Consultation is over…

So the consultation was yesterday.  I don’t know if I am happy with how it went or not yet…I mean I am really happy to finally be stepping in the right direction for our goals…

It turns out that none of the medications are covered so we will have to pay out of pocket for those and it also turns out that there is no Egg Sharing program available so we will have to pay out of pocket for that as well.  We are looking at 13-15K when all is said and done…we spent $800 in the last 2 days with labs and the consult so this money thing is starting to get REAL.  We can do this, it is just going to be really tight and I hope it does not cause any anxiety.

My doctors are also pushing for 1 embryo while Joe’s doctor would like to see 2 embryos implanted.  Joe and I are ok with the idea of 2 so I think we will stick with that because ultimately, it is our decision.  They are just worried because of my small frame, I think…but I know someone smaller than I am who carried twins full term with no complications so I am certain I can do it as well.

Joe had to go for his first of 2 frozen samples on Wednesday and blood work and urine analysis…blood work results are still pending but it turns out that he does NOT have to go for a second frozen sample because they were able to get 2 vials with enough swimmers to do ICSI…so, good news! Saves over $400 we were expecting to pay for a second frozen sample.

This is starting to get real and get real fast.  We are expecting to talk to the financial lady in the next couple days to see if there are any ways to get a little bit of assistance as this is going to drain us…once we have everything we need Joe can stop his medication which will help a lot financially but that won’t be until everything is done and paid for and it also probably depends on if we get any frozen embryos to save…

I have to call the office back in approx 17 days to schedule another appointment and from there we take it by ear…we have to call the pharmacy to get the prices of medication when Joe’s guy returns on Monday…

I am happy and nervous and also completely anxious over the cost but I know what I want, I know what WE want and we cannot put a price on happiness…

Anyone have any suggestions on how to cut the costs down or found any programs that help those who do not have any insurance coverage?

Consultation tomorrow!

It seems to have taken forever to get to this day, but we have our full consultation tomorrow.  I “should” find out what drugs I will be on, I should find out when I am to be starting them, I should probably get my Birth Control Prescription.

I have a list of questions, I have a calendar of Nov-Dec printed so I can get estimated dates and fill them in.

For the first time ever I can say that I am not nervous at all for this appointment…I mean I was tortured the last 3 times I was in the office so this talking thing is going to be a breeze…I can’t wait to find out the next step…

Joe went for his first of 2 frozen samples today…and they gave him the trifecta of tests, blood, semen, and urine.  They took all his fluids!  His next frozen sample will be done in November so I’ll get on his case to get that scheduled early so we don’t run into the same problem as we did this time with the timing of everything…
I can’t believe we will be starting the BCP in a couple weeks!! The process will officially begin on the first pill…I am happy. 🙂

Sonohysterosalpingogram & Endometrial Biopsy

On Thursday I had the last of my invasive tests.  I had to come back for the Sonohysterosalpingogram and while they were down there, an Endometrial Biopsy.

Basically they, again, filled me up with a bubbly saline solution…this time inside my uterus…and again went in with the ultrasound to look at this solution light up on the screen…they were basically checking for any oddities like polyps.  After taking the umpteenth picture of my ovaries and uterus in the last 3 days and telling me the worst of it was over my doctor says to me “Ok, now you are going to hate me…”

What?! I thought you said the worst was over???

While they were in there and to cover all bases they decided to do an endometrial biopsy…in the catheter went and I freaked out when the pain hit…that was the weirdest/most painful thing I have ever experienced (mind you I have never had any major injuries to compare this to…no broken bones, etc)

Once that was over she said she didn’t have enough so back in she went and again I freaked out and squirmed in agony…finally she said she thought she had enough to run all the tests necessary but in the event she did not have enough we would do that procedure one more time…at that moment I knew I didn’t want to have to come in for this again so I told her to go in one last time and get it over with just in case they needed more samples.

I bared down, clenched my teeth and the bed and counted to 10 one more time as she took one final sample…

Afterwards I was dizzy and nauseous after going through all that…I think that was more because I was panicking…the pain afterwards was painful but bearable…I never ever ever want to do that again.  I took my last antibiotic this morning, my abdomen was swollen and sensitive since Thursday but it finally feels much better today.  I haven’t taken any pain reliever since yesterday afternoon so I must be feeling better!

For how scared and nervous I was for that whole week of tests my doctor is very proud of me.  She said she has had a bunch of patients give up at this part and knowing how petrified I was of everything she was very proud of how I handled everything.  I only had one real emotional meltdown and that was prior to any test and I keep saying whatever needs to be done just do it because I will do ANYTHING to make this happen.  I am proud of myself, too, in how many fears I have over come to get to this point…and soon I will have to face my worst enemy, the dreaded needles…

We have our full Consultation scheduled for October 25th where we will go over all my medications and I will be going back in early/mid November for another scan, some more blood work, and my birth control prescription.

The worst is over…I am glad I got it all over with in one week because if I had time to think of it I would have been in an even bigger state of panic.

Tube Test and Sonohysterosalpingogram

Well, yesterday I had a tube test with Saline Solution to make sure they were both open and free of blockages, which they were.  There was minimal discomfort during the procedure but I started feeling crappy a few hours later…like I did 1,000 situps…my abdomen was very tight and sore to the touch.

From what I understand, today is going to be the worst of the tests…I have to go for a Sonohysterosalpingogram at the hospital in a few hours.  I was advised to eat and take Ibuprofen an hour before my arrival as it will help with some of the discomfort.  I can’t say I am not scared, I am petrified, but I am getting a little less freaked out each day…maybe because my vag has been on display more than I ever imagined…It gets easier but it doesn’t get less awkward and uncomfortable.

