Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I think I might be on the naughty list

He's makin' a list,
checkin' it twice,
gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

He's sees me when I'm talking,
rudely on the phone.
To the doctor's office,
to the secretary who must live alone.

She's always rude,
no matter what I do,
and then I feel like its my fault too.
Why do I have to deal with this?

I try to be so good,
but then I get impatient.
Cause I spend all of my life,
awatin' watin' watin' watin' watin' ...

So I know I'm on the list,
but that's OK,
because I found out
today I got my way.
(Oh yeah) Santa Claus is coming to town!

Soooo... it has been so loooonnnnng because nothing between now and the last time I posted has been happening on the IVF round front except waiting and frustration and I never wanted to really write about it until now that things have worked out. Because before it was all just ANGER ANGER ANGER and today it is at least a little more OK OK OK.

So we just sorta ran over some orange cones with Road Block #1. And there was no damage. So the meds are more expensive... we will deal. At least financially things look better for us this year than they have the past 2 so that is something positive. And if they think that we need to try to do this differently then we should. And a plus is no mixing shots! It comes in a pen. Not that just that little fact will make me any more happy to spend like 5 times the money on meds, but it is something on the bright side.

So in the midst of accepting that we will be Ok with the change up in meds, we have been painfully waiting for a freaking schedule/calendar/some sort of PLAN. I do not do well when I don't know the plan. I need plans. I have no control over anything else BUT THE PLAN. And they said they would have a plan on November 24. No plan but soon, very soon, likely by next week. First come first serve you know. On December 5 still no plan. On December 12, nada. December 22 STILL NOTHING AND WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF THE 3 MONTH SUPPLY OF BC I STARTED TAKING NOVEMBER 3. (ok so admittedly maybe some anger still there). During this time, my husband keeps asking me about the PLAN and why haven't they given it to me. He thinks I am being amazingly more patient (WOW complement) than I had been in the past. HE admits he is getting fed up while I say on Friday December 19, you know, let's just have a good time over Christmas and enjoy our new year and call them in 2009. He agreed.

But then I went to 2 Christmas's over the weekend with my 5 and almost 3 year old adorable cousin's and my pregnant (from IVF) cousin. And a 1 month first grand child on the other side of the family. And by Monday waiting and cruising through the holidays like I had said so breezily on Friday was just not really a possibility anymore.

Over the span of time mentioned above (which YES hello I know is NOT THAT LONG in the grand scheme but felt like a total eternity) I would talk to the nurse K about the situation, I was fine. Because she puts it in a way that I am OK with. She is funny and nice and wants the best for me and understands that it is taking an incredibly long unnecessary amount of time to get my calender. I am all understanding and completely OK but still slightly frustrated when I talk to Nurse K. But we see eye to eye, we are cool, no hard feelings. Mi Compadre.

When I talk to secretary Y. I get nothing but attitude the second I even say my name. I don't know WHERE I went wrong but she just doesn't like me. She is all cheery and happy until I say "This is BB". And then she puts me on hold (EVERY TIME) and comes back on all haughty and I can't believe you are actually calling me again. And gives me a speech about how busy they are and it is first come first serve. Sorry for YOUR frustration but you just have to understand that it is first come first serve. We got 7 calendars today but none of them are yours so I don't know what to tell you.

Well yesterday, I had enough of the "first come first serve" speech and just retorted back that I underSTAND the first come first serve rule but I have been calling to get on the January schedule SINCE SEPTEMBER SO I GUESS I WILL JUST CALL BACK AFTER THE FIRST OF THE YEAR. Do I get a well let me check to see if there are any problems? or I will call you back by this day or anything!? No, I just OK, BYE. I was Soooo pissed. But what could I do about it? Nothing. And all my bitching and moaning wasn't going to change that they hadn't gotten to it yet and I KNEW that. But I still made my hubby listen about it and he reminded me of my easy breezy Friday December 19 attitude. But even that didn't really help. (And it hasn't helped the crankiness that I am sick with soar throat)

But I guess I either got put on the naughty list OR they felt bad OR it was just finally my turn and if I could have been patient ONE MORE DAY, because Nurse K called me this afternoon to tell me my schedule is ready but not ready. It was ready but he did the wrong protocol. So my egg retrieval is tentatively scheduled for January 28. But they will supposedly email the revision tomorrow (Christmas Eve which what kind of hellacious pain do you have to be to get them to do that on a holiday!?). But my point is, finally, I have some semblance of a plan.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Approaching Road Block #1

Well things were going to so smoothly. And you know it would be just too much for things to go right.





