It's starting to pile up a bit. I thought I did a pretty good job of keeping stress to a minimum during cycle #1, but there are some shitty crossroads of stressful things right now threatening to hitch onto the start of cycle #2 in a couple of weeks. Let's dissect. For posterity.
Work is fine. In fact, it's rather boring most of the time and any frustration is pretty transient. I get paid to write scientific documents, from my home office, and it's a decent living. I gave up a job in management and changed jobs (and companies) before we started IVF, in part to have the flexibility to work from home (to accommodate my ultrasound habit and any bed rest requirements). There's a ridiculous story about the old job involving personal information and HR privacy, another reason I left, but that's for another day. For now, I am in comfy clothes, in my kitchen, with a flex schedule. Check the box.
Body is fine. A little break from all the ass-stabbing is nice, and I've started getting back on the treadmill a couple of times a week. I am nowhere close to dropping the umpteen pounds gained since this whole trying-to-make-a-baby-and-taking-lots-of-pills-and-potions thing began, but I figure that pregnancy will just make me fat, anyway, so I will focus on health (not weight) for now and then hire a svelte personal trainer after any mythical baby is born. Check another box.
Speaking of ass-stabbing....my poor dog jumped a very pointy garden fence on Tuesday and speared herself on the, how to say delicately, dog-taint. I heard an ungodly yelp from the kitchen, registered that it was her in some horrible predicament, and scrambled outside to find her. And find her, I did. With her ass hooked on a fence post. FYI, I put myself through college and grad school working in hospitals and ORs, so I am not squeamish (except when it comes to tracheotomies, that grosses me out). But this made me nauseous and every inch of my skin crawl in an instant. I had to "unhook" her hiney and toss her in the car as I called the vet to alert him to possible surgery, etc. Turns out she didn't even need stitches, but she does to get to sport the Cone of Shame for a while. Every time I look at her I feel so sorry for her. That awful whimper and the sight (someday I'll remember it as funny, I suppose) of her dangling by her butt on that fence...ugh. I'm not a crazy lady who dresses her dog up like a child and has tea parties with it or anything, but it does break my heart. We'll leave this box blank.
My family is batshit nuts. This is not news to me, but sometimes it causes me more stress than others. I have a cordial relationship with my sister and father, but I wouldn't say we're close. They know nothing about IVF or even that we're trying to get pregnant. Honestly, they will be the last to get an announcement (if that day ever comes). My mother is a whole different flavor of crazy. She and I don't speak. Rather, she leaves insane messages on my voicemail, and I ignore them. If iPhones permitted blocking a number, it would be done. The delusional thought that we might be closer (why do I let myself think this?) to getting pregnant makes me worry about how I will keep the she-wolf at bay, since I really don't intend to give her a second chance to ruin another kid's life with her special brand of cuckoo. Long story, no need to tell. Mommy Dearest just isn't good with the mothering skills per se, and lacks self-awareness of the same. No check, this box will remain permanently blank. In contrast, my in-laws are great, and we have told them about the IVF cycle-a-thon. I wasn't sure how they would feel about it, as fairly devout Catholics, but they have been praying their asses off for us and have been very helpful. Check that box.
Lastly, the drug bill this month was 150% of the first cycle's. I get stressed about money. I think the first cycle ran around $5000 after the cost of drugs and coinsurance was factored in. It may have been a tad more, who knows. But this time...the drugs alone are $5600. Sweet, fancy Moses. After the coinsurance (and there may be more of it, since monitoring may be stepped up with an antagonist protocol) we will be in for at least $7000. I KNOW I should be drawn and quartered for complaining about these costs, since our insurance actually pays for the bulk of the IVF/ICSI expenses. But I present these facts to you. We live in Michigan. Where the economy is not just flat, but falling off the earth. Our house is now worth marginally more than what we owe for it (and we had a huge downpayment; that's how much property values have dropped). So if we had NOT discovered, to our surprise, that our insurance pays for infertility treatment, we could not have reasonably refinanced our home to cover the cost, even for a shared risk program. Severe male factor infertility also complicated participation in some shared risk programs, but that's another thing. We are lucky (TRUST ME, I know how lucky) to have most of the costs covered, which is how and why we can afford IVF at all. But the remainder of costs (which are nothing to sneeze at) are coming out of pocket and maxing out credit cards. My husband I are fortunate to have better-insulated jobs than many while the economy circles the drain; however, he works for a bank and I work in the pharmaceutical industry. No financial troubles in those sectors, right? So, we spend our savings and rack up credit card balances, and we worry about the debt and paying it off as quickly as possible. Can't really justify retail therapy right now, which is a shame because I could really use some. No box-check. Can't afford it.
Could there be a residual hormone-driven, maybe ill-timed PMS, ingredient in this overcooked stress stew? I think, maybe. I know I have to get it under control so I can maximize our chance of success with the next (and hopefully last...there I go again, optimistic beyond reason) IVF cycle. I am a worrier and a planner and sometimes control freak, which all blends nicely with IVF, right? Without simply turning to the bottle, I have to calm the hell down. Deep, cleansing breaths...
In IVF news: estrace starts in 1.5 weeks after a luteal phase check, then stimming starts once the stay at the Red Roof Inn commences. I want to get this show on the road. Moving forward makes me happy(ier).
Thanks to any who successfully endured this mental purge. This rant was brought to you by the letters I V F.