Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Not when, but IF

Today, I'm 9 dpo which is around the time the PMS tears and rage kick in. I had a crap IF day yesterday. Just full of bad feelings. I'm just so angry about everything. Why is this happening to us? What did I do to deserve this? Why can't we have what so many other get have? As happy as I am for other people, I'm also really jealous that I no longer feel the hope and certainty that a normal, happy couple feels.

I realized that I never say "when we have kids" anymore. I always catch myself and say "if we have kids". It breaks my heart. I'm so sad that all of the things I always imagined that Seth and I would do with our children have become ifs instead of whens. IFs. Fucking IFs.

The guilt is killing me too. I feel like it's all my fault. I know that Seth doesn't blame me, but I can't help thinking that things would be different IF I was different. IF only I didn't have endometriosis. IF only I could gain a bit more weight. IF only...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday

One week until Thanksgiving!!! Woohoo! I can't wait. Less than one week until we fly home to see my family. I can't wait to see every body - it's been much too long for me.

Thankfully, this week wasn't as crappy as last week. Boring, maybe, but not crappy. This week I am thankful for:

1. The last lecture of the semester!
Monday was my last full lecture. We still have four more class meetings, but two will be reviews and two will be exams (3rd "midterm" and a final). Overall, I think my first semester went really well. I'm really, really enjoying my new job and I'm so happy that this first lecture was a success.

2. New Winter Term Schedule
I knew that I still had a job for the Winter Term (which is the Spring Semester at most other colleges as far as I know), but this week we made some changes to my schedule and I'm really happy about it. I'll be teaching five days a week so I can officially quit the lab job. I'll also be teaching two sections of a Geology lecture rather than the Earth Science course that I taught this semester. This is great because A) I prefer straight up Geology and B) it's a slightly more advanced class so there will be fewer students and typically these students are more interested in science. In the basic general education classes, most students just want to pass the class and move on so it's harder to get the interested and motivated.

3. Another 2WW!
I'm excited to be in another two week wait. We've done all that we can do and now there's no pressure. I think I'm only going to temp on days that I have to wake up anyway. That's what I did last month and it was definitely less stressful for me.

4. Arugula
I am so thankful for arugula. My sister and I watched a lot of Barefoot Contessa last week and I think she used arugula on every episode. It just looked so fucking delicious and I had to have it. First, I had a delicious arugula salad at the Cheesecake Factory and then I had to go out and buy two more bags. I've been making salads with arugula, golden raisin, almond slivers, shavings of fresh Parmesan, and homemade lemon vinaigrette. Fucking amazing. I may or may not have been licking the extra dressing out of the bowl.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Stork Award

Yesterday, the sweet and supportive Jaytee over at Miles Yet to Travel nominated me for the Stork Award! It meant so much to me. I always say that one of the most difficult things for me to deal with this year has been the loneliness that comes with infertility. This blog has been a life-saver because it has helped me to "meet" so many amazing people. Getting the Stork Award from Jaytee made me realize again that I not am not alone and that I am so lucky to be surrounded and supported by so many great friends.

You can read more about the Stork Award and how it stared hereIt was really cool to go back through all of the linked blogs to read about the previous Stork Award nominees. 

Here's how The Stork Award works: 
1. Add the avatar for the award in your blog pos
2. Link to the blog that nominated you 
3. Answer the ten questions given to you
4. Nominate other bloggers. 
5. Ask your nominees their ten questions. 
6. Let your nominees know they've been awarded. 
7. Put the award icon on your side bar if so inclined. 

Questions from jaytee16:
1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would like to be able to teleport or fly so that I could travel and visit my family easily.

2. List 3 of your best personality traits.
Compassionate, warm-hearted, and loyal

3. What’s the first thing you notice in the opposite sex?

A person's eyes are the first thing I notice. Not necessarily the color (though my favorite is green), I just notice whether they seem warm and alive or cold and empty.

4. What are 3 things on your bucket list?

This is tough because I feel like I'm really lucky and have been able to do and experience so many things already. Let's see...1) Have a baby/children - duh. 2) Own and renovate the shit out of a house. 3) Go hiking in the Himalayas - nothing intense and base-campy, just some foothill trekking.

5. Do you have any hidden talents?
Not really. I don't even know if I have any obvious talents. I guess I have a pretty good memory.

6. What is the best vacation you have ever taken?

I guess my favorite trip was when Seth and I went to Europe after I finished graduate school in 2009. We visited his father's home in Italy and then spent a few days in Switzerland and took a quick trip to France. It was amazing - the food was so fucking delicious and the scenery (especially in Switzerland) was unreal. Seth and I lived 1200 miles apart for the first 2.5 years that we dated, so it was also really nice to be able to spend so much time with him.

7. What's the best meal you've ever had?

Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite meal. My Gram is an awesome cook and everything she makes is sooo delicious! If we're talking one specific meal, then I would say it would be the time we tasted the menu for our wedding. They made mini portions of everything we served - filet mignon with three sauces, stuffed chicken, three types of pasta, three side dishes, three types of salads, three flavors of cake, and a bunch of appetizers! 

8. What's the best gift you've ever given?

The gift I was most excited about giving was the computer that I bought for my dad last year. It was a combination birthday and Father's Day gift. My dad has worked so hard (sometimes four jobs at a time!) to give me and my sisters everything we have ever needed. He runs his own business now and his computer was really old and sucky. I knew he would never spend the money on himself so I surprised him with a new one. It felt really good to finally be able to do something big for him.

9. Aside from food, water, and shelter, what is one thing could you not go a day without?

If we're talking non-living things then I would have to say those little tooth floss picks. I am obsessed with flossing. It's an addiction. I suck at using dental floss so discovering the little floss picks was life-changing. I can't sleep without flossing my teeth. There are stashes in all of my bags and purses so that I can floss all day, every day.

10. In everyday life, what is your number one pet peeve?

The phrase "pet peeve" is one of my pet peeves. Also, I hate when people use the word legitimately when they mean literally.

My nominations for the Stork Award are:
1) Waiting for our Spark - This is my favorite new blog by my friend Becky. Thanks again for the Wawa surprise Becky!! You are one of the most thoughtful people I have met and I think you're incredibly strong and optimistic despite your struggles.

2) Lindsey and the Unicorn - (Baby in Blog warning - this is a success after IF blog, DX: unicornate uterus, hypothyroid) Lindsey is and will always be my favorite success after IF story! Her blog always reminds me that sometimes people really do beat the odds. Lindsey, you are an amazing friend, mother, and person in general. I will always be grateful for the advice and support you've given me over the past year and only I wish that I had known better how to support you when you were going through this yourself. 

3) The Making of a Glow Worm - I'm a creepy stalker of this blog. Kris- I've always admired how you're willing to keep giving out good advice and kind words, first on TB and now on IDOB too. I wanted to send you the Stork Award in hopes that it brings you some good feelings and good luck before your FET next month! 

Here are the 10 questions for my nominees (I'm also passing along the disclaimer that this is supposed to be fun as a way to get to know each other a little better so please don't feel pressure to do this if you don't want to or don't have time!)

1. What three words best describe you?
2. If you had to move to and live in a foreign country for 5 years, which country would you choose and why?
3. What's the last good book that you read?
4. What are some of your hobbies?
5. Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?
6. What's your favorite time of the year?
7. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
8. Would you rather go on a backpacking/camping trip or relax at a comfy resort?
9. Do you have a favorite quote or is there one that means something special to you right now?
10. What are your top 3 favorite songs right now?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Plan Update

Well, I just got back from mailing our application to our RE's discount IVF program. The program is for people who are uninsured who fall in a certain income bracket. The practice offers a 10-50% on IVF cycles and all of the associated procedures (FETs, ICIS, cryopreservation, etc.) depending on your income. After speaking with the financial counselor last week, she determined that we should qualify for the program. We filled out all of the forms, gathered all of the tax documents and pay stubs, and mailed it off to the office. The application says that it may take 2-3 weeks for them to process everything. For the next few weeks, I'm just going to be hoping and praying that we qualify at all and that the discount makes IVF a reasonable option for us.

Seth and I discussed the multi-cycle package and we both feel like it isn't the right choice for us right now. We were considering a package that offered two fresh IVF cycles and two frozen embryo transfer cycles. If we were lucky enough to have success with the first fresh cycle, the total cost would be about $23,000 (depending on drugs). Yikes. If we had success after using all four cycles, it would cost closer to $30,000. Mother fuck. If we went through all four cycles and still didn't have a baby, we'd get up to 50% of the base price refunded but we'd still be out about $18,000. That's a lot of money. Someday this might be a good option for us, but not right now. Seth is going to be graduating in May so we have no idea what our financial situation will look like in six months. Also, I want to move home as soon as Seth is finished with school. Trying to squeeze up to four treatment cycles in from mid-January and early May doesn't seem reasonable. I think it would just be way too much pressure.

