Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Drained! (Ha! I made a funny....see below!)

First, thanks everyone for your calls, emails and "just checking in" efforts. Some days are harder than others and a few days this week have been particularly challenging...thank goodness for good family and friends.

We're officially underway to IVF. We met with Dr. R on Wednesday and loved him. He's our guy for IVF. He agreed that we both needed "some" blood work done. Some more than others, but I'll get to that. We talked with him for an hour and the rest of his staff for another hour. I had an ultrasound today (no appointment, just whenever I could make it)...the receptionist looked up as I walked in and without hesitation said "Hey Olivia - we'll take you back in just a minute." One minute later, the coolest nurse every (the one I talked on the phone when I made the appointment), cracked a joke as she called me back. I feel so much better.

So about the blood. Michael and I went in to Quest this morning. His lab slip had 1 item. Mine had about 25 items. Michael goes first because I'm so nervous (I haaattteee needles, especially the blood draw kind. I usually semi-pass out. I even passed out smelling-salts and all when I had my work TB test at work. It's weird, I know.) Anyhoo, Mike does fine. My turn. I sit in the chair and the Phlebotomist starts adding my draws into the computer. She is amazed to see a second page...but keeps typing. Then she can't figure out how to get all the items to print to go on the vial draws. Cut to the second Phlebotomist that comes in and takes charge...but not before she asks me how much I weigh because she's concerned about how much blood they are about to take. Cue Olivia sinking in the chair and looking at Michael like "get me out of here!". He just says "it will be OK, what's the big deal?". I'm like "duh, I'm scared to death!"

So, "take charge Phlebotomist" comes over, we talk about my Raynaud's disease, she sees a good vein, and boom she's in. The other lady starts counting vials, aloud. At 10 the "take charge" lady says "don't count out loud" because she knows I'm about to cry, blow up or hit her. Fast forward 6 minutes later, 25...that's right 25 vials of blood later, she finishes. She couldn't have been better - 1st stick, kept it moving, caring and smart. They filled up a gallon size zip lock bag with the blood draws. I still can't believe I lived. :)

Michael did have to drive me to breakfast because I was fasting, drained of blood and totally in shock...1) because they drew so much 2) because I lived through it and didn't pass out. After breakfast I felt better, drove myself to my ultrasound, got a good report, packed for Burton, TX and hit the road by noon.

I'm pretty darn pooped right now, but feel encouraged that if I can get through this that I can get through the injections and such.

Oh, right as for the update - everything looks good so far. I start birth-control today, have a saline sonogram week after next and start injectables in mid-July. So we're looking at a 8 week process. My lab work will come in pieces throughout. We're moving forward as though everything will come back great and if it doesn't we'll regroup, address the issue and continue to move forward.

I'm keeping my eye on the prize. With all this medical stuff it is so easy to get distracted by the chase of "achieving". Michael and I talked baby names today, something I haven't let myself do in a while. I keep picturing that beautiful baby that I just know is waiting for us and this all seems/is VERY worth it. Taking the easy route is soooo over-rated! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

OK, Air Drying

OK, feeling much better. Now I'm not hung out to dry...more like line drying in a better environment, like say, San Diego.

The doctor's appointment went great. Lots of activity - blood tests, sonograms, ultrasounds, etc. going on in the next two weeks. I'm super excited about the new doctor and feel that he is the right fit for us. Should everything work out OK with the blood work, then we'll start IVF in the next month or so.

Sorry if my last post was a weeee dramatic. This stuff will do that to 'ya now and then. Too bad I can't blame the crazies on Clomid this time... I'll just say the doubt and negative feelings were stress related, mainly because they were. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hung Out to Dry

That's how I feel. Hung out to dry with dwindling hope. If I had any answers, at least I'd feel that I was air drying in the wind or sun, or even in the rain which would refresh my pitiful state.

Right now I feel like like I'm in Houston, in an air locked container, expected to air dry with all the answers just dripping off me like humidity.

In reality, here is what I DON'T know:
1) What's wrong with us...why can't we have children?
2) How long this is going to go on?
3) Should we be successful with having one child, will it be in time to have more?
4) What will the doctor say tomorrow/ever?
5) How long will IVF take? Do we even need IVF? Will IVF even help?
6) Why do I feel all this guilt?
7) Why does IVF scare me?
8) How much more fight do I have in me?

Here is what I do know:
1) That I desperately want a baby.
2) That Mike desperately wants a baby.
3) That God has a plan.
4) That I am an impatient and I continually sin by doubting God's plan and by trying to make it my own.

Yes, I know it sounds raw. But, if the truth be told, this is what it is like the night before a big doctor's appointment.

I ask that you pray for my renewed faith in...everything. I need to find comfort in something and all that is coming to mind is Figi and skipping the country to get away from this unknown and effort. I also sincerely ask that you pray for our new Dr. - Dr. R's hands, mind and skills . That he be anointed with the Father's divine intervention to grant us our prayer which is very simply...a successful pregnancy and a child.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sharp left turn...

First, before I write this update, I want to give Glory to God for leading our path and caring for us along the way. I thank Him for placing people in my path and reassuring me with their caring words.

So know that as I write this and I sound a little put out it is just out of my selfishness of wanting things on my time and that I have to remind myself constantly that His timing is far better than mine.

Where to start? So Michael and I went to see an RE on April 26th. After reviewing our records and a quick physical exam, she told us that we were ready for IVF. She didn't pressure us - she just didn't feel that any other tests were necessary to move forward (if we were ready financially and emotionally). Check. Check. Sign us up. Though, before we left the appointment I expressed a few concerns about my autoimmune disease and my mom's history of autoimmune disease. As whack and looking for trouble as it sounds, I've always felt like I may be getting pregnant but having an immune response to reject the implantation. Call me crazy, but that is what my gut tells me is wrong. So the RE said that no testing was necessary and that my Raynaud's isn't the problem. My other concern was Michael's celiac disease. She also assured us that that wasn't a problem. So we leave the appointment a little stunned that it was just that easy to walk in infertile and walk out IVF patients.

I can't speak for Michael, but I think he was just relieved it was that simple. I have to say that I felt a little uneasy but didn't want to admit it because I didn't want anyone to think I was dragging my feet or being overly sensitive. You know the rest of the story about last month...I got busy with the Grand Opening of the hospital and we postponed the cycle. So, I was at my acupuncturist on Saturday and I was having a blue-hand day with my Raynaud's. My feet were like blocks of ice when she went to remove the needles and it took a few minutes for the circulation to come back. The Dr. asked me if my RE had plans to do an ANA or lipid antibody test on me. She mentioned a few other names of tests...basically ones that measure your body's reaction to intruders. These tests also test for Lupus. 85-95% of Lupus patients have Raynaud's. However, not all of Raynaud's sufferers have Lupus. Anyhoo, she said I needed more testing before moving on with the IVF. She was so surprised that the RE would move forward with IVF without running those tests. doubts about the thoroughness of the RE was at least supported. (Funny, I remember the first time I went to the acupuncturist, she said I had a cold womb...I should have known she was on to something).

So I'm at work yesterday and now everyone knows why I'm leaving. I mentioned to Director of Women's and Children's that I might need help with injections when Michael is out of town. So we got to talking. She used to work for a perinatologist. She out of nowhere she asked how my ANA, MTHFR, Lipid Antibody testings all came out. I'm like, I haven't been tested for that! It as the same exact stuff that the acupuncturist had just mentioned. So I try to call my RE for hours to insist that she order those tests. No answer at the office...just voicemail. Then to just add the last layer, my bosses boss stopped by my desk. Mind you she's doesn't even office at our facility, she just happened to stop by. She recommended a different RE and swore he was the best.

So I just picked up the phone and called the RE she mentioned. The office manager visited with me for 30 minutes. She was the most empathetic, wonderful person over the phone. She confirmed that her RE would not move forward with IVF with my autoimmune history without testing first because that is the main reason for IVF failure or early miscarry (which often goes unexplained). Thus we have an appointment with the new RE Wednesday of next week. It's a male, but at this point who cares the sex of the doctor? I'd rather go to a male that will listen to my concerns than a female that gives me an "I'm the doctor, not you" look after every question I ask.

Oh, I forgot the extra good news (ha!)...the tests can take up to 8 WEEKS to get in. Imagine the pit in my stomach when I know I have to call my husband to tell him on my acupuncturist, the President of a health care company and an OB specialists' recommendations that we're going a different route. I say this so definitively because I know that my gut has made up its mind and I'm not going back to the 1st RE. I literally prayed that Michael take the news well...which he did. I can't tell you the amount of guilt I feel about being infertile. Anyone can tell me how ridiculous that is and I know it. But it is still there. You always feel just a little inadequate especially for your husband who wants a family so bad. I am so thankful that he trusts me enough to explore this other option and just make sure everything is OK before we take the plunge. I needed his support badly and was just so relieved to know he agreed with seeing a different doctor.

Well that's where we are. Potentially several months away from IVF. We're doing our best and that is all we can do.

A couple of other updates:
  • We have a new dog named Rowdy - 1 year old yorkie - total pain in butt - freaking adorable.
  • My last full time day at work is Friday. Grown men have cried...that's how good of friends I have made. Thus I am staying on as PRN - so I'll be part time working from home here and there. Yay! I'm invited to come back to work anytime. I feel very loved and taken care of by all who know what we're about to do.
  • Michael continues to do well at his new job. He is in Jersey right now probably fist pumping and at the Gym/Tan/Laudry.
  • My phone and contacts are gone. New phone was a lemon and contacts got lost in the phone transfer. Send me an email with your number. I keep feeling like I forgot to put on my pants and then I realize it's just my phone that's not working and that is why I feel naked.

If you made it to the end of this post, I owe you a beer and you must really like me to have plowed though this zig-zag of a story. I'll end again with praising God for you, for me, for Michael and for continued hope that this will all work out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

facebook no bueno

Mental note: stay off Facebook on Mother's bueno.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cheers and Jeers...

