Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Good Couple of Days

Sunday was Valentine's Day and also Chinese New Year.  For my Babe and I, it was a fairly quiet day.  Though we don't really celebrate the much hyped Valentine's Day, we did have a small Chinese New Year (CNY) Celebration.  I am ethnically Chinese, so I was missing the CNY festivities at home.  After church, we met up with two other couples and their kids for lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  Being that it was CNY, we ordered a set dinner which included pork with watercress soup, Peking roast duck, pork chops in Peking sauce, steamed whole walleye with ginger and scallions, stir fried crabs with ginger and scallions, salt and pepper squid, chinese broccoli and dessert.  It's not often we get to eat like this!  Then my Babe and I came home and took a nap.  It was a nice way to just relax and eat.   Eating is a HUGE part of Chinese New Year.

Yesterday I got a call from Nurse Mary that did my annual exam.  The lab had found that some traces of blood and protein in my urine during my appointment last Thursday.  She asked me if I had experienced any increase in frequency in peeing, or any burning sensation, etc, symptoms of of UTI (urinary tract infection).  I said no, in fact I don't even remember if I've ever had UTI.  So she sent those my urine out to the lab to be cultured anyway, just in case.  So yesterday (Monday) I got a call from Mary, they found that I had a mild grade UTI or bladder infection.  She called in my prescription and I picked those up last night.  Talk about great timing, because by the time I picked up my drugs, I was starting to feel discomfort in pelvic area, nothing serious but just kind of an icky feeling.  I have been told that I am lucky that they found my UTI early and and did not have to suffer severe symptoms.  I am on antibiotics for 5 days.  I'm glad it was found now before I start my IVF.  What great timing!

Today, I had 2 appointments at the Dr. Hopeful's clinic,  a shots class and a nurse's consult.  There were just 2 couples, we first watched a video on how to do the shots for Follis.tim, Lupr.on, Men.opur and HCG.  Then the nurse went over our syringes and pens to show us how to do the shots hands on.  We didn't actually inject anything, but it was nice to be able to touch and feel the actual "hardware" before we got them from the pharmacy.  The nurse also showed us where to inject intramuscular (IM) shots so our hubbies don't stick us in the wrong spots!  The other gal that was there found out I am not doing progesterone in oil (PIO) shots, and using Endome.trin suppositories instead.  She was not happy, and wanted to switch!  I felt bad for her and I am so glad I am not doing the PIOs!  I guess she is planning to talk to Dr. Hopeful to see if she can switch too!  I have to say I think my Babe is kind of looking forward to the opportunity to stick a big-a$$ needle in my butt!  I am doing the rest of the shots myself!  We left the shots training with a Follis.tim pen kit.

After the shots class, we met up with Nurse Stacey who did our consult.  My Ovarian Assesment Report (OAR) results came back.  
  • I had an Egg Retrieval score, or "chance of successful retrieval" of 9, which was "fair" .  This score indicates that there is a fair chance of obtaining 5 eggs or more through ovarian stimulation.
  • Compared to other women 36 to 40 years old, my egg retrieval score is average.
I'm not really sure what this really means.  All the nurse would say is that they would not be changing my protocol.  So I'm hoping that this does not mean bad news.  Ughh.... I don't really like the sound of "fair" and "average".  Why can't it be "good" or "excellent"?

We then went over all our meds, dates of shots, ultrasound and blood work appointments.   I start Lup.ron on 2/21, Meno.pur and Follis.tim on 3/5.  Depending on how my stims go, I could have my egg retrieval on the week of 3/15.  We'll see how it goes.  We also went over instructions for HCG where timing is crucial.  And of course my Babe will make his "butt sticking" debut.  I am expected to do a Day-5 blast transfer and I am hoping that we will have some embryos to freeze for future use.

Before we were done, Nurse Stacey also gave me my "goodies" bag, a bag with 4 boxes of FREE 300 IU Follis.tim AQ samples!  Woo hoo!  Free meds!  That's about $1,000 worth of free meds!  I was so excited!

In a packet that was sent to me earlier, it was indicated on the drug list that it was possible to get Vi.velle and Endome.trin samples too.  Stacey said she would check into it as they don't always get those samples to give out.  I asked if I should wait to order those, to see if they get any in later since I wouldn't need those till later in my cycle.  She said she would check another spot to see if they had any.  She later came back with 3 boxes (6) of Vi.velle patches and 2 boxes (12) Endo.metrin samples for me.  Score!!  More free drugs!  My Babe was quite impressed with the way I was able to "finagle" more free meds.  See, I told him, ask and you shall receive!  And I did ask nicely =)

After the consult with Nurse Stacey, we met up with Melissa, our financial coordinator.  We put down our prepayment of around $7K.  We had decided we were not doing the shared risk program and would be paying by the cycle.  We thought we would be paying for everything out of pocket.  But there was a surprise waiting for us!  

We were told we had a lifetime maximum coverage for infertility treatment of $5K!  We will have out-of-network coverage of 60/40 for the actual IVF procedure (egg retrieval and embryo transfer), but the follicle monitoring (ultrasounds and blood work) will be covered by in-network 80/20 coverage.   Plus we also had a $5K lifetime coverage for infertility drugs!  Oh, such awesome news!!  Even though it is not a huge dollar amount, it makes such a huge difference.

We didn't realize that when I left my job last year, and switched our insurance to my husband's company, the benefits started all over.  We had maxed out our infertility coverage at my old company, but now we start afresh!  If I had not left my old job, we would be paying out of pocket for everything!

I am having a pretty good couple of days.  Early detection of infection, unexpected insurance coverage and free meds!   I am praying that this is a sign of more good things to come!


  1. OMG, that dinner sounds amazing!!! I can't believe you can make peking duck, that is one of my fav dinners ever. What are peking pork chops? Is that something easier to make?

    Anyway, it is so exciting that you are already starting this IVF prosses. If you need any advice on how to inject hcg, we are experts at this point, lol. I am so jealous that your meds are covered by your insurance, our insurance wont even pay for testing if they lable it a "procedure", lol.

    The best of luck with all of this, I hope your hotstreak continues!

  2. Ugh! I hate UTIs. I haven't had one in awhile, but they are really bad, especially if they go untreated.

    I just wanted to drop in and say hello since we're on the same IVF schedule! I started BCPs last Tuesday and had the mock IVF transfer/saline sonogram/antral follicle count on Friday. I start my stims on the 26th and the retrieval in tentatively set for March 9th.

    Did the RE tell you what type of protocol you'll be using? I'll be using the antagonist protocol.

    I'll be following your blog to see how everything goes! Good luck!

  3. Sarah, you are too funny! I didn't make any of the food, we ate at a Chinese restaurant.

    Sooz, I'm on the luteal phase Lupron protocol. Not sure how that is different from the antagonist.

  4. hi there - i've been following your blog for a while now. looks like we're on a similar timeline, i've started my first ivf cycle this month. wishing you lots of baby dust :o)

  5. So, so happy things are working out so great for you guys. Hang in there. Keeping you & Babe in our thoughts & prayers. This is so exciting!

  6. Hahaha, ooooh I guess I was having a blonde moment.

  7. omg, yay for free meds!