Monday, January 31, 2011

First blood results - Natural Cycle

The nurse gave me a call back on Saturday. My estrogen was 149. My progesterone was 0.6. She told me that means that my body is getting ready for ovulation and to get "busy" for the next 2 days. I am to call when I get my period. I have to is WONDERFUL to get blood work information back within a DAY!

I called to check and make sure that my monitoring is covered by insurance. I am pleased as punch that it is! So, I actually won't have to pay for ultrasounds and blood work for IUI cycles. The only things we will have to pay for is the actual IUI procedure (which is $350) and all of my meds. A huge burden was taken off of my shoulders when I found out that monitoring is covered. That could have easily doubled the cost of each cycle.

The meds are somewhat covered. The femara will be a $20 co-pay. The ovidrel will probably be out of pocket as my insurance company will NOT pay for any infertility injectables. My next task will be locating the cheapest ovidrel pharmacy. So far it looks like around $65 is the cheapest for the medication.

So, hopefully, the cycle will cost:
IUI :$350.00
femara : 20.00
Ovidrel : 65.00

for a grand total of $435.00. Plus the cost of acupuncture if I want to continue that. The acupuncture usually is about 3 visits per IUI at $60 a pop...$180.00 total.

Here's hoping that the femara works on my lining and makes a big beautiful egg! Now its just the waiting to cycle that is killing me. We're supposed to go on vacation at the end of the month and of course, if all goes as normal, I would be ovulating WHILE we are on the trip. So, I won't be able to cycle then. The plus side is I will definitely be able to ride the roller coasters because I won't be pregnant...the bad side is waiting yet another month to get started!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A man with a plan

AKA our first appointment with the R.E.

We met with the RE and went over all of our medical history. He said that he was sorry that we went through so much trying to get hubby on the right track, but he thinks that we are on a good course of treatment. We also did an ultrasound. The doctor was happy that I am ready to ovulate because he could see the exact "conditions" we're been dealing with. My follie was the right size for an unmedicated cycle...about 18mm. My uterus looks abnormalities. The lining is triple but too thin...only 6mm. The Dr. wants to see at least a 7. He said my lining is like teflon instead of velcro right now. The embryo would just bounce off. So, the plan is to do an IUI w/ femara + a trigger. He thinks my hubby's numbers are good enough to have a good chance of success with IUI. Assuming hubby's numbers are okay and I respond okay, then we'll do 3 to 4 medicated IUIs. If at any point the doctor thinks we just aren't going to have a shot with IUIs then he promised to tell us.

We really like Dr.Castelbaum. He seemed well informed, explained things well, and we felt comfortable with him. He did tell us that we are good candidates for IVF. He wasn't pushing it at all. He said he doesn't think we are there yet, but wanted us to know all of our options. I think he will be honest with us as to what our chances are with IUIs although the thought of financially (and physically) moving onto IVF scares the heck out of me.

So, I gave my blood for some initial tests and then we wait until CD1 when I call. I told him we are out of town on vacation at the end of the month and he said no big deal...we'll discuss what we think the schedule may be on CD1 and figure out if we will be in town then. If we aren't we'll hold off to do the IUI the following cycle.

Now I am sitting down and trying to figure out how much the IUIs will cost us. I know it is $350 for the IUI itself which insurance doesn't cover. Then we have the cost of the meds. I don't know if insurance will cover femara. I will call on monday. I know it won't cover ovidrel...I need to find out how much that costs. I also want to call back the nurse and make sure that our ultrasounds and bloodwork are covered by insurance.

I am excited to have a plan...but also a little scared that my body won't respond or hubby will not have enough sperm.

Friday, January 28, 2011

First RE appointment today

It sounds kind of crazy to say that with all we have been through so far...but we were so busy concentrating getting hubby on the right track that we just held off on the RE. Now that hubby finally at least has a count we're ready to move on!

I have to admit...I am totally excited to go and meet this reproductive endocrinologist (a friend went to him and had twins) but I am also a little scared. We haven't always gotten the best news from doctors in regards to fertility. We are finally getting positives on hubby's side so I am a little scared the doctor is going to tell me there is something really wrong with me. I realize that most of this appointment will be talking about our history and well as ordering I don't know why I am a little nervous.

Oddly enough I got a +OPK yesterday and have some ovulation pain the doctor will see me in my full glory...crampy...sore from shoveling 15 inches of snow yesterday...and tired. DH is just hoping the doctor will do an ultrasound. He said he wants to wave hello to my little egg.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And then I melted...

We spent the weekend hanging out with our nephews. My adorable nephews can melt my heart in split seconds with a hug & "I love you." And when we are in a room full of people and they choose to sit on my lap or show me their new toy makes me feel so special and so full of love.

I love you both, little guys! I love watching you grow and learn. I look forward to watching you explore life.

