Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HSG Update Part 2

Today I finally had the time during work to call up my two insurance companies to see if any part of the cost for the HSG would be covered and I got surprisingly good news!

First of all, the insurance that I have through Keegan's employer was worthless. It's hard enough to find a doctor that's within our coverage because we have Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Michigan while we're living in Mississippi. The parent mill of the steel mill he works for is in Michigan, so about a year ago, they decided to streamline everything and make all of their employees have BC/BS of Michigan no matter where they live. Stupid in my opinion, but hey, it's insurance, right? After being on the phone for over half an hour with a representative who couldn't figure out what an HSG was, let alone if it was covered, I was told that it wasn't. No procedure dealing with infertility is covered through this insurance.

Luckily, my dad has kept me on his insurance that he gets through the university he works for. I called them, expecting to hear the same thing, but was surprised when they told me that the procedure would be covered in full (minus the $250 deductible) as long as it was coded for diagnosing infertility, not as a way to treat infertility. If the coding shows that I have already been diagnosed with infertility, then it will not be covered at all, but as long as the hospital codes it in a way that shows the procedure was used to try and diagnose infertility, we will only owe $250, not close to $4,000.

To say that a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders is an understatement. We were really stressing about how we would pay for the HSG, especially since our dishwasher decided to die on us this weekend (three months after the warranty ended, of course.) Thankfully, Keegan gets a discount on some appliance brands for working at the steel mill that provides their supplies, but it is still an expense we weren't expecting. It will be a lot easier to get $250 together by next month than it would have been to get $4,000.

If this cycle doesn't work out, (which it will, right?) then I have to fax in my BBT chart and call my nurse at the beginning of my next cycle to set up the HSG around cycle day 10. During that time, I will explain the insurance coverage and make double sure that she knows how to code the claim. I'll probably even tell the nurse and radiologist preforming the procedure, just to make sure that everyone knows and there are no mistakes.

I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear that yet another someone will get to look at my ho-ha.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quick Update

Sorry things have been so quite around these parts! We had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend that included 5 of our friends from college driving down from Kansas City, Illinois and St. Louis to crash at our place. Let's just say there was copious amounts of drinking (not on my part unfortunately,) and shenanigans all around. There may have even been boob cake.

As far as baby makin' goes, I had a surprise yesterday (no, not that surprise!) While we were out for dinner, I felt some pangs in my left ovary. Normally, I have pains every couple of days or so throughout my cycle, but these pains would not go away! They lasted for over two hours which made me suspicious that perhaps I was ovulating. I hadn't been taking any OPKs because yesterday was only cycle day 14 and I've been ovulating on cycle days 18-21. Typically I start taking OPKs around cycle day 15 or 16 so that I don't have to waste too many during a cycle.

Once we made it home, I beelined for the bathroom and took an cheap internet OPK. Quickly, the test line came back nice and dark, one of the darkest I've ever seen. Thankfully, I was smart enough to save my urine, so I also dipped one of my Clear Blue Digital OPKs which came back with a smiley face.

I was stunned. Suddenly, I was one of those "normal" girls who ovulated on cycle day 14. I didn't know what to think. Thankfully Keegan and I had sexed that morning (for fun!) and we did it again last night. I tested again this morning and got positives on both a cheap OPK and the digital one, so it looks like another romp in the sack is on schedule for tonight.

I hate being this way, but I'm so skeptical of my body. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that it gave me a "sign" that I was about to ovulate so that we were able to time intercourse correctly, but why the sudden change? Since I began tracking ovulation, I've always ovulated between cycle days 18-21, never as early as cycle day 14. Now, I would understand if my ovulation days had started to trend towards cycle day 14, but they were pretty steadily around cycle days 18-21. I just feel like this is so out of the blue that it must be a fluke. I hate doubting my body, but it hasn't exactly been instilling confidence in me lately.

Since I'm so doubtful, I'm going to continue taking OPKs until the digital one gives me a negative, or throughout my "normal" ovulation window, which ever one comes first. I guess I'm potentially in my two week wait now!

