Our TTC Journey – September 23, 2011 to October 12, 2011
1/11/12 – I wasn’t sure if I should post this entry….but, it’s my life, my blog and the truth soooo….here goes. But…wait….now that I’m pregnant, I avoid reading anything about miscarriage or anything negative re: pregnancy. While we were TTC, I was avoiding reading anything about infertility (except Nini’s blog) so If you’re TTC and not reading anything about problems of any kind, don’t read this…even though there’s a happy ending.
WARNING: This will be the longest post EVER.
Written September 23, 2011
Because I haven’t shared any of this yet, I’m getting the “don’t wait too long to see your doctor” and “have you looked into options” and “is John’s sperm OK?” comments from well meaning friends and I can’t really give a detailed response. There would be no way to avoid the convo. In my head I’m like STFU it’s only been a couple months!! But, I want to keep the energy around our fertility issues as “clean” and unsullied as possible. For now, the less people that know the better. Just me, Johnny and my Mom (who I probably shouldn’t have told yet) and my one friend who’s going through infertility issues herself and is knowledgeable and “gets” it.
That said….I’m writing this entry for the future. I’m writing this for the day I hit my 3rd or 4th glorious month of pregnancy and am sharing our news with all of our family and friends. I’m guessing with any luck that’ll be around March 2012.
I got off the pill in January, we were not trying for real until June 2011. When we didn’t have luck in a few months, August I figured I should see my doc just to make sure before we go any further that everything was OK on my end…plus my period was super heavy/painful which scared me a lil. I went to her and told her what was up. She referred me to a radiologist to have an HSG done on September 8.
HSG is a hysterosalpingogram (say that 5 times fast) a test to see if your tubes are open and uterus is free and clear…where a dye is released into your uterus and flows through your fallopian tubes and spills out at the ends and it’s all captured via x-ray. Well…that’s what happens in ideal cases. In my case, my tubes were blocked and not visible and all you could see on the screen was a sad triangle uterus (it was cute tho! But still sad). Both of those buggars were blocked. The process was uncomfortable, probably doubly so because I was anxious. I cried my eyes out, read my results seventeen thousand times, thinking somehow I was reading it wrong…..but whenever I closed my eyes I saw the screenshots of my cute lil triangular uterus….and no tubage. at. all.
I spent the majority of this month faking smiles and being a complete nervous, anxious, sad wreck. Worrying about what this means, what our options are, if we’ll ever have children, if we could afford whatever our options would be etc. I cried all the time. I read more about infertility and the various treatments than I ever had before. I couldn’t focus on work, or anything. I just wondered what this meant for us.
On September 22 I saw a fertility specialist who performed a sonogram on my uterus (put a lil sonogram camera thingy up my nani and looked around in there for anything troublesome) discussed my HSG results, planned a saline version of the HSG (I forget the name of that procedure right now) and told me, bad news: It’s impossible for me to get pregnant naturally. Good news: My uterus looks clear (so far) so implantation shouldn’t be a problem.
Then he gave us our two options:
1. Laproscopic Surgery – where they’d go in through my bellybutton and open up the tubes. But couldn’t guarantee how long they would stay open, and put me at higher risk for ectopic pregnancy (where the egg/sperm attach in the tube instead of in the uterus where it belongs)
2. IVF – where I’d take lots of shots of drugs for a month, get my eggs taken out, assessed, mixed with johns swimmers and popped back in to hopefully bake up a baby. But couldn’t guarantee I’d get preggo, though I was a good candidate. Also this option costs a bajillion dollars…..he did suggest this and let us know that it was our best option.
He forgot option number 3: Get a second opinion.
While researching fertility places on my own we found one spot that has the highest IVF success rates in the state, and decided to make that our second opinion spot, and if IVF really is the best option, we’d at least already be familiar with the doctor and the facility.
That brings us up to today, September 23, 2011. I’m here looking up the financials of this procedure just to be prepared for what lays ahead. My insurance doesn’t cover infertility treatments, and our pharmacy plan doesn’t cover infertility meds. FMLx2.
