Monday, December 29, 2008

On the road - part 2

Today we're leaving Holland, but we're not going home yet. We're making a bit of a triangle road trip this vacation and will go to my other SIL and her family in Switzerland to celebrate the New Year.

So it's going to be a long day in the car again (about 10 hours), but it's always great fun with the family in Switzerland. They live in a small village at the end of a road, with two donkeys, lots of chickens (so super fresh eggs!), three cats and two bunnies, and with great views of the snow-capped mountains. My hubby has brought his skis, but even though I'm an avid skier, I'm not going to risk anything, so I'll walk this time...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

In church with the royal family

Yesterday evening we went to the Christmas Eve service at my parents' church. Is a great, pretty progressive church (like many of them are in Holland) and it's always packed on Christmas Eve. It's also quite well-known here because it's the church the Dutch queen goes to (not every Sunday of course). Luckily my dad is on the board and my mom was coordinating all the volunteers for the Christmas Eve service, so our places were reserved. Better yet, we got to sit one row in front of the royal family (i.e. the queen, her three sons and their wives). So we had to behave and sing in tune, ha!

During our years of TTC, I've always had a bit of mixed feelings about seeing or reading about these people, none of the queen's children seemed to have any trouble getting pregnant. As soon as they were married, hoopla, about a year later there would be baby #1! Of course, on the other hand it would have been horrible for them to go through IF in the public eye and have all those gossip rags on constant baby bump watch (and of course I don't wish IF on anyone, but I did think it was unfair at the time...).

Anyway, the service was good despite the benches being a bit hard on my (not yet very) pregnant body.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Now that I've reached the second trimester of my first IVF-pregnancy safely, I've been thinking why it had to take more than five years since we first started TTC, to get to this point. Even though it is what it is, were there moments where we maybe waited too long, or made a wrong decision?

The first big wait of 1.5 years before getting tested. Why did we wait so long? I was using BBT charts and ovulation kits, so I knew there was no problem there. I'd read that you should give it time, at least a year, before seeking help, so we did.

When we finally decided we should find out what was wrong, it took me some more time to decide where to go. Immediately to an RE, a regular OBGYN,... finally a friend told me I should go see her doc (OBGYN) and I did.

Test for hubby, tests and exams for me. All normal. Still I was put on Clomid for 'super ovulation'. BFN and I wasn't very happy about it, so I talked to the nurse, who immediately suggested IUI, for which I wasn't ready at all yet in my head.

That was all about six months before moving to France. The last year in the US wasn't a very happy one for both of us (mainly work-related), so I thought that might have something to do with our TTTC and had the naive though that once in France, all the stress would be gone.

Of course this was not the case, especially the first six months after the move were very stressful, so of course no BFPs either. Then finally took up the courage to find a doctor - first a general practitioner whom I asked for recommendations. She gave me a name of an apparently very good gynecologist, whom I called and could see three months later. The first visit was fine and she ordered a few more test. However, when we had done those and I tried to make a follow-up appointment, I was told I should call back in November (it was late August when I called) to make an appointment for January. Appalled, I vowed to find another doctor.

Luckily I met someone who was going through her 3rd or 4th IVF cycle and recommended me her RE clinic. I called and could make an appointment for a few weeks later. After the first consultation a fertiloscopy was scheduled, again only a few weeks later.

The result of the fertiloscopy was that everything looked fine, but that they had found some endometriosis in my ovaries, which was removed. The RE told us this could have been a reason for our infertility. So we went away happy that the problem was solved and thought it would work the natural way, but it didn't...

I think we were too happy that there finally seemed to have been a reason for our infertility and didn't hear in what the RE really said, that this could be a reason, but it might also have nothing to do with it. I wonder if I would have been in Holland or the US, I would have heard that when he told us, and it was the language that prevented us from 'reading between the lines'. In any case, we waited eight months before making another appointment...

