Thursday, March 29, 2012


I haven't had one for awhile. I guess I was overdue.

I freaking HATE this Boston hospital. The person I'm in contact with there, the financial coordinator, is horrible to work with. I basically collapsed into a pile of mess on the phone with her this morning.

Getting a hold of her is like pulling teeth. The last time I called her was Tues. morning, and I left a message. No call back. This has happened before. I called again this morning, thinking 48 hours was enough time and she said she had never gotten my phone call. Again, not the first time she's said that and I do not believe for one second a hospital's (or big business') voicemail is so bad that you are missing messages left and right. Fail.

I had apparently misunderstood the insurance discussion we had on Monday (the last time I had been able to FINALLY reach her and pay for Gabby's screening charges). I was under the impression that I either had to use my insurance for the entire cycle at Boston but then pay out of pocket to get my monitoring done locally, or go and stay in Boston while I do my monitoring - which would be much more costly. L & I decided I should just pay OOP to stay locally.

When I called to tell the financial coordinator our decision, she informs me that I can't do it locally, even paying it out of pocket. I can either pay for the entire cycle out of pocket at Boston ($12K) and then pay out of pocket some more to do my monitoring locally OR I can do my entire cycle in Boston and stay there the entire time.

Ok, I just lost it. Burst into tears on the phone. And damn, it did nothing to move her. Not that I cried in order to move her (that would be a talent I just don't have, crying on cue) but she was just as flat and unhelpful in the midst of my blubbering as she was before. "The insurance won't pay for the monitoring if you're not having it done here!"

THAT WAS MY POINT FROM THE BEGINNING! The insurance is not treating it as one big thing - it is treating the monitoring separate from the retrieval and the other stuff! I don't need the insurance to pay for the monitoring since I don't want it done there - if they didn't, I could then do it at a local place and be covered.

But paying OOP for local monitoring seems to be the least of my worries now.

It doesn't make any financial sense to not go stay in Boston if this is the way it has to be. At most, taking the time off and staying in a hotel for 2 weeks would cost $3K, much less than the $12K out of pocket it would cost. But it's still very aggravating.

I called the surrogate agency because I was so upset. They told me it was ridiculous what I was told and that there is no reason I can't use my insurance at all and just pay OOP locally. There were some other things too I had been told that they told me were wrong so they are getting on the horn finally because this has been such a mess. I don't want to deal with this coordinator any more.

The coordinator also told me I had to pay for embryo freezing which didn't make sense to me because I've had embryos frozen before and didn't pay anything. she said it was because I was in MA, but I just called my insurance and they said at most if the hospital were out of network (which they're not) they would still pay 80% of the $800 fee to freeze. So she's wrong on that too. What the hell is she doing?

The surrogate agency just emailed me back and told me they checked with someone else at the hospital and I should be able to use my insurance. They said the hospital makes an "exception" in egg donor cases where the egg donor lives far away so they don't see why it can't be done in my case. In essence, I'm the egg donor in this case, except I will be taking home the baby myself at the end of any pregnancy. Now, why didn't the coordinator offer this to me? It doesn't seem like she has any interest in helping me out at all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


It is never a dull moment in Ducky and L's house!

Yesterday I finally paid for Gabby's screening costs so we could get this boat on the road. $4319. Ugh. I know it's nothing compared to the money our inlaws have spent with the agency so far but this is our first amount out of pocket (we're doing what we can, which isn't much) so it hurts. She has to do a hysteroscopy (really? when she's had three kids no problem?) and it has to be done in the first 12 days of her cycle. If they don't call her to schedule it soon we're SOL until her next cycle. I think we may be.

The hospital is giving me trouble about paying for the upcoming cycle. To do a surrogate cycle, which means I do the egg growing part - like an egg donor) and Gabby does the egg retrieval part (like in a FET) they charge approx. $12K. But I have insurance, which covers my part of the cycle (obviously not Gabby's). I want to do my monitoring (ultrasounds and bloodwork) locally because I can't drive 6 hours (both ways) every other day when I'm stimming for a 15 min. appointment. But they are telling me that they will bill my insurance for 1 think - THE CYCLE and I can't do my monitoring locally. This is bull - anyone who knows anything about insurance knows insurance doesn't get one charge for the entire cycle, there's a charge for every little thing - every ultrasound, every b/w, etc. So why can't they just not charge me for the ultrasounds and b/w (I don't believe they haven't ever broken out the cost) so that I can do those locally?

