Infertility Bites

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

IUI #3 in mere hours October 29, 2008

I’ve been informed that IUI #3 is scheduled for tomorrow morning, at 10AM.  I have to say that I’m rather excited about this time around.  It’s almost the same way I felt when we did the first IUI.  I’m eager to get it done, partially because I am sick of injecting the oh-so-pricey Gonal-F.  I did my last injection of it last night for this cycle, thank the good Lord.  I’m also eager because I have a good feeling about this time around.  I’ve got a good feeling about this IUI, partly because I now know for a fact that I can get pregnant this way.  I know it works. 

I’m also nervous about the IUI because, once again, in spite of our best efforts, I’ve only managed to produce one follicle that looks to be a decent size.  The follie we’re placing this month’s hopes on was an acceptable 17mm in size on Monday’s scan.  I may as well have taken a smaller dose, since I got the same results on the smaller dose too.  Damnation.  Why, oh why, couldn’t I respond to fertility meds like normal ladies would??  Any other person who took that much of Gonal-F would have had enough viable follies to start her own football basketball team, for Pete’s sake.  Sigh.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful that I don’t have OHSS or anything of the sort.  But… why not more than one follicle?  Just once?  Still, I did get pregnant last time with just one follicle, didn’t I?  It could happen!      

Please, y’all keep your fingers crossed that this IUI works, and that we get a real, live, healthy take-home baby.  I know all the statistics.  I know they’re certainly not as in my favor as they would be if I were five (or ten years!) younger.  Still, we could be that couple who succeeds, right? 

I don’t even want to think about what we’d do (or not do) if this doesn’t work this time around.  I know it’s ridiculous not to think about it, but it’s not like I don’t know what could happen.  It’s not like I haven’t been there, done that.  La, la, la!  I’m not listening!

I was thinking about it, and if I do get pregnant this time around, the baby’s due date will be around August 1st.  Not exactly ideal, from a teaching perspective or a weather perspective, but don’t think I wouldn’t take it in a nanosecond!  I can handle a third trimester in the sweltering heat and humidity of July and August in Texas, ’cause I know what the (likely?) outcome would be.  Hell, if someone could guarantee that it would work, I’d do it standing on my frickin’ head, thankyouverymuch. 

Anyway… I worked at the Fall Festival here at our school last weekend, to earn some of those much-needed internship hours I require to satisfy the 140 hours required for my Masters degree in Educational Administration, and to qualify to take the test to become an administrator.  I do enjoy teaching, but I certainly don’t see myself in the classroom until can I retire in about 900 years.  I believe I will be a good admin, but that test we have to take to get the certification is nasty, y’all.  Ugg-gah-lee.  I generally don’t do much (read any) studying for a test like that, because there’s really no way to prepare.  However, this time, I at least need to see a practice test, to see what it’s going to be like.  There’s just. so. much. material.  It’s mindboggling how much crap they expect us to know and remember.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this certification exam has me concerned, even thought the test isn’t until next Spring or early Summer. 

What can I say?  I worry, therefore I am. 

Wish me luck tomorrow, please.  Ten years of trying is long enough.  Really and truly.     

XOXO

 

Baby one more time? October 26, 2008

If I keep having to go to my RE every other day, I may have to take up residence there. 

My period started on Oct. 15th, a Wednesday.  My RE wanted me to come in for a baseline scan on Friday, Oct. 17th, and to start my Gonal-F injections again at 300iu.  I started the meds, and was told to make appointments for the following Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Lovely.  On Monday’s appointment, they did the u/s scan, didn’t see much happening in la ovaries, so I was sent for a blood draw to get my estrogen levels checked, and to expect a call that afternoon, letting me know if/how I should adjust my dosage.  Monday afternoon, I was told to up my dose to 375iu, and to keep taking it that way until my next appointment, Wednesday.  At Wednesday’s scan, again not much going on in the ovary pics.  So…another trip downstairs to the lab to get my estrogen levels checked.  That afternoon, I was given the news that yes, there was a slight increase, but not really enough of one to write home about.  Therefore, my RE wanted me to up my dose yet again, to 450iu.  Please don’t forget – this shit’s beyond expensive.  I’m now injecting nearly $360.00 into myself each night.  For those of you unaware of a teacher’s salary, that’s right at 10% of my monthly salary.  Each. night.  

