Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hacked?

Methinks Mrs. Hammer may have had her blog account hacked. Hmmm. Sounds like the wistful prose of a Nigerian prince.

Here is a link to Google instructions for resetting your account in the event that said hacker changed the password and locked you out.

Strange....hope all's well that ends well.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"It's Like a 5 Year Responsibility"

I present to you, another woman who is (most likely) incredibly fertile and (quite clearly) concomitantly stupid:

I know, Bonnie, it's hard to comprehend giving up beer pong for like a whole MONTH! Like shit, dude. And 5 years is like a crazy long time to take care of a baby -- I mean, it takes like 6 years to graduate from state college, and that is totally HARD! 

I think the US government should not only reform health care to include comprehensive coverage for infertility treatment, but should launch a special initiative to get us knocked up ASAP at any cost. Idiocracy is not far behind. ("Ouch, my balls!")

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Miscellany

Madame Ovary: My egg donor consultation went well today. A donor cycle would only take 2.5 months from start to finish; if we need to move on to that after our January cycle we could start right away, without delay. And, oh, how I wish time really WAS money. One donor egg cycle will cost around $20K, or we could shell out closer to $35K for a 3-cycle (plus unlimited FETs) shared risk program. The consolation prize if you don't take home a baby is 100% refund. But if we got pregnant on cycle 1, we would forfeit so much money....how much is peace of mind worth? I was excited to learn that they can match me with a repeat donor, so we would have stats on her mature egg count, fertilization rate, and number of viable pregnancies for prior recipient(s). The appointment left me feeling pretty resolved and hopeful that we have a solid Plan B in place. They were playing Christmas music in my doctor's office this afternoon, too, which always puts me in a good mood.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: But...why does it feel like the winter holidays are creeping back further and further each year? Christmas stuff used to come out after Thanksgiving, and now it's out right after Halloween. Why the rush? I sometimes forget until I see the candy and swag in full display at the department stores. You could be from another planet and figure out American holidays just by the bags of candy on sale in bulk at the local grocery store: candy hearts and bon-bons, peeps and Cadbury eggs, candy corn and miniature Snickers, and then candy canes and red and green M&Ms. (I am deliberately omitting any made-up holidays that I loathe -- I'm looking at you, Sweetest Day; nice try Hallmark!). Anyway, we are hosting the family Christmas party this year and I am in full-on planning mode (if it can't be stims and ultrasounds, then tablecloths and serving trays shall feel my wrath!). I bought a shit-ton of decorations from Target's after-holidays clearance sale last year and have all my stuff organized in the basement in anticipation of going bonkers with it this weekend. That's what long weekends are for, right? The dog gets very confused this time of year, since we move furniture around to make room for the tree and other decorations. Speaking of the devil dog.....

This is my 6-year-old puppy being humiliated in an elf hat:

And in a Santa hat:

And in plush reindeer antlers:

(Is she being a demure doggy or giving me the stinkeye in these pictures? She got boatloads of treats for this; so no harm, no foul.)

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Make Up Your Mind

Single Embryo Transplant in IVF More Effective, Study Says:

Wed, Mar 25, 2009 (HealthDay) -- It's more effective and less costly to implant single embryos instead of two embryos at a time, says a study that challenges the belief that implanting multiple embryos during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) improves a woman's chances of becoming pregnant and is more cost-effective.

Finnish researchers looked at more than 1,500 women who went through more than 3,600 assisted reproduction cycles. They found the live birth rate was 5 percent higher for women who had a single embryo implanted at a time, compared to double embryo transplants, Agence France Presse reported.

The single embryo method was also less costly, especially when the researchers factored in health complications due to multiple pregnancies.

The study was published in the journal Human Reproduction.

"At a time when there is an intense debate in many countries about how to reduce multiple pregnancy rates and provide affordable fertility treatment, policy makers should be made aware of our results," study lead researcher Hannu Martikainen, of the University of Oulu, said in a news release, AFP reported.

"These data should also encourage clinics to evaluate their embryo transfer* policy and adopt elective single embryo transfer* as their everyday practice for women younger than 40," Martikainen said.

[* At least the doctor got it right. And, Dr. Finnish Researcher, not ALL women under 40 are good candidates for single embryo implant/transplant/transfer, so shut yer piehole about policy. Ahem.]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blanket

Irresponsible Breeder Alert: new picture posted on Facebook by my stepsister, of her fiance/boyfriend/fuck-buddy/whatever holding her toddler son....whilst dangling the kid's legs over the edge of the bucket of a construction lift. Which is elevated off the ground. Good luck in life, kid. It's at risk, and your gene pool is for wading.

Who here can say that their relatives are worse parents than Michael Jackson? Who's bad? Shamone. (Dammit, don't I wish I had some propofol and an insomniac anesthesiologist on hand to get me through the nights...)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Rule of Fight Club

We've only confided in a few friends and close family that we are undergoing infertility treatment. For one thing, I don't enjoy explaining again and again what IVF is, what it is not, why we don't "just adopt," and so on. Even with the small number of people we have told, these conversations have become commonfare. Boo, hiss. As a result, my husband and I are getting increasingly tightlipped about our infertility. I worry especially about the prospect of using an egg donor, and how people playing for the fertile team would react; can they understand that it's not the same as adoption, and that we cannot undergo infinite IVF cycles with my eggs if those little fuckers won't fertilize or develop into normal embryos? Dunno. I have doubts about how people would generally handle it, and if they could muster the delicacy this kind of thing requires.

