A thing or two about my family

Hi everyone!  It’s been a while since I wrote a post.  Time just flies ever since the Fall began.  I can’t believe that we are approaching Halloween already.  Soon it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas……

My cousin’s wedding was lovely.  It was a perfect courtyard ceremony at a winery followed by a cocktail hour and a reception at the Cellar Room.  It was just the bride, the groom, and the officiant.  No wedding party.  Simple ceremony with a simple message.  The bride looked stunning, very much in love, and was totally radiant.  My poor cousin looked very tired.  It must have been overwhelming to be entertaining over 30 out of town guests for a couple of weeks.  It was so sweet that after the cake cutting, the bride surprised my cousin by singing him “From This Moment On”.  It was priceless to see him all of a sudden realize that his bride was serenading him as he was chatting with others.  He quickly turned around, walked straight to her, held her hand, looked in her eyes, and soaked in the sweetness of that moment.  Priceless.  It was just so nice to see him so in love.  I did wear a dress that allowed me to eat as much filet mignon as possible.  By the way, the filet mignon was one of the best that I have had at a wedding.  Kudos to my cousin for choosing a decent caterer.

I am happy to report that none of my “elderly” relatives (meaning my aunts and uncles) asked about baby, fertility, or anything remotely related to that.  Someone did bombard me with questions and suggestions though.  I am Face.book friends with one of my cousin’s best friends.  She has a four-year-old who is full of energy and did not stop running the entire night.  She came by to say Hi and to inquire about my expertise in speech-language pathology.  Then she proceeded to make all sorts of suggestions about baby making.  She even looked at Bob and told him to “get busy” that night.  HAHA.  Uh… does she not know that you can only get pregnant during a certain time in a cycle??  I just smiled.  What else can you do?

It was also lovely to see my two female cousins on my mom’s side of the family.  They are sisters who live on the opposite sides of the continent.  The last time I saw them was at my own wedding two and a half years ago.  Their mom was my favorite aunt who passed away about nine years ago, at age 52.  It was so fun to watch these two cousins talk.  The younger one lives in L.A. and has a larger than life personality.  You wouldn’t miss her if you were in a room with her.  She is very loud and she talks a lot.  Her older sister is relatively quiet.  It was so funny to watch them talk and catch up with each other.  You’d see the younger one yapping away while the older one just nodded the whole time.  They were the same way when they were nine and twelve.  Some things just don’t change.  🙂

Older female cousin is an acupuncturist on the east coast.  Towards the end of the dinner, she looked across the table at me and mouthed “Are you pregnant yet?”  Now, this question is totally different from the questions that nosy relatives might ask me.  She is somebody with the credentials and the potentials to know what I am talking about.  So when we were on our way out, I approached her and gave her a two-minute version of our struggles.  It was an unexpected bonding time between me and her.  She knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.  There was no need for explanations for any terminology.  I was really just giving her a two-minute version and she understood.  She treats people with fertility problems as well.  Now my very loud younger female cousin was the one who eavesdropped and asked loudly about “follicles” and what that all meant.  Didn’t I just say that some things don’t change?  🙂

The rest of the weekend was exactly how I had envisioned it: bonding time with my hubby and my Bro’s family.  The vacation rental that I found is nestled in a small town in the wine country.  The owners are two men.  I assume them to be gay and I think only gay men could be so thoughtful in preparing for every single detail of their house.  It was equipped with everything that you would need to live in this place comfortably for an extended period of time.  The welcome basket had a personalized note to us with our names.  It was filled with wine, cheese, nuts, crackers, homemade jam, and fruits and vegetables from their own garden.  The rest of the weekend was relaxing, with onsite massages for me, Bob, and SIL, a visit to the winery within walking distance, and hanging out with the whole family in the backyard over pizza, wine, and snacks.