I went to the RE again today, for a repeat performance of the scan.  At least this time, my nurse saw a follicle, fer cripes’ sake.  It was only 13mm, so we’re hoping like hell that some other follicles will catch up before we (who am I kidding??) I inject the trigger shot of Ovidrel.  After one more trip to the lab for an estrogen level, my level is rising as a decent amount (~129, I think she said), so (thankfully) I get to stay on the 450 iu, and not increase it at this time.  I’m to go back to get another u/s on Monday, and my nurse believes that we’ll do the IUI on Wednesday, October 29th.

 

National Infertility Awareness Week October 19, 2008

October 19-25 is National Infertility Awareness Week in the US.  I want to take this opportunity to thank any- and everyone who has read this blog and given a second thought about the condition that is infertility.  It helps to know that we’re not alone.  It helps to know that others give a damn.  

Take some time this week to thank those who have been supportive of you and your journey through infertility.  Let them know how much their support, prayers, and positive words mean to you.  As we all know, infertility is a condition that is often not spoken about, so the more people we can get talking about it, the better the chance of infertiles getting the help, information, and support they need and so richly deserve.  

For those who are looking for information about infertility, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a good place to start.  The March of Dimes is another useful site for answers to questions before, during, and after pregnancy.  They are the leading organization trying to ensure that every baby gets its nine months, and working to prevent premature births.

 

My version of Show and Tell October 12, 2008

For those who may or may not know, Hurricane Ike left a massive amount of destruction in its wake.  My cousin sent this PowerPoint to me, and I hope I can get it to work for you.  Just to cover my butt, I have no idea who put this together, but I’m sure several (if not all) of the pictures are the copyrighted property of someone.  Since I don’t know who all of you photographers are, I wanted to say that I am only posting this in the interest of public information.  I don’t make a dime on this, trust me.  If any of you know who the owners of these photos are, send me the info, and I’ll happily edit this entry and add their names with my hearty thanks.  Lastly, if I’ve used your photo and you don’t want me to include it in this PowerPoint, please inform me, and I will gladly remove it with my apologies.

hurricane-ike-pics1

 

Good News/Bad News October 8, 2008

The Evacuation

  • Good news:  we evacuated from Ike without any issues or Rita-like traffic jams.  More importantly, we managed to leave before I murdered my husband in a fit of anxiety/panic/frustration.
  • Not-so-good news:  Hurricane Ike’s path included the part of Texas to which we evacuated.  His winds caused a substantial amount of destruction throughout the storm’s path.

Infertility Medicine Status:

  • Bad news:  I had to discontinue taking the Gonal-F for this cycle, because I couldn’t get in to have my blood levels and scans done.  It was necessary so that I could avoid such lovely things as OHSS and/or the off-chance of becoming pregnant with my very own basketball team.
  • Further bad news:  That means that any of the Gonal-F I’d already taken for this cycle was completely and totally wasted, and that stuff’s expensive as hell.  F and I are out several hundred dollars because the medicine is so costly.
  • Good news:  I had the presence of mind to take the Gonal-F with me when we evacuated because I knew that it would probably ruin in our refrigerator, since we were almost guaranteed to have our power knocked out.  We took it with us to my parents’ house in Lufkin, in an ice chest.
  • Shitty news:  Lufkin’s power was knocked out too. 
  • Even shittier news:  In addition to Lufkin’s electricity being out, there was no ice to be had for several days, so the medicine was not refrigerated as it needed to be… I’m sure as hell not going to inject that stuff into my body, after it being at temps as high as 87° F for more than 24 hours. 
  • Possibly redeeming news?:  We’re going to claim the meds that were lost in the hurricane on our insurance, and hope to hell they won’t refuse to pay for it.

