Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting.

(Warning: child mentioned at bottom.)

Well, I still have haven’t gotten my period and I’m almost a week late. No, I’m not pregnant, and yes, I’m sure that I’m not because I did actually test twice in the past couple of days even though I knew there wasn’t a chance. (Can you say run on sentence and poor grammar?) So, I wait for my period, and I then I’ll wait for another one before we start the next IVF. And, just to make me crazy I’m sure, I’ve been getting calls from two pharmacies because my RE’s office already called in the prescriptions –ARGH. So, I tell them to wait and I’ll call them back.

Out of the blue, as I was walking to my car last night I thought about something that I had forgotten about. At various times in my life when I was either unhappy with some aspect of my life or when I was impatient for something specific to happen, I would tell myself as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep that before I knew it, one day I would wake up and the thing I wanted would be there. And when that day came it would seem like hardly any time had passed. So last night I tried to play that little game in my head, but I just couldn’t do it. I know there’s still some hope inside that I might get and stay pregnant, because otherwise I wouldn’t be signing on for another round or two of IVF. But clearly I’m not quite as hopeful as I once was. And as for the adoption stuff, I tried that too. But, given the wait time for adoptions from China, we’re probably looking at 2 ½ to 3 years, and frankly that’s just too long a wait for my little game to work.

In random news, I upped my met.formin to two pills last night. So far no abdominal distress. Small steps I guess. However, I re-read some of the side effects and noticed that tiredness is on the list. AHA! I couldn’t figure out why I was so freakin’ exhausted even though I’ve been sleeping more than usual. I sure hope this will pass, because it’s actually been keeping me from getting up and going to the gym and I REALLY need to get back on a regular work out schedule.

In other news, our girl got home from her spring break visit with her cousins in one piece. My in-laws told us that she behaved well while they were there and that she was a fabulous traveling companion. Hubby and I wonder why she saves her best side for everyone else, as there have been a series of meltdowns since she got home. What fun! Plus she keeps telling us how much more fun life is in Ohio, because they get to watch TV before bed and have candy and treats, etc. Guess who may never get to go to Ohio again?! ;)

Things to look forward to: This weekend, the girl starts up her art/drama classes again, which means mommy gets an hour and a half to shop in Shirlington—YEAH! Plus we have good friends coming over for dinner Sat night. So, all in all, a fun weekend to look forward to.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Just truckin' along (warning: child mention and photo at bottom)

I sure wish I had something interesting to write. Unfortunately I don’t, but I don’t want to let another 10 days pass without posting. Since I last wrote, I played a massive game of phone tag with my nurse. I still haven’t gotten all the answers I was looking for, but I did start the met.formin on Tuesday and am happy to report that so far I haven’t had any bad side effects. I thought I was getting my period last weekend, but it turned out to be just some brown spotting—which is unusual for me. I’m hoping this is a leftover from the follistim/hcg and that I’ll get my period for real soon. The fact that my body is not “acting normally” makes me all the more convinced that waiting until May to do our next IVF is wise.

Regarding our adoption efforts, things have been a little stressful at home these days. We FINALLY got the draft home study. It seems pretty nice to us – though it is really weird to read a bio of yourself, including a description of your marriage, your parenting style, and your daily activities written by someone that you really don’t know. The stressful part is that it turns out that it’ll likely take longer than we expected to make it’s way through the mess that is the immigration service, so it will likely be 2 ½ to 3 months until we are able to submit our dossier. UGH! We’ve realized that we kind of did everything backwards. We didn’t start the home study process right away because we knew we’d need a lot of the paperwork done FOR that. So, we started compiling paperwork first and then started the home study process. We now realize that we should have just started the home study process from the beginning. If we had we’d probably have our dossier submitted already. I suppose it’s silly to beat ourselves up—certainly that’s what I’ve been telling my husband, who is really frustrated.

All in all though things are ok. As I said, I’ve had no problems with the met.formin (yet) and I was a bit worried about that. I’ve been going back to acupuncture once a week and I really love it. Last weekend I got to have lunch with the TOOTPU gals and it was great. Unfortunately, we soon learned some sad news. While we were enjoying lunch and wondering where our friend Sunny was, she was receiving some tragic news about her mother. Please go over and give her some support, she could really use it right now.

Thinking about Sunny's heartache makes me all the more glad that I'm going to get to see my parents this weekend. My husband and I are driving down to my parent's place tonight and tomorrow we'll all be celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday.

