Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fertility Chronicles: Part 6

This coming Monday will mark 2 weeks since I started my daily Lupron shots. The only side affect I've experienced is headaches. I'm just happy to be off of the Doxy!! It made me jittery, anxious and a bit nauseous! Today, I had my baseline ultrasound and blood work. According to the Dr., I have gorgeous ovaries and a perfect uterus. Aw shucks, that's what all the boys say! My estridol level was good, so I was cleared to start the Follistim on Saturday evening. So, in the morning, my Lupron will drop from 10u to 5u and in the evenings I'll give myself 100u of Follistim. Next Wednesday, April 1st, I'll have my first monitoring visit and then go in every other day until they decide that my follicles where they need to be and I get my instructions to take Ovidrel. Three days after that is egg retrieval. I'm getting really excited! It still doesn't seem real somehow. I was on the table today waiting for the Dr. to come in and just thought.."Holy crap..I'm really doing this. Woah."

Jeff sounded so excited when I told him I was cleared for take off that it made me smile and I wished that I'd been there to give him a hug. He was gone before I got home this morning, so I have to wait until tomorrow morning to see him. We've been discussing names and I keep getting frustrated. I can think of girls names all day long..but never any boys names. I just feel like we'll have a girl. Jeff's mom says it'll be a boy b/c boys run in their family. Ok..well girls run in ours. Even though the sex is determined by the man, b/c we're doing ICSI, it's a total toss up and even more random. They just pick 1 sperm from the group and inject it into the egg. There's no telling what the sex is more likely to be. I really want a girl..Jeff wants both..LOL. I'm still fine w/ twins even though I know it'll be really hard, at least I'd know we don't have to go through this all again...we'd be done!

I also found out that our insurance and the bank have already paid our Dr's office, so Jeff is now clear to take another job if he finds it. His last day is April 17th anyway and until we found out it was paid, he was going to be force to say until the last day to make sure our insurance lasts..but since it's paid, he's free to move on. He's had several people interested, so we'll see what happens. A lot of people have really questioned our decision to do this now considering the current state of the economy and the fact that Jeff may not have a job that pays as much. It might not make sense to you, but it was just the right time for us. God's timing is perfect and I can't question that. He's opened many doors to make this possible, even if it seems like it's a bad time. He's holding my hand through all of this and showing me the way and I feel content about it.

I feel like in a world where children have an overinflated sense of entitlement and self importance, and who aren't held accountable for their actions, I need to have a child who understands that if they do wrong, there's consequences and if they do right, rewards. They need to know that the things that are given to them are earned by hard work and dedication. No one else seems to grasp that concept so I think there should be at least one person who can act responsibly and lead others to do the same. I hope I can be the kind of parent who raises a child to be a great leader, be responsible, trustworthy, honorable and fair. Most parents probably wish that of their children but it doesn't work out that way very often.

Based on experience, somehow the world has started rewarding the lazy and punishing the hard workers. The ones who speak up, stand up for themselves, work hard, and try to change things for the better get labeled as trouble makers, tattle-tales, whistle blowers and usurpers. The ones who don't care enough to say anything and keep their mouth shut and do just enough work to get by, they somehow get privileges and pats on the back for doing NOTHING. This society is based on getting stuff for nothing and has a weak work ethic...and it has to change.

Take NC's governor for example. She depleted the education fund to pay for parole reform, based on what 2 people did while on parole. the kids are in schools with leaky roofs, not enough classrooms, and not enough teachers while the money is basically going to the criminals who do nothing to contribute to the good of society. It makes no sense to take the money from children who have a chance to change the world and give it to people who have little chance of being a productive member of society. So again..the lazy get rewarded. Without education or discipline, these students have a higher chance of being on parole one day..and it just perpetuates the cycle. And then, they wonder why NC has some of the lowest test scores in the country! make up for the money taken from the education fund, new taxes have been put in place. Why?? So she can rape the fund again?? It angers me to no end and THAT is why I want to have a child.

I have high hopes that between Jeff and I, we can raise a child that can make great changes in this world. I think that's why I am SO excited and empowered over the thought of being a mother. Even if my child doesn't change the world, I know they'll at least make it a better place and that just inspires me. Please keep us in your prayers and I'll update next week after my monitoring visit!

Vet Ventilation

The quickest definition of ventilation is movement of air in and out of an enclosed space. Circulating it, purifying it..replacing toxic air with clean air. Sometimes that's just what has to be done to clear your system and the purpose of this blog. Last Friday, I had to take 2 of my dogs to the vet for their Rabies vaccines so we could board them. Jazz had only been once before and didn't have a good experience, so I knew we'd have some struggles again. Patches has been going there for 7 years, so I didn't think it'd be a big issue. I was so wrong and the experience I had has me wanting to switch vets.

