Sunday, January 25, 2015

Update on IVF Thoughts and Answers

These past couple of weeks have been really strange. For a couple of months we had been counting down the days to move forward with IUI. It has been strange changing our mindset back to the saving for treatment mode. Not only are we back in saving mode, but we are preparing for a different treatment altogether, which may not come for a couple years down the road. The past few weeks have been filled with searching for answers, praying for more direction, and seeking help from blessings. We have received a lot of peace in our situation.

I am not going to go into a lot of the details on some of the direction we have received but I am going to mention a few things. Taylor gave me a blessing soon after our appointment. We were both in shock and just didn't know what to think. That blessing gave us so much peace for the situation. We were told that Heavenly Father made things happen this way so that we wouldn't have to go through the heartbreak and pain of 3 more IUI cycles. We were told that if we would have moved forward with the IUI cycles it wouldn't be anything like we expected and there would have been a lot of complications and we would be in a much worse situation. Even though just weeks ago we were moving forward with that treatment plan, Heavenly Father changed our direction and I am so grateful that He did. He is truly watching out for us and helping us to get to the place we need to be.

I have had in depth discussions about this with certain people. The question of why Heavenly Father would have us work toward IUI and then change that for us last minute has come up. I have thought about that myself and I know that it was what needed to happen. If I would have been told from the beginning that I would need IVF and I was starting from zero. I would have been so overwhelmed and I don't think I could handle it. The path we have taken has allowed me to build up to this news in more than one way. It has allowed me to get the used to the idea of treatments and starting saving for those treatments. It then took another step up to more complicated treatments at more expense. I think I would have had a much harder time if it just went straight to IVF. Heavenly Father has a plan and it has definitely been the perfect plan. His hand is in all that we are doing. We are extremely blessed.

I have received a lot of questions since we told everyone that we would be moving forward with IVF. I will answer a few of them now and some of them will be answered in later posts since I have had quiet a few questions. The most asked question is how much does IVF cost compared to the IUI treatments we were planning on. The cost of the IUI cycles with the prescribed treatment plan was going to be $1,500 per cycle and we were going to do up to 3 cycles if we needed to. Our prescribed treatment plan with IVF will cost just over $15,000, so it is much more expensive.

The follow up question to that that we have been getting asked is if we can just take out a loan to do treatment. The answer is that we could, but we aren't. Before explaining further, I just want to clarify that we have nothing against people who take out loans, etc. to pay for treatment. There is nothing wrong with that if they feel that is the direction they should go. However, we have received specific instruction not to go in debt for treatment and things will work out without having to go into debt. In a way this is disappointing direction for us to get. If we were able to take out a loan to do treatment we could attempt it much sooner. We do see the wisdom in this for our situation though, and we would much rather pay cash for the treatment. If the treatment doesn't work the first time we don't want to keep accumulating debt while trying more and more attempts. This also makes sense in our situation because we can start saving everything we have over the next little while, while Taylor finishes up school. I can also keep going with Making Someday to save extra as well for treatments.  Plans have changed before, but this is the direction we are moving in right now.

Many people have asked if I am afraid I will have multiples. The answer is no. I am not afraid at all. I will take however many Heavenly Father will give us! (After all, I have always told Taylor that I want 100 kids :) )

A few people have asked if we could get a crazy number of babies like 5 or 6. The maximum number of embryos that would be transferred would be 2. So most likely we would only have 1 or 2 babies, but there is a small chance for 3 or 4 if the embryos split after they are transferred, but again that is very unlikely.

It is really fun to think about our future babies every once in a while and dream about what will happen and how things will be, but we are taking things one day and one baby step at a time. Sometimes it gets too overwhelming when we think about all that has to happen to even start treatments, then going through the treatment process, and getting through a pregnancy without something bad happening. We are just trying to focus on the first steps as they come. Right now we are reading every blog and article we can get our hands on about others IVF experiences and how it went. We are just trying to prepare ourselves for what we can expect and things that can happen. It is great to have the stories of others who have documented their journey to look at to help us with our journey.

