I've been fairly quiet over here in Pufferland as life has been busy, busy, busy.
In fact, tonight is the first night in over a week I'm not out and about. I had plans tonight, but I cancelled them as the weather outside is frightful. I can do rain. I can do cold. I don't particularly like either, but the combination of rain+cold makes me miserable.
After the 3K in sperm was accepted and then rejected by our flex spending with A.D.P., we made an appeal....and as of yesterday they have accepted it!!! That was great news to know we didn't lose all that money.
I've had my nurse rep at UHC working with the billing rep at the RE clinic in order to figure out if we have donor egg insurance coverage or not. As of today, the clinic is rewriting their...I don't know...whatever they rewrite...and we have coverage!!! This means if I don't get pregnant with this last IVF cycle (if I even get to DO a last IVF cycle) then K can donate her eggs to me, they bill her from her 15K coverage and then bill me for the carrier portion.
The most we would have to pay is my portion if I went through this last IVF because I'll have no money left (since it was reduced 10K). That could be 10K out of pocket, but that's a lot better than the 20K we were looking at.
If my IVF cycle is cancelled due to poor response again, there's a good chance we wouldn't owe any more $$ for the egg donor cycle. All around, great news.
K is thrilled because we're back to the plan where she gets to outsource her womb!
I have been running, lifting weights, doing yoga and pilates and trying to eat as healthy as possible. I've lost 2 lbs and all my pants fit nicely again. I'm well aware that 2-5 lbs may not seem like a big deal, but I am very petite and my clothes are all very fitted. When you already wear skinny jeans there's really nowhere for that weight to go. That's why I always keep it in check. Two becomes 5 becomes 10, etc.
I made a promise to myself when I started this TTC process that I would not gain weight until I actually got pregnant. It is the ONE thing in this entire process that I have control over. It's kept me healthy, fit and sane. I'm keeping that promise to myself because it's working for me. It's really hard, but it's worth it.
The spotting finally stopped after two weeks (with a two-day period in between). No one knows why. Could just be a one-time thing.
Yes, the teenage mother really did hit me. Let's just say the subway at rush hour can be a very volatile place. It makes me really happy I walk to work and can avoid it most of the time.
My blood work from 2 weeks ago came back showing I have a little bit of a hyperactive thyroid problem. Thyroid issues issues are directly related to fertility issues. Nice. A 'normal' level is 0.4-5.2. Mine is 6.27, so usually most doctors would call this normal, but we're not taking any chances, so I start meds tomorrow and will go back in 4 weeks to have it re-tested.
Because the spotting just stopped and now I'm on a new med, I've decided to take February off. I want to have an entire month of a clean cycle to see what my body is doing. I am not comfortable with pumping more hormone drugs in the Puffer without knowing if my body has regulated itself.
My acupuncturist is going to dig deeper to try to figure out the reason behind the spotting. It could have been a chemical pregnancy in December, but there's really no way to know for sure.
I'm getting a saline sonogram done before the next IVF to make sure the ute is fine and dandy. I will schedule this as soon as AF comes next month. I had an HSG done last March and RE declared I have a perfect uterus, but I want to know more before I roll this last dice (especially with the irregular spotting).
I'm having a difficult time keeping up with the blogs and commenting. So, I've been a little silent. But I'm out here, floating around, following all your stories.
It's just hard sometimes, like tonight when I read about someone who is about to enter the 3rd trimester and I realized that if I had stayed pregnant I would be one week behind her.
Incredible for me to believe that I'm still waiting and trying but I could have been 6 months pregnant if only that sticky rice had stuck around.
It's times like this I need to focus on myself, my health and not be so focused on TTC itself.
I am just living my life and what will be, will be. All I can do is be the best vessel possible in body, mind and spirit.
Followed by my period making periodic (no pun intended) appearances
I have a box of drugs sitting on my floor that I won't be using
My IVF cycle was canceled
The $3,000 in sperm we submitted to our flex spending account was accepted...before they rejected it. Which means we may have just lost three grand.
I lost my one-of-a-kind ring and I know someone in D.itmas P.ark is wearing it and I'm pissed
Due to a re-org, I'm moving cubicles at work to the worst space in the entire office where I might as well write a sign in Chinese and Spanish announcing that I am not the receptionist and I'm not delivering any food.
I was punched in the head by a bitter teenage mother wielding a baby stroller as a WMD during rush hour when I accidentally bumped her stroller while she BLOCKED THE DOOR.
