Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Your Comments

Maybe you don't live in my state, but your Point of View is very important to me. I appear to be going all the way with this. I am morphing into a more educated, strong opponent on the subject due to the comments you are leaving here. Press releases, letters to Reps, and perhaps an appearance at the capital might result because of the aid I am receiving in your comments. I don't feel alone.

Still looking for other residents.

Keep 'em coming and thank you very much.

No more grey area: read the bill here, read more about his source


-link to actual bill-

"Will repeal In Vitro as a covered expense"


XXXXX is using a study (referenced in previous post) for his claim that insurance rates would drop for residents. Click here to read more about the Council for Affordable Health Insurance.

From "CAHI's membership includes insurance companies, small businesses, providers, nonprofit associations, actuaries, insurance brokers and individuals. Since 1992, CAHI has been an active advocate for market-oriented solutions to the problems in America's health care system ... CAHI is an association of small and mid-sized insurance companies, actuarial firms, legislative consultants, physicians and insurance agents," its website states."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Politician finds my IF blog and leaves a comment

UPDATE Jan2 2009.

This post has been severly edited. I removed any identifying terms.


I paused before I clicked "publish" on my posts regarding the attempted repeal of the AR IVF mandate. It would have been very easy to hide all the search terms that could out me. But I opted not to hide. Why should I? I am proudly pregnant - for now - with thanks to the state mandate that has been in place for almost 20 years. Just ask my parents, my inlaws, great grandparents, my brothers and my husband how thankful they are for the state mandate.

The politician who is responsible for the bill that would repeal the state mandate googled me / him / bill and found this blog. He even left a comment.

This is politics; I am opposing his bill. I am done with IVF. I will not be doing it again and the repeal of the state mandate would not affect me directly. It will affect the infertile couples that will be walking behind me. What would you do if your state mandated IVF and then someone came along and wanted to repeal it?

Click here to view the report he is referencing and is the basis for his bill to repeal the IVF mandate. It does not prove that insurance rates would drop if his bill is successful.

I am indeed a powerful lobbying special interest group; I am an infertiliy patient. I was not "mislead by my fertility clinic" as you state in the response. I looked up your bill here:

Some of the more productive comments that were originally left are pasted here:

You said it for all of us struggling to have our own family photo album - thank you!

Stick to your guns with this guy. And I cannot believe he left a comment on your blog?!? As mentioned before, contact your local news station and continue to keep this ball rolling and open the eyes and ears to everyone who could be effected by it.

You go! I am from the state mandated Massachusetts and I thank goodness that we have infertility coverage. IF is emotionally devistating enough, why should it also have to stress if not ruin people financially too?

If this were happenin in my state, I would do the exact same thing you are doing!! Way to go!

Anyone who thinks insurance companies will LOWER premiums if families are deprived of health care access needs to go see a doctor immediately--they must be delusional with high fever.

Anyone who thinks that not covering IVF leads to lower costs is likewise in need of medical attention. When couples with infertility have to pay tens of thousands of dollars per treatment--huge swaths of their before-tax income--we take risks. We put back three embryos instead of one, say, during IVF. We take higher levels of stimulating hormones and produce large numbers of eggs during IUI. We risk multiples, who are almost always born early and sometimes spend expensive days, weeks, and months in NICUs. NICU care is covered. These children's on going health issues are covered. That sure boosts premiums. Give us coverage, and you'll see thoughtful medical care, instead of the all-or-nothing black-jack mentality of those of us sunk deep in medical costs--and taking big tax deductions while we're at it, and that affects state coffers.

What working families can afford to buy insurance anyway, with the for-profit private companies in the mix? Perhaps we should do away with them and try a single payer plan like every other single developed country in the world. THAT will make insurance affordable, not doing away with coverage for selective medical conditions.

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I was just looking over a list of the states who mandated IF coverage yesterday, and I was so impressed with your state. Your state, like Mississippi (my state) has a bad rep in the US for being the last in many things. Just seeing your state on the list made me have more respect for your state. It would be such a shame for your state if this bill was passed. It has been proven over and over again that adding infertility coverage has not shown to have any effect on insurance costs. This rep is kidding himself if he thinks that taking away this coverage would making insurance costs go down at all. And let's not forget that infertility is a medical condition and should be treated like one.

Wow. Here from LFCA and, yeah, I really cannot get beyond (a) infertility is a medical problem and should be treated like one, including of course insurance coverage -- rare though that is in -- and (b) I strongly suspect, though I don't know that it's been researched, that covering IVF does or can reduce costs by reducing the prevalence of high-order multiples (I for one would be delighted to accept insurance coverage in exchange for limits on the number of embryos transferred).

I am not fortunate enough to live in AR, but how sad that this state's forward-thinking policy on insurance coverage for infertility is being challenged.

Letter to me from Politican re IVF mandate repeal

I have removed the letter from the politician. The gist of it was that I was taking the wrong side and that if IVF mandate were repealed, all insurance premiums would be decreased 3-5%.

I have saved some of the better comments left by the powerful women of the infertility blogging world. I hope that they can be used again, by others in need.

