Waiting for Magic: Crowdfunding IVF

“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.”
~Ziad K. Abdelnour

1219750-Ziad-K-Abdelnour-Quote-Be-strong-enough-to-stand-alone-smart

It was a really difficult decision for my husband and I to ask for help in our Infertility struggle. I know that people have many differing opinions about asking for financial assistance through sources like Indiegogo, You Caring, and Go Fund Me, and to some degree, I understand the varying viewpoints.

We recently shared our own Go Fund Me and campaign in an attempt to raise a portion of the money we will need for our IVF treatments, and it was something we spent a lot of time thinking about, and talking about, before deciding to go forward.

 

go fund me

Since posting the campaign, I have heard many differing opinions and viewpoints about crowdfunding this type of thing that are cruel, hurtful, and downright ignorant. I am lucky to say that none of these remarks have been directed at myself or my my husband, but I have seen numerous articles, forum posts, and even comments on other people’s IVF fundraising pages that made me feel like I should speak out.

I would like to take a moment to address a few of this points now, in an effort to educate and continue to raise awareness about struggling with infertility.

  1. It’s tacky to expect other people to pay for your baby: You have a right to your own opinion and if you feel that way, remember that you are in no way obligated to donate. Since going public with our Infertility struggle, friends, family members, even casual acquaintances have asked me how they can help. Well, this is one way to provide assistance to us in our struggle.
  2. People shouldn’t be sharing such personal details of their life on a public forum: If you have a problem in hearing about other people’s personal lives, try to keep in mind that this is YOUR issue and not mine. I’m happy to listen to my friends when they are in pain, and I want to be there for them to provide as much support as possible. Furthermore, infertility is still an incredibly taboo subject, despite the fact that 1 out of 8 couples suffer from this condition. Starting a conversation about this subject, and raising awareness, begins with putting a face with the name. Sharing my story has helped a lot of people in my life understand how painful and sensitive this topic is, and has helped them to better understand those who suffer. It was scary to make my story so much more personal, by announcing it on a public website like Go Fund Me, but it was also empowering. The outpouring of support we revived also made us feel so loved, which helps keep our spirits up as we face what is next.
  3. If you can’t afford IVF on you own you have no business having a baby: Come now. I would go out on a limb and say that most couples are not prepared for the financial cost involved with raising a child, but for the vast majority of them, at least getting pregnant is free. We have already invested thousands upon thousands of dollars on our infertility treatments. We know that we still have much more to pay before we can have a child, but we are trying to avoid racking up an obscene about of debt that will also serve as a constant reminder of our childlessness should our IVF attempts fail. Whether we raise the money we need it not, we are going to figure out how to finance the procedure. That being said, unsecured loans have higher interest rates, so any down payment or jump start on monthly payments will be a huge help for us. We hope that at the end of this we end up with an a baby, and that we will still have enough financial stability to be able to give our baby the life it deserves.
  4. What’s next? Are you going to expect other people to fund your medical needs if the child gets sick, or goes to college? Of course not. I put myself through college (and am still paying on that debt), and so in the worse case scenario I know that my child will be able put themselves through school should they need to. As for medical payments, my husband and I have solid jobs with good health insurance that will be able to cover all routine costs involved with our child’s healthcare. Unfortunately, our insurance (and 80% of heath insurance in this country) doesn’t cover IVF.

Infertility is not a routine medical issue. Research has discovered that women battling infertility have “emotional stress levels similar to cancer patients and cardiac rehabilitation patients.” Why then are people more sympathetic to those battling cancer or with heart issues? I’ve never heard so much criticism directed at people who start Go Fund Me pages for cancer patients. At the end of the day, regardless of the medical condition, we all just want to find our happiness and keep living. For men and woman facing infertility, having children is the only path they see going forward. Living a happy life is so intrinsically wrapped up in their ability to conceive.

