Thursday, January 3, 2008

Me Thinks You Doth Protest Too Much

As I poured my (large) glass of wine for the evening and headed to the bathroom for some good old-fashioned tub soaking, I pondered why I was so upset that we are now on the hook for our medication. Other than the obvious reason that it is not an insubstantial sum of money to fork over, I thought of the two real reasons that explained why I was being an Ungrateful Bitch.

Reason 1: I am a terrible gambler.

This is not based on my win/lose record, but because I am the cheapest gambler known to man. I went to Vegas and put exactly $4 in the slots (and I had difficulty parting with that much). I do better with lottery tickets if only because part of the money you spend is to really have a legitimate reason to fantasize about everything that you are going to buy when you (of course) win the big pot. But, I am just a cheap-ass gambler which means I don't gamble.

Square that with infertility, however, and you have what is known in fancy words as a paradox. Infertility treatments are the ultimate gamble. Every month you are gambling on hope, money, eggs, sperm, uteruses, and a whole host of other factors to achieve that jackpot of a smiling pregnancy test. It's one thing to gamble all of that with the cushion of knowing that some of it is being paid for with someone else's money. But now, we are gambling with our own money. Money that should be saved toward a college fund or donated to an animal shelter. I'm afraid that this is going to make it that much more difficult to accept if we have a bad outcome.

Reason 2: I have to pay for that which should be free.

I have a rather well-developed, and frankly probably over developed, sense of the unfair. For example, it is not fair that one person gets paid more than another person simply based upon their gender. That's a no-brainer. It's also not fair that animals are treated cruelly every day while others are pampered and given caviar. As for my situation, I think that it is unfair that I have to pay for the pleasure of medical intervention to get pregnant when most people can just do it in the back of a car for free (ok, maybe someone has to shell out money for dinner, but we're not talking the thousands of dollars that any given procedure might cost you).

The response that most people want to give to this particular complaint is "life is unfair" or "you got dealt a bad hand". I'm sorry - that's just not good enough for me. I think I, and all of the women dealing with infertility out there, deserve a better answer than that. Unfortunately, I know that a better answer doesn't exist. And that is totally unfair.

3 comments:

Hey said...

What's the deal with IVF? Are you covered at all with that? Do you pay per cycle or does your doctor have a deal?

I remember that one of the IVF clinics that advertised in Virginia had a thing where if you paid for 2 cycles up front, they would give you up to five if you needed them. (They're gambling that you get pregnant on the first or second cycle so they either make loads of money or break even; the patient is hedging their bet in case they need a bunch of cycles.)

[Becks]

Mrs.X said...

We are lucky that we actually have some of our infertility benefits left after the IUIs, so we are doing insurance for the procedures, even though we are paying out of pocket for the medications (and apparently lab work I found out today). I kind of wish Dr. Uterus did the break-even thing - I have heard about that at other clinics, but hopefully we'll be able to get a lot out of these benefits.

seraphimcharm said...

It's true. Life is monumentally unfair. My sister, who is, out of the women I know, probably the most uniquely qualified to be a mom, had a terrible time getting pregnant. She had to go through a huge number of procedures and doctor's visits, etc.

On the plus side, after all that, she is now the mother of an amazing, fun, sweet, interesting human being.

Just saying - don't give up. Yeah, it's unfair, and there are no guarantees, but "you can't win if you don't play" (to use a horrible cliche), and the payout is almost incalculable.

It's sort of like Pascal, who claimed that it made more sense to belive in God, since the benefit in the afterlife was basically infinite happiness. Even if he was wrong, he reasoned, the effect would be that there was no afterlife, and therefore he wouldn't be around to notice that he'd gotten the short end of the stick on this one.

Stay strong. You can do this.