My insurance companyis sending me in circles over whether or not donor egg is covered. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes, but you pay out of pocket and then we decide if we'll reimburse and how much...for 20K out of pocket I want a better answer than that.
It's been nothing but cold and on the one day we had 'warmish' weather, I neglected to move from my desk to the outside.
I think that's all the suckage I can take in one week's time.
But hey, we have a new President! No more Southern accents in the White House!
Good News is that I'm running! My goal is to stay as healthy as possible during this forced break and get my abs back before I go stick some more needles in them. K is taking me here tonight for a belated Christmas dinner with her brother. Lobster. Yum. I have a baby shower tomorrow night for 2 gay guy friends who are having twins and I couldn't be more Thrilled for them!!! We'll go out dancing with the ladies afterwards and hopefully it will be a better experience than the last time I was in a lesbian bar. I really don't like this club at all, but since this place has mysteriously closed, we don't have many options. My BFF from uni is in town all weekend and I am really looking forward to spending time with her. She cracks me up non-stop and right now I need crack.
Puffer is treading water but Puffer starts to swim.
Last night as I sat on chair with a cat on my lap and cried in the dark, K took 30 minutes to talk me into going to the gym. Working out is the only thing that makes me feel better. Specifically: Running. I want to run and I want to keep running. I want to run until I have answers until I have a beginning and an end and this is all over.
The FSH was 2.2, but that's a false number as the estrogen brings it down. The E2 was 31. It should be between 100-150. I was only able to do two out of four estrogen patches...probably had something to do with up. But regardless, it's not good. RE said we can tweak things, I can shoot up more antagon for supression and take estrogen pills and lengthen everything for the cycle to get back on track....that didn't sound too promising.
He said, "I know you've been at this a long time and you've been so patient and willing to do whatever it takes and I completely understand if you tell me, I don't feel right about this, let's wait til next month." "I don't want to do it this month, it feels wrong. I spotted for 6 days before my period and my period came 4-5 days early." "That's what I thought you would say. I think I know you pretty well."
So I begin the waiting. Again. I really am a patient person. But I am this close to running all the way to India to live on an ashram and brainwash myself so I don't have to ever think about this again. K can come get me when she's pregnant. Just kidding. Sort of.
I always thought that IVF was the magic ticket. Instead it's turning out to be a ride I can't even get on. I've been ready to do IVF since September, since the miscarriage, since I can remember. And here it is 4 months in and I'm still waiting. Still getting older. Less hopeful. Somedays, I'm not even sure what I want anymore. TTC is getting very blurry.
Surprise, it's CD 1. It's not supposed to be. AF is 4-5 days early. I've been spotting for the last 6 days. I never spot in between cycles and no one has a clue why I was spotting.
Last night I took my last antagon shot--all 3 shots for nothing.
Today I was supposed to change my estrogen patch. I took off the old one...and did not put on a new one.
Remember this post? I knew something was up....I just didn't feel right.
I'm canceling this IVF cycle. My body is obviously out of whack and I'm not spending the last of the IVF money on a cycle that is already this screwed up.
I'll go in for Day 2 bloods tomorrow and see what the numbers are, but I'm not continuing.
At this point, I think I'll sit out the month of February and do a March IVF cycle.
I have been waiting for so long. I waited for K to be ready. I waited for K to finish her MBA. I waited to save up enough money. I have been waiting for over 4 years. I am so tired of waiting. These are the days where I seriously start to doubt if it will ever happen. I want to be pregnant or K to be pregnant or to start adoption or to start fostering or SOMETHING. Instead I am just waiting.
And if one more well-meaning person tells me to, "relax" or "I know of couples who were trying and as soon as they just stopped focusing on it, they got pregnant!" or "don't stress about it"--I swear, I will scream.
To me, that's like someone who has no addictions whatsoever, telling a heroin addict to "just stop focusing so much on their next fix and sobriety will come! You can become clean if you just relax!"
Really, if you have never tried to get pregnant and had problems doing so--you need to Shut the F*ck Up!
There have been quite a few highs and lows this week, the notable high being donated drugs.The notable low having 10K less for fertility coverage.
Regardless, it is what it is.Here the deal:It wasn't United Healthcare that did this to us—it was W.Or rather, that's who I'm blaming!You see, with the economy crashing, K's employer (we are covered on the same policy) cut all benefits to all policies for fertility.Etna, BCBS, United—they were all cut, rather quietly, from 25K to 15K for 2009.
Now, I could get all angry and stressed out and bitter, but I just can't.What will it accomplish?Absolutely nothing.That doesn't mean that I haven't gone over the events of the last year in my head and wished we'd done things differently, ie: GET AGGRESSIVE from the beginning.That's my biggest regret and always has been.Now that the benefits have been cut I'm really regretting it.But….what's done is done.I can't change it.I am not Cher and I cannot turn back time.
So, I want to only focus on the positive because I need to remind myself just how lucky and blessed I am.
I have never had a single issue with my insurance coverage.There have been no fights, no benefits denied, no hassle.That could be explained by what I initially said to them. Let's just say it's all about how you word it. I am a part of United Resource Network rather than UHC for fertility.Same Same but Different.With a few exceptions of trying to figure out which meds are covered and where do I get them, it has been a completely stress free experience.I had saved up money for years for this process never expecting to have fertility benefits, so I truly feel blessed in this regard.
I have been blessed with an outpouring of kindness and generosity through my blog friends.People I've met IRL and have become friends have given me meds and people who have only lurked online spoke out to offer me meds.I can't say thank you enough.
We are still waiting to hear back from UHC about egg donor coverage.This is not covered by United Resource Network, but 'supposedly' is covered by UHC.Now, we just need to know if that means the recipient is covered (that would be me) or if includes paying for the egg donor (that would be Kate).My RE clinic has never had a case like this where both the donor and the recipient are married and on the same policy.We are a test case.Should be interesting…that is what we would ultimately choose to do if the will cover it.
If not, K and I each have a 15K lifetime fertility benefit.That means if it doesn't work for me…she's up to bat.While she offered to carry, the reality that she might have to actually do this is scaring the complete shit out of her.I have never seen her so truly terrified of something.It's kind of cute in a sadistic sort of way.She says things like "why would anyone ever want to be pregnant?" and "I'm not ready to be pregnant!" (to which I smile sweetly and reply, "oh you don't have to be ready right now, just at the end of February in case I'm not pregnant.")
The RE has agreed since we came in as a couple, K does not have to go in as a new patient.If you've ever tried to get an appointment at a prominent RE, you know this initial appointment alone could set you back months just trying to get in the door. So, that was excellent news.She's in and they are ready for her to get straight to IVF.
I finally, finally got great news regarding the Antagon and Menopur!It's covered and I still have enough benefits left in my fertility RX coverage (different than the 15K) left that I won't have to pay out of pocket for them.This is huge since it would've been $2700 out of pocket. Oooouch.
Dinner last night was great, but we never made it to the show.We got lost.Or rather, we were never lost, but we kind of forgot where the venue was and after walking for 30 minutes in 15 degrees, we decided to walk home instead. It has been so great to have K home for the last month. She has been cooking wonderful, nutritious meals and we have been having a lot of fun. I am so much more calm and less stressed out when she's here. I know she could be called on a travel project any day now, but I really hope not for at least 3 more weeks.
Tonight I have a friend in from out of town, Saturday my aunt is in the city to celebrate her 50th birthday and Sunday another friend is in town.Having fun and staying busy is good.
I've had 200 posts? In one year? Damn, I blog a lot.
So my progesterone is A-OK, the results say I've ovulated. Thank you body for being good. However, I had my pap done and I'm spotting--that is I started lightly spotting on Day 19 and am still spotting on Day 21. My acupuncturist doesn't have a clue why and neither does my RE. Nice. Thank you body for always throwing me that curve ball.
Regardless, I was cleared for take off concerning the estrogen patches. Following the directions, I carefully applied the patch. Wow, you can barely even see it?!
However, after getting dressed, I realized my patch was not in a good place at all. It specifically says to not apply near your waistband so that your clothes don't rub against it...but I don't wear pants around my waist. Low rise pants and jeans are built for my kind of body. So that carefully applied patch...yes, right at my waistband.
Must remember to put on pants next time and THEN apply patch.
Oh well, the pants aren't tight, so there wasn't much rubbing going on, but it has slid a bit. I keep this on until Saturday morning and then I put on a new one--a little bit higher!
Tomorrow night I start the antagon shots. Let the needlefest begin!
After writing out my IVF list Monday, I had 3 offers of drugs within a 24 hour period. That, combined with the freebies I received this weekend covers me completely for Follistim/Gonal F. I don't know if these ladies want it publicly announced, but K, J, E and L---THANK YOU.
