Buy Buy Baby

 
When I made my “What IF” video two years ago, I included this question:

What if I can’t counter the thought I had to “buy” a baby?

To this day, that question still eats at me. I’m not sure what bothers me more: how much we’ll have to pay all told, or the fact that I have to pay anything at all for something that comes “free” to so many others.

I hate that I have to question any of this. I feel like it makes me sound like The Bitter Infertile Lady. Fact is, I’m not. I’m just another 1 in 8 who would do anything to have children of her own and/or without assistance, and can’t.

Buy Buy Baby

Image by Keiko Zoll via Morguefile

Did you see the NYT Motherlode column on crowdfunding infertility treatments this weekend? I did. And then I saw Jezebel’s take on that column… and wished I hadn’t.

From Jezebel:

It’s more that being asked to fund someone else’s fertility treatment feels a little bit, well, annoying—like being asked to give money instead of gifts at a wedding. I think it’s because IVF seems so entirely optional and personal. While chipping in to someone’s adoption can be seen as an altruistic act, paying for a friend’s IVF seems closer on the spectrum to being asked to help pay for a chin implant to help make their dream of not hating their face a reality.

I find it interesting that the article’s author takes the time to distinguish between funding adoption versus funding treatment – even though they are both means to the same end – yet places a higher moral value on funding adoptions. The author reinforces the same trope about fertility treatments: “optional and personal.”

It’s her characterization of comparing IVF to plastic surgery that’s really the one-two punch in the gut.

I’m amazed that the author fails to use the word “selfish” at any point in her argument – that’s usually the next logical step when opening up the “fertility treatments are optional” doors. But she does round out the article with this little gem:

…if we pay to help create a baby via IVF do we then somehow have a stake in its future—as though we invested in a tiny, squeezably cute company?

(She’s using this in reference to sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, whose sole purpose is to create mini-rounds of localized venture capital backing, without all the rigamarole of actually going through VCs.) What’s even more amazing is that she still reinforces the ideas of baby as commodity and fertility treatments as elective, even with this clever little dig at couples just trying to build their families.

Because through her lens, it’s not about building a family – it’s about funding a product.

. . .

Before my husband joined the Masons, I always thought of Masonic Lodges, Moose Lodges, Elk Lodges – all these lodges – as places where the community came together for potlucks to raise money for something or someone in the community. That, and school functions outside of school that needed to be held somewhere cheap when the School Board couldn’t afford the local banquet hall.

I remember growing up and hearing about benefits for so-and-so in the community: they might have been sick or lost a job, or worse, a head family member passed away and it was a benefit for the children. We didn’t get invitations in the mail; it was all usually word-of-mouth:

“Hey, Jimmy’s family is having a benefit for his kid with leukemia at the Elks Lodge in Somerdale. There’s even a 50/50 raffle and his wife’s makin’ those meatballs. You should come.”

My husband even went to a benefit for his barber a few weeks ago, a prominent member of the Salem community.

Crowdfunding- virtual or otherwise- it’s just what people do. It’s how a community comes together to support one another in times of great need.

But suddenly, to take the same banquet hall benefit model and utilize the power of social media and viral marketing to do the same exact thing online – and to do that to fund your chance to build your family…

Now it’s “annoying.”

I think it’s progressive, personally.

. . .

Nobody ever wants to ask for a handout.

I still remember the first time I had to ask my parents for rent money. I wasn’t even six months out of college. Larry’s poverty-level graduate assistant stipend wasn’t cutting it. I was barely making minimum wage at a temp job. Our rent was due and we just didn’t have it.

I called my mom and remember feeling just mortified.

I’m lucky to have parents that can support me in times of need like that. It wouldn’t be the last time I’d need to ask my parents for money and every time feels just as awkward. Which is why, as I get older and should seemingly be more fiscally responsible, I try not to do it.

Knowing that we still need additional financial help to build our family feels just as mortifying, even with all of the breaks we’re getting with insurance and having a gracious, generous friend as our egg donor.

. . .

“You should never ask anyone how much money they make,” They Say. “Talking about money is taboo, verboten, tacky.”

I hate talking about money.

But I’ll lay this out there, because I think it’s fair to see just how our fertility finances stack up.