Comment -
I don't understand this because one medical problem adds x amount to everyone's policy it should be cut to reduce the cost for everyone? Don't all insured services (ywzq) add to the cost for everyone? But certainly not everyone uses ywzq either. Heck I bet those who don't need z would love to have z cut from the mandate so -they- can have lower insurance rates. Why cut X over another condition/tretament? Seems to me like trying to dismiss infertilty as a supposed "voluntary" condition and discriminate against those dealing with it. We are an easy target as usual.

Comment -
If he wants to cut insurance costs, why not slash mental health care (oh, wait, isn't that illegal?) or prescription drug coverage? Those represent a much larger percentage of the expenditures than IVF. Clearly, this is a value judgment about which medical issues are worth treating. Shame on you, XXXXXXX , father of XXXX children, for trying to take away care for real medical issues that prevent others from having the family you take for granted.

In addition, when IVF is not available, women must resort to ovulation induction alone, which more often results in higher order multiples, often born prematurely, whose NICU care increases the cost of health care for everyone. I don't see that being taken into consideration.

Comment -
I have just read a few statements by XXXXXXXX. He seems to be one of those people who simply does not acknowledge that infertility is as valid a medical problem as any other, and deserves coverage for effective treatment just as any other condition does. In one quote he states: “In my opinion, the reason people need health insurance is to be able to have a reasonably pain-free, productive existence,”. he said. "That's possible ... without having access to an array of reproduction technologies," XXXXXX said. The sheer ignorance of that statement astounds me. Clearly he has no concept of the reality of infertility and how it affects people’s lives (and their health for that matter). To have the audacity to suggest that those dealing with infertility do not need “health insurance” to be able to have a “reasonably pain-free, productive existence,” stuns me (and clearly shows he has no idea whatsoever of what he is talking about with regards to infertility and access to treatment). Having children is a fundamental human experience, and to have a medical problem that prevents ones reproductive system from working properly thus denying people the ability to have a child is far from benign as he suggests it is by his comments. I find it endless fascinating how easy it often seems for those with children, whom they often claim are the most important thing in the world to them (“my most important constituent” comments XXXXXXX about his own child-and has ‘cute’ baby photos of his children - on his website), to dismiss infertility coverage that would allow others to have a family as they does. Can he not imagine what it would be like to not have his precious children, or to know that the reason he didn’t have his children was simply because he could not afford the medical treatment needed to have one. It is one thing to be against coverage for something, quite another to dismiss and deny the reality of what that something really is as the excuse for doing it is quite another.

Comment -
Ahem. He chides you for not doing your research and claims that A) The mandates to cover IVF do not exist, and B) He is not trying to do away with IVF coverage, and C) "Powerful special interests" are trying to price poor people in the state out of affordable health care coverage".

As far as A) and B) go, I read that bill, and it specifically addresses doing away with IVF coverage.

As far as C) goes, perhaps Mr XXXXXXX didn't do his research, because the Council For Affordable Health Insurance is on's list of front groups- for the insurance industry.

Isn't the insurance industry a much larger, much wealthier "special interest" than an individual clinic, or a small group of infertility patients?

Look how much this wonderful nonpartisan council who decided IVF coverage needed the chopping block spent on lobbying yearly:

By the way, if you look at both the above link and the so-called accurate report, you will see that Victoria Bunce, the Director of Research and Policy, is also listed as one of their main lobbyists.

Whose corner is your state rep in? I'd love to see who contributed to his campaign. Has any wining and dining been going on?

I see he also lists himself on his website as pro-life. How much of this anti-IVF campaign is about money, and how much of it is it about when the beginning of life is defined, and chipping away at abortion laws?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Infertility Political Action Requested!

Please read the email chain below. If you have any political action advice please chime in. There is not much time!

To Whomever it May concern:

I just found out at my Fertility Clinic this am that there is a bill to be presented in ONE MONTH to repeal the IVF mandate that has been in place in the state for 20 years.

I am an IVF patient that just got pregnant thanks to this mandate. My medical history is similar to many others: We have unexplained Infertility . We have been trying for many years to get pregnant. We started with non – invasive fertility treatments about a year ago – to no avail. Meanwhile, the biological clock is ticking unfavorably. We got pregnant with our first In Vitro Fertilization that we would have been unable to touch without the state mandate.

This state prides itself that it is “Family Friendly”. The IVF state mandate echoes this and makes this state very unique in the United States. Most couples have to take out loans that take years to pay off. Of course most other developed nations cover this medical procedure with their national healthcare plans. It should go without saying how infertility affects families. Medical Intervention should not be for a privileged few.

I am ready to put a lot of energy into opposing this bill. BILL XXXX.

I called XXXXX, who is introducing the bill to ask why he is doing it. He said , “because the IVF mandate raises everyone’s insurance by 3-5%”. This claim is dubious to me and I would like to see some proof that policies would lower if the bill is passed.

If you have any political action advice for me, it would be greatly appreciated.


