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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

looking for strength


I feel empty. Stressed. Overwhelmed.
I've really been struggling with everything lately. 
I'm not sleeping well. This morning I woke up at 3am having what I think was a "panic attack" {thanks Dr. Google}. Work is crazy busy and I can't seem to get everything done no matter how hard I try. Navigating my way through medical "red tape" on top of it put me over the edge last week. And I'm just so scared that all of this stress is going to negatively affect my upcoming cycle.

this image says it all. tear-streaked face...trying to pull it together on my way to work on Friday.

 Battling with my insurance company and doctors to try to get my breast biopsy performed on the lump found during my mammogram has been exhausting. 

Here are a few of the obstacles:
  1. No referring physician. My ob gyn that I've seen for 10 years retired and closed his office July 1st. {Emotionally, this was super hard for me because I always imagined him delivering my babies. Now that will never happen}.
  2. Because the radiologist "thinks" the lump on my breast is a cyst, standard protocol dictates that I wait and come back in 6 months and get another mammogram. But that doesn't work when you're on the verge of pumping your body full of hormones. CCRM is requiring a biopsy before moving forward with IVF to make sure I don't have cancer.
  3. The general surgeon that my ob gyn referred me before closing his office couldn't feel the lump so he couldn't biopsy it.
I probably made at least 10 calls last week trying to get insurance authorization and an appointment for an ultrasound guided biopsy. Finally on Thursday, I had a new patient consult with my new ob gyn. Thanks to my retired ob gyn, I was referred to this doc that specializes in infertility. He listened intently, asked great questions, and took notes. After hearing our story of trying to conceive over the past five years, he responded with genuine compassion "5 years is way too long for you to be going through this". He said "let's get you whatever you need". 

I left his office with an authorization for my breast biopsy, an appointment for an endometrial biopsy and a prescription for valium. But best of all, I feel like I have an advocate to help me overcome the insurance obstacles that plagued me earlier in the week. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also on Thursday, A and I had our regroup call with Dr. S at CCRM. All of our test results came back. Negative for all of the genetic disorder screenings.

me:
Estradiol - 26 (want to see below 50)
FSH - 5.9 (want to see below 10)
LH - 3.2 (want to be lower than FSH)
AMH - 1.8 (much higher than my last test but still on the low side)

him:
sperm count was fine
only 36% motile (want to see higher than 40%)
4% normal morphology (want to see less than 3%)

All things considered. None of this was terrible news or anything new. And we finally have our long-awaited protocol. 
Estrogen priming protocol

Has anyone tried this protocol? Had any success with this treatment? I'd love to hear about your experience if you have.  Here's an article written by Dr. S at CCRM about poor responders (that's me) and IVF. I've just been trying to do some research on it.

So looking ahead.
Today - last pre cycle blood draw
Tomorrow - breast biopsy
Two weeks - endometrial biopsy
Three weeks - begin IVF cycle if all goes smoothly

But for today, I'm just going to try to breath and do what I can. It will have to be enough. This entry in my daily devotional was a reminder of where I need to look for strength while walking this very difficult path.



66 comments:

Just T said...

Oh Jessah I am so sorry you are going through all of this stress on top of trying to prepare for your upcoming ivf. These cycles can be so stressful and we have to find a way to take a deep breath and deal with what we have control of. Let the rest go. I know it is a lot easier said than done.

Thinking of you and hoping this new protocol is exactly what you guys needed.

Non Sequitur Chica said...

I'm so sorry that you are having to work so hard to get the tests that you need, but it sounds like you finally found a dr that can help you out. Fingers crossed everything goes well so that you can start your cycle in three weeks!

julia rose. said...

Sending so many prayers your way for comfort and guidance! I can completely understand (and relate to) the overwhelming stress of life right now. We just have to continuously seek God and his unfailing love! That devotional is all too perfect, too!

Nichole said...

