Let It Go

My final check up following my egg retrieval was February 14th.
It’s been about two weeks since my procedure. As I began to feel better in the days after, I started spotting. I should have expected my cycle approxiametely 2-3 weeks after my retrieval, but of course I started spotting about a week after. My period came HEAVY with lots of bad cramping, a bit different from what I usually experienced. I attributed this to having skipped my period since late November, as this was part of the retrieval process. However it only lasted about two days.

When I entered the office I was asked to take a seat in the waiting area. Shortly after the billing secretary approached me with some papers she wanted to discuss with me. She had inquired with my insurance company to see if they would cover my IVF procedure utilizing my oocytes. She had just received the results of the request and they had stated that they could not make a decision because there was no semen analysis submitted.

This was a problem for me, as I obviously did not have any sperm in my life at the moment. She was pretty sure that this would be a deal breaker for insurance coverage since I wouldn’t be able to provide evidence of NEED without it and they wouldn’t be willing to pay for IVF unless I completed 6 IUIs which I would have to buy sperm for.

Guys, 6 IUIs is just too much. That would be taxing on my body as well as my time. She said if I were to pay out of pocket it would be around $5-6k. I figured at this point it would be easiest to do that, but with the way things were going I could change my mind at any moment.

I also was a bit insulted that the insurance company would feel that I lacked in the NEED department. I NEEDed help! I was out of eggs. My train had left the station. I was trying to make this work on my lone teacher salary. Who was in more NEED than me?!

The secretary said she would submit my lab results and the number of eggs I was able to get from my retrieval and take a chance to see if this would be enough proof for them to cover my procedure. (hey, you never know)

After waiting a pretty long time I was called into an exam room, although I didn’t think this was going to be any type of exam. The doctor finally came in and asked me to get on the table to feel my stomach. We soon began to talk about the REAL reason why I was there…

What do I do now?

A couple weeks ago I had this FIRE inside me, longing to use my eggs as quickly as possible. As time has gone on I have settled a bit and realized it would probably be best to wait a little, but I wasn’t certain what would be the BEST thing to do and was hoping the doctor could steer me towards the right answer.

I told him about my fears; that I would go to use my eggs in a little over a year and that none of them would work out and then I would be in an even worse position than I am now- no eggs, no baby, and $8-14K poorer.

As I’ve said before, my doctor does not sugar coat anything. He gives it to me straight and I really appreciate that about him.

He explained a few things to me like, doing another cycle for retrieval was not a great idea. It would cost a lot of money and my results would not be any better. He was pretty surprised that I was able to get as many as I did.

I was at the end. He attributed my short, irregular period to the fact that I was in the beginning stages of menopause and that my producing days were long gone. Looooong gone in the past…during the days when I was never trying to have a baby because it wasn’t the right TIME.

Boy, I sure do wish I could talk to my younger self. Inform me that there would come a day when I may not be able to have a baby and to not be so careful avoiding the chance of getting pregnant.

At that moment I’m sure the feeling of despair was not something I was able to hide very well. I’ve never been in such a vulnerable situation with a virtual stranger. As I tried my best to hold back my tears for the millionth time, the doctor offered me a piece of advice.

Not as my doctor, but simply as a regular person.

He suggested that I live.

I had done the best that I could for my future self. He told me I should be proud of what I had done, but mulling over it at that time would not help me. I needed to stop encompassing my life with the thought of getting pregnant, being pregnant, having a baby of my own, how or if I would be able to do either of these things. Just stop thinking about all of it and live.

And in that moment I had realized that was exactly what I had been doing. I was drowning in my infertility. I was soaking each day, filling it with worries, uncertainty, sadness, deficiency, loss, inadequateness. So many negative thoughts. So much pain.

I simply needed to let it go.

Although I was hesitant to accept this piece of advice since it had become such a huge part of my life, I knew he was right.

I needed to regroup. Get back to some sort of normalcy. Socialize. Spend time doing things for myself.

And when I left that appointment that is exactly what I intended to do.

It may not be easy. Life sometimes gets in the way. I’m sure I’ll sometimes get drawn back to overthinking about the Lucky 7, but if I ever wanted a chance to use them I had to remove myself from obsessing about them.

So, I’ll be taking a break from writing so often. I still plan on revisiting my oocytes this time next year. I will continue to write my story then, maybe even insert a few entries in between. 

This is just a short intermission. I have to take this break for me to explore the possibilities life may have for me. It’s definitely what is best for me and the Lucky 7.

I will still follow the stories of those women who have inspired me in my infertility journey, and still welcome your thoughts and feelings about mine. 

 

My Own Personal Summer…

On December 8th, I started birth control and 1.25 mg of Premarin for 7 days. I generally have a bad reaction to hormones. They make me a little cRaZy and sick. So I was anticipating a pretty poor experience when I started this regiment. Although I do NOT recommend putting bad thoughts into the universe about these things…sometimes its HARD not to!

First off I want to say I’ve been SUPER emotional. I cry A LOT. I cried today when reading the Polar Express to my students and I cried the other day on the phone with FedEx when I couldn’t get my box to the right location for pick up. 

I’m not a crier. 

But I have to say that it hasn’t been AS bad as I thought, but (finished with the Premarin) I reaaaally have not been feeling great the last few days. I get bouts of nausea, heated feelings, and lightheadedness but I’m not sure if its because of the estrogen in my body, the hormones from the birth control, or the HEAT in my classroom.
Yes, it’s been getting pretty cold here lately. And before I forget to include this bit of information, I have in fact had some hot flashes within the past year- which is another thing that made me become more aggressive about checking on my reproductive system. I’ve had nights where I woke up COMPLETELY drenched in sweat; days I have been teaching and have had to suddenly sit down because I am hit with a wall of heat and suddenly feel like I am going to be sick.

To be honest, when this first started happening, I just thought maybe it was the temperature in the room, or something that I had eaten that day. Maybe because I was ovulating? And I guess I can’t really be exactly sure what caused it, but something that I wish I would have done was write down WHEN it happened so I could have a better idea WHY this was happening to my body. If I were to speculate, I would say I have been going through perimenopause.

“The end of your reproductive years…”

I’m not a doctor. BUT after researching my symptoms and what I have learned about my body lately, it seems as though this would be a fair diagnosis to make. Perimenopause is when your body starts to make the transition into menopause. Since I was low in the OR category this would make sense.

You may be thinking that’s so crazy! I’ve just turned 35! How could I be going through menopause at such a relatively young age?

Since I started this journey and read people’s stories, I have seen many other young (yes, even younger than me) women beginning to go through menopause at an early age. It’s not that uncommon. It’s just not the norm… (a word I’m really starting to dislike)

Family history can sometimes be taken into consideration when figuring out ones predicted menopause experience. My mother went through menopause in her mid 50s. She tells the story like this…

One night she felt hot and kicked off the sheets. It lasted a couple minutes and then she went back to sleep. That was that.

So it’s safe to say I am not in fact taking after my mother or grandparents for that matter. Both my grandmothers had 4-5 children and the last in their late 30s, early 40s.

Again, I don’t want you to think I have lost all hope in conceiving naturally. It is not something the doctor has completely ruled out. Freezing my eggs is simply the best option I have for insuring my chance at having a family in the future. Although my odds are not great (20-30% if you’ve forgotten) its not impossible! And if my eggs respond to the stimulants my doctor said my percentage could increase!

Back to my hot flashes…

Have you ever experienced one?

My friend’s aunt once referred to it as her “own personal summer”.

Its like this intense rush of heat, and you start sweating and your heart beats fast and you start to PANIC!

 

Or I d0….Anyway….

 

Was there something I could have done differently to stop this possibility of perimenopause from coming so soon? I think that many times when we are in these situations where we lose control over the path we thought our life would lead us on, we try to blame ourselves and figure out where we went wrong. Something I have decided throughout this is that I can’t blame myself or any one thing I did. Blame would not change things at this point and there was nothing I could do to change the past. I could only keep going forward and make choices that best served me from here on out.

So, I was going to freeze my eggs.

I know, I still can’t believe it.

I recently received all of my appointments for January. The injection lesson is the one I am most looking forward to. I have literally spent hours watching different women’s videos of them prepping the area, filling the syringes, and administering their own shots (on their perfectly flat bellies). It’s amazing how calm and accurate they are in their actions. Trust that if I were to make a similar video it would not go as smoothly. There could possibly be some crying, outbursts, hesitation, and nervousness. I will spare all of you the pain of ever making a video because I don’t think it would serve anyone.

But these women’s videos were inspirational. They made me think, hey if they can do it, why not me?

Why not me???

That’s just it. I can do it. I will be ok. And even though every time I open the fridge I am reminded that my entrance into the new year will be much different than most. While many will be focusing on making changes in their diets, breaking bad habits, and picking up a new workout routine…I will be making a choice that will hopefully insure my chance at having the life I always envisioned.

Someday.

I’m new at this blogging thing, but I am going to insert some links to the videos that I liked.

 

DISCLAIMER :: I hope I don’t get in trouble for this I am sharing this purely for innocent reasons I am not taking any credit for these videos and I am not receiving any compensation for sharing these videos either ::

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOiNpnFsUig

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of9hk6ryTvo

 

I have been mostly watching videos for Menopur and Follistim since those are two of the injectables I will be using. I literally have no clue what I am doing and not sure how all of the people in the videos I watch look like pros.

I am eager to see how I start feeling the next few days, as I am going to begin to take the birth control at night as recommended by my nurse.

Fingers crossed…