Infertility Bites

Infertile, Trying to Conceive, and Forty-One Years Old – Ain't THAT a Bummer!?!

Dollar Tree’s My Enabler March 28, 2008

So not only have I given in to my need obsession to POAS ever since about 6dpiui, but I’ve found a new supplier to provide them to me at a much reduced rate of…you guessed it – a dollar.  DollarTree HPTs rock if you’re trying to placate that urge to mark your territory and feel like you’re doing something semi-useful during the TWW.  It helps me satisfy my serious desire to see something, anything, while remaining much more affordable than if I were using the ones I’ve used in the past.  Yes, I’m still getting BFNs – duh! 

I’m now 10dpiui, and did my daily POAS episode on el cheapo $Tree HPT.  It’s a BFN again today.  Sigh.  Still, as long as AF doesn’t show, I’m a happy camper.  I can still hope. 

I really do know that it would’ve been highly unusual for me to see anything remotely positive before this.  Still, there’s a touch of the windmill-tilting insane optimist within the confines of my person.  Who knew??  I keep imagining that I’ll be one of those oh-so-fortunate ladies who POAS after only 8- or 9dpo and get that beloved BFP.  After all, I stand just as good a chance as any other PCOS-ridden 40-year-old, right?       

** ALERT:  mention of potentially uncomfortable subject to follow. Scoot down to the ~Change of subject~, if you desire. 

Sigh.  It’s days like today that make me really wish I didn’t work in high school.  As I was walking through the hall towards the teacher’s lounge, I happened to overhear a couple of 16-year-old girls talking.  I wish to hell I hadn’t.    One of them was telling the other one, “Man, if my mom finds out that I’m pregnant, she’ll kill me.  I going to get rid of it this weekend.  I don’t want it, anyways.” 

I have to say that I died a little inside upon hearing her annoyed comment, and not being able to spill my guts to her, about how the “thing” she wants to dispose of as if it meant nothing would mean everything to someone in my shoes.  Someone who has been trying to be blessed with her problem for nearly eight years now.  It was all I could do to not yell at her, and tell her how many couples I know of (mostly from the internet, mind you) who would love to be “burdened” with her condition, no matter how inconvenient it is.  soooo wanted to tell her of the thousands of dollars, countless hours of pure angst and devastating heartbreak that many, many people subject themselves to, all in the interest of becoming laden with the similar circumstances as she…only to never attain that lofty goal.  Or, worse yet, have nature perform a similar procedure as what this young woman was choosing to do to her own offspring.  Okay, it’s similar, as in the outcome’s the same…a precious life taken before it’s time.  But, I had to remain mute, and continue to walk away…tears blurring my vision.  Like I said, today wasn’t the best day to be a teacher of teenagers.  Ready to peruse something a little less vitriolic, yet??

~~Change of Subject~~

My follow-up appointment is this next Tuesday, April 1st.  It would be really ironic and hilarious if I got to tell F he’s going to be a daddy on April Fool’s Day.  He wouldn’t believe me this time either, I bet.  Heh. 

Back on that same day in 2005, I managed to fall while walking across the street in San Antonio.  I was in that beautiful city because I was attending an TESOL Conference.  I broke my left elbow, sprained my right arm, right elbow, and both wrists.  I know – graceful, huh?  Anyway, after going to the emergency room, and walking out with both arms in slings, I called my clueless husband to tell him, and so that we could figure out how I was going to get me, my stuff, and my manual transmission car back home ASAP. 

I’ve always been known for my Bad Timing, and this was no exception.  I called my husband right after his sister and niece had pulled a nasty April Fool’s joke on him.  I mean, he’d literally just hung up the phone with them, and was still fuming about it. 

So, here’s how that particular conversation went, with the names altered just a wee bit “to protect the innocent”:    

Me:  F?  Honey?  I have some bad news.  I was in an accident.

F:  What??  Are you okay? 

