Thursday, October 30, 2014


I was going to write a post here about about my meds so far (Lupron, Dexamethasone, and a prenatal, and nothing else) actually made me feel pretty damn good.  I don't have any hot flashes, headaches, all the other stuff people didn't like about these drugs.

I've been working out two hours every day, boot camp in the morning and something like yoga or dance in the evening, got a massage, have been eating better than I have in my entire life.  For god sake, I had poached eggs, avacado, smoked salmon and one piece of whole gran toast for breakfast.  No drinking.  No allergy medicine.  I felt great!

And then I got home from a client meeting this afternoon at 2PM and just thought I'd lie down for a minute.  I fell asleep for two hours!  I got plenty of sleep. I haven't napped in years, especially not passed out on the couch in my bra and hose with a phone ringing.  I missed like two important calls.  :/  Whoa.  So, I'm tired.  But other than that, I feel pretty great.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Big Steps!

Shit just got real.  Monday was the start of my shots.  Couple weeks of Lupron, then to stims.

My sperm donor even left a business dinner/meeting to give me my shot, even though I told him he didn't need to.  I thought it was sweet of him to come support me like that, even though it was just an insulin needle.  Still, feels like a big step.

I'm working out like a fiend because soon I won't be able to.  This morning I went to boot camp, and this afternoon I'm going to Zumba.  Yesterday I went to yoga and boot camp.  I've done everything in the last couple weeks I won't be able do anymore: drinking, kickboxing, ice skating, golfing.  I even got a spray tan for the first time, just because I could, which was ridiculous and stupid and I looked like a housewife of New Jersey.

My supplements are now forbidden.  Now, it's just a prenatal and the meds on the med calendar.  The hardest part to me has been no allergy medicine.  No Claritin, no Benadryl, and I've been suffering.  But I can deal, and, in the broader scheme of this awful process, I can deal with a constantly runny nose from whatever the trees are doing around here.  Big steps...  I can feel the success coming!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Christmas Hope

Many moons ago, Christmas 2012, I said to my husband that what I wanted for Christmas was to be pregnant next Christmas.  When Christmas 2013 rolled around, I said the same thing.   I just want to be pregnant for Christmas.

Christmas 2014 is coming soon.  Christmas music is already here.  I just ordered a Christmas scented candle.  I have waited for this Christmas gift for SO long.  If everything goes to plan, my first betas will be in the first few days of December, which would mean I could tell our immediate relatives at Christmas.  (No hiding anyway when you're in IVF yay).

In 2012, I believed I would be pregnant by Christmas.  I bought a Christmas baby onesie on sale (size 6 months), which I know will be triggering when I get the Christmas bins out, lawd knows it was last year.  In 2012, I believed I would be pregnant by Christmas, but in 2013, I didn't.  I didn't believe anything, I didn't buy anything, I didn't make any promises, I just held on for dear life.  I didn't allow myself to believe my wish.  I didn't allow myself to visualize my dream.  I squashed out all the hope.

This time, as I start IVF, I can feel the hope bubbling up in me again.  The kind of hope that makes me want to buy tiny Christmas stockings to announce my twins.  This is crazy.  This kind of hope has only hurt me, and it has only whiplashed back around into pain that brought me to my knees.  When it comes to this whole process, hope has only brought pain and suffering.  This time is going to be different.  I'm hoping, and I'm hoping and believing bigger than I ever have before.  I believe I'll have my twins this Christmas.  I can see it.  I can feel it.  I believe for this Christmas.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Giant Box of Meds

I got my giant box of meds today!  The box was so big it didn't fit in my trunk. I had to move the seat back and put it in the passenger seat.

Total $4,718.62, copay 119.49.  I'm on a lot less meds than many of the ladies, and this feels like A LOT.  I'll update my cost list once I figure out this giant spreadsheet of meds and money.  I'm scared now.  Yikes!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Shots Coming Soon

Great news on Friday.  The insurance company approved the IVF and the ICSI.  Wow.  I have no idea why they picked up the ICSI, but I know they picked up the IVF because I had disfiguring tube removal and have been jumping through awful terrible hoops for a year.  Yay for mandatory IVF coverage state!  So.  It's finally here.

