Let's Talk Money
The video I posted today goes in depth into every penny we spent on fertility treatments up to this point and it's not a happy number. I won't be going into detail here though. Instead I want to talk specifically about the financial stress that is put on those who struggle with infertility.
I personally don't let the financial stress affect me as much because I worry about everything else more than enough for both Peter and I. Peter is the one that worries about the financial side of it and that seems to work for us. At first, it was stressful because we had no idea how much it was all going to end up costing so we weren't entirely sure how much to prepare for. Peter's job gives every employee a health spendings account and this is where he can allocate money that we can spend on health related things tax free which saves us some money. The tricky part is knowing how much to put in ahead of time because whatever gets put in that account can't be taken out again if it's not used. So it's a bit of a balancing act. Luckily we guessed pretty well for the first round but now, the tricky part is figuring out where the money is going to come from a second round.
I know we still have a funded round to fall back on if we wait long enough but the trouble there is that I can't afford to wait either. My diagnosis means that my chances get smaller as time passes and I am not willing to risk that. I'm sure we will use our funded cycle at some point whether it be after another failed private cycle or for our second child, but I wouldn't be able to functio
n if I was just sitting around not actively doing something or trying something new to have a child knowing that I could be hurting my chances by idly waiting. There is already so much waiting involved in this whole process, I don't want to do any more of it if it can be avoided.
But going back to the stress of it all. I can't imagine how it is for people who can't afford to fund a cycle privately, or who have done their funded cycle and have that be their one and only chance. We are very lucky to not be in that position yet. There's also the complicated nature of trying to decide whether or pursue something like adoption and starting that grueling, expensive process while also waiting to do IVF. Everything is so unknown, from costs to timelines that it's so difficult to plan for financially.
For us, it means putting other dreams on hold like my home daycare, or house renovations. It might even mean taking money out of our investments which is supposed to be our retirement. For me those things make sense. Even though it sucks and may not seem like the most responsible idea, the reality is that I don't want to start my daycare until I have my own child, I wouldn't be able to handle it...and what retirement would I enjoy if I didn't have a life full of memories of raising our children?
I've had a few people suggest setting up a fundraiser to raise money for our fertility treatments but that just doesn't sit right with me and I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that. So I guess this is just another reminder as to why IVF isn't "always an option." It's expensive, and I try not to think about how we've almost literally thrown $20,000 down the toilet.