But the best thing of all is that on Sunday my girl comes home! She's having a great time visiting with her cousins and I'm happy she's getting the chance to visit, but I miss her like hell. I can't wait to give this face a million kisses and hugs!!!

Happy weekend to you all and I hope you enjoy whatever holidays you may be celebrating this weekend. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Question, Questions, and More Waiting.

Well, it looks like we are going to wait an extra month before starting the next IVF. So, I dashed an email off to nurse M. asking all kinds of ‘what if’ questions assuming we wait. I also realized, after talking with my acupuncturist and my husband, that I could not explain why the doc wants me on metformin (I don’t have PCOS). So, I also asked if she could provide some information on that too.

So, the big thing is how do I really feel about the wait. Well, I’m of 2 minds (what’s new?). I think in some ways the extra time to focus on my health and my attitude will be a good thing. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be at all disappointed if my period comes a week late this month and we don’t have to wait. Have I mentioned before how I’m NOT a patient person! But really, in the end, I’m ok with it.

We’re getting down to the wire with this stuff. We have 2 more cycles with insurance coverage, for which I’m very grateful. But, still it will be tough to even pay our 50 percent of those. Which means if it doesn’t happen with the next to cycles, I think we’re done. Wow. I haven’t written or said that out loud before. My husband and I haven’t discussed it, but really I don’t see how we could. So there it is. Nearing the end of the rope and so I guess it makes sense to do everything we can to increase the odds of this working. I’ve started seeing the acupuncturist again, and at the very least it will help me relax. 2 months of eating well and exercising will certainly be better than 1 in terms of my health and my attitude. And hell, if I lose a few pounds all the better.

Monday, March 10, 2008

More meds added to the pile

First, a question, so how do I refer to the last cycle, which sort of wasn’t a cycle since it was canceled. Is it IVF #5 and the next try is #6, or is it not b/c it was canceled and the next one is #5????? Minor detail, but it’s bugging me nonetheless.

So I finally talked to my nurse today about our next cycle and I’m partly pleased to have a plan and partly annoyed. After leaving a message for her late Friday, she called me back this morning. Only it turns out she hadn’t yet talked to the doc about me, so she promised to call me back. Before we hung up though I asked her if she could ask the doctor for an explanation of why he didn’t end up putting me on Metformin as he’d indicated back in October (just before I found out I was pregnant). I assumed it had something to do with my getting pregnant and some overall shift in plans given that event, but I wanted an actual explanation. About 30 minutes later the nurse calls me back and says that he DOES want me to start metformin (gee, glad I asked!) and that I’ll need to be on it for a month before we do another cycle. So I’m annoyed and frankly, my confidence in the doc is shaken a bit, since he clearly forgot all about the metformin. Plus, having to wait means we’ll likely face retrieval and transer at the end of April—a particularly bad time for my husband given some work commitments. Obviously, we could choose to wait yet another month (ARGH! – I’m not exactly a patient person and I’m pushing 39, so I really don’t have time to lose on this business), which would put us sometime around the end of May. So the new plan is yet more blood work to make sure I’m ok to start the metformin. If ok, start metformin with my next period. My nurse also emailed me my drug plan and it looks like he’s keeping me on Follistim, but adding some menopur to the mix. More fun and games!

On the other hand… While I’m not thrilled about a one or possible two month delay, I do think it might be good to have the time to focus on me a bit. Though I’ve complained a lot about my weight I decided I’m not going to go on a “diet”. However, I am trying to focus my energy on avoiding junk food, eating lots of healthful foods, and NOOOOO soda. In fact, I’ve been totally soda free for 6 days. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen last night filling snack sized ziplocs with healthy foods. Dried apricots, almonds, pumpkin seeds, peeled and cut up carrots, cherry tomatoes, dried cherries and cranberries (unsweetened thank you very much), All bran buds. I have about a two week supply, so that I can just grab my assortment of baggies and yogurts as I run out the door to work every day. I also made an enormous fruit salad and planned healthy dinners for the whole week. Fortunately, my daughter actually loves tofu, lentils and a variety of vegetables, so it’s not too hard to plan healthy meals that we can all eat together. In addition to the healthful eating, I am going to get back to the gym too. Having gone twice last week, I’m hoping to get there at least 4 times this week. Also, next week my daughter is heading out of town with my in-laws to go visit her beloved cousins. She is constantly begging us to go visit them, but it’s either a plane ride or 10 hours in the car, so it doesn’t happen too often. She is so thrilled to be going and I’m excited for her. I’ll miss her, but I am looking forward to having the extra time to focus on myself. I can work late (hopefully get caught up!) and then go to the gym, all without having to worry about racing out the door to get to school on time. Starting any new regime is always difficult for me, so I think having a week that’s a bit less hectic will help me get into the swing of things.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

So-So to Sad in 30 Seconds.

