Search

Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

Tag

infertility

Moms Run 5k

I think Mother’s Day will always be a little bittersweet. As excited as I am to now be able to celebrate it, I also think back to how much I dreaded it before our successful IVF cycle. Yes, it was a day to celebrate my own mom. Still, it and the several weeks before were a constant reminder that not only was I not yet a mother, but that there was no guarantee I’d ever be.

Anyone who has ever read this blog knows how important running is to me. It has helped me through stress and infertility. It has helped me stay healthy. I hoped to be able to share it with my future kids, and looked forward to the day when we could all run together.

The Mom’s Run takes place on Mothers Day weekend, and funds go to help Charleston Postpartum Depression Support. Although most 5k’s allow strollers, all (that I know of) require you to start in the back of the pack. This run not only allows strollers up front, but has awards specifically for those with strollers.

Ready to run
Ready to run

The race started at Blackbaud Stadium and ran through a few nice local neighborhoods.  Abby exclaimed “weeee!” I stayed with another girl pushing a stroller through most of it, though she was ahead of me more than I was ahead of her. I finished literally steps behind her, and thought that I had possibly even finished 3rd (stroller, that is). It was a nice course, with water every mile or so. There was an incline and headwind at the end, so that sucked, but otherwise I had no complaints 🙂

Bryan took a video:

Afterwards they had a “family fun day” with vendors and music.

We hung out for awhile. I put Abby in jump castle but she just sat there. She did enjoy some dancing:

Eventually I found the results and found that I had, literally, JUST missed third place. The girl who was two steps ahead of me took it. I was bummed because I would have really liked to add a Moms Run medal to my collection. Unfortunately for me, they don’t distinguish between single and double strollers so even though I was the first double through, I still missed it. I blame the extra 25 lbs I was pushing. 🙂 Overall though, I was happy with my 25:05 finish time, or 8:05/mile, especially considering I was pushing 55 lbs. (The girl who won ran in 20 minutes and some change – with a stroller).

Look forward to next year.

Another Marathon, Metaphorically (NIAW 2015)

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week, and I’ve been slacking on posts this year.

I’d be lying if I said a successful cycle didn’t lessen the sting of infertility, but even though I hardly write about it anymore (mostly because I am just not sure how at this point in my life) doesn’t mean that it isn’t still part of me. Yes, I write probably too many posts now about parenting, twins and toddlers because that is where I am right now and that was what this blog was meant to be about. Still, I can’t let the week go by without addressing it somehow.

I’m essentially re-blogging a post I wrote 3 years ago – an analogy that, as a runner, helped me explain infertility to those who might not understand. Running has been and is such a big part in my life that I find the analogy still fits.

I’ve finished two marathons.

It still feels weird to say that out loud. That, twice, I’ve trained, run 26.2 miles, and crossed the finish line. A feat I once related only to “crazy people” (well, that’s still appropriate) and people who run way too much (oddly now also appropriate).

When I started this blog, it began as a week by week training log for my second marathon, as I was preparing to do it mostly alone. A journey to the finish line. It also began as a place to log my fertility journey, as I was starting to feel more and more alone. Another journey to the finish line.

Infertility is a marathon.

At the start of the race, the excitement is palpable. We have all trained for this. We got up at the chirp of the alarm (and in my case, after several smacks of the snooze button) and regardless of the weather, regardless of mood, regardless of (most) illness, we ran. We ran 12, 16, 20 miles on a Saturday for no reason other than this day, this opportunity to run this race, cross this finish line, accept this medal, and feel this incredible accomplishment.  We skipped movies and drinks and went to bed early. Months of runs, hundreds of miles. We are ready.

Adrenaline begins pumping right from the beginning, the first few miles a breeze. A thousand or more people in your exact situation are running with you, some a bit faster, some a bit slower, but it doesn’t matter. You’re all in this together. Even if you lose the people you started with, there are still plenty around to match pace with, plenty of energy left to get yourself there.

