Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pregnancy I've Never

OK, so we're going to play a little virtual game.  Maybe you've played it before?  It's called, "I've Never."  The rules of the game are simple....I'm going to make an "I've never" statement.  Usually this game is a drinking game, although since I was pregnant when I started this post, we're just going to play on here and pretend.  It's almost like I can taste that Chocolate Martini...  Assuming we were all together enjoying drinks of choice, you have to drink if the statement doesn't apply to you.  Here's an example:

I say, "I've never checked my mailbox."  If you have ever checked your mailbox, you drink!

  • I've never gagged so hard while brushing my teeth that I puked thus having to start over on brushing my teeth.  (one drink for me!)
  • I've never coughed or sneezed in public and peed my pants.  (two drinks for me!)
  • I've never told a co-worker to get into my purse to get out a piece of gum and told her to overlook the spare pair of underwear I carry in there just in case I pee myself in public....again (three drinks!)
  • I've never gotten up more than 5 times a night to pee.  (four drinks!)
  • I've never woken up in the morning with my nightgown crusted to my chest.  (five drinks!)
  • I've never had to have someone put my shoes on me because I can't bend over to tie them.  (six drinks!)
  • I've never been envious of people who get more ultrasounds than me.  (seven drinks)
  • I've never googled images of ultrasounds at each week of pregnancy to see what our baby looks like (eight drinks)
  • I've never wondered if there was a way to cheat on a glucose test.  (nine drinks)
  • I've never had a former classmate who is now an OB/GYN fill in for my Dr and check to see if I'm dilated (ten drinks!)
  • I've never flashed all my friends (male & female) with the back of a hospital gown left open (eleven drinks!)
  • I've never stressed about getting my blood pressure taken (twelve drinks!) 
  • I've never noticed that my belly button is off center (thirteen drinks!)
And the best for last:
  • I've never gotten out of the bathtub, gagged so hard while brushing my teeth that I peed down my clean leg, and had to get back in the bathtub.  (oh hell, I might as well just drink the whole bottle!)
Feel free to play along and add your own!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I Laughed Out Loud

A couple months after we found out that IVF Round #3 worked, I was out with my staff for a meeting over lunch.  My staff and I usually go off-site and talk a little about work and a lot about life during these few cherished moments away from work over lunch.  We had just gotten our lunches and sat down when my newest staff member said that she had an announcement.  She looked up and said that she was pregnant and due Nov 27th-exactly one month after I am due.

All the rest of my staff around the table were very quiet.

Know what I did?  I laughed.  Out loud.  And then I proceeded to blurt out, "How does that happen?  Can you draw me a diagram?"

She knew what I had gone through to get pregnant, and laughed too.  The whole staff did.

Now, mind you, my co-worker is in her late 20s, has a college education, and two jobs.  However, she is not married and just recently began seeing this guy (who we don't think is a great guy).  We came to find out later in the conversation that it happened the night they met-due to a little too much alcohol and too little protection.  She was actually a bit embarrassed telling us, saying that her family had given her such a hard time because she was always giving her nieces and nephews the you-HAVE-to-use-protection talk.

How's that ENTIRE story for irony? 

Friday, November 30, 2012

IVF: 10 Things I Hate About You

I started this post many months ago, before I was fortunate enough to get my BFP.  I started to write this post as a joke.  As most of my posts are, it's only about half a joke, with a dash of tongue-in-cheek truth.

So here is my top 10 list for why I HATE IVF....

10. Insurance Companies.  You do cover certain things and you do not cover other things.  You need pre-approval for certain things.  You take your sweet time getting me answers.  You don't really seem to be concerned about ME, your customer.

9. Specialty Pharmacies (at least the 1 I've had to deal with, per #10).  Your right hand has no idea what your left hand is doing.  You quote me 3 different prices and 3 different delivery dates, only for me to not receive the syringes and needles with which to inject myself.  And never, never, NEVER have you ever been able to to fill an entire order of mine without SOMETHING being on back order.  You should be alleviating stress, not causing it.

8. Night Sweats.  Even though I bathe at night before I go to bed, thanks to Lupron for continually allowing me to wake up in drenched in a pool of my own sweat.  You make me late to work because I have to bathe again before I can go out in public.

7. Progesterone Suppositories.  Your oozing is gross.  Wearing a panty-liner in the middle of a round of IVF is defeating the purpose.

6. Hot Flashes.  Again, thanks to Lupron, I can sweat, almost on cue.  This is not what I'd consider a real talent.

5. Trigger Shots.  You are a B!+CH.  You hurt.  You hurt going in, but that's not the end of you.  You have to hurt for days just to prove your point.

4.  Progesterone in Oil (PiO) Shots.  You hurt worse than trigger shots.  Know why?  Cause you just keep in and day out....which hip will swell & hurt for this 12-hour stint?

3. Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS).  You were the nastiest, rudest surprise I've ever gotten.  You made me feel like I was giving birth to my ovaries.  While giving birth is the point of all this, I'd rather keep my insides on the inside, if you don't mind.

2. Retrieval.  It's been a scary experience both times.  Not only during the procedure have I felt everything that was going on, but I also have turned white and tried to pass out afterwards.

1.  BFNs.  You're just the rotten, worm-eaten cherry on top of this mess.  I spend all the money, inject myself with hormones (which I think I read somewhere come from horse urine?), go through humiliation, and put my body through hell, just to get negatives.  And notice that this is plural...most of us experience this hell more than once. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chunky or Baby?

So, getting that cute little baby bump was more of a mental challenge for me than others. 

I'm 5'2" on a good day with shoes on.  I'm also not the skinniest girl in the world.  I see posts on facebook and other blogs and think part of the pregnancy journey requires some of those taken-from-the-side cute little baby bump photos.  And they are cute....if you are a size 6.  However, I had a bit of that baby bump long before I had reason to...and that, my friends, is not cute!

I had Hubby take a side-picture of me at something like 9 weeks and I've not shared it with anyone.  My sister-in-law keeps begging me for a pic & has even taken some and sent of herself in order to coax me into it, but I haven't done it.

At the beginning of August, I could tell when I'd go to the store or see people I hadn't seen in a while that people were eyeballing my waistline.  It was just like to kind of sly little  downward glances that you get when a guy is eye-balling your chest.  A couple times I wanted to say, "Hey.  I'm up here!"  Believe me, I wanted the whole world to know that the extra pudge I was carrying was not due to eating too much ice cream on hot summer nights.

It wasn't until August (about 7 months into pregnancy) that people all of a sudden began saying I looked pregnant.  I didn't know whether to take it as a compliment or not when I walked into work one day with a tighter maternity shirt on and a co-worker exclaimed, "WOW!  You really look pregnant TODAY!" least it was finally obvious! 

So, while most girls love to show off that baby bump, I didn't really look like I was pregnant for the longest time and that, my friends, does not help the psyche of a chunky girl!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I've Been a Bad Bad Girl

Actually, I've been a bad, bad blogger.  I've struggled over the last couple of months about writing on my blog.  I have so many supportive friends on here who are going through the process or have experienced loss.  I'd never want to write about my pregnancy and make them sad.  We are strong and supportive of each other and that's why I've joined this little community.

However, I don't think it's fair to quit writing about my whole experience, including pregnancy, because we are never guaranteed tomorrow in the infertility world.  I think it is unfair to cut the story short.

So, I've decided to do some catching up on my blog and write about the last few months.  Thanks to several of you who have left comments or sent me emails asking if I'm OK.  I'm hanging in there!  And if you think some of my IVF posts have been funny, just wait till you hear about the craziness that has ensued over the past few months....peeing my pants, overnight stays in the hospital, and stupid bedrest.

Hang on, ladies.  I'm back. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Was Different the Time that Worked

There were several things that we did differently on this 3rd round of IVF that was (finally) successful.  I'm not positive that any of these things were the "make it or break it" part of the cycle, but if just one small thing helps someone else, it is worth it to share!

