Medical coverage & (in)fertility: it’s all about the benjamins baby!

Unfortunately for us (in)fertiles, money can often be a deciding factor in how and when we proceed with treatment.

My husband and I both have family medical coverage via our employers through Great-West Life (GWL). Family coverage means that whatever isn’t covered on my plan goes through his for extra potential reimbursement.

As far as I know, it’s NOT common in Canada to have a medical insurance plan that covers IVF. I could be wrong though. Some provinces subsidize treatments depending on your medical history, but our province does not.

We do have decent AMAZING fertility drug coverage though.

So far, my Clomid + HCG + Prometrium (progesterone capsules) has been 90% covered.

Each IUI cycle costs us $350 for the procedure and about $25 for the drugs. Since our clinic is located over 40km away, we can also claim mileage and meals on our income tax. On paper, if we drive back and forth without a hotel stay, an IUI cycle with oral meds costs us about $700. I’m so glad it’s almost summer now and we don’t have to stay overnight! Canadian winters in the Prairies = harsh winter driving conditions. 

Anyway, I thought maybe calling my medical insurance company would help me decide which treatment option is best for us.

Last time I contacted GWL, they told me I had up to 90% reimbursement for fertility medications with no cap – meaning unlimited fertility drug claims.

I didn’t believe them though.

You know how it is when you get that one Customer Service Rep who tells you the WRONG info and completely screws with your plan. For all I knew, that particular Rep may have only been looking at the oral medications.

I decided to call them back if we ever decided to move to injectibles or IVF – just to be sure. 

This afternoon, I made that call. My current clinic posts a Drug Identification Numbers (DIN) list on their website for all injectible meds that they prescribe. The Customer Service Rep told me she didn’t need the list because my drug coverage would cover any fertility drug up to 90% with no maximum claim amount.

I had her double check like 3x before I would believe her. Lucky me. 

The catch is Femara (a.k.a. Letrozole) is considered primarily as a breast cancer treatment drug. Since it’s an off-label fertility drug, my insurance company requires the prescribing doctor to fill out a prior authorization form before you can fill your prescription and qualify for reimbursement.

Of course, they HAVE to make the easiest next step slightly more difficult for us. Ugh. 

Right now, I am VERY GRATEFUL for our coverage. It makes the thought of moving to injectibles less stressful.

So for now, I will hold tight and keep praying for a BFP this month.

If my stars don’t align, I have until CD1 to make up my mind.

Baby dust to you all! XO. 

Me + hormones = disaster

CD 13. 

This week has been a variety of ups and downs. 

Tuesday:

I had a CRAZY SORE OVARIES. I ended up leaving work early, contacting my Reiki Master and having her send me some distant energy healing. I fell asleep giving myself some reiki (yes, I’m a Level 1 Practitioner – soon-to-be Level 2). When I woke up, I was feeling WAY WAY WAY better. My pain had dropped from an 8-9 to a 0-1. 

Wednesday:

I had an uber productive morning at work. I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired lately, but it was good to get the creative strategy juices flowing again.

In the afternoon, I had an acupuncture appointment. She found some blocks and was able to loosen them with some persistence (yes, a few needles kept falling out) and some moxa. 

I also did my HCG trigger shot at midnight. It’s a good thing my husband set his alarm as a reminder because we both fell asleep around 11PM, only to be woken up by the lovely BEEP BEEP at 11:30pm. 

I actually feel like the trigger shot is easy peasy now. I get more worked up about mixing it right than I do about shooting myself up. 

Thursday:

Today was an emotional nightmare. We planned on BD-ing last night, but that didn’t happen as we both were exhausted. The change of plan was to fit in a romp between the sheets this morning. 

I know that sounds close to IUI time, but I thought we could try it closer and see if that affects my husband’s counts and/or BFP success. 

Well… that didn’t happen.

Because my husband stressed himself out and “couldn’t perform”.

He kept getting calls from work, then he was worried about whether I was feeling sore still or not, plus he was supposed to be at the farm today getting ready for seeding. One thing lead to another, we didn’t have sex and my emotional breakdown began. 

I took the day off work (like I needed to do that right before a day off for IUI! Grrrr). I spent my time between crying on my bed and relaxing in the bathtub. I wasn’t THIS emotional earlier in the week. WTF is wrong with me today? 

I hope this isn’t a sign of what the pregnancy hormone will do to me WHEN my time comes. 

I calmed down late this afternoon and managed to get some work done from home. 

Tomorrow is IUI #3. 

I am praying that this is our miracle month… otherwise, I’m saying sayonara to Clomid and asking to be put on something else. 

Oh the life of an (in)fertile! 

So, what do you do? Do you have sex before and after IUI? Have you noticed if it affects his counts? Fill me in ladies!

Oh Pinterest! How I love thee!

CD5. Clomid Day 1.

Is it possible that I already feel the ovary tingle? I only popped that dreaded white pill 3 hours ago!

Yes, I am sensitive to Clomid and Clomid makes me sensitive. Would that be considered win-win or lose-lose? 

