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Too many decisions makes me want to drink beer

Ok.

Ok you guys.

If I have ever complained about how much it sucks being infertile and doing IUI, IVF, and so on and so forth….

It sucks much more to be infertile and be faced with this.

What to do?

First of all, we have an appointment to conference with Dr. K July 23rd.  Sort of a mother-of-all-that-is-holy-hold-me-and-tell-me-I’m-awesome-even-if-my-eggs-are-shit kind of conference.  Because the truth is, it doesn’t matter why this cycle didn’t work.  It’s more for peace of mind so I am not left wondering. We are also going to meet with the donor coordinator to discuss options.  Our clinic offers an Attain program for egg donation.  Three fresh and three frozen IVF cycles, just like we had, but using donor eggs.  Several months ago when we met with the coordinator to discuss the program, we were told it would be $35,000, not including meds.  Not that this was a walk in the park, but we were prepared to consider it.

We got the information packet yesterday.  Let me lay out what the options can be:

Attain, using donor eggs

A single donor IVF cycle

Use a frozen egg bank

Embryo Donation

Embryo Adoption

We looked in the packet last night.  I am not sure what the catch is, why we are getting completely different numbers, but we saw the price of Attain’s donor egg program. 

Yeah. $45,025.

Fuck. That.

How? How can anyone afford that?? I literally had to shake my head at that one.

The cost of a single donor egg cycle?

$25,175.

Again.  Fuck. That.  I mean, this whole thing is just insane.  I especially can’t understand the price tag of a single donor cycle.  If it doesn’t work, you lose it all.  Gone.  Poof.

How can they expect people to pay for this stuff?  So, as of now, using donor eggs is out.  There is just no way we can swing that.  And the waiting list can be about 7-8 months.

Attain, using donor eggs

A single donor IVF cycle

Use a frozen egg bank

Embryo donation

Embryo Adoption

So we looked at the brochures in the folder about frozen egg banks.  Ok, we thought, looking through the glossy pages with pictures of smiling babies, Well this could be good.  “The frozen egg bank cycle can be performed within 1-2 months.” “30-50% less cost than a fresh IVF cycle!”

Yeah.  Assured Refund Plan (6 frozen transfers): $42,000.  Cost of a single frozen cycle: $18,000.

Can someone tell me how this can possibly be “much more cost effective” than a fresh donor cycle?

Again.  Fuck. That.

Eggs, it would seem, are out of the question.  I mean, no decision has officially been made, but with a price tag of about $45,000 I just don’t think we could do it.

Attain, using donor eggs

A single donor IVF cycle

Use a frozen egg bank

Embryo donation

Embryo Adoption

So that leaves us with embryos.  Donation? Adoption?  Who knows.  I was really holding out hope that our child could at least share genes with one of us.  Chris seems to not think it’s a big deal if his sperm isn’t used, but I was pretty broken up about it.  After all, there is nothing wrong with him.  Why should he miss out on having a child with his genetics just because his wife has a shitty body?  Ugh, it sucks.

This whole thing SUCKS!

I digress.  I could be wrong, but I believe there are two places in the country where one could pursue embryo adoption (EA).  One of those places is in Tennessee at the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC).  You pay for a home study (yes, a home study like in a traditional adoption) which I think is a couple hundred dollars, and the entire cost, excluding meds and the home study are about $5,000. Throw in another $2,000 for plane tickets, as they require you to travel to the clinic twice during the cycle, and voila!  Affordable.

Another couple we know (who may be reading this blog :)) went this route and have a beautiful little girl from EA. We’ve asked them a few questions, just to get some more information. I know some of you reading this have been through EA.  What are your experiences? Anyone who went to NEDC?

Our second serious consideration is embryo donation.  More or less the same as EA, but no home study, because it’s not an “adoption.” This is another option for us, but I don’t know where to go for this one.  They say it’s more difficult getting donor embryos.

So there you have it.  Options.  At least we are thinking about options. Better than eating copious amounts of chips and dip and drowning my sorrows in a beer. Which I did last night.

