Thursday, March 31, 2011


We are all princesses no matter what life is dealing us and no matter how broken we may feel at times!

"Sisters, we love you. We pray for you. Be strong and of good courage. You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your 'once upon a time' is now."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Your Happily Ever After," Ensign, May 2010, 127

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Asking Questions about Infertility

Now that the doctor’s appointment is scheduled the next step is to write done any questions that you may have. I highly recommend this because once you get in there with the doctor if you don’t have your questions written, you will leave not having them all answered.

One of the main questions that should be asked is, “What is the next step?” Other questions that might be pertinent are:

What tests should be done?

What are my options?

What do you do as a doctor?

(If meeting with an OB/GYN) At what point do I need to see a specialist?

What tests and medication do you recommend?

What do treatments cost?

If they recommend a test, ask them to describe the test and what is going to happen.

What health changes can I make to help my chances of conceiving?

As a couple take the time and figure out what questions are important for you. What might not be important to the wife may be very important for the husband and vice versa. Be prepared and get your questions answered!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Underlying Conditions

There may be some who know that they are going to have problems getting pregnant before they even start. These conditions may have been found during teenage years or because of other problems with the female reproductive system.

During puberty, very irregular periods, painful periods, and the lack of periods are usually reasons for women to see a doctor before they have even become sexually active. These three things are usually indicators that something is not right in the body. These can be related to hormonal imbalances, endometriosis, cysts and other unknown causes.

I know that when women are young one of the first things that doctors will do is to put them on birth control. This can help regulate hormone levels and other factors but a lot of times it is just a band aid to the real problems. This also is a time where a doctor may have discovered some of those underlying problems.

If you have any underlying issues, take the opportunity to address these with your doctor as they may start infertility treatments sooner than later and in the long run not delaying the start of your family.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Yearly exam

This is a post for those that have just started trying or about ready to start trying to have a baby. If you have any concerns about your health before you start trying I would strongly recommend that you go see your doctor and talk to him or her about your reproductive health.

Also if you don’t have any underlying conditions, I would suggest that when you are getting your yearly exam and Pap smear, to at that time see what your doctors policy is on treating infertility issues. This will let you know when he will see you and what he does.

If at this point you haven’t started having your yearly exams, it is imperative that you do. It is a good habit to get into and it will also help make sure that you are healthy. I know how uncomfortable these visits can be but if you do undergo infertility treatments, I will tell you that these yearly exams are probably the least invasive of the tests.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


With insurance figured out and a doctor picked the next step is to schedule an appointment. This week I want to talk about setting the appointment, knowing your history, and preparing to talk to your doctor.

Preparation is the key to getting the answers that you are looking for and going in prepared will get more questions answers and hopefully get you closer to your goal of having a baby.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Take the hubby along

If at any point you don’t understand what the doctor is telling you or why they want you do something, don’t hesitate to ask! You are paying for their time and if they are not willing to keep you informed, it’s time to find another doctor.

Also don’t be afraid to bring your hubby along to all the doctor’s appointments that he can. That will help him feel involved with the process and knowing what is going on. This isn't a one way battle and it is amazing how it can help bring a couple closer together.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Have it your way

There are many different opinions about when you should see a doctor. My thoughts are that if you feel you should talk to or go to a doctor, then you should go. Take charge and know what’s going on. If you see a doctor too early what are you out? Your co-pay and your time but you gain the knowledge of the next step. This is one of the greatest things to have on your side, knowing what to do next.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A hem of hope

I know that I have mentioned this before but since it is one of my favorite bible stories I’m going to mention it again. I love the story of the woman with an issue of blood and how it is applicable to our situation.

This woman “…had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,” (Mark 5:26). When going to doctors you have to still listen to your own body and know that there might be a time where a medical doctor may not be able to help.

Now I am well aware that our medicine is immensely better then what they had at the time of Christ but there are some women that have unexplained infertility or who have been told they may never be able to have children. That is where the woman with an issue of blood comes into play. We all have a choice, we can give up or we can keep on hoping. This woman could have just let her condition dampen her faith but instead she reached out with faith.