The biggest joke that we made that weekend was about my Bro’s first Girlfriend.  They dated back when they were teenagers.  They broke up when Girlfriend started dating Bro’s best friend at the same time.  Bro would not have anything to do with a cheater.  I was never very fond of this Girlfriend.  She has a strong personality and is very loud.  She married my Bro’s best friend, who happens to be the older brother of one of my best friends.  I always feel fortunate that my SIL became my SIL instead of Girlfriend.  My SIL and I had been friends before she started dating my Bro.  I wouldn’t be close to Bro’s family if Girlfriend had become my SIL.  I usually learn about her news from my Bro who is still friends with her.  She in fact requested to be one of the bridesmaids for my SIL and subsequently volunteered to be my niece and nephew’s godmother when they were born.  My very easygoing SIL just said Yes to both requests.  Anyhow, you can probably tell that I am not very fond of her.  So this Girlfriend and Bro’s best friend got divorced and didn’t have any kids.  She remarried in December 2012 at the age of 42 43.  Needless to say that when Bro broke the news to me that she was pregnant on her first try the month after her wedding, I was totally shocked and jealous.  That was when we were attending all the IVF seminars and deciding on the RE.  I was not happy that she did not have to wait and got lucky right away.  I was the most bugged when she posted on Face.book that “God has not forgotten” her after all.  So does it mean that I am forgotten by God because I have not been able to get pregnant?  Last weekend, Bro saw on FB that Girlfriend was about to have a C-section this week.  We reminisced about the past and my SIL blurted out that we should all thank her for saving us from having Girlfriend in our lives.  Imagine her being my SIL?  I shuddered thinking about that.  Girlfriend is going to give her girl a name that would sound very funny if you say it with a Cantonese accent.  We teased my niece all weekend long and called her that name with a Chinese accent since she could have had that name had Bro married Girlfriend.  I shuddered again.  Thank goodness God has had a better plan, that my SIL is in my family instead of Girlfriend.

Did I ever mention about my mother?  She is a lovely lady who cares deeply about everyone.  My mother is also someone who cannot keep any secrets from her sisters.  She had been living in my house with me six months of the time for about 15 years now.  The other six months of the time she is out of the country visiting with my father who refuses to live in the States.  That could be another post in itself.  My mother knows about the fertility struggles that we have had.  She has been very helpful with supporting us by making brew Chinese herbs.  She encourages me to visit an acupuncturist.  And she firmly believes that we’ll successfully make a baby one day.  But… did I mention that she cannot keep a secret?  She left the country for her annual overseas visit in April.  Bob and I started our fertility treatment in May.  I had been hoping and praying that we would successfully become pregnant before she came home in October.  Unfortunately that’s not happening.  I really don’t want her to go blabbering about our fertility issues with her sisters.  I want to control who knows about our struggles.  One time I told her to not to talk to her sisters about us.  She at first agreed, then protested saying that my aunts are also my family.  Can you see my hesitation in telling her things?  My mother came home this past Wednesday and the first few moments that I saw her, she shared someone’s pregnancy news with me.  I am sorry but I pouted.  I had had a very difficult day on that day and did NOT need her to tell me anyone’s pregnancy news.  She quickly questioned my attitude and told me not to feel that way.  There are certain things that my mom would probably never understand, as she got pregnant very young very easily.  I love her to death but I just do not know how to share our IVF journey with her without fearing that she would go announce it to the public.  But you know what?  I have to be brave and share with her.  We’ll start our next cycle in November and mom is always around.  Bob is the one who mixes the meds.  He does not want to hide in our bedroom for that.  He wants to be honest and do it in the dining room like we usually do.  I need to pray for God’s courage to sit her down and come up with a good way to talk to her so that I get her guarantee that she won’t talk to her sisters about it.  It’s tough enough to live with your mother.  It’s even tougher when you have no intention to let her be in your business.  But those are the cards I am dealt now.  So I just have to do it.  I don’t know when this conversation will take place.  It may not be that big of a deal.  Maybe she’ll be able to keep something to herself for once?  I am hoping.

How about that for an update on my family?

What IS the next step?

