Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just the facts, ma'am!

I know, I still haven't told you about my reaction to the donor profile. But, things have been so crazy and a lot has happened, so, a quick update and then I'll post again as soon as I get a chance.

First, the great news! We lost that first house we put a bid on....but.....drumroll please.....we found another one that just came on the market on Friday, saw it on Sunday, put an offer in Sunday night, and the owner accepted on Monday. We got a house!! Hopefully all will go smoothly and we'll be in on May 1!! Yes, we have to be out of this house on 3/23. My mother is giddy (almost a little too giddy, lol!) at the thought of her little girl moving back home for 5 weeks, especially with the possibility of her (me, the daughter - not my mother!) being pregnant!!

We got our calendar and will be doing our donor egg cycle, most likely, in March! I say most likely because, when I got the calendar, I asked them to push it back 2 weeks, into early April, in case we were moving right from this house into another house as it all would have been the same week as retrieval and transfer. Now that we're not moving in anywhere yet, I've asked them to reinstate the original calendar.

Now, for the crummy news. Remember I told you that we were under the impression that we had 2 IVF's left on our insurance, but, my policy does not cover a DE cycle, but, that was OK because we still had one left on Glenn's insurance? Well, they denied us today, too. Apparently, although I had confirmed with them no fewer than 3 times, they are counting my first IVF towards their limit, even though it was done under a totally different insurance carrier. We have the agent fighting it and we WILL appeal this (clearly, 3 people gave me WRONG information over the last several years), but, we're not going to let this hold us up, so, we're going to be paying for a DE cycle, which is significantly more than a regular IVF. I know how many people have no coverage and I am eternally grateful that we have had any coverage, but, we made decisions based on information I'd been given and now the rules are being changed in the middle of the game and that just ticks me the hell off.

But, I'm not letting that bring me down off the new house high! Now I just have to get serious about packing!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Merrily we roll along

First of all, thanks for reading and commenting on the two Come one, come all posts! It was nice to be able to help others say some of the things they needed to say. So, I've added a link over to the right...see it...see it over there....so, anytime someone wants to post something, feel free to email me!

But, I let last week go by without telling you all what's happening with us. We were matched with a potential donor! While I expected it to happen quickly, it was still a huge surprise to get that phone call. We received the 20-something page profile and I had a very unexpected reaction, which I'll blog about in my next post.

The exciting news is that we accepted her and now move into the "countdown to cycling" phase! We have an appointment tomorrow with the genetics counselor. I'm not really sure what the purpose of this appointment is. It wasn't a requirement when we were cycling on our own and our donor and her family have no major health issues (at least none that are known at this point), but, I'm interested to hear what the counselor has to say tomorrow.

Also, I was excited to find out that Dr. Hope will still be my doctor! I thought that, when you moved over to the donor program, you changed to the DE doctor, but, she is the donor's doctor and I stay with my original doctor. So, we have an appointment with Dr. Hope a week from Wednesday, where we will review the timeline. I really hope we can start the process of syncing up my cycle and the donor's cycle immediately (it will depend on where both the donor and I are in our current cycles).

We got one piece of crummy news last week. Let me preface this by saying that I know that we are incredibly blessed to live in a state that has mandated IF coverage. While all of these cycles have cost us plenty, we could NEVER have been able to try as many times as we did if we had no coverage. That said, we have 1 retrieval left on Glenn's insurance. At the end of last year, we decided that I would take primary coverage out from my employer because it would give us an additional retrieval. I even called the company to confirm this. Well, as it turns out, yes, it would cover IVF, but not donor IVF. NJ does mandate this coverage and, even though I live in and work in NJ, our insurance is written out of PA, who does not mandate this coverage. The most frustrating to me is that they WOULD cover an IVF attempt with my eggs, even though 3 doctors agree that the chances of conceiving with my eggs are next to nothing, but WON'T cover the use of a 23 year old donor's eggs. SUCKS! The good news is that I have secondary coverage under Glenn's insurance, so, we should get covered, but, I went from having 2 more chances to only one. And now I'm stuck paying for insurance that isn't giving me the coverage we expected to be getting!

Oh well, the important thing is that we are about to embark on a cycle that has a 65-80% chance of working and I'm not going to let a stupid insurance situation ruin that for me!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


In the next installment of Come One, Come All we have the following email I received from a woman who also wishes to remain anonymous, but, wanted to share her story and offer a word of advice to other women with frozen embryos or who may have frozen embryos in the future.

"Mine is a cautionary tale. I don't want any other women to go through what I am. I am writing this anonymously because I don't want my ex-fiancé to know what I have discovered. I have frozen embryos from my late 30's stored in a California lab. When our embryos were created we both signed an agreement at our doctors office clearly stating "In the event of Divorce, Dissolution, or Legal Separation" we both wished that the remaining frozen embryos be released to me. After my ex broke up with me (citing the stress of infertility), he changed his mind, now he wanted them destroyed. I was told through an attorney that he would fight me legally to the bitter end to stop me from gaining custody. The lab will not release them to me without a new signed agreement from him. They refused to honor the doctor's form. Furthermore, in my case, we weren't married and the lawyers said the form we signed was meant for a married couple and that technicality would hurt an already very difficult case.

