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So last Tuesday we got up bright and early to go to our consultation with the new clinic.  We were really early, so we had some lunch and then went to the mall for a bit before heading over to the clinic.  We registered with the receptionist and were taken back within a few minutes.  The nurse that took us back took my weight and blood pressure and then we met with the RE.  As usual, he started with the whole medical history bit, and went through my records and entered all of my test results into his system.  After that, he went through all of the basic causes of infertility and crossed them off one by one and ultimately came up with the conclusion that we have unexplained infertility (duh).  The only possible explanation that he gave us for our difficulties in conceiving was that that it is possible that Mark may have developed antisperm antibodies as a result of a hernia repair surgery that he had last year.  If that were the case, it would lead to fertilization problems, which could explain why we’re not pregnant yet. 

 

Once he officially gave us his diagnosis, he said that he guessed that we were ready to move on to IVF since most people wouldn’t travel 4+ hours for clomid and IUI’s.  BINGO!  At his clinic, they do ICSI for 90% to 95% of their IVF cycles, and he would recommend that for us too because of the possibility of antisperm antibodies and ICSI would bypass the entire fertilization issue.

 

He seems to think that IVF will do the trick for us, and of course we are hoping that he’s right.  He said that I have responded well to the oral meds in the past and that bodes well for how I will respond to the injectables.  He also thought that we should be able to participate in the shared risk program which will allow us to do three fresh IVF cycles along with any associated frozen cycles for one fixed cost.  The nice part about this particular program is that meds are included in the package price which is a HUGE cost savings.  Comparing my previous clinic’s shared risk program to this new one, we will save somewhere between $6,500 and $17,500 depending on how many tries it takes us to get pregnant. 

 

So before we can move on, he said that I would l need to have another sonohysterogram/mock transfer.  This will be done so that he can determine the curvature of my cervix so that inserting the catheter for the embryo transfer is as easy as possible, and also to determine the shape of my uterus so that he can put the embryos in the “sweet spot” where they will have the best chance to implant.  Mark and I also both had to have blood tests for HIV, Hepatitis, etc, which we did on Thursday. 

 

All that’s left now is to have a phone meeting with the financial advisor and then take the IVF patient education class.  And unfortunately, that seems to be where we’ve hit some stumbling blocks.  He said that he would have the financial coordinator (who also seems to be the person who determines if we can participate in the shared risk program) call us last Wednesday to go over everything.  Well, today is Monday, and we still have not heard from her.  I left her a voicemail and also sent her an e-mail, and still no response.  My mock transfer is scheduled for Thursday and I need to know if we are accepted into the shared risk program before then.  If for some reason we cannot be a part of the shared risk program, then we will likely not go forward with this particular clinic due to the distance.  There is no sense in heading down there for a mock transfer if we won’t be pursuing treatment with them.  So at this point I am beyond frustrated with the lack of communication.

 

Additionally, we need to attend a patient education class before we can start IVF.  It just so happened that they were doing one of these classes on the very same day that we were there for our consult.  We actually asked if we could stay and do it then since it would save us a trip, but the receptionist insisted that we must have all of our pre-testing and financial appointment completed before we can take the class.  We had asked Dr. C if there was any way that we could do both the SHG/mock transfer and the class on the same day, and he said that it would probably be doable.  Well when I called to make my SHG appointment, the receptionist told me that the next class wasn’t until late, late August.  What?!?  Do they only do these classes once a month?  If we had to wait until late August before we could take the class, we would miss a whole other cycle, which is certainly not what we want at this point.

 

So I called on Friday afternoon to see if there was any way that we could pay extra to have a special class just for us.  If not, could we start the birth control pills BEFORE we took the class since you don’t really need a whole lot of education to pop a BCP.  Either of those two options would work out just fine for us (of course we’re hoping that somehow we can arrange a special class just for us on Thursday, which would save us another trip down there), but we still have not heard anything back yet.

 

I’m frustrated because when I initially contacted this clinic, I had asked about doing treatment from out of state.  The coordinator had responded that they just had a client from Wisconsin get pregnant from treatment there the previous week, which made it seem like they were experienced in dealing with patients from out of state and that perhaps they were accommodating to their needs.  So far I have not noticed that to be true, and my frustration with their lack of response is certainly growing with each passing hour with no return phone call.

 

In my heart, I feel like this is the clinic that we need to be at and we will get pregnant from this.  But at this moment, I am so upset and frustrated, I just don’t even know what to do with myself.  I know that frustration is the last thing that I need when we’re going to be starting IVF, so I really hope that the communication improves from here on out.  I have no idea what we will do if it doesn’t.

