Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vacations and Consolation Prizes

Time ticks on, and we've not heard any further news from the urologist, who was supposed to return to work on the 21st after his holiday, or from my nurse, to whom I sent an e-mail late last week with three questions. We're not in a hurry of course, but it would be nice to hear something, you know?

I am occupying my time right now in the countdown to my vacation. T minus 11 days and 20 hours (give or take), and I am on a plane to Washington DC to spend a week with my sister and see my best friend, MH, before heading to Vegas for a week with MH and his wife and my hubby. Washington will be my down time; my sister is going to be at a conference so I'll be occupying my time on my own I think. I am planning to go shopping, and maybe MH and I will take in a movie or something. My sis and I will take him out for dinner too. And he's graciously offered to let me use his laundry facilities before he and I head to Vegas the following week. We've got a full week's worth of activities planned in Vegas too: attending the Fan Faire convention (including the various panels, welcome reception, closing banquet and some of the evening events), tickets to Cirque du soleil's Zumanity, tickets to the Tournament of Kings, MH's wife wants to tour the Hoover Dam, we have a reservation at Stratosphere (one of those revolving rooftop restaurants) one night, we'll be heading to Quark's Bar at the Hilton too to have a Warp Core Breach (a sinful alcoholic drink), and somewhere in there, we might hit a nightclub. I'm bringing the clothes for it anyway!

This year at Fan Faire though, I'm a bit ambivalent about it. Last year you see, I was hoping to meet up with a gaming friend and her husband, who were going through TTC troubles of their own. She'd been going through the motions but was then diagnosed with PCOS and ta da! Metformin solved their problems; she is more than halfway through her pregnancy. And they're both attending Fan Faire. I am happy for them, but... well, you know the drill right? Things are falling into place for them, and here I am, still stuck in limbo. It's getting to be a tad frustrating. How will I react? What will I say? How do I express joy for her and hide my own sadness at the same time? Ha... maybe I should seek her out after I've had that Warp Core Breach; I bet I can be much happier while I'm drunk! I don't know yet how I'm going to deal with that.

And then this week, hubby and I were asked to be godparents again. I am honoured that so many people in our lives consider us so responsible and think that we would be good parental figures for their children. Right now, we are godparents to a three-year old boy, the youngest son of friends of ours. I am also named as a legal guardian of my friend K's daughter (lil K, I call her here), in the event of K's passing. And I was so thrilled when a few months ago, MH came to me and asked if hubby and I might consider being godparents to their five-year old twins. MH and his wife (KC) haven't named godparents for their children yet and although we have yet to meet his kids, if everyone is in agreement and the kids are comfortable with us, then we would be thrilled to do that for them as well. And this week, hubby's BIL asked us to be godparents to their unborn child. The baby is due December 26; I gather we are staying home for Christmas this year so hubby can be close when his sister has the baby.

I won't lie; I was told the news of that pregnancy in quite awful circumstances. I was not prepared for it and it was conveyed poorly. I was angry for a long time, at the way I was told, and at hubby's sister and BIL. I cried buckets of tears for weeks on end. Now I'm not angry. I am just sad. And I feel like I've been offered the consolation prize.

You know... I'm sure you've felt this way too. Something happens and you either get the next best thing, or someone does something to take your mind off it. Recently, for example, noswimmers and her husband lost their twins at 20 weeks through the pregnancy. So to take their mind off things, her in-laws took them on a trip to Hawaii. Here you go, your consolation prize. It just doesn't cut it you know? As she has said, nothing will give her back her babies. And even for us, last year, our trip to Vegas was our consolation prize, after having miscarried earlier in the year and then dealing with the acceptance of using donor sperm. Here you go Gil, your consolation prize. It's nice and all, but it doesn't give me what I want, you know?

So while I am flattered beyond belief that I have been asked to be godparents to so many children, I wonder to myself: will I ever get to choose a godparent for MY child?

Just some things I am pondering as I prepare for my vacation. At least I have that to look forward to. Love to you all in blogland. I'm still here and still reading. I just feel I've gone through so much failure with this journey, that I don't quite relate as well anymore...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Calendar, Costs and Concerns


What to say about Montréal? Yes. I still despise the layout of the roads. Good God, I hate the insanity of driving in the city too; I am convinced that signal lights are 'options' on Montréal vehicles.

Nevertheless, Montréal it is. And no turning back now: we laid out a huge chunk of change for our three-package IVF attempts. And no guarantees of course.

Never any guarantees with this, are there? Hopes, yes. Expectations? Hell no. Not any more. I go into this expecting to shell out all sorts of money and still have empty arms in the end. I almost had to laugh at the nurse during the information session though... talking like it was just a matter of time before all these couples experienced pregnancy and the fulfilment of having children. Ha. Funny lady. Tsk tsk. Introducing hope into the hearts and minds of those couples. Shameful really.

