Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Medications Class

Yesterday B and I met with the IVF Nurse to talk about injections, medication schedules, and overall IVF logistics. We left after over an hour, feeling very overwhelmed but ready.

My tentative schedule is as follows:
  • Sunday, March 4th, 8 am: blood test for progesterone, to see if I have ovulated. If I have, we're ready to start. If not, we have to wait and re-test on March 11th.
  • Monday, March 5th: begin nightly Lupron injections, sometime between 5-7 pm each evening.
  • Continue Lupron for one to two weeks, till my period comes. Then, anytime that week, go in for bloodwork and baseline ultrasound, to be sure my ovaries are "quiet."
  • Saturday, March 17th: continue Lupron, but also add Menopur and Follistim each evening, again 5-7 pm. That adds up to 3 shots a day. B begins doxycycline twice a day.
  • Tuesday, March 20th, 7:30 am: go in for first estrogen blood test.
  • Thursday, March 22nd, 7:30 am: begin daily blood tests and ultrasounds. Will be told if need to come in every morning or every other morning from now on.
  • Continue shots and monitoring for 8-12 days total.
  • Monday, March 26th: stop shots and give HCG trigger shot.
  • Wednesday, March 28th: egg retrieval, rest that day.
  • Saturday, March 31st: transfer day, begin progesterone (or maybe Monday, April 2nd if doing a 5 day transfer of just one embryo).
  • Wednesday, March 11th: pregnancy test!
I know all of this is tentative and may fluctuate, and not everyone even makes it to retrieval, but I am excited and nervous to begin. May this next 6 weeks pass quickly and with few problems.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

And It Begins

This is just a small subset of my meds: Progesterone for after the transfer, prenatal vitamins, doxycycline for both of us, needles and syringes, alcohol swabs, and a sharps disposal container. All of this was only $22 from my health insurance's specialty pharmacy. But don't worry, in case you thought that was all, I still have the $3000 worth of stims coming next week. Then my whole dining room table will be covered, not just half of it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

We're Really Doing This

As of an hour ago, the paperwork and payment have been submitted. We are officially doing IVF!

It's been a tumult of emotions lately, with guilt over asking my dad to pay this ridiculous amount, nerves over actually doing the shots, fear that after all this it won't work, worry about the impact on my work life and my marriage, and above all, excitement that in a year, I could be holding a baby. Hopefully.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Freaking Out

I just received a phone call and the paperwork to decide which Attain program we want to go with, and the form to fill out for payment. It's over $16K, before medications or freezing for FET cycles.

I am just kind of freaking out. It's a LOT of money. A LOT of drugs. I'm scared about both, and scared of disappointment above all. I can't believe that it's all happening, and happening so quickly. I still don't have dates for when we'll start, but this is really, really happening.

Monday, February 6, 2012

IVF Decisions

Today I contacted AttainIVF and told them I'm ready to move forward. They are sending an application to my clinic to fill out, and I should be ready to start talking to the nurses by the end of this week. Last week I was in a fog of shock that this is really happening. For so long I have read all these fertility blogs but I never thought it would really, truly, actually be me someday. And now it is.

Thank goodness for my dad, who is paying. I mean, we will probably end up paying some of the costs (we've spent well over $1000 so far) but he has told me he will take care of the financials and I should focus on the medical side of things.

I have two more weeks (well, about 9-11 more days) of this cycle and then I'm not sure what will happen, but I expect the nurses will be in touch soon and we'll begin the next steps.

I've quit acupuncture for the time being, and will start with a therapist this Wednesday. For Brian's sake and my own, I am trying it, although I don't really want to.

In other news, all of the research I have done about my medical options has led me to start thinking about a business idea. A kind of personal medical researcher/advocate. I have to keep thinking about this. But for now, it's enough to focus on the IVF ahead.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

IVF Ahead

Today we met with Dr. F.

We are out of low intervention options.

We discussed gonadotropins versus IVF and are taking a few days to think about, gather financial details, and come to a decision. However, I think we've already decided to jump right in and go with IVF. The injections only have a 10% success rate the first time, a cumulative 19% success rate with two cycles, 27% success rate with three, and 34% with four cycles. At that point, we'll have spend $6000-12,000 on injectables, and then still have to do IVF. And of course there is the emotional toll, with the amount of money meaning the stakes will feel every higher.

IVF will run us around $18,000 plus meds ($2500-4000 additional). NOTE: These are not accurate figures. It ended up being much less, since we went with a package from an outside company.

That's the UNC pricing, with the 2 fresh and 2 frozen option. The clinic in Cary has a cheaper plan but if I need every other day ultrasounds, it might not be a feasible option.

Clearly, I need to do more financial research. I have left a voicemail for the business manager at UNC, and I have also called a counselor who specializes in fertility issues. I'm going to need all the support I can find. And I will do one more session with the acupuncturist and then decide whether to stick with him or switch.

And then, decision time. And, talk to dad time.

And then, we see what happens.

This is going to be my life for the next few months. I am still somewhat in shock. Although I've had a feeling it would come to this, I never knew it really, really would. I don't even know what to say, except I am so nervous and scared and nervous and scared and just.... bad.