Thursday, May 31, 2012

The talk

Today was the day of THE talk with the RE.  No, we didn't break up, in fact we decided that we will be seeing a lot more of each other.   You see, it has been decided that due to my poor response to the meds, IVF is our only chance.   I haven't really thought about how I feel about that yet. 

I set an appointment with the financial counselor up for next Thursday.  In preparation, I went over our budget and projected income.  If Mark does NOT work any overtime (overtime is projected, but I wanted to be conservative), and our vehicles do not need too many repairs when they need licensed in July and August, then we may be able to swing an August IVF.  Most likely, it will be September, but we are going to try for August.   For now, I am on birth control to hopefully regulate some hormones, and I will also be continuing with the evil metformin.

I know I have said it many times before, but I am just so amazed at how things have been working financially for us.   A little over a year ago, Mark was just starting back to work after two years of unemployment and we were in danger of losing our house.   Now we are capable or raising $12,000 in just a few months.   I wish that we had gone straight to IVF though, because of the large amount that we spent trying to do IUIs.   If we had, we would be able to do the IVF the end of June.  GRRR!  I know that it is the difference of only a few weeks, but it seems like forever.  How I wish our insurance plan covered IVF!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Waiting Place.

"The waiting place....
for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go 
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow 
or the waiting around for a yes or no
or waiting for their hair to grow.
 Everyone is just waiting."
-Dr. Suess 

 Time to pour my heart out!!!  I feel as though I am at this waiting place.  Waiting for all the ifs, whens, and mightsWe can't plan a trip because we might be pregnant.  When we have kids we will do such and such thing.   If we get pregnant this cycle we will (fill in the blank).  I'm tired of waiting for life to begin.   I don't want to look back at my life when I am eighty and realize that I spent it all in the "waiting place".  I don't want to reach 30 and feel that way!  Infertility has put our entire life on hold.  Yet, we don't dare put infertility on hold, because we only have five and half years left until the dreaded advanced maternal age kicks in.  My new goal is to live life to its' fullest in spite of infertility.  This summer will be filled with camping, trips to the lake for fishing and swimming, a carnival or two, parades, fireworks, barbecues and maybe even a trip to the state fair.

We will have the summer of a lifetime as soon as Mark is no longer working out of town to pay for treatments, I feel better from the side effects, we have spare money for fun, and more than three days without a doctor's appointment.  Yup, we are not going to wait any more.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


On Thursday afternoon I meet with our RE to discuss what to do next.  Apparently, he is concerned over my poor response during the last two cycles.  So am I, quite frankly.  That concern has given me a lot to think about.

Are we doing the right thing?  As I watch the savings account dwindle with each treatment, I think of the debt that could be paid off, the home improvements that could be made and the traveling that could be done.  Of course, if the treatments resulted in a real, live, take-home baby the costs will seem like nothing in comparison.  The rewards will outweigh the costs exponentially.  However, we are not paying for a baby, we are paying for a chance at a baby.  It feels like gambling.  Is a chance worth delaying the other things and experiences that we want out of life?  It feels as though we are playing Russian Roulette with our fertility, our dreams, and our finances.  Is it the right thing to do?  If I was responding better, I might not be so hesitant, but I have had to fight for EVERY. SINGLE. BIT. of follicle growth.  What if there is never enough?  Where do you draw the line between searching for baby and ransoming your future?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cycle two cancelled

I just got the call, this cycle is cancelled too.   We have a sit down consult schedule to talk about what to do next on the 31st.   I'm heartbroken.

The news....

My cycle day 26 follicle scan was this morning and the news was not as bad as I was expecting, but it wasn't good either.   The largest follicle is still stubbornly refusing to grow past 11 mm.  I am okay with that, it just seems par for the course for me.   The thing that turned me into a bawling mess is much worse.

This morning my scan was done by a different nurse practitioner than I usually have.  She seemed nice enough, that is, she seemed nice until we saw that I was still only at an 11.  At that point she started talking about how I might not be a good candidate for an IUI and that the answer may be IVF.  I lost it.   I became a slobbering, nose running, red faced sobbing mess.   So much for not crying, right?  IVF really is not an option for us right now, considering what we just spent on the last two cycles.  Also, if we can't get mature follicles for an IUI, how exactly are we going to get even more mature follicles for an IVF?  Did she mean a donor IVF?  Isn't it too soon to make that call after only two cycles when everything else checks out okay?  As all that ran through my mind, I tuned the nurse out completely and decided that she wasn't so nice after all. 

At this point, we could continue this cycle in hopes that we might see more growth, or we could cancel and move on to whatever next cycle brings.   The nurse didn't want to make that decision without checking with the RE first, and he was in surgery.  I am waiting for the phone call that will determine the fate of this cycle.   I can't decide which result I am hoping for.  On one hand, we have  sunk so much money into this cycle, so I don't want to throw it away by cancelling.   On the other hand, it is CD 26, and sinking more money into the cycle hoping for growth might be useless.   I wish someone else could make the decision for me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The night before...

