The subject line of my email was “IVF Financial Breakdown” and it was to inquire how much a third invito would cost since this time, we would be completely financially responsible for it all. Oy, I say. Oy.
I received a response that said sonograms, doctor visits, retrieval and transfer would roughly be around $11,000. If we did ICSY, which the doctor already told us we’d have to, that would add on a little over $2000. Then, there’s the cost of all the medications and anesthesia. The more I read, the more I realized that what I wrote in the subject related more to my impending emotional state. I was on the verge of having an actual IVF Financial Breakdown.
We have been putting money aside for awhile now but we estimate that we’re still $5000 short. The more I thought about that, the more I wished I could have given up infertility for Lent.
Just a quick related side note: A girlfriend of mine said to me recently that they like when celebrities who have had fertility issues end up having kids because it makes her more hopeful. To be clear, I deeply respect when any celebrity is open about their struggles to conceive. It lets the ignorant fertile world know that this is a real issue that many people struggle with. So, of course any time anyone who has struggled with infertility is able to have a happy ending, I’m happy for them. However, saying that their success story provides me hope isn’t necessarily accurate as let’s face it -- they can AFFORD hope. They can pay any price to see the best doctors in a timely manner. They have the money to do seven invitros in between record albums. They can pay for the best lawyers to do a quick adoption from the country of their choice. They can hire a woman to carry their twins all while they walk the red carpet. Me? I currently can’t even afford the super nice digital ovulation predication kits.
Anyway, I emailed the clinic back and included my doctor, his assistant and the billings manager. I thanked all of them for giving me the financial information and I explained that we simply couldn’t afford it at this time but I’d be in touch as soon as we got the money. After I hit send, I made a list of all the relatives I have that may have money and who seemed sick the last time I saw them. I made a note to call the select few to tell them how much I’ve always loved them. Hey – don’t judge.
One good thing that came out of my IVF Financial Breakdown was it prompted me to schedule what will now be our third opinion. Sam and I figured that if we’re going to spend our entire savings on something that hasn’t worked for us so far, getting yet another opinion couldn’t hurt. Luckily, the doctor we’re seeing not only came highly recommended but she takes our insurance for the consultation part. We’re seeing her tomorrow morning.
This past weekend, I had a lot of time to think about all of this; the money, getting a third opinion, the last two years, etc. I was on the road and there isn’t much else to do but listen to some music, stare out at the highway ahead of you and wonder what the f*ck is wrong with your uterus.
As some of you know, I perform stand-up comedy from time to time. I haven’t performed for several months now to focus on my reproductive pursuits but when I knew that our last IVF failed, I though some comedy was in order. What better way to get over a recent disappointment then to complain about it to total strangers while they enjoy a two drink minimum?
So I booked a whole bunch of shows and my husband and I drove from one town to another. As I zoned out and looked out the window, images flashed through my head. I saw me on the side of a road looking homeless with a cardboard sign that read, “Will work for hormone shots”.
I remembered the warning label on my progesterone cream that said, “Keep out of reach of children”. Umm, if I HAD children, I wouldn’t need the effen progesterone cream.
I wondered if they’ll ever come out with coupons for fertility. “Clip this coupon for a free HCG shot!”
I don’t know why I can’t get pregnant. I don’t know where I’m going to get $5000 from. I don’t know what went wrong with my most recent IVF and I don’t know if I’m ever going to have kids. My whole existence feels so unclear that I’d actually wear this “question mark body suit” except for the fact that I’d look more like an infertile pickle then The Riddler.
Here’s the thing: I think we all go through periods of denial when dealing with infertility. We think ‘This can’t go on forever! I mean, this is going to work out, right? This is me and I’m fabulous! Of course this is going to end wonderfully!’ And we keep hope alive because we have to. Well, I guess we don’t have to but we do it because we should but if my blog seems a bit more whinier lately (is ‘whinier’ a word?), it’s because I think my denial is wearing off. It’s finally hitting me that this whole ‘getting pregnant thing’ isn’t going well (in case you haven’t noticed). Lord knows I’ve complained about it enough and I’ve certainly had times where I’ve considered what life would be like if I never became a mother but this past weekend while in the car, I found myself thinking, “Jay – You genuinely may not be capable of having children. This may never happen for you.”
Now, as depressing and heavy as that thought is (true or not) and as much as my quest to get pregnant has become like the actual LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy (too long and utterly confusing), I do want to end today’s blog entry on a positive note.
Yes, things are not great right now. Yes, my hope has taken a huge mother f*cking hit and yes, I’m on the verge of losing a butt load of money on something that comes with no guarantees. I admit all this but here are two things I realized this weekend that DON’T suck:
1. One of the best things that hit me this weekend (when I wasn’t thinking of Jim Carrey or that I may forever be barren) is that I may be a pessimist, but I’m at least a pessimist with a great attitude.
And 2. This weekend was the first time I discussed things related to fertility on stage and it was fantastic. I don’t come out and get into all our issues because I’m not sure how much people want to hear about sperm morphology while eating nachos, but I got into it enough where it made me feel free. It was like saying to the world, “This is who I am. This is what I’ve been struggling with and god dammit, we’re all going to laugh at it together.”
And you know what? Everyone did.