After Dawn and her husband spent a substantial amount of their savings on two failed rounds of IUI, the couple began to consider adoption. The 27-year-old hopeful mother had spent a year trying to conceive naturally before embarking on fertility treatments. She had been offered no official infertility diagnosis by her doctors, but the “hard candy shell,” as she likes to call it, of her egg membrane was most likely presenting problems for husband’s sperm. Between diagnostic testing, fertility treatments, and insemination, the husband and wife were out $8,000 of their nest egg and realized that they weren’t willing to spend anymore. At least not all at once.
As Dawn and her husband were weighing how exactly to expand their family, they were adamant that they would only try one round of IVF. Much like Sarah, Dawn’s fertility clinic offered a shared-risk plan in which parents were offered six rounds of IVF. If you were unable to conceive, then a majority of your money was returned to you. But if you conceived on the first go round, then “you were screwed,” Dawn says. After many lengthy discussions, she tells Mommyish that she was only willing to give her chance at parenthood one shot.
“Partially because of the money, but mostly because of the hell it puts your body through, both physically and emotionally. After looking into adoption, we intended to leave the option open to ourselves to re-evaluate if IVF failed. But after researching and speaking with some friends who were adoptive parents, we realized that our hearts were just not in that place. So we basically agreed that if IVF didn’t work the first time, we would just accept our fate as a childless couple and take our lives in a new direction.”
The couple’s fertility clinic then connected them with a lender who approved their request for a loan. Dawn describes her husband’s engineer job as “good paying,” and she herself works in healthcare. She maintains that they are “by no means rich,” but that by being several payments ahead on her student loans, the mortgage, and the family car, they were “comfortable.” The self-admitted penny-pinchers — literally, the couple saves pennies — have been admittedly financially conscious since before they were even married. Sundays were usually reserved for hashing out bills and budgeting as a team. So when it came down to determining a reasonable monthly IVF payment, the pair fired up their spreadsheet. To successfully fund their IVF adventure, the partners decided to “baby” their older car and avoid buying a new one, put off a vacation for a bit, and go out to dinner just a tad less.
The family technically started paying off the loan before Dawn even took her first fertility shot. The flush of case only covered the actual IVF procedure, which cost $12,000. Although insurance covered a very small portion of the fertility treatments, such as estrogen and progesterone supplements, the couple had to put an additional $2,000 worth of medication on their credit card. Dawn’s “you were screwed” assessment proved to be rather intuitive, as she conceived on the first round — with twins.