Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Wish: Money to Grow on Trees

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for their concern about my post the other day. Dr. Val was calling to give me more options. It just kind of sucks when it took us this long to decide to do this and we had our mind set for doing this and then BAM! Major curveball! Oh well, we reevaluated and are moving forward. IVF still on! So thanks for the sweet comments, emails and even phone calls, its great to know that I have some pretty awesome friends out there that care so much! Now on to the blog post at hand...

I thought we were catching a break, I thought things were looking up for us. I won a pie at a race a couple weekends ago and I won a free pair of running shoes this past Monday which I was totally stoked about! I thought our luck was turning around, I figured this must be a sign of good things to come, right? I was wrong.

DH needed a new radiator so we spent $1600 on Wednesday for a new one for his truck that we just purchased in March (new to us but previously used). Ugh...then Thursday night around 8pm, he calls to tell me it's broken and has to be towed. $100+ later in towing fees and a late night pick up of DH and no car for him on Friday, a Friday in which we work opposite shifts. Side note: Funny thing, I was supposed to work LAST Friday but I switched bc my sis was going to give us tickets to a baseball game then she lost them. Of course, we ended up not doing anything and now I'm working tomorrow which this whole truck thing throws a wrench in the plan and there's two events going on at work so I totally got a raw deal but it's my own fault.

This all took place after I spent the afternoon on the phone with the pharmacy ordering, confirming (like I really knew what I was confirming), setting up delivery and paying for round 1 of meds...another $1600 later. Good times, good times!

I wish money grew on trees! Now I must sit here and wait for DH to call...from someone else's phone because his won't turn on.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We All Scream For Ice Cream!

Monday I walk away from my desk and when I come back the front page Yahoo article is "8 Natural Ways to Enhance Your Fertility." Hmm...that's interesting so I click on it and read the typical info we all already know, can recite and probably write our own novel about. But then this sparked my interest (from the article):

"Don’t rule out ice cream"

"All you ice cream lovers, take heart: Full-fat dairy foods (like cheese, ice cream and whole milk) may help you get pregnant, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston finds. A fat-soluble compound in dairy may up your odds of conceiving. Pass the spoon!"

HELLO!?! For those of you that don't know me, I totally big puffy heart ice cream!!! It's the ABSOLUTE BEST!!! So I can either take this article one of two ways:

1. Show DH this "official" article and say, "See! It's a fact, I need as much ice cream as possible!"


2. Totally call BS on this article because I eat A LOT of ice cream and there ain't no bun in the oven yet!

Hmmm...guess I'll go eat some ice cream while I think this one over...


Dr. Val called me today. Herself. At work. She gave me some info to pass on to DH with a thought for us to think about. Weird how with just one phone call, all my energy is zapped, gone for the day. With just one phone call, I can't think of anything else. I'm tired...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nickeling and Diming Me To Death!!!

Okay seriously...I know that IF is expense, the IVF is going to cost us close to $15 grand but wow-they really nickel and dime you to DEATH! It's insane!!! I mean you would think when you're paying that large of a sum that it would include EVERYTHING but sure doesn't.

Let me break it down for you. This doesn't include anything like prenatals, the two visits with my girl doctor that I broke up with, two previous blood work ups, DH's first semen analysis or basically anything prior to April not to mention the time we've both taken off from work but I guess we don't really factor that into the picture. Keep in mind that after our first visit with Dr. Val, we took a break until now when we're getting ready to get down to business!

So the break down:

Dr. Val April Visit $40
DH's Blood Work $7.50
My Blood Work $17.48
My MRI (hospital cost) $318.60
My MRI (imaging center cost) $11.46
Banking Sperm #1 $120
Banking Sperm #2 $120
BC $10

Look at all of them individually and it doesn't seem like that much but add it all up and that's a little over $600 which let's just round that up to $1,000! Seriously, throw me a freakin' bone...I guess I shouldn't complain, our orientation was free, well, free as in $15 grand free. I'm sure they're be plenty of nickeling and diming before this is all over...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Baby From Jordan

Yesterday we went to a wedding for a good friend of ours. The groom was adopted when he was younger, something we never remember because he's just one of the family. We forgot until yesterday that is at his wedding ceremony.

Apparently many moons ago, his parents didn't think they could have a child. So the priest from their church was on a mission trip in Jordan and found our friend K. The priest said he knew exactly where he belonged and so began the adoption process for our friend K and his parents. Not long after he was born, K's parents had a biological son about about 10 years later a biological daughter. As I said before, other than the fact that K doesn't look too much like the rest of the rest of his family, we all kind of forget the fact that he's adopted. That is until yesterday...the priest that found K and brought him to his parents where he became a great friend of ours and everyone else's, was the priest that married him yesterday!!! It was really one of the best wedding ceremonies I've been to, it was very personal and entertaining and the priest kept everyone's attention. We all really thought it was such a neat and moving story (almost everyone in the pews were near tears including the guys) that I wanted to share with you all. Congrats to K & T! Here's to many years of happiness!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Scheduled...Now Wait...

