Monday, November 19, 2007

Tagged! & Questions Answered

I've known I had some questions unanswered from the last few posts, so here are my answers to you, my Blogging Buddies.

I have not had the genetic testing done yet. I'm hoping I can show our history to the new RE & they will order it for us. If they don't, I will do to my PCM doc (Primary Care Manger) on base and ask him to order it. He's helped us out before, and I feel if I ask he might do it. I just don't want to use that unless absolutely necessary (trespassing on his good graces and all). I want this bad!

Projects to do in the spring while husband is deployed? Yes, actually, I am going to do landscaping. We'll have lived here 1 yr by then & we still just have the ugly/cheap stuff builders put in. I don't want to spend a ton, but I want to make it look beautiful and well kept. I had planned on painting/decoraing the baby's room when I was pregnant, but for now it'll stay as it is unless there's good reason to change it. :/

Where am I doing IVF through the military? H.all in Texas. Yes, we pay about $4,000 for IVF there. doesn't cover it or have anything to do with it when it's at a Military Treatment Facility like that & Wal.ter R.eed. comes into play when you use non-military doctors. &'s policy is to cover diagnostics/tests and anything used with natural intercourse. If you start doing IUIs or IVF then they (theoretically) do not cover drugs, ultrasounds, blood draws, etc with that particular cycle. Sometimes they do, but it's hit & miss. All military facilities I know of will not let you use donor sperm for IVF and maybe IUIs too, so you should stay with civilian providers. Good luck!

Also, I was tagged by Wishing, Hoping & Praying. Never been tagged before, so yippie. Here goes!

Four jobs I have had in my life: Turbo Pascal Programmer, Babysitter, Web Programmer, Index Operations Manger (current - work with S&P of the S&P 500 index)

Four Movies I have watched more than once: Sense & Sensibility, Shadowlands (old PBS version), Little Women, Where Eagles Dare (has anyone else see this?) (I watch a lot of favs more than once, but these I have watched a half dozen times & still do)

Four TV shows that I watch faithfully: Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1 (before it ended last season)... none others faithfully, but I like Man vs Wild, and Dirty Jobs

Four Places I have vacationed: Scotland (whoo-hoo), Grenada (nutmeg & rum punch!), Vermont (in the summer always), Napa Valley in Sunny California

Four of my favorite foods: Seared Ahi Tuna with Soy-Ginger Sauce, Pepper-crusted Filet Mignon with Caramel-Espresso Glaze or Bernaise Sauce, Godiva Warm Chocolate Melting Cake, Cheesecake Factory's Farfalle with Chicken & Roasted Garlic (bowtie, pancetta, mushrooms, tomatoes, parmesan, etc - how can you go wrong? the ultimate comfort food!)

Four places I would rather be right now: Starbucks!, Vacationing in Europe, Having a baby(?), doing IVF, (ok those last two aren't what you're looking for!)... fine, then, Tahiti.

Four hobbies I have: (I'm not a great hobby person, but these are things I will do in spare time occasionally) Hunting (prefer it warm, so dove is a favorite), Sewing (need a project), Violin (gotten out of it since married, but used to play in orchestra w/ 3 of my siblings & for weddings, etc & LOVED it), Gourmet Cooking/Baking (if you can't tell from my fav foods. :) 3 of those are ones I perpare at home)

I Tag:
Meg, Ally, and Laura.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back for a Bit!

I've been away, can you tell? We spent a week in North Carolina with our families. 3 1/2 days at my family's house, 3 1/2 days at J's family's house. Busy stuff!!! I especially loved visiting with my sisters, mom, nieces, and J's lil sister! I spend a good bit of time grinding venison, as J got a buck and his sister got her first deer (a yearling). I bow hunted and even got at full-draw, but the doe spooked. I want to get one next week. We love deer meat and I haven't bought ground beef since our first 8 months of marriage. Very lean, and you know what's in it. I hate ground beef at the store.

AF decided to show, so I'm on CD7 right now. Not especially happy about it, but again, what can you do but look forward? J and I have had a few conversations about what to do next. I want to squeeze in at LEAST two IUIs before April/May's IVF. J thinks they're a waste of money. If only sperm banking were free they'd be almost no money, since my tickets are free. But it's not. I have an appt Nov 26th with the RE in Colombus to get the 2nd opinion and beg for more tests. That is our plan: to get a 2nd opinion to our "unexplained" status, and to see if they'll test for miscarriage causes. If I like them, I may ask what an IUI would cost. We might do a medicated natural intercourse cycle (which is free), just depends. I will also ask how serious my rising FSH is. So, that's what my goal is: to get to that appt! I feel like J and I rarely talk about IF compared to how much I thiking about it, and always at my bringing it up (twice a week?). Not necessarily bad, but I feel I'm leaving him out of a big part of my life by supressing it, yet I know talking about it on and on upsets him. Hmm. I guess he doesn't have anything new to add anyway, though. And obviously I don't like being stagnant, which I feel we are, and he doesn't like to waste money/emotional effort, which he feels IUIS at WH would be. So we've agreed to pray about it and I assume if anything comes up at the new RE, we'll talk about the future. I guess my opinion is, we're already doing "nothing" as it is, and IUIs increase the "nothing" to "a little more than nothing" for unexplained, so I'm happier not wasting time - time that may be precious if my FSH levels keep rising. Were my FSH always low I doubt I'd feel so very pressed. A future without good chances is fearful.

So that's our life. We'll go back to NC for Thankgiving, so again I'll be MIA. My wireless card decided to die, so I have to plug my laptop up to a hardwire, which drives me crazy and makes me use it less. :/ Sorry! But I just got updated and left comments for you all!

Friday, November 9, 2007


I guess I've figured out who will go to Oxford with me. My blogging buddies!!!

I will actually write an entry more about why I love Oxford specifically so much, but for now I'll just tell about some of why I love traveling in Europe!

My first trip over there was September '94. I was 13 and went with my Dad, my older sister (15), and my twin brother/sister (11). He had a business conference to go to, his ticket & the hotel/food were covered for 3 days. We stayed at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel those few days. It was September, thus school-time, so during the day while dad was at the conference, we'd do our school work in the hotel room (we were 1 year into home-schooling at that point). There was tea service at 1 and I'd never had a proper English tea time! We adored walking miles and miles around London. I won't go into everywhere we went, but I'd be surprised if we did less than 5 miles a day. :) I distinctly remember buying goat's milk at Harrod's and using it for my tea (and loving it. little did I know in 4 years we'd live on a farm and have goats of our own to milk!). The best tourist-ey thing we did was visit the Tower of London, because they had a "Chamber of Horrors" below with scenes/effects from the Black Plague, Great London Fire, lots of beheaded people, tortures that went on in the tower. Creepy and my youngest sister did not like it (she was the most excited to see it, and then the quickest to want to leave!). We stayed a week, and moved to a less swanky hotel, but we didn't care. All 5 of us shared a room, I remember my younger sister and I sharing a single bed in the second hotel where we'd lay with our heads at opposite ends, our feet near each other's faces. :) But we didn't care, we were young and visiting a foreign country!

Two years later we were to go again, this time including another younger sister, and this time hitting 4 countries. London, England; Paris, France; Munich, Germnay; and Zurich, Switzerland (although we spent very little time in Zurich, we'd take trains to small towns and bike ride all day). My mom actually joined us for the last two countries (leaving the 3 youngest siblings with a wonderful friend who already had 3 of her own kids). This trip I'll have to get into later, as it encompassed such things as visiting Dachau, bike riding in the Alps, "Les Miserables" in London, and lots of pastries in German bakeries!

Five years later my entire family flew over to Scotland to live for 5 weeks. Each week we stayed in a different "cottage/house" and each week we drove hundreds of miles to the next "location" (one being an island requiring 2 ferries). My sister insisted we stay in the Highlands the entire time, so we were always north. (she hasn't yet forgotten the Highland Clearances nor ever plans to). This sealed the deal, I completely wanted to live there! As it wasn't a sight-seeing trip and just a chance to really live there, I have a deep-seated love for Scotland and its beautiful terrain unlike any other place on earth!

To top all that off, my husband and my destination of choice for our honeymoon was none other than Scotland. We flew into London, rented a car, and drove leisurely up to Eilean Shona (an island that doesn't even allow automobiles on it, it's so small/quaint!). But more later, I must keep my audience interested!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Well, It Was a Nice Idea

Got a call back from WH today. Apparently, they don't have the first baseline until the second week of January. Not the first week of January. That was the only possible week we could do. So, I had to tell her take us off the January list and put us back on April. I was sad. More sad than I thought I'd be, I truly thought I wouldn't be disappointed. I handled it well, I just had to cry and then move on. Deployment is deployment.

So, now J will try to get his December deployment. That would put him back in early March. So a go for April. The good thing is, he is in a pretty solid squadron so the deployment dates are very reliable. (One less thing to worry about!)

I must say, I had it all nicely planned out in my mind: IVF #2 in January, if it didn't work, possibly having another embryo frozen & doing a FET while he was gone, and then IVF #3 in April if all else failed. You see how do-able this is! I assume this means that "the heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." (Proverbs 16:9). I am planning how I'd like to pursue having children (my "way"), but my daily "steps" for getting there are established by the Lord. That gives me confidence that what is ahead is what is wisest and best. Also, I like to remember, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." Sometimes this is hard to swallow. It means that I made plans for the baby we had in my womb, but the Lord's purpose stood, because it was to not let the baby live. Hard stuff. But if I ultimately believe in God's Goodness, then I believe this is not "evil" when it may look that way to my human eyes. I trust His character because it never fails.

