Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

I received not one, but two boxes of meds in the mail today.  The first was from Trie.ssent, the pharmacy that  was covered by my insurance.  The second came from Wal.greens Specialty Pharmacy, for the ones I had to pay cash for. They were very similar to the ones I received previously received in this post, minus the Lu.pron.  I have what I need to get started on my next cycle.

It is such a blessing to know that there is an awesome community of IFers out here in the blog world.  I mentioned previously about how expensive IVF meds are, and how a couple of ladies had volunteered to donate their leftover meds to me.  Well, a couple more ladies have contacted me and have offered to do the same.  It is so amazing that there such amazing and generous people out there.  I didn't even ask anyone for these, they just offered all on their own.  All I can say is that thanks to them, I will be able to save some money on meds this cycle.  Every little bit helps.  Thanks so much ladies, you know who you are.

Tonight's my last night of BCPs.  Yay, I'm so glad to be done.  Next up, first ultrasound appointment on Thursday, and stims start on Friday.  Here we go......

Today, I met up with K and E, and my 2 1/2-year-old, goddaughter L for our monthly Girl's Sushi Lunch Out.  Hopefully this will be the last time I will be able to have (raw) sushi for a very long time.  After lunch, we hung out for a bit and prayed for each other.  K has also been TTC, and just started her 2nd round of IUIs.  We are praying that both K and I will be pregnant this year.  It is such a blessing to not only be around those who care and can relate to TTC, but also be able to pray for each other.

When I got home from lunch today, I received and email from the company recruiter for the job I had applied for.  The company wanted me to send in a list of references' email addresses.  These references will be emailed an online form to send in feedback about me.  Someone will be contacting me in the  next couple of days to schedule an in-person interview.  Yay!  I was starting to lose hope in this position since it had been 2 weeks since my phone interview.  Things are rolling again.  I'm excited about this.  The only downside is the interview probably won't happen until after the long 4th of July weekend, which means I will be thinking about it all weekend long!

Babe, I, and another couple went to the Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers baseball game today.  It was a gorgeous day for a baseball game in the brand spanking new Tar.get Field stadium.  It was my first time to a major league baseball game.  I was able to get the tickets for $29 (face value) each from a friend, a real steal considering it how hot the tickets are.  I've heard ticket go for $75 to $100, or more for tickets to these games.  The best part was of course, the Twins beat the Tigers 11- 4!!  Go Twins!

Thank you, God for all the wonderful, unexpected blessings you have provided today!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Preparing The Fields

I just watched the movie "Facing the Giants" the other night.  Have you seen it?  It is a heartwarming, inspirational movie about a high school coach who is facing different challenges in his life including his job, his football team, finances and family, including infertility.  All hope is almost lost in his battle against fear and failure until a challenge is thrown at him, daring him to trust God to do the impossible.  Here's a trailer of the movie.

I really like this movie.  There are a lot of good messages and inspiring moments.  Sure, for the savvy movie watcher, the movie plot is fairly predictable.  But that's not the point.  There are many good lessons taught in this movie, including faith, respect, love, and above all, it's not about us, but it's about God.

At first, I noticed the acting wasn't Oscar worthy.  But that is because the movie was produced by a church in Georgia.  That totally surprised me.  When I checked out the movie from our church library, the lady recommended that I watch the special features (I always do anyway!).  None of the actors in the movie are professional actors.  The movie was produced using mostly volunteers, and members of the church.  In fact, most of the main characters of the movies were actually pastors of the church (you can see this in the special features of the DVD), and the rest were church members, and most of the football players are or were players of the high school football team.  That's pretty impressive for a church to produce a movie like that.  Go to their website to find out more about this movie.

One of my favorite quotes of the movie was, "If we win, we praise Him (God).  If we lose, we praise Him".  It really hit me that in our TTC journey, we need to praise God, no matter if we "win" or "lose".  Will I praise him if our IVF outcome is negative, again?  I sure hope so.

My favorite part of the movie was when the main character, Coach Taylor is told that God is using him to do great things.  However, he doubts it and does not see God at work.  He is told this story:

There were 2 farmers who desperately needed rain.  Both farmers prayed for rain, but only one went out to prepare his field for rain.  Which one do you think trusted God to send rain?  The one that prepared for the rain, of course.

