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Posts tagged ‘money’

The Medicalization of Conception: Planning ahead

C and I have repeatedly said that, if possible, we would like to have two children.  Last June, in a final planning meeting with our doctor, he suggested that after we got pregnant, we might want to purchase additional vials of our donor for future use, suggesting at a minimum the number of vials we needed to conceive number one and recommending at least a couple more as we will both be older at that point.

As we began actually trying, C realized fairly quickly that she agreed with the doctor. It was important to her to make sure that the two children were at least full half siblings, biologically connected through the donor if at all possible, as she and I might each be taking a turn at the pregnancy thing and we do not have the money or interest in voluntarily undergoing IVF just so that we can share eggs. In thinking about this further, it not only made sense from a more intangible potential connection-between-siblings perspective but from a practical and tangible sharing-genetic-material-with-someone-else-may-benefit-you-medically-in-the-long-run perspective. So we decided that when the time came, depending on finances and our state of mind, we would consider purchasing additional vials (also making sense in the saving money perspective as vial costs continue to rise exponentially).

So I got pregnant in November. And at 16 weeks, we are feeling pretty good about the pregnancy (finally). And the cry.obank just announced that their prices would be going up very soon.  And we are still part of their little “club,” earning us lots of good discounts and deals. And our donor still had plenty of vials available.

After looking at our finances (and realizing that two or so years from now we won’t likely be in a better financial position), C and I decided that tax refunds mean planning for the future. And we ordered a bunch of vials, scoring free storage for two years and two free vials based on the current and previous purchases (saving well over $2,000 in the process which makes my little I-love-to-save heart VERY happy).

So now, in the midst of lots of pregnancy fun (oh the leg cramps last night!), we are not only thinking ahead but have invested a good chunk of change in doing this again, while not knowing for sure if we will try and knowing that, even if we do try, the investment may not actually pay off. It is bizarre to me because, while I am a planner, I am also really trying to focus on the present moment and enjoying this time that we’ll never get back. And while it is true that once we get the paperwork and file it away for a date sometime in the future, it is also true that a little part of my mind will consider those tiny expensive vials from time to time and wonder what might come.

 

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Unanticipated Costs

If I was going to make a “TWW Survival Kit” full of both tangible and intangible TWW supports, my two must-include items would be busy-ness and distraction.

The busy part I had covered for the first part of this week. It was an incredibly crazy (but mostly stress-free) week at work and I didn’t have time to BREATHE, let alone think about what all might be happening inside my body. I have never been so grateful for a workweek full of busy.

The distraction is busy’s close companion and necessary for almost everything outside of work. And while some of the distraction is free (cleaning the house, playing endless games of spider solitaire while zoning out to music, watching bad television), the stuff that really works, especially in the middle of the day, costs money. There was the road trip last Saturday, the shopping trip on Sunday, the movies on Monday night, the dinner we went to this evening, the movies we’ll be seeing tomorrow (a record for me, as I go to about 2 movies a YEAR).

To some of you, this might sound like nothing. But for me, as a frugal woman who generally enjoys puttering around the house, reading books, walking the dog, and engaging in anything free there is a LOT going on. And while the costs are minimal compared to TTC, they add up after paying the doctor and the bank.

That being said, for perhaps the first time in my life, I am generally unconcerned about expenses. I have a general sense that money is quickly funneling out of our house in both large and small chunks… but that’s about as far as I can allow my concern to go at the minute. And that’s okay.

Happy News All Around

Edited to add: FIXED THE LINK!

After three days of endocrinologist phone tag, I finally got in touch with her today.

My thyroid hormone (TSH) was back up to 3 point something (only two weeks after it was lower), hence the reason for the increased thyroid meds. Crazy how it can go back up like that, but I’m sure it will come back down… she said that she only is worried about it because I want to get pregnant… so I’m not too worried about it either.

She also told me that my hormone levels were not indicative of a serious adrenal problem but that for some reason I just have a high level of one hormone that gives me extra hair growth. But no big deal, nothing to worry about!

She doesn’t want to see me again until July but told me to call if I’m pregnant before then. Which was her blessing to get pregnant before then, though we’re going to wait until late July or August because of a lot of other life goings on that would make a baby early next year a bit difficult. Plus, what’s three or four more months?

In other news, I just got part time work (and C has gotten part time work), which means between the two of us, we will be getting a bit of extra money… all for ttc, but it will keep us from debt and make me happier to spend money when we go on vacation.  Also, it should allow us to comfortably use our pricey doctor (well, C was already comfortable, but I feel better knowing I made extra money specifically to pay for ttc fun!)

