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!

nervous…

Had another u/s today to check my follicles. Laverne at last check had one at 15, that was the biggest. Today I went in (after 2 more days of Bravelle, dose of 75) and Laverne’s biggest follicle was 16.5. Hmm….that makes me REALLY nervous that they’ll cancel this cycle. They can’t do that. They just can’t. We’ve put so much money into this cycle already because they’ve done so many u/s checks that we just don’t have enough for another full cycle. We have enough to finish this one out, but that’s probably about it. I knew I should have said something when the nurse told me to do 75 of the Brevelle. I’ve NEVER responded well to a dose that low, and they’ve had be do that 3 times this cycle. No wonder it’s taking so long! I’m really hoping that they’ll say take a higher dose tonight (like 225??) and then do the Ovadril shot tomorrow, IUI on Friday and Saturday. I know they like to have the follicles about 18-20mm. I’m so close! I’m going to try my hardest to convince them to try the IUI this cycle if they attempt to cancel on me…it’s worth a shot if it’s the only one I have left. Better to try at least.

I’ll post more this afternoon when I hear from the clinic…

still a bit sluggish…

It seems like these damn things are taking forever to grow…follicles that is. I’m on CD12 and they are still not ready for me! My last IUI cycle I only had to go in for 3 blood work and u/s checks. Come this Wednesday it’ll be #4. “Righty” (let’s call her Laverne from now on) has a 15, 14.5 & 11.5 size follicles. “Lefty” (aka: Shirley) has one at a size 10. I’m a bit nervous that Laverne is the one that’s pulling through. She’s the one that had the biggest follicles with the last IUI attempt and it was a big flop on that one. When I got pregnant with Zippy, it was Shirley that supplied the egg for him/her. I’ve heard that a woman tends to favor one side over the other when it comes to makin’ babies. Anyone know if this is actually true? Can it switch sides or is it always from one particular side? It seems like with my first 2 IUI’s it was the left, and now the last one and this one it’s been on the right.

Got a different tech today…the one I like the best. Very nice, and sometimes asks if I want to help her guide the “probe”. At least then I can say no and she can do it herself. I didn’t like her at first, but that may have been slightly biased since the first few times she gave me the ultrasound check ups she was pregnant. There really is nothing like being in an infertility clinic, trying your hardest to get pregnant by any means, and having a big old pregnant belly rubbing against your legs while you’re in the stirrups. Yup. I told my husband at one point that pregnant women should not be allowed to work at RE clinics. I was only half joking though…half.

Anyway, 75 tonight and tomorrow on the Bravelle, then back bright and early on Wed for another check. LET’S GO LAVERNE!!!

a practice run…

That’s apparently what my first pregnancy was, according to my lab tech…a practice run.

Went in today for 3rd blood woork and u/s. Got the chatty tech (I hate getting her. She’s good, but I don’t really want to sit there and talk about how beautiful my lining is). Anyway, She’s measuring and chatting along and here was where the conversation (by conversation I mean her talking at me while I’m trying to concentrate on not jumping out of the stirrups every time she digs the wand in) turns:

Tech: We’re just looking for one good follicle, that’s all you need.
Me: Mmm…(sure lady, just do your thing and get me on to the blood people)
Tech: You’ve been pregnant before right.
Me: Yes (thanks for continually bringing that up. I really love talking about my lost child)
Tech: How many follicles did you have for that?
Me: I don’t recall (seriously, let’s just get this over with!)
Tech: Well, let’s try and get you that way again. That was your practice run!
Me: *blankly stares at tech and blinks*

WHAT THE F*CK?!?!?!?!?! In what twisted time/place would it EVER be okay to say something like that to a woman who had lost a child? Let alone in a freakin’ INFERTILITY CLINIC!!!!!!! Am I wrong here? Am I over reacting?? I don’t think so. Never, never, EVER call my child a practice run!!!!!! I was so shocked that she had said that, I didn’t even know what to do. I went into the restroom to get redressed and I just teared up. I wish I would have had the presence of mind to say something to her. Anything:

“I’m sorry? What did you just call my child? I don’t think so!”
“A practice run? A PRACTICE RUN?? I’ll show you a practice run!!!”
“Excuse me, could you never, ever refer to a lost baby as a practice run…ever…to anyone?”

