Tag Archives: infertility sucks

Where Things Stand

Published / by Kim / 2 Comments on Where Things Stand

I’ve been putting off writing about this, because I haven’t really felt like examining my feelings about it. If I’m honest, I still don’t, but I know that I need to take a look at them sometime, and since it’s in my head right now, it may as well be now.

A few weeks ago, I went in to Columbia for a saline hysterosonogram. It’s a really simple procedure, where they use an internal ultrasound wand – often known around here as the “dildocam” – and saline introduced to the uterus to get a good image of the uterus. It hurts when the saline goes in and until it’s out, but it’s fast, so the pain is very bearable. Dr. G found a small polyp in my uterus, which he plans to remove via hysteroscopy and send for a biopsy, but the biopsy is standard procedure and polyps are fairly normal, so there’s nothing really to be concerned about there.

While I was in the office, I got the results of some blood work. Interesting to note is that I don’t have any rubella antibodies, which is strange because I distinctly recall getting the rubella/mumps/measles vaccine as a kid, in 2nd or 3rd grade. It was required for school. I guess it wore off, which I didn’t know could happen.

Also interesting to note is that Scott tested positive for syphilis. That gasp you just made? Yeah, that was my reaction, too. But it turns out it was a false positive. When someone tests positive for syphilis, the lab automatically runs a more sensitive test and that one came up definitely negative. Dr. G thinks Scott has some weird antibody in his blood that reacted weirdly with the less sensitive test. It’s funny, because he had the same thing with a Hep C test once: a false positive followed by another test that came up negative. We think that’s related and that this weird antibody he has can screw up several blood tests. Maybe it’s related to the Factor V Leiden, maybe it’s something else. He needs to follow up with his regular doctor to see what’s up with that, though I think a hematologist wouldn’t be out of line, particularly since he hasn’t seen one since he found out about the FVL.

The final blood test result I got is the one I’ve been avoiding thinking about: the MIS test. The MIS blood test measures anti-mullerian hormone and is used to determine ovarian reserve. My result was .04, which is low. It’s a really bad number. It means that there’s a very good chance that I’ll respond poorly to the hormones used to stimulate egg production for an IVF cycle.

Normally, I’d say screw it. I have IVF coverage, let’s give it a shot anyway. But we have to pay for the drugs out of pocket, and the drugs are around $6,000. I don’t have a spare $6k laying around to just give it a shot and then find out that yes, the test was right and my abused little ovary only managed to cough up 2 or 3 poor quality eggs that aren’t even mature. Not to mention, our insurance coverage isn’t as good as it used to be and now it only covers 90% of the cost of an IVF cycle. So on top of the expense for the drugs, we’d be paying for 10% of the cycle out of pocket.

We just can’t afford that for something with such a low likelihood of working.

Donor eggs are our best shot at getting pregnant now, but that brings with it a whole new breathtaking level of expenses. I have no ethical or emotional concerns with donor eggs. I would use them in a heartbeat, faster than a heartbeat, if I could afford it. But I can’t. It’s not at all covered under insurance so everything is out of pocket.

There is the very slimmest chance that Scott’s mother, who seems to have decided that grandmotherhood is important to her since marrying a man with grandkids and great-grandkids, will decide to help us out with this. This is a very slim chance.

So this is how things stand right now. I see my dreams of pregnancy and a tiny baby slipping out of my grasp, and I’m swinging wildly between resigned acceptance that dreams always fail and wanting to take a scorched earth approach to my life. Self-destruction is something I’ve always been really good at, though I’m out of practice.

Either way, I’m so sick and tired of being sad. I’ve been sad for… what?… 9… 10 years? However long it’s been since I first realized that pregnancy wasn’t going to be a matter of simply having sex at the right time. I’m looking for a grief counselor, because I know I need help getting through this. I just don’t know how to stop being sad, how to stop feeling this loss. And how to stop feeling like such a damn failure.

Update: Well, it turns out I was wrong about the IVF drugs not being covered under our prescription plan. Scott just got off the phone with them and it looks like all the drugs we’d be using are actually covered. This changes everything. There’s still a really small chance of IVF working with my own eggs, but at least now we can try it without having to lay out that $6k for the drugs.

I Must Be Stopped

Published / by Kim

I think I just discovered why the Universe has seen fit to keep me from giving birth to a child. It’s streams of consciousness like this:

“Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play… Prudence, that’s a nice name. Prudence Josephine? Prudence Jo? We could call her  PruJo. Haha. CuJo. It’s perfect.”

The Universe, in its infinite wisdom, must have decided that someone like me cannot be trusted with the task of naming a child.

Holiday Blues

Published / by Kim

I has them.

I’ve been trying to just push through it, but I’m definitely in the throes of a full blown holiday season funk. It’s a big combination of things, like turning 40 and having a bit of an existential crisis, and also let’s not forget the pregnancy announcements that just won’t stop coming. Put both of those things together and the funk settles in for a long stay.

Turning 40 I could handle on its own, but the pregnancy announcements combined with it are really throwing me off. Most of these pregnancies are women I only know peripherally, so I can mostly ignore them, but a couple of them are really good friends. One of those friends is really sensitive to my situation, and I love her for that. The other doesn’t get it – and really, why should she? – and says things like, “I just felt the baby move! I love being pregnant.” That killed me. Just really killed me. Like laid me down in the street and ran over me with a steamroller killed me.

The thing is, I’m happy for these friends of mine. Happy for the ones who got pregnant after intertility and happy for the ones who just got pregnant as soon as they wanted to get pregnant. I love that I have babies to knit for all of a sudden, even if they’re not my babies. But I’m sitting here surrounded by all these holiday trappings and they all feel empty and meaningless without a child to share them with.

It’s weird, but after all these years, I still can’t really believe I’m infertile. I still think to myself, “This isn’t right. This can’t be my life. This isn’t the plan.” And sometimes the injustice of it hits me in the chest so hard I can’t breathe.

Holidays have never been hard before, other than Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. This year the turning 40 thing being thrown into it all is what did it. I’m 40. Even if I wasn’t infertile, my fertility would be washed up right about now. I don’t have a lot of time left to figure out  what to do. Whatever I do, I want this to be the last Yule I feel this way. Next year, I’m going to be pregnant or in the midst of adoption or I may really just roll over and die.

We have an appointment at Columbia on January 22. That’s the first step. We’ll see what happens next.

Comments are closed on this one because I’m mostly venting and also because I don’t want anyone saying what great parents Scott and I will make or similar comments. I know people mean well and say that to help, but it’s kind of like telling a starving homeless person what a great chef they’d make if they had a house with a kitchen. Just saying.