3

IVF Grants or Financial Advice Please

When Josh and I had our IVF Consultation our Doctor had mentioned a Financial consultant that we could talk to as well. I finally decided to call her after we got the news of only being able to do IVF. I called she I got off work at 3:30 and was told that she left a 3pm everyday. Of course, her working hours where the same as mine which meant I had to find time at work to have this conversation. I called the next day at 9AM to verify she got my message and that I would be receiving a call from her today. The receptionist said they would relay that message as well as letting her know about my voicemail from the day before. I called again at 1pm and did not leave a message. I called again at 240pm , thinking this will probably be at least a 20 minute conversation. They stated she was not in her office and they would relay the message. I let the receptionist know that I wanted a call back today and this was the 4th time I had called. She assured me I would get a call. I waited and then called back at 2:59 asking if she had left for the day and then I was finally transferred to the Financial consultant, Regina.

Regina stated she was on vacation and that she had 100 messages to go through so she apologized for not getting to mine yet. I said it was fine and I understood but in all honesty I was rather annoyed I called that many times with no response from her. But at that point I was just relieved to finally have her on the phone. When I told Regina I was given her info from my Doctor to talk to her about our financial options, she seemed slightly confused. Regina then went over the pricing of IVF with me, which I already knew but I did not say that. She went over my insurance with me as well. She stated that my insurance didn’t cover anything for IVF and some portion of the medications(I left that paper at work with the numbers). From there she told me we had to walk in with that $9,800 to get IVF done. She also said that since we were paying for it that there was the ARC program; which is like a package deal. Or the program through the hospital that can potentially pay for our 2nd round if the first doesn’t work. Regina quickly went over how they store the embryos if we don’t/can’t use all that develop. Which is $400 a year. After that Regina told me that we should look into grants if we need any further assistance with paying for IVF procedure.  Then ended the conversation. She rushed the information and rushed me off the phone. She didn’t give me any new information that I didn’t already know. I don’t know if that was the intent or not but I feel like she should have offered me more information. Now it is in my hand and I am very overwhelmed.

To explain better as to why we don’t want to use some other options that have been told to us by others to use. We do not want to sign up for another credit card because we are doing a very good job at paying off our debit. We have 4 more cards to pay off…We had too many credit cards and are trying to consolidate. We also do not want to dip into our 401k’s because we have not been at our jobs long enough for that to help a lot and we don’t want to use 401K funds at all. We are saving money right now but that is going towards a roof that we desperately need so we don’t want to use that either. We do not want to crowd fund yet either. I say yet because my husband and I discussed that IF IVF doesn’t work and adoption is the only option we would consider crowd funding at that point. From my understanding, that leaves us with grants.

Can anyone give us advise on Grants that are good in Ohio? Or any state? Or for veterans?  Do they all cost money to get? I am struggling looking through these mass amounts of sites.I am just so overwhelmed with the amount of them that are offered and I don’t know where to start or which ones are legitimate. Any advice is more then welcomed.

2

IUI/IVF Appointment

We had out IUI/IVF Appointment. It was just supposed to be an IVF appointment but we high-jacked it into a mixture of the two.

It started like a normal appointment where the nurse took us back to take my blood pressure, temperature, weight, and ask why we were there. I said that, ” we are here for our IVF Consultation” and the mood slightly changed with the nurse. She took Josh and I into a room and told us the doctor would be with us shortly. We didn’t have to wait long at all before the Doctor came in and took us to her office to chat, in her words. We sat down and the doctor made us a little picture to describe the process of IVF: Medications to increase eggs production and assist in ovulation, blood test and ultrasounds, egg retrieval, combining eggs and sperm to make embryo, waiting to see which ones take, insemination of embryos, waiting to see what takes, and baby!

The Doctor then explained the difference between IUI and IVF because Josh mixes them up sometimes when we talk. From there a lot of our discussion was about Josh’s count. She was saying that all Doctor’s agree that they want no lower then 1 million sperm count after the wash to do IUI or IVF. But there is that gray area that not all doctors agree on. She said that she knows that Josh’s count is low. “I think that we should try IUI first. If after the wash Josh has 2 million or more I feel very good about IUI, if its 1-2 Million I would still want to try IUI, if it is lower then 1 million then I would suggest IVF for the next cycle if IUI did not work. If that first round did not work as long as the 2nd round was 1 million or more I would want to try IUI again. We would only do IUI 2-3 times and if those did not work then I would suggest IVF going forward.” The doctor had high hopes for IUI with us. You could tell that she did not want to jump right into IVF without at least trying a IUI cycle.

We then started to vaguely talk about cost. She stated that there was a woman we should contact if we decide to go to IVF because this woman could give us options to help pay for it if we needed. As I have stated before: IUI is a “flat rate” (as the doctors describe it) of $420.00 for the Insemination and Sperm Wash. This does not include any medications, ultrasounds, blood work, or doctor appointments which we believe will average the IUI to about $550.00. The IVF package is $9,800.00 which includes the egg retrieval with ultrasound, sperm prep, fertilization(with ICSI, if needed), transfer, recovery room, preservation of remaining eggs or embryos, anesthesia, and cycle management. From there you have to pay for the medication which starts at $3,000.00 and go up from there.   You also have to add in the cost of the blood work, ultrasounds, or doctor appointments which we believe will average the IVF to about $15,000.00. She said that the finance lady has options for us and she understands the hesitation. That was refreshing to hear. The doctor also suggested ICSI because it would put the sperm right into the egg instead of allowing them to come together themselves. This is suggested to men suffering from infertility and as stated above, is included with IVF package. The doctor went over the risk with us as well as testing that we can get done to test for certain diseases that would be passed on to the embryo that we could remove. So crazy! From there we touched on my weight. She showed me statistics(which I don’t remember) about how likely it is for us to get pregnant. We had pretty good odds for our ages and diagnosis. BUT those odds drop with my weight being what it is. The doctor stated that the odds aren’t bad but the weight doesn’t help them either. This is something that Josh and I have discussed since the appointment.

