JLBB-brooklyn: Hi, friend 🙂 I know that there is really no “right” answer to your question, but I will take a moment to chime in and let you know our experience – as we are about to start our first IVF cycle after 4 months of a TTC break to prepare/save money.
Darling Husband and I have been battling infertility for 2+ years now. We have had 2 miscarriages, 6 IUI’s and a few medicated/TI cycles. In February after our last failed treatment, I approached our RE with the question of pursuing IUI + injectables or IVF. Which is better in terms of success? How much will it cost to do an additional IUI cycle? Would we stop after one, or continue to feel the “hope” that if you try enough (even when odds are against you), it may stick this time? In the most direct manner possible, she told me “there is no higher success for back to back IUI after 3 failed, only an increase in your costs.” Because of my DOR and MFI – she also told us that if we “caught” an egg on injectable IUI, we would have a 5% chance of success vs over double success with any eggs retrieved from IVF. We opted to pursue IVF as financially it seemed like a better decision to put money towards something with a higher chance of success.
Since February, we stopped all things TTC. No temping, OPK, timed sex. We have regained intimacy in our relationship and our respect for this process. I always knew my husband was my biggest support, but we speak out infertility in a different light now. It’s not just “me” feeling sad, disappointed, etc. as he is much more open about how it affects him.
I struggled a great deal with the “waiting” and feeling like we weren’t being proactive. But you know what? I took this path to IVF head on and channeled my “waiting” anxiety the best I could figure out. I worked my butt off and picked up an additional job (we were able to save for IVF much faster than anticipated). I took extra babysitting jobs so that I could save cash for 8 weeks of acupuncture prior to beginning meds. We have booked two massages and started a mind/body program that our clinic offers in a private setting that teaches you to meditate and reorganize thoughts. I feel the strongest, most at peace with our journey to date. Although we haven’t started the cycle, I feel like the change in my perception can only help in this situation. I’ve learned patience and the ability to give myself time to grieve during the hard parts of the past few months.
A year ago, I probably would have scoffed at my future self for wanting to “stop” trying for a baby. Today, I find that I look at myself as a courageous, strong woman who has decided (with my husband) to take on something big, and feel proud of our accomplishments. Ironically, today I paid the first 1/2 of our IVF bill. A $5000+ purchase would have sent me into a panic prior, but I took myself out for a mocktail to celebrate. 🙂 We anticipated the cost, have money in a special “IVF” savings account, and the financial pressure is gone.
I can’t tell you what is right for you, but I hope that you know I’m always around if you would like to chat or just have someone listen to your thought process on what the best decision is for you and your Darling Husband. I’m totally biased now that I have been through both the “try try try” and “waiting to save” phases, but that is my vote. Additionally, your plan of switching insurance and using the lifetime max is a great idea – if you also save for the next few months, you may be able to do a second retrieval/freeze all so that you have embryos on hold for anything that may go wrong (God forbid) or future children.
Hindsight is always 20/20, and for the first time on our infertility journey, I don’t regret a thing about our break.
Also, FWIW, we are planning to travel internationally to visit my sister who will be out of the country for the next 3 years. We signed up for a new CC that gives us tons of bonus miles and plan to use those/the points earned with our IVF package to travel. Just another way to think about saving.