Friday, October 24, 2008
I'm just checking in to let you all know that I'm alive and reasonably well. Sorry to leave you hanging for so long.
Things have not been so great lately. It's one thing to chronicle the ups and downs of trying, but I don't want to bring everyone down with regular updates of my slightly off track life right now.
Just so you don't get the wrong idea, I'm fine. It's just that I'm having trouble finding a decent job and it's looking gloomier as the economy continues to weaken. Not fun. I had an interview scheduled twice for a great position, and they canceled twice due to the financial craziness going on right now. :( Hopefully the position will open up soon...maybe the markets will settle after the election?!
Also, one of my uncles that I grew up with (we're close in age) is losing his battle with cancer. I've been up to Maryland twice recently to spend time with him while I still can and to be with my family. This really puts my problems in perspective. I can't even imagine.
And to round it all out... This month marks our 3 year anniversary of trying. Yay for me and M! I recently realized that I started trying shortly before my former bestfriend got engaged to her husband. You know, the one who's pregnant now. I try not to think about that whole situation much, but I often replay the whole ugly scene in my dreams. I guess it's bothering me more than I'd like to admit.
On the bright side, M and I are doing very well, I have my health, a nice home, and a wonderful family. Hopefully I'll have a meaningful job again soon.
Needless to say, until I can get my life back on track I don't have the luxury of worrying about getting knocked up. I don't plan on pursuing more treatments or adoption for some time.
I hope everyone out there is doing well! I'll still be lurking around and I'll probably surface now and again.
Go McCain-Palin! (I know I'm the minority in blog land -hopefully not in the U.S. though)
Friday, September 5, 2008
Good fun, thanks Kym & Calliope!
1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car): Flower Elantra
2.Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe): Coffee Sandle
3.Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal): Green Turtle
4.Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born): Marie Hagerstown
5.Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name): Bolst
6.Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Blue Juice
7.NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers): Ronald Paul
8.Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Happy Chocolate
9.TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Minnick Miami
10.Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Summer Orchid
11.Cartoon name:(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now): Mango Pants
12.Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Plum Oak
13.Movie star name (first pet, first street where you lived): Flower Salem
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Thanks so much for the comments on my last post. I appreciate your advice, especially in regards to only going as far as I feel comfortable with. I'm not exactly sure what that is yet, but I know it doesn't involve calling her up right now.
So I went with option D, or at least that's the plan. I wrote a little something in the card along the lines of "how are you and DH, I heard things are going well, I'm so happy to hear that..." I also offered to share some pregnancy books I purchased for myself (back before my infertility became obvious) if she's interested.
So, here's the hiccup. I don't have her new address! She moved to a new place, but I don't know what I did with her street address, although she gave it to me once upon a time.
I guess I'm going to have to call her sister up and get it that way, 'cause otherwise I'm either throwing in the towel or going the e-mail route.
I'm not really worrying over this too much, but I do want to be careful. I'd hate to lose a friendship over carelessness on my part. I want to know that I did everything I could or should to smooth things over.
Thanks again to my loyal friends in the blogosphere!
P.S. My trip out of town was postponed to next week, but I'm not holding my breath. Especially with Ike churning it's way in our general direction.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I don’t really socialize with BF’s sister much, but we occasionally have reason to see one another. She stopped by last week to pick up some of our leftover wiring for her kitchen remodel and we chatted for a bit.
Out of some sort of politeness/self torture, I asked about BF. I didn’t really expect it to be so hard hearing about how happy BF and her husband are now and how she’s showing already and will be finding out the sex of the baby soon.
I know it’s always going to be difficult to hear stuff like that, but it’s harder knowing that so much is going on in her life and I’m no longer privy to it first-hand. I know it can't be fun dealing with a frustrated infertile friend, but to be rudely dismissed from her life now that it’s not so convenient is a hard pill to swallow. I always thought that good friendships weathered the tough times.
I’ve often wondered if it wasn’t just the pregnancy hormones leading BF to be so insensitive and quick to withdraw, and now that she’s hopefully leveled out, she’s just too embarrassed to deal with the situation. Or…she’s not who I thought she was and I’m better off without her.
I would like it to be the former and have things back to normal. We've know each other for more than half our lives and been good friends for the last 10+ years. But in all honesty, it’s not like we talked every day or even every week. So her absence from my life isn’t all that acute. It’s more like the idea of her absence is more painful. Kind of sad, but true.
I’m still pretty pissed that this happened in the first place. One part of me doesn't want to be the bigger person, I just want to put this behind me and write her off. I feel like I'm already on the losing end of this debacle anyway. At least she gets a baby at the end to fill the void of a former friendship. What do I get? But... I feel like I should make some sort of attempt at reconciliation, because that’s what I’m supposed to do. Know what I mean?
Which brings me around to the same question I had before, do I try to fix this or leave it alone?
Her b-day is in about a week, so I have to decide soon *IF* I want to contact her or not. I'm still pretty angry, so it might not be an easy road, especially if I have to do all of the work.
As I see it, I have several options *IF* I do want to make an attempt.
Option A: Treat her birthday as she did mine and e-mail her. It takes minimal effort and has minimal impact as far as our “friendship” goes.
Option B: E-mail her a happy b-day and go a little further by inquiring after her health, goings on, husband, etc. -Carefully staying away from any hostile accusations and hurtfulness.
Option C: Send an actual card to her house. Also rather safe, but it does have a little extra thoughtfulness. (I’ve already bought a very benign card, not the usual Shoebox-snarky- best friend-card ‘cause we’re not there anymore)
Option D: Similar to option B, sending the card and including a hand written note to break the ice and offer her an excuse to contact me if that’s what she’s waiting on.
Option E: Of course the riskiest of all and least likely to happen, phoning her up on her b-day for an actual chat. This would take extreme amounts of courage (possibly liquid, ha-ha) on my part as I would have to remain composed in regards to our friendship meltdown AND the pregnancy, assuming that she could bring her-self to speak to a lowly infertile such as myself.
What do you say? You guys give great advice and I’m in need of some discourse that isn’t solely taking place in my neurotic head. ;)
P.S. I’m out of town this week, so I don’t know how often I’ll be able to check in, but I’ll do my best!
Friday, August 29, 2008
I’m not sure what exactly has been the most help, eliminating dairy wheat, or sugar, but I’ve definitely noticed a change. My pain was almost non-existent! TMI ahead (as if that’s possible in our circle) but I also noticed fewer blood clots, it was almost a normal type of bleed. I don’t know if that is tied in with everything, but when I was seeing the acupuncturist, he was always interested in eliminating the clotting (which he never did).
I nearly forgot that my period was due to start, because I didn’t have any significant cramping ahead of time. It also started without the typical multi day spotting marathon that usually precedes the real deal. Very strange and exciting if a period can ever be described in those terms.
Once AF really got going, there was some discomfort/cramping so I took one Advil, mostly as a precaution. I didn’t want cramps to ruin my indoor skydiving experience. Ha ha. It wasn’t until I was getting ready for bed that I realized that I was still feeling okay. Usually by then I’d have the heating pad out and pop another Advil to get through the night.
The only thing that was still abnormal was the length of AF. It started for about a day and a half and then stopped only to start briefly a day later. I’m hoping that in the future it will be a little more regular in duration.
I haven’t been adhering to the strict diet like I was before, so I’m not sure if that explains why I’ve had a little bit of cramping post AF. I have been contemplating continuing with a wheat free month, but allowing a moderate amount of dairy back into my diet to see what happens. I doubt that’s going to be as successful, for some reason I think dairy is the real culprit. Just a hunch.
