Saturday, January 31, 2015

Week of January 26th

Monday - Had bloodwork, instructed to keep meds the same

Wednesday - Had bloodwork & ultrasound. Ultrasound showed 8-10 follicles on each side in the 8-11mm range. Below is a picture of the ones measured on my right ovary. And an idea of what these follicles measure. Meds stayed the same.

Right ovary measurements
A good visual for size 

My right arm has had enough!

Friday - more blood work and ultrasound. Below shows the 5 biggest follicles on each ovary. He measured close to 10 on each side. Definitely lots going on which explains all the pressure and soreness I'm feeling!! They're getting bigger, we're in the 9-15mm range now. Decreased Follistim, other meds stayed the same.

Saturday - Bloodwork only. My little buddy accompanied me this morning! Follistim was decreased a little more. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Baseline Ultrasound and Start of Stims

Each step in the IVF process makes it feel more and more real, it's crazy. Time is flying!! I have a hard time saying I'm in an IVF cycle, I don't really know why!! But I'm knee deep in an IVF cycle now! Haha!

On Monday (1/19), on my day off I might add (Haha), I had my baseline ultrasound and bloodwork. I was so happy that Dr. Sullivan was doing the scan, he's been there since the very beginning, so I just love when I get him. He did the ultrasound and I have at least 10 "sleeping follicles" on both sides. We clearly saw a ton on the right ovary. Left ovary was in hiding so we couldn't see the whole thing but seeing 1/2 the ovary we saw at least 5, so safe to assume there's at least 10 on that side as well. This is a good thing, it means we have a lot to work with. But because of my PCOS, I have to be watched closer because we really don't want overstimulation! He predicted we'd get at least 10 follicles though by the time we're said & done. We want quality over quantity, but it would be super awesome to transfer a couple and have a couple freeze, I won't get my hopes up though!! All it takes is one good embryo :) Bloodwork came back fine too, which means we're ready to start stims! Yay!!

I got AF on Tuesday, hoping that's the last one for a LONG time!! Then tonight I started my stims (FSH) to grow my follicles and LH, as well as continued on with the Lupron. So that's right, 3 shots each night. With Hank I stimmed for 12 days. I would like it to be a little shorter, but I'll do whatever it takes. So my first bloodwork check is on Monday (1/26) and we'll take it from there. Dr. Sullivan predicted I'll be heading up on Wednesday and Friday (or maybe Saturday) at least for this following week. I can't wait to start seeing these follicles growing!!

So something I haven't mentioned before, I have a friend that's going through the same IVF cycle that I am. It's nice having someone know exactly what you're going through. I feel like it's fate for us. What are the chances that we'd both be doing this at the same exact time. I can't wait to see what the future holds for the both of us :) So please keep us both in your thoughts and prayers, we would all greatly appreciate it!!

Here's my "kit" for each night -- Follistim pen/cartridge, LH, Lupron, syringes & alcohol swab

Here we are, all ready to go!!

I survived 3 shots in one night with only minimal bleeding!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Woah, This feels REAL!!

Woah, giving the first shot of the cycle really makes things feel real, we're doing this!!! I had my first shot tonight. First time I've given myself a shot since August, 2012!! It's been awhile! Started out with Lupron. I guess it is like riding a bike, it was a piece of cake!!

Some other updates: Lupron ended up arriving on Friday, which I was really surprised about because we got quite a bit of snow and the Thruway was closed for awhile!! So I was a little nervous about the medicine arriving. Ovidrel was supposed to arrive on Saturday. UPS says they knocked twice, Casey & I and the dogs were all here, so I really don't think they must've knocked very loud. Thankfully I was allowed to sign the slip for them to leave it today. So I officially have all of my medicine. And Casey finally did his blood work tonight!! Hank & I went with him to keep him company and drive him home since it makes him light headed. He said he had a really good tech so that was nice!!

Then, 8 pm tonight I did my first shot! I'll be doing this shot every night until 2 days before egg retrieval. Video cut short because my phone ran out of space, oops!! Hank even says hi in the beginning, he was "helping" me haha!!

** maybe one of these days I'll remember to turn my phone the other way haha oops **

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Box #1 of Fun

I received my first box of meds today!!!!! Every day something new happens, it gets even more real that we're about do to IVF again!!

I'll start with yesterday's "excitement" though first. I received a phone call from my IVF nurse that Lupron is no longer covered by my insurance, but she was unsure why as it's always been covered by the Empire Plan. I of course called up the pharmacy & my insurance and was passed around to probably 10 different people, who knew it would be so hard to figure out why that drug wasn't covered. It turns out that as of 1/1/15 (go figure), Empire is no longer covering Lupron for infertility reasons. Why you ask? I don't know!! The only thing I can figure is because Lupron isn't originally intended for infertility, so I'm wondering if they're considering it an experimental drug, which isn't covered. It's intended use is for prostate cancer, some hormone issues in pre-teens, and for the treatment of endometriosis. So I got a price quote from Freedom (see last post) and I can get it for $149 out of pocket. Sucks, but oh well. So my OOP price just went up to $300; I really cannot complain though for the amount of meds I'm getting!!

Anyways, so in today's box #1 of fun, I got the drug that is going to do the magic, Follistim!! I've always responded very well to this drug, so I'm really hoping that's the case this time as well. I also got doxycycline (which I despise because it makes me sick) which is an antibiotic, this is taken the night before my egg retrieval (ER) if I'm remembering correctly; medrol which is a steroid that I take for 4 days after ER; and Endometrin which is a progesterone suppository to help the embryo(s) stick! I'll be receiving Lupron on Friday (which I start on Monday) and Ovidrel on Saturday (that one I have to sign for, so had to make sure it was delivered on a day I would be around). So excited to get started!!

I decided to video opening it for the heck of it, I even had a little helper :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Beyond Blessed

So to start off this post I figured I'd do a little update. I talked to insurance this morning and they said the infertility authorization is actually a 5 year authorization, so I'm covered until 2016. It would've been nice for them to tell me that on Friday so I wouldn't have been freaking out!! Oh well. Still so thankful they cover IVF. Because of my prior insurance, buffalo IVF gave me their fee schedule. The prices were $3,000 for the IVF procedure, about $1,000 for ultrasounds and $450 for bloodwork. PLUS all the medications which they don't include because the prices can vary. And on to even more of why I'm so blessed.

Since my insurance is all figured out, I was able to get my meds ordered. As they listed off all the meds I'm taking, it's bringing me back, holy moly it's a lot of different medications. At the end they tell me that my copay is $85 (I'll have one more small one as well but it's insignificant). This is where I realize even more how incredibly blessed I am. I decided to look up the prices of the meds if I had to pay for them out of pocket (most women do unfortunately, don't get me started on that!). I was shocked to say the least. See below 😳 I'm just so so grateful I have the opportunity to do IVF again and pay a very small fraction of the price. Yes, I'll put over 1,000 miles on my car in the next month (thank goodness gas prices are down), but I'll do that any day for my miracle babies. I know this is a lot of money to those that don't get it covered, but even if it wasn't I would do IVF. It's given me a perfect miracle and I would be doing it again to give him a sibling because he is worth it. So anyways, that's the point of this post. Every single day I have so many reasons to be thankful, this is a big one over the next couple months! Plus of course Hank, isn't he seriously the cutest?! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mock Transfer, SHG, and More

Soooooo, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! {{Please read until the end, specifically the final paragraph}}

I called Empire Plan (my new insurance) to activate my infertility coverage yesterday, and they were closed, CRAP :( I didn't even think about the holiday. So I figured I'd call this morning when they opened on the way to Buffalo IVF for my appointment. Called them and their systems were down, REALLY?! So I called back as I pulled into the parking lot, they looked up my benefits and said my coverage ended August 2013 (that's when we switched to Casey's insurance), I told them I submitted my paperwork for the insurance to kick back in on January 1st. They informed me that they hadn't received anything from my benefits office, I was FREAKING OUT!!

Went into my appointment and informed billing that I was trying to work out insurance and haven't received new cards yet, so hopefully everything will be okay there. Fast forward a couple hours, talked to benefits office and since the option transfer period was until 1/16/15, she was still processing the applications. They sent my insurance application into insurance at 10 am. I called back to Empire and they see that the info was sent but it doesn't show up under benefits until 24 hours later, and of course they're closed over the weekend. So I know what I'll be doing first thing Monday morning. This was the LAST thing I wanted to be stressing over this morning. The regular insurance coverage is retro-active to 1/1/15 but with the infertility coverage, I have to personally call to activate that, and of course couldn't do that without the insurance. So I'm really hoping they'll cover today's appointment. Benefits think they will since I obviously took the necessary steps, but it's still stressful. My hormones are on overdrive and this of course set me over the edge today.

But, let's talk about good stuff. My appointment! Dr. Griffin did my mock embryo transfer and saline sonohysterogram (SHG). First he did the mock transfer, where they insert a catheter completely into my uterus to make sure it's a good environment for an embryo to live. They use an ultrasound to view the catheter and see everything that's going on. He even touched the back of my uterus just to make sure there were no obstacles. He was very happy with what he saw. He said my uterus looked "text book" and a perfect environment for a embryo, very great news! Pregnancy can change things which is why they wanted to do this again. Then he did the SHG where they do a transvaginal ultrasound and basically squirt a bunch of saline in to make sure the uterine lining looks good, make sure there are no cysts, or abnormalities, etc. Again, everything looked great here, YAY! I also learned that when I come in for my monitoring appointments I'll be seeing Dr. Sullivan in January and Dr. Griffin in February. I've worked with Dr. Sullivan since March 2011, he's my main doctor and we've put a lot of trust into him, he's an amazing Doctor so I'm glad I'll be able to work with him during some of my process. Dr. Griffin came into the practice as they released me when I was pregnant, so I've only met him a couple times, but he was really nice today and I'm looking forward to working with him as well.

Finally, I know this is a public blog, but if you are reading this, please no sharing on Facebook or social media sites or even face-to-face. We're wanting to keep this round of IVF a little more private and to ourselves. I've shared this blog with my IVF and mama groups. But anyone else that is reading this, it's because you've come here on your own. People wonder why I would publicly blog if I wanted this kept quiet, it's because it helps me a TON to blog about the process. It's VERY therapeutic for me. Plus, I don't want to forget anything. So please respect our privacy. I would love for everyone to continue reading and follow our process. We appreciate any prayers and support we can get. You will get all necessary updates here as well. So refer to this blog for questions :D Thanks again for respecting us!