Feel your pain…

February 25, 2009 at 9:50 pm (Uncategorized)

My friends and I have this inside joke whenever one of us is whining (usually over wine) about something that is happening in our lives.   To get a chuckle, we will say, “I feel your pain”.   This statement started way back when I was in a bar with a bunch of friends, and someone came up to me and poured out her life story.  I had only met this person for 10 minutes and I ended up knowing more about her than the people I went to the bar with.   At the end, I dared to ask, “why did you tell me this?”.  Her response, “Because I feel your pain”.   I just had to walk away laughing.  After all, I shared nothing with her except the fact that I am Deaf.  Her pain did not equal mine.

After getting the BFN from IVF #1 and recovering from it, I found myself analyzing how people reacted to the BFN.  Most people said they were sorry, asked if they could do anything.  The ex-best friend decided to tell me about how she spent her Sunday afternoon with the cutest baby she ever saw.   But some people ended up saying things similar to, “I feel your pain” even though they never expienced IVF or struggled with IF as long as we have.   I wanted to scream at them and say, “You have no f-ing clue how I feel, and you cannot possibly feel my pain!”.

A person I know who struggled for 4 months to get pregnant (now, I’m not putting down people who’ve tried mere months, but this is being said with some sarcasm) sent me an email saying how much she understands what it is like to get a negative pregnancy test.   Yeah – did you have to inject yourself every day?  Did you have your follicles sucked out of you?  Did you try for 2 years, every month being a BFN?  I don’t think so.   You don’t feel my pain.

My mother in law emailed and said she totally understood.  Yeah, right.  She was able to have two children.   Nope, I don’t think you feel my pain.  Her email just made me angry.  No statement about, “are you ok? I’m thinking of you” but more like, “Its all about me and my pain”.  At that time, I could have cared less.

The best response actually came from my mom, who was very honest and said, “I cannot possibly understand what you are going through.  I am here for you however you need me.”

See, my mother was one of those “sneeze and you’re pregnant” women.  She was taking birth control pills when she discovered she was pregnant with my brother.   She actually had an IUD when she got pregnant with me.   She was very fertile.

My father simply said, “I feel sad for you.  I’ll make sure to say a prayer and I know someday you’ll make a great mom.”

I still get teary-eyed when I think of what they said to me.  Nothing but honesty.  Nothing but just simply saying they were sorry and they are here for me when I need them.

As we prepare for IVF #2, we (DH and I) both are wondering how many people we will tell this time, and I think we will be more selective of who we tell.  I also realize that going through IVF has made me a very selfish person, but I think sometimes rightly so.  I’m one of those people who volunteers to be a taxi driver, who will be there for friends and family without question.  But as we approach IVF #2, I’m going to be a lot more selfish.  I’m going to take off work as much as I need without the guilt.  I’m going to rely more on others for help and I’m going to take care of myself for a change.


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The Good, the Bad and the….

February 14, 2009 at 4:04 am (Next Steps, RE) (, )

So sorry I haven’t posted this week.  Work has been nuts, and I think I’m just as equally nuts taking 6 graduate credits at the same time.   Oy, what was I thinking?

Anyhow, DH and I went to see the RE on Wednesday.  Oddly enough, I felt like I had to hold back tears when I arrived in the waiting room.  I’ve accepted the BFN and we’re moving on.  But being back there wasn’t easy.  Maybe it was the sympathetic looks from the nurses – who knows.

The RE asked how I was doing, and I responded with my usual, “Good, fine, just busy”.  I wasn’t really prepared for her to ask, “Are you really ok?  Doing alright there?”.  Again, felt the need to hold back tears but I got through the appointment.

The good news first:  The RE said she found no medical reason why we couldn’t keep trying.  I asked about my estrogen levels (from what one of the nurses said on the phone) and she said that really it was not a factor in why it didn’t work.   The only thing she will be doing different when we start again is that she would not be decreasing the follitism or menopur because she actually found the follicles “hard to suck out and immature”.  She had to leave some follicles because they just simply wouldn’t come out – ha.

