The Cycle and The Craze

Wow. This has been the most eventful day that I’ve had in a long time. Sad but true- all it takes is a doctor’s appointment, a pedicure and lunch out to be a crazy wacky day around here.

So, I had my ovary check (the “when will she ovulate” check, that is) this morning. And, per the scan, I already had an enormous follicle (30mm) ready to put out the goods (it’s old sluttish righty again this month), which means it looks as though this may be another 25 day cycle. Seriously. WTF is up with this shit? Ah, well. That doesn’t really matter so much, since we’ll be suppressing/stimming our way through the rest of this cycle anyhow.

The one problem this causes is that now, instead of starting Lupron a few days after returning from Austin, I start Lupron the day I leave Austin. Which means I’ll have to get my meds delivered to me in Austin. Which meant that I had to break down and tell my mom that we were going to be strolling down the IVF path (how else could I explain a box of needles and vials showing up at her house with my name on it??). So. That was a fun conversation. Actually, it was a surprisingly neutral reaction, considering that previously, the only time I’ve talked about H and I having kids, she basically stammered and stuttered her way through the remaining minutes of our conversation, unable to actually form full sentences, and has since then made it clear that this is not a topic she cares to discuss. When I spoke with her today, she said that one of her co-workers was doing fertility treatments and had been for some time. And other than that, she just asked me if any of the meds would have to be refrigerated, and then told me to remind my doctor to give me a note so that I could take the drugs in my carry-on on the way home. Um, okay. Oh, and at some point during the conversation, she muttered something about “I knew it had to be something like this”, though I’m not sure what she meant– did she mean that she figured our delay in baby-makin’ was due to infertility? Or (more likely) did she mean that my constant evasiveness when she nagged me about why I wasn’t getting a job gave her the idea that we were planning to start a family? I don’t know. Anyhow, I broke it to her that H has shitty sperm and that we were basically doing the “end of the line” treatments, the “big guns” as it were, and thus, this wouldn’t be some sort of extended process by which we hope and guess that maybe this might work or maybe that, that there really isn’t anywhere else to go from here if this doesn’t work (at least not using our own gametes), that we may be trying this process a few times, but that it won’t be like her co-worker, going on for years and years, taking step after step (each step more “extreme” than the last). It will simply be this procedure works, or it doesn’t. We will have a few tries with this method, but after that, we will have to move on to some other path toward parenthood. I think I was just trying to emphasize to her that taking this step is necessary, that we aren’t like other couples who could try a few IUIs first (assuming that she even has that frame of reference, which I think she does).

Anyhow, she knows. H’s parents know. H’s friends know. My friends know. Our mutual friends know. I went to lunch with my old boss today, so she knows. And while I was stopping through my old office to meet her before lunch, I was asked by an old co-worker when we were going to have a baby (we had talked about it before, so it wasn’t as intrusive as it sounds), and I told her that we were starting IVF soon. And since she’s the office gossip, my entire old office now knows. And, the entire internet knows. So basically, there’s basically not a single person we know (at least that we talk to on a semi-regular basis) who doesn’t know that we are about to try this IVF thing.

And my GOD that feels weird.

So, after the scan this morning, I finally met with the clinic coordinator. I like her much more in person than I do over the phone. She is weird, but it’s easier to read in person or something. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that she finally fed my need for control by actually giving me some firm dates. I start Lupron on the 8th. I go in for another u/s on the morning of the 18th, and will probably start the Gonal-F (or other stims- I’m just supposed to bring it all with me and label it and go over that part of the protocol at that point), and again on the 21st (narrowly missing my out of town trip the weekend of the 18th…). And after that, we play it by ear, depending on how eager my ovaries seem to give up the goods. Seeing as lately the pattern has been such that my ovaries seem to be putting the eggs out there for whatever penis-like object comes their way (I kind of want to tell them that it’s just a wand, and nothing will come of it, but yet every time I schedule a scan, my ovaries seem to pop right up with all kinds of follicles just ready to burst*), it may not take much. I may be a very quick responder. Who knows? After the 21st, there’s nothing on the calendar just yet, but my point is that this is all starting, and starting soon, sooner than I originally thought.

I keep wondering what this cycle would have been like for me if I wasn’t one of those patients who paid attention. I would assuredly have had several more tests done than I needed to, and I also would have surely had a cycle delay due to missing tests that were needed before moving forward. I would have had cycle delays due to medication processing. I would have had delays due to phone calls not being returned in a timely fashion (and/or missing/dropped messages on my answering machine). It just would have been a very different experience had I not been one of those weirdos who follows up on every single last detail. Today, I had a fasting prolactin screen, because the last one came back slightly elevated. But when I arrived, it wasn’t on the calendar, so I had to sit and do nothing while I waited for my scan, only to have to do the blood work after. Which isn’t a big deal, except that I was fasting, so I was not only a little hungry, I was also a little bitchy from low blood sugar from fasting, which made it feel like a big deal, because my clinic always runs behind.

It was only later that I discovered that they had misplaced my husband’s labs (which, as it turns out, came back just fine), AND had misplaced my labs from my other clinic. Where they had done a prolactin test. Which was normal. Which made me mad that they required the day 3 prolactin last month, when the prior test was normal and that I now had to do another non-day three prolactin, in hopes that it will be normal, too, and that the intervening day three prolactin was just an anomaly. But whatever. Maybe they’ll find out that I’ve got an asymptomatic prolactin issue that needs to be fixed. Regardless, had I not been paying attention, I would have also had to have all of my FDA-required labs run again (HIV, hep B, hep C, etc.). Had I not been paying attention, my drug shipment would have cost me several thousand dollars out of pocket because my insurance doesn’t cover injectables through the pharmacy that the clinic coordinator tried to use, even though I repeatedly told her that it had to be through Wal.greens (she didn’t believe me because, of course, walg.reens doesn’t usually carry this kind of stuff, but their specialty pharmacy does and, as I told her, it is the ONLY pharmacy that they use for these kinds of drugs).

GRRARGH. The point is that it’s a good thing I’m not working right now, because managing this cycle has turned out to be a full-time job. I would surely have been fired by now for all of the appointments and phone calls and general time spent fretting (er, BLOGGING, that is) about how to get through this in one piece, both physically/emotionally AND financially.

So I’ve ruined my pedicure-buzz by coming home and getting all wound up about the drugs and how I’ll get them and who I’ll get them from. I think I’ve got it sorted out now, but I’ve been wanting to (and meaning to) get a pedicure for, oh, a YEAR now, and I finally broke down and got one, and now all my happy foot-rub/massage chair gooeyness is gone with a few phone calls. But my toes sure look nice. (I figured if I’m heading to the land of Heat-Good-God-The-Heat, I should probably make my feet presentable, as I imagine I won’t be wearing any closed toed shoes for the next week…)

I leave tomorrow morning, and I imagine I won’t be doing too terribly much of the blogging over the next week. I am an addict, though, and I foresee that I’ll find a way to get my fix. So, if you don’t hear from me, just rest assured that I am thinking of you (nay, craving!), and that I’ll post updates as available between all of the family stuff.

If any of you are in the Austin area and want to have a cup of coffee, I have some internet buds who have met me in real life and can vouch for the fact that (while irritatingly chatty) I am really a real person and not some creepy sweaty, balding dude pretending to be a 30-something infertile chick. Leave me a comment, or send me an email via the link on my “About Me” page, if you’re interested.

Ah. Anyone got any good stories of crazy family stuff to share? Any wedding insanity you want to offer?

*This feels like the female equivalent of “he just looks at me and I get pregnant!”, only I just suggest an appointment with a sonogram wand and my ovaries scream, “WE’RE FERTILE!!! See???” (which, obviously, has done nothing for the whole “take home a baby thing”, so it’s not like it matters, really– it does, in fact, take two to tango**. And there could always be some other concern, too. I think I just mean that after years of self-identifying as infertile, due to the PCOs and all that sex during risky times with nary a baby to show for it, it feels weird to get a look inside and be confronted with happy, healthy ovaries spitting out eggs exactly like it’s supposed to. Weird.
**you like this whole footnote to the footnote thing? Well, I had to laugh because when they scanned today, obviously it appeared that all systems were “go”, with a happy lining and a happy follicle, and the clinic coordinator suggested that this evening would be an ideal time to “do the deed”. And I laughed, because seriously. I know that statistics are beaten every single day, but we’re talking about some substantial odds that we are up against. And also- I thought that if you are about to start a Lupron protocol at that point in the cycle, that you really shouldn’t be trying to get pregnant at the same time. Surely Lupron cannot be good for a cluster of cells trying to implant, and you wouldn’t be able to test for pregnancy as implantation wouldn’t have occurred before the Lupron was scheduled to start, right? Maybe I’m wrong. Since it’s a statistical improbability at this point, I won’t worry too much, but I just found it interesting that this is what she advised.

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4 Responses to The Cycle and The Craze

  1. strongblonde says:

    oh girl….you know i have tons of family drama. b's parents are completely insane!! i could go on and on forever!! b's mom took over our wedding. it was a disaster. i still get some of the people i knew in high school telling me that i am a saint for marrying b…since i would have to deal with his family. isn't it crazy how many people end up knowing? i'm always impressed with the people who keep it totally under wraps! not really sure how they do it. super glad that things are starting to really get under way for you!! 🙂

  2. Melis.sa says:

    woot for the pedicure!!lame about having to take another pro.lactin test when you didn't eat!! ugh!seriously, this IF stuff is a full time job, it certainly feels like one with all the stress and irritating people (at clinics, not bloggers 🙂 )I hope you have a safe and lovely trip. I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job photographing the wedding 🙂

  3. jenn says:

    heh- my old boss said she knew I had to be pregnant since ~no one~ had that many dentist appointments. Even if you don't tell- people end up finding out. And in the end- I think you are the type to be up front about IF & want to educate anyway- so this way you have built-in, knowledgeable support. Or at least you won't have to re-tell it again, everyone already knows!What a day though- I'm with you on the full time job & I had ~nothing~ to plan!Oh- and I have ideas for you on the 'craft'- they are marinating in here, but let me know a couple favorites- color, texture, memory, something that makes you feel all warm & fuzzy & happy. (maybe it can be another distraction/post… or you can just e-mail me!)

  4. I've got a ton of family drama, as well. Thankfully though all the drama lives in California and I don't have to deal with them.Glad you were able to get a pedicure. Sorry your high was ruined by all those damn phone calls and stupid people not listening to you. Good for you for staying on top of everything and paying CLOSE attention!*HUGS*

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