Track of the Week

The clinic sent us the quote for the FET yesterday and had increased the price by $1000 without telling us. This means we may have to push it back another month. The finance lady said that they had a price increase effective January 9th even though she’d quoted me the lower price in December and that’s what we budgeted for. Of course we’re not going to take it lying down but I was feeling deflated and ready to quit again when I read the letter. My husband said we’re absolutely not paying that price, we’re paying the price we agreed upon when we discussed it with them at our last appointment. I admire his fighting attitude when it comes to money and I’m very glad he’s going to take the lead on this because I just don’t have the energy.

So today, I’m not going to worry about anything. I’m going to enjoy this weekend. Especially since it’s our 4th wedding anniversary on Sunday. We don’t have much planned except dinner tomorrow night but it’s going to be a great weekend and we’ll deal with our troubles again on Monday :).

This is my don’t give up message to everyone today. Keep marching on.

Money, Money, Money!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

This past week wasn’t a goodie. I was losing sleep calculating how much we’d need for this FET since we’ll be paying out of pocket and every time I was coming up short for when my period is expected to come and I was quickly realizing that I may have to postpone to March and we all know how devastating it is to have to postpone anything IVF land.

I was also making assumptions since I couldn’t fully calculate the cost of the meds because Estrace isn’t on Freedom Fertility’s website, so I was rounding up to $1000 for meds if the clinic only ordered everything from the start of my period to the testing date (about 28 days). I was also fast realizing that I would have to call both Freedom Fertility and my clinic to confirm so I could get some sleep. The 2 imminent phone calls were also causing a bit of anxiety because I was afraid of getting news that It would cost most than $1000. Anything more than $1000 for those 28 days would leave us more broke than I’d like to be in between paychecks. Since hubby started his own business all of that money is going to paying bills and keeping the business afloat so this baby is coming out of our “food,fun,clothes” budget. I’m okay with foregoing fun and clothes but I see a good amount of ramen noodles in our future. Goodbye pizza Friday.

So upon calling Freedom Fertility I was told that Estrace is $4.95… PER PILL!!! I could get 20 mcnuggets for that. Anyway, I don’t know why I was surprised. It’s still way cheaper compared to all the other single dose injections. Buuuut, they also had a generic that was 52 cents per pill! I just had to get my doctor to approve it. Queue cautiously happy dance. This made my Thursday. I couldn’t wait to call my clinic.

JonStewart_HappyBunny-gifThe call to the clinic on Friday could not have gone better. They said the generic was perfectly fine, she’d make sure to call Freedom to let them know and since I’m self-pay this round, they’d make sure that they ordered meds on an “as-needed” basis. Queue seriously happy dance. I’m still smiling as I write this. It’s the little things :).

tumblr_ljyz7yoJNw1qczqmmSo now, I’m not stressed at all about this upcoming cycle. Okay that’s not true. I have one more niggle and maybe someone can share an experience before I make the call to the clinic on Monday. My next worry is what happens to the money I paid if my cycle gets cancelled? Do I forfeit the 2 and half grand I paid them? Have any of you had a cancelled cycle due to a cyst or something? I’m prone to cysts. I had a big op in 2010 to remove 3 bigguns and I’m in constant fear of them coming back. I’m convinced I have one now. Every little cramp feels cystish to me. I’m not so much worried about postponing as I am about losing the money. Ugh, now I’m stressed again.

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Well that was awkward…

I don’t have anything TTC related to report since life is droll while I’m saving money and waiting for my February period but I did want to share a quick quick something that happened to me in the office on Thursday.

So I was roped into a meeting with 3 lads on a certain project. It was a teleconference with one of our colleagues in the New York office. When she clicked on we all announced who was on the call with her and she was said: “hey D! when are you going on maternity leave?”

There was 3 seconds of silence and I was so shocked I blurted out: “Woah! woah! I’m not pregnant. Don’t you put that evil on me Ricky Bobby” (If you don’t know which movie that’s from, we can’t be friends anymore…until you watch the movie). We hardly ever see the people in the NY office so it was an innocent mistake. We all had a good laugh and it turns out she had me confused with my friend who is on maternity leave right now.

Of course I was thrown off and throughout the rest of the meeting I was trying to get my thoughts in order. Why did I respond like that? Why was I mad at her for asking? Why is everyone looking at me? I feel like this infertility is a vase on a very unsteady pedestal and I’m trying very hard to keep the vase in tact. I don’t like have my world rattled and I was very grumpy for the rest of the day. But more grumpy at myself for being grumpy and not being able to rationalize the grumpiness.