I took Jazz in first while leaving Patches in the car. I told them they couldn't take her from me without some rebellion on her part, so they weighed her and brought her back in the room for the rest of the work. They asked me to put a muzzle on her and I obliged b/c she doesn't like strangers..especially when they're poking her with stuff. I had my arm around her neck and was petting her head while the vet tech prepared to take her temp. Jazz is very sensitive about her butt anyway and doesn't even want her tail touched, so temperature is a huge issue anyway. The tech didn't tell me she was ready and when she put the thermometer in, Jazz sat down and bucked her head up, slamming me in the jaw and nose. The tech doing the temp goes, "Well..we'll just make a note in her file not to do her temp unless she's really sick." I told her I just wasn't ready and wasn't holding her tight enough and to go ahead and try again. I put my leg up under Jazz's belly to keep her from sitting down and held her head against my shoulder and told the tech to go ahead...and she just stared at me like, "You want me to do what??" So, I said, "If you're going to do it, do it now." She was just very tentative and I kept thinking.."Good Lord! Just do it already!!" So..she finally got her problem. step was drawing her blood for a heartworm check and the tech chose to do her back leg...I don't know if that's standard or if she was afraid of being near her head..even though she was muzzled. The first try was an epic fail. So was the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th try. All the same needle...she'd stick it in, not get anything, pull back a little and stick it back in. AT this point, Jazz is getting angry and starting to shake with fear while trying to get free. She turns her head and looks at the vet tech with a look that clearly says, "If I didn't have this muzzle on, you'd be lunch meat right now." So, I asked her if the other vet tech could try and she said that Jazz just had shallow veins. Ok..well is there someone with more experience that could hit a shallow vein? She tried the other leg and Jazz gave me that, "Oh Mama please help me" look and I felt so bad for her. Attempt number 5 failed. So did #6. Finally..with needle # 2 and attempt 7, they got enough blood to run the test. I got to take her muzzle off...but not before they backed up to the farthest side of the room as if she was a raging bull. All she did was wag her tail, hide behind me and press against my leg. It just angered me that they treated her that way.

Then the vet herself came in..made me remuzzle her, gave her her rabies shot, checked a few things, said she was a good weight, had a negative heartworm test, had good joints, etc..and then said that b/c of the difficulty in getting her temp. and blood, they may have to start sedating her to get it. Um..NO. I asked for sedatives in order to trim her claws and they if they're not going to do it for that..they're not doing it at all. They still got her temp and blood..but who said anything in life was supposed to be easy?? Jazz was fine..but they were so afraid of her that she was feeding off of their fear. I was just so frustrated with them for being pansies. I'm not saying they should've been aggressive and force Jazz into a corner or anything..but at least show some compassion for the dog's fear and some persistance. If they're that afraid of being bit, they're in the wrong job.

Anyway, after taking her muzzle off, the Dr. gave her a cookie and Jazz was so gentle in taking it out of her hand that it made me that much more upset that they treated her like some crazed wild dog. I know the muzzle was for protection..and I was ok w/ that b/c if Jazz doesn't like something, she'll put her teeth on you to let you know..but doesn't bite. I would not however, want to take that chance w/ strangers. Jazz is very sweet and gentle and wants so much to be loved on and part of what you're doing that she gets so excited and rambunctious at the thought of you playing with her. She's just very high spirited and can scare some people b/c she likes to jump. that's the end of Jazz's story. On to Patches.

I took Jazz out, brought Patches in and the 2 vet tech's walked in the room and started to approach Patches. It seemed all good b/c she was wagging, but as soon as they got close to her, she barked and backed up...and they jumped back as if she'd already bitten them. They took her to be weighed, took her temp, etc..and then I heard some huffing, puffing and little dog feet scrambling. They'd muzzled her. She's almost 9 and has NEVER been muzzled..and they were getting snippy w/ her b/c she was fighting them. She was clawing at her face, huffing, tongue hanging out through her teeth, drooling and the most horrible look of fear in her eyes I've ever seen. Rage started bubbling up inside me and it apparently showed on my face b/c the vet tech goes, "She got a little snarly when we tried to draw her blood." Ok..I understand, but it didn't make me any less angry to see my girl like that.

They did a quick exam and while the vet was listening to her heart, she reached up and clamped Patches mouth closed b/c she was huffing and breathing so heavily. I know it was to hear her heart better, but it just freaked Patches out more. As soon as the vet let go, she started shaking her head back and forth and pawing at the muzzle...and both the vet tech's and vet backed up..1 actually left the room. She's muzzled you morons!! What's she going to do?? After Patches calmed a little bit, they let me take the muzzle off and she just sat there..totally fine. It probably didn't help that they called her fat..maybe Patches is sensitive. =) I know she needs to lose about 23 lbs, but we had her thyroid tested and should get the results back in a few weeks. The vet said Cushing's Disease could explain her weight we'll probably have to have her tested for that too.