When things seem hopeless, sometimes we just have to look for the hem of hope and healing. If we but reach out he will carry us!
(art by James Christensen)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Specialist

After nothing has happened by going to a family doctor or an OB/GYN, the next doctor to visit would be a fertility specialist. These doctors are exactly what they say they are specialists of fertility. They work with both women and men.

Most procedures that require heavy fertility medicine, or that go above the scope of an OBGYN would be completed by a fertility specialist. If you are looking to do intrauterine insemination (IUIs) or In vitro Fertilization, then finding a great fertility doctor is the key!

When looking for a fertility doctor, ask for referrals from friends and also ask to see their success rates. By law these doctors have to publish their IFV success and it is good to review these. Since most insurance companies cover little to know fertility treatments, don’t feel obligated to go to a specific doctor, find the one that will work well for you. You have to be able to connect with not only the doctor but also with the doctors staff. You will probably deal more with the nurses then you will the actual doctor.

Do your research, ask around and don’t be afraid to go somewhere else if you are not happy. It’s your money and your time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Usually after you have seen a family doctor the next doctor you would to go to is an Obstetrician/ Gynecologist or also known as an OB/GYN. Now an OB/GYN is the doctor that specializes in medicine for women.

Wikipedia describes these doctors as, “Obstetrics and gynecology (or obstetrics and gynecology; often abbreviated to OB-GYN, OBG, O&G or Obs & Gynae) are the two surgical–medical specialties dealing with the female reproductive organs in their pregnant and non-pregnant state, respectively, and as such are often combined to form a single medical specialty and postgraduate training program.” In other words the Obstetrics works with a woman’s pregnancy and everything that goes along with that while the gynecologist works with women on anything that is connected to the female reproductive organs.

Some woman when dealing with infertility will skip the family doctor and go straight to their OB/GYN because they specifically work with these issues. This is a good idea especially if you have painful periods, irregular periods, painful intercourse, you’re not ovulating or if you have mid cycle bleeding.

When I finally went to an OB/GYN that is when I felt I finally received some of the answers I was looking for. My doctor didn’t just want to put me on fertility medicine she wanted to figure out what was the cause of my irregular periods and my other problems. This is the point where I came to the understanding that the more I knew about what was going on the more I felt in control over my situation.

Again not all OB/GYNs are the same and each doctor/practice, will do something a little different. Some will do infertility procedures and some wont, but on the bright side most all of them can order for the fertility testing to be done, where or not it is done in house.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Family doctors

Usually when people think about going to the doctor the first person they go to is usually their family doctor or a general practitioner. These are the doctors that could treat anyone from a newborn to someone who is 100 years old but they have not completely specialized in one area. Now these physicians may have a preference as to who they will see and, for example, only like to work with people who are between the age of 18 and 60 with a certain type of insurance, or they may not.

As I mentioned yesterday, not all doctors are created equally, especially when dealing with infertility. Some family doctors won’t treat it at all where others may do limited testing and treatments. When choosing a family doctor or if you already have one, ask them what they do for infertility.

When I first went to see the doctor, he saw my age and my general health and said that he would put me on clomid and that I would just get pregnant. Looking back there were obvious reasons that I wasn’t able to get pregnant but he didn’t want to do any testing to figure that out. The next doctor I went to she was much more interested in finding out what the underlying problems were but I will talk more about her tomorrow.

The biggest thing is to find out what your doctor offers, what he does for infertility, and how long he will treat you before referring you onto the next doctor.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who called for a doctor

Now that we have covered insurance the next step is to learn about the different kinds of doctors that are out there. One thing that I have learned is that not all doctors are created equally and they are only as good as their knowledge and their staff.

This week we will be talking about family doctors, OBGYN’s, fertility specialists and when is the right time to see each one of them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

All wrapped up

The biggest thing when dealing with insurance is to educate yourself and keep very good records. Know what your policy covers and what it doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to take control over the situation. Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask questions of your doctor, your insurance company, and others who may know a bit about insurance.

I know for me, my mom was a great resource for my insurance questions. Find your go to person for your insurance questions and someone who will motivate you to fight any battle that might come!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Be Feisty

At any time when dealing with insurance if you feel like you have been wrongly charged, if something should have been covered, or you just don’t understand what is happening, don’t for one second hesitate to ask or push the issue! Mistakes happen but it is your responsibility to keep an eye out for those mistakes because they happen all the time when dealing with doctors and insurance companies. There has been several times where a 10 min phone call has saved me 200 dollars or more. It is worth it every time.

Another thing that I would suggest is when you know insurance won’t cover a specific procedure, don’t hesitate to ask the doctor how much it will be. That way you can budget for the procedure to be done and not be in trouble when the bill comes in the mail. Planning is one of the best ways to not get frustrated with the system and if things go awry, you are more prepared to handle it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


While reading the Old Testament this week I came across a scripture in Chronicles that talked about keeping the lord involved in your life. If you can keep the lord involved in your life he will be there, no matter how long we forget about him, he is always there to pick up the pieces and no matter what he always forgives a penitent heart. Trust in him, even when it seems like your heart may be breaking because I promise he will put it back together again.

“But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.” (2 Chronicles 15:4).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Is it covered?

What is covered? What is not? Is anything covered? These are usually the biggest question! The first thing to do is look at your Summary Plan Description. This is what you should get whenever you purchase an insurance plan, no matter whether you get it through a private insurer or through work, look at your plan description. If you are lucky and have an electronic file of your plan, in the search field, search for infertility.

Most insurance’s will not cover anything that is billed for the treatment of infertility but there are a few that will pay a certain amount, like $2,500, towards infertility. Insurances that do cover a portion of infertility will most likely have disclaimers that they won’t cover things like In vitro fertilization, GIFT and ZIFT procedures, surrogate pregnancy, sperm banking and reversal of voluntary sterilization. If you have questions about your insurance coverage don’t hesitate to give them a call and see what your coverage is.

Although insurance may not pay for infertility treatments, it is very likely that they will pay for the diagnosing of infertility. They will usually cover the doctor appointments, the blood tests, hormone testing, ultrasounds, and even possibly exploratory laparoscopic surgery. Usually doctors are really good about making sure that when insurance is being billed that they aren’t billing under infertility but under diagnostics. Just make sure to be in control of the situation and ask the doctor what is going on; don’t be afraid to ask!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Insurance and Infertility

When looking at the different insurance options you have to look at what is most important for you and your husband goals to getting pregnant. The nice thing about HMOs is the price factor. Usually, you pay a set price for services offered. The down side to HMOs is the fact you don’t really get a choice in the doctor you see, the time frame in which you get to see a doctor and anytime you need to see a specialist you have to jump through the hoops to get the results you are looking for.

With PPOs typically they are more expensive; you have out of pocket deductibles that you have to meet before insurance will cover your medical expenses. Then it only covers a percentage of the medical expenses. The nice thing about PPOs is that you get to choose your doctors, you have more control over the quickness of the process and I feel like there is a lot more flexibility with PPOs.

I know that when looking at your insurance, you may not have an option to choose between a PPO and a HMO but knowing how to work whatever insurance you have will make the world of infertility that much more manageable.

Monday, March 14, 2011

HMO's and PPO's (warning a long post ;)

The first step to insurance is to figure out the type of insurance that you have. The two most common types of insurance are PPO’s and HMO’s. There are other plans like Health Saving’s plans and Major Medical insurance, but these are not as common as the first two.

So as I was looking for information about PPO and HMO plans I found the best description one I don’t usually like to post this much from one site but I think they describe the difference really well. Tomorrow I will post about why this is important when dealing with infertility.


Most Americans who have health insurance through their employer (and many who are self-insured) are enrolled in some type of a managed care plan - either an HMO or PPO. The most common types of managed care plans are health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Less common are point-of-service (POS) plans that combine the features of an HMO and a PPO.

