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The Outspring Gang
The Outspring Gang

I like companies where everybody can fit in the same frame.

Here are my work buddies: Bill, Jeff (who doesn’t need anyone to tell him how to dress), Pat, Jean-François (we’ve been bumping into each other from a company to the next for the past 19 years), me (well-shaven, I don’t know if you would recognize me), and Brian.

If all works well, we’ll need a wide-angle lens same time next year.
And if you think we’re ugly, well, check out these guys

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That will get you started
That will get you started

$10,475 for the basic procedure…
$3,500 for the meds…
$250 for a test here…
$400 for a test there…
and on… and on… and on…

At the end of the day, we still don’t know how much exactly we spent on these kids. But one thing is sure, they’ll pay for it one day. I kept the bills, right there in a box with a fake Christmas tree we found on the sidewalk.

The day they start bitching, the day they start calling me an old jerk, I’ll be there with my bills to show them I loved them once - and I’ll ask for my payback.

And good thing they’re two: at least they can split the bills.

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On my visits to the clinic, most of the women looked in their mid to late 30s, though I saw 20 year olds to 45 year olds. They seemed very normal, upper middle class, and definitely white. Everyone was always white except for one Asian woman. Pierre made a joke once in the waiting room but the woman just stared at him. Fertility clinic is no place for joking.

During one visit, the clinic staff said to me that I was unusually calm and that most women are extremely nervous to the point of anxiety. They want the baby so bad that it leads to that much stress. I am guessing many women are on their 2nd or 3rd attempt, dealing with 6 figure credit card debt and possibly a lot of relationship/marriage tension… in which case I would be full-on stress-disorder as well.

Pierre and I were fascinated with IVF data. Maybe you will be too:

“The average, median cost per IVF cycle in 2002 in the US was about $12,000 plus $1,000-3,500K for medication, and the cost per actual live birth was $65,000+.

“However, if you take into account all the failures and repeat attempts at IVF, the average, overall cost per IVF resulting in a live birth in the United States is over $100,000!

In France, all of this would have been free. We couldn’t go, though, because of Pierre’s job. But if it doesn’t work on the first attempt, we’ll probably have no choice but to fly over to a nation that cares a bit more about its people (and helps them give birth to future tax-payers, which isn’t a bad investment if you ask me).

Chances of a live birth resulting from IVF based on age:

40 to 42 years old: 14%

We were very very lucky.

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Good bye Top and D’Artagnan

The first scare of the journey was waking up, going to the bathroom, and seeing bloody everywhere!

My first thought is “Miscarriage”. The second is denial, so I don’t say anything to Pierre for several hours and wish it to stop. The 3rd of course is fear, and regret of all the things I should have done–all the things I could have done. My stress regimen, lack of sleep, my 1 cup of coffee a day, choosing not to do acupuncture, and so on and so on.

This all happens on a Sunday–typical. So we go to the clinic on Monday. PiR comes with me. The doctor does an ultrasound and immediately says, “You have twins!”

Two goats and a clot
Two goats and a clot

It’s the first time we hear it the word! Twins. “Are you happy?” Uhhhm. Yay! We beat the odds!!! Which is exactly what our doctor says to us. 2 of the embryos have taken. Hearing the news, it doesn’t feel real, and neither of us in the moment have feelings one way or the other. Singleton - great. Twins - great. We just want them to stay.

Dr Ryan hugs me. It was a great hug. Also, to be hugged by an American doctor felt special. I’d been hugged by doctors in France, in Mexico, in South Africa as an extension of their practice, but the American doctor was a mysterious breed regarding the sharing of emotion and physicality with patients. I’m glad she was our doctor. If you want a fertility doctor, you should choose Dr Ryan. xox.

It’s a swimmer
It’s a swimmer

And the blood. The reason I was bleeding is because I have a 4 cm blood clot next to one of the embryos. If the clot grows larger, and the body decides to dispels of it all at once, it could pull the zygoat with it. Doctor says there isn’t much to do, but rest. “I want you to relax for the next few months. Stop working. No more yoga, exercise, sex, or lifting of any kind.” Which makes me stress. I can give up everything except stress.

I’m incredibly fortunate to have Pierre. Not just to insure I rest enough, but because he’ll care for me and remind me of what’s important.