I’ve called several places with good success rates for pricing just for shits and giggles. It seems a round of IVF (w/ freezing of extra eggies) costs about $12,000-18,000 (including meds) in this bleeping town! Then if you need additional rounds with your frozen eggs its $3,000-4,000.
I make a decent salary and am an aggressive saver, but this is a big chunka money! Our #1 fertility spot (RMANY.com btw) told us about arcfertility.com which offers packages…that can make the burden slightly lighter. (sliiightly…as in barely.)
Also, NYC offers IVF grants….but RMA’s is all tapped out. As is NYU, Cornel and Columbia. All reputable names….but with lower live birth rates post IVF than RMA.
OK. So there’s the details, the technical stuff…the practical info.
But here’s the emotional side:
I feel fucking broken. BROKEN. I feel like the one thing I’m put here to do, I’m not capable of doing. Just broken. And it’s GUTTING ME! And it’s making me want to punch every pregnant lady I see right in her happy fat face. I know it’s awful. But I feel awful. I now know what it means when people say they could come apart at the seams at any moment. I’m always two seconds from bursting into tears. I’m just gutted and sad and scared and worried and nervous and anxious and lonely. (John is being super supportive and positive and just exactly what I need, but nobody can fix this kind of broken…and somewhere deep down I feel like he’s angry about it and has no where to turn to let that out either)
I just pray IVF works for me.
Written: September 29, 2011
I took a pregnancy test this morning and it was positive.
Yes, you just read that.
Backing up the truck…..My period was due on Sat/Sun…it’s now Thursday. I’ve got light cramping, and have had it all week, but no period yet. I took a test for some reason thinking I had a magical immaculate conception baby growing in me knowing that if I took the test, my period would come…since that’s how it worked every month we’ve been TTCing…..but then I saw two lines. *dumfounded*
Took another test. *dumberfounded*
I had spent all week researching RE’s, IVF, Laproscopy, Infertility, Blocked Tubes, etc etc etc. After reading all of it, downloading it and playing back what happened/what was said by doctors I decided that:
- a second opinion was definitely necessary in the worst way, first RE was super IVF-happy
- my HSG report said patency could not be verified not that my tubes were not patent. (that gave me hope)
- laproscopy may work though for how long it’s not clear, and may be able to be covered by insurance if I get a doc to agree to say it was diagnostic or for endometriosis and not for infertility
- since post-laproscopic patients are monitored so frequently it’s not as likely that an ectopic pregnancy would reach a dangerous level. (It’s not ideal to have one, but it’s nice to know that if it did happen it wouldn’t go very far.)
Despite that, I prepared myself for the worst. Made a mega savings plan, started looking for more clients, looking for a 2nd gig, downsized our Vegas trip bigtime *sniffle*, and researched inexpensive pharmacy options. Found the best IVF success rates and it’s still RMA no matter where I search and figured out how I’d pay for it and depending on my cycle when we’d start treatment. We have an appointment for a consultation at RMA on October 11th when return from our vacay. I decided to put away all IVF thoughts/plans/emotions until then. I felt sad and disappointed and still broken…but armed with info and a plan I felt a lot less gutted.
And then Boom. I see two lines on this test!
I did what any loving wife would do at this point…I ran to the bedroom, threw the lights on and woke my sleeping husband and shoved a pissy stick in his face. “Do you see the line baby? There’s two lines! Do you see it? do you see it? huh huh huh?!! See it?! Do you see the lines?!” (who wouldn’t want to be awakened in that manner?)
John yelled “NO!” and rolled over and covered his head with the blanket.
womp womp. I immediately thought I was seeing things. I wondered if I had turned into those obsessed women *COUGH*onjustmommies.com*COUGH* who convince themselves there’s a line where there clearly isn’t. But nooo….it’s really there…I SEE it….right? Right?
