Money and Peace

For the most part I can get over the fact that I need medication to decrease my risk of miscarriage, but the thing that I have a hard time not feeling angry about is when the thing that prevents me from doing all that I can is money.  Not that I don’t have the money, but that this stuff costs so much.

There is very little insurance coverage out there for fertility testing and treatments.  We were very fortunate to have had just about the best infertility coverage you could find when we were going through thousands of dollars a month in treatments.  We only had a $20 prescription copay (those injections were thousands).

Since we currently have no worthwhile insurance coverage (thanks, Obama), money has been what has set our limits, and that is very frustrating.  If it wasn’t a factor, I’d just be all like let’s do IVF again.  It’s our option with the highest chance of success.  I probably wouldn’t have said that 6 months ago, but I’m more determined now that this can have a happy ending.

It still may not, but I do not want to have to give up and quit and try to move on because I couldn’t afford a medication.  I thought that was going to be the case up until this morning, in fact, although I hadn’t entirely decided to give up.  Just a month or two until I could come up with the $93 to refill my Femara.

Someone told me that Femara is only $7 at Costco.  WHAT.  How can that be possible?!  I had to check into it.  I can afford $7.  Long story short, it’s true.  I refilled my double Rx for $7.56 this morning.  Today is the day I’d need to start taking it.

I would’ve been crying and jumping for joy if I didn’t have a peace about it.  I’d come to realize in the past few days that God isn’t trying to prevent me from trying to have another baby, he’s just helping me to be patient about it.  “Wait” is the word that has come up again and again in the last 6 months.

So with that in mind, I hope that I can continue to feel peaceful and patient this month.  I want to concentrate on Advent (which, coincidentally, means “waiting”) and Christmas with my family and not OPKs and symptoms.  They need to take a back seat.

 

P.S. While looking for scripture to have B read when we light our Advent candles, I came across this:

Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5

So look at that: I shouldn’t ever feel stupid for continuing to have hope.  This is how I’m able to still have hope.

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“I Don’t Know How to Make Peace with My Infertility”

This was an article I came across today that resonated so much with me.  It is something I have continued to struggle with and do every single day.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-litner/i-dont-know-how-to-make-peace-with-my-infertility_b_8525700.html?ir=Parents&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

This really highlights how it feels:

The agony of infertility runs so deep that I feel irrevocably changed by the experience — so much so that having a baby now almost feels beside the point. How will I ever heal? How will we ever be OK with the hows and whys and buts of it all? My heart feels mashed inside my chest. Could a baby really put it back together again?

And I have learned from experience that the answer is no.  Having M brought me a lot of joy, but it was a separate joy.  It wasn’t one that automatically erased all that had happened because it had been “resolved.”

It can never be resolved.  The pain leaves a profound impact on you, and there is no cure.  I can’t just have a baby no matter how much I want one, no matter how hard I try.

I haven’t entirely put this out there yet, in so many words, but we have been hoping to have another baby.  I’ve had two more miscarriages since this began, including one where I was maxed out on Clomid.  I’m on Femara right now, which I’ve never tried before but it’s expensive and possibly the last option.  Doing IVF again isn’t an option (unless maybe it were magically free).

And so here I am feeling crazy for trying, for hoping maybe this time everything will work out, but it’s not going well.  Sometimes I wonder why I should expect a different result?  I don’t know how I can ever come to terms with it.  It’s the most maddening, heartbreaking position to be in, and I know that it’s very likely at some point soon I’ll have to try to accept giving up and moving on.

Freezer Babies

Yesterday morning we went to pick up our 6 embryos that had been frozen since February.  While I was totally freaking out about that idea when we thought we’d have to do it this past May, I was ok with it now.  Reasons:

  • I had an epiphany recently that they might be like 4-celled embryos with the potential to be a person, but I don’t feel like they have souls because they aren’t inside me, if that makes sense.  I was never sure how I felt about this issue, but I realized if I thought they were truly potential people, then any random egg or sperm would also be a potential person.  Which they are too, of course.  But not really.  Sounds confusing, but it’s all straight in my brain.  Basically since God “knits you together in your mother’s womb” then God only knits you together in your mother’s womb.  In a petri dish is just science being used to help achieve it.
  • We can’t afford the $100/quarterly anymore and no miraculously appearing $100 has been forthcoming.
  • It takes a lot of stress away about the future.  If we saved the embryos, that would mean we for sure would try for a third and do it via FET… the cost of which I have no idea, but I’m sure it’s over $1000, and that’s assuming we’ll still have an insurance that would cover meds and monitoring.  And if we did plan to do that, we’d want to do it ASAP so we could stop paying the cryo fee.  I haven’t asked, but I would say I’m positive that you can’t do FET while breastfeeding.  So I would have to wean earlier than I want (like at 12 months) because we wouldn’t want to keep paying that fee for another 1 1/2 – 2 years.  Ain’t no way.
  • We’re not sure we want a third kid anymore anyway.  Originally that was the plan, but after all of the pain and struggle we went through for a second, we want nothing to do with that process again anytime soon.  I am also terrified of ever having another miscarriage, and to be honest pregnancy wasn’t particularly enjoyable because I was just so worried the whole time and know I always would be.  I feel possibly complete now, although sometimes feel there could be another (boy, I feel like) out there for us. I do wonder if the boy in my head is one that I lost already (like the girl… because M isn’t her), but I don’t know.  The current official plan is to not have another one anytime soon, and when M is 2-3 years maybe feelings will have changed and we can re-discuss then.  Fortunately we have the time to wait like that.  I know one thing, never again would I try without meds, but I don’t want to ever put so much into it either.  Not to mention while we would’ve been fine with twins for #2 and #3, not so sure about risking having #3 and #4.

So you see, this feels right now.  God’s perfect timing strikes again! 🙂  Although when she handed me the paper bag with the little test tubes in it that were still steaming from the liquid nitrogen, I felt choked up.  It was harder to take that bag than I thought too.  I told my husband that it’s just hard after all that money and effort and pain.  But then he held up M who he was carrying in her seat and I was like… yeah, all of that was for her, not for those extra embryos.  And that makes it more than worth it!

When Will it Stop?

I guess I somehow had this expectation that after my baby was born, I would feel healed (as much as I can be) from the 3 previous years.  This is definitely not the case, it turns out.  Things that hurt before still hurt.  Things are still hard and still remind me of my pain.  I know I will always love and miss my babies I’ve lost.  I know over time, like years, it will probably heal enough I won’t cry about stuff.  But I just thought that would be now, and it isn’t.

It’s like I can’t snap myself out of that place where I was, like I’m still in it even though I’m not.  I worried the whole time that I’d feel this way, that I’d feel disconnected and like Meg being here isn’t real.  I guess I don’t feel that way all the time, but enough of the time.  I feel horrible about it, like I don’t love her the way that I should.

My postpartum appointment isn’t until the 21st, but I will say something about the disconnected feeling for sure.  They can get me a counselor/social worker to talk to, and I really feel like I need it.  I wish I had someone to talk to right now… I’m home for this evening by myself, just me and M.  She’s asleep here on my lap, and I’ve been sitting here crying for the last hour and a half.  Ugh.  Actually maybe I should call them sooner to get an appointment.  I don’t know.

ETA: Then she wakes up and gives me a big smile and I feel better. ♥

People Plus Doctor Equals Baby

Sometimes people make comments implying that my baby was conceived in a normal fashion, or I see that implication on supposedly witty onesies online.  It makes me feel awkward because she wasn’t.  I guess I don’t really feel like people would judge me/her for it, at least I’d hope not.  She’s no different than any other baby/person.  But sometimes it just hits me that the concept of just trying to have a baby is not something that we can do.  I mean, we could, but it’s just so risky that I don’t think I could do it again.  I’ve accepted that by now, but sometimes it’s still hard when I think about it.  Anyway.  Just saw this little thing and thought it was cute/amusing:

Another Good SI Article

Just saw someone share this: http://m.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/07/secondary-infertility-increasing?cat=lifeandstyle&type=article

Some of my thoughts on it:

– I really identified with that the author was talking about regarding people assuming if you have one kid, you can have more whenever you choose.  People made comments about how it was about time for me to have another one, or they’d ask if I had “just one?” and then when I said yes they felt some need to justify that “decision” to me, like “that’s probably a better idea in this economy.”  UGH.  And you know, some people choose to only have one child or to have children far apart in age and I’m sure comments like that would bother them a lot too.  People just need to mind their own business!