I think our biggest problem was our diagnosis: unexplained infertility. After every test, every exam, we were told that everything was normal. So we initially blamed it on untimely business trips, not enough vacation, bad overall timing, stress, and think it should just work one day.

But, when you're planning a vacation with the goal to TTC, there will be added stress - and when you try to plan two weeks away without trying to think about your cycle, you bet, you've planned it around your period and not around ovulation.

So we started IUI, full of hope. After three months in a row of BFNs we took a long vacation to Australia. It was great. It was very relaxing. We didn't think or talk much about IF. And when we were on the plane on the way back home, I so not wanted to continue treatment, I was so fed up with all the false hope, the injections, the clinic visits and the ultimate BFNs.

A few weeks later we had another consult with our RE where we had to decide if we wanted to continue with three more IUIs (the maximum number allowed by the insurance) or go to IVF immediately. At that point I had resigned myself to going to do IF treatment again, but I wasn't ready yet for the tougher IVF cycle. So we chose to try three more times with the 'simple' solution, IUI. After #4 was again a BFN, I started to wonder if I'd made the right decision, but with a 'you never know' spirit, we went for #5 (BFN) and #6 (why stop now? Also BFN) as well.

After that, I really felt like we'd wasted three precious months. We decided to go for IVF after the summer break. And got a BFP. And I wondered what took us so long. But that's life I guess...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Second trimester start

Today I'm 14w0d pregnant, so officially in my second trimester, yay! What a great way to celebrate Christmas! I've read that according to US-calculations the second trimester starts at 13w1d, but in France they're a bit more conservative I guess (or they just want to do it differently, because they're French after all...).

Up till now everything is going well, I hope it stays that way. The only thing worrying me a bit right now is that the itch (see three posts down) has not gone away yet. Two days ago I thought it was almost gone, but yesterday was not such a good day. Hopefully it will get better very soon. I also don't sleep very well at night, I don't know why, no physical complaints other than the itch and not too much going on in my head, but still I toss and turn a lot...

In the meantime I'm being pampered by my parents, hardly have to do a thing, and my dad is making me a new alcohol-free cocktail every day!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dutch skies

Well, our road trip was long but went well and we arrived safely at my parents' place yesterday evening. The stopover in Paris was actually kind of fun, I got to sit in at my hubby's meeting which turned out to be a 2.5 hour crazy creative brainstorming session between some very intelligent people. We also had found a parking space pretty easily. The only bad thing was that the meeting was around lunchtime, but there was nothing to eat or drink, so when we finally got back into the car and could have a sandwich and some water, I had a pretty bad headache which lasted for the rest of the day...

So we're now in Holland for a week. It's always good to be back. Everything is so familiar. The Dutch skies are great (although there are no 'typical' Dutch skies - i.e. lots of big clouds, see 17th and 18th century paintings from the Dutch masters - today, it's clear and sunny). My parents are of course also very happy to see us and want to check out my (still hardly visible) tummy. My grandmothers will come tomorrow, so we can show off some u/s pics again. :-) We'll also try to see some friends again this week, always a bit of an 'issue' when we go back to Holland: you try to see as many friends and family members as possible, which then means you're just running and driving around like crazy to do this in the few days you have available and you are completely exhausted when you're back home. And if you don't do it, some people feel 'left out' because you didn't visit them while you were in the country... The best solution is actually to tell everyone to go to a certain place at a certain date and time, so you'll see everyone at once. But that's not always possible (or we forget to organize it beforehand, which is more often the case).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On the road

Today we're driving to my parents in Holland for Christmas, 9-10 hours on the road. Normally I quite like road trips, but we've done this stretch already so many times that I'm not really looking forward to it, although today we'll have a change of scenery because we have to go via Paris instead of Luxembourg. 'Have to' because hubby told me he has a meeting with an architect... As he'd been traveling like crazy for the past couple of weeks, he didn't want to go there on Saturday (2 hours by high-speed train) and come back the same day, but prefers to 'conveniently' combine it with our trip up north.