3rd u/s: 8w0d

Back to the RE for another ultrasound. A different doc measured me today. And as of last week there has been a lot of change - if indeed their measurements are correct to begin with!

Today I am measuring precisely at 8w0d. (So the fetus grew 2 weeks in 6 days?)
The heartbeat was measured at 83!!!! (That's down from 106bpm at 6w4d)

Once again I was told to expect for the worst.

I feel there is too much information and medical intervention at this point. But I'm so far in this, I am not about to quit going to these u/s. He "needs" me back next week.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Second Opinion Ultra Sound / 7w1d

I went to a local OB/GYN clinic. He completely understood my desire for a second opinion before heading home for the holidays and was very accommodating. They had a very fancy new u/s machine - fancier than the RE - considering the small town they are in. What a nice man he was. I think I'll return to him.

But enough waxing; the second opinion was not much different than the REs assessment last week at 6w3d. The heartbeat is strong he noted (but didn't measure). The CRL is still one week behind, but it has grown since last week. Today it is measuring 6w1d and 6 days ago it was 5w3d. So the good news is as follows: It's still alive, it's growing, and it's got a good heartbeat. Bad news: it's a week behind and below the 'safe zone'. Rx: wait and see.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

First Ultra Sound Report - not so good news at 6w3d

(I am so thankful that my clinic puts all my lab results on the web and I can log on and get them after the fact. All blood work and ultrasound results are available to me 24/7. Even before I started IUIs this was avail. Don't they get bonus points for this?)

Today there were a lot of details that I wasn't able to process after he told me my embryo / fetus size was indicative of a future miscarriage. And no I don't curse him for his manners. He treated me like a grown up without much sugar coating and I respect that. "Have I seen cases like this that have gone on to be perfectly healthy births, absolutely. But it is quite rare."

First he measured my ovaries and commented that they are still quite large. And yes, I officially have moderate OHSS, but I could have told you that (and did) about the time I got my first BFP. Alas, there is nothing they can do about. Just deal with it.

Secondly he looked for the sac. He didn't hesitate to say it was smaller than he hoped for. The sac measures approx 8 x 8 x 7. It should be in the 14 range.

Thirdly he measured the Crown to Rump Length. It is measuring 2.43mm = 5w4d. Just about 1 week behind schedule. Should be 4mm

Finally he measured the Fetal Heart Rate. And there was some good news here. We saw it and heard it. 106 bpm. I believe that 110 is 'safe'. But 106 is good considering everything else is so behind.

When I looked at the monitor with the blow up of the heart fluttering, it was huge! This embryo / fetus is all heart and no body!

So I've already thrown this out to my online support group and have gotten some been there done that good news stories, and I've also read some not so good news storires of similar cases.

I'm trying out this mantra: There is nothing I can do about it, Worrying won't help anything, it's nobody's fault and if it goes it wasn't meant to stay.

But certainly this was big blow today; I walked in there with all the confidence in the world.

Waiting for the next u/s on Dec 29.

Nity got a BFP today after a FET!
Still Waiting had her 9 weeks appt and got a stellar report. She is celebrating.

PS, I read in the docs notes that they marked this IVF cycle, "Succesful, Viable Pregnancy". I believe for their CDC Success rates that if a heartbeat is heard, it is considered a win.

Friday, December 12, 2008

7 Not So Random Things About Me

I was tagged not once , but twice by Ashley and by Clio! I wasn't going to participate b/c I'm bent on keeping this blog technical and to the point, but I'll bite since I've enjoyed reading your Randomness that has personalized you more.

I've also noticed no one is truly random in these posts; such as, "I pick my toe nails". You are all sharing 'who I am and where I come from" type randomness. I am glad for your posts and I will follow suit.

1. In all my years of babysitting, being a sibling and working with kids, I've enjoyed being around young boys the most. I never played with dolls. That said, I think I'll end up with a girl.

2. I travelled Solo to many islands in Indonesia when I was 24.

3. I have an affinity for water: drinking water, bath water, ocean water, stream water. (yes, I am a Pisces Clio). I am daydreaming about a water birth .

4. I feel guilty in IF blog and board land that my first IVF was such a success - thus far .

5. Being in the wilderness is my favorite vacation / or holiest church.

6. I was a strict vegetarian for 8 years until I returned to Memphis TN in '96 and drove past my favorite BBQ Joint. I cook almost every day. My favorite processed food is Cheese Whiz. I buy organic as often as I am able.

7. I work for a company on 5th Ave in NYC from a cow pasture in the Ozarks (shhh).

Now I am instructed to tag a few others to keep this flame alive:

(if you click over to any of these gals, will you kindly let them know they've been tagged?)


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

2nd Beta Test

Hcg Level was 195 at 16DPO
That makes my 'doubling time' 36.82 hours.
Which means, so far so good and right on track according to this beta data base.

Nurse relayed that Progesterone was greater than 45 "just what they want to see".

First Ultra Sound on Dec 17th.


Monday, December 1, 2008

BETA test

My HCG level was 80 mIU/ml at 14 DPO. The clinic will be looking for the doubling rate of this number upon my return Weds. This beta site was fun .