On a somewhat random note, I found out about the June Blog Challenge that Waiting For Baby is hosting from Frozen OJ (if you don't follow her, you should! I love her Punday posts.) I've decided that I'm going to participate because I feel like I'm in a bit of a blogging slump lately. I feel bad that all of my posts are either about ovulation or how we have another failed cycle. I've wanted to include posts about how Keegan and I met, our wedding, and our families, but feel like they don't quite fit on an infertility/trying to conceive blog. The June challenge will force me to write (hopefully) everyday, and will also give me an excuse to share a bit more of myself with you all. I will still do quick TTC updates, but as I'm sure you've noticed, there's not a whole lot to update on around here.

Also, I'm not participating in ICLW this month because I plain forgot to sign up. It's probably for the better because any updates from this weekend may not have been the most coherent ;-)

I hope that everyone is doing well!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'll Write A Real Post....Someday

I promise, I'm going to write a real post someday, but for now, you get bullet points....again.
  • After our appointment fail on Thursday, I emailed my nurse and asked for a copy of Keegan's SA results. Here they are: 
    • Count: 23.5 million/mL (doctor considers anything over 20 million/mL normal)
    • Morphology: 99% (doctor considers anything over 30% normal)
    • Motility: 90% (doctor considers anything over 50% normal) 
    • PH: 8.0 (doctor considers anything between 7.2-8.0 normal)
    • Volume: 2 mL (doctor considers anything between 2-5 mL normal)
 So, just like the phone call said, Keegan is pretty much normal. While I'm happy that there's nothing wrong with him, the results just solidifies that all of our conceiving problems are my fault. It was kind of bitter sweet to hear the results. FYI, WebMD has a good article on semen analysis and what all of the tests mean if you're a noob like me and didn't know.
  • Keegan's cousin and her family visited us this weekend on their drive from Arizona to Georgia, so as a treat, I bought ice cream sandwiches (you know, with the temperatures being in the upper 80s, low 90s lately.) I noticed on Sunday that after eating a sandwich or two, that my stomach got super upset and I had really bad...digestion issues. I thought that it was just a fluke, but I got sick again today after eating one mid-afternoon. So, my question to you ladies is, has anyone ever had problems with dairy while on Metformin? I'm not a big milk drinker, so I can't say if I have problems with just plain milk, but I know I have stomach issues after eating Mexican food (most likely the queso,) and now with the ice cream sandwiches. I've read that women with PCOS should stay away from dairy in general, but I haven't read many accounts of women having digestion problems if they choose to eat it while on Metformin.
  • I've been wanting to get a few more infertility related books, so I'm looking to you ladies for recommendations. I've read Navigating The Land of IF as well as How To Make Love To A Plastic Cup (more a guy's book, but I figured if I was going to ask Keegan to read it, I should as well.) I've heard that the The Conception Chronicles is good, as well as the Silent Sorority, The Inadequate Conception, and What He Can Expect When She's Not Expecting. Anyone have any other recommendations? 
  • I emailed the financial people at the hospital where I would get the HSG done. They confirmed the price of $3859 if insurance doesn't cover anything. Like I said before, we're going to move some things around to come up with the money during this cycle and then schedule the procedure for next cycle (assuming I don't get pregnant this cycle.) 
And, just for fun: 

Reminder: I want to do a Q&A session, so if you have any questions for me (I'll answer almost anything!) leave them on this post

Hope you lovely ladies are doing well! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

HSG Decision

First of all, I want to thank everyone for the sweet comments and advice on my last post. I seriously couldn't go through this journey without you ladies!

