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Marriage and Infertility


Of all the posts on APW, the ones about navigating infertility have been some of the most enlightening stories I’ve read. In part because I frankly had no idea the emotional, financial, and logistical difficulties that infertility can present. But also because, as someone who has always had a hard time staring down the prospect of an unknown future, I find a remarkable amount of hope in reading about how other couples are dealing with their own unknowns. So while today’s anonymous post is a lesson in the ridiculous discrimination written into certain insurance policies, it’s also about the natural balance of maintaining a marriage when your world is turned upside down (to which I say, thank you).

—Maddie for Maternity Leave

Marriage and Infertility | A Practical Wedding

When my husband and I married two years ago, we were sure children were part of our future. We both wanted two. We talked about what we might name them, whom they’d favor, all the little things people who want kids dream about. I got off the pill, and a few months later, we started trying.

At first, the trying was magical. It’s an awesome possibility, that a simple act can create a human. But as the months ticked by, I became convinced something was wrong. So after the insurance-mandated year of trying, I saw my doctor, and my husband saw his.

Honestly, it was kind of a relief at first to find out that I was right. It wasn’t that I was too stressed out. (How many couples with fertility issues are told to “just relax,” or that wanting it too hard is making it harder to conceive? Infuriating.) Our problem didn’t fall into the perplexing “unexplained” category into which roughly a third of couples fall. Our problem was quantifiable and clear: my husband wasn’t producing much sperm. Hardly any at all, really.

We were pretty devastated. Both urologists we saw concluded having a baby that was half me, half him would only be possible if my husband underwent expensive, invasive surgery. So we turned our attention to the possibility of having a child with donor sperm. As we learned more about it, we got more and more excited about our future child, and made an appointment at a local fertility clinic to get things rolling.

At the clinic, the doctor thought our plan was sound, and let us know what to expect. But after looking at our paperwork, he disagreed with the urologists. He’s dealt with cases like ours, and he thought traditional IVF—without the invasive surgery—would work for us. All along we were sure it was out of our price range (my insurance does not cover IVF, but it does cover fertility services that can be performed in an office visit, like insemination), but we had the insurance specialist double check that.

She delivered two bombshells.

The first? Yes, my insurance covers office-visit procedures… But not if they involve donor sperm. I never curse in public, but I swore under my breath when she said that, not just for us, but also for the gay couples who want to have children. It’s a shockingly discriminatory policy. Then she took a look at my husband’s coverage. Incredibly, his covered IVF one hundred percent! But. Fertility coverage is only billed through the woman. No matter what. Even if the woman is, by all measures, fertile. So his coverage mattered not one whit.

We left the office feeling absolutely lost. His workplace wouldn’t cover me because I’m covered by my company. (And dropping my coverage wouldn’t be enough to qualify—as long as I’m offered coverage, his company considers me uninsurable.) So we decided to add me to his policy as my secondary insurance coverage, and got excited to start trying for a baby in the new year.

It’s been a roller coaster, and it’s only just begun, really. In September, my husband was laid off, and when reading the fine print as he filled out his COBRA paperwork, we learned the plan to add me to the coverage only would have covered half of the cost of IVF anyway, putting it still far, far out of reach for us.

We feel like our baby keeps getting stolen from us (though I can’t think that, literally, and not laugh, remembering Willow). And there’s a part of me that keeps thinking, if it’s this difficult, should we really keep trying to force it? But then I think of all the uninsured and infertile couples and gay couples out there who want children, and I realize that kind of thinking is ridiculous. But still.

So now we’re watching my fertility window slowly slide shut, and trying to focus on the job search, which is complicated by the fact we hope to find my husband a job that offers IVF coverage, and would cover me, too. Incredibly, that old line about what doesn’t kill you making you stronger seems to apply to us. Don’t get me wrong—it’s not that we just cling to each other and hope for the best. We work hard at making sure we’re both okay, that our marriage is okay. My need to talk through various what-ifs can sound like catastrophizing to him. And his commitment to a positive, hopeful outlook can sound like burying your head in the sand to me. When we’re at our worst, it feels awful, like we’re speaking two different languages. But when we’re at our best—when I remind myself that his optimism is one of the reasons I married him, and he remembers that my organization and reasoning skills make me a good fit for him—the different ways we see things makes for a beautiful balance.

It’s almost too much to fit in my head, really. Thank goodness for our friends and families and their many, many babies. Though their coos and drooly chins and babbles sometimes draw the ache in our hearts into sharper focus, it is far outweighed by the joy we feel when we’re around them. I hope that stays true, no matter what the future holds for us.

Photo by: Kelly Benvenuto Photography (APW Sponsor)

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  • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

    Hugs and all the love to you. May all of this be over soon.
    We are right there with you. We’ve been trying for 2 years, and we are in that unexplained category (which is 10% of the 10% of couples with infertility, so 1% of the total population). As someone with a medical background, not knowing is something I’ve really struggled with but I have to let it go.
    It really is infuriating when people tell you to relax and chill and wait for it to happen, and be patient. We started this journey quite happy about it, I was naive enough to think it could happen on the first try, because I knew my body, my cycle, and physiology oh so well, and then I thought it’d happen after 8 months. I was so hopeful and not stressed at all.
    For the record, it has been proven that stress does not cause infertility, but infertility does cause stress.
    I am finding this to be a huge lesson on not having any control, on letting things be, and being (still) happy, no matter what. It has been very hard to reach this point and I still struggle, and I still have bad days, but hey, last month I didn’t cry and the world did not end when my period came (a huge accomplishment if I can say so myself). I realized that THIS awful thing that is happening to us really does not depend on us. I tried vitamins, vacations, praying, touching saints and the weeping column, I tried volunteering instead of staying at a stressful job, I studied and restudied everything I could, read all the scientific literature I found on the subject, I found out that other than my age (32 now, but I was 30 when we started on this), we do not have 1 single risk factor, I tried not thinking about it…. and then it dawned up on me that we can only do so much, and that’s what we’re at (pursuing treatment and trying to be healthy).
    We will be happy no matter what. Even if it is incredibly, incredibly hard to accept (and I don’t even want to write this) that life might not look like what we always thought.
    All the best wishes to you. Thanks for sharing your story. This stuff needs to be talked about, it can feel so isolating and we tend to think we are the only ones going through this when all we see is babies and pregnant acquaintances around us, but it’s not.

    • ellobie

      Good luck to you (and also you, Amanda!). My husband and I began trying on our honeymoon. I was POSITIVE we would get pregnant right away. Almost exactly 2 years, 4 IUIs, countless shots and 1 mostly-covered-by-insurance-but-still-thousands-of-dollars IVF treatment later, we got lucky. Super duper lucky. We are in the rare unexplained infertility bucket and also in the rare worked-the-first-time IVF bucket. I’m 5 months along now and we are obviously beyond excited.

      Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories. It’s only through being Loud & Proud about it that infertility will become less of a stigma and more comfortable for people to talk about. I am not a shy person and it breaks my heart every time I share my story and another friend steps up and says, “me too.”

      Please keep sharing.

    • Rain Blond

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, it is nearly my story exactly. Your words do help in this isolating process. I am grateful to read them. The very best luck to you, and me, and every couple struggling with this.

    • Bri

      Amanda, your story and the OP’s story sound so much like my own. We started trying at age 32 and 31 (him) which didn’t seem too old, but I was clearly wrong. My RE mocked our “unexplained infertility” by giving me a high-five. I’m now on Cycle 18, just waiting patiently for my next period to start in a few days so we can try IUI for a second time. Unlike you, there hasn’t been a month where I haven’t cried when my period arrived. I cry disgustingly fat and ugly tears every single month. I cried reading every comment on this post. I cried when my cousin had her brother’s surrogate baby this morning. I cried when my BFF’s wife had their second baby last week. I cried when my sister-in-law third-degree’d me into admitting that we weren’t putting off having a baby until my husband finishes graduate school. (That’s the story we’re sticking with for the next year and a half. Of course, she, like everyone else, got pregnant the first month they tried.) I cried when my mother said “I hope I’m a grandmother when I retire.” I even cried when I read there was a royal baby on the way.

      My husband doesn’t want ANYONE to know that we’ve been trying. My BFF knows because I have to confide in someone and my manager knows because I’ve had to take so much time off work for doctor’s appointments. But it’s so hard to do this and feel so alone.

      This IUI is the last one. Everything has been out of pocket though I only had to pay 50% for diagnostic testing. And my husband doesn’t “believe” in IVF and he doesn’t want to adopt so I think we’re just going to be childless. Which breaks my heart.

      • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

        Oh my hearts goes to you. I still think, that no matter what, it can happen. I have talked (slowly) to friends, and to mothers of friends, and back in the day, some women had their babies after 9 years of trying (without access to treatment), for instance a friend was born when her mom was 39 after trying for so long, so even if the path is a lot longer and harder, it can still happen.
        BTW it is only this one month that I managed not to cry… and that’s because I was mostly looking forward to try treatment again. It is a rollercoaster, you hope, then it’s over, then you start again.
        The royal baby also made me cry… and pregnancy announcements are for the least bit bittersweet.
        Playing / taking care of babies of friends and family not though it just makes me believe that one day we will get there. And I really hope you will too, soon. Miracles do happen, we have to believe that, as hard as it is… specially on the second part of any cycle.

      • Author of this post

        Crossing fingers and toes and everything I’ve got for you, Bri. You’re not alone. Hugs hugs hugs.

    • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

      And thanks and good luck and may this end soon for everyone…

  • SassyCupcakes

    I’m so sorry you’ve found yourself in this awful place. I can’t tell you how much I hope the treatment works for you. It’s been eight years for us and it’s been horrible, but there’s been lots and lots of wonderful things too. It doesn’t stop hurting, but I know whatever happens we (and you) will be okay.

    I’ve edited this to add that while our infertility really challenged us early in our marriage, I believe we’ve come out much stronger for it. The first two years were the hardest for us emotionally. It’s not that way for everyone, but for us it forced us to be incredibly vulnerable and open & honest with each other about how we were feeling. Talking about all the most difficult bits helped solidify us as a couple and was good practice for other difficult conversations that have come since. That’s not to say I’m thankful for what we’ve been through, just that it doesn’t have to tear you apart.

    P.S. Our story – I was 21, he was 24. I have PCOS but also had bacterial meningitis as a baby and blew up on low dose Clomid, with only one follicle to show for it. We’re trying to adopt, but it’s been four years so far (adoption in our country is rare and difficult). We do foster which has been incredibly difficult and just as rewarding, but it’s not the same as being parent which is something we do both really want still.

  • Laura

    I am so sorry to hear about all of your troubles. I can’t imagine. All the best of luck to you and your husband as you work through this.

  • Florence

    Lots of hugs to you and hour husband, I really hope the job search will be successful!

    Just sayin’, but as a French citizen I find it shocking that Americans have to pay for infertility treatments themselves. In France we get 6 IUIs, 4 IVFs (sometimes more), donor sperm and donor eggs for free. Seeing as 1 in 8 couples is infertile and pregnancy can reduce the risk of some cancer and help women with endometriosis, it seems like a legitimate public health choice…

    • sarahmrose

      It’s a lot more common in Europe, in part because Europe is a lot more concerned about their shrinking populations, and well, Europe is (basically) socialist.

      • Lou

        Um. Europe is not one big country. It’s arond 50 countries, all with very different politics and policies. Sorry, but saying Europe is basically socialist is incorrect. Sigh.

        • Maddie

          It’s absolutely fine to engage in a discussion about what policies are effective where, but it’s important that we do so in a constructive manner. Please keep tone in mind when replying to comments like this. Thanks!

        • sarahmrose

          I can see that my tone may have come off as flippant, but it wasn’t intended to be so. I’m a Swedish citizen (as well as American), and currently living in France. Between these experiences and my studies and travels, I know well that there is a huge variety in the national politics of European countries.

          By “basically socialist” I meant that, compared to the U.S., European countries (and the European Union, which includes 27 of them) tend to believe a lot more in addressing social and economic issues (like health care, education, housing issues, agricultural and energy development, to name a few) through government programs. In particular as it’s relevant to this post, nearly every single European country has universal health care, though granted, there are variations in how much is covered through the state vs. private contributions/insurance.

          • Kara

            The technical term for what you’re describing (political scientist here) is social democracy, or social democratic states.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      The politics of infertility insurance is just insane here in the States. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve yelled at the TV in the last year because they’ll cover the prevention of a child absolutely free. But I’ve got three inches of insurance paperwork (and that’s just the printed stuff) from the last two years trying to keep everything straight while we try to create a child. We have actually joked in a maybe almost serious way about moving overseas just for the infertility coverage.

      They cover your birth control, your abortion, your viagra, but not your clomid or IVF.

      • J

        Technically they’re only required to cover birth control because of Obamacare, so that’s a recent thing. But yeah to the Viagra coverage!!!

        • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

          Which is why I’ve been doing most of my yelling in the last year.

      • Diane

        One thing I’ve learned from my patients: an awful lot of insurance plans won’t cover your abortion. That is, of course, if you can even find a doctor or clinic who will perform an elective abortion. In a lot of areas, access is quickly accomplishing what groups trying to overturn Roe v Wade have not been able to. What does seem completely crazy to me is how f’d up US society is on social policies related to women, sex and pregnancy/childbirth. But I’ll avoid that rant for now…

  • Anonymous

    I’m so sorry- very best of luck to you. I know you never know about infertility until you try to have a baby. We’re getting married later (34 female/36 male) and we want to give it a year before we try to get pregnant. I keep hearing horror stories and fear-mongering about being 35 and beginning to try for a baby. Do you think it is important to try sooner than we’d like because of age? We have no reason to believe we’d have issues, but you don’t know until you try. Thanks- and very best of luck to the poster.

    • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

      I would say, if you are in a position where you can try, and you *know* that you want biological kids, you should start trying right away. 35 years old is the limit (does not mean it can not happen, just that your odds decrease dramatically), and as someone who on paper does not even have any problem (all the tests have come out perfect, every single one of them, on both of us), has regular cycles, etc, and is going through this hell, you’d be better knowing before, because treatments are also less effective as age increases. (But maybe you don’t want to go that way).
      I do not want to freak you out in any way, just saying that “not appearing to have any issues” does not mean anything. It could go either way. Luckily though, infertility affects 10-15% of the couples so you have high chances of being on the fertile side and will have no trouble. I hope that for you guys.

    • Anonymous

      To start with read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It saved us 6 months because we were able to identify a problem before spending months trying when it wouldn’t have worked.

      • Alice

        Fertilityfriend.com is also super useful for charting. And the forums there are full of charting pros!

        • ellobie

          Ditto to both of these! I started out with fertilityfriend.com and then read Taking Charge. The online bits were a little easier for me to take in than the huge book right at first. Good luck!

          I don’t necessarily agree that you should start right away. It sounds like having the year to yourselves as a couple is important to you. What if you start trying right away and get prego right away? You might end up regretting/resenting that you didn’t give yourself the honeymoon year you’ve both been looking forward to.

          I guess there’s no right answer, you guys just need to figure out what’s right for you.

      • http://fatcarriesflavor.wordpress.com MadGastronomer

        I’m seeing two different books by that title on Amazon. Who’s the author, please?

        • Anon

          Toni Weschler — I want to heartily second (third?) the recommendation for this book. I started reading it well before we wanted to try for a pregnancy, and used it successfully to avoid getting pregnant for nearly a year. When we decided to start trying, it was really reassuring to know some basic facts about my cycle and to identify some potential problems that we could begin addressing.

          Honestly, I think the book should be required reading for all women — those who want children and those who don’t. It gets a little hippy-dippy, earth-goddessy in places, but I was shocked (and horrified!) by how little I truly understood about my body.

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        I keep an eye on our local used bookstore and buy copies to give to friends whenever I see them (which is rather regularly). Check your used bookstore to see if they have it.

    • Alice

      I got married at 24 and had issues when we started ttc at 25 (he 32). And a close friend at 22 and she ultimately did ivf at 25. So… There’s no guarantee ever. Obviously with age fertility declines but At 34 I’d still take the year to just enjoy marriage. At 35, most don’t have significant problems (statistically speaking). And I don’t think there is a significant egg quality drop in a year and ttc when things dont go quite as planned is very hard on a relationship. I mean brutal. Don’t worry about it until you have to and if you are really concerned, get your doc to do a basic blood test measuring fsh levels. I doubt it would be very expensive and it would give you an idea where you’re at ( it won’t detect other issues but egg quality is the main age related issue)

      • Class of 1980

        I agree with getting tested. Then you will know exactly where you’re at. Fertility gradually declines from the late 20s to age 34. At age 35, fertility begins to drop more rapidly.

        Of course, there are individual differences.

        Historical perspective …

        Anon is hearing warning stories because the pendulum swung so far one way, that during the nineties, the media lead women to believe that they could wait until they were 40 if they wanted to. No big deal.

        The reality of the effect of age at conception has only been set straight in recent years, and that message is still relatively new for a lot of people. Hence, it’s being shouted from the mountaintops right now. It may be annoying, but it’s just the pendulum swinging back the other way. It takes a long time for new information to become mainstream.

      • KH_Tas

        I have every suspicion than a good chunk of couples labeled as unable to conceive due to maternal age are really couples who never could have conceived, but labeling it age-related is easy and fits the current ‘media line’

    • Also anon

      Ugh, I’m right there with you. I’m 33, we got married last summer and planning to start trying this summer but I am already full of questions and worries it might not work. I am a planner and it is bothering me that I cannot plan this super important thing in our lives with confidence. We can plan when we start trying but if it doesn’t work right away then I can’t plan when/if it happens.

      I also feel like I am very alone with all these pre-conception questions and worries because it seems I’m suppose to keep the plan/desire to conceive a big secret. I imagine it only gets worse once you actually start trying and are having trouble.

      • ellobie

        Thank goodness for the anonymous internet! There are tons of message boards out there with plenty of women who are happy to help you find the answers you’re looking for. I’m a big planner too, and yes it was more than a little upsetting that my initial plans didn’t work out. But the infertility treatments are pretty regimented and kind of perfect for Type As. There definitely is a science part of the equation.

        After our 4 cycles of injectiions & IUI didn’t work, we decided to go for IVF. The planner in me held out and we took a few months off. I lost some weight (to help make these very expensive attempts more successful), did a LOT of research and we started our IVF in June/July to shoot for a spring baby, which my planner-self is convinced is the best time of year to have a kid.

        There are ways to make life work even when it doesn’t work out the way you originally thought it would. :)

    • http://www.verhext.com tamera

      Talk to your doctor (though when we started at 35, 2 months after getting married, mine said “no problem!” and here we are with no baby 2 years later…)

      The main tests you want to look at are your FSH and progesterone levels. If they’re well within healthy range, why not wait? If not, you are informed to make the decision and can start right away or jump into treatment. At 34, I would not wait without knowing my actual numbers.

      • Class of 1980

        I think the decline at 35 is accurate because there was a change in my cycles when I turned 36.

        Instead of my usual 32-day cycle, it started to vary a bit. I started getting 30-day, 34-day, and 36-day cycles, only to go back to 32-days for a while. I could no longer pinpoint the exact date ahead of time.

        At 54, in spite of going months at a time with no cycle, I still have not quite hit menopause. Yet even with my longer time-frame in getting there, 36 marked the very beginning of a slight wobble in cycles.

        I probably still could have gotten pregnant, but it would have taken longer. I do know that women in their 40s have a somewhat higher than expected incidence of unplanned pregnancies from ditching their birth control though. It gets less and less likely, but not impossible either.

        • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

          It’s not that it’s inaccurate… it is an average, a statistic.
          Of course everyone is different and you do not know if *you* will fall earlier or later in the spectrum .

    • Paranoid Libra

      As a miracle baby of the 80’s just to give you a happy other side story, here is mine. My parents were married in the 70’s. They tried and then went to dr’s and told they were infertile. My parents were just getting ready to prepare for adoption when my mom shockingly became pregnant. She was over the moon. She thought at least I get 1 baby. 2 years later my brother and 4 years after him came me when my mom was 35. Back then though 35 was considered very high risk age in the 80’s. Now its not as risky since technology has come a long way but it is still the age risks start to tick up more.

