Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Past the point of no return

So sorry I’ve been out of touch for a few days! Work has been crazed—to the point where I have very little time to sneak away to blog, even at night while I’m home I’ve been doing stuff. The bastards! How dare they get in the way of my more important blogging.

Anyhow, here are a few updates:
  1. Rather than deal with the situation with my friend’s potential pregnancy announcement, I’ve avoided the topic. Completely. It’s all very mature, really. I just emailed saying that I was really busy at work (which, by the way, is true), so next week wasn’t good for me (also true). The good news is she’s going to be away the week after, so we’re talking now about late July, which will be well past my stims. So, I think I can safely put this off until after my beta. And, I’m hoping that means that, if she is pregnant, she’ll give up and just tell me before we meet.

    Like I said, very mature.

  2. Remember that guy I told you about at work? He needs to go. He’s making things uncomfortable for another team member, to the point where she doesn’t really want to come to work anymore. The whole situation sucks. I hate confrontation to begin with. And EVERY conversation with him involves confrontation. So, we’re in talk with lawyers to see what our options are. If it were only up to me, I’d just fire him and deal with the fallout. But I guess we need to follow some kind of protocol. Argh. Stupid rules.

  3. So, I started my stims tonight. It wasn’t quite as seamless as I thought it might be. First, I don’t know if I mentioned this, but Smirky’s office offered to have the meds sent to them rather than to my house. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about being home to sign for them, they could check everything for me, etc. It sounded like a great idea to me. Especially because the pharmacy I have to use is notoriously unreliable. They’ll say something is going to arrive one day, and it will arrive two days later. Which of course makes it tough to know when to stay home from work to sign. (Wonderful for an industry that depends on timing, no?) So, I took Smirky up on the offer and picked up the enormous box-o-meds at my monitoring and bloodwork this morning.

    Then, this evening as I went to give myself my two shots, I realized that there’s only one kind of needle in the box. This strikes me as odd, since I’m supposed to have one kind for my meno*pur, and another IM needle for the progesterone in oil (good times). So, I call Smirky (at night—ugh—I hate doing that) to confirm that this is wrong, and to ask what I should do. The bad news: yes, it’s the wrong kind of needle. The “good” news: that I can do the meno*pur as an IM injection.

    *blink, blink* huh? Did you say I’m going to have to do this as an IM injection?

    I wasn’t ready for that just yet. I had prepared myself for my two sub-q shots, but I was happy to have few days to get used to that before I had to move on to IM. Ugh.

    So I asked Smirky if there was a secret option c. Like, might Wal*green’s have the right syringe and couldn’t I just get it there?

    Thankfully, I could, and I sidestepped the IM landmine for tonight. But, here’s my question: Is there not enough stress involved in IVF that they wanted to throw a little curve ball for good measure?
So, that’s about all for now. I’ll try to find something more interesting to say in my next post so you don’t leave me all alone during my sad-IVF period. Or worse, during my post-transfer 2ww! ☺

Friday, June 22, 2007

Overthinking it: 1, Rationality: 0

First, please go over and give some support to our dear friend, Tam. She just got some bad news from IVF#1 and could use a few virtual shoulders to cry on. Tam, we’re thinking of you and Frank. Hang in there, sweetie!

Second, can I just tell you how much you all rock? Honestly, when I started this blog, I never considered the support I’d get from such a wonderfully selfless and understanding group of women (and men!). You’ve all been such a source of inspiration and wisdom and I’m regularly humbled by your strength. So, thank you for all of your thoughts in response to my post yesterday. Both for validating my fear and for being straight with me. It can be hard to see past the nose on your face with some of these IF emotions, and it’s honestly so wonderful to hear helpful thoughts and advice from caring people who can really understand.

Speaking of which, my emotions have been all over the place since yesterday. (Can I blame the bcps?) I posted yesterday immediately after I got B’s email and I was in all out oh-my-god-I-just-know-she’s-pregnant panic mode. (I’ll explain why this announcement would be particularly hard for me another day...)