Discomfort begins to set in as the miles add up. The number of people begin to thin. You begin to realize just how far 26 miles is. You start to wonder what you got yourself into, and start the ipod search for your most motivating songs on your playlist. If you didn’t know you could run 20+ miles already, you might consider dropping out. But ultimately the vision of the finish line, the medal, the feeling of victory keep you going. Somehow, something pops up at just the right time that keeps you from declaring defeat – a random cheer from a stranger, a particular song, knowing who is waiting for you at the finish line.

Pain sets in around mile 20. The end feels so close yet so far away. Your body starts to scream at you. The group of a thousand you started with has dwindled down to 3 or 4. The slight envy you once felt for the faster runners has turned into full out jealousy. You know you’ve trained harder than most of them. Seriously? How are you all finishing before me? You begin to feel every step, every pound of the pavement. Any change in terrain is physically difficult to recover from. Curse words are becoming more regular.  None of the three hundred Ipod songs are gonna do it, and even taking in half a Gu (an energy gel for distance runners) every mile doesn’t seem to be doing a darn thing. You hurt, you’re tired. You’ve gotta be the only one hurting this much. The finish line, though only a few miles away, feels like it’s never going to appear. The warnings that the true test is after mile 20 suddenly make sense.

Somehow, though, through combination of a force of will, stubbornness, training, and the few out of the group that stuck with you, you cross mile 26. And suddenly, though there are only a few runners left in the immediate vicinity, the crowd gets larger. You suddenly forget how sore you are because you can SEE the finish line. Somehow, you muster the energy to finish strong,  because suddenly you hear your cheering section, the crowd clapping, the announcer calling your name.  Somehow, you finished, and you feel incredible.

Also, you still hurt.  But despite it, you kept running.

When I first stepped foot onto the pavement my first run, (which was like, halfway around the block before I couldn’t breathe anymore) – I never imagined myself running a marathon. In fact, even after my first half marathon several years later I thought to myself “who wants to essentially do this twice? No thank you!”

When I first imagined myself with a family, in my house with my white picket fence (though I’d really prefer a privacy fence at this point in my life), I never imagined it would be a problem. I didn’t even know what infertility was.

I’m still waiting to cross the finish line.

In retrospect, I survived marathon training one run at a time, one week at a time, one long run at a time. I survived the race, particularly at the end, one mile at a time. It still hurt, in fact, it hurt quite a bit. At the end my calves were so sore I literally hobbled to the car.

But I’d do it all over again. I’ll remember that day and who was with me for the rest of my life. All of the pain and exhaustion was absolutely, positively 100% worth it.

One day at a time, one mile at a time, I await the day I can say that again.

This post was created as part of The Analogy Project, started in order to help others better understand the infertility experience.

#MicroblogMondays – Great Grandpa

Microblog_Mondays

I have many fond memories of my grandfather. As a kid, I called him “Pap”. My family would pack in the car and make fairly frequent 4 hour drives to their house in a small (tiny) town in Pennsylvania, and I usually spent a week there over the summer. My favorite memory is our walks from the house to “downtown”, where he’d buy a newspaper and I some penny candy (that actually cost a penny).

He lived independently for a few years after my grandmother died, but eventually began to fall ill. By the time Bryan and I found out we were expecting the twins, he was living in a nursing facility. We took one last trip up to that tiny town in Pennsylvania over Christmas in 2012 to visit him. His health was quite poor at this point, and no one was sure how much longer he’d be with us.

Unfortunately, he was barely lucid by the time we arrived, but he looked at me and looked at my belly and I could tell he knew. He didn’t have to say anything, you could just see it in his face. At that visit, he gave the twins one of their first gifts. It was a set of stuffed bears, one boy and one girl, that he named Isadore and Isabella.

He passed shortly after the new year. I knew he’d never get to meet Miles and Abby but was sad all the same.

