Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Meet my attention-needing newborn, Blackberry

I haven't been feeling very good since starting Estrace three times a day. It's been a fun mix of nausea, lethargy, nausea, insomnia, nausea and it's been progressively getting worse the longer I take it. It sucks, but I am taking it as a good sign that it's working and building my lining up like it's supposed to. I'll find out on Friday. Fingers crossed!

Today, I need to vent a little bit. I'm exhausted. Just plain exhausted.

I'm on-call for work again which happens every six weeks for a duration of one week. When I'm on call, I have to carry my Blackberry around with me everywhere I go and keep it next to my bed at night because if I get a call that there's a technology problem in our corporate environment, I have to deal with it right away. Usually these problems mean I have to dial into a conference call where the issue is thoroughly troubleshooted through resolution. This usually takes at least an hour but usually more. Sounds like a blast right? Oooooooh it sure is.

When I'm on-call, getting calls in the middle of the night is a regular occurrence, but last night deserved an award. I got THREE calls! One lasting over two hours. But this time, we added a few special ingredients to the magic - nausea! Dry Heaving! Stomach ailments! I was bent over a bucket dry heaving in between talking on the conference call. The word "miserable" doesn't even come close to describing the situation. I ended up having to sleep in our guest room because I was afraid I'd disturb my husband. It turns out I did and he volunteered to sleep upstairs tonight and possibly for the rest of the week. I don't blame him and it's probably for the best.

I really hope tonight is better and I can make it through the rest of this week in one piece. I got probably two hours of sleep total last night and it was that crappy half-awake kind of sleep. I'm sipping on my half-caff coffee right now. I have been really good at limiting my caffeine intake even though my RE says one cup or regular coffee is fine a day. Today I just won't make it alive and on the other side without it.

But in my delirious state on my second conference call, I got to thinking, Maybe this is training for when we have a newborn? Ha! Yes!

I'm awakened in the middle of the night multiple times to the cries...err rings....of my Blackberry for late night feedings, err meetings. I have to get up and give it the attention it needs on the spot with no regard to my need for sleep. Once the baby is back to sleeping (i.e. issue is resolved) back to bed for me only to keep a keen ear out for more cries...err rings.

I'm trying to look on the bright side. And that's the best I could come up with. :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

The "what ifs" are starting to hit me

We have an ultrasound and lab work appointment scheduled for Friday, Feb 1st. This is the appointment that should tell us if everything looks good to proceed with the transfer scheduled for February 11.

So many "what ifs" are already running through my mind especially after remembering each of the negative and traumatizing IVF monitoring appointments last summer:

What if I'm not responding to the Estrace?
What if my lining is too thin?
What if my lining is too thick?
What if I'm not suppressed enough and I ovulate on my own?
What if they cancel us?
What if I'm getting my hopes up for them just to be shot down again like this summer?? Ahh!

I'm starting to getting really nervous! Our IVF cycle was destined for doom. Logic tells me this cycle should be just fine, but I'm still having a hard time escaping these thoughts because of how hard our IVF was for us.

Then if I really let my mind get the best of me, I fast forward to Feb 11th.
My biggest "what if" is...

What if our five precious snowflakes don't survive the thaw? 

This one terrifies me beyond comprehension.

Thanks for listening to me worry aloud.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Watching a marathon from the sidelines

Last night, my husband and I spent a while in the hot tub just talking about life. We talked about our excitement for our upcoming embryo transfer, the hopes for a pregnancy, our overwhelming fears, and reminded one another how much we appreciated the other.

One thing that has been weighing on my mind heavily is how he feels throughout this part of the process. It is so easy to get caught up in my own emotions during something as difficult as infertility and forget that he endures the same pain. Infertility is such a cruel thing because unlike most problems where one spouse is strong while the other is hurting, both are hurting more than they've ever hurt before.  It's incredibly hard to muster up enough strength to get yourself through it, let alone think and support your spouse's needs during their sorrows. It becomes insanely difficult when this is forgotten. We've had our share of upsets, fights, and  tearful nights just as any other infertile couple will fully understand. But we have grown a million times stronger than we ever were before.