I was (and remain, to a certain extent) terrified that I would not be able to remain gracious under that pressure, particularly in the midst of my first IVF.

Since yesterday, I’ve thought a lot about what to do. You’re so right that I need to find a way to find out if she’s pregnant before I see her in person to help protect my emotions while also being there for my friend.

The thing is, though, that I don’t want to ask her beforehand. Here’s why: Particularly early on when we started TTC, people would inject the “ooo—are you pregnant??” into conversations all the time. And it infuriated me. For example, once I was sick as a dog for the entire day—started getting SUPER nauseous at about 3am and was laid out all day. One of my friends called and asked how I was. When I told her I felt crappy, she said, “ooo—do you have some good news for me?”

I didn’t, of course. That is unless she thinks having the flu is good news. (Infertiles get sick, too, you know!)

So, on the off chance I’m reading this situation dead wrong, I REALLY don’t want to ask the question in case she’s not yet and she’s having a hard time with it.

Of course, the thing is, I don’t think I’ve set her up with enough information to realize just how bad her timing would be, and just how much I’d need an advanced warning system. Ms. Planner asked if I’m in the IF closet with B, and the answer is, not exactly. She knew about our pregnancy and miscarriage last year. And she knows that we’ve been trying ever since. And she knows that I’m having a hard time with it.

But, she has no idea that we’re about to do IVF. And she doesn’t know about our IUIs. (I don’t like to tell non-infertiles when I’m cycling because they inevitably start hinting around about whether I’m pregnant towards the end of the cycles and, well, per the paragraph above, getting a BFN is hard enough without having to tell a bunch of people that you are indeed not pregnant.)

So, it wouldn’t be entirely her fault if she blindsided me in person with this. In a different situation, it would be an entirely appropriate way to celebrate!

Anyhow, I’ve officially entered overthinking-it mode. She might not even be pregnant, for peet’s sake! (And, WOW will I feel silly if she isn’t.)

And, as KarenO said in response to my post yesterday, “if you want to cry when B says she's PG, go ahead and cry! You'll look beautiful with a smile through the tears and then your friends will understand without you having to say anything.”

KarenO, that is so beautifully simple and so right. If these are good friends—and they are—I can be myself. And laughter through tears is a beautiful emotion. And, showing the real me in that way might be the only way to not let all of this drive a wedge between us.

So, perhaps I should stop trying to control my emotions so much, and instead should focus on just letting my pain come through, mixed up as it will be with my happiness for her good fortune.


In other news, I take my last BCP tomorrow (hurrah!), and I go in for my first u/s and b/w on Wednesday. This pre-IVF BCP cycle has been very strange, and while I’m nervous about starting IVF in earnest, I’ll be happy to be out of limbo. I just want to move forward at this point and to stop thinking about it anymore. I guess I’m just really ready for my first day of school.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

On rallying...

Right around the time I moved back up from DC, two of my housemates from college—B and C—and I found ourselves living within shouting distance of each other for the first time since college. It was serendipitous—none of us really thought we’d end up here, but here we are. And we get to see each other some much more often than before we all moved to the area, and it’s wonderful.

It’s funny, though. We all started in the same place—we met in college, we all studied abroad in different countries, we shared so many similar experiences and were in the same place for so long.

But, in the years since college, our lives have taken such wildly different turns. Most acutely in the past few years. C, who was the first among us to get married, is now in the midst of a divorce. B, who was always the straight-arrow of the group (wanted to go to Harvard Law, marry a rich man, have a house in the burbs, etc.) became a middle school teacher and married a stand-up comic and lives in a one-bedroom apartment in the city. (And is really happy with it—it’s been wonderful to watch her throw away her plans to truly follow her heart where it led.) And I, well I turned out to be the one to move to the ‘burbs with her hubby and her dog when I NEVER dreamed I’d do that. Ever.

But, despite the different directions our lives have taken, we’ve remained very close. In fact, in some ways, we’ve become even closer—we’ve learned to lean on each other in ways we’d never thought we’d need to.

