Coming Full Circle

“There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme”― Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen

Life is funny.  Sometimes it feels like life takes you full circle right back to where you need to be. The chaos and turmoil that has been my life over the past year have managed to take me precisely where I need to be.  Ten years ago, I was young and bright eyed.  I was a preschool teacher at a prestigious academy.  I loved my work and I loved the environment.  I loved spending time with friends.  I loved enjoying the sunshine.  I loved quiet moments of personal reflection.  But inside, I was broken. I was a self-conscious, insecure girl completely unsure of who she was.  I was a closeted lesbian.  I was ashamed of who I was and I was ashamed of my past.  I was broken from years of trying to be someone I wasn’t.  I was seeking love and acceptance in the wrong way and from the wrong people.  But, ten years ago, I met Jade.

Jade and I worked for the same preschool.  Both of us were closeted lesbians afraid to admit who we were to ourselves, much less to anyone else.  We immediately connected with one another.  We immediately became kindred spirits who needed each other like we need air to breathe.  Naturally cautious of the implications of how our budding romance would affect our ability to remain closeted in our workplace coupled with the fear of loss of employment if our respective sexual orientations were ever discovered by management (or worse – one of the students’ parents), we felt it best that I should leave the school and enter a different field.  So, I went forward into the world working positions that gave me a sense of accomplishment but lacked the sense of daily joy that teaching provided me.

Now, ten years later, Jade is the one who has supported me and has pushed me to return to my passion:  Teaching.  While I can’t tell you what my plans are five years from now, since I have returned to teaching preschool, I feel alive.  Teaching is helping me refocus my drive and to take more time thinking of the positive impact I can have on the world – even if my world consists predominantly of two year olds! Life has brought me full circle professionally and has brought Jade and I back into the environment where we first met.  I find it incredibly ironic.  But, such is life.  I like to think my life is a spiral rather than a circle – I may repeat the patterns but ultimately I’m rising higher in life.

In other news:

  • Still no concrete baby making plans.  During my time of limited employment, our finances and our savings took a major hit.  As it stands, despite having some fertility coverage as part of my health insurance plan, we can’t currently afford to additional $1,000 per attempt (donor sprem + IUI procedure cost + co-pays) as a monthly expense.
  • PCOS is from the devil.  No period since last December.  I hate Metformin and can’t find the willpower to just suck it up and deal with the awful side-effects the pills cause. I’ve gained at least 10 pounds (which is precisely what makes PCOS worse).
  • I’ve missed blogging but since I’m not actively TTC, I feel like you lovely readers have better things to do than to listen to my oh so random posts.
  • My goddaughter started preschool this week.  So far, it’s a love/hate relationship.
  • My neice started preschool this week.  So far it’s definitely a hate/hate relationship.

Injectables, Here We Come!

I had an appointment with Dr. M today. We talked about the difficulties I have had with responding to Letrozole alone. We discussed my lab work and my numbers. Dr. M looked at me and said,

“Camille, you are not infertile. You just need to get your ovaries to release an egg. I firmly believe injectable gonadotropins will get you there.”

So, after verifying insurance coverages (or lack thereof), Jade and I have decided to give a combination cycle a try.

This month’s protocol:

100mg Clomid for CD 2-6
75iu Follistim for CD 7-10

This will be our last attempt for a while. Jade and I have decided to uproot our lives in our small town and make the move Atlanta in the next couple of months. Here’s hoping for a successful cycle!

Returning to Reality

It has been weeks since I have read or posted on any blog. Literally weeks. I have been busy traveling for work. For the first couple of weeks this month, I was working a meeting in Barcelona with Jade. We enjoyed visiting the many sites and funding stolen moments to bask in the Mediterranean. Immediately after returning, I left on another business trip to Los Angeles. After spending a week in L.A., I finally returned to my quiet suburban life to be greeted by mountains of work. This month has been filled with so many commitments and so much work. In a way, it has been a welcome distraction from the lack of cooperation from my body.

But reality has returned.

I have an appointment with Dr. M tomorrow to discuss where we should go from here. We will determine whether IVF or IUI with injectables will be our next step.

I’ll have more to share soon I’m sure.

Cancelled…

Cancelled

Today is Cycle Day 18. Feeling optimistic, I dressed in lovely white linen pants and a vibrant sea blue top.  Jade and I spend a little more time than normal cuddling in bed this morning.  I went to Dr. M’s office expecting to hear that my body had made some progress.  As always, the receptionist was warm and welcoming.  I paid my $30  co-pay and proceeded back to the lab to have my morning chat with the phlebotomist, Jason, whom I’ve grown quite fond of in recent went weeks.  We discussed our respective Memorial Day weekend plans and my love of tea and scones.  It was any other day.

