No Bun In This Oven

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17

on January 25, 2014

Cycle #17, which means next month will be a year and a half. That feels significant; somehow every 6 months feels like some kind of marker. It’s a sad marker, because I’m still here not pregnant, and not any closer to being so. And it’s a “legitimately IF” marker too.

I’m sure a lot of you can relate to this, but when I first started to realize something was wrong I had a really hard time getting anyone to believe me. It was after only about 6 months, and I just had this feeling. Obviously, 6 months trying to conceive is hard for anyone. But it doesn’t mean you’re infertile. I understood that then and I understand it now, but that didn’t change how I felt at the time. After I had started temping and confirmed by theory that my luteal phase is too short, I knew for sure. 8 months in I felt like I was broken and just waiting until anyone would believe me, until I could get help. I was going crazy. My mom would tell me I just needed to give it time, everyone else was telling me to relax. Now I want to scream

“IT’S BEEN A YEAR AND A HALF, DO YOU BELIEVE ME NOW?!”

“I’VE BEEN PRESCRIBED MEDICATION, BY A REAL DOCTOR, DO YOU BELIEVE THERE’S A PROBLEM?!”

“I’VE HAD TWO IUI’S THAT DIDN’T WORK, DOES THAT SOUND NORMAL TO YOU?!”

As sad as I am to still be here, no one can ever try to tell me that I was just impatient, that I was always okay and it just took awhile. I don’t want to be broken, but if I am, goddammit I want people to acknowledge it and not claim I’m fine. The only thing worse than being infertile, is being infertile while well-meaning people try to tell you you’re not. So I am finding the silver lining in this 17th cycle, in that I am REALLY infertile, thank you very fucking much. Don’t tell me what I am and am not.

When I called my nurse at the clinic to let her know when I was CD 1 and talk about the plan, her voice mail said she was on “extended leave.” If I hadn’t had her do my last IUI and seen that she was pregnant, I wouldn’t have realized that she is on maternity leave. I facebook stalked her and saw that she had a baby girl on January 20 and named her Alexandria. Bitch.

I’m CD 3 today and starting Clomid. I haven’t had any symptoms with Clomid since the very first cycle I took it. It’s weird how some people get horrible side effects every time with meds and others get none. I hope this means that if we do IVF I won’t have as many mood swings and hot flashes from all the injectables, but that wouldn’t really be fair now would it?

Speaking of IVF, I actually looked a little bit at our clinic’s shared risk programs to see what our options will be. I don’t have any fantasies that we would get pregnant on the first try, so I am only willing to look into it if we can afford at least 3 cycles of IVF AND still adopt if they don’t work. My clinic uses the Attain program for IVF, and has two plans. One is open to anyone who is using their own eggs and you don’t have to pass any tests or meet certain criteria. You get four cycles, two fresh and two FETs. The other is a refund program, which you have to qualify for. Since I respond to clomid and our fertility is otherwise unexplained, I see no reason why we wouldn’t qualify. my understanding is usually people who don’t qualify either have really severe male issues, really bad endo or are poor responders. With the refund program you get 6 cycles, three fresh and 3 FETs, and if you don’t get pregnant you can get a refund of up to 70%. Of course they don’t list prices on their site, but I think they are about 25-30k which doesn’t include meds.

For anyone not familiar with shared risk programs, this is how I explained it to The Husband. We pay, upfront, the equivalent of about 3 cycles. We are taking the risk that we get pregnant on the first or second cycle, and paid more than we would have if we had paid for each cycle individually. We risk that our baby will cost more than it could have. The clinic is taking the risk that we don’t get pregnant within 2-3 cycles and they lose money because they have to give us more treatment than we paid for. And in the case of the refund program, they risk that they will actually have to give us our money back if it doesn’t work. Not that they need more motivation, but this does motivate the clinic to want to get you pregnant fast!

After this cycle, if it’s another BFN, we are taking a break on cycle #18 and meeting with the RE to talk about what to do next. I already know she is going to suggest IVF, so we just need to talk about what she thinks our chances are of it working how much it will cost. I have no idea whether she would suggest assisted hatching or ICSI. That’s really why the first cycle doesn’t usually work, right? They have to see how things go, if you need AH or ICSI. Maybe it turns out we aren’t getting pregnant because the swimmers and get into the egg. Who knows. Once we know how much it will cost, we can start to look at how we could pay for this. My thought is to take a second mortgage out on our house, but I have no clue how much equity we have. We only bought it a couple years ago and owe about 10k less than what we paid for it. Home values have gone up since then, but I don’t know how much. Borrowing money from The Husband’s parents could be an option, but we already borrowed money from them when we bought the house that we haven’t even started repaying yet. I don’t like the idea of owing them more. I’m already worried about how we will ever pay them back now that we are looking at paying for IVF, adoption, or both.

But I’ll worry about that another day.

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11 responses to “17

  1. Katie says:

    I think it’s hard to simultaneously be hopeful about the current cycle but then planning for the next steps. That said, it’s far for anxious provoking for me to not have a plan B at all! It all tears at the emotions so much.

    • Mallory says:

      I definitely struggle with pessimism. I try to just be realistic but hopeful, but that’s gotten really hard the last couple months. Not like I’m a total Debbie Downer (as a friend pointed out, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it could work) but if you asked me honestly what i think the chances are of this cycle working…I’d say close to zero. Wah wahhhhh

  2. I feel you. We are only a few months ahead of you on our journey but I’m already looking into IVF options. For some odd reason, infertility often affects those of us who like to have a plan. I find it comforting to have a plan B but it can also make it hard to focus on the month in front of you.

    • Bah, so true. I’ve never thought about it this way but, I’m such a planner and IF has just thrown a wrench in that. Yet I still try and plan/think ahead to the next cycle. Trying to be more “in the now”.

    • Mallory says:

      Yeah I definitely always need to know what the next step is. Not sure if that’s good or bad. In general in life, I’m really not much of a planner. I think it’s just a reaction to this situation in which I have absolutely no control, and planning makes me feel a little bit like I have some.

  3. Jessica says:

    I’m about 3 weeks ahead of you. I’ve got 6 days left until my 2ww for my 3rd IUI cycle is over, then on to IVF if it doesn’t work. I’m also paying out of pocket for everything. I don’t think we’ll go with one of the shared risk programs because ultimately Attain needs to make money, so they’re banking on the odds being in their favor of me not using all of the treatments, either because I get pregnant, or if I don’t have any frozen embryos to transfer (which happened to a friend of mine who went for the 2 and 2 program). My situation is different from yours, however, since I have a living child and my next step would be to make peace with being a family of 3. I can see that the 3 and 3 money back program would be attractive if you want to keep money in reserve for adoption. Here’s hoping the next IUI cycle is successful and you don’t need to worry about it.

    • Mallory says:

      That’s a good point about Attain’s motivations. We definitely have a whole lot of research to do before we make any decisions. I also worry if we did a shared-risk that I would do the first cycle, get like no eggs or have a horrible reaction to meds and not want to continue, but will have already paid so much…that would be bad.

  4. Bah, I think you may have said this to me at one point but, we’re like IF twins. I’m on cycle #20 but also just hit 18 months of trying. Brutal. I know it’s not really funny but this made me snicker in a bitter snarky way “I am REALLY infertile, thank you very fucking much” & “she had a baby girl and named her Alexandria. Bitch” Lol. But in all seriousness, this shit sucks.

  5. Oh man I totally relate to so much of this- from just wanting acknowledgment of the problem to possibly moving to IVF next, etc. Yikes. GOOD LUCK!!! Pulling for you over here 🙂

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