Difficult Decisions

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I had my IVF consultation on May 14th. I can’t say that I learned much more about the IVF procedure than what I already knew. As I had mentioned in one of my earliest blog posts, there is information all over the internet about how in-vitro fertilization works so I only had to do a little research to understand the procedure, and my doctor’s website explains it all pretty well.

What I didn’t know was that my doctor does ICSI and assisted hatching as standard procedures with every IVF whether it’s indicated or not. ICSI is when they select a single sperm and use a needle to inject it into the egg instead of just throwing them all in a petri dish and letting them go at it themselves. Assisted hatching is when they use a laser to blast the shell of the embryo to make it easier for the embryo to hatch (yes… human embryos “hatch” in the uterus a few days after conception). I never thought of those procedures as something I would need, but if it increases my chances I’m not going to turn it down.

I also learned a little about the financing. As I’ve mentioned before, my plan was to save some money for the procedure and finance the rest. I applied for the medical loan and I was preapproved… Now that everything was in place it was time to pull the trigger and move forward, but it just didn’t feel right. I took the next couple weeks to weigh my options and run scenarios through my mind. I wouldn’t have everything I have today if I didn’t make good financial decisions… This one just happened to be really difficult. At the end of all that, I chose an option that I really didn’t want to… but it really is the right thing for me, and my future babies, at this time.

I am delaying my IVF until spring of 2016.

The reason why I didn’t update right away after my consultation is because I just didn’t want anyone’s opinions. This was a decision that I had to make entirely on my own. If I didn’t come to the decision myself I would have been second guessing everything. I love that my parents understood that and allowed me to make my choice. I have to admit, I unloaded a lot of my thoughts on my mom during the last couple weeks. The best part of it all? She made her and my dad’s support well known, but she never once gave an opinion. It was exactly what I needed. So, to Mom and Dad, two of my biggest cheerleaders, THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU!

Now, I’ve heard and seen it a thousand times. “If you wait until the right time to have a baby, you’ll be waiting forever.” I get that sentiment. I really do. But there is a difference between waiting for the right time, and knowing that right now is just plain bad.

In my last blog post, I talked about how the price of oil tanked and I was worried about layoffs. The price bottomed out at $40. It has improved slightly and has been holding steady for a while at $60, but that is still uncomfortable territory. Personally, I won’t feel better until it gets up to around $80, but I have the feeling that won’t happen quickly. We still haven’t seen a second round of layoffs, but if things don’t improve soon I think there will be a second round. With the low oil prices and the transition to the new company that bought us, I’m just not in a position to feel confident that my job is safe.

In addition to that, while I was approved for the loan, the loan terms were pretty bad. They wanted 21% interest! That’s just too much. I can’t make myself agree to that.

I am going to take the next 8 months to save more money. I just need to build a bigger financial cushion. It’s not just about what I want anymore. It’s about being able to comfortably provide for babies.

There is another benefit to waiting. My insurance is going to change after the first of the year to the new company’s plan (if I still have a job by then). This is really great because I am on a high deductible plan right now so every cent of medical costs up to that deductible amount comes straight out of pocket. The new plan is copays only. This is a huge improvement.

Anyway… That’s the latest. I don’t know when I’ll write again. Until next time, thank you all for reading and for your patience.

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I’m Still Alive!

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It’s been nearly three months since my last blog post. Honestly, I’ve had nothing to write about. I didn’t want to bore people with dull everyday life things so I’ve put off writing until I had something baby related to update with.

So, after my last failed IUI in December I swore to redirect my focus to weight loss and just getting my body ready for IVF… Yeah… That lasted for a little over a month. The time I did spend on weight loss was successful. I lost about 15ish pounds? I honestly can’t remember at this point. All I know is that I had a week long business trip to Dallas and I had no transportation (I was picked up at the airport by a coworker) so I really had no choice but to walk across the hotel parking lot to the Mexican restaurant every evening. That derailed everything! About a month later and I still haven’t gotten back into the diet. I hope to start up again on Monday though. The ladies in the office are doing a biggest loser type competition. We are all putting $20 in the pot and winner takes all. Should be fun.

