Saturday, May 31, 2008

Flow, going with

Well, the acu school confirmed that they definitely won't let me in in September.  But the good news is that they will let me in in January if I complete the general education classes that are required.  I am just going to go with the flow instead of fighting it.  I figure a semester at community college might be fun, and it will at least get me back into studying in a fairly easy way.  And thanks for the ideas on getting my A-levels to count as some of the general education credits.  But seeing as I have all science A-levels, I don't think they'll necessarily help!  I have more than enough science credits, but don't have art appreciation so am therefore screwed.  Or something along those lines.

They gave me the schedule for the January intake, and again it's good and bad news.  The good news is that it's arranged so that I can probably do 20 hours at work and still have enough time left over to do class work.  With 20 hours, I might be able to scrape by without loans.  The bad news is that a lot of the classes are at night, and the classes end right at the time the last train leaves the nearby station for the night so I have no way of making the train.  And on Saturdays the trains only run every 2 hours, so I would have to arrive at 7am for a 9am start.  So unless they change the train schedule I will have to drive every day.  Which is a tad worrying for three reasons: first, my car is getting old, and I was hoping not to have to subject it to a lot of mileage, in the hopes that it would last until I am earning better money again; second, the drivers around here are crazy and I will be in fear for my life every day on I-95; and third, it'll take me two gallons of fuel a day to make the trip so we're talking a lot more cash than the trainfare would have been.

However, I have a plan at least.  I know which direction things are heading in, and it's all ticking along.  I have an appointment with the CC on Tuesday to discuss things with them, and take the English placement tests and other ridiculousness.

S'all good.  Kinda, sorta.

Wait,  you came here to find out about IVFs??  You don't care about my college plans?  Oh me, oh my!

Well, I have still not booked my hotel for my Vegas trip.  Which is a bit stupid, really, seeing as I am leaving next weekend.  Nor have I booked a car.  Or in fact, told my boss that I'm going to be out of town for a week.  I'm going to have to spring it on him on Monday morning and hope for the best.  Hoo boy, he's going to be mad.  Unless I can convince him that I told him 3 weeks ago, and he's forgotten about it.  As he is quite forgetful on that score, that might not be too hard to do.

I am trudging along, taking ganirelix and estrogen.  I will start stims on Monday.  Not that I've got the go-ahead to start stims but I'm working on the assumption that as they didn't tell me NOT to start following the baseline u/s from a week ago, that I'll just plow ahead.  I can't say this IVF is very exciting so far, but that's fine by me.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sarah college student?

So, there seems to be a snag with my application to go and learn how to stick needles in people. I don't have the requisite general education classes. See, in the good ole U.K. if you do a bachelor's degree in English Lit., that's all you do. If you do a degree in German, that's all you do. If, like me, you are a science nerd, your entire degree is composed of science classes.

The acu school website talks about all the requirements, including 19 credit hours in general education classes. I knew there were requirements. So I emailed them last December and said "hey, I'm a cool English chick and I have a degree which doesn't meet all your requirements, but will it be OK seeing as it's a proper degree and all. Pretty please?" Or words to that effect. And this nice guy wrote back and said "yes, if it's a proper degree, everything should be hunky dorey". Or words to that effect.

But it seems that that was not accurate. And now they are getting their panties in a wad, or knickers in a twist if I am being true to my English roots, about the fact that I...gasp...don't have any general education credits! And the courses I do have aren't listed in terms of credit hours (well, duh, we don't do things that way over there).

So now I might have to go off and spend time at the local community college doing English, and Social Studies and all those fun things. The woman I spoke to this morning decided that I need 13 credit hours. Fun, fun, fun. Just to stick needles in people. I wonder how many other people fail to get into acu school? Not that I've actually failed to get in yet, as they are going to discuss me again, but it looks likely.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world, it probably only means a semester delay in my starting acu school, as I'd probably want to go to community college full time just to get it over with. But. Ugh. If I'd been aware in December, I could have been doing a few online courses since then.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I have had blinding headaches for the last day and a half. Sigh. Tylenol is my friend, but it only takes the edge off for a few hours. I started the estrogen shots yesterday, and I was hoping that would help with the headaches, but no such luck yet.


I want to be clear in case yesterday's post came off in any way as self-congratulatory and wishing ill on my cousins, I am very sad for them that their marriages ended. I don't wish them to have bad lives at all. But it is helpful to me to realize that everybody has crap going on. Just wanted to make that clear because I don't think it came through.


Kate asked about school bags. No, I haven't picked one yet. I am quite taken with this one because it can switch between being a backpack and a messenger bag but don't think it is quite right. Partly because it is eye-poppingly expensive, and partly because they don't have any cute colors right now. Some new colors are supposed to be coming out in mid-summer, so I will see what they have then. And in the meantime, keep looking for something less expensive. They do have a cheaper version that is not eco-friendly, but I would rather buy something that is at least a tiny bit environmentally concious.


The weight is dropping off me at the moment. Yay for PMS water retention! Or at least, yay for it when it ends. I am now down 11.5 pounds since the last ER so I have a real chance I think of actually being 10 down on the next ER day. I know the weight loss will stall again soon, as it always does, but I'm pretty happy at the moment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Illusions, illusions

I was speaking with my dad on the telephone yesterday, and he started saying something about the gas price rises, and how we barely made it through last time. And I went "wait, what?" It turns out in the mid-70's when the previous gas price craziness was going on, he and my mom were really struggling financially and were constantly worried about losing the house. He said things were very dicey for about 18 months and they really struggled to get by for years afterwards, even after they stopped worrying about the bank repossessing the house. I had no idea. I mean, I remember my dad planting a vegetable garden, and making our bread, and home brewing his own beer, but I thought he did all that stuff because he enjoyed it. Just shows you how clueless kids can be, even once they've matured into adulthood and should know better. My dad never volunteers to take on extra chores or has expressed any interest in home brewing or bread baking in the 30-35 years since! And he was telling me how my mom would try to make 7 days of food money last for 8 days, so they could eke things out for a bit longer. See, I always thought she was just thrifty with clothes and toys and things, and that she was a bit of a health nut trying to make sure we had healthy food! Clueless, I tell ya.

Anyway, this all came up because we were discussing my cousins in England. I have American cousins and English cousins. And the English cousins have always done everything right, and seemed to lead these charmed lives. I will admit to feelings of jealousy and inadequacy! Luckily my American cousins are just as messed up as my brother and I, so that at least was reassuring. My English cousins always had tons of toys. All the latest stuff. I was so jealous as a kid. And then after my mom died I would be jealous that they were always cuddling their mom, who doted on them, doing everything for them - laundry, cleaning their rooms, you name it, my aunt was supermom. Even into their 20's, which I always thought was a bit sickening and wished they would just grow up already and do their own feckin' laundry. They both went off to college and just did everything right. So, of course, as time went on they both had perfect weddings, and one has produced the perfect child. The rest of us are all still lame and single. And barren. Wait, it's only me that's barren - I'm not sure anyone else has tried.

