Friday, December 31, 2010
There are several aspects of the looming IVF cycle(s) that completely and totally freak me out. Each one of them was represented in a dream (nightmare) last night. Each time I woke up I found myself sweating, breathing hard and with tears in my eyes. Each time I woke up I would dread going back to sleep only to find myself in another horrible dream.
In an effort to just face my fears and stop holding in all of the anxiety that surrounds this topic I've decided that I should just make a list, send it off onto the Internet.... and LET IT GO! After all, it will all eventually fall into place, right?
Money- Although we have phenomenal insurance coverage, there are still several costs that go with IVF that will not be covered or will be pre-paid by us and then we will be reimbursed. Even though our out of pocket in the end will be trivial in comparison to what most have to shell out for an IVF cycle, it will still be financially straining which brings with it even more anxiety.
Telling our Family- If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that we haven't shared our struggle with our family. We continue pushing it off and saying we will tell them when the next big step happens... well, I do believe we are nearly there. Last night's dream was the exact opposite of what I hope and pray happens when we decide to finally share this part of our life with them. This is possibly the biggest part of my anxiety and deserves its own post- maybe next week. I need some advice on the subject!
Failing- I am absolutely horrified of the feelings I will experience in the event IVF were to fail. It is kind of 'the end of the road' in terms of fertility treatments, and I really have no idea how I would get over it.
Side Effects- This part doesn't scare me too much. I am fairly sure I can deal with anything for a few weeks knowing that it has the potential to mean great things in the end. But still, I think about it often and my stomach turns at the thought of all the injections.
Then, after dreaming about all of these things I finally fell back to sleep to dream about the "after." No, not a 'happily ever after' sort of after- it was after IVF had failed multiple times, after our families had said every single thing that we never wanted to hear, after we were completely and totally tapped out financially. There I sat in a living room that I didn't recognize as a person I didn't recognize. I had endured just about every fertility treatment and nothing had worked. I was broken in every sense of the word.
So tonight, I hope to ring in the new year and leave those horrible thoughts behind in 2010. I hope and pray that we all float out of 2011 with the desires of our hearts snuggled up in a crib... in the nurseries we've all be dreaming about!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
So there you have it 2010 brought us 3 failed IUI attempts, lets hope that 2011 is a little better to us!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
In other news, I have been feeling super nauseated all afternoon to the point where I am almost ready to just throw up and get it over with. Gross, I know. I am doing everything in my power not to read into this dang symptom which I'm sure is due to something else entirely, but that is sort of seeming like a lost cause at this point. Especially after I ate a little piece of chocolate this afternoon and had zero desire to finish it. I am a serious chocoholic folks.
I am hoping that it all means what I hope it means, but I am really trying to not get my hopes up. I really hope I am not getting sick right before Christmas. Sick because I am growing a babe I would be fine with, sick for absolutely no good reason.... not so much!
Tomorrow morning at 9:15 I will leave some blood at the clinic and a few hours later they will call with the fate of this cycle. Cross your fingers, say a prayer or just think pregnant thoughts that this is IT!!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
... for Christmas
... for the results of this week's beta
... for spending time with my nephew and newly pregnant sister-in-law
... for the week of vacation the hubs is taking between Christmas and the first of the year
... for moving into yet another year without a baby in our home
... for the possibility of IVF in the coming months
... for the next pregnancy announcement (they seem to be happening nearly weekly)
and as I've been preparing for these things I have thought nearly constantly about what it must have been like for Mary to prepare for a baby boy that wasn't conceived by her own doing. A baby boy who was created within her by the same two hands that I pray will form a child in my own womb someday.
It is easy to focus on all of the hard things about this season when you are in the midst of infertility, but I challenge you to remember the gift that is at the core of Christmas. The birth of a baby boy. A birth that really should remind us that miracles can and do happen. Even in the middle of this struggle, I am reminded by the Christmas story where to place my trust.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday night my hubs planned a fun date night. We live just outside of a good size city where cart food vendors are becoming a huge craze. So on Friday night he took me to a pod of carts for dinner that was super close to a very well known walk through Christmas light display. On our way home we decided that we weren't ready to head home yet so we called some friends to see if they wanted to play games. They were just putting their kids to bed, so it worked out perfectly!
