Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's next?

Hey Everyone!

First, the Arizona Walk of Hope is this coming Saturday and I have been asked to give a short speech! I was also told that I will be presented with an award for "Top Walker" because I raised the most money! Woohoo! I'm very excited about the award and the opportunity to speak again. As you all have noticed, infertility is something I am very passionate about. I want to thank all the people out there who have supported us in any way. We truly appreciate you and there is no way I could be doing any of this without the love and support of all our family and friends! So, THANKS!!

Now, on to the topic for this post. What's next? I've had a few people ask me that lately and I figured I'd just write a blog about it. What's next is that we are waiting. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the one I want to talk about today is money.

I know I've mentioned that infertility treatments are going to be expensive and that we will have to pay for them out of pocket. I also threw some numbers out there, but I've failed to really explain the monetary ramifications that this diagosis has had and will have. The money situation is much bigger than I initially thought it would be. Last year we were too angry to really save money for all of this. I think we were actually rebelling a bit against the idea of saving money for treatments that we believe should be covered by insurance. But then we both started to feel guilty spending our own money! Like we knew we needed to be saving money for these treatments, but at the same time we were angry that we had to save money, so we didn't. It's very difficult to feel like we have to justify spending our own money. After we came to terms with the fact that we were going to have to use a donor and do IVF, we just assumed we would get a loan to pay for it. When we applied for a loan of $25,000 last year, we assumed we'd get it. We have excellent credit and great jobs, but we were denied and they counter offered with a loan of $5,000. Really!?!

After that we decided that we would just use credit cards to pay for our IVF cycle. We looked at what we had and figured out that we could max out all of our credit cards, maybe even get another one, and we'd be able to cover it all. We had some money saved, but most of it would have to go on the credit cards. We would owe $10,000 to the donor agency. The IVF cycle was actually really inexpensive at about $8,000. Of course that didn't include the medication for both the donor and I. That's about $4,000 give or take. Then there was blood work, any fees to my doctors office here for monitoring and then travel expenses since we would be going to Dallas for all of this. I was figuring that would be at least another few thousand dollars. You can see how it all adds up, but we didn't care. We were just going to use credit and deal with the ramifications later. I really tried not to think about the fact that it might not work, that I might not get pregnant and then we'd be in serious debt, without a baby. But, as you all know, the donor backed out and now we are here. Waiting. Trying to figure out a better way to pay for all of this.

I think it's amazing how far reaching infertility is. It really does effect every single aspect of our lives. We don't have kids right now. It's going to cost us a fortune to try to have kids. Does that mean we have to completely stop living our lives so we can save every penny to put towards those treatments? I don't want to do that. I don't think that's fair to us and our relationship. Part of me wants to take advantage of the fact that we are still childless. Now, of course we want children more than anything, but we really struggle to find a healthy balance with money to make that dream come true. I like to shop. Ryan likes to golf. We like to travel. I think we are very good at saving and are very responsible with our money, but then I feel like we are not saving enough, and I feel guilty. On the other hand, I don't really know how we could save up the amount of money that we need. I would like to have a baby soon. I really don't want to wait another 5 years or so to save money for this. Plus, we all know how life works. There are unavoidable situations that come up that cost money. Things like Ryan needing new tires for his car. Is it realistic to think we can actually pay for all of this by ourselves? I don't know.

Honestly, I'm pissed! If infertility was covered by insurance (which is a post all by itself that will be coming eventually), then we wouldn't be in this situation. It pisses me off so much I can't stand it! It's not my fault that I have a disease that has caused me to be unable to have children naturally. It's frustrating that the treatments out there, that will help our dream of having a family come true, are so damn expensive! I think we've pretty much decided that we are not going to ask people for money. It makes us both uncomfortable. We've had some people offer to give us money, or prefer to give the money that I'm asking people to donate to RESOLVE, directly to us, but as of right now, we can't accept it. Plus, I'm asking for donations to RESOLVE because they are working to get infertility to be recognized as a disease that needs to be covered. I can't do that by myself, so I'd rather the money go to them. We are not the only people who are dealing with these issues. There are millions of American's going through similar struggles and they need help too!

So for know, we are focusing our money on the debt that we currently have. We are determined to get the credit cards paid off and I pray that we will not have to turn around and max them out! And we are waiting until at least later in the year to start back up on the process of finding another donor and starting all over again. This is our situation and we will figure it out, but I sometimes feel like no matter what we do in terms of money, we will lose. It's maddening!

P.S. I just found out, after getting our $2,000 donor deposit back, that our donor had a bad experience with the agency that she decided to go to for more money, and is now back with our agency. Ha. It sure is interesting how things work out!

For more information about RESOLVE, go here:
http://www.resolve.org/about/

~Tonya