The fact is that if my husband and I want to continue to pursue a medical solution to our infertility, IVF with ICSI is the first, last, and only stop on the train. Our RE feels strongly that IUI is not a good option for us:
- Either my husband’s sperm is in a lot better shape than the last SA showed, in which case we should be able to conceive naturally in the next few months with no fibroids in the way, or…
- The SA was accurate, in which case IUI wouldn’t help the sperm penetrate the egg.
So it’s all the eggs in one basket, so to speak, if we want to proceed.
There are lots of reasons why I don’t want to do this, and only some of them are insane. The first reasons below are not the most important–they are the easiest to explain and talk about. The last reasons are not the least important–they are the murkiest and craziest.
I’ve said before that IVF is out of reach for us financially. I am grateful for my health insurance, which covered my myomectomy, but it won’t cover any infertility treatments at all. The $14,000 that our clinic estimates for one cycle would have to come from somewhere, and that represents more than half of our combined annual income at this point.* If we decided that IVF was something we needed to do, we could maybe have one try at it with some significant financial help from my mother and possibly a bank loan through our clinic’s financial office. Or if we were really determined we could put it on a credit card and pay it off for the rest of our lives.
I guess the point is that if we are going to be financially responsible at all, we cannot afford this; but if we were to decide that one shot at IVF was worth being in debt for the rest of forever, we could probably do it.
There would be a lot riding on that one shot. Which brings me to my next set of reasons.
As is evidenced by my entire blogging oeuvre, I am a fucking basket case.**
I have watched so many of you go through this process through your blogs, and it’s a hugely intense experience that I just don’t think I would be able to take. I don’t think my husband fully understands that it’s not just the retrieval and the transfer. How will my body handle the injections? How many follicles will there be? How many eggs will we retrieve? Will any of them fertilize? Will any of those become transferrable embryos? Will any of them make it to blast? How many will we transfer? Will there be any to freeze? And what will we do with the frozen embryos if our cycle is successful? If it’s not?
I don’t even want to talk about the 2ww.
Every single one of those steps is a Moment Of Truth. I don’t think I can jump from Important Milestone to Important Milestone like that on a daily basis.
And then what if it fails?
If we were to do this, we would really only have one shot. It feels like gambling with our entire lives, and I have a hard time even imagining that there could be a baby at the end of the process. Which brings me to my last set of reasons.
This last one is hard to admit, though I think it has been waiting to bubble up to the surface for a while.
Deep down in my soul I don’t think I believe any longer that I am capable of being pregnant. Somewhere along the way I have lost hope. What the fuck would be the point of IVF if I don’t even really believe it can work?
I know that this is insane. I know that sans fibroids, there is no reason to believe there is anything physically wrong with me.
*I am a little nervous to put that number out there because I’m afraid that it will make some people think that at that income level we have no business being parents–but lots of families make it on less, we live in a place with a relatively low cost of living, and there is a difference between being able to support a child and having $14,000 to shell out before he/she is even born. Some people like to talk about birth expenses as an analogue to IVF costs, but the fact is that the birth expenses will be covered by insurance, while the IVF costs will not. We can afford our hospital copays.
**Which, again, makes me wonder what, exactly, it is that I think qualifies me to be a parent in the first place.