Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sibling Cycle Dilemma

I can't believe I'm typing the word "sibling", but it is definitely something that has been on our minds and hearts lately.  We know that we want Georgia to having a sibling close in age and we know we definitely want at least one more child, if not two more.  Although we've been discussing this quite a bit lately, we also want to relish in fact that we finally do have a baby after 5 years of infertility and we do want to enjoy her as much as possible since she is such a blessing, however, we are in a little bit of a predicament and I'm feeling very torn and unsure about what to do next.

A little background first—at this time I currently have infertility coverage through the private insurance that my work offers which is administered by Anthem BCBS.  I have amazing deductibles and coverage and have been so lucky that all of my infertility treatment has been covered over the last 3-4 years.  I am also a union employee & insurance is a negotiated item that is part of our contract.  To make a long story short & without going into too much detail, if our next contract passes, I will be losing the infertility coverage portion of my existing insurance and will be moved to a different plan still administered through Anthem, I'm about 99.9% sure this WILL happen as of January 1st, 2018.

In addition to that, I still have 2 embryos frozen that are made up of my own eggs.  I know most people would probably wonder why I didn’t transfer those first before moving forward with donor eggs.  Here is why…I was tired, so unbelievably tired, of the failures.  I felt like we were just doing the same thing over and over again (6 times to be exact) and expecting different results and it was never happening.  So we kept those frozen and tried something truly different and it worked. 

Here is where the dilemma part comes in—storage for our 2 OE embryos is $500 x quarter, realistically I could do a transfer in November which would still be covered by insurance but the storage alone would cost $1000 for the next 2 quarters.  The storage for our DE embryos is only $435 x year & these embryos are clearly the better choice of the 2 batches that we have left (we have 5 frozen in GA).  The other part of the dilemma is that I have to be 100% done nursing before I can start a cycle which is not something I want to do by November, I want to nurse Georgia for a year which puts us into 2018 and the loss of the infertility treatment coverage insurance. 

I know this all sounds kind of confusing and maybe a little bit like a pity party on my end since most people don’t even have a lick of coverage to begin with, so I apologize if it comes off that way, that is not my intention.  I am just so torn on what to do.  Do we try another cycle this year so that we can get one more in that is covered but sacrifice the breastfeeding goal I was hoping for?  Do we discard the OE embryos have left and save ourselves $500-$1500 over the next several months since the odds are NOT in their favor?  What about trying naturally again?  Our bodies can go through some amazing changes from pregnancy and we were hoping to maybe give natural conception another (short) shot. 

This is where infertility continues to suck even when you get on the other side of it.  Is this the worst situation in the world to be in?  Heck no!  It's just really putting me in a place where I am kind of lost.  If we weren't losing the insurance here is what the sibling cycle would look like to me: Nurse Georgia until February 2018, try naturally for 3-6 months, if no luck (which I am NOT holding my breath for anyway) then plan a transfer for August 2018 when Georgia would be 1.5 years old. 

So from all of this here is what I know

-my 2 OE embryos that are left are inevitably going to be the worst of the 7 that we had originally. 

-if we do decide to do a transfer this fall it would be of an OE embryo

-I will only transfer 1 embryo at a time so if we chose to cycle this fall and it failed we would still have one OE embryo left to continue paying the $500 x quarter storage fee on

-any transfer after Jan 1st, 2018 will be 100% out of pocket

-DE embryos work (this is a biggie)

-I have no emotional attachment to my 2 OE embryos, after having Georgia I have learned that I don't care if I ever have a "biological" child of my own.

I thought typing this out might make it easier to figure out what to do, however it actually might just be more confusing now.  There are A LOT of factors to take into consideration and we need to make a decision by Friday on the 2 OE embryos that we have left here in Illinois.  I hate that we have to make this decision and it does kind of make me feel bad that we are considering discarding 2 potential babies, but I think that is something that many of us are faced with when it comes to left over embryos.  This also is just a reminder of how infertility continues to have an effect on our family building plans and that it seems to be something that will continue to have an impact on us for the next few years.


  1. Girl I love this post and though our situations are very different, I am having a lot of these same thoughts lately. Even though Vivi is only 4 months old, we are already talking about another baby! Give me allllll the babies! I am currently on BC but I'm wondering if I should stop and see if we get pregnant "accidentally" (not holding my breath), but I'm also scared that if I stop BC and don't get pregnant I will be sad every single month. It's inevitable! Or do we stick with our plan of transferring next July and stay on BC until then to save myself the heartache? So many emotions, so many questions.

  2. Girl I know that ultimately you will make the best decision for you and your sweeet family (i love seeing you guys on instagram). Whether a baby comes earlier or later, what i have no doubt about is that they will be cherished and loved. Prayers that you find the best path to take :)

  3. I am so sorry this is weighing heavily on your mind! A huge predicament! And truly unfair. Infertility is just unfair! I will say that you may regret weaning Georgia early. I am more of the mindset that you should enjoy the baby you currently have. My boys are a few months shy of three years apart, and we love that spacing! They are super close!!! But whatever you decide, I hope you find peace with that decision!

  4. Isn't it beyond crazy that all of these things really have to be considered? It should just be so much easier than this. We had no infertility coverage so that part wasn't a decision. I am thinking if your plan was to continue breast feeding her until later then do that, you certainly wouldn't want to regret it later :)

  5. I can't imagine what a decision that must be, but I know that you and your husband will definitely find the right answer for you. Remember - enjoy Georgia above all else...that's the biggest thing, of which I know you're aware <3

  6. I hate insurance and money. Infertility sucks on its own but when you have all the extra stress of insurance and costs it makes it more difficult. The plus side is that frozen transfers are significantly less costly then fresh transfers if you decide to wait. Personally I feel that everyone's fertility Journey is different but sometimes issues and options get thrown our way for a reason only God knows and it changes our path. I would say if you okay with stopping breast feeding, to go for it before the issue of cost comes into factor, but that has to be your personal decision. I personally have given up on my own eggs so I know how that feels, we didn't have any left over to freeze so that is not a decision we had to make.

    1. I agree with this point about the cost of FET being so much lower (as someone who has paid for everything out of pocket!). You have saved SO MUCH money through your insurance coverage, don't let this stop you from enjoying the baby you have now.

  7. I think its different for every person but I will say that for other personal reasons (the big one being that we were moving to a different state and I didn't want to ship our embryos and start over with a new RE) I stopped nursing my first daughter around 7 months (had frozen BM stash to last a month or so more) in order to get started with IVF again. And it worked as I now have a 2 mo little girl and almost 2 yo girl. I was so torn and heartbroken about weaning but what my husband reminded me is that 1- she won't remember stopping and it won't affect her (just me emotionally haha) and 2 -that it will impact her life FAR more than nursing to have a sibling for life. It's tough to figure out all the logistics but trust your gut...

  8. Wow, this is such a hard decision. I think breastfeeding is the hardest part of the decision and makes infertility feel most unfair. Another thing you could do is (provided you get your cycle back, I got mine back at 7 months) lie about not breastfeeding and do an FET while still nursing. I found some good info online about that, the FET meds are all safe for nursing. Thinking about you as you work through the options!

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