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  #41  
March 13th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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The followup with the urologist went well. I really like that doctor. Tony is healing fine, and just has some swelling and pain here & there. The doc wants him to see an endocrinologist to help with some of his hormone levels. This won't help with the sperm issue, but will assist him later on with bone loss & other health concerns. Their biopsy also showed no sperm, same as the fertility specialist.

We've been researching into the donor sperm banks around, and have tried unsuccessfully to get answers from the insurance company. I spoke with a lady on the phone, and she proceeded to read by to me word by word the section of the booklet that I already had. The wording is vague and doesn't specify exactly what is covered with donor sperm. It definitely excluded coverage when using donor eggs or surrogacy but did not definitely exclude donor sperm. Another section on artificial insemination indicated that for same sex couples the cost of collecting and processing the donor sperm wasn't covered but the rest was. I would hope that if they cover the use of donor sperm for same sex couples, that they'd cover this for us. That is not fair if they don't. But the lady didn't know and indicated the fertility specialist would need to resubmit the paperwork to the insurance company specifying the use of donor sperm and we'll see what they come back with. I left a message for the nurse, asking if they could submit this to the insurance company to see what is covered. They probably want to wait though until our followup appointment with them on March 24th. It’s less then 2 weeks away, so it’s not that far away. They may also have recommendations for sperm banks. Online we’ve been looking around at several of them. It’s a lot of information to get through . . .

On the job front, Tony is on his way this morning to his pre-employment physical. Yay!!!! He’ll be starting with them next Wednesday/Thursday once the results are back in. They wanted him to start as soon as possible. He’s so thrilled!!! He was getting frustrated with the security company and how they treated the employees, the hours, and how they kept switching the schedules around. This was just a part time, evening job with set hours, and only 2-3 days a week during Monday – Friday. Since he’s been there, they’ve tried to have him work the overnight shift, scheduled him for tomorrow even though he was not hired for weekends (and even when he indicated he had a college class that day, they still left his name on the schedule), and yesterday told him he had to work Sunday. Saturdays & Sundays are not an option right now. We have so much going on right now with church (this is the Easter season, and there’s A LOT of church stuff going on), and we’re trying to get things done with his Mom. She’ll be in Ohio with his brother for the month of April, and then she’s leaving to head back to Greece in early May. We have a lot of things going on right now. We’re busy, busy, busy . . .

FF gave me dotted CH’s today, but I don’t think I’ve O’d yet as I’m still having the stabbing O pains, and I’m having the fertile CM. My body has been trying to O now for over a week, but I think with all the stress and everything going on it’s delayed ovulation. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal next cycle. I’m on CD22 right now. My LP was a day longer last cycle, so hopefully it'll be the same this time as well. It'll be great to have my body working so we have more of a chance once we get our plan of action.
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  #42  
April 8th, 2009, 04:07 AM
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I've been really bad about updating this journal. I don't have to much to update for now. The insurance company has denied coverage so we're working on the appeal to hopefully get them to change their mind. We're also researching the donor sperm banks and gathering pricing information so we know what our next steps will be. We're tossing around the idea of doing a couple of home insemination attempts while we wait for the appeal. So, we still don't have a definite plan or when we'll be back TTC.
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  #43  
April 23rd, 2009, 07:07 AM
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I feel so much better today since I FINALLY got the appeal in the mail yesterday. I've been struggling on wording for it for a while now. My first attempts were too angry, too emotional, too wordy, and I decided to leave it alone for a week or so. I picked it back up the other day and now feel very confident with the wording. Yay!!! (and big thanks to everyone I bugged with suggestions/edits on it! ) So, now we wait. This current cycle will end this weekend, and either way we'd be waiting another cycle as DH & I have yet to decide on a sperm bank, or even begin to choose a donor. We have our appointment with the social worker next Tuesday evening. This is required by the fertility center since we are using donor sperm, and we're not able to proceed until we meet this requirement. The fertility center has also appealed the insurance decision on their end, and the Benefits Manager here at the government I work for is also placing calls. Hopefully between all of this, we'll get positive results!!!

