Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I am having the worst morning. Well, I'm being a bit of a baby, but here goes:

1. My doctor is letting me sleep without my knee brace. The biggest problem with this, though, is my husband. We're both tall, and we have a queen size bed. At 6:15 this morning, my husband moves or rolls and gives me a bony hard knee to the shin. OUCH! I'm wide awake, 30 minutes before my alarm. The bright side? At least I get to work on time.

2. After I get up, I feed the annoying, whiny cat (who spent a good part of the night sleeping in a spot on the bed where I didn't have room for both legs on one side of her, but couldn't seem to get one leg on the other side of her). While I'm leaning down to feed her, balanced precariously on one foot, I fall. Luckly onto my left side, not my injured knee. Thank goodness for that! I feel like a crotchety old lady.

3. I get to work and realize that in my haste to put this shitty morning behind me, I have forgotten my yogurt at home. I'm starving, and it's a long way to buy any breakfast for a person on crutches. I will have to see if a coworker will go get me something.

4. My sister called (just as I was going through my bag looking for my yogurt and realizing I didn't have it). She asked if I had looked on Fac.ebo..ok this morning (I hadn't). The wife of my lame, idiotic brother apparently announced that they are having their THIRD child (the second unplanned one). They haven't even told anyone in my family yet, but they told Guess they better put off their plans to declare bankruptcy another year, so they can get the delivery costs wiped out. ARGH!

Sometimes I love how supportive my husband is, but sometimes I can't STAND his pollyanna, zen attitude. Everything is a learning experience and there is always a silver lining and getting upset never helps anything. ARGH! He doesn't understand why I should be upset that my idiot of a brother keeps having kids without even trying and we've spent two years and thousands of dollars and gone through hell and have absolutely nothing to show for it.

He says we're just at the start and there's no reason to be depressed. Just at the start! Because we're now starting IVF! He is so happy and hopeful that we're moving onto IVF, because apparently it's such a wonderful thing! Sometimes I could kick him. I guess it's good that one of us has a good attitude, but OMG seriously. It drives me crazy.

OK, off to bribe a coworker to go get me breakfast.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The right decision

I got home from work yesterday, hopped upstairs on my crutches, and picked up the mail. There was a fat envelope from B.l.ue I held my breath, stuffed the mail into the side pocket of my backpack, and let myself into the house while my cat gratefully charged out into the great wide yonger (don't worry, she and the birds are all safe - she never goes more than about 20 feet away and meows at the birds so she'll never catch them).

Anyway, I anxiously opened it and ... my insurance is PAYING FOR MY KNEE SURGERY! I mean, they're supposed to pay for my knee surgery, but I was expecting some document in legalese to explain why they weren't obligated or something like that. That put a huge smile on my face.

Today I had physical therapy and saw the orthopedist. Both of them said I was doing amazingly well for three weeks post-op, and gave me the go-ahead to start riding an exercise bike, and to start trying to walk next Friday. I could be off the crutches completely in 2-3 weeks. That made my DAY. Actually, that made my WEEK. Seriously guys, if you have never been on crutches before, it SUCKS. At least, once you're over the age of 12.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I am incredibly grateful that things with my knee are going so well and that I only have to pay the balance on my deductible for the knee surgery, rehab, doctor's visits, and everything else. I wish I could bottle up the feeling, or somehow preserve it or remember it for those days when I really get down, like when IF kicks my ass or things at work suck. I want to come back and remember this happiness I'm feeling right now.

Wait until I get to ride my REAL bike again - my smile will be blinding.

AND - I'm about to go get chocolate frozen yogurt as an afternoon treat. What a great way to end the week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Show and Tell - ravioli!

It's Show and Tell time again! I don't have any recent pictures (see previous posts on knee surgery and spending lots of time on the couch), so I pulled up a semi-recent picture.

I LOVE to cook. And bake. And it's something I've barely done since I had knee surgery. We borrowed a barstool/tall chair from a friend and put it in the kitchen and while it gets in the way and it's not ideal, it allows me to sit at the stove and cook or sit at the sink and wash dishes.

Anyway, here is a picture of something I made back in May - homemade ravioli.

As many of you know, my husband is from Italy and I have spent many a vacation there learning how to cook traditional Italian food from his mother and grandmother. One of my goals is to occasionally recreate one of my husband's favorite dishes at least half as well as my mother-in-law or grandmother-in-law. And sometimes I am successful.

