Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today i'm thankful for medical science. Without it so many friends and family would not be here, or be in much worse positions than they are. Without it B and I would have no possibility of having our own children. Even through IVF we know our chances are only 30%, but having that possibility makes it worthwhile.

I know I also feel so fortunate that we're attacking this now, and that we have a reason we've ended up at an IVF clinic. So many couples have unexplained fertility, and I can't imagine how painful that must be. Our doctor summed it up nicely at our last appointment saying for us hopefully the stress would be less because we know why we're there, and that's so true. I instantly felt better when he said that, as i'd always been a little uneasy that it wasn't wigging me out more to be considering this pretty invasive process.

Hopefully this time next year we'll be thankful for our own miracle of medical science.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Moving forward

We found out Monday that our fears over my AMH levels were unfounded (damn you Dr. Google!), and we're candidates for full IVF, but unfortunately not Mini-IVF. We talked about options, about the process and about expectations, and have decided to move forward into an IVF cycle. Excited, scared, it's quite a step into the unknown, but we're stepping all the way in. So many things to organize before we get going. The first step is taken, i'm on the birth control pill, for the first time in quite a while now! The next step comes on Christmas day, when we start the joy of injectable medication. What a lovely Christmas present....:) That puts us in place for an egg extraction in the first week of January, and hopefully an implantation shortly thereafter.

The last two days have been a head-spinning mix of phone calls and web searches. Where to get the loan? Should we go through a direct-to-provider pay system, or just get a loan? Applying for both and seeing what the deals might be. If we go with the former we might get a good rate, but it won't include medication. The later we can cover everything. Phone calls and web searches to get medication prices - which have been anywhere from $9,000 to $5000. Rather luckily, and slightly unbelievably, it looks like our local (Portland, ME) specialty pharmacy might actually have the cheapest prices and the best rebates. Which is great, it means getting refills will be easy and they're right there to talk to and help. All of this is totally alien to me coming from the UK - i've never had to call around to find pharmacy prices before, never had to consider finding $25K for a procedure - it's all new.

Yesterday I had my first session of fertility acupuncture (shown to increase IVF rates). I never thought I would EVER be in an acupuncturists office. I hate needles. There is no way i'm doing my own injectable medication, that's going to be B's responsibility, along with holding me down for it. Acupuncture was okay, better than expected, but i'll challenge anyone who ever says it's painless. The lady was super nice though and also worked on my shoulder (which has been sore for getting close to 2 years now) and did an "interesting" procedure called cupping. It felt nice, but I do now look like i've been attacked by an octopus.

So onwards, upwards and keep reminding myself it'll all be worth it to give this a try, no matter what the outcome. Once again, I wish that B and I had met in our early 20's, but we are where we are, and i'm so thankful we have met. There's no guarantee that even if we had, we'd have had success either - my AMH is much lower than it should be for my age, as is B's sperm count, and though i'll always wonder why, there is no way to know, but age doesn't seem to be the major factor in our case, it just would have given us more time to work through the financial and emotional rollercoaster side.

Through all of this potential stress and anxiety it's more and more clear to me that we are meant to be together, are perfect for each other. How many people sit in the Dr's office considering expensive painful procedures laughing? B has promised a joke for every needle he sticks in me, and i'm going to hold him to that....:)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The beginning

Every blog has to start somewhere, so here we are. B and I have been trying to have a baby for nearly a year, despite B undergoing a painful but very successful vasectomy reversal (previous marriage), with no joy. We decided to investigate options, while also looking at adoption and being floored by the cost and uncertainty it involved - way more than fertility treatments (which are not covered by insurance in the US) and in some cases you have a better chance of having a baby through IVF than the adoption process.

We went through a bunch of testing through Boston IVF in Maine, and tomorrow we head for our last consultation to discuss our fertility testing results. Tomorrow we find out  -

- what my results mean....Dr. Google doesn't have good things....what will Dr. Lannon say?
- if we're candidates for the $5000 Mini-IVF, or whether we're stuck to the $25,000 full IVF, or whether we're not candidates at all...

Tomorrow makes me very nervous. I've just about got my head around the fact that we won't be able to conceive naturally. We've just about got around our finances and decided how much we can borrow (2 tries max, more likely 1) and still have enough leeway to borrow even more to try for an adoption later. I know the success rates are very low (30%), and we're okay with that. What I don't know how i'll handle is the Dr. telling us my AMH results (a predictor of egg quantity and if IVF might work) are too low for IVF at all. I know it's a possibility, and I know i'm okay with adoption, but I don't really know what i'll really feel like if IVF isn't even an option after all this work up to it.

Over the last 5 years or so, i'd come to realise I may not have children of my own, ever. I'd become okay with it, truly. Meeting B changed all that for me, it changed everything. I hadn't been with someone i'd ever felt strongly about wanting children with before, and now I had. At 35 I knew time was short. Tomorrow we'll know.