Saturday, February 26, 2011

Maybe it's because I'm tired of being sad for a while.

I don't want to jinx it, but I have been in an incredible mood the past couple of days.

Maybe it's the break. No pills (besides Metformin), no constant monitoring, my uterus is doing just FINE on its own, thankyouverymuch.

Maybe it's fully recovering from the lap and actually getting to do things besides lying around in a drug-induced stupor.

Maybe it's because my vacation is coming up.

Maybe it's because I have a manicure/pedicure today.

Maybe it's just because, at least until the next setback, I'm tired of letting infertility ruin my life.

All I know is that this morning I made A and myself some pancakes. They were delicious. And while I briefly thought "I can't wait until I have children to make pancakes for on Saturday mornings," I stopped there.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I have a point at the end, I promise

I have a secret. A secret I fear minimizes the pain I feel on this journey, so I don't mention it. Sure you’ve had a failed IUI, two failed cycles of clomid, a painful HSG, a laparoscopy and will have to use all your vacation time to travel 3 hours one way to the RE you’ve been referred to but…at least you don’t have to PAY for it!

That’s right: my insurance coverage is stellar. Top-notch, really, you can’t compete with it. I am incredibly lucky and have no right to complain about the little bit that we do pay.*

There are many reasons I have this incredible insurance:
  1. My job. My company offers great medical benefits. I chose this job primarily for this reason. Before I got hired on here, I worked as a temp in the same position and had horrible insurance. I went to the emergency room once during that time and racked up $6000 worth of bills, of which my insurance company paid $50. Before that, I worked for a small non-profit that didn’t offer benefits, and I paid out-of-pocket for private insurance that denied all OBGYN claims, even my yearly exam, because I have had abnormal pap smears in the past (a “pre-existing condition”). I have been through the ringer with private insurance and “group plans” that actually really blow.
  2. My premiums are through the roof. I pay $343.16 a month for insurance for me and A, which is pretty reasonable for what we get. My company pays $676.70 per month. So if someone bought this policy on their own, they’d pay $1,019.86 a month – and no one but the healthiest of the healthy would ever make it through underwriting and qualify.
  3. My policy is awesome. $500 deductible, after that everything in network is covered at 90%. Including mental health and all medical procedures. $1000 out of pocket max after the deductible.
  4. My state kicks ass. By sheer luck, I was born and chose to stay in the state that is literally the best in the union at covering infertility. I am thankful EVERY DAY that I live here** and that I don’t work for a Catholic school.
Definition of Fertility/Patient Requirements
Infertility means the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse or the inability to sustain a successful pregnancy.
o        Group insurers and HMOs that provide pregnancy related coverage must provide infertility treatment including, but not limited to: diagnosis of infertility; IVF; uterine embryo lavage; embryo transfer; artificial insemination; GIFT; ZIFT; low tubal ovum transfer.
o        Coverage for IVF, GIFT and ZIFT is provided if the patient has been unable to attain or sustain a successful pregnancy through reasonable, less costly, infertility treatments covered by insurance.
o        Each patient is covered for up to 4 egg retrievals. However, if a live birth occurs, two additional egg retrievals will be covered, with a lifetime maximum of six retrievals covered.
o        Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not have to provide coverage.
o        Does not require religious employers to cover infertility treatment.
o        Employers who self-insure are exempt from the requirements of the law.

So if you do the math, you see that hypothetically if I did three IVFs in one calendar year, I'd pay a total of $1,500. I cannot tell you how much relief this provides me. I do NOT take my coverage for granted. I know that without it, we probably could not even scrape together enough for one IVF. 

I am truly grateful.

But, after a bunch rambling, I arrive at my point: Why can’t ALL OF YOU have this coverage? It’s 90% luck on my part that I’m in this boat. What can we do to get your legislators to improve your state’s (and country’s) coverage mandates? Why can’t everyone take the affordability out of the equation? I am irate on your behalf.

The only thing we can do is to speak up. To answer honestly when someone asks us when we’re going to start a family. To bring up infertility in conversations it belongs in. To work hard to find that line between respecting our own privacy and speaking up for families we don’t even know. To write our legislators. To explain to the people who make the laws that infertility is a disease, and requires treatment just like breast cancer. IVF should not be a luxury, affordable only to celebrities and those who make enormous sacrifices.