Which one are you?

God will send the rain when HE is ready.  You need to prepare your field to receive it.

After TTC for a few long years, I am tired.  I'm sick of all the things we are supposed to do,  or not supposed to do.  Like take prenatal vitamins, avoiding coffee, eating healthy, avoiding alcohol, and the list goes on and on.  All the surgeries, the appointments, the medical bills, the stress of it all.  Sometimes it feels so hopeless, and I just want to give up.  I want to go back to being "normal".

But these things I'm doing, they are all preparing the field for rain.  And in my case, preparing myself for a baby!

God will send the baby when HE is ready.  My job is to prepare myself to receive it.  I have to make sure that I am ready when He is.  I have to be faithful in doing my part.

So, have you prepared your field for rain?  What have you done?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

50 Best Companies for Fertility and Adoption Coverage

First of all, I just want you to know that I am about 2 weeks behind in reading my posts!  So I'm kinda out of the loop.  I'm undecided on if I should catch up on everyone's posts in order, or if I should just read the most recent ones.  Hmmm......

Anyway, I wanted to share this with you.

Conceive magazine published an article with a list of the top 50 adoption- and fertility-friendly companies in the United States.  So if you are looking for to change jobs or companies, and fertility or adoption coverage is important to you, you should definitely check this list out.

Some of these companies have amazing benefits - like unlimited coverage!!  Unbelievable!

Conceive's 50 Adoption- and Fertility-Friendly Companies
Top 10 List
Top 50 List

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Very Expensive World of IVF Meds

So after finding out that I had to pay almost $4K out of pocket for fertility and all other meds for this next IVF cycle, I spent all of yesterday afternoon calling around other online pharmacies that provide cash discounts on fertility drugs. I called the following companies to compare Follis.tim, Meno.pur, Ganire.lix and HCG:
  The Apothecary Shop
  CVS/Caremark Specialty
  Freedom Drug
  (Formerly) IVP Care - now Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy
  (Formerly) Schaft's - now Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy
  Fairview Specialty Pharmacy
  Triessent Pharmacy (covered by my insurance)
  Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy
  Ascend Specialty Pharmacy (I tried calling but no one answered)

After calling each of these pharmacies, and putting them all into a spreadsheet, I noticed the following.
  • Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy has bought over some of the other (smaller?) pharmacies.
  • Prices of drugs have gone up since the last time I checked in January/February, around 5%.
  • Some companies allow a "discounted" price if you pay a $10 annual fee for Meno.pur (Walgreens and The Apothecary Shop does this); or if you register for the free program, but would need to provide your email address (Walgreens and Fairview), you could get a better price for Follis.tim.
  • I was told that some companies are "preferred" distributors for certain drugs, and therefore can get a cheaper of one drug name, but not the other of a similar drug.  For example, Freedom charges a lot for Follis.tim - $427 for a 300IU cartridge, but only $260 for the same unit of Go.nal-F because they are a "preferred" distributor for Go.nal-F, but not of Follis.tim.  These 2 brands are pretty much the same drug, just different brand name.  Some companies will provide cheaper prices for Follis.tim, other for Go.nal-F.
  • Of the companies looked at, Freedom Drug was the most expensive
  • The Apothecary Shop was the cheapest.
  • Comparing everything, Walgreens is pretty comparable to The Apothecary Shop, with prices being only pennies to a couple of dollars difference (with the exception of the HCG, about $12 difference).
After my last post about having to pay out of pocket for almost all of my drugs this next cycle, I had a couple of ladies offer to donate to me their unused Meno.pur vials, since they are now pregnant.  Yay for them!  And yay for me!  It's not much, just a couple of vials, but still, it is very generous of them.  Thank you ladies, you know who you are.  If you don't already know this, there is a wonderful group of supportive women out there!!  I'm hoping that one day, I too will have some leftover meds that I no longer need, because I would be pregnant (praying and keeping my fingers crossed!)

One of the gals also mentioned buying IVF meds from Canadian online companies.  Their drugs are much cheaper.  Have any of you bought your IVF drugs from an Canadian or European online pharmacy?

I looked at, but it takes 12 days to ship, with maybe 3-4 days shorter if I go with expedited shipping.  I'm don't think I can get them in time for stim start day of July 2nd, which is next week.

