I put a call out for guest bloggers while I’m traveling home to Michigan for my younger brother’s wedding reception. This is the third post and it’s by one of my favorite people-I’ve-yet-to-meet-in-real-life: Lauren. She blogs over at Confessions of an Infertile.
Hello, readers! Since Wifey is out traveling around the country, she needed some guest bloggers to step in for awhile, so here I am. My name is Lauren and I blog about my infertility journey over at Confessions of an Infertile. My husband and I have run the gambit of fertility treatments over the past almost 5 and a half years – from oral medications all the way up to IVF and FET. We’ve experienced 2 first trimester losses (11 weeks and 5 1/2 weeks) as well as a chemical pregnancy from our second round of IVF.
Because of my Army wife status, I’ve had the pleasure (maybe that’s not the right word…) of working with 3 separate doctors – an OB/GYN in GA and REs (reproductive endocrinologists) in both AZ and NC. After being diagnosed officially with PCOS while under the care of my first RE in AZ, I was relieved to learn that we were PCSing to Ft. Bragg where one of a handful of military REs is stationed.
Over the last 2 and a half years spent at Bragg, we’ve undergone several timed intercourse cycles, 5 IUIs, 2 IVF cycles, and 2 FET cycles. When we learned that we would be PCSing to VA after a second FET failure in May, we were faced with a big decision – do we stay with a doctor who we know and trust but is a 4 hour drive away or do we find a new, local doctor? Since we have our 3 final embryos stored in a lab right outside of Bragg, we opted to stick with our RE in NC.
So some of you may be wondering – how will you complete a cycle from that far away? Thankfully an FET cycle is easier to complete from a distance in comparison to an IVF cycle. Since there are so many blood draws and monitoring ultrasounds required in an IVF cycle, patients are typically asked to spend about 2 weeks or so in or around Fayetteville. Since I only have 3 required ultrasounds and blood draws spaced out over a period of 3 weeks, I was provided with lab orders and was directed to find a local imaging office here in VA. Since my first appointment isn’t scheduled until the end of the month, I’m not sure if a copay will be required for my ultrasounds. I had bloodwork done back in June and I wasn’t charged, so if you’re going down this route, you shouldn’t have to pay either. Assuming all my ultrasounds and blood draws show that my ovaries are behaving themselves and that my lining is nice and cushy for my embryos, we’ll only have to spend 24 hours in Fayetteville for the transfer. Because of this, only minimal out of pocket expenses will be incurred accommodations wise. Wish I could say the same for the actual procedure.
While the overall process does have many positives, there are also a few negatives.
1. Locating an imaging location that accepted Tricare Prime Remote was slightly difficult. It was so much easier just to show up at 6am for my monitoring appointments at my clinic on Bragg.
2. No personalized service. My nurse knows me well and treats me like an individual – not just another patient rolling through. Whoever will be doing my ultrasounds locally won’t know me. I probably won’t even have the same tech for all 3 ultrasounds. I’m glad that I’ve been through enough of these internal ultrasounds to know what my RE is looking for, otherwise I’d end up asking a million questions that probably couldn’t be answered.
3. Not having friends around for moral and emotional support. Back in NC I had a small group of girlfriends who were there for me during my cycles. Sure I can talk to them and text them, but it’s not the same as actually being in the same place as they are.
As I get the ball rolling, hopefully things will progress smoothly and transfer day (August 19th) will come quickly.
If you have any questions about infertility treatments, Tricare coverage, or both, check out my blog or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t met her before, make sure you go and visit Lauren over at her blog.