A Waiting Game

I just got back from the most amazing trip to Arizona. I’m sold. Ready to retire, done deal. Eric didn’t go with me this trip but I know he would have enjoyed it just as much as I did. It gave us a little time apart (which I think is a good thing at times!) and gave me quality time with my Dad. We spent hours on the road going from Phoenix to Sedona to Tuscon and everywhere in between. Cameras in hand, we captured our take on Arizona’s beautiful landscape. I am so glad I took the trip when I did too – October in AZ is perfect!

A lot has been going on since I last wrote. We have been going back and forth between starting IVF and figuring out how to fund it. I saw a doc through InVia Fertility which has a few offices scattered through the northwest suburbs. Dr. Sigal Klipstein was recommended by a co-worker and the reco was right on. She has been really responsive and down to earth, providing me with information in a way I can understand. Unfortunately Eric was not able to go to the first meeting with me (October 15th was my visit.) She explained the IVF process in a few short minutes. It’s amazing to me how far science has come.

Dr. Klipstein observed my office ultrasound and looked through my previous test results. She believes that Eric and I would have about a 50% or better of achieving pregnancy through IVF. She ordered a few more tests including CBC and one that measure my alkaline phosphatase. The AP test came back with results that were a bit lower than she liked. This was a few days before I left for Arizona – as you can imagine Eric and I were both freaking out about what it could mean. Low results are not usual. The reasons can vary from too much vitamin D intake to malnutrition. It can also be connected to a type of leukemia. From what I’ve read it will be easy enough to rectify with diet changes. It was recommended that I see my GP which I did yesterday. The GP doesn’t seem to think it is anything to worry about. Just in case she ordered another blood test to check the levels including an extra test to take a better look at my liver function.

While this has been going on, Eric and I have wracked our brains to figure out how to afford treatments. Like most Americans we are not debt free. To consider taking on a $14,000 loan is daunting. The interest alone isn’t something we are prepared for. Prior to my visit with Dr. Klipstein I was told the procedure could cost at least $10,000. Our “quote” came back with a total of $13,800 broken down as follows:

$10,000 – IVF procedure
$2,100 – ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) – instead of leaving Mr. Sperm and Ms. Egg to their own devices in the petri dish, a doctor will force them together by injecting the sperm into the egg.
$1,050 – AZH (assisted Zona Hatching) – apparently older eggs are tougher. Hmmm. Makes sense. To “assist” the embryo to hatch, a doctor will literally poke a hole in the egg’s exterior in the hopes the embryo will have an easier time in hatching.
$650 – anesthesiologist fees – Mom says I should just suck it up and save the $650. Ha! not gonna happen.

I was a little surprised at the quote. I thought for sure Dr. Klipstein would take pity on us and just waive the fee. Well, okay, maybe not waive it, but reduce it perhaps? Anyway, I wasn’t really prepared for that number. Eric was overwhelmed when I told him. The discussion on how we will afford this continues.

Our initial thought was to move forward in January which, if my calculations are right, would put us towards the end of January for the procedure to take place. There are lots of injections and medications I need to take beforehand. This include birth control of all things! I understand it’s a way for the doctor to get control of the cycle. This will be a first for me.

Now, we are thinking we will wait until March. This is the month when we will find out if have a shot at becoming the next recipients for Birdies for Babies 2013. It is our hope that they may choose us as the next recipients of the golf outing they will hold in September. We are also selling the motorcycles in the Spring which will help us reach our goal. A few years ago I think we may have said, let’s just go for it! Now, we are reserved thinking about the financial implications. Sometimes I just wish we were better at saving money in the early years of our marriage.

We are still hopeful and we know this journey is not over. Sometimes the details get in the way of what we want but somehow it will all work out the way it supposed to! Thank you for going along with us. We appreciate the support!

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