Friday, December 23, 2011

Holy Bikram Batman!

As an alternative to running, I was encouraged to consider yoga. There are all kinds and if you google "yoga for conception" or "yoga for ovulation", you will come up with some interesting stuff. Now, I will begin by stating that I was a yoga skeptic. I went to 2 yoga classes in my life and found myself going to the gym before or after. I didn't have the head for it. I thought the little meditation oms were corny, and I thought it was a celebrity fad. Also Jennifer Aniston does it and I can't stand her so I want to have as little in common with her as possible.
During my two classes,  I remember looking at my watch, pumped for the class to end so I could go on with my life - so when it was suggested for my current situation, I was kind of bummed.

Then Groupon had an offer for 30 bikram yoga classes for $49 (usually a $450 value). It may have been fate that the timing was so on point, but I got the Groupon and figured if I went to 4 or 5 classes, I would make my money back anyway.

So I show up on Wednesday night and I know the room is going to be warm so when I walked in, I thought "this isn't so bad" and sat on my new yoga mat waiting for the class to start. Fast forward fifty minutes into class, the temperature jacked up to 102*, I'm sweating from places I didn't even know could sweat, and I am coming in and out of tunnel vision doing some kind of camel pose or another. I started the class thinking, I'm a hard-ass. I run half marathons, bike, and tae-bo. I'm an athlete.A little sweat and bending's got nothing on me.
I was wrong.
This is hard and exhausting and draining. Your mind is clear because you are focused on your breathing, keeping sweat from your eyes, and not falling over into the person next to you.
The class is 90 minutes and I don't know if I have ever been so beat in my life. There was definitely no post-yoga gym trip after this class.
This morning was my second class and I think I hydrated a little better before and after class, but there were still a few poses I needed to rest through before joining back with the group. 2 down, 28 to go!

Also I had more blood work yesterday to finalize a few things before I start my drug regiment. As with any major procedure, I am going for a second opinion with a different fertility group on Wednesday, the 28th but I really like the ladies at IRMS so I'm still planning on continuing with them no matter what.

The latest tests will check for Polycystic Ovary Syndrom (PCOS).  From the Mayo Clinic's website,
PCOS is a disorder involving infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods. The ovaries develop numerous small cysts and may fail to release eggs. PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome may have trouble becoming pregnant due to infrequent or lack of ovulation.
IF you have PCOS, the drug Clomid - mentioned in a previous post - will work; however if I have hypothalamic amenorrhea (which Dr. K suspects) the clomid may not work because part of my brain, that gets my hormones going, has temporality shut off because of intense exercise and lean body mass (which would normally be a very flattering compliment from a physician). Clomid is there to "revv" up the brain to get the hormones working, but if the signals are suppressed, the drug doesn't have a basis for working.
I will report back after the follow up and then I am off for vacation for 5 days in Dublin and maybe the "luck of the Irish" will do some good.
Until then - Happy Holidays  and Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Ok so I have this blog posted in two places - here and For those who aren't familiar with SparkPeople, you track your food and exercise to help you get skinny (I did it for my wedding and thought it was super great) but also connects you with people from all different backgrounds, all different hobbies, and all different  issues - infertility being one of them.

I have a "follower", if you will, on my blog there and, to date, her attempts to get pregnant have been unsuccessful. In her personal research she has met other women who were encouraged to undergo IVF but before starting the cycle found success with a drug called Clomid. It is designed for people who aren't ovulating but everything else with regard to plumbing is in ship shape. This includes fallopian tubes, availability of eggs, weight, health, etc. So more or less - me.

Since learning this, I have decided to conduct some of my own research to see if I fit the profile.

Clomid is the most well-known fertility drug, probably because it is the most commonly used. About 25% of female factor infertility involves a problem with ovulation, and clomiphene citrate, as a fertility drug, is easy to use (taken as a pill, not an injection (YAY!)), with not too many side effects, is pretty inexpensive compared to other fertility drugs, and is effective in stimulating ovulation 80% of the time.

