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Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Whew! What a week…

Hi blogging world! This week was crazy — I can’t believe how quickly it flew by! It started off with insurance issues — basically, I hate insurance companies — and ended with a fun dinner party! First, the insurance drama.

I received an “explanation of benefits” from my insurance company last Saturday stating that they were denying my claim for the D&C I had in late January. The explanation stated that I didn’t have a referral on file. I promptly called my doctor’s office on Monday morning to get more details. My insurance angel, Ms. D, explained that since this was a direct access procedure that I didn’t need a referral or authorization for the D&C. I then called the insurance devils and was put through the ringer — ugh! The claims person told me that I needed a referral for this procedure. I also found out that hubby’s work put through our paperwork with the wrong birthdate and SSN# — something that can’t be corrected over the phone (because that would make too much sense) instead we have to get his company to re-submit paperwork. The claims person suggested that I call the infertility group to explain why I wasn’t covered for the D&C. I called the infertility line and spoke to a wonderfully kind agent who said that I was in fact covered for the procedure and that no referral or authorization was required. She also noted that my doctor’s office called the day before my D&C to confirm this. She said that the procedure should be covered and that I should call the claim devils back and explain this to them. I did just that, and this claims person was even worse than the first — she was mean and not understanding. I told her how disappointed I was — she basically said she couldn’t help me because she was only allowed to read off a computer screen. She also said that the woman I spoke to at the infertility group was wrong and I owed them a thousand dollars. I made a few more calls to hubby’s work, the infertility line, and back to the claims crazies. I finally hung up in tears, and called Ms. D back. She went into action immediately by calling the insurance company crazies with me conferenced in, asking for a supervisor, and taking care of the situation. The supervisor admitted that the procedure should and would be covered — she didn’t apologize for treating me poorly, but at least I don’t owe an additional $1,000. I sincerely hate insurance companies — they are evil! We upgraded our insurance this year and pay a ridiculously high monthly premium, but I have never had such bad customer service. I hope it gets better as we enter the IVF world! Because of all the confusion with my birth date and SS#, I had to cancel the consult with my RE and reschedule it for March 6th. How frustrating!!! In the end, it worked out, but no one should have to go through this to get the coverage they were promised and have paid for!

Fast forward to the end of the week… On Friday, I attended a conference at my alma mater — I volunteer to fundraise for the university, and am often invited to meetings and fancy dinners. It was a great conference, but at the dinner one of the fundraising members asked me how my kids were doing. I answered that we don’t have kids yet — at which point most people would stop questioning — but she went on how she could have sworn I was pregnant last time she saw me and that she was certain I had kids. I definitely wasn’t pregnant the last time she saw me and I am pretty sure I would know better than her if we had kids. Yes, I am being a little over-sensitive, but infertility does that to me. I was also speaking to another member of the conference at this point who doesn’t have kids and she mentioned that they were trying, but having some trouble, and the fertile conference member said, “oh you just need to relax. As soon as you quit trying, you’ll get pregnant.” I hate when people say things like this — trust me, I am sure that my fertility challenges have nothing to do with stress or trying to hard. We both smiled, and fertile Mertile went on her merry way. Sometimes I feel like infertility slaps me in the face everywhere I go :(. Thankfully, the dinner was delicious and our dinner conversation had nothing to do with babies.

The week ended with a fabulous dinner party that we hosted for my virtual teams who live  locally. 11 people were able to make it, and we had a great time laughing, telling stories, and getting to know each other outside of work. I spent most of the day cooking, and thankfully, everyone loved the food! Although I love working from home, it is nice to connect with people in person, and I can’t wait to have another get together soon!

Have a great week!

 

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Valentine’s Day and an Answer

I had a great Valentine’s Day! My very thoughtful husband brought home beautiful roses, took me out to a fabulous dinner, and surprised me a with a new Keurig and plenty of caffeine-free drink options. It was a wonderful day as well as a reminder that I have so much for which to be thankful! As if this wasn’t enough, I also received “the call” from my doctor with my fetal tissue results. The results were ‘good’ (as if miscarriage can ever be called good) — the fetus had a chromosomal abnormality. It was missing an x chromosome, which according to Dr. D is the #1 cause of chromosomal-based miscarriage. He also explained (again) that my all of our blood work is completely normal, and this was not caused by anything in our genetic code or anything that we did before or after I found out I was pregnant.

So, all in all, this is good news. I am also glad that the results came in before our appointment next week — I was worried that we would have to push next week’s appointment back, which would mean more waiting. On the weight loss front, I am doing well. I have been working out a lot, so I feel great! I am not as stressed as I was right after the miscarriage, and I look and feel much healthier. I have been eating very well — lots of fruit, veggies, and plant-based protein — except for a few bites of dessert last night and last weekend. Eating healthy and working out regularly really do make a significant difference not only in how I feel, but also in how I react to life. I know that when we start IVF that I will have to cut back on my working out, but I plan to continue walking and doing yoga (as long as Dr. D approves) — just being outside and taking me time will have a very positive impact on my emotional and mental psyche.

This weekend my brother-and-sister-in-law are coming for a visit. I can’t wait to see them. My sister-in-law and I have a great relationship as well as a similar belief in healthy living. I am not 100% sure what we are going to do, but I know whatever it is, we will have a great time doing it.

Keep smiling!

 

Wait, Wait, Weight

I am not an impatient person, but this process can make anyone a bit anxious. It’s a constant game of waiting — wait for the next doctor’s appointment, wait for the next u/s, wait for a pregnancy test (the 2WW = worst), wait for the the fetal tissue testing results, wait for the next blood test, wait to start trying again, and, finally, while waiting try to lose a little weight. Sometimes I wonder if the universe is trying to teach me patience — maybe I just need to wait long enough and it will be my turn. Who knows?

