Category Archives: Trying to Conceive

Battling Insurance

So back in March, at the beginning of our IVF cycle our insurance denied coverage of the medication. I mean, how can it cover the procedure and NOT the medication? Well apparently there are people who do it without meds…but clearly that wasn’t going to work for me.

They denied the coverage saying blanketed that it wasn’t covered “except as outlined in the Outpatient Medical Services provision”. Well that provision stated that it was covered if I had a history of infertility for 2 or more years. Well, HELLO…it’s been just exactly 2 years since we started treatment in France for infertility. Therefore these bastards better cover it.

I mean, honestly I’m just happy they paid for the $15k for the procedure. But the $8500 for the meds was a big, unexpected cost for us. Since we assumed that the meds were covered as well. Praying this works and we can get at least SOME of our money back!

This stuff is expensive, but worth every penny!

This stuff is expensive, but worth every penny!

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My Freak Out

So I woke up this morning and wanted to POAS (Pee on a stick), and we had one last pregnancy test left. Half asleep, I went for it. As I sat there, I started to PANIC! OMG, the line isn’t that dark.

I get the HPT from 2 days ago, and compare. Eff, the lines are nearly the same color. My heart starts to race, and I jump on my iPad and immediately start Googling. I proceed to read some good and some bad. I put down my iPad and look down again. Dummy, I didn’t even wait long enough. It was TOTALLY darker. I mean, I got myself into this insane tizzy at freaking 7:30am for nothing. Phewwwwwww……

Clearly, I need to make another appointment with my therapist because I’m going loco!

Anyways folks, here is the pic of all 3 tests so that you can see the progression. Funny, even after I took this pic the tests sat there and the 9dp5dt seemed to get even darker. Enjoy!

From top to bottom: 9dp5dt, 7dp5dt and 5dp5dt.

From top to bottom: 9dp5dt, 7dp5dt and 5dp5dt.

I should prob talk about my symptoms at this point. Let’s see….same as the last few days. Feeling tired, sleeping and eating lots. We’re talking sleeping 9 hours a night plus a 1-2 hr nap every day. Sleeping LOTS (yes, being self-employed and newly pregnant is pretty convenient). My bbs are killing me, I’m so aware of them because they are so sensitive. Hubs says they seem fuller (YAY!). Vomited night before last (evening of 7dp5dt), after overeating dessert….there’s a good possibility that this is NOT a symptom, just a result of me being a piggy & over excited about cake! Also still having crampy, stretching sensation above my bladder. It doesn’t feel as frequent as it did around 5dp…but it’s def there!

My acupuncturist said that my face looked diff on 7dp5dt. But I’m pretty sure that’s the fact that the doc has forced me to stop all forms of exercising. So I went from running 3x and yoga 1-2x a week, to sitting on my ass and stuffing my face every 2-3 hrs. O well, small sacrifices!

Praying this little bean sticks around so that we can meet him/her or THEM. Beta Monday…..

5 Days Past 5 Day Transfer

So I totally caved today and took a pregnancy test this morning. It was +!!!!! Here’s the pic…it’s super faint, and it COULD still be the trigger shot in my system. But I’m cautiously optimistic!

pregnancy test 5dp5dt

It’s a squinter, but the second line is definitely there!!

My plan is to test again on Thursday!! I pray it gets darker and that my little angel (or angels) is here to stay!!

IVF Update

I can’t believe that I’ve been so remiss on posting. This last month has been so exciting! But no worries, I’m here now to give the play-by-play!!

So on March 21st we started our follicle stimulating hormone. We went to the doc at 9am, and they did bloodwork to ensure that my body was ready. That afternoon they called and told me for the next 3 nights to inject 450IU of Follistim. First 3 days I felt pretty good, no bloating or anything crazy.

March 24th, 9am another doctors appointment for bloodwork and an ultrasound. There were 8 follies measuring between 6mm and 8mm. Not too bad! My estrogen was only 78. Doctor decided to change up the meds to 2 injections at night and 2 in the morning of 150IU Menopur and 150IU of Follistim. That’s right 4 injections a day.

March 27th, 8am more bloodwork and another ultrasound. There were now 10 follicles around 9mm. Keep in mind, the goal is to get them to 18-20mm each. Estrogen was still pretty low at just 312. My acupuncturist was determined to get my Estrogen up! She gave me aggressive treatments 3x a week at this point and prescribed Royal Jelly to be taken every day.

