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Infertility Treatment: Background and Expectations

Today, I am going to give you a brief overview of my infertility treatment and our expectations for IVF. I am working on a post that will explain the IVF protocol itself! 

Quick warning, this is a long post with lots of words. If you aren’t into that, go check out my guest post for Laura at This Runner’s Recipes about Training During the Holiday Season!

My Infertility Treatment

Infertility treatment is a bit different for everyone. Get a brief overview of my background and expectations as we begin the IVF protocol process! http://suzlyfe.com/infertility-treatment-expectations/

My hope in sharing this is that you will be more educated about infertility treatment and the IVF process itself so that you can support those around you who may be going through the process as well. Please remember that everyone’s story is different, and even if they have an infertility treatment and protocol identical to mine, that does NOT mean that we will have the same result. I’m going to break this up into a few parts, but today I am going to give you look at my hormone background, infertility treatment, and our expectations for how things might go.

Infertility treatment is a bit different for everyone. Get a brief overview of my background and expectations as we begin the IVF protocol process! http://suzlyfe.com/infertility-treatment-expectations/

I want to thank you ahead of time for keeping your comments supportive. If you have something that might be a bit more critical to say, I would rather you email me. That is not to protect me, but rather to protect others going through this very emotionally sensitive process.

I am undergoing treatment at Northwestern University’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility clinic. So if I refer to REI, that is what I mean, not the outdoor goods store! Another great place to be sure, but my doctor’s office doesn’t have a climbing wall…

My Hormonal Background

I have never had a normal period, other than after I came off of birth control in my late teen years. The last time that I had a normal period without the help of birth control December 2008, 6 months into my relationship with Alex. Unfortunately, that December, whether due to school stress or changing hormones and the beginning of a Crohn’s flare, I stopped getting my period, and I did not have one for 3.5 years.

I underwent hormone replacement therapy while I was at Columbia (for graduate school, graduated 2012) While doing HRT did help me gain my period back, it likely also forced the situation and has made it harder for me to get a period now without the help of extra hormones. Upon arriving in Chicago, we decided to “reset” my body by pulling me off everything but birth control. I lost my period again between but had a brief recurrence of my period while training for the 2014 Twin Cities Marathon. Yes, I started getting my period again for a short time during my highest mileage! So this is not an exercise and weight issue.

When I am not on birth control, my hormones are at levels that are essentially peri-menopausal. or even of a teenage boy! That is at just about any weight, whether or not I am exercising. This is not simply a weight/stress/exercise/Female Athlete Triad issue. If it was simply a matter of higher weight, lower stress, and lower exercise, you can probably bet that I would have done that. And I have. And I continue to.

Infertility Treatment

The good news is that all of my “equipment” is in working order (uterus, ovaries, etc). We just basically need to jump start the car and then place it into gear.

Infertility treatment is a bit different for everyone. Get a brief overview of my background and expectations as we begin the IVF protocol process! http://suzlyfe.com/infertility-treatment-expectations/

I was on birth control until February of this year, and we have tried 3 rounds of Clomid-type drugs (which are supposed to cause you to ovulate) this summer. Unfortunately, the stress and anxiety issues of the spring (without the birth control hormones to help me regulate myself mentally and emotionally) had caused me to lose the weight I had worked to gain, and we took some time off from the process to put weight back on and get to a better mental place.

I would like to put it out there from the start that we are NOT surprised that I am needing to do IVF. From the start, my doctor (a specialist in reproductive endocrinology and fertility) told us that we would likely have to do IVF. We decided to do the Clomid to give it that boy scout try, as it were. But taking those medications was like giving me a placebo; it did NOTHING. Not an iota. 

I won’t lie, though we knew that the first round of Clomid hadn’t worked (I had felt NO changes at all since starting it), it was still disheartening when that first ultrasound showed no follicles (a lack of ovulation), and my blood work was as if I’d just taken tic tacs (without the minty fresh breath). You always hope….

