Seeing clearly

You all have picked up on my emerging positive attitude, but the funny thing is it’s really just me being more like the me I usually am, instead of the bitter infertile I’ve been shaped into over the years.

I read somewhere recently (maybe one of your blogs, so remind me if this sounds familiar) that if you really look for something you will find it. I’m not talking about the ring that slipped off your finger at the beach, or the cheesecake recipe you misplaced in the kitchen…

Say you wanted to see a rainbow… logic says the best time to “find” one is after a storm, when the rain clears and the sun appears. That happens a lot no matter where you live geographically, but how many times to you NOTICE it? Probably just on chance, as I did last week when I opened the sliding door in my family room to rescue a plant that had fallen over from the wind. When I looked up, there it was. A beautiful rainbow. That could have happened many times before, but I never looked up…. therefore I never saw it.

But if you were on a mission to find a rainbow, you would look up every time you had the chance wouldn’t you? And eventually, you would find it. In fact, I bet you’d find a bunch of them.

The thing about infertility is the ability for it to be a point to point journey that turns into (for some of us) a long ride. A failed cycle is so short in the grand scheme of things, but put all the failed cycles, testing, losses, and breaks together and many of us miss entire years of our existence. Never seeing a rainbow, because we haven’t bothered to look. Too tired from the exhaustion, disappointment, and loss to ever bother looking up.

Shuffling through our daily lives just getting to the next cycle and missing…. everything.

This thought was reinforced to me in a conversation I had with my husband over the weekend. It was late Saturday night, and S. decided to enjoy the evening and sit out on the patio to relax with his iPod. I should have been out there with him, but instead I was sitting on the recliner (inside) watching a ridiculous and BAD movie. Half falling asleep.

Just then S. opens the door and says…. “I think I just saw TWO shooting stars!”

Me: “Get out! What did they look like?”

Him: “Shooting stars!” (….DUH)

Me: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shooting star….”

Him: “Maybe you just aren’t looking for them.”

…touché, my dear.

It’s just like my S. to come up with something so profound and not know it.

Seems that in addition to thinking positively for this upcoming IVF cycle, I should also start looking for rainbows, because, who knows….I just might find one.

The train is leaving the station

Since I will be talking about my upcoming IVF cycle at length, I decided I should create aliases for my RE’s.

I hereby pronounce the formerly named Dr. V to be Dr. Nerd, and his accomplice (formerly Dr. P) will now be known as Dr. No. There are 2 other doctors in the practice I go to.. but 90% of my appointments are with Dr. Nerd and Dr. No.

I should explain.

Dr. Nerd reminds me of the guy from the Revenge of the Nerds movies, the skinny dude with dark hair and glasses. You see, Dr. Nerd is a pretty nerdy doctor. He’s got the education and the credentials out the wazoo. Always has his nose in his work 24/7. Softspoken but laser focused. He’s the kind of doctor that when you try to joke around with him he has that nervous laugh. Drives me nuts.

During the drama of miscarriage #4 last year (remember? the natural/medicated m/c and the hCG drama?) he called me so much to check in on me I asked him one day if “he added me to his fave five” (as in cellular phone). He *almost* laughed out loud (giggled really, which is a stretch for him). My husband cracked up when I told him about that conversation. I imagine that outside his office, Dr. Nerd is a nerd in real life too. In fact, I am sure of it.

Dr. No… as in, the villain from the Bond movies who was a bit of a mad scientist. Dr. No has a little of that in him… he’s into a little experimentation to get to the issues, which I like. But he’s brash and the older dude of the practice, so he’s probably just annoyed that he works along side of younger punk doctors. I kid, I kid. Dr. No is a get ‘r done kind of doctor. When the other doctors had problems threading the catheter for my HSG last year, he tackled my cervix issue like it was no big deal. No patient is too difficult for Dr. No.

So, moving on… yes, I went to my RE consult. I met with Dr. Nerd yesterday and we talked about how I am the Queen of Bad Luck.

No, really…..?

Then we talked about my age. Oh, it was wine and roses in January, when I was still the tender age of 39. In February, when I hit 40 I guess I aged 10 years in the infertility realm. Because Dr. Nerd was quick to whip out the IVF statistics for the age range 0f 40-45. Which, as most of you know is bleak. And then I protested, insisting I’m barely 40! why must you group me in with a 45 year old?? He asked me if I looked on the SART website at the stats for their practice…. and I was like HELLO?? are you kidding? Been there a trillion times. Then he nervously giggled and said, well, the good news is that age is your only *known* barrier at the moment.

ummmm, and the bad luck with the five miscarriages… how about that Dr. Nerd? (he only counts four since my second was a chemical, a mere blip of pregnancy).

Then we talked FSH. The good news is I’ve had 5 FSH/Estradiol (Day Three) draws in the last year, and the highest FSH was an 8. Mostly 6 and 7. But, of course these are not accurate because they vary greatly. So I wonder why we are put thru this torture test of bloodwork if it can be wrong, wrong, wrong a lot of the time?

FSH in normal range means I have lots of eggs left. They may be all bad, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

Next point of goodness is I am a pretty normal cycle girl. 28-30 days, still ovulating on my own regularly. Apparently they don’t see many of my type, perfect inside/outside on paper but unable to birth a second child. Go figure.

