Friday, May 26, 2006

A Post I Didn't Want to Write

My pregnancy test was negative yesterday after a second round of IUI.


For the last two weeks I haven't really noticed many physical changes, save for some heartburn and a few cramps a week ago. But otherwise, nothing.

I didn't bother buying an at-home pregnancy test, because I knew the infertility place schedules a blood pregnancy test exactly two weeks after the IUI's done.

So when I went yesterday, I asked the technician (a new chirpy one who I didn't like right away) if the lack of symptoms meant anything.

"You really can't ever tell," she said, or words to that effect.

A few hours later, a nurse I regularly deal with (my doc has two, and this one has an annoying syrupy sweet voice that I don't care for at all), called my cell. Last month, it went straight to voice mail, and I think I'm going to do that from now on when I get calls about pregnancy results.

I could tell right away that she didn't have a positive result, and started in with several "I'm sorrys." Finally, when she told me the result was negative, I said "No worries," and pretty much hung up on her as she was wrapping up her shpiel.

I then walked out of my office, called Mr. Lyrehca, and told him. My immediate thought was to scrap the third round of IUI that were are scheduled to begin when my period starts up, and get started with IVF. I mean, really, why fuck around with something that hasn't worked twice already?

He said that made sense to him, so I called the doc's secretary (NOT his nurse) and told her what we wanted to do. She said she'd have the doc or one of his nurses get back to me.

So the doc calls me at the end of the day, when thankfully, most of my office has cleared out (I work in an open office and have had to lock myself in a conference room to have a private cell phone conversation many times).

He agreed that IVF seemed like a logical next step, if we would be very disappointed if a third round of IUI didn't work (of course we would. Who wouldn't be?). And since my primary insurance doesn't cover this stuff at all, and my secondary insurance doesn't seem to limit what and when you can certain infertility treatments, it's ok to move straight on to IVF.

I know IVF is a lot more invasive, and fuck, plenty more expensive, than IUI, but not the specifics. A nurse is calling me to schedule an IVF orientation, and from the notes I scribbled while talking to the doc yesterday, we're supposed to wait until day 21 of this next cycle to start taking a drug called Lupron, which builds up my eggs or follicles. Then I wait til the NEXT cycle for them to be retrieved and all the science happens that month (so now we're talking July.)

"What if we try to conceive naturally this month and start taking the Lupron, only to find out I'm pregnant at the end of the month?" I asked.

"Well, I wouldn't recommend it, but it has happened. There have been no medical reports of problems of children who have been conceived through accidents that way."

My thought was, these couples are *trying* to have a baby. These aren't ACCIDENTS, you old man.

"So it would be fine, right?"

This doc is not one of my typical favorite doctor profiles. Since I've seen many in my time, I'm qualified to know who I like best. And I typically like women best. Caring, not cold women. This guy, while knowledgeable and kindly when he talks, is an older guy who will say one thing, and I'll say something else and he sometimes is swayed, and sometimes isn't. This was one of these times.

Essentially, what I got was that it wouldn't be a problem if I conceived naturally this month if I went on the Lupron in the middle of the cycle, but he couldn't give me the official go-ahead to do so because it's not the right protocol to do that.

(Oy, why am I talking semantics here? Why would I conceive naturally this month anyway? It hasn't happend in nine months of trying yet.)

So now I have to read up on exactly how IVF works, how many more shots of drugs I'll need to shoot in my ass, how many more trips to the stirrups I'll need as someone pokes yet another uncomfortable speculum up my anatomically-normal-but-otherwise-buried-too-deep, too-far-back cervix (learned that one at the last IUI).

Why do I want children again?

Oh, note to Julia, I went to Whole Foods after this news and bought a Five Star chocolate bar, as you'd once recommended. It was fine, and my sugars were surprisingly normal all afternoon, but there was NO NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION on the wrapper. I later found some of it online, but these days, I have no patience for a company that can't make it easy for me to figure out how much insulin I need to take. So I probably won't be eating it again.