Well, they tell me I can't. Gah. So I can either stay in Boston for the monitoring, which would either mean driving back and forth (can't work driving 6 hours a day and would either need to pay for a hotel or lots and lots of gas and tolls) or pay for my monitoring locally, out of pocket. I think we're going to go the OOP route so I can at least work - saving my vacation time for maternity leave (hopefully? eventually? I've been saving/not saving forever it seems). But what a pain in the ass. I know they are incorrect about what they are saying but can't seem to get it through my contact person's head, who is insisting there's nothing she can do about it.

I did email my agency to ask them if there's anything they can do. Haven't heard back. I may be starting to be a PITA with them as well...but squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?

I really don't feel like I'm unreasonable with all these things I complain about. I just want people to do their jobs - I'm not asking them to do any extra special favors or put something through that shouldn't be. I get so stressed out trying to just manage this stuff. I do think apart from the infertility stuff, all this stress will change me forever.

I wish I could get a surprise phone call today telling me we've been picked for that profiling opportunity. Just random and out of the blue - 'twould be awesome.

Monday, March 26, 2012


We are being profiled again. Didn't get much in the way of details and I'm not holding out much hope - just happy to be out there for something!

I called on Friday to check in on things and once again she said, "This is so funny! You always call when I'm about to call you!"

I have no intuition about these things and at this point, I'm ready to call BS. I don't really like calling for no reason, but if this is the only way we're going to get profiled I will do it. Sigh...

The expectant birth mom had just come in with her mom (she's in HS) which our advocate said was a good sign because she has family support. She's due this THURSDAY which makes me think she will probably end up changing her mind. I say that because coming in with your mom the week before strikes me as someone who's not really interested in making a birth plan and may only be doing so because your mom is making you. I could be wrong - maybe it's just a teenagery thing to do. It's nice we won't have to wait all that long to find out what the outcome is though. I didn't get that many details, like I did about the other opportunity we had, except that there's no info on the birth dad, and no drug/alcohol issues to be concerned with. I have no idea if the birthmom wants a relationship or not. As you can tell, I'm trying not to get too invested in this.

It's hard though, even with very little info. Just the thought of possibly having a baby next weekend or the week after makes me think about it too much. I spent the weekend with babies. On Saturday my BFF and I went downstate to visit with some high school friends (including one who now lives in KS and she brought her two kids - 5 & 6. My BFF's baby is almost 5 months old and the day ended with me changing her in a thruway rest stop changing room and helping feed her out by the food stations. BFF and I kept getting knowing looks as we passed the baby back and forth from passersby, like we were a couple! Hahahaha. BFF said loudly to the baby, "A___ has two mommies!" It was pretty funny.

Then Sunday morning we were invited to the christening of my coworker's baby who will be three months old soon. I keep calling her my coworker but she is one of my best friends too - but the one I call my BFF I've known since 9 years old and coworker I've known for 4 years - we are very close though. Her mother in law is a pastor and did the christening - which unlike Catholic baptisms which I am used to was done in front of the whole congregation. She only invited me and L and two other close friends (husband and wife) out of everyone she knows so it made me feel good that we were so special to her. Once again her MIL thanked us profusely after the service for coming and coworker's husband kept thanking us again and again both at the service and when we went to their house afterwards for pizza. It got to be a little strange - there's only so many times you can say "you're welcome" without it sounding weird. But he kept saying it and L finally came up to me and asked why he was saying it so much, to which I didn't know. But finally I caught up to him alone in the kitchen and he said almost exactly what his mother did when I went to coworker's baby shower in December - that he knew it was tough for us and he was just so grateful we would come to the baptism. It wasn't as eloquently put as his MIL had said it back then, and I felt a little more awkward but it was nice.

