The Shape of Things to Come

Today I had my “group” consultation with the IVF Nurse. The best part was there was no group, just little old me and my notepad.

Which was pretty nice. Nurse B and I go way back to the beginning of this hell called Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, and I admire her honesty and genuine feedback.

Today marks CD1, or what we are calling the TEST cycle to precede the real start of my IVF cycle. I had a blood draw for some basic stuff (prerequisites, if you will), a CBC, and some immune tests to ensure I am ‘clean’ for a go. S. has his blood draw tomorrow for a shorter list of stuff. Plus, a script for both S. and I for some antibiotics.

I feel like we are astronauts preparing for a space shuttle departure.

I have a pelvic evaluation next Tuesday and a sonohysterography with Dr. Nerd so he can ensure my uterus is still in good shape. Hopefully not as painful as the HSG I had last year.

After that, I will get the go/no go for my cycle start. Which should be around the first couple days of July. Then onto BCP’s for a predetermined time, and the real fun…. stims.

For shits and giggles because I am (ahem, old), I mean, 40, I will start on a special cocktail of Gonal-F and Menopur for the stims.

And so on.

I’ll stop there because I am getting winded thinking about it. Basically, my calendar for the summer is cleared.

Nurse B and I chatted about the last miscarriage (she was in the room when I had the 6w u/s, when we saw that little heart beating), and she shook her head reading my chart since that day… commenting how good everything had looked back then (great betas! great progesterone!) until that fateful u/s where the heart stopped beating. Just bad luck rearing its ugly head again.

“It’s time for some good luck!” she said as she closed the file and we parted ways.

Yep, Amen to that.

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.

When you say "stop the world I want to get off!!" and it HAPPENS…

Could it be a bright spot in the horizon I see?

Certainly not in the fertility area. In fact, I am feeling a bit bruised at the fact that I just sent my RE a very LARGE check for my last two (failed…sigh) cycles. Oh, how it hurt to write so many digits on a check with nothing to show for it.

I did make a final decision on David’s school for Kindergarten. It’s not the school I toured (and registered for) last week. It was my last visit to the last private school on my list. And to my surprise it was the BEST school. Expensive (what isn’t?) but was exactly what I was looking for in a school. And I think it meets David’s needs perfectly. I met with the teacher this morning after an initial tour on Saturday, and just loved it.

If you are wondering what we will do if the “catholic school” calls us back from the waiting list… well, it’s a no brainer. It’s a $5k difference in tuition, and I am not stupid.

So, my mind is at least at ease that we finally have a plan. Check that off my list!!

In work news, I found out that essentially I am taking a large paycut for 2008. Isn’t that just fabulous. It wasn’t good enough for hubby to get a 5-digit paycut this year. Now I am in the same boat. Oh, it will be slim pickin’s at the BagMomma house this year. Financial lockdown.

Oh, the bright spot. I’m getting there….

Yes, firming up the education plans was nice, but I’m not giving it full credit because of the money thing…

The bright spot for me today is the extra four weeks vacation I just was granted in addition to the four weeks I already get.

How? It’s called a sabbatical, baby.

You see, I was part of a very large software company acquisition in 1995. And, part of what was grandfathered into my new company was a little thing called a sabbatical.

A sabbatical was a four-week PAID vacation. You have to take all four weeks at once. I got my first one in my 5th year of employment. And because the hostile takeover occurred during that time I was grandfathered a second and final sabbatical at 15 years of employment. Of course, I filed that thought under the “I won’t be at this job for 15 years so who freakin cares” folder.

But guess what? Last month marked my 15th year. And how shit-faced happy was I last week when I called HR to see if my sabbatical was still valid after all those years.


I get one whole month to be a stay at home Mom this summer. And I still get my other four weeks of vacation to take whenever I want this year. I can even tack on to the end of the sabbatical.

Hot damn. I get to disappear from the matrix for a whole month. I’m thinking of doing it late August and September.

I can’t wait.

One month off to cook, clean, organize, be home for my son after school, volunteer, take deep breaths, count my blessings, and file my nails.

So who cares if we just took a financial beating this week. I got something even more valuable than money……..


Shock and Awe

Where do I start?

Today has been a day of sadness and shock.

I awoke to my husband informing me that our dog, Teddi, was extremely ill. She hasn’t been herself all week (something was up, she was just a shade off from her normal routine). Then last night happened. She was up all night in some sort of pain, and then, this morning she was barely able to breathe, eat, drink, or stand. S. took her to the vet this morning and they have been running tests all day. So far, the news has not been great. Cancer is very probable, and it looks very invasive. We are surprised that her decline is happening so quickly. She is almost 13 years old, a senior dog, and up till last week, she still had that spunk about her. We are now very sad that she is now suffering. Teddi will remain at the veterinary hospital overnight, and we will get the final bloodwork results tomorrow morning. We are not optimistic.

As this is going on, my boss calls to inform me that a major ‘resource action’ (layoff) was occurring today in my group. My heart stopped (I’ve been on the bad side of these actions twice in 15 years).

She then informed me that I was one of the FEW remaining employees on the team. I was not laid off, BUT we have to absorb the work. Now, if you are a regular reader to my blog, you know I am on pins and needles with this job as it is. Now the reality will be I am on my own and have no one to delegate to. Considering my company is having the best year profit-wise, I am a bit shocked that this is happening.

Actually, I’ve been sitting at my desk comatose for the last 3 hours mumbling incoherently and swearing.

Oh yeah, and since yesterday, I’ve also gotten what I might describe as, oh, my PERIOD (or something that strongly resembles AF and a new cycle). The irony, the irony. An event I’ve been waiting for since July. And celebrating is the least thing on my mind.