Friday, September 30, 2016

Childbearing struggles

Today I'm thinking about a friend who had to face termination of a pregnancy at 20 weeks because of a serious problem diagnosed at their most recent scan. I have no other information. I only know enough to understand that they are facing this tragedy and they are heartbroken.

I'm heartbroken for them. But I know that she holds the same hope. The hope that even through tragedy you look forward to the possibility of what might be. Even when she was talking about the problem, her last sentences were about putting this behind them, moving forward, and having a healthy baby in the future. I wish her and her family nothing but good in the coming year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

FET #4

CD1 was on Sunday so we are officially on course for the next transfer. It seems surreal to be talking about FET #4.

I didn't meet my goal of losing 20 lbs by start of this next transfer date and I'm ok with it. In fact, I stopped weighing myself all together. I've been really good about eating right and exercising. I've been working out officially on Tuesdays and Thursdays with cardio and weights, and walking around the neighborhood on other days. I feel great. I always felt good about my body so that was never a motivator, but I feel good about the changes and don't need to constantly check the numbers on the scale. I also saw some recent pictures of myself and I'm not displeased. Of course there's always room for improvement, but nothing I'm losing sleep over.

Once I started BC pills again the nausea was back. I always forget how much the transition from no-hormones to hormones affects me. Not being on any meds is so blissful.

I got my timeline for the transfer. My nurse specifically worked around the dates of the Jewish holidays so it turns out that my baseline is the day after Yom Kippur - which is great for my baseline weight but terrible for bloodwork. I have to make sure to drink a lot the night after the fast.

My nurse also send a prescription for the meds to a new pharmacy in Miami because apparently there's a national shortage of Delestrogen. Who knew fertility meds would be in such demand. I have some to get me started but I'd definitely need a refill, especially if the pregnancy takes.

We're waiting to hear back about the ERA II results, but I'm not anxious about results this time. They'll come when they come. It's a 2 week wait and I'm not going to drive myself nuts waiting on the edge of my seat. We think we know the results and are just waiting for confirmation. If it's what we think it is then there's no rush. If it's something different then I'm in no hurry to throw that monkey wrench into the schedule. With the holiday next week keeping me busy, it should be Wednesday before I need to follow up and hopefully by then the results will be in.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Blog jumble

I originally started this blog on blogger because that's the first option I saw and didn't really have a preference. Then I started reading other blogs and noticed that a lot of them are hosted on wordpress so out of curiosity I checked it out to see what the buzz was about.

I made the mistake of using the same login info for wordpress that I use for blogger. I poked around wordpress for a bit, saw what they have to offer, and decided it's not for me. I like the format for blogger and for now I wanted to stick with it.

However, when I went back to other blogs to post a comment, it was requiring me to log in using my wordpress login because it recognized the email address. So I went back and deleted the dummy blog on wordpress and changed the login email to some spam email I have. But it still says my email address is associated with a wordpress account and won't let me log in. Poo.

In other news, no news.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ERA II: the biopsy

Remember how I was planning to get there early in the hope of getting out of there early? Yeah right.

I got there at 8:45 AM for the 9:00 AM appointment and gave my urine sample. I was taken back at 9:12 AM and filled out my paperwork. I waited in the room for the CNP to do the biopsy itself. I waited... and waited... and waited. It wasn't until 9:40 AM that she came in, apologizing that there was a patient who came in with an emergency.

She starts with the speculum. It was so uncomfortable. She said she was going to try a different instrument, so out goes the first one and in goes the second one. She tries a few times to clean off the cervix but I was so tense that it wasn't working and she took everything out and said she'll give me a minute before trying again.  I told her that while I appreciate that she's trying to be gentle, not to worry about it and just do the procedure as fast as possible. She understood and started again. She got a scrape off the left side and it hurt. So much. She wasn't satisfied that it was enough and she wanted to make sure I wouldn't have to repeat the whole cycle, so out of an abundance of caution she took another scrape off the right side of the uterus.

The whole thing was over in a few minutes but it was painful. I wasn't as sorry for myself this time around but I was still crying as I was getting dressed. I had to tell myself to suck it up several times so that I can stop crying.

