Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to the (in)Fertility Shrink

I made an appointment with the (in)Fertility Shrink for next Thursday. I haven't seen her in several months, but I am going to have get some perspective on all of this - I'm not doing very well with it at all.

I've been asking myself a very difficult question since yesterday, and it keeps going through my head over and over again: Why didn't I call earlier? Why did I wait until 10 days after I stopped the pill to call those nurses?

I am not blaming myself for this. I am, however, questioning the fact that I am not a lackadaisical person about these kinds of things. I am the overly worried, neurotic, anal-retentive patient who begs the ultrasound tech to tell me everything she's seeing as she sees it. I carry a green three ring binder to all my appointments. I am the patient who drives these nurses crazy with question after question.

My sister called me Monday evening and asked, "So, has it started yet?"

My response was, "No, and I'm not really worried about it. It'll start when it starts."

That's not like me because I really was feeling a sense of apathy. Obviously. I waited 10 whole days to do anything about it.

I think a part of me is so tired that I don't even want to think about it anymore. I've enjoyed my break, and I'm not overly enthused about getting back into the game.

So tell me, have you ever just felt like enough is enough, and how in the hell did you find it in yourself to keep trudging through this?

By the way, this is not a rhetorical question - I would really like your feedback. I need some momentum. Badly.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Am So Over This Whole Thing

I've really had it.

Apparently, Nurse Nightingale forgot to explain to me that I should be looking for a little spotting and not a full blown period. So, I missed it.


I called the Clinic today, and they said that I have to wait for my next period (which is probably about 3 weeks away) because I somehow should have known that a little spotting was my period this cycle. I've been sitting around waiting for the real thing. Then, it's baseline all over again, and I guess stims - I'm waiting to hear back from them about that part.

I am furious with her for not explaining that for me. I am furious with myself for not being more proactive by calling sooner. And I am most furious with the fact that we even have to go through this crazy madness.

This is getting ridiculous.

I am beginning to think that we aren't supposed to do this. It's like we can't even get past the starting line, and I'm so tired of going through this again and again.

So, I'm feeling sorry for myself because I don't understand why this is happening or what I've done in my life to deserve this misery (must have been something pretty damned bad). It just keeps happening over and over again, and I'm just exhausted of dealing with all the pregnant people, the fact that my 35th birthday is about 4 months away and the fact that practically everyone I know is well into their child bearing/having experience.

So, if we go forward (and I guess we don't have a choice since the money is already out there), we're looking at yet another month away.

I'm so tired.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aunt Flo is an Ugly Trog!

Well, Auntie (Bitchass) Flo is taking her sweet time...still sitting here waiting for something to happen.

I've been a little crampy here and there - I'm guessing it will be Monday or so before she finally decides to ride into town. Our 2K worth of meds will have to refrigerate until she gets here.

On a positive note (and I have to think of something positive these days), I will admit I have enjoyed my extra week of lattes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's a Go...Today, Anyway

I'm still on the bandwagon, as of today. This cycle I am just realistic - my goal is just to hold onto the wagon and remain in the process as long as I can. Vanished is my idealistic self who used to believe that a girl could give herself a few shots, go through an egg retrieval and end up with a few embryos. I get it now - it's an accomplishment just to make it from one step to the next.

Baseline ultrasound and E2 levels indicate that we can move ahead, per Nurse Nightingale. The cyst is still present on my left ovary, but is the same size. No worries about it presently.

Now, I'm just waiting for Aunt Flo to appear. Meds will start on Day #3.

As is typical in IF Land, I am now waiting again and mentally preparing for the numerous (additional) questions that will no doubt arise in the next few days.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Facebook Finer Points and The Plan

When my friend A. talked me into this Facebook thing, I joined with some hesitation. I was expecting lots of questions from the people of my past about how many kids we have and/or why the hell we haven't popped one out.

That's hasn't exactly been the case.

While most of the time I find Facebook rather amusing, I am astounded when I see someone much, much younger than me with kids who look like they're about to enter high school. At those moments, I force myself to push forward (without torturing myself with their photos), reminding myself that I thank God every day I did not procreate with the "Men of My 20s".

Moving onward with The Plan -

We have our baseline ultrasound scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. L. has been educated in the finer points of mixing Menopur via phone. Nurse Nightingale was a little hesitant about this initially, insinuating that we may have to drive the 2 hours to the clinic to learn this "IVF skill". However, L. talked her into a phone course, and she ultimately said he did a "great job".

It's moments like these when I realize how far I have come - I would have been PETRIFIED about this kind of thing a few months ago, and my confidence has now grown to the point that surely if I can give myself injections, surely I can mix up some powder and saline with L's tutelage.

If all goes well with the ultrasound, we'll start stimming on Day 3 of my upcoming cycle.

Trying to stay the way, today's image is my attempt at positive visualization. This is our beautiful goal ahead!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Silver Linings and Ship Jumpers

This weekend, my sisters, mom, aunt and cousin came to help me paint a wall in my home as we are getting ready to put our house on the market. They all know what a stressor this house-selling thing is for me, and they wanted to alleviate as much of my anxiety as possible in hopes of helping with our upcoming IVF cycle.

I marveled at the love I felt at being so "taken care of" by these phenomenal women who support me implicitly.

Over my 34 years (10 of which have been spent in the counseling profession), I've been exposed to many stories of human adversity and the way it often leads to the scattering of so-called friends.

I never believed it, really. The truth is, I never believed it would happen to me, that is.

Until now, I didn't realize that life's storms are often more than some people can handle. I could have never predicted who would earnestly hang with me and who would run for cover (or jump off the Titanic, as my sister puts it so eloquently).

Perhaps the silver lining of these ship-jumpers is the renewed appreciation in those people in your life who continually cheer you on, who listen and who even let you get by with a bad attitude here and there because of the adversity.

