Sorry for two medical posts in a row! I thought this should be it's own separate post in case anyone is searching for this topic...
In my consultation apt Dr. Slater recommended that I do an HSG test. I wasn't sure if it would be necessary or not but since we were kind of doing an "all in" approach for this cycle I figured we should go ahead and do the test now - better than to wait, have this cycle fail, then do it and find a problem that we should've fixed in the first place, does that make sense?
The HSG test looks to make sure your tubes are clear and gives you a picture of the uterus. Sometimes just the act of pushing the dye through your tubes can help clear them out and women will have success getting pregnant soon after they have the test. (They inject the dye through your uterus and into your tubes so they can take an x-ray of it)
I had scheduled an apt to do mine at Timpanogos Regional Hospital. Like I said before I spent hours on the phone trying to figure out how much this would cost and sounds like I would need to meet my $1000 deductible first and then pay another few hundred dollars. Neat. If I planned on having a baby in this calender year or going to the hospital for other stuff I might be interested in meeting my deductible but not really. So when a friend of mine just had an HSG the week before and chose to do it at Riverwoods Imaging Center I was interested in why. You can go to Riverwoods and just pay in cash for this procedure for $459. You have to agree to not send a claim to your insurance - you just pay that price and you're done. This is much less than I was planning on paying and so this worked out great! I called on Monday and was able to get in on Wednesday, which was my cycle day 8 and I needed to do it on day 6-10 so I was glad they could fit me in.
The procedure itself only takes about 5-10 minutes. I had to wait a few minutes, then change from the waist down, and then the assistant got everything ready. The doctor came in and within a few minutes he said, "well, I think I found your problem. Well, one of them..." Obviously I was very interested in what he found! He said there was some scar tissue in my cervix making it very narrow - this definitely could pose a problem for sperm trying to reach their destination! He was able to remove that in the process and then finish the test. His "preliminary" report to me was that my tubes looked open and it all looked good.
I will admit - it was kind of painful. More than I expected. There is definite cramping that comes with the procedure. It was uncomfortable... and then you might have some spotting and leaking afterwards so they said to bring a pad. I took some ibprofen and I think that helped. It wasn't anything major and I went about my day in a normal fashion but yes, it did hurt.
Overall I'm very glad I did the test. The fact that he found something *wrong* with me and fixed it (the scar tissue) is great and knowing that even just the sheer act of performing the test might help pave the way is good. And only spending $459 on it as opposed to $1500 helps a lot too!
Friday, June 18, 2010
Sorry for two medical posts in a row! I thought this should be it's own separate post in case anyone is searching for this topic...
Another TTC update - skip if not interested!!
Since I had my consultation a mere 8 days ago... I spent days 2 - 6 of my cycle taking clomid, then day 7 & 9 had to give myself a shot (with Rob's help - I HATE needles, it was so hard for both of us to do those shots! Even with teeny little needles... still, not easy), then today on day 10 I went in for an ultrasound.
The Clomid went fine - I know lots of people have some bad side effects like nausea or hot flashes but following some good advice from a friend I took the pills at night and didn't experience any side effects!
The injections were a drug called Bravelle which is used to stimulate the growth of follicles. Today my ultrasound was to look at my ovaries and see how my follicles were developing. There was one mature follicle on one side and several on the other side that were almost mature. In order to avoid having 5 or so mature follicles (read: RISK OF QUINTUPLETS) they chose to trigger my ovulation today so the one mature follicle will give us the best chance of a healthy single baby and there are 2 or so others that also would have a chance to be fertilized but not likely. As much as I think I'd love to have twins, 2 babies for the price of 1 (to get pregnant with 2 at least), I'm sure Rob will be relieved to decrease the risk of multiples as much as possible.
So I left my apt and went home and needed to give myself a shot of HCG to induce/trigger ovulation. Luckily my sister Taba was coming over and I made her help me since Rob was at work. Seriously, I hate needles! And these are tiny little guys but still it was hard.
24 hours after the HCG shot we do the IUI at the Fertility Center. So that means 11:30 am on a Saturday and yes they are open! After that I will do the progesterone suppositories - apparently that is much more effective than taking it orally via a pill, fyi - for the next two weeks and then I'll find out if it worked or not.