This blog is supposed to be an outlet for my feelings so I don’t slip into madness but I don’t think I’ve been doing it justice. I think because I don’t want it to be a whiny blog. That, and I don’t really know how to conceptual my feelings yet. I’ve actually attempted to write this a few times and I keep deleting everything. I’m struggling with my colourful emotional site and my analytical black and white side.

I think while we’re waiting for February to roll around I’m going to need to make a concerted effort to blog more often about my feelings. I’ve been on edge lately and when I’m on edge I want to go out and do stuff to get my mind off life. This stuff usually involves spending money and we really have to save all the pennies we have.

Just 3 more paychecks love… You can do this.

Aunty Maggie

While we were in South Africa, we spent 3 days in my home town to meet up with a few friends and family. On the second last morning, mom and I were set to go to her hair stylist for some mother daughter time. Little did I know she had something up her well-intentioned sleeve. Before we set out she called me into her room to tell me that she’d organized for someone to come and pray over N and me and my uterus. Now a few months ago I would have rolled my eyes and put up a sizable fight but I think either I’ve grown up a bit or I’m at my wits and will try anything at this point to help with us. My husband, on the other hand, would be another story. He’s made a firm stance on Christianity and he’s lack of belief therein so I knew I would have to spend my time at the salon thinking up creative ways to break it to him.

It turned out that the stylist was the one who turned my mother onto this ‘shaman’ and she told me that she had debilitating endometriosis and the lady worked miracles. She mentioned a bitter drink that she had to drink but I ignored that bit.

After our hair was done my mother got hold of the miracle worker and we were to pick her up in the shady part of town at a nondescript location. We waited there for a short while and my mother got out of the car to exchange pleasantries with another old lady who happened to pass the car and who turned out to be my father’s retired secretary from years ago. At this time I called N and tried my mother’s approach. I just told him in no uncertain terms that we’d be home in 15 and we’re going to have someone pray over us. I winced a little at the 5 second silence and added that it was my mother’s idea and it would be over quickly. Surprisingly he just chuckled and agreed. I wondered if he, like me, had grown up or was at his wits end. Either way, I loved him a little more at that moment.

Aunty Maggie (where I come from, anyone who’s your parents’ age is called Aunty or Uncle) looked how I expected her to look. Short and portly with an orange dress and blue scarf wrapped around her head and a kind face. She spoke Afrikaans mostly and on the way home she told us about her 45 year history with helping couples conceive as a midwife and a Christian.

When we got home N and I were ushered into my old bedroom where Auntry Maggie sat us on my bed and went through her resume once again and explained that she was just a regular old lady who used to be a midwife and who enjoys helping couples whenever she can. She then, while N looked on, made me lay on my back and she lifted up my top and massaged my belly around my uterus area and up under my ribs. It was a pretty good massage, I won’t lie. Afterwards she said that my uterus and tubes felt great (the HSG would agree) and she said that she felt 2 eggs under my ribs. What? We all know that’s not how that works but I guess that’s what her super powers told her. And then she laid her hands on my tummy and started praying quickly and out loud and in Afrikaans so I know N wasn’t catching any of it and I hoped that she would switch over a bit so he could understand a little. She then reached over to him and put a hand on his shoulder and prayed for him too. It lasted a few minutes and if I’m honest I was a bit emotional afterwards but I’ve always been emotional.

Before she left she said that she see 2 children in our future. Only 2 but that it would happen, God showed her. She mentioned that she had to go make something for us to drink. She said it was just herbs that she prayed over and boiled in water. She told us how much everything would cost (everything came to the equivalent of $10) and then she wished us well and my mother took her home.

We were to pick up the medicine the following day which was two 2litre bottles of brown water with leaves and I think ginger in it. N had to take 1/2 a cup at night and I was to drink 1/2 a cup morning and night. The stuff smelled awful and tasted even worse. It was really not good at all. Plus, I don’t think we would have gotten it through customs anyway. We only managed 2 nights of it before throwing in the towel. My mother said that she understood as long as the praying was done.

As I ponder what Aunty Maggie told us I wonder how all of this will play out if her predictions are correct. Right now we only have 1 embryo. If what she says is true, does that mean this one will work and we’ll have to do all of this again for a 2nd? Will this not work and in our next round we’ll get 2 that we can take home? Or will this work and split into 2? There are endless possibilities. Hell, she may even be way off the mark and we get none… or more than 2… or just one… As you can tell, I’ve spent a lot of time pondering. Maybe too much time.

