Monday, March 31, 2008
Female preconseption blood work: 125.00 (under 40yrs old only)
Male preconception blood work: 55.00
Cystic Fibrosis Carrier test: 135.00 per person
HSG: 500 (at cheapest place in town but a GREAT clinic!)
Saline SOnogram: 605
Seman Analysis: 240
Reconsulation: up to 170
An IUI Cylce
Clomid: 5 dollars atWalmart for 5 50mg tablets (if doing 100mg it is 10 dollars a cycle)
Femara: 10-15 dollars a pill depending on where you go. Price a cycle = 100-150
Basic Clomid/Femara IUI cycle: 905
includes one ultrasound, HCG medication and nurse adminastration, Sperm wash, a single IUI and first HCG pregnancy test
2nd IUI in a cyle: 235(wash)+215(IUI)
Extra ultrasounds: 285
What we have spent so far: 1,777 plus Because when you think of all the OB visits and K.aiser blood work this doesn't include!
I will be updating this as I get more info about what other things cost.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
AF arrived and their was tons of drama and a large mix up about money and prescriptions and for a short time I thought my clinic hated me and was ignoring my calls. But in the end everything is fine and I took my first Femara dose tonight. Pictures to prove it at the end.
Friday AF arrived and so the RE called my Femara script into the drug store. I didn't think K.aiser would cover it so we sent it elsewhere. Well that was a BAD idea! Femara costs 10-15 dollars a pill! According to the Dr it costs 2-3 dollars a pill but the CHEAPEST place I could find it at (costco) was 10 dollars a pill. But before I picked it up a nestie K told me K.aiser WILL pay for it because it is a cancer drug not a fertility drug (things like this is one more reason I LOVE thenes.t). It was too late to call the clinic back so I waited till Saturday morning to call.
Saturday we had three things to do: 1 get a written script from the RE to take to Kaiser and have filled there 2) get my blood work done at the recommended lab and 3) Get new tires for the car. I started calling the RE (different office than my regular one) at 7:29 one minute before they opened and left a message on the call line that said I would receive a call back in no more than 30 minutes. R and I decided to head off to the lab first and wait for a call back. At the lab there were LOTS of people and so we waited and waited and I called the clinic 2 more times each at 40 minute intervals. Still no word from the RE office. It is finally my turn for a blood draw and when I get up there she says " that will be one THOUSAND two HUNDRED and twenty two dollars". My eyes popped out of my face, my skin cringed and I nearly passed out. I told her my lab had "contract prices with them and they told me it would be 120" I even handed her the sheet that said so. The lab girl said "Nope it's.... 1,222 dollars". I told her we can't afford that and walked out.
Now if you know me you will know that I am the kind of person who will put up a fight to get what she wants but that day I had no fight. My clinic wasn't returning my calls and the lab work was going to be 10 times what they said and they miss quoted my drug price. I had had enough. I called the RE office one last time in the car on the way to the office and again got the answering service.
When we arrived I had already decided that I had had enough, and to sit a cycle out because obviously something wasn't going right.We walk in and I tell the front desk who I am and that I have called 5 times left 3 messages in 3.5 hours and have YET to receive a call back and they say "we haven't got any messages" I told them "YES YOU DO! I am NOT lying!" and sure enough they realize that their 'main' line is going to the OLD voice mail service not the new one and that is the reason they haven't received my calls.
The panic, frustration and anger melt and I become a sobbing mess, in their front room. A very nice nurse escorts us back and helps R calm me down. She promises me that whatever is going wrong she is going to fix. Of course she has to say this because I am sobbing to R "I change my mind I don't want to do this, it is too hard. Lets just try on our own". Upon hearing that she is going to help and after a few minutes of R holding me and telling me it will be fine I compose myself enough to talk to her. I tell her EVERYTHING and quickly she realizes the blood work slips I have been given are wrong and that the lab had the wrong info down for me. She begins to take care of it and in the end everything is fine. I get my blood work done (at the clinic so I don't have to drive back) and it costs me EXACTLY what the paper says, and I get a written script that K.aiser filled for the cost of my normal prescriptions.
We don't get the car tires change though because R decides he should just take me home feed me and let me nap, which I happily do.
Sunday: We get our new tires on the car and run errands, clean the house, have my niece and nephew over for dinner and tonight I took my first dose of Femara. Here are the pics to prove it!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Yes today I am doing the happy dance! It looks like we are getting an IUI this cycle! K.aiser has been a pain in my royal ass today, hello where are they not?, but despite them I am going to have an IUI this cycle. We are re doing my cd 3 blood work (again) but this way it is valid for 6 months so if we need more treatment we won't need to repeat them for a while.
