Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Unsuccessful ....

Much to my utter disappointment we were unsuccessful with our first IUI attempt. I have officially started my period ... 3 days early, adding insult to injury. I am so annoyed at this point that I can't even cry about it like I want to. I again had myself convinced against all odds that I was pregnant (the eternal unrealistic optimist that I can be) although I can't be too mad at myself about it this time because it is a RIDICULOUSLY heavy period which might explain the mood swings, supppppper tender "chest" and etc. I really want to be a mom and have a baby but I would also love to be without my Endometriosis backed heavy periods! That would be really ... nice. That's all I can say right now without my mood turning too foul! I know God has a plan ... I'm just annoyed with Him right now, and a little hurt.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thank you

Thank you to all of my amazing friends and family who have been diligently checking in with us to see how we are doing, it REALLY helps! Hugs!

God takes care of us ... 1st IUI treatment completed!

I should know better than to stress, God really does take care of us. We were able to get to Seattle just fine and were able to complete our very first ever IUI treatment. I would love to say 1st and last IUI treatment but I don't want to set myself up to be disappointed, plus we want to have a few kids anyway so it is likely we would be back even if this one was successful. :0)

I am about to go into detail so family members who just DON'T want to know or people who get a little grossed out by medical terminology ... don't read below. LOL. I will save the minute details for my girlfriends. That much detail is a bit weird to post on a public form.

We went in to our appointment about a 1/2 hour early since the drive was not as bad as we were anticipating. They put a hospital bracelet on me then sent us over to the lab. This part was a bit awkward. Obviously my husband has to make a "baby making" donation but we just didn't know if I could go in the room with him. (Awkward question to ask.) The lady who showed us back had to call someone and confirm if I could or couldn't go with him. It was fine with some restrictions. The lady no joke said I could go in the room with him as long as "there is no contribution of any fluids”. AWKWARD! I told her "well that's special" and thought in my head, gross. It is just so weird to have to involve others in the possible conception of our child / children. The room had the expected entertainment items in the room and that was that. (I will leave those hilarious detail for my close girlfriends!)

After that strange encounter we went to the main waiting area to pass time until my husbands "baby makers" were processed. They said it would take about 1 1/2 hours. I finished filling out all of our Christmas cards and worked on knitted a scarf to pass the time. Good thing I brought stuff to do because it actually took 2 hours until I was put in a room.

While we were there the finance lady came out and said "Can we see Denny way from here?" She had just heard on the news that 2 buses had collided and their front tiers were now hanging off a I-5 overpass. That was a little scary! I saw it on the news later that night; Seattle hills and snow is not a good combo!

For the IUI treatment they like for your bladder to be full apparently, which I found out by accident when I asked the receptionist were the restroom was. I can not describe how full my bladder was, then to find out I can't go was just awesome. Ha, ha.

My part was supper fast. The nurse came in the room and had me sign a piece of paper confirming that the "baby makers" were my husbands, and then she explained the procedure to me and started. She drew up all 4.8 x 10^6 (apk. 4.8 million, you'd think that would be enough! LOL!) "baby makers" into the catheter (small, stiff tube thing), put in the torture devise (aka. the speculum) with water only mind you (fun, fun), cleaned the cervix with a jumbo q-tip then put the small catheter through the cervix and deposited the "baby makers" closer to their goal. None of it hurt too terribly but the sensation of something being were it shouldn't be is like being kicked from the inside, it makes you cramp a little, very weird feeling. My part took about 5 minutes ... after a 2 hours wait it was very anti-climactic. (No pun intended, ha, ha.) Mikel made a funny comment when the nurse left (I'll share with friends later) and we were on our way home ... and I could finally empty my bladder! Yippee!

The nurse said I can take a pregnancy test in about 2 weeks, so now I just have to relax and wait. Great, that should be fun. I am just so very thankful that we even got to go to Seattle and get the treatment done. I hope for us being pregnant but am glad that we finally were able to complete an actual fertility treatment ... finally! Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow, snow go away!

What an emotional roller coaster. Due to the beautiful snow the Tacoma office for SRM (Seattle Reproductive Medicine) is closed tomorrow! (I was told that the Tacoma employees were still trying to get home at 7:30PM.)
Our options are to have this month be a complete wash or drive to Seattle, in the lovely icy weather. My bum hurts way too much to let this month be a wash! (Seriously that shot makes you sore ... ha,ha!)

Needless to say my husband is not really happy about driving to Seattle, much less with the rain and snow. (He is native to California, after all.) I just hope we get there ... and safely! We have to go up for his appointment and then wait 1 1/2 hours for my appointment. Fun, fun. I am sure their waiting room is going to be packed.

I am actually currently stranded at a friends house due to the weather ... I hope tomorrow goes more smoothly!

Stressful, wish us luck!

First IUI scheduled!

Our First IUI has officially been scheduled for tomorrow!

I went to SRM today, despite the snow ... LOL! The doctor is really nice, he braved the traffic from Seattle and said it was really bad out in that area, so bad his wife was somewhat upset he was braving the "slippery" commute. (LOL, that's kinda funny.)

Well, according to the doctor my uterus this appointment is "textbook" and the fact that I have 2 dominate eggs is "perfect". That was nice to hear! They gave me a shot of HCG in the gluteus maximums to make me ovulate and said to come in for our treatment tomorrow. (Wow, is my bum sore!) My husband has an appointment an hour or so before mine tomorrow to get all of his baby making stuff ready. Then when I come in they will do the actual IUI treatment.

