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>> Sunday, January 29, 2012

On January 18, we attended the long anticipated IVF class!

Upon first hearing that we would have  a class, I didn't give it much thought because the idea was so abstract. It was part of the distant future in a world where maybe, possibly, we would complete an IVF cycle. Honestly, I was so overwhelmed by the long list of tasks we had to complete prior to even becoming eligible for class, that I couldn't even think forward to the class itself. However, in a similar fashion to how I feel about most things in this journey, each month drags on forever yet things creep up on you before you are ready for them.

So, we completed our pre-reqs and headed to class. I would like to proudly say that we were calmly late for our 8am appointment. I am not proud that we were late, but I am proud that I didn't stress out or become anxious in morning traffic. Instead we kept it light and slowly made our way to the office for the last of the pre-reqs including bloodwork and other fun stuff.

Then, we sat in the waiting room prior to class intently focusing on the people around us (sad but true, whether in a support group or MD office, it is hard not to people watch the other infertiles around you to confirm that in-fact they look normal therefore you too must be normal). While watching, I saw a scenario play out that I have reviewed in my mind a million times. A couple, waiting for class, ran into a friend in the waiting room, and quickly it was obvious that neither had any idea of the others struggle with fertility issues. There were awkward exchanges and finally the friend of my classmates breaks the tension with a fabulous question..."so, have you started the shots yet, cause they make you crazy?"!! It was hilarious to me and honestly they all seemed to have a good laugh too.

Then we were all called back to the swanky conference room to start class. I say it was swanky because they had lots of snacks, leather chairs, and fun goodie bags on the table. It doesn't take much to impress me, plus I have noticed that in these places that are primarily private pay - they tend to splurge a little more on the patients than our local health department. Anyway, our classmates were 2 other couples who seemed similar in age/stage of life to us, a woman with a recording device because her husband couldn't get off work, and a single lady. Yep, I said it... a strong, independent, kind of strange but obviously very determined, single woman. She had previously attempted IUI with donor sperm and for whatever reason had now moved on to IVF. I admit I was and still am kind of torn with my feelings about this woman. I admire her independence and desire, while at the same time it is hard for me to imagine undergoing this emotional roller coaster without such an incredible companion by my side.

So, the details of class were pretty basic. We reviewed different shots and practiced with saline filled syringes. We discussed a generic protocol that involved taking lupron, follistim, and ovidrel; however I learned later in our meeting with the nurse that this would not be our personal protocol, which for some reason annoys me cause I feel like I was focusing hard to learn something I didn't need to know. I am sure it didn't hurt me to learn more info than needed and I am sure that the principals are the same, however I do wish I had known our protocol prior to class instead of after.

Anyway, after a lovely class where we discussed basically shots and then the overall cost of this monster project, we then met with our new IVF nurse. She will be our point person and the main contact through the process which is great, because I feel like 1 point person will decrease confusion. We were told at this meeting that our drugs of choice will be good old birth control, ganirelix, follistim, and ovidrel. What I can gather is that ganirelix is started later in your cycle and used to prevent ovulation, while lupron drops your hormone levels down early and suppresses them for the whole cycle instead of just changing hormones right before ovulation. The nurse said that ganirelix was chosen for me because they have no reason to think I will not stimulate well (based on age and no known medical issues) and it will produce fewer, better quality eggs, thereby hopefully preventing hyper-stimulation. The other positive is that ganirelix requires fewer shots and based on what my other IF friends have told me, I want no part of the craziness that Lupron creates ie. hating everyone, crying often, and other awesome hormonal imbalances!! I also think the part 'better quality eggs' sounds good but I must admit that I am  apprehensive when they operate under the pretense that I will have no problems with this cycle. I know that to this point we have been a "male-factor infertility" couple, but I am simply afraid that they will assume I am good to go and then I will not only disappoint them, but also disappoint myself when I don't stimulate the way they expected and we have to cancel the cycle. I know that these fears are baseless and that we can adjust meds as we go, so I am trying to trust that my doctors have the right plan in place for us and that God is guiding the path that lies ahead. I am also trying to stay away from google because you can imagine that searching my protocol and finding details about other people's failed or successful cycles has already proved to be a bad idea.

Overall, since leaving class I am feeling good. My sweet husband and I are on the same page and both ready to start the process and keep moving forward. At lunch after class we discussed the pros and cons of starting soon or waiting a few months based on our social calendar, but eventually we agreed that waiting just doesn't make sense after we have already waited so long. So, although my darling hubby is still struggling with idea that 'no drinking' prior to the cycle means "no drinking" at the Superbowl parties, he is ready to move forward and so am I.

So, now we wait for cycle day 1, when birth control, extra vitamins, and antibiotics become the new normal at our house. I can honestly say that for the first time in 50 cycles of TTC, I am grinning from ear to ear when I think about cycle day 1. Finally, it no longer indicates that we failed at conceiving this month, it now means we are moving forward and we are one step closer to meeting the little person that waits in our future.



Absence = Fondness

>> Monday, January 23, 2012

So, our journey has continued over the past several months, even though I have been absent from the blogging world. Hopefully, you won't take my absence personally since even if I wasn't writing, I was still reading about the journeys of all my wonderful IF friends.  Honestly, falling off the radar is just a poor coping skill that I seem to implement when I am feeling overwhelmed and I am in need of time to sort through all my crazy thoughts. Typically, I come back rested and rejuvenated but if I am honest I know it's pretty selfish that I often disappear from real life, friends, and now my virtual world. Yet, somehow I think the blog-o-sphere might be more forgiving than my real life friends.

Anyway, a lot has happened and honestly it has all been positive progress towards our future family. After the adoption conference, we decided to continue with IVF pre-req testing so that regardless of what we ultimately decided, we would be moving forward. We met with the RE, did blood work, gave samples, and tried to cram as much medical "diagnosis testing" into the last quarter of the year as possible. All in an attempt to move forward and hopefully get insurance to cover a few things before a new deductible year. 

During this time, we also continued to talk with our family about our struggles to conceive. We spoke more openly with our parents and we confided in our siblings that we were planning to move forward sooner than later. It felt good to share openly and everyone was incredibly supportive. It was also nice to move into the holidays with everyone aware of our situation, thereby preventing the awkward family moments when someone would previously make a comment about our future children someday being there to open gifts.

Now, moving into 2012 things have continued to move in the direction of IVF (reasons for our IVF decision will have to be addressed in another post, because it's just too complicated to start tongiht). I feel good about our decision and I am truly hopeful for our future. I feel like we are coping well, we are surrounded by incredible support systems, and God is opening every door that will lead us to an incredible future that he has planned for us.

Last but not least, I am making a commitment to blog more. I know I said initially I did not want this blog to be a commitment (which obviously it hasn't since I haven't blogged since November) but I think I have changed my mind. I want to document our journey. I want a space where I can look back and see how crazy it was and how far we have come. I also need to write it all down so in the future when I am worn out from caring for my IVF triplets, I will remain forever grateful for what it took to get there. 

So stay tuned...details from IVF class are just around the corner...



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Home Sweet Home
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A glimpse into my journey to grow my faith and my family. Each day I am trying to trust in God's plan for my life, while I struggle with my own desires for my career, my marriage, and my hope for a family.

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