Needles, needles everywhere…

Had appointment #1 for IUI cycle #2.  It was hard.  I did not want to be there – I should not have had to be there!  But I was there, and I had to deal.  I had a few moments where the tears threatened to fall, but I held them back.

So, had baseline ultrasound and blood work.  I hate the bloodwork.  I usually get the same lady, and most times she has to stick me twice to get it in correctly.  Luckily she got it the first time this time.  I know next time will be 2 though.  My right arm does not appreciate being repeatedly stuck with needles, so they usually have to draw from my left if I’ve had any blood work recently.

I spoke with one of my nurses after the appointment, as she had set aside some drugs for me (bless her heart).  We’re paying for all medicines and procedures out of pocket as my insurance does not cover infertility treatments (of course).  In the past we’ve used gonal f and follistim.  Both of these drugs as many of you may know are crazy expensive.  We’ve been lucky to get many samples from FCI for these drugs, but when we do purchase them, the gonal f is about $600-$700.  This time we were given bravelle – you need to mix the bravelle yourself, but it is MUCH cheaper, and they have a program called “Heart” that you can enroll in for $10 and then the drugs are $20 less per vial!  A box of bravelle if you’re in the program is $225!!!  Hurray!!!

brevelle

We also got a bag full of needles!

needles

Should I feel like a drug addict??  I think so 🙂

Tonight (Sunday) we begin with a dose of 150 (2 vials) and tomorrow as well, then 75 on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday morning we have another appointment to see how things are coming along.

And of course we’ve gotten our ovadril to use, in case the cycle goes as planned and we are able to do the IUI:

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So yeah, time to be stuck with a needle everyday now.  The joys of infertility!

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And I’m back…

LeakyCon 2009 (12)

I had a GREAT TIME at LeakyCon 2009!  Didn’t get much sleep, met a bunch of great new people, and partied like it was 1999!  It took my mind off everything for almost 6 days straight, which was GREAT (I say almost the whole 6 days because just as we were leaving the hotel Sunday these 2 beautiful little babies came by – I was dead tired and cranky and I broke down for a good 5 minutes.  That’s how I knew I was completly spent)!

So now – back to the real world.  Even though I didn’t think about IF while I was gone, I started my Provera on Wednesday.  Started cramping a bit Thursday/Friday (which made me nervous because if AF had arrived while I was on vacation, I would have missed my window) but AF began last night!  It’s odd how I think this is the only time in my life I’ve been happy for a visit from AF, but there you go.  Called in to FCI (my doctor’s office) this morning and have an appointment tomorrow morning for my baseline ultrasound/bloodwork.  And here we go again.  I’m nervous about how I will react when I walk back in to that office tomorrow.  The last time I was there I cried because I was so happy I’d never have to go back.  Now I’m having to start the whole process again.  It’s going to be hard, I know.  Please keep me in your thoughts tomorrow as I once again start my journey.

Still here

Sorry the posting has been on hiatus.  I was home (in Minnesota) visitng family this weekend.  It wasen’t as bad as I thought it would be, though I think I had psyched myself up enough to not let it get to me.  There were moments when I hugged my mom and grandma when I was close to tears, but I sucked it up.

Wanted to write and say that I will be MIA for the next week.  I’m heading to Boston for a convention…a Harry Potter convention!  Yes – I’m one of those!  It should be a great time, and I’m looking forward to a week away from all this crazy IF stuff.  Get my mind off it for a while.  However, I’ll be starting my Provera on Wednesday.  This is the stuff that should hopefully coax AF out of her hidey hole and bring her out for a visit.  I actually got the drugs last week, but knowing that I was going to be gone all this coming week, I talked with my nurse and we both decided it’d be best to wait until the middle of the week, just in case.  It usually takes a week or 2 for the meds to work, but I don’t want to be in the middle of Boston and have AF come for her visit and then miss my window for the baseline (bloodwork/ultrasound) and then have to wait until my next cycle.

Guess that’s all for now.  Just wanted to let you all know I’m alive and thinking of you.  I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to check the interwebs while I’m in Boston.  I’ll be thinking of you all and hopeing all is well in your lives.

Connections…

There seems to be a sort of connection between us all in the IF world.  We have a common story, though some of the details may be different, the general shape of the story is the same.  I’ve made a new IF bloggin connection.  Kate from Maybe Baby? has been leaving comments on my blog posts lately and I spent today reading through her blog from  the first post to the most current post.  I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing, but it is as if I were reading something I wrote.  Almost every word, every pain, every tear – they are mine as well.

