I’m that 1 in 8 person.

everything

It’s Infertility Awareness Week. I feel like I should say something during this week since it happened to me. I’m that 1 in 8 person.

Sort of.

It happened to me because I waited too long and my eggs got old and were running out. It happened to me because I was looking for that perfect guy to have that perfect family with. Yeah well time ran out and I realized I was 38. Like what the hell just happened.

So I was like “I’m gonna adopt!” Went through months of that and about 5-7k later and they wanted me to wait. Seriously wait. But they wanted me to wait until I paid down my student loan. Well fuck…I have 15 years give or take of student loans and changing majors and retaking failed classes. They wanted me to wait 6 month to a year. How much lower do they think my student loan will be in that time. Hell, I’ll probably still be paying it when I’m old and retired.

I cried. I felt lost. I was alone.

Then I asked myself “I wonder if I can get pregnant.” “I wonder if I can do this alone.”

My research began….

Next thing I know I have an appointment at a well known and super successful clinic in my area. I met them, we talked, then we setup some tests. Tests that would determine if I can get pregnant and the odds.

Tests came back that I had “diminished ovarian reserve” and I can’t remember the technical term but basically old eggs. They can tell all this by numbers given during certain tests. Bottom line, I had very old eggs and not many left.

I met with the doctor where she explained all this in greater detail. All stuff that was over my head but at the time it probably made more sense. Her bottom line was that she didn’t think I could get pregnant, much less use my own eggs. So her bottom line was I would have to use donor sperm (since I’m single) and donor eggs. That fucking hurt. I felt empty.

But…I didn’t give up. I did more research and found somethings to do to maybe help my old eggs which in turn would help my odds. So the fun began.

2013 – I did three IUI’s. These are basically one step down from IVF. You take some meds to get on a cycle they can monitor and then they inject the sperm way up there and hope everything happens naturally. I did this 3 times.

2014 – I did three IVF’s. Tons more meds, injections I had to do myself and all the fun shitty side-effects that come with this. And I was on the maximum dose of everything. One didn’t take, one was cancelled before the transfer (eggs didn’t mature into embryos), and one pregnancy (turned non-viable). All tests showed I was pregnant but the ultrasound showed an empty sac. Boy did I cry. Like ugly cry.

2015 – My last IVF. It took. I was pregnant. I didn’t believe it until I saw it on the ultrasound. I remember shaking so much and couldn’t get myself to look at the screen, but the nurse said to look. I cried. I cried happy tears.

Sept 29, 2015 – My son was born. 7lbs 11oz. Perfect. Baby. Boy. 15 mins of pushing.

April 28th, 2017 – Tomorrow my son will be 19 months old!

He’s perfect. He’s smart. He’s silly. He’s mine. He was created from MY EGG and donor sperm.

I worked hard. I took extra supplements and vitamins and on my last attempt, I even did acupuncture. Did any of it make a difference? Who know, but I did anything and everything I could.

I do know a bit about infertility, but I believe it’s because I waited so long in life. Would I have needed IVF if I was in my 20’s or 30’s? I’ll never know. But I’m happy to have gone through this and I’ve met some wonderful friends through IVF who will be life-long friends and family forever.

I’ve also met through the sperm donor site, Z’s half siblings. He has 5 half siblings (4 brothers and 1 sister). They are family now. Family means the world to me and because of this path, my son will have a bigger family because of it.

I am that 1 in 8 people. And I’m ok with that. 🙂

 

My Life 2013

Wow! What a year 2013 has been – started the year in an Ethiopian adoption process, just to make a turn and go the pregnancy route. Ending it with possible IVF. No wonder I’m exhausted. 🙂

So the year started with me preparing for the home study of my Ethiopian adoption. I had the home study around the end of Feb, just to find out the social worker couldn’t take her focus off of my student loan. Is that all that makes a person, is if they have a hefty student loan or not? Yes, granted my loan amount right now is hanging around 48k and my payment don’t seem to be making a dent in it, the monthly payments for it aren’t that much, so why are we dwelling on this? All my credit cards were paid off, I had roughly 10k in savings – so my only remaining loans were my car (to be paid off in 2014) and my student loan. My house was  great, my job was great, my inspections were great…WTH!

