Things that are Paying for IVF Number Two With Cash

Tuesday, June 14

Chase and I felt like we needed to get out of debt. I have had this strong feeling that kept coming back that we needed to become debt free. With debt I always felt like I was weighed down with baggage that just seemed to sit on my shoulders. I always heard this voice in my head that said "you really shouldn't go on that trip because you're in debt," "you really shouldn't buy this or buy that because you're in debt." Maybe it's because the majority of the debt was mine (hello student loans), I'm not sure, but regardless I had that strong consistent feeling.

So with that feeling of not wanting debt, Chase and I both felt like we shouldn't go into debt to pay for IVF. This is the way I see it, you go get out a loan and your cycle fails and you didn't have any embryos to freeze (like what happened to us). I don't know about you, but I would be really upset and would be reminded of the pain of a failing IVF cycle every time I made a payment on that loan.

With our first IVF cycle in January, since my insurance was changing at the beginning of the year, we used all that we could pay for IVF meds with that insurance in December. I still ended up having to pay roughly $2,500 to pay for the meds. At the beginning of the year when my insurance switched we proceeded with our IVF cycle and had a fresh slate to work with. My new insurance unfortunately has a lifetime fertility treatment cap of $5,000, and we used all of that for that one cycle. We also paid a $3,000 deposit to our clinic for blood work and other things the insurance wouldn't cover. I can use my insurance to bill for blood work, but anything more than that, my insurance will not cover. That means everything for our future IVF cycle is out of pocket.

In one of my Facebook infertility support groups, I asked 'how did you go about paying for IVF?' and these are some of the responses I got; couples taking out loans, taking out a second mortgage, borrowing from their 401K, the government helped pay (in other countries), or they used bonuses, etc. It's really disheartening that insurances won't cover infertility and that the majority of these couples are taking out loans to try and have a successful round of fertility treatments.

When we went in for our #WTC (what the crap) appointment, our RE wanted us to do 3 months of depo-lupron shots which is supposed to lessen the endometriosis. While the medicine suppresses my ovaries from producing estrogen, the endometriosis is supposed to start to diminish. This in turn will give me better quality eggs and hopefully give us better quality embryos.

Our next IVF cycle is set for July and my first thought was how the heck are we supposed to pay for this next cycle? I've reached my lifetime cap for infertility coverage with my insurance and we'll have to pay for this all out of pocket. We're also trying to get out of debt - not go into more debt?! Chase and I had to figure out what to do.

We figured we could save $6-8,000 on our own over the course of 4 months, but we needed at least another $6-8,000. We met with the financial coordinator at our clinic and she laid out how much it would cost for their portion. It would cost $9,600 with ICSI and then a wild range of $4-6,000 for fertility medications. They are still going to bill my insurance for blood work. But that's still a lot that we somehow needed to come up with.

At this point not knowing how to pay for IVF, Chase and I decided to hold a fundraiser. We set up a Go Fund Me account for anyone out of town who wished to donate. We wanted the fundraiser to be a big success. We thought we could have a bake sale, yard sale, food trucks, character meet & greets and were considering doing live entertainment.

While getting the fundraiser ready we soon calculated that with enough intensity and determination we could save it all up by ourselves. I know that while what we did may work for some it may not work for all. I listen to Dave Ramsey a LOT, every day while I'm at work. I know he didn't say this word for word, but this is what I felt like I heard him speaking one day on a call in relation to IVF: "You need to put that same intensity in saving up for IVF as you are with getting out of debt." So that's what we did. Though, we did receive help from family and friends it wasn't much, but we mostly saved it up all on our own. 

So this is what we did:

1. Created a budget
2. We cut things out of our budget - not going out to eat (which is still really hard), holding off on buying things, selling all.the.things, staying in for dates rather than going out, not going out to movies, not going on vacation, etc. We basically have not spent any money at all.
3. Paid minimum on all debts
4. Cut our food budget down to $100 a month - making simple meals (eating more beans and rice). I know doing this alone was extremely hard and I had several negative thoughts come to me saying that it wouldn't be possible. I learned that those thoughts were coming from someone other than God, and quickly deflected them.
5. Prayed a LOT for help with saving up money - like A LOT, and being SO thankful in our prayers with a successful fundraiser and being able to save money.

I don't think Chase and I could have done this without the help from God. I have been in such a state of gratitude with us making this decision and God's help with us deciding to start a family. I think He knows we're doing everything we can to achieve our goal. Yes, there have been a few setbacks with saving up, and a few emergencies have come up, but we still have progressed with our saving. Yes it definitely took a LOT of sacrifice, (I really want to go out for ice cream okay!?) BUT it will be SO worth it in the end.

I know that anything is possible with the help from God and from our own hard work and determination.
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