Be prepared, this will be a long post. Lots of emotions and information in the past 24 hours. You have been warned!!
As I lay in bed last night with racing thoughts and mixed emotions, a song I sang in highschool choir was running through my head. Going into today’s appointment it provided me comfort and peace. These are the lyrics:
May there someday be peace
The song is called “Inscription of Hope” and was one of the main songs we sang during trying times in highschool. We sang it at a memorial service on 9/11, as well as the funeral of one of our fellow choir members who passed of a brain tumor.
The lilting melody and the beautiful lyrics immediately put me at ease. When we would take care of our friend’s daughter at night when she was a toddler, this was her lullaby. I always imagined it would be the lullaby I sing to our children one day. It’s almost serendipitous that I hadn’t thought about that song for a long time until last night when it just popped in my head.
When I woke up this morning, I was at peace and excited. As I waited around to leave to go pick up Chris and head downtown I started to get more nervous and all the bad outcomes that could possibly happen ran through my head on a continuous loop. Including, the doctor walking in, looking at me in the eye, just saying “No” and walking out the door…because I am ridiculous.
I made it downtown, picked up Chris and arrived at the office right on time. I even wore my St. Gerard medal (patron saint of motherhood and fertility). We were taken back fairly quickly and after about 10 minutes or so, Dr. Ehlers came in to speak with us. She is a Fellow under Dr. Bohler. She was very nice and we went over our medical histories, previous tests, etc. and then she full described the IVF with ICSI process. She gave us a HUGE packet of forms to fill out, one being a 27-page consent form. She also requested I make some lifestyle changes:
- Stop Metformin – I have to stop for at least one week prior to bloodwork. Depending on the results I may or may not be put back on it. I am not diabetic. I have been on it for 1 year for PCOS.
- Eat Breakfast and Don’t Skip Meals – this is something I am notoriously bad about. Chris is going to keep me accountable and I hope you all will too!!
- Lose 12 lbs – I have struggled with weight since being diagnosed with PCOS. I have to lose 12 lbs in order to be allowed to proceed with IVF due to my BMI. I am 2 points over the threshold. I don’t think it will too difficult, but I will need everyone to help keep me accountable!
After we went over all of this we discussed the tests that I would need. Unfortunately I will have to have a hysterosalpingogram, which is the one test I was fearing. A month before we were married in 2011 I went in for my yearly Pap smear. Although my Pap smear was normal, my gynecologist saw lesions on my cervix and we also discovered I had HPV. This was a bit of a shock. I had all the Gardisil vaccinations and had been with Chris for 4 years. Apparently Gardisil doesn’t protect against most strains and HPV can stay dormant in your body for many many years. Due to the lesions, I had to have a colposcopy and cervical biopsy to rule our cervical cancer. Luckily, the biopsy came back negative. The day I had the colposcopy was also the day we brought Marley home!! He was so little!!
Anyways, because of the HPV I have to have a HSG to make sure my Fallopian tubes are not blocked or filled with fluid as that can impede implantation. I also get to have a Saline Infusion Sonogram, which is basically where they will use an ultrasound and a catheter and fill my uterus up with sine to make sure there are no fibroids or polyps and that it looks like a nice cozy home for a baby. Looks like I am in for some good times! I dislike medical procedures and usually end up crying during my Pap smears, but that is something that I am probably going to get over very quickly!!
So after we talked with Dr. Ehlers, we were taken to a different room and waited to meet with Dr. Bohler. I had been warned of his bedside manner, but I was pleasantly surprised. He was a bit awkward as a conversationalist and he did go off on random tangents, but hey, he comes highly recommended and has a very high success rate so I don’t care how awkward he is! Then in came the financial counselor to discuss costs. We are fortunate to have insurance that covers IVF and infertility at 50% once our deductible has been met. Luckily, thanks to Chris’s surgery, we have that met. As long as we do a cycle before our new plan year starting July 1st, we are good. She is going to call our insurance company and get everything set up as well as file an application for EMD Sereno Fertility Lifelines which is a program to discount the costs of some of the medications. Medications can range from $3000-$6000 per cycle depending on the protocol you have been put on. And oh yeah, that is one thing our insurance does not cover so we need all the discounts we can get!
After we got the financial aspect out of the way, the IVF nurse came in. She was so nice and immediately put us at ease. She went over the timeline and gave very explicit instructions of what to do and who to call during all the testing. As of right now, here is how the timeline will go:
- Next Friday April 10th, both Chris and I will go in for bloodwork to rule out STDs such as Hep B, HIV and Syphilis. This is a requirement for everyone undergoing IVF at the clinic.
- In addition on Friday I will be having blood drawn for many hormone level tests and will also have to complete the Glucose Tolerance Test. Depending on the results I may have to go back on Metformin.
- On the 3rd day of my next period (approx. April 20th) I have to start birth control and call my IVF nurse to schedule my HSG and SIS. Unfortunately they cannot be done on the same day so that means two fun procedure days!!
- Chris may have to have another semen analysis depending on their thoughts after Dr. Shep meets with Dr. Bohler on the 13th.
- Once all tests are done, our IVF nurse will complete a form with all the results and pass it along to Dr. Bohler and Dr. Ehlers who will decide the medication protocol.
- After that has been decided the medication lady (I don’t know her official title) will help order all the meds and ship them to our house.
- Sometime after this we will have a mock transfer so Dr. Bohler can decide exactly where he will place the embryos.
Now it’s time!! We are on the schedule to start our first IVF cycle starting May 22nd!! Was that a lot of information for you? It certainly was for me!! My brain is on overload right now. I am very excited and I feel more confident now we have direction and a timeline. I am really nervous about the testing but I figured it was going to have to happen so I have mentally prepared myself. I spent the rest of the day curled up with Marley binge watching Dance Moms and it was awesome!
Thank you all for the amazing support! There are no words to describe what it means to us. All the kind words, thoughts and prayers have truly touched us and we are so happy to have everyone on this journey with us!!
Much love and baby dust!