You Can’t Change It (IVF Update)

I am a realist. It’s just who I am to my core. It doesn’t mean that I am negative, but that I like to know every possible way something could go, and what the odds are for each scenario. I also like to have a plan. And a plan B…and C…I do not like to be caught off guard.

There is a huge difference, at least in my head, of knowing what could happen, and actually experiencing it play out in your own life. There was a time, when we first started trying, that I knew there was a possibility there could be an issue, but even as I started to see my OB and my RE I didn’t actually think there would be a problem. Those first few months with the RE, having surgery, getting diagnosed with endometriosis, and experiencing 3 back-to-back failed IUI’s I felt pretty blindsided most of the time. Still with each obstacle or failure I went into the next thing believing that it could be successful. Even though the odds of getting pregnant from and IUI are small it does work for a lot of people, and I fully believed I could be one of them. When it didn’t work out I was disappointed, but not surprised.

When we started fertility treatments I thought we would do 6 IUI’s before moving onto IVF. After the first three failed we made the decision to try one more with injectables. Because the cost was so much higher for an IUI cycle with injectables it didn’t really make sense to try it more than once. I thought, at the time, if that cycle weren’t successful and our next step was IVF, that I would completely breakdown. It had been a long year, changing jobs, my grandpa passing away, and my dad getting sick. When we finally did the IUI, and it failed, I don’t even remember crying. I just felt kind of numb, and went on with life. As much as I wanted it, I couldn’t change the outcome, and the odds were not in our favor.

More than being upset about the cycle failing, I was concerned that I only produced ONE follicle using the more powerful drugs (Gonal F), which was the exact same response I had to taking Femara. During our consult for IVF a few weeks later the doctor assured me that this would not be a concern because I was on such a low dose. For someone my age they expected to get at least 15 eggs.

This is the part where I continue to remind myself that I cannot change the decisions I made, or the way things have played out. If only I had known, right?

We decided to take a year off from treatment. I wasn’t mentally ready to do IVF, and I wanted to be able to pay cash rather than finance the cost. We spent the year (especially me) focusing on improving our health. I lost weight. I purged our home of chemical products. I replaced many plastic products in the kitchen that could be leaching BPA. I changed every single product I put on my body. I started using oils instead of pills when possible. I started acupuncture. I cut a huge amount of sugar out of my diet, learned new REAL food recipes, and as IVF got closer cut out caffeine and alcohol completely. While all of these things are very positive changes and regardless of what happens I will continue to do them for probably the rest of my life, as far as my fertility is concerned, they did not make an impact.

A year later when I walked into the fertility clinic to start IVF, this time excited and ready, I was, again, blindsided by the AMH results and a much lower antral follicle count from the year prior. But I was told by basically everyone that I just needed to be positive. Everything would be fine. I asked the doctor about the result (because she never brought it up to me so I had to ask her about it) and she just told me that it was “kind of low” and she had adjusted my protocol to account for it. The only person that acknowledged that there could be an issue was my nurse, and I honestly really appreciated it. Everyone else, including my husband, just told me to “be positive”.

So I tried to push it out of my head, or at least to the back. I didn’t bring it up anymore because everyone make me feel like I was upset about nothing. I was tired of being told to be positive when I felt that I had a legitimate concern. I knew I couldn’t change what was going to happen, and of course I hope(d) for the best, but I just didn’t understand why no one wanted to admit that, given the information we now had, there could be an issue with the number and quality of the eggs they would be able to retrieve.

The first few days of stims were significantly more difficult for me than the last. I felt pretty crappy and exhausted and I started to feel really full/bloated. And then on Tuesday it all went away. At first I gave my acupuncture credit for feeling so good. My E2 level taken on Tuesday (CD7) was 950 which from what the nurse told me, and what I researched online seemed to be a good number for where I was in stims. Wednesday I started to feel worried because the full feeling I had previously had completely gone away. I actually felt totally normal. I just pushed it out of my mind because I knew if I said something I would be told again, to just “be positive”, and with all of the extra hormones pumping thru my body I might lose my shit.

