Monday, August 31, 2009

It will happen

We have our appointment at Shady Grove tomorrow. So many "what if?"s. What if they say insurance won't cover another round? What if they say there's evidence to show that this may not work out. What if they think my eggs are too old? What if they want to start cycle 4 right away? What if they don't know anything? I really need to relax about it all. That's what the psychics said anyway.

That's right, psychics.

I happen to believe that there are people who can communicate with spirits. Further I believe these spirits are around us a lot of the time. That's about as far as I've gone in terms of thinking all of this out. It's hard to explain but it's just something I know. And I get that others may think I'm crazy.

I did not go to a psychic recently (though I've gone to one several times in the past, but not in the last 5 years or so). A girl who works with my mom went to 2 different psychics and both of them told her that the daughter of the lady she works with (presumably me) will get pregnant with no problem and that I have to "stop trying so hard" (LOVE when people say's so encouraging, huh? Like we're already feeling so good about it all and then someone comes along and makes us feel that much better by telling us that we're doing too much caring about the most important thing we'll ever do!!!! UGH). One even said that it will happen for me in the September/November range. Would that be 2009? (I would like to know please) So now I'm feeling hopeful that it will happen. I am smart enough though to not go to my girl Rose (who I have much faith in as being a legitimate spiritual medium) just in case she tells me that it's hopeless. I know I'd take it to heart and it would impact my decisions and then Russ would divorce me. Not really. But still I need to have a clear mind and being referred to in other people's readings is good enough for me. It will happen.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It all comes down to $$$

I feel bad because I'm about to complain about what a pain dealing with insurance is. I know that there are thousands of families (or more like "families-in-waiting) who don't have the luxury of having infertility treatment covered. I have some of the best insurance around and I still have frustrations about the whole thing. My cycles have typically cost about $25000. That sounds about right to me (based on what I had read before beginning my first cycle). What I didn't know is that half of that cost is the medication. After my 2nd cycle, I was told that I had used my fertility medication coverage for the year - maxed out at $10,000. I panicked because it meant that if I was not pregnant and needed another cycle, I would have to come up a lot of money that I definitely didn't have. My nurse (the angelic Farrah at Fair Oaks SGFC) figured out way for me to get meds and eventually submitted a waiver to my insurance so that we were able to do cycle 3 without paying anything out of pocket, aside from some Endometrin inserts which are not too costly.

So now here we are. Going to see Dr. Browne on Tuesday. I don't know if insurance will cooperate with us this time. How many chances do we have to get off the hook? For procedures, I should be covered. My insurance company clearly states that they cover up to $100,000 for IVF. But is medication included in that number? Even if it is, I should have half of that left at least (our first cycle was covered by my husband's insurance). We should be able to give another go this year. But will they say I have to wait until 2010? Not in their best interest I say. The longer we wait, the less likely it will work and the more likely I'll have to have another cycle - that costs them more money.

So when it comes down to it, it's all about money. If we didn't have insurance, what would we do? What do so many other people do? Take out loans? I can't imagine getting that phone call ("Tracey? I'm so sorry, but your test is negative.") and on top of the pain of the news having to worry about now being another $25,000 in debt! Totally worth it if you have a baby to show for it, but an empty belly and another bill in the mail? Ech... At least we have a chance for coverage and for that I know I am blessed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My IVF far

So...I've gone through 3 IVF cycles unsuccessfully. After so many years of actively avoiding pregnancy, who would have thought I'd be going through all this crap to get pregnant. We've been trying for 5+ in spring '08 left me with one fallopian tube which can barely grab an egg since there is a ton of scar tissue between it and my ovary. So natural pregnancy is nearly impossible. OK, so let's try IVF. By the way, I had always said that I would never go so far as to attempt IVF. Too invasive I said. I would never go through all that. Multiple shots per day? In my butt? Yeah, right. It's amazing what one will do when all other options are taken away. We quickly became prepared to do whatever it takes to get pregnant.

First IVF round was July '08. Fourteen eggs retrieved, 11 conceived naturally, 10 continued growing, 2 blastocysts were transferred to me on day 6. Twelve excruciating days of waiting. Nothing. That news hit hard and man was it difficult. I never dreamed it would be so hard. I could only think of friends who suffered miscarriages and wondered how they handled that. I wanted to do another cycle right away but insurance issues caused us to wait until 2009.

Cycle 2 was April '09. Let's try something different Dr. Browne (Shady Grove Fertility Center) said. Cool. Instead of Lupron, we did Ganirelix. The cycle seemed so much shorter. They got 12 eggs (I layed a dozen! my facebook status said) and all of them conceived. They transferred 2 blastocysts on day 5. Thirteen days later, we got the call. My HCG was 15. Positive result but it didn't look good. Come back in 2 days. HCG went up to 39 and we were ecstatic! Come back in 3 days. HCG was up over 100. Come back in 4 days for an ultrasound they said. Ultrasound showed that there nothing there. Maybe a teeny tiny sac but nothing that could be a normal pregnancy. Come back Monday though for another look. We grieved. Regardless of what they found we knew it wasn't a normal pregnancy so no baby. Monday confirmed it and my doctor called to tell me that this was it and I should stop all meds. I had to continue getting blood drawn so they could follow the levels until they were all the way down to zero. Great. It was 36 hours after I stopped meds that everything inside me poured out. Right in the middle of American Idol too. Thank goodness I was home. The sadness lasted for a few weeks and it was rough. I was worried my spirit was permanently broken. Luckily I came back and was ready to tackle another cycle.

Cycle 3 was July '09. No birth control this time, let's just start she said. Great! Only 8 eggs retrieved, all 8 conceived and grew. They transferred 2 embryos on day 3. Dr. Browne and I spoke about transferring 3 embryos...and I still wonder if we should have. It was another unsuccessful round. We found out on the day of our 10th wedding anniversary. We were on our way to a bed and breakfast to celebrate. I barely reacted to the news. A few moments of sadness and I realized we missed our exit and we were immediately distracted. I enjoyed getting off to turn around and stopping to find a diet Coke! I had been off caffeine and artificial sweetener all summer during the cycle, so this was a great treat.

So here we are. Three rounds down, who knows how many more we'll have to go. I have a meeting with Dr. Browne next week to game plan for our next round. We shall see...