March 29th at 815am another appointment for bloodwork and ultrasound. E2 (estrogen) was getting better at 980. But the follies are still a bit on the small side…measuring between 12 and 14mm. Continuing my 4 injections a day, but adding a 5th in the morning Ganirelex. This drug will help suppress my ovulation.

April 1st another appointment. E2 was now at an exciting 1860 and follies are growing steady at around 16mm, with a few at 18mm. Still 5 injections a day. Doc was thinking I would trigger ovulation the following day, so I returned the next day for another check up. E2 was 2088 and follies are bigger….but he wants to give them one more day to mature.

April 3rd….E2 is now 2355 and there are 7 mature follicles measuring over 18mm. Trigger shot was scheduled for 1030pm that night with retrieval on Saturday April 4th at 830am.

April 4th. Leave the house at 5am and drive from Islamorada to Boca for egg retrieval surgery. Arrive at 715 and no one is there. I begin to panic that I have the wrong place. Mind you, I was 45 min early and it was a Saturday. Anyways, at 8am on the dot a nurse pulls up in her car and I feel immediately relieved. Right on schedule they take me back and prep me for surgery. Everything after that is a blur…….except the fact that they retrieved 8 eggs. I was ecstatic!

That night I felt pretty crappy and bloated like I was 4 months preggo. But per the docs instructions I drank plenty of fluids and ate a nice healthy meal.

Next day I felt 100%, and was well enough to walk around for 6 hours in the heat at the Renaissance Festival. Such a fun day, and totally took my mind off of everything. That was until the drive home. I realized that I hadn’t gotten an update on my precious eggs. I start to panic, is something wrong….maybe none of them made it. Then I reminded myself it was Sunday and there was probably no one in the labs checking on my little angels. Patience….

Monday April 6th (day 2) I get word that 3 of the embryos are growing: one 5 cell grade B, one 4 cell grade A/B, and one 4 cell grade B/C. The others remain only at one cell. I panic slightly at the grade levels….but David quickly reminds me that we are blessed to have 3 and that they will grow and improve over the next few days.

Day 3 embryo reports: There are still 3 embies: one 8 cell a/b, one 8 cell B, and one 6-7 cell grade B. This was amazing news! They have all improved, although I am slightly concerned with the 6-7 cell because they are to double to it goes 2, 4, 8 then 16 cells. Not sure how it would ever be 6-7 cells.

No report on day 4, I think they figure they wont disturb them and just let them grow and flourish. My day 5 transfer is scheduled for the following day 4/10 at 11:15am. I’m instructed to arrive 30 min early with a full bladder (this helps straighten out the cervix so that they doc has a straight shot at the placement). I should also mention that the day after retrieval I have to start getting Progesterone intramuscular injection in the butt. That’s right, more shots….this better be worth it!

April 10th, we arrive at 10:15am back in Boca. And I’m slightly uncomfortable with a full bladder. 15 minutes goes by, then 30 then it’s been an hour. At this point, I’ve gotta PEE!!! Where is the doc? Turns out he had been pulled over and gotten a ticket on the way to the clinic. He finally arrives and we’re taken back around Noon.

They tell us that only 2 embies are still growing…we’ve got a 16 cell Blastocyst grade 4BB and one 16-cell Blast grade 4BC. In they go, the procedure in all takes 10 minutes. Me with a still full bladder tries to remain sitting to let the babies get nice and cozy in my uterus….but I can only hold it for about 15 minutes.

Babies first pictures!

Babies first pictures!

The next 2 days I’m on bed rest and dear David waits on me hand and foot. I don’t really feel any different, just more tired. I proceed to sleep 10 hours each night, plus naps during the day. Just feel like I can’t get enough sleep. Hopefully it’s my body focusing it’s efforts on making a baby (or perhaps 2)!!

Today, 4dp5dt (4 days past 5 day transfer), I feel great. Getting headaches and still feeling tired. Slight cramping, but not like period cramps. It almost feels like a stretching sensation. I know, I’m crazy…but I swear that’s what it feels like.

My bloodwork Beta HCG is scheduled for April 21st, but I have no idea how I’m going to wait that long. I will probably cave and test on a home pregnancy test in the next few days. Feeling very hopeful!!

Injection Schedule

So this is what $6000 worth of medication looks like! Ok, well $5,735 to be exact.photo(2)

That’s right kids, we went ahead and paid for our medication out of pocked since the insurance company said that this med was “excluded”. What a bunch of BS! Anyways, I’m appealing the decision….long story!