Ravioli are a LOT of work, and I can testify that I have not made any more since May. And might not make any more until next May. But we'll be in Italy for Christmas, so don't feel too sorry for my husband!

See what everyone else is showing by checking out Mel's Show and Tell post!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baseline u/s for IVF #1

IVF #1 is right around the corner.

I had my baseline today. Everything looked good, thin uterine lining (from the BCPs) and no cysts. The doctor didn't say a word about resting follicles (antral follices?) but I can more or less recognize them now and it looked like there were a lot. Yay!

The gave us a huge pile of forms to take home, read, and sign. I'm not 100% thrilled with all of it. The part that gets me the most is that if you do the shared risk package (1 fresh IVF, up to 6 FETs until all preserved embryos are gone, and then another fresh IVF), if any pregnancy, through IVF OR spontaneous, makes it past 10 weeks, you forfeit any further treatment. So if IVF #1 or any FET works, or I somehow magically spontaneously get pregnant (that's like spontaneous combustion, right?), and I miscarry at 11 weeks, that's it. Start from scratch.

I'm not really ok with that. Why not 12 weeks? Isn't that when the risk of miscarriage really goes down? I mean, maybe they're not counting the two weeks pre-transfer, but I thought 10 weeks gestation was universally understood to mean 10 weeks since the beginning of the cycle when you get pregnant.

Well, we will bring this up with them before signing the forms. Otherwise, I'm so excited to get started.

Except I just realized that I didn't ask the doctor about PIO v. suppositories. Crap. I guess I'm getting PIO. I'll write my next post about progesterone and the various feelings I have toward it (mostly dread) and why I objectively think suppositories might be better (international travel).

BTW - I hope it's obvious that I wrote my last post under the influence of I think it was the last one I took. My leg is doing much better, although my lack of mobility is still frustrating the heck out of me.

Oh, and I lost weight! At least 6 pounds! Nar.c.otic painkillers, loss of appetite, vomiting, and MAJOR loss of leg muscle will probably do that, though. Seriously, I don't have a right quad muscle anymore, it's very sad. At least my right leg could be a supermodel (not the rest of me, though).

Long rambling post, but the moral of the story is - it's good to be back in the game.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Quick thought

I propose a new form of government or religion or whatever, really, in which everyone gets a shot at one baby first, and then when everyone who wants one baby has one, THEN those who want a second baby get their turn. This whole system of some people having two or three or ten or eighteen babies while some people don't get any - well, who came up with that?! That's certainly not fair. Maybe my system is too socialist, but at least it's fair!

Maybe I will run for President on this platform of fairness and equality. Babies for everyone who wants them! Vote for me!

** Just a little silliness since I am, once again, stuck at home in bed due to painful muscle cramps/spasms after knee surgery. And the doctor is taking away my Woe is me.

*** On the up side - ultrasound next week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

IVF thoughts

I just got my schedule to start IVF. I'm excited about it. So far, it goes like this - I'd love any IVF vets to tell me if this is similar to what you went through:

Sept. 22 - baseline u/s
Oct 15 - start Lupron, 10 units per day (stop BCPs after a couple days of this)
Oct 22 - decrease Lupron to 5 units per day, start FSH at 225 units per day
Oct. 30 - monitoring u/s

That's it - no other appointments as far as I can tell, except my injection classes. It seems like when I read about other people's IVF schedules, they have regular blood and u/s monitoring. This sounds to me like I won't know until pretty much trigger day how many eggs I have, much less if I have any at all.

The other thing we have to decide, and soon, is whether or not to do the "shared risk" plan. The way it works at our clinic is, you either pay $8500 for one cycle, plus meds, OR you pay $14,500 plus meds for one fresh cycle, up to six FETs (depending on how many frozen embryos you have), and then one more fresh cycle, all of which must be used up within one year of start the original IVF cycle. Considering how much the meds cost, it's probably more like $11,500 for one cycle plus $17,500-$25,000 or more for the package deal.

I feel like in some ways, we have a lot on our side. We're young and healthy, and they can't find anything wrong with us. There's absolutely no reason why it wouldn't work the first time. On the other hand, we're unexplained - there's no real known reason why we can't get pregnant and therefore it could be something that IVF can't fix.