On Saturday we spent a little time with some family that was in town. After lunch we decided to hit up the mall and after just a few minutes inside we were ready to get out of there! The Saturday before Christmas is NOT a time to just stroll the mall. We ended up wandering a little which ended up to be perfect because we got to see a flash mob! As we were walking through the center of the mall I said to my husband "it looks like something is about to happen. I SO hope it is a flash mob!" We waited maybe 10 minutes and then it happened. A huge group of shoppers singing The Hallelujah Chorus!!!
Then, to top off the weekend we spent the majority of Sunday in our pj's watching TV and just hanging out. In the evening we headed out for a double date with some friends of ours at a local fondue restaurant. Dinner was great, and we were able to finish up our Christmas shopping at some fun little boutique shops near the restaurant while we waited.
It was a great weekend. Now, if only the next three days were just as busy! My beta is Thursday morning!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I feel completely and totally normal....
Christmas weekend will be the first time my family will be together after my brother and sister-in-law announced their second pregnancy....
I sure hope I don't have to spend the weekend feeling bitter!
On a positive note, I just have a couple of little things left to buy for stocking stuffers. Otherwise, everything is wrapped and under the tree! I love being able to spend the week before Christmas relaxing instead of rushing!
Friday, December 17, 2010
After all, if I don't jump through each of their pre-auth hoops then they don't pay. What exactly happens when I jump through all of their hoops, and they still mess up the coverage? Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not true that while the majority of my payment goes toward coverage (medical and pharmacy) every month, there is also a portion that goes toward service? Is it wrong of me to expect them to know what they are doing without having to call every other week to inform them of their mistakes? I guess I know how I'll be spending my Monday morning.... perfect kick off to the holiday week!!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I am pretty calm and relaxed about this cycle. I've been doing my best to focus on each day as it comes and not worry too much about what the future may bring. Once we know the outcome of this cycle we will know better what we want to do going forward.
I have a question for those of you who know about the difference between a clomid/iui and injectable/iui cycle. My doctor had originally suggested us not moving forward with injectables (and iui) and moving straight to IVF, but her main argument for this was that our money would be better spent (higher success rate) on IVF. Here is the thing- if this cycle doesn't work, we will more than likely do one last iui. Our insurance pays for everything but the copay on office visits and a copay for the medications. I know that on injectables I would have more appointments (more $$ on copays) and I would likely pay slightly more for my meds. However, it would be nothing close to the $3-4k she was talking about. What would you do?
If this cycle is a bust, I will speak with the nurse when she calls with my beta results about the difference in success rates. Ultimately if we are looking at the same success from clomid or injectables, I THINK we would just stick with clomid for the ease of it. However, I am more than willing to stick my self in the stomach everyday and make more trips to the clinic if it means our chances are even a tiny bit better! So, give me your advice- knowledge- tips... I want to hear it all!!!
Although I wouldn't wish any of this on my worst enemy, there have been good things that have come from this unbelievably difficult struggle. My faith has grown in ways that I couldn't have imagined before infertility was a part of me. I've learned lessons in patience, trust, judgement, compassion, empathy and grace. I've found out who I am at the very core, when everything else is stripped away and I am bare and broken. I've learned when to stand on my own two feet and also when to allow my faith to carry me.
In the beginning of our struggle with infertility I was quick to judge the decisions of others in the the arena of reproductive technologies. My naive heart couldn't understand the heartache that would lead to those choices and couldn't see God in those acts. It wasn't until I was in the trenches that I could truly understand. It wasn't until my heart had evolved that I could see just how many blessings I would receive in the midst of what has seemed like the darkest most painful time in my life.
Although infertility does not define who I am, it has most certainly made a lasting impact on my life. As much as I wish my stay in the land of IF were shorter (or possibly nonexistent), I am grateful that in the midst of such hardship, I have been blessed abundantly.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
While we are on the topic of my issues, does anyone want to tell me why my hair is falling out? I'm on levothyroxine for hypothyroidism and on metformin for PCOS, both are under control, but my hair is falling out like mad! I told my husband last night that by the time we are bringing home a baby I will likely be sporting a wig! I know that both of these conditions can cause hair loss, but I wasn't losing my hair before I started medicating!
Infertility, is there anything else you would like me to add to the list of reasons I hate you? The list is getting long today!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
So, as I said in my last post our third IUI is complete, and we will find out just before Christmas if it was successful. Although I am all for finding out as soon as possible, I almost wish my beta were after Christmas. Even if it is positive, we will likely keep the news to ourselves because I would only be 4 weeks on Christmas day. More importantly, if it is negative I feel like it is going to be a hard weekend for me. I've taken the last two failed cycles fairly well, but with IVF now looming in the not so distant future I'm not sure I'll be able to be as emotionally unattached.