1. This 3rd round of IVF was our 1st FET.  The FET was easier on my body.  I wasn't having to heal from a retrieval procedure.  I had no OHSS going on. 
2. I used acupuncture this time.  I saw someone who knew the protocol for assisting with reproduction here in my town who had had success in the past with getting people pregnant.  While I'm still not sure acupuncture is the reason it worked this time, it was a stress reliever, for sure! 
3.  I had read that laughter was good for implantation, so I listened to and watched comedies the entire time I was down for bedrest the couple of days after transfer.  We even listened to funny radio DJ's on our way home from the dr. 
4.  I took an extra day at home.  The dr. said I had to be on bedrest for a couple of days.  I went ahead and took one more day at home.  I wasn't on strict bedrest, but I did take it easy for an extra day. 
5. I took a baby aspirin each morning.  I hadn't done that the other 2 rounds.  The dr. told me to go ahead and try it this time.  He said that the medical community used to always make this part of the drug protocol, but research was "iffy" nowadays as to whether it actually helped or not.
6.  I ate the core of a pineapple for 5 days starting on transfer day.  I had read that there is something in the core of a pineapple that actually helps with implantation.  Hubby went and got a fresh pineapple, cut the core into 5 pieces, and served it to me each day, starting on transfer day. 
7.  Then, of course, there was the Baby Dance I did with my kids at the Center.  See THIS POST if you don't know what I'm talking about.  The kids' dances always work.  It's some sort of magical thing that I cannot explain.

As you can see, this round was more of a "if it doesn't hurt and may help, we'll try it!"  Who knows whether any of this really helped or not.  But, I figured it was worth sharing if it can help someone else!

Monday, May 21, 2012


The night I took my first positive pregnancy test, I wanted seafood.  Of course, I always want seafood, so I'm not sure if that was a pregnancy craving or just an excuse to go to our local seafood place.  We'll blame it on pregnancy, OK?  I also wanted chicken patties for lunch the 1st couple of weeks after I found out I was pregnant.  I haven't seemed to want them since.  I'm thinking that all of this is just craving of protein.
Somwhere between the 4-week and 8-week mark, I put salt on food for about a week.  Normally, I use salt very sparingly, but during this week, I coated all my food with it.  Luckily that craving has gone.  (I read Progesterone can strip your body of salt.  I'm now off shots, so maybe that's what was going on at that time.)

I live on Antacids.  Even a cold glass of water seems to upset my stomach a bit.  This has not "turned off like a switch" when I hit the 2nd trimester like many books and websites say it will.  I am just fortunate that I'm not vomiting like some of my friends have when they were pregnant.  I work with a girl who has to stop her car and puke on the way to work.  So glad that hasn't happened!

I am also very thirsty!  I get up several times a night to pee.  Seems like every time I get up, I drink a big glass of water.  Then I go back to bed and sleep for a couple hours.  Then the cycle repeats!  This usually goes on 3-5 times per night.

For a couple of weeks around the 12-week mark, I ate an entire can of peaches every night before going to bed.  I blame this on the baby's father being a Georgia peach!

For the first time in my life, the words "This is too sweet" came out of my mouth.  This has never happened.
We went to the Cheesecake Factory when I was about 14-weeks along - I ordered banana cream cheesecake rather than anything with chocolate.  The people we were with looked at me like I was an alien.  I went without chocolate.  It is a strange event.  One day right after the Cheesecake Factory incident, I even called mother-in-law to tell her I didn't think the baby was related to either of us.  She's as much of a chocoholic as I am.  She just laughed.

Now that I've hit the 17-week point, my appetite has hit overdrive.  I've eaten nonstop since Friday.  Baby must be hungry!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I've heard the term "glowing" tossed around when people get pregnant and now I'm beginning to wonder what the word really means.  I tend to think of someone looking happy and radiant when I hear the word glowing.  However, it's been used on me several times lately and I'm beginning to think it's really a code word for something else.  Here are some more reasonable definitions in my opinion:

Glowing - adjective - tired.  I felt exhausted one day and so Hubby and I went out to eat.  Someone who had seen my facebook announcement saw me in the restaurant, came over to me, and told me I looked glowing.  Now mind you, my hair was pulled up into a messy ponytail, I was uncomfortable from wearing pants that hurt, and I was hungry.  I'm pretty sure in this instance, I was a glowing, tired mess.

Glowing - adjective - put thought and effort into how one looks in public.  I must admit that I've been washing my hair in the morning and letting it dry as the day goes on.  I've been wearing more of what's comfortable and less of what's stylish these days as I'm growing and the weather is unpredictable.  One day, I put some effort into my outfit and makeup.  Now mind you, I said some effort.  I put on a cute top and smeared a little makeup onto my face.  People came up to me and said I was absolutely glowing.  Is this a nice way of saying, "Way to go!  You dressed yourself AND put some effort into your hair and makeup!"???

Glowing - adjective - chunky.  My pants don't fit right.  My already large chest doesn't help my appearance.  On a day when I was feeling like "5 pounds of sausage in a 3-pound bag," I was told that I looked glowing.  Was that a nice way of saying, "Woah!  You're gaining weight!"???

At any rate, glow on, my friends!  However you'd like to define it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crazy Ass Dreams

People had told me that you tend to have some strange dreams when you become pregnant.  Strange I can handle.  Crazy ass dreams every night is another matter altogether.  Here is a sampling of what my crazy mind has conjured up over the last several weeks:

I went shopping for bigger underwear.  I kept trying on bigger and bigger sizes in an effort to find some that were comfortable.  I eventually quit looking at sizes and just kept trying on what was handed to me.  Eventually, I did find a pair that fit.  I looked at the size.  Size 30!  (I'm NO WHERE near a size 30.)  On another occasion, I went underwear shopping (do I have a complex about my growing booty?) and found my favorite kind, but none in any size that I could wear.

Some dreams have been sad or sentimental.  And old employee (who I was never close to) of our coffee shop called asking me for life advice.  My brother lost his job and his wife and four children left him.  And possibly my favorite: My Dad and my cat (who was a kitten again in the dream) were walking down a country road just talking and visiting with me.

Other dreams have just made no sense at all.  In one dream, I was a game show host.  The winner of my game show won the title of Executive Director at my work.  My old Executive Director and one of the smaller children from my youth center were vying for the position.  The kid won... In another wild dream, Hubby and I were having a "moment" in the front living room at my Mom's house.  My Mom walked in on us.  Later, she scolded me for having tan lines and said I should not be going tanning while pregnant.  In one that I had just last night, Hubby's brother and his wife were renewing their vows in some small church.  I helped my sister-in-law get dressed in an ugly pink, furry, sequined knee-length sweater that she was wearing for the ceremony (It was prom last weekend.  I'm blaming that one on the prom dresses I saw.)

And finally, I'm already beginning to worry about parenting in my dreams.  I had a dream that the baby just would not latch on to me in the hospital and it was losing weight because I could not feed it.

I hope these are not ever used against me in a court of law....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Points for Me!

Today, I didn't puke while brushing my teeth, like I did yesterday!

That is all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Feline Sixth Sense?

So, since the time I came home from embryo transfer on Feb. 10th, my cat has been my best friend.  Now, mind you, I do have a cat that is very much a "people cat."  She will go to whatever room or floor of the house that you are in.  She likes to see what you're doing.  She will rub up against you and even jump up in your lap if you are sitting in the sun or have a nice warm blanket on your lap.  At night, she usually comes up to our room and will sleep on a dresser.  She is by no means the stand-offish cat that some people have.  However, she has been glued to me ever since embryo transfer...

As soon as I came home and laid on the couch on transfer day, she hopped up onto my lap and laid on my abdomen that entire weekend I was on bedrest.  If I'd get up to go to the bathroom, she'd wait for me and jump right back up onto my lap as soon as I returned to the couch.  And she's also taken to sleeping on the bed in between Hubby and me. 

I think my cat knew.  Is that crazy?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

We Have a Heartbeat!

Monday, March 12th was my 1st OB appointment.  I wasn't supposed to have it for another week and a half, but the spotting deemed an earlier appointment necessary.

I was taken to the room where I had always had ultrasounds to make sure my ovaries were "quiet" before we began stims and also where we had counted and measured growing follicles during both rounds of fresh IVF.  Dr. Larry King came in, asked a couple questions about the spotting, and went right to work hooking up the ultrasound machine.

And then we got to see the most precious thing I've ever seen.  There was a little blob.  The Doc allowed Hubby to take a little video on his phone of him/her.  Then we got to hear the heartbeat - squish squish squish - 138bpm.  Music to my ears.  A weight had certainly been lifted!  Doc measured our little blob and it was measuring right on time at 6w1d.  He also took the time to look around at my ovaries and tubes, finding no reason for spotting.  He finally just said that it may be something that I do for a bit - that he's astonished more women don't spot given all that is going on in there.  Well, I guess that's one way to look at it...  He said that they think my due date will be Oct. 29th - and then he said that he would send all my files to my Doc here in town and good luck...

