Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IVF Costs

I always knew IVF was expensive, but wow, when it’s written down, it looks huge! I called the RE financial coordinator, and my clinic charges the following:

Procedures & physician costs $5,350
Lab costs (BW, ICSI, Freeze embryos for 3 years) $2,000
Anesthesia $500
Hospital (the place where the IVF is done) $2,800
Total to the clinic $10,650

And then medications are between $3,000 and $5,000. So I should plan around $15,000 for the first cycle. For each cycle after the first IVF cycle, the clinic will waive the procedures & physician costs, so they waive the $5,350 cost. So each cycle after the first one is around $10,000 including medications.

For those of you that have done IVF, is this comparable? Also, I’m currently getting my drugs for the IUI from Freedom Fertility and will probably do the same for an IVF if we go that route – are there any better options other than going outside the States? Hubs had a very strong adverse reaction when I mentioned going international…

On another note, I’m feeling somewhat better today – yesterday was really tough. But thankfully I had an appointment with my therapist, and she helped me go through my feelings. She is trying to teach me that the feelings I feel are normal, and ok. And I will get through this!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Feeling Negative

Thanks to everyone for your nice comments – it’s so nice to get feedback! I was doing better this weekend. We ended up having to go out of town for Hubs’ work, and so we were incredibly busy late last week and this week. I was able to get distracted, a bit, which was nice. We had a long talk about our plans, which was interesting. We both want to do one more IUI with injections, and we’ll start the cycle when my period starts again in April. I’ll continue to do acupuncture, primarily because it makes me feel so good. And if the IUI doesn’t work, we’ll move onto IVF – I think. I’m now going to do some research, figure out the costs for IVF, and I think we’ll plan to do IVF this fall, after our Europe trip.

I knew that if I agreed to go to Europe, Hubs would be less interested in moving aggressively forward on our babymaking plans, and want to hold off until after we get back. It kind of makes me mad – how quickly he can get excited about something else and be willing to postpone the TTC stuff. Meanwhile I continue to obsess, and just want this awful process to be over, and I don’t understand how he can focus on fun things!

Also, just found out this morning that a woman from work, who had her tubes tied after her second child, is now pregnant. Talk about an accident! Apparently they used a clamp on her tubes, which is supposed to be more effective than cutting them, and one of the clamps must have come off!!! She’s pissed that she’s pregnant, and I just stared at her while she was telling me her story, wanting to kill her a little… Not really, but seriously??? Why the fuck is she pregnant – clearly she didn’t want this baby – and I’m not???

So now I’m feeling down today. I’m in limbo – I really was planning on TTC naturally right about now, as I should be ovulating around now, and not only are we not trying anymore this cycle, but my basal temps are completely all over the place, and there isn’t a fertile fluid in sight! Not that I really need to be ovulating right now, but my body is obviously still completely jacked up after the methotrexate last month and I wish it was better. So this will probably hurt my chances of the IUI being successful next month, which then postpones our TTC process until after we return from Europe – probably November!!! Wow – I can’t believe this is where we are now. It seems like we just started the fertility treatment process at the beginning of the year, we only had one chance which failed through an ectopic, and now I’m talking November! I know there’s one more stop to take – an IUI in April, but I don’t have good feelings about that working. Just not feeling positive about this at all right now…

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Condoms & RE

Didn't think those two would ever be related - condoms & RE appointment! I had my WTF appointment with the RE today. I was planning on trying naturally with acupuncture this cycle, and if it didn't work, then do IUI & injections next cycle. I was really hoping the natural cycle would work...

I should have known better. I had 2 methotrexate shots on 2/10 to get rid of the ectopic pregnancy. At that time Dr. G told me I needed to wait 1 month - I read otherwise on the Internet, but chose to believe the doctor. Well today he said we should wait another cycle and should prevent pregnancy for 60 days after the shot. Would have been nice to know last month! Hence, I just told Hubs to pick up condoms!!!

So another month gone. He said my chances for another ectopic is high but not high enough to not do another IUI. But if I have another ectopic, I should do IVF. So now we're waiting for another AF to show and then IUI and injections again. I hate this rollercoaster - how do I get off????

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Dreams can make or break the rest of the day. This morning I had the weirdest dream. I use my iPhone as my alarm, and it was set for 6:00. It stays under my pillow, and it vibrates my pillow, and I usually wake up with no problem. This morning I dreamed that there was this machine that would start IVF when it buzzed. It kept buzzing, and I would turn it off, saying, “I’m not ready for IVF!” That continued to happen, and I was starting to get angry. I finally woke up, thinking I have to stop this dream. I hope it’s time to get up so I can stop thinking I’m about to start IVF! Turned out it was 6:50, and I had been snoozing my alarm for 50 minutes, and I just needed to shut it off! Do you think this means something???