As you know, our diagnosis is PCOS, hypothyroidism and now we've added low sperm count to the line up of fertility issues. After talking with our doctor this morning about success rates considering all of these issues, she encouraged us to begin really thinking about IVF with ICSI. Since we have my thyroid under control and I'm ovulating with the help of clomid/metformin the larger issue right now is the low sperm count. She said the best and most cost effective way to treat our case would be with IVF.
After talking a little more she agreed to allow us to do one more clomid/IUI cycle if the current cycle doesn't produce a pregnancy. At that point we will re-group and begin doing any testing that will be needed before doing an IVF cycle. She reminded us that we are young and that we don't need to jump into anything, and if we'd like to take break there is no harm in that.
Our plan at the moment is to do our best to live in the here an now. We are going to see what happens in the next painfully long 11 days, and then figure out where to go from there. We are open to IVF, I'm just not sure how quickly we will move on it.
So, like the title says.... objects (IVF) may be closer than they appear....
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I had my follie scan this morning and I have a beautiful 24mm follie on my left side just begging to be triggered! The plan is for me to trigger tonight and have the insemination on Saturday morning. The doctor preforming the ultrasound said that everything looked great and that my lining had the triple stripe pattern. Yahoo!
I am trying to enjoy the last few hours before the extreme bloat that comes with the trigger shot. I am already feeling the effects of that big follie, but the trigger does me in every time. Those of you who trigger with ovidrel, do you have that same reaction??
Friday, December 3, 2010
As a wedding gift my aunt and uncle gave us the Willow Tree Nativity set. I've always loved it, and I can't wait to get it out every year around Thanksgiving. The only thing I wish was different is the fact that baby Jesus is attached to Mary. I always joked that I would just buy the pregnant Willow Tree figure and place her in the nativity until Christmas.
The first Christmas after we started trying to get pregnant my husband bought it for me stating that we'd use her as Mary, and always remember that we got her when we were first trying to start our family. He also added that once we got pregnant we could leave her out year round. Great, it was both functional and a nice sentiment. I loved the idea.
Last year when I was putting away the nativity set I didn't put the pseudo Mary back with the rest of the nativity thinking that I would be able to put her out again before Christmas. Surely I would be pregnant by then. Ha. In the last year I ran across "Mary" several times and each time it stung a little more that she was still boxed up and my womb was still empty. So I put her someplace where I wouldn't be constantly running into her. As I'm sure you've guessed... I can't find her!
So this year, baby Jesus is out before Christmas. Its OK, he should be the centerpiece of this season. I've always loved this Christmas decoration, but this year it has become my favorite. Just looking at it I am reminded that the God I worship and serve is capable of some pretty amazing things. What He has in store for us is more than we can hope for or imagine.
It is easy to get caught up in the consumerism that Christmas has become. This year I am simplifying. I am reminding myself daily what this season is really about, and finding time to be thankful for the miracle birth of a baby boy. A baby who was born to a woman who hadn't tried to become pregnant. She hadn't taken her temperature every morning to see if she was ovulating. She hadn't made an appointment with her Reproductive Endocrinologist. She wasn't eating pineapple core or testing for ovulation. Instead she was a virgin. If God is capable of a miracle of this magnitude, just think what he can do in our lives.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I was just realizing that my days of going to the gym in the morning are almost over for a couple of weeks. My doctor would rather me not do too much cardio in the 2ww, or super close to ovulation for that matter. So, that means I've got a few more days to enjoy my morning frolic on the elliptical while I watch garbage on TV. Wondering how common it is for women to be cautioned about exercise when it comes to fertility meds, ovulation and treatment cycles in general I consulted Dr. Google.
It turns out that it is pretty common for doctors to ask patients to limit the vigor of their exercise as the cycle moves forward. This was exactly what I expected to read and also what I intended to do.
I am sure at this point (if you made it to this point), you are wondering why I didn't write and delete this post along with the others I've written. Hang tight.. there is a punchline to this story.
As I was reading about exercise on one website (dedicated to infertility) I noticed an ad on the side bar. An ad for Plan B. Really? You have an ad for PLAN B on an infertility website? Such a slap in the face. I would have an adverse reaction to any birth control being advertised on an infertility website, but come on, Plan B... that is just too much.
Hopefully I will find something to talk about sometime in the next week... otherwise I'll be back next Thursday after my appointment with the wand!