Tuesday, August 31, 2004

And On a Heavier Note...

I'd like to dedicate today's entry to my partner in crime, from the Great Ho-Ho run of 1996; you know who you are. And on a related note, I get the weirdest cravings from time to time. Lately I can't get enough lime. These are totally un-pregnancy related cravings but it does make me wonder what kind of monster I am going to turn into when the time comes. I hope I don't crave tomatoes, because Chris and I have shared a "Tomato-free household" since 1997. Part of the foundation of our marriage is built on our mutual hatred of tomatoes.
Warning: Here ends the light and carefree section of today's entry. Be forewarned that from here on out is more serious, but it really needs to be said, for this to be an honest, well documented BLOG

Hmmm...What was I going to write about today? Oh, yes the laproscopy. I have decided to schedule the lap. For as soon as possible, which means maybe on my next series of 4 days off. I work 3 days on 4 days off/4 days on 3 days off, 12 hour, graveyard shifts. If I have it on a Wednesday, I should be able to go back to work Sunday night. I think I might put it off until October though, so I can go on a family vacation with my in-laws to Oregon. I've never been to Oregon, and I could really use some relaxation time. I developed an annoying eye twitch this month. I'd been really stressed out with, work and thinking about buying a home and this latest cycle of trying. I finally calmed myself down and it stopped. It was my left eye and it was getting embarrassing. Strangers and co-workers alike thought I was winking at them. It got so Chris would say, "There it goes again. I can see it from across the room." Honesty like that, is so refreshing... Of course what I really, really hope is that this cycle worked and the whole "when to schedule the lap" debate will be null and void. I'm not holding my breath on that one though. [4 days till test day, but who's counting.] So my reasoning for doing the lap before starting the IUIs is this: we are paying out of pocket, so wouldn't it be smarter to have the doctor go in there, and burn out any endo and see if there is any tubal blockage, which may or may not be fixable and therefore--game over? I go back and forth. Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss and I think maybe we should give the IUI a shot first, but then I think, that's just more of getting my hopes up for nothing if it turns out the tubes are untreatably blocked. I want to note, that though I am earlier into the IF process than many other people, I am also later into the process for our specific situation. Many IF stories are well into the several attempts realm of IVF or surrogacy which we just aren't going to try. Period. Not ever. It is interesting, I thought my mother in law, whom is a very devout Christian and whose opinion I greatly respect, would think that anything past fertility drugs, would be playing God. But she wholeheartedly accepts even going as far as the IVF. She says God gave us brains to figure out such amazing technology and He can still over-ride it if he wants to. However, this is not to be, for us. We are nearing the end of what we have decided to do. We still have about seven more months of stuff to do, but when I read other BLOGs with stories like, "We've been trying for 5 or 10 years.." Etc. That just isn't us. Even if we believed IVF was for us, we truly cannot afford it. It would take a long time to save up the $18,000 for the 4 tries program, that is offered, and we just can't take the risk of saving up all that time and money and then it not working. Adoption is expensive and my heart just can't wait indefinitely while would have to start saving all over again. For our predicament it would be years and years. I know we are young, but we have 7 years of marriage behind us and we are the only ones on either side of our families who are going to have kids. There are a lot of people waiting to love this kid, but that does put more pressure on Chris and I then our families realize. I am not naming any names, but I don't like it when people try to tell Chris and I that we aren't spending enough time alone together. Chris actually hung up on someone the other day when they wouldn't stop, "helping". It would crush these people to know they are putting un-needed stress on us, so it is kind of a sticky situation. Also we were the first of all of our friends to get married and we are the last to have kids. I am so tired of the questions. It's not a matter of "everyone else is doing it" that is not why we want it too. It's just hard to watch their families grow and ours stay the same. Many of our friends think we just don't want kids and sometimes it's just easier to let them think that. A universal problem for those of us trying so desperately to conceive, is that from car dealer to co-worker, "So do you have any kids?" Is just a normal thing to ask. I recently started telling strangers, "No, I was born a man, which makes it difficult." It works pretty well. I am going to sign off, for now with something I found yesterday that gave me great hope.

"While vital for some patients, in vitro fertilization and similar
treatments account for less than 5% of infertility services. "

Infertility Facts provided by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine

Monday, August 30, 2004

You're Going to Put That--Where?

Oh, that kind of ultrasound. Boy do I feel stupid. You should have seen the look on the nurse's face when I said, "What do you mean, am I allergic to latex, where is there going to be latex?" I thought this was going to be like an outer ultrasound, silly me. She says, "No, he will use that wand." Oh honey that is no wand. That thing was a space probe. Why does he need something long enough to look at my tonsils, I wondered. Could it be my tonsils were affecting my fertility? That explains a lot, because I did have a sore throat recently...
So, I waited for AN HOUR AND A HALF in the little room, wearing nothing but a paper towel and a grimace, staring nervously at the "wand." After being left alone in the little ultrasound room for about an hour, I began to wander around. Being that the room is 12 x 12 I didn't get that far. I tried on various sizes of gloves (I'm a medium), and looked through the various drawers. Then, laying out in plain view-I swear- I saw ultrasound pictures. This huge stack them. There were ones at all stages, tadpole to almost done baking, twins and singles. It was humbling and it didn't hurt my heart at all until I saw my own ultrasound.
So after an hour and 20 minutes, I'm getting kind of pissed, I go out into the hallway, it is 6pm, the office is almost vacant and I have to start work in an hour. So I'm like, "Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?" The cleaning lady, sticks her head out of a room. "Hello? Oh, no, not you, but thanks.......Hello, nurse?" So the nurse comes out and I explain that I don't mean to be rude but this wait is getting excessive and I really need to go to work." I was a bit indignant, but it's hard to have an attitude when you are standing partially disrobed with your rear end hanging out. And they hadn't even given me a paper gown, it was a paper blanket that only covered 3/4 the way around my waist....But next time I go give someone attitude, I will at least bring the paper blanket with me.
So finally the doctor comes and right before he starts, I asked, "I am at the very end of the cycle, if I am pregnant, this probe isn't going to knock it right out of there, is it?" And for all of you out there who are as naive as me-the answer is no. So he puts the "wand" inside and it's not bad. So he is looking around, there is my uterus, there is my left ovary, there is.....hey is that the remote? I've been looking for that all week! There is my cervix, "Hmm, where is your right ovary.... Your intestines are in the way...." Yeah, sorry about that. "Ok, there will be some pressure." And at that moment I discovered I had a full bladder and almost peed on him, honestly. So eventually he found my right ovary, it was just being shy. He said my ovaries look great. Yay, ovaries!!! My uterus is the correct thickness, yay uterus!!!!
It was kind of a non climatic visit. I asked him a million questions, walked out with a million prescriptions and that was pretty much it. I felt a little low. After looking at all the other ultrasounds, mine was soooo empty! I didn't see ANYTHING. I am 26 days into this cycle and I kept hoping and hoping he would say, "Wait a minute...What is this tiny thing here in the middle....Is it...Yes, I think it is.....Congratulations!" No such luck.
So, that's all for now, about that. I'll tell you what all the questions/answers were and about my upcoming laproscopy next time. My husband didn't come with me this time, because I had to go straight to work. As I was walking, actually running, out to the car--I was going to be really late for work-- I was kind of having a pity party for one. I looked at my cell phone and there were a bunch of messages, so as I am speeding off to work, I listened. Each one was Chris, asking what happened, how did it go, what did I learn, please call and let him know, he'd be waiting. My pitty party was over. And to end with a quote from my doctor, "You're young, we don't have to rush, we have plenty of time. Hey are those my car keys in there?"

Lord, give me patience, because I have none. I know this will happen when You are ready but I just want it so bad. I trust you. Amen

Night Mom!

PS Oh my gosh, right as I was doing spellcheck, I got this 911 call (I am a police dispatcher). It was a request for medics, the reporting party's kid got a jelly bean stuck up his nose!!!! These, my friends, these are the joys I cannot wait to experience!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Chris' Magnificent Sperm!!! Est.Utah 1977

