Tuesday, December 29, 2009

cycle day what?

I think I am on CD 18, but who knows. This cycle had no mid-cycle spotting, and my CM is pretty much "whatever." For three years, I could predict each CD, how much CM, and the spotting. Now I feel like I need to get to get reacquainted with my lady parts.

Also, DH and I discussed the upcoming TTC events, and with my insistence, we decided to wait until the February cycle to begin cl.omid and menop.ur, mostly because I begin a new semester with new classes and new students, and if my brain is about to be tricked into early menopause, I'd like one full month of normalcy before I get nuts and crazy. The possible side effects of these fertility drugs freak me out a bit. Plus, if all is still on, this next cycle will be the good tube getting the egg, so who knows; maybe my romantic idea about natural conception will occur.

On a completely different note, the farmer's market today had the most delicious veggies I've seen in months; I was blown away by orange and purple cauliflower, gorgeous fennel, hearty rutabagas, and lots of heirloom peppers. And broccoli!!! It's going to be a fun Tuesday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas eve eve, making plans

I should have written this post yesterday, but since DH took a 10 day vacation from work, we decided to remodel the bathroom and have been in the thick of it since Sunday.

Yesterday was my post-op appointment, and bing bang boom, we are now in the clomid-menopur mode of planning. Turns out that the big plans are to start crazy TTC like never before. RE says to call the office on day 1, then bloodwork and US on day 2, then Clomid 100X2 per day for days 3-7, then a shot of menopur for days 8-10. No sex on day 9, but sex on day 10. Day 11, I get an US, lab work, and post-coital test to see if the swimmers have enough juice, etc, then plan to HCG trigger. Did you get all that? I am still spinning.

So you mean we shouldn't try on our own for a few months now that I am all cleaned out?


What about eastern meds? herbs? teas? acupuncture?

No, no, and no.


I am blown away by the clinical-ness of it all (I am sure this is not surprise to you all who have been through this and so much more), but I am still a bit of a romantic and believe that it may (and I mean slightly maybe) happen naturally.


Oh, and here's the kicker...this is a package deal, kinda like a spa. I got to see a menu-like form that showed me the package prices for this deal. $850 includes all-you-can-eat ultrasounds, a smorgasboard of bloodwork, any face-to-face appointments, all up until I ovulate. Don't get me wrong...the price is fine and right, but the menu-option thing is bizarre, and I can't help feeling the consumerism of infertility.

All in all, though, Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cost of IF

When I first started reading TTC blogs, I was really interested in the financial burdens taken on by those who have trouble conceiving. I am not sure what to make of it; in real life (as opposed to blog-life) my bff had her bicornate uterus reshaped, paid over $20,000 for that surgery, and now has 3 healthy children. She took out a second mortgage on her house, and today sits in a bit of financial trouble with the collapse of the housing market and the stress in her marriage. Others attempt IVF and pay, out of pocket, some $12,000 to $16,000 per cycle. One friend had success, two still haven't and have since put their dreams on the side due to the cost. All three couples struggle with marital issues related to money, loss, and the like.

I have always been very good at planning, saving money, retirement funds, etc. I wonder if I had imagined this TTC road in the past if I would have set aside funds per month for an IF account. Knowing me, I probably would have, then spent it sometime in my mid-twenties on a really cool vacation.

I got the final confirmation about the insurance, and they finally completed the file. Paid. Woot. Here's the kicker. The total cost of surgery is $3700 to the RE ($1850 for lap, $1850 for hysteroscopy), and the hospital fee is $21,346.95. The insurance price is $844.90 for the RE (I am responsible for $309.49) and $6246.41 for the hospital (I am responsible for 10 percent of that).

Numbers confuse me; something about this doesn't add up, and although I ended up paying almost $1000 for this surgery, my sisters out there without insurance would be stuck with a $25,000 bill.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Paranoia, and when can we do it again?

I check my insurance claims website as much as I obsess about getting knocked up, and that has caused some worry this afternoon. The surgery that was approved is now "under review," and that scares me seeing that any IF diagnosis or treatment is not covered. In an effort to be prepared, I have started drafting my appeals letter. Ugh! I should just NOT look at this darn website anymore, but I can't help it. I have to remember that my doctor's notes diagnosed me with a disease, not IF.

