Not enough people speak openly about IVF so we were thrilled when Rachel Gesser asked to document her IVF journey. Below is the beginning of her journey…
In the back of my mind I always knew I would be a mom, I just never felt the desire to become a mom anytime soon. That was until about six months into my marriage and baby fever kicked in, big time. I wanted a baby now, not nine months from now. It took my husband, Brett, a little more time to get on board with the whole baby thing and I ended up taking my last birth control pill on our first wedding anniversary.
I optimistically assumed we would be pregnant within a few months. Of course life doesn’t always go according to plan and with each passing month that I wasn’t pregnant I became more and more panicked that something was wrong. At the six month mark I had a complete breakdown and called my doctor. I knew the stress and pressure I was putting on my body wasn’t doing me any good. She said her best advice to me was to relax (easier said than done) and keep trying for another six months (not what I wanted to hear). She could refer me to a specialist, but that it was really too early. I gratefully took the specialist’s number and made the next available appointment.
We had an initial consultation with our doctor, and then both Brett and I had to go through several rounds of testing including blood and urine samples and an ultrasound for me.
One month and many blood tests and doctor’s appointments later we were given the news no one wants to hear – there is very little chance we’ll be able to conceive naturally. We got Brett’s test results back a day or two before our scheduled appointment with our doctor to review next steps. I did a little Google research and had a pretty good idea that our fertility problems were related to Brett. Even though I was prepared going into the meeting, still hearing this news was not easy. The good news was though all of my test results came back completely normal, which meant that the likelihood of IVF working was greater.
Upon initially hearing this news from the doctor we were (understandably) devastated. After a few days though I began to accept the situation and was ready to move on. We had a plan, albeit a much different plan, but a plan nonetheless. I began obsessively reading other women’s IVF experiences and doing everything I could to prepare my body for what was to come. I found Pinterest to be a great research to find blogs about other women’s IVF processes. We also talked to my cousins who had gone through a long struggle with infertility, but had just had a healthy baby girl. Although every woman’s experience and treatment is different, reading these blogs and talking to my family helped me prepare for what was to come. We also decided for this first round we would only tell our parents and a close friend what we were going through. I would highly recommend having at least one person to confide in – even if they have never gone through IVF themselves, it really helped to have someone other than Brett to talk to.
Of course in addition to questions about our treatment plan, we also had a lot of questions about the cost. It’s no secret that IVF and fertility treatments in general are expensive. We were fortunate that our insurance through Brett’s company covers the majority of the expenses, but not all. We still had to pay for some medications and the freezing and storing of our eggs, an annual fee, out of pocket. My recommendation for anyone going through fertility treatments is to meet with the financial advisor of the facility you are being treated at and ask for a detailed spreadsheet of all costs and what you’ll be expected to pay and when. This will save you from surprises during your cycle when you don’t need any added stress in your life.
Like I said, although this wasn’t the original plan we had envision for how we would start our family, I felt comfort in knowing that we had answers and an action plan. Stay tuned for Part Two where I will discuss the IVF process.