Saturday, October 31, 2009

Well, I guess I asked for this

I opened the door.

Let me just say this, and let's not speak of it anymore, okay?

1. Money is an issue. As grad students, we used some loans to help pay for the fertility treatments we received. Even now that C is gainfully employed and we are paying back some of his loans (going back to undergrad) we are still not solvent enough to lay out cash for endless and/or expensive treatments. Even with insurance that theoretically pays 50% for treatments. Up to $10k. Lifetime. Since we were able to get pg doing IUI, getting good, personalized care from a highly respected physician in the field, in the area. IVF does sometimes improve conception odds, usually, but does not improve chances of sustained pregnancy.

Further, we are considering at least a $15k investment in one cycle of IVF. Considering my history and medical conditions, I hardly think we would be eligible for some sort of money-back plan. With 50% coverage, that is at least $7k that we have to pay out of pocket. And I am still a graduate student.

Also, when do we start saving for adoption? How do we pay for that once we've taken that leap?

2. Medical care is an issue. This doctor, though he no longer does IVF, is one of the few doctors in this area -- that I have found -- that has talked to my husband and me like we are intelligent people, individuals. Partners in care. When we lost the boys, every single doctor, in "excellent" medical facilities, in the city, "wished" they had a "crystal ball." None offered any explanation except fluke. None offered any insight or honest support in helping us make our decisions. While we were trying the first time, we met with another clinic, with which we had a very poor experience. Forgive me, I liked to be talked to as an equal, not as a silly, emotional woman, who just needs to listen to her doctor. Yes, I am a bit gun shy. However, spending an hour on the phone with a doctor (from out of town) who knows what he's talking about -- and knows how to talk to us like intelligent human beings -- gave me answers and peace of mind that a half a dozen local doctors (not my RE) could not.

Further, local IVF clinics have little experience (according to SART) with women my age with issues that we have (both male and female problems).

3. The IVF experience. Even more drugs. Even more money. Even more physical and emotional commitment, with daily ultrasounds, blood draws and assembly line experience. In case the whole thing isn't hard enough. Also, I got OHSS with clomid. And with conservative injectible cycles. Trying to get many more eggs just puts me at higher risk. Which, of course, can be prevented to some extent. Of course, FET cycles are generally less successful than fresh.

In light of the last two cycles, we are having a consult with the doctor. We will take into consideration what he has to say. Of course, we will.

If we begin to seriously consider IVF, which we are, in fact, open to, we will also consider clinics around the country, as other local places do not seem to fit for us. Better facilities means more cost, more travel expenses. More time and emotional costs.

My sister remarked recently that seeing as I stim so well, one cycle wouldn't necessarily be one transfer. I agree. And if we want to try to have more than one child, that would come in handy, in theory. If we had any embryos left. There are a lot of ifs.

As I think Luna mentioned, yes, many choices have been considered. And this is what we chose to go with, at least to begin our TTC process again: In a place where we feel supported, and respected. A place where we feel that we have at least a decent chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy. I could not go back to being just a number, a p.i.t.a., needy patient right off the bat.

Did I miss anything? I don't think so. These are the big issues for us. We are working through them, we are considering all of our options.

Feel free to comment. Get it out. Then, let us not talk of it again.


Mrs. Spit said...

I just have to say this:

Frankly Sue, what you do, and do not do is none of my business. You don't have to explain or defend. I'm not entitled to it, it's NONE of my business, and I don't want you to feel like you have to answer rude and intrusive questions.

The answer to any personal question is always "Why on earth would you want to know the answer to such a personal question. Shame on you."

Sara said...

My only thought is I wish I knew why this all has to be so damn hard, exhausting and expensive. And that I know damn well that you're doing everything you can think of and more. I only wish I did have some obvious answer that would magically solve it all.

Betty M said...

Your list takes me back to my own fertility journey. All those things and more. It shouldn't have to be this way, it really shouldn't.

Victoria said...

You can and should only do what you can do when you want to do it. No one (here, or IRL) is deserving of an answer as to why.

I have followed your blog for a long time and I wish and pray for you to be on the other side of this struggle; having the family you are doing your darnedest to have.

Having only done 2 IUIs (and more IVFs that I care to mention) myself, one of the benefits to IVF (even if you don't do PGD) is that you get to see your eggs and their quality AND you get to see how they fertilize and grow. Now, that's not a perfect science, and the loss of your boys was tragically something of it's own, but having had other early term losses, knowing something about your eggs and the quality of the embryos may be another piece of the puzzle that helps bring a pregnancy and live birth to fruition.
And, FWIW, even if you sometimes don't feel it, you have amazing strength, tenacity, and perseverance and I am humbled to even be able to support you, mostly anonymously and from afar.

Anonymous said...

everything i am trying to say sounds bossy or definitive or insensitive. and i don't in fact feel any of those things. so how about, we (your readers) know this is shitty and we love you and support you and want for you what you want. and are powerless to help you get there.

much love,

CLC said...

I must have missed a post, but you don't have to defend your choices here. We all make the best decisions we can with the information we have. Please don't feel the need to justify any of your choices when it comes to this difficult process. As Victoria said, I too pray to see you get through this struggle.

loribeth said...

I never did IVF either -- for all the reasons you mentioned & more. Three IUIs with injectables (plus several previous cycles of clomid only) was enough for me. To each their own!