So they make me wait six months.

In the couple of weeks following that heartbreaking news to wait, I thought to myself, I wonder if I can get pregnant? I did some research and found Shady Grove Fertility Center, which gets great remarks and has a wonderful reputation. So I contacted them and set up my initial consult. Then I said let’s do it! They sent me for a ton of tests. Besides me being 38, I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR), which basically means I don’t have many eggs left in my life. Sad to hear but just made me want to jump start this whole process.

I attempted three IUIs – all were unsuccessful. I have a follow-up visit with my doctor on the 17th of this month. I’m sure she will suggest moving to IVF – more expensive; more successful; higher risk of multiples – Ugh!

Besides the baby-making plans, I adopted my first puppy at three months old. Her name is Kona. She is wonderful and I hate to compare dogs to kids, but in a way I think she is preparing me for kids…a little bit anyway. 🙂

My mom still lives with me but the goal is the end of this year she will move out on her own. She has a boyfriend, which is weird. She’s never dated anyone while I’ve been an adult so I’ve had to adjust to things. Still adjusting.

I dated a guy for a few months but that just didn’t work out. He was young and needed to live a different life than what I am working on. Great guy though, just not for me.

I started a new business – Origami Owl – which is an awesome concept and hope that I can elevate the business in 2014.

So for all IVF folks out there, if you have questions that I should add to my list to ask my doctor on the 17th, please let me know, maybe you had questions after the fact that you wish you had asked before-hand. Anything to help me out is greatly appreciated. I feel somewhat alone out here doing this but I have reached out to two people I know who have done IVF to have support and someone to talk to. It can’t hurt to have more, right?

Upcoming Follow-up Visit with Doctor

Now that the holidays are pretty much over with, I called the doctors office to finally get my follow-up visit scheduled. It’s for Jan 17. I’m sure she will want to move to IVF and the more I think about…yes, I know, I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about this during the holidays, it doesn’t seem all that bad, except for the cost.

I called and spoke with the financial counselor at Shady Grove Fertility Center to find out how much it cost. He gave me a price for a single cycle and another price for the multi-cycle. Of course the multi-cycle is about 5k more but you get two fresh cycles and one frozen transfer cycle, or whatever they call it. But the downside to this is if I get pregnant on the first IVF attempt, I don’t get refunded the difference.

So I worked on my 2014 budget to see how I can pay off my credit card debt. I can have all that paid off by June/July-ish. Not too bad but I’m not sure I can wait. In fertility time, that is forever! So I found some financial loans that I’m going to try and apply for but I worry that none of them will accept me. My credit is so-so, unfortunately.

So for those out there that have done IVF after IUI attempts, are there questions that you wish you had asked that I should ask during my follow-up? I’m putting together a list of questions so I don’t forget and I’m sure there will be some I didn’t even think of.

I’m a planner, so I try to learn, do, and prepare as much as possible before certain things, like this follow-up visit.

Any questions and advice ALWAYS welcome! I’m going this alone so I welcome any help.

 

I’ll try anything….really.

Between the adoption route and the IUI route, I have spent a good chunk of money. I don’t mind really however I don’t have a money tree growing out back. Wish I did! I’ve made some handmade things such as scarves, wraps, some beaded jewelry, etc., and placed everything on Etsy hoping to sell. Well I might sell something every few months. Nothing that will help my baby fund.

I tried taking on a part time job with a friend of mine but that turned out to be me working for free. Who wants to do that? I’m trying to make money, not work for none. So I stopped working with him and moved on to another money making attempt.

Origami Owl.

Have you heard of it? It’s such a unique and personalized jewelry line that I fell in love with it. A 14 year old girl wanted her own car when she turned 16 and her parents said she had to get that money herself. So she built this business of Living Lockets where each locket tells a story.

