IVF #2, WTF Appointment

I’ll write this post in two sections — the before and after.

BEFORE:

Tomorrow, we go for our WTF (Why The Fail, a translation for those faint of heart) appointment.  I have some prediction for what the RE will say/recommend:

  • Donor eggs
  • Surrogacy (technically, gestational carrier)
  • Just do it again — it’ll work… eventually.  Blather, blather, 66% of couples, blather, blather, 3 IVF tries.

I just don’t think I’m going to do any of those.  Here’s my reason why, in order:

  • Why would donor eggs help?  It’s my body that’s killing my perfectly good embryos.
  • Yes, surrogacy would increase our chances.   But I’ve only made 3-5 eggs, which means it would be a ONE SHOT deal.  That’d be fine if it cost a reasonable amount of money.  It doesn’t.  We’d be paying completely out-of-pocket, which would be about $50,000 from what I’ve seen online.
  • Do it again?  I don’t think I can.  Emotionally, I’m done.  I have zero hope and positive energy left for my body’s ability to carry a child.  Physically, it’s really hard.  I hate the hormones raging and falling.  I still have lumps in my butt.  My skin is flaring, though thankfully not as bad as last time.  Monetarily, we’re wiped.  I can’t justify spending one more penny on something that has so little chance of success.  We’re not millionaires, and we don’t have money to keep throwing into my ovaries/butt. 🙂

So, there’s where I am today, the day before.  I’ll update once I see the RE tomorrow, though I think not much will have changed.

I have already had my period, which was a relief.  Last time, it took over a week to start and it was REALLY painful.

I’ve also spent hours and hours reading books about adoption.  I am completely overwhelmed.  I can’t even make a basic decision about domestic vs. international.  I have no idea if I care about age or gender or sibling groups.  I don’t know what special needs really means.  I’m not sure how I feel about transracial adoption (I know I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t know how I think the child will feel).  I wonder if fostering is a terrible idea.
Some days (most of the time, I’m not), I feel really bitter about women who tried for a few months and then got pregnant and never every had to worry about any of this stuff.  Today is one of those days.   See the funny/wonderful e-card to the side.  I’d like to have that message in a t-shirt.  Or, maybe I could have it as a business card, which I could pull out, then slap someone who tells me that I’m not pregnant because it’s not part of some completely f-ed up plan or something equally ridiculous.  I saw that e-card over on JJiraffe’s blog and you can find the link to the card here.

AFTER:

Well, I was right.  Those were the three suggestions.  For the do it again, the RE said that if I did it again, I’d do the lupron stuff in addition to the antagonist protocol. I don’t know what that means.  Also, the spotting I had on both that went away probably indicates that the embryos tried to implant and then stopped growing.  As I expected.

Once we mentioned surrogacy, that was it for the discussion of me getting pregnant.  I really think the RE doesn’t believe my immune system will let me get pregnant.  It’s just stopping anything from growing and developing.  Damn you ridiculous immune system.  Didn’t you get the memo?

Anyway, DH and I talked about the surrogacy option, but it just seems too complicated.  Using an agency is too expensive ($25 – 50 grand).  Finding a family member or friend sounds great, until you think about how that would really work out.  What if she got pre-eclampsia?  What if she blamed me for some issue that was created during the pregnancy?  What if, and this is the big one, we spend another $15 – 20 grand and she still doesn’t get pregnant?  Or miscarries?  What kind of guilt and hard feelings might that create?  It’s just too expensive and too risky.

After a brief, but good, conversation with DH, I think we’re going to move towards adoption and adoption through fostering.  This is a new plan and one that I need to spend more time with, but it’s a plan I feel most drawn to right now.

So… after is just like before, except this time, I feel like I can actually make a plan. That plan may change, my world may take over my plans, but I can at least make a plan and move forward.

Now… to figure that plan out!

 

IVF#2, Meds are HERE

So, the meds are here!  I spent the morning, with the house VERY quiet, to make sure I could hear the FedEx truck (he came once while I was in the bedroom, watching TV while folding one load of laundry with another in the washer and another in the dryer, and I didn’t hear him at all.  That time, he was just leaving shoes.  This time, it’s a BIT more important, so no laundry!).  I have a shit-ton of meds this time, including 77 vials of Gonal F.  Last time, I did 75 IUs of Follistim (I think) for 3 days.  Since I have 7 days worth and it’s supposed to last 11 days, by my maths, I’ll be taking up to or more than 525 IUs of Gonal F a day.  Since it’s my understanding that these meds are very similar, this is a pretty big increase. I can already feel my ovaries getting ready to GROW, big and full of follicles with eggs in ’em.

So, my cost, thus far, for the second IVF is:

$3400 deposit for IVF procedure

$5357.44 for medications (so far).

I’m still missing some prednisone and the Lovenox, I think, so I guess the price will go up to about $6000 or so.  Also, I don’t have enough insurance money to pay for the whole cycle, so I’ll end up paying more once this is all done (oh please, let that bill including the cost of freezing embryos). I’ll find out more about meds and dosing when I go to the office on Saturday and get my calendar.  I am getting excited about this cycle.  I mean a 40% chance that I’ll get a baby is way bigger than the one in 175.7 million for the Mega Millions lottery right now (yes, I have a ticket.  Wish me luck!) and people are tweeting about how they’re going to spend the money and standing in line at “lucky” stores.  In fact, if you think about a 2 in 5 chance compared to 1 in 175.7 million, I think that means I’m practically statistically already pregnant! :0)

Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

So, it’s 10:14 AM, and I’ve already had a horrible day.  Here’s a recap:

  • I went to the gym.  Even though I’ve eaten ONLY fruits, vegetables, beans, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts and protein supplement for 8 days — and not much of those, I’ve only lost about 5 pounds.  I’ve also exercised for about 45 -60 minutes per day.  And today, I’d gained about a pound since Saturday. WHAT THE F(&* IS UP WITH THAT?
  • I got in a fight with my DH.  A big one.  Then we made up, at least I hope so.
  • I’m about to ovulate…but see point above.  We’re not really “make up sex” kind of people.
  • I just paid $3400 for an IVF cycle that I’m totally not sure will work.
  • My foot huts.
  • My hair looks weird today
  • I don’t like my outfit
  • I just found out that I have to drive 6 hours on Saturday for a class that I’m sure will not benefit me at all.

