This post is sponsored by Conceivable Dreams, the provincial voice for thousands of infertility sufferers and their supporters across Ontario. To learn more about these issues and how you can help visit www.ConceivableDreams.org or follow @OHIP4IVF on Twitter.
Last week I wrote about how costly infertility is: Emotionally, physically and financially.
John and I were very, very lucky, in every way.
I was very, very aggressive in seeking treatment. I was 35. John had his vasectomy 11 years previously. I researched everything and I knew what our odds were.
I gave it six months after the vasectomy reversal.
For IVF I chose a clinic in Toronto that didn’t require referrals because I didn’t want to wait any longer. I have no doubt that this clinic is very, very aggressive in its practices. And that’s exactly what I wanted.
I had limited funds and the clock was ticking. Plus, we did not have the money to do multiple rounds of IVF. We had one chance.
The process for IVF is grueling. During my cycle I had to take fertility drugs every day. I had to inject them into my abdomen.
The drugs are very expensive. They cost between $3000-$5000, PER CYCLE! All the tests are covered by OHIP; ultrasounds, blood work, etc. But the rest isn’t. And it costs between $10,000 and $12,000 total every single time.
I had to take two weeks off work. I had paid leave but many people don’t and they lose their income during a cycle. Add that to the costs and they are phenomenal.
For two weeks they monitored my hormones and follicular growth. Every second day at first, and then daily. When the ultrasound showed mature follicles, I had to get another shot of drugs, this time in my bottom. This was to stimulate ovulation. Then, back again to the clinic for egg extraction.
They gave me morphine & valium in an IV drip. There’s a reason for that. The vaginal ultrasound wand had a looooong needle on it that goes through the vaginal wall to extract the eggs. I watched it on the screen. John held my hand. It was exciting, here were my eggs. This was our chance.
We waited three days for the embryo transfer. That’s when they suggested implanting four due to poor quality. FOUR! I didn’t think twice. We spent a lot of money and knew we couldn’t do a second round and I REALLY wanted a baby. I knew there was a risk but with one chance at this it was a risk I was willing to take.
We were so lucky. We only had to do IVF once. I know many who have gone through this multiple times. Imagine every time believing this could be the time you finally have that baby in your arms. Maybe this time you will be able to move forward in your life with your family like you had always planned. Maybe this time you can tell your family that they will be welcoming a new baby, your parents that they will be grandparents. Maybe that ache in your chest and the longing in your heart will finally be replaced by the love or your child. For some this will happen but for others they will go through all of this only to find out that, once again, it was unsuccessful. There will be no baby. The thought of doing it all over again is overwhelming. The emotional toll is so great but the thought of giving up unthinkable.
A woman commented on my last post that she had 3 IUIs, 3 fresh IVFs, and 12 Frozen Embryo Transfers. This took ten years, I can’t imagine how much money, and resulted in one boy. Her strength is beyond inspiring.
Infertility is painful in so many ways but it is made less so by groups like Conceivable Dreams who are advocating for people dealing with the pain of infertility to get the support they need.