Sunday, September 16, 2007

Feline Therapy

For years, I have wanted a cat. I always talked myself out of getting one, thinking I would soon be pregnant. For one, I am allergic to cats and besides that there are all kinds of issues with pregnancy and cats, dealing with the litter box and toxicity.

So as the years passed by, I put off a lot of things, thinking I would be pregnant soon and my life would change. Little by little, as I realized the possibility of pregnancy in the near future was fading away, I slowly began doing those things I had been waiting on, except for getting a cat.

One morning, three months ago, I woke up and decided this was the day. I called about an ad in the local paper about a litter of kittens and made plans to go pick one up. I stopped by PetsMart in Clovis to get some supplies. As I walked into the store, I noticed the cages on the side wall. In one cage was this 3 month old black kitten. I went up to the plastic window and put my hand on it. The kitten immediately began to bat at the window. I found an employee and they took me in the back. When they handed me the kitten, he looked up at me, placed his paws on my cheeks, and put his nose on my face. His name was "B.A." and I knew he was mine.

I got all the supplies needed, filled out the Madera SPCA paperwork, and drove him home. I called the gentleman who had placed the ad in the paper and told him I wouldn't be coming after all. I had already found our new "baby".

His name is Cosmo ("Cosmic Creepers") and he is a feisty and strong headed kitten with quite a personality. When I come home at night, he comes running. When I get up in the morning, he can't wait to play. He lets me hold him for as long as I want, even when I can tell he is tired of it. I used to think it was kind-of strange when people would talk about pets like family, but now I think I understand.

Three months ago, I rescued him from the shelter. But, since that time, I feel that in his own way he has rescued me too. When you have infertility, one of the most empty and lonely feelings is that you have no one to nurture, no one to care for. And that's all you desire in the world. I realize that Cosmo is just a cat, but it makes a difference to know that I am important to him and he depends on me. It hasn't lessened my desire for a child of my own, but it has softened the heartache a bit.

When it rains, it pours... and I can't find my umbrella.

Over the last few months, medical billing statements have arrived as a result of my recent surgery last June. Adding up the charges, it seemed I would end up paying about $400 for the surgery out-of-pocket. I was pretty satisfied, as the surgery was the first fertility "treatment" which my insurance would participate in paying.

Yesterday, I picked up my mail only to find a "love letter" from Clovis Community Hospital. Seems I will actually be paying about $2500 out-of-pocket for the surgery.

Now, I have been told by some people that "money is no object - we would pay whatever we needed to have a child". This is all very noble and good, but until you have been in my position, you have no idea what it is like when the only thing preventing you from reaching for your dream is money.

What started out as a desperate attempt to find out the reason I have not been able to conceive a child has now turned into the most expensive fertility "treatment" I have paid (am paying) for thus far.

Even though I would like to tell myself that the surgery was a mistake, I know that if it had turned out differently, I would have called it the best decision I could have made.

It's all a gamble. This is just the game we pay when we are lucky enough to not only be "infertile", but have health insurance that doesn't see that as a problem worth paying for. Along with the heartbreak of infertility, we get to be slapped in the face on a regular basis by the reality that all this costs money.

When will I be able to pursue agressive fertility treatments? Well, I refuse to miss out on parenthood over something as futile as money. This unexpected bump will not be a road block. It has slowed us down, but will not crush us. It will take some time, but Clovis Community Hospital will get their money. And then we'll move on from there...