Thursday I went in for monitoring. I felt a little anxious. I had a hard time sleeping the night before but I was still in a light happy mood. I was sincerely praying for 10 follicles. I thought that seven or eight might be more realistic given my antral follicle count was 10. As soon as she started the ultrasound and went to the right side I started to feel panic. Three follicles. There was another that was about ¼ the size of the three, and one that was so smalls he couldn’t measure it. And then the left side. Two follicles. And another that was too small to measure. So five follicles. The doc also confirmed that they were all mature and that I would trigger that night which was a complete surprise to everyone.

I was honestly shocked. I got dressed and they moved me to another room to wait for the nurse. It took her a while to get everything in order because my retrieval wasn’t expected until next week. I sat there, letting the information sink in. Five. Just Five. I text my husband, and my good friend D who has also done IVF. The nurse and I went over instructions and final medications that needed to be taken, but she had to wait to schedule the exact time until later in the morning. She gave me a hug and told me she would call me later. I called my husband to give him more information about what had transpired, to let him know he would need to find time to clean out the pipes as soon as possible (awkward because it was on a business trip in meetings all day), and to plan what we would do with my stepson on Friday night/Saturday morning since he could not come with us. Our conversation was brief.

I headed into the office and in the 30 minute car ride I could feel the tears welling up. I wasn’t crying because I lost hope or because I thought this was the end. It most definitely is not the end. But after being told so many times to ignore all of the not-so-great things that have happened the past few months in the name of positivity, I needed to acknowledge that this was not good news.

I promise you I totally understand that it only takes one. I am praying that we have one. I know that is 100% possible and I have not given up on that. Two feels like a dream come true.

Tomorrow morning we will go in and see what happens. I know I can’t change it. I can’t control it. I have prayed for it and I have done everything I could do.

For now…To be continued……

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One Year of Blogging

Yesterday was my one year blogger anniversary. I am apparently a bad blogger because I thought it was today, until I went back and checked. I have posts dated into August of last year, but that was because I pre-dated posts that were actually written in September for easy of telling my story in what would have been a MONSTER post. Actually one year ago yesterday I was just recovering from laparoscopy/hysteroscopy and trying to cope with the news that they had found stage III endometriosis. Really trying to cope with the last two years of TTC, but now there was no more denial. They had found an actual legitimate issue with me. The first few days after surgery were spent in bed, mostly sleeping, but when I started to feel better physically I totally lost it mentally/emotionally.

First I spent a few days doing research (online of course). That research eventually led me to find blogs. What a wealth of real life information! And then I started writing. And writing. And writing. For hours I wrote out everything that had happed over the previous few months. Everything that I clearly had not been able to deal with properly. Then I wrote about everything that had just happened. It was the best therapy I could have hoped for in that moment. And so became my blog. My safe place.

The last year hasn’t been my favorite. I’ve been tested quite a bit and there are days I really struggle to keep perspective on my blessed life. The past year has been packed with sadness over the loss of a loved one, unthinkable stress over the near loss of my dad, heartbreak over the disappointment of three failed IUI cycles, frustration in adjusting to a new job, and financial stress from all of the unexpected things aforementioned. I know I have a lot of blessings in my life and I am so very thankful, but this year has been hard. I am ready to start anew and I am really hoping that 32 will be so much better than 31. Truthfully I am pretty freaked out to be turning 32 this week only because I can practically hear my biological clock just tick-tick-ticking away. And I absolutely hate it when people tell me I am still young. Yes I know that 32 is not 35, 37 or 40. I get it. But I started all of this at 29 and here I am…..same place and there are really no guarantees that I won’t still be here at 35.

I can feel things have started to turn for the better. I am really working on not stressing over that which I cannot control. I am totally focused on my TWW and keeping things happy and positive….and keeping myself occupied. Next Wednesday at 10dpo the mind game will really begin and I am sure I won’t be quite as level-headed as I am at the moment.

I am infinitely grateful for all of the support in this blogger community. Until recently I didn’t actually know anyone in my everyday life who had been through this, and they amazing women who are constantly lifting each other up are a God-send. The best part is seeing the babies that represent hope for everyone else. It is the happy ending to a story and I personally love to read about my fellow friend in the trenches who has made it out. It’s so good to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I may finally get off this long road onto a much better one.

Back in the Stirrups

Normally I don’t talk to myself, but if you saw me this morning you would be convinced I was a lunatic. The talking to myself was necessary….because I was trying to talk myself down from the impending panic attack I was feeling knocking at the door to my sanity.

So my morning went like this….

