Insurance Can Kiss My Ass

I have no insurance coverage for infertility, other than an initial diagnostic appointment (that doesn’t include any, you know, diagnostic tests like blood work, HSG, ultrasound, etc., because that would be too fucking logical). Everything else was 100% out-of-pocket. I am so envious of those of you who a) live in states where there is mandatory coverage and b) can utilize those benefits. We used to live in a state where there was coverage, but HAHA SUCKERS it didn’t apply to us. It only applied to those individuals who used their husbands sperm. i.e. no lesbians or single women or hetero couples with severe MFI who decided to use a donor. Because obviously, those of us in the previously mentioned categories do not deserve to have children. Obviously.

ANYWAY, moving on swiftly. I had an experience today that reinforced my need for an insurance vendetta.

As I stated above, I have no insurance coverage for infertility; no monitoring, blood work, ultrasounds, procedures themselves (IUI or IVF) and definitely no prescription drug coverage. HOWEVER, once I got pregnant (ultrasound tomorrow to confirm that I am, in fact, actually still pregnant and not newly awakened from a month-long delusion/psychotic break) certain medications that I took for infertility (estrogen, progesterone) are now covered due to my pregnancy “status”. When I called to order more drugs after my BFP, I told the pharmacists my new “status” and asked joyfully what the co-pay was. The pharmacist responded that they needed to have my doctor’s office call my insurance company to confirm that I was, in fact, pregnant. This was a month and 3 refills ago. Each time the pharmacist tells me they’re going to call over to my doctor’s office and ask THEM to call my insurance company. Of course, they don’t fucking do that. Today I got a little royally pissed off vexed in a MOST ladylike way, and told them what was up.

30 minutes later, I got a call from someone at the pharmacy asking if I was pregnant. OMFG. I only told you all that a fucking MONTH ago. She promised that she would call over to my doctor’s office to have them confirm the dates of my pregnancy, so they could retroactively reimburse me for money paid out-of-pocket for the last 3 refills. An hour later I found out that my doctor’s office would only confirm my pregnancy as of May 29th, and I had called for a refill on May 28th. So that $400 haul of drugs won’t be covered.

Reading over what I wrote, maybe I should be more irritated at the pharmacy and my doctor’s office, instead of the insurance company. And yes, the pharmacy definitely dropped the ball on this one. And I’m going to have a little chat with my doctor’s office tomorrow to see WHY they claim me pregnant on May 29th when I had my positive beta on the 24th. But you know what? All of this mess would have been avoided if I had coverage in the first damn place. God.

**UPDATE: I just got my meds delivered to my office building (damn right they deliver) and the workers in the mail room made many HILARIOUS jokes about my “drugs”. HA.HA. Hilarious. Lets talk a little louder about my DRUGS when the CEO is just down the hall! Fabulous idea.

Advertisements

Flicker

Today we got to see the baby for the first time. We got to see it wiggling around, and we got to see the sweetest flashes of light. Flicker flicker flicker.

1st baby scan

Because ultrasounds always look like a sea of static to me, the sickle/fish/bean looking squiggle on the left is the (gulp) future baby. The cheerio looking thing on the right is the yolk sac, which provides nutrients to the (gulp) future baby until the placenta takes over.

Having seen the heartbeat at 6 weeks, 5 days, the doctor told me my chance of miscarriage is now 5%. I can live with 5% much better than the odds I was previously living with.

We get one more scan in 10 days with my beloved RE. Then we’re cut loose into the wilds of OB land, with all those pregnant women, blithely confident in their body, and sure that in 6 or 7 months time they’ll meet their (gulp) baby.

I’m so…I don’t know what. I feel a lot more confident now that we’ve seen that there’s a something in there, and that something has a heartbeat. I’ve been getting progressively sicker, and threw up for the first time yesterday, so that also encourages my faith that this might…actually…work out.

And yet there’s this other part of me that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ve spent over a year preparing myself for bad news over and over and over, and changing my mindset to not always assume the worst is still very much a work in progress.

Overall I’m overjoyed that we’ve made it this far. I’m cautiously optimistic that A Good Thing might come out of this, and I’ve devoted significant energy to sending out thoughts/prayers/vibes to the universe at large, saying nothing more than “please” and “thank you”.

I hope all of you get your “thank you” soon.

Day 1 Report, Plus WTF Happened Yesterday?

As I said in my groggy, blurry post yesterday, I had 23 eggs retrieved. I just got the day 1 report:

23 eggs retrieved
18 were mature enough for ICSI
15 fertilized

The doctor said that’s a higher than average fertilization rate, so WOOT to that. Right now we’re aiming for a 5 day transfer, but we’ll (ok, they’ll) watch for the appropriate division/development over the next couple of days while we decide. A nurse told me that the average rate of drop off between fertilization and transfer is 50%, so that would leave me around 7 to mess with (1 or 2 to transfer, 5 or 6 to freeze).

I’m feeling a lot better today than I did yesterday. I don’t know why, but I fully expected to LEAP out of bed as soon as the retrieval was done. Now I’m all, HAND OVER THE DRUGS. Let me back up though, and run through the day. I found these play by plays extremely helpful before I went through it, so I hope others benefit from my reading this. If not, sorry! That’s five minutes of your life you’ll never get back!

