Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Dark Side of IVF (updated)

What is it, you ask? 

Money. Finances.

A couple of months ago as we were planning this cycle, which is 100% out of pocket, my parents said they would help out, as did Mr. Jem's parents.

I brought it up again at the beginning of the cycle and my step-dad said, "Just let us know how much it is, how much you want from us and we'll let you know what we can do."

My mom came to visit on Saturday and said, "Darn. I forgot the check. Call your step-dad on Monday (the day after my ER) to discuss this with him." When I called on Monday, I was really tired, in pain from the ER, from the constipation, and very emotional from worry about what's next, etc. You read that post; you know. That night he said, "Jem, don't worry about it. We want you to relax and concentrate on getting pregnant. Let's talk about this after your first pregnancy test." I reluctantly agreed. 

My nature is to just let things slide. This would have worked fine except yesterday I got a call from my mom. I was so upset by this call that it inspired me to write this email, which I have not yet sent. What to read it?  

Here goes:

Dear Step-dad,

For the sake of clarity, I want to put all of this in an email.

The total cost of our IVF cycle will be $17,360. Mr. Jem's parents have sent us a check for one-third the cost. We had to put the full amount on our Visa card which will be due Feb 1st.

On the weekend of your BIL's memorial service, you sat on our couch and told Mr. Jem and me that you were willing to help us. Months have passed and I have no idea what this means. Not knowing is creating stress and a wall between us. You say I can count on you, but then I get a call today at work from mom dramatically saying she will sell her car and about you not being able to retire if you help... While planning a two-month vacation to Mexico. 

It makes me want to run away and say, "Forget it -  I don't need your help." Please don't make offers you can't or won't or only reluctantly deliver. Don't make me come ask again and again, like for our wedding. It makes me feel like I'm not a priority. It's humiliating. If you want to help, then help. If you don't don't.

I don't want a wedge between us. I just want clarity and peace. I need you to tell me, "Jem, we can give $X." or "Sorry, I thought we could do it, but ..."

I don't want to talk on the phone about this, but I also don't wait until after my first pregnancy test for an answer. I need an answer asap so we can make appropriate financial arrangements. 

More importantly, I also want peace with you and peace of mind so I can concentrate on more important things, like creating a welcoming, healthy, stress-free womb for my babies.

Of course, no answer speaks volumes.

Love, Jem
So, what do you think? Should I send as is? Should I just let it drop and plan on them NOT sending any money, but if they do, that's great? I can dig into my retirement, my savings and make the full payment.

Mr. Jem is upset because they promised something and now it's getting all complicated and weird. He's mad at them for letting me down. They did the same thing seven years ago when we got married. 

It's also complicated by the fact that Mr. Jem is starting his own business right now and my parents are super critical of his not earning money right now.

Arrggggghhhhh!!!!!! I really don't need this shit right now. 



Update: The clinic just called. My transfer will be at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, Jan 21. I guess this means that at least one of our embies has made it this far. We're expecting a call from Dr. Z after 5:00 p.m. today with the results of our genetic testing.

I have to remember to keep taking deep breaths.


Anonymous said...

How frustrating! You really don't need this!

I think the e-mail is wonderful. It states what you need and gives them a clear idea of where you are coming from. Good luck!

Cherbear said...

oh gosh, this is so hard because I don't know the whole family dynamics.

However, I do think the email is well written. I just hate to say "send it" or "don't send it"....I am sorry you are having to deal with this mess right now.

Heather said...

UGH! You so don't need this stress right now. I'm sorry you are having to deal with it. For myself, I am pretty direct with my family, but it's still tough sometimes.

Hang in there.

Melissa G said...

Wow, Jem. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this right now. The financial side of IF just plain sucks anyway, but to have to struggle with it at this critcal point is just terrible.

The letter is well written, and very straight forward. Having just dealt with a serious family issue myself, the only advice I can give is to say: Be prepared. If you are going to come forward with complete honesty, you need to really be prepared that they might do the same. And it may not be what you hoped for or would have wanted to hear. Based on your letter it's clear that you just want an answer either way (I felt the same), I'm just saying it's important to be ready for what they come back with.

Sending warm thoughts.

Jem said...

