Thursday, July 26, 2007

I hate this, but lets talk money.

Here we are again talking about my wonderful infertility issues. Sorry. But I have to vent. We have been fortunate that our insurance has been covering 80% of all our tests and IUIs to this point. But now we have to move onto IVF and our insurance does not cover that. We are looking at two different clinics – Froedtert vs. Advanced Fertility Clinic of IL. We have using Froedtert for our IUI and we like them. They are one of the best hospital in the US. but their success numbers on IVF aren't as high as this clinic in Illinois. When it comes down to money, Froedtert is about $15,000 for one IVF. The Advanced Fertility Clinic has different payment options. One, for example, is you pay for three IVF rounds and there is a guarantee live birth or your money back. Sounds great right? Sure, with a price tag of about $25,000 that we have to pay upfront, if full, before we start.
At this point we are doing a lot of research on both locations, asking many questions, and inquiring input from others who have used both clinics. We have a consult with the Advanced Fertility Clinic (which will set us back $375 paid in full at time of appointment) in a couple weeks and we will meet with Froedtert again to discuss the next steps of IVF. My husband is currently researching the best way to finance IVF. Our plan was to use Capital One's health care finance option with a nice low rate of 1.9% APR but we found out that neither clinic will accept payment from Capital One because of the hidden fees they get hit with from Capital One.
So yesterday I went into very angry mode. I can get a boat loan from my bank at 6% but if I want a general health care loan I'm looking at 12% APR. I want to scream at insurance companies. I know people who smoke, are obese, don't exercise and just don't take care of themselves yet insurance is paying for all their health issues but I can't get any insurance if I want a baby? (Please, don't tell me to vote for Hillary and her idea of new health care because if that would be the case I wouldn't have the option of what clinic I could even to go.) Sure, we could lower our 401k investments, our IRA's and stop saving money for the hospital bills that we will accumulate when (and if) we have a baby, but that just drives me crazy. We pay a lot of money just to have health insurance and my husband's company pays outrageous money just for us to have insurance but the one time that I need it we don't get it. Or how about a trade off? You get $20,000 for fertility treatments, not limiting us to just IUIs. If that would be the case, we would have skipped IUIs and gone right to IVF. Why is it so limited? WHY CAN'T I GET ANY COVERAGE!
OK, I'm done. I just needed to vent about my frustration with insurance coverage, costs of infertility treatments and the fact that I will be on a mission to make more people aware this problem.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My food world ups and downs

My food world
Yesterday was a sad day and a great day in my food network world.
Milwaukee lost it's beloved favorite restaurant critic, Dennis Getto at the young age of 57. Known as the faceless critic for 25 years, Getto not only reviewed restaurants but also provided his readers with insight to cooking, entertaining and where to dine. He was always quick to return phone calls and emails to his readers. Getto passed died from pulmonary fibrosis.

Paula Deen is coming to Chicago on Saturday, November 17 and guess who has tickets?! I am so freaking excited. I will be heading to Chicago with three of my girlfriends to see Paula's Live Tour. Known for her famous quote of "everything's better with a stick of butter" Paula has become an icon of cooking on the Food Network. I am so excited (did I say that yet) that I am going to hear her say "hey y'all" in person. I may cry.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another great infertility article - Infertility Etiquette

Sorry that I am posting so much on this topic. I guess since we had our third IUI yesterday this is on my mind.

Here is a good article for family and friends who may know a loved one struggling with infertility.

Infertility Etiquette

Think twice before you ask a woman when they plan on having children

This is a great article that was on MSNBC - Newsweek:
My Turn: Stop Setting Alarms on My Biological Clock

Can you believe a woman actually said, "Well, you don't know happiness until you've had a baby."

Excuse me?

Since when does children = happiness? So if my husband and I can't have children we will never experience happiness? The day I married my husband I wasn't really happy? I'm really not happy during the times I spend with my family and friends?

This is just one part of the article that got my blood boiling.

It's a short quick read, take a look!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Smug mug account

My husband and I decided to purchase a smug mug account to host our photographs. We really liked the viewing quality and other features of the site. Go check it out!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Acupuncture take two

It's been a week since I have done an update. I felt pretty relaxed last week. There were a couple times when I started feeling anxiety and stress but I was able to concentrate on my breathing and feel calm and relaxed again.

We had a nice and busy weekend. Right after work on Friday we took off to the Wisconsin Dells for the "Waupaca" Boatride Volleyball Tournament. We stayed at the Chula Vista Resort and met up with a bunch of our friends. If you like volleyball I highly suggest this tournament - teams of three, grass, 472 teams ....Open, AA, A, BB and B. My husband and two of our other friends played in A's. It was fun to watch all the games, enjoy the sun and free beer! I even squeezed in a facial.

Sunday was busy - church, lunch with girlfriends and my nephew Ethan's 4 year old birthday party.

