Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Money Matters

The high cost of fertility treatments has made an enormous impact on our lives and on our choices. Before we started dealing with infertility, we were concerned about money. We talked about how much to spend for home repairs given our modest house and its resale value. We were concerned about saving enough for retirement and diligently increased the amount we deducted from each paycheck when we got a raise. We dreamed about the property we would buy in the country and the house we hoped to build some day. We wondered how we would get by on 1.5 incomes instead of 2 when we had kids.

Then we got pregnant. It took us a while, but we were thankful it only took a couple of IUI's and a few hundred dollars. When I was four months pregnant, I told my employer that I would quit after the baby was born to work in the family business. It would be a significant cut in pay, but it would allow me much more flexibility as a mom. Our son was born 3 months later, but he didn't live longer than a few minutes. We decided I would quit my job anyway because we would, of course, get pregnant again soon and the family business had a position that needed to be filled.

One year later, barely making ends meet, it was time to face reality. We would need to do fertility treatments if we wanted to have a baby. For the next two years we spent the equivalent of our take home pay for fertility treatments. Needless to say that is impossible without finding money somewhere. That somewhere was our retirement. That house in the country? Not for a long, long time now. We remind each other that lots of families were raised in houses our size - 1000 square feet, 3 bedroom, 1 bath. We have also discovered we can get by with one car, home repairs can be put off indefinitely and who really enjoys retirement anyway?

I am now pregnant with one child using donor eggs. My RE actually told me before this donor egg cycle that our chances with my own eggs were high enough that he would recommend trying again if we had more money or suddenly had a great uncle give us $15,000. But he wanted us to move on - at about twice the success rate - with donor eggs before we ran out of financial resources entirely. Money or insurance coverage may have given us our mutually genetic child. While I am grieving the loss of that genetic connection, I am thankful we had the financial means to get pregnant again. As for a sibling? Well, that has been very important to us as well, but conceiving a sibling will be at least another $25,000.

9 comments:

Frenchie said...

Wow. It just so happens I have been thinking a lot lately about this same topic as it pertains to our lives, and how we are impacted and will continue to be impacted by the high cost of infertility. We bought our little starter home (and I do mean little--smaller than yours!) with the plan to fix it up a bit and turn around and sell it in order to buy something bigger, when our baby (the baby we assumed we would have naturally with no problems) was about 1 or 2, and we would be ready to have a second child. Well, let's just say, all those plans have gone down the drain after all the money we have spent on medical bills for fertility testing and then, one miscarriage, and, one very expensive (but very worth it, of course) adoption. The renovations we started (back when I was pregnant) now sit unfinished. And, after our adoption, we are so in the hole with debt, there's no way we'll be in any position to finish our renovations any time soon. We'll be in this tiny house for a while. And, if we want a sibling, the only options are 1.A total miracle pregnancy, or 2.An IUI cycle works. We can't afford another adoption any time soon, and no social worker would approve us adopting a second child in such a small home.

I could go on...and so, should probably write my own post on my own blog about it and stop taking up space on yours! :0)

Anyway, I can relate!

Lori said...

Your conversations sound very similar to ours, down to the description of your house and car.

I'd be interested in knowing more about your family business. I hope you're doing something you enjoy.

Kami said...

Wow Frenchie - we do have a lot in common. And can I preach to the choir and say that it is crazy that you need to have a bigger house to adopt another child. As if love comes with a certain income.

Lori - I loved working in the family business - I loved the work anyway. It is a chocolate factory making handmade chocolates. My mom bought it for us (mom and 4 daughters) to operate when I was 3 months along. Unfortunately - and not surprisingly really - the family dynamics made it a really poor work environment for me. Between that and dealing with the loss and infertility, It was too much and I quit after less than a year. I have a job I like ok now and don't miss the stress of the family business.

Geohde said...

Wow Kami,

That's a powerful post....

I should never complain about the cost of my IVF's again.

J

meg said...

That's one of the worst things about all this...how you life is on hold for so long. It's not just the emotional stuff, but it spills over to the practical side of life too.

Familyof2 said...

It is insane how much this stuff costs. Where does one draw the line? Get loans? Don't get loans? Sell ones soult to the devil? Move to a state taht mandates IVF?

I truly wish I knew "then" what I know "now" because I would have gone out alot sooner and started saving a crap ton of money so I could have 1 shot at IVF...but as they say hind site is 20/20...and well it just sucks...

Yodasmistress said...

I work in a family business. Was with my mom, dad and sister. Now mom and dad are getting a divorce. Work + Family = Bad.

Julia said...

I am sorry to hear about Earnest and that the money was such a big factor for you. It is truly unfair.

Best of luck with your current pregnancy.

Pamela Jeanne said...

So much to contend with...and then the finances on top. Sigh.

I mentioned you to a friend of mine who is considering the DE experience. Would you mind if I made an email intro away from bloggie land?