Monday, December 31, 2012

Surrogate Insurance: Check and Double Check

After trying for WEEKS to get the insurance handbook from the GC's HR department, they finally are resending a new hard copy, but also gave our GC a pdf copy. An attorney cautioned us not to unnecessarily send up any red flags, but also not to lie. I immediately sent the handbook to our lawyer, and being obsessive like I am, started digging in it myself. There wasn't really anything one way or another. Arggghhhh. Towards the end, they listed a URL "for more information" regarding covered benefits. After digging around on there I found a pdf listed under " Infertility Diagnosis and Treatment document" that has the following clause:

Services related to the use of a gestational carrier in pregnancy, whether the member is infertile
or otherwise, are not related to medical treatment of the infertile woman and are therefore NOT
covered. However, if a woman who is an insured member is pregnant, her prenatal, delivery and
postnatal pregnancy care are a covered health service, regardless of whether she is functioning
as a gestational carrier.

I'm fairly certain this makes me allowed to jump up and down in happiness, but just in case, I've forwarded everything to the attorney. Contract is due on Friday. (Gah!)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cycle Limbo Part 2: Return of the Cycle


Nurse called. As long as my SIL can come in tomorrow and get an ultrasound - then we are proceeding as planned. Whoooooooooooooooooshhhhhhhhhh.

When the nurse initially called, she kind of presented it as my option with the knowledge that if my SIL's lining isn't thick enough upon transfer day, than the transfer won't take. Normally they want 11-14 days of the estrace to insure a thick lining, but they don't want to start the estrace until a untrasound and blood work on her confirms everything is a go (eg, no cysts, hormone levels good, etc..) My last cycle gave me only 12 days before transfer. She asked me if I wanted to go forth.

At first I asked questions about how would we avoid this next time if we waited. She said that normal protocol was to control the GC's cycle with BCP/Lupron overlap. Then I asked the follow up question that surprisingly, I think was a bit unexpected: why did we not do it this time? This was a little harder to answer, but the short of it was - they/she didn't want to start medications (including BCP) until all the initial testing had been completed. Of course my logical reply was: Does BCP effect the testing. Answer: No.

So getting past all that, I realized she expected an answer from me about whether I wanted to start or not. Here is where I lost it. Crying the cry only someone that is mildly dehydrated and still slightly sick can manage. My guess is that over the phone it sounded somewhat like a choking horse.

Normally when I get really upset, my sensibilities leave me, but they did not this time. I put the question back to her: "What you are telling me is that I have to choose between my chances lowering further from waiting a month, or take a chance that the lining won't be thick enough." She said she would speak to the doctor and call me back.

I laid the options out like that for a couple of reasons, but the main one was that I really didn't know which is riskier. One would think that a month wouldn't make a world of difference, but women in my age bracket know differently. My AMH dropped drastically in a very short period this year. Conversely, I don't recall our surrogates getting estrate (or similar) that long in India prior to the transfer, so I'm not sure if it is a booster/fail-safe thing or what.* From a medical perspective, since my GC and I started menses within 24 hours of each other, one would think at 29 years of age, her lining would be reasonably thick for ovulation at the proper time anyway.

After speaking with the doctor and both reviewing my records, the nurse called back. She stated that as long as my GC could come in for ultrasound tomorrow (she can), then we would continue the cycle as planned. We nailed down a few of the other details (like when I would start my big gun meds) and now I feel a crapload better than I was feeling. Earlier I was trying not to let panic surge, but I was having a hard time. I would have waited another month if I had to, but honestly, I am ready for this to be over and done with. The emotional and physical, even things you don't let anyone else see, is astronomically draining.

*Originally I thought the Indian surrogates did take meds from the beginning (from my own research of surrogacy), but I had my husband ask the Indian lady directly and she said that she only been told to start medication a few days prior to the transfer. My husband and I now debate if this was a protocol thing, problem with the surrogate, or other. 

Cycle Limbo

Picture from:

Wednesday, when I was sick with a nasty cold (and had to work), I posted that I had questions for our nurse. I updated that post with her answers from her call to me. One thing she told me, was that if our GC's period did not started by Friday, to have our GC call her. I promptly wrote it in my notes (where the questions were), sent a copy of those notes to my husband, and started to put a reminder on my calendar to be sure to call our GC on Friday.