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So I took the plunge and signed up to be a Designer so I can sell this wonderful idea and make money while doing something fun. I love jewelry. I love Origami Owl.

I have done so well with it and I’ve only been doing it for about three months. I’m making a couple hundred a month which, ya know, anything helps.

So I’m writing about this in case anyone out there would like to help me out and order a necklace or bracelet, some charms, and whatever else you’d like to have to tell your story.

I made myself one that I wear everyday and it’s sort of my Wish Locket. I have a baby stroller, the word hope, a faith plate, and a girl charm. I also have a Husband Locket – cancer ribbon, in memory of heart, the initial R for his name, and and angel. He died in 1997 but like to keep his memory alive.

There are so many stories to be told….what’s yours?

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If you’d like to purchase one, you can go to my website at tracylogan.origamiowl.com and simply add what you want to your cart. Questions? Ask me! All money made will help me to be able to afford my next step of IVF. I don’t get insurance because I’m single so this is what I’m relying on to supplement that money.

 

IUI #3

I hope I can get back to blogging about my journey, and blog more frequently. I just finished IUI #3 and this past Monday I went in to the doctor for my beta test (pregnancy test). I took two home tests the Friday and Saturday before and both were negative so I was convinced that it would be a negative. I waited for the call and the phone rang after lunch to confirm what I ready knew – big fat negative!

I’m sad. I try to stay positive or at least appear positive but deep down I wonder if it will ever happen to me. Everyone around me is getting pregnant and it makes me jealous. I hate feeling that way but I do. I’ve wanted to be a mother for 17 years now. Maybe I waited too long to try on my own. Maybe I’m not meant to be a mother. That’s just the sad part of me talking but she has said those things. The positive side keeps saying that it will happen, it just might take more work since I’m 38. It’s a constant battle between parts.

The doctor wants me to schedule a FUV (follow-up visit) to talk about things and next steps. I’m pretty sure she will say that the next steps should be IVF. I’m okay with that but don’t have the money right now which keeps me sad. I don’t know the actual cost yet but I hear it could be between 10-15k. And who has that? I don’t. I’m single, remember? I decided to wait until the beginning of January to meet with my doctor. I don’t want any bad news to ruin my holiday and I’m thinking of worst case scenario, like based on your three IUI’s, you have a 1% chance of getting pregnant even with IVF.

I did contact my insurance and they do cover it but only for married couples. It’s not fair. Makes me so mad and upset that singles get different treatment than married couples. Even if insurance doesn’t provide the same coverage, anything helps.

So that’s where I am now. Waiting for my FUV and then I can figure out what to do. Any advice? Anywhere I can get a loan for those who have a lot of debt?

 

MIA for a bit…

It’s been several months since I’ve written and plan to get back into shortly. Here’s a quick update on my baby making journey.

IUI #2 – failed

IUI #3 – currently on and will have beta test on Monday Dec 9th. Not feeling very positive about it though.

More later…

The Wait Might Be Longer

I’ve been waiting for my next cycle so I can try IUI round #2. As I sit here staring at my desk calendar and checking my menstrual app, it appears I’m going to start on August 28th! But wait, a Wednesday? I’ve been starting on a Sunday/Monday for years. So I begin counting the days in my app and it looks like it could be that weekend before. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal EXCEPT that I am going away for business from the 26-28th. So now I’m beginning to worry that she will arrive while I’m out of town. Then I’ll have to wait another month. Oh this is torture!

I’m trying to stay busy – working on my art, getting ready for an art show, trying to date a new guy, work out in the yard and the list goes on. But now that I’m approaching this possible round #2 date, I’m panicking! I know I shouldn’t and whatever happens, happens but that is so much easier to say than to do.

