Thank God for My Nieces!

Sometimes you just need to be around some cute li’l buggers to distract you from the bullshit in life.  This last week or so has been pretty bananas.  My dad ended up having to get an emergency below-knee amputation on his right leg after a life-threatening infection.  He’s battled diabetic complications for some time now, but they have become more and more prevalent, and foot infections have been the worst thing he’s had to deal with.  While the amputation is scary and life-changing, I do think that ultimately it will actually improve my dad’s quality of life.  But he has a tough road ahead learning to deal with life a little differently.  It’s been a lot! But he is doing well in rehab, and my mom is a super hero as always.

After the emotional week, Kenny and I headed down to New York for a bunch of festivities; his sister’s graduation from Podiatry school, a bbq and two weddings.  We also visited a bunch of friends in between.  Whatever time we could squeeze in with our people we did.  It is hard to be away from half of your people.  But such is life! It was quite a whirlwind.

One of the best parts was spending time with our twin nieces and God Daughters.  I had this blog topic in my head for a while, but this weekend reminded me that this would be a good time to post it.  Kenny’s sister has 7 month old twin girls, the cutest little nuggets, bursting with personality.  And, my brother has a daughter who is almost 3 (also God Daughter, Haaaaaaaay) who is neck and neck with my hubby as my favorite human in existence.  We are living at his house right now during our own house hunt process and one of the best benefits is that I get to see her so much more than I am used to.

It’s funny how your day can suck like none other, and then when you walk into the house and hear “It’s AUNTA COCOOOOOO” you can forget everything that sucks.  Same goes for picking up one of these gorgeous twins and squishing them.  My nieces have been a God-send through various levels of shittiness, especially on the fertility front.  When I go to New York right from getting shots for an ectopic, but their cute faces are there, or come home after getting an unpleasant phone call and have an almost three year old who wants to play hide and seek, you must oblige!

For your viewing pleasure:

Chloe and Mia, ummm can you even?


Hailey aka squish aka Sass for Days


So, they keep laughing and keep me distracted and that is the bomb!  Now to try and make them some cousins!  Tomorrow morning we have our suppression check then we are on to the drugsssssssssss.

You ever just say, “You know what, Imma tap out for the day”?

Because that’s me today. OVER. IT.

My new title should be Delinquent.  I keep apologizing for writing so late.  My life has been a whirlwind and hot mess express. Some things are nonsense, and non-complain-worthy, others are legit SHITTY and just trying to manage it all.

Kenny and I are in the house hunt process.  If you haven’t done it let, let me tell you, it’s a whole goddamned thing.  I’ve never emailed the same piece of paper this many times.  Every time you think you’re good, trust me when I tell you, you’re not.  So don’t bet on it.  Fingers crossed all goes well.  But it has been a stress inducing mess.  And today was our mortgage deadline, so even though we submitted about 38987290329592 documents 2.5 weeks ago, this morning they told us one thing we sent didn’t “count”, but what we need is in New York…soooooo do that math.  So I spent a ridiculous amount of time today emailing, calling, texting, faxing, trying to make sure something I cannot produce is good to go.  AH. It is being taken care of, but I just will never understand a situation that does not have to be stressful, being turned into an emergency for no reason.  Anyway, everyone send good house vibes our way because that would be great.

I’ve also been waiting for a phone call from the specialty pharmacy I’m supposed to get my IVF meds through.  I have 5 different medications.  First the pharmacy my doctor’s office uses said they weren’t in network, so they referred me to their partner in Maine.  Because it definitely makes sense that the one in Maine would be in-network but the one in Mass wouldn’t…but surprise, that one was cool.  Nothing makes sense to me anymore ya’ll, nothing.  Today I got a call about one of the medications which required a pre-authorization.  Weird to me that one out of 5 in a system would need that.  But, they called me today to let me know my insurance denied it.  Ready for the explanation?

Because they “didn’t like what I was using it for”. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

So, my options are: appeal it, but I am supposed to start using it next week so that won’t work or  (2) pay out of pocket for it for no reason.  I will call them tomorrow to give them a very polite, but not exactly having any time for this BS, piece of my mind.  And we’ll see what they say.  But they have the power, because I need it, so I am obviously going to pay for it if I need to. Hard eye roll.

Finally, and most importantly, my dad was hospitalized for a pretty serious infection this week.  He had to have a severe, emergency surgery because of the infection and will have a long, difficult recovery moving forward.  It has obviously taken a huge toll on him, but also my mom as his primary caregiver and the rest of the family as well.  I’ve been trying to be a good daughter visiting often, and tagging in so my mom can have a break or two in there.  But it will continue to be a challenge for the whole fam I am sure.