Clomid is used when there are problems with ovulation, but NO problems with blocked fallopian tubes. It may also be used in cases of unexplained infertility, or when a couple prefers not to use the more expensive and invasive fertility treatments, like IVF. (That's us)
The most common dosage of Clomid is 50 mg, taken for five days, on days 3 through 7 of your cycle, or days 5 through 9 of your cycle. (With day one of your cycle being the first day of real menstrual bleeding, and not just spotting.)  (I'm really not sure what this means but thought I would add it for educational value)
The side effect you’re probably most familiar with is the risk of multiples (Gina - that ones for you!) . You have a 10% chance of having twins when taking Clomid, but triplets or multiples of more are rare, happening less than 1% of the time.

Clomid will jump start ovulation in 80% of patients, and about 40% to 45% of women using Clomid will get pregnant within six cycles of use or about 6 months.
Using Clomid for more than six cycles is not generally recommended. If six cycles go by, and pregnancy is not achieved, alternatives may be considered (and we would/could go to IVF).

I have a second opinion visit scheduled for December 28th (I thought I would make it to the New Year with out any new people poking around in my chachki, but at this point - whats one more onlooker?) and although this new research may not change our plan - it could be a new, exciting, and less expensive and invasive option. At this point, this research is all Google based so I will report back with the official findings.

*UPDATE* This "follower" turned out to be a freakin' whack job. Later I posted how I was not a candidate for Clomid and my husband and I were going to move forward with IVF. Well, someone must have peed in her Cheerios that morning because she ended up going ballistic on my Sparkpeople wall, making crazy claims about how the doctors only wanted my money, were ill-intended, and wanted to "invade my body with foreign chemicals". Long story short, I ended up blocking her immediately from my blog and from my life. IVF blogs are no place for nay-sayers!

Build Ford Tough

Yesterday was a bad day.
Doctor appointment days are usually bad because they bring back to life the reality of what is happening.

We met with Dr. K in the morning and she assured me that everything was as she expected and the communication between my brain and ovaries is "sleeping" and we just have to go in and wake it up. Its really the statistics that are difficult to swallow, especially when you are shelling out so much money to make it all work.

Couples, in general, have a 25% chance of getting pregnant. This includes all of you out there with normal reproductive systems. There are also a large number of women that are "pregnant" but never know because the fertilized cells don't reproduce effectively enough for it to be noticed.
I have about a 55-60% chance of getting pregnant since I am getting the fertilized egg directly placed inside the uterus. This, more or less, takes out the timing and guess work other couples have.
From this number, depending on where you look - 30% to 70% of fertilized eggs do not make it to the third trimester. Now, that's a pretty huge gap so take that one with a grain of salt. I couldn't find a very accurate statistic online.
All of this said, these numbers are not as high as any of us would like them to be. When taking a gamble or placing a bet, you want 70, 80, and 90% in your favor but c'est la vie.

December 29th we are going to Ireland so when I return on January 5th, I will go on birth control (oh the irony) to figure out what my cycle is and regulate my period. It seems as though i will be on the pill from 2 to 4 weeks.
From there, DJ and I are taking a class so he can learn how to give me shots in my butt. The class is with 7 other couples so I hope everyone in the room has a sense of humor because if not, this could be awkward. I just got off the phone with my doctor and it looks like it will be 12 days of shots, but I  have to go back in for blood work every other day or so to be monitored.
Once the shots begin, my ovaries (which are normally the sized of apricots) will swell to the size of oranges as they are stimulated to produce eggs for transfer.

Without getting too ahead of myself, I will end this here until I have more information.

But the bad day came after my appointment when you have to update those in your life and they give you this look. They mean it to be supportive and considerate, but it really just makes me feel like I'm broken. Its the look someone give you when you tell them you put your dog down - not as sympathetic and devastated as the loss of a grandparent, but enough to where it says "aww gee, that's too bad".

The truth is -this all sucks!It sucks to be unable to do something that's supposed to come so naturally.  It sucks to be told you can't do the one thing that relieves your stress and run, but all you are is stressed. It sucks to travel for work and have to figure out what to do with syringes when you travel. It sucks to think you are doing everything right in life and then you get blinded sided with this.

