Friday, January 21, 2011

So, it took me a bit to recover from all the craziness of the last 48 hours, but I'm relaxed now - visiting with the family back East - and ready to report...

First, the ultrasound.  It was entirely uneventful except to say that I was violated by one of the nastiest technicians I've ever encountered.  It was 5pm, probably I was her last patient of the day, but really a little softer touch around my lady parts would have been appreciated.  I think she left some bruising, and the findings were totally not worth it: one possible cyst on my right ovary (the pain was on the left - go figure) and when I asked about follicle size and whether it looked like ovulation might be nigh, she responded with, "you've got a couple of larger follicles in there."  Okay...anything else?  Nope, sorry, no information leaking from this techies' lips.  I will have to wait for the totally useless, non-informational report from the radiologist, which might reach me in 5-7 business days.  Well, that was a waste of time and money.

Now, the RE visit.  I hardly slept the night before.  I don't know why I was so nervous, or what I thought would happen when I got there, but I think I imagined it going something like this:
RE:  Thank you for providing me with all your medical organized.
Me:  Thanks, I try.
RE:  So, here is exactly what is wrong with you, and here's how we are going to get you pregnant.
Me:  Wow, let's get started!  How much will it cost?
RE:  Well, you are self-pay, so we'd like to offer you this huge discount.

What actually happened:
We arrived a bit early; my heart somewhere in my mouth and my fluttery stomach creeping up into my chest.  Finally, they called us in to meet the RE - a wizened, gray haired woman with the general appearance of a kindly hobbit grandmother.  She spent about 5 minutes asking us many of the same questions we had already answered in our 5 page long registration questionnaire, but we of course obliged her, answering them all while she slowly tapped our answers into her computer.  She then proceeded to tell us a little story about eggs and sperm, and how they meet and make a baby. 

RE: I'm going to assume that your eggs are probably healthy since your tests look good and you are only 29, and instead we are going to focus on problems of implantation.
ME: Okay (brain is thinking - but what about the PCOS and late ovulation?).
RE: Here are a list of tests I want to do, you can arrange them with the nurse and schedule an appointment with me in two weeks.

The End - DH and me, dismissed to a little room to wait for the nurse. Mind you, that short visit was $445.

Now the fun begins, the cost.  The nurse explains the tests and the cost and why they use this out-of-network facility over the in-network labs, etc.  She then leaves us to "discuss".  $3200 later, we left the office, with no answers, and no money. :(

Estimated cost for visit 2 - $1200 test + $250 followup with RE cost.  DH is thinking we may have to bail on treatment till after the move and new job - you know when he is traveling 80% of the time, and chances of getting pregnant plummet.  Then again, considering this has just been the cost for testing, how are we going to afford treatment right now?

The plan for tonight - get drunk with mom and save the thinking for tomorrow.


  1. Oh my gosh, I feel you. I am afraid that is what will happen when I see the RE in a couple weeks.
    So crappy. We are flat broke too...
    hang on dear!

  2. I liked you're little enactment at the beginning there. Ugh, it sucks so much that one has to go through all this and then worry so much about how to pay for everything!

  3. I'm so sorry. I was hoping for a great report about this. Are there any OBs in your area that do Clomid + IUI? I thought I heard of some OBs doing that & it's cheaper. Could they try you on Femara unmonitored? I'm trying to think things out, but I'm not sure what the best thing is. It's really tricky, especially when there's so much $$ involved. I will be thinking of you.

  4. Hey Ladies,
    Thanks for the support and the comments.

    @ADSchill - I really hope your appointment goes better than mine. I think I just have natural bad luck with doctors.

    @runnyyolk - Thank you for the praise of my writing. I'm not really a writer, but I love writing on this blog and it makes me happy to hear when people enjoy my posts :)

    @LisaB - Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions. I will ask around and see, though I don't have strong hopes. Most of the OBs around here outsource their procedures and U/Ts so it winds up costing more (unless you have insurance coverage). I am gong to to try the Clomid again next cycle though. The RE said that it wouldn't hurt, and I already have the medication.

  5. Hi Kerrik,

    I understand your husband used to travel for business, so while we were trying to conceive, I had to go with him. I actually conceived my son naturally while we were on a business trip, several months after my failed IVF cycle.

    I have a few suggestions, which you may or may not have already thought about. Do a search for an infertility support group in your area, or online and ask questions...who did they use, how much did it cost, etc... Phone up your local or regional chapter of Resolve and ask questions about how to find the information you need. Do not go with the first RE or clinic just because you are afraid of how much you have to pay for the initial consultation. A few hundred extra spent at the front end might save you thousands on the back end. There are some clinics now that give a money-back guarantee for younger women like you. You won't know if you fit the parameters of their criteria until you ask.

    Unfortunately, no one makes it easy. You have to be very proactive and become your own fertility expert. However, I have found that when you put yourself out there and explain your situation to people, most are more than happy to spend some time giving you information and support. Put the word out that you need help. I wish you the very best of luck.

    ICLW #21 Your Great Life

  6. UGH, I'm so sorry that you've been given no info and the cost. Oh god the cost!!!
    I would def try to find a new RE though. That heifer didn't sound like she gave you any help at all and could care less. I hate hearing about doctors like that.

  7. Dropping by for ICLW week!
    I hate when we are disappointed by our Dr. Visits, especially when we are prepared patients filled with hope & dedication to a SPECIFIC protocol for ourselves....ugh
    Have you visited: they list financing option links for ART.
    I'm w/some of the others possibly go to another R/E?
    And don't blame ya after your visit, have a drink or two, WTH! LOL
    Stop by my blog to check out my IF journey!
    The C's

  8. WOW I feel like I wrote your blog...a few things are diffrent but I also self pay so I understand the money part, I also have hypothyroidism. We are also about to move and start new have to wait on IUI until then. I'm so glad I came across your blog. I feel like so many other people are way ahead of me (already doing IVF) and don't understand the no insurance thing.

    What tests do they want from you? I paid less than $1000 for everything. I also only pay $145 a visit. Where do you live?

  9. Ak! What a bummer of a first RE visit! But I like your thinking--get drunk with mom and save the thinking for tomorrow! Happy ICLW

  10. Hi from ICLW--I agree with the above comments to explore a little more before turning all this money over to the first RE--at least you could maybe find someone who would be willing to use the in-network lab if you insurance would pay for some of the tests that way. And if you've done all this already, the I'm sorry for suggesting it yet again!

    Whatever you decide or find out though, wine is a good IF friend (well, sort of)!

  11. Hi ousonnerchick, and welcome. I'm sorry to hear you are wading the same waters as myself. I live in the Chicago area. I asked around, but this seems to be the norm in terms of the price. :(

  12. Hi Elaine, and welcome to my blog!

  13. I come from the Netherlands, where everybody has health insurance, so I don't have to pay for all my fertility treatments. Now, even if I did have to pay for it, it would be a fraction of what people in the US have to pay. Those expensive doctors should be ashamed for ripping off people who already suffer so much! Also in our neighbour country Belgium treatments aren't that expensive and Belgium is known for it's excellent fertility clinics. Wouldn't it be possible for you to go there on holiday, have treatment there, and even save money as well?
    Good luck!