At the end of the day, all I ask is that people treat us with kindness, compassion, and respect. If you don’t want to donate to my campaign, or campaigns like it, that is perfectly acceptable. No one is forcing you to, but perhaps try to keep your judgment to yourself. It’s hurtful and those of us battling infertility have enough hurt in our lives to be getting on with.

My deepest gratitude goes out to those of you who have supported our, or shared our story. You may never fully understand how much it means to us, but we will try to show our thanks as often as possible.

Thanks,

Sam

Weathering the Storm

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
~Haruki Murakami

 

It’s always difficult for me to remain upbeat in the face of overwhelming adversity.

I’ve had a pretty difficult week.

Mark and I had a great time vacationing in Pennsylvania last week, and I was looking forward to coming home and enjoying three restful days off before going back to work. Things did not really go as planned.

  • The day we came home, I started to experience some discomfort in my back teeth. While not pleasant, it also wasn’t overly painful.
  • We came back from vacation and walked straight into a swelteringly hot house, to discover that our AC was broken.
  • The next morning I woke up to discover that my period had started, and our fifth IUI had been a failure. My tooth pain had also substantially worsened. Eating was now a bit more painful.
  • Our friend who was coming to look at our AC got held up elsewhere, and wouldn’t be able to come by until the next afternoon. We had a second hot night sleeping in the bonus room in front of our tiny window unit AC.
  • Thursday, my tooth pain was almost unbearable. I called my endodontist and made an appointment for a root canal that I was hoping to put off a bit longer (because I just got one a few weeks ago and we really don’t have the money for another one right away).
  • We discovered that IVF is pretty much our only hope to conceive a child.
  • Our friend came and looked at our AC and it was more broken than he could repair. We called a repair company, and they agreed to come in the morning.
  • The next morning, my tooth pain was worse, and accompanied by jaw, head, neck, and face pain. I went to urgent care.
  • I have a “massive sinus infection” that has spread into my ears, also giving me an ear infection. I’ve apparently been sick for quite a while and just didn’t realize it because I get chronic sinus infections. Sometimes, I just don’t realize I’m sick until it’s too late.

I still had one day off work, so I decided to come home and rest.

Hey good news: our AC was fixed while I was at the doctor’s.

Bad news: It was not cheep…really really or cheep.

I woke Saturday, and knew immediately that I couldn’t go to work. Despite being on antibiotics for over 24 hours, I was worse and not better. I called in sick…missing an unplanned day off of work in the face of mounting unexpected expenses.

My puppy took good care of me, giving me snuggles all day.


I woke up finally feeling a bit better Sunday and even thought I’d be able to work. However, my tooth throbbing was still pretty bad, as was my ear ache. I took my antibiotics on an empty stomach (not having much of an appetite with the tooth pain) and that turned out to be a big mistake. The strong antibiotics made me sick and I forced down some yogurt and sliced turkey. After I ate, I was dizzy (thanks earache) and had a slamming head ache.

So, I called in sick to work…again. I used some of my paid time off this time, which I hate to do, since I try to keep it for emergencies. I didn’t really have much of a choice. Mark and I are already stressed about money and the cost from the AC, the root canal, and upcoming IVF.

I was finally able to go back to work on Monday and Tuesday, but it was a difficult couple of days. I have never been more excited that I was when I left work Tuesday and headed to the dentist.

The root canal was probably the highlight of my week, because once he numbed me up, I finally had relief from the awful throbbing ache. Tooth pain in no joke, guys. Because of the severity of the decay, and the infection, he put me on pain killers. I went home, managed to get some food down (and a milkshake) and slept for most of the night.

Wednesday, I was finally feeling a bit better, and my husband and I decided to take advantage of that by going on a date. We went to breakfast and checked out Guardians of the Galaxy. It was awesome, and after the week we had, I think we both needed the distraction.

It was a tough week, but I got through it. I’m glad I had two days off right in the middle of the week, but I have no grand illusions that the next few days will be any easier. Mother’s Day is coming, and even knowing that breaks my heart. It isn’t an easy day for me, no matter how much I try to put on a brave face.