Well, Christina called me today and we got the IVF scheduled!!! While it's really exciting, it's also kind of scary too. Every month that we get closer, I hold on to this little hope that I might be pregnant and that all of this was just a test and we won't really have to go through all of this...only two more periods of "hope" then this IVF thing is real!

So here's the schedule of my IVF, roughly, all dates are tentative based on when Ms. Flo comes...

*Call Day 1 of my October period
*Start BC on Day 4 (October 21ish)
*Start lupron (November 7ish)
*Office visit (November 17ish)
*Begin stimulation (November 19ish)
*Trigger is usually 10 days after you start stimulation, so possibly ER (November 29ish)

So based off my calculations, I'm about a week off what I thought. I figured we'd do the ER during the week of Thanksgiving and I'd switched a bunch of evening shifts for the first week couple weeks of November but it doesn't look like I'll need to. Oh well about the evening shifts, they'll be done and out of the way. If the ER is the week after Thanksgiving, that does stress me a bit because I have a big event that weekend at work but I'm pretty sure I can get someone to work it for me...just have to get rid of the rest of my weekend shift.

I'd already prepared myself and our families that we probably wouldn't be at Thanksgiving but now it looks like we might. Funny, I was kind of excited about spending the holiday with just me, DH and our puppies lounging around not doing anything. Guess now we'll face all the family with me on some crazy hormones. After DH sees me with the messed up hormones, he might rethink the whole taking-my-crazy-wife-to-my-family-on-Thanksgiving and let me/us stay home and do our own thing.

The pharmacy they go through is on the East Coast. They'll be calling me sometime next week and they have a special going on where I get some free needles/injections-woohoo!!! This pharmacy offers free shipping, even overnight shipping...that's nice of them considering I'm about to give them a boatload of money (see an upcoming post about all the extra expenses!).

Christina called in my BC prescription for me so I have to go pick that up. First time in over a year that I've had to pick up some BC and I'm pretty sure I still have a pack left over from when I was still on it (July 2009) that has just been sitting under my bathroom sink. So for now, we wait...I'm getting really good at that!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Prank Call from Dr. Val

After I left work today, I saw that Dr. Val's office had called but didn't leave a message. I called DH and asked if they called him, he said no. I called back and faster than when I normally have a question, Mary called me back! We talked for awhile then hung up then she called me back again within 10 minutes-wow! Today was like perfect timing with the phone.

Here's the jist of our convo...

*Christina will be calling me in the next couple days to set up our IVF and ordering my meds. This is getting really real!

*DH goes in next week to bank sperm again. If they freeze it and thaw it and its still all dead then we just cross our fingers and hope for the best on ER day...

*Mary assured me that freezing/thawing sperm is very rough on the sperm so on ER day when we have live sperm and live eggs, we still have a good chance.

Now on a side note, at my work we have where you can withhold so much money for medical and then you turn in receipts and get reimbursed. Well, last November, we really uped my withholdings because we thought we be pregnant in just a couple months and have all those fun medical bills to pay. Well, that didn't happen now did it? So I turned in my receipt for down payment #1 on our IVF. It is medical jargon and has the hospital/office listed on it. The lady in the finance department received it today and emailed me asking, "Is this for a surgery? If not, let me know what it is so I can check if it qualifies." do I answer this without telling her exactly what I'm doing!?!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nosedive...AND BOMB!

So I got ahold of Dr. Val's office today...ugh-more stress! I told Mary that yeah, the message she gave DH didn't really get conveyed to me so I asked if she could explain it to me. Well, here goes...back in February when DH did his semen analysis, his count was 980,000....last week his count was 9,000. Yeah...sucky, huh? We've lost 971,000 spermies since then. I don't understand how!!! He hasn't been drinking alcohol or caffeine...not hot tubs, no tightie whities, he doesn't smoke so how in the hell did we lose that many!?!

Mary went on to explain to me that when they thawed out the banked stuff that there was no motility meaning...the sperm was dead. Even if we are doing ICSI, there still needs to be some movement. We both agreed that our ultimate goal is that DH can give the sperm we need on the day of the ER and we won't have to thaw anything.

Then I was straight up honest (as I usually am and I don't think they're used to this) and asked, "So with a count like that, is it even worth it for us to do this?" She told me that she only needed one live sperm for one live come on DH, give me ONE...just one live spermie!

