Thursday, July 29, 2010

Holding Pattern

Glad you haven't given up on me yet!

I've been in a bit of a holding pattern these past few weeks, drifting in and out of that peaceful (yet wholly unproductive) land called denial. I'm doing a really good job of this break thing, so much so that I'm not even reading up on your blogs as I usually do because I've almost forgotten that I'm infertile.

My body hasn't forgotten, though, and my cycle started as usual. It was a little shorter this time around, which means it's actually approaching normal - wonder if it's the acupuncture or the hour-a-day of heavy breathing in a room with a bunch of other female yogis that's doing it. Whatever it is, I hope it keeps up.

Introducing Dr. H.

So I finally had my consultation with Pacific Fertility Center last week - leave it to me to sit on the data for a whole week before reporting it these days. Dr. H. was really warm and friendly, and I enjoyed my conversation with him a lot and got some rather interesting but not overly helpful data:

  • He's not a big believer in mycoplasma/ureaplasma as a cause for IF, and he doesn't think that cultures are particularly helpful. So if I want to proceed in looking into ureaplasma as a potential factor, I'll probably have to push testing and treatment through my urologist. There's enough inertia in me that makes me not want to do this at the moment. Bleh.
  • He thinks I should give Letrozole/Femara a try because it won't thin my lining like Clomid would. Dr. G had not been a proponent of Femara, saying that the pharmaceutical company that makes it issued a letter saying that it wasn't meant for infertility treatment. Dr. H said that PFC uses it regularly without any major causes for concern and that doctors in the South and Southwest tend to be more conservative around using it.
  • Dr. H also interestingly encouraged that after Femara, we go straight to single-embryo-transfer IVF if I'm concerned about the rate of multiples with moving on to injectibles. He said that their success for single-embryo are almost as good as their rates with doubles at their clinic. I think that if I were to do IVF, I'd do single-embryo anyway - the thought of multiples completely terrifies me, and it's one of the big reasons why I didn't pursue IF treatment earlier.
  • Lastly, he said that we could do further testing like a 3-day FSH and antral follicle count to double check ovarian reserve, but he felt that because I ovulated on my own and was still young (Ha! I love it that he says I'm young!) that it wasn't a big concern. He also wasn't big on getting a laparoscopy since I have no symptoms of endometriosis and my chances of having it were like, 20%, so there'd be an 80% chance I'd be undergoing surgery for no reason.
So, Now What?

Well, I don't really know. I'm tempted to sit out for the next few months still and then pursue treatment back in Texas this fall for the following reasons:
  • Mr. Stick's new job has pretty decent insurance that covers IF treatment, but PFC is not an in-network provider, where Dr. G is. Ironically, if the insurance didn't cover IF, I'd have just proceeded with PFC because I like their style, and the cost would've been close to the same. But I can't just ignore the fact that we'd get 50% of our costs with Dr. G covered if I stick to doing treatments with him. 
  • The timing is such that I can squeeze in one Femara cycle in California, but it looks like I will ovulate around the time we leave, which would make doing the IUI shuffle rather difficult.
  • Mr. Stick is ridiculously overworked at the moment, so even if IUI were an option, it'd definitely create more stress on him to do the procedure on my next cycle.
So I'm kind of resting somewhere between patience (wait until October, and well, maybe get pregnant by then...ha!) or persistence (screw it, call PFC and do a Femara with intercourse cycle). My window for the persistence option is closing soon, so I pretty much need to decide over the next few days whether I'm going to live on "Take a break Island" for a little longer or take the ferry back to "Trying-ville."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just Pretend I'm Not Here...

(Which you probably should since I can't seem to keep up with this blogging thing lately. I'm actually considering signing up for ICLW this month to see if having a little accountability will improve things!)

But really, the title of this post refers to a tea I had with two of my friends (I've become addicted to high tea in San Francisco - the city has an abundance of affordable tearooms) earlier this week. Two of my pregnant friends, I should say, but it honestly feels like I don't even need that adjective because I swear to you that it seems like ALL of my friends are pregnant.

I should've seen it coming, considering I knew they were both knocked up, but I thought that as educated adult women in our 30's, we could pass 2 to 3 hours together without having to talk about babies and being pregnant the whole freakin' time. Either I'm ridiculously naive or pregnant women are just asinine - probably a little of both.

What made it worse, I think, is that this is A's first pregnancy and M's second, so all A could talk about was about how sick she was during her first trimester, with M reassuring her about all the stages and telling her all the things she could look forward to in her second trimester. I felt like I was part of a strange tryptich: the wise and knowing second-time mother, the anxious and excited first-time mother, and me...the barren bitch.

Anyway, I serenely smiled through the whole thing and drank my tea. (I drank a lot of tea - by my 2nd pot, I was kind of wishing they were the Long Island Iced kind.) And when they did remember that (oops!) they were sitting in the presence of an infertile, talk turned to more inclusive subjects like work, food, marriage, etc. I mean, it wasn't all horrible - they are both incredible and positive women, they have a great sense of humor, and the tea and snacks were yummy. I think I just overestimated my ability to sit through all that baby talk without feeling a little like a useless bag of dysfunctional woman parts by the end of the day.

And of course, I agreed with them by the end of the tea that it'd be tons of fun to have dinner with them and our respective spouses later this summer, which it would. But to quote fellow blogger Glum Bunny there will be inevitable moments of wretchedness. At least I'll be better prepared this time around, and I'll have Mr. Stick there to lean on.

In Other TTC News:

* I turned 34 last week, which happened with little fanfare as regrettably, there was a death in the family. It's a strange yet life-affirming thing to spend one's birthday at a funeral home. Anyway, this qualifies as TTC news because it means that I have less than a year before I hit "advanced maternal age" - stupid western medical terms.

* I can honestly say that this last cycle was a total break. No temping, no peeing on sticks, and having sex only when we're in the mood. I forgot how freeing this feels - it actually makes me reluctant to get back on the TTC train schedule.

* That said, though, I can tell from my boobs (I feel like Karen from "Mean Girls") that this cycle is completely wonky. They've been sore all week, which of course means AF is coming, but they're more than a week early. I don't know if being here has suddenly reset me to a 28 day cycle (San Francisco is better than Clomid!) or if my body went anovulatory from travel stress.

* I have a consultation with Pacific Fertility Center on Tuesday the 20th with Dr. Herbert, which I thought I had strategically scheduled to happen at the start of my cycle (I want that day 3 FSH test damn it!), but if the above is correct, then we'll have to wait through another cycle, and there goes the summer. Hrmph.