🙂

Doctors who sell themselves…

So I have pretty much confirmed in every way that our RE is WAAAY too expensive. As in, some of you generously shared information about the cost of your own doctors and our RE is WAY WAY WAY more than that… like for the cost of one cycle with him, we could get one and a half or two cycles with someone else. EXPENSIVE.

But damn, I love his office. I was referred to an endo for some follow up and when I was talking to my RE, he asked which doctor / which office and then reminded me to give him the fax number for the endo when I got it. Then I got sick and two weeks later I called to give the fax number. Within ONE HOUR, they called back to say  that they went to fax it and realized that he had already faxed it – as in gotten the number and went ahead and sent it – THE DAY AFTER I TALKED TO HIM TWO WEEKS AGO.

Then I asked for my lab records to be sent to me – (1) because I paid an arm an a leg for that blood to get looked at, (2) because I like to have records, and (3) because I REALLY want records if we end up switching doctors.  Despite the fact that we have not received a bill from his office and that we have not paid him a dime (though we owe quite a bit), I had the lab results THE NEXT DAY.

Now maybe the massive local fertility factory is that nearby is just as quick and responsive, but a big part of me (who has worked with so many other doctors offices in the past) seriously doubts it. C says it’s because he has so few clients… which he could afford based on what he charges.

Anyway, I went from we’re sticking with him to I want someone new (and cheaper) to geez-I-really-love-this-guy. I logically am still unable to justify the extra cost – c’mon, REALLY? But emotionally I am caught!

(Also, the man had a note on my lab results from when he called me to talk about the one hormonal issue… and he spelled my name right, which is really not the biggest deal ever, but it was my NAME spelled CORRECTLY and I wasn’t just “the patient” or whatever)

GAH!

Insurance Woes

First of all, thank you all so much for your input about costs. It turns out our doctor is likely very high for what we will need, but we’re going to go ahead and contact his office to at least get a more definite “here’s what this flat rate covers” and try to price out some of it. I also think we will contact our local MASSIVE fertility clinic just to see what they offer. Because this ain’t cheap.

All these concerns because my insurance will cover NONE of ANYTHING having to do with infertility whatsoever. Ever. No matter what. Regardless of circumstance. Including blood work. Including the IUI (obviously). Including any other tests.

Which means our initial bloodwork, the magic testing we had done the first day we met our RE? Close to $2000. Yes, you read that correctly. Two. Grand.  The doctor’s fee, which included a super-fun ultrasound? Close to $1000. We are going to owe THREE THOUSAND dollars before we even get out of the gate.

I need to go hyperventilate into a paper bag now.

 

How much?

It’s been in my head for a while, so I have to ask:

Is there anyone out there willing to share (publicly or privately) about how much a total IUI cycle was for them? Including any labwork, etc. ?

Because our RE charges a flat fee, but it seems VERY VERY high to me. His rate includes whatever he has to do during that cycle, but I’m imagining he won’t have to do a whole lot (at least not at first) as so far, all fertility testing (which we had to pay extensively for as my insurance covers NOTHING) points to go.

So I’m trying to get an idea of a non-insurance cycle cost, not just the IUIs, which from what I’ve read of other people, seem to be significantly cheaper than anything we’d be about to pay.

This doctor gets rave reviews and is awesome-tastic but if it doesn’t work in 2 or 3 tries, we would be flat broke. And I feel like I’d rather have more tries at this point.

 

Bookmarks

I have bookmark folders for ttc and for jobs (keeping an eye on my field, always looking for new opportunities). At some point in the past several months, the jobs folder inadvertently slipped under the ttc folder.

After seeing the labwork bill for the RE (not even his bill for the visit) I realize that perhaps it wasn’t so inadvertent after all. Of course, my insurance covers nothing and of course, it doesn’t even reprice the services (I had other lab work done that was very expensive that WAS covered and the insurance re-priced the bill so that it was HUNDREDS of dollars less than the original cost). And of course my EOB doesn’t layout what specific tests were done, though I believe that some tests that are not exactly fertility tests (STDs, etc.) were rolled into the total lab package, meaning tests that I could have had elsewhere and had covered are not covered.  VERY disappointed that the RE and his office didn’t do a better job with that.

Live and learn. And cry a little inside at the very clear potential for depletion of savings, not to mention the sheer number of wonderful women who would make excellent moms who do not have access to KDs and are not fortunate enough to have the savings to deplete. (Notice how all the bad / disappointing / annoying news lately has made me so much more willing to immediately look at the “it could be worse” side of things… I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing).