Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August ICLW

First, for those of you that know me in the real world, you may be thinking what is this ICLW? Well, it's this pretty awesome support group of bloggers that are dealing with infertility like me. It's a group of women that come together and support each other. These ladies are wonderful.

A little about me: My husband and I are reproductively challenged. We were told IVF was our only chance to conceive. So, we sold our souls to the devil, spent a ton of money out of pocket, and ventured into IVF. It was no where near as horrible as I had imagined it was going to be (minus the little detail about it not working at all). IVF was a failure. At our WTF appointment, the RE informed us that we could try another round of IVF. She looked us straight in the eye when she told us that if we were okay with proceeding with other options, donor egg, or adoption, that we should do so, because she didnt want to take our money. Now that was one hell of a pep talk.

So that's when we found ourselves buying embryos on the internet. Okay, some people call it donor embryo, some call it embryo adoption, however I bought embryos off of the internet... let's call a spade a spade.

We just had the embryos shipped and we are waiting for all of the stars to align and move forward with this embryo transfer.

After over a year of total and complete mayhem. We are waiting anxiously for our luck to change.

Last night a bird dropped some doo doo droppings on me. I think it's a sign that things are definitely turning around.

Something you must know about me I'm very sarcastic (example the last sentence). So please dont call the police, 9 times out of 10 I'm kidding. This sick sense of humor is truly the only thing getting me through this!

Thanks for stopping by. Im wishing you all the best on your journeys. May they be short and sweet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thank you Mr. President!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last night, I went to the pharmacy to refill my prescription for the birth control pill.  We went through the drive through imagine my delight when there was zero payment due.  It used to cost $13/month.  After a year of getting screwed it felt like a small victory. 

Today, the pharmacy that sends the drugs for the transfer contacted me to initialize everything.  I had expected it to be approximately $1500.00.  A fraction of the costs associated with IVF drugs.  Can you imagine my delight when I got the email saying that with my co-pays I owe $227.00?  Wait, hold the brakes... did she just say co-pays?  I expected this to be total out of pocket.  I emailed her back... Did you just say co-pays?  Yes she did! 

I think we just won the health care reform lottery.  None of this was covered before.  NONE!  I believe this might be a pleasant bonus to the newest installment of the health care reform that was effective August 1.  I could be totally wrong, and it could just be a coincidence.  I sit here and wait for my insurance company to catch onto the fact that they made a mistake.  For right now, I am declaring victory!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Embryos Have Landed

Great news!  The embryos have landed at our clinic. 


We are now free to move forward.  I can not tell you what a relief this is.  This feels huge.

My husband is officially referring to them as the sea monkeys.  I like it. 

For now, that's all folks :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coming out of the Dark Ages

Way before Fergie started singing about "flossy, flossy", I met the original Flossie. Before we bought our house, my husband and I lived in the city. Out one window I could see one nursing home, and out the other, another. Every day I would see these old people lined up out front, enjoying some fresh air. They all seemed so very lonely. It made me so sad... Every single day.

At the time, I was working at Astra Zeneca. One day, I received an email about a volunteer program. It was called "the elder buddy program". Basically, they match you up with people in nursing homes that are looking for companionship. Well, one of the nursing homes on the list was the one across the street. I knew that I just had to participate.

That is when I was matched with Flossie. She had a stroke a few years earlier and could no longer live on her own. Because of the stroke, her vision was impaired to the point where she could see, but no longer read. She asked me if I would come by weekly to read her mail to her. She also had a very dear friend who lived in the home with her who recently passed away. The woman's family took her journals and made an autobiography and gave Flossie a copy. She asked me to read to her. So that's what we did, every Thursday.

Each visit, she would share stories of her life. As a child, she had long curly hair, that her father adored. She was a sick child and the doctor made her parents cut her hair. Her father carried the photo of her with her curls until the day he died. Her uncle was one of the first Mummers in Philadelphia and is in the Mummers Museum. She was engaged twice, but never married. She told me that she broke off one engagement because the guy joined the Army and tried to talk like he was a war hero, but when the war ended, and he had never served actively, she told him to get lost. She is a firecracker!

Since she never married, she never had children, but she taught Sunday school and thought of those kids as her children. Eventually, she moved in with her cousin. Thelma and Louise ;) lived together up until her cousin passed away from Alzheimer's complications. She was from Philadelphia, but since her only surviving relatives were from Delaware, they put her in a home away from her home. As her closest friends have aged, it's been difficult for them to travel, and she's gotten lonelier and lonelier.

We made special arrangements for her to come to our wedding. Every time I visit her, she gushes... That's Kristie, my elder buddy, I went to her wedding! She had Thanksgiving dinner with us one year. I just couldn't bear the thought of her being alone in that home.

After we moved, our visits were less frequent, but I still made time to visit with her. My grandmother who recently passed away always told me... "you make sure you take care of her. She is all alone. She needs you."

At the time, the thought seemed ridiculous. What kind of a jerk would do that? Then came the Dark Ages.

The Dark Ages, is this past year, where my life has been consumed with all things suck, and all things infertility. The year where I lost sight of everything that was important to me. The year where this topic consumed my every thought.. With plans, surgeries, dr's appointments, more plans, and every other disaster popping up.