I remember, after one particularly painful pregnancy announcement, confiding in C that I was just feeling really bad about it all—that I didn’t feel the pure joy you’re supposed to feel for a friend when she announces such wonderful news, and that I felt like a horrible person because of it. After the conversation, C sent me an email that simply said:

"But Oh! The blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearless on any subject, with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - have neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." - Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, "A Life for a Life", 1866

And I cried. Not because she understood what I was going through or feeling, per se, but because I knew that she was there for me, with no pity, no judgment, and no agenda.

But now I am worried. You see, I know that B and her husband went off birth control in November, and I’ve been really nervous about when she was going to announce their pregnancy. I know it’s selfish and horrible, but I really, really just wanted to be pregnant before she did. I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, but because of everything we've been going through, I just knew it would be hard for me if she got pregnant first. And I just didn't want to deal with that kind of a fallout on our friendship.

But, B just sent an email to C and me that said:

Hey ladies? Does July 3rd, 5th or 6th work for a dinner in the city? I'm not sure if you are going away for the 4th or not. Anyway, let me know & hope all is well! B

And I’m terrified that she’s bringing us together for dinner to announce her good news. And I fucking HATE that IF could ever cloud such a wonderful and happy announcement. But I know myself well enough to know it will be hard to hear--if only at first.

And I know that I need to rally to be happy for her and not let my own struggles get in the way. If she is pregnant, it’s wonderful news. They will be wonderful parents, and I will be a happy aunt.

But I’m still scared of my reaction. And I’m scared of what kind of a strain it will put on our friendship if I feel the need to hide my feelings from her, when I never have had to do that before. But I also know that I can’t cloud her good news with my struggle. Not this time.

I don't mean to sound melodramatic. But in case I’m right, I need to prepare myself for the announcement so I can put on an especially brave face for her. She deserves it (and more). So, I need to rally!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cute Boys and Ice Cream Trucks...

So I had a whole different post written, but as I was finishing it, hubby heard the ice cream man coming down the street and got SO EXCITED. He ran outside as fast as he could (so he wouldn’t miss the truck, of course) and bought us both soft serve cones. With sprinkles. Chocolate sprinkles.

So, I ditched the other post for the moment because I just needed to tell you that I’ve married the cutest. boy. EVER. Really. He’s so f’ing sweet I can hardly stand it. This man was born to be a father.

*sigh*

Monday, June 18, 2007

Scattered Monday thoughts...

First, I’m glad I got a lot of takers on the inflatable gona1-f pen and ovaries. Ironically, my next-door neighbor has a side business renting inflatable bounce houses. I wonder if he could hook me up?

In other news, I’m EXHAUSTED. And my breasts are sore. The combo of which really gives lie to the idea that those are both early pregnancy symptoms, no? I mean, I’m on bcps, for peet’s sake!

Although, I have to admit that hubby and I had a good laugh about it. I mean, that’s good comedy: two years of infertility. One miscarriage. And we get pregnant on BCPs? THAT would be amusing. Sort of …

I’m also happy to report that I’ve less than a week of BCPs left. I start my stims a week from Wednesday. I have a feeling that, starting Wednesday, everything is going to go really quickly. It’s just all so strange, and I’m still so conflicted.

On a semi-related note, there’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about friends lately—and more to the point about how friends can really end up letting you down in ways that would have been hard to anticipate. I think that’s why on some level I just don’t talk to most people about what we’re going through. I think I mentioned the other day that I’m still very much in the IF closet at work. But the truth is that my closet extends beyond work. I just don’t know anyone irl who’s ever (as far as I know) been through any of this, and I just hate having to talk about it with people who I know just can’t possibly understand. I feel like it's on some level setting them up for failure, and me up for disappointment.

Case in point: I was talking to one of the few friends in whom I have confided about all of this and she was asking if we were going through with IVF. I told her we were, but that I wasn’t really happy about it. I just didn’t want to go through all of this, that it just seemed spectacularly unfair, and that I was still just having a really hard time with it.

