Saturday, August 29, 2009

Found; Now onto the Next Hurdle

Alright, AF finally showed up with a vengeance today. She must have been upset about my hassling her on her lateness. Oh well. In the end I was really praying she would stay away until Sunday. I now have to do my day 3 FSH on Monday but I won't be in town on Monday. Instead I will be 3 hours away in another city hosting a mini conference. I googled locations for the lab that will take my insurance in the city I will be at. They have a lab that is about 15 minutes away from my 'work location.' This lab opens at 7:30 am which is when I'm supposed to arrive at the conference location but then it closes at 4pm which is 30minutes before my conference day ends. I'm not sure how I'm going to make this work. Maybe I will just show up late and blame it on not knowing the area. What to do, what to do...

Now I know that I can technically wait until day 4 (Tuesday) to do the blood draw but I'd rather not drag this out any longer than needed. (Plus I have an accupunture appt that day and can't make it to the lab in my town anyway.) I think when I drive up on Sunday I'll make it a point to test drive to my two destinations so that I A) won't get lost and B) will know the area when I'm gunning it across town to the conference location.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Would Like to File a Missing Persons Report Please.

My Aunt is missing. I was expecting her to arrive early this week but it's now Wednesday and she is no where to be found. She's normally very punctual which is what is alarming me most. I even took precautions and sent her some prometrium to ensure that she would get her safely and on time. Here is a picture of her below to help in the search.

Her name is Flow, I refer to her by Aunt Flow but she also responds to Dirty Hag or Wicked Witch of the South.

While you are at it could you also be on the look out for my mind? I seemed to have misplaced it some where and I would really like it back. Apparently the side effects of prometrium for me are forgetfulness and lack of focus. This comes at an inopportune time for me. Right now my job requires me to be very detailed and focused and I am not. Not only that but I can barely remember what day of the week it is. And if some one tells me, don't be surprised if I forget within 30 minutes. I have literally been driving to a friends house and forgot where I was going. I had to drive back home because Hammer didn't answer his phone to tell me what I was supposed to be doing. That is not normal people. I have triple booked our weekends and had to reschedule things, left the dog outside for almost an hour in the heat before I realized it, and the list goes on. Actually I can't remember the other things I've done to even tell you. It's hilarious that with all the drugs I've been on the two that bother me the most are this prometrium and the birth control pills. Which I would love to start here, any day now.

But in good news my last Bravelle angel (thank you again jvwaiting!) sent me a blessing of the remaining vials of stims that I needed for IVF#2. Once I finally get my period I'll be able to get my day 3 FSH drawn and the rest of my drugs ordered. I tried to see if they would order them earlier but no go. It wasn't a waste of a call. Apparently the lab never told the clinic that Hammer's backup deposit was on ice. Our clinic requires couples to have back up 'boys' in case something were to happen like stage fright or hospitalization. I'm glad we got that cleared up at least. Now all we have to do is wait for Aunt Flow to make her final curtain call.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Update

Lots to update on today!
Wednesday I got a note from jvwaiting that she had some additional Bravelle and after a few emails we’ve arranged for her to send me her extras. That means that ALL of our Bravelle is now taken care of for this cycle. Now we only have to pay for the HCG and the added LH med (which I don’t know the name of yet). Our cost for meds would have doubled this cycle but God has provided!!! I can only just shake my head in amazement at how God continues to provide for us. This weekend I was talking with an IRL buddy who has PCOS/infertility about how God has just given us a huge green light for this cycle and that taking care of our increased meds cost is just one of the many blessings. Thank you jvwaiting, you are now one of my Bravelle angels!


Friday I got my progesterone results back to see if I ovulated. They were 1.3, yeah, not ovulating. But that’s OK because it meant I got a prescription to get my period on time. If we hadn’t spoken up at our appointment then we would have been waiting around for a while before AF would have shown up. And just to be able to say it, “I was right.” I knew I wasn’t going to ovulate this cycle, I was too suppressed by the Lupron and had those crazy hot flashes (which are now gone, thank God!) So I’m popping my pills knowing that they will guarantee a timely start to our next cycle.


