Sunday, June 29, 2014

Scheduling Fun

Being as healthy as we are in general (and having no children), I'd nearly forgotten about how annoying it is to deal with all these doctor visits. The last time I had to coordinate and schedule so much was for the last IVF, and then it was only the one RE's office. Now I have the RE and a local gynecologist who I don't really have a relationship with, and the insurance company.

Long story short, last Thursday after 15 minutes on hold to get to the receptionist and then leaving the nurse a message, I finally got a tentative surgery date of the 7th. But because they only do surgeries every other week, if they can't get my insurance company to pre-approve the surgery in time I'll have to wait until the 21st. Then that evening when we got home I found a consult confirmation in my mailbox that mentioned that they had my old insurance on file still. So I had to fax my newer card in on Friday, which means I lost at least a day, and next week is a short week because of the 4th of July - so the insurance company only has four days to respond. I know that nobody else is in a hurry, given that they do this stuff all the time and it's not a big deal, but I'd prefer not to wait another few weeks; so I may call the insurance company (or my rep) tomorrow and see if there's any way I can help speed the pre-approval along. I don't even know if that's possible, but I might as well learn how to be at least a faintly squeaky wheel.

Patience, grasshopper. No great thing is created suddenly.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sock Giveaway!

Because it's IComLeavWe this week and I'll be seeing a little more traffic here, I wanted to do a little giveaway!

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me if you have lucky stirrup socks and what they look like (a picture is awesome too!) and I'll pick one of you at random and send you a pair of my lucky stirrup socks! I'll announce the winner on the 4th of July.

Lucky Stirrup Socks

If you're not a fan of this particular pair and I choose you, just let me know and I'll surprise you with something less F-wordy. Heh.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Grandma's Dream

The other day, Grandma emailed me.

Hi Meg.
Had to tell you about a dream I had early this morning.

You, Quinn
[my cousin's toddler] and I were at church. After church we were getting ready to leave, and Quinn toddled off into the social hall, next door where there where rows of chairs, with the tops of them covered up with tarps, or blankets. Quinn was probably a year old, so just starting to run. She ran under the chairs, and stopped short when we heard a little whimper, coming from under the chairs. We got down to look, and saw her come up to a little blonde probably a year old girl and give her a hug and a kiss on her lips. They sat face to face and started to sing a song together matching the words perfectly. A song, neither one of us had ever heard before. Then Quinn took her hand, and walked her over to you, and put her hand in yours, and off we went. That's when I woke up. Usually I can't remember any of my dreams, but this one was so real. I hope its an omen, and that you will get your little one, or ones one day.

Just had to share it with you. It was so sweet.

I haven't had any dreams about my own babies yet. But it was sweet that someone else did!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Time is Money

Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about my options for paying for this little wrench in the works. I had an email conversation with our insurance rep, who said that the procedure is covered, but not if the doc at my clinic does it, because she's not contracted with my insurance company. So when the surgery coordinator called me this afternoon and mentioned the same thing, I took that as a sign that I needed to just be patient and go with an in-network gynecologist instead of going with the clinic's more expensive option, even thought the latter would likely get the procedure done faster. Way back in late 2011, I had a pap done at a gynecologist's office here in town, and since I'm already in her database I decided I'd call her. Of course, she's out on vacation, but I'll have a consultation with her when she gets back on July 2nd. I was telling Cory that I kind of feel like Linus must feel when we tell him it's time to go for a walk but then we sit down on the couch and read email or Facebook or something before we leave. I was bouncing all over the place once I got off the phone with the doctors. But this really is going to be better, having the procedure done by someone who's covered by my insurance. This way it'll be cheaper, and I will actually just have to be driven five miles home instead of 90. In other news, I sent off my final check for the first IVF loan today! That feels good. And then I got the payment booklet for the new loan in the mail today too, heh.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Today I donned my lucky stirrup socks:

...and Cory and I headed up to Portland for my mock transfer and my saline sonohysterogram. I got a little nervous on the way up because I wasn't totally sure what they'd find. Back when I was getting my lining looked at by the doc at OHSU, he said he found a couple of fibroids but they weren't in a place that would make trouble for transferring embryos. Then, during our over-the-phone debrief from the failed FET a few months later, he said maybe the fibroids were the reason we weren't able to get pregnant yet. By then I wasn't excited about continuing with him, but it was always niggling in the back of my mind that there might be something going on and I was happy that my current doctor was wanting to check things out.

Cory and I both had some blood drawn, and then I stripped down and spent half an hour in the stirrups. (There was no pain, only verrrrrry mild cramps later, by the way - I'd read about others' experiences with SHG's and they ranged from very painful to not painful at all.) The mock transfer was quick and easy, and then the doctor filled my uterus with saline (it was weird to see the little air bubbles swirling around in there, on the screen) and took a look.

