Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Some FAQ's {regarding infertility}

I've personally been asked more than a handful of times in the past week "do you have any kids?" or "why don't you have any kids?". I understand why I'm asked, people are curious and it's usually a pretty innocent question. But the answer never fails to make people uncomfortable. It's illogical: you work with kids (ages 3-75) & you're married so you must have kids...nope. And that baffles most, but no one more that Joseph & I. So with the recent up-tick in questions it seems like the right time to answer some questions.

Q: It's been more than a year post surgery, why haven't you conceived yet?
A: Not sure. We're "trying" , but the real focus has been on making sure that I am healthy and "regular". And we haven't pursued anything as far as fertility treatments.

Q: Why haven't you looking into/ had fertility treatments?
A: Short answer- I'm uninsured.

Q: Why don't you have insurance?
A: We can't afford it (for me). Joseph is fully covered through medicare parts A,B & D, we can't afford not to have him insured. But unfortunately even with obamacare it's just too darn expensive, and I do not qualify for Medicaid because I "make too much $" and I am not pregnant. It's a lose-lose situation for me. Even if I had insurance it wouldn't cover the tests, procedures or surgeries I may need, insurance typically only helps after a loss or complication.

Q:Why don't you "just"_____________??
A: First, I do not believe that you can "just" anything in relation to infertility. Treating infertility is mentally, physically, financially & emotionally taxing- not to mention the stress it puts on your marriage. We know, been there and we've done everything short of IUI, IVF, or adoption.

Once upon a time we had an approved adoption home study, but this was before Joseph lost (most of his) vision, his job and decreased mobility with his legs.

So, no we can't "just" (fertility treatments/ adopt) it's infinitely more complicated than "just" do this, or "just" do that.

Q: How about adoption?
A: We haven't ruled out the possibility of biological children, but we would absolutely adopt.

Please understand that adoption isn't a cure for infertility, it "cures" childlessness but not my inability to (thus far) have children. {FYI: We concieved and lost our 4th baby while doing adoption paperwork & classes- not a "cure"} It's also a long and intense process: paperwork, classes, interviews, home visit, finger printing, background checks, personal reference letters, online profiles, networking.. and more I know that I am forgetting. And it's not cheap. We love adoption, we haven't ruled out that option, but it's not what we're currently looking to pursue.

Q: How much does adoption or fertility treatments cost?
A: Short Answer- tens of thousands of dollars. But there are a lot of factors that go into the cost for with option.

Q: Who's "fault" is it that you haven't been able to conceive?
A: We have conceived, at least 4 times that we know of. I haven't been able to carry past the 1st trimester. Abnormalities have been discovered in my "lady bits" so... me, it's "my fault".

**WARNING** gory details:

-My uterus was sort of heart shaped and my fallopian tubes were completely blocked by scar tissue, prior to my 2008 surgery.

-We know that my uterus is small, and tipped toward my back.

- I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. (PCOS)

- 4 years ago we found out that I have Celiac Disease, after going gluten free I have had BIG improvements to my health overall (less headaches/ migraines, rashes, stomach issues & so much more energy) as well improvements with my PCOS

-the current theory is that I have an MTHFR mutation, meaning that my body doesn't use folic acid correctly, and can cause multiple miscarriages as well as a number of other health issues.

Q: Are you looking into doing fertility treatments?
A: Yes, we are beginning to look into what tests & procedures we'd need to do (or repeat). What Doctors to sees & importantly the cost....

so far:

MTHFR blood test: $316.05, Treatment= L-Methylfolate multi- vitamin. We opted (under the guidance of my Dr.), to skip the test and try out the vitamins, using free samples. I've been taking them for 1 week now.

Hysteroscopy: Procedure where a thin lighted tube is inserted in the vagina to examine the cervix and inside the uterus. We discussed repeating this test, but I technically just had one done during my D&C / polypectomy in Nov. 2015

Hysterosalingogram (HSG): $2,132, it's an x-ray test to see whether the fallopian tubes are open & if the inside of the uterus is normal. {My 2007 HSG showed completely blocked fallopian tubes.}

The HSG would be the test I'd have done, before seeing the fertility specialist.

Q: So, what's the plan?
A: For now take the vitamins & explore our financial options with the hospital, probably have our consultation with the fertility clinic. A consultantation during which I'd like to get a "road map" of treatments/ procedures (all worst- case scenerios) and cost at each step, all the way to IVF. That way we can plan for and save money or fundraise to pay for it. I've been looking at getting a 2nd job so we can pay off some debts and save $ for fertility treatments, but honestly things for our home might come first (i.e.: gutters, patio cover & new carpet)

So in reality we need to be in a better position financially to really move forward. The job I'm thinking about would be more full-time in the summer, when my student load is low. Then staying on part-time during the school year, when I'm more in demand. Joseph & I have also discussed fundraisers that we could do to help raise the $ for fertility treatments. I guess you'd say that we are in the "exploring our options" phase.

It feels like you're standing on the high dive, calculating the distance to the water, depth of the water & evaluating if it's worth the risk of jumping off the platform: becoming airborne, bracing for impact with the surface of the water & the danger of drowning once immersed. There is one important difference between diving into fertility treatments in 2006-10 and now is that we've been there, we've already experienced so much of what we'd need to do again & so we know what we'd be getting ourselves into, rather than the fear and uncertainty of the first time around.

1 comment:

Anaise said...

Well said. This is a brave post to put all this out there. Good for you! I'll bet it will inspire others. :)