But in the last couple of months both of my cousins marriages have broken down, and they are both now going to get divorced. I mean, I never expected both perfect marriages to necessarily last forever, given the current divorce rates, but for both to fail at the same time is downright weird. And now both are stuck trying to either sell their houses or buy their spouse out, and both are of course struggling hugely with all this, it being the worst time to try to deal with all things real estate right now. And once again, the illusions that I should never have had about other people are falling away. I mean, nobody's lives are perfect. I know this. I know this instinctively about anybody that I've met since becoming an adult, but I guess there's just this warped thinking with family members that means I was still harboring lots of childhood jealousy and anger towards my cousins.

And I hope this doesn't come out wrong, but in a way having their lives fall in the crapper makes me feel better about my own life. My life ain't so bad after all. I mean, so I'm single. But I have a nice house, the sun shines, the sky is blue, my kittycat likes me most of the time and I'm in good health. Sometimes I guess I need a reminder that I have it pretty good most of the time.

So, I resolve that today is a good day. I'm wearing a cute new top that I bought at the weekend, which is a medium (OK, a large cut medium but I tried the large on and it was too big). My boss is out for the day. The yard is perking up since the rainy season started. I am doing well with my healthy eating. Life is good.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I have an off-topic question for you all.

So, I mentioned a few posts ago that I order a lot of stuff online.  A few weeks ago, I put in an order for 3 things from that giant online retailer that may or may not have the same name as a South American rainforest.  Well, two of the things came from other companies, through their marketplace dealie thing.  I was a bit peed off at this, because it meant that I couldn't combine everything to get free shipping, but oh well.

One item took a long time to arrive.  A long time.  It was kind of annoying, but it eventually turned up.  No harm, no foul.  Except then a few days ago I received an email from said giant online retailer asking me to give feedback on the two companies I received shipment from.

I did it, and rated one 5 stars, and the other 3.  On the 3 star review I said the item took a long time to arrive, and it was a lot of money for shipping for what it was (it was a very lightweight object).  What I didn't also say was that it was a LOT of shipping to pay when they obviously shipped it the cheapest way possible - by regular mail.  Which is why it took so long to get to me, because they were cheapskates.

So, on Saturday morning. the phone went.  It was a woman from this company.  She said they weren't happy about the 3-star rating, because that was "just the same as a 1-star rating", and that they'd investigated my claim that the item took a long time to get there, and they'd put it in the mail the day after I placed my order, so it was the Post Office's fault.  And as for the cost of shipping, they have standard shipping rates, so it's not their fault that I happened to order something lightweight.  She asked me if I'd go and change my feedback so that it didn't reflect so badly on them.  She also asked me to go ask my mail carrier WHY my shipping was delayed.  As if!

I did go and log on the site to see if it was possible to change my feedback, but it isn't, so I left it as is.  But the more I think about this, the more annoyed I get.  I gave a fair and accurate rating.  Every other company ships using FedEx or UPS or even Priority Mail.  Why should I have to pay $5.99 for regular mail?  For something that they stuffed in a padded envelope?  But more to the point, isn't it an invasion of my privacy to feckin' call me on a Saturday morning???  They could have emailed me.

I'm in two minds about whether to complain to the giant online retailer.  Do you guys think I'm overreacting?  Is this the hormones talking or would you be annoyed too?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weighty news

I have finally managed to lose 10 lbs since the last ER day.  Yippee!  Except of course it's not a real 10 lbs, because at least 2 or 3 lbs of that previous high weight was stims bloat, which I'll no doubt put back on again before ER day this time.  So it'd be nicer to have lost like 12 or 13 so that I can actually be 10 lbs lower on ER day.  Not that it really matters, but you know, I like to play mind games with myself.

Heh, I just thought, if I added up all the times I've announced on this blog that I've lost weight, and didn't take into account that I remain largely silent during the times that I'm piling it back on (and then some), I could probably kid myself that I'm a size 6 by now.   If only, eh?   But THIS time it's forever because I am done being overweight.  I am done, done, done.  And I really think I can do it now because I'm not trying to starve myself and am taking it slow and steady.  So I will be a skinny acupuncturist!  I will, I will, I will.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The newbie

I went for my baseline u/s today, even though Aunt Flo hasn't made her appearance yet. I guess normally the baseline would have been on Monday, and what with the holiday and all, it got switched. Seeing as all they are doing is checking for cysts, I guess the actual timing doesn't really matter all that much.

But oh dear oh dear oh dear. The normal u/s technician at Local Clinic was off today. Normally that would be a good thing, because she always has to comment about how gassy I am and tsk and tut like I deliberately filled up on beans just to annoy her. And I did have a nice meal of lentils and brown rice last night, so this could have been a day for plenty of gas-related discussion. But she got the day off. And they got a temp in. Who is a new u/s tech. And I don't mean new as in "new to them", I mean, new to the job. A fresh graduate. Doesn't know what the fuck she is doing new.

So, being as she was as slow as molasses, I didn't even get in to see her until about 10.10 this morning. When my appointment was for 8.30. And I'd had my blood drawn so long ago, the needle stick had healed and grown fresh skin. In fact, I think I acquired a couple more freckles on my arm as well, and a few extra wrinkles around my eyes, it took that long. So I was not in the best of moods when I got in there. Then she couldn't understand the whole "yes, I go to a different clinic, but I come here for local monitoring" concept, so that took some time to explain. Then she left the room while I went to pee, and left the wrong screen up on the computer, showing me everybody's full names, and breaking who knows how many HIPAA rules. (Or is it HIPPA? HIPPAA? Whatever). Then she didn't come back in the room in forevah. I felt like going out there in my paper drape and asking her to get the fuck on with it. I mean, I don't know how much privacy she thinks we need to get on the table, but the other tech just stays in the room so that she can get going as soon as we're ready. There is a changing area with a curtain, after all.

But we finally got started. And she wielded the u/s probe like a teenage boy wielding his dick. In other words, like she was a blind person operating a battering ram. Luckily she gooped it up with so much lube that it finally slid towards the right opening, although I admit to being worried for my urethra for a while there. And then there was silence. She rotated the wand around a bit, staring intently at the screen. More silence. More gyrations of the wand. After a few minutes of this, I offered to press down on my belly if that would help her find my ovary. She said she'd found the right one, but was trying to get a pretty picture. I felt like telling her that nobody's gotten a pretty ovary picture out of me yet, what with the gassiness, but I kept quiet. Another age went by. I again offered to press down on my belly. Stand on my head. Anything. And she finally started counting, and pressed the button to generate a print. I think she counted to 7, but it could have been 6. She certainly didn't share the information with me, but as it was all far too much to do without having to count semi out-loud, I was able to read her lips for the information.

