Received a call from the pharmacy yesterday. It's that time to order my fertility medications. WOW - can we say expensive? I am baffled at how expensive the shots and the rest of the medications are. It's funny to think that I will be paying $4196 on medications alone that will only make me feel crummy. But I guess the upside to that is that I will be producing more eggs..."yeah baby, I'll be an egg making machine" and that is my goal here.
So I'm not whining, I guess it could be worse. They gave me a breakdown of all the medications and the prices. It was medication information overload.
I am currently on birth control pills right now to manipulate my menstrual cycle to make it predictable. Then on August 4th, I will start the extensive medications, ultrasound exams and blood work. I will have my first blood exam in like what.... 2 weeks? And they will also go over all of my medication and will teach me how to give myself the shots daily. Yikes!!! Now that freaks me out. But we are taking baby steps, will get there soon.
Sometimes in life you don't get what you want. Sometimes we say to ourselves, "Wow, life is truly unfair." Throughout the last year I've learned to not dwell on what I don't have and instead try to focus on the things that I can do to accomplish my goals and the things that I want. This is my journey...
Robert (my husband) & I have been married for 6 years and been together for a total of 13 years. Our life has been complete with our 2 dogs Ozzy and Bella but we wanted something more. About a year and a half ago we decided to try to have a baby. After months of not being successful I decided to get checked out by my doctor. He put me on Clomid and I took it for 6 months. Robert was also checked just to make sure he was not the problem. His test showed that he had low sperm count. I decided to read up on what I can do to increase his count and made some changes to his lifestyle. Well thank goodness for me because through my guidance Robert's count had increased. Our next step was to go see a fertility specialist out in Beverly Hills. What an odd doctor, somewhat nice in a sarcastic kind of way. He did not rub Robert the right way. I tried to see past all of that and continue to see him because my goal here was to get pregnant. He got me off Clomid right away because he said it had given me a 2" cyst. I began to have all kinds of tests done (blood work, ultrasounds and my least favorite - and HSG). The HSG was to help evaluate the shape of my uterus and to check my fallopian tubes and make sure there was no blockage. Talk about laying down in the most uncomfortable position with your butt up in the air, your legs butterfly style while the radiologist inserts a speculum and small catheter with dye all under an X-Ray machine. The good news was that my fallopian tubes were not blocked, however the radiologist who performed the exam mentioned my uterus being bicornuate. The fertility specialist then gave me the bad news that due to the shape of my uterus (heart shaped) that I would only be able to have 1 child at a time. I was not a candidate for IUI and I could only do IVF with a 1 embryo transfer only. I of course was bummed, because our only option was the most expensive procedure and for the same price they could and would only transfer 1 embryo. He then said that I would need laparoscopy and hysteroscopy surgery to see if there is anyway that we can fix the bicornuate uterus. I was not thrilled to hear the word surgery and thankfully I work for an Outpatient Imaging facility and with having so many scans done on myself my radiologist reviewed some of my scans and told me that my uterus was not bicornuate like it stated in my HSG report and most importantly that I should not have a laparoscopy because of my cross fused ectopic kidney (pelvic kidney). Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I am oddly shaped too. I have an ectopic kidney which means that my kidneys never fully separated and did not make it to their assigned destination like most kidneys do. My left kidney is off to the lower left while my right kidney sits right on top of my uterus right between my belly button and sacrum. Therefore any laparoscopy surgery can put me at risk of having my kidney punctured and that is not good. So after refusing surgery the fertility specialist still insisted that there was a way to go about it without puncturing my kidney. I told him to order and MRI to determine what my uterus looked like because my radiologist was positive that my uterus was not bicornuate, but he dropped the subject and decided that we would just move forward with IVF. I was disappointed that he would not order an MRI but didn't hesitate to put in a request for surgery right away. I've learned in the medical field that surgeons just want to operate on their patients all the time instead of taking advantage of the new non invasive technology we have now to screen patients without cutting them open. I continued seeing him and his partner for more ultrasounds and a post coital exam. I didn't want to start all over again since I had already done many exams with this fertility group. We were told to have a "date night" the night before my last ultrasound and I actually got to see Robert's boys swimming away under a microscope. It was pretty cool to see. They were very active but obviously they need help finding their way because I was still not pregnant. Before we knew it 2013 had passed us by and we didn't achieve much.
