A couple of months ago we received our annual bill from the clinic for sperm storage, which meant once again we had to decide what we were going to do with it – continue paying $250-odd per year in case we try again or let it go and if by some miracle we did try again, ask BD to do another donation.
Some of the factors influencing this are:
– we wouldn’t be bothering with any more IUIs. They didn’t work the first time round, they are still out of our reach financially right now and we feel like it would just be wasting 10% of potential IVF costs if we did try them. Short of winning lotto, the chances of us being able to afford another round of IVF + ICSI in the next couple of years is slim. If we did have the money, we would be making a conscious decision to take it out of our (currently non-existent) house fund and/or Sprocket’s future. It was all fine and well making that decision when we were desperate to have one child, but it’s a little harder now we have Sprocket to consider – we know all too well that there are no guarantees, even with IVF.
– this year with K as a Master’s student, money is a lot tighter as we are also paying back her new student loan, so $250 is a big chunk out of our budget
We made some calls to the clinic and found out that it would cost us a couple of thousand if we were to scrap the current sperm and start afresh, but also that our sperm is set to “expire” in just 3 more years. We knew a little bit about the HART act and how it applied to anonymous donors but for some reason we didn’t realise that it affected us as well. In a vague nutshell they are only allowed to keep/use anything within a 10 year period of the donation, to go outside of this means applying to the ethics committee for exemption and is a whole other rigmarole.
We also asked about public funding, which I at least thought of as a longshot, as we were on the waiting list for this when K did get pregnant from our 2nd privately funded IVF round. They couldn’t answer then and there so we were put on the waiting list for an appointment so we could be scored for that.
The appointment came up for yesterday, Mother’s Day, at 8am – we weren’t sure if this was a good omen or not!
We had to take Sprocket with us due to the time of the day, and that it was Mother’s Day, so it was a little awkward when we weren’t the only ones in the waiting room. Luckily the other couple were taken through fairly quickly and it was just us. Our fertility doctor came out and greeted us like long lost friends, shaking hands with both of us and then Sprocket. Neither of us were prepared for the emotion of that moment, watching our son shake hands and interact with him, but it was very special and reminded us how far we’d come since those dark, desperate days.
The start of the appointment was a general catch up and recap of Sprocket’s birth, and then he asked if we wanted another. Lol yep, kind of why we were there! At first he said there was no chance of funding, but then he remembered that we have paid for everything privately with Sprocket, and haven’t yet had any public treatment, so he started doing the score sheet. A big part of the scoring was obviously around fertility history, and K scored highly for having a serious biological reason for infertility. He paused to tell the trainee doctor that was with him about how bad her endometriosis had been and how he remembered the resection operation in detail because it was very tricky (stage 4 and at the time one of the worst cases he’d seen, which clearly hasn’t changed four years on). Basically, because of the degree of seriousness, the proven infertility of 12 IUI and 1 IVF failures prior to the operation and then the excellent response to IVF after the operation, K does qualify for public funding.
This is amazing and such a huge relief, but we’re not completely there yet. K has to reduce her BMI before being put on the waiting list, and then the waiting list can be anywhere from 12-18 months long. Throw into that the fact that you have to be under 40 to receive publicly funded treatment, and it means that we have a strict timeframe in which to lose weight in order to make it onto the list in time for her round to come up prior to her turning 40 in 2016. But it is doable. We are both already seeing benefits from some lifestyle changes the last couple of months and this is just some really kickass motivation. For the record, our sperm timeframe runs out in 2017 so this would all be perfect timing! Closer to the actual IVF round, she would have some more testing done such as AMH, but in the meantime her day 2 bloods were all perfect which is good news.
Absolute best case scenario would be a publicly funded (i.e free to us) IVF round which yields both a pregnancy and freezable blastocysts which would then be transferred succesfully for a 3rd child later (again free to us as that would stem from the same IVF round and therefore be covered under that funding). Of course this is getting a bit ahead of ourselves, we’ve so far had no freezable blasts from two IVF rounds but it’s an amazing dream and so much more that we dared to hope for 2 days ago. For the many frustrations we have with our healthcare system, it’s times like these we freaking love it!
We’ve also got some other things on the go, it’s still in our minds trying at home with BD but this is proving very difficult logistically. It’s now 16 months since our first and only attempt at this, with no firm plans for the next little while either. We have also been looking into foster care, and have the application forms sitting on our dining room table right now. It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time, and it feels like the right time to at least complete the application/training side of things this year while K is a bit more flexible with her time. Yay for student life – and speaking of which, my clever wife has also earned A’s for her first two assignments so far, with two more having been due the last few days.