Thursday, January 27, 2011


The insurance problem has been fixed. I am so happy right now. I have not actually talked to the insurance people myself, but my wonderful HR lady has and apparently everything is going to be OK. Here is the email conversation between my HR lady and our Insurance group rep (totally paraphrasing):

Insurance rep: "Regarding Christine, the computer glitch has been fixed and all benefits have been restored."

Awesome HR Lady: "Does this mean she will receive coverage for her IVF?"

Insurance rep: "Yes, her IVF will be covered, as it always should have been."

How awesome is that?!

The past six days have been horrible. I kept fluctuating between having hope that everything would get worked out, to paralyzing fear that this was the end of the road for us and a sign that we shouldn't be parents. I am so relieved I can't really describe it well enough.

But I must admit, I feel a little bit of guilt too. There are so many couples out there that don't have fertility coverage, and it just breaks my heart. I felt for six days what they must feel day in and day out all year long. Weighing options I would never consider normally, verging on panic attacks at the thought of having to charge/loan $20,000 for a single IVF cycle.

It is completely unfair that anyone could consider an infertility diagnosis anything other than a life changing event. When you have dreamt of having a family your entire life, finding out that is not possible because of something that is physically wrong with you is heartbreaking and life changing. It changes how you look at the world, money, the people around you, and the rest of your life. It is ridiculous that insurance companies, politicians, and employers consider fertility coverage a non-essential benefit.

OK, stepping off my soap box now.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I knew things were going too well....

Today has sucked. That is the only way I can describe it. It started off well enough. Wake up, make breakfast, go to the gym, come home and head to work. On the way to work I notice I have a voicemail from the RE's office. I call them back, and I hear the only words that could hurt as much as "You are not pregnant." I heard "Your insurance rejected the pre-authorization for your IVF cycle." Cue meltdown.

I have spent the roughly eight hours since that conversation alternating between sobbing uncontrollably, wanting to yell at literally anyone (but preferably any and all insurance reps), and intense conversations with my HR lady at work.

Let me explain the back story here. When I first went to my RE's office in October 2009 they ran my insurance to see if I had any fertility coverage. I was told I did (something I was frankly shocked by). According to the billing lady I had 6 IUIs and 3 IVFs per live birth covered at 100% with a lifetime max of $100,000. I was relieved and grateful because this meant we wouldn't have to worry about how we would come up with the thousands of dollars it takes to do even an IUI cycle, let alone IVF. It didnt really cross my mind again until we got our insurance booklets for 2010, but I checked and nothing had changed, still covered.

So that phone call today was quite the blow. I thought the only things I would have to worry about for our March IVF were my weight and time off work. Now I have this to deal with.

The good news is I am starting to think this is solvable. After talking with my HR lady A LOT today we found the spot in this year's statement of benefits booklet that explains the infertility coverage. And it is worded exactly as I thought it would be: 6 IUIs, 3 IVFs. There has to be a mistake somewhere along the line. I am not sure where, but I have to believe that this is just a horrible mistake that can be fixed easily and in time for our March start date.

But there is this little part of me that is saying "you have had it far too easy to this point, it is time for you to suffer." That part of me thinks no matter how awesome my HR lady is and how hard she will work to get this straightened out, and how many phone calls I make, it won't work. This is the end. Because we can't pay for IVF out of pocket. Neither of us can justify taking out a $20,000+ loan to pay for one IVF cycle, because then we wouldn't be able to give any possible children the life they deserve. My husband still isn't OK with the idea of adoption. I know eventually he would go along with adoption, but he would never be as 100% on board with it as me, so I won't try to force him to be OK with adoption.

If this insurance doesn't come through we are living our life childless. I think that is the scariest sentence I have ever had to type/say/think. Excuse me while I go cry some more and read my insurance booklet once more to make sure I am not missing anything.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I just wanted to give a shout out, I have 40 followers now, woot woot!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Value of Doing Nothing...

Today was the first day in about two or three weeks I had nothing scheduled and didn't have to work. When I woke up I had all these grand plans of gym, laundry, organize, clean. And then I sat in the recliner for breakfast and I changed my mind. I have been running around like a mad woman the past few months. I can literally count the number of times I have skipped going to the gym on one hand. So today I took the day off from everything.

As I write this at 11pm I am still in the PJs I woke up in, and I am still in the recliner. The only times I got up were to make meals and to help hubby shovel the side walks for a little while. I have watched enormous amounts of TV, a couple movies, and cooked Indian food for dinner. I soooo needed this. I just needed to turn off for the day. I knew sitting on my tushie for a full day wouldn't kill my progress with my weight, but it would help my mind set immensely.

