Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spermsicles are expensive

So I'll start with the funny part of yesterdays appointment.  Not my uterus measuring but bringing in a "sample" from Paul.  His sperm had a 0930 appointment.  They actually had to have their own appointment...which I find funny.

Since I had an appointment at 1030 I said I would just carry his sample in and then wait for my appointment while he took Mandie to the mall.  (I get the crappy end of that deal but he couldn't carry my uterus in a little brown bag.)  So as we drive I am holding the brown bag and he mentions that he should have drawn manly things on the bag, like hammers and shark's teeth.  I would have thought that was awesome and would have been more than happy to carry that bag.  When I get in for the appointment I check in at the front desk and I keep trying to hand her the bag, because that is what they did at the other office when we were trying to have Mandie.  After attempting to hand it to her several times she explained that a nurse would come out to get it and to have a seat.  I laughed awkwardly and as an attempt to explain said,  "I keep trying to hand this to you because I don't want it."  She laughed and said, "Well neither do I." 

I sit awkwardly holding this bag in the lobby until this lady came out and called me back, and I tried to hand her the bag, but apparently she didn't want it either.  They took me to a small room and I suddenly realize that this is THE room.  It is the room where guys jerk off.  Now I am trying to not physically be in contact with anything in the room including the floor.  So she hands me the pen and clipboard that were in the room and asks me to fill out the form.  I DON'T WANT TO TOUCH THE PEN!  but I take one for the team and fill out the form.  Then she hands me a sticker and asks me to stick it to the sample cup.  I haven't opened the bag this entire time, and I don't really want to now but I do and the contents are obvious.  I slap the label on it and FINALLY and I am rid of the cup.

So now for the not so funny part.

This morning while I am still very much asleep the phone rings.  It is our doctor and he apologizes for waking me then proceeds to give me info that my brain is not quite ready to process.  Apparently Paul's sperm count is even lower than the last time and is now at .5 million.  (The average is 20-40 million.)  The doctor says that this could be part of Paul's normal range, which we already know to be low, but to be on the safe side we should schedule an appointment to have a sample frozen.  The risk we take if we don't have a frozen sample is that we have no sperm when they go to fertilize the eggs.

Being half asleep I hadn't asked some of the questions I needed to.  So I make a call back to the office and  find out that making a spermsicle is going to cost us $250 up front, and that we are going to be doing this in the next couple of weeks.  We aren't broke but we aren't rich either.  As much as we try to save things always come up.  This month there have been several things, so this isn't a cost we are ready for.  We have it figured out and are going to make it happen, but it is just one more thing.

I'm pretty good with it now.  Not happy obviously...I don't think anyone still trying to have kids would want to hear the news we did today, but initially I was angry.  Worse than being angry is having no one to be angry at.  There is no one to blame and no one to direct your anger at.  Now I guess I am just resolved in the fact that it is what it is.

Either way we already have a beautiful sweet little girl!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I didn't throw up!

So today they measured my uterus ..they call it a mock embryo transfer but I'm not sure which is really more accurate.  Last time when I had this done was the only time that I really remember any of this process being painful.  What looked like a 12 year old boy did the procedure and and what was advertised as painless almost made me pass out or throw up or both.  The part where he said "This might cause a little cramping" caused nothing and then out of nowhere there was blinding pain and effort to not puke on his head.

So last night I decided to panic about having the procedure.  Then I go on the internet which is always a bad idea because you can easily convince yourself you are going to die.  So by the time I get into the office today I basically begin rambling as I try to explain to the nurse that I think I almost died the previous time.

The doctor comes in and says he will be careful and I continue to try to justify my fears aloud to him as I lay back on the table.

All said and done it took 5 seconds and didn't hurt at all.  Apparently, unlike the rest of me, my uterus is small.  This doesn't cause a problem but he said if the other guy went in blindly, which is probably a bad phrase in this case, that he could have hit the top of my uterus which apparently makes you think you will die.

I didn't die and I didn't throw up, all in all a good day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And so we begin


 It actually began yesterday with the consult but since my next appointment was this morning less than 12 hours later I decided it could be one post.

And with it all came some drama...

So my sister was very excited that she was going to watch Mandie while we went to our appointment. (Very understandably they prefer you not bring children into the office seeing as most of the people in there are struggling to obtain one. Not that they would steal her, but as we remember, it is hard to see cute little babies when you are struggling to have one.) Well first my sister's kids got sick, and so we rearranged plans and she was going to stick her husband with her sickly children to come spend time with mine. Then yesterday, the morning of our appointment, my sister wakes up sick. She had left me a message so I called her to see how really sick she was, maybe she could just not touch Mandie much. She was really sick.

Now we don't have child care. I call the office to see if I can go and Paul can skip it, and they say that they prefer we both be there. They also explain that the next appointment available if we reschedule is way out, and I know that with where I am in my cycle I can get several of the tests out of the way if I go now. So she and I talk and she looks at the schedule and we are the last appointment of the day so she says to just bring Mandie.