Then we went searching for lefty. Infamous lefty. The ovary that has been left out of numerous ultrasounds. That was even left out of an entire egg retrieval because it had swum up to nestle somewhere near my diaphragm and the RE didn't have a needle long enough to reach it, even with a nurse pressing her full weight on my belly. So, newbie tech hunted for a while. She rotated that wand like she wanted to carve me a new va-jay-jay because mine wasn't quite big enough. I tried offering helpful hints like "it's high up and over to the left", and "let me just press down on my belly to move it for you", but she refused the belly push. Instead she got up, and said she was going to try to move my bowel out of the way, so started trying to almost grab a section of bowel and push it sideways. Needless to say, that didn't work. She asked if anyone had ever used a transabdominal ultrasound to find it. I said no. Cruelly. Well, it is true but I guess I could have told her that other techs have just given up and said that if I had a cyst they'd be able to see the ovary so they just hoped it was all fine. I just didn't trust her to make such a judgement call. She dithered over getting the transabdominal attachment out. There was more rotating of the wand. I think my poor vag got more action today than it has in a very long time. It was certainly getting sore by this point.

In the end I lost patience, and just used both hands and pressed down hard exactly where I know I need to press down to make the darn ovary show up. And what do you know? She was suddenly able to find it. Who'd have thought? That I could help her find my own ovary? She counted six follicles. No cysts.

Finally I was free to go. I had so much goop everywhere, including half way down my legs, that it took me an age to clean up. I checked out of the clinic at 10.30. Two freakin' hours!! I told the receptionist that the u/s tech really needs to speed up, and she chirpily told me that the tech was only here today. Great. So, the one day out of, what, 4 months, that I need an u/s, I get the freakin' newbie. On the only day that she's there.

So, anyway, that's that. I am good to go for this cycle, assuming my estrogen is nice and low. Yippee-ay-yay.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lupron fueled rant #487

Sigh. Lupron. God, it turns me into an angry, angry lady. Thankfully, today is my last day, as I switch to Ganirelix tomorrow. But anyway, please humor me while I rant...

So what is it with companies that think their products are so effing valuable that they need to be signed for on delivery?? I order a lot of stuff from the internet because, well, I'm lazy. I don't particularly enjoy shopping unless it's for clothes. Or maybe perfume. The thought of traipsing through the mall or some big box store looking for some mundane kitchen appliance does not fill me with glee.

But while I will stay in and wait for a delivery of follistim, that's pretty much my limit. Everything else is just going to have to get left on my doorstep. And thankfully, nothing has gone missing so far in the 4+ years I have lived at my current house. I mean, an Amazon box was opened once, but I guess that could have happened accidentally in transit. Luckily for me it was a delivery of infertility books so if it was opened by thieves, I assume that they were too disappointed to even throw them around the yard in disgust.

It really narks me off, therefore, to get home to a freakin' FedEx sticky on my door saying that they couldn't deliver because my item needs a signature. It just means an extra day of waiting for the damn thing, because I always sign the little slip that says "just leave the effing thing on the doorstep, thanks" (or words to that effect). The Post Office is worse, because with their little slip it takes them an extra 2 or 3 days to redeliver as the first day after delivery they leave the box at the Post Office in case I want to go and pick it up. Uh, no, not driving to the Post Office and standing in line thanks.

Why oh why don't companies tell you in big letters on their website that they're going to send it signature required? Why don't they give you an opt-out function? I thought I had a general exemption filed with the delivery service (although that might have been UPS) to just leave stuff automatically, but I guess not. Effing hell.

I expect that the item they tried to deliver is a $150 CD containing Office for Mac - which is probably small enough to stick in the mailbox or could easily be partially hidden behind a plant pot. And the darn thing annoyed me to start with because there wasn't a downloadable version available. Ugh. Shoulda gone to the Mac store I guess.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The end of pills

Tonight I will take my last BCP. Possibly ever. I can't imagine myself ever using it again for contraception. Hahahaha, excuse me while I laugh maniacally at the thought of contraception. All there will be on that score will be disease-prevention methods until I can persuade any boyfriend to give TTC the old college try, after fully explaining the miserable odds of success and having "the talk" about what nasty microbes we might each be carrying. Assuming I manage to acquire a boyfriend before menopause, that is. Although I suppose the plan will be the same after menopause, but obviously there'll be no need to have the TTC/odds of success chitchat. I also can't imagine using it for regulating periods/acne/PMS/whatever. I think I'd rather go au naturel on that score from now on. I've taken more than enough hormones for a lifetime, so I would like to just let them do their own thing. Besides, now I'm hitting the big four-oh this year I figure I don't need the added blood clot risk. Besides besides, if one attends acupuncture school, presumably one figures out how to make oneself all healthy by sticking needles in oneself.

So, there we are. Unless I actually have normal embryos, and need to take BCP to get ready for the frozen transfer, I will be done with them.

It's crept up on me - just like starting lupron on Friday. I am just so not focussed on this IVF at all. In fact, that's kind of nice. Although I will probably forget a med one of these days and then have a panic attack, but assuming I can keep managing to check the calendar daily, I think I should be good. After all, one gets into an IVF routine, so a lot of it can go on auto pilot at this stage.

The lupron is going OK so far. I haven't wanted to kill anyone yet, so that's always a bonus. And I think I get to drop to a half dose tomorrow, so that's even better.

Thanks for the comments and emails on loans, by the way. I have got it (mostly) straight in my head now, so that's one less thing to worry about. Phew.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Oh the maiden aunts

Has anybody been watching Cranford on PBS? The last episode was on yesterday. As usual with everything these days, it reduced me to tears. Even though it had a happy ending, overall. But it just broke my heart to see the women there who never managed to get married. Because even though in the early Victorian years they were starting to have some opportunities to make some money if they did not have "independent means", they were still severely limited. And of course they were very limited socially. So if you didn't manage to catch a husband, your life had to be lived on a very reduced scale. You weren't allowed to have too many aspirations in life, because life didn't very often provide opportunities. Even if you did marry, the chance was that your spouse would die early. Just so much sadness all around. And to see Judi Dench playing a spinster that had her chance of marriage taken away not once, but twice, and who ends up saying wistfully to a younger women how she feels when she sees women with babies. Ahh, it broke my heart.

