Friday, December 31, 2010

Second beta...

1020

I wouldn't say I'm excited, but I'm relieved. I guess that's par for the course at this point for us...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The results are in!

K, the nurse, called me bright and early this morning with my beta results. A very respectable 139. :) Dr. Z likes to have the second beta 3 days after the first, but that's the day we're travelling, so I go in on Friday morning.

Thanks for all of your supportive comments!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Beta day

I have an appointment at a lab near my in-law's in just over an hour and a half. K, our NP for this cycle, sent the order as "stat". She told me "here, stat means like half an hour, but there it could mean like 24 hours." So we may not get results until tomorrow.

As usual, I don't want to be 'surprised' with a negative result, so this morning I took an hpt.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

7dp5dt

I took an hpt yesterday, at 6dp5dt. It was negative. Commence googling.... plenty of people saying that is too early, several who had positive betas after a 6dp5dt hpt negative. So I went back to my last cycle- positive on 5dp5dt. Of course, my beta four days later was over 400. But this has not helped to ease my pessimistic feelings about this cycle.

I brought 3 hpts with us on our trip, so I have 2 left. Trying REALLY HARD to wait until tomorrow to test, because I know I want to save one for Monday morning before my beta. But it's sooooo tempting.

I don't know what I'll do if my beta just comes back plain negative. THREE perfect blasts with NO stickies? That would definitely be a big 'fuck you' to the asshole transfer doc who gave us a hard time about potential triplets.

Ugh. It's going to be a rough 3 days....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Well, hello there!

I was working at the store last night when I saw a familiar face- at about 6:30, Dr. Z walked in! When I had mentioned to him that I had started working there part time he told me that he shopped there sometimes (he makes his own xmas cards!) so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was! So much so that I accidentally charged some poor woman for a $30 teapot she didn't buy!

He of course recognized me, and we chatted a bit as I rang up his purchases. (Though I was still rattled enough that at first I rang them all in as returns!) Just small talk, though a part of me was so tempted to throw questions and random cycle facts at him. "Should I be worried that none of my embryos froze?? I have my pregnancy test in five days! I have an appointment scheduled with you on the 6th!"

But of course I didn't... I figured that was probably not appropriate patient/doctor protocol.

After he left, I told my manager who he was and said "I don't know if I was more flustered by the fact that he's seen my nether-regions or that he's seen me hysterically crying in his office!"*

A few hours later, I came home to this email in my inbox:

Hi A,

It was nice seeing you this evening. I am always reluctant to say too much in situations like that as I never want anyone to feel that they have to reveal too much to their co-workers about how we know one another. I want to wish you and III a very happy holiday season and great things to come in 2011.

With best regards, Dr. Z

III and I have always liked Dr. Z, and felt that along with being a great doctor, he's a nice guy. That he initiated and sent this email definitely shows that.

*For some strange reason, my droid keeps changing the word "he's" to "ne'er-do-well"! LOL

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No backup...

Just got the letter telling me that none of our three remaining embryos made it to freeze. Fuck. I was naively hoping ALL of them would, so that our next cycle could be a frozen transfer with four potential embryos. :(

As you can probably tell, I'm not feeling optimistic about this cycle for some reason. Maybe it's the hormones getting me down. Maybe it's all of our history. Maybe it's a sign... (Though experience has never shown my 'feelings' to be especially accurate...)

Six days to beta.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy f-ing birthday.

(First of all, can we please discuss how I typed half of this post out and then my computer froze and I lost it all. Fuck. Second of all, I'm in a mood, so expect at least a moderate amount of swearing in this post...)

My transfer was in the morning. Of 12 embryos we had, 6 were normal! Awesome. The doctor who did my transfer was one I had never heard of- doing his turn on the weekend shift I guess. We didn't like him. This conversation sealed that impression:

Dr: So we're transferring... three...?
Us: Yes.
Dr: *pause* So you're not worried about triplets?
Me: Well, considering this is our fourth IVF cycle, Dr. Z agreed that transferring three was not unreasonable.
Dr: Okay then.
III: (After Dr. has walked away) Clearly, you have children.

Triplets would not be ideal. We are well aware of the risks of multiples. But considering our history, we are at the point where we will do what we have to in order to end up with a baby.

Transfer went well, yada yada. I walked away PUPO, though I'm trying not to think about that. One step at a time and all that shit. We will be away on the 27th, which is the day they want me to do my beta. The OR nurse said if I call my nurse on Tuesday (she's out Mondays) she should be able to help me arrange a blood test in the state where we will be.

As it was my 35th bday, KB felt we needed to do something special to celebrate. So she and I planned a night out at a chic new bowling alley/restaurant/bar near my house.

A college friend and her husband joined us. III and her husband get along very well, so in addition to being really happy to spend time with her, I like that III enjoys his time with her husband. They started trying to have a baby around the time of my first miscarriage. She had commented to me the last time we saw them (early summer) how it was frustrated to be trying to do something and failing at it.

We all sat down to dinner, and Friend, who is an avid wine drinker and enjoys a beer every now and again, was drinking water.

While we were in the bathroom, KB asked me "Is Friend pregnant?" I told her I didn't know, but probably- that I knew they had been trying and the water was a pretty obvious sign.

We moved on to bowling, and throughout the whole first game I found myself "checking out" Friend. Are her boobs bigger? Her belly? Is she wearing pregnancy jeans? (It seemed like no to me for all of them....)

I didn't have to wait all that long for an answer. Between the first and second games, Friend and her husband approached me, arms around each other, faces excited. "Can we tell you our news?" As if I didn't know. "We're having a baby! Finally!"

Finally.

She's due in May. KB told me while Friend was taking her turn with the pins "I asked you in the bathroom because I thought maybe she had told you ahead of time." I told her "I wish she had."

As I told III on our way home, it's not that I'm mad at Friend or think that she "should" have done it differently. She knows what we've been going through and she knows about at least the first miscarriage. But I also recognize that the newly expecting (especially in the second trimester where they have been assured that everything is progressing as it should) are starry eyed and in a bubble. They are excited to share their news with those whom they love, and a can only imagine that those people will be as thrilled as they are.

But... shit. That was it for me. I think I did a good job of faking my fun and enthusiasm through the second game of bowling. But I was counting the frames as they slowly crawled by. Friend unintentionally dragging it out, as she would wait to take her turn until her preferred ball was available.

Happy 35th birthday. Fuck.

Monday, December 13, 2010

ER day

Retrieval went okay today.