Now, there is often an intermediary step called IUI, or intra-uterine insemination. Aka the “turkey baster method.” You take Clomid and then an injection to stimulate ovulations and inject sperm straight into the uterus. My doctor from the start said no to that for me as we are not going to risk multiples with my treatment. Because of my Crohn’s Disease (and autoimmune disorder) and the sensitivity of my body, we are worried about what carrying multiples would do to me body; it could be dangerous for both me and the baby. IVF is the safest option for both myself and the (hopefully!) kiddo.

IVF Protocol Expectations

Because this is already getting a bit long, I am going to save the overview of my IVF protocol until later, and instead keep to my mental and physical states heading into the process. Physically, I am back at and actually above where I was a year ago (which is great!), but my hormones are starting at zero. Oh, and I don’t have a broken back, which is el mas excelente. (Can you believe that it has been a year since I got Sven and Olav?)

We are going to start me first on birth control, which will be the first steady hormones in my body since February. I am honestly looking forward to it (famous last words, right?). I am hoping, even with all the additional stress and uncertainty, that having steady hormones in me again will help me mentally cope with the uncertainty to come as we deal with my infertility.

Infertility treatment is a bit different for everyone. Get a brief overview of my background and expectations as we begin the IVF protocol process! http://suzlyfe.com/infertility-treatment-expectations/

I will start my injections to stimulate ovulation between Christmas and New Years, and I will have to cease all exercise beyond walking and lifts that don’t cause me to twist or wrench my abdomen just after the New Year (I will explain that in a bit). Because, as I said, my “equipment” is in working order, the injections should successfully stimulate ovulation for the egg retrieval. I don’t think Alex will mind me saying that his part of this has been checked, and he is at normal volume and potency. Then they will create embryos and implant ONE not long after (again, more later). I will be on progesterone during this time and likely into the first trimester.

If we are honest, we are not expecting this to work the first time. We expect the ovulation and retrieval to go ok, but we don’t expect the implantation to take the first time around. Obviously, we would be ecstatic, but it would be a surprise! Insurance is covering 4 cycles of IVF, and after that we will decide what to do next. But we are prepared that we might need to adopt to have our family. 

Infertility Treatment: Thoughts and Mental State Going into IVF

Speaking for myself, I will breathe the first sigh of relief when I see follicles on that first ultrasound following the start of injections, and the second sigh of relief when we have viable embryos. The third will be saved for a successful implantation, and a cry of delight if the whole shebang is successful (obviously, there will be screaming during the birth).

In this instance, I am keeping my eye on the prize but living in the mile, as it were, and trying to ignore the uncertainty that comes with shooting myself up with tons of hormones. The last time that I had a crazy hormone response, I put on 20 lbs in just a few months, and that weight was uncomfortable, mentally and physically (I literally felt like the Michellin man, and I couldn’t get into my clothes). But if that is what happens, well, that is what happens. I am not all that worried about the weight I will gain during pregnancy–I’m barely even thinking about it. Just like marathon training, I am changing my body, my expectations, for an end result. Marathon training has given me so much strength, and it is time to show just what running marathons means to me and for me.

Poor Alex...

Poor Alex…

Then again, ask me the same question in a month. 

Suz has her eye on the prize + is ready to start IVF! #infertility #pregnancy #IVF Click To Tweet

I hope this helps put my situation into a bit more context and helps you understand where we are sitting at the moment with regards to my infertility journey. I know that so many are dealing with a much more challenging protocol and set of circumstances, and I am thankful that we have (at the moment) a good chance of getting pregnant. My heart goes out to all dealing with infertility

Again, I will ask that you try to keep your comments positive. Please understand that if it were as easy as gaining weight or _____, I would have done just that by now! 

Does this help? What questions do you have?

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104 Comments

  • Reply jennifer

    been there, done that, jut a great big hug
    jennifer recently posted…Paleo Gingerbread Cookie BrittleMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 5:38 am
  • Reply Heather @Lunging Through Life

    I love love love that you are sharing this. As someone on the outside, (not necessarily to you) but it’s easy for me to question why people do things but this is a great explanation and I’m praying so hard for you! Also, go Illinois for covering IVF. I truly believe it should be covered. If you need to chat, you know I”m here for you. Just like you train and run marathons, you’re just training your body in a different way and I Knowwwwww youll conquer it!
    Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…Compound Moves Full Body Workout {30 Minutes}My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 6:01 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Heather. I am so happy to be IL right now. THANK YOU IL! LOVE YOU

