Monday, May 24, 2010

Anxiety - Pain - Anticipation - Negative

Where do I even begin...

Andrew and I went through with the first IVF procedure. On Mother's Day, which I thought was an awesome gift from God, I went in for the retrieval procedure. I didn't know what to expect and was quite nervous. I have been quite fortunate to not have many surgeries or even any hospital stays. In fact, the only surgery I really ever had was having my wisdom teeth removed (all four impacted). Anyway, my heart was racing as I was filled with some anxiety over what was about to happen. It was racing so fast that they had to postpone for a bit until I was able to calm myself down. I began to relax as much as I could and my heart rate came down. I was wheeled into the procedure room where they began the retrieval. I was told that it shouldn't hurt and if it did to let the anesthesiologist know and they would give me more drugs. Right away I could feel the pain and told them it hurt. They put more medication into my IV. Only a short bit after that I informed them again that it hurt quite a bit and they put even more into my IV. The second dose put me out completely. I remember the anesthesiologist rubbing my hand and saying its going to be okay just hold on and we will put in some more medication.

I woke up in a daze still in the procedure room. One of the doctors gave me my first progesterone shot and then they wheeled me back to the recovery area. I slept for a bit on and off and then they gave me juice and crackers and Andrew was brought back. He said I looked yellow and awful. I felt awful. The pain in my stomach was terrible and I was incredible nauseous. The doctor who performed the surgery came in to apologize with how difficult it was because apparently my ovaries were had to get at and they really had to put some effort into it. He said I would probably be quite sore (yeah he was not kidding). They were able to remove 14 eggs. Andrew took me home where I threw up from the medications. Andrew was a dear and had to clean it up. I laid all day with a heating pad on my stomach. I stayed home from work on Monday and wished I had stayed home on Tuesday too because of the pain. We received a call from the doctor's office which said of the 14 eggs removed, 11 were mature enough, and 10 fertilized. I was so excited!

On Wednesday, May 12th we went in for the implant procedure. It was quite easy like a pap smear. I would do that 1,000 times over and hoped to never ever have to do the retrieval again. The doctor who did the implant told me that my eggs were a mish mash of qaulity and that the two they were implanting were the best of the bunch. He graded them an A-/B+. Hey thats better than average right?!? Andrew and I after the procedure went to a movie "Date Night" and then home to rest. I stayed home from work on Thursday to rest as well. Andrew has been taking incredible care of me. He hasn't been scared at all about giving me the shots in the butt every night. Those progesterone shots are awful, but I will do anything for the baby(babies) we may have...

Friday I attempted to go to work but needed to leave half way through because of the pain I was still feeling. I took the rest of the day to rest and then did very little over the weekend. I was with my parents because Andrew had to go out of town. Lets just say my parents were not as good at giving shots as Andrew, but again its okay...I kept telling myself it would be worth it...

On Saturday, May 15th I received a call from my doctor's office letting me know that none of the remaining eight fertilized eggs made it and we would not be freezing any. I thought at the time that is okay because I know I am pregnant with one or two babies...

On Saturday May 22nd I went in for the pregnancy test. I was feeling so confident. We and so many others had been praying for this miracle and this or these lives. I was soooo happy. I even bought Andrew a congrats you're a daddy gift. I just knew for sure that they were going to call to tell me the test was positive. Andrew and I felt like this was going to be a life changing time and moment. He unfortunately was in CA for work, but thats okay we were going to celebrate when he came home...

The call came in about 1pm with the news. It was negative. I was not pregnant. I know doctor's offices have to just give you the facts but the cold delivery was devastating. My heart felt like in that moment it was ripped out of my body kicked around stomped on and put back in bruised and in pieces. Why, why can't I have children naturally, I don't smoke, I only drink maybe once or twice a year, I am healthy, I am strong...Why would IVF not work for me, why would we come this far, use up so much time and finances to hear the words the test was negative. I am trying to understand the lesson I am to learn from our Lord. I still praise him for my family and friends which have given so much support, but I am human and I have to ask why.

So today I am trying to learn what it means to lean on our Lord even when I don't understand His plan or His outcome right now. I am trying to be confident in knowing His plan is divine for my and Andrew's life. I am trying to learn to be faithful and lean on His wisdom and plan for my life.

Andrew and I have not yet talked about our next steps, but I am confident it will be based in prayer and love between Andrew, myself, and our Lord.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We really need them at this time :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lessons Learning :)

Yes, I know the title of this blog is grammatically incorrect. However, as in life I am constantly learning new things and hope to always be discovering, learning, experiencing until the end.

Okay that being said. I wanted to pass on a few lessons I am learning through this whole infertility process. Infertility is expensive. There is no way around the cost and it truly is very unfair that so many are not able to even attempt the procedures because the cost is so prohibitive. I wish I had some awesome advice on grants and loans on how to pay for the procedure or possibly a less expensive clinic or option, but that I have not discovered yet. But if you find yourself wanting to try the infertility journey these are some of the cost saving methods I am learning (or wish I had learned before). Just to be clear and honest through my insurance I do have an infertility benefit, but it has a very small lifetime maximum so I have had to be diligent in watching every penny and asking some very embarrassing questions about cost and medical necessity and if I can pay for this procedure out of pocket or on a payment plan.

So here are the lessons:
1. Your OBGYN can run a lot of the preliminary tests for you and you can request (or demand) that he/she bill out as medical necessity for pre-pregnancy testing. Most of us have OBGYN coverage and most of the time these items are covered by our insurance. So if you do not have infertility coverage or if you are like me and have a very limited amount of coverage this is a way to have your insurance pay or have it not be billed against your infertility maximums
2. Always ask what the cost of a procedure or test is going to be. Talk to your doctor about the medical necessity. Ask if you paid out of pocket for this procedure what would be the cost and request to have it not be billed against your insurance
3. The medications are horribly expensive so again humble yourself and beg for samples that may be available. They are always getting samples in from the drug companies and usually they have a pack or two you can potentially bum off of them :)
4. Call around for the cost associated with the medications. Different companies definitely have different prices. Plus the clinic you are with should be able to suggest the drug company they work closer with and that company should have a discounted rate
5. Be honest with your doctor about your finances. You would be surprised at how they can work with you or be flexible with payments. They do care and they do want to see you have a child

Okay those are the lessons I am learning with regards to finances. To watch the cost I have created a spreadsheet which adds up the total cost and subtracts away from the total lifetime cap that I have with my insurance. I hope this helps some of you...