Wednesday, September 30, 2009

chronicling of meds for my benefit

I seem to be plagued by a bit of absent mindedness lately. Can't imagine why. My meds continue to multiply and it is making my head spin. For my own visual reference, my drugs that I obtained yesterday were Lupron (leuprolide), Prometrium and Doxycycline. And for the visual person I am... the images please:
Not thrilled with the needing to fill the syringes myself. I was hoping it was a pre-filled pen, similar to what the gonal-F should be when I pick that one up. Lupron is used in women to treat symptoms of endometriosis (overgrowth of uterine lining outside of the uterus) or uterine fibroids. Next up-Prometrium:
Mine is the bigger one on the right. Although most of my drugs say it may cause dizziness and possible sleepiness. Sounds like a great way to go through work right? Below are the pretty blue pills-Doxycycline:
The Doxycycline is a simple antibiotic that outside of some crazy digestive tantrums, is fairly benign. I know these will be taken beginning the night prior to the IUI and will continue for a couple more days following.

Nothing else in my arsenal yet besides the vitamin and DHA supplement. Just waiting on the Gonal-F and then I will be good to go!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

holy injections!

So after much correspondence among myself, my doctor, the specialty pharmacy, the retail pharmacy and the insurance company... I am the proud owner of my first prescription for the upcoming IUI. It is a single ovidrel injection.
Seems harmless enough to me. The needle seems fairly short given the pre-packaged syringe that does not allow me to see the gauge. I did notice the liquid in the syringe seems rather thick... almost syrupy. That made me wonder about the hidden needle. For your viewing pleasure - the needle:
I sooo cannot wait to pick up the next of my series of medications (this afternoon another will be ready and one should be arriving via mail from the specialty pharmacy). The anticipation of each new medication prescribed to me heightens my apprehension. And I am supposed to do this injection myself? Ah.... what we will do for our kids right?

Friday, September 25, 2009

sleep won

So it looks like I may have ovulated 2 days early this month. My OPK was clearly negative on CD 10 and CD 11, and nearly positive on CD 12. By CD 13, it was negative again? Leave it to me to have indefinite results that will plague me until the end of the cycle! That and working 2 jobs is taking its toll. I came home at 10pm last night and was out cold right after I hit the pillow... and I was so interested in bookending ovulation just in case the OPKs were wrong.

Oddly... I am fine about our poor timing. After all, it only takes one time and one well directioned sperm to do the job. I guess it is ok because we will be doing the IUI next cycle. The office called me yesterday to confirm my insurance will cover all but the Tier 3 prescription payment for the FSH injections. Although getting them to cover it was a bit of a pain. I did use clomid in the past while on a different insurance than my current one. This new insurance would not cover injectibles until I tried clomid. So off to call the family doctor I went to obtain proof of clomid usage. A call to the pharmacy and a fax to the RE later and all was set... painful injections approved!

Don't get me wrong. It is terribly exciting to get ready for the next step. I feel confident and ready for anything.

image credited to yes

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

today i give thanks for...

...IUI cycle #1 to start in October!

needles and the odds

Much better appointment with our RE than the Urologist. Looks like we have the green light to go ahead with IUI. I am to call with my next cycle day 1 (which I might add seems like forever away) so they can begin monitoring and (gasp) FSH injections. I hope I can muster up the courage and the ability to administer that needle to myself. Of everything we talked about at the consultation.... nothing made my heart rate rise, my palms sweat and my stomach to turn like talk of needles. I should really be less concerned about it. There are plently of more painful procedures to go through. Besides... it will be almost exactly like Jeff's insulin needles. No big deal!

The RE suggested the laparoscopy/hysteroscopy should a cycle or two of IUI not work. Just a few small incisions... a little exploring... possible removal of scar tissue and obstructions. Even this does not phase me like the injections. Sad really. Our odds of a successful pregnancy with IUI/injectibles is 10%-20%. Seems depressingly low... but a regular cycle posesses those same odds for a naturally concieved baby. He mentioned Jeff's SA was actually pretty average and not as poor as we were lead to belive. That is nice to hear. I think it helped Jeff see there is no need to constantly blame himself. On the flip side, if that is not the issue... then what is? All of these unanswered questions.

My next cycle is slated to begin 10/10/09. A well laid plan... let the games begin!

image credited to

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the heart is louder than logic

This weekend I was told by my aunt (who is currently battling bone cancer) that it would not be the end of the world if we could not have a baby and that there are worse things that could happen. She also asked us if we looked into adoption since fertility treatment is so expensive.

I know she is just trying to help us gain perspective and I appreciate it. It truly helps to see that things are not so terrible. My mind knows the truth-that it will happen if it is meant to happen. But my heart is not so easily convinced. My heart is screaming for the chance to have the experience, feel the life grow inside me... and nurture that soul. My heart simply cannot understand.