Thinking of you as you navigate your journey.
You're never far from my thoughts. xo

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for a while and wish you the best. I wanted to give you hope - I am 30, and my numbers are poor, FSH 11, estradiol 88, AMH .8. I did estrogen priming protocol and ended up with 8 eggs retrieved, 6 mature/fertilized naturally and my fresh transfer failed (3 day transfer). However, my remaining 4 eggs frozen in the pro nuclear stage were cultured, 2 made it to day 5, both transferred and one took. I'm still in disbelief that I'm now 17 weeks pregnant. And this was done at a clinic with poor stats...your numbers look quite decent and you're at a fabulous clinic. Keep your head up, relax, eat healthy and exercise. Put yourself before work. I also did acupuncture every 1-2 weeks, and listened to meditation podcasts every night. I found a place at work where I could go to be in quiet and take a deep breath, clear my mind. Not sure if any of this helped, but it certainly didn't hurt. It was the healthiest I've ever been physically or emotionally.

This was the first time I put myself first before anything else.

Good luck.

shay said...

Oh man, hang in there girl... you can make it thru this... it's ok to be frustrated and vent, trust me i'm going thru the same thing (including finding a lump on my mammo, wth!) and dealing with insurance companies is a nightmare... let's just try to keep thinking of the ultimate goal to get us thru.... sending lots of hugs!

Always Maylee said...

Oh Jessah, I'm so sorry you are feeling so completely overwhelmed. You've had such a long road. But I'm so glad that you're new OB was there to help you. He was like the breath of fresh air that you needed. Perhaps that's a good sign as you head into this IVF cycle. I'm sending you positive thoughts!

xo, Yi-chia

Lisa said...

Oh, thinking about you! Stay strong, you are amazing. In between work and all the doctor's appointments and red tape, make sure to do something just for you! You deserve it. xoxo

Alicia said...

Hi Jessah! You can do this! Those levels are amazing - I'm jealous of your low FSH! ;)

It's a lot, all of it. But you are strong, you will make it through. You've got so much going for you. Don't worry about the stress component... It's such a small factor in everything. I don't personally know anyone who hasn't been stressed when going through fertility treatments.

Is there any way that you can pull back from work at all? Reassign anything? I know how this can be the icing on the stress cake and as much as you can, let go of things that others can help you with.

You are in my thoughts. Rooting for you and A!!!!

Kristyn @ Carolina Fireflies said...

I'm sorry that you are having to deal with all of this at the same time. Even one of these issues is stressful enough, much less all together. I will pray for peace for you. God has a plan. Whenever I'm feeling down and like I'm not enough, I say this verse to myself as many times as it takes to "back me down off the ledge" so to speak (not literally!) "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

God is preparing you for the things he has planned! And I know they will be better than anything we could imagine! I hope things start looking up girl! xoxo

Amie said...

Sending the biggest of hugs to you during this time. I'm so sorry that you are going through all of this but am so happy it sounds like you found a doctor that is really listening to you and wanting to help :) Keeping you in my prayers.

Erika said...

Oh my goodness. How frustrating, jumping through all those hoops to get the stupid breast biopsy. So glad you finally found someone who will be able to advocate for you!!!

Mrs. Lost said...

Keep your head up! I will be praying for you sista. Infertility sucks big time and not having control of a situation sucks too. I'm so sorry for the tears.

Cristy said...

This is a lot. Between fighting with insurance (that alone would bring me to tears), finding a new doctor, getting together a plan and ore spring for another round of IVF?? Lady, anyone would be super stressed!

So, take it one day at a time. And let's start listing what you can celebrate.
1) you found a new OB who sounds awesome! Big win.
2) you numbers have come back looking good.
3) it is likely that the lump they found is a cyst and it may have already resolved itself. I'm glad they're being thorough about finding it, but there may be a possibility that it's already gone.
4) you have a plan going forward. It's a big step

Hang in there. All if this is scary, but you don't have to do it all at once.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way.

Emily said...

Awe sweetie. I hate seeing you looking so sad, but there you are still looking beautiful despite the tears. Nothing in this journey is fun or easy, but you are navigating through everything better than most people could ever do it. Your strength and determination make me want to keep going myself. It's ok to cry. Thank you for being honest enough to share that pic, because I know so many women are looking at it and can relate to being in a similar place emotionally. Even though it sucks, it helps to know that none of us are alone in going through all of us this mess. ((HUGS)) to you beautiful.