"Started" being the operative word. I was distracted by actual work stuff (people come by my desk all the time) and when I got back to a blank calendar entry - I had no recollection what it was for. Between being sick and mission critical work stuff, I hoped that I would remember. Thursday turned into me only leaving my bed to RUN for bathroom necessities due to an added bonus of stomach flu.

Friday rolled around and I was able to work from home. I also had the outstanding attorney papers (almost 60 pages) that I had to start going through ASAP. By Friday night, something tugged on my memory and I realized I hadn't received the insurance information from our GC yet.

<insert important announcement here> I'll go ahead here and announce that our GC is my sister-in-law. She is my little brother's wife who graciously wondrously volunteered to assist us. <end insert>

In my juggling of balls, I guess I thought that getting the insurance information from my SIL was what I needed to do on Friday that was so important. My period hadn't started, but our nurse had told us that my SIL wouldn't be starting injections for 2 more weeks. I was confused and misunderstood this as her "medications". As in ALL medications.

Friday night my period started and I promptly emailed and called our clinic as instructed. Equally prompt was the automated reply (and answering message) informing me that my nurse was out of the office till Jan 2nd. Great. That meant I was going to have to deal with other people trying to get in for my Day 2/3 ultrasound/blood work. Was able to get a hold of someone at the clinic the next morning and they scheduled me to come in for Sunday morning 8:45 AM to get an ultrasound.

You can probably guess what happened at that appointment. First I got my ultrasound and then I was asked, as almost a side note, if our GC had started her period. When I said I didn't know, the nurse on call asked if we were doing fresh or frozen cycle. As I began to explain that we have to do fresh, it sinks in what I forgot. A wave of panic passes over me, except I'm not even sure why because no one has ever told me what it means if the GC hasn't started her period yet. Then I ask the dreaded question. The very pregnant nurse answers - since she hasn't started her meds to insure her lining will be right, we may not be able to start this cycle.


I guess after seeing my face, she decides to call my nurse who I guess is on vacation. We desperately try to get my SIL and brother on the phone. We finally do. Her period started on Saturday. I have no idea if she was supposed to start some medication then. Preggo nurse (can you tell I'm irritated that I have to deal with a pregnant nurse at a fertility clinic in the midst of all this?) tells me that our personal nurse will call us in a few hours. I go home and listen to an recorded meeting we had with our nurse a month ago. Sounds like my SIL should have come in for an ultrasound and blood work as well today. And it sounded like from the other nurse, some estrogen medication as well. Great - just great.

Now I sit and wait. And try to hold myself together. And try not to beat myself up (which is utterly impossible). And know my husband is upset with my forgetfulness, but trying to hold it together and not say anything.

11 follicles were seen this morning and no cysts. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Petition For Mandated Fertility Coverage

For those interested:

This petition was created with the hopes of raising infertility awareness and request that each state mandates infertility coverage including diagnostic testing and treatment as well as the cost of medication.

Off-Topic - Women and Rape

Yesterday, the woman in the Dehli rape case that has made world headlines, passed away from organ failure. Her death a direct result of the rape and beatings she received. World news organizations, twitter, and even facebook (normally lacking in world news excepting a small percentage) all have references. All of the information made me pause. And think. On so many levels.

Some of what I write here may be controversial - be forewarned.

One of the [several] reasons we chose to go back to Gujarat in September for our second cycle versus Delhi was a safety issue. Please note I have never seen a safety issue posted on any of the blogs who have undergone IVF in Delhi  Our concern was more from my husband's personal experience as an Indian. You see, even according to the lauded Times of India, Delhi is considered the rape capital of India. I've heard this reference made by many media outlets and people, on both sides of the ocean.

We even have family in Delhi  but my husband just did not have a good feeling about me staying there by myself. Even though I assured him that many, many western women have gone and I've never seen a problem. Plus from the blogs it seems like no one is really ever alone there and everyone looks out for one another. Perhaps he knew too well my proclivity to throw caution to the wind. When we considered it for a brief period - he made me promise that I would NEVER go out after dark. EVER.