It had been over a year since I visited Flossie. I remember our last visit. I told her we were going to try to start a family. Another ridiculous notion.

I visited Flossie yesterday. Part of me was terrified. What if she's sick, in bad shape, what if I get there and something has happened? I Will die of guilt.

Visiting with her made me so happy. Seeing her in good shape left me feeling so relieved. She told me about how a woman that she does not like. The woman has Alzheimer's and while her and a group of women were watching church on tv, the crazy lady pulled her pants down and took a dump right there on a chair, then wiped her ass on the next 3 chairs. She made me laugh. I filled her in on what's been going on. She understands ivf because her niece had it, so that helped. I explained about donor embryo. She told me she was so happy for us, and that we deserve to be parents. She told me she had no idea that all of this was going on.

I would say this past year is the equivalent of being sucked into a black hole. How long have I been here? How did I get here? And please.... For the love of all things holy, get me out of this mess! Visiting with her was the first time, in a long time, that I felt like myself. I am forever grateful for that.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Embryo Hostage Crisis

During this entire process of using donor embryo's I have tried my hardest not to bad mouth the company that we got these embryos from. I can no longer bite my tongue. 

So let's talk about the bad/ugly side of donor embryo.  First,  there are many different companies that you can use.  When I first read the catch of the company we went with, I thought.... Oh hell to the no!  Then I looked at other organizations. Each of them has their own catch.  For some you need a home study... for embryos.   For some, you have to travel to them to get an embryo transfer.  For some you get an embryo from the same biological parents and so does 10 other people.  If you want a second child (God willing) you start this process over again with a whole new set of DNA.  Suddenly, this first place was sounding better and better.  It's not that there is anything wrong with having many childen with differrent DNA, but if given the choice, I would prefer that I had the option to do that.  Of course, I am painfully aware that this may not work out at all. 

They request that photo's of your children be sent to them a few times a year.  I dont like that.  The whole time I have been working with this woman, I'd ask her a series of questions in an email and get a response email: Yes.  WTF do you mean Yes? I asked you like 10 questions, what are you answering?  It all seemed to be so rediculous.  Each communication worse than the one before.  I never got a warm and fuzzy feeling about this.  However, given the fact that I am essentially buying embryos online... does one ever get a warm and fuzzy feeling about this?  This entire process has been one thing after another.  By the end of this process, I wanted to scream at this woman!  However, since she's holding our embryo's as ransome, I have to shut my mouth. 

Since this entire process is so insane, there is a certain level of knowledge that you come to expect from this company/person.  Suddenly you realize... holy shit, I dont think this person has the foggiest idea of what is going on here.  It was all worth it because we are getting what we need, so we have continued to tell each other to suck it up, just deal with it, and when this is finished, we can look back and laugh. 

Then comes the time to ship these embryos.  It's a nightmare.  Well, first, this woman gives me the address to ship the cryo tank to... IT'S A FUCKING PO BOX. You can not ship a cryo tank to a po box.  I'm not even in the embryo industry, and I know this.   After talking with the shipping company, I began working with this guy who offered to help me out.  He stated that he will take care of this.  I explained to him... When you talk to this woman, first, she's an idiot... do not listen to anything she tells you.  It must be verified with the donor clinic.  I explained that you would explect that someone in this business would understand what is going on.  However, this is not the case.  Once you talk to her, you will see what I mean.  He called me later that day to tell me that he agree's with me 100%, that she is clueless.  He told me not to panic, that he will follow up with the donor clinic and ensure everything is handled properly.  He has been a huge help. 

Later, I got the news that they can not ship the embryo's until a release form is signed off with the donor clinic.  So, do you mean to tell me that I spent all of this money on embryos that have not been released yet?  Yes, that's exactly what happened.  So for the past few months where we thought we have these embryos... we do, in fact not have legal rights to them.  What if these people were to get into an accident?  We would be left in the lurches until this could be settled, in court.  Hopefully that is not the case, but in the meantime, we just sit here and wait until this gets figured out. 

This morning, she wrote me an email that she was following up with the donors.  She told me that most people go to their clinic on the weekend to get their forms notarized.  Now anyone who has ever been to an RE clinic knows good an well that people do not go to the clinic over the weekend for forms to be filled out.  She is rediculous.  I think she thinks she can stall me with these rediculous statements.  I informed her that not only do I doubt that this form gets signed at the RE on the weekends, that in this particular case, I know this is not true. These embryos are coming from a state that is far away from the state that the donors live in currently.  She is full of it!  I can't take much more of the crap. 

Nothing is easy. Up until I found myself constantly grabbing the short straws, I never realized how cruel the world really is.  Now the phrase, "dog eat dog world" has never been more true.  Seems like it is just a vicious cycle of people taking advantage of people in not so great situations.  Everywhere you turn, there's someone waiting to stick it to you.  Oh, and you can't really be pissy about it because they have your future held hostage. 

In the meantime, my leave was extended until August 30th.  I think by then I'll be itching to get back to work.  For right now, I've been pretty busy fighting fires.  I hope this comes to a close soon.