Just looking at, only Menopur is cheaper in Canada than what I can get here.

It's insane how expensive IVF meds are!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nurse's Consult and Acupuncture Session

Babe and I had our nurse's consult this morning.  It was pretty brief and simple, since this will be our 2nd IVF with this clinic.  We went through our IVF schedule and the list of the meds that I will be on.  We are on a different protocol this time around, using the antagonist protocol.  Last time I was on the long Lu.pron protocol.  This time no "loopy Lu.pron"(yay!), so the cycle will be much shorter.  I will be starting my stims (Meno.pur and Follis.tim) on July 2nd.  Ganire.lix (antagonist) shots will start when the follicles are 14 mm or larger.  If all goes well, egg retrieval will be on the week of July 11th.

I only have one week left of BCPs.  Yay!  For some reason, I have a hard time remembering to take my BCPs.  I find myself running out of bed at night to take my them, remembering only right before I fall asleep!  It's so annoying.  I'm glad I'm almost done with them.  I was able to get a bunch of free samples of meds last time - Follis.tim, Endome.trin, etc.  I asked about them again, but I wasn't so lucky this time.  We got nothing.  I guess they were out of everything.  This time though, I asked to make sure we get enough meds on the prescription sheet the first time around.  There is a copay for each drug on we get from the pharmacy.  The last time, I needed additional Follis.tim and Menopur because I needed to stim a couple days longer.  So we had to pay copay again for the refills.  Hopefully, this time we will have enough without having to do a copay again.  We also made our payment for this cycle.... ouch!  It's a huge investment.  Let's hope this investment pays us back greatly!

I also had my appointment with AcuGirl this morning.  I am enjoying my acupuncture sessions and look forward to it every week.  Every week, AcuGirl asks how I'm feeling, what my stress level is, how I am feeling emotionally, etc.  She always checks my pulse - today my pulse was fine - fine as in thin, not fine as in OK.  Not really sure what that means.  Also my tongue looks good today.  I had been told to avoid dairy as it can cause "congestion" in the body.  Last week she could tell that I had been been a bad patient and have been having dairy by looking at my tongue.  Today, she was quite happy with the way my tongue looks.  She also advised me to eat a handful of goji berries everyday.  I like AcuGirl.  She and I get along well and chit chat quite a bit.  We always talk about food and discuss new places to eat.  We even talked about how Babe and I are starting to have less in common with our friends because everyone has kids but us, and she's having the similar but opposite experience.  All her friends have decided to not have kids, so now her and her husband (they have a young son) have less in common with their friends.

***While I was writing this post, the pharmacy called to verify my prescription order (the nurse faxed it in this morning) and to tell me that I had almost reached the $5,000 max of my coverage for infertility drugs.  After my last IVF cycle, I now only have less than $1,500 left.  I would have to pay the rest in cash.  That means I have to pay around another $4K in cash!!  This sucks!  I knew IVF meds are expensive, but I guess I didn't really know how expensive they are!  I told the pharmacy to hold off on filling out my script until I've had a chance to talk to (warn) Babe tonight.  Plus I am really going to have to bug the heck out of the clinic for some samples!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Welcome June ICLWers!

Welcome ICLWers!  It's time again for ICLW.

For those going what the heck is ICLW, it's stands for International Comment Leaving Week.  It's a week dedicated to honoring and encouraging commenting on fellow bloggers' sites.  It's a great time to find new blogs and make new friends.  Check out the complete list of ICLWers on Mel's official June ICLW page.

For those visiting for the first time, welcome!

A quick intro: I am 36++ years old and have been married to Babe for almost 8 years. We have been TTC our first baby for more than 6 years.  So far, we have yet to see a BFP.  We have gone through multiple IUIs and 2 IVFs, but still no baby.  You can read a summary of our journey here.

In March, during our last IVF cycle, we did not make it to embryo transfer as our 2 embryos arrested before they could make day 5.  It was a very difficult time for me as I didn't expect all our embryos to not survive.  To make matters worse, they could only access my left ovary during egg retrieval because my right ovary was in a "difficult location".  Previously, my diagnosis was "unexplained infertility" but now, my RE thinks that I low quality eggs due to age.  If you are interested in how my last IVF cycle turn out,  you can read my posts from March, starting from around March 10th.