In other news, we are restless around here since it has been over a month since we did the love dance, and I called the doc today to ask, "When can I resume relations?" The rule is 2 weeks, but I don't know if I can last until December 24. Anyone else break the two week rule before?

And hey, what is up with the "two week" rule? There's the two week wait for POAS, two week wait to ovulate, two week wait to find out if the insurance actually paid for this surgery, and now two week wait to do it? Hmmm....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy Part III

Essentials (a collection of advice I read/received/experienced)

1. Right after surgery, have DH waiting to make calls to people who you think will be calling shortly--call them before they call you so you can go home and have peace.

2. Bring a pair of cotton socks to wear during the surgery, and make sure that the clothing you wear to the hospital is easy on easy off: I word a pull over cotton dress with a high waist and flip-flops. Dressing was really easy post-op.

2.1 I wore booty socks, but I thought back and wished I had brought a fun pair!!

3. Make sure you bring your own pads! Hospital ones suck!
3.11 Really, what is up with hospital pads? Someone should do an expose' on them.

4. Bring toothbrush and tooth paste--I can't tell you how much better I felt after being able to brush my teeth!

5. Bring your wedding ring with you to the hospital--DH will have to hold it, but after surgery, demand that he propose to you again with the ring, and mean it again! hahahaha

6. Make a mix of songs for DH on the IPOD. My DH was a spaz and a freak, so my yoga mix relaxed him a lot.

7. At home, make sure that the couch or wherever you land is already set up and waiting for you.

7.1 Pillows from the cedar chest have a nice smell to them
7.2 Put a sheet or comforter down on the couch, too

8. Before surgery, make sure the dog has been washed, the dishes are done, the clothes done and put away, the house is clean, etc. Trust me; a clean house makes for a relaxing recovery. I am stressing the importance of clean sheets on the bed, too. There's nothing like clean sheets to make you feel good.

8.1 A clean dog can be fun to cuddle on the couch with during movie time.

9. Post-op food: I chose to go with homemade broccoli and roasted red pepper soup. If you want the recipe, let me know. It was delicious and nutritious.

10. They say don't watch funny movies or shows, but hell, I learned how to soft laugh while watching 30 Ro.ck, The Best of S.NL with Farl.ey and Ferrell. Also, remember that there is a good chance you'll fall asleep during the movies anyway, so maybe rent a couple that DH will enjoy, too.

10.1 I know this is about us, but my poor DH was a mess--he's a tough guy,
but he was freaking out alot. I swear he needed the sedative!

11. Get up and move around, even if you don't want to. Gentle yoga poses are helpful, too, such as forward bend, child's pose, seated bound angle (gentle!), and also hold your arms high above you for periods of time: this helped with the shoulder pain from the CO2 gas.

12. Drink lots of water and hot herbal teas.

13. If you did a bowel cleanse before, you are going to want to fill up with poop-happy foods: broccoli soup, coconut water (I recommend Zinco: mango or passion fruit), fresh squeezed vegetable juice (I recommend carrot-apple-celery, or for those who like it spicy, add some ginger), bananas (high in fiber!). My surgery was Thursday afternoon, and I pooped Saturday morning. Nice!

14. Since you are home bound for a few days, get you girlie supplies stocked: I chose to make it my 36 hour facial. For me, I prefer Ave.da products, so I had the candle lit, and used a scrub, face mask, eye treatment, etc, for days. My face skin has never been happier!! Ahhhh...

15. Worst part for me was peeing at home for about 6-8 hours after the catheter was removed. All I can say is drink lots of water and pee pee pee. Instead of screaming, I started singing a really high note and let it loose.

16. If you get you own copy of the DVD of you surgery, watch it right away, and on the big screen! Dude, this technology is awesome, and you can see your lady bits on the TV!!!

