Two Years and Counting

Merry Christmas
December 22, 2008, 9:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A hearty Merry Christmas to everyone in the blog world. Hard to believe Christmas is only 4 days away. I have 2 gifts left to buy–one for my brother and one for a sweet 7 year old in my family who I only see once a year, therefore I have no idea what to buy her! I guess I’ll have to fight the crowds at the mall today and try to figure something out. Although I’ve read in the paper that the crowds aren’t that bad this year, given the state of the economy and people pinching pennies more than usual. Maybe that’ll make the traffic not as bad! (I will say that one good thing about having a bad economy is that everyone is having huge sales!)

Not much to report on the doctor front. We’re still waiting to hear from my insurance company as to whether or not they’ll approve me for IVF coverage even though I haven’t done “drug therapy.” My doctor told me again last week that I’m not a candidate for OI drugs, since I ovulate on my own every month. However, the insurance company doesn’t care much for that little detail, seeing as they’re more concerned with saving money. Which I guess makes since, from an insurance point of view. It’s just wacky that a bunch of insurance agents are deciding what kind of medical care I need. At any rate, Dr H said if they come back with a ‘no’, she’ll put me on a very low dose of a drug that’ll only make me produce one egg anyway, just to satisfy insurance, then we’ll ask again for coverage. I’m praying someone at the insurance company will decide to agree with the doctor’s assessment of my needs and approve us for coverage without the drugs. I’ll have to take enough drugs during IVF without having to take a round of unnecessary drugs just to make insurance happy!

I’m still feeling remarkably ok about doing IVF. A friend asked me a few days ago if I’m excited about IVF. I laughed and said, “No I’m not excited! But I am glad for the opportunity to do SOMEthing.” We’ve been doing the IUIs, but Dr H is pretty encouraged by our outlook if we do IVF. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but she seems to think this is what we should be doing. M and I are both looking very forward to doing something that will hopefully help us start our family. I’m willing to go down this road because I really do think this is what God has planned for us…whether or not it ends with a baby. If it doesn’t, if we go through IVF and it’s negative and we decide to move on to something else (which we’re not really thinking or talking about right now), we’ve decided to go to Paris. Seriously! We’ve spent all of 2008 altering our lives to make room for a baby, just in case it came. Not in huge ways–we’ve still lived our life, gone to the beach, spent time with friends and family, etc. But there are trips we didn’t take and other things we didn’t do just in case I turned out to be pregnant by the time the trip or whatever came along. (Of course, when the time came when these things would have happened and I wasn’t pregnant, we wanted to kick ourselves.) We don’t want to do that anymore. We have a trip to San Francisco on the books for September 09 (part work trip for M, and part fun trip when I fly out to meet him for the weekend), and we just decided a few weeks ago to go to Paris if IVF doesn’t work.* Of course, we’d take getting pregnant and expanding our family over going to Paris any day of the week, but it’s fun to think that we could have a nice trip or two coming up next year if OUR plan to get pregnant doesn’t work.

(I’m acknowledging here that my first thought was along the lines of “We can’t spend money on a trip to Paris when we’re in a recession and I just lost my job and the economy is in the tank!” But as if to make us feel better, there was a bit in the paper yesterday that said 2009 might be the perfect time to plan a trip to Europe because the dollar is on the rise and there will be many travel deals to be had. I’m banking on that, and have already started looking for deals!)

I hope everyone has a wonderful week with family and friends and that the peace of Christ will rest on your shoulders.


Thanksgiving week wrap up
December 1, 2008, 10:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m sitting here in my bathrobe with a mostly finished cup of tea on the kitchen table next to me. And it’s 9:30 in the morning! I’m not sure how I feel about this… Actually, I am pretty thankful for the break from work, despite all the insurance and income concerns it brings. Today is my first day of being officially unemployed. I have ambitious plans to work on my Myers Briggs test (that my “career coach” suggested I take), organize some Christmas gifts I bought over the last few days, exercise, and look for freelance projects online…but most likely, I’ll spend the majority of the day reading Eclipse, by Stephanie Meyer. Have any of you read the Twilight series of books? These are insanely addictive and engrossing. Seriously. Yes, it’s about vampires. And some werewolves. And other supernatural things. And yes, they’re the same books that millions of teenage girls are going ga-ga over (or more specifically, they’re going ga-ga over the main vampire in the book, Edward), and I’m a fairly mature 29 year old woman, but I CANNOT put these books down. They have me reading literally for hours at a time, unable to tear my eyes away. If you’re looking for a totally absorbing book to read, pick up Twilight, and just ignore your head telling you not to read a book about vampires. It’s so much more than that. To be truthful, there’s a whole lot of wholesomeness in this series. Faith, ideas about unconditional love, family, morality, and loyalty all play a big part. Once you read Twilight, I’d be willing to bet you’ll be running out to buy the next book. Just like I’ll be running to walmart to buy the 4th book today.