So that's that. No multi-cycle program for us. What we do over the next few months depends on this discount program. If we qualify and we get a decent discount, I think we're going to go ahead with an IVF cycle in January. If we don't qualify, we'll probably just continue with business as usual until we know where we'll be living and working and/or until I lose my mind and we decide to try an IUI cycle or something.

In other more fun news, I started a new crochet project! I found a tutorial on Pinterest for an infinity scarf so I went to Michael's last week and picked out some yarn.

It's nice and chunky, but soft, and it's a neutral golden tan color. I love it. You can see that I messed up on a few rows (that bulge), but I don't think it will be noticeable once it's finished since the yarn is so chunky. Also, I was too lazy to undo it all by the time I noticed it. I hope I can finish it before I head up north next week! My other big project, the blanket that I was making, it still coming along very slowly. I need to get some more yarn and motivation for that one.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Deja vu

Last year, around this time we were just finishing up our 4th cycle TTC. Now, here we are again - 4th cycle TTC after surgery. I still feel like we're just doing the same thing over again. Reliving the false hope and disappointment. No matter how many times I tell myself that we're not doing nothing, that the surgery could have helped me, I still can't help feeling like these natural cycles are pointless. 

I heard back from the financial counselor at our RE's office earlier this week and she gave us quotes for the multi-cycle refund package as well as for the per cycle costs of IVF and FET cycles. There's still a chance we qualify for a discount on the per cycle price, but we won't know until we submit the application. Either way - holy fucking shit. I knew the average cost of an IVF cycle plus medications, but seeing it all laid out on a bill with my name on it made it seem so much more real. I don't know if we can do it. Seth and I need to have a serious talk about everything, but I'm kind of afraid to hear what he has to say. I'm afraid that he's going to agree with me, that maybe right now is not the right time for us to try IVF. I'm afraid that the best thing for us is to just keep on doing nothing.

I am hoping more than ever that "nothing" will work.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful for:



Well, that's awkward. This week was actually kind of crap. Nothing terrible, just little things - CD1, found out my insurance isn't government approved, found out that we do NOT qualify for a discount on the multi-cycle IVF package, Bear and Binky do not understand the time change and have moved their wake-up time to 6 AM...just little bummers. It kind fucked up my countdown to Thanksgiving fun though. Of course I'm thankful for my health, happiness, husband, home, dogs, blah blah blah...but that really wasn't the point. I wanted to focus on things that were great each week. So let's see...

I'm thankful that this week is almost over. Does that count? I'm thankful that I'm alive. That's always a good thing. Only two weeks until I get to go home and see my family! That's worth celebrating. I can't wait to see my nieces. Two for one holiday lattes at Starbucks this week! Woohoo I'm definitely thankful for that. B and I went to "happy hour" yesterday and had Caramel Brulee lattes. I couldn't bring myself to get the Gingerbread or White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha before Thanksgiving.
Look at those crysals. Mmmm.
Seriously this week has been super lame. I'm having a great time with my sister, but in terms of work and other stuff, I am over it. Tonight I think we're going to go to my favorite Cuban restaurant for dinner (thankful for lechon asado and that I don't have to cook or do the dishes!). Hopefully that will bring things back up a little bit.

Right. Well, I'm boring the shit of myself so it's probably best that I just end the worst post ever here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Friday!

And happy CD1 for me. Oh well - if I have to start a new cycle I think Friday is the best day to start. Monday is a holiday, so I can use the long weekend to properly "celebrate" the start of cycle 19.

I expect the weekend to be full of wine and yoga pants.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I saw a bunch of people posting things that they were thankful for every day up until Thanksgiving and I thought it was a nice idea. We could definitely use some positive thoughts around here. Since I'm a slacker, I decided to just make a list once a week until Thanksgiving. So, this week I am thankful for:

1. Bear's Health
Bear joined our family just over two years ago in August 2011. As Bear started getting bigger we noticed that there was always a puddle of pee around him whenever he took a nap. The vet thought that it might be a growth spurt and things were growing at different rates, so we tried a medicine that would strengthen his little bladder muscles. It didn't work and it was getting worse. He was leaking all the time. This time when we went to the vet he suggested that Bear had an ectopic ureter, which is a really rare birth defect (usually seen in females of huskies and two other breeds) in which the ureter draining the kidneys extend past the bladder. He sent us to a specialist.

