Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For the love of all things holy.


Today is WEDNESDAY. The wonderful day that I had every faith in the world I'd finally get word that these embryos were shipping! Why? Because the donor clinic assured my embryologist that they would have this "nurse sign off" approval and they'd call her yesterday. Ready to go. Simple enough!

Apparently that was just too high of an expectation. They never called.

So my embryologist called them today only to be told it was still awaiting "nurse sign-off" approval.

I came unglued. I seriously came unglued. I immediately contacted Libby and asked her if she could put some pressure on them. She was furious and called herself and they told her they DO have all the approval and now they gave the name of the contact at the lab.


Why is this so hard? WHY? The simplest thing are the hardest things with them!

Well, by the time I had this lab contact's name and went to call my embryologist with it, it was 4:02 pm. My clinic closed at 4pm. It went to voicemail. I emailed my embryologist and let her know.

I am so embarrassed that my embryologist, a woman with a PhD who creates life for a living, has had to make so many futile calls to chase after these people. She has better things to do. I have better things to do. So does Libby. It's awful.

So more waiting. Is tomorrow the day? Hell, is even next week the week?

Oh and this comes on the heels of a very hard day yesterday. Nadia took a crazy nose dive on her blood sugar yesterday to the point where all the karo syrup and high carb gravy didn't bring her back up. I ended up at the vet who pumped her full of dextrose. Luckily I was working from home and caught it in time. We dodged the bullet, for a day at least. But I know there will be a day where I won't be home when this happens and I will certainly come home to find a comatose or dead cat. The thought horrifies me. This cat has been my friend for almost 10 years. The thought of losing her like this is incredibly upsetting. But its a very real one.

No wonder I'm wanting to cry at the drop of a hat.


Monday, July 29, 2013

A little longer

My embryologist got back to me. She got confirmation that the donor clinic has all of the paperwork they need to ship.


They need a nurse to sign off on it, whatever that means! They expect that to be done today and will be calling my embryologist back tomorrow to arrange shipping.

My embryologist is skeptical she will get a call back tomorrow as they say because she's heard that before from them with no follow through. She plans to call them Wednesday if she doesn't hear back from them tomorrow.

I pray that there are no issues with this "nurse sign off" and that they do get back to my embryologist quickly.
I'm cautiously optimistic. Thank you for your prayers.

Stay tuned...

I have some potentially very good news.

Libby's husband quickly filled out and emailed the final form that their clinic required, and their clinic finally acknowledged on Friday that they have everything they need to ship the embryos. Oh happy dance. I'll feel better once my embryologist calls and can confirm and then lets me know a ship date. I emailed my embryologist on Friday to ask her to call today, so I'm hoping to hear back any minute. If not, of course I will follow up. This might be the really real-deal. Stay tuned!!

And in other news, this weekend was insane. I feel like I need a weekend after the weekend!

Nadia's blood sugar dropped to dangerous levels Friday night, Saturday night, and even last night. I was up until after 4:30am Friday and Saturday, and thankfully Kevin took over last night's duties. When this happens, you have to check blood glucose levels every 30 minutes and attempt to bring it back up with high carb cat food gravy and karo syrup.  It's critical to bring the levels up quickly because if it gets too low, it can be deadly. She was in the 40s every night! She's had a dose decrease and I'm just praying with don't have a fourth night of this. I spent much of the days napping in between her daytime checks.

I feel like I have a newborn....without the newborn. I guess it means that Kevin and I just might be good, attentive parents, should we be so blessed.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nope. Not yet.

When my embryologist called Libby's lab on Tuesday, the woman she spoke to said they didn't have the form yet. Or at least it hadn't been scanned into their system. She said she'd look for it and assured my embryologist she would call her right back.

But no one ever called her back.

And now my embryologist is going to be out the rest of this week. She has a life and of course it doesn't revolve around me. But I feel like I want to stomp my feet like a two-year old.

Well, Libby got a voicemail from her lab yesterday saying they need yet another form completed, only this time completed by her husband. It is yet another form they never even mentioned was required until now, even though Libby first started this process with them months ago.

They said this is surely the last step. I really hope it is. I feel like we've been at the last step for months now. But now the lab is saying it is, so maybe this is really it?

