Since we had to switch sperm anyway (the only factor we can try changing at this stage since everything else has checked out fine), we decided to change banks while we're at it, because why not? What if that bank just doesn't do as good of a job at collecting or storing? It can't hurt. Except that it does financially, because our bank was the cheapest around. We're going from $470 a vial to over $700. Since we need two vials per try, that difference adds up, considering we were already struggling to save up what we needed before. We have also taken a break from being a host family for international students; the break has been wonderful for our marriage and our sanity while my wife starts a new job and we deal with the emotional fallout of this last failed attempt, but there is also much less money coming in now. That was a second job of sorts that is now on hold. We also just got bills for over $1300 in bloodwork from my initial work-up that are being denied by my insurance company. I already tried to appeal, and the denial stands.
I have a whole story to share around the donor I chose, but I don't want to expend the emotional energy in writing about it when we are most likely only giving it one shot. If I have several eggs and there is a good amount of sperm and it still doesn't work after changing donors, we are going to have to go a different route. I'm smitten for this guy, would love for him to be connected to our child and excited for our child to meet him one day. I have a really good feeling about him, more so than the last guy, whose biggest selling point was that we knew someone who had used him as a donor. We didn't have that bias this time so we had to choose just based on everything else, and I'm really excited about him. It even makes me feel like maybe the last guy didn't work for a reason - maybe this is the guy our child is meant to be connected to. But I don't even want to write about all that, how we chose him and what I love about him, because we are only giving it one shot with him. That's all we can afford. We can't keep throwing money into something that just isn't working, so he's got one shot. And that scares me. I'm already so attached.
I'm a disaster and could really use therapy, but the $40 a week copay adds up to more than I can afford right now if I ever want to save this money up. I've had two different people swear by acupuncture (improves blood flow to help healthy maturation of eggs and healthy building of the lining), saying they had trouble conceiving and ended up getting pregnant the first cycle after undergoing treatment. But I went for a consultation Saturday (she's an M.D. a five-minute walk from my house who specializes in fertility issues) and learned that the discount package is $600 for ten sessions. And for it to be effective, you need weekly sessions for three months leading up to insemination, and then three times the week of the procedure (before and after insemination, and then around implantation time). Everything I can do to help myself costs more money, and I feel frustrated, sad, and defeated.
My agency just changed its maternity leave policy, effective 9/15/15, so that you can only carry over two weeks of vacation into the next fiscal year. Currently, at any given point, you can hold your amount of vacation plus two weeks that you carried over before you start losing unused vacation. But as of 9/15/15 and then every July 1, you will lose all but two weeks going into that next year. I would have to get pregnant in August in order to be able to use all my paid vacation time that I've been so carefully hoarding so that I can afford taking my full leave (five months max). We can't afford to even try in August. So now I have to worry about how I will afford to take five months off if only three months of it are paid instead of the four-and-a-half that I'd originally calculated, or else have a total meltdown at facing going back to work before five months. And we used to be able to take a six-month leave prior to this year, so that's already been a blow.
I'm an emotional wreck these days, and am grateful for my friend and coworker (who just had an embryo transfer this week for her first round of IVF) because we go to each other's offices to break down all the time. It makes ALL the difference to have someone who gets it - and not from the other side just saying "it will happen, don't worry," but in it right now, knowing the anxiety and stress of it, feeling it daily and not just as a memory with the knowledge of hindsight and having answers.
I'm trying to distract myself. Much of the time I'm successful. Much of the time I'm overwhelmed in the chaos of my work, or absorbed in "Breaking Bad" and other such entertainment escapes, or spending time with family and friends and just feeling total joy at life and beautiful weather and people I love and the simple pleasures of watching my rosebush bloom and having a purring cat on my chest in the mornings. Because the very nature of who I am is just not able to be squelched, even by this, and I am at my core a grateful and joyful human being. But I have moments in between those moments, brief as they may be, where I completely and utterly break.
This is how I've been distracting myself since the last negative pregnancy test: