Pins and Needles

…and I’m the pincushion! (yet another infertility blog)

Hurry up and wait January 3, 2007

Filed under: Infertility-general,IVF Cycle 1 — Michelle @ 2:36 pm

Well, I haven’t yet gotten my blood work results yet. Heck, the blood was only drawn this morning. But even before the blood draw, it had been decided that I have to wait out this cycle due to a cyst. The Dr. didn’t even recommend birth control pills – which are known to reduce cysts. I guess they don’t want you on them too many months in a row, so it is better to see first if the cyst will resolve on its own. Honestly, I’m not too upset, as I kind of like the idea of one more month to try on our own and see if God can make a miracle for us without the high tech stuff.

I’m still going to hound them for the results. I want to know my FSH, LH, and E2 levels and I’m still very curious to see if my prolactin is elevated or my thyroid levels are off. More next time.


Blood gone bad January 2, 2007

Filed under: Infertility-general,IVF Cycle 1 — Michelle @ 9:46 pm

I waited and waited for the results from my bloodwork. I finally called the RE’s office last week to find out if they had heard anything. They called back asking me which lab I had my blood drawn at. I tell them and finally heard back from someone about it on Friday of last week. Evidently, my blood work was sitting at the lab all that time (for a week) untouched and under someone else’s requisition! I was now supposed to trust them that what they found is actually my blood. Yikes. Four days go by and I finally learn today that evidently those hopes were in vain. My blood was thrown out. Lovely. I will have new blood drawn tomorrow along with my day 3 bloodwork, though tomorrow will actually be day 4. Thus begins IVF cycle #1… or does it? I’ll update tomorrow or as soon as I have results.


We have a plan December 21, 2006

Filed under: Infertility-general,IVF - general — Michelle @ 8:06 pm

Well, we met our new RE yesterday, and we both liked him a lot. He is very easy to discuss things with, obviously very experienced and knowledgeable, but also very professional. He agreed that IVF looked to be our most likely chance at success. He offered us opportunities to pursue the cause(s) of our infertility more if we wished to but was also very open to skipping it and heading right for treatment.

The plan is to do an IVF cycle in February with January being a cycle for bloodwork, testing, sonohystogram, mock transfer, and bcp’s to begin my system’s suppression. February will be the month for the actual IVF: stimulation, egg retrieval (ER), and embryo transfer (ET) and the infamous 2ww. We also need to have Steve do another S/A to determine if we will need ICSI or not. The Doc thinks it likely that we will. I have been hoping we could avoid it. I guess we’ll see what the S/A shows under Kruger Strict Criteria for morphology (KSM).

The Doc ordered a slew of bloodwork, some of which is standard pre-IVF stuff, and some are hormone tests he is running due to some concern that I might have elevated prolactin levels. He suspects this because I had some milky discharge from my nipples (yeah, thanks for pinching them, doc!) which I guess I’m not supposed to have. I hope that it turns out to be nothing of concern. I honestly suspect it might be from some meds that my regular doc put me on to help prevent migraines, which I get in abundance.

I’m going to get my first poke tomorrow for all the above-mentioned bloodwork, but I don’t expect results til after the new year, though I suppose anything is possible.

We did have a brief insurance scare. I thought I had verified that infertilty diagnosis and treatment was covered by our insurance, but when the RE’s office called they received some different information. The print-out we received that recorded the conversation indicated that sperm prep, IVF, and ICSI were *not* covered services. What!? We were actually quite preoccupied with this throughout our appointment and until today when we were able to follow up and get clarification. We were so relieved to find that the insurance does in fact offer benefits for infertility including IVF and ICSI. Whew! That was a close call. I was afraid I was going to have to end this blog right after starting it. I can’t even imagine how much of a relief this is. I stress so much over money (I know I shouldn’t, it’s something I’m working on) and have felt for us that our money was better spent on adoption rather than IVF. I know others feel differently, and I have no judgments against anyone else for choosing differently. That is just how we felt.

Anyhow, I’ll update soon… BTW, for those who are interested, cycle day 1 is expected on or about January 1, 2007. What a way to start the year!