      December 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate

    My sister just started the IVF process and to be honest I had no idea what all went into it until I talked with her over Thanksgiving. She will have implantation next week and I am so hopeful for her. Thinking of you during this process as well and hoping the best! xoxo
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted…What Iโ€™m Eyeing up For ChristmasMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 6:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      SO MANY GOOD AND POSITIVE VIBES TO HER! It is something that you can’t know until your really sit down and discuss. I just hope that this post helps start those conversations!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:34 pm
  • Reply Gabi

    Suz thank you for sharing this. I’ve had my own fertility struggles these last 2 years and have had a blog post drafted multiple times but never published it…maybe it’s time. I’m so happy for you that IVF is covered (it isn’t thru my policy so we’ve just got turkey baster for now) and wish you all the luck in the world. The mental stress is crazy, maybe even worse is the emotional rollercoaster of taking hormones, but you’ve got this and we’re here for you!

    December 6, 2016 at 6:10 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, Gabi. I wish you all the luck in the world. I am truly so lucky to have the insurance coverage here–I so feel for you in what you are going through. Please know that I am here for you to help and support you in any way that I can. SO much love!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    I am really excited for you both and look forward to supporting you through your process. You so got this ๐Ÿ™‚
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Phones Down Touch Down-Say No To Distracted DrivingMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 6:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Deborah! You know I so appreciate you and your support.

      December 6, 2016 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Kimberly Hatting

    ((hugs)) ((happy thoughts)) ((prayers)) ((more hugs))
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted……And the Streak Goes on….My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 6:49 am
  • Reply Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday

    Hiii I love you and you’re a rockstar. It sounds like you’re doing great, but call/text/carrier pigeon me anytime you want to talk.
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Snickerdoodles with Dark Chocolate DrizzleMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 6:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Love you back and you know that I will!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    I’m so happy to see you writing about this! I’m sure you are not the only woman going through this. I will be praying for you to have much success with this! I know how trying rit will be emotionally & mentally, but you are strong & will get through this.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…6 Ways To Avoid Holiday Weight GainMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 6:59 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It isn’t going to be easy, that is why I am so glad that I have my team with me. I am definitely not the only one going through this!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm
  • Reply Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    Susie, thank you so much for putting yourself out there. I’m sure there are countless women and men reading who need this support. I’m praying for you during this journey…you’re a wonderful person! <3
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…5 Things to Remember When OverwhelmedMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 7:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope that I am able to help someone, somewhere. That is all that I could ask for!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    I am praying, send good thoughts, and dedicated some of those painful marathon miles for this to work for you! I haven’t had a normal period since 2007 so I emphasize so deeply with you on that. And thank you for sharing this. It’s a hugely vulnerable thing to discuss especially when the assumption is to just gain weight, so I applaud your openness on this. It sounds like you are in good hands with your REI and of course you have the support of so many people. Xoxo
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Navigating Training During the Holiday SeasonMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 7:39 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I kinda wish that we could just go to your REI and call it a day! I am with you–I hate that so many just assume that weight is the magic key–there is so much more to it than that. Love you, girl, and I so appreciate those miles!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    I am sure this is helpful for so many people to get a better understanding about some of the reasons people may turn to IVF. I know this won’t be easy but it will be worth it! I am hoping and praying that everything goes smoothly for you.
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Another Shoe Fail and Off to FloridaMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 7:39 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Lisa! I really appreciate it. I really hope that it will help people out and make the process more accessible to all.

