Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Best Planned Lays

This isn't going to be one of those well-made blog posts. This is one of those pissy lists. BUT: Before the ranting commences, Hello and Thanks for dropping by! to everyone, but especially to those of you directed here by the lesbian-lovin' Kymberli. It's a pleasure having you. If any of the rest of you don't read Kymberli's blog, you should certainly head over to read today's tale of accidental head-shaving.

1. LH surge: I can has one, pls? Still spending my days with legs crossed, still but the palest of lines on the OPK. Not yet out of bounds for my longest cycles, but getting close. Am secretly convinced I don't make LH.

2. Farewell, Mr. NMEBSI? It turns out he wasn't screened for a genetic disorder that I only just now got tested for. I won't know my results for at least another month or so. I had thought that no donors had been screened (so my own results would only be to help us decide about prenatal testing), but it turns out that some have. So we will choose a screened donor for September, at least, and maybe beyond (depending on my results).

(If you think I'm being over-cautious, please keep in mind that my father is a pediatric geneticist, who treats very small, very sick kids. This disorder is common, and although my parents raised me to be independent, he all but asked me to get tested.)

We were pretty upset about this, but we've since found some screened donors who also seem like good choices. Which means we have plenty of energy left to be upset that...

3. Dr. Baby Factory will not waive the $450 counseling session, nor will he allow us to see a counselor outside of the practice (who might take our insurance or just charge a little less than $9/minute). There are so many reasons this enrages me (and fills me with hopeless despair, but the anger is more interesting, I imagine) that it's hard to keep them all straight in my mind. I'll limit my rant to three. I'm realizing that they mostly come down not to the refusal to waive the counseling but to how it's been talked about.

a. There's equal ≠ fair aspect to the whole thing -- Dr. Baby Factory cannot or will not (as I find white men of privilege generally can't or won't) wrap his mind around the idea that treating all couples using donor-whatever in the same way may be equal but it isn't fair, in the sense that it is willfully blind to what brings each couple to this place. The best I can come up with is that this is like saying that it's fair that no employees get Jewish holidays off, when in fact that's equal but unfair. It bugs me that he won't acknowledge that our position is different from that of a straight couple using donor-stuff.

b. There's the giant fuck-you that is their counselors working with NO insurance. I don't think I'd be half as mad if they worked with some but not ours, though I'd still be pretty tweaked, since we chose this practice because it works with our insurance. But taking no insurance at all? So it's just an automatic "too bad you aren't normal" charge? Shitty, shitty, shitty.

c. There's the way Dr. Baby Factory distinguishes straight couples from us by referring to them as "married". GAH! I AM TRYING TO BE MARRIED, JERK-FACE. (How I wish we'd already eloped to CT, so I could tell him off properly for that one.)

As I see it, we have three options -- but please let me know if you think of any others, wise internet:

1. Suck it up, swallow pride, see if pooped-out pride sells on eBay, and pay for it.
Pros: Path of least resistance (except cost means less sperm means fewer tries before we have to store up money again).
Cons: Money, rage.

2. DIY at home, at least to start. (Assuming Dr. Baby Factory will still sign the home delivery release, as he said he would back at the HSG.) Reevaluate after a month or so.
Pros: No one involved who makes me want to spit nails.
Cons: Lower conception rate than IUI. Inefficient use of money, since we would be buying 2 vials/month and having to get them shipped every month (vs. getting 3 months' at once and storing at the clinic).

3. Change clinics.
Pros: I have another recommendation that my insurance will cover, with free sperm storage and no seekrit psych fees. Could work on details while trying DIY for a month.
Cons: Starting all over with intake, etc. More prodding of the vages. More theories. Sounds exhausting and like it will take forever.

Stay tuned, internet, to see down which path our heroines next gang agley.


  1. My assvice-- take the path of least resistance. Suck it up and go to their stoooopid counseling session. IMO-- less stress in the long run.

    Here from Kymberli's and LOVING you guys so far!

  2. seeing that man again will cause me more stress than anything else . . . and i'm not known for my calm dealings with medical professionals - i once doused a tech in barium swallow . . .

