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January, 2011:

Eggs on film…. an anniversary story.

Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow’s testing will be the deciding factor in whether or not the GAME-IS-ON for IVF. Tomorrow I strip, scooch down to the end of a table and spread for a nice man in a white coat (that’s an indicator that he’s the good guy), while letting him explore my nether regions with a probe that projects the whole thing onto a huge flat-screen hanging from the wall…. not exactly how I’d envisioned spending my two year anniversary, but fairly close.


Yes it’s true, coincidentally, tomorrow will be the two year anniversary of when my guy and I met, an event that led to where I am today: trying to have a baby at 40, when my one and only other child has JUST flown the nest.


Unlike previous/recent appointments, I have not had one pre-appointment-mini-melt-down and no irrational tears have been shed. No crying at work. No crying at my doctors office. No crying during an end-all fight with my future baby daddy. No… I’ve been quite happy the last few days, which is really strange because it was all-star-PMS week too. Here I am in the midst of the final seconds of the IVF game, where if I win, we go to the IVF play-offs…. GO TEAM GO. Meanwhile I’m calm… very-very calm…. and all this inner calmness is starting to freak me out.


The pivotal moment has arrived. From our last appointment they learned my mid-cycle endometrial lining was excellent, but my follicle count was a bit low: 4 on one side and 6 on the other. Not even a bakers dozen. However, it wasn’t so low that we were rejected out of the program. Tomorrow they will take a day-three looksie to find out what my antral follicle count is. They’ll also do more blood work to see if my day three levels are the same as they were last time, which were okay, but not great (FSH 5.61, Estridol 92, and LH 2.16). Yes, yes.. I know, for those who don’t speak Over-40-Baby-Making-101 all of this is a bit of gibberish, but trust me, these numbers and tests are important to the baby making process! Sadly, the numbers are more necessary than having the s-e-x! Turns out you can have a baby after forty with good numbers and no sex, but you can’t have a baby after forty with bad numbers and lots of sex. HMPH!


So far everyone at the fertility clinic have been very reassuring as to thinking that we’re in. I however do not count my chickens before their little follicular eggs hatch!


Stay tuned…. things are going to get exciting. Maybe. I hope.

Crazy about eggs….

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained…”  ~Mark Twain

I’m a pretty in touch with my brain…. that is, until I become passionately not. The brainy and oh-so-intellect side of me talks the big talk and fully believes in what it’s saying, so perhaps that’s why me (and everyone else around me) become shocked to find out that despite the hard exterior, I’m really sort of emotionally fragile. Life is always easy during the game planning portion. But once you get out there, on the playing field, things become a bit more challenging…..

Brainy me: We’re going to have another test
Emotionally fragile me: We’re going to have a test and it’s going to tell me I’m o-o-old. *Sniff *
Brainy me: The likelihood of finding infertility issues are high, but we don’t know that’s what they’ll find.
Emotionally fragile me: The tests will say I’m old and HE will leave me for y-y-younger eggs-s-s. *sniff *
Brainy me: Even if I’m infertile, there are ways to have babies.
Emotionally fragile me: I’m never going to have a baby because I’m o-o-old *sniff * *hic *
Brainy me: His staying up the entire night before the big test and playing video games is unrelated to his desire to have kids…
Emotionally: He doesn’t l-l-ove me…. he doesn’t feel my u-u-rgency… doom….. doom…. DOOOOM!

And so on and so on.

Despite the fact that HE has not learned to “talk me down” yet, here we are a few days later and the following things miraculously happened: Our relationship survived another mini-melt down of mine. And after our newest fertility office visit, where we had an ultra sound and the doctor reviewed some recent test results with us, we were told that my getting pregnant is probably related more to my tubes potentially being blocked, then to my age.

I’m feeling sane again. And hopeful. Things are looking rather well for us being part of the IVF research program. But I don’t think that I’ll fully believe it until they’re sticking the needles into my belly.

We will go back to the fertility clinic in a couple of weeks. I’ll have another ultrasound and some blood work done…. if that goes well, we’ll sign a contract and some release forms… and booYA, we’re in and the shots will start in March!

Sunshine on my mind…

I have repeatedly said this, but it’s so true: I am solar powered. When the sun comes out, my energy increases and my outlook brightens. The sun is shining bright today and I’m feeling rather sunny.


After the mini melt down of last Thursday’s appointment, I received a phone call that night from the nurse practitioner I’d visited. She called to give me my blood work results. She said that, though she didn’t know how to interpret them, she thought I would like to know the results. (How awesome-nice was that?!?!) So she gave me the numbers, I thanked her for her call… and I immediately scrambled to find my past results to see how they compared.


Damn. They had changed. Stupid turning-40-age-thing.


My Estradiol levels have jumped to way above the normal range, which might explain why I haven’t been seeing any double blue lines on the gazillion pregnancy pee sticks I’ve gone through. Obviously I’m not a doctor and will not pretend that I can self diagnose myself….. but here it is, the scribbling figures I had written down, and there is an obvious and glaring blip on a previously spotless blood test results. A year and a half has made quite a difference.


I called and asked the person in charge of registering applicants for the research IVF study if my new numbers would have an effect on our being accepted into the program. She said that they wouldn’t. So one test down, a few more to go.


I have another doctors appointment on Monday and then ANOTHER one on Thursday. Thursday’s is the biggie though, because it’s the one at the fertility clinic and we’ll be able to discuss the tests results with the doctor and hopefully get a better idea of where we stand in regard to being able to participate in the study program.


It feels like a bit of a whirlwind, all of these doctors appointments and hoops that need jumping through. The good news is that, just like all whirlwinds, before we know it, we will arrive at whatever destination we’re to arrive at.


Whether or not we are accepted into the program or not, I think there will be a sense of relief knowing if I’m officially “infertile” and if I am, is there anything we can do about it. Seven months ago it felt like it was my destiny to get pregnant. Now, not so much. I think all along the knowledge that I am not capable of getting pregnant was there lurking, subconsciously, in the back of my brain and that’s why it was never too much of a shock not to see those double blue lines appear on any pregnancy test.


Every time someone told me to “just relax” and it will happen, it made me feel so much pressure. It made me feel judged. It made me feel like this not having a baby was some how all of my controllable fault. Though the test results are seemingly not at all good… at least now I know that even if I had become master of all things zen, so relaxed that I appeared to be sleeping…. I would STILL probably NOT be pregnant! I feel like holding up the piece of paper with the newly scribbled numbers, running it around and waving it, while yelling…. “seeeeee I told yooooou, I. AM. JUST. OLD!”


But as stated before, I am not a doctor. Maybe the blood test results have nothing to do with age, I’ll let the doctor diagnose that. Meanwhile, I can’t help but wondering where the whirlwind will land. Will we receive IVF. Will it work? Will my elevated Estradiol levels be unrelated to age, can they easily be fixed? Will the end of 2011 find us under a pile of diapers and baby clothes…. oh, the suspense of it all is killing me!

Tiny Little Bubbles….

In an out-of-body sort of way, I look at how I’m responding to this baby making stuff and it shocks me. I am the one who is cool under pressure. I am mostly in tune with my logical self and my own parents described as an Ice Princess… but here I am, having emotional break downs in doctors offices.

Let me rewind a little bit to explain why I was at the doctors office this time….

After we found out about all the costs associated with the tests required by the clinic before we were accepted into the “free ivf” research program, my bubble was burst. With the burst a little bit of crazy leaked out. And when the crazy leaks out…. well, it just has to sort of dissipate before I can get on with things.

My first mini-breakdown was at home, when I informed my significant other that I am done with the baby making and wanted to take a break from it for a year. I accused him of not being involved and said I felt like I was doing this all on my own. I suggested that he was not worried about any biological clocks, probably because his was far from being up so he can’t feel my urgency. I should mention that he was just waking up and his eyes were barely open. I should also mention that I’m paraphrasing.

My guy is mellow. He patiently let the crazy talk flow and when I went back to work, he got on the computer and found another clinic participating in the same study. He made a few phone calls, asked a ton of questions…. .and now all of a sudden we’re back in the game.