Let’s hope that it arrives on the 28th and all will be good in the world. 🙂

I’m Okay With That

I started my second round of IUI this past Sunday, with Sunday being CD1. I went in this morning for my CD3 blood work and ultrasound. I arrived at a bright an early 7am just to find the building door locked. A bunch of us waited to be let in and all ended up going to the same place. I was practically last. I signed in and waited.

I was called back to a room. The technician found a cyst. They said I needed blood work done to check the estrogen levels of the cyst. They drew blood and then I headed off to work.

I received a call from my nurse coordinator and she said my estrogen levels were something like 246, and that we need to skip this cycle and try again next month. I’m okay with that. Of course I’m disappointed but I don’t really have any right to be sad or upset. There are many people who have been on this journey for much longer. And I’d rather skip a month then for them to continue and it not work anyway.

I’m honestly not sure what the estrogen level does for fertility. I asked my nurse coordinator but she was vague. I tried researching it but couldn’t really find it. All I was told was that if my estrogen levels were elevated, and I took the fertility meds, that my E2 levels would be high. Doesn’t tell me anything. Is it bad for the levels to be high? I obviously don’t know how this all works.

So I wait. The upside is I’ve ordered Clomid, Ovidrel and more Progesterone. I’ve ordered additional donor sperm. So…when the cycle is good to go, so am I.

 

IUI #1 Beta Test – Negative

Just like I suspected, the nurse coordinator called me this afternoon and said that my conclusion was correct. It was a negative. I could be sad and upset but honestly, this was my first one. The most I am is disappointed. I’m not sad or upset at all. I didn’t think it would happen the first time. Sure, I would have loved it if it happened the first time but it didn’t. I think with the first round, I was stressed because it was a new process, stressed giving myself the injections, stressed by reading forums and message boards, stressed when I made the payment, stressed researching every little possible symptom I thought I was having.

So this weekend I begin the second round. This time I plan to be different. I won’t worry about that payment as I’m hopefully going to be approved for a loan. I won’t worry about the injections because now I’ve done it and it was easy. I won’t worry during the two week wait. The things that I will do is stay off the Internet, stay off the forums and message boards, stay busy in a positive way, not count down the days until the beta test. Then on beta day, remain cautiously positive and stay busy.

On to round 2!

Day Before my Pregnancy Blood Test #1

I hate to say it but I’m not pregnant, according to this morning’s home pregnancy test. I took one a few days ago just to see and it was negative. I have my pregnancy blood test (Beta) tomorrow morning so I wanted to be prepared either way for it. It was negative. I’m disappointed but not upset. I was told it most likely won’t happen the first round and that’s what I was anticipating. Of course I was hoping I would be one of the lucky first timers but it just didn’t happen. Tomorrow afternoon I will have confirmation. Once I receive the news I pretty much already know, I plan on moving forward with IUI #2 which is basically repeating everything I did this past round. Not a big deal, except for the money part.

I have a dilemma – a financial one. I have the bills from the testing before I did IUI #1 that I haven’t paid yet. I paid the IUI and the donor sperm from my savings. I have about 3k left in my savings. My dilemma is, should I pay the bills + IUI #2 from my savings leaving me with almost zero, hoping it works – OR – apply for a loan through a program they partner with to pay the outstanding bills + IUI #2, leaving my savings as a cushion?

Let’s say IUI #2 does in fact work and I took out this loan, I would have leftover money left in the loan that would be returned to the loan place. I guess that’s not a bad idea and can’t hurt either way. Then if I have to move to IVF, I would have to take out another loan for that cost. Oy. That won’t be great for my credit report, will it?

Wanting and trying to have a baby is so hard and then to have to do it alone makes it even harder. Insurance doesn’t cover even the office visits or the testing because I’m single, where if I was married it would have been covered. I think even the IVF would be covered if I was married. Can we say, discrimination?

Okay this is really random and weird, but I just went to the ladies room here at work and at the same time, two pregnant women came in!!!! Maybe that is a sign that the second one will work! Silly I know but hey, I can wish right?

Tomorrow I’ll have the official results but wanted to talk about where I’m at today.