A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Black and White; or, Planning Ahead

These days, I've been bouncing back and forth between some very different reactions to my upcoming RE visit. It goes something like this:

Shit! Only two cycles left before we visit the RE!
Yes! We can finally get figure out what the hell has been going on the last 18 months!
Dammit, they're going to find out there's something horribly wrong with me and Lawyer Guy and tell us it was a miracle we ever got pregnant in the first place and we should have no hope.
No! You're going to get pregnant before you go. Duh, making the appointment is the magic bullet!
No! You're not even going to be able to get an appointment because the insurance issues won't be worked out yet, and you'll have to visit a third-rate fertility clinic, like, out on Long Island or something. And they wont get you pregnant and they'll probably mess up your uterus even more!
Still, it's great to start this process!
But why did you have to get pregnant at all if all it accomplished was delaying your RE visit by 9 months?
AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! Be quiet crazy lady inside my head!

See? Totally exhausting.

I've been kind of relentlessly talking Lawyer Guy's ear off about this process, which is majorly stressing him out. We deal with upsetting possibilities in very different ways: I try to predict and plan for the worst case scenario, so I feel prepared; he tries to ignore it and just live his life until he has to consider unpleasantness. So for me, having a two-hour phone conversation with our insurance providers to get all the details on our infertility coverage is ultimately calming (if also anxiety-producing), but for him it's like a giant anvil of doom dropping on his head.

So to spare him any more of my obsessiveness, I thought I would lay out the potential steps to come here on the blog, so I can refer back to them, keep track of our progress, and adjust my mind to what's ahead (and, of course, so you all know what the plan is).

  • Aug 4: Visit my OB for annual check up. Will discuss testing/REs with her (though I have made up my mind to see one no matter what she advises).Will most likely have just ovulated (or will be about to ovulate), so preliminary testing will be impossible at this visit.
  • Aug 13: Leave for Scandinavia. Will get my period on this trip. Will not be able to get CD 2/3 blood work until following cycle.
  • After returning home, will start acupuncture/ Circle + Bloom relaxation techniques and continue with my herbs, yoga, and tea. Basically go balls out to get an unassisted BFP.
  • Late August/Early September: have first RE consult. Praying hard that insurance issues are corrected by this point and I can go to N.YU. Will have good back-up, in-network REs.
  • Mid September: Cycle # 8/15 begins. Get bloodwork. Will have hopefully had some other testing (HSG? SA?) by this point
  • Mid-late October: Possibly do one treated cycle
  • November/December/January: Break from treatments due to my sister's August 2011 wedding in California (try very hard not to hate her for this).
  • February 2011: Dive into the madness of treatments for the foreseeable future
Wow, laying everything out like that really shows how much time all of this takes! February sounds so far away, but so much will happen in between now and then. The fact that the start of treatments will exactly coincide with due dates that would prevent me from attending my sister's wedding really sucks and was one of my fears back in November when I miscarried. I'm sure it will be hard to back off just when we've finally got the ball rolling, but I will just have to suck it up.

The other difficult aspect of heading into treatments is that LG and I are going to have to completely backtrack on how involved we've made our families in this process. Right now we don't call them every time we have sex or I ovulate or anything (I save that for my lovely internet friends), but they do know how long we've been trying, what some of my fears are, how long it's been since the miscarriage, and when we're thinking of enlisting outside help. That's fine and I don't mind them knowing (especially not my mom, who never ever brings up baby stuff unless I do first).

But I don't want our families to know about what treatments we're doing and when. If they're waiting hopefully for the results of an IUI or IVF, that will just make the disappointment much keener when something fails. I also really, really don't want my brother- and sister-in-law to know anything about our possible fertility treatments. I have enough jealousy and bitterness toward them in general. If I suspect they're pitying us for our sucky reproductive organs, I'll drive myself crazy (even though I'm sure their pity will be entirely in my head and they will never say anything to us).

I'm a pretty open person, so it will be hard to shut people we care about out of this process. But I just can't handle the extra pressure, so I know it's the right thing to do.


