at the end of this God forsaken ectopic pregnancy tunnel! Friday's beta came back nice and early in the day, so I wasn't stuck waiting all day long. Not only that, it came with good news that hCG was down to a 7. First thing out of my mouth was a really loud, "PRAISE GOD!" followed by the very important question, "Does this mean I can have a glass of wine?" My wish for a glass of wine was granted by the endocrinology fairy (a.k.a. Cathy the nurse) and I was told they will need to test once more next Friday 1/4, just to confirm hCG made it's way all the way down to zero.
Believe it or not, even when hCG numbers get this low they can really eek themselves out in the end. I have heard stories of women who's hCG got all the way down to 5, only to stagnate or go back up! They need to make sure it truly gets down to zero in order to verify everything. Whatever. One more needle won't kill me. I have realized, however, that the vein in my right arm is accumulating quite a bit of scar tissue from being stuck in the same place so many times. Just as I was getting so brave at giving blood, now it's starting to hurt more since the needle has to go through scar tissue, and I've regressed back into being a big fat baby about it. I've been trying to alternate arms as much as possible along the way, but I guess I was using the right one more. Boooo. I'm switching to my left arm solely for a while, but it's only a matter of time before that arm has an equal amount of scar tissue. I wonder if there is any way to get rid of scar tissue in your veins? The women at the lab tell me no, that you're stuck with it (no pun intended) for life once you have it in a certain vein. If anyone out there knows a remedy feel free to share!
Indeed we did celebrate with a nice glass of red wine and homemade lentils on Friday night and it was Mmm Mmm GOOD. It feels like forever since we've been able to just sit and enjoy a glass of wine together. I'm not some sort of alcoholic. It's just a very different thing to abstain from wine because you are pregnant with a nice healthy baby vs. not being able to drink because you are on meds to end a nonviable pregnancy. I personally think we deserved a whole bottle or two as long as it's been, but we were good and kept it to a glass.
Saturday we spent all day taking down Christmas decorations, cleaning the house top to bottom, and I started chipping away at tax return stuff. I normally HATE gathering tax info, so I was determined to get a head start this year. I sat down, printed out all of our bank statements and started going through them with a fine toothed comb. A few hours later, I marveled at my beautiful excel spreadsheet outlining $13,400 in medical expenses, $22,000 in education expenses, and a $2,600 loss on our rental property. Booyah! I knew we had quite a few medical expenses but wasn't sure if we would have enough to surpass 7.5% of our adjusted gross income (required to write off anything medical). Alas, we did for once.
If you are reading this and think you have some hefty medical expenses, take it from me...sit down and add them up, because you may have enough to write off. Don't leave anything out! You can claim mileage (23 cents/mi.) to and from doctor appointments and pharmacy trips, as well as tolls taken driving there. You might be shocked at how fast the mileage adds up! You can even claim acupuncture and non-traditional medical treatments. If you are a little bit short of 7.5%, you still have one more day to pay for medical expenses too. If you are interested in writing off your medical expenses but have never done it before, you can view the tax rules HERE and also some great FAQ's HERE. I have a brief chit chat with our accountant tonight, but I think most of my work is done. I can't believe I am saying this in December!
All of our hard work yesterday was rewarded today, as we used a Travelzoo voucher we had for facials and massages. How a tiny Asian man weighing no more than a buck ten can be so strong simply defies all logic, but I won't question a good thing when it happens. I can't tell you how amazing that massage felt today. I am finally feeling like I can breathe a little bit more.
Looking back at 2012, no doubt it was full of obstacles, most of which I'd love to just forget. Let's just pretend like none of that ever happened! Wouldn't that be nice. However, we made it out relatively unscathed. It looks like I will be avoiding surgery most thankfully. Our goal of entering 2013 with zero credit card debt was reached. We are in a good place to start anew. I'm trying my best not to look back at what we've been through, but rather look at the new year as a fresh new start.
We have a consult with a genetic counselor on 1/3 this week and then we're attending a group IVF orientation with Dr. Vaughn on 1/8 to learn more about the IVF process. We aren't running as fast as we can towards IVF but rather taking it one slow step at a time. We will get there... praying every single day that this will be our answer to having a healthy take home baby.