So, it was the love of my life's B-day (actually both loves... it was my Furbaby Phoenix's B-Day as well). We went to the Raider's game to celebrate, I LOVED it. Who knew that tailgating was so fun. Somehow I dislocated my knee cap and then popped it back in.

Yes, yes some beer was involved, but honestly I never fell or did anything that could have caused this much pain. I do recall doing a little slide type slip in the bathroom. The floors were wet and I had flip flops on, my knee did a little pop, but at the time it didn't seem like a big deal. Well it turns out that it was. The doctor said that because of the dislocation I now have fluid and blood built up below my knee cap. That's just dandy. Super duper dandy. IT HURTS LIKE HECK. I am in a brace and on crutches. I just hope it gets better soon with no permanent damage. The doctor told me to stay out of work and off it for three days, which is not going to happen. With upcoming appointments I can't miss anymore work.

Yesterday, I had my baseline ultrasound. Had a small scare at the gas station in American Canyon when my car wouldn't start. I called my Mom to swap me cars and leave her with the broken one (hahaha), but come to think of it I should have called my Heather. None the less after a jump from a nice stranger... the car started up and Mom was called off. Conflict avoided! We were only about 4 minutes late and that was probably due to my hobbling slow self making my way to the appointment. The appointment was PERFECT, all was good and the BCP's are doing what they are supposed to. I picked up my truck load of medicine and needles at the pharmacy, and I start Lupron tonight. Gabe will be at band practice so I hope I can remember how to do it on my own.

Ohhhh... and Baby Rian is at home. Yiiippeee for Rian. Our prayers paid off. Smooches to little guy. I can't wait to see him in November.

Moving right along.


What Did We Do Before the Internet? (The Internet is NOT just for porn!)

So, I decided to buy my Gonal-F online from a complete stranger online, now before you go getting all crazy on me and pass judgement just hear me out.

See, fertility drugs are VERY expensive. IVF is VERY expensive and many times after an IVF cycle you have leftover drugs. There are websites devoted to the sales of these fertility drugs.

I happened across a woman on the internet that works in S.F. that was selling her left over Gonal-F for only $300. I jumped on it, because she had the exact amount I needed and I would be able to meet the woman in person. Sadly, I do trust this women and yes maybe I am too trusting of people. We share a common bond and I honestly don't believe that someone who has been through what I have been through would be out to harm a fellow infertile anymore than she has already hurt.

This was the answer to a lot of financial questions. With a small IVF budget, we really have to figure out how to make it stretch. The woman and I chatted it up and decided we would meet next week for the exchange. I was fine with my choice, others called me too trusting.... but ehhhh in the end it was my choice.

So, a few days ago I decided to post a message to my fellow infertiles on the message boards. This particular post was sent to a group of girls that I have been chatting with almost daily since January during IVF #1. The post went something like this:

"So, you might think I am crazy, but I have decided to buy my Gonal-F from a woman I met online. We don't have much saved for this IVF and it is our last shot for at least a year... so when I was told that my drugs were $1500 I was in shock. We chatted online, the phone, and I am meeting her in PERSON at her work in San Francisco. She is selling the exact amount I need (which are her leftovers) for $300. I know people do it, and I am nervous, but well... honestly.... I just don't feel that someone on the same journey as myself (whom told me all about her journey) would be out to screw someone over and meet in personal for a measly $300. So, I am doing her a favor and she is doing me a huge one. It is sealed, stored properly, and not expired. Am I crazy? My Mom called me "too trusting." My MIL thought it was fine, and well DH is still on the fence, but you see... by doing this it gives us some cushion so I am not so stressed out. Sorry, if you girls think I am wrong, but I do trust this woman. We are both on this crazy journey together."

I love those girls, truly love them all. It is such an amazing feeling to be able to chat with people who have been where you have been and understand what you are going through. Everyone in the group responded all saying that I am not crazy, and they completely understand.

Sweet, sweet Annie went on to post some of the following:

"I would totally trust that woman too...we all share a common bond. I'm so glad that I read your post because I have meds in my fridge as well and I don't want them to go to waste. I would love to give them to you. I will give them to you for FREE. I care about you and I feel like I know you and I want so badly for this to happen for you. I would love for my meds to go to YOU. I'll understand if you already made a promise to this woman, but know that mine are here if you want. Hugs, I want to make this journey a little less stressful, put the $300 towards maternity clothes."

Ahhhhh.... Annie as I have told you a few times.... YOU ROCK! You are such a sweetheart. I agreed to take Annie up on her offer even though I feel like a Moocher. It just makes me feel so much more comfortable taking the meds from her rather than the other woman (whom I am sure is perfectly fine.) I know I don't personally know Annie, but it feels like I do, and I KNOW that I trust her.

I was able to breathe a large sigh of relief that night. My worries about my meds from the online stranger were over. I was getting my meds from a womderful FRIEND! I also want to mention that three other women from the group offered up their leftovers to me as well.

