Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Conversations With The Pharmacist

him: "uhhh ma'am, did you know that the copay for this one medication is $857?
me: "unfortunately, yes."

I picked up my meds today. I decided to only get 6 days worth, enough to last me until my first monitoring ultrasound. I work in the same building with the pharmacy and they stock all these IVF meds, so I should be able to get them on short notice. My nurse said almost nobody stims less than 8 days.

Two more medication free days. I'm trying to enjoy it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

T Minus 3 Days to IVF

I took my last birth control pill today. I also had my ultrasound and estradiol test today. I was surprised they had me do that since I thought the ultrasound was usually done at the beginning of a cycle, not the end. When the nurse called she said everything looks good, except "are you spotting at all? your lining is pretty thick." Um yeah! Like I practically started my period today. She said that was fine. No more pills after today. I'm on cycle day 22.

I start injections this Friday. When I called to order the meds the lady at the pharmacy asked if I wanted to whole order or part of the order. I told her all of it, then promptly started questioning that. In fact, I left a message for the nurse asking if people in my "category" have a high incidence of cancelled cycles. Because I started thinking if, God forbid, I don't respond at all, I'll have all that expensive-ass medication here. And I'd rather have the money thank you very much. For those of you who've done IVF, did you get all your meds at the same time? Or a few days at a time?

I'm also really wishing I had a cycle buddy. I feel pretty darn alone. Any of you out there starting around the same time?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What the Psychologist Says About IVF#1

"Gina, you are probably not going to get pregnant on the first cycle. You need to realize that. Statistically it takes 2.7 cycles."

Wow. OK, that makes it way harder to go into this with a positive, hopeful attitude. This is what the Psychologist told us at our IVF appointment this Wednesday. All that money, all that weight gain, knowing it's not gonna work? Well, that just seems crazy. I'm trying to tell myself there's no other way they'll know how I'm gonna respond than to do this first cycle. But of course, I want it to work the first time.

At my clinic, the pregnancy rates for my age group 21% per cycle. The live birth rates for my age group are 10-15%. So as near as I can tell, I'm basically just signing up to give away a bunch of money and gain a bunch of weight for nothing. And I've already started playing those mind games. Well, those women have probably been trying for like 20 years. And those women probably didn't even respond to the Clomid (I did!) I'm trying to differentiate myself from those other women in all sorts of bizarre and complex ways. But how else do you get through it? I know their responsibility is to let you know the statistics so you don't want to kill yourself at that first negative pregnancy test, but what the hell? What about hope? I need the hope to push me through this crazy, medicated hell.

I've got this weekend and next weekend to be normal. Then the shots start. I'm trying to enjoy it, but her words are haunting me. And making me question this decision.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cost of IVF Meds

$2178. Wow. I'm still in shock. And that's with my insurance covering 75%. I really don't know how women with no infertility coverage do this.

Don't get me wrong, I realize I'm lucky and that this is a fraction of what some people end up paying. And I'm thankful I'm in the position to be able to do it, even if it is going to set me back quite a bit. It's just that I was totally unprepared for this. Clinic, fail! You would think they would have discussed this with me somewhere along the way. Because, well, what if I didn't have 2 grand for IVF meds? I'd have gone through all this trouble, these weeks of birth control pills, only to have to back out of the whole thing. Then I'd have to stab somebody.

Had I known a few months ago when we made this decision, I could have been saving my money rather than buying writing classes and all sorts of other unnecessary stuff.

Here's what I'm supposed to take. If you know of any secret dream pharmacies where I could get any of these on the cheap, please let me know.

Follistim 225 x twice a day
Menopur 75 x once a day

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ready, Set, IVF

Another failed Clomid cycle plus a couple unmedicated ones later and I'm staring down the barrel of IVF. I don't even know how I got here. I remember a year and a half ago when we first started considering trying to have a baby and I was certain I wouldn't do fertility treatments. Later, well maybe just Clomid. Now, all the way baby. It's amazing how your limitations change the more desperate you become.

I had my medication education today. There's a chance I could be doing 4 injections per day. 4!! The bad thing is that's not even what I'm worried about. I've got a lot of anxiety about the sedation for the retrieval. And oh my God the progesterone shots. I'm not asking him to help me with shots. It's better this way. But there's no way I can give myself the progesterone. I work with a bunch of nurses so Monday through Friday is not a problem. But weekends for 9 weeks will be hard. I need a rent-a-nurse.

I'm on birth control pills right now, which I'll need to take for 22 days. That's right, I'm so lucky I get to buy a whole extra pack just for one pill because my clinic can only start two patients on meds per day and my day was already taken. If that's the worst thing that happens, I'll take it!

According to the schedule the nurse did for me, my retrieval should be between April 11-16th. And I had a business trip scheduled on April 16th which necessitated me telling my boss about the whole thing. I hope I don't regret that later.

We finish up our appointments tomorrow which will include providing a back up sample for freezing, a history and physical and meeting with my RE, and a session with a psychotherapist. All mandatory at my clinic. So that's that.

I'm scared shitless.