Oh, and after all that, I woke up in such distress that I forgot to take my darn temp! Stupid dream!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Travel Plans

My hubs and I have done one major trip each year for the past few years. Last year we went to the Bahamas for our wedding, and then had a surprise trip a few months later when Hubs’ work needed him in Oman, so I went with him and we went to Dubai, Oman, and then Paris on the way back. The year before that we went to Sweden to visit the land of Hubs’ ancestors and some extended family. The year before that we went on a whirlwind road trip of Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria. Before that, Hubs would do a trip each year with some guy friends, but I’m happy to report that for the last few years he’s gone with me – as it should be! It’s always been our goal to do one big trip every year, but this year, we haven’t really talked about it. We usually start planning a year in advance, but we’ve been trying to get pregnant for the last year. And each month this process continues, it looks like getting pregnant is going to cost more and more, so in my mind, I figured our vacation was probably out the window this year.

And then comes along some friends of ours. They’re going to Europe in September, and brought this up to the Hubs, asking if we want to join them! Of course, he’s in – he wants to go, he starts planning, thinking of what we’ll do, and finally asks me what I think. I look at him, and just say – “what if???” What if I’m pregnant? What if I’m not? What if it’s in the 3rd trimester (now no longer possible…)? What if it’s in the 1st trimester? I finally tell him that I will go if I’m in the 2nd trimester, and if I’m not pregnant, but I don’t know if I really want to go! I told him that we need to make plans that are cancellable – like we’re booking the trip on miles, so that’s easily refundable except for about $100 cash – no big deal. And we’ll have to book all the hotels with real rates – no internet deals – so they are cancellable. Which he’s fine with, I think.

We’re talking about what to do, and where to go – if we go – and Hubs just sent me this email: “I really want you to tell me what you want to do because it will be the last time we do a trip like this if ever.” Oh that’s sad! OK, no pressure, right?

I don’t know what to do – I want to just say to hell with it, and plan the trip, and get excited about it and assume that I won’t be pregnant by then. But what if I’m pregnant??? Oh I can’t live my life like this anymore – this is ridiculous!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Welcome, ICLW!

Hello, and welcome to my blog! My name is Alex, I’m 34, TTC for #1, and I’m completely new to this blogging world. So I’m diving in, and participating in my first ICLW this month!

Hubs and I have been trying for a little one for a year – we started trying a few months before we were married last May. So far, we’ve had all the tests run, received the official diagnosis of Unexplained Infertility, did one IUI with injections, and was successful – for six magical (although hard and scary) days in early February I was pregnant and happy, until they told me that it was ectopic. That was awful, and one of the worst things I’ve gone through in my life. But we made it, and I’m feeling better, and last week AF finally decided to show, so we’re back on the TTC wagon. We have our WTF appointment with the RE this Wednesday, but we’re not doing fertility treatments until next month. For this month, I’m doing acupuncture, and herbs, and TTC naturally like we’ve never done it before... Because I REALLY don’t want to keep doing fertility treatments!!!

But assuming I will have to go back on the treatment path, are there any suggestions for what I should ask the RE in my WTF meeting? I assume we’re basically just going to do the IUI and injections again, because it technically worked, so I’m not sure why I even have to do this meeting before we start treatments again, but they insisted. I’d love to hear if I should be pushing for something different. My understanding is there’s not really anything they can do to prevent an ectopic pregnancy – is there?

I’m off to find more blogs – looking forward to it!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Never Expected This

I never expected this blog to be a part of my life. I am a new blogger, and new to journaling. I’ve started journals before, but have never been able to keep them up, but somehow this is easier. I started this blog to talk about my infertility, but yesterday I realized something – this is about my life! My whole life, my ugly parts and my good parts. I expected feelings to come up about my infertility, but I never expected feelings to come up about my own adoption, and my childhood. I’ve been trying to work through some of these issues for a long time, and it’s actually really nice to be able to get feedback on these thoughts. The comments I received were so incredibly sweet and helpful – thank you!!!

Yesterday after writing that post, I was sad. But I picked myself up and went to acupuncture, and talked about the plan for this month with Dr. K – what a great guy my acupuncture guy is!!! He told me to keep taking herbs, and vitamin e, to exercise, and track my cervical mucus. Yeah, buddy, been doing that one for a year… And he said to get Hubs to take garlic to increase the quality of his spermies. He said maybe not this month, but next month or month after that – definitely will get pregnant! I didn’t have the heart to tell him that next week I’m going back to the RE to talk about the plan for next month… But I had such a nice acupuncture session, both talking to Dr. K, and then lying there on the table. I was drifting in and out, concentrating on my deep breathing, and really trying to get into it. I walked out of there with so much energy, and I felt that everything was truly right with the world!

Hubs complains about the price of acupuncture – he calls it our Mercedes, because we could buy a car and make car payments, or pay for acupuncture – it’s the same price. But if I can feel like that once per week – like everything is right with the world – then it’s absolutely worth it. I’m going to keep going until I absolutely have to quit!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Words Can Hurt

I read on a blog today about someone who just sent in their paperwork for adoption. They’re taking classes related to adoption, and one of the topics discussed was how your answers to questions sound to the child. For example, why did you adopt? If your answer is all about infertility, then the child might think they were your second choice, so you have to be careful about how you frame your response.

