Category Archives: insurance

IV Infusion #3

Well it’s been a whole month since I last posted.    There isn’t much to post when I’m not cycling and I’ve been down in the dumps because of being delayed.   I’ve also been down because while I am so, so happy that several of my friends who have infertility difficulties have gotten pregnant in the last month, it just makes me sadder to think it’s probably never going to happen for me.  I see others who get pregnant on their first IUI cycle or even their first IVF cycle and I feel jealous and sad for myself.  I hate feeling that way but it is what it is.

So yesterday I had my third IV Infusion.  Let me tell you, these things are adding up price wise.   The actual medication is $35 with my co-pay but running the IV and the doctors visit runs close to $300.  When I thought I was cycling in June I figured I’d have 2 infusions, pay $600, and be on my merry way.  Now I’m going to have to have at least 4 and pay around $1200 during the summer when I don’t get a paycheck.  Infertility is so great!

Anyhow, after the fiasco of the IV infusion last time the head nurse got me herself.  I had no wait in the waiting room, she took me right back, and told me to get comfortable.  There’s supposed to be no food or drink in the back but she always lets me bring in something during my infusions.  So I got myself settled and she came in, got my IV running then put in the infusion.

I cautiously asked how the lab was going.  She turned and smiled before speaking so I knew it was good news.  She said as of last week they are on track to be finished the first week of August.  The old filtration system is out and they are currently building the new one which will take 3-4 weeks.  In the process they also convinced the university to buy them 2 brand new, state of the art incubators as well so maybe it’s a good thing that we were delayed.   It sounds like they are updating much of their equipment which can only help my cause.

The nurse then told me that they were repainting the waiting room, getting new floors, and stripping the wallpaper.  They haven’t been able to do it because of cycles going on but since everyone is delayed they are updating the entire place.  It looks great!

By this time my infusion was running and we started talking about my cycle.  I should get a period July 22 or 23 and I will start birth control on day 2 along with my baby aspirin.  I will then call her and she’ll go over when to start the estrogen and the Lupron shots.  I’m so relieved that we are finally moving on.  I’ve been on the bench since November and it has really sucked.  That’s 9 months people and in the land of DOR that is NOT GOOD.  Thankfully my AMH is up so I’m not feeling as bad about it.

I still really wish I was doing this during the summer so if it doesn’t work I’d have some time to process it.  As it stands now, my retrieval will be around the first week of school for my students.  This sucks as I am getting a new aide and a new half time special ed teacher with me.  I hate leaving my kids with people they don’t know, especially the first week of school.

So that’s where we are.  I’m about a week and a half out from starting birth control which will mean my IVF cycle has officially started.  My 4th and final attempt to have a baby.   Looking at my chart this journey has been pretty crazy.  We’ve been trying since May 2013 and have been not trying/not preventing since May 2012.  I’ve been through 3 IVF cycles, 5 IUI’s, 2 hysteroscopies, and a miscarriage with a D&C.   All of that has been since January 2014.

I do think this is the longest time we’ve gone without cycling though so hopefully my body is good and rested.  I’m slightly concerned because I’ve had some pain in my ovary area and am really hoping it’s not a cyst.  I think I’ll lose my mind if I get cancelled due to a cyst.

So, I should be writing again in a week or so with more updates and will be more regular from then on since I’ll be actively cycling and there is always a lot to tell during that period.

National Infertility Awareness Week

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.  It’s a week when people need to hear that they are not alone.   1 in 8 couples are infertile.  It’s not something we should hide.  It’s not something to be ashamed about.  It’s not my fault, it’s not your fault.  Infertility is a disease it’s not a choice.

I post about my infertility on this blog but in truth I keep my infertility inside.  My husband and I are not public about our infertility.   I have a lot of onlilne friends who know and I have 1 friend in real life who knows.  My husband has one friend in real life who knows we’ve had trouble but not to what extent.   Some days I’d like to come out and tell the world but I don’t want people feeling sorry for us.  Other days I’m glad we haven’t told many people.

My parents don’t officially know but they do know something is up.  They’ve offered us money for treatment, adoption, etc.  I appreciate it and I know they love me and want to help.  I know that they are aware that I want children and at 35 years old there is something wrong.  I hide the specifics from them because it’s painful enough for my husband and I, I don’t need all the treatments, the appointments, the disappointment, the needles, the side effects, etc., to effect them as well.

This NIAW I plan on tweeting a few things about infertility because I’m fairly anonymous on there.  I’m also planning on writing a few things on this blog about it.  I think we need to get the word out.  DO you know that only 15 states offer ANY infertility coverage?   What a joke!   Out of those only 5 states pay for IVF.  I am so lucky I live in one of those 5 states.  It’s one of the reasons I live here and haven’t tried to move in 4 years.  I don’t think my parents understand why I’m not trying to get a job back home but the truth is, back home does not have any infertility coverage.   Here in my current state I have a lot of coverage.  It’s sad that so few states offer infertility coverage.