We head to see our RE next week — it will be a month since my miscarriage, but it seems like it’s been much longer, like we’ve been waiting for 3-4 months to see the doctor and figure out our next steps. I don’t know how long he’s going to ask us to wait before we try again. My acupuncturist has suggested that we wait 3 months (really?!?!) to allow my body to heal. I just hope that my healthy lifestyle, working out, and acupuncture are helping my body to heal quickly. I know I feel great, I just have to wait to see what the doctor says next Tuesday.

Butter, wine, and cake, oh my!

 I had a great weekend spent with many of my fabulous friends and my great husband. On Friday night, we went out for our girls’ and guys’ nights out, and on Saturday, we went to a dinner party with 2 couples. Both nights were great fun, but I have to admit, I miss “normal” on nights like these. I no longer drink alcohol, eat cheese, dairy, gluten, or meat (except fish), which makes going to a friend’s house for dinner a bit of a challenge. I never want to inconvenience anyone, so I do my best to eat what I can and not offend the cook. I would never expect someone to try to figure out how to cook for me — it can be a very daunting task at best. I have always been a little bit picky — even before all this fertility stuff, I was a fish-eating vegetarian who typically avoided dairy, but now I am much stricter. I always feel awkward turning down a cocktail… I am just sure the other person is thinking “Oh, she must be pregnant” — yes this is irrational, but it’s always in the back of my mind. I almost want to drink just so they know not to ask about babies. Yes, people should know better, but some people are just a little too nosy for their own good.

The last two nights, I actually ate a couple bites of real dessert, drank a half glass of delicious red wine, and ate fish that was prepared with butter. All three tasted amazing, but then the guilt set in — what if by eating a few bites of decadent chocolate cake, I piss off my ovaries and they decide not to ovulate this month? What if the sugar in the alcohol makes my blood sugar crazy? Or, what if the butter somehow impacts my uterine lining?  So, in the end, is cheating once in a while actually worth it? Has changing my diet actually done any good for my fertility? I wish I knew the answer to all of these questions, but I don’t. My acupuncturist always reminds me that I should live by the 80/20 rule — follow my dietary and lifestyle changes about 80% of the time — everything will be okay. This should make me feel better, but I want to do whatever it is that will get me closer to our goal of having a healthy baby. So, if 80% will get me closer, won’t 100% get me even further along? Darn logic!

The only problem with logic in this case is that infertility isn’t logical. Why does one person get pregnant so easily and I don’t? Why can one woman eat/drink/smoke whatever she wants and have no problem at all conceiving and carrying the baby to term? It doesn’t make sense, and I have stopped trying to make sense of it. The rational part of me knows that I shouldn’t beat myself up over a few indulgences, but my rational self doesn’t always win these internal arguments…

Pro-Women

This last week was powerful for women. I was shocked when I first read that Susan G. Komen — an organization that I have supported for as long as I can remember — made a decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood. I am not going to turn this into a political conversation because I actually don’t think it’s necessary. It doesn’t matter if I am pro-life or pro-choice, what matters is that I am pro-women. I believe that all women deserve access to quality health care regardless of their socioeconomic situation or if they are privileged enough to have good health coverage. I was upset with Komen because their decision was decidedly anti-women — against their mission  to protect and care for all women as well as the beliefs of the majority of their supporters. This decision would strip funding from Planned Parenthood clinics that provide care where most doctors wouldn’t dream of having an office. 97% of the care provided by PP prevents cancers, provides annual exams, birth control, and health information, as well as supporting women when they are pregnant by making sure that women receive essential pre-natal care. Millions of women use PP for these very important and life-saving services and the funds provided by Komen are essential in providing this care.

I am happy that Komen apologized and the funding has been restored through this year, and I continue to hope that this begins a dialogue about how to advance women’s rights and health care in our country.

Doctor Time

Today was my first visit to my fertility specialist since last week’s D&C. It pretty much sucked. I really love the nurses and doctors, but today I felt sad. One of the nurses gave me a big hug — which helped, but almost made me burst into tears — and everyone asked how I am feeling and how I am doing. It’s the first time that I felt a little lost in all of this mess of fertility craziness. When my doctor called to give me the “good” news — my hormones levels have dropped to 400 — he very kindly and genuinely told me how sorry he is for our loss. (It’s the first time I’ve talked to him since the miscarriage.) I know everyone at the office is routing for us, which is awesome, but it also makes our loss even more heartbreaking — like I am letting another group of people down. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t look at it that way — no one blames me and I know that none of this is my fault — but it still feels that way sometimes…

I have to admit when all of this started a couple years ago, I thought it would be an easy journey. How naive of me! Even when we started fertility treatments 14 months ago, I was sure I’d get pregnant quickly (which I did), but never thought staying pregnant would be so hard. People always tell me that I am lucky that at least I can get pregnant. Somehow I don’t feel that lucky. I guess in the big scheme of this fertility whirlwind getting pregnant is a pretty significant part of the battle, but does it really matter if you can get pregnant and still don’t have a baby?

The silver lining — my hormones are dropping quickly, and we have our follow-up sit-down-and-figure-out-what-to-do-next appointment with our RE in 2 weeks. I am excited for our appointment and look forward to what he has to say. I am pretty sure he will recommend IVF, and I am ready for this next step. I am so thankful that we have excellent, albeit very expensive, insurance that covers infertility, so at least I don’t have to stress too much over the financial burden that this causes. Staying positive for the next few weeks, our RE appointment, and our next cycle! There is a baby in our near future! 🙂

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