Ironwoman

On Sunday, the wife will embark on her first full-length ironman race. She has spent many months preparing for this event, and she is currently just a little bit anxious. I’m not sure whether her nerves are about wanting to do well or just wanting to finish, but it’s probably a combination of many things. I’m pretty confident she will finish, and I’m also confident that it will be grueling. For those keeping score at home, she will swim 2.5 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles. She hopes to finish under 12 hours, but she would be very pleased to finish closer to 11. Can you imagine “going” for 11 hours? I can’t, but maybe those of you who have experienced labor can, haha. I, myself, have a big day ahead of me as well. I anticipate starting with bagels and mimosas, moving into bloody marys and veggie sandwiches, and likely finishing with a lighter beer, maybe a summer ale or lager. Just kidding. Kind of. I’ll be with her at 4:30 a.m. to get her transition area set up at the start, and watch her come out of the water and get onto the bike around 7:30 a.m. Then I’ll head to my parents’ house, just a few miles away. The bike course conveniently circles the area where my parents live, so I’ll hopefully go ring the cowbell a few times as she flies by. Then I will head into downtown Boulder in the afternoon to sit in a lawn chair near the marathon course. We hope she’ll be finishing around 6:00 p.m. Long day.

We are both eager for this feat to be done. It has demanded MANY hours of training, a seemingly infinite number of snacks, meals, desserts, and energy-food products, and more hours of sleep (to recover) than I could possibly count. Plus, the general stress of it is wearing on our nerves. We had a minor disagreement about who would be doing which dog walks today, which is something we never feel burdened about. Truthfully, I’m really proud of her for her determination and motivation. However she finishes, it will be an incredible accomplishment.

Here are a few photos from a half-ironman she did earlier this year.

mms_img-437114689 She would be so peeved if she knew I posted this photo of her taken at 5:00 a.m., haha. Cute sleepy face!!

mms_img516924435Wish her luck this weekend. I’ll let you know how she did next week!

August 5th

Woohoo! Your well-wishes must have worked, because the clinic called and let me know that all of my information has been received. They asked if I would like to take a cancellation appointment on August 5th. This is really fantastic news, because my next cycle will likely start around August 15th. If all my stars align, we could try that cycle.

The main question we are hoping to have answered at our initial consult is what needs to happen to have the spermcicles shipped to this office. I am relatively certain they are going to require the donor to do another blood test. He is very willing, and we’ll fork out the $800 again to the LA clinic, but then we need to arrange the tank, etc. I’m really hoping that someone knows what to do!

I also have an appointment scheduled through the HMO with an OB/GYN tomorrow. I learned from the helpful nurse that the HMO will pay for an HSG (if prescribed) when you do it through their office, but they will not pay for it if another office performs the test (exam?). SO, I’m hopeful they will give me the prescription on the 29th to use on Day 7-10 of my August 15th cycle. After 7 at-home tries with fresh donations and one IUI, I want to make sure the tubes are clear. All other tests look good – my cycle is roughly 28 days, I’m ovulating every cycle, and my hormone levels are all normal. I figure that it’s just a matter of necessary repetition, but I don’t want to waste time continuing to try if the HSG is going to show problems. Luckily, my wife is ready to rock and roll if she gets called off the bench.

I really can’t think of any photos to accompany dialogue about sperms and insemination, so here’s a picture of our friend’s dog smiling for the camera:

Sadie

Administrative Mud

We are still wading through it over here… Irrationally, it totally feels like cycles are slipping past, unused and wasted. For a BRIEF recap:

We attempted IUI through clinic in LA with new Known Donor in February.

We moved to Colorado.

Every doctor we spoke with in Colorado insisted that we wait a 6-month quarantine for the sperm donations before they would use them, and have Known Donor re-tested to ensure he has no communicable diseases. Even though one of those donations already led the charge in my ute.

We waited until 6 months passed (late June).

Now, we’re ready to get back in the game (again). New insurance, which includes some fertility coverage (YAY) started July 1. As soon as that day passed, I made an appointment with a Gen Practitioner, because this is an HMO, so I need referrals to everything. He was a lovely man, but he didn’t know what hit him when he innocently asked “any kids?” as a part of my intake exam. I unleashed four or five sentences about how we’d like some, but the sperm are stuck in LA and I need to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist ASAP to get those suckers washed and inserted, could he please write me a referral, please and thank you! Turns out, he had no idea what to do, so the appointment was a bit of a waste. He informed me that the HMO does not employ Reproductive Endocrinologists anymore, because they can make so much money on their own, they won’t stay on staff. I took my blood pressure and cholesterol stats and left. I scoured my insurance benefit booklet to refresh my memory that my coverage includes fertility testing and 50% of procedures. So who the heck is supposed to do that??

I googled the sh*t out of the HMO organization and discovered an office that supposedly has an RE on staff. I called, and luckily spoke with a nurse who understood exactly what I needed: shipping semen, IUI, baby. She let me know that the RE no longer works there, BUT fertility care for the HMO is contracted to an outside office, and she submitted a referral for me. Great!