III had a bit of a tantrum this morning at the clinic. He forgot that he had to give a 'sample'. He thought it was the next visit. Really? You have a medical background- how did you think they were going to inseminate my eggs in five days AFTER all the testing? That is being done because of an inversion that YOU have? He was all irritated and kind of obnoxious to me- I'm guessing he *ahem* took some time to himself this morning. Ugh. Men. I was pissed that he was acting all annoyed with me- why do I have to be the expert in all of this??? This is our FOURTH egg retrieval! I'm the one who has to rearrange my whole schedule for the week because I'm out of commission today! Get your act together, Man! And if you don't, don't take it out on me.

I'm guessing all went well, because when he returned from taking care of business he was much calmer. Maybe he was worried he wouldn't be able to pull it off twice in a row. Whatever. I'm not feeling very sympathetic to tell you the truth.

So they got 13 eggs. I'm a little disappointed- in the past they've been able to get up to twenty. I know Dr. Z scaled back the meds so that I wouldn't have such a high estrogen level, but considering only 6 out of the 20 last time were normal, it makes me a little nervous. Don't get me wrong- I'm well aware that I am LUCKY to produce so many eggs. But it's pretty much the only thing we've been lucky in.

Did I mention my insurance company still hasn't reimbursed us the $5000 for PGD from our cycle 9 months ago? That's a whole other story. I have to call them again tomorrow, not only to check on that, but to tell them that it's all starting again!

Sorry this is such a cranky post. I'm feeling crampy and crappy and tomorrow is going to be a crazy busy day in which I'm sure I'll feel like I want to be in bed. Hopefully it will be made better by a good insemination report... please, please, please..... :(

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bittersweet birthday

My birthday is one week from today.

I'm not a huge birthday person. I'm not one of those people who goes around telling people that my birthday is coming up or throws myself parties...

But I like that one's birthday is "your day". A day just to celebrate yourself. So I like when my parents call me to wish me a happy one or my husband brings me a gift.

This year, though... this year I definitely have some mixed feelings about my birthday.

First of all... it's my 35th. How the hell did that happen??? I'm THIRTY FIVE YEARS OLD. Not only is that halfway through my thirties (wasn't just in DC celebrating my thirtieth with my girlfriends???) but, as all of us in this ttc/IF hell know, I am now of ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE. Awesome. If I finally do get pregnant, I will be, by medical standards, an old mom.

Oh, and that whole getting pregnant thing? Brings me to another interesting point about my 2010 birthday...

It looks like my transfer will be that day. I was hoping my retrieval would be tomorrow, but they wanted me on stims for one more day. So my retrieval is Monday, and with the PGD they do a 5dt. If I have done my counting right, that puts my transfer on Saturday.

Could be a great birthday present, right? Or, depending on the outcome of our PGD, could be the worst one ever.

Adding to all of this.... the day after my birthday would have been my official (singleton) due date for my last pregnancy. Which means if my twin pregnancy had progressed as hoped, I would have already been a mom on this, my 35th birthday.

So... my feelings are definitely mixed. But to be honest, leaning more towards the negative not-looking-forward-to-it side. I feel old. I can't believe I'm still going through all of this ttc stuff. And I just don't have any room left for hope. Of course, I WANT this to work out-I want to think there is a chance- or I wouldn't still be trying. But "hope"? I just can't go there this time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Plodding along...

Today is CD10. In past cycles, it is around now that I'd have my ER. However, with my last cycle, my E2 levels maxed at close to 7000, which is higher than my doc is comfortable with. So he scaled back my meds this cycle. Things are progressing, just slower than usual. I had thought I'd probably have my ER between Thurs and Sat, but today's u/s and bw (the third for this cycle) put me at only 1700 with 8 measurable follicles (I make tons of follicles. It is the one thing that has gone right every time...) so they dropped my brav.elle by 75 (one vial) for tonight and tomorrow and it's back to the clinic on Friday morning. So, if on Friday I'm "ripe", that would mean a Sunday retrieval. If we go into next week it's going to be a pain in the ass for scheduling, but I guess it is what it is. I'm just feeling impatient. I'm ready to get this show on the road. The upside is that the later things go, the better a beta will fit in with our trip. We'll most likely definitely be away on the desired beta day, but there will be fewer days between that and the day I actually have the beta.

I am almost done with my subbing job. The regular teacher plans to return next Wednesday. I am looking forward to being finished, sleeping in, and focusing back on some of the plans I had for this leave of absence.

Let's be honest. The sleeping in part is what I'm most excited for. ;)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Spreadsheet

Thanks for all of your comments. Taking it one step at a time is good advice. That this whole process is happening around xmas makes it a little harder...

I expect to get my period tomorrow. Based on my previous IVF cycles, I created a spreadsheet to see on what date different important dates would fall:

28-Nov 1
29-Nov 2
30-Nov 3
1-Dec 4
2-Dec 5
3-Dec 6
4-Dec 7
5-Dec 8
6-Dec 9
7-Dec 10
8-Dec 11
9-Dec 12
trigger
10-Dec 13
11-Dec 14 retrieval
12-Dec 15
13-Dec 16
14-Dec 17
15-Dec 18
16-Dec 19 transfer
17-Dec 20
18-Dec 21
19-Dec 22
20-Dec 23
21-Dec 24
22-Dec 25
23-Dec 26
24-Dec 27
25-Dec 28 beta

Yep, you read that right. Beta on xmas day. Which, since we'll be away the 23rd through the 30th, obviously isn't going to happen.

SO... I expect to be stressed out that week. But I'm trying not to think about it too much. We still have a lot to get through before we can worry about the beta.

Besides. It's not like my previous beta numbers were ever all that helpful. They tell you that is what you should look at in terms of the chances of the pregnancy being successful, but I've obviously been the exception to the rule through all of this.

Not that I'm counting my chickens- I still have to GET pregnant before I worry about a beta. And if I get my period over Christmas break, that's a pretty definite answer...

But first... on to the stims.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Afraid

I am in the beginning of my next IVF cycle.

I'm day 3 into the lupron, and am supposed to finish my bcp on Thanksgiving. That will probably bring my period around the 29th which eventually leads to a beta just before Christmas.

The time feels like it's dragging.

Because, for the first time, I'm really afraid of getting pregnant.

Obviously, I want to have a baby. Otherwise WHY would we put ourselves through this?

But I'm terrified that we will get pregnant only to have another miscarriage.

I'm having a hard time seeing past 8 weeks.

And even if we make it past 8 weeks, what about week 9? And 10? And up to week 12?

And then what about second trimester? Plenty can go wrong there...

Or pre-term labor?

Or even worse....

How can I deal with another loss? Especially if that loss is later.

I know I shouldn't think like this. But I am so afraid. I don't think we could handle it.

But how can we handle 40 weeks of worry?

Monday, November 1, 2010

(Finally) moving forward again.

Today was "one of those days." Things just pissed me off and didn't go as planned.