Managed Care Networks

All managed care plans contract with doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers such as pharmacies, labs, x-ray centers, and medical equipment vendors. This group of contracted health care providers is known as the health plan's "network."

In some types of managed care plans, you may be required to receive all your health care services from a network provider. In other managed care plans, you may be able to receive care from providers who are not part of the network, but you will pay a larger share of the cost to receive those services.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

If you are enrolled in a health maintenance organization (HMO) you will need to receive most or all of your health care from a network provider. HMOs require that you select a primary care physician (PCP) who is responsible for managing and coordinating all of your health care.

Your PCP will serve as your personal doctor to provide all of your basic healthcare services. PCPs include internal medicine physicians, family physicians, and in some HMOs, gynecologists who provide basic healthcare for women. For your children, you can select a pediatrician or a family physician to be their PCP.

If you need care from a physician specialist in the network or a diagnostic service such as a lab test or x-ray, your primary care physician (PCP) will have to provide you with a referral. If you do not have a referral or you choose to go to a doctor outside of your HMO's network, you will most likely have to pay all or most of the cost for that care.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)

A preferred provider organization (PPO) is a health plan that has contracts with a network of "preferred" providers from which you can choose. You do not need to select a PCP and you do not need referrals to see other providers in the network.

If you receive your care from a doctor in the preferred network you will only be responsible for your annual deductable (a feature of some PPOs) and a copayment for your visit. If you get health services from a doctor or hospital that is not in the preferred network (known as going "out-of-network") you will pay a higher amount. And, you will need to pay the doctor directly and file a claim with the PPO to get reimbursed.

How HMOs and PPOs Differ

The following outline compares some of the features of HMOs and PPOs. These are general rules and you should speak with your human resources office at work or directly with your health plan. If you are in the process of deciding between enrolling in a HMO or PPO, you often can compare the plans by going online to the plans' websites to learn about the available benefits and costs.

Which health care providers must I choose?

• HMO: You must choose doctors, hospitals, and other providers in the HMO network.

• PPO: You can choose doctors, hospitals, and other providers from the PPO network or from out-of-network. If you choose an out-of-network provider, you most likely will pay more.

Do I need to have a primary care physician (PCP)?

• HMO: Yes, your HMO will not provide coverage if you do not have a PCP.

• PPO: No, you can receive care from any doctor you choose. But remember, you will pay more if the doctors you choose are not "preferred" providers.

How do I see a specialist?

• HMO: You will need a referral from your PCP to see a specialist (such as a cardiologist or surgeon) except in emergency situations. Your PCP also must refer you to a specialist who is in the HMO network.

• PPO: You do not need a referral to see a specialist. However, some specialists will only see patients who are referred to them by a primary care doctor. And, some PPOs require that you get a prior approval for certain expensive services, such as MRIs.

Do I have to file any insurance claims?

• HMO: All of the providers in the HMO network are required to file a claim to get paid. You do not have to file a claim, and your provider may not charge you directly or send you a bill.

• PPO: If you get your healthcare from a network provider you usually do not need to file a claim. However, if you go out of network for services you may have to pay the provider in full and then file a claim with the PPO to get reimbursed. The money you receive from the PPO will most likely be only part of the bill. You are responsible for any part of the doctor's fee that the PPO does not pay.

How do I pay for services in the network?

• HMO: The only charges you should incur for in-network services are copayments for doctor's visits and other services such as procedures and prescriptions.

• PPO: In most PPO networks you will only be responsible for the copayment. Some PPOs do have an annual deductable for any services, in network or out of network.

How do I pay for services out of the network?

• HMO: Except for certain types of care that may not be available from a network provider, you are not covered for any out-of-network services.

