|I don't go for artistic subtlety in my clip art.|
Yesterday I got Matt to say we can have another dog if we can’t have a child. True – I was crying and I think he wanted me to shut-up before the Eagles game – but I’ll take what I can get. (And I don’t think I’ll want another dog, but I like to threaten him with it, as in, “All you do is code! All day and all night! Well, if you want to code all day long then I can adopt another dog!”) True, one thing has nothing to do with the other, but I don’t work like that.
Our last IUI result was negative, which of course was expected but I still secretly hope nonetheless. I protect myself by making jokes, brushing off the possibility of pregnancy, but every ting down below makes me stop. And hope. Usually I don’t change my habits after an IUI – if I want to lift a heavy bag I lift it. If I want to drag my bajunk-a-junk on a short jog, I do it. This time I didn’t do any motions that straining my mid-section but, alas, it didn’t work. The upside? At least Matt carried my laundry downstairs.
I’ve been doing well with everything until this week. This week it all hit me: the cost, all the injectables, and what I’m putting my body through. I learned that getting $1,000 worth of meds free was getting three days of meds for free. I need a 10 day supply. Things like that make you suck in your gut and never exhale.
I spent two hours on Wednesday on infertility forums looking for cheap meds sold by women who got pregnant, or who stopped trying. The price differential is staggering, but I didn’t feel comfortable buying who-knows-what and taking that risk. I’m sure that will change a couple months down the road and this becomes old hat. Although, of course, I hope it never does.
An inordinate amount of stress and pain in infertility derives from the cost of it. It’s with this in mind that I want to disclose the money factor – the crux of this insurmountable mountain – that has taken my breath away (oh, and I WISH in the good way!).
My infertility practice has “affordable” rates. The cost of full-stimulation IVF (sans meds and all the extras, and there can be a lot of extras) is $6,500. The practices down the street from me are $10,000. That is why I drive. Anesthesia is separate and comes to $550. The medications are anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 per stimulation cycle (the cycle when they extract your follicles, or, eggs). So, one cycle of IVF, for me, is a cool 10K. That doesn’t include if they find out the sperm cannot penetrate the egg and they have to perform ICSI, which is the intracytoplasmic sperm injection of eggs, at a cost of about $1,100. If I am fortunate and have frozen fertilized eggs, each subsequent cycle with those eggs will be about $3,000 for the medical procedure. At the end of this year my insurance will no longer cover my myriad of monitoring ultrasounds and blood work, and I will have to buy a “package” of 16 services for $1,300. This will hopefully be stretched to last two cycles.
So, you can see, even oodles of money will only get you so far. We refuse to go into debt so we will spend what we have and then – it’s over. We then start saving for adoption. And I type that so easily: “we refuse to go into debt” but how tempting will it be – if it doesn’t work – to say, just one more cycle? One more try because this could be it? And that’s what terrifies me. The emotional tug and pull. I can only hope – if we are not successful – that I am so tired of the poking and prodding, the needles, the driving, that I am at peace with saying, “No more.”
We are not spendthrifts, but when I look at all of this I wonder why we didn’t further alter our spending habits this past year – how can you not? If we didn’t go on our two mini-vacays and I stopped buying that stupid aged Parmesan, and I didn’t go to the gym, and banned Target, could we have saved almost another $5,000? $10,000? Matt reminds me that’s no way to live, which is why we’re starting our budget after the holidays. So come January 1 if you see me buying those heirloom tomatoes or the organic coffee, or good god just heading into Target, give me a good strong slapping so I'll come to my senses. I'll thank you for it.