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Friday, April 30, 2010

What IF?

My words can't do this justice, but if you feel that the holes in your heart were just given words, go by Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed and tell Keiko thank you like I did.  Her video is the epitome of NIAW to me.

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

The Chickens and Cows Did It to Me

In recognition of National Infertility Awarenss Week, I have been posting some facts and information as my status updates on Facebook.  I've used statements about knowing what to say - or not to say - to someone dealing with IF.  I also shared that just infertiles don't look a particular way; that we don't wear a tag that says, "Hi, I'm the Rambler and I'm Infertile."

For those of you battling IF, there are people out there who believe they can help you.  I'm sure *they* think that their intentions are true, but they obviously need to STFU.  For example:

"Did you know I read just recently that there is an increase of infertility due to what the hormones they inject into chickens and beef? I would recommend only things like Whole Foods who don't use that if you are having trouble. Just an FYI."

With that incredible insight. I will now blame the chickens and cows for my battle with IF.  Obviously this person didn't read the part about what NOT to say . . .

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today - 2007 and 2010

Three years ago today, an ultrasound revealed that our first pregnancy was not viable.  It's hard to believe it was three years ago.  The emotions of that day make it feel as if it were yesterday, while the struggles we have faced since then make it feel like forever ago.  I'm in a much better place emotionally now, but today will always linger in my mind.

Today will be difficult in another way because I will spend it with many others saying goodbye to a friend.  Kacie lost her battle with cancer (CML) on April 12 and we will celebrate her life today on what should be her 45th birthday.  I haven't written about it because I didn't feel as if it was my place to do so.  I will ask you to please click on her name to learn her amazing story of strength, love, faith, and family.  You can also find out more about becoming a bone marrow donor to help someone else.

RIP to our first baby and especially to Kacie.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Adding to the Team

BEWARE:  There's a lot to share and read here.

Yesterday, DH and I arrived separately at the office of a nationally-renowned IVF clinic.  As I entered the somewhat dimly-lit waiting room, I was happy to see Mr. Rambler there already, filling out paperwork.  Feeling relieved to not only have seen my husband after a long day, but to see him filling out paperwork for the first time in this journey, instantly put me at ease.  We read, initialed, signed, dated (rinse, lather, repeat) chatted, and watched CNN until our turn came.

The portal to the place where the magic happens opened to a tall, dark man with a large smile.  Enter "Dr. Super", the newest member of Team Rambler!  We began to review through my medical history and records, and not soon after Dr. Super took off his glasses and asked me about my experience with Dr. Gloom & Doom.  Yet again (for the millionth time), my gut was proven correct again as Dr. Super began to ask me some clarifying questions. 

Dr. Super asked me some questions and did so in a very delicate, yet inquisitive, manner.
  • Did I have a bicornuate uterus?  (no)
  • Did I have fibroids? (don't think so)
  • What exactly did that doctor do? (other than misdiagnose me, SHC, HSG, MRI, Hystero)
  • Why didn't he give you a complete diagnosis?  (because he's a dumbass)
  • Why did the surgical records look like he abruptly stopped my surgery?  (because he did)
He basically had to find out from ME (the patient) what the hell this dude did and meant in his records. Dr. G&D's records weren't even clear!

I REALLY liked Dr. Super, who is the Medical Director for this area.  He knows his stuff.  I recently heard him speak on IF and IVF and was impressed, but I liked him even more meeting him in person.  Better yet, DH really liked him for many of the same reasons I do.  "Dr. Super" is informative, thorough, honest, forthright, and cuts to the chase.  An infertility specialist with a bit of personality?  Say it isn't so!

After clarifying what had already been jacked up in my body and trying to figure out what was still jacked up with my body, we made a plan.  Yes, a PLAN.

Enter Plan #48265397106.457B1a, Section MCMXIV.  Plan details are very basic to start and will occur in a little over a week.

Plan Part 1: More bloodwork. 
This vampiring session will only be done to test my AMH.  When I asked Dr. S if there was anything else he wanted to test, his response was basically that I'd had every other test done that was necessary thanks to Dr. Terrific.  Good thing all of that blood that's been drained from my body was helpful in some way.
Plan Part 2: Office Hysteroscopy
Dr. S wants to see if there are any signs indicative of the uterine cavity being an unfavorable environment for baby growing.  He'll primarily be looking for fibroids since Dr. G&D's records were so unclear that questions are left in Dr. Super's mind.  Basically, another new man for another new hoo-ha party.
Plan Part 3: Meet with Office Manager
Time to talk money.  That's the scary part.  It's all fun and games until we have to start paying out more cash.

