On Trying Again

Sometimes I wonder how much I want to share with the world. I like to write and this blog has been a great way for me to express my feelings and experiences with those who care enough to read it but I have to admit that I struggle with how honest I want to get. I guess I always felt like there was some stuff that should stay private and while I still believe that to be true, I realized how much I appreciate it when other bloggers write about their lives in an open and unfiltered way.

So. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year now. Yeah, that’s a little tough for me to put out there though I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the stigma of infertility or the fear that writing it down somehow makes it more real or even the concern that people will judge me for wanting to have another baby when it seems as if all I do is complain about how hard parenthood is. Still, I feel like it’s time to share this particular part of my life with you.

My husband and I had agreed a while ago that for us, the ideal spacing between kids was 2 years. Not too close together to be completely overwhelming but not too far apart so the kids wouldn’t form a tight bond. I know everybody has different opinions on what the best age gap is but we both felt that 2 years would be perfect. In order for that to happen, I would had to have gotten pregnant when Peanut was 15 months old. Well, here we are – our daughter is now 26 months old and not only am I not pregnant but I’m wondering whether I ever will be again.

They call this secondary infertility, I think. I’ve tried not to over-Google it or anything but I believe that’s the phrase I came upon a few times when referring to somebody who can’t get pregnant after successfully conceiving the first child. (Or something like that. Hey, I’m no doctor, you know.) The funny thing is that I was always nervous I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant at all. From the time I was pretty young -a teenager, I think- I had a feeling there would be struggles with fertility. I was diagnosed with PCOS about 15 years ago, had really irregular cycles and just had a sense that it wouldn’t be easy. I would read blog after blog of women and couples dealing with infertility and for some reason, I could always relate. Even though I had never been through it myself, I just felt a kinship with those women.

When my husband and I got married, we decided we’d start trying immediately because we’re not exactly young. I was 36 at the time and he was…let’s just say he was older than that. (If he wants to tell his age, that’s up to him. Old people get pretty sensitive about that sort of thing.) At around the 5 month mark, I actually did consult with a fertility specialist because at that age, it’s recommended you do it sooner rather than later. I left the consultation and figured I’d talk it over with my husband and we’d decide what treatments we would want to pursue. Luckily, we never had to because I got pregnant just one week later without any treatment at all.

My husband tried to use this as proof that all of my fears were unfounded. See? He’d say. You worried for nothing. But even then I don’t think I ever let go of my fears. I thought to myself: well, this all happened too easily. Surely something will go wrong down the road. And so, here we are. I’m turning 39 (!) in less than a month and we can’t get pregnant. We’ve done one round of IUI which didn’t work. We probably would’ve done more except for the fact that I found out the IUI was unsuccessful 3 days after we moved to Florida. Welcome to Florida! You’re not pregnant!

This morning I called my husband’s insurance carrier to find out what our infertility coverage is. Before I tell you about that, let me just say that my benefits with the job I just left in NYC were awesome. Like, seriously awesome. Besides the amazing 401(k) with the 150% company match and the various discounts to certain retailers (which I actually never took advantage of but I liked to know they existed) and the classes the company offered and the adoption benefits (again, never used but nice to know they were there), the health insurance was great. We had $25,000 worth of lifetime infertility coverage. IUI, IVF, the whole gamut. Covered. Obviously, there were deductibles and co-pays but it was still great.

Here’s something I learned only over the last month: did you know that in some states, insurance companies are required by law to provide coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment and others have no such obligation? I didn’t but I certainly do now. New York is one of those great states that requires infertility coverage. Guess where Florida stands? Yup, Florida has no regulations concerning infertility coverage. So what I learned today is that the health insurance we have now with my husband’s new job will not cover anything they call “advanced reproductive technology.” Which basically means that unless your problem is easily treated with a pill, you’re shit outta luck. No IUI, no IVF, no nothin’.

I’m kind of angry, kind of sad and mostly just confused. What do we do? Do we just stop and consider ourselves lucky that we’ve got one amazing daughter who fills our lives with joy? How far do we want to go? I’ve never wanted to have an only child and neither has my husband (in fact, we both always wanted to have 3 kids though I think at our age, we realized that’s probably not very likely). Peanut has started asking about brothers and sisters and often points to pictures of families in books and says, “Mommy, Daddy, Peanut, Sister, Brother.” I don’t know if she has any concept of what a sister or a brother really is but I do think she’d be the best big sister ever. To make matters worse, it seems as if every couple with a child our daughter’s age has already had or is pregnant with their second child. It’s hard not to compare myself with other people and find myself constantly coming up short.

I often wonder if I brought this about myself. Did all my years of thinking I would have trouble having kids lead us to this? Did all my reading and relating to infertility blogs somehow take me in this direction? I know that sounds ridiculous but I guess that’s the thing about infertility – it finds a way to insert doubt into everything.

At some point, I’ll write about all my fears of not having another kid and I’ll also write about all my fears of having another kid. (Oy, it’s just never easy, is it?) For now, I just wanted to put this out there before I lost my nerve.

 

 

9 thoughts on “On Trying Again

  1. I am so moved by your honesty and appreciate you sharing. You obviously have a lot of love to give a child. While the right thing for every family is different, I’ve recently made the decision to adopt. All new insecurities to stress over! I wish you luck on your journey and hope Florida starts to treat you a little nicer.