After some discussing, we've decided to do the HSG, just not this cycle. The hospital where I would get the procedure done has an out of pocket cost estimator on its website, and it estimates that the HSG would be $2,968 plus the x-ray which is $684. Total, we're looking at $3652 out of pocket if our insurance doesn't cover anything (which we're assuming it won't.) However, I'm still on my parent's insurance (for what reason, I don't know,) so my dad suggested that I call up that company to see what their policies on infertility procedures are. I'm going to do that Monday and see what they say. I'm not holding my breath because it's insurance from Missouri, and we're in Mississippi, but we'll see what happens. It can't be any worse than the insurance from Michigan that we're currently working with. If neither insurance will help with the cost, then we're going to have to move some money around and get close to $4000 ready for next cycle.

As for this cycle, we're just going to continue doing what we have been. Like Mrs E said, we've only had a few ovulatory cycles, so hopefully we just need a few more and we'll get pregnant on our own. Maybe this cycle will be it!

Again, thank you for all of the support. I don't know what I'd do without you ladies!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Appointment: Epic Fail

My appointment today was such an epic fail, it's hard to believe.

If you remember from this post, I was worried about rescheduling my appointment because Dr. B said he wanted to see me 33-35 days into my cycle (read: at the end of my cycle.) I realized that the date of my appointment (a.k.a. today,) would be at the beginning of my next cycle, so I called to reschedule. The nurse that I talked to said that Dr. B just wanted to do an ultrasound 33-35 days after the start of my last period, so even if I was in the start of my next cycle, it would be ok. Today, when I was called back by the nurse, I expected to go straight to the ultrasound room like I normally do. However, she said that Dr. B didn't want to do an ultrasound anymore, he just wanted to talk to us. Confused, I agreed and walked into the room.

Now, my husband works 12-16 hours a day. For him to be able to come to my appointment is rare, but I begged asked him to come today because I was expecting to receive the results of his SA and I wanted him to be able to ask Dr. B questions (you know, since it's his body and all.) With that said, I totally understand that he was frustrated when we had to wait over an hour to be seen by Dr. B. I've never gone to an appointment at this clinic where I had to wait more than 15 minutes. Usually, they're right on time and on their game. I don't know what the problem was today, but the whole clinic was horrible.

Dr. B walks in, shakes our hands, and starts talking about this past cycle and what we're going to do in the future. He then says, "When you get the SA done we'll look over the results...." I quickly cut him off and say, "Wait. We got the SA done over two weeks ago. You don't have the results yet?!" Confused, Dr. B quickly paged his nurse and told her to get the results ASAP. (Note: I just heard back from her and she said that Keegan's results are fine. No numbers, just "fine.")

Anyways, after that annoyance, Dr. B started talking about our next steps. He said that assuming everything with Keegan is fine (which we just found out is true,) our next step would be to do an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram.) He said that he didn't want to put me on Clomid because the Metformin is making my  body ovulate on its own and adding on Clomid would just make me ovulate "more" which increases the risk of multiples.

I asked how much the HSG would be, and Dr. B said that since most insurances don't cover the procedure, it would be "a couple thousand dollars." He couldn't give us an exact amount, because it would not be done though his clinic, but through the radiology department in the hospital. Dr. B then went on to say that if we don't decide to do the HSG, or we do decide to do it and it comes back normal, then we'd just wait three more months to see if I get pregnant naturally.

Then he left. We waited over an hour for 5 minutes of conversation in which we were told that they dropped the ball on Keegan's SA and that our next step would be to either drop "a couple thousand dollars" or wait three more months.

I've read blogs of girls who say that they feel like their doctors reads their charts just before walking in and doesn't really know what's going on with their cycle. I've never felt that way with Dr. B before today. Usually he's a great listener, is proactive, and leaves me feeling like I have a game plan. I don't know if he was over booked, or what, but today I felt like he just wanted to get in, say that everything looks good from their point, and get out. I was close to tears while we were walking back to our cars.

I just feel so guilty.

Guilty that we're having to go through all of this because of me.
Guilty that Keegan had to miss 2.5 hours of work for all of 5 minutes of the doctor's time.
Guilty that we may have to spend thousands of dollars just for a chance (not a guarantee, a chance!) of getting pregnant.
Guilty that I don't know how to make this right.

