September 7, 2010

Introducing Golden Bud

bark SQEAK!

That's how we say hello here in the Golden Bud household. I am a mom to the world's most handsome Golden Retriever and wife to Mr. Golden Bud. Mr. GB and I are both in our reproductive "golden years" so to speak--he's 42 and I'm 39. We have been TTC since returning from our honeymoon in December 2007.

In the beginning, Mr. GB was way more enthusiastic about babymaking than I was. I'm an only child, I come from a small family, and most of my friends are my age and either single, done having kids, or don't seem to want them. Mr. GB on the other hand has 3 siblings, 7 nieces, and all kinds of fertile college buddies. Of course I wouldn't have married him if I had no intention of having kids, but let's just say that I wasn't exactly psyched to go off the pill. Turns out I never needed to be on it in the first place, but I digress.

After our honeymoon, we tried the old-fashioned way for a few months, and then I bought a Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor (CBEFM) to get the show on the road. Turns out I was ovulating around Day 10. At first I thought oh, we’d been doing it a few days too early all along. But then after a few more months of BFNs I checked with Dr. Google (fyi, I see Dr. Bing now) and he gave me an eye-opening diagnosis--decreased ovarian reserve.

So off to the fertility doctor we go. No biggie--my best friend (who is a few years older than I am) was also seeing the same doctor. Mr. GB and I each had a $15k lifetime benefit for fertility treatments, so all our initial testing was covered. Mr. GB had his semen analysis, and I had the standard workup: Day 3 FSH and antral follicle count via ultrasound, pooled progesterone blood tests, and an HSG.

The infertility verdict? Turns out my tubes were busted (one blocked, one kinked), my AFC was 6, and my FSH was 9.2. Not horrible, but not great. Mr. GB's sperm was fine, but with the tubal situation and my age (37), the doctor recommended we go straight to IVF. Again, no biggie--I was prepared for this.

What I wasn’t prepared for was blowing through almost half of my insurance coverage on our first IVF cycle. In addition to having crappy tubes, I'm also a poor responder. We spent over $6k on meds only to have the cycle canceled due to no response. At that point I was considering donor eggs, but our doctor offered us 2 cycles as part of a research study for poor responders. We'd have to pay for the IVF monitoring and procedures, but our meds (the expensive ones) were free.

7 months, $1k in acupuncture fees, and 14 boxes of Gonal-F later, I'd managed to grow 4 follicles, make 4 embryos, and have 2 embies survive to Day 3. I'm talking two IVFs, two different protocols (MDL and antagonist) and virtually the same response--a single perfect 8-cell embryo transferred on Day 3. BFN both times. I'd also used up my lifetime insurance coverage. Within a year. So much for lifetime coverage.

Now is a good time for me to mention that I’m an eternal optimist, very even-tempered, and generally unemotional. This is probably the perfect psyche for dealing with infertility. I don’t think I cried at all up to this point in our journey—I instead preferred to stay positive and work with the cards I was dealt. Mr. GB is the emotional one in the family, but he’s also very tuned to me—if I’m happy, he’s usually happy, too. For this reason he had no doubts about moving to donor eggs. I was excited, and so was he.

The next part of our story, the story of our first donor cycle, is very sad. And I’ve already written so much that I think I’ll save that story for another post. And then after that I’ll get you caught up with the story of our second donor. Yes, that’s a lot of baggage! Fortunately our journey has really only just begun.

Til then, yours truly
Golden Bud


Cherry Bud said...

Nice to meet you!
It is so wonderful to see you remaining optimistic throughout your journey. GL!

Silver Rose said...

Thanks for sharing your story!

Jen J. said...

GL to you GB!

Sunflower Bud said...

Very nice to meet you! I am beyond impressed that you've held it together through all of that. You're a stronger woman than I!


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