Fear, Panic, and Relief

My luteal phase was a totally of sixteen days.  Honestly it was a bit of a torture.  In a cycle where you know that the chance of a pregnancy is zero, a 16-day luteal phase is inhumanely long.  On the 15th day after retrieval, I felt that my muscles were very tense.  It didn’t matter how I tried to relax, I was tense.  My basal body temperature was below cover line which indicated the imminent arrival of AF.  However, there was no sign of blood.  The early morning of the 16th day after retrieval, I woke up extra early and started having fears.  I started to think: what if my period doesn’t come?  What if my period takes forever to come?  What if because of its late arrival that there isn’t enough time to do a retrieval and transfer in December before the clinic closes on December 21st?  As I lay there, my mind was going crazy, making wild guesses of what might happen if my period delayed coming.  Then I thought of what I have been learning at my bible study.  This year we have been studying the life of Moses and how God miraculously led the Israelites out of Egypt by parting the Red Sea for them.  The Israelites quickly forgot God’s power and deliverance and grumbled and complained about the lack of water and the lack of food.  Am I not like the Israelites?  God has been faithful and been showing us His power and might by giving us the last two cycles that were like miracles to me.  We JUST finished with a cycle that ended up with two good embryos on day two.  How could I forget so quickly that God always provides, always has a plan, and is sovereign?  With that thought, I prayed for my trust in Him.  I got up and went to bootcamp.  Still no signs of blood.  I was talking to Bob in the car about how I should put my trust in the Lord and learn NOT to be like the Israelites.  Once I stepped into the house after the work out, I felt something warm and knew that AF had indeed arrived.  What a shame for not trusting the Lord for being in control of every single detail of my life.

Where did the panic come from?  Well, after I reported cycle day one to my clinic, a letter from the billing department was emailed to me.  It included the fee schedule for this cycle, which was quoted over $1000 higher than what we had been paying.  When I got it, I was immediately panicking.  I was very upset that there was a rate hike.  I  quickly sent Bob a message to let him know and he started panicking and getting upset.  I mean… we can afford the extra $1000.  But everything is tight.  We have been trying so hard to save up money for donor egg cycles so every single dollar counts.  We have already paid out a lot of money to make this baby.  Any extra amount would just stir a huge emotional reaction from us.  I emailed the billing coordinator and asked for an explanation.  Then I read the letter and the itemized fee schedule in more details.  It actually stated that it was for a fresh mini-IVF cycle with ICSI, embryo thaw, and transfer.  But we are NOT doing a transfer this month.  I realized that there was miscommunication between my nurse and the billing coordinator.  Bob was very relieved that we didn’t have to pay that extra $1000.   Indeed when I went in for my baseline appointment today, I paid the original amount that was the same as the previous two cycles.  I was happy that I caught the error.

However, we were happy too soon.  Tonight I got another email from the patient coordinator saying that the fees that I have been paying for the last two cycles and this cycle have been misquoted by the billing coordinator.  She erroneously quoted an amount that was $563 less than what we were supposed to pay.  In other words, we owe the clinic $563 for each cycle, which comes to a total of $1689.  The patient coordinator said that the amount she gave me in August was the right one.  The subsequent amount that I was asked to pay was wrong.  How would I know?  Every time I went in, I just paid whatever amount that I was asked for.  I would have no idea that it wasn’t the right amount.  It’s just wrong that we’re paying for the mistake that they made.  No wonder so many online reviews trash the billing department at this clinic.  Imagine those people who can only save up just enough money for these cycles and all of a sudden are asked to pay up extra because of the mistakes of the clinic.  But out panic shows that we still don’t put our 100% trust in the Lord that He will provide and that ultimately everything will be fine.  Like I said, money matter stirs up a lot of raw emotions.