We used the bears in our maternity pictures, but otherwise they have sat on a shelf as I was trying to keep them nice and clean. Honestly, I had forgotten about them – not on purpose, just after getting involved in the hustle and bustle of life. A couple of days ago, though, both Abby and Miles came marching out of their room, a bear in each hand.

He may not have gotten to meet them, but he is still here.

Thinking Back

About a year after the move to South Carolina, my ex husband and I bought a house in a city about 45 minutes from Charleston. It was in that neighborhood that I met my first friends that weren’t automatically associated with the military. These women eventually formed a Bunco group who met once a month with a built in excuse to drink wine, chit chat and scream like kids on a roller coaster after a good roll.

Naturally, I was no longer in the group once we moved, but not too long after I moved back, this time by myself, I was welcomed back in. Many of the members have changed since then, but the atmosphere has never really shifted.

Friday night, after I left my wet flip flops in the foyer and grabbed a plate of food, I joined 3 others sitting at one of the tables. One of the women is a fellow mother of twin toddlers (hers are nearly 2). Unless you count the handful of outings I’ve taken with only one baby, I have zero experience as a mother to a singleton. Still, I know that motherhood to twins is a different experience entirely and enjoy having someone to share stories with from time to time. The most common (and unknowingly loaded) question I find that I get (from singleton and twin moms alike) is “do twins run in your family?”

I was very open about our road to parenthood as we traveled it and now is certainly no exception. The majority of the time, and in this case, I say “no, we went through fertility treatments.” Typically, I get a few questions or a short side story about a friend of a friend who had an IUI. On more rare occasions, the person has experienced infertility herself. There is always an instant bond with these people, because you know that they too have walked a lonely road that is very difficult for someone who has not walked it to understand.

In this case, the fellow twin mom not only had zero experience with infertility, she conceived with an ease that makes every fellow past and present infertile drool. What made her different, though, was her interest. Many are interested in the science behind the procedures. Fewer ask about the emotional impact. Even fewer REALLY ask.

Part of our groups conversation involved the experiences of pregnancy: morning sickness, bed rest, stretch marks, discomfort. When I first joined this Bunco group I was not yet ready to have children, so I didn’t have much to contribute. While trying initially, these conversations interested me. As we sunk further and further without any luck, they became painful. Even now, with 2000 pictures of my beautiful twins in my phone, when someone asks if twins runs in my family, it stings a little. It stings because I’ll never forget how painful those conversations sometimes were and how alone I felt. I’ll never forget feeling like I saw pregnant.women.everywhere. I’ll never forget how bitter the experience made me feel for a long time. How annoyed I felt when someone would complain about a pregnancy I would give my left arm to have and sometimes forced me into another room to shed a few tears before I could compose myself.

Fellow twin mom, taking interest, began asking questions not only about the IVF procedure itself but about how it felt to go through it. She said she had a friend who has had difficulty conceiving and, incidentally, been acting differently lately. She asked me if I thought being around her might be difficult for her friend, if she maybe felt bitter about the fact that her ability to conceive had been so easy. I was honest when I told her that was possible.

She was shocked. She told me she had no idea. That she meant absolutely no harm. This time, I understood.

I think I speak for many when I say that one of my biggest complaints was what felt like the lack of understanding from others. In hindsight I suspect it was more a lack of information than understanding. Through no fault of their own, people just have no idea. Truth be told, before I was ready to have a family, I didn’t either. In fact, I recall responding to the news of an acquaintances miscarriage with “at least she knows she can get pregnant” (not to her, thankfully). To this day, knowing what I know now, I am ashamed by that comment. I didn’t even want to type it out.

This post has sat unfinished in my drafts for two days because I am not sure how to finish it. I guess the experience brought some new understanding into the minds of others. When you’re in the throes, it’s so difficult to see the good natured side of some of the things people say. It seems, though, that many are really good intentioned. I was. Little did I know (at the time), though, the impact those words could have had. I, like fellow twin mom, meant no harm.