I called the Aetna injectibles pharmacy.  After a few minutes on hold, the lady was really nice, and I'll have everything in my little hands on Wednesday.  Wow.  It was so convenient even.  Wow.  I am so impressed with this insurance.

I was expecting a fight.  I don't know, I just keep waiting for something to go wrong, like something has at every single step of this process since 2012.  But now it's all been done and processed.  I just follow the sheet, show up at the right times, and none of it is in my control.  There's something kind of peaceful about that.  I have no control at this point.  Other people/the universe are now in charge.  So maybe I can relax while stabbing myself with needles.  Approved by insurance!  Coming on Wednesday!

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Catholic Family + IVF

WARNING:  This post has religion (Catholic) and politics and reproductive ethics, and it's kind of bitchy, unfair, and mean.  If you think you might be offended with these topics or by how mean I am today, please feel free to skip this post.  :)  Or argue with me.  I dished it out, I can take it.

I knew this would eventually be a problem.  My husband's entire family is Catholic.  I wouldn't say any of them are particularly good Catholics.  Practically no one attends and has cohabitated/used birth control/had babies out of wedlock, like everyone else.  But if there's one thing they are good at, it's guilt.  This whole process has been shitty and unfair to me, plus I've felt like a total bitch lately, so this felt like a fight I was ready to have.  They're also gossipy, so I knew this would come out eventually.

At a family wedding this weekend, an in-law cousin decided that would be an appropriate time to lecture me about the Catholic Church's views on IVF.  At a wedding.  The bitch was probably on birth control right that moment (already has four kids), certainly wasn't forgiving my trespasses, and probably had to google what the Catholic position was on IVF.  I already know the Catholic position on IVF, thanks.  I was pretty impressed with my reaction. I let her finish, and I didn't even correct her minor technical inaccuracies in a very precise doctrine, which was hard for me.

When she was done, I backed up to my ectopic, which she didn't know about about.  You know, my dead baby that almost took me with it, an awesome discussion at a wedding.  See, the Catholic Church has an equally well-defined doctrine on ectopic pregnancies, or "abortion" as it calls this fun condition. I ended up having a complete disfiguring tube removal (salpingectomy) that took my fertility, so I'm completely in line with the Catholic Church, whew. But if I had caught my life-threatening, non-viable ectopic pregnancy in a less dire circumstance, it would be against Catholic doctrine to remove a tiny part of the tube (partial salpingectomy) or take pills to force dissolving (Methotrexate). I would be having an abortion.

That's right. The Catholic Church thinks I should have to lose an entire tube (and not part!) to skirt the clear black and white line of an "abortion." Or I could bleed out and die, I guess.  This is actually an issue in ERs in Catholic hospitals where women are choosing between their fertility and their lives.  Sickening.  With a position like that, your organization has no credibility to me on this entire issue.  It's indefensible, and it just makes no sense.  Any idiot would see that, including this cousin on her fourth drink.

The cousin shut down and realized she was out of her league. Since she was clearly over talking theology, I told her this. "Look. I didn't tell you any of this. I don't know why you think this is any of your business. But if you can't support me, then do me a favor and just don't say anything at all. The last thing I need is people judging me and gossiping about me when I've been through so much." And that was that. Overall, I've been pretty impressed at how supportive everyone has been. I've really been blown away by so much love; one meddling idiot living in the middle ages isn't going to get me down.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

It Has to be ME ME ME

This post is hard to write because it's so selfish and bitchy and raw.  But it has to be said because I feel it constantly.  If the baby I thought I was going to have were alive, it would be, well, Prince George's age.  And we all know that's old news.  That's how long this has been.

I'm really close to my in-laws and we shared our wonderful news two days before our not so wonderful news with my sister-in-law and her then-fiance.  They got married this summer.  She is three years younger than me.

It has to be me.  It's my turn.  I was supposed to be first.  I deserve to be first.  My MIL will be over the moon with her own daughter's baby, but I need mine to be the first grandbaby.  It should have been mine.  It has to be ME!

