Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dollhouse

Years ago, when I was around 7 or 8, my parents bought me a dollhouse for either Christmas or my birthday, I don't remember which. It was the kind that came in a flat box and that had to be assembled.  My dad and I spent weeks working on the dollhouse, putting it together and making it look awesome. My mother had taken me to a toy store that specialized in dollhouse materials and we bought wallpaper and carpet. Once the house was built and done on the inside, one of my very talented aunts painted it for me.

I played in this dollhouse for many years. It was definitely my favorite toy to play with growing up. When I was about 14, I re-wallpapered the house. At the time I thought it would be great for when I had my own children.

Little Bean, Hubs, and I went to my parent's house for the 4th of July, and I had decided it was time to send the dollhouse back to our home. So I packed it up and shipped it here. I had also decided that I was going to fix it up with the help of Little Bean, making it an heirloom. From one generation to the next.

Shortly after it arrived here, Little Bean and I went to the craft store. As scrapbooking is such a popular hobby right now, I was able to outfit the house will all new wallpaper, carpet, baseboards, and chair rails for around $50. I then spent around $100 putting in lighting and buying other miscellaneous decoratve items.

I am far from done with the house, but for now, the decorating is done. It is now only a matter of adding new furniture.

For all of my friends and family who have long been awaiting this reveal, I give you the following presentaion!

video

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On Hold

One thing always holds true with fertility treatments, and that is every cycle always has a hiccup. They rarely ever go as planned, or go the way you want them to. Our hiccup for this month is the cycle is now on hold for a month.

I went in for a CD4 sono last Wednesday and they found a large cyst on one of my ovaries. Dr H didn't get in until about an hour after my appointment, so I left thinking the cycle would be cancelled. This was also based on my asking the sonographer if she thought he would cancel, and she said she wasn't positive, but that it was most likely.

When I hadn't heard anything by 2:00 that afternoon, I called to verify cancellation and was told that it wasn't, and to proceed with the injections. I then asked if Dr H had been told about our desire to do IUI, which apparently he had not. Long story short and after my first dose of menopur, Dr H will be on vacation during the week we would do an IUI, so the cycle is on hold. ($75 down the toilet!)

I honestly don't mind the cycle being on hold. We've played this game for over four total years, and I know that cysts and cycle cancellations happen. Plus, as I mentioned in my previous post, we have a couple of vacations planned, and my not being pregnant makes them not only more likely to actually happen, but it makes it more likely I will be able to enjoy them to the fullest. Curious? We're going to London baby, yeah!!!!

 

We booked the trip a while ago, knowing full well if we got pregnant within a certain time-frame, the trip would most likely be cancelled. Since we aren't pregnant yet, that window has past, and we are definitely clear for takeoff! And yes, Little Bean is going with us. Like we could go on vacation without her. What fun would that be?

Before the year is out, we will also be making a trip to Disney Land! Most people ask why not Disney World, and the answer to that is because we are going with my family, all of whom live on the west coast. So DL is closer and cheaper for all of them. Additionally, Hubs really wants to go ride the coasters at Magic Mountain.


Knowing that we had those vacations planned and booked definitely made it easier to take each disappointing appearance of AF. If it stung at all, it didn't sting for long.

So now we wait for Dr H to get back from his vacation, and see if AF shows up, or if we get pregnant on our own this month, which would be both funny and upsetting, considering how much we just spent on injectibles for IUI. But even if we don't use them this year, they'll keep for a while, right? ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We're Biting the Bullet - For Real This Time

A lot of my blog readers are fellow infertiles, so none of the cost associated with fertility treatments is news to them, but for everyone else who reads and wants to know, I am going to let you all know how much everything costs and how much of your life a cycle takes. All because I know people want to know but are afraid to ask, and I think people should be educated on what they don't completely understand.

I went and saw Dr H last Friday and we discussed in great length the potential cycle plans for this month. In the end, we decided to go the injectible route because it has no negative side-effects on the cycle and will give us multiple follicles. (One follicle = one egg = one chance at a baby)

Today I got a call from Dr H's office and either his benefits lady screwed us over in regard to our insurance covering any cost of any cycle (she told us last month the insurance would cover the cycle as long as it didn't end in artificial insemination, which was why we opted out of IUI last month), or she just doesn't want to call and verify benefits again. Long story short, she says our insurance will no longer cover the cost of ANYTHING we do with Dr H. I asked her how we got away with them covering everything for the last two years when we saw Dr Dumb, but not now. She said she didn't know, but I do. So far I haven't seen a denied claim from my insurance for last month's cycle. I think if they just submit the claims, the will get paid.

But I digress. So the lady calls today to tell me that this current cycle is going to cost us $1100 out of pocket, which based on the previous paragraph, I did not expect. I was sick and wanted to cry because I was having $840 worth of injecibles delivered to my house and my husband had said he wanted to hold off on the expensive cycles for now. This left me with the dilemma of do we cancel the cycle and hang onto the meds for a couple months; do we go ahead with the cycle; or do we go ahead with the cycle and throw in the IUI (artificial insemination) since we're already shelling out.

