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The lupron shot this morning was so easy. I hardly felt it. The minutes right before M gave me the shot were a little nerve-wracking, (for both of us, I suspect) but I didn’t really even feel it. I was going to go for a run right after that, but I had second thoughts, not knowing how I’d react to the lupron. I’m sure it would have been fine, but I figured better safe than sorry. I have felt fine over since, so I may decide to go for an easy run on my lunch. We’ll see. I have been sort of crampy all morning, which I think has more to do with the fact that my last pill was on Tuesday than anything to do with the lupron. So, I’ll see how I feel in an hour or so and then decide. As long as I feel ok this weekend, I’m planning to do my last long run over the weekend – probably on Sunday morning. I’m going to try to do a few easy runs next week (my RE is ok with up to 4 hours of cardio per week), but I don’t know how long it will last. Even though my RE ok’d 4 hours of cardio, I’m pretty much planning to skip my long runs for now, since they are kind of taxing. I would like to do some short easy runs as long as I feel up to it, but I’m thinking I’ll also swap them for a long walk if running doesn’t feel right. Basically, I’m just going to listen to my body.

It was such a relief to get that first shot out of the way this morning! Hopefully I’ll sleep more soundly tonight. 🙂

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My meds arrived! They were in FOUR boxes, but a lot of it was packing materials. There were 12 items/medications on the original list I got from my RE, and I am happy to say that they are all checked off and are either in the fridge or on a shelf in a closet in my bathroom. I separated the needles into two separate bags and labeled them, because I’m paranoid that I’ll screw them up. I doubt I would, but it’s one less thing to worry about. Twice a day lupron starts tomorrow, and then on Sunday night, we’ll add in the follistim and menopur…and my four shots a day (and an oral steroid) will continue until I have b/w and an ultrasound on the 5th.

Tomorrow is the big day, and we decided to go with 7 am for the lupron. The nurse said it has to be at the same time every day, and 12 hours apart, and recommended going with an early time so that I don’t get screwed up on the days I have to have bloodwork, since that has to be done by 8 am. So, we’re going with 7 am and 7 pm, which will be a bit inconvenient at times, but we’ll make it work.

I feel surprisingly good about all of it. My stomach flip-flops a little when I look at the needles, but I know it will be ok. I just can’t believe it’s finally here, and that we’re actually moving forward. No matter how lousy the experience itself is, I’m determined to make the best of it. Plus, this whole shot-giving phase won’t last forever.

I told my mom yesterday that we were doing IVF, and she was really happy. I didn’t think she would be so positive about it, because in the past she’s been sort of funny, but she said she really just doesn’t want to put any pressure on us or to make me feel bad. I was glad I told her, and that she was so supportive. She used to watch Bill and Giuliana, which is sort of cool, because even though they didn’t show every second of their IVF cycle, she has a little bit of a grasp on it and also knows it’s not a sure thing. A little knowledge and understanding really makes a difference!

My ovaries are quiet and cyst-free, so we are good to go! My RE also did the mock transfer while I was there, which wasn’t too terrible. We had an injection lesson from the IVF nurse, which went well, but was a bit overwhelming. Everything seemed straightforward except the menopur, which was confusing because of the mixing. I’m glad M accompanied me to the appointment! The rest of my medication should arrive tomorrow, and then we’ll be totally good to go! Yippee!!!

I’m seeing my RE at 10:30 this morning to have my baseline sonogram and to sign all the necessary paperwork for the IVF cycle. I think (hope?) we’ll also have an injection lesson while we’re there. This is it! We’re really moving forward!

I will absolutely flip out if the sonogram shows something that would cause a delay, and honestly, I’d be kind of surprised. I’ve been on bcp’s for 18 days (last pill was last night) and had surgery in April to remove the endometrioma on my left ovary. Still, though, I am going to keep my fingers crossed that all goes well.

The plan is to start lupron on Friday morning. The rest of my meds are shipping today (big yay and sigh of relief!), and I’ll receive them tomorrow. I start follistim and menopur on Sunday (in addition to lupron). Today and tomorrow are my last medication-free days of the cycle. I’m a little nervous and excited! Here we go!

After making several more phone calls yesterday to my RE’s office and to the mail-order pharmacy that’s supposed to be filling my prescriptions, I feel like I am making progress – finally. To make a long story short, the mail-order company can’t fill the order for lupron, so my RE’s office sent that prescription to a local specialty pharmacy yesterday. It’s already ready, and I’m picking it up today! The other prescriptions – follistim (was gonal-f, but follistim is the preferred drug of my prescription plan, so we’re going with follistim – at least this time), menopur, and ovidrel are being filled by the mail-order pharmacy and are not ready yet, but I found out that they ship overnight. As long as they ship by Thursday afternoon, I’ll be all set. I’m going to take a day off from calling them today, but I’m planning to call them first thing in the morning if I haven’t heard from them by then. I already have the other medications – steroids, antibiotics, estrogen, pain killers, and crinone gel – because I was able to pick those up at another local pharmacy. And in case you’re counting – I’ll have purchased drugs from three separate pharmacies in order to get everything on my list of meds.

I’m feeling more confident that I’ll have everything in time to move forward with the IVF cycle, although I’ll really feel better when I have all the drugs I’m supposed to be taking over the next four weeks in my possession. It won’t be long, I hope.

It’s true what they say – you really do have to be your own advocate.

I still have no medication for my IVF cycle, and I’m trying not to freak out. Actually – I take that back. I have medication, but I don’t have the medication I need to take on Friday. I have lots of bottles of pills, and I have 26 doses of Crinone gel, but I don’t have lupron, gonal-f, or menopur, and I need to start taking the lupron on Friday morning. It turns out that my insurance company gave my RE’s office the wrong information, and my prescription was sent to the wrong pharmacy. For some reason, someone told my RE’s office that my IVF meds would be covered under my medical plan, instead of my prescription plan. I have no idea why this happened, but as a result, my prescriptions sat at the wrong facility all week. On Wednesday last week, the pharmacist (at what turned out to be the wrong facility) said I needed to get pre-approval for the injectable medications, which would take 24 to 48 hours. He also said we should transfer anything that wasn’t an injection to a local pharmacy. We did that, and on Friday, I picked up a whole bunch of bottles of pills and the gel. I also called the pharmacy that was supposed to be sending the injectable IVF meds to get an update on the status of the shipment, and it was at that point I was told that the prescriptions had to go to another pharmacy all together, because my insurance coverage doesn’t allow that pharmacy to fill prescriptions. The prescription was transferred to the mail-order part of the company that provides my prescription coverage. All along, I was supposed to be going through my prescription plan, and not my medical plan.

It’s hard to explain what happened or why, but the end result is that the pharmacy that is processing the majority of my IVF meds got the prescription on Friday. And I need them to be at my house on Thursday afternoon. And it’s Monday, and I still haven’t heard anything.

I’m trying not to freak out. I’m trying to remain calm, and to not spend too much time thinking about the fact that I’ve been on birth control pills for 17 days, which seems like ample time to get this all figured out. I’m trying not to spend too much energy thinking about the fact that my cycle could end up being canceled because I don’t have the freaking medication, which blows my mind when I think about the fact that I’ve been trying to schedule this IVF cycle since May. I mean, wouldn’t you think there was enough time to get the correct information in the past four months?

It’s driving me crazy that the whole insurance aspect has made this SO complicated, and that I’m super stressed about all of it, before we’ve even really started anything. I’m trying really hard not to freak out, and just hoping it all works out – and soon.

 

I’ll start this post by saying that I feel bad complaining about my insurance coverage for IVF, because I know so many people would love to have it. That said, it certainly doesn’t make the process any easier.

My IVF cycle in May was delayed because it turned out that predetermination was needed, and the approvals didn’t come through in time. It took over a month to get approval, partially because the insurance company didn’t give my RE’s office the correct instructions the first time.

After dealing with lots of poorly timed travel (mostly for work), we finally have a free month and are on the brink of starting the IVF cycle. Needless to say, the delay since May has made me a bit on edge. Things seemed to be moving along well, but now the hold-up is the medication. The way my insurance company handles prescriptions for IVF is unusual, and it requires yet ANOTHER set of approvals. Apparently, the previous pre-authorization covered the procedure, but not medication. I wanted to scream, but I held it in. Now I am just keeping my fingers crossed that it works out.

I’m super busy at work at the moment, so I’ll have to make this quick.

  • Things are still on track for our IVF cycle. I have 7 more days of bcp’s, after today. Then, I have my baseline sonogram, and if all goes well, I’ll be starting Lupron shortly after that. 2-3 days later, I’ll also start menopur and gonal-f. Yikes!
  • I’ve been really happy with the way my RE’s office has handled everything. They’re super efficient and on the ball – really great to work with. It makes things so much easier!
  • I’m already having a hard time focusing at work – not good.
  • I bought Circle + Bloom. I’m sure it will be helpful, but I haven’t gotten past the intro. The woman’s voice drives me a little crazy. Maybe when I am in the midst of the cycle, it won’t phase me?
  • Both our families know we’re considering IVF, but M’s knows that it’s being planned, where mine just knows it’s on the table. M’s parents seem to want more info, but haven’t come right out and said anything. I don’t want to have to give either family constant updates, so we’re sort of hoping that being vague will work out. We’ll see.
  • M’s family is generally more supportive of IVF. With my family, it’s a little more awkward. They tend to think it’s associated with birth defects and is overall, just sort of ‘asking for trouble.’ It’s just how they feel – there isn’t really getting around it. It’s not based on anything factual – it’s just their reaction. They don’t even come right out and say it, but when a friend of mine got pregnant via IVF, my mom said to me ‘I just hope there’s nothing wrong with the baby.’ We discussed it more, and she sort of took it back, but I know it’s still how she feels. I wouldn’t say they’re against IVF – they’re just not 100% comfortable with it. My mom doesn’t understand why we can’t just let the whole thing go – that having kids isn’t really all that important, anyway. She says she can understand why we’d want to do it, but then adds ‘if having kids is really that important to you,’ as if there’s something wrong with wanting to have a child. When she got pregnant with me, it was unplanned, so she just doesn’t understand. It’s not all that easy to bring up IVF with her, and I’m not even sure what the point would be.

No meds yet, but I did receive a big packet of info from my RE’s office over the weekend. It has the start of a schedule, a list of medications I’ll be taking, and lots of other paperwork and forms. I had to start birth control pills over the weekend, and I’ll be taking those for a total of 18 days, finishing on 9/25. Then, on 9/28, I’ll start lupron, and on 9/30, (tentatively) I’ll also start gonal-f and menopur. That was generally how my RE had explained it to me, so I was prepared for all that. I’m still a little unsure if I have to do all this once a day or twice a day, but I have time to find out.

What surprised me was all the other stuff on the list – dexamethasone, medrol, crinone, ovidrel, and estraidol. And of course – doxycycline, because my RE seems to be obsessed with antibiotics. I’m already taking a z-pak in preparation for the IVF cycle, so it seems a little overkill to me, but I suppose one extra antibiotic in the scheme of things isn’t a huge deal. I was a bit bummed about the steroids, only because I feel like hormones + steroids = crazy, but it’s possible (likely) that just the hormones or just the steroids could make me crazy on their own. The other meds make sense – I just hadn’t really thought of it. I kept thinking I’d be ordering 3, maybe 4 types of medications…not 9 or 10.

In the end, all I could think was ‘holy crap that’s a lot of medication.’ I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited about something that I’m simultaneously dreading at the same time.

 

 

For the past four years, infertility has been this thing mostly looming in the corner. It’s there, but we don’t focus on it. We continued to take vacations, we relocated, and we took new jobs. We could have put infertility treatment first, but we chose not to. We’ve started and stopped treatment a few times along the way, and aside from the painful fact that we have been unable to have a child, have pretty much enjoyed our lives. Infertility has always been something we deal with, but our lives haven’t revolved around it.

Now that the IVF cycle is almost here, though, I feel like we’re in limbo – or even worse, that we’re in some sort of prison. I just have absolutely no idea what the future holds. I don’t know if IVF will work, or how many times we’ll try it. I don’t know if we’ll go the DE route, and even if we do, whether that will work. I don’t know if we’ll come out of all this with a baby, or how long it’s all going to take. We keep thinking that by the Spring, we’ll know one way or the other…either I’ll be pregnant, or not – and if it’s not, then we’ll likely be done with treatment. But considering the delays we’ve had so far…that I had my HSG in February and am only now starting IVF…I wonder if our assumption is accurate.

It’s like there’s a line in the sand – after October, we just don’t plan anything. We have a vacation that we booked ages ago for this Spring, thinking that we’d either be pregnant or done with treatment by then, but now I’m not so sure.

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I’ve never really liked my job. I took this position three years ago because I was being laid off from a job I actually did like, and this was the one opportunity that was available at the time. I thought it would be temporary – that we’d be moving soon – so I took it. A year later, I was still there. Eventually, we did relocate, and my boss let me keep my job, working from home. That was also supposed to be temporary, and I’ve been doing it for almost two years.

Things have been on shaky ground for the past six months. I got a new boss, and there’s been a lot of turnover in the office. I look for other jobs occasionally, but I wouldn’t take just anything to give up working from home. Plus, my current job has health insurance that covers infertility. I’ve already been approved for multiple rounds of IVF. So, I’m sort of stuck where I am.* I don’t know why I even look. Yesterday, I saw a job I think I would like. It’s different than what I do now, but it would sort of pull together everything I’ve done for the past 15+ years. I’ve worked in three different fields (although two are kind of related), so it’s definitely a unique opportunity. It’s the kind of job I imagine when I think about jobs I’d like to do after this one. I WANT to apply. But really, I can’t.

M thought I should apply anyway. His idea was that maybe it would take a while to get around to interviews, and that maybe we’d be finished with IVF by then. It’s also possible I wouldn’t even get an interview, or that the pay would be way too low. Realistically, though, we’ll only be done with IVF by then if it works. And if it does, do I really want to get a new job right when I get pregnant? And would I really want to swap working from home with a long commute with a new baby?

My current job is ideal for going through IVF**, and for having a baby. It’s just not ideal if IVF doesn’t work. It kills me that I can’t apply for this job, because it’s a rare opportunity. If we don’t end up with a baby, I might have given up a great job (I realize that’s a big assumption and I am probably making that job into more than it really is) for nothing.

It feels like infertility is gaining more control over my life. I just keep reminding myself – this won’t last forever.

 

 

 

 

*I know I’m so lucky to have coverage for IVF and I do feel bad complaining when so many people would love to have the coverage that I do.

**It’s mostly ideal. The travel part is not so ideal, since that prevents me from having any kind of treatment every other month. Scheduling around work travel has been a royal pain.

History

2014
May: BFP for baby #2, due January 2015

2013
July: Our daughter is born!

2012
November: Still pregnant. Fingers crossed! EDD 7/5/13
October: retrieval 10/12; 5dt 10/17; BFP!!! 10/25-hcg=70; 10/29-hcg=391
September-October: IVF, microdose lupron flare protocol
June-July-August: approved! dealing with scheduling issues and most likely starting IVF in September
May: waiting for insurance approval to start treatment
April: laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrioma on left ovary; diagnosed with stage 3 endo
March: RE finds cyst - suspects endometrioma; also high FSH, low AMH
February: consult with RE; bloodwork, hsg

2011
January-February: Acupuncture once per week, vitex and natural progesterone after ovulation; back to charting bbt
March-April: end of ttc
May:diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia (CIN III)
July-August: L.E.E.P. procedure and recovery

2010
December: Start acupuncture
May-November: Not actively trying/on a break/enjoying life
April: Not actively trying, still waiting for insurance coverage for injectables
January-March: still waiting to start injectables

2009
December 09-March 10: On a break while waiting to start injectables
November 2009: 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
October 2009: All tests normal; Take 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
July 2009: Ob/gyn asks for bbt chart, S/A, CD3 b/w; plan tbd.
April/May 2009: Switch from OPKs to the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
March/April 2009: Start using OPKs and bbt

2007-2008
Sept/Oct 2008: Stop preventing; 'if it happens, it happens'
Summer 2008: Stop BCPs; using bbt chart to prevent pregnancy
May 2007: Married again! husband #2; no plans for children

Previous Life
Fall 2005: Divorced
Summer 2005: See RE; more b/w, clomid challenge test, sonohysterogram; 2 Clomid IUI cycles - BFN; male factor discovered (he now has a child with wife #2)
Spring 2003: See ob/gyn for IF, get b/w and HSG; All results normal; Husband #1 gets S/A, which he says is normal; results never sent to ob/gyn
Spring 2002: Stop BCPs, begin ttc and charting bbt
Oct 2000: Married to husband #1