Not throwing away our shot(s)

…mostly because they cost over $4,000…that and the shots we got in the mail today are our best chance at having a baby.  That’s right!  Our meds arrived today.  Well, I guess my meds?  It’s a fine line, you know, when talking about fertility, pregnancy, miscarriage, etc.  Mike and I tend to use the royal we, so I guess more often than not, I’ll use we in this blog (don’t hold me to that, odds are I’ll flip back and forth).

Ok.  So.  What does $4,225.23 in medication entail?  Before I get to that, I should mention, we are not printing money in the basement.  Anyone who has ever heard of/about IVF before probably knows it involves a petri dish and a lot of money.  We’re really fortunate.  The fertility clinic that we’re working with is affordable, especially seeing as our insurance covers medications.  We paid $6,500 to our RE (reproductive endocrinologist) which includes all of the monitoring: blood work and ultrasounds, anesthesia, egg retrieval, working with Mike’s sample, embryo babysitting [seriously, this is HUGE! You wouldn’t believe what an embryo babysitter is going for nowadays 😉 haha I’m half-kidding.  Embryologists have to have Master’s Degrees or higher!], embryo transfer (given a successful cycle), and even more ultrasounds and blood work.

So…you’re saying $6,500 doesn’t include meds?  Right.  That’s what I’m telling you.  Luckily our insurance company accepted the claim for our medication…we blew through our deductible and will be paying co-pays for the rest of our insurance year (Oct. 1 – Sep. 30), but this  coverage is a huge deal.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand how insurance is billed, adjusted, and subsequently charged, but I know that out-of-pocket, we could have been looking at an additional $4-6k (some people pay up to $10,000+).  So this was BIG DEAL!  I got the phone call from our IVF coordinator on December 20th that our insurance was accepting the request to cover our meds and I felt like Christmas came early!  And a weight on my shoulders (and Mike’s) had been lifted–one that I’m not even sure I knew was there.

SO.  What was in the box?  twenty syringes, twenty 27 gauge 1/2 inch needles, alcohol wipes, a sharps disposal box, and, of course, the actual medication.  I will be using Menopur, Ganirelix, Follistim, Crinone gel, and then a shot of HcG to trigger ovulation when it’s time to collect my eggs.  You can google those drugs, or not, and when we actually start the protocol (in mid to late January…it’s all cycle based), I’m sure I’ll explain more.  Mike and I had a lot of fun stacking the meds as high as we could get them…both of us acknowledging that it was similar to (but way different than) Jenga.

Opening the box was pretty amazing (and a touch overwhelming).  There was so much hope in that box!  Here’s what could be the makings of our child(ren)…how incredible is that?!  As hard and confusing as this journey can be/has been, I am regularly amazed by and thankful for modern medicine…this is our shot.  And we’re not throwing it away.

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Why a blog?

In July 2015, Mike left private practice and we thought it was a good time to start our family.  Two and a half years later, we’d still really like to start our family, but infertility has delayed our plans…the best laid plans, right?  As we’ve navigated countless appointments, tests, samples given, samples taken, prescriptions, procedures, tears, and laughs, Mike has suggested I/we write a book, track what we’ve gone through and are going through…and so I thought I’d start smaller: why not blog a little bit?

So why start today?  Well, today I filled our IVF prescriptions: because that’s where we’re at.  Our chances of having a baby on our own are inexplicably low.  Why inexplicably?  Because that’s our diagnosis: unexplained infertility.  Great.  If you ever really want to struggle with an issue, try tackling something that is unexplained.  Really?  REALLY?!

…really.  How we got to this point is a series of blog posts for other days, but today the prescriptions are filled, the meds and needles have been ordered (because all of the IVF meds are mail-order only: your local CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid…they don’t carry these medications).  Looking at the calendar, it is estimated I’ll start “stimming” about one month from today, so it feels like the right day to start this little blog.

I’m hoping this blog helps us track what we go through as we start IVF, as well as give us a space to reflect upon and tell the story of what got us here today.  And this is a good space that family and friends (and maybe even some others struggling with infertility?) can see where we’re at emotionally, physically, and get some answers/insight when we don’t answer the phone, respond to texts, or cancel/not commit to/not make plans because the infertile life can be inexplicably hard.  I’m lucky, though, because traveling this journey with Mike has been filled with love and laughter alongside the tears and struggles.  And I’m keeping the faith (most days) that our luck is going to turn in 2018.

so it begins