From inexperienced, well intentioned but likely insensitive, to the person on the receiving end of well intentioned but possibly insensitive comments, to someone who has now been on both sides being asked about someone else’s experience, it seems like, in a way, I’ve come full circle.

And I feel just as confused as ever.

*If this offends anyone still struggling, please accept my apologies. This was really just may way of trying to sort out my own thoughts and feelings about this particular issue.

 

Leaving a Mark (Part 2)

Shortly before we underwent our IVF, I decided to get a second tattoo. I got my first in 2007 and started to entertain the idea of a second after I ran my first marathon. After infertility became such a huge part of my life, and particularly after the post where I compared it to a marathon, I really wanted to symbolize them somehow.

So in July 2012, I nervously stepped into a local tattoo parlor and got this

finished tattoo

You can read the full story about that here 

Part of the reason I decided on this particular design was that it could work two ways. First, infertility will always be with me, because it and the experience really changed a great deal about the way I look at life. Second, if/when our treatment was successful, I could use it to symbolize things that are most important to me, things that are closest to my heart.

When our cycle was a success, I knew I’d somehow want to add the twins. This past Monday, I finally walked back into the tattoo parlor (though not as nervously this time) and got back into the chair.

A pink and blue foot for each of my little ones :)
A pink and blue foot for each of my little ones 🙂

A pair of footprints on my foot 🙂

Why There Probably Won’t Be a Number Three

I got an interesting, out of the blue request the other day.

The marketing department from the fertility clinic both called and wrote me an email, saying Channel 2 was interested in doing a news story on a patient who had taken Letrozole as part of their fertility treatment. Would I be interested in participating in this interview?

Honestly, at first I didn’t recall taking Letrozole, but once I googled it realized it was just the technical name for Femara, one of the meds I was given to take for our IUI cycle. The crappy hooray we have enough sperm to try an IUI canceled IUI cycle. The point of the interview, though (if I understood correctly) was to talk about how there is a smaller chance of multiple eggs and side effects (vs. using Clomid which I have not ever taken) and not whether it was part of a successful pregnancy, so I agreed.

I met with a photographer today who admittedly didn’t have much background on the subject of either infertility or the medication. I had no knowledge of what kind of questions they would ask, so we were both kind of winging it. He seemed confused as to why they would interview someone who had used it during a cancelled cycle and what exactly a cancelled cycle meant while I awkwardly stood in front of a camera trying to explain that the med had done what it was supposed to do and that the fact that my cycle was canceled had nothing to do with it. (This was all while trying to describe it to someone who had no idea what I was talking about.)*

As part of the interview, he asked me how it felt to have a successful cycle and how it felt to have a twins as a result (I am paraphrasing) and I meant every word when I said that it was an emotionally and financially taxing time, but that it was absolutely worth it and I would do it all over again.

I was kind of lying.

Right up there with my divorce, infertility was one of the most difficult things I’ve endured. I’ve written several posts before about how hard it is on ALL of your relationships, your emotions and even your sense of self. Even now as a mom it creeps in through feelings of guilt when I find myself annoyed over the 2nd middle of the night wake up.

Bryan sometimes expresses interest in having more, and while I watch some friends’ bellies grow, attend baby showers and coo over their newborn pictures I sometimes, briefly, think that it would be cool to experience again. For Abby and Miles, I would absolutely 100% relive every bad day and cry every tear. I would do it all over again, for THEM. But not for any more.

I have absolutely no interest in meds, injections, monitoring appointments and blood tests. No more appointments. No more transfers. No more anxiety.

I am just fine with two.

*I’m sure they will piece something together thanks to the magic of editing, unless they just decide to cut it altogether. Should I get word it is airing I will try to record and post it 🙂

 

 

Let’s Be Honest – Having a Baby Changes Everything

Today’s guest post comes from a family member – my sister Natalie.  I was going to type an intro, but I think I’ll let her explain: 

 

“Having a Baby Changes Everything.”

