Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Carry On


Yesterday, I posted about our decision to move forward with IVF. As C and I have spent the last 24 hours letting the magnitude of this decision soak in, I’ve had moments of panic and peace about our next steps. As I mentioned yesterday, the part that has me reaching for a paper bag is the expense of this venture. In our relationship, I’m the financial planner so it makes for an interesting emotional combo when I combine that hat with the baby-carrying hat. Today, I’m feeling more settled about the expense, specifically because of our decision to enroll in a 3rd party payment plan rather than take on the expense as we go along.

Normally, I run like hell from accruing additional debt. I think I manage our money really well. We try to live below our means through thoughtful spending and designed savings. As we were meeting with the folks at the doctor’s office yesterday, they handed us a pamphlet for Capi.tal O.ne Healt.hcare Finan.cing. Our doctor is affiliated with this program and the idea is that we apply for financing and the check is sent to the doctor to cover all office and medication fees. Essentially, the loan is our bank of money that’s held at the doctor’s office. The payment for each visit is taken directly from our ‘account’ and then the remainder returned to Capi.tal O.ne.

We qualified for an interest rate of less than 4%. I think what I like best about this is that the loan is paid directly to the doctor. We can show up for our appointments and not even have to think about plunking down a credit card at the end. That was always a piece that made me a little uncomfortable because it seemed to distract from the emotional focus that we needed for the insemination or the blood test or whatever we were there for. If the bill for a particular service was different than I thought it would be, I would obsess about it rather than focus on the fact that I had just been inseminated. In terms of coping, one of my very first go-to places is to focus on the money aspect. I think that this set up will work well, and the interest we’ll pay over the short term of the loan I think is worth the peace of mind we’ll achieve. We have enough in savings to cover the first 6-7 months of repayment without dipping to far into our overall house savings account so that we can still have money to count on in case of anything unforeseen. If I can pay several months upfront, then we really won’t have to think about the money while we are undergoing the intensity of the procedures.

To be clear – I’m not in any way affiliated with this financing program – I’m only mentioning by name in case anyone else out there wants to look into it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Baby Let's Have A Baby Before Bush Do Something Crazy

Just got back from our consult after an unsuccessful IUI attempt. Our optimistic mood was immediately subdued when we were informed that our doctor, Dr. Love, is no longer with the practice. Her contract expired over the weekend. We’ve interacted with the other two doctors and they are both great – but we were especially fond of Dr. Love. She was funny, had great bedside manner and really handled us well. I still feel like we’re in great hands, but it was a bit of a blow.

Now I’ll have to figure out new code names.

I think we’re going to bite the bullet and proceed with IVF. The amount of money that this will cost makes me want to vomit. Does anyone else struggle with the spend issue? If so, what exactly do you struggle with? I think the part that makes me feel dizzy is the no-end-in-sight piece. The thought of shelling out several thousand more dollars on IUI cycles only to be faced with the very real possibility that we’re going to inevitably have to take the next step and go IVF makes me just want to get it over with. Have you guys figured out, for you, what’s a family worth? What dollar amount feels appropriate? Have you guys determined your walk away point? C and I are different when it comes to money – she is more comfortable moving forward with big financial commitments and I tend to toss them around a bit more. I don’t know if I know the definitive answers to these questions for us. It’s hard to come up with a walk away point when I’ve convinced myself that I need to be thinking positively every single moment of the day that our next attempt will be a success.

Props to The Coup for today's title

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I'm really looking forward to our appointment at our fertility practice on Monday. I think at this point, I'll refer to our doctor as Dr. Love. Even though we're not where we want to be yet, C and I know we're in great hands. 

When I say 'looking forward', I don't think it's excited anticipation completely. I'm excited about the prospect of being back on a schedule of action rather than on a schedule of waiting - I'm also nervously anticipating the news we'll get. In the back of my mind, I'm scared that Dr. Love is going to suggest that we try a different donor. C is South American and we were lucky enough to find ONE donor who shares her ethnicity. I'm praying that this isn't the suggestion. 

Last night, we went to a 40th birthday bash for a good friend of ours. After our big fat negative last Saturday, I've been dreading the idea of a party all week. I just haven't been in the mood to pretend to be having a good time. We ended up going and I felt better than I thought I would. This party, wasn't so much of a 40th birthday party as it was a 21st birthday party. The bash started at their house and a party bus, complete with a stripper pole, picked us up a few hours later to take us to a karaoke bar. We left prior to the sloppy after party which inevitably would have involved getting thrown up on.

Friends - if you need a distraction, watching your friends invoke their inner star via 'Baby Got Back' might be just what you need.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Up To Speed

Here's what has transpired:

July 2007 - C and I start meeting with doctors to begin the babymaking. C has absolutely no desire to give birth. I'm game - so it's going to be me getting the hot turkey baster injection. We were lucky enough to meet a couple in town who recommended a fertility practice. We really wanted to try inseminating without any medication, so we ended up making an appointment with a doctor recommended by our ob/gyn. Our first thought was to start in 2008 so that I could sign up for an FSA plan at work and take advantage of some savings. We start charting.

November 2007 - My family is coming out for Christmas - I think to myself - wouldn't it be cool to give my mom a perfect Christmas by getting pregnant! We order the sperm - put it on ice at the doctor's and begin the OPKs. We inseminate - it feels hopeful and ultimately results in a chemical pregnancy. I know I'm an ass to be upset about it not taking on the very first try - but I was.

December 2007 thru Febraury 2008 - We kind of got dicked around by this doctor's office. Every single time I ovulated - the office was closed. After the third month in a row of a wasted cycle, we embarked on finding a new doctor. We decided to go with the fertility practice recommended by friends. Upon walking into the office for the first time, we knew that we made the right choice. This practice is top notch.

April 2008 - after several ultrasounds, a dye-test and blood work - we are ready to rock and roll. I get my period and begin taking Follistim. After about 5-6 days of Follistim (about 75 mg per day) I take an ovidril injection to induce ovulation and go in on the next two days for IUI (2 vials over two days) . The Dr. estimated 2 eggs released. After the insemination, I begin taking progesterone 3x per day - 200 mg each time.

May 2008 - We test positive and are thrilled. We were really cautious to not tell anyone that we were trying. We did break the news to our families and very close friends. My mother proceeds to tell every single person she's ever met.

June 2008 - Miscarriage. It's an understatement to say that we were disappointed, but ultimately, we felt lucky to have gotten pregnant in the first place. We feel that this bodes well for the next attempt.

June 2008 - We try to inseminate the very next cycle, but due to the follistim, I've got a dominant follicle that wouldn't allow other follicles to develop. Dr. advises to scratch this cycle, we'll go back next time.

July 2008 - I get my period - we begin again. Another course of follistim, followed by ovidril, followed by progesterone and a whole host of bigger, stronger pregnancy symptoms. We got the BFN news last Saturday - still hard to believe - I was 100% convinced that we were pregnant. In many ways it felt worse than the miscarriage. At least with the miscarriage, there was hope. With this, there is nothing. We are going back in on Monday to talk to our Dr. about whehter or not to go more aggressive.