Thursday, March 22, 2012

Doctor Shopping...Again


Where to begin.

Monday at 2:30 we had our follow up appointment and we were supposed to talk about moving forward with IVF. I picked Josh up from work at 1:00 which meant he had to take 2 hours off work unpaid (booo). We drove through a torrential downpour to Kansas City and arrived around 2:15. We even had a few extra minutes to grab a coffee to take along.

We checked in and all was well. They called our name at about 2:40 and took us to a small exam room. I was instantly curious about this because we were supposed to be having a consultation...not an exam. About 10 minutes go by and I really need to use the restroom. Shouldn't have had that coffee :) It's now 3:30ish and finally Josh went to the front and asks if they forgot about us. They said they would check on the doctor to see what the hold up was. Not once during that time of us waiting did they ever come check on us or give us an update on when the doctor would be with us.

5 minutes later the doctor comes in and flings the door open (I'm not exaggerating) and says "are you ready?!?". We waited an HOUR past our appointment time! The clinic closes at 4:00 pm so I knew he would rush through everything. He pulled out our medical records and pretty much told us everything he told us last time we were there. He chuckled a little (again, not exaggerating) and said that Josh's sperm was just "terrible" and I don't ovulate so IVF w/ICSI is our only option.We know. This is not new news.  I don't think he was laughing at us or our situation, maybe that's just his personality. It just seemed like he had never dealt with patients with both male and female IF. Josh said to him "not exactly instilling very much confidence, Doc" ::insert awkward laugh from all of us::

The only thing we learned was that our RE is concerned that our embryo quality may be poor. He suggested sperm donation as a back up option. We have already discussed that option, and have decided we do not want to do sperm or egg donation. If we cannot have a 100% biological child then we'd rather look into adoption.

We appreciate him bringing up the embryo quality issue because that is very important to us. That was the only thing we learned at our appointment. I can't understand why they wouldn't just do a phone consultation with me. I would have gladly sent them my $35 co-pay. I asked if he could give us a better estimated cost of medication for IVF and he said between $2,500-$3,500. Which is what I was figuring anyway ::shrugs::

We're so disappointed about how we were treated and their lack of customer service. Not once did they apologize for our wait and all together we just weren't treated very well. Josh said "I felt like a number", which is a perfect analogy. When you're going through something so emotionally, physically, and financially draining you need to know that your doctor and his staff are on your side! If it's not too much to ask, maybe our RE could be just a tad emotionally invested in our treatment and success. Maybe ::gasp:: care for us and be sensitive to what we're going through.

We left feeling so defeated and frustrated. We walked out of the clinic and Josh said "let's go to Europe".  Many people go out of the country for IVF treatments because it's so much cheap even with travel expenses and time off work. We went to my sister's house afterwards to pick up a few things and she hugged me tight and I really wanted to hang on to her and cry. I know she would have let me but my sweet little niece was there and I didn't want to cry an ugly cry in front of her. But it felt good to get a squeeze from her when I was hurting so bad.

So, we have decided to look for a new RE. We're not positive that we'll be leaving our current RE right now but we'd at least like a second opinion. It's also good to know that there are other options available to us. This is difficult but hopefully it will be worth it. I spent so much time and work filling our paperwork for KU Med now I have to do it all over again ::sighhh:: :(  But Josh and I both agreed that we need to be 110% confident in our doctor and know that he is doing everything in his power to help us get pregnant. We in NO way want or expect things to be sugar coated or have someone tip toe around our feelings. Be honest, but for goodness sake have some bedside manner. We are people, we have hearts and emotions. This stuff is hard to deal with-please sympathize with us a little.  I don't want to leave after our embryo transfer and think "well I hope he did it right" and shell out $15,000. Although shopping for a new RE is really hard, we both feel like it's the right thing to do.

I have an HSG scheduled in a couple of weeks. This isn't necessary since medically our only option to get pregnant is IVF. But I don't want to wonder if my tubes are blocked. We're always hoping and praying for a miracle kid and it would be good to know that there is no blockage.

Sorry this was such a long post, just wanted to fill you in on the juicy details ;) If you could spare a few thoughts and prayers we'd really appreciate it. Here are just a couple of things that we need prayer for right now.