BUT what doesn't suck is my family who let me have a break down (more like has a psychotic episode) in the kitchen yesterday and then came in and pick me back up or my friend, who, despite my sad and pathetic text to cancel, convinced me to get my shit together and meet her for dinner. Thank you, Gina!
Like those smoking commercials, they help make this all suck less :)

I also got a groupon for yoga so I went ahead and got it. I figured if I paid for it, I have the incentive to go. Its Bikram yoga so I will probably just sweat out my chi and feel better about life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Boo. Hiss.

So we make too much money to be approved for free medication from Fertility Lifelines which is pretty lame. There is still one more option - a "GoCard" that saves a certain dollar a mount on medications from participating pharmacies. The savings isn't as glamorous but savings is savings.

My annual gynie visit went as per usual and there were no new surprises to report. Thank goodness. I feel like I have a whole practice of women rooting for me through this process. As I mentioned, I'm not entirely "out" yet, but those who are in the know have just been great. Once things get underway, there will be a lot of thank you notes to be sent.

One place where I have decided good news will NOT be posted is Facebook. As of December, I have gotten rid of my account because its bad for my mental health. I always thought it was a bit much for people to post their ultrasound  pictures on Facebook. You can't even see anything. Its a darkened splotch against other darkened splotches and everyone just "likes" it because its the polite thing to do. I am going to venture a guess and say that 50% of those "Likers" could really care less.
I also have a beef with the sideways shots. "Here I am sideways against a wall" and "Here I am sideways on my front steps". If people really want to see how fat I am, come look at me. If you are close enough a friend or family member, you will probably have direct access to my horizontal growth and can see it with your own eyes. Also - its not really something I want to brag about.
The following article is from Redbook Magazine (I think) about women who have baby envy and how social media causes a divide between them and others:

All of these seemed commonplace and more or less non issues until I had an issue getting pregnant - isn't that the way? Its like getting an alarm system after you've been robbed. You weren't scared of your neighborhood before, but now you are. In my case, pregnancy announcements didn't piss me off until I couldn't get pregnant. But like any great (or not so great) experience I have learned my lesson and here is a short list:
1. Do not ask married couples when they are going to get pregnant. Not only is it annoying in general, but if you are like me - its salt in an open wound
2. No one really needs to see my pregnancy progress. I will happily send you pictures or even do a world tour to visit you- but Facebook isn't the place for it
3. Although we started off with this in place and then we lost it and now we are kind of back on it, the rules of Baby Making should be like Fight Club ( . The first rule of baby making is don't talk about baby making. This way no one can pressure you, assume a time line, or be all up in your Baby Making business.
4. Do not take your period for granted. When you are 14 years old and you are trying to play soccer with a yacht sized maxi pad between your legs, you may find it hard to believe - but you will miss your period one day.
5. Pay attention in Health Class. Hindsight is 20/20 but I would have spent a lot less time Googling things if I had paid more attention to Ms. Gibney (or Gibson?) in 5th grade and Mr. White in 10th.
6. Marry a good person. Although your parents, friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, and doctors will provide the utmost support for you and be nothing but wonderful - your husband has to live with you. He has to be prepared for your out-of-the-blue breakdowns, your rants, and your constant "look what I found on WebMD" claims
6. Keep a sense of humor. You will need it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"The best thing in life is free...But you can give it to the birds an' bees"

As I mentioned in a previous post, Compassionate Care is an organization that helps people like me pay for the drug portion of IVF. I finally found their site and its