      And I am sorry to all the couples struggling with this I know these kinds of stories can become irritating, but I think it still can be a good reminder crazy things can happen.

    • http://thecelebrationgirl.com Marcela

      Talk to your doctor and run some tests. When we decided we wanted to start trying I run all tests and we discovered that I had a pollyp in the cervix that needed to be operated and that my prolactin levels were double what they should be. I was 31 at the time and if I had followed traditional advice of “just wait for a year”I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant.
      At the same time, having a baby just because you may not be able afterwards is not a good idea, but you want at least to be as certain as you can possibly be that you are not wasting precious time…

    • Diane

      Bearing in mind that I’m not an ob/gyn, here’s the med school answer to this: your risk of infertility increases as you age. Women over age 35 are labeled “Advanced Maternal Age” (AMA) but it is not, as some perceive, as if there’s this cliff on your 35th birthday. You are unlikely to have a steep decline in fertility at 35 unless you go into menopause rather early. There is growing evidence on the impact of paternal age on health, with studies suggesting a possible link between advanced paternal age and complex, polygenetic diseases such as schizophrenia and autism (but again, statistically the chances that waiting a few months will make any difference are very very low). Would most docs tell you that it’s worth waiting a year to give your marriage that time to grow and strengthen so that you are under less stress and feel more supported during your pregnancy and the beginning of parenting? I think so!

      • Kara

        I think with paternal age, real risks start when the men are 50+…so guys have a little more “free” time.

        Incidentally, many insurance companies allow you to start exploring fertility issues after 6 months instead of a full year if the woman is 35 or over.

  • Alice

    I dealt with a slightly different situation (recurrent loss… You have to have 3 consecutive miscarriages for insurance to pay for testing but after 2, we just paid for it ourselves. Twice was quite enough.) and after my final loss (this story has a happy ending), I got a shirt that said what doesn’t kill you, makes you wish it did. Most people thought it was horrible but it made me laugh and laugh and laugh and at that point I needed that more than anything. It was like I just had reached the stage where there was nothing to do but makes joke of it all or I would have crumbled. And it did ultimately make me stronger and we did ultimately get the baby. Best of luck to you!

    • KB

      I have a morbid sense of humor, so I’m laughing along with you re: the t-shirt slogan :-) Sometimes laughing is the only thing that keeps you from being swallowed by a totally un-funny situation.

    • http://landlockedlove.blogspot.com Kelly

      :::hugs:::

      There’s a really dark story that happened to me and my family the Christmas I was 14 years old. And when people are gathered around in bars during the holiday season, bitching about their dysfunctional families, I always tell this story when it’s my turn. And I tell it as a comedy. Even though it is horrifying. Even though everyone else at the table is sitting open-mouthed in shock. Even though it isn’t funny, not at all, I have to make it funny. Because if I can’t laugh at it, then I can’t handle it. I just can’t. Even sixteen years after the fact. Sometimes we laugh because it’s how we survive.

    • Author of this post

      I so hear you! I have definitely made some jokes that might make people uncomfortable, but sometimes that’s all you can do! Hence the Willow reference. I’m so sorry you had to endure what you did, but thrilled you ultimately got your baby, and some strength, too.

      • Alice

        Totally missed the Willow reference haha. But thank you… And I really hope they stop stealing your baby soon!!! IF is frustrating enough without having to deal with the insurance companies whims.

    • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.com/ Sheryl

      I think the hard stuff gives you a right to make some morbid jokes. When I had my miscarriage one of the first ways I talked about it with a friend involved a really terrible morbid joke. Being able to be funny about it, even if it was morbid, made it easier to talk about.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      Over the course of our infertility our jokes have gotten more and more, shall we say, off color. If our moms heard us talk they’d definitely blush. And I’m sure our grandmas are rolling over in their graves.

      You can’t put your hoo-ha in the air that often and let everyone check you out (while you and your husband are safely behind the paper sheet, which makes no sense, we’re the two that see that part of me the most often) and NOT get a bit whacked in the head.

    • Alice

      I’m glad I’m not alone in my morbid way of dealing with things… I was afraid it might come of as inconsiderate but hey its the truth so I went ahead and posted. And omg for sure Giggles… the number of people that have been all up in my business in the last 2 years is downright indecent.

  • Anonymous

    When I read this I thought someone had stolen my diary and published it. I’m so infuriated with the insurance companies. I’m looking into scholarships for IVF. You might consider the same – the fertility clinic we’ve been going to has a number of options for scholarships.
    I sincerely hope that you continue to feel joy for your friends and family and their babies. I’ve been surprised by what I think it the worst part of all of this – I can’t find it in me be happy for the people I love when they have babies. I hate myself for it, but every time I hear about someone else getting pregnant I just feel pain.

    • ellobie

      Eh, don’t beat yourself up about it. We all deal differently. You might get to the point where you can be happy for others, you might not. Either way is OK. I have been able to get happy for some, but not others. Emotions are weird. Big hugs.

      • Author of this post

        Thank you so much for this suggestion, Anonymous. We have, but so far we haven’t been eligible for anything. BEST of luck to you. And I agree with Ellobie. Please cut yourself a little slack — you’re dealing with plenty as it is! And I definitely know what you mean. I do get a pang with every pregnancy announcement, believe me!

    • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

      I did really well with trying to feel joy for people I knew getting pregnant, until suddenly we were renting out a room in our house to pay for infertility treatments and the unmarried couple came to us the day after signing the lease saying oops she got pregnant, heehee! I have never raged more in my life. I never once felt happy for them when we were living with them. Not one second. And the worst part about that was that in feeling so ugly about it, I felt sadder and angrier with myself. That’s the worst part, I think — trying to be happy for people makes me sad, but being angry and bitter made me unhappy too, and it turned into a sneaky hate spiral. :( It’s so hard to remain outwardly hopeful when inside you’re crumbling, and it continues for what seems like forever and ever. My heart is with you.

      • Diane

        Dude, totally reasonable reaction! Here they’ve signed a lease, and now they’re coming back asking to be let out of it because they just *accidentally* had happen what you’ve been hoping and trying and praying and scrimping and saving and not going on vacation for ages for? I think a primal scream, anger at the universe, and not being able to feel happy for them are the most real, human reactions I can imagine for that. It making you miserable is a different story but I just hope you can let yourself off the hook for not feeling inwardly happy for them. As long as you weren’t a jerk about it…

        • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

          Oh they weren’t asking to be let out of the lease. They were just telling us like oh BTW guess what we just found out. Luckily it was just a 6 month lease and they’re leaving at the end of this month (though I ended up moving out alone actually since I got a job offer far away and so my husband had to stick behind with them while trying to rent out the whole house — it’s suckily complicated what with dealing with infertility in the midst of being apart). When I first heard about their oops, I had a good 15 minutes of scream-crying because they *weren’t* asking to be let out of the lease and they thought it was totally cool. I went to bed every night prior to them moving in hoping they’d ask to be let out. I was never ugly to her face about it, just kept my distance for the months we lived together.

