I want to start by saying thank you to everyone for the kind words and positive vibes! I really wasn’t sure what kind of response I would get, but I was overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and support. You are all amazing and I appreciate every last one of you!
My initial idea for this blog was to post every Sunday. Obviously I didn’t make it last Sunday, but that’s because I wanted to wait for today. Yesterday marked a small milestone in my journey to becoming mommy. All of my baseline testing and every check box on my list of things to do before insemination is complete! Below, I will list each step, my cost for that step, and my personal experience with each. Please keep in mind that no two women’s needs will be the same. Not all doctors will charge the same either. I’m just putting my own personal experience out there.
1. New Patient Consultation – $175.00
I am seeing Dr. John Storment at Fertility & Women’s Health Center in Lafayette, LA. I don’t know what else to say except that the man is a wonderful doctor. He is very smart, courteous, patient, willing to listen and explain everything as much as needed to make sure that you are comfortable with the entire process. The website for his practice is fertilityanswers.com. The wait time to see him was about 3 months. He just got a new partner, Dr. Susan Conway. There is little to no wait to see her so if you are in the Lafayette area, and you are more comfortable seeing a woman, or if you don’t want to wait to see Dr. Storment, you may want to make an appointment to see her.
At the initial consultation Dr. Storment introduced himself and the student that was working with him that day. He is a teacher so he often has students with him. If you prefer not to have a student involved you are free to request that they leave the room. I personally don’t mind so she stayed. There was general discussion around what I would like to accomplish, what my concerns are, and what he would like to see me do before the first insemination attempt. Besides the general height/weight/blood pressure, there is no physical exam at the new patient consultation. I was basically given a list of instructions and a pamphlet of information with a request to call the office on the first day of my next period to get the ball rolling on some tests.
2. Weight Loss – $275.00
It was suggested that I lose 8-12 pounds. He suggested that I try a specific diet program called the Medifast Take Shape for Life Program. 8-12 pounds isn’t much. I decided not to spend the $275.00 and lost the weight myself.
3. Pre-Insemination Blood/Urine Tests – This must be completed sometime between days 2-4 of the period cycle. Day one is the first day you start your period. – $500.00-$645.00
I had to put a price range on this because I’m still not sure what the final total will be. I had to pay $500.00 up front on the day of the appointment to draw blood and give urine. Depending on my insurance, I may or may not have to pay an extra $145.00 or so. I did have to fast for 6 hours before the appointment so I scheduled it first thing in the morning. I didn’t see Dr. Storment for this appointment. I only saw the nurses. They are awesome by the way! Here is a list of everything that was checked through blood and urine. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Blood Type, Antibody Screen, CBC w/Diff, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Hepatitis B & C, HIV, Syphilis, Rubella Antibodies, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, Varicella Zoster (the chicken pox virus), and an Ovarian Assessment to let me know if I have a lot of eggs left and if they are in good shape.
All tests came back with good results!
4. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) – This is done sometime between days 5-12 of the period cycle. – $500.00 (Some insurances may cover all or part of this procedure. Mine didn’t cover anything.)
TMI ALERT: If you are not comfortable hearing about female body parts then you should probably skip #4!
Of all the things I had to do, this was the doozy. Different people have different experiences. First I will explain to you what the procedure actually is, then I will tell you MY experience with it.
In this short procedure you lie on an exam table under a fluoroscope (basically a live x-ray machine) while the doctor injects dye into your uterus and fallopian tubes. This test allows the doctor to see if there are any abnormalities in the uterus, and also to see if the fallopian tubes are open all the way through to allow sperm/egg travel between the ovaries and the uterus.
The nurse called in a prescription for me. It was 3 antibiotic pills. I was instructed to take one pill the day before, one pill the day of, and one pill the day after to prevent infection. I was also instructed to take 3 Advil or Tylenol about an hour before the procedure to minimize discomfort. My mom had to drive me to and from the appointment just in case I was cramping too much. After hearing all of this I immediately started researching the procedure to try to figure out exactly how much it would hurt. I can tell you from experience… Don’t bother. No two experiences I found online were the same, and you won’t find any definitive answer. Even so, here’s what happened with me.
I showed up to my appointment before the scheduled time (I was nervous. LOL). After paying for the procedure, I was shown to the room and asked to strip everything below the waist. I was instructed to fill out a short consent form while I waited. When Dr. Storment came in (friendly as always) he gave me a quick run through of what to expect and next thing I knew I was lying back on the exam table lifting my booty for him to slide a wedge under me to tilt my pelvis. He inserted a speculum (no big deal, every woman has had that done at their annual pap smear), and cleaned my cervix with a cotton swab. Next, he put a small catheter inside the opening of my cervix and began injecting the dye through the catheter. There was no pain during the actual procedure, only a little pressure. I was more mesmerized by watching the dye flow through my uterus on the screen than paying attention to anything else. I watched the dye flow all the way through one fallopian tube and spill out the end(which it’s supposed to do), but my heart sank a little when I didn’t see the other tube. It turns out that it was way off to the side so they had to move the x-ray machine and I got to see that my uterus is perfect and BOTH of my tubes are exactly as they should be! I was excited and it didn’t hurt at all. The procedure was very short. I don’t think it took much more than 10-15 minutes. There was some minor bleeding, so I put on a pad, but I figured everything was great and since the procedure didn’t hurt I could go on about my business. Yall… I was WRONG! About two hours later I was hurting pretty bad. I went home and laid down and didn’t get up except to go to the bathroom. My entire abdomen felt so sore. It felt like I had done about 800 sit ups. The next day it still hurt, but not as bad. It just felt more like gas pains. By the third day there was no more pain.
5. Annual Well Woman Exam – $0 (Covered By Insurance)
One of the requirements is to have an up to date pap smear. All women have been there so I’m not going to go into details. I will, however, share the picture I took of what is on the ceiling above the exam table at my OBGYN’s office. I have no idea how I didn’t see this until I was lying back on the table, but it made me laugh out loud at an incredibly awkward time when I shouldn’t have been laughing… Embarrassing!
6. Meet With A Counselor – $225.00
The last thing I needed to check off my list was meeting with a counselor to talk through everything that I am planning on doing to make sure that I understood the short and long term effects that this will have on me and my future child’s life. Dr. Storment referred me to Najwa Dibbs. She was a little difficult to get an appointment with because she was on vacation then was attending a conference. I called twice a week for almost a month until I was on her schedule. I don’t know how long it typically takes to get an appointment, I only know how long it took me. Najwa is a very nice woman and easy to talk to. At the end of the session she gave me a couple things to think about a little more so that I could be prepared to handle them when they come up. Over all it was a positive experience and she is writing a good report to Dr. Storment.
So there you have it! My body is open for baby making business!!! Up to this point everything has cost me $1,400.00 – $1,545.00, but at the end of the day… Being mommy will be priceless! Next, I have to call the doctor on the first day of my next period to start the steps leading to insemination.
Coming Soon! I have invited my Mom to write a guest blog of her thoughts on all of this!
The Fertility Blessing
You know my deep desire for a child. A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image.
Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will.
Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.