I am currently waiting to start my next IVF cycle in July.  In fact, I have my nurse's consult tomorrow.  This next cycle, we are planning on doing ICSI since we had a low fertilization rate last time.  Unfortunately, my RE anticipates that we will continue to have issue accessing the right ovary.  So it all depends on the left ovary this cycle.  I am currently doing acupuncture and traditional chinese herbs, so I am hoping that will help with the quality of my eggs this time.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you stick around to see how this next cycle plays out.

Happy ICLW!

Feeling Better

I'm feeling better after finding out that I'm going to be an aunt again.  This will be my sixth niece/nephew conceived since we started trying to conceive over 6 years ago.  I guess it doesn't get any easier with each pregnancy announcement (intended or not) when I first hear it, but I do get over it.

I made it through Saturday night dinner fine until the in-laws left.  Didn't do so well after that.  I had myself a little pity party, including crying in bed.  I even skipped church on Sunday.  Being that it was Father's Day and all, and just getting sucky news, I was not up for church.  Plus, my eyes were all puffy from the crying the night before.  Fortunately, we already celebrated FD on Saturday with Babe's dad, so we were able to avoid the festivities.

I'm actually doing better now.  I am happy for my BIL and SIL.  My niece will be almost 4 when her little sister/brother comes along.  She'll make a great big sister.  Even though at my last post about this, I mentioned my BIL and SIL would probably have a boy and beat us to passing on the family name, I'm actually hoping they have a boy.  I think it would be perfect for them to have a little girl and a little boy.  Of course they could have more kids if they wanted, but if not, one of each is perfect, in my opinion.

I really am happy for them.  I can say that now without feeling like a fraud.  I'm over the initial shock.  It's really is hard to hear pregnancy news, but I am always so happy for others when they do have babies!  Now I can look forward to seeing them over the 4th of July weekend when we go see them in Michigan.  I'm sure they are planning to announce they news then, unless my mother-in-law breaks the news to them that she had inadvertently let the cat out of the bag!

In other news, I heard from my recruiter today.  It looks like the hiring manager for the position I had the phone interview for is currently out of the country, so it may be a while before I hear anything about an in-person interview.  The other position that I applied for has just been filled.  I'm trying to be realistic and not get my hopes up too high for this position.  I know it was very hard to get into this company, so I'll just take it easy.  More importantly to focus on getting knocked up this next IVF cycle!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stupid Remark

I posted about my friend who created a group on about his efforts to adopt.  This is what someone posted on his page:

"uhm ya know i got like 4 kids. I could sell ya one.......?? I spose I could take payments even............ Just kiddin! Good luck you guys!! Hope the best for both of you!"

Really?  How stupid and insensitive can people be?

More (Sucky) Baby News

Guess what?  I'm going to be an aunt again.

Yeah.... isn't it great news...... (hope you noticed the tinge of sarcasm!)

I just found out tonight that Babe's younger brother and his wife are having a baby.  Again.  This will be their second baby.  They already have a little 3-year old girl.

Babe's parents were in town today.  We took them out to dinner in honor of Father's Day tomorrow, and a belated Mother's Day celebration since they were on vacation on mother's day.  We were talking about my sister-in-law, and my mother-in-law accidently mentioned "the baby".  I said, "What baby? She's having a baby?"  "Oops, I guess was I wasn't supposed to say anything yet" said my mother-in-law.

Of course it was a shocker to me!  I just hope that shock did not show through too much!  The only thing I could think of to say was "Congrats, you're going to be grandparents again!"

Of course I'm so happy that my BIL & SIL are having a baby again.  They deserve it.  They had a miscarriage before their daughter was born.  And they are such great people.  I can't wait to meet my next niece or nephew, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

But I can't help but feel the jealousy creeping up again.  I thought we would have a baby before they had a second baby.  They got pregnant with their first when we had been trying for a few years.  Now their little girl is already 3.  Now they are pregnant with baby number 2, and we are STILL trying.

The kicker though is their baby is due mid January.  That means they conceived in April, a month or so after our failed IVF attempt in March.  They beat us to it.  Again.  It would mean we could have been pregnant together.  I was hoping that we would be at least pregnant before they conceived their second child.  Maybe the kids could play together.