I’m going to spend the rest of the day cleaning the house, making a nice budget friendly meal plan, shopping, and doing a bit of meal prep. Date day aside, we really have to tighten up our finances. IVF is really far out of our price range, but since we are not giving up, we just have to figure it out.

Have a great Thursday!

~Sam

 

 

Schrödinger’s Uterus

“The Two Week Wait:
The human version of Schrödinger’s Cat.”
~Unknown (Some E Cards)

Schrödinger’s cat is what is considered to be a “thought experiment,” sometimes called a paradox. The experiment was created by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, and illustrates a scenario in which a cat can be thought to be both alive and dead, simultaneously.

Basically, if a cat is placed in a box with poison, that will be dispersed at a random unknown time, the cat can be considered both alive and dead until the box is opened.

This is the strange limbo that I find myself in now (and during every two week wait since I have started treatment). Until I receive my period or a positive pregnancy test, I think of myself as both pregnant and not pregnant. It’s absurd, but it influences every decision I make.

I have been avoiding alcohol, limiting caffeine, eating well, taking my time when performing strenuous activities (like at my super physical job) and trying (but not succeeding) at getting enough sleep. The other day I declined to try a raw cheese someone offered me, but then went into a slight panic when I realized I’ve been eating lunch meat all week.

See what I mean: Pregnant and not pregnant. I’m making some of the right choices since I feel pregnant; but completely forgetting about other things, since I also feel not pregnant.

My two week wait started out pretty well. I was able to maintain much of the positivity that has gotten me through the last couple of week and months, and I felt excited again about trying for the first time in years.

I have been keeping myself pretty busy as well. My two jobs are certainly enough to focus on, but I have also been sort of, “nesting.” I mostly say this in jest, but it is how if feels in some small way. Since my husband and I bought our first house last March (a fixer upper) we have had a multitude of projects that we have been keeping on the back burner. We did MOST of the painting before we moved in, but I do still have some touch ups to do, and trim work that has been neglected. However, the biggest task I have been focused on in the last week has been organization. When we moved in, I busted my butt to get unpacked and decorated as quickly as possible so we could feel like we were living in our “home.” This was important to us, but after a while I reached a point (like you do) where I was just over it and any non-essential items were shoved into a closet or the shed. This way, we at least felt “done,” even if it was only an illusion.

Fast forward to nearly a year later and all the closets, and the bathroom cabinets were still a mess of random junk and cardboard boxes. So…I’ve been dealing with that. I have a tentative goal to get all of the closets finished before the one year anniversary of our close. I hold no unattainable beliefs that I will get to the shed in that time…maybe before next year?

So I am now halfway through my two week wait, and feeling more anxious than I would like. I am trying to remain positive, but the negative part of me that has been trying to get pregnant for over three years still isn’t expecting to be pregnant. I hate to admit it, but she is a larger part of me than the positive part.

I am still clinging to the hope that it is good news we will receive in one week, and not more of the same. In the meantime, it looks like my Living Room exploded with all the clothes that I have ever owned ever, so I should probably get back to my organizing.

How do you keep busy (sane) during the two week wait?

~Sam

 

 

Our Infertility Story: IUI Round Three

“Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!”

~Wicked: Stephen Schwartz

 

I’m not sure what changed, or when the change occurred exactly, but I am not the same person that started this blog four months ago.

Without a doubt, this infertility struggle has irrevocably altered me; altered us. No matter what happens next, I’m certain that many of the effects of that will linger for the rest of our lives. For example, should we be lucky enough to conceive, I’m sure I’ll always be a little more worried; a little more cautious than other women are during their first pregnancies. It’s more than that, though. I’m a stronger person than I was three years ago when we started trying to conceive; I am stronger person that I was four months ago when I started this blog.

When I began writing Ariadne’s String I was a broken, hollow, shell of my former self. I cried all the time, and had difficulty finding joy in even the best of days. I was drowning, and this blog became the only life line I could grab out for. During my first two IUI attempts, I don’t think I ever really believed I would get pregnant. I was anxious, paranoid, afraid to do anything that might mess up our chances.