• PPO: If you choose to go outside the PPO network for your care, you will need to pay the provider and then get reimbursed by the PPO. Most likely, you will have to pay an annual deductable and coinsurance. For example, if the out-of-network doctor charged you $200 for a visit, you are responsible for the full amount if you have not met your deductable. If you have met the deductable, the PPO may pay 60%, or $120 and you will pay 40%, or $80.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The world of Insurance

One of the biggest questions about working with infertility is, “How am I going to pay for it?” I feel that it is ridiculous how expensive it can be when you decided to journey down that path of infertility treatment. The thing that is the most frustrating is that there is a constant battle between women and their insurance companies to help pay for these costs.

This week I want to discuss insurance, the different kinds and what to look out for when paying for infertility treatments.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A word of warning

I am a firm believer that knowledge is power but with that knowledge I would like to leave you with a word of caution. Don’t over analyze! It is so easy when learning about different problems that are associated with infertility to try and apply them all to your situation. This knowledge can help you have control over your situation or it can destroy that control.

Please research and learn more about what is going on, but don’t self-diagnose to the point that it drives you crazy. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011


Music in an amazing phenomenon! Music has the possibility of evoking every emotion humanly possible. There have been times where music has brought me to my knees, tears freely falling. At other times, it has caused me to dance around like a crazy person in a state of pure happiness. One of the greatest things about music is that it can touch a soul where word may not be enough.

Throughout my journey of infertility, music has helped to lift a soul torn with grief and to help communicate a greater message then I could have ever received alone. I feel like there were times and are times, when my mind wouldn’t allow the feelings of peace and hope to bring comfort, but music was able to penetrate those walls and touch my souls.

I’m grateful for a God that has such mercy on his children, to create a medium that could bring peace at time when the stubbornness of the natural man can hinder that peace. When on the journey of infertility, don’t forget to open your heart to the music that is all around you because you never know when it will help heal your soul.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

His Time table

I have posted about this before and will probably post about it again and I think that is the case because this is one of my greatest weaknesses. PATIENTS!! Oh I guess it is a lessons that I will be trying to learn for the rest of my life but, at this moment, I’m ok with this trial (ok we’ll see how I feel next week).
"We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait patiently for God's purposes and pattern to unfold in our lives, on His timetable."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Learning about pregnancy

Learn about pregnancy? What? At a time that all you want to be is pregnant you may be thinking that learning about pregnancy may not be the best idea. First off you know yourself best, but learning about what you want to attain helps build your knowledge foundation.

It helps you know what to look for when you do become pregnant and on the flip side it helps you know what other woman are going through. One of the hardest things, I think, is being amongst a lot of pregnant woman and not being able to be pregnant. It doesn’t take away the pain but knowing about pregnancy can help level the playing field when you are around pregnant women talking about being pregnant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Favorite Books

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite books. It was very helpful for me to poor over the books I found at the library and to brows their content. Here are just a few that I enjoyed:

The fertility diet : groundbreaking research reveals natural ways to boost ovulation & improve your chances of getting pregnant
                - by Chavarro, Jorge.

Budgeting for infertility : how to bring home a baby without breaking the bank
                -by Sterling, Evelina Weidman, 1970-

Enhancing fertility : a couple's guide to natural approaches
                - by Meletis, Chris D.

How to get pregnant
                - by Silber, Sherman J.

Infertility : help, hope, and healing
                 -Kerstin Daynes ; [foreword by James S. Heiner].

Monday, March 7, 2011

Favorite websites

When searching about infertility, there is a lot of information out there and sometimes it can be a bit over whelming all the information. I thought I would include some of the websites I liked to look at especially when we first started trying:

Obviously there are a lot more websites out there and whatever your questions may be Google is really your best friend!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Knowelege is Power

Right now I am marveling at how quickly time goes by and at all the things that I have learned since we started our journey of adding a child to our family 5 years ago. When we started trying to have children I was 20 years old and had been married for 6 months. I had stopped taking birth control and started taking prenatal vitamins. At the time, I figured that within a few months we would be pregnant and life would be perfect.

Shortly after we started trying I went down to the school library and checked out every book that they had about pregnancy and spent hours poring over those books. A few of those hours probably should have been better spent on homework but at that time it wasn’t my focus. I wanted to be prepared for pregnancy and wanted to know what to expect. My education at that time wasn’t as much of a priority.