Gimme an I, I! Gimme a V, V! Gimme a F, F! IVF! If you can't cheer about it, then why do it?! Get excited (!) no real updates except that we're moving forward this month. Once I start my monthly gift, we'll begin the process which begins with birth control for a couple of weeks then on with the hormones...etc. We're excited but a little in the avoidance stage. I'm not real stoked about the exposure to needles that IVF is going to dish out. I had a TB test last week at is negative but still bruised and swollen. My legs are bruised from crossing my legs. I can tap a piece of furniture with a limb and be black and blue. Let's just say the injections from IVF are not going to be pretty. Please, solemnly promise me to not judge me for the next several months. I think this is going to be intense. We'll see. So many people have told me that they will pray for me...

Speaking of people praying for me...lots more people know that we are going to be doing IVF because I told everyone at work...because I resigned. Ug. I just couldn't keep the pace and add in IVF. As most of you know, I cancelled our cycle last month. It was just too much. I think it will be nice, going back to a more simple lifestyle. It's hard with Michael traveling so much and me never being home. The dogs feel very neglected, our house is certainly neglected and my rest has been neglected lately. I'm going to stay on PRN (per required need). If they have a big project or if everyone comes down with the stomach bug they will call me. It's a way to keep my foot in the door. I just can't let go completely. As much as this job has totally drained me, it has also been a much needed diversion from the reality of infertility. I tell you - I work with a solid group of people and I am going to miss them like crazy. When you wonder where all the good people of are...I can show you because I've been working with them.

Lastly, I can't help but mention Mother's Day. What an ironic holiday. On the one hand, every Mother should be celebrated. On the other hand (and one I know I wouldn't have considered unless I had experienced infertility), Mother's Day is a tough one. I know I will one day join the masses be it achieved naturally, medically or adopted. Funny though, I feel like a mother regardless. It may sound stupid, but I truly feel like I have a child out there just waiting to make his debut and that makes me a mom in the making.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Who is still speaking to me?

Anyone? I wouldn't if I were you. I've been more than a little MIA. No posts, no calls. According to Michael, just work and a few minutes of sleep. Story of my life...I don't know if it's me, events/executive assistant roles or a lethal combo of the two that never lead to a pleasant work/life balance. Certainly this week has been one of the most demanding ever.

I'll post about the grand opening of the hospital soon, but first things first, we had our first Reproductive Endocrinologist appointment on Monday with Dr. Lee. She's cool. She recommended that we do IVF, duh. She feels that we may be the victim's of bad luck, dumb sperm or tough eggs. Knowing both of us, that makes a lot of sense. :) She said we had tried long enough and thought that if we were ready, she is ready. My physical exam showed great anatomy and Michael looks studly as ever. So your wondering where we are in this venture? Well no closer than we were before. I was to call the doctor when I started my period (Tuesday) and then start birth control this week (sounds weird, but standard). Also, I needed to travel back to Dallas to do some blood work.

Here's were I let everyone down. I know my limitations (kind of). I started my period about 4:30pm on Tuesday so I couldn't call that day. I had good intentions of calling on Wednesday but by then it was crunch time for the grand opening of the hospital. I'm pretty darn sure that I've never been so stressed in my life. On one had, I had a very public display of my abilities on Friday at, not one, but two events in one day. On the other hand, I have my heart and my husband hoping and praying that we have a baby as soon as possible. The days that followed included, I think, an anxiety related bug, because I threw up most of Tuesday night through Friday morning. I slept about 4 hours per night and by Thursday, I knew that this wasn't the best way to start IVF. Although being a mom is my priority, I had to finish up my project because that is just me.

One thing I've learned - I don't really like event planning! Ha! So much pressure in such a public way! It's not a written report that can be's a one time shot at getting it right. Not really my personality as I am a put it on paper until it is perfect kind of girl.

Excuses, excuses. I'm struggling with putting off IVF for work. I know the decision I made was right, but the other 50% of me (Mike) is pretty disappointed. Had IVF not worked, I would have always questioned if it was because I was so stressed when we began the process. We have to wait until I start my period again to move forward. I pray, pray, pray that I don't develop cysts between now and then which has been the case more than once.

For all you loved ones that I've not called back or check in with, I'm sorry. You wouldn't believe the sort of hours people are pulling starting a new hospital. We opened at 9pm on Friday BTW, about 30 minutes after the 2nd event concluded. I've never seen such dedicated people. Really good people that care about providing quality health-care...I think I've worked a lot should see some of the hours the clinical people work. I wonder at what expense though?

I'm all over the place tonight - I guess my main points are: I miss each of you who read this blog; we will be starting IVF next month in a very public way since I'm posting it on this blog; we will continue to eat ramen noodles because IVF costs a boat-load; we are fortunate beyond belief to be able to afford IVF and still have a roof over our heads and a comfortable life filled with love for each other, our family and friends, and for babies that have yet to be born to us; and life is a complicated mix of what to do with our time each day...with work, family, leisure and rest. Thank God we all have each other to stir that pot and hopefully have the good outweigh the bad.