Courtesy of

Here's an ultrasound with some labels so you can get a feel for what a normal uterus should look like. And here's mine.

My uterus looks like a little black sperm! There's a few things going on here. One, that you can't actually see in this photo, is that I have three large fibroids but they aren't a big deal. The bigger deal is that I have some tissue (he said they were unrelated to the fibroids) on either side of the uterine cavity that shouldn't be there. You can see them around the "tail" of the "sperm." There's also a polyp, that spot in the middle of the larger black space.

So just like that, the FET was postponed and I'm now going in for a hysteroscopy. You can read about it on Stirrup Queens. Basically they'll go in, at least through the cervix and maybe also laparoscopically, and get rid of that extra tissue and the polyp. The doctor didn't feel comfortable attempting to transfer embryos into an environment that wasn't perfect.

After I got dressed again, we talked to my coordinating nurse about what to do next. She said that since I don't currently have a gynecologist (I just see a general practitioner - a naturopath), their newest doctor would be able to do the hysteroscopy. She's going on vacation in two weeks, so they're going to try to fit me in next week, but I might not be able to go in until the end of June/beginning of July when she gets back. Either way, I'll be able to start another FET cycle a few weeks after the procedure, when I've had a bit of time to heal, and since I'm on birth control already they'll be able to control when I start the FET. So that's nice.

After the initial shock of the worse-news-than-I-thought wore off, and I was able to process things, I've come to the conclusion that the lucky stirrup socks worked today. I feel more confident that we might see success this time, now that we've found something else that could be wrong. Unexplained infertility is so much more of a crapshoot than knowing what you're up against. Now I just hope that this is the only thing we're up against. :)

The only downside to all of this is that I found out that the estimate that I got from the financial coordinator at the clinic didn't include every procedure that we'd been planning for. I found that out when the front desk asked me for over a thousand dollars today for the mock transfer and SHG, and said the loan that I'd set up only covers the lining check through the transfer itself. So now I have to go back to the loan company and ask to add another few thousand to cover today's procedure as well as the upcoming hysteroscopy. Without knowing how much the hospital fees will be. I also need to check with my insurance provider to see if a hysteroscopy might be covered - if it is, that would be fantastic. I have my doubts though.

So all in all - it was a good appointment, and I'm happy to feel like progress was made. Now I just have to mentally prepare for surgery!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mt. St. Helens

Cory vowed not to work this weekend, so we took advantage of a full day of no work to go visit our local volcano.

After a nice lunch overlooking the Columbia river (over on the Washington side), we drove north and then east for a bit, with a final destination of Johnston Ridge Observatory in mind.

We drove along the Toutle River Valley through some gorgeous country, which didn't become any less gorgeous once we started seeing evidence of the devastation the volcano caused thirty-four years ago. The mountain isn't any less majestic, even with a giant crater and the loss of over a thousand feet of elevation. We stopped at every overlook and took photos of the view from slightly different angles. Including some very attractive selfies.

That there's a MOUNTAIN!

We had Linus with us, but dogs aren't allowed inside the monument (unless they're in a car, and it was warm and sunny yesterday so we didn't want to leave him in the car while we had fun) so we didn't end up staying anywhere for very long. Which was OK because it meant we were able to stop in Portland for dinner at the Tin Shed (dog-friendly!) and get home by the time it got dark. All in all, it was a lovely little day-trip.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's Go Time!

It's cycle day one today! I called ORM and they told me to start taking the birth control on Thursday and they scheduled me for my saline Doppler stuff on Thursday as well. Then five minutes later the nurse called back and said "oh, my fault, we can't schedule you for the procedure until you're not bleeding anymore, let me put you back through to the receptionist to reschedule." Then I waited for 15 minutes on hold. Good thing I had my headphones and could just work while I was waiting!

So next Wednesday we will both give blood and I'll have the sonohysterogram, and hopefully by then we will also have a protocol. It looks like I'll be giving myself shots for at least a couple of days, as Cory will be going to Dallas in three weeks. I'm a little concerned about having to do it myself but people do it all the time so I will just have to buck up. :) 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Accidental Visualization

Visualization is one of those meditations that everybody seems to have to work at. "Imagine it, and it is so." I wish it were that easy, because ever since our "road trip" my mind has been coming back again and again to the visualization of "my children." When my mind isn't focused on something, it slips into fleeting glimpses of twin towheads gallivanting at the beach or clearing plates off the dinner table. Sometimes even when I'm in the middle of a thought they'll peek into the edges of my subconscious with their blue eyes, smiling at me. I keep trying to brush them away. Quit making me excited and hopeful, I need to steel myself for the eventuality that you don't exist. But there they are, and there they'll likely stay as the next seven weeks unfolds. And that's OK I guess, since I only halfheartedly want them to leave.