Monthly Archives: March 2013

Smashing the piggy bank

Clomiphene cycle 3 is a fail so the not-so-merry-go-round continues. At this stage of the ride it seems like an opportune time to write something about the increasing cost of treatment for something that may never happen. I’ve worked out that to date we’ve spent nearly $10,000 on various treatments over the last two years (plus another $9k+ that health insurance paid for my laparoscopy, so we’re approaching the $20k mark in total). To me that seems like an extraordinary amount especially when you consider that we haven’t even made it to IVF yet. We could of course have continued down the public funding route (if we do get to the point of needing IVF we’ll have to switch back to public again) but that of course means a lot more waiting, and the sound of my biological clock is already beginning to drown out the world around us. To put it in perspective, if I was on the public system I would be just about to have my laparoscopic surgery to diagnose and rid my body of endometriosis, rather than being 6 months down the track working my way through Clomiphene as I am now. The publicly funded wait is particularly long for me because on paper I have absolutely nothing wrong with me. Ho hum. This TTC ride certainly flips things upside-down, not once in my life have I wished to have something wrong with me!

I do feel very lucky that we’re in a position where we can afford to seek treatment privately, at least for a time, and I can’t help but think about those who don’t have that option. Another part of our reason to go private was the thought that someone else out there might be delayed further in the search for their Bumble because we were ahead of them in the queue when we could afford to be elsewhere. I only hope that they’re having more success than we are!

$10k. Wow. I honestly didn’t think it would cost us so much to have a baby, and realistically it’s going to cost us a lot more. One more round of clomiphene then we investigate next steps. I suspect that the next step is IUI – intrauterine insemination (yep, that’s right, artificial insemination, like a cow) which is approximately $2000 a pop. Our savings are currently next-to-nil so it will mean some more scrimping-and-saving and missing out on things, but hopefully it will be worth it and we won’t need to go any further. It’s hard not to think about the things we could have spent that money on if we weren’t trying to conceive. $10k would pay a chunk off the mortgage and therefore reduce our interest rate (damn low-equity fees); it would pretty much finish our house renovations, or cover the cost of us to fly to Europe to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday with him; and those are purely the selfish ways to spend the money. $10k could help a lot of people. But instead it’s been spent getting us to this point of halfway to nothing.

If everything had gone to plan (pregnant within the first few months like most of my friends) our baby would be nearly one now and we’d be spending money on a first birthday party instead of trying to get to a birth day. For those of you who have read earlier blog posts you’ll remember my (now ex) boss and his wife who were racing me to have a baby. Well, their wee girl turns one in a week’s time and guess who’s creating the invitations for the party……yep, that’s right, me. I’ve had mixed feelings about creating them. It’s the kind of thing I love doing and haven’t done much of lately, but at the same time I feel like we should be creating them for our baby not someone else’s. I only hope one day soon our chance will come and we’ll be complaining about how much Bumble is costing us rather than the endless cost to find him/her. I can’t wait for that day.


And on we go…

Foreword:  To any of my friends who read this blog please don’t take any of the below post the wrong way.  It’s not you, it’s me.


Good news!  I managed to finally pull myself out of the slump.  Bad news?  I can feel myself slipping back into it.  I was doing really well this week, was trying to think positively again and be chirpy and upbeat.  I even felt pretty much like myself on one or two of the days.  Unfortunately I made the mistake of hanging out with my friends.  I know that sounds like the most awful thing to say and it is.  I love my friends to pieces and love spending time with them, I just think it probably wasn’t the best move given my current mental state.  Stupid me had tricked myself into believing everything was ok again. 

Overall it was really nice seeing everyone and catching up on what’s going on in their lives, and the first three quarters of the night felt like old times.  I even held it together and happily talked about the latest pregnancies/births without feeling down.  It was only when the conversation turned to kids duvet covers that things started to go downhill.  It seems like such a stupid little thing but it’s funny the stupid little things that trigger you.  Most of the time they make absolutely no sense,  I mean I ‘survived’ the baby talks intact, surely if anything was going to trigger me that would right? No, bloody child duvet covers.  WTF.  I guess it’s something I can instinctively understand, something tangible that highlights the things I’m missing out on, and highlights the fact that I’m the odd one out.  And I am the odd one out. 

I do love listening to all the things my friends are going through but at the same time it hurts because these are things I may never get to experience.  It’s interesting to hear everyone talk about their lives and how different yet similar everyone’s views and experiences are.  I do struggle to participate though.  I feel bad talking about my own life as it’s hard to hold a conversation without infertility entering into it in one form or another.  Let’s face it, infertility is effecting 99% of my life right now.  Whether it’s the drugs I’m taking that effect my mental and physical well-being, the multitude of blood tests and scans I go through on a monthly basis, the fact I can’t truly finish my house renovations cause there’s always the hope that we’ll need to accommodate a baby, the fact that all our spare cash is spent on treating this devil so we can’t actually do anything else, or even that I can’t walk outside my front door without running into a pregnant lady or baby.  Infertility is my life.  I feel like that buzz-kill at a party.  Pretty soon it will be “don’t invite her along, all she does it talk about how she can’t have kids”.  I feel guilty that that’s all I bring to the table.  Although my friends ask questions and seem interested, I always feel like talking about my infertility is an imposition on the conversation, I try to brush it off like it’s nothing, to cover it off as quickly as possible and change the subject. 