Learning that I would have to undergo surgery terrified me, and I spent the month leading up to the procedure living in abject fear.

But I had the surgery, and it was successful. There were no complications, my endometriosis was not as advanced as it could have been, and my doctor was even able to successfully remove much of it. I came out of surgery a stronger person. Returning to work quickly post op, and feeling myself heal more every day made me stronger as well.

In the two months that followed my surgery, when I was recovering and healing and therefore could not undergo fertility treatments, my depression faded away. I’ve been happy, more relaxed, and I’ve felt more like my true self than I have in a long time. I think taking a break from treatment was good for my mental health. It was certainly helpful for my relationship with my husband. When I am a happier person, he is a happier person.

Just a few days ago, due a jolt of fear combined with hormones that always make me a little cranky, I wasn’t feeling very optimistic about starting treatment again. But the very next day I realized how much I’ve changed. I had surgery, and if the doctor thinks that will help, who am I to say it won’t? This realization made all the difference in the world going into our third IUI procedure this morning.

I cleaned the house last night, tediously creating a relaxation retreat in our bedroom; deep cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, organizing my office, and picking up the living room. I even organized the bathroom cabinets (something I have needed to do since we bought the house last March).

I started cleaning so that I could feel relaxed when we came home from the doctor’s office today, but staying busy also kept my mind off of the procedure and prevented me from feeling anxious.

I slept well last night, and when I woke at 6:30 I got dressed in my favorite maxi skirt, my “dauntless” bracelet, a fertility necklace (a gift from a former co-worker), and my new “Nevertheless, She Persisted” shirt. Because I will continue to persist in this as with many other things. 🙂


We had a bit of a wet ride into the clinic, but still made it with a few minutes to spare for Mark’s 8:00 appointment. He was called back after a few minutes, and I read Facebook and looked at the news from my phone while he was gone. After he came up we went to grab bagels and coffee while his sample was prepared.

I felt calm, relaxed, and completely at ease. We joked and laughed as we talked about work, our dog, and our plans for saving money if we get pregnant. Once back at the doctor’s we waited patiently as we looked at more news, and again laughed and made jokes about news reports, political memes, and our own lives.

I almost felt a little guilty. The office was pretty busy today, and a fertility clinic is not generally the happiest place. In the past when I have been there I’m usually quiet, reserved, anxious, and…probably a little intense. For our last IUI they were pretty late calling me in because they were super busy, and I totally lost my cool. This time I was called in nearly 40 minutes late and it didn’t bother me in the slightest. It was then that I realized my calm demeanor wasn’t an act. I felt so calm because I was actually calm. How strange.

When the doctor’s medical assistant came to get me, I hopped up eagerly to follow her. She led me into a room and told me that the doctor was still with a patient, but would be with me shortly. I got undressed and waited, while watching House Hunters Renovation on HGTV. More waiting, and I still wasn’t freaking out. Who is this person?

The doctor came in about ten minutes later. I was pleased to see him, and we talked for a minute and made a few jokes. Have I mentioned how much Mark and I both love our doctor? I told him that I was feeling much calmer and more relaxed than I ever have before. He could tell, and had already picked up on this fact. It was the first time he didn’t have to tell me not to stress out his eggs.

He looked at my chart and realized that we have been seeing him for a year. “One year,” he said. “We need to get you a baby.”

“Well, we have been trying for three years,” I said. “But we have been seeing you for a year.”

“Yes, but I’m all that matters,” he joked.

“Why does everything seem to revolve around the Mark’s in my life?” I asked (my doctor and my husband are both named Mark).

“That was funny!” The medical assistant laughed.

I laid back and we did the procedure. I was bracing for the pain, despite still feeling calm. I have a stenotic cervix, so this process always results in pretty bad cramping. The first IUI we did, the cramping was severe because it had been months since my cervix had been opened for our HSG. I was expecting this to be at least nearly that bad, since our last IUI had been way back in October.