 

In more positive news, a woman in my real life support group who has been undergoing IUI’s for over a year (her husband is sterile due to cancer treatments) finally got her BFP.  It was so thrilling to hear that it finally worked for her.  I cannot imagine taking 12.5 mg of Femara and doing two IUI’s every month for 15 months.  The stress and emotion of 5 IUI’s was nearly too much for me. 

 

Additionally, two women from my online buddy group are also pregnant, one of which was just about to start IVF for severe male factor infertility.  She thought that the only way they could get pregnant was IVF with ICSI and somehow they got a miracle BFP.  It is exciting to know that it is happening for other women.  On one hand it makes me think that if it can happen for them, then it can happen for me.  On the other hand, of course, it makes me wonder how come they can get pregnant with presumably such major issue, but we can’t with presumably minor or non-existent issues.  It’s a frustrating mixed bag of emotions.  But I am very truly happy for all of them.  I’m just wishing that our time comes soon too.

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So I was watching HGTV the other night and on came a commercial for Lowe’s. Essentially there’s a woman who looks to be 6, 7 or possibly even 8 months pregnant on the phone saying “Well mom, it looks like we’re going to have to pick out couple more names…we’re having triplets!!!”

Good lord. Are you kidding me?

Does Lowe’s honestly believe that in today’s day and age people don’t find out how many babies they’re having until the woman is as big as a house? I sure hope not. I’m guessing that they’re aware of how stupid this commercial makes them appear, but they just couldn’t resist the obvious increase in store traffic that this great commercial would bring. Riiiiiiiiight…

In non-pregnancy commercial news, I am super excited for our appointment with the new clinic on Tuesday. We are so hoping that we will be accepted into the shared risk IVF program and can get started soon. Please keep us in your thoughts as we move forward with this next step.

Well, I’m exhausted since I can’t seem to get myself into bed at any sort of reasonable hour when my husband is away on business trips, so I’m going to finally go to bed.

At the dog park just about a year ago, an acquaintance told me that she just found out that she was pregnant.  She went on to say that they had been trying for 11 months before they finally got pregnant.  Without thinking about what I was doing, I blabbed that we had been trying for a while too, I guess mostly because I felt like she could relate to the difficulties we were having.  I was shocked that I just opened my mouth and told her this, especially when I hadn’t even really told any of my close friends about what was going on.  But it was too late and I couldn’t take it back, so I just kept questioning what they had been through and how they got it figured out.

 

When I finally got all of the details, it turned out that they were just mistiming things each month.  Her cycles were very irregular coming off of birth control and so it was hard for them to cover their bases every month.  She went to her OB/GYN and asked for help and was told to just keep trying.  A few more months went by and she went back to the OB/GYN, but happened to see a different doctor on that day.  The OB/GYN suggested that they try using OPK’s to help maximize their chances.  They did, and what do you know?  She was pregnant the next month.  No blood work was ever run, no clomid was ingested, no artificial inseminations took place, all it took was good old fashioned well timed sex.

 

Now I felt like even more of an idiot for opening my mouth about our difficulties.  I didn’t have any of the same issues that she did.  I had great fertility signals and knew when my most fertile time was each month which was corroborated by the charts that I kept.  Timing was certainly not an issue for us.  As far as I knew at the time, my biggest problem was chronic spotting and had actually just had my blood drawn that day for a 7DPO progesterone level.  She hadn’t even heard of having your progesterone checked and so was no help with that issue.  In fact, she seemed to know virtually nothing about infertility at all.  Up until the month prior, she didn’t even know about OPK’s.  I just couldn’t believe that in 11 months, she had never typed the words “infertility” or even just “how to increase chances of getting pregnant” into Google. 

 

When she had initially told me that they had been trying for a while, I felt hope because if it could work for them after so long, then there was a good chance that it would work for us as well.  My hope faded a bit when she said that their problem was just a matter of timing because we had already gone though six very well timed cycles. 

 

Of course I didn’t let it get me too down.  In fact, I fantasized about getting pregnant soon and being able to go through pregnancy together with her, albeit a few months behind her.  How great it would be to have someone in real life to discuss all of the weird changes that pregnancy brings?  And how wonderful for us to have kids approximately the same age? 

 

But as we all know now, the months slipped by as I continued to remain not pregnant and her little boy is four months old now.  So at the dog park last week, I asked her what she and her son did that day.  She told me how they went to Target to try out convertible car seats since he’s almost outgrown his infant carrying seat.  She was explaining how she was doing research and looked up reviews on different seats, but still wasn’t sure what to get.  I felt somewhat helpless to provide any advice since I know absolutely nothing about buying anything baby related, but then it crossed my mind that many, many months ago (when I naively believed I would get pregnant within a matter of months), I purchased a book called Baby Bargains.  While the title implies that the book is about thrifty tips for buying baby gear, but it’s actually more like a consumer’s guide to all things baby related.  They review nearly every model of every baby related item that you could think of and provide info on costs and manufacturer reputation.  So it’s rumored to be a fantastic resource for anyone who needs to buy baby stuff. 

 

I never envisioned that this book would sit, alongside of 5 or 6 other pregnancy/birthing books, on my bookshelf for over a year.  So I offered it to her.    Much better for her to get some use out of it than for it to sit on my bookshelf unopened and unused.  While I was glad to have someone get some use out of it, it was just another reminder of what I don’t have.  At this moment, we’re not pregnant, and to admit that it may not happen for us any time soon was somewhat of a relief.  I do think that in some ways I’ve put way too much pressure on myself in regards to getting pregnant.  I always feel like “What if it doesn’t happen this month?  What will we ever do with ourselves?”  I’ve made getting pregnant into the only thing that I really strive for anymore and that’s not fair to me.  In some ways, passing that one book on has helped me to realize that I’ve been unfair to myself in creating possibly unrealistic expectations for us.  It helped me to release some of that pressure that I’ve built up for myself and allowed me to let things go just a little bit.  It was like coming to terms with where we are now and letting go of that constant fear of what might happen if it doesn’t happen.  It was an unexpected, yet very much appreciated side effect of doing nice for someone else.

Well, after I posted the below entry, I started thinking about that OPK this morning that was so obviously positive. It kind of annoys me because I’ve never had a clear cut positive on an OPK before. In fact, I was so bad at reading the darn things (it can’t be THAT hard, can it?) that I bought some very expensive digital OPK’s a few months back when we were doing IUI’s. The plan was to continue using my cheapo OPK’s until the lines got relatively dark and then use the digital ones so that there was no confusion as to whether the test was actually positive or not.Well it occurred to me just now that I sadly never even got to use the darn things. My lines the past few IUI cycles have never even been close to positive, so it seemed a waste to use a digital one. Since this will hopefully be our last cycle before IVF, those tests are going to go to waste, and gosh darn it, I want to pee on one! So I just took one of them if for nothing else than to experience the technology of it all, and what shows up?

This little guy taunting me with his smiley face, as if he’s saying “Nah-nah-nah-a-boo-boo! You’re surging and your husband isn’t even here to take advantage of it!” Bastard. Add in huge ovulation pains on my left side that make even sitting down uncomfortable and Jess is not a happy camper tonight.

A quick search of sidestep.com shows that flights to LaGuardia can be had for $302 and I briefly consider flying out there to conduct a little business with my husband, if you know what I mean, but quickly dismiss it in favor of putting that money towards our looming IVF cycle.

Here’s hoping that tomorrow is a better day.

There is one thing that has become increasingly clear as I’ve struggled with our fertility issues; I am spoiled.  Spoiled rotten.  I’m used to getting what I want, and usually when I want it.

 

Everyone says that youngest kids are spoiled and always get what they want and I guess from my experience, I can’t really disagree.  While I was most certainly not a spoiled brat demanding things from my parents, they did tend to give me most everything I wanted. 

 

  • My parents sent me to a private driving school the summer before I turned 16 because I had just missed the cutoff to get into the class at school (though this was probably a little selfish on their behalf as well because then they wouldn’t have to drive me around anymore). 
  • My parents paid for half of three week long field trip to Europe when I was a junior in high school.
  • My parents paid my tuition, room and board while I was in college.  They even paid for me to spend a semester studying in France.

 

Beyond all of the financial support they have given me throughout the years, my parents have always been there for me emotionally.  Sure, we’ve had our disagreements, but I honestly could not ask for more compassionate, kind and caring parents.  They have always been willing to stop whatever they’re doing at the drop of a hat in order to help me out with whatever was going on with me.  I can’t imagine how different my life would be without their constant support.

 

Even as an adult, without the assistance of my parents, I’ve been pretty spoiled.

 

  • I got every job that I’ve ever interviewed for
  • I got every house that I’ve ever wanted
  • I got the man that I wanted
  • We make enough money that nearly anything we want, we can just go out and buy or do

 

On the whole, I’ve been exceptionally fortunate.  And spoiled. 

 

Except for this one thing.  We can’t manage to have a baby on our own. 

 

The frustration of wanting something so bad, but not being able to get it is beyond anything that I’ve ever experienced before.  And it’s different from everything else that I’ve ever wanted in that there’s no guarantee that I can get it, no matter how much time, money and effort I throw at it.  This is something that I have, quite literally, no control over.  And I’m still struggling to try to figure how to handle it.

 

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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