Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Raffle

I'm giving away a 35 dollar Jiffy Lube gift card at my giveaway site: www.familyfishbowl2.blogspot.com. Make sure to check it out.

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When The Rock Star was nine months old we started trying to have another baby. We were counting on the fact that it took us so long to get pregnant with him. Neither of us honestly thought we'd have kids 18 months apart. I have no idea what would have happened if I'd actually gotten pregnant that first month. I truly have no idea how people have their children so close together unless they have a lot of additional help--like a village, for real. I think I might have gone a little crazy but, you know, people do it all the time so I guess it can be accomplished.

Anyway.

When we moved here Garrett was 16 months old and his brother or sister was decidedly not on the way. We had some tests run at a Reproductive Care Center so that we could compare our 2007 "numbers" and "levels" to our original ones which had been done back in 2004.

Fast forward through some more trying to conceive and researching adoption and reading about adoption and a home study and applications and a mother choosing us and our son being born and his adoption being contested and his father signing and his adoption being finalized and...

Does anyone think I'm about to say I'm pregnant?

I'm not. No. Not. Even. A. Little. Bit. And that's a good thing. I am so very content and in love with my family the way it is and, seriously, what would happen next time? We seem to top the stress level with each kid and I really don't want to invite stress into my life. No thanks. Not now. God, obviously, could write it in the clouds but, at this point, that's what it would take--and, well, another major miracle.

So fast forward to today. We got mail from the Reproductive Care Center--the one from two and a half years ago--inviting us to a patient party. I started to laugh. We were hardly patients and we haven't heard anything from them since we first moved here. This party will have food, bouncers, and fun. I started thinking about how nice that was--and awkward.

"Hey, Bill, remember me? Our wives were in at the same time for an Intrauterine Insemination."

I kept reading.

Drawing for 1/2 Off Regular IVF Cycle
Drawing for $1,000 Off IVF, Donor, Frozen, or Donor Embryo Cycle

My first thought was how incredibly generous that is--to give away that kind of money--and I still think it is. My second thought was how much my heart instantly started hurting for these people. The paper says that you have to be present to win.

I assume there will be a bunch of people standing around, waiting anxiously to hear if their number is called. People who can't afford to do IVF without getting a half off deal. People who desperately need $1,000 dollars off their donor embryo cycle. People who, more than anything, want to build a family. A ticket will be pulled. A number will be read. A woman, reduced to entering her name in drawings for half price treatment, will run screaming to receive her dream and countless others will turn and walk away, shaking their heads, defeated.

Infertility affects 10% of the population. Only 15 states require insurance coverage for infertility treatment--and the laws vary widely. In fact, in my current state, Utah, when we were shopping for private insurance, I was told that I'd be turned down because I'd had infertility treatment. And Utah isn't even one of the 15! I informed the person that I did not plan to seek treatment in the future, that we'd been there and done that and didn't see that we'd choose to do it again. He told me that it didn't matter. The insurance companies would see it as a red flag. I have a preexisting condition, didn't matter that I didn't plan on seeking future treatment. I'd be denied.

So I could be turned away for a preexisting condition that my state doesn't even offer coverage for? Insurance companies say that infertility isn't a disease and yet they can turn you away for having it? My husband found a group insurance policy that we were eligible to join. Being that it was a group policy, I couldn't be turned away for my preexisting polycystic ovaries.

I don't know what I want in exchange for my anger. I know I want insurance companies to wake up and smell the clomid. I want the world to wake up and realize how big of a number 10% is. I want coverage for all the people who will be standing around waiting to hear their raffle number called.

3 comments:

  1. This was an excellent post. Thank you.

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  2. I agree with all that you said here. And I am still in shock to read that currently 1 in five men are essential naturally sterile due to environmental or genetic issues.

    Utah's family size averages out at 2.3 children per childbearing aged women. That's including the typical Mormon "five pack" families. The rest of the country is barely at 2.1. The population decline is actually a bit scary.

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  3. Candice BottomleyMay 18, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Wow, this is crazy. I've actually been trying to get pregnant for awhile now with number two. We have had a lot of basic tests run and I'm currently taking clomid. I read the other day that I might now be turned down for insurance if I were to ever apply again. Even if I only took clomid one time! It's ridiculous! Especially when infertility and secondary infertility is such a huge problem for so many people.

    btw, I can't imagine going to a fertility center for a raffle like that. That is so depressing. :(

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