Friday, December 5, 2014

Military and IVF Funding Tips with 2 Microscopic Updates

Hello my people. And by people I mean the five of you still tuning in to see if I am knocked up yet.

Since we can't let the cat out of the infertile bag yet I wanted to share some advice on a few things that helped us through this financial IVF roller coaster. Please be aware this is going to be the most boring post to date but I know there are a lot of women out there who can benefit from saving thousands of dollars.

If you are a military couple and have looked into infertility treatments then you know that the costs can vary depending on where or what treatment you are seeking. I will speak on IVF of course since that is what we ended up with having to do after our OOP 4 failed IUIs a semen analysis and freezing because my husband was Mr. Deployment for a few years. Puts a new twist on the "Welcome Home I'm Pregnant" signs when he has been gone for 13 months. That is old news and was a waste of money and time in my situation and opinion but nothing we can do now right?  Lesson learned. Note to 16 year old self: never pay for and do an IUI while being in the "unexplained" category before having a laparoscopy done if your HSG was bad by 33. 

Obviously sometimes the Dr. doesn't care whether or not you are shoveling out hundreds and thousands of dollars into his pockets before actually diagnosing your infertility. 

Once you start diving vagina first into IVF that is when you start paying alot more out of pocket. If you are lucky enough to be stationed by a fertility treatment facility for military such as Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Naval Medical Center in California, and Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington; those places can save you some big money when doing IVF especially if you have to do more than one cycle. Time on the waiting lists can be up to 12 months but of course that changes so if I were you I would call as soon as possible and get the ball rolling. With Tridoesn't care we all know that you have to wait for a referral to wait to get another referral for your referral and that process takes months and months just to get in with a legit RE.

All of my diagnostic tests, fertility specialists and certain medications up until IVF started was covered.  Minus the driving 5 hours to a specialist in gas and trying to come up with excuses at work as to why you need so many days switched or off and you aren't really sure what day the same week that is because it depends on how your body responds to all the drugs can be tricky.  But its really none of their effing business. A Dr.'s note is a Dr's note it doesn't matter if you are going to a Podiatrist because you have bunions the size of Mt.Fuji or simply your reproductive parts are broken.

This is me at work when someone asks why I am always at the Dr....

Nonetheless, Dr. Cassels at Columbia Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility and his staff will help you cut costs when undergoing treatments.  I requested him at my OB referral and I loved him and the staff. They actually care about you and do not treat you like another number orrr dollar bill.  They allowed us to have blood work and testing done at FLW(Fort Leonard Wood Hospital) to save us some money. Like the STD/HIV screenings. Even though FLW messed some of them up and we had to end up taking them again at Columbia(a 5 hour drive) and paying 150 dollars out of pocket for the same test if done correctly. But that's none of my business. 

We first took out a loan and we also did some fundraising on our own once we got our timeline for IVF. I have an esty shop that continues to help along with a raffle I did with prizes which raised around $2500 thanks to a couple of crazy friends who donated almost 75% of that amount by themselves. You can say we have some pretty amazing military framily.  

One of the biggest savings on all the medications which as you know from pictures on my other post are ALOT is from the Compassionate Care Program. You basically apply to receive a discount on IVF drugs online and they will contact you with how much you have been approved for. We were approved for a 75% discount on certain medications.  Usually they will contact you within a week but it took over a month of me calling and resending information. Again I have the worst luck and if a delay or mistake can happen it will happen to me.  So most likely it will not with you.  Just remember to keep calling and asking if they received your package and if you have been approved yet.  Luckily I called and just got my "insurance discount ID number" over the phone the day before my IVF case worker had to order my meds. We had to use Freedom Pharmacy over the phone due to living in Missouri.  Their turn around time was within 24-48 hours so that was another plus. Note that not all the drugs you need will be available through Freedom Pharmacy or the pharmacy's listed with the Compassionate Care program but every little bit helps. I was gifted Menopur by an amazing friend MB whom I met on IG. I ended up getting Gonal F for around $400 out of pocket compared to $1500. The rest of the medication I picked up at the pharmacy in Columbia. All together we spent around $1500 for our IVf medications which should have ended up being around $5-$6k just because I filled out an application to the link above after hearing about it from M and K, two ladies I've met online.  Our IVF procedure, ultrasounds, blood work and travel expenses driving at 4am every other day so I could be back at work by 2 or 3pm costs us around $8k.  We didn't pay for our procedure package until the day of egg retrieval which was $6500. None of our cycle covers anything if it fails or I miscarry later on.  We ended up with 4 grade A blastocysts that we froze and we can pay to use next year once we pay off this loan if our cycle fails. That is called an FET(frozen embroyo transfer) it isn't as expensive as a fresh cycle. I think our clinic is around $2800 to do an FET but it's still more money on top of a failed cycle hence the waiting a year.

 Seriously I barely got through that without drooling on my keyboard. I probably could have just added a link to Compassionate Care Program and said good luck but my ADD got away with me and besides some people like deats. So you're welcome.

I think I left off with saying we were hoping for a 5 day transfer.  Well the stars aligned and our prayers were answered.  

We transferred two 5 day blasts and are anxiously(understatement) awaiting our 7 week ultrasound appointment on the 10th.  #prepareformeltdown

I am still taking my Crinone(progesterone vaginal suppository) and will be for 10 more weeks even though it is disgusting awesome and makes me turn in to the Hulk from time to time.


I am so thankful for science and being able to take anything Hulkified to keep our growing little bean(s) snuggled inside my body.  Those of you who are lucky enough to be born fertile and without broken reproductive parts and never have to take any IVF drugs or pregnancy medications, count your blessings and try to grasp why we want to punch you in the throat when you complain about anything pregnancy related. I read a post "5 Ways Pregnancy After a Miscarriage Is Different" that I have to share because every single thing she said was true. I could add a few more like everytime someone asks how I feel of course I say great or fine I'm not going to cry about anything pregnancy/medication related especially online(I hate facebook enough already) or to anyone so I'm sorry my replies are boring and the same "good" response always. I know I sound like a robot and I appreciate everyone checking on me. I really do. Honestly so far it's been a walk in the park compared to what I've been through. I'm waiting for something bad to happen every second of every day.    I've already talked way too much for one post so that's all I would add for now.  So click here if you are still sitting on the toliet and need some more reading material.  It might help other fertiles you know understand why or why not we do the things we do or feel the way we feel so you can share it online.  Then again like I've always said some people will never get it. 

Until next time...and a not so lame post..and hopefully some good news. 


  1. Hang in there....Just a little longer......Love dad

  2. oh wow!!! Major hurdles crossed!! Will continue to send good juju!!!

  3. Praying that your ultrasound gave you the amazing results that yall deserve!