“Well you’ll just be happy when it’s all done.”

To which I replied, “well, certainly not if it doesn’t work. And even if it does, that THIS is what it takes for us to have a baby is upsetting and hard to come to terms with.”

“I guess.”

Argh.

I don’t know what I expected. I KNOW she can’t and doesn’t understand, but it just really pissed me off that it was so easy for her to say, “well, this will all be over if you just get pregnant.” It was just another reminder of how deep the chasm between fertiles and infertiles is. I mean, even if we’re lucky enough to get and stay pregnant—and deliver a healthy baby—this journey has changed me, has changed us. It’s changed our perspective on so many things. So, while I obviously hope it does work, and while I would certainly be ecstatic about it, it wouldn’t immediately erase everything we’ve been through.

But, it occurs to me that that’s what everyone will expect. What little empathy we do get now will be gone if we get pregnant. Like a pregnancy—after two years of infertility and much pain and isolation—will instantaneously make up for or erase everything else.

And I guess I wonder on some level the news of a pregnancy wouldn’t just leave some people feeling in some sense relieved—relieved that they no longer have to deal with the uncomfortable “what should I say to the IFer” conversations.

That’s not to say they won’t be genuinely happy for us, because I know they will. But also, the news will just make THEM more comfortable. And they won’t understand how difficult and scary every day of early pregnancy will be for us. And they won’t understand the pain we’ll still feel when the due dates of our earlier pregnancies pass. They’ll mostly just think that we should be happy and grateful. And they’ll secretly hope that we can just brush everything else—all of the other pain we’ve experienced—under the rug.

Maybe I’m wrong, and I hope I am. But my friend’s reaction today just hit home in a way that I hadn’t anticipated. And it made me realize that, even if (when?) we do make it into their “club,” there will still be a void that’s hard to bridge. And while I still love my fertile friends and feel so fortunate to have them, this journey and experience will inevitably have changed our friendship.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Good deed of the day


Someone came to my blog today by googling “inflatable stork for twins.” I’d like to believe that, after reading this, they reconsidered and I might have saved another unwitting infertile from such blatant fertile bragging…

Speaking of which, I'm thinking of putting a giant inflatable gona1-f pen on my front yard while I'm cycling next month. Either that or two giant ovaries with a bunch of follies that I'll inflate a little bit more each night leading up to retrieval. Either way, really...it's all very tasteful and classy.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

On furlough

I don’t know what to write today. Hope and fear--or should I say, hope and despair--are both battling it out for my attention as I try to gear up for IVF, and they're so closely matched right now that I switch back and forth in an instant. Right this very second, despair is winning. But, I can’t even write about that. Since I’m in my holding pattern waiting to cycle, it seems almost pointless. I’ll have plenty of time to obsess over hope and despair beginning on the 27th.

Yesterday Erin asked me how I felt being on birth control right now. It’s funny, I had written a paragraph talking about it for the post I wrote yesterday, but I deleted it before I posted. You see, I had changed my mind about how I was feeling between the time I started the post and the time I finished it. Which is of course ridiculous.

You see, at first I started to write how liberating it was to be on BCPs, to not worry about cycling or IF. But as I continued to write my post and think more about what being on BCPs really meant, I changed my mind. The truth of the matter is, I don’t feel liberated. I feel like I’m on furlough. But that I’m not ready for parole. And I certainly haven’t been pardoned.

Of course on the other hand there is some comfort in not thinking about IF ALL. THE. TIME. And I guess you could argue that this extra time is helping prepare me a little more for IVF. But I also worry that the extra time is just building up my expectations and anticipation so that I have that much farther to fall.

So, I guess you can see that I don’t know how I feel about being on BCPs. I’m having the worst time making heads or tails of it all. I just don’t know. And I don’t know who to ask. Because, you know, it’s me. I should know, no?

