a wonderful opportunity…

So the fertility clinic that I used to go to Fertility Centers of Illinois is offering a WONDERFUL opportunity to someone in Illinois who is struggling with infertility and looking at IVF – a free cycle!!  I wish I would have known of this while I was there, but it’s all good now.

Anyway, they are having a golf fundraiser to raise money to help couples afford IVF.  You can apply to receive this amazing gift – simply click here to be taken to the fundraiser’s web page, and then click on the application link.  That simple!  I hope this reaches someone in Illinois that this could really help to reach our ultimate goal: a baby in our arms.  Good Luck!

um…okay…

So just got back from my gynecologist to discuss taking Metformin (or as DH calls it “metrosexual”) for my PCOS.  shockConversation went like this:

DrT: How are you?

Me: Good.  You?

DrT: Good.  So what can I do for you?

Me: Well, I’ve been going to FCI and they’ve diagnosed me with PCOS for the past 2 years.  I’ve read and heard from people that Metformin is commonly prescribed for PCOS so I wanted to talk to you about possibly going on that.

DrT: Sure, I can do that for you.

Yup…it was that painless!  Actually, she was pretty surprised and shocked that my fertility clinic never prescribed Metformin to me after the PCOS diagnosis.  Needless to say, I have been shocked and surprised by that as well!  She also decided since I was over due for my pap and check up to do that today too.  Usually I have some time to mentally prepare for that, but all went fine.

Okay, but here’s the kicker – she gave me Clomid too!!  What the…what do I do with that??  I’ve read putting Met and Clo together often work better than either one on their own, but I don’t really know what to do with Clomid.  We skipped that step with the RE because we only had so much money to work with and we wanted to jump straight to IUI since it had a better chance of working (which turned out to be true on the 1st try, it just didn’t last).

So…Clomid vets, HELP!!!  All I know is that I’m supposed to take it on days 2-5 of my cycle.  She told me to start the Metformin right away.  I’m not going to have any monitoring for this, as her clinic is not set up for that.  She did give me a referral to an endocrinologist, but I’m pretty sure insurance wouldn’t cover that, so I can’t really go.  I’m going to turn to good ‘ole Dr. Google and WebMD, but any insight and help I could get from all of you would be great too.

Can I just take the drugs and then BBT and use OPK’s and go from that?  Should I do anything else?  I’m already working out 3x’s a week.  I really need to start eating better, so that’s on the schedule too, but anything else?  Pre-Seed lubricant?  I’ve heard that supposed to help…I know with Clomid it can dry up your cervical mucus, so I should probably use something to help.  According to DH, we’ll just have to, as he so elegantly put it “boink” every night (yeah, he’s at the bar with some friends right now…).

interesting news…

So in trying to get prepared for my meeting with the gynecologist next Thursday I called my nurse at FCI to get my PCOS diagnosis results faxed over so I could take them in to the appointment.  She gathered together the info and explained it to me over the phone yesterday before she faxed it, which was nice.  I now know that my PCOS diagnosis was not just a shot in the dark (they never properly explained it all to me until now, when I asked about it…guess that shows you really need to be an active participant in this whole process!!).  I DEFINITELY have PCOS.  I want to help any of you out there who may not be sure what that all entails, so this is what my nurse explained to me:

1) Antral Follicle count greater than 24 (mine for the past few checks were 40, 35, 27, 35)

2) Irregular Menstrual cycles (Yup, check…)

3) “Pearl Necklace” appearance to ovaries  (this means there are small, pearl like bumps surrounding your ovaries)

4) High androgens (shown through physical appearance and blood tests)

5) LH to FSH ratios should be 1:1 (mine are not…one test was FSH 3.20 and LH 0.842)

So, now that I KNOW my diagnosis better, I feel better prepared to go into my appointment with test results, articles and determination at hand!  I’m really not anticipating much of a fight, but I’m ready if I have to!

But that’s not the interesting news…after explaining it all to me she said she had a question for me.  She wanted to know if we have ever considered IVF.  I told her we are very open to it, but the cost is just too prohibitive.  She then informed me that the clinic is doing a trial for PCOS patients to do IVF at a reduced cost and that she had spoken with the nurse in charge to get us into the trial if we want.  I told her if it was very reduced we would definitely be interested.  So, she faxed over my info and went off to talk to the nurse in charge of the trial.

About 15 min later she called back with the info.  Normal IVF cycles at my clinic are $10,500 +meds ($1-2,000).  The trial is cut in half: $5,500 +meds.  Wow.  I love my nurse.  Not only did she think of us when she heard about this trial, but she spoke with the nurse in charge directly and she is waiting for our call to say if we would like to do it.  I *heart* Jaime (my nurse).  The only catch is that we need to get started before December.  And that’s where the bummer part comes in.

The DH and I discussed it last night.  While we would both love to jump on this opportunity (IVF will NEVER be this cheap again), we just won’t have $7,000 by December.  If we had a bit more time to save up we could maybe have done it, but it just isn’t possible right now.  I hate to give up this opportunity, especially since Jaime worked so hard to get us considered for the trial, but there you go.  I’m upset we have to pass it up, but on the other hand I’m doing okay.  If I didn’t have the Metformin option that we’re working on to fall back on I would have pressed a little harder to try and find a way to do the IVF, but we do have the Metformin “safety net” so at least I’m not completely out of options.