  1. We are such peas in a pod with the planning and prepping and being ready for worse case scenario. And our husbands are the exact same on putting off those hard contemplations and dealing with them as they arrive. [Seriously, hubs and I just argued about this VERY thing last night (I wanted to discuss the ICSI fertilization method in IVF and he was violently opposed to even thinking abt IVF right now).]

    Anyway, good plans all around! I am hoping beyond hope you get pregnant BEFORE this RE appt. But if for some reason it doesn't work out that way, you VERY likely could be one of the lucky ones who just needs to swallow a few Clomid pills and...voila! Knocked up. Still, here's hoping you make that baby this month. I am pulling very, very hard for you.

  2. i absolutely regret telling the 4-5 friends that i did about our first ivf. when it didn't work, it made things all the worse that i felt compelled to tell them the bad news. this round, only 2 friends know, the rest think we're on a break bc work is bad. and i've told family not to ask me any questions until sept.

    the new trend seems to be girls getting pregnant waiting to see the RE, or waiting to do a more invasive procedure, so i'm gonna write your name on the list for those that have good luck before seeing an RE!!

    insurance - do none of the RE's at your new clinic take your insurance? usually, i thought docs differ in which insurance they take. at cornell, dr d takes none, but some docs take xyz insurance and others take abc. worst case scenario if things don't get figured out insurance-wise, maybe you can go to columbia (they take EVERYTHING) and do all your testing there until dr L can see you?? testing is testing, and cornell accepted all my tests that columbia did without blinking twice.

    scandinavia sounds soo amazing!! i personally need to get my a$$ back to rome and make a new wish in the trevi fountain. the last one i made there in 2000 absolutely came true, so i need to do it again :o)

  3. Yay, Scandinavia! We were hoping to go before we return stateside, but it's not going to happen. Lovely place, though; I was there for a little while as a teenager. But more importantly, wishing you a swift and sticky baby, and one for me too, while we're at it. I have a sneaking suspicion that your Dr. L might be my Dr. L, and while the number-one hope is that you don't need to see him, he's a good guy and means business if you do. Take good care and goooo, baby!

  4. I vote for the magic bullet of getting knocked up right before the R.E. appointment. And I definitely second Sienna that you should set up an appointment NOW (or soon), because they can take a while to get. I set one up with my R.E. of choice before I got insurance approval, knowing I could cancel the appointment if the approval didn't come through. I think you should (soon) set one up with both Dr. NYU and Dr. Backup for August, and then you can cancel the one that you don't want to keep. Or better yet, cancel both of them, cause you'll be pregnant! (side anecdote: when I called to cancel my R.E. appointment cause I was pregnant, the nurse, knowing my background, said, "well, we'll hope for a miracle, but remember that your referral is still good for 90 days, so you can call us to reschedule any time if things go wrong..." Something like that. I distinctly remember the word 'miracle' being thrown in there. I was like, wtf??? Talk about instilling confidence, to be told by a nurse that it's be a miracle for me to stay pregnant! Nice, huh?)

    I definitely think that you will like to know what is wrong. Even if it is something really bad (it won't be!!! I am just saying...), don't you want to know about it? Knowing won't change things... (cliche as that is to say).

    Honestly, I am INCREDIBLY shocked and surprised that you have not gotten pregnant again before now. I for sure thought you seemed like a super-candidate for being the FIRST one of my followees to get pregnant. previous pregnancy ,check. Very young, and very healthy, check. I just don't get it, and honestly I feel I need to know! I think *I* want to know why you aren't getting pregnant more than YOU do!!! :)

    Anyways, I'm hoping very hard for something basic like low (but not super low) sperm count or hostile cm, so that an IUI will fix you up in a jiffy.

  5. I see me in this post because this is exactly what I go through and how I plan things out--even so much as to prep myself for reacting to negative betas or certain test results. It calms me to know what could happen with every single possible scenario. It may sound obsessive and insane, but we wouldn't act sanely if we weren't able to do this. It's just how people like up operate.

    And I get what you are saying about family. We told ours and as much as I was happy about getting the cat out of the bag so to speak, it was heartbreaking having to tell them every time we had a negative beta. I barely wanted to repeat the news to my husband, let alone post it on my blog and call my family members. Too emotional.