The Appointment was an hour. The doctor answered all the questions we had and cleared up the process of both IUI and IVF for Josh. At the end of the appointment she gave us a folder full of IVF information and she put a paper about IUI in the folder for us to look over. I felt great after the appointment. Josh said that he felt the same and that it was nice to get all the information that we did.

We did win a trip to Hawaii and it was amazing. This picture was taken out first morning in Oahu. We woke up at 4AM(accidentally) and watched the sunrise over Diamond head. It was beautiful.

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We took this time to relax and not talk about any baby stuff. Unfortunately, when we got home I got very sick. We have been home a little over a week and I am just starting to feel better. I did start my period and I am on CD 5 which mean I am too late for this cycle to do IUI. I am actually OK with that. This cycle has been miserable, long, and painful. I was thinking that we might wait a month or two so I can get some gym time in. Since I have been sick that has not happened. Josh and I haven’t talked about when we are going to start the IUI process but as of right now I am thinking July. I know that I wont be able to work out this week because I still don’t feel well which means I will be giving myself 2 full months to change my/our diets and exercise more. Josh and I will go over this information again very soon to verify that we are on the same page. I may read this over again to add things that I may have forgot about the appointment but right now this is all I can remember. Thats what I get for waiting so long to type this blog. I will be back soon with our decision on when we will start IUI. I will make sure when that blog of the IUI appointment is very detailed and shortly after the actual procedure….unlike this one. My bad =].

 

3

Is February Over Yet?

This month has been very rough. It’s a short month but it didn’t hold back at all. Work has been pretty stressful, my husband has been traveling a lot, the weather has been insane, and I started my period today. Ehh! Needless to say I am glad its almost done. I have also been very nervous and stressed waiting for Josh to do his test along with waiting for the results.  We finally got them back

Blood Test- Testosterone: 488 ng/dl (Low, Improved), Luteinizing: 10 mU/mL (Improved), FSH: 10.6 mU/mL(High)

Sperm Test- Semen PH: 7.2 (Low, Same), Concentration(After Removing “Bad Sperm): 2.4 (Million, Low, Decreased), Total Count: 8.78 (Million, Low, Decreased), Total Motile Sperm(What Doctors can use): 4.74 (Low, Decreased), Motility: 54% (Good, Same), Sperm Morphology: 6% (Low), AmOrphology Sperm: 79% (High, Improved by decreasing)

Josh’s Doctor also said to continue taking these vitamins for another 4-6 weeks, retest, and then discuss options such as IUI, Freezing Sperm, and IVF.

So, Thats where we are at. I had Josh’s urologist send this information to my RE. I got the call from her today. She asked if the Urologist made any suggestions and I told her the above. She said, ” first of all this is a normal change in sperm. Sometimes numbers can fluctuate that much…but…this is still low.” I became a little tense when she said that. I asked the minimum that we would need to be able to do IUI. I have heard numerous different numbers but the lowest was 8 Million, is that true? She said that they do prefer that people walk in, before the wash, with 15 million. BUT all they really need is 1 Million after the wash. WOW! That is not what I expected to hear. Then she said what I expected to hear, “You should both start talking and thinking about IVF.” THERE IT IS. I knew it was coming but it still hit me like a ton of bricks. I told the doctor that I know that IVF is expensive and IUI is only about $700 after all is said and done. But is it smart for us to even try IUI and waste that $700 that we could put toward IVF? I know it isn’t much but its still $700 toward the $15,000.00 that we need to do IVF. She responded the best way. “I won’t have you do IUI if I don’t think it has a chance of working.” I felt like she had our back when she said that. She said that she believes that there is 1 Million available out of Josh’s count. I then said,” Not to be a pessimist but if that doesn’t work what do we need to walk in to do the IVF?” She told me that she requires the couple to come in and meet with her to go over everything IVF. The appointment will take about 45 minutes to go over everything and that we could talk about IUI as well. We can get all the information about both procedures. Perfect and intimidating. This is a lot of information to take in but not as much as we will get at this appointment coming up. Something I don’t think I have mentioned is that: we won a trip to Hawaii!!!  We will be gone in April right after we get Josh tested and hopefully after we get his results. That way we can really think things over and do which ever we decide in May because I will be in Hawaii if my cycle doesn’t completely screw up. Those were the orders from the Doctor as well. She said to take this time to get ready for our trip, get Josh Tested again, hopefully get the results before we leave and enjoy the trip. She also said that we could do the IVF appointment ahead of time. To have all the information for when we come back. Josh has to look at his schedule for us to schedule the appointment to reify he will be in town. We will do that as soon as possible.

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I feel better about the situation. Obviously, I am nervous to do IUI because of Josh’s count. But if the doctor says it might work…thats HUGE! On the same hand IVF is so expensive. It isn’t even a guarantee. There is so much to think about and I’m excited to get this appointment set up. I am so sick of waiting.

 

0

More Results Are In

We got the Semen Analysis back and the results where not as planned.

