This has been weighing heavy on my mind lately, the whole cost of being infertile. I haven’t even accepted that word as something that applies to us, even through it’s been medically proven otherwise. Whatever this all is, it’s expensive. Physically, emotionally and financially.
I’m not even talking about all the things I’ve bought to help this journey. Special this, that and the other which are supposed to increase your chances by 10%! You’ll be pregnant in no time! All claims, not scientifically proven, which draw you in. The success stories are coincidence wrapped in marketing, and they know how to play on the fragile emotions of an incomplete family.
I’m talking about actual treatments.
I know we’re so lucky to live in Canada, where all of our preliminary tests are covered. While the wait times are excruciating for actual treatments, the process of sorting out what’s wrong and where we stand is fairly easy. We can go to any number of labs for scans, blood work and other tests and they just send that information right on over to whatever medical professional ordered them. However, when it comes to the treatments, those aren’t covered by basic medical at all, and neither of us have insurance that will make a useful dent in it (I should note that in some provinces, you can write off your treatments on your tax returns, while other provinces offer subsidies of other types, mine however does none of that at the moment).
I suppose I understand. Having a baby is a choice. Growing a family isn’t required. If you want to have a baby, that is your responsibility; while the government will help you care for said baby both in-utero and as a whole outside the womb human, they will not participate in the creation. And that’s all well and good when you consider that having a baby is a choice, until that choice isn’t really yours to make. Whether you’re surprise pregnant with a child you cannot care for, or you’re barren as the Arizona dessert through no fault of you own, you’re on your own there.
It’s hard. We didn’t choose this. We didn’t want this, and in my mind there is a medical reason for the problem so I feel like the resolution should be treated as other medical problems are. Only they aren’t. And while I get it, I don’t like it. In the same tone as someone will say “why should I pay for you to get pregnant” I can’t help but think “well why should I pay for you to have a cast on your leg when you fall drunk down the stairs?”. We pay together so we can treat together, that’s just how this thing works.
It’s not like we can shop around. Getting into a clinic is a battle in and of itself, and you’re not about to start dragging out the timeline to price shop for your miracle. It makes an already clinical approach to the beautiful process of building a family seem even less amorous.
So, if we want a baby, we have to pay. We have to pay a lot, and then, we don’t even get a baby, we get a chance at a baby. And if it doesn’t work, we’ve just paid a lot to turn my body into a hormone circus all for nothing.
I know it probably sounds harsh, and I’m sure I’m just being cynical, it’s just that I’m having a hard time effectively wrapping my head around the idea of paying that much money for a (at most) 50/50 shot. I know, some people will say it’s not about the money, it’s about the family you want to build, but it is about the money if you spend everything you’ve got and wind up with nothing but a destroyed psyche to show for it.
There is also our daughter to consider in this horrible math equation. While I want her to have a sibling, to so badly be the amazing big sister I know she would be, at what point do we need to say that that desire should not outweigh her overall future? This money, this money we would have to shell out for the most expensive of the fertility treatments (because that’s what we need, nothing half ass going on in Chilla land) will impact her. It will affect the life she lives. And so what if we spend it all, money we could have used to do something with her, for her, and at the end of the day we’ve got nothing to give her in return but a strung out parental unit? I know we don’t owe her money per se, but at the moment, that money belongs to her, and it nags in my brain that I could be selfishly squandering that.
Of course every single part of this conversation changes if the treatments work and we finish our family and everyone just goes on as one big happy. Nothing is certain, I realize this. No matter what we do or how we get pregnant, nothing is certain.
Babies are expensive. Children are expensive. All of it takes money. Starting off deep in the hole is scary. And it’s only necessary if we choose that path, and it’s hard to choose, because you can’t always get what you want.