  2. I don’t think reading about infertility can make you so – but I do think you can ‘talk yourself into it’! Just relax! :)

  3. I have been reading your blog for a while now and never left a comment.
    I live in AZ and have a friend who went through IVF. She tried to get pregnant for about 5 years. They have a 6 years old girl, so they started to try when she was around 1 year old. They also thought that a difference of between 1 to 3 years was the best.
    They tried IVF. First time, did not work. Second time, no luck either. Third time, she had an ectopic pregnancy and almost died. (the nurses ignored her pains for weeks and when she went to get an ultrasound they found the ectopic. It had already erupted and she was bleeding internally. She needed emergency surgery and lost an ovary).
    The fourth time, did not work either. They even tried a fifth time and it did not work.
    They spent around $20k per treatment and almost every time she had to get injections twice a day.
    I understand what you are going through.
    She gave up. Her husband wants her to keep trying and she wants to adopt.

    I wish you good luck with whatever you decide! :)

    • Nana, my heart goes out to your friend. It’s devastating to spend that much money on a dream of having a child only to not have it happen. I hate that so many people have to make the decision between going broke or going childless, it’s really heartbreaking.

  4. This is so not your fault. I do understand your fears. While I do not have any history of issues, I was always concerned about getting pregnant due to choices I made when I was younger. However unfounded, it still worried me. Much to our surprise, I literally got pregnant a month or two after coming off the pill. I always wanted two kids (maybe because I was 1 of 2 growing up) about 3 years apart (like me and my sister). So I started trying again around that timeframe. I figured it would be a piece of cake. I thought I was in control of this. I was reminded due to a very early miscarriage that every child truly is a miracle. I did finally get my baby girl and my kids are 4 years apart. They are very close though and I am lucky to have them. I wish for you fertile happy days ahead. Sometimes you just have to keep trying and hope for the best. xoxoxo

  5. I haven’t had fertility issues myself but my sister and my best friend both struggled for many years with infertility. Happy to report that my 41 year old sister just had triplets (yes, be very careful when doing IVF!) and my best friend just had her second child (her first she actually did embryo adoption but she got pregnant on her own the second time without any intervention!). I don’t know what your particular issues are but I wanted to throw this out there because it happened to my sister and went undetected for several years.. once resolved she was able to get pregnant very successfully. I don’t know the medical terminology but it was basically some sort of infection of her fallopian tubes where there was some type of fluid that was leaking into the uterus and causing the pregnancies to be unsuccessful. Once the doctors FINALLY figured it out she was able to conceive! (@nana, she also had an ectopic pregnancy with a ruptured fallopian tube and had to have emergency surgery). I wish the best of luck to you.. Ultimately, it is very expensive, that really sucks about your insurance. My sister lives in florida as well and they’ve paid for everything out of pocket. Keep your chin up!! I was worried that it would never happen for my sister or her friend but after 7+ years it worked out great! Best wishes!

  6. Wow! You guys have had a stressful few months. My husband and I also wanted our children two years apart. We tried for this and didn’t get pregnant. I started to freak out and wonder what was wrong with me. We got pregnant the first time so easily. My husband told me I needed to relax but you know how hard that can be when you really want something. Our second son was born a month before our oldest turned 4. It’s been perfect for us!!!! Looking back, having them two years apart would have been so very stressful for me. My oldest was old enough to help me with the baby and he was also old enough to understand why Mommy had to spend so much with the baby. If he wanted me to play with him but I had to nurse his brother he would settle for me reading a book to him instead. He got it. I’m not saying this is best for everyone, but for us it worked better. He’s an amazing big brother and helps his little brother so much. He was also potty trained before the baby was born. :)

    I did not have your medical concerns and I’m not trivializing those concerns at all. Just thought I might give a shout out for having siblings a little farther apart. It can work and they can have a great bond. Although, it stinks to know I’ll only get the joy of having my oldest drive his younger brother and himself to school before the oldest graduates high school. sigh. There’s pros and cons to every situation. I wish you and your husband the best! I have enjoyed reading your blogs so much. Your honesty is so encouraging and inspiring.

  7. I just wanted to say that it’s great that you’re putting it out there. My daughter is 10 months and we never told a soul that we consulted a fertility specialist. Insurance is complicated and in our case it was horrible as well and did not cover “advanced treatments”. I assume you already found out exactly what your insurance does and does not cover? In my case I didn’t realize until about 6 months later that my insurance did cover all infertility testing (including my husbands) and any medication up until we decided to do anything “advanced” like IUI or IVF. Once we decided to do IUI or IVF nothing would be covered. That meant we could do medicated cycles where I used fertility medication, had the ultrasounds to check my ovaries and follicles and figuring out excatly when I would be ovulating. Those things would be covered along with the deductible which was still $500. In any case even if it wasn’t covered, it’s a less expensive option (I think). Anyway we were about to bite the bullet and move directly to IVF after our first two “medicated only” cycles failed because I was already 38 and there was nothing physically wrong with me or my husband. Thankfully the third time was the charm and I had my daughter right before I turned 40. I’m sure you already know this as well but age also plays a smaller role in male fertility as well. Best of luck to you and your family!

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