Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crushed

This past weekend, just as predicted, the wicked witch of AF did indeed crush me with her flying house. And based on the weight of impact, the bitch must live in Buckingham Palace.

To revisit the breastfeeding topic again, each BFN increases my panic and conflicted feelings about continuing to nurse. Actually, let me rephrase that. I have NO conflicted feelings about continuing to nurse, because neither Bean nor I want to stop. But it raises my fury that as an infertile, I can't move forward with TTC because of the unknown effects of fertility meds on nursing children. The thought of short-changing this relationship between me and my son, with the risk that nothing may come of treatment anyway, boils my blood.

I have employed the "don't offer, don't refuse" strategy during the day, so our BF sessions having naturally evolved to just before a nap (1-2 times per day), before bed (1 time), and during the night to sooth him back to sleep if he awakens (0-2 times). Each session is less than 5 minutes long. Although it may not seem like much, it's the emotional connection and comfort that we both obviously love.

But feeling the pressure to return to the RE, on Saturday I decided to try to put him down for a nap without nursing him first. He was not happy about it, of course. I snuggled him for a while and put him down in his crib. He cried briefly in protest, I closed the door. I could almost HEAR my heart being crushed in my chest, I certainly felt it.

He didn't end up falling asleep. I'm not sure if it was because he didn't nurse beforehand, it could go either way. But we tried again a half-hour later -- this time with the boob first -- and he smiled as I put him in his crib for a peaceful nap. We both felt better, I knew it wasn't time to wean.

But I was still antsy to go to the RE. Going back to the doctor represents hope that keeps me going when I fear this is a lost cause... the feeling that we did overcome this in the past with medical intervention, and we can again. Our life will not always be ruled by infertility, there is something we can do.

So despite my concern about the nursing issue, this morning I called and made an appointment. June 30th.

The receptionist reminded me that if insurance does not cover the office visit, they will need $250-$300 paid the day of the consult. I told her that I did expect insurance to pay, but I would call to find out.

When we lived in St. Louis and conceived with the help of a fabulous RE there, our insurance company paid for diagnosis but not treatment of IF, which is what our new Seattle insurance policy states as well. I don't know how the St. Louis doc was able to code our visits and procedures, but he significantly reduced the out-of-pocket expenses for us. A month of injectible medication with an IUI (including countless blood draws and ultrasounds) was $850, down from what I would guess would be up to $2000.

After making the appointment with this new RE, I immediately called our current insurance company to verify the coverage.

Turns out these bastards won't pay for ANYTHING if it relates to artificial means of conception. Which to them means they will gladly pay for some Clomid, for example... unless I want to have an IUI done with it, then sorry, out of luck. Same with a consultation. Oh, you want to talk to the doctor? Of course, we are your medical insurance, we will pay for it. That's the point of having medical insurance, silly girl! Wait, you will be discussing doing another IUI? Well, in that case, you'd better bring your credit card.

Did I mention they are bastards?

The representative spoke with her superior just to clarify the rules of what is and is not covered. As we reviewed everything, my lungs slowly started crushing in my chest. I took as deep of breaths as I could manage in order to stay collected. "Well, that's a devastating blow," I remarked. I thanked the woman for her time and hung up.

Then I called the RE and canceled our appointment.

Crushed.



Edited to add: Right after I published this post, the following song came up on my iPod:



This is a song I listened to frequently during our first tangle with IF. During the darkest days, it reminded me that this, too, shall pass. I wonder if my iPod is reading my blog. Technology really is amazing these days.

10 comments:

  1. I don't know what to say. That news completely and totally sucks. Have you thought about calling the RE in St. Louis to see how they were able to handle the insurance issue in the past? I'm just grasping at straws here trying to think of something...

    I just feel so horrible for you.

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  2. I echo Jen's comments. Is it possible to see if DH can switch insurance companies at his work? I am sure you already checked that out if it were a possibility. I am surprised that his company, considering it is the same one as in St. Louis, would offer your previous insurance. I am ignorant these days on the ways of private industry being a federal drone myself. We get offered a few different companies and plans - various PPOs and HMOs etc.

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  3. I know how crushing that is. Insurance companies SUCK!!!! Mine has been ok so far. They cover everything up to 1 IUI, which I have done. If they get a hint I am going to do it again they made it clear I will have to pay for EVERYTHING. My RE said he will order extra meds for my injectible round and then order some the next month so at least when we do the IVF we hopefully won't have to pay for drugs.

    I hope that maybe DH can change insurance companies or you can figure something out. ((HUGS))

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  4. Insurance in this country is seriously screwed up. Seriously. That sucks. I echo the comment to look into switching insurance. The bright side, I suppose, is that you can keep nursing while you figure it out.

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  5. no words except that SUCKS! :( I hope ya'll can find someone else or another plan....

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  6. That is horrible about insurance. In Australia IF treatment is government sposored in the public system, they are threatening to change that, but many people are fighting for it. IF seems enough to have to go through without worrying about money too.

    With regards the nursing, it sounds like you know what you want and would always regret it if you gave it up before Bean was ready. There are days when I really miss nursing Champ and wonder if I should have encouraged him to nurse more when he self weaned.

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  7. Argh. Insurance. Stupid, stupid insurance.

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  8. Oh man, I'm so very sorry that your insurance is being such a drag! I'm also sorry for AF. This is the best advice I can give you about facing infertility again (as I sooooo feel your pain and anxiety about entering back into this dark place)...if you and bean still want to nurse, definitely don't let your fear about IF scare you into stopping. I miss so much the nursing relationship that I had with my son. Also, nursing preserves your fertility (like putting a pause button on any hormonal issues like endo or pcos).

    Take care! I hope you find a loophole with that cruddy insurance!

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  9. Oh I hope I didn't miss your email on here? I don't have email on mine, but I was wondering who you saw in STL????? Here's my e-mail: eve_62025@yahoo.com. Thanks!

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  10. That completely sucks. SO sorry! ((HUGS!))

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