We had a 9 a.m. appointment to make out our calendar. I watched as our nurse flipped back and forth, forwards and backwards, over and over through our file. She was looking for something, and God knows, she spent about 10 minutes going over it all searching for one or two particular details.

She eventually called us into an office at about 9:45 a.m. so we could go over the calendar. First up, she needed to know my cycle length (relatively short, between 25 and 27 days usually). Then she looked for my Hep A, Hep B and blood type tests. Neither of us have them, so I'll requisition them from my other doctor. Not a problem... or get them done. Easy.

Then she hit us with a date. October 27.

WTF? You've gotta be shitting me? That can't be! Jesus! I'm ready to cycle now dammit! First we had to wait two months to get an appointment at all. Then another two months after all the test were done before we could get an appointment with our RE there (as he was out of the country teaching and attending conferences). Now we have to fuck around and wait til freakin October before we can cycle?! Christ. My heart sank.

Apparently the lab only likes to culture one sample per week and with all the others who need their services, ours would be pushed to the week of October 27.

Besides, we can't cycle for October 27 because on November 1, we head to the USA on vacation for two weeks. So that won't work. Either they find space for us earlier or we are stuck waiting til we get back in November. I'm 38 people. Maybe a 26-year old can wait a little longer, but the longer we wait, the harder this is going to be. The way they are talking, I'll be 39 before we can get this show on the road. If I hadn't paid... I almost would have reconsidered.


Then flipping through our file again, she asks about our having signed a consent form with the urologist when we had our appointment with him. Um... we don't know anything about any consent form?! Needless to say, the urologist is out of the province on vacation til July 21. So no chance of seeing him while we were there, and oh wouldn't you know it! They won't fax us the form to sign either; they want him to sign the form in front of the urologist himself, so it means ANOTHER FUCKING DAY OFF WORK (unpaid) for my husband to sign the damn form. How fucking ridiculous is this!? You're bloody well kidding me. Not our fault he didn't get us to sign it. Get on the ball folks. I don't pay $12K for a slipshod operation here guys. Get your shit together. NOW.

We have to talk to the doc's office in Ottawa too and arrange to have the last vial of our donor sperm transferred up to Montréal in case we need it. Yeah. They don't even do that for us.

And with regards to the bloodwork, I explained to them that I would be having my bloodwork done at a particular location in Ottawa and now I have to see about whether I will be able to transport those blood samples to the lab that will process them quickly (i.e., same day results). My doc here in Ottawa has an office that processes quickly, but that office doesn't have my favourite phlebotomist! I won't go anywhere else if I can avoid it at all. So I have to make sure my phlebotomist can let me take the samples, and I have to make sure the lab I bring them to will accept them if I transport them myself.

And we learned about the cost of the meds. By the looks of it, we're looking at about $5K of medications only covered at 80%. Holy hell. My heart sank again. If the situation were a bit different, we'd be able to cover the last 20% too. Oh well. We're stuck with it.

The IVF nurse pulled out a needle and I had to turn my head. I had just finished explaining to her about my fear of needles... Christ. How frustrating. Once I steeled myself, I was able to watch. She was trying to show us how to inject the meds (sub-cutaneous). We were given a huge brown paper bag filled with needles and a sharps container. It's now sitting on my kitchen table. I guess I gotta get used to them huh? *shudders*

We did manage to have our mock transfer yesterday though and at least we got that out of the way. No problems either. Apparently my uterus is completely normal and measures about 7 cm. Good to know. And yet another doctor who gets a look at my girly bits, vajayjay, hoo-ha, nounoune, fun zone, pleasure park, etc. Dignity... right out the window.

The day was filled with info. Some good. Some not so good. I didn't have a great feeling coming out of there though.

Hubby and I headed north on St. Hubert to do a bit of shopping after we were done at the hospital and then we went back downtown to pick up my friend T after she was done work. She treated us to a lovely supper at a restaurant near her house in Lachine before we got back on the highway for Ottawa, arriving home at about 9:30 last night.

Tossed in with all this fun, I started battling a cold on Sunday morning and by Monday, I figured I'd better take something. I picked up some Cold FX to suppress the symptoms and that seemed to work to keep it at bay on Tuesday in Montréal. However, I experienced a bad side effect. I have a heart murmur (that was found when I was 18 years old) and it was severely aggravated by the Cold FX medication so I had to stop taking them. It feels like my heart skips beats; it's a valve that doesn't always function properly but it's nothing serious. Anyway, it's now Wednesday morning, and those cold symptoms have returned with a vengeance. I am absolutely smothered. So I'm staying home for the day... there's a cup of hot tea with my name on it and the kitties are waiting on my bed for cuddles.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Back to Montréal

It's 10 p.m. and tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. we have an appointment in Montréal. I know we're not starting just yet, but we are establishing our calendar, tending to the bill, and attending the info session. We'll get up at about 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. to get there on time.

So why am I nervous already? I've nothing to worry about really. Not yet.