It seems to be a theme recently. Once again, we have been asked to put a number on hope. This time, a price tag.
When we cycled with Dr. Uterus this time last year, we still had our insurance benefits. He told us how much IVF cost and we filed the information away knowing that of that amount, we would only have to fork over a fraction because through discounts he gave to the insurance company and our remaining benefits, we were covered. If it had worked, if we had taken home a wailing little baby, I don’t know if we would have appreciated how lucky we were to have coverage for an entire IVF cycle.
A year later, here we are, getting ready to dip a toe into the pool of IVF again, only this time, we have no insurance benefits, no fiscal balm to help with the five-figure sting of IVF (not including drugs). After the failed FET in August, we knew that it was only a matter of time before our benefits well officially ran dry. So, when we started to look for a new RE in September, one of the many considerations was cost. Dr. Salsa was an attractive choice in this respect because he had some form of shared risk program.
That is how we found ourselves discussing this week whether to go for the 1, 2 or 3 cycle option for ever increasing amounts of money, all of it upfront. If we got successful on the first try, we would end up paying more than twice as much for a baby than if we had taken the one cycle option. If we do it one cycle at a time and get lucky on the third one, then we would still end up paying more than we needed to. Sure, you get a deep discount if you take the largest volume plan, but this is not Costco. We aren’t discussing buying Kleenex in bulk. We’re talking about IVF cycles. To have a baby.
After we had been around the bend a few times trying to decide which one to go with, Mr. X made a wonderful and grounding observation: no matter which option we choose, we will likely have some regrets. And, he’s absolutely right. We can never have the information now that we would need to make a completely informed choice. Who can predict the future and how many cycles it will take for that elusive live birth? So, we just have to make the best choice for us right now.
We’ve decided to go with the one cycle option, although not because we think it will be one and we’re done. It’s because it gives us some flexibility in choosing how we want to proceed if it fails. What if I do get pregnant again and I miscarry again? If we chose the two or three cycle option, I’d hate to put that obligation on myself and know that the money had already been forked over for more cycles that I may or may not be able to bring myself to do again.
In the end, we may spend more than if we had chosen a two or three cycle option. But then again, when we have that child, will we tell that child how much they cost? I don’t think so. We will simply say, “what price love?”