Hurricane Aftermath:

  • Great news:  Our house escaped damage, for the most part. The outside had a couple of cosmetic things messed up, but it is, as Austin Powers puts it, “sound as a pound, luv”.
  • Disappointing news:  There was a small hole created in our ceiling next to the fireplace, where leaks shouldn’t exist because we had the damned roof replaced, and that was supposed to fix it, but it didn’t.
  • Annoying-but-okay news:  The outside chimney cap was blown off of our house, and it landed in our back yard.  It’ll cost about $350 to get that fixed, and that will be covered by our insurance.
  • Seriously annoying newsThe fireplace/chimney specialist who came to inspect the fireplace to see if the damned leak was due to the roof or the chimney and give us an estimate for the chimney repairs necessary after the storm said that the inside of the fireplace, however, is basically crumbling and is not considered safe for fires in its current condition.  The cost to fix it?  About $1000, which will not be covered by our insurance, since this wasn’t a result of Ike.  Naturally. 

Electricity status:

  • I-told-you-so news:  Yes, I was right – Hurricane Ike did knock out the power here in our neighborhood. 
  • Frickin’ bothersome news:  The power wasn’t restored at our block until September 27th, fifteen days following Ike’s visit to our neighborhood.  That’s right; fifteen days without hot water… without internet(!) …and oh yeah – without air conditioning during 90-degree plus days.  Fifteen days cooking on our propane grill outside while fighting overzealous mosquitoes.  
  • Life-saving news:  While in Lufkin, F and I managed to stand in an outdoor hurricane relief line for about three hours and purchase a refurbished generator, so that we could return home and begin repairs and/or restoration of our home.  This was a week after no power, and no ice in Lufkin, thankyouverymuch.
  • Effing frustrating news:  F and I brought the generator back home, and tried to fire it up.  That’s right, you guessed it – the sonofabitch wouldn’t turn over.  F and I loaded the damned thing back up into the car, and drove back to Lufkin (where my parents now had a generator too) with our tail between our legs, hoping to get it repaired in Lufkin, where 25% of the town had electricity by then.  No way could we have stood the heat here in our home without fans at least, and there’s no way in hell I could’ve slept here with the windows open.  I would’ve been too afraid that someone would come in and knock F and I in the head.  As we were loading that generator into our car, I hadn’t seen F that disheartened in a very long time. 
  • Thank-God-it-wasn’t-too-terrible news:  We took the generator to a repair shop that evening, and picked it up the next day for a repair cost of only $40.  That gave us the ability to come back to our home again, and start trying to clean up around the house.
  • News for which I was thankful:  The school where I work was closed until Wednesday, September 24th, when faculty and staff had to return to get things ready for our students who returned the following day. 
  • It figures news:  Didja notice that school started three days before I got power restored to my house?  Yup – it’s great fun, having to dress and put your makeup on by flashlight, lemme tell ya.   

All in all though – F and I came out of this relatively sane, still on speaking terms, and mostly intact.  He marveled that he’d managed to gain weight during our power outage.  It didn’t surprise me though, because all we could do was eat and play Spore on my laptop.  (Frickin’ love that game, by the way.)  It was too hot in the house to do anything else. 

Our internet service was restored, and we were back on the grid the Monday after the power was back on at our house.  The university where I am getting my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration was very considerate of its students, and allowed us to still participate in the current course.  They extended the deadlines for all of our assignments, for which I am eternally grateful.

My heart definitely goes out to those whose homes and lives have been destroyed by Hurricane Ike.  I attended Texas A&M University at Galveston, and enjoyed living in Galveston for several years after I graduated.  It breaks my heart to see all of the damage that has been wrought upon my old stomping grounds, and to the folks who live there.  There is simply so much destruction.  It’s hard to wrap your mind around the devastation.