By Jodie Nicholson, Author of I(v)F ONLY!
We are all aware of the postcode lottery surrounding funding for fertility treatment. The resentful process of separating people’s right to become parent’s dependant on where they live.
Luckily for us, our local CCG offered 3 fully funded rounds of IVF.
Unlucky for us, the fact that Steve was already a Father, meant that our local CCG felt we didn’t deserve the same entitlement as other’s in our locality.
It makes my blood boil just thinking about it.
The postcode lottery is unfair and unjust in itself but throw this additional penalisation into the mix and I’m about sure that someone somewhere doesn’t want me to be a parent.
Steve was fertile, he has a Daughter which, although doesn’t guarantee he’ll be able to conceive again, it did indicate that any issues were likely to be with me. Tests confirmed our theory and therefore Steve didn’t require any help or intervention to become a parent again.
My body on the other hand sucks!
I have 2 collapsed fallopian tubes, polycystic ovaries and I do not ovulate, meaning, I do require medical assistance to become pregnant.
Surely this means that it is ME that requires the funding? Not US, Steve can do his bit just fine, I need the help, I need the intervention, I need the expensive medical assistance. Regardless of who my partner is or how fertile he is?
I haven’t been pregnant. No-one calls me “Mum”.
The qualification criteria for funding treats you as a couple and therefore the exclusion of any previous children is inclusive of whether those children are of one of you and/or both of you.
The noose around my neck seemed to be getting tighter and tighter. The anger suffocating me and starving my body of any goodness that might be present.
IVF was enough pressure, psychically and emotional but throw finances into the mix and it becomes so overwhelming we just couldn’t see a solution.
Even if we could find the money for this round, what happens if this round fails? How do we pay for the next one? £10k is hard enough to find the first time, what the hell are we going to do?
Panic overcame me in rushes, not even to dilute the anger but enough to strengthen the negative haze surrounding me
The financial burden far outweighed any other sadness I felt at this stage. After all, the fear of IVF itself didn’t need to be faced anytime soon, we needed to find the money first. There was no point in me worrying about a process we couldn’t yet afford.
I felt penalised and victimised.
How can anyone justify the inequality surrounding funding? How can my spouse’s situation and/or my relationship dynamic determine I was less entitled to be a parent than someone else?
We looked into the appeals process but our consultant advised that in his 40 year career he had never known a successful appeal and the appeals process itself takes approx. 12 months.
Unfortunately time was not a luxury Steve and I could afford and after 6 years of TTC, patience was not a quality we had been blessed with. We decided against appealing this unfairness.
We sold our home and saved as much as we could
Thankfully, with the help of our family and friends we managed to fund the cycle.
But it truly makes you realise that THE SYSTEMS ARE UNFAIR.
Infertile couples’ desire to be parents are met with judgement and discrimination that categorises their need and entitlement depending on their location and family dynamic.
It also further proves that when it comes to having a child, many people will exhaust all options, financially and emotionally to find a way around “NO”.
If you would like to get in touch with Jodie, you can reach her via her Instagram @JodieNicholsonAuthor
Read more from Jodie here.