I cannot have an honest BLOG without the above mentioned sentence. It kind of sums up my entire journey thus far and by the end of this entry you'll hopefully understand why. And no, it is not so I can mortify my beloved Chris, whom will probably never know this journal exists. For those of you, like myself, who are new to BLOGs these go in order of newest to oldest, so please start at the beginning or this story will make no sense.
Ok onto Dr. H. It may be a bad sign that the person who referred him to me never did get pregnant.....Hmmm, nevertheless, as I was sitting in the waiting room watching upteen pregnant women sign in, I reflected. I reflected on how much I don't like pregnant people, but it was probably rude of me to glare at them. Did I mention that Chris and I went to Bennigan's the other day and the waitress said, "Just the two of you?" and I replied, "Yes, " and muttered to Chris, "Yes, alright, yes! There are JUST the two of us, but if you don't mind we are trying to fix that, thank you very much!!!!" To which he laughed and I thanked God for the millionth time, that he is my partner in crime in this life. Wow, did I get off the topic! Ok, I am waiting in Dr. H's office and I pick up this photo album off the magazine table and inside are picture after picture of Dr. H in delivery rooms. In this one he is holding a brand new baby, in this one he is posing with the new mom, dad and baby, in this one....Oh my gosh--in this one the poor new mom's nether regions are exposed. I instantly decide that if/when my time comes, I will personally choose which picture goes into Dr H's hall of baby fame, and I will make sure that I am not doped up at the time as I assume this other lady was. I can only assume she must have been on some pretty powerful drugs for her to tell someone, "Ok take the picture, don't forget to get my goodies in there. Hey wouldn't it be neat, if hundreds of strangers saw this picture someday?" Give me some of whatever she took. So after depressing myself thoroughly, I was called into the office, for THE EXAM. You know the one that's so invasive that you end up asking for a cigarette afterwards, thinking, the least he could have done is buy me dinner first. And let me just add that this was the first male OB/GYN I'd ever gone to in my 28 years of life and I was so nervous that I cracked the first 3 plastic speculums in half and he had dim lights and put on some Barry White before I could relax. So after that is done, having found nothing visibly wrong, (and no such luck on him declaring "Hey there is a baby in here" -- hey it could happen) he ordered a million tests for me and one for Chris. As soon as he told me there is no point in proceeding with out a "sample" from Chris I thought, game over. I really didn't think I could convince Chris to donate. I said, "Does it matter that he is only 26 and he only wears boxer shorts?" I don't know why doctors always look at me like I am insane when I ask that. So, I have him call Chris in from the waiting room and he delivers this speech to Chris on how it is pointless to proceed until Chris does the test. Chris, is nodding and agreeing and I am thinking, whew, this will convince him. We walk out to the car and he says, "Not a chance." You know, the funny thing about marriage is that when the wife sits down in the middle of a doctors parking lot, sobbing incoherently about tests, babies and Barry White, the husband will agree to just about anything to get the wife to stand up and quit making a scene.
So, I went to get my first round of tests. Chris didn't get his done. Then I got my second round of tests. Yet, my beloved had still not gotten his ONE test. I reminded Chris that I was a bit emotional as of late, and did he want a recurrence of the "parking lot incident". It's interesting, he went out and got the test that day! So flash forward through another failed preg test and onto my appointment to go over the test results with the doc. Chris and I are waiting alone in the room, for the doc and Chris is looking around at the various diagrams and displays, and I don't think I have seen him more uncomfortable. So Dr. H comes in and he says he will start with Chris' test. And he proceeded to tell us about CHRIS' MAGNIFICENT SPERM. The doc had never seen such fine sperm. Normal "good sperm" is 82% good his was 91% It is normal for I think 60 some % odd sperm to be swimming the right way, 72% percent of his sperm were going the right way. He was just amazed that 84% of Chris' sperm looked perfect as opposed to the norm which was somewhere in the 70 percentile. Doc just couldn't say enough about Chris' "Marine Corp Sperm" and yes I swear, he actually said that. So every example of how great Chris' test was, I sank lower and lower in my chair, because I knew what was coming. It's my fault. So then he turns to me. "Your progesterone is too low to sustain a pregnancy and before we can rule out other factors you have to have a hysterosalpingiogram to rule out blocked tubes. Also we need to do a laproscopy because I think it's possible you have endometriosis." So, I set up my appointment to get a HSG. Now, we are paying for all of this out of pocket, which so far hasn't been so bad, but I will have to pay for the entire cost of the HSG. No problem, I think. How much can it cost to squirt some dye up in there and take a few pictures. A lot it turns out. $6000 to be exact and I do not nor will I ever in the near future be able to come up with that kind of money. I was devastated. Here I finally got a "why" and I hit a wall, because the nurse said we could go no further without the HSG. I cried and cried and cried. Then I got mad. No. I was not going to stop here. I knew I may be "watering a garden without seeds" but I thought, this is my garden and these are my seeds and its my time to waste if I so choose. I went to see the doctor again and I said, "I will not be able to afford that. Period. I want to go onto the next step. I know it may not work but let's try it." So he prescribed Progesterone Suppositories for days 14-28, (so much fun.) I asked if he could throw in some fertility drugs for good measure, so I am also taking Clomid (tm) on days 3-7. This only increases the chance of having twins, not a litter, so I'm like, bring on the twins! Then I'd be all caught up. It be a ready made family--just add water. So, we will be trying that for a few months, then if still nothing, I will have a laproscopy. This will be covered under my insurance because it is designed to find endometriosis and that's a medical problem. While he is in there he said he could take a quick "detour" and check to see if my tubes are blocked--so then, voila, no more needing the $6000 HSG. Then in a last ditch effort we would try 3 months of Artificial Insemination--at $250 a pop, what a deal. If that doesn't work we will begin the long road to adoption because we can't afford the $14,000 per In Vitro attempt when it often takes several tries (I've become convinced only the rich can overcome severe infertility.) I have my next doctor's appointment Monday, because he has to do an ultrasound to make sure the Clomid (tm) didn't make my ovaries hyperactive. Then on Thursday I take my pregnancy test, which will be negative, ( I can just tell.) and shortly thereafter, it's off to start all over again, joy. Sooooo, now we are all caught up and I will post again on Monday after I get the ultrasound results, (which of course I am hoping he will say, "Hey there's a baby in here!"--It could happen.) I'll have a lot to tell you because I also am going to ask him a gazillion questions such as, how bad does the laproscopy hurt, is it true you'll go through my belly button, is it general or local anesthesia, how many of these have you performed, any pending lawsuits, that kind of stuff. Also I have a few questions about the Artificial Insemination. I'm talking logistics. I won't know when I ovulate until the day before, so do I just show up with almost no notice? What if I ovulate on a Sunday, is that whole month just out? Getting Chris and I in the doctors office on a weekday with no notice, at this point, seems almost as difficult as getting pregnant so..... well, we shall see. Goodnight all, (Mom) talk to you Monday.
Quick comment, I just used spellcheck and as an alternative to "goodnight" is suggests "Codington" How bizarre is that. Like I'm going to say, "Oh, silly me, I didnt mean goodnight, I meant Codington." Weird.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Today is the first day of the rest of blah blah blah