She posted a song in April by Ray Lamontagne called “Let It Be Me”.  It is a song that I’ve been listening to for months on the online radio station I play while at work.  I never grasped the words though.  I read that post and felt the connection.  The connection to her, to the pain, to the words, to us all dealing with miscarriage and infertility.

There may come a time, a time in everyones life
where nothin seems to go your way
where nothing seems to turn out right
there may come a time, you just cant seem to find your way
for every door you walk on to, seems like they get slammed in your face
thats when you need someone, someone that you can call.
and when all your faith is gone
feels like you cant go on
let it be me
if its a friend that you need
let it be me
feels like your always commin on home
pockets full of nothin and you got no cash
no matter where you turn you aint got no place to stand
reach out for something and they slap your hand
now i remember all to well
just how it feels to be all alone
you feel like youd give anything
for just a little place you can call your own
thats when you need someone, someone that you can call
and when all your faith is gone let it be me.

While the song was playing in the background just now as I was working, I was over come with emotion.  Mostly because I all of a sudden realized what I putting myself into this weekend.  My husband and I are heading up to Minnesota for the weekend to see my parents.  It hit me that I have not seen ANY of my family since I had my miscarriage in March.  The last time I saw my family was in February at my mom’s birthday party, and I told them the good news – that I was pregnant.

On Easter Sunday my husband and I were visiting his family.  I called home to wish everyone a Happy Easter.  My grandma got on the phone and I broke into tears at the sound of her voice.  It was very unexpected, and I don’t think she knew it happened.  I will see her this weekend, and I’m not sure how I will deal.

In better news, just now as I was typing this blog and the tears were forming, the phone rang.  It was my nurse at FCI (Fertility Centers of Illinois) where I go for my IF treatments.  I had called earlier to talk about starting up the meds that will bring on my cycle (provera).  I love my nurse there.  She’s been amazing through this whole process.  She was so happy when our IUI worked out and so upset when I told her I had lost the baby.  She is calling into my pharmacy right now to order the meds and I can pick them up tonight!  HUZZAH!!  This post started with me feeling very sad, and I still am, but I’m very glad that it’s ending with some hope…perhaps a sign??

A gift…

My dear friend Carly has been amazing over the last few months.  I so happy for all of the support that I’ve recieved on this blog from the IF world, but it’s great to also have someone who you know and see that can relate to what you’re going through.  The other day she told me that she had sent a small package to Justin and I to be a “talisman” for us during our struggle.  It just arrived in the mail yesterday:

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You may be wondering why she sent us a bee pendant.  Well, bees are one of the symbols associated with St. Rita.  Rita was born to elderly parents on May 22, 1382.   Here is the story of her birth and the first appearance of the bees (source):

On Saturday, May 22, 1382 – during the reign of Pope Urban VI – in a small village, three miles from Cascia, Rita was born to Antonio Mancini and Amata Ferre. Antonio and Amata were an older pious couple who had consecrated every day of their wedded life to the service of God, spending their time caring for the poor. One night, while Amata was praying, an angel appeared to her in a vision and told her that it was the will of God that she would have a daughter who would, from her birth, be marked with a seal of sanctity. God made it known to Amata that her name would be Rita, which was given to her four days after her birth when she was baptized at St. Mary’s Church in Cascia.

Five days after her birth, a swarm of bees hovered over Rita as she slept in her cradle. “The bees alighted on her lips,…, and were seen to enter and issue forth from her partially opened mouth without harming her or causing her to awaken from her slumber.

The bees are black and white, and they still live at a monestary devoted to St. Rita.  They also have no stinger.  “Saint Rita has been one of the most popular Saints in the Church for centuries. She is known as the ‘Saint of the Impossible’ because of her amazing answers to prayers, as well as the remarkable events of her own life.”  Rita is the patron saint of many areas, including: desperate causes, impossible causes, infertility, parenthood and sterility.  I think I’m covered somewhere in there…

Carly sent along a note with the pendant so that we would know what this bee thing was all about.  As I was reading it outloud to my husband my voice broke and the tears came.  This means so much to me.  I’m so lucky to have Carly in my life, who knows and understands what I’m going through and always seems to have the right thing to say.  I can’t even explain what it means to me to have something like this, something physical that I can cling to.  Something I can wear and know that, to me, it has meaning and power.   I’m planning to wear this pendant every day now, to give me strength while I go through the next stage of my infertility.