I'm not sure what we're going to do regarding the HSG. On one hand, it's thousands of dollars that we don't really have lying around right now. I just can't imagine dropping that much cash, just to be told that everything is fine. However, I can't imagine not spending the money and finding out later down the line (perhaps after spending even more money on IUIs and IVF?!) that my tubes were blocked or I there's something in my uterus.

So, we're kind of in limbo right now. Dr. B wants to do the HSG around CD10, which would be next Thursday if we were to do it this cycle. Since we don't really have "a couple thousand dollars" lying around, it'll probably be next cycle, if we chose to do it at all. If we don't do the HSG, I'm not sure what our next steps are. Dr. B didn't have me make another appointment, so I guess I'd call his nurse, tell her that we're declining the procedure, and see if I need to make an appointment. If not, then I guess we're on our own for the next three or so months.

So ladies, I need some advice. I'm so confused regarding the HSG. Before I heard the price, I was totally for doing the procedure, simply for the piece of mind. Now, I'm not sure if we can just drop "a couple thousand dollars" just to be told that everything is ok. However, what if it's not, and that's what's preventing us from becoming pregnant? For you who have had an HSG and everything was fine, do you regret spending the money? I'm just so lost right now and I don't know what to do.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Randoms

First of all, I want to thank everyone who left sweet comments on yesterday's post. I seriously wouldn't survive this journey without you lovely ladies.

Secondly, a cycle update. I went in this morning for blood work. I find it sad that the lab tech knows who I am, what I'm there for, and which is my best vein. I'm there way too often. Fingers crossed that my cholesterol is down so Dr. B can stop guilt tripping me about it.

Third thing: I want to do a Q&A session with you ladies. I've always wanted to do one on my other blog, but I only had a few followers, all of which were friends or family. I love it when other bloggers do a Q&A post because I find that I learn some things about them that wouldn't necessarily come up in regular blog posts.

So, here's the deal: Ask any and all questions, they don't have to be infertility related. I'll answer almost anything (well, except my favorite sex position and questions like that.) Please leave questions in the comments of this post, and I'll answer them sometime next week!

I hope that everyone is having a good week so far! I'll update tomorrow with how my appointment went.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Admitting Defeat

Today is Cycle Day 1.

I'm honestly not surprised. I started spotting yesterday, so I knew it was coming.

I've never cried over a cycle before, but when I first started spotting yesterday, a few tears fell.

I just had so much hope this cycle. The chance of being able to tell our families in person made me really think that this cycle was the one. I guess it would have been too perfect.

I have an appointment with Dr. B on Thursday. I'm expecting to get the results of Keegan's SA then, and I suppose we'll discuss our next steps. I don't know how much more of the "infertility workup" we have left, so I honestly don't know what else to expect from Thursday's appointment.

I'm so sorry this post is such a downer. I try to not let failed cycles get to me, but this one has. Thank you so so so much to all of you for the support. I don't know what I'd do with out you ladies. <3

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I just want to wish a happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there...

...those who are still wishing and hoping to hold their babies in their arms

...those who are growing their babies in their bellies

...those with newborns, dealing with sleepless nights

...those who just sent off their babies to preschool/kindergarten for the first time

...those who have sent their babies off into the world to do great things

...those who have lost their babies

We are all mothers in one way or another, so I salute all of you and hope that you have an amazing Mothers Day today. If celebrating Mother's Day is too painful, then I hope you have a great Sunday. Take some time out to pamper yourself and celebrate the great things you have in your life.


Friday, May 10, 2013

These Emotions Are WHACK!

I don't know if I should chalk up my crazy emotions to pregnancy (oh how I hope!,) or to the start of my period, but oh my gosh, I feel like a crazy lady recently.

Last night is the perfect example. Keegan and I were lying in bed watching How It's Made on Netflix. Don't ask why, but about three, maybe four years ago, this show became the show we fall asleep to. We've watched all the episodes on Netflix over and over again, but yet we still seem to find ones we haven't seen before.