So I am legit sitting in his hospital room, trying to get the nurses and pcas to change his sweaty bedclothes and check his vitals, while texting and emailing about a mortgage document, while answering a phone call about my freaking denied ivf medication, while getting advice about his discharge and advocating and where he should go to rehab and all the while I can’t even get them in here to give the dude a new johnny.

I also had my fertility therapist appointment this morning.  I went once before and liked it, although I sobbed the whole time (Clearly).  This time was great.  I actually left feeling pretty refreshed before the rest of this shit storm kicked into gear.  How does someone know the insides of your brain after only talking with you for an hour?  She read me like a book, I just kept saying yeahhhhhhhh that sounds about right.  The thing that stuck with me the most was (paraphrased) “If you have an achievement driven personality, and you attribute your success directly to amount of effort, then when failure occurs you automatically connect with effort or lack thereof.  So, if you, for example, ‘fail’ on a fertility cycle, then your first thought is what did I not do or what could I have done. Which is so dangerous to your psyche because this was actually not in your control and yet you’re still taking the blame because that is how you have determined success or failure on anything else in your life.”

Mic drop.  This has been my thought process this entire time.  It’s exhausting.  And it hurts.  My homework until my next appointment is to notice when I have these feelings, and when I do, what is my reaction (actual or in my head).  I am curious to see what I notice.  But this is how my mind works to a T, and I found it fascinating.  My other favorite thing she said was “Everyone thinks the right thing to say is to relax, except therapists and counselors who know that is the exact wrong thing to say and totally detrimental.” Thank you, ELIZABETH! (*insert praise hands emoji here*)

My head has been spinning and I think I’m ready to say sayonara to this day and just start fresh again tomorrow.  Because this day is bullshit. And as my friend Gav might say, on a day such as this, I. Literally. Can. Not. Even.

To end on a funny note.  One of my friends sent this picture with the caption ‘Even my plant is ultra-fertile.  What the fuck.” And it just made me laugh so hard. Sometimes when you want to punch things, just laugh at plants with babies instead. 🙂


Until next time my friends.

This one’s gonna sting a bit.

Sorry for the mini hiatus, friends.  I spent the week in Disney World with 216 liquored up college seniors, so I didn’t exactly have much time to write! 🙂

On this eve of Mother’s Day, I’ve been a little sensitive and emotional.  I’m sure it has a little to do with an extreme lack of sleep from this past week, plus my period doesn’t help either.  But, it’s been a tough few days.  After being up until 4am, and wrangling all the students back to Boston, I learned of a close friend of my husband’s wife’s pregnancy via her business’ website while on the plane.  For some reason, reading it that way felt like a punch to the gut.  It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy for her or them, but that this was a close friend and I never expected to learn that level of big news that way.  So, it was just shocking. Plus we just saw them a few months ago, and they were legit still debating whether they were going down that road or not.  So, it seems it happened pretty quickly for them which always just gives me a jealousy pang wishing our journey ended up that way.; that when we decided to try, we just blinked an eye and it happened. (*Note, I actually have no idea if that is how it happened for them but it’s what it feels like in this shocked moment).  Turns out Kenny got a phone call from his friend with the news while I was in Florida, and was waiting to tell me their big announcement in person, but I saw it online first which he wasn’t expecting either.

The worst is that I was upset that I was upset.  These are friends, I should just be thrilled for them and nothing else.  But I was that, and also sad.  I think the announcement coming so close to Mother’s Day just made it hit home so much more.  That, plus the endless commercials on tv leading up to it; cute babies, and cards, and flowers, and everything.  It just is a painful reminder of what I am not, and what I cannot yet celebrate despite my hopes and dreams and efforts.

But all that sadness and wishfulness and jealousy is also wrapped up in excitement and hope because we are about to embark on our ivf cycle.  After getting my period is Disney World (who HOPES for that, honestly), I called the doctor and they gave me my list of instructions.  I am currently in the suppression phase, which is essentially take the birth control pill for a couple of weeks.  Seems so counterintuitive, but they basically want to be in control of when things grow and release.  So, they are like “whoooooooa there, you wait there until we tell you what to do, eggs”.

So, I am waiting to my big fancy delivery next week…aka a bunch of drugs and a sharps case. I’m mildly terrified, but won’t start that part until early June. So I’ve got lots of time to get myself all worked up and in my own head about it. Perfect.

This Mother’s Day has been one where I think about all of the losses I’ve been through, and what could have been, and it has been pretty rough leading up to it.  But I have a feeling that next Mother’s Day will be a very different experience.  And I will get to enjoy some shitty homemade gifts and cheesy cards like the rest of the moms out there. 🙂

What is this, Jaws or something?



“We’re gonna need a bigger speculum.”

Put that on the top of the list of things you never want to hear.  Went in to the gyn this morning for my annual exam.  I had to squeeze it in (no pun intended) before my scheduled IVF cycle after a variety of delays and rescheduling.

It was originally scheduled for January, which was my one year.  But when I called last May to say I had a positive test, the first thing the lady did on the phone was “go ahead and cancel your pap because you won’t be needing that!”  Very reassuring, but perhaps a little premature.  Was still hoping I wouldn’t be “needing it” so I didn’t reschedule until it was just about past due.

Scheduled it for February, and surprise! I got another positive test, so I had to reschedule again.  Then, I had to reschedule again after I had the ectopic because they couldn’t do it due to excessive bleeding. YUCK.  And finally had to reschedule because of a funeral.

But, I had to have it done before I could start IVF, so I begged them to find me something.  Had to go to a different lady than my usual.  It was the MOST annoying appointment I’ve ever had.  I have a bit of a trauma response when I go to the office.  When I first went, I loved my nurse practitioner and really liked the practice overall.  But since then, I’ve only been in there for awful reasons.  So, now just thinking about that office makes me sad.

So, today when I went in there and they gave me the full medical history paperwork, I was like…ummmmmm I’m not a new patient.  They seemed confused, and then said it is still the right paperwork after checking the computer.  But as I started filling this out, I just got more annoyed.  Why even maintain a relationship with a doctor, if you have to fill all of this out.  Also, B T DUBS, all of my doctors are within this overall practice.  So, every appointment, procedure, bloodwork, etc., is all in the system.  I don’t know what it was but having to write down the dates and circumstances of each of my losses at the office where I experienced all of them was infuriating.  I will be writing them a strongly worded letter.  I understand my annual was over a year ago, but I’ve seen you three times in the meantime, and you’re the ones who referred me to a fertility specialist.  So, you have all these answers, why make me go through this again?  Might as well have gone to a brand new doctor.

All that before the lovely experience of the pap itself.  All my ladies understand. This BLOWS.  But the funny thing is, it seemed like nothing compared to all this other crap I’ve had done this year.

This is TMI.  Not that this entire blog isn’t TMI, but still.  You’ve been warned.  Feel free to skip ahead.  Apparently, I’ve been told my entire adult live, my cervix is “difficult”.  It has been described as tilted, facing downward, impossible, hidden, and many other things.  So, now, it has become a habit to warn people.  Also, for my own benefit so they aren’t down there do a goddamn mining expedition with a headlamp and tools.


But, the docs are always like “yeah ok, I’ll be the judge” and this one was no different.  She is down in the vicinity, and does the take a deep breath thing, (like, ok that will definitely help), and then after a few minutes of weird grunts and hmmms and exasperation, she looks up and says, “I think we’re gonna need a bigger speculum”.

I actually laughed pretty loud at her, and then basically said, “do your thing, whatever you need”.  Finally she got it together and I was all good.  But I don’t know what about this experience made me so angry.  At the end she says “eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise a lot (actually the opposite of what I’ve been told by the specialist), and gets lots of sunshine.”  Lady, you went to med school to tell me to eat produce outside and I will get pregnant?  THANKS.

Alright vent over.  I’m currently on period watch.  When I get it, I’ve been instructed to call the fertility specialist and await further instruction; like I’m a spy in a Bond movie.

Here. We. go.

What are you using your tax return for? Embryos.

While some may so Mo Money Mo Problems, I’d argue Less Money, Also Mo Problems.  The cost of IVF and other Assistive Reproductive Technologies (ART) can be a huge financial burden on individuals and couples trying to have a family.  To be honest, one of the first things I thought of after our first chemical pregnancy, was oh shit, we can’t afford IVF.  Yeah, I jumped all the way there.  You’ll notice, I do that. A lot. I definitely should have slowed my roll and not assumed we’d get to that point, but I didn’t and alas, we did.