About a month or so ago we learned that one of the FDA requirements to do an embryo transfer with donor embryos was for the recipient patient's spouse to get an infectious disease panel completed.  I personally think it's ridiculous since physically speaking, the spouse has no part in any of it. Nothing is happening to/from his body, yet our lovely government has made up this ridiculous hoop to jump through in order to move forward. *sigh* Let's remember how many babies are born while the mother is addicted to crack, but I digress. When researching this, I came across letters to the FDA from Dr Keenan at the NEDC. Read about his perspective on the FDA regulations here: FDA Threatens Human Embryo Adoption. This was written prior to the regulations being put in place.

When I told my husband he needed to get this done, he was angry and upset. Then I got angry with him for not immediately cooperating because in my mind it was just a simple needle prick and then it's over with from his standpoint. Compared to the amount of needle pricks, ultrasounds, and God-Willing pregnancy symptoms I'd endure(d), this seemed pale in comparison and I didn't understand the difficulty. After a heated discussion about it, he finally opened up and said how hard it was for him to be reminded that he didn't have a physical part in it. And it was a slap in the face that he had to do it at all. My heart dropped. I never thought about it like that, but he's totally right.

I guess you could say we are both technically "equal" as far as neither of us having a genetic relationship to our future children. But I, the mother, have some definite advantages. This baby gets to grow inside of me. It gets to be nourished from my body. So while my body doesn't determine what it will look like, it will be grown from my own flesh and blood.

I have done a lot of thinking about how it must be from his perspective and it has pained me to think of him just as a bystander. So last night in the hot tub, I specifically asked him how he feels about that part of it.

My husband, the tender and thoughtful man that he is, had a wonderful answer.

My husband is a runner. He has run three marathons and a few half marathons. He said that our quest for a child has been like a marathon. It's like both of us have spent all of this time training and preparing to run for what will be the race of our lives. We both planned that we'd run it together after all this training and preparation together. When we learned that we couldn't have genetic children, it was like he received an serious injury to his legs to the point where he knew he wouldn't be able to run the marathon with me anymore. He is left with two choices: He can either walk away and be bitter that he's not running the race anymore and wallow in his inability to run. OR, he can choose to stand on the sidelines and cheer me on while I run the race for the both of us. Because at the finish line, we will both have a baby that we will love no matter what.

Getting me to that finish line is what matters.

He knows he has a big part in this even if its not physical - he is my cheerleader and my support and we both know I can't do this without him. I love him so much.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The ghost of a red-haired child

Long before we knew we would deal with infertility, my Mom would frequently talk about what she thought our children would look like. She always guessed we'd have a child with red hair because of my fair complexion, the freckles I had as a child, and my husband's strawberry-blonde hair. My mom's sister had red hair, but no one else in our family did, so I was skeptical. But it always stuck in the back of my mind.

One day while I was waiting to catch a flight at the airport, I saw a young husband and wife who each looked uncannily like me and my husband. The wife was holding their baby on her lap but from where I was sitting, I couldn't get a good look at him/her. I thought to myself  "Here is a good test to see what our child will look like!" I got up to casually walk by and check and sure enough this beautiful little newborn had red hair.

After that, I figured our babies would have firey-red hair. This was always the visual picture I had painted in my mind of our child from that point forward. But as we moved along through the painful infertility process, that visual picture became blurrier and blurrier. Until finally I had to completely emotionally bury our red-haired little child. That red-haired child is now just a ghost.

An interesting realization occurred for me when I got the call last week announcing that we had a 10k IVF insurance benefit available to us.  As soon as she said "IVF benefit" my immediate thought was "This means I would have to attempt IVF again."

And my stomach dropped. I felt sick. I didn't want to go through IVF again! NO! And it wasn't because of the rollercoaster of emotions involved, it wasn't because my eggs suck and it probably wouldn't work anyway, or the doctor's appointments, or the injections.

I realized it was because that would mean I'd have to bring that grieved child back from the dead - the child I had already buried and mourned. It felt wrong, it felt off. But more importantly, our children are already here.

Our children are frozen in a tank in San Antonio. They have big smiles and beautiful eyes.  I love them more than anything.

And one of the most remarkable things about these babies is that they came with an incredible relationship with our donor and her family. This is a blessing I can't even put into words. Our children will have another family that will love them too. I wouldn't trade that for the world.