      December 6, 2016 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply Bri

    Thank you for sharing Susie, I’m concerned I may have to go a similar route with all my female problem. I’ve been off the pill for 4 months with no period yet, but hoping things will sort it out by the time we’re ready.
    Bri recently posted…Quick update!My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 7:40 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope that you won’t have to go through the process, but know that if you do, there are so many other there (including cough cough) that are there for you!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity

    Your positive attitude is amazing, my friend. Sending thoughts and prayers for a successful pregnancy your way. xoxo
    Linda @ Veganosity recently posted…Eight Vegan Cranberry Holiday RecipesMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 7:48 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Linda. It helps to be surrounded with positive people such as yourself!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    All the best!
    Also, I’m sure these posts will help others, thank you for sharing.
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…My Favourite Running Gifts for the HolidaysMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 7:54 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I really hope that they do. That is all that I can ask for!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Cora

    Wow. Well, both your comprehension and acceptance of this – mightily intricate – process is mature and impressive. I may not understand all the details but I definitely got enough to know how much time and mental focus this will obviously be taking you and Alex. Of course, I’m just here for you both every step of the journey and wish you so much love and luck on the daily.
    Cora recently posted…Week In Review: Learning in So Many Ways. A Week Done and DominatedMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 7:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, dear, darling Cora. Love you so much!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm
  • Reply Alicia

    Thank you for sharing your experience and I am glad that Illinois is able to support a few cycles of IVF.
    Alicia recently posted…Swim, Potluck and Gingerbread: MIMM#98My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 8:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Alicia, don’t you know I am! Thank goodness for it!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply Kelli @ Hungry Hobby

    Damn girl, I know how much courage it takes to write about this kind of stuff! You are freaking amazing! Good luck I’ll be sending you all the positive vibes I can possibly muster up!
    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby recently posted…Hemp & Flaxseed Muffins (Gluten & Dairy Free)My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 8:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Kelli. I hope that a little courage goes a long way to help others.

      December 6, 2016 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply Amanda C.

    Thank you for sharing your journey and all of this really helpful information about the IVF process. As always, your candor is wonderful. Sending good vibes your way!!

    December 6, 2016 at 8:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much Amanda! I hope I get to see you soon!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply Jessica Marie @ FlashFitTrainer

    I don’t know a whole lot about IVF, so this was interesting. This is a whole different kind of marathon you’re about to run. But the end result? Will completely transform your life in the most fulfilling way. Happy baby-making sister!
    Jessica Marie @ FlashFitTrainer recently posted…Kidsโ€™ Entrepreneur Series: Monarch Wing NecklacesMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 8:41 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Knowing how much training for a regular marathon changed my life, and knowing that it will be FAR greater than that, I am both so excited and scared!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Babydoll_Brea

    As always, I’m beyond impressed with your articulate candor and level-headedness. I’m not familiar with the process of IVF, but this post was easy to follow and not filled with tons of jargon. Hopefully, supporting you through this process and reading your posts will make me a better and more compassionate friend to you and others in the same proverbial boat. ๐Ÿ’›
    Babydoll_Brea recently posted…Weekend Snapshots: Concerts, Craft Fairs and Thirteen Point One Miles, Oh My!My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 8:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I have no doubt, Brea. I know you are already an incredibly supportive friend, and to be made better by my posts, I really am thankful for that opportunity!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply Emily

    So open and vulnerable of you to share this journey Susie; so thankful that God blessed us with a time when we could have these sorts of treatment.
    Emily recently posted…Why You Donโ€™t Have to Stay On Track This Holiday SeasonMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 8:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am so thankful as well. I don’t know what we would have done even just with my Crohn’s mere decades ago. We truly are so blessed to be able to take advantage of modern medicine!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm
  • Reply Lindsey @livinglovingrunner

    Keep the positivity! The IVF road can seem long…but I know a couple couples that went through IVF or the like, eventually had a baby, and then popped out a second in rapid speed! You got this lady!! Stay positive and everything will work out as it should ๐Ÿ™‚

    December 6, 2016 at 9:08 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will be over the moon with one–I can’t imagine if it then leads to another!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Danielle @ The T-Rex Runner

    Thanks for the explanation! I have a few friends going through this process right now so it is extremely helpful. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you guys!

