I’ve been quiet. Again. I’m sorry you guys. Here’s an update:
So, I attended a consult with Dr. P on Monday. The previous two nights, I had stress dreams about the appointment. In my dreams, the consult was a round-table discussion but I wasn’t allowed to provide any input about my cycles, desires, or treatment. I felt helpless and foolish. It was not a good dream. It wasn't until I was heading to the appointment that I figured it out: I was scared of giving up control over our TTC plans. By getting Dr. P involved, I was letting someone else make the decisions. I don't do well with that...
I’m glad to say that the consult went well. I was able to provide input and really felt like Dr. P was listening to me. But it still went completely differently than I imagined.
Prior to the appointment, I had a plan: Natural cycle with ultrasounds, trigger shot, two rounds of home insemination with acupuncture after. Easy, simple, straightforward right?
First, although Dr. P wouldn’t force us to do anything we weren’t comfortable with, he thinks that home insemination is a waste of time and money. Fair enough. I know what a longshot it is.
Second, if we were to go low-tech, he recommends a single-insemination IUI. Long story short, we would still do a natural cycle with ultrasounds, trigger shot, then single insemination IUI at 36 hours. I would probably still do acupuncture after. The cost of the IUI is balanced by only having to purchase a single vial of sperm. The increase expenses come from the ultrasounds ($250/ea) and the recommended HSG ($575, ouch).
The third option, which Dr. P is most excited about, is a shared IVF cycle. The short version is that we do IVF and say we retrieve 25 eggs. We get to keep eggs 1-6 and 21-25. Eggs 7-20 go to the frozen egg bank that our center is developing. With our coverage, the procedure would be $6000 including meds, but Dr. P is so passionate about building up this new egg bank that he worked some magic and got it down to $3000 including meds (plus $1000 for the sperm we need). Which is BANANAS. He is being SO generous, SO kind, SO personal in his treatment plan…
And we can’t do it.
Even at the incredible discounts and free services he is offering, we just don’t have it. I was very clear with Dr. P that we only have $1400 and MIGHT be able to stretch to $2000, but that was it. And I was very clear that, even before he tried to get the price down, it looked like IUI was going to be the most realistic option for us with our budget. It was after I told him our budget that he got to work with trying to make IVF as affordable as possible and had the finance office call us on Tuesday with the totals.
Realizing that IVF was still out of reach was incredibly disappointing. I was in a funk all Tuesday afternoon. I was upset that we were offered IVF as an option only to be told, again, that it wasn’t possible for us.
It wasn’t until I put Little K to bed and curled up in front of the fire with R that I started to sort it all out.
We have been saying all along that our family building is in God’s hands. We have seen Him work in amazing ways: three years to get here, R agreeing to a cycle, providing me with a work from home job… These things have clearly been the Lord’s work. We went into the consult with a plan we were comfortable with – home insemination – and came out with a possible treatment plan that was really stretching the boundaries of R’s comfort on the whole subject (75% chance of success).
But, in that meeting, another treatment plan was offered that: 1) we could afford, 2) was similar to what we envisioned, 3) that R was comfortable with, and 4) that offered a slight increase in odds (going from 15% to 20%).
Once I realized that, I began to feel better. God has been at work in our TTC plans and that includes providing us with a very specific budget. So, since we’re leaving the outcome in His hands, why does it matter that we’re not doing IVF? We are still cycling and, if our family is supposed to be expanded, then He can do that with or without IVF.
And, if not, then we’re going to be okay.
So, that’s it then. We will be doing an IUI in April.
I’m glad to have a plan. It’s been a crazy few days but it really does feel good to have those hard conversations and decisions behind us.
Next steps: I’m supposed to call on CD1 to schedule my HSG. Any advice on handling the procedure?