I’ve scheduled my consultation for IVF. It will be at the same clinic I’ve been using, with the same doctor. The appointment is on April 14th so that’s a little over three weeks from now. I’m excited! Butterflies in my tummy excited! At this appointment I’ll be able to discuss a game plan with the doctor, and I will actually have a clue about what to expect moving forward.

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I keep changing my mind on which donor I’d like to use. I spotted a new one last month, and I really liked him, but his vials completely sold out within 3 weeks. He was gorgeous! Yes I get to see pictures of the donors. I’ve said it plenty of times, but for some reason folks always miss that part. They are supposed to be releasing another batch of vials for this donor next month. I may just buy one with a storage plan so that way I know I’ll have the donor I want when the time comes. Its either that or just pick whatever’s available when it’s IVF time. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.

In other news, the price of oil has totally tanked. I work in the oil field so this is a really bad thing. As a Safety Advisor, my position is one that is viewed as being completely expendable when cuts have to be made. I have survived he first round of layoffs, but I spend most of my time on the edge of my seat wondering when I might have to hear the words, “I’m sorry, but we have to let you go.” It’s not a fun feeling. In addition to that, it has come to light that the company I currently work for is being bought by another very large company. That ALWAYS means reorganizations and cuts… Can I just keep my job please? Ugh… Stress.

With all the uncertainty surrounding my career, I decided to put some distance between my blog and my personal facebook page. Instead, I have created a page just for my blog posts. If you all want to, you can go ahead and like the page. You can find it at facebook.com/babybabbleblog. My boss already knows what I’m up to, and he’s ok with it, but there is no way for me to tell who else might be looking.

Even with that going on, I decided that I eventually want to move back to my hometown, Erath, LA. It’s only 25 miles from where I am now, but I really want to be closer to my family and I really want my future babies to grow up in the environment that I grew up in. I will be taking the week of Good Friday off to do some chores around the house to make it presentable, then I will be putting it on the market shortly after. We’ll see what happens

Coming Soon! My IVF consultation experience.

The Fertility Blessing

You know my deep desire for a child. A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image.

Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will.

Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.

Amen

Refocusing My Energy

My final IUI failed. It took me a while to process that, but I think I’m ok now. Seeing that negative hurt. It took me a whole week to get past being weepy all the time. The past week has been a tough week in more ways than one. It didn’t allow me much time to dwell on the emotions that came with a negative test.

I tested on Friday the 19th and called the clinic to let them know that it was negative and that I wasn’t coming back until next summer for IVF. They said they weren’t scheduling that far out yet, so I have to call back in February to get scheduled for the August IVF cycle. I’ve been asked why I’m waiting so long to go through IVF. The first reason is that I want to save as much money as I can before doing this. I’m not going to be able to save the whole $15,000, but I feel like if I can save at least half then I’ll be doing ok. The rest will be financed through a medical loan. The second reason is because, if I have a chance to choose, I want to time my baby’s birth during the spring/summer and away from the winter holidays… This will be my only attempt at timing it though. I’m getting to the point where I’d just rather have a baby sooner rather than later.

When I got the negative test I was hurt and angry. I had no reason to think that this would be difficult in any way. I’m healthy, the only thing that I’m lacking is a husband to give me a baby the old fashioned way… That didn’t stop me from desperately grasping for a reason. The only thing I can come up with is my weight. I’m not exactly a small girl… So, now, my new focus for the next 7 months or so of waiting will be losing weight. I see a lot of chicken, fish, and veggies in my future. I also have a treadmill. It’s in the room that will eventually be a baby’s room so all the hand-me-downs that I have for a baby is in there too. Every time I exercise I can look at the baby stuff and know exactly why I’m working so hard. The perfect motivation.

