Monday, June 30, 2008

Mad Cow Disease

Why do they call that time before a woman's period PMS?

Because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

The name Mad Cow Disease is definitely a more accurate descriptor of what I am feeling, though. I guess all of these *symptoms* were just the worst PMS I have ever had in my whole life. Why would Mother Nature choose to make the symptoms of PMS the *same* as the symptoms of early pregnancy? Why? It just doesn't seem right. Sore boobs, awful bloating, terrible mood swings... the whole meal deal. Which I normally don't get nearly so bad. And to top it off, I'm not even knocked up.

No, I have not started my period. I went for the bloodwork today, and the pregnancy test was negative. You know, I'm past due to start my period, and that would have been just as reliable an indicator of a negative. But of course, that would have been cheaper than bloodwork, and Mother Nature is still conspiring against me. I swear, she must have some sort of deal worked out with the doctors so she gets some sort of kickback for fucking with my life. Bitch.

So now I get to wait for the inevitable flood, schedule a CD3 Ultrasound and an HSG for me, and a semen analysis for Brad. Yay - an ultrasonic dildo and radioactive dye up the twat, and romance in a cup. What fun.

So here we go again. Ding ding, round 2. Clomid with intercourse. If his swimmers need help we'll switch it to Clomid with IUI.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To Pee or Not To Pee...

I am still firmly entrenched in the 2ww, and it sucks. I have HPTs in my bathroom cabinet that are, only through sheer force of will, undrenched. I discovered a nifty little website called, and I know it is still too early to test, but Dear God, I really want to. Just a few more days... It's driving me nuts... not that I really had far to go, but still. The site has all kinds of cool info about HPTs and OPKs. Still doesn't help with the waiting, though. Gee, thanks, Dr. Google.

I did get news from the blood work I had drawn yesterday. Drumroll, please... The results show that I did actually ovulate. Yay! I knew (hoped) Lucy & Ethel could do it. Good job, girls! Maybe the problem before was that they were jealous of my boobs having names, but now that they are getting some of the attention, they're willing to perform. Apparently, ovaries need love, too. Who knew?

So, on to the *symptoms.* I have *symptoms* - ssshhhhh! Granted, it's probably just PMS, but whatever it is, it sucks. My boobs are so tender it feels like Eddie & Earl are going to fall off onto the floor, and my nipples are killing me. I'm bloated, and exhausted too. On top of all that, I'm bitchy, whiny, and lazy... oh wait, that's normal.

And I've been googling baby clothes and baby names, which I normally avoid like the plague, so I can pretend that being infertile doesn't bother me, because hey, I'm not baby obsessed. No or Gymboree in my web history, nosirrrreeeee. Until today. Effin' nesting. So visit my name list and vote. Or look at the disgustingly cute baby girl clothes with me... come on, one hit won't hurt.

I'll tell you a funny story though. Remember how I said my nipples hurt? A bra doesn't help the pain, and my anatomy is such that they poke outwards if they are not restrained. I was in my kitchen cooking a couple days ago, and I reach for the can of Crisco cooking spray, to spray the casserole dish. First, I go to shake it though. It goes successfully upwards, but on the downstroke, I manage to hit my protruding right nipple with the edge of the can of cooking spray. Hard. The thin T-shirt I was wearing did not afford me any protection at all. First, I screamed, then crumpled on the floor in a crying, gibbering heap. It hurt so bad. Brad comes running, and is laughing at me as I explain what happened. His response: "You want me to kiss it?" Bastard.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Welcome to Hell...

...a.k.a. the Two Week Wait, or for those of you who have had to put any extra effort into getting knocked up: the 2ww. I got a positive OPK on Sunday, 6/15/08, so Brad and I have made like bunnies, as per the doctor's orders. I go for blood work on 6/23 to confirm that I did actually ovulate, and then more on 6/30 for a pregnancy test. Now I am in the phase where I am stuck waiting for two weeks to find out if I am pregnant. It sucks. I am a worrier, and very impatient, so this feels to me like marking time (for you non-band-nerds, that means marching in place) in the hot Texas sun, while sweat trickles down my back. It's miserable.