It was just an upsetting vet trip. The vet tech's were too timid and scared...which only scared my dogs when they were already on alert. They weren't very friendly and I can't say they were inexperienced..b/c I've seen them there for a few years now. I know they mean well..but I just wasn't happy with the way my dogs were treated and they completely freak out when I pull into the parking lot I think it's time for a change. Patches did fine when we took her to a different vet for a ruptured tick cyst and our vet was closed. Granted...Jeff was with her and she's his dog. She doesn't trust me like she does him. She loves me...but she's a daddy's girl, no doubt. I'm considering going to a mobile vet who will come out and charge me a $50 house visit and treat all my animals. I had Patches and Jazz's appt at the same time and they charged me $30 a piece for an office visit. I paid out almost $300 for that one visit. Insane! Anyhow..I just wanted to vent a little on my bad experience and get it off my chest. I felt bad for my girls so when we got home, they each got a yummy doggie mini-bagel from the Bone Appetit Pet Bakery in Myrtle Beach. They love that place and despite a horrible day, they had a great weekend with Terri!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fertility Chronicles: Part 5.1

This will be more of blogette..a quickie update. I got my medications yesterday. Huge box..lots of stuff. It seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but it was mostly syringes and alcohol wipes. The actual medications took up very little space. Just before Fed Ex arrived, the nurse called and told me my Lupron start date would be Monday.'s getting very real now. I'm very excited though!!! After doing some math, I've figured that the earliest possible embryo transfer date would be April 10th and that's when you count the shortest distance between each step. That's highly unlikely..but still possible. The latest possible date given the longest distance between each step would be April 24th for a blastocyst transfer. That's the only timeline I can give you. I'm deciding on a comfortable medium and going to say it's probably going to be around April 16th. It'll still be awhile before I know exact dates..but I'll keep you posted! =)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fertility Chronicles: Part 5

Sorry I didn't update this last week, but I was busy! Jeff and I had our IVF medication instruction class last Thursday. There were 4 other couples in the class and it lasted about 2 hours, but was filled with a LOT of information. She gave us the details of which meds to take and when and for how long and showed us how to draw the meds. She left very few questions unanswered. I'm really glad Jeff went with me b/c it was a lot of information to get in such a short amount of time. The progesterone needle was the only part that made me go.."hoollly crap". Two inches long..all the way in my hip..every day for 10 weeks after the embryo transfer. If the embryo's don't attach and I'm not pregnant, then I don't have to take it..otherwise, it's through most of the 1st trimester. OUCH.

So..where do we stand now? I got a letter from Duke telling me the amount I owed after insurance paid, which is $3518. I faxed that to ARC Sunday night and they called me back confirming that they got it and were just waiting on the clinic to fax the prescriptions. Duke faxed those to ARC today and she called telling me the price on those was $2328.48, for a total loan amount of $5846.48. She said she'd get the loan paperwork up and ready to go and fax them to me tonight...which I never received..but then I just sign them, fax them back, they order the drugs and have them overnighted to me..and away we go! I still have to go in for my baseline ultrasound before I can start the drugs, but hopefully I can start them the first of next week.

Jeff got me all freaked out the other night because he told me his contract expires on April 15th and I thought we had until April 30th. If I had started the drugs tomorrow, we'd be looking at an embryo transfer date of around April 13th. That's cutting it verrrrry close. The only way this is going to work if Jeff gets the COBRA insurance through the end of the month. That's also really expensive, but still cheaper than paying full price for IVF. If his insurance hadn't covered any of it, we would've paid about $13,000 for everything. We're hoping that his insurance doesn't end the day of his contract, but at the end of the month during which his contract ends. We'll see. I can't stress over it b/c there's nothing I can do, you know?

The fact that this might not work hasn't even set in really. I'm just confident that it will work...I have to think that way. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but at the same time, I'm thinking of names, who to pick for an OB, how I'll do the nursery and wondering how fat I'll get. My biggest concern is that Jeff can't get another job until this cycle is over with b/c of the insurance. So..he'll be technically without a job before we even have the embryo transfer and that scares me. I know we'll be ok because we always have just works itself out...but that doesn't mean it'll be easy. Our first year was rough b/c he got laid off..and even if he gets another job, he may not be making as much...and we need to prepare for that. I'm putting away as much as I can to help cushion it a bit, but it's not going to be enough. The job market for IT people in this area has slowed to less than a crawl. It's kind of like a baby who's just lying on the floor, drooling, rocking back and forth but not going anywhere. He's looked for jobs outside of the Triangle and in other states, but the truth is that we don't want to move. Despite the strange weather and unbearable summers, we like it here. We're close to just about everything and there's never a shortage of anything to have to do what you have to do. If we can't make it through the next 18 months and wait for the economy to turn around, we'll have no choice but to go elsewhere. That makes me sad.

I'm just so thankful to have a very supportive family who I know will help us out when and how they can. All I can do is pray. So, here's to a successful IVF cycle, a new job for Jeff, and strengthening our bond by extending our family!