After a bit of chaos, we're off

Hello everyone.  If you follow the Instagram feed you already know this story.  If not, I'll fill you in. We had a scare yesterday when we received a call telling us that the already arranged payment by S. and I would not be executed in one day because they can't release such a large payment in one day. Bull (sorry for the language).  We know they can do so.  We went through this during our daughter's adoption.

Our financial coordinator (officer) at the RE office told us if we didn't have the final payment in today, we would have to cancel the cycle and wouldn't be put back in until next year because that would be the next availability and when everything (body wise) would restart.  Sigh.  so of course I started to worry.  The post released earlier today (should have been last night, but I fell asleep) speaks to it. But S. told me not to worry and to continue as if everything was okay.  It would be.

I have to be honest.  I wasn't so sure, but I prayed and told God that I wasn't sure what would happen, but I would trust in His plan.  I meant it.  This morning, I woke up crack of dawn for my early morning appointment.

I left my house at 6:40 and that should have been more than enough time for my 7:15 appointment. But it was raining and in our area, people panic in precipitation.  So there were accidents.  Several accidents.  I didn't get to my appointment until just about 0840.  Yeah.  I was so exhausted when I got there.

Fortunately, when I walked in, S. was on the phone with the front clerk.  She, he, and the company coordinator responsible for the execution of our funds were on the phone trying to get everything executed.  They [the finance company} gave the excuse of daily spending limits, but that was proved false by the large payment made on yesterday.  Long story short, a compromised was reached that allow us to pay and break no rules.  We get to go forward in treatment!  Yay!

I went in for my bloodwork and my ultrasound.  The technician and doctor said everything was gorgeous (her words). She then told me my nurse, A. would call me this afternoon with the confirmation that everything was good and the sub nurse handed me this:

My injection schedule..so far..

This afternoon, A. called and confirmed.  This Friday, barring any more issues, I take my first stims injections.  I am to take them between the hours of 6 and 10PM and must take them at the same time consistently from now on.  I'm thinking of 9:30.  Everyone is pretty settled and I will have time to do it without interruption (and if I need to re-psyche myself up).

So, that's all for the moment.  Things will be pretty quiet for a few days.  I'm going to continue to work out and try and prep my body for what it's about to undergo.  I feel like neither one of us (body nor I) are truly prepared.  BUT I'm so ready for the journey.

-K

Moment of Honesty: Nervous (Yesterday's Story)

I took my last birth control pill this morning. This little colored sphere marks the day before everything changes. Tomorrow, this journey becomes tangible. It becomes warrior mode. Tomorrow, I start the scouting mission. The prep work laid by quieting my body’s hormonal tendencies and the bending of its will to that of mere humans…Yep, all of that. Man, I’m nervous.

I just called the finance officer and dropped a huge payment on this journey. Tomorrow, I drop one more and it’s a go. I bless God for being able to do that. It isn’t easy. It won’t be without sacrifice. Oh my the ramen noodles and easy prep meals will be a staple for a while, but we do what we must. Tomorrow, I walk in that office at crack of dawn in the morning and give my “Pre-IVF Evaluation blood work and ultrasound”. Then, I wait. I wait for my amazing nurse A. to call me and say “all is well. Start injections on Friday”. And then it begins. It really begins.

And I’m determined to be positive. I’m trying very hard not to psyche myself out. I’ve been Googling “IVF/ICSI first time success” and going over the risks that my education modules so blatantly put before us. I really pray this works. S. is also hopeful, very hopeful. We had an extremely busy weekend and he still found time to snuggle with me and place his hand over my womb and tell me how I’ll have to take it easy a bit. He asked about retrievals and transfers. A lot of those questions were answered by the modules and the risks gave him pause. He didn’t say anything, but I saw it. He heard it from me in the sigh of miscarriage risk and the injection videos, in answering the questions, and in planning our calendar for “what if” moments.

This is going to be something. It’s going to be one of the most difficult things we have ever gone through as a couple. I remember when we walked the journey for adoption of our daughter. I blogged then too. I remember how stressful it was and how sometimes I felt like I was all alone because S. kept his emotions and thoughts to himself. That was a very hard time. But we endured. We came through it together. It was a victory in our marriage, a battle scar we wore together—proudly. The joy that our children bring is amazing. Yet, we’re about to go into another journey.

Hormones aren’t exactly nice to me. Mood swings aren’t great during regular cycle time. I can only imagine what we’ll see now. But it will be worth it. The pain will be worth it. The bloating. The tears. The scheduling. The early mornings. It will all be worth it. Why? Because I believe with everything in me that we will have another child. I’m praying that he or she comes via this cycle.

Talk to you all soon!


-K

The Meds Have Arrived

It's been a busy weekend in our household.  I was already anticipating medicine arriving some time on Friday, but supposed it would be closer to the late evening.  So, I was pleased to receive an email from our pharmacy letting me know that our order had been processed and was ready for shipping.


That was an awesome email and almost immediately after I received another one that let me know that not only had it been picked up, but it had already been delivered!  


Knowing there were meds in the package that needed to be refrigerated as soon as possible, I saved what could be worked from home and hightailed it to the house.

Look what was waiting for me when I got home!
That's a lot of meds
Oh my goodness.  So, I took the obligatory picture of medicine and then took the task of moving things around in the fridge until my snack compartment looked like a medicine dispensary.  Wow.  It looks like we're actually moving forward with this.  Every day and were getting closer!

I found out via Instagram that several of my women that I follow and those who follow me are due to have their retrievals and transfers in October.  We'll all be on similar journeys at the same time.  That makes me feel a bit better.  Nothing like having people around you (even in cyber world) who know what you are doing through and can offer support and advice.

Now S. and I are completing the final modules and consents that signify one of two final steps necessary to officially "start" our IVF/ICSI cycle.  I'm so very excited.  S. is too.  He has been lying beside me talking about the procedure, discussing how we will tell everyone...I really hope we will have success our first time.  I pray we have success our first time.

Have a great evening.
-K

IVF Prep: Mock Embryo Transfer and Injection Class

Hi everyone!

Apologies for being a bit quiet.  I actually have a few drafts in the platform.  I just forgot to hit the publish button.  So, let's bring you up to speed.

Today was my mock embryo transfer!  I woke up this morning calm and collected.  I went about my normal business, got the little people situated, and made it to the clinic with ten minutes to spare.  I'd taken my extra strength Tylenol as a precaution, drank my 32 ounces of water (oh my did I have to go!), and walked up to the door.  It wasn't until I walked in the actual doors that I go nervous.

The procedure itself wasn't bad at all.  It was more of my own anticipation that drove my nervousness.  When I arrived at the front desk, I was asked to give a urine sample for a pregnancy test.  I also confirmed some information for the front desk and received a copy of the IVF contract that S. and I will need to sign and return before Monday.
Waiting for the name to be called
After I'd given my sample, I was asked to have a seat and wait to be called.  While I was waiting, a lovely couple came from the back beaming surrounded by one of the doctors and nurses.  The woman was teary eyed.  All were smiling and speaking loud enough to be heard.  The doctor called it a "bittersweet moment", but wished them "many more congratulations".  Then, the woman asked if they could return with the baby after it was born so everyone could see him or her (though there is a child-free office policy).  Everyone beamed 'absolutely' and the woman glanced at me, smiled through her teary eyes, and they walked out the door after saying their goodbyes and thank yous again.  I realized the couple had just "graduated" from the clinic with their healthy pregnancy and I couldn't help but smile and beam as well.  The front desk looked over at me and I at them and we all just beamed.  It was an awesome moment and I was glad I got to experience it.

Shortly after that, I was called into the back and met the nurse who asked that I undress from waist down and sit on the table.  The room was quiet and dark and I have to admit my anxiety increased a bit.  After a quick wait, there was a knock on the door and in walked the doctor who would be doing my mock transfer and her assistant.  They introduced themselves and took me step by step through the process.

I've told you all that my uterus is tilted and I've read horror stories about transfers.  This one was no issue.  The doctor noted that, in addition to its tilt, it also sits at a pretty unique angle.  (This would be where my husband says I'm special lol).  It wasn't a problem.  She just made a note in the system so that she or whomever would be doing my actual transfer will know the best angle to insert the catheter.

I felt a slight uncomfortable scratchy sensation from where she cleaned my cervix and then a slight cramp from the insertion of the catheter.  It wasn't unmanageable and wasn't prolonged.  There were screens that allowed me to see what the doctor was seeing and I saw fluid released into the uterus and the clarity of it was amazing.  Before pulling out, she also checked my ovaries for follicles.  I currently have 10 on my right side and 9 on my left.  She said the numbers looked great and would hopefully duplicate themselves come retrieval time.

Then it was over.  It wasn't even a full fifteen minutes.  Yay!  I was allowed to dress and use one of the supplied pads for the fluid and possible staining of the cervical swab soap, and then went to the wait room to be called for my injection class.