AF is here. I am immensely relieved! I have to go in and get my blood drawn and so does R tomorrow am and then on Sunday I start Femara! I am very excited about doing Femara instead of Clomid, and was surprised that my RE didn't fight me about it. I feel like I would rather have quality and control (even if it isn't FDA approved) over the known s/e of Clomid (that is FDA approved) any day. And if I don't like it well there is Clomid next month!
A part of me is trying not to get to excited about this but I am trying to ignore that side of me. I will deal with the what if's about this not working when I get my beta back. Till then I am thinking positively!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Now we just need AF to show the hell up!
If you see her please send her my way!
Update: Let me reprase that a LOT of blood work done.
First of all she said with only 9 ovulatory cycles she said we could wait 3 more cycles to be deemed Infertile and then try or we should get the show on the road and try. Which isn't what she said at the meet and greet.
Second she said success for clomid/femara IUI is 12% and that clomid/femara + TI is 9% for their clinic. This seems low to me. She made sure to express that our clinic doesn't do "individualized success rates" so it goes by EVERYONE (no matter age or Dx) and that obviously given our age and Dx we would have a higher success rate.
Thirdly my ovaries and uterus look BEAUTIFUL! Even my lining was great! She did a follicle count (didn't realize this could be done at this point in my cycle but she did) and we found out my right is an under producer! Hmmmm. But my left looks good. She isn't worried because of my age and blood results.
So now we decide:
a) spend 1,000 dollars on an IUI with only 12% chance of working.
b) try on our own MORE
c) do what I have been told not to by all my nestie friends and take the clomid unmonitored and do TI (9% chance of working).
R and I didn't get a chance to really talk last night because I went out with friends and got drunk and played board games, and tonight we have my niece and nephew for the evening but sometime soon we will talk and decide. AF isn't here yet and she shows no sign of coming so that means we can take our time deciding what to do.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I am very emotional today. I keep crying for my friend who lost her twins this week. I cry because there is nothing else to do, noway to help her and I feel small. I don't like feeling as if my world could fall apart any second and her loss brought me face to face with the fact that we can't protect those we love. So today as I pushed my niece on the swing I told her how much I love her,she is too young to truly understand what I am saying but I know. I did the same thing with my nephew and then gave my mom a big HUG. I would be lost without them. R is getting a big hug tonight too. I am going to a friends house tonight but if this keeps up I don't know. I would hate for them to think I am a crying mess.
Tonight is our IF/RE consult! YES TONIGHT! My legs are shaved, and I am ready to go. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes when we get back.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Today I had lunch with my mom and she took me shopping. As we ate she got a very serious look on her face and said she wanted to ask me something about IF/treatment. I swallowed hard but tried not to show how panicked I was on the outside. After some mumbling and trying to find the right words I realized what she was trying to ask was "Why do treatment now?". It is a completely legitimate quesion but it still stung, until I realized she didn't mean it in a judgemental way. She was just asking why treat it now if there is a chance I will get pg on my own since there are no know factors with us.
My answer was that while you hear about people getting pg after "years of treatment or adopting" that that is very rare. That truly most people who go past the year mark NEED treatment to get pg and will not get pg on their own. This completely satisfied her, although she did want to know if R's age could be a factor (33yrs old). I told her no since his SA came back great.
It felt good to have her ask something about it in such a non-judgmental way. I like being asked questions about IF, I like knowing people care about me but I don't like it when I feel judged about it. I think my mom has really turned this coroner. She is starting to "get it" and I know she wants to be a grandma again. While shopping she said to me she couldn't wait to get me my first maternity outfit. I told her I would love that. She is a wonderful mom, and while at times we don't understand each other, other times she understands me better than anyone in the world.
PS No AF yet BFN again this AM (cd 33 and 19 dpo). Thus no 2008 baby for us. :(
Sunday, March 23, 2008
A. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you. That would be Busted!
B. Post these rules on your blog.
C. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
D. Go on to tag other blogers by leaving a comment on their blog that they have been tagged!
1)My paternal grandparents are Greek Orthodox and thus as a child most years I got to celebrate Easter 2x! I loved it. Also Greek Easter is inherently different than American Easter. We celebrate the same things but HOW we celebrate is very different. Example our eggs are dyed red to symbolize the blood of Christ.
2) I like to have clean sheets before we have sex. TMI for some of you I am sure but I hate non-clean sheets.
3) I would never want to be remembered as I was in High School. Who I am now and who I was then are very different. I was recently "found" on thenest by someone I knew in HS and it creped me out.
