Monday, March 14, 2011

FET plans and insurance stuff

When I picked my son up at the nanny's on Friday afternoon, I finally told her about the failed IVF. But I immediately wished I hadn't, because the reaction I got was so full of all the well-know clichés ("oh, just try again; you know, I know of this couple who tried everything, even adoption, then went on vacation, and tadaa, she was pregnant; the mother of one of the other kids she takes care of also had 'help' with kid #1, but then kid #2 came naturally, and then she had a m/c with kid #3 and they decided they that was it..."). I don't know why I had expected anything else, after all she's not the brightest of people (but even bright fertiles can say stupid things - my neighbor, who graciously helped out taking care of our son when we had to be at the clinic at 7 am for ER - also said something like "oh, it doesn't matter, just try again").

When I told my dad about it over the weekend, he had quite a good remark though: "maybe they just didn't know how to deal with your grief at that moment" (he must have been in similar situations since my mom died...). I guess he's right, but I also think that many people just don't understand that we IFers can really grief about a BFN. For me personally this BFN after IVF was a lot harder that the BFNs after IUIs (or timed IC), because with those I never even knew if fertilization had taken place at all, whereas here I had seen those two beautiful embryos...

On Saturday the paperwork for FET #1 came in the mail. A form to send to the insurance company so they'll reimburse the procedure + preceding u/s, bloodwork etc., a statement to sign for the clinic demanding the FET for our own couple (and thus proving we're still a couple, because, if you're not, then French law doesn't allow it), and the prescription. The treatment doesn't start on CD04, as the assistant had told me on Friday, but on CD07: 100 IU of Puregon on CD07, CD08 and CD09, then go in for first u/s and blood work on CD10 - continue until RE deems me 'ready' (no idea how long that would be - similar to IUI cycle?) - trigger - start progesterone suppositories two days later, (and ET also around that day?). So having read this I think I could have waited until my RE appointment on April 7 with getting all the paperwork and still cycle in April, but I'm still glad I already got everything, so now I know a little bit what to expect from the FET and I can get the paperwork to the insurance company well in time.

Regarding insurance paperwork - when we started to gear up for IVF #2, back in October, I was waiting for a confirmation from the state run, mandatory, health insurance/social security that my insurance had been switched from the payment center for salaried persons to the one for independent workers. I had set up my own business in May 2010, but the French bureaucracy of course needs almost six months before acknowledging the change. So when we had to fill in the insurance forms, I had to fill out the information from my old payment center, because I didn't know the details of the new one yet. Of course I got the confirmation of the change a week later, so I sent a letter to both payment centers, asking to transfer my file, especially those forms concerning ART... After a few weeks I got a new statement from my new payment center - confirming the 100% reimbursement of all procedures/meds concerning ART. Didn't hear anything about the two other forms I filled out in October, but with those it says 'if you don't hear anything within two weeks after submitting them, consider it approved'. So I didn't think about it anymore.

We had our cancelled cycle in November (due to my mom's passing), then our real IVF #2 in February, and then last week (on the day I got my BFN) I get a letter from the payment center that they got a request for reimbursement for these procedures (u/s, ER, ET) and they don't have the forms, so they can't pay me... (luckily these procedures are not as prohibitively expensive as they are in the US, it's 'only' 434 euros, but I'd still like to get it back!). So I sent them a letter, with copies of the two forms, copies of the letters I sent them before, and hope that that's enough. But now I want to hold off sending the new form for the FET, because some procedures on there (like the u/s, and ET) are similar to the ones for the fresh cycle, and I'm sure that if I send the form now, they're going to think this is in response to their letter and then when we'll have our FET, they will again say that the form is missing... Hmm, I hope I won't get tangled up too much into this bureaucratic stuff. I tried to call them this morning, but after being on hold for almost five minutes, the computer told me they had too many incoming calls at that moment and hung up...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Afraid of losing time

Today, without the distraction of my son (who's at the nanny's), is more difficult than yesterday. It started out OK, but then we arrived at the nanny's and I had intended to tell her about our failed IVF, so she would know why she had to take care of our son so much more than normal two weeks ago, and by doing so, hoping that her hurtful remarks that we should hurry up having a second baby would stop. But it wasn't the moment. Both her kids were there (preteen boy and teenage girl) and it just felt bad. So I just left.