It is really not THAT bad but it was certainly unexpected news that I got today. I called again to see about my schedule and talked to Nurse K. She said she was going to start making the embryologist start returning and fielding calls because he is the one who has to make everyone's scheules an is behind and everyone is calling her. But she said it in a funny way that made me laugh (not the receptionist way that makes me want to throw something).





But after my little laugh she said but we can order your meds. And I am all, oh I have 24 vials of re.pro.nex so what else do I need? Well, they want me to take F.ollis.tim and not R.epro.nex this time!!!!!!!!!!!! UGHHHHHHH! I am totally for changing it up an I am not against them trying to change my protocal at ALL since it obviously did not work last time. BUT F.OLLIS.TIM is freakin' expensive! And I was NOT PREPARED for that. I was prepared for the medicine I already have paid for and such. I asked them that question a few months ago when we were deciding what to do and they said I certainly could use it. But since then they changed their minds.





So now what to do with an unexpected cost upwards of $3000, probably $4000 after all said and done?! I just don't know what to do now. I feel like we need to stop in our tracks.





Which isn't really a problem since I still have no schedule.





I am just very disappointed.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I will survive, hey, hey

Well, I have officially survived my 30th birthday. And hearing that my best friend from high school is pregnant with her second kid all in the same week (which of course she totally can't help and I am happy for her). Thirty was going to be rough no matter what, but that didn't really help. Luckily I didn't melt into a huge puddle on the floor and I survived. There were a few tears but I am through it now and hopeful that soon I can join not just the 30's club but maybe the mommy club. Only time will tell though.

Now I just have to survive an all girls Christmas party this weekend. One of my high school girlfriends (who was also my college roommate for a few years and I see pretty often still) likes to have an annual high school class girls Christmas party every year. In my early 20's I really looked forward to it, it was a great chance to see everyone and laugh and it was like old times. But after 25 and we were all married and graduated from college and settled in various places, well now I really don't look forward to it. That is because now everyone that is married except for 2 girls now all have 2 kids already. EVERYONE. One of those 2 is trying and the other has one kid. Grant it, we are from a very small, small town so it is the norm to have 2 kids before 30. And I don't begrudge them that they do have kids, it's just that I don't and I feel like they don't get that.

So I have been dreading this party for a while. Because guess what southern women from small towns talk about who are our age?!!!!!!! Babies. And either getting them, having them or rearing them. And that is really about it. Maybe some gossip is thrown in there somewhere but not really too much is interesting to me because I don't know anyone who really lives there anymore.

So why do I go you ask? Well a few years ago I skipped. And the WRATH of my friend who throws it was just too much for someone like me to handle. I hate people being mad at me, or even be the slightest upset with me or anything like that. And she was really upset with me. I did feel bad. I mean she consults with me about everything for the party: when to have it, who to invite, what to eat, what time should it start, what gifts should we exchange. That makes me feel good that she always wants me so involved because she honestly doesn't consult with anyone else. So I find it my duty to go and make it through. And usually I go and it is fun. But as the years go by and I still don't have kids, it sure gets hard.

Oh another killer... we all write what we think we will be doing the next year at that time and put it in a bottle and we open the little notes the next year. TALK about PAINFUL. Who the hell knows what I wrote last year. And everyone wants to know why I don't have kids. I know that they know I have problems because no one asks anymore. But they all wait for me to open up to them and I just.... can't. I feel like I want to but I can't. It is so stupid. But I did everything right in school. I was second in my class, I don't mean to sound conceited but I excelled at pretty much anything I did. Or was at least decent at it. But I am a failure at this. And I just can't seem to say it out loud to them and let them sympathize with me. I don't want their advice or antidotes or even their comfort!? Why is that?

So I know I will survive just like I do all the time. Just like I did my birthday as everyone was telling me how young I am. And how 30 is the new 20 and whatever. And I really don't think 30 is that old except that all the books and doctors say that my eggs are getting old! According to them they are now diminishing in quality and number until 35 and all that. And I feel like my chances are so limited now. Even though I know that just because I turned a number yesterday that my eggs are just the same as a few weeks before and will be the same (hopefully!!!) in a month when I get to try again. But, at 25 when I started trying I thought if I hadn't had a kid by 30 it would just be OVER. But now it is here and I don't feel like it is anywhere near over. So I will keep surviving. In the end I guess none of us have a choice but to keep moving toward our goal and surviving none the less if we haven't reached it yet.

