13 August 2012

The IVF Experience: How We Got Here

For starters, we never thought we would have to go through IVF. We feared our compromised fertility might one day lead to IVF, but most people don't imagine they will ever have to face this decision. It's expensive, scary, and it is often viewed as "the end" of the fertility treatment line. IVF is a big deal. Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of crap.

Back in February, we learned that IUI #1 did not take. We were both pretty upset, and our doctor was basically like, "IUIs are a waste of time for you. I recommend IVF." At that point, we decided that it was time to take a break, and rediscover ourselves. I was NOT ready for IVF. I started finding things to do with my time other than dread baby showers and cry in my soup over aspects of my life I had no control over. It felt really nice to release myself from the sadness, even if it was only for a short amount of time.

The months between March and June were going amazingly well...until they weren't. I had that ovarian torsion incident, and then we found out I had two new endometriosis cysts (called endometriomas) covering my right ovary. I already have one of those shits on my left ovary. Endometriomas aren't like normal cysts. They don't come and go. They just chill...forever. They are pretty toxic to have around, but it's a catch-22. A doctor can cut them out, but this is bad if you want to get pregnant, because the surgery involves cutting into your ovary and killing off good, healthy eggs. You need eggs to make babies...so yeah.

The surprise arrival of my new endometriomas gave us the swift kick in the ass we needed to get serious and pursue treatment. With no infertility insurance coverage, we couldn't really afford it, but you know the saying "When there's a will, there's a way?" Well, we finally had the will, so we found a way to do it.

The financial aspects of IVF for a couple living without infertility insurance are grueling.  Yes, through some major blessings, we were given a chance to chase our dream of pregnancy and a child. It hurts me to think that not everyone gets this chance. It hurts me to think some couples have to delay treatment for months, maybe even years, to save for just one round of IVF. It hurts me to think L and I may not get this opportunity again in the near future. We are fairly young, and still struggling to get our financial lives in order. $12k-$15k a pop is not affordable in any way, shape, or form. Doctor's appointments and blood tests feel much more significant when you are watching your poor credit card get charged $400 per visit, as opposed to a $15 co-pay (like I usually pay under insurance). Toward the end of treatment, we saw our doctor five times in a week. Ouch.

All in all, IVF is a marathon. It can be daunting, especially if you've never done it. But I'm here to tell you that, if you can somehow figure out the financial part of it, it's do-able, both emotionally and physically. It is a series of hurdles, and it is mostly about getting over one hurdle at a time. We did what we had to do, and we got through it. We did not get the results we had hoped for, which has caused a level of frustration and confusion that I never thought I would reach. But, we remain grateful we got the chance to go further in the process of baby-making than we have ever gone before. That was actually pretty exciting! See? It's not all bad.

Please feel free to ask questions, talk about your experiences, vent, or comment. IVF is not directly a part of most people's lives, but I feel like many of us probably know someone that's gone through it?

NEXT UP...Treatment details and some of my uncensored negativity, I mean, thoughts. Yes, my uncensored thoughts.

 

9 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We went through our first round in June and it was a rough road for me emotionally and mentally. It is a tough decision to make and it is not easy to go through. I used to get upset with my husband saying his part was easy, I was the one who had to take all the meds. But the closer I got to it, I felt ok, I was prepared for what happened but, I was not prepared for it to be cancelled before the trigger.

    That aftermath I was not ready for. While I get the logic (I was getting over stimulated) the emotion was just hard to accept.

    We are fortunate to have insurance cover the treatment due to our state mandate But, I feel so much for those who are not so lucky.

    Hugs, friend.


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  2. Thanks for sharing your journey hon. I hope that all goes well for you guys and that the financial part will work itself out.

    We may have to go the IVF route if naturally doesn't work. I had surgery to remove polyps on my uterine lining and I was diagnosed with hyperplasia. Sigh.

    I really hope a baby is in the very near future for you my friend. HUGS HUGS HUGS

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  3. @Christina: Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I'm so, so sorry you had to cancel before trigger! That is heartbreaking. IVF is such an emotional rollercoaster. The hope builds and builds at each step. But it's equally terrifying, because with each step, there is also the possibility of falling back to square one. At least, that's how I felt during the process. Thinking of you and wishing you only good news in the future. xo

    @Annie: Thanks, Annie! I really hope your surgery is the answer for you guys. Did you have a hysteroscopy? I had a lot of polyps removed during my surgery last year. My doctor didn't really have an answer as to why the polyps were there. She just said, "Your body just really likes making them!" Ummm, ok? But she did say that they were acting as a sort of natural IUD. So after surgery - implantation is very possible, and your fertility goes up! I hope that happens for you, friend. Take care and hugs right back to you. <3

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story with all of us Carly. I can't imaging your heartbreak. My husband andI have also been told "only IVF", but we are doing one more IUI. Mostly because we aren't ready yet, it's such a commitment financially and emotionally. And we have already been through so much. I think of you often and wonder how you are doing. It's good to hear from you and I hope you someday find the peace and contentment all endosisters strive for. Take care of yourself xoxo

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  5. @EndoJoanna: Thank you so much for your kind, supportive words, J! It really means a lot. I think of you often, too. Sending you good thoughts for your IUI! I totally understand not being ready for IVF. It's a big decision. Let me know if you have any questions. Take good care of yourself, too! <3

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  6. Thanks for sharing your experience so openly! I know for many PCOS patients, they consider IVF to be the golden ticket to pregnancy, but like you said, it's a marathon and, while it increases your odds, it's like every other medical science - it comes with no garuntees. Thanks for your openness and your vulnerability! I'm so grateful that I had the chance to share my infertility knowledge w/ my husband before we even got married. It allowed us to set expectations and agree on a plan before we even got to the IVF point. (But, as you've read my blog, it's funny how those things change over time anyway and you need to recheck in w/ your spouse during the process and make sure you're still doing what feels right for your family.) Very few couples get the chance to have those conversations. I know all your readers have appreciated your journey. Myself included!

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  7. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. At 31, I have just been told that our only option in conceiving is IVF due to Stage 1 endometriosis. At 31, you don't expect to receive such a "death sentence". We know that financially, this is not something that we can do right away, but have set a plan in place to hopefully complete our first round within the next 2 years. This entire journey has been exhausting, and at times, extremely overwhelming. It's comforting to know there are others that know what you're going through and know how difficult day-to-day activities can be. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I look forward to reading more!

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  8. Than you for charing your story with us all. We know it can be a highly sensitive topic, but you've really outdone yourself and shared what many couldn't. It's honest and it's from the heart. Very Inspirational.

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  9. That is one significant experience! Sometimes we feel weird when money comes in picture in this process, sometimes people may think like 'the child is bought for this much'. . that could be a weird feeling. But everything has price to pay!

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