I contacted that Fertility Clinic to make an appointment and found out that the soonest they could see me is August 31. Uuuuuugh. More waiting. The nurse was very pleasant, seemed to understand the task at hand, and sent me a bunch of forms to fill out. I raced through those forms, plus requesting my records from LA and my acupuncturist like I have never completed forms before. The Donor, bless his heart, responded immediately with his signed records release for the new clinic, so I could have his info sent from LA. My motivation to get it all done right away is that the nurse suggested that they have lots of cancellations, and if my file is complete, they will call me to bump up the consult. My fingers are crossed. I also emailed the GP to let him know what was happening and teach him about fertility care through his employer, in case anyone else asks in the future.

It feels like there is finally a light out there. I’d be shocked if we managed to get all the ducks in a row to try in the August cycle (ETA 8/16), but I can live with the September cycle. Mostly I just want to get this SHOW ON THE ROAD.

That was a long, boring, rambling post, so here is a photo of our pup in the jacket I made for her. To be fair, it’s a modified human jacket. She gets very cold at night when we are camping, so hopefully this will help. She was a good sport about the many fittings, and she doesn’t seem to mind wearing it around.

Nora 1 Nora 2

33

This week I celebrated my second birthday since we began the TTC journey. It’s funny looking back at January 2014, our first try, and thinking we could have a 8/9 month-old child now.

I don’t have too many feelings about being 33, but the one area of my life that is now where I want it to be is parenting. I am happy with job, home, family, fitness. But I am completely sick of waiting around and not trying. The only person I have to blame for that is myself, though, because I pushed strongly for using a known donor. If we’d gone the route of choosing a donor from a “catalog,” we would be much further along in the process. In fact, we’d probably be in the throes of diapers, bottles, and sleep deprivation. Hopefully, the peace of mind I will have many years from now, being able to tell the kid(s) that I did meet the donor, and he was a very kind, organized, thoughtful person, and that one day they can meet him if they would like, will pay off. I often joke that the kids will not care one bit about who the donor was, and this extra effort will be for naught.

On birthdays, I always like to play a game and figure out what we were doing one year ago. N and I were blown away by the huge changes in our lives that have happened in the last year, and that made me feel a little better about not being preggo or having a baby. The transition between two jobs for me and one for her, plus moving to Colorado (my ideal location, and now hers too) would likely not have happened if we had gotten pregnant in those early at-home attempts. Those attempts were also with Known Donor #1, who was a nice enough guy but pales in comparison to Known Donor #2. So I guess there is comfort in the facts that many more “ducks” are in a row now, we can walk the journey in the city where we feel at home,  we have better jobs, we have a lot more family and friends around, and we now know where we’ll be for as long as we can imagine.

I can say without question that I am in a better place, personally, at 33 than I was at 32. A year ago I HATED my job, struggled to like where we lived, and was definitely less fit/active. I’m glad to be where I am, and I really hope that a year from now we are either new parents or anxiously waiting for an impending birth.

Here we go again (Round 3)

Well, last I left off, our first IUI attempt (February) was unsuccessful. That procedure was performed in LA at the fancy shmancy clinic. Since then, we’ve been waiting, waiting, and waiting. First, we looked for doctors in Colorado who would pick up the torch and continue trying IUI’s with our KD spermies. No dice – everyone insisted on waiting until the spermcicles had been frozen six months to complete an (optional) FDA quarantine. Ugh. That quarantine ended in the middle of June, six months after our donor’s last donation. Secondly, we waited until my insurance shifted from “Big Name Blue PPO” to “King HMO” on July 1. The change in insurance means that at least diagnostic testing (helloooo HSG!) will be covered, as well as approximately 50% of the cost of future procedures (IUI).

I’ve never had HMO insurance, and it’s already a tiny bit frustrating. I know exactly what type of doctor I need to see, but first I have to go meet with a male GP to have a physical. Um, wut? Then, he’ll refer me (I hope) to an RE who can receive and wash the spermcicles for future IUI’s. I have to wait until July 21 to see the GP, and I’m afraid to find out how long it will be to see the RE. I’m also REALLY hoping that he does not refer me to an OB/GYN before the RE, because I don’t think most OB/GYN’s have sperm washing capabilities in their offices. <Anyone have insight on that?>

Meanwhile, I’ve been working out 5-6 times a week. My weight is the same, and I’m really not that concerned about it, but I’ve converted a lot of fat to muscle. I don’t have any marathons on the horizon, but I’ll admit that I’m constantly tempted. It’s an addiction.

As always, I’m loving reading everyone’s weekly or monthly pregnancy and baby updates! So happy to see so many healthy little ones plucking along. Also, I am really pulling for those of you who are still trying, waiting to try, planning on trying, or otherwise trying to figure out what to do!!!