Until we met with Dr. Z. (Though, as usual, he was running about half an hour late.) He gave us the ok to jump back into things. We thought the insurance was going to require us to use our one frozen embryo, BUT it turns out they only require use of the frozen before a new fresh cycle if you have two or more!!! My period is due any day now, but I also am heading out of town from Wed-Sun for a family wedding. They need 3 day bloodwork updated for me... so keep your fingers crossed that I either get my period tomorrow or not until at least Friday. Saturday would be even better! If I get it on Wednesday, we'll have to wait another whole month. Thursday would be workable, but not convenient... so lets all hope for Saturday.

If I get my wish, that would mean a transfer around December 9, which would mean a December 14ish transfer which would lead to a December 23 beta.

If the cycle doesn't go well, it could be a very, very bad week that week in December. It is my birthday and also would have been my due date from my last pregnancy. :-/

One step at a time, I guess. One step at a time....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Possibly the worst part...

There are a lot of really shitty parts about dealing with infertility...

But this one, to me, is one of the worst.

I am finding it hard to be happy for pregnant people. Not just that, but there is some serious bitch going on inside of my head.

My sister is eight and a half weeks pregnant. I was IMing with her yesterday. She had told me weeks ago on the day she got her positive HPT. It is only here that I will make the horrible admission that I was just the teensiest bit disappointed to hear that her 8w u/s went well. Isn't that the worst thing you've ever heard???? Not that I was hoping for her to miscarry... NOT AT ALL. But to hear how everything is going perfectly makes me want to punch a whole in the wall while screaming "WHY EVERYONE BUT ME?????" She got her IUD out on 8/18 and She had said to me "I might have trouble- I know a lot of people who have trouble the second time around." Yeah, whatever. She got her period 9/4 and then got pregnant right away.

I'm also bitchy about the fact that she claims she had symptoms beginning at 3.5 weeks. Okay, if you say so. I told her the embryo had likely not even implanted yet, and she said "I know, but it causes all sorts of hormone stuff before you can even test." Oh, okay, expert.* Actually, no. That's why you can't test. The progesterone that is causing your boobs to feel sore would be there anyway.

Then she says "Is there a reason your asking?" I thought she was calling me on my patronizing big-sister shit, but she was actually thinking I was asking her for symptom advice because I was possibly pregnant. :( No, but thanks for the positive thoughts since I clearly can't do it myself. *sigh* I told her I was fully aware of what early pregnancy symptoms felt like since I'd done it twice.

I told her a bit about our insurance stuff and how costly our cycle would be without it. Then she asked if we had considered "other alternatives". I said "Insurance doesn't pay for adoption either." Then she asked about donor sperm. I wanted to ask her how her husband would feel about using someone else's sperm to make 'his' baby.** Instead, I told her that my doctor doesn't think we need to.

I hate that I hate that my sister can get pregnant at the drop of a hat. I hate that she's kind of smug about it. I hate that she feels sorry for me. I hate that my sense is to be defensive when she actually is trying to be nice. I hate that I know this is hard for her because she really wants me to get pregnant too and feels bad that we aren't.

Hate, hate, hate, hate. Fuck you, infertility.

*Clearly, I am not an "expert" either. And I might be full of shit. But I do feel like I have more insight into the whole process than average super-fertile women like my lucky as shit sister
.
**No offense to anyone who has gone this route. We're lucky that we've been told we shouldn't need to. I say it this way because I know it is one of the huge parts of making that decision for many men, including III if we did have to.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Right now they ARE my babies!

With Halloween coming up this weekend, I ordered costumes online for my two dogs.

When they got here, I put them on my dogs and, using treats for bribery, took some photos of them.

I posted a photo of the two of them on my facebook page. An aunt (who while she may not know the specific details, knows we've had "trouble" ttc) commented: "You have too much time on your hands!"

Really? Is that what you are going to tell my sister when she posts pictures of her two year old in his costume? Is that what you will tell the parents who bring their kids in their fifty dollar costumes trick or treating to your door?

Oh, and for the record? If we finally DO get pregnant and have babies, I probably will STILL take pictures of my dogs in costume at Halloween. Maybe I'll even buy a matching one for the kid.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My li.bido is missing in action.

I feel bad for III.

Last night he wanted to. I didn't. He was nice about it... but said he feels like he's getting a bit of a complex because I'm so rarely "in the mood".

I used to have a pretty healthy s.ex drive. Lately.... I could take it or leave it. When III wants to, if he initiates I usually can get going fine. But if he doesn't initiate... I'm happy to curl up and go to sleep.

Last night as we talked I told him that I just feel like I'm hanging on by a thread. I hate to think what I'd be like right now if I wasn't taking my prozac...

This week seems to be especially difficult. I'm just blue. I'm hoping it's pms. If it is I feel like it's come early. But if it is, that means I'll feel better in a few days.

I hope.

Anyway.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sometimes things fall into place.

While I had mixed feelings on taking a leave of absence this year from my teaching job, I also felt like I needed it. Part of my plan was to explore some of my other interests. I'm working at a store that sells paper and craft goods part time. It's really fun to be able to use some of my creative talents and see what others are doing. I also plan to volunteer at the local animal shelter. I attended my first orientation and will be having my first "training session" soon.

Something else I had considered was leaving the middle school to teach high school. I love eighth graders, but there are things about middle school that are wearing. I also was excited about possibly teaching higher level math.

Last week, I got a call from a friend who teaches high school. A teacher she works with who was pregnant with twins after fertility treatments tragically had her water break at 22 weeks. :( They were wondering if I could cover two of her classes each morning for a while.

I don't know this woman, but I am so, so sad for her. That is every expectant mother's worst nightmare, and especially for those of us who have gone through so much to get pregnant. But it is a great opportunity for me to "try out" the high school. Since it did happen, I am also sure it gives her the comfort of knowing she can stay home and heal while her "kids" are being taught by someone who knows what she's doing. (A lot of times in a situation like this, a sub is brought in who doesn't know the curriculum.)

So I've gone from having nothing to do to being pretty busy! I teach from 7:30-10am and then either come home or go to work at the store. Of course, that means I've come down with a cold and have been running low all week...

Drama from my cousin's upcoming wedding, in which I am a bridesmaid*, is adding to a bit of stress, but I'm confident that in the next few weeks things will settle down again and I'll be able to analyze how I feel about my various new experiences.

My next appointment with Dr. Z is 11/1. It was supposed to be this past Thursday, but was scheduled for 9:30, so when I agreed to teach at the high school I rescheduled. I'm expecting my period around 11/4 or 5... Ideally, if we're doing a frozen cycle next that will be enough time to get going for a November transfer.

