I feel the need to celebrate this blog and this community which have meant so much to me. What better way to celebrate in blog world than to do a little giveaway, right?
My mother in law was kind enough to donate these absolutely beautiful little angels for me to share with my readers. There is a pink one...
As always, my photography skills don't do them justice. They are just so delicate. I think they would be a nice addition to any memory box, but really you could use them for anything.
If you would like to be entered in the giveaway, just leave the word "angel" with your comment below. I will do two drawings on Sunday evening, that way everyone in all time zones can participate. Happy Give Awaying!
So now down to business. We went to our first IVF seminar last night. It was a two and a half hour talk about the medical and emotional side of IVF. I have to tell you, I was pretty annoyed at the number of fathers in that room who were complaining about having to go to the seminar, or playing on their i-phones the whole time. I mean, in the grand scheme of IVF, the men have it pretty easy. A few specimens, and that's it. There were these few guys who laughed every time the word "sperm" was said, I mean come on, really? Man 30 has made me a real old coot!
There is a lot to think about with IVF, what to do with the embryos that don't get implanted, for one. As well as if we would be open to a few processes called ICSI (sticking a sperm directly into the egg) or assisted hatching (where they break the shell of the egg away if it is not doing it on it's own.) Something about the romance of creating a child really gets lost in the IVF process. That being said, I am still grateful for the process, it gives us a chance at having our own kids, a door that would have been totally closed for us because of my tube situation.
They discussed with us the side effects of the medications, and walked through all the steps that we will take on this journey. Lots of poking. Even more prodding. That's okay though, if I have to be treated like cattle to get to some healthy rainbow baby(s), that is fine by me. I have to admit though, some of the details did make me feel like I was in a twilight zone episode or something. It is very hard to wrap my head around making a baby in a test tube, then putting it in me, or that they can make an embryo from us, then leave it on ice for years until we want to use it. What happens to the embryo? What are they feeling? These were all the things going through my head.
This seminar is done twice a month for couples starting on this process. The clinic we are going through is the largest in our state, and I was blown away by the fact that there were probably forty couples there. That means roughly eighty couples a month come through this clinic to start this process. They said they do 1000 transfers a year. Once you are in it, isn't it amazing how big the ALI community around you seems to be?
I had a few commenters on an earlier post ask me why it was so expensive for the first round of IVF. There are a few reasons, probably not the least of which is where we live. This is a very expensive state. I used to work in occupational health, and when our clinic in Minnesota would charge $20 for something, say a drug test, the same clinic in our state charged $68. I am sure that has something to do with the price.
My understanding too, from what the financial people have told me, is that the first is most expensive because that cost involves lots of one time testing that is done to get you ready ahead of time, the medications, and the extraction of and freezing of eggs. I have been told that should they get more than enough eggs (this is not a given so we will have to wait and see) they can then freeze them, and if we had to go through more than one round because this round didn't work, or we wanted to try for more children in the future, it would be a less expensive process because they would already have the eggs so that cost on medications to increase my number of eggs, and for the extractions would be cut out. I am really, really praying that this works for us.
So this morning the hubs went in for his first portion of the process. Like a soldier heading off to war, he left here today, cup in hand, to do the less than glamorous work of giving a specimen while in the doctor's office. He was great about it though, donning a very brave face. I think if I had to do that, it might feel a little awkward. I have enough trouble handing over urine specimens without feeling sorry for the person who has to take them. Poor hubs, he really wanted to do it here and transport it, but it is SO COLD outside, we didn't know that he would be able to keep the cup at body temp for the half hour drive.
He told me that the experience was a little weird, but not too bad. He said they put him in a room with a couch (covered by a paper sheet haha), some porno mags and a tv. Like a very sterile motel room I would imagine. Now that he has done that deed, I think he is safe for a while.
Today I go in for some day two hormone testing. I think once that is done, and all my records are sent over from my doctor and the hospital that performed the HSG, we just wait for someone to tell us our next steps. I have to admit, even though I don't know where this is going, how, or when, it feels really nice to have some next steps.
PS... thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes, and for those of you who commented on that pic of Peyton. I love it too. Haha she really did look like she was up to something or making some type of plan. I like to think of what she was thinking about when she would put her hand under her chin. She was my very own mini version of "The Thinker."
For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, here is that picture...
What a little beauty you were Peyton. I love you my sweet girl, and miss you in a way that no words typed here could ever really do justice to...