Infertility Bites

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

Ahem… April 1, 2008

Filed under: pregnancy rules!,pregnant hopes and dreams — vamplita @ 11:09 pm
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Woke up this morning and did my usual pee-on-a-stick routine.  Same result as before – big, fat negative.  About two hours before I saw my RE, I gave in to my urge and did it again this afternoon, on one of my more expensive tests.  positivepositivepositivepositive!!! 

 Now, mind you, it was super-duper faint, but it was there!  I ran to get my camera phone, and took the pic.  I tried in my freaked-out state to send the pic to my sister for verification, and of course, the phone wouldn’t forward it.  So, I gscrambled madly about my not-so-tidy house, got my digital camera and took some pics.  They weren’t quality pics, by any means…hell, my hands were shaking so badly, I couldn’t keep the image I wanted in the viewfinder.  I forwarded those grainy, dark photos to my sister, and she said she could see it too.  🙂 

I then decided to use the last of my pricier tests about 25 minutes later, with a different urine sample.  Again, a faint, faint line.  I still can’t believe it.

I went to the RE, and during our appointment, I showed her the pic from my camera phone.  She said, “Yep, it’s a positive.”  She and I both marveled at the fact that it happened with only one mature follicle.  And, as she says, at my age.  It’s not like the odds were greatly in our favor.  

I still had the bloodwork done, for a starting beta, and I’m to go back this Friday, for my 2nd beta.  Then, on April 15th, I’m to go for an ultrasound.  God, I’m jazzed!  My RE estimates that the EDD is December 9th.  Unbefrickinglieveable. 

I couldn’t tell F on the phone, so I waited until I got home with dinner.  I’d bought a bottle at the pharmacy downstairs from the RE’s office, and while F was getting plates, I set the bottle on the table where he was going to sit.  (I’d actually had the presence of mind to charge up the video camera while I was at the RE’s office, so I was ready.) 

He’s very, very happy, but surprised that we found out this soon.  I get the official results tomorrow, and I can hardly wait!  I’ll be sure to call him tomorrow as soon as I know the results. 

We told my parents, his parents, my sister, and a close cousin of mine, all who knew that we were trying to conceive.  The general concensus was that it was the best news they’d heard in a long time.  I tend to agree. 

 Please, please keep your fingers crossed that all is well, beta-wise.  We need this embryo to stick, grow, be healthy, and stay put for at least 250 days! 

More later – I’m heading to bed. 

     

 

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

 

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

Filed under: infertility bites — vamplita @ 7:31 pm
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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
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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??  

 

Aunt Flo, stay away!! February 28, 2008

Filed under: pregnant hopes and dreams — vamplita @ 10:32 am
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Okay, so we did the IUI on the 21st, and it went off without a hitch.  My duty these days is to think Good Thoughts, not stress, and remain calm while I wait.  Easier to say than do, naturally. 

 Take, for example, the fact that two weeks ago, I received an email from the Assistant Principal who is responsible for evaluating my teaching skills.  She stated in the email to my department that she would be performing 45-minute observations for all of us within a two-week period, and that the observation would be at an unannounced (random) time.  So, as a teacher, you try to make sure that you bring your “A-game” during these days, on the chance that the AP shows.  We drag out all the dog and pony stuff then…all the bells and whistles, so to speak.  Tomorrow’s the last day of the two-week period, and no AP so far.  Fun, eh?

Oh yeah; I had to take the GRE today.  Bleah.  The good news is that I managed to get a decent enough combined score to ensure that my graduate program won’t be kicking me out for that reason.  Now, I may not be able to pay, and get kicked out for that, but never for my GRE scores.  🙂 

 Now, if y’all know me, you know that I was probably very close to full panic mode right before the GRE test.  I’ll admit that I’m a person who experiences serious test anxiety when it comes to entrance exams or certification exams.  After all, it’s only my future and career that are on the line, right?  As I told my mom, “Yeah, having to pass a test with math that I haven’t even looked at for over 20 years scares me, but the thing that really strikes fear into my heart about these things is the fear of the unknown.” 