Later that day on Friday – well to preface this is a sad story – Hammer took me out for dinner and movie. This is a splurge that we rarely have allowed our selves to have these past two years because we have had to save so much for all these treatments. We were eating outside on the restaurant’s patio. A couple sat down at the table across from us and the woman was very visibly pregnant. Honestly ladies, I was totally cool with seeing her. I just tell myself I don’t know her story and if they’ve struggled to get prego etc. But I was not prepared for her to order a BEER. She looked 24-28 weeks along. They were talking about plans for the baby while she drank her BEER. It was then that it got to me, I just wanted to cry. I know that in some countries women are told that some wine or beer is ok. But when you’ve waited so long for your own miracle and have to sit and watch someone potentially put their unborn baby at risk, it was just too much for me. I was so glad we were paying the bill when that happened, I would have had to change seats or just leave.


Today I got the call just minutes ago from our clinic’s finance department. And guess what? Another miracle!!! Apparently my insurance was not supposed to cover ANY of our IVF treatment. But they are covering our u/s!!!! That’s over a $1,000 savings!!!! I could NOT believe it. I could just cry, right now, at work, on my lunch break, in my cube. That meant that I had a CREDIT at our clinic, a CREDIT. I got to plunk down $2,000 less than we expected. God has just left me speechless. There are no words left that fully encompass how good He is.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Adoption Meeting Update and Other Things

We went to our first local RESOLVE meeting last Thursday which was a ‘special’ session where they had a speaker from a local adoption agency. Hammer and I were excited to get an opportunity to hear about adoption without having to pay for an initial consultation at an agency. The speaker was a social worker who specialized in international adoption but she did give information on domestic as well. I had always been open to any type of adoption but have yielded to what Hammer’s feelings were on the subject. Having been a ‘surprise’ son to a his mom and dad who had adopted two other children nine years prior, I feel that he had more insight into the subject. He wants to have a similar situation to how he grew up and said that it was hard enough explaining why his older brother was a towering 6’4” brown eyed red head while he and his parents are short, blue eyed and blond. I really did not care what type of adoption we would do as long as it would make us parents. But after hearing about international adoption, all the fees, paperwork, multiple extended visits, and ridiculous requirements, I was completely turned off. I mean, seriously China, why do you have a BMI requirement and a ‘facial feature’ requirement? What on earth does the way my cheek bones sit have anything to do with being a good parent? While Hammer and I would not be held back by our BMI/facial features it just rubbed me the wrong way that they would base parenting on superficial things. And while I started to think that maybe there was some ancient Chinese belief related to body/facial features it still wasn’t working for me. There will be no Asian babies in my future. We also learned that the international adoption wait time was 4-5 years!!!! And that in total, it would cost us $45,000. Holy Pete!

So it was pretty clear to us that if we had to walk down the adoption road it would be domestic. But that’s the type of information we wanted to hear to be able to make a decision that was right for us. In our state the wait time for domestic is no longer than two years. And the price is much more reasonable, around $20,000. The laws in our state for adoptive parents are really good so the likelihood of ever being a Hallmark Special Movie titled, “Give Me Back My Baby,” is rarely if ever going to happen. There is always the risk of a mom changing her mind but the two big agencies in our area have safeties in place so that you don’t loose out on your money if it falls through. While we still are going to give IVF another try here shortly, it was comforting to know our options.

We also got to meet a few other couples in the same boat as us. One of them was my Bravelle angel who not only gave me her extra vials but her extra syringes as well. We are both in the same place as far as suffering a failed IVF cycle this past month. Although, unlike us, they are blessed to have several snow babies and are gearing up to do a FET here shortly. I’m not jealous; God gave her snow babies so she would have extra meds for me and so God could continue to show us his provision. Seriously, to have to do a second IVF cycle and have Hammer get an unexpected bonus plus have two complete strangers give me a total of 28 vials of Bravelle for $300 is provision!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

I have been blessed to receive several “One Lovely Blog” awards this past week. Thank you to all who nominated me: Melissa at What? IF?!, Sumer at Our Journey for Baby Lajeunesse and BB at Baby To Be, If you, my dear readers, have not met Melissa or Sumer yet they are gearing up to start their first IVF cycles, please send them prayers and positive wishes. And if you have not met BB either pop over to her blog and congratulate her on her first BFP post IVF cycle!!!!!

On to the award!

