V for Victory

What’s up with UTIs (besides being awful, of course)?

I really have nothing profound to say about this, except that I have one and it sucks. I’m pretty sure I got it from the doctor poking around in there during the Mock Embryo Transfer. I started feeling symptoms a day or two after the MET, but I dismissed it as my cervix being irritated by the iodine or something. I wish I had listened to myself. The symptoms have grown steadily worse in the week since and now my bits basically feel like this:

burning v*

I’m attempting to drown myself in cranberry juice while I wait for the nurse to return my call. I’m hopeful they can prescribe something over the phone so I don’t have to go in to have them tell me what I already know. I’ve had plenty of these in my lifetime, honey; I know what’s up. And it is a lady garden on FIRE. Just gimmie the drugs (ok, antibiotics, but drugs sound sexier) already!

*V for…vendetta?

Love in My Family

Equality

Folks, this has nothing to do with infertility, and everything to do with gay rights. If that’s not your cup of tea, please close your browser* and move on.

Today, the US Supreme Court heard arguments for and against gay marriage. Specifically, the arguments over Prop 8 in California. Tomorrow, the Justices will hear arguments on DOMA.

The outcome of these cases will have a direct and meaningful impact on my life. I’m incredibly lucky to live in an area where I am legally married to my wife (at the state level), but no matter where you live in the US there is no federal recognition. That means that all of the legal benefits of being married – think taxes, inheritance, hospital visitation, social security, health care, etc. etc. – are not extended to me and my wife. There are some state benefits, but the bulk of them are at the federal level. My wife and I had to pay a lawyer to draw up legal documents expressing our will to make health care decisions on each others behalf; we had to file 2 version of taxes this year – one as a married couple for the state and one as single individuals for the feds; we pay extra taxes so I can be on Tammy’s health care, and on and on and on.

I have no idea how the Supreme Court will rule, but I’m incredibly nervous. If you’re the praying type, send some of those to the Supreme Court, that they might rule in favor of love and equality under the law. If you’re more of a “good vibe” person, ditto. If you’re pissed off at the world (ahh, people after my own heart), please direct your ire at the idiots who will almost certainly vote against love and justice. Those assholes.

Thanks! Now back to blathering on about the state of my uterus.

*Also, go fuck yourself. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Hope, or Something Like It

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

– Emily Dickinson

Blue Bird feather

Some days I think it will never happen. That it will never come true. That’s I’ll never see the second line again, or it will never go past a few weeks. Sometimes, a tiny voice, barely more than a whisper, tells me to give up. To stop trying. That it isn’t meant to be.

And other days I’m filled with Hope. Emily D. describes Hope as a thing with feathers “that perches in the soul”. In my mind, Hope is like honey. Sticky and thick, it oozes into the nooks and crannies of your soul, rather than perches daintily.  And like honey, Hope is almost impossible to fully clean up, wipe off, get rid of. I’m always thinking that this vitamin is IT! Or this shot will do the trick! Or this procedure! Or this new donor! But it never is.

**********************

I’ve been kind of down the last few days. I don’t know if it’s the weather (crappy) or the birth control pills (still barfy) or just the feeling that I’m sitting still while the world races on without me. I think that the birth control pills are contributing to my sense of stalling out. At least with the injections and the blood work and the office visits I feel like I’m DOING something. I’m actively WORKING toward having a baby. Being on birth control pills goes against every instinct I have, and my sub conscience is screaming at me.

My parents sent me a card this week.

photo

The inside reads:

photo (1)

Here’s Hoping.

blue bird

Drug Urine

I had a mock embryo transfer yesterday. I needed to have that done as the final piece of screening/testing before being approved for IVF Option B (which I am…approved that is!). It was fine, didn’t hurt (I was terrified it would be like my HSG experience, but it felt similar to an IUI), and showed a uterus clear of polyps or fibroids.

Before the test I had to pee in a cup to prove that I was, in fact, not pregnant (spoiler alert: I’m not pregnant). The theory is that if you ARE, the mock embryo transfer could cause a miscarriage.

When I was told I needed to provide a urine sample I had a mini internal panic attack because I had just peed. I thought I might be able to squeeze some out though, and went to the bathroom to Make My Attempt. Unfortunately, things had just gotten going in the old bladder department when someone tried to open the door. It was fine, I had locked the door, but the damage was done. My bladder instantly clenched up, and no amount of relaxation techniques was going to allow a single additional drop out. Maybe ketamine would have relaxed me enough. I’m not sure. I wasn’t offered any. (What the fuck am I paying them for again?)

