Baby Laramie: Donor Egg IVF
From the beginning, I feel that we were fortunate in this unfortunate situation. My wonderful CNM, Linda Johnston, did her best to get me to ovulate. After only four months of TTC, she referred us to CNY Fertility and we received the news. Other couples wait years for some type of reason why their dreams of having a child have not yet come true. We only waited a few months for our reason.
Premature ovarian failure. My ovaries are not functioning and I do not produce eggs. It's a reason. Not an explanation. I have no family history or other obvious reason why this happened to me. To us. It's likely we'll never have an explanation for it. That's hard for me sometimes, but I have done my best to move past that because it is beyond my control. It is what it is. The night we got home from our initial consultation, Josh laid the foundation for how we would tackle our situation (and future life/marriage obstacles); by talking. I cannot explain how important that lesson he taught me is, and how thankful I am for him.
As we moved through the grief, we began to explore our options. We found that donor oocytes (eggs) would the best choice for our situation. It has been a very complex and confusing process, but the CNY staff in Latham have been amazing, especially Melissa Bulson and Michelle Coiffi. We are on the waiting list and are hopeful that we can begin the donor egg IVF process this year.
As I've said, even though we are in an unfortunate situation, we are very fortunate. Josh has wonderful insurance and we are hoping that about 70% of the process will be covered. I can't begin to imagine what it is like for couples who are in our situation and who have insurance that does not cover fertility services or for those who have no insurance at all. It again seems unfair that I am asking for help when there are so many others in need more than we are.
For our situation, we pay for the process up front and our insurance will reimburse us for the processes performed on me only. We are required to pay for retreival of eggs. From what I understand, the process will take about 5 days in which we will need to stay near CNY Fertility (either Latham or Syracuse, depending on the donor) and will cost between $8,000-$9,000 not including travel and hotel costs. Again, I know we are fortunate because when it comes to the cost of infertility those numbers are on the low end. But for us, it's a lot, even after an insurance reimbursement. Which is why we are asking for help. Josh and I would be greatful for any gift no matter the size.
It is important that we recognize our families and friends and their significance throughtout this process. You have been absoluately amazing. We want to thank you for that; we cannot express what your support has meant to us. We love you all.
Second, I must apologize. I wasn't overly clear about how we will be putting your generosity to good use. The insurance we are so thankful for covers about 2/3 of the entire process, which was last quoted at about $8,700 (I believe this amount has increased to around $9,200 as our appointment was back in August). CNY requires 75% of that amount as down payment. The portion that is not covered are the retrieval of eggs and other procedures performed on the donor herself. Which, to me, makes sense. The insurance we are paying for is not going to pay for procedures performed on someone who is not on the policy. So basically, we are required to pay for egg retrieval and any other donor services (medications, etc.). Our out of pocket costs will be about $3,000, more if the total cost of IVF has increased. I just took a huge breath myself with that number. But I do know that's a fraction of what many couples pay for the possibility of a child.
Beyond donor costs, it is definite that we will have to travel and stay to either Latham or Syracuse (the latter is the most likely) for about a week for the procedure. Now I have to back-track for a minute. Assuming that the egg retrieval goes well (I'm refraining from using the word "normal" because not much about this journey is "normal"), we will get between 5 and 7 eggs which will be divided into three IVF procedures. So, if it doesn't work the first time (I'm trying to walk the line realistic line while still staying optimistic) we will have two more times to try. Jumping back to the here-and-now, that's at least one and up to three trips to fund.
There is one last way that we will be putting your donations to good use. One of the many reasons I really like CNY Fertility is because they believe in a holistic approach to fertility wellness. They combine Eastern and Western approaches to medicine which allows for the greatest chance for conception. This includes yoga, acupuncture, and massage which can (will) be worked into our IVF cycle. I'd like to do whatever I can to help increase the chances of conception, and combining Eastern medicine has been proven to help do that. I believe that acupuncture is covered by our insurance, but I'm not sure if it's different because it's for fertility and I'm pretty sure the other treatments are not. I know it may sound like I'm going to spend a week at the spa, and well, you're right. JUST KIDDING! The therapies I plan to take advantage of are designed specifically for infertility and to help increase conception. So sure, I plan to use these activities to help me relax but honestly, I'm sure I'm going to need them.
So, that is how we plan to use any donations we receive. I would like to thank everyone again for your help and support. You are a part of what helps to keep us going!