It got me thinking. Not from the potential mother’s standpoint, but from the adopted child. I think Hubs and I are a long way from deciding to adopt – I feel like we have a long path ahead of us before we make that choice. But all this talk of adopting from blogs I read makes me think about my own history.

I was adopted when I was four years old. My birth parents weren’t young – they were poor, homeless, and addicts. Well-meaning, just not really prepared to be parents. (As an example, I spoke with my birth mother a few years ago for the first time since I was four, and she wanted to make sure that I knew that she didn’t have any alcohol while she was pregnant. Then she said, “I might have smoked a little weed, but I didn’t drink!” OK, birth mother – so much better! Really???) She tried to keep me, and she and my birth father both tried to raise me when I was little, but we were homeless on the streets of L.A., more specifically Venice Beach. When I was about 1-2 years old, I started wandering off at night by myself, and people would pick me up and take me to the police. This was the beginning of my foster home life. I’ve been told I was in 18 different foster homes before I was adopted. Social services kept trying to convince my birth mom to put me up for adoption, but she didn’t want to give me up, but she couldn’t take care of me either. After a couple of years, she finally agreed to put me up for adoption, but by then, I had been in the foster system so long, was considered old in the adoption world, and had developed enough health and behavioral issues (malnourished, teeth rotting out, acting out) that nobody was interested in adopting me.

Meanwhile, my adoptive mom and dad (hereafter referred to as just Mom and Dad – after all, they are the ones who raised me – they’re the only people in my life deserving of those titles) determined that she couldn’t get pregnant (Dad already had a kid from a previous marriage) so they looked into adoption agencies, but they were told that Mom was too old to adopt a baby. She was 32 or 33. (Thank goodness times have changed – that was in the late 70’s – I’m 34 now…) So they were about to give up, when they met someone who knew the social worker on my case. Long story short, I came to live with my parents right after my fourth birthday.

My mom should not have been a mother. I feel so much guilt when I say that, but I believe it, and I’ve always believed it – about her. I sometimes have a hard time reconciling that to what I believe about myself and my own infertility, but I believe she should not have adopted me, especially considering I had problems and was very difficult, I’m sure. She didn’t know how to be a mother, and I think she thought that she should be a mother, but didn’t really want to be one. In her defense, I think she tried to an extent, or at least as much as she could, but she failed miserably – she will even admit that a little now. I won’t go into it all right now, but I want to talk about the words that came out of her mouth related to my adoption. Obviously as I was adopted when I was four, there wasn’t a time when we had the big reveal to tell me I was adopted – it was something that was always discussed, and I think that the first couple years that I lived with my parents was very difficult, as I had a hard time adjusting. Things settled down when I was about six, and both my mom and I remember the time from when I was six to ten as good years. Then it got worse.

Kids all over the world start to rebel in their pre-teen and teenage years, and I know I was not a huge joy to be around during that time. But she didn’t help. I remember during arguments she would tell me all the time, “I wish you would go back to where you came from,” and “I wish I never had you.” These are bad, I know, but I also remember how painful the stories were to hear about how she couldn’t get pregnant, and she had to resort to adoption. About how once she decided to adopt that she really wanted a baby, that maybe if she had adopted a baby instead of a four-year old child, it would have been easier. And that I was too old to be adopted, and she was too old to adopt, so we were meant to be together – she thought that was the really cute part of the story – she told that line to everyone. All I knew is it hurt that nobody wanted me, and she didn’t really want me either…

I know this story is extreme, and all you adoptive moms out there aren’t like my mom, and will be very careful with your words. But please try to look at it from your child’s perspective. Try to understand the desire to be wanted. No matter what, you can’t take away the pain of knowing their birth parents didn’t want them, but you can try to let them know every day how much you wanted, and STILL want them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CD1 – We Begin Again

It’s official – Today is CD 1, and the TTC battle has begun again. I’m so happy that AF finally showed her ugly head, and we can start again. Plus, I don’t have to make a decision about whether to start fertility treatments right away, and I can move forward with a natural cycle with acupuncture and herbs, as my WTF meeting with the RE isn’t until next week, and it will be too late to start treatments. So thanks, body, for doing the right thing. For starting a cycle again, and getting back into gear! I’m going to try to be nice to my body this month – exercise, eat good food, and treat it well. At least, starting tomorrow… Going out with Hubs tonight to celebrate St. Patty’s Day and perhaps will have a few cocktails! Better do it now, while I still can, right?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So Sad Today

I just found out that my friend R is having a D&C today as her baby doesn’t have a heartbeat. I ran into her at lunch, at the local Chick-fil-A, and she was there with her two kids, age 4 & 5. It took R three years to have her oldest child – multiple IUI’s and two IVF’s later, she was able to have one. And then she was told that her endometriosis was cleared up briefly after giving birth, so if she wanted another child, she should try right away. So when her first was six months old, she found out she was pregnant. After that, they were done, and figured they couldn’t have any more, so didn’t try, but didn’t really prevent either. Then she had an “oops” and she’s about 11 weeks along. They saw the heartbeat at 8 weeks, and everything was fine. They were about to do CVS testing next week to make sure, and then she just went in for an ultrasound and there was no heartbeat.