Thanks Annie, millions and millions of times over.


I Have Always Heard the Drugs Were Expensive....

The bills are already coming in. So, I got a call from Walgreen's today saying that my prescription list was faxed in. She wanted to know when I would be picking it up. I told her I had an appt. on the 29th and I would pick it up then, but out of curiosity I asked her the price. She ran it through insurance and called me back. It went something like this...

Lupron - Covered by you insurance
Menopur - Covered by your insurance
Progesterone - Covered by your insurance
Doxycyclin - Covered by your insurance
Valuim - Covered by you insurance
Novarel - Not Covered - $61.99 (Funny since last time it WAS covered FULLY, huh?)
Gonal-F - Partially Covered - $2,484, but with insurance ONLY $1,512

What? No, what? I knew meds were expensive, but in the back of my mind I thought that they would be covered or I would be on such a low dose the price wouldn't be too bad. Ugh.

So, of course being me, I just HAD to explore and BE SURE THIS WAS THE BEST PRICE. So, since there is no pricegrabber.com for fertility meds I went to some sites that I book marked long ago. I found a site called Freedom Pharmacy and it turns out that the Novarel is $51.99 and the Gonal-F is $1,434 and those are cash prices.

So, I called Stanford and had the two prescriptions faxed to Freedom, now we cross our fingers that the total comes to about $1,000. We can handle that, but I guess even if we pay the cash prices, it is still less expensive than Walgreen's. Ugh, if money was no object this process would be much simpler.


Eventful Day...

Yesterday was an eventful day! I got my schedule and started birth control pills. Lupron shots begin September 30th, stimulation shots begin October 11th, and retrieval of (cross your fingers) lots of mature eggs is tentatively set for October 22nd. Moving right along!

Ms. Serena Hope lost her very first tooth while staying at our house last night... and we found out that indeed the Tooth Fairy knows her way to our house and she leaves $5.

Can't write long, I have to take Serena to school.

Please keep Baby Rian and family in your thoughts, he goes in for surgery today. We love you Rian!



But, I was prepared this time! This time...I had set myself up for the disappointment. This time, I didn't get my hopes up, this time it doesn't sting as much. My feelings were numbed, the bar was not set, and things were not planned. I went into this not thinking too far ahead and maybe it helped, maybe I am stronger, or just maybe all of this has hardened me and turned me into someone that shows a little less emotion.

The only thing standing in our way of moving forward is money. The doctor has told us that we can move onto another fresh cycle immediately. We really really want to move on. We have saved up a little over $3,000 for the possibility of moving forward, which is just a small drop in the bucket. Our running joke was that this money we saved was to be for a fence or a baby.

See, for those of you that have been to our new house you would have seen the dreaded fence. I have hated this fence since day one. Who builds a fence out of lattice? Yes, cheesy lattice fence which has now fallen down in places and is the ugliest thing ever. Many would think... just tear the fence down. Easier said than done. Remember our house is on a corner and backs up to an elementary school, so without a fence we would have 200 kids trampling in our yard twice a day. Looks like we are living with the fence for at least another year.

The other night Gabe and I were chatting and it struck me funny because my first thought was.... ahhhhh if I am pregnant, that means we can get a new fence! Hehehee, funny thought, but I was excited to think that and of course excited to think that we would be on a different journey. But that has been shot to heck... and we are left with a lattice fence, a little less hope, and broken hearts.

We knew we had a 50% shot, I guess it is safe to say we shouldn't head to Vegas anytime soon with our luck. I feel like a failure. This morning when Gabe left for work, I apologized to him for being broken. He wasn't too happy with me for the apology. But I am sorry! Sorry for being broken, sorry for using our savings, sorry for running out of vacation and sick time, and sorry that we both have to go through this.

We are VERY excited to be starting fresh and not on the study. See the study made us test the trial drug and follow their rules along the way. Who knows how good that drug was? That is why I feel we HAVE to try this again. Things will be different this time, we will be doing what is best for us. I am VERY optimistic about a fresh cycle and we have decided to be super aggressive this time. If we are blessed with lots of embryos we will transfer more than last time. Sometimes I wish we transferred all four last time. I have a feeling that if we did I would be pregnant right now, but we didn't so this time we will transfer at least three maybe even four. We all know what can happen when you transfer FOUR EMBIES --- the beautiful Ayers triplets! Love you Lucas, Ellie, & Delaney, I can't believe they will be two next month.

So, that is where we are and where we want to go. We have been exploring selling my car, getting a loan, using credit cards, or digging into my retirement plan. who knows what we will do, but we will do it. I haven't even seen a bill yet for these last three ultrasounds, hopefully they are not too bad.

