Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This week was a week full of events...I celebrated my birthday on Monday which was full of fun, but also, a 4 hour car ride to Cincinnati.  This trip was for a surgery my doctor wanted me to schedule before our next attempt.  I have been putting this procedure off for months for a couple reasons.  1 - It scared me. I didn't want to know the results. I don't have a happy history with surgeries 2 - My body was so vulnerable in the past. I just couldn't put it through much more with all the drugs and procedures I was doing before. 3 - Insurance did not cover it.  All reasons which led me to not get the surgery.  After a few months off and our insurance coverage and our new doctor that I love and trust talked me into it.  He said it would increase my chances, plus there was something about him that made me trust him and knowing he would be the surgeon eased all my worries.

We arrived to Cincy at 11pm on Monday night.  I had the expected cold feet all people get before going into any surgical procedure.  Pat eased my worries and we fell asleep with our alarms set.  Before we knew it - it was 7:30am and off we go to The Christ Hospital.  My mother-in-law joined us for support!  It really means so much to me that she took the day off work to be there for us.  It is comforting knowing we have such amazing support.  I checked in wearing my pajamas and glasses.  We waited a few minutes in the waiting room and then I heard a nurse call, Mrs. Davis? Are you ready?  We jump up and walk to the pre-op room.  I meet the anesthesiologist first.  He explains what I will be on and he will be watching me the entire time I was asleep.  We chatted about Naperville (because his son played lacrosse for a tournament there). Small world!  It was nice to have that connection.  Very friendly man.  My nerves went more to ease.  I changed into my gown, slippers, and hat.  Ok - now my nerves shot up!  The flashbacks came flooding back to me.  Damn cancer!  I hate you and your flashbacks. I still refused to lay in the bed.  haha Pat was cracking jokes as I was changing into my gown.  I guess he was trying to ease his nerves as well.  He admitted it was not easy with his wife being put under even if it was for a short while.  My IV was being put in and I was nervous.  I don't have a good history with IVs.  I was a child.  I was scared out of my mind.  Everything used to hurt me and people were always doing things that I was not comfortable with in a hospital setting.  SO of course everytime a person came in the room.  I was uncomfortable.  It is just my past.  The nurse came in and gave me a drug similar to Valium.  Yep - I was "on a high" for about 30 minutes.  The nurse gave it to me a little earlier to enjoy the high.  haha I think I needed it..... After about an hour and half,  Dr. Scheiber came in to say hey, and then the nurse said the words, OK say your goodbyes with hugs and kisses..Ugh I hate those words.  I kissed my husband and said see you later. kissed my mother-in-law and said see you soon, and I was wheeled to the operating room. 

The operating room was just as I remembered it from when I was 12.  Lots of people, scurrying around, smiling, chatting, asking if I needed anything.  It was freezing in there.  My glasses were off so I could not see a thing!  Just people...I was being hooked up to several machines by the anesthesiologist and as he was finishing, I saw another person walk in, and I knew it was Dr. S.  He said well, hello Miss Katie. Are you ready to get going?  I was smiling.  His voice is so calming to me.  I just laid back and listened to him as he directed the staff.  I remember him saying, "She is from Chicago, let's make her trip worthwhile."  Everybody chuckled and said, Oh we will!  We will talk gooooood care of you.  The next thing I remember is a mask being placed over my mouth and being told to think of a happy vacation destination and think of the details.  And boom - I was waking up being wheeled out!

I was so groggy- and blind!  I heard Dr. Scheiber's voice as I was being wheeled out and I asked. Did you find anything?!  I vaguely remember him saying, "I removed some scar tissue and a few small polyps, but your uterus looks beautiful now.  Now it's time to put some babies in there!"  I started tearing with relief and happiness.  I was relieved he didn't mutter the word cancer.  I am forever scarred by that experience. It will always be a fear of mine.  But to say it went perfectly, and to say it's baby time made me smile with tears of joy.

Pat and my mother-in-law came to see me in the recovery room after they talked with Dr. Scheiber.  Pat went over everything in detail and said Dr. Scheiber is so happy with what he has to work with now. He removed some waxy scar tissue and a few small polyps.  Nothing serious, but just fine tuned the uterus for implantation.  My uterus is ready for him. He said he is eager to get moving with a cycle now. We are ready!

I am so happy I decided to move forward with the procedure.  I feel in my gut it will help our chances next time.  I couldn't be any happier with where we are at and having Dr. Scheiber as my doctor.  He has been so amazing so far.  He has exceeded my expectations already.  He is such a perfect person to be working with us!  I am so excited!

