Archive | April 2014

Expecting A Miracle (Barf!)

The mountains of clean laundry to be folded and stowed were beginning to suffocate me, so I flipped on the TV while I worked in the bedroom.

The first program that came up was a movie called Expecting A Miracle, starring Jason Priestly. The movie sucked me in before I realized it was about infertility. I changed the channel, pronto, but for some reason, the movie kept pulling me back.

The story: Rather than pay for yet another round of IVF, an infertile couple decides to use their remaining IVF savings for a needy little boy’s health care. A few weeks later, POOF, they’re pregnant. Cut to the closing credits.

See, they just relaxed, and it happened! Like magic. Because they DESERVED it for being selfless.

Well, Mr. Movie Producer, I would like to inform you that:

1. Whether or not a woman gets pregnant has NOTHING to do with how relaxed she is.
2. As much as I really, really wish it were so, Being A Good Person doesn’t help you, either.
3. Just because a previously infertile woman gets a positive result on an HPT does not mean her infertility journey is suddenly over.
4. The nobility of making an after-school-special-style movie about infertility is negated when you oversimplify the topic.

That is all! ❤

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Feline Mental Health Break :)

Back in mid-February when the nurses told us that our 3rd beta indicated a non viable pregnancy (Poof), we put in an application to adopt a 3rd cat (mentioned briefly in Go In Peace.)  A week later, we welcomed Bing into our home.

 

Bing

 

Bing has been such a loving addition to our fur baby family.  He’s sweet, cuddly and playful and he follows us wherever we go. He and our other male cat, Debussy, get along famously:

 

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…and Bing can often be observed cleaning Debussy:

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Our third kitty, Bernstein, who is actually a very sweet female calico/tortoiseshell under normal conditions, felt very threatened at first but is finally STARTING to warm up to Bing.  Her hissing is down to about once every other day.  🙂

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So happy to have our little cuddle balls.  There’s nothing like unconditional love to make our fertility struggle a little more tolerable!  ❤

Baby DNA Results Are In!

After my D&E on Feb 26th, the doctor ordered DNA testing on the fetus so we could get some answers about why I’ve had three miscarriages. He said the results would come back in two weeks.

Over a month later, I still hadn’t heard anything, so I called the genetic counselor. Another two weeks later, I called again and asked if there was anything I could do to speed things up. She said, “Oh, yes, you could call the doctor who ordered the test.” Now why didn’t she tell me that before???

After that, I got the results within a day. (I gave the nurse an exaggerated sob story about how we needed that data before we could TTC again after our miscarriage. Sue me… I was sick of waiting.)

So the results are: the fetus WAS a carrier of Fragile X, but the mutation hadn’t expanded, so that was NOT the reason the baby died. The real issue was Trisomy 9. From what I can tell from Dr. Google and from the genetic counselor, Trisomy 9 is thought to be completely random, so there isn’t any indication that it will happen again. It is rare and almost always results in first trimester miscarriage.

My RE appears to have been right that while my risk of having a severely affected Fragile X child is small, Fragile X has made my egg quality so poor that my babies are very likely to have OTHER chromosomal issues.

While it’s somewhat comforting that there was a concrete reason for my miscarriage, now I’m scared. What if our next baby has a major chromosomal issue and none of the tests catch it? ❤

A House, A Child, And A Viola: Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

Well, after my last post about Moving Forward, it appears that throwing away all those empty vials of medicine really did give me some respite from the otherwise constant stress of infertility. There have been days I haven’t thought about it at all. There have also been moments when the idea of taking care of a kid totally exhausts me and I start wondering if we should just count our blessings and scrap the baby-making entirely.

AF arrived and now we’re back to TTC naturally, but without thinking about it too much. I finally got my new insurance card in the mail yesterday, so it’s time to set up my next appointment with the RE to start IVF #5.