My point is best illustrated by reading the comments on this NYT article. I warn you, if you read even 1 or 2 comments, your blood will boil; if you dare read more than 2, your head will surely explode into shards and shrapnel. Let me summarize: most fertile people and assholes (not mutually exclusive groups) don't get it. At all. If you ask them, we infertiles are monsters. I have only two words for the asshats who posted comments on that article.....wait for it..... "whatever, dude." (You thought I was going to say "fuck you," right? -- Gah! I said it anyway -- only parenthetically, so it doesn't count....) I could rage on and on about the ignorant self-righteousness of most of the commenters on that article -- how they need to shut the hell up and realize that special needs orphans are everybody's problem, not merely my punishment for being infertile, etc. -- but will instead redirect you here for a great redux and a hearty set of infertile rebuttal comments to boot.

It seems stupid to have to keep this hush-hush, but perhaps it's better that way. What do you think?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Q & A

Well, just Q:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who Shot J.R.?

My husband's company moved its headquarters several years ago and keeps quasi-threatening to relocate him (and therefore me) to the out-of-state office. They know I work from home, so it's hard to throw up barriers to our mobility. But my RE clinic is here. And my husband's family. And most of our friends. But also a shit local and state economy and a lot of recent, bad memories from an unfortunate journey we never imagined we would have to take. Our life here has roots; including some rotten ones, I suppose.

They want to potentially relocate us from the metro Detroit area to Dallas. Not much of a trade-up, methinks. If they were asking us to move to Austin or San Francisco or Chicago or New York...or any number of other more funky or cosmopolitan places, I would be delighted. But Dallas? Where my neighbors would be George W. Bush and Kwame Kilpatrick? Yikes.

If we are indeed asked to move, we may widen our geographic search for alternative jobs for my husband in more desirable cities. It would be a fresh start in a lot of ways, and would help us unload our house in favor of a bigger one (the current company would cover relo expenses and buy our house with a significant contribution to achieve fair market value -- a huge bargaining chip if the job search ensues). Michigan is suffering miserably in this recession, so it might be a wise move in the long run, whether to Dallas or elsewhere. But I am just so overcome with inertia while we are still trying to get pregnant -- I need to fight (and win) one battle at a time, and that is the most important.

If you and/or your spouse were offered a job in another city, would you consider? Why or why not? What city would be your top pick? I need answers, people of the internets. Tell me what I think.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round...

Dr. NiceGuy: The second opinion appointment essentially confirmed what the first RE told me; albeit in a kinder, gentler fashion. I am a poor responder. Dr. NiceGuy agreed that additional testing would be uninformative at this point, since my lack of response is likely independent of any potential autoimmunity, and clotting mutations are primarily associated with early miscarriage. He also recommends the antagonist protocol. He is more flexible with stimulation drugs, though (follistim + menopur is more expensive and requires 2 needles, vs. bravelle + menopur which can be mixed into 1 needle). He uses endometrin and crinone too, so no more horrible PIO shots (suppositories are also cheaper).

All things being equal, I would love to switch clinics to enjoy his more open philosophy and approach to patient- (rather than clinic-) centered medicine, but it would come at a hefty price. Literally. Our insurance does not work with his clinic, so we would pay ~$20K total out-of-pocket to cycle there. Ouch. At the first clinic, the RE's communication style is a little rough around the edges, but our insurance covers all but ~$2K in medical costs (add on $5-6K for drugs). For the exact same cycle. That's a pretty stark difference. How much is kindness worth?

The Plan: Take a break until January. In the meantime, schedule another follow-up with the original RE. Have a heart-to-heart with her about her bedside manner and lay out my expectations for communication going forward. Discuss what I learned from the second opinion and plan for January. We want to try one more antagonist cycle using bravelle + menopur, then endometrin or crinone. If it fails, we will be ready to move on to a donor egg cycle. We have nothing to lose, so it's push-come-to-shove time.

If it reaches this point, we can compare the costs and protocols for a donor egg cycle at both clinics and go from there. We would probably start adoption inquiries then, too, to begin preparing for home-study and placement processes if the donor cycle should fail. I am an all-angles-covered kind of girl.

My head is still spinning, so I am grateful (if a little teeth-grinding-ly anxious) for the 2-month break before the next (and last?) cycle. The IVF cycle is dead. Long live the IVF cycle.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"I Have a New Toy Now"

An 11-year-old Bulgarian girl was married to a 19-year-old teenager. But wait, there's more. She went into labor and delivered her baby during the wedding ceremony. JesusHChristFuckingShit.

She met the love of her 11-year-old life when he rescued her from bullies on the playground about 9 months ago. He thought she was 15, so he had sex with her and got her pregnant, 2 weeks after her 11th birthday. They got married to avoid a jail sentence for child rape. Oh, sorry, it's "sex with a minor." Semantics. I would rage on Bulgaria for such an arcane legal system, but many states in the US allow for the same backwards bartering. I rage on them all.

"'I'm not going to play with toys anymore -- I have a new toy now,' Kordeza told reporters as she showed off little Violeta."

Read it and weep.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sucki

That was my word verification when I posted a congratulatory comment on yet another BFP today. Just sayin'.