Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Make a Decision Already!

Well it's 9 am and I have already done my crossfit workout for the day! Woo Hoo! Something about working out in the mornings makes me feel like I accomplished something for the day!

I'm so excited about today ... I'm going to have lunch with four of the best ladies in the world! It's first grade teacher lunch day! We are going to eat and catch up on everything. It's really great to still get together with them because two of them won't be returning to school next year. :(

My body is so frustrating! I wish it would make a decision. Either it's going to be so screwed up to where I don't have periods at all, or it's going to be regular. Make up your mind! Pretty sure I'm about to start again. It hasn't even been a full month since my last cycle. But my face is breaking out ... I feel like a teenager again and I hate it! I guess it's a good thing that my body is trying to get back on track. It's about damn time ... it's been 5 years since I have been regular and that was on the pill so I guess technically it's been even longer since I have been regular by myself. I don't know why it's deciding to start now ... all the working out maybe? Who knows. I would love to think that I could get pregnant on my own now, but I know better than to get my hopes up. I have too many other issues.

I finally decided to decorate my room in owls. Ryle took me to the Peach Festival last weekend and I bought this adorable owl to hang outside my classroom! Isn't it the cutest thing in the world?! It's not a very good picture (I took it while we were driving down the road), but I think she is so stinking cute! I have also ordered a ton of "junk" (aka bulletin board stuff and classroom decorations)! I am determined not to go to school until the first of August when we get back from our vacation.

Hope everyone is having a great summer so far! Enjoy every minute of it!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Card #2 = GONE

I guess you could say that I'm super motivated and I'm so excited! I just scheduled the final payment on credit card number two! As of Friday, it will be paid off! I can't wait! Now we have one more to pay off before Ryle will let me apply for the IVF loan. Card number three should take about three months to pay off. I'm aiming for the end of September! I'm ready to apply for the IVF loan now, but Ryle wants to get rid of one more monthly payment first. The only good thing about the loan is that if in the end we don't wind up with a baby, we will get some of the money back. Not a lot of it, but some which is better than none in my opinion.

This past Saturday, was the end of my first month doing Crossfit. And honestly, I just feel better overall. I hardly ever want to just sit and take naps anymore - which is my normal routine for summer time! I would love to tell you that the number on the scale has gone down, but unfortunately, it hasn't. Ryle and my Dad swear that it's because I'm gaining muscle. Never in my life have I worked out or lifted weights .... NEVER (except when we did the half marathon, and still all I did was run). I had no desire to lift weights or workout, and truthfully, I still don't want to. But here's the thing. With PCOS, you gain weight easily (and it's so hard to lose it) which makes it harder for you to get pregnant. So by doing nothing, I'm making it harder on myself to have a baby, which is just plain DUMB! We workout 5 days a week and I still feel like I'm going to die after every single workout. That's how out of shape I am! But some of the workouts are getting easier for me and I actually look forward to working out every day. I just hope that once school starts, I will still be motivated to come home and workout. But August and September just drain me!!

I'm thinking of implementing the Daily 5 in my classroom next year, so right now I'm reading a book about it and following some teacher blogs that are hosting a book study about it. That's really the only "school stuff" that I'm doing. I figured I would wait until August to start getting ready. For some reason, I'm just not that motivated to work on anything this year. I wanted to decorate my room with owls, but I just don't feel like dealing with it right now. I think it would be so cute to put owls on the tree that Megan painted for me a last year. Wouldn't they look adorable on there?! Hopefully by the time August gets here, I will be ready to go, but right now the only thing on my mind is getting the card paid off ...

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Couple's Guide to InVitro Fertilization

Well it's been a little bit since my last post. Not really much to report other than I finally got another period on my own. This is my second one since the failed IUI in February. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but I have been able to go for almost a year without one. With that being said, having two in 4 months feels like a big accomplishment. On the other hand, a period still brings on the "I'm not pregnant blues". The cramps are also bad - I've never had bad cramps, so it makes me think that my endometriosis may be coming back. Ugh - I do not want to have that surgery again! But we will just have to wait and see. I would do just about anything to have a baby ....

Ryle really does spoil me rotten! My favorite thing to do is read and we are running out of places to put all of my books! So he took me to get a Kindle Fire! I'm so excited. It is by far, one of the best things ever! My most recent read, is a book called: The Couple's Guide to In Vitro Fertilization by Liza Charlesworth. I was browsing the Kindle store and came across this book. I thought I might as well read it since we will soon be a couple attempting IVF. I love the Kindle because you can highlight things that you want to come back to, so I'm going to cover only a few of those in this post! There is no way that I can go over everything that I highlighted - most of it was for my benefit anyway, but here it goes:

The book was very informative and I found it quite interesting. I didn't know there were so many different steps or options available to couples. There were some parts of the book where I was like, "I know exactly how that feels!"

