I’ve been a mess lately trying to work out the logistics of a big situation. It’s still not completely figured out but we’re getting there. I’ve been waiting to share until I was sure it would work out, and even though I’m still not 100% positive, I am fairly confident now that it will happen. Very soon.
I’ve mentioned many times now that no embryos are getting left behind and that we are planning to implant all three of the remaining little frosties at some point. Well…the time has come.
There are several time-related and financial reasons for the rush. First, don’t laugh, but I’m feeling old. As of four days ago I’m 32 and a half which of course is not old, but is kind of old when you’re facing the prospect of three more pregnancies. (Or two more… that’s a whole other issue). Especially considering that every one of those deliveries will be a scheduled c-section, which will be harder and harder to recover from as I get older.
Financially, the time had to be now because of boring insurance reasons. Thanks in large part to Eric’s multiple ER visits in April, we managed to meet our gigantic deductible for 2016. I know, who would have thought? Because we accomplished this feat, all future medical visits and procedures for this year are covered at 90%, and now that we have coverage for ART despite it not being state-mandated (HALLELUJAH), the embryo transfer has become – dare I say – affordable.
Of course, as of January 1st our enchanted carriage turns back into a pumpkin and we’ll need to meet that big scary deductible all over again before we can enjoy that awesome 90/10 coverage. So even though mentally I’d feel better about doing the transfer in 6 months, truly, what’s the difference? December, June, who cares? Going from two kids to three kids is going to be a giant change no matter what. If we wait until we’re truly ready we’ll never do it. At this moment, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, and I’d much rather take advantage of all the money I’ve paid into insurance so far this year.
We had our consult last week with the new/old RE. She’s the one who originally diagnosed our infertility issues in 2011. We went to her for all our initial testing and then promptly did nothing about our crappy diagnosis because we didn’t have the money or the coverage. It was pretty funny giving her updates on our situation at our most recent appointment. Five years later things couldn’t be more different.
Considering the fact that New Hope is two hours away, it was an easy decision to leave them. Also, they are not an in-network provider with our insurance, so meeting our deductible for the year would mean diddly squat in terms of out-of-pocket expense. Interestingly, and I believe I’ve mentioned this in a prior post, doing the transfer at New Hope is about half the price as doing it at the local clinic. Yes, bizarre! But yes, I also don’t care, because again I’m only paying 10%. So whatever.
As Dr. L was going over my history she had some matter-of-fact observations, as I knew she would. First she asked that I manage my expectations. “There is very little chance of you bringing home three babies from these remaining three embryos,” she cautioned. She reiterated what I already knew – that these were the worst quality of the bunch. Of course I realized their likelihood of sticking was much less than the first five we tried. She was also alarmed by my history of repeat pregnancy loss and asked if I’d be able to handle another miscarriage. “I’ll handle it. I’ve handled it,” I said, but her words really got me thinking.
I’ve not yet experienced a miscarriage since having my babies and I wonder what the difference would be (if any). I know I would be incredibly sad regardless, but I do think it would be a different kind of sad. When I lost the twins and the next pregnancy I was mourning their loss, obviously, but beyond that I was mourning the potential of never getting to be a mother. I had no consolation in the form of living children because I had no living children. Now, I won’t be mourning both things, because no matter what happens I am a mom and no future miscarriage will change that. It makes the prospect significantly less scary. I hope I’m not making is sound like miscarriage would be totally fine and easy. I would still be an absolute wreck; I know I would. But I also feel like these past three years have given me so much perspective and I do think I’d handle it better. Even though I think I handled it pretty damn well the first two times around, considering.
Sorry, tangent. Back to the topic at hand. We went in for our little discussion, yada yada, and Dr. L wasn’t even that surprised when I mentioned the whole ‘let’s get this in by the end of the year, insurance, deductible, etc.’ song and dance. Apparently we’re not the only ones trying to get the most bang for our buck from insurance companies. I had a quick U/S on the spot to check my ute and c-section scar (man, was it weird to be back in that chair again) and was sent off with instructions to come back in a week for a lining check. The plan is to go forward with my next cycle – the last possible one of the year – which would make the transfer date sometime in mid-December. Cue the cautiously enthusiastic music here.
The next big hurdle lies in transporting the embryos from Manhattan to Pennsylvania. I have three frustrating options for this:
Option 1 – Rent a tank from the PA clinic. Pick up the tank in PA, drive to NYC, drive back to PA, drop off embryos + return tank. Tank rental cost: $300 + $1,000 credit card hold that would be refunded with the tanks safe return (are people seriously stealing these things?)
Option 2 – Rent a tank from the NYC clinic. Drive to NYC, pick up the tank & embryos, drive to PA, drop off embryos. Drive back to NYC within 1 day to return the tank. Drive back to PA. Tank rental cost: $100
Option 3 – Pay to have them safely and securely shipped. Shipping cost: $750
Ok, that last one is obviously off the table. I’d be a nervous wreck the whole time and the cost is insane.
Do you see my dilemma, though? Eric said I need to weigh the cost of making the trip back and forth four times vs. paying triple the price for the tank rental – for example, with Option 2 I’d be paying for gas, paying for parking, and paying to go through the Lincoln Tunnel multiple times which was like $12 last time I did it. It’s a big pain in the butt. But $100 vs. $300 rental fee? Come on…
I also need to figure out if I’m driving myself or taking the bus. I know it sounds completely effing insane to be riding a public bus with my embryos in a cooler tank but truly, isn’t the situation just as bizarre no matter how I do it? The alternative is, what, strapping the cooler (and yes I am literally picturing a Coleman camping cooler right now) into Molly’s carseat and driving down the highway? Either way… it’s weird. Totally weird.
The bus sounds pleasant because 1) I wouldn’t have to drive and 2) I wouldn’t have to park. Also, have you ever driven in Manhattan? It’s terrible. I’d much rather zone out with a book, Coleman cooler + embryos safe by my side on a comfortable luxury bus than white knuckle my minivan through midtown traffic and pray a cabbie doesn’t hit me.
So that’s where I am right now – trying to figure out how to get those little embryos from point A to point B. Once they are back in PA I’ll be much happier because the cost of storage will drop from $100/month to $60/month, and then once they’re moved to long-term storage that will further reduce to $40/month. No more paying exorbitant Manhattan rent, hooray!
As we cautiously approach a December FET, we’re managing expectations (haha, not really) and hoping for miracles. If all goes to plan, I’ll be able to test the week of Christmas.
What an amazing gift a double line would be to end this crazy year.