Sorry for the silence around here lately. The last two weeks have been unbelievably overwhelming and stressful. I thought about posting multiple times but each time realized that either I was so overwhelmed that nothing I could say would come out coherently or that I needed to use the time to take a break from obsessively thinking about things.
The following things have happened in the last two weeks:
Election day! Roo and I stayed up way too late on November 6th. We waited anxiously, consulting various news channels and websites and alternating between excitement and terror. When we finally heard the results in Maine and Maryland we giggled and giggled. It was amazing to watch majorities in 4 states vote in support of marriage equality! And a pro-equality president get re-elected! I was grateful for facebook (not a sentiment I always feel) as we could sit at home in our pajamas while feeling like we were watching the returns with a whole community of our friends. And it was fun to hear friends all over the country starting to plan their weddings.
A meeting with Dr. Y. Our excitement and joy about all of that good news lasted less than 24 hours because the next day we went to BSFC to talk about our next steps. Dr Y’s recommendation was to move straight to IVF. He feels that IUIs with injectibles don’t increase the odds of conception all that much (they go from 15% to 17%, according to him). And they do increase the rate of multiples by a lot (I think it was something like 30% of pregnancies are multiples). So he feels it’s better to save the money that we would have spent on several injectible IUI cycles and put it towards IVF.
Lots of stress about money. The idea of doing a treatment that would give us a better shot at making this work sometime before we are 60 is incredibly appealing. But we have no idea how on earth we could possibly afford IVF. One cycle would be the same price as a car (and we’re going to need a new car in the not-too-distant future, as mine seems to be failing fast). Or we could do the shared risk program, which would give us up to 6 cycles for the price of a really nice car. There’s some financial assistance available, which we have applied for. And they have financing companies to refer us to. But I have no idea how we could afford daycare for two kids plus this new car that we’ll need at some point plus paying back a ginormous fertility loan.
Awkward email conversations. There has been added drama because we talked about our options with my parents, who incredibly generously offerred to help with a chunk of the cost of IVF. Hooray! Fabulous, right? We are very grateful. But since then we’ve had a very awkward and painful email exchange with them which makes us unsure that we feel comfortable accepting their money. My relationship with my parents is complicated enough as it is, do we really want to add the compexity of accepting such a big sum of money? Especially since one of the hardest things about dealing with my parents is their inability to talk about feelings and resolve conflicts? For added fun we’re supposed to spend Thanksgiving with them and a few other family members. Wheeeee!
So we’re still unsure where to go from here. It seems like we have at least four options:
- Accept the money from my parents and hope that we can work out any awkwardness with them. We could start with IVF as soon as January sometime. It would be expensive (since we would still have to cover a part of the cost), but is the route that gives us the best odds of actually someday having another baby.
- Continue with IUIs (maybe with injectibles?) with Roo for a try or two more. We’re out of insurance coverage for this so it wouldn’t be cheap. And we’re not thrilled with the odds that it would give us.
- Switch back to trying with me. This would be the least expensive option since we would be stating over with 6 IUI cycles partially covered by insurance. But it would be really hard on Roo to watch me get pregnant again. And that’s not the route we wanted to go this time around. Plus I feel exhausted just thinking about starting again with IUIs and their dismal success rates. I got lucky and got pregnant on our second cycle of IUIs before, but there’s no guarantee that that would happen this time around, especially since my reproductive system is almost five years older.
- Switch gears completely and look at adoption options. This isn’t high on our list, mostly because it involves starting over with an entirely new (and also unpredictable and potentially-expensive) process.
In this time of Thanksgiving I am grateful for many things including Tadpole (who continues to be adorable and fabulous and sweet) and my relationship with Roo (which feels like one solid thing in the midst of the chaos that surrounds us) and my parents (who love us very much even though our way of being in the world is baffling to them). When I put our lives in a global context, we are incredibly privileged.
But I also feel stuck. I’m angry that Roo’s and my little do-gooder jobs don’t pay well enough to help us afford to make our dreams a reality. And I’m so angry that we’re even in this predicament. This was supposed to work by now, dammit! Why have we had such shitty luck?