Every morning Jacob and I had to wake up at 6 am to do shots. We had to do them at the same time every day because everything is perfectly timed to my body’s cycle. We also had to do them so early because I start work at 7 am and I have a 35-minute commute. So it’s pretty exhausting. I feel like I constantly have black circles under my eyes because I am so tired.
There are also a ton of doctor appointments I have had to go through during this process. I had to go to the Fertility Clinic pretty much every other day to get an ultrasound and blood work done. The ultrasound is to see how big my follicles are for the eggs to go in. They measure them every time and see how many there are. Once they get to a certain size, I’ll be done with the daily shots and ready for the surgery. I will say I have gotten used to the blood draws now because I do them so frequently.
I have to do one shot of Gonal F 300 and one shot of Menopur 2 powder. The Gonal F is the super expensive medication, for only 3 shots it’s $3500. The Gonal F medication doesn’t hurt when it’s injected which is nice, however, the Menopur is another story. When the Menopur is injected, it burns so bad. It literally feels like the inside of my skin is on fire. So icing my stomach before and after really helped!
After about five days of shots, I had to start a third injection called Cetrotide. This injection stopped my body from ovulating naturally. This injection is important because if I ovulated the process would be ruined, so this injection was very time-sensitive. The needle was also bigger for Cetrotide than the other injections which scared me all over again. Luckily this one wasn’t too bad, however, it did make me feel a little nauseous afterward.
Through my work, I have amazing insurance, especially for fertility. Which is very fortunate because a lot of places don’t offer fertility benefits. I get $15,000 for medication and $15,000 for all other IVF treatments. So a total of $30,000.
The only downfall of this is the pharmacies that you need to get IVF medication from. Typically IVF medication costs $5,000- $7,000 out of pocket. However since I have insurance for medication, the pharmacy we got medication from charged my insurance 3x the amount. For example, a medication that costs $900 out of pocket, they charged my insurance $3,500 for. Since the pharmacies overcharged my insurance for the medication, my fertility $15k medication budget got completely maxed out.
It is so frustrating and I do not know how the fertility pharmacies get away with doing this. Even though we had $15,000 of coverage, we still had to pay $1,400 out of pocket just for the medication. This is so not ethical and frankly, it’s just wrong. I also want to say that we are only able to move forward with IVF because we have insurance to cover it, Jacob and I do not have money to do IVF on our own because it is SO expensive. So even just paying $1,400 is very difficult for us.
So IVF is definitely hard, it’s mentally and physically tolling for sure. Physically I get nauseous from time to time with all the hormones. As well as headaches and PMS symptoms. I definitely get stressed out more easily and react a little more quickly than I usually do.
I think the most stressful part is working during IVF. As well as dealing with outside factors in general, especially sicknesses. Hudson started throwing up the night before I started the injections and it made everything so much more stressful. Not only because he’s sick, but also because I didn’t want to get sick while my body is getting beat down by hormones.
Overall IVF is so hard on your body. The biggest symptom I notice is bloating. I am pretty much bloated throughout the day but mostly at night. I have to wear loose clothing when I go to work because I can’t button my pants all the way up or else it hurts my stomach too much. The other physical symptom I notice is that I bruise and bleed more easily. I got a paper cut the other day and it started dripping blood which normally doesn’t happen. For this reason, the fertility clinic doesn’t let you take any kind of blood thinners like Advil.
Mentally, It can be so frustrating, scary and hard! But at the end of the day, it will be worth it to make a healthy baby!
IVF Next Step
The next step for us is the egg retrieval. In which I will be put under anesthesia for surgery. During this time they will go into my uterus and get all of the eggs out that have grown through the IVF cycle. We are hoping to get 40 eggs because the more eggs we have the better chance we have of only doing IVF once. Mainly because more eggs mean more embryos which means more potential babies to transfer. Based on my blood work and previous ultrasounds, my doctor said we should get a good amount of eggs. I really hope we can get a lot, and honestly, if we don’t I’ll be pretty disappointed. I am nervous but I am also ready to just get it over with and be done with the shots (for now).
Thanks so much for supporting me, I am so thankful to have such a supportive community to lean on during this difficult time. Follow me @maycineeley on Instagram for more updates! I will be sharing most of our IVF journey through my Instagram stories.