BTW, I’m not trying right now. I feel like there is too much chaos in my life and I don’t want to add more right now. In some ways it’s a relief taking the time to focus on work, family, and M. I’m sure I’ll get back in the game soon.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The main reason for my disappearance is a new job. I've started something and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. It's with a start up company so I'm helping to get it off the ground as well as do their design work. So... it could turn into something awesome, or it could crash and burn.
I'm not all that adventurous, so this is challenging for me. I'm trying to go with the flow and not freak, but I haven't been very successful yet. Ha ha. Deep breaths.
We also had family in town, my mom and her brother flew in from MD. Unfortunately for them, they got to catch most of T.S. Fay. Not exactly the ideal visit to the Sunshine State! We were soggy, but fortunately the storm didn't do any damage or cause any flooding in our part of town.
We had a good time anyway and even did the indoor skydiving on I-drive. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, basically it entails jumping into a vertical wind tunnel and attempting to float. Since I never plan on jumping out of a plane, that's the closest to experiencing a free fall that I'll ever have (hopefully). :)
I guess that sums up the past few weeks. Nothing really new on the IF front.
Hopefully I'll start catching up on every one's blog soon.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Maybe I should look into creating my own special header. It would be the perfect project to help me learn Illustrator better, something I need to do! I would like to be able to do more graphic design work, not just interior design. Partially because I enjoy it and partially because it's nice to have more than one way to pay the bills when the going gets tough.
Interior design isn't exactly the most stable field to be in, especially when it's tied to the housing market. It's not the worst, don't get me wrong, but it's not a necessity like medicine and law.
As my MIL pointed out at lunch yesterday, M's sister is good, "she doesn't need anything, she has everything". This was her response when we asked what we could get SIL for her birthday.
I know the comment was innocent, but it's the truth. She's a lawyer married to a Dr. with three small children.
M and I are only scraping by in our design jobs and of course we don't have children.
Quite a contrast. Yeah, I know I need to stop being so pitiful. ;)
Friday, August 1, 2008
I’ve already had a lap, and the lupron suppression option is only a temporary fix. I’ve been very unimpressed with the concern of my Drs. regarding this stupid disease so far. So, in a vain attempt to self treat, I’m giving my diet a little shake up. Like a good infertile, I already have a reasonably good diet so this is going to push me to a new level of healthful eating.
Dr. Google has pointed me in the direction of a few websites and books that strongly advocate giving up wheat, dairy, meat, sugar, chocolate, alcohol, and anything else tasty. I don’t think I can bear to give up much more than wheat and dairy for now, but I can cut back on some of the other offenders and eat a more vegetarian/vegan diet. I’ve been giving this a go for the past two weeks so hopefully next month will show some results. If not, I’m having a cheeseburger and a glass of milk! ;)
In case you’re wondering why I’m giving up certain foods, it’s all about the prostaglandins. I’m trying to eliminate the bad and increase the good in hopes that it will reduce the inflammation of my endo. It's a theory worth putting to the test anyway.
I’m open to any suggestions if you have any!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Still, I'm really happy for the distraction my friends provided me. I haven't really shared the drama surrounding my BF so it was nice just to have a normal night.
The host of the party was my former boss. He's such a nice man and recently revealed to me that he and his wife tried for 6 years before doing IVF and conceiving their twin boys. I had always wondered, because of the twins and he confirmed my suspicions.
He gave me a good quiet pep talk (unsolicited) about how it would eventually work out. I really love talking to people who "get it". I'm still amazed at how many of us are out there.
Hope you all are having a great weekend!
I wouldn’t be bothered if it weren’t for the milestones I haven’t hit. I was expecting to have a baby, actually two about now. So turning 31 has been a big disappointment. Oh well, I’ll deal.
The BF debacle just added to the stupidity of this b-day. We were supposed to go downtown tonight and drink our faces off. Clearly that’s off the table. I drank a good bit anyway ;)
As an update, she did e-mail a brief but nice happy b-day wish for blessings and happiness. I responded in kind, with brief thanks and good wishes for her pregnancy. I guess this is what it’s come to. Could be worse.
Fortunately I was invited to a party on Saturday (tonight) so I wasn’t sitting home along feeling sorry for myself. Thank goodness. I seriously needed to have some fun. Yayyy, peach vodka, yayyy mango vodka. Yayyy friends. Okay, I’m still feeling the effects of said vodka, but yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
Sadly we had to leave a little earlier than I’d like since M has a deadline on Monday and wanted to either work tonight or tuck in early. Still not sure which. He’s catching up on his Avatar marathon at the moment. I’ll admit, I like watching Avatar too. It’s a pretty good cartoon. I think M should be the Avatar for Halloween! ;)
Okay, enough of the drunk blogging. I’ll check in with you guys later.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
You don't have to worry about me telling you details of this pregnancy. I promise not a word. I need to surround myself with real happiness right now to help me get through this scary transition and very apprehensive first stages. I'm sorry things didn't work out the way we would have liked them to...
I don’t know how to respond, I’ve already explained that I’m both happy and sad. Happy for them but sad for us. I think I made it clear that it was the way the news was delivered that was hurtful, and that with time, I will be a lot happier. Is it just me or does it sound like she’s writing me off because I’m not 100% over the moon? I hope I’m not misinterpreting her meaning, but I’m very confused.
Was my struggle and desire not clear enough all these years? Did I not convey the depth of my IF pain? Did she not witness my sadness with my SIL’s third pregnancy? I don’t know why she would expect so much from me so fast.
I’m tempted to explain it all to her again, but I don’t want to beat a dead horse. I’m also tempted to give her this helpful bit of reading, but I’m not sure how it will be received. Maybe I should just send her a card in the mail and let some time pass.
Honestly, I don’t even know how much support I should offer at this point. Should I insist on being included or is that just asking for trouble considering she doesn’t get where I’m coming from. Should I just walk away and let her decide? Obviously I might not have a choice, but how do I approach this?
Thank you so much for listening to my whining and drama.
P.S. I'm really doing okay, just a little sad about all of this. M has been so supportive. :)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
After some time to digest I was feeling a little better. I was mostly upset about how the news was delivered. I do care about my BF very much and feel guilty that I’m not able to be the friend she needs right now.
When 9:30pm rolled around I decided to give her a call to check in. Selfishly I was hoping for a nice cathartic chat that would entail me explaining why I wasn’t able to fully show my happiness and her apologizing for the manner in which she broke the news.
I called and her husband said that she was already in bed and he would let her know that I called. I’m sure he could tell that I was a little upset because a few seconds later she called me back (she wasn’t asleep yet).
Our chat started out okay, I asked how things were and she said she didn’t have anything new to report, that’s why she didn’t call. I told her that I was just recovering from the shock and was hoping to talk a little. She didn’t seem to understand why I would want to and I got a little upset by her “whatever” attitude.
I told her that it had been an extremely emotional day for me, and that I wish it hadn’t happened the way it did. She said she had noticed by the look on my face when she came over that I was not pulled together. At that point everything came out, I couldn’t hold it in. I told her that I did not appreciate the way everything happened. How I needed more time and I wasn’t really able to digest the news and respond appropriately. I then told her that it was insensitive to show me the positives or to expect me to sympathize with her regrets of actually becoming pregnant.
She said she honestly didn’t think about any of that (?!) and she didn’t mean to hurt us. She also didn’t realize the amount of emotional turmoil I’ve been in and how difficult this would be for me. I know she wasn’t trying to hurt me. I guess it’s a case of you can’t know how much IF sucks unless you’ve been there.
I can’t even begin to explain how out of character this is for BF. She is a very sweet and compassionate person, she just didn’t get it this time. She apologized and said that she is embarrassed by her actions now. Of course I feel terrible, like I just ruined her exciting pregnancy news and strong armed her into an apology. Not the reason I called to chat.
