August 9, 2016
Don and I met with Dr. Beshay yesterday over the lunch hour. We both really like this doctor and his staff so well. They are 10 minutes from my office which is great since I’ll be there frequently next month (more on that below). Dr. Beshay is very patient, and we never feel rushed (we have been working with him since March of 2016). The office staff is also professional, friendly and great to deal with. This is so rare! I can’t tell you how many times I have found a doctor that I like but the staff or billing department is terrible to work with.
Dr. Beshay agreed that we are good candidates for mild IVF and that it makes sense to go ahead and move onto this step considering the history of 3 losses, one of those being a ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. He explained the mild IVF process and all the medications we will taking and why they are necessary (Don will have one medication). In conventional IVF, strong side effects such as mood swings, hot flashes, etc are quite common. But since this is not conventional IVF and I’ll be on low doses of everything, he doesn’t expect that I’ll have troublesome side effects.
The IVF cycle will begin with me going on the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) for a few weeks. The OCP suppresses the follicles where the eggs grow so they can be stimulated with the medications and monitored. I will then stop the OCP, and a baseline sonogram will be done a few days later in early September, followed by several sonograms the following week for monitoring. I’ll also be taking medications to prevent premature ovulation, medications to help the egg follicles grow, stimulation medications, antibiotics for a few days and a steroid for a few days.
The egg retrieval will occur about 2 weeks after the baseline sonogram. It will take about a 20-30 minutes, and I’ll be under anesthesia. The doctor said that I should take it easy the rest of that day and stay off my feet but that it would be okay to work from home. It’s amazing to hear how they retrieve the eggs and that it’s even possible. It’s very non-invasive. The eggs will then be fertilized with Don’s specimen, and 3-6 days later, the embryos will be transferred back into me and placed in the uterus. There will be no anesthesia needed for this step, but I will still need to stay off my feet the rest of the day.
I will return to the clinic 9 days after the transfer for beta hcg levels to find out if pregnancy has occurred. If/when it occurs, I will continue medications for 7 more weeks which at this point will be progesterone (injection), estrogen (oral pill) and low dose aspirin and continue under Dr. Beshay’s care. After the first trimester, I would then transfer to my regular OBGYN/midwife.
After we finished our consultation with the doctor, we met with the nurse, Suzanne, briefly who explained the next steps. She explained that since our insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatment or medications, we are eligible to apply for discounted medications through two different providers. We should know in about a week if we are approved to receive a discount, but we doubt we will be since we both work. We will give it a try though. Since some of the medications I will be taking will be daily injections, Don and I will be trained (August 26) so we know how to administer ourselves at home. Some of the medications have to come from specialty pharmacies which are mostly mail order, but there is a Walgreen’s about 20 minutes from us that stocks the specialty medication. Suzanne gave us pricing lists for the pharmacies so that we can figure out which is our preference based on cost and/or convenience.
Overall, we are both very excited to start this journey! The thing that I am most worried about at this point are the injections, but I know it will be okay. I have friends that have done the injections, and it’s just a matter of getting used to it. It will be just be the new normal for a little while. We are so thankful that there is an alternative to the conventional IVF that only takes the eggs that will be used and that has mild side effects. I will keep this blog updated throughout the process.