Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our 7 year TTC Timeline (still long... it's been 7 years, gimme a break!):

12/01: Start prenatal vitamins.

1/02: Appt. with OB/GYN for a preconception check up--offhandedly mentions my ovaries could be "slightly polycystic."

1/18/02: 34th b-day--off BCP after 14 years.

1/18/02-9/02: PCOS symptoms previously suppressed by BCP, flare up. Cycles run too long. IF I ovulate, it's around day 21 or 22. Exhausted + see lots of doctors.

5/02: Receive acupuncture treatment + take Chinese herbs to help w/ anovulation--set up to fail b/c DH's sperm still goes untested* (and was never going to hit any egg I may have gloriously dropped).

9/02-12/02: Withstand 3 irresponsibly prescribed* rounds of the worst (IMO) of the infertility drugs: Clomid. Concurrently take endocrinologist prescribed Glucophage/Metformin (usually given for insulin resistant type 2 diabetics, but also for PCOS)--set up to fail b/c DH's sperm still goes untested* (and was never going to hit any egg I may have gloriously dropped).

1/18/02-12/02: Realize doctors are not Gods and too many are idiots.

1/03-8/03: Life remains busy as we process how we want to proceed given my Mother's history--dying of ovarian cancer at 50. We're reticent (scared) to "officially" pursue infertility treatments for fear of how the drugs will impact my already predisposed genes.

8/03: Fear be damned, enter the full-fledged world of the INFERTILE couple. Or, if you prefer, "fertility challenged." After spending way too much money + time + effort from peeing on digital ovulation sticks to the always negative HPTs, we finally admitted our junk didn't work.

8/03: RE #1: FINALLY had Dan do a SA.* Verdict: Crappy strict morphology (shape). Either [waste your time + money] and get a urologist to do varicocele repair and/or go straight to IVF/ICSI and do not pass go and do not collect $2oo but flush $200 x gazillion down the toilet.

9/03: 3 day FSH: 6: good. Get HSG. Fortunately tubes all clear so it wasn't excruciating. See a "phantom" pedunculated something which appeared to be attached to wall of uterus.

10/03: OB/GYN dildo wands me during the proper time in my cycle to detect what the "phantom" is. Inconclusive. Determine RE will need to do more invasive procedure.

12/03: DH and I decide we do not want to subject my body to the rigors of IVF's infertility drugs. Dan has surgery for varicocele repair.

3/04: Dan's surgery improves his sperm negligibly. Justify the wasted procedure hoping it will stave off any potential future pain he may have experienced.

10/03-6/04: Gear up to embark on "more invasive" procedure. Worry outcome will involve myomectomy (fibroid removal). Juggle health insurance issues should procedure be necessary.

6/04-1/05: MIL is diagnosed and succumbs to arduous battle with renal (kidney) cancer.

1/05: Historic rainfall in Los Angeles renders our rental house and adjacent lot with a yellow tag: landslide.

1/05-10/05: Grieving and working. and working. and working. We spend 6 months living apart, seeing each other only on weekends due to our different jobs. My gig ends in 9/05. I join Dan in SD + live full time into our SD mobile home.

10/05: Only working very sporadically while in SD, think about pursuing IF treatments again.

3/06: RE#2: another SA for Dan. Back to original outcome. Varico-what?? Hysterosaliney dildo wand procedure: polyp! Yahoo. Get on the list to have removed. Piggybacked scheduling on equipment already in office for another patient's insurance-covered procedure--cash out of pocket.

7/06: Polyp removed without incident.

7/06-11/06: Succumb to depression that started growing back when MIL was diagnosed in June '06. Take Zoloft.

8/06-12/06: We both have acupuncture + take plethora of Chinese herbs.

12/06: Another SA. Slightly improved results. But not good enough to justify IUI. Verdict: IVF/ICSI. We can run, but the verdict won't hide.

12/18/06: Decide to "make peace" with leading a "child-free" life. Continued down the path we'd already been traversing: real estate. Open escrow on our new "baby" for the next year. Start taking Zoloft again, per Dan's request, to help with what lay ahead.

1/07-9/07: Whew. Pulled the renovation out of our asses. On our death beds will be in the top 3 among our most challenging undertakings respectively. Our biggest argument was over exterior paint colors. We were in the trenches together and it only bonded us more. Daily gratitude for Zoloft the entire time.

9/07-10/08: Happily living the child-free life.** Confluence of events leads us to try ART while living abroad in Taipei, Taiwan.

11/08: Re#3: Day 3 FSH: 8: still fine. Dan's SA: still shitty. Final verdict: IVF/ICSI. Fine, fine, okay we get it...

11/08: IVF/ISCI... finally. Long protocol. Develop OHSS + walking pneumonia.

12/22/08: 23 eggs retrieved, 17 fertilized via ICSI, 13 on ice, 4 move on to blast stage. One bails.

12/27/08: 3 blasts make it + get transferred. Worried my violent coughing will spit them out.

1/3+5/09: BFN. Probably not due to the coughing. Ate lots of soft cheese, sushi, drank coffee, got new boots Made in Taiwan, stood in front of the microwave while cooking a Hungry Man TV dinner... missed my Zoloft.

1/6/09: CD 1. Lasted 5 days + was fairly uneventful. Cramping more severe than normal, but didn't touch Lupron cramping during previous cycle.

1/22/09: scale says: lost over 10 of the 15-20 pounds gained while being IVF*cked.

1/31/09: Appt. to prep for IVF#2--thought FET would be around mid-Feb.

3/1/09: FET at 10:15 am. All 13 embies thawed. 3, day 6 (slow growers) blasts all starting to hatch. B+, B, B.

3/9/09: Beta #1, drumroll please...

*In case you haven't figured out what I'd write here:

Ladies... have your man do a fucking semen analysis BEFORE you subject your body to procedures that not only end up being a waste of time + money but may add unnecessary HARM to you down the road. (Let's admit it, we still do not know what the long term effects are going to be from taking infertility drugs.)

**Must admit... As a still-flowing gal, who always wanted to be a mommy, who uses no contraception + still times sex around suspected ovulation, every month of every year over the last 7 years when AF arrived, in spite of being armed with all the hard-earned knowledge we'd gained, there was a big part of me that was deeply saddened and mystified that a miracle hadn't occurred at least just once.

Ever the stubborn optimist.

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