Of course we certainly aren't out of the woods yet, and won't feel that way until we have our baby(ies) in our arms. But I feel like we are finally being shown the reason as to why we had to endure the devastating sadness, despair and pain. It makes sense why we had to travel the dark path we've been on that led us to these babies.

This is so much better.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This post is about you

Today's post is going to be about you! I'm very excited about it.

I have quite a bit of traffic coming to my blog on a regular basis which I think is SO COOL!! But I'd love to know more about who my readers are.
Don't be shy, come out of hiding and leave a comment letting me know a little about yourself. Even if this is your first time here, and/or if you have never had anything to do with embryo adoption or infertility and are just interested in my blog, introduce yourself. And if you're here via ICLW, what an easy way to knock a comment out, right? ;-)

And for those of you that comment here regularly, I'd love to have you officially introduce yourself (if you haven't already) and/or tell me something new about you that I may not know.

Can't wait to read your comments! Let the comment-palooza begin.

Monday, January 21, 2013

We have a delay

Three posts in one day! Whew!

I got the call from the RE nurse about an hour ago saying that they were pleased my lining was thinning, and the lab work came back right where they wanted it to be. So I was instructed to start the Estrace right away. This was great news, but of course I had to ask about a delay. Sure enough, my uterine shenanigans cost me a few days so the transfer date had to be pushed back to Monday, Feb 11th.

Not too bad, only three days. I wish it was zero, but oh well - I'm clearly not in control here.

It is kind of a pain in the butt though because I already made some arrangements with work for the 7th and the 8th. But in some ways, this is better because this makes the transfer on a Monday so we can take the Sunday before to drive over and enjoy San Antonio.

Other important dates that changed: Next Ultrasound will be Feb 1st instead of Jan 30th. And now the beta is going to be Feb 22 instead of Feb 19th. New estimated due date of potential baby: Oct 30, 2013.

Here is my new calendar in case you're interested:

I guess my uterus reads my blog

Blog post number two for the day.

My uterus must read my blog because literally within about two minutes after I posted this morning's rant telling my body to get with the program....it did! I finally started my period. Thanks, uterus! Don't upset your BFF Liz like that again, okay? ;)

I immediately called the RE nurse and told her it had started to see if she still needed me to come in for my ultrasound and lab work. She said that indeed, I did so I make the trek downtown and found that and my lining went from a 7 on Friday to now being a 5 today. We are definitely headed in the right direction. They want to see it at around a 1 or 2 but according to the nurse, more of this hinges on the lab work results. They drew my blood and should get the results back pretty quickly since I was their only blood draw from Austin today and the courier picked it up right after I left.

Based on the lining decrease, she had me lower my Lupron dose back to 5 units for and will call me later with the blood results. Depending on what they are I may start Estrace back up tonight after all. I asked her if she thought this will delay my transfer date, and she said she will have a better idea after the blood work comes back. I'll post a third post once I know what those results are.

While most of that is looking promising, I did want to vent a teeny bit about my appointment this morning: While the nurse was drawing my blood, she and the other nurse were in a  chatty conversation with one another about baby showers. They were each giving accounts of their baby showers for each of their children, and from the sounds of it, each had at least three. They talked about what the showers were like, and what they got as gifts. One was even complaining because she received six high-chairs at her baby shower for her youngest! I'm not trying to be Mrs Bitter Infertile here, and I'm mean it when I say I'm really trying hard not to be overly-sensitive to these kinds of things. But that kind of stuff just stings bad - especially hearing any level of complaining over it. And you'd think that the nurses at a fertility clinic would know automatically to be more sensitive, if not be trained specifically to be more sensitive. But instead, they went on and on right in front of me as I'm having my blood drawn for a cycle that only gives us hope at a child. We've been through hell on our journey, as most of their patients I am sure have been too. I'm trying to shake it, but it did kind of upset me. Oh well, glad to be home.

Thank goodness I don't have to work today, gives me more time to blog about these twists and turns.

C'mon, body! It's game time! Cooperate, for cryin' out loud!

I guess things were just going a little too well with my cycle and it was bound to hit a hiccup. Even though I was given the green light on Friday after my ultrasound and blood work to lower my Lupron and start Estrace on Saturday, I told them I was crampy and expected it to be soon (but I didn't know for sure!) Yet no one told me how important it was that I actually started my period before starting Estrace. They gave me the green light and said to go along with the calendar.