-Finding a new doctor (RE) and that we have a really good connection
-My HSG goes well and it isn't as painful as I'm anticipating (I know...I'm a baby)
-Peace and wisdom to make the right decisions
-Funds, we're only 5k short of having everything we need for our treatment! Woohoo :D
-As always, a miracle pregnancy

Thanks for reading and caring about us. We're so thankful for our family and friends, we wouldn't be able to do this without you. Much love to you all ((hugs)).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What's Next?

We would like to start by saying how grateful we are for our family and friends. We've been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love, prayers and support. Please know that we do feel the prayers and love. There have been so many ups and downs over the past year and a half and right now we're feeling pretty up. It feels great knowing that we have people in our "corner" and are fighting this battle with us.

We've had an unseasonably warm spring so far! Everything is sprouting, turning bright and colorful and the birds are chirping. It's been beautiful-everything just screams LIFE right now. That makes me smile : ) Plus it's March Madness which makes Josh and I happy campers. We love basketball season, mostly because for several years now that has meant a lot of quality time spent with his Grandma and Grandpa T. We love cheering for our Jayhawks with them (pssst Grandma has the best Pepsi ever ::drools::). We were able to go to a couple of games this season too which was awesome.

So as far as IF, things are moving right along. We're getting really close to our goal of  $15k which is unreal!!!! It once seemed so far away and impossible but now I keep thinking "we're really doing this?!?!". We've experienced extremely generous friends and family members giving to us out of pure love. Josh and I put in $5k in the beginning and all the rest as been from donations.

People love. And boy do we love our people!

On Monday, we have our follow up appointment w/Dr. Kim (our RE at KU Med) and have an IVF consultation. The appointment is at 2:30 and it takes us a little over an hour to drive there. We'll be discussing my latest blood work and 2 hour glucose level results (which they already told me I passed that), the condition of my ovaries since they're full of fluid filled follicles, and finally Josh's latest semen analysis. Then we'll talk IVF...we have lots of questions and I'm sure we'll be looking like this the whole time.

But the good news is that we are now just saving money for meds! We needed $9600 for our IVF procedure and we pretty much have it, praise God! We're hoping that on Monday they'll be able to tell us more precisely how much we'll need for medication. This will be the biggest factor of when we do IVF. We agreed though that even if we had all of the money right now, we want to wait until the end of May/beginning of June to start our treatment. Josh is wrapping up a really tough semester at school and the boy can only handle so much right now. He's such a great student, I'm always amazed at how dedicated he is. He's very smart and strives (and succeeds) at making A's.

So that's that. We'll follow up in a few days about our appointment. Again, thanks for the love and prayers...keep em coming :) We love you all and thank you for believing for Baby E with us ((hugs))

Monday, March 5, 2012

Infertility Coverage Petition

25,000 signatures are needed for the Approve Infertility Coverage in Every State petition by March 31st. Please take a few minutes to register and sign this petition. Feel free to pass this link along or post in your blog-thank you so much!!/petition/approve-infertility-coverage-every-state/W43WWdd6

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pros vs Cons

We've kept relatively quiet about our IF journey so far. A few friends and family members know but definitely not the whole world. Which has been good and difficult at the same time. Those who know me (Bran) know that I've wanted to be a mom for a really long time. I've been babysitting since I was 10 years old, worked at a daycare in high school and nannied for over two years. I love kids...and I take great pride in being an aunt. So I think it's been a bit of surprise to a lot of people that we don't have kids (yet). Heck it's been a surprise to Josh and I too!

So for the past oh...maybe four or five years, we have become accustomed to people asking us "so when are you going to have kids?", "don't you want kids?", "Brandy you're such a good aunt, why don't you have one of your own?". The answer was always the same, "yes we do want kids but we'd like to be married for five years first since we got married so young". That was true and such an easy answer and usually ended the conversation.