We read up in my books and online what he could take to give his spermies a better chance like Vitamin B and some other stuff so after I got off the phone with Mary, I called him and told him to stop at the store on the way home and start taking all that stuff religiously! We'd better hurry up and start this IVF before all the spermies are gone!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Motility Help!

Okay so last week DH went to bank sperm for our IVF. When he did his semen analysis back in February, he had 50% motility and 29% progressive motilty which based off the lab, both of those were borderline okay (50% and up was normal and 25% and up was normal). His sperm count was 980,000...depressing, huh? He had gotten in a hot tub the end of December so I was really hoping that the count would increase when he banked last week.

The lady called him today to tell him that the count was the same (BOO!!!) and the motility was okay. Then they thaw some of it out to test again and there was NO MOTILITY!!! So he has to go in again next week and bank again. When he went last week, he only had a two day break of...banking sperm in me so this time he wants to take a 5 day break to see if that helps.

When he first told me all this, I started freaking out like OMG! It doesn't matter if we do IVF, your sperm is bad in general...they're just trying to take us for our money, yada yada yada. I questioned whether we should spend the money and putting my body through all this since the motility was bad...then I calmed down some and did some research and looked through our paperwork.

HELLO!?! DUH! We're doing ICSI (where they put the sperm directly in the egg so no swimming is necessary) so I'm going to call Dr. Val's office and find out exactly what all this means. We are planning on DH going with me on ER day so he should be able to give a fresh sample that day so we shouldn't have to worry about thawing out any sperm. just totally stresses me.

After huffing and puffing and arguing over why we kept a bag full of chip crumbs, we talked and decided that we've made it this so there's no turning second thoughts, we're going for it! DH also read that a positive attitude and your stress level affects it so here's to thinking happy thoughts and keeping stress away...although I did just switch for all the M/W/F evening shifts in November so I don't have to take sick time from work when I go for testing in the AM so I'm sure ALL those evenings will be stress-free!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Banking & Leaky

As I was changing to leave my appointment last Wednesday, Dr. Val runs in and says, "We need to talk about your banking!" I walk over and start to explain that I'd just paid on my credit card and then I glance down at the paper she's pointing at, "OH! You meant banking sperm...ok...." Wow-I need to get used to the new terms I'll be using the next three months.

After Dr. Val left, Traci comes over and tells me, "If you want to go in the bathroom, there's some pads and pantiliners, you might be a little leaky." Who knew leaky was such a technical, medical term???

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Great DD

Over Labor Day weekend, my good friend had her bridal shower at a winery. I love this winery because it's where I got married at and it has 1 of the 2 wines I love. I was majorly bumming that I wouldn't be able to have any. Instead I enjoyed a nice, refreshing Diet 7UP! I had a great time despite missing out on my fave wine and my girlfriends were pretty happy to have such an awesome DD! I won't even begin to tell you the conversations we had...amazing what a little growing up can do to us!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Relationship Between my Uterus and Ovaries

So today I went for my first "real" appointment. Let me just start off by saying that I HATE going to the girl doctor for my regular check-ups. Like I really don't think I can describe how bad it is for me and I know everyone says its bad but I have MAJOR anxiety over it. I was sick to my stomach all morning and on-again/off-again tears...its just VERY traumatic for me. So I was feeling horrible wishing DH had gone with me and wanting to puke, cry, scream all at once (yes, this is what the regular girl doctor invokes too...not just Dr. Val).

I told DH, what if they tell me I'm so bad at relaxing that they won't do the IVF because there's NO way I'd be able to handle pregnancy? Before IF was in the picture, I always feared pregnancy because of all the checks that go on up in there but I just knew it was part of life and I'd deal with it. Well now I get to deal with it BEFORE pregnancy and I may not even end up pregnant!

Anyways, I get to the office WAY early because apparently traffic is a lot slower at 10:30 in the morning as opposed to 7am. It only took me 30 minutes to get there...note that for next time. So I make my rounds making my "down payment" and giving my credit card info for payment one of $5,108...ouch! Then I take a seat in the lobby to start reading through my IVF binder and questions I'd brought for Dr. Val. I feel the yucko feeling and tears so I quickly put it all away and get out my book to read. A few minutes later, my friend from orientation walks in (I have no idea what her name is) so she started telling me what to expect when Nurse Traci calls me back.

I really liked Traci. I picked a great outfit...shorts and a tshirt because I got to keep my top on which was comfy and the shorts were easy to change in and out of. She used a vaginal ultrasound to take pics of my uterus and ovaries. This part was NOT bad at all, couple times I felt pressure but other than that, not bad at all. It was weird because I got to watch the screen...yep, there's my empty uterus just waiting for a baby to be in there but I got nothing. She talked and pointed things out to me. Then she said something along the lines of "Here's a picture of the relationship between your ovaries and your uterus." I glanced over and then asked, "So...what kind of relationship do they have?" She said, "A really good one especially for IVF." So that made me feel really good! My ovaries and uterus get along!!! YAH!