Run-ins with people who don't understand

See the people standing there who
Disagree and never win
And wonder why they don't get in my door.

Sometimes I just don't understand why people can't accept certain things about my work schedule. It is a fact that I work 6 days a week. It is a fact that I work at a minimum 50 hours in a week. Now, I am not one to dictate when anyone should plan a party, get-together, or other gathering. It often happens that someone plans a party on a Saturday night...when I work...and I simply say, "Thanks for the invite, but unfortunately, I have to work." I DO NOT expect anyone to shift their plans to meet my schedule. I am not that self-centered. It is my choice to work these hours. And I do not expect anyone to move their schedules around to have me attend any event.

If I can take off to attend an event, then I will. However there are two things that are involved with taking off:

1) I have to find someone to cover my shift. It is not the type of job where I can simply call and say I will not be in on such and such date. I have to find someone to be there and get it approved by management, or my butt has to be there at the time of my shift. There are very few exceptions to that rule...most of which involve being either hospitalized or dead.

2) Can I afford to take off? I have been paying for acupuncture appointments, fertility treatments, fertility medications, etc. with this extra money. And every dollar does count when you are looking at dropping $200/month for 1 medication alone...let alone a cycle of ultrasounds, various medications, at least 1 ultrasound, and blood tests. Unfortunately, our insurance doesn't pay for a whole lot with regards to fertility treatments. By my working this extra night a week, it helps to ease the burden of our infertility expenses while still allowing us to continue to save some money for our future. And at this point in our lives...we will do anything it takes to make our dreams of a child come true.

Most people are understanding that this is my work schedule. Most realize that I work 6 days a week...if you want to see me, then it is best to try to get together on a week night (assuming I am not working late) or Sunday (which is my only day off). But we do have a few people who just never seem to understand that this second job is a REAL job. I have to be there. Instead, these people plan an event and when I cannot come, give me a guilt trip over the fact that I am not able to attend. Granted, they didn't ask me before planning the event if I would be able to get off that day. It wasn't like they told me a date and I said I would get off from work and be there and then never showed up. I really do try to compromise. If your event starts an hour before I have to go to work and it is feasible, then I will be there for that hour and then go off to work. If I can come after work (which usually doesn't happen because I don't get home until 11pm or so), then I will do that as well. I am tired of dealing with the guilt trips. They need to stop.

I am also tired of people who know of our fertility struggles and just dismiss them. Look, I don't expect you to totally understand how I feel, but you can at least figure that maybe I am under a little more stress with this infertility business. My husband and I are BOTH having our bodies pumped up with hormones that make us feel like poo at times. At least realize that maybe I don't want to hang out with a room full of babies on a tough infertility day...maybe that is REALLY painful for both me and my husband. And I do this for you...often...because I want to spend time with you. I swallow down the pain I am feeling. But every now and then, I just need a day free of reminders. I know you think things are just going to magically work out for us, but the reality is that we HAVE to do fertility treatments if we want to full-fill our dreams of being parents. These treatments take a lot out of you. And when you are paying each month for a shot of having a baby, you're going to do whatever it is you feel is going to give you the best chance. So, sorry that I am not calling and having you over for dinner once a week. It is not that I wouldn't love to have you here and cook for you. It is that I am exhausted from the drugs, the stress, and my work schedule and I feel like my body needs to rest for the day (or evening) to give it the best chance possible of conceiving the child that we so desire. It is nothing personal. We are just going through a tough time right now on the physical and mental level. It would be nice if you could understand that and be supportive instead of adding to the stress level with your passive aggressive behavior. I just don't need it. I know in your world everything revolves around you and your needs. Just realize that I am trying to take care of myself right now and if I can I will do as you wish.

I also wanted to say to the people who really support both me and my husband in our fertility issues (and my work schedule) that I really do appreciate you being in our life. You have made the burden on our shoulders a little lighter. I love you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A night with my guys...

We would sing and dance around
because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade

Yup, I said with guys plural. Tonight I get to spend the evening with hubby and my two handsome nephews. I have a date to watch Toy Story 2 with my 3 little men! What a wonderful start to the weekend.

Well said...

For some years now, the wedding invitations that had once crowded the mailbox had been replaced by shower invites and pink-or-blue-beribboned baby announcements. I bought onesies or rattles, wrapped them in yellow paper, and delivered them to friends. I had done it with a happy wistfulness, believing that someday my time, my baby, would come. George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?
-Laura Bush

Well said, Laura...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fertility Sock shopping

Aunt Flow has decided to grace me with her presence and I still have a week and a half before our consultation. So, to keep my brain occupied I have decided to purchase some new "good luck" fertility socks to wear to my procedures.

It may seem silly, but it makes me happy to have a funky pair of socks on my feet while I sit half naked on a table with everyone and their brother taking a look into private regions.

