Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tentative calendar and awesome savings!

My IVF case manager called me yesterday to give me the updated calendar since I started my period.  Seeing it in print makes it so real.  Seeing that I could potentially be PUPO before Christmas is even more amazing.  My baseline ultrasound is scheduled for 12/2.  In the meantime, I am doing my CD 3 bloodwork today and then starting my BCP tonight.  I'll continue to take the BCP until the day before my ultrasound.  As long as everything looks good at that appointment, I will start stims on 12/6.  YAY!  Yep, I just said yay when talking about using myself as a human pincushion.  Who would've ever guessed that I would react in a positive way to anything in my life?  Not me!  I guess that is a good thing since I am usually a glass-half empty sorta gal.

The big chunk of money is going to be due by my baseline U/S.  That part is not exciting.  It kinda makes me hyperventilate a bit a lot.  We have decided to cash out our retirement accounts to pay for this cycle.  Some may disagree with our choice on this, but we decided that it was a better choice than to go into more debt right before expanding our family.  Although we will be taking a hit on our taxes for this, it's less than we would most likely pay in interest in the long run.  And it means I don't have to pay a monthly bill later if.... well I'm sure you can figure out why we wouldn't want to pay that bill later considering we are doing a procedure that is definitely not a guarantee no matter how great the odds may be.


We are excited about how things are going.  I also just found out today that we qualify for 50% our meds based on our income.  If any of you are not familiar with the Compassionate Care program, you should check it out.  You could save 50-75% off if your insurance doesn't cover your fertility meds and if you qualify based on income.  We didn't think we would qualify (you know, because we are so rich haha), but surprise surprise, I got an email today that we do.  Any little bit helps when you are dealing with expensive meds not covered by your insurance, and I got a response less than 24 hours after submitting my application via email.  I am not endorsed by this company at all, but my case manager told me about the program yesterday and I want to pass the info along to you!  BTW, it is only on some meds.

So that is where we are right now.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The most positive CD1 I can remember....

As you can see from the title of this post, today is officially CD1.  This is usually a day reserved for crying and feeling sorry for myself and trying to decide what to do next to try and have the family we so long for.  But not today.

Instead of mourning the fact that we can't seem to do this by ourselves, I am excited to finally start the IVF process.  5 years ago, when we started TTC, I had no idea that we would be here right now.  5 years of hopes being crushed.  5 years of failed Clomid, Letrozole, and Menopur cycles.  After a laparoscopy, a clear HSG, and 5 IUI's, I am finally ready for IVF.  I can say that I have done everything in my own power to help us get pregnant, and I can admit that we need more help.

So here is to all those that have come before me.  Whether you got your take-home baby or not, you are amazing for going through all of this to try and start your family.  I am looking to you for support and advice during this time.

CD1.  I'll call my nurse today to let her know that we can start the ball rolling for real.  After having my bloodwork done tomorrow, I will start birth control pills.  After 2 weeks, I will have my baseline ultrasound, and will hopefully start the injections 3 days later.  Wish me luck :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This is gettin real...

Wow, I can't believe how close I am to starting my first IVF cycle!  I was so scared to get to this step and I put it off for so long, but now that it is here, I am excited at last.

I went to the required IVF Education Class at my RE clinic yesterday.  The husband couldn't make it, so I was flying solo---luckily, I wasn't the only "single lady".  There were just 4 couples, and the nurse went over a bunch of information with us (can we say overwhelming?!).  Then we signed some consents and started on the injection training.  I didn't think this would be very necessary since I have used injectables before, but boy am I glad I went.  There is a lot more involved with these medications than the ones I took before.

My doctor is putting me on an antagonist cycle.  I will be taking Menopur and Follistim along with Ganirelex.  I've taken Menopur before, but the others are new to me.  I now have a tentative calendar for my cycle, which makes this even more real.  It looks like I just may have my dream of getting pregnant before the end of the year!  Unfortunately, I won't find out whether the IVF took or not until after the new year, but it still counts :)

I am still waiting on the husband's SA results to see if we are going to have to do ICSI.  My bloodwork came back and everything was fine, except my prolactin was slightly elevated.  I'm not sure what that means, so hopefully I can get more info on that.  My nurse said the doctor wasn't concerned and that it wouldn't affect us moving forward with IVF, so that is all that matters to me.