Same thing about waiting to see if we’re pregnant.  It’s the fear of the unknown that makes me crazy.  Each day, I pray that I don’t see red.  So far, so good in that department.  Of course, next week’s when (God forbid!) I’m supposed to start (dear Lord, please don’t let it happen) if (God forbid) I do (please God no) start, according to the schedule of meds I’ve been taking.

My imagination is wayyyy too fertile, when it comes to psychosomatic pregnancy symptoms, y’all.  It’s ironic that I have a very fertile imagination, but a not-so-fertile reproductive system.  That hardly seems fair, does it??  Anyway, I’ve been feeling crampy and nauseous this week.  It’s difficult to figure out if it’s the Real Deal or if it’s actually just my brain and body playing tricks on me like last time.

 

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow… February 5, 2008

is it.  Pregnancy Test Day.  My current raison d’etre.  I know that I really ought not put too much emphasis on this time around, considering our poor showing during ovulation.  And yet… the tiniest glimmer of hope is there, whispering into my ear with the faintest voice.  It tells me that it is possible that I’m pregnant.  Stranger things have happened, right?? 

From a strictly scientific perspective, it’s fascinating to witness what’s happening to me ever since I (probably) ovulated.  For the past two or three days, my stomach’s been feeling weird, and my breasts have been tender/borderline sore.  It could be happening because I’m pregnant, or it could also be purely psychosomatic because I know what the early symptoms of pregnancy are. 

I haven’t told anyone, because I don’t want to give anyone false hopes if I’m not preggers.  If I told F that I’ve been feeling these symptoms, he might think it’s actually happened, and it would be such a disappointment to him, knowing that I’d been having symptoms.  I want he and I to find out together tomorrow.  He’s going to the appointment with me. 

It’s a follow-up with my doctor, Dr. S.  If we find out that I’m pregnant, then we embark upon that aspect of this journey with a song in our hearts, and our fingers crossed.  If we’re not pregnant, we discuss our game plan for the next month.  Personally, if we’re not with child this time around, I want us to try IUI (interuterine insemination) next month, along with the Clomid. 

Granted, it’s more expensive when your bloody insurance won’t cover it, but it’s also got a higher percentage rate of success when compared to using Clomid and relying on intercourse.  What would happen is this:  I’d start my cycle, either naturally, or with the help of prometrium.  Sometime during the first 3 days of my cycle, I’d go in for an ultrasound, which would be used as a baseline for that month’s egg developmental progress.  On days 3-7, I’d take the Clomid.  Next, I’d start monitoring my luteal phase with an over-the-counter Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK).  If I don’t ovulate by day 15, I’d have to take an injection of Ovidrel to stimulate my egg follicles to mature and drop.  

As soon as I’d get a positive when using the OPK, I’d have to call the doctor’s office that morning, so they could make an appointment for me that day.  Then, F would have to contribute his swimmers, either in person, or at home and take his sample in within one hour of its release.  It would be “washed”, assuring that the best of the best swimmers were concentrated into a sample for insertion into my uterus. 

When my appointment came around, the techs would use ultrasound to insert a long, thin catheter into my uterus, and then inject F’s washed (and New and Improved!) concentrate into the catheter.  Once the procedure would be complete, I’d have to remain horizontal for a little while, hoping everyone knows which way they ought to be going. 

The reason they use this technique is to help the little swimmers along by shortening their route dramatically.  They get to avoid the sometimes harsh environment of the vagina, and they’re put into the express lane, bypassing the vagina to go straight into the uterine cavity.  Now, the techs still can’t control which way the sperm swim once they’re into the uterus, but at least more of them have an increased chance to at least be in the running in the Race to the Egg.  Little Ms. Ova and any mature sisters she may have, ought to have dropped from the ovaries, and begin heading through the fallopian tubes, toward the uterine cavity.  In the meantime, F’s swimmers will start (hopefully) moving through the womb and into the fallopian tube(s) to meet any eligible bachelorette eggs in their path.  The first swimmer to meet this egg wins – no one else is allowed to fertilize that egg once it’s fertilized by the sperm who got there first.