Everything else is dependent upon what the hysteroscopy and AMH show.  If the hystero shows fibroids, I'll need to head back into the OR.  Dr. Terrific would do that surgery because Dr. Super does not do surgery.  He simply makes babies.  Fine with me.  If my AMH is low, then Dr. S does not feel confident about IVF using my eggs.  We'll look at the data that we're given, and decide if my eggs would even work to perform IVF.  Either way, he strongly suggests that we undergo genetic testing (specifically a very extensive testing for all 23 chromosomes) for every single embryo extracted if we do IVF.  Dr. Super is of the opinion that if my AMH is good that we need to make sure that any potential miscarriages happen in the dish - not after transfer.  Again, fine with me.

So, we either do IVF with my eggs, do IVF with donor eggs, don't do IVF, don't have children at all, or adopt.  DH and I will carefully and thoughtfull cross each bridge as we come to it.  There are so many factors to consider - age, time, physical resources, financial resources, and especially emotional resources.  We BOTH need to be comfortable with whatever we decide to do.  Dr. Super is giving us a plan to start with, and depending on what we learn, we may continue with him or get additional opinions.

Bottom line is that we want a family.  We will have children, but we aren't sure exactly how this is going to happen.  This is where we have to insure our emotional resources and tread lightly before making decisions.

I have always strived to be completely open and honest in this blog.  I do admit, however, that as we continue on it makes me nervous to share too much information.  I want our lives to continue to be OUR lives and only ours.  Things we do or say or think or feel may be contrary to the opinions of others. And honestly, I could give a shit what other people think.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions in life, but unsolicited opinions or negativity from others will either make me take the blog private or end it altogether.  I really would prefer to do neither of those and continue on the course I have been on for a while now.  Just please know that this story is OURS, and while I want to share it to help others in the same situation, this story will remain ours and be shared as we see fit.  And I have spoken.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Lies Ahead?

So . . . we're headed into uncharted territory now. 

After three years, three miscarriages, three surgeries, three doctors, lots of TI, all sorts of medications, a bajillion vials of blood, and four IUIs didn't work, we still have no baby. Add to the fact that I'm AMA, we are down to our last resort to have our own biological child.  DH's counts are awesome, my FSH is awesome, but for some reason we aren't conceiving.  IVF is our only hope now.

We have no IF coverage whatsoever.  We are both teachers.  No IF coverage + being teachers = going for broke to have a baby.  I do have some resources for financing, meds, etc. which will be the only way we can swing this without going into debt.  I understand the financial aspects of IVF, but I am now wondering what kind of time it will take & the physical toll it will take on me and my old body.  (Let's not talk about my feeble mind right now, please!)
What are we really getting into here?  Any experiences (successful or unsuccessful) that you can share are appreciated.

As a side note, adoption may become an option for us if IVF doesn't work, but at this point, adoption is not an avenue I am wanting to pursue for many reasons than I may/can/will discuss on here at a later time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Again?

I need to become a psychic because my prediction skillz are awesome!  She's back . . . just like I told you she'd be.  She's been knocking on the door to my uterus for a week now, so it's not like I didn't expect her.

Who is SHE you ask?   You know . . . AF, Aunt Flow, Grandma, the Visitor, my Monthly Visitor, my Menses, myCycle, my Period, the Dot, the Red River, and many other names.  My preferred name for "her" is the red-headed slut.

It's times like this I hate being a know-it-all.  IVF consult on Thursday with a doctor we can't afford.  Maybe we can at least get some educated information before figuring out the best path for us.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The More Things Change . . .

The more they stay the same.

Nothing is new.  That's what's new.  I'm still spotting BRB & brown every day.  I'm still frustrated.  Oh - and I'm still not pregnant!

Think I'll go relax . . . I'm bound to get knocked up like that.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quotes for Strength

I just added a new quote to my "Quotes for Strength" page.

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Uterus

I just finishing chomping down the stalky, fibrous, chewy goodness of the entire core of a pineapple.  I threw in some sweet, delicious pieces just for kicks.  Goodness knows this imaginary-baby-that-I've-given-up-hope-on-having-this-cycle needs to implant.

Sadly, I would eat the entire spiny and spiky outside of a pineapple if it would JUST give me a baby.  Oh screw it.  Guess I should add that pineapple with some coconut and just have a pina colada.  Lord knows I need it, but my imaginary-baby-that-I've-given-up-hope-on-having-this-cycle doesn't really need any liquor right now.

Oh well . . . at least one thing stays the same . . . I'm a complete & total, certifiable nut job.

Sorry to Disappoint You

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you should be used to disappointment by now though.  Today is CD20 - right smack dab in the middle of my cycle - and I'm bleeding.  Yesterday was some pinkish spotting that turned to brown.  Today is BRB.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's 3dpiui

And I feel like crap. Allergy-related sinus headache, huge bloated (worse after I eat), crampy, achy, still pinchy ovaries & lower back ache.  I've been a complete sloth today outside of making breakfast & heating leftovers for dinner.