4) I am and have always been incredibly empathetic. This drives my mom and sis crazy and sometimes I hate it too but it has its good parts too. Even in politics (which I care deeply about see 5) I can always almost see the other side.
5) I am a RAGING California Liberal! I believe in social services and health care for everyone, I want high quality public education for all children, and I am pro-choice, pro- human rights, pro-marriage equality. These are just the things I feel strongly about.
6) I married a Libertarian. Ummmm ya. Try and figure that out.
7) I love baby clothing, maternity wear, all things baby related and have since High School. I am particularly found of lamb/sheep baby things. Thus I already have bedding for when the time comes, and I do get knocked up.
I will tag: m&m818, That's Mrs. Stephanie, Tiffani, Christina, Kristen, and JustAKid.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
In other news my mom is driving me up the walls. I have spent the last months helping her get the house in order. It is a continues job since she continues to buy and get crap she doesn't need or use. Today I told her I was frusrated, calmy and rationaly, and she told me that it was her life, and she could do what she wants. So I said fine, but tonight R and I talked and we agreed when my sis leaves town that is it. I am not helping her daily. We will spend 3 hours once a week there helping her. I/we have had it and if she really is going to move then she needs to be able to have her house on her own.
Of course R and I have come to this point so many times before and I always go back to helping her out. I hope to break the cycle now.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
This is a few general notes – she said that the most healing happens in the lower numbers of steps. There is no set time that you should spend in each step. Also, as you engage in the higher number steps, use the lower ones for support. A note on that though – when it gets to herbs, tonics, etc – she feels that when you’re going through a chemically managed cycle, you don’t want to mess with it. The doctors have you going through a certain protocol for a reason. That said, as far as the herbal infusions – she views those more as nourishment. If it’s part of our daily regime before starting meds, she personally wouldn’t stop doing it – it’s a personal decision though.
Ok, so the steps. She starts with 0, instead of 1, but I didn’t really catch why.
0 – DO NOTHING. This is where sleep and meditation fall. Unplug the clock/phone/email and take yourself off the calendar. This is important when you’re exhausted or overwhelmed. Extreme fatigue indicates a profound need to do nothing.
1 – GATHER INFORMATION regarding fertility (in general and your specific situation.) Use reference books (she mentioned TCOYF), support groups, online research, communication with your partner. This is also where low tech diagnosis falls (fertile mucus observation, BBT, OPK, SA, etc.) She really stressed here that as you gather information you need to keep in mind that you are working with the mystery of life. No one can guarantee pregnancy. Relieve yourself of expectation of guaranteed pregnancy. Life remains a mystery, even when it’s scientifically explained
2 – ENGAGE THE ENERGY. This includes couples counseling, individual therapy, visualization techniques, guided imagery, laughter, tears, prayer, reconnective healing, and flower essences.
Guided imagery – she really recommended recordings by Belle Ruth Naperstek. I believe they are called Health Journeys. It sounds like she has many options – relating to fertility or not.
She also recommended the Whole Person Fertility program by Niravi Payne (http://www.niravi.com/).
Reconnective Healing – http://www.thereconnection.com/ or a book by Eric Pearl.
Essences of flowers – you injest a few drops a day. She explained the different ones, and listed her favorites. In parentheses after each is where she suggested to buy them from. Watermelon (http://www.fesflowers.com/), Sweet Annie (Delta Gardens), Pomegranate (Fes)
3 – NOURISH AND TONIFY. Give your body what it needs to do the job it’s designed to do. This includes herbal infusion, life style changes, physical activities (yoga, exercise), love and rest. Remember that it takes your whole body to make a baby.
Herbal infusions – they are a strong tea. If you go to her website and then articles, you can read about each and how to make the tea. Her favorites are Oatstraw, Nettles, Red clover blossoms, and red raspberry leaf. You can alternate days or even blend them. Her favorite places to purchase them from are http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/, http://www.fronteirherbs.com/, and http://www.blessedherbs.com/.
She also discussed chaste tree berry (vitex) for a bit, and pointed out that this is a tonic instead of a strengthening herb.
*There wasn’t much time left so she went quickly through the last ones.
4 - STIMULATE OR SEDATE. This is herbal remedies, acupuncture, alcohol (obviously she doesn’t recommend that.)
5a – USE SUPPLEMENTS. Vitamin E is especially important to fertility. If you get it from food it’s considered to be in step 3.
5b – USE DRUGS. This is where hormone medication falls.
