Sunday, June 27, 2010

sorry for not updating sooner! the visit went relatively well! thank you for your prayers to that effect! there were still a couple awkward moments, and me and mr.a have our own reflections on their parenting style, but i didnt have to run to our room in tears oe anything! i am so thankful!

me and banana are on a girls trip this week with my sister so i probably wont be posting much. i have issues commentinf on your blogs with this phone but i will probably check in now and then and will be praying! keep mr.a in your prayers - we will miss him!

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A fertile's visit

Thursday, June 24, 2010

On Friday (holy moley, is that tomorrow?), one of my fertile friends and her husband (and their baby (are 2-year old's babies?)) are coming to visit. You know the ones. Upon finding out that she is pregnant with a honeymoon baby, her and her husband get in a crying, yelling fight because they don't want to be pregnant, and then for the next 9 months she complains about gaining weight and not being able to work out, and he complains about the lack of bedroom action. Yep, they're coming to visit.

Just for the afternoon/evening, mind you, but every day this week this visit has been weighing on my mind.

I have definitely been preparing for the worst. I have been telling myself they will say things like
  • wow, lots of empty bedrooms! *WINK WINK*
  • you already have bunkbeds? do you have something to tell us?
  • you're lucky you don't have to carry around a diaper bag all the time
  • your dog is so great- I wish we had a dog
  • I always wanted a Harley
  • your place is so much cleaner than ours- we have toys everywhere
And I have my own responses prepared:
  • yep, my parents can each have their own room when they visit!
  • oh, I think I told you 2 years ago we wanted kids and you seem to have forgotten to ask me how it's going
  • yah, a diaper bag is way worse than trucking my sharps box and my follistim needles to Thanksgiving
  • you're right, Banana is pretty darn awesome.
  • the Harley is fun, luckily I can still ride on it since I'm not pregnant!
  • yah it must be awful to see all the toys on the living room floor after you miracle gift from God plays happily with them
...stay tuned for the list of "actual" responses... Haha!!

I think the lowest point yet of processing this visit came last night when Mr. A mentioned he wanted to ride his motorcycle to work tomorrow. The first thing that came to mind is "That will be so cool because then when you come roaring home, her husband will see your bike and be jealous."

I mean, really?

I clearly have not come all the way to terms with living childfree with a smile forever while my college friends go on and have billions of kids. It was hard for me to reflect on what I'd thought about Mr. A's bike. I think I do a pretty good job of living day to day with just our family of two, but when it comes to my friends from college, I feel so defensive and insignificant and "one of these things that doesn't belong". And apparently, judging from my subconscious, even though I tell them we are boring and don't really have anything exciting going on (because really, day to day, it's not like someone is learning to walk or talk), there are things that we "have" because we don't have kids, and apparently when push comes to shove, I'm going to shove those things in their faces to try to stand my ground that we are not quite the losers I feel like sometimes. Not something to be real proud of, but that's where I'm at with these friends right now.

We just had my other friend O and her family (including her little girl) over on Saturday, and we couldn't have been more happy. O is amazing and sensitive and precious, and I never in a million years feel defensive of our family of two in her presence. Her daughter is only a little bit younger than my fertile friend's son, and even though I pushed her daughter around the pool on a float for like 2 hours and had such a blast, I seriously cannot imagine me doing the same thing with my friend's son.

I am picturing tomorrow's fertile friend visit as being generally awkward, with Mr. A and her hubby hanging out alot, and her hubby telling Mr. A how lucky he is to have blah blah blah. And I picture her and her son with me, and her telling me how hard it is to juggle everything. I couldn't say no to her visit, though, because they live pretty far away and are just local because of a vacation.

I am hoping that even though I am projecting all of this disappointment, the way I act will not in itself make anything awkward. I don't want to have my guard up the whole time and make them feel weird. But how am I going to act if they really do say assinine things in person? I mean, really, how am I going to handle that?!

I am sad because this girl and I were roommates for 3 years in school, and we used to be really close. It hurt so much how she handled her pregnancy, though. I am sad that somehow the devil is using my fertile friends to crumble what I know to be true, that God has a unique purpose for each of us and that He will use all things for good, even the things we struggle with.