*sigh*

In other news, last week I emailed the CFO/CEOs to tell them that switching insurance companies with no warning on July 1 was really screwing with us financially. (I didn’t tell them what I was doing, just that I needed a “medical procedure.” I’m still very much “in the closet” at work.) And they’re actually working hard to find a solution. It sounds like there’s a possibility that the new company will cover this as if the doctor was “in network” for the procedure through the end of July. That would be great, and would save us thousands. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

First day of school

I had a dream last night that I just had my retrieval and was waiting in “recovery”—which, in my dream, meant waiting in line at my local coffee shop. So you can see where my mind is--IVF and coffee.

When I saw one of the nurses, I asked how many eggs they had gotten and she told me there were eight, but that only two of them were mature enough for IVF. (I don’t even know if that’s possible, but whatever. It was a dream…)

I panicked, of course: “If they’ve only retrieved two, what are the chances of both fertilizing and growing and making it to the 5dt and implanting and…??”

So, yeah. I guess I’m a little uneasy about this whole process.

Anyway, the dream got me to thinking that waiting for the IVF cycle to start feels a little bit like waiting for the first day of school.

I don’t know if you were like this, but leading up to the first day of school, I always got nervous and excited and scared—particularly if I was going to a new school. The promise of a new year lay ahead, and I always had so much hope. Would there be anyone new? Would I meet new friends? Would I have a boyfriend? Who would be in my lunch? Would XX be in my French class again? Will I have Mr. X for Chemistry?

And, of course, wrapped up in that hope was a great deal of trepidation. What if my friends didn’t share my lunch—who would I sit with? What if I didn’t like my teachers? What if…

So, for the couple of weeks leading up to the first day, I’d always have dreams about what things would be like. It was like I was trying to play out all of the scenarios in my mind to help prepare for whatever lay ahead.

Once school started, I was always fine, even if all of my questions weren’t yet answered and even if everything wasn't all sunshine and roses. By then I was in the thick of it, so it didn’t seem so distant and scary. It was just what I did, and I went about my day, and I found people to sit with and I made new friends. And I always had teachers I hated, but it never really mattered. Everything worked out as it was meant to, and I dealt with the ups and downs as they came.

I guess that’s what I’m doing right now, waiting for the first day. I’m on the BCPs, so in some ways I’m already in the game (even if I’m not pot-committed yet) but the “real” stuff hasn’t actually begun. So, now I wait.

Of course this wait is different from any other in our TTC journey. I mean, this month nothing can happen. So, I’m not worried about what CD it is, and there is no obsessing over 2ww symptoms. But that just intensifies the feeling of being in a holding pattern waiting for day 1.

And, while on the one hand I’m excited about the promise of IVF—excited that this could be IT. And while I know that I will be fine, and that we’ll deal with the ups and downs as they come, on the other hand, I can’t escape those old fear demons: what if they don’t get enough eggs? What if the eggs don’t fertilize? What if they don’t implant? What if I have too many embryos? Too few?

And of course there’s nothing I can do about it now. And so I wait and dream and play out the scenarios of what it all might look like in my head. And I patiently (ish) wait for my first day of school…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Redoubling the challenge efforts...

So, okay, I can’t lie to you guys. I’ve been, well, not so great about the 28-day challenge. In fact, I haven’t run in almost a week. Crap. As usual, there are a ton of reasons why. Like that I had the crappiest week and was on the road at 6am and not home until almost 8pm several days. Okay, so there’s just the one reason. But, damnit I was tired.

But now I just feel crappy. I feel like I’ve literally gained 5lbs in one week. I’m assuming this is the BCPs because I haven’t eaten any more than usual, but I feel awful. And, of course I need a bunch of clothes so I went shopping this weekend. Remind me NOT to go try on clothes when I feel like a cow, okay? It’s really just adding insult to injury.

What’s strange, though, is that I’ve been on BCPs before and didn’t gain any weight. So, I don’t know if this charming new development is the results of a different prescription that just doesn’t agree with my waistline or what.

But, you can't keep a good woman down...I jumped back on the wagon today with two very long walks. And I'll add some running back into the mix.