When I returned to the waiting room, there were quite a few people.  I don't know why we don't like to look at each other in infertility clinics.  We are all in this together.  When my name and the names of two other ladies were called to begin our class, I introduced myself to the other ladies.  We may never see each other again, but just so we know we aren't alone is helpful I think.

I was right.  After that icebreaker while awaiting our nurse, we all discovered we were there for our first IVF cycle.  All of us had tried IUIs, all were unsuccessful.  Our nurse instructor came in and we spent the next hour going over ALL the meds.  The class was great, informative, and interactive.  There are videos available online to assist if I get confused about what I'm supposed to do.  [And]  ALL of my meds, including the trigger, are subcutaneous so no evil intramuscular butt shot...YAYYYY!!!!!

Next week, I am supposed to go in and start Pre-IVF bloodwork.  Unless otherwise directed, I will start the Stimulation Phase on 30 Sep 2016.  Then, it's a very daily check in and shots and movement until retrieval, transfer, and beta!  I really pray this works!!

Pray for us, guys!

-K


The #TTC community rocks!



Can I say thank you?!  I mean it.  Thank you so very much for all of the young ladies and gentlemen who have logged onto our page and perused our blog, to all the people who clicked on an Instagram post, to everyone who has thought about or prayed for us.  We really appreciate it!

When we first started this journey, it was understandably overwhelming.  I felt like S. and I were all alone.  It's amazing how many people around you are also walking the same or similar journeys and you would never know it.  Instead, you find yourself shedding tears by yourself in a car in the parking lot (sigh old memory).

Since connecting with our #ttcsisters, #ttcafter35, and #secondaryinfertility communities as well as those who know that #infertilitysucks, we've found camaraderie and like-mindedness.  Thank you so much for everything.

I just thought I'd get that out of the way as we prepare to move forward in our journey.

We've ordered our fertility medications.  They should be here this weekend.  They cost a pretty penny, but I'm thankful that even in the sacrifice of getting those funds together, there are still members of the infertility community who are rooting from us in the sidelines.  I'm thankful for that.  We appreciate that.

Thanks so much, everyone.  Have a great and wonderful evening.

We will be back soon!

-K

Appointments made

Yay!  I'm loving how everyday is a new opportunity to move a little bit closer to our IVF/ICSI cycle.

My IVF prep appointments have been made. Next Wednesday will feature a double header as I attend my mock embryo transfer that morning and the fertility injection class immediately after.  I'm a bit disappointed that S. won't be able to join me, but there are follow-on videos that he will be able to view instead.

I've been reading up on the mock embryo transfer.  Most sites say there isn't anything to worry about minus the discomfort of having to pee from the full bladder the clinic asks you to arrive with.  That's good news, but I have a tilted uterus.  Dang tilted.  That joker is backwards.  While my RE is aware of this, there is a minor chance that she won't perform the procedure.  Having someone new get into my goodies without a proper introduction doesn't exactly strike me with a warm and fuzzy.


Example of embryo transfer via Google/BocaFertility
As for the injection classes, I'm a bit more comfortable there.  I remember a lot of the guidance from the IUI.  There will be some new meds introduced, but I think I'll be okay.

This looks like it is really going to happen.

-K


It costs how much?!!?!


So, picture it. I’m sitting at my office desk feeling great because it’s a special time in the world. Ten years ago, my firstborn made his debut into the world. I was thinking about that and all the work-related stuff that was on my plate when I received a phone call. The caller ID made it clear a pharmacy was calling. I knew immediately it was my fertility pharmacy, but was surprised because I hadn’t yet contacted them to place our order. It turns out my fertility clinic contacted them today with my prescriptions.

This kind and sweet woman verified my information, listed the prescriptions that were sent to her, verified they sounded correct to me (which they did as I pulled up my protocol that listed them), placed me on hold, and then gave me the price. All of my meds cost $4046.07!!! Excuse me. They actually cost $4286.07, but since our insurance covers NO fertility meds at all, we’re self-pay. Self-pay patients received $200 off every $4K spent. So, our final cost is indeed $4046.07. Que the fainting!!!



I mean, wow. I’m not new to this. I remember our IUI meds gave us a bunch of sticker shock and they weren’t exactly inexpensive. But this! Oh my!