I waited for the cramping and the pain to hit me, but it never did.

Don’t get me wrong, the procedure is no picnic and the catheter doesn’t feel awesome, but I never started cramping. After about a minute, I told the doctor and the assistant that I wasn’t feeling any discomfort for the first time.

“Your cervix wasn’t stenotic at all,” the doctor informed me. “You can jump Mark’s bones tomorrow,” he added with a smile as he walked out of the room.

“Lay here for ten minutes,” the assistant said as she followed the doctor out. “Call us with good news.”

I didn’t know what it meant that my cervix no longer seemed to be stenotic. Was it something that had been corrected via the surgery? Is that something that just goes away? I pondered this and many other things as I lay there in the dark. I was calm. I did some visualization exercises in my mind, and I wondered if this news about my cervix was a good sign.

Since I wasn’t in any pain, we headed to the grocery store after we left, and I picked up stuff to make my favorite British comfort foods on this dreary, English feeling day. We also grabbed lunch at our favorite diner.

I’m in a bit of pain now, but it isn’t from the procedure; it’s from my ovaries. The both feel a bit like they are being stabbed, though the pain on the right side is much worse. I don’t know if this means that an egg has been released, or if it is still in there and just big? Either way, I’m gonna relax a bit today, watch some movies, and make a huge pot of onion soup. If I feel up to it in a bit, I may even do some work.

I feel good. I’m hopeful, I’m calm, I’m excited. I know that this still may not work. I know that our odds of success are still not amazing, but I know that I prefer this happier, more positive self over the gloomy and moody version that had taken up so much of my time.

So I will wait. I will have a fun, relaxing, joyous two week wait, and if we don’t get pregnant this time…we will persist. Our story isn’t over yet. I think it may just be starting.

~Sam

Hope Rises on a New Year

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” 

~Rainer Maria Rilke 

 
The Holiday Season has officially come to a close, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I usually love this time year, and I still do. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving  with my family; an intimate Christmas at home with my husband; and a New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day   filled with so many of our friends. 

Even with all of that love and joy, I am ready for it to be over. 

I have realized that it’s incredibly difficult to be a childless mother this time of year. 

You read that correctly: A childless mother. 

No, I don’t mean a childless woman.

Lots of incredible, amazing, badass women I know have chosen to not have children. And I think that’s awesome, if it’s the right choice for them. 

For me, I’ve been maternal for most of my life. I am a caregiver. I love to take care of others; to help them when they are sick; to soothe them when they are sad; to carry them when they are weak. 

I have always loved the holiday season, and have probably over celebrated Christmas because of the joy and happiness it embodies. 

But after years of trying to get pregnant, the season of hope has weighed me down. I am still broken and empty as ever…because I am still childless. 

Amazingly, I find that I do still have hope. Maybe my surgery gave me more of that. The news that I am not quite fully stage two endometriosis has been helpful…it could have been so much worse. 

My husband and I spent this Christmas alone together, and we were both happy for the lazy time we shared together as husband and wife…with the hope that this will be our last Christmas holiday as a family of two. 

I am actually very thankful for the little family I have found from this blog. You all have helped me so much during my struggle, and I am so grateful for your kind words, love, and support. I hope to be there for you all as well, which is why I always try to respond to your comments. 

This terrible reality we all share…the infertility life of we childless mothers consumes much of my existence. I support you. I care for you. I wish everyday for nothing but stories of conception, succesful pregnancies, and live births. 

I hope you all had a very Happy Holiday!  

Even more so, I wish a fruitful and fertile New Year to all of us. 

~Sam

Our Infertility Story: My Laparoscopy

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”
~William Shakespeare 

Our Infertility Story: The Beginning

Our Infertility Story: The Specialist 

Our Infertility Story: My HSG

Our Infertility Story: The Eye of the Storm

Our Infertility Story: Checking His Swimmers

Our Infertility Story: IUI Round One

Our Infertility Story: IUI Round Two

Our Infertility Story: Surgery or IVF

I had surgery yesterday.