The day of my negative test I drove the 4 hours to Houston for my best friend’s college graduation. It was a tough drive. It rained all the way, and then when I made it to Houston it was rush hour and they had shut down traffic in two lanes of the freeway for a big truck with a flat tire… Traffic was at a total standstill which added another hour to the trip making it 5 hours total. Nicole’s graduation was the Saturday morning and it was great to see her graduate. I know how hard she’s worked for it so I am really happy for her. There was an after party at a Mexican restaurant. The Sunday morning we all had breakfast to celebrate my birthday which was interrupted by work. I got the first work situation settled, then went to meet an old friend for coffee. J is struggling with infertility and just had an IFV procedure. It was nice to catch up with her. I don’t know yet how her IVF turned out, but she’s in my thoughts constantly. After coffee, I drove back home to Louisiana. The minute I got home I ended up having another work situation. Besides breakfast and coffee, I spent my birthday either working or driving… Sometimes I was doing both. It sucked.

The Monday and Tuesday of Christmas week I continued to try to handle the work situations which had only gotten worse. On Tuesday, I did manage to have a late birthday lunch with another friend, A, who is going to jump on my little weight loss band wagon. It’s nice to know that I’ll have him to help motivate and support me while I battle my weight. On Christmas Eve I went to celebrate the holiday with my family. Christmas day was spent by myself, and it was the first day post negative test that I got to just sit and be alone to process it. I didn’t get a reprieve from work for long though. Most of my Friday at work was calm… until there was a project thrown at me when there was only 20 minutes left to the day… So guess who got to work Friday and Saturday? I’m more than just a little burned out at work.

I have to say… I am so grateful for my friends support in all of this. Nicole gave me a gift for my future baby. Its a cute little piggy bank covered in LSU logos because she knows I like the team… I assured her that it WILL BE USED one day! That gift was enough to give me hope. A gave me this beautiful little plaque and the message couldn’t have been more appropriate… And it was enough to give me strength.

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I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday.

Sometimes It Feels Like Everyone Is Pregnant… Except Me

Don’t get me wrong… I’m so very excited for every pregnancy announcement I see! Every baby is a blessing no matter if it’s mine or someone else’s… But, it hurts sometimes… I never realized how many baby announcements there are during the holidays until I started trying to get pregnant. I’m not sure if most of my friends understand what this whole process feels like for me. I know I shouldn’t expect them to understand. Most of them have husbands and unlimited FREE chances at getting pregnant. I only have as many chances as my bank account will allow. Every attempt is closer and closer to my last chance at starting my family. My head is spinning, my heart is aching, and I’m still sitting here twiddling my #&%$ing thumbs. This two week wait feels like it’s been going on forever. This one has been so much worse than the others because I know that if this round didn’t work it’ll be at least 6-7 months before I will be trying again.

I made 9 days post IUI this morning. I decided to once again test out the trigger shot. Yesterday, 8 days post IUI, was my first stark white negative. The trigger is completely out of my system. It makes me not want to test anymore. Each day that I get a negative, my hopes get shot down a little more, over and over again. I might just quit testing and wait until the 14th day to get it all over with at once. I’ll either be pregnant, or I won’t. No torturing myself with a pregnancy test every morning.

I’m just having a hard time. I need to vent. I’ve had multiple people tell me how strong and brave I am for deciding to take this on by myself, but right now I really don’t feel like I am either of those things. As I face yet another holiday season so completely alone, I just need a hug, and I need to cry. I’m not normally the type of person to throw hissy fits very often… but I’m just not sure how to keep it to myself much longer.

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Next week’s blog post will be late. I’m going to be in Houston during the weekend to support my best friend who is graduating from University of Houston! I should find out if I’m pregnant Friday, She graduates on Saturday, and it’s my birthday on Sunday. I’m just hoping to get a blog post in before Christmas, but don’t be surprised if I have to wait until after.

Coming Soon! The results of my final IUI.

The Fertility Blessing

You know my deep desire for a child. A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image.

Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will.

Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.