          I figure on the bright side, working with a bevy of pregnant coworkers is a piece of cake in comparison because hey, at least I’m not living with them! In a weird way the experience of living with a pregnant person against my will has enabled me to completely shut off the baby-hurt at work, for the most part . So….tiny silver lining?

      • Jamie

        That sounds horrific. The morning I got back from having a D&C after my second miscarriage (no other kids), I saw that the neighbor who lives above us had a small bump. We haven’t been able to get pregnant again and I’ve had to listen to her newborn cry upstairs for the last four months. I feel so sad, so bitter.

  • http://Www.lauGhterinthelou.com Emma

    I love the way you balanced real and intense feelings with a Willow reference for the win and a nod to the idea that everyone else’s families can bring joy, not just envy and sorrow. Sending positive energy your way!

    • Author of this post

      Thank you so, so much — to you and to everyone else for the support and vibes!

  • Class of 1980

    I’m kind of thinking insurance companies are lagging behind the new reality.

    Infertility has been rising gradually over time due to various factors, and they’re still operating like it’s 25 years or more ago.

    • Septca

      While going through a similar situation, I was told (by my insurance company) that it’s not that they don’t want to cover IVF… it’s that they don’t want to cover twin pregnancies, of which there is a higher risk with IVF. Awesome. Thanks, guys.

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        Israel has overcome that problem by providing as many single-embryo IVF cycles as it takes to get pregnant. Single-embryo transfers have a much lower risk of multiples. But in the states when your insurance or savings account says you only get two tries, you transfer more embryos to up your odds of at least one and at the same time up your odds of multiples. They do things backwards here.

        • Class of 1980

          Interesting. And terrible.

        • dragonzflame

          As I understand it, in the States they also like to do multiple-embryo transfers because, obviously, it increases the success rate, and that’s good for advertising and for business.

  • Granola

    All I can say is that I’m just so sorry. Arbitrary restrictions like this can just be so cruel.

    I hope that things turn out OK, whatever OK eventually means. There are definitely insurance plans that allow one to add a spouse even if they have the option of their own insurance. Hopefully you’ll find one and it’ll have the right coverage. Best of luck. We’re all rooting for you both.

  • KB

    This is what is so frustrating about the sheer bureaucratic nightmare that is insurance claims – even trained lawyers who deal with complicated legalese every day have NO IDEA what the hell anything means when it comes to claim forms, payments, policies, etc. Props to you for sticking with it and finding a solution when it’s so hard.

  • http://www.stitch-witch.net Christina McPants

    As someone who is trying to figure out what insurance companies will and won’t cover for babies… my sympathies. It is ridiculous and it does not make sense. I hate to provide advice (because everyone offers ill informed opinions relentlessly when it comes to your uterus), but I just wanted to mention an option in case you were unaware of it… Does your work provide you with an FSA? It’s an account where they deduct a certain amount from your paycheck pre-tax to a savings account that just goes to medical expenses. I have asked mine repeatedly if donor sperm is included in those expenses and they have said that it is (though, as with all things medical, I never believe them until I see the bill). That could be a good way to try to get started. The current max is $2,500/year and must be used within the calendar year (though there is a grace period). I know with fertility stuff, $2,500 is a drop in the bucket, but it’s a way to get started.

    • Author of this post

      Thank you, Christina — we are just starting to explore this option. I didn’t think, however, that it might be useful for donor sperm! That’s a great thought we’ll be looking into. Thank you, and good luck to you, too.

      • Kara

        Depending on whether you have a normal or high deductible insurance account, health savings accounts are another option–the money doesn’t sunset after the year, but I think they’re post-tax (don’t quote me on that though).

    • http://www.twitter.com/babyinabar Shotgun Shirley

      Also, different companies may have different maximums. Mine’s $5k/year (unless I’m mixing it up with the day care version, which we also use, and is amazing).

      • http://www.stitch-witch.net Christina McPants

        I think you may be mixing it up? I thought the reduction to $2,500 for 2013 was one of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Dependent Care is still $5,000.

        • http://www.twitter.com/babyinabar Shotgun Shirley

          Ahh, that makes sense. Great programs, both, even with the limits, though higher would be nice.

        • Paranoid Libra

          There is FSH and also Health Savings accounts which are different. Those you can keep the money after the end of the year. I just remember hearing about both on a radio program (…ok it was NPR) and can’t fully remember the exact letters but in essence there are 2 different types of these accounts and they offer different benefits of course.

          • Emily

            HSA! I have one. I opened it when I had low-cost, high deductible insurance. The idea is that you can afford the premiums, but if you need to see a doctor, you’re kind of screwed, because you have to pay thousands of dollars before you hit your deductible and coverage kicks in. Hence the need for a health savings account. You can contribute as long as you have high-deductible insurance, but even if you get better insurance, you can still use the money in the account for health expenses.

            I’d be interested to know if the money in an HSA can be used for fertility treatments. If I recall correctly, there are a few weird restrictions.

          • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Basketcase

            Wait, you have health insurance, but ALSO need a savings acount to cover the excess? Insane.
            We have a good public health service here, and DH and I also have two kinds of health insurance, which means that our co-pay on pretty much everything is minimal.
            Sometimes, I am SO glad I dont live in the US.

          • Carly

            Not all HSA (health savings account) and high deductible (HD) plans are the same- I LOVE mine. I work for a public university in the US. The deductible for the plan my husband and I are on is $2500, but the university automatically contributes $2500/year to our Chase HSA. In addition, we put in our own money monthly. This is money that can be used towards most medical expenses (co-pays, dental, vision, Rx, etc- not sure on fertility treatments though), and it’s yours forever. There are many benefits, but mainly you are automatically saving for health-related expenses each month, AND if we hit our $2500 annual deductible (which we never have), most things are covered 100%. So it prevents us from ending up with any astronomical health bills if something were to happen. Even if the university didn’t give us $2500, I would still do it just for the peace of mind. I highly recommend looking into the HSA/HD option.

  • Rella

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have a friend who has been struggling with infertility and miscarriages, and I know she has expressed feeling very alone. I hope that your story is able to help others who are struggling and feeling alone.

    • Author of this post

      Me too. That loneliness is absolutely what made me want to write about it. I wish your friend the very best.