Oh, and insurance update- it turns out I CAN go back on my insurance with school (even before this PT high school thing happened), and they even are allowing me to bypass COBRA since on a leave of absence I'm technically still employed by the school system. It will cost us around $7000 for the year to pay for my insurance, but ONE fresh IVF cycle for us costs $22,000 (I gathered all my bills and receipts from the last cycle and did the math) so it is definitely the best option.

I've been bad about posting, though as usual I often have posts in my head that I plan to write out and then don't. I'll definitely update after we see Dr. Z. Thanks for those of you who have stuck with me. :)

*On that note, I'm trying to choose shoes to wear with my floor length brown satin bridesmaid dress. I've fallen in love with a red pair of suede shoes. Red shoes have been okayed by the bride. Can one wear suede and satin together? Thoughts?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bothered.

I'm feeling very bothered this week that we don't have a baby.

Bothered seems to be the best word for it right now.

I don't know why now any more than usual.

Maybe it's because my sister told me she's pregnant with her second. After trying for one month. And she told us and my parents and her in laws when she was a whopping 4 weeks. It bothers me that she gets to be so naive about it.

Maybe it's because, now that she has two, KB is finding it harder to be social. She really wants to see me, but it has to be around nap times and pre-school and sleepless nights with an infant. I don't resent it, but I do feel guilty because I don't always feel like driving to her or scheduling around her kids. (As much as I love them. We went for ice cream the other day, and Miss M climbed into my lap and my heart almost burst with love. Maybe that's part of it too.)

Maybe it's my internal struggle around T's loss of her husband. It's terrible and I hurt so much for her, because I can't imagine losing III. But there is also a voice in my head that says "At least they got to be parents together." And that makes me feel guilty.

Maybe it's that our anniversary is on Thursday. Four years married, three years trying and over two years of ART. Still no baby. Last year around this time I posted "Here's hoping that by our next anniversary, we will be looking forward to an impending birth- or possibly even celebrating a recent one." But we're not. Here we are, in the same place we were then.

I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of trying. I'm tired of the voice echoing in my head: "It's not fair."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lonely tonight.

As I mentioned this weekend, III is away for work.

There are days when I'm so tired of living with someone else. Times when I get sick of putting up with his schedule and his moods.

But I'm lonely without him.

T's husband, B, died yesterday.

The combination of those things remind me that the annoying stuff and the crappy days are worth it for the good days and the love I feel for and receive from III.

My loneliness is alleviated somewhat by my dogs. I LOVE my pups. I mentioned to III last week that I am not sure how I would have made it through the last two years of infertility stuff without them. Their unconditional love combined with my ability to... well, baby them... I feel like I would feel so empty without that.

So I guess tonight I am reminded of the things in my life I have to feel grateful for.

(Would it ruin the sentiment to say I'm also grateful for Glee tonight? Keeping me entertained? And for sauvignon blanc? Because... it's yummy. And for spellcheck in blogger, because otherwise I would have misspelled "alleviate"? And for peanut butter cookies sent to me as a surprise by my old roommate, even though they aren't on my "diet" (Thanks, K!!!!)? I hope not... because I am...)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vulnerability

When III and I were just barely engaged, we were on our way to the grocery store when I had a meltdown. I can't remember the specifics, but I do remember telling him "I just feel really vulnerable." He told me "Of course you are. So am I. That's what happens when you love someone."

It's one of things I don't like about being married. I feel vulnerable in so many ways. This insurance situation has brought that feeling to the forefront again. I had to rely on III to figure out some of this insurance stuff, which puts it out of my control. If we spend savings on our IVF, it makes me feel indebted to him, since it's because of his family that we have the money.

Another aspect of my vulnerability in being part of a couple has shown its face today. While III is away on a tactical assignment for his law enforcement work, which leaves me anxious for his safety, a friend of mine who lives far away is losing her husband to cancer. My heart is breaking into pieces for her and her children, but I can't ignore the pain that is brought out by my own fear of "that could happen to me!"

The mail came a good ten hours after III left today. In it, was an envelope addressed to me in III's handwriting. It was a card which on the outside said "love" and the inside said "I was born to love you."

And that's why we agree to be vulnerable and accept the chances of the pain that comes from tragedies like my friend's.

So hold your loved ones a little closer today, and please send a prayer out there for my friend, T, her husband, B and their two sweet babies.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oh, the money!

The whole situation around this insurance stuff, I am mostly mad at myself. I am a super researcher- whenever I'm buying anything over $100, I go online to determine my best options. I can't believe I was so stupid as to not look into this further.

I cried and cried about it yesterday, but also felt a little guilty. I know so many infertile couples are much worse of than we are. a) We have had insurance for the last two years. b) We actually do have money in savings to pay for a fresh cycle if we needed to. But... it kills me. I'll have to have another post later this week on my relationship with money, because I know that's a big part of it.

So now I am trying to figure things out. It turns out, as some of you suggested, I can go back on my insurance from my job. I can even do it without CO.BRA since I am technically still employed by my school. I spoke to someone today to see how to do it, and it would cost just over $7000 for the year.

Now, if we do that, we will have to first do a frozen transfer with my one lone embryo... so we have to decide if that's what we want. But, researcher that I am, I wanted to see just how much money we are talking about.

I went through my old papers and made a few calls.... The breakdown from our last cycle:

Meds: $5445
IVF: $8300
ICSI: $2500
PGD: $5200
TOTAL: $22,945

We did have to pay $95 of the meds and $225 of the PGD, but STILL. That's a lot of fucking money. In fact, that was probably my take home from my salary my first year of teaching! Considering our savings, III told me yesterday "If someone told me I had to pay ten grand to have a baby three or four months sooner, at this point I'd totally do it." But, crunching the numbers, it's 20 grand and he might have also been saying that to make me feel better since I was laying on the bed crying into my pillow....

With six complete failures of cycles and two losses, we're impatient. Both of us hate the idea of having to try an FET with only one embryo because of the high chance of failure. But... ugh. I repeat: That's a lot of fucking money.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How about that state mandated infertility coverage! Or not...

We've been lucky throughout this whole shitty process to live in a state where insurance coverage is mandated.

Except when it's not.

When I took a leave from my job, III changed his insurance to a family plan so that I would be covered under it. I always knew I liked my insurance better than III's. There were far fewer co-payments and procedure fees, though my choice of doctors was slightly more limited. But it didn't seem to make sense to pay through CO.BRA to keep mine, especially since we're not 100% sure I'm going back to school. (Since we might move.)

Now it seems it might have actually been CHEAPER to stay on my own insurance, even if I had to pay the whole damn thing. Today I called the insurance company, only to be told that they cover 85% after we meet our deductible, except for ART like IVF, IUI, and ICSI.

For real???? Then what's the fucking point?

I was skeptical, though, because I know that we do live in a state where the coverage is mandated, so I called our clinic.

