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Archive for July, 2011

PSA: Birds and Bees

There’s not much about IF that makes me laugh, but this PSA from EMD Serono (maker of my wonderful Gonal-F and located here in the south shore of MA!) had me cracking up laughing.  Boston IVF posted this on FB this morning and I’ve watched it twice – many of the messages hit home and are true.  I’m hopeful this will help spread the word so that other couples know when it’s time to seek advanced help with an RE.

I don’t like to live my life with regrets, but if I could turn back the hands of time – I would have started this process a lot sooner.  It’s one of those “if I only knew then what I know now” things – I wouldn’t have kept pushing Chris off (literally and figuratively).  Hopefully from people reading my blog, friends hearing about my experience, and local and national efforts for IF awareness – less couples will make a potentially fatal mistake in the TTC process by waiting too long or not seeking the proper assistance. 

Hope you enjoy the video!

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And the beat goes on…  150iu starting on CD2-4 and my bloodwork and u/s on Saturday were baseline with lots of little follicles.  Did two more doses at 150iu and had bloodwork and u/s this morning and my E2 rose (62 on Saturday, 121 today) so we’re heading in the right direction!  There appears to be one dominant follicle measuring at 7.4mm so I’m doing two more doses at 150iu and getting checked again on Wednesday.  I’m feeling less enthusiastic about this cycle – well, maybe that’s the wrong word.  I’m less excited / disappointed – so feelingless, really.  I’m not sure why – maybe because of the almost one month mental break?  Maybe it’s because of the fights with my husband about our treatment plan?  Maybe the more you do this, the more numb you feel?  Who knows.

I threw that little nugget in there:  Maybe it’s because of the fights with my husband about our treatment plan?  Yes, we appear to be off the same page again.  I’m unsure why – but there it is.  He basically said he’s not supportive of this process (being medicated IUI) because of the low percentage.  I deep down think it’s more of a defense mechanism for him, but it still hurts to hear.  This fight occured after being around a bunch of kids and finding out another friend is pregnant (oops – a third!), which seems to be the trigger to set him off.  I just don’t think he’s dealt with the emotions of IF like I have.  Shit, I go and talk to my therapist every other week because of it (well, and other things – let’s be honest).  I have to put trust and faith in my doctor to follow the right course of treatment and advance us when necessary – she’s the smart one, she’s the professional.  But of course he gets on and consults Dr. Internet and his black and white mind thinks “well, this medicated IUI is only 5-10% and IVF is 50-60%, so why are we wasting our time?”  And, I guess I don’t really have an answer for him.  In a black and white world, he’s probably right.  But IF isn’t black and white – it’s actually one of the greyest (a word?) processes I’ve ever experienced.  But, I do know that there are risks with IVF along with the increased odds and I know that it isn’t some sort of magical solution.  I’m 100% committed to doing it if that is what needs to be done – but I’m not of the mindset to rush down that aisle, either. 

Deep down my concern is – how can I ask him to dismiss his true feelings because I need the emotional support?  Is that me being selfish?  Or is he being selfish by being ignorant to all of the details?  I feel the need to protect myself and expect that he supports this process unconditionally – but the selfless person in me knows he may need to protect himself, too.

I did encourage him to consider coming with me to a therapy session.  Maybe having a third party there to guide our conversation will be helpful.  I also think she could help refer him to another clinician in the practice that he can talk to about everything he is going through (as I don’t think it’s fair to him to have him go to my therapist – she couldn’t possibly be objective and who could expect her to be).  He has to learn to deal with his emotions and feelings on this experience – he shouldn’t get so angry inside when he spends time with the kids we love.  I know it weighs heavy on him – he’s 7 years older than me so he feels like he’s going to be an old dad (no matter how many times I point out to him that most of his friends his age are still having children – we’re only looking to have one so really, he’s not going to be any older than they are). 

This is the part of IF that makes me angry.  It can bring a couple closer – and it has for us in many ways.  But it can also try and tear you apart – and I don’t want that.  He doesn’t want that.  So, we have to somehow come to a middle ground.  It’s hard going through both the physical and emotional aspects of a treatment cycle – I NEED his support and I NEED to know that he’s behind me.  And I know it’s not me he’s against – but I can’t help but feel like I’m alone in this cycle when I know that he disregards the current course of treatment as being a viable source to get us pregnant.  I’m at an advantage as I know more about what I’m going through and I see it from a very different light – and I’ve shared as much as I can but this fight made me think that he’s just completely shut down right now.  Hopefully he can open back up.

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Well, I received the insurance approvals last week and stopped the BCPs.  I started spotting on Sunday and last night AF arrived in all of her glory.  So, today is officially my CD1 and I touched base with Nurse Karen (yay, she’s back!) and here’s the plan so far:

– 150iu of Gonal-F starting tomorrow CD2 (Wednesday) and daily through Friday CD4
– Bloodwork and u/s in the Waltham office oon Saturday morning CD5 (BLAH – weekend appointments…)
– Further instructions will come on Saturday afternoon

I also confirmed and we still have 3 vials of spermcicles, so we’re all good there.  The hubs needs to complete another thaw consent form (it’s so annoying that they’re only valid for 60 days) and drop that off before next Monday.  I called and ordered two more 900iu Gonal-F pens which should hold me over for a bit since I have one 900iu pen left from the last cycle plus another pen with probably one dose remaining.  The copay for the meds was the same, so that is good – I was a little worried as to how the insurance change would affect that.

I did just call Nurse Karen back and left a message to confirm I had everything right.  All my other cycles I started the meds on CD3 and she has me starting on CD2, so I thought that was a bit strange.  I’m fine with it as long as that was intentional and not an oversight – so we’ll see what she has to say.

Here’s to hoping the 4th round gets the job done!

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Coming Out

When you’re sitting around waiting for insurance approvals, you get to thinking a lot more than is recommended.  Also, BCPs make you insane and that is what sparks conversations in your head that may or may not be beneficial to put down on paper…or online.  At least when I am in a cycle, I can obsess over follicle sizes, waking up early to sit in traffic for the dildo cam appointments, etc…  Now my friends, we’ve reached a whole new level of crazy, I’m sorry to say.  But, maybe some of my random babblings about insurance, coverage costs, and now “coming out” is either entertaining to my readers or educational – maybe even both?  Either way, it needs to get out of this swirling twirling head of mine so, alas, here we are.

The whole concept of “coming out” in the infertility world is obviously quite different than that of the homosexual world.  But, I think the fear is quite similar – fear of questions, assumptions, rejection, change in perspective, etc…exist for both groups.  What got me thinking about the concept of “coming out” was a trip to the hair salon last week.  Random, I know.

While sitting for what was a ridiculous amount of time because my stylist was running 2 hours (literally!) behind, I got to talking to this nice pregnant girl, probably in her early to mid 30s.  I asked about her pregnancy, her current child (son, age 2), and all the typical questions around “what are you having?”, “what do you want to have?”, “any names picked out?”, etc…and it lead into the discussion about how she has these amazing pregnancies and she’s been blessed with good genes in being able to get pregnant relatively easily and have no horrendous pregnancy symptoms like the majority of women.  Inside I started to cringe, as would most women suffering from IF – as soon as she said “able to get pregnant relatively easily” I wanted to puke.  But, then something interesting happened – she started talking about how she and some of her friends discussed surrogacy and it came up because of a mutual friend who needed a kidney transplant.  They all did the question of “would you ever donate an organ as a live donor?” and that transpired into “probably wouldn’t because of the risk, but I would be a surrogate”.  It was interesting to listen to her talk about a few close friends of theirs who have been struggling to get pregnant and how she wishes she could help and that’s why she is so grateful to be able to have her son and this current pregnancy when she knows how tough it is for so many others.  It was like a sign from the heavens – AHHHHHHHH.  Someone who isn’t a PCOS’er or struggling with IF who actually freakin’ GETS IT. 

I don’t know if it was the shock of having someone who admitted to thinking about being pregnant and getting a positive test result and having smooth sailing I LOVE BEING PREGNANT pregnancies who was also sensitive and mindful of those who are not in her camp – but I immediately blurted out that I was currently being treated for IF and just recently went through my third failed cycle and am about 2 years into this TTC journey.  It was like I couldn’t stop myself.  I also told her the story about how I had a dream in the beginning of this journey that my (our) hair stylist was my surrogate and I came in and told Mary and she was so honored and, to this day, I’d actually consider it if it needed to happen (and she would, too).  We went on to have a good 30-45 minute conversation about my journey and how hard it is and how hard it is for people to understand or even just to empathize with what you’re going through.  I commended her on being so thoughtful not only about her friends who are struggling, but on considering her body to help other couples.  It’s an extremely selfless thing to do and that showed me what kind of person she is.

I left the salon that night (4 hours later – OMG, seriously!) and not only did I walk out with a great color, cut, and blow dry – but with this new feeling of “coming out”.  I outted myself to a total stranger!  I have a hard enough time picking and choosing the friends and family in my life who know – but here I was in a hair salon dishing out my secret.  I give a lot of credit to those individuals who have no problem admitting to the world and everyone they personally know what they are struggling with – even now, I don’t think I could put a status update on FB, for example, that says “Krista is struggling with infertility and wants nothing more than to be a mom”.  I can write it all out here, quasi-anonymously or I can post on SoulCysters under a forum name, and I can keep an Email chain going with select individuals – but I can’t totally come out of the closet.  I admit it – I have that fear.  I have the fear of all the things that I often find myself feeling – the fear of being thought of as broken, worthless, sick and the stereotypes that go along with IF treatment such as that I’m destined to be an octomom.  I don’t want to be judged – I don’t want IF or PCOS to define who I am.  But it’s hard because, right now in my life, it is SO much of who I am.  And I find it remarkable that I could come right out and talk to a total stranger about it – but could never do that in my personal life.  So often we’re whispering about my situation, we’re coming up with excuses to tell people when they ask why we don’t have any children yet, and we’re trying to shove it all under the mat.  I often wonder which side of the fence is easier:  All out or All in?  Or where I am now – which is a mixture of both? 

Who knows what my next stranger interaction will bring me – maybe it will bottle me back up to where I only talk about it with “those in the know” or maybe I’ll inch that much closer to coming out totally.  Or, in the end, does it really matter?  I guess it’s about what makes me feel comfortable in the moment – but I can honestly say I often wonder how liberating it would be to scream it to everyone I know…

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