Thursday, May 01, 2008

The money thing

I am tying myself up in knots over money these days, and I don't like it!

When I first starting this trying to conceive business, I'm not going to lie, I was quite comfortably off. I was rich, I suppose you could say, although not super rich. Not even alternative minimum tax rich. But I had more than enough for my needs. I have a well paying job, and I have always lived below my means and been a saver. Therefore, I had quite a large cushion of cash saved up. I imagined that cushion of cash enabling me to have an au pair for a year or two after the birth of my child. I imagined fully funding a pre-paid college fund. I imagined being able to take vacations to Europe as the child got older. I imagined buying a nice new, safe car like a Volvo. I imagined doing some work on the house to add on a bathroom. All of those things. I imagined not having to worry about money even though having a child on my own would be expensive.

And then the trying part of the trying to conceive thing got very...trying. Time dragged on. Procedures got more and more complicated and expenses piled up. I hated it, but what can you do? I was at least lucky enough to have savings. I didn't have to forego treatment because of a lack of money. I knew I was SO very lucky on that score. But now here I am. Over three years and so much money later I don't even want to admit it to you. I will own up to it being six figures. I am pretty much out of savings, although have a little bit scattered here and there. More importantly, infertility has changed me. I am not the same person as I used to be, and having a career is no longer so important. I want to be able to help others. I want to have balance and meaning in my life. So I hatched this crazy plan to go to acupuncture school. So I can help other infertile women NOT go through what I have gone through.

But the thing is, it's a three year full time program. And it's an hour away from where I live. And they say that classes could be any time Monday - Saturday because a lot of the faculty also have their own practices, so it's not even going to be easy to arrange part time work when I am attending school as I will only know right at the start of the semester what my schedule is going to be like. The property market has gone down the toilet, so I may not even be able to free up equity in my house while moving closer to school. I'm looking at a six figure student loan at this point, coincidentally or not about the same amount of money as I've paid out in infertility treatment. Hopefully my current employer will keep me on for 8 hours a week, which I can do mostly at home so I can fit in an hour or two here and there around classes. But I'm seriously stressed about the money situation. I have not been able to save much since deciding to do this, because a large chunk of my disposable cash goes towards feeding my flexible spending account. That I used to pay for an IVF cycle.

And then there's this final cycle. Which a large part of me thinks is completely pointless. But which I know I need to do for final closure and mental health reasons. I can't move on until I know that there's absolutely no hope left. There wasn't supposed to be a clinic fee because I paid for the two-cycle plan. But there is. Let's not use the words "bait and switch" but let's just say it crosses my mind on a regular basis. It is going to cost me about the same as an FET cycle. There is plane fare, hotel costs, rental car costs. And then the drugs. Oh my god, the drugs. I spoke to the pharmacy yesterday, and they told me that the follistim alone was going to be over $4000. Over $4000! I about had a heart attack. I mean, I knew that I was going to be taking a lot of stims, but criminy.

Thankfully, due to some blogging angels, after I sent one email whining about money to the biggest angel of them all, I may be getting some donations so I may have about half the follistim covered. And I thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart. Seriously, you have no idea (well, you probably do) how much this means to me.


sarah said...

We didn't ever have much money, and thenthe first batch we got, we sank it into the Shared Risk program. Sometimes I want to run away with the money, but we're still at the beginning of the process, so the mental health thing is big too. When I was pricing follistim it was cheaper by half at apothecary than freedom. I don't know where your getting it, but I thought that might be helpful info.

bleu said...

WTF why is there a clinic fee?? I am so sorry hun. I will add I admire the hell out of you as a financial guru. If you knew my financial status and history you would faint.

Is that acupuncture the only school??

Anonymous said...

Have you talked to the makers of Follistim? I would check with the company to see if they have any programs that donate like Serono.

Harding (from IVFConnections)

Anonymous said...

Hugs to you Sarah. Money problems are so difficult and all-consuming. Trust me, I know how difficult they can be. If I had a closet full of Follistim, I'd send it your way...
Have you considered or looked into the black market? I got some meds that way... through that free G@rage S@le site. I know it's kind of sketchy, but it worked well for me. I was careful who I got them from though. Email me if you want more info.
Sending you lots of hugs over the internet...

Anonymous said...

I might be able to help you out with some of the meds -- email me at annie_rattie at yahoo
(leftover from my 16day stim cycle last year!)

calliope said...

It is my goal to get enough follistim for you to effing SHOWER in the stuff.

Come on internets! Let's hook a gal up!


Solitaire said...

Annie - thanks! I'm having trouble working out your email address, as the one I picked bounced back at me. Please email me at sarah456s at gmail dot com.