    December 6, 2016 at 9:10 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Danielle! I am hoping to get a similar response from others–my goal is for people to feel like they have a better grasp with what is going on!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    It makes me sad that you have to remind people to keep the comments positive, but I understand. I went through several miscarriages before (and after) having my first daughter and many used to say I was too small to carry a child. Like, who says that sort of thing?
    I am sending all kinds of love and thoughts and prayers that you have great success in your IVF journey. And to add a positive note, one of my coworkers went through it recently and she now has a 5 month old baby girl! <3
    Michelle recently posted…ThanksMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 9:33 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope that I will be able to say the same thing in a little over a year! I didn’t want to put that comment out there–some people’s bodies are just different, and people need to respect that. But I’ve also come to realize that you can’t trust people to act humanely these days!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:10 pm
  • Reply Lisa

    My fingers and toes and arms and legs are crossed for you that it works!!! As a former L and D RN (now in pediatrics) some of my favorite delieveries were from IVF families as they went thru so much to conceive and then there is the little human who is soooo loved right at the delivery, I cried as much as the parents! Positive thinking, baby yourself and your body! It WILL happen!!! โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

    December 6, 2016 at 9:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much Lisa! I love how much the nurses love what they do, and how much it means to them to be involved in the process. I’m definitely in good hands!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    Fascinating! I’m so glad that you’re sharing this with us. Thank you for your vulnerability and courage! I’m hoping for the best for you and your family, Susie… you guys are truly remarkable people and will make fabulous parents. xo
    Suzy recently posted…Week in Review: Here Comes Santa ClausMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 9:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Suzy. You know how much your words mean to me (because I know they are more than just words!)

      December 6, 2016 at 2:06 pm
  • Reply Ana

    Best wishes for you in this new journey!
    Ana recently posted…December PlansMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 10:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Ana!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:05 pm
  • Reply Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green

    I’m so glad you’re sharing this! It sounds so stupid but one of my guilty pleasures is watching the Real Housewives of Orange County. This past season one of the women was going through IVF and it was incredible to see how much goes into this process. Wishing you the best of luck ๐Ÿ™‚
    Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green recently posted…Holiday Gift Ideas For $25 Or LESS!My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 10:16 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know what you mean! I am glad that she made IVF a bit more accessible for everyone!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Brittany @ Barr & Table

    Sending you so much love, always. Your post made me tear up as I recall my own process but as you said, eye on the prize. Embrace the changes that your body makes as it does everything it can to try and give you and Alex what you hope for. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions <3

    December 6, 2016 at 12:07 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much for your words and support, Brittany. I so appreciate it, and I am so happy for you!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:03 pm
  • Reply Ange // Cowgirl Runs

    Reading this, I think your doctor and medical team are really awesome. I’m sending so much love to you and Alex throughout. xo.
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Hello December! My Goals for the MonthMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 12:36 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Ange! I think we have a great team as well. I know that I have the best chance possible with them

      December 6, 2016 at 2:02 pm
  • Reply Erin

    This is such a difficult process and you are so brave for sharing it openly. My husband and I struggled with infertility for 5 years before we got pregnant using a combination of injections to stimulate follicle growth and ovulation and IUI and are now chasing after a healthy 19 month old little girl. It’s a stressful process but so worth it in the end. Stay positive and take each day as it comes!

    December 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, Erin, I am SO happy to hear that! Congratulations to you and your family. I hope that we have the same luck!

      December 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm
  • Reply Kaella On The Run

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m sure it’ll help others who are, or know someone who is, going through something similar. You know London and I are hoping and praying for the best outcome for you and Alex. Like I’ve said a dozen times, you’re going to be the BEST mama!!
    Kaella On The Run recently posted…Christmas Giveaway Happening NOW!My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope that London has a Chicago sibling to come visit!!!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:35 pm
  • Reply Smitha @ Running with SD Mom

    Thank you for sharing so that those of us who love you will send good thoughts and sticky vibes your way! Hugs to you and Alex and 1 billion pounds of support!
    Smitha @ Running with SD Mom recently posted…#12DaysofGiveaways: Day 6 – Sparkle Athletic Sparkle Visor #GIVEAWAY!My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much Smitha. LOVE YOU

      December 8, 2016 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Kristen

    I’m sending you so many positive vibes! My friend has been going through something similar recently so I really appreciated all of the explanations. Good luck with everything!
    Kristen recently posted…Snowy Weekends Are My FavoriteMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 3:05 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope that they are successful! Best wishes to them!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Michael Anderson

    Thanks for sharing your journey, and I am hoping that everything goes well.

