$383 and a Magician

$383 can buy you a lot of things: 190 boxes of Zebra Cakes, 60 bottles of wine, 125 Sonic Cherry Limeades, 190 delicious king size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, etc. (Most of the things I like come in the form of food or beverage. Shocking, I know!) See you can get a lot for $383. And in our case, apparently $383 can buy you a 20% chance at conceiving a baby.

Don’t you worry, I’m not planning on offering people $383 for their baby. This $383 can pay for an IUI procedure which we hope will result in our own little baby Reese. I know my posts have been few and far between lately, but that’s because there hasn’t been much to report. We’ve been hoping the past few months of Clomid would be just the kick my ovaries needed to get their shit in gear, but we haven’t been that lucky. I had high hopes that those magic $20 pills would be the answer to my prayers. I should have known better, because let’s be honest, nothing about this process has been or will EVER be easy. Since the Clomid itself hasn’t done the trick my doctor decided it was time to get rid of her crazy hormonal patient pass me onto a specialist to discuss our options. So I was referred to a great new reproductive endocrinologist (fancy name for fertility specialist) who is a part of Washington University Physicians at Barnes. I was hesitant to leave my Dr. because she knows my history and for the most part can always decipher my speech which usually comes out in the form of rambling and blubbering sobs. How on earth could I possibly train a new Dr. to speak ‘my language?’ She assured me I was in great hands and to call and schedule an appointment as soon as possible because it can sometimes take months to get into see him.

I heard the word months and freaked about possibly having to wait another couple of months to find out what our options and next steps were. Hi, remember me? The control freak? Waiting and patience are two qualities I don’t possess. So I called immediately and spoke to the office staff and asked how soon I could meet the magician? At this point I’ve convinced myself the only way I’ll end up pregnant is through some kind of sorcery. Don’t judge me. I do whatever I can to get through the days and stay positive. If that means believing that my new Dr. is the next best thing to Albus Dumbledore then so be it. Luckily after speaking with the nurse she informed me that they had a cancelation for the following Tuesday and that I could come in then. So I signed myself up for the very important meeting and counted down the days until my appointment. I was eager to hear his thoughts about my test results up to this point and I was nervous about potentially hearing the acronym IVF and seeing $$$$$. I did my best to stay drunk calm for the next week and tried not to stress about the future.

The morning of my appointment was of course one of the worst winter days in STL this year. I had about a 45 min drive and I left 2 and ½ hours early to make it to my 8:30 appointment. Of course every highway was at a dead stop so I made my way through city side roads and ended up arriving at 9. I HATE to be late. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine. But I eventually arrived safe and sound and only had a few choice words and obscene hand gestures to my fellow travelers on the road. I walked into the office and apologized for being so late. The receptionist was just the sweetest and told me that everyone was late and not to worry. So I filled out some paperwork, paid (because of course nothing for infertility is covered by insurance) and sat impatiently in the waiting room. An hour later the called my name and stomach dropped. I walked with the nurse and she took my stats and then sat me in a small office and said the Dr. would be with me shortly. About 15 minutes later there was a knock on the office door and then the door opened and there stood Doogie Howser M.D. Seriously this fertility “magician” my Dr. referred me to looked like he just got his driver license. How in the world was this child going to help me? After I picked my jaw up off the floor the child told me he was a student working with the magician and was just going to review my records with me and take some notes for the Dr. Thank God! So I sat there and told this child genius Dr. all about my lady parts. He asked a few questions and then left the room to get the miracle worker.

A few minutes later the child and my actual Dr. came in. He introduced himself and got straight to business. We went over all my blood work results, my husband’s specimen results, ultrasounds and the films of my tubes from the HSG test. The whole time he kept reassuring me about how young I was. I knew I was going to like this guy! After a pretty in depth conversation about all my lady parts (I think I was only able to comprehend about 1/3 of what he was saying), he once again told me, “Sam, you’re so young. I don’t know why this hasn’t happened for you yet and I’m sorry you are here. But I am going to do everything I can to help you conceive a child.” And cue the tears. The child Dr. in the room stared at me and looked uncomfortable. I told him if this was the field he was going into he might as well get used to seeing emotional, hormonal women. The magician laughed and agreed. Then he got down to the important stuff. What’s next for us? He told me that based on all my tests and everything looking normal on the surface he said our next step would be to increase my clomid dosage (yay for higher dosage crazy pills) and then to try an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). He said there was no need to jump to conclusions and go straight to the more expensive IVF route and that an IUI or series of IUI’s would be the next logical step.