Anyways, last night was an episode explaining how chicks are hatched, sorted, and then sold to farmers either for their eggs or their meat. I won't get into the ethical treatment of animals here, but randomly, in the middle of the show, I turned to Keegan and started tearing up. He asked what was wrong, and I said that I felt bad for the baby chicks because they didn't have a momma chicken with them and they were being pushed around by this big humans and they didn't know what was going on and I think they're scared.

I'm 99% sure I was making this face:

Yes, you read that right. I started crying for baby chicks that have long been gone from this earth. There have been a other similar episodes, but I think this is by far the funniest (and maybe makes me look the most crazy?) 

I hope that either I get a positive test so that I can blame these emotions on the growing baby, or my period starts so I know I'll be back to "normal" in a few days. 

Has pregnancy or PMS ever made you cry over something as silly as baby chicks before? Please someone tell me I'm not the only one who's kidnapped by their emotions ever month. My poor, poor husband. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Losing Hope

I've tested the night of 7 dpo, (Tuesday night,) and the mornings of 8 dpo and 9 dpo (Wednesday and Thursday.) They were all negative.

Now, I know that it's still early. I know that these negatives could turn into positives in a few days. I know all of these things, but my hope is still slipping away.

If this cycle works, it would almost be too perfect. Keegan's cousin is visiting us next weekend, and she's been one of my biggest supporters, so I would be thriled to tell her in person. Memorial day is coming up which means that we could potentially go back to Missouri and tell Keegan's parents. My parents are considering coming down to Mississippi the first week of June, so we would be able to tell them in person. When we moved so far away from family and friends, I accepted the idea that we would have to spread the news over Skype, email and text messages. However, I feel like the chance of seeing the three most important parties all within a month of each other is just too perfect.  

I was so sure this cycle would work, but now I think that I just had more hope this cycle. We still haven't heard the results from Keegan's SA, and we probably won't until my next appointment on the 16th. I'm just so scared that something is wrong with him and we'll be dealing with both male and female factor infertility. I'm scared that my doctor will tell us that only IUI or IVF will work for us. I'm scared of the financial aspect of it all. I was so hopeful that this cycle would work so that we wouldn't have to talk about IUIs or IVF. We'd be one of those success stories that magically got pregnant right before having to move onto the "big guns."

Keegan and I talked about it last night and he surprised me by saying he'd be ok with moving onto an IUI if it comes down to that. I figured he would want to wait a few more cycles, but he said he was ready to move on. His only request was that we schedule it a month or two out so that he could tell his boss that he'd be out for a day. I reminded him that we really don't have a say in when an IUI happens, it really depends on when my body decides to ovulate. He'd probably have 24 or 36 hours at the most to request time off. Sometimes I forget how little he knows about the whole process.

So, that's where we are currently. I still have some symptoms, but I can mostly explain them away:

- Nausea: I was so nauseous the last day of the conference I was at (Tuesday.) I only ate a few pieces of fruit for breakfast, some mashed potatoes for lunch, and a few pieces of pizza for dinner once I got back home. Wednesday, I woke up feeling fine, but got nauseous closer to bed time.

- Sore boobs. I noticed last night that my boobs are pretty tender, but I also get that around the time of my period arriving.

- Still bloated like a whale, but that also happens near the onset of my period.

- During the conference, I was peeing like every hour and a half, but that could be because they kept giving us bottles of water.

So, if you have some good thoughts that you could send our way, I'd very much appreciate it. I'd love to have a surprise BFP over the weekend and have my appointment on the 16th turn into my first prenatal appointment. Unlikely, but a girl can hope, right?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fears Plus Some Hope

So, as I said in my last post, this weekend there was a festival in the city that we're currently living in. Unfortunately it rained all Friday so the festival was canceled that day, but Saturday was sunny and a cool 60-70 degrees. It was a long day, but running around doing five different things at once made the day go by faster.

The only problem with having thousands of people in a three block radius? There were pregnant women and families everywhere. There was honestly no place to get away from them. Now, let me say something. I'm proud of myself that I've never felt bitter or resentful towards women who are pregnant (not saying that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not how I deal with things.) I won't lie, seeing pregnant women or women with young babies makes me extremely sad, but I'm never angry at them. I feel like I can't judge them because I don't know their story. I don't know if they've had a loss or have dealt with infertility. I don't know if that teenage mother gave up a scholarship to college to take care of her child. I don't know, so I can't judge.

However, this weekend was hard. Everywhere I looked, I was confronted with what I currently don't have, and may never achieve. In my head was a running thought, not of "why her and not me?" but, "will I ever get what she has?"

Will I ever see my child riding on their Daddy's shoulders?

Will I ever have to navigate through a large crowd with a stroller?

Will I ever see my child dancing to the live music?

Will I ever see my daughter dancing on stage with her dance team or my son talking about his Boy Scout troop?

Will I ever get any of these things? That's my true fear.

That being said, I have some hope about this cycle. I've always had hope that someday, somehow, I'll be a parent, but this is the first cycle that I felt like this could be the one, and that scares me. I'm afraid of being let down. Of getting my hopes up and having them crushed. I've always kept my heart guarded, but this time, a little bit of hope has snuck through.

I'm only 5 dpo, so take these "symptoms" with that in mind:

I've been crazy emotional lately. Last night, I had a break down in front of Keegan and cried for an hour straight. Today, I was trying to put my contacts in, but kept dropping them in the sink. After the fourth time, I just started crying because I was so frustrated.

I've been peeing like crazy, but that could be because I've been drinking a lot more, especially with all the running around I was doing yesterday.

I've noticed a lot of cramping in the area where my left ovary is. Now, around ovulation, I notice twinges and pulls, similar to what I'm feeling now, but these pains are more frequent and more painful. I haven't been able to talk through a few of them.

I'm really bloated, which is great (sarcasm,) because I'm going to be in a professional conference tomorrow and Tuesday and have to dress all business like when all I want to wear are my PJs.

So, while I can explain all of these symptoms away, they also give me hope. Hope is what keeps me going in our trying to conceive journey, but I'm also scared of getting hurt. Ladies who are/have been pregnant, how early did you test and get a positive? I know that everyone is different, but I don't know if I can hold out until next week without testing.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Tidbits

Mmmmm "tidbits" reminds me of Timbits. I want some Tim Hortons now.....

Anyways. Sorry things have been so quiet on this little ol' blog of mine. Work has been busy and my cycle has been boring so I haven't updated much. Just a quick Friday update:

1. You know you take too many pills when your pharmacist starts giving you their entire another

2. I think Keegan finally "got it" yesterday. He was browsing through my Facebook on my phone, turned to me and said, "No wonder you think everyone we know is getting pregnant! Every post on your Facebook right now is either a pregnancy post or someone talking about how cute their kid is! How do you stand it?" If I had knows that looking through my Facebook was going to be what made Keegan understand, I would have done it months ago.

3. I'm currently 3dpo right now. I got positive OPKs on Monday and Tuesday and FertilityFriend says I ovulated on Tuesday. We sexed it up on Sunday and Tuesday which wasn't the best timing, but now all we can do is wait.

We have a big (well, big by small town standards,) festival downtown this weekend that my job is participating in, so hopefully these next few days will go by fast, bringing us a few days closer to finding out if this cycle was successful. The forecast says it is supposed to rain all weekend, however, so we'll see what happens!

I hope that everyone has a good weekend. Congratulations to Mrs. E for finding out her latest IVF was successful and Cam for getting progressively darker tests!

*Edit* Thanks to Rants From Mommyland, I found this website which is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. If you don't feel like clicking on the link, it's a Tumblr made by Jeffrey Bausch full of GIFs that document the journey of he and his wife's first pregnancy. You can also read an article about it. But really, you should click the link.