The last time I was using this blog was when my husband was gone for military training and I connected with fellow military wives through blogs. Without even realizing it, I stopped updating cold turkey when I started the IVF process back in February 2014. I was emotionally fragile at that time and didn't want to share what I was going through. But now that I've been through the whole thing and have my little boy, I feel much more confident in sharing details of my life, especially about infertility and the whole IVF process.
So, the reason why I am writing this post is because I had multiple people message me with questions about my infertility and IVF experience after I wrote a post on FB for Mother's day. I thought I would just answer some of those common questions here for anyone who is interested.
How did you know that IVF was right for you?
This is the most common question I think that those struggling with infertility have. It's hard to know what steps to take when dealing with the unknown. Especially when your health insurance doesn't cover fertility services and everything you try is going to be a lot of money out of your pocket without knowing if it's even going to work! The answer to this question is so loaded. Everyone's infertility experience and situation is SO different. I read a lot of blogs and different people's experiences before I did IVF and I was always so annoyed when people would just say "talk to your Doctor about what's right for you". I was always thinking "I did talk to my Doctor and they weren't always helpful (I actually bounced around to 6 different OB/GYN's before going to a specialist), that's why I'm looking for other people's insight!" Even though it is obvious that your Doctor is going to be the one who should advise you in your medical decisions, I will share the Medical reason and the personal reason that we decided to do IVF.
When we knew it was right for us, medically: I have PCOS and don't ovulate regularly. I did 7 rounds of clomid and it never worked and every time we tested we found that I wasn't even ovulating. Because of this I just knew that I needed to jump straight to IVF and not even try an IUI or anything else. It's my understanding that specialists usually like for you to try an IUI before going to IVF but since I don't even ovulate I requested to bypass any other methods and just do IVF. I had to get this cleared with my insurance before they would agree to cover any part of the IVF process. (I was able to get it cleared since I had done over 6 rounds of clomid. If I had done any less than 6, they wouldn't have allowed it). That's just my experience. Different forms of infertility are going to require customized medical treatment.
When we knew it was right for us, personally: My honest answer is that it all came down to prayer and being in tune with answers to our prayers. We started talking about how to work with infertility with my doctor after less than a year of trying but didn't get serious about IVF as an option until over 4 years later. We could have done it much sooner but it just wasn't the right timing. There were other things we needed to experience first and we just knew it. We prayed about it a lot and knew that we would feel when it was right. That's not the answer that I wanted but there was no denying that it what it was. Then one day everything just kind of fell into place and it was time.
How much does IVF cost?
This varies depending on the Fertility Clinic, what your insurance covers, and where you get your medications. I could write a separate, lengthy post all about the costs related to IVF. It's pretty complicated. But just to give a general idea, my fertility clinic gave me "package" options when we were first doing IVF. These are the prices if you are paying completely out of pocket.
$13,500 for One cycle of IVF and embryo transfer. That is NOT including medications which can be another $4k-$8k. If that sounds scary, just remember that even when insurance doesn't cover infertility services they still may cover portions of medications.
$15,500 for One cycle of IVF and 2 embryo transfers. That is NOT including medications which can be another $4k-$8k.
$3,700 for additional embryo transfers. This is for those who have already been through the egg retrieval, have frozen embryos and are just doing a transfer. Does not include medications which should run approximately $1,200.
I know someone who was able to get pregnant naturally after having a baby via IVF. Are you going to have to do IVF again?
I have heard/read about people getting pregnant naturally after fertility treatments. I think that is amazing and I would love for that to happen to me. I guess the idea is that your reproductive processes kick into gear from pregnancy. But I am under the impression that this happens randomly and doctors can't predict it. I don't think my body is functioning any differently after pregnancy and I think I will need to do IVF to bring all of my children to this world. Either way, after doing one successful round of IVF, I am full of hope!