    As I had written about in the past, we struggled with infertility and multiple miscarriages – and even though we now have two kids in college, those feelings never really go away.

    And I will never forget the time we spent in an infertility – 6 couples, no two with the same issue and no two with the same outcome. One couple adopted, we had our two boys, another succeeded through IVF, another through ICSI, another just decided not to have kids, and the youngest couple with the wife having gone through full menopause at 25 … they stopped showing up or talking to any of us when the first couple got pregnant (before we all had email and cell phones).

    I am really hopeful that this works for you, and that it works for your body. Because having a mom around is also important thing (something we had concerns about during baby #2), and your bod has already seen some serious pounding with all you’ve had to deal with. Thoughts and hugs all along the way!

    December 6, 2016 at 3:07 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Mike.
      Those stories are really crazy. I know that we are fortunate to have a real chance, period. But like I said, we will just have to find a way to have our family! And I have people all around me to make sure that we don’t push my body too hard. I’ve made some promises that I intend to keep.

      December 8, 2016 at 1:33 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    What an exciting and nerve-racking journey for you. I can’t imagine the roller coaster of emotions you and Alex must go through on a daily basis. I’m rooting for you guys!
    Rachel recently posted…Comment on Perfect Yourย Runningย with Strength Work by RachelMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Rachel. Definitely a roller coaster, and I hope I don’t get motion sick!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm
  • Reply Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat

    Just sending all the hugs, and positive vibes your way! You’re a tough woman, I know this cannot be easy to go through. <3
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted…Fort Totten Trot – 5K – 22:39 ***My Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 4:20 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Gianna! I truly appreciate it!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Marcia

    I wish you and Alex all the very best as you venture down this road. I’ve been where you are (as a result of immune issues too) so please holler with questions, etc., etc. All positive, sticky vibes coming your way!
    Marcia recently posted…Panama City Beach Half MarathonMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 8:43 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Marcia! You know that I will!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Kerri Mcgrail

    As always, I love reading about your journey. I am sure you are in great hands over at Northwestern. Wishing you all the positive vibes, puppy/kitty snuggles, long walks, and strength during the process <3
    Kerri Mcgrail recently posted…Run Less Run Faster: How I Qualified for Boston Running 3-4 days a WeekMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 8:54 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You know I will be getting in those snuggles!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:29 pm
  • Reply GiGi Eats

    Hey, GUESS WHAT?! We are fertility twins. But seriously. We are. I went to a fertility doctor a little while ago out of curiosity because I have not had my period in 8 years. And of course, he told me exactly what I already knew… I am broken. My husband is really worried about it because he wants kids so badly. That being said, he and I are NOT ready for them yet. AT ALL. So I joke that I am walking birth control ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lucky him, he never has to wear a condom. BAH AH HA HA HA – TMI?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    December 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      LOL I know what you mean! hahahahah

      December 8, 2016 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply Catherine @ A Cup of Catherine

    Thanks for sharing – and I am wishing you and Alex the best during this journey.
    I don’t know much about IVF, but I know we all have different journeys and struggles. I hope one day you’ll be sharing with us about your growing family. ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—
    Catherine @ A Cup of Catherine recently posted…Holiday Gift Guide for FoodiesMy Profile

    December 6, 2016 at 9:34 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      So many of us have no idea about IVF unless we are in the midst of it, I’m hoping to help spread the word! Thank you so much, Catherine!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm
  • Reply lindsay Cotter

    Oh girl, I feel ya! and I am hopefully for you. Glad everything is healthy, just needs to work properly. My mom always needed clomid. She is thin, naturally, but had 4 kids. I know I will have I will have to take IVF, but not anytime this year . Or maybe I should go run a marathon and get my period? LOL! not anytime soon. Keep me posted. <3 you
    lindsay Cotter recently posted…Mexican Hot Chocolate Sugar Cookies (Vegan, Paleo)My Profile

    December 7, 2016 at 8:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know, right? Marathons make everything better IMHO ๐Ÿ˜€
      You know that when you need me, I am hear for you. LOVE LOVE LOVE you!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    At first, I was worried, or “concerned” that you were going to post about your infertility marathon. I couldnt decide if it might be way too personal, and then I started to reflect on our infertility journey 30 plus years ago.

