Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday's Appointment

Yesterday I had my SIS, calendar overview and financial review.

The SIS was pretty painful because apparently I have a lot of calcification on my cervix as well as scar tissue and it was difficult for Dr. W to get the catheter in. He ended up having to kind of shove it in there and it wasn't fun but at least that's over! The calcification is probably from a cervical biopsy I had in my early 20's when I had an abnormal pap. I've never had another since so I've always assumed that they got out whatever abnormal cells there were when they did the biopsy but apparently, they didn't do the greatest job and my cervix is blocked up with the calcification and scar tissue. Also, my RE found polyps when he did the SIS :( So, I am scheduled for a hysteroscopy on May 8th to remove the polyps and he is going to see if he can remove some the scar tissue and calcification from my cervix. Good times! On the plus side, this will make things nice and pretty for an embryo to implant and I'll have three or four weeks of healing time before ET.

My calendar overview went well, although I still don't know exactly what meds I will be on because we have to wait to hear what my compassionate care discount will be. I'm definitely starting 10 untits of Lupron on the 12th and will start stims on the 22nd (I will be on a Lupron protocol). I'm a little bothered by not knowing which meds I'll be using for stims but hopefully I will know by Friday. I know for sure I'll be taking baby Asprin throughout and will be taking Medrol before ET so at least there is something for certain. My nurse said something about ganirelix and menapur but then said "Don't worry about it though, we'll figure it out when we know which discounts you are going to get." I wanted to say, "Have you every met anyone with IF? Don't worry about it?" But I just nodded. I feel a little frustrated because I don't know enough.

I'm also kind of scared and what usually helps me with being scared is when I can be in control and the way I feel in control is if I am armed with knowledge and understanding. Right now, I have a bunch of appointment set up and dates to start different meds but with no idea what those meds will be, I cannot research and feel like I understand everything.

Since we received the grant (YAY) our financial appointment was kind of nice. We're getting a discount of $3k and the discount even applies to cryopreservation and storage so that is pretty cool.

Overall, even though there were a few bumps in the road, everything went well and I am so freaking excited to be moving forward, I wish I just knew a little more!

Monday, April 20, 2015

You Are Not Alone

It is National Infertility Awareness Week and I would like to share this post with you, my long time readers as well as those who may be coming here for the first time. Those who may not know a lot about infertility and those who are suffering in silence. Today, I am taking part in Resolve's Blogger's Unite and am sharing this post for those who are just starting out in their journey or those who are just looking for a hug and the knowledge that, you are not alone.

I have this impossible dream. I dream that I wake up one morning, feel kind of sick and realize that my period is late. I have to run out to the store to buy a pregnancy test and later that day, on a whim, I decide to test and discover that, surprise! I am pregnant. Why is this an impossible dream? Well, it’s because I am infertile. I will never get to experience a surprise pregnancy, I will never know the shock, fear and excitement that comes with rushing out to the store and peeing on a stick to have two lines instantly appear. For me, everything is planned, right down to the day and minute. For me, conception may still be a shock but only because the odds are against me and while I still hold out hope, I realize that my chances of becoming pregnant aren't great.

I am not the only one. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. Many of them silently, I know I did at first. I didn't want to believe that we couldn't have kids on our own and later, I didn't want to share my pain with anyone else. I already have to be so strong for myself and my spouse, the idea of having to be strong in the face of well-intentioned but hurtful statements was an unbearable thought. We went through our journey for four years, alone, without reaching out to any one. 

It wasn't until our doctor recommended, for the third time, that we go to a reproductive endocrinologist that I even started doing research into infertility. What I found then was a lot of scariness and a lot of love and support. The treatments, the possible risks and failures, the disappointments, those were all the scary things. But what I learned is that there is a good side to infertility, the community. While researching, I came across this amazing support network, this web of infertiles, who come together to support, encourage and educate one another. I found that discussing my infertility and treatment options with my peers not only helped me process everything but it gave me an outlet for the stress I was feeling about facing infertility alone.

Eventually, we did come out to our families and have found a lot of support as well as well meaning but hurtful comments and statements but through everything, I had my girls on Then Comes Family and IDOB and it helped take the sting away. Without that support network, I would have lost my mind and now that we are moving on with IVF, I am more grateful than ever to have them; as a sounding board, a source of support and encouragement and a resource of endless knowledge.

Thankfully I learned that I am not alone and neither are you!

