Wednesday, January 28, 2015

3/52: Baseline Ultrasound

Today we checked our first major IVF milestone off the list – my baseline ultrasound! It’s crazy to think that this appointment has already come and gone because I feel like it was just yesterday that they gave us our calendar and I counted 3 weeks until today’s visit, feeling like it would take forever to get here. Time is just flying!

As I mentioned in my last post, we were a bit concerned because of bleeding I experienced several days last week and the chance that I could possibly have a cyst. By Tuesday morning the bleeding stopped (right around the time I stopped taking birthday control), so I started to feel a lot less worried about it prior to today’s visit. Still, we went into the appointment this afternoon praying that we would be told I was cyst free and we were! No cysts! Phew, such a relief!

We first met with the IVF coordinator to turn in all of our consent forms as well as our IVF deposit, which was a big chunk of change. The wife and I are hopeful that we won’t end up having to use the entire deposit but we’re also thankful to have the resources to get the ball rolling. Just trying to look for the positives, ya know. ;)

My ultrasound was pretty amazing because for once we were given GOOD news! Everything looked great. My lining looked just as it should and I have a lot of eggs that are just chillin’ and ready to grow. They counted 15 on one side and +20 on the other. Because I have so many, they’re going to closely monitor my meds in an effort to keep the growth slow and steady. I start my Gonadotropins on Saturday and will be up to 3 pokes a day come next week... Yikes! It looks like retrieval will take place the second week of February and that’s when things will come to a screeching halt, which is a huge bummer.

Because of a family trip that we’re taking with all of G’s family that’s been planned since last year and my mom’s wedding in San Diego at the end of March, we’re having to push my transfer date back quite a bit and that part totally sucks. I feel like we’re at a place where things are finally picking up steam only to have to put the breaks on everything… but what can you do. I’m just trying to remind myself that we’ve been at this whole baby-making thing for a year and a half now, so what’s a few more months.

Anywho, it was a great day full of even better news. I’m just so thankful for my wife and everything that she’s doing during this process. I wish you guys could see how cute she’s been watching all the how-to videos over and over while making her own calendars for my meds and everything else. We’re checking in with each other and reminding each other of things we need to do in this process everyday and she’s made every part of it so much easier. We make a pretty good team. :)

I have a lot of catching up to do with all of your blogs and plan to spend my free time this weekend doing just that. In the meantime, here are a few pictures from today’s appointment. Good night, friends.

Grow, grow, grow!!!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Preschool & IVF Update!

I know I’ve said this many times but it warrants mentioning again. We LOVE, love Gracie’s Co-op Preschool! Getting her a spot in the class was pure luck and I’m more happy with her little escuela every month. :) In this first school year, G and I have become those super involved parents (no shocker there, lol). We volunteer in the classroom at least once a month, sometimes together, and in the 6 months that Grace has been in school, we’ve been there with bells on for every single field trip. The other parents are so warm and friendly too. The bean has already been invited to 3 birthday parties from her school buds and with the pre-k committees that G and I have joined, we’ve made lots of new parent friends as well.

My favorite thing about the school is that it celebrates families. ALL families! A few weeks ago, I was volunteering in class and doing a little cleaning while the kids gathered for music circle. The song they were listening to and singing was called, “Love Makes a Family”. The song’s lyrics talk all about how some families are big and some small. That some kids have parents who are divorced, some live with grandparents and, well you get the idea. As I was cleaning and listening to the kiddos sing along to the song, a verse started about a little girl named Sophia who has two mommies. The verse talked about how her family is special and that it’s never ok to tease your friends just because their family looks different than your family. I couldn’t believe it! As I was listening to the start of the song describing different kinds of families, I was thinking, I can’t wait for the day that LGBT families are included in songs like these… And then the Sophia verse started! It warmed my heart so very much and made me a bit teary-eyed. I blame the fertility drugs (like always), but I’m pretty sure that I would have gotten choked up even if I didn’t have hormones ragging through my body. To see all the little ones singing the verse about Sophia and her moms together, and to know that my baby girl is learning and thriving in an environment that is so supportive of her family, well there’s just nothing more that we could ask for.

