Breaking Point

199a5016aa06942cd047eeb15cfb04f7I realized a few weeks back that I had reached a breaking point. That my ability to manage my grief and deal with life had reached critical mass. I have seen and felt it coming. The panic attacks, tiredness, lack of excitement around things I used to enjoy.

The difference is I recognized it and acted proactively. Tonight I have my first counseling session. I am hoping *fingers crossed* I have found someone that specifically deals with infertility and pregnancy loss. If not this one though, I will find someone.

Wish me luck.

Finally a Plan

Today was my follow up at Cleveland Clinic. I met with Dr. Goldberg and I now feel a million times better.

I’m mad because I wasted so much time and money at the other office, but I am thankful to have a doctor that listened to me and then gave me a realistic breakdown and a plan.

As of right now, I have about a 2% chance of conceiving naturally with only timed intercourse each month (keep in mind normal fertile couples only have a 20% chance every month). I have officially been placed in the unexplained infertility category.

Which is right where I thought we were.

My plan of action is simple. I have about a 10% chance per month with an IUI with clomid or injectables. Since I ovulate, injectables are pointless for me. So we’re going to be doing 4 IUI’s with clomid over the next 4 months. If those fail we discuss IVF.

So if I am not knocked up by November, we wait a year, saving money like crazy and do IVF. If we get lucky we will only be out $450 times whatever number IUI is successful.

Either way its diagnosis, a plan, and a realistic breakdown of my chances. The one thing I have been looking for this entire time.

Infertile and Pissed Off

So it comes as no surprise to any of my dear readers to know I am infertile. Until recently most have seen comments from me about it in passing, or even read a forum comment from me discussing it. Its never been something I screamed out loud, but also not something I hid away from view like the majority of infertiles.

Since the ectopic fiasco though it is no longer something I can just bide my time with. Prior to the ectopic it felt easier to deal with.

In 7 total years of trying I had never been pregnant. Not even a hint. It was easier to deal with when I thought it was just completely impossible for me to be pregnant.

Was I still depressed? You betcha. But it didn’t disrupt my daily life.

Now, that has all changed. Right now it is a struggle for me to get out of bed every morning. I constantly think about how I should be pregnant, and now I am not only not pregnant, but even more defective than I was before. I try to remind myself that even though it was outpatient, my surgery literally saved my life. That there was a very real possibility that the baby I would do anything to still be carrying would have killed me. But it isn’t enough.

So instead I now obsess. And get depressed, and cry, then get angry. Rinse and repeat that cycle. I internalize and smile and say thank you to people who mean well, but say the wrong things. I weigh my options and then cry. Studies have shown that the level of depression someone that is infertile goes through is comparable to someone with cancer, I have to say I can believe that.

I want more then anything in this world to be pregnant and have a child that is 100% mine. It isn’t even a need to be biologically connected. I want to have a child that will not cost me $15,000-45,000, that I will not also have to share with someone, or have to explain that I don’t know their personal background to.

These are the things people don’t understand. No one ever asks people with children why they had children. But if you don’t have children you get grilled. So you open up and explain you are infertile and the onslaught commences.

“Why don’t you do IVF”

“Why don’t you adopt”

“Why don’t you foster”

All great options. A couple of those options we also want to pursue, given we want more then 1 child.  But each of those come with their own issues.

IVF – I would love to. I could be doing it right now. Except I don’t have any medical coverage for it. Despite the fact that I have no control over my infertility, I receive 0 help for it. But if I wanted to smoke and get lung cancer, or eat myself into another 100 lbs, I could get treatment for both of those conditions that were 100% within my control and will cost 10x more for them to manage.

Adoption – Contrary to popular belief, there are not thousands of free children up for adoption. Adoption is very, VERY expensive. Nevermind the fact that it doesn’t cure my biological desire to be pregnant and give birth. Add into that the fact that if I don’t want to wait several years, I have to be willing to share the upbringing of my child with the bio parent.