One of the things I keep thinking about is the jinx factor. If we only spend $8,500, we're pretty much ensuring we'll need to try again, since we didn't pay for the back-up. If we spend $14,500 as a safety net, surely it will work the first time. Sort of like how you should always wear your seatbelt, because surely the first time you don't you will have an accident - maybe because you weren't wearing your seatbelt. I don't want to have to do IVF more than once because I was so cocky and sure of myself that I wouldn't wear my seatbelt.

I mean, ouch, it's a lot of money. But better to pay the money, have the opportunities, and not need them, than to NOT pay the money, not have the opportunities and be right back at square one, trying to decide which option to do the second time around.

Well, I guess we'll see, and time will tell.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Still here

It has been another busy, long week. I've been working from home, although it's been in fits and starts while I take naps, do my exercises, and take 10 times as long to do anything I did before.

I went to the dr. on Wednesday and also to physical therapy. The therapist said I was doing great and had done a great job with my post-surgery exercises. I have already been through this type of therapy when I originally injured my knee, so I knew what I was doing, which helped. The doctor was also happy with my progress. He showed me pictures of the arthroscopy, and aspirated fluid from my knee with a needle and HUGE syringe. I am still quite the wuss. I could watch either that or when the nurse took out my stitches. My husband laughed at me the whole time.

Last night I had friends from work over and my husband made dinner and cleaned up while we played games. I owe him BIG TIME. I want to cook him one of his favorite meals, but I can't because first I can't really stand for that long (I cooked something last night and my foot got so swollen I looked like a pincushion) and second I can't really clean up after myself so he'd have a big mess to clean up. I can't figure out what I can do for him to thank him for all of his work unless I wait for weeks to be able to walk again. It's very frustrating.

I'm starting to realize the countdown AFTER surgery is just as big of a deal as the countdown TO surgery - bigger, even. Just like with a baby, every milestone is a big deal, and they come really fast.

I keep looking at my blog just to look at the tickers at the top. I can't believe IVF #1 is only a month away. I actually have a baseline ultrasound in less than two weeks, so I guess we're really getting started quite soon. Between my physical therapy and my IVF appointments, my boss is going to be super-annoyed with me. Oh well. That's life, right?

Have a good weekend everyone.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Labor Day weekend

Well. I survived the surgery. I have been through an awful lot in the last few days, including complete incoherence, vomiting, the inability to stay awake and/or lucid, intense pain, crazy muscle spasms that made me cry or woke me up in the middle of the night, and more. My leg is wrapped up in a bandage and I have no idea what things look like under there. I haven't been able to shower yet, but my husband and I realized last night that he could wash my hair in the sink, and it was pure heaven.

I don't have anything exciting talk about unless anyone wants to hear about leg stretching or what to do for fun when you are stuck in bed or on the couch all day.

I'm really looking forward to IVF now - I feel like if I can handle knee surgery, I can handle anything. And my husband has been awesome, making sure I am comfortable, preparing amazing meals that I can only force myself to eat a bite of, cleaning up after me, getting me barf bags, washing my hair(!), getting up in the middle of the night to get me water and help me to the bathroom. He is SO AWESOME. I'm so lucky. Even if I never get pregnant, I know I'm so incredibly lucky to have this wonderful guy who obviously loves me so much.

Have a good rest of the holiday weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One step backwards to move forwards

I finally remembered to call the IF clinic yesterday to ask if they should know that AF arrived, and they immediately called in my BCP prescription. I started taking them last night and will be on them for the next six weeks. I also scheduled my baseline u/s!

Every blogger who does IVF writes about the insanity of taking BCPs after years of ttc. I'm no different - it feels ridiculous. It feels even MORE ridiculous to be swallowing the BCP along with a prenatal vitamin.

On the other hand - it feels great to finally be doing SOMETHING again. Even if it's the opposite of what I want to be doing. It just beats sitting around twiddling my thumbs and reading about everyone else's BFPs.

I can tell my attitude is finally picking up because I'm actually taking prenatals again. I took them religiously for a year and a half. And then I said to myself, what the hell are you thinking? You're not going to get pregnant on your own, that much is clear. And you're not doing any treatment right now. So why are you taking prenatals? All you're doing is giving yourself false hope.

So I stopped. And now I've started again. Because in six weeks, IVF #1 starts.


Tomorrow is my knee surgery. I don't know when I'll update again, I might take a small break. Congrats to those of you with BFPs, and good luck to those who are still waiting for them.