Humans are naturally creatures of habit. We don’t like change; we don’t want things to change even if we won’t admit it. That makes life more difficult and complex. With many of the changes in our life we don’t have the luxury to feel in control. We don’t have a choice in the matter. Things happen, and we must adapt to get over the change. But then, there are those moments when we get to choose how our life changes. The first major change in my life was selecting and going to a college. What seemed like a difficult choice at the time, quite frankly wasn’t all that difficult at all. I knew I wanted to be close to my parents and my friends. Naturally, this meant I would select a school in my home state. I knew I wanted to be a teacher, this meant I needed to go to a school with a good reputation for producing quality teachers. The final component was applying and getting accepted. Done. Okay let’s try this again. Choose a graduate school. This should be a difficult decision and big change in a person’s life, right? Never mind, my undergraduate school offered me a full ride scholarship. Done.  Choose the man I would spend the rest of my life with, again done. He always felt like my soul mate and planning the wedding with him was a joy and almost never a stress. I’m seeing a trend here, all the changes in my life that I thought were going to be hard were really not so hard after all.  Alright, last attempt, choosing a career path. And this, my friends, is where the challenging changes began.

Choosing a career path wasn’t going to be so easy for me. I knew I really didn’t want to work in my home state but it’s where my parents, my husband’s family, and our friends lived. How could I leave them behind? How could I ask my husband to leave everything he has ever known? How could I leave everything I had ever known? Then a miracle happened, a work of God. My sister’s fertility battle was over, she had won. Not only did she win but she did a victory lap and was pregnant with twins. I thought the saying “having a baby changes everything” was only really geared towards the new parents but almost a year later, I realized that saying goes to everyone. I bet at this point you’re asking yourself, what in the heck does this have to do with choosing a career path? It has everything to do with it.

I knew my sister would need help those first few weeks with the newborns. So, I volunteered to spend the first month of my summer with my sister.  This meant being over 10 hours away from home, while trying to finish planning my soon to be wedding.  Still, this did not worry me and then plans were made. Not long after, I got a phone call. A school close to my sister’s home wanted to interview me. I accepted the interview offer and set the date during my long visit. The interview was a major success. In fact, I ended up having four interviews that day.  I was quickly offered a position. I declined to sign on the big black line until I could think it over. This decision would change everything.

Two days later, my sisters C-Section date arrived. I was going to be an Aunt. Instead of focusing on the miracle, I was dwelling over my decision. What was I going to do with my life? I had hours of conversations with my soon to be husband at the time.  Still, I (we) were undecided.  I sat in the waiting room, excited for my sister and nervous about the big decision. Then the babies arrived. I still remember the first moment I saw them. I couldn’t believe I was an Aunt. I couldn’t believe my sister was a mom! I had no control over this change but I loved it. Then, I held those little boogers for the first time. How could I ever leave those babies? How could I pass up what could be the only chance I get to watch my niece and nephew grow?  How much would I regret turning the job down and never give it a fighting chance? It wasn’t long before the decision was made for a handful of reasons. My soon to be husband and I would pack our entire lives and take the biggest change WE have ever taken in our lives. Having a baby changes everything. That first month with screaming babies all night wasn’t easy. I was feeling out of control as I had to make life changes and fast. New apartment, new state, new job, new new new new new! Nothing would ever be the same. It has been the most difficult change in my life. But we made the big move, the big change.