More updates to come :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pre-IVF cycle testing...

Still not much to report over here.  I am just waiting for my next cycle to start so that I can get the ball rolling on our IVF cycle.

I never thought I would actually be excited for AF to show, but I kinda am.  At the beginning of this month, I got it into my head that maybe, just maybe, I would get pregnant naturally this month.  I know, it hasn't happened in 5 years, why would it happen now?  I just figured that maybe since we have finally started the IVF process and accepted in our minds that this is the path we must take, that maybe Mother Nature would throw us a curve ball.  Then I came to my senses and realized that was bat shit crazy of me.  Luck doesn't exist in my realm, and I know that.  So this week I am submitting the paperwork to withdraw all of our retirement funds to pay for this.  And this is everything we have, so shit better work out the first time.

Anyway, as of right now I have completed almost all of the pre-cycle testing.  I've done the saline sonogram and most of the bloodwork.  The husband did his pre-IVF SA (semen analysis) yesterday.  This test is more in-depth than the previous SA's because it includes an overnight test to better test how his sperm will hold up for the IVF fertilization process.  Based on the results of this test, my doctor will decide whether we need to do ICSI as well.  For those that are not familiar, ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) basically involves them taking one sperm and injecting it straight into one egg instead of just putting the sperm and the eggs in a petri dish together in a petri dish and letting the sperm fertilize the egg naturally.  However, if his sperm are not doing their job properly or my eggs are being bitchy and don't wanna play with them, they need a little help.  ICSI will definitely improve our chances, but it is also an added expense (hey, what is an extra $2k when you're already spending $14k, right?) and ups the risk chances just a bit since the egg can be damaged in the process.  So this test will determine what the doctor thinks is our best chance and help him decide what protocol to use for our cycle.

Although I am still second-guessing my decision (which is totally normal for me since I can never make decisions), I am feeling excited.  This also means I have gotten my hopes up, and I hope that isn't a bad thing.

I'll post more once all our test results are in :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The beginning of our IVF journey...

Sorry for the delay in posting about our latest RE appointment, but I have been so busy finishing up some crochet projects this week (oh yeah, I started a crochet business during my blogging hiatus to try to keep myself busy and to raise money for IVF.  More on this later).

On Tuesday, the husband and I drove out to meet a doctor at a different clinic.  I was so nervous after our last appointment when things didn't go the way I had planned.  But this appointment was soooooo much better.  For once, I didn't cry after the appointment.  In fact, I was excited to get started!  Dr. R is on the younger side (or looks like it at least), but that just means that he is open to newer processes and procedures, and he is still excited about his job.  He actually explained the whole IVF process in terms that the husband and I could understand---with pictures---which I think really helped the husband.  And he didn't just discount all of the research and knowledge I have picked up over the last 5 years of TTC.  That was probably what cemented the whole thing in my mind.  So many doctors have acted like I don't know what I'm talking about or just steamrolled me.  Dr. R actually mentioned that he was sure we know a lot of this already and he didn't talk down to us.  He didn't rush us, and waited until all of our questions were answered before moving on to the ultrasound.

After the appointment, I was told that the case manager assigned to me would be calling to explain the details and answer additional questions, and then the financial coordinator would get in contact with me.  Then he handed me a folder filled with documents and such.  I know, that sounds boring.  Why am I bringing it up?  Because the latest success rates were inside....and they are currently reporting a 74% pregnancy rate in my age group with only 1 embryo being transferred.  If I wasn't sure before, then that little sheet of paper pushed me over the edge.  Tell me where to sign up!

My case manager called Wednesday and again spent probably an hour on the phone with me answering all of my questions.  I am so excited because it may be possible to do the transfer before Christmas, which means so much to me.  I was really hoping to be pregnant by the end of the year, and I thought that my chances had already passed.  I need this kind of hope right now.  She also went over the pre-cycle testing requirements with me, and luckily I have time to get all of it done before my next cycle starts.  Hopefully I will start birth control pills when my next period starts (after CD 3 bloodwork), and then have my baseline ultrasound soon after that.

Now we just have to worry about the financing, which is always tough.  Well, unless you have $13k just laying around I guess!  Regardless, we are not letting money stand in our way.  We have waited too long for this, and I'm ready to start the next chapter of our lives.

I would love tips from anyone that has gone through this whole process before!