After taking the weekend to think about things I’ve come up with a new plan, that hubby is okay with. It’s open enrollment for our health insurance right now, the deadline to change is actually today! My husband’s employer offers several different kinds of insurances to choose from, so I did some digging and I found one that I think will work for us. It’s $140 more per paycheck (26 paychecks per year – $3,640 more per year), but covers the exploratory surgery I need for my tubes and it also covers 70% of IUI’s….which, if everything goes well on the surgery would technically be all we’d need to give us a good shot at a BFP!
It’s not that we’re opposed to IVF with ICIS….hell, if we had 10k sitting in a bank account we’d do it tomorrow….but $10,000 is A LOT OF MONEY for a CHANCE at getting pregnant. And the thought of waiting a year-ish to try IVF and see if it will work also sucks. If it’s not going to work I want to know now! I’m horrible at waiting for anything, especially this! I think since I am still “so young” (I hate hearing that in the TTC world) that we should give the exploratory surgery a shot. Worst case scenario, they have to remove a tube then we’re just back to where we started and IVF with ICIS will be our best shot. Best case scenario, they remove the blockage and we go onto IUI’s again and get our BFP sometime in 2014. I called my RE’s office today to schedule my surgery, which will need to be after January 1 when our new insurance kicks in….hopefully they’ll call me back tomorrow!
How can the damage be fixed?
The surgeon will try and cut the scars between your fallopian tube and ovary. If one or both tubes are completely blocked, your surgeon can attempt to open the tube.
Surgery can be done in one of two ways (laparoscopy or laparotomy). Laparoscopy, or minimally invasive surgery can be performed. During this procedure a very small camera attached to a thin telescope is inserted through a small incision (surgical opening) below your belly button. The surgery is performed using small tools, which can be inserted through other small incisions across your belly. A traditional open procedure, called a laparaotomy, also may be used. In this procedure, the surgery is performed through a large incision made in your belly (abdomen). –American Society for Reproductive Medicine
As always, thank you for the thoughts, prayers, and words of wisdom! This network I’ve found through blogging is absolutely incredible. Who knew there was this whole other world out here?!? Love you guys! XOXO
R & I have decided to take a break from TTC and save up for IVF with ICIS. He’s not thrilled about doing it at all….but thinks it’s very financially irresponsible to dip into our 401k’s to get started right away. I can’t say I agree, if it were up to me we’d get started in January. I can say though that making a monthly payment on a failed IVF cycle sounds TERRIBLE, and a painful reminder each month….so if we save up for it at least we won’t have to deal with that.
So that’s the plan, the whole plan. I’m going to go back on my anti-depressants, which I really need right now and work on being a better me. I’m going to find something that makes me happy and focus on something other than babies/TTC for this next year. Hopefully we’ll be starting IVF in the fall of 2014.
I guess anything is possible, and maybe he’ll change his mind….but I don’t anticipate posting again anytime soon. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you!!
Yesterday I had my HSG test completed. It was supposed to be a routine test. Because of my age and my previous blood tests RE said he had no reason to believe I had any issues. He was wrong. The test started out with me having to go into my RE’s office for a pregnancy test. I walked into a packed waiting room to sit and wait 30 minutes before they asked me to pee in a cup to verify that I wasn’t pregnant (I think they’re just covering their asses on this one, b/c if you have the HSG test and you are pregnant you’ll more than likely miscarry). Then I had to go downstairs to admitting (my RE’s office is inside of the hospital) and wait to be checked in there. Next I went back to radiology, changed into a gown and waited for RE and the radiologist to come in. The RE inserted a speculum, then inserted a balloon type device to open my cervix (which was painful) then inserted a catheter into my uterus. Next he started to inject me with a liquid that had dye in it and the radiologist began taking pictures. If all is well and your tubes are opened the test is pretty painless, other then some minor cramping…..this WAS NOT the case for me. Quickly after injecting the liquid RE could see that my right tube was blocked so it was HELLA painful for about 30 seconds, then they pulled out the catheter and I was fine. I got dressed then went back up to RE’s office to talk.
He said that our next plan of action could include exploratory surgery for me, they could investigate and see what was causing the blockage and potentially remove the blockage. There’s a possibility while “exploring” they could have to remove the tube all together. RE said IUI’s are basically a waste of time and money for us now. Basically I’m functioning at 50% and R is functioning at 5%, so it was a bad combo for IUI. He suggested we move straight to IVF with ICIS. I instantly started crying at the mention of this. Up until yesterday I was thinking we’d have a few more IUI’s and I’d be pregnant within the next few months. Now I’m hearing that our best option is to move straight on to IVF with ICIS. I went home and talked about everything with R. It was a rough night.
I called the RE’s office again this morning to discuss payment options and their office offers 2 different options for IVF with ICIS, should we decide to go down that road:
- Pay $7,300 upfront.
- Pay $5,350 upfront, then IF we get pregnant around 8-10 weeks along (after RE felt good about our pregnancy) we’d owe another $4,650. The advantage to option #2 is that we’d be paying less money if it didn’t work.
Neither of those options include the medications, which would cost another $1,500 ish. If we ended up with “extra” embryos we could freeze them for $600 then each additional time we wanted to “try” it would only be $1,500.
