Last posting, we were waiting on final costs, and getting ready to start the chaos. The snowstorm in the NE delayed a few of our medicines shipping, but it worked out fine. PC is travelling next week to California, and pushing our start date out a few days helped us be sure his trip wouldn’t overlap anything that I needed him in town for. I don’t think it would have overlapped regardless, but now I don’t have to panic at all. The timeline is so loose, we really have NO idea how the next 30-60 days will unfold.
Our total medicine costs as of now are still well within our budget which has been AMAZING. We had an HCG injection left from our last cancelled IUI treatment ($100) that doesn’t expire until June so that was one less we had to order. Progesterone Oil (also via Freedom Pharmacy) was another $80 and arrived with the most massive needles I’ve ever seen. The balance of the drugs we ordered through Aetna Specialty Pharmacy, as we have some coverage through them via our insurance. I think we maxed out our coverage on that for the year with one order, but we are optimistic this will work! Lupron-cost an amazing $5. Menopur-$20. This was a huge surprise since we had friends that had to pay more than $70/vial (and you need 14-48 vials). The Gonal F is the expensive one for us, but still less than we had anticipated. $1525 for three small boxes. We are feeling pretty lucky so much has been covered by insurance, but it also brings up a bigger struggle (and a much longer blog post to come in the future) about the inequities of insurance coverage. It seems disgusting that some people will never get to even explore IVF as an option because of cost, or others will start their life as parents in a mortgage size debt over the process. Anyhow-kittens- it’s so easy to get off topic! I was nervous about the meds arriving because Aetna hadn’t bothered to tell me they ship from the NE and that the box was delayed. I finally reached them and was notified it would be Thursday delivery instead of Tuesday. No sweat, as mentioned above, the delay ended up being a-ok. BUT what wasn’t ok was the lady at work that decided to sign for my package when it did arrive and then not tell me and hide it in a corner. On the box it says “RUSH, OVERNIGHT, PERISHABLE and MUST BE REFRIDGERATED”. It even has fucking penguins on the box. But no. She signed for it, tucked it away and then waddled off to lunch. Lucky for her to be honest that she was at lunch when I tracked the package online and saw her signature. Had she been sitting at her desk, I am afraid I’d have said words that I couldn’t retract. I was feeling stabby. All the drugs were fine. In fact only the Gonal F has to be cold, and it was packed in enough ice packs I think it would it would have survived a few more hours or days without issue. But still, the principal is that it’s a dick move to not tell someone an urgent package arrived. When I got home and threw everything on a side table it was enough to cause a little anxiety attack. Seems super overwhelming. But some encouraging words from Foxy, Snarky and my 6-pack girls from college reminded me that I’VE GOT THIS. I put the meds in tupperware, separated by week, and only kept the stuff we are using right this minute out and suddenly it felt a lot more manageable.
We are on day four of the “pre-treatment”. Lupron (20ml) injections once a day. We are still on the BCP today and tomorrow and then I get to throw that sucker away! We will continue after that for at least five more days on the Lupron. The goal is to get “ quiet ovaries”—no cysts, no follicles, nada. Then they can start fresh with the stimulation meds after that. So far the injections have been a bit of a breeze. They have to be within three inches of your belly button, so I am currently just going around it like a clock in hopes of rotating the injection site at least every 12 days. The needles are paper thin and you don’t even bleed. I have to enjoy that while I can before we get deeper into the process with the progesterone oil needles.
Day One: Holy hot flashes. The nurse had warned me about this one, but I thought it would be a few days before we started feeling any side effects. NOPE. I made the mistake of going to Super Walmart on a Sunday anyhow (what was I thinking?!?) where the crowds are heavy and manners are light. It makes me a little claustrophobic to be in Walmart with that many humans anyhow, but then the sweat began. I suddenly felt like a hot wildebeest in the middle of a crowd. If I could have stripped off every layer of clothing right then and there without being arrested for public indecency, I might have. Luckily it was short lived and by the time I got home and undressed the heat in my veins had started to subside.
Day Two: Mostly feeling good. It’s hard to know exactly what is tied to the meds and what isn’t when it comes to how I am feeling. Mild headache could be meds, or could be the easing off of caffeine I’ve been trying to incorporate. Short bout of nausea by about 6pm, but quick to pass. Restless night. Up from 3am-5am without explanation.
Day Three: Still mentally feeling good. Stomach a bit off. Queasy/gaggy makes me worry about how the first trimester or real pregnancy will treat us since I am a barfer. Maybe it’s just preparation. Feeling pooped, been in bed 9-9:30 last two nights, but somewhat restless sleep.
Day Four: So far so good. The injections are supposed to happen between 6am-8am. So far I’ve woken up before my alarm, given the injection and then gone back to bed for a few minutes before work. If only I could be as naturally motivated to wake up on my own before my alarm for the gym.
Today’s blog really is all over the place. I haven’t even proofread it, and I am unapologetic about it. I think in my last post alluded to a co-worker’s recent loss at childbirth. I’m pretty sure I am not the only one in our office to feel this way, but I struggled with the how and what to say when he first returned to work. I was actually dreading it. It went surprisingly well and I tried to remember some of the things I’d learned a decade back in Dr. Karioth’s class regarding loss. I told him I was sorry. I told him I didn’t really know what to say. He seemed to appreciate the honesty. There isn’t a handbook for grief. The whole thing has made me think a little deeper about what I say and do with friends expecting babies. I’ve watched as un-knowing person asked him “how is the baby?” since the last time they’d interacted was when his wife was a happy and healthy 8.5 months pregnant. Never again. You actually feel bad for both parties. One has to say words a parent shouldn’t ever have to mutter, and the questioner wishes they could turn back time and take that question away. I also was always the one to speculate when a friend stopped drinking, smoking or going out. Oooooh they must be pregnant! I might not even ask them, but instead ask others and then the rumor mill begins. Also never again. After watching several friends deal with their own miscarriage and loss, and our own frustrating struggle to create a life, I have a better respect now for just sitting back and waiting until they’re ready to tell the world. I am optimistic and hopeful that others will respect the same from us.