Hurry Up and Wait

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Today is the last battery of things standing between me and starting my cycle. Today I go in for a repeat HSG and a saline sonogram. The HSG is just to make sure the endometriosis hasn’t caused any issues with my remaining tube, the saline sonogram is to check that I don’t have any polyps or fibroids in my uterus or anything else that would interfere with implantation. Overall, not my idea of a fun day, but considering how hard it was to even get them to do this, I am looking forward to it.

Getting my appointments this month has been like pulling teeth pretty much. While I am beyond grateful to have found a way to do IVF, not going to lie, traveling for IVF is a pain in the ass. No one locally wants to help. I’ve spent so much time on the phone talking my RE’s office into these 2 tests, it’s ridiculous. While I understand the frustration they might have that I am not cycling with them, they are the ones at fault here. If they offered 0% interest in house financing, and it was as cheap as it is at CNY, I would gladly cycle with them. But they don’t, and they are almost 3 times more expensive. So they only have themselves to blame in losing me as an IVF patient.

My next battle will be getting them, or someone else locally to do my monitoring. Thinking of that, I am starting to mildly freak out at this point. After this, I start lupron, have another period, then start stims. My tentative timeline puts me at possibly having my transfer on Halloween. Which I’ll take as a sign of good luck, it being my favorite holiday.

Right now I am excited, nervous, worried, scared, you name it. I’ve waited so long to get here, and I am so happy to FINALLY be here. But I am so scared this will fail. I’m scared I won’t have any eggs. I’m scared I will and they will be shitty. I’m scared I’ll over stimulate and end up with OHSS and blow up like a balloon. I’m scared the transfer will happen and fail. I’m scared the transfer will work, but I will end up with another ectopic or a miscarriage. I’m just scared. I want to have hope, but I have failed so many times to get to this point, hope seems pretty pointless. But I’m going to try anyways. Maybe I can be positive this will work, and it just will. I just hope those around me can catch me if it fails.

Living Life on Hold

fc1d51916b21653a7120c77e4f98149eRecently, life having been on hold for several years has really started to get to me. It’s one of the hidden issues for those of us suffering from infertility. Waiting for coverage to see an RE. Waiting for treatment cycles. Waiting to recover from pregnancy loss and surgery. Waiting to afford IVF. It never seems to end.

I went against the grain in getting a new job in the hopes that it would break the pent up feelings I have. It hasn’t worked. Here’s the thing. Every single thing I do, or we do as a couple right now, has to be weighed against IVF.

We’d like to buy a house, but we can’t. The down payment for that would pay for IVF.

We need a second car, but we can’t. The payment for that is a chunk of money not going to IVF.

We HAD to buy a stove, seeing as we didn’t have one. I still feel guilty, that is $450 not paying for IVF.

I don’t buy any clothes because I hope to be pregnant and what a waste that would be.

And on and on.

It’s just a constant struggle. Everything comes to a screeching halt, waiting to maybe have enough to pay for a medical procedure. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that the $200 something I pay a month in insurance premiums would help pay for my IVF.

Hell, my insurance could have paid for almost 2 IVF’s paying for the psychiatric treatment I have needed resulting from my infertility.

And while I sit here waiting? The endometriosis and my aging keep pushing the likelihood that I will succeed further and further away.

My Infertility Myths

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There are a lot of myths out there surrounding infertility. Here are a few of them and how they relate to me:

Just relax, then you’ll get pregnant.

No. Just, no. If this was the case, I think there would be alot less pregnancy going on in 3rd world countries. Women have been getting pregnant under duress since the dawn of time, it isn’t stress keeping me from getting pregnant, it’s the disease I suffer from called infertility. No one tells a cancer patient to just relax and their cancer will be cured. If they did, you’d tell them they’re an idiot.

Adopt, you always get pregnant then!

While this does occasionally happen, it is not what happens for the vast majority of infertile couples that adopt. Only having a .01% chance to conceive naturally does not mean it’s impossible, just very close to impossible.

My brothers, sisters, cousins, BFF went on vacation after trying for __ years and SURPRISE, pregnant!

A vacation does not get you pregnant either, please see the above “relax” comment. Anyone ever also stop and think that maybe the “vacation” they took was actually a treatment cycle? Especially given the vast majority of couples do not share their infertility with anyone? Either way, a vacation is not going to magically make my fallopian tube finally work.

What about surrogacy?

Outside of the exorbitant cost, there is nothing wrong with my body to prevent me from successfully carrying a pregnancy. In fact, my specific issue is why they created IVF in the first place. Women with tube related infertility have some of the highest rates of success, as that is typically the only issue the woman suffers from.

Just adopt, you’re being selfish.

Adoption is selfish as well. Everything we do in life is selfish. My desire to experience pregnancy and give birth to my own child is a natural biological desire.

If you can’t afford treatment, you can’t afford children.

Yes, because every single couple that has children pays $9000+ up front just for the chance at having those children. This belief is so totally wrong it is ridiculous. We have the space, the finances, and the love to give to a child, we simply cannot afford an expensive, paid up front medical procedure. Most people cannot. Most people however have the luxury of being able to pay off the bill over time for medical treatments.

Maybe you weren’t meant to be a mother, maybe you were meant to ___________ instead.

I’m not even going to go there. But yes, this has been said to me, on multiple different occasions.

Financial Infertility Update

14712949105_04b02f7282_oLast week I finally sent off the paperwork, tax forms, W2′s, etc to the two different companies that offer discounts for IVF meds, DesignRX First Steps & EMD Serono Compassionate Care. It only took 2 days for the first approval, and a couple days after that for the second. I have officially received:

25% off:

  • Follistim AQ Cartridge (follitropin beta injection) – 300IU, 600IU, or 900IU
  • Ganirelix Acetate Injection
  • Pregnyl (chorionic gonadotropin for injection, USP)

50% off:

  • Gonal-f® RFF* Redi-jectTM (follitropin alfa injection) 300 IU
  • Gonal-f® RFF* Redi-jectTM (follitropin alfa injection) 450 IU
  • Gonal-f® RFF* Redi-jectTM (follitropin alfa injection) 900 IU
  • Gonal-f® Multi-Dose (follitropin alfa for injection) 450 IU
  • Gonal-f® Multi-Dose (follitropin alfa for injection) 1050 IU
  • Gonal-f® RFF* (follitropin alfa for injection) 75 IU
  • Cetrotide® (cetrorelix acetate for injection) 0.25 mg
  • Ovidrel® PreFilled Syringe (choriogonadotropin alfa injection) 250 mcg

Which means that fall IVF is even more likely to happen. Depending how I respond, we might only need somewhere in the $4000 range to do IVF in September/October. Now I just need to schedule my HSG & Saline sonohysterogram. As long as that all looks clear, I should be good to go. Then it’s just savings the rest of the funds up and ordering meds.

Cleveland Clinic Marketing Fail

I completely forgot to blog about this when it originally happened, but between a tweet I saw on Twitter today and poking around my desk drawer, I found this again:

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I opened my mailbox to that a couple of months back. I’ve only been to this hospital system for reproductive endocrinology. This is the same hospital system that told me we would do 3 unmonitored IUI’s then move on to IVF without a single poke, prod, or stick. The very least these people could do is look at who they are sending this to. I understand I fall into the baby machine market group, but I am an infertility patient and you could try to have at least a smidge of respect for me and my health needs.

But why would they, when all they see in infertility patients is a cash machine. Thanks for not only taking advantage of my biological desire to have children, but contributing to my mental anguish. Keep it classy Cleveland Clinic.