Sunday, September 25, 2011

Late Ovulation & Infertility Depression

As any infertile knows, we watch our cycles like the crazy, obsessed, women we are. I know exactly what day AF will show up. I know what signs signal impending ovulation. I know what EWCM is and what lack of it means. I know how to OPK and read the results with accuracy. I take my temperature every morning, before I do anything. I then record my temperature in a computer program which graphs my temperatures & symptoms and let's me know when I might be entering my fertile phase. Some days, I obsess over that chart... looking over it many times (as if it would change).

This cycle, I was well prepared for an early ovulation. I was expecting CD12-13. CD10 & 11 I had nearly +OPK and all the signs the ovulation was rapidly approaching. DH and I had backed off to our every other day schedule and began using Pre~Seed to help the swimmers quantity and motility. By end of day on CD11, I was in SEVERE pain. CD12 arrived with no sign of LH on the OPK and the pain reduced to moderate. My temps stayed down. I had another weird symptom this cycle, CD10-16 there was pink spotting. I've never had that, but hoped it was ovulation spotting. CD17 & 18, I felt my body ramp back up to try for ovulation again. By end of day on CD18, the pain was back. I woke to elevated temps on CD19 along with my post-O symptoms that arrive with progesterone.

By CD19 we were no longer in BD mode and had switched back to the "normal" frequency and had stopped using Pre~Seed. So, I know the chances of conception are pretty low as the swimmers probably had a low count from "overuse". :)

The good news... the late O has lined things up for me to be on CD3 when I see the RE on Oct. 11th so we will be able to sneak in a medicated IUI cycle if the RE thinks we are good to go.

The bad news... I am depressed. It's mostly an infertility issue... trouble is I can't take anything for it because I wouldn't want to get pregnant while on medication. I should find a therapist...

Oh the joys of not being able to make a baby.

Did I mention how angry it makes me to see these young girls, sleeping around, smoking, doing who knows what and neglecting their offspring?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gynecologist FAIL

Today I had an appointment with my "regular" gynecologist (as in not a reproductive endocrinologist). I went in because there's some weird stuff going on right now. It wasn't about wanting to get pregnant, in fact, I told him that we were considering putting the "baby thing" on hold until we figure out what is wrong with me. I hurt... a lot... and some other stuff that I'm not going to put out there on the world wide web.

He basically said, "take some ibuprofen and stop whining". Um, yeah... no exam... no lab work... nothing.

Guess I'm finding a new gynecologist. It's really not my fault he was behind and had a waiting room full of pregnant and menopausal women... I'm still paying him a whopping $250 for my 15 minutes.

What I assumed would happen... he would examine me to make sure the pain in my ovaries and cervix wasn't something abnormal (like a hugely enlarged ovary). I also assumed he would consider ordering some lab work to see if there was anything amiss. In the past, my gynecologists have also ordered ultrasounds when I'm having this kind of pain to check on the status of my ovaries AND they have also been known to do a biopsy of my uterine lining and cervical tissue.

Granted maybe all of that wasn't necessary today... but sitting there and telling me to go home and take ibuprofen without even a base exam (well, the nurse did take my BP and pulse when I arrived)... Makes me want to refuse payment.

This was his summary of my situation, (not an exact quote) "you are probably having an anovulatory cycle, with a large cyst that didn't rupture that is causing pain, your body probably didn't produce enough LH to rupture the follicle, you had some withdrawal bleeding because your body didn't start getting progesterone to support your uterine lining, you probably won't have a period when you expect to, go home, take some ibuprofen, keep your appointment with the fertility center in 3 weeks, those are hard to come by".

Okay... here's the deal. I am on CD17 and it's too soon to assume this cycle will be anovulatory, late ovulation obviously... of course my period isn't going to show up on CD29 like normal because I didn't ovulate on CD14 like normal (duh). The "withdrawal" bleeding was on CD9-15, so my body would normally be just starting to get progesterone from the corpus luteum and therefore it makes NO sense that the spotting was from lack of progesterone mid cycle. I've been having almost positive OPKs for 8 days now... so obviously my body has been TRYING to ovulate but hasn't produced enough LH to make it happen. Thanks for telling me everything I already know (or know can't possibly be the case).

So yes, I'll go away and leave you alone. I won't be seeing you again... ever. I still want to know why I hurt like crazy (especially with certain activities) and why I had midcycle bleeding that I haven't had in years (since my old issues were resolved). Thanks for brushing me off so you can see more important patients, the ones without problems you don't know how to solve.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Cost of Infertilty PRE-ART

Who said baby making was inexpensive? Since we follow NFP and therefore didn't purchase birth control, I'm not saving anything there. (Some of you may be saving $360+/yr, I save that every year anyway).

