How We Afforded IVF

Woof. For us, the financial aspect of infertility was probably the most stressful. We have easily spent $15,000 at this point and that is cheap compared to a lot of couple’s expenses. It’s hard to spend that kind of money only for a chance of becoming pregnant. There are no guarantees unless you go to a clinic that offers those programs and it’s still a gamble. They’re generally more expensive up front, so if you get lucky and get pregnant on your first shot, you’re out a lot of money!

We took a year off to save up the money for IVF because the money is due upfront and we also wanted to use that time to get in the best health that we could. Here are some of the ways we raised money:

  • GoFundMe. We had some awesome friends (Katie from BurritoBuzz and her husband) who asked us if they could set up a GoFundMe account for us. This was an amazing gift and it helped us raise a good chunk of money without having to do a lot of work. This was great too, since our goal was to also raise infertility awareness.
  • Garage Sale. We had a massive garage sale. It was huge. My mom and I cleaned out her basement and we also had a lot of people donate items for us to sell. I advertised it on a local buy/sell/trade page and that really helped. A lot of people who stopped at the sale also wished us well with IVF and that was very sweet.image
  • Cookie Fundraiser. This one might not be as feasible for everyone, but I went to culinary school for pastry arts. I worked at a bakery and they offered to let me make and sell an item at the bakery, and the profit would go to our clinic for our IVF. I chose to make giant triple chocolate chip cookies. I did the work off the clock, but it was definitely worth it!
  • Pinched Pennies. We had a lot of game nights at home. We’re homebodies anyway, so this wasn’t too hard! We didn’t make ourselves miserable, but by cutting back on a few “extra” things here and there, you can save a lot of money. Most of our friends understood and were happy to have cheap date nights with us!
  • Apply For Discount Drug Programs. Our clinic provided us with forms to apply to both First Steps and Compassionate Care discount programs. They’re income based IVF drug discount programs. Our nurse also suggested writing a cover letter and we were offered 25% off from both companies and these discounts are good for one year.

I’ve made friends with people who have gotten loans specifically for IVF/infertility treatments with low interest rates, so that’s another good option! There are also grants you can apply for. Another idea is to open a credit card that offers no interest for a certain amount of time. I’m a firm believer that if there is a will, there is a way!!

With all of these tips, we raised a huge chunk of the money that we needed for IVF. We couldn’t have done it otherwise. I know a lot of people never get to pursue IVF strictly due to the enormous cost, so I hope that this might give you some options before giving up!

Baby Dust!

– Chelsea

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Finding My Tribe

Let’s take a moment to flashback to my life about 18 months ago. My husband and I had been trying to conceive for over a year and had recently started seeing a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). We had just finished our first (and only) IUI and it didn’t work. Unhappy with our current doctor’s bedside manner, we sought another opinion at the same clinic. We got the news that IVF would really be our only option to try to have a biological child. Other than that, we were looking at a less than a 5% chance, even with the
IUIs. Needless to say, my husband and I were feeling a little overwhelmed. We were also feeling pretty alone. Infertility and IVF aren’t things people talk too freely about, at least not yet anyway. I’m praying this is something that will change soon. Instead of Googling and reading outdated baby forums to get opinions/real life information, I began searching hashtags on Instagram. What I found was more than I could have ever imagined.

Little did I know that there was a huge trying to conceive community on Instagram. Women sharing their journeys in hopes of giving and receiving support and advice from other women going through the same things. The good, the incredibly bad, and all the nitty gritty details that doctors don’t tell you. Since I was very open with our struggles, I at first didn’t understand why most of the accounts were strictly IVF/infertility related. Not many women use their personal accounts for their trying to conceive accounts. Then it occurred to me that most of my “real life” friends might not want to see my posts about sperm, ovulation and PIO complaints. So I jumped on board and made my own “baby Instagram” as I so lovingly call it. I searched hashtags and would follow people going through similar situations as ours.

imageI cannot tell you how much this outlet has changed my life. You wouldn’t believe me, and it kind of sounds crazy, but these women have become some of my best friends. And not that I don’t have amazing friends, but it’s hard to relate to something like infertility if it hasn’t personally affected you. To be able to 100% share and feel with these women is amazing. I have a team of hundreds of cheerleaders! Just today, I had the honor to meet 21 of the women for a lunch. It was amazing. The strength and love these women have for each other is something I have never experienced before.

We do trying to conceive gift exchanges (lots of pineapples themed gifts), we lift each other up, cry with each loss, offer advice, prayers and understanding, and we always have each other’s backs. I’ve found multiple friends who actually go to the same clinic and even see the same doctor as me! What a small world! I know meeting strangers online sounds weird, but I’ve only had positive experiences. If I could change one thing, it would be that I found these women sooner. They have honestly changed my life.

This post was really just a chance to brag about my awesome tribe and encourage you to find yours! If you’re trying to conceive, check out some Instagram hashtags and see what you think! I can promise you it’s a great outlet. And you can be as private or open as you want. Some women never post photos of themselves and that’s totally cool! It’s up to you what to share or not. I’d love to post the picture of all my girls today, but like I said, some girls are more private, so I won’t be sharing to respect their privacy.

Baby Dust!

– Chelsea