We have established that I am a worrier. I am a planner. In this world where so much is out of my control, somehow making lists of worst case scenarios and creating Plan B's is what brings me comfort. Although some people might find it cynical or negative, I find it extremely comforting to know what our next move will be, when all else fails. I am letting my freak flag fly here -whether you think I am putting my cart before the horse or not, this is just the way I operate.
Lately, His Royal Fabulousness and I have had a lot of these conversations. He constantly shakes his head at my need to know about the "What Ifs?" Because he loves me in all my neurotic-ness, he humors me. I think given what happened with our first IVF cycle, he is far more open to at least entertain the possibility that our TTC efforts could end up being fruitless. This would be devastating for us both, but I would rather have considered that outcome and be somewhat prepared for it, than to have stuck my fingers in my ears and sang, "la la la la la" in denial.
Here is what we have come up with so far:
1. We will keep a positive attitude for IVF #2 with ICSI, and put all of our efforts into hoping for the best result possible - at least 1 healthy embryo.
2. If IVF #2 does not result in a baby, we will continue to try IVF as long as my insurance covers it and my RE advises us to keep going. Of course, this assumes that I haven't gone completely insane from hormones, disappointment, and ovaries the size of grapefruits.
3. When we have exhausted our IVF options, we will switch tracks completely.
For us, it feels right to turn our sights to a totally different goal before we discuss highly expensive and stressful options like adoption: home ownership.
I should backtrack. KG and I met when I was 21, in my last year of college. Although both of us have wonderful families who love us dearly, neither of us have been lucky enough to have much financial support from them since graduation. It just isn't in the cards, as much as they (and we) wish they could help. Instead, we have been on our own to pay for housing, cars, graduate school (por moi), etc. In some ways, this is a good thing. We are completely independent and work as a team to make our financial lives work. However, each of us brought some credit card debt to our relationship, and that debt (in addition to school debt) has grown over the last 10 years. What do you do when your car needs $2000 worth of repairs and you don't have the cash?
A few years ago, we saw a financial planner who helped us create a basic budget and a plan to pay off the credit cards. Although it has taken longer than expected, we have made tremendous progress and have paid off all but 2 cards. However, paying off the debt made it impossible to put away money for a down payment on a house. Without any assistance from family, lottery winnings, or much higher paying jobs, it feels like a far off dream.
Along the way, we needed to make a decision: do we continue to put our hopes of having children on hold until we pay off the debt? Or, do we try to do both at once? We decided on the latter. We subscribe to the idea that there is no perfect time to have children. Although we may not own a house, we have an extremely stable and spacious rental situation and have relatively steady jobs. Emotionally, we are 100% prepared to be parents and feel that the money piece would be a work in progress. Plus, both of our parents rented when they had children, so it doesn't seem so strange. This may not be an ideal plan for everyone, but that's where we are at. I mean seriously, I watch Teen Mom 2. There are way worse circumstances than ours.
But, if IVF proves to be a failure, switching goals seems necessary.
All those people who love to say "just adopt" can suck it. Private adoption is an incredibly lengthy, emotional, and expensive process, as Katie at from If to when (and many, many others) can testify. Not only can it run into the tens of thousands of dollars for medical, attorney's, and agency fees, it is centered on the idea of selling yourself to birth mothers. It is the ultimate case of screaming, "Pick me! Pick me!" Let's say we managed to save those fees. Without being home owners, I have a feeling we would lose when compared with other couples who have that as a part of their resume. Although the foster care system may be less financially stressful, it comes with a whole other set of considerations. Besides, at that point, I am sure KG and I will be ready to put TTC behind us and focus on some other tangible achievement for a while, returning to the idea of adoption if and when the time felt right for us.
Let me reiterate that we are NOT giving up hope. We know we still have a good chance at having our own biological children. But, I have to tell you, I breathe a big sigh of relief now that I know what we will do if the worst happens.
Although it is no consolation prize, maybe we could even grab a spot on HGTV's House Hunters. That obsession deserves a whole other post.
These lyrics from Grouplove's "Colours" spoke to me when writing this post. If you haven't heard it on the radio, listen up now.
It's the colors you have
No need to be sad.
It really ain't that bad.
It's the colors you have
No need to be sad.
You've still got your hand