Turns out, the individual clinics can decide what tests they’ll include in the study. A couple of the more pricey tests the other clinic wanted me to have before we were accepted, this new clinic will give for free after we’re accepted. There are still some tests I need to do, but this new clinic has been very helpful in sharing tips on how to cut the costs of the initial tests. It’s looking hopeful again….

And that’s how I found myself in the doctors office today, having breakdown number two. One of the tests that the other clinic said I needed to have is a Day 3 FSH test. Today was my day three… can’t have a day three test on day four…. so HAD to have it today, or wait another month. Time is ticking… TICKING …. ticking….. so I called my primary physicians office and asked if they could order the tests for me. They said they wouldn’t order the tests without my coming into the office and discussing it with a doctor. Ok, fine… I set an appointment. An appointment that I write down wrong. This meant that I was ten minutes late arriving at my doctors office. I had to wait behind two other (slow moving) people checking in, so by the time I check in, I’m 15 min’s late. The receptionist informs me that I’m late and will probably not be able to be seen. She said she’d go and ask the nurse practitioner if she’d still be willing to see me, which of course she wasn’t. I explain that I just need 5 min’s of somebody’s time to write an order for blood work. She say’s sorry, but I was late…. blah blah blah… and this is where my mini-breakdown number two starts.

I put both hands on the counter and talk slowly…. explaining that I have been coming here for 13 years and have never been late, but have often waited in the waiting room way past my appointment time. I explained that I NEED to get this blood work today. I explained that I’d been fasting since 8pm the previous night…. and all I need is 5 min’s…. so I can get blood work that a fertility clinic is requiring that I get. Again, I’m paraphrasing.

I say a bunch more, it just sort of spills out, a bit disjointed. She says she can reschedule me and after she tappity taps on her keyboard, she says that she can get me in at 10:20, that would be just another 20 minute wait. I told her I’d take it and I go and sit down….

Over 40 minutes later, I’m going into the dr’s office.

Without going into details, let me just say that my previous appointment at this doctor’s office was very unpleasant, mainly because I heard them laughing at my expense in the hallway. So perhaps it was a mixture of that last appointment and with the rudeness of how I was treated on this one, plus this feeling like everything (regarding my fertility) is just falling apart…. all these combinations of situations that have me pretty tightly wound…. it just was too much and I started crying in the room. I just lost it.

In the end, the nurse I saw was VERY nice and helped to make sure that I got the tests ordered that I needed. I went to the lab, got a needle stuck in my arm, and then quickly headed off to Starbucks to find comfort in a Venti Caramel Macchiato.

There are still hurdles and red tape…. but we’re again in the game. Maybe by the end of this month we’ll know if we’ll be getting IVF, maybe in March or April.

UPDATE: The nurse practitioner I saw called me this evening… .with my 3-day level results. They are NOT as good as they were a year and a half ago. While my FSH is in a decent range (5.61), my estradiol levels have shot up. They used to be 50 and now are 92. I don’t know what that means. Also, my LH is lower than what normal range is and I don’t know what that means. But anything that is not in range…. well, that can’t be good.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Just spoke with woman from the research study and told her my newly updated levels…. she said that they would NOT disqualify us from the study. YAY! :)

Balloon. Needle. Pop.

I get an IM today that potentially changes everything. It went something like this:


HIM: Did you know that the free IVF is going to cost $5000??

ME: WHAAAT?!

HIM: Yea, that’s not exactly free…

ME: I knew we’d have to pay for some test, but I thought my tests were going to cost somewhere in the range of $1600 out-of-pocket.

HIM: Yea, but you didn’t include my tests…

ME: Your tests???

HIM: The semen analysis costs $2000

ME: It’s going to cost you $2000 to watch porn and catch it in a cup?!??


This baffles me because yesterday, during the consultation, there was little said about all of these hidden costs. In fact, it wasn’t until they started telling me all of the appointments I was to schedule on this coming Friday and Monday that they started throwing prices in the air. I’d catch a $250 here and a $450 there… all the while scribbling each figure down. That’s how I came up with the $1600.


