Infertility Bites

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

Been in a rather dark place lately December 7, 2008

So y’all have probably surmised by now that I’m not pregnant, otherwise I would’ve been online before now, telling the world of our impending joy. As a matter of fact, my frickin’ period started the day before I was planning to POAS.  I guess my body decided there was no sense in delaying the inevitable.  Awfully kind of it, don’t you think??  Always looking out for me and my best interests…

F and I went to the RE as scheduled, to discuss “our situation”.  We had already missed the window of opportunity for taking fertility meds for that cycle…Dr. S was out of town, and I couldn’t get in to see anyone else. When we spoke to Dr. S, we asked what our options were.  We all decided that it would be best to wait until January until we started taking fertility meds again.  F was interested in seeing if I could try taking Clomid again, instead of jumping right back to the Gonal-F.  Dr. S said that was a possibility, but she wasn’t sure if it would be successful.  We all knew, however, that taking this huge amount of Gonal-F did jack…barely a blip on the follicle radar.  So…that’s when Dr. S said that, “your advanced maternal age is most likely what caused your body to respond so poorly to the fertility meds.  If you had been given those meds just ten years ago, your ovaries would probably have gone into OHSS.  Considering how poorly your ovaries respond to the meds now, you are not a candidate for IVF.  I’m afraid that your only chance of becoming pregnant if the fertility meds with IUIs don’t work within the next six months are to consider egg donation. ” 

And the hits just keep on comin’.

F and I had talked about this months before when we first started going to an RE, and had decided that if we ever needed donor eggs or sperm, we would just pack our things up and go home with our tails between our legs.  Okay, that’s not exactly how the conversation went.  He said something about considering adoption, and I said that we didn’t have the effing money for that, or for IVF, for that matter.   Plus we’re too old for the legitimate adoption agencies.

Suffice it to say:  Ladies and gentlemen, if the old fashioned method or the fertility meds and IUI route don’t get us a real, live, take-home baby, that’s all she wrote.  No kids for vamplita and her darling F.

Okay, I admit it.  I cried on the way home from that lovely appointment.  F, being his usual (useless in the presence of an upset wife) self, didn’t understand why I was so upset.  “We still have a chance, honey.  We can still have a baby.  It’s not over, babe.”  Silver lining boy.  Sheesh.

Meanwhile, I heard that I had probably missed the boat as far as pregnancy was concerned.  If I had only gone to an RE sooner… even a mere couple of years sooner may have been the difference between being a mother and being a… whatever the hell I am.  What a lovely thought process, huh?  Regrets cut you to the bone sometimes. 

When F and I got home, he said that I couldn’t expect to have a child if I kept thinking so negatively.  He said that I couldn’t keep feeling such bitterness when I heard about some cow who had never wanted kids being pregnant, or about some horrid, beastly female who had abused her children being pregnant once again.  I had to let it go. 

He’s probably right, damn his hide.     

I wallowed in self loathing, anger, and guilt for the rest of the night.  The next day, I told F that I would do my best to keep a good attitude for the rest of the time that we tried to have a child.  I would do my best to take care of myself, trying to keep a positive outlook, etc, etc.

See how well I’m doing??  :o/

Hell’s bells!  It’s hard, y’all.  It’s soooo hard to try to keep thinking happy, cheery thoughts when what should’ve been my due date is only two days away.  If things hadn’t gone so badly, I might even be taking care of a newborn right now.  We might be looking forward to our own child’s first Christmas.  If only…if only.   

I’m trying not to let my darker thoughts ruin my favorite time of year, Christmas.  I’m trying to keep plugging forward.  I’ve been checking to see if I’ve ovulated, and I have no idea.  I doubt that I have, which makes things even harder.  F had plans (took time off of work) for us to have sex when I was supposed to ovulate, and of course my stupid, advanced maternal age body didn’t cooperate.  He asks me why I didn’t ovulate, and as usual I have no good answer. 