He had mentioned this possibility a week ago already, but was then still leaning towards going there and back on Saturday. Then this week he said his boss would go, so I was relieved. But of course the boss is a smart-ass and doesn't want to work the weekend before Christmas, so now hubby has to go. In a way he even likes it, because the architect specifically asked for him (and he thought his boss would be unhappy about that), so he's kind of flattered...

From here to Paris is 4 to 5 hours by car. The meeting will probably start around noon, so that means we have to leave around 7 am (if we would have taken our regular route, we could have left around 10 am and still be at my parents' place in time for dinner), hopefully find a secure place to park our fully loaded car somewhere in central Paris (when I mentioned that to hubby he was like 'oh, no problem, it's Sunday'. Yes, but it's the Sunday before Christmas which means all the shops will be open - normally not the case in France - and it'll be very busy!), hope the meeting doesn't last longer than two hours (and what am I going to do in the meantime? I know, I shouldn't say this, many of you might trade in a lot for two hours in Paris) so we can get going again, don't get stuck too long on the 'péripherique' to get out of the city and hopefully still arrive on time in Holland for dinner (another 5 to 6 hours).

Pfff, I'm exhausted already (and I probably have to catch up on IComLeavWe tomorrow)!

Friday, December 19, 2008

No infection

Got the results back from my urine test yesterday afternoon: no urine/bladder infection. But the itching hadn't stopped, so I was not feeling very relieved yet. How long before the anti-yeast infection stuff would take effect (it did say on the instructions that the itching could initially get worse)?

My mom, sister and hubby all suggested that it might be due to the utrogestan (progesterone suppositories) I've been taking since egg retrieval (Sept. 30), which would not surprise me, so I consulted the French Dr. Google and indeed found a few forums where women were experiencing the same thing.

So I went to the OB this morning with the test results from the lab (normally they send them by mail, but I had said I would bring them myself) and asked to see the doc for a minute to ask what to do next. Luckily my regular OB was back, so I didn't have to deal with the very friendly, but rather inexperienced replacement (who doesn't even now what a progesterone suppository looks like). She listened to my question, looked at my file and said my body was probably fed up with the utrogestan and that she was pretty sure that's what caused the itching.

So, no more utrogestan, yay! Immediately felt less itchy after that news. Funny how that works...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hospital labels and a possible infection

Well, this morning was the early pregnancy information session at the hospital. But first I had to get my labels printed. They had told me to come about 15 minutes before the session would start, but as I'm always (way too) early, I was there 30 minutes before. No line, so that was good. Before they could make the labels, they had to start a file in my name (so they apparently didn't do anything with the info I gave them the day I registered...?!) and then I got a nice sheet with 30 tiny labels which include a bar code, my name, my DOB and file number.

Apparently these labels are the entry ticket to anything that has to do with checkups, prenatal preparatory sessions, etc. within the OB department. At each appointment you have to give a label and then they charge it to the state-run insurance. So my first label was for the midwife who held the presentation... I must admit that the French health care system doesn't stop to amaze me and it's quite unbelievable sometimes that it in fact runs pretty smoothly.

On to the meeting room. At 9:45am about half the room was full. Then more people came in, some with, some without labels - apparently the line downstairs for printing the labels had become rather long. The midwife tried to start around 9:55am - even more people came in - there were not enough chairs. Attending husbands were asked to bring in more chairs. People kept coming in (you did not need to register for the session). At 10:15am a woman came in telling that there was still a whole group downstairs waiting for their labels. The midwife told her to go and get them so she could finally really start. Still, even after that people kept coming in (I think the last ones arrived around 11am). The room was way too full.

Apart from this, the session was quite informative, but I did wonder if I could not have gotten the same information in 10 minutes from a doctor, nurse or midwife affiliated with the hospital, instead of spending more than two hours in an overcrowded room...

