Truth be told, I wasn’t sure I would ever take this picture.
Even with modern science, opportunities through adoption, or even fostering. I still wasn’t sure.
I wasn’t sure because we were told we had a 5% chance of conceiving our own child. And for Ryan, conceiving our own baby was all he wanted to try. Was I open to adoption? Yes. Do I still have dreams of fostering? Sure I do.
For Ryan, he did not.
Does that make him a bad person? Absolutely not! Because to become a parent through those avenues takes the right kind of individual. Ryan recognizes, right now, he is not that individual. And when you decide to become parents. You both better be ALL IN. No matter what that journey looks like.
So, for us, to get this story I’m writing today. Our journey involved modern science. Or in layman’s terms, IVF.
Some of you might already know our #IVFStory. For those that don’t. Or for those of you in the beginning, middle, or clinging to the end of your own IVF process. This story is for you.
What Does IVF Really Look Like?
Every IVF journey is different. I know this because I was in Facebook groups with women struggling with infertility. I was in support groups through my fertility clinic. I was surrounded by friends who have walked this journey before us and after.
Each story, each result, each chart looks different. Just like your DNA. Your IVF process is unique to you.
I am telling you this so you DO.NOT.COMPARE.your results or path to someone else’s. Listen to your doctor. Trust your gut with the choices you will face. Learn from other women who have walked this emotional journey. BUT decide if what they did is right for you.
DO NOT compare your stats with others. And trust me, when I say this. There are lots of stats, numbers, and letters that will be thrown at you. That you will want to compare. That you will want to google to see if they show promise for success. DO NOT FALL INTO THAT TRAP! That will only lead you down a road you don’t, and should not, want to go. Friend, it’s the devil in sheep’s clothing. Trust me.
IVF Costs Broken Down
When it as all said and done, Ryan and I spent around $50,000 to conceive our daughter. Let me break it down for you, because I wasn’t really sure when we began this journey what the costs truly were.
- Pre-prep, egg retrieval, sperm stuff, and a bunch of other medical type crap: $20,000
- ALL.THE.DRUGS: $5,000
- Genetic Testing: $3,000
- Embryo Transfer #1: $4,800
- Embryo Transfer #2: $4.800
- Doctor Visits and Hospital Bills: $15,400
*costs can vary based on your insurance, doctor, elected treatment plans, etc.. These are meant for reference only.
I don’t share this to scare you. I share this so you know what you are getting into. Whether that looks like saving, taking on debt, or deciding now is not the time. You need ALL.THE.INFORMATION to make the right decision for you and your family.
For us it looked somewhere in the middle of pre-planning, saving, paying cash, and accruing some debt for the expenses we didn’t anticipate.
The IVF Process
This part sucks. I’m crying right now just thinking how bad it sucks. It’s not fun. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Because in the end, it’s still a gamble.
Imagine this scenario for one second….
You decide to go to Vegas and gamble BIG TIME. You take around $55k with you. Which you plan to go ALL IN with. Which, let’s be honest. It wasn’t $55k you had just laying around. You get to the perfect table you scoped out. Because you saw a lot of other people winning at that table. You sit down, lay down the wad of $55k on the table. They give you your chips and you push them to the middle. Your heart beats fast as you watch all the cards get distributed.
The dealer looks at their cards…..your heart is racing…You have two chances. You either win. Or you lose. That’s it.
Now, imagine that. BUT your gambling with eggs and sperm. Oh, and don’t forget there are needles involved.
Gals, let me tell it to you straight.
You will be poked, prodded, legs spread, and get naked in front of strangers more times than you will with your husband during this time in your life.
I have no words for what that is like. But if you want to see a woman getting some shots. There is a little treat, just for you, at the end of this post.
What do you learn during the IVF process?
Well, you learn a lot.
You learn what a miracle human life really is. How many things have to go right, in order for life to succeed.
For us, we learned a lot more about our faith. It was tested, stretched, and crumbled at times. But each time, we got back up.
You learn the only way to survive is to focus on what is good. In the now. In the present.
For me, that was seeing how lucky I was to be married to a man who would pick me up when I was in the fetal position on the floor. Struggling to find hope in the middle of desperation. But also a man, who was right down there with me, crying the same tears as I. He sat with me in the darkness. And celebrated with me in the light.
You are not alone. Don’t be afraid.
Life is hard, y’all. And it gets really hard when all you want in life is to be a mom. Like, you would do anything short of selling your soul to the devil to become one. And you might feel so desperate at times, that those thoughts might actually creep in.
That is okay.
No one is going to judge you for the dreams you are desperately hoping will come true. And all the emotions that come along with it. I know in my house, we won’t.
Our IVF Process
Before we started, I only heard IVF success stories, and yes ours is one. But when you actually get into the thick of it. You learn, there are a million unsuccessful rounds hidden beneath all the ones that resulted in a baby.
So I beg of you, please, please, please don’t compare your story with ours. I’m only sharing this with you so you can truly see what it’s like to be a couple that goes through this together. Take what I’m telling you with a grain of salt. And I hope it will give you the courage, freedom, and peace you need to know you are not alone.
And remember this one thing….
YOU MUST. and I emphasize MUST stick by each other. Support each other. Encourage each other. Love on each other. Even when it gets tough.
Because baby or not, your love is the reason you are fighting for this in the first place.