I am so grateful for Libby and her husband. I know this is frustrating for them too. Libby has bent over backwards (and then some) to help make this happen. And since I am not the patient at her clinic, I am unable to do any of the follow up or calling. She has had to do EVERYTHING. I don't know how many donors might have just given up by now, but she has stuck it out. My heart literally aches. It aches to finally meet our embryos. It aches with gratitude for Libby. It aches to get out of this depression as I wait for these seemingly neverending steps to be completed.

As soon as these embryos ship, you're going to hear screaming...yes, delightful screams. No matter where in the country you are you will certainly hear it. And you can be sure it's originating from Austin, TX.

I just hope it is soon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Yesterday the embryologist from my clinic called the patient coordinator from the donor clinic to confirm they have all of the necessary paperwork in order to start shipping.

I haven't heard anything back yet, but I do hope to hear something today. I will give it a few hours before I follow up.

Please please please let them have all of the paperwork. Please let it be enough. Please let this final step be complete.

Let's see.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time bomb cake

Here's a recipe for a time-bomb cake:


  • 1 cup frustrated infertile wife
  • 1 cup frustrated infertile husband
  • 10 pound diabetic cat needing constant attention
  • 5 cups idiotic insurance company making ridiculous decisions
  • 2 cups idiotic HR department reps who are not helpful at all
  • 1 cup donor-clinic never-ending paperwork bureaucracy


  • 1 daily birth control pill

Heat oven to 100+ degree humid Texas heat. Pour all ingredients into a bowl and mix vigorously until tears and bloodcurdling screams start to form. Bake, and watch carefully for top to blow off which will inevitably happen. Frost with special birth control frosting to ensure absolute madness.

There's my attempt at trying to make light of where I am mentally.

I wish I had news on positive progress. But of course, I don't.

Each and every Monday morning I wake up hoping and praying I get good news in the upcoming week. Then without fail, the following Friday I end up in a cryfest to Kevin because nothing moved forward and I have found myself still waiting.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

The frustration builds with every passing day. This negativity is hanging around my head like an anvil. I'm sure I'm not pleasant to be around. I'm certainly not myself.

What do all of you do when you need an outlet to blow off the steam? Punching bag? Shooting targets?
Let's hear your suggestions.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Let's talk about some good things.

I have been posting mainly about embryo shipping delays and insurance bureaucratic nightmares that have been frustrating the crap out of me for going on months now. So instead of posting about the frustrating and obnoxious things today, I am going to write about what is going well.

Today, out of the blue, I got an email from my RE's billing person. She was letting me know that she had just learned of the insurance denial this morning. Even though she had no knowledge of the fact that I already knew of the denial and Kevin and I had already made the decision to pay out of pocket, her email proposed that instead of us paying the typical $4050, she would accept only $2733.65 out of pocket!  She is confident my insurance will pay monitoring and ultrasounds, which is the reason for the lesser amount. She will still submit the claims after the fact for the amount we will be paying out of pocket, I'm glad to hear we are on the same page without even asking. And $3k out of pocket is a lot easier to stomach than $4k we were previously expecting!

And on that same topic, I contacted my HR benefits rep last Thursday about the appeal denial. She was able to quickly get in touch with our assigned company-wide insurance rep. The insurance rep has already reached out to the medical review panel who denied the appeal and we are waiting to hear back any day now. There is still an unrealistic but hopeful part of me that thinks they may change their decision based on the rep's involvement, but who am I kidding? I told my HR Rep in no uncertain terms they have until Friday to make some progress on this otherwise we will pay out of pocket. And if my insurance company won't pay out the claims we submit after the fact, an attorney will be contacting them to collect reimbursement. That is not an empty threat.

But between me and you, if the embryos haven't even shipped by Friday there is no sense in me paying out of pocket right away to continue to wait for them to ship. My cycle will still be delayed until they get here so I might as well let my HR rep still hash it out with the insurance in the meantime. But in her mind, she has until Friday. I'm sure it won't make a difference but whatever.

And last, in non-infertility-related good news, I'm elated to tell you Nadia has made tons of measurable improvement in the very short amount of time since she was diagnosed with kitty diabetes on June 28th. She has already added 8 ounces back to her previously bony figure (which is a lot for a 10 pound cat in just two and a half weeks!) And her blood sugar went from being at 441 at the time of her diagnosis to now staying steady between 200-300. I am going to be slowly increasing her insulin dose this weekend but I have every reason to believe she will go into remission after a few months of her being regulated as her pancreas heals. Until remission, I am a slave to her blood glucose testing throughout the day and her twice-daily shots, but all of that hard work has been made much more rewarding now that I know it's working and she's getting better!