You can learn more about Infertility here:  (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)

And more about NIAW here: (About NIAW)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

And We're Off!

AF arrived on Tuesday, a bit earlier than expected, but I wasn't temping this month so I didn't know for sure when I ovulated. I called my nurse and realized as it was ringing that they close at 4 on Mondays and it was (of course) 4:02. So, I left a message and was shocked when she called back a little while later.

I expected to have to go in for an STD panel but was happily surprised when she said that since we just had it done in July, they were going to let us skip it :) Yay! She called in my prescription for BCPs which I am starting today and got me all set up for an SIS, financial consult and calendar overview next Tuesday. The ball is officially rolling, folks!

I wish I could say I am excited but I am not. Now, I am plagued with worry and what ifs. I am excited to be able to join the IVF checkins. I am excited to be moving forward. But I am have this little voice in my head that keeps saying, what if you get a cyst? What if no eggs are retrieved or what if a ton are retrieved but none of them fertilize or none of them make it to 3dt or they make it to 3dt and we decide to wait til 5dt and they all arrest?

I am sure this worry is normal. I have heard many of you express the same concerns. It's scary to do something this big (and this expensive).

DH has a weird calm. He is certain that it is going to work. Absolutely positive. With all of our IUIs he would say: well, babe, if it happens it happens. But not this time. This time he talks about it as if it's a sure thing. At least one of us is feeling excited!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Moving forward, FINALLY!

Well, on Monday afternoon, we pulled the trigger and started the ball rolling on pulling money from retirement. I called my clinic first, just to be absolutely sure they weren't accepting any other last minute patients for the trial and they said they weren't. I also submitted our grant application and we should hear about whether or not we can receive it in a few weeks.

Then, this evening, I got the most exciting email I have ever received. It was from my IVF nurse and included all the info on med discount programs, my tentative schedule, when I'll start BCPs, need blood draws, my SIS... all of it! I was so excited, I just kept staring at the screen with my mouth open and this shocked looked on my face. DH kept saying, What? What are you looking at your screen like that for? until I came out of it and told him. He was excited too!

After a little while, I got kind of a nagging "this isn't really happening" type feeling that replaced the excitement, but I think that's just my brain's way of protecting my heart. Like a defense mechanism, my brain seems to be saying: remember how let down you were when you couldn't do the study? If IVF doesn't work you'll be devastated if you get your hopes up too high. Sometimes I get sad when I think of the person IF has turned me into, one that can't even get excited to be moving forward without having reservations. Worries. Fears.

But, hey, I'm kind of used to that by now, onward and upwards! I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO IVF!!!!!! After 10 months of saving and begging and praying and hoping, we're actually gonna do it! YAY!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Phone Consult with Dr. W

Well, today I had my phone consult with Dr. W and it went pretty well. He was very apologetic about the study closing earlier than he expected and said that when they found out, he immediately thought of us. It doesn't make it any less disappointing but it is nice to know he cares.

He said that we may qualify for a grant that the clinic offers, which reduces the cost of cycling by 25%. It's not a ton of money but it's better than nothing. Of course, that does nothing to reduce the cost of medications but he suggested the Compassionate Care program and others like it to help reduce our medication costs. They will be sending the forms for the grant to us tomorrow and I'll probably complete them and get the back in the mailbox the same day I receive them!

Unfortunately, due to the fact that my last SIS was in July, I would have to have another one before we could move forward and the cost is $515 plus, we need to have our STD testing redone because it has been over a year. Thankfully, our insurance may cover the cost of the STD testing so at least there's that.

He said that he thinks we have an excellent chance of being successful at achieving pregnancy with IVF and suggested that we move forward as soon as possible with retrieval and transfer at the end of May, beginning of June because he's concerned about my age and endometriosis. So, we have some decisions to make: pull money from our retirement or try for a loan we probably won't get. I'm really torn. I really don't want to pull money from our retirement. It scares me. I've always thought of that money as money that doesn't even exist, money that we need for our future that is not to be touched but really, how else are we supposed to do this? It makes me sad that money has to be such a big factor in our ability to conceive a child. I hate it.

Overall, I am happy with our conversation. I feel like we are finally going to be moving forward and hopefully we will get the grant from the clinic and will be able to cycle next month. This time, though, I am not getting my hopes up or even allowing myself to get excited. It just hurt too much when I was let down last time. So for now, I will be incredibly cautiously optimistic that things might work out!