You know, something like that. Then, I’m already in a bad mood from that and go up to the sign out counter. This is where break downs usually happen, because it’s where the money handling is done. We have a credit on our account due to a medical loan we got. This credit is dwindling, but there should be a bit left in there. Apparently however, it take 2 weeks for charges to be processed and for the actual amount of our credit to show up on our forms at the office. The lady at the desk said, “I can’t tell how much is in there, and probably won’t for 2 weeks. I suggest you pay us now and then we can reimburse you.” As if it’s that easy! We just don’t have the spare money to be throwing around and waiting for a reimbursement check that may never come. The whole point of this loan was to have money there so we didn’t have to deal with this sh*t every time we go in. It was supposed to relieve our stress, not cause more. I asked if I could call the billing dept. and get an accurate count. “You could call them, but they may not know until Monday, and everything may not have been processed yet.” Great. The billing dept. doesn’t even know what’s going on. Great system they have working here! I was told that the clinic would always be able to tell what my credit on my account was. So much for that. So now I have to go through the headache calling the billing dept, explaining my whole situation to the receptionist, hopefully get transferred to someone who can understand my dilemma, and explain it all to them again! I usually have to go through this about 3 or 4 time before I get someone who can actually help me. I have a guy who helped me last time. He gave me his name and told me to ask for him if we ever have trouble. Thanks guy…but I don’t remember your name. Crap. Did I blog about him? I hope…I’ll have to go back through my archives and see if I listed his name.

Of course, the very helpful receptionist at the billing dept always starts with one question. “What insurance company do you use?” Um…yeah. I tell her the name of my company, but that the rep for them can’t help me, as my insurance doesn’t cover anything, and that’s not what this is about anyway. Then she gets flustered and has no idea who to transfer me to. You’d think she’d be used to dealing with women with no IF insurance. I’m certainly not the ONLY one at that clinic paying out of pocket! Am I? No…I know I’m not.

So…I left the clinic and drove to work. As usual on appointment days, I got here an hour early. We have to schedule early morning appointments so I don’t miss any more work that is absolutely necessary. I spoke with my boss about why I’d been missing so much (which I REALLY didn’t want to do) because he had made a comment about it at one point. So now, apparently for my IUI days, he wants me to take them as personal days. Too bad I’m out now. So, instead of resting and letting the little swimmers do there thing, I will have to come in to work. Damn.

Anyway…got off track there for a second. So, I got to work an hour early. Upset and crying. I decided that I couldn’t just sit in my office and read for the hour. I went for a walk. A very LONG walk. About 2 miles actually. I needed to just clear my head. It was great – except I was wearing bad shoes for urban hiking and now I’ve given myself blisters and rubbed the skin off one spot on the top of my foot. But I’m glad I took the walk. I needed it.

So…that’s my day. I’ll update when I hear from the nurse as to the next step of this whole damn process.

sleepy follicles…

So had my 2nd appointment for this cycle this morning. In and out…no crazy stories this time.

Got the call from the nurse a bit ago, and it seems my follicles want to be sluggish this go round. Damn them. Although, the tech I had this morning only measure 2 of them, so I kind of wonder if that’s part of the reason they think I’m having trouble? Anyway…

I have 2 main follicles at 8mm a piece, which I don’t think is too bad. I’m on CD7, so if they grow 2mm a day, that puts me around 20mm on CD13, which would be great for a “normal” person and excellent for me, so I’m not sure what they think the problem is…

Anyway, I usually do a dose of 150 of Bravelle every night during my IUI cycles. Tonight they want me to up it to 225…that’s 3 vials of the precious, expensive (though very happily donated by my amazingly wonderful nurse) meds…Then 150 tomorrow night and back bright and early on Friday for another blood work and u/s.