    (Unfortunately, in addition to inheriting your blue eyes, your blond hair, your outstanding sense of humor and your passion for horses, you also inherited my total hormonal imbalance—-and, I am so sorry you got that gift as well as colon issues!)

    Thirty odd years ago, when I had to board the infertility train, IUI and IVF weren’t options. The first “test tube” baby was born in 1978, but it was years before AS, IUI, IVF and “other conception” methods were readily available to the general public.
    We had basically three options to have a family:
    1)The Basal temperature chart–which required taking your temperature with a special thermometer every morning before you got out of bed, and religiously keeping notes, etc. We kind of lived life “by the chart” for over a year. If after a year that didnt work–
    2) The two fertility drugs-Clomid and Pergonal
    I took Clomid (hormonal imbalance here, remember!) and I was extremely luck y that it worked. There was a limit to the number of times you could try Clomid, and the next drug, Pergonal, was the one that caused multiple pregnancies.
    and
    3) Adoption
    That was basically it.
    Infertility was considered to be the woman’s fault in most cases and it was embarrassing and, yes, humiliating to be have problems getting pregnant. The basic standbys of “don’t you all know how it works?!” or the “it’s so much fun to try” became old jokes very quickly.
    When a couple got married, the questions started. At our reception, while I was standing there in my wedding dress, I was reminded by more than a few of our wedding guests that it was time to get started, to settle down and start out family, to give our parents grandchildren! and the ever popular–you owe them grandkids!
    Well excuse me, my dress had over 50 small satin buttons up the back……….

    So, for you to decide to post about your new marathon, it seemed a bit unnerving to me, at first.
    But thinking back, I would have loved to have someone other than my OBGYN, whom I adored, to talk to about this.
    Having problems with conceiving was just not discussed, and it was MY fault that I was having trouble producing children and providing the grandkids.
    Grandma R did not enter my name into the “Family Bible” until six years after our wedding–when Chris was born. I had produced a male heir, so my name was entered…. as his mother!
    Do keep private what should stay quiet, but realize that you can provide a safe place for others to learn, chat, share, and commiserate.
    You and Alex have our complete support, even if we aren’t sure what to say.

    December 7, 2016 at 9:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And I so appreciate you and Dad and Chris’s support, even if you don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to tell you to say yet, either! But we know that you are our biggest cheerleaders, and I can’t wait for you to a non-furry grandkid, and to make Chris an uncle.
      I know that what I am talking about is super personal, and that my road is going to be far harder than some and far easier than others, I just hope that I can start the conversation in a productive way.

      December 8, 2016 at 1:22 pm
  • Reply Michelle B.

    Thank you for posting on this. Left and right I see people posting about how they are pregnant and are so happy and it kinda just sucks when things aren’t going perfectly. I just got off birth control last month and started taking hormones since my levels were pretty darned low but haven’t had a chance to see my husband since (he’s in the military). So though we aren’t as far down the road as you are, I can relate to your situation and are hopeful for the best for you and your spouse! (P.S. I must say that I think you are becoming my favorite blogger. I REALLY appreciate when bloggers actually respond to comments and not just say the exact same thing to everyone.)

    December 7, 2016 at 11:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aw, THANK you so much for your kind comment, Michelle, and so much good luck to you and your hubs as you start to build your family! Also, thank you so much to you husband for all that he does.
      I hear you 100% on being all happy for your friends and also being like, um, guys, a little space and courtesy. If you ever need someone to just pour out your feelings to, I am here!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm
  • Reply Alexandra

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I will be starting IVF in the next month or two and being able to read your experiences will help me prepare. I look forward to following you through this journey, as scary as it is.

    December 7, 2016 at 11:18 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Best of luck to you, Alexandra! I hope that we can be a point of support for each other. Know that you aren’t alone, and that there is so much love out there for you and your situation!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Sarah @ BucketListTummy

    You have such an honest, open way of writing and that is one of many reasons I love your blog. Thanks for being so open with your readers and sharing your life! Like many others, I know little to nothing about IVF so I appreciate you explaining it. Rooting for you all the way!
    Sarah @ BucketListTummy recently posted…Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies and RunnersMy Profile

    December 7, 2016 at 11:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Sarah, I appreciate everything you have to say! Thank you so much for you support!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    I know literally nothing about this whole process, so thank you for being so patient and transparent with your readers. I’ll be thinking of you guys, and crossing my fingers that everything goes smoothly!