Thank for all of the prayers and support. I can feel good news just around the corner. And I have a feeling that once we get past these final two hurdles, everything is going to fly at supersonic speed after that!

Friday, July 12, 2013


I've calmed down since last night.

Thank god. I was a walking ball of fire, seriously.

After my call to the insurance company, I frantically emailed and instant messaged the HR benefits rep at my company and she actually *seemed* (although I don't trust it) concerned about the denial and said she would get on it right away. In fact, she even told me I'd get some kind of a response from her this morning. I'll believe it when I see it.

After that, I left work and on my way home Libby texted me to tell me that even though she was required to fill out her consent-to-ship form again, her clinic was waiving their usual requirement of it being notarized. Good news! She also asked me how things were going on my side with the insurance. Unfortunately, things weren't going very well yesterday. I told her about the denial, and since I was driving, I was dictating my texts to her with the voice recognition feature on my phone. My text ended up something like this:

"I am so glad they are letting you waive the notary for the new form. I can't wait to get these precious hamburgers here!"

Hamburgers! LOL My phone thought I said hamburgers.

I am a few hamburgers short of a happy meal, that's for sure. I got a laugh out of it and it lifted the feeling of frustration for a bit. Moments after that, I saw my phone was downloading a photo from Libby. As it appeared on my screen, I realized it was a picture of her four beautiful children laying on a blanket on the grass. Underneath the photo she said "Believe in miracles, Liz. These are mine."

Tears. This changed my perspective completely. She brought all of this fighting full circle. It's so easy to get caught up in the frustrating details and lose focus. She fought for each one of her babies, and now I'm fighting for mine. This was such a moment of encouragement for me.

One day I will have my miracles too.

I've always known that embryo adoption was special, but at that moment I was reminded again as to how special it really is. Both of my donors are amazing women and I can't imagine going through something like this without them.

When I got home, I completely lost my marbles and ranted and raved about the insurance problems to Kevin. I told him about my proposal to move forward out of pocket and try to recoup costs later.

He agreed. Easily, might I add.

That's it. EFF insurance. For now, at least. This is something that is clearly outlined in my summary plan description as a covered benefit. My HR department agrees. There is not one good reason why it is being denied, and I feel confident we will be able to recover most, if not all of it. We can involve an attorney, if needed. But I'm not letting this ruin my life any longer. It's time to move forward.

See you later, $4050. I hope I see some of you again very soon. I'm going to need you for nursery furniture, I hope.

Last stop, getting these hamburgers....I mean embryos shipped and we are ready to rock and roll.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I hate you, infertility.

I have been eagerly waiting for today, July 11th, to finally come. July 11th was the date I was given for my insurance company to finally make their decision on our FET preauthorization appeal.

If you recall, it was originally denied stating I first had to prove I was infertile by attempting three IUIs and that I have attempted pregnancy through unprotected sex for at least 12 months. Well, this is just stupid. I've had one IUI, and two more for someone with my level of DOR would be a complete waste of time and money. And as for the latter reason, we tried our first IUI in 2011 and had been trying the natural way long before that! My RE's billing person said she had seen this type of denial before and that a simple physician's letter would take care of it. My RE sent the letter off with the appeal, and even my HR department said our appeal should be approved today, on July 11th.

Well folks, it was denied. I'm still shaking with anger and frustration.

Now, the next logical question would be...Why?

No one can tell me. Not one choose-your-expletive person at my good-for-nothing, wretched, awful insurance company can tell me why it was denied, only that it was. In fact one of the reps I talked to couldn't even pronounce the words embryo, cryopreservation, or in-vitro properly. I know it's a petty thing to mention, but it's just a reminder that most of your average people don't have to deal with infertility therefore they don't know how to say these words.

They said to get an explanation of denial I would need to submit a written letter and they would reply with their rationale in 30 days. But you know how this story ends, right? I send a letter, wait another 30 days and get some bogus stupid reason. I then have to take some other futile step to wait another 30 days to be back where I started. I'm so sick of this.