    • http://thecelebrationgirl.com Marcela

      If I can recommend a blog with tons of help for your friend, it would be La Belette rouge. http://labeletterouge.com
      Tracey also lists many blogs and resources on infertility and she wrote an post that all those of us with friends dealing with infertility should read, called 16 things you shouldn’t say to a CNBC (childless not by choice) http://www.designsponge.com/2012/12/biz-ladies-part-3-10-ways-to-finally-finish-your-book.html

  • http://fancystephanie.wordpress.com Stephanie

    It’s maddening isn’t it? And it gets so much worse when everyone else around you is posting pregnancy tests on facebook (“OMG, I can’t believe we got it on our first try!”), and your mother, sister, and best friend are constantly saying, “It will happen when the time is right…” And you vow to your husband over and over that you are NOT putting it on facebook until you are about to give birth, because you are going to be considerate of those struggling to conceive dammit!!

    And then your husband gets laid off from work, and you are desperately hoping that it did NOT stick this time… but wouldn’t that be just so ironic?

  • Anonymous

    I’m so sorry to hear about your infertility issues. My husband and I’s story is very similar, except we have no insurance, so for now it’s mostly just waiting and hoping that we can try again soon. We’ve gotten our hopes up so many times and it’s definitely hard. Something we did find was that some (very few, but still) sites will allow you to purchase donor sperm with or without a doctor for home insemination. The best site we’ve found is http://www.nwcryobank.com/. It’s really a godsend to lesbian couples and those who have issues with doctors or insurance or would rather things be more personal than the doctor’s office setting. Hopefully this info is helpful to you or someone else out there. Good luck!

    • http://www.thequestionnowbecomes.blogspot.com alloallo

      As someone with a lot of experience researching donor sperm and donor conception the one thing I just want to say in relationship to this comment is to make sure this bank/clinic is still covered by the same legal restrictions. In many cases it is the clinic that carries the force of legal weight (i.e. that means your partner and not the donor is the legal guardian) so this would just make me slightly nervous… But if it all checks out then a wonderful option for those who can’t afford to go to a clinic!

    • Author of this post

      Thank you so much — I’ll add this link to my list! And oh, the getting-up of hopes. It’s a heartbreaking cycle. I wish you and your husband the very best, and I hope you take a little bit of comfort knowing we are right. there. with you.

  • Septca

    ((Hugs))

    It took my husband I thirteen cycles to get pregnant with our miracle baby. In our situation, it’s me who has the terrible health (an advanced, aggressive, extremely painful form of endometriosis that every woman in my family has – and that I will unfortunately be passing down to my baby girl), and me who had the invasive, painful surgery before we were successful. If we want more than one kid, we will likely have to do IVF (which, of course!, insurance does not cover).

    Throughout our journey, I found online infertility forums to be absolutely invaluable. My real life friends and family – with their gorgeous honeymoon babies – just didn’t get it and I hated seeing myself as a cold, bitter, stressed out woman who couldn’t get pregnant. My online friends saved me from myself, and likely saved my marriage because they gave me an outlet to vent, to cry, and to rage against the unfairness of this all.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Please remember that you are not alone.

  • http://www.koruwedding.com Koru Kate {Koru Wedding}

    My heart & thoughts are with you! My husband & I got married about two years ago with the same exact plan/dream. One miscarriage & one visit to an infertility doctor later, our dream of having kids sometimes seems impossible. It’s such a struggle & a crazy journey! Know that you are not alone & I am wishing the very best for you & your husband~

  • http://www.thequestionnowbecomes.blogspot.com alloallo

    Thank you for writing this wonderful post. There is so much here that demonstrates how you guys have grown together and learned to communicate as a couple – through some really difficult times. As someone newly pregnant with twins after sperm donor conception (and with a male partner so there’s a lot here I really do get!) I am especially thankful that in this post you’ve clearly thought a lot about all the options out there and really carefully considered them all. I live in the UK so insurance is a different beast, but despite thinking we’d have it so easy with socialized health care it turns out we had to fund almost all the treatment ourselves! There was some that would be covered, but they put in a huge number of restrictions. So sadly not the European promised land I hoped for :)

    In both cases, I think the problem is that infertility is treated like an elective procedure rather than a disease, I found this so hugely frustrating as well. And similarly in our case though it was my husband’s health history that led us there, I was automatically the ‘patient’ and so everything filtered through me. I really hope for you guys that there’s a resolution to all this soon, whichever path you decide to take.

    • Author of this post

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! How exciting. And I think you’re exactly right about the problem – very elegantly put.

    • Anon

      I agree — it is incredibly frustrating that infertility is basically treated like plastic surgery, elective! Yet erectile dysfunction drugs are covered? And don’t get me started on how the current system actually creates higher costs for insurance companies through multiple births, because when you’re paying for it yourself (and maybe can only pay for one attempt), of course you want to try for as many babies as possible in one go.

      I hope the author’s story has a happy ending. We conceived twins (I know) through IVF using donor sperm because my husband has no sperm. We were lucky to have figured out the issue early, or easily could have spent years trying or only looking at potential issues with me. Even my OB/GYN thought we were crazy for wanting to have my husband tested early on in our attempts to make a baby, but agreed to it to “make me feel better.”

  • Elena

    Ohh, this is such a sensitive topic. Thank you for this post.
    I’m getting married next week and we’re planning to start trying for babies next year. I’m 29, he’s 33. But… I’ve had hormones issues since I was 16 – I pretty much don’t get monthly cycles unless I take extra hormones. Until a couple of month it was birth control pill, but I stopped taking it to “clean” my body for the “baby trying” next year. My doctor claims that if I just start taking extra hormone that normalizes my cycles I’ll be all good to go to conceive naturally, but I’m so scared that it might not work as easily as she claims. All these plans I have in my mind of becoming pregnant next year might be at risk and I have so little control over it. It’s scary, it’s hard to think about, and it makes me feel helpless.

    • Author of this post

      Oh Elena, how frustrating! I completely understand that feeling of hopelessness, of having no control… I dearly hope your doctor is right… and that you’re able to enjoy yourself along the way. Good luck!!!

  • http://www.whataboutsara.com SJG

    (((((hugs)))))

  • kayakgirl73

    Infertility is so hard. My husband and I married later in life at 36. I really wanted to wait a year before having kids. He was ready whenever I was ready. we waited a year, I went off BC and my cycles started getting crazy, I went for my annual after about 8 months of just having fun when we felt like it and she offered no tests, only told me what to look for regarding the fertile time of the month. I had scheduled an appointment with her partner several months earlier but that appointment wouldn’t be for another 5 months. When I saw the OB and explained about my very short cycles she immediately sent me for bloodwork. I turned out to have a progesterone issue and was likely not ovulating, we did one Clomid cycle and it didn’t work, so it was off to the RE and all that entails. I may also have a blocked tube. It took about 3 months to get set up from a treatment cycle, I did Clomid again along with injectible drugs, an ovulation trigger shot and then IUI. We were so blessed that it worked. I’m due in about a month, but the process was so hard, even though our road was short (18 months trying). the emotional side is so rough, nothing is like you thought it would be. A phone call from a nurse that your pregnant versus coming up with a fun way to tell your partner.