I will be absolutely heartbroken if she gets pregnant before I do.  I'm not saying that her husband isn't awesome or that she shouldn't make her own choices.   If anything, my fuckery should show her not to take it for granted.  But I can't even deal if I have been running in place all this time and she laps me.

I love her so much.  She loves me so much.  It's something we don't talk about at all.  My MIL is like my best friend, so I know she knows, but I think she feels it too.  We just don't say anything.  It's just not fair.  Life isn't fair.  But surely life isn't THAT unfair.  It just has to be me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Implant 2 or 1?

I have only one more big decision to make about this IVF cycle, assuming everything goes to plan.  Do I want to transfer 1 or 2?  Like Spirit Baby Come Home, I consider this a big decision.

It's a gamble.  If I don't implant the two, I might get none, and I'll have to live with that I didn't do everything I could.  But there were a lot of twins in those pictures of babies all over the IVF clinic...  It's easy to gamble when it's someone else's eggs, and someone else will be doing the midnight feedings of preemie twins or on bedrest for three months.

At my clinic, 95% of women my age transfer two fresh, which probably leads to its incredibly high success rate.  The other 5% have some health reason not to, which I don't have.  Well, at least that I don't know I have because I never got that far.  My uterus has never seen any action, so we have no idea what will happen when it gets that far.

The risk, obviously, is twins.  Twins actually run in my family on both sides.  My dad, aunts, 2/4 grandparents are twins, my aunt miscarried twins.  We're like 50% twins in here!  My mom found it hilarious that IVF might be how I get the twins that somebody in the family should have had by now.  Yes, hilarious that everyone else's magical fertility only gave them one baby four times in a row.  Twins would be special in my family for sure.  She might even tell everyone twins run in the family, if she didn't feel the need to tell everyone about my IVF all the time.  But I don't want to take any risk on health issues, premature babies, add on danger just to have the twins my mom would love.

I think I am going to make an appointment with my OB.  He is a weird dude, but I've been with him a while, and I know he'll tell me how it is.  And even though I have very dark memories from that waiting room.  I'm just going to ask him what he would do.

My sister, always a scientist, offered the almost relevant input that it is not medically ethical to selectively reduce from twins to singletons.  I guess she means to say that means twins are safe-ish?  Selective reduction is not my question.  My thinking is more like if I can prevent my baby being premature or having the other issues of twins, maybe I should?  I'm in a position where bedrest could be done.  I'm also in a position where another FET could be done, no big deal.  I could do anything I need to to make this work.  But maybe I should play it safe?  I am open to input.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Telling More People About IVF

I am so grateful and full of love today.  I can feel the love the universe is sending me.  Now that I'm officially on the IVF bandwagon, I've been somewhat careful about who I have told.  I have a particular friend who has a vague objection to IVF, so I just avoided the subject altogether.  But I've been blown away by the support of my in-laws, my sister, most of my friends, even my mom who has managed to keep it together and shut her giant, gossipy mouth.

I went to college in another state, grad school in another, and I worked in another for a while.  That means a lot of my friends are scattered, and this isn't exactly the kind of shit you post on Facebook.  I talk to them on the phone from time to time, but it isn't like it might be if we lived in the same place.  A lot of them have no idea about the ectopic, I was beyond shaken when that happened and never told anyone I could avoid telling really.  So a lot of them have no idea we've been on this path for years now.

Today, I talked to an old friend I talk to every few months.  We've always tried to be supportive with each other, but we certainly aren't besties or anything.  I decided to tell her about the IVF.  I'm not sure why, it was a risk because I didn't know what her response would be.  She is pretty religious in a conservative Jewish faith, and she has a lot going on in her own life.  I guess I told her because IVF is the most interesting thing happening in my life right now.  It's why I'm not traveling.  It's why my work is suffering.  It's what all of my emotional, financial, and temporal energy are going toward.  So I told her in a hopeful, upbeat way.

