Two Years and Counting

Pre-cycle visit
January 28, 2009, 9:41 am
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I’ve hardly had time to sit down and breathe this week. There’s a for sale sign in our yard and it makes me sad every time I look at it! I’m sad about the possibility of us leaving this little house that I love, but excited about the prospect of the new house. I’ve been pulling pages from magazines for years and years–I have three folders full! Now, I’ll finally be able to pick out pages with images that could work for the new house and start making that house our own. That is IF this house sells. There’s a chance it may all fall through–our buying the new house is contingent on us selling our house, and apparently there’s someone else who wants the house, and their house is in the process of being sold. So we’ll just see what happens. I’m really ok either way.

We had our pre-cycle visit on Monday. I really like the IVF coordinator, Janet. She’s very down-to-earth and realistic. She went over our calendar and how to give the injections. I’m not concerned at all about the sub-Q injections, and I’ve had an HCG booster, so I’m not worried about that one. But the almost 4 weeks (if I end up pregnant) of intramuscular progesterone-in-oil shots…good grief. My rear end is going to be incredibly sore and probably purple. I bruise so easily. I’m not looking forward to that part.

I start the injections a week from Sunday, Feb 8th, and I’ll go in for my first check the next THursday. The retrieval will be the next week, and the transfer the next. Of course, just like the house, it could all fall through if my body doesn’t respond the way it should. There’s so much that’s out of my hands right now! I guess God is teaching me more and more that it’s ok if I’m not the one in control of everything. Not that I ever am, but I like to feel that way. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more NOT in control of things going on! But I’m just trusting. Hanging on and trusting.

Oh, also, I have to go see a hematologist. I can’t remember if I’ve written about this hear, but a blood test revealed a slightly elevated level of anti-cardio lipins in my blood–something that can indicate a higher risk for blood clots–either for me or for a baby in the first part of pregnancy, especially. So, if I get pregnant, I’ll be taking a sub-Q shot of heparin twice a day. I guess I better get used to the injections. They want me to see a hematologist regardless of if I get pregnant, becuase it’s something I’ll need to keep an eye on my whole life. And it’s a good thing that they found it. Not that it’s a super elevated level, but it is higher than normal, and my grandmother had a stroke due to a blood clot, so I suppose it runs in my family a bit.

Anyway, that’s the scoop. It’s raining here and I want nothing more than to be able to snuggle down on the couch with a book and tea, but I’m a little on edge because the real estate agent could call at any time and tel me to get out of the house! If that happens, I’ll throw the dog in the back of the car (to make sure he doesn’t scare a potential buyer) and drive around a bit or something.


Possible Development
January 25, 2009, 12:11 pm
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Yikes, it looks like we may be putting a bid on a house today! It’s completely out of the blue, and admittedly, not ideal timing, with IVF starting presently, but it’s almost too good of a deal for us to pass up. We knew we’d be looking to move in the next  year or year and a half, and have been looking at houses in our neighborhood that we could possibly move into and add on to, since up until now, the option of moving into a larger (4 bedroom) house was out of the question due to high prices. However, we found a nice house in our price range that has great space, and we just may have to jump on it. It would involve getting our house ready to sell fast and preparing for a big change.

As far as IVF, I’m thinking maybe it’d actually be good for me to have something else to concentrate on rather than what’s happening in my body! I know many would say not to do something big like moving while undergoing IVF, but we also can’t put our life on hold, and we certainly don’t want to pass up a great opportunity because of a month and a half of treatment. I googled things like “stress and IVF” this morning, and most if the sites it pulled up cited a 2005 study that showed no link between stress, IVF, and pregnancy. That sounds totally opposite of what I’ve been told (as in nurses saying to decrease stress during IVF), but it made me feel a tad better. Also, maybe the acupuncture I’m doing will counteract the stress moving would cause!