Now I don't think I mentioned the pricing here . . . just have so much stuff going on lately. With the fertility center being so upset over this as well, they're giving us a discount on the price of things with them. An IUI cycle using donor sperm will cost us $1200 (as compared to it being between $4500-$5000), this will include the day 3 u/s & b/w, all the monitoring days I'll need (b/w & u/s), and 2 IUIs (they prefer to do 2 back to back since we're using frozen sperm), and the followup bloodtest for pg. The cost of the donor sperm is between us and the bank we purchase from, and even if the insurance decides to change their decision we would still have to pay for it. The banks vary in price, and the shipping costs fluctuate as well. Whew - all of this to consider is still enough to make my head spin. Hopefully soon, we'll be back in the TTC game.
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  #44  
April 23rd, 2009, 10:53 AM
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I hope so, Bek! You and Tony deserve to be parents!
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  #45  
April 24th, 2009, 03:33 AM
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I hope you'll be back in the 'game' soon too - you have been so patient (or seem to be!).
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  #46  
April 24th, 2009, 04:50 AM
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Thanks, girls! I've been trying to be patient, but it's so hard at times. I just want to scream & yell & throw things, but know it won't help the situation any, and knowing my clumsiness I'd probably end up hurting myself. I hope they don't take to long to get back with us. . . and of course that they come back saying Yes!
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  #47  
April 24th, 2009, 07:20 AM
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Got fingers crossed for the appeal! Although they would be crazy to deny it, talk about a potential lawsuit!
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  #48  
April 29th, 2009, 04:21 AM
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I don't know how far a lawsuit would go, but it does seem to be discriminatory to deny coverage for some and offer it for others. We didn't mention the "d" word in this appeal letter, only requested equitable coverage since from a medical perspective we fit the same criteria of a same sex couple - i.e. just like a same sex couple would be, we're also 100% unable to produce our own sperm. So for now, we have to wait and see what they say . . . hopefully not have to wait to long. . .

We met with the social worker last night for the required session before the fertility center will proceed with treatment due to us now using donor sperm. It wasn't that bad, but overall felt like a waste of time & money. All the questions she asked, we'd already asked each other, discussed it, and our answers were exactly what she was looking for. Yes, we would tell the children, yes we have a support system (family & friends who know what we're going thru), yes we've begun the process of selecting a donor, yes we understand that although laws now have donors being anonymous this may change in the future and our children may find out who their bio father is, that they will potentially have siblings, etc. The only thing she came up with as a suggestion that we had not thought of and will try is she suggests we both separately look at the donor list (online or in the catalog) and make some choices and then come together and share our choices. Oftentimes, she says that makes it easier in that we each may come up with 5 candidates and we're the same on 1-2 which may make it easier to choose. That part is so overwhelming to me & Tony both. We've been so busy these past few weeks that we haven't had time to really look, so we're planning on sitting down and working on this sometime soon. It's going to be a little hectic for us for these next 2 weeks though, as his Mom leaves on Mother's Day weekend for Greece so we'll also be busy getting her ready. and there's work of course that keeps us quite busy to. maybe one of these days, it'll slow down for us.
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  #49  
May 12th, 2009, 03:17 AM
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. . . still waiting to hear from the insurance company. I know it's not been that long since they got the letter, but it would be nice to at least get notification from them that they are working on it. I'm trying to be patient, I really am . . . Either way, DH & I want to proceed this next cycle which means we need to get on the ball of choosing the bank & potential donors. We've been so busy these last couple of weeks getting his Mom ready to go to Greece. She left on Sunday and the house seems so empty now. We started going thru the different paperwork in the past few evenings, and I've left a message for the nurse at the RE's office to get some clarification on what the doc needs to sign and regarding needing ICI versus IUI ready vials. It's a little confusing, but thankfully my body shouldn't O for another few days or a week so I don't feel like the I'm rushed right now. Still want to get it done, but it's better when we're not frantically rushing around. KWIM?

On other news, my poor nephew is going thru a lot right now. This is my youngest brother's oldest child, who turned 12 last Christmas Eve. His mother (not my brothers current wife) was dx'd with a Brain Aneurysm in the last year and it is not operable. My nephew had been complaining of intense headaches in the past couple of weeks so they did a brain scan which found some cysts. The did a MRI to look closer on Friday and yesterday we found out he also has an Aneurysm in his brain. So now we wait to see what the next steps will be, and where he'll be sent to see a specialist. His mother went to a doctor 2 1/2 hours away from their home, not sure if my nephew would be sent to the same place. I couldn't stop crying last night when they called to tell me. This poor guy has been thru alot including heart problems since he was born, he had his tonsils removed this past Thursday due to constant issues, has Asthma, and bad allergies. and now this to deal with as well. The poor baby! So, please keep him in your thoughts & prayers for me. I'll update when I can.
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  #50  
May 12th, 2009, 07:11 AM
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Aw, Bek! I'm so sorry to hear about your nephew! Tons of and prayers are headed both to you and your brother's family.

Glad to hear, however, that you and DH are getting the ball rolling to do the IUI next cycle.
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  #51  
May 18th, 2009, 03:02 AM
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30-45 BUSINESS days - that's the response time for the insurance company to get back with us. Now I really need to find my patience hat. I'd bugged a friend on the Benefits Team to check into it and that's what they gave to her. I now also have their correct address in case I need to send them something else.

With my nephew, he has an appointment today at 1:45 with a specialist. Hopefully it's good news, and they can operate/treat his aneurysm.
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  #52  
May 18th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Thinking of you and your nephew, sweetie!
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  #53  
May 19th, 2009, 03:33 AM
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I'm so sorry to read about your poor nephew. The poor thing. He is in my T&P.
Becks
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  #54  
May 19th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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The BUSINESS days part of it just adds more frustration to your wait... I hope you get an answer soon.
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  #55  
May 19th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Thanks, girls! It is frustrating, but nothing much I can do. Hopefully they'll get back to us before the end of the 45 business days.

and with my nephew - it's even more frustrating. Due to a mix up in the referral, this was NOT a specialist he seen yesterday but a regular childrens' doctor who was unable to read Cat Scans or MRIs so they need to wait for another referral and come back another day. My brother was extremely ticked off (as any of us would be). This doc was 2 1/2 hours away from home. They're trying to get a referral to the doc his Mom seen with her aneurysm. That doc is in North Carolina and we're not sure yet if the insurance will cover that referral. My brother & family live in southwestern Virginia so North Carolina is not that far from them. So we're still waiting on that as well. The poor dear . . . so far he's just being very quiet about it and we're all trying to remain low key about it for him.
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  #56  
May 20th, 2009, 11:52 AM
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  #57  
May 20th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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((hugs))
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  #58  
May 21st, 2009, 03:47 AM
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Thanks, girls! Still waiting to hear when my nephew's next appointment will be as the insurance company doesn't want him to see a doc in NC. Hopefully that will be resolved soon.

With us, realistically at this point I don't see us doing the IUI the beginning of this next cycle. DH & I have been researching the different banks, and choosing the donor is taking so much longer then we expected it to. We can search for particular characteristics/ethnicity, but even then we have 100s of profiles to go thru. We're also getting mixed reviews about the quality and customer service. The RE's office cannot recommend one over the other, but the nurse was helpful in giving her opinion off the record. What's funny is that the one she's had the most "satisfaction" from (i.e. getting thing shipped correctly, no hassle in ordering, etc.) is the one that got more negative reviews online. Isn't that funny? There's also the struggle in that the RE prefers I order ICI ready, basically unwashed sample, as the RE's office always does a wash before the procedures. Most of the samples available are IUI ready which means the bank has already done a wash and prepared the sample. If 2 washes are done, the counts are lower and chances of conceiving are lessened. We already need to order 2 vials per procedure as we'll be doing back to back IUIs. And then there is the costs associated with all of this. There are different costs per type of sample (ICI, IUI, IVF), as well as some of the banks charge different prices per education level of donor, vastly different shipping charges, and other misc charges like photo match, donor selection assistance, child photos of donor, medical history forms, etc. Just when I thought my head had stopped spinning, this gets it all going again. DH & I are still 100% committed to proceeding using donor sperm, but we just need some more time to ensure we've chosen a donor that best suits us. It's so much harder then I ever thought this would be . . .

so that's where we at. I'll be living vicariously thru the rest of you ladies for another cycle and hopefully by the time that one ends in later June we possibly may have a positive outcome from our insurance appeal. Keeping all my crossables crossed here . . .
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  #59  
May 21st, 2009, 03:58 AM
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Becky I'm keeping everything crossed for you. MY T&P are with ye. It must be sooooo hard to pick a donor and Oh my GOD so expensive. You don't think about how much it's all going to cost until you start checking into things.

From My point I think yourself and Jessica are great ye really keep me going have have been very supportive. I know I'm new to this site but I feel like I couldn't do this with out ye. So I just wanted to say THANK YOU.

And best of luck for you and your nephew.
Becks
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  #60  
May 21st, 2009, 07:51 AM
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I'm sorry it's taking longer than you anticipated, sweetie! You know I'm there for you. Just remember that even tho there are negative reviews online.....a lot of times it's the upset people that'll post their comments and not the happy ones. So make sure you take the reviews with a grain of salt. You may have already asked the nurse, but does she have an idea of how successful the different banks have been from her (or the clinic's) experience? I understand her positive reviews are based on shipping, timing, orders, etc....but, what about the actual outcome? You know I'll help where I can.

I hope you and your family can get some information about your nephew soon. I know it's weighing heavily on your mind right now. More
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