Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's rare, but it sometimes doesn't suck...

So I told Michael that I need to do everything necessary to relax during the next month. Of course that includes acupuncture which is scary then amazingly relaxing. I also find that the most awesome place on earth is Coldwater Creek the Spa. I love the relaxation room and the steam shower which I find almost as peaceful as the service itself. Sooo, I mention to Michael that in addition to the financial beast that is IVF, that I'm probably going to need to hang out at the spa when the needles make me have anxiety (I promise I'm not being dramatic...I really hear the more you relax, which is not my strong-suit, the better the outcome). Michael could tell that I was feeling guilty even mentioning that I wanted to spend more money. So, in addition to getting all my IVF meds in the mail yesterday, I also got a sizable gift certificate to Coldwater Creek the Spa from the hubs. The card noted "for the health of his wife and unborn child". Very sweet. He told me "now I don't have to feel guilty about taking care of myself". Did I mention I married well? I did. :)

He even offered to let me punture him with an ice-pick everytime I have an injection...what a guy!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Let it Rain!!!

Well sometimes it takes cold, hard cash to renew one's spirits. The quick story is as follows...

I spent several hundred minutes on the phone today lining out when we're getting our IVF meds. This shizzle is like rocket-science by the way. Meds coming from California, insurance, doctor's office, must be home to sign, bring the meds to your appointment....anyhoo. Through the details, I uncovered a little glitch I hadn't realized before. One thing led to another which led to a phone call about 6pm that our IVF meds are covered by insurance. A little piece of the pie, eh? With my Lovenox injectibles, our IVF meds were close to $3,000 before insurance! Now, try under $500!!!! Wow, WOw, WOW!

I love how God provides. I needed this boost. Even if it is just money (BTW, this little road has truly showed me how disposable mula can be when you are spending it on something this important...good lesson for me). I love God so much as he always reminds me how he has provided and how fortunate we are to be able to afford this procedure. Tonight I know of a young 8 year old battling cancer and a 2 year old also fighting a really hard battle with cancer (this one happens to be a distant cousin...without insurance). I love being able to contribute now, willingly, gladly and with the reminder of God's care and how we are expected to extend that care to others. I can't wait to send some of our cost savings to others!

I'm back! I hope this optimism sticks. It becomes me much better than the evil twin who has taken over the last few weeks!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Needle-me this...

I have all these fun blog ideas during the day. Most of them are happy, upbeat daily stuff. However, usually, by the time I sit down and blog, I forget the cutesy stuff is and just blog about this stupid fertility stuff. Three random things on that topic...

1) I went to acupuncture today. Fell right asleep. What is hilarious is that I go to acupuncture for the health benefit as well as the anxiety relief about IVF. So I'm fighting needles with needles! This whole process is really strange.

2) We're starting IVF soon. I'm not sure if I want to put the dates/expectations out there just yet. I think maybe I'd like to blog during the process kind of a "pain in the butt/stomach" play by play, but I don't know. I mean everyone who reads this will probably know by the giant explosion that is my head popping off if this doesn't work, but I am going to have to really think about the pro's and con's of displaying the process so publicly.

Oh and more fun stuff...the Levonox shots in the stomach will be part of our IVF protocol to treat my gene mutation/clotting disorder. I'm freaking out a little bit, but such is life. We did have good news that my thyroid is fine so we just have to keep to testing it.

3) When I look back on the content of this blog, I think I'll see it as the best of times and the worst of times. What generations in the past have put in their "never to be seen" journals, my generation (or younger generation) displays to everyone. Reading over what we've been going through is not pretty. It is not a perfect life in the suburbs; put my full face of make-up on to go to Target; I'll be at the gym before bunco; let's have a dinner-party, I'll bring the main dish; oh everything is fabbbulous daahling; my live is perfect...type of blog. Rather it is turning out to be: I am sometimes normal, sometimes not; you thought you knew me, but maybe you don't want to know me this well; this part of being an adult sucks; and temper-tantrum throwing account of life during a very challenging time. I'm constantly embarrassed and sometimes even a little proud to think of what I've put out there in my darkest hour. Regardless - it's out there. If you are readying this then you probably read the rough stuff and I guess that you've figured out that this whole jet-setting, super-model, Nobel peace prize winning life I lead is just a facade. :)

All this being said, I am thankful that God put us in a time when science can offer options for us to be able to further attempt to have a baby. I think of women 50 years ago that suffered without the options we have now. I continue to pray that God will work through Dr. R's hands and that this will work out!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits...