I’ll leave you with this message on infertility:

Infertility is…
Hushed conversations, secret struggles, common misconceptions, ignorance.

The reality is much more than that. The reality is a group of people who fight a battle everyday for a glimpse of what seems to come so easily to… everyone else.
People who face heartbreak and fear and loss and unanswerable questions every single day. People who question every choice they make. People who wonder what they did to deserve this. People who willingly subject their bodies to tests and treatments and probes and medications…
with no guarantee of their happily ever after.

Infertility is…
Getting excited when needles/syringes/medications arrive in the mail, (with a free cooler too!)

Watching your beautiful embryos on the screen…

…Only to be told two weeks later that your dream doesn’t get to stay.

It’s multiple injections daily that leave you with bumps and bruises in places that are not convenient to have bumps and bruises.

It’s eyes so swollen from crying that you lie with ice packs in hopes of being presentable to the outside world.

It’s laughing at yourself for thinking that maybe, just maybe this is the month.

It’s watching “it” happen for everyone else.

It’s a HUGE roller coaster of emotions.

It’s hoping you’ll be “that couple” who was told it would never happen but it did once they stopped trying/went on vacation/stopped stressing/got drunk/did this that or the other thing.

It’s also finding a strength in yourself that you never knew existed.

It’s finding new meaning in words like patience… hope… faith…

It’s discovering a new path.

It’s learning that even in the darkest of days, you will be ok.

Infertility is someone you know… your daughter, sister, aunt, niece,
cousin, friend…

Infertility is me…

The Bloodwork Results are in….

So my bloodwork results are all in.   My nurse actually called me on Tuesday instead of Thursday knowing I was waiting to hear.   I was so scared to hear them knowing that if my AMH has dropped much from the pathetic .26 it was at last February (2015) we may not get to cycle.

The nurse started by telling me that my AMH results were on the low side…the low side OF NORMAL!   WHAT???   I couldn’t even believe my ears.   I asked her the number and she said it was at 1.0.  That’s an increase of .74!  I never in my wildest dreams thought it would go up and go up that much!  Being in the dire, probably never going to happen range into the low average range is huge!  I’m thankful for taking CoQ10 everyday for the last year because apparently it’s working.

Hope Quote

After hearing that I could barely pay attention to anything else she said.  I was on cloud 9.  I was so worried waiting 7 months since my last IVF cycle for this very last cycle ever for us but now it turns out that waiting is the best thing we could have done.  For the first time in a long time I’m feeling hopeful.

I got my other results as well.   My Vitamin low slightly low but nothing to worry about.  My Natural Killer Cells were in the high average range but 2 points higher then my RE likes.  I was given the choice of doing the IV infusions prior to my cycle.   It’s not proven to help but at this stage of the game spending $300 for an infusion the month before my cycle then another $300 for an infusion a week before we transfer is a drop in the bucket and if it helps I’ll do it.

So that’s where we are.   I’ll go in early May for my first infusion.  It takes 2 hours to complete.  We have to order it mid-April.  Then in mid-May we’ll order all of my meds for my June cycle.

June cycle is going to be a little different.  The last 3 IVF cycles I’ve gone on BCP’s.  This time I’m not.  They don’t want to suppress me this time.   So the day my cycle starts I’ll do estrogen priming and add in stims on day 3.  I’ll still do a high dose of Follistim and my Menopur but it’ll be a lot less then last time.

I would think I’d be super nervous with this being our last cycle but I’m feeling better with this cycle then I did IVF #3 so I think that’s a good thing.  We’ll do it right after I’m finished with school so I won’t have to worry about missed any school for appointments.  Fingers crossed my period cooperates the next two months and everything goes smoothly in June.

Scheduled my appointments

I feel like I’m not writing nearly as much but when I’m not cycling I don’t have much to say.  It’s been over 3 months since I’ve been to the RE’s office.   I’ve written my nurse several times to get some feedback on some different ideas and she’s been great.

So today I started my period.  Usually that would make me sad but today it meant I could schedule my SHG appointment.  I’m going March 24 and I’m so ready.  I’m hoping I get the all clear so I don’t have to do yet another hysteroscopy.  I’ve had 2 SHG’s before and both times they found polyps and had to go in and remove them.  I’m hoping this type around my poor uterus is clear and ready to go.

We will also be doing blood work.  I’m getting my natural killer cells and my AMH levels tested.   My AMH was .26 last February and I’m just hoping it hasn’t dropped anymore.  It seems like my ovaries respond fine but the quality of my eggs must just really suck.  So I’m hoping for anything over .2 at this point.  They are also looking to see if I should be tested for Vitamin D levels.

After my appointment we can determine a date for our 4th and final IVF cycle.   I’m hoping for the best and am going to try to be as positive as possible.  I hate that we’ve waited this long to do it but I need to do it in the summer as my job is super stressful and I’m not sure if I could do it otherwise…not in the spring at least.