Since the christening was held in the middle of the mass they did the rest of the mass too and there was a lot of silence and prayers and stuff and his mom/pastor talked a lot about going through tough times etc. and I couldn't help it but the tears flowed through a lot of that part of the service. I don't know if he saw it or his mom did (he was in the pew in front of us and obviously his mom was at the front but it wasn't that big of a church) so maybe that's why he felt like he had to thank us. Of course he didn't - but in another way it's so nice when people recognize that something may be difficult for you.

I'm not that religious but of course all I could think about is where we'll get our baby(ies) christened when the time comes. It was just one more reminder that we still have no one at home.

I have more to write but it'll have to wait for tomorrow.

Friday, March 23, 2012


AF is here and I'm delighted. Those words do not cross my lips too often.

Now onto the next struggle. It seems like there's always a next struggle.

The gestational surrogacy program at the hospital in Boston we're using has had our surrogate's chart for over a month. I finally lit a fire under our agency to find out what's going on and they said they've been contacting the hospital twice a week and haven't heard anything, so they gave me the hospital number to call. The person I spoke with said she never heard of me.

Terrific, right?

We have all sorts of prescreening appointments to do before we start our cycle. And Gabby is going on vacation first week of May. And I'm going on vacation third week of June. Originally we thought we'd be started on the cycle before Gabby goes on vacation and do retrieval and transfer right after she gets back but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. I'm getting nervous. My IVF cycles always take longer than normal so I just pray this is done before my vacation AND I don't get OHSS this time. That was pretty miserable.

I just wish people would do their damn jobs. I feel like I run about trying to get everything everyone needs and no one calls me back, responds to my emails, does what they're supposed to do! I'm not asking anyone to go above and beyond, you know? Just do what they're getting paid for.

On top of this my HOA is being stupid about us setting up a small satellite dish. I'm just frustrated with people today.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Just a quick post to inform the blog world that after 61 days, AF has finally come. I have never been so happy to see the bitch in my life!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Ok, so WTF? Today is CD 60. SIXTY. Sesenta. No period. I was feeling crampy and PMSy a few days ago and still nothing. 11 days ago I had my P4 checked and it indicated I'd already ovulated and I was sure I hadn't just ovulated the day before, so AF should definitely be here by now. At this point, it's going to affect our upcoming cycle if this keeps up.

Surrogacy agreement has gone over to the other attorney. Our attorney checked on Gabby's insurance for us. I mean, they had of course checked it out before but she wanted to give me specifics.

There is a $100 annual deductible for all insurance services and then there's a $300 co-payment for inpatient stay when she gives birth. Otherwise, her coverage is 100%.

How freaking awesome is that???

I need to call up the adoption agency soon just to check in but I'm dreading it a bit. Obviously there's nothing new over there since I haven't heard anything. I also want to ask them for a "receipt" for all our expenses in 2011 so we have it when we go to file taxes next year.

This year (tax year 2012) is the last year that the adoption credit/deduction (I don't remember which one it is, but it's whatever one gives you more money) is over $12K. I believe last year it was $13K. The healthcare reform act (I refuse to call it "Obamacare") put back the deduction/credit for this year, but next year it drops back to $5k (maybe $6k) unless they change it, which they haven't done so far.

The way adoption stuff and taxes work is generally, this - if you haven't finalized your adoption, you can take a partial credit (for whatever adoption expenses you have paid - in our case, application fees and homestudy fees) in the tax year AFTER you paid those fees. Since we paid those fees in 2011, we can take credit in tax year 2012 (which gets filed NEXT April). If you finalize in a given year, you can take the credit in that year.

Obviously the way we are going we'll be lucky to get a placement in 2012, so forget about finalizing. If we finalize in 2013, there will be only $5K we can get :( So I definitely want to file for partial credit next year for whatever we can get. I think we spent between $3-$5K last year on adoption stuff. Hopefully then in 2013 we can get the $5K when we finalize, which is better than nothing. I'm not positive if $5k is the most we can back total, so we'll definitely be going to a tax attorney that year.