And this is me just sitting eating my pinky fingernail. It was taken without my knowledge in Puerto Vallarta in February. I have no idea if this picture is relevant to anything, but sometimes I just feel that this represents me right now. Just sitting and thinking...I should have put a pina colada in the other hand and my thinking would look much more festive sitting out on that patio!

Right now I'm thinking about this...
And what to make for dinner. I think my mom and dad are driving down so we may just grill at our house. Steak for sure...

Also thinking about what amazing taste I have! :) I bought Michael this shirt for Father's Day.

I was told I was the bestest wife ever for getting him a gift. If nothing else, he is a fabulous fur-baby parent and he should be freaking celebrated for allowing a mini-Chihuahua followed by a mini-Yorkie into his household. And as if that isn't enough, he walked Ellie once on a pink leash because that is all we had. He is a real man and a real dad. So he got this very fine shirt from J. Hilburn.

Lastly, I think a very HAPPY FATHER'S DAY is in order ! Happy Father's Day to our fathers -Cordel, Glen and Steve. And our grandfather's - Grandpa Haymond and Papa Fred. I am very thankful and proud of each of these men.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

No Really. It's Not You, it's Me.

Last Tuesday, I went to see Dr. R to get my test results as well as to have a saline sonogram. I was most worried about the saline sonogram which actually became the least of my worries. He gave a uterus update and I have a very nice looking environment. I believe Dr. R called it cute. A little, nice, cushy home. Anatomically, I look good which made for an easy procedure with minimal (albeit, a little) pain.

Sooo, for the test results. The good news is that my follicle stimulating hormone was in better shape than last time it was tested; in fact it was within the realm of normal. That is the hormone that shows your egg reserve. BTW, when the hell did I get old enough to worry about that? I guess overnight, when I was dreaming of having it all. Regardless, that is a good thing. Sounds good so far, huh? Well there is more.

My thyroid was screwy. I have an appointment with an internal medicine doctor on Monday to address this item. Hopefully it will be a one pill a day, quick fix.

And then the jaw dropper. I have a MTHFR double chromosome mutation. Sounds like I should be the leading character in Avatar. Like I have a tail, and blue skin, and webbed feet. While I have none of those, what I do have is a bit of a problem.

From what I understand, in a nutshell, is that I cannot metabolize folic acid and B12/B6 are also affected. According to some of the research I've done (crazy, infertile lady with a computer and Internet out medical world!) is that a fertilized embryo tries to impact and begin splitting, the deficiencies in the three vitamins hinder its growth and leads to its demise. Most people wouldn't know they are pregnant. I'm pretty sure this has happened to us twice but I don't really like to think of it that way because that would mean I've had two m-words (maybe more) and my little heart can't take truly internalizing that right now so moving along.
How do you fix it, you ask? I've been put on a vitamin that has the metabolized form of folic acid, B12 and B6. It should fix the deficiency. I crack up when I think of all the orange juice, spinach and avocado that I've eaten in the last two years, thinking, "hey baby (if you are in there this month) this stuff is good for you and see what a great mommy I am already feeding your little splitting cells?!" Well not so much. At least I've tried!

The gene mutation is actually considered a vascular disorder as it leads to the build up of some gunk in the plasma due to something related to a bi-product of not being able to metabolize the folic acid. I won't pretend to know exactly what this means, but for fertility it is considered a blood clotting disorder. So I'll take a baby aspirin when I get pregnant.

The kicker is the potential that I may have to take Levonox or Heparin injections throughout the pregnancy in the stomach. They hurt, I've been told first hand.

When I've said "I'll do anything to be pregnant" this would be considered everything. I know it sounds like "oh, big deal" but I just got to the point that I am comfortable to do the injections for IVF...which last about a month. If I have to do the heparin injections, that equals about 275 injections in the stomach, not that I've done the math.

The doctor isn't sure he would recommend this protocol of injections anyways, because it thins your blood so much. So if I had an miscarriage, car accident, etc. it could be very dangerous. Sooo, basically we've gone from infertile, to maybe fertile all along, and now high-risk. I'm still a little in shock. I really thought he'd tell me that I'm the picture of health...let's get on with IVF, to fill your perfect little uterus! Not so much this time.

There are some long term affects of MTHFR which might actually explain some of my mom's health problems assuming she's the carrier of the mutation so this discovery might actually help her so that is good news. They recommend that my parents are tested. $5 bucks says my mom is the carrier! If she is, maybe she'll feel better if she starts taking the vitamins.

We have a pow-wow with Dr. R in a week to figure out if IVF is still necessary (I think we are just ready to do it since one of the benefits will be the close monitoring, etc). The ironic thing about this is how many times have you seen me write/heard me say, I just wonder what is wrong with us?! Why are we unexplained?? Well now we may know. And I tell you, I can't say I feel much better...yet. Now that there is a problem, it feels a little like we are headed towards Mordor and there is just another mountain after the hill we just climbed. I know how selfish and poor-poor me that sounds. But it's the truth today.

I'm a little scared. I'm waiting for the initial wave to go away and the adrenaline to kick in to just squash this obstacle.

*Editor's note: Ha! It's my blog, so calling this little ad lib an editor's note is really not necessary, but I thought it was "official" sounding. Although I'm just now publishing this post, I actually wrote it on Thursday. I'm publishing it on Sunday night and already I feel better. I started to edit the above, but think it is better to just leave it as I was feeling when I wrote it. I've concluded my research about MTHFR and it ranges from super scary to no big deal. I'm going with the latter and trusting my doctor and God to take care of the rest. Again, thanks friends for listening, caring and comforting me this week. I assure you, as self-absorbed as this whole infertility ride seems, I'm just as ready as you are for me to hand in my infertile ticket!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Michael and I went to his family farm in Burton, TX for the first part of Memorial Day weekend. It is a very special place for his family as it holds so many fond memories of his grandparents and family gatherings. It is also one of our favorite places as a couple because it is the place we got engaged and have spent many of our marriage anniversaries celebrating there. It's been a while since I've been there, probably a couple of years at least. So we decided that before it gets too hot (umm, should have tried March!) that we'd make the trek, just the two (errrr 5, with the dogs) of us. We packed the truck and headed south!! You wouldn't believe how much dog cargo we had. The farm is pretty primitive so we couldn't just let the little dogs run around, so of course we had crates, bedding, bones, toys, food, etc. etc. They will definitely have to stay home when we have kids or we'll have to buy a motor home to travel.

We arrived on Friday night. After unloading, I rested (I had all that blood work done that morning) and Michael mowed and fished. We had dinner at the Brazos Belle, which was yummy and quaint. On Saturday Michael woke up with major allergies so we slept in. We had greasy-spoon breakfast at the Burton Cafe followed by a lethal dose of Benadryl for Mike because his allergies continued to worsen. So he napped and I read (notice a restful trend here?).

Around early afternoon we went to Brenham where I wanted to buy EVERYTHING. We're in the process of re-doing Mike's office, so we bought this is to go on the hard-woods in his office. We affectionately call him Brutus. The dogs think he is their long, lost brother.

So Brutus was a bit overpriced, thus we headed back to the farm to conserve funds for until dinner. I decided to show Michael how to fish or look cute fishing...I can't remember which. :)

After fishing, we took cold showers...because there was no hot water! Brrr, thank goodness it was 100 degrees outside or I might have checked into a B&B. We wanted to grab some family photos whether my hair cooperated or not...check 'em out. After the family photo shoot (the dogs don't take direction all that well, but they are sweet!), we went to Royer's Cafe in Round Top for our favorite meal. Steak, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, apple pie and wine, oh and a stuffed quail for an appetizer. IT IS THE BEST MEAL EVER!!! I crave it frequently and it certainly didn't disappoint.

It was a great trip. No TV, lots of time to talk, rest and just be together in an environment that is so dear to us. Much needed and much appreciated! Love you, Mike!