In contrast, I never once had a safety concern in Anand. Ah well, at least not with regards to walking around. There were the occasional medical things that I raised an eyebrow on and spoke out about. Something I probably would not have encountered in the more modern town of Delhi. (My husband was surprised with a few things as well - city boy.) Should there been a serious emergency medical problem, the hospital facilities in Delhi would have been far superior. But walking to my favorite restaurant at 9pm? No problem.

But, this really isn't a ding about Dehli at all. And if you are considering it, it is not meant to scare you away from your decision. If I've given you a genuine fear then I suggest you talk to people that have done IVF in Delhi, because remember - I have not. This is my blog and thus I post my thoughts, feelings, and considerations - I am posting this because it is honestly one of the things we thought about when choosing. There were other things too, but the recent news reminded me and made it relevant to post. Plus, let's be real. There are places all over the US (including here in Atlanta) where my husband not want me walking around alone after dark.

But this post isn't really to compare Delhi with Anand or the US, although that's how it initially began in my mind. It's really to point out why comparisons about rape places really suck. Even when you mean well. Earlier I had a friend post the following on facebook:
I am feeling especially blessed tonight as I read reports of the woman who was raped in India and has subsequently died. Sometimes it is easy to forget how truly blessed we are to be born in the United States, and the privileges we are provided simply by being a citizen of this country.

Read that again and take it all in.

My husband pointed out that sometimes people write things because they don't know what else to say. Or it makes them feel better. I feel way more visceral towards that post. Not in an "India versus US" type of way - but more a "are you so stupid you don't know that horrible rape happens to women in the US every day???" way?

Somewhere in the back of my mind I realized that the poster didn't mean anything bad by it, so I closed my computer up for the day and sat saddened thinking about it for a long time afterwards. Today I made a public post:

Yesterday I saw some posts on facebook and twitter, commenting on the rape/death in Delhi and how great it is to be an American. 
Let us be clear:

Rape happens in the US all the time. 
With women.
With children.
With horrible beatings that bring death.
Human trafficking still exists here in the US, with Atlanta as the USA's #1 hub.
The number of rapes are reported in the US are staggering.
The number that are not reported are even more staggering.
The number of convictions are pathetic.

If we don't realize that these horrible, horrible things occur HERE, EVERYDAY, almost every minute of EVERYDAY, then THAT is part of the problem.

Yes, the irony of how I have flipped this post is not lost on me. I judged and then I was mad at someone else's judgement. Maybe things are not always so black and white. 

Day 1 - Or Something Like That.

I overthink things.

The other day I wrote a blog post titled Day 1.5. Honestly I didn't really know how to number it. Technically, since it was pre-cycle, it should have been a negative number, but since I didn't know WHAT day my period would start on, I couldn't very well guess on what negative number to give it. Anytime I try to predict what day my period falls on, it makes a liar out of me. If I was wrong, then the numbers wouldn't line up and that would DRIVE ME CRAZY. (No comments from the peanut gallery please.)

This made me wonder on how to properly account for it. Using a positive number, should I add BC (before cycle)? Nah, too religious. What about PC (pre-cycle)? Well then we've gone all political. Not good either. I get enough of both of those on Facebook  Incidentally, one of my NY resolutions is to not post and comment on these (and other) controversial topics. This would be a huge challenge for me, but GREATLY rewarding as I usually end up regretting it. Fortunately  I have a decent record for following through with NY resolutions. (Note: I wrote "decent", not "perfect".)

Where was I? Oh yea. What number notation to use? What number....Hmmmmmmmm. What to do? What to do?

Period started. Crises averted. Or starting. Whatevs.

Let the Cycle begin.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Running and Running

Yesterday was a day that started with me waking up in the middle of the night - running to the bathroom. Several times. I couldn't even see what time it was because the clock was slightly obscured and I was afraid any movement would have me running back to the cold tile.

Course that's the kind of thing that makes you afraid to sleep. So there I was, wide awake, trying my best not to do that little gaggy-thing you do before you throw-up, in fear that the muscle contraction would make me poo in my PJs. I had my Hello Kitty's on after all. Fortunately nothing like that happened and I was able to keep running when needed. By 7:30am, I was exhausted. 

