|Ultrasound picture courtesy of Wiki images|
This is a piece that has been written by a friend of mine who lives in Ontario and went through in vitro fertilization (IVF) after infertility. I asked her to write it as a guest post for me here on thriftymommastips.com because she has always been extremely supportive of the Conceivable Dreams goal to grow awareness of the human and financial impact of infertility in Ontario. She supports the campaign to get OHIP funding for in vitro fertilization. Jane, and her husband, never told their parents about their battle with infertility and the arduous process it took to conceive their child through IVF. I wanted to share her story and a question and answer with my readers because there are many important insights here into the stresses families often endure just to have a child. They are now parents to a healthy toddler who arrived in the world with help from science and IVF. I like that Jane’s story brings something new to this debate. Also her story touches on why adoption doesn’t work for everyone.
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Jane’s Infertility story:
The Q and A:
Q: Why Not Just Adopt?
Jane: We met with an adoption counsellor and we thought it went well. We attended a follow-up meeting. I asked a ton of questions. Only one other couple asked any. There were about 20 people there. Some people we knew were there and we had no idea they would be there or that they were seeking to adopt. Similarly, they didn’t know we were trying to adopt. My husband found that worrisome. He was very guarded. He is normally very private. We completed the paperwork and sent it in by courier. I called back one week later to see if the counselor had received it and she said she had. She said it looked great. I heard nothing about the home study, so I called back again. We were told we were not a good fit. She said she wouldn’t be working with us any further. She mentioned that it seemed like my husband didn’t want any more kids (he had some from a previous marriage.) I explained everything to her and asked to meet with her again. She agreed to that, but I tried to set up meetings again on two different occasions and they never happened. We were devastated and really hurt.
Q: What Options Had Your Tried?
Jane: We had already tried IUI (intrauterine insemination) and it wasn’t successful. I always said I would never try IVF (in vitro fertilization) because I thought it too invasive. (LOL)
Q: What Was the Cause of Infertility or do you know?
Jane: My husband had a vasectomy and then a reversal which although deemed successful failed to produce children.
Q: What Toll Did Infertility Take on Your Marriage?
Jane: It was difficult and we have been through counseling. We love each other and are in the marriage because of that, not just because of a child.
Q: You Mentioned that You Never Ever Told Family Members About Your Infertility. Can You Tell Me Why?
Jane: My husband is from a very traditional Catholic family. I did not feel that we would have been supported by them. It was a mutual decision and neither one of us felt that we wanted their input. I have generally handled infertility alone. I didn’t even talk to my husband about it. I have only recently started talking about it to one friend (and to you). It doesn’t change anything. I don’t feel like I need to talk about it. I did visit some on line forums like Wedding Bells has one – but so many people were so sad and I was just all business. I was going to have a child, period.
Q: How Did You Pay For IVF?
Jane: I had no expectations of IVF, other than I knew it was terribly expensive. I also knew it was our last chance. The IVF ended up costing us $10,000 cash. We are both self employed and had no private insurance coverage. Others at least get help with medication. We took the money out of our savings. In total we spent about $15,000. It took a lot out of us and frankly, we almost lost our marriage. A piece of me is gone forever. But that said, we consider ourselves the lucky ones. For us, IVF worked. If it hadn’t worked I doubt that we would have done it again.
I’ve written this so many times, in so many different ways.
I’m all over the place. Nothing sounds right.
I don’t know where to start. This wasn’t supposed to be my life.
But it is my life, so I share a piece of myself,
Hoping it makes a difference, a positive one.
Here is my Infertilistory…
From the first night I met my future husband,
I knew infertility was in our future.
But, it was the first night. I was in love.
One year on.
Our wedding day was perfect.
No thoughts of anything besides the Two of Us,
Living Happily Ever After.
Two years on,
Surgery under our belt,
Still monthly tears,
If wishing could make me pregnant,
Blaming doesn’t work either,
I was losing hope.
Three years on,
Hopeful plans of adoption,
The Stork would bring a child.
A Family we’d become,
Wasn’t meant to be.
Four years on,
Meeting with the Fertility Clinic,
Tests, tests and more tests,
I was focused,
My husband not so much.
Where had I gone?
Five years on,
My dreams came true,
IVF gave us our baby!
Our bank account was empty.
So was our marriage.
What price had we paid?
Many years later,
Still picking up the pieces,
Some are lost forever.
Wasn’t this what I wanted asks my husband?
I am still Infertile.
And maybe that’s the problem.
I’m still infertile.
Having a child didn’t change that.
I thought that it would.
That all these feelings would disappear.
I am sad.
Sad that having a child,
Doesn’t make me happy.
That having a child doesn’t make me,
I feel guilty about being sad.
I have a child to love and hold.
I was once in their shoes,
I know how they feel.
I feel sorry.
For those that can’t afford to have a Family.
Or for those that sell everything,
For one chance,
That never comes.
I feel alone.
Like I don’t fit in.
Not with the Infertiles or the Infertiles with kids.
I feel like they can’t relate.
They are happy.
Or are they?
Perhaps they too feel alone.
I am mad at myself.
For feeling like I’m not 100% grateful.
I always said that if I were to have a Family,
I would be happy for the rest of my life.
It’s a vicious cycle this Infertility.
It makes you think and do things,
That you swore you never would.
Tell me this won’t last forever.
This is supposed to be my past.
Not my present.
It’s not fair.
Life isn’t always fair.
It’s seems like a lifetime since that first night of love.
Only there is a lifetime left to live.
If I knew then what I know now,
Would I change anything?
Jane is a mom who lives in Ontario. She and her husband have a healthy toddler.