I just hope that even though I'm preparing for the worst, I'll be pleasantly surprised:

I implore Your favor with all my heart,
be gracious to me according to Your promise.
(Ps. 119:58)

busy bee

Monday, June 21, 2010

i know it's been a while since I did a new post! We had so much fun with O and her family Saturday at our pool! It it so nice to have some friends to share it with - sometimes it feels like we don't have alot of friends but I'll take quality over quantity any day in the friendship dept.

We spent yesterday with Mr. A's family and had alot of fun with them. Neither of his brothers are married so we definitely don't feel left behind when we hang out all together- even though I think they will be psyched WHEN we tell them we're expecting (TBD). It was a very nice Father's Day. I got Mr. A a card and I think he appreciated it. Hope next year's is from our baby...

Today was super busy at work,and then I had a client at the pregnancy center who I hadn't seen for months. She is almost 8 months preg now, but her life is so tumultuous she wanted to come in just to talk. Please pray for her with me that God would reveal Himself and how much He loves her very soon. She wondered to me how is she supposed to have faith when everything she prays for turns out the opposite... Couldn't even begin to compare my situation to hers but I did speak from my heart and tell her I know the feeling of abandonmemt that comes with "unanswered" prayers, and that led to a pretty decent spiritual discussion. I don't think she is quite ready to turn her life over to God, but I hope something we talked about will stick with her. But please pray that God gives her a surprise visit sometime soon- at this point she needs some proof- haven't we all been there?

Then I had to drive up to my office tonight for early meetings tomorrow, so my inlaws let me stay with them! It has been a long day, but it feels cathartic to write it all out. Haven't been too good at keeping up the past few days but you are all in my prayers! Will catch up tomorrow afternoon when I'm home from my office and can catch my breath! Night!

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Frustration (cont'd)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Even before you wise friends encouraged the clinic switch, I was so bugged out by my clinic's nurse, I called the other place. I had contemplated getting a second opinion before our IVF cycle, even had all my records faxed over there, but I had cancelled the appointment at the last minute when my RE suggested the other protocol. But I am sick of my RE's nurse.

So, I call over to the other place. Good news, they still have my records. At this point, I can't even believe I'm asking for another RE appointment, because it has just been awesome without that stress and worry. And I even think I do a pretty darn good job of not letting the stress and worry take over my life, but now that it's gone, I realize how it crept in here and there.

So they ask if I'm still with my insurance, and then I make sure they plan on just filing the appointments with the insurance first. She puts me on hold to check. (I did not consider this a good sign.)

Then another lady comes on the phone and tells me that since I've already been treated at my current clinic, my insurance considers everything thereafter "treatment", and they will pay nothing.

Um. Excuse me?

I told her that I'm not coming to them for treatment, per se, just a second look at my file and to ask for more testing, which I know is listed as covered on my policy. I'm interested in seeing if they think more detailed thyroid testing is in order or maybe those fancy mutation tests. TESTS, get it??

She said since it is a second opinion and my first appointment there, they will try (TRY?) to code the appointment as testing. Brace yourself, because I asked how much the appointment would be if the insurance didn't pay anything, and it would be THREE TO EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS.

Okay, here are my reflections:
1. No wonder people with zero insurance coverage have $100k in infertility debt. God bless them!
2. I am beginning to wonder if my current clinic coded all my ultrasounds (pre-ART and during-ART) as testing. Because they definitely covered the majority of the cost of all the ultrasounds. And bloodwork. If this is the case, and I technically could have been paying $400 a pop for each ultrasound during the entirety of this past year, maybe I should stay with my current place out of homage for all the money they saved us.
3. But, I have serious issues with any clinic coding ultrasounds as treatment. If only!!! If only all we needed was an ultrasound to treat our childlessness. It's not the ultrasound that's the treatment, people! It's the procedures! Which, yes, I know, my insurance doesn't cover.

