Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Look What Came

Oh. My. God. (I need a new fridge).

Monday, August 27, 2007

What Does My Birthday Mean?

(Actual day withheld in vain attempt to protect my anonymity)

You are a cohesive force - able to bring many people together for a common cause.

You tend to excel in work situations, but you also facilitate a lot of social gatherings too.

Beyond being a good leader, you are good at inspiring others.

You also keep your powerful emotions in check - you know when to emote and when to repress.

Your strength: Emotional maturity beyond your years

Your weakness: Wearing yourself down with too many responsibilities

Your power color: Crimson red

Your power symbol: Snowflake

Your power month: September

Sunday, August 26, 2007


H and I went walking this morning. (Mama does not have "program" on weekends, and the weekend home care attendant comes about 10:00AM. We try -- operative word TRY -- to get out of the house for a bit when she comes).

So we went walking. We went by a park we don't normally go to (at least at that time) and saw a bunch of fellas playing soccer. They were, on average, a bit older than H and myself. (One fella looked to be in his sixties). But, to a man, they were passionate. They put their all into the game. Chubby, old men running like their lives depended on it, running like it mattered.

H and I watched, enraptured, for over half an hour. The men called to each other in a language neither of us recognized. (We guessed Polish, but who's to say). I started to wonder why they were all, all trying so hard. (The one we thought was in his sixties had a vicious head butt). I wondered if this was just for exercise, or if it had a deeper meaning. Like they were playing for pride or country or beer. And if they'd been playing all their lives, if one time they'd had dreams of being professional athletes or World Cup players or what. Or was it just good fun, the best of their week?

Football season is fast approaching. This makes H very, VERY happy. He likes football, but loves Fantasy Football. He's the commissioner of his league (yes, a bit of a control freak). The draft was Saturday; it lasted hours and H was flying the rest of the day. He exchanged hundreds of e-mails, texts and phone calls with his league members, all twittering like girls off to their first dance. I love this time because it's the one time of year where H has a social life. He gets to go out with his friends and chat about something that isnt his mother, our IF, our debt, whatever.

I on the other hand, can barely breathe. I am waiting. Waiting for drugs, waiting to bleed, waiting. I realized yesterday that it's been year since I had any sort of official IF treatment. Doubly terrifying because of the time off.

And I wonder what it will be like...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Waiting By The Telephone

I called the insurance company. (I have discovered my insurance is only partially insures. Mostly, they obtain "a group discount." LOVELY.)

It took 20 minutes. And we're still not done yet. YET.

I'm hoping this (by which I mean the process of getting drugs) will get better.

The good news is that they quoted me a price exactly half of the previous one. Exactly. Which leaves me to wonder -- did you forget something? Are you out? Having a sale? WHAT?

You KNOW you're an IF'er when good news makes you scared.

IF drugs are handles by a "special team," I'm told, because (and I quote) "they are so tedious." NICE. I waited for 20+ minutes for one of the special team to become available. After 20 minutes, the member of the un-special team that had been on the phone with me said that someone would get back to me.

And so now, I wait.


I have no real news. I had a muffin today because I was in an odd mood. I know that's not truly scandalous, but when you factor in my insane diet... it is.

Mama is Mama. She has lately been all hug-y. Which she was not when I first met her, let me tell you. Last night we curled up on the couch and watched television. I wrapped my arms around her and put my cheek to her head. We sat there contented for the better part of an hour. (It was nice.)


H is also good. He's called almost all our credit cards and creditors and talked to them, setting up payment plans and whatnot. In six months or so we should have much better credit than we currently do.

I've completely turned into the dutiful wife on the topic of our finances. I don't know if I'm just so exhausted by IF or what, but I let my husband handle EVERYTHING about our finances these days. It's nice to trust someone to do it, it'd nice to not have that worry on my shoulders. (I'm full, thanks.)

One credit card rep needed to to talk to me a week or so ago. She wanted to get confirmation that H was "authorized" to speak on my behalf. And then she wanted to chat a little bit more with me, for what I can't recall. What I can CAN recall is saying to her on the phone: "We've had a little problem coming back after our miscarriage." I was feeling a wee bit... bitchy. "Can you talk to my husband now?" and walked away from the phone.

The Credit Card Rep was so sweet. She cut H a deal, pulled some strings, and put us on a payment plan. It worked SO WELL that H came up to me after the conversation and asked, "Am I a horrible person to call all our past due accounts and tell them that you miscarried?" And I replied, "well, you might be, but do it anyway."

I'm still so hurt and angry about my mc/chemical pregnancy/blighted ovum/can someone give me a ruling on what to call it. Angry angry. Want to break things and stomp about and burst into tears angry. I want someone, everyone to know and I want them to FIX IT. Someone FIX IT.

I'm waiting...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Drugs, Drugs and Hugs

So I called and ordered my drugs. My insurance demands that I order all exciting drugs through a mail-order pharmacy that they seem to own. When I went to see my new RE practice all those months ago (How it Went) they gave me a list of drugs that I was going to be using. And when I asked what sort of coverage there would be (ie, how much $$) they just faxed it to my insurance company.

Who thought it was an order, told me it was going to be $1500, and did I have a credit card?

EEP. $1500 is too much (for me) to spend until I know that I am going to try.

And now I do.

I have a million fears, only some of which are fertility-related. H has been very clear about the fact that he wants to wait until we are more financially solvent. As in, next year. He realizes that this is "just his fear talking" and when he mentions it, we fight, argue and discuss our next move. I keep pointing out I'm 40, insurance runs out at 44 and while (to him) that seems like a long time, it's not. But he's got a valid point about trying to get out debt in check.

So, in addition to every step being tense and scary because it's IVF, every step is tense and scary because I keep having to shore up my husband's commitment to the process. And I keep having to fight feeling selfish for doing this. (Can anyone relate? Anyone at all?)

What Vanity Brings

And then today, I broke 2 nails.

God says HA!

Monday, August 20, 2007

But at Least I Have Great Nails

Nothing of any importance... It's just that I've been noticing lately how GOOD my nails have been looking. Normally, I have brittle, peeling nails. But this last month, while I've been on all sorts of vitamins and some muddy thing my accupuncturist recommended, my nails have come is, and come in niiiiiiiiiice.

I'm not vain (much). I almost never get a manicure (anymore). And it means almost nothing.

But it's nice to look down and seem them in all their slightly-long unbroken glory.

Because if I like to think that my nails are indicative of some better health for me...

(here's hoping)

Monday, August 13, 2007


Because I am going to cycle next month, I have put myself on as strict as a m.acrobioti.c diet as I can muster.

I am insane.

If you read The In.fertility (as I did) and was frustrated by her scanty dietary information. I'm supposed to eat seaweed, fine. Can I have a recipe?

My husband read it (those parts, at least) and made the pronouncement: It's m.acrobioti.c. (or at least, it incorporates some elements).

Um. Okay. (I grew up on fast food. I know nothing of nutrition).

So for the next two months, I will live without sugar, coffee, chocolate, baked goods and all sorts of other deliciousness.

I've got to do something to grow more than 4 follies.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Med Tourist: Full Story

Here's the punchline: I was interviewed about it. The m.edica.l t.ouris.m agency that arranged things with me was approached to do an article. H thought it would be a good idea for me to participate, as anyone who was in our situation might want to know it's not as terrifying as it may seem.

And while I don't think I was interesting enough to be published (that's a good thing), I figure I may as well spill. Because one of you might be in a similar situation.

Okay, so back when I was still with my first RE, I did five or six IUIs. But the thing is, we suffer from a m.ale infertility, so it no longer made sense to try IUIs. So I trotted into my REs office and said I wanted to try IVF.

And my RE said no.

As I mentioned before, I don't seem to respond well to drugs. I have the one, developing too soon egg that seems to screw something everything up for the other eggs. So I have never developed more than 4. And my first RE didn't think it was worth it for me to try IVF. Adoption? my RE suggested. Donor eggs?

