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2004-01-21 - 11:11 a.m.

Q4B 2004

Now that we have moved, changed our insurance, and settled in, the Quest for Baby 2004 has intensified. The mission is to get pregnant in 2004.

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The Scientist put himself under the knife for some surgery. He went to the best guy in town, according to our research (Your Mileage May Vary). Dr. S. had a brusque bedside manner, but is very well regarded for his surgical skills and that's the most important thing to me (and The Scientist) when working with a surgeon. I might pick another kind of doctor according to personality or philosophy, but with a surgeon I'm looking for results.

nut basketThe Scientist handled the procedure really well and didn't experience much pain post-op. He only took one of his high-octane pain pills (the ones that when picked them up, the pharmacy assistant had to call over the pharmacist to lecture me on their effects), saying that it made him feel "too weird" and that he'd rather just take a couple of ibuprofen. He took two days off work (the Friday of the surgery and the Monday after) and was pretty much normal in less than two weeks. The procedure should help our chances on the male side, but not for 3-6 months.

One of my close friends stopped by the day of the surgery with a get well basket for The Scientist. It contained a number of nut-related gifts, including chocolate covered nuts, macadamia nuts, Poppycock (of which you can see part of the label in the pic), and a bunch of nuts still in shells. The crowning glory was the single nut hanging from the basket handle, complete with Hello Kitty band-aid. Hilarious! The Scientist's response was laughter, followed by groaning, "Don't make me laugh, it hurts!"

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I started going to an RE. There are a few clinics in town (apparently they all used to work together but broke up 10-15 years ago for undisclosed reasons), but only one that a) could get me an appointment before 9 months and b) accepted our insurance.

I was shocked to find out that most RE clinics (at least in our area) do not accept insurance. They may work with you to create a payment plan or they may have a pregnancy-or-your-money-back guarantee, but they don't accept insurance benefits for assisted reproduction techniques (ART). Evidently this is pretty common - doctors are finding that the insurance companies don't pay them enough for the procedures (insurance company says procedure is worth x, doctor/hospital says it costs x2 or more) so their clinics have a hard time breaking even.

While this may be true, my cynical side suspects that the clinics know they can get desperate white upper-middle class older couples to pay thousands and thousands of dollars in cash out-of-pocket and make enough money to keep their doctors in BMWs. Where that leaves the rest of us is...pretty much screwed.

The clinic I'm going to is affiliated with the University, so they have a research and training mission as well as the expected functional get-women-pregnant mission. I'm even participating in a study, one that looks at uterine waves or something. I have to get an ultrasound and a blood test during ovulation (both free of charge).

This cycle, I was put on clomiphene (aka Clomid) for the first time. One pill once a day on days 3-7 of my cycle. Although the list of side effects is long, I only had two - I was a little dizzy for about 2 hours after taking it and on the last three days the left side of my abdomen (most likely my left ovary) hurt a little. Not enough to go to the emergency room or even call my doctor, but enough to notice and occasionally say, "ow."

I'll take Clomid for four cycles (or I get pregnant, whichever happens first) and then we'll move on to something else - probably IUI (intrauterine insemination) with injectable drugs for two or three cycles and then in vitro fertilization (IVF). Oh joy.

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Because I'm supposed to track my cycle closely, this week I've been peeing on a stick (ovulation predictor kit - OPK) to track my hormone surge at ovulation. It has to be done at the same time every day (2pm), so I've been doing it at work. There's really nothing like being at work and smuggling a pee stick (my preferred method is stuck in the waistband of my pants) into the public bathroom, peeing on it (and quite possibly yourself), and then sitting there for three minutes while it does its thing. Not to mention wrapping it up to camouflage it from any discovery by coworkers. Lovely.

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We haven't gone to a support group or meeting (yet), but I've been posting occasionally on some boards and looking for other journals/blogs of people who have gone through or are going through similar things. Here's the list of ones I read in no particular order - send me any others you like, I'm always looking for more good reads:

 

 

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