It’s time to be honest with myself. Those financial reports from Sept, Oct and November and most likely December won’t be happening. Life is happening and life is overtaking everything.
Writing has always been my outlet and where better place than my blog to write? So here goes. Sorry it’s not really finance related, though there’s definitely financial worries within. If you don’t want to know intimate details of my life, this is where you stop reading tho. Anyways, strap in, this is going to be a long one.
Before September, I had mentioned the possibility of us doing fertility treatment. At that time, we were exploring the possibility of doing Intrauterine Insemination(IUI) but in September after more bloods and tests, we were told that IUI was no go, instead we would have to go the whole hog of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Intractyoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA). The truth of the matter being that there was close to no sperm to be found in my husband’s semen. We were then told that we should start considering donor sperm.
To be honest, when we first found out I was in shock. I knew that we had some infertility issues, but I didn’t realise it would be this bad. I didn’t even consider that. My husband is asexual, and sexual intimacy has always been a problem for him. (Which is sometimes an issue because my sexual drive is probably tens and hundred times of his.) So I knew we had issues with getting the deed done and thought IUI would be a potential fix. Never did I even consider the fact that he would have close to no swimmers! So it came as a shock and I spent many days crying.
What followed that was my husband admitting that he had gender identity issues. Not only was he asexual, he also didn’t feel male nor identify as male. While he has gotten to a point in his life where he is comfortable declaring himself as male to society and on legal forms, and use male pronouns, the issues manifest themselves in that he cannot mentally accept anybody (medical professions included) coming near his intimate parts. This makes doing any sort of investigative examinations to figure out his fertility issues impossible. He can deal with this if he is sedated, but there is absolutely no way he can be sedated every time a test needs to be done.
Did you know that in every ml of semen, there should be 20 million of these little swimmers? I was really quite fascinated to learn that. In every ml of my husband’s semen, they found 2. Yup, 2. And they weren’t even healthy buggers.
We are now sitting in December. Along the way, I’ve had so many unhelpful comments said to me from well-meaning friends and family:
“Don’t stress, just relax, it will come naturally.”
is the most common and the most frustrating. I understand that they are well-meaning, but it is completely unhelpful and in fact infuriating. Between his gender issues and what medical science has shown us it is quite impossible for us to fall pregnant naturally. I am not a secretive person with friends and family. I understand that people don’t necessarily know what to say, but please, the ‘it will come naturally’ answer, is probably the worst one to pick from. Instead try, “I’m sorry to hear that.” and that will suffice.
Perhaps the response my MIL had when we brought up the possibility of donor sperm takes the cake for “wtf did you just say?” Her response of “Isn’t donor sperm just like having sex with somebody else?” just rendered me speechless.
Anyways, I digress. Mentally, we are doing a lot better in terms of fertility. We finally have a treatment plan tho the financial cost for this is blowing my mind. Every IVF clinic seems to have their own pricing and each quote is also tailored for each couple’s specific needs. For us, we are looking at $12,000 out of pocket per cycle after Medicare and Private Health rebates of around $8000.
Per cycle. Let’s just let it sit on that for a little bit. And with IVF success rates at 40%, I am preparing myself mentally that this will take more than just one cycle.
I should point out that we do have (the one) bulk billing IVF clinic in South Australia, but we didn’t know about them till we were quite far into our consultations and I am quite comfortable with our fertility specialist and really reluctant to change clinics currently even if financially I know this will be much better for us. I really, really like our FS and I feel emotionally vulnerable as is without having to change doctors. We have agreed to do one cycle with our current clinic and reassess after.
Financially, this means throwing my investment plan that I had drawn up out the window. All funds need to be diverted to the baby making project. But more on this later.
You might remember I mentioned attending 2 funerals in October that started this long absence on the blog. The death of my husband’s grandma and my own grandma were in close proximity to each other and while I was not very close to my grandma, my husband was very, very close to his. This was (and still is) a very difficult time for him and as a result…
My husband was already suffering from monthly migraines from about April. He was always a migraine sufferer but something was making it increasingly bad from April. His migraines were debilitating, affect his walking, his vision and would not let up for two weeks at a time. With the funeral, his migraines became a constant thing. Not only did the migraines become chronic, he also started suffering from depression due to his grandmother’s death. This meant that he could no longer to work, being unable to leave the bed both from depression and migraines.
His condition started to wear on me after awhile and there were many doom and glooms, many suicidal thoughts and much tears from both of us. It was not a happy time. Happily, I have since regain a lot of my positivity and am in a far better place today. My husband however, has had to proceed in obtaining a mental health plan, started taking anti-depressants and we are now waiting for an appointment in the new year. (We have also been waiting on a 9-12 month wait list for a neurologist appointment for his migraines).
Him not being able to work brought upheaval to our financial journey. You might remember my post on couple’s finance where I got a few comments asking what happens if one of us ends up not having an income or when situations change. Well, that’s right now and what do you do? You adapt. You change your flowchart to adapt to your situation. We won’t be able to invest or save as much as we were before, but that is the way it is. Hopefully with time, he will be able to return to work and we can revert to Plan A.
He is trying his best. He has been looking into freelance admin work / virtual assisting work. We are also starting up a YouTube channel. Not so much to monetize tho that will be a nice bonus when that happens, but to give him a purpose, a goal while he is at home. Right now, trying to give him a reason to regain normal every day to day life is a priority!
And that’s it, I guess. It’s been a tough few months. We have been haemorrhaging money and our savings are limping along at best. It didn’t help that the bathroom renos somehow ended up being at the worst time possible and if I had the benefit of knowing the future, I would never have ok’d us going ahead with the renos in August. However we were already halfway through reno works when our carefully constructed world came crumbling down and we could no longer back out.
But this is life.
And we will go on.