Looks like this is the trend that I don’t have much time to blog until the weekend.  How’s everyone doing?  Hi to those who are here for ICLW!  This is where I am at in my TTC journey.  My husband and I have been TTC for 21 months.  That does not quite equate to 21 cycles because of my short cycles due to diminished ovarian reserve.  At one point my cycles were 23 to 24 days depending on when I ovulated.  Sometimes ovulation could be as early as CD9.  Acupuncture has helped me push back ovulation to day 12 and even 13, which makes my cycle a little longer.  Anyhow, Bob and I have done two egg retrievals.  The first one resulted in a day 6 blastocyst that was graded 2BB.  We had it frozen and was waiting for it to be transfer back at our second retrieval.  The second retrieval in September resulted in zero embryos to be transfer.  We also couldn’t transfer back our one frozen embryo because of a fibroid that looked like it was in the uterine cavity.   We have yet to do a transfer.

I am relieved to report that my visit to the RE last Thursday was great.  The fibroids are NOT in the uterine cavity!  So we’re all cleared to move onto the next step.  Now here is the fuzzy part.  What IS the next step?  Well, it all depends on what we choose to do.  

A few possible scenarios:

1) Do a fresh cycle with Dr. E and thaw Clay (our little frozen embaby) no matter what so we have something to transfer

2) Do a frozen embryo transfer only and thaw Clay

3) Begin to go down to Southern California and start trying to bank embryos at L.ife IVF hoping that we will be able to bank at least four to five blastocysts before we start doing frozen embryo transfers

Why so many choices? Well, they all have to do with money.  My husband’s employer currently offers $10,000 lifetime maximum of fertility insurance that surprisingly goes a long way when it comes to cycling with a doctor who is in network.  Compared to the $12,400 price tag as a cash-paying patient, a doctor agrees to be paid at a discounted, contractual rate by the insurance company.  Since we have not done a full cycle and just the two retrievals, we should have at least a couple of thousand dollars left.  Now here comes the problem.  Since we only have a couple of thousands left, the doctor’s office is not going to take the risk of billing the insurance company first.  Since the remaining amount is not enough to do a fresh cycle, we will become cash-paying patients if we want to do a fresh cycle that includes a retrieval and a transfer.  I have been emailing Dr. E’s financial person back and forth.  Now I understand that we will pay the whole $12400 package price up front, in full, at our first monitoring ultrasound.  We will get a super bill from Dr. E’s office with the full amount that we paid and ask the insurance company for a reimbursement of a portion of the cost.  So we will no longer have the fortunate privilege of paying a $35 copayment at every visit.  We will pay 350 times of that.  On top of that, Dr. E recommends going back to the first protocol which was 4 vials of Menopur and Omnitrope.  The reason?  I responded well to it and we have one blastocyst.  The second protocol was a lot cheaper (Femara was covered by insurance) but nothing resulted from it.  Did it really have to do with the protocol?  Or just the egg quality for that particular cycle?  Really, nobody knows.  But we would want to be safe and do the one protocol that seemed to work.  The downside is that it will cost about $5000 in medication.  Are you doing the math for me in your head?  Don’t you think that this is A. LOT. OF. MONEY for ONE CYCLE?

If I had all the money in the world, I would do a fresh cycle with Dr. E because she knows my body.  With DOR, you just need to try your luck every single cycle hoping that you will encounter that one good normal egg.  But, I don’t have all the money in the world.  So what do we do?

We could potentially just do a transfer and see if Clay would stick.  That way, insurance should cover for the whole FET and we don’t have to worry about meds and other things.  If it works, then it’d be great!  But we do want to have two children.  If we could do a fresh cycle now and gamble to get more eggs/embryos, we may have something to freeze with younger eggs/embryos so that we can help Clay get a sibling in the future.  Younger embryos are theoretically better than older embryos.  

Another question is whether or not we could switch from Insurance Company A to Insurance Company B and still get a new batch of $10,000 lifetime maximum.  If so, then we could start our new insurance in January.  If not, then we have to seriously think about how to spend our savings on subsequent IVF cycles.  

Our last resort is to travel 500 miles to L.ife IVF and try doing natural IVF or mini-IVF.  The pros are that it’s a lot cheaper ($9900 for three cycles) and the cost of medication is also a lot cheaper (Dr. Y there is known for using Clomid).  The cons are that we will have to travel there monthly to do egg retrievals and I’ll have to take a few days off each month to do that.  I was thinking that this would be the way to go since I only get one embryo or no embryo each IVF cycle so far.  The cheaper option will mean a higher chance at pregnancy but also a lot more taxing on my persistence and patience in this process.  The lab at L.ife is known to be good at culturing blastocysts.  However, recently I have read that the policy for out of town patients has changed for the worse, i.e. OOT patients do not get their instructions until noon time the next day AFTER a blood draw or a monitoring ultrasound.  L.ife is simply getting too big and a little more chaotic.  It makes me nervous to know that it will be stressful and hectic to get information and to ask questions.  

Bob and I have a lot to pray about.  If we go with Dr. E for more cycles, our IVF fund will be depleted quite quickly.  If we go with Dr. Y at L.ife, we will have more chances at a lower cost without compromising the quality of the embryos/blastocysts.  L.ife is a lot farther away and requires out of town monitoring and traveling.  I love Dr. E and love the care and attention that I get.  It’s such a tough decision.  

My thought so far: We’ll do a fresh cycle with Dr. E in November and thaw Clay no matter what.  We’ll have to pay out of pocket for this visit.  Why November?  Because Dr. E will be gone for four days in October (for Disneyland with her kids, how cute is that?) which will coincide with my egg retrieval.  I am paying HER money for the cycle so I don’t want other people to be doing my egg retrieval.  If we do a cycle in November, I’ll be guaranteed to have Dr. E doing all the procedures and also have the time to figure out the insurance money part.  If we don’t get pregnant after that, then we will most likely sign up for L.ife IVF in January as it is more wallet friendly and makes the most sense.  I will hate to part with Dr. E but financial reality will force us to do so.  

Life is so complicated when money is a requirement to do the simplest thing such as making a baby.  I know I have thought about this a lot and really want to have some control over it.  But really, who is in control?  We have to go back to God and ask God for wisdom, strength, and His timing.  Not an easy task, but I am trying to depend on Him.  And I am grateful that we have a chance and the means to try.  

A thinking break

I have been taking a thinking break.

That is, a break from thinking about all things IVF.

Last week we have had to think too much about what to do every step of the way.  Emotionally and mentally, I am tired.  We asked Dr. E a bunch of questions when we talked about the embryo that was going to be frozen, such as what the next step was.  According to her, we would wait for AF to come, check on the follicles, and go from there.  If the follicles look good, we may proceed to a fresh cycle immediately.  If there aren’t too many, we may take a break for a month.

Honestly, after that phone call on Tuesday, my brain has been shut from IVF.  I went about doing my own things.  Going to work, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, commenting on Facebook, and having a car that broke down.  Yup.  My car broke down.  

A little history of my car.  It’s a 2006 Mazda3 hatchback.  My hubby calls it a “Mouse”.  It has not been the best car to us.  Ever since its warranty expired, this car has been giving me a lot of trouble.  I would have to show up frequently to my very trusted mechanic to chitchat with his wife while he figured out what the problem du jour was.  It stalled and refused to move three weeks ago when we stopped in front of a traffic light.  All the dashboard warning lights came up.  I cranked it three times before it decided to go again.  I brought it over to my mechanic, got a 60,000 mile tune-up, and let him drive it around for four days before he declared that he could not find anything wrong with it.  He didn’t charge for the driving around part but I did pay him close to $400 to get the tune-up.  So I didn’t expect anything to be wrong with it.