If there is any possibility that we will have to pay $800 for a stinkin second opinion, I just cannot justify that right now. I haven't even told Mr. A that I made the appointment because I want to call the second clinic back and be sure about their billing procedures before even I decide to even keep the appointment, much less tell him I'm willingly subjecting myself to this circus again. (Even the relatively low-rent clomid circus!) He is so protective of me- he knows how much pressure I put on myself when we were in the throws of it all, and I think he just wants me to kick back for a while. God love him :)

Can you believe that? Two phone calls that my heart passionately willed me not to put myself through, and both of them were nightmares. I almost wonder if because of how they played out, if God really does want us to just be chill for a while, just because I felt so attacked during both of them.

As you may imagine, I haven't given either of the calls much further thought. We are doing a ton of pool entertaining lately that just makes my heart soar. It is so fun to have people over and especially see their kids enjoy our pool. Yesterday, the friends who came over even brought their pup so Banana had someone to hang out with! The weather has been so beautiful that it's all I can do to keep myself inside the bulk of the day working, which is why I love the weekday afternoon vacation-time get togethers! (Yes, I have tried to "work" by the pool, and it's pretty much impossible!!) I am so thankful for the blessings that crowd around us. They definitely encourage me that the best is yet to come!!

Phone "consult"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So, just as I promised myself, I drug myself to the phone yesterday to schedule a consult with my RE. A very delayed WTF appointment, if you will. Here is how the conversation with the nurse went:

Me: I'd like to schedule a time when the doc can call me to go over last cycle and any recommendations/thoughts he has for future treatment. Work is really busy lately, so I don't have time to drive all the way to your office.
Nurse: Well, can you come in at 11:45am today?
Me: No, I really don't have the time to drive over this week. Are there any appointments open where he could just call me during the appointment time?
Nurse: Well there is an 8:20am open on Thursday?
Me: Okay, if he could call me then, that would be great. I will block it out on my calendar.
Nurse: Well, I can't reserve that time for you because we save the appointment times for patients who come in. The doc's time is very valuable, after all. I have a 1:30pm on Thursday, would that work?
Me: No, seriously, I don't have time to drive over there. (Thinking, um, I am audibly talking, no?) So you can't just put my name in the 8:20 slot and have him call me at that time?
Nurse: No, all I can do is let him know you want to talk with him, and that he should try to call you whenever he has a minute. Mmm-kay?

Okay. I will let your blood stop boiling.

THE DOC'S TIME IS VALUABLE?!?!?!??!! Well ex-CUSE me! I had no idea. We didn't just pay you $9k or anything, and have nothing to show for it. (And, okay fine, I realize that they can bill for patients who come IN, but not for phone calls, but come on. It's not like I haven't been writing you checks for the last year.) I didn't just tell you FIVE TIMES that my work is so busy I don't have time for the 3-hour (including appt) round trip to your office and back home. Really, you say his time is valuable?????

And, as you may expect, when I got home from volunteering yesterday afternoon, he had left me a voicemail FOUR minutes prior. Great, just great. I was steamed. I called the nurse back and told her that if I can't know when he is going to call, he needs to call my cellphone. She seemed to get the idea that I wasn't too happy with her not letting me schedule a time with him.

He called my cell phone like 10 minutes later. He was "so glad to hear my voice and see how I'm doing". Hmph. The lack of phone call initiation on their part makes me doubt this. But, as for the gist of what his reflections are, basically he is disappointed with the low fertilization rate (1 of 3 mature, basically), and it might indicate less than awesome eggs, but since I am still young, if we wanted to do another cycle (read: IVF), he wouldn't recommend against it. I told him we are not interested in doing anothere IVF round, but that we might be inclined to try clomid and what about 100mg instead of 50mg? He said he'd be fine with that, and if I wanted a prescription to just call them when a new cycle starts.

Most communication from their office being disappointingly-equal, I wish I had his direct-dial. This is not the first time I've become disillusioned with the body/voice language of the nurse. Maybe I'll call the receptionist and go through her instead if/when I need the prescription.

Or, maybe if we do want to try (even with clomid), we should transfer RE practices. They can prescribe clomid just as easily as my current place. Who knows. Will they do a phone consult? I really am through with RE appointments for now...