On Thursday I called the doctor, behind Josh’s back, to see if the results were in yet. The Nurse said they were and she would have the doctor call Josh. I told Josh that and he text me shortly before he got off work to tell me he heard from the doctor. I asked, ” Good or Bad News?” He responded with, “Both”. I had been freaking out most of the day and was feeling a little better once I saw the word both. Josh was asking where I wanted to go to dinner because we were going out. I was curious by this because either things are good or bad. He finally got off work and called me. He then said, ” Well, the results…” I was confused, ” Oh, we are doing this now? OK…what did he say?” So He told me that he count dropped again to 2 Million now. He said his motility went up and the doctor wants a blood test to see where his testosterone is at. If that went down or remained the same that isn’t good. If it went up its a good sign. We have to wait for those results. He said that the doctor said that we may be able to do IUI which I know is not true. The 2 doctors I have dealt with at 2 different facilities require a minimum of 8-15 Million. Both a lot higher than what we are working with. The doctor also said to continue taking the vitamins in the mean time. I asked what the next steps could be? Josh said he kind of stopped listening after he heard his count went down again but, “from the sounds of it, there isn’t much more after this. Something about freezing them that might help if it gets too low.” I started crying in the car while driving to the restaurant. We obviously decided not to go after that. I finally got Josh off the phone so I could have a melt down. All I was thinking was that we aren’t going to be able to have children. It scared the Hell out of me. We talked it over a little over a few days. We said that we will get all the results and send them to the RE to tell us out options. I am hoping we can do this over the phone and they don’t make us wait for an appointment to go to the office to sit with her. If we aren’t sure of what options we are given we will seek a second option. From there we were also talking a lot about adoption. We are both very open to it. I told Josh that I would need to grieve if we can’t have children together but I am very open to adoption.

I am still processing the information. Honestly, I am a bit of a mess. Every time I think about it I get emotional. Whether its crying, becoming silent, shutting down, not talking, avoiding people….or all of it. I try to joke and laugh it off but every once in a while I can’t. I am a very positive person but with this. It hurts me and I can’t be myself. I don’t have an answer to focus my energy on. The WHAT IF is killing me and I will feel so much better once we know our options. Until then I just have to work on feeling like myself again. Josh has also been amazing. When I try to ask how he is feeling he goes SPOCK on me and asked about me instead. He keeps saying, ” I am worried about you because I want this but I know you REALLY want this.” He feels bad about the situation. I try to remind him that this isn’t his fault, he didn’t do this on purpose and it isn’t HIS FAULT. We are in this together. But He’s not really hearing me. I am hoping, sometime soon, I can get some emotion out of him to know how he is really feeling about this whole thing.

To sum things up: We don’t have any official numbers yet but we know Josh’s Count dropped from 4.5 Million to 2 Million and his motility went up.  Waiting for results to talk to the RE.

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1

The Results Are In…Again

I know I keep taking breaks from the blog but I realized that I need it for my sanity. If I engross myself into this baby stuff when there is nothing that we can do I will get crazy. I told myself that I would not update the blog until it was closer to a time when something significant can happen. Finally, it is that time.

The results from Josh’s Blood and Sperm Analysis came back a while ago:

Blood Test- Testosterone: 356 ng/dl (Low), Luteinizing: 6.6 mU/mL (Good), FSH: 7.6 mU/mL(Good)

Sperm Test- DNA: 12.1% (Good), Reactive O2 Species: 2,242.9 RLU/sec (High), Semen PH: 7.2 (Low), Motility: 55% (Improved, Good), Sperm Morphology: 5% (Low), AmOrphology Sperm: 84% (High), Concentration(After Removing “Bad Sperm): 4.6 (Million, Low), Total Count: 16.56 (Million, Low), Total Motile Sperm: 9.11 (Million, Low)

We were told that the low sperm count and the high oxidative stress can be fixed by the Vitamin C and E that he is currently taking in the vitamin regimen that he has been on since November. It is not guaranteed that it will be fixed by those vitamins but we will see with the next test. He also has abnormal morphology. This is not uncommon for men and it also is not an easy fix. We were told that if his numbers do not improve and if this continues to be the problem that IVF with ICSI is our best bet to get pregnant. “Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). ICSI only requires one sperm, which is injected directly into the egg. The fertilised egg (embryo) is then transferred to your uterus (womb).”(http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a4097/fertility-treatment-intracytoplasmic-sperm-injection-icsi#ixzz3zFSBNU74) Josh was also told to continue taking the vitamin regimen, some others meds, then we will retest in a 3 months.

Guess what kids….Its been three months. I know, I can’t believe it either how time as flied by. As of February 11th Josh can go get re-tested. He calls in the day before to set up the appointment then we go from there. Josh travels a lot now for work and we are not sure if he will be in town that day so he had not set up the appointment yet. If he can’t go the 11th then we just try each thursday after that(18th, 25th, etc.) He believes that he will be traveling that week so it might have to wait until the 18th. I am hoping not but he doesn’t have much control of when he travels so we will see what happens. Best Case Scenario, Josh gets his test done in a week. This makes me very excited because even though I have been trying to avoid the baby talking, it hasn’t been going very well.

