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I knew February wouldn't suck

I'd asked my doctor to call to discuss what we'd do in March for my valedictory IUI, and call he did. It was a nice conversation, one of the few times we've spoken when I wasn't seething with hormones, anger, or disappointment.

He asked me how I am. I said I'm feeling great, and incredibly I meant it.

"Did you try this month?" he asked. "Nope!" I said brightly, thinking about how good this break has been for me. Although I've thought every day about what happens next, I've deeply appreciated the luxury of not having to do anything about it.

And I know what happens next; though it took some haggling, I'm happy with what we've decided:

  • Aggressive monitoring. My clinic doesn't usually monitor P4 and LH, but I was insistent on this point — if I'm about to ovulate early, I want to know it so that we can at least try to salvage the cycle. "I'll write 'at patient's request,'" my doctor said. (Perhaps it was an unorthodox demand.) "Yeah, do that," I said pleasantly.

  • Start stims at three amps, then back off to two. Last time I was on three amps the whole time, which might have moved things along too quickly.
And two months after my consultation at Cornell, we finally discussed it in some detail. He asked what we'd do if this IUI didn't pan out, and I told him we planned to try IVF there in May. I explained that at age 33 I didn't feel ready to give up on my own eggs without one more try. He'd do the same, he said, after giving the expected dire warnings about the lack of personal attention. ("I've had that," I said, "...and it hasn't worked," he finished.) In the end, he was warmly supportive of the idea (and nakedly curious about the cost, incidentally), and said they'd be happy to do some initial monitoring locally if I didn't want to spend the whole cycle in New York.

Here's the best part: "We normally charge $500 for that, but we'd waive the charge for you so that we can follow along and see how you respond to their protocol." Free treatment! I feel like I've won the goddamn lottery. I'm not sure I'll take advantage of it, but it's good to have the option, and nice to know that customer loyalty — no matter how ill-advised — entitles me to one tiny perq. After all, every $500 I'm not spending on monitoring I can spend on home diagnostics.