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Well, our blood tests came back normal.  Hormones seem to be fine.  Which definitely is good news.

So now they have to get the results from my “annual” female tests, and he had to give a sample, for $275 that he may be able to get covered. Those results will come back in two weeks. I hope my annual test results didn’t get lost in the shuffle due to possibly changing general medical clinics, but no one at the old one has called me about how much it will be to get my medical file transferred, and the new clinic takes a month to set appointments anyway, so I may stick with a doctor left behind at the old clinic after my current one leaves on July 22nd. They can usually get you in within a week, and wait times are decent.

Just really having a hard time wrapping my head and my heart around the fact that we may have to put ourselves into debt for at least a decade just to have a genetic child together. Dave is really disappointed about that because, just as he/we got to a point in life that we could afford to do things like buy board games and travel (and change mobile phone providers because our data needs have increased, for his at least… and move… and get married at Hal-Con), this happens.

Part of me just wants to tell the fertility clinic I don’t care what the odds are, let’s just do an IUI with the donor sperm we acquired, or even Dave’s sperm. But no, Dave doesn’t have enough, and an IUI would only be a 20% chance of a live birth, like the odds each month for younger couples who are fertile. Or draw up a legal agreement with our known donor and do it informally. Or even just find (a) donated frozen embryo(s). Dave is more than fine with any of these options. I hate that I have to decide very soon, lest we get no medical benefit coverage at all. The clinic told us we may be able to get the medications/injectables covered as well, under the usual prescription drug coverage. I hope so.

I know we could go bankrupt, though I have already done that back in 2003, and that option is something that should not be viewed as positive. He also submitted an application to Capital One to see if he can get a credit card himself, even a secured one.  There is also crowd funding… some even specifically for fertility treatment and adoption.

Other than a child, we just want to move to/rent a nicer place, like a small house or a duplex, or at least somewhat sound proof, that has a dishwasher, washer and dryer (and preferably laminate or hardwood floors). That will bring up our power bill, but even just an apartment dishwasher, if they clean better than they used to, would be fine.

And maybe a smallish wedding at Hal-Con. If I can fit into the (very cost efficient) dress I bought. He really just needs a Rob Roy tartan kilt, maybe even just borrow one of those type of shirts they wear at the Alehouse (though he seems to want to go more formal than that) and the rings.  Several services have been offered to us as gifts. He worries people we invite from the Hal-Con crowd wouldn’t show up, only the karaoke crew. I rather doubt that, but that’s fine, we can invite people who are guaranteed entry, and even put up a sign for people who are attending Hal-Con anyway.

I don’t want just two rings, a piece of paper, a JP and two witnesses at a court house. I don’t think I’m asking too much to have a funny, geeky, sweet ceremony (a pot luck dinner perhaps) and a reception dance with friends and family, that I can play at least a few songs I want.

But deciding on something like that and inviting people is tough, when fertility treatments with no guarantee of a live birth (40% chance they said) will put you in debt for a decade…

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Well, something took me down a peg, and really makes me realize how much I have been neglecting the geek community. I lost a Facebook friend I was hoping to get to know better.

Not having a child (due to infertility) that might help me reach out to other parents certainly makes this even harder. It’s mostly why I’ve deteriorated even more so in the last few months.

I know some people still manage to be genuinely nice to me, even though I clearly recognize the introverted shell I’m in. Please know that I want to consider you all friends even if I forget to acknowledge you at times, of over 600 friends in my contacts, I don’t always keep in touch or acknowledge that you matter to me. But you do. All of you.

I’m extremely introverted. Until a few months ago, I was working (evenings) too much to even to go Geeks vs. Nerds or anything but the Geequinox.

My brain is skewed to the point that possibly the bullying I endured, and probably definitely my upbringing (Mom still even now) pounding the idea into my head that my opinion doesn’t matter, has projected onto everyone I come in contact with who doesn’t know that. My closest friends know. Well, Dave does. If you didn’t know that, you do now.

There are very few people I genuinely believe don’t look at me with some modicum of disgust or at least pity now. But, again, I know in my logical brain that it’s just a projection. I’m awkward and nervous and anxious as hell around everyone.

I also know I’m gloomy a lot of the time.

