Friday, February 22, 2008

As Boring as Io?

Io recently posted that, to her dismay, she was running out of things to say. That got me laughing, because I feel the same way. When I started posting in January, I was desperate for company and comfort, with a thousand things to say about how unfair life is and how outrageous that Fertile World is. I wrote about grief and friendship and love. And I felt really good about what we IF-chicks were creating here in the blogosphere.

And then I got really busy at work, which, while stressful, did wonders for my self-esteem, and I didn’t have time to post, or even check in on everyone else. And now that’s over, and I’m back, and is it possible that I really have nothing to say? This seems so unlike, well, me. (I’ve been accused of many things, but rarely a loss for words.) I seem to have just dried up.

So I spent some time today thinking about that. Am I really out of things to say? Or, with my final partially-insured IVF cycle looming, am I just desperately trying to avoid thinking about what’s coming? Hmmm… pretty plausible.

So I present to you a list of things I fear are going to happen, with an assessment of how likely they are:

1. Next week, I am going to learn that the billing person at my RE’s office hasn’t put in my insurance preauthorization request for my IVF cycle, which she promised to do yesterday. (Likelihood: I give this even odds. She’s not the sharpest tack in the box.)

2. My period will start early next week, and my insurance won’t be in place yet, and I’ll have to decide whether to wait another month, or beg my RE to let me pay out-of-pocket for my sono and bloodwork so that the insurance has time to process (usually they don’t let you separate one visit from the $10K flat rate for a self-pay IVF cycle). (Likelihood: even odds again. My cycles have been REALLY short lately.)

3. Getting the insurance company to cover my injectibles will be a nightmare, again. They say they cover it, but then I can’t get anyone to authorize it. Last time the nurse at my RE office spent two hours on the phone with the insurance company trying to work it out. (Likelihood: very probable. Grrr…)

4. The two weeks on the pill are going to send me into a downward spiral of deep depression. (Likelihood: probable. Happened to me last time. But might be better this time, because I’ll see it coming.)

5. Whatever I decide about acupuncture, it will be wrong. I have to ask my RE whether she thinks it’s okay if I drop it this time. If she says I should do it, I’ll still be unhappy about it, because I want to stop and I have totally unrealistic reasons for thinking it caused problems last time. If she says yes, and I stop it, maybe my cycle won’t go as well. (Likelihood: This is going to stress me out no matter what.)

6. My ovaries and uterus will have a bad reaction to the stims. Since my surgery, I still get a lot of twinges that seem unusual. Maybe I’m just paying more attention now? (Likelihood: very low. I’ve done pretty well with two cycles already, so doing the stims without the fibroids or the endometriosis has to be even better.)

7. J’s sperm are going to be worse, or even nonexistent. Ooh, this is Numero Uno on my list of things freaking me out. J’s been really amazing—hasn’t had a drink or smoke since Thanksgiving (neither have I, showing my solidarity). But last time we had sex I noticed (LOTS of TMI right here, so move on if squeamish) that the cyst he’s had on his scrotum for years seems to have gotten bigger. After (didn’t want to freak him out during), I asked him about it. “The doctors have already checked it out,” he informed me testily (sorry, couldn’t resist), “it’s not cancer.” He’s right, they did check it out, and they told him that since it was on his sac, not actually attached to a testicle, it was nothing. But I’m telling you that thing has GROWN. Maybe it’s not testicular cancer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not skin cancer, does it? I badgered him into agreeing to go to our PCP and getting a referral to someone about it, but he hasn’t done it yet, and it’ll probably take months for him to get seen by whatever specialist you go to for something like this. This is probably totally unrelated to sperm count, but I’m totally paranoid about it, both with regard to his health and his sperm morphology. I mean, what if we got to the big day and there were no sperm? Did I mention this is our last shot at an insurance-covers-half cycle? (Likelihood: really low. But still an issue I have to force J to deal with soon.)

8. And then there’s the Big One. I get preggers again, and have another miscarriage. Maybe even later in the pregnancy this time. I’ve never done an IVF cycle with a BFN, so I don’t obsess over that (thought it’s certainly a huge possibility). Instead, I’ve been mostly pregnant once, with two weeks of bleeding, a month of bloodwork every other day, an ectopic scare when the numbers weren’t going down, and the bitter hormone crash that comes even with a “chemical pregnancy.” And I’ve been all the way pregnant as well, with a nightmarish night in the emergency room all alone with an ectopic pregnancy, then a month of bloodwork, shots, miscarrying, more fancy sonos, and yet another brutal hormone crash. No doubt about it, my IVF cycles have ended badly. So I have to wonder what horror this one will bring. (Likelihood that this will end in miscarriage: Who the fuck knows? None of my three miscarriages appear to have been caused by my fibroids, so my surgery doesn’t really cause me much relief. I’ve just had really bad luck. So could I have more bad luck? Sure. As far as I know, there’s no quota.)

So, Io, are you sure you don’t have anything to write about? Or, like me, are you just scared to think about what’s out there on the horizon?


shinejil said...