    We were very lucky with insurance since my employer’s health insurance policy is written out one of the few states that mandate infertility coverage, even then it only covers married couples. Ugh. (FYI it’s Illinois)

  • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

    I’m on my lunch break so I don’t have time to ramble (I know, you all want that so badly, right?) but suffice it to say, I so, so understand this post, and also wanted to thank APW for publishing it in the midst of the babyjoy on the site, because dammit you guys are so KIND it breaks my heart in good ways. Thank you. I love you guys.

    My husband and I have been trying for a little over a year and a half (I’m 26). We’ve had one miscarriage, and I had some basic IUI/diagnostic coverage through my old insurance (though the IUI treatment never worked). Then I got a job offer I couldn’t refuse three hours away. Now I’m living alone, trying to handle this medical crisis in which every day we feel our hearts breaking and breaking and breaking as the future we once thought we would have easily (two kids! living near family! having babies when our friends all have babies! raising kids in the home we bought two years ago!) burns away. And what’s worse, my new insurance covers absolutely nothing. The pain in my chest that started when I finally got my hands on my new benefits handbook hurt like hell.

    I feel like our marriage is so much stronger than we ever thought it could be. Part of that is dealing with a very drawn out depressing medical situation for a long period of time, while now living apart and only seeing each other every so often. Part of it is due to losing the vision of the life we’d worked really hard to build (buying our first home, planning “sibling set” names for the “inevitable” someday that we don’t believe in anymore, etc) disappear. Part of it is feeling so totally, totally alone in our set of real life friends, to the point where we were willing to cut loose and move three hours away.

    This stuff changes you. Breaks your heart a thousand hundred times, sometimes it feels daily. For us, we are closer, we communicate so freely about tough stuff because hell, once you’ve been turkey-basted by a doctor you hate while your husband watches, heck, talking about tough stuff is kind of easy (for me, at least).

    The online community is really tough sometimes too, which is why I really appreciate APW in all of this. I’ve found some of my best infertility support friends here, of all places. And yet, totally unsurprising.

    I love you all, ladies.

    • Ashlie

      Hayley – I’m so glad APW ran your story about bravery. It really, really hit home with me. I can’t imagine going through infertility AND living apart from my husband. That, my friend, is the embodiment of bravery! I have a similar experience in that our marriage is barely a year old and already I feel like it’s 10 times stronger because of our fertility struggle. We had a great first year, and I told my husband when we got the news that this just might be our very first “for worse” time. Even with him being much older than me we both want kids so badly and thought it to be inevitable. There’s no way to explain how bad it hurts when a match is lit and your dream starts to burn right there in front of you. Heartbreak a thousand hundred times, sometimes daily, might come close.

      It’s hard for people around us to understand. Especially friends and family my age (I’m 27) who are all starting families and conceiving with relative ease. For weeks after we first found out I didn’t even want to look at their childrens’ faces. I made excuses not to do things with them for fear of melting down in their presence, seemingly to them at random. So they, while being as gracious and sympathetic as they know how to be, have a hard time fully understanding. It’s nice to connect on this site with people who do.

      Hugs!

  • KW

    My heart goes out to you and I hope that you someday have the family you dream of having, even if it doesn’t happen the way you always thought it would.

  • http://theengineerswife.wordpress.com jenn

    The insurance stuff is something I am completely unfamiliar with (I live in NZ, and we get publicly funded treatments, if you meet the criteria). But the rest of it, I am fairly well aware of.

    We got married in March 2010, and started trying straight after the wedding. I have PCOS, and always knew it would be a hard road, but assumed that, with my husband’s lack of issues, ovulation stimulating drugs would be a “quick fix”. Unfortunately, after 4 rounds of increasing doses of Clomid, and months of fake-hormone craziness, still no result. I’ve lost weight, given up alcohol, coffee, sugar, grains, and legumes. I’ve taken supplements by the bucket load. And still nothing.

    Meanwhile, we’re in the family house we bought, in the place we moved to raise a family, and every single one of my close friends has a baby. It’s depressing. It’s hard. But the challenge has made our marriage stronger, and has helped me focus on what really matters.

    Next step is surgery for me that might help. But we’re also just pulling out of the game and moving to Brunei. Maybe the life of leisure I’ll be leading will kickstart something. Maybe the surgery will work. Maybe we’ll get so caught up in expat life that we won’t care any more. Maybe we’ll come back and try for adoption. But whatever happens, I know we’ll be together, and that’s what really matters. Because, at the end of the day, I know that I’d choose a life with my husband and no baby, rather than a life without him.

    • Author of this post

      ” But whatever happens, I know we’ll be together, and that’s what really matters. Because, at the end of the day, I know that I’d choose a life with my husband and no baby, rather than a life without him.”
      Yes. This. Exactly. And reminding myself of that has really helped on some dark days.

  • MD Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this post – I really, really needed it this week. We got married in the spring and I went off the Pill right away because at 33, I know things are going to get tougher. We took a wait-and-see approach and figured that since things stayed pretty regular we might be in luck. Seven months later, my monthly ovulation checking has shown that I’m somewhat irregular and not ovulating every month. My regular OB/GYN said I have to try for a year before they’ll do anything, so I am going to try another doctor who put a friend on Clomid after a few months of similarly erratic cycles. I like my practice, but I’m frustrated by the suggestion I’m being impatient and don’t know my own body – if I’m not ovulating, then I’m not going to get pregnant folks and waiting a full year isn’t going to change that. Additionally, my husband is on some medication and he’s concerned it could be impacting things too, so we’re both feeling like it’s our fault. Fortunately, we’re talking about it and being supportive of each other.

    Your post prompted me to check out our insurance plans, as we’re federal employees in the midst of “open season” and could change plans if we wanted to. Even with all of the “choice” out there, most plans seemed to cover the testing but not much beyond the Clomid option, which appears on all the drug formularies (not cheap, but at least its partially covered). If you want to do something about it, you’re paying for it yourself (with the exception of 1 local plan that would cover several forms of infertility treatment). Yet as other people pointed out, you can get covered treatment for all sorts of other things, including ED. Sigh.

    My big question for all of you who’ve been going through this process long than me – how do/did you get through it? We’ve just reached the point where we are becoming discouraged and feel like we need medical intervention and it’s scary, painful, and sad. We definitely want a larger family and while we’re open to adoption, we’d really like to have a baby that is a blend of both of us too and the realization that it isn’t going to come easily for us is harder than I thought it would be, to the extent that I completely flipped out on my sister on the phone last night when she innocently asked me questions about possible vacation dates next summer. Coupled with the fact that it’s my favorite holiday season and as much as I want to, I just don’t feel merry or like decorating or baking, things I LOVE doing this time of year. I keep hoping the holiday cheer will help, but so far, no luck.

