a practice run…

That’s apparently what my first pregnancy was, according to my lab tech…a practice run.

Went in today for 3rd blood woork and u/s. Got the chatty tech (I hate getting her. She’s good, but I don’t really want to sit there and talk about how beautiful my lining is). Anyway, She’s measuring and chatting along and here was where the conversation (by conversation I mean her talking at me while I’m trying to concentrate on not jumping out of the stirrups every time she digs the wand in) turns:

Tech: We’re just looking for one good follicle, that’s all you need.
Me: Mmm…(sure lady, just do your thing and get me on to the blood people)
Tech: You’ve been pregnant before right.
Me: Yes (thanks for continually bringing that up. I really love talking about my lost child)
Tech: How many follicles did you have for that?
Me: I don’t recall (seriously, let’s just get this over with!)
Tech: Well, let’s try and get you that way again. That was your practice run!
Me: *blankly stares at tech and blinks*

WHAT THE F*CK?!?!?!?!?! In what twisted time/place would it EVER be okay to say something like that to a woman who had lost a child? Let alone in a freakin’ INFERTILITY CLINIC!!!!!!! Am I wrong here? Am I over reacting?? I don’t think so. Never, never, EVER call my child a practice run!!!!!! I was so shocked that she had said that, I didn’t even know what to do. I went into the restroom to get redressed and I just teared up. I wish I would have had the presence of mind to say something to her. Anything:

“I’m sorry? What did you just call my child? I don’t think so!”
“A practice run? A PRACTICE RUN?? I’ll show you a practice run!!!”
“Excuse me, could you never, ever refer to a lost baby as a practice run…ever…to anyone?”

You know, something like that. Then, I’m already in a bad mood from that and go up to the sign out counter. This is where break downs usually happen, because it’s where the money handling is done. We have a credit on our account due to a medical loan we got. This credit is dwindling, but there should be a bit left in there. Apparently however, it take 2 weeks for charges to be processed and for the actual amount of our credit to show up on our forms at the office. The lady at the desk said, “I can’t tell how much is in there, and probably won’t for 2 weeks. I suggest you pay us now and then we can reimburse you.” As if it’s that easy! We just don’t have the spare money to be throwing around and waiting for a reimbursement check that may never come. The whole point of this loan was to have money there so we didn’t have to deal with this sh*t every time we go in. It was supposed to relieve our stress, not cause more. I asked if I could call the billing dept. and get an accurate count. “You could call them, but they may not know until Monday, and everything may not have been processed yet.” Great. The billing dept. doesn’t even know what’s going on. Great system they have working here! I was told that the clinic would always be able to tell what my credit on my account was. So much for that. So now I have to go through the headache calling the billing dept, explaining my whole situation to the receptionist, hopefully get transferred to someone who can understand my dilemma, and explain it all to them again! I usually have to go through this about 3 or 4 time before I get someone who can actually help me. I have a guy who helped me last time. He gave me his name and told me to ask for him if we ever have trouble. Thanks guy…but I don’t remember your name. Crap. Did I blog about him? I hope…I’ll have to go back through my archives and see if I listed his name.

Of course, the very helpful receptionist at the billing dept always starts with one question. “What insurance company do you use?” Um…yeah. I tell her the name of my company, but that the rep for them can’t help me, as my insurance doesn’t cover anything, and that’s not what this is about anyway. Then she gets flustered and has no idea who to transfer me to. You’d think she’d be used to dealing with women with no IF insurance. I’m certainly not the ONLY one at that clinic paying out of pocket! Am I? No…I know I’m not.

So…I left the clinic and drove to work. As usual on appointment days, I got here an hour early. We have to schedule early morning appointments so I don’t miss any more work that is absolutely necessary. I spoke with my boss about why I’d been missing so much (which I REALLY didn’t want to do) because he had made a comment about it at one point. So now, apparently for my IUI days, he wants me to take them as personal days. Too bad I’m out now. So, instead of resting and letting the little swimmers do there thing, I will have to come in to work. Damn.

Anyway…got off track there for a second. So, I got to work an hour early. Upset and crying. I decided that I couldn’t just sit in my office and read for the hour. I went for a walk. A very LONG walk. About 2 miles actually. I needed to just clear my head. It was great – except I was wearing bad shoes for urban hiking and now I’ve given myself blisters and rubbed the skin off one spot on the top of my foot. But I’m glad I took the walk. I needed it.

So…that’s my day. I’ll update when I hear from the nurse as to the next step of this whole damn process.

what’s been going on…

Hey guys.  Sorry.  I’ve been lame about posting.  Life happens sometimes.

With my last post I was talking about possible financial help that would be coming our way.  Boy did it!  We were approved for a medical loan through MedicalFinancing.com which was suggested to us from our clinic.  It’s kind of like getting a credit card specifically to pay for medical procedures.  They cover a wide variety, but one of the things they cover is infertility.  Can you believe it?  Someone actually recognizes that infertility is expensive and no one can afford it!  So, this is a loan that we will have to pay back with interest, but the monthly payments are MUCH easier to handle than paying for every single appointment the day I have them – MUCH easier!  It sucks we had to take out a loan, but it’s good to know we don’t have to worry about costs for the time being.