In this day and age, we have an expectation that we can "have it all". Women like me think that we don't need to focus on marriage and babies at an early age. That we can go down to the sperm bank when we hit our late 30's and have that child after all. And then we get so beaten up inside when it doesn't work. Watching the historical fiction stuff makes me think about all those women through all the centuries. The maiden aunts. The ones that didn't manage to marry and who had to accept the very reduced circumstances that that brought to their lives. Did they feel any less deeply than us? Of course not. Did it matter to humanity that their genes were never added to the gene pool? Of course not. Did it matter to them? Of course it did, but they couldn't do anything about it.

Which of course brings me around to me again. As usual. It's all about me, after all! I have to accept that I am like those women. That my life is not as I wanted it to be, but I still have to stoically put on a brave face to the world and move forward as best I can. That I have to accept my lot in life and that I can't do anything about it. That I am a maiden aunt. Well, not so much of the "maiden" but unmarried. Barren. Alone. And will the rest of humanity go on with their lives around me? Of course. Will it matter that my genes aren't continued to the next generation? Of course not. Not in the grand scheme of things. It would have been nice. Boy, it would have been nice. But, getting back to the old "ego" discussion, I deserve what I want out of life no more than any of the millions who have come before me and who will come after me. This is my cross to bear. And in some bizarre way, thinking of all those women makes me feel less alone. Less like my life is spectacularly shit. More like it is just run-of-the-mill shit. It is what it is.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Changing the subject

So, tell me about student loans.  I know nothing.  

Back in the day, many moons ago in my home country, the government actually paid you to go to college.  They used to hand out "student grants". Can you believe it?  I mean, OK, it was means tested, so not everybody got paid money to live on, but everybody's tuition was free.  Not that a full student grant was quite enough to live on, but you could manage not to go into debt if you had a part time job as well.

And I gotta tell a story here about my dear old dad.  My dad was going through college at the same time I was - at night school.  He'd been doing it for quite a while before I went away to university, and finally graduated the year before I did.  (Go dad!!)  So, he had decided to become a teacher for his second career and he quit his first job at the start of summer.  In other words, he was technically unemployed for a while there.  And when we reapplied for financial aid, as you had to do every year (cos I had a partial student grant even when he was working), voila, unemployed dad = full grant for Sarah.  Then he started working for the local education authority, who were the very people that paid out the student grants, but they didn't actually notice until nearly a full academic year later that papa was no longer unemployed.  Now, OK, technically, you were supposed to tell them when you found work but he, uh, "forgot" to tell them on the basis that he thought they'd automatically know they were writing him a paycheck as well as giving his daughter a full grant.  Once they realized, of course they asked for most of the money back.  By which time, dad said that I'd spent all the money (true) and he couldn't afford to pay it all back at once (umm, perhaps not entirely true), so he'd have to set up a payment plan.  Which was his devious aim all along.  So pops, bless his scheming heart, managed to get a free loan.  And because he had kept paying me the money that he had paid me all along (parents were supposed to make up the difference between a partial student grant and a full grant), I was able to quit my part time job in my final year and concentrate on my drinking, er, studying.  Hehehe.   I did end up slightly in debt by the time I started work, but it wasn't anything major, and was mostly caused by me going off on vacation and buying new work clothes and shit like that.

Anyhoo.  Where was I?  Oh yes, are there any restrictions on what your student loan can be used for?  Say, hypothetically speaking, you have enough money for tuition and you might be able to get by on a combination of work and being a slumlord.  So you don't know if you'll need a loan during your first year.  Might, might not, depending on how that whole slumlord/renting a room out thing goes.  Should you apply for a loan in advance, and use it for the tuition on the basis that some loans are restricted and must be used for actual college expenses and not living expenses?  Or just wait and see what you need?  What's the difference between all these bewildering types of offerings?  Also, do you just keep getting new, small loans as you go along, so you end up with a bundle of loans?  Or do you look at the situation and work out that you'll need X thousands throughout the entire time you'll be studying, and apply for one loan in advance?  How does one sort out what the best option would be?  I've tried doing some googling, but am completely confused.  Especially as most 18-year old students don't have access to things like a home equity line of credit - if I got one of those, could that have better terms than a student loan?

Or, can you just point me towards a good website that explains the whole situation?

Friday, May 16, 2008

I hate NY Clinic, part 2

NY Clinic had me in tears this morning over this stupid billing stuff. They are just so uncaring and bureaucratic. Apparently I do owe the money. Great, just what I need right now when I'm completely panicked about money and trying to pay for this last cycle while in danger of being fired and trying to figure out how on earth I am going to pay for college. Overextended much? If they'd have effing taken the money in November I probably wouldn't have noticed it, and it wouldn't have caused me palpitations. But nooo, just send me random bills six months later, why don't you? Gah, I really shouldn't have signed up for this last cycle. I really shouldn't have.

It turns out that for my July cycle, they included the anesthesia fee in the IVF fee that I paid. They didn't in November. Why? I have no frickin' idea. Apparently the anesthesia fee is $750 on top of the hospital fee of $1005. I was not aware of the subtle difference, before because I am not up on the intricacies of how the damn hospital in NY is run. Which their billing department seem to think that all patients should know intimately and therefore immediately understand when they huff and sigh and say "that wasn't for anesthesia". Anyway, as to why this fee was not included when I paid the IVF cycle fee, they just said that I have the choice to pay in advance or have them try to claim from insurance. So they assume that I opted not to pay in advance. I do not recall being offered this choice, and if I was, I'd have certainly paid in advance because I know my insurance only too well. Likewise with the coculture fee. I'd rather get a reimbursement later than be stuck with a bill for an IVF cycle that failed. Maybe it'd be OK if I was now six months pregnant, but I'm not, and those bills really sting. Especially when they are uncaring about the whole thing.

Not that they explained the whole "choice" thing that well. I had to dig through my old receipts and put those together with the scant information that I was offered and figure it out for myself.

At least my insurance company did cover some of it. At least it's only about $300 and not the full $1000. At least there's that. And I may be able to figure out a way to stay in Vegas for the cycle without renting a car, so hopefully I can save the money that way. It'll involve lots of walking and shuttle bussing but I think I can do it.

Oh, and in other news, I started lupron this morning. That totally crept up on me. I was sitting there last night watching TV and I suddenly had a thought of "wait!! Lupron starts tomorrow!" I'd even told the acu earlier in the day that I start lupron on Friday but I think I was thinking that it was Tuesday or something, because Friday seemed to be a long way off and certainly not the next morning. So there we are. Now lupron on top of the other stresses.