Lawyers have told me that the legal precedence is overwhelmingly against me gaining custody. You can check out this link and see for yourself embryo custody cases http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?12+Duke+J.+Comp.+&+Int'l+L.+75#H2N2. The courts have ruled that a person should not be forced to become a parent against their will. I thought when my ex handed over his specimen he was giving as much consent as most men make in 'fertile' situations. But be aware, infertile women do not have the right to choose at conception like their fertile sisters do. Legally we are discriminated against.

The chances are extremely slim now that I am in my forties that I will have a biological child. Those embryos that I have visualized as my children, that I dreamed of and prayed for will most likely never have a chance at life and this is important - I had an agreement. Had I known that this agreement would not be honored I might have tried to use the embryos right away instead of "banking" them. To know they are there and I am being prevented from using them is torture. You may wonder why I would still want to have a child with a man that hurt me. My response is, just like a divorced woman, those embryos are still MY babies. I love them fiercely and unconditionally - no matter who their father is and what he has done to me.

How can you prevent this situation from happening to you? First, be aware of this situation as you plan your infertility treatments. Second, my advice, is if you can, get a separate agreement drawn up by a lawyer you consult with and make it as ironclad as possible. Unfortunately the legal precedence is still against you, but you will have a better chance. Third, ask whoever is or will be storing your embryos what they will need legally to release the embryos to you."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


In response to my Come One, Come All offer, I received the following email. The author asked not to be identified. I hope seeing her note posted will help!

"I found your blog from reading my daughter's blog. Like you, she's struggling with infertility. She's had 6 inseminations and is now trying IVF for the second time. The first time didn't work.

Her struggle breaks my heart. Her two sisters both have children and this has been very hard for her. She feels, in her words "broken" and nothing I say seems to help. I understand from reading different blogs (I really try to understand) that there may be nothing I can say to help, but, I'm a mom and it's hard to watch your child go through such a struggle.

I've tried to tell her that it pains me to see her in such pain, but, she gets defensive and spits back that this is her pain, not mine and that I can't understand because I got pregnant easily. She's right, I don't understand it completely, but I still hurt tremendously for her. My hope is that she reads this through eyes other than a daughter and can understand that her mother isn't trying to take away from her pain, but that I hurt along with her and for her. As long as she feels this pain I will feel it with her."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

One year ago

One year ago. It was one year ago, around 11:30 pm or so, that Glenn woke me up saying he was having trouble breathing. He was cold and clammy and sweating and couldn't calm down. I just knew that he was having a heart attack, despite the fact that he felt no chest pain.

In all fairness, I had warning signs. I had been out of town on business that week. Glenn told me that he was having some pain in his arm when he was active, but, he thought it was muscular. I finally convinced him to call his doctor (I think the name Dr. Clueless fits best), who, stupidly, we trusted. Dr. Clueless told him to "keep an eye on it".

And, this is where my guilt starts. I don't think I could have done anything different, but, the reality is that I was working extremely long hours on this business trip and caught up in my own thing. Glenn couldn't tell me specifically what the pain was and so I just let him deal with it.

I got home late Thursday night and had to drive back to Pennsylvania Friday morning to deliver something to a VP. I was utterly exhausted, but rushed back home because Dr. Clueless was going to see Glenn at 1:30. He did an EKG and said everything was fine. Glenn kept saying that the arm pain got bad when he was active. He even got up and did a little dance to try to show him. What did Dr. Clueless do? He sent us to the hospital for a shoulder x-ray, saying that he thought it was muscular but wanted to rule out a bone issue.

Obviously, the problem was not with his shoulder. We got home from the hospital around 6:00 and, a mere five hours later, my husband suffered a heart attack while sitting on the couch watching TV. We spent the next 3 days in the ICU. In fact, I was sitting in the waiting room of the ICU when I got the call that IVF #5 was negative.

It was about a month after all of this that I started this blog, so, you all know the rest - the follow-up angioplasties, the 6th and 7th IVF's.....

2008 was a pretty rotten year for us. So far, though, 2009 is looking much brighter. But, even if everything doesn't go our way, I still have the love of my life by my side and, at least today, on the anniversary of his heart attack, that is more than I could ever ask for!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Come one, come all

I love writing this blog and I love that people actually care about my life and want to read it! But, as we (the blogging community as a whole) become more open with access to our blogs and our lives, I realize that, occasionally, some of us may feel constrained as to what we can write because of certain people we've let into our lives.

Did you ever really want to blog about something but you don't want someone you know reads your blog to see it?
  • Your mother (don't get paranoid, Mom!)
  • Your boss
  • Your old high school friend

But, as most bloggers will agree , there's a level of therapy that comes from putting fingers to keyboard and getting things out and not being able to do that is rough.

So, I'm opening my blog up next week to anyone who really wants to write and publish something, but, doesn't want to do it in their own blog. It could be a complaint. It could be something you don't want certain eyes to see - negative or positive. Perhaps you are planning a party for someone and want to ask a question, but, don't want that person to see it.

Send me an email with what you want posted and whether or not you want it to be anonymous and I'll post it for you!

If nobody sends me anything, great - it means we're all comfortable to post anything we want, but, somehow, I suspect many feel that constraint occasionally!

I just gotta say it

WHITTIER, Calif. — The mother of newborn octuplets says she had six embryos implanted in her fertility procedure — far more than industry guidelines recommend under ordinary circumstances — and was well aware that multiple births could result.

NOBODY can implant embryos for you!! They can transfer them INTO your uterus, but, there is absolutely nothing they can do to ensure they IMPLANT into the lining of your uterus! If they could, I'd possibly have anywhere between 1 and 9 children now!

'nuff said.