Am I Seriously Doing This?!

ducksinarowWe’re officially doing this crazy IVF thing. I’m kinda shell-shocked, it seems like everything happened so fast. I’ve done all my pre-IVF lovelies, picked a package from the clinic, paid for it, basically gotten all my ducks in a row. And it’s all freaking me out a bit. How did I get to this point? I feel….. —-heck, I don’t know how I feel! It changes like a zillion times a day. Nervous. Excited. Anticipated. Freaked out. Terrified. Sad. Happy. Angry. Tearful. Hopeful. Leery. Meltdown-ish. You name it, I’ve felt it on any given day. I hope this is normal?

Even though we’ve done all our homework, I also sorta feel like I don’t really know what I’ve gotten myself into here. DH deserves a Husband of the Year award for putting up with my crazy, intolerable self these past few months. No matter how completely unglued I become, he’s always there for me, no questions asked. If there is such an award, I’m totally nominating him for it.

Currently on CD3. AF came 2 days ago. I called the clinic to let them know and went in this morning for baseline and BW. It was pretty terrible because I had a different doctor (Dr. F) who I’ve never met before and I wasn’t too thrilled with him. My cervix has been ultra sore and sensitive lately ever since my recent IUI/HSG/mock transfer/hysteroscopy. It hurt like whaaaaaa when Dr. F (who never introduced himself to me–huge pet peeve of mine, but anyway) went to do the u/s this morning (sorry if this is TMI!). He’s like, “Do you always react like this to trans u/s?!” To which I reply, “Yes, and especially lately with you guys tampering with my cervix so much.” He asks me why I have only one ovary. I told him cause an evil dermoid cyst swallowed it a few years ago. He replies that his wife has had three dermoids and still has both her ovaries. Well, isn’t that nice? Why is he telling me this?! I hightailed it out of there this morning and am hoping to avoid Dr. F like the plague from here out.

Okay, so I digressed. Anyways, I go back to the clinic on CD11 or 12 for OV check, then begin estrogen priming with Estrace for somewhere between 7 – 12 days. Then it’s hurry up and wait for next AF and begin my injectables, which are:

  1. Menopur
  2. Bravelle
  3. Cetrotide
  4. Crinone
  5. HCG trigger
  6. Plus little things like Medrol and Doxycycline, which I’m not concerned about.

None of my meds (or my IVF) are covered by insurance. I’m currently waiting to hear back about the discount programs I’ve applied for. DH being a veteran helps some, cause these guys (^^^) all come with mega pricetags. I spent my entire lunch break on Friday calling every single pharmacy on a list my clinic gave me to get prices. Some of the meds are close to the same price, but others vary widely between pharmacies. For anyone else about to begin IVF with no infertility insurance coverage, seriously, I cannot even say enough about how much calling around for prices is so important. It can save literally hundreds of dollars.

I know this post is all over the map today, but that just goes to show how all over the map I am too! Happy Tuesday everyone!

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The Non-Update

IVF I've

I took a blogging break for awhile, but here I am, back at it! Turns out the break was healthy for me cause apparently I needed to proactively do non-infertility activities for awhile to get my mind back on focus. I got so overwhelmed and inundated and absorbed with all things IF that I literally thought about it day and night and it wasn’t doing me any favors. It’ll be back on me soon enough with beginning IVF in a few weeks, but maybe now I can ease back into things.

I had my hysteroscopy and mock transfer on Friday. It was a mercifully short procedure–go in with full bladder, insert catheter, look around. Stop to pee. Re-insert catheter, look around some more, get dressed, go home. The wet feeling of the dripping saline was probably the grossest part of the whole thing. I had immediate cramping during the hystero and spotted and cramped for a few days after. It was uncomfortable but nothing that couldn’t be tamed with ibuprofen and a heating pad.The doctor who performed it (Dr. C’s associate) was very kind. She told me that even though my uterus is turned left about 30 degrees (which I already knew) and even though it’s significantly rotated to the left (which I didn’t already know) from scar tissue, none of it should be problem enough to not go ahead with IVF. That was a huge relief!

Next step is a 2-hour nurse consult for DH and I this Friday. After that, we get all our affairs in order with the clinic and basically wait for my next period which should be sometime around August 4.

Whirlwind

howbabiesmade

As DH and I drove to our IVF consult this morning, I couldn’t help sensing that we’ve suddenly crossed a bridge that we can never uncross. This is it. We’re really doing it. The actuality of doing IVF is settling over me like a sudden thick blanket instead of the light, slowly drifting sheet it was in my mind until now. As much as I thought I was prepared, you can never fully prepare yourself for the reality that awaits.

Overall it went well: we met with Dr. C, had a telephone conference with the financial department, and met our nurse, who drew blood and collected urine from each of us. I gotta say, it was sort of nice having a partner going through the worst of the yucky business with me this morning, even though DH only had to have one vial drawn to my three. The unfairness of how easy the male gender has it never ceases to show up. Most of the blood work I can skip since I had it all done so recently at Dr. B’s office. I provided Dr. C with all my records from Dr. B, so they have a good starting point for me, complete with a packet of 7 weeks’ worth of my u/s pics in case they get really bored.

We can opt to either begin this first IVF cycle next week (AF is due on Saturday for me) with my beginning taking Estrace, or—if we need extra time to make our decisions and work out the finances—we can begin in a month from now. Since we’re going out of town for Labor Day, I’d rather begin right away. We didn’t get this ball rolling to pause it, if we can at all help it.

Before the cycle begins, we gotta get the following out the way:

1. New semen analysis for DH. As I suspected, the two semen analysis’ done by Dr. B were, shall we say, less than thorough.

2. Hysteroscopy for me.

3. Nurse consult scheduled for this Monday to learn about our meds. I’m fortunate that DH works in healthcare and is a whiz at giving needles. I feel so much more assured that he can handle that part for me, at least in the evenings.