We found out that Bear's condition has a really negative impact on the dog's quality of life. It can lead to repeated kidney infections. Eventually all of the urine will causes burning on the dog's skin. We knew that medication didn't work and the only option was a surgery that was expensive (several thousand dollars) and only had a 50% chance of success. We were devastated. It was one of the saddest weeks that I can remember. My poor little Bear. He was only three months old and we didn't know what kind of life he would get to have. I couldn't even think about what we might have to do if the surgery didn't work.
Bear on the night before his CT scan. 
On November 1st, Bear went in for a CT scan and the surgeon found an 8 lb. mass in his stomach. At first we thought it was cancer, but it turned out to be one of Bear's kidneys. The doctor wanted to do surgery to remove it immediately, so on November 2nd Bear was in surgery for several hours to remove the bad kidney and see if it was possible to repair the other one. The next morning the surgeon called and said that Bear's other kidney was perfect, but that he was still leaking so he needed a second surgery. That one was a success! Bear came home a few days later almost as good as new! It's been two years since his surgery and he has never had a leak or an infection. We keep an eye on his diet and kidney function but the doctor says there's no reason to think that Bear won't have a normal, healthy life!

2. My sister B coming to visit!
On Saturday, my baby sister B is coming to stay with us for a week. I can't wait. I haven't seen her since July and that's probably the longest that we've ever been apart. I love all of my sisters equally - we're ridiculously close - but I think that B and I probably have the most in common. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with her this week. It will be such a nice distraction from everything that is going on right now.

3. The strongest women that I know
IF sucks, but I know that it would be a million times worse if I hadn't been so lucky to stumble upon a group of the most amazing women/friends that a person could ask for. This process can make you feel so isolated sometimes and I'm so grateful that I have met other people who understand what I'm going through, who don't judge me, and who help me to keep going when I feel like I can't take it anymore. Special thanks to Jaytee, Chickin, DoodMama, Acro, and Becky - thank you for picking me up when I was feeling down earlier this week.  There's a part in one of my current favorite songs that always make me think of my fellow IFers:
So when your hope's on fire
But you know your desire
Don't hold a glass over the flame
Don't let your heart grow cold
I will call you by name
I will share your road

I wish that none of us were on this road, but I'm so grateful that we have each other. It's an amazing feeling to know that someone is holding onto the hope for you when you're having trouble feeling it yourself.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


It's crazy how quickly everything changes. Last weekend, I was feeling so good. Then PMS happened. I've been raging and crying since Friday. Well, actually I cried while I was on the phone with my insurance company on Thursday too. Luckily, unlike most insurance agents I talk to, this woman was really sweet and grandmotherly. Anyway, my temperature is dropping and I should start CD1 tomorrow. At this point, I can't wait. Usually my mood improves pretty quickly once I start a new cycle. I hope this is just a temporary PMS-related depression and not reality finally settling in.

I'm taking this cycle much harder than I expected. If it had worked, I would have been due on July 16th, 2014 which would be one day after our third wedding anniversary. I'm not very sentimental and I usually don't care about stuff like that, but it just seemed nice to have something extra special to celebrate next July. It would have been nice to be able to tell my parents and sisters that I was pregnant when I go home for Thanksgiving in three weeks. I'm so tired of living so far away from them and it would have been awesome to share that with them in person.

I might have been around 12 weeks pregnant at Christmas, which would be awesome just because it would make the holidays so much more bearable. In my family, four babies will be celebrating their first Christmas and there's one more on the way in February. It's awesome, it really is - two of them are my beautiful little nieces and I love them more than anything. But all of them were conceived after Seth and I started trying. When I see them, it's hard for me to not think - why not me? Why isn't my baby here do? What did I do wrong? Every year my uncle does this little toast where he celebrates something, big or small, that happened in each person's life (there are 32 first cousins plus the five children of cousins). It's really nice, but I don't think I can take it this year. I know that I have so much to be thankful for - I love my husband, my dogs, my job, my friends. I know that I am lucky in many ways, but when he says my name the only thing I will hear is "Ana did NOT have a baby this year and she's not even pregnant". That big fucking failure.

Even though I know that we've already been trying for over a year (hello month 16, cycle 19) I think it's hitting me harder that 2013 will likely be a full calendar year of failure. 2013 - that year we didn't get pregnant. I feel shitty for thinking that way because so many other wonderful things happened, but the IF just drowns everything else out. I've shared this quote on here before but it really sums up my feelings perfectly right now: