Saturday, October 23, 2010

Money matters

"I wanna be a billionaire, so... fricking.. bad" (Travie McCoy)

I'm a firm believer that money does not buy happiness.  But it sure makes the journey down that path a little easier if you have some.

Had a rude awakening this week in the form of claims denials from my insurance company.  Long story short, it turns out what UHC calls $2000 of "coverage" counts many of the dollars paid from my pocket while still meeting my deductible.  I've already met my "maximum" even though the insurance company has only paid $1123, because that first $897 that I paid all counts toward the "coverage limit".  Even though I paid it.  $2000 is such a small amount of coverage for infertility benefits to begin with, and then to find out I only get half of what I expected made me pretty sick. The only reason they even paid that much is that I'd already had about $600 out of pocket expenses before TTC.  When the new calendar year begins, I'll be responsible for $1500 before my insurance will pay a whopping $500, and then cut me off again.  That doesn't even cover clinic costs for one cycle.   Doesn't help that I work for a company under the same corporate umbrella as my insurance comes from - hard to have a lot of pride when you're getting burned yourself!

So I sat down again, crunched all the numbers and came up with what I think is a decent new plan.  Fortunately I had saved a decent amount before starting all of this, so I do have the ability to keep trying awhile.  But it will run out, and it's hard not to have that hanging over my head as one more reason I want to get pregnant now, not later.  I also don't like the idea of having depleted my savings just in time to become a single mom, but I will have some time during pregnancy to build it back up a bit again (and then spend it again to get through my maternity leave!)  Sigh....

On a happier note, I've really enjoyed reading other SMC blogs lately.  Some of them have had the same struggles I'm having getting pregnant, and it definitely helps me stay hopeful to see them now enjoying the rewards that made this whole journey worth it.  I know that if I get there, I'll feel the same way.  I guess it's the fear that I won't get there that nags at me.  But here I am, on try #3, and all I can do is stay hopeful that this try or another one soon will work.  I'm doing 100 mgs of clomid again and had a day 3 FUS (follicular ultrasound) which looked good.  Pre-ov FUS will be next Friday afternoon, and I'll have just one vial of sperm shipped that day too.  Going down to one IUI per cycle to help keep the costs down. Also will not do a post-ov FUS this cycle.  The last two months showed that I've ovulating fine, so I feel confident enough that the eggies are dropping not to need that confirmation this time.  Hopefully the timing will be just right, the eggie(s) that drop will be welcoming, and Orlando will do his job! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Round 2, another BFN

Well, didn't get the news I'd hoped for once again.  Handling it all a lot better than last month... still stinks, but was much more prepared this time.  Gradually absorbing the thought that this is a marathon, not a sprint.  Of course making the money last the marathon is a little tricky, but I believe I'll figure it all out.  Have some ideas for this next try, one being going down to one IUI vs two.  I know it seems backwards to do less, but cost wise it makes a lot of sense, and from what I'm reading on the SMC-TTC boards, many people do just one IUI per cycle.  I'm also going to look into acupuncture, as I've read a lot about the benefits of this for fertility.  Trying to keep an open mind all around, definitely easier on some days that others!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ups and downs

I haven't been a good blogger lately, as pointed out by a couple of my friends!  I'll try to recap the roller coaster of the past few weeks; please excuse the long post.

I took the BFN pretty hard.  I didn't think  had gotten my hopes up, but apparently, I had.  That first week after was really emotional... every time I felt a little better, something would trigger another wave of sadness.  Even though logically I knew it was far from the end of the world, or even the end of this journey, I had a hard time getting out from under it. 

I did have a very cool experience that first week.. that Thursday, I went to see my favorite NPR guy Scott Simon speak at the Minnesota Public Radio studios.  Scott and his wife adopted two girls from China, and he's recently written a book about that experience - a book truly, as he calls it, in praise of adoption.  I bought a copy after the very moving presentation, and when he signed it "To Suzanne and future family" (on my request), we had a little chat about SMCs and my current journey and consideration of adoption, he was really encouraging.  Of course, in my fragile emotional state at the time, I couldn't get out of there fast enough to have a little meltdown in the privacy of my car:)  It was just a really moving experience to share with my "NPR dad", as Jodie calls him.

At the end of that week, I headed to Pequot for the weekend, and gradually felt my spirits lift and my head clear.  I went for some great walks, spent time talking with my mom and Jodie, and finally told my dad about my big plans.  (His reaction was subtle, as I expected, but I was happy to get it out there.)  By Sunday I felt like I was on a much better page and more enthusiastic about try #2, while feeling like I really would be more grounded this time.

Life likes to throw in twists, though.  Monday I noticed my back feeling really tight, right between my shoulder blades.  By Tuesday it was really uncomfortable, and when I drove back home that evening, I went straight to the spa and got a massage.  That felt great for a bit, then the tightness was back with a vengence.  The next few days were pretty dang painful, and by Saturday I went to urgent care to get it checked out.  The doc spent a whole two minutes with me and said I was having muscle spasms, gave me scripts for vicadin and a muscle relaxant and sent me on my way.  I noticed later Saturday that I had a little red spot on the right side of my chest, and through the next couple days, noticed more spots, turning to blisters, and a strange tingling and numbness throughout my right side back and chest.  The painkillers helped with the back pain, but by Sunday night I was pretty convinced - I had shingles.  Went to my doc Monday morning and my suspicions were confirmed!  I started on anti-viral meds right away, so hopefully the length and severity will be shortened and I'll avoid any long-term problems. 

I had an ultrasound Saturday morning, before my UC visit, and expressed to nurse Deb that I was nervous about going through with this cycle with the pain, wondering if pain killers would be contraindicatory with pregnancy, etc.  She (in her rather rushed manner) said it shouldn't be a worry, that tylenol and even vicadin was fine to use during pregnancy.  We found a few big follies, one already at 22mm, and she freaked me out when she made it sound like I needed to do insem that day or the next.  "Well I haven't ordered the sperm yet....", kind of an important part of the process.  Luckily I hadn't had the LH surge yet, and continued testing through the weekend without a positive surge.  Finally on Monday afternoon I did get a positive, and after deliberating throughout the day on whether to go through with another cycle, I decided to call up Cryogenic Labs and get another couple doses of Orlando SuperSperm delivered to my clinic the next day.  I had gotten the ok from the clinic to do IUI if I was up to it, apparently the anti-viral meds are totally fine with pregnancy.  So Tuesday afternoon at 3:30, and Wednesday at 8:30am, I got two more insems. 

I feel a lot more calm in this 2 week wait, despite the fact that it's in the midst of this crazy twist with the shingles.  I'm looking at this as a longer-term process now, and really believe it could be 6 tries or so.  To be able to afford all those tries, I'm going to have to back down from the protocol they have me on right now.  Two IUIs, at least two US (this cycle it was 3, an extra early on to check out the cyst they had found last month).. all of that clinic time adds up, not to mention two doses of sperm.  There's been a lot of discussion on my SMC ttc (trying to concieve) board about the value of doing 2 IUIs per cycle, and I'm starting to feel like just one would be fine.  My docs may not recommend backing off, but they're not paying for it! 

At any rate, while would be ecstatic to be pregnant this cycle, and know there will still be some level of disappointment if I'm not, I feel a lot more prepared for a negative this time.  Obviously I let myself get WAY too stressed out last time... shingles is brought on, in someone young and relatively healthy like me, by stress more than anything else. Can't be doing that to myself every month, that's for sure!  Anyone know a good yogi?? :-)