The IVF procedure itself: retrieval and transfer – are covered by my insurance. Our egg donor’s testing is not. Her meds will be covered under my prescription plan, but we’ll have a prescription co-pay that will most likely be up to $500 per med because there are no generics when it comes to fertility drugs. We’ll also have deductibles for the procedures as well (like my hysteroscopy), as much as $1000 a pop. We’re already paying $500 for our mental health evaluations alone. Plus there’s legal fees, other blood tests and diagnostics, and G-dwilling, cryopreservation of excess embryos.

All told, we’re looking at about $6,000-8,000 out of pocket for our cycle this summer.

I know how extremely blessed we are, because that is a drop in a bucket compared to folks undergoing treatment without insurance. However, what’s not factored into this: the amount we pay in insurance premiums because I’m the subscriber in our house. That’s right, me the freelance writer and social media consultant, who pays $850 a month in health insurance premiums. That’s over $10,000 annually just in insurance payments.

And we’re also not adding in our daily prescriptions, all of which as just as vital to our IVF cycle being a success because, hey – we have to be healthy too. That’s another $500-600 a year.

We do not have that much in savings. And there’s no refill system in place once we blow through that money.

This one chance to build our family will wipe out our savings.

. . .

$6-8K is chump change, really. Yesterday, I asked the following on my Facebook Page:

Let’s talk taboo this morning… how much has your infertility journey cost you in dollars Treatments, medications, homestudies – let’s see it in numbers.

I really didn’t think anyone would respond, because talking about money is icky. Boy, was I wrong: 34 comments, 1 like and 1 share.

In my very unscientific sample, here’s how much these 34 commenters have spent to build their families so far:

$1,103,564.

No, I didn’t add an extra comma. I almost don’t even know how to respond to that number: over a million dollars spent in fertility treatments and adoptions. That’s comes out to about $32,400 out-of-pocket per commenter.

My wedding didn’t even cost that much. We’ve never paid for a car that’s cost that much. My total student loans are less than that.

And from what I could tell, of those 34 commenters, only 10 have children.

. . .

There are financial resources out there. Grants are available. Some clinics participate in cost-sharing and financing programs.

Still, when you see a sample of just 34 people with a grand total of 1.1 million dollars in family building expenses, you wonder just how much can that help?

And that’s where crowdfunding comes in, despite Jezebel’s objections.

I’m not here to play Miss Manners. I’m not here to cast judgement on one family building option over another.

I just want to be a mom.

I just want to make my husband a dad. And for us and the 7.3 million other people trying to do the same thing here in America – it’s going to cost us a lot, financially and relative to our household income.

Let’s face it: there’s no such thing as a “free” baby, right? Babies are stupid expensive. But for anyone facing infertility, we already start at a disadvantage by having to pay (substantially) for something that otherwise comes “free” to others.

And let’s not forget: this is all a high stakes, high roller gamble. We’re not buying a baby.

We’re buying a chance.

I use positive language as much as I can as we get ready for our cycle this August. I try not to say “if the cycle works” or “if I get pregnant” but rather “when this cycle works” and “when I’m pregnant.” But the fact of the matter is: no matter how much money we throw into my reproductive system, we have no way to guarantee that this will work.

You can see why I channel hope like it’s my fucking job…

I have to in the face of such daunting numbers.

. . .

I want to talk about money, as much as I hate talking about money.

This is a discussion we need to have and more importantly, that others need to hear. Please weigh in, comment and share.

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Comments

  1. says

    Beautiful post! Honest and heartbreaking. But its true, we are willing to do whatever we have to just to have a CHANCE at becoming parents. Comparing what both myself and my husband make in a year, we will have to spend anywhere from a third to half of our yearly income. We have 1 infertility clinic in our province. 1 total. We don’t get to pick what clinic we can go with. And this clinic is a 5 hour trip for us. For 1 chance at IVF the grand total is 12 grand. 3 grand of that is for medication alone. 250 bucks every year to freeze any extra embryos (if we are lucky enough to get extra embryos) and because we are dealing with low sperm count, if we have to go with ICSI, there’s another 3 grand to fork over. Plus travel expenses. So 15 grand possibly, with the possibility of an extra 250 a year for freezing and travel expenses (300-400 each trip because we are lucky enough to have family to stay with when we travel). so we can ball park it and say 16+ grand for 1 shot of IVF. If that doesn’t work, we may have to move onto donor sperm with IUI and that’s another couple of grand. And we are on a deadline, I have a little over 5 years before I reach AMA and we started trying to get pregnant over 3 years ago. No money and a ticking clock counting down my prime time is one of the scariest feelings in the world.

    • Keiko says

      Kimberly, thanks so much for outlining the details of your expenses. I assume you’re in Canada when you say province – I think that’s important to point out for folks too, especially because here in the States we’re like “Canadians don’t pay anything for their healthcare” but it’s simply not true, at least when it comes to fertility treatments. I also can’t imagine what the financial strain must feel like when you’ve got the added pressure of AMA breathing down your neck…

      Just curious, when are you planning on cycling?

      • says

        Yes Keiko, I am from Canada. And while we are very lucky to have a health care system such as ours, they do not in fact cover infertility in any way. I’m from Nova Scotia, but the only exceptions are in Ontario and Quebec. In Ontario, if you have blocked fallopian tubes, the province will cover a very small portion (I believe the final bit doesn’t even cover the the full price of the meds and its only for blocked fallopian tube, that’s it). Nothing else is covered by the province of Ontario. In Quebec, if you require IVF the province will cover 3 rounds of IVF but you go on a waiting list. Its frustrating on so many levels, we have nothing mandated with insurance providers and I have yet to find an insurance provider that will cover any portion of infertility treatments. Mind you, sex change operations is covered under our health care system but they refuse to recognize infertility. If you are interested in the state of infertility in Canada, there was a great report on it that you can watch online. It also covered the radio station “win a baby” controversy as well. You can check it out here: http://www.globalnews.ca/16×9/6442574548/story.html

        As for your question, we plan to cycle as soon as we have the money to. If we had the money now, they would let us start right away. I’m currently looking for a second job just to bank all that money for a chance at a cycle. Our clinic is wonderful but they have a pay upfront for the cycle policy. Mind you, we can claim a lot of our costs at tax time but its still a lot to come up with the money up front.

  2. says

    I want to find the author of article you quoted and give her a swift kick in the lady parts, but that would probably make me a terrible person…or something.

    So far with three IUI’s and testing and what not we have probably spent about 9k out of pocket – and we have insurance that covers some of the stuff. When we go to IVF this fall we are looking at 16k for 1 fresh/1 frozen (including meds). We are incredibly lucky that we own our house outright due to an inheritance my husband got from when his father passed, but now we are going to have to get a heloc loan on that already paid for house to pay for our fertility treatments and it seriously pisses me off. If at the end of the day we end up with a baby of course I’m going to be over the moon happy but there will always be a part of me that is going to be angry – angry that it wasn’t simple, angry that I had to try and try and spend money we don’t have while watching random teenagers in my family apparently fall onto some random boyfriends penis and get themselves knocked up.

    Honestly, I think inside all of us is a bit of that bitter infertile woman and even if we get the family we always dreamed of she isn’t going to go away – at least not completely.

    • Keiko says

      Tara, I totally get and understand this: “angry that it wasn’t simple.” And I think you’re right, we do carry a little bit of bitterness with us, even if we resolve. Shows like Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant make me want to scream.

  3. says

    A friend of mine just became pregnant on her 2nd IVF with twins. AT her shower, several of us made a large cash donation in private toward their IVF loans. We were going to do it before the BFP anyway. Totally worth it, and I would do it again. Mr S and I are lucky to have 2 children, and have great incomes. We plan on, within a few years, donating to family building funds quite a bit.

    I think crowdfunding works best when people can observe a result. Adoption, at some point, will have a result. I think people are thrown by IVF being only a chance, and do not see that as a better investment. I am happy to throw a little money at that chance, but the average Joe may be more willing to get behind crowdfunding a treatment that has been successful and has the cute picture of a kid to back it up.

    • Keiko says

      Mrs. Spock, what a beautiful thing to do for your friend at her shower. If I had disposable income and a lot more time/resources, I would totally create a no-strings attached fund for couples who need money for treatment. I applaud the work of the grants and institutions out there providing some funds, but I find the stipulations for them to almost be prohibitive.

      And I agree about the uncertainty of IVF, a point which the Jezebel author makes in her article as well. I can see how that uncertainty wouldn’t sit well with a potential “investor”, regardless if they were a friend or family member. You’re right- there’s something to be said for the tangibles.

  4. says

    It’s so unfair I can’t effing stand it. I want to develop an intelligible argument against Jezebel’s article, but honestly I’m too irritated. Jezebel clearly hasn’t had any experience with infertility, and without this experience, you just shouldn’t write articles like that. It’s demoralizing and insulting. My very natural reaction to it is to string together some creative insults in the comment section of that article. But I’m restraining myself, as that wouldn’t be very productive.