I’m still feeling good about entering this IVF cycle, and I’m praying God won’t let this house thing go through if moving would cause the treatment to fail. I don’t know if that’s the right thing to pray, but we may just go ahead and put the contract on the house and trust that God will cause everything to shake out as he knows is best.

I’ll let you know how it all happens!

Presently, no anxiety
January 23, 2009, 12:10 pm
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I have to admit, I don’t really think this IVF cycle is going to work. My head was going a mile a minute on my walk this morning, and I realized that I just don’t think it’s going to work. I’m sure someone who’s big into the importance of positive thinking would tell me that I’m going to jeopardize our luck by not thinking good thoughts, but I don’t buy that. The IVF is going to work or not work, regardless of what’s going on in my head. And I don’t think I’m just trying to keep myself from having overly high expectations. I really just can’t imagine this working. Maybe it’s because we’ve had nothing but “no”s over the last two years.

But the strange thing is, I feel no anxiety, no real worries, no big fears, even though I don’t feel like it’s going to work. And I think I know why that is. I’ve gotten pretty good lately at being able to push out of my mind anything that’s uncomfortable or hard to think about. That doesn’t mean I stick my fingers in my ears, squeeze my eyes shut, and ignore everything that’s important; it means that I’ve started choosing to not think about things that aren’t here yet. For example, leading up to the start of this IVF cycle, I haven’t been thinking much about the fact that my husband will soon be giving me injections every day. It’s not going to be a fun part of the process, I’m sure, so I’ve just sort of put it out of my head, thinking I’ll just deal with it when the time comes.  

As far as me not feeling overly anxious about IVF, even though I don’t have much confidence in it, I think it’s because I’m choosing not to think about the things that I’m sure will pop into my head the minute we get an “I’m sorry, it didn’t work” phone call (if in fact we get that call.) Things like “What will we do next?” “What will our money situation look like?” “How do I feel about another IVF cycle?” “I can’t believe I’m getting close to the age when they start talking to you about possible birth defects and Downs Syndrome when I haven’t even had my first child yet.” I know those things will enter my head swiftly, but right now, on this side of the cycle, I don’t have to deal with those questions and concerns yet, so I’m not thinking about them.

Maybe a part of me actually is sticking my fingers in my ears, squeezing my eyes shut, and saying, “La-la-la-la,” over and over. At least in this situation.

I know this sounds batty, but it’s working for me. It’s allowing me to enter into this IVF cycle with peace and strength. Even though my optimism isn’t high. And I’m praying like a mad woman that God will give M and I abundant strength and peace and trust and faith if we get the negative phone call.

Our pre-cycle visit had to be moved to this coming Monday, instead of the next Monday, so M and I will be talking through some things this weekend in preparation for signing the consent forms and things on Monday. We’ll need to talk about where we stand on how many eggs to fertilize. We haven’t discussed that in several months, and I’d like for us to be prepared with some answers when we get in front of the nurse.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Here We Go
January 18, 2009, 11:44 am
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We’ve officially begun the IVF process. I had my appointment Friday for the baseline ultrasound and blood work. My antral count was I believe 17. I had 11 follicles on the right and 6 on the left. I don’t think those are extremely high numbers, but they’re fine. I started the last night and will probably use it for about 3 weeks. Thank goodness NR was the birth control I used when we first got married, so the idea of this type of BC didn’t freak me out, as I imagine it does for some people. Our pre-cycle visit (where we sign consent forms, get our calendar, learn about meds, etc) is set for Feb 2. The nurse gave me a brief rundown on what to expect for the next month and a half or so, and I plan to call the IVF coordinator on Monday to get a few more details. The nurse said since I’ve started this cycle, the coordinator will have a better idea of my protocol.