**For the medications, the only one I filled at a pharmacy myself was the clomid. The Bravelle, HCG, and progesterone were ordered through a specialty Walgreen's pharmacy by the Fertility Center. The prescriptions I needed were overnighted to me! It came with the everything I needed to give myself the injections and I thought it was great that they came to my door - or actually I had them delivered to Rob's work since someone needed to sign for them and I didn't know if I'd be home. Another interesting thing about those meds, the Bravelle was really expensive and they said the company that makes it had a program for people who's insurance doesn't cover those drugs - I could pay $10 to join the "club" and then received almost a $100 discount on them. I was grateful for that! The total I spent on this cycles meds were $282 on the specialty pharmacy ones and $33 on the clomid. I had NO IDEA how much they would cost!
I'm sure this is obvious and all but I just really really really want this to work. This time. This cycle. I want it to work. It's hard to be hopeful and at the same time not set yourself up for disappointment. It's always been hard when my period comes but I think it will be crushing after putting in this effort, financially and emotionally... and yet I know statistically it could very well take 3 months, 6 months, or more even with treatments... so it's just a hard balance. I don't know how to explain that to people...
I'm grateful to be doing all that I can do to try to get pregnant and I want this to be successful so much.
Guess I'll find out in two weeks...
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Oh my goodness! Robby is just getting so big so fast! He needs to STOP.
We had his 3 year check up on 5/20 and this is how he's grown:
Weight: 35 lbs - 80 %
Length: 40.5 in - 95 %
Head: 50 cm - 55 %
this was where he was at his 2 year:
weight 28 lbs 6 oz - 50th percentile
length 35 in - 70th percentile
head 48 cm - 25th percentile
So he's definitely had a growth spurt! Now when people always ask, is he tall for his age? I'll say, yes! :) We hope he grows to be taller than his mom and dad one day!
Today we converted his crib to a little toddler day bed - it's adorable. We've been talking about it for a few weeks since he recently figured out climbing out of his bed but since he usually would stay in there till I got him anyway or at least until I told him he could get out we just didn't bother. I always just thought we'd put him in a big bed when we had another baby but he's now 3 and climbing out so we'll just do it now!
This was his last time in his bed as a crib:
So, Becca and I were talking about her childbirth classes and things and we've noticed a trend among pregnant ladies... lots of women get pregnant and pick a doctor but aren't aware of all of their choices until much later in their pregnancy and then it feels hard to switch doctors, make different choices.
When I was pregnant with Robby I knew I didn't want an epidural, I'm petrified of needles. Knowing I wasn't planning on having that as a pain relief I started looking into my other options - this led me to taking Hypnobabies. I also knew that I wanted a doula to assist me in my labor and that was a "problem" for my first doctor.
I ended up switching doctors two different times, so, 3 total doctors, till I found the right one for me that supported me in what my goals were for my birth. I even changed doulas once! The more I learned in my pregnancy and found about different options I realized those doctors weren't a good fit for me and I'm so grateful I decided to change.
THE POINT --- so my wonderful sister Rebecca is going to do a FREE Pregnancy class for people who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant soon to talk about all kinds of good stuff including:
*how to choose the right care provider
*where to give birth
*which childbirth classes to take
*how to have the best birth experience
Saturday June 19th
from 9:30 - 11:30 am
in North Orem
Email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
I can't get enough of this stuff so I consider myself Becca's assistant and am so excited to be able to just share what we can with everyone! I'm sure this won't be the only class of this type but this is the first!
Please let anyone who is pregnant that you know and might be interested know about this class!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Now that it's that time of year, you know, where we go to the pool all day long every day, I figured we needed to get rid of all that hair Robby had!
He does NOT like the clippers! But when he woke up at 7 am on Wednesday morning and he wanted to watch a show and I was trying to think of another distraction, I remembered I'd been wanting to cut his hair! So I made Rob help me before he left for work! So with the two of us helping we got a pretty decent job done... just don't look too closely! But I just LOVE his short hair and seeing his cute little head.
And we take this swimming time serious around here... we had swim lessons every day this week at 9 am and then would come home, get some food and then camp out by the pool at our house till dinner time.... we are tired. Today we swam in the straight up rain with the cloudy weather and cold temps but it was still fun.
And you've got to see this boy swimming! He's doing great! He started out pretty scared, not wanting to jump in unless holding hands, but he's branching out more every day and like a little fish! He can hold his breath for so long and float/swim around, it's really cute! I'll try to get a video of it soon! I don't want to forget this!
Happy Swimming time (aka Summer) to you all!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Ok, here we go, full speed ahead.... STOP NOW if you aren't interested in the details of our baby making journey. :) I'll have a more exciting Robby post coming soon...
