Needles, Thermometers and Internet Searches…

This is what it’s come down to… Well, not entirely but for the past few months I have been diligent at waking up at 5:55 am and taking my temperature before I even crack my eyes good enough to remove the crust of last nights slumber from them. I started charting my monthly menstrual cycle in October using a Fertility Friend app on my brand spanking new iPhone 4s. The human body is amazing and charting has further more proved this fact. Each month, my body has been working like everything that I’ve read on the internet about menstrual cycles say it should. For this, I am truly thankful! I, by far, don’t take any of this for granted. Especially after joining serval forums full of women who’s cycles are less than predictable.

So, with things looking up in that department, I figured I should get screened for genetic diseases that I could possibly pass on to my future bundle of joy. I typically get screened for any and all STD’s during my annual pap as routine procedure and since me and the love of my life are monogamous and headed down the aisle there was no worries that my test results would be less than normal. But, genetics is another thing. IF I was married to a MAN and we had fertility issues, my insurance company would cover the cost of everything 100%, but since I’m about to marry a WOMAN, I get zilch… Shoot, they won’t even cover a single woman who wants to get AI (artificial insemination). I mean, it’s bad enough we would have to pay for the all powerful baby juice! But, yeah, insurance companies can be of the devil when they aren’t on your side. I said all of that to get to this point, most insurance companies only pay for genetics testing AFTER you are pregnant, for the most part. If you and your husband are having infertility issues then a genetic work up may be thrown in the package but since I’m marrying a woman and I’m not pregnant yet paying for testing seemed to prove difficult. After calling various labs and asking the out of pocket cost for the genetics test, Milk, that’s what I call my love, and I decided that the screening for Sickle Cell trait was the most beneficial and the cheapest. Thank God!

All of my doctor’s know about our up coming plans and they are all on board and excited! I called my PCP and asked her about getting lab work done for the test, she, in turn, referred me to a genetics counselor who explained to me in detail that most times insurance companies will only pay for genetics screening AFTER you are already pregnant, which in my opinion is stupid! Wouldn’t it be best to know if you carried said gene and then decide not to get pregnant? But, I digress. She told me to give my OB/GYN a call since she no longer specialized in pediatric genetics, but she was very helpful. My last phone call to my OB/GYN was easy enough. I told them I needed a lab write up for sickle cell screening and they faxed it right on over.

The test was easy. The phlebotomist drew 2 tubes of blood while we chatted about pregnancy, my use of a donor, and test results. 3 days later, I was looking down at my test results on my brand spanking new iPhone courtesy of the Gazelle app. To my surprise, I am a carrier of the sickle cell trait. I felt broken. Like something was seriously wrong with me. After being comforted by my family and close friends, Milk made it known that it was a great thing that I was tested. Now, we have to make sure our donor does not carry the trait as well because then our baby would stand a 25% chance of being born with the disease… So, I’m in a better place now. Our donor is set to have his screening done and we, or rather I am still charting diligently!

I’m filling myself with positive energy and baby dust as each day goes by.

Oh, and it appears that my insurance company picked up the check for my screening! #Win

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