So as instructed, Saturday I lowered my Lupron to 5units and started with a 2mg Estrace pill in the morning. When I still didn't have my period by about 2pm that day, the logic inside of me wondered if it might cause an issue with building new lining on top of old and emailed the on-call nurse to make sure I was okay. She talked to the RE and told me to up my Lupron back to 10 units and stop the Estrace immediately. She told me to give myself another 5 units of Lupron right away and come in for an ultrasound on Monday (today) to see what is going on. The RE says it's important that at least some of the lining sheds before building a new one. Yeah, makes sense! But I really wish they would have told me that on Friday instead of saying "you're good to continue on with the calendar plan!" Oh well, what can ya do?

Even though I'm frustrated with the situation, I'm even more frustrated with my body because I have had all kinds of cramps and been 110% positive that when I'd go check on it, I'd find that my period was here, yet..... nothing. C'mon, body! Cooperate! It's game time! Get off the couch! It's time to do your job!

And the least of my worries, yet of course in the back of my mind, I think about this causing a delay for our transfer which I am sure is entirely possible. I will ask about that this morning after my appointment which is at 8am.

I'll post a blog later today and let you know how it goes. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's like $10,000 fell out of the sky

I got a call yesterday from the billing person at my prior RE's office. She had some good news. She said that my insurance had changed this year to now include a $10k lifetime IVF/meds infertility benefit.


I nearly fell out of my chair. This blew my mind because I checked during open enrollment last year and was told we only had testing coverage again. I was incredibly skeptical of this news, but after I hung up with her I looked up our detailed summary plan description on our company's benefits site, and sure enough she was right. It was as though the heavens had opened up and $10k started raining out. Unbelievable.

I called my current RE and asked how to handle since we had already paid for our fees out of pocket. They said they will be submitting the claim to insurance and once it's processed they will issue a refund. We still have to meet a $2500 deductible and pay 15% co-insurance after that, but holy crap, people. This is huge. I spent countless hours on the phone with my insurance last year fighting claims and dealing with insurance headaches since we had only testing coverage. It is incredible to think it might be a little easier for us this year. I pray that there are no hiccups because of the fact we are using donor embryos, but the billing person didn't think so. What a blessing!

Our baseline ultrasound and blood work appointment went great yesterday. We are still on-track and I started Estradiol today. Each day is one day closer!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Short Poem

A woman posted this yesterday on one of the infertility forums that I am frequently on. I'm not sure who the original author is, but I thought it was a wonderful poem for anyone who has been through the perils of infertility and wanted to share in case anyone needed a little boost today:

It's not about having everything right;
It's facing whatever goes wrong.

It's not about being without fear;
it's having the determination to go on in spite of it.

It's not where you stand,
but the direction you are going in.

Remember to live just this one day
and not add tomorrow's troubles to today's load.

Remember that every day ends
and brings a new tomorrow full of exciting new things.

Love what you do,
Do the best you can,
And always remember how much you are loved.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My FET Calendar

Wow, it sure feels good not to be sick anymore. When I wrote the post last Friday, I thought I was already on the upward swing side of things. Boy, was I wrong! It kept getting worse and knocked me on my butt and I was down for the count all weekend. I don't think I got more then 30 minutes of sleep over five straight nights because of how severely congested I was. Monday morning rolled around and I finally took a sharp turn for the better and now I'm feeling 99% like my normal self. It's so funny that after being sick like that, the good days following feel like gold! I'm so glad not to be sick anymore!

I've been plugging away at my injections and there's something very satisfying about crossing out each and every day that has been completed.  I'm done with the birth control pills and am well into the Lupron. I have my first Ultrasound and blood work appointment on Friday morning and then I start the Estrace. I realize I never posted my calendar, so for those of you that are curious, here it is. I didn't include December's because it was just the birth control pill, wheres the fun in that? :) Sorry the text on some days got cut off. It converted funny from excel to a gif. Click on them to make them bigger and readable.

My husband and I took February 7th and 8th off of work and we are going to make a mini getaway out of our trip for the transfer. It is going to happen in San Antonio which is only about 1.5 hours away, but there are lots of fun things to do there. We will get a hotel room for the night of the 7th so we are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the day of the transfer. I'm so excited I can't contain myself!