We don't know where this next leg of our journey will take us and how it will all turn out. We don't know what other bumps we will encounter along the way. We are getting ready for it though and moving forward. We are grateful for all of the love and support from all of our family and friends. We are excited to move forward with all of this and we are excited to share the journey with everyone as we go.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Consultation and BIG Direction Changes

Today has not went how I expected it to go at all. We had a consultation today with Dr. Foulk and I was completely expecting to be announcing to everyone today that we were officially moving forward with our next 3 IUI treatments as of next week. However, that is not what is going to happen with this post.

Our last consultation with Dr. Foulk was back in December of 2013, so a little over a year ago. At that time he told us he would move forward with 3 more IUIs because he didn't know for sure that there was tubal damage that was causing the problems and thought that IUIs still might be a good option. However, a lot has happened since then. I lost two more babies, and that is exactly what has caused our direction to change.

Today at the consultation, Dr. Foulk came in and explained that the miscarriages are concerning because my HCG numbers never got above 125, which is not normal. Usually, even with a miscarriage, when a pregnancy is in the uterus my numbers would have been much higher. We have also done all of the miscarriage testing and there is no reason I should be having recurring miscarriages. Due to these things he is now very, very confident to say that the miscarriages I have been having are actually ectopic pregnancies, so for some reason all of the babies are getting stuck in the tubes and aren't making it to the uterus. Dr. Foulk went on to tell us that because of the losses and this new information we received, he cannot recommend that we continue with the 3 IUI cycles. The IUI cycles make it a greater chance that pregnancy will happen and last longer. With the tubal damage it could also make things really bad, really fast. With an ectopic pregnancy, tubes could rupture which could cause more problems. Surgery could be needed and tubes could need to be removed. In really bad cases more than just the tubes would need to be removed. If they had to do a hysterectomy I would have no hope of becoming pregnant down the road. It could also put my life in danger. We are still able to try on our own and hope for a miracle. He said he has seen many miracles, but he would just not recommend using the medications or do the IUI treatments, which would increase our risks dramatically.

After discussing this with Dr. Foulk, Taylor and I both completely agreed with him that we should not move forward with the 3 treatments. The risks far outweigh the benefits and things could get really bad. So now we are moving on with our last option, in vitro fertilization (IVF.) Neither of us expected today that we would be moving on to our last option. We are both still letting it sink in. Dr. Foulk gave us a bunch of information on the IVF process and we were able to meet with the financial counselor at the office to find out all the costs that are involved. As always, all of the staff at UFC are
 amazing and very helpful. We really have no idea at this point when we will actually be doing the procedure but we do know this is what we are now working towards.

Even though it was a disappointment that we won't be moving forward with treatments next week, we are looking at this as a huge blessing in a way and we are peaceful about forgoing the 3 IUIs. We could have ended up paying for all three treatments, going through all the pain and emotions, and ended up having a lot of heartbreak. We are grateful that Dr. Foulk was a up front with us because now we can save what we would have put toward IUIs and use that toward IVF.

A lot of this is still really new to us and there is a lot we will need to figure out since we only got this information a few hours ago. I do plan on doing more posts in the coming days, weeks, and months about updates on the situation and to address any questions that I get.

As for now, we are just going to keep pushing forward and take one day at a time as we try to move forward in our new direction. Making Someday is keeping me busy with all the orders and I am so grateful to have them especially now that we are we are moving toward IVF and it is much more expensive.

We are looking forward to taking more steps in our journey and are excited for what the future holds. Even though it has been a disappointment since we were planning on (and looking forward to) treatments next week, we still have so much hope for the future. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and this is just part of the plan. It will all work out in the best way and we are looking at all this as a blessing in disguise. Heavenly Father has our best interest in mind. This new direction is probably Heavenly Father's way of helping us to save the money we have worked so hard to save for treatments and helping us to avoid a lot worse situation. We have been so blessed and and we are looking forward to see where this new direction takes us.