I left my house and headed straight for the pharmacy. My original thought was, Great my appointment isn’t until 9:15 at the clinic which leaves me ample time to get my prescription for Letrozole and Estrace first (so I could get my butt to work as fast as possible after the appointment). Well as it turns out, my pharmacy opens at 9. SHIT. This isn’t the biggest deal, but I just knew they wouldn’t have it ready by the time I got there and so I would have to wait….which just adds stress on to the whole “missing work” thing.

I took a few deep breaths, and drove to the Starbucks next door. Might as well have a nice latte while I still can right? I got my coffee and proceeded to call Freedom Pharmacy to set up my Ovidrel and Gonal-F delivery. The good news….they actually had the prescription this time. The bad news….because of the holiday weekend they cannot deliver on Tuesday (the day I need to start the Gonal-F). My choices are tomorrow or Saturday, but my husband and I will both be gone starting tomorrow. And my office closes at 1 on Fridays in August so I can’t even have it delivered there! And in rolls the anxiety. I told her I would figure something out and call her back and I started to drive to the clinic literally out loud trying to get myself to calm down. When I arrived in the parking lot I was able to get a hold of a friend who lives a few minutes a way that is actually going to be in town for the weekend. I am having everything delivered to her and hopefully she gets it all in the fridge.

I entered the clinic feeling slightly better but still on edge just wondering what else might not go as planned. As I mentioned I met with the financial coordinator last week. At that time she told me the cost of my cycle, and that it would be due when I arrived for my baseline ultrasound (today), and that I could pay by credit card, check, cashiers check, or debit card. Pretty much anything except cash. Well then today the receptionist gave me a hard time about paying by check because of some random technicality in the system. I forgot to check how much my debit card allows in transactions per day before I left, and I was literally beginning to lose it when she finally figured out that I could pay by check. Such unnecessary stress!

Thankfully the actual appointment went well. It was with my preferred doctor at the clinic, Dr. M, and I was clear of cysts. Even the whole ultrasound while on my period thing wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I had a quick meeting with the nurse coordinator and then off I went back to the pharmacy.

As expected they did not have my meds ready. And I needed to pick up my thyroid meds as well which I knew I would have to ask them to do for me since they can’t seem to figure out how to keep them on auto refill since I take two different dosages. There were seriously like 8 people working behind the pharmacy counter and it was complete chaos. After finally talking to the pharmacist he tells me that one of my thyroid meds only has enough left on the prescription for ½ of what I need for a month. What?!?! How is that even possible? I was able to convince him to give me those pills so I could get through the weekend, while he got the refill from my doctor. It still took 30 minutes to get out of there.

By the time I got back to work I was a wreck stress-wise. I was thankful that my boss was not in the office when I got back. I got right to work and accomplished everything on my priority list quickly. Of course not long after I got back I got a message from my doctor that they will only refill my thyroid meds for 1 month because I need a blood test! I literally just saw her when she made me come in in May for a “Med check” appointment and she didn’t say anything about needing one soon. Actually I asked her to give me a lab sheet for Lab Corp in case I wanted to get one voluntarily. It was stupid enough that I had to go in for an appointment with her so she could “see how I was doing taking my thyroid medication that I have taken my entire life”…..and how this! I mean what a waste of time and money!

Keeping my eye on the prize, I am super grateful that all of this worked out and I know I need to seriously work on keeping a little calmer when I get curve balls. Honestly if my boss hadn’t made me feel so uncomfortable about missing work for doctor visits, I think I would have handled all of this better. I am so thankful I had no cysts and can go forward with this cycle, and that thank goodness my next ultrasound appointment is on a Saturday. My beta day will be Sept 23 or 24th which could be the perfect belated birthday present.

The Next Level- Prep for IUI #4

Today was my appointment with the financial coordinator and nurse coordinator at my RE’s office.  It was a lot of information to soak up in an hour, but I left feeling more like a legit infertility patient.  I mean it’s not necessarily that I didn’t feel legit before, but my first three IUI cycles felt different.  For one, it felt reactionary and shocking.  I had no idea what to expect.  It was kind of like being in the kindergarten of infertility treatments.  You are qualified to be there, but they just easy you in with the “easy” stuff.  Apparently when you start injectables  you have graduated to another level, and shit gets real.  