6 – BREAK AND ENTER. This is where the more invasive procedures occur. Surgery, certain diagnostics, IVF, etc.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
In IF news R is upset that we need an RE. I think our "issues" have finally gotten to him. He is more withdrawn recently and doesn't wan to talk about it. To say our marriage is suffering is an understatement but he did agree to do some couple communication classes and couples therapy after the class. Those of you who "know" us IRL please respect R's wishes and don't bring this up with him or others. I don't mind talking about it but he has some negative views on therapy. He is fine when others need it but to admit that he/we do is a different story. I admit that is a double standard that is just the way it is.
Also I called my PCP and asked to have my thyroid tested. My mom, sis, all bio-aunts and grandma ALL have thyroid issues starting at my age or younger so I figured we should test it since it can cause IF problems. If Kaiser will pay for it then GREAT!
I am nearing the end of another cycle. AF should arrive next weekend and I am testing on Thursday, which is 15dpo on CD 31.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Last weekend was also a 1st B-day party for R's cousin's youngest son (did you follow that?). Somehow we were missed on the e-vite list and thus she called us two days before the event inviting us. We didn't have plans for that day but there was no way R was going to get me to go. This cousin is the same one who's husband called me infertile at Christmas and the one whose daughter's 4h B-day party I was bombarded with the question "when will you guys have a baby?" (if you missed these two stories they both can be found HERE) R was upset I wouldn't go, we barely see any of his family as it is and now I wasn't willing to go to a child's B-day party. He didn't get it at all until I reminded he what happened last time we saw these people. He was still hurt about missing it, after all it really isn't his fault his family is a bunch of insensitive idiots, is it?
He still thinks I should just put up a shield and not let other people's comments bother me. For a while I did that but my shield is crumpled and defective now from fending off others comments such as "I can't imagine having to chart my husband just looks at me and I get pg" or "are you sure your doing it correctly?". It has been warn down to nothing even in my short battle. I am in need of a new one, and sadly emotional shield's aren't like new shoes where you can go to the store and get new ones. Emotional shields are like self esteem and good eating habits, once broken they take a long time to mend and make new again.
So I skipped these joyful family events in the name of self preservation and survival. It isn't that their joy doesn't touch me, it is that their joy reminds me of the part of me missing. I know there are ladies out there who don't feel this way even in the wake of multiple m/c but my IF has warped me in ways I am only beginning to understand. And while others, including R, might see this as selfish, I know others out there are nodding their heads in agreement with me.
In other news I am taking a HUGE leap of faith, not in them but in me, and inviting two of my Best friends to read the blog. Until know this blog has only been know to people I know via thenest some of whom I am friends with IRL and people who stumble across it. So hi Shannon and Holly hope this gives you a little insight into me.
Monday, March 10, 2008
We chatted for a while, while our husbands looked horrified as if they had just been outed. (It was rather funny, IMO.) More couples arrived and finally we started. The Dr was very nice and she went over mostly IVF stuff. We toured the facility and it was nice. At the end of the slide show everyone asked questions, I left my Selective Reduction and IUI questions till the end, knowing they weren’t applicable to most and that the SR ones would be offensive to some.
The Dr answered all my questions and then R’s and told us she would be happy to answer any more at our consult. We left feeling really good about everything.
She talked a lot about different studies including the study that showed jumping to IVF and skipping injectable IUIs showed higher number of pg and less cost to couples in the no IUI group. I was happy to hear her thoughts on that study and the others. She also mentioned they have the lowest % of HOM (triplets or higher) for our area, while maintaining above average success. Others ohhed and awed but I asked he about their canceled rate which is only average for the area. She had no thoughts on this but I did get a sense that she was a good DR. Her personality also fit mine and R’s so I think we have our RE! R liked her a lot and he seems confidant in the clinic. She practices at the clinic nearest us so it all works out well.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
So back to how much I have lost: I went home only to find out that I really had only lost 3 pounds. :( Three pounds is great but I would LOVE to have lost that extra pound. This brings total weight loss to 10 pounds!
I have lost my first sack of potatoes and it feels amazingly good. I am very proud of myself.I also added a ticker at the bottom of the page to keep track of the weight loss.Thanks for all your support ladies.
Friday, March 7, 2008
"1) Acknowledge that you can't get pregnant the 'old school' way -- it doesn't seem to matter how many candles have been lit, whether the mood-setting or the spiritual kind.
2) Consult an army of specialists -- you've followed advice found in books, online or compliments of old wives tales to no avail; proceed to western medicine-staffed fertility clinics eager to sell you services.
3) Spend boatloads of money on treatments with low percentages of success -- meanwhile your friends procreate like mad, remodel their homes, buy new cars and otherwise stimulate the economy.
