Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drum roll please...

19 embies currently cooking and that includes my frozen eggs. Will get another report tomorrow. Will probably put in a combo of mine and the donor's. We don't care either way at this point about the genetics and will just ask our loved ones to respect our privacy and not try to speculate or discuss whether or not our baby (ies) are mine genetically or not. We will likely tell him/her/they someday that there is a possibility that one or more of them is of a different genetic origin, but that's for us to decide if and when appropriate. We are just happy that we are THIIIIIIS close to have our dream become a reality.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Parting of the Clouds

Today was our ER day. Today was also the day DH had his TESE. The appointment was at 6 am and at 7:30 we were at IHOP and got a call from the dr. that they weren't finding very many sperm. So far, they had only found 1 and it was abnormal. I couldn't believe it. Every time we get close, we just get kicked in the teeth. So he said they would try to find as many as they could and whatever they couldn't fertilize they would just freeze for us to use later.

Fast forward 7:15 pm. They found 31 sperm and were able to ICSI all of the eggs. Still not sure how many eggs they got, but this is definitely good news. Also no word on how my eggs thawed or if they attempted to fertilize them. We will get a fertilization report tomorrow so hopefully I can get all of my questions answered then.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Been a While

Sorry I have not updated in a while. A lot has happened since the last time I wrote in here and I have been incredibly busy. I planned and cohosted my BFF's baby shower out of state and planned and hosted my mother's 60th bday party. Anyway, we did choose a clinic. The winner was Fertility Center of Las Vegas. They weren't as easy to work with as Pac NW Fertility, but they were cheaper and much easier to get to for us.

So we started the process and got some donor profiles. The ones they initially sent to us were not that great. We ended up choosing one who was 30 years old with brown hair and blue eyes. What I really liked about her was that she was 5'10". I am 5'9" so height was important to me. The dr. for whatever reason ixnayed that donor so back to square one. They didn't have ANYONE else who was over 5'6"! So I got creative and put an ad on Craig's List. We actually ended up with some decent candidates. One woman was Asian though and I thought to myself, "Did you miss the part where I said I wanted someone caucasion???" People are strange. Anyway, I was about to send two of the girls to apply directly to the clinic and I got an email that they had a perfect donor who was originally chosen by another couple and the couple backed out. She was ready to go and was pretty much my twin except for 11 years my junior. So things happened very quickly after that. I should have known it was too good to be true.

We were one day out from the egg retrieval and I got a call from the doctor. My heart sank when I realized he was calling personally rather than the nurse. He said her body didn't metabolize the HCG correctly and we would be risking the eggs not being mature if we went ahead with the retrieval. Of course, he said this was the first time they had EVER seen this happen. Talk about bad luck...I probably just should never leave the house. Anyway, after discussing with DH, we decided to cancel and start over. If we cancel, we are only out the $1,000 for the meds. If we don't, then we *could* be out the money for the meds, the donor compensation, the cost of the retreival, etc. To say that was a very bad day would be putting it mildly. I hadn't cried that hard since we got our Azoospermia diagnosis. For the next few days I ate myself into oblivion. When I finally got a hold of myself, I went to the store and got chocolate truffles, Belgian Chocolate pudding (If you haven't tried this stuff from Trader Joe's, go get it. Now.), two kinds of ice cream, Halloween candy, a red velvet cupcake and pizza.

The following Wednesday, we had more profiles to choose from. This time, we picked someone who had recently donated before and looks very good on paper. They didn't have anyone appropriate who was truly "proven" but she ended up with 8 blasts so that sounded pretty good to us. Not that DH knows what a blast is, but he trusted my judgement. So we are on CD3 and I'm feeling very optimitic! I am even looking at maternity clothes and thinking about baby furniture. Our transfer is tentatively scheduled for 11/17. Ironically, it's one year and one day since our last transfer. I can't believe it's taken a year to get here. I just have to believe that the egg that ends up being our baby was meant to be our baby and that's why this path has led here. The good news is that the recipient who recently used our donor is pregnant! I have a feeling that on Thanksgiving morning, I will finally get to see two lines on a pee stick... Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Evil in San Diego

Well, I have officially ruled out San Diego Fertility Center. Those people are money grubbing crooks who care far more about their bentleys and La Jolla mansions than they do about helping people start families. They have told me that they will not give me a breakdown of fees so that I can submit my own claims to my insurance company. The best they can do is offer a $2500 discount off their cash price. WTF!!! I can't believe this is even legal. Here is my response to them. I'm actually quite proud of it.

Hi Kim,

Thank you again for getting back to me. Unfortunately…and I realize you do not make the rules…but that is unacceptable considering I have 80% coverage on both IVF and IVF with DE. There is so much controversy about whether or not insurers should cover fertility treatments and whether or not employers should add it to their plans, but with policies such as what you are describing, it does not matter if you have insurance coverage or not. I have been both a self-pay patient and a covered patient…as such I was beyond thrilled when I was able to acquire IVF coverage. Then to find out that the top clinics make it nearly impossible to take full advantage of insurance coverage is nothing short of devastating. Frankly, I think at best it’s unethical and well, actually pretty despicable. I would think that with the amount of money fertility clinics make on self-pay patients, they would not feel the need to prey on the few that have insurance coverage. At least CCRM has the decency to allow you to submit your own claims to your insurance, so that patients with coverage can take advantage of their out-of-network benefits.