During this time I was wondering to myself (and to my husband, whom had much pity on me), how this could have happened. My son had a violent bout of stomach problems for most of the day 3 days prior (and of course I was with him on Christmas), but my husband didn't seem to think that sort of thing was contagious. I remembered differently, but I wasn't exactly in a state to argue or even think straight. More than likely, he mused, it was the Thai food I brought home the night before. 

A little voice inside me feared it was a reaction to my Ganirelix. I've never had it before and wouldn't that be a disaster if we had to figure out a change of meds at the last minute? While I've never had quite the exploding reaction to any other meds (unless you count the time my mom made me take cough syrup and I instantly barfed), I still have a weird history of medicine reactions. Can't take anything from the Cipro class of antibiotics. Well, I guess I COULD in an emergency, but I would be freaking out and asking my husband repeatedly why he was looking at me funny (paranoia is only one of the lovely reactions it causes.) 

Turns out I just had my son's stomach flu. Spent most of the day in the bed (and bathroom), but by 5pm (and a forced dose of  1-2 mg of Melatonin to make me sleep), I was able to come downstairs and eat. (BTW: Melatonin is supposed to help us infertiles, but golly it sure does pack a wallop with me.) Was weak as all get out, but I feared shot #2 less than I thought I would. Perspective I suppose. Now a day later, EXCEPT FOR MY STUPID PERSISTENT COLD, I'm all better. 

Kinda makes me wish I had these:

Photographer and story behind pic here:
P.S. If you are a regular reader of my blog and are wondering about the answers to the questions I asked my nurse the other day, I updated the post to reflect the answers. Here it is: Day 1.5. I thought that would be better than to write an entire response post that are a few short sentences. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 1.5

Yesterday Santa brought me a nasty cold. Wee! I managed to make it through the morning's festivities, but alas, was couch bound for the rest of the day. (On a separate note, the movie Mulholland Drive sucks - don't let anyone tell you differently.)

Nevertheless, I began my pre-cycle meds as described in my RE schedule. Namely I started the Vivelle-dot 0.1mg patch (estrogen), which I take every other day. Tonight I will add on to the patch and start a 3 day course of Ganirelix 250 mcg injections. Double wee!!!

I tried to think of a time in my life when I gave myself a shot and came up empty. Even with my couple year course of allergy shots as a kid. Even with my 2 previous IVF cycles in India. Ugh - I guess I should have checked for extra practice needles in my box, although now that I think about it, who the hell wants to take extra shots, practice or not.

Next step is "Await period Day Of Cycle 1 = First day of continuous menstrual flow (spotting is NOT day 1)". Great. Many times my periods are only spotting (due to my previous cryoablation surgery.) How should I determine that? So in typical "omg" last minute panic and realization that I have new questions, I sent the below email to my nurse. Hopefully they will get me some answers today.

UPDATE: rather than write a separate post on my nurse's answers, which were prompt, I'll just type them in red by each one. Nurse ended up calling me directly when I was at work, so my responses are just a quick summary.

P.S. Clearly I don't know how to count...But at least I caught it before she did. 
1.) Started the vivelle-dot today. Do these have to be changed out the same time (every other day) or can I change it out with my nightly shot (I put it on in the afternoon)? -->yes - that's fine

2.) It looks like I am suppose to start the Ganirelix tomorrow, but I am not positive because the date is wrong on your documentation (I think we may have previously discussed this on the phone, but I'm not positive now.) Please verify and send an updated copy. Also, please let me know if there is anything special I need to do/know regarding the shots. For some reason I thought we were going to have training on it, but we never did.-->tonight. around the same time. 

3.) I have been battling a very minor cold the last 2 weeks, but yesterday it took a turn for the worse. Today it is in full fledged mode. Please notify the doctor and let me know if there is anything I should or should not take for it. -->Take lozenges, any Tylenol line, robitusson but no DM, sudifed

4.) Last week I wrote you regarding an approximate drop-dead date for when the surrogate's cycle could start (and thus you would have to have a contract in hand.) Haven't heard back from you on this - please let me know. The lawyer has submitted the rough draft to us. --> earliest Friday. You have 2 1.2 weeks before her injections start. If she hasn't by Friday, call Mikesha on Friday. 

4.) Dr. Carpenter approved my taking supplements for the last few months. I need to know if and when I need to stop taking these. In particular the DHEA (75mg per day) as it is a hormone and I don't want it to interfere with the other hormones I am now taking. -->yes --continue taking all

5.) My 2 previous cycles I had cysts prior to the start of cycle. The first IVF cycle, we had to aspirate the cyst as it was interfering with my hormone levels (and consequently would have ruined the cycle.) I need to know if we need to do an ultrasound or blood tests to make sure this isn't occurring again. Dr. Carpenter is aware of my previous history with this. -->will come in on day 2 or 3 for ultrasound and bloodwork. Check it then. 

6.) My blood tests are complete. The FDA ones should be faxed to you directly from Quest. The remaining ones were done at Emory. Please let me know if I need to sign a release for you to get them. I believe you already have it on file, but since it is a new doctor, I am not positive. -->need to fill out a record release for emory to send over to ACRM. She will email. Email back to her or fax.

7.) The ACRM email system appears to remove emails after a certain period. This is very confusing and I worry that I might miss some documentation. It is also difficult for me to log on to the ACRM email system when I am in the office. If possible, I would prefer to use regular email rather than your website email system. Please copy my husband on return correspondence as well (his email is included in the CC line.) -->yes - that's fine. 

Thank you and I hope you had a great holiday.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mad Dash to the Finish Line

I don't know who Mr. Pipo is, but this image rocks.
You can get it here:

Yea, yea, yea. The ole "I've been a blogger slacker" post. The "I've been too busy" post. The "Too emotional with all that's going on in the world" post. Whatevs. Get to it.

We are on full throttle for surrogacy to start next cycle - which means hopefully the end of this month. (Crap - no drinking on NYE!) I've been a mess trying to get everything done in time, but we really wanted to pay as much as we can this year for tax purposes. Since I didn't work for 8 months this year, much more is applied. 

Plus, let's be real, every month for me counts now. My AMH is like .7 and my FSH is 12.7. Not good. Not horrible, but not good. This will be the last shot with my eggs - period. If this doesn't work I'll crawl into a hole until we are able to consider the donor egg option. 

I have to say that having my first 2 surro cycles in India did not prepare me for the complicated mess I would  have to endure here in the US. In India we just had to show up and they directed us for everything else. Here we are on are own and have to stay on top of things like a frenzied squirrel. Crimmy, I'm even going to have to give myself shots. With my ADD, this is not encouraging. 

Some of the things I've been juggling: 
  • Coordinating 4 individual schedules with tight deadlines on when specific things have to be done. Guess who's schedule always gets the shaft (to be expected.)
  • Countless phone conversations occurring middle of the day, for a length of time, that has me leaving my trusty cubicle to go hide talk in a conference room. Lest my cube mates get to hear me go on-and-on about the FDA required STD tests I have to take. "Yes, I need you to add Chlamydia  Gonorreia  HIV, Hepatitis  PPD, ... to my blood order. Oh I'm sorry, you want me to repeat that LOUDER for the 3rd time? Ok."
  • Working with 3 different pharmacies to find out which can give me the best price, without sacrificing reliability/comfort level of getting all the right things at the right times. All of this again on the phone during business hours. All pharmacies have been given the Rx by doctor and are ready to ship ship ship. "Yes, I'm confirming the order. OH WAIT, you are with whom?"
  • Phone interviewing lawyers with experience in surrogacy to see who can meet our tight deadline (are you sensing several themes yet?) 
  • Going BACK AND FORTH with my new primary care physician office to try and convince them to add STD blood tests to my blood order for my physical. This way there is a chance insurance will cover it, but I had to go back and forth with them for about 2 weeks. Otherwise it's a couple grand out of pocket.
  • Getting a physical so that additional items will be covered under insurance that wouldn't under my RE.
  • Multiple doctor visits. Blood drawn yesterday AND today because I had to use 2 different labs. Trying to juggle all these without raising a flag (hopefully) at my new job has been an incredible feat. I'm a contract employee and want to go perm when my contract is up in April. 
  • Psych evals - and while I appreciate the "concern" over my emotions, it really was a total waste of time/money for my husband and I. Everything that was discussed in the group session we had already discussed with them privately. I totally "get" why you would want to have one with the surro and the surro spouse, and even a group one, but I don't think every IP couple needs to have this done. Especially if you've been through the process before (even in another country). Thankfully the doctor put the ones for hubby and I as a "family counseling" code - hoping insurance will at least cover that. 
  • Trying to get surros insurance documentation to make sure there is no surrogacy exclusion. Not their fault, but company's fault it is taking so long. 
There is more I am sure, but between balancing that and everything else in my life, my brain is kinda fried at the moment. I still have Christmas shopping to complete. Hell, I haven't even gotten all my cards out yet. 