Fast forward to last Thursday.  After work, I started the car, pulled it to reverse, and got ready to go.  The car jerked violently two times forward and backward.  I was totally shocked by it and quickly stepped on the brake.  I turned off and on the ignition, and the same thing happened.  It was then that I saw the check engine light and the AT light on.  My first thought was… NOT AGAIN??!??  The next thing I did was to check the owner’s manual.  Apparently, the AT light is for the “autotransaxle” (whatever that means) and you are advised to not drive the car with this particular light on.  Fantastic.  I pulled my car back into the parking spot then went back up to my office to see if any of my coworkers could give me a ride home.  I should say that I feel lucky that the car had a problem at my own work’s garage.  Our garage was under construction for about six weeks and we had to park at a high school’s garage about two blocks away for those six weeks.  It was just this past week that we were allowed back in our own parking garage.  I am grateful that it didn’t happen when we were forced to park at the high school garage or on the street.  I didn’t end up getting a ride from my coworkers since no one was leaving soon.  So I took public transportation for the first time in the 9 1/2 years that I have been working here.

I got the car towed the next day to my mechanic.  He finally called me back on Saturday with bad bad news.  My 7-year-old car has transmission problems that need to be fixed.  My mechanic does not do Mazda transmission.  If we want to get it fixed, we’ll need to be referred to another shop.  It would cost quite a bit of money so it is really up to us whether to fix it or to simply sell it/trade it in.

I hate car trouble (who doesn’t?).  I am super bummed that it decided to have problems after I spent several hundred dollars to make sure that it wouldn’t have any problems.  I hate to have to think about what to do with it.  I hate decisions at this moment as there are so many other decisions to make in life.

Bob is right though.  He thinks that the car broke down with good timing.  Imagine having car trouble a week ago when we were going through so much with our first IVF.  I think I would’ve lost it if everything happened at the same time.  And he is also right that this is something we can fix with money.  We don’t need this car.  We have other cars we can use so we are in no rush to decide what to do with it.  We have other things that we have to worry about that can’t be fixed with money, such as infertility.  This is something that we can control.  Just fix or sell the darn car.

Thank you husband for your wise words.  I think you are more and more like my daddy. 🙂

Because of car trouble (or using my car trouble as an excuse), I haven’t really thought about our next cycle.  I have been procrastinating with the thought of the need to write down questions for Dr. E when we get together with her.  I don’t know when AF will arrive since I have never done IVF and don’t know what happens when your body does not release progesterone on its own.  I have not really been taking my temperature since there is no point.  Although today I did temp and got a nice 98.0.  Everything is unpredictable again.  I thought I would have written down some questions by tonight already.  Guess what?  I have done everything but writing down questions.  Bob and I met up with a good friend of mine who moved out of town a couple of years ago and came back in town for a visit.  She came with her two kids and we had a great time visiting.  Bob ordered me a new MacBook Air for my birthday on the day when we thought we had a failed cycle sort of as a “be nice to ourselves after a failed cycle” not knowing that we would have a frozen blastocyst the next day.  We received it on Friday and I have been playing around with it as well as looking on Etsy for a nice laptop cover.  I cooked a full meal for dinner.  And now I am blogging and not writing down questions for Dr. E.  

It has been a nice six days off of not thinking about any questions.  But I think I have to get back to things…. There is so much to think about.  We have some insurance money left since we didn’t do the transfer.  Do we go with Dr. E or do we go with Dr. Y in Southern California?  We only got one frozen embryo with high stims protocol.  Should we try to save money and buy a package of three cycles for $10,000 with Dr. Y rather than paying a lot more to stay with Dr. E?  I honestly think that the kind of care and personal attention that we get from Dr. E is truly phenomenal.  I truly think that it made a difference in how we made our decisions when we had our medical provider that would give us all the information we needed for every step of the way.  She was the one who talked to us and broke our news to us and answered all of our questions regardless of what time it was.  I know it’d be hard to find someone like that.  

Anyhow, it’s approaching bed time and I am still not ready to write down my questions.  Maybe tomorrow????

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I just want to welcome those who are here for ICLW.  We just finished our first IVF cycle with ups and downs and ups and downs and some more ups and downs.  Finally we got a frozen blastocyst on day six after egg retrieval.  Thanks for visiting!

From high fives to okay

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We keep on losing some fingers for our hand gestures but it’s quite okay! We have three fertilized eggs!  Isn’t it like the okay hand gesture?

