Monday, November 28, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Good News and Bad News Leads to What?

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

I hadn't had time to blog this last week because I was leaving town, but I had my mid-cycle follow up last Tuesday.  The Femara worked...a little too well.  I had FOUR follicles maturing.  The doctor asked whether we would consider selective reduction if we went forward with the cycle, and both Papa Bear and I could not do it.  She then offered to use a needle to aspirate two of the eggs that day, but Papa Bear did not feel good with it ethically (I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but if he's not comfortable with it we won't do it).  So we were told to use protection for the rest of the week.  I talked to my parents about it (who made my sister on the 7th or 8th treatment cycle), and they thought we should try anyway because two of the follicles were smaller than the other two and because the chance of higher order multiples is still pretty low.  I prayed about whether we should try or not.  Man, I wish God gave clear yes/no answers.  The next day was my birthday.  We had made it to New York for the holiday and, through a twist of fate, got a second suite comped to us at the Residence Inn for the kids so that we had a king-size bed/room to ourselves with no kids on the other side of the wall.  Seemed like a sign for sure.  So now we wait and see.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Protocol

I had my follow up with the RE today, on CD4.  Despite the fact that this last cycle didn't work, the appointment started with great AMH was up from 0.87 to 1.6!  Papa Bear was able to come with me this time, so he got to meet the RE and form his impression (most awkward appointment ever in his book).  Since we've now had 2 Clomid cycles not work, despite 2 really good-looking follicles last month, she's switching me to Femara 5mg.  Who all out there has done Femara?

No shots of any type with this cycle (especially since we'll be out of town for Thanksgiving at BD time).  We will see how it goes, but it's nice to be making progress.  Before leaving for the holiday, I'll have an appointment for a mid-cycle ultrasound, and we'll be able to get results from more testing for me and Papa Bear both.

For the record, I absolutely adore the phlebotomist at this clinic!!!!  I have a HUGE needle phobia, but she has now stuck me twice without me wanting to cry, even with my vein not cooperating today!

Monday, October 17, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: The Quest for Invisibility

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

I first started this blog as part of my commitment to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem when it came to stigma and silence.  But lately I've been wondering whether that effort leads to anything positive or whether I should just shut up.  I've been hit again with the observation that no one IRL actually cares who I am or how I feel except a few people: my immediate household, my parents, my cousins, and two or three friends.  People act like they care when I'm right in front of them, but any other time I'm either gossip fodder or invisible.  I'm the one that reaches out because if I don't run into people in person, they forget about me.  I'm the one that tries to get to know people better and make acquaintances into friends; I'm not interesting enough for people to want to get to know me.  When it keeps happening over and over, that tells me that I'm the one that's the problem, that my needs are inconvenient to others, that it would be better if I were to just shrink myself and my needs until, to everyone outside my family and my job, I just...disappear.

Monday, October 03, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: Fear and Trembling

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

I keep swinging back and forth between being glad we have a chance to try and being certain that nothing good is going to happen because my only remaining ovary is too broken.  I think I've been reading too much on the internet/FB (I know, irony, right?) and seeing people told that Clomid won't help them and maybe they should try egg donation.  Papa Bear feels like that would defeat the purpose of having a baby that was the two of us.  I want to be pregnant and carry a baby, I think even if it weren't my eggs, but I can't justify that much of an expense for a possibility when we have three kids to provide for both now and in the future.  But I still want a second child that is MINE, that calls ME Mommy and Papa Bear Daddy.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

One Small Step

This is a really weird post to write.  I thought about writing it last night, but I didn't have the emotional energy to be able to.  I still can't believe I'm here.

I took my first pill of Clomid yesterday.  That puts me farther in some ways on the fertility journey than I've ever been before.  My ex and I had prepared to do IVF, but one thing after another kept getting in the way right before we could start the first shot.  So I have never actually taken a fertility medication before yesterday.  I've had a box of medications and syringes on my dining table for months on end before, but until yesterday I had never gotten to take a dose.