    December 7, 2016 at 2:12 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you my dear!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:10 pm
  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law

    You are so brave for putting this all out there but I am SO glad you have because I know it could be life changing for someone walking in your shoes to know that they’re not alone!

    Praying praying praying for you both! <3
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Gingerbread, Thankfulness and Exciting PurchasesMy Profile

    December 8, 2016 at 7:29 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Kristy. I hope that I can help someone by putting this out there!

      December 9, 2016 at 12:22 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    As I am rereading this for the ____th time, I am reminded again that your training for your marathons has perhaps been the best way to prepare for this IVF journey.
    You know what the end goal is, you know how to train, the caloric daily requirements, the correct way to train, to rest, to repair, and if it is absolutely necessary, to pull out during the race or to decide the day before not to run. It is terribly hard to listen to your body and hate what it’s telling you.
    But that is the truth about the preparation for a great race, and this is your great race, Suse. We can support you and Alex in every way possible, but the truth is, we can’t run the race for you…… as your mom, I can’t just fix everything for you as much as I would want to.
    It’s your marathon, and I’m on the sidelines cheering you on…..loudly!

    December 8, 2016 at 8:02 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Every part of my life leads up to the next, right?

      December 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm
  • Reply Jess @hellotofit

    As much as I’m sure it’s not exactly “fun” for you guys, it’s really interesting to learn about what you’re going through. Kids aren’t on our radar yet (doggie first!!). HUGS for you, Suz. Hope things go well and that you stay healthy!! xoxo
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Tofu Teriyaki Buddha Bowl with Roasted VeggiesMy Profile

    December 9, 2016 at 11:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hey, we had to do cat then dog first! But when it is time, you will be ready!

      December 9, 2016 at 12:03 pm
  • Reply tmp

    I randomly was googling something and came across your blog. I live in Chicago, and have Crohn’s disease and got pregnant at Northwestern REI and delivered a lovely boy 1.5 years ago at Prentice ๐Ÿ™‚ I did an IUI, but we explored the IVF road too…it’s not easy but the team there is AMAZING!! Best of luck!

    December 27, 2016 at 9:26 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much for leaving me this note! I am so happy for you–congratulations! Thank you so much for your support!

      December 28, 2016 at 10:45 am
  • Reply Andrea

    As a new reader, I was intrigued by your post. My husband and I had to use IVF last year due to me not having a period. Like you, my body did not have a period. At first my doctor thought it could be a weight, exercise issue (as I am very active). I gained weight, only did yoga.. blah blah and still no period. The only time I had a normal period was when I was 15 then they stopped! I was put on birth control from at 16 to regulate my hormones and then I went off at 23 after I got married. No period whatsoever! My doctor referred us to reproductive specialist. He ran every test to check the “parts” and we were good there! He said Clomid would likely not work and since I also have an auto-immune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, IUI or other injections would not work or too high of a risk. Long story short, we started IVF in May. Like you, my estrogen levels were SO low. I was freaking out that the hormones weren’t working… but, I had follicles and we retrieved 12 eggs.. made 7 embryos, and 3 made it to blastocysts! We transferred and got pregnant on the first cycle! We now have a baby girl who turns ONE next month! Praying for you. It is hard. It is emotional. No one truly understands it unless they have to go through it. Fingers crossed for you!

    PS. so nice that you have insurance! ah! went spent $15,000+

    January 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We have such a similar background! It amazes me how many people assume that you just need to stop exercising and eat more–it isn’t always that simple! I too had to “check the equipment,” and same deal with Clomid and IUI. And you have RA? Auto immune sisters! Congratulations on your baby girl! This is such a great comment, Andrea, because it gives me (and I hope others) real, honest hope. Thank you SO much for sharing!

      January 10, 2017 at 6:03 am

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