We load Mandie up with toys and after scoping out the waiting room to make sure it was empty we go in. Of course after we get registered people show up out of nowhere. Now we feel bad and we look foolish as we try to kind of hide Mandie and keep her quiet. Then we get called back. We go through the forms and the doctor tells us what changes he thinks will help this go round. Everything is pretty standard until I comment on his MANY terrariums, then he is suddenly all "WOW YOU SHOULD GET THIS PLANT" ..which is very nice of him but I don't own a terrarium.

So then the nurse comes in and gives us lots of papers and instructions and gives Paul a cup. Then the financial lady comes in and says that our insurance basically will cover everything ...which we knew but is always awesome to hear. I schedule an appointment for today for hormone testing and ultrasound. We stop at Target to fill the prescription for birth control that I will have to take next month. I come home and order the prenatals that the doctor wants me to switch to and order my genetic screening kit to test for things including SMA. After learning about Avery I felt that this was important. 1 in 40 adults is a carrier, that is scary.

We fill out paperwork that includes having to decide what to do with any embryos that are fertilized but not used. These are the first big decisions you make when going through this. The first time we had to discuss and figure out what we wanted to do. This time we had both already agreed that we are not going to freeze any for future use because we hope everything works on the first try AND because insurance will completely cover another round of IVF but will not cover the cheaper option of freezing and using frozen embryos. I offer mine up to science. It's either science or trash, and I feel like if we can learn something from them then that is awesome.

My appointment for the next day is at 0715 and we all know I don't like mornings but we'll make it work ... So I wake up at 0515 when the baby gets up and once we give her her milk I go to get ready. It is day 4 of my cycle and they are going to be doing a transvaginal ultrasound, which means they are going to be in my junk. The thought of this is is not one I enjoy, but if it's going to be done I can at least make sure things are neat. At 5 something in the morning you do what you can but I honestly just hope it doesn't look like I have mange.

We get in the car and get on the highway. I'm excited that we aren't late and everything seems to be going well. Mandie is being fussy, but she tends to be that way as she is falling asleep in the car. Then suddenly as we are in the middle of traffic she makes a noise and for the first time EVER throws up. There is lots of throw up, and anyone who knows me knows I don't do throw up. I'm handling it well though. I am calm and I am talking to her and the smell, though gross, is not making me sick. She calms down and we are turning off of our exit so I'm glad that we'll be able to get back to her to take care of her. Then I see a stink bug inches from my head by my visor. Paul says to get it out of the car but I could see that turning into an accident when it flys and hits him in the face or something, so I let it wander and just keep an eye on it.

When we pull into the parking lot for the appointment I am thankful that I have to go in and Paul will be doing clean up.

I get into the office and feel oddly comfortable. I guess this being my second time makes it easier in that sense. They call my name take my blood then take me back and look at my ovaries. Everything looks good (and I just received a call that the hormone levels are all where they need to be).

Now we need to get our labcorp blood tests done for HEP and HIV and stuff. Next Tuesday I go have my uterus measured and Paul has to be a cup humper.

Oh and on the ride home the stink bug, who Paul thought he got rid of, reappears and I have to shoo him out of the car. All of this before I even started my work day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We're having another baby ...hopefully...

So I decided that though my Friday facts were fun I got bored of them pretty quickly. I just don’t think that I’m interesting enough every week to garner a post.

So now I’m going to try posting about our upcoming attempt at having baby #2. If you think this is going to be a dirty blog, you'll probably be disappointed. Most anyone who knows us, knows that this isn’t going to involve sex (at least that I know of). Paul and I conceived Nugget without even being in the same room. Mandie is a test tube baby …or to be more accurate a petri dish baby.

The process involves many ups and downs, and lots of emotions. Right now we are on excitement. Our first consult appointment is on Tuesday May 8th. I’m thinking much like we forget the pain of childbirth, that I may have forgotten some of the pain and stress of going through fertility treatment.

Let me start by saying it’s his fault. You might think this is mean of me to say, but really we have come to terms with this. He even likes to joke about it. We are lucky in that we don’t have to use a donor, and the silver lining is that because my junk is healthy we have a good environment to host a fetus.

I will admit that as we decided that we were ready to do this again some of the memories of what I went through with this process came back. The shots and hormones and uterus measuring…yep all of that came back to the forefront. I can deal with all of that. The hard part is all of the waiting and uncertainty.

Anyone who has tried to get pregnant knows about the stress of waiting to find out if your pregnant, but you also know that you can try again next month. For IVF it is a rough 2 month cycle that involves lots of shots, and appointments (daily), and pain, and waiting. Knowing that it might not work is a scary prospect. We were lucky with Mandie and it worked on the first try, but that isn’t a guarantee that it will be that easy again.

As a plus we have Mandie. On our first try we were childless, and that put it’s own stress on the situation. The fear of not being able to conceive at all was very present. I thank science that everything worked and we have our beautiful baby girl.

So we start the process with a consult. You have to fill out lots of paperwork. We were surprised that we had to fill ALL of it out again this time, and though we didn’t lie about anything we wonder if we answered anything “wrong”.

I also honestly wonder how many people’s fertility issued are resolved by this question…
Okay, well welcome to the ride. I will try to post anytime there is anything even mildly interesting happening. I hope this blog helps anyone who was maybe curious about IVF, or got here by Googling things because they are having fertility issues. If you have questions feel free to contact me.