And with that he shook Hubby's hand and walked away down the hall.

That's it? 

I felt bad that I didn't give him some giant bear hug or thank him more profusely for the hand he had in our little miracle.  (One of the IVF Nurses came rushing down the hall asking if that was our ultrasound on the screen of the room she was just cleaning up, gave us a hug, and just about cried.  She, as well as the rest of the staff, are awesome.)  I figured that I'd remain his patient through the 1st trimester till I was done with the Progesterone and Estradiol shots that he prescribed.  I had no idea this may be the last time that I see him and his least for a while.  I left, kind of stunned.  I guess his work is done!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Drug Saga Finally Resolved...For Now

I got ahold of my IVF Nurse on Sun., March 11th  - they happened to be in doing a procedure early that morning and I caught them.  I explained what had happened with my meds with stupid BioScrip and asked what to do about my lack of progesterone suppositories.  She said that I was fine to substitute a shot for the suppository.  I also asked if it would be detrimental if the suppositories were not refrigerated for the weekend - the shipments that had arrived before had clearly been marked as a refrigerated product and even were shipped with ice packs.  She assured me that they would be fine - the refrigeration is merely to help them keep their shape.  She said if they were soft that they could easily be put back into the fridge to regain the shape - that being warm will not actually hurt the drug compound at all.

She went on to state that if I have any more problems I'm to tell them - they are more than willing to call the insurance company to explain that I'm not getting adequate care from the pharmacy which they make me use.  I thanked her, breathed a little sigh of relief about substituting a shot for a suppository, and went about my day.

I had more spotting today - dark red and more than just a little.  I kept reminding myself that I had no major cramping with it and the blood was not bright red.  Just tried to keep calm till my ultrasound the next day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Drug Saga Continued

On Sat morning, my Progesterone suppositories were supposed to be left at our doorstep.  I had left town early to go to a conference with my Mom.  Hubby was upstairs in the tub when he heard the knock at the door, but knew that we had given them the usual instruction to leave the meds.  They knocked again, so he got out of the tub and threw some clothes on in time to see the FedEx man driving away with a note stuck to our door that they'd tried to deliver my medicine, but needed a signature to deliver.  They would try again Monday morning....

Hubby called FedEx headquarters which were in another country.  The best they said they could do was call the local dispatcher here who could put in a phone call to the truck driver to see if he'd come back.  Three hours later, Hubby called headquarters again to find out that the phone call to the local dispatcher had never been made.  Hubby went to the local FedEx, and even though it said on the sheet that they were open, they clearly were locked up and not open at all.

He made a final call to headquarters and found out that the truck drivers were due back at 6pm and he might be able to catch them then.  He went out to find that they'd all completed their routes early and had already been back and left for the day.

So, now I don't have enough suppositories to get me through the weekend.  All because Mr. BioScrip supervisor marked the wrong box while "fixing" our problem.

I feel like the little boy on the YouTube video: Is this for real?  Is this real life?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spotting Day Part II- or -That's When I Got Loud

Thurs. March 8th was the day I ended up screaming at BioScrip, the pharmacy my insurance company makes me use.  And I absolutely do mean that I screamed on the phone.  Not just difficult.  Not just demanding.  I screamed.  In order for you to understand the screaming, I gotta give you a little back-story.

I was supposed to have my refill on progesterone injections AND suppositories at my doorstep on Wednesday morning. On  Tues afternoon at 2pm, I got phone call from Katie at BioScrip saying they were having trouble filling the order for Progesterone injections.  I told her it's probably because my Doc has adjusted my dosage and I'm now running out before the script says I should.  I gave her my Doc's phone number and she said she would call right away to get the script adjusted so my meds would arrive as planned on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday afternoon, Hubby got home from work and called me letting me know that there were no meds waiting for me on our doorstep.  I called BioScrip and asked what the deal was.  They said that they got no answer from my Doc's office when they called on Tues. I thought, "That's strange."  (And also wondered why no one had tried to call again the next day, but we'll get to that...  I asked them what time they had called my Doc on Tuesday because my Doc's office is open until 5pm throughout the week.  The woman on the phone said that they called at 5:30pm.  That's when I got loud.  I said, "Well hell no you're not going to get an answer at 5:30 at night.  Why did it take Katie 3 and a half hours to hang up the phone and call my Doc's office?"  The woman had no answer for this one and just kept apologizing.  I told them to make it right and they said that they were going to call my Doc's emergency number, since it was now after 5pm again, and get someone on the phone to OK the new prescription.

About 5 minutes later, my actual Doctor called me on the phone asking what was going on.  I told him that since he'd upped the Progesterone injections, I was running out before the prescription said I should and I needed him to OK the higher dosage so they can get the drugs to me.  He understood and said he just wanted to make sure he'd told them correctly - which he had.

Another 2 minutes after that phone call, I got a phone call back from BioScrip.  Apparently, I was loud enough that the woman sitting next to the woman I was talking to could hear me and had already began calling the Doc's emergency number before I hung up with them.  She told me that they had received the new prescription from my Doc and had 45 minutes to fill it and get it on the truck so it would arrive on Thursday - the day I was officially out of meds.  I thanked them for correcting the problem.

So, fast forward to Thursday afternoon - after the spotting, blood draws, waiting all afternoon to hear that my HCG levels were OK - fast forward through all that.  I get a phone call from Hubby when he got home from work that day to let me know that there were again no drugs waiting for me on the doorstep.  At this point, I think my brains oozed out my ears....

I called BioScrip and was loud from the get-go.  The woman on the phone said she had no idea why they would've tried to fill a prescription with only 45 minutes to get it on the truck the night before.  She kept apologizing that they had not arrived when promised.  I had had enough.  I told her that I didn't want her apologies, I wanted her to fix the problem NOW.  I told her that her apologies were not getting Progesterone into my body.  At this point I was so mad that I forgot I had 3 teens from my Youth Center sitting in my office looking at me.  I asked the woman how her company would like to have a lawsuit when I miscarry because of their blatant negligence.  At this point, I remembered I had 3 teenage girls in my office when their eyes got big and I could see that they'd figured out I was pregnant.  Finally, all the woman could do was say the drugs would arrive on Saturday.  I gave up.  She wasn't doing anything to help me.

That's when Hubby got involved.  He called and asked to speak to a supervisor.  He told the supervisor what was going on - much calmer that I did.  The supervisor filled the order himself and made sure the injections were to arrive Friday morning via overnight services and the suppositories would arrive Saturday via their regular services.  Apparently the suppositories are a compound that has to be made by the Pharmacist and no one had actually put the Pharmacist on notice that those needed to be made.....  We reminded him to mark the packages so that we did not have to sign for them- that they could just be left.  He apologized again and said the problem was taken care of....

Stay tuned....Progesterone injections arrived on Friday.  Suppositories are another whole matter.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Most everything has been going fine with me for the last several weeks...I've had a  few bouts of nausea, but no real sickness.  The only real effect I can tell this little thing is having on me is fatigue.  I get up after sleeping 10 hours and feel like I could take a nap.  And just about everyday at 3pm, right when the kids are supposed to arrive at my Youth Center, I feel like I could put my head down on my desk, amidst all the chaos, and fall asleep right then and there.  (And my pants are feeling a little tight.) Well, everything WAS going fine until last Thursday...

I woke up to go to my standing early morning meeting last Thurs (March 8th) and when I went to the bathroom I saw bright red blood and also discovered I must've been spotting all night.  I flipped out and called Hubby into the bathroom.  I called my Doc's office and it took them an hour and a half to call me back.  I was a bit ticked at this since I felt this was more of an emergency than 90 minutes calls for.  When the nurse finally did call me, she told me that spotting is common this early in pregnancy and she wanted me to go ahead and have the blood pregnancy test done tomorrow as scheduled.  Blood pregnancy test tomorrow as scheduled?!?!  I told her I had no idea what she was talking about.  I heard a rustling of papers and then she said that she had the wrong chart in front of her.  She then said that she wanted me to go for an HCG blood test to see what was going on, since I was 6 weeks pregnant.  Well, I'm glad you finally figured out who I am... I asked her if they saw people at this stage and she said only if the blood test indicates that they need to.