16.2 If DH is watching this with you, suggest he make himself popcorn (hahah)
16.7 Yeah, and ask DH is this video can considered po.rn? hahaha

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Laparoscopy and Hysterscopy part II

Now that I am off the Vico.din and feeling more like myself, I plan to write a bit about what I know and how these two procedures may have answered my IF questions.

Hystereoscopy: the RE was able to explore the inside of my uterus. She found that the majority of it was covered in either polyps or fibroids. My vag US in 2007 did not see this, but the most recent one in November observed a large polyp. In addition, my HSG in August showed abnormal uterus, possible fibroid. So, the RE cleaned out the uterus, and she even gave me a DVD showing some of the procedure. Mostly I was able to see what she saw: the before and after. Also, the RE was able to look at the fallopian tubes from the inside and said they both looked great at the opening. Afterwards: right after surgery, I had a bit of blood, then brown spotted and leaked a bit of fluid. Two days after, I am bleeding a bit, but I am due for AF, so that might be it.

Laparoscopy: the RE was able to explore the outside of my lady pieces. She saw a small fibroid on the outside of the uterus and got rid of it. She found a tiny bit of endo and got rid of it, but said that this had nothing to do with my IF. She also was able to look at my ovaries and fallopian tubes. They looked great from the outside, and the ovary I ovulated from this month had the cyst/egg sac, so that is great. Again, she did the lap on CD 25--most laps are done before ovulation. When the blue/purple dye was put into the uterus, she saw that the right tube did not leak but the left tube did. This was already confirmed from the HSG, but the HSG did not confirm the look and the health of the tubes. All looked good to her, and again I received a DVD of the before and after. Afterwards: tender feeling around the incisions. I had three: one in the bellybutton that required stitches and two others that only had tape on them. I was a bit puffy/bloated in the gut for about 48 hours. My surgery was Thursday afternoon, and today, Sunday, I feel like I can fit into jeans again. The sharp pains from the CO2 were masked by the Vicodi.n, but when I went off the pain pills 48 hours later, I felt them a bit. Holding my arms up in the air helped; also, child's pose and forward bend also helped with the pain. I must stress that this was not pain, but it was discomfort and really annoying. But not painful.

My honest opinion: Both of these procedures gave me answers, or at least clarified some of the questions surrounding my IF. I now have a cleaned out uterus, which according to the RE was probably the thing holding me back. For almost two years I had mid-cycle spotting, and I was told that spotting was "good" and meant that I was fertile. The truth is that the mid-cycle spotting probably was coming from all the bits and pieces growing in the Uterus. Who knows. I do know that I wished I would have pushed for something like this earlier with my OB. I was not aggressive enough; I know my body, and I knew that something was not right a while ago. Will I get pregnant? I don't know. I do know that I have done everything I can do at this stage. I will continue to eat well, take prenatals, meditate, practice yoga, exercise, laugh a lot, enjoy my husband and my friends, and try to love life. My outlook and my attitude are the things I can control, and that's all I can do.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Made it home by 6:00 today. I am a little goofy/woozy from the drugs, but the only thing that really hurts is my urethra from the catheter. When I pee I want to scream.

The questions of my IF have been answered: my ute was loaded with polyps and fibroids (all gone now), my both tubes look good, but the dye did not go through the right one, and my ovaries looked awesome--the left one looked like it had ovulated this month, so that is good news. I am cycle day 25, so that is accurate.

The best news is that there was a teenie bit of endo outside my ute which she got rid of.

I am clean, and I got a DVD of the before and after. That, my friends, makes the pain worth it.

I'll post more tomorrow. Cheers, and I hope my lap buddy, Kitty, is doing well, too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lap/Hysteroscopy part 1: Twas the night before..