Once the process gets underway, I am going to be one of those people that have the MTWTFSS pill boxes so I know what to take on which date. Here is a short list:
GnRH Agonists - Lupron, taken as an injection just below the skin. It allow the body to produce a greater number of high quality eggs during the treatment cycle. (I am super excited about this one because who doesn't want to give themselves injections. Holler!)
Antagonists - used to prevent premature ovulation. These medications are given by injection and the duration of treatment is usually three or four days. (OMG! Another injection! Couldn't be more pumped!)
Gonadotropins - provide stimulation to the follicles that contain the eggs during the stimulation phase.
hCG -  are taken as an intramuscular injection and are used to induce the final maturational changes in the eggs and prepare them for retrieval.
Medrol - a steroid hormone given daily, typically for a period of four days during the cycle, to assist pre-embryo implantation.
Doxycycline - Doxycycline, an antibiotic administered in pill form (Thank goodness), is given to the male partner (oh wait - that's for DJ - not fair!) during the wife's stimulation cycle to reduce the low levels of bacteria that may be found in the semen and which may compromise the performance of the sperm during an IVF cycle. It is also given to the female partner to reduce the risk of infection following aspiration of the follicles at the time of egg retrieval.
Progesterone - taken as a daily intramuscular injection beginning two days after egg retrieval and continuing until the placenta is making adequate amounts of Progesterone. Progesterone can also be given in the form of a vaginal gel or vaginal suppositories or pills (Hot!)
Now I haven't been given prescriptions for all of these bad boys yet and I am guessing the injected ones might be power packed into one shot - which would be nice. If not, I could look like a junkie at the end of this with all my puncture wounds. As I do more research and get a more finite list of medication, I will be sure to inform you.

Here is an education video if you are interested:
(I think Treatment Day 13 is my favorite, it makes me think of Ovarian Space Travel)

Tuesday I have an appointment with my regular OB/GYN so I may have a more educated post after that appointment. I also have a dentist appointment that day. All of my orifices are getting checked out.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DJ at the Bat

For this post, since its not so much about me, I took a little artistic license. This is not exactly how today occured, but you can pretty much get the idea

DJ at the Bat
(to be read like Casey at the Bat and if you dont know what Casey at the Bat is, read this first:

The temperature was chilly on that December day
Our checklist near complete, just two more rounds to play
Elizabeth had been inked and poked inside the ring
Now it was DJ’s turn to do his manly thing

Abstinence was the game, days one through four
to ensure his little soldiers would be beating at the door
The appointment made was early, he better bring his game
He’d seen his wife step up, now he’d have to do the same

He walked into the lobby, checked in, gave ID
He felt a little awkward, hoped do one else would see
him twiddling his thumbs, smiling as he sat
This was DJ’s moment – DJ at the bat.

Led in to a room, heard the door knob click and turn
but knew this was no match for Mutant Ninja Sperm
For the sake of privacy, we won’t detail what occurred,
but it wasn’t too long after from the room he stirred

He felt eyes were on him but he exited with grace,
and felt himself applauded as he strode across the place.
He held his sample closely, hidden against his hip 
But defiance gleamed in DJ's eye, a grin curled DJ's lip.

There was ease in DJs manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in DJ's bearing and a smile on DJ's face.
And when, responding to the nurse that looked at him quite shady
He shrugged and said “It’s been a week and I haven’t touched my lady”

Ten million little DJ’s were passed in a jar across her desk
and she thanked him kindly and explained their office would do the rest
And as he left, he heard people laughing, cars drove by and children shout,
he had done his work and done it well and now DJ was peacin’ out.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I love you, I hate you Medical Insurance

First I would like to start with a disclaimer: I'm not really editting this, so there is a very good chance you will find typos and misspellings. If I ever decide to write a memoir, I can assure you those will be taken care of but for now, we are in "stream of consciousness" mode

This morning was spent on the phone discussing financing IVF. It started with a call to IRMS to discuss the cost of various items from the medications I will have to take, the cost of treatment itself, and the transfer costs (the big day when fertilized egg meets awaiting uterus). Needless to say, none of this is cheap.

After speaking with Susan in Finance, I called Compassionate Care. Apparently they have a website that I haven't looked at yet, but they help those of us who do not have insurance coverage for IVF. In my case, they can provide me with one cycle of medication for free. Medication costs can be up to $5000!! I submitted my contact and initial information and from there I will be reviewed for eligibility. I am uncertain if this program is like undergraduate college financial aid where you have to live in a cardboard box with 20 siblings in order to qualify OR if they are more open minded to assist people like me. More details to follow with that. The nurse, Jen, at IRMS also mentioned they receive samples from pharmaceutical companies for patients. Now that she knows we are "IVF ready", she will keep an eye out. In these cases, every little bit helps.