When I hung up, I have to admit, I called my OB/GYN here in town.  Not that the specialist hasn't been successful in getting me pregnant, but his nurse didn't impress me that morning.  Her lack of confidence gave me a lack of confidence.  I asked my local Doc's nurse for a 2nd opinion.  She called me back within 5 minutes and said my Doc agrees that a bloodtest is necessary at this time & if there's anything else wrong, I can always come see her.  That made me feel better.

So, at 10am, off I went to the hospital lab for another round of How Big of a Bruise Can You Leave on my Arm?  After I was done, we headed for home.  About a mile away, I got a phone call from the lab asking me to come back.  Apparently, they'd only drawn 1 tube of blood and actually needed 2.  Go both arms got to play in the gameshow that day....

At 3pm I still hadn't heard from my Doc, so I called and left a message.  What's going on with them?  I've never had this kind of trouble before!  At 3:45 the nurse finally called me and said my HCG was above 16,000, and so everything should be fine.  She did move my ultrasound up to Monday instead of Wednesday - I think more for my own peace of mind than for anything else.  She told me that unless the spotting became heavy or was accompanied by pain, I should not worry about it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And the Betas Are...

Apparently there has been too much Grammy & Oscar Awards buzz in my head because I just imagine the announcer making a big deal about announcing my Betas..

HCG Beta #1: Mon., Feb 20th (10dp5dt): 100.5
HCG Beta #2: Wed., Feb 22nd (12dp5dt): 248.8
HCG Beta #3: Fri., Feb 24th (14dp5dt): 645
HCG Beta #4: Tues., Feb 28th (18dp5dt): 2,745

The winner is....US!  The music swells and the crowd goes wild!  And of course, I look stunning!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Picked Up an Old Hobby!

So from that 1pm 5dp5dt faint-2nd-line point on, I decided I was going to use all those pregnancy tests my staff smuggled into my office.  In part, because I kept having to take them to prove to myself that that 2nd line, as faint as it was, was there.  I was afraid and kept expecting it to disappear...and not in an evaporation line kind of way.  So here's how I spent those few days till my first Beta blood test:

I even had a digital one in the batch, so I took it too.  It helped ease the is-the-2nd-line-really-there worry I had:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2nd Line in the House

On Wed, Feb 15th, I decided to work at home a little (as in, check my email & update my company's facebook page - really hard work) and take a half a sick day.  My pulse was still high and I was still feeling shaky & nervous inside.  I wondered if I overdid it yesterday at work with all that Valentine partying with 32 kiddos.  Rather than risk it, I decided to stay home and catch up on mundane things like laundry and television.  I felt weird taking sick time because I wasn't sick and in bed, but oh well.  My laundry, and therefore my Hubby, thanked me.

Late morning, I got a phone call from my Doc's office letting me know that my Progesterone level came back at 25 and anything over 20 was good. I told the nurse I was still feeling funny and now I was running a 99.2 fever.  Once she ruled out that I was not infected at the injection sites, she told me to go off of Metformin because they think my sugar is getting too low.  That kind of shocked me because that's a drug you normally have to ween yourself on and off of, but OK.  No more Metformin.  I just hope my sugar doesn't go completely out of whack and I don't blow up like a balloon put on a few pounds!

At 1pm, I was upstairs doing laundry and I really had to pee.  I thought that I might as well POAS, since I had so many.  (At work, to give away through our Food Pantry and Clothing Bank, we got a huge shipment of pregnancy tests from a store because they used a razor blade to open the case and they sliced open all the individual pregnancy test packages.  Things this store cannot sell because of damage, they give to us, which is pretty cool.  In this instance, it was very useful!  I bet we got 200 of them.  And my staff, being awesome, each smuggled several into my office before this last round of IVF.  So, I'm not kidding when I say I had at least a dozen tests).  I figured it was worth a shot since I was now 5dp5dt with our one little frozen embryo.  And this is what I got...

I had to actually put this test next to the one I took the night before just to make sure there really was a faint line there.  Hubby, later, inverted the pic for me just to prove there was a line there.

Ladies, I think there's a 2nd line in the house!

Monday, February 20, 2012

V Day

On Tuesday, February 14th, I went back to work.  It was Valentine's Day and I really didn't want to miss the Youth Center's Valentine Party.  I love seeing them pass out their little Valentines.  And then of course we sugar them up and send them home!

I noticed that I felt like my pulse was high again today.  I felt a bit nervous and shaky, but still not as bad as Sunday.  During a Finance Committee Meeting, my ears had a hot flash.  Apparently the hormones are still hard at work!

That evening I took a home pregnancy test.  I knew it was only 4dt5dt, which is still VERY early.  But I thought if it was positive, it would be a really nice Valentine present for Hubby.  It was negative, but I really wasn't disappointed since it was so early.  Fingers still crossed!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

So, being in the 2-week-wait I am hopeful and looking for good signs anywhere I can.  The first happened at acupuncture and the second happened at work.  At any rate, I'll take any good signs at this point - real or not!

At acupuncture on Monday, Sarah, my acupuncturist, laughed when she put me on the table and said that she had a dream about me on Friday night after she had worked on me post-embryo-transfer.  She said she had a dream that she could see my embryo burying itself in the lining.  She laughed and said she knew it had to be me she was dreaming about because there was no one else she was working on that was trying to get pregnant and is sure as hell wasn't herself!  I'll take it!

Then at work on Tuesday, my co-worker (and friend) came in my office.  She and her family had been looking at houses to buy or rent because they had her mother move in with them.  They already had a large family and another body means they just have to have more room or 1 or 2 children may die soon!  The week before my embryo transfer, they found the perfect house - 5 bedrooms, several full baths, halfway between town and country, in the same school district that her kids attend, 35 acres of woods for her kids to play in, and well within her family's budget.  She was salivating about this house.  When she came into my office, she explained that she had been praying really hard for this house for a week, but on Friday, she prayed about our embryo baby instead.  She said on Friday, she was driving into town and passed the house and prayed about it and then remembered to pray about our baby.  She says she distinctly heard God asking her if the house or my baby was more important and she said the baby was way more important.  Not 2 minutes later, the owner of the house called her cell phone and told her that they'd decided to rent that particular house to someone else, but they had another house in mind for her family.  So, she's convinced that she gave up her house and that I'm pregnant because of it.  Again, I'll take it!

Krissi at Stress Free Infertility featured my blog in a post on her blog a few weeks ago.  Her next article was about how every blogger that she picked to feature in the past had ended up pregnant.  She says she must have the magic touch.  Feature my blog!  Feature the heck out of it!!

Now, if only these signs meant something real, I'd be a happy camper!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Make Pretty Babies" on 3dp5dt

On Mon., Feb. 13th, I think I was a little stir crazy.  I was 3dp transfer and I was so happy to be out of the house!  I was feeling a bit better, but my pulse was still pretty high.  I got up, got my shots, and went to the hospital for a Progesterone blood test.  I have a giant bruise where they took my blood.  Does this happen to everyone else, or am I just some sort of wimp whose body can't take a blood draw? 

I came back home to rest before acupuncture later in the day and cramping set in.  It was not a doube-me-over-and cry kinda cramping.  It wasn't even really what I'd consider sharp like the other 2 rounds of IVF.  I would describe it more as just a little nuisance pain.  It was pretty consistent and would last for a while.  Hubby told the embryo to snuggle in nice and deep.  I hope it listens.  I was also pretty hungry - as evidenced that I put on 5 pounds over the course of 2 days...

Later in the afternoon I went to acupuncture.  She put the few needles in me, pointing out that this day she got to put the special "Make Pretty Babies" point in.  I hope she got it really well!  Acupuncture was relaxing, as evidenced by Hubby laughing at me when I jerked because I had fallen asleep.  I told him to just continue sitting there reading his Kindle and minding his OWN business.

We went home and watched TV for the rest of the evening, with cramps on and off.  I was tired of laying on the couch, but the day had worn me out.  Hubby was a gem during the whole day, helping me in and out of the truck, making me lay down while he got me drinks and snacks.  Right after midnight, he gave me my Valentine's Day present - another bead for my Pandora bracelet.  I think I'll keep him...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Am I Running & Don't Know It?

I went to bed on Sat., Feb. 11th (1dp5dt) feeling a little strange.  I was a little lightheaded, but just put myself in bed and went to sleep.  I figured I just needed to sleep through whatever was going on with me.

The next morning, I got up and didn't feel much better.  I really felt very nervous & shaky - like if I don't get to eat all day.  Also, my resting pulse was in the 90s, which is not normal for me.  I really felt like I was running a marathon while just sitting on the couch.  Hopefully I was losing a few pounds in the process...

