Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Eggs are Playing Hard To Get

Some things never change, according to my dear hubby. When we first met, let's just say I wasn't the best at returning phone calls. I'm told that he almost gave up several times, but that I would somehow manage to make contact at the very moment he was about to throw in the towel. Well, I must have delivered enough 3 point shots in just the nick of time, because 10 years later we are still together and love each other more than ever. However, now it seems my eggs are playing hard to get! At least this is what my husband claims.

Out of 92,000,000 sperm from the recent IUI, not to mention millions more from babydancing, none seem to have reached their destination. If the valiant little swimmers did make it there, they were simply turned away by my stubborn and oh-so-picky eggs. I can see it now....This handsome buff little sperm has worked his tail off to get to my egg's doorstep just in time, flowers in hand and wiping the sweat from his brow. However, my prissy little egg is not to be bothered; She opens the door but just says politely, "Oh, sorry I already have plans. Maybe next time?" Yep, that's pretty much how it must be going down.

I already knew I wasn't pregnant before I even went in for the blood test Friday. I had tested at home that morning, but doing the blood test is a formality required by the RE's office. They need to know for sure, because the last thing you'd want it to take fertility meds while already pregnant. That can cause serious issues. It just stinks getting poked when you know what the result already is. Do I really need one more piece of evidence to show me I failed yet again?

The sperm analysis doesn't lie, so it's just really frustrating to know that this IUI didn't work. All the conditions seemed perfect. If I can't get pregnant with a mature follie, a great sperm count, a nice thick lining, an earlier ovulation on CD16, and a doctor injecting the sperm right where they are supposed to go, I'm not sure what it will take to make it happen.  I think it's time I had a serious sit down talk with these eggs!  This playing hard to get routine is getting old! I could have gotten really upset at another failed cycle, but honestly, the statement from hubby about my eggs playing hard to get made me laugh so hard, it immediately turned my mood around. God, I love that man! I really could not live without him by my side.

So, here we are again. Back to square one. Aunt Flo arrived today, and we will most likely go in for a CD3 baseline ultrasound on Tuesday.  I feel like my body did respond well to the Femara, but I have heard from many women who produced up to three mature follicles on a higher dose of Femara, so I plan to ask Dr. Vaughn about increasing my dosage. Now that we know I respond to it at 5 mg, perhaps 7.5 mg would give me more follicles (and thus more chances at conception)?  More follicles also relates to a better progesterone response during the luteal phase, and that is always welcome. We'll see what he says.

Over the past 16 months, I've now done 2 rounds of Clomid, 3 rounds of Femara, but only 1 round of the Femara was with IUI.  Typically RE's use the "3 strikes and you're out" method. So they would try using pills like Femara or Clomid at least 3 times before moving onto injectables, but they also use that rule regarding IUI's, and I have only had one of those with the Femara. I have a feeling Dr. Vaughn may want to move on to injectables w/IUI now, but we would really like to give a higher dosage of Femara w/IUI a try first. For one, we are not ready to fork over $3000+ for an injectables w/IUI cycle. We spent much less, $1200 on a Femara IUI cycle. This doesn't include other daily supplements we're both taking, but here is our breakdown...

Femara Rx-   $10
Clearblue Easy Digital OPK's- $35
Ultrasounds- $570 (3 @ $190)
Sperm Washing- $195
IUI- $190
Acupuncture- $195 (3 @ $65)
Infectious Disease Screening- $10

**Insurance DID end up covering IDS amazingly enough! Coding the order for "venereal disease" seemed to work!! This would have been $300 paid through the RE directly at their rates, or $700 if paid out of pocket without a reduced rate through the RE.

Total= $1200

Hubby has also been working for months with his HR department to try to have a fertility coverage "add-on" available through his work, since they only offer one PPO plan with zero fertility coverage. We pay everything out of pocket, except for the random time here and there we can sneak something through insurance successfully. We don't know the details yet, but it looks like his employer may actually offer some sort of coverage in the new year! We don't want to jump into paying $3000-$3500 a month for treatment with injectables yet, if we may have some coverage soon in 2013.