Fran, Dr. M’s nurse, met me in the ultrasound room to conduct another check of my ovaries.  As always, Fran walked me through everything she saw on the scan:  7mm uterine lining, multiple follicles on my left and right ovaries.  Sadly, Fran noted that neither follicle on my ovaries have made any progress and that Dr. M has mentioned that it may be time for me to consider injectable gonadotropins since my body was responding poorly to the letrozole.  She assured me that she would call me with more information after she reviewed my Estradiol results and spoke with Dr. M and noted that it is highly likely this cycle will be cancelled as I have no mature follicles.

I thanked her graciously, dressed quickly, and exited that fertility clinic.  Frantically I called Jade who was unable to attend this appointment with me.  I soon as I heard her voice, I broke down and became a sobbing mess.  I am so angry that I can’t seem to get my body to behave.  I phoned my mother who shared in my disappointment.  She asked why Jade and I haven’t considered adoption.  I quickly confirmed that Jade and I discussed it, however, in our closed-minded bible belt community, we cannot do a joint adoption of a child and sole adoption in difficult when you are co-habitating.

I cried all the way to work.  I cried at my desk.  I avoided eye contact with my colleagues and retreated to my desk to throw myself into work rather than answer a single question about how I am doing.  Fran called me a couple of hours later and confirmed that Dr. M has cancelled this cycle and would like to schedule an appointment with me and Jade to discuss injectable medications with IUI.

Injectables?  At best, injects will likely increase our monthly expenses for TTC by $1,000 by all estimates since my insurance does not cover fertility medications in any form or fashion.  So, to recap, if we continue TTC by IUI and using injectables, our monthly expenses will look something like:

  • Donor Semen:  $665
  • Injectable Meds:  $1,000 (minimum)
  • Monitoring:  $120
  • TOTAL:  $1,785 minimum per month

IUI has a success rate of approximately 15 – 20% per cycle so realistically, it could take 4 attempts if we are successful at all, bringing our total cost to $7,140.

So I’ve been thinking (which is always a dangerous thing for me to do)…

With IUI having such low success rates and considering my personal poor reaction to ovulation induction medications, perhaps Jade and I should explore the possibility of IVF.  I know to some of you it seems we are jumping the gun but I just don’t want to shell out $7,000+ to ultimately have to end up at IVF anyway.   The average cost of IVF in my area is between $5,900 – $10,000.  For Jade and I, that is a large sum of money.  We are very blessed to not really financially struggle but that doesn’t mean we are sitting around with thousands in the bank. Coming up with an extra $1,000 per month will be a struggle so the idea of generating enough funds to cover IVF is overwhelming to me.  Jade is so supportive   She has agreed to go with whatever I think.  The problem is, I’m not entirely sure what I think.  I just know that I am destined for motherhood and I am willing to do whatever it takes.  I just hate giving up so easily.

Dr. M, I sure do hope you have some concrete recommendations for our appointment in July…

Rainy Days

It’s the beginning of tornado season in my neck of the woods. Today’s weater reflects my mood: overcast, tainy, with intermittent storms. This has been a week full of highs and lows. Two nights ago, Jade and I were heading to the market to pick up some ingredients for dinner with Jade as the captain and me as the navigator (as always) in our five year old, well cared for, American made family sedan. When we stopped at the bottom of the hill leaving our subdivision, the car hesitated. My car would no longer drive with the car in drive. Reverse worked perfectly fine but it was blatantly obvious that my transmission was nearly shot.

“And in this moment, like a swift intake of breath, the rain came.”
― Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms

We took the car to our preferred vendor for repairs and were slapped with an estimate of nearly $3,000 for a new transmission. Jade and I thanked Robert the Repairman for the information and went home to discuss our options. When we got home, I had a good cry before suggesting to Jade that we simply get a new car.

For the last day and a half, we have been back and forth to the car dealership to negotiate the purchase of a family friendly SUV. This afternoon, we drove off the lot in a new, silver, crossover SUV. Unfortunately, getting this car also meant that we had to pull a significant amount of money from our baby-making fund for our down payment. Simply put, Jade and I are really hopeful that this insemination is successful next week because if not, we will not be able to try again until July or August since we have largely exhausted our baby fund.

We are so immensely grateful that we were able to get a new car but I am equally disappointed that we had to spend our reserved cash. Here’s praying that my ovaries are functioning properly and that we conceive this cycle.

Never has a cliché been more fitting:

When it rains, it pours.