Thursday, September 22, 2016

One Small Step

This is a really weird post to write.  I thought about writing it last night, but I didn't have the emotional energy to be able to.  I still can't believe I'm here.

I took my first pill of Clomid yesterday.  That puts me farther in some ways on the fertility journey than I've ever been before.  My ex and I had prepared to do IVF, but one thing after another kept getting in the way right before we could start the first shot.  So I have never actually taken a fertility medication before yesterday.  I've had a box of medications and syringes on my dining table for months on end before, but until yesterday I had never gotten to take a dose.

I almost didn't get this far.  I almost got stopped again right before I was going to be able to TRY something instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for my turn.  My AMH level came back over the weekend and, because the doctor was in surgery on Monday, did not get read until late in the day Tuesday (my day 2, when I was to start Clomid on day 3).  The nurse had called me, but I wasn't able to call back before 5 because I was with a client.  She left the message that she needed to talk to me.  So of course I was panicking all night Tuesday night, and I was right to.  Yesterday morning, the nurse called to tell me that my AMH was 0.87.  According to the website I had been looking at, "low normal" is 0.7-0.9 and "normal" is 1.0 and above, although it said there was disagreement about where the borders between categories really should be.

Through the nurse, the doctor first said that he was not going to prescribe the Clomid and that I should see an RE.  I completely broke down sobbing on the phone with the nurse because I was pretty damn sure that there was no way we could see an RE this calendar year, between leave for Papa Bear (especially with his boss about to go out on paternity leave) and the question of whether appointments would even be covered, even with an endometriosis diagnosis.  And all the while that we can't get in, months and cycles are ticking away.  We had to wait months to be able to afford the HSG before having a chance to try, months of eggs dropping away unused, and now it was going to be even longer, making my ovarian reserve worse!

I was lucky that the client I was on my way to see canceled, so I went to church to talk to one of the pastors.  Just before the pastor prayed over me, my phone rang, but I let it go to voicemail.  As I left church, I checked my voicemail, and it was the nurse.  She said that she talked to the doctor again and reminded him that we really couldn't go see the RE, and he decided to write the Clomid anyway.  He said that he did not think our chances were good, so he would rather we work through the RE for their expertise.  But since we can't, he's at least going to let us try.  We also have estrogen for days  8-12 and progesterone pills for after day 18.

Papa Bear asked me how I felt after taking the first pill yesterday.  I didn't really know what to say.  I didn't feel bad, but I was afraid to feel good.  The best description we could come up with between us for how I felt was "guarded."

We're trying to get information on what is and is not covered (after our massive deductible, of course) if we can see an RE.  The first answers we have on that raise some questions for us, and especially Papa Bear to address.  It turns out that IVF is covered at 80% (which a lifetime max benefit of $2000, so it's like they pretend to cover IVF and really don't give a fuck), but IUI is not covered at all.  Papa Bear is Catholic.  IVF isn't allowed by the Catholic church.  Amusingly, IUI is, but only if the sperm is gathered from a condom after sex.  That could make getting samples in the little room at the clinic interesting, since even if we can't do IUI, there's still the testing for him that the clinic will want.

So yeah, it's been a weird couple of days.