Reaction to the hoax

I’ve read a bunch of posts lately with reaction to the horrible hoax that spread throughout the infertility community.  It was such an unbelievably hurtful thing to do…to prey upon the amazingly supportive women who rely on each other to get through this physically, emotionally, and psychologically draining experience is inexcusable.  It is almost incomprehensible that a woman would fabricate an infertility story and then kill off her miracle baby in a horrible car accident.  Unfortunately there are many disturbed people in this world, but it hurts me even more knowing that one of them broke into this community.  I’m glad to know that so many of you have chosen not to let this hoax keep you from being supportive to all who enter the circle.

There were also a couple comments that made me think of my own blog.  Some people commented that they thought the blog was fake because she didn’t have any identifying information or any pictures.  My blog is similar in that I have chosen not to use any real names including the town we live in and the type of work we do.  I do not have any pictures of us or even our dog.  This was a conscious decision on my part because we haven’t shared our infertility troubles with many people in our real lives.  I worry that someone would stumble upon my blog and our personal situation would be out.  We want to have complete control over who knows about what we are going through.  I started this blog after reading for about a month or so because I wanted to feel a connection with others going through a similar experience.  I want to say exactly what I am thinking without worrying that someone I know would have access to my private thoughts and feelings.  I can understand if people are cautious of me because I choose to keep these things private, but I just hope that everyone understands that I am doing this out of protection to myself and my husband and not to deceive those within the infertility community.  I think each and every one of you is amazing and incredibly strong and I have a lot of respect for all of you.  Maybe sometime in the future I will start to put more of my personal self into the blog, but for now I choose to keep things private.  I hope you understand…

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First Day of Summer

Today is the longest day of the year and the first official day of summer according to the calendar.  It is also my personal first day of summer.  I am completely relieved that this school year is over…it has definitely been stressful.  I am very thankful not to have to deal with crazy entitled parents, co-workers that get away with doing less work (while I and others end up doing more), and worrying about what my emotional state will be like day to day at work…until the end of August anyway.  There were SO many positive things that happened at work as well, but it always seems that no matter how many positives there are in any given situation the negatives overpower them.  So that is my long-winded way of saying I completely welcome my summer vacation!

I am disappointed that I will not be beginning IVF in 2 weeks as was originally planned, but I think it’s time to let that go.  I will now be focusing on how to enjoy my summer.  The next couple of days I will be catching up on cleaning, laundry, and organizing myself.  Saturday we have friends coming over to grill and then go to the fireworks (yes they are 1 1/2 weeks early in our town).  Then we will be packing for our upcoming trip on Monday.  We will be going to Vegas for 4 days.  We both need to get away from life for a while and just enjoy time with each other.  We will also be visiting friends we haven’t seen for over 2 years.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a vacation :)

Waiting is the hardest part

Wednesday is the last day of work before my summer vacation begins.  I will be putting in several hours over the summer to prepare for next school year and will also have some part time work to do, but Thursday truly marks the first day of summer for me.  The last week of June was supposed to be the start of our first IVF cycle, which was “perfect timing”.  I quote perfect timing because this is what everyone I had told about our plan for IVF said to me.  I understand what they meant…since school would be over, I wouldn’t have to go to work every day uncomfortable from the meds and I wouldn’t have to take anymore days off from work for the retrieval or transfer.  But to me and B, perfect timing would have been over 1 1/2 years ago.  I know my friends and family mean well, but these little conveniences are not the big excitements for me that they are to themselves.

Now that the IVF Unit is closed when I would have been scheduled for transfer and retrieval, I will not begin meds until mid-August.  This means, that once summer vacation starts, I will have 46 days to wait until we “try” for a baby.  Anyone who works in a school looks forward to summer vacation all year…finally some time to relax and de-stress.  However, this year I am completely torn.  I don’t want summer to rush by because I deserve the break from working so hard all year long, but I also do want it to rush by because I want to hurry up and have our chance at having our baby.

It is certainly going to be a challenging summer with such a long wait ahead of us.  Since January, we have had doctor appointments, tests, waiting for test results, IUI’s with meds and ultrasounds.  Although we knew the IUI’s would not be effective for us, we had to do them in order for our insurance company to cover IVF.  So we have done plenty of waiting before, but the waiting also included many “activities” I guess you could say.  So even though we spent several months waiting to get to this point, I felt like we were going through the steps in our plan.  I think that made it somewhat easier to handle, but now we will just be waiting…there is nothing left to do except wait.