Fostering – An avenue we are very interested in. However, we want to do it in conjunction with having our own child as well. The vast majority of foster children are placed with the hope for reunification. Meaning I will not get to keep those children. This means I do not think it would be a wise decision for us to venture solely into fostering. I do not think I could deal with the heartbreak of losing child after child, without at least the small comfort of knowing 1 child will be able to stay with me forever.

So now I am simply left to wonder and try to make a decision. The fact that how I get to build my family will come down to how much $$$ I can save is not something the vast majority of people can understand, and it isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy. I just wish I could catch a break. I have no immediate family outside of Bill and my brother. You would think I could do this one thing to help fill my life, but alas I get this. And when I look at all the shit I have been handed in life so far, I start to seriously wonder how it is I do get out of bed every morning.

Change of Plans

Well, I had my follow up appointment this week. And with the follow up another change in plans. Instead of Clomid and Decadron, which he says I don’t need (my androgen levels came back normal on my most recent blood panel), we proceeded to a repeat HSG this month. I guess he was concerned that the surgery could have damaged my right tube, so he wanted to be sure it was clear. So Wednesday I went back for the repeat HSG. The plus with a test like this, especially when it is your RE doing it, at his office, with just one of his nurses is that I not only get to watch, I get my news immediately.

My right tube is still completely clear and spilling. It was all done so quickly now that my misguided and bratty left tube is gone, Bill said I should get a discount for using less dye and having fewer xrays taken. Of course, this bit of good news was also followed up with the doom and gloom of the fact that I could still have damage around that ovary, etc, etc.

So, plan now is that I go back next Monday or Tuesday. Given my regular cycle, I should be close to ovulation. RE wants to verify which side I will O on and will proceed to tell us to go home and screw like, as Bill put it, “rabid howler monkeys”, or he may suggest an unmedicated IUI. Only downside to this plan is that even if I O on my bad side, that will be my marching orders.

From there, I don’t know. HSG supposedly makes you more fertile for the first 3 months after. I am all aboard that train of course given that we conceived my doomed pregnancy (also my only pregnancy ever in 7 years) the 3rd month after my last HSG. My only real worry is that my stupid right tube looks like it may have been open this entire time, so there could be unviewable damage to it. But, I’m trying to think positively. Maybe it was backed up with mucus or something all these years and we just got unlucky that I had a good O from the left side before the right.

We’ll see. RE still wants me to do IUI with injectables, but said IVF is of course our best option. And of course when I told him yes, I understand, but IVF will take me a couple years to save for I got reminded of how old I already am and that 2 years could be the difference between my currently awesome egg status, to a poor egg status.

Like I needed that reminder? I know my time is running out, but I:

  • Don’t have the credit to take out a loan.
  • Don’t have anyone who can cosign a loan for me.
  • Do not have family I can borrow the money from to pay back.

And let’s not forget that the cost of IVF and meds is basically half my yearly salary right now.

BUT.

On the plus side.

If things go well and I am still were I am now 2 years from now (praying to every god in existence on this one), he did say I am an ideal candidate. On my ultrasound this week at only CD 5, I have around 8-9 follicles on each ovary, which he said he has seen on every ultrasound he has done on me. So he thinks that if I have to go through IVF, when he goes to stim me I should produce a bunch of high quality follicles, which means we should get a bunch of eggs (say 20-ish he thinks?). He also said my egg quantity is good, especially for my age. So if we end up on that road there are some plus’s to keep in mind.

So now I wait. Like I do every month. It’s a nasty vicious cycle. Period, wait to ovulate, wait to test, BFN, period, wait to ovulate, wait to test, BFN, period. Rinse and repeat. Over and over. And don’t forget all the crying and obsessing and worrying, as those are all large parts of this process as well. All in the hopes that I might be lucky enough to experience something biology has programmed me to want above all other things.

Maybe some day.