I am a bit annoyed we're going to miss out on the adoption credit/deduction by only a year or so. But then today I got a fundraising letter from my law school alma mater and learned that tuition has been raised from $6k when I went there in early 2000s to nearly $30K now. Holy smokes. So that timing at least worked out for me there. Win some, lose some.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Surrogacy Agreement Part Deux

AF watch: no, still not here. But I feel crampy and like it will be here any day now. Hurray!

One time I did have a 69 day cycle. But that was after my open heart surgery. Kind of makes sense that my body went a bit wacky after that. 55+ days for no reason at all? I don't get it.

L and I had 2 hour phone conversation with our attorney for the surrogacy agreement this morning. Thank goodness a new month of cell phone minutes will be starting soon! It was really good. She was very knowledgeable, well spoken, and listened and agreed with many of our changes.

She told us Gabby gave ridiculously low payment amounts for many of the things contemplated in the agreement. As I wrote yesterday, I can't specifically go into language of the agreement, but for caesarean, ectopic, D&C's - all of these have an amount allocated to them if they happen and apparently the surrogate gets to pick an amount they will be paid in case they do (I didn't know the surrogate picked this until today).

She's also the one who gets to say how much childcare will be in case she needs to go on bed rest or while she's at doctor appointments and our attorney said she must think her au pair or family members will just take care of the children because it is crazy low for 3 kids! There are so many things I would not have contemplated myself so I'm glad we have an attorney who has experience writing contracts like this up. She told us this woman sounds incredible - she makes a lot of money (our attorney of course didn't tell us how much but she needed to submit paystubs in case there are lost wages), has 3 kids, works full time, has an au pair for crissakes, but she still wants to do this, and is asking on the low side for reimbursement. Clearly this means she's doing it for the right reasons. I don't know how we got so lucky!

I was all excited about the lowered amount for her fee yesterday, but now it makes sense. However, she sort of makes up for the money a different way. She really doesn't want to have twins, if it's up to her, but we definitely want to put 2 back since this process is so expensive. The $3K we would "save" on her fee is actually added to the multiples fee - that ONE fee is higher than normal. I can't really fault her for that, everything else is ridiculously cheap apparently and she wasn't a huge fan of multiples to begin with, but she's still going to go through with it, so I guess she decided to make it worth her while. I think it's fair. If we don't end up with twins the price will be lowered and if we do we will be so thrilled anyway! The price goes up even higher for triplets but we would never ever put 3 back in her and the only way to end up with twins would be in one of the embryos split. That has never happened to me (my twins were from two embryos that both implanted) and there are no twins in my family so the chances are not high for that.

I am so grateful I want to email her to thank her but I'm not quite sure how to put it. I'm sure I'll find away throughout this process though.

On the adoption front, no news to report. Almost 5 months into it and there's been practically nothing. If we hadn't been told when our profile is going out (the two times it has) we would have had no contact with the agency whatsoever. The average wait time for them is 9 months - how is that possible if we've barely had anything happen in 5?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Surrogate Agreement

Well, I'm currently on CD54, no sign of AF yet. Anyways...

Our attorney with the surrogate agency sent us a first draft copy of the agreement between us and Gabby. We get to see it first before it's sent to Gabby's attorney.

Overall I'm very pleased with it. They included a bunch of stuff in there we had talked about months ago, and I'm not accustomed to that level of competence :)Ok, usually that's doctors.

Being an attorney myself, of course I had things to change in it. I asked for them to send me a copy in word (they sent it in PDF) so I could redline and tracked changes to it and she did right away. Yeah! I like her already.

They held the amount we are paying Gabby herself down to the original amount we wanted. Before we knew who Gabby was, we were told she was looking for $3K more. ($3K is probably what PGS is going to cost us, so I would like to not pay that if needed). They told us they weren't sure if we could do it. Maybe we still can't and Gabby's attorney will ask for more, but I'm glad they at least put what we asked for to start with.

