I started writing about the biopsy that’s part of The Plan but then someone asked recently if I was going to give costs for all this and so I thought I’d do a quick one on that. If I’m honest, this was a post I’d been intending to do, but I think I’d rather put it off, not just because I didn’t want to horrify myself, but also because in my heart of hearts I wanted to do it at a point that seemed to mark a final point, like, I dunno, when I had a baby in my hands (mine rather than just anyone else’s) but it probably makes sense to give you an idea of what I’ve spent so far.
Although from a purely practical point of view I’d also been procrastinating as I couldn’t work out where to draw the line. What counts? Acupuncture? Yeah, I guess so, I probably wouldn’t be doing it otherwise. Counselling, yeah, probably. Pregnancare Max supplements? Well kind of, but if I wasn’t taking them I’d be taking a multivitamin that costs about the same. But then the water filter I just bought because a nutritionist I talked to suggested it? (I know, I know, I’m getting closer and closer to being a brazil nut and pineapple twat, but frankly what’s a £50 water filter jug in the great scheme of things?) The Clipper solvent-free decaf tea I’m now buying because, well, ditto (Yes, I KNOW.) I mean, where does it stop…. I suppose I just have to be grateful I’m saving so much by not boozing….
Enough prevaricating, I’m going to add up everything since the last time I added everything up which was just after my final round of egg freezing back in 2014 when I discovered I’d spent — deep breath — £13,755…
So, since then I have paid….
£360.00 – storage fee 2015
£360.00 – storage fee 2016
£305.00 – scan and AMH test in April 2016
£180.00 – consultation and thyroid blood test in November 2016
£30.00 – another thyroid blood test in November 2016
£44.83 – private prescriptions for levothyroxine to treat thyroid
£30.00 – thyroid monitoring blood test in December 2016
£30.00 – thyroid monitoring blood test in January 2017
£72.00 – fee to see further details of potential donors
£1440.00 – donor sperm plus transport costs
£1030.00 – defrosting/fertilising/embryo transfer procedure fee plus HFEA fee for cycle 1
£980.00 – additional ICSI fee for cycle 1 (sperm has to be injected into eggs)
£30.00 – Cyclogest (progesterone) for cycle 1
£75.00 – blood test to check I was ovulating on cycle 1
£15.00 – more Cyclogest (progesterone)
£31.47 – home ovulation testing kits
£195.00 – three sessions with a counsellor (one is compulsory if you’re using donor sperm, I opted for a few more)
£390.00 – initial acupuncture session then four subsequent sessions
£185.00 – blood tests for AMH and thyroid antibodies (nah, I don’t know either, but different to usual thyroid blood test)
£30.00 – Cyclogest (progesterone) for dummy cycle
£24.40 – Progynova (oestrogen) for dummy cycle
£8.40 – levothyroxine (now getting it on regular prescription)
£1200.00 – ERA test (aka The Plan)
Total as of today: £7046.10
Eek. That sounds a lot. Probably more than I’d expected (especially because I realised I’d totally left out the costs of the donor sperm the first time I did it — in my defence the invoices weren’t with the rest of them) although that’s because I hadn’t really thought about it. I’d just kept paying it. But it doesn’t just sound like a lot, that is a lot. I mean, that’s a few seriously nice holidays I could have had for that money.
And let’s be honest, what have I got to show for it? Seven fewer eggs, one failed round of IVF and no pregnancy, let alone a baby. Although it has got me the immortal line that I trot out to friends (the ones that know) who are complaining that they’ve spent a fortune on something: “Well you’re talking to the woman who spunked a grand on jizz so…”
More seriously, do I regret spending that money? No. Not yet anyway. Maybe one day I’ll feel bitter about it but as they say, it’s only money, you can’t take it with you. I’m lucky enough to have a good job at the moment which means I can afford this. If I were going into debt for it, I might think differently, but at the moment, this is something I want to do, an avenue I need to explore, an answer I have to get. Not at any cost, but at the moment, I’m OK with this cost.