Posts Tagged ‘MrsTiye’

Long Pause…

Long Pause copy

So, last month, I returned to the hospital for another hysteroscopy.  YAY!

I get to the post-op appointment two weeks later…Gyne says there was no polyp that she saw. Just my uterine lining stocking up for the apocalypse again.

So this giant lapse (a month and a half, which feels like eternity), was for nothing.  Or at least that’s how I felt instantly.  I know it wasn’t really, and that it was good to make sure everything was clear anyhow, but damn if it didn’t feel like a waste of time.  A painful waste of time at that.

But whatever, it was what needed to be done.

So the next move was to return to the RE for our IVF consult.  This meeting is where we sign all the legal paperwork regarding cryo-preservation, legal intent, and consent forms.  This is also the meeting where most people learn of their IVF protocol.  Meaning, what medicines their RE has determined will be best for them, and some start dates.

Notice how I said, “most people”.

Because as I told yall before, “if I haven’t learned anything in this infertility battle, I’ve learned that NOTHING on this journey can be simple for me. NOTHING.”

So, after we came in, she got right to it and said, “You’ve got three things working against you right now that we have to fight.”

I took a deep breath, and she continued.

  1. Your thyroid.  We have to get it down because it’s too high.  We prefer it to be >2.5, yours was at three.
  2. Your PCOS.  Which is apparently a ROUGH case.

At this, I cringed.  I have done my reading.  I know that with PCOS and IVF there are risks of hyperstimulation, and even an increased risk of miscarriage.  PCOS is a jerk.  A hairy, fat, jerk.  So I held my breath as she told me that my particular case of PCOS has already acted a complete ass.

The normal range of follicles a woman with normal or average egg quality has, is around twelve. 6 on one ovary, and 6 on the other.  But Regina?  Regina has Thirty-flippin-one.  13 on one ovary, and 18 on the other.

AMH stands for Anti Mullerian Hormone. This hormone gives doctors an indication of the estimated number of eggs a woman has left.  It gives the RE an idea of how many eggs they can expect to retrieve from you.  The normal AMH levels of women my age, are between 1.0 and 3.0.  In PCOS patients, AMH levels can run high.  My doctor has NEVER SEEN A PERSON WITH AS HIGH AMH LEVELS AS ME.  My AMH was 21.  Not 2.1, TWENTY ONE.

So do I have a great possibility for egg retrieval?  On the surface, yes.  But having done the research, I knew what that really translated to: I am at high risk for hyperstimulation during IVF.

In other words, my follicles may get a taste of those sweet hormone meds and go “fat kid at the buffet”, and my cycle could be cancelled.  She even mentioned that she may have to cut my doses in half just because of my risks.  WTF, lady bits?  What are you doing?!!

My body’s a damned overachiever in every area except weight loss.

But remember, she said there were three issues.

After all this time, the next blow, is that we now have male factor infertility also! YAY!!!  We won!

We have been referred to urology now.  To which we won’t get in until next year.  Depending on what is required, that pushes the IVF process to at least February.

So, all the craptastic news out of the way, we continued with the other parts of the consult and learned all about the risks of IVF, had the painful discussions about things like selective reduction, and even what to do with our embryos if we divorce or one of us passes away. Then came the great layout of costs for preserving embryos, $1100 up front and $450/year after, and the cost of preserving “backup” sperm for retrieval day, $350.

Fun, right?

And then to add insult to emotional injury, I got some yucky news about the little one who we were planning to adopt earlier this year.  She’s fine!  But the info was yucky nonetheless.

I got in my feelings for a hot second.  Mostly angry, not sad.  Angry that we’d waited before following up with the male factor information.  Angry at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, yet again.  Angry to be on hold yet again.

Then I just stopped.  I reminded myself to calm down.  I reminded myself that now was the time to focus on others and not myself.  Prayers for that precious baby girl, and love to my husband who got his own bad news today.

That being said, I’m giving myself permission to be a tad p’d off today.  And prescribing my OWN meds for a change.  Thanks to my sorority sister for the appropriately named gift.

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Featured image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Relentless: Earning My Infertility Theme Music

relentless

As I was pulling off from my doctor’s office last week, I couldn’t help but search through my Spotify playlists until I had the right music blasting.  I was so invigorated and proud of myself, that I couldn’t move until there was an appropriate soundtrack accompanying my exit.  I mean, if you really look at this thing, and some of the moves we have to make, infertility fighters deserve our own theme music.

Some of us are doing more with our day before we even get to work, than others will do all week.  Go ahead, toot your own horn.  You deserve it.

On the day in question, I’d just had a marathon medical week in terms of getting my ducks in a row.

Where else to start but at the beginning.