Side note: I still don't have my new IVF calendar for January!! It would make me so happy if they would send it to me soon and I didn't have to call and ask about it again. Here's hoping.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Treat Others as You Would Like to be Treated

Did your mom or dad ever say that to you? I think I heard that a lot as a kid. But it is so true. Don't be rude, because is that how YOU want to be treated? Of course not. Don't talk about people because do YOU want people to talk about you? No, most people don't want anyone to think bad about them. Or at least I don't. This will be something I will certainly pass on to my children because I just think it makes you a better person.

So on November 3, I talked to my doctors office and they had me start BC, and they said they would send me my calendar in 3 weeks. They also made sure tell me that if I did not hear from them in 3 weeks to please call them. So that is exactly what I did today, I called them. I said on my message that I was just checking in and I had checked my mail and my email and hadn't received anything although I wasn't certain how it would be sent. They called me back shortly.

However, they (the secretary) acted like I was crazy for calling and they are SOOOOOoooooooooooo busy and with the holidays and the doctors schedules and conferences and meetings that they had not made my calendar yet. So I am like Ok, so will my cycle be pushed back or is there a problem with doing it in January because of scheduling? is there something I forgot to take care of? (Some i's I didn't dot or t's I didn't cross?) And then she tells me there is NOooo problem, but in such a way that I can tell the problem is that I am asking this QUESTION. So I said, well shouldn't I start meds sometime in December? If not, doesn't that mean the cycle will move back and possibly not be in January? I mean I would like to be able to sorta plan my life a little (was what I was thinking to myself, I did not SAY that). Is that too much to ASK? Apparently ASKING ANYTHING is what is getting me in trouble. So I think I was finally able to confirm, once I got past the attitude, that I should start meds at the end of December and should still be on track for January time frame. I asked if I could call back mid December if I hadn't heard anything and then was assured that it would certainly be done then or very, very soon.

All I ask from these doctors and their staff is that they treat me the way THEY want to be treated. Everyone who deals with doctors just wants to get help and get appropriate answers in a timely manner. They don't want vague answers and haughty retorts to their questions or people rolling their eyes at them. They certainly don't want to be made to feel like they shouldn't call. Am I completely off here?

I have actually seriously considered nursing school with an emphasis in infertility so that at least ONE doctors office out there could have ONE person who had been there, was professional AND compassionate at the same time. I know they are out there, but there is definitely a shortage in my opinion.

I guess I forgot to mention that I don't really get along great with or like Dr. W's secretary. But I could also hear the nurse I like in the background and once I started thinking about it she basically avoids calling me back these days. So I guess I did something to piss her off. Although I don't know what that would be except to ask legitimate and well informed questions that she somehow doesn't feel are my business.

I really can't promise that I have stepped off my soap box yet. Maybe by my next post I will have.

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On another note: this BC they have me on is whacking me out. I have zits everywhere! I get irritated it seems easy (see above!). And I uninterested in doing other things which is making my husband think I don't like him (sorry if TMI). Which is not true. But, what is the deal with all that!? It is De.so.gen which is different than the last time when I was on Apritabs which were fine and cleared up my skin.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yearly Exam? What the hell is THAT?

So today I went in for my "annual" check up. Or that is what MOST of the girlies call it I suppose. I go to the doctor SO MUCH that I find that very funny in a entertaining way! When you are dealing with infertility these "normal" checkups seem so strange! At least to me! I am so used to doctors looking at me that I don't really get nervous and when I was driving away from the doctor this afternoon I started thinking about all we had talked about, I thought to myself "I didn't even notice what she did! OMG what all did she DO!? Did she do a pap, did she check my boobs for lumps!?" I mean am I CRAZY??????

But the truth of the matter is that is just doesn't phase me anymore.

Anywho, another point I wanted to make about the doctor I see in T-town is that they have a clinic where I live. SO, I can work with 2 doctors, one local (Dr. A) and one about a hour and a half away (Dr. W who I mentioned before). They sorta collaborate and save me trips and time if they can. The reason I didn't notice the exam so much I guess is that we were jibber jabbering about the next cycle. And she was nice enough to give me her email for any questions and she said to send her my new protocal when I get it. I felt very good after the visit. All GO TEAM and stuff. Which is kinda funny! But very comforting.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trying (but failing) to make a long story short

I haven't posted anything else because I am having a hard time trying to come up with what happened between starting with Dr. H and until now. It is a long story, so many details that I don't remember at this point. So I think I am going to go with the short(er) version. I have 4 notebooks of medical crap that I could go through to decipher the timeline. But honestly, that is depressing and I don't really feel like bringing myself down like that right now.

So long story as short as I can make it is....