The most horrible part is that now she won’t feel comfortable talking to me about the pregnancy, and I don't blame her. So I feel like a terrible friend for not giving her the support she needs. I really want to be there for her and be excited to see ultrasound pics, discuss her latest symptoms, and go shopping etc. I just don’t know if I can put my stupid self pitying emotions aside and step up.
At the end of the horrible phone call, we both apologized. I felt better for getting it off my chest and worse for burdening her with my issues. I decided to send her an email to apologize and explain things more clearly. I asked that she be patient with me, and understand that I am happy for them, but I need a little time after news like that. I also asked that she share future pregnancy related news a little more privately so that I won’t have an audience waiting for my reaction.
I know this might have destroyed a friendship and that it will be forever changed at best. I hate so much that this has happened. I hate so much that my IF has seemingly taken over my life.
What is an IF girl supposed to do in this sort of situation?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So this is how it went down. Saturday night Best Friend and her husband came over to hang out with us and some friends (we had houseguests in town) and all was well. We talked about stuff, she told me that her cycles had been weird (like always)and this month AF was a no show at like 40 days, but that she had taken a test a week ago and it was negative. I gave some assvice about seeing her Dr. and she said, no, she’ll see him in a few months.
I didn’t really say too much about our situation, as it’s been somewhat static for a while and I’ve been trying to keep my crazy in check and enjoy myself, but she knows pretty much everything.
On Sunday, our house guests were still in town, we were hanging by the pool, drinking having a really nice day. In the afternoon I get a missed call from BF and decide to call he back later when we’re done swimming. Not long after, M gets a call from BF’s husband saying that BF really wants to talk to me and she’s going to call me right away. I should have known something was up, but I wasn’t really thinking clearly.
I take my cell phone outside and sit with everyone on the porch. We’re drinking margaritas and having fun when she finally calls back. She asks what I’m doing, I tell her about the hanging out and then she starts crying and tells me that she took two tests that day and they’re both positive. Honestly, I don’t really remember much after that.
Naturally I was super shocked. From my questions and response everyone at the table figured what was going on. It took everything I had to keep from breaking down. I tried my best to be excited and comforting, but I know it was weak.
She said that she wanted to come by, so I got changed and waited for the inevitable. By that time I had already endured lots of, “are you alright” and “I’m so sorry” which of course makes it harder to keep the emotions in check. I just sat on the front porch shaking, trying to prepare myself for the required show of happiness.
We still had a full house so it was a little awkward when they showed up. Everyone offered up their congratulations which was met with something less than happiness. BF’s husband was entirely blank, and when we said congratulations, he said something like “I might be happy in a month, we’ll see”. WTF?
Fortunately for me, one of our house guests had to get to the airport and all of the guys jumped in the car leaving me to talk to BF with some privacy. After they left, she broke down and cried and told me about how awful this news is, and how she has been so upset and that her husband has not been very excited. She said that she “wishes she could take it back” and whipped out her two very positive tests.* Just what I was hoping for, visual aids.
I wanted to yell at her, and explain that she shouldn’t have been messing around like that if she and her husband weren’t ready for the positive. And they definitely shouldn’t be crying to me and M about it before they got their shit together. But I didn’t say any of those things.
Instead, I did my job as a friend to console her and say the right things.
I was in such shock that it still feels like a bad dream. I’m probably being too sensitive, but I was in disbelief that she would come over and lay everything on me like that. Of course if I wasn’t infertile I could have handled it well. But, she knows everything we’ve been through and she didn’t stop to consider how this would affect me?
I had no time to digest, I was half buzzed from the sun and alcohol and I still had to go visit my SIL and her 6 month old that night. Not to mention we still had someone staying with us.
I just can’t believe I was consoling HER over HER good fortune and telling HER that it would be alright.
After they left, M had the same reaction. He couldn’t believe that they would tell us like that, without any composure, without allowing me the decency to hear the news in private or have time to digest. No less complain to US about their surprise pregnancy news! WTF?
*I totally get the scared shitless part, but perhaps turning to your husband, sister, mother, non IF friend would have been more appropriate given the circumstances.
Monday, July 21, 2008
This is not how it was supposed to happen. She didn't even want to get pregnant yet, they weren't really truly trying... just not preventing. She doesn't have regular cycles so she was suprised when the test came out positive and she cried...to me.
I seriously don't know how I'm going to handle this. I can't sleep or eat I'm so upset. I just keep thinking that our friendship of 20 years is going to be so different now with nothing in common.
Oh yeah, I met my SILs baby daughter today too. I couldn't hold her which I'm sure pissed everyone off, but I could barely keep my shit together to get through dinner.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Wow, I am exhausted! The kids are 6 and 4, overall they’re well behaved but wow. We intended to take them to the water park on Saturday but the weather was uncooperative. The gloomy 70% chance of heavy rain caused us to look for alternative entertainment.
We ended up playing at the house for most of the morning (letting M catch up on sleep) and then going to see WallE to wait out the rain. The movie was pretty good, but N, the youngest was having a hard time near the end. She was worried that it was going to be dark when we left the theatre and we wouldn’t be able to go to the Fun Spot which we had promised if it wasn’t raining.
Fortunately the sun was still up and the rain had pretty much stopped by the time the movie ended. So off to the Fun Spot we went. It’s not that big, more like a permanent carnival than amusement park. They have a little kid section and the best part, several go cart tracks that we get to drive with the kids as passengers.
All in all it was a successful family weekend. I think we succeeded in taking good care of them and having lots of fun. It also gave us a good chance to pretend to be parents for a few days. It was weird and kind of fun walking through the mall or amusement park knowing that everyone was thinking they’re ours. Well, except when they called us Aunt Stephanie and Uncle M of course.
That said, I was exhausted and happy to hand them back to the In-laws. I don’t know how much was because I’m not used to them, they’re not used to us, and how much is just the reality of constantly taking care of children. It kinda scared me a little, am I really ready to do this?!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
M really believes that this is going to work for us. It doesn’t matter that I’ve explained the odds, his boss at work did IVF twice and it worked like a charm. He doesn’t think we are any different.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It seems that adoption is very fluid, its rules are constantly changing. A country that was once easy to adopt from suddenly becomes rigid, and vice versa. Also, some countries allow future parents to choose their child at the orphanage and others only allow parents to accept or decline based on their recommendations.
I'm interested in adopting siblings, although that might make me certifiable. We already know that we want two children if possible, so why go through this process twice if we can avoid it? I think it's sorta like wanting IVF twins.
Not that I've pondered this deeply, but I think it might be nice if at least our children are genetically related to one another. I imagine it would give them some since of security growing up together.
Now for the depressing news…
From the information I've received so far, it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500 for a home study. $23,500 for a single adoption and an additional $13,500 for a sibling. Keep in mind that this does not include the cost for the required two trips abroad, food, lodging, or translators! I haven't actually figured out the cost for that but I estimate another $10,000.
The grand total for adopting abroad is...drum roll please...$48,500! I think I'm feeling a little ill now. It's true there is a $10,000 tax credit (not sure how that actually works) per child (I think), so that would eventually knock off $20,000, not bad. But if I understand correctly that only happens after the adoption is final, so we would still need to come up with the original sum.
M and I have lots to discuss this weekend -I hope! I know he still really wants to give IVF a shot and the $15,000 that would cost is starting to look reasonable next to the adoption total! I hate that either way we go, we basically have to "buy" a child. I know that sounds terrible, but fertile couples are certainly not shelling out tens of thousands of dollars before the baby arrives unless they're decorating a nursery or buying a new car.
Is infertility messed up or what?
Monday, June 30, 2008
Sinking $15,000+ into something that has less than 50% chance of working out in our favor is scary. I'm just not sure that I have the stomach for it. How do so many women do it? How do so many women afford it? Good insurance I guess.
My body's refusal to get pregnant under the most optimal conditions makes it difficult for me to believe that IVF will be any different. It's not like I've even had a chemical pregnancy to reassure me that pregnancy is possible. I am completely unproven and if IVF should fail, we won't be able to afford other avenues for a while.
So I've been thinking, the relative guarantee of a child through adoption is looking pretty good. I started looking into it last night, but all of the options make my head spin. I'm so not sure what to do anymore! Why is this so hard?
Friday, June 20, 2008
I was thinking about all of the issues I have with M's sister and its become increasingly clear that the last two really weren't about her. This got me to thinking about some of the other times I've blamed her for my anger... and I came to a startling realization. She may have been a factor or catalyst, but it was M who had really and truly hurt me.* This leads me to my next breakthrough, she doesn't really have that much power over me!
Just because I can, I'll give you a run down of what I'm talking about...
- Back in 2000, M graduated from college. His sister didn't attend his graduation (or ever visit him) because it was inconvenient and someone told her it was bad luck to fly before her wedding which was the following week. We missed out on all of the good-bye parties to fly up and participate in the pre-wedding suckage. :( -This is just one example of many, many times we've gone out of our way to be there for her.
- When M and I got engaged, his mom wanted to throw a bridal shower for me (sweet, I know) with all of her friends and family, mostly people I didn't know. (I had another with my family and friends in MD.) I'm a big chicken, so I asked M to please stay in the house, he didn't have to sit with me, but I needed him nearby for moral support and comfort. His mom and sister were aware of this request, so I was shocked when I couldn't find M to offer him some cake. I looked everywhere and finally asked them if they knew where he was. They admitted that his sister had asked him to go over to her house and help her husband move some stuff. I felt so betrayed, by all of them. -Stupid, I know.
- When it was our turn to get married, his sister and husband didn't attend, they had started trying to get pregnant right after we announced our engagement/wedding date and were (big shock) successful on the first try. She was 8 1/2 months pregnant and couldn't fly, who knew?! Did I mention that we had asked her husband to be best man before they announced the pregnancy (he had accepted) and as the big day got closer he wouldn't return our phone calls. To say this stressed me out is an understatement. We ended up replacing him at the last minute (obviously) but not after taking a lot of shit from M's family about the whole mess. The impending birth of the first grandchild definitely trumped our wedding when it came to his family. I'm not bitter....noooo, not at all.
- We returned from our wedding to attend the baby shower, and celebrate the birth of our nephew. Everything was somewhat okay, until M's sister asked M to be godfather...and didn't ask me to be godmother. I know that everyone does this sort of thing differently, but after the wedding debacle, I thought it would have been a nice gesture. It became a great source of pain for me, because I'm weird like that, and took it as another slap from his family. Of course M's family didn't understand why I was hurt and encouraged M to accept, which he did against my wishes. I almost didn't attend the Christening because I was so upset, but decided to suck it up at the last minute so they wouldn't think I was a total bitch. I'm still not sure if I did the right thing.
- Of course there was the pregnancy last summer where I was the ONLY one who didn't know -at M's request. Talk about embarassing! (Just this once, in his defense, he was trying to protect my IF feelings)
- Last but not least, the unauthorized IF discussion M had with his sister and brother in law.
I'm really hoping I can let go of some anger now. Thanks for listening.
*Disclaimer: M is a really great husband and I love him dearly, he's just not perfect quite yet!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
M is (normally) a very straightforward and honest guy, that's one of the things I love about him. Unfortunately his family is not, they have a bad habit of lying when it suits them. M is one of the few that doesn't seem to have this trait... except when it comes to his sister. She can get him to do things he normally wouldn't, in the past she's used this super-power against me which turns me into a big mess of rage and anger. M of course always feels bad, but he also forgives her easily, so somehow we end up back where we started.
I hate the idea that I make him feel like he has to lie to cover up his relationship with her. Last night I made it clear that I prefer the truth, no matter how painful. So he's got to man up and deal with this honestly.
M of course points out that if his sister and I would just get along he wouldn't be in this position. I counter that I've tried to get along with her many times in the past 10 years and she has continuously made it difficult with her selfishness.* I don't even know how to deal with that sort of thing except to not deal with it.
He's not going stop talking to her (no matter how much I love the idea) so I have to accept that she's always going to be in his/our lives to some extent. Bleh. I really don't know how to make this easier on him and myself. Suggestions are welcome!
*I realize that M's sister is not the guilty party in this situation, I'm mad at M...but I still have to figure out how to get along with her.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I think Father's day brought me back down to Earth. Nothing like non-stop commercials of parents with their happy children to remind me of what I don't, and may never have. That coupled with M's sisters impending visit has sent me into a serious funk.
I have serious issues with her. It's all in my head at this point as I haven't been able to entirely let go of past problems that she and her family have caused me. So now, every little thing that she does (purposely or not) pisses me off.
Rationally I know that I'm responsible for letting her get to me, but honestly, I get so angry when I even think of her. I want this to change, but I don't know how! Perhaps some therapy is in order. It's not right, but I would be happy if I never had to see her again -ever.
Okay, so now you know the context for the following drama... I recently found out that M has consulted her (and her husband) of all people about our IF issues. Her husband is an OBGYN (and an ass) but even so, they would be the last people on Earth that I want knowing the details of our IF issues. She is not always a nice or honest person. It's hard to see her have so many of the things that I desire, like three children.
To say that I am pissed about this is an understatement. I thought M and I had agreed to limit the circle of people we talked about this with, particularly leaving out the majority of his family. It was an extreme blow to find out that someone I dislike vehemently has first hand knowledge about the pain and difficulties we've been going through. This also explains the sudden interest M has with visiting NY for consultations.
Clearly M knows my feelings about her, so it's no surprise that he tried to keep the details from me. Not a good idea. Of course I eventually realized what was really going on and freaked the hell out. I understand his desire to reach out for help, but I still have issues with the way he went about it. It's reminiscent of last summers horrific pregnancy announcement given by a 3 year old.
Okay, to get back to the impending visit, M's parents are flying up to NY and bringing back his sisters two older children, ages 4 and 6 for a few weeks(!). I'm looking forward to spending some time with them... or is it that they give me an excuse to visit water parks while they're here. The down side is, M's sister will be flying down with her new baby to pick up the kids.
I haven't seen this baby and honestly would love to keep it that way. I know it makes me a horrible aunt, but I feel like that should be my baby. She already has two, did she really need to have a third? I can't even imagine holding the baby in front of everyone, it really seems like a nightmare situation, especially knowing that she knows I can't have any of my own. I hate the way M's family makes me feel.
I am so fucking bitter.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
It was kind of fun celebrating our anniversary at my cousins wedding, everyone had a great time. (Thanks for the congrats btw!) We kept forgetting and then re-remembering through out the day since we were so focused on the wedding. I was reminded of the stress and chaos that goes into a wedding, I'm so happy to have that behind me. I had a beautiful wedding, but I wouldn't want to do it again!
I have to acknowledge how awesome my family is. Not one single person asked or mentioned having children in any way. They weren't tip-toeing around the subject either, it just wasn't an issue and never has been. My family has enough going on in their own lives to be overly concerned about ours. I don't mean that in a bad way, they really are great.
I feel like I'm still in vacation mode. I'm not ready to get back to reality, mostly IF reality. I came home to a few more info. packets from other clinics. I've looked them over briefly, but I'm not in any hurry to make decisions. Strange, because I was so impatient to make consultation appointments before I left. ...I'm pretty sure I'll snap out of it soon.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I'm going home to Maryland tomorrow! I haven't been home in nearly a year so I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone. My cousin is getting married on Saturday, May 17th(coincidentally, our anniversary) so it should be kinda neat. M is going to fly up on Thursday to be with us and put in his face time ;).
Obviously spending our anniversary at my parents house is less than ideal, but it'll be fine. We're going to plan a belated get away, hopefully to Savannah or some other fun destination later on. Last year we went to Captiva, FL which was beautiful. This is our 6th, so not all that "important". I can't believe how fast time is flying by, M and I have been together 10 years now!
Normally we are in Savannah for our anniversary (or close to it) and we get a small cake made from the same bakery (Savannah Rum Runners)that made our wedding cake. We had the most delicious butter cake with butter cream icing. This will be the first year without it because they don't like to ship it (for obvious reasons) but they will ship the Kahlua cake that we had as the grooms cake. So Kahlua it is!
Today, we're going up to the in-laws for Mothers Day, I have to put in my face time too. I hope it goes well without any unfortunate comments from the FIL. Wish me luck. :) Ha ha. I hope everyone has a good day, I know it's kinda hard.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Weill Medical College of Cornell University, NY, NY -I’ve been told by a fellow blogger that uses Cornell that their embryology/andrology department is fantastic and their numbers are really good.
NYU Fertility Center, NY, NY -Also has fantastic numbers!
Shady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Center, Rockville, MD -I don’t know much about this clinic, but they have good numbers and I'm from MD, so this would be easy to do.
Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, Englewood, CO -Not on the East Coast, but their numbers are so amazing, I couldn’t discount them, and they were ranked number one a few years ago!
The Reproductive Medicine Group, Tampa, FL -I don't know much about this one either, but they are in the neighborhood. I just took another look at them thanks to Fertilized and they have good stats as well.
If anyone has any additions or opinions about my list, please feel free to make suggestions or comments.
Monday, May 5, 2008
I'm ashamed to admit that I've lived in Orlando for three years and I've never been to the gardens before. What's worse, I lovvvve plants, so I have no excuse. Thanks Barb, for getting me out of the house and showing me such an awesome place. Here are some pictures from our beautiful day...
Friday, May 2, 2008
She did apologize and explained that they have a new system, blah blah blah and this is not typical. But here's the kicker, I won't be seeing my $5,000+ for at least another week. I'll be lucky if I have it by next Friday.
She said that the clinic is now partners with Integra.med and they have to send all "claims" up to their corporate headquarters in NY for processing. Well, she hasn't even done that yet.
I am so angry with them right now. If that's the case, it will take nearly a full month to get my refund. What if I was planning on going to another clinic for treatment and needed the money? I'd be delayed just because their accounting department is a bunch of idiots.
I really wish there was something I could do about this, but I guess I have to sit back and take it. Thanks for letting me know that I'm not crazy for expecting better service.
M thinks we should consider other clinics, big surprise. For some reason he thinks a clinic up north might be the answer. Maybe he's right, I need to keep my options open and look around for the best treatment we can afford. So far no one locally has been able to help me in any significant way. I don't know if I've given them a proper chance or not though. It's *only* been 15 months since I first started with them and I haven't done a proper IVF.
Would you change RE's at this point?
I don't know much about it, but Cornell keeps popping up as one of the best. It seems to be a go-to clinic for difficult patients. That said, I have a suspicion that they are very pricey and may not be a real option for us.
I've tried looking up the rankings, but haven't had much luck, I found one but it seemed a little out of date (2004 maybe). Let me know if you've come across a good list or have any recommendations.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
As you may recall, my mini-stim IVF was cancelled March 29th. M and I went for the post IVF consult April 10th. At that time we were asked if we wanted a refund or if we wanted to leave the balance of our IVF money with them to use towards another round.
We weren't sure at that moment, as we hadn't had time to digest everything. We elected to leave the money with them until further notice.
Well, a few days later, the tax man came calling... remember April 15th? We ended up owing a good bit (bleh) due to my former contract position. That pretty much made up our minds for us and we decided we would like our money back. I called the main office and left a detailed message with the finance administrator that we do indeed want our money back.
A week went by and I didn't hear from her, but I thought maybe the check was in the mail. I called again and still no return call. So I called again (see a theme?) the next day and insisted that I speak to someone. The only information I was given was that it would be an additional 7-10 days. I never did speak to the woman in charge of finances!
I understand that it sometimes takes a while to get a check cut, but two and a half weeks? Geez. Tomorrow will be 9 days since the last conversation and I think I'm gonna call again if it doesn't appear in my mailbox. M is pretty annoyed about the situation, and I don't really blame him. I'm most upset that they never once returned a phone call or apologized for the poor communication.
I feel like once treatment fails or ends they could care less. I hope that's not true, but I'm frustrated with how difficult they're making this.
Monday, April 21, 2008
For the curious, I had one mojito on Friday. I might have one tonight too!
When you're cycling (excluding heavily medicated cycles like IVF/IUI of course), do you totally abstain from alcohol for your 2ww or do you not worry about it? My best friend thinks I shouldn't worry about it so much from here on out. She's probably right considering the 3% chance. :) Let me know your philosophy on this!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Today is CD 29, typically the longest my cycle runs is 28 days (26 days is average), so the witch should have made some sort of appearance by now. I wouldn’t be all that concerned if there was some spotting, but this is just too unusual.
I took two (but who’s counting) tests today, of course they were both decidedly negative. I’m beginning to fear a cyst is the cause of this confusion. Since I’m barely late, I know I should try to remain calm and wait until Monday before calling the nurse and insisting on some sort of test or scan.
Not surprisingly, I have plans to meet former co-workers for happy hour this evening immediately followed by another social function with friends. So I have to make the ridiculous decision to abstain from alcohol “just in case” or say fuck it, and enjoy myself. This sucks!
Monday, April 14, 2008
GAAAAHHHHH! My plan is not working.
I am so disappointed with the job offer. I went to my interview today, and it went fine as far as interviews go. I put down on my application that I’m all kinds of flexible, you know, so they’d want to hire me. I also stated that I’m looking for 30-40 hours, full time -right?
Well, they said that they can probably accommodate my request for hours, but that they don’t offer associates “full time”. That means I can work full time hours but I won’t have any benefits!!!
Translation: they want me to be their little bitch and work for nothing. Sounds great! I'm supposed to "keep in touch" and let them know what I decide.
WTF?! I can’t believe they can get away with that. I’ve never come across this practice, but I guess I’ve never been out job hunting with the express goal of insurance coverage. For me, retail is not a dream job. I can do it, and do it well (how hard is it to run a register and assist customers, I mean “guests”?) but I don’t love it, so without the key IVF benefit I’m not exactly all that interested.
So of course, you'd assume that I'm going to tell them to take a hike, right?
If I get all optomistic I can imagine that it’s possible I could work there for a few months and the part time/full time situation could change. I’m assuming there would be a 90 day waiting period before becoming eligible for benefits regardless of my employment status. So if I go work there for three months and by some twist of fate I’m able to switch to “full time” it wouldn’t have been a waste...I know, I know, it's a long shot.
Or I could be rational and forget it. I probably should keep looking for another company that covers IVF without the excessive game playing. I have a short list, but most are corporations that I wouldn’t necessarily be qualified to work for, it's hard to morph my Design background into other job sectors.
I guess the big question is…am I willing to take this job for a chance at the insurance that would give me a chance at having a baby sooner than later? I feel like if I’m not willing to do just about anything, than I must not want it bad enough which in turn makes me feel crazy. When is enough, enough?
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Unfortunately for me, it’s retail. Something I thought I left behind long ago. Not exactly a strategic career move, but if it helps with my goal of moving forward, I’ll suck it up.
Dr. B mentioned this specific place at the appointment last week so of course I googled it when I got home. From what I’ve read it does offer IF coverage because the company is based in Massachusetts. Of course I’m not 100% sure that it still does, but I’m going to find out! I’ve read conflicting info. regarding the coverage, one site says that they offer three tries and another more recent site says they only offer up to $15,000 total. The three tries would be unbelievably awesome, but I’ll still take the $15,000 if that’s it!
Wish me luck on this crazy plan! J
Thursday, April 10, 2008
We discussed the pros and cons of the different IVF protocols. We both agreed that antagonist sounds like the most fun ‘cause I’m officially classified with low ovarian reserve now. Dr. B said that with the endo and LOR, I have roughly 3% chance of conceiving on my own each month. Nice!
He gave me a pretty good rah-rah speech about how I should still be hopeful and at least I have my age on my side. He also told us that the way he sees it, we can choose to do up to 3 IVFs (ha!) then we should consider donor eggs or donor embryos. I was happy he put it on the table, I think we needed to hear that we have more options.
I also learned something that really surprised me, adopting donor embryos is way, wayyyy less expensive than doing anything else. It’s only around $1,500 an embryo compared with $15,000+ for donor eggs. Whoa, what a difference! I showed interest in that, but M’s reaction was a little more apprehensive. The biological tie is still important to him, and we’re just not there yet. It is however another thing to consider down the road.
We had originally planned to just keep moving forward. The thing is, we’re not really prepared to fork over the additional $8,000+ we need to move forward with the big IVF. Originally we thought we’d be okay with it, but M’s increasingly uncomfortable with the financial aspect. I tend to agree with M, but I’m frustrated at the prospect of waiting any longer. We’ll have to really go over all of our options before we make a proper decision.
We talked about taking a loan, but don’t think it’s a good idea at this time. We don’t really want any more debt, like good Americans, we have enough thank you. Of course if we knew the IVF would work, we’d do it without hesitation, but that would be a bitter pill to swallow if it failed. Still, it’s on the table for now.
So…that leaves us with just a few additional options. First, I can look for a job that offers health benefits with IVF included. Dr. B actually brought up the idea (one I’ve briefly pursued before) and is going to give me a list of places to consider. Have I mentioned how much I like him?
Another option is taking a long term break. I’m just not sure I'm truly up for it. It would be so much easier if we had at least one real IVF behind us so I wouldn’t have too many regrets or what-ifs. I’m not sure I’m ready to move on without that bit of closure, but like I mentioned in my last post, having my life back is awfully tempting.
Dr. B pointed out that I have 12 more years before I’m cut off from reproductive assistance. That helped put my situation into perspective, I still have some time. Obviously the odds of conceiving a biological child diminish with each passing year, but I’m still open to other options in the long run.
A lot to consider.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I’m fairly certain that this is just a phase and I won’t always feel this calm and accepting. But while I am, I’m allowing myself to explore other options, and this is one of them. Living child free.
M and I actually talked about not having children, but only in passing. It’s as if it’s something we’re both contemplating but are afraid to talk about. In some ways it seems premature to really accept that option into our lives. After all, we haven’t even tried the big IVF yet.
But, that hasn’t stopped me from toying with the idea. When I think about accepting that I can’t have children I actually feel a great weight lifted off of me. That's a little scary in itself.
For the past year or two I’ve had some internal struggles with career and children and how to juggle the two. I’ve allowed my anticipation of getting pregnant keep me from pursuing career advancement with any real vigor. I keep telling myself not to bother getting overly involved because any month now, I’ll be pregnant and preparing to stay home for a few years.
If only I had known two and a half years ago what I know now, Ha!
Not trying to get pregnant would clearly remove most of the roadblocks I’ve placed. I would be free to re-evaluate how I see myself and what I expect of myself. For better or worse, my life would be more about career, money, and me & M. Instead of trying for children, we would be more self indulgent, traveling, going to parties, and planning a childless life. At least that’s how I imagine it.
Honestly, it sounds nice. Maybe that’s because I haven’t had a normal life for so long. I miss traveling, going out drinking, dancing, and having fun. Those things have been too few and far between while cycling. It always seems like I’m in the 2ww when something good comes up or we’re just flat broke from the treatments.
I still would love to get pregnant, but an end to this mess would be great too. I don’t want to spend any more years living half a life. At least that’s how I feel today.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Hopefully next week’s visit with Dr. B will be positive and we’ll both be happy with our decision.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
M works with two nice women who’ve needed the help of an RE to become pregnant. Both started out with my Dr. B, but later changed to the other Dr. in town, Dr. T. When they changed RE’s they eventually got pregnant. One woman did IVF with success (twice) and the other did an IUI with success.
M is now urging me to switch to Dr. T. I understand the allure of switching, he is constantly being reminded of the success his coworkers have had (one is currently pregnant and the other just gave birth) and he wants the same for me. While I’m pleased for them, I don’t know that switching is going to help me. I think it’s more of “the grass is greener” situation.
To be fair to M, I’ve been to see Dr. T for a second opinion in the past year, mostly because M’s co-workers were singing his praises. Dr. T has many devoted patients, but overall I was not impressed with his approach, he bashed my Femara/IUI protocol and seemed to be in favor of aggressively using injectibles with IUI (not something I’m interested in). M kindly let me make the decision to stay with Dr. B without too much difficulty.
Just to let you know, both Drs. are very experienced, have great credentials and both have won numerous awards. Both work at respected practices in Orlando, so there's not much difference.
Personally, I would like to continue seeing Dr. B. I’m most comfortable with him and his staff, I like the location of his office and really don’t want to change horses mid stream. I’ve conveyed all of this to M, but he is still interested in switching. As he put it, he only cares about results.
I’m getting frustrated with him and his coworkers, I appreciate that they’re there for him, but he’s regularly coming home with pieces of assvice. I have to bite my tongue and explain that I don’t have the same problems as these women so their treatment won’t necessarily work for me!
I’ve researched the hell out of IF in general, so there’s not a whole lot I don’t already understand. When I express my frustration about this, he gets upset because “they’re just trying to help”. Gahhh! He came home last night with a flyer given to him for a meeting Dr. T is speaking at, just in case we wanted to attend. I didn't know what to say.
What I’d really like to do is call up his coworkers and kindly ask them to stop pushing Dr. T down our throats and stop giving M the impression that we aren’t doing this right. It’s hard enough to have to go through this without being told we’re doing it wrong. Of course they have their babies and we have nothing, so I guess they're going to win this argument everytime.
What do I do? Should I just cave and see the Dr. I don’t like to make everyone else happy?
I'm still disappointed, but I realize that it was a semi-experimental (for me) mini-stim so I’m trying to keep it in perspective. I still have hope that the big IVF can work for me.
Also, this is lame, but I’ve found a silver lining to this failure. If all had gone perfectly, my due date would’ve been Dec. 24th (yes, I’m guilty of playing with the due date calculators). I know many people wouldn’t care, but I think having a Christmas birthday would be awful. So I made a plan in the event that this scenario unfolded. I would throw a half birthday party in June, but now I don’t have to worry about it. Told you it was lame.
Right now, the hardest part is shifting gears, going from daily injections on a schedule with regular office visits to absolutely nothing, nada, zilch. Since I declined to do another IUI we’ve been left to our own devices for the rest of the month.
I’m ready to move forward, but I don’t know what comes next. The IVF nurse just called this morning and scheduled a post IVF consult for April 10th. I’m guessing it will also work as another final IVF consult. At least it’s only 9 days away, I can handle that.
In case you’re wondering if I’m upset with Dr. B for suggesting that I go for the mini-stim first, I’m not really. He explained all of our options and let us chose. We carefully weighed the pros and cons and *I* made the final decision. Objectively, I don’t see this much differently than trying injectibles with IUI before moving on to IVF. It was just one more option before pulling out the big guns.