It has been VERY therapeutic in my quest to become pregnant to view, other peoples BLOGs, so I said to myself, "Self, why shouldn't you have a BLOG?" Then I said, "I wonder what "BLOG" stands for?" and finally, "When did I start talking to myself, I should probably look into that."

This first post is going to be kind of long so I can get it all current, from then on it will be a little less wordy... Maybe. My main point, here is to chronicle my journey and hopefully do it in a witty manner that others will find both breathtakingly funny and therapeutic, thus inspiring others to say to themselves, "Gee, they must let anybody have one of these BLOG things..."

OK, so when I first got married I just naturally assumed I must be excessively fertile and extreme measures would have to be taken to combat rampant pregnancies from occurring. Despite the fact that I always took my pill, on time and daily--every month I believed myself to be pregnant. It is a syndrome I have come to understand and name as "Pre-natal-o-chondria" Or "one who believes herself to be pregnant every single month thus driving her husband insane syndrome" There was no cure, and it was terminally annoying. Every month I would tell my husband, "Chris, there is something I have to tell you." And by the 4th time he would always reply, "What, do you think you're pregnant again?" With all the interest he could muster, which by the 10th time, was not much. Let me just throw in here that my period was never late and every single symptom I thought I had could be attributed to the pill. Nevertheless, every month I was positive-not the test, me-- which sadly is a symptom of the disease. This condition lasted 4 long difficult years, but luckily only occurred twice in the 4th year because my husband was overseas for a year. Those two times were, the month after he left and then the month after I got back from visiting. Sadly from time to time during the 9 months I didn't see him I would have momentary relapses where apparently I though pregnancy was something that could lay dormant for months and then just pop up, but eventually I was cured. I had been in remission and the prognosis was good, however when we officially began trying it returned with a vengeance. It's different this time though, not only because it is now humanly possible, but because now I try not to tell Chris as much. It gets his hopes up and that sucks. I only went through one experience of my husband throwing a negative pregnancy test across a hotel room, bellowing "Damn these stupid tests!" to know that it just might be better if I keep this to myself until I get two lines on that telltale test.