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

Caught between a rock and a hard place.  Dealing with infertility going on two years (together, far longer if you count waiting for someone willing and compatible) and an aging, emotionally abusive mother. Gets to you after a while. These and other financial and employment stresses are why I’m still on a leave of absence, with so much uncertainty about just about everything.

Dave is off tomorrow (well, it’s 3 AM as I write this line and I have to finish and proofread this yet, so, when we get up) and it is forecasted to be an absolutely gorgeous day. Where I will likely see what I/we haven’t been able to achieve so far.

My last blood tests revealed I had a slightly elevated prolactin level, which could definitely be causing my irregular cycles. My doctor (whom I am switching from on Monday) asked if I get headaches.  I do, but not often. I had one yesterday, though, so hopefully the next blood draw on certain dates of my cycle will determine if that was just an anomaly or relatively normal for that part of my cycle. Vitex, an herb I’ve been on for several months to regulate my cycles and it also usually lowers prolactin levels, may also have still been stabilizing those levels.

It’s kind of tricky putting a finger on exactly how my Mom has treated me.  It has hallmarks of borderline personality, but my mother wasn’t exactly cold toward me most of the time.  Dismissive of my feelings, yes, and often blames me and doesn’t know why I feel this way about her, but if anything, she is emotionally needy and therefore will likely never completely respect my boundaries.  Now that she is becoming elderly, it’s hard enforcing them with her at times ailing health.

Dave has put on Markiplier’s playthrough of The Last of Us.  Kind of distracting but I think I said the important stuff and the updates.  The last couple of days I’ve been posting articles and blog posts on all this.  Well, more the abusive mother aspect of late, but also how infertile women deal with Mothers’ Day as well.

So the “spermsicle” as Dave put it, is now on ice for another year. I’m currently on a leave of absence from work from stress due to all this stuff happening. Hoping to get at least some sickness EI benefits, as it looks like short term disability will definitely be denied again, even if I appeal. One kind of needs to be on medications, bedridden or seeing a professional regularly to qualify, I guess. Incapacitated. Now, if I do somehow get pregnant, I have to work 600 hours somewhere that deducts EI, to be eligible to take sick benefits again, if I get sick before I give birth, or for maternity leave benefits if I don’t.

I inquired about how many donor sperm straws/vials there are, and how to proceed. They told me there is only one vial, and that it only would be a 20% maximum chance at a baby if it’s a therapeutic donor insemination (TDI). Half the chance of IVF, if we’re lucky, so they suggested IVF for this as well, and gave me requisitions for blood tests (specific time in my cycle for mine, Dave’s is done already) plus pelvic exam/pap for me. In that case, if we’re doing IVF, for an extra $1500 (+$250 for a detailed semen analysis) we might as well just go with ICSI with Dave’s sperm. I’ve seen so many failed cycles (both inseminations and IVF) on the secret Facebook group for the local fertility clinic, that it worries me quite a bit. I’ve had offers to help me set up crowd funding and fundraisers for it, which I am eternally grateful for. It will have to be concurrent to, or after the treatment now, as we’re now on a time constraint.

If all else fails, there are still a couple of male friends willing to make donations. Unorthodox, perhaps, but we are open minded, and had discussed it from the outset.  Just don’t know how many donations would need to be made for one to stick, not to mention timing (the stuff is only viable for an hour unless it’s frozen). If only the local fertility clinic would allow known embryo donations. There is at least one couple I know of who wants to do this in the secret group I am a part of. Frozen Embryo Transfer is relatively cost efficient, even more so than TDI, I believe.

The financial end of all this kind of puts a wrench in the wedding we were planning on having at the local scifi & fantasy convention at the end of October 2015; we met through its Facebook group. If we had been able to do it, it would have been the first (there was a previous renewal of vows).

Still might try, but it will have to be even smaller than I’d wanted, which is disappointing. It was smallish enough as it is but, though I do seem to have a list of 150 guests, not all will stay through the ceremony plus the reception dinner (I’d suggested potluck, the organizer has suggested a buffet, but maybe now it can only be nibbly things) & dance, which I’d hoped to be Karaoke mashup themed, but we know another good DJ who plays mashups sometimes and, if worse came to worst, I’d just make a playlist. Or we could just crash the ball downstairs on the same night in the Great Hall.