I hope I am not in as much pain as I was in yesterday afterwards but two days straight of torturing my insides is probably going to result in my wanting to be in fetal position all night…but I can’t do that…I have to work from home to make up some time as I am only working a half day today in the office.

I think the testing stage is nearly complete and we have only gotten wonderful results from my tests so hopefully we can schedule the full consult and meeting with the financial lady who will be helping us figure out if we can get any sort of discounts or help with any of the costs…that would be great if we could save a little bit of money with all of this.

Our first consultation

So here we are, on the day of our consultation for IVF. We knew this from the previous discussion with Joe’s doctor, but the purpose of this meeting was to go through the entire process in all of its glorious grandeur…and to stare up my crotch to make sure I was A-OK…I mean while we’re at it why not probe me just for good measure, right? Yeah, I know…get used to it, right? I don’t know when shoving tools up my vag will ever be easy to handle but it’s a necessity through this process so I guess I’ll just man up and deal with people having to see me in stirrups proudly displaying my naked nether regions for a while…

Yes, I had a scan with (in an obviously sarcastic tone) my new best friend the Renault Espace.

The scan checked out – both ovaries looked AMAZING…follicles looked great and so did my uterus! Now I have 2 more appointments set for tomorrow and Thursday to once again probe my lady parts…fun!

I will eventually have to take 2-3 weeks of birth control to take over my system

7-10 days of daily injections, self-administered in thigh or tummy, to pump me full of eggs.

Scans to look at said eggs. LOTS of scans.

The dreaded egg collection, or “harvesting” – this involves being sedated, strapped up, and once again probed with the Espace which will be accompanied by a needle which will pierce (there’s a word you don’t want associated with your lady parts) my vaginal wall and pop into my ovary to extract the abundant amount of eggs I better be filled with after all the injections.

At this point, Joe has to do his “business” in a cup…sexy, huh? That’s gotta be just plain old awkward knowing that everyone knows what you are doing in there…I wonder how many handshakes they get in that neck of the woods?

Anyways, they will then look at the outcome of said “business” and after washing them (basically making them dizzy in a test tube and they sink to the bottom in a pebble like formation) they will sort through the sperm and find the best looking ones to inject into my eggs and put it in an incubator overnight. By morning (fingers crossed!) several embryos will be visible in the petri dish squiggling around waiting to be implanted back into me and, God willing, become our future children.

If all goes well and you have at least one good-quality embryo, you go in a few days after to have it transferred back into your womb via a balloon catheter, this time sans sedation. On the day of the embryo transfer you’re not allowed to wear perfume, body lotion or strong deodorant, not even makeup as strong smelling scents can be detrimental to fertilized embryos…you are allowed to take a water only shower (gross!) and that’s it.

You then basically hope, dream, pray, do a rain dance, cross everything, avoid breaking mirrors, walking under ladders, stepping on cracks, (you get the point) and wait for what seems like forever to see if the embryo(s) implant. If you haven’t bled by the two-week mark, you go for a pregnancy test, and if it’s positive, you freak the fuck out with joy all the way home and then return in a few weeks for a scan. If everything is ok thereafter you are turned over to the care of your GP who will arrange a OBGYN for you.

This is no small task, this is scary as shit…it is deeply traumatic and life-changing. Where I am right now is complete and utter terror let alone my nerves are so jacked right now I feel like throwing up every second of the day. I am, however, starting to not be so scared of the process itself…I really think I can handle this especially after everything Joe has been through already (hey, if Joe can play stabby stabby every day for the last 2 years I guess a few weeks of my worst fear needles is the least I can do to pay him back for all the self inflicting torture he has endured for the future of our babies). I know I can put myself through all the physical trauma and survive, but I can only do that because of the shred of hope that it will work…if this is what we have to do to become parents then I will do whatever it takes. What I am most terrified for is putting myself through all of this and it failing…and I am sure Joe has the same fears as myself.

There are a lot of days when I’m not doing so good, and some days when (with enough distractions) I cope OK. It has been extremely hard watching friends, family, co-workers, and seemingly every other woman on the planet getting pregnant when we have been trying for a very VERY long time with nothing to show for it yet. Joe is very concerned for me, he told me his biggest job right now is keeping me stress free…I hope he knows he just took on probably the hardest job he will ever have until there are viable results.

But in the midst of all the craziness going on now, there is finally a light shining at the end of this long tunnel…I really may end this year or start next year with a tiny embryo (or two) in my womb and that is pretty awesome. Just getting to that point will definitely be worth all the pain and suffering we will both be going through (or in Joe’s case have already gone through) just to get there. I keep repeating, soon we will have a baby to call our own and we will be Awesome parents. I can’t believe that we’ve been going through all of this for so long and finally there is an end in sight. I am so ready to finally be happy again because this journey has been indescribably painful, emotionally, for me. I am ready to become a whole new woman because once this happens I will be the happiest I have ever been in my life and I will once again have the light in my eyes that I have been missing for a few years.

It looks like we will be starting the whole process of injections in December when my doctor returns from maternity leave. I will be be at the nurses discretion as they take hold of my system and start this crazy roller coaster ride. They are so kind and so helpful and I feel like there is finally some good happening in our lives. I look forward to and dread the next few months as we prepare for this journey. The only thing we can do is take it one day at a time.

No one said this was going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.