Then I called my financial advisor - and by my, I mean my dad's - to see if I could borrow some money from investments to cover costs. The short answer is yes but the annoying answers is taxes. He recommended putting money into my Flex Spending Account. I would be able to put money in here directly and pull it out to cover medical costs as needed. Good plan IF Open Enrollment for DeVry didn't end November 18th.

Now to call DeVry Human Resources and ADP and see if I can get that added. Their answer was yes or no depending on my appeal. DJ and I had to write an appeal letter stating who we were and why we needed to add Flex Spending to our coverage. If our appeal is granted, life will be good. If not - life will still be good, just a little taxed. We faxed that letter in today and should know more by the end of the month.
(*UPDATE*  we found out we were approved to add the Flex Spending in January which was obviously too late for us. Thanks a lot HR!)

Not that any of this is glamorous, but I would say this is the least glamorous. At least getting ink in your chatchki is unique and makes for a good story, but no one is ever pumped when talking about money (unless you are on the receiving end). From start to finish, this was about 2 hours on phone calls and about 30 times of shouting "representative" into the automated answering service.

After all these calls, I had to rush myself together and get ready for work. When walking down the hall, I felt "uneven" and upon looking at my feet I realized I was wearing a black boot and a brown boot to work. Fortunately I was in good company at the time and my friend and I had a great laugh over it. After the morning I had, it was almost what a needed. Oh life.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It takes a village

I would like to take a moment and back track on some of my posts. I realized there is a lot of I, I, I in my writing and that is not the case at all. It should ALL be we, we, we.

You cannot survive this process alone. You need a wonderful support system or else you will go even crazier. This post is dedicated to my family, my friends - and most of all my husband. Without him, I would probably be institutionalized.

DJ is the rainbow from the rain, the prize in the bottom of the cereal box, the missing sock found in the dryer, the epitome of all the good things that come from frustration. He has had to witness the "why me" tears, the afternoon of wallowing in the dark after I first learned about my defunct hormones, and the person that keeps me moving forward. I love him!

For example, I usually get annoyed after a bad day at the gym, but now the gym and I have a love/hate relationship. I used to love my long runs. They kept me sane. Enemies were the pavement and I trampled on them, mile after mile. Pizza and wings were the sweat that darkened my tee shirt. My workout buddies were the Black Eyed Peas, Aerosmith, CCR, and Wham!.
Now though, I feel like those same runs got me in this whole mess and its hard for me to get around that. Something I loved, or at least part of it, was taken away the day I learned about amenorrhea and I have yet to beat it and get it back.
Yesterday, I came home from the gym aggravated and disheartened. I didn't have a good workout, I couldn't focus, and I was frustrated. I broke down. After waiting his usual 30 seconds (it gives me a minute to flip out in private), he was there, by my side, coaching me along. Life wasn't yet perfect, but it was certainly better. :)

My parents are other award winners. Toting me from appointments, assisting with the financial burdens, and doing all the wonderful things they do best. I have always said I won the Parent Lottery and with each bump and bruise, they further prove they are the most worthy recipients of the World's Greatest award.

Friends - thank god for friends! I haven't out-ed myself to all of them yet but those who know, thank you! Even a text that checks in does a world of wonders on a rough day. They have helped at work, provided distractions when I am bored, and lend an eye when my husband and parents aren't around (or tired of hearing about it).

Thanks!!! A million times over! Thanks!

Getting Inked

Today was my hysterosalpingogram, but for the purpose of this post and spelling errors, we are going to call it the HSG.

As per WebMD, this test looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them. It often is done for women who are having a hard time becoming pregnant. During a hysterosalpingogram, a dye is put through a thin tube that is put through the vagina and into the uterus.  Pictures are taken using a steady beam of X-ray as the dye passes through the uterus and fallopian tubes.

As you can see this is a very sexy procedure and one, if you're lucky, your dad can take you too because your mom and husband are busy. Now I love my dad to pieces but there is something uncool and awkward (even at 28) when it comes to periods, ovaries, and dads.