The job has been an amazing challenge, an amazing change. I have stretched myself further than I ever had in my life. If you know me, I am always stretching myself to the breaking point. Sometimes I would sit in my apartment with my husband on a Friday night with a heavy heart, thinking about how I could be with my friends or with our families. I’d think about how this home didn’t feel like a home, my childhood home wasn’t a home anymore, my college town wasn’t a home. I have NO HOME! Saturday, I would work all day; clean the house, lesson plans, run errands, and the typical routine. But then Sunday would roll around. Naked Baby Sunday! Yes ladies and gentlemen, I said it, Naked Baby Sunday! My husband and I would load up in the car and drive a short distance to my sisters. This first thing you would see walking in her door is two babies, in nothing but a diaper rolling around on the floor.  My nephew would giggle as we walked in the door and my niece would get a big smile. Then, finally the moment I wait for all week: holding them and never wanting to let go, except when they scream! (Here you go mom!) Having a baby changes everything.  Those babies changed my life.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not all the babies fault. Mom and Dad were planning to move to my sister’s hometown soon. I didn’t want to stay in my home state. My husband was willing to take a chance because it would be now or never. But when I hold those babies I am home. When my husband holds those babies, it all their fault. It’s all their fault that I love my job. It’s all their fault my husband found the first job he has ever loved. It’s all their fault mom and dad are moving here sooner. It’s all their fault that I had to make new friends and miss my old but still important friends. It’s all their fault that I have never felt closer to my sister in my entire life. It’s all their fault and I don’t think we (my husband and I) would change a thing.  Yes, the times will be tough. Yes, I will still think about what our life could be like back in our home state.  But having a baby changed everything, and I would never take that back. Happy almost Birthday Abby and Miles! You have been the best change I would ever ask for. It wasn’t easy but you’re both so worth it. (Happy Tears) :’)

 

National Infertility Awareness Week – Another Marathon, Metaphorically

As part of this years theme “resolve to know more”, I dug up an old post I did awhile back as part of an analogy project in order to attempt to explain what infertility feels like.

I’ve finished two marathons.

It still feels weird to say that out loud. That, twice, I’ve trained, run 26.2 miles, and crossed the finish line. A feat I once related only to “crazy people” (well, that’s still appropriate) and people who run way too much (oddly now also appropriate).

When I started this blog, it began as a week by week training log for my second marathon, as I was preparing to do it mostly alone. A journey to the finish line. It also began as a place to log my fertility journey, as I was starting to feel more and more alone. Another journey to the finish line.

Infertility is a marathon.

At the start of the race, the excitement is palpable. We have all trained for this. We got up at the chirp of the alarm (and in my case, after several smacks of the snooze button) and regardless of the weather, regardless of mood, regardless of (most) illness, we ran. We ran 12, 16, 20 miles on a Saturday for no reason other than this day, this opportunity to run this race, cross this finish line, accept this medal, and feel this incredible accomplishment.  We skipped movies and drinks and went to bed early. Months of runs, hundreds of miles. We are ready.

Adrenaline begins pumping right from the beginning, the first few miles a breeze. A thousand or more people in your exact situation are running with you, some a bit faster, some a bit slower, but it doesn’t matter. You’re all in this together. Even if you lose the people you started with, there are still plenty around to match pace with, plenty of energy left to get yourself there.

Discomfort begins to set in as the miles add up. The number of people begin to thin. You begin to realize just how far 26 miles is. You start to wonder what you got yourself into, and start the ipod search for your most motivating songs on your playlist. If you didn’t know you could run 20+ miles already, you might consider dropping out. But ultimately the vision of the finish line, the medal, the feeling of victory keep you going. Somehow, something pops up at just the right time that keeps you from declaring defeat – a random cheer from a stranger, a particular song, knowing who is waiting for you at the finish line.

Pain sets in around mile 20. The end feels so close yet so far away. Your body starts to scream at you. The group of a thousand you started with has dwindled down to 3 or 4. The slight envy you once felt for the faster runners has turned into full out jealousy. You know you’ve trained harder than most of them. Seriously? How are you all finishing before me? You begin to feel every step, every pound of the pavement. Any change in terrain is physically difficult to recover from. Curse words are becoming more regular.  None of the three hundred Ipod songs are gonna do it, and even taking in half a Gu (an energy gel for distance runners) every mile doesn’t seem to be doing a darn thing. You hurt, you’re tired. You’ve gotta be the only one hurting this much. The finish line, though only a few miles away, feels like it’s never going to appear. The warnings that the true test is after mile 20 suddenly make sense.