Remembering the darker days December 18, 2006

Filed under: blogdom,Infertility-general,looking back — Michelle @ 1:40 pm

My heart goes out to Julie. Her blog helped me immeasurably back when we were previously ttc (pre-adoption). She is a witty writer, but I guess even Julie is not immune to the lowest of the lows.

Her post brought back memories of the time when I hit bottom. It was truly the darkest time in my life. I remember begging God to bring me out of that dark pit somehow – by conception or by death (hey, I warned you they were dark days). Then, just when I didn’t think life could get any worse, Steve lost his job. We were infertile AND unemployed. I had been fighting the dark demons of depression at that time, and I attended a family reunion at the beach that was supposed to be this wonderful fun time. I arrived with this deep sadness I couldn’t shake. Still, I thought I was going to get through it okay until my cousin (who was married the month we started ttc) announced they were expecting their first child. I think this must have been about 2-3 years into our ttc journey. I stuffed the tears then (though it was HARD) and tried to get through the remainder of that day. Steve had stayed back in Arizona to pound the pavement for that special job we just knew must be waiting for him (ha ha). I failed to “keep it together”…miserably. I ended up getting out of bed around 1 in the morning and wandering outside to the ocean’s edge and crying like I had never cried before. I wailed. I sobbed. I screamed. I sat on a rock and cried until about 3 or 3:30. Then I went inside and crawled into bed exhausted. Spent like I had never been spent before.

“Joy comes in the morning…” The joy, the brighter side, did not come the next day or the next week. But things did improve. I made a decision that very week to choose to believe that God is really good. Because either He is good or He is horrible, and the latter was not something I would accept. I didn’t “feel” the truth that God was good, but I chose to stand on it in faith. It was hard. It was slow going, and it was a long journey. But I did come out of that dark place slowly and surely. The period of unemployment lasted a full 18 months, but I never felt as low as I did at the beginning when I cried my heart out on that rock. Eventually, I felt better and ultimately I reached a place of contentment and peace. And this was all before we adopted! The peace did not come from achieving motherhood, it came from trusting God to be God.

Hang in there, Julie. You are not alone.


Let there be hope

Filed under: Infertility-general — Michelle @ 11:42 am

Our appointment with the RE is Wednesday, and I’m already getting excited and anxious to see what he is going to say we can do and when. I am trying to be realistic and I know it may be a couple of months before we get to start our IVF cycle in earnest, though it is my desire to get started as soon as possible. Of course I also know that it might not even work, and, ultimately, I’ll be okay with that. But for the present, I don’t want to rob myself of the opportunity to enjoy the possibilities while they are open before me. To quote the title of a book I once read, “Hope has its reasons.” We seem as humans to be wired for hopefulness and opportunity, and I always find it sad when I hear of people who feel truly hopeless.

I have learned (and continue to learn) that so long as my hope is in God and not in any particular circumstantial outcome, I will not be disappointed. Ever. Now… holding onto this truth while in the midst of trying circumstances is one of the real challenges of life.

And so here we go…


Pincushion practice December 14, 2006

Filed under: Infertility-general — Michelle @ 12:12 pm

After all the cycles of injectibles we did – well, okay, so it was only 2 or 3, it certainly seemed like enough – I thought I was totally over fear of shots and needles. But there is something terribly disturbing about getting poked in the back – yikes! I had a couple of moles removed from my back last week, and I have to admit to shouting out in pain when she jabbed (yes, jabbed!) me with the anesthetic. It hurt! And not only that, but I got super queasy afterward and almost passed out in the grocery store. It was way up there on my “most embarrassing moments” list.

I’m still not terribly nervous about the shots aspect of doing IVF but it did give me a renewed respect for needles. Thank God IVF doesn’t require shots in the BACK.

One of my biggest issues to decide if I ever get pregnant is whether or not to take the epidural. Oh well, not a question that will keep me awake at night. The “IF” feels too big right now to bother with.


The “wait and see” approach (AKA “Make me pregnant NOW or else!”) December 11, 2006

Filed under: Infertility-general — Michelle @ 3:11 pm

We have our RE consult next week. Part of me is excited to be moving forward. Another part of me is rolling my eyes in frustration anticipating delays or boatloads of tests, and of course there is always a part of me that wants to run away screaming in any direction that will lead me far from the RE’s office.