ETA: Oh! I just realized that we get three paychecks this month. I'm paid every two weeks which means 26 paychecks a year, and means that two months out of the year I manage to get 3 paychecks. Which is awesome, but the months vary so I'm never quite sure when it is. Not only do I budget for 2 paychecks in a month, but some things they only take out of 24 paychecks so that 3rd check is actually bigger than normal. Can't remember what, but it might be the medical account thing and/or insurance stuff. Anyway, phew, phew, phew. The money might work out after all. That makes me feel so much better.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Panic at the disco

Still battling with the various NY billing departments. I suspect it'll be an ongoing theme of the next few months.

Anyhoo, my meds arrived yesterday. So I waited in for them, even though I am in SO much trouble at work for slacking off (that's a whole other post of its own but I'll save that for another day). I really shouldn't be staying home, but, you know, meds are important.

So they arrived at about 10.15. I ripped open the box and was horrified to find nine boxes of follistim. Nine. You see, thanks to some absolutely wonderful bloggging angels, I am the very proud and very thankful recipient of some donations, after my little whine fest the other week. I was able to get some follistim and ganirelix. And you know who you are ladies, but I feel the need to say THANK YOU again. Thank you, thank you, thank you. OK, so, while nine boxes was the original amount on the prescription, when I had ordered the meds, I'd specified the amount of follistim I needed, which was a lot less than nine, and the amount of ganirelix and told them that I didn't need any needles or syringes. This particular pharmacy charges for needles and syringes, and as I have enough to equip a small hospital, I didn't see the point of paying more money just to have exactly the right sized stuff that the RE thinks I need. Even if I have to use a 10ml syringe to measure out 0.2ml, or use an 18 guage mixing needle to stick myself with, I am going to save cash, damn it. Right, so, anyway, they got the ganirelix and needle/syringe instructions correct, but sent the full $4000+ amount of follistim. Despite me fucking triple checking with them on the phone, and sounding like an ass for being so paranoid. Wankers.

I have never dialed a phone so quick in my life.

I must admit, the girl on the other end of the phone was very nice, and didn't seem to mind that I was hyperventilating so much that I was practically heavy breathing. She apologized for the error and said she'd arrange for FedEx to come back and pick up the box, and I'd just have to repackage the follistim I didn't need, send it back and they'd credit me for it. Luckily I have so many cool packs in my freezer from previous IVF meds shipments that I have plenty on hand for just such emergencies. She put me on hold while she spoke to FedEx, and then came back and said they could only give me a four hour window of time in which they could come by the house. Now, in a normal, rational state of mind, I'd have just said "eff that, I'll drive to a FedEx dropoff location" but in my panicked state, all I could think about was getting fired for missing more work, and what was I going to do, oh woe is me. So I whined a bit about not having enough time to hang around the house for four hours and sounded suitably pathetic, until the girl on the phone said "hey, well, do you have time to drive to a FedEx dropoff location?"

Uh, duh. Yes!

So she gave me their FedEx account number, and I shot out the front door with the box o' repackaged meds under my arm so fast I'm lucky I was able to remember to grab my handbag on the way. And off it went. I was able to get to work by 11, so it wasn't so bad after all.

It's funny how if I buy a pair of shoes on the internet and they don't fit well that I slack so much that I never end up returning them and they spend their lives gathering dust in my closet before being donated to Goodwill. But an overcharge of $2500 or so puts a rocket under my arse like nobody's business.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I hate NY Clinic

Or, more to the point, I hate their billing department.

I haven't cycled there since November/December and yet I am still getting random bills.  Most of them marked as "overdue" when this is actually the first time I have received said bill and when I paid for the entire cycle in advance anyway.  It is seriously annoying me.  

The first bill I got was $150 for sperm storage.  I called them up and told them I didn't have any sperm left there in storage, so could they please tell me if the bill was for the months that I did have sperm there, or was for the next quarter in advance.  They said they bill in arrears for the storage, so it was for when I had sperm stored there.  So I owed the money.

I paid the $150.

A few weeks later I received a check back reimbursing me $150.  Apparently, no, you pay for storage up front, and I had already done so.  Funny that, seeing as you pay for absolutely everything they do up front, so it was never clear to me why only storage would be payable in arrears.

Fecking idiots.

Then I got a bill for $300 for a "sounding" in July.  I'd received this bill before.  A sounding is an u/s measurement of the ute, in preparation for transfer.  I'd had a sounding done by Dr. S., and paid $300 in advance for the privilege.  Then apparently Dr. C. had done one on me when I was having my ER.  I complained that it wasn't fair for me to have to pay twice to have the procedure done twice when if they'd looked in their file they'd have found the information they needed.  That it was clearly a mistake on Dr. C.'s part to have done it in the first place.  After some hemming and hawing, they said I didn't need to pay the bill.  I didn't get any reminders for 9 or so months, so I figured everything was hunky dory.  Then got an "overdue" bill.

I paid the $300 just to have an end to the matter because I didn't want to see anything from NY Clinic ever again.  I probably should have argued the point, but I just wanted some peace.

Then I got a bill for $117 for anesthesia, after they subtracted what my insurance paid for the ER in December.  This is after I paid $1005 in advance for the anesthesia.  So in fact, they should be crediting me whatever they got back from my insurance company, not billing me extra.

Then yesterday I got an "overdue" bill for $166 for endometrial sampling, for the coculture biopsy, after they subtracted what my insurance paid.  Again, I paid the full amount (in this case, $250) in advance. Again, they should be crediting me whatever they got back from my insurance company, not billing me extra.  Again, I never got a bill prior to this one, so marking it "overdue" is just overkill.

I am waiting for the billing department to get in (and to remove that annoying voicemail message of: please call back during normal business hours), and will be giving them a piece of my mind.

Seriously, I don't need this aggravation.  Not right now.  Not ever.

ETA: OK, so the anesthesiology billing department say that I never paid $1005.  I told them I have the receipt in my hand.  They said that I may have paid another department or for another service.  Nope, I say, it was specifically for anesthesiology.  They dispute the fact.  I am supposed to fax a copy of my receipt in, and they will look at it.  They refused to look anything up over the phone when I offered to read to them what the receipt said.  The receipt is pretty much identical to the one they DO have a record of, from July, down to service codes and everything.  But they won't believe me.  The RE billing department (because of course there isn't just one billing department) kept me on hold for an age then flipped me to voicemail.  I am waiting for a call back.

Fun times.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Grudgingly getting on the cycle again

I have finally ordered my meds. I have been such a slacker this time around. I think it was because if I spent money, it would be confirmation that I really was going to do this. This pointless, waste of money, bad idea, I should have stopped treatment already, cycle.

But if I am going to do it, I need to start lupron on Friday, so I thought it was about time I got off my arse and put my money where my mouth is.

I still haven't booked flights or the hotel yet. I did check some travel websites at the weekend, but I was paralyzed with indecision and disgust at spending the money, so I postponed it again.