I keep staring at February 19th: Pregnancy Test. Please, God, let that be a day full of joyful tears!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Oooh an award!

My fellow Embryo Adoption blogger friend, Jess at A Greater Yes nominated me for the Liebster award yesterday! Fun! Thanks, Jess! 

This award is given to new or up-and coming-bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another. What a fun way to get to know other bloggers!

If you receive a nomination, there are a few rules to follow:

1) Each blogger nominated must post 11 things about themselves.
2) Then answer the 11 questions the tagger has asked.
3) Blogger must then create 11 questions of their own to ask the bloggers they decide to nominate.
4) They must choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on their blog post.
5) Bloggers must be notified of their award!
6) No tag backs!

Okay, here goes. 11 things about me:
1) I love artichokes. They are my favorite food ever! I dip them in a sauce made of mayo and mustard.

2) I'm really afraid of robots, especially ones with glowing red eyes and scary robotty voices.
3) I'm a big fan of misfit animals. Three legged, one eyed, toothless messes have a special place in my heart.
4) My dad's side of the family has a hereditary degenerative retina disease called retinitis pigmentosa. My dad is blind and has been since I was four years old and most of my aunts and uncles are too.
5) I dyed my hair purple in high school.
6) I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for ten years before moving to Texas in 2009.
7) I cannot stand goat cheese. Blech.
8) I didn't read very much until I got a Kindle in 2010. Now I can't stop!
9) My guilty pleasure is the Real Housewives of Anywhere. I don't know why but I am thoroughly entertained by all of them.
10) I've never watched any of the Star Wars movies from beginning to end. I've only seen bits and pieces.
11) My husband and I have a word for when we are thinking the same thing at the same time. We say pelican. Long story, but now it's just a part of our vocabulary.

Here are Jess' questions for me:

1. Do you have any siblings? Yes, two younger brothers.
2. Which season do you love best? Winter. Texas summers are so brutally hot that I daydream about sitting cozily in front of a fireplace while it's freezing outside.
3. What is your favorite genre of television shows? I'm embarrassed to say, but reality. Ahh what is wrong with me??
4. What is your fave activity? Laying on a white-sand beach by a beautiful, clear-blue ocean with my husband.
5. Desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone...which do you prefer? Depends on what I need to do, but probably overall I'd say laptop since it's most versatile and least limiting.
6. If you could meet any person, dead or alive, who would it be? Betty White. I think she's so cute and funny, and a little raunchy!

7. If you owned a private jet where would you go tonight for dinner? Turks and Caicos for a scallop appetizer at a restaurant called The Mango Reef. Best.Food.EVER.
8. Are you musically inclined? I took 12 years of piano lessons as a kid and got pretty good, so I'll say yes.
9. If you could change your career choice would you? And to what? I like my job a lot, but if money were not an issue I'd start my own animal rescue.
10. Do you shave your legs int he winter? Yes!
11. Real or fake Christmas tree? Pros and cons to both, but we bought a beautiful fake tree last Christmas and I used a Bath and Body Works plug-in evergreen scent nearby and got the best of both worlds! I couldn't be happier with it - no needles falling everywhere and the room smelled like Christmas!

And here are my questions for the nominees:
1) What is the best vacation you ever had?
2) What makes you most angry?
3) What is your most cherished childhood memory?
4) What is your favorite time of day?
5) How would you describe your fashion style?
6) If you could have a super-power, what would it be and why?
7) What is one food that you will not eat?
8) Describe an activity that you think is truly romantic.
9) If you had to pick one place in your town to be a tourist, where would you go and why?
10) What is the one cause that you feel most passionate about?
11) What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

And my nominees for the Liebster are.....(sorry I couldn't think of 11 that weren't already nominated by Jess. I'll add more later if I can think of some!)

1) Kate at Jim & Kate plus 8....8 doctors, that is.