We were going to have a sweet geek wedding and mashup The Princess Bride and Spaceballs, with some other geeky bits thrown in. Some of our friends have been awesome in offering to do some things for us for free or reduced rates.

Our friends in Cape Breton, she has been approved for funding to go to NSCC. She will find out at the end of the week which one she can go to. If the program she is taking has spaces locally to her, she will be attending there and not moving here until she is done. I don’t know how long the course is, but that means no duplex. However, if by some fluke they approve her for it here, her fiance is working somewhere there that he can transfer up here, as they are looking for people here as well.

New developments.

Fiance has been seeing a naturopath since not long after I did.  She put him on supplements and acupuncture.  His count didn’t go up.  If anything, it decreased, or went back to what it was when it was first tested.  So he’s only now taking the vitamins and supplements that I cannot take (except one) so we don’t waste money.

Work is becoming stressful due to new training, and other concerns related to that.

Quebec introduced a bill the end of November, Bill 20, which will abolish free IVF cycles and instead make two eligible for a tax credit of up to 80%.  You can only try a second time if you’re 37 or older, and only if you don’t have any other kids.  No tax credits at all if you’ve already have a child.  It is expected to pass soon.  Cost of living in Montreal was 20% cheaper, but rent is only 2% cheaper now.  Other utilities are still cheaper.  The taxes are high, but I would gladly pay them if it meant fertility coverage, better road conditions, and reliable transit.

The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (who is from my home province and even near my hometown) was able to broker some frozen sperm at the local clinic from another couple who donated it.  $250 annual fee to keep it on ice is due immediately, but therapeutic donor insemination is cheaper and less invasive than IVF.  Having a hard time letting go of having a genetic child with my fiance, but he has accepted it and says that doesn’t matter.

We have some friends from my hometown who say they want to move here, but at least one (the other is trying to get funding to go to school) won’t pass on his resume to me so I can help him get on at my work or somewhere. He said he applied all over the province, but his resume must not be good.  Meanwhile, a coworker has offered a sweet deal on the other side of the duplex he lives in, 4 br+ finished basement (perfect for a family day home, I would *so* love to be able to go out in the summer), dishwasher, washer & dryer.  $1200+ utilities.  But it will be gone before they’re able to get up here, because they are flat broke, and until I was trying to get a short/long term disability due to stress and skyrocketing blood pressure, I had said we could try to help them get here.  But we would need most, if not all our incomes to make it work, so paying us back and bringing the credit card back to 0 will be difficult if I’m looking after their toddler and maybe another kid or a few.  Plus the fee for the guy to find out the other thing is legit plus fertility treatments.  Gnarr.

I’m so depressed.  Nothing makes me happy anymore.  Only my fiance and my cat (and a handful of friends) can make me smile.

Two years later…

Man, I am really crappy at blogging…

Good news… the following December after that last post, bf and I moved in together.  The following month, I got a job in a call centre.  Left on sick leave in August after our trip to Toronto to the 19th Fan Expo.  In October, I started at my current job, tech support for hospitals in the states.  At the company Rohana’s father worked at.

All the while since July 2013 (and even before that since we were just not finishing properly, I’ll say, on my fertile days), we’ve been targeting my fertile days.  Nothing yet.  Turns out it’s male factor.  We’ve been to a few appointments with a fertility clinic, I’m seeing a naturopath.

In July, on the second anniversary of the day we became official, he proposed.  The wedding will probably be Hal-Con next year.  I have awesome ideas for the ultimate geek fantasy wedding.

Meanwhile, we took a trip to Montreal (my first time ever flying!  Windy landing in Montreal, I was scared I was gonna hurl, but it was fine before and after that) for Comiccon and stayed a week.  We fell in love with the place.  So much so, that we’re seriously considering moving there.  Though Mom loved it when she lived there in the late 60s & early 70s, she’d be beyond devastated if we move there.  But it may be the best chance fiance (Dave) and I have of having a biological child together.