I almost didn't get this far.  I almost got stopped again right before I was going to be able to TRY something instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for my turn.  My AMH level came back over the weekend and, because the doctor was in surgery on Monday, did not get read until late in the day Tuesday (my day 2, when I was to start Clomid on day 3).  The nurse had called me, but I wasn't able to call back before 5 because I was with a client.  She left the message that she needed to talk to me.  So of course I was panicking all night Tuesday night, and I was right to.  Yesterday morning, the nurse called to tell me that my AMH was 0.87.  According to the website I had been looking at, "low normal" is 0.7-0.9 and "normal" is 1.0 and above, although it said there was disagreement about where the borders between categories really should be.

Through the nurse, the doctor first said that he was not going to prescribe the Clomid and that I should see an RE.  I completely broke down sobbing on the phone with the nurse because I was pretty damn sure that there was no way we could see an RE this calendar year, between leave for Papa Bear (especially with his boss about to go out on paternity leave) and the question of whether appointments would even be covered, even with an endometriosis diagnosis.  And all the while that we can't get in, months and cycles are ticking away.  We had to wait months to be able to afford the HSG before having a chance to try, months of eggs dropping away unused, and now it was going to be even longer, making my ovarian reserve worse!

I was lucky that the client I was on my way to see canceled, so I went to church to talk to one of the pastors.  Just before the pastor prayed over me, my phone rang, but I let it go to voicemail.  As I left church, I checked my voicemail, and it was the nurse.  She said that she talked to the doctor again and reminded him that we really couldn't go see the RE, and he decided to write the Clomid anyway.  He said that he did not think our chances were good, so he would rather we work through the RE for their expertise.  But since we can't, he's at least going to let us try.  We also have estrogen for days  8-12 and progesterone pills for after day 18.

Papa Bear asked me how I felt after taking the first pill yesterday.  I didn't really know what to say.  I didn't feel bad, but I was afraid to feel good.  The best description we could come up with between us for how I felt was "guarded."

We're trying to get information on what is and is not covered (after our massive deductible, of course) if we can see an RE.  The first answers we have on that raise some questions for us, and especially Papa Bear to address.  It turns out that IVF is covered at 80% (which a lifetime max benefit of $2000, so it's like they pretend to cover IVF and really don't give a fuck), but IUI is not covered at all.  Papa Bear is Catholic.  IVF isn't allowed by the Catholic church.  Amusingly, IUI is, but only if the sperm is gathered from a condom after sex.  That could make getting samples in the little room at the clinic interesting, since even if we can't do IUI, there's still the testing for him that the clinic will want.

So yeah, it's been a weird couple of days.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sped-Up Alphabet Soup

Turns out that with my CD1 being on a Thursday and the clinic only doing HSGs on Wednesdays, they want to do it tomorrow instead of next Wednesday.  So it has been a mad rush trying to get the right form sent in by my doctor and get the antibiotic called in and picked up and the insurance information in.  And now I find out that I have to pay for it tomorrow rather than being able to have a little spare time while they ran it through insurance, since there's still thousands of dollars left on our deductible.  I was hoping to be paying it AFTER rent was paid; I just felt more comfortable that way.  So much for that.

And now I'm scared.  Scared that the pain will be worse than I remember.  Scared that it will be bad enough that I won't feel up to orchestra rehearsal that night.  Scared of even getting there on time because I had to put in a client appointment at noon when I have to be there at 1:45 and the clinic is an hour away from my office.  And scared of what they will find.  Scared that my other tube is broken too.  Scared that I'm going to need more surgery to "fix" the endometriosis.  Scared that even with more surgery my tube won't be salvageable.  Just, scared.  I found myself crying as I was driving today.  I don't remember being scared before my last one, but before that one I was so desperate for answers.  Now I have enough answers to know that having more answers may hurt more than it helps.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Alphabet Soup

Today is essentially day 1, since it started late in the evening yesterday.  Last night was pretty miserable.  I kinda just sat there like a lump after the kids were in bed with random tears rolling down my face at random times.  And today I had a random weird cramp that I've never had before, where the pain radiated down to my big toe.

But the one good thing about day 1 is that it meant I could call GRS (the big local fertility clinic) to schedule my HSG.  I got voice mail on the scheduling line and they never called back, so I need to call again tomorrow, but at least we're in the cycle where I can get it done.  It looks like it will be on September 7, since that clinic only does them on Wednesdays.

One thing that I'm scared of now, though, is the possibility of the dye flinging endometrial cells around my abdomen in the process of finding out whether my remaining tube is plugged.  I have no idea whether that's a reasonable fear or not.