It is late at night the night before my cycle day 26 follicle scan.  That's right, cycle day 26.  Sigh.   I can't seem to bring myself to go to bed.  It's that strange combination of excitement and dread that is keeping me awake.  I fully expect to go into my appointment tomorrow and find out that the follicle growth has stalled again, or even worse, the lining is done for this cycle.  I am not ready to hear that news.  I need good news, like I need to breathe. 
I don't know if it is a matter of being lonely because of Mark working out of town, lack of sleep, or if it is the meds, but I feel so fragile tonight.  Even though I love the nurse practitioner that does the follicle scans, I don't want to cry in front of her.  It's silly, I know that.   I know that I would not be the first or the last to cry in front of her when given bad news.   Yet, it just seems like avoiding crying is the last shred of control that I have.  I need that control.  I just haven't figured out how to avoid crying if the news is bad tomorrow. 

This week in the garden

I think May is my favorite month, because in our neck of the woods, it is planting season. The last few days have been spent getting my hands dirty and putting in the vegetable garden. I still have quite a bit to plant, but so far, the tomatoes, cucumbers, honey dew, summer squashes, carrot, onions, lettuce and green beans are in. Hopefully, tomorrow I will get the corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, garlic and winter squashes planted. I am also adding a few new herbs to the herb garden.

The peonies are in full bloom, and despite my best attempts at building a frame to keep them upright, they are lying flat again. I really need to split the bush this fall, but I am scared to. This bush was the first thing that I planted in our yard after we bought our house. The root ball came from my great grandmother's front yard, a place filled with many happy childhood memories. Walking past the bush makes me smile without fail. Splitting the bush might kill it, it's always a risk, so I keep neglecting to do it. 


The snapdragons are also in full bloom, and attracting lots of butterflies and damselflies. The other evening as I chatted on the phone on the front porch, I watched our cat stalking the butterflies. I guess better butterflies than birds?

 Right now we are harvesting strawberries like crazy, and this year they are the sweetest that we have ever had. We also had some voluntary black seeded simpson lettuce (our favorite) come up from last year. There is nothing like fresh garden lettuce!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Welcome, May ICLWers!

I just wanted to welcome all of you that are visiting from ICLW! 

To fill you in, Mark and I have been TTC for eight years, however it wasn't until recently that we decided to pursue ART.  We are currently in our second cycle of attempting to get to an IUI.   I have insulin resistance, PCOS, and I respond very poorly to the drugs!   Our last cycle was cancelled after follicle growth stalled out on us at an 8.   We are currently on CD 24, still taking Bravelle and hoping that my appointment on Wednesday will give us growth past our current largest follicle of 11 mm.  I am fairly convinced that this cycle will not bring us to the end of our journey, but I am hoping that it will give us enough information so that next one will!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ever so slowly...

The good news is that we had follicle growth at this morning's appointment.   The bad news is that it only brought us up to an 11.   The lining still looks great, so we are soldiering on with more Bravelle.   Three days at three vials each followed by two days at two vials each.   I go back Wednesday for another follicle scan.  That would make it cycle day 26.  I wonder if there is ever a point when it is too late to trigger even if the lining still looks good?   I think if this cycle doesn't work we may have to take a cycle off simple because of the cost!  We are at $2200+ for this month alone, and we still need to order three vials of Bravelle (at least) and do the actual IUI.  That isn't even counting the free ultrasound, and free drugs we have gotten, which would bring us well over $3000.  Life would be so much better if I was responding better!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Side effects...

   We have been switching back and forth this cycle between Bravelle and Gonal F.  The up side is that we have gotten better results, the downside is the side effects.    Last cycle, while I was using only the Bravelle, I found it very difficult to get to sleep, but what sleep I did get was restful and was enough to keep me going.   This cycle the difficulties with sleeping are amplified, which makes sense, considering that we doubled the Bravelle dosage.   It takes me hours to fall asleep and then I wake up with hot flashes that make me want to peel my skin off.   I was dealing with this and managing to hold it together until we added in the Gonal F.   Within the first hour of the first injection, I was ready for a nap, absolutely exhausted, yet I couldn't fall asleep.  Considering that I do all my injections first thing in the morning, I should have known it was a bad sign!  This has gone on for almost a week.   I am averaging about 2-3 hours of sleep a night.   I am soooo tired!  
   Also, last cycle I had absolutely no bruising at the injection sites.   This time?  My stomach is covered with yellow, green and purple bruises that hurt to touch, let alone stick a needle into!   Also, the skin around the injection sites is getting oddly dry and rough.  My skin is not healing as well from the injections, either, so I am beginning to resemble a much loved pincushion.  
   I am also very uncomfortably bloated, I am hoping that just means the follicles are growing and doing their thing, but I somehow doubt it.   Add in that it's time for spring allergies and I am one miserable, tired, hormonal grump!
  As I sit around the house doing nothing because I a so uncomfortable and tired, all I can think about is the garden that needs put in, the laundry waiting to be washed, the dogs needing walked etc.  Yet, I just cannot bring myself to do any of it.  I feel as though a stiff breeze would be enough to make me cry right now.  I am afraid that if I started crying right now, that I wouldn't stop.  I hate feeling this helpless....this fragile. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We Have a 10!!!