Each injectables w/IUI cycle would give us about an 18% chance of conceiving and each Femara w/IUI cycle gives us about an 8% chance each cycle. Yep, we get to pay thousands of dollars to have the same chances of conceiving that normal couples have on their own for free. Now if you didn't know much about fertility treatments before, you might start to understand why so many people choose to do IVF these days. We've been given about a 45% chance of conceiving each cycle with IVF, just to put that into perspective. Some couples have exhausted all other options and have tried everything else first before moving onto IVF, but other choose to skip doing injectables w/IUI and go straight to IVF, because the probability of a pregnancy is higher and the chance of multiples is actually lower. However, doing IVF with no fertility coverage is NOT an option for us right now. It can end up costing $20,000 by the time its said and done. Besides, I still feel in my heart that we can conceive without IVF....I want to know for certain that we've tried EVERYTHING we could before we are ever faced with a decision about IVF. I really hope and pray God will bless us, and that WON'T be a path we need to travel.

We had such good conditions on Femara last cycle, that we really feel it's worth another shot before even moving on to injectables. We all know how much I hate needles, and the thought of injecting myself still scares the crap out of both of us. I will do it for a baby, but I'd rather not until I know the Femara w/IUI is not going to work. Oh, and remember, that was also before we realized that it's just my eggs playing hard to get. So, all I need to do is have a talk with them and threaten them with permanent restriction if they don't cooperate NOW!!

Next month it will be one year since my miscarriage, and I'd really love more than anything to be pregnant through the holidays. Onwards and upwards to a new cycle.


  1. I'm sorry things didnt work out this cycle. Total bummer!

    Thats crazy how expensive your femara+ IUI is! Have you ever heard of letrozole? Its the generic brand of femara so much cheaper. Letrozole is a newer drug so many REs still just prescribe femara. In fact my insurance covered it completely because its used for people with breast cancer. Whereas femara would have been $200+ for one cycle. Worth mentioning to your dr for this upcoming cycle!

    1. I did use the generic form, letrozole. The prescription was only $10 at Costco. The drug itself is the cheap part. It's the ultrasound monitoring, sperm washing, and IUI procedures that add up. And yes, it IS crazy expensive.

  2. I LOVE DH's outlook... oh, those prissy eggs need to lower their standards and give those good ol' sperm a chance!!! I'm hoping that upping the Femera gives you more follies and the BFP that you very much deserve!

    1. I know! haha! I could have taken this failed cycle really hard considering what went into it, but he sure has a knack for always saying the right thing at the right time. It seems silly, but thinking of it that way really did change my outlook and gave some levity to the situation. :)

  3. "All the conditions seemed perfect. If I can't get pregnant with a mature follie, a great sperm count, a nice thick lining, an earlier ovulation on CD16, and a doctor injecting the sperm right where they are supposed to go, I'm not sure what it will take to make it happen. "

    that exactly how i felt after our first iui and it's only been increasing every month since then. but some of it is really luck... we're paying a whole lot of money for the privilege to spin that proverbial wheel.

    1. Yeah, I looked at the RE today and starting crying, "Whyyyy didn't it work?" I already know there's only about an 8% chance for us each month with Femara & IUI, but it just seems like it should work if the conditions are so perfect. Meanwhile, everyone else I know is getting KU'ed their first cycle trying or by accident altogether. So frustrating I want to scream sometimes! Let's hope that wheel lands on my number this cycle!

  4. LOL, gotta love our DH's! That egg won't pick any sperm and I know DH thinks the wait was just worth it to get you! So wait until you get that absolute, perfect baby! In the meantime, I am so, so sorry for AF. What "treat" are you giving yourself? *hugs*

    1. Thanks Amber. I'm hoping you're right and it will all be worth the wait for the perfect sperm and egg to unite. I just feel like someone dies every time AF rears her ugly head. Seriously NOT a good day here. Today it just all hit me harder that we failed again, went back to the RE, filled my script again, and back to the drawing board for another shot at this. News of yet another friend's pregnancy at probably the worst time possible, right after another failed cycle and on CD2 of all days. I'm blowing through tissues faster than tampons today. Eyes are practically SWOLLEN SHUT. Ugh!

      Trying to treat ourselves as much as possible to stay sane; I drank tons of champagne Friday. We had massages on Saturday. I bleached my teeth today and am scheduled to get a facial peel next week. I haven't done anything cosmetic for myself in the 16 months we've been TTC, since there are chemicals contraindicated, but I have got to do SOMETHING to make myself feel better every once in a while ya know, before I fall completely apart!

  5. I'm so sorry things didn't work this time! I hope you get your BFP very soon!

    1. Thanks Alie. I really appreciate the kind words of support!