Friday, January 25, 2008

Looking for Financial Advice

Hi everyone...

I'm looking for insight from other IF people who have been there, done that.

IF related expenses are stressing me out, and we haven't even accumulated them yet. Our insurance covers diagnostics but not treatment of IF. What that means is all the poking and prodding through now has been covered (except for my wretched HSG!--I still maintain that they should have paid me for enduring that nonsense!)--anyway, it's all been covered as they've tried to determine what the problem is. But once that is figured out, we're on our own, unless there is some other medical reason completely unrelated to conception that would necessitate the problem being fixed (which is where my surgeries for cyst removal come in). But right now I don't know if there's any realistic hope for that scenario if the doctor's suspicion is confirmed.

IVF runs about $15,000.

So does embryo adoption.

So does domestic infant agency adoption.

Any way you slice it, we're looking at $15,000 for a chance at having a child at the end of it.

That's really done a lot for our perspective. With every little luxury, we find ourselves asking "would we rather have this or a baby?" We've really cut down on our expenses and we're saving aggressively.

But this stresses me out on so many levels. First, I can't even fathom that much money. We make decent money for our place in life but it will still take a long time to save that much.

Second, it's hard for me to reconcile spending that much money when it only might produce the desired results.

Third, I have a really hard time not resenting the fact that we have to spend gobs of money on what plenty of other people get for free, including people who don't want it to begin with. I don't think about it often, but on the occasions that I do, it gets the better of me. It just gets me sometimes that this shouldn't be so dang hard. At every turn, there's a new obstacle! Sometimes I really want to ask why can't this just be easy!?

Don't get me wrong. I am not a money person (much to my husband's chagrin). I don't care about the amount. If I had it, I'd spend it on one of those three things and never look back. So it's not that I begrudge the expense itself (and certainly not the end result) and it's not like I'd sit around bemoaning all the things I could have or invest in with that $15000 instead. I've just never been wired that way. That's another of the endless ways DH and I are such a good fit--I tend to care too little about money and DH is a bit too squeaky (his word!!--his motto is "Frugal is fun!") we enjoy balancing each other in that regard.

I struggle with wondering how do you balance that with living life? We decided last year that we were going to stop living like we were in a holding pattern. We promised ourselves that we're going to enjoy this season of our life and take advantage of our childlessness and do things that we couldn't do if we were more tied down.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciated this last year of our marriage when we took that to heart and spent time traveling, sharing hobbies, going on dates and really just enjoying each other's company and relishing our companionship. I really cherish that and last year was my favorite year of our relationship. These kinds of things don't always have to cost money, but sometimes they do. Also, we both enjoy giving generously. That's really hard for both of us to give up. We want to continue making trips to see family and friends a priority and that too is hard to let go of.

It's just so hard to find the balance between so many goods!

I'm really not stressed about where the money will come from in the long run. I mean, I am a teensy bit, but I know that if God wants us to pursue one of those three options, he'll provide the means somehow. But I am stressed about knowing that we're walking the road in the mean time in a balanced fashion. Do any of you IF ladies (and gents!) have any practical suggestions? How do you maintain the balance in your marriage between planning for the future and delighting in the season that you're in? How do you manifest that in the tangible areas of life? Did you ever wrestle with the idea of committing so much money to a maybe? How did you reconcile that? Have you regretted any of the decisions you've made?

Right now I'm sort of afraid to move in any direction. I feel wedged in a valley between two insurmountable, mutually exclusive mountains. I'd really love any practical suggestions you have!