Our consultation apt with Dr. Slater went well! We sat down with her, went over both Rob and I's history, and then made a plan. I happened to get my period just the day before so it was good timing. She asked if I just wanted to do an HSG this month and see what that would show but I told her I was ready to just dive in.
At our apt Rob and I both had blood drawn and I had an ultrasound to make sure my ovaries looked good, no cysts or anything, before I started any medications. The blood draw for me would check my hormone levels at the beginning of my cycle. During the ultrasound she showed me both of my ovaries and that they had 5 folicles each which she said is what she wanted to see. Then in her words, "you don't have the most robust looking ovaries I've ever seen, but you know, it's ok, they're average." Great, I've got average ovaries. Ha! I just thought it was funny. :) But so everything in there looked good so far.
I have an apt to do an HSG test this cycle which is done at a hospital which will give us a much better picture of what's going on in there - and ps, if you're trying to call and schedule one ask for RADIOLOGY. I got bounced around with no one being helpful or knowing what the heck I was talking about for a while. And I already wasted about four hours of my life last month on the phone with both the hospital and the insurance company trying to figure out how much an HSG would cost me (somewhere between $86 and $1500, you know, somewhere in there) so we just had to decide was this important to do now or not and we decided yes so we're just going to do it and we'll find out how much it costs when the bill comes.
Speaking of the bill.... oh my... I mean, I expected to spend close to a $1000 per cycle on these treatments but at the end of our apt when the receptionist told me we owed already almost that amount I was a little flabbergasted. We had been planning/hoping the insurance company would pay for the consultation apt which is $230 and they still should but what I didn't know is that WE pay for EVERYTHING upfront and then it gets sent to the insurance company and if it's something they cover they send you a check. The consultation apt is really the only thing that is usually covered so hopefully we'll get that back. Then we had to pay for the medications separately which were an additional $300 so it all adds up super fast.
This is a lot of money for us to spend right now but we feel like it's the right thing to do for us. Even if we had to go into debt for this - I figure, it's way less debt than buying a home, still a great investment, and a worthy purpose. We'll figure it out and make it work. We might have to take a break inbetween cycles but we'll just do what we need to. It just was a bit of a shock to me how crazy expensive this is and it makes me a little sick to my stomach... or maybe that's the clomid? ;) But I can only imagine what people are paying for repeated IVF cycles or adoption and know that it is so much more and my heart goes out to you.
And I'm sharing this with you guys not to be woe-is-me but to help share the information I've learned through this process!!!
So Clomid - I always thought it was only for people who don't ovulate. I always get a positive ovulation so I didn't think this would be part of my treatment. Apparently it can help "super ovulate" you, per Dr. Slater, very technical terms here, and help with a luteal phase defect which I have. So I'm taking Clomid, then I'll do 2 FSH shots to stimulate my follicles, do ultrasounds to monitor the process and my uterine lining and then induce ovulation using an HCG shot, and then probably go for IUI this cycle as well. Then 2 weeks later hopefully find out I'm pregnant! Easy, right? If not, start it all over again!
I'm grateful the people at Utah Fertility Center are great... that I have a great support system... so thanks for thinking of us and keep your fingers crossed for us! How great would it be to get pregnant with just one cycle?? I'm trying to not get my hopes up too high! Their statistics say that 50% of their couples are pregnant within 3 months, 75% of them are pregnant within 6 months...
Friday, June 04, 2010
Update - it's super late and I'm exhausted from a long day but wanted to quickly update on what has happened since we went to that seminar.
The seminar was interesting - I have to say I felt like I knew pretty much everything they said in their presentation but that made me feel pretty good about the fact that I'd done my research. It was really nice to just get a feel for the practice as a whole and meet the doctors. Everyone was so nice and I felt really comfortable with them.
The main thing I took away from this was feeling validated in going to a fertility specialist - they said "infertility" was defined as trying for 12 months and not getting pregnant - and that didn't include necessarily charting your cycles or anything, just 12 months of not using birth control and not getting pregnant. So after 16 months of charting my ovulation and trying hard to get pregnant it is a very appropriate time to see help. I was able to talk to the doctor about my situation and give her my history and it was great to get an idea of what the process would be like.
The next thing is to go in for a consultation - this costs $230-250 but is usually covered by insurance. They said if we had trouble getting insurance to cover it then they could work with us on this, even deduct it from my first cycles charges. We will go in next Thursday for our consultation and hopefully be on our way to getting my body figured out and knocked up! :)
Come on, let's give this kid a sibling! Please!
I appreciate everyone's support and concern for us! I'll be sure to keep you posted!