I introduced my friend to my doctor and she started Clomid and testing and everything right away. But before I knew it she was doing IUI and I was in a daze. She took her OPK at work and when she came back from the bathroom with a BFP, she was ecstatic. She instantly left to call the doctor to set up the appointment for their IUI. I literally ran to the bathroom and burst into tears. I was so mad at her and jealous and devastated and heartbroken. She has been trying for a long time and deserves this. But I have too. I have been dealing with doctors and so has my husband. Going through this pain of nothing for months on end just for my friend to get to do this so quickly. After literally vocalizing all of this to another friend I realized, ” I just need to feel bad for myself first so I can then be happy for her.” I needed to be frustrated and deal with my emotions. I used to be a very instant person. If I felt something everyone knew and I didn’t care about the repercussions or how it would effect others. If I was mad at you, you knew it, no matter how childish the situation. I never took the time to think about the situation before erupting with emotions. I am much better at expressing my emotions in a healthy way. Obviously we all have our moments but, no matter what the emotion is, I figure it out and go on with my day. I didn’t want her to think that she couldn’t talk to me about it or that i wasn’t happy for her because I was. I felt awful when my best friend thought she couldn’t tell me she was pregnant because of our situation. I wanted to make sure I never let one of my friends think that ever again. After I grieved that day I was able to be happy for her and wanted to know every detail about it. Unfortunately, it did not take and either did the 2 other times. She is taking a break now because you can tell it has taken an emotional toll on her. I don’t blame her and she needs this break. Physically and Emotionally. I hope that she gets her family soon because she has been through a lot, especially these last few months. It seems to be a pretty exhausting process where time is not your friend and you have run to the doctors at the drop of a hat on numerous occasions. I can’t say that I am looking forward to not having control over this situation. But I am so overwhelmed with the glimmer of hope over these next few weeks with Josh’s tests. This might be our time. Instead of all the waiting we might be able to finally start the process of getting pour baby.

5

Josh’s Urology Appointment

It has been so long….

Nothing has been going on. We were told by my doctor that due to Josh’s numbers being low that we were to wait and see what happen with his thyroid medicine to see if that made a difference in his numbers. The only problem with that is that his doctor requires him to be on each dose for 3 months before checking his thyroid numbers to see if they have improved at all. Josh has been able to get the doctor to move the dosage sooner because he noticed no difference and his thyroid numbers weren’t moving very much so the doctor has made some exceptions. This also mean there has been no baby appointments since July…..which was kind of nice to be honest. I only stressed a few times about it but it was nice to not be worrying everyday, expecting my period, not being depressed when it came. It was a little relief to get a break again. Obviously it was frustrating to have everything on hold again but I accepted it.

During this little break I found out a friend of Josh’s was pregnant with twins from IVF and she works at the same company as me. I decided to pry a little to get some information. She had told me that they were trying for 2 1/2 years and once they went to a doctor they found out her husbands count was low, 3 Million. They did six rounds of clomid, three rounds of femara, one laprascopic surgery, four failed IUI’s, and one round of IVF. I don’t remember what the laprascopic was for, I believe her tubes where clogged, but I can’t remember. She told me that her husband was put on vitamins from his doctor to improve his count. Just vitamins you can buy at a local grocery store. This concoction improved his count from 3 Million to 80 Million in just three months. HOLY COW. I bought those the next week. It cost 35 dollars. Two of the bottles lasted a month and the other 2 have about a month left. I also asked her about the cost of the IVF. I already knew how much IUI would cost and even though we are going though different facilities I was just curious since we work for the same company and use the same insurance. She said that it was the 9,800 down before the procedure could be done. From there the meds cost anywhere from 2,800 to 5,000 dollars. She stated that her cost 2,800(If I have to I hope it’s the same). Then there is the doctors appointments, blood work and ultra sound that are covered under insurance but you have to pay the difference for. It’s just nice to have a price point in mind if it ever gets to that. I also didn’t know that you could claim that on your taxes which I though was awesome. I obviously don’t know the details but its nice to know that going through all this that we can at least get something back for it, financially. I hope it doesn’t get to that point and that we can do this ourselves or with IUI.

Josh had his appointment this past Monday with a urologist. It was just like any other first appointment where not much happened. They did an exam on him, ask us numerous questions, and Josh gave a sample for a semen analysis since the last one was from May. Josh has been taking those vitamins for the last month so I am hoping it made some what of a difference. His doctor said they will do the semen analysis, they will do a DNA test to verify his supply is good, and they want to do blood work. Josh still needs to do the scan and the blood work but we are just waiting on results right now. The DNA test takes about 3 weeks to get the results. Hopefully, everything is good and we can do IUI the end of November. My cycle decided to go haywire this month and come 9 days early. It is kind of good though because that moved my ovulation to occur after we get his results. Though that was very annoying it is kind of a blessing in disguise.

My periods have been awful lately. They are so painful. The day before I am in pain and the day of I am dying. I noticed that I have pains on the right side every month. It never alternated which I found odd. The pain in my lower back is constant, it is a really intense pressure and sometimes shooting pain that happens every month. It doesn’t matter what I take or drink or do that never goes away. The second day it isn’t too bad. I really don’t want them to test for Endo until after at least one round of IUI(if it gets to that) but I think that it might be necessary. Prepare for TMI: I have pain during sex and its worse after, awful (lower back and lower abdomen) pain during and before periods,(painful) diarrhea during and before periods, and Bloating during and after periods. More recently inconsistent periods and bleeding in-between periods. The pain I have during my periods knocks me out. The lower back and lower abdomen pain makes me not want to get out of bed at all. But I have to. I can’t call off work every month. I don’t know what to do. I am going to try to just grin and bear it until after we get Josh’s test results back. Until then. We wait.

2

Trying this Patience Thing

The plan has changed again but don’t worry, it is still full of waiting.

Last month Josh was taking his thyroid medicine but he said that he was not feeling any different from it. He said he was still tired, extremely tired and his appetite had not changed much either. I was bugging him a lot about getting tested early to see if this dosage of meds was making a difference. Josh was reluctant. He kept telling me that the doctor wanted him to wait the full 90 days so that is what he is going to do. I tried to be supportive but in my mind we were wasting time when Josh knew it wasn’t making a difference at all. I finally told Josh that I am not trying to nag him or pressure him to go against the doctors wishes. BUT at the same time, the sooner he gets his dosage correct, the sooner we can do the IUI. I said, “what is the harm in calling to ask….the worst that will happen is they tell you to wait the full 90 days.” He understood where I was coming from and made the call. The doctor agreed to a blood test to see where he was at to then determine if he should up the dosage. GREAT…we are moving this along. Josh does the blood test and he says that they didn’t give him a number but that they were upping the dosage again. The beginning of August he started taking the new dosage.

A friend of mine started Clomid last month and just did her second round. Another friend of mine unfortunately just had her second failed IVF cycle and is in the process of figuring out what they will do next. On top of all the babies showing up on my news feed as well as pregnancy chatter, not a lot of pregnancy announcements (for now). There is so much going on with everyone else but we are just sitting here, waiting. I have been avoiding coming on her because I didn’t want to see other people making progress and me…waiting. Selfish, I know. Honestly, I didn’t even want to type today but I needed to get this off my chest. I talked to Josh tonight. He informed me that with this dosage he has to do the full 90 day cycle. I believe that he told me that before but I think that I was being stubborn and selfish trying to get the dosage upped anytime he wasn’t feeling different from the meds. With that, if everything fell in our best interest, in November we could do IUI…MAYBE October but doubtful. I was enraged hearing this. I was asking him what his thoughts were on the situation. We talked about doing another analysis but that is only going to be covered so many times through the VA. Josh informed me that the VA is not like a Hospital, its more like Health Assistance. They aren’t going to do these analysis over and over again(like an infertility clinic would) for infertility unless it is for some sort of preventative care. Which means no more Semen Analysis until we are sure that we will do the IUI because the meds are making a real difference with Josh’s thyroid. Josh said that he has been doing research(I love him) about improving Motility and Sperm Count. He was talking about how there are different foods he can eat, vitamins, and about 10-15 other things that we can do to improve his boys. It was nice for him to show the initiative. I told him that it is so unnerving because neither of us can do a lot to get this going again. I feel like the last year of testing was a waste because we are going back to using Pre-Seed, using OPK’s, planning sex, using the app to track ovulation more and when my period should start, and all the other weird things we did to try to get us pregnant. Doing all of these things with the uncertainty of if it is even worth it. What if we are doing all of that just to find out that Josh’s count barely improved and he needs to up his thyroid medicine again. Which means we wasted all that time, money, and energy just to do it all over again for another 90 days, another three months. I’m not saying sex with my husband is a waste of time but when it is planned sex, it is difficult to keep that fun, that is the energy that I am talking about being wasted. With that being said Josh was excited for this. He was happy that for the next few month it will be all us and no doctors help. He isn’t enthusiastic about us potentially needing doctors to have a baby so anytime we don’t have to use doctor’s he is happy. I wanted to cry. I am over waiting. We started see all the doctors to have a baby and now we are waiting with no doctors until the end of October. I think that I am overly upset about this because we will be passing the three-year mark in September. Three years of TTC with no baby. I am going to allow myself to be sad for a bit. I need to just process this and move past it.

The updated plan is that Josh will hopefully get a CPAP Machine soon, yes, he has that going for him as well. I am hoping that makes a difference on top of the meds. I don’t know if it will but anything to improve his overall health I am down with. I am thinking that in October he can schedule a Semen Analysis depending on how he is feeling. If he still doesn’t feel any better with this med cycle then we will not schedule one. We will schedule his blood test to see if the thyroid medicine needs to be tweaked again. Next paycheck Josh will buy whatever he thinks can improve his motility and count. Next Ovulation(end of August, beginning of September) we will go back to tracking and planning to see what happens. Trying to be optimistic but its tiresome when you feel like you are taking two steps forward only to find out you are actually taking three steps back.

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3

The Results Are In

This entry is about 2 weeks overdue. I was never able to find the words to type this. I finally decided to do it tonight but due to me waiting so long to type it I don’t remember everything that was said between Josh and myself during our discussions. I apologize but I will do my best.

We got the results of Josh’s Semen Analysis. First, Josh got the results from the guys at the VA. Josh got the call while he was at work. They told him the number, 6.8 Million, and Josh’s response was, ” What does that mean?”  Josh was told by the Nurse on the phone that his number is low and the motility was low as well. The guy said that the paper says that “the average is 40 million and your number is 6.8 which means that it is low.” I was in the car driving home when Josh told me. He didn’t give me any hint as to how he was feeling. Josh had to get off the phone because he was at work which meant I had my hour car ride home to think this over. I was in shock. This wasn’t the plan. It’s supposed to be me. I am supposed to have to suffer through the doctors appointments and test, not him. I got home and went right to the computer to look up what might happen next.

I go to the Mayo Clinic Site because I noticed it is the most user-friendly. First thing I see are potential causes: Infections, Veins that are swelled, Antibodies that attack Sperm, Tumors, Unbalanced Hormones, certain medications, Chromosome defects, etc. Josh was on some narcotics after his car accident when he was in the Navy. He was on these for about 5 years because he has 7 herniated discs in his back, this could be one reason. We recently found out about Josh’s thyroid issues, this could be a reason. Who knows….all of this is running through my brain. Then I go to the treatment: Ultrasounds (Scrotal and/or Transrectal), Hormone or Genetic Testing, Testicular Biopsy, etc. OH MY GOODNESS! He didn’t sign up for this. Is he going to still want to do this? I stopped looking because I didn’t want Josh seeing me doing this research and I needed a break.