There was a whole section dedicated to Keeping Your Emotions In Check. This is where I got a little teary-eyed. She describes an infertile woman's emotions as a 64-count box of Crayola Crayons. I just love this analogy - I guess it's the teacher in me! She says:
" First there are the blues: feelings of sadness, desperations, isolation, and bone-tired weariness from the months of disappointment. Then there are the greens: unbridled jealousy of sisters and cousins and colleagues with kids - even complete strangers that parade their perfect babies down the street in fancy carriages just to spite us (or so it seems.) Then, there are the reds: pure fire-stoked rage at your insurance carrier for not covering treatments, at your friends for not understanding the depths of your despair, at your body for not delivering on its promise. Finally, there are the yellows: those occasional bursts of hope that nurture our spirits and keep us optimistic. Those sunny jolts that remind us that, with treatment, our dreams of babies are real possibilities."
I can honestly say, that's exactly how it is. I'm sad, jealous, angry (especially at my body for not doing the one thing that a woman's body is supposed to do!), and yes, I do have some hope. Do I feel hopeful every day, no - not at all! But there are moments when a ray of hope shines through. I even had one tonight. While finishing reading, I looked at Ryle and said *with tears in my eyes*, "I'm ready to go back. I need to go back". Now, you know from previous posts, we are trying to pay down some debt first. We have one card paid off, and by the end of June, card number two will be gone! I asked if we could go back to the clinic after the third was paid off. He said yes, so to me that is a ray of hope! Is all of our debt going to be paid off before we get the IVF loan, no. But that's ok. Because about 7 grand of debt will be gone. It's the hope that makes the sadness, jealousy, and anger more bearable.

Through out the book, there were little "fertility facts" posted. One of them caught my eye:
" Research shows that the levels of depression faced by infertile people are as high as those dealing with life-threatening illnesses."
I absolutely believe that. Many of you know, I was on a few anti-depressants in the past. I got off before our last IUI attempt in February simply because Ryle asked me to. There is really no way to explain the helplessness and sadness you feel during infertility struggles. Ryle was against me getting on any medication at first. He thought that I should just be able to deal with what I was feeling, after all, he was dealing with the situation just fine, right?! But I just couldn't. After MANY breakdowns - even several at school in front of my class! - he agreed that I should go to the doctor. And the medicine did help. I guess I am more at terms with my situation now, but there are still some times when I feel like I should get back on them.

There was a whole section on insurance coverage, and wouldn't you know it that I live in a state with mandated fertility coverage, but this is what the law says "Requires employers that are not self-insured to cover some infertility treatments, but not IVF". Well I guess I should be happy that my insurance will pay for the occasional blood test. And I do mean occasional! The law makes it so that the coverage is provided to diagnose the problem, but not to treat it. How dumb is that?! I told Ryle we should move to Hawaii - they are mandated to pay for one IVF cycle, or Arkansas - they are mandated to pay up to 15 grand for one IVF cycle, or Illinois - they are mandated to cover up to 4 cycles of IVF. Don't get me wrong, Louisiana is not the only state that does not mandate coverage. But frankly, it just sucks! Another fertility fact:
"A recent study found that if insurance companies chose to cover all infertility benefits - including IVF- the cost to each policy holder would be about $20 a year."
Twenty dollars a year doesn't seem like that big of a sacrifice to help thousands of couples who can't afford IVF, does it? Not to me anyway - I would gladly pay the extra money a month if I knew that I was saving another couple from the same heartache that we are currently facing. Just my opinion :)

There was so much more in the book that caught my eye, but I would be here forever! I would recommend this book to any couple thinking about pursuing IVF. It was very helpful! It goes on to explain the whole IVF process and what you can expect from each step. It also allowed Ryle and I to discuss how we felt about certain situations. For example, we agreed that if we needed to use doner eggs or sperm, that's ok. We also learned that we don't really agree about selective reduction. This is when the doctor will stop the heartbeat of a young fetus (about 11 weeks). Ryle says yes - he would want to reduce the number of fetuses from 4 down to 2 for the safety of the babies and myself. I'm still undecied. The whole stopping the heartbeat thing gets to me. We will just have to keep talking about it, and I would like to talk to our doctor first.

Anyway, this is an wonderful book - it answered so many questions that I had!  With that being said, I can't wait to get back to the doctor. I'm hoping that we will be able to go back around October. Everyone cross your fingers!