Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dipping a Toe into the IVF Whirlwind

Yesterday T and I had our IVF classes. We started the day with a two hour class with the embryologist and four other couples. We were given the details about her job, good eggs, bad eggs, ICSI, embryo quality, and an assortment of extras that could be added on in the lab depending upon how things look. We were all a bit overwhelmed, except for the two husbands who went to sleep during the class. Unfortunately, the embryologist didn't have a lot of concern for our privacy and she asked everyone what their diagnosis was and then informed us of the offices statistics for that category, as if we were unable to look that up for ourselves. Out of my class my dh and I had the lowest odds of success with mild endometriosis and severe MFI. Interestingly, the mild endometriosis was the worst statistically.

After the meeting with the embryologist dh and I met with the office manager to discuss the $$$$. My insurance covers some parts of the cycle, such as blood work and ultrasounds, but we will still be paying at least $9,250 out of pocket for the procedure.

Next, we met with the nurse. She gave us a rough outline of our protocol minus dosages and called in the meds. Fortunately, she gave us a pack of bcps, a box of Pergonal, and two boxes of Gonal-F. My mind is just spinning knowing that I will have to keep up with a grand total of eleven prescription meds over the coming weeks. The IVF cocktail includes bcps, antibiotics, Lupron, Gonal-F, Pergonal, Ovidrel HCG, Valium, Estrogen Patches, Progesterone in Oil, anti-rejection meds, and Prenatal vitamins thrown in to increase optimism.

Dh had to endure the rigors of yet another s/a and part of the sample will be frozen for "insurance." Poor guy!

We had an entire hour and a half for lunch. We ran out and I ate something very salty since I'm about to have to watch my salt intake closely to prevent ovarian hyperstimulation sydrome.

We spent the afternoon in IVF injection class. Although we already knew that five of the meds must be injected, dh and I were still horrified by the sight of the progesterone needle. I knew it was an inch and a half long, but seeing the needles in reality is scary. I've gained 8 pounds over the last few months, which I haven't been too concerned about since I considered it padding for the PIO shots. Of course, all of the extra weight is in the wrong place, and after checking out the proper injection site for the IM PIO needles dh is freaking out because he doesn't think there is enough padding for an inch and a half long needle. His reaction brought back my memories of a nurse who was concerned about where she was going to put the PIO needle two and a half years ago when the OB/GYN was trying to get my body to begin ovulating again after six months of Lupron.

Dh has asked if the nurse can call in a prescription of Xanax for him to quell his anxiety when it's time to do the PIO shots.

I'm getting increasingly worried about how all of this is going to go. I started bcps today.

And, is it a bad sign when you are due to start Lupron injections on Friday 13th?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

So, I'm Now an Aunt

My niece arrived at 4:00 p.m. yesterday. Nobody bothered to call and let us know. We called my BIL after dinner last night to see what was going on. We assume that my sister and niece are both okay, since we weren't told otherwise.

What really made me upset was that when we got home there was a message on our answering machine from my BIL's mother, who is the children's minister at the church I went to as a child. She basically sounded like she was sad and asked me to call her so we could talk, which wouldn't be so out of the ordinary since BIL was one of my dh's best friends before he married my sister.

However, I do not want to talk to her. I don't want to hear anything about how concerned my parents supposedly are about me, or how they felt like I needed to talk to someone. I also don't want to hear half a dozen breederisms, or about God's timing, or any of that other assorted malarkey. Hearing the stories about people in the Bible who were barren and later blessed with children straight from God will not help me feel any better at this point. I also don't want to hear anything about how concerned my parents supposedly are about me, or how they felt like I needed to talk to someone.

Friday, April 15, 2005

It's Her Time

I just found out that my sister goes in at 10:00 tonight to be induced. :*(

Okay, so I know she can't "hold the baby in" forever. However, I soon will get to experience what I've been dreading all along: how I will react when I'm faced with seeing the baby, face to face. And considering how insensitive my family has been through the last eight months, I know this isn't going to be an easy ride.

I have to try to stay as calm as possible, especially being only a few short weeks from getting my IVF cycle rolling. Go figure. I've known for three years that this was the time I'd be trying IVF if I hadn't gotten lucky yet. Of course it ends up my sister gets pregnant and is due at just that time.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Breederisms, From the Mouth of My Own Mother

My sister is on bedrest. Her blood pressure was supposedly way up at her appt yesterday and she has gained eleven pounds of fluid in a week. She is due any time now.
I had quite a round of sparring with my Mother last night over the way she relayed this information. She still doesn't get it. In the middle of the conversation she even hit me with the two worst "breederisms."