Speaking of heat, this is turning out to be one of the hottest Junes on record. We have been remodeling, inside and out, and the exterior of the house only lacks a few pieces of drip-edge flashing, and a paint job. But it has been too damn hot to go outside to finish it up. This morning at 10am it was already 92 degrees out there. Even after dark, it's uncomfortably hot. It's comparable to being on house arrest. And I can't imagine that it will get any better any time soon, as we still have 10 days left of June, all of July, and August, and most of September before we typically get a break in the heat around here. We are already in a drought, and no rain in sight.

Like I said, welcome to Hell.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Womb With A View

Yesterday, I went and had a CD12 scan, to find out if the Clomid is working at this level. The doctor actually did the scan herself, and her technique was better than the tech who did it last time. The first thing she commented on was my nice, thick, cushy uterine lining. I think she said something like 14mm, but I'm not sure. I also have a retroverted uterus.

It makes me want to put out a flashing Vacancy sign, and take out a classified ad in the paper:

For Rent - A Womb with a view of the lovely and scenic Vaginal Canal. Recently redecorated with new plush carpet. Beverages on tap and a pool will be installed soon after move-in. Short term leases available, from 7-10 months, with assistance available for move-in and move-out. Frequent visits from maintenance and management will ensure your stay is comfortable and trouble-free.

Then we moved on to the ovaries, Lucy & Ethel, who were both busy and hard at work. The scan showed that the Clomid is in fact making my ovaries do what they should. It showed three large follicles in the 19-22 mm range, coming from both ovaries. The doctor said that I should ovulate within a few days, and possibly release as many as three eggs. She said to start testing with OPKs and make nookie when I get a positive surge, and for a few days after. Then I am supposed to go do blood work 8 days after a positive OPK to verify that I did, in fact, ovulate. At 15 days past the positive OPK, I go again for blood work to determine whether I am pregnant or not.

If we get a negative pregnancy test, or if I start my period, then I will start more clomid, and I will go for a HSG and Brad will go for a Semen Analysis.

If I get a positive, then yay! I am *feeling* positive about all this. Hope has crept in, and I don't know what to do with it, as it visits so infrequently. Brad and I actually discussed baby names last night, which was a first. Usually, we avoid the baby subject. Not because he doesn't want to discuss it, but because I try not to bring it up, for fear that I will annoy him with all of my silly girly chatter. It's really a stupid fear, too, since he is great about humoring me in my silliness. Somehow I get it in my head that since he has an 18 year old son, I will bore him to death with all of my nonsense, because he has been there, done that, and even gotten the T-shirt. I know he's happy and even a little excited... I'm just too dumb to be able to wrap my little brain around it and accept it. Oh well. Here's hoping, anyway!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Lucy & Ethel

I completely forgot to post about the results of the actual scan. When I did the scan, they checked for cysts, and I got to see my ovaries on the screen for the first time. There were no cysts, and they were behaving just fine, for once. In my family, all 3 of us sisters are very well endowed in the mammary department (think 36G or 34H). Our boobs are name-worthy. Mine are, even after a breast reduction. My older sister named hers Teddy and Freddy. My boobs are Eddie and Earl. When my little sister refused to name hers, we told her we would refer to them as The Odd Couple if she wouldn't name them. Needless to say, she eventually quit arguing with them being called Laverne and Shirley. In keeping with the family tradition, now that I have seen my ovaries, I feel the need to name them. I have decided that my ovaries shall be called Lucy and Ethel. Grouchy, prone to making odd faces, constantly getting in trouble, and up to no good - this suits my ovaries perfectly.

So we caught Lucy & Ethel on a good day, with lots of follicles (I think they said 7-8mm?) and no cysts. I think normally their mood is more like this. They gave me the go ahead to start the Clomid, and I took 100mg on days 3-7. No problems so far. Just a little bitchiness, but that's fairly normal for me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yes, I am screwing my husband.

So I got the situation with the fertility clinic all sorted out. Apparently, they weren't even going to submit the claim to my insurance. They just interpreted my benefits how they wanted to and billed me based on that. They decided that my insurance covering infertility testing, but not infertility treatment, meant that only the first appointment when the diagnosis of infertility was made, would be covered. What a bunch of idiots. And, they marked my chart as 'infertility-unspecified origin' instead of 'PCOS', which is more accurate, and more likely to be covered. I had to explain to them that in the future they needed to mark the reason code as PCOS, and always submit a claim, whether they think it will be covered or not. You never know unless you try, right?