Ahh, that test. The pregnancy test. The only test I keep failing. Just one line in the test box. One lonely little line that sys, "Hey, have you seen my partner? You know the one that is supposed to fill that empty slot next to me? No? OK, maybe he'll be there next month." But he's not, he never is. That second box is always barren, like my womb. Tee Hee. Ok that was getting depressing. [Let me just note at this point that my good friend Dorothy just had a healthy beautiful baby boy, Trevor Joseph, 7lb 9oz 20 inches long and even though I don't like babies--I really don't, I just want one of my own, I have to admit he was really cute. Shout out to Trevor, and moving right along....] Where was I... You see, this is a little known symptom of infertility-inability to finish a complete thought. It's sad really, but it's something I've come to accept. A burden I've come to bear, if you will. Another less spoke of symptom is over-dramatic-ness. Oh wait I already had that.
Ok, so let me continue bringing you up to date. "You" being probably just my mom, because I can't imagine anyone else actually finding this interesting. So, mom, continuing on, this journey began almost a year and a half ago, and it started out normally. At first I didn't do anything special (besides the obvious), except for timing "it" with what I thought was the time, I assumed I was ovulating. I assumed a lot at this point with the emphasis on ASS, for sure, I've come to find. And after about 12 months of thinking, "Well of course it's going to happen with out even trying, I'm healthy, I'm young, my husband is younger than me and he wears boxer shorts." Um, yeah, it turns out that unlike every other aspect of my wonderful life, this was not going to be handed to me. So then I began researching on the internet. Ah, the internet, my best friend, my worst enemy. A wealth of too much information at my finger tips. But, I digress. I began slowly, calmly even, at first, still confident that at any moment this would happen. At first I just bought ovulation tests. Then I used them. (I thought just the act of buying them would somehow help,) then I began charting my BBT, for those of you out there in the audience who have children or are pregnant, that stands fo basal body temerature and PS I hate you. Next I went with the lengthy, somewhat frenzied Phase II which entails: Ovulation test/BBT/Charting/Attacking my husband on day 5-25 of the cycle/standing on my head "after". Let me just note at this point that this will be a very G-rated BLOG and I will only make one quick comment here, that I will edit out when I show this to my future children and that is this: never again do I want to hear my 26 year old husband for the first time in 7 years of marriage say, "But honey, cant we please take one night off?" And by the way the answer was, no. And yet, it still didn't happen. During this time, I have found out in retrospect, that I probably had one very very early miscarriage. It felt like something was ripped out of me, but since I hadn't thought I was pregnant that month, I wasn't heartbroken. That month. Oh, I have had my fair share of months where I was just sooo disappointed. My main thought being, but why not? I did everything right, the timing was perfect, the test said I ovulated, my husband and I were in the same room at the correct time, I stood on my head for 10 minutes, why not???? Not to mention, my body is like clockwork, there was no mystery; day 14, boom ovulation, day 28 boom period. If anyone should have been able to get pregnant it should have been me, right? The answer to that question is no. So I went to see the first of two doctors. She laughed at me. That's right laughter. A gentle laugh as if to say, "Ha ha ha you dear ignorant child, what do you think, this will be handed to you?" Yes, I already covered that. She said come back after two years. Let me just say, that is the last time I choose a fertility doctor base soley on their name. You see, her name was Dr. Kopecky and in kindergarten there was a boy named Michael Kopecky who had a crush on me and all the other kids used to call me "Becky Kopecky". And yes this is the scientific reason why I had chosen her. I told you that at this time ASS was a good descriptor.... Soon after that enlightening experience I went to a recommended doctor whom I will call Dr. H. He's a bit spastic but mostly in a good way. And thus ends my very very first BLOG entry, which I will continue tomorrow. Till then, goodnight Mom