Maybe this weekend...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Deserving / Not Deserving

You're right (of course), I should cut myself some slack. I have this need to be perfect, and have a horror of being called a bitter infertile. When I am a bitter infertile, of course (but working on the bitter part). So people should just have to deal with that.

But I wanted to mention the deserving / not deserving thing. Because I think it's important.

Having sat around the IF community for a while, I feel pretty safe in saying that babies are NOT given out according to who "deserves" to have them. You either get pregnant, or you don't. End of story. There is no angel in heaven with the title of "Baby Awarder" who will give or withhold depending on whether we have been good girls, or whether we need punishment. Besides, even if there were such an angel, our notions of who deserves what are very human and limited, and we can't possibly say how such rules should be structured. Just because on a mean day I might think that a crack whore doesn't deserve a baby doesn't make it so. Maybe she is a victim of her circumstances, maybe a baby will help her clean her act up. Maybe she really does deserve it, but I just can't see it.

Anyway, I have never thought that I don't deserve a baby. [Well, OK, there's been an occasional question in my mind.] I mostly suffer from the opposite problem. An ego that thinks that I DO damn well deserve to have a baby. Because you know, I'm nice. Mostly. I think: "Why her? Why not me? Why is life so unfair to me?"

But the problem all basically boils down to our thoughts about this. It is our thoughts that cause a lot of the suffering. If we think we deserve a baby, and then we don't get one, we suffer. If we don't get pregnant, and then think it must be because we don't deserve one, we suffer. If, on the other hand, we accept that this is somewhat random and there's no discernable reason, we only suffer with the not getting pregnant part. We don't additionally burden ourselves with thoughts of how unfair life/karma/God is.

I think that's what the quote I wrote out is trying to say. It's not that we will never suffer in our lives. We will. But if we can accept that life has suffering, and our particular burden is infertility, we actually suffer less than if we spend hours brooding on and wailing about unfairness and deserving. And all that. We take on one set of reasons for suffering (infertility) without adding another set of reasons (life is unfair, I deserve a baby OR I must be bad, I don't deserve a baby). By accepting that there is suffering (infertility) instead of thinking that my life should be a bed of roses and that I should never have any problems, I end up suffering less over all. I think. I think that's what he's trying to get at.

I hope that makes any sort of sense. So by trying to neither think I deserve a baby, nor think that I don't deserve a baby, but instead take out that whole "deserving" part of the equation and accept that life is just awful sometimes, it should be a tiny bit easier to take. That's what I'd like to get to, anyway.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Suffering / Mother's Day

There were tears yesterday.  And I thought I was doing so well.  But I found out about someone's pregnancy and this bitter voice in my head reared up immediately and said "must be nice to be fertile".  In a really not-very-pleasant way.  And then I immediately hated myself for being so catty, and asked myself if I couldn't even be happy for this person.  Sadly, the answer was no.  I can be glad that she got what she wanted.  I can be glad that she's spared the pain of infertility.  I can be glad that a child is going to a loving person where he/she will be wanted and loved.  Glad, yes.  But happy requires energy and I simply don't have that to give any more unless it is to one of my fellow strugglers.  And that's a sad state of affairs.  

My reaction is nothing to do with her personally.  She could be anybody.  It is all about me.  I wish that wasn't the case, but it is.  I am petty and too bound up in my own sadness and suffering to be able to spare someone a little bit of happiness at their good news.  I should be happy for her, I know this.  Nobody needs to remind me of that fact.  Hey, at least I can get as far as "glad".  But it is far from ideal.

I wish I could accept infertility and move on.  I wish I could be "at peace".  I wish I could accept that I have failed, even though I tried really freakin' hard.  I wish I could accept that I simply left it too late.  That I don't get to contribute to the gene pool.  That I don't get to be a mother to my own genetic child (even though the door is still open for motherhood by other means).  But it's so very painful and raw still that it can catch me unawares and leave me crying bitter tears at the slightest provocation.

I have been reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, and I'm wallowing in all the chapters on Ego.  I know it is my ego that thinks I deserve to have the same as so many other people.  That I deserve to be fertile.  That this should not have happened to me.  That I should not be suffering so.  I wish I was enlightened enough to not only see that intellectually, but to know it in my heart.  But my ego lives in my heart and it's very bruised and battered and full of pain. Especially today, on Mother's Day.   When I am left without my own mother, and also mourning the loss of my dream to become one myself.  My emotions are raw, and my unevolved, unenlightened self is finding it all hard.  So, I will leave you with an excerpt from the book in honor of Mother's Day.  I thought it was apt:

Conscious suffering

If you have young children, give them help, guidance, and protection to the best of your ability, but even more importantly, give them space - space to be.  They come into this word through you, but they are not "yours."  The belief "I know what's best for you" may be true when they are very young, but the older they get, the less true it becomes.  The more expectations you have of how their life should unfold, the more you are in your mind instead of being present for them.  Eventually, they will make mistakes, and they will experience some form of suffering, as all humans do.  In fact, they may be mistakes only from your perspective.  What to you is a mistake may be exactly what your children need to do or experience.  Give them as much help and guidance as you can, but realize that you may also at times have to allow them to make mistakes, especially as they begin to reach adulthood.  At times, you may have to allow them to suffer.  Suffering may come to them out of the blue or it may come as the consequence of their own mistakes.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could spare them from all suffering?  No, it wouldn't.  They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things.  Suffering drives you deeper.  The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form.  A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego - but not until you suffer consciously.

Humanity is destined to go beyond suffering, but not in the way the ego thinks.  One of the ego's many erroneous assumptions, one of its many deluded thoughts is "I should not have to suffer."  Sometimes the thought gets transferred to someone close to you: "My child should not have to suffer."  That thought itself lies at the root of suffering.  Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego.  The man on the cross is an archetypal image.  He is every man and every woman.  As long as you resist suffering, it is a slow process because the resistance creates more ego to burn up.  When you accept suffering, however, there is an acceleration of that process which is brought about by the fact that you suffer consciously.  You can accept suffering for yourself, or you can accept it for someone else, such as your child or parent.  In the midst of conscious suffering, there is already the transmutation.  The fire of suffering becomes the light of consciousness.

The ego says, "I shouldn't have to suffer," and that thought makes you suffer so much more.  It is a distortion of the truth, which is always paradoxical.  The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

My lovely new header

I hope you are all admiring my lovely new header.  It was put together by the fabulous Ms. Calliope based on my feeble instructions.  Which went along the lines of "um...I like lavender, I like your scrolly things, can we include a photo of bouganvilla from my yard but make it kind of triangular like a bough coming over.  And miffy!  We have to keep miffy."  Well, OK, there was more backwards and forwards stuff going on, particularly on colors, fonts and miffy placement.   But the backwards and forwards stuff was fun!

