I sat on the edge of the bed wringing my hands. It was cold out but my body felt as if it had run 10 miles. My heart was pounding and I was trying my best to look stoic. My wife was weeping in the bathroom. We had just received her test results back from the doctor. She was going to lose another child. ANOTHER.
I wasn't mad at her. I wasn't mad at myself. I wasn't even mad. I was in disbelief. In that moment I came to the terrible realization that we would probably never have kids.
My birthday is in march. So is spring break. We took a nice weekend trip to St. Louis and had a wonderful time. My wife was still struggling with health issues which worried me. We didn't know what was going on. She was supposed to be o.k. I didn't really understand what was going on. All I knew is that she looked fine and felt fine, but one day I could wake up and she could be dead beside me. I internalized these feelings and attempted to put on a strong front. A strong front is another word for "withdraw."
"APS" she repeated. I just stared blankly back at her. How the heck was I supposed to know what Anti Phospholipid Syndrome was? She had spent minutes, hours, days, reading and researching to find what the medical community could not. She sought out the help of forums and a few doctors who were the best in the field of immunology. Finally she had the answer, but it still left many questions unanswered. I still sat on the sidelines unwilling to participate, believing foolishly that maybe this APS would go away. I was not a good husband and it pains me to admit that. I failed.
Where are we at today? I know more about APS then I did in June. I've decided to become a very active and supportive husband. APS is a disease that only about 5% of the population struggle with. In basic (very basic) terms your immune system is so strong that any foreign object introduced into your system is found and terminated very quickly. Sometimes this means that the embryo during pregnancy is terminated. This is what we believe to be happening in our case. My wife has also found out some specifics about her case of APS although I do not wish to share them at this time.
What I would like to share is that my wife is not currently terminally ill which is a huge relief. She still has to be careful because of a high propensity to develop blood clots. Poor circulation is no stranger and she constantly is dealing with cold hands and feet. Her allergies are also intensified because of her bodies reaction to various items (certain grasses/trees/foods).
Lately we have been attempting to eat very healthy (gluten/sugar free) and cook a lot from scratch. The local farmers market is also a great help to us. Eating this way tends to curb although not eliminate her symptoms.
This is all very interesting you might think, but where does the love vs logic play out? Well...
There is a way (possibly) for my wife and I to have children. She would have to undergo 12-24 weeks of IVIG. IVIG can be used as a treatment for those with auto-immune diseases such as APS. It works! My wife has been on IVIG in the past for a few weeks and the results were nothing short of a miracle.
My wife's insurance will not cover IVIG. They claim (like almost all insurance providers) that IVIG is experimental...pardon me but in my opinion that is b.s. I can however, see that from their point of view as long as my wife's disease is not life threatening why should they pay for it?
This leaves us in a sticky situation. We don't have a ton of cash built up yet (due to medical bills and wild goose chases around the medical community), and we only have a few limited windows during the winter to use. We must conceive in the winter due to the fact that my wife's body is on high alert during the summer because of allergies. Moving to Canada isn't exactly an option for us either:)
So that leaves me with the tough choice of do I resign our family to medical debt? $15,000 - $20,000 approximately when all is said and done with. That is a tough number to swallow. Especially since she will have to take time off work, could have a very complicated pregnancy, and could lose the child (although unlikely if she makes it past week 24). I don't really know what to do.
Option 1: Wait a year and build up some cash/incur less debt/have a bigger emergency fund. The only con is that my wife feels as if her time is closing although she would only be 28 by next year. Also a lot of our friends already have kid(s) or are having kids. I know this hurts to watch. Heck it sucks for me too, but mostly because I hate watching her feeling miserable.
Option 2: Go into debt. Suck it up. Pay it back. I don't like this option too much as it adds more risk to our family, especially right when we are having a child.
Option 3: Borrow the money from family and pay them back. I really hate this option b/c my pride gets in the way. Not only that, but I HATE owing money to anyone, and family loans are the WORST!
Option 4: Adopt. Also expensive, doesn't always work out, and my wife is really wanting to have at least one child and then adopt.
I guess the whole reason I wrote this is to get it off my chest. It doesn't matter if 1 person reads it (me) or 1000 people read it. I just needed to write it. Maybe I'm writing it as sort of an apology to my wife. My way of letting her know I will always be here and I will never leave her side. I will always support her from now until death, no matter who doesn't believe her she will always have the reassurance that I do.
If you did read this then please comment and tell me what you would do? It doesn't even have to be an option above if you think of a better solution. Thanks for reading and remember to always stay positive and keep fighting. No one can ever take away your desire to succeed.