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Suzanne
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Chips, dip and beer sounds like the obvious and wise choice to help process all of that information. I completely support. It's mind blowing how expensive third party reproduction is and it pains me daily that it can be so out of reach for people that need it. I won't get started on that, it will take me down a long and rant-y political road. 😉 I love that you and your husband are both open to so many avenues. That gives me so much hope that you are going to find the right path for you. It's a grieving… Read more »

Just T
Guest

It absolutely sickens me to see the cost of these treatments and for 90% of it not to be covered by any kind of insurance for most people. Something needs to change in the United States with infertility coverage!
I am glad there are other more affordable options out there for you. I wish you the best on these hard decisions.

Non Sequitur Chica
Guest

Only chips, dip and beer? I would break out some ice cream as well to process all of this. Ugh. I can't believe how expensive all of those options are! Good luck figuring out which option to go with- we will be here to support you!

Rebecca
Guest

I'm at Midwest Fertility in the Indianapolis area, and they have an embryo donation program. http://midwestembryodonation.com/. Not sure how hard/easy it is.

Or just take a vacation to the Czech Republic! 🙂 http://www.ivfvacation.com/

I hope you are drinking lots of beer and lots of wine while deciding these things. You deserve it after the hell you have been through. Praying for good options to arise for you, options that feel good and right to your heart.

holly
Guest

Wow… sounds like a lot to process!! I hope you find a solution that works for you guys!

Jenny
Guest

Urgh. I hope you drank a shit-ton of beer. I'm pretty clueless about egg or embryo donation because I live in Canada where our stupid system makes it incredibly hard to do either, but I was going to suggest the same as Rebecca; have you looked into international IVF at all? I have a friend who has helped several couples get set up with a clinic in Mexico for egg donation (which I was considering at one point) and it's significantly cheaper than in the US. I also know of at least one blogger who went to the Czech Republic… Read more »

irinka
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Here is another agency that does embryo adoption. you don't even have to travel there, they will ship your embryos to your clinic. I heard about them on the radio, they sound good
http://www.nightlight.org/snowflakes-embryo-donation-adoption/

~ Megz ~
Guest

Been faced with similar options- its sucks- many prayers-

Bren38
Guest

Hi Risa, I have been following your blog and have never commented ( that I can remember). My husband and I have been down your same path. My eggs were not good. We tried IUI's and IVF's. Then we decided to go with a donor egg. We did what is called a "split cycle" with another couple that we never met. The cost was $12,000 ( each couple) . We chose a 24 year old who gave us each 12 good eggs. I didn't worry about the eggs cause they were from a 24 year old! We got pregnant on… Read more »

Aramis
Guest

I'm not sure if you're still reading my blog, but we're in the process of DE in Czech Republic. The cycle itself is 4500 Euro (just over $6000 US), with our travel costs looking to be about $4000. Cost ends up being about the same as a regular IVF cycle here. It hasn't been a picnic coordinating cycles with an overseas donor, but if I'm pregnant at the end of it I'm sure I'll say it was worth it. I can keep you posted and give you more details on our clinic over there after we've gone (early July) if… Read more »

Amanda Eisenberg
Guest

Once again our paths are matching up – we had our donor egg talk on Tuesday morning but had much better results in the cost information. Thru Shady Grove we can do their Shared Donor/Shared Risk program which is 20,000 plus medication for 6 cycles. We'll share a donor with someone else, but we do get to keep any frozen embryos that might result from a cycle. They also have a travel program, there is a couple in one of my infertility groups who is traveling to MD from CO – as even with airfares it's cheaper than attain. Just… Read more »

Baby On Mind
Guest

Risa, I went through NEDC for embryo adoption, and also have a fried that have done so, now have a set of boy/girl twins that just turned 2, and are going back for another transfer for their siblings in September. NEDC is great, and I love Dr. Keenan. I also know of others that have gone down the embryo donation route with a few options for clinics. There is also an embryo adoption/donation group on FB, but it is a secret group, and you have to be invited to join. Let me know if you are interested in joining the… Read more »

Caroline
Guest

The options sometimes are so difficult to make! Hope you get clear direction and wisdom on what to do!