    Thanks for letting me vent – I really needed this today (and yesterday). APW, I so incredibly appreciate the safe space where we can share joys, sorrows, and frustrations. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Anon

      My one piece of advice: you’re allowed to take breaks. It is such a grind trying to have a baby, charting your temperature or even just paying attention to when you “do the deed”, making sure you don’t drink too much alcohol or do anything that might interfere with your fertility. Take a month or two off. Drink or eat as you normally would, get together with friends, be good to yourself. I think I would have really lost my sanity without that, and we were only trying / going through infertility treatments for about a year.

    • http://theengineerswife.wordpress.com jenn

      To be perfectly honest, the only way I have gotten through it is making peace with the fact that we may never have the family we want. This is not something I wanted to accept early in the process. And I wish there had been another way to get through it. But unfortunately, there just hasn’t been another option for us.

      Failing that, I totally agree on taking breaks. Drop the diet, the tracking, the whatever for a couple of months, and resume when things are feeling a bit more calm.

      Also, distract yourself with other adventures. Consider what life you would want to be living if having kids was not an option. Live that life, and hope the rest falls into place. If we hadn’t done that, I would have lost it completely, I think.

      Finally, remember that this really is hard. You’re not being silly or over-reacting. Accept your feelings, rather than trying to “fix” them. It’s hard. But it’s worth the effort.

      (PS big hugs to you. This stuff sucks. Big time.)

      • MD Anonymous

        I’ve actually been eating normally and not doing anything crazy out of the ordinary – we cook a lot from scratch anyway, and I’ve pretty much confined my drinking (usually just wine) to the week I have my period so I don’t miss it but don’t take unnecessary risks either. We’re planning some travel for next year too (though not cruises, b/c apparently the cruise lines aren’t overly friendly to pregnant women, so we’re holding off on Alaska for a few years).

        I think the harder part for me is the “what if we don’t have any biological kids” part. Years ago, when I did some volunteer work with orphans in an Eastern European orphanage and had not yet my DH, I had decided that I was open to the idea of adopting at least one child and providing a child with a loving home when they might not otherwise have one. After I met my DH, I just assumed that we’d have a biological child as a sibling to the adopted one. The thought that there might not be a biological child in the mix has turned me into an emotional roller coaster this week.

        Thanks Jen & Anon for your words of experience and support!!

  • Lynn

    I wish I’d gotten a chance to read this yesterday. Too busy and too tired.

    We are facing this. I have a women’s group that I post in–a group of good friends–and I said, “If it’s not something that’s easily fixable, then it’s a dream that may have to fade because the reality of our situation is that things like IVF are out of our reach.” One of the friends responded, “I can’t believe you’re willing to give up on this so easily.”

    I felt slapped. It’s not about giving up. I am nothing if not a realist, and I know what our financial picture looks like. We are comfortable, but incurring $20-30K of debt would make us decidedly uncomfortable. The PA wants to think about it, but when he thinks about it, he comes to the same place I do.

    I am saddest for him. He will be an incredible father, and he’s been looking forward to it. He’s struggling with the reality that it may not happen (I have another appointment Monday with a doctor whom I like but who’s office staff has made me incredibly angry and frustrated to discuss what our options reasonably are). It is difficult to watch him struggle with trying to be strong because he thinks that’s what I need from him and the hurt he feels.

    • Author of this post

      Oh Lynn, I completely understand this. After a certain point — for some it’s financial, for some it’s emotional, for some it’s practical — many of us must make the decision to not pursue it anymore. It is NOT giving up, and I would have felt slapped too. And I so, so hear you on the sadness for your husband as a potential father… That rips me up most of all too, I think.

  • Barbara

    My husband and I are currently getting ready to start our first IVF cycle after two surgeries to even get us to this point. Yes, this is all unbelievably expensive.

    There is currently a tax credit bill for infertility treatments that has been introduced in the House and the Senate called the Family Act of 2011. You can see more information about how to support the bill at resolve.org.

  • Anonymous

    This post could not have been more timely. My husband and I just reached the end of our mandatory 1 year trying period and are in the middle of test after costly test to see what might be the issue. I am also the type of person who has always envisioned myself as a mother and doesn’t like the prospect of an incredibly uncertain future, especially in that department.

    My husband underwent treatment for testicular cancer in 2005. His oncologist was confident that it wouldn’t be necessary for him to bank sperm, but now we’re not sure that was the right choice. He is already taking Clomid for low T, and testosterone levels can affect sperm count. We just had his sperm tested and will get the results on Tuesday. Although it hasn’t been surgically diagnosed, all signs point to endometriosis for me, so I’ll be getting that verified as well. We could potentially be facing a double header of fertility hurdles to jump to have our own child. We’re so fortunate to have decent insurance that will cover a good portion of IVF, but it has a lifetime limit that we’ll hit pretty quickly. And, we’re not 100% clear on what exactly is covered.

    The next few weeks are going to be really telling for us in what our familial future looks like. Thank you for writing about your experience and letting those of us potentially facing what you have and are that it is possible to get through it and still have a happy, loving relationship.

    • Author of this post

      Check me, but I *think* lifetime limits go away with the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare). Not sure if that provision is already in place or if it’s being phased in.

      I wish you so, so much luck!

      • Anonymous

        How WONDERFUL that would be! I will double-check that. We just found out that my husband in fact cannot have biological children. We have a long road ahead of us!

        Thank you again for sharing and taking time to reply!

  • http://www.encorebridal.com Julie

    I’m sending positive thoughts your way. We’ve been trying for 6 years and have seen 3 REs, done many many things, and are no closer to knowing the reason for our infertility or what will actually work to bring us a miracle baby. Unfortunately I’m now nearing 40, so it’s only going to get more difficult. We also have not had any insurance coverage for infertility. Even many of the blood tests aren’t covered, so it’s been extremely expensive and difficult.

    • Author of this post

      Oh Julie, that’s so, so tough. Hugs.

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  • Kate

    After 9 years of suffering from secondary infertility I am now almost 6 months pregnant with another baby boy. And I have Prophetess Asheika Stewart to thank!The whole process has it’s ups and downs as anyone having gone through it knows, but Prophetess Asheika Stewart prayed for me and my husband, and gave us her support and every step of the way, she recommended me her herbal pills.
    Prophetess Asheika Stewart did not give me false hope or empty promises and she definitely doesn’t sugar coat things. Instead she called me and give me advise and ask to know how I was feeling, she opened up to reassure me after a small scare, and she always called herself with pertinent news. Her service are warm and kind and understands the sensitivity behind this process. The only thing left to say is thank you, thank you, thank you…For making me a mother again and for giving my son the sibling he’s been longing for!

    you can always visit her on prophetessasheikastewart@yahoo.com

    Christine