Friday, September 18, 2009

personality and bedside manner

So Jeff's urologist appointment was less than stellar in my opinion... and the bedside manner needs a bit of work as well. After waiting over an hour to be called in, the doctor decided that even though he has struggled with chronic intermittent pain for 20 year now... there is little he is comfortable doing right now in fear it will make his situation worse rather than improve it. Since the pain usually is tolerable and he can usually go through an average day as usual, doing anything invasive to correct the problem is not advisable. (as long as he can "rise to the occasion" successfully, we should leave well enough alone) Not to mention that he thinks Jeff is a medical anomaly with several issues at play that are hard to diagnose in one visit. An invasive prostate check later, the doctor believes it may be an infection in his prostate causing the frequency of the pain to increase lately. So he is to take antibiotics for 30 days and have a follow up appointment to see if it made any difference with the pain.

After all, he has dealt with it for twenty years... what is another month? Doctor's words-not mine.

No need to address the varicocele or the hydrocele as it is minor, no blood drawn.... nothing. He got his temp and blood pressure from the nurse and a five minute exam with the doctor.

When asked about fertility issues, the doctor promptly stated that not only is he not interested in the fertility aspects of the problem, but he does not believe any medical intervention on his part will improve his morph/motility. "You should consider artificial insemination at this point," he said. Artificial insemination? Obviously he has no interest in it. I haven't heard it referred to as artificial insemination by a medical professional in... well ever. But I nodded my head like a good girl and mentioned we are already in the process of pursuing it. He mention he will be happy to refer us to a male fertility specialist if we would like, but he cannot help us there.

So here we are, another specialist appointment under our belts, half a day lost and we are nowhere closer than before. His numbers are not likely to get better, his pain will be chronic and we will need IUI. Although I appreciate to good doctor's opinion and have no reason to think he is not trying to help, but wow... the personality needs a little work. Perhaps some compassion even is in order.

Who do I make the check out to?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

today i give thanks for...

...learning I am in fact not alone in my struggles. Good friends I went to school with also have similar fertility challenges I do.

the one year standard

I just found out a friend of mine will be having a baby in 9 short months. They got married almost one year ago This is not the first time a friend has announced excitedly (coincidentally on their one year wedding anniversary) that they will be adding to their family. I can recall off the top of my head three recently. Don't get me wrong-I am thrilled for all of them. But at the same time, it hurts my heart. Maybe my "one year" happy new baby announcement got swept under the rug?

Then of course there is the one year standard when it comes to trying to concieve. If you are under 35... you need to try for a full year before pursuing fertility testing and treatment. Blech-I wish I had just lied and said we had tried for a year.

On a side note... every time we go to Walmart, it costs us $50. Perhaps this is a standard as well. Seems we adhere to that one easily!

image credited to

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

today i give thanks for...

...a place where I can write what I feel and will not be judged.

support groups

I am incredibly fortunate that I live nearby my fertility center where I can opt to spend one monday a month with others sharing in the journey. Last night's meeting helped me center myself again (apparently I need "centering" on a regular basis) as I tend to lose my way in the mess that is infertility.

Speaking of infertility... 23 cycles into this journey, with 22 past failed cycles, I somehow STILL cannot fully come to terms with the fact I am infertile. Typing it is even a challenge. After last night and the previous month's meeting, I literally was reduced to tears on the way home trying desperately to accept this blatant fact. I never wanted to be that person... as I am sure none of us do. But it seems that no matter how many times I set foot into the center and tell my story and hear other stories, it just won't sink in. I guess I still hold onto the dream I had when I was growing up - to fall in love and be a family - a right we all should have. Somewhere along the way, it was my fortune to be presented with this more complex and emotionally charged method of seeking my dreams. Perhaps when we meet with the RE on Monday and plan for our first IUI it will sink in.

It's time to come out of the closet and make my intentions known to those around me...

I am infertile and I will do what it takes to get pregnant!

I will make it my mantra :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

welcome cycle 23... the witch...

It is getting to that point if I don't record what cycle I am on... I forget. Sad that there are so many cycles to account for that I cannot even remember how long it has been. I originally started this blog attempting to think positive (I hear that helps) and being thankful for the little things. I had no idea how difficult that really is.

Jeff and I went to a harvest festival this past weekend. Can I just say I caught myself staring at young children, babies and pregnant women with a little envy and jealousy ALL.DAY.LONG. Ok... a lot of envy and jealousy. I gotta work on that. I do not know their stories. Maybe they have struggled too and this is their miraculous end to their journey. Or it could be they just stand down wind of their partner and they get another kid. Either way, pregnancy agreed with most of them and I was jealous. I wanted to know how it felt. I wanted to touch their bellies and feel the life move inside them. I want to be able to experience it... and my patience is running thin.

It is our 2nd wedding anniversary coming up next week and I so wanted our gift to be a successful month. My Saturday morning greeted me with raging cramps and the expected end to a cycle. I guess we will have to settle for a nice dinner instead. I look forward to my support group meeting tonight to get me some positive perspective... and then next Monday, we will have our appointment with the RE to commit to our next step in the process.