I ran into her today at Chick-fil-A, and I hadn’t talked with her since Friday, and she just briefly told me there was no heartbeat and she was going to the hospital. I almost started crying right there – among all the kids and moms at that darn restaurant! I’ve since sent her a text, and she responded saying her husband is more upset than she is. I remember the night I found out they were pregnant. It was about a week after my ectopic, and one of the first nights I went to the bar again. Her husband A had his 40th birthday, and we were planning on going out with them that night with a bunch of people to celebrate. A showed up to the bar, without R, and I asked why R wasn’t there. He responded by taking out his phone and showing everyone at the table a video of the ultrasound which shows the baby and the heartbeat – he was so excited. That’s how I found out they were pregnant. I had to immediately get up from the table and go to the bathroom so I wouldn't cry in front of everyone! Nobody but Hubs knew how I was feeling as I hid it pretty well, but A told R that he had told me. R felt so bad, as a fellow infertile, she knew how hard it was for me to hear that she was pregnant, especially as A wasn’t exactly that sensitive about it – dumb excited guy! We went to lunch the following week, she apologized for how her husband told me, and I finally admitted to her that it was really hard to hear about it, that I was jealous. But it was ok, because she understood, having gone through the same thing.

And now she’s losing another baby. My heart goes out to her, and her husband. But it also brings up the same feeling of loss – when will this stop hurting?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hello? AF? Anyone There?

Don’t remember a time lately that I’ve wanted AF to show her ugly head, but here we are. We’re on day 33 since the bleeding from the ectopic, and I assume that I’m just completely jacked. My cycle is usually around 27 days, so I’m not super late, but it’s getting there. I’m not exactly sure when, or if, I ovulated this month, but my temp did rise at some point, and is now bouncing around, but it stays above my typical coverline. I assume I’m just all screwed up, and I should expect AF at some point, but it’s getting pretty late! And I just want to start my natural TTC cycle!!! If AF waits too much longer, I will be back at the RE, which is scheduled for the 24th, and I will have to make a decision about whether to go natural or go back on IUI/injections for my next cycle. And I really liked the idea of being forced to go natural this cycle so I wouldn’t have to make a decision about what to do. I really don’t like to make hard decisions.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to make decisions – I tend to question my judgment, like what if I make the wrong decision? I think a lot of this relates to my self-confidence. At times I can be incredibly confident, but most of the time I’m not really. At work, I’m great. I feel smart, I can manage a team, make decisions, people respect me, and I’m successful. But in my personal life, it’s a whole different story. I don’t know why – must work on that…

Also – thanks for all the comments from people stopping over from LFCA – so nice to hear from you!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Better Today

I thought about this blog for a long time before I actually took the plunge and did it. And when I did, it was to have a diary, and write out my feelings, and finally respond to all of the amazing women whom I have followed, and admired. I loved knowing that there are other women going through the same things I did. But it never occurred to me that I would actually feel so supported by my new bloggy friends – the comments really do help, don’t they? I was so sad yesterday, and I put my feelings out there on the world wide web, and felt better for writing them down, but then – people commented, and I realized that these people are real live people that have gone through the same things I have, and this is what I was looking for – a true support system, so thank you!

I had a long talk with my acupuncturist last night. I told him we were thinking of doing another IUI and fertility drugs; he asked why, as in, why wouldn’t I want to get pregnant naturally? I explained that I’m not getting any younger, and it’s the only thing that has actually made me pregnant in the year that we’ve been trying. He said I can do whatever I want, and he will both support and help me if I do fertility treatments or not, so that’s good. But I explained that we’re going to do one cycle naturally before the IUI, and I think he views it as a challenge. He made me promise to take his herbs, which I haven’t really been doing, and to start exercising more. He said exercising was mandatory to getting pregnant. So I’m going to give myself to him this month, and do whatever he tells me to do, only because I would truly LOVE to get pregnant naturally (who wouldn’t???) and I can’t get into the RE until too late into next cycle. But first – my period needs to start, which I think will happen soon as my temp dropped today. But my crazy little acupuncturist Dr. Kim has given me hope again.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Guess I'm Not Over It

I went to the doctor today, feeling fine except for a cough, but feeling pretty positive, haven't cried in over a week. And then the nurse asked me for the date of my last period...

I just sat there, stared at her for a few seconds, and then burst into tears. I somehow got a calendar out, looked at February, and then started crying even harder when I realized that I started bleeding after the ectopic and methotrexate on February 11 - one month ago today! It's really been a month? I blubbered out that I had a miscarriage on February 11, and she just whispered a sad little "sorry" and practically ran from the room. I was not expecting to cry today. Why does this hurt so much? I really wanted that baby.