Our infertility related costs will be covered at 50% by our insurance company (including IUI and IVF) with a $5,000 lifetime cap. So, we might get one round of IVF paid for at 50% if we don't exhaust our lifetime cap with diagnostics testing and IUI before then. Some medications will be covered at 50-90%, we won't know which ones until our prescriptions are in hand.

Our fertility related expenses so far~

Pre~Seed $19.99 (monthly)
OPK's $20-$33 (monthly)
Prenatal Vitamins (food based, organic) $28.00 (every two months)
Other supplements for Manic Mama $75.00 (every two months)
Supplements and vitamins for Devoted Daddy $50.00 (monthly)
Pregnancy tests $20.00 (monthly because I'm pee stick obsessed)
Preventative yeast treatments (for end of AF) $15.00 (monthly)
Acupuncture for Manic Mama $65.00 (weekly)
Online fertility charting $50 (annual)

Pre-pregnancy dental exam/cleaning $85.00 (every one should have this, insurance pays 70%)
Regular gynecologist visits (3 so far totaling $167.00 out of pocket)
Lab work for Manic Mama $584.00 (funny, insurance doesn't like to cover infertility labwork)
Lab work for Devoted Daddy $112.00 (ditto above statement)
Infertility books $100.00

When our clinic appointment rolls around in October, we will pay $200 for the first visit (normal fee is $400). We are anticipating minimal/no testing in the beginning because our tests to date have already given a clear picture of what our issue is. We may opt for a hysteroscopy to make sure my uterine lining is not severely damaged from the previous surgeries. Our fear is conceiving and losing the baby (possibly late in the pregnancy) due to uterine damage. How this procedure will be covered by insurance we aren't sure... is my old insurance responsible since it's assessing damage from a previous surgery covered under them? Will my new insurance cover it as a medically necessary procedure (based on pain/cycle issues) or will it fall under infertility diagnostics?

I have researched standard pricing for many IF treatments, but the cost of our IUI will depend on a lot of factors including medications and monitoring.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Infertilty Recommened Reading

A Few Good Eggs
TCOYF (Recommend reading for all women)
How to Make Love to a Plastic Cup (For Dad to be, although I enjoyed it as well!)
Real Food For Mother and Baby

(The links will direct you to Amazon, I've included them purely for reference... I have nothing to gain by your use of them.)

First Fertility Clinic Appointment Coming Soon...

We are four weeks from our first appointment at the fertility clinic... this is the big guns, ART clinic. Manic Mama is ready to wet her pants with nervousness, apprehension, and excitement. Devoted Daddy is living in the world of "what appointment" which is pretty standard for men. :)

What we know... Devoted Daddy's swimmers are up to par when we take BD breaks of two days... Frequent BD was sapping the supply.

Manic Mama's cervix is scarred from previous surgery and doesn't make happy fertile fluid.

What we fear... the condition of Manic Mama's uterus. Did the former surgeries scar the uterus to the extent that we won't be able to conceive/carry???

Manic Mama is hoping that medicated IUI will do the trick for us... even with my religious objections to ART, IUI can be acceptable as long as we BD before and after the IUI. I'm still working things out in my head regarding my churches teaching on IVF and the reality that it may be the ONLY WAY for Devoted Daddy and I to have a child together...

What's a Half Full Quiver?

Devoted Daddy and I are not really part of the Quiver Full (at least not in the true context of the word)... what we are:

A mixed Christian faith household... Manic Mama is a Catholic Christian, Devoted Daddy is a Protestant Christian.

What we believe... Children are a gift from God, our arms (and hearts) are open to any and all children sent to us (we are pursuing foster parenting at this time).

Our family includes FIVE children related to at least one of us biologically (we are a combined household).

We desire more children.

As a Catholic Christian, Manic Mama believes in large families and Natural Family Planning (when spacing is needed). Devoted Daddy is in agreement, although has many moments of feeling overwhelmed by the demands of a large family.

Manic Mama believes that Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness EMPOWERS all women, strengthens marriages, and changes the mindset about families.

With a family of seven, our quiver is only half full... we have lots of room in our hearts, arms, & homes for the blessing of more children. BUT, we currently find ourselves battling infertility -- now called secondary since we both were part of primary infertility, but technically we are experiencing primary infertility since the two of us together have not procreated. :)

This is a place to journal our many struggles with parenting, infertility, and welcoming children into our lives however they arrive.

Psalm 127:3-5

Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.