First, I never had to see a financial coordinator for my Letrozole only cycles.  I just paid for each appointment when I came in that day, and no one ever really told me the overall cost for appointments or medication.  This time things are different.  Even when she came to the waiting room to get me she took me to a completely different part of the office I didn’t know existed.  For a mixed cycle (or straight injectable cycle), you pay for everything at your baseline ultrasound.  That includes all ultrasounds, two back-to-back IUIs, a Beta at their lab (they always sent me to an outside lab before), estridol testing, and possibly other things I am now forgetting.  She also gave me an estimate on my medication cost.  All in all, this cycle will likely cost about $600 more than my Letrozole cycles, which is honestly a big relief.  She also gave me an estimate on the straight up injectable cycle, which was about double the cost of a mixed cycle (5k-ish). Honestly I do not see us ever doing that, but rather going to IVF.  The other interesting thing was that she went over the positive beta scenario with me, as it relates to billing.  Up to this point, no one at the clinic had ever mentioned to me what would happen if I actually got pregnant.  I learned that they basically do monitoring for you until 8 weeks, and she went over what would be billed to my insurance in that case.  I also had to fill out a form that stated I understood all my treatment was out-of-pocket (until positive beta), which I had never had to do before.  

Next I headed into the nurse coordinator’s office.  She went over what seemed like a mountain of paper work with me.  She first informed me that apparently I need a PAP.  Mine expired like 30 days ago…..and my OBGYN takes like 3-4 months to get into for a PAP.  I sort of started to freak out, but apparently they do them in the RE office, so I am scheduled for next Wednesday.  Also if the schedule doesn’t work out for the IUI for my next cycle, I will need blood work, because I have a few tests that expire this month.  She then went over the cycle schedule and what medication I would be taking on what day.  She is also calling in my Ovidrel and Gonal-F now.  She then went over some handouts she went sending me home with about fertility stress management, counseling, resources, ect.  I sort of laughed at this only because I was a little surprised they wouldn’t have given it to me A YEAR AGO WHEN I BECAME A PATIENT.  Again, apparently when you start shooting yourself up that’s when they start taking you seriously.  The next set of handouts had to do with do’s and don’ts that will start the first day I take fertility meds through when I get a positive beta (again, this was not discussed for oral cycles).  Finally she started to grill me on my prenatals and supplements.  She even sent me home with a big bunch of prescription prenatals to try (because most over the counter ones make me nauseous).  

Then we got to the hard part……the demo on giving yourself shots.  I mean it seemed easy enough to inject into a red cube, but when I am shooting a needle into my stomach I think I will feel differently.  Maybe it won’t be a big deal by the time I get to trigger, but right now Ovidrel scares me the most.  For my oral cycles the clinic has always done that one for me, and its possible they will again at my CD 11 appointment but she said i may have to do it myself.  I really wish I had a best friend in the nursing field.  

I also talked to the nurse coordinator about trying to work scheduled appointments in the early morning or later afternoon, since I work so far away.  Basically she said they would do what they could but I should really hope that some of the appointments fall on a weekend.  The only way that will really happen is if my cycle is 27/28 days or 32/33/34 days.  At this point I am really pulling for the 32-34 range…….not that I have any control :-).  

Despite the overload of info I am really trying to keep the most positive attitude possible, and not focus on the “this is it or its IVF” thing.  We will see how that goes when I start filling my body with hormones.  I am super relieved that this cycle is *only* going to cost around 2k.   I really expected it to be a lot more.  it’s funny how 2k feels like nothing when you have already spent thousands more than that on something.  If it brings me a baby, obviously money well spent.  If not…….well lets not think about that.  It’s honestly kind of weird to be back to blogging about all of this again after so many months of just waiting.  I already remember how doing treatment plans literally takes over your whole life.  I do feel more prepared this time mentally and emotionally.  I am just really praying that everything goes smoothly with no unforeseen stress, and of course for that positive beta…..finally.  

 

 

IUI #3 and ICLW

Hello ICLW bloggers and welcome!

I was extremely grateful for MLK day yesterday, because I was in no mental or emotional place to be working. After my chat with the RE on Sunday at my ultrasound I really struggled to keep it together. Sunday we had some people over to watch the 49er game (my husband is a HUGE fan), which I was really not in the mood for, but I guess it kept my mind off of things. Monday, however, was a day with no plans other than going into the RE’s office for my IUI. I completely understand why they don’t discuss the “what if”, because I was a mess. I do not want to be negative about this cycle but I am pretty much scared to death. After the IUI yesterday I came home and slept, for like three hours. It was the best sleep I have gotten in quite a while, but unfortunately I had a hard time sleeping last night!

