Numbers. Infertility is a numbers game. Cycle day, follicles, eggs retrieved, embryos transferred, mg of meds, vials of injections, follicle size, cost, time of appointments, success rates, cervical lining measurement...well, I think you get the picture. Probably the biggest number looming over most people's heads is the cost. Don't get me started on how absurd medical insurance can be...
When it comes to cost, one interesting aspect of IVF is a program called Attain. Attain is a shared risk program. There are 2 Attain options: 1. You pay one flat rate ($21k) and are able to have up to 3 fresh IVF cycles and 3 frozen cycles; if none of these are successful you are refunded 70% of your cost. 2. You pay one flat rate ($14k) and have 2 fresh and 2 frozen cycles. You can't automatically be accepted into the program, you have to have all your medical paperwork submitted and the company decides if you're faulty uterus is worth the risk. Sounds like some kind of bizarre sorority doesn't it? We thought this sounded like a solid option for us. It helps to ease the pressure of each cycle.
But then came the onslaught of the numbers...the Attain program does not include medications or additional monitoring. The two of these sum up to a neat estimate of about $5k per fresh cycle. A frozen cycle is a clearance cycle and only costs $3k. (Side note-sad when 3k sounds like a clearance deal, but compared to the alternative, sadly, it is) An a la carte IVF cycle costs about $17k for the total package deal (meds, monitoring etc).
And then came the emotional onslaught of numbers...I have been told I am young when it comes to IVF (a lot of the population that attempt this are in their 40's) and I am an ideal candidate for success (when medicated, I can produce a lot of eggs of a decent size and there was that one pregnancy so I CAN get pregnant). The clinic is 1.5 hours away. We've been at this over 3 years. We are both drained from all the appointments, monitoring, needles, stress, and disruption to our lives. Do we want to endure up to 6 cycles of this? That could take years to get through them all!
I've done research on this to see what other people think/have done. (Side note-how did people live before the internet?!) The information available goes both ways...some people say it's a waste of money (if you get preggers on the first IVF cycle that's quite a bit of green gone!), but then again, who the hell cares what it costs to have a child? Can you put a cost on it?! Spending $21k up front plus an addition $5k per cycle sure seems like a lot of money....we're not desperate for a child. A child will not complete our lives, but it would be a fabulous blessing. What to do?
Decisions, decisions. We weighed out our options and decided we were emotionally and financially more comfortable with the a la carte IVF option. We are both avid planners and thrive from direction in our lives. However, we've learned sometimes those plans, no matter how well thought out and organized, sometimes just cannot come to fruition. Screw the planning! There is no telling what will happen in a given day, week or month so I'm adopting the one day at a time philosophy. This was a very difficult decision (these days our lives seem to filled with these), but we hope and pray we have made the right decision. My very wise grandmother once told me to make a decision and to move forward; don't think 'what if we would have made the other decision' because you didn't make the other decision! You made a choice and you need to stand by it, accept it and move forward with that choice. It is one of my favorite pieces of advice from her! Moving forward, I am hoping, hoping so much my heart feels like it may explode sometimes, that this works on our first try. In the meantime, if anyone knows where I can get my hands on one of those trees that money grows from, please let me know ;)
"One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering." --Ida Scott Taylor