Just T said...

And I want to send you a huge comforting hug......

AM said...

Read your post and my eyes welled up. Completely understand how it feels to be overwhelmed with stress, even can relate to all the health stuff as well. Sometimes the best way to release stress is a good cry. It seems like an enormous amount of stuff you have on your plate right now. Finding ways to relax can be tough, maybe yoga or meditation might help? Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way!

Megan Brink said...

JESSAH! My last cycle was Estrogen Priming!!!! I honestly think it was MUCH better than the Lupron flare in the first cycle. I have a breakdown calendar of everything on my blog from when I cycled (it would have been beginning-end of June). If you have any questions about it please email me!

Brinkmeg@gmail.com

Megan

(abrinkadventure.blogspot.com)

Holly said...

A Jesus Calling! We are in the IVF cycle process right now and i read that too last night. Keep on keeping on! This is really hard but we are NOT alone.

alesha said...

You're in my thoughts and prayers. I am so happy your new ob gyn who is so caring and thoughtful.

xo

Ann said...

First of all, I want to assure you that your numbers look great. My FSH was slighter higher at 7.2 and I was able to make an okay batch of eggs =). Second, you must try to refocus on all of the positive things in order to reshift your mind and attitude about this cycle. Looking back at my first failed IVF cycle, I knew it was my mind that failed my body. I was so stressed, so depressed, so negative. We can certainly sabotage our own happiness but with the stakes being so high for this process, we can't afford to. Think positive! For my upcoming FET cycle, I do feel like I'm in a much better place - simply because I'm too tired of worrying about the small stuff. Everything is just a detail. What we are all aiming for is to fulfill our dreams: the big picture....and all of these items that we must address are details. They won't matter in the end.

bellehavendrive said...

Praise Jesus for the infertility doc your OB GYN referred you to. Praying for you, girl ... I hate all the hoop-jumping and hope you don't have to do much more of it. Encouraged to hear it is most likely only a cyst!

Katie @ The Campbell's said...

Praying for you today and everyday. I know it is so hard be we have to trust in the Lord and know that this and we are in His hands. Keep on going girl, its all part of our story.
xoxo,
Katie

Sally said...

Thinking of you. I've had panic attacks before and know how awful they are. Hoping you get some stress relief and calm headed your way ASAP!

Suzanne said...

Oh my. This post just hurt my heart. I know how hard all of the constant let downs and frustrations are. Please know I'm thinking of you often.

Amanda said...

Oh Jessah, I'm so sorry. This sounds terrible! Sometimes the most stressful parts of all of this mess is simply the hoop jumping and juggling of work, life, and infertility! Praying that things settle down, that both biopsies go well, and that IVF can start right on time! HUGS!!!

Sillymama said...

Just when it is all too much, something in you kicks in and you can get through it. The results look good and you just have to take care of yourself and be good to yourself. Sending you lots of positive thoughts.

Lauren Thomas said...

I truly don't think "normal" people have any idea the amount of stress that fertility treatments puts on the body...in addition to the daily normal stressors! thinking of you my sweet bloggy friend.

Jamie Sefcik || Hello Little Scout said...

I'm so sorry! This sounds like a nightmare. Praying for you and your sweet family!!

conceptionallychallenged said...

I'm glad you found a good new doctor and got at least some of the stressful medical stuff sorted out. Hang in there!

Katie said...

I recently started following you on IG as well as over here and I am so touched by your story and inspired by your courage and strength.

I am a veteran IVFer who battled severe infertility before my prayers were finally answered. Years of meds. Years of BFNs.

Days like today try to beat you down, try to take that last fighting hope from your grasp. But you've got the right idea. Just breathe. Sometimes it's all you can do and it's just enough.

You are on the right track with a new protocol and some encouraging news from your genetic testing and blood work.

Someone once told me that the things we want most don't always come to fruition when we want them to. But they always happen at the right time. God's time. Praying that time for you is so, so, so soon for you.

Sending strength your way today and always.

hugs,
katie

Whitney B. said...

Can't believe all you have been put through. I wish there was an easier way to deal with the health industry, you'd think they would have it down better by now. I feel like it is YOUR TIME, this cycle will work in 3 weeks, it just HAS TO!