Melissa G: you are so right. I don't want to deal with this right now. It actually helped me to just write the letter. I may tell them my feelings later when I have cooled off. I'm happy to stick my head in the sand until the IVF is done.

Drama. Who needs it? Not me right now.

ASP said...

Sheesh, I hate having to deal with money issues when it's "normal" situations, so I can only imagine the nightmare of dealing with this now at this point in your cycle.

I think the email is perfect. It says everything it needs to say without being mean or sounding like you want someone else to foot the bill. Hey, they offered and they should hold up to their end of the bargain.

So sorry you're dealing with this now. Try to stay focused though! XX.

Allison said...

I think it was good for you to get everything out of your head, but ... for what it's worth, which is likely nil, I'd stick to "here's the cost. I need your commitment or notice of bailing as soon as possible because this is creating stress on me. And stress isn't good for me right now."

But I completely understand why getting that call from you mom would send you over the edge! WTF!!!!! Don't make our Jem feel guilty for asking you to pony up for something you promised quite some time ago!!! I will hit you with my shoe!

marilyn said...

Oh my goodness!! How dare they put you under stress when you so rightly need peace and calm right now! Jem...I have the same situation. Why offer help..when you just make us feel guilty for needing it. We feel guilty enough in our situation..right!! AHhhh!!! This is so stressful. It must have felt good to write the letter. In my last post..I expressed some of the same stress with my parents. I do not know your whole situation..did your parents actually end up helping you with your wedding. As for mom helped me for my wedding..but there was a lot of guilt. Again now..she offered to help...I know she will..but with a side of guilt! This is so hard! How are you doing now?

Brandy said...

Wow, that's a hard one. I like the email, but lately I have been all about being direct and getting things out in the open.

erika said...

This is soooo frustrating! I am sorry. I am not sure what I would do in a similar situation. I still hope, they can work it out, and help you some way. You need to be able to calm down now, and focus on the important things. (((HUGS)))
As for the cycle, Yay!!! for having your ET scheduled. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a great embryology report tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this in the middle of your IVF cycle. Promising support and then doing nothing sucks. Especially if this has happened before...
I wouldn't even know if sending is a good idea, as it might add more stress to the situation. But you'll know them much better. Good luck.

Mrs. Misfits said...

My worthless two bits...I'd take that middle line right here, "
I don't want a wedge between us. I just want clarity and peace. I need you to tell me, "Jem, we can give $X." or "Sorry, I thought we could do it, but ..." and send that. Don't bring up other stuff, but just say are you in or are you out without trying to make them feel bad. This comes from someone who has had the rug pulled out from under her a million times. I know it's painful, but just say you need to know to make a payment.

It's pretty shitty for them to say they can help and then don't. You've just got to know that they are unreliable and your future will be clearer without them. Sorry, hun. You focus on that happy healthy womb for now.

About you, FRIDAY! AWESOME! I can hardly wait for your update.

Melissa G said...

Yay for Friday! Crossing everything for you!!!

The C's said...

As tough as it is to hold off on that conversation, I would say focus on what's important, your upcoming transfer. It's wasted energy focusing on something that you can't control or may not be resolved. So use it on yourself and let it go for the moment.
Writing the email is a great way to get out your emotions, cool down, collect your thoughts after your 2 WW and move forward from there. At that time you will be more calm and you may not even feel the need to address it anymore and let them do what they can if anything.
Take Care of you!
The C's

JNS said...

I'm so, so sorry. This stinks.

My thoughts are that for whatever reason they made the offer but now they don't want to follow through. That's why you are hearing manipulative stuff about not retiring and selling a car.

I fear that if you press them you may get the money but you will also get a lifetime of them sighing about how they couldn't retire because of you or had all of these problems because they had to help you . . . even if it isn't true.

My best advice is to just let it go. The amount they give you may not be worth the family drama and their perceived right to intrude and pass judgment. If they sometime do give you some money, of course accept, but for now you know you can handle it yourself if you have to. Just focus on relaxing and being ready for your transfer.

WannabeMommy said...

Oh boy.... how messy this can get. I totally feel for you, Jem, since we had to pay for all 3 of our IVFs out of pocket as well. I think thru all of this, THE most important thing for you to do is forget about it for a couple days. Focus on you, your health, the embryo(s)... and being pregnant.

I have everything crossed for you!!!