– Whenever I read stuff about infertility (or in this case secondary infertility) being on the rise, a big contributing factor is inevitably because in general women are having children later.  It does make sense, the longer you wait the likelier it is you’ll have more issues, but it just seems to perpetuate this idea that infertility is something that only “older” moms struggle with.  NOT TRUE.  I’ve been struggling with this since I was 22, and I’m 26 now.  They think if you’re young there shouldn’t be anything wrong with you, which in itself leads to a lot of grief.  It can happen at any age!  I just wish more articles would mention that.

– There was a lot in this article I very much can identify with, like how with secondary infertility you can’t avoid babies and pregnant people as much because your child puts you into those situations–taking them places with other children, where there are other moms.  You have to deal with your child being alone and not having a sibling, and your child asking for a sibling.  You have to deal with everyone around you having second and third babies while you’ve had none.  And for my situation, on top of that last one I also had to deal with everyone having a baby who lived while mine weren’t.

– “…I couldn’t avoid the sense that we were not yet all here, that there was a person missing.”  That is EXACTLY what it feels like every day, and it’s even worse when you also feel like there are 5 other people missing too.

– I also understand the author’s disbelief that IVF was not only an option but a good choice for her because she already had one child.  It does make it harder to understand why your body isn’t working right when it’s worked right once before.  But that’s the route we ended up on too, and I also can’t believe that the baby in me is actually there and real.  I expect, like the author says, I will still feel that way now and then after this baby is here too.

– I really loved the last paragraph, it made me teary.   I also have always found it comforting when I see a mom with children with a bigger age gap, thinking maybe she’s gone through the same thing and I’m not so alone.

God has Great Timing

Also very last minute, making for one emotionally-boggled morning.

So here’s the deal, I have been freaking out for months over the idea that when our initial 3 months of embryo freezing was through, if IVF worked, we’d have to discard them.  We’re not open to donating to a family or scientific research (which was recently legalized here) for various reasons, and I was under the impression it was $100/month to keep them frozen and we just can’t afford that, so our only option was discarding (which legally only you can do yourself and not the clinic).  Ideally we’d keep them frozen until we wanted to do an FET for #3 so we never “wasted” them, or at the very least keep them until I am holding this kid in my arms.  I have cried and struggled through this decision in the last few weeks, telling myself over and over that I knew in the beginning this would be the scenario if it worked, and yet God still was giving me the green light.  So why was I so uncomfortable with it?  I figured it was just because it’s a very sucky decision no matter what.  There are a lot of aspects of IVF that are not black and white or easy.

So anyway, we had our consent to release form signed and notarized yesterday, and today I was going to drop my husband off at work and head on up to turn it in and pick up the embryos, then have lunch with my mother-in-law.  Yesterday we got a bill for the payment due June 1st to keep them frozen.  I didn’t look at it until this morning, 30 minutes before we had to leave, and it very clearly said $100 charged for “Embryo Storage 3 Months.”  O.M.G.  So I was an emotionally confused mess for a few minutes, but I was like we can definitely spare $100 to keep them for 3 more months when I’d feel more “comfortable” making a decision, or even better for another 6 months until after the baby is born.  Yeah, we don’t really have the money, but it’s worth it for that decision.  So I’ve called the lab lady to tell her we’re not coming to pick them up after all, and it gets better.

I called my mother-in-law to tell her we weren’t going to be coming up for lunch (it’s an hour and a half drive).  She was sort of quiet/I could tell something was up when I was explaining everything to her, and then she said oh my gosh, at lunch today I was planning on giving you $100 just to use for anything you needed right now.  WOAH.  So she’s still giving us the $100, but now it will pay for 3 more months of cryo.  Absolutely amazing.  And I am just SO relieved to know it’s only $100/quarter.  That’s $33/month.  If my husband gets a teaching job for next school year, then I don’t see why we couldn’t even keep them frozen until we’d be ready for FET in 2 years or whatever.  Either way, it’s not something I have to decide so soon, and I’m going to try and trust that God will take care of everything again so it will work out the way it’s meant to.

My mom posted this scripture this morning, and I thought it applied quite well to this situation:
“Then Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”” Matt.11:28-30

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