So, right now we're just trying on our own. I am 8dpo which is always a nice feeling. We are leaving in TWO days to visit our families in North Carolina, which we haven't seen since July 4th. I am excited to see them, especially my 3 yr old and 1 yr old nieces!!! Plus 3 of my 4 sisters. My mom and them must do a "Gingerbread House" trip (this lovely coffee/tea/luncheon place that sells the pretties home decor items).

I had a long cry this afternoon with my husband(in front of, rather) . Had to talk about a lot of things regarding the miscarriage and our relating to one another, but it was really profitable.

A year ago today I visited my family in Oxford, England when my dad was studying there. I have this unexplainable, desperate feeling to fly back there. I mean, it grabs me and I literally go looking for tickets to see how do-able it is! I loved that city, I'll have to share more sometime. Wow. I keep wondering if I could do it! But with whom????

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

IVF #2, Deployment, Frozen Embryos & Go Vote!

All right, last night after dinner J and I sat down and talked about his deployment & IVF #2. We named the pros/cons to him deploying Dec vs Jan. And basically, going with his buddy does not mean as much to him as trying again (seriously, I kept pushing that point and he insisted). He also saw something interesting I hadn't thought of. If IVF#2 in January fails and he does the January depolyment, he will STILL be back in enough time to do IVF#3 in April. It's the only way we could do both. I of course am not thinking ahead to "What if IVF#2 fails?" I know the military won't just let you do IVFs forever, but I've been unable to establish WHEN they stop letting you get on the list. I know certain older women were only given 2 shots & then told their eggs were too old & they couldn't help them. I don't know if WH considers my 1st IVF a fail or success. It'll show up as a successful pregnancy, but not that ended in live birth. Anyway, just something that I keep in mind: we don't have unlimited tries with them.

Now I have something to ask. You ladies that have done multiple IVFs and gotten frozen embryos from them. If you have embryos already frozen with a facility, and you add more, do you get charged again? The place WH uses to store embryos is Fertility Center of SA & they charge $750 for cryopreservation, but even though I have one embryo there, they'll charge it AGAIN if I get another to freeze. Is this the way most clinics operate? It seems a horrible way to get even more $$$ for them!

Lastly, if you have ever benefited from Stirrup Queens, The Virtual Lushery, The IF Book Club (forgot its name???), The Lost & Found Connections, or Mel's wisdom, please go vote for her site as best Medical/Health Issues blog. There are 10 to chose from and in the IF community she stands out. She works hard to connect people going through just what we all are! So, you can vote once every 24 hours until Nov 8th!

Monday, November 5, 2007

-Hold that thought-

Just got a call from J. They want to deploy him Jan25. IF we got in Group #1 of WH (they start groups of 13 people each week of January to keep the patient-load tolerable), we could still do IVF in Jan08. Last time we were Group #2. I don't know if I can request it. There is language in the IVF contract about not being on IVF list if your spouse is deployed, but I don't know about deploying. I feel stuck - because if I ASK for Group #1, maybe I'd get it, maybe not. If not, I'd have to move to April and even then, if they knew J was deploying, wouldn't it throw me off the list? I need to read the contract again, and ask people at the online military IVF community.

BUT... A pilot friend of his is going on Dec 27th. J has a chance to go with him. He would like to go with a buddy (they'd be on the same missions/plane together). I, of course, would rather him be WITH a friend this deployment than with someone he doesn't like or click with or whatever. To me his deployment being a good experience is more important than doing IVF ASAP.

Also, if we tried to cram IVF in January, it could very well mean a potential pregnancy with a potential miscarriage without him. Yes, that assumes TWO events that might both not happen. But I have to think. How would I feel if a miscarriage were to happen without him? How would he feel? Would that really be good for his morale there? He needs to be able to concentrate on his work as much as possible - when other guys lives are at stake.

So, I told him I didn't want to decide on the phone. We'll have today to talk about it. And pray, too. Somehow I already feel like we're going to wait until April08. I am disappointed, but it's nicer to know it's our choice rather than someone else's.

Also, as Andrea asked, we can freeze sperm from J if I wanted to do IUIs while he's away. But WH will not allow IVF with frozen sperm. Some odd rule, because other military clinics do. I don't know if we'd do that or not. I kinda think it'd be a great time for IUIs. Yet, I don't know how much it'll cost or even WHERE they accept/freeze that stuff. Anyone??? It would be awesome if we lived in Florida, because a clinic w/2-3 locations in Florida offer FREE sperm freezing/storage for men stationed at the military bases there. Isn't that great? Too bad we're in GA.