The first thing we did with Dr. H was an HSG and my tubes were both completely clear. This was the first procedure where I had major problems getting insurance to pay because they said it was coded infertility however Dr. H said he could code it something else so they would pay since this is kinda standard procedure for other things. I went round with the insurance company, the hospital where the procedure was done, Dr. H's medical office. But I eventually gave in and paid, even though I still think I could have gotten it fixed. I know more know anyway!

In the mean time of all the testing and trying to get something done, I ended up with a thyroid problem which did eventually resolve itself. Then we did our first IUI (and actually ended up being our only). I took injections of menopur for that and we did have concern about my E2 being too high and had to back off and coast. But the results came back negative for the procedure. That tapped us out for year 3. Then later when I was ready for another IUI, I ended up with a thyroid problem that took several months to resolve which took us into year 4. I went to my last appointment with Dr. H in the spring of 2007. At that appointment we were discussing our best options with all the drugs that I have to take just to ovulate and all the monitoring involved. Plus, the low morphology factor which Dr. H seemed really to dwell on. He kept saying IVF was our best option. But his price was really high. Not to mention continuing to drive into H-town in horrible traffic and such.

We started weighing our options. We felt jumping into IVF after only one IUI was a(lot) little crazy. But when we thought about how much money we had paid for just the IUI, really IVF was not financially that much farther unfortunately. Plus, our chances would be better. I was a bit apprehensive too, because I had always looked at IVF as our very last option. If it didn't work, then what? But because my ovaries are so stubborn, it takes the same amount of drugs and the same amount of monitoring for me to do an IUI as for me to do an IVF cycle. The only extra we had to pay for and go through was the egg retrieval and the transfer. Which yes, is a BIG extra chunk, but again not that much further financially. And then we would know if fertilization occurred. With IUI we could be left wondering if fertilization occurred but then something else happened. And 2 IUIs = about the same cost for one IVF with Dr. H. Another reason to do IVF, was that we had really been concerned the whole time about the low morphology being a major factor, even though all other numbers were completely off the charts great. I felt the low morphology classification was kinda some one's opinion more than anything too, isn't denial grand? So before we did anything we decided to try to get a second "IVF is our only good option" opinion. So I had heard of a doctor that was part of a popular local health care plan where we live, who was also covered under my health plan.


So we made our first appointment with Dr. W in T-town (which is still 1.5 hours away, but through the country with no major traffic!!) and he was great. A real straight shooter, but also compassionate and funny. And willing to just sit and talk out all our options and hear all our history. Plus, his nurse K was awesome and we all know how import and sometimes CRITICAL that can be! He also was willing to consider a technique for PCOS called ovarian drilling which all 3 of the other doctors I had been 2 would shun the second I even mentioned those words. To give them credit, it is an outdated technique, however my mother keeps hounding me about it because that is what they did back in her day. However, Dr. W still did also recommend IVF as our best viable option since our insurance would not cover infertility costs for IUIs.

Then we asked the big question, how much do you charge? We were surprised to find out the price was half what Dr. H charged!! We were shocked. Dr. W just explained that the clients they served simply can't pay the prices that other in major cities can pay. The population of people they serve just simply aren't the same as those served by our previous doctor in the medical center in H-town. When we though about it, it made sense. Best of all, there were no hidden costs for extra procedures like ICSI or assisted hatching or anything! The fee's and contracts for Dr. H were so scary! I felt like I was going to forget a major $5000 item if we went through him. With Dr. H, it was one fee, one time, from start of stims to finish even if that finish ended in a frozen transfer. And another upside is that their department is a teaching department for a medical school, so they would actually learn from our cycle. That was highly appealing since I work in the research administration field.

So, we jumped in with Dr. W and have been with him since the summer of 2007. It has been very nice, even though I haven't had the outcome that I wanted. He and his main nurse are great people and they have truly tried to help us just because they want to help. Not to make money, but to learn and help us have a baby. It has been a great decision.

Sorry this turned out so much longer. Aren't you glad you got the short version? Hee!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

In the beginning...

We started this journey in January 2004 when I stopped taking the pill. 6 months and no periods later, I was at the doc asking questions and reviewing my old med files. To my shock, he reminded me I have PCOS and an ultrasound confirmed it. After the shock and a call to my mom, she reminded me that I did know I had this, but had not cared so much about it when I found out at 18. Boy, I should have been paying attention!


It is all foggy now, almost 5 years later, to recall all that has happened since then. What I do remember the most are these words "you are tough case my dear". Those words have been said over and over to me, by 3 doctors! Great.

We started with (mere) clomid** and temping. Nada. My temps were everywhere and even with clomid I didn't ovulate. Eventually, we added femara and spironolactone and Prednisone, still no ovulation. The only periods I would have were those induced by 10 days of progesterone. The visits to this doctor were usually code-able under PCOS so I hadn't had any problems with the insurance company yet. A year and half later, my first doctor became frustrated and referred me to a fertility clinic in Big H.