Aubrey
Guest

Having options is great, but it's also soooooo hard! How do you decide?! I always said I wish someone could just tell me what to do…! I know you'll figure this out, though! Hang in there, my friend. XOXO

Amanda
Guest

I remember looking at the same options a few months ago as we looked at potential next steps… I sobbed. And not just because the choice is hard but because of the cost. I won't lie, our decision was partly based on financial issues… I'm not sure we'd have picked the one we did if all things were equal, but maybe that's where we're meant to be and the financial crap just led us there. It's frustrating none the less when you feel like your options are limited not only by your body but also your finances. If you have… Read more »

Hope4babyover40
Guest

Oh yikes, so many costs! I would have added chocolate… for after the chips, dips and beer, not alongside. Just also wanted to suggest looking overseas, although this is not from personal experience, but it seems like it might be cheaper. I wish you luck whichever you decide!

Amanda
Guest

just something to throw out there…my RE has been VERY helpful in negotiating prices and allowing us to do payment plans. never accept the "sticker price" especially for a package of cycles. Also when we were considering donor eggs…he has a donor bank and the eggs are $2k a piece. They're all known successful donors. Potentially 2-3 eggs plus transfer..looking at $6k for one round of donor eggs. I go to a top doctor in Philadelphia. There are programs like this elsewhere as well.

Melissa Long
Guest

It's just insane how much they charge for these things. I really wish you luck!

Rach
Guest

It's always blows my mind how expensive this can all be. That's where we're at too…trying to decide what, of the options, is even remotely feasible. What amazes me is that it's not covered by most drug plans….why? When is society going to take a step up and realize that it's not necessarily "elective"…certainly not as elective as a nose or boob job is.

I hope that whatever option you come to decide on, you celebrate with a final beer/chips/tacos/chocolate/cake party because, hopefully, for the next 10ish months you'll be busy growing a human!

Jennifer T
Guest

This does suck and it is maddening it is so expensive! Once you get to this point, you have already been through enough, couldn't they make it a little easier?? Maybe in my dream world…. I hope that the embryo donation or adoption works out for you and it works in the time frame that you hope for. Good luck and hoping for the best!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You can go to embryoadoption.org and under the adopters heading is a list of embryo adoption agencies and a list of clinics with embryo donation programs. I've gone through two different clinics for embryo donation. I've been happy with both. We chose to go through a clinic donation program due to money and time….we could do a cycle when we wanted. We did look into the NEDC, but they couldn't get us in as quick as we were wanting. I've done transfers with out of state and local clinics and for me, going local was much easier, just because I… Read more »

Amber
Guest

Infertility just sucks period. I can't believe how much it costs. I'm so grateful for all the people that have left such good ideas/referrals in these comments for you. I was incredibly lucky to have my sister be an egg donor for us, so that eliminated the cost of donor fees. We just had to pay for the IVF cycle. Whatever you decide to do, I just really really hope and pray it's the solution for you! Always wishing you the best of luck!

Stephanie
Guest

I'm so sorry Risa! I can't believe a week ago I was bitching about $1200 to prep embryos! I'm sorry for that! I hope you two are able to make it happen! I pray every day for you!!!

Ann Erickson
Guest

I'd highly recommend Miracles Waiting. We were matched with a family through this site. We were in our final stages of legal paperwork to get it all finalized and we got pregnant on our third cycle of ivf (with "horrible embryo quality" according to the doctors… it ended up being triplets). People are looking to donate their embryos but don't have profiles because they don't want to get approached. We posted our profile and were approached by the family who was looking to donate. Praying for you!

Leslie
Guest

It is not for everyone but I also thought I would mention the California conceptions program. I am new to your blog and am currently 34w with twins through their program. It is a dual donor pgm with fresh or frozen cycles. We chose it as it was more affordable and they have incredible success rates. There is a board on baby center.com dedicated to the program. Has a lot of great info!! Wishing you the best!!

Mrs. Lost
Guest

I don't know why it has to be SO expensive, it really pisses me off. I will continue to pray for you throughout this process. Some day you can look back on this blog post as you hold your baby in your arms! That is my wish for you..