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We have Kaiser for our health insurance, and I usually love being an anonymous number, doing everything online, etc.  But today Kaiser is frustrating me for the nebulous DMV-like network it can be..

As I mentioned, Ryan’s urologist freaked us out by basically saying “get to a sperm bank ASAP!”  On the follow up phone call, Kaiser set up 2 appointments for me for a vaginal ultrasound and an HSG.  Still very in the dark regarding IVF costs, success rates, timelines, etc., I prodded with more questions and was given a list of local clinics phone numbers. You see I’d been waiting 2 years for a referral from Kaiser only to be told “You don’t need a referral, go ahead on your own.”

To make matters worse Ryan flip-flopped on me yesterday.  First IVF conversation he said, calmly and with a smile, “Let’s try this once.”  But yesterday he was panicked, “how much is this going to cost? Is it really worth it?  Maybe there’s a reason we aren’t getting pregnant! I am happy with our life the way it is!”  If we go forward with IVF it’s a huge decision: a lot of money, no guarantee with potentially devastating results, or potentially a baby! If we don’t, that’s an even bigger decision: to remain childless.

Either way this is taxing on a marriage.  I know Ryan and expect him to be fearful in enormous life decisions, but today I just wish he could be the strong one.  I’m frustrated and scared and find it difficult to do all the legwork AND be the cheerleader.  We both must be 100% on board with wherever we go next, and right now we aren’t.

I think Ryan could really use someone to talk to right about now, other than the bro-banter about “get ready to kiss your golf clubs good-bye!” and “my wife has turned into a tyrant since we had kids,” and “if you like your life, don’t do it, man.”  Yes, people have said these things to him and he is actually listening.  Ryan is an orphan, his absentee dad passed away when he was a teenager and his mom died before I met him.  Ryan has one estranged half brother and a step dad who is nice enough but very much keeps to himself.  Why wouldn’t Ryan listen to his friends?  There is no other voice of reason.

I actually haven’t told my own parents or sisters about any of our struggles, it’s just way too personal and not a conversation I want spread around the town.  But today I wish my mom did know, because she gives the most practical advice and I think Ryan could use a mom right now.  Shoot, I could, too.


Bad News

A lot has happened in the last few weeks that makes a girl thoughtful and appreciative of family.  A good friend’s father suddenly passed away.  My older sister Leah got married. Ryan and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary!  And our good friends, the ones I mentioned who suffered chronic miscarriages, had their first healthy, perfect, cuddly baby girl.

Ryan went to the semen lab this morning. Perhaps he’s been reflective of familial love, too, because it only took minimal nagging.  About an hour after he submitted his sample the doctor called him to report the bad news: Things are worse.  We are still not candidates for IUI, and if we ever want to consider doing IVF the doctor recommends Ryan getting to a sperm bank ASAP and freezing his sample because things are diminishing rapidly.

I’m honestly not sure what to think.  In a way I’m thankful to be avoiding another all-natural recommendation.  I’m also peeved that if time is of the essence why didn’t the doctors tell us this sometime in the last year and a half? And I’m fearful that our last chance, IVF, won’t be successful with such poor numbers.

And IVF in itself is a big fat YIKES. In my younger years I’d thought if I one day couldn’t get pregnant, I’d assume God had his reasons and motherhood wasn’t for me.  Now that I’m in this position I realize how insulting a stance that is.  Why NOT me?  Ryan and I are successful, smart, tax-paying, God-fearing, contributing members of society and could love and raise a baby just as well if not better than some people out there.  I don’t reject modern medicine when it comes to cancer, illnesses or my own seizure disorder, why stop here?  I have no interest in desperate measures or going tens of thousands of dollars into debt, but I know I would regret it if I looked back in life and knew we never even tried this route.

And now, for better or for worse, looks like it’s the only route to take.