My RE’s physician assistant called and left a message to see how I was doing after the retrieval.  When I called her back, she was with a patient and I was about to go see my own client.  I told the receptionist a time that the PA could call me back.  I waited and waited but she didn’t call.  I was so nervous and was actually shaking.  Last night I had a dream that only one embryo fertilized and I remember feeling very sad in the dream.  The news was delivered to me by my least favorite uncle.  I woke up feeling very unsettled.  I think I am okay with one embryo but of course I want more than one.  Good thing I was very busy in the morning and was very distracted by my work.  So fast forward to lunch time.  I finally called my RE’s office again but got their answering service!  ARRGGHH.  I left a message and the PA called me right back.

PA: Hi I just want to check in with you to see how you’re doing after the retrieval.

Me: I am doing well.  No cramps or anything.

PA: That’s great!

(Pause)

PA: Did Dr. E update you on your fertilization?

Me: No… I’ve been waiting all morning and been nervous about it.

PA: Oh so three eggs fertilized which is fantastic!

In that moment, I was very relieved.  I didn’t think that all four eggs would fertilize.  Three is totally fantastic like she said!  Having three fertilized eggs means most likely we would do a day three transfer on Saturday.  PA said she would update me a little later.

Bob was so excited!  He had been very nervous all morning long.  Instead of the handicapped high five that is missing a thumb, he can now do a legitimate okay gesture.  🙂

The PA sent me a confirmation for a scheduled embryo transfer for Saturday at 11am my time.  So this is becoming very official.  I hope and pray that these fertilized eggs are going to stick around until day three!

Can I call them embryos???

Praise the Lord!!

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I started doing the vaginal Endometrin insert to support the lining.  I didn’t really feel it last night since I went to bed right after the insert.  After the application this morning, I kept on feeling there was something leaking down my lady bits.  It was so so gross!  This is done three times a day.  I seriously have to consider buying some pantyliners if I don’t want anything sticky down there…. I know that this is a tiny sacrifice if it means a baby.  I know many people do Crinone or PIO that is even worse.  But it is definitely uncomfortable having something sticky that leaks all the time!  Even though it is gross, I hope that in two weeks I’ll have a legitimate reason to insert these gross things for another ten weeks.  🙂

Update on my 3rd scan

We just had our 3rd scan today on a Sunday after yesterday’s second scan on a Saturday.  We now have five follicles that are between 15 and 18mm. The lining is at 10.4mm which according to Dr. E is “super”.  She’s very careful.  My estradiol and progesterone levels came back great yesterday but she wanted to check on my follies today to make sure that triggering tomorrow night is a good call.  Since this is my first (and hopefully last) IVF, she wanted to make sure that she’s doing the right thing.  Hence monitoring ultrasound two days in a row.  I really love her for that.  She’s very dedicated to what she does.  So the decision is to do the trigger shot on Monday night.  Retrieval will really be bright and early on Wednesday, the day I turn 39.  The instruction from her clinic says:

Post egg retrieval instructions: Diet: Take liquids in small amount and advance to a light meal.  Avoid spicy, fatty, heavy foods today.  You may resume a regular diet whenever you feel up to it.

Ha.  They are asking me to NOT do the thing that I’d usually do on my birthday, which is to eat spicy, fatty, heavy foods.  But it’s okay.  I can wait for those things if it means a baby for us in the future. 

I am grateful that the scans have been going well so far.  I also know the nature of IVF.  I am celebrating the fact that things are going well but am also being cautious since things are highly unpredictable in the world of ART.  I am truly taking it one day at a time.  I just want to stay close to God’s will.  Bob and I pray daily that we are walking side by side with the Lord.  We are very close to the finish line.  I remain hopeful that one day we will become parents. 

First ever injection and my HERO

FSH is 18.  No change.  Estradiol is 30.  According to Dr. E, these are great levels.  We got the green light to do our first injection.  I was kind of nervous to do the mixing.   I didn’t do a good job at the doctor’s office and have been nervous about it since.  We reviewed the Menopur video and went ahead with it.  Someone at the pharmacy was very smart: they placed the bag of alcohol wipes and the gauze pads inside the sharps container.  We couldn’t remove the lid to take out the bag!  The lid was so so tight and the bag was too big to be taken out of the little opening of the sharps container.  Somehow Bob squeezed a few gauze pads out at a time and eventually removed everything.  That was a stupid thing we had to do even before we started mixing.