We have about $1,600 in our savings account currently….which won’t even get us started. We could finance it….but it would really suck to be making a payment on a failed IVF cycle. I suggested to R that it might be time to ask our parents for help. R is a very private person, and doesn’t have the best relationship with his family so he was NOT keen on the idea at all. Technically we have the money….but it’s in our 401k accounts, so we’d have to “take a loan from ourselves” and pay it back. The part that has us unsure of what to do isn’t the 1st IVF….it’s what comes after a failed IVF. What if IVF #1 doesn’t work? Do you try again? When do you stop? What happens if we spend all of the money we have in our 401k only to be left still with no baby. How do we afford adoption at that point?
So at my last visit with the RE he said he is confident we can get pregnant with our low sperm count with a medicated IUI (Clomid for me + the HCG trigger shot), but that the more aggressive (quicker) way to go about it would be to do an IUI with injectables and the HCG trigger shot. He said our chances for multiples is MUCH higher with injectables, and we’re not talking just twins. Also the cost is much higher, we’d be adding $1,000 to our currently $700/cycle regimen. He said out of every 100 they tend to have 3 sets of triplets and 1 set of quadruplets. Another consideration he talked about was “selective reduction”, meaning if we got pregnant with quadruplets we could choose to “reduce” down to twins, or whatever our “magic number” would be. R & I both agree that we’re NOT OKAY with quadruplets and we’re also NOT OKAY with selective reduction…..so we’ve decided injectables are not for us. There’s still a chance of multiples with the medicated IUI’s, but typically not high-order multiples like with the injectables. Know of a little show called Jon & Kate Plus Eight….yea they did IUI with injectables to get their sextuplets. Now, this may mean we’ll have to do several more IUI’s before we get a successful one, but who knows….our very next one could be successful!
Also, I found a little more information about the cyst I have on my ovary. When RE said we were “out” this cycle, he didn’t mean we couldn’t TTC on our own, he just meant that we couldn’t have a medicated IUI, and he said there is really no point in doing an un-medicated IUI. If I took Clomid this cycle, with the cyst, there would be a chance of the cyst rupturing, but if I do a natural cycle the cyst will likely go down in size or pass on its own. So there’s the plan….just going natural this cycle, I have a HSG test scheduled for 12/4, then we’ll shoot for IUI #2 sometime after the first of the year.
The loss our friends suffered kind of put things into perspective for me, about what’s important in life. By no means am I suggesting we don’t want kids, or that we don’t want them right now anymore….but now I realize it’s not life or death if it takes another few months to get pregnant. We’ve already waited 14 months, whats another few? I’m confident that we’ll be pregnant in 2014. I’m just trying to remain as positive as possible and enjoy the time we have together now with “just us”. The funeral we went to yesterday was the saddest one I’ve ever been to, our friends were so strong as they buried their daughters. That’s something that should never happen, you should never have to bury your children….your children should bury you. My heart goes out to them and I pray for them every day. I know that they have some really tough days still to come, but I just hope that they stick together through all of this.
I got some pretty heartbreaking news over the weekend. Close friends of ours (I wrote about their story back in September), who also dealt with MFI and got pregnant on their 4th IUI with twins lost their girls last week. She went into pre-term labor last Wednesday at 22 weeks. She delivered both of the girls alive and they died soon after birth….just too young and small to survive. The funeral is tomorrow, I’m certain it will be the hardest funeral I’ve ever been too. Please pray for my friends. I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through right now.
Just like anything (cars, houses, car insurance, etc) I’m sure that the cost of IUI differs based on location, and it will also differ in price based on the number of ultrasounds and type of medication(s) you’ll need. See below the cost breakdown of our first IUI. If you both have health insurance through work it is worth taking a look into your coverage. I had a friend who was on her husband’s insurance, but ended up switching over to hers b/c it paid 100% of IUI’s. Our insurance policy wasn’t supposed to cover any of our infertility treatments, but they have covered bits and pieces, and every little bit helps!!
- Clomid (100mg for 5 days): $23
- HCG Trigger Shot: $109
- 2 Ultrasounds ($285 each, but we ended up only paying the $25 co-pay): $50
- IUI Procedure: $212
- Progesterone Vaginal Inserts (2 week supply –will need more if IUI is successful): $10
- SA & Sperm Washing: $290
- TOTAL: $694
The IUI ended up being a little cheaper than we anticipated thanks to our insurance who picked up the bill on the ultrasounds.
For a running tally of what we’ve spent thus far on our infertility journey click here.
Well, not only did IUI #1 not work but now I have a cyst on my right ovary from the Clomid so we are forced to take this next cycle off. It doesn’t hurt, and it’s not bad. It’s actually pretty common with Clomid. It should go away on its own, but if you get pregnant while you have one there could be serious complications, which is the reason for the mandated time off.
What now? I’ll stop taking the progesterone suppositories and AF should arrive within 2 days. Also any day between CD5-11 I’m going to have the HSG test performed to make sure my tubes are opened. RE said he has no reason to believe they’re closed (b/c of my previous numbers) but said since we wouldn’t be TTC this cycle it would be a good time to make sure. Then wait for AF again. Hopefully we’ll be doing IUI #2 in January. So for now I just sit back and wait some more. I’m going to try and relax (yea right) and focus on weight loss and exercise this month (horrible idea to start this around the holidays but what else am I going to do?!?).
Please continue to send positive thoughts and prayers our way. Today has been an awful day. One of those teary days where once the tears started they didn’t turn off. I really appreciate everyone’s support, it means so much to me!