Phantom symptoms this early are so cruel!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Since I Was "Asking for It"

The "Party Scene" before we began.
The IUI process went very well.  Between yesterday's 14ish mm lining (the best for me yet), a 21.7mm follie & trigger plus today's awesome numbers for DH (55.1 mil motile sperm post-wash w/ normal parameters for everything) and my body appearing ready (pinching, cramping, etc.), this one better work.

When Nurse Excellent came into the exam room with some other party materials (for the IUI), Dr. T said, "She didn't need any of that.  Her cervix is ready and just asking for it!"

A few other quotes because you know you want them:
"Damn!  That man (my DH) has a lot of sperm!"  SuperDH had over 55mil post wash!

"Looking at those numbers (of sperm), this (our IF) just couldn't be his fault."  I thanked him for that one.  ;)

"So . . . you're naming this one Jeffrey, right?"  Jeffrey is his first name.  When I told Dr. T that I have a brother named Jeffrey, so it wouldn't be happening, he said, "That's actually wonderful.  We researched my family back to the year 1740, and there was lots of the same names."  Guess I'm a part of the family now.

"I reeeallly want to get you pg this time.  Not just because I want you pg, but I always want to take money away from all of those infertility docs waiting for you and IVF."  Me, too, Dr. T!

After I left the doctor's office, I joined my oldest sister for a yummy sushi lunch.  When we said our goodbyes, she game me a big hug with a slight high-five from her fertile uterus for good measure.  (Yep - picture THAT!)  Both of my sisters have said they have a good feeling about this.  It's definitely a time to believe what my sisters say, huh?

Coming to you LIVE!!!

I am sperminated, now elevated, & pray to soon be elated.

I've been an emotional wreck this morning.  I want lunch & a nap when I get out of here.  And, no Dr. Terrific, I am not naming this child after you.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Take a Shot! He's Trigger Happy

I forgot more stories on Dr. Terrific from today.  I swear I was only there maybe 40 minutes, but things obviously happen pretty quickly between activity and our quick tongues.

After an u/s, the office's u/s machine sends the data to the patient's electronic chart.   The machine doesn't automatically print out party pics provided by the dildo cam since the scans are sent wirelessly.  When he said something about the dominant follie, Dr. T asked me "What size it was again?  I didn't print the pic."  My reply?  "DUDE.  I don't ever get pics of babies, can't you at least give me a shot of my pretty little follie? You're killing me."  Yes, I talk to my doctor that way.  I know he can take it.  He sure can dish it!

Dr. T wanted me to go ahead & trigger in the office.  He didn't want to wait another hour or more for me to get home and have my mom (the nurse) come over and do it.  Nurse Amazing came in with the goods in hand.  I instinctively dropped my drawers down, ready to get shot up again.

When I asked her what side, Nurse A didn't care.  I decided on the right since that's where I usually get shots.  Then I changed my mind and said, "No!  Left. We did the right last time & that sure didn't work."  She swabs me with alcohol when Dr. T yells from the nurses' area, "Do the side where the big follicle is!"  I yelled, "And how would we know what side that was without a picture?!  It's so hard to get good help around here, man. C'mon!"  Nurse A and I just laughed.  Dear Doctor knew he'd been beat.  Point for the patient!

I told the dear 'ol doc that he constantly gives me blog fodder.  He better watch it . . .

Early Surprises from an Old Friend

First of all . . . I took a photo for you all today.

THE DILDO CAM . . . ready to go!
Bwahahahaha! So glad I could share!(Note: If you are a female & haven't seen an image like this live, you will someday. I hope your time comes in a positive way.)

Well, today I lllooooovveeeee the dildo cam.  He was my friend (it is male I hope, right?  right?).   HE is my friend-friend-friend-friend-friend.  :)

I mean, HOLY CRAP!  On CD12, I have a follie that is already 21.7mm!!  WTH?  I always O between CD 14-16, so I was shocked!  Dr. Terrific said my lining looks the best he's ever seen it!  We are on for our fourth and FINAL IUI tomorrow!!!

As usual, Dr. T was full of fun and merriment today.  I swear that I need to take my flip camera with me the next time I see him.  Let's see if I can remember all of this . . .

When I went in last week for my CD3 u/s and b/w.  My FSH was 4.4 (What?!  I'm 42!) and everything else was normal.  I learned that I hadn't had a pap smear in over a year, so I had my pap.  On CD3.  Icky icky ick.

After my fun time with the speculum and swabs, Dr. T said he had a present for me.  I just hung out in the stirrups and sarcastically said okay.  He told me to sit up a bit and he showed me a small, green lid with a small, white toothpick-sized plastic stick on the end.  When he said, "I'm going to stick it in your hiney," I thought WTH kind of present is that?!  Oh goody.  Yet another orafice of my body to be violated.  What a thoughtful gift, huh?!  Well, apparently it's an apparatus for a new test out there to screen for colo-rectal cancer.  Anyway . . . mine came back POSITIVE.  Lovely.  Now colon cancer?  What's next?  A lobotomy?