Amen

I Thought Nothing Was Changing, But Almost Everything Is Different

Ok, I’ve learned my lesson. I was worried about the fact that nothing was changing with my meds and the timing… but that is where the similarities between last cycle and this cycle ended. When I went to the clinic for my cd 10 ultrasound and blood work I found out that my left ovary had a big ole 24mm follicle. That’s the largest I’ve seen so far. This is the first time I get one from my left ovary, so that’s different. I have a little more hope knowing that the egg will be coming from the left ovary this time. When I did my HSG, both tubes were open, but the easier one was the left tube… The doctor had to push a little harder to get the fluid through the right tube. I don’t know if it really makes a difference, but I like to think that it means that it would be easier for the sperm and egg to get through the left tube. I also have the best hormone levels I’ve had since I started this whole thing, and my uterine lining was 7mm… The thickest I’ve seen yet. I hope that makes a nice plush landing pad for a baby! I was expecting to be told to take the trigger Thursday night and to go in on Saturday morning for my IUI, but after having the doctor review the lab work they called me to tell me that I should take the trigger ASAP and that my IUI would be Friday morning. I took my trigger at 1:30 PM and had my IUI 20 hours later at 9:30 AM. That seems a little early, but I could swear I felt myself ovulating just before the IUI, so maybe they were right on the mark? I don’t know. Another new thing is that my normal RE wasn’t available, so the other RE (I had never met this one) was the one who did the IUI. I have to admit, she had an amazing bedside manner. Don’t get me wrong, my normal RE is fantastic, but he seems to be the type that likes to discuss serious topics and get down to business. This lady was quite friendly and said a few things that actually made me laugh out loud. After it was all said and done, she made sure that I knew what to expect from then until the end of the two week wait. It was an interesting change of pace, but in a good way. Another change is the new sperm donor I chose. The first donor IUI #1 had a total motile sperm count of 16.5 million, and for IUI #2 he had a total motile sperm count of 6.8 million. Boooo! The new donor had a total motile sperm count of 23.9 million! Woohoo! In my opinion, more is definitely better! As of right now, I have no reason to think that this round didn’t work… I’m only 2 days post IUI though, and it feels like time is passing so slow already! I’m so anxious to find out if this worked! My 32nd birthday is on December 21st… My two week wait ends on the 20th. What an awesome birthday gift it would be if my dreams came true this round! 12 more days to go!

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Coming Soon! A mid two week wait update. The Fertility Blessing You know my deep desire for a child. A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image. Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will. Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit. Amen

It’s Been A Hectic Week

I spent Monday and Tuesday last week praying for Aunt Flo to hurry and show up so I could get another cycle moving along. I was also worried about the Thanksgiving holiday coming up. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to start my meds on time because of the doctor’s office being closed. Aunt Flo showed up on Tuesday afternoon and I was scheduled for my baseline ultrasound on Wednesday which was cycle day 2. During that time I was also dealing with the internet issue. It wasn’t turned back on until the Tuesday evening. On Wednesday I went to my ultrasound, then I went to work. I was only there for about 2-3 hours before I got a phone call that the part needed to repair my washing machine was finally in, so I raced home to let the technician repair my washing machine before the holiday. After that I went out and had a few much needed drinks with a great friend. Thursday was a Thanksgiving so I enjoyed the day with my family. Friday was pretty much a chill day, but I did get a phone call from work in the middle of the day… The problem with being the only person in the company who knows how to do some things is that you never really get a real holiday or vacation. I am literally on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I got more work phone calls starting at 6 AM on Saturday as well. Then, on Sunday, I found out something and had to make a pretty big decision relatively quickly… I’ll tell more about that below.

The ultrasound went well. I was given the ok to start all of my meds on CD 3 and this cycle will follow the exact same protocol as last time. Femara on CD 3. Bravelle on CD 5-8. Another ultrasound and blood work on CD10 which will be Thursday. I got to see my favorite nurse while I was there so I let her know that if this round doesn’t work out, I’ll be putting everything on hold for a while. I also had a few friends put a bug in my ear about considering IVF next summer so I asked a lot of questions. This nurse is great. She answered everything I asked and gave me even more information on top of that. I have to say… I’m not counting myself out for this round, but if it doesn’t work, I WILL be moving forward with IVF next summer.

For those who aren’t very familiar with the difference between IUI(what I’m currently doing) and IVF I’ll explain the differences.

IUI = They squirt the sperm directly in my uterus and hope they make it up the fallopian tube to the egg which then has to travel back down my fallopian tube and into the uterus. The cost is $2,500 and the chances of it succeeding are 18-20%.

