November 16: Phone meeting with our coordinator. We also received an updated “Intended Parent” packet with the clinic’s guidelines for gestational surrogacy.
November 15: In contact with our “donor team” (gestational surrogacy program) coordinator through the clinic.
October 24: Officially postponed IVF treatment, hopefully no later than late December or early January. Switching to working on the surrogacy aspect of the process in the meantime.
October 16: Fertility clinic re-submitted the codes for my diagnoses and treatment plans to determine coverage from the new insurance.
October 15: Fought with the insurance over my denial of coverage and, once I was able to educate them on what gestational surrogacy actually is, it was confirmed that I had been wrongly denied. Heard back from my financial advisor at the fertility clinic who, again, stated that surrogacy would negate coverage for my part of the treatment. Called the insurance company for a second time to deal with it– this was not true and I should be covered for treatment my body is receiving.
October 12: Heard back from our financial advisor that I was denied coverage for IVF treatment by the insurance company simply because I cannot carry the baby myself. This should have absolutely nothing to do with my egg retrieval, and we have decided to fight it.
October 11: Received instructions from our fertility nurse for beginning our next treatment cycle.
October 10: Consult with our financial advisor at the fertility clinic regarding our insurance benefits and received a basic idea of what we could expect our out-of-pocket cost to be.
October 9: Reached out to our former surrogate agency about signing a contract with them.
October 8: In contact with our financial advisor for treatment through the fertility clinic concerning a change in insurance for our upcoming IVF cycle.
September 7: Contacted by our “donor team” clinical coordinator from the fertility clinic for updates on the surrogacy process.
August 25: Ordered a third 3-month supply of CoQ10 to support egg health during IVF treatments.
July & August: Working on matching with a gestational carrier.
June 25: Consult with our fertility doctor over my upcoming medication protocol for IVF.
June 21: In touch with my fertility nurse about screening requirements for a gestational carrier and our next IVF cycle.
June 8-16: Working on some of the logistics for the surrogacy side of things over the span of several days.
June 3: Dealing with budgeting for the surrogacy process.
May 29: Ordered another 3-month supply of CoQ10 to support egg health for another retrieval.
May 24: PGS results are in: 3 of the embryos tested abnormal, 1 tested normal and will remain frozen. Plans are being made for a second IVF cycle around August.
May 17: ‘Day 7’ update: the last 3 embryos did not survive; cells from our four frozen embryos are being sent out to the lab for PGS testing today.
May 16: ‘Day 6’ update: 1 more BB blastocyst biopsied and frozen; 3 more on watch.
May 15: ‘Day 5’ update: 3 AA blastocysts biopsied and frozen; four embryos left that could go either way.
May 12: ‘Day 2’ update: 8 embryos left
May 11: ‘Day 1’ update: 9 embryos via ICSI
May 10: Egg retrieval! 17 eggs collected, 12 were mature.
May 9: No more ultrasounds, blood draws, or injections. Just taking my antibiotics and waiting for my surgery tomorrow.
May 8: Monitoring appointment #5: follicles still growing, but my estrogen level is high, putting me at risk for hyper-stimulation. Dr. K wants me to take my trigger shot tonight at 8:30pm in preparation for an egg retrieval 8:30am on Thursday morning.
May 7: Monitoring appointment #4: everything looks good with a few follicles in range or close (largest is 18mm) and a handful that still need some time to catch up, estrogen level is about 2,500. I’ll start having daily appointments now until my egg retrieval. Lupron injection (5 units), Gonal-F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu).
May 6: Lupron injection (5 units), Gonal-F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu).
May 5: Monitoring appointment #3: estrogen level is at 1,266 and everything else looks good; Lupron injection (5 units), Gonal-F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu).
May 4: Monitoring appointment #2: several follicles present in both ovaries, estrogen level in the 700s; Lupron injection (5 units), Gonal- F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu).
May 3: Lupron injection (5 units), Gonal-F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu). Appointment for an analysis for Kyle.
May 2: Monitoring appointment #1; estrogen level is at 273 and everything looks good, largest follicle is 12mm. Lupron injection (5 units), Gonal-F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu).
May 1: Lupron injection (5 units), Gonal-F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu)
April 30: Lupron injection (5 units), Gonal-F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu). Received additional syringes in the mail for Lupron.
April 29: Baseline appointment with blood work and ultrasound; given the okay to begin the stimulation phase of my IVF cycle, estrogen level at 29; wrote a very large check to pay for treatment and received final clearance to get started. Lupron injection (10 units), Gonal-F injection (300 iu), Menopur injection (225 iu).
April 28: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 27: Lupron injection (10 units). Cycle Day 1; finally able to make an appointment for baseline ultrasound and blood work before beginning stim injections. Ordered more syringes because I have been on Lupron for much longer than planned now and will continue it throughout the rest of my cycle.
April 26: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 25: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 24: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 23: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 22: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 21: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 20: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 19: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 18: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 17: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 16: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 15: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 14: Lupron injection (10 units)
April 13: Sarted daily Lupron injections (10 units) until my baseline appointment on Cycle Day 3.
April 12: Appointment for Cycle Day 18 blood work to confirm ovulation so I can begin injections. Signed the final consents to begin IVF.
April 10: Received all the injection meds and supplies for my upcoming cycle.
April 9: Pre-authorizations for IVF meds were sent to the insurance and approved, and we paid off the remaining pharmacy bill.
April 3: Scheduled the delivery date for all of my injection meds & supplies.
March 30: Signed another document pertaining to treatment.
March 29: Consultation with the lab that will handle our embryo screening. Received protocol for our upcoming IVF cycle.
March 23: We were chosen to be featured ‘Intended Parents’ on a matching website for surrogates & IPs and given a free profile, which has just gone live.
March 22: Our insurance has finally decided on the amount of our coverage after more than 6 weeks of waiting (a month longer than necessary) and daily calls from our financial counselor and myself. We also received some additional documents to sign in preparation for treatment.
March 20: Our insurance case has now reached the supervisor and is supposedly being sent to an analyst to be dealt with by end of day tomorrow. If we don’t receive the pre-determination in the next few days we will likely miss out on another month of treatment.
March 19: Results from the clinic concerning Ashley’s most recent appointment: AMH level is 5.5 (increase from 3.2 in 2015) and antral follicle count of 26. No new information on our insurance, but we were told to check back tomorrow.
March 16: Joined a third surrogate meeting group. Also continuing to check online ads through a specific website daily.
March 13: Our infectious disease blood work and screening came back negative.
March 12: Our case was sent for review by our insurance, which is hopefully the final step before they make a decision.
March 8: Still waiting to hear back from our insurance. It’s been over a month now and holding up everything. Today we’ve been told that our case has been moved up the chain for a priority decision, and we’re hoping to hear back before the weekend.
March 6: Got a call from our clinical coordinator to say that Kyle will have to redo his blood work and FDA questionnaire for the surrogacy “checklist” due to a mix-up, which puts us a step behind again. But, at least our financial counselor is back from medical leave.
March 4: Ashley had blood work to check her Day 3 FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and AMH (anti-mullerian hormone; indicator of ovarian reserve) levels as well as a baseline ultrasound to check her antral follicle count. Kyle completed his FDA questionnaire and blood work to determine his risk factors for surrogacy.
March 3: Joined another Facebook group to match surrogate/IPs.
February 28: Both of us had our blood drawn to check for any infectious diseases that could be passed on to a gestational carrier through our embryo(s). This is one of the steps our clinic requires before we’re able to have treatment.
February 27: In contact with the “Donor Team” at our fertility clinic (they handle everyone who is using donor eggs/sperm or surrogacy) about our insurance coverage and what the exact cost of treatment will be– again. We hadn’t expected to be waiting 3 weeks for this information, but I’m hoping now that it doesn’t hold us up.
February 20: Trying to follow up on our insurance. Unfortunately, our financial advisor is unexpectedly on medical leave, and we will be handled by someone new.
February 16: Signed two documents for the fertility clinic as part of the checklist we have to complete before undergoing IVF for gestational surrogacy.
February 12: Introduced via email to our “clinical coordinator” through the fertility clinic, who works with us on the surrogacy side of things. We were sent a long checklist of tests, exams, and meetings we will need to have completed before being able to start treatment. This is only because we are using a gestational carrier.
February 11: Joined a Facebook group for IPs (“Intended Parents”)/surrogates to meet.
February 8: In contact with our financial counselor through the fertility clinic to go over what our insurance might or might not cover concerning the IVF treatment.
February 7: Appointment to meet the new doctor at our previous fertility clinic. Assigned a nurse and a financial advisor (both of whom worked with us during our first journey). Made plans for yet another round of infertility testing (the third time around- 2012, 2014, and 2018).
January 28: Going over our 2014 agency contract to understand the exact wording that prohibits us from working with our previous gestational carrier without paying the agency a second time.
January 3, 2018: Scheduled an appointment to meet the new doctor at our clinic for a consultation.
December 7: Beginning the overwhelming research for available loan options with the IVF clinic and surrogate agency.
November 2: Made the decision over the course of a few weeks to stay with our fertility clinic and attempt to complete an IVF cycle prior to Kyle’s graduation.
October 5: The doctor who handled our first case is now retired, which means we’re starting over. Regrouping to determine if we should plan to find a new clinic or ask to be moved to a new doctor at the same place. Once Kyle finishes his master’s program in May 2018 we may not be in the same area, state, or even this part of the country, so we are reconsidering being tied down to this clinic if we already have to start over with a doctor anyway.
September 20: After discussing some options over the last few weeks, we decided to reschedule our plans for an IVF cycle in January 2018. Ashley is planning to start taking a supplement to support egg health with hopes of a better result this time around.
July 2017: Canceled plans for an IVF cycle.
July 2016: Canceled plans for an IVF cycle.
*Started making plans and working things out for our second journey since November 2015.