Thursday, September 01, 2005

Making the jump

When I opened my paycheck yesterday I had an "oh SHIT" moment. I have those often, if you've noticed.

In addition to the new imposition of city and state income tax, which I've never had to pay in my life (I know, I know - I'm a bad democrat to be bitching about this) - which takes a huge chunk of my salary out... there was a rather high amount coming out for the medical flexible spending account. It was the same amount as last month, but I thought that perhaps they were playing "catch up" with it, since it didn't come out of my first three week's pay. Uh. No.

As it turns out, I'm just a collosal jackass. I elected an amount for the year thinking it was for the Jan - December year, and that any amount that I elected would be prorated for the portion of the year that I was here. Note to self, don't assume things. Mind you, I am a benefits attorney so I should have known better than to assume anything even remotely related to an employee benefits plan.

Nonetheless, the fact is I know have a couple hundred dollars a check coming out of my account. As you may know, any money you do not spend in a flexible spending account before the end of the year is forfeited completely. And you can only spend it on qualifying expenses, like prescription drugs - copayments for medical services, etc.

So I have this giant sum of money now that I have to spend before the end of the year, or it's gone. I was putting off going to the new R.E. because I have a pretty high deductible on my health insurance and didn't want to be paying for everything out of pocket.

There are five R.E.s in the new area that are covered under my health insurance. Two of them are in the same practice - and were the first group that I called. Their receptionist refused to give an appointment until you went to their slick website and dowloaded a bunch of patient information forms, filled them out, and mailed them in to their coordinator - who would then call you to schedule an appointment. I was a little put off by this, but thought I'd give it a shot nonetheless.

I'm mulling it over their website right now. I saw their "success rates" and they are as follows for my age (I'm 26):

<34 years

Liveborn rate/egg retrieval
92/182 (51%)

Liveborn Rate/embryo transfer
92/169 (54%)

What does this mean? Is this good/bad/average? Anyone have any insight? Hmm. Now I'm pissed at them because they require individuals seeking treatment who desire to use donated eggs to be "married." I don't think I'd be comfortable with a doctor who seems to care more about their political/religious beliefs than with simple patient advocacy.

The second place I called was an RE/Midwife/OBGYN practice. All three rolled into one. This has it's definite perks - like the fact that I wouldn't have to switch practices if, and when, the apocalypse is upon us... I mean when I get pregnant. (WHEN. not if. must keep reminding myself to "think happy thoughts"). However - there would also be definite suckage for this as well - such as being in an R.E.'s office after another failed cycle and being forced to look at plump round pregnant bellies.

Hmmm. What are your thoughts? Any advice?


At 9:32 PM, Blogger Cass said...

I'm looking at two clinics right now, too. All I can suggest at this point is that it may be worth going for a consult with each of them. (If you don't want to spring for that, even stopping by the office to pick up some information or forms might give you a preliminary taste of the place.) You can compare clinic success rates at the CDC website ( if you haven't already. It also may be useful to read the section that explains why the statistics don't tell the whole story.

Also, my old RE shared offices with an OBGYN practice, and I didn't like the overwhelming display of pregnant bellies paired with my frustrating ultrasounds and the like. Not fun. I know it doesn't bother everyone to the same degree, though, so you'll have to think about it for yourself (obviously).

Good luck with the decision!

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Toni said...

Success rates are misleading. I read an article when I started doing research on IVF - said that some of the centers - to boost their IVF rates - only take the patients that they think will work. Those centers that take just about everyone - their rates tend to be lower.

I would look for a doctor that you are comfortable with - someone that you don't think you'll second guess. It's a difficult process - even if you never get to IVF (and I pray you don't). You gotta trust the doctor :)

Hope this helps.

Oh - I have posted by picture a couple of times - but I'm not extensively read. If I had 40MM people looking at my blog, I think I'd be a lot less likely to do it.

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous T said...

I don't know if you've already selected your clinic, but Toni definitely has a point on the cherry picking. Not an issue if you have high fsh like me!

I would suggest going to a site like, by state and seeing if someone there has either recommendations or knows about the clinic you're thinking about. That would definitely give you insight from a patient perspective. Good luck!


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