The best tool we can use to change things is our voices.*** 


*This is the same reason that I don't say how old I am, because I am young, and I’m tired of people telling me “but you’re so young!” I understand that gives me an advantage and I’m glad. I don’t take that for granted. But when people say “you’re so young” it sounds more like “You can’t possibly be experiencing the biological yearning for a child that I do at 32” or “what do you know about wanting a baby, you should be bar-hopping” and I find those insinuations extremely offensive. (Wow, tangent much?)

**For a full overview of state-by-state insurance mandates for infertility, check out this page. And now you have all figured out where I live and are probably going to stalk me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tag, you're it! A survey

Okay, I was tagged by Marissa for this lovely survey. Here are the rules:

Rule #1: the tagged person must write their answers on their blog and replace any question they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

Rule #2: tag 4 people to do this quiz; they cannot refuse (ok, so nothing bad will happen if you don’t participate but I would love to see your answers). The tag-ee must state who tagged them.

I’m tagging:
  1. Drevas at The Fertile Hurdle
  2. The lovely (and pregnant!) Still a Guest Room
  3. Jay at The Two Week Wait
  4. Alex at Alex’s Adventures
1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family? They are definitely members of the family. We have been known to change our plans based on getting home sooner so the dogs spend less time in their crates. My dogs make me smile every day and I prefer their company to many (okay, most) people.

2. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be? HA isn’t it obvious? I want to be a mommy.

3. What would you do with a billion dollars?
- Pay off debt (house, car, student loans, credit cards)
- Buy a new car
- Help out my parents
- Buy myself the best RE in the world
- Load up the savings account
- Quit my job and just focus on getting pregnant all day long
- Get a personal trainer
- Hire a cleaning lady
- Donate a bunch to charity (probably ASPCA or something that helps animals)
- Buy some awesome new clothes
I’m going to stop now because this list is making me feel extremely shallow

4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood? My dogs, my husband, pictures of puppies, a good workout, drinks with friends, daydreaming about my upcoming vacation, or lying on the couch reading a book in my PJs (depending on what’s causing the bad mood)

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d be SUPER FERTILE WOMAN, extraordinaire. Because really if that were the case I wouldn’t have PCOS, which would change a lot of the other things I hate about myself (namely acne and man-hair)

6. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your significant other? We met in class while we were both undergrads getting English degrees. A sat behind me and cracked jokes for weeks before I finally turned around and smiled at him. : )

7. What kind of books do you read? Mainly contemporary fiction. I also have a huge soft spot for YA books. They’re great and straightforward in a way you don’t find elsewhere. I actually keep a list of the books I read here on my blog, on the tabs at the top of the page. I’m on #17 for this year.

8. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully with like an 8 year old, a 6 year old, and a 4 year old! Or maybe two 8 year olds and a 5 year old. Wouldn’t that be great? I don’t care where I work or where I live as long as I have a family.

9. What’s your fear? Having a stillborn baby. I can’t imagine anything more horrific.

10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space? Fuck no. I love junk food and I don’t care about outer space.

11. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Hit snooze and go back to sleep.

12. If you could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be? I would make him more patient. But that’s totally a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be? Lulu ; ) (you guys know this isn’t my real name, right?)

14. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose? Six months of sun, I guess. Although I do like my showers.

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be? This is hard. I’m wracking my brain but I really don’t know. Probably soup – there are lots of different types of soup and it’s pretty healthy.

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most? The anonymity and the wonderful community of women I’ve found here. I love your comments and your input on my situation.

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods? SWEET. All the way.

18. What items are in your purse right now? Wallet, lotion, keys, phone, my current book, tampons (which I should take out because I can’t use them), mints, lip balm, a calendar where I keep track of my cycles and symptoms, metformin, ipod, hand sanitizer, sunglasses, checkbook, a few pens, Jesus no wonder this thing is so heavy!

19. If you had to choose between vacationing at the beach or in the mountains where would you go? The beach. Every time. I freaking love the beach.

20. What do you watch on television that you know you shouldn't? I don’t really watch television that much. I watch TV on DVD quite a bit (right now we’re on season four of HIMYM [Neil Patrick Harris I love you to death]) but the only thing I watch new is Glee.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Speaking out: Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman 'Desperately' Wanted Another Child

Good for you. I could kiss you on the mouth for giving voice to this problem. I love seeing stuff like this on the main page of and as "Most Read" on

Sunday, February 20, 2011

random updates

1. I can't seem to get off the vicodin. And if I am off the vicodin, I have to be lying completely flat on my back or else the gas pain in my right shoulder gets to be too much. This doesn't bode well for work tomorrow, as I don't think I can be on the vicodin OR lying flat on my back while I'm there.