2) Malia at Adoption Homestead
3) Meg at Waiting for Baby Spice

Friday, January 11, 2013

Update from the infirmary ward :)

Man, yesterday was brutal. I stayed home from work because my throat was so sore I could barely talk and my nose was so congested that I couldn't breathe at all out of it. I didn't have a fever or aches though, so I don't think what I have is the flu. I watched about three movies back to back and a "face off" marathon on the SyFy channel. I barely moved from the couch, but at least I was cozy in my new bathrobe and slippers. ;-)

Here's a photo of Oscar, my loyal and loving dog-nurse taking such good care of me yesterday lol. He was glued to my side all day long. Chloe, one of our two cats, stayed on my lap most of the day too and even licked my forehead from time to time - something she never does. I think they can tell when we don't feel good!

As for today, I popped some MucinexD and feel a bajillion times better. Both Mucienx and Sudafed were on my RE's safe list and that is all MucienxD actually is. I felt good enough to work from home today and finish out the work week before I really rest up this weekend. I have almost a month until the transfer so I'm sure it will be out of my system long before then

I have been meaning to get my flu shot since I bought a groupon for one at a local urgent care clinic just up the street. I called my RE nurse to make sure it's okay to go ahead and get it now, or if it's better to wait until after the transfer and into pregnancy. She said it's better to wait until my cold is completely gone, but to definitely get one before the transfer. Good to know! I haven't had the flu shot in years because I haven't caught the flu since about 2004 (knock on wood) but I don't want to chance anything with a pregnancy. Luckily I got a bunch of vaccines before a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in Oct 2012 including whooping cough vaccine so I think that should cover me for pre-pregnancy vaccines.

Texas has been slammed with the flu this season and I understand that lots of clinics don't even have the flu shot to give. Better get it while I still can!

I hope everyone out there is staying healthy during this nasty cold/flu season! TGIF!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's here......

Its here! No, not my bathrobe....instead it's the cold that I was fighting so desperately to avoid. It's here, because it woke me up last night with the tell-tale sign of a sore throat and congestion. I called my RE and asked again desperately if there were any effective meds that I could take, and the girl who answered said "did anyone send you the list of approved medications?" No, they had not. I'm a little frustrated that I've called them a three times with questions about specific cold meds and only now they decide to tell me there's a simple list to refer to. *sigh*

Tylenol cold night and day formulas are apparently safe so I guess I will keep the bottles nearby over the next few days even though Tylenol general does nothing for me. I have a meeting with my boss this morning, and a couple of other meetings tomorrow for work that I'd rather not cancel, so I hope I can push through this and make it to the weekend. But oh how I just want to stay at home in bed! Thanks for listening to me whine.

Now off to blow my nose, gargle, and take my Lupron shot. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Random post: Where's my bathrobe?

I ordered a plush, cozy bathrobe last week online and it was supposed to be delivered yesterday but wasn't. It's thunderstorming outside and I'm feeling pretty run-down physically, so I really wish my cozy robe would arrive so I can come home from work and just loaf around in it with a cup of tea! Is that too much for a girl to ask? ;-) Oh, the little things in life.

It's the one on the left. Doesn't it just scream "LOAF"? lol

Monday, January 7, 2013

A visual glimpse into our embryo's future?

Happy Monday! I am so excited because our donor gave me permission to share photos of her son, the little boy who grew from an embryo from the batch we received. Below on the left is a photo of him as a baby, and on the right is a photo of him now as a four year old. You can see how absolutely beautiful he is. Always full of big smiles! 

In the past few weeks she has sent me a couple of links to oodles of photos of him growing up, christmases, vacations, etc. I spent hours staring at the pictures and daydreaming about the future of our embryos. It is a feeling I can't describe! Our children would be 100% genetic siblings to this little boy so it's likely that our children would look as much like him just as any siblings would. We are incredibly lucky because he is so adorable! Clearly these embryos have adorable genes in them. :) I still am pinching myself that we have real hope again.