Around 5pm, I called the emergency number for my Doc's office.  I felt strange calling the emergency number because I'm not in major pain and I'm not bleeding or anything, but this just wasn't 't normal for me.  I ended up getting the Doc that did my transfer on Friday on the phone.  I told him what was going on and he said that either my sugar had gotten low since I am still taking my Metformin for PCOS & I had a sudden change in activity level with being on bedrest.  He suggested getting some Gatorade to try to even things out.  He also said that it could be a reaction to  Progesterone, since I had changed one shot a day to a suppository.  If I still felt bad at bedtime, he told me to hold off on the suppository.  He said that if I didn't feel better, I need to call their office on Mon. morning.

Go Time!

Friday, Feb. 10th was Go-Time!  We left the house early in the morning to sign papers at the lab.  We put our heads together and said a quick prayer before walking into the lab.  Hubby ended by saying, "Please make this work."  We knew that we had 3 embryos frozen that we were trying to use during this FET.  We both caught our breath a little when the man at the lab said he thought we only had 1 to use that morning.  ONLY ONE?  My heart sank.

Next door I got on the table and the Doc came in with the report that only one embryo had made it through the thaw.  I told the Doc that I was really disappointed that we only had one.  He reassured me that the one embryo we had was still a Grade 1 Blastocyst and looks great.  I asked which IVF Cycle it was from, but no one could answer because IVF #1 and IVF #2 embryos were frozen together.

The transfer of our one embryo went very smoothly and quickly.  The Doc explained everything that he was doing and pointed everything out on the ultrasound screen.  He told me that I was to lay on the table for at least 15 minutes - and if I stayed there more like 30, he wasn't going to shove me out.  Right before he left my room, he grabbed my hand and said he really hoped it worked this time.

While I laid there, one of the IVF nurses came in and went over my medicine protocol with Hubby and me.  After 35 minutes, I finally gave myself permission to get up, stop to see the acupuncturist, and then head home for bed-rest.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oh Baby, It's On!

Transfer is set for 10:35am TODAY!  I have to have a full bladder because they want to do an ultrasound guided transfer.  Luckily I didn't have to go through retrieval this time, so having a full bladder doesn't hurt!

We've instructed them to thaw all 3 embryos that we have frozen.  Since the decision has kind of been made for us each time as far as how many to transfer, we figured we'd thaw all 3 and whatever we're left with is what we're supposed to use.  Aren't you impressed with now non-stressed I'm trying to be?!?!

Baby Dancin' or Silliness: You Decide!

I run an at-risk Youth Center for 32 kids and I love them dearly.  Because we provide transportation for these kiddos to get to and from the Center, I pay a lot of attention to the weather.  And let me tell ya, I LOVE snow days.  A couple years ago, the kids and I made up a silly little dance and we do it anytime there is snow in the forecast.  We call it our "Snow Dance."  While it was just a fun little thing that first year, last year, we experienced a bit of a phenomenon.  Every time we did a snow dance, we had at least 1 snow day.  It got so bad that, on my Facebook wall, the parents began requesting that we stop doing snow dances.  For whatever little magic reason, doing our snow dances worked.

So, I had a rather crazy idea that I would come up with a slightly new dance and told them it was the Grow Strong Dance.  They think they're growing strong.  I wasn't going to tell them I was having them dance for something else to grow strong.

So, this afternoon, we shook our right hand in the air.  Then we shook our left.  Then we shook both hands and clapped them together once really hard. 

Then we put our hands on our bellies and shook our booties.

I apologize that the pictures are blurry, but their little bodies move quickly!  They thought it was silly.  Little did they know they were growing eggs in my right ovary, then my left ovary, then putting the sperm & egg together, putting them in my belly, and burrowing them in.  There is a method to my madness.  We did it several times to make sure we all knew how to do it perfectly.  They loved it.  I loved it.  And hopefully, a little Snow Dance magic carried over to our Grow Strong Dance.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sucker Punched

So yesterday would have been my due date if IVF #1 had worked.  I had meetings all day and dinner with friends last night.  I was doing really OK.  Like I said in a previous post, I've been really good about doing some things for myself this week like getting my nails done, going to a card-making class, and hanging out with friends.

Last night when we got home from dinner, I sat on an ice pack on the couch in preparation for my next PIO Shot.  It numbs it so that it doesn't hurt so much, which is helpful when we're now doing 2 and 3 shots a day.  While waiting for my hip to get numb, I had my laptop and was on several IF'ers blogs looking up crazy things that may help with implantation.  I'm getting a little desperate and willing to try silly things...gotta buy a pineapple today...  At this point, Hubby shows me an email that he just received that family members are pregnant with #4.

The timing of that could not have been worse.  That one hurt.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I've Ruined Hubby

Hubby is the voice of reason in our marriage.  He's super smart. He's calm.  He's serious.  He's a lot more proper than I will ever be.  He shakes his head at me when I burp or make jokes that are a tad over the line.  He has the tendency to point out when I get excited about something and get too loud.  However, on Sun., Feb. 5th at a baby shower I got proof that I've rubbed off on him...

We have been asked to be the Godparents of a friend's son that's going to be born in March.  They threw a co-ed baby shower this past Sunday.  We arrived to a houseful of people, ate, visited with friends, and sat down to watch the mom-to-be open gobs of presents.

The opening of little clothes just continued and continued.  And honestly, they really were super cute.  The Mom got so many clothes that she said maybe she was having 5 babies instead of just one.  Without missing a beat, Hubby turned to me and said, "Maybe we could buy one.  Afterall, having 5 is just selfish."  I lost it.  And yes, I laughed loudly!

Hubby, my Rev. Mr. Proper Hubby, made a joke about buying a baby.  I think I've ruined him....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Wed., Feb. 8th would have been my due date if IVF #1 had worked.  I realized this the other day when I sat down to think about what the last year has held for us.  We've been through SO much.  Tests, surgeries, bloodwork, ultrasounds, retrievals,'s a lot.

Rather than focusing on what could've been ours at this point, I'm trying to hold out hope for this 3rd round to be successful.  Everyone else around me seems to think this is "the time," but they also did the previous 2 times....oh well, at least I have supportive people around me.  At some point, they have to be right, right?

I don't think that it's a complete coincidence that this week has been a week focused a lot on myself.  I've taken the time to get my nails done (for the 1st time ever), go to a professional hockey game, have lunch with my co-workers, get acupuncture, and go to a card-making/scrapbooking class.  I didn't plan it this way at all.  Normally, I barely find the time to do any of those things ever...let alone all in the same week!  I'm more of a workaholic.  I work long hours, come home, and do housework or cook, and maybe find time to exercise a little before taking a bath and falling asleep before my head hits the pillow-only to wake up and do it all over again.  Heck, it took me playing phone tag with the salon for 3 weeks just to get the nail appointment set up!  I think God must've held his tongue in just the right position and divinely aligned the stars so all this stuff happened to work out perfectly in my schedule this week.  I could get used to this!!  It's helped get my mind off of the passing of a woulda-coulda-shoulda been due date and also my upcoming FET on Friday.  I ought to be as stress free as I've ever been for those little embies to dig in and get cozy for a while! 

Now if only I were laying on a beach with some white sand and a drink that required a little umbrella....

Thaw 'Em All

We finally did make it to the Dr office on Tuesday, Jan 31st and I had my one and only internal ultrasound for this round of IVF.  I felt like I was visiting an old friend.  The screen showed that my lining was at 9.  They wanted it at least 6.5, so we are good to go with the calendar as planned for transfer being on Fri., Feb. 10th.  The Doc also said my ovaries were fairly small and "minding their own business," which is what they want at that point in time.  I'd hope they're minding their own business.  Nobody wants busy-body ovaries...

Since we had a minute with the Doc, I brought up the topic of thawing embryos.  This has been a debated topic between Hubby and I the last few days.  I distinctly remember during our last WTF appointment that the Doc said he'd thaw them all and use at least 2 if not all 3, if they make it through thaw.  I stopped the Doc that saw me that day and asked her opinion.  She advised that she'd thaw all 3 and see what we have to work with - which is where I was leaning, but Hubby is a little freaked out by the number 3.  I think he's truly afraid of all 3 "taking."  I am to the point where I don't feel that all of them would - given our stellar prior results.  And I'm not terribly convinced that all 3 will even make it through thaw.  I'm just trying to give myself the best chances of success for this round, since we have nothing left "in the freezer" and would have to start all over with a fresh cycle if this doesn't work.  Ugh.

