Thursday, July 24, 2014

If You Can't Afford IVF, Then You Can't Afford a Baby...



Since we decided to try IVF one last time, I've had a lot of mixed emotions. The one comment that hits home the hardest is, "If you can't afford to do IVF on your own, then you can't afford a baby!"  This comment stings because I personally said it to Dave many many times. I understand why people think this, because I thought it too. In the past year, we have paid for 4 IUIs and an IVF along with all the doctor's appointments leading up to each procedure and the expensive medicines, shots and pills that go along with each one.  All of it out of pocket.  Nothing was covered by our insurance. There isn't a payment plan option.  All money is due upfront in one LARGE sum! Needless to say, we drained our savings and we are tapped out. We couldn't afford another IVF out of pocket, even if it was discounted because of the study I'm in.

My amazing friend, T, wanted to help by starting a fundraiser for us but she wouldn't do it without our approval.    I didn't want to do a fundraiser. Actually, I was against it. Call it pride, call it stubbornness, call it whatever you want. All I know is... I was against it.  I cried about it, I fought Dave on it, I prayed about it. Finally I started to come around...slowly! It took me awhile, but I finally agreed to swallow my pride and just do it.  The response was amazing!  I was blown away by the outpouring of love and support.  We raised over $600 in less than 24 hours! I had friends and family private message me, thanking me for doing this fundraiser. Wait...what?!?!  You're thanking ME?!?  No my friend...it's the other way around! People were thanking us because this was a way they felt like they could help us.  People didn't know what to say, what to do, how to help.  Reading time and time again about another failed procedure and yet another negative pregnancy test, this was a way they felt they could help.  Honestly, I never thought about it like that.  That really helped me accept the fact that we were actually doing this fundraiser.  I could hold my head high and not feel so ashamed and embarrassed.

I'm someone who will give to every charity.  I buy the girl scout cookies (that I don't eat) to help your daughter.  I support the children's hospital.  I give money for  research to find a cure for breast cancer and MS and colon cancer. I give to the wounded warrior project and toys for tots.  I support military causes and local fundraisers. I do it because I care.  I'm never looking for anything in return. Never! But now here I am asking for money.  This was hard.  Beyond hard.  Excruciating! It is easier for me to give money than it is to accept money from others. I cried at every single donation that came in...from the large donations to the single dollar donations! Every donation meant something to me and it didn't go unnoticed.  Every single dollar raised for our IVF was another indication that people believed in us, and loved us and truly wanted to help. Thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

But the question still comes up, and I don't blame people for wondering. If we can't afford another round of IVF, then how will we ever afford a baby.  Kids are expensive. I may not have any, but this I know. I'm not stupid or naive. I knew I had to come up with some kind of analogy for people. A way to explain why it was okay for us to do a fundraiser (maybe this was more for me and not others...). A way for people to hopefully understand all that we've been through, and a way to compare all the money we've already spent in a way they could understand.  If you've never been through this, it's hard to wrap your head around.  So here it goes...

Most people have gone to the car dealership and bought a new car before.  Let's pretend that you go to the dealership and you find the car you want.  It's a little expensive, but you really want it.  The dealer comes over to you and starts helping you make your dream car a reality. There's a catch though. In order for you to purchase this car, you can't finance it like you're used to.  You need to pay cash for it all up front. You think about it, and since there's no other way, you decide to save up and come back another time.  You finally saved enough money to pay for your car so you go back to the dealership.  You're getting ready to buy the car, but of course you want to test drive it to make sure it works.  Nope!  You can't test drive it..sorry!  No guarantees at this dealership! You'll get the keys two weeks after you pay for it in full.  So you pay your money...LOTS of money...wait your two weeks, go back to the dealership, get your keys and jump in your car.  You're so excited!  You turn the key and......oh so sorry, the key doesn't work.  Your car doesn't turn on.   You're pissed, hurt, upset.  You go to the dealer and demand your money back.  Sorry no refunds, and no guarantees. He asks you if you want another key?  If so, that will be another upfront payment! My question to you is this, would you try again?!?!  Pay more money upfront with no guarantee because you really REALLY want this car? Most of you would probably turn away with your middle finger in the air at the dealership.  You just 'wasted' thousands and thousands of dollars and have nothing to show for it. No car, no money.  Why would anyone do it again? We did though.  This is our 6th time trying. Now do you see why we're broke? I know it's not the same, but you have to admit, this is a pretty good analogy right!?? :)

Ok here's another one for all you parents out there with young children in daycare.  How many of you would be able to pay for a years worth of daycare all at once upfront?   Daycare around here is around $900/month.  So one years worth of daycare is "only" $10,800. You could do that right?  How about 3 years worth of daycare? A normal IVF is around $12,000 plus around $3000 for the medications.  That's more than one full year of daycare. Am I starting to put things in perspective now?

This past year we've tried everything to have a baby.  We are financially tapped out and can't try again without help.  Is this hard for me to admit..hell yeah! Are we one paycheck away from losing our house?  NO!  We're "broke" but we still pay all of our bills, we own our own home, we still can afford to have food on the table, but we do go without.  Both of us have cars over 10 years old.  We sacrifice  so we can try again to have a baby. We make trying to provide for a baby more important than the clothes we wear or the car we drive. (although I do need a new car soon...) Isn't that what parenting is all about?  We sacrifice so our future child can have the life they deserve.  So some may still judge, and that's okay.  I won't judge you for judging me. I'm finally at peace with our decision to accept help.

For all of you that have helped make this last try possible, how can I ever thank you?! Words will never describe my gratitude! Please keep sending those prayers up and out because here we go...one last time. Hopefully this time it will work!  Hopefully in about 10  months, we will become parents. Hopefully all of our dreams will finally come true. Hope is all I have left.




5 comments:

  1. You and Dave are amazing! I am rooting for ya!

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  2. I don't know if people have said something to you about the money and judged you, but I was happy to help. And not being able to pay for IVF one more time on your own does not mean you can't afford kids. I, for one, will be just as glad to buy you baby stuff at some point. I don't know any new parents who buy everything for their new baby on their own. There is a reason they say it takes a village to raise children! Love you both and I'm glad you accepted help! I know how hard it is to do ;-)

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  3. I thought doing the fund raiser was a great idea. I logged on every day (actually multiple times a day) to see how it was going and I cheered when you reached your goal. I think this was a way for people to show you how loved and admired you both are. Anyone who says if you can't afford IVF you can't afford a baby is ridiculous and not worth a second thought. Hang in there guys. I'm praying for you every day.

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  4. I have been trying to have a baby for 7 years only to find out that I can't get pregnant without IVF I'm not just about to start the process which is costing us about £5000 a cycle I have tried and paid about 3 iui due to a lot fibroids and POS I change of a baby just keep dropping.
    The most difficult thing for me to deal with is the fact that people keep asking " when are you going to have a baby" I have been married for 6 years and being of African decent being barren as they like to point out is the curse of all curses to them not having a child in the first year of marriage is taboo in its own. I want a baby for me not for them i am happily married and my husband has 3 children of his own and is the first time i have talked about it to anyone who is not my husband. I feel a bit better not I have probably gone off topic but I feel better thank you
    Ps
    I must point out not all Africans believe this xx

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