The high cost of fertility treatments has made an enormous impact on our lives and on our choices. Before we started dealing with infertility, we were concerned about money. We talked about how much to spend for home repairs given our modest house and its resale value. We were concerned about saving enough for retirement and diligently increased the amount we deducted from each paycheck when we got a raise. We dreamed about the property we would buy in the country and the house we hoped to build some day. We wondered how we would get by on 1.5 incomes instead of 2 when we had kids.
Then we got pregnant. It took us a while, but we were thankful it only took a couple of IUI's and a few hundred dollars. When I was four months pregnant, I told my employer that I would quit after the baby was born to work in the family business. It would be a significant cut in pay, but it would allow me much more flexibility as a mom. Our son was born 3 months later, but he didn't live longer than a few minutes. We decided I would quit my job anyway because we would, of course, get pregnant again soon and the family business had a position that needed to be filled.
One year later, barely making ends meet, it was time to face reality. We would need to do fertility treatments if we wanted to have a baby. For the next two years we spent the equivalent of our take home pay for fertility treatments. Needless to say that is impossible without finding money somewhere. That somewhere was our retirement. That house in the country? Not for a long, long time now. We remind each other that lots of families were raised in houses our size - 1000 square feet, 3 bedroom, 1 bath. We have also discovered we can get by with one car, home repairs can be put off indefinitely and who really enjoys retirement anyway?
I am now pregnant with one child using donor eggs. My RE actually told me before this donor egg cycle that our chances with my own eggs were high enough that he would recommend trying again if we had more money or suddenly had a great uncle give us $15,000. But he wanted us to move on - at about twice the success rate - with donor eggs before we ran out of financial resources entirely. Money or insurance coverage may have given us our mutually genetic child. While I am grieving the loss of that genetic connection, I am thankful we had the financial means to get pregnant again. As for a sibling? Well, that has been very important to us as well, but conceiving a sibling will be at least another $25,000.