I am trying to not stress about the number to transfer this time.  The past 2 times, I've wondered & worried about the number.  And then both times, the decision was kind of already made for us.  I am hoping that it's the same this time, so I'm trying to not worry about it too much until Friday.  I think it's best to thaw 'em all and see what we have to work with.

When I got my clothes back on, the IVF Nurse gave me my bloodwork orders to have done here in town - they've done these here in town the last 2 rounds, so hopefully nothing will be terribly screwed up this time.  Although with the way things have been going, I'm not holding my breath!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Birds & Bees Videos

This video was suggested to me from a friend.  Sounds like something I would've written.  It's kind of like they filmed my life.  And if it's like mine, it's probably like any other infertile.  Enjoy!

Jane's Pregnant Again...

This next one could be about me & my peeing on a stick hobby...

As the next video reinforces, this is NOT about making love.  It's about making babies.

And finally, the "scheduled encounters" we have all made...

Might as well laugh at this crazy thing, right?

Friday, February 3, 2012


I am not a very superstitious person.  I walk on cracks and my mother's back is fine.  I have walked under ladders and broken mirrors and life has not been too terribly devastating...minus a few rough years.  However, I'm beginning to wonder if I need to get some garlic and a cross and walk around with it for a while...

I seem to be having problems - major problems - with even the small stuff this 3rd round of IVF.  The first round was difficult because I was shooting up for the 1st time in my life and the 1st round tends to just be overwhelming with the drugs and calendars.  The 2nd round was worse because I developed OHSS.  This 3rd round, however, I've had problems since the start.  I had to wait and wait till I finally did start.  Then I had to go through 2 pharmacies and 18,000 20 phone calls to even get them just in the nick of time.  Then, my bloodwork was all screwy since the Dr told me I could have it done here in my town, which ended up not being true. 

So, the latest trial is getting to the dr office.  Yes, you read that right.  I've been there at least 15 times.  I know how to get there - I just had trouble with that on Tuesday.  I had an appointment on January 31st at 8am for my ultrasound and calendar follow up appointment.  Because we live about an hour away from the Doc, Hubby and I decided to leave the house at 6:30am to give ourselves plenty of time in case we hit traffic.  As we sat on the Interstate, I tweeted, "Sitting behind accident #3 on I-70. #Ridiculousness."  At 8:20, we strolled into the Doc's office.  When the nurse asked how I was this morning, I told her I was here and that's as good as it's getting right now.  She just cocked her head to the side and looked at me.

Now that I think about it, that little frustrated tweet is pretty indicative of this entire round of IVF:  (Imagine me shouting this like the TV Infomercial guy Billy Mays.)
Period is late?  #Ridiculousness!  
Drugs on backorder?  #Ridiculousness!  
You don't do THAT blood test in house so no same-day results? #Ridiculousness!  
3 accidents putting us at a stand-still on the Interstate 3 times in 1 trip?  #Ridiculousness!

So, I have 2 thoughts:  Either this Round #3 is putting us through hell because I'm going to get pregnant with twins and be done with IVF forever OR it's a downhill spiral that is preparing me for another disappointment, at which point I will throw a tantrum full of #Ridiculousness.

Either way, in my opinion, it's ALL #Ridiculousness!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Coming Out of the (Nursery) Closet

Krissi at Stress Free Infertility writes a wonderful blog and has a book ready to come out (and has already won awards for it!).  She featured my blog in her latest "blog love" post.  I thought that was kind of cool. I frankly think anyone wanting to read my rants & ramblings is kinda cool.  So I posted on Facebook, (because I am an addict), "An award-winning author featured my blog on her blog.  How cool is that?!"
I had, as I figured, many friends that "liked" this post.  However, I had not anticipated the protest from many friends for me to post my blog address.  Oh geez.  Hubby immediately said, "You're not going to post that, are you?"  I told him there was no way.  Let's face it, I've poured out a lot of my heart on here.  It's my therapy and just maybe it will help someone else along this same windy, not quite beaten bath.  But expose myself for the whole world ,or rather, my 1,500 friends on Facebook?  That's another level for which I'm just not ready.

When I thought about what would happen if I did post the address for the world to see, I felt very naked...and not in a Marvin Gaye Let's-Get-It-On kinda way.  Was it just that I don't want the world to know all my troubles?  Maybe a little.  Afterall, I do hate hand-on-the-forehead, woe is me, everybody pay attention to me kind of drama.  But I know that there's more to it than that.  I felt like it would expose this secret thing in my life.  Was it shame?  Was it embarrassment?  Deep down, do I have a fear that I'm the one-of-these-things-that's-not-like-the-others?  Possibly.  If I'm honest, probably.

I, though, get a guilty conscience when I feel the need to keep the infertility part of my life hidden from the world.  I'm very much a believer in being honest...hence some of my rather blunt forthcoming blog posts.  I feel like hiding this stuff from the people that know me is doing some injustice to our infertility community.  I'm continuing the trend of not wanting to talk about it and not wanting it to be such a public thing.  I'm hiding it and not making an issue out of it.  I'm not educating the general public that know me on something so near and dear to my heart.  Am I betraying who I am?  Am I leaving out a part of my identity? 

So, I'm not ready to come out of the closet...that is, the nursery closet...yet.  Many of my close friends and a lot of our family members know about our struggles.  That's enough, at least for now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Banned Facebook Statuses

If you've read my blog, you know that I've said several times I'm a facebook addict.  I love the thing.  I use it for work, personal life, & a photography business that Hubby & I own together.  I put up pics, comment on others posts & share my thoughts with friends....A LOT.  I don't even mind the pregnancy announcements & pics that follow. 

However, there have been several posts that have run through my devious little brain, but I have NOT shared on facebook.  These are just things no one should ever share, at least not with the delicate fertile public.  For your entertainment, I present my top 10 Facebook Statuses that I ban myself to ever post:

1. Stuck some progesterone up my hoo hah before I went to bed last night.  Hope it doesn't fall out!
2. Well, it's Monday, so Hubby got up and stuck me in the a$$ first thing this morning.  What a way to start the week!
3. Wow, seems like the more men I add to the process, the more it costs to get knocked up!
4. Hope I mixed my drugs correctly before I shot up this morning.
5. No, I cannot have a meeting with you today because A. I don't like you, & B. I'm full of hormones.  NOT a good combination, for your sake.
6. Leaving the house to go get knocked-up.  For most people, that's just a fun option.
7. My Doc costs more than a virgin hooker!
8.  My drug dealer came through!  Yay!
9.  Hope the embryologist gets my ice babies all thawed & warm before putting them in me later today!  No frost allowed at the equator!!
10. Can peeing on a stick be a hobby?

11. When the Doc told me I'd be starting & ending my day with shots, this is NOT what I had in mind...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Better Late Than Never

At 2:30pm on Friday, January 20th, my IVF Nurse called & said that my blood results were in.  Hallelujah!  They were looking for my estradiol level to be below 80 - Mine was 30!  She made sure that I knew I had to come to their lab next Friday for my first blood draw after adding the Estradiol Valerate shots. They are looking for my E2 level to spike somewhere between 200 and 1000, which will help in building a thick lining in the uterus.  Yes, make it nice and cozy for my ice babies!  I have to go to the lab by their office (an hour away) because they have to have my results the same day in case any adjustments in dosages need to occur.  Another disadvantage to living in a small town - blood labs can't do same-day results.  :-(

So, I'm a "go" for adding Estradiol shots to my regimen on Monday, Jan 23rd!  We are moving along.

I figured, this being Round #3 and all, that getting drugs & bloodwork would not be a difficult part of this process.  Even these things are a challenge this time...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dealer Came Through!

On Thurs., Jan 19th, Hubby texted me when he got home from work.  This (estradiol valerate & corresponding needles & syringes) arrived!

Can you believe that this little vial cost me $70???

 Now if only my blood results would come back, I can start these injections on time on Mon., Jan 23rd!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some Days I Just Shake My Head

On Wed., Jan 28th, CD1 arrived & threw a wrench in the day I had planned.  I called my Dr because he was going to order a blood draw to check my estradiol level the day I started.  I left them my work fax in case they had any trouble sending it to the hospital.  I was so happy that they were going to let me get my bloodwork done in town rather than driving an hour away to the lab they use. 