1- You're trying to hard.
2- You just need to relax.

Oh, and then there was the classic, if T. was home more you'd get pregnant.
Of course, I've never told her that dh's boys don't swim. However, you would think she would understand by now that we're well beyond relaxing and not trying.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Apparently, I Peaked in College...

...and it's all been down hill from there.

My sister is due this week and I am feeling really sorry for myself.

I have two degrees. My husband has one degree and probably about four minors since he changed his major so much and it took him about 7 years to earn his Bachelor's.

When my sister got married to my husband's best friend, my dh and I of course were both part of the wedding party. They each had five attendants. Amazingly, dh and I were the only two people on stage who had finished degrees.

I often joke on ttc message boards that we can't get pregnant because dh's sperm are too busy enjoying the scenic route. They have to check out every nook and cranny along the way on their supposed journey to find my eggs. Yes, dh's sperm are very intellectual. That, or my eggs enjoy playing hard to get.

I guess I'm so disappointed because the very nature of my education and dh's education would indicate that we would be great with kids. He is a cardiopulmonary technician who specializes in neonates and I am an elementary school teacher.

I'm currently berating myself for the great idea I had ten years ago. When dh and I got engaged, I changed my career plans from psychology to elementary education, thus creating my own personal hell. Dh grew up in a large family with a SAHM, and I knew he wanted kids. Up to that point in my life I would have been just fine being childfree. Then, I got the bright idea of becoming a teacher so that I would have holidays and summers off with our children. I was counting our chickens before they hatched, in a big way. Now, I'm stuck in a job with a definite ceiling, unless I want to go back to school and get a Masters in something else. Unfortunately, IF has zapped my self-confidence and Lupron has destroyed my memory, so I don't feel like I could handle twelve more classes with any amount of success. It amazes me that I could be successful at most everything for the first 25 years of my life, only for so much to fall apart because of my health.

It's just wrong when an educated couple who earns well over the national mean income is left childless. There's so much that we could offer a child, but for some reason, Karma, or whatever our dreams are no longer coming true. Perhaps I used up all of my luck early in life.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

IVF Blood Work: Accomplished

I did manage to get my blood work done today. Four VERY full vials were drawn, and my arm is sore.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Just My Luck

I just realized last night that more than likely my sister is going to give birth while my dh is working out of town during the next three weeks. So, I'll be surviving an emotional touch and go situation alone, without a safety net.

I have tried so hard not to think about the fact that my sister is about to have a baby, except for when my parents are forever reminding me.

Let the IVF Madness Begin

Friday I received a list of IVF tests and meetings that I must complete in the mail. Upon reading the extensive list I immediately entered panic mode, because of my dh's hectic schedule. He will be traveling for business for the next three weeks, then be home for one week. After that he has two weeks of jury duty that he has to do at that time because it's already been rescheduled twice, since the county tried to get him to do it other times when he was already going out of town on business. So much for a random jury selection process that is supposed to be the ideal.

So, under the circumstances I immediately called the RE's office to schedule the appointments. Fortunately, the office staff was completely sympathetic and didn't make me feel like the demanding patient that I know I was being.

We had to dash off immediately to get dh's FDA mandated blood work done, since it was 3:30 p.m. on a Friday. The RE's office had to have the results before the one week we had available to do everything else. Since I have extremely small veins and dh passes out when he has blood drawn, we were less than enthusiastic about the short notice.

Fortunately, dh was able to get his blood drawn. He was woozy, but didn't pass out this time. I wasn't so lucky. My small veins require meticulous preparation for blood work. We had been shopping for hours the day before and I had been distracted by the scariness the flood of fifteen inches of rain we had just received. As a result, I was semi-dehydrated and my veins were nowhere in sight. The phlebotomist and I agreed I was in no condition to have five vials of blood drawn, so we would just do it next week when I had the opportunity to be prepared.

We have a marathon of other appointments and meetings that will last all day on April 26. The exciting events will include a uterine sounding, another semen analysis, an IVF specific injection class, and a myriad of meetings with various office staff members. I am wondering what will fill the two hour meeting with the embryologist, since I'm new to the whole IVF experience.