I have sort of been following the Celine Dion stories about her struggles with infertility. The 42-year-old Canadian singer has apparently been trying for six years to get pregnant, and sadly suffered a miscarriage after one IVF attempt. She recently went public with her infertility problems on Oprah.
I was happy, of course, to hear that she's expecting and I hope everything goes well for Celine, who is due in November. But I think back to an article I read and one thing stuck out: she basically said she would keep trying , at any cost, to get pregnant.
Of course, when you're a celebrity, you can afford to do that. Apparently Angelina Jolie conceived her twins , Knox and Vivienne, with IVF not because she'd had trouble getting pregnant, but because she didn't have time to do it the old fashioned way. The procedure reportedly cost $12,000.
We can estimate that, if Celine Dion went through six IVF procedures, that it cost around $72,000, using Angelina as a baseline. It could have cost Dion more or less; who knows.
Thankfully, I've never had problems with infertility . Tons of other crap while pregnant, yes; but I've always been able to get pregnant easily. But I can't imagine the heartache, the worry, the financial stresses of the average working-class couple who is struggling with getting pregnant - the average married couple deals with many of these things as it is, minus the infertility. Both men and women can suffer depression as a result, not to mention the draining of savings in order to fund the procedure. Multiple failures or miscarriages can cause even more stress on a marriage or relationship, as well as the inevitable feeling of wondering when it's just time to give up and accept it.
Psychologically it can make both men and women feel like a failure, like it's something they're doing wrong that is causing it. It can also cause immense stress on a couple's sexual relationship when sex becomes a "chore" because timing is so important. Strangely enough, in one study of infertile couples it found that their rate of divorce was much lower than in the general population.
One couple I know chose to forego IVF altogether because of the possible stress it would put on her, and decided instead to adopt (which has its own challenges, including loss and financial pressure). I can't help but wonder to myself if they would have gotten pregnant from undergoing in vitro, but can understand their situation and just not wanting to put themselves through that physical, emotional and financial strain.
I wonder what other infertile women think about Celine's trials and her ultimate success - perhaps wishing they, too, could keep trying until they finally got pregnant, but knowing there was just no way that was going to happen. I can't imagine the heartache of knowing that, among other possible factors, money was keeping a much sought-after pregnancy from happening. Financial help is available for some, but not for all.
Back in November, Dion's husband, Rene Angelil, said they were "living the reality of the majority of couples who face these procreation techniques."
No, unfortunately for some, it's not even close.
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