Anyhow, to end on a happy note, my scan went very well.  This was the first time that Bob couldn’t come to a scan with me ever since we switched clinic.  I am very grateful that he has been able to come, so I was okay with him staying at work.  I like it that it was the nurse practitioner that has been doing all of my monitoring scans.  Very relieved to see NO cysts anywhere on my ovaries.  The antral follicle count has been the same for this cycle as the last two cycles: one on the right and three on the left.  I saw Dr. No Nonsense in the hallway.  I told him about the scan and he gave me a high five.  Never high-fived an RE before.  I started 100mg of Cl.omid tonight.  The 7th IVF cycle begins.  Let’s see if the follicles will do their magic.

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29 thoughts on “Fear, Panic, and Relief

    • Right? I look at them and think wow how ungrateful you guys are that God just performed wonders for you…. and then I turn around and see myself doing the same thing. It IS a daily reminder to strive to NOT be like the Israelites.

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  1. I can’t believe you are getting charged now and that much for a mistake you didnt make!! The thing is you could have decided to do less cycles had you known the price was higher.. I find this is really bad on their side..
    Glad that your scan went well. Cm’on follicles, do some magic now!!
    xx

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    • I am going to write an email over the weekend and ask for those fees to be waived. It doesn’t hurt to try, right? Thanks girl! I hope your pregnancy is going well, mama!

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    • Yup! Let’s bring it on! I will write an email to ask for the fees to be waived. Will see what they say. Hey isn’t your scan on November 3rd???? It’s coming up!!! I can’t wait!

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  2. As someone who works in a doctors office, I think that is really bad form to bill you late like that for their mistake! (Is it worth arguing over? Things can be negotiated sometimes!)

    Here’s hoping for good news for you in the future!

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    • Thanks for commenting! I sure think that it’s worthwhile to fight over this… in a polite way. It doesn’t hurt to try. I have a dear friend who already drafted a response for me. I’ll look it over and send it on Monday. Thanks for the hope!

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  3. So glad you’ll get that cycle in but sorry to hear about the money issues. I find I get a little panicked when our bank account gets low or J talks about spending a lot of money on something big but usually necessary. I think we feel comforted by it because having money gives us independence, or at least a false sense of it.

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  4. After my last transfer, my RE extended his hand toward me with the palm facing down. I thought it was going to do a fist bump, but at the last second he turned it sideways and just shook my hand. Somehow, I don’t think I could have looked at him the same way if he had! Doesn’t Dr No Nonsence know the high-five is contradicting his name!

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  5. That’s so annoying–even when you have the money, it’s still stressful to see so much of it leave your bank account. However, that’s awesome that you’re moving forward and everything is looking as good as it was during the last amazing cycles. Hoping that we welcome Lindsay, Matthew, Nelson, Otto, and Priscilla to the family! (I couldn’t think of a Q name quickly, although Quentin comes to mind now, or I would have kept going!

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    • Wow thanks for all the suggestions! Believe it or not, I actually have Priscilla on my list!!! Although N will have to be a girl. Quentin is a cool name. Bob said that we may never get to that point. We shall see!

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    • They didn’t ask me to pay in that email… but I know that when I arrive for my second scan next week they’ll ask me to give them money. I am going to send out an email on Monday to ask to be waived the fees. We shall see. 🙂

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  6. I agree with the other comments. You should not have to pay backpay because of an error on their part. You may have made different treatment choices had you known the actual amount. Maybe, maybe not, but they need your approval first not after the fact! Good news about AF finally arriving though and yay for your scan! Praying you have another amazing cycle hon!

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  7. I am a patient at ucsf too and share many of your experiences with the staff. I find the docs and nurses to be pretty good on the whole (though today I was supposed to get a call to schedule my baseline for tomorrow and after three calls to the answering service I heard not a peep), but the billing and financial coordination leaves much to be desired. I think your email is a good idea – I would cc Dr. Cedars as she is the director and when I found errors during our first IVF that were not being resolved she magically made them disappear.
    Best of luck to you!

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  8. That sucks about the financial screw up. I almost feel like, it’s their mistake, they should just suck it up. What if you’d had transfers done? Can’t get those embryos back! I’d go into panic mode too. Wishing you lots of luck with the next cycle!

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