IVF = They go in and get my eggs, put them in a petri dish with sperm to fertilize them, baby sit the fertilized eggs for 3-5 days, then put one or two of the best ones back in my uterus for them to get cozy. If there are more than those one or two fertilized eggs, they will be frozen for possible future use(siblings). The cost is $12,000 – $15,000 and the nurse said the chances of success are 50-60%. That seems a little high to me, so I’ll go with 50ish%.

IVF is much more intensive, invasive, and expensive… but with what I’ve spent on IUIs so far, if I would have one more IUI I would have been able to pay for an IVF… So why not just move on? I weighed out my options, and I think that the increase in my chances for success is worth the extra money and invasive procedure.

Now, back to my big decision that I had to make on Sunday. I have been checking my donor’s stash of vials no less than twice a week since I started this whole thing. I decided that I was only going to buy one vial at a time, and if It worked I would buy a few more vials to be put in storage. That way, if I decided that I wanted to have more children(I definitely want more than one) I could have more that would be full blooded siblings. On Sunday I found out that the donor I had been using was down to a limited supply, and they were not expecting any more donations from him. I absolutely had to place an order the very next day so I did a whole lot of baby daddy shopping really fast and I picked a new donor! I’m pretty excited about this guy. He’s handsome and I think he could make some really cute babies!

Maybe it was never supposed to work with the first donor.

Other than all that, I’ve started researching what can and cannot be tax deductible when it comes to fertility treatments, and collecting and organizing all of my receipts. Do I have any blog buddies who know all about medical deductions in the US? I’d love to see a blog about it with some good resources!

Anyway, this is my last shot for a while… I really hope it works.

Coming Soon! How I feel after IUI #3.

The Fertility Blessing

You know my deep desire for a child. A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image.

Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will.

Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.

Amen

Life Without The Internet

So, COX is in the process of burying fiber lines in my neighborhood so they can bring us service. I live in the country so we’ve never had any kind of cable or fiber service. Only satellite TV and DSL from AT&T for phone and internet service. It’s something that everyone in the neighborhood has been looking forward to for a long time so we are excited about it, but COX has hired the most incompetent set of contractors to bury the fiber line. Every day they are cutting someone’s AT&T line. I have been without home phone or internet service since Friday so I decided to stay late at work to update you guys.

My uterus decided to give me a great big slap in the face today.

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Seriously………. *sigh*

I have my moments when I’m really down about it, and I have my moments when I’m just looking forward to my next steps.

Let me be real with you folks for a moment here.

This is costing me a minimum of $2,500 a month, I’m trying to do this off of a single income, and I’ve still got my mortgage, truck, and everything else. I knew it was going to cost a lot. I saved up enough money for what I had hoped would be at least 4 tries, but all of the medical testing that was done before hand wasn’t something I had factored in and I had underestimated the monthly costs by about $400.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my savings for this are running low, but I figured out a way to give this one more try. If it does not work I will have to stop for about 6 or 7 months to save up more money for another 3-4 tries starting around July of 2015.

I’m praying really hard for the 3rd time to be the charm! I’m trying to avoid thinking about how heartbroken I’ll be if I have to wait until next summer to start trying again.

I’m glad that my doctor’s office will see me earlier than usual for my baseline ultrasound since they will be closed on my CD 3 for Thanksgiving. I have an appointment at 9AM tomorrow.

When I spoke with the nurse over the phone she mentioned that we would be doing the same protocol as last month. Am I crazy for thinking that doing the same thing would likely end up with the same result??? I feel like I should maybe ask tomorrow while I’m there why they aren’t being more aggressive this round. I just want the best shot I can get, because if things don’t work out this round I’ll have to put everything on hold… and I really don’t want to do that. I know that financing is an option, but I also decided before I even started that I didn’t want to go into debt to do this.

So far, this is what’s been done, and what they plan to do for this cycle.

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Coming Soon! The results of tomorrows ultrasound and the game plan for IUI #3.

The Fertility Blessing

You know my deep desire for a child. A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image.

Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will.

Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.

Amen