So, if you're reading this, thank you. It undoubtedly means that you are part of the silver lining of another otherwise perilous journey.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Protocol Is In...

Nurse Nightingale called this afternoon with my brand new protocol.
Here's the plan:
  1. Birth control pills until 1/18/09

  2. Call Nurse Nightingale THE MINUTE Aunt Flo swooshes in

  3. Baseline on cycle day 2 or 3

  4. Begin 150 mg. Gonal F in the morning

  5. Begin 150 mg. of Menopur at night

  6. When follicles reach 13 mm, begin using Cetrocide

If everything goes according to plan (and I am based in reality this cycle, so that's a big IF), egg retrieval and transfer should be sometime early February.

I know very little about Menopur and Cetrocide other than that I am being fed no drugs which directly suppress ovarian function. Per Nightingale, my brain will be doing the work.

Hmmm..that sounds eerily reminiscent of Clomid, my scary drug.

I'm actually feeling fortunate that Dr. A. doesn't want to do "more of the same". When you're playing around with this kind of money, it's nice to know there's a little variety in the gamble, particularly when last time was such a flop.

Here's to a very expensive rendezvous with the pharmacy....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ready for Reality

Call me crazy, but I'm ready to return to work tomorrow. I'm really ready to focus on something other than my vacant uterus.

I knew I was ready to return to work when I felt angry, annoyed and irritated with every mommy at the grocery store today. I kept looking at these blissfully happy women and wondering to myself, "What the hell does your uterus have that mine doesn't?"

Definitely time to return to the grind. 8 a.m. can't get here quickly enough.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let the Roller Coaster Ride Begin! (With a Twist of Irony, Of Course)

Yesterday I called the Clinic and left a message that my cycle start date was 12/31 and that I wanted to see about getting orders from Dr. A. so we could start moving forward. I presumed I wouldn't start anything until Lupron around the 20th of Jan.

Couple of hours later I received a voicemail (I missed the call - UGH!) from the nurse saying that Dr. A. has written our orders and that since she's changing our protocol for this cycle (which I didn't know until I received this message), we just missed the "window of opportunity" for this month but would have "plenty of time" to get things started with my next cycle.

Ummm, no, waiting is not an option.

She said that if we had questions, we could call back. Due to their reduced Holiday hours, they would be leaving at 4:30, and would return to full hours on Monday.

It was 4:26 when I received this message. So, I called back, no answer.

I freaked out for the next few minutes and then decided to call back again. It was 4:32.

The nurse answered (for which I'm convinced she deserves the Nurse Nightingale Award).

She said that Dr. A. wants to change my protocol, which means birth control pills beginning on cycle day 3. Since we connected, we're going to be able to proceed this month, and the nurse agreed to call in my birth control pills.

But, birth control pills? Seriously?

I've read that this is a standard sort of thing for IVF, but in my mind, it is the ultimate irony. I can't believe I'm officially back on the pill. I popped my first one last night.

So, I'm 34 years old, have been trying to conceive for 26 cycles and I'm taking the pill again. This roller coaster sucks.

We still have some kinks to work out on Monday about the stims she wants to use, but IVF attempt #2 is officially in motion.

Will keep you posted.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hello, 2009!

I've always loved the New Year because it affords me an opportunity to be a little sentimental and philosophical about the passing year. Last year, I created a Top Ten list for our Christmas cards, reflecting back over the events occurring in our family over the course of 2007.

This year, I didn't have the creative energy to put it together (along with the energy to do much of anything "Holiday-related"), but now that it's Jan. 2 (IT'S FINALLY HERE!!), I have developed a new energy to document 2008's highlights, so here goes:

10. I ran a minimarathon with my good friend Angela. It was an amazing experience, and I loved every minute of it. I'm excited about doing it again someday.

9. Vacations to Boston and Washington D.C. Great trips, and according to everyone I know with kids, someday I'll be even more grateful for these "pre-kid" memories.

8. Starting a new job. It wasn't something I expected out of the year, but it was a tremendous gift all in all.

7. Discovering the blog world. This is certainly one of the best things that happened to me this year. Blogging has become an incredible, invaluable therapy for me through this infertility experience.

6. Progress in Infertility-ville: We endured half of an IVF cycle and 3 IUIs in 2008. Sure, none of them were successful, but we made it anyway (i.e. we're still alive).

5. L. started interviewing for jobs. This is a major hurdle in our lives as he's been in school for a very long time, and hopefully, life is going to settle down a little in 2009.

4. Significant family events: My sister broke up with her commitment-phobic boyfriend (this time, it's for good) and L.'s brother got married (my new sister-in-law and are far from what I would call "best friends", but we've managed to find some common ground with each other because, after all, what choice do we have?).

3. I endured IF and it's impact on my friendships. Some of this has been a disappointing (and harrowing) experience, but I've moved on nonetheless and am learning the merits of self-care.

2. I am learning that maybe unexplained infertility is a decent diagnosis if you have to have a diagnosis at all. I'm still working on this one, but L. almost has me convinced.

1. I feel closer than ever to my wonderful, amazing, committed, loyal husband. And, it just doesn't get better than that. No, I can't say that my #1 2008 is a positive pregnancy test, or the birth of a child. What I can say with absolute certainty, however, is that I am married to the most wonderful person for me on Earth.

So, that's my Top Ten List for the year. I'm going to dive back into the blogging world - I've missed you all, and I'm ready to start plugging along with you again.

Happy 2009. I hope it's "The Year" for us all.

By the way, we had a great kid-free New Year's, and it really rocked!! :)

Also, to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of January 2, I called the Clinic to let them know that we're ready to get started on the IVF thing again. Looks like Lupron will start around the 20th.