Friday, October 10, 2008

What will $300 get you?

Hello, My Love,

We had our initial consult with the fertility specialist today and it cost us $300. There was some confusion with my insurance so I'm hoping we'll get half of that back. So would you like to know what $300 will get you?

  • A 40 minute wait in the waiting room. Our appointment was at 8:30 and they wanted us there 20 minutes early to go over our paperwork. We weren't called back until 8:50.
  • A 10 minute wait in the doctor's conference room waiting for the doctor. He came in at 9:00.
  • A review of the tests we've already had done. (Basic bloodwork, sonogram and a semen analysis)
  • A recommendation to do IVF. I thought he jumped right for IVF without much thought towards other less evasive options. I felt like we were two giant dollar signs in his eyes.
  • A plan of action once my period starts.
  • The realization that we really can't afford all of this. We could probably get a line of credit but we have enough credit debt already.
  • A glimmer of hope. Several times the doctor made reference to me being pregnant in the future. He asked where I would be delivering and wants me to see a high-risk OB/GYN because of my diabetes.
  • A Viagra pen!

While we were waiting for the doctor to come into the conference room, I got impatient so I started playing with the pens and found a Viagra pen. I figured I earned it.

Overall, I do think the appointment was informative and I do feel we are finally making some forward progress towards getting pregnant but I just wonder if they pitch IVF to every couple who comes there. I hope he was just giving us a worse case scenario. He did go over IUI a little but it felt like the main focus was on IVF using ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). He wants your dad to do another semen analysis and if it also turns out to be low in count and motility, he suggested the IVF with ICSI. ICSI is basically them putting one single sperm into an egg with a teeny tiny pipette. He also mention with my age and using ICSI with an IVF cycle my chances of getting pregnant would be close to 65% as opposed to around 18% doing IUI.

There is a HUGE price difference between IUI and IVF. My insurance will pay 50% of an IUI and in the end would cost around $500 or $600. IVF is not covered whatsoever and if we did a single try with ICSI it would cost around $12,000 but if we did the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program it would cost around $22,000 but we would be guaranteed a "viable baby" or our money back. Kind of like a lemon law for babies, I guess. We would get 6 cycles of IVF for a fixed fee. If we don't end up with a baby then we get our money back. We would also get our money back if we choose to stop.

After meeting with the doctor we got to meet one of our two nurses. Her name was Beth and she was nice and pretty easy to talk to. She went over what our next steps will be. On day one of my next cycle I am to call the office to schedule an appointment for Day Three bloodwork and ultrasound. On the same day I'm also supposed to call and schedule an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) to see what's going on inside my uterus and fallopian tubes and to check for any blockages. That is supposed to be scheduled for somewhere between days 5 and 10 of my cycle. Your dad needs to get another semen analysis done. Once all these tests are done we will go over the results and move forward from there.

Before I can do ANY of those things I need to call both of our insurance companies to see what I need to get this all sorted out so we don't get stuck with a full bill rather than 50%. In the end though, even after all the time and money and stress this will cost us, you will be worth everything we've had to go through. And even though we haven't even met yet, I can guarantee you I would do it all over again.


hollyli said...

Kate... happy you got a viagra pen out of all of it. at least you have a plan. would the doc allow you to try iui with clomid at least once? you know, try less evasive first? but yea for getting going on the baby making train! hugs, holls & amelia

Monty said...

Good for you for taking the viagra pen! ha ha! That is crazy he would jump right into IVF.. holy exspensive baby batman! (((HUGS))) You WILL be pregnant!!


jlmishler said...

Oooooh a viagra pen! What you have always wanted! hehehe. Well hopefully you can do the clomid/IUI route before IVF. I think your initial reaction to a less invassive procedure is a little bit more along the line of the prgression of things. Q for you. Did you do a HSG? I forgot! FX for you! Hoping 2009 is your year of you getting your baby and this year you conceive! Loves!

Yo said...

Hi Kate - this whole TTC thing is daunting...I remember the dr talking to us in the beginning about IVF too. Kind of felt like she was talking in a cryptic language. If you have questions about the HSG, ask me, Jen or Brooke! It's kind a weird procedure, but wasn't that painful for me. Tiny bit of cramping, but that was it. Don't let it all overwhelm you and do ask about less invasive options first...doesn't hurt to try the simple stuff first. My friend who has PCOS just got a BFP after trying for 2 years with injectibles and IUI, which are sometimes covered at 50%. Good luck to you - ask questions when you need! xoxo Yo!