Well Anna Freud overlooked one key defense — excessive researching.
I’ve been on a research frenzy the last 72 hours and I’m quite certain that it’s my attempt to distance myself from the feelings, keep moving along, and create some illusion of control in this situation. Nevertheless, now that I’ve broadened my searching to include the three little letters “IVF,” I’m coming across some rather interesting information that I thought I would share with you. I’d love to hear from fellow infertiles out there about your thoughts on these links; I’m sure many of you know much more than I about some of these topics and I would love to learn from you.
There is an act proposing an Infertility Tax Credit for infertility treatment, part of the Family Act of 2011, which would be similar to the current adoption tax credit. A tax credit approach rather than mandating insurance companies to cover IF treatment because it is more passable in our current political climate. Check this out and write your legislators, please!
Similarly, did you know the Affordable Care Act could make infertility treatments more affordable? We’d need infertility to be consider one of the “Essential Health Benefits.” One thing that enrages me the most these days is that IF treatments and, thus carrying one’s own biological child, are considered a luxury and “elective” similar to cosmetic surgery. I did not choose infertility nor did I do anything to bring it on. I wish my health insurance would help me out as I’m dealing with this disease and believe that it should, but only 15 states have laws requiring any degree of coverage. I see IF treatment as quite essential and not something that should be available only to the rich. Again, write your legislators!
Cool organization out of RESOLVE (national infertility association) specifically addressing these and other legislative issues, the Center for Infertility Justice. They track what’s going on, lobby for infertiles, keep us updated, and help everyone know what stye can do to get involved.
A “Self” magazine feature article on the silent suffering of many women with infertility, “Breaking the Silence on Infertility.” I find it helpful in portraying some of the struggles of IF, particularly the financial burden and difficulty with social support. May be helpful for some people who have difficulty understanding the toll IF takes. This is also really convicting to those of us with infertility, calling to question our silence and challenging us to speak out so the disease gets recognition, which then leads to research dollars and direct emotional support for couples. All of this has me thinking about how “out” to be as we move forward and what it looks like to be an advocate for myself and others.
Most of these links come from RESOLVE’s webpage, what a great organization.
I also have been taking the action approach on a more personal level. Monday afternoon I spoke with our doctor and, after warmly and sincerely sharing her sadness over the IUI’s non-success, she shared with me our options for moving forward with IVF. At this point Hubs and I have decided to move forward with this treatment recommendation. There is a lot to work out, like where the $15K for the first round is going to come from, but we’re feeling like this is the best next step to take and all the while praying for God’s guidance and that He would stop us if this isn’t what He has for us.
We met with our pastor a couple weeks ago to talk through how we’re doing, our feelings and questions about IVF, and the countless decisions involved with this super involved treatment. He was so calm and straightforward in this conversation and this brought me a great deal of relief and calm myself. I think IVF gets so complicated and sensationalized with media and partial/mis-information, but the more I look into it the fewer ethical questions I have. I feel very comfortable with the IVF plan we would follow and, as our pastor framed it, that in this process our heart is to be hospitable to life. Hubs keeps getting caught up on how “weird” it all is, particularly embryos begin frozen until a later transfer date, but our pastor was quick to remind him that frozen embryos are about one point on the 100-point weird scale of a human growing inside another human. Then he pulled out his theological booyah of the day, citing how Jesus was conceived apart from the act of sex. Perfect.
Anyhow, we’re proceeding, and a step at a time. We had about a day to decide whether we would start with IVF in December which would have required starting meds yesterday but would have coincided beautifully with the slow seasons at work, or whether we’d wait until at least January, taking some time off but probably having to shuffle work stuff around more for meds, monitoring appointments, retrieval surgery, transfer etc.. I printed out some monthly calendars and my trusty colored pens and had at it, a la Liz Lemon. (PS — Has anyone else noticed all of the infertility references on TV lately?)
In the end we decided we need to recipe a little bit, figure out some finances, and even try to get excited about IVF rather than feeling like it’s another step to plod through. So, for today, things are a little more in order. In our heads and on our calendars, if nowhere else.