No dice. Because our insurance is through a federal company instead of a state company, we get no coverage.

I want to throw up. I'm so pissed at everyone right now. If I'm going to be 100% honest, I'm even pissed at III, because if he had just fucking called his insurance company this is likely info he could have gotten through them. Then I could have crunched the numbers to see if it made more sense to keep my insurance while on leave and pay for 100% of it then to switch to his, which has no IVF coverage. The PGD alone on our last cycle was $5200!!!! FUUUUUUUCK.

I really, really, really hate my life. I don't understand why NOTHING CAN BE FUCKING EASY for us!!!! NOTHING. I want to crawl into my bed, curl up in a ball, and never, ever, ever come out again.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Who, me???

Yesterday, I was sitting around playing on f.acebook when an old college friend began to chat with me. Or so I initially thought. He told me he was stuck in London and needed money. Oh, right. The sarcastic bitch that I am, I typed back to this 'friend', "That's so strange! I got an email from my aunt last week saying the exact same thing! Is she with you? I didn't know you guys knew each other!" So, yeah. I reported it to fb and also his email provider.

So it's understandable that when I read the email I got today I was skeptical.

Congratulations! Sarah here, and your blog, You Call Me a Bitch Like It's a Bad Thing, was determined to be one of the best blogs to exude overall brilliance. And so, it has received our 2010 Top 40 Infertility Blogs award presented by Medical Billing and Coding!
Whaaaat? Medical Billing and Coding? Seems fishy...

...but it is a .org, so with further investigation, it turns out it's for real! Somehow, my brain-dump has been voted to be pretty interesting! :)

On their website, they explain:
With Medical Billing and Coding, a lot of the work is done at home, or on people's own time. With this growing trend, there are bloggers on the inernet who contribute to this amazing at home community, and we want to recognize these bloggers. At the same time, there are so many medical issues out there that people are dealing with and blogging about, that we would love to recognize what they are doing. They blog because it is their passion, but we feel that not only are they pouring out their heart as they blog, they are comfortable enough to let the rest of the world know if they are dealing with a disease or health complication. And we appreciate their boldness.
Well, thanks! And thanks to anyone who may have nominated me! Even thought this blog started as a way for me to connect to others and keep track of my own stuff, it's nice to know others appreciate it!

Yay, me!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Twenty-three

On this day last year...

...I said good bye to my very best friend. My good girl.

The twenty-first was an awful day.
The twenty-second was unbearably trying.

But the twenty-third...

I think about that day often. I can't believe she's been gone for a year. I have been dreaming about her this week and she's very much on my mind. The four years we were together were far too short. I love Peanut, but I hate that her coming into our lives was preceded by losing B.

A year later, I can feel myself forgetting small things about her. I need to look at photos to remember some of her markings. The look on her face when she wanted something. What it felt like when she gave me those rare kisses.

I do remember a lot. The way she would sit on my feet when she was nervous. How she'd put her head on my shoulder from behind me. The face she made when I'd scratch her chin. How her face felt when I held it between my hands. But I know that will also fade...

I wish I could see her again. Let her climb up into my lap (all 75 pounds of her!). Wrap my arms around her and bury my face in her soft neck. Rub her ears. Kiss her smooshy face.

I know I've said all of this before: She was just a dog. But she loved me in a way no one else will ever love me. She came to me when I most needed her, and I miss her every single day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Twenty-two

On this day last year...

...I spent much of the day in the hospital, concluding the ending of my first (very wanted, but unfortunately very short lived) pregnancy.

In some ways, it doesn't feel like a year ago. In others, it seems so long ago... I often think about what this year would be like if that pregnancy hadn't ended.

I hoped it was something I'd never have to experience again. Little did I know that I'd be in the same situation just a short time later.

I came home from my procedure and spent the rest of the night cuddling with my B-dog. At bed time, I felt well enough to sleep on the futon with her. She, however, did not feel well enough, so I slept in my own bed without her...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Twenty-one

On this day last year...

...I went to my first OB appointment. We had already seen a heartbeat, and I was excited to have been released to my "real" doctor.

What an awful day. I remember having to make that phone call to III from the u/s office to break the news. I think that was almost worse than hearing the news myself.

The memory of that day will never allow me to enjoy the first trimester of a pregnancy (assuming I could anyway...).

It was the beginning of a terrible week. This year, I hope for an uneventful week.

Monday, September 20, 2010

ICLW

This week is "one year since..." for a number of things for me, starting tomorrow.

So I thought I'd post my ICLW welcome early, as there probably will be other things I want to say in the next few days.

We were initially diagnosed with unexplained infertility. After 4 IUIs, 2 IVFs and a miscarriage, we had further testing and found out my husband, III, has a chromosomal inversion. (You can read more about that by clicking the link to the right.) 1 FET, 1 more IVF, and another miscarriage later, I had a laparoscopic myomectomy to remove a fibroid. (More info also to the right.)

So here we are... I'm over a month past my surgery and tomorrow is finally my post op appointment. I'm looking forward to getting the all clear from my surgeon and be told when I can go back to me RE and start our next cycle.

Happy ICLW! I look forward to reading some new blogs and 'meeting' some new bloggers. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Woulda, coulda, shoulda...

If we had been one of those mythical couples (ha. I, fortunately or unfortunately, know quite a few of those...) who conceived our first month trying, we would have a two year old now.

If we had been one of those lucky couples who are a "one and done" with our first IUI, our baby would have just celebrated his first birthday.

If IVF had been our silver bullet, and the first one had "taken", we'd be the parents of a six month old.

If our first official pregnancy had been viable and I hadn't miscarried, KB and I would be raising our little ones together, just a few days difference in their ages.

If the fibroid hadn't taken all of the blood supply from my twin pregnancy, I'd be almost seven months pregnant- big and uncomfortable and keeping my fingers crossed for healthy, full term babies.

I've been told plenty of times, IRL and in blogland, that "you can't" think about what might have been. Focus on the now. Focus on the future. "It is what it is."

But how can I not think about it? How can I ignore what I might have had, especially as I sit here, three years down the road, with no baby?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day of school

Today is the first day with students in my school system.

It is the first day of school in thirty years that I will not be at school.

It feels very weird.

I didn't realize until my leave was accepted just how much I identify myself as being a teacher.

I went to school last week to grab some of the stuff I wanted to make sure survived my absence, and I met the kid who is taking my class.

And I mean kid. He looks about sixteen years old.

I felt surprisingly possessive. This is my classroom! This is my team! These are my kids! (even though I haven't taught them... so they're not really... but...)

I think I really do need this year off. I would not have been ready to go back after our hectic summer. But I feel this sadness inside of me that I didn't expect.

I wonder if it would be different if I knew I'd be back next September. But I don't. We are on the list to be transferred eventually. It probably won't happen this calendar year, but it is totally possible it could happen in the next 12 months.

And, even if it doesn't, I am hoping beyond all hope that I will once again be pregnant at this time next year. Pregnant and close to having a healthy, full term baby.

Change is hard. I said over and over again last year that I needed a break, but now that I have one, I'm terrified.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Out of sorts.

I'm out of sorts this morning. I just missed my workout with my trainer, because I thought it was at 10 and it was at 9:30. Grr.

I have really enjoyed working out with this trainer, and I have felt friendly towards her. I even knitted her a baby sweater as a thank you when we thought we'd be leaving in August. I invited her and her husband over tonight for a bbq with some of our other friends. She initially said "yes" but canceled last night because she said she has to work.

For some reason I wasn't surprised...

One of my worries about moving is making new friends. I am someone who doesn't have any trouble meeting new people. I'm very social and pretty outgoing... but when it comes to hitting that friend level, it is a little harder. I don't know if I have a different definition of "friend" than some- maybe some people who I feel are just acquaintances see me as a friend?

I worry that maybe I am trying to hard. I will meet someone who I would like to befriend, but when I reach out... they are always nice and usually seem interested in going out for coffee, or joining us for dinner- but then when it comes down to it, they don't follow through. It makes me feel like they are just being nice to my face, but aren't really interested, and that in turn makes me feel pathetic.

It is kind of pathetic, isn't it? It sounds like I'm thirteen years old! But I really only have a handful of close friends at home, and they are people who I have "collected" over the years- some relationships took years to develop into what we have. And when we move, I will be leaving them all and starting over. Yes, we will still be friends. We'll still keep in touch and talk on the phone and thank goodness for the internet! But how long will it take me to build new friendships that are local? And how hard to I have to try? And how much rejection (or even apathy and lack of reciprocation) can I take?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A decade.

In 2001, my long term boyfriend broke up with me. My sister got married. I got my master's degree. I lived in an apartment with two roommates. I was in my third year of teaching.

In 2002, I discovered I could enjoy being single. I met KB. I moved with one of my roommates to a two bedroom house. We had lots of parties.

In 2003, I continued enjoying being single. I bought a condo- it was the first time I had ever lived alone.

In 2004, I went to Italy. I had a great group of students at school. I had my heart broken by a loser. (Really... he wasn't worth it.)

In 2005, I adopted B-dog. I healed. I met III.

In 2006, I got engaged. I moved out of my condo. I bought a house. I got married.

In 2007, I went on my honeymoon. I went off the pill. Miss M was born. I got another dog. I remember feeling ridiculously happy this year.

In 2008, I began fertility treatments. My nephew was born.

In 2009, my FIL almost died. My sweet B-dog did die. I got pregnant. I had a miscarriage. I got another dog.

In 2010 (so far), I got pregnant again. I had a miscarriage again. My FIL got a new heart. I took a year off from school.

Ten years... it feels so long, but at the same time it feels like it flew by. Sometimes I can't believe in what a different place I now am- how much has happened to me, how much has changed.

What might the next ten years bring? As expected, I hope it will be filled with the business of motherhood and growing babies.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

skipping beats

People often talked about how their heart skipped a beat to describe falling in love or being shocked by something.

Mine is literally skipping beats.

It just started out of the blue on Thursday night. It did it again yesterday afternoon and this afternoon.

It is making me nervous, even though I know that, often, arrhythmias are completely benign. In fact, III has one.

But that it came on so quickly and has continued is making me think all sorts of worst case scenarios.

Nothing specifically stressful has happened this week that might trigger it... could it be the last year catching up with me?

Luckily, I have my yearly physical on Monday, so I will be able to talk to my doctor then.

In the meantime, I'm just trying to chill out about it.

*breathe in*
*breathe out*
*breathe in*
*breathe out*

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pain in the...

I'm having some right side pain... I'm wondering if it's ovulation pain. I don't tend to get it, but I don't know what else it could be. (Who am I kidding. I have an anxiety disorder. There are plenty of ideas floating around in my head about what it could be, but I'm trying to be all zen and rational here...)

It is completely possible it is ovulation time. It's hard to know for sure, because my surgery kind of blurred when my period came this month... but it seemed like I was getting it on the day of my surgery, and yesterday (when the pain started) was 18 days since my surgery. I typically ovulate on day 17, so it's not unrealistic that it could be.

But... why would I have pain now when I don't usually?

In other news, my doc wasn't super clear about how long we had to wait after my surgery to have sex... a lot of my restrictions were 2 weeks, but there was some question about whether we should wait 4. On Thursday (2 weeks), III asked whether we could. That day I had realized I still can't do certain ab exercises yet without pain, so I was a little nervous and told him maybe we should wait another week.

Last night I decided I was over waiting. So I came into the bedroom and told III. He said "I thought we were waiting another week..." I said "I changed my mind." He said "Well, I didn't know....I already...." Damn! Luckily, he was up for another round. ;) So I guess things are almost back to normal since the surgery. LOL

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stuck in the middle...

I was in Ko.hls the other day, shopping for some clothes. (We sent two boxes of stuff home before we knew we'd be staying, and I'm very short on t-shirts.) As went looking for a slim fitting t-shirt that wasn't too tight or too short, I realized- I feel like I'm in this weird place where I'm too old for Juniors, but too young for Misses. (At least the Misses they sell at Ko.hls.)

In the car on the way home from visiting FIL, III and I were talking about how we feel that way about our life right now. III's cousin and her husband are still in that early marriage phase where they're are kind of "playing house" and exploring their neighborhood. His closest friends out here have kids. We're floating somewhere in the middle... We're settled in to our lives and ready for kids, but... we don't have any.

There's the 'expected' path you follow (especially out here where we grew up), and we're stalled between two stages.

Back home, we have 2 other couples with whom we are friendly who are in a similar boat. Luckily, we are able to see them fairly regularly. But this summer, being out here away from our usual group of friends it's felt really obvious. And really lonely.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ICLW

This month marks two years since our first visit with the RE. So I figured it was a good one to participate in ICLW.

So if you are new, welcome! To catch you up...

We were initially diagnosed with unexplained infertility. After 4 IUIs, 2 IVFs and a miscarriage, we had further testing and found out my husband, III, has a chromosomal inversion. (You can read more about that by clicking the link to the right.) 1 FET, 1 more IVF, and another miscarriage later, I had a laparoscopic myomectomy to remove a fibroid. (More info also to the right.)

So here we are... I'm currently two weeks past my surgery and recovering well. Aside from ART stuff, we've been dealing with the poor health of my FIL. We packed up our two boxer dogs and drove 16 hours to spend the summer with him and the rest of III's family. Two days before we were to head back home, we got a late night call that my FIL had a match, and he underwent a heart transplant. So we're staying for another month. I've taken a leave of absence from my job as a math teacher for the year, and am feeling a bit untethered...

So now you're caught up! Happy ICLW! I look forward to reading some new blogs and 'meeting' some new bloggers. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My very own I.tchy and Scr.atchy show!

Today is 2 weeks since my surgery, and I have healed very well. I'm working out with my trainer and moving around fine. My steri strips came off this week.

But.

Oh. My. God.

The itch.

I'm so f-ing itchy!!!! SO ITCHY! Especially around my belly button and the incision above my pubic bone.

Nothing helps. The nurse I spoke to suggested just to put lotion on it. That makes it worse. (It's actually a bit LESS itchy when dry.) I've tried* lotion, oatmeal lotion, aloe, corti.zone cream, Calad.ryl, gold bo.nd powder, soft soap and water, sola.rcaine spray.... I tried wearing stretchy pants, empire waist dresses, and even nothing at all! Nothing helps.

UGH. So bad. The only thing that alleviates the itching enough that I can sleep at night is icing it. But it doesn't soothe the area long term.

The nurse said itching is normal. But... ARGH. I can't stand it. Just how itchy can it be, you may ask? Itchy enough that I'd trade the soreness and pain from the day after my surgery for this. Honestly. I prefer the pain.

*The doctor may not want me to put anything on for fear of getting the infections messed up, but a) they are pretty healed - until the itching made some scratches and b) I can't stand it. I have to do something!!!

In other news... My FIL is doing really well. We've been at the hospital every day with him, but today III wants me to stay home with the dogs. They are very confused with this sudden change in schedule and, Peanut especially, is driving us crazy all night long. FIL has all but one tube removed, is way down on his meds, and has been able to get up and walk around the ICU with the nurse's help. Every day when we get to the hospital, we are surprised at how much better he looks than even the day before. He is very emotional and tires easily, but that is all to be expected. The rest of us are in shock that this has really happened, and especially how quickly it has happened.

Each of our failures and losses with this ttc journey has been magnified by my FIL's illness- he's going to be a great grandpa, and as time went on and he got sicker and sicker, we worried he'd never meat his grandchildren. This gives us new hope that we will be able to make him a grandpa and he will be able to enjoy time with his grandchildren.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

FIL update

III's dad came out of surgery about 1:30am. Because he's had several heart surgeries before, including a bypass where they had already had to crack his chest, getting in and closing up took them longer than it usually does.

This morning, assuming he is doing as expected, they plan to take out his breathing tube. Then, they will need to monitor his bleeding from the surgery and his kidney output to make sure everything is normal. They also, of course, need to monitor for possible tissue rejection.

So he has a long road ahead of him, BUT... he has a new heart!!!

And the best part?

Today is his birthday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I DO have an anxiety disorder, after all...

We got the call about FIL's heart at 11 last night.

But it wasn't ready. Transplants... so conflicting. You are hoping for the best for your loved one, while someone else is losing their loved one.

Anyway. Long story short... 8:30am surgery turned into 11am surgery turned into 1:30pm surgery... they began operating at 3:15pm.

I've heard from III a few times. Everything going well... 4-6 hour surgery....

Last text I got... surgery should be another 30-60 minutes. "So far so good."

That was 80 minutes ago.

The rational part of my brain knows that when the surgery was over, the main priority is NOT to text/call me.

But I'm nervous that I haven't heard yet. I hope III calls soon. And I hope it's good news.

But. My brain always goes "worst case scenario". So I'm kind of freaking out.

I'm itching to call. But I know it's not about me. III promised to let me know. And I know he will as soon as he can. But bad news or good, there are other things that come first. Talking to the doctors. Maybe seeing his dad. Making plans for the night and tomorrow.

But I'm freaking out.


Friday, August 13, 2010

finally, some good news (we hope!!!)

We just got the call that they think they have a heart for III's dad.

If you're a frequent reader, you know that I'm kind of agnostic, and definitely not a prayer... but if you are, please send up some prayers for us that this is the real thing for FIL and that it's successful.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Myomectomy

I'm posting this not just as an update about me, but as info for others who are going to have the procedure and are looking for information.

My surgery was scheduled for 7:30am on Thursday. Which meant Wednesday was the bowel prep. Awesome.

If you've ever had a colonoscopy*, you'll find this is similar. I had to stick to a clear liquid diet all day. At 9am, I had to take an otc laxative, then as soon as I had a bm, I had to drink that drink. I had to drink 8 oz every 10 minutes. It was 2 L worth of liquid. Uck.
30 minutes after I took my first drink (so on my 4th), I thought "Hmm. Nothing has happened yet."

Ten minutes later I was running for the toilet holding my bum...

So yeah. That part isn't super fun. Two hours later, I still had moments where I needed to be on the toilet. (TMI alert:) At that point, it was just liquid- like, peeing out of my butt. Kind of bizarre... I also ended up with some hemorrhoids. Ick.
So anyway. I went to bed, hungry but empty! 4:30am came quick. My original plan had been just to shower the night before, jump out of bed and into the car. But at my pre-op, they gave me a surgical scrub with specific instructions. Shower the night before with the scrub, then sleep in "freshly laundered" PJs. Then, shower that morning too with the scrub and put on "freshly laundered" clothing.

Surgical check in was similar to what I had experienced for my retrievals and D&Cs. They called me into the back, had me use the bathroom, then had me strip and put on a johnny and slippers. I had some spotting all week, and woke up with some heavier bleeding (the start of my period? With the surgery, I'm not sure if it ever came or what. Never got very heavy...) so they had me put on those fancy 'surgical underwear' and a pad.

They brought III in to sit with me and I answered questions for Nurse K who checked me in. Then I met Nurse L who was the OR nurse. Then I met the anesthesiologist resident. (or is it intern? I always get them mixed up.) She tried to get my IV started. First in the left arm. Then that didn't work, so she went to my right hand. They give you a stingy local first, which was annoying but saved me from having to feel her root around under my skin to hit a vein. Which she couldn't do. I wanted to be like "Dude. They never have trouble with my veins." She left to go get the anesthesiologist for help and III (who is a trained medic and EMT) said "That reminded me of the class I took where we had to stick each other to learn how to get an IV." The doc showed up and hit another vein in my right hand the first time.

Then my doctor showed up. She went over things, asked if we had any questions, and was on her way. I got kisses from III, a fancy hat from the nurse, and they put the rails up on my bed and rolled me down the hall.

They must have already started my IV, because I remember asking them if that area was only gynecological surgery and them telling me it wasn't. Then that was it.