In 2014, we decided to take some months off to continue trying on our own and to save up some money for our very expensive procedure. Our plan was to start IVF in March- April but then life happened, I had a work business trip which got in the way and my mother in law got really sick so we had to put our plans on hold for a bit. We still continued trying on our own during all those months but nothing happened. Robert and I learned to accept the fact that we are not destined to naturally have a child. That somehow this journey of ours wants us to go through all kinds of obstacles to achieve what we want. I am not bitter about it anymore, however I am sad- but what else can we do? We said once things in our crazy hectic life settled that we would just do the IVF, because let's face it, I'm not getting any younger. I am now 38 years old and Robert is 39 so we definitely need to get a move on.
Last month we decided that we would meet and consult with a new fertility specialist that was highly recommended to me. We liked her right away. Within 5 minutes of meeting her I knew that I wanted her to be a part of my journey. Robert of course was thrilled since he did not care for the Beverly Hills doctor. When speaking with our new doctor, I explained to her the choices I had been given by the other doctor. She completely won me over when she suggested that we do an MRI so we can see exactly what shape my uterus is in. I am lucky to work were I work because I got on the scanner right away and we found out and confirmed that I do not have a bicornuate uterus. I have what you call an arcuate uterus, meaning it has a small indent on top. So Dr. Evans told me that I was a candidate for IUI or IVF and that I was able to carry more than 1 child. I was so ecstatic to hear these news. A simple MRI changed my entire IVF plan and at the same time it also infuriated me to know that the other doctor in Beverly Hills only gave me the choice to do IVF with the transfer of 1 embryo only. Can you believe that? They were going to transfer only 1 embryo for the same price. When a normal uterus has 3-4 embryos transferred in hopes that one takes. I felt such relief and I am so glad that I listened to my radiologist and didn't go through with the unnecessary surgery. That stupid surgery that the doctor wanted to do to see what shape my uterus was in, unbelievable. All he could have done was order an MRI and perhaps I would still be his patient. Ugghhh some people should not practice medicine!
So after being given some choices, Robert and I still decided on IVF. With IUI our success rate would be 10% and with IVF our success rate would be 40% and we would get an add'l 30% more if we genetically test our embryo, which I of course will do. So now I will have a 70% success rate. I am extremely happy with my new doctor and we did so much in the month of June with many more ultrasounds and lots of blood work. It was recommended that I do a genetic blood test on myself because of my age. I found out 2 weeks ago that I am a carrier of a genetic disease called, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. So because I am a carrier we had to test Robert right away. Just to make sure that Robert did not carry the same genetic disease I do. If he did then there would be a great chance of passing it on to our child and our child would not live longer than 6 months. I was a wreck all of last week. I was afraid that we would be given bad news but thankfully Robert was all clear and we have finally moved to the IVF process now.
On July 15th, I officially started my IVF process. I am currently taking BCP (birth control pills) and will be on them for the next couple of weeks before I start my nerve wrecking injections. This entire process will take 6 weeks and I am excited and nervous. I know that I will feel crummy and possibly be emotional and moody but all this will be worth it. My six week journey will be tough. I got my calendar yesterday and it tells me when to start my medication, injections, blood work, ultrasounds, egg retrieval and embryo transfer. It will be one heck of a journey. But all we want is to have a baby, to be given the chance to bring a life into this world and to give it as much love and joy as we have done with our currently 4 legged babies Ozzy and Bella. Robert will be a fantastic father and my dream is to hopefully soon see my baby in my husband's arms. I have hope and faith that all will go well.
Hi, I am Hereta (pronounced Eretha) and I am your typical dog loving - candle maker. Since dogs don't have a voice, I believe it's our job to speak on their behalf. "Don't shop or buy while the homeless die."