So my appointment was at 8am but we are "encouraged" to be there an hour early. If you know my dad, this means 90 minutes early, so my day started at 5:45am. The night before I stayed at my parents but in my stressed out haste I left my overnight bag in front of my door at home. Needless to say, I arrived empty handed to my parents. Although I have some clothes there (pajamas and clean undies) and a spare toothbrush, I found myself arriving to the hospital dressed like a trashy college kid. The thermal shirt I was wearing hat lost a button at the collar making it slightly scandalous forcing me to wear my jacket all day. I'm also pretty sure there were stains on my sweatpants because they were intended for sleep-only and not a day in the hospital.

Anyway, I digress. Since no one is really going anywhere that early, we got there crazy on time, brushed through admissions, and then waited. And waited. There was a news story about a girl that walked into a plane propeller which was very interesting. She was on a private jet looking at Christmas lights and just walked into it after they landed. It may be feel better about my day.

At 8:13am, I am called and asked "when was your last period?"
"July 2011"
"Oh so you're pregnant, we can't do the test"
"No, I'm not. That's why I'm here"
"Did you take a pregnancy test?"
"No, I was just told on November 29th I wasn't pregnant"
"You need to go down to the lab for blood work and we'll do the exam after"
WHAT! I flipped out, slammed the dressing room door shut since I'm so mature and emotionally unstable, and cried in the bathroom - because why not.

To the lab I go for a blood test to find out I am still not pregnant BUT I have to wait an hour for them to tell me this. Now its 9:45ish. My phlebotomist was very nice and told me I was beautiful. I love him.

I finally get the procedure started. They go in with the duck thingies and poke around, checking on my cervix and other lady parts. It's a male doctor which was less weird than I thought. All my other gynie encounters have been women.
Once I am checked out, they insert a catheter into my chachki and in goes a blue dye. It feels like I am getting punched in the uterus from the inside out. Think of the worst cramps you've ever had, then multiply them by 10. The good news is, its only for about a minute and a half.
What was nice about this visit was I left with answers. Unlike the rest of my procedures that end with, "we'll have the doctor call you", I left knowing BOTH of my Fallopian tubes were open and pumped up for eggs.

Thank goodness!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Getting my Head Checked

Ok I know this seems to be like a lot of posts for one day and I don't want to seem emo or anything, but if someone has questions, I want to be the best resource I can be.

So during our consultations on the 29th with Dr. K, she asked about headaches and stress. I was tempted to say "oh course I'm stressed! I want to get knocked up and don't have a period" but I refrained. One cause of a missing period is a tumor or something of that nature pressing on my pituitary gland and messing up my signals.

I was given a prescription for an MRI and went today. I had to get a little IV, as they wanted to look at things with and without contrast (aka ink). I'm not claustrophobic and actually dosed off a few times in the little tube. I must have been beat since the machine is not quiet.

I'm taking a pottery/ceramics class tonight. I found keeping busy is better for my mental health. I have also nixed facebook since pictures of friends standing sideways with baby bumps makes me want to barf.

St. Barnabas, IRMS

On November 29th, my husband and I went to The Institute of Reproductive Medicine (IRMS), a St. Barnabas affiliate specializing in fertility. We met with our specialist, Dr. K. and she went through our options as far as getting pregnant. Because of my age, health, etc - and that of my husband - she said we were ideal candidates for IVF and was confident we would find success. I liked her immediately because she was proactive, positive, and excellent at breaking down the process.

But you may be asking - Where is her period? And that is an excellent question.
Reproduction is not a necessity for the body. This said, when the body has other priorities, reproduction (ie. periods) get put on the back burner while the body addresses other issues. In my case, my body was relying on the birth control pill for the estrogen that creates a period. When I came off the pill, it didn't pick up where it left off in 2002 and failed to restart the hormone production required to kick start my period. Its funny because I never thought I would be longing for my period and how dearly missed it would be.

This lapse in communication was paired with exercise. As you my know, long distance runners, gymnasts, ballerinas often skip periods because of exercise. This is called AMENORRHEA. Now as I mentioned, I go to the gym, but not at Olympic Caliber. I go so I can eat chocolate and not feel guilty. I go so my butt looks good and so I can sweat out glasses of Cabernet from the night before. I am hardly compulsive. And yes, I may run 7 miles at a time, but I am also not training for ultra-marathons. This news pretty much sucked.