Josh came home and I was trying to talk to him about the information we received. He was making jokes. It was very frustrating because I wanted to know how he felt. I didn’t want to force the feelings out but I wanted to know how he was taking all this. I would think about this all the time, waiting for results and expecting the worst, wondering what Josh would think if we couldn’t have children because of me. Now, I am not saying we can’t have kids but now it is on him, not me, and I don’t know what is going on in his head. I went into the bedroom to lay down. I couldn’t figure out how I was feeling. Very random but I was just full of emotions and no understanding of them. Josh came in the bedroom and asked what was wrong? I told him that I was frustrated he wouldn’t tell me how he was feeling and I was worried what was going on with him. He said that he was fine. That he was happy that we finally had a direction of what we needed to do next. I respond with “….that’s it?” he was always confused with this(every time I asked, which was multiple time) because he is Spock, a robot, an emotionless bag of bones. It was driving me crazy that all he was saying was that he was happy that we were on track and then he asked how I was feeling. That’s when it hit the fan. I DON’T KNOW. I’m agitated, elated, heartbroken, relieved, I don’t know. Yes, we have a path. Instead of receiving bad news we would just get news: Clomid didn’t work, HSG was negative, blood work was fine. This was bad news that wasn’t mine. It was Josh’s bad news. I was mad that we didn’t get him tested sooner. I was irritated that we put it off so many times because we thought it was him, that it could never be him. I had a small sense of ease that I could get a break from all the appointments and test. I was devastated that this turned into Josh’s doctor appointments and test. That he was going to have to be poked and prodded. I was prepared to do that and that he wouldn’t have to, he shouldn’t have to. I am devastated with that. He said that everything is ok. That he was doing research too and he was ok with all of it. Josh said that he wants a baby and he will do what he has to so we can have our baby. What a relief. We talked for a bit about it and I felt a lot better. Once the tension subsided I was able to joke with him, “You are a ROBOT, that’s why the sperm is low, you aren’t supposed to have any…AHHH!!!” It lightened the moment and ended that conversation on a positive note. A few days later we continued this conversation and also talked about Adoption. It is nice that he is open to that and I am too. It is our last resort because we want to exhaust out options to have a biological child but just knowing we are on the same page is great to hear.

The next step was to fax the results to my Doctor. After phone tag for a few days I was finally able to talk to her. My Doctor said that Josh’s number was almost 7 Million and she wants to see at least 15 Million. Also, that his Motility was at 27% and she wants to see at least 40%. With these results she wants to re-test him to verify these results are correct. I then informed her about his thyroid and she let out an “Ooohhhhh!” that was such a relief to me. This was not a weary oh. It was a hearty, enlighten oh. She seemed very optimistic with hearing about this new development she wasn’t aware of. The Doctor asked when Josh was going to be tested again and I told her it was August. The Doctor said to contact her in August with his result and we will figure out our next step in August or September.

Wait…..wait……waiting. I know it is a little unrealistic but after the first appointment with the Doctor I was thinking I would be starting with the IUI process in August. Not waiting for results and then starting a plan. I know it is still a possibility but if his numbers don’t improve I don’t know what the next step is and that is nerve-wrecking. I really hope that his numbers improve and we move forward with IUI soon. IUI was our next step but it is also the next step for us with Josh’s diagnosis. IUI is the best bet when dealing with male infertility.

September will mark 3 years of our TTC adventure. I am trying to stay positive because IUI is still a possibility to be done that month. Two years sounded reasonable to me but THREE sounds like a long time. I have been feeling very indifferent now. Some days I feel down on myself with little to no motivation to do anything. Other days I am my normal happy go lucky self. I don’t know if the lack of knowing is causing this or if it is stress from work, life, or whatever else. With that being said I have been listening to a lot of Christian music. I consider myself a religious person but not an organized religion kind of person(if that makes sense). I don’t go to church or read the Bible often. I used to do both of those regularly(church camps, youth nights, every sunday, the whole nine yards) but as an adult there are many things that I don’t agree with or don’t understand; for that reason I struggle with finding a church to go to because I want to believe in everything they teach. Not just bits an pieces. Regardless, I believe in God and I have Faith. I have faith in our situation and that things will work out for us. Whatever that means, we will find out soon enough, but I have faith none the less. I have not been doubting my Faith but I have been needing a reminder of it. I found a song that I feel we can all relate to with the constant battle of doubt. Doubting if we should keep going when TTC.

I know that the song is about God but for me that is not the only thing it is about. It is about our baby and the idea of our baby. Sometimes when struggling with TTC all you can do is hold on to the idea of the family you will get in the end. But there are times when you think that it might not happen. “When its hard to believe in you”. Then there is a reminder, “If only i could fight just a little longer I know it’s gonna make me stronger. I just keep holding on to what I believe. oh, I believe in you” This song has been my little reminder when The Waiting gets to me. When I forget about that Dream that I had. I have been listening to it everyday, multiple times a day. Don’t forget why we do this people. There is hope! Keep the Faith. Even if you aren’t religious have Faith that you will get the family you desire and dream for.

I will be back in August with an update from Josh’s Thyroid appointment and if any of you have advice on this side of Infertility we would appreciate it. This is a new battle that we weren’t expecting but Josh and I are ready for anything.