I initially thought that after this session I would have the afternoon off so I could finally get some administrative and household stuff done. But this was not the case. As the burning sensation around my girlie parts (see two posts back) had not gone away yet, I decided I should call my OB, because just reading books and the internet only made me worry too much. Had to wait until after 2pm, because of course no-one here in France is reachable between 12 and 2, not to be disturbed while having their nice and lengthy lunches. Got hold of the secretary at 2.20pm, she put me through to the OB (replacement) who said she would need to see me and might have an opening today, so she transferred me back to the secretary: the 2.45pm appointment had just canceled, so, did I live far from their office...?

I took the appointment, found a city bike (free bike system), flew downhill, and was at the office at 2.42pm. Didn't have to wait more than two minutes. OB asked me what exactly my symptoms were, which is always a nice challenge to try to explain in French - I did look up some words in the dictionary before I called, but forgot the word for itch again, as it is so weird (demangeaison), but luckily she understood what I wanted to say.

So after the little chat, on to the stirrups. She couldn't detect any cut like my OB had seen last week, but said that she saw a lot of white thick discharge, so it must be a yeast infection. But to me that discharge looked just like the remains of the progesterone suppositories, which I told her, so now she wasn't sure anymore. But she said it looked a little reddish too and the itching was pretty bad after she removed the speculum, so she did give me a prescription for something against a yeast infection (a vaginal capsule I have to take tonight). Maybe it is actually caused by the fact that I've been putting in progesterone suppositories for 11 weeks now...? Luckily only five more days of that left.

She also ordered me to go to a lab to have my urine tested for infection, preferably today, so we would have the results before I leave for Holland this weekend. So once I was out the door, I called the lab to see if I could come still come by. Yes, but for I would need to wait 2 hours since last bathroom visit, so had to go there around 5pm.

So I went to the pharmacy first to get the prescription (including a cream to sooth the itching) and then went back home. Took a nap for about 40 minutes. Got up, got another city bike and rode to the lab (slightly uphill this time). Results will be back tomorrow afternoon. Pfff...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy birthday to me!

Yay, happy birthday to me, I'm singing while all alone at home. :-(

Hubby won't be home from his business trip until tonight, but I'm not letting that stop me from trying to get into a celebratory mood today. And it's going to be the best birthday in a long time anyway, because I'm finally pregnant!

What's on the program:
  • Bake a birthday cake (apple pie with apricots on top, my grandmother's recipe)
  • Go shopping (maybe for maternity jeans at the GAP...? I've been wanting a pair ever since we started TTC and that's over five years ago!)
    Edit: well, no GAP maternity jeans. The GAP here has a limited collection and only regular lengths and those are too short for me (but of course great for the petite French ladies). I did buy some fancy PJs at another store though, with enough stretch for a growing belly... BTW, it was ridiculously busy at the mall (does no one need to work?!).
  • Phone calls from family and friends (I bet my grandma is going to be the first to call, she's a very early bird)
  • Music ensemble rehearsal - I will bring some apple pie for my two friends to celebrate my birthday and pregnancy announcement
  • Hubby's return - which means I can open my present (which we bought together on Saturday, so I already know what it is, but I won't open the package until he's back)!
I actually also really need to clean the apartment, but I've decided that's not something to do on a birthday, so I'll postpone that until Wednesday.

A fun fact is that I was born on a so-called "carless" Sunday (they had a few of those in the Netherlands during the '73/'74 oil crisis). My dad had hoped for a police escort when driving to the hospital, but they just gave him a note... :-)

Oh yeah, and a cool small thing is that the time I posted this is the actual time I was born... (thanks to blogger for giving me the opportunity to cheat between writing and posting)

Monday, December 15, 2008

My new year's eve

Since tomorrow's my birthday, today is my personal new year's eve. A pretty uneventful day. Went to the lab to have a blood and urine test, finished writing and mailing our Christmas cards, booked a trip (with left-over miles from when I still had a career...) to my sister in the US for February, and went to yoga class this evening. Hubby's out on a business trip until tomorrow evening.