There is the flip side of course, because nothing could ever be straight forward could it.  I often feel like I need to bring infertility up in conversation because a) this is something major I’m going through and I want them to understand (though most never will) what it’s like; and b) I want to raise awareness of infertility in general and stop it being this taboo topic that no one ever talks about.  I often wonder if part of the reason I get so down is because it really is something that’s swept under the carpet, that awkward thing that no one’s ever quite sure how to respond to.  If the world understood what infertility is and how it affects people, if it was perfectly normal to chat about infertility as if it were the weather (or babies!), if it felt like the fertile world wasn’t some exclusive club to gain access to, or if the infertile world wasn’t that troublesome relation that no one wants to acknowledge being related to, would I feel so alone and isolated in this process?  If I felt it were normal to admit that I’m really struggling,  or to talk about the stages of treatment without feeling like I’m a stuck record then perhaps everything would seem a little brighter. 

I know it’s not my friends fault, it’s just the way things are.  I’m sure many of them are genuinely interested (and I know they care), I know a lot of what I’m feeling is self-imposed but it’s just difficult not to feel like I’m boring them to tears.  And it’s hard not to feel like I’m the kid without a bicycle being left behind in the dust.

“Buried yet I’m still alive”

Well, I had started this great blog post last week about how I was changing my perspective for 2013 and how I was thinking more positively about my situation.  Checking out pregnant people and thinking ‘one day that will be me’ instead of getting angry and jealous.  I was doing really well too, I’d made it through two whole months with this new outlook and was feeling really good.  I had hope again and for the first time since the very beginning of this journey had thought it could actually happen to me.  My body felt whole again.  Unfortunately last weekend, the first weekend of the month and the first weekend of autumn, it all came crashing down.  Bye bye blog post.  Stupid me thinking it could last, I should have known from experience the ‘highs’ never last long, what a fool. 

The spiral started a few days before when I phoned my clinic to tell them it was day 1 and that I needed a new clomiphene prescription.   My usual nurse was MIA so I ended up talking to her counterpart who said I sounded down (well, duh!  It’s day 1, naturally I’m disappointed) and promptly gave me a lecture about how it can take a while even with assistance, and how even fertile couples can take months to get pregnant.  Yeah, thanks, I’m pretty sure I already know that after two years on this journey while watching everyone around me get pregnant and, oh yeah, way to remind me how defective my body is and how abnormal I am!  I got off the call confused and angry and continued to fume about her treatment of me for a couple of days.  Deep down I know she was trying to help and make me feel better but honestly, treating me like a 5 year old with a fucked up body was not the way to do it.

Still, I soldiered on, persevering with my positive buzz.  I even told my boss I was getting less upset about this whole thing and was having success at trying to change my way of thinking.  It was true at the time and had been true for two whole months, but a day or two later something happened.  I don’t know what, maybe my brain ran out of serotonin, maybe I just woke up to reality.  Whatever the cause I’ve been really down all week.  Normally I can pull myself out of these funks but this time I’m really struggling.  It’s unusual at this stage of my cycle.  Currently around day 10, now is a time I’m usually filled with hope and promise, sure that this is our month and miracles do happen.  I’m not normally feeling low for at least another week or two (even then it’s not typically this bad).  This sudden change in my cycles M.O. has thrown me. 

I just can’t be bothered with anything anymore.  I’m struggling at work, I can’t concentrate, I can’t be arsed doing things I know I should do (like clean the house), I feel useless at everything.  I nearly lost it at football (soccer) training last night because I felt like the worst player on the team.  I’ve never been a superstar player but I generally considered myself reasonable at it.  Everything just feels a bit pointless at the moment and like I have to wade through a sea of sludge just be normal.  I keep asking myself if I’m depressed, I mean, I’m experiencing some of the classic symptoms, only I don’t know if I can honestly say I am.  I’m still functioning, I can still laugh, and last week I was feeling pretty good so maybe this is just a temporary slump.  It just feels more and more like I’m putting on an act for everyone else, like I paint my face with a smiling mask to hide what’s going on beneath.  It’s hard to keep going even when I’m feeling positive, and the thought of continuing this endless cycle for the rest of my life is really starting to scare and horrify me.  Things have never been so uncertain and I’ve never wanted anything so much.

The thought that there are people around me who don’t want kids and ‘accidentally’ fall pregnant upsets me so much I can hardly breathe.  Another one announced at work today.  I don’t understand how it can happen to them and not me.  What have I done to be punished so badly, and believe me it IS a punishment.  Was it because I was a shit of a kid at 12, or horrible to a friend as a teenager?  The trouble is I can’t think of anything I’ve done that warrants such a penalty.  Sure I’m not a saint, but on the whole I think I’m a good person.  So why this?  I feel like I’m standing still while life races on around me, stuck in time not knowing the next step.  Will life stop here?  Is this it?  I’ve tried so hard to do things I enjoy to pass the time but it only feels like I’m filling gaps and never come close to having enough filler.  The fact that others have managed to get pregnant, have their baby, have a year off on maternity leave and now be back at work, all in the time we’ve been trying to conceive just blows my mind.  I honestly don’t know what to do but I know with all certainty, I can’t go on like this.


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