And then I put it into my blogger template, which wasn't hard to do at all.  It did require a little bit of messing around to get the placement just so, and to remove the old header image, but honestly it wasn't bad.  If you've been scared of tinkering (like I was) and not artistic at all (me again) and yet you've been wishing you could be a cool blogger with your own header (oh the green eyed jealousy I was harboring), see if Calliope can hook you up.  And you'll be helping her raise money for her FET with a very small and reasonable fee.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Thanks for the congrats!!

Yay me! Still pretty happy over here.

So now I will have a ton of questions for you guys while I try to transition to a different lifestyle. The first one that is bothering me is: backpacks and laptops. While I'll still be working where I am now, of course, because I love my job and my employer, now that I am able to, I want to start attending college in the fall. I'll probably be commuting on the train, and then taking a short bus ride. Once there, it will not be a big campus that I'll have to walk around, as it's a very small place. Luckily the place is very accessible by public transport, which is quite unusual for this area. I suppose I might drive one or two days a week, depending on what other stuff I have to do or what the timetable is like, but as I can work on the train, that's the #1 choice.

The first time I went to college, I didn't have a computer. Not even a desktop computer. Yes, I am old. Does everybody take laptops to class these days? I guess I am worried because while I can touch type I find that if I am typing what I am being told, the topic completely bypasses my brain and goes straight to my fingers. So it might make more sense to take notes the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper, and transcribe them later. It will mean much more concise notes because I can type faster than I can write, but they'll be more stuck in my brain which is after all the important thing. And what if my bag gets lost/stolen/dropped with a laptop in it? I don't know if I'd be able to afford to replace the laptop.

Second, tell me about books. I look up on the interweb for suitable college backpacks, and they all go on about lugging a ton of books backwards and forwards. Do you really need to carry books everywhere? Last time I pretty much never needed to take any books with me - we were lectured at, wrote notes, and then only needed the books for working on assignments. Maybe that was a function of what I studied, but come to think of it, I didn't see other students lugging around an entire library on their backs so maybe it was a function of the UK system as opposed to the US system. In fact, I often went off to college with only a pen and a few sheets of paper in my pocket (and some coins for that pint of milk that used to suffice for lunch). Cause, you know, the whole pad of paper was, like, heavy, dude. And I'm not really a back packy person. I'm more of a messenger bag type person.

So, in other words, will I really need a big old backpack that can fit a laptop and lots of books? And more importantly, lunch. Let's be honest, transporting lunch is key! The reason I'm asking so far in advance is that I kind of want to get as much purchasing out of the way now, while I have any disposable income, and so I don't have to just grab the first thing I find in a panic. Maybe I can find something nice and eco-friendly, but they tend to be a bit more expensive than your average college student can afford. Otherwise I'd wait to see what I need. Gah, maybe I should wait anyway, and be the person that turns up on day 1 with a grocery bag. Or, more likely, some conference freebie messenger-type bag, as I have a couple of those somewhere. Maybe. Unless I gave them away.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Finally, some fucking GOOD NEWS for a change!

Awww, thanks for the comments, guys. You stayed for the snark? Sniff! I'm so proud! Although I think the blog has been pretty sappy and wishy washy lately, so I will try to improve on that.

I was going to blog today about dieticians and why I could never be one (my god, they need the patience of a frickin' SAINT - I could never say the same thing over and over and over again to try to get people to eat better). Or maybe about the idiots that run my local gas company (got a letter yesterday, dated 4 days previously that unless they heard from me within 5 days they would cut my gas supply off so they could do something with my meter). Or maybe I was going to do my semi-annual rant about why some Americans can't understand that they too have an accent (yes, you damn well DO. Everybody has an accent).

But instead....

some good news for once. Insanely awesome news. Absolutely wonderful, the best news I could hope for - short of getting knocked up - type of news. After nearly 8 years, I got approval to get me one of these!!!

I am freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pulling away/changing

You know, I've meant to write for a while about how weird it is to be entering this time in my life. For over 3 and a half years I have been all about trying to conceive. I joined websites and boards. I chatted endlessly. I read blog after blog after blog. My entire life revolved around it. And before that, I always assumed I would have kids. I assumed it would be easy. I assumed that things would go according to plan. So I always had some interest in the whole baby/pregnancy/child-rearing stuff.

And now? Not so much. I didn't keep up my membership in one site because it cost money and was too depressing because (mostly) everyone else got knocked up. I deliberately pulled away from one board because it was too depressing that (mostly) everyone else got knocked up and I realized I didn't "fit" any more. Other things I haven't made a concious choice on, but I find that I have pulled away too. I just don't have the interest any more in IVF sites and in a lot of blogs that I used to read. Not that reading about other people's kids or pregnancies isn't fine and dandy in certain respects, but I find that I am casting about for things to occupy the rest of my life, which I am assuming will be child-free. And therefore I am losing interest in a lot of things that used to take up a lot of my time.

I think it's natural. That will not be my life any more. And (most of) your lives will be very different from mine. We may have a mild interest in keeping up with an old acquaintance or friend but we're not necessarily into the nitty gritty of every day happenings unless they are the same as ours.

But even though it's natural, it's hard to redefine myself outside of this sphere. What am I passionate about? What do I want to be involved in? I really can't see what the future is going to be. I don't even know myself a lot of the time. And I alternately stress myself out or get excited over going back to school. I mean, I'm going to be really hard up for money. For the first time in a very long time. Have I forgotten how to survive on not very much? Or can I still do it? Then there's the weight loss and getting fit aspect too. I mean, partly I assume that I'll be too poor to eat and the weight will just fall off, but I want to make sure I don't fall into the trap of eating cheap junk food just to fill myself up. I've been chatting on a weight loss board, but that's not going to be a permanent thing. Or maybe it will be, I don't know. Maybe I'll just be interested in general health and fitness.

So, anyway. I guess it'll all be easier once this final cycle is finally done, and once I've changed my work situation. I won't have time to dwell too much then, I guess, and I won't still be waiting to change my life, I'll be in the middle of it. Yes, I am assuming that the cycle won't work. I am doing it, but I have no hope. Ha, if it does work, I can be the poster child for "no, you don't need a positive attitude". But really, who would have any hope in my situation? Who would even be dumb enough to try one last time? Most everyone else would have moved on long ago. And then I look at my blog, which is purely an infertility blog and I wonder if it's worth keeping up, or whether I should morph it to something else. I'll probably keep writing, because I like to blurt out my feelings every now and then, and it gives me something to do. But how can I keep any sort of readership? All my readers (yes, all 5 of you) are infertility/TTC/SMC related people. Will anyone be interested in the ramblings of an impoverished acupuncture student? Can I get back to actually writing witty and interesting things like I used to try to do, instead of just morose thoughts on why my latest cycle failed?

I guess we'll see.

Shout out to Annie

annie_rattie, please see my comment below yours in the comments on the money thing post!

Monday, May 05, 2008


Random crap post:

*I grocery shopped at Walmart this weekend. I know, the evil empire. I shouldn't shop there because I am supporting their evil practices. But I am trying to rein in expenditure as much as possible, so bite me. Besides, they are trying to go green so I gave it a go. Anyway, Amy's personal frozen pizzas for $2.97! Score!

*I have lost 7 lbs since ER day, which was a month ago yesterday. Yay me. Eating 1700 calories a day rocks. You don't feel (too) deprived, yet you still lose weight. Obviously, though, if I was close to my goal weight I probably wouldn't lose much weight so I will have to drop down on the calorie intake eventually but I'll wait until I hit a plateau before doing that.

*I bought awesome new running shoes. I'll post a picture when I can. I am doing really well with my jogging, all thanks to the shoes.

*I've lost the damn battery recharger for my digital camera. Waaah. So no pictures of new shoes will be forthcoming just yet. I hope the recharger is around the house somewhere and I didn't leave it plugged in in a hotel room in Vegas or something.

*Please, if you're the praying kind, pray that I get my g..reen c..ard this week. Or else send warm fuzzy thoughts to the imm..igration service. There have been developments, and I'm so close I can almost taste the freedom. God, I hope it happens this week, otherwise I might go crazy.

*Still haven't booked the next Vegas trip. I am so reluctant with this damn cycle. I must force myself soon.

*Did anyone else watch Cranford on PBS last night (or earlier in the week depending on when your local station carried it)? LOVED it! Love, love, love. If you missed it, you can watch online here.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

My joy thing

I'm fairly sick of reading myself whining, so I thought I would share with you all something that makes me happy.

It's a simple thing. A very simple thing. A cup of tea.

At my darkest hour during this infertility crap, yes, I considered suicide. I just didn't see the point to life if I couldn't be a mother. There didn't seem to be any worth in living a half-life. In not contributing to society in the way that I had always imagined. I just did not want to continue on. But I didn't do it, because that is not me. I could never ever cause that sort of pain to my family. And besides, I've been through other tough times before, and looking back, can't even remember what I was so down about. So I knew I would get through it somehow.

At the same time, a friend of mine was going through a happy phase. Which is weird, because I can usually count on him for a good hate session, especially over work. But there he was, all cheery, and I had a face as long as a horse's. So he kept on at me to tell him something that was good in my life, something I was grateful for, something I was happy with. And I just...couldn't. But, being as he was being all optimistic and in my face, he didn't accept no for an answer.

And eventually, I said that I'd found this tea that I really enjoy. It's an organic loose-leaf tea, so you have to spoon the leaves into the pot or brewing basket, and you get this wonderful smoky, oakey aroma. And then waiting for it to brew, and then drinking it just is a wonderful experience. And it was apparently one of the teas that was thrown in Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party which tickles my funny bone for some reason. You know, English person in America, still drinking the same old tea. So, I was happy about my tea. Hooray for Bohea!

That was it, that was all I was grateful for that day. But hey, it was a start, and it eventually enabled me to think of a few other things I was grateful for. And that helped to bring me out of my slump.

But now, every time I make my special tea, like today, it brings a big smile to my face, remembering that conversation and remembering that it is my happy tea. And that makes me happy all over again.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The money thing

I am tying myself up in knots over money these days, and I don't like it!

When I first starting this trying to conceive business, I'm not going to lie, I was quite comfortably off. I was rich, I suppose you could say, although not super rich. Not even alternative minimum tax rich. But I had more than enough for my needs. I have a well paying job, and I have always lived below my means and been a saver. Therefore, I had quite a large cushion of cash saved up. I imagined that cushion of cash enabling me to have an au pair for a year or two after the birth of my child. I imagined fully funding a pre-paid college fund. I imagined being able to take vacations to Europe as the child got older. I imagined buying a nice new, safe car like a Volvo. I imagined doing some work on the house to add on a bathroom. All of those things. I imagined not having to worry about money even though having a child on my own would be expensive.

And then the trying part of the trying to conceive thing got very...trying. Time dragged on. Procedures got more and more complicated and expenses piled up. I hated it, but what can you do? I was at least lucky enough to have savings. I didn't have to forego treatment because of a lack of money. I knew I was SO very lucky on that score. But now here I am. Over three years and so much money later I don't even want to admit it to you. I will own up to it being six figures. I am pretty much out of savings, although have a little bit scattered here and there. More importantly, infertility has changed me. I am not the same person as I used to be, and having a career is no longer so important. I want to be able to help others. I want to have balance and meaning in my life. So I hatched this crazy plan to go to acupuncture school. So I can help other infertile women NOT go through what I have gone through.

But the thing is, it's a three year full time program. And it's an hour away from where I live. And they say that classes could be any time Monday - Saturday because a lot of the faculty also have their own practices, so it's not even going to be easy to arrange part time work when I am attending school as I will only know right at the start of the semester what my schedule is going to be like. The property market has gone down the toilet, so I may not even be able to free up equity in my house while moving closer to school. I'm looking at a six figure student loan at this point, coincidentally or not about the same amount of money as I've paid out in infertility treatment. Hopefully my current employer will keep me on for 8 hours a week, which I can do mostly at home so I can fit in an hour or two here and there around classes. But I'm seriously stressed about the money situation. I have not been able to save much since deciding to do this, because a large chunk of my disposable cash goes towards feeding my flexible spending account. That I used to pay for an IVF cycle.

And then there's this final cycle. Which a large part of me thinks is completely pointless. But which I know I need to do for final closure and mental health reasons. I can't move on until I know that there's absolutely no hope left. There wasn't supposed to be a clinic fee because I paid for the two-cycle plan. But there is. Let's not use the words "bait and switch" but let's just say it crosses my mind on a regular basis. It is going to cost me about the same as an FET cycle. There is plane fare, hotel costs, rental car costs. And then the drugs. Oh my god, the drugs. I spoke to the pharmacy yesterday, and they told me that the follistim alone was going to be over $4000. Over $4000! I about had a heart attack. I mean, I knew that I was going to be taking a lot of stims, but criminy.

Thankfully, due to some blogging angels, after I sent one email whining about money to the biggest angel of them all, I may be getting some donations so I may have about half the follistim covered. And I thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart. Seriously, you have no idea (well, you probably do) how much this means to me.