HE is, apparently, a bit more savvy than I…. since he decided to call and clarify the costs….. and that’s where my blissful-baby-bubble went POP.


So, the hard cold facts as we know it is now this: FREE = somewhere between $4000-5000… give or take $500. AND that $4000-5000, give or take $500, is BEFORE we’re even accepted into the FREE program.


GAH! I know it’s not a “gimmick” because it was a real facility, at a real hospital ,with real doctors and shiiit. However, it was definitely misleading. I wish that they’d spelled it out BEFORE the $288 consultation…. even in the small print, because I swear- I would have read it…. word for word.


So what to do. What to do.


I think I’ve already established that we do not have the bank roll of Celine Dion and we’ve already broke into saving to pay OUT OF POCKET to have my tubal ligation reversal surgery. OUT. OF. POCKET. Yea, and out-o-pocket ain’t cheap!


The “FREE” was appealing…. a bit blinding to the 40-year-old-my-eggs-are-numbered-me…. But at the end of the day, I’m a pretty realistic woman. Though I’m emotional as the next “infertile” woman, I am also a realist. I can’t NOT think about how IF we spend the $4000-5000 and NOT get accepted into the program, we’ll be out $4000-5000 and have NOTHING to show for it except maybe some numbers on a piece of paper…. numbers that will just confirm that I’m a 40 year old woman who is of “advanced maternal baby making age….”


This depresses me. I fully understand that this baby-less state that we find ourselves in is solely due to my age. HE could go out and hook up with numerous other woman out there his age and BOOM….that 30 year old chick is knocked up. But with me…. well, it’s just not happening.


Having progeny is important to him. I get that. I did that. I LOVE love LOVE that I have a mini-me running around on this planet…. and I want to be able to give that to him too. I want him to experience how wicked cool it is to look at your child and see yourself in them.


For me, it is this baby making thing that is the hardest thing about dating someone younger than I. Because….. like I said before, I’m the one and only glitch… the 40 year old baby making faux pas… among the two of us. And that is totally and utterly depressing.


We’ve decided to put off deciding if we’re going to beg out until later tomorrow afternoon. But I don’t think I’m going to hold my breath on this one….


Balloon. Needle. POP.

Ms. Potential….

Potential… such an optimistic word. So hopeful. So encouraging….. yet, so not guaranteed.

That first date, that job interview, the artistic abilities displayed… such potential….. but really, what really counts is the view in retrospect: did the relationship pan out past the 2nd date, did the job interview land the job, did the artistic abilities reach their…. potential…..??

Potential, so optimistic a word…. but still, until the end, a gamble.

I’m so excited about tomorrow’s appointment. We’re going to a fertility clinic to discuss our potential participation in an IVF research study… IF we’re accepted into the study, we’ll receive FREE IVF treatments!!!

Translation: IVF normally costs anywhere from $15-20,000!!

IF we are accepted into this program, it will be like winning the fertility lottery. It’s just feeling too good to be true. Potentially a very interesting kick off to a new year!

New years always offer such potential, a clean slate….. a great starting point. And right about now I would be writing my list of New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I’m just not feeling it. Instead, I’m feeling a bit more introspective and have decided to write a list of questions that I want to answer by the end of 2011. So, with all the pomp and grandeur of an official New Year’s Resolutions list… I here by give you the list of things I want to answer in the coming year:

1.Where am I living?
2.What job do I have?
3.Did I get pregnant?
4.Did my pregnancy take?
5.Did I have twins?
6.How did Sonora like Florida?
7.Did Sonora extend her stay with the Florida program?
8.Did I lose anybody I love?
9.Did I meet any new friends?
10.Did I get in shape?
11.What books did I read?
12.Did I have an epiphany?
13.Hows my relationship?
14.Did I go on vacation?
15.Did I finally use my passport?
16.Did I learn a new skill?
17.Did I continue to bite back?
18.Did I train my dogs?
19.Am I happy?
20.Did I make a difference?