Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Smile

I challenge you to listen to this song and not feel good. Or at least better...
'I Smile' Kirk Franklin

Well, I am still technically "on break" from my IF treatments, but we all know there is never a true break from IF. Here's a quick rundown of some of the tests and the results I've had recently with my new doc:
  • Hysteroscopy was normal, so my uterus is in good shape. I felt like I should've bought it a drink after that one!
  • Insulin Resistance test was normal. Thankfully I don't have to say goodbye to my carbs.
  • My new doc looked at the image of my HSG, the test that checked my tubes for blockage, and pointed out that my left tube is coiled. It's not blocked but that could complicate the passageway to my uterus. Another apparent oversight of RE #1. I am confident she did not review the image, just the report from the doctor that performed the test saying there was no blockage. I believe my new doc's assessment is accurate b/c in my 1st two cycles my mature follicles were in my left ovary only. Those two cycle were BFNs. My last cycle, the one in which I had the chemical pregnancy, I had one mature follicle only in my right ovary. So the embryo made it through my right tube, but possibly embryos never made it down my left.
  • The last thing my new doc looked at was my AMH. This is a test to see if I have an adequate supply of eggs. Well, turns out I don't. This was really no surprise b/c I was a relatively poor responder to the gonadotropin inj's. So I have a new diagnosis from my new doc - diminished ovarian reserve. Awesome, huh? Way back in '98 I had a huge cyst on my right ovary. It was the size of a grapefruit. Don't ask me how or why I had no clue it was there until it was discovered by my GYN. Ironically that exam was my first GYN exam ever. Traumatic much? Anyway, when she removed it unfortunately about 70% of my right ovary went with it. So again, no surprise I'm coming up short on eggs..
So all of this means we need to do IVF to have the best chance at conception. I was really hoping it wouldn't come down to this but it has. My AMH is 0.72 and once it gets as low as 0.3 my egg supply will be all but gone. And we all know what that means. So not only do we have to do IVF but we have to move fast while I still have something to work with. The older we get, the more time that passes, the less eggs women have. We are born with all we'll ever have. IVF also makes sense now b/c it's very possible my left tube is degenerate, as is my right ovary. It's almost laughable, really. Ha. Ok, enough humor, I don't want to hurt myself.

So this week and next week my husband and I are scrambling to prepare financially for our first IVF cycle, which will happen hopefully in Aug. It's going to cost us roughly $15,000 for everything. We don't have any insurance coverage. It makes me physically nauseous to think of all the other things we could have spent 15 G's on. Oh, and my doc gave us about a 30% chance of success b/c of my low egg count. Fewer eggs means less chance of getting a good egg and hence a good embryo to implant. I'm sure you see my turmoil. But, beggars can't be choosers and I am certainly a beggar at this point. Only God knows...

Speaking of which, I've been listening to a lot of gospel music lately. I have Sirius radio in my car and I've had it on the gospel station just about every am on my drive to work. So the other day I have to stop at the gas station. It's pretty nice out in the mornings so I had my windows down, "God Blocked It" by Kurt Carr blasting. I pull into the station next to a car with an older black lady getting out of it. She hears my Gospel Mobile coming, freezes in her tracks, waits for me to turn off my car and get out, then hollers over to me as I'm closing my door and heading to the pump, Amen baby! as she raises both of her hands in the air, a big smile on her face.

"And I've got life to live
And there are blessings
He wants to give

God blocked it
He wouldn't let me fall
He wouldn't let it be so
It was the Lord
Nobody but Jesus"

Amen indeed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Watch This

I am an Oprah fan. I loved her show, her magazine is my favorite magazine. I drop everything to read it as soon as it shows up in my mailbox. I've read her books from her bookclub, I've participated in her "Best Life" stuff. I love the people she's sculpted - Dr. Oz, Suze Orman. I just LOVE me some Oprah, and I love her because when she speaks she says things that are worth listening to. I believe she gets It.

So naturally I have watched her "Master Class" series on OWN. And I recently, finally, caught the episode of Oprah's own personal Master Class episode. If you aren't familiar it's a series that features celebrities giving these monologues about their life lessons and experiences, like memoirs. There is one lesson in Oprah's episode in particular that I just had to share. I've watched her and listened to her teach this lesson. I've watched over and over and over. And I've cried over and over and over. And with each tear, with each viewing, I feel a little more of me surrender. When you watch it, and I hope you will, you'll see why.

I'll preface the video, since it cuts out some of the story. You might know Oprah was in the movie, "The Color Purple." But you might not know that Oprah was really, really obsessed with "The Color Purple." It's her favorite book of all time. She stalked her local bookstore at the time it was released and bought every copy in the store to give away to people - friends, family, coworkers, even random people on the streets. She loved it so much because she related to the story and the characters, and it enriched her life by bringing about an acceptance, an understanding, and ultimately a healing from her tumultuous past.

Oprah reaches out to everybody in Hollywood that will listen when she learns of the movie production. She desperately wants to be cast in the movie. After all, she is the book's biggest fan. No one lived and breathed and loved that story more than she did. She could practically recite the entire book word for word she'd read it so many times. So this video starts with her describing what happens after the audition.

As you watch the video, replace "The Color Purple" with infertility. And it's my story. It's your story. But more importantly it's our lesson to learn. - watch the first 7 minutes