So we started our injections Friday night, and so far I’m feeling very good! Just a few headaches and cramps but nothing too horrible! We went in on Monday for bloodwork and ultrasound. They found 6 follies on the right side and 4 on the left…all measuring between 4.5 and 6mm. Here’s what my medication schedule has been:

Friday 3/21: 450IU of Follistim at 8pm

Saturday 3/22: 450IU Follistim at 8pm

Sunday 3/23: 450 IU Follistim at 8pm

Monday 3/24: 450IU Follistim and 150IU of Menopur at 8pm

Tuesday 3/25: 150IU Follistim and 150IU of Menopur at 8AM

and 150IU Follistim and 150IU Menopur at 8pm

Wednesday will be the same as Tuesday(today), and Thursday at 8am we go back to check on the follies with another ultrasound & bloodwork!

I guess I should also mention that I’m working with the acupunturist with visits twice a week an I’m struggling to follow the diet she recommended (rice and soup with each meal…only warm things….lots of fresh veggies….etc).

Update

Well Friday was to be the first day of my follicle stimulating hormone injection, but at this point we aren’t really sure what is going to happen.

Here’s the background….3 weeks ago, when we decided to go down the IVF road, I called my insurance, Cigna PPO, I spoke with the benefits people and they informed me that not only was the procedure covered, so was the medication. Oh how happy I was!!

My nurse proceeded to call my medication into the pharmacy listed on my insurance card (Caremark/ CVS). I promptly received a phone call saying that this medication was going to cost me upwards of $9500. She also told me that this was normal, and since it was injectables that I needed to call my insurance company to make sure it was covered from the medical side (not the pharmacy side, which was who I was speaking with). A bit annoyed, I mean they were working together why didn’t they go ahead and do that? Whatever….I called. They again reassured me it was covered under the medical side and informed me that the nurse or the doctor had to call CIgna to speak with them directly. I immediately instructed my nurse to do so….knowing that at this point it was 10 days until I started my meds.

Cigna - the bane of my existence at the moment!

Cigna – the bane of my existence at the moment!

She called the insurance company, as they had instructed her to do. They then told her (after 45 min on the phone with them) that she needed to fill out a form. She did so, and sent it along. This was Friday the 7th of March. I had been told that the decision on the authorization for my meds would take 24-48 hours. Monday, the 10th I called the insurance company AGAIN to check on the status. They then informed me that it would be 7-10 business days for them to reach a decision. Um, what?!? I started to panic, but there wasn’t anything I could do…so I called back Monday the 17th to follow up. They had reached a decision, I was DENIED.

Devastation shot through my body, and I held back tears until I finished the phone conversation. Well why was I denied? The lady on the other end of the phone told me that she couldn’t see in the system why, but that I would receive a letter with the details in a few days. She also said that I should appeal the decision and that the first decision isn’t necessarily final. Um…a FEW DAYS?!?! At this point I just broke down and cried nearly the whole day.

Monday after getting finding out that insurance had denied my authorization, I called MDR Pharmacy hoping for an alternate solution. They said that I might be eligible for financial aid and that I had to submit some documents and a decision would be made in 24 hours. I sent those documents exactly 23 hours ago….so now I’m just waiting to hear the decision.

At this point here are my options:

1. Appeal the decision made by insurance and wait a month (potentially longer, if this drags out). And the possibility that they STILL deny coverage.

2. Go ahead & order the meds from MDR Pharmacy (this will obviously depend on whether I qualify for some financial aid).

3. Give up completely…Clearly I’m not meant to be a mother in the first place.

 

Right now, #3 is sounding like the way to go. I hate to be a quitter, but one person can only take so much. Feeling defeated…..

Supplements

So 2 weeks ago I started taking supplements at the recommendation of my doctor. These supplements are said to help improve ovarian reserve. Here’s the lineup:

Supplements to help improved DOR (Diminishing Ovarian Reserve)

Supplements to help improved DOR (Diminishing Ovarian Reserve)

I take 75mg of DHEA (I heard some business ab getting this “Micronized”, I couldn’t find it at my drug store so whatever), 500mg of L-Arginine, 200mg of CoQ10 and my prenatal pill with DHA.

I also heard some other business that it takes about 3 months for these supplements to take effect, well I hope that’s wrong because I will have only completed 4 weeks of supplements before my egg retrieval. I’m also visiting Dr. Mary Tan for acupuncture 2x a week.

Stims start in just 10 short days….let’s hope this is it for our little one!!