It is well known that discussions of money and finances inevitably lead to awkwardness within relationships. That is a general view. In today’s trying times with the current economic recession it is cliché but true to say that “everyone is feeling the pinch.” Within the trials of infertility, the “money” topic tends to rear its ugly head more often than not. Although it is not something that is often talked about beyond the private conversations of the affected couple, we would like to deal with the issue here for a bit.
Most infertile couples would state that they are willing to give anything just to have one child. That list would include body parts, religious affiliation and, of course, piles of money. Whatever it takes! Since infertility treatments require multiple and seemingly endless trips to doctors and specialists, we also gladly give our time, our patience and literally our blood to this process. What we begin to see during this struggle are the mounting costs associated with every visit inside those same sterile medical rooms.
Insurance, while it is a serious hot-button issue in the political and media arenas, is an important factor in which treatments we can and cannot pursue. For those lucky enough to have insurance that covers the majority of these procedures, there still seems to be enough out-of-pocket costs to create a dent in any budget. Others have the even more difficult decision as to whether or not to even begin treatment as they might not be covered at all and everything would have to be paid for by the infertile couple. Even though infertility is blind to class structure and income levels, for all of us going through this it is an added expense we never thought we had to build into our financial plan.
We all realize that children cost money. Our friends and family have made that point inexplicably clear. Infertility costs money too, sometimes more than an actual month-to-month newborn budget. Let’s consider this example which is close to our own hearts; a couple is covered by insurance so most procedures are covered after deductible etc. For years they try the medical route with the maximum IVF attempts and everything leading up to that. Costs could run close to $15,000 or more. The couple then changes gears and looks at adoption ($30K) or donor eggs/sperm ($15K) or surrogacy ($60K++). By the time any of these scenarios play out the couple is out between $30K (min) and up to approximately $100K on the high side. Did I mention that they had insurance?
For those who don’t readily have this cash on hand, it can be difficult to start taking out loans or running up credit cards. So if there is a baby at the end of all that, wouldn’t it be safe to say that the family is then starting off “in-the-hole” money wise? With emotions at an all time high and adding money questions or problems on top makes for a very stressful mixture. We can cry foul or scream that this is unfair until we’re blue in the face. But maybe, just maybe, a child at no matter what the cost, will dissipate any and all problems, even money concerns…
[...] is physically and emotionally draining. (I’m not even going near the financial implications, see The Price of Money below.) It is a lot to keep from the people you love and share your life with, isn’t [...]
you write so well.
i just found your blog today in March 2012 and wonder if you are still blogging? your writing has really hit a chord with me. how much of one’s life is hidden, how deep and solitary the pain of infertility truly is…
i so agree about the way the miracle babies are paraded loudly on the ex-infertile blogs; there should be a law against it! you would think they had a shred of compassion after being through the trials but in my experience the ex-infertiles bring the most pain.
Not only have I had 3 failed ivfs, 2 failed iuis and an incompetent consultant who missed diagnosed me and so I wasnt referred for IVF until over 35, I also had an ivf protocol with little success. We then tried to adopt, got through the intrusive and ugly process with a team of incredibly poor social workers who took 3 years to get us through. We eventually went to russia in 2010, met a beautiful 9 month baby girl, came back to Ireland wher we live, and then teh Russian authorities decided not to let us adopt her due to a commetn in the social worker report. they told us this after we had paid all our fees (15k) and travelled across russia to meet her. after we had paid for paeditricians and the 8 medicals we had to go throug ourselves. and our social worker wasnt in the least bit sorry when we told her that her comments (about me suffering from stress, over and above the normal adoption applicant) had stopped us from adopting overseas. We werent allowed to adopt in ireland domestically as we are over 38, which is the rule! we now have moved to the UK to adopt. but we have to live here 2 years before we can apply and there is a chance we will be rejected again…..but we have to live in hope. I dont believe that things work out for the best. the world is random and cruel. Infertility is one of lifes deepest cruelties and only those who experience true long term infertility can grasp it. And dont get me started on the ex-infertiles; the worst offenders!
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