Somehow, though, through combination of a force of will, stubbornness, training, and the few out of the group that stuck with you, you cross mile 26. And suddenly, though there are only a few runners left in the immediate vicinity, the crowd gets larger. You suddenly forget how sore you are because you can SEE the finish line. Somehow, you muster the energy to finish strong,  because suddenly you hear your cheering section, the crowd clapping, the announcer calling your name.  Somehow, you finished, and you feel incredible.

Also, you still hurt.  But despite it, you kept running.

When I first stepped foot onto the pavement my first run, (which was like, halfway around the block before I couldn’t breathe anymore) – I never imagined myself running a marathon. In fact, even after my first half marathon several years later I thought to myself “who wants to essentially do this twice? No thank you!”

When I first imagined myself with a family, in my house with my white picket fence (though I’d really prefer a privacy fence at this point in my life), I never imagined it would be a problem. I didn’t even know what infertility was.

I’m still waiting to cross the finish line.

In retrospect, I survived marathon training one run at a time, one week at a time, one long run at a time. I survived the race, particularly at the end, one mile at a time. It still hurt, in fact, it hurt quite a bit. At the end my calves were so sore I literally hobbled to the car.

But I’d do it all over again. I’ll remember that day and who was with me for the rest of my life. All of the pain and exhaustion was absolutely, positively 100% worth it.

One day at a time, one mile at a time, I await the day I can say that again.

I do want to add now, though, that even though we now have our two kids, I’m not sure there is ever really a “finish line” in infertility, because no matter what the outcome, it is always with you.

National Infertility Awareness Week – The Cost of Infertility

I’m putting a couple regularly scheduled posts on hold this week (except for my weekly twins update) in order to participate in National Infertility Awareness Week. This years theme revolves around the idea of “resolving to know more”.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, fertility treatments are not cheap.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lists the average price of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in the U.S. to be $12,400. (ASRM does not qualify if this includes medications.) We sought to find the price of intrauterine insemination (IUI), one IVF cycle using fresh embryos, and the additional charges for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) (where offered) from a cross section of clinics throughout the U.S. We called and e-mailed clinics that did not list prices on their websites, and discovered that some clinics generally do not give cost information over the phone (but they did for this story). When clinics do list the prices on their website, the information is clear and easy to understand, without many exclusions or disclaimers. RESOLVE encourages all clinics to post updated pricing on their websites.

  • Average cost of an IUI cycle: $865; Median Cost: $350
  • Average Cost of an IVF cycle using fresh embryos (not including medications): $8,158; Median Cost: $7,500
  • Average additional cost of ICSI procedure:$1,544; Median Cost: $1,500
  • Average additional cost of PGD procedure: $3,550; Median Cost: $3,200
    (Note: Medications for IVF are $3,000 $5,000 per fresh cycle on average.)

Several interesting trends in clinic pricing have surfaced:

  • In areas with few infertility clinics, prices, on average, are higher
  • High cost of living does not equate to high treatment costs
  • IUI prices ranged from $275 to $2,457—a huge differential. Some prices quoted include medications, blood work and sonograms; others do not—hence the huge price differential.
  • ICSI prices across the country are within $500 of each other—$1,000 to $1,500.

Our total cost, including initial docs visits, tests, medications, one IUI and one IVF cycle was 17,000+. And many spend much much more.

(Info taken from the resolve website.)

Finances aren’t the only expense though. To give an example of this I’m going to resurrect/link back to one of my old posts written before we started our IVF cycle on The Cost of Infertility.

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: