Crossing the Rubicon

Today was a bad news kind of day.

I woke up sick as a dog, thankful that I already had a sick day scheduled, complete with sub plans and a sub to teach them. Then I got Isa up and realized she was also sick as a dog, with a 100.4 fever. Once again, she was crashing my much needed sick day.

I love being with my daughter, but when what you need is rest, taking care of a sick two year old is not ideal.

Luckily she was really low key and didn’t want to do much besides snuggle. We watched a ton of TV and made it through the morning mostly unscathed.

While the snuggle fest was going on a garage door guy came to inspect our garage; my parents are were getting us a garage door and opener for Christmas this year. Except that our garage has some weird (and gigantic) heating duct that goes into the ceiling not far from the door of the garage and will get in the way of a rolling garage door. And our current door is so crappy and wobbly, we can’t put a motor on that either. So we have to keep manually opening our garage door–which is super heavy and slams shut so load (necessary for it to lock) that it frequently wakes up Isa–indefinitely. Actually, we have to open the gate and front door and then go into the garage door and open that. It’s seems silly but it’s really disappointing news. I hate our garage door.

For some reason I knew right then that this class was going to be a disaster. I just knew.

And it turns out I was right.

The first thing we found out was that I’m not actually covered by Kaiser for anything infertility related. I thought I was because California is a mandated state and I buy the most comprehensive (ie expensive) coverage. So I just (foolishly) assumed I was covered. But I’m not. Evidently if you buy your own coverage (instead of through your employer) you CAN’T get infertility coverage, it is not available to you. I buy my own coverage because my district is so small and our insurance options are so shitty that it’s actually cheaper for me to buy it myself. Of course, there is little to no chance that my employer negotiated to have infertility treatments covered in our plan so at least I don’t have to feel guilty about that. I would have been fucked either way, at least this way I can be angry at Kaiser about it (and not have one more thing to hate my district for).

I spent much of the class (which was literally transparencies of uterus and penis diagrams with definitions of hormones and so on — ALL shit I already knew) staring at the price list, knowing in my heart of hearts that we can’t afford much of anything unless we borrow money from our (fledgling) retirement funds. Before the house, sure we could have swung it, but now? With our anemic savings accounts and hefty mortgage, there is no way in hell. A lot of silent tears were shed in that class.

So now I’m not sure what we’ll do. We’re thinking about getting the testing done through Kaiser, though even that is quite pricey. I’m hoping I can ask my OBGYN to write a script for the HSG (after my ectopic I really want to get one) so that I can get that and the labs done before I’ve paid the $250 just to see an RE. While we’re getting the testing done (and dropping over $500 doing it), I’ll look around and see what other clinics cost. Evidently we can bring all our tests with us wherever we want to go, so if we decide to do something, we can take our diagnostics with us.

Mi.Vida was amazing throughout the whole class. He kept rubbing my back and squeezing my hand and handing me tissues. I don’t think I could have made it through without him.

We had a great conversation on the way home. It turns out Mi.Vida is just as bummed about all this as I am. He apologized profusely for not curbing his beer and coffee intake (something I basically demanded of him last time). He said he kept not taking that stuff seriously because he assumed that every month would be the month and it wouldn’t be necessary. I told him I understood. I’ve been in a similar state of denial. That is why I didn’t really get on his case about the beer and the coffee. That is why I didn’t start acupuncture until recently. We both expressed our disbelief that this was happening. We both been in pretty deep denial that we were headed to this place. We both kept assuming that before it got to this point, we’d be pregnant.

Honestly, I think what did it for me was all the surprise BFPs that were happening when trying. I kept seeing people who had required IUIs or even IVF to get pregnant the first it time just fall pregnant without even trying. I thought surely if they could get pregnant without Preseed or OPKs or BBT charts or even timing intercourse, surely I could do it with all of those things. Surely this time, with my longer LPs, it was going to happen.

But it didn’t, not in those first three to four months when I so expected it, and not in the next three months and not in the three after that or after that. And here we are.

Mi.Vida said the class today really hit home for him that we are facing this. He described it as crossing the Rubicon, and I suppose we have. I suppose I’ve been preparing myself all week, ever since my BFN and CD1 and the reality that these last eleven months didn’t work. That we failed miserably. That we need help. No wonder I’m exhausted. No wonder I feel like I have nothing left. No wonder I’m ready to give up.

But the problem is, I can’t give up. Now is when I have to START fighting. Except I don’t have the resources and am not sure I can even engage in battle. I feel so defeated. I feel like I have no hope. I honestly don’t know what to do. Talk about lacking a plan. Everything seems to be conspiring against me even dreaming of one. I better hope these last 11 months have just been shit luck, or I am never going to have another baby.

{I almost forgot to mention, to add insult to injury, Kaiser holds this infertility class on the OB floor, so you’re forced to see a ton of giant pregnant bellies while you wait to register and again when you leave. Even Mi.Vida thought it was poorly executed.}

15 responses

  1. Oh my goodness… where to start?

    I’m so sorry that the class was a waste of your time, but more importantly, that you don’t have coverage. This type of thing is why I don’t like the new proposed health solutions put forth by the federal government – too many loopholes leaving people without knowing what they really have. Mandated state? Not REALLY – not for EVERYONE. Sigh.

    I am really glad that your partner is starting to “get it.” Honestly, I think that’s half the battle some of the time. Once they’re on board and understand the emotional toll things take on you, things get a bit easier.