As for the recovery, I am back to work and feeling 100% back to normal.  Thank you all for your well wishes!  I had an amazing birthday and great news from my surgery!  I can say I had a great bday present!  Thank you to our support system.  You really have no idea how much you help us as we go through all these crazy experiences.  You help keep us moving forward!  We can't thank you enough!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Claim: Processed

Well, we had our appointments last week in Ohio and of course I went into the appointment knowing we were covered by insurance.  Great feeling.  However, even knowing we were going to be ok - I still wondered - could I be wrong?  What if it doesn't cover?  What if there is another loophole?  There is just no way.  These are just a few thoughts I had this week.  Pat just tells me I am crazy and I triple checked this over the summer and I just needed to relax and let it take it's course.  Well, I thought this was all just too good to be true.  SO of course this past week I kept checking my UHC online account to check for my claims.  And today. I saw the magical words, 10/11/11 Claim: Processed, Patient Owes $0.  How could I already be so excited about was just the consult appointment, but still we used to pay for EVERY SINGLE THING - and we just kind of went with the punches knowing it would pay off.  Was it wrong that I just wanted to stand up in my office, scream, and do a happy dance?  ...Wow...I am turning into my mother!  haha...not a bad thing!  :)  Now, we are have our cake and eating it too.  :) It's amazing how something like the words Claim: Processed, Patient Owes $0 makes you feel like a million bucks!  Nobody could wipe the smile off my face.  Makes me even more excited for what is to come! 

At this point we are gearing up for my surgery.  I am kind of nervous, but more excited.  Nobody likes to be put under anesthesia, but I know this will help Dr. Scheiber give us the best possible chance for our cycle.  Things are moving so fast, or is it that I am becoming more patient?  Maybe a nice mix of both!  Good things come to those who wait.

In the meantime, Pat got his MCAT score back and found out he scored in the 91-93 percentile!  Couldn't be more proud of Pat!  He amazes me everyday!  I think our luck is turning around!  ;-)   Now time to start picking out medical schools together!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our Initial Consult with Dr. Scheiber :)

Well, our initial consult with Dr. Scheiber at IRH in Cincy could not have gone any better!  Pat and I knew from the second we walked in that we felt so comfortable and knew we were in such great hands.  We finally were able to experience all the wonderful things we have heard from several Chicago couples about Dr. Scheiber. 

First thing in the morning, Pat had some initial testing to do.  We got that knocked out in the morning to have the results later in the afternoon.  In between appointments, we did a little shopping at the local mall.  We had fun.  We couldn't stop chatting about how different things already seemed with a new doctor, new lab, new everything. 

We returned in the afternoon to speak with the doctor...he invited us in to sit on the couch in his office (like it was so casual...ha).  He was cracking jokes as we went over his medical questions with us.  Our personalities clicked right away.  We went over the gazillion questions I had for him as we start on our next venture with this.  He pulled up my questions from his email account (because I emailed all my questions 1 week prior because I am that crazy!)  He went over each one in great detail.  His answers were exactly what we wanted to hear.  IRH does things so much different than FCI.  I have been so used to do things a certain way here in Chicago than Cincy.  It is amazing how practices differ so much.  As we were finishing up he asked to to a physical exam in the ultrasound room.  Get this - the DOCTOR does the ultrasound!  Yes, the doctor does the ultrasound!  He said he wants to visually see everything and not hear it from a tech.  LOVE THIS!  He was talking to me the entire time as he did the physical exam saying everything looked perfect and could not have asked for a better patient....  :)  He then wanted to to a practice transfer so he knew all the details of my uterus.  He wanted to get me sized for a catheter to fit my uterus and the best location to place the embryos for the real deal.  Each person gets a catheter fitted to their uterus.  He was telling the nurse in the room my measurements to have ready for me for my transfer.  This was new to me, but I liked the sound of it!  As we were finishing up we went over how we would do the monitoring in Chicago and he said he really does not need to do much with me.  He is more concerned with the egg donor's monitoring.  He says he only needs to check me once before we drive down for transfer on the 13th day and I can have that done anywhere in Chicago.  It was weird to hear him say just once without any concern.  He feels there will be no issues.  Also - he has me on a different med protocol.  I think it sounds fantastic.  The more he talked about his opinions on things - the more confident we got.  We both felt like we were in great hands with Dr. Scheiber.

We then met with Lizzie West - the egg donor coordinator.  She will be the liaison between us and our "known egg donor"  We went over all the details that we needed to know for our upcoming cycle.  As we were chatting with Lizzie, we had more questions to ask Dr. Scheiber.  So Lizzie asked him to come into her office - and he came in right away and stayed until we were finished.  We felt like we were his only was such a feeling of relief.  We truly felt so special.  I have never met a doctor like this in ANY of my medical history experiences.  As for our "egg donor" she is very excited to get things moving along.  I like having a friend going through this simultaneously with me.  I can already feel a bond.

By the end of our appointment - we had our game plan set and in motion.  I will be having an outpatient surgery done next week to take pictures of my uterus using a scope.  It is called a hysteroscopy.  I will be put to sleep for this procedure just to make sure I am still and my muscles do not tense as it is going to be very uncomfortable.  It is nothing serious.  Dr. Scheiber says he doesn't expect to find anything except he wants to go in there to "roughin up my uterus"  to increase my chances.  I told him no need to say more - we are on board with increasing our chances!  I want Dr. Scheiber to do it in Cincy - no doubt about it.  I just feel so comfortable with him.  There is just something about him that really clicks with me.  So far - I am real excited about what is to come.

