Last Friday I went to a funeral for my Auntie Grace. I like to think I got my flair for being Fabulous from her because she was the true definition of Fabulous and losing her has hit my family hard. If you really want to put your own life into perspective attend a funeral; a million thoughts raced through my mind as I sat through the service, mostly what would my older version of me look like without a child/children. Who would be sitting with me when it was time to say goodbye; totally depressing I know but it was a sad day already so why not. My Auntie Grace’s legacy wasn’t about her money or possessions it was about the 2 rows of people sitting in the front of the church, her husband of 59 years, her 3 children and her 6 grandchildren. I may never get to experience half of what she had but I promise myself I’m going to try to my hardest and pray that this round of IVF will be successful and at my end I will have the legacy I have fought so hard to get.
This morning I had to attend an IVF class that my clinic puts on as an overview of what to expect during the IVF process. Even though we’ve already been through IVF we still had to go because this is a new clinic for us. I had a rough weekend, I think the holidays are getting to me and I’m just so angry that each month we continue to try for a baby on our own and each month we’re not successful. On top of all of those feelings, plus having to be at the clinic at 7:30 this morning and knowing that the clinic just recently had been hacked and all of our medical records and personal information have been compromised I wasn’t in the best of moods going into this. It turned out to be a really positive appt, we sat through the overview which was just a nice refresher and then I met with my case nurse who was absolutely amazing! She listened to our concerns, answered our questions and was so compassionate. She shared that she had been through IVF as well so she gets it. I love connecting with people who actually get it and after the appt I gave her a big hug and thanked her for sharing her story with us. It’s so nice to be at a clinic that actually cares and I’m super excited to start the protocol, it’s so different than the first one I was on. They start by prepping you for about 3 weeks prior to injections so hopefully I’ll start that sometime within the next 8-10 days. If all goes well the retrieval will be the end of Jan with a transfer in late Feb/early March. That seems forever away but I know in reality it will be here before I know it. So here we go again….
I knew in my heart that when my cycle in July failed that I wasn’t done. I found a new clinic to work with and my experience has been so different with them. I’ve had to start from scratch with all of the testing but it’s been worth it because I feel like they’ve been more thorough and they have a different approach on treating me due to my history. I had an appt earlier this week to talk about all of my lab results so we could determine if my levels were still good enough to use my own eggs or if we should consider donor eggs. All of my lab work came back within normal range which is pretty amazing consider I’m almost 43. This doctor is completely ok with me using my own eggs. The protocol would be a little different than I did last time which may or may not improve the amount of eggs that they retrieve. We talked about the option of using donor eggs and what would be involved if we went that route. I will admit that I was starting to think donor might be the way for us to go because it’s been 6 years and even though my levels are within normal range we’ve either miscarried or had tubal pregnancies. I felt like we had a pretty big decision ahead of us and the dr was very supportive and told us to take the time we needed to think it over. All that changed when we met with the finance person, I feel like once again the wind was knocked out of me. She showed us the pricing for doing an IVF cycle using my own eggs. My insurance will cover almost all of one IVF cycle minus the cost of medications which I would have to pay for out of pocket. My insurance will not cover donor eggs and the breakdown from start to finish would cost between $27k-$29k out of our pockets.
I can’t fathom paying $27k but I also can’t fathom going through another IVF cycle, ending up with one good egg and not having it work. Nothing about this journey has been easy and once again this decision we need to make solidifies that.
Ugh what to do…what to do….
On a side note, I read on someone’s blog this morning that today is IVF’s 40th birthday and over 5M babies have entered this world after being conceived with the help of medical intervention. It prompted me to google IVF and to read up on the history, it’s some pretty amazing stuff that happened 40 years ago and is still happening today. So if you’re one of those 5M in one capacity or another celebrate it! I may not be a mom yet but I’m still going out tonight to get a cupcake because if it wasn’t for those doctors and the Brown family who took a chance I wouldn’t be where I am today. Maybe this journey is all about taking chances…..and praying that the chance is history changing.