Since as of my IUI yesterday I had not yet ovulated, I did a second one today. The doctor (Dr A), came in and talked to my husband and me together this time about the next step. During my ten minutes of table time post IUI my husband and I discussed the options and basically decided we would do another IUI with injectables in a few months after I adjust to my new job. Overall I have felt better today about everything. I told L this morning that I feel like I just started and it doesn’t seem possible that I could already be here, making decisions on IVF and injectables. My first IUI was like 5 minutes ago.

I spent most of the day trying to wrap my head around all of this and trying to find faith in this cycle, and not looking past it like it doesn’t exist. I am really hoping that we can go away on the weekend of the 8th to the Ocean. I am not sure if it will be Bodega Bay or the Santa Cruz area, but I just feel like I need some Ocean air.

 

Ultrasound Day (IUI #3)

Today is ultrasound day (CD11).  I was very surprised that my OPK kit was positive because the last two cycles it wasn’t positive until CD12.  It was the darkest positive line I have gotten ever.  I went to the clinic and saw Dr A.  This is the first time I have met her.

The ultrasound went well.  She said my lining was good, but I will have to check my patient website to see exactly what it was because she did not tell me.  I had several follicles on both sides, but only one that was mature enough to ovulate.  I was really hoping for two, especially with the increase in Letrozole this cycle.  Either way I have one that is ready to go, so they gave me my Ovidrel shot and tomorrow is IUI day.

After the ultrasound I asked Dr. A what happens if this one, IUI number three, doesn’t work.  In hindsight I really wish I had had this conversation with Dr. M.  Not that the answer would have been different, but I just have a familiarity with him that fosters trust.  However, with what was the shit show of cycle day one and my clinic being totally unorganized with my treatment plan, I sort of felt like I had to ask today.  Also I have no idea which doctor I will see tomorrow, or when I will get a chance to see Dr. M again.  Basically she said after three failed IUI’s they do a regroup, which makes total sense.  If it comes to this, I am going to insist on having this regroup with Dr. M.  Anyway, she said that based on my endometriosis, and that we also have male factor issues or best chance is IVF with ICSI.  I was a little surprised that she would bring up the male factor because my husband’s numbers have all been in the range of normal since he started taking the fertility vitamins.  I wasn’t going to go into that with her, but something I will bring up with Dr. M.  She said that there is a possibility that if the sperm is actually getting to my egg, they haven’t been able to penetrate the shell.  She said I have responded well to the letrozole and we could try another IUI with a low dose of injectables but they usually don’t do more than 4 IUI’s before moving on to IVF.  I always thought it was six.    When I left she gave me a sheet on injectables.  I also asked how the injectable cycle would differ with appointments and what not, and basically she said that there may be 2-3 ultrasounds (and no OPK), rather than just one.

I am feeling pretty overwhelmed by all the information.  Our first IUI seems like it was only 5 minutes ago, so it doesn’t seem real that we could be here already.  I really don’t want to think about the “what if it doesn’t work”  I want to be positive.  We are in no way able to afford IVF right now so I have no idea what we will do.  For now I am trying to stay calm and relaxed.  Through all of this my husband has never said anything but positive “this is going to work” type things.  Last night in bed he said “I have no idea what we are going to do if this doesn’t work”.  Unfortunately I had a headache and really wasn’t up for talking in length about it.  He mentioned that “we already have a kid”.  Yes, we do.  Except I am not his mother.  I didn’t get to hold him as a baby.  I don’t get to go to the first day of school with him. He doesn’t call me mommy.   I am absolutely his parent, but not his mother.  My husband will never understand the difference, because he is his father.  I believe in the depths of my soul that I am supposed to be a mother.

Tonight I am going to pray.  Take a deep breath, and just pray.

Pill Poppin

I am admittedly not a great “pill taker”.  By that I don’t mean that I have trouble swallowing them but I have trouble remembering to take them at the same time of the day every day.  You would think that I would be awesome at it, because I have had to take a pill for my thyroid my entire life, but truthfully I have always struggled with it. 

