$750. That’s the cost of just one more test which is needed to start the process of attempting to have a child. That’s on top of $400 for the initial ultrasound and about $500 for the bloodwork and genetic testing and male fertility analysis that’s required, or $1650 before we even get started. Then, we pay $1250 for 3 months of monitored medication (plus $100 or so for the actual medication) with a grand finale of turkey baster attempted-impregnation—all which very well may not work, leaving us about $3000 in the hole with nothing to show for it other than the first etchings of emotional scars which will likely be dug even deeper.
Now, $3000 isn’t that much to have a child. But that’s just Phase 1 of a likely long and costly journey to parenthood. This, of course, doesn’t include the cost of taking off from work for doctor’s appointments (which are so perfectly timed to occur during the first months of having a new boss who is likely looking for reasons to remove and replace me in order to build her dream team.) It also doesn’t include any of the suggested “to dos” in order to become more fertile, such as acupuncture or anything to de-stress (i.e. replacing a high-paid high-stress job with a much lower paid, lower-stress job.)
The money isn’t a big issue right now… it’s not exactly a joyful experience to part with $3k but it’s manageable. I just predict the costs will continue to add up and we’ll need IVF which can cost so much more. $20k? $50k? 100k? Yes, I’ve saved up a substantial sum for my age, but at some point one has to wonder if they’re just throwing at a problem which can’t be solved. Maybe I’m just broken permanently. It hurts enough to know that—to acknowledge that my body is not going to reproduce naturally and that it may not be able to have children at all. I’ve known this long enough that I’ve set myself up to not be disappointed when I can’t have kids—but I’ve also just figured that I’m young and don’t need to rush into anything. That’s definitely not the case anymore.
But what do I do? Tell my brand new boss that I’m dealing with infertility issues and that I’m going to likely be batshit crazy over the next however many months due to being pumped with hormones, and that I’ll need to take time off work each month to get ultrasounds and more time to just cry in a corner? That’s not the conversation one can have with any boss let alone a new one. I haven’t met her yet and she’s a “her” which theoretically could be a positive in this process – I certainly would feel more comfortable sharing any of this (not the cry in a corner part) with a female boss than a male boss, as long as we generally get along and she sees my value. Only, it’s going to take months before we have that kind of a relationship, and I don’t have months to wait at this point.
So what do I do? Well, to start, I guess I spend $3000 and try to make the first three months of this process work. Best case scenario, by June I’m freaking out about being pregnant and starting the next phase of my life as a mother. Worst case, at least I’ve tried and I can decide what to do next. Maybe it will work and all I need is a little bit of medication and poof I’m super fertile and I’ll be pregnant in no time. It clearly works for some women, otherwise they wouldn’t even bother trying. I guess I’m optimistic right now, maybe unreasonably optimistic with a tinge of denial of the odds. I kind of feel like I have to proceed that way—otherwise, I’d just be too depressed, which is a wasted emotion right now given there’s little I can do to change this outcome other than try.