Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ever wonder what over $5,000 of medication looks like?  It's hard to believe that most of this stuff will be going into my body in less than two weeks.  Chris and I saved and paid for IVF with alot of hard work and patience.  While I don't want to advertise the exact amount we paid, it was in excess of over $10,000....not exactly extra pocket money for our tax bracket.  We were luckier then most when it comes to the medication.  Unlike most people, I had some insurance coverage which covered all but about 1,500 in copays.  The remainder was donated by a non for profit organization called BabyQuest.  It also sounds like they may be able to help us with our medication copay which would really help.  While this journey is extremely taxing emotionally and physically, it is also quite expensive so any amount helps.  If we are blessed with children we do not want to start off on the wrong foot if possible.  We would like to be responsible and not deplete our entire savings.   When you want something SO incredibly bad, that's a hard choice.  A few months back I entered a contest to have assistance with the financial aspect of IVF.  We were upfront and honest about our struggles and finances.  While we make a good living, it's still expensive.  We knew if we were patient enough we'd be able to come up with the money eventually, however we've already waited over 30 months.  They helped us achieve our goal quicker.  When dealing with something so emotional, time is not friendly and has a way of wearing on you.  I am forever grateful for this gift and hope to someday be able to repay them in some way.  Sadly, there are many people who are probably much worse off than Chris and I.  Sometimes it seems that only the wealthy can have babies with IVF.  I encourage anyone in our situation to take a chance and reach out to organizations such as BabyQuest because you just never know.  There are good people out there who are willing to help and you may be the lucky one.  

Yesterday was my first official day of injectable medications.  I had my initial ultrasound and bloodwork and everything looks fantastic.  Last night I started two injections daily:  one of a medication called Gonal F and another called LDHCG(low dose HCG).  I've been getting pretty good at giving myself injections, although I still don't like it. Monday I go for another checkup and blood work and will possibly start a third injectable.  I'm also taking my prenatal vitamins, a round of azrithromycin, and have a baby aspirin daily as part of my protocol.  Currently the medication I'm on now is a FSH or follicle stimulating hormone that helps the ovaries to produce more eggs...hopefully LOTS of them so they can later be harvested.  THe LDHCG helps to prevent OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome).

Here's some things I learned about IVF medications.  THEY'RE EXPENSIVE!!!  I recommend that anyone without insurance coverage call around and check with pharmacies what their "cash price" is.  Just like with anything, you shop around.  I've found that the pharmacies that only deal with infertility medications really were my cheapest route versus a bigger pharmacy such as CVS or Walmart.  I've also learned that there are many different drugs to choose from.  For example Gonal F, Follistim and Bravelle.  Essentially these drugs do the same job but may vary in cost by hundreds of dollars.  I've also learned about a place to receive medication from the UK at quite a bit of a discount (www.ivfmeds.com).  

So far I'm holding up great.  I have some pretty supportive friends who've helped me along the way and  act as my cheeleaders.  My attitude and frame of mind has been positive and I'm doing my best to eat healthy and exercise.  In a little over a week I anticipate having surgery for egg retrieval.  In the mean time I'm just taking things a day at a time.  

2 comments:

  1. wishing you all the best. i am just beginning this journey and will be doing IVF in the near future. it's good to know there is someone out there going through what i'm going through and feeling what i'm feeling. good luck!!

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  2. Rachel....I am so glad you are able to get to this point. I totally understand the costs involved. I have done 2 rounds of IVF so far and I do not have any more insurance coverage for my medications (I already reached my lifetime max) and we only have less than half lifetime medical insurance for a complete third round. I can't believe how much this process costs and I can't grasp why more of this isn't covered by insurance. If I had cancer, I would be coverered but being infertile, I am not. My quest for a family is based on my insurance benefits.

    I wish you NOTHING but the best.....

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