We had our initial appointment at the big scary fertility clinic on Friday.
The good news:
The doctor we met with was very sweet. We met with him for about an hour and he talked through the options with us. He talked about the pros and cons of the various routes and left some things (like whether or not to use Clomid) up to us.
The doctor also seemed not bothered by working with a queer couple. When we mentioned that the website doesn’t discuss same-sex couples at all, he seemed genuinely surprised and concerned. He even wrote himself a little post-it note to talk to someone about it.
Being a bit of a control freak, I like the idea of doing more monitoring and being able to tell exactly when Roo ovulates. During our January attempt, the OPK turned positive about a week earlier than usual, and it would have been good to know what was going on in there and whether it was even worth trying that month.
The not-so-good news:
It’s expensive. I knew it would be, but wasn’t sure exactly how much more it would be than what we’ve been doing. Turns out the answer is: a lot. Like about twice as much per cycle as we’re paying now.
They want Roo to have an HSG (x-ray of her tubes) to make sure that they are clear. This seems like a reasonable thing to do (though the fact that Roo got pregnant at least once would suggest that they aren’t totally blocked). But it means that we wouldn’t be able to do an IUI that month. There’s also a whole bunch of other requirements that will take some time (and money) to complete. Because they are a certified fertility center there’s some extra bloodwork and a mandatory counseling session because we’re using donor sperm.
I go back and forth in terms of how I feel about all of this. I like the idea of doing something different. And knowing more about what’s happening in terms developing follicles seems like a good idea (though I have to be sure to remember that just knowing more about it doesn’t actually give us any more control over it).
But I’m feeling despairing about the expense of it all. I got a pretty substantial raise when I got my new job in July, but all of that extra money has gone directly into fertility stuff. And that, plus most of the “extra” money that we had (tax refunds, bonuses, etc.) is all gone too. And to complicate matters, we have an opportunity to take a big trip in June. Roo’s work will pay for her share, but we have to come up with the money for me to go. It feels like we could save up for one cycle with Dr. A, or one cycle with BSFC or our trip. But there’s no way we can do all of them at the same time.
And then there’s the fact that the February cycle is our last chance for timing that will put Roo in the second trimester by the time of our trip. I had horrible “morning” sickness in the first trimester, which makes me very wary of trying to go on our big once-in-a-lifetime adventure with a potentially queasy, exhausted partner.
So our current plan is do another cycle with Dr. A this month. And then we’ll re-evaluate, probably taking a break from TTC between then and our big trip.
At times I want to have a big temper tantrum about how this isn’t fair. I want to stamp my feet and yell. It’s not fair that we’ve had THREE whole attempts and aren’t pregnant. It’s not fair that the process in general costs so much and that the procedure that will get us better odds feels financially out of reach. I have painful twinges of jealousy when I see pregnant women walking down the sidewalk. Two of Roo’s friends have recently found themselves unexpectedly pregnant and it is sometimes hard to talk to them.
I try remember how incredibly lucky we already are. We have an amazing son. Three IUI attempts is really not a lot (I’m very aware that manyof you reading this have been through way more than that). We have a cozy house. We have jobs that we find fulfilling and satisfying most days. We have extended families who are healthy and who support us. We have friends who take good care of us. Right now, Roo is at the grocery store, buying lots of healthy fresh food, (and some not so healthy yummy food.) In the global (and even local) scheme of things we are incredibly privileged.
This jealousy and anger feel unlike me, and I’m not sure what to do with them.. I’m usually someone who is painfully aware of the privilege that I have rather than envious about what I don’t have. I feel guilty about being jealous of others, given all that I have already.
But my desire to have another child is intense. I want to hold a tiny snuggly baby again. I think about the joy that Tadpole has brought to our lives and imagine how much we would enjoy watching another child grow. I imagine checking on two small people at night. I want to see Tadpole interact with a sibling (especially after seeing his reaction to several of his friends’ new siblings). I get scared that the ever-increasing distance in age between Tadpole and a little one will make it hard for them to be close. This desire for a baby is deep and strong and does not like being thwarted. But I need to find a way to hold that strong desire without becoming bitter and mean when things don’t go our way. I’m not sure how to do that yet.