The experience wasn’t a bad one. The ‘potion’ was. I’m happy with the outcome. I’m happy that my husband was open to it even though he didn’t understand what was said. She said Jesus in Afrikaans a lot which is pronounced Yee-sis and he jokingly asked if she was praying to Kanye.

This was initially an exercise in making my mother happy and in the end all 3 of us were pretty happy.

I hope she’s right about the 2 babies though.

tl;dr – my mom got an old Christian lady to massage my tummy and pray for us and make a ‘potion’ to help us with conceiving. she also said that God promised us 2 little ones.

Follicle Watch: Episode 4

Estrogen: 1968

Left side: 9 Follicles measuring 10-17mm
Right side: 6 Follicles measuring 12-15mm

Medication: 300iu Gonal F, 150iu Menopur, 1 pre-filled syringe Ganirelix

Now we’re cooking with fire. The nurse mentioned possible Lupron triggering coming soon. I think we’re finally nearing the end. It’s certainly flown by. I must say I was really down about 8 follicles on Sunday. I know, I know 8 is not that bad a number but I read a blog entry by The Sky and Back where she mentions visualisation and how she used it to shrink a cyst. If you’re reading this, can I share the Coocoo award with you? :)… I talked to my follicles and pictured them growing inside me. I’m not saying it worked but they did grow. Just sayin’ :).

So I go back tomorrow for another ultrasound and blood work. My veins are starting to feel the strain. And I was expecting to be bloated but It’s not a normal period bloat maybe more like a food baby? My tummy feels harder to the touch and I was pretty nauseous last night. Taking it in my stride.

In other news, a dear friend of mine announced a pregnancy today. I am rocking these pregnancy announcements, lemme tell you. lol. Her text to me was beyond sweet and, I could tell, really well thought out. I feel bad that my friends feel a sense of dread or sadness amidst such happy news, where my feelings are concerned. I’m flattered that they thought of us and told us first but I hate this our infertility has affected everyone so profoundly. It’s cruelty really knows no bounds.

Follicle Watch: Episode 3

Estrogen: 1369
LH: 9.61
Progesterone: 0.762

Left side follicle sizes: 15, 14, 13, 10, 8 (mm)
Right side follicle sizes: 12, 10, 8 (mm)

The dildo cam hurt a lot today. I think my uterus is starting to not enjoy the poking and prodding. My tummy is really sensitive to the touch and I’ve been feeling sharp/dull pains on my left and right side but I know that’s just my potential kiddos growing so I’m kinda relishing the pain. The nurse seems very happy with these numbers we just need the little guys to catch up with the rest of everyone else.

We added Ganirelix to the party too. That was a nice surprise. I was warned that the needle was blunt but N and I both had a really good laugh when he tried to jab it in and it just bounced off my tummy. The laugh turned a bit hysterical when the second jab didn’t work. We got it in on the third go at least. Not cool. The nurse said my estrogen should drop at the next check because of the ganirelix but we’ll see.

I did, of course, have a mini meltdown with my low follicle numbers but after talking to some lovely ttc sisters I’m back to being grateful for my lot in life. The best part about this lonely ass journey is that it’s not really that lonely if you know where to look. I’ve met some really awesome ladies here, on fb and instagram and I’m so thankful to each and every one of you. Thank you for reading and commenting and following my journey.

Babydust to everyone. Hope you’re all having a great Sunday. How bout that snow today, huh? Geez! I took a picture of it then I realised my back yard looks like an episode of hoarders. We’ll just keep that one to ourselves.

Follicle Watch: Episode 2

Quality over quantity… Don’t focus on the goal and enjoy the journey… Must remember these words.

Today we’re on 6 follicles measuring between 9 and 10mm. Still no symptoms to speak of. They’re upping Gonal F from 225 to 300 until Sunday. My clinic is over an hour away but thankfully there’s a satellite office 30min away on my way to work, but they’re closed on a Sunday so I’m going to be making that trek in the early hours this weekend.

Was feeling a little down trodden with the numbers, I thought this was gonna be a breeze because I had 20 antral follicles at my very first ultrasound. Anyway, I had a giant burrito at lunch to make up for all the alcohol I can’t drink so I’m feeling sleepy and happy again.

