Mel asked some of us to talk about the cost of infertility.
Ready? Are you sitting down?
In 2002, we decided that the time was ripe to begin our journey towards “family.” We had just purchased an apartment, and were firmly planting “roots.” We had previously discussed having kids, and were glad that we were both on the same page. Narda had absolutely no desire to be the “uterus for rent,” so it was up to me. In order to do so, however, I had to quit smoking. So I made my new years resolution for 2003 to quit smoking for good. Having read Alan Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, ($24.99), I chose a date. December 31st, 2002 would be my last cigarette. EVER.
And it was. (oooo, remind me to tell you about the evil Beyotch that I became for about 3 months afterwards, too!) EEK.
We then had to look at sperm, aka, “Man in a can,” and we spent about $150.00 in signing up for profile viewing. Which kind of sucks, since we discovered that there’s only about 20 African American Sperm Donors in America. Seriously.
Then we had to figure out what the heck we were doing – so back to the book store we go – Add on another $24.99 a few times for some good books – like – Taking Charge of your Fertility, The Essential Lesbian guide to conception and birth, etc. etc. etc.
The we found a GYN in NYC that would do IUI’s for $150.00 per pop. Because you see, my insurance at the the time didn’t believe that we “had been trying for a year already,” as we don’t have sperm at home, and they wanted 12 months of receipts of donor insems before they would agree to pay for IUI’s. They wouldn’t pay for sperm, or IVF, or drugs, but they would pay for IUI’s. We also bought about 10 vials of Sperm, at $300 bucks a pop, plus $150.00 to ship, plus paid to store it in NYC (you know, for those last minute insems) at $400.00 per quarter. We also bought BOXES AND BOXES AND BOXES of OPK’s at (oddly enough), $24.99 per box, and HPT’s at, oh, anywhere from $6.00 to 12.00 per box. And then there was more sperm, at $285.00 per pop, shipping at $149.80, ultrasounds at $125.00 each, we moved our IUI’s to the place that our sperm was stored, and they were awesome, and felt awful each time it didn’t work. Plus, there were cabs to and from insem appointments, esp. when they were mid-work day, and those were about $12.00 each way. And then you add in all of the bottles of wine we went through on “home insem” days, and the sushi and beer for when it didn’t work, and after about 16 cycles of donor sperm IUI’s that didn’t work, we average that we spent about $25,000 or more in total that never got me knocked up.
We spent less than $10,000 in adopting Malka. And she is the best thing that ever happened to us.
So even though NY State has an infertility mandate, insurance companies STILL have biases against lesbians and single women.
Write your congressperson, won’t you? I did.
3 thoughts on “The INfertile Mother…”
I had no idea. Wow! Hugs to both of you. What a journey.
The loopholes suck. And $25,000 for a CHANCE (not a guarantee) sucks even more. Putting this up right now.
That sounds familiar, cost-wise, at least. Joe and I spent upwards of $20,000 trying to conceive (had to do IVF with ICSI) and nothing worked. And now I actually have insurance that covers infertility, but I no longer have a uterus, so, yeah.
Adoption wasn’t in the books for us, as every attempt we made fell through. After a certain time, and considering everything else in our lives, we decided to just spoil our friends’ kids as rotten as possible.
I’m so glad you’ve got Malka in your lives. I know she brings immeasurable joy to you.