My last remaining hope at this point is to ask my company's HR benefits rep to go to bat for me. And while this sounds promising in theory, it's not in actuality. I've gone down that road before when my insurance company denied infertility diagnostic tests in 2012. No matter how many times I tried to explain the details to our benefits rep (and it's one single person) I could tell she didn't grasp it, she didn't want to grasp it, and didn't have any kind of drive to help me with it. I imagine her usual benefits questions are simple ones about copays and in-network physicians. But here I am asking about sperm karyotyping, ovarian reserve, and gonadotropins. She stopped responding to my emails and to my calls. I followed up for weeks with no response. I probably should have escalated to her manager, but I just gave up, which is very unlike me! If I get nowhere with her this time, I will take it to her manager but it's just another frustrating layer of complication I really just don't have the time or energy to deal with.

Let me finish this by saying I never had IVF coverage before this calendar year. So trust me, I know all too well how hard it is to be 100% out of pocket. I do not take it for granted for one second and my heart goes out to every woman who suffers from infertility with no coverage at all.

So that leads me to my next thought. If my HR rep doesn't help, I really only have two choices:

1) Give up on the preauthorization altogether. I can pay the $4050 direct to my RE and submit claims after the fact and pray they somehow get processed. I bet some might, but who knows? This is on their radar now as being a denied preauthorization so that might be enough for them to say no way when the claims go through. Has anyone ever done this? Or....

2) Wait some more and fight some more. I could write them a letter and in 30 days they will respond with some lame reason. I'm sure I'll be told I have to do XYZ and wait another 30 days to then be back again where I started.

I am so tired. We really don't have money to be paying out of pocket for this, I'd charge it on a card. We have dumped so much money on our first IVF, attorneys fees, the D&C, etc and now a bunch of money on vet expenses for Nadia's diabetes, we are just drained.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

I feel my resolve to fight is almost drained completely, and I just want to surrender and take option number 1. I don't think Kevin will support that though. I don't even know if it's the right thing to do.

Okay so you've now read yet another upset and complaining blog post by me. I am so negative lately, and no one hates it more than I do. I wish I had something puppies and rainbows to post about, but this is what infertility looks like. It sucks. It's frustrating.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Today is supposed to be V-day

Thanks to a cruel technical glitch on a board I regularly post on, my pregnancy ticker returned to my signature out of the blue.

Bam. 24 weeks. V-day. You should be 24 weeks pregnant today, Liz.

This is a celebrated day for the expecting mom-to-be. Why? Because at 24 weeks the baby is considered viable (i.e. V-Day.) If the baby is born after this 24 week point, life-saving efforts will be taken by doctors.

But as for me, I'm not pregnant anymore. And I'm not sure how long this kind of sadistic mourning is supposed to continue where I recognize what should be happening in my pregnancy, yet isn't because it's gone. Maybe I'll get some relief after my due date, Oct 30th, comes and goes. Today I'm reminded that I don't have a viable pregnancy, and never did. It really sucks. If you have suffered a miscarriage, please tell me if and when it got easier for these kinds of milestones to pass.

I just need my snowflakes to be loaded onto a plane headed for Texas already. I need to get this cycle moving so I have something wonderful to look forward to.

Tomorrow I find out about insurance appeal decision. And I learned yesterday that Libby's clinic FINALLY acknowledged they received the consent-to-ship form. I'm hoping my embryologist can touch base with her clinic and get the embryos on track to ship. Some progress - any progress, I'll take.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The mystery angel and cat torture

I received this beautiful angel in the mail on Friday, but I have no idea who this gift is from! It had no card or note with it so I'm left to wonder who sent this mystery angel. If that person is reading this, please know how grateful I am. It really brightened my day! And it looks beautiful on my wall where I can regularly see it and remember the meaningful and uplifting phrases painted on it. Please tell me who you are! THANK YOU!

Okay, so as for updates...

I'm still WAITING! Can you hear the frustration in my voice as I type that? Well, it's there. I'm not happy. No movement on insurance, and nothing new from Libby's lab. I'm going crazy, I really am. I feel like this is never going to happen. Kevin feels the same way too. We had a heart-to-heart about it on Friday night. Tears were involved. There are times where IF just hits you like a freight train when you least expect it, and Friday night was one of those times.

We hope to get a response on the insurance appeal on Thursday, so I am praying like crazy it is good news and approved. If it's denied, I'm going to lose my mind. And I have no idea when Libby's lab is going to start returning her phone calls, which appears to be the real obstacle on that front at this point of time. It's immensely frustrating because it appears it comes down to one particular lady just picking up the phone and calling her back! How hard is that!? Libby has left messages to no avail.

But the main thing that has really been consuming most of my waking (and sometimes sleeping) moments is Nadia and trying to manage her newly diagnosed diabetes. We had a consult with our vet on July 2nd, but scarily enough, it turns out much of the information our vet gave us was incorrect and actually deadly. She started off telling us to give Nadia 1u of insulin twice a day, then out of the blue at the end of the appointment she switched it to 2u of insulin twice a day. That is A LOT. I asked her about the prospect of me doing home blood glucose tests, and she said they totally weren't necessary and not to do them. My gut said that 2u was too much and that not doing home testing was irresponsible. 

Being who I am, I did a ton of research and found an incredibly active online forum of people who manage feline diabetes day in and day out, and they all agreed - 2u WAY too much, and I MUST home test. Unfortunately, even the best vets aren't very well versed on feline diabetes and much information has changed in recent years. And by following the proper protocol, new research shows that up to 80% of kitties can go into remission. Unlike humans, their pancreas can actually heal! That is my goal, but it takes a lot of dedication to get a tight grasp on it and get her pancreas at healing levels.

On the fourth of July, I started her with 1u and her levels dropped dangerously low that night even on the lowered dose. Which means that if I had given her 2u as my vet had advised, she certainly would have gone into hypoglycemic shock. Then had I actually listened and not tested, I never would have known her level was so deadly low and the second 2u shot would have killed her. I am so glad I didn't listen to the vet! 

Nadia eating her breakfast this morning. I have to do her shots/tests on the counter where there's light and the dog and other cat don't interfere.

Both of our cats have had a drastic food change because dry food was what triggered Nadia's diabetes in the first place. Switching a cat's food can lead to upset tummies. Our other kitty, Chloe, has had um....bathroom issues lately. And I only realized it after she made a mess all over herself last night. This meant only one thing - BATH TIME. Giving a cat a bath is equivalent to cat torture. They hate it and soaped up they are like a greased pig with claws. She looked ridiculous and shrank to half her size when when wet. Luckily we got her all cleaned and I'm hoping the tummy issues heal quickly so there are no more torturous baths in her future.

Nadia found a ray of sunshine to stretch out in after her shot. She doesn't seem too traumatized by all of the poking!

Between cat poo issues and and chasing Nadia every few hours to hold her down and poke her ear for blood and give her insulin shots, I feel like this is somewhat of a training camp for a baby. I obviously realize this is not the exact same thing, but I'm literally at her beckon call day and night to make sure she's okay. Kevin and I have split up duties to care for her when the other is absent. I can't wait until we have a regular routine and her blood sugars are regulated. But until then, she has to be closely monitored to make sure she doesn't drop dead one afternoon for her levels being too low. 

It's actually caused me to get my mind off of IF for a bit, which is a good thing. Right? :) Maybe it's a blessing in disguise.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The day I was diagnosed with DOR

I was browsing fellow DOR/POF blogs this morning and was inspired by a guest blogger post written by Jane, a medical professional over at No Good Eggs: Diagnosing Patients with POF. It was really interesting reading about such a devastating diagnosis from a medical professional's perspective. This post was very moving for me because it reminded me of the day I was handed the world-crushing diagnosis of severe diminished ovarian reserve. I wish my RE at the time had put a little more thought and compassion into delivering the news to me. I decided today's post would be recounting that fateful day where my world was turned upside down. Maybe it will help someone else who is in the trenches of a recent diagnosis.

It does get easier.

In the Summer of 2011, I had been to my OB/Gyn who did basic CD3/7 DPO blood work and discovered abnormal testosterone and blood glucose levels. Despite the fact I had normal cycles and was ovulating based on basal body temps, on the blood work alone she confidently diagnosed me with PCOS and told me that I'd certainly be pregnant in three months on Metformin. If not, she'd put me on Clomid and that would definitely do it. At that appointment, I asked my OB/Gyn about the possibility of going to an RE, and she laughed and assured me I didn't need to. REs were for the "difficult cases" and I was definitely not one of those. Well, I wasn't pregnant after three months, yet I wasn't prepared to blindly go on Clomid unmonitored as she had proposed. So despite my OB/Gyn's recommendation to stick with her, I made an appointment with the RE. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I was extremely pleased with the RE at our initial consult. Kevin and I both had a great feeling and were very optimistic. One of the first things she did at that appointment was an ultrasound to look at my ovaries. We fully expected to see signs of polycystic ovaries, or a "string of pearls" on the ultrasound. But my OB/Gyn had never done an ultrasound so this was the first time they had been looked at. I was surprised when the RE said  "You don't have PCOS. Your ovaries are inconsistent with that diagnosis but we will keep you on the Metformin for the insulin resistance, so no harm done there."

