Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Email Sent to NC Women's Birth & Wellness Center

Good afternoon,

I have been a patient at your center in the past, for well-woman care. A friend of mine recently became pregnant for the first time, through IVF (in vitro fertilization) and mentioned to me that your center no longer accepts women who conceived via IVF. I am curious to hear your reasons for this decision. As a center that says it promotes "dignity and respect", and "birth as a uniquely personal event", I am surprised to see IVF listed along with the other exclusionary criteria on your website. While I understand having disqualifying events that are actually medically based (such as prior surgery on the uterus, etc.), I don't see how a method of conception, in and of itself, fits with the rest of your list (from: 

Can you clarify the reasoning behind this? Currently, with the way it's listed, it seems to be a rather insensitive way to exclude women who already have been through so much and been made to feel so marginalized and even defective by the mainstream medical establishment. I am curious to hear the Birth Center's thinking on publishing this on your website, and what your reasons for this new policy are.

Thanks for your time in answering my question!

Better Today

Yesterday morning was rough, but things got better after that.

Duke called, and my lab results all are normal, although I won't find out AMH, probably the most important one, till Friday. That's basically a test of ovarian reserve. Mine has always been great, but I'm curious to see how it is now, considering my somewhat crappy embryo quality from my past two IVF cycles.

But what really cheered me up was a long walk in the woods with K and her dog. Having someone to talk to, who has been through this and reacts similarly to myself, is the best thing ever. It's gonna be hard once she moves away. I know, there is still email. Anyway, she reassured me that freaking out at the doctor's is totally normal, and that I shouldn't feel bad for having been so nervous.

Also, later in the day, I went to the support group, and B told me that her hydro was painful too. She just had downplayed it to me so I wouldn't get too nervous. Ummm. Not sure if that was helpful or not, but whatever, it's done.

Support group last night was nice. There were a bunch of new people and it was good to meet them. It's kind of scary when I am the most veteran member there. Well, B and H have been coming longer, but neither of them is about to start her 3rd IVF. I tried not to talk too much. I think many of those women honestly think IUI is going to get them pregnant, or maybe their first IVF, if they even have to get there. And good luck to them. I hope it does. I'm just jaded from my own experiences.

Anyway, only two more workdays and then I'm off on vacation! Now that the doctor's appointment is over, I can focus on that. The plan is to wait and get my period (probably around January 12th, if I have another 38 day cycle. Then two weeks of birth control takes to about January 26th, at which point I can start shots again. So, for now, I just go on vacation, and try to forget all about my fertility. I'm not even bothering charting/temping/fertility sex/blah blah blah- just going to enjoy my vacation and break from real life. I am looking forward to the next month.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hydo Sono Hell

Today was the dreaded hydro sonogram (water sono or 3-D sono, it seems to have several names). I had been assured by a few people that it wasn't too bad, and not nearly as bad as the HSG. Well, that's great for them, but for me it was not fun. Not at all. I was so nervous. Too nervous. My cervix cramped up and he had to try a couple of times to get the catheter in, and it kept cramping. I was sweating and thought I would either throw up or pass out. I wouldn't say the cramping was as bad as the HSG, but for me, it was close. Dr. M seemed to think I was a wimp. He said I have to relax for transfer, and that's very important. I felt bad because I've had three transfers (including mock) and never felt anything. Why was this so much worse? Same catheter, right? I'm confused and feel crampy still. Was it all psychological, because I was nervous? I feel like I did something wrong by being so nervous.

Also disappointing: their computers were down. So he couldn't give me any test results from last Friday. Or talk about the plan. All I know is that I have to finish this cycle (another 30 or so days, if it's like last time) and then do 2 or 3 weeks of birth control, then I can start. That puts me at starting stimming in mid to late January, which is fine. But I was hoping we could have sat down and talked about it, and dosages, etc. But no. He just said to call Mia, the IVF coordinator, in a few days. Um I think I will call tomorrow. I'm sure their computers will be up by then. They have to call me later anyway, to get the co-pay since the system was down.

So, bad morning, cried a bunch on the way home, still a tad bit crampy but it's fading. I had B drop me at home and I'm going to read and maybe nap later. Tonight is the support group and I have to talk about guidelines. What a crappy day. Life feels really unfair right about now, and really overwhelming.

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Clinic: Appointment #1

Went in on Friday for day 3 bloodwork and a baseline ultrasound. I'm still not totally clear on why I had to do an ultrasound, since I'm not cycling this time. But the doctor had asked for one, and besides, I always like confirmation that I have no new cysts.

In any case, everything was fine. I had a 7.5 size follicle on the left, and several on the right, with the lead one of 11.5. I did not get a total antral follicle count- forgot to ask, I was so relieved about the lack of cysts. I will ask when I am there tomorrow, meeting with my doctor. It was the nurse practitioner who did the scan on Friday. I really liked her. In fact, everything went pretty well at this new clinic. I only waited 7 minutes from when I arrived till I was checked in and led to an exam room. Everyone was polite. The room was nicer than my old clinic's rooms, with a smaller table to sit on and an, um, smaller sonogram wand. Everything was fast- in and out of there in less than 40 minutes.

No other news. Had a pretty good weekend, and didn't think too much about any of it. Tomorrow is the hydro sonogram. I was terrified of it, and I'm sure I will be nervous tonight, but after the stress of NOT getting my period, I am actually more relieved than nervous.

IVF makes you tough. Most people have sex to get pregnant. I go through repeated painful or at least uncomfortable procedures. Scans, retrievals, transfers, and a million shots and blood draws. To hear women complain about pap smears now makes me laugh. Most people who haven't done this can have no idea, no clue how much it is to go through (and let's not even get started on how much it costs- they fall over in shock at that).

So tomorrow is the hydro sonogram, also called the 3-D sono, and then we talk to my doctor about the results from Friday and the plan to go forward in January. I am looking forward to having these details settled. And then, on Saturday, we leave for our trip! Feeling excited!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hello, Old Frenemy

Been in a horrible slump the last few days, but late last night my old frenemy (friend/enemy), my period, decided to finally return (day 38 of my cycle!).

Never been so happy to see it in my life.

I now have two appointments scheduled at my new clinic: day 3 bloodwork and baseline ultrasound on Friday morning, and the dreaded water sonogram next Tuesday morning. I think I can do the Friday stuff alone, but of course B will come with me to the Tuesday appointment, where he will actually meet my new doctor and hopefully we will talk about the protocol for starting in January.

I am crampy and bloated and so, so happy to have gotten my period, and just hoping that I am cyst-free and can start as scheduled. What a huge relief.

Also, I feel kinda desperate, but I did call and schedule acupuncture sessions. I am starting in January, with three Thursday mornings set up. I would have liked to begin sooner, but we're leaving for our trip in 10 days, and it's just too crazy to try to do it now. I did not like my last experience with acupuncture, but most of it was the guy. This is all women, and a woman in my support group said they are great. They also work with my new clinic, which is nice. If I want to have a post-transfer session right at the clinic, they will do that. I don't know that I believe in it, and the studies are still contradictory at best, but perhaps it will help. Even if it can mitigate my anxiety during a cycle, that would be great. It's super expensive, but what part of this isn't. I guess it is worth a try. Whatever I can do differently this time, I will do. Hope this can be lucky #3.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ISO: My Period

Today is day 38 of my cycle. I am not kidding. Where, where, WHERE has my period gone?

I have only had one non-medicated cycle since my endo surgery last March, and it was 26 days. So I expected maybe a 28 or 30 day cycle... but 38 days!?!? Wtf?

If I don't get my period on day 46 or before (next Wednesday or before, and today is Tuesday), I'm screwed. It means that if I can't get my day 3 bloodwork and my water sono done before we leave next Friday for Ecuador, then I will get my period while we are gone, be unable to have the tests done, and then have to go a whole extra cycle before doing. So another 40 or more days, then do the testing, and then finish out that 40 plus day cycle. Basically, I won't be able to do IVF till March or so. I was supposed to be able to start in January, and this means an extra six weeks or more.

When I realized this, after calling the clinic and asking if there isn't anything they can do (answer: no), I had another meltdown and ended up crying in the conference room at work. B had to come get me and we went for a walk so I could calm down.

Why can't I ever get a break? It's bad enough that I have to have 8 failed Clomid cycles, 2 failed IVFs, an invasive laparoscopic surgery, endometriosis, and now I can't even have my period come in a reasonable amount of time. Day 38!?!?

I feel like I might lost all my sanity if I think about this anymore. If my period does not come by next Wednesday, I really am going to lose it.