Accept the award; post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his/her blog link. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

1. Jvwaiting at Worship While I’m Waiting
2. JB at Of Cabbages and Kings
3. Simple at Unconventional Journey
4. Sassy at Eye Heart Internet
5. Bailey at A Journey to Forever
6. Infertility Rocks
7. Amy at Chapters
8. Waiting at Waiting
9. Brittney at Mommy In Waiting
10. Jones at Loveliest Days
11. Kerri at Our Journey
12. Katie at Once Upon A Time
13. Amber at Waiting On A Miracle In God’s Timing
14. Megan atBottoms Off and On The Table
15. The Baby Chaser at The Baby Chase

Advocating for Paid Maternity Leave

I don't want to use this blog as a political platform but I just read an article and this one hits really close to home with what we here in IF blog-land are all working towards. In a recent article by News Week, the US is now the only developed nation that does not provide paid maternity leave. The Case for Paid Family Leave by Lew Daly argues for "why the United States should follow Australia's lead."

"Only two countries in the advanced world provide no guarantee for paid leave from work to care for a newborn child. Last spring one of the two, Australia, gave up that dubious distinction by establishing paid family leave starting in 2011. I wasn't surprised when this didn't make the news here in the United States—we're now the only wealthy country without such a policy..."

What is most shocking is where the US ranks among other countries when comparing support for working families.

"While the United States has been a leader on equal opportunity in the work place, a 2007 McGill University study found that we are far behind in terms of supporting parents and balancing work and family. In fact, says author Jody Heymann, America ranks "among the worst." In the study of 173 countries, we stood with Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea as the only countries providing no paid maternity leave. Of the 169 countries that guarantee paid maternity leave, 98 of them provide 14 or more weeks. Among wealthy countries—except ours—parents are entitled to as much as 47 weeks of paid family leave."

14 weeks of paid maternity leave?!?!?! Wow, I wish we could even have half of that here. Ladies we need to speak up for ourselves here. Did you know the debate that went on about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act? It's shocking. Especially to us women who have struggled to have a family. I was so saddened to learn about how corporate America views pregnancy.

"An early example of this clash between business thinking and family needs is also the most revealing. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, passed in 1978, made it illegal for an employer to fire or penalize a female employee simply because she is pregnant. The business groups that tried to defeat the bill argued that firing a pregnant woman is not discrimination because pregnancy is a "voluntary condition." It's her fault if she decides to have children! That is how business (certainly big business) views the family, as a worker's "choice," a self-inflicted wound. Never mind that having children perpetuates the human race and creates the next generation of workers and citizens for our country. If doing all of that for society means that the company gets less, the company has every right to rid itself of such burdens—at least that's what big business believes."

But there is a breastfeeding support website,, that is passing around a petition to get signatures to get a bill going for national paid maternity leave. Now their platform is to get paid maternity leave so that mom's can work on successful breastfeeding, which is a great cause. As a lactation consultant I completely support this but I think all moms deserve paid maternity leave no matter how they choose to feel their babies. The petition has a goal of 50,000 signatures and right now they are at only 1,500. You don't have to register to their site but they do ask for an email address. Click here to sign the petition.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

If you have to have an appointment about why your IVF cycle failed….

…this would be the appointment to have. In a nut shell, Dr. F thought that I would be a super stimmer and was worried about OHSS so he didn’t put me on the full standard dose. Surprise, I’m an average stimmer! But he said that in the end I had really good results on about ¾ dose with 6 mature eggs. And while Hammer’s boys only fertilized at 50% rate we still can do natural fertilization and do it well. He said that we had two beautiful embryos and why they didn’t stick is beyond him. When Hammer asked if we should throw in the towel if this next cycle doesn’t work our RE said “Absolutely not, I’m going to get you pregnant, you will be pregnant, there is absolutely no reason why you should not be able to get pregnant.” Boy I hope he’s right because that really gets a girl’s hopes up.

I had gone in there will all my research articles on definitions of what makes a woman a ‘poor stimmer’ and effects of ovarian endometriosis. But those were not needed because he started right off saying I wasn’t a poor stimmer and I don’t show signs of any effects from my endometriosis. He validated that I made sufficient eggs on ¾ dose but he would like more (about 10), that I always did well on clomid, that I had a normal resting follicle count that showed no signs of reduced ovarian reserve. He did also agree that I was quite suppressed by the Lupron but felt that a full does of stims plus some LH added in should correct that issue. He said that there was nothing he would change about our cycle except putting me on the full dose. And not to leave Hammer out, we asked about his results and everything was great on his end too. Apparently the Fertilaid continues to do its job. He said that IVF has a 40% success rate and for some reason we fell in the 60% fail this time around but he feels very good about this next cycle.

