Our first appointment with the RE was in February of 2014. We had to drive 2 hours to get to the office so I had to take off work that day. I had no idea what to expect. I’d heard from others that I’d get blood work and maybe an ultrasound.
We walked in the doors and I was amazed by what I saw. The entire waiting room was filled with women of all ages and several men as well. I was shocked by the number of people in the office but I thought maybe it was a fluke.
Waiting for our names to be called took forever. Finally a doctor came out and called my name. My husband and I stood up and met our RE. He was a middle aged man with a big smile. He introduced himself to us and then took us to his office.
Once in the office he asked us to tell him about some of our history. I went first and then my husband went. The doctor then pulled out all of our blood work and my HSG and went over the results in detail with us. As it turned out all of the tests were normal. He then told us that we could continue trying on our own but since we’d already been trying on our own for a year the chances of us getting pregnant on our own were only around 5% per month. That was a blow that made me pause.
I asked him about our test results. If everything was normal what was going on? He explained to me that 15% of the general population has infertility problems. Of those 15%, he said that between 15-20% are unexplained infertility meaning that all of the tests come back negative and there is no real reason why we couldn’t get pregnant on our own. I was crushed. I thought going to the RE would tell us what was wrong and how to go forward. Luckily, the doctor had a plan for us.
He basically gave us all of our options ranging from doing nothing to IVF (in vitro fertilization). We could try a medication like Clomid and see if that worked. We could do Clomid with IUI’s (intrauterine insemination). We could do IUI’s with injectibles. There was also the option to go straight to IVF though he warned me that if I had insurance I would probably have to wait and do a few other cycles first.
We talked through it and while we wanted to wait on our insurance, we decided that if all went well the next month we would start with an IUI. The doctor reviewed that with us and we decided we would use Clomid and Bravelle (an injectible) on our first cycle.
I felt good having a plan though I was very, very scared. I hated needles and couldn’t imagine giving myself an injection. However, because of our ages, I wanted to do everything I could to have a baby now.
After meeting with the doctor we were taken into another room where we met with the financial counselor. She asked us for our insurance information and then asked us a few questions. She said she knew others with this insurance and most likely infertility would be covered. She did caution us that normally insurance companies wanted 3 IUI’s before moving on to IVF. She then said most companies wanted us to be trying for 2 years before moving on to IVF.
I was surprised by this and told her we had only been trying for a year. She then asked if we had been preventing prior to that. I told her I went off birth control pills in June 2012 and we didn’t use any other contraceptives. She said in the mind of our insurance, we would be closing in on 2 years of trying. She then let us know that while we wanted to do IUI next cycle, we needed to wait until the insurance came through otherwise they might not pay for it. I told her I understood and then she left.
The last person we met with that day would be the most important. It was my nurse, Betsy. She came in with a big smile on her face and introduced herself. We talked a little bit and actually found out we went to rival high schools! This may not seem like a big deal but where the doctor was located was more then 4 hours away from where we both lived as children and went to school. Right there we had an instant connection.
Betsy gave us a lot of information. She gave me her direct phone number and told me to call with any questions. This was a surprise as most doctors offices don’t want to be bothered unless it’s something major. I would learn in the next few months that Betsy would become invaluable to me and she really did mean I could call her anytime. She would get back to me the same day and give me all the information I wanted whether it was something big or just something little. It didn’t matter; she was there to help me through this journey.
We left the office feeling a bit shell shocked but also like we were moving in the right directions. After months of feeling like something was wrong with us and there was nothing we could do, there finally was something for us to do. Now we just had to wait and hope that our insurance came through.