J and A said...

Awe that photo breaks my heart, I wish I could reach through the screen and hug you. :( I'm sending big hugs and lots of hope. Thinking of you girl. xoxo

Melanie said...

I praying for you. It sounds like you have a great new OB and he/she is really going to be there for you. I am sorry things have been rough. They seem to be looking up though. Try and focus on that. Hugs!!!

Azul said...

I've been follwing you for some time, I don't comment much, but wanted to let you know that I get it and that it's ok to cry. After 5 years suffering from inferlity, myself, with still no baby in our arms, I can totally understand where you're coming from. There's a saying that I love, People cry not because they're weak, it's because they've been strong for too long. Hope this can bring you comfort.
I will be thinking of you tomorrow during your biopsy, praying that everything goes well.

Dream Chase said...

*hugs* girl! I just feel you are on the verge of finally getting your bfp. Lots of sticky baby dust, thoughts, and prayers!

Missy said...

I am so sorry. Infertility sucks. There's really no other way to put it. I don't comment very often but I have been following your journey for sometime now and I want you to know that I am keeping you in my prayers. I know how hard this path can be for anyone, much less someone who wants it as bad as you do. Just know that you are doing everything you can. You have a lot of people pulling for you. Sending you a great big hug!!

k8te said...

i'm glad you found a new doctor who sounds compassionate and a good advocate for you! wishing you luck with your appointments!

Nathalie Willmott said...

So sorry it has been a tough week! Glad you found a medical advocate though! I understand about finding the right doctor and one that will listen!

Well-intentioned said...

Sending you a hug Jessah. I'm a car cryer too. I hope you can get out the hedge clippers and keep chopping through the red tape BS!

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness you sure do have a lot on your plate all at once. But know that things have a way if working out!!! Glad your results came in and are looking good! Yay for higher AMH!!

Remember how strong you are! You are going through soo much with your head held high! Nothing will hold you back!! Think of how far you have come, which brings you ultimately closer!!

Team Harries said...

Thinking about you and praying for you sweet friend!! Love that you are reading Jesus Calling, what a great way to start the day! Remember that God's word trumps what the doctors say!!! He doesn't care what your numbers are :) Hugs!

Sarah said...

Hmmm, my comment didn't post earlier.I wish I could give you a hug! I spent SO many days with a tear stained face. I am so glad you got in with this new OB who seems to be amazing already. Just keeping breathing girl. Keep praying. And try to keep positive thoughts. We are here for you and we have your back!! :) Sending you tissues and hugs from afar! xo

Aramis said...

I'm seeing my RE tomorrow to plan my next protocol and I'm pretty sure we'll be looking at estrogen priming as well. I'll keep you posted. We can go through it together!

Amy said...

Oh Jessah, I have looked in my rear vision mirror in my car so many times with that same look. Put yourself first, start saying no to things and let it out when u have to. I don't know why, but I just know you will have success and this will all be a distant memory one day. Lots of love

Anonymous said...

YES! My first IVF failed miserably. 2nd IVF we did EP and had fantastic results. 8 retrieved, 8 fert, 6 became 5 day blasts, transferred 2 and had my son. We froze the remaining 4.

Fingers crossed this is your winning combo!

I'm so sorry about all the stress. All of it sucks! Hooray for finding an amazing advocate in your new OB. Sounds like he is perfect for you.

Following and wishing you much success in the very near future.

Mrs B. said...

I'm so sorry. Nothing worse than feeling overwhelmed, it really sucks. I know exactly how you're feeling. I had to tell my work for my next IVF I wouldn't be working from home because I couldn't be stressed. Try and look after yourself, massages, acupuncture and even an odd glass of wine (I know this one is a toughie). It all helps me. These days really suck. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Awe, you're in my prayers. You're too beautiful to cry! Chin up, you'll beat this! You're are stronger than you know.

Impatiently Waiting said...

Thinking of you so much. I think you have good reason to be stressed. I just pray that it passes soon. Hugs!

Charity said...