The thing is, I’ve taken a nanny job that is supposed to start the first week of Feb, right around the time I’ll be starting the injections. The mom is a friend of a friend, and she has a one and a half year old girl. Although I’m nervous about how it’ll work with the IVF, I’m convinced God has put me and this mom together. The job fits in really well with what I’ve been praying for–something part time that allows me time leftover for freelance work and all the doctor appointments and an employer who I can be honest with about the IVF. The mom (Nancy) works a day and a half a week as a nurse practitioner, and she’s mostly working just to keep her license. She and her husband have been praying for the right person to come along for this job, and she said she would probably have quit her job if she didn’t feel totally comfortable with a prospective nanny. We met for lunch last week and we really hit it off. I’ll be at their house all day on Tuesdays (6:45 til about 4) and half day on Wednesdays (6:45 til about 1.) My problem is that I don’t know what to tell her about those first few weeks of February. The nurse told me that as we get close to the retrieval, I’d need to be available to come in on whatever day they need me to, which of course makes perfect sense. The last thing I want is to go through all this then miss the chance for retrieval because I was at work! I just hate to be so vague with Nancy since she’s really depending on me to help her out and feels so strongly about me being the one to keep her little girl. She’s been very supportive though and wants me to be really honest with her about what I need. So, hopefully the IVF coordinator can give me a little more information on what to expect, and I can figure out what to tell the mom.

M and I are so ready to begin this process. It’s really hard to believe we’ve gotten this far in the quest to become pregnant, but I’m ready to take this step and see what happens. My family has been going through a lot in the last year, and, although my reason for wanting to get pregnant is obviously not just to ease the sorrows and trials in my family, I do feel that a new baby would make everyone really happy–for many reasons!

A Meltdown and Good News from Insurance
January 2, 2009, 3:19 pm
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I had a meltdown on Wednesday, New Years Eve. I mean, a complete come-apart. I found out that morning that a dear friend of mine is pregnant. This friend has been my partner in the infertility roller coaster for the last year. She and her husband had been trying to get pg for the exact same amount of time as M and I, although she hadn’t yet done any medical procedures to get pg. All she did was have a laparoscopy. And luckily, that’s all it took. I am so happy for her…although happy doesn’t really cover it. She’s so amazed that she’s actually pregnant, after almost 2 years of trying. It came out of the blue when she didn’t expect it…and it came from plain old s.ex! It’s good to know it can still happen that way for people who struggle to get pregnant. And she understands exactly how huge of a gift this is. Just like all of us who have done down this road, she doesn’t take her pregnancy for granted. She knows how much it took for her to get where she is. I think one reason I’m so happy for her is because she got what I wanted. I know how happy I’d be if I were where she is, and I’m happy that she’s getting to experience that. I am praying wholeheartedly that this doesn’t put a strain on our friendship, because her friendship and support through my infertility has been such a blessing for me. I’m praying that I can be joyful with her when we’re together, and that I can listen to everything she wants to talk about and not let my sadness (for myself) get in the way, because I know that’s what she’d do for me.

My meltdown came a little later in the day, after our breakfast together. Her news just made me so sad for M and I. I couldn’t stop the tears. I kept thinking about how God let it work out so beautifully for her. All the little details just came together in such perfect ways, and I couldn’t help but think, “Why not us?” I cried and cried, then talked to Matt about it, then felt better. The thing is, I usually don’t cry about the infertility stuff. It’s always an undercurrent, it’s always there underneath everything else in my life, but usually the good outweighs the sad, and I can sort of put those feelings in a box and just ignore them for a while. Wednesday was one of the rare days that the box filled up and everything came pouring out. And I felt much better after the tide receded. New Years Eve was even salvaged, and a fun time was had by all.

Yesterday M and I went on a New Years Day hike in the woods with our dog. It was a great time to just be together and take in the sun and the cold air and the trees. During the walk, I thought back over my meltdown, and I realized that I really don’t think that God has forgotten about us (even though I let that slip out of my mouth at one point on Wednesday.) I believe he is taking care of us, and that IVF is actually the road we’re supposed to be on, even through it’s 180 degrees away from how I thought I’d get pregnant. And I may not even get pregnant this way. But I still think it’s the right road for us right now. If it doesn’t work, we’ll decide later what to do, and figure out how to go down another road. I’m trusting that if adoption is what God has in store for us, that he’ll give BOTH of us a total peace about that road…just like he’s given me a peace about the IVF road when I never thought I’d feel good about it.