Me:  Uh, no.  I fell and broke both of my elbows. 

F:  Yeah, April Fool’s – I get it.  You’re not funny, you know.

Me:  No, I’m serious.  I really did do it, crossing the street.  I’m sitting here now, at the WalMart Pharmacy, waiting for my pain pills. 

F:  Seriously, vamplita, it’s not funny.  I’m not buying it, so knock it off, already. 

Me:  I know it’s not funny, F.  I wouldn’t kid about this.  I’m serious as a heart attack.  I need you to come get me. 

F:  That’s not funny, damn it!  vamplita, you’d better not be screwing with me.  If I find out you’re lying to me, I swear, I’ll break your arms myself. 

He then proceeded to tell me of how our niece had called him, pretending to be pregnant, and that his sister confirmed what our niece had told him.  They had him completely convinced that it was true, and after about 25 minutes of him trying to console his supposedly-distraught sister, they finally told him it was a joke.  As soon as he got off that call, more than a little pissed about his own family being so cruel to him, I called with this news.  Small wonder he thought I was trying to pull his leg again.

So, it would be more than amusing for me to try to break the news of a pregnancy to him on that day, of all days.  God, I hope I get to!!      

  

 

Crossing all crossables March 17, 2008

F and I go in for our second go-round with IUI tomorrow morning.  I’m sincerely hoping that we have some baby action this time!  Please, if any of you are in good with the Man Upstairs, please send Him a tiny missive regarding vamplita and family.  Or, at least send a few get-a-swimmer-to-fertilize-the-egg vibes our way, will you? 

F and I would appreciate any help we can get.  God knows I’ll be a nightmare to live with for the TWW.  Last time around, I kept experiencing phantom symptoms.  I’m sure almost everyone has those.  At least I’ll be keeping busy with grad school, thank goodness. 

Still, my mind flashes forward to possibilities.  During that ever-lovin’ Two Week Wait, I find myself looking at stuff like pregnancy announcements, diaper bags, and reading as many TTC success stories as I can possibly get my mouse to click upon.  I tell myself that I do it for inspiration, and I honestly think that’s why I do it.  I want those positive vibes to help if it’s at all possible, ya know? 

I’m the kind of person that casinos love to have as a patron!  The answer to “Why?” should be obvious, I’d imagine.  Because Hope Springs Eternal within this breast, ladies and germs.  I’m an optimist when it comes to games of chance like slot machines, thinking that if I keep sitting at the machine in front of me, it will eventually pay off.  After a while, I start thinking, “hey, this thing is bound to hit pretty soon.  I know it’s got at least (enter ridiculous amount) of my money already, plus the cash the previous soul plunked into here right before I sat here.  If it’s going to hit…why not for me?  I stand just as good a chance of winning as anyone else, don’t I??  After all, I’m due to win big, aren’t I?  It’s gotta be my turn by now, right??”  So, fast forward and see vamplita deposit her last money into same promising machine, still thinking that it could happen.  Kind of a Pollyanna-ish sort of way to gamble, no?? 

Still, following in that same sort of logic chain, I could get pregnant this time, right??  All it really takes is one single swimmer to meet my one luscious egg, right??  Hey, I know my biology; I know that’s a fact!  Besides, women get pregnant all the bloody time without trying, so sooner or later it’s bound to happen for me, right?? Because after all, I’m actually trying to get pregnant!  If I keep at this reproduction thing, it’s bound to pay off for me, right??  I’ve heard the stories… I’ve seen the women up at my RE’s office who have had success at this, and they’re not that different than me.  Okay, maybe some of them are thinner, and some of them are younger, but I’ve seen ladies up there that look about the same age and shape as I am.  Surely it’ll happen for me! 

