Friday, November 16, 2007

Questions abound

We have our initial IVF appointment tomorrow. It lasts about an hour. I'm not yet sure what it entails. They call it a "lecture." And so the IVF intimidation begins.

We usually talk to one of two nurses at our clinic. I've noticed we get consistently more complete information over the phone from one than from the other. This afternoon, I got a call from the mail-order pharmacy on my cell phone while I was at work. They were calling to confirm the list of medicines ... which I haven't yet seen (presumably it will be part of the lecture?) and which didn't match what I thought they had described at the consult last week.

I called the nurses' voicemail and left a message. For some reason, when they returned the call, my phone didn't ring. It was the less-complete nurse, and she left a message that didn't answer my questions ... but since the phone didn't actually ring, I couldn't ask them directly to her. She said the calendar of what medicine to take when should be in my mailbox when I got home, and it would explain everything.

It was. But it didn't. Not only does it also not match what I understood from last week, it also doesn't have all of the medicines the pharmacy listed on it. The procedure week was also four weeks earlier on the calendar than they said last week.

We'll get it all cleared up tomorrow, in plenty of time. Maybe they thought we didn't ask enough questions last week, so they spoonfed us some really obvious ones.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

SF's last blog post made me blush, a lot, not only because of his generosity in not blaming me for the problems we've had, but also because he's right about the other stuff -- my passport renewal form is sitting on the piano and has been for ... awhile. Sigh.

Friday started out on a rough note. Our cat had a tooth pulled a few weeks ago, and we were referred to a specialist with the news that two more of his teeth looked abscessed but were hard to get at. At his appointment on Friday, we found out he has resorptive disease and we needed to have five of his teeth pulled or consign him to a painful process as they dissolved and fell out of his head. The good news is that he seems to be recovering well from the extractions (he's curled up on my lap asleep right now). The bad news is that it was an $800 bill weren't exactly expecting, an we found out about it as we were walking out the door to go to talk about IVF.

Things went more smoothly with the RE than I'd feared they would. It was absolutely nuts there that afternoon. Every seat in the waiting room was taken, and everyone we talked to seemed a little punchy. I realize that sounds like a bad thing in a medical practice, but it really was what we needed at that point. We asked most of the questions we had, but we also laughed a lot during the appointment. Anytime I laugh more than cry in that room is a successful appointment in my book.

Although he did say he could see an argument for continuing on injectables, he pretty clearly agreed with our decision to move on to IVF. We went over a bit of the medical stuff -- he doesn't think the diminished ovarian reserve is likely to present a problem; he said he'd expect 1-3 follicles if it were trouble, but we've been getting 7-8. He seemed to think our chances were at least reasonable.

Then they brought out the price list.

My eyes went wide.

Eek! The new price listed didn't include the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis!

We brought that up so they could add it in ...

... and the result was still $3400 less than the price they quoted us in June. They have comped some of the procedures and have added an option of making payments (which we're hoping to avoid). And they've offered to do all of the monitoring and blood work for one set price now that our insurance coverage for even the lab has conked out.

We were ecstatic. We are ecstatic. It's still going to cost a lot of money, but it takes so much of the pressure off to know that we might have the option of doing a second try if the first doesn't work.

Responsibility and Bravery

In response to JF's last post -- I simply don't see the see the point in holding her responsible for something completely outside of her control. When she leaves the eggs out after cooking breakfast, I'm happy to blame her. When she gets her passport photo and then leaves the application sitting around for weeks rather than mailing it in, I will blame her. But when her body misbehaves, it is simply not her fault. (And that's presuming that it is her body that is responsible, at that -- we have corrected all the issues we know anything about, so at this point we simply don't know where the problem is coming from.)

Where her own behavior is at issue, she has been an incredible trooper in all of this. I can't imagine giving myself all those shots. All the pills, the probings, the bloat... she has put up with it all, and is staring in the face of worse yet to come and getting excited at the prospect of another chance! She is as brave as any person I have ever met.

She deserves great praise, not blame.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Response and responsibility

"It's a shame she had no real children; she would have been a wonderful mother. In a flash of insight, David sees that it's not her fault she has no children: Mr. Trotwood is to blame. That's the reason he's so outgoing and optimistic but prone to tears: he is a man without seed. Every kind thing he does for his wife is some kind of compensation, some small apology."