Funny the things that can turn your mood around in an instant. Today I’m wearing one of the two new fat dresses I bought this weekend. (I know I shouldn’t be so negative, but it’s true. I bought them because I can’t fit into most of my clothes and I’m sick and tired of wearing the same 4 outfits to work all the time.) Anyhoo. Both dresses have empire waists and full skirts. Good on many fronts – no waistline to worry about, no worries about tight fabric around the hip, thigh, & ass area. One dress is made of a stretchy lycraesqe fabric, the other more of a thin sweater knit. I was a bit concerned that the one that’s sweaterish would look like I was wearing a maternity dress. Well, I wore it yesterday and while at certain moments I’m sure someone might wonder. But it’s just so yummy feeling and I actually felt sort of stylish so I didn’t worry about it at all. Today I wore the one I wasn’t worried about – oh how foolish I was. Turns out THIS one makes me look about 5 months pregnant. Not sure exactly why, but yikes. So, naturally, I’ve been hiding out in my office most of the day. Of course I had to eat, so I ventured down to the cafeteria, sucking my tummy in as much as possible. Unfortunately, I ran into a woman I know, but haven’t seen in a few months. I swear it was worse than having men stare at your boobs. She could NOT keep her eyes from migrating down toward my belly and there’s no doubt in my mind that she thinks I’m pregnant. You know what, I wouldn’t care one bit if I actually WERE pregnant. But I’m soooooo NOT pregnant. And now I’m sad again. And while I don’t like the weight I’ve put on or how I look, that’s not why I’m sad. I’m sad because dammit I WANT to be pregnant. And I’m tired of wanting to be pregnant but not being pregnant. And I’m tired of choking out silly jokes or neutral answers when people ask if I only have one, or when are we going to have another. And I’m tired of hearing about and reading about everyone else’s pregnancy announcements, and I’m just fucking tired of it all. What I want, what most of us want, shouldn’t be too much to ask. I’ll admit right here and now that I don’t believe in god. I almost want to because I think it would make some things easier to cope with, but I just don’t and I can’t force myself to believe something that doesn’t make any sense to me. And I don’t believe in fate or destiny or things that are “meant to be”. And I don’t think that there’s anything anywhere that says the world or life is supposed to be fair. But right now I feel that life is unfair and I’m sick of it. I’m also sick of trying to cope and pretend to people like everything is normal. I’m tired to explaining the choices we’ve made to people who are supposed to love us and should just accept and support us. And I’m tired of being sad and angry and bitter and jealous and a lousy employee and a crappy wife and an impatient mother. And finally getting this all out makes me think that maybe I ought to call it quits and end it, but I know that I won’t because I’m still not ready to give up and somehow I need to figure out how to deal with it. But right now venting and crying feels like the right thing to do. Funny how a silly dress bought on sale could be the thing that made me cry for the first time since the cycle was cancelled. Stupid dress. I assure you I won’t wear it again until I’m either actually pregnant or at least 10 pounds lighter!

Ho Hum

I feel as though I should have some really insightful or at least interesting things to say about how I feel about the cancellation. But I don’t. I’m just feeling sort of blah and sort of numb. Oh, add to that a little annoyed, because my nurse hasn’t called me back yet to talk “next steps”. Also, the financial coordinator hasn’t called me yet to discuss any refund from our initial payment. I realize that I could pretty easily pick up the phone and call myself, but I’m just tired from everything and she did say they’d be calling me and so I shouldn’t have to – so there!

I am trying to do a little more than just put one foot in front of the other, which is sort of the mode I've been in for quite some time. Even if we do end up doing another cycle right away I've decided that I really need to get my life back in order. I’ve been letting all this infertility crap and treatments run my life for too long. My schedule has been totally off, I’ve been eating badly, not exercising (and thus gaining even more weight), not sleeping well, chronically tired, having chronic headaches, and generally grumpy and depressed. And you can imagine that this does not really translate into a productive employee or an energetic and happy wife or mother. In fact, my 5 year old has actually started telling me that I need to exercise more because I’ve gotten too squishy, and that I need to go to bed earlier so that I’m not tired all the time. Yikes – talk about a wake up call! And the truth is, she’s right. Soooo, for the past couple of days I actually skipped the evening TV watching, gotten myself into bed earlier, and dragged my ever increasing rump out of bed earlier, and yesterday and today went to the gym. I know it’s only 2 days, but I realized yesterday that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to the gym, so I’m patting myself on the back about this.