In the meantime, I will think of a good thing I am thankful for post...

Friday, September 11, 2009

little ticker

Today I am staring at my nice little ticker. It says "Day 29 of a 29 day cycle. A home test may work today!" Although I do appreciate the confidence "little ticker" has to offer since optimism is terribly important... it taunts me. Not only do I know this cycles outcome, but it also makes me want to run out and pee on something. I am quite proud of myself for having not peed on anything since my positive OPK for this cycle. That takes restraint in my position. But I am noticing that every cycle makes me feel less needy of the pacifying ways of the HPT.

I remember graduating from the obsessive temping every day of my cycle. I would wake up at the same time each day just to temp. I soon realized that temping is a crappy wake up call - pun intended - to a day. I nixed that part of my morning regime many months ago.

It seems odd to not need these litmus tests to track my fertility. I can't decide if it is that I am simply confident I know my cycle and do not need daily reminders... or is it that I just can't take the daily reminders anymore and I have submitted to knowing this will not happen on our own. That step was one of the hardest to take... knowing we need help. Optimism is far less frequent, so the next best thing is to divert the attention. The less I focus on it... the less it eats at me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

struggling with choices

I truly never thought I would be one of those who needed to pursue ART. Not only that... but I would never have even had a clue what ART meant.

Why yes... I took art in college! Painting, photograpy, graphic design, etc!

Now that I do, it puts a whole new twist on mortality and fate for me. Not that I enjoy the added doctor appointments and tests we must endure... but this is what we chose to focus on. I love my family dearly and I know they are looking out for me, but sometimes it is harder to see than others. I'm sure there are plenty of you out there that can share in this "mini war" that can occur:

Infertile Couple vs. Religious Family

RF: So... are you two thinking about kids?
IC: We are working on it.
RF: Oh... so soon then huh?
IC: (with little detail of course) It is not as easy as we thought it would be, but we hope soon.
RF: Oh don't worry. It will happen when you least expect it!

Simple enough. Basically neutral... and the clever usual lines made their appearance. Months pass and we attempt to mention the testing that will commence:

IC: We will be getting some testing done to see what we can do to make this all work.
RF: Really? What kind of tests?
IC: Basically to see if all my insides are in working order, hormones are where they need to be and his count is good. Then we can come up with a plan from there.
RF: Well, even if there is a problem, you can always just give it more time right?
IC: We don't plan on stopping trying while the testing is going on. We just want to know if this will happen on our own.
RF: It will happen when the time is right.

A little more emphasis placed on the "leave it to nature" camp. Once testing is complete, then things get sticky:

IC: Well, it turns out his morphology is really low possibly from his diabetes. It could also be other things given the trouble he has had with his chronic pains.
RF: Oh! So even though his morphology is bad, it will improve if his diabetes gets under control! That's great!
IC: Possibly. It may not be the only factor for the low numbers, but I hope a few months will make a difference.
RF: So I don't understand why you had to go through all the testing if you already know the problem.
IC: We did not know until we had the bulk of the tests. Either way, if things do not progress on their own, this information will help us figure out our next step.
RF: Why don't you just give it more time and when his numbers get better, then it will work...

At that point, I nod my head and leave the room. Clearly, the possibility that that will not be the answer is not an option to them. The infertile couple has stopped mentioning testing. It is best to just do what needs to be done sans support from the family. We have heard so many times that it will happen "when the time is right," "in God's time," or "when you aren't even thinking about it." Although we appreciate the support they try to offer in the best way they know how, they are just not open to seeing that there is another possibility out there for us that we may have to pursue.

In my opinion, if there is a God out there... he/she would say to us:
"I gave you all I can give you as individuals. It is up to you with the knowledge and abilities you have to do wonderful and amazing things. After all, your abilities were created by me and nothing is more fulfilling to me than to see you use those abilities to become stronger."
I do not believe he/she would see our triumphs over tragedy as showing disrespect or "playing God." I truly believe we also need to play a big part in our own destiny. God may walk with us... but we ultimately choose our path.

Perhaps this is me just trying to justify the fact that my choices fall on deaf ears with little support, but I like to believe there is more out there for all of us if we just put our minds to it and persevere. I completely respect others' belief systems and do not deny them the opportunity to embrace those beliefs. All I ask is that you do the same in return... we desperately want and need the support, no matter the path we take.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

today i give thanks for...

...a kind and compassionate husband who understands me even in my rarest and most difficult moments.

quiet times

Not a whole lot to talk about right now. Things are busy, but it keeps me going. Our scheduled urologist appointment was canceled from Sept. 4th... not sure why, but now it is rescheduled for Sept. 18th. Terribly frustrating when all you want to do is find out what is wrong and make it right... and then one rescheduled appointment costs weeks more time. Lets hope the newly scheduled appointment sticks!

Closing out another cycle in the next couple days here. I feel no different than normal, so I suspect it will be a normal end to a normal cycle. On to the next I suppose. We are not strangers to this...