In other news, I take my last BCP a week from Saturday and start my cocktail of IVF meds on June 27. Crazy, huh? I really can't believe how quickly it's all coming together. Every now and then I get this feeling like, "wow, this is REALLY happening, isn't it?"

Oh and there's one other charming new development. As I was walking doggie today I came across another stork on one of my neighbor’s yards. The good news is that this is neither inflatable nor lit-up, and that this doesn't coincide with any particularly painful milestones for us, but still. What ever happened to a nice “It’s a Girl” balloon that you put up on the mailbox and that, because it was a balloon, didn’t last more than a couple of days? Now we have these stupid storks that stay up FOREVER. And this one has the baby’s name, birthdate and weight on it. That seemed kind of strange to me. Do you really want everyone who drives by to have that much information about your newborn?

Anyhow, that’s about all that's going on chez SB and hubby.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

One of those days...

I had a meeting at one of our buildings that’s about an hour and a half away (with no traffic—with traffic last Friday it took me 3.5 hours to get halfway home before I gave up and stopped for dinner and a tall drink). You see, my team is split up into two geographies, so I end up spending about a day a week at the far-away office. But, I try to maximize those trips by scheduling a bunch of meetings all in the same day.

So, because I had a meeting I HAD to attend today at 3:30 at the far away office, I scheduled a bunch of morning meetings to maximize my time. I leave the house at 6am and trek all the way down there. About an hour after I get there, I get an email confirming the 3:30 meeting for TOMORROW, not today.

ARGH! And, oops. Nice work, sticky. (I looked into it. It was totally my fault—I just entered the day in my calendar wrong. ??? I’m clearly losing my mind.)

In any case, that the meeting was actually scheduled for tomorrow was problematic not just because it meant that I spent an extra day in traffic for nothing, but also because I had scheduled my IVF class with Smirky’s office for tomorrow afternoon. Crap.

Luckily, because Smirky’s office continues to be the most agreeable and responsive office ever, they let me switch the appointment to this afternoon. The downside was that hubby couldn’t come. But the upside is that I was able to get my pap and will get the results before I start my IVF protocol on the 27th.

While I was there, I asked about whether I should be concerned about my shriveling eggs. They assured me that my numbers were actually fine—for IVF. That was somewhat comforting, but the caveat left me not entirely convinced I have the eggs of a spry 32.

Of course, my worry is probably inextricably linked to the fact that I’m just feeling O-L-D lately. First there were the wrinkles. Then, I’ve recently discovered an alarming number of gray hairs on my head. And now the borderline high day 2 E2 level. (And, I wasn’t expecting that. My results from last August were fine. Great even. But now I worry because I know that your results are only as good as your worst reading, so last August’s reading is cold comfort.) Anyhow, the combo just has me feeling like I’m about 100.

But, as Matthew MF Miller wisely said in his comment yesterday, I shouldn’t let the worry consume me until I know there is something to worry about. And since we’re doing IVF next month, we’ll have a lot more data.

So this is me not worrying. (I know what you’re saying—what the hell do you look like when you ARE worried? It’s frightening, I assure you.)

What I am worried about, though, are those intramuscular injections. Yikes! How bad are they? Seriously…I need to know…the nurse showed me the needles today during my class and I gasped. I’m such a wuss…

Also, hubby and I have to fill out all of these consent forms about whether we’re open to ICSI, PGD, freezing, and what we’d do with frozen embryos in the event one of us died, or divorced, or stopped paying the storage fee.

It was a sobering reminder of my concerns about IVF, to say the least.

But, I’m still feeling as ready as I’ll ever be to move on. And I can feel hope eeking her way in again ever so slightly. She’s such a glutton for punishment, what can I say.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Shriveled eggs?

So, a confluence of events now has me convinced that my eggs are shriveling up and that THAT is our problem.

You see, it all started quite simply. I got into work (after sitting in traffic going to my b/w and u/s) and was reading up on a few blogs. And I surfed over to The Oneliner and read her post from this morning in which she describes how her new RE tells her that unexplained infertility is just code for bad eggs.

