Next month will make one year since I found out I was pregnant with Aurora. Then June will be one year since Aurora died and Sayre would’ve been one year old. I get the question from students and coworkers a lot about whether or not we’ll ever try again and it destroys me every time. Because we’ve been trying since August. I’ve peed on more ovulation test strips than I can count, taken pregnancy test after pregnancy test, and bawled my eyes out in the bathroom floor when my period came every month.
Meanwhile, everyone around me is getting pregnant or having babies. Even students. Due to some things we recently found out, the likelihood of us conceiving another child without assistance is low. After calling fertility clinics, my midwife, and our insurance we found out everything will have to be completely out of pocket if we choose to pursue an IUI (artificial insiminerion). We’re talking $1,200 for the first round (the doctor charges $300 just for the initial consultation plus $800-$900 for the IUI procedure) and up to two more rounds at $900 each if the first one isn’t successful. When I tell people about the expense they always fall into one of two camps: 1) It’ll be worth every penny when you have that baby, or 2) Just adopt, there are plenty of babies who need homes.
Let’s break this down, shall we? The cost of IUI means we would have to take months off between each treatment to afford it. I cannot find a full time job to save my life (a heavy contributing factor in my depression and anxiety lately) and I’d have to take off a lot of days each month for scans, blood work, etc. There are no grants or anything to help pay for IUI’s unlike IVF because it’s the cheapest fertility treatment. The doctor will not prescribe me any fertility drugs because I don’t have any fertility issues. I have been told they’ll run invasive, painful, and expedite tests on me before they’ll move forward with an IUI. Great, keep kicking me while I’m down. It really helps.
Adoption through fostering is an option that requires 9 in person classes that range between 1 and 3 hours each class. During the day. When my husband is typically asleep because he works nights or I’m in school. Oh and the 7 online classes. All of which have to be completed before we can foster with the goal of adopting. And this doesn’t make the burning desire to be pregnant again and give birth to a living baby go away. It’s still very much there, burning so hot I feel like I’ll explode.
Out of my infertility/TTC group, it’s one other woman and I who aren’t pregnant. Out of the original ten. Everyone except one on there are stay at home wives with husbands who have great insurance that has infertility coverage. They have the time and means to focus on their physical and mental health while also pursuing fertility aids. Our insurance won’t cover anything to do with infertility, I can’t afford weekly therapy sessions, acupuncture isn’t covered, and I have to work to pay my bills. I don’t have the time or money to be part of an infertile couple. And yet, here I am.
You see fundraisers for adoption all the time (though you shouldn’t, because adoption should be far more affordable instead of a huge financial mountain) but never one for infertility treatments. Something about saying you can’t afford infertility procedures but still wanting to pursue them makes people angry. The “why can’t you just adopt” question always comes up. Well, Susan, because adoption is as time consuming and expensive as infertility treatments and I’m so stressed and depressed what I feel insane and numb all at once.
The worst part though? Feeling like a barren, dried up, old woman at 28. Every time I grieve for my babies now, I also grieve for the ones I’ll never get to have. Cue the toxic positivity cult telling me I have to pray/keep hope/look on the bright side/have good vibes only. Everyone has an infertility success story, but there are just as many stories of people going bankrupt trying to get their happy ending and never getting it. I’ve taken to isolating myself just to keep pregnant women and babies away from me. I don’t go out anymore unless it’s to work or somewhere I have to go. I stay in or around my house and even avoid social media most of the time. My life now is very small compared to two years ago before we started trying for a baby. So what do you when there’s no help? When everyone is tired of you crying and being frustrated? When you feel alone even in a room full of people? I’ll make sure to tell you if I figure it out.