Driving out to my acupuncture appointment last night, after the Mister and I had a discussion about the latest high credit card bill (bloated with medical expenses that I get reimbursed for, weeks later), I got to the office in a bad mood. No one's reimbursing us for these acupuncture appointments, and really, what are they doing?

I definitely feel more relaxed as I lie there, poked with needles, for a half hour, but couldn't I feel equally relaxed if I lay quietly in my own bed at home, without a TV on or anyone talking or a phone ringing?

I pointed this out to the acupuncture doc, who is typically a kind Chinese man who is friendly enough. As I was lying there, I started to cry and couldn't stop, as the tears ran down the sides of my face and into my ears. (NOTE TO Kevin, who emailed me a detailed email of what laser eye surgery is like: I thought of you, and how this is probably how my laser eye surgery would feel, whenever I have it scheduled, with tears pouring into my ears).

The acupuncture doc, unlike just about any Western medical doc I've seen, told me my tears were upsetting him, and that there was no guarantee that acupuncture would work, but that I was improving because I was going there, and that three months wasn't a long time, and that he would tell me if he didn't think I could improve from it any more. He also said that among his patients, he wanted me to get pregnant more than most, because of where I work, a well-known local media outlet.

"Yeah, I'll see what I can do," I said, "but you've got plenty of media attention around your office already. You don't need me."

He also has a lot of photos of babies and notes from grateful parents around his office, and he told me that's the most he wants to see from these patients. He's 68, and could have retired already, but he continues to do this because of how happy his successful infertile patients are when things work. This is what he told me.

Because I was still crying, he went to take care of another patient and left me for a few minutes. I thought, "I could run out of here right now and never come back." But would that be cutting off my nose to spite my face?

I stayed. I had another acupuncture treatment. I left and said I'd call to make another appointment (I ususally book the next appointment while I'm paying).

Last night Mr. Lyrehca hugged me as I told him I got upset at the acupuncture office. He's upset, too, but not as teary and mean as I feel.

I've been reading a lot more infertility blogs this past week, something I didn't really do before now. (I stuck mostly to diabetes and one or two cancer blogs, and one or two infertility blogs). The infertilty blogging world is much more vast than the D-blog world, and it's taken me all week (and a lot of not-doing-work time) to get through ...And I wasted all that birth control. Some of these women have been blogging for two or three years, and they're currently pregnant, or have lived through several miscarriages.

I've thought about whether I would want two unhealthy babies instead of one healthy one (The infertility doc seems insistent on implanting just one or maybe two embryos in me instead of more because he keeps harping on about the diabetes and the risk of multiples. Finally, I asked him if he knew what an A1c was, and that mine has been in a non-diabetic range for the past year, and YES, that meant my risk of birth defects is the SAME as a non-diabetic woman. He said he didn't realize that. "I'm a very compliant diabetic patient," I said. "I'm not what you're used to seeing.")[Translation: Enough with the diabetes already. Just get me pregnant with a healthy embryo or two and I'll worry about the rest.]

Because what's the point of implanting just one embryo at a time when others usually have several, since they don't all usually develop?

And NO, I don't want to have two sick children, or frankly, even one, but is that better than having no children at all? I can't answer that yet. All I know is that yes, I have dealt with more than a usual amount of health issues in my lifetime that weren't caused by anything I did or ate or smoked or fucked. They just happened. And I think I've managed, after years of living with these issues and therapy, to be OK with the diabetes and the cancer scare a few years back. And I'm trying to get through this infertility bout as best I can. So I think I deserve to think that I don't want a sick kid because I've dealt with enough sickness on my own.

The Mister and I are going out of town overnight, and then we have to return to a baby naming ceremony this weekend of a couple who are not my favorite people, although the Mister loves them. I asked him if I could get out of it by saying I wasn't feeling well, because I didn't want to deal with all the children that will be there. He asked if that was true, and it could be. (It could also be I just don't want to deal with the smarmy female half of the hosting couple). But we'll also have a lot of other friends there who I like more than the hosts (thought they all are either pregnant or with children, too) that I'd like to see.