We went nervously to see Dr. Money and entered into our first full on Infertility Clinic. It was intimidating and heart breaking to be asked "how much money do you make" on our first visit. That just made us feel like they couldn't help us unless we had thousands of dollars to give them which we DID NOT (obv). And it was so much about the numbers in other ways too. They acted reluctant to take our case if they couldn't get a good outcome because that would bring down their success rates. Also, there was a whole huge process with the billing department where it was confirmed that we didn't have insurance coverage. This started our battle with trying to pay for all this stuff. It had taken us a while to get in with this clinic and so now we were approaching the 2 year mark. We knew we had to do something more than clomid or femara, but we weren't ready for full on IVF and we didn't know much about IUIs at the time. We just new our local doctor couldn't tackle it. But Mr. Money's bedside manner left alot to be desired. My husband says that he like him fine, but he could tell that I didn't like him because I was rude to him. I remember fighting about this briefly. I was so upset that he wasn't on my side and he made it sound like it was just me that didn't like him. Either way, I thought I needed to be comfortable and I wasn't ready for an IVF clinic, so I decided to go to another Dr a family member was going to.

Dr. H was still in H-town, but he was somehow more willing to cater to my needs than Dr. Money. And at the time that was very comforting, plus he didn't ask me what we did for a living. Just overall I was more at ease with him. His practice was fairly new, which meant first class attention. So we cut it off with the other doctor right away. I wondered then if we would ever regret that decision. But we moved forward with Dr. H. We had already done alot of testing with Dr. Money so we had those transferred to Dr. H. All my blood work was fine, except for the PCOS parts which we knew about. So then we did SA on the hubby. His numbers were great except for low morphology. So then we knew what we were dealing with.

However, all of this was so expensive and we were paying out of pocket, not to mention driving 2 hours for appointments and procedures. Unfortunately, money is what has ultimately guided most of our decision making, as I am sure it is for many, many, many IF couples. That, and the fact that, indeed, I am a tough case my dears.

** I found clomid super cheap at cost.co

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gearing Up for Numero Dos

Yesterday I had my first bloodwork done for IVF round number 2. Just getting that done has made my head spin. I have been fine over the past 5 months, carefree and more fun that I have been in quite some time if I do say so myself. And I have been looking forward to trying again, but just the first simple step has kinda overwhelmed me suddenly. I don't want this to consume my thoughts like the first one did, I just want to do it and not think about every little thing. But that seems to be impossible. I already can't concentrate at work! And my husband merely mentioned doing somthing in the January time frame the other night and I was all NOooo we can't, we can't. I just need to CHILL.

At any rate, my progesterone was 1.4. Is that good/bad? Ok? Either way, I start BCP tonight and they are building my calendar and booking my appointments. I should have all the info in about 3 weeks, just in time for Turkey day.

I am excited. But I am also trying to be calm about it. I really need a massage or something to just relax and let it all happen. And the big 3-0 looms in the near future. Boo.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Am I a Newbie or Not?

Well... hello. I am a newbie to the infertility blog world. But, unfortunately, I am not a newbie to the infertility world. I am starting this blog for lots of reasons.

#1) Trying to de-lurk from all the IF blogs I read without commenting. There have been SOOOOO many post I have read that I can totally, absolutely, positively agree/sympathathize/empathize/relate to. Some I have read and said to myself, holy freakin shit, that is ME! And also SOOOOO many of those people I read are now pregnant! I think it might be some sort of great therepy I just haven't tried yet. And as most IFers know, we will try anything if it might mean we are next. (right? or am I crazy... )

#2) I need to stop being to damn secretive. I mean it has been five years of trying, I have been married for 6.5 years, and I am turning 30 this year. I mean people KNOW something is up. But so far I have not been willing to share much with anyone, not even my own mom and I consider us close. But when it comes to IF, I clam up. Well... sometimes I clam up, sometimes certain people (hi hubby!) wish I would probalby just shut the F up. I think I don't talk about it for lots of reasons, all of which I am certain I will discuss here at some point. But I will leave that for later. Gotta have something to write about and I just know that you are all on the edge of your seats axiously waiting. Hee!

#3) I am hoping this will be therapy I don't have to pay for!

#4) Maybe talking about things here, will help me talk about and face things in the "real world" and not just tell things to the internets ;-)

#5) Sharing with others might mean more prayers come my way to help me on this ... uh I guess after 5 years you call it a journey.