Nothing prepares you for a failed transfer. It was the darkest of days, I closed myself off from my family and my friends. I cried hard and was angry with everyone and everything. I believed with all of my heart that I was pregnant and then the dr called, “I’m sorry you’re not pregnant” no emotion just the facts. It was like a sucker punch. It’s been six weeks since that phone call and I’m healing.
A few months ago I was asked to judge a pageant and I really think being a part of the pageant world again helped heal my heart. The events filled my calendar and no matter how much I dreaded getting all dressed up, doing my hair and putting on make-up at the end of the night I felt good about myself again. I re-connected with old friends, made new ones and was honored to be able to give two lucky girls a title and a crown that they will forever hold in their hearts. The whole experience was life changing and was presented to me exactly when I needed it the most and for that I feel very grateful.
So now the question I keep asking myself is “where do I go from here.” I’m fighting with my insurance company because they denied my claim, they told me that I was out of network so I’m in the process of appealing that. There is no way I’m getting stuck with this $14k bill. The #1 reason we were even able to do IVF was because my insurance increased my coverage to $20k and I never would have used a clinic that wasn’t in my network. They make you jump thru so many hoops in the hopes you get discouraged and give up but I’m in this one until the very end.
I’m meeting with my ob/gyn in 2-weeks for a few reasons. 1) she’s amazing and has a passion for women’s health specifically fertility issues. 2) I’m going to see if it might be beneficial to go in for laparoscopy to get my endo cleaned out again. 3) This last one is my own selfish reason, I just want to go see a dr who actually gives a shit about me. We hated our infertility clinic so much and I want to go back to the clinic, the dr’s and nurses that made me feel safe and cared about me.
On 10/4 I have an appt to meet with a new infertility clinic who I’ve heard really good things about….I wish I would have known about them months ago. We’re just going to be gathering information we’re not sure if we want to go through another transfer or not. That’s where we’re at for now, no decisions have been made we’re weighing all of our options first. Call me crazy I just don’t feel like my journey is over yet.
Sometimes all of the money in the world doesn’t guarantee you a baby. $14k that’s what we spent on this round, we even spent the extra $2400 to ensure it was a genetically good embryo and it was. I took a HPT this morning because I’ve hated my clinic since Day 1 and I didn’t want them to be the ones to tell me one way or the other, I wanted to be mentally prepared. I took the test feeling 90% sure I was going to see a positive and when I didn’t I was in shock. Like seriously WTF are you kidding me! I showed up to the clinic for the blood draw pissed off. The waiting room is small and it was packed like most times I’m there. I had to sit next to a woman who held her 2-year-old boy on her lap. The little boy kept smiling at me, normally I would have engaged in some sort of response back but I just stared ahead cursing in my head the terrible music that was blasting overhead. It’s heartbreaking to see other women waiting to be called back, I always wonder where they are in their journey. I wish I would have the courage to just look up and give them a smile and tell them I get it but I never do. I feel embarrassed even sitting there myself, maybe they do too. No wonder infertility is such a taboo in our society even the ones that should be talking about it like myself are too embarassed to do so.
I honestly don’t know where this news will take me. I’ve said from the beginning if we didn’t end up having children I would need to make some sort of change in my life because literally trying for a family has been my life for the past 6 years. I’m not sure who I am without tracking cycles, taking meds, timing our intercourse and all of the dr appointments that go along with that. I feel like I’ve lost my identity because of infertility, I feel sad and I feel very lost.
7/12: Today I took my baby home with me, not really a baby yet but that’s the hope that I have in my heart. Today is Transfer Day, a day that’s been 8 months in the works. There’s a part of me that wishes I would have done a better job documenting my journey these last 6 years. I was thinking today, I wonder how many ultrasounds I’ve had, how many times I’ve gone in for blood draws or how many shots I’ve gotten. I guess in the grand scheme those things are trivial. What isn’t trivial is the 6 years where I’ve fought every single month for a baby. I’ve had 5 surgeries, 3 miscarriages, 2 tubal pregnancies, 15 IUI’s and now 1 FET. All of this shit and I’m still persevering and I can only hope that today I kicked infertility in the ass.