My body has a will of its own, and apparently it doesn’t want to get pregnant this month.  Let’s hope it doesn’t have anything against having kids altogether, know what I mean??

~~~Change of Subject~~~

In case I don’t get back on anytime soon, I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday season, full of love, laughter, and Light.  This really is a great time to be with family and/or friends, and get back that loving feeling. 

Now, don’t worry…I’m not planning to be gone as long as I was this time.  I’ve just been very busy and rather apathetic.  School will be out in twelve days, and I’ll have a couple of weeks where I don’t need to worry about my master’s courses.  I plan to blog, eat, drink, sleep, play WoW, and use my iPod until my ears fall off!  Oh yeah, maybe I’ll have sex or something too.  It could happen. 

Be well, all!

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6dpiui #3 November 5, 2008

Filed under: infertility bites — vamplita @ 7:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

So far, so good.  I’ve managed to stay (relatively) strong and not pee on anything.  In other words, I haven’t tested with an HPT…yet.  I plan to avoid POAS until at least Veterans Day, November 11th.  The first couple of days, I did feel a couple of pains, but I’m not really sure what that was.  It was wayyyyy too early for it to be any kind of symptom. 

I’ve had a couple of headaches since IUI #3, but that should probably be chalked up to my body jonesing for caffeine, truth be told.  My bodily functions have been a bit wonky, but again, that can be contributed to my hypothyroidism.  The slight nausea I’ve experienced once or twice since Sunday?  Not sure, but I will say that stress has most definitely been in abundance with my full-time job, having to take these courses for my principalship, and the pressure of trying to get 140 hours of internship under my belt before April 2009.  The gas I’ve been suffering from today?  Not sure… my crappy diet, probably.  I’ve had the sore breasts thingy going on for a couple of days, but that can be contributed to the Endometrin I’m shoving up my whosie-whatsit each night.  (Darn that progesterone and its false pregnancy symptoms!)

Until we know differently, I am still PUPO – pregnant until proven otherwise.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Take a hike, Ike! September 11, 2008

Wouldn’t you just know it??  Hurricane Ike is now heading right toward us, and as we’ve feared (but expected would happen sooner or later), Houston is expected to be on the dirty side of the storm.  Where F and I live, we live in Evacuation Zone C, so we’re supposed to be the last group of Houstonians to undergo mandatory evacuations.  However, this sucker scares the fire out of me.  The sustained winds are supposed to be over 100 mph here if Ike hits where they are predicting it to go.  These sustained winds will last for around 12 hours, and that’s not counting the winds that will be in the area starting tomorrow around noon, and all the way through Saturday.

So, F and I want to get the hell outta Dodge as quickly as possible.  There’s a snag, though.  I’m supposed to have an appointment tomorrow, to get bloodwork done and have another ultrasound scan, to make sure I’m not sending my ovaries into a tailspin with all the Gonal-F I’ve been shoving into my body since Monday night. 

I started my period again on Saturday, so I called in on Monday, like a good patient is supposed to, and had to go in that afternoon to get my baseline scan done, and make sure everything was as it should be before delving into another round of infertility meds.  Since I checked out clean as a whistle, I started Gonal-F injections that night, 300iu this time instead of the 187iu I did the last time. 

That’s all well and good, but now I’m concerned that I won’t be able to continue this freakin’ cycle, if I can’t get this bloody u/s scan and bloodwork thingy completed.  If that happens, I’m screwed, ’cause I’ve already injected several hundred dollars worth of this stuff into me, and it would suck beyond sucking to have to start all over again a month from now, without completing this round.  We’ve already established that F and I aren’t exactly rolling in dough, so this could be a rather large potential setback.  Another thing I’m worried about is the fact that I have enough Gonal-F left for about four days’ worth of shots.  If we are relocated because of this damnable hurricane, will it screw up the delivery of my meds??  Ugh.

Well… that issue’s been resolved for me.  Crap.  I can’t get into the doctor’s clinic soon enough today to get the test results back today, so I have to wait until next period.  I’m stuck up here at work until at least 2:30, and the clinic won’t be able to have my estrogen levels back before Dr. S heads home.  Thanks a lot, Ike.  You just cost me at least $500 that we don’t have, you bastard. 

I sometimes hate my damnable luck.  Honestly, I do.