I thought about it long and hard all day, and in the end, I decided we're going to do an IUI. We've already paid for the meds, and if we're going to go ahead with the cycle, we might as well pay the extra $385 to do IUI to give us the best possible chance of getting pregnant and being done with all of this, especially considering how much we're going to have to spend anyway.

I told Hubs I know it wasn't happening the way he would like, and that I am throwing big numbers at him and forcing him to make a split-second decision, but I wanted to just go ahead with it and be done. Basically I told him if he let me go through with it now, I'd call it quits for the rest of this year. We have two vacations coming up, so I would rather pay for the cycle now and save up for our vacations rather than drag this out.

So if you're doing the math, so far we are spending:
  • $840 for injectibles
  • A minimum of $1100 for the cycle, which could cost more if we need additional dr appointments or sonos.
  • $385 for the IUI
  • $90 for progesterone after the IUI to help keep a pregnancy
That puts us just shy of $2500 for one cycle that may or may not result in a pregnancy.

As I said before, if you've been through treatments, this number isn't shocking. But to everyone else, it seems like a big price tag, and it is, unless you get a baby out of it, and then it is chump change. I'm hoping this money ends up being chump change for us.

So far we have spent more money and gone through more trying for #2 than we did for #1. More medicated cycles, way more surgeries, more shots, and more doctors. I am sure we have spent enough money over the past 6 years in trying to get pregnant that would could have probably bought a couple of really nice cars. But #1 was worth it, and I know that #2 will be as well.

So tomorrow is the beginning of this cycle. The beginning sono to make sure we are clear for takeoff, and then the 10-day regimen of shots begins. Its all in God's hands now.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Struggling

I don't know if it is because of the fact that I'm doing a medicated cycle right now , or if it is just because life is that out of whack, but I am finding that I am really struggling to keep from feeling angry about everything lately. I am in one of those places where it feels like the universe is conspiring to piss me off at every turn. But as I said, it could be the meds from this cycle, which I quit taking last night. That's right, this cycle is was Big Fat Failure. Another few hundred down the drain and nothing to show for it except some bloat and PMS.

I'm not upset the cycle failed; 5 years at this crap and you learn how to have a thick skin. You get that Big Fat Negative on the HPT and you toss it in the trash over your shoulder as you walk out of the bathroom while thinking, "Oh well. What cycle plan should we try next?"

This Sunday we plan on going to the local theme park. Since Hubs works for their corporate headquarters, we can get in before the park even opens and be the first in line for the best rides. Since I'm not pregnant, I intend to ride every single roller coaster I want to this time. And as you will all find out later this year, not being pregnant means other things we have planned are more likely to occur.

I have an appointment with my RE tomorrow to map out our next cycle plan. The biggest problem I have is that my husband is ZERO help when I am trying to figure out which route to take for this next cycle. I get absolutely NOTHING out of him when I give him our options and ask what he thinks. As if all of this wasn't hard enough to go through every month, the one place he can have input, he refuses to. I am on my own, just like I have been for the past 5 years. I guess I could be classified as insane because I keep asking my husband to help me make these decisions, hoping he actually will, when I know full well he won't.

My options for this next cycle are:
  1. Chlomid, which depletes my lining, and we only have one more chance with it until we would have to take a month off due to its half life and associated side effects. However, it gives us multiple follicles.
  2. Letrozole, which doesn't have an effect on my lining and can be taken more than two months in a row. However, you typically only get one follicle. But from what I understand, it helps create a more viable egg.
  3. Letrozole with injections, which is expensive, but has all of the same benefits as letrozole alone, and the injections help create more follicles. (Again, to me, money is not an issue, but Hubs [the Penny Pincher] disagrees unless he has months to stew over the idea first.)
Honestly, I think I am leaning toward #3. The reason being I don't want to have to take time off because of medication half life. Now I don't know if Dr Dumb freed the left fallopian tube (as opposed to the right, as he stated in his surgery notes) from scar tissue back in January, or if he really did clear the right and the left wasn't encased at that time, or if  both were encased and he only freed one. But the fact of the matter is when Dr H went back in 4 months later, that tube was encased. Because we don't know exactly what happened (because Dr Dumb "lost" my surgery images), I don't know if that scar tissue developed in 4 short months.

In other words, I don't want to waste one cycle because I am afraid that scar tissue will come back, and that our fertile window is small.

Can you tell I am just plain frustrated?!

As if all of that wasn't enough, I think Dr H's staff is incompetent. I won't get into that whole story, but I left his office on Wednesday after a blood pregnancy test and sat outside my office crying on the phone to my husband because I LOVE Dr H, but I don't like his incompetent staff. If I can't get around his staff, I am going to have to change doctors (see above paragraphs).

GAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!

I'm stressed. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. I'm angry that I feel this way and that it is affecting every aspect of my life.

Hopefully now that I've written this, I can go to sleep tonight and wake up feeling better tomorrow. Hopefully.