That's by far my favorite devotional and after all you have been through I am sure it spoke volumes to you today. I don't have much to say except you are in my prayers night and day. I speak peace over you and your husband, that you would receive exactly what God has in store for you. I pray over the doctors that they would be lead by the Holy Spirit working only towards your good. I pray away stress, anxiety, and confusion because none of it is of our Father God. In Jesus name I stand in agreement that this cycle will be one of progress and peace. May God guide you and protect your heart through it all. Amen!

Shelley said...

Oh my gosh, I can totally empathize with you. I have felt so many of the same emotions and it's just so difficult to get through everything. Big hugs to you....

Aubrey said...

All I can say is that I hate IF so much :(. I'm so hopeful for you, though... And I'm always thinking of you! xoxo

JoJo said...

It breaks my heart to see US infertiles go through rollercoaster emotions. Insurances are the worst. They never seem to give you a break. Im glad you were reffered to a great OB that specializes in infertility. Looks like we might be going through the IVF journey together.

Darcy Kristy said...

I can't tell you how many times I've thought about posting the same picture of myself. It's a very raw emotion of this journey. And, I'm so sorry that you're feeling that way right now. I've been there.

This journey is so difficult, and it's always harder when you have the stress of other areas mixed in with it. I hope that this all turns around for you soon, and you can post a happy picture. Hugs, Jessah. You're a strong and beautiful person.

Katie @ Loverly She said...

Jessah - an arduous journey indeed. I can hardly imagine what this has been like for you, and how tired of it all you must feel. I pray that God really speaks to you of his promises for you and your family. Sending love from Canada xx

jess said...

Wow..first off thank you for sharing your devotional...it helps me a lot! Secondly, i feel you completely. I have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed about many things (one of the major things being fighting with my insurance company to pay). I am also worried about how the stress is affecting my body so i have to get it under control in the next few days when i start stims. We are starting estrogen priming protocol for the 2nd time. I don't have a success story ending in a bfp but i wanted to share since i do have a lot of hope for our next try. Our first try with antagonist ended up being converted to iui due to 1 dominant follicle. 2nd try was with EPP. I got 3 follicles and pushed through to ER even though RE wanted to convert to iui again. We got 1 egg which turned into 1 beautiful embryo transferred on day 3. Bfn :( but i still feel like this was a positive cycle since we did create a good embryo. I have DOR with AMH of.0.8. For this cycle, i have been doing acupuncture and taking supplements so i am very hopeful for more eggs and of course a bfp! :) i hope this info helps.you a little. You are not alone in this and i will pray for all of us who are struggling through the infertility process. Hang in there!!

Laura Crosby said...

I wish I could take away your stress. You should treat yourself to a nice mani/pedi/spa day and chinese takout.

If you're really stressed, maybe take some time out between the biopsy and ivf cycle.

Another girl I know does acupuncture and says that helps a lot with the stress of going through ivf cycles too.

Praying for you and wishing I could send you a hug! I'd love to get your mailing address if you're okay with emailing that to me :) laura.rahel.crosby@hotmail.com

Angela said...

So many prayers. I hate this for you.

Em said...

Oh friend, I stared into those brimming eyes for a long, long time. Your pain is palpable. I am so glad that the doctor decided to give you "whatever you need." If only he could REALLY follow through with that commitment by bringing you a baby.

Becca said...

That's what I looked like driving home fom my hsg Monday. Bawling because I was just mad I had to go through this. Totally feel you. My meds arrived today for my first cryo (fet). Failed fresh in may:( I love your blog!

Becca said...

Oh, and I love Jesus calling too. Marked that same passage you posted and look at it often.

Heather said...

Haven't been on much lately... just getting caught up. Praying so hard for you, Jessah!

Infertile625 said...

Oh Jessah. What a sad face! Such s tough road and how frustrating it must be to struggle and fight insurance companies. I am thinking about you and hoping to hear good news from your biopsy real soon!

Alie said...

I'm sorry you've been so stressed! I hope you're able to have a relaxing weekend, followed by a much calmer week.

Amber said...

Aww Jessah, your picture breaks my heart. I'm sorry this all has been so incredibly stressful. How awesome that you found a new OB/GYN that will be a great advocate and help you jump through some hoops. Sending you lots of hugs.

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