On a Happy Happy note. Insurance covered a HUGE portion of my fertility medications. The pharmacy (Village Fertility) checked on a whim for insurance coverage (even though I told them it wouldn't be covered) and apparently a big chunk was. Had to pay just a little over 1K out of pocket - which is awesome since it was looking to be about 6.5K. She explained that even though we have BCBS for medical (THE SUCK for infertility treatments), the pharmacy is different and is quite good. Covered under Medco, formerly Express Scripts. I guess the lesson is: always check to see if insurance will pay. Even when you are sure they won't. 

On an unhappy note - I had no idea that the attorney was going to be so much. 2500 for the surro agreement (REQUIRED) and then another 4K if we make it to the second/third trimester. They have to go to court and petition that our names are put on the birth certificate. Otherwise we would have to adopt our own child. GAH! Oh well, I guess we should totally HOPE/PRAY/RAIN DANCE that we are so fortunate as to get to shell out the money in the future. That would be a good thing - right?

That's it for now. And to prove how busy I am at the moment, I'm going to publish this after only "checking" it once for mistakes. That's HUGE for me. Normally I read it and change it 10x. THAT'S HOW BUSY I AM. Or crazy. You choose. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Money, Get Away

"Money, get away
Get a good job with more pay
And you're OK."

Clearly The Pink never went for infertility treatment. Which is weirdly funny given their nickname.

We are entering our third and final cycle with my eggs and with a person close to us doing the surrogacy (without charge). Approximate cost: 35-40K. That's not a typo. That's how much it will cost us out of pocket. Paid in full by months end. In addition to all we have already spent.

And now, all of a sudden, a little voice inside me is very scared. To spend this much money and use my long shot eggs. Actually I'm quite terrified.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Where Can I Get My Drugs?

No seriously. Who has the hook up? I need advice on who the cool [read: GOOD], reliable, fast online/mail order companies for fertility meds? Fairly certain that the email I just read from our clinic was saying that I will need to order mine (and our surrogates) in the next few days.

Here was the reply when I asked about getting the meds:

Once you are ready to get started, I will send this prescription to a mail order pharmacy and they will call you to set up payment and shipment of the medications.  You will need some of them within 14 days of starting a cycle.  The others you will need a few weeks after that.  I would recommend getting the meds as soon as you are ready to proceed.

Honestly I don't know if that means 14 days before my next cycle or 14 days after my current cycle start - which now that I think about it, is the same thing really. Since my period started on Sunday, that means I need to get the full list and make the purchases.

I hate having to rush rush rush everything, but it looks like that's where we are now. Have no idea about what happens with being able to claim this on taxes for anything that spills over to next year. I know you have to reach a minimum percentage of your income to claim medical, but can you only claim what is OVER that percentage, or do you to claim the first part too? I'm trying to figure out how vital it is we make our Dec 31st deadline. It's vital from an old eggs perspective, but I don't know how much it will end up costing us if we can't claim it all on our taxes this year.

Any tidbits you guys can throw my way I would really appreciate. The last two days of trying to balance 4 individuals' schedules for treatment, make sure everything is asked/answered for our upcoming cycle, work, getting a plumber out (yay! We have water!), make a community meeting that we will be a named plaintiff in, more work, AND cart my 12 year old Min Pin back and forth to the vet for dental surgery (9 extractions!) has my head spinning.