I’ve mentioned before, but I am very lucky with my medical coverage at work.  After I met with the fertility specialist, even before tests or any appointments, they had me call and verify my coverage, so I knew what to expect, and so, I think they could advise me correctly.  When I called the insurance company, they essentially told me everything needed for ART is covered.  And I was like, huh? *Turns out, that is not entirely true, but still covers a lot.

Figuring out the insurance coverage and the costs you might need while already in a swarm of stress and emotions is so overwhelming.  I also had the added factor of living in one state and working in another.  It has made me almost light phones on fire on multiple occasions in the last year and a half.  If one more person said well your doctor is in Massachusetts and the coverage is in NH so you’ll have to call them; or the other way around, I was going to flip all the tables.  I know I am not the only one who does this commute, and the plan is supposed to be New England, even though it originates out of New Hampshire.  But this has been a huge stressor for me this entire time. Just trying to get a straight answer so I can plan.  I am a budgeter and this is not like a little amount of money you can just pull out of your back pocket.  Well, for us it definitely isn’t. Also, we are planning for other life things like houses and whatnot. So, yeah.

Once we went through the tests and determined our plan was to go for IVF, the doctor’s office got the preauthorization processed and luckily that went through fine.  The part we anticipated they wouldn’t cover was the PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening).  But still, we had hopes.  The Dr. highly recommended we consider doing it, especially I was expecting I would be an emotional wreck if we experienced another loss through this process (which is possible either way).  And I was like…have you met me?  Of course I would be.  But, we didn’t want to do it just for that.  It does highly increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy, because your not implanting any embryos that are abnormal and would result automatically in a miscarriage.  Since in our particular case, we are able to get pregnant, and have no existing conditions that is the cause of our issue, the doctor thinks this is our best route and I agree.  But it still stabs you in the heart and the wallet when you realize the cost.

They legit do it in levels.  So you want to have lots of embryos so that the numbers are in your favor, but the more you have, the more it costs to test them. They charge you the middle price, then if you have less you get money back and if you have more…they bill you.  I guess, if you are feeling bummed you don’t have a lot of embryos you can say to yourself, “At least we will get money back???” Of course as expected our PGS got denied.  Got a letter from the Massachusetts insurance company office, sent my appeal there.  Then never heard, when I called to ask about it, they had no records of it and told me it should go to NH.  Even though I wrote the appeal to the address written in the letter I received stating the denial and where to appeal. GREEEEEEEAT. Luckily the NH office did actually get my letter forwarded, but it was still denied.  I made a bomb ass argument too, if I do say so myself.  But still didn’t fall within the criteria, so no dice.

So, we’ve got a cool $3300 out the window for that, maybe $5000, maybe less.  Then I get an email with a bunch of paperwork via email with the super nonchalant hey sign things.  I open it and it says if cryopreservation isn’t covered by your insurance you will be billed $1000 PLUS $85 for storage.  And I was like, listen, I sign contracts for a living,  so I am not just willy nilly signing this nonsense.  1739402729403 hours on the phone with insurance company people, doctor’s office, ivf clinic, talking to coworkers later, and I had 0 answers.  Based on what I read, it should be covered when done for an active IVF cycle for a scheduled implantation, just not if it is done to be saved for a hypothetical person or date.  Everyone essentially told me it is covered by Mass plans, but for NH plans it is not.  And since my plan is NH, I’m on the outs.  Live Free or Die my butt! But basically, needed to plan for paying that money too.

So we are looking at $4000-$6000 in costs for this plus deductible, copays up the wazoo, etc.  I upped our Healthcare Spending Account by about 6 times what I did last year anticipating.  But it is April, and it is already gone.  So, there’s that.

But this is NOTHING compared to what some people need to do for IVF.  The average cost of a fresh (not frozen #wendys) cycle is $12,000.  Plus $3000-5000 for the medication you need to do the procedure.  Then add on top of that if you are required to or opt into do the screening for specific diseases or abnormalities.  You are looking at a crisp $20Gs to ATTEMPT to have a baby.  The success rate on average for an IVF cycle is 40%, obvi depending on age and other medical circumstances.  But STILL.  DAMN. 20 stacks…before (hopefully) having a baby and then needing to figure out to to pay for that little nugget once they exist.  When I think about all the people who legit slip and fall on their hubby and get knocked up…My side eye is so aggressive I might tip over.

The emotional, physical, and financial toll if takes on you to go through this process is a lot.  But I am also beyond grateful to be in a position where while it is a challenge to come up with the $4-6k we need to begin the process, that is a whole helluva lot better than the $20k average.

So, yeah, that tax return I got this year. #Embryos #ThanksGovernment