So, just what does $4,046.07 cover? Well, I heard the below as it was recited to me. BUT, I don’t think I captured it all correctly as my math isn't adding up, so I will have to ask them to email it to me.  The gist is as follows:


Item
Amount
Cost per Unit

Total Cost
Notes
Endometrin Vaginal Inserts
63 vaginal inserts
$5.89
$321.07
Cost was originally $371.07, but there is a  $50 coupon for every 15 days of med)
Estrace
60 2-mg tablets
$0.95
$57.00

Lupron
2 week kit with
·    1 ml luerlock syringe, 27 or 30g ½” needle
·    Trigger subcutaneous injection



Zithromax
2 500-mg tablets
$15.55
$31.10

Gonal F
5-Ready set insert pens
$384.00
$1920.00

Cetrocide
6 kits
$49.75
$298.50

Menapur
75 IU FSH & LH
$81.90 per vial
$1228.50

Shipping/Tax/Etc.


$189.90


So there you have it. We have to pay over $4K in meds and that doesn't include the IVF procedure, which is significantly more.  

It's going to be a lot, but I'm ready for the journey.  

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, please.

Have a great day!

-K

OMG!!! We received our protocol!!

Yesterday, I posted that I wasn't sure what our next step was in this process.  Today, our awesome nurse A. contacted me with our IVF/ICSI protocol.  Oh my goodness!  It's real!  This is really starting to happen!

Our IVF/ICSI protocol
I started my birth control pills on 6 September and it looks like they will be my companion until 25 Sept.  Things will really pick up on the 26th of September, but I still have a lot to keep me company until then.

According to the first page of the protocol (not pictured), I have a ton of appointments to make.  I have to schedule my mock embryo transfer, make sure all of our consents are signed, all our online modules and injection classes taken, and all medications are ordered.  Not to mention, the payment must be made and soon.

Oh my goodness!  This really is becoming real.  If all goes well, our egg retrieval will occur on 12 October.  God willing and in His grace, we'll have the egg transfer 5 days later on the 17th.  I told S. this afternoon when he came home and he tried to act very calm about it, but I can tell it's an exciting time for him as well.  S. asked tons of questions, looked at calendars, asked about due dates.  I hope this all works out well and that we finally have our BFP.

Do your research
Since receiving the protocol, I've done SO much research.  I've researched the retrieval and the transfer.  I've discovered the transfer can be very painful depending on the quantity of eggs retrieved. I have also learned that there are some tricks to the trade for some of these injections as well, especially that intramuscular trigger.

I'm looking forward to putting it all into practice and I promise to go into detail about it all soon.  But for now, I just want to bask in the glow of having a protocol!

Yay!!

Have a great evening!
-K


What am I supposed to be doing now?

So, I’ve been taking the birth control pills since CD 2 per direction of the fertility center nurse. I had a headache on the first two days I took them that reminded me of why I didn’t continue them in my youth despite horrible menstrual cramps. Today, I feel better and I’m just anxious for the what’s next.

I haven’t heard from my nurses, so I called and left a voice message. I think I need to re-update some blood work as it expires at the end of the month, but the numbers are still the same according to the baseline blood work and ultrasound I did on CD 1. I know I’m probably driving them crazy, but I’m ready. I really am ready.

My gf, who has used this facility and gone through this process before with successful results, mentioned the next step will probably be the mock embryo transfer (done between cycle days 5-12) and then signing up for IVF injection class. Sounds right according to the paperwork, but I haven’t heard anything yet.

I still have time. I know. I’m pretty sure the staff said we won’t retrieve and transfer until October. But that will be here soon enough. Oh my goodness, I’m ready to proceed!

-K

CD2: Gearing up

Hello everyone.  Apologies for being absent on the blog.  It's been a busy couple of days here.  Our family hosts an annual End of Summer cookout.  This year, we had well over 40 people show up for food, fun, and massive moon bounces. I've been going nonstop for the past three days and I am more than a bit tired.  But it was more than worth it.

Today is cycle day 2.  It's been a long time since I was excited to see Aunt Flo and even longer since I was excited about starting birth control pills.  Come to think of it, I don't think I was ever excited to start birth control pills.  Tomorrow, I have my first blood work and ultrasound appointment in preparation for IVF.

I'm not nervous.  I went through this with our IUI, but knowing that tomorrow I will get blood work to verify if my body is ready for IVF is different.  I've been reading blogs and following other IVF/ICSI couple social media sites to see what I can expect.  Hopefully,  I'll get the calendar that lets me know what  our protocol will be and how soon S. and I can start the main part of our journey.

Yep.  I'm excited.  I am ready to go.  I just hope this journey goes smoothly.

-K