There’ve been some very good blog posts today about the costs of infertility – ah, Bri at Unwellness and J from Cheese and Whine and somerandomchic, are the ones I’ve seen, if y’all haven’t read them. Apparently, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week.

I am not sure I’d call myself infertile yet, in large part because I think I’ve had it easier than so many and I’d hate to equate my admittedly hard experience with the utter hell some folks have gone through/are going though. But maybe I should? I certainly identify with people who are going through infertility treatments. In ways I never, ever thought I would. Like nasty and bitter about folks who get pregnant “right away”? Yeah. I could taste the nastiness in the back of my throat when this woman I know would wear her “Baby On Board!” maternity t-shirt (in my defense, it was very, very ugly, too). Poor girl. She had no idea that her happy, happy pregnancy was such a daily assault to my sanity. Aye. I didn’t think I was capable of such feelings.

So costs…..? I don’t think I have record on hand – I’d have to go dig up the old visa bills, and we all know that’s a pain in the ass, so I’ll guess.

Summer/September 2005
co-pay for nurse practitioner’s appointment to get all spermbank paperwork done – $25
donor profiles – $15
first sperm shipment, dry ice – ~$635
November 2005
another sperm shipment, nitrogen tank – ~$755
May 2006
another sperm shipment, nitrogen tanks – ~$755
June 2006
another sperm shipment, nitrogen tanks – ~$635
July 2006
another sperm shipment, nitrogen tanks – ~$755
September 2006
another sperm shipment, nitrogen tanks – ~$755
October 2006
another sperm shipment, nitrogen tanks – ~$755 (this is getting pretty repetitive…..)
February 2007
lawyer’s fees for consult on known donor contract – $200
March 2007
every std test known to man or woman for KD and his boyfriend, plus semen analysis for KD – ~$100-150 (really not bad, the BF has great insurance and the KD used student health as much as he could)
April 2007
token of appreciation to KD for jar o’ sperm – $50/hit, so $150
May 2007
token of appreciation to KD for jar o’ sperm – $50/hit, so $150
June 2007
token of appreciation to KD for jar o’ sperm – $50/hit, so $150
July 2007
token of appreciation to KD for jar o’ sperm – $50/hit, so $200
co-pay for nurse-practitioner’s visit – $25
prometrium – ~$30
August 2007
token of appreciation to KD for jar o’ sperm – $50/hit, so $100
prometrium – ~$30
September 2007
token of appreciation to KD for jar o’ sperm – $50/hit, so $150, still unpaid because he feels bad about taking it when he can’t give me a straight answer about if he’ll still be my donor, so nothing
November 2007
biotranz kits x2 for the New “Can’t Beat Them With Sticks” Donors
(who have not sent me the bill for shipping, as they were asked to do *ahem*)– $137
prometrium – ~$30

That’s $5682. If I did the math right. Don’t check. Jesus, y’all.

This does not count all the opks, the home pregnancy test, old Clear Blue and her test sticks, the fertility herbs, the acupuncture, the pre-natals, the baby aspirin, the robitussin, the syringes, the instead cups, et cetera, because a) that number is painful enough and b) so many of those things were given to me.

Nor does “cost” cover the misery, the isolation, the convoluted figuring about who to tell and who not to tell, the weeping, the lost-but-not-forgotten sex drive, the giving up of almost everything else in my life, the bitterness, the *want* for a baby that has burned right through my skin and left it raw and bleeding.

And I’ve had it easy, y’all. Easy. I don’t have any dead babies to my name. I don’t have horror stories of doctor’s visits gone awry. There’s no relationship to try to take care of in this process, no other person’s feelings to worry about. My isolation is lessened by the ever dear IVP and by a couple of in real life friends in particular – one’s who gone through it all herself and not only lived to tell the tale but has a baby to boot, and another who somehow gets it, though she’s not ever tried to conceive herself (I’d nominate her as an honorary member of the IVP, but I’m not sure I’d want to wish that on anyone). While 2 years seems like an eternity, that’s nothing compared to some. Nothing.

And the money? While it’s a lot, a whole lot, it is also nothing compared to some. It is manageable. Frustrating, but manageable.

And will it be worth it? How can you even ask? Worth what, I’d like to know.

If you’re reading this (you are reading this, aren’t you?) and you identify as infertile, at what point did you start to use that term? If you don’t, but you’re trying to get knocked up, why don’t you?

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6 Comments on “”

  1. calliope says:

    I *try* not to label myself as an infertile. But I was diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” after my 8th IUI. I am hoping that once I get knocked up I can declare myself as fertile and just move on.
    xo

  2. LB says:

    Feel free to use my comments up, baby!

  3. LB says:

    Also,”baby on board”?
    That is pretty horrible, though not as bad as preggers ladies who lose their grown ass women identies and start wearing cartoon character shirts. Just sayin. No fense.

  4. Chicory says:

    you know, I struggle with this, too. Am I infertile? Two years of trying and nothing to show for it would seem to say so. I have borderline bad test results for my hormones, so that would also account for it. But underneath it all there’s this feeling that if I just had better timing, it would all work out. Or something. Like it’s a correctable human error and not biology.

    But, still, I’ve been calling myself infertile, or sub-fertile, for months now. Because of that two years of trying, and because it just resonates. When you’re sure you need ivf to get pregnant, I guess you can’t call yourself fertile anymore.

  5. vee says:

    Still fighting that label. Two years of trying feels like an age, but when you take out all the months off that we’ve been forced into, it only equates to I think 14 tries. Actually, that still sounds like a lot. But no, I don’t feel I deserve that term, somehow. Like, I’m not infertile, I’m just not trying hard enough, or I’m just unlucky. I don’t have any known difficulties to hang it on – what right have I got to claim infertility compared to those that HAVE known issues. I dunno.

  6. starrhillgirl says:

    So here’s another question:

    a) is it weird to comment on my won blog?

    and

    b) once one has had a baby, does the label change to fertile? I mean, in the medical sense?

    And yes that was 3 questions.


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