(BTW - my Min Pin is a total hillbilly now. All of his front teeth, bottom and top, were rotting due to age and not enough space, and had to be removed. He won't show me now and is working the cheese angle.)

No wonder I need a good hook up for meds. Give me a heads-up and I'll keep it on the D-Lo. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

In Today's Surrogate News...

image from: here

The long awaited surrogate news is here! 

Our surrogate and her husband are still gung-ho - YAY!!!! Ms L went for her hysteroscopy and HSG testing Thursday and Friday. We haven't heard the official news from the clinic yet, but she is under the impression that everything came back great. Double yay! I'll let myself have that little bit for now.

On the flip side, my surrogate and her husband, both whom are very close to us, are having trouble quitting smoking. If she doesn't quit soon, then it will be a no-go. Quitting smoking is super-tough and she feels awful that she hasn't been able to quit yet. Was there myself once-upon-a-time and it sucks.

We went ahead and asked them if they wanted to try Chantix (we'd pay for it) and made sure with our clinic that it would be ok for them to take. They both wanted to give it a shot and we were happy when our RE said it was ok. We were about to go meet them on Saturday when our water heater expansion tank sprang a leak. Fortunately showered just minutes before the leak was discovered... 

Anytime you find a large puddle of water on your floor you should probably be concerned, but honestly I was more concerned about meeting with Ms.+ Mr. L. We called a friend and my dad to ask some questions, turned a faucet valve that was connected, let hot water run out in the sink, placed a bucket under the leak, and left to go meet them. 

Meeting went great - picked up Chantix Rx and then grabbed dinner with both of them and their little one. Afterwards we had a get-together at a friend's house where it was pretty paramount that we show our face. It's a close friend (he introduced us!!!) and we think we weren't invited to his wedding a month ago because we have been soooooo MIA - we hadn't even met his now-wife until last night. They had been dating for a little over a year. When we returned home much later we found the leak still going strong. A little digging around outside and in the garage led to the discovery of another valve to turn off ALL water. The first one turned out to be just for hot water. 

I hope the Chantix works. It helped me quit smoking years ago, but I know some people report serious side effects and can't take the medication. Chantix is not covered under their insurance either, but Mr. L's doctor gave him a $75 coupon. Oddly enough, Ms L's only have her a $40 one. Weird huh? We were able to use the $75 one. 

Now we go full speed for the other things. On the schedule of phone calls tomorrow is lawyer (required by our clinic), blood work for all, and psych tests for all. Wait what was that last part??? Yea, our third party coordinator said that we would have to ALL have a psych eval. Having a psych eval doesn't bother me (it probably should!), but after 2 failed surro cycles in India I really don't understand why it is necessary. I sent an email to our third party coordinator asking about the necessity (ie. requirement), of this for my husband and I. If it isn't required then I really don't see the need to spend additional monies on it. We didn't have it in India and I don't feel like we need it now. (The surrogate did have one in India and I understand why it is required here.) 

And I'm not sure how we haven't really talked with the financial coordinator at our clinic thus far, but I guess we need to schedule that as well. Sigh. At least then we will know better what to expect. Our original information from the clinic did not include costs for surrogacy. That becomes an entire new list of line items. 

I don't know how I'm going to take off all this time from work. All day psych evals? Appointments at an attorney office? More medical stuff? I don't know how our surrogate is going to be able to take the time off either - though of course we will give her money for any missed work. She starts a new job next week and while we are both super-duper tight with her boss, I think it's still awkward to take time off when you first start at a company. Even if the boss is totally ok with it. 

Sigh. So that's the update. Prior, I steeled myself to expect the worst with her hysteroscopy/HSG tests and now I feel unexpectedly elated. Even after feeling all doom-and-gloom about the cigarette stuff for the last week and a half. I'm still going to be cautious about getting too excited with regards to that, but I've let myself be hopeful for the weekend.

Course not having water it beginning to suck. Guess I should put "plumber" on my list of phone calls for tomorrow. Wouldn't that be funny if that was the phone call I forgot to make tomorrow? (I refused to pay Sunday plumber rates.) My BFF called earlier and said we could take a shower at her house if necessary. Since she could smell me all the way from there... She's a keeper. :-)