    Let me just say that all the surprise BFP’s affected me the same way – I thought it would happen to me too (and we HAD to do IVF). I was so defeated when I was 2 weeks late and not pregnant – how could this happen when it happened for everyone else? But everyone else was not me – and they certainly didn’t have the same diagnosis as us. But I fooled myself into thinking that it could happen for us too. It’s tough – and I do get it. Completely.

    I like your plan of getting testing going now. That’s a good move. I have wanted to tell you that my friend went through secondary IF and it was as simple as getting her thyroid regulated. I’m not saying it’s going to be that simple for you – but you never know. The testing could reveal something so obvious and simple, that you could be on your way in no time.

    Gah, I was hoping for better for you today.

    I hope you and Isa are feeling better soon.

  2. ugh. sorry for the crappy news. such a frustrating place to be, I know. we paid for everything OOP and it sure as hell adds up. try to get as much of the diagnostics covered as possible via others means — ie, connecting it to other covered medical issues. you may find a simple solution through routine lab work. I hope.

    most of my surgeries ended up being covered but not the RE visits and treatments. (highly recommend paying for a consult with a reputable RE, just to get a good game plan.) after my surgeries, we started with IUIs, which are relatively affordable (though monitoring visits can add up).

  3. oh, btw, any diagnostics that are NOT covered by kaiser, I’d seriously consider doing elsewhere — ie, wherever you choose to go for any form of consult/treatment. most likely, they’d want to run their own tests anyway. I know our clinic did.

  4. Oh, Esperanza, that fucking SUCKS. I’m so sorry. 😦

    I like what Luna said; sounds like it’s the most cost-effective way. And with the testing, you’ll have DATA, at least, which is better than nothing. My sister did a few IUIs and she pays OOP; she used her FSA to pay for it in January every year (her FSA was fully funded in January, but her contributions went over the course of the year. Might be worth looking into). It wasn’t cheap but it worked out.

    Otherwise, just sending you – and Mi.VIda – huge hugs. (And can I just say that I love that Mi.Vida is on the same page as you are right now? Not that it makes infertility NOT suck, but it always made me feel like Charlie and I were in it together whenever we were on the same page.)

  5. I’m so sorry that you are having to fight this battle without the weapons that seem/are necessary. I sincerely hope that if things do not fall into place this next cycle for an ‘easy’ conception, that they will at least fall into place so that you can gather the strength and resources to move to the next phase feeling well armored and armed!

  6. That kicker at the end of your post must have felt like a bad joke. Seriously!?

    I’m sorry that you an Su.Vida are facing this, but I’m glad you’re facing it together, talking and supporting each other.

    I’m wishing for you that a way to unknot this comes to you soon.

  7. Infertility class? Lame and probably a violation of HIPPA. Kaiser in Oregon just has you see a fertility nurse. In private to discuss prices and options. My hsg’s at kaiser were about $500 each. I had two over the years. You can shop that around though. If Kaiser isnt paying for it, call a few imaging centers. Not all of them do it but lots do. Same goes for his SA. It is totally possible that with your short lp you have some sort of ovulation disorder and clomid would help a lot. Kaiser does unmonitored clomid cycles for cheap. It stinks so bad that money has to be a barrier. I know that helpless feeling, it SUCKS!! A little more assvice- I had all those miscarriages then 1.5 years of nada. Even with clomid, femara, IUI. And we were trying most every month. Then I started weekly accupuncture along with chinese herbs. I was pregnant that first cycle doing the TCM. I really think that chinese medicine can help.

  8. Ugh, so frustrating!! It is true that if you find a doc who is willing to code things right, you should be able to get most of your testing covered. I had testing done when I was (mis)diagnosed with PCOS, waaay before I was TTC. They can code it as testing for a hormonal imbalance or irregular periods or something like that. So that should help either identify the problem or rule some things out.

    Other than that, not much to say, except that this sucks for you! So glad you are getting the support from Mi.Vida, though.

  9. This is outrageous and angry-making on so many levels. Why are only group insurers required to provide infertility treatment? What kind of bozos design a class AT THE VERY LOCATION that would make their patients emotionally fragile? Why do they presume that their patients are idiots who have not read ANYTHING about TTC? Of all of the fucking bullshit!! I am seriously fucking pissed that you had to go through this.

    I am glad that Mi.Vida is on board with helping you and being supportive. That is the one (very small) silver lining I guess this experience provided you with.

    Shame on Kaiser. Seriously. Shame. On. Them.

  10. Ohhh, this is so so disapppinting. We were extremely lucky to have had good kaiser coverage when we went through IF treatment with them, but our coverage changed (practically unbeknownst to us) while I was pregnant and we ended up paying huge amount for our hospital/nicu bills once the girls were born. If we TTC again, we wouldn’t have all our treatments covered this time. It is so shady how insurance companies operate – there’s no transparency and patients are left holding the emotional and financial bag. What a terrible day and difficult news. I’m so sorry. 😦

  11. I am so sorry that you are here, and that this has been such a cruel and thoughtless experience (stupid insurance), but I am glad, at least, that you and Mi.Vida are facing this together, and that he seems to be taking this seriously. Sending love and light.

  12. this is so terrible, K. I am so sorry. There are so many plans in IL too that don’t cover IF, even though it is a mandated state. We had some coverage with our old plan, but it was actually NY-based and didn’t follow the mandate. We are really lucky to be on a new IL based plan now that covers 2 IVF cycles.

    Treatment is difficult enough physically and emotionally let alone with the financial strain on top of it all.

    I’m so glad that B was here with you, beside you, understanding you through all of this today and that you will stand together in all of this.

    The plan of doing testing with your OB and going from there sounds like a great plan.

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