I was amazed at the outpouring of love.  Of an anecdote of someone who got twins.  Of just sheer joy and positive energy and love.  It was really amazing.  When a shitty response leaves you in fear, it's amazing the love the universe can give you if you give it a chance.  I am blown away.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

More Thoughts on Mammograms Before IVF

Can you tell I have a lot of feelings about this?   (See Thoughts, Part I).   I keep reading more and more about mammograms before IVF, and it looks like the gold standard CCRM IVF clinic in Colorado requires everyone to get a mammogram before IVF, which is the only reason Guiliana Rancic got one at all.  That mammogram saved her life at 36 as it caught early stage breast cancer.  I'm all for this.  What a great idea.  I know I would have put mine off if I didn't have to do it for IVF.

And then there's crap like this from the Boston Globe.  After Guiliana's press blitz, the always qualified Staff Writer plays doctor and wonders, "Do All Women Need Mammograms Before IVF?"  Staff Writer goes over the standard suspects.  You're young, you don't have family history, you probably don't have breast cancer.  Yea, just like I'll have no problem having a baby, like everyone else, right?  And it's not like I would be pumping my body full of hormones that could literally fuel an easily detected, deadly cancer, right?  And chemo when pregnant is no biggie, right?  Thanks, doc!

And then the end.  "I'm worried, though, that women may be swayed by Rancic's powerful story than the faceless emotionless science."  Worried?  WORRIED?

Worried about what?  Worried you might think about getting a mammogram after hearing that amazing story that literally saved a woman's life?  Worried you might waste half an hour of your day?  Worried that you might have one more bureaucratic form out of a thousand.  Worried that you might tack on $100 to a bill in the tens of thousands?  Worried you might be embarrassed at someone seeing your boobs on the way to your daily trips to the dildo cam?  Worried you might stub your fucking toe on the elevator?  Who in the history of the universe has ever been worried that you might NOT have cancer???

I'd be a hell of a lot more "worried" about pumping estrogen into the unknowns in my body when my mother was on estrogen blockers for decades to block her invasive, estrogen-fueled breast cancer that almost took her life at 37.  That's where worry comes from.  Just get a mammogram.  Make sure you don't have cancer before you start IVF.  There's no downside.  Unless you stub your toe.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Scalp Massage

One of the things I love about the new RE is that it is in a more multi-purpose area, as opposed to the cluster of hospitals of the other one.  This means parking is free (yay!) and it means there are a ton of shops, restaurants, all kinds of stuff if I wanted to do something before/after my many many many scans/blood draws/appointments I will have at this place.

There's a salon near the RE that does blow outs for $40.  For another $10 you can get a braid or you can get a scalp massage.  HEAVEN.  Getting my hair blown out is one of my favorite things.  Doing it on a Wednesday after a dildo cam seems absurd, but no more absurd than this whole ridiculous process.  And I'm supposed to keep my stress down right?  And I hate acupuncture.  So, massages and scalp massage.  Mmmmm.
 Probably cheaper than stupid acupuncture anyway.

And then I had an even better idea.  Both my mom and my MIL want to come to one of my many fun meetings with a dildo cam.  Wouldn't it be fun to go get our hair done after?  Wouldn't that be relaxing and fun and bonding?  We could do our hair, go to lunch, and try to pretend like this is just a fun female outing.  Try to pretend this is normal.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

All Good News

Hysteroscopy, blood work, samples, genetics, dildo cam, it's all done now.  And it came out even better than before.  We are all clear to go now.  I have dosages, a protocol, a calendar, dates, wow.  There were SO many forms.

The doctor said I had over 20 tiny follicles on each side, which makes me PCOS-like, but without the PCOS hormonal issues.  The best of both worlds, if you will.  Because of this, I have to be on birth control for three more weeks!  That's a long time!

He said I shouldn't drink a ton when on birth control, but some is no big deal.  I will take that as a license to drink.  Especially if I'm going to hanging out with the stupid pill for so much longer.  I'm going to need a new pack!  And some champagne!  I feel like this is something to celebrate!

This whole process, really everything since my ectopic, I have just been waiting for things to screw up and go wrong.  I've just been waiting for the other shoe to drop.  This time, it hasn't, and all the things that needed to be right are and it is all finally looking up.  This time, I'm going to be happy.  Everything I could control I did, and everything I couldn't control came out perfect for me today in this time and place.  I am so full of hope today!