    I sincerely hope that if something is going on, it's something that an RE can fix easily. Or you just get pregnant beforehand and you don't have to think about any type of schedule or plan.


  6. I am looking at your list and thinking it all sounds reasonable. And, it makes me sad that you are having to buoy yourself with the worse case sandbags. I want you to float above this unfettered, but know that it's hardly possible yo not think all those things. I will throw that wish that you don't need an RE appointment at all. It's gonna work for you and I'm here to keep saying that until it does.

    Your trip is going to be amazing and I look forward to your tales of happy people in picturebook places.

  7. I could have written this post myself. I sound so much like you with the thoughts running around in my head and driving me crazy. How I approach things is similar to how you described, as well. My DH also sounds very much like yours.

    Hopefully the time goes by quickly between now and your visit (although that would mean we'd be closer to being back in school...yuck!)

  8. I think one of the major advantages of starting the blog was to spare my husband from much of my fretting about possible scenarios -- maybe not quite worst-case, but lots of what-ifs. The poor guys, they don't have it easy either.
    Hoping that Scandinavia helps with the magic bullet -- ask Bunny for advice on how to deal with Air Marshals if needed ;)

  9. I'm like you: I need to analyze, list, plan. It calms me. And even if that list makes you think, "Wow, that's a huge chunk of time"...it's a chunk of time that can still be quantified. And it's going to be the time in which you're getting the ball rolling.

    The how-much-to-tell-and-when question is a tough one. Like you, my family knew the general outlines. Like you are planning, they did not know about every trigger and insemination. That would have been way too much. Initially, I wondered how I would be able to evade their questions. But you know what? They didn't ask many. I think it's all such a bewildering thing for them PLUS they'll sense (very hopefully) that you need to keep certain things to yourself.

    I'm still holding out for a nice positive HPT before you even get to that RE's appointment...

  10. I talk my DH's ear off too when I'm stuck on something, it drives him crazy and I know when his eyes glaze over and he just keeps saying "mmmm hmmm" I've lost him.

    I didn't want our family to know too much either because I didn't want a phone call or a question every time we spoke. I wanted to say "When there is news, I'll let you know."

    Hoping Feb brings great results! :) If not sooner!

  11. As I have probably said before, seeing the RE and at least finding out the true culprit, and feeling like we could stop banging our heads against the wall in futility, really gave me peace.

    I am behind on, well, everything, in my life right now, but I am still reading your blog religiously, honey. And I wanted to tell you how THRILLED I am that you are not going to that shower! Even better that you have an excursion as an excuse ;o)

  12. Just on the off-chance that my messages went into your spam, know that I did e-mail you! Twice, in fact. I'm not stalking you, honest. But you are on my blogroll. So maybe that means I am.

  13. I'm just like you: I like to plan and prepare. It helps me calm down. While DH just takes things one day at a time... It does immensely help to have a plan laid out and sounds like you've already thought things through. I don't know where you'll be in your natural cycle, but your HSG will take place after your Day3 blood work. Most importantly, if timed correctly, should have all the information you need within that one month period.

    As for family, it is hard to keep them informed yet not so much that every call doesn't start with "How's the cycle going?"

  14. I find plans to be a comforting tool, and I know exactly what you mean by how far away the months seem because I have a slew of family weddings and trips this fall that will make pursuing any type of aggressive treatment difficult.

    I think it's good to have a few trusted friends who are IF-literate (and who are NOT clueless preggos) you can talk to because as information comes up, you may want to process it with them if your DH finds it too stressful to talk about. But then again, this blog can serve that purpose too!

  15. Gosh, we are so similar. Your timeline is *exactly* how I think...if this, then this...if this, then this. I am hoping your plans are derailed when you get your BFP before you even see the RE. If, however, you do see the RE, I know you'll be in awesome hands. Either way, you are well you your way to fulfilling your goal of motherhood.

  16. I don't talk to anyone IRL about our procedures/timing either. I just couldn't handle the questions, the judgement, and the pity. I'll tell my mom and girlfriend if they ask about it, but they rarely do. Mostly, C and I are in it alone. It's lonely and hard sometimes, but I couldn't imagine the alternative.