I've not been feeling that great these last two days. Yesterday I almost fainted when I was cleaning up the breakfast table (so yes, after I'd eaten) and felt a bit out of it the entire day. I also started to have some burning sensation when peeing. Not all the time though and mostly on the left. I had this last week too and when I told my OB at the checkup on Tuesday she was afraid I would have a urinary infection, but luckily the test came back negative and on further inspection it turned out to be a small cut... Problem was gone two days later so I thought it had healed, but now it's back. So is it the same thing or something else...? I don't like this, it makes me worry too much.

Yoga class helped not to think about it for about an hour. Belly is very 'present' again this evening and I also feel a bit bloated (but maybe that's because I had a liter of tomato soup for dinner...) and my jeans seemed awfully tight - don't know if I will make it until the January sale before buying maternity jeans!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friends leaving...

The thing about living in a foreign country is that most of the new friends you get in that country are foreigners themselves too. When we lived in the US, most of our friends were Dutch (which is actually horrible to admit) and many of them (including us, obviously) have in the meantime moved back to Holland or to other countries.

Here in France we found some great new friends and neighbors, a better mix of nationalities this time: German, Spanish, French, English, American and yes, a Dutch one too...

Our German neighbors moved into our apartment building a week after we did, a little over three years ago. We immediately got along very well - dinners, BBQ's, joint outings, etc. followed. We took care of mail and plants when either of us was on vacation, and I took care of their baby during work hours for the 6 week-period between the end of her maternity leave and the opening of their company's daycare center.

Today, they moved back to Germany. He got another position at his company. I'm sure we'll stay in touch, but it won't be the same. I hate to see them go, they are really great and very sweet people. A British friend also announced last week that she'll be leaving town, and moving to Luxembourg this summer...

Oh well, that's the expat life I guess... even though we're not real expats (not send by a company in our home country to work somewhere else for 3-5 years), since my hubby is on a local contract and so it's entirely up to us how long we stay in France. For the moment we have no intention of moving again any time soon and hopefully our remaining friends here will stick around a little longer too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12w u/s and checkup

Damn, I've been wanting to blog since Tuesday, but just haven't had the time (amazing how busy you can be even when you're not working...). Bad news first: I'm getting another cold. I'm sneezing and the sinuses on my right side hurt. Hope it doesn't turn into an ear infection. I guess my resistance is really crappy now that I'm pregnant, but I hope my mom's remark that 'some women will have a cold during their entire pregnancy', will not come true for me!

Now the good news: we had our 12 week u/s and checkup on Tuesday and everything is looking great! Our little miracle (I have to come up with some name, but can't think of anything yet. Any suggestions?) was moving around and we could already count fingers and toes! The measurement showed it being 12w3d instead of 12w0d, so it's ahead of the French curve, but my sister later told me that it's actually a bit below the Dutch curve. But who really cares about a few millimeters...?

At the checkup the OB told me to continue with the Utrogestan (progesterone suppositories) for another two weeks, so until the end of the first trimester. However I need to continue taking the Aspegic100 (baby aspirin) for the remainder of the pregnancy. Hmm, didn't really like that, but she told me that because it was started from the beginning, as part of the IVF protocol, we should not change it now, since I'm reacting OK to it and stopping it will probably do more harm than good. I gained 2 kg since the last checkup (6 weeks ago) according to their scale (which I guess I should assume is more accurate than mine, which hasn't shown any weight increase at all).

I told her that I was experiencing some cramps now and then. She first thought I meant in my legs, but I meant in my belly. She checked my uterus and said that it was indeed feeling a little tense/hard, so I was right but should not worry too much about it, and she prescribed a magnesium B6 supplement, which I now take twice a day. It's funny because it wasn't until I had left the OB's office that I realized that I've indeed also been experiencing leg cramps (especially when doing yoga). I've only been taking it for two days now, but already feel that it's working (will now better at yoga practice tonight).