This positive result from last week led to a bit more prodding today when Dr. T did the test again.  After I changed out of my lovely paper skirt and went back into the nurses' area, Nurse A exclaimed, "You're negative!"  Dr. T, being the funny many that he is, said "YOU aren't negative.  You are positive.  Your ass is negative."  He thinks he's so funny and proceeded to crack up.  I responded, "I'm going to stay quiet until tomorrow is over."  He said, "I know you're just like me and it's KILLING you, huh?"  I told him to schedule my tongue transplant after my IUI.  Touche!

Someday I WILL get him back.  Something shocking and freaking hilarious.  Those of you who know me personally *know* how much fun I could have with this.  :)  Maybe the day he delivers our baby would be a good time.          :: kekis begins her scheming ::

My bp was really high today. Too high. I knew it was when I sat down, so I warned Nurse Excellent before she even put the cuff on my arm. When Nurse Amazing came by & saw it she was not happy. Nurse E wanted to test it again & Nurse A snapped, "It WON'T go down.  It always goes up higher the second time on her!"  Told you I've been overwhelmed, stressed & anxious lately.  Medications are only helping so much.  Hmph.

Well, I'm tired already and need to relax.  I will ask that if you have any to spare, that you say some major prayers for us tomorrow.  This may be the very last chance that DH and I will have to create a child.  Yes, we are looking at IVF if this doesn't work, but we're not sure how to swing it financially.  We are also discussing how much longer this whole TTTC/IF thing is going to go on because it can't forever. 

So for now, I'm considering tomorrow's IUI a last chance until things pan out and God hears our cries in yet another way.  Thanks to all of you for supporting us and loving us along the way.

History Repeats Itself

I have another appointment with Dr. Terrific and the dildo cam today.  I know you're jealous!!!  Depending on what the dildo cam reveals about the depts of my innards (well, mainly my oh-very ovaries), we'll be prepping for an IUI by the end of the week.

Hey dude, get your condom on before getting near me!

Because I'm stupid, I got on an online due date calendar last night.  I found out that if this cycle happens to actually work (vs. me just tossing cash in to my uterus), we would have a baby this year.  The EDD would be 12.31.10.  Guess I totally screwed up our chances for this one, huh??

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I was searching online and found this article on Fertility Lifelines regarding mandated infertility coverage by state.  WTH kind of sense does this make?


Tex. Insurance Code Ann. Section 3.51-6, Sec. 3A

Definition of Infertility/Patient Requirements

Requires group insurers to offer coverage of IVF. Employers may choose whether or not to include infertility coverage as part of their employee health benefit package

If an employer chooses to offer the benefit, patients must meet the following: the patient for the IVF procedure is the policyholder or spouse of the policyholder; the patient’s eggs must be fertilized with her spouse’s sperm; the patient and the patient’s spouse have a history of infertility of at least five continuous years or associated with endometriosis, DES, blockage of or surgical removal of one or both fallopian tubes or oligospermia; the patient has been unable to attain a pregnancy through less costly treatment covered under their policy; the IVF procedures must be performed at medical facilities that conform to ACOG and ASRM guidelines

Coverage - No coverage is required. Insurers are only required to offer IVF

Exceptions - Does not require religious employers to cover infertility treatment, Employers who self-insure are exempt from the requirements of the law

So, as I understand it . . . the state of Texas is required to offer coverage for IVF, but the employers can choose whether or not they want to offer it.  Basically, the law is telling them they are required to do the right thing, but it's their choice if they want to or not.  It's like giving a kid some candy but telling them they can't eat it.  Ridiculous.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Karma's a Bitch, and So Am I.

Over fifteen years ago - I don't remember exactly how many years - I called my Dad at work and told him that we needed to talk.  He noted the serious tone in my voice, and he quickly became the same.

"Daddy, I'm pregnant," I slowly spoke into the phone.  There was silence, but not for long . . .

"Okaaayyy.  Who is the father?" he carefully asked.

"I'm not sure.  I mean, I have a couple of ideas," I regretfully informed him.

"All right.  Well . . . what do you want to do?" my Dad continued.

"I don't know, Dad.  I just don't know!" my voice cracked.

"Okay . . . well . . . uhhmmm . . ." he stammered.

I then began to laugh my ass off.  "April Fool's Day!" I yelled into the phone while carefully dancing around the small living area of my tiny apartment.  I had tears in my eyes because I was laughing so hard.  Luckily I was young and not about to pee in my pants, but I could barely breathe.  I was so proud of myself.  I had fooled my dear ol' Dad!

What was *I* thinking?!  Karma is a bitch, huh?  Oh, the irony.

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