Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Orientation? More like disoriented

We had our big IVF orientation last Thursday. And for all of you who have gone through this, I think can agree with me, it is overwhelming.

I came to the appointment with a FUUULLLL bladder as instructed. First, we went over all the consents and I swear I don't remember what exactly Ms. RE said. I was just thinking about how bad I needed to pee. And then, after about 15 mins they asked me for a "small sample" I laughed and said I'm not sure I would be able to stop. Though my superwoman powers allowed me to just give a little and actually stop. Finally we go to do the practice transfer and a sonohystogram. They both paled in comparison to the HSG (thank GOD) but I swear I came very close to releasing my bladder mid way through. In fact when she was done, I got up in front of everyone - bare assed and all - and ran into the bathroom. (And no, it wasn't down the hall. It was attached to the u/s room. Though that would have been funnier!)

Anyhow, after the best pee of my life, C and I went into the Nurse S's office and started to go over all the meds. She is super nice and very funny. We actually had a good time. Nurse S walked me through my meds and schedule. We mentioned the killer discount I get on G.onal-F so she called my hospital pharmacy and switched me from F.ollistim to GF. No problem. She then went through the medication demos and I think I got it. Well even if I didn't, C being the little brainiac he is (Completely O/T - do you remember that show, Brain Games???), wrote everything down. So we go through all the sub-q shots and then comes the big guy. The one I've been dreading. The good ole PIO. So Nurse S goes though the motions. Before she switches out the needle, she says "Now if C comes at you with this pink needle you run!" (18g pink - yeah, it's that big!) Then she gives C the needle and a fake body/pin cushion thing and says he can practice as I read through the anesthesiologist paperwork. When I was finished, she asks C if he would like to practice on me! The thoughts through my head were "no way ... forget about it ... nope." But then I thought, it is going to have to be done eventually and what better place for him to practice other then in front of Nurse S. So here I am hunched over her desk with my skirt half way down my butt (my ass got a lot of attention that day.) and standing on one leg. She tells C to count to three and he stops her and says "She isn't going to want me to. She is going to want me to just do it." Good man. He is right. So he does it (no meds, just in and out) and it was over. Scared for nothing. Now I know with the meds it will be a different story, but I'm happy that I got the anticipation of the pain out of the way.

So, I learned a lot that day and am now currently armed with all my meds. Just waiting for Sept 5th to come around and then I get to really jump on this train, go for a ride and I'm praying everyday that my final stop is in Babyville! (I heard it's nice this time of year.)

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have seen a lot of these photos from fellow bloggers over the last few days and today I can join them ....

And don't you love that I have bottles of wine behind all my drugs. :)

Gonal-F and Menopur
Valium (I think I'm going to love it!)

Some how I ended up with a Follistim Pen even though I'm not doing Follistim???

Monday, August 16, 2010

And .....

We are approved to move onto IVF!

I have never, EVER thought I'd be happy to say/write those words. It's a weird feeling. I'm happy that I don't have to go through useless treatments, but really it's crazy that this is what I have to go through now. OMG.

Pins and Needles ... and speaking of needles

So I'm on pins and needles today.
We should definitely find out today of we are either moving forward with IVF or if we have to do more IUIs.

I finally got AF on Friday morning, so I called to make my appt for CD3 b/w and u/s for today (CD4) with the thought that we are forgoing the IUI cycle this month all together. However my RE office called me and asked me to come to their main office (they have 4 offices - I go to one of the smaller ones) first thing Saturday morning to get my CD3 b/w and u/s. This way they can fax the results over the A.etna on Monday morning, hear back on the determination and if they don't approve the IVF, I can start the injections on CD4 - tonight - for the IUI cycle. So now I won't have to miss a month if we get the big NO.

I really do love this RE office. I thought that was so thoughtful of them to contact me and get me in ASAP. They really are trying to accommodate what we want. In fact the woman who handles the insurance doesn't come into the office until after 12 on Mondays, but she was going in first thing this morning to send my results over. She actually already called this morning to confirm that I did already do an IUI and that that cycle sheet was in my records. She said she will give me a call this afternoon after she hears back from them.

This is going to be a long day!!! I am really praying that it comes back with a big ole' YES!

But if not, I'm all set for tonight. I have my meds, my needles and a flabby belly all ready for injections. I'm going to blow through these IUI cycles like nobody's business. (Also praying that by some miracle they might work too!)

I'll keep you guys posted!

Friday, August 13, 2010

eSet and 2?

In the meantime, here are two pieces of good news I've received.

1. A.etna offers a program for first time I.VFers - eSET, elective single embryo transfer. Since I qualify (under 35, good egg quality, etc) and if I decide to put back one embryo rather than two and as long as I have another good embryo to freeze, if I don't get pregnant that first cycle, they will pay for the costs to do a FET the following cycle. Basically it's a fresh cycle and a fet cycle for the price of one fresh cycle. So that is something we are thinking about. Obviously it also depends on whether or not we have good embryos and have any to freeze. I think it's not something we would decide until the morning of the transfer.