Not to mention that I’m probably a difficult patient to treat in the sense that there isn’t much to treat. I do have mild endo (and there isn’t really a fix for that) but statistically it shouldn’t keep me from getting pregnant in the long run. Ha Ha Ha! But seriously, I have regular cycles, I always seem to ovulate, my lining is always good, I’ve had good responses to the oral drugs, I’m not over weight (but I’d love to lose 10lbs), and my hormones have been normal until the recent FSH spike. With all of these positives on my side I’ve never once gotten pregnant. I don’t know what he could do that he hasn’t already or isn’t going to.
In case I’ve given the wrong impression, I’m still scared that it’s too late. I can’t help but worry that my body is closing the baby making factory early and no amount of drugs will help.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I’m frustrated because I’ve had better responses with Femara. I thought Follistim would be stronger or do more for me. I guess ovarian discomfort doesn’t correlate with ovarian production. If it did, I wouldn’t have only one freakin’ follicle. Gaahhhh!
As the nurse kindly pointed out, now they know more about how my body responds. I guess that’s a good thing.
I tried to pump her for information, you know, the where do we go from here sort of stuff. Unfortunately, she couldn’t really answer that for me, although she confirmed that I probably will go in for a second FINAL IVF CONSULT with Dr. B.
The nurse said she’d call me this afternoon with the results of my labs (as if it matters anymore) and I guess instructions. I have the option to convert this to an IUI but I’m not even optimistic about that. What’s the point of wasting more money and medication on one egg?
I know that sounds horrible, but I’ve already done 6 IUI’s with nothing to show for it. I don’t expect this to be any different. I just want to move on to the big IVF now that I’ve proven that mini-stim doesn’t work for me.
I’m going to go crawl back into bed with M, and give him the news. I feel bad telling him because he’ll be disappointed, he was so optimistic. I feel like I let him down, again.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Apparently I’m a slow starter. The nurse told me not to give up, that things could really take off in the next few days. I really hope she’s right. I was hoping for at least five follicles to make their presence known, so maybe next time they’ll cooperate.
On the bright side, my lining is looking cushy, which supposedly means my estrogen level should be good. The back-up nurse said my E2 should be near 300, so at least I know what they want to see.
Maybe I'm being too negative, but I want to be prepared for a cancellation, or the possibility of converting to an IUI.
I’ll update this afternoon when I get my results from this morning.
Monday, March 24, 2008
My E2 is an underwhelming 37.1. I don’t know if that’s really bad or not, but I do know it’s low. I have to up my Follistim to 150 for the next few days until my next blood test/ultrasound on Thursday. I was hoping for Wednesday, but I guess I’ll have to be patient. Gah!
I’m a little fearful that I’m going to be canceled for poor response. I suppose I’m feeling a little pessimistic after today’s results, I was hoping for great numbers out of the gate.
I’m hoping that if I’m going to be canceled, I’ll find out on Thursday. I don’t want to waste any more drugs than necessary if it’s all going to be a bust.
If anyone has any insight about day 3-4 E2 numbers, fill me in. I couldn’t find much on what it should be, except that higher numbers, like 80-100 seemed to be the norm. I realize that lower numbers probably should be expected, as I’m not trying to stimulate a large number of follicles, but still. Could this cycle turn around or is it doomed?
Saturday, March 22, 2008
When I’m nervous, all rational thought seems to leave my mind, so I would have been a mess trying to make sure I didn’t miss a step. The shot itself wasn’t too bad, but like everyone else has mentioned, the Follistim stings going in, and for a while after. I haven’t the courage to try taking the injection in the belly, we’ve always stuck to the outer thigh (excuse the pun). Maybe after a few nights, my legs won’t appreciate anymore and we’ll change sites.
I’m having some side effects, but I don’t know exactly to what. The strange thing is I began feeling really tired/exhausted when I stopped taking the BCP last week. I don’t know why, maybe the sudden change in hormones? But it hasn’t gone away and I think it’s getting worse. I took a nap last night before dinner, slept a good 9+ hours last night and then took another nap this afternoon.
I’m not enjoying this lack of energy, it’s not allowing me to get things done that I’d like. I have a carrot cake to make for tomorrow but I can’t seem to get my butt off the couch. I’m not going to worry about it too much though, I just want to take care of myself, so if my body needs rest, I’m going to give it rest.
I know it’s early, but I wish I was getting scanned on Monday, not just b/w. I’d like an antral follicle count just to have an idea of how things might turn out. But alas, they don’t have any plans for me until around Wednesday.
Not much else to chat about, so have a Happy Easter!
Friday, March 21, 2008
People: Can you set the record straight about how challenging it was to conceive?
Jennifer: Sure. It was natural. We didn’t do in vitro, which I know was reported. Everybody assumed that because we had twins. I wanted to have a baby, but I’ve always said exactly what I said all those years they asked us since we’ve been married: “Well, when are you guys gonna have some kids?” “When it happens naturally, I guess!” And that’s when it happened. It was a surprise to us.
People: Were you ever worried it might not happen?
Jennifer: You start getting older, you think to yourself, maybe (having kids) is just not meant for me. I knew there was nothing wrong with me. I knew that I could. Deep down, I really wanted it badly.
Marc: It never even entered my mind that it would never happen.
Jennifer: (turning to Marc) Really? Even after one year, two years, three years…You know, you start thinking to yourself, “Well, maybe…”
Marc: No! When you think about it, you only have a small amount of time each month when you can. So you try and you have 12 shots a year.
Does anyone believe what Jennifer Lopez is claiming? Seriously!? Okay, I know it’s possible, but at her age, 38 and after three years of marriage, is she really trying to say she didn’t see an RE?
We’re talking about a highly successful women who is used to making things happen. She has major resources at her disposal and she didn’t seek help after say, two years? Really? Not even a little Clomid or an IUI or two?
The other thing that gets me, is that she claims to know that “nothing (is) wrong with me.” Say what? Is she saything that tried naturally for three years at the age of 35 without a care in the world? Yet she “wanted it badly”. How many women out there are so confident that there is nothing wrong after trying for three years that they're willing to wait patiently for that door to close? I don’t buy it!
There’s a little more suspicious banter in the magazine interview…
People: So how did you find out you were expecting?
Jennifer: I was in Portugal, performing and dancing my a—off…
Marc: We were on the phone, and I said “Baby, I have a sense!”
Jennifer: I said, “You think I am?” because it had been so long. When I came back, I took a test. I couldn’t believe it! I was like, “Can we get another test, please?”
Again, What? Does anyone have a husband just spontaneously call them to tell them they're probably pregnant? Okay, I guess it could happen, but Marc's the one that suspected, after a natural cycle, not Jennifer? That story just screams IVF to me. I know my husband isn't all that tuned into my cycle unless we're doing something like IUI, and even then...
But what do I know? I suppose it’s none of our (my) business how she comes by her beautiful babies. But, it would be nice to have a little more honesty about treatment from celebrities. I wish more women were out there explaining how difficult it can be, why it’s important to seek treatment, that it’s not something to be embarrassed about. It would probably do a world of good for the general public to be exposed to IF now and again. It would probably make my life easier when talking to others about treatment if they had something to reference.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Let me explain. Today was the FINAL IVF CONSULT, which I find a little funny. Why is it refered to as final at the start of IVF? I certainly hope it’s not the last time Dr. B discusses our IVF options with us. Wishful thinking on the Clinic's part?
Anyway, M and I were in the exam room when Dr. B and the IVF nurse came in for the mock transfer. He said “we’re doing mini-stim, right?” Well, I was a little surprised and said "uh, no, you recommended the big IVF as the not-fucking-around-anymore solution." Okay, I didn’t say that exactly, but almost. I then proceeded to remind him of our previous discussions via his nurse and e-mail. I think he remembered me then, or at least he pretended to.