It's 5:30 PM, and I am beginning the Mag Citrate. I got the red stuff in a bottle. This 10 OZ shouldn't be so bad going down. I put it on ice and am sipping it through a straw. Hmm, do you think I can add a bit of vodka to it and make things fun?
(Pictured above: two prescriptions for post-op, mag citrate bottle and stuff "on the rocks," moist wipes, TP, and Bou.dreaux's Butt Paste for my tushie, and good ol' Kettle One for inspiration)

24 hours

Hey all, sorry I haven't been responding to all your wonderful posts. I finished up the semester yesterday, toasted with my fellow teachers at our Christmas gathering (yup, champagne at 1:00 on a Tuesday!), then began to prepare the house (and the fridge) for my post-op. I have my lap and hysterscopy tomorrow at 12:30. I just got back from the doctor and the hospital for the pre-op stuff. I haven't been to a hospital in years and years, and it seems that everyone in this place hates their job. The admitting person was cranky, the phlebotomist almost made me cry when she took two vials of my blood (I have always been stellar at giving blood--you can't hurt me, or at least I thought), and even the volunteers were bitchy. WTF?

I hate hospitals.

But the RE's office was awesome. After my pre-op consult with the doc, I sauntered over to the desk to pay and I got "Good luck tomorrow" or "We're pulling for you" from every nurse. And when I got to the desk to pay, she, too, was super excited for me and my surgery. It feels like I am going in tomorrow to play an important basketball game, and I've gotten all the high fives from the fans. My RE office rocks, and those nurses, lab techs, and office managers are always smiling. I can't imagine how shitty and tough it must be for them to deal with crazy infertiles. They seem to get it, and that is all I can ask for.

So my plan for today was to eat one final delicious meal (done already, had a brief lunch with DH), run errands (done), and clean and cook. The RE said the enema or bowel cleaning was up to me. She recommends it, but says I don't have to do it. I think I am going to roll on over to the drugstore and research my options. I am not thrilled with the thought of this process, but I think it might be best, since I may have endo around the lower bowel.

So, the rest of the day= washing the dog, reading blogs, laundry, eating fruit and veg, clean out the car, cook, and yoga. I hope to see you all on the flip side, and I promise to tell all the details once I have the energy. Thanks again to all of you who helped with the emotional prep these past few weeks.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

freak-out, pre-auth, referral, how much do you want for that?

So a few minor stresses these past weeks or so.

1. I am still waiting on the ins. company to approve the lap and hysterscopy. "Pended," it says.

2. Blinking blinking waiting on approval for a stupid blood test I had at the RE: ladies, have you had this test? Well, don't, or, wait a bit on it. I guess during the whole hoopla at the RE office, I agreed to a cystic fi.brosis blood test, DNA thing (why I did I do not understand...I don't care if my baby has any "defect"--I just want to parent a child). This blood test is $1300 and some change!!! WTF? My insurance company can't decide if they are going to pay for this. I guess you are allowed one in a lifetime, so maybe they are checking to see if I had this before...uh, um, but right now I have that tab hanging over my head.

3. Damn the Internet and google!! I have been obsessed about my unknown prognosis and have freaked myself into a corner...should I be concerned about the scarring from the lap and TTC? Seems like I should be. I hadn't thought about it but some people say I should be concerned. What's the dealio? Has anyone been knocked up successfully after a lap? My friend was fine, but is she the only one? Seems to be the case, according to google!!

4. My surgery is for 12:30 in the afternoon. No food or water will be fine, but can I brush my teeth that morning? I hope so!

5. I have been spotting every day since AF left. Spotting and I mean pink some days, brown some others, brown sticky goop on other days!! I am ruining my panties and I hate practicing yoga with undies on! bleah!!!!!

6. I was such a spaz on bla.ck Frid.ay that I repainted the entire bedroom--I went from medium green to a light beige...hello three coats of paint, sore back, and I am still high from the fumes.

7. My 12:30 surgery happens 24 hours before DH leaves on a trip to see his parents. He offered to cancel the trip and I said "hell no!" If he doesn't go see them, they'll come here and I am in no mood to handle crazy in-laws this year.

8. I am tempted to open the nice bottle of red wine right now...it's 2:30 in the afternoon. Not a good idea, huh?

9. If I open that bottle of wine, I'll be too trashed to practice yoga this evening. I need yoga. I do not need wine.

10. Do I really mean #9?

11. It is 50 and raining in my sweet city; my puppy is pissed because he is stuck inside.

12. Thanks for listening.