With our luck, they will probably have a boy, and they'll be the first to carry on the family last name.  I had hoped that maybe we would be able to do that.

With the exception of Babe's youngest brother who is single and 10 years younger, we are the only ones among his siblings that don't have kids.  Chances are, his youngest brother (I mean his girlfriend) will probably have a baby before we do.

Gosh, I hate feeling this way!  Feeling upset about someone else getting pregnant.  I should be happy for them.  I AM happy for them.  But yet as the same time, I am sad and upset.  I feel left behind as everyone else is moving on with their lives.  It's so unfair.  And I have to pretend that I'm happy.  I feel like such a whiner.  I feel like a bad person.

This really sucks.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Baby News on Facebook (Not Mine)

In the last few days I got some baby news.  First of all, a gal from high school who's a year my junior just posted some pictures on her page.  I like looking at her pictures because she lives a pretty jet set life, always traveling around the world on vacation.  I envy her travels (who won't?), but love seeing her pictures.  I just saw her last photos.... "3rd Wedding Anniversary Trip & Babymoon".

Yeah.... babymoon, you know those trips people take before the baby arrives?  I wouldn't know anything about that.

She posted pictures of her and her hubby enjoying themselves laying around on the white sandy beaches of Mexico, snorkeling in the water, sporting a beautiful big baby belly.  Hmph.... hate to admit it, but I'm jealous.  You'd be too, right?

Then just a couple of days ago, my friend, Brian from church sent out an invitation on to join a group he started to let people know that him and his wife are adopting.  That is so exciting.  I had no idea they were adopting, or had fertility issues.  I'm so happy for them.  They are even having a walk to raise funds for the adoption.  I'm praying that things go well for them, and that they get picked as parents soon.  They would make awesome parents!

Friday, June 18, 2010

TWO Phone Consults

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was supposed to have a nurse's consult on Tuesday for our next round of IVF but I cancelled.  I wanted to talk to Dr. Hopeful first about trying to access the eggs in my right ovary.

So yesterday, I was finally able to talk to Dr. Hopeful over the phone.  I again told her about my concern that we can only access my left ovary.  Was there any other way to access the right ovary that was located high and behind the uterus?  It feels like such a waste to not be able to access the eggs on my right ovary, cutting down the number of eggs to 50% for my next cycle.  This is what I found out:
  • She will not try to retrieve eggs from my right ovary by going through the uterus unless it looks like the position of the ovary has changed.  This is unlikely, but it is possible.  She does not want to risk going through my uterus with a needle, jeopardizing the condition of uterus which may impact implantation of the embryos.
  • Many people have successful IVFs even though they only have one ovary.  This of course, is no comfort to me, knowing the crappy quality of my eggs.  Also it's not the same thing having only one ovary, versus having 2 good ovaries and knowing that your eggs from the right ovary is just being wasted!
  • She will not be able to do a laparoscopic surgery to remove the eggs during the IVF retrieval process.  In the past, egg retrieval was done via laparoscopic surgery, but that procedure is no longer used for IVF.  They have found that it is inefficient and have low pregnancy rates.  
  • Dr. Hopeful's clinic is not set up to do laparoscopic surgery.  It totally makes sense.  She is not trained for laparoscopy, and I wouldn't want her perform it on me!
  • Most IVF clinics do not do laparoscopic egg retrieval for IVF anymore.  According to her, there are no clinics in MN that do that anymore.  I would have to go out of state to have it done.  Today I called another IVF clinic here in the Twin Cities asking about laparoscopic egg retrieval.  They don't offer that in their clinic either.  I will try to call another clinic next week to see if they do it.  Just out of curiosity.
  • If I wanted, I can consider doing a laparoscopy surgery to try to move my ovary to better position, making it more accessible for egg retrieval.  But there are no guarantees.  It would mean postponing my IVF cycle for a few months.
  • For our next cycle, we will be doing 100% ICSI.  From my first IVF cycle overseas, I didn't seem to have any issues with fertilization, and therefore, ICSI was not considered.  But we will do it this next time around.
During my conversation with Dr. Hopeful, I mentioned that I had not been able to get a hold of the andrology lab director.  She had suggested I go over my lab results with him.  However, I had left multiple messages for his admin, but she never got back to me.  So I gave up on trying to reach him.  Well she said she would email him (he is based in Utah) asking him to call me.  