Doctor Appointments

I had a long talk with both myself (in my head) and Hubs last night, and I’ve decided to make two doctor appointments. After coughing for three weeks straight, with coughing up gross stuff, and sometimes coughing so hard that I either pee my pants or throw up (I know, disgusting), I’m finally going to the doctor this afternoon. Hubs finally convinced me to go last night, when he said something about the fertility doctor not letting me go through treatments if I have the plague! But he’s right; I need to do something about this, especially if I won’t be able to take medication if I get back on the TTC horse soon. I just never wanted to go to the doctor as I don't actually feel bad - I just keep coughing!

And – we decided to at least go talk to the RE. See what he has to say, and if he would change anything in my next cycle. I’m not sure about anything, but I figured it can’t hurt to at least talk to the guy. So I called, thinking I could get in next week, but he’s taking the whole week off to be with his kids during Spring Break. Must be nice… Reminds me of all the parents at my job that are taking time off with their kids next week - I would love that! Anyway, the earliest they can get me in is March 24, which is likely way too late to do injectibles and an IUI the next cycle. So I think the decision has been made for me – do one cycle naturally with acupuncture, and then move on to injectibles/IUI, but I’ll still do acupuncture through that as well. Even if it’s not doing anything, which I think it is somewhat – not sure, but I find it incredibly relaxing, which is so worth it. I’m going back tonight, after the appointment to see about my cough. So it should be a fun afternoon… At least I get to leave work early! Why is it that I hate work so much lately? Really not a fan of being here anymore...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What to do???

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to move forward with TTC. I’m currently waiting for my period to start after the miscarriage, or ectopic with termination, or whatever you want to call it. (What is it exactly???) If you count the first day of bleeding with the miscarriage as CD1, I’m on day 28, and my cycles are usually around 27 days. But I know that a cycle can get totally screwed up after a miscarriage, so I’m expecting this one will not be regular. I’ve been occasionally taking my temperature, and it rose sometime in the last 5-8 days, so I might have ovulated, although I didn’t notice any fertile CM. And my luteal phase is normally around 12-13 days, so I expect to get my period in the next 7-10 days or so. And I’d like to have a plan for action by the time my next cycle starts. Here are the options:

1. Don’t TTC at all. Use a condom or something, and don’t try at all.
2. Try naturally – take temps, use pre-seed, ovulation kits, etc. I’ve been going to the acupuncturist for the last few weeks, so he thinks he’s helping my chances. I tend to believe him, but I’m not totally sure. He wants me to not try fertility drugs until I give acupuncture a chance for a few months.
3. Go to RE before AF shows, and discuss the plan for the next cycle. I imagine it will be something like last cycle, since it technically worked, except for the ectopic… So that will involve injectible drugs and IUI.

I'm leaning towards option #2, or maybe #1, but Hubs wants me to choose option #3. He wants to get this show on the road, and get pregnant as soon as possible. Unless, of course, I can’t emotionally handle it. He said we should postpone as much as I need for my emotional strength. But I think I’m ok now, I think emotionally I’m better and would be able to handle it, but we never know that for sure do we?

One of the big concerns I have regarding timing is work. I have a job where I’m very busy in January and somewhat busy in February. It would put the people on my team at work in a huge bind if I were gone in January especially. And even more than that, Hubs’ job is extremely stressful in January and February. He didn’t have a day off – at all – from about January 4 through the end of February. And in February, he was working from 8:30 in the morning until 2:00 the next morning – almost every day. He made it through, and he’s not sure if he wants to stay working there another year, but what if he does? Can you imagine having a newborn at home with your spouse not being there at all? I would essentially be a single mom! If I started TTC again right now and got pregnant anytime in the next two months, it would be bad timing for these work considerations. Hubs thinks these are irrational concerns – that I should not consider work at all in our decisions to have a family, or the timing. I generally agree – kind of, but I just flash back to early February, when I was going through the miscarriage and everything after that, and Hubs was at work and I never saw him. I really wanted him around then, and I can imagine that I would even more so want him around when I have a newborn.

Hubs asked me if we were having this conversation two years from now, and it was three years into the TTC battle, and we still hadn’t had our first child (we want two at least!) and I was almost 37, not almost 35, if my answer would be different. Of course it would – I wouldn’t wait for anything. I shouldn’t wait, I know, because I’ve been waiting for so long already it seems, but I don’t know. What do you think – am I being irrational???

And then there’s the question about naturally/acupuncture versus fertility drugs/IUI. I really hated that fertility doctor process – who doesn’t? I really like the acupuncture guy (Dr. Kim), but how do I know that it will work? The IUI with fertility drugs technically worked, but Dr. Kim thinks he could decrease the “stickiness” in my tubes so an embryo won’t get stuck again, but he could do that with or without an IUI and drugs. I don’t know – I just keep going back and forth. I don’t know what to do, I’m just full of indecision, and I would really like to make a decision before the next period shows up!!! Any thoughts?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good Times!