Once again, I've spent the last 2 days doing drug deals. It's a crazy life.
I still need more Antagon/Ganerellix and Menopur which I mentioned to the nurse yesterday at the RE clinic. She's going to see what she can do as they regularly have clients who donate their meds back once they are finished with a cycle. Fingers crossed...
Today is a very special anniversary of sorts for K and I....let's just say it was a life changing day two years ago and if that day had never happened...you wouldn't be reading this blog right now.
So to celebrate we're going out to dinner here, followed by going to this, which is our friend's band.
The band isn't going on til 10:30...which probably means 11:30...man I feel old. I am going to be SO tired tomorrow!
Thanks for all of your comments about the insurance crap. It is what it is...but I'm still working on it. More later.
My insurance company changed their fertility benefits. I have 10K less which means I have very little left. I have enough for this IVF, sorta. Not really. That's it.
When the rep at UHC asked me if there was anything else she could do for me today, I replied, "No, that's enough. You've completely ruined my day." I know it wasn't her fault and I told her that, but still, she is the messenger of bad, bad news. I know some of you (a lot of you) don't even have IVF coverage so I probably sound like a whiny, spoiled infertile right now. I'm sorry.
If I were younger, I'd keep on trucking along with the IUI's. But I don't have any more time. The reasons I started so late are vast and varied, but life is what it is and I am the one who has to handle that. I think I handle it pretty well all things considered. Toot Toot. That's me and my horn. I am a strong woman and I truly believe that I can do just about anything I put my mind to. But I knew going into this the odds were waaaay stacked against me and I just might not be able to pull off this magic trick.
K told me last night if this doesn't work then she'll do a round of IVF and carry. She's always been such a big fan of 'outsourcing the womb' to me, this was a huge step and offering of love on her part.
This is the part where I realize we have exactly 2 tries left. There has to be an end to the TTC crazy train and this just might be it.
True, we have enough in savings we could pay for more cycles, but honestly...honestly...I don't think that's the best decision. I could change my mind, of course. But right now, I feel like all that we saved (enough for 3 or 4 IVF cycles in case our insurance turned us down) could be better spent by putting that money towards a downpayment and buying a place. A place with 2 bedrooms. A place where we could ready our lives for another human being either by fostering or outright adoption.
Maybe this IVF will work. But just in case, I've prepped my heartstrings in case it doesn't.
It's amazing how one phone call can speed up the events of your life.
It was a full moon. That must have been the issue. I always get a little crazy with a full moon. The cold feet syndrome has left the building.
We had such a wonderful weekend consisting of: K's fabulous home cooked meals, brunch with friends, a small dinner party Saturday night, brunch with a TTC NYC/NJ group, yoga, bath bombs, watching an incredible documentary on Darfur "The Devil Came on Horseback" which combined with Boomba's photos, made K start researching adoption.
Looking at my IVF calendar, I realized there's a whole lot coming up so I should start cracking.
Pap is scheduled for this Wednesday.
Called CCB to see if donor came in Jan. 12 as scheduled. He did not. However, he had vials CCB bought back (which means someone probably got pregnant!) so I was able to buy 2 more vials bringing our grand total to 4. CCB remarked, "You're lucky. He is very popular." I cannot express how much I want This Man's baby. There will not be another donor. I even begged the rep to just give me his address and I'd take care of business myself! Hee.
Shipped out 2 vials for upcoming IVF cycle. They only need one but if something goes wrong they need a backup.
Called RE to see if he needed to do a repeat HSG test. Everything is OK and has been OK with me, so he does not. Yippee!
Called RE to see if he needs to do a trial transfer test. He already checked this out with last year's HSG and since there's never been any problems with my IUI's, I am good to go.
Called in RX for estrogen patches--picking them up tonight.
Checked to make sure I have antagon to start cycle. This was donated, so I have enough for now.
Checked to make sure I have enough Follistim/Gonal F. I had more donated to me this weekend, so I think I have enough, but I might need 450 iu more.
I have medrol
I have doxycycline
I have two boxes of donated Progesterone in Oil 50 mg.
Need to buy....hopefully a boxload of PIO.
Need to buy five more vials of antagon after I start stimming. Insurance coverage?
Need to buy 10 vials of Menopur. Not certain insurance will cover. Urgh.