Sending Grace to school, and essentially out into the world for the first time this school year, made Georgia and I a bit nervous (me more so than G). I was honestly worried more about the parents than the kids, because I know parents can at times be close-minded a-holes. I worried that Grace would get teased. I worried that we would be treated different than other parents or that our family wouldn’t be viewed as a family equal to everyone else. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I know that there’s a high likelihood that we will be faced with a scenario like this at some point in Gracie’s young school years, but not today. Not this school year and that makes me very happy.

This past Monday we went on what was without a doubt my favorite field trip of the school year thus far! Me, G and some fellow parents, joined the kiddos in spending the afternoon at the local Children’s Science Center and Museum. Our group was left to explore the grounds and watch our kiddos learn all about science for the first time.

During the fieldtrip we learned about the life of water, studying its characteristics, patterns and flow!


The kiddos investigated light, shadow and the transfer of color!


And experienced the transactive qualities of air! Grace even got to “fly” a plane, with the help of Mommy before sharing the snacks she brought for her classmates!


We all had so much fun and learned a lot! I can’t wait until our next museum visit!


…And in other baby-making news, this arrived week before last!


I was so nervous the day it was delivered that I talked G into leaving work early to intercept the goods. All I could think of were the news articles I watched over Christmas about thieves stealing deliveries off people’s doorsteps and I was convinced that some crazed lunatic would surly steal our baby-making medicine… So my lovely wife was there to bring the meds in and go through them. She even sent me the picture pasted above because she was just as excited as me that they finally arrived!


I’m currently on day 18 of birth control and G’s been giving me shots of Lupron nightly for 8 days now. The shots don’t really hurt but these are also the ones that just go in my leg. I’ve had way more “side effects” from the birth control and the fact that I haven’t had coffee, wine or caffeine of any kind for weeks, lol. I’m a BIG coffee drinker and as someone who normally drank several cups of Star.bucks dark roast every morning, it’s been an adjustment. I had a horrible headache for the first week and thought it was the BC but soon realized that I was suffering from caffeine withdrawals. I sent G the pic above a few days ago after my face finally started to clear up from my first break out. I think I did a pretty good job covering up my zits but still I thought the picture was funny. It’s amazing how quickly the birth control wrecked my face and threw off my sleeping pattern. I don’t know how all you straight girls take this stuff for years at a time! ;)

Aside from that, I have a few questions for my fellow IVF mamas. Did any of you spot while you were on the birth control/Lupron combo? I called my nurse last week when I noticed some pink when wiping and they told me it was totally normal but today it seemed to be a bit more. I know that some people get cysts during this phase of the process and I’m just praying that isn’t happening because it would mean we would need to start all over. Even after TTC for a year and taking fertility drugs the entire time, I’ve never had a cyst so I’m praying it doesn’t happen now. Did any of you experience anything like this?

Also, when it came time for transfer, how many did you transfer? I know the number really just depends on egg quality but I’m still curious what others have done and what the outcome was. Thanks so much in advance for sharing!

That pretty much sums up what’s been going on around here. Sorry for the super long scattered post, haha! I’ll leave you with this picture taken of Georgia and two fellow moms from Gracie’s class at a recent “Best of the City” event. The Bean’s pre-school was voted “Best Parent Cooperative Preschool” in the city last month, so we of course had to celebrate with all the other “best of the city” peeps! Isn’t my wife just gorgeous?! I’m a lucky gal.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

2/52: The little things


I'm sure the day will come when I grow tired of packing her lunches.
For now, it's still my favorite thing to do on school nights. :)


1/52: Cutie!


Project 52 - year FOUR! Let's get things started with this little cutie, shall we! :)



Saturday, January 10, 2015

IVF = APPROVED!