Poor Robert! He heard and so sweetly listened to my findings and crazy ideas. I was a little obsessed about finding out everything I could and I even started collecting baby items for this future child. Little did I know at the time that those items would sit in a box and eventually be given away. All in all there were many of the benefits of all the research I had done. It gave me ideas of how to prepare for not only pregnancy but also for the journey towards fertility.

Knowledge is power and by preparing for infertility it helps lay a foundation from which problems can be solved and to be measured from.

Picture taken from: microsoft clip art.

Finding what works for you

After looking over this week, all I really have to say is find out what works best for you. What works for Robert and I doesn't work for everyone. I guess the most important thing is to protect and strengthen your relationship.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A special day

Today is my wonderful husband’s birthday and as I write this he is a few hundred miles away. Although we weren’t able to spend his actual birthday together we were able to celebrate yesterday. But as I sit here I can’t help but think of all the wonderful times that we have had together: all the tearful, the fearful, the joyful and total blissful moments.

It’s those times that have helped us grow together as a couple and although we are not perfect and have our normal couple issues, the love we have for each other is undeniable and unshakeable. I am so very grateful for my husband and I’m grateful for all 28 years of his life because those years have made him the man he is today. Happy birthday sweetheart!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A wise mother

As we are striving to become mothers ourselves, we can follow the advice one faithful mother gave to her son:

"My mother assured me that if I stayed on the road of truth, even when it seemed hot and dusty, even when there were distractions, the end would be better than the beginning. I will be eternally grateful that Mother told me."

        -Bradley D. Foster, "Mother Told Me," Ensign, May 2010, 100

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Favorite

I too love our date nights! Like Robert said, it really is our time to talk and get to spend time together. It is the time that we take out of our busy lives to just focus on each other.

My favorite dates are the ones that are a bit more spontaneous and not planned out. One of my favorite dates was we decided to just go shoot some hoops. We ended up shooting around, playing a little one on one, flirted, and we also had a really good chance to talk about what was going on in our lives. We really like sports and it was a time where we could do something we enjoyed but there wasn’t any pressure to be anywhere or have things planned.

I think one of the things that I like best about date time is that I get to spend time to get to know my husband. Something that makes me really sad is when I hear about a couple getting divorced because they feel like they changed and grew apart. Dating is a simple way to help couples continue to get to know each other as they do change. We are human and we are in a constant state of change. As we learn, we grow, and we define who we are. We do however; have to make sure that we grow together instead of apart.

I am so grateful for my husband and I look forward to growing old with him.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

His favorite

I really enjoy “Date Night” because it’s time that I get to spend with my incredible wife in which I don’t need to worry about anything but having a great time with her. I’m a simple person, and it doesn’t take a lot for me to be satisfied. One of my favorite dates is when my wife and I go out to eat dinner, and then go see a movie while eating buttery, tasty popcorn. Although I am simple, one of my favorite dates that I had with my wife was even before we got married. I love baseball and I wanted to show my soon-to-be-wife at the time my favorite spot on the diamond. So, I set up a date where I set up a blanket on the top of the pitcher’s mound and we watched a movie on a laptop at night.

Another time, my wife surprised me and gave me the greatest Christmas gift yet. After I had taken my last final exam for school, my wife told me we were going for a drive. Then, after about ½ hour of driving and noticing we were going further and further away from where we lived, my wife told me that we were going to a BYU football bowl game in Las Vegas. So, we drove that day to Las Vegas, spent the night at the Sahara hotel and walked along the strip; then, we spent the next day watching the Las Vegas Bowl in which BYU beat UCLA by blocking a last-second field goal attempt! I know it was a Christmas present, but to me it was a weekend date as well, because I was able to watch a football bowl game with my best friend, my wife!

Even though we lead busy lives with everything we have on our plates, we try to have a “Date Night” at least one night per week where we’re just enjoying each other’s company. It’s my favorite time of the week.

- Robert