post though) and finally charting all your morning information on your chart online. SUCH FUN!!!!

It's amazing how we have reduced our sex life to "fertile time" sex and "non-fertile time" sex.
Jim has almost gotten to know when we are headed into that 5-7 day fertile time just by looking at me. He has taken to asking me out of the blue...."how is your cervical mucus hon?" - Such a smart ass! I did give Jim the heads up yesterday that we were heading into our "special time".

I do this for a few reasons: 1. To let him have some time to gear up for "on demand" sex (not fun sometimes) 2. To keep him from doing what we call at our house "doing ebay" - LOL. If you need a hint, it involves his hand and his computer. - we need a good supply of strong swimmers for our "special time". Maybe I am selfish but I want the "NAVY SEALS" of his spermies!

So that is the scoop for today - I am hoping to add some more info to the blog as well as do some tweaking. Thanks for reading! HUGS

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I guess this is where it all starts....

Hello and welcome to our Blog-

We are Jim and Jenn Barnhouse. Just your average 30-something couple living in a small town.
For those of you who know us, this will be a great way to keep up to date of our lives and journey.
For those who are just passing by for a visit or are directed here via a google search, We hope something you read will touch your heart or make your day!

Since this is my first attempt at blogging you will have to experience all the growing pains in my learning curve right along with me. I send apologies in advance!
Just a bit of background as to why we started this blog-

Jim and I met just as many others in the computer age have met- via a website online.
We dated for a few years and finally married Sept. 1, 2007.
We are what you would call, "late bloomers" in the marriage arena - as we were both in our 30's when we married. Currently I am 37 yrs old and Jim is 33.

We both knew immediately that we wanted children so we decided to immediately start trying to conceive. We both had concerns because of our ages and how that affect our chances.
After a good solid 6 months of charting, temping, timed "baby-dancing" and emotional ups and downs we had no success. I made an appt. with a high risk OB/GYN to see about some fertility testing. We did find out that there were some very mild male factor issues but that everything else was seemingly okay at that time. We attempted the next step in fertility treatment which was some fertility medication added to our cycles with timed "baby-dancing". After 3 unsuccessful cycles of that, we were getting more worried. We then decided to see a reproductive endocrinologist for further evaluation.

After several more tests, the RE sat Jim and I down to say that he felt our best chances of conceiving would be with InVitro Fertilization with ICSI. He did say that we could try less aggressive treatments such as IntraUterine Insemination with or without fertility meds as well.

Jim and I decided to try IUI's first. We did one medicated IUI cycle using Clomid and were unsuccessful. Because we had already done 3 prior cycles using Clomid, we decided to move on to something a bit more aggressive and use injectable medication with the IUI's.
Although the price tag for the inectables was about $1000.00 out of pocket in addition to the IUI costs, we felt we should give it a fair try. We did our first injectable/IUI cycle in Aug 2008. Everything went beautifully for that cycle -with good counts and several good egg follicles developing. Unfortunately we were not successful in the end and were both pretty heartbroken.

Jim and I sat down at that point and decided that it would be a good idea to seek a second opinion about our situation. We ended up going to The Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center for our second opinion. We met with a great doc - Dr. Cynthia Austin who is currently treating us.
Dr. Austin reviewed all of our records and recommended immediately repeating several tests that in her opinion should have been done already (live and learn). So in Sept 08 we started testing again. It turns out that Jim looked much better this time around however I ended up with some disappointing results. I had some hormonal testing done, a test called a "Clomid Challenge" and a hysterosalpingogram or HSG (that's a mouthful) The results of the hormonal testing and Clomid Challenge were to show how my ovarian reserve looked. In other words, did I still have eggies and if so were they "using walkers yet" - LOL! The results came backed as a mixed bag - I passed the Clomid challenge but my estrogen was high too early in my cycle. I later found out that this can cause your Clomid challenge results to appear normal when they really aren't. All in all this meant that my ovarian reserve was dwindling. The results of my HSG test were equally a mixed bag. It showed my tubes were definitely open however I did have some adhesions from prior surgery. It also showed an abnormal uterine shape. Dr. Austin was unsure of the extent of this problem and wanted to see if an MRI would give a clearer picture. She then scheduled a pelvic MRI for me.

So this is where we are folks......I am waiting on my MRI scheduled for Nov. 4th (don't forget to vote folks - Go OBAMA!) Also Dr. Austin did say in our last conversationg that she highly recommended Jim and I discuss going through IVF w/ICSI - and in her words - "soon".

We are going to wait to see what the results of the MRI bring and then are going to see if doing anymore medicated IUI's would be worth our time. We mostly have had to make this decision based on $$$$. For those of you who do not know - one cycle of IVF w/ICSI costs approximately $10,000-$12,000 with about a 40-50% success rate. Medicated IUI cycles cost approximately $1000-$1200 per cycle and have a 12-15% success rate. (Just an FYI - an average traditional baby dance cycle has a 8-10% success rate at our age)
It is unfortunate and honestly just a crappy thing that we have to choose a treatment protocol based on finances. It makes us bitter and angry some days.

Chances are we will end up pursuing IVF w/ICSI and so in that vain, we have started to save $$$$. I put jar aside and am putting all my extra dollars in it. We have looked at selling all non-essentials as well. We do not want to finance this expense and put ourselves in a hole especially with the knowledge that there is only a 50/50 chance with IVF at my age. But that is the unfortunate truth of the situation. Good or bad - it is what it is.

I will be back to add to this blog but for this morning - I have to be off - must get my Dunkin donuts AM coffee! Hugs to you all!