The amounts for multiples is higher than we otherwise thought, so I'm asking about it. I have no shame. Luckily, I *mostly* do contracts all day long at work (when I'm not going to depositions for uncomfortable things - seriously, yesterday it was about pornography at work - who does such a thing??? Ok, I digress...) so I am in my element track changing contracts. I figure, we'll ask and we'll see what the answer is. May not have a choice in the end, but if you don't ask you'll never know!

There's actually a clause in the agreement that no part of it will be put on any website. This must mean there are a lot of blogs with intended parents out there, because otherwise they wouldn't need this. So why can't I really find any?? Also, they put in effort and get money for drafting the agreement, so they don't want anyone lifting it.

Got most of the medical records that the genetic counselor asked for and sent. All I need is my cystic fibrosis blood test from when I was pregnant (I'm sure I've had plenty of those)...

I want to start this so badly!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

CD 49

Well, I'm not pregnant. But according to the b/w taken at my RE's office I do seem to have ovulated. My progesterone was post ovulation but my HCG was negative and we haven't DTD in so long there's no way I was pregnant anyway.

I had baselines done today to see where I was in my cycle and an ultrasound. I can't tell you how much I hoped (even knowing it was stupid) that it would somehow show a baby in my uterus. 5 or 6 weeks along - a total surprise. I'm definitely "Movie of the Week" material, haha. Anyway, no such luck, but I'm guessing I did ovulate a week ago when I was wondering if I was or not. I have no idea why I didn't O until day 40-something. It's fine, I should get AF in another week or so then, and then start my BCP which I picked up today.

We went to Boston to do our PGS counseling yesterday. It was pretty good actually. It wasn't that helpful to explain stuff to us because we know how it works, but it was actually helpful to talk about our family medical history in depth.

My grandmother died from ovarian cancer and my mother told me some years ago that she tested positive for some gene that is prevalent for ovarian cancer - so 5 or so years ago she had a hysterectomy since she was in her early 50s and there was no need anymore for a uterus. That way she didn't have to worry about getting ovarian cancer.

It turns out L's aunt died from breast cancer at 48 and his grandmother died from ovarian cancer at 44. The genetic counselor told us those two cancers share a gene and there's a chance that L, even as a male, carries it. If I carry my mother's/grandmother's gene as well that could put any kids at risk for that cancer later in life. Not that it would affect anything right now, but it's really good to know.

We're going to meet with an adult geneticist to take a look at whether my heart condition is a hereditary condition (not likely as no one else in my family has one) or just a fluke of nature/environmental issue while in the womb. That doctor will be able to suggest things we can do PGD for later on. Otherwise, we'll just do PGS.

So I've learned the difference:

PGD = pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. If you're looking for a specific disease you use this. (i.e. my heart condition if there's a genetic component).

PGS = pre-implantation genetic screening. A general screening for any possible genetic disease (I think there are basic things they look for).

Because of our "mediterranean heritages" (haha, never thought of it that way) she wants to see if we have had any bloodwork done for thalassemia. It's also called "mediterranean anemia" and I'm sure someone in one of our families would have had this by now if we did, but hey, we're looking at everything.

I also need to send her the results of the karyotypes we had done a few years ago, bloodwork I've had done when pregnant (results of cystic fibrosis tests and the like) and my mom's genetic test if I can get it. Besides looking for stuff for PGD, I'm going to be able to get a genetic test (and maybe L as well) to see what genes we have to see if we're susceptible to cancer later on in life as well. It's kind of cool.

I got an email from the attorney that is representing us with the surrogacy (really a surrogate agency attorney) saying she's planning on sending our surrogate agreement to us to look over next week. Took them long enough, sheesh. I really think it's a template for the most part, there's really no excuse.

Hoping Gabby's screening happens sometimes soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Our one and only profiling opportunity came back as rejected today. Sigh...I really don't mind a rejection, per se, since it was our first one and who gets lucky on their first try? It just stinks that this has been our only opportunity since October 31, and we've been waiting to hear since mid-January.

