Saturday, March 20, 2010

A New Vocabulary

Recent years have permanently altered my perspective on just about everything in life. Here are but a few things that have taken on entirely different meanings courtesy of loss and infertility. Anyone have any others to add to the list?

Beta then:

Beta now:
Note: "Beta" refers to the blood test to check for prenancy. You go to the clinic to get blood drawn and they call you later in the day with the results.

Baby Dust then:

Note: People who are trying to conceive (TTC) often wish each other "baby dust" on message boards, etc. as a way of saying "good luck".

Baby Dust now:

Belly Shots then:

Belly Shots now:

What to Expect When "Expecting" then:

What to Expect When "Expecting" now:

Update: All is not doom and gloom for us on the TTC front, despite recent posts. There may be hope yet, on which more later.

Friday, March 19, 2010

As Expected, Not "Expecting"

Words cannot convey the magnitude of this depressing news, so I won't even try. This was our last chance. *

* Unless something fabulous happens quickly for hubby on the job front, because health insurance = IVF

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware the Ides of March

There are still four days left of The Wait as I finish up my last cycle on Follistim. I fully expect the results to be negative thanks to the relentless attack endo has been waging for months near my one and only tube and ovary. That's the only place that ever hurts, and boy does it hurt. Also the sperm count was pretty rotten at IUI this time around. A few hours after the IUI, during church, I could swear I felt an egg popping out! So I seduced hubby there in the pew. We ditched the kids at church and I made him take me home immediately to make another (hopefully better) deposit before he had to rush back to church to teach a lesson. I'm a desperate woman.

I've been passing the time researching IVF and hoping to find out before Beta Day whether it's a viable option for us. I needed to know if bad news on Friday means The End For Good or just The End For Now. After much research and many phone calls, I was shocked - shocked, I tell you - to get accepted for the Cost Sharing Program at my clinic despite my losses and one ovary. Things were moving along at breathtaking speed so that we could get started next month! This might really work! Of course it might also be an even more painful and expensive way to fail, but I was cautiously optimistic. Recent years have turned me into a big pessimist and it felt good to have a little optimism, even just the small cautious type. Yes, I dared feel a little bit happy about the possibility of Something Good finally happening. That, of course, is the cue for Something Terrible to occur.

Hubby got fired! At this point, it is unclear exactly why he's fired or exactly when he's cut off as he's expected to work until the replacement is brought on. Since he works for a very large corporation, there's some hope (though not a whole lot in this economy) of finding work within the company by using the many contacts he's been cultivating in anticipation of this very event. But for now we are in survival mode (wait - isn't that where we've been for years already?!) unable to plan on ANYTHING - not income, not insurance, not spring break in exotic Illinois, and certainly not stressful and expensive IVF. No future plans of any kind. Now there's even more stress piled on when we already felt stressed nearly to the breaking point.

On second thought, I don't think I'm a pessimist at all. I'm just a realist - and life really, really sucks right now. Oh, things could be worse. We know that because they've been getting progressively worse for years now. But . . . at least we have some savings and aren't tethered to a house, which we're absolutely giddy about. And we're all reasonably healthy with no deadly diseases - just endo which sometimes makes me wish I were dead. See, I can look on the bright side. I'm a pessimistically optimistic realist.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wouldn't It Be Loverly?

I'm in the midst of examining Xtreme Measures for family building. Tragically, all of them have one thing in common - all require a five-figure sum of $$$$$. The figures are daunting, especially given the sorry state of the economy and the fact that hubby's job is in some jeopardy. Since I have always been frugal (some may say cheap) the thought of spending that much money with no guaranteed result tends to make me a little nauseous. But thanks to years of frugality we already have the five-figure sum in the bank at this moment, so no debt would be involved. Still, that's A LOT of money and the last thing I want to do is add financial stress on top of everything else.

Looking at our options and essentially planning for failure this cycle has thus far prevented hope from growing in any meaningful way. Who knows what kind of wreck I'll be in two weeks time, however, when the results are in for this last cycle with Follistim? I'm guessing it could be ugly.

Today's ultrasound showed three mature follicles (and another that's a bit too small I think) so in mere moments I will inject the Ovidrel and also give my ovary a stern warning: "This is a stick-up! Quietly hand over the eggs to the tube, or next time the needle may be in you!"

Yes, IVF may be on the table after all. I've found that some of the four local infertility clinics don't automatically disqualify me from the cost sharing program due to my lone ovary, and there's some chance I could get in despite my three losses in a row.  It'll take some more research, paperwork, and consultations to get a firm answer. I just have to hope that at least one clinic will buy the "cord-related losses are just random bad luck" theory.

For now, though, we're focused on giving this cycle our best shot. Whacking Day falls on the Sabbath this time. Please pray for us! May our time in the Porn Room/Stirrups be blessed with success! I don't have high hopes, but wouldn't it be lovely if it actually worked?! It would be so wonderful not to endure the intense stress of further infertility treatment and all the needles and probing that go with it, to say nothing of being able to use the $$$$$ we've saved for a house, as intended.

All I want is a room somewhere
Babe and I in a rocking chair
An answer to a prayer
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?

What we need are some good gametes
Then baby smiling in the back seat
Wee face, wee hands, wee feet
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?

UPDATE: Sunday morning 11 am - Sperm count at IUI 10 million with 50% motility. Not the greatest number. Insert expletives here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

If I Only Had A Brain

For the last 3+ years I have suffered from short-term memory loss, much like Dory from Finding Nemo. I assume this is another of the myriad trauma-induced symptoms since my losses. Does anyone else have this?

Sometimes the results have been comical, like the time I shaved a big bald spot on hubby's head. Well, maybe he didn't think it was so funny. I was giving him a haircut and forgot to put the length attachment on the clippers. This was the day before a big job interview. He didn't get that job.

Sometimes it can be scary, like the time I forgot the stove was on. A children's book that was on the stovetop got burned all the way through, but did not catch fire. Whew!

The lowest low point was in the months immediately following my losses. I had to keep a 3 x 5 card with my address and phone number by the phone. This enabled me to rattle off this information convincingly when verifying my identity for paying bills and making appointments.  I don't know who I am anymore.

I forget things all the time - my kids' tennis lessons, swimming lessons, dance class, birthday parties, dentist appointments, etc. I forget peoples' names. I forget what day it is. Last month I forgot to pay the rent. I forget why I went downstairs or what I need to get at the store. I try to compensate by keeping ridiculously detailed lists of EVERYTHING I need to do. . . but what good is that when I forget where I put the list or forget to look at it?

Finally this week I thought I'd figured out a way to get my act together. I programmed my cell phone to beep in advance of every scheduled event to remind me. So . . . this morning at 9:30 the phone alarm went off and I was totally confused. What's that noise? Where's it coming from? Oh yeah - I set the cell phone to go off before Tania's dance class! Hey, at least I'd already remembered that she had dance class today - I just forgot about the reminder. I'm an idiot, a dimwit, a moron. I'm going to get Alzheimer's for sure. It's starting already.

I miss my brain. Not so very many years ago, I was well-organized and intelligent. At least that's the way I remember it . . .