Hubs and I had a fabulous time in New Orleans this weekend – what a good way to get away from it all, and just have a good time. We ate, drank, walked, slept, and had sex – a lot! All of which was really nice. We probably didn’t see as much as we were hoping – there were a few museums and such that were on the list, but we didn’t end up leaving the room much on Sunday, which changed the plans quite a bit. I got up early, went to CafĂ© du Monde for beignets (heavenly!), brought them back to Hubs, and then we didn’t leave the room until 6:30 that night. It was one of those magical days, where we just had a day of decadence, ordered movies and room service, and just napped, had sex, and hung out all day. What a rarity, and how needed it was! Then we finally left the room, went to a great dinner, and came back to the room. What a great day. We were good tourists on Saturday – saw some of the sights in the French Quarter, did our part to spur the economy with our food and drink purchases, and had a really fun, kinda crazy time! But it was Sunday that was my favorite…

Speaking of sex, Hubs and I have NEVER been this amorous as we have in the last couple weeks – so bizarre! We’ve spent the last year timing things, and it’s just so nice to enjoy it again – with no agenda! I’m finding we really needed this break. And I’m working through my thoughts as to when I get back on the TTC horse. I’ll definitely need to think and write about that more…

I’m back at work today – was able to miss yesterday, which is fabulous! So I’m trying to catch up at work – why can’t I take a day off without scrambling both before and after I leave????

Friday, March 5, 2010

Off to a Fabulous Weekend!

After a crazy busy week at work, I met a huge deadline today, one that I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year. And last week Hubs finished his projects that have been keeping him at 100 hour work weeks for two months. So what are we doing to celebrate? We’re going to New Orleans tomorrow!!! Hubs has never been, and I only went once for 2 days with family when I was 19, so we’re both very excited to go. This is a little spontaneous – we booked the tickets on Tuesday – but I think that makes it better. We’re staying in the French Quarter, and I just want to have some good food, good drinks and have fun with the Hubs. That’s what has been missing from our life the last few months – some real honest fun. Because let’s face it – as soon as they take the sex out of procreation, TTC is not fun at all!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My TTC History (Part 2)

I got my first ever positive pregnancy test - not home test, but blood test - on Wednesday, 2/3/10. I had NEVER received a positive test - and let me tell you, I had NOT always been careful in my varied sexual history. Not that it's been that wild, let's just say that I've had some interesting escapades in that area of my life... And I always wondered why I was so lucky that I never accidentally got pregnant. Once I started actually TRYING, it started to make more sense, and I began to believe that it would never happen. I was so shocked when the nurse told me over the phone that it was positive. But she sounded tentative...

She said my HCG was 25 (low), estradiol was 72 (low) and progesterone was 7 (low), which was probably why I was spotting. She called in some prescriptions for estrogen and told me to up my dosage of progesterone suppositories, but all I heard was that I was pregnant. Sure, I immediately left work and went to the grocery store pharmacy, but then I immediately called Hubs from the grocery store and whispered to him the news. Poor guy, he works at his clients in varying environments, so at this time he was in a cube, and he couldn't say much. But boy was I excited. I thought that I would just take the estrogen pills, put on the patch, shove a few more suppositories up my vajajay, and everything would be fine - I was finally pregnant!!!!

One day later, I was at work at a company-wide meeting, sitting in the front of the room so I couldn't leave without attracting the attention of about 200 people, and I could feel the cramps. I could feel my underwear getting a little moist. Oh, how it hurt. I sat there for another 15 minutes, and then finally the meeting was over. I ran back upstairs to my office after going to the bathroom (red blood, but not heavy), called a nurse at the RE, and told her what was going on. She said to have someone drive me or if I could drive, to come in immediately. I was in the middle of a serious project at work - crazy busy - and I just picked my stuff up and left. I went to the RE, talked to another Dr. that was there (not Dr. G, but a younger, and nicer one) and got blood tests. Then I went home, got in bed, and waited for the results. Keep in mind that I started crying on the drive to the Dr. and never really stopped for a few hours until the Dr. called me. The blood work was great. HCG had gone up to 44, which they considered great from 25 in a day, estradiol was up to 844 due to my medication, but progesterone was only up to 8, which was why I was cramping and bleeding. He said to increase my suppositories - I think I was up to 4 or 5 at some point. I would have put 20 in at a time if it would have worked... And come in for a beta the next day.

Friday, 2/5/10: Went back to work after another beta. This one was ok, HCG was 49, which they said was fine, estradiol was 695, and progesterone was up to 16! The nurse said everything looked good, enjoy your weekend being pregnant. I felt like I had won the lottery!!! So I enjoyed that weekend, like I've never enjoyed a weekend before! I told the close friends that knew I was going through treatments, I even told a few people that didn't know anything except that we were kind of trying, I feel like I told everyone I was pregnant - oh, so stupid, and naive. I really didn't tell that many people, but later, when I had to tell people the bad news, it was so much worse.