This bit of forward motion will likely lead me to actually pick up the phone and call the nurse, the financial coordinator, and a few other folks on my to do list. Perhaps this will be the start to an upward spiral. :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Bottle of Red, Some Gruyere, and a Baguette

That's how I coped with the news of our cancellation. As predicted I got the call yesterday afternoon. Actually it was just moments after I posted to the blog. When I saw the number pop up on the caller ID I thought to myself ‘I wonder whether it will be the nurse or the doctor.’ Well, the nurse was on the other end and I had a tiny little moment of hope, but she immediately said, “I have Dr. S right here.” I just kind of laughed and said OK. Anyway, the doc thinks that my body didn’t “like” the birth control pills. HaHa, at least on that point my mind and body are in agreement. Oddly enough, I didn’t actually cry. I welled up a bit, but no tears fell. I don’t say that because I think it’s good or bad, but I’m still a bit surprised. I guess I really knew it was coming. Now I’m just pissed that we ate about $2500 and used up one of the 3 IVF s the insurance co. will cover – all for nothing. It’s not like we’ve got thousands of dollars just lying around. In fact, the night before we’d spent some time going over the budget and figuring out just how we were going to finance the IVF and the adoption. Now I feel like we need to go back to the drawing board. I know I know I know that things could be worse (financially that is), and I try to remind myself that we’re lucky to have any coverage at all and we’re lucky that though we feel squeezed we actually can afford to keep doing this (at least for a little while longer). To add insult to injury, my husband called about an hour after we found out about the cancellation to report that our laptop is dying. Oh goody, buying a new computer is just what I wanted to do right now! :\

Next steps are deciding whether to roll right into a new cycle after my period or wait a bit. Talking to the nurse today about what protocol the DR will use next time.

Oddly, I actually feel OK right now. In fact, I feel better than I did even before I got the call yesterday. Perhaps it was venting on the blog, or just having a decision made about the cycle, whatever it was I can say that I’m feeling less fragile today. Not exactly ready to take on the world, but certainly not feeling like I’m teetering on the edge of it anymore.

Now, for inquiring minds, in today’s adoption news. We’re actually making progress. We received the packet from the adoption agency on the computer-based training that we need to complete. It doesn’t look too bad and the fees aren’t too bad either. We figure we can do it while we wait for USCIS to process our home study. Which should be soon! The social worker called and she’s going to be sending us the draft to review within the week.

That’s all for now.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Seriously, I KNOW I'm being dramatic and that I have lots to be thankful for, but right now I feel as though NOTHING is working for me. IVF #5 has been a pain from the getgo and now it looks like it might get cancelled. (WTF?! - more on that later). Work has been downright painful lately. My child's behavior has been far from angelic and causing me mucho angst. And the latest injury, after such a long hiatus, I'd actually finally spent some time on the home computer this weekend and written up a blog entry. I mailed it to myself at work so I could put on the finishing touches and post it today, but guess what? The email didn't come through! I could really, really scream.

'Course what I'd written almost seems irrelevant, since now I'm totally consumed with why the F*ck my body is not responding and that this cycle might be cancelled, AND the $2000 worth of meds that I might as well have dumped down the drain (not to mention the doctor's fees).

I swear, twice just before we started this cycle I thought to myself that maybe we should delay a month and know I can’t help thinking that it was a huge mistake pushing forward.