Guess we’ll find out if I win this time, huh?  :oÞ

 

So far, Gonal-F’s not really impressing me March 15, 2008

Filed under: infertility bites — vamplita @ 8:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

Had an ultrasound yesterday, to make sure my ovaries haven’t gone into hyperdrive with the Gonal-F.  No worries there, y’all.  According to my nurse, Maria, I have one follie that was at 16 yesterday, and five smaller ones, not really worth speaking about.  Damnation.  Same bloody results as I got with the Clomid, only much, much more expensive.  Still, I’m going to inject myself with Ovidrel tomorrow night at 9PM, to get ready for an IUI come this next Tuesday at 9AM. 

The best thing about this is that I’m on Spring Break as of yesterday, thank goodness.  No having to take a half-day off, or any time off from work.  That makes me happy,  because I always feel like I’m abandoning my students, not to mention inflicting cruel and unusual punishment onto the poor sub who winds up watching my demon spawn.  I always leave stuff for them to do, but I know how they behave. 

They’re not very concerned with their work, or, consequently, their grades.  It’s hard to find anything that they do care about at school.  Sadly, the majority of them couldn’t care less about failing a class.  Or, if they do care, they don’t care enough to put forth much effort regarding the matter.  The future of our nation, ladies and gentlemen… be afraid.   

*Big cleansing breath in, annoyance about students out* 

So, where was I?  Oh yes… Gonal-F and its poor turnout.  I have to say that I’m kind of sickened that my ridiculous ovaries only managed to produce one darned follicle of any noteworthy size this cycle whilst on the highly priced Gonal-F.  I mean, what the hell???  Look, gentlefolk, I totally understand that it’s all basically a crapshoot and stuff, truly I do.  I comprehend the fact that no one can guarantee certain results when it comes to IF treatments.  I get it, okay universe??  But, can’t you find a way to spread the wealth as well as you manage to do so with the not-so-good tidings??  Please? 

I mean, I am not an evil person.  I wouldn’t be a horrible mother.  Between you and I, I think I’d be frickin’ awesome as a mother.  I can guarantee you that any child I happen to ever carry within my womb will be very much wanted, and very much loved.  Honest!  I just want the chance to prove it.  Even if it’s only once. 

Seriously, if you need references, I can get them for you. 

 

Nope. No baby. March 10, 2008

Filed under: infertility bites — vamplita @ 9:17 am
Tags: , ,

Not this past cycle, anyways.  So, I beg, borrow, steal, comparative shop, and manage to order the Gonal-F for about $600 less at a different locale, thank God.  I ordered it this past Friday, and it was shipped that night, scheduled to arrive at my house by noon the next day.  I was told that if it didn’t arrive by then, to give them a call. 

Uh huh.  You guessed it.  No meds by noon.  I called the company, who traced the FedEx package, and it’s been delayed by weather.  The crappy thing is that I have to start injecting the Gonal-f on Sunday, so something has to happen to get some of this pricey stuff to me in time for this to happen as scheduled.  The company I used was really cool about it.  The customer care rep called a (relatively) local pharmacy and paid for me to come and pick up the smaller package of the stuff there. 

The reason I say that it’s relatively local is that it is in the same city.  Only a mere 23 miles away.  Heh.  So, I pile into the SUV and head to the fancier part of town, where the people walking down the street don’t look like gangstas.  They even know where their waists are, and somehow manage to keep their pants pulled up to that locale, in spite of the tremendous pull of gravity experienced on pants on the east side of town, where I live. 

Nice pharmacy, too.  A real Mom & Pop kind of place, “where everybody knows your name”, so to speak.  It’s funny, though.  When I get there, the lead pharmacist asks me where I live, and I tell him.  He replies, “Oh, we were wondering – we didn’t recognize the ZIP code.”  Somehow, in this idyllic setting, that doesn’t surprise me.  I can’t imagine anyone from this neck of the woods being unfortunate enough to have to darken my side of town, where we don’t have Ben & Jerry’s stores, or epicurean markets, or storefronts that offer “Massage”, and actually mean it instead of something seedier. 