He did say towards the end of our conversation that he has now had several couples from Chicago come and he has been able to get all of them pregnant.  I thought that was a bold statement, but it is true.  Every couple we know from Chicago who was sent to him has gotten pregnant.  I responded - well, that is why we are here!  hahaha  I hope we can join your Chicago success club.  He said I have no doubt you will.  He said my only rule is that you have to promise to send me pictures of your big pregnant belly throughout your pregnancy.  Also - you will have to come in and visit while you are pregnant when you are in town visiting family and send pictures of your baby or babies to keep us updated and to hang on the wall of success stories.  He gave us a 65-70% chance of success.  Which was higher than we had in Chicago?  We will take that!

As you can tell - the tone of this post is very optimistic about all of new changes.  We are eager to start.  We know we are working with such a great staff out in Cincy.  We feel confident in them and truly believe they will help us bring our baby home.  We are starting sooner than we originally thought.  Another wonderful surprise.  Dr. S said you did plenty of mock cycles in Chicago - I just want to get you going.  You are ready.  Pat and I looked at each other with our hands laced together and both said non verbally with our we go again....buckle your seat belt...let's do this - this is it.

Keep us in your prayers for my upcoming procedure.  Things are moving right along...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cincy, here we come!

Wow!  It has been awhile since my last blog!!  I guess I have been kept pretty busy!  As I am packing for our trip to Cincy, I am realizing this is the start of a new chapter.  Possibly, the final chapter.  October 1st is here!!!  1st day of insurance coverage!!  I feel like we should go out and celebrate!!!  This time feels so much different then where we were a year ago.  We have so much behind us and even more in front of us.  After a year of IVF tests and procedures without insurance coverage, this time I feel like we finally have the magical words of “We are covered.”  And that is what makes this chapter so much better and puts us even more at ease!  It takes one giant burden off our shoulders.  Phew!  The thoughts I have rushing to me as I pack my suitcase thinking this is it.  This is the start of something great.  This is our time.   This is the time we will get our baby.

Last night Pat and I saw the movie 50/50.  It was about a 27 year old guy who was diagnosed with a cancer and nothing seemed to be working out for him.  His world was crashing.  As I sit with my hands laced with pat’s, I began to regress back to that time 12 years ago.  The feelings of being so out of control of your life, listening to doctors using words you don’t even understand and just following order after order thinking when will this hell be over?  The nervous breakdowns, the emotional turmoil, the crushing of your heart and the will to continue to trudge forward.  Sounds familiar, right?  As the lights of the theatre turned on, pat and I looked at each other both saying wow, what a powerful movie.   Being a young cancer survivor, I thought the movie was true to form.  A lot of the same emotions and frustrations were captivated perfectly.  I explained this to pat where sometimes he doesn’t understand why I am so profound at times, and am “good” with putting words to my emotions.  It was because I had to get the help I needed as seen in the movie.  You learn to do that over time in crisis situations.   We were walking to our car, and we sat down and waited a few minutes before starting the car.  He was still holding my hand and said I can’t believe how strong you are.  “Katie, how did you do that?”  I could not even imagine how you dealt with such SCARY things at such a young age.  If this happened to me now, pat said I really don’t know how I would handle that and I am an adult…you were only 12.  Pat is going to kill me for writing this, but he did get teary-eyed at a couple points of the movie.  He said he could just picture me the entire time and his heart was just breaking.  As pat explains his feelings of the movie to me, I can see him starting to really get it…get me.   He always knew these things about me, but as we experience more together, go through more hardships, and how we deal we these hardships, the pieces come together and he makes sense of the emotional crazy loon I truly am.  I have seen some pretty scary things and have faced situations you only see in your nightmares, but it’s not because I am strong or fearless, its because when you aren’t given choices in life, you just learn some pretty good coping mechanisms – but still not made of steel!

An interesting fact - I was having a convo with my mom, and she still meets us with her parents of children with cancer support group.  They are typical women – reminiscing, catching up…doing what women do best – eat and chit chat!  She shared some pretty interesting info to me that again makes so much sense.  Other parents of children with cancer got diagnosed at even younger ages..I was more of an adolescent.  Young children under 10 years old face learning disabilities later in life due to the chemotherapy.  The drugs they were exposed to affected them while they were still in their developmental stages.  I, on the other hand, was affected after my major physical development, and my socio-emotional was more affected.  Interesting, huh?   Makes sense…another answer coming to me.

As we can feel our next attempt coming up, we decided we were going to settle on baby names.  We figured it would add to the fun and make it more real.  We have been using the names around our house to make each other smile and go into this cycle with every positive bone in our bodies.  I have to admit, even though we may be premature with it, we feel we are getting closer and is making it feel this journey is closer to ending.  We can’t wait for the day to share our names.  Hopefully, we don’t slip…

I know I will have more to update soon, but for now – keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we embark on a new chapter of our ivf journey…one I would like to call, “the final chapter.” 

Let the fun begin!