Hope everyone’s having a good Halloween and you all have fun plans. We have a party tomorrow but tonight we’re not entertaining trick or treaters. I didn’t get anything or even decorate so we’re turning out the lights and hiding in the bedroom. We rented Deliver Us from Evil. Hope it’s a goodie. I love me some scary movies.

xxx

Follicle Watch: Episode 1

So I had my first follicle check this morning bright and early at 6am. Right now, I’m on 150iu of Gonal F and 75iu of burny Menopur. I feel pretty normal, a little dizzy right after injections and I’ve been sleeping like a champ, it’s awesome! No other symptoms but I’m on 3 days of shots in so…

The tech said I have a bunch of little ones and she was smiling so that was good. I was on lunch when the nurse called so couldn’t write everything down. Let’s see if my old battered brain can remember what she said.

So, my estradiol  is at 104, I have 5 on my left and 4 on my right but I don’t remember the sizes (shocking). They’re upping my meds to 225iu of Gonal F and 150iu of Menopur until my next check on Friday.

*** I wrote the above yesterday… Here’s the rest after taking the first increased dosage ***

The increased dosage I took like a champ. It’s starting to get easier. Still no symptoms just headaches I guess, but I always have random headaches. I can feel stuff on my left and right side on and off but I am starting to freak out a little.

Anyway, so I have to refill my prescription, obviously, since I’ll run out of Menopur on Saturday. I’m on the phone with the insurance and as we stand now, they have my order but have to put approve it first. It’s extremely time sensitive and I’m on tenterhooks right now and can’t really concentrate on anything else and we’re pretty busy at work.

Other than that, so far so good. I go back tomorrow for a second follicle check. I can’t believe how fast this is going. The 10 days of stimulation will be over on Tuesday. Really? This is nuts, guys.

More needles…

I’m really happy about how quickly the blood test results got back to me. Not so happy about the actual results. Turns out my prolactin and tsh levels were a problem and they wanted me to go back this morning to get more blood. *sob*

I think this is the universe prepping me for what’s to come. I know I have to “man up” because this is only the tip of the iceberg but it hurts *whiiiine*.

In other news… If anyone’s keeping score, I’m officially out of the 21 day challenge at the office. I had a clam cake… and I regret nothing. Here’s my name on the white board of shame.

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Aaaand… I stopped doing Insanity for a while too. I’ve been suffering from some crazy headaches over the past few weeks. They’ve since gotten way better but doing hardcore workouts was not helping at all. I’ll pick it up again soon. Either that or I’ll just revert back to my old couch potato ways. Only time will tell.

A quick update…

K, so I’m on week 3 of insanity. I actually made it through 3 weeks of something. And don’t be fooled, it’s not because I’m enjoying it. The only part I enjoy is maybe 15 minutes in I feel like I’m accomplishing something. That feeling promptly disappears after the workout is over, however, and I have yet to feel the euphoria of a workout well done.

So why am I pushing through? I don’t know guys… I don’t know. But what I do love about these videos is that the people in the background are real. They fall out when I fall out and I know they’re crying when I’m crying. I really hate sweating and crying through a workout while the people in the video are smiling and barely sweating. It does not inspire confidence. Yes, I’m talking to you, girls from Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred!… There’s one lad from insanity, in particular, whom I just adore. My boy, Frankie. His face is so funny when he’s in pain, I love it. It’s so real. Feels like I’m looking in a mirror. There’s one shot of him with his face screwed up in pain and when he realizes the camera on him he tries in vain to pull it together. I love it. I’ll do insanity all day just to see those faces… I’m doing it for you Frankie!!! PS If anyone’s keeping score I’ve only dropped 2lbs and 1inch in my waist. That’ll do for now, I guess.

Hmmm. What else is going on in my life?

We’re doing a 21 day challenge at work. About 10 of us are all giving up something for 21 days, in an effort to be more healthy. I have chosen to give up refined carbs. This includes beer. My favourite thing in the whole world. We’re on day 12 now and I’m still hurting. I don’t want to go into the details of the withdrawal but know this… it hurts… I.am.sad. I don’t want to talk about it.

And now for my last bit of news. I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to post about this. Mostly because I don’t want this to be the focus of my blog, but it is going to be my reality now so I guess it’s time. So after quite a bit of back and forth and a bit of denial, Mr and I are going to be starting some sort of fertility treatments. We have an appointment at the fertility clinic on Monday which I’m excited about.  I really don’t know what to expect at all besides the fifteen thousand possible outcomes, so I have no opinions or strong feelings at this stage. So I’ve just been OD’ing on all the fertility information I can. I’ve followed possibly 90% of all the ladies on Instagram who are going through a similar journey and I’ve been reading most of the fertility blogs too. I’m a more than a little obsessed but it’s  how I get when I’m passionate about something.

So yeah, that’s it for me for now. I guess I’ll update you on Monday. Right now I have to go not drink a beer on July 4th. FML!