2 women trying to make a baby

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mixed emotions

I sat at a birthday lunch with all the other administrators in my area today. All are women and all have children. A few women even had to get pregnant using IUIs. They all know that I had a miscarriage and they all know that my second IVF failed. They also know the pattern of my missing work so they know that I am cycling again. Rather than admit how exposed I feel to have them all know, I simply answer their questions in an off-hand manner. My hope is that by pretending the topic does not cause me difficulty will help me actually not feel pain at having them all know my most intimate unmet desire. I wish my boss had not chosen to tell my cohorts about my TTC but she did last year. Now I have few choices in the matter. Alternately, she did call me to warn me before a meeting when a 40 year old coworker was about to disclose that she was pregnant for the 3rd time. My boss wanted me to have warning so that I could put on my "game face." I appreciated that gesture. But I digress...

Today at lunch, my very pregnant coworker sat directly across the table from me, looking lovely at her 6 months-pregnant mark. I kept doing that thing where you try not to look at something yet cannot seem to help yourself. She is excited about the baby and we chatted about her plans. It hurt and I smiled as I pretended that I was fine.

Another coworker had the audacity to talk about how much she hated being pregnant. She talked about how she literally felt as though her children sucked the life out of her. Again, I sat in my seat, smiling, and losing my appetite.

I was so torn. My guts were ripping out and I wanted my coworkers to shut up! Yet at the same time, I acknowledged to myself that they all had the right to feel what they feel and they could say what they wanted. I could not even get angry because they were not particularly cruel... just in their own worlds.

Tonight I came home to en empty house and I am missing my love. She is far away at a conference and will not be home until Sunday night. Tonight I wish she were here to hold me and tell me that everything will be okay. I would like for her to say that despite the people around us who cannot grasp the vastness of their blessings, we will be blessed also and that we will cherish each one. Someone one said that the essence of faith is belief in things unseen. Now I need to believe in something I have not yet seen, that my body can and will fulfill my desire for a child. So tonight I am grasping for a bit more faith to fill this empty place.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lupron begins

Today I saw the RE for what feels like the official start to my cycle, which is odd since today is CD21. My lining looks tri-whatevery and the PCO-action is quiet. This cycle is looking good. So now I do Lupron injections and wait for AF.

Last cycle, my RE's office would only say after the ER that "There was fertilization." I talked with him today and tried to talk him into telling me the number that fertilize. I did not succeed. I am not happy about that outcome.

Not a great deal to say really, except that I am glad to be actively doing something. The upside to meditating so much is that I am calm and centered; the downside is that I seem to have less to say. Isn't that an odd commentary on ourselves? We get quiet when things are still. I am neither on the mountaintop nor in the valley. I think I am at the place on the roller coaster when the cart is working hard and I simply sit back and listen to the metallic clicking noises.

By the way, after insurance my meds cost $35.00. No offing of self needed. Wish I could say the same thing when it is time to pay for the Meno.pur.

Monday, January 26, 2009

If I off myself, you can blame my insurance company

Caution: a list of gripes is about to ensue!

1) For starters my insurance company only offers $2000 infertility benefits per year with an $8000 lifetime max in that area. As we all know, this is only a drop in the bucket money-wise, but I will take whatever pennies I can get out of them.

2) My insurance only covers 2 of the drugs I need to cycle: lupron and progesterone in oil. (see above for my response to that) The really expensive drug (Meno.pur) is totally not covered and my old shriveled ovaries suck up stims like I wish I could throw back a few martinis.

3) My insurance has always allowed me to use Sch.rafts pharmacy and I have always had wonderful experiences with them. The doctor faxes a script, the pharm calls to verify and bill then the meds arrive in a day or so. No muss, no fuss and one of the easiest parts of IVF.

