On April 23, we were on our way home from working out at the gym when suddenly the thought occurred to me that we needed to start saving as much money as possible for fertility treatments. I had no idea how much it was going to cost at that point, but I knew it was going to be expensive.
When we got home, the first thing I did was open up our bank account and create a brand new savings account labelled “Baby Makin’ Fund”.
I set up a weekly auto transfer from our main account, so no matter what happens, money would always be slowly gaining in the baby fund.
Once that was taken care of, I knew that was only step one. The next step would be to actually start learning how much this would actually cost. Having come from a life of having nothing as a child, pinching pennies, and budgeting very carefully, this terrified me, and it still does. It’s no exaggeration when I say that I think about finances every single day. When you’ve spent a large portion of your life relying on food banks and generosity of strangers to eat, it becomes engrained in you. My mind goes to money first and foremost when anything comes up, and when any unexpected event arises.
Finding out roughly how much it would be costing us to have a child was a reality check in and of itself. IUI, the “cheap” option will end up costing roughly $2000+ per month, with no guarantee of success at all. If we have to go through IVF…..I may have a heart attack at those costs ($20k+).
So here we are, slowly saving away while trying to also live our life, and I have no idea what the future looks like. Will we get lucky and only need one month? Will we run out of money and have to save for 4-5 months just to finally book an appointment for 1 more attempt and then repeat this in cycles, watching all that money go away and still end in failure?
It’s terrifying. It’s hard not to imagine the potential for “wasted money”, but then if it ends in success, it won’t have been wasted at all.
Frankly, the cost of infertility makes me angry for one reason: most people just have sex.
It doesn’t cost anything, and so many people literally have sex one single solitary time and get pregnant. Or get pregnant by “accident”. They get to use all this money for other things. For vacations, home renos, fun things, or perhaps just use it for their new child in a variety of ways.
But infertility treatments take all that away. They seem like a blessing and a curse all wrapped into one. Somehow you have to figure out how to afford the creation of the baby, and then if all goes perfectly well and you do end up with a child, you have to figure out how to afford that child AND pay for the cost of the treatments all over again if you want more than one child.
Conversations go from “I think we’ll have 3 children” before the diagnoses, and then quickly switch to “I sure hope we can have 1” after you realize the mounting odds against you. Being a single child, I know there is lots of value in this and I would never discount only having one child. I know how much my mom considered me a miracle due to her own infertility. But it sure is crushing to feel like your hopes for multiple children are dashed before you really begin.
And then if you have continued failure…..when do you call it quits? It’s a hard decision.
There is no low cost ticket through the ride of infertility. It is a lesson in holding both anger and hope in unison together. Honestly, it’s more stressful than the diagnoses itself.
No matter the cost, I am happy the process exists. I gives me joy, and it gives me hope.
No matter what, we will find a path forward.