Made appointments for the next three months, u/s appointment for week 22, and lab test for next week. T21 blood test will be in week 16.

I also got some forms to fill out to register the pregnancy with the state-run health and family insurances (which we filled out and mailed right away, because they need to have those before the end of week 14), so they will cover the necessary prenatal visits, allot the paid maternity and paternity leave, monitor that we'll do all the mandatory tests and vaccinations, and pay child/family allowance once the baby is born.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pregnancy books in the internet age

I thought it would be a good idea to buy a French book about pregnancy, so I can at least get familiar with all the terminology for the coming months in a language that is not my own. A quick look on Amazon told me that I would have quite a choice - so which one to pick?

I decided to go to the library first and check out their selection. They only had "J'attends un enfant" (I'm expecting a child), 2006 edition (this book comes out with a new edition every year). I took it home. After reading a few pages, I was glad I hadn't bought it. Pretty patronizing, with some 'wise' words on how to dress and mainly geared to the woman who has no clue about her body. Besides, it had a very confusing way of talking about counting the weeks of pregnancy: in one of the first chapters it said that it would talk 'months' from the time of conception, and 'weeks' from the first day of the last period, but then two pages later it would talk about 'you're now in week 3, which clearly should have been week 5 if the author would have adhered to her own rule...

Next step: the bookstore. I browsed the pregnancy book section on a Saturday afternoon in a overcrowded and too warm large bookstore and after five minutes didn't know how fast to run to the exit to get some fresh air... Before I did that, however, I had seen a book that I liked a lot better than the one I got at the library, but it was from 2001, so I wondered if there wouldn't be an updated version in the meantime.

Back to amazon: the book I had seen in the bookstore, "Livre de bord de la future maman" (Logbook for the mother-to-be) was available online, 2007 edition, paperback instead of hardcover, € 6,50 instead of € 22. Seemed like a good deal, and even if the it would turn out not to be a great read after all, I at least hadn't wasted too much money on it.

Now I think the overall problem with these kind of books is that they contain a lot of information that 'we, internet people' have already found online, and 'we, IF people' don't need to have explained anymore (how the reproductive system works, anyone?).

So the book arrived and I could skip the first three chapters. I did however wonder if they'd bothered to write something about IF... Found it as a bit of an afterthought under chapter 4 - the first month of pregnancy. Kind of a weird location, why not as a next paragraph after the one in chapter 2 entitled "Avant votre bébé, il y a vous: tout est prévu pour donner la vie" (before your baby, there is you: everything is ready to give life)?

It did still mention GIFT and ZIFT, which are procedures that I think are no longer used (replaced by IVF)? And it also said that ICSI is replacing normal IVF, which I think is highly exaggerated. But oh well, I didn't buy the book to get wiser on IF...

There were some omissions in the description of ultrasounds (no mention of vaginal u/s option), so together with the not quite correct IF information I wonder if there are more inaccuracies on topics that I don't know that much about yet. Other than that it's actually a pretty handy book and I don't regret buying it (and I'm learning some new French vocabulary).

Cleaning my undies with Goo Gone

OK, time for a silly post! I've discovered that the discharge from my progesterone suppositories is messing with the glue on my panty liners... It stays on my undies, so now I have to treat them with some Goo Gone before I put them in the washing machine! My hubby would say that this is only one more piece of evidence that I'm an addicted Goo Gone user...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The costs of an IVF cycle in France

I thought it might be interesting to show the cost breakdown for an IVF cycle here in France - both as comparison with prices in the US, where I know people easily pay $10,000+ for a cycle, and as guideline for any readers who live here too and are planning an IVF cycle.

The total amount of our IVF cycle: € 3,022 (for what's included, see below).

Of this total amount € 2,368 was covered by the general state-run health insurance, minus € 60 (edit: changed amount from € 43 after receiving latest insurance statement) of co-payment. Our additional insurance (we're covered through my hubby's work) paid for the remaining € 654.

Everyone in France, whether employed, unemployed, retired, etc. is covered under the general state-run insurance. Not everyone has the benefit of additional insurance, and if you have it, it depends on the contract what will be covered and what not (luckily we have a very good one). So this means that the most any legal resident of France would pay for an IVF cycle is about € 704 (i.e. the co-payment amount + the part optionally covered by the additional insurance).

This is of course great, and we're very happy that we can benefit from all of this. The question is how long France can keep a health care system like this without going bankrupt. The government is aware of the problem, however changes cannot be made easily because the whole country will go on strike as soon as any president or health care secretary tries to do something about it.

For those of you who want to know more, here are some details about what is included in above mentioned total costs:
Pre-cycle lab tests (€ 357 for blood work, pap smear, semen analysis)
3x u/s during stimulation (€ 70 each)
5x blood work during stimulation (€ 6 for nurse, € 19 for lab work)
Pre-ER consult with anesthesiologist (€ 45)
Determination by RE of trigger date (€ 110)
ER (€ 276 + € 243 for general anesthetic)
The actual IVF in the lab (€ 432)
3x beta test (€ 17 each)
u/s to confirm pregnancy (€ 57)
Suppression drugs (Enantone LP - € 137)
Stimulation drugs (Puregon, 2x 900IU at € 363 each)
Ovulation triggering drugs (Ovitrelle - € 41)
Progesterone suppositories (generic version of Utrogestan, 8 boxes of 15 capsules at € 5 / box)
Baby aspirin (Aspegic100, 4 boxes of 20 sachets at € 2 / box)
Follic acid (5 boxes of 30 tablets at € 4 / box)

Some observations/comments:
Nurses are very badly paid here. The one that came to my house to do the Enantone injection could only bill € 3 for the injection and € 2,20 for the house visit. I don't know how they can make a living off of that...
The € 110 for the 'determination of the trigger date' (I don't know how else to describe it) is pretty overpriced, compared to other costs.
I've actually had 5 u/s during stimulation, but our clinic always bills a maximum of 3 per cycle.
A Puregon pen is not included in the cost, since I already had that from my IUI cycles (I think it costs about € 60).
The u/s to determine the pregnancy is cheaper than the ones I had during stimulation because it was not done at the IVF clinic, so not the same prices...
I have not included the cost of a consult with our RE (which we had in July) - he charges € 70.
The above mentioned amount of vaginal progesterone suppositories is based on the period ER - 12w check-up (u/s), baby aspirin from ET - 12w and follic acid from pre-test phase (August) - 12w (although I've been taking that for ages already...).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hurtful comments

No, thankfully not to me personally, but I did feel a bit violated anyway... Late yesterday evening I was reading the article Her Body, My Baby, on the New York Times website. Interesting read about someone who, after years of infertility and lost pregnancies, had a baby via gestational surrogacy. Some things she wrote about her fertility journey really hit home, other aspects I felt less related to.

Then I started reading some of the more than 300 comments... Many were about the choice of the two photos, which is indeed questionable I think. But others - and those were on the first page (and 'referred' the most) - were plain mean: That it's immoral for infertile couples to go on a quest for a biological baby - if we really want a child, our only option should be to adopt, because there are already enough children in the world; if we can't conceive, that's because it was meant to be, and we should just accept Darwin's fatalism and not burden the health care system. Etc., etc.

It made me sick. I'm not going to defend my IVF pregnancy here, because I know that those who read this blog are 'on my side', and don't need explaining. I'm glad I don't know anyone who thinks about it the way those commenters do, but if I'd meet one, I'd ban them from my life forever.

Not surprisingly, it took me a while to fall asleep.