The way this IUI works is that I’ll take the clomid on days 3-7 of my cycle to hopefully put my ovaries into overdrive and produce at least one if not more good quality eggs. I’ll take at home ovulation tests and as soon as I get a positive ovulation test then I’ll call and schedule my IUI for the next day. The ovulation tests detect a surge in your LH hormones that signals that ovulation is coming. Usually after you get a positive test you ovulate within about 24 -36 hours. So by scheduling the IUI for the next day after a positive test you hope that you’re timing things correctly for an egg to be released when the sperm are in place. To do that, my husband will do his part and give a sample in the office. They perform some magic and concentrate the semen, remove any bad swimmers and basically only pull out the MVP’s. That process takes about an hour or so. Then they will take this tiny little sample of sperm and insert it directly into my uterus using a catheter. Essentially, this IUI just takes out all of the hard work for the sperm and if timed correctly the sperm are right where they need to be waiting for my body to release and egg. Then if all goes as planned, the egg is fertilized and implants about a week later just as it would for someone who is conceiving naturally. And then a week after that (2 weeks after the IUI) I would see a big fat positive on that little devil of a pee stick pregnancy test.

So there you have it folks. Our little science experiment in the making. Hopefully if things go as planned we’ll be able to try and do our first IUI in the next month or two depending on how my body reacts to the higher dosage of clomid and how my other blood work tests turn out. You never dream that your future child will be conceived this way, but this is the path we are being led down. I’m working really hard on staying positive and praying that this is the best $383 we will ever spend and that my marriage will survive a month of me being on a higher dosage of clomid! Please wish my husband luck…. or better yet, take him out for drinks!

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Real Life Groundhog Day

Ever feel like your life is a movie? You stop in a coffee shop and lock eyes with a Ryan Gosling look alike. As he leaves, you decide to leave your number with the barista in case for some reason Mr. Right decides to come back in because your 5 second unspoken connection was so meaningful that he’s decided he can’t live without you, comes back in for your phone number and then you live happily ever after. All of this to the tune of Carole King’s, “One Fine Day”. Every girls rom-com fantasy come true, right?

Well lucky for me, my real-life movie seems to be more like Groundhog Day. Just me, Bill Murray and good ole’ Punxsutawney Phil hanging out each month. Instead of looking for my shadow, I’m searching for those illusive two pink lines on a pregnancy test. Month after month of ovulation sticks, wine, charting, wine, meds and more wine. All leading up to that excruciating 3-5 minute waiting period just to have my dreams crushed with the appearance of only one stupid pink line. Maybe if I just draw in the second pink line with some fingernail polish I can trick my body into getting pregnant? I realize that’s not at all how this whole pregnancy thing works, but I’m starting to get desperate here people.

I seem to be in this infinite time loop and my life is just repeating itself month after month. Same steps. Same results. Not Pregnant. Now I’m not quite to the point of no return like Bill was and I don’t plan on trying to kill the groundhog to end this time loop… yet. We are however about to make the big money jump to start seeing a reproductive specialist. I can’t wait to spend thousands of dollars in hopes that a doctor can make my body do what it’s supposed to do naturally. Don’t mind me, just a little more bitter and sarcastic today than usual. Of course, I take no responsibility for this and blame it all on the hormones.

In all seriousness, I would pay and do whatever it takes so that I can hopefully experience the joy of pregnancy one day. And I mean, I’m not being greedy here. I’m just asking for one little miracle. I mean, two would be great, but one is all I need. Just to experience that sweet little baby growing inside me is honestly something I’m aching for and that ache has only grown since the day I feel in love with my husband. I want more than anything to see OUR little human. Half me; half him. Unfortunately, each month I’m told no and have to start the process over it becomes harder and harder to swallow.

Praying for a miracle soon because I’m not sure how much longer I can take hanging out with Bill and Phil. Happy Groundhog Day!

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What I feel like I see every month…

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