Shades of Brown

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Have you gotten your approved sunscreen yet? I haven't. (But I have ordered this one, and it's supposed to be here Tuesday.) I don't recommend looking for the score of the one you got in a flurry at Targ.et, either. Take my word for it. You'll instantly blame Ban.ana Boat Ultra Spo.rt for your lack of offspring due to the ingredients. Seriously!

But since I don't want infertility AND skin canc.er, I decided to still apply some of my toxic kind, just in small doses. Luckily for me, I tan pretty easily, so I'm a few shades darker and only pink in a few (hard to reach) places.

I love being tan. For me, it is the epitome of healthy sportiness. (I know, I know, it's technically not healthy. But whatever.) It's what you have to show for playing with your new pool volleyball set with your husband for 2 hours. Who knew a couple of young adults could stay so happily occupied with just the two of themselves with a floating net and a ball for so long!? Sometimes I feel like if any of our neighbors are spying on us, they might think we are really only dating, or we're 16 or something, because we were really having a ball out there this afternoon, and they definitely don't look like they could have such hilarious fun with their spouses. Oh well, sucks for them!

And, to add to my tanned-ness, I credit my summer reading spree. It's not like I don't read the whole year round, but in the summer I really rack up the books. I just finished The Girl Who Played with Fire, and while it was a little risque in parts, I loved it (really great what's-going-to-happen-next mystery writing), and I had to restrain myself from buying the hardcover final book in the series (The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest). I can't wait to read it! But because I never got the first book of the series of three (The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo), and it's in paperback (cha-ching!), that's one I picked up yesterday.

I also got Three Cups of Tea. And I chose that one to read first, before I delve back into the crazy world of Larsson's characters (the series of three mentioned above). So far I have really enjoyed Three Cups of Tea. It is amazing to me that one guy made such a huge difference. Each chapter opens with a quote, and here is (adapted) one of my favorites so far:

Trust in {God}, but tie up your camel.

To me, it resonates with all of us (especially Christians) going through this journey to grow our families. (Well, not exactly the camel part. Unless, maybe some of you do have a camel and you just haven't shared that part of your life with us yet...) We are faced with tons of decisions, all presented in the framework of not knowing exactly what plans God has for us. In my opinion, going through fertility treatments is like trusting in God but tying up our camel. Of course we trust God to expand our family, but after graceful seeking of what He would have us do, we also take a part in making sure we do everything we feel is appropriate, too. And then, there are the renegades, like yours truly at this point, who after tying up our camel for a long time have decided to let our camel go, and ask God to work a little overtime to keep the camel safe. Or, I suppose since we are still trying, in the most natural of ways, so maybe it's like we are trusting in God and still keeping our camel close-ish by putting some food out on our porch. Haha.

How does that quote resonate with you?

New Adoption Blogger/To my Baby Bumps

Friday, June 11, 2010

...A warm welcome to my friend T at Waiting for Something Beautiful! She has been an amazing support to us, ever since I've known her, but especially in the last year. We're praying they will be matched with a precious baby very soon!!

(While we're at it, I also shared this with my friend O- bring your little girl (and hubby, if he's not teaching!) and come swim soon!)

I was going to separate my "Praying for a Baby" section into people who are adopting versus just TTC'ing, but I wanted to keep everyone together because on both paths, that's what you're doing...praying for a baby!


We had people over for a cookout and swimming yesterday late afternoon/evening. It was heavenly! Adding to the wonderfulness was my glass of wine from the winery down the road- I like all of their varietals, and it's always hard to choose which bottle I want to bring home with me!! Plus it has been a long time since I've enjoyed their wares, thanks to follistim! I'm thinking of mowing the yard later on this afternoon before I walk Banana, that way I will be good and hot when we get home and I can jump in the POOL!

We don't have any plans for this weekend (except paddling around in my float), but on Monday I am going to drag myself to the phone and set up a phone appt with my RE. I am so disappointed he/my nurse hasn't called. If I paid someone $9k for a job and then the job didn't work out, I sure as blazes would call my client to see how they were doing in the face of such failure!!! Not sure when we will want to really try again, but I imagine we might consider partnering with clomid again, for a time or two. But who knows- that could change on a daily basis!