Don’t get me wrong…the particular neighborhood where I live isn’t all bad, but there are some places not far from there that are pretty yucky.  F and I moved there with the intent on moving elsewhere after three years, and now, I don’t think we will.  We’ll (hopefully) remodel this one, and keep it for the time being.  It’s in a quiet neighborhood, on a quiet street.  I honestly don’t know if we could find another location – as safe as this one is – as close to where I teach. 

In addition, there’s not a bookstore within ten miles.  Pitiful, actually.  We’re like the red-headed stepchildren of the city, here on the east side of town.  We have fast food places to eat, and a few decent sit-down restaurants, but hardly the fare that’s available uptown.  This city has some really spectacular restaurants, clubs, and museums on the west side of town.  On this side of town, we have refineries, and chemical-ridden air.  What a deal, huh?

F was home all weekend, with back spasms.  (I tell you, he’s falling apart, folks.  Sheesh.)  We went to the Urgent Care Center on Friday afternoon, and the doctor there prescribed him some Flexeril, and some Vicodin for the pain.  Sadly though, F wasn’t enjoying a nice buzz of any kind.  He’s still hurting.  I really wish his back would behave itself, and stop seizing, already.  If not, he’ll have to go to his regular doctor, who will take Xrays and tell us what we already know – he’s suffering from back spasms.  He called in sick again today.  That makes three days now without money coming in.  I realize how very petty and small that sounds, but we’re living on a razor’s edge between being able to pay our bills each month, and financial disaster.  There’s not a whole hell of a lot of leeway. 

Ah well.  Enough of that, eh?  I’ve got to stop being such a gripey ol’ heifer. 

~~Change of Subject~~

Have I mentioned that I’m giving up caffeine this cycle?  I’ve decided that I’m bigger than my urges for caffeine, so I’m going to give it up, all in the interest of becoming pregnant.  It can’t hurt my chances of fertilization, only help.  Now, I may wind up with the King Kamehameha of all headaches, but that too shall pass.  Most headaches are fleeting, after all.

I’m a bit concerned about taking this Gonal-F, mostly because its side effects include difficulty breathing.  I don’t need that.  Fat asthmatics like myself don’t do well with the whole ‘difficulty breathing’ thing.  Let’s hope that stays away.                                 

 

Infertility bites, and bites HARD this time March 5, 2008

Filed under: infertility bites — vamplita @ 7:31 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Went to RE today, after starting spotting last night.  I’m still not sure if it’s the dreaded Aunt Flo, or implantation bleeding.  So, I had blood drawn to be sure.  Every HPT I’ve done has been a BFN, but it would still be rather early for urine to test positive.  That’s ultimately why I decided to get the blood test done.  It’ll settle it once and for all.  I ought to know by 2PM tomorrow, but at this point, I’m not feeling very confident of my success this month.   

Dr. S, hubby, and I discussed options with either scenario.  Because I only produced one egg this past month on an increased dosage of Clomid, Dr. S and I have come to the conclusion that Clomid may not be the thing for me at my age.  (The clock is ticking, after all.)  So, what, you may ask, can we pump into vamplita’s system this next time, if there is a next time?  Dr. S said we ought to go with the Gonal-F daily injections, because she’s had good success rates with that plus IUI.  She said she wanted us to get a sample of the Gonal-F to take with us today, but in typical vamplita fashion, I forgot to get it before leaving the doctor’s office.  I did remember once I got downstairs, but when I went back upstairs, another nurse told me that they didn’t have any samples available.  As costly as this freakin’ stuff is, you better damned well believe I’m calling my regular nurse back to see when they’ll have samples available.  God, I hate that F and I forgot to get that before leaving this afternoon.  I’m so annoyed with myself that I could just kick myself for being so forgetful.  Honestly.   

