Sunday, May 27, 2012

The countdown begins...

This week I worked up the nerve to call the clinic to get my calendar.  I'm not sure why I was avoiding this call but for some reason I put it off a few days longer than I had planned.  Maybe I was hoping I wouldn't need to do this after all.  But Mother Nature again made it clear that I would need to do this again if I wanted to complete my family.

I talked to a very lovely nurse at the clinic who gave me my marching orders.  Amid a flurry of dates and calculations I was suddenly overwhelmed with information.  She very kindly assured me that I had plenty of time yet and that she would send it all to me in the mail.  A few days after I talked with her, a big envelope arrived in the mail. In it were 5 things: my checklist of things my husband and I need to get done with my dates listed, my bound packet with my particular protocol helpfullly highlighted and flagged, our two consent forms (one for the IVF cycle itself, and one for the freezing of any extra embryos we may have), and my first script for the birth control I need to take for 3 or 4 weeks.

The consent forms
My marching orders and checklist

 It was now as official as it could get -- I am an IVF patient once again, complete with a serious case of the jitters (or anticipation anxiety; I'm not entirely sure).  What I do know is that in about 3 months, I will be once again traveling down this road.  One that I never wanted to travel down in the first place but one that has become very familiar.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Payment Considerations by Kurt

This week we are planning out how to pay for IVF.  Since we do not have insurance coverage for IVF, we will need to have cash (or credit) to pay for the services needed.

The clinics we have used have required prepayment for the medical procedures expected to be performed.  This may not be enough to cover all medical bills, but our experience has been it is close or slightly above what was truly required.  Any over payments were refunded for the difference.  This prepayment does not cover the cost of medicines, so those have to be paid at the time of purchase.  Many clinics offer advice on where to buy medicines from pharmacies that are reliable and timely, as sometimes you may run low at key points in your cycle.  My wife used a pharmacy on the East Coast for our first IVF cycle as an example.

Some areas we have used to pay for IVF in the past has been saving in a Flexible Saving Account or Health Saving Account.  The thing I like about these is that they can be funded with pretax dollars.  The main disadvantages of these with IVF are that it can take a while to get there to fund them and paperwork.  For Flexible Saving Accounts, you have to use it that year or lose it and it is capped for amounts not enough to pay for all of IVF.  For Health Saving Accounts, it will take two to three years to have enough funds in them to cover the full cost of IVF.  One other note we have experienced is that you have to "float" the payment on a credit card (or line of credit) first and fill out paperwork with the plan in order to get reimbursement of these accounts.

I am sure you have your own ways you have saved to pay for IVF.  I would love to hear them from you.  This is part of our journey to find the missing piece of the puzzle.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I waited for years to become a mother, more years than I wanted to, so I look forward to this holiday every year.  I feel like I'm a part of a very special club, where my every day status is held up high and celebrated.  And I get to enjoy comments like this one from my 5 year old, "Happy Mommy's Day!  You're my favorite mommy!"

So for every mother out there, and for every woman who is a mother in her heart, I salute you and hold you up high.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chaos reigns

Yesterday morning, as my boys were playing loudly in the living room while my husband and I enjoyed the paper and our coffee, we said to each other after the 5th interruption to referee, "And we want to add to this chaos?"

We say this to each other a lot; mainly on days when we're having a tough time with one or both of the boys.  When the questions from our older son have been endless or when our youngest is having a full on meltdown.  Or when I'm overwhelmed with everyone's schedules and the day has seemingly zoomed by without really getting anything done.

But at the same time, as I was listening to them roughhouse and play with the couch pillows (for the millionth time), I said to my husband, "As loud as they are, doesn't it feel like someone is missing?"  He stopped for a second, smiled, and said "Yeah, it does.  Maybe a little girl to be playing with them too or another little boy to be roughhousing with his big brothers."

So no matter what happens in my house, no matter how much chaos reigns, it still feels like someone is missing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The race to the starting line

Yep, we're still waiting.  But at least it is finally May, the month I get to call my clinic and hopefully get my IVF schedule and get this show on the road.  It seems like a million years ago since we decided to embark on this journey again.

My inclination is to just get started so I can be done with the unpleasant parts and jump ahead to the pleasant part of being pregnant (hopefully; I'm still not 100% positive this will work again).  But it's in the best interest of my family to wait a little while longer, get everything organized as much as possible, and then wait for the Go! signal.  I just wish it wasn't such a long race to get to the starting line....