The next thing I remember was the nurse asking me my pain level on the ten scale, and telling her a 7. She said "Well, we'll have to do something about that." and gave me a small white pill with a teeeeeny sip of water. I was soooo thirsty (for the whole time in recovery and until we got home), but apparently (and I don't remember either the telling or the feeling) I had told them I was nauseous when I woke up. By the time I shared my level of 7, any nausea I might have had was gone.

I don't remember a lot about being in recovery. I remember I was thirsty. I remember I was sore. (7 went down to 4 shortly after they gave me the pill.) I remember I was sooo sleepy. I just wanted to keep my eyes closed, but the nurse kept waking me up by saying my name loudly.

I had five pieces of gauze taped to my abdomen- one over my belly button, one above my pubic bone (right where my stomach fat folds over. gross. This is the one that irritates me the most.), one to the left of my belly button and two to the right.

I found out later that the doctor came out and talked to III after surgery. She told him it went really well and that the fibroid was smaller than it had been in May. She said it was easy to get to and everything went smoothly.

At some point after that they brought III back. I think he helped me get dressed. They put me in a wheelchair, and an orderly wheeled me out front where III pulled up the car and I got in.

I think my eyes were closed for most of the ride home. I do remember that III was driving like an asshole. He also took a weird way home, and I must have commented on it because I remember him saying "I'm just trying to take a way that will annoy me the least." Um, dude. I'M the one who just had surgery!

I went home, III bought my meds and some take out, I ate, and went to bed.

I was very sore on Thursday. Laying on my back was the most comfortable. Laying on my side made me sore- it was like my belly was too heavy. Luckily, the little white pills (oxycodon) kept me sleepy enough that I could probably have fallen asleep sitting up.

Friday, I got up around 9am. (I was still wearing the same sweats and t-shirt I wore home from the hospital!) I went downstairs for something to drink and I think I might have talked to KB on the phone. I wasn't hungry, and while my soreness wasn't as bad as on Thursday, I was still pretty sore. I went back to bed at 9:30am. Got up at 3:30pm. I think I was up for a few hours after that. We did have dinner at some point. I was back in bed by 7:30.

I was taking meds every 6 hours. I was prescribed the oxy and 600mg of ibuprofen, which I could take at the same time. They told me I could take 1 or 2 oxy, and I took one. That stuff tends to hit me hard, and my sleeping habits on Friday reflect that. LOL.

Saturday was better. I got up, showered, and dressed. III brought lunch, which I ate, and KB came by a little later. She was hoping to take me out to a movie where they have you sit in these cushy seats and serve you food, to spoil me, but I wasn't up for that. She stayed for a few hours. III and I ate dinner. Then I went to bed. On Saturday, I stuck with only the ibuprofen during the day, though I took the oxy at night. I could lay on my side now, as long as I had a pillow there for a little extra support.

This is a pic I took with my phone on Saturday. I had taken off the gauze, but the steri strips are still there. They told me to leave those on and they would fall off themselves around ten days. You can't see the incision inside of my belly button- that mark on top is from my navel ring- but there are a few stitches in there. Ignore my chubby gut. I'm not loving how it looks lately anyway, but obviously after surgery I was bloated...
Sunday, while I was still sore, I was starting to feel pretty normal. I didn't nap. We flew back to the lake. Sitting on the plane for 2 hours wasn't the best part of my weekend, but I kept a pillow behind my back (because slouching irritates the incisions) for most of it and made sure the seat belt wasn't too tight.

Sunday and Monday nights were rough. I did not take any oxy, so I think that was part of it. When I lay down to go to bed, I've been getting bad gas pains, mostly in my lower abdomen, but also a little in my chest. (They warned me about these- they pump air into your abdomen to have space to work. I had thought it would be immediate, which it wasn't- or if it was the oxy helped me sleep through it- but I assume this night time discomfort is residual from that.)

Today is Tuesday, and I feel pretty good. The nighttime thing is hard- last night I took some gas X and put heat on my belly, and one or the other or both helped and I was able to sleep. Today I went back and worked out with my trainer. She knew all of my restrictions, and put together a workout for me with them in mind. I actually got a good workout and felt good afterwards.

There have been some poop issues. Nothing major... but I had my first real poop today and it was pretty small. I'm sure my lack of poop action is contributing to the bloating and night time pains. They told me I could take a lax. I took one on Saturday, but we don't have any out here, so I'm hoping things will start moving soon.

The incisions are annoying. The worst part is the incision on the left and one on the right- when they put the bandages on they irritated my skin. That irritation bothers me more than the incisions! Irony. They have all these great technologies now where they can do this laparoscopic surgery with a robot, but they can't find a band aid that doesn't rip your skin off...

Sometimes the incision near my pubic bone bothers me. If I'm sitting in the car for too long or if my underwear irritates it. Sometimes the ones on my sides hurt if I lean over and/or turn my body wrong. My belly button is sore and bruised- I think it's worse when I'm more bloated.

So... that's the story. It's amazing to me that they can do this- I can't imagine what it would be like to have a laparotomy where they cut you open completely. I'm grateful they were able to get all that they needed to with my five teeny incisions.

We head home on Monday. I'm not looking forward to 16 hours in the car, especially now with my recovery. But the dr. okayed it and it will be nice to get home and figure out a routine.

*Spellcheck suggests "kaleidoscope" for this. Yeah, so not the same thing.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Home

Home from the hospital.

All went well. Didn't have to stay over night.

I really want to share how everything went, but right now I'm so sleepy and sore, so I think I'm going to head back to bed. Just wanted to update and let everyone know it went well and I'll be back soon with more details.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

pre-op

I had my pre-op appt yesterday.

First was the ultrasound. They told me to come with a full bladder, but after having been through the whole thing before, and knowing how often doctors run late, I ended up not having a full enough bladder- which didn't matter because she was doing an internal ultrasound too. So I don't know why they needed to do the external. But whatever.

My fibroid is anterior (in the back) and on the outside. I'm glad for that, because it means they don't need to cut open my uterus, just scoop the fibroid out of it. I could see the whole ultrasound, and if I interpreted it right, it seemed like the length of the fibroid was around 4cm. It was 7 at the longest, so it appears to have shrunk.

Then I had an appointment where they asked me everything I'd already written on the pre-op questionnaire, listened to my breathing and all of that for anesthesia stuff, and took blood. That appointment took an hour, though most of it was sitting around waiting for the next person to come do their thing.

They gave me a special soap. They want me to wash with it the night before and the morning of the surgery.

Today I have to do a bowel prep. Ick. Apparently, they have you do it in case they do have to do a full surgery because they would be so close to the bowel. I had a colonoscopy years ago, so I know what I'm in store for. Not excited. The toilet will be my friend today. Ugh.

My surgery is at 7:30am tomorrow. I'll update when I have a chance.