My retrieval was set for 8AM at the fertility office 45 minutes from my house. HOWEVER, we had to be there at 6AM, and traffic in this city is absolutely ass-tacular. I wanted to leave an hour and a half to get there. Tammy’s argument was that traffic wouldn’t be THAT bad at 5AM, and we didn’t need to leave THAT much time. So she woke up at 4AM to shower and get ready, while I lay in bed (having showered the night before but woken to her alarm) and FUMED because she wasn’t getting ready fast enough. How had she not read my mind to know that we’re going back to the original plan of leaving at 4:30?!

Tammy very helpfully talked me back from the edge, and we left at 5. And then got there at 5:30. We were literally the first people in the parking lot. Poor Tammy. She asked me a few times if I was SURE the nurse said to be there two hours early. And we couldn’t go sit in Starbucks while we waited because a) are Starbucks even open at 5:30? and b) I couldn’t eat or drink anything. Boo.

Anyway, we finally went inside when a few other couples showed up, and sat in the waiting room, all nervously sneaking glances at each other. You could tell who was there for egg retrieval – fuzzy haired, bespectacled, sans makeup, etc. I’d seen plenty of these women during morning monitoring, and it was pretty funny seeing them in their natural state.

We were called back fairly quickly to the recovery room where I changed into a hospital gown, booties, and cap. DEFINITELY a good look for me, let me tell you.

IVF Feet

A nurse came in, confirmed my identity and gave me a wrist band.

IVF ID

Then an anesthesiologist took my medical history (“ever had anesthesia before?”) and hooked me up to an IV bag of fluids. He said this would make me feel better later.

IVF Feet & IV

And then we waited. The doctor doing the retrieval came in and introduced himself (it’s a large practice, and I hadn’t met him before). I nervously went pee a few times, holding my gown closed in the back, wheeling along my IV. I felt about 200 years old doing that. Finally, at 7:45 they told me to empty my bladder once more. Then they escorted me into the OR while Tammy went back to the waiting room. I had always pictured myself being rolled in on a stretcher, but alas, I walked. Not nearly as romantic.

The OR was kind of creepy, though. A little chair type thing, laid flat, and a million tubes and wires and utensils (shudder). Also a million people. An embryologist came in and asked for my ID wrist band. I thought she was trying to shake my hand, and she laughed at me and told me she WOULD shake my hand, but she needed to confirm my identity first. So we had this weird, limp wristed hand shake while she read my badge. As she asked me to recite my social security number, the anesthesiologist said in the background, “I’m just going to give you something in your IV. It’s not going to make you fall over, but it’s going to start the process.” I remember thinking to myself that maybe they should have me recite my social BEFORE they give me a sedative.

Then an OR nurse came over and fussed with my gown, pulling it open in the back. It’s probably an indication that the sedative was working that I cared not at all I was flashing my ass to the room. Then she helped me hoist my legs into these stirrup things. They weren’t the stirrups that you place your feet onto during a gynecologist exam, but rather you place the back of your legs (the knee-pit) INTO them, feet dangling down. The last thing I remember is thinking, “maybe I should lay down”.

Then I woke up the recover room, with Tammy holding my hand. I could feel the warm blanket they had placed over me and the heating pad on my abdomen. And then I felt both a sharp pain and a dull ache. I started to cry, not because of the pain (although it DID hurt) but because I was confused and scared. I don’t remember this, but apparently the nurse came in and asked why I was crying. I told her I didn’t know. She asked if I was having pain, and I told her yes so she gave me a shot of something in the IV. I distinctly remember the feeling of the painkiller flooding my body. It was like the pain melted away. Awesome. God bless painkillers. It was just after the pain melting experience that I told the nurse I loved her (apparently. I do not remember this). I drifted in and out of sleep for a while.

When I would wake up I’d ask Tammy the same questions over and over. How long was I out. What time is it. How many did they get. I also kept telling her I didn’t remember anything, and was quite distressed about that, apparently. My Tammy was an absolute star. I think I made far more fun of her when she was waking up from wisdom teeth surgery. Still tease her about some of the things she said. Bad wife! Bad!

The nurse checked on me a few times. I got another delicious shot of painkiller. Tammy filled a prescription of painkillers to take with us. I demonstrated that I could eat, drink and walk. And then we were allowed to go home.

I slept for a few hours once home, waking up occasionally to pee. I was warned I might spot, but so far there’s been nothing. The pain is better today, but it’s most definitely still there. I’m trying to stick to Tylen0l today, so I don’t slur on the phone with clients.

I’ve also been warned to eat lots of protein and drink lots of fluids as my ovaries were “quite large”. Hopefully this will help mitigate the risk of OHSS. Also, the large/swollen ovaries explain in part why I may be having more pain than average.

To sum up: needles in your vagina hurt, painkillers are awesome. If they suggest taking an OTC painkiller, give them a withering look and hold out for the good stuff. And take it easy the next day.

Extreme Sexiness

The IUIs went well this weekend. Copious egg white cervical mucus was confirmed by the doctor performing the second IUI; enough for a host of hungry brunch goers. He also patted my foot upon completion. I felt a bit like a dog. Hopefully I’ll be a pregnant dog! Woof.

I started the progesterone this morning, which I absolutely hate. Besides the fact that I walk around feeling like you have a yeast infection for two weeks, I get dizzy and crampy. As much as I try to relax (haha! Yeah right) during the TWW, I can’t ever forget about it because of the nastiness that is being shoved up my lady business twice a day. It could be worse though; I could be dealing with the PIO, which I have heard horror stories about including one woman who heated the oil too much and it ended up burning her from the inside out. Holy crap balls. Maybe my yeasty suppositories aren’t so bad after all.

ABC