Daily Vitamin Check
1 glass of powdered wheatgrass mixed with blueberry/pomegranite juice
1 baby aspirin
1 calcium/mag/zinc combo
2 T wheatgerm
2 T flaxseed meal
Now that I've written that all out...I feel ready and dare I say...excited. I have to stop being so hard on myself and wanting everything to be just perfect because that isn't going to happen. Thank you Poppy for making me laugh and bringing me back to reality! I needed that!
We'll do this IVF and then we may do another. And if that doesn't get a baby then we'll go with K's eggs and my ute. By this point...our 4 vials will be gone and we will be looking for someone else's baby to make our own. That's the plan...
I'm having a much harder time wrapping my head around this IVF cycle than I thought I would be. It all just feels so...fast. Almost too fast. But then, what am I waiting for? Why do I feel like I need a longer break? After all, I am the one who insisted I be put on the January IVF schedule. The RE didn't have me on it and said they didn't have room, but I insisted because on Dec. 29 there was no way I was being pushed back one more month.
So what changed? K and I talked this morning and wondered aloud if I wasn't resisting it because I am afraid of failure. Seems probable.
I also didn't get to do a Day 3 FSH test and baseline ultrasound b/c the clinic was closed over the holidays. I hate not knowing the results of these tests before beginning the estrogen patches and antagon shots. What if they do Day 3 tests (@Jan 24th) and find bad things? Then I will have started this process and put the drugs in my system for nothing.
I also feel like this past month has been my 'unhealthiest' of the entire past year. I spent an entire week in Cabo drinking margaritas and eating chips, salsa, guacamole and tacos. Drinking and I don't really meet up much and this is the most alcohol I've put in my system in...almost 2 years? Now, I'm just talking 12-14 drinks TOTAL in the last month. I know it's not a big deal...but I'm now wondering "why did I do that knowing IVF was on the horizon?"
As a result of the holidays and vacation, I've also gained 3-4 pounds. Again, it's not that big of a deal and I can lose it. In fact, I worked out every day in Cabo and have hit the gym now that I'm home. But it has me feeling like I'm in the worst shape I've been in since starting to TTC. I've been so careful about food choices and exercise and alcohol and yoga and meditation and blahblahblah and this past month, it's like I said "to hell with it." I knew this and said to myself, "that's right! to hell with it!" But now, I'm regretting it.
So here I am, with less than a week before the start line wondering if I should say "stop".
Thank you Offering of Love, for the tip on the IVF meditation CD. I just downloaded it!
PS--No, we did not go make a little French playboy baby last night. I'm sure my post made a lot of you go "Ewww!" but hey, that's the way it goes. If we knew he was 100% clean and his shooters were a-go, we would have no problem going that route. We did go see Revolutionary Road, which was dark and somber and most excellent in my opinion. Did not see that ending coming.
I'm ovulating right about now and realized that last night in the gym I was checking out every decent looking guy around me. Just decent. My standards used to be so much higher. When I mentioned this to K she said, "Should we call B?" "Maybe, he's always up for it." "It seems like a good idea, but it's probably not." "Yeah, I know, he might have cooties." "Yeah." We have an old friend, a very good looking, multi-millionaire, French playboy friend, who would be more than happy to sperm me up. It could be fun. It could be dangerous. He could shoot blanks.
You might be thinking to yourself right now...is she a lesbian? Most of the time, yes. I hate labels. I am what I am. Love me or not.
I guess we'll go see a movie tonight instead--it's much safer.
The trip was great, but really...I'm not sure how we ended up in Cabo San Lucas! It is SO not 'us'. I had no idea it was the playground for the rich and famous. Who knew? Cindy C. was there, George C., Leonardo, etc etc. I didn't see them, but we were told....
My idea of paradise was getting out on the East Cape road and driving 3 hours up the wild coastline on a dirt road that threatened to crumble off the edges and throw you down the craggy cliff, all while you dodged cows in the 'road' with your economy car that really isn't meant for this road. Now that's FUN!
We claimed miles of beaches as our own since we didn't see a soul on them and had a great time snorkeling and eating fish tacos on the beach.
The gray whales were out and we could watch them swim by while laying on our bed. The view was amazing.
We did manage to take a boat out for whale watching and got to see them up close, as well as some dolphins, sea lions, and pelicans.
It's a very beautiful place and we are so lucky and blessed to have the opportunity/miles/points to take such a wonderful trip.
Now, I'm back to NYC and the drab, cold greyness of it all. It does makes us consider moving to California...again.
But for now, back to the TTC game.
Next up: IVF. I got my protocol today and in one week I start the estrogen patches.