I have tried several things that have been somewhat successful, like keeping my thyroid pill bottle in my car, so as soon as I get in the car to go to work I see it and take my pill.  That works great, until the weekend when I don’t necessarily get in the car in the morning.  I have also tried keeping it in the bathroom, but will all the other stuff cluttering my counter; the bottle would get buried or stuffed in a drawer….and out of sight out of mind unfortunately.  For the past few years I have been pretty good about taking it at the same time consistently which has been a major win for me. 

Well…..now with all the added supplements and extra medicine that I have to take on certain days, at certain times….I am screwed.  Especially since a lot of what I am taking shouldn’t be mixed with other things.  Oh, and in addition to all the extra pills (especially on cycle day 3-12), my primary doctor just changed my thyroid dosage.   I have to take one dosage Monday-Friday and a different one on the weekends.  This makes things even more difficult to keep track!   For the record I have been awesome about taking all of my prescribed pills every day as required.  Not one miss.  What does seem to get missed is my supplements, because they have to be taken at odd times so they aren’t mixed with the actual medication.   So I finally broke down and got 4x a day pill box.  I feel like an old lady using this thing, but it has already helped so much.  You can actually pop out the boxes and take them with you, which is pretty awesome, and they are super deep so they can actually fit my big calcium chews.  It is also awesome when I travel that I won’t have a huge bag of pill bottles.  I can just take the boxes I need which will take up a lot less space!

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In other news…..

The end of last week really sucked.  After my not-so-wonderful experience with my clinic on Thursday my drive home (which is about 130 miles), took four and a half hours.  There was one complete hour that I only moved 9 miles.  By the end of the drive, even though I was finally able to go 70 mph, I was in tears.  Sobbing.  And completely freaking out about the “what if this doesn’t work and I never get pregnant”  I have never let myself get there.  To that place where I really let myself thing/believe that it is impossible for me to have a child.  Yes I completely realize that two years and two IUI’s is nothing in the scope of infertility.  Unfortunately it was the perfect storm on Thursday and after hours in traffic I was mentally and physically exhausted.  A perfect time for my emotions to take over.  When I finally got home I was a zombie.  I felt horrible because obviously I hadn’t seen my husband since Monday, and he was leaving the next day for the weekend.  But I just couldn’t.  I took a bath, and we watched a few of our taped shows but I just couldn’t talk.  At all.  And after all of that I started Friday with a migraine.  Thankfully I was able to kick it fully by noon, but I was not myself all Friday. 

I started my Letrozole on Friday night.  My RE actually upped the dosage from 5 to 7.5.  No explanation was offered to me to explain why he decided to do that, which is annoying.  I spent all of Saturday with my Step son and babysitting my friend’s little girl who is two.  Sunday was a day for me.  My husband was gone in SoCal, and I spent the day reorganizing my closet.  It was amazing.  I still have a few things left to organize, but it’s a million times better than before.  It had really gotten out of control.  It just makes me feel better to see it in order.  Being able to walk in and actually see everything is amazing.  Today I am wearing a shirt I forgot I even had!  It was a great way to start the week, and today I am much more relaxed.   Of course since I spent pretty much all day doing the reorg, I did not go grocery shopping, so that is on the list for after work today. 

CD1 and Pissed! Updated

Ok, to be clear I am not pissed that it is cycle day one. I am happy about that actually. I could totally tell it was going to happen today when I was getting ready this morning so I actually prepared. My lady parts are wreaking some serious havoc and I sort of feel like crawling under the table in the fetal position, but such is my life with endometriosis. I will power through (I hope).

So why am I so pissed? Well….I called my clinic to let them know that it was CD1 and I need my meds like any good fertility drug addict would do and when they called me back this is kind of how it went…

Nurse: Hi, I got your message that it is cycle day one for you, but we don’t have a treatment plan for your right now.
Me: UM WHAT!?!?! How is that possible!?!?!