--Defect by Will Weaver

I, too, find it hard not to feel that way, when I'm the problem. I find myself, much to SF's chagrin, doing things like putting off my dentist appointment because we're already spending so much on my healthcare. It doesn't help the infertility situation, but it makes me feel a little better.

I wonder, though, whether such feelings and actions will eventually become a recipe for a marital difficulty. People don't tend to like people they feel sorry for, even -- especially? -- when they're married to them. No matter how bad I feel for cheating my fertile husband out of the dream of easy family-building, it seems like it's necessary to get past that guilt and sadness ... which is only really possible if the other person doesn't blame you.

So far, SF seems to be above casting blame -- a generous reaction, in my opinion. I hope someday I might get beyond holding myself culpable for the mess we find ourselves in.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


The Rules:
- Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. (Hi Tina623!)
- Post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself.
- At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

8 Random Things about SF and JF:

1. After we were the closest of friends but before they were dating, JF thought, "SF and I aren't dating, but if he asked me to marry him, I'd say yes." Both of our mothers had already figured that out and thought it was a good idea.

2. SF makes the best pizza in the world: spinach, Roma tomatoes, bacon, fresh mozzarella and Gruyere. (This Random Thing is contested, but since I, JF, am typing, it goes on the list.)

3. We want to go to Epcot someday to check whether one of our favorite dead fiddle players is in a Circlevision movie there. (The Disney archivist didn't know.)

4. Our favorite place to vacation is Newfoundland. We've been there twice together.

5. We have four accordions, a piano, two violins, an octave mandolin, a guitar, two mandolins, a ukulele, a bassoon, a clarinet, 20+ tin whistles, a keyboard, and a cello in exile.

6. SF is a strong proponent of the comma before the final "and" in a list of items. JF naturally puts one there, too.

7. SF wrote JF a tune called "The Platinum Ring" for their wedding and surprised her by having all of their friends play it at the reception.

8. Together, we are German, Irish, Scottish, English, French, Finnish, Austro-Hungarian, Cherokee, Russian, and Canadian. But not necessarily in that order.

We don't really know who to tag ... we'll have to think about that part.

The Met Reducing Plan

Turns out I was tracking my weight during the wrong part of the cycle. It didn't balloon upward until after the trigger shot -- when I gained five pounds overnight. That was three weeks ago.

In the past three weeks, I have lost ten pounds, putting me at my lowest weight since SF and I got married; this morning's measure was 3 pounds less than I weighed when we got back from our honeymoon. (Which, as a side note, took place in Northern Michigan in January during a cold snap and included a frightening quantity of Tater Tots. I was down a few pounds from pre-wedding stress, but it came back in spades on the honeymoon.) I have lost weight this week at the rate of nearly a pound a day.

I cut out pop about a month ago. That much sugar mixed with insulin resistance can't be a good thing. But I suspect a stronger culprit: the Metformin has been making me sick again. I don't feel like eating much, and when I do, it ... doesn't stay around long. Something to bring up with the doctor on Friday, I suppose, though I totally don't want him to take me off the drug. I will beg to stay on it, GI side effects and all. I just want to make sure it isn't going to kill me. He swears up and down that Met doesn't cause weight loss, but that equalization period as your body adjusts to its new state of affairs included, for me, dropping about 20 pounds -- plus a few more in the past couple of weeks. Now, if I can just get down about 20 more, I'll be back to what I weighed in grad school when I was subsisting on rice-a-roni and ramen.

Monday, November 5, 2007


We have an appointment Friday to discuss our options. I don't know how long before we start the next round. Probably at least 3 weeks, and that's just until we need to start supressing my cycle. I have a box of junk to take with us in case they can use it -- extra needles, the Follistim pouch and pen from our first round, a box of Crinone they lent us in case we needed it. For the first time since the beginning of the year, the sharps container is the only drug paraphernalia in our kitchen. It looks bare, but also less cluttered, less stress-inducing. It's a kind of personal feng shui, I guess. It feels like the phase of those drugs has ended, and we're moving on to a different one.