Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back to the RE

MM and I had a talk last night about the practicalities of TTC. Although we have talked occasionally over the past few months about (his) emotions related to the issue, we had not had a talk like this since early December, when we made the decision to stop doing intervention. (The most we've said on the subject has been his request that I use OPKs to predict ovulation.)

Because of the context in which the topic came up, a significant portion of our discussion centered around money. The topic of treatments came up in relation to our making summer travel plans. Though we had free airline tickets for the particular trip we were discussing, obviously the cost of hotels and meals would differ somewhat depending upon which city we'd be visiting. If we are planning to do anything else related to TTC except just having sex, we might be spending money that we should be saving.

(Allow me to note here parenthetically that I am bothered on some level that finances play such a large role in a decision which should likely be based mostly on other considerations. I think anyone who is contemplating having a child should stop and think about finances, at least as they relate to the ability to provide for the child, but I find it distasteful to have to think about finances in relation to simply bringing the child into the world. Such is life.)

While we are by no means wealthy, we are financially comfortable. We do not have an extravagant lifestyle: neither of us drives a luxury car; we don't live in a huge house; neither of us shops much; we don't regularly visit exotic locales on our vacations (though this is due as much to time considerations as to finances). I have student loans which I am paying off and will be paying off for the foreseeable future. We generally find that we have enough money to do most of the things we want to do, within reason.

At the same time, we are not in a position where we can spend freely and without thought. Neither MM nor I is particularly a saver, and though we have a small "rainy day" fund, it is much less than the "six months' salary" which most financial experts recommend having. Given our circumstances, which I suspect are not much worse than most people's, spending more than $2000 or so at one time on anything would require advance planning and probably giving up some things.

I wrote at length here last May about our thoughts about IVF. Because they haven't changed much, I won't repeat them here. Suffice it to say, we do not intend to go down that road. Our reasons are both financial and not. (The one exception to this might be donor egg IVF. Because the success rates are so much higher, and I would not be the one taking the ovulation-inducing drugs, some of our objections to using IVF would be eliminated or reduced with donor egg IVF.)

Particularly in light of MM's continued unexplained optimism about our chances of conceiving on our own, I thought it wise to have a frank discussion about where we are. In two years of TTC, including four cycles using fertility drugs, we have had a single BFP, which we learned shortly afterward was a chemical pregnancy. Other than that one, unexpected positive test--which, ironically, was the result of a cycle when we were taking a break from treatment--we have not even come close to achieving a pregnancy.

Someone who is better with numbers than I am could probably break down the odds of a 39-year-old childless woman conceiving naturally after two years of unsuccessful TTC. No, the odds aren't zero--I have examples in my own life, not to mention the online IF community, of women to whom this has happened--but I think it's safe to say that the odds are small.

MM gets that there is only a slim chance of our ever achieving a pregnancy which results in a real, live baby of our own, with or without treatment. Intellectually, he understands it. BUT he is not ready to give up hope.

The end result of our discussion is that we are going to have a sit-down appointment with our RE, something we have not had in about a year. We still do not want to go down the path of IVF, but MM thinks that we should try a few more IUIs, if I am willing. My one hesitation is my perception of the futility of this course of action. Is it worth spending even a couple thousand dollars for something that will only incrementally increase our odds of conception?

So that is what we intend to discuss with our RE. Our appointment is on April 23rd.


  1. good luck! i hope the meeting brings you some hope and direction.

  2. I think the fact that you were able to concieve once (even though it turned out to be chemical) is a great sign. I posted this on my blog about IUI's a while ago, I think you shoudl take a look at it:

    I understadn your hesitation, and know how hard IF is both emotionally and finacially so I wish you the best with whatever disicion you guys come to. Best of luck! If I remeber right, I think see the same RE!

  3. I think it's a great idea to sit down and talk with your RE about your next steps.

  4. I think it will be good to revisit with the RE. Good luck with the appointment.

  5. Not sure how I lost your blog...It's good to find you again though.

    It's always worth a sit down to talk about options. We were kind of on the opposite side of the fence in that we didn't want to "waste" (in our case they were anyway) money on a bunch of IUI's when our odds were better for IVF. In hindsight none of it mattered for us anyway... Wishing you luck and hoping you are able to find a plan you are both happy with.

  6. I could go on for DAYS about your third paragraph. I agree with you 150%. It's so unfair.

    Good luck with the RE. Can't wait to hear what they say!

  7. Hugs to you. I hope the appointment goes well, even if only to give MM some clarity.

  8. i agree with you - i don't see the point in spending thousands on a 3% chance (or whatever) of pregnancy. although, i guess it depends on your response to the meds.

    you are right where we were in the fall of '09. it was tough and i didn't know what would happen. i really was preparing to be childless. i hope that you and MM can find your way.

    for sure - therapy helped us - i have to recommend it to you! a therapist that knows IF, that is.

    i'm hoping for the best for you and MM!


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