St. Rita’s feast day is May 22nd.  This is about the same time I will be starting with my next IUI cycle.  Carly mentioned this in the note, and it seems almost pre-ordained that the feast day of the patron Saint of infertility should coinside so closly with the next step of my journey.

While Justin and I were starting our first IUI cycle our pastors, who are also very close friends of ours, were on Sabbatical.  They were in Ireland for a good portion of their time off and while there, they prayed for us at a spring in Ireland that is supposed to be a powerful source of fertility.  It meant a lot to us that they would think of us and do something like that for us.  I like to think that their actions had something to do with our IUI success.  Unfortunatly, it didn’t last.  I can only hope that this new symbol can help us now that we are starting again.

Thank you Carly – we love you very much.

That dreaded day…

You know the one I mean…that one that is bittersweet…where you honor the one who gave you life, but grieve that you have not yet been able too…yeah, that one.

I made it through this year, due to many distractions and friends.  It was not as bad as I thought it would be, but I tried very hard not to let it be.  I cringed everytime I heard someone say “Happy Mother’s Day” in my vicinity.  I put off calling my own mother because I was afraid to say it myself.  I kept myself busy so I couldn’t sit and reflect on what I was missing out on this year.  This year, MD (Mother’s Day) should have been the best ever…I should have been 18 weeks along on Sunday.  I should have been happily planning baby showers and nursery rooms.  I should have been excited that on next MD, I’d have a child to celebrate with.  Instead I’m left to wonder if I’ll ever be able to make it through MD with out regret, sadness and loss.  How do you all cope with MD?  Do you do something special?  Do you ignore it?

A bit of good news for a change…

No, the elusive AF has not yet come for a visit, but I had a phone conversation with my doctor this morning.

Background – the day I spent in the hospital with my miscarriage and D&C the doctor told me I should wait 3 cycles until trying again.  You can imagine with everything else that I was attempting to deal with that day (excruciating pain, heartbreak, loss, pain meds, etc…) hearing that felt awful.  As I’ve mentioned, my cycles are often time 3+ months long.  That would me 9 months before we could even try again.

When I went in for my check up 2 weeks after the miscarrage, my Gyno said we should probably wait 2 cycles, but that she would leave the decison up to my fertility doc, since he would know my body and situation better.  That felt a bit more managable, but still…6 months…

I called and talked to my nurse at the fertility center a couple of days after my check up to let her know that my gyno had said everything was good and I’d be coming back to them when they were ready.  She also told me a 2 cycle wait was the most likely option.  Yuck.  She said that my doctor wanted to talk with me though, and it could just be over the phone.

I don’t know why, but I waited a long time to call and schedule the phone appointment.  Maybe it was my lack of motivation getting me…maybe it was the fact I didn’t want to hear the 2 cycle wait again…maybe I just wasen’t ready to deal.  I don’t know.  Anyway, I finally called last week and scheduled the phone call.  So that was this morning before work.

First off, he wanted to discuss our options – IUI again or IVF.  The clinic I go to is known for their IVF and their success with it, so of course they are always pushing it.  I’d have no problem going that route, but my insurance covers 0% of fertility treatments, and so the cost of IVF is prohibitive for my husband and I.  We will likely never be able to go that route.  So, IUI it is.

Now for the good news – he asked the exact date of my D&C.  Then asked if I had gotten a period yet, which I said no to.  He said that since my cycles are usually 3 months, wait 2 more weeks and then call in to the office for a perscription of Provera (progesterone) to start my period, and then we can start with the IUI.

Wait…what???  I don’t have to wait anothe cycle?  No more endless anticipation, no more wondering???  We can start as soon as AF comes over for a stay right away???

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t even express the relief I feel today!  I know I have a long journey ahead still, and no garauntee that just because it worked the first time with IUI that it’ll work right away again, but just the fact that I have a goal in sight makes the 2 week wait more bareable.  Before it was waiting with no idea how long the wait will be!  Now it’s 2 weeks until medication, and after that around 1-2 weeks before AF starts (I’ve done this before, and that’s about what it usually is).  This means I could possibly be starting the IUI process as early as the beginning of June!  That’s awesome.  Relief.  Whew!

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