Ok, book rant over. On to other things…

We had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. We visited my family the weekend before T’giving, because it was our turn to stay here in town for the actual holiday and spend it with Matt’s family. There were parts of the day where I felt really out of place and kind of alone. Matt has lots of cousins and they all have kids. There are probably 12 children under the age of 9. It’s really fun having so many people and kids around, but this year, the fact that we were the only two people there without children (even his unmarried 23 year old cousin has a 4 year old) really made me feel kind of sad. Even though they may not have been thinking along these lines, I felt like they were pitying us, even if just on the inside. We haven’t told his extended family about our fertility woes, but I don’t know for sure that they don’t know. And if they did, that’s ok. I feel fairly certain that none of them would bring it up to us in the middle of a crowded dinner table. But the fact that I didn’t know whether or not they knew made me feel like they were all thinking, Poor Lauren and Matt. Anyway, it didn’t really bring me down, it just made me realize even more that time slips by so quickly, and another holiday season is here, and we still haven’t added to the number of grandchildren.

But, I was pleased to discover a few days ago that God has answered an urgent prayer of mine. Several days ago, the morning of our appt with Dr H, I prayed and asked (demanded?) God to give me more faith and more trust, and the ability to walk ahead into whatever scenario Dr H suggested for us. I prayed that if that scenario is IVF, that he’d make me trusting and ready enough to say, Yes, let’s do this. I prayed for peace, and I prayed that God would speak to us through Dr H and that we’d have the confidence to trust her, and to trust that God would correct us if we start to veer off his path for us. Then we had our appt. Like I suspected, she suggested we go the IVF route. She explained that we’ve tried everything we can try, with the exception of ovulation inducing drugs, because I already ovulate normally and regularly. She said the rate of multiples with FSH drugs is really high and not worth the risk. Also, they don’t increase your pregnancy rate nearly as much as IVF does. We’ve tried IUIs, we’ve had all the tests, we’ve done all we can do, and IVF is what’s left, if we want to continue with medical treatment. And for the first time, it didn’t scare me. The idea of the drugs/shots has been the biggest hang up for me in the past, and while I still don’t want to have to use them, I’m willing to give it a shot. I feel like, for the first time, there’s a clear road in front of us. We’ve checked off all the possible detours, and this road is what’s left.

So, with all that in mind, we jumped on board with IVF. If it weren’t for the insurance approval hurdle, we’d be able to start as soon as I start my next period, which will be in about 2 weeks. However, because ins has said they won’t cover my IVF because I haven’t done drug therapy, the office is sending a letter to the ins company explaining why Dr H suggests IVF rather than drugs and asking for them to approve me without the drugs. So, not only do we need them to approve the coverage, we need them to do it rather quickly, since my insurance coverage runs out in a couple of months. I really believe it’ll take divine intervention for this all to work. I’m praying that God will allow it to all go through speedily. I’m hoping that, after getting me to a place where I’m ready to move forward, he won’t now make us wait too long to start.  

We also planned to go forward with our last IUI this week. We asked DR H what she thought and she said, “Why not? If that works, you won’t need IVF!” So, as I usually do, I took my first opk test on day 14. I have not ovulated before day 16 since I started tracking my ovulation over a year ago. I wasn’t expecting to get a positive surge, but the office says to come in even if you haven’t had a surge by day 14, just to make sure you haven’t missed anything. For every other IUI, I’ve gone in on the morning of day 15, without having had a surge. Every time, the follicles haven’t been quite ready, so I come back everyday until they’re ready, having the iui on or around day 18 or so. I fully expected that to be the case this time. However, surprisingly I actually got a positive surge on day 14. Went into the office on day 15 (which was yesterday, Sunday) only to find that there were several follicles on both sides, but they were very tiny, none even close to the optimal size. The nurse and I were both perplexed about why I got a positive surge. She told me to come back on Thursday! I thought, OK, so this is is just going to be a strange cycle. They did take some blood to check estrogen and progesterone levels. Later yesterday, the nurse called to say my e. and p. levels actually showed that I had just recently ovulated, as in maybe even that morning. That’s why I got a positive surge, and why the follicles were small–they had just released. So strange! All that to say, after a year or so of ovulating around day 18, all of the sudden it happens several days early. Not a problem, we just missed our chance to have the IUI. But we did take other precautions, so it wasn’t a totally wasted cycle. Like Dr H said, if this cycle works, IVF will be unnecessary! (Believe me though, I’m not holding my breath.)

So, I’m feeling good. Maybe not exactly hopeful that IVF will actually work for us, but ready to get the show on the road. Ready to see what happens. Ready to see if this will be the route through which God will bless us with a child. Praying that that is the case.

And in the mean time, I have to figure out when I secure a part time job–now or later in January? In either case, I’ll be having a lot of doctor’s appointments, which is sort of awkward. In my previous job, my boss knew what was going on and was totally fine with me taking the time I needed. I hate to get a new job only to have to say, Oh yea, I’m going to be taking a considerable amount of sick time. We’ll see. Right now though, I’m going to enjoy this time off from work as much as I can, which will mean exercise (because that’s a big release for me), reading as much as I can, doing things around the house, and preparing for Christmas.