4) HOWEVER, this time Sch.rafts tells me that my insurance won't pay for them anymore, and they are kind enough to give me the name an number of the pharmacy I can use. I call Pharmacy C and they assure me that they can bill my insurance for the 2 drugs. I have my doc fax them the scripts.... and wait. I hear nothing, start to worry and call the pharmacy to verify. They say that they never got the order. I call the doc who claims they did send the orders. I will spare you the details, but I made several similar calls to both pharmacy and doctor back and forth for the past 2 weeks. Each call is successively louder on my part.

5) Today I finally call my doctor and speak to the patient advocate. I don't like her but she is something of a pit bull. I explain my problem and beg her to follow-up for me. She calls me back to say that now Pharmacy C says that do not cover my meds that Freedom.infertility does and that my scripts have been faxed to them.

6) I call the new pharmacy. They have the scripts, set up an account for me and will have them here on Wednesday. However, I have no idea what this will cost me. I only know that if I have to pay for lupron out-of-pocket, the cost will be $320. Since that is roughly the cost of a whole day of stims, I am hoping that my credit card won't have to take the hit.

7) Oh yeah, this cycle has to be paid for on our credit card, which is something we have avoided up until now.

*banging head on desk and hoping that concussion brings back state of zen-like calm*

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Horizons

It's been a lovely weekend in a strange way.

HJ took a hpt again yesterday and the results were negative again (and again today). This cycle is officially a bust. No worries. We are both feeling very positive about my IVF next month. Surely the 3rd IVF is the charm?

In all honesty I am feeling a sense of peace that we will have at least 1 child. I just am uncertain about how our family will grow and when.

For instance, HJ and I went to some friends' house this weekend to meet their 6 month old son. R & K adopted the sweetest little guy you can imagine. They told an amazing story about how the birth mother chose them when she was 8 months pregnant (although they thought she was only 7 months along). So our friends ended up with a son with very little warning; in fact, they had been spring cleaning to ready themselves for the baby when the bio-mom called to say she was in labor. Our friends were in the delivery room when their son was born. They could not be happier about their family and they could not have foreseen how and when it would grow.

Being with R & K (and son), I felt a Zen-like sense of peace that HJ and I will also be taken care of. In fact, we felt such a strong connection to our friends' story that we decided to put our name on "the list" with their adoption broker. My heart's desire is that this IVF will work then we will eventually end up with an adopted child, which is something HJ has always felt drawn to do.

BTW: I got lots of warm and wonderful baby cuddle-time yesterday also. The baby really is a joy to be with.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Greeting with acceptance

I encouraged HJ to take a hpt tonight. Okay that is quite an understatement since I followed her to the bathroom and wouldn't let her "go" until I unwrapped the test. Then I stood and held the stick for about 5 minutes willing the second line to show up. Of course, the test confirmed her suspicion that she is not pregnant.

I'm okay. She's okay. We're okay.

I am trying not to think of this round as a failure. We TTCers bandy the word failure about too often, as though the term does not leave a harmful residue on all our psyches. Truly the language we use affects our thoughts and our feelings. Repeatedly having ours desires put on hold each month is hard enough without us calling ourselves mean words which imply a broken status. Success and failure suggests a duality which I believe is false. TTC offers many outcomes: success (a child born healthy after 9 months), partial success alternate attempts at pregnancy, adoption and others I cannot conceive at this moment. So I will simply say that HJ's IUIs have not produced a baby YET.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Changes in attitude

A few odd things have happened on the TTC front today. I am not exactly certain that these have a unifying theme but they are filling my head tonight. So I will share.