Any suggestions on how to make the waiting game more bearable?  I’m thinking that tackling a few of my 101 things to do in 1001 days will serve as a way to keep my mind busy, but I’m open to pretty much anything :)

At least you can relax and enjoy your summer now…

…This is what my mother said to me when I told her that we have to put off our first IVF cycle due to the IVF unit being closed for 3 1/2 weeks.  Seriously?!?!?!  What is relaxing about putting off the chance at having a baby for another 2 months?  What is relaxing or enjoyable about counting down the days until we go through one of the most physically, emotionally, and psychologically demanding experiences (not to mention financially) we have ever been through?  I was completely stunned at her statement so I just feel silent on the phone.  After several months of me feeding her information about what we are going through and what each appointment consists of and explaining to her that “lessening the stress in my life” is not why we are not able to conceive naturally, she still makes insensitive comments like this.

So I decided to email her and explain why I find that comment so upsetting thinking that she is trying to be positive and helpful, but doesn’t know how.  I explained my feelings to her and then came up with an example to help her understand better.  I asked her how she would feel if my brother was sick and she had been taking care of him (a situation that is similar in that it would interfere with her life completely…missing work, going to multiple appointments, possibly causing stress in her relationships with others, all on top of the emotional turmoil).  Then I said, how would you feel if he died and I responded with “well at least now you can relax and enjoy your summer.”  So instead of her seeing how in that situation it is a COMPLETELY rude, insensitive, and inappropriate comment, she responded with, “I am not sure that your comparison to a child dying is quiet the same parallel, but I understand your attempt.”  I WASN’T saying it is the same thing at all…I was just trying to show that when you are grieving a loss (any loss), it’s insensitive to say what she said.  I’m regretting sharing how I felt with her.  She has tried to be involved with this in asking questions and checking in to see how appointments go, but they way she responds makes me feel like she thinks my feelings are trivial.  I understand trying to keep a positive attitude and looking on the bright side of things, but I wish she would just acknowledge that what we are going through is not easy and I can’t always focus on the positive.  Sometimes I just need to feel my emotions and get frustrated that yet again we go another couple of months without getting pregnant while everyone around us does.

Has anyone had any luck with getting family and/or friends to understand?

IVF Consents and Protocol Appointment

Today did not exactly go as planned, but I think I handled everything pretty well.  The RE answered all of the questions that had come up for us since the IVF overview.  She told us we would be following the Luteal Lupron protocol and that we cannot start this cycle because of the IVF unit being closed.  Unfortunately, she was not able to tell us when exactly we will be starting.  She said I would have to call one of the IVF nurses to figure all of that out.  I asked her if I could go on BCP’s this month since my cycles are usually longer than normal and I don’t want to prolong the start of IVF because of that.  She thought that was a good idea, so I started back on BCP’s today.  Also, she was not able to answer our questions about insurance coverage and what portion we will be responsible for paying out of pocket.  So after leaving the office, I need to call E the insurance coordinator and the IVF Nurses line.  Why don’t they either 1) include these people in the consent signing appointment, or 2) have a write-up of important information that the RE could provide us in their absence?

E our insurance coordinator was very nice and I am very happy to know that she knows her stuff and is able to explain everything clearly.  We won’t know what type of coverage we have (either global or non-global) until we get prior authorization.  Unfortunately, we can’t get prior authorization from our insurance company until CD1 of the actual IVF cycle. Then if we have global coverage, we don’t pay anything, not even co-pays during the cycle and then we won’t know what we owe until the transfer and we know how many embryos (if any) will be frozen.  Then the insurance company will decide what they will cover and we will be responsible for the rest. Ugh!

N the IVF nurse I spoke with was also very nice.  She said we could work around our week long beach vacation in August, as well as, the wedding we are attending the following weekend.  It looks like I will begin Lupron the day after we get back from vacation and retrieval and transfer should happen the week before school starts up again.  N told me to call next week to get specifics once my chart had been sent over.

All in all, I feel like we have a plan.  I’m still anxious to know the exact dates of the plan, but I’m doing okay today.  I definitely want to keep track of all the frustrating things that happen during the process with our RE’s office and give them some constructive feedback at the end.  Has anyone else ever done this?  Was it well received?

Breathe and Reboot

Just now I was laying in bed feeling pretty bad about myself and the current circumstances my husband and I find ourselves in.  I’ve come to understand just how much infertility infects every part of life.  Recently I’ve been struggling to stay positive instead of feeling bitter about all the women who are now pregnant and have exactly what I want.  As I was having this struggle with my thoughts I was watching the Sex and the City episode where Carrie’s computer crashes and Miranda’s mother passes away.  At the end, Carrie says something about how when bad things happen in life all you can do is “Breathe and Reboot”.  And then it clicked.  This is exactly how you survive the infertility journey.  There is nothing easy about it.  There are going to be numerous setbacks and unexpected results.  There are going to be last minute changes in schedule.  You are going to have to move everything around in your life to make ultrasound appointments.  You are going to watch all of your friends, co-workers, and pretty much every woman you know get pregnant and have babies.  You are going to  have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for something that others get for free.  You will be asked inappropriate and rude questions about why you are “waiting” to have children.  The list goes on and on, but the point is when you board the infertility train, disappointments, setbacks, and feelings of failure are inevitable…

…and the only way to survive is to Breathe and Reboot.  Unfortunately for me, I am unable to focus on resetting my system until I’ve hit meltdown mode.  However, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.  Meltdown mode consists of hysterical crying (usually several times throughout the day), a horribly negative mood, eating junk, and going to be early.  I am also completely inconsolable and fear for my husband if he is home to witness this.  But then the next morning I wake up and am able to regain perspective.  Then I focus on the things in my life I am incredibly lucky to have like my amazing husband, sweet puppy, supportive family and friends, a job that I love (and that has been very accommodating to my needs), and young girls that look up to me (I coach a girls soccer team).  When I focus on the positive, I think more rationally and allow myself to focus in on the plan step-by-step.  So for now, I’m putting the frustration and anger aside and I’m focusing on looking toward the next step.  I don’t know what the future holds, but I can take a deep breath and reboot my system.

Another Roadblock

I would like to officially welcome all of you to my first official blog post!  Today is the day I’ve decided to become an active member of the infertility blogging community rather than continue on as a passive onlooker.  Today was one of those days where I was in a complete state of panic and could not keep myself from thinking worst case scenario thoughts.  My state of panic actually began last night when we attended the mandatory IVF overview course.  The class was fine, although I didn’t learn anything new about IVF that I hadn’t already learned from my own research and the Dr. seemed as though she was rushing through everything.  Also, I had several questions that I didn’t feel comfortable asking in front of 8 other couples, more specifically the immature male partners who were inappropriately laughing and asked, “where’s the bathroom” when the Dr. asked if there were any questions. (ps – I was MORTIFIED for these women and at the same time felt sad that this was the support system they were dealing with.)  Anyway, at the end of the class, one woman asked the staff psychologist (who was the only staff member left in the room) what the dates that the IVF unit would be closed in July for cleaning/quality control.  At this point, the panic alarm was raised.  Another woman jumped in and said something about it being close for 3 weeks!!!  My heart begins to race.  B sees I’m about to lose it and tries to say soothing things like, “we’ll figure it out” and “it will happen next time”, which were NOT in the least bit helpful.  Needless to say I didn’t sleep well last night.

This morning I call the RE’s office at 8:01am (reception opens at 8am).  I ask the receptionist what dates the lab is going to be closed.  She puts me on hold and says they will only be closed on July 4th.  I know this isn’t right, so I explain I was told it would be closed for 3 weeks for cleaning.  “Oh, you meant the IVF lab…please hold”….waiting, waiting….”So the lab doesn’t actually close during the cleaning”.  Ummm…what???  I tell her thank you and hang up.  Then I call the IVF Unit directly and ask the same question.  “Hold on, I’ll transfer you directly to the lab” okay…great!  Voicemail picks up and I leave my name, number and question.  Twenty minutes later I get a call back, “Hi, I received your message, but you don’t have the right number, this is the library.”  Ummm….what???  Starting to lose my patients!!!  She give me another number to call.  Finally, I get transferred to the right office and get the information I am looking for.  The lab cleaning dates are July 13th to August 11th (3 1/2 weeks!!!)  Then she informs me, but don’t worry we are still open during the cleaning.  I said, “Really?  I was under the impression that you do not do Egg Retrievals or Transfers during the cleaning”  She says, “Oh, yeah we don’t do those procedures, but we are still open and we still do IUI’s.”  Ummm….If you are not doing IVF procedures, you are not technically fully open! Grrrr  Then I call the RE receptionist back and ask her to have a nurse call me to discuss my next procedure.  I asked the nurse if I began CD1 on June 10th, is there any protocol in which I would still be able to do IVF this cycle.  Definitely not :(  Then she says, “You will just have to wait until your next period.”  I asked her if my RE would refer me to another RE so that I could continue on this cycle as planned.  She informed me that this is the time that all RE offices complete the cleaning/quality control….this I find hard to believe…are there really no women going through IVF procedures from July 13th-August 11th?  This seems impossible to me!  This is when I broke down and lost it…the nurse was very supportive and understanding and totally got how waiting ANOTHER month is not just waiting another month and how unfair this all is.

Intellectually I completely understand why a lab like this would have to close for cleaning/quality control.  However, I cannot stand the fact that it has to happen when we are supposed to be doing our first IVF cycle, which we have been waiting to do for 5 months!!!  It’s hard to be positive all the time when so many roadblocks keep popping up along our journey.  I too have the infertility guilt where I know so many others have suffered longer, have been through numerous surgeries, have put thousands of dollars into this, and worst of all have suffered the loss of a pregnancy.  I have so much to be grateful for, but at the same time I can’t help but be jealous of all the women out there that don’t have a Ph.D. level knowledge of the inner working of their uterus.  And I can’t help but be jealous of my best friend who 2x now has “planned” to get pregnant successfully during a month that is convenient for her.

I never imagined having a baby would be so hard…