(later in the day John called me at work and told me he saw the lines….I guess he was just being mean from his lovely wake up call)
I’d convinced myself that my period was late because of my stress level and was pushing it out of my mind. But alas, my drawerful of unused preggotests won the battle and I peed on the damn stick. Drank a bottle of water and peed on a next one. Now I’m cautiously hopeful that I have a magical baby baking up in there! Because I’m neurotic I’ll probably test every morning until I either:
a) get my period
b) get a negative test
c) reach October 11th for our 2nd opinion without going insane.
So that’s where things stand today.
*HOPEFUL HANNAH SIDEBAR* If indeed I am pregnant, I’d have a summer baby! I’m just sayin.
*DEBBIE DOWNER SIDEBAR* If I’m really not preggo and the test was a fluke or ends up being a chemical pregnancy (read: really early miscarriage) I’m going to burn my tests as well as burn the company that makes them to the ground.
ok i wont really do that. but i’ll think about it in a very detailed way and plan it all out.
Written: Friday, September 30, 2011
I took another pregnancy test this morning and the line was darker than yesterday’s. I didn’t abuse my husband this time. I just left the test on the sink for him to see. I emailed my doctor the whole story (an abbreviated version of what’s above) and asked if she thought I should come in for a blood test in a week or so, after Vegas of course. I guess I really am not believing this could be happening.
Her response: “WHOA!! Come in today!! I’m here 10-5!”
All day at work my head is spinning. I can’t focus on anything. All I can think about is if I’m really pregnant, and how? and oh my god I drank, oh my god I ate so much sushi, omg I haven’t been taking my prenatals, omg now I can’t get laser hair removal (i know…shutup), omg i haven’t taken my folic acids, omg I haven’t been drinking water, omg I took so many advils, omg I’m not working out enough, omg I this, omg I that, omg I omg I omg omg omg.
I am scared to believe yet worried at the same time.
To calm myself from going completely insane I start a mantra, “I am pregnant and my baby is healthy.” and say it a trillion times in my head during the work day.
I get to her office, pee in a cup and wait.
She comes in and takes some info from me and then breaks me into little bitty pieces.
“You’re not pregnant.”
I just stared at her. And I’m like …. “but…I am pregnant and my baby is healthy!” (like a dumbass)
Then she started to explain chemical pregnancies and how they’re common…and bla bla bla….and I say again (like a dumbass) “but I’m pregnant and my baby is healthy!” (i may or may not have yelled it this time)
So she decided to get her nurse in to give me a blood test. Most likely to shut my simple behind up.
They take my blood and the nurse says she’ll call with my results on Monday. “But It’s Friday you cruel bitch!” (I didn’t say that, but I thought it in a mean voice!) That’s a long ass wait.
I’m on the verge of tears and want to stab everybody, but I polite myself up, thank the doc and start to leave.
My doctor pulls me aside as I’m leaving and says “I’ll get the results around 11 tomorrow, I will be sure to email you as soon as I get them OK?”
“OK” I squeaked (seriously it was a squeak)
Burst into tears and ugly crying as soon as i’m on the elevator and call John.
F. M. L. and F mantras. F every effing thing.
Written: Saturday October 1, 2011
My plan today was to get my mind OFF of possible pregnancy. I went to brunch with my friend Vanessa (But checked my phone eight thousand times during the meal) and then went to get mani/pedis.
I checked my phone fiftyeleven times there too.
At 1:15 I get an email from my doctor.
I didn’t even read the rest of the email before I got all giggedygeeked. I was getting a pedicure at this point and just shouted down at Elsa, I’m pregnant!!! EMBARAZADA!! Vanessa came over to give me hugs and took a picture with me and the official news on the phone lol.
I then read the email and she was just telling me my levels are good and she’s not sure what was up w/ her test, and scheduling some future visits and hcg level monitoring….
I wanted to jump out of that pedicure seat and do somersaults up and down the salon. And I totally would have, if my feet weren’t wet….and I knew how to do a somersault.
Instead I called John.