After much thoughtfulness on his part, Dr. B reversed his previous decisions and decided right there on the spot that age is more important than high FSH, so mini-stim is indeed a good idea. His reasoning is, since I’ve never had any experience with injectibles, I might do just fine with a low dose.
We discussed and agonized for about 10 minutes between the four of us. I know how M feels (less $ makes him happy), and Dr. B made a fairly compelling argument about my age and more opportunities yada-yada-yada. So mini-stim it is. Clearly this is a big ol’ experiment with moi starring as the guinea pig.
Regardless of which IVF road we go down, it will be a big experiment, so the less painful, less expensive version won today. Did we make the right choice? Gah! I have no idea.
Plan B is…If I don’t respond well to the stims, my cycle will be canceled and I will only be out some medication (what’s a few thousand dollars?!). Dr. B will then have a good idea of how my body responds to the drugs and will hopefully be better equipped to treat me if a big IVF is required. At least that's what he said.
Part of me feels like I was tricked into changing my mind, after all, I had already come to terms with needing the big IVF and thought the benefits of extra embryos (if I was lucky) to freeze was worth it. On the other hand, not using gallons of injectibles is enticing, not to mention the smaller price tag.
In case you’re curious, here’s my protocol for now:
No more BCP’s, I only had about four days left, so I get to stop a little early. Yayyy
Friday I start 75 IU’s of Follistim and 75 IU’s of Menopur once a day. They get mixed together so I only have one injection. Also, M and I both start antibiotics and I take a low dose aspirin daily.
Monday I have blood work. After that, I’ll just have to wait and see, but there’s not much more to it than that, at least for now.
Friday, March 14, 2008
I’ve been going back and forth between excitement and trepidation about the upcoming IVF. This might actually work. Of course I try to temper those thoughts with the knowledge that it most likely won’t. Okay, I’m not sure if that’s true, but I have to tell myself that there’s a big chance that this is going to bomb, you know, so I won’t be crushed when it doesn’t. (Who am I kidding!!?)
But what if it doesn’t bomb?
Then I start freaking at the thought of how a baby will change our lives. The thing is, when we were just having sex it was so much easier to pretend that having a baby is no big deal. People do it all the time, right? (Yeah, yeah, I know!) It would just happen and life would go on and we would be happy!
But now that we’re about to spend big bucks and I’m going to stab myself with sharp little needles, there’s no “letting it happen” involved. It’s very calculated which means I have to really, really want this.*
Which of course leads me to think… do I really, really want this?! Do I want to go to this much effort and discomfort? We have a nice life right now. We can do whatever we want whenever we want (within reason). Sometimes I think it would be fun to live like this forever. But I also know we would be sad if we didn’t have a family together.
I feel like I’m standing in line to ride a roller coaster. The longer I wait, the scarier it becomes. If I could just get this ride over with, I would probably be glad I got on. But right now, it seems like the craziest thing a person could do…in more ways than one.
So of course the answer is yes, I do want a family, but it’s just scary to think so long and hard about it.
Did I mention I don’t do roller coasters?
*For some reason, the 6 IUI's didn't seem like a big deal, it was just extra help. There wasn't all that much money and drugs involved and we were still having sex! Is it just me, or did that sound kind of dirty?
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Thanks Barb for checking in on me. Sorry I haven’t been very good at e-mails lately.
The short list of complaints includes the always fabulous sensation of needing to cry, general annoyance at everyone in my immediate vicinity, nausea, tiredness, headache, and a general feeling of malaise. Good times. I think some of the symptoms are compounded by seasonal allergies, it’s spring here in Orlando.
My biggest concern is, if I’m such a mess on the BCP, what’s the Lupron etc. going to do to my body? I feel like I should lock myself away as it is. Poor M.
I suppose I don't have to wait too long. My final IVF consult is next Tuesday morning and I expect I’ll start Lupron or whatever soon after. I only have a week and a half left in my BCP, thank goodness.
I’ve still been checking in on other blogs, even if I’m not commenting.
And just because I can, I’m going to bitch about how much it sucks to have an uber fertile SIL.
My only SIL (the one I really don’t like) is having a Christening for her THIRD baby in five years. And yes, you are correct in assuming that I am bitter. Well I just got finished buying gifts to send up and it put me in a foul mood. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but it just sucks to be reminded that she is good at having babies and I’m not.
Fortunately, we are not flying to NY to attend, because there is no way I could put on a happy face in my hormonal condition. But of course we couldn’t get off that easily. We were given a very hard time about not attending by M’s dad. He just couldn’t wrap his mind around the idea that we are busy (actually M is really busy with work, me not so much) and cannot take time out of OUR lives to attend another one of his daughters events (this will be the first time we’re not there). Did I mention this is the same sister that didn’t come to M’s college graduation or our wedding?
One day at lunch he repeatedly asked me why we weren’t attending the Christening. It ended up becoming a big argument with M coming to my rescue and telling him that it’s none of his business and that we already gave a good reason. I wasn’t about to tell him about the upcoming IVF cycle and that I didn’t want the extra stress of a visit to one of my least favorite people to see her new baby as well as his cousins new baby.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
To acupuncture or not to acupuncture, that is the question.
I first started acupuncture mostly because it offered another option we hadn't tried and a bit of hope. I think M was counting on this low cost (by comparison) treatment fixing me right up so we could forget all about IVF.
My acupuncturist, D was nice enough and told me how he had helped lots of other women become pregnant and that everything would be okay. He has all the qualifications the state of FL requires (and FL has some of the strictest requirements in the U.S.).
I filled out the ridiculously long patient history form and described in detail my period. Clots, color and all. I think he knows more about my period than my gyn-y or RE! I began frequent treatments at first, nearly every day, then just twice a week.
D’s goal was to regulate my period, than he said everything else would fall into place. The thing is, I have fairly regular cycles, 25 days-28 days. But whatever. He didn’t like that my periods only lasts 2-3 days not a full 5 so he set about changing that.
Well, five months and about $2000 later, my cycle had not budged and my bleeding was basically the same. If there was any improvement, it was miniscule. D would ask for a full report each cycle and proclaim that I was improving. Um, how? The way I see it, it's an all or nothing scenario. Either you get pregnant or you don't, so I wasn't all that impressed.
Not to mention that I absolutely did not enjoy being poked with little needles, those suckers hurt if they hit a nerve and that happened about every other visit. I don't know if that's normal!?
If you’ve been following along, you’ve read all about my high FSH drama. I dropped out of acupuncture (not that I needed much of an excuse) at this time. I explained to D what I’d just found out and he encouraged me to seek treatment with western medicine. No reassurance was given that he could help correct this problem or that maybe acupuncture was responsible in some roundabout way for my most recent fertility road bump.
I spoke with my mom about the situation and she in turn spoke with a friend that is way into acupuncture and eastern medicine. This friend is a strong believer and has had much success treating his own MS with this sort of thing. He believes that it is possible to affect FSH both positively and negatively with acupuncture.
I spoke with D again and told him about this theory and he totally dismissed it. I don’t know who’s right, but I’m not planning on doing acupuncture with D anymore. I just can’t risk that he’s causing more harm than good, especially from someone who doesn’t show confidence in his own treatment.
I’ve tried to do as much research on acupuncture as the good Dr. Google allows. I’ve read everything from acupuncture is a sham to it seriously helps with IVF. My (former) acupuncturist also gave me a book called Acupuncture and IVF. This book claims that it can improve IVF’s success by as much as 40-60%. Now that’s something I’d love to buy into, but I’m a skeptic.
So, here is my question, should I pursue acupuncture with someone else for my upcoming IVF cycle?