Friday, November 2, 2007

IVF #2

Well, some good news at last! Or rather, potentially good news.

IVF #2 at WH has a "gaping hole" (according to their IVF Coordinator) which they're trying to fill. I am set for Jan 08 (which should really be baseline/stims starting in January, unlike the misnamed "August" cycle that's really September)!

The "potentially" part is because we can't be sure J won't deploy. Currently, they're telling him they have all their navigators scheduled and he won't deploy until April 08. Initially, we figured he could volunteer for an early deployment cycle to avoid that and make our Apr08 IVF. Now, though, we should be able to just let things be. BUT, you can't count on that in the Air Force. They usually like to send new navs over there immediately (understandably). It's a 65-70 day deployment so the soonest he can go and I be clear for IVF is Feb's cycle. Perhaps it'll all work out, perhaps we'll have to have him deploy soon and go back to April's cycle. Not sure.

J informed me not to set my hopes on this. I won't "set" them, but it is nice to know we at least have a CHANCE for January. That's enough for me. A possibility. And with how things have been lately, I'll take any glimpse of a ray of what may be sunshine that I can get. :)

So, how was your week?

Mine has been.... exhausting. Physically and emotionally. I feel SO worn out on the emotional level. I have had two days where I was almost a normal person again. Yeah I cried, but for the most part I was happy, singing, making dinner, and all that sort of stuff. And I've had days I didn't even want to talk to anyone and just wanted to be in a dark corner by myself to cry, or in a hot bath with a glass of wine and a good book to get lost in. I have tried to let in my feelings rather that fighting them. For a while I kept a running dialogue with myself of "Maybe I won't cry today." that I always ended up breaking. I finally realized it doesn't matter how many days in a row I cry. I will heal in my own time.

Now, as far as the RE, I got an appt Nov 26th. Good and fine. I AM going to ask for karyotyping on my husband and I. Insurance will cover it if it's deemed necessary by the doctor. I'd rather the dr get it ordered for me to draw on base for 2 reasons. 1. My husband can't make it to the appt and I don't want to drive 2 hours just for him to give blood another day and 2. Blood draws on base stay in the military's system "forever"and any base in the world can access them. Whereas if the clinic draws them, I have to carry around my sheet/file and it is only a "hard" copy but never in the computer. I can probably ask for some of this. I will also ask for blood clotting panel, and antibodies if they do it. I've always wanted a post-coital exam, too, which I think this clinic does. Basically I want to put to rest the idea that maybe my body kills my husband's sperm! Because IF it did, I'd want to know that IUIs and IVF are our only/best option. I need to know if TTC on our own is even worth it. Because....

Something awful in my medical records. Awful for me anyway. My FSH is on the rise. Oh yes, remember when I posted my concerns
here in May? Well, they are now, on CD3 a 9.5 (August, pre IVF and pre BCPs)!!! Yes. And over 10 is considered high. As in, some clinics won't even let you do Shared Risk IVF with that level. I was floored, angry, and felt like when we had ENOUGH trials, here was another thing being thrown our way. Already we can't cycle much living 1000 miles from WH, and only 3 IVF cycles a year PLUS J's deployments keep us from doing IVF that often. And now to know we may have the clock against us too??? So hurtful!!!

Now, of course, I researched this out because I have a partly OPPOSITE profile of a high FSHer. High FSH is usually accompanied by low antral follicle count (viewed by ultrasound on CD3). My antral follicle count has only been done twice. It was 11+ back in November 06 and 20 when we started IVF in September. High FSHers are also hard to stimulate with drugs. I respond well to everything they give me. For IVF, they started me on their lowest dose of Follistim alone for IVF cycles (150iu) and by 4 days they decreased my dosage to 125, last day took 37.5. I was on stims for 10 days - the "perfect" amount. Had 17 eggs retrieved, 15 mature. The CCCT is suppose to be indicative of ovarian reserve by how well you respond to it. For the CCCT, my FSH on CD3 was 6.6, on CD10 it was 7.4. I think they like to see CD10 FSH the same or lower than CD3, but not sure. They basically don't want either level elevated. But from reading it seems like it's better for CD10 to be lower. Does anyone else have their CCCT CD #'s?

Anyway, I feel I have some bad data points against me. And it just gives me knots in my stomach to think that we've got even more against us than I thought. It wasn't suppose to be this hard!!!!

So, I know I can't do anything about this. I figured when I have my appt in Nov I'll ask that dr. I'll ask WH again, whenever I get there. I keep wondering if the drugs have brought this on or if it would have happened anyway. I don't know, it doesn't matter anyway.

If we ARE told we only have a little time left to TTC with good success, we may just do Shared Risk w/ an RE in Atlanta (forget insurance). That's why we need answers. It won't do any good saving money for WH if we've wasted precious time.