Monday, December 5, 2011

St. Barnabas, IRMS

On November 29th, my husband and I went to The Institute of Reproductive Medicine (IRMS), a St. Barnabas affiliate specializing in fertility. We met with our specialist, Dr. K. and she went through our options as far as getting pregnant. Because of my age, health, etc - and that of my husband - she said we were ideal candidates for IVF and was confident we would find success. I liked her immediately because she was proactive, positive, and excellent at breaking down the process.

But you may be asking - Where is her period? And that is an excellent question.
Reproduction is not a necessity for the body. This said, when the body has other priorities, reproduction (ie. periods) get put on the back burner while the body addresses other issues. In my case, my body was relying on the birth control pill for the estrogen that creates a period. When I came off the pill, it didn't pick up where it left off in 2002 and failed to restart the hormone production required to kick start my period. Its funny because I never thought I would be longing for my period and how dearly missed it would be.

This lapse in communication was paired with exercise. As you my know, long distance runners, gymnasts, ballerinas often skip periods because of exercise. This is called AMENORRHEA. Now as I mentioned, I go to the gym, but not at Olympic Caliber. I go so I can eat chocolate and not feel guilty. I go so my butt looks good and so I can sweat out glasses of Cabernet from the night before. I am hardly compulsive. And yes, I may run 7 miles at a time, but I am also not training for ultra-marathons. This news pretty much sucked.

Why not stop exercising? Well if I stopped exercising all the good things it was doing such as maintaining weight, keeping my blood pressure down, etc would cancel out. Then I would probably feel yucky and not in the mood for sex anyway so no babies could be made. In addition, it still wouldn't change my hormonal issue.

Ok so here we are at the clinic, feeling confused, slightly panicked, and now financially overwhelmed. As the world would have it, our insurance covers abortions but not IVF. Sweet. Without going too much into detail, google the cost of the treatment and you'll see its not a cheap gig. I think this is where I was the most saddened. Fortunately I have the best parents and support system on the entire planet so money was not an issue but it could definitely be for other couples. At IRMS, you cannot BEGIN the IVF procedure until you are paid in FULL. This is why many couples seek other options or must wait much longer to begin.

Ok I have to do work stuff, but more details to follow...