Here, we would have to pay $10,000+ for one cycle, and the urologist only gave us a 40% chance of a live birth.  $2400 each, or $4800 would be covered by my insurance, and we could also get some of it back in taxes.  I don’t really like those odds.  But in Quebec, as of this writing (but there are discussions happening that could reduce this before we get there), the provincial health care covers up to 3 IVF stimulated cycles (with meds, and includes freezing and transferring any additional eggs per cycle) or up to 6 natural or modified cycles (with little to no meds, but with natural/no meds, only one egg is released at a time.  Lots of needles no matter how you look at it, but fewer up in sensitive areas, I’ll say, overall with stimulated cycles).  The only other alternative staying here is that we have been very fortunate, and we’re very open minded, that there is someone who is willing to help us with the male factor end of it.  For free.  No needles.  No hormones.

Other positives… cost of living is 20% cheaper; rent, utilities, Internet, etc.  Taxes are as high or a bit higher here, but worth it to have those fertility treatments available.  Crime is very low.  We felt safe walking in downtown to get to the hotel in the wee hours.

Caveats… employment.  Hard enough to get a job when you’re bilingual there, let alone unilingual (mostly) like we are.  Mom didn’t speak French, but that was a long time ago, before this recession. Maybe I could ask to be able to work doing what I am doing now, from home.  There’s another coworker doing so in Saskatchewan.  Maybe I could get Dave on.  There’s another friend I could get on in the physical building who would be staying here.

There are other alternatives, like the one definite friend I have in Montreal owns and I have worked for in the past moonlighting.  Several opportunities I have been reading about that I didn’t even know existed until this week.

The reason I ended up here is that I googled myself (but this doesn’t show up under my formal name).

Well, what can I say? Readers’ Digest version… one guy I lived with for two years left me in Sept. 2011, another guy I was over the moon for came back into my life as a fwb, till I found I was expecting in Jan 2012… we briefly got together into a relationship, I miscarried Feb 2012 at ten weeks along, he left me a month later (after trying to stay together and attending couples’ counselling), stopped all communication the following month, and we caught up during and after a costume ball in early June.

In early July, I met my latest boyfriend, and he’s the best one I’ve had yet. This is the best match I’ve ever had, bar none. I’ve never been happier. That’s some feat, considering that as of this writing, I would have been 36 weeks along if I hadn’t miscarried. I still think about it, obviously, but I’m not as sad as I thought I would be at this point. I named him or her Rohana Nathan Miranda D. I’m thinking it might have been a girl.  Nana now has the snuggly baby she always wanted.  I have no doubt they, among other loved ones who have passed on, have had a hand in getting us together.

Rohana is a unisex name, Sanskrit, which means healing, ascension and medicine.  It’s also a link to Lord of the Rings (my doctor actually made me aware of it), two of three of which I watched while I was expecting.  Finally, it also represents a former mutual friend of the father (still possibly is of the father and has taken his side) & I who would have been honourary auntie, and also one of my favourite children in the centre I worked in.  Miranda is what we would have named her had she been born a girl, it is the other formal name that can be shortened to Mandy.  Both Miranda and Rohana are multisyllabic, which is what the father wanted.  We never really got beyond Michael as a boy’s name, but some inspiration I have going forward is from a couple of  beloved anime characters in My Neighbour Totoro; Satsuki, and Mei.  Which actually mean the same thing,  the month of May.  My middle name is Mae, and I’ve considered passing that middle name on as well.

For I now have renewed hope for a future, and a family, and I’ve never been so reassured about it before. Career-wise, well, I’m on EI… my experiences have taken me down several pegs. Still, I feel a calling to either work with a small group of kids and/or open a family resource centre focusing on attachment parenting. Or, perhaps research and write… my teacher in the research issues class recommended I try to attend university because of just how much I like to research (and it shows on Facebook). Honestly, I have confidence issues in most other things I want to or attempt to do… save for what I used to do in the call centre position I was in, but no one seems to be contacting me about those. Or I get to an interview at the most, and they send me a PFO email, letter or phone call.

Except, curiously, a temp agency. I thought for sure I’d flunked the MS Office tests, but I still got a call about an interview (should probably call back). Still stymied about the lack of full time call centre positions, though… but I guess they think that after pursuing ECE for two years and working in it for a year that I’ve become rusty.

Either way, I wish I could do something that I’m confident in and that I can enjoy.