I was out of there by 10:00 AM. I had calmed down a little but my face gets blotchy when I cry and I was trying to get it to clear up before going in to work. I blasted Adele on the radio and rolled down the windows as I zoomed down the highway and it worked for a few minutes but then I got a whole fresh batch of tears. I realized I need a gap between the appointment and work so I stopped by Starbucks and got a hot chocolate. By the time I got to work at 10:40 AM it just in time to join a meeting already in progress.

I was scheduled to work until 9:00 PM tonight but I emailed my supervisor and told her I won't be joining them for the event this evening. I had given her a heads up last week that this might be an issue and I told her I'd confirm once I knew I how I felt so it wasn't a surprise. It's a long evening and I don't want to drive myself nuts about working if I don't have to.

After the appointment I took some Ibuprofen and made it through the work day. Dinner is Chinese takeout and a long nap.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Home stretch

We did the last two shots this evening and they both hurt. I had a stressful day at work and had to keep myself from snapping at people. I think the PIO affects my mood more than I'd like to believe.

I'm feeling a little bit of relief that the biopsy is tomorrow. As much as I want to find an exact time frame for a transfer, I'm tired of these mock transfer cycles. I'm ready for them to be over.

The appointment is at 9:00 AM and I'm planning to go in early. The entire thing takes 5 minutes once the doc is there so hopefully there will be no holdup and I can finish with it asap. I took the morning off but if I feel ok I plan to go in to work. It's really busy and taking the time off now if I don't have to would just make things pile up.

Tonight was a junk food night. I just don't have the brainspace to think about cooking dinner. In the meantime I'm also trying to come up with menu ideas for the upcoming holidays. I figure if I take a break for this week I'll get more motivated to plan meals.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Ever since we heard the results from the ERA that my uterine lining has been pre-receptive, I've felt a relief about treatment, which translated to calmness in all other aspects of life. I don't feel rushed or pressured about transferring as quickly as possible, because I'm so hopeful that fixing the timing issue is the silver bullet that will help the next transfer. I know that the higher you hope the harder the fall, but I'm holding on to hope until proven otherwise. 

It's been pleasant not worrying as much. It's also helpful to know there's only one more night of shots before the biopsy. Those things are the worst and unless there's an embryo transfer it doesn't feel worth it. 

In other news, we got a new mattress!  It's a Stearns & Foster Tinsley Ultra Firm. It's the equivalent of a board of wood covered in a thin blanket. Very firm. I'm not a fan but my husband is thrilled, so everyone is happy. 

I've been feeling so bloated the past few days. I'm not sure if it's just the meds or my change of diet but it's been awful. I went clothes shopping this morning and ironically, I had actually gone down a size! So it's an internal feeling, not necessarily outwardly bloat - if that makes any sense.

ERA biopsy II is on Tuesday and I took off the morning. I'm supposed to work late that night but I may call out for that part of the day, depending on how I feel. I remember last time I took the whole day off but I didn't need it for physical pain, it was more like I was sad and feeling sorry for myself so taking the time to chill helped. I think I'm in a better headspace this time, but I'll play it by ear and see how things go. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

ERA II: Lining check

Yesterday morning I went in for the lining check. Here's the account of what was a really busy day.

Traffic was fine on the way to to the clinic. I got there early which was great because they had a tiny gap in the schedule and were able to take me back right away. Dr. B did the ultrasound and said lining looks beautiful. She was about to be done and I asked about a black blob on the screen. "What, this?" she asked. Apparently it's a small fibroid that didn't even register for the exam. She said it's less than 1.5 cm and they don't even consider them an issue unless they're 5-6+ cm large, or if they're in a location that is pressing up against the uterine cavity which it's not. I started to google it later when I got a chance but stopped because it's scary. She was really unconcerned about it so neither am I. Bloodwork was, thankfully, uneventful.

I went from there to work and spent about 20 minutes productively before heading out to the dentist for nightguard impressions. My appointment was for 8:50 and they took me back at 9:05. It didn't take long but I was feeling rushed because my eye exam was scheduled for 9:30. The impressions were awful, making me gag and tear up. It was good I had water this morning because it helped with the blood draw, but it was good I ONLY had water this morning because I would have hurled everywhere. There were gross little pieces left all over my mouth which added to the nausea.