I said – “Hi Daddy”
He shouted – “REALLY?!!! REAALLLY??!!! I knew it I knew it I knew it!!!” Then he started cussing out all the doctors we’ve been to, calling them all kinds of MFers and whatnot.
I started to cry. (I cried more this month than I’ve ever cried in life.)
(sidebar: when I was a lil girl I cried for everything, and my mom told me a story about a girl named No Tears Tanya who cried so much she ran out of tears and couldn’t cry when she really needed to, so I wouldn’t “waste” my tears on foolishness. HA!!! I think I believed her.)
I called my parents and told them the latest news, but didn’t tell my brother, just in case anything happens. As happy and excited as I am, I’m still nervous.
I went shopping afterward and while browsing baby things (don’t judge me, I didn’t actually buy anything) I get a random text from my friend Kim, “You should go get acupuncture from my cousin, she helps a lot of people get pregnant!” I wanted to reply “Too late beeyotch I gots a baby on board!! Waahooooo!” But instead I was just like “Thanks, I’ll consider it.”
Written: Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I had blood drawn yesterday before heading to the airport. Today’s email from my doctor said my hcg levels have jumped from 160s to 1000s in 5 days and were looking good!! I’ve been testing every single morning since my first blood test just to see if the line gets darker than the control line. I know that’s not exactly scientific and accurate like a blood test, but it was making me feel better to see that line every morning getting darker and darker.
I’m really excited, but also nervous and anxious. My main worry is an ectopic pregnancy, and second worry is a miscarriage of any sort. We had a sonogram scheduled for Friday the 14th, but we’ve decided to change doctors (to one more convenient, time and location-wise) so we now wait until the 18th to meet with the new doctor for the first time. Longest wait of my life!
October 12, 2011
I started this post thinking it would be one loooooooong post to take me from September to January and through IVF and all that drama….instead I get a happy surprise! Hallelujah!!
I’m so grateful that September’s diagnosis was incorrect and our TTC journey was as short as it was. I have read about a lot of women who get pregnant on the cycle they have an HSG done. Maybe my tubes were blocked and somehow the procedure opened them up? Maybe the procedure wasn’t done well? I dunno…
I don’t know if I’m strong enough to have gone on the long fertility journeys some women unfortunately face. If one month of drama had me going crazy, I can’t imagine one year, or more. My heart has always gone out to women who have had infertility issues…but now the little taste (barely a nibble really) of the issue I faced makes me feel that much more for all those tough women going through it. It’s just heartbreaking. Hell, it’s lifebreaking. HUGS and love to anyone reading this going through it right now. You guys are so strong.
Well, I am 6 weeks and 3 days along today (but who’s counting) and I feel like the luckiest and the happiest woman on earth. So I guess I can let this post go bye bye and post it after I announce my pregnancy.
I pray every day that this baby is healthy and strong. My fingers will stay crossed…likely until the day my lil bunny pops out.
What I learned from this:
- I am more fragile emotionally than I ever thought. (But I’m still gangsta dammit!)
- John is the best partner/friend/lover/co-D/ in the world (for me!)
- Never accept a first opinion, always get a second (hell even a third)
- Always make a plan of action (and hopefully you wont need it)
- Don’t stop having sex in the face of bad fertility news (if we had, there’d be no Embry!)
- Educate yourself as much as you can and research on your own (even if just to calm your mind)
- Find someone you can vent/cry/wail/talk/whine to. Don’t bottle everything up.
- Miracles happen
- Dreams come true
- The SART Website (they rank IVF centers by live birth rate by mother’s age!)
- IVF: A Patients Guide (get the 2011 version)
- Surviving In Vitro Fertilization (for inspiration from past patients)
- Making Babies (I only read part of this book while we were TTC, but it was great!)
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility (AMAZING, INFORMATIVE, AWESOME for every woman)
- The Fertility Diet (I didn’t read this, but was recommended this by several friends/bloggers)
Thanks for reading this long ass pictureless post…
Have you had any incorrect diagnoses from doctors in the past? How long was your TTC Journey? Any bumps in the road?