01 August 2007

(in)fertility extras

1. IVF drugs are expensive. For the third and last cycle, we were lucky enough to get all of the stims donated - a handful of vials of Repronex from a nurse at Cornell, a huge batch of Follistim from an internet friend in NJ (who, at that time, I'd never met in person), some more Follistim from a NY friend (passed under the table at a Starbuck's), and more Repronex plus a huge bag of assorted syringes from another IF compadre in NY. I did have to buy the microdose Lupron and the trigger, but I think the cycle was blessed by the good karma of all those donated drugs. When I was done, I passed on the extra Follistim to another friend (under the table at a Mexican place in Grand Central), and she got pregnant on her next cycle. And I turned in all the extra syringes to the RE's office for them to use in training classes.

2. Peer support is really important. It's one thing to talk to friends and family, but talking to people who've been through the process, or are in the middle of things, is a good way to learn things and share experiences good and bad. Through on-line resources like Resolve, Inciid, and IVF Connections, you may find peers who are local or age-similar or diagnosis-compatible. And, of course, there's blog-land: there are lots and lots of infertility blogs.

3. A hot washcloth compress immediately following an injection of progesterone in oil is a wonderful thing.

4. Don't forget about taxes. Specifically, infertility treatment is a medical expense that can be included on your tax return if you meet the threshhold (meaning that your expenses are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income) and you're intemizing deductions. In each of the two years that we were spending piles of money on drugs and doctors and procedures, W. and I filed our taxes separately, because the threshhold against only one income was lower and we could deduct more of the medical expenses.


thirtysomething said...

Since I am hopefully on the track to being a gestational carrier/surrogate mother, I am trying to figure out all this hormone stuff. Which ones are going to make me feel like crap, which ones I won't notice. And what is progesterone in oil?
I wish you luck on your cycle, it certainly does not sound easy.

BOSSY said...

Progesterone in oil? Sounds like one of the dishes Bossy just saw prepared on Top Chef.

Best of luck always.

S said...

I could make neither heads or tails of number one. So many terms unfamiliar to me.

I guess that's a good thing.

Still. It's like learning a new language, isn't it.

S said...

nor tails. oops.

Julie Pippert said...

Amen, Amen, Amen!

GOD. PIO. GOD. I did warm it, ice spot, shoot, HOT water washcloth.

Ahhh the techniques you learn.

I will not hide it. I used That Special Pharmacy in MA? best compounder? because I thought it was best. I even drove over to pick up stuff once.

Anyway, the cycle I conceived I had leftovers. I sent then covertly to my board buddy. She conceived too. And a new superstition was born.

And when my RE switched us from Follistim to Gonal-F on second try? I cried. Maybe it wouldn't work.

But thank goodness for living in MA where IF tx is covered.

They stopped taking leftover syringes so I covertly donated them to drug centers for diabetics.

Peer support was CRUCIAL.

I want it now...

Awesome post. Should be linked to for all new IF people.


Ravin' Picture Maven

Anonymous said...

I am just catching up with all of your infertility posts -- I think it's great that you shared your experience so openly. I know your tips will be helpful for other couples going through the same thing.

And it reminds me again how lucky I am to be a parent -- it doesn't come so easily for everyone.