The weeks leading up to the day both seemed to fly by, and also to go by in a slow crawl. I was terrified.

Though I had an endoscopy earlier this year, I have not been under general anesthesia since high school, and the idea of doing so again scared me.

I think it’s because I don’t like loosing control, or being without control.

I am pleased to say that I slept pretty well the night before surgery. This is no doubt due to the fact that I opened the last four shifts at work before surgery. Waking up at 5:30 am everyday helped better prepare me to wake up that early now. I actually was awake before my alarm.

I woke to numerous well wishes for surgery on my facebook page, and  soon after waking I received a text from my brother. I was feeling well loved. 💜

Thursday after work, my mom got me a pair of Christmas pajamas that buttoned up, and some indoor/outdoor slippers. This was because I was instructed to wear clothes that would be easy to take on and off. I slept in my pajamas the night before, so all I had to do was slide on my slipper boots, and pull on a sweatshirt.

The hospital was located in an older part of town that I am not familiar with. We got a little lost on the twisty brick roads, but adored the cute little neighborhood. I had been told it would be okay to get there a little late for my 6 am in time, because the doors don’t open until 6 am, so I wasn’t concerned about being late.

Once we got to the surgery center, I checked in an waited to be called for paperwork. I received a few more text messages from friends as we waited. Once I was called, I was given paperwork to fill and told I didn’t owe any money. We had already met our out of pocket for the year, so this wasn’t a surprise. It’s actually why we scheduled this at the end of the year.

I was called back at around 7:50 am, and ran into my doctor almost immediately. He saw me being weighed and said, “There’s my favorite Sam!”

Mark and I have both always really liked our fertility doctor. Not only is he more than capable, but he is always so positive and full of hope. I think that helps us both. Every time I see the doctor, I walk away in a less pessimistic place. I think that’s important.

We sat and talked for a few minutes in the little room. He went over my procedure with me again, and told me that in addition to any exploratory work, and clean up and removal of any endometriosis he finds, that he was also planning to push dye through my tubes again. I’ve already had an HSG, but this was just to make sure that my Fallopian tubes were still clear.

I started crying while I was with the doctor. By that point, I was feeling completely overwhelmed, anxious, and terrified. The doctor gave me a hug, and told me that he was going to take good care of me, and not let anything happen to me.

After he left, I went through a lot of questions and medical history with first the nurse, and then the anesthesiologist. I cried again with both of them as well.

After that, I was instructed to get changed. Once I was dressed, I had an IV inserted into my hand. The nurse tried to put it through the top of my wrist, but it wouldn’t thread and caused me a lot of pain. She had to pull it out.

The second time, in my hand, the IV went in immediately.

I was given a few different types of medicine for nausea (previous experiences with anesthesia always left me very sick when I woke up) and then my family was allowed to come in to see me.

I started to feel a lot calmer by the time my family came in to see me. I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure one of the drugs they shot into my IV was a seditive.

My mom and dad gave me a kiss, but Mark was allowed to stay with me until I was wheeled into the OR.

I don’t remember much once we got to the operating room. I remember huge round lights up above me on the ceiling, and they asked me a few questions. I was already feeling a bit hazy, from the seditive I assume they gave me.

Once the anesthesia was administered my hand starting burning as it entered my veins through the IV.

The next thing I remembered was waking up in recovery.

I asked if it was over, and the male attendant helping me said yes. I had to pee pretty badly, and I said so. He brought me a bed pan, and it took a minute probably because I had a catheter in during surgery, but I was able to go.

Then, I was aware of the horrible pain I was in. I was having some of the worst cramping that I have ever experienced in my life. He hurried and got me some pain medicine. He stayed with me and talked to me, no doubt trying to calm me down as we waited for the meds to kick in. I was also told to sip on water, which I did without complaint.

Eventually, he helped lift me off of my stretcher and into a big comfortable wheel chair type contraption. I went into recovery and sat with my husband. I’m told my parents were there, too…but I don’t really remember.