So first of all, when you start the fertility center process, one of the first things they’ll have you do as a woman is have preliminary blood work done.  Because this testing includes monitoring your hormone levels, it is required that you have them done during the first few days of your menstrual cycle.  Now, my once insane cycles have gotten themselves under control in the year after my d&c surgery last fall, so it was a nice change to be able to tell my doctor exactly when I expected my period to arrive.   So we smiled and talked, and I was all confident when I told her when it should be there, and planned my next week around getting the ball rolling.

And do you know that heffa period had the nerve to not show up?!  All this time we been riding together, and improving our relationship with one another, and now when I need her to be on her game, this broad takes the month off!  Like, actually did not even hint at arriving any time soon.

Lost the entire month of September waiting for a period that gave no cares about me and my timeline.  Moved into October, and just as my calendar was getting hectic again with work conferences and family obligations, etc., the prodigal period returned.  Great, right?!  Now we can move forward right?!

Wrong.

In between conference sessions, I call the fertility center to schedule the blood tests within the window of days, and they tell me that all of a sudden my insurance company is requesting a referral from a primary care physician.   So, I call my primary care office, and before we even get to the nitty gritty, the nurse decides to go back and forth with me for twenty minutes about how I shouldn’t need a referral at all,  and I have to tell her repeatedly that I’m only telling her what the fertility center told me that the insurance company told them!   Finally, she transfers me to some voicemail system to leave the referral request.

I say on the message that this is a time sensitive request, and that if they can get back to me soon, I’d appreciate it.  I put infertility-me into a little compartment and go back to my conference and wait for a reply from the nurse.  At the end of the day, I get a message from her saying that even-though all my doctors at this point know that I have blocked tubes and have to jump to IVF, I can’t just get the referral, but that I have to come in for yet another appointment (can somebody say “copay hustle”).

And that appointment date?  Yeah, nine days away.  As though I didn’t already say that things were time-sensitive.  I was discouraged to say the least.  After the vacation my period took in September, it would be devastating to now have to skip October also.

So I started making last-ditch efforts.  I called my patient coordinator at the fertility center to see if she had any advice on how to proceed.  She was awesome, and double-checked every loophole she could find, but in the end, we were back at square one.

I hung up with her and headed back to my job.  I’d just have to wait, I supposed.  As upset as I was, I felt like maybe it was time to just chalk it up as a loss, but then something in me was just like, “We’ve come too far.”  So on a whim, I decided to call my primary care office and see if there had been any cancellations.  Someone had just cancelled for the very next day.  I’d have to fit it in during a lunch hour, but I did not hesitate to tell her I’d be there.

I make it to the appointment, get all the way to the part where she’d get me the referral done, and the computer wouldn’t let her input it.

Puck_Seriously

Sigh.  So she prints me out the referral order anyway and tells me to call back the next day to make sure that it went through.  Great.  Because during yet another day at my work conference, I’d like to spend my lunch break on the phone with nurses and insurance companies.  Nothing better to do.

I call back tomorrow and I’m on hold most of the day.  I can’t get through to the referral nurse, and when I talk to the fertility center, they won’t budge until I have that confirmation. Finally, I’m able to get them to at least agree to let me come in the morning, if I have the referral in hand, BUT, just to gut punch me, the nurse explains that if I can’t make it then, I may have missed the testing window and may have to postpone my IVF cycle until NEXT YEAR.

Now, I’m aware that we are only a couple of months from next year.  I know that we are running full steam ahead towards the holiday season, and the resolution gateway.  However, after the year I’ve had, and having already postponed my life for the first half of the year, to tell me now that I’m so close I can feel the menopur, that I may have to wait until NEXT YEAR….

I’d been strong for a few days.  I’d held on to my dignity and control.  But when she said that, I just let the tears fall.  All my power had once again been taken from the situation. This whole journey has been a list of “next year’s”.  I cannot wait yet another year.

So as I sat there in the parking lot, prepared to go back to work, I was deflated, but I couldn’t let it go.  So I called the primary care office just one more time.  I don’t know if she could hear the desperation in my voice or not, but she sat on the phone with me until she found that damn referral slip and I didn’t care that I’d already driven all the way to work, I pulled out of the parking lot and hightailed it up the street to that office so fast that when I got there, she hadn’t even finished putting my name on the envelope.

I called the fertility center and told them I had it, and they said I may have to sit and wait when I got there the next morning for the approval code or whatever they needed to come through.  I told her I didn’t care.  I’d sit there and wait.

And I did.  I waited close to an hour or so, and had a nice conversation with the billing office rep as well, (who was VERY nice and supportive), had all the blood drawn, then drove downtown to the last day of my conference and then back to work again to finish Teen Read Week.

And nobody knew.  Nobody knew that in my personal life, I’d just moved a mountain.  I’d just swam the English channel.  I’d just knocked down a wall that had taunted me.

I’d just kicked infertility’s ass.  All before I even got to work that day.

I hadn’t been concerned with “bugging the nurses”, or getting on their nerves.  I didn’t care about sitting in their offices with checklists and requirements.  I didn’t even care that they knew me by name by the time I left them.  I felt powerful.  I felt like a warrior.  I felt,…relentless.

So when I pulled out of the parking lot that evening, with two doctor’s appointments handled and a third one already scheduled, I blasted that theme music without hesitation, and I dared anyone try and get in my way.

Are you kicking infertility’s ass?  What’s your theme song?

Here’s one of mine:

Featured image courtesy of stockimages, / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Casting Pearls…(Or the Sacredness of Names)

We hold names sacred in the infertility community.

They are our little secret smirks at fate.

They symbolize the victory we’re hoping for.  They are precursors to rainbows.

A horizon we can barely see, but one we are trying desperately to get a view of. (more…)

Hiding in Plain Sight

Long time no blog.

I know. *slaps own hand*  “Bad Blogger!”  But come on in, have a seat…

If you hang with me on Facebook and Twitter, then you know I haven’t really left, but that I’ve just been extremely more quiet about what is going on inside my own journey.    There’s good reason, I promise.   (more…)

So Darn Funny, I Forgot to Cry

On the way home from one of our Thanksgiving visits, my husband asked me a seemingly innocent question about whether or not I’d be free to do something on a particular date next week. I paused for a moment, tried to think on it, and then had to tell him that without my calendar in front of me, I really didn’t know. I laughed about that and then told him that it was kind of strange that I couldn’t really remember what life was like back when I knew my schedule off the top of my head. I literally could not remember a time where I had fewer things to do, and didn’t feel as burned out.

I know what some of you are thinking. “So what? I never know my schedule either. It comes with being a busy adult.” True. You’re absolutely right. I am a busy person and it only makes sense that my days have to be outlined and scheduled. That wasn’t what unnerved me. What unnerved me, was the revelation about how I’d gotten so busy all of a sudden, and where my motivations were in the things I now do. While I love my job, and I love my service activities, and I love all these little projects I’ve signed myself up for, it became very clear to me that I started them after my life didn’t go the direction I wanted it to, in the time-frame that I’d expected it to. (more…)

The Best of Times…The Worst of Times

I warn you, not to watch this.
And yet I have to share it.
A father breaks down while explaining one of the hardest points in his life. Attending to the very real pain of grief during the day, and wading through a career as a comedian at night.
It is a heart-wrenching story.
But I have to share it.
Because this is the EXACT feeling I have been trying to convey for months now.  This feeling that everything is going swell, and yet going horribly all at once.
The feeling of knowing that although something is dying in our lives, we still have to go to work.
Even as something is passing away in us, we still have to communicate.
All the while something is breaking us down,  we have to express joy in the “good” things that have come our way in the meantime.
And nobody knows what is really happening underneath.
When this video ended, I was in tears.
Not just for HIS pain.
But because he understood mine.

For the past 9 months, EVERY DAY has been an up and down roller-coaster of feelings.
I go into the doctor’s office in the morning and hear no good news, I get to work in the afternoon and get praised for something.
I excel in my social obligations on the weekends, I spend the weeknights curled in my bed.
I am kicking life’s ass personally and professionally, and it is kicking mine emotionally and physically.

And no one gets it!  You can write it out,  talk until you’re blue, draw a diagram, and people will still want you at work in the morning, at church on Sunday, and at their party/babyshower/ladies night on Saturday.  They placate you with soft “Oh, you poor thing”‘s and emoticon you with (((hugs))), but they don’t actually get it.

All they know is that you’re in a pissy mood.  All they see is that you didn’t show up to that thingamajig.  All they know is that you aren’t yourself.

There is an INCREDIBLE isolation felt.  A dynamic feeling that life is interfering with life.  That you can’t be YOU.  That life will NOT slow down and let you get your breath because you aren’t entitled to that.  You just keep riding downhill in this car, even-though you know the brakes are out, and you can only pray that there is a gentle tree to stop the incline.

I finally reached a break in my menorrhagia last week.  I had my body to myself for about four days and then promptly got food poisoning.  LOL  Because that’s how fly I am.   But overall, I’m in somewhat of a better place.  I’m a little less snarky this week.  I feel a tiny piece of joy returning to my workday.   I don’t want to retreat from human contact nearly as much.

And I’m grateful for that.

But I know that it’s only a matter of time before things start rolling down that hill again.  And I’m going to have to get up and come to work, and make teenagers happy (oh, the horror), and care about eating food during the day, and make myself respond to phone calls and text messages, and make myself smile at photos, and encourage myself to listen when people talk to me.

Only this time, this video will be in my head.  And I’ll be trying to make myself also remember that while I’m dying, so is the person in front of me.  The cashier at the grocery store.  The attendant at the gas station.  That friend of mine.  And yes, even the comedian on my television screen.

You NEVER know what someone is going through.

So treat EVERYONE with the same care and compassion that YOU need.

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