I don’t necessarily like that we’re doing IVF, I wish we didn’t have to do it, and it’s getting increasingly hard for me to be around some people because of the separation in our lives (even if the separation is only in my head), but I trust that God loves us and is working in our lives. I believe that he is doing things, that there is movement out there, even if I can’t see it. And I trust that he won’t abandon me in this deep struggle, because he says he won’t.


In other news, our Christmas present from the insurance company was a letter of approval for IVF. This is good news because it means I don’t have to withstand a month of ovulation induction drugs that I don’t need just to satisfy the insurance company. I’m glad about that. I may have mentioned this before, but I’ve gotten pretty good at not thinking about things that aren’t pleasant to think about, especially regarding infertility. An example of this is that I’m not really thinking about the fact that in less than two weeks, I’ll be starting the IVF process. I know nothing about the drugs or injections, and more importantly, neither does M (he’ll be the one giving me the shots.) I’m not thinking about the drugs, the oodles of doctor’s appointments, the oodles of blood draws, the oodles of ultrasounds, etc. I’ll just deal with that when the time comes.

One caveat to that—I’m thinking about IVF as far as how it affects what kind of job I will or won’t look for. I’m really stumped as far as how to look for a job, or whether or not I should even be looking for a job when I’m about to start IVF. (It’d be a part time job, not full time.) In my old job, I would have been able to tell my boss, “Look I’m going to have a lot of doctor’s appointments in the next several weeks and will be missing some work,” and she would have been fine with it. But how would a new employer (if I were to get hired) feel about me starting the new job and immediately saying I’d be missing work here and there. Part of me thinks I should just hold off on looking for a job until after the IVF cycle is over, but the other part says I need to look now because we need the income and if this IVF cycle doesn’t work, what then? I can’t just stay out of work forever. It’s hard–I feel really stuck in limbo, not knowing what’ll happen over the next couple of months. Was me losing my job God’s way of getting me in less stressful place, ready to undergo IVF, or should I try to secure some kind of part time job to bring in some money while I’m going through IVF? I just keep thinking about the frequent ultrasound and blood draw visits, the discomfort of IVF itself, the needed rest time around retrieval and transfer, etc and how much easier it’d be to handle all that when I’m not trying to juggle a new job, even if it is only part time.

And in the meantime, I’m trying to figure out what to do with myself right now as I’m not working. December was pretty easy because there was decorating, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, baking, watching Christmas movies on tv, etc. Now that it’s January, I’m starting to feel a bit worthless. I haven’t allowed myself to watch daytime TV, because that only enhances the feelings of worthlessness to me! I’m not sure why, but just the sound of something like R.egis and Kelly, The is Right, or Days of our on in the background is enough to make me feel like I’m wasting away. If I were home with a baby–if I had a real reason to be home other than just being job-less–that’d be totally different. But being home alone with Regis and Kelly doesn’t do good things for me! Instead, I’ve been on the computer a lot looking for freelance stuff, exercising (nothing excessive, per my doctor, even though I’ve never been an excessive exerciser!), and writing. Not necessarily freelance writing (since people aren’t hiring freelancers as much these days, it seems, but another kind of writing that just feels good to me. I’m trying to make myself feel better about spending time writing on something that isn’t going to make me any money. (Unless I’m lucky and I get it published one day!)

So that’s what’s going on around here. Trying to find balance, trying to figure out what the next few months may look like, and trying to let go of my need for control…because someone gave me a really good piece of advice not too long ago. She said that to go through IVF, you must relinquish your need to be in control, because nothing will be in your control! I’m trying to soak that in and remember it.