I asked about my results and was told that the doctor already spoke to my husband. My mom told me later that the doctor told them that he spoke with me before talking to them or Mark…but again, I don’t remember.

Eventually, the nurse saw the doctor in the hall outside my recovery room and asked if he would come talk to me. He joked that he didn’t want to, because I wouldn’t remember anyway, but he came in and sat down.

He told me that he found endometriosis and was able to remove a lot of it. He put me in between stage 1 and stage 2 endometriosis. I won’t really know more until my post op appointment on Thursday, but from what I can tell, this is very good news.

He seems to think that we will be able to go forward with IUI, which is great news, since we cannot afford IVF.

I was told I couldn’t leave until I went to the bathroom, but I told them I already went in a bed pan, and so I was sent away.

We came home and I begin the slow process of recovering. I’m in a lot more pain than I had hoped to be in, but I am surrounded with love. That’s enough for now.

I’ll be back soon to let you know how I’m recovering.

~Sam

Our Infertility Story: Surgery or IVF

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.
~John Wayne

Our Infertility Story: The Beginning

Our Infertility Story: The Specialist 

Our Infertility Story: My HSG

Our Infertility Story: The Eye of the Storm

Our Infertility Story: Checking His Swimmers

Our Infertility Story: IUI Round One

Our Infertility Story: IUI Round Two
After my second failed IUI, my doctor relayed to his nurse that he didn’t really want to do more than one more round of IUI. He would prefer if we did IVF or that I had the surgery he had already discussed with me.

Mark and I decided to save our precious insurance covered IUI procedures, and talk with the doctor about our other options.

Our appointment was over a week after my period began, and it was a very very long week.

I had to leave work early the day my period started, because I was such a mess that I couldn’t pull myself together and get through my shift.

Mark was off early that day, so I picked him up at work, and we shared wine and he comforted me while I cried. Most importantly, we talked about our next steps.

I reached out to a very good friend who wanted to meet me for breakfast the following day, even if I didn’t want to talk. I had to work early the next day, but he met me on my lunch break and it was nice to have a friend to sit with, as I slowly started figuring out how to pick up the pieces of my life.
I fell into a very deep depression. I had a difficult time hanging onto hope, and I just felt lost and empty.

Finally meeting with the doctor the following week helped. I learned that IVF is the most effective way for a women with endometriosis to get pregnant. I learned that if my endo is not super advanced the surgery might help enough for IUI to be effective. I also learned that during both of our IUI rounds, I was producing strong and healthy eggs. This is a good sign, because it suggests the endometriosis has not done damage to my ovaries.

I felt better after our meeting, but anxious as we began our waiting game. We had to give the office a week to find out how much IVF our insurance would cover, and how much the surgery would cost. We needed information to make a decision.

We didn’t hear back for over 9 days, so I finally called and received the news I had been expecting. Our insurance doesn’t cover ANY of IVF. Not the facility charge, not the fertility meds, not the procedure…nothing.

We had also met our out of pocket for the year, so surgery before the end of the year would be advantageous for us. I told them to schedule it.

I got a call back with possible dates, and after a little back and forth, we settled on Friday December 9. This was still weeks away at the time, as we booked all this about two weeks before Thanksgiving.

I planned things out with work, and we decided that I would take four days off after my surgery so that I could recover. My doctor only usually recommends taking two days off following surgery, but that is for people who work desk type jobs. At my job, it’s not uncommon for me to walk four miles a day.

I had to transfer stores in between all of this, and therefore had to rework all of this with my new boss…but she was more than accommodating.

I am about to have surgery.

I feel like getting to this point has taken forever, and it has also flown by.

I’m scared of the procedure, and I’m probably more nervous to find out how advanced my endometriosis is. But we are here now, and I know that getting answers is better than staying in the dark.

So I am about to have my laparoscopy surgery.

Thanks for all of your kind words and thoughts and prayers over the last few months. All of your support has meant the world to me. ☺️

Much love in return. ❤️

~Sam