We have been feeling the pinch from my loss of work, so Cindy at the Moose is sending me to TIPS training so I can pick up some bartending shifts to help out. Thank goodness for the Moose and Gabe's bartending... it has helped us SO much financially. Speaking of the Moose, I am so glad we have gotten involved there we have made so many new friends and we truly enjoy going down there, it helps to keep our mind off of things.

Last but NOT least our very good friends R.C. and Andrea had a beautiful baby boy on September 8th. Rian Jacob Hernandez was born with a bit of a heart defect. His two main heart valves are backwards and in order to get things "fixed" he will have to go through Open Heart Surgery. Right now he is at St. Joseph's in Phoenix. Please keep baby Rian and family in your prayers. We love you Rian!


Trying to Stay Occupied

So... I am doing what I can to keep my mind from wondering and take it easy as possible.

I went to work today which helped a lot. Then tonight I came home all alone and thought I would make the best of it. I made my favorite tacos (delicious) and sat down and enjoyed a movie, not getting up even once. I watched Then She Found Me with Helen Hunt and Bette Midler. When I rented it I had NO IDEA it had anything to do with TTC or the woman's desire to have a child. Frankly, I was sort of trying to avoid movies about babies or pregnancies. But it really hit home, it touched my heart and while I don't want to ruin the ending lets just say that somehow things do work out no matter how bumpy the road is.

My favorite quote from the movie went something like this... "I want a baby, I can't explain it... it is like being hungry or having to pee." True so true.


Now We Wait!

Monday morning I was a wreck, an absolute wreck.  I feared the ring of my phone.  We were set to be at Stanford 9:10 for our transfer.  Our biggest fear was that the blast wouldn't make it through the thaw, and in that case they would call to let us know we had no reason to come to the appointment.  7:30 went by, no call.  8:00, no call.  8:30 was my safe point.  By 8:30 I figured that no news was good news.  

We got to Stanford early, I was instructed to have a full bladder, and that I did.  They let us in the room early and I couldn't help, but to ask the nurse if this meant we were for sure going to do a transfer, (I just had to hear it for myself).  She assured me that we did have something to transfer.  At that point I took a deep breath and was able to let my emotions coast for just a minute.

The coasting didn't last long.  The RE came in and told us that the blast did in fact survive the thaw last night and was still growing.  Unfortunately it went from a "perfect" blast to a "good" blast during the freeze.  I was crushed for a minute, but then realized that I was blessed to even be transferring and to transfer a blast to boot.  For so many infertile woman, even getting to the blast stage is a BIG deal.

The transfer went smooth.  Our odds went from 80% (the perfect blast) to 50%.  I will take it!  50% is much closer than 0%.  I remained on strict bed rest Monday and Tuesday.  I planned to go back into work today, but Kathy and Gretchen reminded me that loosing pay from not working today is NO WHERE near as important as giving this little embryo its very best chance, and I was told to be on 3 days of bed rest.  So, here I am at home... ugggghhh.. I would feel so much better if I had some more sick or vacation time, but I have used almost all of it on appointments.  So, hopefully this will all be worth it.

We have adopted a different attitude than last time.  I would really like to be optimistic, but I just can't.  Don't get me wrong, I am not being pessimistic, I am just being... hummmm.. realistic.  50%, is 50%.  When we left the doctors office Gabe mentioned to me that he couldn't go through the pain of last time.  I knew something was wrong, because he was more or less just emotionless.  He told me that last time he was so sure it would work and when it didn't it just crushed him and he couldn't go through that pain again.  So we won't.  We won't anticipate, we won't plan... we will just take it one day at a time and be realistic.  Realistic, because we DO have a 50% chance of it working.  

We know that if it doesn't work this time, it is NOT the end.  We are ready to get a loan or take from my retirement plan (much to my dismay) and jump RIGHT back on the coaster.

I have been hesitant to post a blog or to post these pictures (embryo is the white blob in the dark circle, it was much more noticable than last time maybe because last time we had an 8 cell embryo and this one is 112 cells).  My heart is just unsettled right now.  I am not sure what to feel, I want so bad to be excited, but I can't.  It is hard to explain why I feel like that, but hearing Gabe say that really hit home.  We have been through so much heartache that if I can save either of us any pain I will.  But please don't think I am not hopeful, I am hopeful, but I am not going to start anticipating due dates or thinking of names.

I feel very blessed to have made it to the transfer and blessed that we have another shot.  My mind is full of prayer it is hard to concentrate on anything else.  But I will try, what is best now is to wait slightly hopeful, but yet realistically wait and keep occupied. 

This weekend is Honey's first band gig!  Yahhhooo!  I am so excited for them and my talented husband.  I will take some video and post it when I get around to it.

I am off to watch yet another movie on bed rest. I thought bed rest would be fun, but it is rather frustrating to look around at all the things I could be doing around my house.  Oh well, hopefully it will all be worth it.

Thanks for your love and support and we will gladly take all the thoughts and prayers we can get.