  3. Oh Baby Mama, that is infuriating. I am sitting here at my computer with not enough caffeine in my system with my blood boiling on your behalf. That is a ridiculous bunch of bullshit. I am against mandatory counseling (unless it's free) for anyone in this situation. Yes, many straight couples using DS and their possible future children would really benefit from the counseling session. However, forcing even them to go is very unlikely to make them any wiser unless they are already open to exploring their feelings further. So, I really don't see where requiring the counseling will help with couples that are resistant to dealing with their feelings, and other straight couples are likely to choose the counseling even if it isn't required, but just highly recommended. As for lesbians (or single women, regardless of sexual orientation) the issues are TOTALLY different, and it's likely that many of the issues were worked out well before the patient showed up on the doctor's doorstep. Regardless, I just find the whole thing condescending (to all patients). It basically says that a) I think you're not smart enough to figure out what's best for you, and b) you are too incompetent even to find your own counselor if you don't want to go to this one. ANNOYING!!! And as for the not taking insurance, that is just plain absurd. (If you have a PPO, you could probably still file a claim, though. The fact that the counselor isn't willing to do the paperwork for you doesn't mean that your insurance won't pay. You might want to check with your insurance company about that.)

    As to what to do, I don't know. I would probably switch doctors, but I don't always make the best decisions when I'm angry.

    Good luck!

  4. Thanks for being angry, Sara. I'm starting to feel a little crazy over here.

    You've also very nicely delineated one of the rants that got left out above. I agree that mandatory counseling is not useful for anyone, for all the reasons you cite.

    As for insurance, they will pay a percentage after a deductible. It would still cost a pretty penny. And I think I can feel the cervices clenching in anger....

  5. Pardon my stupidity and ignorant questions, but would it be less stressful for you two to do it at home? Like you stated, you wouldn't get as much sperm, but wouldn't that be worth being at home? It might be more of a gamble because of the success rates, but would that work for you two, mentally? I know I'm not wording this right, sorry.

    Stupid and ignorant questions aside, I wish for you two to get to your dream! Sending you lots of love and strength in dealing with dumbass counselors and insurance companies.

  6. It may just make you more angry, but I found that our "mandatory counselling session for people using donor gametes" seemed like it was mostly to make sure that we weren't psychotic. Not really for us at all. More to ensure that the clinic wasn't responsible for starting people whose parents mighn't be able to care for them. I hope that yours is more helpful.

    On the up side, they didn't ask us to do another one when we came back for the second kid.

  7. I am pissed off for you. And, when I get pissed off, I sometimes act rashly. In your position, I think I would ditch this office and try at home while switching offices.

  8. Thanks, everybody. It's so gratifying to find my email inbox full of communal indignation.

    Beautiful Mess -- The answer to your question is yes and no. More stressful in some ways, less in others. I'm no expert in any of this (yet), but One Of His Moms is, and I love these two posts of hers on the topic:
    In fact, I love her whole blog: http://oneofhismoms.wordpress.com/

    lothyn -- Yeah, that's what I think it is. Dr. Baby Factory said on the phone that it wasn't screening but (nebulously) "educational", but everything on their website is "screening" and "evaluation". I'm pretty sure we'll pass, assuming Sugar Mama's temper has faded (and mine, but I'm more likely to smile for the nice lady, and she's more likely to have the courage of her convictions and tell the nice lady to shove it), but it is a wee bit insulting.

    Kristen -- Yes to rash behavior! Yes, I say! This is why I try not to indulge my anger often. But now may be one of those times.... Ach, at any rate, I've decided not to make a firm decision until I cool down a bit.

    Which is precisely why it's so grand to have all of you help me chew it over.


  9. I took a minute to think about this, and I think I'd switch clinics now and try at home in the meantime and between time, especially if you think you're likely to get better care at the other clinic.

    Also, I know the situations are totally different, but I know of plenty of traditional surrogates (her egg, Intended Father's sperm) who were able to get pregnant via home insems. You'd still have a shot. No pun intended. :)

  10. Hi, just found your blog thru Kym (who I just found thru someone else...). Not sure what I'd do, my first instinct is to just go thru the motions, fork over the cash and get it over with, but I also get wanting to switch clinics. I think I'd want to do whatever gets the ball rolling the fastest. But that may be because the waiting around for the next cycle kills me. If you are ok waiting a cycle or two, and having yet another doc examining your lady bits, then switch.

    We were required to meet with a psychologist before doing IVF. Fairly useless, because we can impersonate a sane couple. But after the IVF hormones made me crazy, it was nice to go back and have someone to talk to that I'd already met before.