Then I went to the lab to pick up my copy of Wednesday's beta test. While waiting, I saw that the lab technician who had drawn my blood on Wednesday was pregnant (I hadn't noticed on Wednesday). It stung. Somehow I had hoped that my beta would be super low, but still above 2 (so there might have been implantation), but it wasn't: <2.

I felt like crying when I left the lab. Back home I called the RE's office to make an appointment to discuss what went wrong with IVF #2 (not that I think he can enlighten me much on this) and what to expect from FET #1. I had called them yesterday as well, asking if a consult was necessary before the FET. The assistant said that it was up to me, but that she could also just mail me the prescription. Since I didn't think the RE would be able to say much about why IVF#2 failed, I opted to have the prescription mailed. But then hubby and I talked, and we decided it would be good to talk to the RE anyway (discuss why day 2 transfer, why day 2 frozen embryo, maybe even assisted hatching?), so that's why I called to make the appointment today.

Appointment is set for April 7 (earlier not possible). So the assistant said she would put away my file again and not mail me the FET prescription, because the RE would give it to me on April 7. After I'd hung up, my mind started racing again... what if next month's AF would show before the appointment, and I would thus run the risk of having to wait another month with the FET, because the treatment might start on CD01...?

Just the fact of looking into my agenda, thinking, ok, so maybe no FET until May, then if that fails, wait another month before being able to start IVF#3 (which I don't want to do at all right now), and with the long protocol, that would mean ER/ER late July/early August (hopefully just in time before the entire country, including RE and staff, would leave for a month of summer vacation)... which would mean my son would be almost three if and when that IVF attempt would be successful (plus, probably more importantly, I would be 38 by that time), made me cry.

After running around in circles for about an hour, I decided to call the RE's office again. Explained very apologetically what I was thinking/worried about and asked when treatment would start (CD04) and if she could maybe still mail me the subscription. "Comme vous voulez, Madame". OK, well, then, yes, please mail it to me (and I'm sorry for being such a nervous wreck - but I hope you understand a bit an IFer's mindset).

So I feel better about that now - and now that I wrote it all down (and thanks for reading my ramblings until the end), I should really get something done today - after all, this is supposed to be my work day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Perfect day

Despite my sadness over the BFN, today I spent a perfect day with my son - we laughed, we played, we cuddled, we sang, and we rode our bike (he in his seat in front of me, babbling, pointing at things, sometimes looking up at me so I could plant a kiss on his face) along the river in the beautiful sunshine. I'm so glad I have him, my little miracle.

So this song is for him...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


How desolate can one feel, at 6:15 am, staring at a pee stick, wishing for that second line to show up. Especially when just a moment ago, I woke from a nice dream in which that second line was definitely there.

I had an appointment at the lab at 9:15 for my first beta. I noticed some super light pink spotting before I left. Had my blood drawn. Went to Ikea to try to distract my mind. Felt crampy, with lower back pain. Typical first day menstrual symptoms.

I went to the bathroom. There was more blood. I cried.

Hubby decided not to return to work after our morning trip to Ikea, but to accompany me home. That was nice.

I called the lab at 4 pm. They confirmed what I already knew. I hugged hubby and cried more. I kept thinking about those two perfect 4-cell embryos that floated into my uterus, and then just died.

We picked up our son from the nanny's, and I thought about those two embryos again, what beautiful possibilities there could have been, what dreams I already made, but that were now gone forever.