Damn, Babychaser, that's a lot to have on your mind. I don't blame you for not wanting to explore it in writing.

One bright spot in all this (I'm from the Midwest, so I have had optimism mercilessly drilled into me)is that you know about many of the possible pitfalls. You are acting to prevent them, or at least bracing yourself.

The biggie at the end, of course, is something that you just can't prepare yourself for. I am so sorry you've had all that shit in the past. I have to admire you for keeping going after that. I really hope this time is different.

Jen said...

Looks like you've got plenty to say!

I know what you mean, though, about feeling like you don't have anything to say. I get so tired of my own situation and my own complaints sometimes that I don't even want to think about it/them let alone write about them.

I hope things work out for you this time.

Io said...

AH! Now I am imagining all sort of horrible things that could possibly happen!
Actually, that's not true - I was already imagining them. As much as I love reading blogs, they scare me a bit sometimes. Some of them are people whose husbands had the surgery my husband is about to have and it didn't work out. Or women who have had multiple IVFs and I freak out because we can't even afford *one* right now - so am I going to have to save up for a year in between each attempt?
I worry that their failures will become my failures and I'm kidding myself about even attempting to do this.
I do worry about running out of things to say though. I mean, how many times can I be sad to see a baby in somebody else's arms or whine about not having insurance before somebody puts a hit on my blog to shut me up? But sometimes I feel like that's all I have to say.
Maybe it's just me, but I'd want to get a cyst on my balls checked out. I don't have balls, so what do I know, but still, it sounds not so great.
Ok, apparently, I have plenty to say. Shocking, I know.

the Babychaser: said...

I figure the nice thing about blogging is that you can whine as much as you like. Unlike your IRL friends, your readers can just, well, stop. So you get to have unlimited, guilt-free whining.

I also think that the depression and fatigue of IF comes from the fact that we do feel the same sad things over and over again, like when you see a friend with a new baby. It never changes, and having a child is all about change. So everyone else's lives are changing--they're all on this fast-moving rollercoaster of chaos and change. And it looks scary but it also looks like so much fun. But we can't play.

Change is what we're all looking for, but we're stuck in the same loop. So if we keep playing that loop over and over again online, I'm thinking that's totally okay, too.

Ally said...

Whew-that's a heavy post! And, please forgive me for being a self-centered jackass here, but I am so glad to know I am not the only one who places odds on the worst-case-scenario things I dream up.

That being said, I can offer you much support as a fellow worst-case-scenario imaginer. I won't tell you none of it will happen, because we don't know that. I will tell you that I have high hopes for you that all will be well this cycle. You can be assured I am sending you lots of positive energy and vibes.

As far as the nothing to write about problem, I'm with Jen. I get tired of whining about my own stuff, but want someone who can sympathize to hear me and pat me on the back and tell me it will be okay. But I also hate to put some things down in words for fear that my magical thinking will make the worst come true. Yuck. So sometimes I verbally vomit all over my blog and sometimes I'm quiet as can be. It comes and goes.

La La said...

I obsess about pretty much all of the same things. So, I think that's all pretty normal (or, if its not, at leat you are in good company). Just take a deep breath and try to let the pieces fall where they may...most of the things you mentioned are out of your hands anyway. As for the accupuncture - I've seen studies that go both ways (that it helps and that it hurts)...If it is going to stress you out then it likely isn't going to help. I'd say drop it, pleanty of people get preggo without it every day. =) Best of luck to you!! I'll be checking back for updates!

A said...

just stumbled on your blog... wanted to wish you luck in your upcoming IVF cycle, and i hope that none of those things you mentioned come true! i think we are all guilty of harboring those feelings, especially when it comes to insanity-inducing things like IVF. i have my own worries about this cycle but i'm frantically pushing them out. good luck to you!

kate said...

Yeah, I'm as boring as Io, too. Except that she's not boring, and neither are you. You've got a whole shitload on your plate to worry about. But, I think that sometimes, if you list out all your "worst case" outcomes, you can be more realistic. You can dismiss the ones that aren't worth thinking about, and focus on ones that are more possible. I also find that it helps me when I make lists like this for me to also include an item for each worry stating what, if any, control I have over the outcome. If there is something I can do to impact the outcome, then I know about it and can take action. If there is nothing I can do to "fix" something, then I have to let it go at that. Throw it to the wind, or some shit like that. You know.

And dude. You have to make your husband get his ball-cyst checked out. Again. But he sounds like my husband, with the I'll-get-around-to-it-next-year attitude toward his health. Bunch of cuckoos, they are...

the Babychaser: said...

Update: After writing about my fears re: J's balls, I finally told him it was freaking me out and he HAD to do something about it. I candidly admitted that it was my own paranoia (it's not, but why argue the point?), but pointed out that I'm doing most of the heavy lifting in this whole exercise, so could he just do this for me?

He has an appointment with a urologist in a week or so. Earliest we could get, but I feel better.