I was out the door by 9:20 and headed to the eye doc. All looks good. In fact my rx went down a drop. I don't need new glasses but since I have use-or-lose insurance $ I decided to use that for rx sunglasses. I also had my eyeballs dilated so they gave me those disposable sunglasses for the ride back to the office and I felt pretty.

By the end of that appointment the nausea had subsided and I realized I was really hungry, but since I ran out the door I didn't bring any food with me. So I stopped by the bagel shop to pick up a warm bagel with butter and jelly on the side for breakfast and made my way in to the office. I was back at work by 10:40 AM and my eyes were already starting to feel better. It was DEFCON 5 busy non-stop until the end of the day when I realized I didn't plan anything for dinner.

We got a pizza and I'm starting to see the pattern... There's a reason I've been working out 3x week but not dropping any weight. I have to get back to shopping for groceries and making normal food.

Last night was the first PIO shot. It was really unpleasant. I always think that it won't be as bad as I remember but it always is. T minus 5 before biopsy.

I noticed that I don't feel the need to write as much when I'm happy and things are going well. I'm also not on the verge of tears as often. The past few weeks I've also not been on that much medication, or I've started dealing with the mood swings better.

It's not only that when I'm happy I'm not overthinking things and chewing them in my mind over and over. But it's also when I'm happy I'm more social and that becomes an outlet too. I felt good over the past weekend and on a whim scheduled several meetups with friends that I kept meaning to. I met with four friends individually over the week and it feels incredible to reconnect. There is a sore point with regard to friends I'll talk about in next post once I flesh out what's bothering me.

Writing is an incredible outlet so it's ironic that words fail me to describe how it feels.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thursday Tidings

Exciting news for today!

The medical billing error has been put to bed.... finally. The latest email said, "After reconsideration of your account, if you make the $1200.00 payment now, we will consider the balance paid in full." Success! Could I have negotiated for a further discount? Maybe. But the I'm grateful they accepted my argument for not having to pay the full $3680+ and let it go. Even though it was their mistake, I did get the meds and I'm willing to pay what I can as long as it doesn't jeopardize funds for any future treatment. 67% discount is not bad.

In other news, we've narrowed down the mattress search. We went to the store and tried a bunch out. We now have a name for our favorite one. We'll do some online research and see if we can get a better price. If not, we can always go back to the store and pay what they asked. It feels like a great start and at least we now have a direction to go in.

I worked out twice this week! That's 100% increase from what I worked out last week.

DE shots have been going ok. It's interesting that while they are not painful per se, it doesn't get easier to stick myself. I've gotten better at it and it takes less time to psych myself up to do it, but it's still nauseating to feel a 1.5" needle going into my muscle.  PIO shots will likely start next week and those are a nightmare. At least this time it's only 6 days pre-biopsy, whereas for transfers it's 3+ weeks... 12 weeks if I get pregnant. One can only hope.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday Woes

There are a few things causing me stress these days.

We're trying to get a new mattress. The one we have is nearly 12 years old and my husband's back is acting up. It's not like the "we need a second car" conversation. This feels urgent because when your back is tweaked you can't function properly. So we're trying to wade through all the information online. Crowd sourcing online wasn't a big help because we got one recommendation and it was for the most expensive line of mattresses there is. While I don't mind investing the money for something important, I want to make sure it's the right option.

The medication billing error saga continues. Of the original $3600 bill, they approved a 50% reduction but I requested an additional $600 off -- mainly because I don't want to spend all our money on this stupid mistake instead of being able to afford future treatment. Instead, they sent a bill for an additional $600 so now the bill is nearly $2400. I hate having a bill due - it's so against my nature. I also hate seeing "second notice." I would pay it if I had the money, I just don't. I don't want to go into debt for their billing mistake. We're being so careful about not spending above our means and it's stressing me out that they keep making mistakes with our account.

We need a second car.

My cousin is engaged, hooray! We really want to go to the wedding, which is likely going to be at the end of December. We have some points but I don't know if we can afford a trip to Israel. Also, who knows where we'll be with treatment at that point. I've been wanting to visit Israel (last visited there in 2006 and I really miss it) and this is such a great opportunity to see the whole family at one time. It's depressing that we'll likely miss it.