Less than an hour after I hung up the phone with Dr. Hopeful, he called!  So I had my second phone consult of the day, with Dr. Lab Director.  I was very surprised that he called me back so quickly.  He's what he told me:
  • Based on my first IVF cycle overseas, he didn't expect the outcome of my last cycle at the clinic.
  • My last cycle here, 8 eggs were retrieved, and 6 were mature.  3 of the 6 were mature but had vacuoles (similar to bubbles) in them, indicating that there were some issues with the egg.  According to him, this is very unusual.
  • According to Dr. Lab Director, in IVF cycles that have bad outcomes (like mine), in the next cycles, if nothing is done differently, 40% - 50% of the time they get a different outcome.  Possibly just a fluke.  The other 50% of the time, they get the same result.  So I guess, it sounds like we have a 50-50 chance of it working the next cycle?
  • So the question is, is the issue the egg or the sperm?  According to Dr. Lab Director, Babe's sperm seems to be fine, based on previous IUIs and IVFs.  Generally sperm tends to be more consistent.  It seems like the issue is with my eggs (no surprise here!).  Unfortunately, there is no good test for eggs.
  • His guess is, my body may have responded differently to the drugs or protocol of my last cycle versus the one overseas.  It's a possibility, but we will never know.
  • Doing ICSI is a good idea for the next cycle since we had such a low fertilization rate (only 2 out of 6). This will increase the odds of our eggs fertilizing. 
Based on the 2 phone consults I had, I have decided to continue with our original plan of doing our next IVF cycle in July.  We now have a nurse's consult next Wednesday, June 23rd.  I am praying that acupuncture and herbs will help improve the quality of my eggs.  I can sure use all the help I can get.

Still Alive

I'm alive!!  Yes, I'm still alive and kicking!  Sorry, I have been MIA, and for such a long time too!  I can't believe my last post was 2 weeks ago!  Apologies are due to my readers!

I have had a busy last couple of weeks.  I had the sincerest intentions of posting about them in detail, but looking back now, I think I will just do a overview of the last couple of weeks.  The more I waited to post, the harder it was to sit down and write.

So here's what you missed in the last couple of weeks.
  • I started acupuncture.  It took a lot of thought, reading, research, counsel and prayer before I decided to actually do it.  I knew what to expect, but yet didn't quite know what to expect.  Does that make sense?  I thought maybe it would be a more dramatic experience, but it was quick, simple and relaxing.  My practitioner, we'll call her AcuGirl, put needles in on the top of my head, between my eyebrows, on my hands between my thumb and index fingers, my lower abdomen (ovaries and uterus), my lower legs and near my big toes.  After the first session (I've had 3 so far), she also used a heating lamp on my lower abdomen area.  I found that to be very relaxing, and could feel a change in my blood flow in my pelvic area.  I could even feel the difference later in the day after my appointment.  I plan on seeing AcuGirl once a week, unless my cycle changes once I start stims.  I also started taking Chinese herbs as well.  I'm hoping this will help with the quality of my eggs.
  • Four of us gals from the Patiently Waiting infertility support group got together for lunch.  It was a fun girls lunch out, and of course we chatted about the frustrations of TTC.  
  • A high school friend from my home country was in town over a weekend.  He was traveling for work and happened to be in town visiting some of his clients.  Babe and I played host over the weekend.  We enjoyed some very delicious (and expensive) French food.  It was so worth it though.  Even Babe, who does not care too much for "fancy" food was super impressed.  I was so happy he enjoyed it.  We also had some delicious Japanese food - sushi, sashimi and other seafood.  I guess you could say that "luckily" I am not pregnant, so I can actually enjoy these food!
  • Remember my last post where I talked about working on my resume and prescreen questions?  Well, I did it.  I applied for not one, but 2 positions at the same company.  After submitting my resume, I got a request for a phone interview.  Of course, since I had not been using my noggin' (brain) in such a long time, I decided to have the phone interview the next week.  I spent all week stressing out and prepping myself for a phone interview.  Well, the interview was a high level prescreen call.  And I mean a very high level call.  I was expecting the recruiter to ask me some classic interview questions, maybe even some behavioral questions.  Nope, nada, zip.  Not one.  He just asked the basic salary, why I left, why I want to work there, etc.  I think I had more questions for him and he did for me.  In the end, I think the call went fairly well.  I should find out at the end of today or early next week if they want me to come in for an in-person interview.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  And just in case, I got my suit dry cleaned.
  • Every year, Babe's family has a family reunion at one of his aunt's house by the lake.  This year was no different.  There were 8 kid running and chasing around their Uncle Babe.  They all ADORE Babe.  It's so funny because all his nieces and nephews wanted to sit next to him at lunch.  He's so great with kids, and like the last few years, it still hurts somewhat to see him playing other's people's kids but not our own.  I can't wait till he can focus all his attention on HIS kids.
  • We were supposed to have a nurse's consult on Tuesday for our next round of IVF.  I cancelled it because I wanted to talk to Dr. Hopeful about trying to access the eggs from my right ovary.  I will post about this later.
It's amazing how a little distraction away from IF related stuff can cause me not to post for 2 weeks!  Also, I'm 2 weeks behind in reading my everyone else's posts.  I hope I am not missing out on too much.  It will take me a while to get back in the swing of things.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Headache, Job and IVF