Our son had fun playing with his friends, and didn't want to go home. The nanny made one of her typical innocent remarks, that we should just make another baby, so she could keep him. Hubby picked up our son, I turned away and cried behind my sunglasses.

I had a glass of wine with dinner. Maybe I'll have another one.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Ugh, been having menstrual-type cramping almost all day. No spotting or bleeding though, and I had this too the day before beta with the first pregnancy, so still hopeful. Would like to POAS, but no First Response or similar pee sticks for sale here, and if my beta tomorrow is as low as it was last time (55), I'm afraid the regular ClearBlue stick will give a negative result, even if I might be pregnant. So will not POAS until tomorrow am, before I go to the lab.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Time to vote!

The poll to vote for your favorite limerick (mine, mine!) in the Limerick Chick 2011 contest is now open over at Write Mind Open Heart. Round 1, flight 1 (which includes my entry) is open until Sunday morning (EST I guess). Vote early and often!! ;-)

Edited on March 6: sadly I didn't make it to the final round (I came in second, just 5% shy of #1), but a big thanks to everyone who voted for me! Please vote for the other entries in flight two (poll now open) and three (poll opens March 8) and then pick a winner in the final round on March 11.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

French precision

I had to go to the lab this morning to get my blood drawn for an estradiol level check. If it would be below 500 pg/ml I would have to get a HCG booster shot... With IVF#1 my level was well above that (1982), but this time I wasn't so sure, as my boobs are still not sore (which starts freaking me out - to me this is the early sign of pregnancy, I had it with #1, but so far nothing this time). I first thought that if the level would be below 500, the chance of being pregnant would be about zero, but luckily, when I went through old emails I exchanged with a friend, I found out that she did have the hcg booster shot, and she had a successful pregnancy, so that eased my mind a bit.

It was very busy at the lab and the ladies were there usual charming self... I asked them at what time I could call for the results - important as if the level would indeed be below 500, I would have to go to the pharmacy to get the meds and then try to contact a nurse to give me the shot - they told me 3 pm.

So I called around 3:10 pm. "Are you sure the results would be ready at this time?" Yes, I asked this morning and you told me to call at 3... "Well, but normally we don't have the results before 4 pm". You told me to call at 3 pm, and I need to get this stuff sorted if my level is too low... After a few rounds of stupid music she finally came back to me to say that my level was above 1000. So no booster shot needed.

When I picked up my son at the nanny's around 5:30 pm I went by the lab to get the results (on paper this time). When she told me over the phone "over 1000" I assumed they hadn't completely finished testing or something and that the final number would be on the paper. No... the paper also says "> 1000". WFT? They can't give me a freaking number? I mean, it doesn't really matter, because it's over 500, so I don't need the shot, but come on, with IVF#1 they were able to give me an exact number, why not this time? You might wonder why I didn't ask them - well, she gave me the results in an envelope and I didn't open it until I was in the elevator on my way down again. As this was a tiny elevator, my son was freaking out (is afraid in small elevators since we almost got stuck in one a few weeks ago), so I didn't feel like going up again.

I'm really getting a bit fed up with this lab. This morning they also asked me twice what the date of my last period was. I told them, but I also said that it wasn't relevant, since I had a long IVF protocol... I'd prefer to have these IVF-related tests done at the clinic's lab - at least they don't ask stupid questions (like for the vaginal exam where the lab near my house manages to ask why I need this test done - do I have a yeast infection?) and they have their results a lot quicker than this lab. But the downside is that it's 30-45 minutes away by bus and metro while this other one is a 15-minute walk...

Anyway... I guess I'm happy that I didn't need the booster shot. Things seem to go OK inside me, at least as far as the lining is concerned... Still feeling bloated, slightly crampy sometimes, but not as much as last week, having night sweats and crazy dreams (but why don't my boobs hurt? - I googled a bit, apparently some women do have sore boobs with one pregnancy and not with the next. Hmm, ok, I hope I'm one of them then!). One more week until beta.