3

IVF Grants or Financial Advice Please

When Josh and I had our IVF Consultation our Doctor had mentioned a Financial consultant that we could talk to as well. I finally decided to call her after we got the news of only being able to do IVF. I called she I got off work at 3:30 and was told that she left a 3pm everyday. Of course, her working hours where the same as mine which meant I had to find time at work to have this conversation. I called the next day at 9AM to verify she got my message and that I would be receiving a call from her today. The receptionist said they would relay that message as well as letting her know about my voicemail from the day before. I called again at 1pm and did not leave a message. I called again at 240pm , thinking this will probably be at least a 20 minute conversation. They stated she was not in her office and they would relay the message. I let the receptionist know that I wanted a call back today and this was the 4th time I had called. She assured me I would get a call. I waited and then called back at 2:59 asking if she had left for the day and then I was finally transferred to the Financial consultant, Regina.

Regina stated she was on vacation and that she had 100 messages to go through so she apologized for not getting to mine yet. I said it was fine and I understood but in all honesty I was rather annoyed I called that many times with no response from her. But at that point I was just relieved to finally have her on the phone. When I told Regina I was given her info from my Doctor to talk to her about our financial options, she seemed slightly confused. Regina then went over the pricing of IVF with me, which I already knew but I did not say that. She went over my insurance with me as well. She stated that my insurance didn’t cover anything for IVF and some portion of the medications(I left that paper at work with the numbers). From there she told me we had to walk in with that $9,800 to get IVF done. She also said that since we were paying for it that there was the ARC program; which is like a package deal. Or the program through the hospital that can potentially pay for our 2nd round if the first doesn’t work. Regina quickly went over how they store the embryos if we don’t/can’t use all that develop. Which is $400 a year. After that Regina told me that we should look into grants if we need any further assistance with paying for IVF procedure.  Then ended the conversation. She rushed the information and rushed me off the phone. She didn’t give me any new information that I didn’t already know. I don’t know if that was the intent or not but I feel like she should have offered me more information. Now it is in my hand and I am very overwhelmed.

To explain better as to why we don’t want to use some other options that have been told to us by others to use. We do not want to sign up for another credit card because we are doing a very good job at paying off our debit. We have 4 more cards to pay off…We had too many credit cards and are trying to consolidate. We also do not want to dip into our 401k’s because we have not been at our jobs long enough for that to help a lot and we don’t want to use 401K funds at all. We are saving money right now but that is going towards a roof that we desperately need so we don’t want to use that either. We do not want to crowd fund yet either. I say yet because my husband and I discussed that IF IVF doesn’t work and adoption is the only option we would consider crowd funding at that point. From my understanding, that leaves us with grants.

Can anyone give us advise on Grants that are good in Ohio? Or any state? Or for veterans?  Do they all cost money to get? I am struggling looking through these mass amounts of sites.I am just so overwhelmed with the amount of them that are offered and I don’t know where to start or which ones are legitimate. Any advice is more then welcomed.

3

The Results Are In

This entry is about 2 weeks overdue. I was never able to find the words to type this. I finally decided to do it tonight but due to me waiting so long to type it I don’t remember everything that was said between Josh and myself during our discussions. I apologize but I will do my best.

We got the results of Josh’s Semen Analysis. First, Josh got the results from the guys at the VA. Josh got the call while he was at work. They told him the number, 6.8 Million, and Josh’s response was, ” What does that mean?”  Josh was told by the Nurse on the phone that his number is low and the motility was low as well. The guy said that the paper says that “the average is 40 million and your number is 6.8 which means that it is low.” I was in the car driving home when Josh told me. He didn’t give me any hint as to how he was feeling. Josh had to get off the phone because he was at work which meant I had my hour car ride home to think this over. I was in shock. This wasn’t the plan. It’s supposed to be me. I am supposed to have to suffer through the doctors appointments and test, not him. I got home and went right to the computer to look up what might happen next.

I go to the Mayo Clinic Site because I noticed it is the most user-friendly. First thing I see are potential causes: Infections, Veins that are swelled, Antibodies that attack Sperm, Tumors, Unbalanced Hormones, certain medications, Chromosome defects, etc. Josh was on some narcotics after his car accident when he was in the Navy. He was on these for about 5 years because he has 7 herniated discs in his back, this could be one reason. We recently found out about Josh’s thyroid issues, this could be a reason. Who knows….all of this is running through my brain. Then I go to the treatment: Ultrasounds (Scrotal and/or Transrectal), Hormone or Genetic Testing, Testicular Biopsy, etc. OH MY GOODNESS! He didn’t sign up for this. Is he going to still want to do this? I stopped looking because I didn’t want Josh seeing me doing this research and I needed a break.