I have a headache.  I've had it since yesterday.  Not sure if it's the BCPs, or the stress from the whole applying for a job thing.  I'm leaning more towards the job thing.

I worked on my resume all day yesterday.  It shouldn't have taken that long, but it did.  It's difficult to think that hard when you haven't used your brain like that in a while.  It's probably a good thing, in case I forget totally how to use it.  I managed to send my resume in to the recruiter last night.

I spent all day today working on a document with prescreen questions on it.  Yeah, they won't even look at your resume until you have your prescreen questions answered.  Only then will they look at your resume.  Again, it shouldn't have taken such a long time to answer 15 questions.  Questions like what is your long term career goals, why do you want to work for this company, tell me your experience working in....., etc.  But it did.  I wanted to make sure that I think carefully about the answers I put down.  With it being a Word document, it's going to exist forever, and it may come back to bite me in the ass sometime in the future.  But it's done.  I just sent the final copy of my resume and the prescreen questions to the recruiter just now so she can submit it to the company tomorrow.  I'm just relieved that it's done.  Maybe the headache will go away now.

Last night, I tried to have the "What if this IVF doesn't work" discussion with Babe.  I wanted him to start thinking about what our next steps would be.  But it didn't go so well.  He didn't want to talk about or think about it.  His rationale is, he wants to go into this next IVF assuming it's going to work.  He wants to go in feeling positive about it.  If it doesn't work, then he can be disappointed.  He doesn't want to approach it thinking it's not going to work, and being disappointed with the whole thing for the next couple of months even before the procedure.

I can understand how he feels.  Actually I'm glad he feels that way, it totally makes sense.   We could use all the positivity we can get!

Being me, of course I'm trying to lay out our plans for the next few months, especially with a potential job coming up for me.  Also I wanted to start having the conversation about adoption, specifically embryo adoption.  Not that we are making any decisions yet, of course, but I just wanted to put it out there.  Maybe have him start thinking about it.  But he's not ready to give up yet (Yay!).

One thing that still bothers Babe is the fact that the RE could not get to the eggs in my right ovary at the last retrieval.  He wants to know why.  I've explained it to him before, that because of where the right ovary was located, high and behind the uterus, the RE would have had to go through the uterus to retrieve the eggs, and they did not want to do that.  That would disrupt the uterus and would impact embryo implantation.  Babe is not satisfied with the answer.  He thinks there should be a way to access the eggs.  A laparoscopic surgery, maybe?

Does anyone know if there is another way to access eggs other then via the usual IVF procedure?

I'm going to have to call my RE and find out if there is a way that we can access the eggs in the right ovary during retrieval.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Back to Work?