Monday, 2/8/10: Walked into the RE office for another beta. At some point over the weekend, I had stopped spotting, I even took a few home pregnancy tests, just to see what 2 lines looked like! I was feeling good and pregnant!!! Oh, I was so happy!!! Went on my merry way that day, went to work, was so nice and happy, and just thrilled. And then the nurse called at 3:00 pm and ruined everything.

She said my HCG was 136. She said that it's not rising fast enough, and it's not high enough, and it's not viable. She said I had to come in the next day, and if my HCG kept rising, that I would have to take a shot. I didn't understand. I asked her if I could have any hope - she said no. I didn't know what to do. I should have gone home, but I was afraid to get up and walk through the building to my car. I was afraid to do anything. I was completely immobile. I just sat in my office with the door shut for 2 hours. I think I also was waiting to leave for my therapist appointment (THANK GOD!) because I knew that if I went home, that I wouldn't be able to leave for the appointment. So then I finally got up, went to the therapist, and just cried in her office for an hour.

Tuesday, 2/9/10: Another beta, now the HCG is 352. I was so confused. I pleaded with the nurse that afternoon - it's increasing! That must be a good thing. I don't understand - can't we just wait and see? She said that by now I should have levels in the thousands, and that it was likely an ectopic pregnancy. She said with hormone levels like I had, that it indicated an ectopic pregnancy which will continue to grow until the tubes burst, and hemorrage, or worse. My mother almost died from an ectopic pregnancy when I was seven... So she said I needed to terminate the pregnancy with methotrexate.

I am pro-choice - adamantly. I believe that it is every woman's right to choose what happens to their body. In college, I took my best friend to the abortion clinic and held her hand. And truly believed that she was doing the right thing for her. But for me, I NEVER wanted to have an abortion. As soon as I became sexually active, I made a promise to myself that I would never do that - I felt like I needed to make that decision before I got into the place that would require a decision. You see, my birth mother decided against an abortion. She almost had an abortion, but instead decided to have the baby - me. She decided to raise me, and it was only four years later that she decided she couldn't keep me. Whole other post, I'm sure, but the moral of the story is that I could never have an abortion. And the nurse is telling me to pick up a prescription of methotrexate, so I can have an abortion. I haven't figured this one out in my head yet - still working through this one.

Wednesday, 2/10/10: I pick up the methotrexate, and go to the RE. Even though Hubs is in the middle of his busiest time (100 hour weeks...) he meets me there. We talk to Dr. G to understand the process, I insist on an ultrasound to make sure there's nothing in my uterus, and they give me the shots. I go home.

Thursday - take off work. Cry. Start to bleed.

Friday - go back to work. Can't stay in the house anymore, I'm starting to go nutty, I mean really nutty. Like I've said before, I have a history of depression, and staying in a house by myself with bad thoughts does not help the depression.

Weekend - somehow make it through.

Now I'm not really sure when it started getting better, but it did. I started talking to people, and things started feeling better. My therapist has been awesome. Two weeks ago I started going to an acupuncturist, which is awesome and relaxing. I can go for whole chunks of the day without thinking about it, and then, it's bad. But those times are happening with less frequency.

I am even starting to get the fun part of my life back. We went to trivia last night, which was so much fun (we won 2nd place - $50!!!). And every day, life is better.

I know this is a little detailed, but I wanted to write this down before I forgot it. I want this blog to be a record of this process, for me. And I hope someday I can look back at this blog as a record of my adventures, some bad, but hopefully more will be good.

My First Comment & Follower!!!

And it's from Eileen - from http://eileenburnsjin.blogspot.com/ (We got hitched. We bought the 4 bedroom house. NOW WHAT???) - LOVE HER!!! I've been following her for awhile, and she's always one of the first blogs I check out every day. I might have a little bloggy crush on her... :) She provides such inspiration for people like me. She has gone through so much, both related to TTC and in other parts of her life, and she is such a fighter. She is finally getting what she has dreamed of for so long - two little ones, and she is still fighting every day for those little guys. It's people like Eileen that have given me hope, and keep me going. Her war isn't over, she's right in the middle of it, but every day she keeps moving forward, and fighting each battle as it comes along with a positive attitude and a smile, at least most of the time, which is all anyone can do! :) So thank you, Eileen, you have helped me come out of hiding by inspiring me every day!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My TTC History (Part 1)

My current TTC battle has been going for only about a year, but I started this battle with a history. About 8 years ago, I was married before. Really nice guy, but I was not ready for marriage. I don't think I ever loved him. I got caught up in what I was supposed to do, and I don't think I ever really thought about what I wanted to do. Or what was right. But I was 25 when I met him, and thought it was time to settle down, get married and have kids. See, I always knew I wanted kids. I always wanted a family of my own. I wanted to have a chance to have a GOOD family of my own. See, I never really did have one of those...