I sat there in the bathroom with my pathetic dribble (seriously, there was like half a centimeter in the bottom of the cup) and just KNEW I couldn’t take that out of there. So here’s what I did, and I’m ashamed to admit it: I added water to my cup of urine. Ladies, let me tell you. You know you’ve hit a low point in life (and infertility) when you’re watering down your own urine to try to impress the lab technicians. I felt like some kid getting drug tested, trying to dilute my urine enough so that the pot/coke/whatever it is that kids do today wouldn’t show up.

And then, to make matters worse, I went out and confessed my crime to Tammy. I thought I had been quiet (I was whispering for God’s sake) but apparently another patient heard me. And Tammy only told me someone was listening hours and hours later, and then added that she was sitting there chuckling to herself. Even typing this out now I’m blushing uncomfortably. It’s bad enough that I cared enough about what the lab techs think to water down my own urine sample, but now other patients in the doctor’s office know! And I’m SURE that my nurse was told. Guys, I’m officially that patient.

Why didn’t I just take out the dribble that I had? Why did I think my self-worth was connected to how much urine I could produce, on demand? My thought process sometimes. I can’t even.

Urine Sample

Birth Control Barf

I started BCP yesterday. It’s kind of a screwy, manipulative cycle in which I’m taking BCP for two weeks, stopping to get my period and then going BACK on BCPs, but whatever. I’m starting the IVF cycle.

We also decided to do Option B – and thank you for all of your advice and suggestions! Basically, we viewed the extra 5k as an insurance policy, and it was worth having to pay it back. And if I get pregnant on the first or second cycle (and it sticks) I’ll be much more focused on the pregnancy and baby than five thousand dollars.

Does birth control make anyone else barfy? I took it last night before bed and woke up this morning feeling extremely queasy. And almost 8 hours later I still feel sick. How can I go through injections to the stomach with no side effects and one teensy-weensy pill makes me a blubbery/barfy mess?

Hormones are weird.

ADVICE PLZ

It looks like we’re ready to move forward with IVF! Huzzah! So now we just have to pick which program to be in, which is why I am soliciting your brilliant brains.

What would you do if you were me?

OPTION A
2 Fresh Cycles
As many FETs as you have embryos for
$17,500
No money back if you don’t get pregnant/stay pregnant

OPTION B
6 Fresh Cycles
As many FETs as you have embryos for
$22,000
If you don’t bring a baby home from the hospital after your 6 Fresh and X number of FETs, you get 100% of your money back

Other helpful information:
– The doctor doesn’t think I would need more than two cycles to get/stay pregnant. But they’ve been wrong before…
– The cost of medication would be the same for both options, and is an additional cost – around $2,000 – $3,000 per fresh cycle ($400 per FET).
– Both programs require up front payment, in full.
– If I use all the cycles for Option B, it would be cheaper per cycle. But if I get pregnant on the first try (haha! I crack myself up) I would be spending more per try.
– Have I mentioned I hate gambling?

So, what would you do if you were me? ARRRGHHH this is the worst. Trying to gamble on my crappy uterus and ovaries!

HELP!

Ahoy, you Dumb Ovaries!

It was definitely negative. The Hope Monster had crept back into my brain, telling me I was a late implanter! That was going to have a healthy pregnancy! With TWINS! but of course, I wasn’t, and I’m not.

Tammy and I spoke with the doctor this afternoon, and we have decided to move forward with IVF. As the doctor said, I should be pregnant by now and they aren’t sure why I’m not. She also told me I shouldn’t waste my money on another IUI cycle. Can’t get clearer than that.

As for the timing, she’s having to check to see if we can move ahead with this month, due to our committment April 25-26th. She does want to put me on birth control for 2-3 weeks, and 3 weeks might be pushing it, especially if my period decides to stay away for a few days. But IF my period starts by Wednesday, and IF she thinks less time on BC might be OK, we’re moving full steam ahead with IVF. Or, as my fertility nurse put it, “we’re going to really blast your eggs”. Blast away, matey!

Ship Battle

(Artistic rendering of my reproductive organs in a few weeks. Not to scale.)