I also called my acupuncturist who had me come in right away at 10:30AM.  Normally I find acupuncture really relaxing.  She puts the pins in and does this extra electrical current thing called "Relax & Balance" - it's amazing.  But today, some jackA$$ doctor decided to stand outside the door & talk loudly on his cell phone about his recent skiing trip.  I even coughed loudly a couple of times, thinking that'd get his attention & signal that someone was in the room, but no. Acupuncture ended & it was not the blissful experience I'd had the last few times.

My acupuncturist is in the same building as the blood lab, so I stopped by the registration desk to ask if any orders had been faxed in for me.  I figured I might as well - I was already there.  Why would I think it would be THAT easy?  I still laugh at how naive I am.  The lady at the desk told me that she didn't know anything & I'd have to wait to talk to an intake specialist.  You mean to tell me you can't just look up my name on that handy dandy little thing in front of you called a computer?  So I took a seat and waited until an intake specialist was open.  I asked if any orders had been faxed in for me.  She looked in her computer - what a novel idea! - and also on the fax machine, but had nothing.

On my way out to my car, my cell phone went nuts.  I had 2 missed calls from my Dr's office.  The voicemails were the IVF nurse explaining there was no answer on my work fax.  I called them back with the lab's direct fax line, since I was already there and they were having trouble with my work fax.  I waited about 30 minutes and didn't hear anything, so I left to grab a bite to eat.  While I was eating, my cell phone rang again.  It was my Dr's office, but they hung up.  Then they called back.  So I grabbed it an answered it, only to have the sound of a fax in my ear....

Apparently someone at my Doc's office is LEARNING to use the fax machine today....perhaps we should work on following directions next?

So after I finished my lunch, I was walking to my car and the Doc's office called me again stating that they'd sent the fax & had confirmation that it went through.  Funny, I'm pretty sure you just tried to fax it to my cell phone, but whatever...

At 12:30pm, I went to the blood lab where I again had to wait my turn to talk to an intake specialist, who walked me through the registration process this time & sent me to the lab to get my blood drawn.  Two women walked me back & I complimented one of them on her pretty Pandora bracelet.  She scoffed and said that it wasn't Pandora and anyone that had a Pandora bracelet had more money than brains.  At that point, I showed her my Pandora bracelet...Hey Jacka$$ #2 today: Open mouth, insert foot.

Then, the other girl put on gloves and began looking at both my arms.  She told me she was a student & would be drawing my blood.  Yes, I now have a giant bruise on my left arm...

At least it was done.  Or so I thought...

I got a phone call from my IVF nurse at 4:30pm saying she'd called the blood lab and for some reason they don't perform this particular test in-house.  The Doc expected test results the same day.  Apparently, at my lab Estradiol tests have to be sent away and they would not have the results until Friday or Monday.  If we didn't have the results by Monday morning, I was to hold off on my first shot of estradiol valerate.  Ugh.

I called the lab myself just to see if I got the same story.  At first, the woman on the phone told me that she didn't know who I was so she was not telling me any information.  Now, aren't you just the cherry on top of this day?!  I explained that I wasn't calling for my results - that I just wanted to know if in fact this test was not done in-house and when they would expect my results.  Her tone changed and she said that was all true & they should have my results by Friday.  That made me feel a little better, although I'm still a little unnerved that the blood draw order had STAT written all over it & no one bothered to tell me this was not a test that they could run in house...So now, since they've proven a little incompetent with the tests, I now have to drive to the blood lab by my Doc's office more than an hour away for the rest of my blood draws.  I guess I'd rather have to drive and have it done correctly and on time.

Here's the kicker-when I finally got to work at 2PM that day, there was a fax with my blood draw orders in my mailbox from my Doc's office.

Some days I just shake my head.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Cell Phone's Worn Out

Tues., Jan 17th:

12:36pm Katie from BackOrderScript called to let me know that Estradiol Valerate is still on backorder and the manufacturer says it will not be in until March 1st.  Not helpful.

12:53pm Call Mary from my insurance co who has always helped with drug problems in the past.  She said she'd talk to the Pharmacy Dept and get back with me.  Do your magic, Mary!

1:20pm Mary left me a message that if the manufacturer says it's on backorder, there's nothing they can do.  If I can find it someplace else, I do not need an override, just go ahead and get it.  Gee, thanks!

1:43pm Called Barron Pharmacy, the alternative pharmacy I had to use during IVF Round #1 when BackOrderScrip couldn't come through then.  The man said they did have several vials of it in stock.  I told him I'd have my dr office get in touch.

1:47pm I called my Dr's Med Specialist, Dawn.  I left Dawn a message that I needed to speak with her about submitting my order somplace else because BackOrderScrip once again dropped the ball.

2:03pm Dawn calls me back.  I explain what's happened.  She says she will also make sure Barron has the drug and if they do and it's not outrageously expensive, she'd get it for me.  I told her I was sorry I have to be the one with an insurance company that only complicates matters.  She told me not to apologize, that she's used to dealing with insurance and she'd get it all straightened out for me.

2:10pm A representative from Barron Pharmacy calls to get my insurance info updated since it's been since last March/April since I've had anything filled by them.

2:20pm Another representative from Barron calls to confirm the drug that's needed and to make sure that I have all the needles and syringes ordered that I need as well.

2:52pm A 3rd representative from Barron calls to get my credit card info and confirm my shipping address.  She told me the Estradiol Valerate would be here within a day or 2.

4:05pm A 4th representative from Barron calls to get my email address so I can have access to shipping information for my package from UPS.

We'll see if I truly get my meds on time...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let's Hypothetically Say I Make Guns

On Wednesday, January 4th, I got another call from my specialty pharmacy.  This time, sweet little Katie (Can you hear my voice dripping with sarcasm?) informed me that all of my drugs except estradiol valerate (EV) ought to be arriving that day. They did...

The EV, on the other hand, was on backorder and Katie so lovingly informed me that the manufacturer had no idea when they'd begin shipping it again.  Ought the manufacturer know this kind of thing?  I mean, let's hypothetically say I make shoot people...who can't fill drug orders.  I ought to know the next time I'm making a gun...

Shockingly, I didn't scream.  Actually this time, I almost laughed.  I knew that a drug order going through with no major problems was really too much to ask from this company that I refer to as BackOrderScrip.  I let Katie know that I take the first shot of it on Monday, January 23rd in the morning.  She said she'd make note that it would need to arrive by Friday, January 20th and she'd keep an eye out for the drug.  I asked Katie if I would hear from her or how I would know how to proceed.  She assured me that she'd let me know one way or another about the drug because she's the one that handles all the drugs on back order for them.  Damn straight you will let me I can quit waxing my hypothetical shotgun...

I figured I'd give them a few days to see if they could get it in before screaming losing my cool with them on the phone AGAIN.

Fast-forward to today (Jan. 10):  I still haven't heard from Katie or anyone else from BackOrderScrip about the missing estradiol valerate.  I will be calling sweet little Katie tomorrow.  Just like Lucy on Charlie Brown...when she goes into her booth and turns the sign around...the crazy lady is in.

As I've said many times before.  I didn't go into this process neurotic, demanding, and emotional, but the process sure makes me this way.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Knew Drugs Weren't That Easy to Get!

On Tuesday, January 3rd, I got a phone call from the specialty pharmacy.  The woman on the phone said that she wanted to schedule delivery of my drugs.  Didn't we already do that once?  I told her that I had already spoken to someone the day before who had done that.  She said that person didn't have the authority to do that because all the meds were not run through the insurance division yet.  And that's MY problem HOW?  

She went on the explain that the progesterone suppositories are compounds that have to be made up by a pharmacist, and because it's a drug they have to make, they have to find out all the ingredients and then bill me accordingly.  She said she was going to put their pharmacist on alert to make up the suppositories and hopefully the drugs would ship by the next day (Wed., Jan 4th).  I wouldn't think getting something to just put in my hoo-hah is this difficult, but if you say so....

So I OK'd it and hung up.  By this time I wasn't convinced that this 3rd round of IVF was going to be any different than the other times.  I wasn't holding my breath about the drugs being right or getting here on time....

I should've known there'd be another phone call yet...

Getting Drugs Cannot Be That Easy!