My transfer was the last one of the day so we didn’t need to be to the clinic until 3:30. I walked into the clinic with zero expectations and knew in my heart that I’ve done absolutely everything I could to get me to this point. I felt at peace. I wasn’t expecting to get a framed photo of my embryo and I also wasn’t expecting to be so emotional about it. Such a kind gesture that truly meant the world to us. The procedure happened very quickly and I tried to be in the moment as much as I possibly could. Overall it was a good day and I feel very blessed to be PUPO.
7/16: It’s been 4 days since my FET and I’m not going to lie, the last 2 days have been tough. The day after my transfer John had to go out of town and he won’t be back until Tues. I miss him so much especially right now because he’s my rock and the one that talks me off the ledge when I have so many doubts in my mind. I never imagined this tww would be so lonely but holy cow….I feel like I have so much riding on this and I’m trying to stay positive but the constant swirl of thoughts running through my mind are endless. If he was here we would at least be busy but I’m home alone and there’s too much quiet in the house. I’m nervous because I don’t feel anything yet, shouldn’t I feel something by now.
My beta is scheduled for this Friday 7/21, 5 more get-ups.
My transfer was supposed to be yesterday but yet again infertility is on its own schedule. I went in for my ultrasound and my lining wasn’t as thick as they were hoping so I got sent home with several boxes of estrogen patches and told to come back in a week. I went in yesterday and my lining was at a 7.5 so I’m back on the schedule for Wed 7/12. I swear this has been the longest drawn out process EVER. I remember I made the initial call to the RE in Nov. and now here we are almost 8 months later….a baby could have been born in that timeframe! I hate to admit it but I have cold feet, to think that everything we’ve done has led us up to this point, the end…the finish line one way or the other (one embryo. one shot). This is where I get mad at being an infertile because I’ve had months to overthink and analyze. If I was just normal and was able to get pregnant like I was supposed to so many of these feelings or thoughts would have probably never crossed my mind. It’s hard to be excited when I feel like all of the excitement has been drained from me and don’t even get me started on the fear factor if I do end up pregnant. John told me today how proud he is of me, we’ve done everything we possibly could to make this work. He’s right we have and once next Wed comes it will be my last ever TWW.
These last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten. I have a tendency to get all nostalgic during the big events in my life and considering my transfer is 13 days away my mind has been on overload. We’ve been on this journey for 6 years and in 22 days we’ll know if the fight was worth it or if we’re done with it all. I’m scared…scared that we’ll get our positive, scared that we won’t, scared to walk away from all of this with our heads held high knowing we did everything in our power to bring home our 1plus1shouldequal3. I was so naive in the beginning, I’m not anymore. Inferitlity has taught me more about myself, my body, my relationship, the people around me and my finances than I ever would have cared to know. It’s scarred me up on the inside and the out and a part of me hates it and another part of me is grateful. It’s weird how you can hate something but yet be grateful at the same time. I’m grateful because it’s given me a voice and has taught me how to be the biggest advocate for myself. It’s challenged my relationship but hasn’t damaged it. With every obstacle, let down and heartache John has been there for me and I’ve fallen in love with him more and more every day because of it. I’m going to leave you with my favorite lyric that I blast everytime I feel any doubt or sadness. Thanks for being my inspiration Eminem!
If you had
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture
Or just let it slip?
It’s been a week since I got the results from my embryo genetic screening. One embryo froze on day 5, one embryo on day 6 and one embryo on day 7. I waited 10 days to get the PGS results, 10 big X’s marked my calendar in red pen. Silly me to think that all three of my snowflakes would be genetically perfect. The Dr started the conversation with you have one genetically good embryo and then proceeded to tell me the fate of my other two. I didn’t think I would be so emotional about the ones that essentially wouldn’t make it, I cried and then when I was done crying I felt sad like really sad. Everybody was like, “but you have one, that’s all you need.” I couldn’t even be excited about one because I wanted two that way I was guaranteed another chance in case the first one didn’t take. So here I am a week later knowing I’ve got one chance to make this happen and I’m going to do whatever it takes phyically and mentally to be in the best spot possible. Right before I started my injections I decided to give up soda and to add an extra day or two into my weekly gym schedule, this is probably the only area of my infertile life I feel like I can control. I have a nurse consult on May 25th and my tentative transfer date is set for July 5th, which was the soonest they could even get me in. They were quick to send me a bill for the transfer, I’ll have to pay them another $2500 when I go in for my appt on the 25th. This will bring our total out of pocket up to $16,000, ugh that just makes me cringe.