Today was my second acupuncture appointment. She concentrated on my stomach/uterus/female reproduction points and my knees. The needles were left in longer but I was very relaxed. She even rubbed a lavender/tangerine oil on my head. I started to concentrate on my breathing and thoughts of nothing and little by little my most stressed parts of my body started to go limp. After she took the needles out she rubbed out some tight spots on my legs and wrists and sent me on my way. Now I'm at home, on my couch with a glass of wine just relaxing away. I really like this acupuncture stuff. Tomorrow I get my ultra sound to see how the clomid worked and hopefully IUI #3 on Wednesday.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Acupuncture take one

I did it. Tonight I overcame one of my biggest fears of having many little needles sticking out of my body, or acupuncture. My husband was the first one to suggest acupuncture to me. His friends had problems getting pregnant and she tried acupuncture and she got pregnant within one month. I hate needles, hate them. It's not the pain, it's the feeling of having something in my body that does not belong. It's hard to describe. So needless to say I have been very hesitant. I have a physical therapist and chiropractor that I love at Invivo Wellness and they recently added acupuncture. I asked both of them about their opinion on it and of course they said, "do it." I met with Jennifer last Friday and we talked about our road to having a baby, my stress levels, other health issues etc. I liked her and felt very calm after leaving her, so I scheduled my first appointment for today.
I get there today a little nervous and Jennifer is just a very relaxing person. Tiny, skinny, quiet and her voice is just calming. She talked to me for about 30-45 minute on my health history, diet, exercise, fertility etc. She then gets me on the table and says, "OK here comes the needles." I just closed my eyes and took deep breathes. She put one in my head, my arms, hands, stomach, knees and ankles. At first I hated it. I was tensing up and I started feeling like I do when I give the blood. I thought to myself there is no way I'm ever doing this again. It's not like I could feel the needles at all but I knew they were there, make sense?
I started feeling sick and wanted them out. But I just took deep deep breathes and then I then I couldn't feel them. She reminds me to relax and she left the room. I tried so hard to think positive and relaxed and I even said a prayer. Next thing I knew my whole body went limp, it was heavy like. It was weird. I felt things moving in my body, like blood flow or something, my body was waking up but relaxed. It is so hard to describe.
She came back in and we talked about how I felt and she pulled out the needles. She lightly messaged my legs and arms talking to me about what muscles are connected to what organs and why she put the needles where she did. Everything she was saying made sense. I believe that everything is connected but at the same time it was weird, the whole Chinese Medicine theory. My heart started beating heavily, not fast just heavy and then i felt like I was on vicodin or something. It was awesome. I was in a whole other world. We talked about food/diet and I was waiting for her to tell me she was vegan or tell me that I need to detox my body and just do herbs but she said....just eat food, real food. Food is good. Stay away from the frozen dinners, fake sugars, no-fat stuff etc. Also she told me the number one thing to stay away from that is "media food" is soy. She said especially if you are trying to get pregnant. She gave me bunch of articles on it.
I got up and was so relaxed but not like I have ever felt. Different than a message. I still feel really good right now.
I go back next Monday.

Friday, July 06, 2007

3rd/4th of July

This is my favorite holiday. I love the summer weather, parades, cookouts and most of all the fireworks. I include the 3rd of July as part of the holiday because here in Milwaukee, WI we are given the opportunity to start the celebration of our country a day early with the spectacular US Bank Fireworks. Heading down to Milwaukee's beautiful lakefront for this grand display has been a family tradition for years. It started with my mom, dad and sister and has expanded to as many as 40 plus people. The past couple years it has been my responsibility to get the spot. You can show up at the last hour and hope to get some grass but thats not how I do it. I stated a couple years ago by going down around Noon, then 10 am, last year we marked off our spot the night before and came down at 8 am to add our chairs, tables etc. We noticed people were camping so this year my husband and I decided to camp in Veterans Park. Yes, thats right, camp in a park located in downtown Milwaukee. What's even funnier is that we live a half mile away from the park. We got down to the park about 4:30 pm on the 2nd. Set up our tent, marked off the spot and lit the grill. We had a great time and walked around and I got some great pictures of the fireworks all ready to go. We couldn't believe how many people made camping in the park a tradition. We got prime spots, right behind the fence that blocks off the spectators and the fireworks.
The next morning we ate breakfast, I ran home to feed the cat and grabbed some more food and water. We set up our volleyball nets and played volleyball with some friends that came down to join us. We watched the park fill up and also watched about three storms blow over the lake. Whew.
We packed up volleyball and more family and friends joined us. But at about 8:30 p.m. the sky turned black and it got very still...... then there was this ball of pink lightening that filled the sky, um, where those the fireworks? Nope, but like I said, God decided to start his show early. We were smart enough to keep our tent there so we started grabbing everyones bags, blankets and other items that needed to stay dry and threw them in the tent. We got out tarps and umbrellas and hoped for the best. We were not leaving. Everyone figured it would storm for about 30 minutes and it would take everyone that long just to get to their cars. It rained, the wind blew, it thundered and we had more pink lightening. About 45 minutes later it slowed down and the fireworks started. And it was worth it. We still had some rain and beautiful lightening but the fireworks were amazing and the show was about an hour long.
We all laughed at how soaked we were and how scared we were of the crazy lightening but we also said that the fireworks of 2007 will always be remembered because of it all. Unfortunately because of the rain I was unable to get pictures of the fireworks but I do have some before shots.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm scared

If you have been following my story at all, we are on a two month break from using science in our hopes to having a baby. It's been a nice two months off. I haven't missed filling my body with hormones, getting ultra-sounds, giving blood etc. But now we have to get ready for another fill of reality......what's next? We will try one more IUI but it that doesn't work (we aren't optimistic) then we need to make a decision.....Are we ready to try IVF? Which doctor do we want to use? How are we going to pay for it? How are we going to get through it?
I'm trying so hard to put my faith in God to guide us through these decisions. I also I'm praying for strength because I'm finding myself in tears more often than I'd like.
I'll talk about this more (lucky you!) but I just need to get that down on "paper"..... I'm scared.