I can’t even believe that I’m writing this post, but I am… And it’s true! We’re doing IVF! I’m currently on day 3 of birth control pills with Lupron scheduled to begin on the 17th followed by a baseline ultrasound on the 28th. So basically, this is happening. It’s really happening. And now I’m crying, again.
This time it’s happy tears.
I owe you all the back story of how this came to be. So here it is.
At the start of the new year I peed on a stick and discovered that once again, it didn’t work. Try # 8 didn’t work. FML. I was done. I cried. I was so f-ing pissed. I shut down for about a day and I drank wine… a lot of wine. I then called in to work and spent the afternoon thinking about everything we’d been through in the 8 months that we prepped to start this process, and the 12 months that we’ve actively TTC. I then waited for G to get home from work so that I could revisit a conversation with her that we’d had before. I told her that I would give it two more attempts and then throw in the towel. If try #9 and #10 didn’t work, I would walk away knowing I had tried my best. Knowing that I had given it all I had. I cried a lot and tried my best to convince her that this was a plan I was ok with.
She reluctantly agreed and began to wrap her head around the idea of being pregnant for a second time. Something she never thought would happen. It’s something neither of us ever thought would happen.
Knowing that I was only giving myself two more attempts, I wanted to give it all we could. I decided that it was time to start injectables. Georgia didn’t like this idea. To explain why, I’ll need to share another back story.
This past September our company announced that they were completely changing the insurance options given to employees. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, (aka, Obama Care), the organization was going to open all options to employees to select their Insurance plan. We were given the opportunity to not only choose our provider but also the levels of coverage depending on the individual healthcare needs of each employee. Georgia and I immediately began doing research to find a provider that offered IVF coverage, which is something rarely offered in standard insurance plans. We ended up finding a private “Platinum Plan” that would cover up to 20K in fertility coverage (including IVF) as well as 5K in fertility medication coverage. We read the policy about 20 times and decided to go for it even though it would be significantly more expensive and even though we wouldn’t know if it actually would cover IVF or if I would even need IVF.
Fast-forward several months and were back at the conversation to begin injectables. G didn’t understand why we would use possibly all of our fertility medication coverage on injectables when we could just move on to IVF now. That thought hadn’t even dawned on me because I honestly didn’t think that IVF would be covered even though the policy clearly stated that it was. It just seemed too good to be true.
We contacted our RE’s office and had several conversations with their insurance specialist. Following her research reviewing our coverage and a call to the insurance company to confirm coverage checking actual IVF codes, she called to let us know it would be covered up to 20K. Now you would think that getting news like this would send Georgia and I into orbit, jumping for joy. But it didn’t. I didn’t believe her. Our next step was to go in for an IVF consultation during which time it was once again confirmed that we did have coverage.
In that consultation we decided to go for it and thus began our IVF journey! We went over the process, cost and calendared everything. I gave a ton of blood that afternoon and began birth control that evening. Our next step was to talk with the fertility pharmaceutical company that was sending us our big box of meds. For me, this was our first test to see just how good our “Platinum Plan” really was and if it REALLY provided the coverage we were told it did.
This brings us to yesterday and the call we had been waiting on. The pharmaceutical company called me back following the processing of our insurance to let me know what our out of pocket would be for all of my IVF meds. The rep reviewed all of the drugs that were ordered explaining how everything would be shipped and then gave me the grand total. $4239.40. My heart sank, but then she kept talking. She wasn’t finished and that wasn’t our out of pocket but rather the total cost. Our out of pocket was $88.00. EIGHTY-EIGHT FREAKING DOLLARS. Everything was covered, just as our policy stated it would be. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that on Tuesday a big box of miracle drugs are going to be delivered to our home. Drugs that are going to hopefully help us create another little life. Drugs that are going to help get me pregnant. And now I’m crying again, ugh. This emotional roller coaster is killing me!  
We know that IVF isn’t going to be free, but now we also know that it’s going to be much less expensive than we ever imagined it would be.
This is really happening and we just feel so incredibly blessed.
 
 
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