Here is what I ordered:

So, when I get home tonight, I will be throwing a few old pairs of socks out. (I have many old, sad, worn out that won't be hard to do!) Hopefully, these will arrive before my first appointment!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Burn, baby, burn

Uggg...I don't know what it going on this month. I am not pregnant as I get a BFN at 14dpo. However, my nipples feel like they are burning. They aren't chaffed or anything. It feels internal.

I had so many plans for Sunday, but honestly, I am just TOO tired. I have been seriously lacking energy since I started on progesterone. I know it's normal when that drug is in your system, but it makes me so frustrated. I have so much to get done and not nearly enough time to do it. Even hubby has noticed the cycle of fatigue related cycle. Unfortunately, I don't think things are going to get any better with any of the other fertility meds that are probably in store for me.

Speaking of fertility meds, poor hubby's butt is SO sore right now from one of his last injections. We're not sure why this particular injection is so sore, but it is not a happy camper!

And on a side note, I had one of the Discovery channels on last night. A show came on about a woman who gave birth to 2 sets of identical twins. Guess who her fertility doctor was...yup Dr. Castelbaum...our soon-to-be doctor. I was totally shocked when I heard his name. Hubby was a little worried that we may end up the same way, but the show explained that it was 1 in 1 million chance of it happening, so I think he feels confident in the doctor's abilities again!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I currently have the attention span of a gnat...

I really need the next 2 weeks to go by fast because right now all I can think about it going to see the RE. I cannot focus on anything else. I currently have less of an attention span than my 1 year old nephew. I cannot go on this way...

Funny, 2 years ago I was this way in the 2ww because I was nervously waiting to test. Now I am just anxious to see a specialist!

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 is going to be better than 2010

2011 was a really tough year for us. It was full of tough news and hard times. There were a lot of tears cried.

-January started off with hubby being laid off for the second time in 6 months. Unfortunately, his new company decided to downsize and he was the new guy with the least experience.

-At the same time we learned that hubby's sperm count was not coming back. It was still zero!

-It took us 6 months to get into the specialized male infertility endocrinologist. It was a long wait filled with many tears of hopelessness.

-It took hubby countless interviews, resumes, and calls for hubby to land another job 7 months after he was laid off.

-The first month of hubby's injections were really hard on his body. He was incredibly sick and uncomfortable.

-We had several friends announce pregnancies or give birth. While we were happy for them, our sadness for our own situation was sometimes overwhelming.

-We had several issues with a family member who were trying to control our lives.

-I am still spotting and bleeding when I shouldn't be.

-Although by ob/gyn has offered to do IUIs for us, I only seem to ovulate on the weekend, so we only were ever able to do one ill-timed IUI.

-My brother (who is also a best friend) moved several states away. I miss him every day although we keep in close touch!

2011 is going to be better. My brother is getting married to a really nice girl & starting grad school! Hubby is already being treated for his issue. We have an appointment with a good RE in our area. (It was originally supposed to be this Friday, but the doctor had an emergency, so it will be 2 weeks from the original appointment...3 weeks from now.) I feel like going to the RE is just what we should be doing to really get this show on the road! I want this to be the year that I get my baby!

Friday, January 7, 2011


I just got a phone call that our appointment with Dr. Castelbaum had to be rescheduled. Apparently he has an emergency and won't be available that day...which I totally understand...but I don't want to wait another 2 weeks!!!! I just want to get the ball rolling!

Okay...back to trying to be patient again. At least once we are cycling, there won't be any interruptions!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Slight break-down...ramblings of an Infertile

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders

I know that is good advice. I just have a hard time following it sometimes. Last night I just burst into tears while I was talking to my husband. I totally just broke down. I think just 2 years of having so much spotting and bleeding has gotten to me. I just cried because I want to experience a 100% normal cycle again. I don't care what drugs I have to take to do it. I just want to be normal and maybe have a shot of conceiving.
I have been spotting at ovulation again. I don't know why I started bleeding irregularly again, but I am tired of it.

And of course because I wasn't rational, I began thinking terrible things. Things like early menopause....endo...bad...bad things that I know I shouldn't think because at this point there is no reason to worry.

At least I go to the RE soon...a week from tomorrow actually. I am ready to seek some answers.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Anxiously waiting...

I bet you think I am anxiously waiting because I am in the 2 week wait. Well, while I am in the two week wait, I am honestly not really thinking about it. I am anxiously waiting for my appointment with the RE on January 14th. While I am scared of more bad news, I am also really excited to see the doctor and finally figure out what my body is doing and why! I keep saying I need a little window into my uterus...well, this doctor is my window.

I ovulated about two days ago...I've had a little spotting...nothing too bad. I ovulated on the 12th cycle day this time and I think that is the reason I am not bleeding all over the place. It seems the closer to the middle of the cycle, the better off I am.

So, now I am waiting. I am waiting to see the doctor. I am waiting to find out if I am pregnant. (The second item I am doubtful of.)