2. My rather impressive bruise on my belly is starting to fade. It was about palm-sized and purple/blue/red in all sorts of places. I took a picture of it because I am just that sick. It's going green/yellow around the edges now, and I hope it will be completely gone soon because...

3. We go on vacation two weeks from today! And I don't know how well the tankini would hide that monstrous bruise.

4. I have been an unholy bitch lately and I feel horrible for my hubby.

5. Having a period while on "vaginal rest" (aka can't use tampons) BLOWS.

6. I'm hopeful about this next cycle. Dr. Lovely says since my last cycle was 20 days, I probably ovulated around CD7-10. I bought some OPKs (even though I hate those effing things) and will start using those tomorrow on CD6. I'll keep you posted. I REALLY hope that this past cycle wasn't a fluke.

7. This Saturday I'm getting a pedicure. SWEET.

Edit: you know you want to see it:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Laparoscopy update

You're not going to believe this. I had my laparoscopy and hysteroscopy today. Guess what? I don't have a bicornuate uterus or a septate uterus. My uterus is perfectly shaped. HAH! Fuck you, HSG!

But (even more of a surprise) I had some mild endo that Dr. Lovely lasered off. I didn't expect that since I don't really have endo symptoms, but it's officially worth it to have gone through all this now. And now I feel confident that I have a beautiful pink baby-friendly uterus and that makes me happy.

You know what else makes me happy? That weird cycle (that ended up being only 20 days) I was posting about turned out to be ovulatory all on its own. I started a period last night. I even got a photo of my post-ovulatory ovary to prove that the ovulation happened (it looks like there's a pimple on it). I hope it wasn't a fluke. Maybe I can kick this PCOS's ass after all.

I'll give more updates about the lap later...and sorry this post is a bit weird but I'm all loopy on my lovely Vicodin : )

Monday, February 14, 2011

A buncha randomness

Quick update: my friend, J, did not announce a pregnancy today at lunch. I don’t know if I feel more 1) relieved that I don’t have to deal with it for at least a few weeks or more 2) foolish that I worried so much. Infertility has made me a suspicious, paranoid, crazy person.

My lap is scheduled for Thursday morning. I would say I am nervous about these things, in this order:

3. Finding out it was all for nothing because I don’t have a septate uterus
2. Recovery and gas pains
1. Waking up at 5 am to give myself an enema

I went for pre-testing last week and was given lots of colorful brochures. One, entitled pain management, has the typical smiley face scale useful when rating your pain. 
It explains that during recovery I will be asked to rate my pain every few minutes so they can determine how much of what kind of medicine to send me home with. Meaning, I will say 10 10 10 10 10 because you know I love narcotics and I like to have a nice little nest of leftovers at all times.

When I got there the lady made me stand on a digital scale. I hate scales. My weight flashed and I said “Hey that’s awesome, it’s in kilograms and I have no idea what that means!” She just stared at me blankly and then pressed a button which switched it over to pounds. Bitch.

While I was there they drew blood for a pregnancy test (ha…ha…it’s hilarious, I know). One nurse was prepping me for the blood draw while one was going over a list of medical conditions with me: “I’m going to name a bunch of conditions, stop me if any of them apply to you.” Of course the other nurse couldn’t get the needle in, so while I’m feeling it bump around on either side of the vein repeatedly I’m being barraged with her droning on and on: “rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, lupus, HIV/AIDS, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gout, anxiety, depression, heart disease, liver disease...” Finally when she was done blabbing and the other nurse had gotten my blood I looked at her and said “I didn’t hear anything you just said.” The because there was a needle in my vein while you were talking, dumbass was implied.  

The strange unmedicated symptoms continue. I have blue, veiny boobs. I’ve never had blue, veiny boobs in my life. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was knocked up.

Happy Valentine’s day to everyone. I kind of hate Valentine’s day – it seems like it makes single people as miserable as Mother’s day makes us – and A and I decided not to celebrate today. We’ll pick another day when we’re not so busy and flowers aren’t so expensive and the restaurants aren’t so packed. He is romantic in his own sweet, simple ways. I am extremely lucky to have him, but I know that every day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Tomorrow I have lunch with my friend, J, whom I have written about before. J and I used to be BFF, but then she started TTC and everything fell apart.