I’m also planning on calling for an accupuncture appointment in early April.  I’d like 8 weeks of accupuncture before my egg retrieval and since it’ll be mid-June this should work out for me.  I’ve never done it before but there is a place my RE recommended and it’s $60 per session and the woman specializes in working with fertility patients. I figure it’s time to throw the kitchen sink at this and see what works.

Here We Go Again

Take a deep breath and…..here we go again!   After a month of not really talking about anything IF related we went out of town to do a little shopping last weekend and it just happened to be in the town our RE’s office is located.   As we drove past it on the way home I turned to my husband and told him he didn’t have to talk about it now but that we needed to decide what we were going to do because hanging in limbo was really weighing on me.

He surprised me by saying that while he hates me being put under anesthesia, since another cycle would be mostly covered by insurance he said he thought we should do another cycle.  Since that’s what I’ve been leaning towards as well we decided to go for it.

I thought I threw the book at my cycle last time but it’s nothing compared to what I’m going to do this cycle.   I plan on quitting drinking the cycle before, cutting caffeine to 1 cup of half caff per day, trying any and all supplements I can, and adding in HGH this time around.  That is, if my RE is ok with all of this.  He doesn’t know it yet, but that’s what I want to do next time.

I wrote my nurse on Tuesday.  She wrote me back telling me she was on vacation and would it be ok to wait until Monday to write me back or did I need answers now?  How awesome is she?   She didn’t have to write me on vacation.  I wrote her back and thanked her for replying but told her I could wait until Monday.

So now I’m doing so research on supplements.  I’m also looking into the IVF diet.  I’ve already been trying to add protein to my diet but I need to limit my carbs.  We’ll see how that goes.

Now, I just wait until Monday and see what the nurse says.  I asked her about 500 questions before we go ahead and do this.  I want to be tested for a few things before hand too.   We likely won’t cycle until June, which until February hit seemed so far away.  Now it’s just 4 short months away!

Can insurance give me another chance?

So, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve put anything down on the blog.   I’ve been going through a lot of crazy emotions and not knowing where I’m going or what I’m doing.  We haven’t made any decisions yet so I’m still in limbo.  I’ve been trying not to think of it and just keep charting like that’s all I need to do.

I called my nurse the other day and had them run everything through insurance.   On my policy it states a maximum amount of money they will pay out for infertility and then in my handbook it says up to 3 IVF cycles per live birth and unlimited IUI’s up to the max.  We’ve done 3 IVF cycles so I thought I was done.

When my financial person called back she told me that they won’t pay anything for a donor cycle.  No meds, no IVF, no transfer for me.  So I was feeling pretty bad for myself.  Then she told me she spoke to a manager and one fertility specialist and they assured her that they WILL pay for another IVF cycle.  WHAT???  Apparently though my handbook says 3 per live birth theirs says 3 per year up to my max.

So now I have more to think about.  I thought IVF was out because while we could afford the actual cycle we couldn’t afford the meds.   Now we find out insurance can pay for it.    My RE said he would do another cycle because I do produce a decent amount of eggs.  This would be it though, as this would take us to our max.

So I don’t know what to do.  I’ve been thinking it’s egg donor of nothing and now we have this thrown into the mix.  I don’t really want to go through everything again for the same crap results, but what if we have better results???  Well, we now have a lot to think about.

Not Pregnant

I’m sorry it’s taken me several days to update.   When I got the call that my beta was negative I didn’t know what to do.  I called my husband in tears.   I could not believe it was negative.  He could not believe it was negative.  I’ve done everything I possible can to get pregnant and it’s still a no.

The last few days have been a blur.  I’ve had several holiday parties which have been a good distraction but on the other side anything can make me burst into tears.  I don’t know what to do and I just cannot believe that we are here.

After 3 IVF cycle what do you do?   If I can’t get pregnant via IVF what other chances do I have?  None.  That’s the chance I have.  I am totally devastated right now.  My husband is trying to be supportive.  He keeps telling me this is just another hurdle that we’ll overcome it and we’ll keep on trying.  I’m glad he’s being encouraging but I feel like I’ve hit the bottom.

I’m walking around in a cloud of sorrow.   I don’t think we can afford another IVF and what would be the point?   If my last two cycles are any indication my eggs suck.  I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that I probably will never be a parent. Even just writing that has me in tears.

I know everyone probably says it but I would be a good mom.  My husband would be a good dad.   We are good people so why is this happening to us?  I can remember thinking that over 2 years ago when we first went to the RE but I had a lot of hope back then.   Now I have next to none.

I really don’t know what to do now.  I don’t know where to turn from here.  I’m 35 years old and my eggs are awful.  My husband is in his mid-40’s.   We don’t have much time left and even if we did it doesn’t look like there’s much chance for us.  We can’t afford to do a donor egg cycle and even if we could I’m not sure I’d be ready for that.

I am going to have a follow up appointment with the RE in a couple of weeks but I’m not really sure why.   I don’t know what he can tell me that will make any of this ok.  The truth is I am not ok.  I’m not.  I keep telling my husband that but he asks what I mean by that and I can’t explain.  I’m just not ok and I don’t know if I’m going to be.