1) A coworker brought in her newborn baby today. She came into my office and asked me if I wanted to come see her little girl. What could I say? So I went and very few coworkers were there. I ended up holding the baby. This is the sort of task I avoid because it usually rips my heart out. Today…..nothing. I am fine. No tears. No qualms. No emotional shake-up. It’s a little weird to be so calm.
2) As we were watching American Idol, HJ looked over at me and said, “I don’t have any pregnancy symptoms. I know I am not pregnant.” She says that she does not want to try anymore IUIs for a while: the failure is wearing on her. Maybe the 3rd time will be the charm for us. Then again maybe she will change her mind since she has scheduled an appointment with an RE in 2 weeks. Change tends to be her nature.
3) HJ had lunch with a male friend. He is a very intuitive man and they were discussing how TTC wears on us emotionally. Out of the blue, he offered to donate to us. I don’t know if we will ever take him up on the offer of free sperm, but the thought is incredibly kind. So 3 men in the past year have offered up their DNA. Who would have guessed?
4) I just wish my IVF cycle would hurry along! As odd as this seems, I am sooooo ready to start injections: at least it will finally feel as though I am doing something about getting pregnant. Time is passing so slowly.
5) I am ovulating so I have that “I wanna find a random sperm donor” feeling. I always wonder if I would be able to get pregnant the old fashioned way. But several obvious reasons, I will not be doing that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The end of an error

It's here! Inauguration day. I was in DC last week but sadly had to leave before this historic day. I will post my "close but no cigar" pictures of the national mall. I wish I were there.
Oh in TTC news, nothing to say yet. HJ has not tested and has no eps. She is certain that this IUI did not work. She is presently at 1 week past insemination. As for me, since I am not on BCPs I am just hanging out waiting to start Lupron on the 29th. Of course I am taking prenatals, baby aspirin, Metformin and folic acid... good times.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just for fun

This is a pic of HJ and I at pride in San Fran 2 years ago. I cannot recall who took this picture as it is randomly saved in my picture folder. It reminds me that we had so much fun those days before TTC took over our whole world.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wishful thinking

Even supportive families are not always supportive in the ways we need them to be.

HJ: If this IVF doesn't work, do you think your parents will help us adopt?
me: no
HJ: Why not?
me: Because they offered to help with the last IVF and then that de-materialized.
HJ: Are you sure they won't help with adoption?
me: pretty sure. I can change my answer but but I told you what I really believe.
HJ: *dejectedly* ok

Another thought: Has anyone watched Private Practice? It's about a fertility practice and is actually pretty good.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The story of IUI #3

So HJ and I drive to KY to meet with Dr Pal for the IUI. On the way, we get a call that the ultrasound lady called in sick and we had to go to a local hospital for the u/s. The tech was super-methodical and measured EVERY follicle HJ had. 12 follicles! Most were tiny, in the range of .5cm, but the tech still kept to her task. HJ did have 1 follicle just over 2cm: I think we beat her ovulation. When we get to the doctor's office, we find that Dr Pal is out and her nurse practitioner will do the insemination. The process was easy and painless and we loved the ARNP. The nurse was very excited about the swimmers, saying that the swim team was large and energetic. She even brought in several young nurses to see the swimmers and the whole process. It was nice to have my partners business flailing in the air with no less than 5 spectators.... good times. But, HJ has been spotting since the IUI. I don't know if that will have any bearing on the outcome.

the positives: good swimmers and IUI pre-ovulation
negatives: only 1 follicle over 2cm and spotting

We are both feeling rather zen about this cycle. Perhaps the third try will be the charm. HJ is determined not to take a hpt during the 2ww but we will see how long that resolve lasts. I am sure that posts about potential eps will follow soon.... so hold your breath for that! LOL

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cycle Updates

Yesterday I saw the RE for my start-up blood work and ultrasound. The whole thing was non-eventful. Apparently my uterus looks "gorgeous" and my ovaries are looking less PCO-like. Now I wait until CD21 and start my Lupron Injections.

I give HJ her trigger shot tonight then she has her IUI tomorrow. We always worry about timing. IUI too late, IUI too early, follicles too big, not big enough?... the minutiae of it all makes my head swim.