I have a horrible feeling that she's going to tell me she's pregnant. This is the first time we've done anything alone in months. They've been trying since last fall. The timing is just too right.

I wish she would tell me over the phone, or in some way where I could fake it and then have some privacy to cry. If she tells me in person I won't be able to hide my resentment and heartache.

Maybe I'm making it all up in my head.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

the drugs: I need them.

Let’s review my cycles for the past year, shall we?

January – April 2009 – no ovulation, no period
April – period induced by Provera
May – period induced by Provera
June, July, August – Metformin fails to regulate my cycles; no ovulation, no period
August – period induced by Provera
September – clomid
October – clomid
November – BCP
December – clomid

So I think it’s fair to say that this is my first unmedicated cycle in a LONG time.

I HATE it.

I have bizarre symptoms at every turn. The past three days my nipples have been sore. So sore that when A tried to touch me I yelped. This is remarkable because the only time I’ve experienced breast tenderness was from Provera. I’ve never felt anything in my nips from clomid, ovidrel, or progesterone, and it’s not a PMS symptom for me either.

Sunday I had weird AF-like cramps. I also succumbed to an irrational yet pure, unadulterated rage. I hated everything and everyone and the only thing that assuaged my anger was clips on of the puppy bowl.

On Monday I was SO HUNGRY all day long. I was like that Big Bertha game that used to be at the skating rinks and such. Remember her? Feed me! Feed me! There’snochocolateinthishouseOMGWHATAMIGOINGTODO? *panting*

It’s wonderful how I don’t get symptoms when I’m in a treatment cycle. I don’t get the clomid crazies like I hear about – the worst I get is some weepy hormonal surges around ovulation time. I don’t notice much side effects from any drugs, really, not once I got over the initial month of the metformin.

And yet, when I take a break from the drugs, my body goes haywire.

Someone please medicate me soon!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Kids Are All Right

Over the weekend I watched The Kids are All Right. All I knew going into the movie was that it was about a couple of lesbian parents (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore).

This is a good time to say that I have a thing for gay/lesbian couples. I really think I must have been gay in a previous life. For instance, I am in love with Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi. I think they are so adorable together and I wish they would be my best friends so I could hang out with them all the time. It’s not just women, either – I love Neil Patrick Harris and was so happy to learn that he’s in a committed relationship and that he and his partner have twins via surrogacy. It makes me happy. I melt when I see these examples of true, loving commitment, especially when I think of all the extra obstacles each person likely overcame to get where they are. It’s part of the reason I love the show Glee so much, because I enjoy thinking about a whole generation of kids who just accept others: gay, straight, whatever.

Anyway, so all I knew going in was that it was a moving about lesbian parenting. What I didn’t know was that it would raise all sorts of issues about sperm donation.

While infertility itself wasn’t the topic, I felt like I was in familiar territory. I’m not sure it sent the best message about using donor sperm, although the writer/director did get pregnant through that method herself. But, it was refreshing to see a non-traditional family portrayed in a very real (to me) way. The movie was honest about raising teenagers and working through a marriage that has gone stale. It was less about Annette and Julianne’s characters being lesbians and more about them struggling in the same way all married couples struggle.

All in all, I really liked the movie. What I took away from it is that families come in all shapes and sizes. It’s not 1 mom + 1 dad = 2 biological children that matters, but providing a loving, stable, compassionate home.

Also, Annette Bening ROCKED it and she totally deserves an Oscar.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yet another example of how infertility has ruined me.

Hysterical 18 year old girl: SHRIEKING! SCREAMING! EEEKK!! WHOO!! Look at my new tattoo!!! I went through with it on my 18th birthday, just like I said I would!!! I’m so sexy and rebellious now!!

Hysterical 18 year old friend: OMG!!!!11!!oneone It’s like so effing like awesome and I am like so jealous!!!!!

H18YO girl: I know!! You should be jealous because I am so freaking cool now!! EEK!!

H18YO friend’s mom: You know that’s going to look pretty awful when you get pregnant.

H18YO girl: EEEK! I’m 18 and I don’t care! All that matters is that I’m sexy!! But I do totally want babies but I’m going to enjoy my AWESOME tattoo for a few years first.