So I picked the first nice guy to come around, and got married. I feel bad writing this, but this is the slimmed down version while looking back so many years later. And I vowed I would be honest on this blog. I plan to be completely anonymous, so I can be completely honest.

Shortly after getting married, we started TTC. We tried for almost a year. I got into the charting, the ovulation sticks, but never made it to a doctor. Instead, I sank really deep into an awful depression. It was triggered by the unsuccessful TTC process, but there are so many other things in my past that was involved in this depression. Needless to say, the TTC process stopped, and the trying to get better in the head process began. When I was able to start functioning again, eventually I decided to move on past my soon-to-be ex-husband, and be on my own. Tried to look at my life, and fess up to what I did - got married for the wrong reasons. I thank God for not allowing me to get pregnant then so we didn't have a little one to be involved in that process. But the pain never really went away.

Fast forward to 2009, and I got married again. This time, to someone who I love so much it hurts. Who I can't imagine my life without, and sometimes I wonder if I love him too much, because what if he doesn't love me like that??? (WHOLE other post - must focus...)

We had a fabulous wedding last May after dating for 5 1/2 years (didn't trust myself as much this time - SO glad we waited). But a few months before we got married, we stopped using birth control, and by the time the actual wedding happened, I was already charting my temperatures. Because this time, even though it was new with me and Hubs, for me, it was 8 years ago, all over again. All the anxiety, all the nervousness - what if it doesn't happen, exactly when I want it to happen - now??? But this time, I will NOT allow myself to get depressed, I will NOT allow this to take over my life, I will NOT allow this to take over my relationship. At least most of the time...

So last March, we ditched the birth control, and then tried naturally for awhile. It was kind of fun, not so much in my head. But I always knew there had to be something wrong with me - not sure what, but something. So finally, in November, we went to an RE for the first time. I met Dr. G on November 23, 2009, and the process began. HSG on November 25, 2009 - all clear. Then did a cycle of monitoring unmedicated, Hubs did a semen analysis (all looks good), and then on January 6, 2010, we met with Dr. G for a diagnosis and a plan. The official diagnosis:

Unexplained Infertility

WTF??? Seriously? We went through all that for Unexplained Infertility??? Dumb, just dumb. So how do you treat unexplained infertility? By throwing a bunch of money at it. No, really, Hubs and I listened to our options, and we had a choice of Clomid with IUI (Dr. G gave us about a 8% chance each cycle), injectible meds with IUI (30%, which I now know is probably way too high), injectibles with sex (didn't actually write that percent down), or IVF (60%). He didn't think we need IVF - he thinks we'll get pregnant within 3 months with IUI injectables. We weighed the costs, and the chances, and Hubs looked at me and said, "When have you ever known me to do something half-assed?" So we bypassed Clomid and did a round of injectibles with an IUI.

My IUI/injectible cycle began on January 9, 2010. Did a bunch of ultrasounds, inserted a bunch of shots in my belly, did two IUI's on January 19 and 20 (seems odd after looking at everybody else's stories), and waited 2 weeks. Stressed like I've never stressed before, peed on so many sticks, and by the time my Beta rolled around on February 3, was so upset that the cycle didn't work. After all, I started spotting the night before my beta, and all the home pregnancy tests I took, including the morning of the beta, were all negative. Wasn't even sure I should go in to the doctor to get the beta - I knew it would be negative.

And then I got that call that changed everything - it was positive.

Can't talk about the rest today - too hard. Maybe tomorrow.

Now, I'm off to have some fun with Hubs and friends - it's Trivia night! Which involves a bunch of us going to the local bar, having some drinks and good times, and competing at Trivia. I know, totally dorky, but so much fun, especially because about a year ago, our team started rocking - I mean, really rocking! We usually win 1st or 2nd about 1/2 the time, which is nice, because 1st place comes with $100. And 2nd comes with $50! So tonight, we're off to the bar to have some cocktails (obviously I'm not pregnant... Just wanted to clear that up) and have a good time. I haven't been to trivia in probably 1 1/2 months (can you guess the timing???) so I'm excited to see everyone.

And It Begins...

Oh, I've been thinking of starting a blog for a long time. Not because anyone is dying to hear my story, but because I need to get the story out of my head. I've been trying to find ways to feel better about this whole process, and one of the methods that helps the most is to hear and read stories from other women that have gone through what I am going through. This process is called TTC - trying to conceive. Another thing is I have this driving desire to tell SOMEONE the things that go through my head, and I've learned - the hard way - that sometimes telling someone in my real life what is going through my head is NOT the best thing...

So I will now tell you - the world wide web - my new and strange confidant. I will also de-lurk myself out of hiding from all those people I've been following. The people that have become some of my closest friends, because they understand me, have no idea that I even exist. So I will come out of the closet. Hello, my name is Alex, and I'm an Infertile!