My husband did all the mixing.  It was great team work.  I removed all the needles and the caps of the vials.  He did all the syringe work.  He mixed all four vials of Menopur and one vial of the human growth hormone without spilling a single drop.  And he did get every single drop from the vials:

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See the empty containers?  YAY!  He’s my HERO!  The first injection wouldn’t have been successful without him.  Although the poor guy had to turn his head away from me when I did the injections. 

As for the injections themselves?  The human growth hormone was fine.  The Menopur actually burned a bit when it went in.  Now it doesn’t burn anymore.  My negative thought process kicks in… What if nothing grows????  I have to shake these thoughts from entering into my mind.  First night is a success!

Stress-free? Who am I kidding?

As much as I want to keep myself stress-free, it seems like I am under a lot of stress and my body is reacting to it.  My left shoulder has been bothering me, especially after driving 30  minutes to work or sitting at my desk working on the computer for about 20 minutes.  The pain sometimes extends to the joint of my left thumb.  Needless to say, I am not a fun person to be around these two days because of the pain.  Called insurance at lunch and confirmed that we have coverage for chiropractic services.  Just pay a copayment for any in network providers and we’re good to go for 30 visits per calendar year.  Got an appointment scheduled with this guy who has wonderful Yelp reviews.  I am hoping to be pain-free by Thursday.

Remember I said that I am not a fun person to be around?  Well, Bob and I got into a huge fight last night.  I thought that we have had a good system down and we really hadn’t gotten into a fight in a long time.  Everything was fine when he got home.  One phone call with his mother changed everything.  I don’t think I have ever talked about my in-laws.  Well, let’s just say that I am far from being the ideal daughter-in-law that they had ever dreamed of.  In fact, they were so upset about our upcoming wedding that his father called Bob the day before the wedding and yelled at him for a long time.  Nobody from his family, including his parents or any other close cousins, attended our wedding.  And his father stopped talking to him for many months after that.  The main reason: I am not Indian and I am older.  Since I wasn’t handpicked and arranged by his parents, it is as if Bob didn’t have a wife.  They would tell people that Bob has decided not to be married when someone asks them about Bob’s life.  After we went to visit them in India last year, things did get a little better. But his mother has this way of torturing him when they talk on the phone or Skype.  He basically gets yelled at for ruining their lives almost EVERY SINGLE TIME they talk.  Last night was no exception.  Bob got off the phone and was in a totally annoyed and unhappy mood.  So instead of being the wise one and walking away from it, I fell into the trap of reacting to his reaction to his mother.  One thing led to another.  And we were yelling at each other.  I don’t know if it’s the stress of IVF, infertility, his family situation, or his job situation.  Must be a combination of all of them.  I just feel so helpless when we fight.  I am also very frustrated that we are allowing his mother’s destructive ways to get to our relationship.  Other than this one stressor, Bob has also been a bit anxious about looking for a new job.  However, we can’t move on from this job until we’re done using the fertility insurance.  The lifetime maximum coverage will be finished in July when our cycle starts.  He’ll then be free to move around and look for another job.  But to him, it feels like that EVERYTHING we do revolves around fertility and IVF.  It feels like it, but it is not true.  However, no matter what I tell him, it doesn’t matter.  It is how he feels.  And he’s sticking with it.  We do enjoy life.  IVF is a big part but it’s not everything that we do.  I do see a pattern of our communication that is recurring and I feel that we can use some help in that area.  So during my insurance coverage phone call, I also found out that we are covered for counseling for unlimited visits with just a copayment.  Bob and I will talk about it and see if that’s something we want to pursue.  I hope it will help.  I don’t think it’ll hurt.

How do you deal with stress, especially when it’s related to infertility and fertility treatment?  Have you ever done counseling and how did it work out for you?