Then she left and I had to wait a good 15 minutes for Dr. Val to come do the TET with just the sheet on my lap so I pulled out my book and then they both came in. I gave them both the, "I'm really horrible at this speech so please don't yell or be mad at me because I have a hard time relaxing." That's the worst when they yell at you and I just want to yell back-I AM RELAXING!!!

So Traci tilted me back in the chair so I was almost on my head and the paper sheet was sticking to my butt but I couldn't move my hands. Without asking, she graciously pulled it off for me and I quietly thanked her. Then Dr. Val moved in to get started. All the while, here's what's going through my appointment is at noon, how would you like your lunch hour to be filled with looking at lady's vajayjays? That doesn't sound too appetizing to me.

Dr. Val gets out the septum and starts to put it in, telling me to relax (grrr-I was relaxing the best I could!) and seriously this was the worst part. She put in a cath and I didn't even feel it and then she was like, okay the TET is done. Really? Is the actual ET going to be that fast? Then the septum came out...ahh, thank you! Then she put in another cath and filled it up with the balloon and saline water and put in the ultrasound thing.

Okay, I told you I'm going to be brutally honest on this blog and I hate when people don't tell the awful details because I'm going through this and I want to know!!! So she starts putting in the saline and I can feel it running down my butt-gross! But we're watching the empty uterus on the screen and its weird because I can see the cath moving up and down in me but I don't really feel it. As she would put more saline in then I could feel MAJOR cramps...not cool. They wrapped everything up and set me back down so the blood wasn't rushing to my head.

Dr. Val said everything looked good to go and I said, "Can I ask you some questions since last time I saw you I was a crying hysterical mess?" She handed me my bag and I read a few on them to her. Now...I'm not really sure how I feel about Dr. Val. She's nice and I think tries to be comforting but I don't think she really has ever answered a question I've asked. Plus she's stresses me about the marathon like it's a bad thing and she says it's going to mess up my period, well great, I don't want to do that going into IVF. I just wish she'd be like, girl-bad idea, don't do it but she won't come out and say it. As we wrapped up, I told her I guess I just don't feel like I have a good grasp on things...for instance no one will answer what the hell happens next?!?! She responded with, "Well everything is fluid and depends on your cycle so I can't give you exact dates. " Yes, Dr. Val...I know this, trust me, I know this but I want to know when do I get my schedule and when do my drugs get ordered, am I meeting with you again, what's involved in a basic test and what are we looking for and most importantly-WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NEXT!?! Her response, "Wait for Christina to call you." Great...super pumped about waiting for a phone call.

So all in all today wasn't AS horrible as I thought it would be, still bad, but not awful and my uterus and ovaries have a good relationship so that's what I'm going to take away from today's appointment.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Birds and the Bees

Do you guys remember that birds and the bees talk with your parents? The oh-so-embarassing, I can't believe my mom just said penis talk? Yeah...probably not, I try to block it out of my head too.

Now we tell our parents we've been trying since last October AKA having sex, doing it, getting down and dirty, etc...

We've talked to both our parents and thrown out words like sperm, egg, ovulation, etc...

It's funny how when suddenly you're having sex for a purpose, it's not so embarassing.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's OUR Choice...Not YOURS!

So we finally told DH's parents on Monday night and it went really well. They asked a few questions and we tried to explain as best we could and we all went on our merry way. Then DH went to his parents tonight and said his mom made a couple comments...

Comment #1-She thought we should tell his brother and sister. DH and I have discussed this and decided NOT to tell them because we're all 2 years apart and hang out with the same friends. We didn't want them telling our friends. Plus I don't think his brother, whose the youngest, wouldn't really get it and I have a feeling he might make a statement like, "That's stupid to spend that much money on that" in which case I would probably flip out and I think his sis would act like a know-it-all as she normally does in which case I would again probably flip out and ask when was the last time she had multiple shots in one night, had ovaries the size of tennis balls and paid $15 grand to try to get pregnant without having sex?

Comment #2-She feels like she's caught between a rock and a hard spot. When asked what they needed to do, we asked them to pray. She feels like she should put us on the prayer list at church but we also asked her not to tell anyone.

My response's OUR life, it's OUR IVF and it's OUR choice who to tell and who not to tell. We only told you so you would know what's going on not for YOU to tell US who we should tell. Seriously...let's go back to that I need a drink post...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Walnuts vs Tennis Balls

One thing I forgot that we also learned during orientation is that the normal woman's ovaries are the size of walnuts. After all the meds, injections and fun times I'll go through, my ovaries will be the size of TENNIS BALLS!?! Hello cramps and bloating!!!