But after we realized that this would be a more difficult journey than we had anticipated, it was like a kick in the gut when people asked us the same simple questions about having children. Some days it was easy to answer and I'd put on my brave face and say "oh whenever, we're not avoiding or trying" or the old standby "we're still young". Which isn't a lie, we are young. But when you're going through IF-time is your best friend....or your worst enemy. Some days it was hard to answer "the question" and look at that person right in the eyes and hold my stuff together. It's taken some time for me to realize that 99.9% of the time when people ask this question, they ask because they care and not necessarily to be nosy.

Josh and I have carefully realized that there are pros and cons to "coming out of the IF closet". Especially now that our only medical option is IVF w/ICSI. People have opinions and aren't afraid to share those opinions with you. There are good things and bad things about telling people you're going though infertility. Let's talk about some pros and cons...


  • Support-Emotional, spiritual (prayer), and financial (see that cute little donate button at the top of the works!). Going through infertility is extremely expensive. We're 100% OOP (out of pocket) for our IVF treatments. Also, we have to drive to KC a lot for adds up quickly. 
  • Everyone has a story-IF is unfortunately common. It's probably a lot more common than most realize but because it is a very personal experience it's kept private. It is a heart wrenching battle and not everyone feels ok to open up about it. That was us for the past year and a half. But one thing that has been really cool is that if I mention something about going through IF, I always hear a success story. It's never an easy success story, that couple went through hell to become a family. But at the end of the day, they have a child.
  • Sensitivity- When people know, they don't often ask, but when they do it's in a much more sensitive way. This has been our experience so far, it may change once we go public, but who knows. We don't want people to feel sad or sorry for us. Infertility isn't a period, it's just a comma. We will get through this one day. This is our life and we won't allow IF to define us. Yes, it has changed us but we know God is great and bigger than IF.
  • Awareness-There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Some things are embarrassing but you get over it. You know you're going through IF when you can sit at the dinner table and talk about your reproductive organs and all that it entails. We know there is a time and place for everything but if more people stood up and talked about their IF journey there would be more awareness for IF. There would be more medical advancements and financial coverage. This is not something we chose to go through, it's unfair that we get treated like it is by insurance companies. But we would like to become advocates for IF. If you're reading this and going through IF, I encourage you to SPEAK UP! Write a letter to your congressman (or woman) and fight infertility. It's not going to happen over night but maybe by time our kids have kids...there will be huge advancements and financial support. Go to for more info on how to bring awareness to IF.


  • Privacy-It's a double edge sword. You want people to know but then you don't want them to be in your business. Something really important and that Josh and I have thought about is people knowing when we do our IVF cycle. That's a lot of pressure on us, especially knowing that there are many people helping us afford this very expensive treatment. It's not a 100% guarantee, even though we wish it was. We don't want to let people down, It's kind of sad to think about that but I do. I worry that when we cycle we'll have people calling, emailing, texting, facebooking....all because they care and want to know how it went and how we're doing. That's one reason why we started a blog. We want to keep people updated and if they are curious where we're at on bring baby E into the world we can direct them to the blog. We're thankful for technology and being to share this journey with those we love. This blog is for you.
  • Everyone has a story- I don't mind hearing the unsuccessful stories. I mean, I wish they didn't exist but I'm not naive. I know that nothing is a guarantee. But what I mean by this con is that it gets old hearing "maybe you should try friend went through infertility and they gave her some Clomid and she got pregnant right away". Yep, that's awesome but that's not what we're going through. Everyone's IF journey is unique and what works for one person may not be the answer for the other person. Trust me, we've looked into EVERY option to have a baby. I have an ovulation/endocrine disorder and my ovaries are not doing their job. Yes, there are ovulation drugs out there I can take (and they may or may not work) but my sweet dear husband's swimmers will not reach that egg. Apparently the cervix is a hostile environment and there is a reason why men need millllllions of sperm to have a baby. So, please think twice before giving options or suggestions. I promise we know and our fertility specialist knows too. We wish it could be more simple but those weren't the cards dealt to us. We're doing the best we can and trusting the Lord as we go.
I'm sure there are more pros and cons but my little blogging fingers are tired and I have a hungry husband to tend to. Tonight we're going bowling for Bowl for Kids Sake (Big Brothers Big Sisters) and then heading to Lawrence, KS to see Blind Pilot. Looking forward to a really fun night, hope yours is great too :)

Thanks for reading and caring.