The bad news:  I swear we had 8 IVF tries or up to $50,000.00 (whichever comes first) with the insurance coverage.  My DH swears that it was not 8, but a different number.  For some reason, 8 tries just sticks out in my head.   We met with the insurance specialist because we were also hit with a 777.00 bill that day (I do have SOME co-pays to make, and I usually arrived so early in the morning for my blood tests that the bill wasn’t ready in time – and this is also for freezing the 1 embryo).  The insurance specialist said its actually 6 tries or $45,000.  So really, with the current costs, that means probably 4 tries before having to appeal.  That just feels stressful.  I’ve already done one, and I only have 3 left?!?! Yikes.  Now I feel the pressure!

(Now, I know I am so fortunate compared to others when it comes to insurance and not having to pay so much upfront like others.  Seriously, if you are willing to move and work as a teacher for mostly inner-city kids (or your DH or partner) and need the insurance, I will gladly tell you where I live.  The insurance really is that good – and it kicks in the month you are hired.)

And the …. news: There was really no medical reason why the 2 embroys didn’t “stick”.  There was nothing in the blood work or anything during the procedures that would help us do something different next time.  Call it the luck of the draw, the roll of the dice – whatever idiom fits here.   And that kind of just plain sucks.  I’m the type of person who wants to know why, figure it out, fix it and try again.

We talked about the one remaining embryo and trying a FET, but the RE obviously wants us to produce more embryos.   We are looking at starting cycle 1 again (the BC pills and Lupron) in March.  Hopefully by then I will have the new job where I can work from home and things overall will be less stressful!!  *fingers crossed!*

Thank you all who left kind and supportive comments,  along with the  emails as well, sharing your experiences and advice.  I truely appreciate the time and effort.  I can be a worrier, so this really made me feel a little more at ease.

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A Little History Lesson…

February 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm (IVF)

Yesterday AF arrived.  I actually feel a little bit relieved AF is here – now the cramping is finally going away (the Tylenol barely made a dent).   I was also a little bit happy AF arrived because that meant I could call the RE’s office and talk about what was next.

In all of our previous appointments, it really never occurred to us to ask the RE how long she tends to wait between IVF attempts.  I don’t think a FET is an option right now because we only were able to freeze one embryo.  (A little history here – I had 13 follicles, and 9 of them had eggs.   Of those 9, 7 became fertilized.   2 were transferred, grades A- and B+, on the fifth day.  The third one, a B+ too, was frozen.  On transfer day, we learned 2 had ‘arrested development’ and they were watching the other 2.  They called on the 6th day and said that the remaining 2 would not survive the freezing process and were not high grade).  For whatever reason, I was starting to build up strength again to get ready for my next cycle.   So here comes the phone call with the nurse.

The nurse said right away that my RE wanted me to take a break, she had some concerns about my lab results (this was new information).  See, we started our first IVF attempts way back in January of 2008 – at the end of the month.   Our first cycle was over before it began – I had a cyst.   By the time AF came (too early for their liking) and we finally got a decent cycle going, it was late March.  We started again in April only to have it end in May before we even got started, again, due to a high E2 count.   DH and I had a trip to England already planned and I was already emotionally exhausted (there is a whole other story  involved here which I will write about later).   So we decided to take a break.

Now, this takes us to our first IVF attempt.  I called the RE’s office at the end of November, thinking my 2 weeks off in December around Christmas would be perfect timing – I could relax, take it easy and not worry about work.  I was reminded that my RE’s office does not do any transfers or retrievals the month of December – they shut everything down to clean, do quality control checks, etc.  I was annoyed, but I do appreciate the quality control checks.  And then we find out that our previous tests – his semen analysis, my tests – all had to be repeated since it was a year since we had them.  Sigh.   They can do those tests in December, so we got those scheduled.   We also got to meet with the RE and discuss our first two failed attempts.  I started birth control and a higher dose of Lupron, and everything was going very well which lead to our first IVF attempt.

The first RE we met (which is a story for another time) and our current RE would not even consider attempting IUI or any other treatments.  They went straight to IVF.   For a long time I wondered if it was because of my husband’s great insurance with a large public school system.  The insurance company will pay up to 8 IVF tries in a lifetime, and we could appeal for additional tries if needed.  No questions asked.  No proof of having to try other methods.   I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, and DH’s count is on the low end, with lots of abnormal shaped swimmers.  The only positive result of his test was that the abnormal shaped swimmers sure like to move around – motility isn’t a factor here.  Now I realize it is because this seems to be the best course for us.

Our next appointment with the RE is next week Wednesday.  It will be interesting to see what we find out.

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A Good Day

February 3, 2009 at 8:41 am (Uncategorized)

My DH and I both played hooky from work – a very much needed stay-at-home mental health  day.  We watched movies, napped, baked banana bread and had a little “fun” (my RE is on the very conservative side when it comes to having intercourse during an IVF cycle.  It’s pretty much discouraged- my apologies if this is TMI for some readers!).  This day was exactly what we needed – we laughed, we talked, we cried and we started to move on.

I didn’t make the call to my RE today, I decided to wait until tomorrow simply because we were enjoying this day off.  My co-workers were supportive, sending me a few text messages.  I wish we both could afford to miss another day, but I know how important it is to get back into the routine of things.  I’m ready to stop feeling sorry for myself and just get back out there, trying again.

Here’s to tomorrow!

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February 2, 2009 at 1:03 am (BFN, IVF) ()

We held out – didn’t POAS.   The day before (Friday), I was feeling tired and my stomach wasn’t handling food too great.   So I thought – this must be it.   We went out to dinner and then to a hockey game with friends – such a nice distraction.   Saturday morning came around and DH went with me to the doctor’s.

We asked the nurse how long it would be before we knew the results.  She said 2 hours.

We both didn’t want to go right back home, so we went out to breakfast and stopped to see my mom.  2 hours passed, and still nothing.   DH wanted to drive back to the office but I told him it wouldn’t have made a difference.

We left my mom’s, and as soon we got down the block, we got the email.  Since there was no subject line, the email in my inbox looked like, “Myname, I am so s….”


It was a BFN.

The night before, when we came home, my DH and I talked about what would happen if it was a BFN.  I told him I felt like I would almost be ok with it – after all, we had just gotten through this process once and we would know what we could do better the second time around.  DH said he thought it would hit him hard.

Now its kind of the opposite.  It’s hit me hard, very hard.  Could be stopping the meds all at once, could be because deep down I so wanted to believe it would happen.  I wanted to be the one to go out and buy pregnancy books, to be a member of the “club”.  Those embryos – which I nicknamed Emmy A and Emmy B, were very real to me (to us).  I’m mourning the loss of these embryos.

Or maybe what’s hitting me hard is this – a friend IRL, a friend who I considered (notice the past tense here) one of my best friends, has been virtually non-existent through all of this.  I sent an email yesterday (as well as to a few other people) that we had a BFN.  Immediately many others sent emails saying how sorry they were, asking what they could do, etc.  But this one person didn’t say a word.  This morning I emailed her and she claimed she didn’t get the email (my email status says she received it).   Since then, not even a sorry or a hug or anything like that.   And it gets worse here….

I’m on facebook and so is she.  The 25 random facts about you list has hit my friend circle in a big way these past few weeks.  So she posted her 25 random facts yesterday afternoon.   First fact that hit me hard:  She’s grateful she met these people who have little kids they always babysit – in fact, they’re now her family.   Fact two: Even though she had a hysterectomy, she wants to have another baby.  Huh. I really don’t know how to take that right now.  I’ve been there through her grandmother’s death, her kid’s surgery, her father’s Alzheimer’s.  But now it feels like since we can’t seem to get pregnant, she has no use for us.

So, I guess through this process you find out who really supports you and who doesn’t, who can handle hearing you talk about needles and injections, and who can’t.  I found out my parents have been a source of strength through this (even though my mom lost her job and has a million other things to worry about).  And of course, my DH has been my rock, as always.

Tomorrow I’m taking the day off of work – that place is stressful and I decided I need to take care of myself.   And then I’m calling my RE to see what’s next.   Only one embryo froze (out of the 7, minus the 2 that were implanted), so I’m not sure what happens next.  I can’t wait to find out.

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