Also, I mentioned that we got a grant through a program at work.  This was also a blessing, as we had already gotten a very generous grant at the end of last year, which helped us to conceive.  Unfortunately, we ran through all that money and lost our child.  So, we are VERY grateful that they were willing to help us out a bit more.

And – I have some amazingly wonderful friends and family.  At the beginning of this cycle, husband and I were pretty desperate.  We basically did each appointment, one at a time, not knowing if we’d have to cancel the cycle because we ran out of money.  We started with enough for one appointment and one box of meds.  We got meds from the clinic luckily, so we were able to do appointment #2.  Then realized if we stretched it, we could make #3.  After that, they said we were ready for IUI.  It went very fast, and luckily by that point we had found out we were approved for the loan.  We barely squeaked by, but we made it.  So, because we were unsure how things would go, we pretty much hit on all of our options from day 1 of the cycle.  We contacted the financing company (which worked out), we contacted the company that gave us our previous loan to see if it were possible to get another smaller grant (which worked out) and we also sent out a letter to our families asking for any help they could offer.  We both felt bad and awkward asking, but we were desperate and at the point where we thought this might be the last try until husband is done with school.  I also got a phone call from my best friend one day asking if she could send out a call to some of our old friends for help.  Again, I felt awkward doing that, but we were desperate.  Well – that worked too!  We are now at the point where if this cycle didn’t work, we have enough to try again, and maybe once more after that if we’re very careful!  I just am stunned by the generosity and the luck that we seem to have fallen into.

If by some small miracle (fingers crossed!!!) this past IUI did work, then all the money we’ve received will just about pay off the loan that we took out.  That is beyond amazing to me.  Going from desperation to grace in about 2 weeks is beyond description.  I often times don’t know how to even express the gratitude I feel towards everyone who has helped me out, my grant representative, my family, my friends, even the loan company!!!  They have all helped the husband and I feel blessed, loved, and extremely lucky.

So yes, we had our #2 (well…really 3rd, but I’ve started over since the miscarriage counting the IUI’s) IUI procedure last Thursday and Friday.  Right after the procedure on Friday the husband and I jumped in the car and headed out for our annual anniversary trip to McGregor, IA.  We’ve gone there every year since our honey moon (so 5 years now) for camping, B&B at the Little Switzerland Inn, and hanging out with my sister and her family on there boat on the Mississippi.  It was amazing to get away from everything here in Chicago for 4 days!  No work, no puppies that pee on the floor and then I step in it, no thoughts of IF – just pure fun and vacation – and sleep!!  I’ve been dog tired the past few weeks, trying to get money worked out, unpacking the new apartment, 2 am wake ups by the puppy, driving over an hour a day to get to and from work now, and just being generally cranky the last month (apologies to the husband for that one).  I really needed this break, and it didn’t disappoint.  I’ll try to post some pictures up at some point.

So, now we’re on the TWW for the blood test after IUI.  We’ll see.

Also, is sad news, please keep Maybe Baby? in your thoughts.  She and I have very similar stories and timelines with the loss of our babies this year.  She had recently become pregnant again, quite unexpectly and on her own without medical intervention, but found out yesterday that she had lost the baby.  It’s hard enough to loose one child to miscarriage; she is having to deal with the loss of two babies in the same year.  I grieve with her.  If you have a moment, head over to her blog and leave her a comment.  One big thing that helps us IFers get through the tough times are words from those who have been there and really do understand the pain.

on winning the lotto…

Yeah, that is a wishful thought.  I guess you have to play to win, but it’d be really nice right now if I could win the lottery.

Well, as the last IUI didn’t work my husband and I were trying to decide what to do next.  Insurance doesn’t cover anything and we’ve now cleaned out our savings account.  We were hoping we had a good 2 weeks or more to work something out.  We’re looking into possible grants, loans and other sources.  Unexpectedly however, AF decided to show up on Thursday!  Bah!  She never seems to want to cooperate.  When you want her, she’s never there.   When you don’t, there she is!!

So anyway, we had about enough for the baseline u/s and blood work appointment and one box of meds.  We decided to go ahead and do that, hoping that we would be able to figure something out to help cover the rest of the appointments that will be needed this month.

Had that appointment this morning.  I had talked with my nurse about our situation.  I told her if we can’t figure out some funds to cover the rest, we may have to cancel this cycle, but that we wanted to start it, just in case.  After the appointment we requested to talk with her and she came in with 5 boxes of donated meds.  Bless her!!!!  With the dosage that I usually get, she said it should get us through 10 days.  I would be SO HAPPY if all we had to worry about paying were the u/s and blood work appointments.  We’ve worked it out so that we’re being tested for the very minimal amount of things with each blood work, so we’re saving a bit there.

So, small blessings in the form of meds.  Now because we didn’t have to buy the 1st box ourselves we have enough for one more appointment.  Hopefully by then we will have worked something out to get us through this cycle.

Have I ever mentioned how frustrating all of this money crap can be?  Come on national healthcare coverage!!!  Save us all from this neverending loop of insurance company fights and empty savings accounts!!!