Hopefully the little buggers will be appeased by this increased offering of Brevelle tonight and decide to expand to their full growth soon, then we can do this IUI and commence the 2ww. We’ll see. I have hope for this cycle, I really do: grow damn you!

Almost to the top of the hill…

Wedding Disc 1 190Went in AGAIN for blood and u/s. Things looking good. Up to 14 1/2! 150 dose for tonight, Sat and Sun. Back on Monday. If everything looks good Monday we can probably plan for IUI on Tuesday and Wednesday!!!!!!! I’m nervous, excited, worried, hopeful, and have zero hope all at the same time. Last time we did this I went in with little to no hope of it working. When I got the call that I was indeed pregnant I was so shocked I could barely speak. I was at work. After the call I ran to the bathroom and cried and prayed in thankfulness. Then I called my husband. I couldn’t wait to tell him in person.

This time I’m more hopeful, because I know it can work. I hate to be hopeful going in though, because when it inevitable doesn’t work I’ll be crushed. The TWW between IUI and blood test is excruciating, as all TWW are (you all know!!). It’ll help that we’ll be moving during that time (hurray, I won’t have to lift heavy things!) and I’ll be busy putting together a new home, so at least I’ll have something to keep me occupied. Sadly though, that 2nd bedroom we fought for because we were supposed to have a baby in October will now be filled with office stuff and overflow storage. Instead of finally being able to put together a nursery I’ll be setting up my old desk and trinkets. Not quite what I was hoping for moving in, but there you go. But maybe….just maybe….we’ll be able to do a nursery at some point in the near future? I know – very dangerous to think like that. I tend to like to prepare for the worst. It makes the blow a bit less – a BIT less – when it does come. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I think IF should be renamed: Wait And See. That’s what the whole struggle is. Wait and see if get AF. Wait and see if the dosage is right. Wait and see if you’ve ovulated. Wait and see if you’ll be able to do a procedure, wait and see if it worked…then start the whole process over again. Bah – it’s frustrating! This is why I named this blog “The Long And Winding Road…” not just in tribute to the best band ever (The Beatles) but also because that’s what it is.  The pic above is from my wedding day.  I’ve always called this picture in my head “The Long And Winding Road”.  Little did I know then, almost 4 years ago what that would really mean!  I love my husband very much and if we have to be on this journey, I’m glad it’s him that I’m on it with.

I think I can, I think I can…

The little follicles that could…

At my appointment on Friday my follicles were apparently growing quite well.  I started out the cycle with 40 of them, which they tell me is pretty high, and much more than I have ever had starting out, so that gave me hope for this cycle.  On Friday the count was 3 at size 8, 2 at 7, 1 at 6 and a bunch of smaller ones.  They told me to stay on a dose of 75 of the Bravelle through Sunday night and then my appointment today.  I was a bit nervous about that, because I knew last time we did this they upped the dosage in the middle to get the follicles really growing, so I didn’t know why they’d want to stay on the same dose now, but I figured they must know what they’re doing.

Well, today I went in and my follicles have not grown much if at all since my last appointment.  The nurse said I have a ton of new smaller one, but the larger ones have not grown.  Damn.  Up the dosage to 150 tonight and tomorrow, back on Wednesday.  I’m nervous.  We had one canceled cycle before the one that worked and this is how it went.  They stopped growing and we didn’t catch it in time and they had to cancel.  We found out in the car on the way home for Thanksgiving – not a good time to find out I can tell you that!  So I’m REALLY hoping that this up in dosage will work and I’ll go back Wednesday and they’ll tell me it’s time for the Ovadril and the IUI…so, think happy thoughts!

Oh, and of course then I get to work and flip my “Sticker a Day” calendar over to this week and guess what the theme is: yup, babies.  So I get to stare at bibs, duckies, diaper pins and bibs for the next 7 days while I’m hoping my body decides to cooperate at let me try to make another baby.  Damn you Sticker a Day – damn you!!