I also thought, yesterday while driving to the acupuncturist's, just how cute my brother's kid is (conceived naturally by his younger, stick-thin wife), and how could I ever have as cute a baby if I had to adopt? Then I thought about Angelina Jolie's daughter and how cute she is. Then I thought about how I'd want a Caucasian baby because that's what the Mister and I are and we'd want to look similar to our kid. Is that being racist? Would I even be a fit mother having these sorts of thoughts? And how would we get to adopt a white infant when they're likely the toughest to adopt and that people wait years to get them, if they can at all? The Mister says I'm getting ahead of myself, but I keep thinking that adoption takes a long time, so why not get on the list and check out agencies just to see how things work?

Clearly, I'm not in the greatest mental state right now. I know some people do IVF treatments for years. I know some people (two of my own friends) who have done IVF for years and given up and have then gotten pregnant on their own (in their 40s yet). And I know I'm still sort of a newbie in the whole infertility game.

But I'm still allowed to feel whiny and cranky.


caren said...

I was so sad when I saw the title of this post. I know there is not much that we can do other than to say, I'm sorry this is such a struggle for you. I'll keep you in my thoughts and send warm wishes you way.

(and please, by all means, vent and 'crank' away!!)


art-sweet said...


I'm so sorry.

Sending you and the mister big hugs.

I'm also sending you my phone #.

I can fill you in on IVF and you can fill me in on normal AICs ;-)

Sound like a deal?

Christine said...

I'm really sorry it didn't work again. Hopefully IVF will go better.

If not a mother... said...

I am so sorry to hear that you are going through all this. I hoped that this step would be the one for you, even as I have (mostly) lurked.


Shannon said...

You don't have to go through this for years to feel justified in feeling cranky. I can imagine every month must feel like an eternity for you.

Kerri. said...

I'm so sorry. I've been trolling about your blog in hopes that you would write a post with the title "I Couldn't Wait to Write This Post!" And I know that day will come, but I'm sure it's never soon enough for you and Mr.

I'm hoping all I can muster from here in RI. Thoughts, prayers, and warm wishes en route.

Penny Ratzlaff said...

I'm sorry for the negative pregnancy test. I'm sending prayers your way that whatever you decide to do next will work.

Violet said...

Well, shyte. I'm sorry, L.

I'm thinking good thoughts for you and the Mister. And standing quietly in the distance, observing and feeling great respect for the way you're walking down this road.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

I know a woman who got pregnant on her pre-IVF protocol cycle, after trying unsuccessfully for three years, "by accident." Her daughter is now 1 year old and a precocious and delightful human being. So yeah, I'd say if it happens, it's perfectly safe.

I'm very sorry. Good luck with IVF. I hope it's the magic bullet for you.

(I also know a woman in her second trimester with IVF triplets, and I did a bit of research for her when her doctor was pushing for selective terminations b/c of the risks of problems in the babies--but basically, what I found is that they're usually ok, and when they're not, you can usually find out beforehand and do a selective termination if it's warranted. So far her triplets look fine.)

Kevin said...

Disappointing news, indeed, but keep up hope.

We'll be lettin' out some hoots and holers for you and the Mister's ovaries and sperm (respectively). An arm-pump here and there never hurts either. And if necessary, we'll get a stadium to do a wave for them.

It will happen. And it will be great.

Nicole P said...

Damn it. I'm sorry it didn't work.

We're sending you our positive thoughts.

Major Bedhead said...

I'm really sorry, Lyrecha. You're quite entitled to be cranky and whatever else you feel like being. It sucks.

J said...

You so deserve to be whiney and cranky... It is sad to read all the feeling that your going thru but I think it is great that you able to feel all of this it SUCKS but glad your able to get it out.. so many people can not do that I have you in my thoughts and hope the IVF works and be and Cranky as you want thru the whole thing :-) Hugs to you


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