Someone at work is constantly making mistakes that keep affecting me. We deal with sensitive information and if there is a mistake, we need to walk on eggshells to fix it. Wouldn't it make more sense to take the time to do it right the first time instead of spending 3x as long trying to fix an issue? I hate taking the blame for someone else's mistakes, but I also don't want to shift blame if we're a team. It keeps coming up and every time it's more frustrating. One example I can give is a PowerPoint presentation that had a typo in it. A different team member put together the presentation and I saw it for the first time at the meeting. My boss came to me with the mistake, assuming I put together the presentation. What am I going to do - throw a team member under the bus? That doesn't feel right. This seems to be happening every other day and I'm not sure what the correct reaction is. Over the past few weeks there have been several issues that came across my desk and every time it was something I was responsible for, I was able to explain it and show proof and backup for what happened justifying it. If it was something she was responsible for, it was just a mistake. I think they know she sucks and they put her on probation so if I complain about her it might put her job in jeopardy. Work politics are stressful.

I've hit a food rut. I'm trying to be careful about counting calories and instead it seems like I don't have any idea what to cook/eat. We're avoiding takeout food, and nothing I think about making sounds good. We've been living on sandwiches and cereal in the meantime. 

I have a really busy week coming up and I'm tired just thinking about it. On the flip side, I'm grateful to have a job that's keeping me busy and distracted so I don't have to overthink the ERA II cycle. I'm not as annoyed about "wasting" this cycle as I was with the first ERA, maybe because I know it's not a waste anymore.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day

We had a great weekend. To celebrate our 10 year engagement anniversary we did a quickie getaway to DC for a night. The Greek exhibit at the National Geographic museum was interesting, and we rediscovered our lack of appreciation of modern art after visiting the Phillips Collection. We went out for dinner and stayed the night in a hotel that was hosting a big wedding celebration. It was nice getting away and we loved coming home.

After a situation with family, I had an honest conversation with my pregnant sister over text about how much about it I want shared with me. With her being pregnant, I'm officially the last one in the family not to have gone through pregnancy, labor, or child-rearing and it seems all family gatherings include conversation about that and only that. I want to be ok with it and I didn't choose to feel this way but I do and it's not fair to expect them to be sensitive if I don't speak up when something bothers me.

In other news, my 4-year-old neighbor developed a crush on us. He loves saying hello and asking questions. I was unpacking our bags from our DC trip when I heard the doorbell. I went to answer it and there he was, asking, "Can you invite me over?" as I tried to make out what he was asking his mom comes running, apologizing for him bothering us. She explained that he'd been haranguing them to come visit us but they told him that he wasn't invited but that didn't dissuade him. His solution was to come ring the doorbell and ask to be invited. So clever! As he came running up the steps to our house I called out to her that we'll go to the backyard and she could meet us there. We sat on the swing and he started asking questions... Why do you have a fence? Why are there two chairs? Why do we have a BBQ?.... Normal kids questions. Of course he also got to... Why don't you have kids? What can I answer? "That's just how it is." When he asked why again, I repeated it, "It's just how it is."

It's not a lie. Sure, I could go into the story of fertility treatment, and talk about our failed attempts, or what our plan is moving forward. But it all boils down to one fact: it's just how it it is right now. Also, he's a kid!

It was adorable. As I walked him back to his house I told him he can come visit any time.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

ERA II: Baseline

This morning was the baseline appointment for the second ERA. Small situation with the bloodwork that they couldn't get the vein to stop bleeding after they took blood, but it did stop after a bit and I was only a little late for work.

Results came back this afternoon and all looks good. I started the first shot tonight.

My nurse worked hard to up the schedule as soon as we got the results and decided we're doing a repeat. It ended up moving up by only two days, but I appreciate it the effort.

Things have been busy at work. I had my annual review and had some office relocation, with a new office mate that I'm getting used to. For the time being it's all fine.

I've been in a good mood the past few days and I'm not overthinking it. I'm down another pound and I've been obsessed with decluttering.

Really looking forward to the long weekend.


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