Many of you already know that I am currently not working.  I have not been working since January 2009.  That's about 17 months of being unemployed.  I have been unemployed by choice, I chose to leave my last job because it was way too stressful, and my life had been all about work.  I was working everyday, sometimes 10 to 12 hour days.  It was taking a toll on my life - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

So, I quit my job.  I spent a few months visiting family overseas.  I also did one round of IVF overseas - I didn't get pregnant.  After I got back, I was not ready to go back to work.  I wanted to take some more time off, hoping that being relaxed from not working would maybe help me conceive naturally.  I made a trip to Hawaii.  I visited a friend in Indiana.  Babe decided it was time to try IVF again.  I started blogging.  The whole time I was not working.

During this time, I did not look for a job, but I did interview for a job that was 5 miles from home.   I hated my commute in the past!  So, it was so tempting because it was so close.  The interview was a rush, just a day before I left for my Hawaii trip.  I was not ready to go back to work, but a recruiter had contacted me about this position with a great company.  It was tempting, but it didn't work out.  I'm glad it didn't because  it wasn't a good fit.

In the last few months, I have been contacted by another recruiter, Linda.  I never called her back because I was/am not ready to go back.  Due to a couple of remarkable coincidences (divine appointments?), I found out that a former colleague of mine had worked with Linda and had just started with Company C.  He absolutely loves it there and highly recommended working with Linda.  My friend Ro, also worked with Linda for a position there, though she ended up accepting a position with another company.

All this to say that I am considering going back to work.

Am I 100% ready to go back to work?  Not really.

With another round of IVF coming up in July, of course I am hoping this round works.  What happens if I do get pregnant?  What if I am offered a job?

The other big thing is I absolutely HATE, HATE, HATE interviewing for jobs!!  I can't stand it.  I hate "selling myself".  It stresses me out!  I have not been working for the last 17 months!  I don't remember much technical terms off the top of my head!  I'm going to need a lot of prep!

Did I mention I  hate interviewing for jobs?

I know that I am was/will be good at my job (I am in IT, information technology), I have been told by my past colleagues and people I worked with, so I am confident in that sense.  But to actually interview for a job, ugh... that scares the bejeezus out of me!

How do I interview for a job after not working for 17 months?

I had questioned myself, is this a good time to start looking for a job?  Here's some for and against arguments:

  • There is a chance that Babe may get laid off in the next few months.  It may take him some time to find another job.
  • If this next round of IVF does not work, we may have to start looking into adoption.  Having a job will help us save money for adoption.  Plus, it is likely that there will be some form of adoption assistance offered by the company.
  • A new company may include new infertility coverage, but would I really want to consider further treatments?
  • The market is starting to look better in my field.  It is not often that recruiters will call you up for jobs.  There are one or two jobs that may be "perfect" for me (not sure if I am perfect for them though).  The company is looking to fill the positions NOW.
  • This company that I am looking into applying at is a large multi-national corporation with great benefits and potential career advancements.  They even have bonuses!
  • I am grateful that I am able to take some time off from working (most people can't), but I also feel that if I am not going to get pregnant soon, I should go back to work.

  • Will this job search/interview stress me out?  I foresee the interviews (if any) will happen within the next couple of weeks.  How will this impact my IVF cycle?
  • IF I get hired and IVF works, what then?  Do I continue to work with such a precious cargo (pregnancy)?  I know lots of people work while pregnant, but I worked so hard for this pregnancy!  Starting a new job and being newly pregnant is not a good combo.  Or would I choose to stay home?
  • This job could possibly include a lot of travel.  IF I am pregnant, would I want to do that?

I talked with Linda again today.  I will be working on my resume, I hope to submit it to her by tomorrow or Friday.

If God is opening doors for me for a job, I shouldn't be ignoring them.  I don't want to close a door that God is opening for me.  If getting a job with this company is not in His plan, then it would not work out anyway.

I am going to trust that God is faithful and I will walk in the path that he lays out for me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

16 Things You Shouldn't Say To a CNBC

Here's another post I just have to share.

La Belette Rouge shares about 16 things you shouldn't say to a CNBC (childless not by choice).

STFU Fertiles

Ok this is a lazy post.  I'm posting about a fairly new blog that just started last month.
Go check out STFU Fertiles, its a blog to vent about the dumb and/or hurtful things that fertiles say.  Some are funny, others just make you go "No, she didn't!!"  I'm sure you an relate to at least some of it.

If you are a fertile, hopefully you may find this enlightening!

p/s It took me a while to figure out what STFU stands for.  Silly me!