Lulu: Honey. You’re overweight, you have acne. I can see the shadows under your arms even though there’s no stubble there. I see the dark facial hair. I’m no doctor, but you have PCOS. It’s going to take you forever to get pregnant so get as many damn tattoos as you’d like in the meantime.

(okay so I didn’t say it but I totally thought it)

Friday, February 4, 2011

A break.

As you know, we’re with Dr. Lovely until my RE consult in three and a half months, and we only get one more IUI in that time. Thus the scheduling of the lap (two weeks from yesterday) and the forced break, at least until after vacation in March.

I have been trying to decide what “taking a break” really means.

If it all went A’s way, we would take a complete break from all things infertility until we start our next cycle. That means no endless discussions of it, no infertility-related breakdowns, no blogging. But who are we kidding? I know A has a point when he says I’m too absorbed in reading other people’s stories and that maybe making a twitter account to match my blog (@luluslaments – shameless plug!) was a bit much. He wants me to get interested in other things like I used to be.

I know he’s right, but at the same time, your blogs remind me that I’m not alone. That I’m not unique. That I’m not as isolated as I feel. Writing here is the only time I can get it all off my chest to people who really know what I’m talking about.

Plus, I can’t take a total infertility break when I still have to take four stupid metformin pills a day and worry about the idea that someone is going to be giving me an enema in two weeks (yuck!). I can’t take a complete break when I keep wondering what Dr. Lovely will discover in surgery. And I can’t take a complete break when there are still pregnant people in the world, and one of them works with me.

So, in an effort to honor A’s wishes (because he really does have my best interests at heart), here are some plans for our break.
1.      Drink. Of all the consolation prizes to not being pregnant and not being in the 2ww, this is by far my favorite.
2.      Work out. I love my new gym – last week I went to four Zumba classes! High-impact aerobics is something I tend to avoid during the 2ww and will probably avoid during pregnancy. I’ll have to take a week off after my lap, but I can pick right back up.
3.      Live it up on our cruise. Horseback riding. Boat riding. Snorkeling. Drinking. Lots of pregnancy-unfriendly activities involved.
4.      Eat healthy. I can (and should) do this all the time, but I’ve been better about it lately and it really helps with my self-esteem.
5.      Dive into my hobbies. Once we have a family, I won’t get to spend all day Sunday lying on the couch reading a book. I won’t get to take and teach yoga as much as I do. So I need to enjoy it while I can.
6.      Relish sleeping in. I have always loved sleeping in. I don’t sleep too late anymore, but I love the chance to wake up without an alarm a couple times a week. I know this is all shot once we have a baby.
7.      Slow down on the blogs. Maybe I shouldn’t be so obsessed with the blogs. Maybe I need to unsubscribe to a few so I just keep it down to the essentials. This will be hard, but probably good for me.
8.      Continue my facebook boycott. I did have A log me onto facebook twice while we were snowed in during the blizzard. I’ll definitely get on after our vacation to post photos. But I have found I don’t miss facebook and I don’t miss the constant compulsion to check it. I have lots more time to do other things now that I’m not constantly reading everyone’s updates.
9.      De-medicate. I still have my 2000mg of Metformin, and maybe the occasional prenatal vitamin (do you guys still take these when you’re not cycling?), but no clomid, no progesterone, no ovidrel. Not to mention no dildocam appointments for a while. It’ll be nice.
10.   Relax. Because we all know I’ll get pregnant if I just relax, right? : )

What’s your favorite thing to do while you’re on a break?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


A and I are snowed in. The blizzard (being referred to as snOMG in the Chicago area) started this morning and has dumped an insane amount of snow and ice in the area. Work closed at noon, which is only the second time we've had weather-related dismissal in the two and half  years I've worked there (the last time opening was delayed until 10 am).

They have already announced that the earliest we'll open tomorrow is noon, and maybe not even then. I won't be going in. I have a short commute and the way this snow is drifting, I won't even be able to get out of my garage. I wrapped up most of my stuff this morning anyway.

They have been predicting this since Monday morning, so needless to say I rescheduled my lap. I knew I wouldn't be able to get into town by 6 am like they wanted, even if we had gotten half the snow they were predicting. I was supposed to hear today if the new appt is Friday or next Wednesday, but the offices closed before the nurse could reschedule.

So I have been curled up on the couch reading the Hunger Games trilogy all day, hoping that our power stays on!

Much love to you all, and stay warm.