And you know what, I am not going to weight myself tomorrow either. I know I won't go down any, and since I stuck to my healthy eating today I know I won't go up any either. So I am giving my brain a day off from worrying about the scale tomorrow. I will still go the gym. And we have an appointment with the RE to sign all the contracts for our IVF, so tomorrow will be a return to the craziness. But today was all about nothing. It was awesome. I suggest everyone try it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Ok, lots of good news, so lets get started.

First, I hit my goal of being under 300 pounds by my IVF consult. I am at exactly 299 now, which puts my total weight loss from this time last year at 50 pounds. To say I am proud of myself is an understatement. I have never stuck with a weight loss regimen this long before. I hit two plateaus in that time, and yet I stuck with it and got the help I needed and I am almost to the final goal. The ultimate goal is 287, which will be an exact BMI of 40, but I have decided I am taking it a little further. I want a little extra wiggle room in there, so I want to be down to 284 (or less if I can) by the time I start stims for IVF.

Now on to the really good news. Everything at my IVF consult yesterday went perfectly. I had the meeting with the IVF nurse/coordinator. When we walked back to her office and sat down the first thing she asked was "How much have you lost so far?" When I said 45 since April and 50 since last January her jaw was on the floor. She asked if I did anything other than diet and exercise and was especially impressed when I said nope, just diet and exercise. She told me repeatedly how proud she was of me. This is one of those times I am so happy I go to a small clinic. I haven't seen this nurse since September, and yet she remembers my story and what we are doing without even having to look in my folder. It makes me feel like more than just a number on a file.

So we dove right in and I asked her all 26 of the questions I had typed up and brought with me, and the hubs asked his 1 question (can he drink before the IVF or should he stop completely?). But basically, she thinks we have a good chance of this working given how hard I have worked and that I have been doing the weight loss in a healthy way. They have a group of women starting in the beginning of February, but since I still want to lose about 15 pounds we decided I would wait until March to start our first IVF cycle.

In the mean time we are going to get all the initial IVF testing out of the way. I have the sonohysterogram (SHG) this Friday, the purpose of the SHG is make sure the structure of the uterus is ok, no polyps or fibroids or anything in there. Then next Monday I go in for the trial transfer, it is basically just a practice run at the embryo transfer. Apparently they map out the uterus and the RE will decide exactly where he wants to aim the embryo(s) at transfer. We'll also get more blood work done, another semen analysis for hubby, and an appointment just to go over and sign the consent forms.

I am also starting Birth Control Pills today. It seems so counter-intuitive to go on birth control to get pregnant, but they have to suppression the ovaries before they can bring them back up with the hormones.

So that is the gist of things. I am so insanely excited I really can't accurately describe it. Even if the first one doesn't work, through this process we will at lest hopefully get more answers about why we haven't gotten pregnant yet. But I won't lie, I am convinced the first one will work. When I say that, keep in mind that I thought every single IUI was going to work, and we all know how those turned out. So the count down is on, a little over a month and a half to starting stims for our first IVF!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ugh and Ick....

My two least favorite weeks are going to line up this month. The last week before my Remicade infusion, and the week of my period my period. The last week before my next Remicade infusion (which I get every 8 weeks) is one of my least favorite weeks. I always feel off during that last week. There are a lot more last minute dashes to the bathroom. More heartburn, more 'am I really, really hungry or a little nauseous?' More strictly limiting how much dairy I take in because it can cause a serious problem.

My other least favorite week is the week my period comes every month. I get horrible bloating and back pain for the day before and first two days of Aunt Flow's monthly visit. I literally gain 2-3 pounds of pure bloat weight on those days. And it is a struggle to get off the couch and go to work because my back is in so much pain. When I was in high school I would stay home from school on those 2-3 days because sitting up in class for six hours a day was impossible. No wonder I got straight C's in school, I spent half my year out sick with PMS. I also start getting even more emotional than I already am, I have literally cried after watching three commercials today. She probably won't show her face till this weekend, but I can feel her approach like dogs can feel an earthquake before it starts.

When these two weeks happen line up everybody better watch out. Because I am one emotional, bloated, bitchy, nauseous, chick in pain and running for the bathroom. Thankfully by Thursday of next week it will all be over. I like to think that Auntie Flow tries to make it up to me by giving me a blissfully short period. Four days at the most, and by the second day everything usually evens out and starts to taper off. And Wednesday I will go sit in the plastic recliners at my GI's office and get pumped full of that miracle drug I like to call Remicade. So by Thursday I will back to my slightly less emotional self.