I am so glad the weekend is here. Even better that it is a long one.
Last two weeks were some of the toughest weeks I have experienced. Somehow I don’t quite recall how trying for a baby month after month, starting IVF the first round, and banking embryos for the second round felt. Maybe because I got used to it and felt familiar with the process. Now that we’re moving on to egg donation, I was expecting my uterus to behave like usual so we could just move on with the process. The fact that a therapeutic hysteroscopy is required in order to move forward is making my psychological wellbeing suffer a little. My cycle going a little crazy again also depressed me a little. Let me explain.
Menses started on March 18th after our failed transfer. I bled for days and did not ovulate at all. Breakthrough bleeding started on April 30th (my wedding anniversary no less). I expected it to last for a few days like my usual cycles. No luck. I was bleeding for whole 19 days straight. Last Sunday it was getting heavier and I was even passing blood clots, which scared and worried me because blood clotting is not good for implantation and staying pregnant. Blood clots are also something new to me. I wrote my OB/GYN about the blood clots, and she still thinks that the IVF drugs threw off my hormonal balance. However, if I continue to be worried, she recommends a visit with her. I just had an uneasy feeling that bleeding for so many days with an increased flow and blood clots is not normal. I emailed my own nurse at my fertility clinic. She said that if Dr. No Nonsense detects a blood clotting problem, he would prescribe both baby aspirin and Love.nox.
Another thing is, the surgical coordinator told me to contact her on cycle day two so that I could start birth control pills in preparation for the hysteroscopy if we decide to go with my current clinic. Bob and I gave it some serious thoughts and do want to pay out of pocket to get my RE to perform the procedure. However, given my continuous heavy bleeding and my recent wonky cycles, who knows when cycle day two would be? Another thing is, Dr. No Nonsense is going to be overseas for a conference for two weeks in June. He wants to be the one performing the procedure. If we don’t catch him early enough, then we would have to wait until he comes back late June. My email to the surgical coordinator on Sunday inquired about the bleeding situation and the timing of the surgery. We connected on Monday morning. She informed me that Dr. No Nonsense wanted me to start birth control pills right away because I was still bleeding. I would be on the pill until the day of the surgery. However, if my bleeding stops before I can start the pill, then I really will have to wait until cycle day two to start it. That will further delay the procedure. I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind starting the pills on cycle day two. But I respect the process. I was surprised to see that after passing lots of blood clots on Sunday, my bleeding had reduced to spotting on Monday. If I didn’t start birth control pills on that day, then I would really have to wait until my body decides to ovulate or to have breakthrough bleeding. Then it might take us all the way to June or even July before we could begin to schedule for the hysteroscopy.
You see the urgency for me to take advantage of my bleeding situation so I could start the pill?
So that morning at work, I had to rush to have the surgical coordinator order birth control pills for me. Since my insurance does not cover for prescription ordered by my fertility clinic, I could wait for my OB/GYN to write me a prescription. However, if I waited for my GYN, I had a feeling that my bleeding would stop the next day, which means I could not start the pills right away. Instead of waiting for my GYN, I found an online discount coupon for the birth control pills and just paid out of pocket at the pharmacy down the street from work. I swallowed my first birth control pill in my life at 1pm last Monday. My first birth control pill at age 40. That must be some kind of record. I must have had a good hunch about things, because bleeding did stop later that day. Timing is everything, right? However, I was still worried that I started the birth control pills at the wrong time (because the bleeding had stopped shortly after I took the pill) and that would jeopardize the uterine lining and thus the surgery. I wrote the surgical coordinator for reassurance, which she gave me as she told me to just continue the pills until the day of the surgery.
As if this is not complicated enough (or that I have made it complicated enough), Bob and I got into a robust discussion that morning about funding the procedure. We do have the money for it. And since it is a medical expense, I can use my Health Savings Account money. However, my HSA does not currently have enough funds so I would have to fund it with my next paycheck. My next paycheck is on May 31st. I notice that depending on when our work payroll person deposits the HSA checks, sometimes the fund doesn’t show up until 5 or 6 days after pay day. So Bob would like me to schedule the procedure some time after June 6th so that the HSA money is enough to cover for the procedure. That kind of stressed me out because Dr. NN is going overseas on June 5th. If we don’t schedule something before then, then we’d have to wait until later. But Bob was also going a little crazy about having to pay for one other thing. I think psychologically he just felt that our fertility problems have gone out of control. Just one thing after another. Everything has been unexpected, of course. And even when we were so prepared for having to do a egg donation cycle, we still didn’t expect my uterus to have problems. So his frustration is not because of the cost of the procedure per se, but because of his sense of lack of control. He even went as crazy as to say that we should just cancel our Chicago trip and some other things. I found that when he feels the lack of control, he becomes illogical like that. So this whole conversation took place online while I was juggling work, correspondence with the surgical coordinator, and emailing my GYN. Finally, I stopped engaging in that online conversation with him and just stepped away.
And not to mention that I had a huge presentation scheduled on Wednesday so I was trying madly to finish up the final touches. My dad was going to come to town on Tuesday from Hong Kong after not coming back for 2.5 years. Given some sensitive family issues between my husband and my side of the family, it was stressful for me emotionally to deal with everything all at once.
I know that all of this may not sound like a lot to all of you. But it was a lot for me to take. I really didn’t need Bob to go crazy on me about finances. Fortunately, my husband always thinks about our robust discussions afterwards. One of the good things about him is that he comes around very quickly. He became sane again and apologized later on. When the surgical coordinator came back with June 3rd as my surgery date, I told Bob that we might have to use funds other than the ones in my HSA for part of the procedure. He returned my message thanking me for trying to use my HSA and told me that it would be fine to use other funds. I was so glad to get my logical husband back.
Normally I don’t get stressed out by any one of these things. Somehow I had a really difficult time handling all of them at the same time. I told Bob not to fight me on Tuesday and Wednesday because I needed to put my game face on for my presentation. My body could feel my stress though. My shoulder hurt. My wrist hurt. I was emotionally on survival mode.
Then this happened on Wednesday, the afternoon before my huge presentation:
My husband sent these flowers to work for me to wish me luck at my presentation and told me that I would do an awesome job. Aren’t they gorgeous? He saw how stressed out I was in the past few days and wanted to cheer me up.
This has made up for everything. The good news is, the presentation went really well, my dad arrived safely, and both Bob and I have been having a fantastic time with my parents.
Like I said, I am so glad the week is over. Next week will definitely be better.