The IVF Ball, It’s A-Rolling

I shall concoct you...a baby! [image credit]
I shall concoct you…a baby!
[image credit]

Last week we had our official IVF consult with our new doctor’s office. It was awesome. As you know, I loved our old doctor, so the decision to switch was not easy. But we left last week’s appointment feeling, without a doubt, like we made the right choice. This place is just on a whole different level. Basically, they have their shit together.

Our new doctor is not warm and fuzzy and dressed to the nines like our old doctor. Nope. She’s abrupt, straight shooting and very serious, but I still think she’s the bees-knees. At the appointment, we expressed concern about our records transfer request and she asked us the name of the person we talked to in the office. Then she said she would go speak with that person herself to make sure everything was as it should be. You guys, she offered to do something outside the scope of her job. And then she did it. Right away. Half an hour after returning from the appointment, I got a message saying that the issue was resolved. I know this sounds like no big thing, but in my experience a willingness to go above and beyond is rare. In fact, the whole place is like that—from the nurses to the insurance coordinator to the people who answer the phones. Their unspoken motto seems to be, Why do this yourself when we can do it for you? This is such a change from where we were. It’s not like the people at the old place were a-holes. They just seemed to lack…focus.

Although we are taking this cycle “off,” there still is a bunch of stuff that needs to happen. We need to transfer records and work out insurance pre-authorization. We needed to have a day three ultrasound and blood work, so our new doctor could get a sense of what was going on with my bod.

Today, I had two diagnostic procedures—a mock transfer and a hysteroscopy. The mock transfer is where they go up in your business with a catheter and, like, pretend they are transferring embryos. This gives them the lay of the land when the time comes to transfer real embryos. The hysteroscopy is again where they go up in your business, but this time with a tiny camera. They are checking for polyps, scarring and other wackness. Both of the procedures went off without a hitch and everything looked normal. By far, the hardest part of the afternoon was having a full bladder during the procedures. At one point the doctor was talking to me, and then he stopped and said, “Are you ok? You look tired.” And I was like, “Nope, I just really have to pee.”

Next week, we have an appointment with a nurse, who will school us on the medications I’ll be taking. It’s a two-hour appointment, so I’m fully expecting my brain to explode.

So, yeah. Not really a month off at all. Woops. It’s cool, though. I’m glad we’re getting everything done now so there are no surprises at game time. I’m also excited. And hopeful. It feels good to be hopeful. What we were doing up until this point, IUI, had a 10% chance of working per cycle. IVF has a 50% chance. Sure, sure, IVF is a lot more intense and you pretty much have to get all mad-scientist on yourself to do it. But still: I do like them odds.

Two Years Down, A Lifetime To Go

Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my mom’s death. She is buried in a beautiful cemetery in Vermont. Surrounded by trees, her plot sits on a hill overlooking the river. I can’t imagine a more peaceful spot to rest.

We visited the grave at the end of our trip last week. We had just spent the week in the condo that my mom and dad had bought over 25 years ago. That place, more than anywhere else, is home for me. And all those memories, over all those years, include my mom. She is everywhere up there—in the secret corners of the closets, in the small wooden angel on the night stand, in the brook across the parking lot, in the black-eyed Susans that dot the hills, in the view from the top of the mountain, in the sound of the crickets and the strange birds that call to each other in the dark.

After feeling her around me for an entire week, visiting her grave felt like saying goodbye all over again. As we stood by the stone, Lettie said, “I wanna go grandma Peggy’s house, I wanna go Grandma Peggy’s house!” in the escalating way that only a two year old can pull off.

I then asked her if she wanted to tell Grandma Peggy she loved her. So she yelled, “I love you Grandma Peggy!” and looked around as if she was hoping that Grandma would somehow walk out of the trees and show herself.

She didn’t, of course. But maybe, just maybe, the sun shifted a little bit and the leaves lifted off their branches as if to say, Here, I am. Right here.

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The Reset Button

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Last week, our family traveled to Vermont. For me, it might have been one of the most-needed vacations ever. The weeks leading up to our trip were filled with fertility treatments, dental visits (seriously, people, they never end) and just a general sense of family unease. Tim and I were fighting. I felt distant from Lettie. We needed a place to start fresh. Vermont, as always, delivered.

The air is crisper there, even in the summer. There’s nothing to see but green and green and more green. Our dog Beaker ran around off-leash like a wild runt.

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Lettie played in the grass, dipped her toes in mountain ponds, checked out salamanders and frogs, and explored like a champ.

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At times, it felt like there was no one else in the state but the three of us. And I liked it that way.

We hiked.

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And hiked.

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And then hiked some more.

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We went out to breakfast.

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And dinner.

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And walked through quaint towns.

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It was a perfect week. In such a serene setting, it was easy to give myself permission to put my worries aside. To not think about the future. To appreciate my family just as it is now. It’s easy to get caught up in fertility treatments and the possibility of future babies. Scary easy. I am thankful that we got this time to breathe and regroup.

This morning, we found out that our fourth and final IUI did not work. Now we take a month off. After that, it’s time to pull out the big guns and head on over to IVF Town.

I’m scared—not really of the needles or the meds or the bajillion monitoring appointments. I’m mostly scared because IVF is the final frontier. After that, there’s pretty much nowhere else to go in terms of fertility treatments. It’s the last stop.

I’m also grateful. Grateful to science and doctors and insurance for even giving us the chance to walk down this road. For whatever reason, it appears that IVF is meant to be part of my life’s journey, and I want to accept that with grace and compassion.

I feel blessed that, before things get really crazy, we had this week to reconnect as a family. I’m telling you, Vermont is like a salve to the soul. If you haven’t been had the chance to bask in its majesty yet, jump in the car and get thee to the Green Mountains!

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