F agrees that we shouldn’t continue to use the Clomid and expect different results, especially considering these factors:  

  1. I haven’t managed to develop more than one egg per month on Clomid
  2. I’ve got 40-year-old eggs that aren’t getting any younger, so we need to be more aggressive
  3. We’re swiftly running out of money and financial sources to use, so, like all infertile couples, we need to do something with a higher success rate

Y’wanna guess how much the Gonal-F costs?  Again, remember that my insurance won’t cover infertility treatments or infertility drugs.  I’d be taking 187.5 iu daily, so I’d require one pack of Gonal-F 1050 iu, and one pack of the 450 iu for a 10-day span.  Well, our local Walgreens quoted a price of $1379.99 for the 1050, and $599.99 for the 450.  I shit you not. 

The good news from today is that we found out that apparently my insurance has decided to pay for the ultrasounds, which is a Godsend.  After the balance from the several ultrasounds I’ve taken lately was put against our bill(s), we only owed $5 for today’s visit.   That was a huge relief, because we thought we were going to have to come up with about $700 today to get out the door. 

Um, have I mentioned lately how much I really hope I’m pregnant this month??

 

The Countdown’s On March 3, 2008

Yup, the home stretch of the ever-famous Two Week Wait.  Merely 72 hours left before it’s been 14 days past ovulation (aka 14dpo) and our IUI.  So now, the question (still) remains (Thank God!)… is vamplita going to be a mommy this month?  Is she pregnant with a baby vamplita or a replica of her beloved F?  So far, the jury’s still out. 

 I plan to go this afternoon to a dollar store and buy some cheapie home pregnancy tests (HPTs).  Then I won’t feel quite as wasteful if I go ahead and pee on a stick (POAS) prior to 14dpo.  I’ve been experiencing bizarre things within the past couple of days.  Either they’re weird things that have happened previously before Aunt Flo (AF) showed up that I never noticed before, or something (God, I hope it’s this option!) may be going on in Uterusville.  It’s kind of hard for me to say – I’ve been much more observant of my body lately, and it’s difficult to just chalk this up to one thing or another. 

I know, there are many of you who probably think that it’s ridiculous for me to all of a sudden be more observant of what’s happening with my body and its reproductive efforts.  In my own defense, I’ll remind you that I have PCOS, which for me meant that I charted ad nauseum and never saw anything that even came close to resembling a normal cycle.  We’re talking months and months without so much as a hiccup in temperature, folks.  I’d use Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) with 20 strips in it without so much as a trace of color change.  No double line ever existed.  (The funny thing was that on the outside of the box, it states that this kit is for any cycle length.  What a complete and total joke.  Oh sure, it’s for any cycle length if you’re not a total freak of nature female unfortunate enough to suffer from PCOS, thankyouverymuch.  But I digress.)  Small wonder that I got to the point where I didn’t notice anything – for ages, nothing was happening to notice. 

So now, I get a tiny pain and think, “hmmm…”  Or, I feel warmer than what I think I ought to and think, “Okay, that’s weird.”  I just generally feel like my lower belly’s a bit larger yet firmer than usual (which is saying something), and comment to myself, “Well, that’s interesting.”  Plus, I feel like I’ve had to pee more often than usual.  But, again, as I said, I could just be noticing things that have always happened that didn’t stick out in my mind until now, when I’m waiting to see if our lives are going to be forever altered.  Damn, just noticed my nipples are currently sore, too.  lol. 

I stumbled upon some really interesting information this weekend.  There’s a bill called the Family Building Act of 2007, HR 2892, that was sent to some subcommittee or other back in September of 2007.  It mandates that insurance companies and group policies would be required to provide infertility insurance.  That would be such a Godsend for countless infertile couples across the US, myself and F amongst them. 

We live in a state that is very  assinine backwards  reluctant to resolve this issue.  The legislators of Texas, in their shortsightedness, mandated that the insurance companies offer the infertility insurance to groups and employers as an option.  Notice the difference between the proposed federal bill and this sorry excuse for legislation Texas law?  Gee, just how many employers and purchasers of group policies do you think actually do the right thing and choose to provide infertility insurance for its policy holders??  Few, my friends; very few. 

