May 15, 2009

FROM CRUSHINGLY DOWN TO RELATIVELY ASSUAGED

When I first found out about my balanced translocation, I was so happy to have a reason.  I felt this weight lifted, that now I finally knew why I was doomed to so much sadness.  I was happy knowing that there was a plan and a way to solve our problem.

But today reality set in, and I feel despair.

I met with the doctor today to discuss IVF.  As usual, this man channels my inner Mrs. White.  And I left in a daze, not knowing whether I was more disturbed by the flames on the side of my face or by the lump forming in my throat.

Call me naive, but this process is going to cost far more than I anticipated.

All my initial ballpark figures I'd been working with, supplied by people who've done this here in town before and the genetics counselor, well...they doubled today.  The PGD that I was told would be around $2000?  Nope, it's $5000.  Oh, and we have to pay to freeze sperm, since my husband will be deployed.  And then we have to pay for the more expensive, extra special IVF that they have to do with frozen sperm.  The numbers that I had in my mind of how much all this would cost was half of what it really will cost.  And that's even with the sizable discount we're getting because we will be using a military doctor.

And that's per month.

The sick thing is, we have the money.  We could pay cash tomorrow for this and not really blink (especially in this absurd economy, where money ain't worth the paper it's printed on).  But that's the rub that makes the choice kinda rough.

The local clinic said that they've never had anyone do PGD.  The receptionist said that the pricetag scares people away, so no one has ever taken them up on it.  And if we didn't have the money either, we would have to resort to good old trial and error: keep on babymaking at home and hoping that we flip heads instead of tails one month.  The choice would be made for us by the fact that we had no option to do the expensive treatment.

But it's a bit harder to have that choice to make.  It's hard to know that you could just keep flipping that coin for free and eventually end up with a baby, and conversely to know that we could spend many thousands of dollars and still end up with nothing.  There are so many ways this hinges on luck.  The doctor said that he could probably get 15-20 eggs from me.  He said usually about 80% will fertilize.  So on the low end, that means 12.  Statistically speaking, half my eggs should be duds, so if we could get six good ones, we'd do the first try with three.  If we get pregnant, hooray.  If we don't, we have three back-ups to try again another month (at a decent-sized repeat fee, of course).

But that's statistically speaking.  Of all the eggs I was born with, half should be good.  But all those eggs is a far bigger sample size than what they can extract.  Heck, we've already flipped three tails in a row.  A small sample size of 15 eggs is not necessarily going to break down 50/50, just like 15 coin tosses won't either.  (To illustrate: my father is one of 13 children, 7 girls and 6 boys.  But I also know of another 13-child family with 12 boys and 1 girl.)

What if we only get one good egg?  And what if it doesn't take?  What if we spend all this money and come out with nothing in the end?  Could I live with that?

Could I live with not trying for it in the first place?

My husband got home from training while I was writing this post.  I hurredly cashed today's chips and told him how stressed I was about the whole thing.  My husband, the stingiest man on the planet, waved off concerns of money and said resolutely that we are going to go through with this.

Oh, but we can't even begin to get these ducks in a row until at least September.  So I had asked the doctor about babymaking at home for the two months until my husband deploys.  I asked: if we got pregnant and we had another miscarriage, would that prevent us from going ahead in September?  It shouldn't.

So I asked my husband if he wanted to try to take the cheap way out, if he wanted to take another gamble at home and try for a healthy baby the old-fashioned way, to see if we could get away with not spending those many thousands of dollars.  He vehemently declared that he is done with babymaking at home and does not want to spend our last weeks together fussing over basal thermometers and pregnancy tests.

My husband managed to take the edge off over this whole thing.  I feel much less panicked now than I did when I sat down to start this post two hours ago.  (He also said he doesn't want me stressing our for the next few months each time I want to buy a ball of yarn either, because he is the most fantastic husband on the planet.)

So I guess we're going to do this.  I think.  My husband said, "We paid $500 for that ol' dog, and look how much joy he brings us.  The baby will be even better."

Someone with kids assure me that a child is 24 times better than a dog...

Posted by: Sarah at 01:04 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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1

Lols...I am soooo cracking up at your DH's comment about Charlie costing $500, and bringing you so much joy.

You have a great partner, and I am glad that you two are co-navigating your way down this difficult road together....when you feel you may have lost your way, he brings you back on track. Good stuff.

Posted by: CaliValleyGirl at May 15, 2009 02:38 PM (irIko)

2 Sweet Jesus, YES!  Babies and children are WAYYYY better than dogs.  Trust the woman who has a 70-pound chocolate lab who has started counter surfing since the man of the house deployed.

Dogs are great, they really are.  And, before I had M1 I literally thought I couldn't love a little person as much as I loved Oscar and then she came and that was that.

I, for one, think your husband has made a good argument & you should go with his gut.

Posted by: Guard Wife at May 15, 2009 02:54 PM (qk9Ip)

3

At least 240times better.  Maybe 2400 times better.  And I love my dog.  When I sent Christmas cards, he was the decoration, Santa hat and all. 

It's a gamble and that's the hard part, imagining your future pissed-offedness should it not work.  But so worth it. 

Glad he took it in stride.  Hugs. 

Posted by: Lane at May 15, 2009 03:22 PM (W+Nqs)

4

I've had dogs (and cats, and ferrets, and fish) and I've loved them all. 

And I have children.

Even if my children had cost $500,000 they'd bring infinitely more joy than a dog.

 

This theoretical (at the moment) baby will be worth every single penny you spend on him/her. Before conception and after.

 

 

I still say we should hold some kind of internet fundraiser...

Posted by: HomefrontSix at May 15, 2009 03:49 PM (dhK7i)

5 I am just so tickled by your husband.  He really knows what to say and when to say it. God bless him. 
A lot of people who have no problems wait till they can "afford" them. And still they can't. If I had waited till then, I would have no children. I had a hysterectomy at age 31. The cost is not the important thing, unless you don't have it. You do. Go for it. 

Posted by: Ruth H at May 15, 2009 04:19 PM (hBAQy)

6 Money is nice.  Babies are better.  Money can be comforting.  Children are joy.  You can't take money with you.  Children are a part of you that will continue....  You guys are awesome!  If you didn't do it, you'd always wonder....  It's just money.

Posted by: Allison at May 15, 2009 07:09 PM (Ef9hL)

7 Looks like you both have been stingy for a reason....that is a blessing in disguise.  You have gone without so much I know....

but a child....

they will draw pictures of cows pooping, and keep hair in  a drawer  so one day they can study their own DNA. 

If you do not go ahead with this, you will not be able to live with yourself. 

Posted by: awtm at May 15, 2009 07:17 PM (XHw5F)

8 And when the kid turns teen and surly won't do their homework, you can threaten to take him back because you kept the receipt.

Posted by: deskmerc at May 16, 2009 01:37 AM (pYOXQ)

9 Sounds like you guys are making the best decision for the two of you.  I'm so happy to hear it, and I'm keeping fingers crossed for you!!

Posted by: Courtney at May 16, 2009 04:46 AM (iYaQi)

10 Your husband is awesome - seriously.  His comparison is too great!

Posted by: airforcewife at May 16, 2009 08:05 AM (NqbuI)

11 I am excited about your decision to move forward with this!  It will be filled with chance and luck and who knows how it will play out, but we will hope for nine months from some future date you'll be welcoming a healthy child into the world.  Or as close to nine months as said healthy child feels like incubating for should you have some people's luck. ;-)

Good luck with getting the ducks lined up and I'm hoping you guys make short work out of it...

Posted by: wifeunit at May 16, 2009 04:37 PM (t5K2U)

12 My husband said, "We paid $500 for that ol' dog, and look how much joy he brings us.  The baby will be even better."

You have an awesome husband, and I'm so glad!  What a funny, perfect, wonderful, loving thing to say under the circumstances.  I'm so glad you two have each other as you go through all of this--and here's hoping for many more ups than downs in the months ahead. 

*hugs*

Posted by: FbL at May 17, 2009 12:41 AM (JGDtb)

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