We’d been anxious to get started again. So with my first period (early Feb), after the new insurance went into effect (Jan), we started the ball rolling. Of course, I had work and vacation travel planned, and it would require me to stay on the pill for 2 extra days, but no big deal. We were still waiting to find out if the new insurance would actually cover the IVF and my doctor was deciding whether or not we needed to do ICSI and I was realizing that I would have to back out of some travel for work. But none of that was surprising or seemed to be a big deal. Anyway, a couple of weeks go by, there are the inevitable phone calls with the clinic’s financial folks, the insurance company, the pharmacy, but I’m feeling ok. Hell, I’ve done this 4 times already, so I’m feeling pretty relaxed and “been there, done that” about the whole thing. UNTIL I realize that my meds are all new and the method of delivery is new. I’ve never used a pen before and am feeling a bit nervous, but still figure how hard can it be. The pharmacy my insurance contracts with is out of HCG, so they have to transfer part of my prescription. I manage to get all my meds just in time – annoying, but again not a new experience and not the end of the world. I’m scheduled to start my stims on Sunday, Feb 24 (225 follistim, 10 HCG). That evening I’m prepping the counter getting all my supplies together, kind of happy to finally be starting. Then I realize that I do not have the low dose HCG, I only have the HCG for my trigger shot. Keep in mind it’s 8pm on a Sunday. I burst into tears. I fumble around with the box full of paperwork and finally find a phone number to call. I call, leave a message, and wait for the doctor to call me back. He says no worries, just take the follistim and get the HCG in the morning. OK, so that’s a relief, but now my Monday morning is all effed up. Next morning I get up and call the office, BECAUSE it says they have a nurse available starting at 7:30. Guess what when you call you just get the stupid answering machine with no option for the on-call nurse. So I wait until 8am, when they are supposed to start answering their phones. I call at 8, 8:05, 8:10, 8:15 (actually I called many more times than that, I kept hitting redial). Finally, my husband suggests I just drive over since it’s pretty close. I do that, get a prescription, drive to the pharmacy, pick it up. Ok, so things are ok, but I’m increasingly stressed. I won’t bore you with the drama that I had with the follistim pen the first couple of nights. Turns out everything was fine, no big deal, but let’s just say there was added stress that I didn’t need. Anyhoo, I go in for monitoring after two days and my dosages are increased to 375 follistim, 20 HCG. I’m not worried, with the first 4 IVFs I was always slow to stim. But then 2 more days go by, another monitoring appointment and on Friday I get the message to increase to 300 follistim in the AM, another 300 in the PM, and up the HCG to 30. Now I’m getting a bit nervous. ALSO, by the time I get this message it’s 4:15 on Friday. I realize that with the increase in my dose I’ll barely make it to Monday. I call the pharmacy to order a refill – which two days prior they’d confirmed that I had – and, after talking with 2 people and being placed on hold 3 times for a total of 25 minutes, I am told that I can’t get a refill until the doctor submits another authorization!!! What? It’s late Friday. (Note: I’m on my cell phone outside of my daughter’s ballet class at this moment.) So, I choke back my tears, call 411, get the number to the main office of the clinic and dial. I almost cry when someone actually answers the phone. I think I actually yelled into the phone “thank goodness you picked up!” without even saying hello. So, she takes my number and says someone will call back. I wait 30 agonizing minutes and finally the phone rings. The on call nurse says they can’t do anything about the authorization until Monday, but she does have some spare Follistim that I can pick up on Monday morning. I hang up, relieved but so stressed that I burst into tears. I make the mistake of calling my mother. I love her and she is supportive in her own way, but without going into detail about now I’ll just say that I hung up feeling worse.

So the weekend goes by and I am acutely aware that after a week on ever increasing stims I still feel totally NORMAL. There is no swelling, no tenderness, nothing seems to be going on. Except that my belly looks like a really ugly pincushion, something I have not experienced before -- with my past IVFs the injections did not leave me bruised like this. Anyway, I go in this morning and the monitoring doctor didn’t see much follicular activity and actually said the words I was dreading. If my levels haven’t increased much my doctor may call about stopping this cycle and rethinking how they stim. ARGH!!!! Though with my past cycles I was a little slow and produced tons of follicles/eggs, I was NEVER cancelled and it was NEVER even discussed.

So now I sit and wait for the phone to ring. Will it be the nurse with a plan for my meds, or my doctor telling me to cease and desist. With all the uncertainty and stress of IVF, I never expected to be facing a situation like this. I’m really not sure how I will cope. I’ve already been feeling like I’m on the edge. Life is overwhelming me right now. I’ve been feeling as though I fall further behind with every breath and it takes all my energy to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to how I’ve been feeling and I should have postponed this cycle. I can’t dismiss the notion that my state of mind has certainly not been ideal for doing this now. I know I’m not ready to give up yet. If this is cancelled, or fails otherwise, I know that I will tell my husband I want to try again. But I am really tired. I thought the months of time off since the miscarriage (Nov), and the even longer break from treatment (June), would have let me start this new cycle feeling slightly rejuvenated, but I wasn’t and I’m not and I’m too old to wait a long time inbetween cycles, so I think I need to figure a way to move past this funk and fast.

Aren’t you glad I’m back? Some cheery reading huh?