Ooooooohkay. That was a shock since my OB/Gyn had been so certain. But I was going with the flow since I trusted this RE and knew she was an expert in this field.

We decided to move forward with an unmedicated IUI cycle right away because I had a little IUI insurance coverage which would be expiring at the end of the month and we all agreed it was at least worth a try. I was excited to be actually undergoing a fertility treatment that gave us what I felt was a real chance for our baby!  And at that point, IVF seemed like something "other people" had to do, but not us. I was sure we wouldn't be one of them. The right pill would be the trick, or an IUI cycle would be all we'd need. In hindsight, I was so laughably naive.

In the meantime, my RE decided to re-run my thyroid blood work and add AMH in the mix to ensure she had all of her typical panels done. The only thing on the table she had mentioned was the potential of putting me on Synthroid since my TSH was within normal range, but could still be improved for a women attempting to become pregnant. It was minor and I wasn't worried in the least. And I had no idea what AMH was but was too focused on our upcoming IUI to care.

We did the IUI on December 2nd, 2011. A few days later on December 6th, my RE's nurse called me while I was driving to work. I answered as I was pulling onto a freeway on-ramp.

Nurse: "We received the results of your blood work. Your AMH results came back as undetectable."

Me: "Huh? What does that mean?" (I was thinking it would be something simple to treat, something minor. This had to be minor since I had never heard of it before, right?)

Nurse: "It is indicative of diminished ovarian reserve. We are very concerned about your response to an IVF cycle, and you will likely need a very high dose of medication in order to have a chance of achieving pregnancy using your own eggs."

Her voice started to sound muffled.  I think she mentioned the words "early menopause" as she continued to talk but I couldn't hear her anymore. My mind was racing. Why was she using the term IVF? Why was she saying "your own eggs"? What other eggs were there?? None of this made sense. My IUI was going to work, and if not, we'd try IUI again. That would be that.

Me: "How long do I have until...well, until its....too late?"

Nurse: "We recommend you do IVF, like, yesterday."

She apologized and the call ended after that.

My first paranoid thought was that this was some kind of ploy to move us to IVF quickly so the clinic could squeeze as much money out of us as they could. There was no way this was really happening. Doctors had told me on other occasions in my life that I should have no problem getting pregnant because I ovulate regularly and have regular cycles.  The nurse had to be wrong. I was instantly in denial.

I remember finishing my drive to work like a zombie. I didn't even cry because I was stunned.

We had a company Christmas party that afternoon that my manager had strongly asked that I attend so I couldn't go home and decompress. But I had no idea how I was going to be attending a Christmas party when I could feel a piece of me starting to die inside.

I couldn't focus on work. I spent time researching the diagnosis and with every new forum post and webpage I read on the topic, the truth became more and more real. I had to start to accept that IVF was our only chance, and it wasn't even a real chance with undetectable AMH. I had to face that the nearly $20k price tag associated with a maximum-med cycle would be 100% out of pocket. I had to try to accept the idea of premature menopause at the age of 29. I had to face the fact that I would likely never have a genetic child. Ever.

After holding it together at work for about five hours, I headed out to the company Christmas party at the restaurant which was about 10 minutes away. On my drive there I got a short three-word text from my sister in law who was pregnant with her first child.

"It's a boy."

She had no idea what news I had received that morning. She couldn't have known. But to get this text on such a critically devastating day of my life, to this day, I can't help but wonder if at that moment God was trying to push me to my brink for reasons I'll never understand. I was so angry at Him.

I lost it. I absolutely lost it. I couldn't hold it together anymore. I arrived at the restaurant parking lot and tears exploded. My first thought was to call my mom because she had always been my source of comfort and if ever there was a time I needed it, this was the time. I told her the test results. She too, of course, had never heard of DOR, but somehow found the right words to say to comfort me. She cried with me as I sat in that parking lot alone. She told me she would do whatever she could do to help. She didn't know what that would look like, but she'd do it. I felt terrible laying this at her feet because she was in the late stages of cancer, but I couldn't deal with this at that moment alone.

As I talked to her, crying, I started getting flooded with texts from coworkers asking me where I was and why I hadn't arrived at the party. I pulled it together the best I could, and put on the mask of a woman who had not just had her world destroyed.

Inevitably, a few days later I was crushed to learned that our IUI was a failure while on a trip to Utah saying my final goodbyes to my Mom as cancer killed her. And sadly, she died just a few days after that. To this day it's a wonder I didn't require institutionalization over the course of those few weeks due to a nervous breakdown. I still recall those few weeks in December and shudder.

But the good news is that with time I have accepted this diagnosis. Our failed maximum-med IVF attempt the following Summer gave a major sense of closure. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my ovaries were broken and nothing modern science had to offer could bring them back to life. That door was completely closed, and there was something refreshing about no longer being left to cling to hope or wonder "what if?"

I can honestly tell you that today not only have I been able to accept this diagnosis, but I've embraced the path of embryo adoption that it has led me to. Words cannot adequately describe the feeling I had the day I learned that embryo adoption was an option for women like me. It felt like a warm ray of light shined through my tunnel of immense darkness. And even today, that ray of light grows brighter with each step closer to getting our embryos to Texas and our FET planned.

Of course there will still be days where things are extra difficult and I will say "why me?" But time has healed so much. I know that the children who will be sent to us will be the ones who were meant to be ours all along, no matter how their bodies were genetically made. And I already love them with every ounce of my being. Love makes a family, and love has nothing to do with genes.

I still do have flashbacks almost two years later whenever I approach the freeway on-ramp where I was when the nurse called me. I don't know if I'll ever shake that.

Thanks for reading this exceptionally long post. It was very cathartic to finally get it out in writing and share it with you all.

I'd like to hear stories about how you were handed your diagnosis, whatever it might be, if you're willing to share. Was it in person? Over the phone? Obviously no one ever wants to get an IF diagnosis, but were you at least okay with how it was approached?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy 4th of July.  I hope that I never take for granted the sacrifices of those who came before us which gave us the freedoms we have today. I am incredibly grateful for this country and I feel blessed to be an American.

Hopefully everyone is doing something fun today with their loved ones! We are having friends over and grilling up some food. I gave Nadia her first insulin shot and am keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn't drop dead somewhere in the mix. Fingers crossed. ;-)

And just a few teeny updates.

I called my insurance and it sounds like I should have a response to the appeal by July 11th. Not bad, I can wait until then. Lets just hope the response is a resounding APPROVED! And I am still praying for good news on the embryos shipping soon. Libby is working hard on making that happen! I also found out I can resume birth control pills after a short break. Great. That actually boosted my spirits a bit knowing I'm still facing the right direction.

Oh, and I've lost 15 pounds. :-D

I'm trying to stay focused on the positive. Eye on the prize, as my mom used to say.

Monday, July 1, 2013


I've not been a cheerful and optimistic blogger lately. When I started this blog, I promised I’d be honest in my feelings no matter what because I think it’s important to be real as I move through this daunting and difficult process. Real life has it's ups and down.

Well, I’m in a "down" right now.

Over the weekend, the culmination of all of the recent events took its toll on me. From Nadia’s overwhelming diabetes diagnosis to these ridiculous incompetencies by both the insurance and the donor clinic, I’m just completely spent. We didn't think it would unfold like this. And of course, I never thought life would unfold like this.

I can tell I am not myself right now. Everything, and sometimes everyone, irritates me. And nothing can make me happy.  If I can vent for a moment, the missionaries from my church are being obnoxiously persistent in trying to make me go to church by calling/stopping by/texting. It’s borderline stalker level and it makes me want to have nothing to do with my church. I’m also on-call for work this entire week, including the holiday, which means little to no sleep.  I’m overwhelmed in the task of educating myself on our new world of managing feline diabetes. Honestly, I just want to snap at anyone who crosses me.

I've realized that when nothing is moving along, I start thinking a lot about our miscarriage and I start feeling sad about it. Especially when I start thinking about how far along I am supposed to be at that precise moment.  For example, today I should be 22w5d. Kevin and I should be gleefully planning and preparing a nursery.  We should almost be at V-day.

But we’re not.

I’m waiting. I’m stalled, I’m stuck. I’m mad. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m frustrated.

I'm baby-less.

I just want our family already. This is so hard on so many levels. I know it’s been hard on Kevin too.

I’m praying there is some positive progress being made on the horizon and I can get some good news soon.

Until then, I’m almost back to where I started. With no baby, no cycle calendar, no insurance preauthorization, no embryos shipped, a sick cat, a sad husband.

I’m still frustratingly infertile.