I think the birth mom is a great person though. Been taking great care of herself since the beginning, wants a close relationship with the adoptive family, and was so careful she gave medical information down to her grandmother's sister so the adoptive family would be aware of everything possible. That is wonderful. This baby boy will be very loved.

I just wish we were being considered for someone else.

On another front, my RE appt. is scheduled for Friday. I figure that gives my body a few more days to tell me what's going on. I'm on CD 46 and still Friday it will be CD 49 - totally ridiculous. I don't think I will test again though - at this point it's not biologically possible to be pregnant any more!

PGS appointment in Boston on Thursday. Looking forward to having the day off from work - isn't that sad that I'm looking forward to driving 6+ hours for a doctor's appointment for the day off?

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Ok, so CD 43 came and went. BFN on a digital HPT and no longer feel like AF is about to come. But I am coming down with some cold or flu or something. I feel terrible :/

And now it is CD 44 and nothing. Maybe that really was a late O (we did not DTD) and I'm in the LT phase now? At what point do I go to the RE and ask for provera or whatever that med is to bring on AF?

Man, this has never happened before.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Where is AF?

This figures that I would be having *these* types of problems the month before we start a surrogacy/IVF cycle.

I am on day 42 of my current cycle. I have no idea when I ovulated, although I usually do ovulate every month. I tested on Day 39, it was negative. Have not done so since. Have felt PMSy for a week, but not much else. No overt pregnancy symptoms although I keep feeling like I'm really going to get my period at any moment.

I guess I will POAS again tomorrow? Part of me feels silly, but part of me is like, "WTF?" I've had no medical procedures done since my last IVF cycle in November, and that is usually the only thing that makes me run REALLY late (over 35 days). Yet last month was a 41 day cycle and tomorrow will be day 43.

I've had rather wet CM down there the last week, maybe week and a half. I keep thinking maybe I'm ovulating now? But I also had fertile CM around Valentine's Day then it disappeared. Usually when I ovulate I also break out something fierce, and I did back around then as well (this month was particularly bad). I am not having any acne issues right now. But I've had a ton of EWCM fluid today, wtf?

So I'm guessing I'm either pregnant or ovulating. For the first time ever, if I'm pregnant I'm going to be like, "Not this month!" We barely had sex this month because I've been so sick. Of course on Valentine's Day, we did! And that was the last time it could have "counted" if you know what I mean.

Being pregnant would screw everything up. (DID I JUST SAY THOSE WORDS??) I've got my BCP prescription ready to go when AF comes. Gabby's records are being screened at the Boston hospital. We have our PGS meeting next week. This is happening.

Now if I were a normal person and I was pregnant I wouldn't care about any of this stuff. Sorry, Gabby, the one thing I want most in this world happened and we're not going to need your services. Ok, so we'll have to pay OOP for the screening and such but we'll save money on everything else!

But nope, all I can think of is that I could be pregnant, and we don't need Gabby right now so she goes to someone else and then I miscarry. Because of course it will happen. And then I will again have no baby and no surrogate and no hopes for a baby. It'll be 2011 all over again.

Why didn't this occur to me on Valentine's Day?

Likely because after all we've been through and how I haven't gotten pregnant on my own since December 2008 (the other times were Clomid cycle, and 2 IVF cycles) I didn't think the likelihood was very high.

And I've done EVERYTHING wrong this month: exercise, alcohol, herbal remedies, hot baths, NO blood thinner injections, antibiotics. ANTIBIOTICS! I haven't been on those in years! Actually I don't think antibiotics really affect anything anyway but still...

And sex very few times.

But I'm being ridiculous. Tomorrow when I take the test and it is a BFN then I will be on day 43 with no idea of what's going on and no idea when AF will come. And I will be just as clueless then as I am right now.

But in case I'm ovulating L really really wants to have sex tonight.

But I can't. Even if the odds are super low that we get pregnant, how could I take the chance I could find out I'm pregnant literally days before we're supposed to start cycling?

It's the first time ever I think I'm going to turn L down for baby-making sex. I feel awful about it.

This is not a conversation I thought I would ever be having with myself.