This process is a gut wrenching, emotionally debilitating, sea of grief and panic that I would not wish on anyone. Needless to say, we will not be able to use your services. I am very disappointed as I am sure you are well aware of your reputation, but we are not millionaires. We are just a desperate couple who find themselves in the crappy position of needing help to start a family…something that most people take for granted. The fact that I even have to consider donor eggs at 38 years old is bad enough without being told that I cannot go to a top clinic that is clearly listed in Blue Cross’ member directory.

I would appreciate if it you would forward my thoughts to your decision makers and/or physicians. They need to know how these types of policies affect the very people they have promised to help. I believe that promise is called the Hypocratic Oath? I guess it doesn’t mean much when there are thousands of dollars to be made. Thank you for your time.


Infertile Myrtle

Monday, August 2, 2010

Moving On

It's been over a week since my conversation with Dr. Schoolcraft. He didn't say anything I didn't expect, but it still stung when he said that I need to move on to donor eggs. I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself and had a good cry (or two). I had to put on a brave face this last Saturday, as I had to travel to CA to attend a good friend's bridal shower. All in all, it was not that bad, but I had emailed everyone beforehand to give them my update, so I did get some of those "looks." And I got a couple of sympathy hugs. Glad it's over.

So in the midst of all this self-pity, I did manage to contact some clinics to get info on egg donor programs. My goal was to find a clinic with good DE success rates and that accepted our insurance as "in-network." As I mentioned in a previous post, many clinics nowadays are separating out the labs so that the lab is not contracted with any insurance, but the "clinic" is. So I have narrowed my search down to Pac NW Fertility and Fertiliy of Las Vegas. They both claim a success rate of 77% for 2009, but not all of those women have given birth yet, so I'm not sure how meaningful that number is.

Our time line goal is to have a transfer mid-Nov, but it all depends on if we get matched to a donor in time. I figure we have about a month to get it nailed down in order to have a November transfer. We want to do in November because I want to have a urologist on call to do a TESE on DH in case we don't have enough sperm in the 6 vials of testicular tissue we have. His urologist wants us to wait 6 months from the last surgery. So that's where we're at.

Of course, we do still have those 3 frozen eggs in LA. We will obviously try to fertilize those as well, but I'm not pinning my hopes on them fertilizing and implanting. Regardless, I would like to be pregnant by Christmas. I do not want to face all of my family unless I have something good to report.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Hell in a Hand Basket

Well, I got the results of my Clomid Challenge Test. What a freaking joke. My FSH has shot up to 18.7 and post Clomid it was 25.4. I have a consult with Dr. Schoolcraft on Thursday but I'm pretty sure he is going to recommend donor eggs at this point. I am starting to be more open minded about it, but if we do go that route, we cannot do it at CCRM. Because of their underhanded and sneaky insurance situation, we cannot afford them for donor eggs. I have been talking to DH about what to do and he thinks we should just try to fertilize our three frozen eggs and if that doesn't work, then decide on plan G. I say "G" because I feel like we've gone through B, C, D etc. already. What I think we should do is find a clinic that will take Blue Cross without any loopholes and do a donor cycle there. At the same time, try to fertilize my frozens. If they fertilize, great. If not, we are not out that money or another several months.

I also brought up the possiblity of trying IUI with donor sperm. As far as I know, I am still ovulating so there is a chance it could work. He is not ready to discuss it. I think he needs to start being more realistic about this. We do not have unlimited funds and we don't have a lot of time. He mentioned last night that if we keep spending spending spending we will never get ahead. I'm sorry to say that I don't give a rat's ass about getting ahead right now. I just want a family. I did tell him though that the financial strain is why I brought up the IUI in the first place. He didn't respond to that.

So at this point, it's looking more and more like I will not be doing another IVF with my eggs. I'm very sad to say goodbye to the possibility of miniature Myrtles running around, but like I's time to be realistic.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Daisy and Marie Callender's

It's been a while since my last post. It's not that I haven't wanted to, but I have been VERY occupied with a new puppy named Daisy. She might be the best thing that's happened to me since this nightmare started. She is a lot of work, but she is sooo cute and sweet and she keeps my mind off of the infertility road. She is like having a great book to read at my current bus stop! I plan to take her with me to Colorado for my next IVF cycle. She will be a great companion and source of support while I am there.

So last night I went to a Resolve Support Group meeting at Marie Callender's. I was really nervous...not knowing what to expect. I have never really (with one exception) talked about this in real life with anyone who really "gets it." I am so glad I went. These were a great group of ladies...all with different reasons as to why they are on this journey. Two of them has been thru 6 IVF attempts with zero insurance coverage and my heart just went out to them. One of them is starting the process of donor eggs and one is gearing up for another IUI. The two IVF vets are also considering CCRM. Even just being able to use fertility lingo without eplaining in layman terms was a breath of fresh air. I didn't have to explain the difference between an embryo and an egg! I will definitely be going again next month. Too bad it's not somewhere a little more hip like CPK...oh well, who doesn't like pie?