Well, the plan is in the mail. After fifteen billion phone calls this week with a variety of lovely people at the Buffalo clinic, we have dates and meds are ordered and I am on my way towards this first new ride on a well-used merry go round. Somebody else is pushing, so I guess it's not the same old same old, but I could just throw up right now from everything involved.
Normally I feel better once a plan is in place and I have dates in a calendar. Maybe the calendar has to be in my hands for me to feel better. I mean, this cycle requires a LOT of coordinating, and I am good at that. But the thing is, I DON'T WANT TO BE GOOD AT IT.
I don't want to be on the phone for what feels like 4 hours a week at least with various medical professionals.
I don't want to nearly empty my FSA/HSA account in March. I have literally paid for the integrin test, a couple copays, acupuncture twice, and the giant medication bill today for my stimulation cycle, and I am left with less than $200. And my giant medication bill was way less, thanks to two things -- the absolute kindness of ladies willing to gift their unused meds (you know who you are and you are amazing souls), so that I did not have to buy Ganarelix or Menopur, although I found out I will be having Solution X (the incredibly disturbing name of a menopur-like med the clinic manufactures themselves, which sounds like weird science but as long as it's not expensive I'm good with). Also, apparently there's this thing called a Fertility Pharmacy Care Card that Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy told me about, which shaved $200.00 off my bill for meds today because you pay $25, but then it's $100 off every $1000 of medication costs for stims. Which is actually nothing to sniff at.
I don't want to think about how much all this is costing overall, because between the donor sperm being way more than I was expecting and the integrin test being about $600 or so and the meds costing $2200 and change (thank you thank you med angel for making it less) and that's just FOR STARTERS, I might need to order more... and then the acupuncture at $70 a pop and I've been twice and probably have at least 4-5 more times to go just before retrieval... and we haven't even paid for the package yet.
It could be much worse. It has been way more expensive than this before, but I AM SO TIRED OF THROWING MONEY AT THIS.
Especially, ESPECIALLY when people on Facebook do things that remind me of what a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORLD I AM IN. Like spreading that blog post that's been making the rounds about how totally impossible making a second child is because you are so tired and consumed with child #1. Everything about this assumes that you are too tired to get down in the sack and do that deed that makes babies. Or that you accidentally have poop on your neck that your husband kisses, or you leave talking toys in the bed, or your first child yells for you as soon as you start making out, or you finally have energy to do it and time to do it and it's not your fertile time of month. WELL LISTEN, WHINERS. It's NEVER my fertile time of month. My experience to make a FIRST child involves bleeding money and bleeding into vials and giving strips of my uterine flesh for tests that just insure that everything is normal and so mystery still going strong and driving an hour and fifteen minutes to my new clinic and spending hours on the phone with nurses and secretaries and doctors and embryologists and billing specialists and scheduling specialists and swallowing ginormous pills that may or may not make you more receptive or more eggy but again cost a lot of money and even after doing all of this I don't have a FIRST child. The wherewithal to have free sex has zero to do with it. And I have had to come to grips with the fact that a second child may well be a pipe dream since child #1 seems to be incredibly elusive and very, very, time consuming/expensive/exhausting/expensive/painful/testing every limit we have to make. There. Rant over. Apparently that repost on Facebook pissed me off more than I thought.
So, on to more positive things...the plan.
1) We are definitely uncoupling retrieval and transfer. Retrieval is mid-April, transfer is likely June so I can have a hysteroscopy in May to rid my womb of polypoid tissue intruders and prep my lining so it can get all nice and receptive.
2) I was a little upset to find that my retrieval is during Dr. Fabulous's vacation and that they trade off months at this clinic, so it wasn't going to be Dr. Fabulous anyway. I AM LETTING GO, DAMMIT. I am trying so hard to let go of these things. It is fine. The other doctor is great, and we get Dr. Fabulous for transfer which in my opinion is magic time anyway.
3) Meds are ordered/obtained -- 3 Follistim 900 pens (my first experience with the mongo pen), an unspecified and unclear monetary amount of the ominously named "Solution X," 10 syringes of Ganarelix, 1 syringe of Ovidrel. All a girl needs to pump her ovaries to bursting and ripen them up for retrieval. Go me.
4) I have my baseline 3/31 and Bryce has his semen analysis on the same day. I have a funny little fear of either of us traveling to Buffalo by ourselves, so while I could have had the baseline here in Rochester, since Bryce needed his S.A. done too I grouped them together. Also this way we can meet the team, since I have spoken to a whole bunch of faceless people at this point. I LIKE FACES WITH MY VOICES. Oh, and my choices for baseline were 3/31, 4/1, or 4/2. Awesome, because 4/1 and 4/2 are the first two dates for the NYS ELA exams, which I kinda would like to be there for since, you know, I TEACH SPED ELA. Always amazes me how these things line up just so.
5) Getting to know a whole new clinic of people is tough. Everyone is super nice, and they are getting to know my sense of humor but not entirely appreciating it 100%. They will learn or I will drive them crazy, I guess. I have spoken to at least 5 different individuals already and it makes me dizzy. I know their names though, which makes me feel better. I will feel better when I meet them in person.
6) I start meds 4/4, which means I will be on stims for 6 days when I have my annual review meetings, which should make for an interesting and possibly weepy day, and I will be on stims for 8 days when we have Bryce's 40th birthday party.
7) Retrieval is the week of 4/14, which means it's during spring break. Nice in that I don't have to take off a lot of work. Horrible in that I spend my break painfully bloated, under anesthesia, and recovering from retrieval which in my experience has been very painful and at times involving OHSS, once fairly seriously. What a great way to spend the last break of the school year, the one that falls after my annual review IEP meetings and so is usually nothing but pure relaxation (minus some lesson planning). Sigh. But, less stress dealing with sub plans, and more sick days in my bank. Yay.
That's it! There it is! The master plan. 4/3 starts my daily wheatgrass shot extravaganza, and after last night's exception from Egg Boot Camp for Bryce's birthday Chateauneuf du Pape, there is absolutely NO booze or coffee from here on out and in April I am going to attempt to seriously limit sugar and dairy and other forms of caffeine like black tea. Good luck to me on that one. I loves my cheese.
On the plus side, I've lost 10 pounds since the end of December. I bought new jeans in late January only to find them loose and baggy about the rear now, which is great. May they be my stimming jeans. The yoga and pilates makes me feel strong and empowered. My arms look pretty nice if I do say so myself and my hamstrings are miraculously stretchy. I hope that all this good health does nothing but push things further into my favor. Stupid BMI is still overweight, but BMI sucks. I hate it. It does not account for body type or distribution or muscle vs fat or big boobalas. So pfffft on you, BMI. Suck it. 10 more pounds would make me super happy, but I would settle for 5. This decoupling makes me feel like I have more control over my body, which is good. Less recovery/nonactive time all at once. More gettin' in shape for baby.
I am hoping I feel better once the meds are here and the plan is on the fridge and we're ready to go. Maybe it will feel more real and hopeful when I'm jamming my first needle into my slightly less flubby middle. It's been almost two years since I've done the stimming, so I'm nervous. I'm not sure how this is all going to work out, so I'm nervous. I can't believe we're doing this AGAIN, so I'm nervous and a bit pukey feeling. But the nerves and the agitation and the frustration that we started this process in 2009 will fade as we get closer to go time and I am actively making the parts that will hopefully result in a baby. And end the questions of why or if, end the feeling of being stuck in a torturous rut, end the spending money on drugs and begin the spending money on diapers. Get me off this effing merry-go-round, Buffalo... please.