Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Missing Money

In case you're wondering, I'm alive. I just don't have much to report. Oh, I am kinda pissed at my RE's office. So I'll tell you about that.

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

Game Over at CD32

Game over, thanks for playing the extra long version. The past four or five days have been nerve racking, it’s hard to be so hopeful and optimistic and prepare for the inevitable let down at the same time. I’m sure if you’re reading this you understand exactly what I mean. On the bright side, at least I didn't need a date with PIO to get things moving in the right direction.

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

Yes or No, why is that so hard?

I’ve been having a lot of mild cramping on and off for the past four days, which is a typical precursor to AF. Nothing odd about that, but I am missing one key ingredient…blood. So far there’s been nada, which is way out of the norm for me.

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

It Was Too Good to be True

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

I Have a Plan!

In the spirit of moving forward, I have a plan. Nothing is definite, but I’m going to try to work for a company that offers IVF coverage. I applied on Friday and I have an interview set up for Monday, so if all goes well I’ll be on my way!

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

Change of Plans?!

M and I went to the consult with Dr. B this afternoon. I was pleased with our chat, we talked for nearly an hour about why the mini-stim went south and what we could do in the future. He said the mini-stim gave him a lot of information about how my body responds to the medication.

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

Is Child Free for Me?

Lately, I’ve been feeling very disconnected from baby making. If I had to guess, it’s probably a way of coping with the disaster that was my first IVF. I think the realization that my body is truly uncooperative and that future IVF’s might not work is slowly being processed. I MIGHT NEVER GET PREGNANT! Also, I think M finally understands that IVF doesn’t guarantee us a baby or two.

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

Same RE

I think everything is okay now. M and I had another talk about switching RE’s last night and I think he’s going to chill out a little. He understands that I don’t want to switch Drs. in the middle of treatment and start all over at a new place. I told him I understood his desire to switch, but I didn’t think it would help anything. Understandably he just wants results and was hoping that Dr. T could be the answer. He didn't realize how upset I was at the idea of going to a Dr. I don't like so much.

Hopefully next week’s visit with Dr. B will be positive and we’ll both be happy with our decision.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Assvice Needed

I’m facing a small dilemma and could use some outside perspective.

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?

Disappointed but Okay

Thank you all for your sweet thoughts.

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.