Whenever I get a case of the “Clomid crazies”, I love to recite the HILARIOUS (in)fertility memes that you can fine online to my husband.

If it’s one of those days where you need a laugh or a pick-me-up, check out my Fertility Pinterest Board.

 

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Inappropriate (in)fertile convos

My friend: Hey what are you up to tonight?

Me: Just going out to pick up my drugs

Does anyone else ever wonder if their online conversations are being monitored? I almost expect be picked up one day by the cops due to all my drug references.

“Sorry Officer. They are just INFERTILTY DRUGS! I swear! Here, try some clomid. I’m sure you will LOVE it.” :S 

 

infertilitydrugs

 

It’s trigger time: game on baby!

CD11. Trigger Day. 

Today, I had my first follicle monitoring ultrasound of this cycle. Back to the OB/GYN since she’s not on vacation anymore. 

And the results are AH-MA-Zing! My left side is dominant this month with a 20 and a 15. My right has a 12 and two 11’s. 

A 20?!?!?! I’ve never seen one that big on an ultrasound yet.

It’s funny how us (in)fertiles are amazed at the biggest little things. 

This month, I got an extra dose of Clomid crazy. My husband is ready to throw the fertility drugs out the window. I have been extremely irritable, emotional, and just downright bitchy. My ovaries are also swollen and sore, almost comparable but not quite as bad as the December cycle. 

I knew there must be a pay off! And it turns out a nice juicy follicle is it! Are follicles juicy? How would you describe them? Lush? Round? bah! whatever. 

I do my HCG trigger shot at midnight tonight. Whoohoo! And for once, I mean WHOHOO! Trigger shots are not comparable to liquor shots, but I’m still excited. Let’s get this show on the road.  

IUI #2 is scheduled for Wednesday. Him at 11am, me at 12:30pm. 

I’m hoping for a easy rest of the week. Work is crazy busy right now, but I’m trying my best to let it go and focus on maintaining a consistent level of sanity. That means: please be nice to me HCG. I know we’ve only met once but why can’t this be a win-win relationship? 

I feel better today, but that’s probably because we have a game plan. 

IUI #2 – here we come! 

 

 

 

 

Gradual progress towards positivity

CD6. Clomid Day 2. Pending IUI #2. 

In the past 6 months, I’ve been on the receiving end of 2 “whoo(ps)! we’re pregnant!” announcements.

In August, my bro and his wife told me their big news when they were about 6 weeks along. They conceived their first month not using any protection. She didn’t think they would get pregnant for “at least a year” (so says every fertile…) 

This morning, I was having a fertility convo with a friend. I mentioned that I really hope they don’t keep it from me when they get pregnant. One thing lead to another… SURPRISE! They are pregnant  – only 5 weeks. I just offered advice last month for how to deal with regulating your hormones after coming off birth control. It was her 2nd month off birth control. They weren’t timing it or anything. 

How the fuck does this happen to people???? 

I spent about 2 minutes in my usual prego announcement despair. Then, my attitude changed completely. I don’t want to mope around each time I hear about another baby on the way. 

Fuck it! It’s MY TURN! 

It’s my turn to be positive.

It’s my turn to conceive.

It’s my turn to see those two pink lines and jump up and down in excitement.

It’s my turn to plan an exciting way to tell my husband that we are having our baby (but we all know that will fail because I won’t be able to keep it a secret from him for more than 5 mins).

It’s. 

My. 

Turn. 

And if it isn’t? Then, I will stay positive and trust.  

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I opened an email this afternoon to find the photo above.  It made SO MUCH sense to me. 

Later on, I was online browsing and found a home decor sign that said: 

“God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain, but he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.” 

Finding those quotes feels like divine intervention to me. I needed a reminder of why having a good attitude is so important. 

This fertility journey is not an easy ride. It has it’s ups and downs, it’s twists and turns. I need just keep trusting that things will work out – one way or another when they are supposed to.

How do you stay positive while trying to conceive?

CD5. Clomid Day 1. Pending IUI #2.

Let’s get this cycle started!

It’s every (in)fertile’s favourite time again: CLOMID CRAZY TIME!

I popped that little magical pill again this morning. So far, so good. I feel my ovaries slightly but it’s hardly as noticeable as it has been before.

This is my 3rd cycle on Clomid.

When I spoke to the nurse from my clinic earlier this week, she said we should meet with the RE to discuss potentially switching to something other than Clomid next month. …if there is a next month.

My mom and my best friends keep encouraging me to use positive words, to keep replaying those positive visualizations over and over again in my head.

On the fertility forums, I read posts that say, “you are pregnant until the beta says you aren’t!” Really? But if I’m not, I’m NOT!

Doesn’t incessant positiveness drive a person mad if the outcome is always the opposite of what’s desired? Where’s the happy medium? And how do I get there?

I mentioned previously that I believe in divine timing, but it’s hard when the drugs and appointments force you to stay focused. You put in so much effort, never knowing what the outcome will be.

That’s the one thing I’m struggling with right now: how do you stay positive?