And a special note for my Baby Bumps:
Something weird is happening to me lately- I read all your blogs, but I just can't find the words to comment. It's not that I don't care or that it's too hard to read about your goings-on (although I have my days...), and I pray for you all every day, but I just can't put together an intelligent, genuine-sounding comment. I don't want to leave you a lame "sounds like you're doing great!" or anything. Or maybe I should, so you don't think I've stopped reading what's going on with you.

I'm so excited that a few of you are about to meet your little ones. Even if I'm not commenting, just know that it's because when I try to leave you a comment, my mind goes blank. My heart is still with you, though.

Have any of my fellow mommies-in-waiting had the same thing happen to you?


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

::chirp chirp::

The crickets around my blog were getting tired of being by themselves!! So I am happy to keep them company again.

Our visit with my grandfather went well. He was more mobile than I expected (have you seen how long those at-home oxygen cords are?!), but there were still some times (dinner at Perk.in's when he didn't want to bring his oxygen, but it was so chilly in the restaurant (he was visibly cold), he asked the waitress to turn down the a/c!) when he seemed weak and frail and so precious that I just wanted to hug him for a while. I imagine the adrenal.ine of having everyone visiting lifted his spirits/helped him be more youthful, because my aunt emailed me and said that he had a really tough day yesterday. We are so glad we got to sit and talk with him as much as we did! Plus visiting all my extended family was fun, too!

My grandma is in the early stages of alz.heimer's and her kids don't think she would be safe at home by herself. So their plan is to move her into an assisted living place after my grandpa passes.


Mr. A is obviously a super amazing guy.

But I had no idea how vehemently he believes that kids are to take care of their parents in their last years, if/when they can't take care of themselves. (They took care of you 24-7 when you were little, and when they need it, you should return the "favor".) He is completely appalled that my aunts/uncles are considering moving her to an assisted living place right now. At this point, she is not really a danger to herself or anyone, just a little off in her own world (not even that much detached from reality, if you ask me). I realize that alz.heimer's is a very complicated disease that will require some pretty specialized care in its advanced stages, but my grandma is just not there yet. But right now, it is pretty sad for me to think of her all by herself in a random assisted living place.

Mr. A said that she could move in with us, but I don't know if her kids would want that, since we live about 400 miles away from them and where she has spent her whole life. I suggested that maybe my mom (a nurse) could quit her job and be paid through my grandparents' estate to be my grandma's care provider, which one of my uncles thought was a good idea, but my aunt seems to have alot of concerns with that. I realize there are alot of variables to consider.

So in addition to my grandpa's declining health, there is this whole sad issue with my grandma. (Which, by the way, she is not even being consulted on the move idea- how tragic would that be- you lose your husband of 60+ years and then you get shipped off to a random place where you don't know anyone!) I don't really think it's my place to have a very active role in what "happens" to her- she's not my mom, and I guess I just pray that my uncles and aunts (and mom) will seriously consider some lifestyle changes that might allow them to welcome her into their home or allow them to care for her, instead of giving her the boot for someone else to deal with.

The other reason that I thought it was an amazing idea to have my mom go be her official nurse is that my mom is super attached (emotionally) to her parents in a way that I have never seen in another mid-fifties woman. She is not admitting it, but all of this is really hard for her. She does not deal well with being separated from her parents on a normal day, much less right now when both are experiencing fairly substantial health concerns. Her and my dad need time apart right now, to put it bluntly. She takes all her anxiety, anger, and worry on my dad, and he (so far) has hung in there, but the emotional and verbal abus.e she is spewing is getting to be overwhelming for him. I am honestly worried that he is going to snap or something, but he is such an upstanding guy that I don't think he wants to be the one to put his foot down or stay somewhere else until she can get herself under control. I can appreciate his dedication (in good times and bad, eh?), but I think I draw the line in an abu.sive relationship. I suggested that he go stay with a friend, even for a few weeks. Is that bad or un-matrimon-ily of me?

As for me and Mr. A, we are doing pretty darn great. We are loving our pool this summer!! I have no idea what CD I'm on (but pretty sure somewhere after ovulation). I think we were together around when ovulation might have happened, so there is this dang bird in my head that taunts me with "maybetherewillbeamiracle", and while I acknowledge the thought, I have done pretty well with leveling out my expectations. Because really, after not having any beer for like 5 months, it is nice to kick back by the pool with a book and a local brew. And have I mentioned how many cups of coffee I've allowed myself per morning? Not that I wouldn't give that back up in an instant if we get pregnant, but it's nice to not feel guilty about it.

Our garden is doing awesome. We have pretty much finished all our spinach and it was excellent. We hadn't grown it before, and it tastes SO much better than the spinach you buy in the stores. We are now moving onto our bibb lettuce, which is equally as yummy. My new favorite lunch (or dinner) is a huge salad of our own greens, feta cheese, cooked chicken, and vinaigrette. YUM. We planted cantelope and watermelon plants, but they seem to be growing slowly/not at all. I really hope they kick into gear- we have heard that homegrown fruits blow your socks off!! We're getting a couple raspberries per day- with a billion about to be ripe all at the same time!

I still have not called my RE, and much to my dismay, they have not called me either. If I ever have an RE practice, you can bet that that WILL be part of the protocol- to call patients who've had failed cycles. I think I'd like to give clomid a shot next month (you know, if that bird on my shoulder happens to be wrong), while I think I do have one more refill, I probably should talk with the RE. Hopefully he will be willing to do a phone consult.

Banana is doing great, too- we now have between 2 and 3 dogs who walk by each morning so she is getting to play/socialize alot!! She really seems to enjoy it. She still won't go in the pool though, silly pup!!

I know I have alot of catching up to do with you all, and I'm going to do my best to get back into things very soon! I read sometimes and am praying for all of you! I love how we each have specific requests/needs- although we are all praying/thanking for healthy children, we all have such unique situations. I love how that keeps my prayer time vibrant and exciting!!


Sunday, June 06, 2010

trying my very first post from my androi.d phone! hope this works!

feels nice to spend a little money on ourselves and not just failed fertility treatments! is that selfish?

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June already?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Is it seriously June 3?

We're back from a fairly-impromptu trip to see my grandfather. He is doing better than I expected, but he is still visibly not the "normal". Luckily, the tube for his oxygen thing is pretty lengthy, so he can go have coffee on their back patio and move pretty much over their entire first floor. But sometimes, he looks simply weak and you just want to go hug him, you know?

And amazingly, the only person who mentioned our kid-less-ness while we were up there was my grandmother. (Did I know that her friend "in our same situation" adopted a little boy from Ireland and then went on to have 5 kids "of their own"???) I give her a pass because she is in the early stages of Alzh.eimer's....

And we are thoroughly enjoying not thinking about treatments. Can someone else call my RE for me and get his reflections on our failed IVF?? During our layover on the way home, Mr. A and I enjoyed a couple beers and a couple burgers and some great conversation. Of course I am secretly hoping for a miracle baby this time, but I don't even know what CD I'm on, and I plan on keeping it that way until as long as humanly possible. I think maybe I'd like to try clomid again, maybe 100mg instead of the 50mg I was on last summer, just for an extra boost.

It is weird to not pray so emphatically about our treatment stuff, but instead for other people, situations, and just our life in general. It is kind of refreshing, but a little unusual at this point. I'm sure I'll get used to it.

And finally, I am going to be upgrading my cell-phone soon!! I need you to tell me what you like and don't like about your phone. I am with veriz.on, so ip-hone's are out (bummer, Mr. A had one before he got his droi.d, and so the iph-one is just sitting in my desk drawer!) My biggest concern with the touchscreen ones is that I don't know if I will like typing on the touchscreen. But I know those are more fancy than the full-keyboard ones, which I just got to try out because my sister has one, but those are much nicer than the one I have now! Maybe this one is a good compromise? Not that I need fancy, or even a smar.tphone, really. But I am definitely tired of my current phone, which turns off at any old random time without even a "hey I'm turning off now", so I go to check it and realize it's been off for some unspecified amount of time!! Can't wait to hear your cell-phone reviews!!