Dollars and Sense of Family Building (our story)

iotas[Talking about money is very hard for me. Please keep that in mind.]

There are many interesting anecdotes about the day that I was born. It is a day that involved Christmas parties, drunk doctors and a helicopter. Another little fact about my birth is that I happen to know that I cost $75.

Want to know the total of how much it cost to bring W into my life? Me too. I honestly don’t know. A large part of this is because a very significant part of the cost (my OB care and his actual birth) were covered by a state maternity plan. I have seen paperwork so I have an idea what the cost was. The C-section alone was easily a volvo or two.

So. Yeah. I have a lot of posts that you can read up on if you want to delve into that further. OB care and the cost of actually having a baby are ridiculously expensive. It is unfortunate that, because I was single, maternity coverage from the insurance company that I was covered under as an individual for several years was so expensive that it was impossible for me to have.

But I suspect what ya’ll might find more interesting is sperm and “how much does an IUI cost”?

Here is a breakdown of my cycles and a VERY rough estimate of the costs associated with them. I am including links to a pertinent post for each trying cycle beginning with IUI 5 as that was the first cycle I blogged about.

(Note: I self-paid all of my fertility treatments. Not a single aspect was covered by any insurance. Note part 2: I was lucky enough to never have to pay for any of my injectable medication. It was always donated to me from a clinic or from a friend from the internet.)

0. Doctor, Genetic testing, Girly labs work-up: 450

1. Doctor, IUI, sperm (donor A): 600

2. Doctor, IUI, sperm (donor A): 600

3. Doctor, IUI, sperm (donor A – low count, had to mix 2 vials): 800

4. Doctor, IUI, clomid, blood work & monitoring, sperm (donor A): 750

5. Doctor, IUI, clomid, trigger, bloodwork & monitoring, sperm (donor A): 800

6. Doctor, IUI, femar, trigger, bloodwork & monitoring, sperm (donor A): 800

* HSG [can’t remember cost!]

* Exploratory Laparoscopy for endometriosis [after nightmare insurance battle ended up costing us $12,000. Yes.]

7. Doctor, IUI, femara, trigger,  bloodwork & monitoring, extra wash, combined two vials, sperm (donor B ): 900

8 Doctor, IUI, injectables*, bloodwork & monitoring, sperm (donor C): 950

9. Doctor, IUI, injectables*, bloodwork & monitoring, sperm (donor C): 950

10. Doctor, IUI, injectables*, bloodwork & monitoring, sperm (donor C): 950

11. Doctor, IUI, injectables*, bloodwork & monitoring, sperm (donor C): 950

12. Doctor, IUI, injectables*, bloodwork & monitoring, sperm (donor D): 950

13. Doctor, IUI x2, injectables*, progesterone, bloodwork & monitoring, sperm(donor D x2): 1450

14. Home insemination – supplies, shipping, 2 vials (donor E): 650

15. shared IVF/ cancelled [travel costs, bloodwork, monitoring, sperm transfer to new clinic (donor D)]: 3400

16. IVF [bloodwork & monitoring]: 3000

17. FET [pre cycle monitoring, bloodwork & monitoring]: 412, 3000 500*

(you can and should read all about how that FET happened at that price)

So let’s do some math (oh gawd!)…. looks like the tally here for 5+ years of trying to create motherhood was just over $30,000.

I know of women and families that have spent significantly more and significantly less to achieve parenthood so I won’t try and make that number anything other than what it is for me personally. For a woman who had virtually zero income (I made no money, nor did I ask for any money, when I was Millie’s full time care-giver) it was incredibly hard. I am lucky that the clinic that I went to for IUIs 1-13 had a billing program and 2 days before W was born we paid the very last payment due to the clinic.

So what will I say if W ever asks me how much he cost? Well W happens to have a Mother that is now and will always be incredibly open about the journey it took for him to get here. Part of that path involves finances (or the lack thereof). Part of the conversation to have with W will include what it means to want something and having to wait and save up for it.

Woven into this breakdown of my personal costs (and as I was going back through old posts) is another point I want to talk to W about- and that is the word “help”. One of the biggest lessons I learned while trying to become a Mother was that people generally want to help you, but you must ask. And I don’t just mean financially in this case, although I did financially receive help when I asked for it. I also mean with medical care. I learned to be very up front about my insurance situation. I learned to ask for generics. I learned to be vocal at every opportunity that I was paying out of pocket.

Finances are a huge part of what happens next for us. It would be wonderful to want another child and have that instantly happen without any financial stress involved in the creation. But that is not the reality for me.

How open do you plan to be with your (future) children about what it took financially to have them become a part of your family? Does hearing about how much other people have spent/ are spending help?