They’re all about saving that Almighty Dollar, doncha know.  Never mind that they’re not doing what’s morally right.  Oh well – as long as everyone with the insurance policy isn’t out an additional thirty-or-so dollars for their policies per year, I guess that’s the best thing.  Why should they pay for someone else’s problems, after all???  It’s not like having a child is something vital to a woman’s existence, after all.  Of course, I could say the same thing for men who take Viagra, and their insurance helps to pay for it, couldn’t I?  Nah, men need to get their rocks off.  It’s part of who they are, right?  After all, what good is a man who can’t get an erection that lasts for several hours, huh?   I suppose I’m just being selfish. 

 If anyone within the US reads this, I’d really appreciate it if you emailed your congressmen, to request they pass HR 2892, and give infertile couples at least a chance to become parents without facing financial ruin.  Email your state representatives and senators…let them know you are interested in getting similar legislation passed in your state in the meantime.  Or, if you’re fortunate to live in any of the 12 states that have already passed this legislation, contact your legislators and tell them how splendid that law is!!  Anywho… I’ll shut up for now. 

If you’re interested in reading HR 2892, here it is:
I visited GoPetition and found the following page about HR 2892 very interesting:
 

Silly Rabbit March 1, 2008

Filed under: pregnant hopes and dreams — vamplita @ 12:56 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Geez, I’m sooo silly. 

I gave in and did a pregnancy test last night when I got home.  I know, I know, it’s too soon.  Plus. I didn’t even use the best urine sample…you know, the first-thing-in-the-morning sample.  No second line, dammit.  Hardly surprising, eh?  Hubby asked me last night if I knew anything.  I told him nothing other than I’m goofy as all get-out, to think it would be positive using that sample, that soon. 

So, naturally I peed on another stick this morning.  Duh!  Again, no positive result.  Duh!  I’m a (usually) rational person, folks.  Why the hell did I do that??  Why did I blow $15 and ruin two perfectly good pregnancy tests, when I knew damned well that the chances that either one would be positive right now were slim to none??  Arrrgh!

 What is it about the thought that I may (PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE) be pregnant??  What is it about that notion that causes me, a learned person who knows the stats and the science behind these tests, to say to myself, “Hey, go ahead and try it – it’ll be different for you!”  Sigh.  I truly do know better than that.  Truly. 

You know the funniest thing about it?  I knew as soon as I’d peed on Pregnancy Test #1, that I would be peeing on Pregnancy Test #2 this morning.  There was no way in hell that I wouldn’t do it.  Once I’d used the first one last evening with what I know isn’t the best sample, I knew I’d use that second one this following morning.   

Talk about opening Pandora’s Box.  Now, I honestly don’t know if I can wait until the 5th before I take another test …or two …or several.  Heh…I don’t know if F will let me wait without testing again. 

Have I mentioned that we’re broke as hell right now?  We owe the doctor’s office several hundred dollars – about $600, I think.  Hubby hasn’t exactly been able to work as regularly as we’d like for him to work.  The company he drives for hasn’t had many loads going out, and it’s been “catch as catch can” now for the past three months, actually.  Between that, the cost of my graduate classes, and these bloody ultrasounds that cost almost two hundred bucks a whack, we’re feeling a rather severe pinch at this moment. 

Hubby proposed that we skip a month, if there’s (LALALALALA) no pregnancy this month.  I know that financially, that’s probably a brilliant notion.  It would allow us to possibly catch the hell up with our expenses.  And yet… and yet… every cell of my being doesn’t WANT  to do that, and thinks that would be the Worst Idea Ever. 

My soul’s screaming, “Don’t stop now!  Not until I’m pregnant!  Don’t you know that we don’t have much time left???  What the hell’s wrong with you people??”  Small wonder I feel like crying. 

Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  Hey, vamplita – don’t stress now, y’hear??