I am still trying to cultivate my inner calm (thanks to An Offering of Love) since I have a new lovely downloaded IVF meditation CD. Truthfully if both HJ and I get pregnant, I will be ecstatic (yet frightened). If only one of us gets pregnant, I would be equally happy (and most likely scared). I do think I have finally overcome my fear that I will over think each portion of a pregnancy. I suppose I feel that since our family has already experienced a m/c, we are due for a healthy pregnancy. Sometimes we simply have to live "as if" all the things we hope and pray for will come true.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It begins

Today is CD1 for me so IVF #3 has officially begun. I have to admit that I am feeling more nervous than I anticipated... and also excited. I will be seeing my RE tomorrow for blood work and an ultrasound. My RE is always so genuine, warm and honest. I am looking forward to mapping out the cycle with him. I know that he will have obsessed about my cycle almost as much as I will between now and then. *deep calming breaths*

HJ has her IUI scheduled for Monday and we are using our last vial of donor sperm. Every time we have to buy or ship, it seems that prices have increased or there is a new fee. The X cryobank now even has a fee for removing the sperm from storage---- this is basically a fee for opening up the freezer! We chose this bank because our 1st RE suggested them but now I have read some stories about people having bad experiences. I am open to changing banks. What cheaper banks have my fellow bloggers used? And what were your results (in terms of viable sperm)?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mix and match

I have about 25 matchless socks. I have too many dogs due to my love's affection for lost animals. I have 2 sets of wine glasses and a "mix and match" set that I only bring out with close friends. I have an enormous stockpile of OPKs and a smaller selection of hpts. I even have a large selection of fertility drugs..... what I DO NOT have is easy access to sperm.

Our donor says that he is having scheduling issues this month and is unlikely to be free on any of the days my partner will actually be ovulating. Of course we can order sperm from the bank and do an IUI but we all know how expensive that is month after month! We were really hoping to afford the larger expenses during the month that I am doing my IVF cycle.

Oh well, I suppose we will suck it up, pay for the sperm and do the IUI this month. I just hope Big Daddy is not already growing tired of his part in creating this family.

Monday, January 5, 2009

RL rushes in

I could say that 2009 is not off to a stellar start at this point but I choose to see it differently.

1) I awoke with a violent stomach flu on New Years Day. But that has passed and now my jeans fit better.

2) My father had a heart attack Friday. But the heart specialist said that it was a "medium sized" attack and he was able to open 1 artery and will do another in 10 days. I am thankful that my father is doing well and will leave the hospital today. His color is even better than it was at Christmas.

3) My best friend Ashton called last night and reported that his wife Jem is no longer in love with him and wants a divorce. (Not sure how to positive spin this one except to say that I am thankful every day that HJ and I remain very much in love.)

I have decided that I simply do not believe in "omens" for the year. Case in point, 2008 started off on a high filled with tons of meaning then pretty much ended as one of my least happy times (definitely in the bottom 3 years anyway). So I have decided that having 2009 start with rather crappy stuff is a GOOD thing as all my bad luck will be out of the way before I start my IVF..... sounds promising.....doesn't it?

Friday, January 2, 2009

IVF #3

After much internet searching, I finally just called my RE to ask about my cycle schedule.

CD1- call clinic (around Jan 9)
CD3- blood work and a visit with "the wand"
CD21- start Lupron injections
Next CD1/ after 12 injections (perhaps Feb 4)- call RE
CD3- next visit for blood work and the wand
start stims around Feb 7-- Then the real fun begins!!
Trigger Feb 14
Egg Retrieval- Feb 17
Embryo Transfer- Feb 20

Of course all these dates are subject to change but I feel better having an idea of my next steps.

Unfortunately it does not look like HJ will be able to try this month. Our donor has plans around the time HJ should be ovulating and I just cannot seem to talk her into doing an IUI with donor sperm this month. Grr, I suppose I would be more annoyed if the IVF were not coming so soon. Of course, (as is her pattern) she may also change her mind as her ovulation nears!

Several people have asked me if HJ and I are trying to get pregnant at the same time. To be honest, that used to be a big worry and concern for me as well. But now the thought that both of us will get pregnant is so implausible that I don't even spend time with that thought anymore. If we were to get pregnant at the same time, I would be thrilled with the built in siblings. But I also know that HJ seriously sees herself as the back-up plan: if I get pregnant with this IVF, she is completely out of the baby making business.