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.