On Monday, January 2 at noon, I called the pharmacy to see if they'd processed my paperwork so I could pay for my drugs and schedule delivery.  It wasn't like I needed the drugs anytime soon or anything...The woman who answered the phone transferred me to the insurance department.  I waited for 20 minutes on the phone and no one answered.  So, I hung up and called back.  The same woman answered the phone and I told her that I'd been on hold for 20 minutes since she transferred me.  She apologized and then pulled up my info.  Now why couldn't she have just done that to begin with???  She said that all but one of my drugs were run and the one just needed pre-approval, which should not be a problem.  She asked me if I wanted to pay with the credit card I had on file with them and I told her yes.  She told me that the drugs ought to ship out Wednesday and I'd have them on Thursday.

And so I hung up the phone happy that wasn't too much of a mess. 

Haven't I learned by now that it's just not that easy?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Getting Drugs Should Not Be This Difficult!

Let me bring you up to speed:  I have to use this certain pharmacy per my insurance company.  They have a history of not being able to find my prescription for about a week after it's actually faxed to them....which leads to cutting it close when it's time to take my meds.  More often than not, they are on backorder.  One time, they had to have a courier bring me my meds less than 12 hours before I was supposed to take the 1st shot.  Long story short, I don't have much faith in them.

Fast-forward to IVF#3:  Doc faxed orders to them on Dec. 23rd.  I have a copy of the fax confirmation.  I called the pharmacy on Dec. 29th because I hadn't heard from them.  They said I wasn't in the system at all and then, after digging, said they'd received the fax that day.  LIE!  No co-pays had been run and they could not schedule delivery yet.  I asked, not entirely nicely, if they were going to have my Lupron on backorder like the previous 2 times.  Then the woman gave me some crap story about being the end of the year and having many orders to fill and she couldn't say whether it'd be in stock when the insurance division ran my co-pays.

And that's when my brains oozed out my ears...Just don't even talk if you can't be helpful!

I asked her to get the paperwork to whatever division needs it - that I had to have the Lupron by Jan 6th - and that's all there is to it.  She told me that she'd forward it on and I should call back on January 2nd in the afternoon.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Funniest Christmas Letter I'll Never Send

I must say that 2011 has been an interesting year for Hubby and me.  It was mostly taken up with IVF stuff.  I'm not sure that I'm totally happy about that.  I sat down the other day to write a Christmas letter to family and friends and realized that either:
1. I could not put most of our year in it because we are not sharing IVF info with them
2.  The rest of the year was really boring and not worth writing about.

How sad is that?

So, here is what my truthful letter would've said to all our dear friends and relatives that I won't be sending out:

Dear Friends,

In January, Hubby went back to consulting for a local bank and also began Seminary.  He hated the bank the 1st time he worked there, so I'm not sure why he's going back, however it pays well, so I'm not complaining till he turns into a jerk that is unbearable to live with again.  We had to have several nurses travel to our home to draw blood to see if Hubby's genes and chromosomes were OK.  I do have to admit, I did sorta look at him funny for those couple of weeks when we were waiting on the test results.  Later, we got the go-ahead to pursue IVF-ICSI because Hubby's CAVD diagnosis was chalked up to "just a fluke."  Isn't that nice?  Thousands of dollars spent finding out that Hubby missing a couple little tubes in his body was just some oversight from the man upstairs?!

In March, Hubby has his MESA surgery and I sent out the infamous, "WE HAVE SPERM" texts to our friends.  Yes, I did that.  And I'd do it again.  These small little things found in Hubby's nether-regions were the biggest highlight of my year, thank you very much.  We have 9 tubes of it frozen.  He healed like a champ without too much complaining.  I must admit that washing around the stitches on his testicles were NOT the highlight of my year...  This month, our old house also got robbed again.  This time, since there were no more of our personal items to steal, they began stealing the actual house.  Doors, mantels, and other woodworking have now been stripped from the house.  I asked our insurance agent if I burnt it down and didn't turn it in for insurance if I would still go to jail for insurance fraud.  She said no, but that I'd still go to jail for arson.  Something to ponder...

In April & May, we went through our first IVF-ICSI attempt.  I was giddy with hope and excitement.  I was elated to receive the calendar that laid out all of the pills and shots that I was going to have to take.  Happiness was soon turned to confusion and disgust at the amount of money and stress that a round of IVF takes.  I tested young and healthy internally.  I responded well to the stimulants.  They got 10 eggs from me and I looked forward to the Embryologist's call each day updating me on how many were growing.  We transferred 2 Grade 1 Blastocycts on Day 5.  We also froze 1 for future use.  I pondered every single cramp and pinch for the next 2 weeks.  We received our BFN in June.  I cried at work and at home.  I made a fool of myself several times in public.  The Doc had no answer as to why it didn't work.  It just didn't.  I had thought that maybe we were owed something happy at this point.  Apparently this wasn't it.

Soon after, in June, Hubby and I went to a state-wide church conference at a little resort up north.  It was nice to get away, sit at the lake, eat ice cream, and not be surrounded by sadness.  It was just what I needed.  I spent the summer busy at work with the Youth Program that I run.  My boss "resigned" in July and the leadership at work has been less that great since then.  I've come home mad, crying, or yelling on any given evening.  The Board President is an older woman who has nothing better to do with her time and she has stepped in to do his day-to-day duties until a replacement can be found.  She is sometimes nice, but has no clue what she's doing.  She walks all over me, treats the staff pretty poorly, and handles criticism like a 2-year-old.  She just has no business being a leader of an organization.

In September, I didn't have a good feeling about IVF-ICSI Round #2 and my gut was right.  I had read so many other blogs that stated their round 2 didn't work, but their Round #3 did.  I felt like I just needed to get through this round.  Retrieval was very painful this time.  Healing took longer because I developed Ovarian Hyper Stimulation.  We transferred 2 Grade 1 Blasts in September on Day 5 and froze another 2.  In October, my period came a few days early and that's how I knew we had a BFN this 2nd round, too.  In a nutshell, Round #2 was God-awful.  I'm glad that b!+ch is over with.  At work, the Board decided to advertise for a new Executive Director.  They'd take apps through 2011 and begin the interview process in early 2012.  I knew I had lots of vacation in December and I'd dust off my resume when I had some real time to work on it.

In October, Hubby was deemed a "Locally Licensed Pastor" and so now he is Rev. Hubby. I think that's funny.

In November, I prayed that I needed some clarity about whether it was time to leave my job or hang on for the Exec Dir position.  That same day, at a Board Meeting, I was excused while they went into Executive Session.  When I came back, they had voted unanimously to approve what was talked about in the Executive Session.  Later in the meeting, they decided to tell me that they had approved the older woman who was the Board President and was filling in as the Executive Director as the Interim Director for "at least a year."  I went home very upset from this meeting and then realized, "Hey dumbass, you asked for clarity."  At that point, God didn't gently nudge me about my future.  He hit me in the face with a brick.  I guess I'm leaving.  I just have to figure out what my next steps are.  Hubby's convinced that I should get my Ph.D. in Child Clinical Psych.  My undergrad is in child psych.  I love working with children on IEPs and learning plans.  I've diagnosed several of our friends' and family members' kids before the Doc did.  I've helped families help their children with things ranging from OCD, Asperger's, Autism, and PDD.  I love the stuff.  I'm getting excited just writing about it.  I suppose Rev. Hubby is right.  I just have to figure out when, where and how we'll pay for it.

We also had our WTF appointment with my Doc in Nov. and he has no answers as to why IVF didn't work the 2nd time.  Blasts form and fail to implant all the time in the real world and people don't even know it.  We just happened to know that they were there.  Is this where the saying, "Ignorance is bliss" applies?  We agreed that the next step is to try a Frozen Cycle with our Babies on Ice.  And no, that's not an ice skating show.  Although I could arrange it if it would help pay for our next round....

In December, I had pretty much given up trying to play nice with our new Interim Director at work.  If she wants to be in charge, she's going to have to act like it.  I went at her with several complaints and at one point, I called Hubby saying that if I'd talked to any other person who was my boss that way, I'd probably be fired.  I know that's bad, but my give-a-damn is broken.  Late in December, I began birth control pills for this Round #3 of IVF and visited an acupuncturist.  I'm still not convinced acupuncture works, but am willing to do anything to help the odds this time around.  I received my calendar for IVF #3, FET #1, as well.  My behind already hurts from looking at the schedule of IM shots that is required this time.  I am cautiously optimistic at this point, probably naively so.

As for 2012, friends, I pray that my butt and to-do list grow smaller, that my family and wallet grow bigger, and that much happiness finds us all.

The Childless Mom