My final check up following my egg retrieval was February 14th.
It’s been about two weeks since my procedure. As I began to feel better in the days after, I started spotting. I should have expected my cycle approxiametely 2-3 weeks after my retrieval, but of course I started spotting about a week after. My period came HEAVY with lots of bad cramping, a bit different from what I usually experienced. I attributed this to having skipped my period since late November, as this was part of the retrieval process. However it only lasted about two days.
When I entered the office I was asked to take a seat in the waiting area. Shortly after the billing secretary approached me with some papers she wanted to discuss with me. She had inquired with my insurance company to see if they would cover my IVF procedure utilizing my oocytes. She had just received the results of the request and they had stated that they could not make a decision because there was no semen analysis submitted.
This was a problem for me, as I obviously did not have any sperm in my life at the moment. She was pretty sure that this would be a deal breaker for insurance coverage since I wouldn’t be able to provide evidence of NEED without it and they wouldn’t be willing to pay for IVF unless I completed 6 IUIs which I would have to buy sperm for.
Guys, 6 IUIs is just too much. That would be taxing on my body as well as my time. She said if I were to pay out of pocket it would be around $5-6k. I figured at this point it would be easiest to do that, but with the way things were going I could change my mind at any moment.
I also was a bit insulted that the insurance company would feel that I lacked in the NEED department. I NEEDed help! I was out of eggs. My train had left the station. I was trying to make this work on my lone teacher salary. Who was in more NEED than me?!
The secretary said she would submit my lab results and the number of eggs I was able to get from my retrieval and take a chance to see if this would be enough proof for them to cover my procedure. (hey, you never know)
After waiting a pretty long time I was called into an exam room, although I didn’t think this was going to be any type of exam. The doctor finally came in and asked me to get on the table to feel my stomach. We soon began to talk about the REAL reason why I was there…
What do I do now?
A couple weeks ago I had this FIRE inside me, longing to use my eggs as quickly as possible. As time has gone on I have settled a bit and realized it would probably be best to wait a little, but I wasn’t certain what would be the BEST thing to do and was hoping the doctor could steer me towards the right answer.
I told him about my fears; that I would go to use my eggs in a little over a year and that none of them would work out and then I would be in an even worse position than I am now- no eggs, no baby, and $8-14K poorer.
As I’ve said before, my doctor does not sugar coat anything. He gives it to me straight and I really appreciate that about him.
He explained a few things to me like, doing another cycle for retrieval was not a great idea. It would cost a lot of money and my results would not be any better. He was pretty surprised that I was able to get as many as I did.
I was at the end. He attributed my short, irregular period to the fact that I was in the beginning stages of menopause and that my producing days were long gone. Looooong gone in the past…during the days when I was never trying to have a baby because it wasn’t the right TIME.
Boy, I sure do wish I could talk to my younger self. Inform me that there would come a day when I may not be able to have a baby and to not be so careful avoiding the chance of getting pregnant.
At that moment I’m sure the feeling of despair was not something I was able to hide very well. I’ve never been in such a vulnerable situation with a virtual stranger. As I tried my best to hold back my tears for the millionth time, the doctor offered me a piece of advice.
Not as my doctor, but simply as a regular person.
He suggested that I live.
I had done the best that I could for my future self. He told me I should be proud of what I had done, but mulling over it at that time would not help me. I needed to stop encompassing my life with the thought of getting pregnant, being pregnant, having a baby of my own, how or if I would be able to do either of these things. Just stop thinking about all of it and live.
And in that moment I had realized that was exactly what I had been doing. I was drowning in my infertility. I was soaking each day, filling it with worries, uncertainty, sadness, deficiency, loss, inadequateness. So many negative thoughts. So much pain.
I simply needed to let it go.
Although I was hesitant to accept this piece of advice since it had become such a huge part of my life, I knew he was right.
I needed to regroup. Get back to some sort of normalcy. Socialize. Spend time doing things for myself.
And when I left that appointment that is exactly what I intended to do.
It may not be easy. Life sometimes gets in the way. I’m sure I’ll sometimes get drawn back to overthinking about the Lucky 7, but if I ever wanted a chance to use them I had to remove myself from obsessing about them.
So, I’ll be taking a break from writing so often. I still plan on revisiting my oocytes this time next year. I will continue to write my story then, maybe even insert a few entries in between.
This is just a short intermission. I have to take this break for me to explore the possibilities life may have for me. It’s definitely what is best for me and the Lucky 7.
I will still follow the stories of those women who have inspired me in my infertility journey, and still welcome your thoughts and feelings about mine.