I will pause for a moment to reflect on this first bit of news. First, I talked to a nurse on Tuesday, two days ago, when she called me to let me know that my second IUI was not successful and before I hung up the phone I specifically asked her if my next step was to call back on CD1 for my next go. Her answer was YES. After my first failed IUI, the clinic wouldn’t even call me with the beta results until my doctor had reviewed my results and written up a new treatment plan. Apparently that was the “protocol”, and it appears in the last 30 days said protocol has changed. When the nurse called with my IUI #2 results she was certainly not offering up what I was to do next, I had to pull it out of her. So I ask you, what if I hadn’t asked the nurse on Tuesday what to do, and had not called today on CD1. Would they have just forgotten about me/gave up on me after two IUI’s because no doctor ever gave me a new treatment plan? Clearly all of this is Cycle Day sensitive, and my period has shown up the second morning after stopping progesterone so there really isn’t a lot of time to just dilly-dally around waiting for a doctor at the clinic to realize that I am in fact, not pregnant and suggest what to do next.

Ok…back to the conversation between me and the nurse today….

Nurse: Well, Dr M and Dr A are here, but Doctor SA is YOUR doctor and I am not sure if he is available to give you a new treatment plan but I will see what I can do…(and keeps talking and talking and talking….)
Me: Ok stop for one second please. Why is Dr. SA now my doctor when Dr M has been my doctor for the past six months? I have only met Dr SA twice, because he happened to be the procedure doctor on the day of my IUI. We have never even had a conversation!
Nurse: Well its our protocol that the doctor that treats you does your next treatment plan.
Me: Well I would really feel more comfortable if Dr M would do it because I have actually met with him multiple times and like I said, I have never even had a real conversation with Dr. SA.
Nurse: Ok well I will ask Dr M if he will do it since he is here. We will call you when your treatment plan is done.
Me: Thanks.

I totally understand that RE clinics have to be open 365 days a year due to the time sensitive nature of all of this. And I know that the Doctors do other things besides just see patience in the office, like surgery. I accept the fact that I will not always get to see my doctor every time I go in for an ultrasound or IUI and I am ok with that. I am not ok with having someone who I have never talked to make a treatment plan for me. Maybe I am overreacting, but there is a huge difference between someone performing a procedure on you that they have done a million times (like an ultrasound), and someone who actually is going to give a recommendation on the next step. What if they come back with something different than what I have been doing the last two months? Will the doctor explain to me why he is making a change, and how it will affect me differently? They don’t ever say “well if this doesn’t work then we will move on to this….”

This whole process is upsetting, personal, and really emotional. I feel like the only pseudo security is feeling like the doctors you are entrusting with your body (and money), know what they are doing, and know YOU and your personal issues/situation. I don’t even like to go to my primary care doctor and find out I have to see someone different, and this is just on a whole other level. I went from feeling happy to get this cycle moving to sort of feeling insecure and betrayed in all of 30 minutes. I feel like the clinic should give you a little 10 minute tutorial on what to actually expect so at least I won’t be surprised about the way they do things.

😦

UPDATE:

The nurse did call me back and let me know that my Dr, Dr M, gave me a new treatment plan. By new, she actually means exactly the same as the past two. This is update worthy because she also told me that I needed to take a home pregnancy test before she would call it in. So basically, on Tuesday they called me to tell me my beta was less than one, but today, Thursday, I need to take a home pregnancy test to relive the disappointment? Its been 20 days since my IUI, and I am full flow right red crimson tide…..and have had a confirmed negative blood test….but you want me to pee on a freaking stick? You have got to be kidding me. When I questioned her on why this was necessary she seemed surprised (btw it was necessary before my first IUI cycle, which was understandable, but not before my second….because you know, I had just had a negative blood test!). She left me on hold for like 5 minutes and then came back to tell me that the blood test would suffice as my negative pregnancy test. Well I really hope so because if you can’t trust a blood test to tell you that you aren’t pregnant, what can you trust really?
So everything is back on track, and I have my plan for the cycle which is good. I am just not sure why it had to be so difficult to get there…..

IUI #2 Results

Yesterday afternoon was my beta and the clinic called today. Verdict: Negative.

The clinic actually called me around noon time (rather than the end of the day). I was sitting at my desk with L having lunch literally in the middle of telling a story. When I got off the phone, I pretty much said, “well its negative” and just kept telling my story. I don’t know that I was really ready to feel it yet. That is what I expected to hear, so I wasn’t surprised, but I did still have hope that just maybe it would be positive. As the day has gone on I have started to feel the weight of the news more and more. I want to stuff my face with bad thinks like Tapatio Doritos and ice cream (not together), but so far I settled for a See’s candy and some raw veggies.

