Cycle day 1: 28 days of fertility fun

Posted by Rose in Conception, Infertility, My Personal Journey on 23-11-2010

Cycle day 1: 28 days of fertility fun

So, another month of ‘doing what we are doing’ didn’t work, and today is day 1 of the cycle that will be our first (and hopefully last) try at fertility treatments.

The way this fertility cycle is supposed to go is as follows:

  • day 1 (or 2) Baseline ultrasound
  • day 3 FSH blood test, begin Femara
  • day 5 begin Follistim injections (for 6 days)
  • day 11 follicle check & trigger shot
  • day 12-14 hanky panky
  • 2 week wait
  • day 28 pregnancy test

Yesterday evening I spotted, ever so slightly, but was pretty sure by the way I felt that my period was on the way.  We planned on an early start this morning, knowing that if I did start a ‘good flow’ I’d need to scurry to either my gyn or the RE in never-never-land across the state line to have my baseline ultrasound done.  This morning when I confirmed there was a ‘good flow’ in progress, I called my ob/gyn to see if they could fit me in for an ultrasound today.  My gynecologists office only has their technician in on Mondays and Thursdays, so I lucked out that the timing was right.  Thankfully, because the staff there are all stars, they would get me in at 2pm today.  The only thing they needed from me was to get the specialists office to fax over a detailed order, so the tech knew exactly what to look for in the sonogram.

I left a message at the specialists office, and explained in my message that I was able to get my appointment at this office for today, so please send over a detailed order for the technician.  Please call me back. Needless to say, beside the usual disappointment that we ‘missed it again’, I was cramping and my head felt like it was going to pop off my body at a moments notice.  I sat in darkness in our home office while my husband tried to work.  We waited for the return call from the RE.  It never came.  An hour before I went in for my sonogram, I called again – I got the answering service – they were at lunch.  I called my ob/gyn to see if they had faxed over the order – they didn’t, but the woman said I should come anyway, that their tech had been doing this a long time, and probably knew what he’d need anyway….so I went in.

Surely they’d call sometime this afternoon, I thought, and I’d just let them know that I already had the ultrasound. They never called. I had some concerns about their response time the last time I called the nurse with some follow-up questions and it took 2 days for her to get back to me.  I asked in that conversation if they would call sooner when I called to say I had started my cycle and needed to get the baseline ultrasound done, since it was so time-sensitive.  She assured me that they screened their calls, and they would return that kind of call quickly…!

The sonogram was pretty cool, just like the last one I had done on day 14 of the cycle we went to see if I was producing follicles.  I could see my uterus, and my ovaries.  The right one, that sits atop the blocked tube, looks kind of underdeveloped, or ‘scrawny’ as my husband put it.  My left ovary looked pretty big, actually, and the follicles were bigger than I expected them to be.  She said everything looked great – ovaries were good, follicles were a good size, and the lining was thin, though that was to be expected at this point in my cycle.

She was so positive and during our chat while she looked around and explained what she was seeing, she told us how she’s been doing this kind of work for 24 years, and she’s seen women come in who have been told by a specialist that they’d never get pregnant, and sure enough somehow they managed to do it.  It was encouraging to hear from someone who you just know, knows.

How much does a baseline sonogram and/or follicle check cost?

For those reading this that are trying to find out an answer to those questions, I will tell you this. My gynecologists office cuts me a deal in a big way because I am self-pay and they are rockstars.  They charge me $75 for a vaginal ultrasound – for both this one and the follicle check.  The specialists office gave me a price of $300 for a baseline sonogram, and $250 for a follicle check. If you’re going through fertility treatments and you’re uninsured, don’t be shy about explaining that you are self-pay and you’re concerned about cost.  I’m finding that many places will work with you and cut you a deal – since, sadly, I believe many places make up for it by charging insurance companies inflated prices.

Femara & Follistim

After the sonogram, which they’d fax over to the specialist, we went to the pharmacy to drop off the Femara prescription to be filled, and will pick it up tomorrow along with a refill of prenatal vitamins.  I’m anxious about waiting another long day for the phone to ring – I really hate those.

The plan seemed so clear when we were at the specialists’ office.  Now I’m anxious about them not calling me back. Thanksgiving is Thursday. The injections will come from a pharmacy that the specialist has a deal with – but they need to call me first for payment information, and then mail us the injections.  According to plan, I’m supposed to start the injections on day 5, Friday.  Thursday is Thanksgiving, which means I need to talk to these people by Wednesday so I can pay, so they can ship, so I can get it by Friday – so this is where I state the obvious and say that I”m anxious (again).

How much does Femara cost?

Femara, thankfully has made available a voucher that your RE can print out for you from the internet.  At least, mine did. You might ask your doctor.  The femara will generally cost about $60 for 3 cycles (based on your dosage).  With the voucher, my Femara will cost nothing.

How much does Follistim cost?

Follistim, on the other hand, is much more expensive.  One cycle for me is going to cost a bit over $400.

Questions, questions.

There’s the question of whether or not it makes sense to do this on a ‘right side’ month.  Since my right fallopian tube is blocked, and this month is a ‘right side’ month, are we wasting a cycle?  Should we be doing this on a left month? Or since we know I pretty much ovulate on time on the left, is this the better side to do a cycle on?  I know there are no hard and fast answers to these questions since it’s all pretty miraculous and anything can happen.  It just seems that the list of unanswered questions grows, the more answers I get.

kitty energyIt’s been a long day. I’m exhausted, we’re all exhausted. All except for our 3 kittens that just never seem to run out of energy. Oh, to be a kitten.

Leave a Reply