I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our embryos in storage.
Right now they’re chillin’ (ha, I’m hilarious) in New York City, at the same clinic where we participated in that clinical trial and got our free IVF. We have three day-5 frozen embryos left. We want future children (according to my husband, he NEEDS a son). The hard, invasive, expensive part is done now… it only makes sense that we continue to store them until the not so distant future day that we choose to expand our family. And now I’m a helluva lot more confident in my ability to do so, too. No gluten. No corn syrup. Lovenox for at least 15 weeks. No sudden or abrupt movements. GOT IT.
Anyway. New Hope gives you six months of free storage from the date of your last monitoring appointment (for me, apparently, that date was 11/11/13). After that they offer long-term storage for the low, low price of $1,200 per year, but as they like to joke, “The rent in Manhattan is so high! If you wish to seek alternative storage, that is your right and we understand.”
Our six months free is up in May, so I figured I’d start calling around to see what my options were. Since I’m not going to be getting a free embryo transfer in the near future, I thought it made more sense to have them sent somewhere in Pennsylvania. But that’s where things get complicated. The clinic near me that we went to originally (where we were formally diagnosed and all that) does not offer long-term storage. They use a facility in Missouri, who I did call, and it turns out the storage fees are $400/year, or $700 for 2 years. Shipping is $215. Oh, and I already got a glimpse of the consent to ship form, which has all kinds of scary language such as “We have been informed that such a transfer may affect the embryos resulting in unknown kinds of injuries or damage that may lead up to their death.” YEAH. I know that’s all just liability stuff, but whoa. Talk about precious cargo. The woman from the place in Missouri said insurance was extra if I was interested, to which I automatically replied yes, but then I sat down and thought about it – insure what, exactly? If they’re lost, there’s no getting them back. No amount of money can replace those specific embryos. How does that even work? What exactly am I “insuring?”
Here’s the weird part, though. So I just kind of assumed that doing an embryo transfer would be cheaper in my neck of the woods (Pennsylvania: land of the Amish!). It has to be, right? Um, no. New Hope quoted me $2,400 for a transfer plus $800 for monitoring, while the place near me gave me a quote of $4,000. What the what?! Even with bus fare and Metro cards, I’m better off at New Hope. Soooo I guess that means I’ll have to keep calling places in my general vicinity, hoping to find someone cheaper. Sheesh.
This whole process has been very frustrating and time-consuming, and I caught myself getting very annoyed that I had to go through this. “Normal” people don’t have to worry about embryo storage. “Normal” people just make more kids when they want more kids. But then I started thinking about some of my favorite women of the blogosphere… women who are still waiting to get pregnant, women who just got terrible news of a failed transfer, women who are waiting patiently to take the next step in their journey. And then I felt crappy for complaining. It’s a good problem to have – too many good embryos. Yeah, it does suck that I have to pay for storage and it’s a huge pain the ass to figure out where to keep them until we’re ready to do this all over again. But I’m one of the lucky ones, and I need to keep that in mind.
In other news – Eric cleaned out the spare bedroom this weekend! There’s still no paint on the walls and no furniture set up, but at this point the room is 95% empty, which makes me feel a billion times better. We have a ski trip in Vermont this weekend with my whole extended family and some friends (they’ll be skiing, I’ll be reading/napping/visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory and taking the tour several hundred times, harassing the tour guide about their liberal use of high fructose corn syrup in basically every single blend they make). But next weekend the calendar is clear, so I’m hoping to at least get some painting done. Baby steps here, baby steps! I think the weather has a lot to do with it, actually – I feel more motivated to clean/get moving when it’s sunny and mild than I do when it’s freezing cold. I need spring to hurry the hell up already.
Hope everyone had a good St. Paddy’s Day! Can we talk about how I’m like the only person who came in to work wearing green? And I’m not even Irish! It’s just a sign of respect, I think. And it’s fun.