Josh came home and I was trying to talk to him about the information we received. He was making jokes. It was very frustrating because I wanted to know how he felt. I didn’t want to force the feelings out but I wanted to know how he was taking all this. I would think about this all the time, waiting for results and expecting the worst, wondering what Josh would think if we couldn’t have children because of me. Now, I am not saying we can’t have kids but now it is on him, not me, and I don’t know what is going on in his head. I went into the bedroom to lay down. I couldn’t figure out how I was feeling. Very random but I was just full of emotions and no understanding of them. Josh came in the bedroom and asked what was wrong? I told him that I was frustrated he wouldn’t tell me how he was feeling and I was worried what was going on with him. He said that he was fine. That he was happy that we finally had a direction of what we needed to do next. I respond with “….that’s it?” he was always confused with this(every time I asked, which was multiple time) because he is Spock, a robot, an emotionless bag of bones. It was driving me crazy that all he was saying was that he was happy that we were on track and then he asked how I was feeling. That’s when it hit the fan. I DON’T KNOW. I’m agitated, elated, heartbroken, relieved, I don’t know. Yes, we have a path. Instead of receiving bad news we would just get news: Clomid didn’t work, HSG was negative, blood work was fine. This was bad news that wasn’t mine. It was Josh’s bad news. I was mad that we didn’t get him tested sooner. I was irritated that we put it off so many times because we thought it was him, that it could never be him. I had a small sense of ease that I could get a break from all the appointments and test. I was devastated that this turned into Josh’s doctor appointments and test. That he was going to have to be poked and prodded. I was prepared to do that and that he wouldn’t have to, he shouldn’t have to. I am devastated with that. He said that everything is ok. That he was doing research too and he was ok with all of it. Josh said that he wants a baby and he will do what he has to so we can have our baby. What a relief. We talked for a bit about it and I felt a lot better. Once the tension subsided I was able to joke with him, “You are a ROBOT, that’s why the sperm is low, you aren’t supposed to have any…AHHH!!!” It lightened the moment and ended that conversation on a positive note. A few days later we continued this conversation and also talked about Adoption. It is nice that he is open to that and I am too. It is our last resort because we want to exhaust out options to have a biological child but just knowing we are on the same page is great to hear.

The next step was to fax the results to my Doctor. After phone tag for a few days I was finally able to talk to her. My Doctor said that Josh’s number was almost 7 Million and she wants to see at least 15 Million. Also, that his Motility was at 27% and she wants to see at least 40%. With these results she wants to re-test him to verify these results are correct. I then informed her about his thyroid and she let out an “Ooohhhhh!” that was such a relief to me. This was not a weary oh. It was a hearty, enlighten oh. She seemed very optimistic with hearing about this new development she wasn’t aware of. The Doctor asked when Josh was going to be tested again and I told her it was August. The Doctor said to contact her in August with his result and we will figure out our next step in August or September.

Wait…..wait……waiting. I know it is a little unrealistic but after the first appointment with the Doctor I was thinking I would be starting with the IUI process in August. Not waiting for results and then starting a plan. I know it is still a possibility but if his numbers don’t improve I don’t know what the next step is and that is nerve-wrecking. I really hope that his numbers improve and we move forward with IUI soon. IUI was our next step but it is also the next step for us with Josh’s diagnosis. IUI is the best bet when dealing with male infertility.

September will mark 3 years of our TTC adventure. I am trying to stay positive because IUI is still a possibility to be done that month. Two years sounded reasonable to me but THREE sounds like a long time. I have been feeling very indifferent now. Some days I feel down on myself with little to no motivation to do anything. Other days I am my normal happy go lucky self. I don’t know if the lack of knowing is causing this or if it is stress from work, life, or whatever else. With that being said I have been listening to a lot of Christian music. I consider myself a religious person but not an organized religion kind of person(if that makes sense). I don’t go to church or read the Bible often. I used to do both of those regularly(church camps, youth nights, every sunday, the whole nine yards) but as an adult there are many things that I don’t agree with or don’t understand; for that reason I struggle with finding a church to go to because I want to believe in everything they teach. Not just bits an pieces. Regardless, I believe in God and I have Faith. I have faith in our situation and that things will work out for us. Whatever that means, we will find out soon enough, but I have faith none the less. I have not been doubting my Faith but I have been needing a reminder of it. I found a song that I feel we can all relate to with the constant battle of doubt. Doubting if we should keep going when TTC.

I know that the song is about God but for me that is not the only thing it is about. It is about our baby and the idea of our baby. Sometimes when struggling with TTC all you can do is hold on to the idea of the family you will get in the end. But there are times when you think that it might not happen. “When its hard to believe in you”. Then there is a reminder, “If only i could fight just a little longer I know it’s gonna make me stronger. I just keep holding on to what I believe. oh, I believe in you” This song has been my little reminder when The Waiting gets to me. When I forget about that Dream that I had. I have been listening to it everyday, multiple times a day. Don’t forget why we do this people. There is hope! Keep the Faith. Even if you aren’t religious have Faith that you will get the family you desire and dream for.

I will be back in August with an update from Josh’s Thyroid appointment and if any of you have advice on this side of Infertility we would appreciate it. This is a new battle that we weren’t expecting but Josh and I are ready for anything.

2

Now I Feel Confused and Foolish

No surgery for me…for now…I think!

Originally when I spoke with Lisa* she was saying I could get the surgery Tuesday(27th) or depending on my cycle in February sometime at the end of February. My manager was sick and when he finally came back on Saturday(24th) He said, “Don’t worry about this place. Do what you have to do. Just see if you can get it done next week and we will go from there.” Don’t have to tell me twice.

I contacted my Doctors Office on Monday morning to see if I could still go in for the surgery on Tuesday(Crazy, I know). I realized I was speaking with Lisa* so I asked her about the Cycle Days with the surgery. She said that surgery had to be done between CD 5-11. She said that it was highly unlikely that I would be able to get into the surgery that quick. She finally called me back at about 11AM. Hello Lisa* Tell me something good! Lisa* tells me that, “since the Doctor hasn’t seen you since the HSG she isn’t going to do the surgery because you need pre-testing to verify that you need the surgery. She doesn’t want to cut for no reason. So, she said let’s schedule an appointment to discuss what you want to do next.”

…….

Though I am grateful she doesn’t want to cut into me for no reason and I was skeptical about just going right into a surgery without pre-surgery testing. I am a little confused and feel rather foolish. I have been talking to them for almost 2 weeks about this. Why wasn’t something said sooner about not doing the surgery until after I spoke with her sooner? Or why didn’t the doctor say something when I messaged her to get information on the surgery? The doctor told me at the HSG that because it came back normal that this is the next test she wanted to do. I completely understand that I need pre-testing but let’s just schedule that. I don’t want to waste time with us chatting…AGAIN for me to come back for another visit after that to get this going. I just want us to figure this out.

There is another potential obstacle for us as well. I have applied for a new job a few weeks ago and did a final interview today. I think that all went well! It is a bit of a drive but its a pay increase and if I do get the job it is a great opportunity to move up in banking. I want to go back to school and it is much more of a possibility if I get out of the branch side of banking; this would be a move to the operational, back end of banking. I am hoping for the best BUT it is yet another delay in the TTC journey because of the delay in insurance.

I was talking with Josh about this tonight. We are going to get him tested in March; when his insurance through his work kicks in. We are FINALLY going to start using OPT(Ovulation Prediction Kit). I know I am way behind the times for someone that has been TTC for over 2 years. I just got some First Response ones from a friend but I was wondering:

-What OPK do you guys prefer?

-Where do you buy them from? (They can be pretty expensive)

-Is there a better time to test?

As I said, I am behind the times. The past 2 I took I got “?”. The first one I think was my fault…I MAY have unclipped it in a nervous frustration while waiting for the answer! I swear it was way more then 5 minutes. BUT the second time I think I did everything right and still got a “?”.  I know what OPKs are but I haven’t looked into them too much because of the price but now….With all these delays and insurance and new job and house repairs and anything else that can and will happen. I don’t want to keep allowing these delays to hold us back. I want to do everything I can to get us a baby.

Any other advice for someone who:

-Has normal blood work(boarder line diabetic is the only thing)

-6 rounds of Clomid- Fail

-And Negative HSG Results(Right ovary was a little far away, long right tube)

I am open to any suggestions on opinions I was even thinking of posting my Blood work results on here to see what people think. Maybe next post. I am tired! =] Let me know what you guys are thinking!