My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Friday, October 15, 2010

IVF, round 2

So after several months, it was time to get back on the IVF horse. 

I was supposed to be taking metforman all that time but forgot until I called to let the doctors know I was ready to start again and they asked about it.  Metforman is often taken to prevent gestational diabetes.  Wonderful side effect - I lost about 15lbs over the summer with no effort.  That totally rocked! 

So we started again and this time everything felt like it was on fast forward.  The first attempt had a 6 week schedule whereas this one had a 4 week schedule since we were using different medications this time.  And this time I needed to sit on a heating pad after each injection to get the blood circulating to make sure it absorbed well.

So twice a day we went through about an hour long process of icing my ass, prepping the meds, injecting the meds, then sitting on a heating pad for a while while the meds absorbed.

I was much more emotionally stable this time, but totally obsessed with money because it was leaving us much faster than it was coming to us.  I was doing everything in my power to stay on top of all these expenses and trying to understand what each medical bill was for, etc etc.  Mostly because I wanted to keep my overall stress level down and if I could plan ahead what costs to expect, I could figure out how to take care of them.  I was very anal about going over every fee that I could expect from the fertility clinic.

About halfway through, I get this bill from the anesthesiologist for $600.  Needs to be paid before I go into the hospital for the retrieval.  Ummmm, ok.  Pay that.  Well that was a pretty large bill I wasn't expecting that had a tight deadline.  That sucked.  Then I get a phone call from the hospital to discuss the facility fees that will need to be taken care of before my procedure in 10 days.  Ok, so that will be $2400.  WTF???? 

What???  No, I don't think so.  You want me to come up with $2400 in the next few days or you won't do the procedure???  Just, no!  That's extortion!  If I don't pay this fee, I can't do the last portion of the procedure I'm already halfway through. 

So I question the hell out of them.  What is this for?  Is this not covered by the plan I prepurchased?  You at the hospital and the financial person at the clinic need to talk to each other because there's no way I'm going to owe that much.

And everyone calls each other and they determine that she quoted me the wrong price and that I need to pay them about $1500.  Still sucks, but it was indeed legit and I did indeed pay.  Gripe gripe, grumble grumble.

Medical financial tip - Call and clarify every bill you receive.  Don't just write a check.  3 times in the last several months, I have called to question a bill I received and was told "oh yes, that's already been taken care of, you shouldn't have gotten that.  It crossed paths in our computer system."  At one point I was sent a bill for almost $2k and when I called to ask about it, they said that it went out early and that at this point, I actually had a credit with them due to past over payments.  That means that somewhere along the line, I was sent a bill that I didn't owe, I paid it, and they just applied it to my account rather than telling me I didn't owe that money.  Medical billing is a clusterfuck and there's just no disputing that.  So question everything.

So we get towards the end of the process.  The hubby abstains from any emissions for a few days to make sure his contribution is as strong as possible.  Yes, even that is regulated during the IVF process.  And we're off to the hospital to retrieve as many eggs as possible.

Being a fat woman, I had to do this in the hospital and be completely put under.  Most women do this in the office at the fertility clinic. 

So as people pop into my little holding room to do their things (give me my gown, and paper slippers, hair net hat thingy), everyone is saying how I'm just going to get on the table, go to sleep, and we'll be all done.  So I finally get on the table and the doctor there says that I'm going to be put slightly under but not actually asleep so I can respond when they need me to.  WHAT?  I'm going to be awake and staring at the ceiling while someone is doing uncomfortable things in my belly from a really embarrassing angle?  This is not how I was planning on spending the afternoon!  I was planning on sleeping through it!!

So I have myself a little panic attack because the thought of not having control of my body while my mind works is absolutely terrifying to me.  Seriously.  If I'm ever in a coma and the doctors aren't sure if I'm thinking or not?  Pull the plug.  I can think of no greater hell than to be buried alive in my own body and being capable of brain activity.

They then convince me that I'm not going to remember anything when it's over so for all intents and purposes, I will indeed be asleep.  So that's what happened. 

Doctors please note - please be consistent in your messages to the patient.  Hearing a different definition of what's going to happen when you're on the table and the procedure is imminent is unnecessary and terrifying.  It also leaves you open to lawsuits because at that point, you've just changed the patients perception of what is about to happen and they may not be capable of objecting and reconsidering their options at this point.

I don't remember the rest of that day.

I do remember vomiting all through the following day.  I'm very sensitive to anesthesia.  I've vomited in response to every surgery I've ever had and even got the dentist once when he pumped up the nitrous too high.  Ugh, and cramps.  The entire waiting period, between retrieval and implant, I had a lot of cramps.

First bit of news - they harvest 19 eggs
Second - 17 fertilized
Third - 10 looking good

We're going to wait until day 5 to implant because there are a lot of them, they look good, and better rate of success if we wait those 2 extra days.

We decide to spend my last unpregnant day at the state fair and I go on one ride.  I'm not a ride person and I was still nauseous so one was my limit. The day before that I was at a party and in a hot tub and enjoyed a few libations I knew I would not have the opportunity to enjoy again for a while.

We get to day five and 2 embroyos are strong and healthy and ready to be implanted. 

Why did the doctor give me pictures of my embryos in a petri dish?  Seriously? Are they supposed to go on the fridge or what?  But I can't throw them away either because, well, I have them, I should keep them. 

My husband had the best reaction.  See the little bubble in the dish next to the embryo?  Each one has one.  Yeah, that's babies first fart!  Awwwwwww, dat's so cutey tootie wootie pooty!

I got to be awake and watch the process on a screen.  It's an ultrasound view so it's mostly just static.  But then you see the line of the needle enter from the side.  And then you see it spit out the first little thingy then the second little thingy.

The screen was like space invaders from when I was little.  I'm watching the little bullet come out of the gun and the refresh rate is slow so it moves forward one little chunk of space at a time and then kind of disappears.

Oh, here's something they don't tell you.  The whole full bladder thing.  You have to have a really full bladder for this process.  Long story, but you do.  So I'm on the table, FULL of fluids, the process is over, all seems well so I ask to get up and go to the bathroom.  Oh no, I can't get up.  I have to lay there for about a half hour.  Ummmmm, guys?  I managed not to pee all over the doctor but I make no promises that I'm going to make it another half hour.  So they give me a bed pan. 

Oh man, really?  I mean that entire day, this was the worst part.  I have to remain lying down and I have to pee.  I make everyone leave the room because that is the last mystery alive in my marriage and I intend to keep it alive as long as humanly possible.  And my body really fought me when I tried to pee because I wasn't allowed to sit up to do it.  And my body knows that it's not supposed to do that when I'm lying down.  So with some effort, empty bladder, wet tushy, icky!  Yes wet tushy.  Have you ever peed lying down with your hips slightly raised because of a bed pan?  It takes a long path to move south before it finally drips into that pan. 

Everybody comes back in, I feel ridiculous and do my best to clean up while staying reclined.  They wheel me into a little room and say I can go in a half hour.  So hubby and I try to entertain each other in this little room without a clock.  We kind of expected someone to let us know we could head out, but nope.  I think after about 45 minutes I called to a passing nurse to ask if I could go. 

And that was that.  IVF was over, and the waiting began.

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