Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Next Chapter

Ever since the events of last Friday, I have felt that I am on a different playing field.  I had really figured out how to put the infertility stuff on the back-burner of my brain and focus on CFP and the rest of my life.  Since Friday, I definitely have a case of Infertility-brain.  It's not every waking minute, but it is WAY more than the last year.

I even went to bed on Sunday night and before I fell asleep read every page of Kismet's IVF blog (all 30!) in addition to many pages of Fertility for Dummies, Chapter IVF.  I didn't sleep well that night, but I think it is because I was trying to process all this info.  I do realize that I have a little bit before we go full force, about 2 months.  But getting up Monday was hard.

I met with Trainer on Monday for my monthly session & therapy(?) and just kind of spilled on him.  Not really bad stuff, just that I'm at an impasse and not sure how to put one foot in front of the other.  But I know that I want to focus more on being healthy rather than the scale going down (especially understanding that the drugs I will be on in May and June will wreak a bit of havoc no matter how good I eat and how much I exercise).  He, as always, is very understanding and asks questions so he understands more of what will be happening.  He changed the workout to challenge me more and I always walk out feeling like I've had a great morning.  Have I mentioned that I love this gym?!  I do.  And the guy who owns it.  And his gorgeous wife, who is pregnant and still freaking gorgeous.  And all the people that work there.  It's just a great place.

So then Monday afternoon Holly (IVF Coordinator) started to reply to all of my emails that I had sent her Friday after our chat.  She answered all my questions and sent me more info (namely the list of things I can and shouldn't eat - i.e. caffeine, alcohol, sweetener, some fish, crack, etc.)  Of course I had more questions and so we agreed to chat Tuesday at some point.

And Monday night, I picked up my BC on the way home from work.  Just wanted to have it in the house so we had it on the right day and there was no scrambling.  Of course, since I haven't been on it for 4 years, the pharmacist had to tell me how to use it.  Holly had told me to just "smile and nod" because the real way would be different than the pharmacist said.  But something did catch my ear and I had to hold my giggles until I pulled away.  She said, "the effects of these drugs may be lowered by certain antibiotics, so if you are on antibiotics, make sure you use a back-up method."  Wouldn't that be the end-all-be-all?  I get preggers while ON birth control and prepping for IVF?  Hey, I won't hate it, but I will be shocked!

Tuesday, during my lunch break, I got on the phone with Holly.  She's a very chipper person and I appreciate the humor she finds in this situation because there's an awful lot that really isn't funny about it all.  But she keeps things light.  She let me question a few different things, (i.e. ARC which is the fertility payment plan including prepaid cycles and guarantees, the meds and how to buy them cheaper, the blood tests we need to have before anything happens if we even think we might give out one of our eggs or put it in someone else's body, and working out).

So here's what I know.

The price of IVF hasn't gone up since I last checked (YAY!) but if we did a payment plan it would cost 9.9% interest!  YOWZA!  Glad we have savings, but sad insurance doesn't cover anything.  9.9% of $8,770 is an additional $868!  WOWIE, let's not pay that.  Guess the savings will come in handy.  The guarantees can be a good deal if there's obvious reasons that IVF won't work the first time (i.e. if I was over 38, had had multiple surgeries for endo, etc.), but we don't have those deals.  So paying 10-30% more "just in case" doesn't really sound like a good deal.  I may disagree if we get to cycle 2 or 3, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  PRAY WE DON'T!

If a patient doesn't want to consider donating out their eggs, then they don't need the following tests.  But if there's even an inkling that they might donate them out or use a surrogate (hello, MBM and MBM's sister!) they must be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B & C, and Syphilis BEFORE the eggs are extracted.  Yes, I know we don't have these, but the FDA doesn't.  Hopefully will be covered by insurance in some respect because they ARE NOT fertility tests.  The clinic will do them when we have our first appointment.

Ah, the meds.  Not cheap!  They are about $2,000 of the IVF cost listed above.  Again, YOWZA!  So of course the budgeter in me wants to know where I can get them cheaper, but still working.  I had some tips from other people and when I asked Holly about those, she about had a heart attack.  Apparently, not the best place to get them because they aren't reliable and the drugs have to be ordered all at once instead of just as need be because they must ship them.  Holly assured me that they have price costed places out and the pharmacy they use is the most "cost-efficient" as well as in the same complex.  Kismet did mention that she needed unexpected refills a couple times, so having it close by is good.  And, reliability and LESS STRESS is muy importante!  And we buy drugs as we need them, as opposed to all at once.  So we could spend less if we don't need the drugs, or more if we need more.  But at least no shipping costs.

Trainer had mentioned workouts and how they might change when we get to June.  I asked Holly and she just said things like limiting a few things.  No running (sorry Meanie Christinie), no sit ups or inverted moves, as well as no jarring moves.  And listening to my body.  As I read in Kismet's novel, it's quite possible I'll feel like a chicken about to drop a load of, well, eggs.  Therefore, listening to my body is of the utmost importance and if it says no workout today, or lighter workout that day, to listen.  Of course as we get closer to June, we'll figure out the specifics more.

Lastly, Holly and I actually scheduled the times of all of my appointments, with the exception of extraction day, transfer day and THE blood test.  YIKES, it's becoming more real every day!

I'm still somewhat at a loss for words as far as how I feel, but I know that we'll forge ahead and get this done.

I used to only envision the pink lines.  Now I envision the belly.  And the baby.

Big steps.

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