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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the price we pay

I've been struggling with my emotions since the surgery. But you will all think I'm stupid when you hear the reason why. It has nothing to do with getting cut open again, having a longer recovery, or even the painful reminder that I'll never carry a child.

It has everything to do with money.

I knew that, since I have no available sick or vacation days yet at my job, I would lose money for being out of work. I was prepared for that.

What I was not prepared for was the money I had to hand over at the hospital.

If you've ever had surgery or been to the hospital before, you know that the first thing they make you do is register. Registering requires you to hand over your insurance card, fill out what seems like 8 million forms about your life, and usually pay a co-pay. With my previous surgeries, I had no co-pay. None. I didn't pay a dime out of pocket to be cut open. I knew that may not be the case going into this surgery, but I couldn't think about it. I needed the surgery, right? What else could I do? But somehow my days of reasoning couldn't override my shock when the registration representative told me how much we owed. My reaction went something like this:

"TODAY?!"

Put it this way: the amount of money we paid for my surgery is the exact amount it will cost us for our homestudy.

Expensive.

And that is what has me upset. It's bad enough that we have to suffer for nearly three years to be parents, but on top of this, our bank account must suffer, too. Anyone who has been through infertility treatments knows that it's difficult to recover from the financial aspects of this, no matter what they are. Unless you are lucky enough to have insurance that covers IUIs and/or IVF, you understand how it feels to watch your savings dwindle and rest comfortably in the hands of a doctor who, for many of us, just can't get you pregnant. When we stopped treatment in May, we built our savings account back up considerably, and we set ourselves into a budget that would allow us to file paperwork in August. This surgery - while necessary - caused us a little bit of a setback.

In the grand scheme of things, or in the grand scheme of "cost of adoption," this amount isn't a lot. The principal behind it is what bothers me. It's the fact that normal people don't have to pay someone thousands of dollars to come into their home and judge whether they would make fit parents. Normal people don't have to write huge checks to doctors offices, lawyers, adoption agencies, etc. to have a baby. They just fuck and it's over. Done. A new life is created no matter how much money they have in their pockets.

I usually don't like to question whether all of this is fair anymore. Those days are long gone, sitting in a shallow grave with my dreams of a honeymoon baby, my ideas about surprising our family and friends with ultrasound photos, and my eagerness to feel our tiny baby's feet tapping on the inside of my belly. But the idea of "fair" feels so fresh right now - raw and painful like my incisions. It hurts.

We'll recover. We have ideas about raising money this fall. I'm getting pretty good at coupon-ing. We also may dip into Joey's 401k if we have to. Losing this money was (I hope) for the best for me physically. It just served as a hurtful reminder for me, mentally, about how unfair this journey is for all of us.

29 comments:

The Domestic Princess said...

It is completely and totally unfair!!! I hope your recovery is going well.

anne said...

I know how you feel, at least a little bit. You and your husband--and your future child!!--will be in our prayers!

Marla said...

It is totally unfair. I agree. I paid a huge amount OOP for my lap, back in the day. A lap that was 100% useless, as they didn't find a g-d thing wrong with my innards. Ugh! Anyhoo, I feel your pain. Completely. Totally.

Andrea said...

Wow Katie - I'm so sorry. That is COMPLETELY unfair. I know how blessed I am to have the healthcare coverage I do in my country and posts like this remind me that no matter how flawed my system is - I still don't have to pay out of pocket for required surgery.

*HUGS*

Rach said...

Oh, I have had the same feeling. We save, it's gone for IVF, we save, it will be gone with adoption. I just keep telling myself that the money wont matter when we have our baby. It's still tough though, and so unfair!

Another Dreamer said...

Aw, that sucks :(

I totally agree. I remember one day I had to dish out $1,000 for a root canal and I sobbed and sobbed in the dentist office waiting for the canal... not because I was getting it done, but because it meant we couldn't do treatment until we resaved that money.

It's hard, and it's so unfair that for so many of us money becomes such an obstacle... and even after we become parents, or even if we don't, the affects of that financial burden sting for a long time after. It SUCKS. I don't like feeling as if we have to buy a baby, I know we aren't but when it costs so much you can't help but feel that way.

*Jelena* said...

I've never been more aware of how unfair life can be than since I began this journey to motherhood. Just two weeks ago, after I'd come back from my own lap, I was Skyping with my brother and his pregnant, future wife. I couldn't help but think how unfair it is that I had to go through all that, I had to have a surgery, and they made a baby accidentally.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I agree 150%. It's totally unfair!Continue to feel better...

Kim said...

I am so sorry Katie, I feel your pain and frustration. I spent 13K out of pocket on meidcal expenses last year with insurance that didnt cover a fracttion of what I needed. I spent 1 k on the hysteroscopy last week. It sickens me, saddens me, disgusts me to no end. I am really sorry and hope that one day this will just be a memory of the past when you are looking your baby in the eyes. It certainly is not fair though.

erika said...

Looking at the numbers and thinking how all the expenses have been cracking a big hole on our budget just makes me angry. Meanwhile, SIL has been carrying an oops! pregnancy on the pill for 11 weeks, when they finally realized there was a baby, too (wth?). A baby! all for free! Life is unfair. Let's just try not to think about it.
I am pretty sure your surgery was a procedure you will majorly benefit from on the long run. You are getting healthier, happier, and hopefully ovary-pain-free for good!

Stephanie said...

Katie, it is completely unfair! I've really been feeling this way lately and while my complaints aren't money related (since we haven't done IVF yet and had to spend too much out of pocket) it just all sucks. I'm sorry. I know those words don't really do much, but just know I completely get where you're coming from and am here to vent anytime!

Rebecca said...

It is astoundingly unfair. Whenever I think about it I kind of go into a blind rage. My DH can't even listen to me anymore. I'm so sorry. ((hugs))

And, seriously? How on earth can they not pay for your surgery with such obvious cause for pain?!

Willow said...

I don't think I'll ever get over the unfairness of it all. Also, insurance and their efforts to avoid paying for medical care whenever possible just sucks. I'm sorry you're dealing with this right now and I hope you can rest up and heal up quickly.

someday-soon said...

I know exactly what you mean. When we paid out almost 100% of our savings for testing, surgery, IUIs and IVF over two years I was just sick about watching it all go. It's not fair and it sucks! {{{HUGS}}}

AL said...

It is completely and totally unfair financially, physically, and emotionally.

It just sucks :-(

Sushigirl said...

Although we're paying for our IVF, I was lucky enough to have my surgery covered by the state; that really sucks that you had to pay for yours. Hope you're recovering ok.

Secret Sloper said...

That is so far from a stupid concern. You are right. It isn't fair that this has cost you so much time and money. It isn't fair that your savings goals for adoption are set back because of your physical pain. I'm glad you had the surgery and I truly hope it brings you relief. I am so ready for you guys to be able to plunge into the adoption world with both feet and I hate that you need to spend so much to get there.

amiracle4us said...

Along with the emotional and time spent price, the actual $$ price is overwhelming. I think (less) often about what we could have done with all the money we have spent on IF if we could get pregnant like most people. It makes me sick and feel so bad and well, guilty. I hate it!!! I hope the surgery is the key to the pain though :)

Jessica said...

I totally agree. It makes me so mad to think about the tens of thousands of dollars we have spent to TRY and have a baby. We have spent so much but are no closer to having a child. Its totally unfair!

missohkay said...

I know what you mean. My pregnant co-worker (who also has a 2yo) is lately obsessed with private preschools and nannies while I spend our life savings to just to have the baby. Unfair sums it up...

Logical Libby said...

I get it. I can't tell you how much I railed against our insurance company through all of this. However, eventually I just had to say my well being with our child was more important than the fight.

You'll feel the same once you're baby is home.

PCOSChick said...

It is completely unfair! I have been paying on one of my surgeries that my insurance co screwed me over on for 2 years now & still have 3 years....did it get me a baby? No...but it did make me feel better, along with all the others....so hopefully in the long run it is a small price to pay. Just think this will get you on the mend & feeling good for your little one.

But you are right, it's fair what all we have to pay for :(

Kaitake said...

Not fair. NOT FAIR!! It just makes me want to yell at the world Why is it so unfair?! I'm sorry you're feeling so down, I can only imagine what you're going through. Hubby and I can't afford to start treatment at all, and we ate being unfairly denied access to public funding. So I know a bit about unfair :( Best wishes and I hope the op goes well :)

marriage20 said...

Dear Katie,

I agree, it is completely unfair. I will never understand why some of us have to go through this crazy process, while others can have as many kids as they want without paying someone else to judge their parenting abilities! As I have been going through my own journey, I have had these thoughts many times.

I will never understand it. But I do know that life is unfair. I try to count my blessings when I can. I am inspired by you and my other members of this wonderful community.

I am so sorry you're going through this and I hope your story has a happy ending soon!

My So-Called (TTC) Life said...

Oh my, Katie, I 110% agree w/you! It's like a slap in the face! And you know what? It is unfair! It's unfair that I paid for all 4 of my IUIs out of pocket and unfair we dropped $20,000 on IVF when my stupid coworker gets pregnant by accident. And it sucks. I totally understand where you're coming from with this post. I wish more insurance companies understood that this is a disease and it SHOULD be covered.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now :). xoxo

JJ said...

I wish this whole journey didnt have to fall back to how much $$ it can all be...so frustrating.
Lots of hugs

Adele said...

Katie, I'm sorry. It ISN'T fair (a useless refrain, you're right, but one that's still applicable to this situation). Yes, I've been there:( And when I really couldn't afford it, either. Adding insult to injury. But your health is worth it, and I hope that by taking out a bit more of the surrounding tissue, that they have finally nipped things in the bud. And that the ONLY future money you'll have to worry about (aside from the homestudy) is for some incredible children's birthday presents.

AplusB said...

Ugh, that sucks. So unfair.

Ryan and LeDawn said...

thank you for your rawness! I really appreciate it. While going through infertility I thought/felt the same things. It is so frustrating and so unfair at times. We doshed out thousands of dollars for surgeries and infertility treatments. people just don't get it. They take it for granted. I hope you recover marvelously!!