We went over my history (again) for the millionth time), and decided that since I am almost at my insurance out-of-pocket deductible for the year, we may as well use it up to get to 100% coverage. It doesn’t do a damn thing for the cost of the meds, but at least I’ll save some money.

Protocol: We’re going with the generic “antagonist protocol”. A shot of a couple days of BCP’s, hopefully still using my leftover (paid for) Gonal-F to stim, and the egg police, Ganirilex. Icing on the cake? My RE’s office (as well as many others) has changed progesterone protocol for 2008. No more PIO! Crinone gel exclusively. No shots in the ass, I can dig it.

So that’s the plan for now. I have bunch of other bloodwork and paperwork to take care of in the near-term. Also, I will have a sonohysterography beforehand since my uterus was questionable in size and shape when I had my D&E.

I’ve got two IVF cycles. The first one will be my eggs, hubby’s swimmmers. We will cross our fingers and toes and pray the fertility gods have mercy on us. And if it doesn’t work, we may do it again, maybe not. If we go a second time, we may make the leap to donor eggs for our swan song.

Mind you, we are still working the adoption angle. At this point I would like to ask that if I have any long lost relatives that are wealthy and reading this, to please consider gifting me about 50 grand. That should be all we need.

The IVF train is about to leave the station. Hop on and join me for more drama.

All things random…

I found out last week that my hair stylist is moving to Florida. accccckkk! She is a good friend as well. I’ve known her for nearly 17 years, and it won’t be the same without her. Now I have to find a new stylist (I’ll probably stay with the same salon), which is a big decision. What to do, what to do…..

I’ve also been a little silent on something else I’ve been doing, which is losing weight! So far, I’ve lost 13 pounds. I figure there are so few things I can CONTROL in my life.. while I’ve been busy trying to wrap my arms around infertility and adoption I think I found something I can do that is positive and somewhat controllable…

Speaking of infertility… I haven’t been talking much about it because I am still in a holding pattern. I need to make a consult appointment with the RE for next steps, but we are not in a rush. Reason being, we have vacation coming up in 4 weeks and I can’t do IVF remotely from Hilton Head, SC. lol. So I am taking a little “infertility siesta”. I just don’t want to think about it right now. I figure we will do the consult before vacation so we can get the insurance and meds out of the way in the meantime. Or whatever we decide to do (or NOT do).

The adoption front…. is moving slow. Truth is we are in a weird spot deciding on an agency. Our country choice (did I mention this before?) is China… but because the waaaiting is draaaawing out so much on a China adoption, we are likely going right to SN (special needs). Still long, but not as insanely long. The question is, go with a China only agency that has a stellar reputation or another agency with other country options? You would think, duh, Shelli go with the latter… but there’s some positives and negatives that don’t make for an easy answer. So we think and research more and think some more. My goal is to get the wheels moving in the next month.

And lastly, but not leastly (is leastly a word? I think not), I am an Auntie again. My BIL and SIL had a little boy last week. This is my third nephew (first on my husband’s side). He is cute as a button. J- I know you are probably far too deep in diapers and doctor appointments to read my blog, but a hearty congratulations (again) to you and C.


Yesterday, I went to the OB/GYN for my post-op visit. Let me preface by saying that although I do like my doctor there (and her refreshing opinions compared to my RE’s) I hate to go there.

Y0u know why. The onslaught of pregnant people and babies.

Unlike my RE’s office, which is a child-free zone, I got to experience what I’ve been missing in the last two years of my infertility treatments…. Grumpy pregnant women. One sat across from me, lamenting how uncomfortable she is, and she wish her pregnancy was OVER. It took all the power in the world for me not to roll my eyes. Or club her.

I had a women sit next to me with a baby carrier in tow. She sat down and sighed. I attempted not to make eye contact with her. Then she turned to me and said, “my baby is four months old, and here I am again, pregnant with #2. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I am so upset.”

I wanted to slug her.

I wanted to vomit.

I felt my blood pressure rise, and my face flush, and I turned to her ready to spout something terrible that would make her feel like a peon. But I didn’t. I sat for another 45 minutes feeling like I wanted to disappear. I would have rather been anywhere but there.

Now weepy and pissed, I finally get to the exam room. When Dr. D walks in we talk about my recovery. Which has been, thankfully, uneventful physically. Blah, blah, blah, expect your next cycle to start in a couple weeks. Call the RE for a consult next month and talk to them about next steps.

Then she stops and looks at me and says… “You need to decide your tolerance here. Think about what is best for you emotionally and for your family.” It was as if I had every emotion written on my face at that moment and she saw it. We talked more, about trying again, the emotional and financial toll, adoption, and when it’s okay to say… I’m done.

I got home and decided to look into the infertility counselor referral my RE gave me. Then I spent the afternoon surfing the ‘net Googling more adoption links and ordering some books on Amazon.

Last night, S. and I had another serious conversation about all of this. We already decided we want to seek adoption, no matter what. So how does this fit in with closing the book on trying on our own? I have two insured cycles left (if we take advantage of them, we’ll do IVF in May-June). I am still wondering if I should be investing all my time in adoption, or these last two cycles.

The odd thing is…. for the first time EVER… I thought about just letting go. Save the money for adoption. I guess I am just waiting for a sign. I know that’s silly, and a lot of you don’t believe in fate and all of that. But it seems like this may be the turning point.

I just wish someone would point me down the right path and say GO THERE… that’s where you are meant to go.

In the meantime, I just really, really want to hide.