That was my last appointment with that RE. When you get a list of the top ten infertility clinics in the United States. Two are in the New York City area. One I got an appointment with. (The other is my current clinic).

So I met with my second RE. The second RE screened me for a bunch of stuff, thought I had a better chance than my first RE did, but quoted to me a price that was higher than the norm of 12K, and even if I got insurance, they were going to require me to pay outright and then make claims to my insurance.

Then I got creative.

Long story short, Mama is from Argentina. And I found a clinic in Argentina. So I talked to my husband, talked to the clinic and set something up.

A lot of my apprehension about this upcoming IVF is that I have no idea how they do IVF here in America. In Argentina, I was kissed hello and hugged goodbye by my doctor (my third RE)and all those in the office. I was put into a pink gown with little roses sewn at the neck. The pharmacy that sells you the drugs will also inject them for you. And everyone will hug you and kiss you and bless you and wish you well. Everyone.

That is not like the doctors and medical professionals I have encountered here. And I do miss it...

My Doctor spoke great English. As did the embryologist and the nurses. As did every third person we ran into in Buenos Aires. The drugs were the same, the protocol the same, the technology the same. About the only thing that drove me batty was the fact that Argentina is an anti-choice country. Three is the absolute most embryos they are willing to implant. They are completely against selective reduction, and no amount of arguing that you are a 40-year-old woman is going to change their mind and up their implantation count.

So now I have insurance, and I am at a Big Medical clinic where I am a number (and no one hugs me). And while I hope that the two cycles I have coverage for are more than enough, if I have to do another cycle, I'm going back to Buenos Aires.

E-mail me if you want to know more.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Was a M.edica.l T.ouris.t

H feels I sould come out of the closet on it.

There's a long story as to why. Which I don't have time to spill, at the moment.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Okay. Here We Go.

We're going to try IVF again. Just... not this cycle.

In theory, I should have gone running into my new RE's practice this morning for the traditional blood and wand. But I didn't.

I didn't because I had to go to work early (too early to go to the RE's office). I didn't because my new insurance requires meds through mail order, which is rumored to take two weeks, and I haven't placed the order yet. I didn't because I hadn't talked to my husband about it, to make sure he was completely and totally on board with it.

And mostly, I didn't because I am absolutely terrified.

I've known for the past few weeks that I was stalling. I said that I had to get the results back from the Endocrinologist about my hypothyroid. (Check). I said that I wanted to make sure we had everything on our checklist completed. (Check). I said that I wanted to complete the how to inject yourself class, and H absolutely had to be there (check and check).

So now all there is left to it... is to do it.

I've been skipping listening to my MP3 player all week to listen to... me. To think (and think) about what the hell has me running scared. Here's what I've come up with:
► In five IUI cycles and one IVF cycle, I have never ever ever ever EVER produced more than four follicles.
► I ovulate early, which has baffled every RE I've ever had
► My insurance only covers two IVF cycles.

When we had orientation, we stayed after to chat with a nurse. She was nice, blonde and cheerful. She kept running from the room to find a doctor and answer H and my questions, as we kept stumping her. (Do we get points for this?)

But I need to make more eggs, I told the nurse! Isn't there some super extra something you can put me on to make more eggs?!?! I ask the nice nurse lady. She excuses herself, checks and says um.... no. Standard, generic protocol.

I point out that (for the first time ever) I had been put on the generic no-lupr0n protocol, where both other REs had very much liked the lupr0n. (Here's the thing, and please, someone tell me, have you ever heard of someone who started developing follicles while still menstruating? I've heard and read of folks who ovulate late; I ovulate early. Like a week plus early. And previous docs have put me on lupr0n to keep the one freaking over-achiever follicle who starts growing moments after I start menstruating in check.) says the nice nurse lady. No to changing the standard drug protocol. And no to more monitoring (they like four days apart). And no to every other non-standard generic thing I asked about.