John surprised me and booked us a week long FL beach vacation and we leave next weekend! Cue my money meltdown, how can we afford a vacation when we’re spending so much on IVF. He talked me off the ledge and convinced me that we needed this and he didn’t care how much it cost. He’s got a point, it’s been a crazy two months with him having his knee surgery which he finally got off his crutches last week and all of the IVF stuff we’ve been doing and we still have another two months until transfer. So all money worries are going to be set aside and I’m going to focus on what’s important and that’s keeping my head in the IVF game and re-connecting with my better half.
Actually yesterday was the big day but I didn’t realize how painful this whole thing was going to be and I spent the majority of the day recovering. Seriously was the retrieval painful for you? I don’t know how people do retrievals more than once, you all deserve a huge pat on the back if you’ve attempted this multiple times. They told me that I would be fine taking extra strength tylenol, that did nothing for me, thank god I had a few extra pain pills from a past surgery. Today is less bad but I’m still really bloated and if I push on my stomach or move the wrong way it’s very uncomfortable. Thank goodness this landed on the weekend because there’s no way I could have gone to work. They retrieved 9 eggs, I was hoping for a few more especially since when I went in on Thursday morning I had more than 9. It is what it is though. The lab will be calling me tomorrow to let me know how things are progressing.
This is a card I gave to John the day before the retrieval. I bought this card 2 years ago, it’s been with us on 3 different vacations in the hopes I would get my BFP and I could give it to him but it never happened. I thought giving it to him now would be the perfect time. It just makes me smile.
I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow but what I do know is we gave it the best shot we could. Here’s to hoping and wishing for the best news possible!
I thought I would keep with the drinking theme since I’m so amused by my terrible humor. Today marked Day 12 of Stims…seriously 12 days how did that go so fast but yet so slow. I took my last 2 stim shots this morning and tonight at exactly 9:30pm we trigger. Holy Hell! So here are my stats from my ultrasound this morning. On the right side I have 5 follicles sizes: 17, 17, 16, 16 and a 13. On my left side I have 7 follicles sizes: 21, 20, 19, 15, 14, 12 and 11. When the nurse called me this afternoon she told me for my age (ugh) those numbers are amazing and that I should be proud. I’m definitely patting myself on the back for these past 12 days. I’ve learned some things along the way that I want to share with you.
John has mixed up and given me every single shot and he’s been amazing. If the roles were reversed and I had to shoot him up everyday I’m not sure I would be as patient as he’s been. I think I’ve fallen in love with him all over again. Man I’m one lucky girl.
John told me something that I didn’t know….if you cough while you’re getting a shot it hurts less bad. Seriously how did I not know this. I go overboard with the coughing but I’m ok with that, anything that lessens my pain I’m all about.
I got my meds from Freedom Fertility and I’ve never talked to a nicer bunch of people. Every time I called I would get a different representative but what stayed consistent was the compassion that they had for me. Earlier this week I had to refill one of my meds and I needed it to arrive to me the next day but right away in the morning. I was quoted an expedited shipping amount that was almost as much as the drug I was ordering. The girl on the phone told me I was already going through so much that I didn’t need to worry about paying the extra fee and she would wave it this one time. I actually cried when she told me, it’s nice knowing that people still care and the simple act of waving the expedited shipping made my whole day.
When I went in for my last ultrasound this morning I had the nurse put a circle on my butt so John knows where he needs to stick me. This is the only shot I’ve been nervous about, the needle is long and thick and she told us you need to jab it in like it’s a dart. I will not be coughing when he gives me this shot because I’d hate for him to miss the bulls-eye. 50 minutes and counting.
The retrieval is scheduled for 9:30am this Saturday. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited, nervous and scared all wrapped up in one. Over the last 12 days I’ve kept my glass half full attitude, I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, we’ve come too far to not have this work.