I started Lupron injections yesterday, and so far it's been okay. Lupron doesn't hurt at all because it's through an insulin needle. I'm less worried about the shot itself than I am about the side effects. I had some side effects from the micro-dose I had to take during the summer so I can only imagine how I'm going to feel on the full dose that I'm on now! But day one is out of the way, and it wasn't too bad. I had a minor headache all day yesterday and quite a bit of nausea.  But honestly, I think the nausea is because I must have eaten gluten by accident somehow the night before. After suffering for 13 years not realizing I had an intolerance, I can easily tell when I've come into contact with it and that's exactly how I felt. I was very tired yesterday too which could have been the Lupron, or it may be because I'm getting sick. My husband is sick with a cold (the third cold in three months!) I have gotten sick myself right after him on the first two colds, so I'm bracing myself to catch this one any day now. I've been careful about washing my hands and avoiding germs, but we all know that it's pretty inevitable when you live with someone. I read that if you do a neilmed sinus rinse when you're exposed to colds, you can avoid them. I love the sinus rinses and  usually only do them when I already have a cold or allergies, but to try to avoid getting this cold at all I started rinsing as a precaution. I did have a massive hot flash while at the checkout line at Target. That was fun, let me tell ya! I'm sure that's a side effect of the Lupron because I remember those during the summer and this was the same exact thing. I'm on 10 units now but will switch to 5 units after my first ultrasound on the 18th. I start the estradiol that day as well which should help with the Lupron side effects.

I felt bad for my husband being sick yet again, so I cooked up a big batch of chicken noodle soup for dinner. It was so good! I substituted gluten free noodles for regular ones and it turned out exactly like the wheat version. I'm really happy that there are so many gluten free substitutes out there that taste exactly like old version I was used to. We had plenty of leftovers so I took some over to my dad's house and he loved it too.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Yesterday's appointment

Our appointment yesterday was a good one. We expected to just do injects training and sign consent forms. But they also asked us if we had considered how many embryos we wanted to transfer. I said that we were thinking two, but hadn't decided firmly quite yet. The doctor went into a long talk about the risk of twins vs a singleton and while I already knew the statistics he mentioned, I think it was alarming for my husband to hear. The RE said that having twins is not considered a normal pregnancy and can have many complications. Many people wish for twins without being aware of these serious risks. We listened to his information, of course, and continued to give it much thought throughout the day. After work, my husband and I discussed it at length and came back to the conclusion that we still felt like two was the right number to transfer. We aren't wishing for twins, but this gives us a better chance of a pregnancy at all. We will be happy with whatever God blesses us with.

The RE said again how optimistic he is that I will become pregnant from our transfer. He said that we already have many factors going for us: 1) These embryos were created from an egg donor. That puts the odds in our favor big time and 2) They have proven success. There have been three children already born from this batch. He said "it would be irresponsible for me to say 'YOU WILL BECOME PREGNANT' but I am very optimistic that you will." This was very reassuring!

He also talked about how it's important for us not to tell people that we are going through treatments, especially because we are using donor embryos. His rationale for the first part, which I understand, is that once people know, they will tell everyone else and that information could inadvertently come back to your  unknowing child one day and hurt him/her. He also said that if the treatment doesn't work, it will be a knife in the heart to have to explain to everyone what happened. But for us, we have already told family members and friends who are close to us. And we have been lucky because hardly anyone has been judgmental or anything but supportive about any of it. Everyone has been caring and rightfully curious and we have been happy to answer questions and educate. But all in all, I really have appreciated the support of those that we have told and I don't regret sharing it for one second. As far the concern about the information getting back to our child that he/she was a product of embryo adoption and it ruining their life, that part might have made sense if we hadn't already planned to tell our child from the get go. This was something my husband and I decided long ago, we don't ever want it ever to be a secret to them. We saw a psychologist in the summer of 2012 who specialized in children born of donor gametes. She said it's incredibly important not to spring this information on our child because the shock element can be traumatizing. Instead, it should be part of their "normal." Her suggestion was to start compiling a baby book with everything about them from the point that we were searching for embryos to adopt. We would continue to document the transfer, pregnancy, birth, and everything else until around the time they are nine months old. Then we should read the book to them. They likely won't understand it completely, but we should continue to do this every nine months or so as they grow older. This way, they will always know where they came from and it won't be a shocking realization one day. They will also know how much love went into how they came into this world. My husband and I have decided to use the term "baby seed" for explaining it to them without having to go too far into the birds and the bees talk. We will use the example of a garden and how beautiful flowers grow from a variety of seeds. Most of the time, mommies and daddies have baby seeds of their own that they can use to start their family garden, but sometimes they need help from other families. We wanted to grow our family so we were blessed to be able to use the baby seeds from others to grow our family garden, but we love our family just as much as if they were ours to begin with.