2. So as I mentioned in my previous post, my $10K lifetime max doesn't include cost of medication, which is great. My plan doesn't cover all the meds, but it does cover some of them at 50% off - which is wonderful! Also since I work at a hospital, we get a little extra discount for using the hospital pharmacy. (ex: whereas a normal prescription would be $10 or $15, if I get it at the hospital pharmacy, it would be $2 or $4.) Although I'm not sure what cycle I'm doing, my RE office did give me prescriptions for an I.UI so if I need to do it quickly, I can. So since I'm up in the air about my status, I decided to go over to the pharmacy to see how much it would be to get it filled. So I hand the script to the woman and she tells me she is going to look it up. A few minutes go by and she tells me to come into the back. I've worked with the pharmacist there on a few projects so I know her. They tell me to sit down. Now I have NO idea what's going on. She asks me how much I thought I was going to spend on this drug (G.onal-F 450ml multi-use kit - I was getting three of them.) I said I expected the cost to be about $500 per box/kit. With the 50%, I was expecting to pay at least $750. The pharmacist said, "Well it's less than that. I'm going to want the difference." and laughed. Then she told me that it was ..... ready for this .....

Yes ...TWO CENTS. TWO PENNIES. TWO PENNIES!!!!! FOR THREE KITS!!!!! I sat there with my mouth WIDE open and I actually think I teared up a bit. I was in complete shock! The two women sat there smiling at me and kept laughing to each other "She's in shock" I asked how was this possible. Apparently drug manufacturers have contracts with hospitals and every month they run "specials" on different types of meds. This month it happened to be G.onal-F. She said that next month, it could be $400 dollars a kit. I still can't believe it. (They were actually 1/2 a penny a kit, so they rounded it up to 2 cents.) So obviously I got it filled and I will get the rest of the refills filled this month (that will be 6 boxes) and if I don't use them for an I.UI or the I.VF has me on different meds, I'm going to give them away to a fellow IFer who doesn't have any insurance. I'm sure the RE office will take them and give them away for me, right? (I don't know the legal issues with giving away drugs) I'm kind of hoping that I can donate them to someone who really needs it. I'm lucky enough to have insurance and have some treatments covered. It will be like paying it forward. Maybe someone (god??) will pay it forward to me with a baby!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hi! Remember me!

OK. So I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. I came on here a few times to do so, but time just got away from me. I have so many things I wanted to post about.I hope my lack of participation hasn't deterred you from following. I promise I'll make it up to you.

I guess let me start with the thing that is on my mind right now. (This is pretty much going to be a play by play, so not very entertaining, but informative!)

We had our August 10th “mini-consult” with Dr. D. Well, let me start with a few days before this. I called our insurance company two days after being covered to talk about their IF benefits. The interesting thing about A.etna is that they have their own IF Benefits line. Apparently it is staffed by RNs. So I called the line, went through a TON of questions regarding our TTC background. She did approve me or “enroll” me into the program. She then told me what they cover: (6) I.UI lifetime and $10K lifetime max for ART (not including medication). I told her that we wanted to go straight to I.VF – the problem is that they have a “lesser before greater” clause, meaning they want me to go through a few more I.UIs before we move onto I.VF. My issue with this is that my chances with an I.UI is so little because I’m missing the one tube and that I have less eggs in the left ovary. Also, I’m scared of another e.ctopic pregnancy since my chances are higher because I’ve already had one. So as I said, I mention that we want to go forward with that and the benefits coordinator said that they need to see my records, but that she thinks based on what I’ve told her that she didn’t think it would be contested.

So I get off the phone and fax all this info over to my RE. I speak to the person who handles the insurance over there, D. She says that she will handle it from there on and that on the 10th I should know what they said.

So we go in on Tuesday and I kept saying to C that I was nervous about what the determination was. We sit down with Dr. D and it seems like it hasn’t been figured out yet. (more on this in a bit) However he agreed that we should be moving onto IVF and that he will write a letter to go along with my file. So we chat about I.VF and I.UI, just to be on the safe side. He tells me if we get approval and move forward with I.VF, I would call them when I get my period and there isn't much to do, perhaps come in for a blood work and an u/s on CD3 and maybe get on BCP, but we have time before we do anything major. BUT if we don't get approved and have to do a few I.UIs, since I want to get them done as soon as possible, I would need to come in on CD3 for bloodwork and then start injections that night. OK. Seems pretty easy enough, right?

The problem this is causing me is that A.etna wants a CD3 FSH result before they will make a determination. They said that my last BW and C's last SA were too far away and they want new ones. Now C did his business yesterday and it's already faxed over to A.etna. Me ... I've been waiting for AF to show up (she is late ... and no, I'm not pg. She is just a spiteful bitch! She knows I want to get this show on the road!) to get the bloodwork done, BUT if I do that I'm going to have to forgo the I.UI cycle this month since we won't find out the determination before the time I would need to start taking the injections. Now I'm just hoping that they will come back and say that we are all good to go for I.VF and it's not really going to matter. But if they come back a few days after CD3 and say that we need to do 2 more I.UIs then I have to wait now ANOTHER month to start. I know, I know - I'm being a brat. It's only a month. But you guys know. When you've waited this long to start a process and are ready for it, it sucks to have to wait. I swear that is all I've been doing for two years ... waiting!!!

But that is all I can do. Wait. Wait for AF to show. Wait for CD3 blood work. Wait for A.etna to get back. Then if it doesn't work out .... wait for the I.UI cycle to start. So hopefully I will have a better update soon. :(