Maxing out the credit cards

Today I purchased one fresh cycle of IVF + ICSI.  It cost $13,200.  (This does not include medication, which they say will be $3,000 – $6,000.)  I split it between 3 credit cards.  We have about half saved already, so we will pay that off, transfer the remaining balance to a credit card with a no-interest promotional period, and pay it off slowly over the next year.

Ryan asked “Does this mean there is no turning back?”  Well, not really.  If we happen to get pregnant naturally, the whole thing is refundable.  If we change our minds, we lose a $500 deposit, but that’s all.  Both of us have a healthy dose of cold feet and feeling slightly nervous, but not like last time.  As big a commitment, decision, and purchase as this is, we know what it’s like to not have the option.  In this life you get one lap and you’re done, and I know taking the IVF plunge is part of my journey.

We are on the Kaiser calendar for the week of July 30th.  My next step is to call on the office on the first day of my next period, which should be May 20th.



Good News + Good News

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday for a saline sonogram and trial transfer – essentially giving the doctor a chance to go up the hatch and make sure everything was as expected.  I had 9 follicles on one side, 12 on the other, and my lining was 6.8.  I have no idea what any of this means, but I am including it since I hear so many infertility blogs reference these things. The doctor tells me I passed this part of the process with “flying colors” and everything looks great.  We did expect my reproductive health to be a non-issue, but good news is good news so I will take it.

However, as a couple facing male-factor infertility, the big unknown was Ryan’s appointment today.  He drove the 3+ hours in rush hour traffic to visit the clinic’s man room full of nudie mags and produced a sample to put on ice.  The plan is for him to do this a couple times prior to IVF so there is something to fall back on should his fresh sample not be sufficient the day of.  One of the possible diagnoses the andrologist mentioned is that Ryan may have a system that fluctuates wildly in sperm production.  Some times it’s not good, but sometimes it’s really, really bad.  It’s been all over the place – though always low – and there’s no telling what you get.  I asked the doctor to please examine this sample before freezing.  After all, we’ve been this far before only to hear the shocking news that Ryan is incapable of producing viable swimmers.  So… can we please be sure that won’t happen again? I have been worried this will happen again.

We just got the results, bless this Dr. for sending them just an hour after the appointment, and we have count at 1.5M and motility at 17%.  This is HUGE, people.  Last time I want to say count was under 100 (not 100K or 100M, but 100) and motility 0%.  The puritanical diet is paying off!! Dr. says this will be fine for IVF with ICSI, and it will be frozen and waiting for us.

So much peace of mind! Having a decent, usable sample on ice means we at least won’t face the devastation of a cancelled cycle last minute.

I have to praise God for this one.  It has dawned on me recently that God may be using my infertility struggles for his glory.  After all, if there were no infertility in the world, God wouldn’t be able to really show his power and his strength and prove true all that positive scripture about how he cares for us and will make the childless woman a mother of children.  Life can’t be perfect if Jesus wants to step in and do some great work.  So if that’s what this battle is all about, this public display of grief and disappointment, then so be it.  Because I know God will deliver us, and he wants to be sure others know, it, too.

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord! Psalm 113:9

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3