With some of my mental capacity freed up from infertility, I made a huge decision: I am upgrading my viola. This might not sound like such a big deal, but fine instruments are so expensive that most professionals have to choose between a viola and a house. No joke. We are talking about going from the viola I bought in college for $10k (by scraping together scholarship money and working every summer in a crappy office job) to an instrument costing possibly TEN TIMES that or more. (If you think that’s expensive, check out this article about a $45 million Stradivarius viola coming up for auction this. June). With all the fertility business going on, it has always seemed like the wrong time for a nice viola, but with the help of my therapist, a good friend, our financial advisor, and of course K (and his new better-paying job), I finally admitted that a new viola is not just something I want, it’s something I NEED and more importantly, DESERVE for both my career and my soul. (More on these thoughts at a later date.) We’ll probably take out a 30-year loan for musicians and pay anywhere from $300 to $550/month after a down payment. It’s a major commitment.

Interestingly, making a financial decision like this is based a whole lot on faith that our fertility journey is going to work itself out without any more giant expenses. But I feel surprisingly fine about that. We can still handle some additional financial curveballs, but this is my very brave way of saying that my life goes on -happily!- without children. I am allowed to make a major business decision without my kids, and I don’t have to choose between them and a viola. ❤

Moving Forward (Not Moving On!)

During my first IVF cycle, I decided that my child’s baby book should TOTALLY have a photo of all those empty vials of medicine.  “Look at what we went through to have you,” I imagined us saying.  Of course I also fantasized that there would be little to no reaction from our young ‘un, and that, years later, we’d be lucky just to get an eye roll from our teen.  But when my adult child was having children -our grandchildren, think of that!- THAT’s when our effort would be truly appreciated.  Maybe they’d even say, “Wow, Mom, I can’t believe how barbaric the reproductive technology was back then!  Now we use hyposprays!  Medicine has come such a long way!”

When the first cycle failed and we started our second one, I thought, “This is going to be such a GREAT picture!  So dramatic!”  And I kept saving all those little bottles and pens.

During the third cycle, I went to the Dollar Store and bought special Tupperware for all the vials.  The fourth cycle filled ’em all to the brim.  This photo was getting expensive.  And f*cking annoying.

Containers of empty medicine bottles stayed on my bathroom shelf for two years.  Every time I sat on the toilet, four failed IVF cycles glared back at me, directly at eye level.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I realized that I’ve passed the point where a photo is impressive or funny; it is now depressing.  Looking at the vials is depressing.  Waiting to take the photo is depressing.  Wondering what our guests must think is depressing.

I thought of moving them to the garage, but I knew they’d be there, lurking in a dark corner, waiting to jump out and surprise me at any moment.

So I chucked ’em.  Didn’t even recycle (gasp).  Except for the Gonal-F pens; they still have a little medication inside, so they’ll go to Town Hall for unused medication collection.

Call me a masochist, but I couldn’t help counting everything first.  I used little hatch marks on two pages of a mini memo pad, which took me 1/2 hour.  Every container seemed like it just HAD to be the last one.  I sat on the floor in the exact spot of my first miscarriage in 2011.

Here’s my list:

  • 4 HCG trigger shots
  • 4 Bacteriostatic water
  • 12 bottles Cetrotide
  • 1 multidose Progesterone-in-Oil
  • 1 multidose Lupron
  • 11 boxes of Ganarelix
  • 2 bottles Methylprednisone
  • 2 bottles Doxycycline
  • 2 bottles Estrace
  • 58 bottles of Sodium Chloride
  • TWO HUNDRED bottles of Menopur
  • 19 Gonal-F pens (a.k.a. Liquid Gold)
  • 4 filled sharps containers (to be brought to Medical Sharps Collection Day next week)
  • (That disgusting Crinone stuff was never on my radar because I coudn’t wait to forget about it.)

Already a great weight has been lifted off my heart.  Next Monday when the trash truck rolls through, I’ll wave good riddance to my previous failures.

I’m moving forward to the next part of our plan, which is an IVF cycle WITHOUT the embryo-killing PGD.  My new health insurance kicks in today.  AF had better get here soon so we can get this show on the road!  ❤

—AND—

A great big THANK YOU goes to The Stirrup Queen for including my blog in her index of fertility blogs, which you can find here:

The Stirrup Queen’s Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer

You can ask to have your blog added, too, or you can go to the Lost & Found section where you can simply give support to someone who needs it.  (I’ll be posting her website address more prominently on my blog.)