I am hopeful my period arrives by the end of the week. I have had all sorts of fun PMS symptoms the past few days, so hopefully AF shows up ASAP. I already got my calendar out to plan my next cycle. Its the last IUI attempt I can do for a few months. I am starting my new job mid Feb (assuming all goes as planned), and I will have no idea what my schedule will be, or how easily I can slip out for Dr’s appointments randomly 3 days in a row. I am hopeful I will be able to work it out to try again a few months after starting the job. It keep focusing on the fact that if my next (3rd) IUI doesn’t work out, and we take a break for a few months, I have no shot of having a due date in 2014. I will just be happy to be pregnant at some point, regardless of the month or year my baby is actually born, but this year just started, so it’s a little disappointing to think about going all of 2014 with no baby in my arms.

I am in the bay area for the next few days for work, but thankfully L is here so tonight we can have sushi and I can possibly drown my sorrows in a glass of wine. I am going to try my best to not drown them in retail therapy, but that could be tough with all the amazing shopping literally steps away from my hotel.

My husband is going to visit some friends in SoCal for the weekend, so I think I might get a facial on Sunday. I feel like I need to do something good for myself and I have been wanting one for a while.

In other news, I have decided my first project of 2014 will be to reorganize all the closets in my house. I actually got a good start in the front/coat closet. I think I did a pretty awesome job of organizing all of our Christmas stuff, as I put it away, so everything is stacked neatly and labeled. I think I am going to tackle our closet next, which will be by far the biggest job. Project #2 will be to organize all drawers and cabinets. The act of organizing is something I do to cope. I can literally do it in silence for hours, but it helps me clear my head. At least it’s productive (and not destructive)!

OK AF…..show up already!

 

 

Pedicures are Cheap Therapy

This morning I treated myself to a pedicure and gel manicure.  I have a little place that I recently discovered about 5 minutes from my house.  They are very affordable, they do a good job, and they are always really friendly (and never try to upsell you).  I made an appointment for right when they opened so about 20 minutes after rolling out of bed I headed over.  Thankfully its right next to a Starbucks.  First, I have to say, it was the best pedicure massage I have gotten, ever.  She took a full hour and fifteen minutes to do my pedicure.  It was amazing.  The owner had also gotten some new gel colors, a few of which apparently change shades with your “mood” (actually temperature I am sure), so I tried one of those.  The normal shade is kind of a purple/blue color which is actually really pretty!  On a side note, before I get to my actual subject, the owner told me a hilarious story about how she likes to get drunk on wine at the end of the day and go shopping at Ross which is across the parking lot.  It’s mostly hilarious to me because her English isn’t great, so I don’t think she meant that she actually gets wasted or anything but it just struck me as funny that she would be telling me this.

Anyway….usually when I get my nails done I go with someone else and we chat during the process.  Today I went alone and it was good because I had a lot of time to just think.  Christmas at our house is a quiet day because we don’t have my step son so my husband and I just kind of hang out.  I thought maybe I would actually get some things done, like projects that I never seem to get to on the weekends.  Instead I did a lot of nothing.  I did make chex mix to take as a snack on our trip, and we started to pack (we leave for Oregon tomorrow).  Amidst my doing nothing I started to sort of freak about how I could find out I am pregnant at the beginning of January, if this IUI worked, and while I would be beyond thrilled, I am also starting a new job in February.  I signed my offer letter before Christmas, therefore not pregnant, but they are waiting for me to start until February so I can get my bonus.  I will definitely feel bad to them if I have to tell them I am pregnant a month later.  Again, I will be nothing but happy to finally be pregnant but I started to freak out thinking maybe I would just stay at my current job if that happened.  This is my weakness…..stressing over things that haven’t happened yet.  Trying to make decisions and find solutions about things that aren’t known or real problems.  During my alone time getting my pedicure I started to think through the situation again, and finally kicked myself in the ass and remembered my promise to myself.  To trust God and his timing.  If this is supposed to happen now it will.  I have been looking at job opportunities in my area for a year and just now, God made it happen.  He brought me the right opportunity now, not six months ago, or a year ago.  Everything will work out.  As one of my favorite songs we sing at church says, He works everything for good.  I do believe that and I do need to get out of my own head and just go with it as it comes.  It’s amazing the clarity that comes while someone is rubbing your feet.  J