Laughter and Labors

A blog about life as I start IVF treatment through the VA.

The injections have begun — October 11, 2017

The injections have begun

Last Sunday marked the first day of our/my Lupron injections. The Thursday before we had our education appointment with one of the IVF nurses at my RE’s office who walked us through all of the injections that I will take during my cycle. Then on Friday, I went to the Cincinnati VA Medical Center to pick up all my medications. I had a chat with the pharmacist about keeping an inventory of all the medications so that I can notify them ASAP if I need to refill anything.

Every night between 8-10 pm my husband brings me a stuffed toy, which I cling to as he sticks me in my belly with my Lupron injection. Some nights the injection site is itchy/stingy but mostly I haven’t had any complications at the injection site. The first few days I was pretty nauseous and it rears its ugly head from time to time. TMI alert, the Lupron has given me loose stools nearly every day with some days being worse than others.

Also, we smoked a brisket and a pork shoulder all day and when we pulled the pork shoulder out the smell made me very nauseous, so much so that I couldn’t even be in the kitchen while my husband shredded it up. I love pork. I love pulled pork so this was rough for me. 😦

My baseline ultrasound is this Friday, October the 13th. OoooooO I know, right? We shall see what happens and I’ll be back with an update.

Signing off,

P.S. We got rained on at the Ohio Renaissance Faire but we still managed to have a lot of fun.


It’s official. — July 20, 2017

It’s official.

Once my reproductive endocrinologist (RE) confirms that HealthNet Federal Services (HNFS) will cover my IVF (invitro fertilization) treatments starting immediately. HNFS is the corporation the covers some treatments that veterans receive that aren’t performed by VA Clinics or Hospitals. The VA doesn’t have the facilities to treat women with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), especially such a severe case as mine.

Chris and I sporting our new hats we bought at the zoo.

Sometime in the next week my RE’s office will call to set up what they called an “education day” where they will teach myself but mainly Chris, because I’m a big baby who is afraid of giving herself injections, how to measure out my injections that will help trigger ovulation. The next several months are probably not going to be pleasant but Chris and I both want to have children so if this is what it takes we are both committed to doing this together.


I have decided to write about my treatment so that other women who receive their health care from the VA can learn from my experiences. When Chris and I first started talking about trying to get pregnant I tried to look online to see if anyone had ever written about prenatal care through the VA. Zilch. There is almost no information at all about how women work with the VA to receive prenatal care. The VA’s website does say that we are covered and tells women to talk to their primary care physician for more information. Very helpful, as usual. Fortunately for me, I am rated for my infertility so the approval process for covering my IVF went very quickly. As my RE, Dr. Thomas said my ovaries look like chocolate chip cookies. They also performed a hysterosalpingography and discovered that one of my fallopian tubes is completely blocked. So, I am extra hopeless, hence the IVF.

Ripley standing over her brother.


I hope that sharing my experience with the VA covering my IVF will help others who are looking to seek fertility treatment or just prenatal care through the VA. Information on women’s benefits is hard to come by especially for younger women.

In each blog I am going to try to include at least one picture of at least one of my pets, of which there are three, Ripley the newfie mix, Gimli the mini aussie, and Prim Rose the black cat.