Wisehubby and I had been TTC for a while and, on a hunch, discovered his severe male factor infertility--basically, he has an army of mutant sperm. I'm also mutant; I have a clotting disorder: Factor V. We were on the IVF with ICSI track, and I gave birth to a beautiful boy after IVF #2. We've tried varicocele repair, too--ugh. Our frozen embyro transfer ended in miscarriage at 9 weeks 1 day. We don't know where the quest will take us from here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Throughout the last year, I knew that we were throwing a lot of money at our fertility issues. Because I was so desperate to make our dreams come true, I didn't stop to see exactly how much it was costing us until it was time to itemize our medical bills for our taxes.

As it turns out, IVF is a very taxing process, in more way than one. Since we did IVF last fall, we spent more than 14.5% of our income on medical bills, after insurance paid out: prescriptions, doctor visits, dentist visits, and lab work. That is over double the amount you need to claim an itemized deduction on your federal taxes. We did just that, plus we itemized our charitable giving and educational expenses (graduate school). We ended up getting a return big enough to pay back the loan we had received from my in-laws last fall to help soften the blow of paying for IVF in cash. I can't wait until it is processed.

The point of this is to say, please, please, if you are reading this, living in the United States, and seeking fertility treatment, be sure to keep bills for all prescriptions and lab work. As for doctor and dentist visits, I found that the easiest course of action was to call each office and ask for them to mail a year end statement to us. That way, we didn't have to sort out the dozens of visits to the male Dr. B, on top of several visits for Wisehubby and I to Dr. P and our dentist, Dr. H, each.

IVF is taxing, but you may get a little bit of relief at tax time if you remember to itemize!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Factor V

I've been joking about having a mutant baby for so long that I had begun to forget the horrible truth behind it all. I dismissed Wisehubby's morphology issues as mutant sperm because I was using humor to hide from the pain. Now, I have only to look at myself to find a *real* mutant.

That's right, I have a Factor V mutation. I didn't know a lot about this today when the male Dr. B delivered the news unceremoniously over the phone, so I once again was left reeling by his news. After reading a bit about it, I have a ton of questions, many of which I will get answered by my primary care physician, Dr. P--thank goodness, she's not a B!

Depending on the severity of it all, I might even have to find myself a hematologist, which is a ripe kind of fun because a dear friend of mine is applying for fellowships in hematology/oncology--his wife calls him Dr. B, but that's his first name.

From what I can tell from Dr. Google, I'll have to take injections of blood thinners throughout any future cycles, as well as throughout any pregnancies. This means that you have to be very closely monitored at all stages of the pregnancy, and many women have induced labor or scheduled c-sections to avoid placenta problems.

I'm just starting to soak all of this in, so this was a pretty dirty post. If you know anything about this stuff, please HELP! I'm a mutant, but I feel so powerless.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An email and a response

A colleague sent an email to our small group of teachers who specialize in the same subject recently that ruined my day:

"Just wanted to let everyone in on my week…

[We] found out that we are pregnant with #3 this week. :)
We had a blood test done on Wednesday because we have NO clue how far along I am, and turns out I am anywhere from 8 to 14 weeks. 

So…we have a sonogram on Monday to find out for sure.  I will keep you all posted.


Best regards,
[Fertile Be-otch]"

Then this today:

"Well, turns out I am 15 weeks along as of today, [our daughter]’s 1st birthday.
The baby has little man parts and we couldn’t/can’t pick our jaws up off the ground.  There is a whole kid in my stomach that I didn’t even know about for the past 15 weeks.  I’m amazed and shocked and really excited. ☺
Just thought you guys would want to know the update!

Best regards,
[Fertile Be-otch]"

I couldn't send the response I wanted, so I settled for nothing. If I was a brave, bridge-burning bitch, here's what I would have said:

NO! I do NOT want to know the update. I do NOT want to hear about how you are so fertile that you could conceive clearly without trying less than a year after giving birth to your second child. In the time that you have been knocked up not once, but twice, my husband and I have suffered through one miscarriage, one failed cycle of IVF, and one testicular surgery. I don't think it is cute or funny or kind for you to share. I want to punch you in the uterus, if you must know. Yup, that's about it.

Best regards,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


from Want by Rick Barot

In this rain we are moved to anecdotes.
That people float candles out to the river.
That in a field there is the crickets' grief.
It could be colder just now but it isn't.
Though there are the posters' missing faces.
Though a car is upside down, wheel turning.
The day will only want to keep arriving.
We will startle for the clothes by the bed.
For the vein glowing green on the thigh.
The coffee will come black in its cup.
The bread will be made of something clean.
This will not seem enough and it isn't:
The white nouns of the moon, the paper.
The handkerchief pulled from an empty fist.