Thundercats, hooo!

IVF #2 has kicked off with a bang. Or a jab maybe? I dunno. Whatever. It’s started. Baseline blood and sono was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and all looked fine and dandy. Mr. Oh Just Relax had to tag along to sign all the consent paperwork and also give an updated semen analysis. Numbers are holding steady in the 300-400K range. So YAY that the number has remained constant since his first SA back in January. Hopefully the vitamins and supplements he’s been taking the last few months mean the few little bastards swimming around in there (HIS WORDS by the way) are better quality. OPTIMISM!!!

I’ve been reading back on my old entries from the first cycle and it’s oddly comforting. I was SO out of my element then and it’s nice to have some kind of clue of what to expect over the next 12 days. Last night’s injections went off without a hitch. The addition of Omnitrope was new, plus an increased dosage of Follistim. But other than that…meh. I feel ok, mentally and physically. I’m mentally preparing for the bloating and crankiness that I know is to come, but for now I’m just chilling. Hell, I’m so detached about the whole process right now, I’m doing things like googling “sex during IVF stims” (WHAT?! My doctor doesn’t talk about these things).

Estimated retrieval date is next Thursday, 12/8. Someone remind me to go read this entry again when I’m freaking the fuck about about god knows what that day. I’d like to remember the day I was googling about IVF sex.

 

IVF #2 Stats:

Injections: 3

Blood Draws: 1

Twat Wand Dates: 1

T minus 6 days.

My baseline blood and twat wanding is Wednesday, and then I start stims on Sunday. I’m apprehensive about IVF #2 of course. I feel like I know what to expect this time around, but there’s still just that general air of anxiety hanging around.

$4,800 of medication was delivered last week and it is all sorted and safely stored. We’ve finalized the payment amount for the actual cycle itself and I get to pay that bad boy on Wednesday. How does cycle #2 compare? LET’S SEE SHALL WE?

IVF #1, May 2016. $3,919 of meds as previously discussed. The cycle itself was a fresh transfer. The lump sum payment included all monitoring appointments (blood draw and ultrasounds), the retrieval plus ICSI, and the initial fresh transfer of 1 embryo (the FET we did later in August would be an additional cost at that time). This payment was $12,490. Plus an additional separate fee of $500 paid to the anesthesiologist, who is not employed by my clinic. That brings the total cost to $16,909. Remind me to bitchslap any fertile friend of mine that complains about money.

That brings us to IVF #2. Medication cost is $4,842. Since the first cycle was a miserable failure, we get a 25% of multiple portions of the flat cycle fee. Yay? Blech. The reduced fee for all monitoring appointments, retrieval plus ICSI, freezing of any embryos, plus 1 FET and all the costs associated with the FET (thawing, prepping embryo, etc) comes to $8,468.

Still with me? Now we’ve also decided to go ahead and bite the bullet to possibly opt into PGS diagnostic testing. The clinic charges a flat $2,500 for this, plus $150 per embryo sent to be tested plus $100 shipping. We were extremely hesitant to proceed with this until we confirmed with the financial coordinator that should we only end up with 1 or 2 embryos again, we can opt out of doing the testing. Since the testing itself is basically the price of a FET, it makes zero financial sense to bother shelling out the cash. I’d rather just take my chances and put back 2 embryos. But what if this cycle is more successful and we get, say, 4 embryos? At that point, since my doctor is adamant that she only recommends a single embryo transfer due to my age, it’s cheaper to KNOW if the embryos we’re transferring have a fighting chance. The only catch to this plan, is that should we decide to back out after paying, they will keep $300 as a nonrefundable portion for scheduling and prepping for the procedure and coordinating with the outside lab. We’re ok with this.

So, with the upped medication dosages plus the addition of PGS with required embryscope monitoring, and anesthesia we’re now looking at a grand total for IVF #2 of: $16,779 (plus an unknown number for PGS since we don’t know how many embryos we’ll test, if any). So basically, the discount we get for being failures enabled us to add PGS testing to the party. And if this is our last round with our eggs and sperm, then fuck it. Might as well throw every possibly crutch we’ve got at the problem.

See? I’m counting this a good. I’ve officially reached the fuck it stage of IVF!

Money sucks.

IVF #2 is feeling much more real. Medications have officially been ordered and scheduled for delivery and injections begin on the 27th.

For IVF #1, I stimmed for 9 days before triggering. I did 150iu of Follistim and 150iu of Menopur, then the last 5 days I added Ganirelix, and triggered with 10,000 units of HCG. Total cost of those meds came to $3,919 (yay no infertility insurance coverage!). I had 12 eggs retrieved, all mature, 7 fertilized normally after ICSI (though 4 would later join the party), 2 made it to blast.

This time around, we’re sticking with an antagonist protocol, but she’s upping my daily Follistim dose to 225iu. Same Menopur dosage and still adding in Ganirelix with an HCG trigger. We’re also adding Omnitrope to this cocktail of drugs – otherwise known as HGH, or human growth hormone. She said that this is usually used with *ahem* women of advanced maternal age, OR women considered poor responders to stims…of which I fall into neither category at this point. But she pointed to some studies that suggest the HGH helps more embryos make it through to the blast stage, so sure…what’s another shot to bring to the party?

Total cost with the upped Follistim dosage and plus the new drug? $5,242. Fuuuuuuck IVF is expensive.

We make too much money to qualify for any discount programs (don’t get me started). However, we did qualify for a “member discount” with Walgreens specialty pharmacy where I get all but the Omnitrope. I registered and paid $25 – and in return I got a flat $100 discount per $1,000 spent with that pharmacy – which totaled $400. Not too shabby.

Final meds cost for IVF #2: $4,842. Again: FUUUUUUCK IVF IS EXPENSIVE. Let’s all just hope these extra drugs do some magic voodoo and give us more embryos to work with.

In other news. Today is election day and I just want to drink. As a firmly blue voter in the ocean of red that is Texas…oy. I early voted, so luckily I don’t have to get out today, but I’ll be anxiously watching tonight. A country with a giant angry Cheeto in charge scares me.