So, I panic a bit. We are unexplained, after all…

Then I get my CD2 bloodwork back from my Smirky’s office—FSH = 7.4, E2 = 75. The FSH is fine, but the E2 is borderline high, which can mask a higher FSH level, I hear.

This causes my panic to grow.

Then, I turn to Dr. Google, who, as you know, does nothing but confirm all of our worst nightmares. (Bastard.)

So, now I’m convinced that my eggs are l’il old ladies and that the ‘ol biological clock is ticking at much more astonishing rate than I previously realized—like that maybe waiting until July for retrieval is really a dicey option and couldn't we just do it tomorrow?

Okay, I’m exaggerating a little…but still. It puts a new spin on the IVF thing, let me tell you!

So, assvice welcome—can anybody more knowledgeable about FSH and E2 levels tell me if this is something I should be concerned about? (I’ll obviously ask Smirky when I see him Thursday as well, but I could use any and all perspective you have to offer as well…)

Oh, and to add another layer of complexity to our IVF struggle, I found out the other day that my company is switching insurance providers on July 1. Yeah, that would be smack in the MIDDLE of our IVF cycle. And, with my current provider we were lucky enough to have IVF fully covered with Smirky. With my new provider, Smirky will be “out of network.” The difference? Several thousand dollars in unexpected out of pocket expenses for hubby and me. Aces. Thanks, boss!*

In other (better) news, I got myself back on the treadmill today. I’m trying a run/walk combo in an effort to build my endurance back up. It ain’t easy, but I feel good about doing it. (Well, except at that point on the treadmill where it feels like I might collapse.)

*Please understand that I do realize how lucky we are to have any IF coverage. Actually, it’s a law in my state—insurance providers have to cover 3 IUIs, 2 IVFs and three ovulation induction cycles for women under 40. Something all states should cover, at a minimum, if you ask me…

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Weekend Update

Holy Sh*t, am I ever out of shape! All I have to say is, thank god for you ladies! Erin, Laura, Amy, and JJ have joined me for the 28-day challenge. And, if it weren’t for my challenge compatriots and the public shame and ridicule I would have to face in the blogworld if I quit on the first day of the challenge, I would have stopped after the first two minutes of running. But, since Erin is already kicking ass and has run almost 4 and walked more than 20 miles on only her third or fourth day, I’m going to stick with it. I don’t know how far along my running goals I’ll get, but as long as I get myself moving 5x/week, I’ll feel pretty good.

In other news, it’s CD1, so Ms. P, I’m sorry to report that we’ve not become urban legends. On the upside that means we can all still detest those “just relax and you’ll get pregnant” types. On the downside, it means I’m officially on the IVF train.

I have to admit, though, that last night I had a little IVF breakdown and I was ready to bail on it entirely. I just suddenly felt so conflicted--in a different way than I had been--and just completely not ready for such a big step. Mostly, I felt not ready to give up on us.

I told hubby that I didn’t want to do it, and the poor thing looked like he was going to cry. He really wants to move forward, although he would never pressure me into it. It was kind of a curve ball to throw at him at the 11th hour, but it’s how I was feeling at the time. So, we went on a long walk with the dog to talk about it. And over the course of the walk, I began to realize that what was bothering me the most last night was that, by moving on to IVF, we were acknowledging that we can’t get pregnant on our own. That we are truly infertile. That, for whatever reason, things just don’t work the way they should.

You see, for the past two years, I’ve been telling myself that the timing has been off, or that it’s been stress, or that our IUI cycles have been sub-optimal, etc. But, never have I actually said, “the truth of the matter is that we can’t get pregnant on our own.” And last night the realization hit me all at once and made me so sad that I just burst into tears on the street. And, it felt good to have a long cry—to grieve the loss of our fertility. Something I’ve never allowed myself to do before.