Also, they didn't read the fine print, or didn't read my chart, because my insurance specifically excludes IUI and IVF, but it does not exclude clomid with intercourse. I was trying to explain this to them and they're like, "You're using intercourse? Are you sure?" And I'm telling them, "Yes, I'm sure I am having sex with my husband to try to make a baby. " As if I might be confused about what we have been doing all this time. (I'm pretty sure we have been doing it right, although it's obvious that information from my middle school health teacher can't be trusted. She told the class that girls would get pregnant easily, so she might have been wrong about what hole to put it in, as well.) The nurses said the word 'intercourse' like it was a bad word, or some sort of freaky fetish that they would rather not hear about, instead of the normal way of procreating. I guess working at a fertility clinic will make you forget that not everyone can go for the big guns all at once.

Once I made them understand that I was going to continue to try to reproduce with the normal method, plus a little chemical assistance, they were like, "Oh, well your insurance will cover that! And your next appointment, too! We'll just put it as a credit on your account. Minus the co-pay of course. Have a nice day!"

But I got it sorted out. Insurance will pay. I win. Yay! Now over to google to verify that the information my middle school teacher gave me is correct. Just kidding, I know we've been doing it right. Although I am always amazed by how often people, upon learning of my infertility issues, ask, "Are you sure you're doing it right?" What idiots. Yes, I am screwing my husband, and I am doing it properly. Jeez!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Paying For the Pleasure

So I've been really remiss lately in my posting, or lack thereof. I will try to improve the frequency. On Tuesday 6/3/08, I went to my appointment to check for cysts before beginning clomid. Traffic was hell, as usual, but I made it on time (not early though). I waited in the waiting room for about 10 minutes, and had plenty of interesting reading material. There was a wide variety of magazines: 3 issues of Tropical Fish Hobbyist (which I love), Time, Nat'l Geographic, several hunting and golfing magazines and various others. Blessedly few parenting magazines. One thing I feel it is important to note is that there were no copies of the obnoxious Conceive magazine (check here for more about Conceive - (Maybe If You Just Relax). Another magazine I noticed was missing was Infertile Whore. I bet a fellow infertile stole it.

After waiting for the briefest of times, I went and had my Cycle Day 3 vaginal ultrasound. Yuk! Whoever thought of putting an ultrasound wand there while a woman was on the rag was a brave muthafucka, let me tell ya. And then, they had the balls to tell me that it would be $180, instead of my $35 specialist copay, because my insurance doesn't cover fertility treatments, only infertility diagnosis. So I'm standing there arguing with this lady, trying to make her understand that an ultrasound is a *diagnostic* procedure, not an infertility treatment. And because this was CD3, the conversation went something like this:

Me: An ultrasound is a *diagnostic* procedure, not an infertility treatment.

Scared Billing Clerk: But it's part of the treatment, so they won't pay for it.

Me: Look, how can I explain this. It's not, under any circumstances that I can think of, a *treatment.* Yes, I am undergoing infertility treatment - Clomid. The ultrasound is simply to monitor my health while I undergo said treatment, and to diagnose any additional infertility issues. Y'all can stand around and jab me in the twat with an ultrasound wand all day long, and it will not make me any more fertile. You get my husband in on the action and it might improve your chances a little, and certainly make it more fun, but the ultrasound will not *treat* my infertility.

Scared Billing Clerk: Um, ma'am can you lower your voice? Feel free to call your insurance company and see if they will cover it. Today's total will be $180. Have a nice day.

So I wrote her a check, walked to my truck, and had a nervous breakdown. I sat and boo-hooed til I couldn't cry any more. I was so mad and frustrated. I knew all of this would be expensive and stressful, but from appointment no. 2? And I didn't even see the doctor! If I had been looking to get screwed, I could have gone down to Rundberg & Lamar, stood on the corner for a few minutes with the other working girls, and had somebody *pay me* for the pleasure.

What a bunch of bullshit! Arrrggghhhh!

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