Wow, I was ready for bad news but we left there feeling really positive. It was great.

I did tell him about my hot flashes and he ordered a 7dpo progesterone to see if ovulation occurred and threw in an FSH just to check. I feel so relieved by this because if I didn’t ovulate I will immediately be put on Prov.era to start my cycle and prevent any delays for Operation Hammer Babies Take Two!

So I will be back on BCP, Lupron, Bravelle (oh yes, that again) plus Menopur or Luvaris. And just yesterday I learned that one of the girls from our local RESOLVE group has 15 vials she is selling at half the price she paid (~20/vial). Once I knew I was going to be back on it, I contacted her and made arrangements to buy her extras. There was also another girl who had some extra vials but I have yet to hear back from her. If I can get close to half of my supply needed ~40 vials it would be so great. To have to be on 4 vials a day for 10 days at $45 a vial is not cheap ($1,800, yikes!) What a blessing that I found out about this the day before our meeting!

On a final note, thank you to all the ladies who have given me blogger awards the last few days. You are all awesome! I will get right on them but I didn’t want to keep you all waiting.

Update 7:59 am: I just heard back from the other girl with extra Bravelle and she has 13 vials FOR FREE!! So with my two left over vials, plus the additional 15 I'm getting I will only have to pay for 10 more vials. I just love to see the way God continues to move our mountains!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Odds and Ends Post IVF#1

Here are a few mini posts each with their own title:

Fun Things

I finished my knitting project. Actually I finished it a while back but never got around to posting it. Not to toot-my-own-horn, but I'm not a bad knitter! I put in a few pics of the finished product as modeled by Moses.

Side shot of the pooch pouch

Top View

Gratuitous cute puppy view

I'm on to my next doggie outfit - and Hammer hates that I call them outfits, he he.

The Nerve

No I'm not mad at anyone, well maybe just at myself. So back when I was still giving PIO's I had to do one of my shots in my thigh because Hammer wasn't around. I reviewed all the diagrams, prepped the injection area, and shoved the needle in my right leg. I remember 'hitting something' that hurt when it first went in but it was just for a second and then it didn't feel bad. Just to be safe I pulled the needle back out a bit and injected the PIO a bit higher. Later that evening I realized that my knee felt funny, kind of numb. Ah ha, I hit a nerve, great. I heard that it can happen with IM injections and that they go away in a few days. Unfortunately it has yet to go away. It's been two weeks and if even my pant leg brushes up against my leg (which is often) it feels like burning pain at a 3rd degree burn level radiating out across my knee and a quarter way up my thigh. At first I was panicked that maybe it was an infection but I've never spiked a temp so, nerve pain it is. My brother, the future NP, said I hit a pretty major nerve because the pain is from my knee along the right side of my thigh and up into my tushy. The pain management treatments involve ibuprofen (which is a TTC no no drug) or drugs in the pregabali family which are a pregnancy category C or tetrogenic i.e. harmful to babies. SOOooooooo, I will just live with the pain. Eventually it will go away but until then I'll just have to deal with it. I am doing gentle activity such as walking, biking and yoga to try to rebuild my nerve synapses (connections) but it's no fun.

Still Flashing

So for those ladies who had a failed IVF cycle, did you continue to get hot flashes? Because I am just having fits of hot flashes and I am never hot. I'm one of those people that wears cardigans year round because winter is too cold and summer air conditioning is freezing. But now I could sleep buck na.ked under a ceiling fan on high with the air at 65 and still be sweating. (I haven't but I could). I really didn't have a bad time of it on Lupron or the stims but it seems that the after effects are worse than actually being on the drugs, and I had an E2 of <7 while on Lupron. Weird. I don't have any hope of actually ovulating this cycle but I guess it can happen. My doubts are because I feel like I'm in menopause right now. I just hope AF comes in a timely manner so that we can get this next IVF cycle started.

My appointment is tomorrow so I'll keep you all posted!