That being said, if any of you win the lottery in the next few weeks and want to donate $5,000 to me, I won’t say no!

You won’t like me when I’m hungry…

hulk The above is a reference to the Edward Norton Hulk movie, if you haven’t seen it.  Had u/s bloodwork #2 today, and I think it was destined to be a crappy day from the moment we left the house.  The appointment was set for 7:40 am, so we left the house at 7:10, figuring traffic wouldn’t be too bad yet.  Well, it wasen’t horrible, but we did run into a bit of cluster f*ck on Lakeshore Drive…luckily we still got to FCI right at 7:40 so we weren’t late.

But………the waiting room was PACKED!  We always go early because I don’t want to have to miss work for all of these appointments.  Normally 7:40 am would give me plenty of time to do the u/s, bloodwork and drive to work and be there a bit early.  Not today though!  Finally got called back for blood work and ended up waiting another 15ish minutes for that.  Before they called me, my husband had to leave as he haden’t been able to tell his boss he was going to be late.  About 5 minutes after he left, I realized my car keys were safely locked in the car as he is usually with me the whole time, I leave them in there until we leave.  This time though, he’d walked off with his set and I was now stranded.  Nothing to do but try to borrow the clinic’s phone after my appointment and call him (hoping they had a phone book because I didn’t have the number on me).  I don’t have a cell phone, so that’s why I had to borrow the clinic phone.  Finally get called back for bloodwork, luckily got a good tech so they didn’t have to jab me twice.

Next, sent over for the ultrasound.  To wait another 10 minutes.  I see the tech pull my sheet and walk her patient over to bloodwork, then another tech comes out and calls the lady who came after me.  Great.  More waiting.  My tech finally comes back (after the 2nd lady after me got called back) and goes into her room – to talk with one of the techs and docs for another 10 minutes!  In the mean time, she could have put my chart back so another tech could have seen me, but oh no!  I finally get called back, do my ultrasound and head out to the front desk.

I get there and the lady asks me to pay the $600 bill.  I’m sorry what??  We’ve been going to this clinic for over a year now and they’ve always – ALWAYS let us wait until a bill comes in the mail to pay.  She wouldn’t hear of it though.  Not to mention that we had just been there Friday and our chart said $0 owed and now all of a sudden there is an odd $300 charge plus the $200 for today.  Well, I said “I need to use the phone because my husband has the car keys and I need to check and see if we even have that in our account before I can pay.”  We usually pull out from savings when a bill comes, so I wasen’t sure what to do.  I asked for a phone book “Oh, I don’t have one.”  I’m thinking, does someone in the office have one, or do you not want to go check???  Luckily Justin’s work number was on file so I called using their phone.  Got his answering machine.  Great.  Left a message, “You have the car keys and they want $600 dollars.  I don’t know what to do.  Call here and ask for me I guess.”

Apparently, about 5 min after I called Justin had just gotten to work, so he turned around and started heading back.  I’m glad he left so fast, but I wish I’d known he was on his way.  At this point I’m sitting in the waiting room crying not sure what to do next.  2 nurses come over and ask if I’m waiting for something else, as they know I’ve already completed my appointment.  I tell them, no, just waiting for keys to my car.

Finally decide to try and call again and get the receptionist at Justin’s office to track him down.  I was going to tell her it’s a minor emergency and I really need to speak with him.  Of course, though, she’s on another call so I have to go through the prompts to get to J’s phone again.  Answering machine picks up again.  Bah!  If I had gotten the receptionist she probably could have told me that Justin was on his way to save me.

About 2-3 min after call #2, Justin walks in.  I swear there was a heavenly light shining all around him, my savior for the day! 😀  We go over to bill lady and then all of a sudden we can just pay today’s bill and wait for the mailed bill to pay the $300.  Thanks lady, that would have saved me a LOT of stress and tears today.  At this point, the HULK is just waiting to rip through my skin and strangle this lady, but I also just want to get out of there before I sound like a total bitch for the way I was talking to her.  We pay and I book it out of there, tears now streaming down my face.

Next I drive like a crazy woman out of there and drop of my husband.  Trying to ignore the dumb ass driving the 15 passenger van that has decided to drive down the middle of both lanes in downtown Chicago.  Brilliant.  Finally turn on to Michigan Ave and get stopped at a red, and it’s red all the way down.  Beautiful.  It’s 9:00 by now, the time I’m supposed to be at work.  Because Justin left work so fast he wasn’t able to call my boss to say I might be late.  He was gonna call while I was on my way up now.  After getting cut off by taxis, buses and more dumb asses, I finally get to Lakeshore and again, hit a red.  HULK ANGRY!!!  Get on Lakeshore.  Cut off a few more times.  Finally get to my turn off.  Cut off by a bus who is turning left while in the right turn only lane off the exit.  At this point, I’ve decided I need a donut.  It’s odd, but almost every time I’ve had a bad appointment at FCI I must stop for a donut before I go to work.  Either my body really needs the sugar to help me at that point or something!  Get to the store, buy my donut (okay…2) and grab a DDP (Diet Doctor Pepper) which is bad, because I’ve stopped caffeine and alcohol since CD1, but I decided to heck with that for just today.  I’m not pregnant yet!

Finally got to work around 9:40, 2 hours after my alleged appointment time.  Grrr…argh (with a Zombie demon floating by).  Feeling better now that I’m here and having devoured 2 donuts and almost finished my DDP.  So, how was your day?

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.

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??