Why not stop exercising? Well if I stopped exercising all the good things it was doing such as maintaining weight, keeping my blood pressure down, etc would cancel out. Then I would probably feel yucky and not in the mood for sex anyway so no babies could be made. In addition, it still wouldn't change my hormonal issue.

Ok so here we are at the clinic, feeling confused, slightly panicked, and now financially overwhelmed. As the world would have it, our insurance covers abortions but not IVF. Sweet. Without going too much into detail, google the cost of the treatment and you'll see its not a cheap gig. I think this is where I was the most saddened. Fortunately I have the best parents and support system on the entire planet so money was not an issue but it could definitely be for other couples. At IRMS, you cannot BEGIN the IVF procedure until you are paid in FULL. This is why many couples seek other options or must wait much longer to begin.

Ok I have to do work stuff, but more details to follow...

The News

I never thought I would be one to write a blog. I've never read a blog. I considered bloggers overly emotional people in desperate need of attention. Like reality TV, I didn't feel the need to peak into the lives of others on a daily basis - until my gynecologist said the words "fertility specialist" at my last visit and I went straight to Google to find out more. (I will soon learn that this is a horrible idea as the internet can be both a blessing and a curse with regard to fact finding).

This past July my husband and I decided we would try and have a baby. I had been in the pill since I was 18 and my periods were regular (Thursdays at 10am), were cramp free, and short. I didn't gain weight from the pill and I had clear skin. Considering it is a period we are talking about, life wasn't too bad.
I missed my period in August and took a pregnancy test, not pregnant but I knew it could take up to 50 days for the body to get back in the swing of period making, so I wasn't alarmed.

September - no period, no baby
October - no period, no baby BUT there was a cyst on my ovary. I got a shot in my butt (very sexy) and was told after the cyst dissolved, I would get my period within 5 to 10 days.
10 days later - no period, but after an ultrasound, I learned the cyst had dissolved which was good news.
November - no period, no cyst, no baby. After the results of my blood work came back, I learned my hormones were premenopausal. My body was 28 on the outside, but apparently pushing 45 on the inside. This news was incredibly shocking because in my mind, I was doing most things right. I exercised regularly, maintained a healthy body weight, ate everything in "moderation" (as the experts say), and took good care of myself.

I soared directly into panic mode and thought I would be barren, childless, and surrounded by cats for the rest of my days.  Where did my period go? Why had I had it on the pill? What the hell man!
After picking my jaw up off the floor, I learned the estrogen from the pill was what my body needed to keep my period going. Without the pill, I didn't have that extra kick to move things along.

This would eventually become the referred to "worst day".

My mom met me at the doctor's office just as I was walking out from my conversation with Dr. H. Puffy eyed and sniffley I paid my bill (I don't even know what I was paying for) and dragged my legs out of the office. My hand held the business card of a near by fertility group, The Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Clark, NJ.

My mom and I planned to go for lunch afterwards at a tapas place recommended by a friend since, at the time, neither of us thought "fertility specialist" would become part of my vocabulary. I was wearing a black and grey striped shirt I had bought for Halloween, I had been the Hamburgular, and by now the sleeves were dampened with tears. In the car, outside the restaurant, I cried...and cried..and cried...but I also made it to lunch. I do have my priorities. I got some kind of tuna and seasoning. It was delicious.

At lunch I called the specialist recommended to me by Dr. H and I was able to get an appointment right away (off to a good start!).

After lunch I went home and wallowed. The last time I wallowed to such a degree was my 17th birthday. I failed my driver's test and deemed it the worst day of life. It was trumped by today and I decided to give myself one full afternoon of self pity. I think it was required in order to be more proactive from this point out. I felt if I got all the wallowing out of my system, I would be a healthier person and more focused.

DJ had called mid-wallow to see how everything went but I was too emotional to get into detail. He said that when he got in the house after work and everything was dark, he knew something was amiss. When he found me, a lump underneath the covers at 5:00pm and into my 5th hour of wallowing. He dug me out and got me on my feet (both literally and physically). I knew then that I had the best partner in crime for whatever laid ahead.