4. Mock transfer.

I fortunately don’t have to have an endometrial scrape done. I’d been seriously concerned about that and it’s a relief that Dr. C doesn’t see its necessity.

Here’s the crappy part: So, I asked Dr. C if I’d be getting low-dose IVF. The reason I thought maybe I’d be a candidate for LD IVF is that I only have the one ovary, so maybe he could halve the meds. HA! NOPE! Just the opposite. He told me that because I only have the one ovary that he’d need to treat me like I was an older woman and give me increased dosages of meds. I need to check my notes (which are at home) about how he explained why I’d need that.

Nervous, excited, apprehensive, scared, and this is just the beginning.

What You Wish You Had Asked

Short post today. I’m nearing the end of yet another fun-filled TWW, but I could’ve told you since nearly a week ago that this month was not the month and that AF is on her way. I was somehow hoping that having the HSG might have pushed some “gunk” outta my tube and helped for conception this month. Nope.

ANY-way, today’s post is this: What you would have asked during your IVF consult that you either didn’t ask, realized later you should’ve asked, or kicked yourself later wishing you had thought to ask? If you were able to go back in time to your first consult, what would you have done differently? asked differently? mentally prepared yourself for going into this? What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back and do it again?

Our IVF consult is scheduled for tomorrow morning and I’ve been googling potential questions to bring with me. I realize that everyone’s journey is unique and that not all questions apply to each person, but some things are pretty universal. As I read through many of your blogs I realize that I’m a total newb at all things IVF, but then again, my fellow bloggers were new at this too at one time! We all gotta start somewhere, right?! There’s a lot of IVF acronyms and test names etc. that—right now—are a mystery to me: I know that may change very soon. I just don’t want to miss anything that’s glaringly important!

As always, all feedback welcome and thank you for sharing your journeys!

Book Recommendation

IFcompanion

There’s a lot of books out there on infertility. Like A LOT! As I’ve found out the hard way, some are better than others. Some IF books focus only on the medical side of things, others emphasize charting and CM to the exclusion of everything else, and some just try too hard to be modern, relatable, cutesy, and “girl-friendy.” Even though a few months ago I swore that I wouldn’t, I’ve ordered and read several books on infertility, and this one by far is the best: The Infertility Companion by Sandra L. Glahn and William R. Cutrer.

The Infertility Companion is a book about infertility with a Christian perspective co-written by both a Christian OB/GYN and a Christian woman who’s experienced years of infertility. It covers the medical, physical, emotional, spiritual, and ethical realities of IF that, really, as a whole encompass so much of this journey. None of us are one-dimensional. If you’re a fellow blogger with an IF blog, then you know all too well how it affects every part of our lives. That’s why I love this book. You can buy it here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and (if you’re like me and order cheap secondhand books) here at Half.com. Even for a non-Christian, I’d highly recommend this book if you’re going through IF.

Here’s a list of topics covered:

  1. Where We’ve Been: Your Companions in the Ditch
  2. The Wedded Unmother: Myths and Facts
  3. Marital Dynamics: She Wants a Baby, He Wants His Wife Back
  4. Emotional Dynamics
  5. Handling the Well-Intentioned Advice
  6. Where is God When it Hurts? Is Infertility a Curse?
  7. The Underlying Question: Why Did God Create Sex?
  8. The Medical Workup: Collect the Clues
  9. The Continuing Workup
  10. The Doctor: The Third Party in a Couple’s Love Life
  11. State of the Arts: High-Tech Treatment
  12. A Moral Minefield: We Can Do it, but Should We?
  13. Determining Right from Wrong: The Ethics Construct
  14. Three’s Company: Third-Party Reproduction
  15. Aid in the Begetting: Donor Eggs, Surrogacy, and Embryo Adoption
  16. Using a Donor: What the Kids and the Research Tell Us
  17. Loss Upon Loss: Miscarriage, Failed IVF, and Failed Adoption
  18. Infertility Patient as Parent: Secondary Infertility, Pregnancy, and Parenting After Infertility
  19. Resolution: Adoption or Childfree Living
  20. You Are Not Alone

Just thought I’d throw that out there. Happy Reading!

Three Days Sober and AMH Score

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Today is day three of being sober. Sober from what? Why, from infertility talk! I feel like I should be awarded one of those medallions like they give you in AA. (I mean this as no disrespect to AA, I just sometimes feel like an infertility junkie. It’s like consumed my life.) I decided that DH and I would not discuss infertility-related anything until we have our IVF consult on July 8. I just can’t handle any more conversations about it between then. Mentally, I need a break (blogging, of course, doesn’t count. Of course). It seems like any talk about it now is just us just going ’round and ’round in circles. We’re in this weird limbo right now: I’m not tracking with my RE, I opted to skip doing a “dry” Clomid round this cycle, the HSG is over, we can’t start IVF yet, and we’re just trying naturally. What else is there to say? Honestly, I find that since we haven’t discussed it in a few days, I’m only thinking about IF about 80% of the time instead of 100%. That’s HUGE!

About IVF: I realize this is a very specific situation, but my Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) score was 0.6. This is a very low score. In fact, 0.6 hovers somewhere on the border between “Low” and “Very Low.” My doctor likes to see at least 1.2 or above for a successful IVF. Dr. C described my results as, “Not great, but not terrible.” Then he immediately (gently) suggested going down the road of donor eggs. I shut him down quick by stating we aren’t interested in using donor eggs.

What I’m confused about is that I only have one ovary. So is my low score really not all that low? As in, would my score be doubled if I had two ovaries? Does AMH testing really count for a person with only one ovary, or was it a waste of a trip to LabCorp? Any input is greatly appreciated.