2

Rough Weekend

I guess it is appropriate that I write another post on my one year Anniversary of starting this blog. It’s crazy to think it has been a year. A year of trials and tribulations. A year of numerous babies but none of my own. A year of little solutions. No more of that. This is the year of solutions. It is the year of my dream baby girl. I am holding on to that Babygirl from my Dream. I am very optimistic about 2015. I have received nothing but positive reactions about my Blog. It is a little of a relief to know that I don’t have to repeatedly tell people about what is going on. It’s nice to be able to share feelings that I normally may have difficulties sharing and hope that people will better understand where I am coming from. I am not going to censor myself just because I made this blog public. I am still going to be me. I am still going to be raw with my emotions. This blog will not change. It’s just that now WHEN I get pregnant I won’t be able to announce it on here first like I originally planned to do. Sorry people.

On that note, I started my period on Thursday, after I did my last post. It was a few days early but that is going back to how my cycles were before BC over 6 years ago. They were short, only about 26 days. This was not to bad. I was very busy this weekend from the wedding I was in which meant I didn’t have time to be down on myself about it. I was in a bit of pain on Thursday though. My back kills me as well as my lower abdomen; I become extremely bloated and nauseous almost the entire day of my first full day of my period. It’s awful. I am just glad that it is done as well as this past weekend being done. It was a very very rough weekend.

As I stated, I was in a wedding this past weekend. Friday I left a little early to relax at my Brother’s before the wedding festivities began. I was sick all that morning and a little nervous for the drive down. The ride there was a little over 2 hours and it went smooth. I was relaxing, trying to catch up on my Grey’s Anatomy when my brothers’ cats decided to cuddle up with me. Even though I love animals, I have dogs, and was raised with them I am not a huge fan of cats. I can’t read them and have been bit by a cat before so they kind of freak me out. I was fine with this though. They weren’t too cuddly so it was ok. I realize after a bit that I was itching my arm and as I look down I realize that I have a rash on my forearm were the cat was brushing against me. I jumped off the couch and ran upstairs to take a Benadryl. After taking it I remembered that I had already taken a 24hr Benadryl the night before. I instantly thought, “oh $#@t! what did I just do” Two 24hr Benadryl in about an 18 hour period. I then begin taking pictures of my arm and sending it to my husband, my mother-in-law(a nurse) and a Nurse friend of mine. I don’t take much medicine so I first ask what will those pills do to me. my Mother-in-Law told me that I will just be drowsy but nothing will happen which made me feel a lot better. I left the house and decided to go to the venue early for the Rehearsal. The rehearsal went well and after that we all went to the Rehearsal Dinner. That’s when I started to not feel well. My arms had cleared up but I became extremely bloated and got a massive headache. My allergies have been bugging me all week but for whatever reason they really kicked in. I still don’t understand how because I had 2 Benadryl in me. I tried to eat but everything was making me more nauseous. The Bride asked me to run her to her Apartment and then back to her hotel after the Rehearsal Dinner and by the time we were done I got to my brothers around 10pm. I chatted with them for a bit, verified that the cats where not in the room I would be sleeping in, and went to bed.

I woke up Wedding Day morning feeling a little groggy but overall much better then the day before with no reactions to the cats. I took a shower then went to the hotel. I was the first one to get my makeup done. I only got my foundation done. I knew how to do my eye makeup but because I have very oily skin I wanted foundation that would last all day. I then did my eye make-up and had on of the other girls do my hair. At no fault to her, my hair was not doing what it should. After about an hour and a half as well as two different girls working on my hair it turned out awful. Again, not there fault, my hair was just doing its own thing. After that frustration, I tried to curl it and it wouldn’t hold curls so I just gave up. We were all eating lunch and the worst thing that could happen did happen. A girl accidentally spilt orange juice on my bridesmaids dress that was hanging up……….the Matron of Honor hangs the dress up in the bedroom and directs me to grab damp towels to try to absorb some juice. It was a Navy Blue Convertible Dress like these(not us): dresses

After patting it with damp towels, contacting a few dry cleaners, putting the dress in the shower, using 3 hair dryers on the dress, and about 40 minutes later the dress was still stained. There was nothing we could do. The girl that spilled the juice felt horrible. She was more upset then I was. I wasn’t mad at her in any way. I was just frustrated that so much was going wrong. It was time for us to get dress and I was the only one that couldn’t remember how to wrap my dress so I was having difficulties with it all day. We take a pictures inside then head outside to take some. It was close to 90 in Ohio on Saturday. At one point in time we were all sitting down on stairs that lead to a building where the bride and groom where taking photos. I told everyone to be careful of bird poop then one of the girls in the wedding party that I wasn’t a fan of, to say the least decided to make a comment. “Tiffany, with your dress does it really matter?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME! It upset me that she said that not because of my awful day but because of the girl that spilled the drink. She already felt horrible and had said she wished it was her dress. Why would you say something like that because it only makes her feel worse. By the end of the pictures my hair had no curl and my make up I paid for was gone. We finally get to the venue to relax before the ceremony. I drank about 3 bottles of water and a Sprite then ran to the bathroom to freshen up. I pulled my bangs back to see a massive heat rash all across my forehead and going down the side of my face. I was mortified. The girl that spilled the juice was in the bathroom with me and I just let it out. I ranted about how awful everything had going to me. I emphasized that I wasn’t mad at her at all, which I wasn’t. It was just one thing after another that was ruining m weekend. I said, ” Every wedding has a bridesmaid that everything goes wrong for…and it was me for this one.” After a little more venting we waited with the rest of the group for the ceremony to begin.

The wedding was beautiful. I wish that my wedding was as amazing as hers. The ceremony was not traditional and catered to this couple with a reading from a book and a knot ceremony because they are rock climbers. By far one of the most unique weddings I have ever been too. I LOVED IT! Even with broken shoes I made it through and was grateful for the reception to begin. The bride warned me that they were going to thank the moms and I thought I was prepared for that but I wasn’t. I cried. I just tried to not let the Bride see me and I don’t think she did. I think that I would have been ok if all of the previous things didn’t occur. After ALL of that I was just thinking, “Get this food to me so I can dance this all away.” We eat and I decide that I need to call Josh. He didn’t come with me because it would have been too expensive to board the dog and get their shots updated. Once I call him and talk to him for the first time the whole weekend, I broke down. I tried to hide it and I don’t think that he noticed. I didn’t want the first and probably only time we talked to be sad. It was amazing to hear his voice. It gave me that boost to go have fun. So, I did. I danced and danced and danced. After a few hours I realized I was itching my arm. I look down to find both my arms full of a heat rash. AGAIN, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I was done at that point. I went outside for a bit but then left shortly after. I showered that night at my brother’s and left first thing in the morning without saying goodbye. I had no desire to talk to anyone.

I get home to my wonderful husband who got me three Pandora Charms for Mother’s Day. I get ready and we go out to eat then to random stores to simply spend time together. Everything was going great until I got sick. My stomach started to hurt and we went home. I am grateful that I didn’t start on Mother’s Day though. That would have killed me. I can’t begin to emphaize how grateful I was to be home and done with this weekend. Mother’s Day is over, the wedding is over, and now time to focus on work and my new Doctor Appointment on Monday. I just need to get through the next six days. Tonight ends on a good note CAVS WON!!!!! Six more days people. Six more days!

2

Updates and Public Posting

I have accomplished a lot over the last month. I got it together.

I contacted my Insurance that I have through my new job. To sum it up. I have a high deductible HSA Account which means that I have to pay out of pocket for everything or with my Health Saving Account until i hit my deductible. Infertility is not covered….except the usual diagnosis and treatment. As in, if I have Endo, the diagnosis of that and the treatment of the Endo is covered. BUT not anything that will help us get pregnant: meds, appointments, nothing. Great!

I started going to the gym again. It has been a slow process but I am back. I feel so good after I go which makes me excited to continue.

I also decided to get a second opinion and see a different doctor. I believe that there was a lot of miscommunication with my first RE. That made me uneasy to continue the process with her. I know a friend that is seeing her with no problems. I spoke with 2 separate friends about this. The first friend is seeing an RE at the same facility that I have been going to: it’s just a different RE. Lynn* is the other friends I have been speaking with who is seeing a RE at a completely different facility then what I was at now. Lynn’s* process with this doctor has been awesome which makes me very optimistic about her. I set up at Appointment with this doctor for May 18th.

I also started spotting today; VERY VERY Lightly. Barely anything. but it started. I am not supposed to start until Sunday…Mother’s Day. Yea, thats happening. I am spotting 5 days early. I am trying to tell myself that maybe, JUST MAYBE, it is implantation. At the same time I am telling myself, “Don’t get your hopes up!” I also woke up extremely nauseous. All day, all I have been thinking about is this spotting. This is the worst part of the journey. The uncertainties. I haven’t started yet but there is a little brown. Which could be me starting OR it could be me getting pregnant. I am not taking a test until a week after I am supposed to start. So I will test on May 17tth or May 16th. The latest my period has been before is 3 days. I am hoping that IF I am not pregnant that it comes on Sunday or the day after. Obviously I don’t want to start on Mother’s Day but I just want consistency, which is not an option with TTC.

I also posted a lot on my Facebook and Instagram during National Infertility Week. I posted ecards, links about infertility, or quotes about what Infertility and how this effects us emotionally. With that I was essentially making it known that Josh and I were struggling with this disease. I posted everyday during that week, sometimes multiple posts. I also got an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from people. Every post got so many “Likes” as well as positive comments. I also received five different messages and two different text of people giving us well wishes, sending prayers, letting me know they are there for us, or asking me questions about what I have been going through. I was elated. I knew there was a reason that I decided to open up about infertility. I knew that when I started aggressively posting things that it was going to draw attention to me but I was prepared for that and for negativity. And it didn’t happen. Lynn* also publicly posted her blog on Facebook. I was so surprised. I thought she was so strong for being able to post something so personal. It made me want to post mine. I was intimidated to post something so personal, it made me very vulnerable, and couldn’t believe that she posted hers. To explain a little, her blog is mostly medical. It does have some emotional aspects to it but not as much venting as mine does. I took some time to myself to read over my blog again. I examined it, walked away for a bit, examined it again, and did some editing. I didn’t do a lot of editing but there were some things about others that I took out. It was not my place to put other people business out there. The people that I do talk about I asked them to read it to verify that it was ok I posted it. I decided to post it to Facebook. After reading this I think that it will be on there. I spoke with my husband about it and all he said was, “Does it have all our sex stuff on it?” which means that he is OK with it. I know that there will be people that feel negatively about this and will have their opinions. As all of us know, we deal with this all the time. I can handle that and accept that I am opening myself up to it even more by posting this. BUT I also know that by opening up about our struggles and showing the raw emotions I feel that it can potentially help others. Others that feel alone, experience the Taboo of Infertility, or don’t have anyone to talk to about this   disease. So, here it goes. Things are getting real; Get ready because I am in it to win it! Time to get this baby train going.