I knew it was bound to happen. I just wasn’t expecting it now.

Today, I heard back from the pharmacy and they checked with my insurance which “doesn’t cover any fertility medication or treatments” …. did I need to be reminded again?

We then went in for our scheduled bloodwork around noon, right when we said we would be there, and our IVF nurse was AT LUNCH. That meant another nurse (now in an awkward situation) had to scramble to make sense of what I knew and find which consent forms we needed to sign today. In addition, she had to very quickly assess this situation and make an educated guess as to why we were doing certain tests.

I happened to ask if these tests were covered in our IVF cycle payment… and it’s not. These tests are all in addition to the way-too-big-number I had finally come to accept as the price of our IVF. Why isn’t there a breakdown of the cost? Why haven’t we been better informed? Why can’t things just go the way I plan them to go? (15 vials of my blood and 5 vials of his blood later, we’re moving forward with it)

The additional cost followed by a question of whether we wanted to continue with IVF this cycle triggered the monsoon of tears. I felt completely unconsolable. I simply couldn’t stop it. Luckily, I didn’t have any afternoon commitments so I did my best to distract myself. Lunch was by myself because the whole confusion at the clinic put us behind schedule and we didn’t get to eat together. I did a little window shopping but tears welled up in my eyes the whole time. Three hours later with the help of a phone conversation with my mom, I was able to collect myself to do my work and make it to my acupuncture appointment.

My acupuncturist pointed out some things that I have been doing to myself: looking at my personality traits as a negative, beating myself up over things that aren’t my fault, and setting myself up for more meltdowns. Of course, she didn’t list those things. She just caught me as I was talking and rephrased my words to compliment my strengths. I might just learn something about myself through this process!

I’m certain I will have more meltdowns, but I have a heads-up on my triggers now and a plan of action to lessen the anxiety that sets me up for meltdowns. Plus, I need more hugs from my Mr. Wonderful… that’s a prescription I don’t mind filling over and over again.

Prep for Day One

Yesterday, I met with my new acupuncturist. I look forward to working with her more. We have appointments set up for another this week and then once a week through egg retrieval near the end of February.

Today was my first day of oral contraceptives to prepare for day one of ivf stimulation drugs.

Tomorrow, both of us go in to have blood drawn for some labs they want to run prior to starting the stimulation meds.

Next week, we both go in for about 3.5 hours of injection training, financial planning, and more tests. They will do an analysis for him and a doppler ultrasound (to check blood flow), hysteroscopy (a camera analysis of the uterus), and a trail embryo transfer (no embryos involved for now).

At this time, the official “day one” is February 14, but I feel like today is the first day one. I know this process will not come to conclusion until sometime near the end of April or beginning of May, but I can’t help get excited. After this, we will know more than we know now. We may have some answers. We may have a baby or few!

And then it begins!

Finally! Since it is a Sunday, I have to wait to call in until tomorrow. Yay for moving on!

…When You’re Waiting…

Sometimes you wish it would never come and sometimes it just can’t get here fast enough… of course, this is EVERYTHING you want when you’re waiting for it. 

Our IVF cycle is on hold until “AF” comes. Even though I usually dread this time of the month because it bookmarks another failed attempt to conceive, this month it is the only thing holding us back.  We’ve had lots of things to keep us busy this month (house projects, my birthday, his birthday, busy times at work) but I still feel the days lazily dragging on.

I am realistic that IVF is never a guarantee and that our huge financial gamble could end in disappointment, but the one thing it will provide either way is an answer. We’ll get an answer for all the questions (why? why not? what if?) and we can begin to move forward according to the answer we receive. We can start actively moving forward again, trying something new, or getting on with the rest of our life.

Looking back on all this, I know it will all seem relatively brief, the money well spent, and the frustration and pain overwhelmed with many happy memories … but that seems a long ways away when you’re waiting.

IVF Meds – Opinions welcome!

Okay, here is the list. Please share with me your experience with any of these.

before retrieval (enough for up to 10 days)
Menopur 150 units/day
Follistim 225 units/day
Saizen 2 vials of 8.8 mg
Ganirelex 5 syringes (to prevent ovulation)
after transfer
Progesterone (PIO shots through pregnancy test, then can switch to crinone or other that I didn’t write down)
Estrogen (estrace and vivelle patches)

What I Eat

Over the past 14 months, I have adjusted what I eat a few times. I made HUGE changes November of 2011 eating for Traditional Chinese Medicine, taking herbs along with acupuncture. After following that plan for 7 months, I made another change.

I met with a naturopath who recommended I continue to steer clear of dairy but that I also stay away from gluten and wheat. I started that very day and noticed changes after three days. My mind cleared up. I could follow a whole conversation without losing focus. I started to “get” jokes. I know, it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but for me, it is worth the adjustment. I have experimented with adding it back into my diet (once was accidental) and I end up with a nasty stomach ache.

After staying away from dairy for over a year, I began adding it back. The result? Abdominal pain. Sad day.

I also adjusted my vitamins. The naturopath suggested I begin a whole slew of supplements which led me to buying a weekly pill organizer with a separate area for AM and PM doses. Some of which were chaste, evening primrose oil, vitamin D, calcium/magnesium, and DHEA in addition to a four-pill-a-dose prenatal.

I have stopped the chaste and DHEA. I felt the DHEA was making my scalp burning hot and sensitive. I also felt that I was losing much more hair than normal when I began the IUI cycles. My scalp is significantly less sensitive and the excessive hair loss has let up. Due to my MTHFR homozygous c677t diagnosis, I have added folate but not folic acid.

I changed my prenatal to a food-based vitamin so the folate is food-based so it is more easily used. I have added an additional folate as methylfolate, b-12 as methylcobalamin, and b-6 as p-5-p (pyridoxal-5′-phosphate). All these forms of b vitamins are more easily used.

So, for the question “what DO you eat?”
I eat anything I want whenever I want. I just avoid dairy, gluten, and wheat. Yes, I also avoid processed foods (including caffeine and sugar) as much as possible, too.

Is it worth it?
If my health and happiness isn’t worth it, what is?