Even before the doctor's recommendation about keeping it under wraps, I decided to wait to announce anything formally on facebook until we are actually pregnant. I just know that some people can be very shallow and I would hate for someone to say something stupid about it.

We are venturing into uncharted territory with decisions that have such an impact and I pray we make as few mistakes as possible. So many decisions to make with imperfect information. Welcome to the world of infertility.

Oh and one last thing - someone had asked on an earlier blog post how much it cost for us to ship the embryos from Virginia to Texas. We just got the bill yesterday, and it was only $385.

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures. Here is a picture of my box of meds that is sitting in my kitchen.

And here is a picture of the two syringes and needles I will be using. The one on the left is for Lupron, which I will begin on Sunday and will do every morning. This one goes into my belly and isn't bad at all. The one on the right, however, is for progesterone in oil (PIO). It goes deep into my muscle above my butt. My husband has to administer the second one daily. This cell-phone picture doesn't do it justice, but that sucker is LONG. And it does hurt! I had to inject menopur into the same muscle with a similar needle during the summer and I hated it. Oh well, I'll do whatever it takes for us to have a baby. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The transfer is scheduled for February 8, 2013!

I'll make this post somewhat short because I'm getting ready to head to the RE's office for injects training and to sign consent forms. I got my official calendar yesterday and our transfer is scheduled for February 8, 2013. Having that date makes me so giddy and happy, but it also terrifies me too. The beta will be drawn on Feb 19th, 2013 and I just keep thinking about how that day will be. Will it be full of joyful tears and hugs? Or will I be thrust back into the deepest depths of darkness again? I will be honest with you, I am so terrified about the latter. Of course, being who I am already calculated the estimated due date: October 27, 2013. A Halloween baby. I'm holding onto lots of hope! For those of you that have been through FETs with donor embryos, did you go through periods of extreme optimism then slam back into being terrified of failure? What triggered it for you?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holy hormones, Batman.

I have been on a variety of birth control pills in my life, and while some have been better than others, I cannot believe what devil pills these microgestin pills are! The side effects really started hitting about three days ago and I can't believe how different I feel on them than when I was on reclipsen, orthotricyclen, yaz, etc. I'm super moody, crampy, moody, nauseated, headachey, moody. Did I mention I was moody? I got into an all-out claws-out fight with my husband yesterday over how we sorted mail and how it wasn't working for me. It ended with me screaming bloody murder and crying like a baby for an hour or so. It was literally like watching a horrible movie unfold and you are just yelling at the character "STOP!" but you can't control it. It's awful. My poor, poor husband.

I called the RE to make our payment of $4030 this morning for our FET cycle fees. Knowing we were going to go through our FET in 2013, I called my HR department during open enrollment last year probably five times to confirm that even though we don't have medical benefits for the FET, that this out of pocket money WOULD go toward our deductible and out of pocket max for the year. We have an HSA in 2013, but paying this out of pocket up front would mean that the rest of our care (maternity, allergy shots, everything!) would be covered at 85% and then even 100% once we hit $5000. Every time I called them, my HR department confirmed this was true. And according to them, the RE just has to submit the claim to insurance, let it be denied, and the money will show as being tied to us and will go toward the deductible and max. Well, the RE said they won't bill whatsoever because that's not covered and it will only go toward it if it's covered. I called the insurance company, and they said the same thing - that only covered expenses go toward the OOP max and deductible. I called my HR department again this morning and they repeated what they said the first five times that it IS eligible to go toward the OOP max. I feel like an ugly tug of war is about to begin and I'm really unhappy about it. Why can't these things just be easy? Isn't infertility hard enough on it's own without this nonsense? I could scream.

And to make matters even more annoying, I am on-call for work which means I get all kinds of phone calls in the middle of the night for things breaking. I wish I didn't have to do this while I was cycling, but alas, it's a part of my job and I just have to suck it up and do it.

Thanks for hearing me vent, these pills are really messing with me. I'm sure I'll be all puppies and rainbows again, but for today I want to just scream in a pillow.

On the bright side, the money is now paid for and I should be getting an email with my FET calendar later today. Trying to continue to focus on that bright side!

Gosh I hate insurance crap!