So I'm completely convinced that my clinic will need one "learner" cycle with me, and that the first one will be a complete wash, and we will spend thousands of dollars for nothing (even though I have insurance coverage, it specifically does not cover things like ICSI and a portion of the meds -- approximately $2,500).

And this is thousands of dollars that we do not have, as every other IF treatment has been out of pocket and my faulty ovaries (and H's slacker sperm) have caused us to go into debt. And this makes me feel like an irresponsible, selfish, evil person. Even H says he wishes we could wait until we had the money saved (we're contemplating putting the amount on our one remaining credit card).

But I'm 40 freaking years old; it's been a year since my last medicated monitored anything (unless you count the acupuncturist which you really shouldn't). And the law says my coverage will expire at age 44 which seems like a long time away but really isn't.

And my husband says, let's do it.

So. Okay.

Here we go.

Can't... Bring... Up.... Blog....

Okay, I like to read my last post, see where I am, before I post again.

But my blog WILL NOT LOAD.


Flying blind, I am...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It Rained Today

It rained today. It rained so much that the streets flooded and some highways closed down.
And the strong winds ripped up roofs and knocked down trees. And the subways flooded (and were then cancelled).And the buses were packed to overflowing (where there were buses were able to run).
And people muttered of hurricanes, tornadoes and general devastation.

And I got my period.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Please and Thank You

My husband was someone raised without knowing the MAGIC WORDS. Having more than a little Southern in my background, I know them quite well.

I've started a campaign to bring the Magic Words into my household here in New York City.

"Get me the soap!" my darling husband barks at me.

"I'm sorry, what?" I brightly reply.

He sighs deeply. "Could you PLEASE bring me the soap, dear? Thank you...."

Mama is a different battle.

"Bring me a towel!" the queen commands.

"I'm sorry, what?"


"What's the Magic Word, Mama?"

She thinks a moment.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Peace Out, Brother!

My darling husband has tought his mother a new phrase.

See above.

So, fo the past week or two, my MIL has been yelling PEACE OUT BROTHER to random strangers.

But the BEST PART is that she's been also shooting them the peace sign... backwards...

Which, for some people in our neighborhood, means something profane. (It transates, roughly, into f*ck you and up yo*rs).

Reaction, to say the least, has been interesting...

Friday, August 03, 2007

What Does It Mean?

So I mentioned, about a month ago I had the appointment with the Endo to talk about my hypothroid.

For the most past, it was the most benign doctors appointment I had ever had. There were no forms to fill out; he took a long oral history in his office. He did a generic, general physical. The only wacky bit was that he wrapped his fingers around my throat and said SWALLOW. (It was hard to do so).

"There's something wrong here," he said, feeling up my neck.

Um. WHAT? Probably nothing, he assured me.

I wait a week (per his instruction) and take the blood test. I wait a week (to be polite) and call for results. And then start calling every other day to (politely) inquire WHAT NOW.

Yesterday, he called back. While I was NOT ONLY at work but at the worst possible time.

I have Hashimoto's disease.

"It sounds scary," says the Endo, "but it really isn't." He's going to increase my synthroid, and in six weeks, he wants me to take another blood test and see where we are.

Um. Fine.

"Now where are you with IVF?" asks the Endo. WELL, I've been waiting for this to all shake out. Before I go forward.

"Well, don't wait on my account," he chuckles. Go ahead. I don't think it will impact anything.

Now, mind you, my TSH levels, which have never been better than 3.5, are currently at 3.0. I guess they're optimally at 2.0 or lower, by my new RE says she'll take anything below 2.5.

Which I'm NOT.

Which I point out.

"Yes, well, but it won't really impact anything."

So why am I talking to you? Why did my RE send me to you?


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This weeks The Economist

How to deal with a falling population: Worries about a population explosion have been replaced by fears of decline

DIScLAIMER: The E.conomist is a magazine that's uber smug. So, I apologize in advance for the tone of it.
(Of the articles listed, I especially like the last one. Do you think it might change someone's mind?)

My Thought For The Day