I don’t really know what to expect at this appointment. Part of me – the optimist – wants to think that we’ll be able to dive in right away. We’ll get some minimal testing out of the way – testing that is, of course, critical to the success of an IVF cycle, but it will be immediately followed by the IVF cycle itself, which will of course be successfully and we’ll end up pregnant with one – or perhaps two – babies. (um, yeah, right, that’ll happen.) Another part of me – the pessimist – figures we’ve already gone almost 7 years without success, what is the likelihood that we’ll finally get pregnant after so long. Surely if God had meant for this to happen it would have happened by now!?

But I insist on taking a “wait and see” approach. After all, I shouldn’t really be in a hurry, I mean what’s a few more months in the grand scheme of things? I think my fear is that I will start thinking this will be successful before it actually is. Therein lies the danger. Already those cute little baby outfits have started standing out a bit more at the stores. Somehow I’ve managed to sort of “blind” myself to them for the past several years. It’s been almost as if they aren’t even there. But now they are threatening to reveal themselves again. I don’t want them to come back yet! I’m not ready for that! Nooooooooooo.

Ok, well, maybe it’s not that dramatic…yet.


Did we really see that many doctors? December 5, 2006

Filed under: Infertility-general — Michelle @ 4:36 pm

We made an appointment for an IVF consult for the 21st. We felt like we did not want to use any doctor we’d gone to previously, though there is one we would have considered going back to, but he won’t take our insurance. So part of the process is asking previous doctors to fax over any relevant medical records. I printed out one “records request” sheet because I thought that was all I needed. Then I remembered that such and such a test was done that one time we saw doctor x. Oh, right, and that Strict Kruger S/A was done with the Urology specialist, and so on. I had to make a list, and we will be requesting medical records from 6 different doctors at 6 different practices! Who knew!?


Starting at the beginning December 4, 2006

Filed under: Infertility-general — Michelle @ 10:20 pm

Cycle Day 1 – To most in inferteldom that phrase is like a death sentence, but to me right now, it is a sign of hope for the future. Because now we have a place to start.

How odd it is to be “starting” the quest for a baby all over again, but it at least feels like a new beginning. That is one of the things that has been so bizarre. In the past, I never thought I could successfully extract myself from the hell I felt I was in when we were struggling with infertility even just a couple of years ago. But I did – or God did. He transferred us to a new path called adoption, and it was blissful. Shockingly, blessedly blissful and sweet and fun and exciting.

Oddly, revisiting the infertility path now, knowing that we can actually pursue IVF, feels unexpectedly exciting and refreshing. That is definitely not something I expected to feel. Just like when we decided to adopt, and I expected to feel negative or disappointed – like I was “settling” for something second-best – and instead I felt energized and encouraged to push faster forward towards our child that we knew was waiting for us. Likewise, now I feel so surprised to find my emotions light and hopeful rather than bitter and jaded.

I pray this humble and surprising beginning yields similar fruit to the last journey.


Hello blogworld!

Filed under: blogdom,Infertility-general — Michelle @ 1:25 pm

This is my new blog. My family and friends in real life (except dh) do not and will not know about it. Here I will document our infertility journey from now forward, though I will probably also remember backward in time as well.

As of right now, we have been ttc for close to 7 years. So I am by no means new to the infertility world or the infertility blogworld. But I took a hiatus for a couple of years, got OFF the infertility roller-coaster, got ON the adoption roller coaster, and have a phenomenally beautiful 5 year old daughter now as a result. And let me tell you folks, it’s a wild ride!

We have decided to give the “let’s make a baby” concept a try once again. I will hopefully have several opportunities to post about the mental and emotional aspects of this shift because it has been a bizarre process. For now, let me just suffice to say that it is different now than ever in the past, and I hope and intend to keep it that way!!

So hopefully you’ll stick around or maybe you’ll just stumble across my little corner of the web over here. Please spread the word, since I can’t send out an email to my family and friends to tell them this blog exists. One of the things I really regret from my “other blog” is that there are certain things I can’t say or share that I would like to because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or I’m not ready to share news of some sort. Even with our adoption we had this problem.

Ok, let the blogging begin in earnest!!