I am excited for the first time in a long time about the actual chance of conceiving. I know they said that our chances with IUI are remote and that we shouldn't get our hopes up too high, it's just hard not to. I often convinced myself I was pregnant when we had slim to no chance on our own, it will be hard not to be bitterly disappointed after doing an actual fertility treatment. (If it doesn't work.)

For right now I am really excited. So much so that even though I didn't get much sleep last night I am way to excited about the prospect of getting pregnant in the next few days to be able to take a nap. Wish us luck!

Many steps ...

Fertility treatments really show you if you "really" want to have children. For just THIS cycle (or try) we have a lot of appointments and things to do.

I had to call the nurse on day 1 of "that time of the month" then take Clomid days 3-7 to hopefully have my body mature more than one egg. Then on day 12 I have an ultra-sound to look and see if I did in fact have more the one egg mature. Then based off of that ultra-sound I will have the actual treatment done within a few days.

I have an ultra-sound appointment this morning and they will decide to do the treatment most likely Friday or Saturday. What they didn't tell us was that if we have to do the treatment Thursday or Saturday we have to go to thier Seattle office (instead of thier Tacoma office :o). I don't know about you but my husband randomly taking off to Seattle for 3 hours (round trip) during his work day without warning is not exactly looked upon in a favorable way. When I asked the nurse how people are able to do this she said "If you have kids you will have to take sick time, this is similar". I don't think a boss is going to see the "conception" the same way as an actual child you have here as sick but I understood what she meant.

It is hard to juggle everything ... I am very happy we have this opportunity and a part of me feels bad for even complaining. It is just hard when such a basic thing as "conceiving" a child becomes so difficult to "schedule". I hope tomorrow goes well!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our decision

We have decided to try 1-3 treatments of IUI and then pursue IVF if we are not successful.

We are hopeful but not disillusioned of our chances of success. It is daunting to think of taking on the financial burden of IVF.

The cost of IUI is about $1,000. Totally worth it for having a child! IVF with ICSI on the other hand is about $10,500 for ONE treatment and that does not include the several thousand dollar cost of medications! There is also a financing program through Intergramed called the "Cost Share Plan". This program is about $25,200 and also does NOT include the cost of medications. The benefit with this program is that you get up to 6 attempts to conceive and if you do NOT take a baby HOME or you opt out at any time, you get 70% of your money back! The minor downside of course being that if you conceive the very first time you just spent $25,200 instead of $10,500 but what is the price value of a new life???

We hope to start our very first cycle of IUI in December ... your prayers and well wishes is much appreciated!

Now what?

Well, that's a long answer too. The whole time we have been going to the fertility specialists we have been planning on doing a treatment called IUI. (Intrauterine insemination) It is where they take a spun-down, concentrated amount of my husband’s "baby making stuff" and place it with a catheter right next to the fallopian tubes. They also put me on Clomiphene Citrate to have me ovulate more than one egg and increase our chances of conception.

Yet, since Mikel's count went down instead of up our doctor recommended a fertility treatment called IVF with ICSI. IVF or "In Vitro" is where they take a lot of eggs from me and fertilize them outside of the body. ICSI is where they take a needle and physically put the sperm inside the egg. Anyone who has heard of that treatment knows that it is a CRAZY expensive treatment of which insurance basically covers nearly nothing.

The doctor that is treating us said that he would be fine with us trying the much less expensive treatment a few times but warns us not to anticipate it to work. (IUI is a fraction of the cost of IVF!) We met with the finance department at SRM and they were so helpful in breaking down every little detail of the cost of IVF. We were still VERY taken back by the tremendous coast! We had to spend a lot of time discussing our finances and praying about it before coming to such a serious decision.

What happened next?

Our doctors at Seattle Reproductive Medicine (SRM) were great about trying to use the least expensive treatment to help us conceive. They started by trying to treat my husband's sperm count and motility. The prescription he was put on was Clomiphene Citrate, however our pharmacy filled the prescription wrong. A month later we realized that he was on a similar named medicine that is for treating OCD and depression. We were really lucky it didn't hurt him and that he didn't suffer any adverse side effects! Lesson learned ... ALWAYS read the packet you get from the pharmacy before you take the medicine to confirm it is used for purpose of which you are being treated! Long story short ... the medicine did not help his sperm count, in fact it dropped. Oh yeah and he had an allergic reaction to the proper medication. Ha, ha. Poor guy just can't catch a break! I love him for trying though. I guess there is a lot of controversy in the debate in what can really help to treat male infertility. It was worth a shot though!


Mikel & I have been married for a little over 5 years now and we decided after a year of marriage to start trying for children. Like many couples with fertility issues we were completely shocked when we were unable to conceive on our own. Infertility in simple terms is defined as "attempting to conceive without success for more than 1 year." Now that we have 4 years + behind us we more than qualify per the definition.

I was accepted to nursing school this year so we decided to consult a fertility clinic to make sure we did not miss our opportunity to have children if we waited the two years that school would take to have children. The doctors were really wonderful and pointed out that there is no time like the present and there are many factors contributing to a somewhat hurried time line for us. To say that the prospect of going to school and having to go through fertility treatments is stressful is quite an understatement !

I decided to start this blog to keep our friends and family up to date as well as provide myself with a therapeutic outlet when times get really stressful and hormones really kick in. LOL! Enjoy!