Monday, July 25, 2011

All By Himself!...

Big news today.


During Gavin's therapy, or as I call it "Class with Miss Janna", he held onto a marker all by himself. Don't believe me? Check this out...

He would open and close his hand around the marker while Miss Janna gave him support at his wrist. He was definitely proud of himself - and kept looking at his hand with a cute little smile that said, "Wow - I'm doing it!"

Gavin now has four spin art circles that he's done hanging in the window near the art table. I have started writing on the back so we can track his progress. This circle says "July 25 - Gavin held the marker in his left hand ALL BY HIMSELF!!" I don't know if he's left handed - all I do know is that he loves to spin with his right hand. He will fight you if you try to keep that hand from spinning. It's been hard to decide if he's left or right dominant for writing or coloring yet.

Brian loves Gavin's therapy - especially when they come with fun toys! Miss Janna often has "Caroline the Cookie Jar" which Brian had fun with today.

This morning bright and early I was out the door to the Fertility Clinic. I was anxious to talk to the doctor about a new plan - the last three cycles of injectables have produced nothing but bruised legs and a broken spirit. We had a long chat in his office and decided to go another round with the injectables at a higher dose. He strongly suggested we move on to In Vitro Fertilization - saying we had more than a 50% chance of getting pregnant that way. I wasn't surprised that he suggested it...but I didn't feel all that ready to hear it. I told him I'd rather try another month of injectables and if I didn't get pregnant - we'd talk then. Ed and I need this month to think about do our research...and make a calm and intelligent decision about it all. It's a lot to absorb. I felt comforted, though, when I called our insurance and they told me that IVF is covered at 100% with a lifetime maximum of $25,000. But then I hung up and realized that I haven't a clue what IVF costs. For all I know one round could be 25 grand. I guess it would have been smart to ask those questions...but mentally, I'm just not ready yet.

I'm off to play with the boys and their new trains! We're having so much fun with them.


  1. Hi Kate,

    Check out this blog, written by a talented NYU Reproductive Endocrinologist:

    The info there is so helpful. Be sure to browse the archives (even go back to his first post and read forward from there).

    We were on the brink of IVF when injectibles worked for us (it was a Hail Mary cycle). I know IVF feels like a big step -- the tension in that last cycle was unbearable. Like you, we already had two kids and spending the money on IVF seemed like a wreckless thing to do with our finances when we had college and retirement to think of. But at the same time, we'd been trying for long enough that giving up also seemed like a terrible choice to have to accept.

    I believe the price they offered us was $15,000 for three tries (this was back in '06 and I was just about to turn 40 and it was a university program). Lots of clinics have plans called "shared risk" ... where you get three tries for one price. You pay the same if you get pg on the first cycle or the third ... or, unfortunately, not at all. But in order to qualify for these programs at many places, you have to be under a certain age cut off. And of course your FSH and other numbers have to be favorable as well (yours must be good if he is estimating 50% success ... that's sounds unheard of to me for IVF over 40, but I am not an expert. I think he estimated 30% for us and my numbers were good. Age is just the 900 lb gorilla in the IVF room. :( )

    Licciardi is excellent at writing about the in's and out's of understanding your odds and how to think about your options/next steps. He also writes about how to investigate whether you are going with the best clinic/clinician in your area. Because the quality of the clinic can be a huge factor in outcome.

    Best of luck to you!! You know I am rooting for you.

  2. " ... (50% chance of pregnancy) sounds unheard of to me for IVF over 40 ..." ... qualify that remark: ~unless~ you are considering using donor eggs. Then yes, I've heard of much higher success rates because it's the age of the donor that counts, not the age of the uterus. ;)

  3. Also check out Mel's blog ... the top infertility blogger. She has fantastic resources on her blog for people going through any kind of family building experience.

  4. One more link:

    Mel's online IF blogger community newsletter that connects people with others for support and info. If, while doing your research, you have questions or need inforomation or BTDT support ... people going through a similar experience to join you here for support ... you can email Mel and she'll list you in the latest edition. Either as a new IF blog, or she can list a specific request.

    And the above link is her community blogroll, where you can find and follow others like you.

  5. my friend was just successful with IVF. She has very little uterus due to cancer. She was pregnant 1st try after the injections did not work (many rounds) she just told me her IVF with meds, drs visits, retrieval and transfer is $12-16,000. Thats in Florida.
    hope that helps!

  6. I know you don't know me but I have been following you from Caringbridge and now on this blog for quite some time. I have two boys (4 and 11 months) and both are IVF babies. With my 4 year old my insurance paid 100% and with my 11 month old we had to pay out of pocket. The doctor gave us a discount the 2nd time because we were paying out of pocket and it still costed us over $12K.

    Fortunately both worked the first time and we even have 10 frozen embryo's from our 2nd cycle that we can use for a future FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) which is MUCH cheaper.

    I hope this gives you hope for what your future has to hold. GOOD LUCK!

  7. I agree with D, 50% chance for over 40 is not accurate at all, unless they are saying over a span of several cycles. My boys are as a result of IVF, I was 31 when I got pregnant and my chances were 52%. That dropped to 40% at 35, lower at 38, and even lower at 40. Not that there isn't a chance, a friend of mine has twins also as a result of IVF and she was 41 when she got pregnant. However it was her fourth cycle. But I would be hesitant about a doctor who was telling me at the age of 40 that I had a 50% chance of getting pregnant using my own eggs.
    Our IVF was also covered by insurance. It's my understanding that with a lifetime max of $25k (which is what our is as well) should cover about 3 cycles, maybe 4 depending on your clinic.
    As for "making the step" it is hard. We had no other options, we were told it was our only chance of getting pregnant. We never did anything else. So for me (despite having always felt that IVF was too invasive and I didn't want to do it) it was what I had to do if I wanted a family. But it was still hard to inject myself everyday, go for the constant blood work, ultra sounds, and through the week of stimming which is NOT comfortable (your ovaries go from grapes to oranges, it hurts). I had no side effects (other than the discomfort from the size of my ovaries) from the drugs and it worked for us on the first cycle. We got really, really lucky.
    Its not an easy decision, but I can honestly say that it was SO worth it!!!
    Best of luck and feel free to contact me if you want to chat.


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