Who knew that 2mm could make me so happy!  Today is cycle day 18 and I had a follicle scan this morning.   I was fully expecting for the cycle to be cancelled, but we had growth!   Also, the lining still looks good, so we are going to keep going with the drugs.   Even better, my great nurse practitioner gave me another box of Gonal F and did not charge me for the scan.  Whoo Hoo!   I will be taking 225 units of Gonal F today and tomorrow, followed by 150 units (two vials) of Bravelle on Thursday.   Friday I get another follicle scan.   Grow, Follies Grow!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Better than the Original!

This cover is definitely better than LMAFO's original!

I survived.

I survived Mother's day.   The day involved lots of junk food, netflix and burying my head in the sand.   This year was particularly hard because I had hoped to be doing an IUI this weekend, instead it looks as though this cycle will be cancelled again.   Even so, this year had a glimmer of maybe attached to it that we have never had before.  I took my last dose of gonal-f this morning as well as a single dose of bravelle.  Tomorrow brings two vials of bravelle and the next day we will have another ultrasound!  I am expecting that Tuesday will produce no new follicle growth and for the cycle to be cancelled.  I do have to admit that I am trying to be much so that I have been buying into several of the old wives tales, such as using hot packs, drinking lots of whole milk and propping my feet up against a wall.   I feel silly doing these things, but I'm getting desperate!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cycle day 14

I had yet another ultrasound today.   Unfortunately, there has been no more follicle growth.   We are still farther ahead than we were at this point last cycle, so we are not giving up yet!   In fact, we are adding a new drug to the mix....Gonal F.   I go back Tuesday for another follicle check.   I wonder if people with a poor response to Bravelle get better responses from Gonal?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


It feels as though our checking account has been hemorrhaging lately.   In the last twelve days we have:
  1. Made an expensive trip to the aviary, buying both lunch and dinner out.   It was a rare treat for us and we needed the diversion.
  2. Realized that both of our window unit air conditioners needed had central air installed instead.  This was a huge splurge, but I just couldn't imagine a hot Utah summer with inefficient air conditioning and hot flashes from fertility drugs!
  3. Had new attic insulation blown in.  This was part of an energy conservation rebate program, and we will get 85% of the cost back from our power and gas companies in a few weeks.  It will save us money in the long run, but for now the money is gone.
  4. Spent a thousand or so on fertility treatments, with plans and hopes to spend even more if we get to the IUI.   
  5. Paid a ridiculous amount of money at the gas pumps to fill both vehicles' tanks.   This was a shock for me because I rarely let my SUV get below a half tank but this time I was nearly empty and the price made me cringe.   Good thing I only fill up about once a month!
It's times like this that make me grateful for the job opportunities that Mark has had this year.   It is really hard having him work away from home four days a week, but the pay is worth it.   I doubt we would be pursuing treatments without it.   I am amazed every time that I pay for an ultrasound, or another batch of drugs at how much things just fell into place for us once we decided to pursue treatments.  It makes me think that we are on the right path, and that this will be it...that we will be successful, and then I think of our last cycle being cancelled.   I refuse to worry this time around.  I will just go with the flow and everything will be golden......right?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

it's better.....

This morning, I had my first follicle check for this cycle and things look much better than last time.  In fact, they are already better than they were at the end of last cycle!   Today I had two larger follicles on the right side measuring 8.8 and 7.8 mm.  On the left side I had one measuring 6.7.  At this point last cycle, I had no measurable follicles.   In fact, last cycle, my largest follicle was just 8 mm and that was not achieved until cycle day 15.   I am already out pacing myself.  I am doing three more days of Bravelle, two vials at a time, and then I go back for another ultrasound on cycle day 14. 

I am so glad that today brought good news!  I had been getting really mired down with all the emotional muck of pursuing treatments   Today felt like I was seeing a little glimmer of the maybe someday.  I am going to be crossing my fingers and toes,and holding my breathe until Friday.  Oh! just let them continue to grow!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tracy aviary!

We visited tracy aviary last weekend with a few friends and the trip was totally worth it!  We even got to hand feed some of the birds which was a blast!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Here we go again!

We are well into the process of a second attempt at an IUI cycle.   I take my last dose of clomid tonight and begin injections in the morning!

I am apprehensive about this cycle because it feels as though there has not been as many changes to my protocol as I would like.  The clomid was upped to 100 mg a day from 50.   We are also doing double doses of bravelle from the very beginning so hopefully we will have some follicle growth this time.