4) Explore the Eastern practice of medicine -- why not? you will leave no stone unturned.
5) Avoid malls, parks and any child-themed locale -- there's no need to subject yourself unnecessarily to that which you cannot seem to have.
6) Buy a ticket to Denial -- any place is preferable to the reality of Infertility land
7) Declare war on all smug parents -- these thoughtless creatures are to be avoided at all cost.
8) Withdraw from social obligations that revolve around other people's children -- self-preservation becomes essential at this stage.
9) Start an Infertility blog -- express your thoughts and properly vent your pent-up emotions; discover a little utopia along the way, your own Private Idaho as it were.
10) Exit the Infertility treatment maze -- you're tired of running into dead ends; arrive at either successful treatment, child-free living or pursue adoption (in the latter case be prepared for more expense and invasive procedures).
11) Hang out in Infertility Rehab -- slowly attempt to re-engage and co-exist with friends and colleagues and their child-filled lives ... perhaps write a book?
12)Fully re-enter society -- accept that you're forever changed by Infertility but know that society, largely, will never fully understand what you have been through and/or continue to battle. (Warning: re-entry can be exacerbated by those who don't give a flying fig about Infertility's collateral damage.)"
So what I want to know from all of you is (if you are dealing with IF) where are you in the steps.
ME: I have done 1, 8, and 9
My mom is also paying for the consult for us. So sweet of her and I love that she offered this. She also offered to 'loan' us the money for almost two IUIs. R doesn't want to take it but I told him we should think about it more. It would be a zero percent loan and it means we could do three or four treatment cycles in a row, without worrying about dipping to much into our savings. Her only thing is that we would need to pay the money back in two years. She also told me that if it comes to IVF she wants to be involved in the decision about financing it. I told her that I would be happy to include her in some of that but that this is R and my decision. She said she just wanted to help finance it. I told her that was fine and I was thankful she wants to help. She really does try, I know some times she comes off harsh but she said the other day "I really am ready for you to have a baby". It almost made me cry, since she wasn't so happy about us trying at first.
In other IF news my friend 'M' who is a local friend and who also has IF is pg from her most recent cycle of clomid! Congrats M!!! I am so thrilled for you.
I also got an update from Corrie, who I have spoken about before, the judge ruled that there was an issue about the bio-dad and contact and he wasn't properly contacted and thus bio-dad COULD fight for custody. And then three days latter new evidence appeared and on Monday the judge pulled his ruling and agreed to hear the new evidence! So they are back at court. Their son Jordan is now 8 months old and I keep wondering when this hell will end for them. If you pray, PLEASE pray for Corrie.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The short version is:
I have had an awful week. DH and I are having a major crissis in our marraige and while I know we will be fine, I am completly emotional right now about it. My mom's health hasn't been good recently. She is gearing up for more surgery and I am beyond stressed. Plus my sister is comming back into town and while she is staying with my mom it is my job to get her house ready. AND we owe a bunch of money for taxes, don't ask me how I have no idea. DH failed one of his exams last week and has to retake it by the end of the month if his accredidation is to stay active. It isn't a big deal for his current job for it to lasp but it would cut out a job prospect he is currently looking at. I am beyoned stressed out about IF. The money involved just baffels me. I have a ton of paperwork to fill out before the 10th (our appt) and there is no one to help me with it. I also fell two weeks ago. The pain is getting worse not better so I am going to see my Dr. today. I will update this post when I get back this evening.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
The hard part for me is MEAT. I can do chicken 4 to 5 nights a week if I can eat carbs but when I can't I die of boredom from the chicken. Thus we have had three nights of steak! It was all lower fat steak but still. This week I want to only do two beef nights. That is completely do able as long as DH will allow fish one night. He doesn't eat ANY seafood and I love the stuff. So if I have fish he cooks something else for himself because I refuse to cook two meals a night.
Today we spent the day with A (boy) and N (girl), twins who are now 4th graders. I watched them as infants and toddlers, and helped their mom's though an awful break up/divorce. They are also IVF babies so their mom's "get it". N loves babies, she asked me twice today about babies. I told her that sometimes people have a harder time getting pg and she seemed to instantly understand. Maybe that is because she knows the Dr helped her mommy with her, or maybe it is a child's 6th sense, but either way she understood.
R had such a good time with both of them and I was so happy to see that both A and N adore him too. We went to the park, played video games, set up a new doll house and I held their pet rat. It was a great day and next month we plan on doing it again. Their little sis G came by with her mom D and picked up N at the end of the day. G was so jealous and I felt bad but she sees me all the time. A and N don't.