I’m going to work, for 2 hours, then I’m coming home and taking a break.  I can’t handle today today.  Maybe tomorrow today will be better.

There will be time, there will be time

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;         25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;         30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

That quote above is from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” one of my all time favorite poems.  It’s so sad and so frustrating, yet also so beautiful and lyrical.

I was thinking of this poem because we changed our minds about the IVF cycle and decided to do the March/April cycle instead of the January/February one.  There are many reasons, but I guess these are the main ones:

  • I’m still 10 pounds (instead of 15, yay!) heavier than when I started the first IVF.  That is still about 50 pounds over where I should be and where I’d be happiest.
  • I still have this dream/hope/unrealistic notion that maybe I can get pregnant without IVF, and I’d have only had one chance to try that idea out if we do the January cycle.  Doing the March instead means we have November, December  and January to try.  Yes, I know that I have DOR (diminished ovarian reserve) and that I should be anxious about time.  But I have to also not be too hasty.
  • Partly money.  Doing IVF right now means we’d be completely strapped until February next year.  That’s not comfortable.
  • Mostly TIME.  I’m going to try to graduate in May.  That means I have to collect all my data and write 3 chapters of my dissertation by March and defend BY April.  The sooner the better with all that dissertation stuff though, since potentially, I’ll spend most of March and April in IVF land.  When I think back to this summer, I can’t really remember what IVF was like.  It’s like my brain is refusing to capture all of that. I do remember that it took a lot of time.
“There will be time, there will be time…”  Who knew that time would start to seem so short already, that I’d feel like I’m running out of time for my own life.  I’m 34, not 94, but I still feel like I don’t have enough time in my life for all the things I want to have happen in my life.
 I’ll be  in the official 35 and over category the next time I’m going into that egg retrieval/egg transfer phase and get to hear all the statistics about that.  Probably means she’ll put every embryo that happens back up in there and I’ll end up as the new Kate.  If that happens, I’m definitely getting a personal trainer and a chef.  I wanna look good on E!

Riddikulus!

I wish that I were in Hogwarts many times.  Yes, I know Voldemort/Tom Riddle is a total PITA but everything else is pretty sweet.  Plus, if I were in Harry Potter, then I could use my wand and shout RIDDIKULUS! at anything the boggart presented to me and it would just immediately turn into something funny.  That’d be pretty neat, right?

Well, we finally made a somewhat solid decision and are going to do the IVF in the January/February cycle.  I am already dreading the daily round of shots and the constant visits with Wandy.  I’m still crazy/hopeful enough that I’m not going to go pay the money for the IVF or start the BCP until I actually start my period this month.  Crazy because, yeah, right, 2 weeks of baby aspirin will magically fix me (I bet Hermione knows a spell for infertility.  She went to the library…).  Hopeful, because why can’t I have that story, that “she was all set to do her second IVF after a miserable failure the first time…” story.

The biggest concern I have about this, is that we’ll fork out yet more money (if I can’t qualify for free drugs, that will be over $20,000 we’ve spent (total) for 2 medicated cycles, 1 IUI cycle, and 2 IVF cycles.  That’s the price WITH insurance.  Once the insurance is up, I don’t really know what our options will be.

If there was a boggart in front of me right now, it’d turn into a negative pregnancy test with a $20,000 price tag.  Now, how did that spell go…?

 

Cycle Day Unknown!

So, I am not keeping track of my cycle this time, at all. I had to look on my phone (I have a cycle tracking app) Wed to answer the IVF nurse’s question about when my period is due.  It feels great.  I’m tired of knowing how many more days until my period starts.  Who needs to know that, really???

Wednesday’s appointment was all about IVF.  The RE walked in and said, “how long have you been trying?”  I answered, “a year and a half, but that’s 24 cycles for me.”  She replied, “That’s not good.”  HA!  I’ve been telling DH that exact same thing for months now.

We’re set for IVF in August.  I call when my period starts, then go on BCP (ugh, I hate BCP. I tried to talk them into letting me use Nuvaring, but no.  I must take pills). End of July/Beginning of August, we start all the meds for ovarian stimulation (which in my head sounds like the beginning of a summer blockbuster advertisement… IN A WORLD…!).  Then I go live with the RE for a month, or close to it.

I’m thinking I will do acupuncture with this cycle. I’m way too rational (translation: skeptical) to think acu is magic, but I do think that it might be calming. I could use some calm.  Calm is nice.  Bring on the calm, but don’t charge me too much for it.  Speaking of charging, I think I’m going to sell stuff on e-bay to help pay for all this.

Cycle 22, Day 2

So, after a busy week/weekend, I’m popping in to write this, mostly to make it a plan that is more concrete and so it will quit circling around in my head.

I am going to do one more medicated cycle this month (May).  Hopefully that will be the end of the story for the “how to” get part of this story.

If not, then I will skip June, save lots of money in the meantime, and do the July-August IVF cycle, just in time for the fall semester (oh, and comps!  COMPS! How am I going to do comps??!??).

So, on the phone in the AM, Clomid starts tomorrow night.  Now, about that 20 page paper due tomorrow I haven’t started yet…