I asked hubby to let me finish the walk on my own—I just needed to be by myself and to sit with my new realization for a while. When I got back, he gave me the biggest hug in the world. And he apologized for not getting me pregnant. And that made me even sadder. And I realized how hard this must be on him, too. I assured him he had NOTHING to apologize about. And we just hugged and felt sorry for ourselves for a good long while. (Hubby is the best hugger ever…) And he told me we could wait as long as I needed.

When I woke up this morning, I felt better. It was cathartic to acknowledge what one of my biggest hang-ups about IVF was. I told hubby that I wanted to move forward. That I didn’t want to face another 3 or 6 months of heartbreaking BFNs without doing something. That I needed to stop kidding myself into thinking that, despite 2 years of IF, somehow everything was “fine.”

So I called Dr. Smirky today. I felt bad calling on a Sunday, but I couldn’t remember whether I was supposed to start BCPs on CD 2 or 3. He said I should call the office tomorrow morning to go in either tomorrow or Tuesday. Then, later this evening, he called back to say, if it worked better for me, that I could come in tomorrow morning at 8am.

I mean, voluntarily calling on a Sunday night to see what worked best for my schedule? Inconceivable!

So I go tomorrow for my b/w and u/s. Game on!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Are you comfortable with IVF?

I was talking to a good friend of mine, A, last night. She knows all about what we’re going through, and while she can’t directly relate, I don’t find talking to her about it maddening. In fact, I’ve always found it oddly comforting. You see, she and her husband got married three months after us, and she and I talked a lot about when (or if) we’d have kids. She was fairly certain, though not positive, that she’d want them eventually. But her husband wasn’t sure he’d ever want them. And we’ve always talked openly with each other about it in the most non-judgmental way, which I think we both found really refreshing. (For her, I’m sure the struggle of opening up to people about it was that she’d always get the “how could you MARRY a man without working this out??” I never asked—there are some things that defy explanation and some instances where you just need to follow your heart where it leads and deal with the fall-out afterwards. And I think she always appreciated not having to justify her decision.)

Recently, they agreed to start “officially” trying. I put officially in quotes because, while they haven’t been trying since they got married, they haven’t really used any kind of reliable contraception either—for three years. So, while she can’t be certain, she has a suspicion that it’s not going to be breezy for them. And the complicating factor for her is that, since her husband wasn’t sure he ever wanted kids, the chances of him being up for going through what we all go through to have one are slim. And I’m sure that puts additional pressure on her in a way that I can’t completely understand, since hubby has always been open to doing just about whatever it takes to build our family.

Anyhow, while we were chatting last night, I told her that hubby and I were going to start our first IVF cycle next month. She wasn’t surprised, but she asked, “are you comfortable with that decision?”

My reaction probably sounded funny to her. I said, “well, not particularly, but it some ways, isn’t that beside the point.”

I suppose to someone who hasn’t gone through what we’ve all gone through, that would sound like a hasty decision. “How could you do something so invasive without being ‘comfortable’ with it?” But really, at this point it’s not about being comfortable so much as it is about being out of options.

And, the idea of trying to get “comfortable” with IVF made me think of Laura’s (The Reluctant Baroness) recent letter to her fertile friend. The whole post is beautiful and definitely worth reading, but the part that struck me the most was this:

“There is a beauty in being able to make love to the man of your dreams, and now a child can/will come from it. It seems that will never be for me. I will need injections, speculum, and plastic catheters and to be touched by a person who means nothing to me, while my husband can only watch and try to support his wife.”

I mean, how can I ever be truly comfortable with that? It’s not how it’s supposed to happen. When we began dreaming of having children, it didn’t involve a cold speculum and stirrups. It didn’t involve hubby producing a “specimen” in a cup. It didn’t involve something as sci-fi as growing embryos in Petri dishes. It didn’t involve selecting which of our embryos—our children—would be suitable for transfer. And waiting and hoping that at least one of them stuck.

So, no, A. Sadly, I’m not comfortable with this decision. But I’m not comfortable with the alternative either. And so we move forward and we follow our hearts and we hope for the best.