    • Keiko says

      Jen, I totally get it. It’s funny, I originally read the NYT piece and then noticed that Jezebel.com had written about it the next day. I was planning to write about the unfairness of the financial cost of infertility and was just going to link to the Jezebel article, assuming it was supportive. I’m glad I read it b/c boy howdy, that would have been egg on my face. And then when I did read it… I was just blown away in its callousness and disregard for the very real and very valid emotional impact of infertility and its financial costs.

      Sometimes I totally write uber-bitchy comment/response and then delete it. I get it out there just enough to satiate my fury, then hit delete and come up with something more constructive. You’d be amazed how many posts that are just pure rants sitting my Drafts folder for this blog :)

  5. says

    Ug. That’s all I can say. Family building is family building, not buying fake boobs or something. GHA!

    I was at a charitable event for a museum in my town on Sunday and there was a 9 mo old baby being passed around like a sugar bowl. She was a foster child and the young woman with her was her older foster sister. The young woman sat at my table briefly and began telling us about how her parents have 39 foster kids. Then she went on to tell me that when she grows up and has kids she will adopt foster kids because having your own bio kids is ‘selfish’ (her words, and she described her and her brother as her parents two ‘bio’ kids). One of the ladies at the table said that she wanted to take the baby home, and that she had two adopted foster kids. The whole thing felt really strange. The foster sister asked me if I wanted to hold the baby, because everyone else had. I did, of course, and she was a charming baby…but I still left the event feeling strange. If my husband and I hadn’t had insurance, of if IVF hadn’t worked for us, we would be foster parents because paying for IVF and/or adoption out of pocket for us is too expensive. I don’t think our choice was a selfish one, just a practical one.

    • Keiko says

      It’s amazing how people think having your own children is somehow selfish… when you’re not in a position to have them. You never hear anyone saying to a pregnant woman, “Well, that was selfish of you, wasn’t it?” It’s never questioned once she’s knocked up, but G-d forbid you mention that you’re trying and are having trouble – suddenly you’re selfish. It’s just despicable, if you ask me.

      That does sound like it was a very strange event, in terms of all the weirdness with that foster baby and her sister. I’m curious- just how old was this young woman? Teens or older? I only ask because it would be interesting to see how she feels 10 years down the line when she’s realistically thinking about having children, and, despite her own experience with foster care, suddenly has the urge to have children of her own.

  6. Drew says

    Thank you for this. Infertility isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but the financial aspect makes it so so much more difficult. Particularly when I read the comments on the NYT and Jezebel that say that you shouldn’t have a kid if you can’t fork over $15k+ for treatments for IF. How many people have that just sitting around? I would prefer to have that money in savings, paying off our house, going toward a college fund, for anything other than for medications, ultrasounds, bloodwork, and procedures. We scratched it all together somehow, but it wasn’t easy, not by any stretch of the imagination.

    • Keiko says

      Drew, if there’s one thing I’ve learned – it’s don’t read the comments when infertility gets reported in the news :) I find they make me a mixture of sad and angry all at once for the amount of ignorance and sheer cruelty in what folks can say. And you’re right- people are quick to judge that “oh, you can’t be a capable parent because you can barely afford treatment and have to ask for donations” but where’s the pearl-clutching for the moms of 16 & Pregnant? Where’s the outrage and the consternation toward any couple who CAN conceive w/o assistance but still don’t have the financial means to support & raise that child?

  7. Kd says

    I found this blog on the sidebar of antoher I read regularly. Wow…I cannot believe what Jezebel said. Really? Obviously she has never been faced with the possibility of never having her own kids….something that just seems so natural and easy for the majority of people. We were fortunate to have a little insurance coverage for our treatments….but even with it….We have spent over $40k. The majority to achieve pregnancy with our first child through IVF and about $7k for our FET using a donated embryo for our 2nd child. The costs are staggaring and very very few insurance programs even cover fertility…and if they do…there is like a $15k lifetime cap and you will be lucky if that gets you one IVF….people usually spend $15k just getting to the point where IVF is necessary! we did 3 medicated IUI’s before our 1st IVF and those were about $2500 – $3000 each. We then had to do 2 IVF’s with ICSI and large med costs after that! it adds up soooo fast.

    I’m on the other side now. I am soooo very blessed to have two healthy children and to have been able to afford the treatments without a big impact to our savings. Yes…$40k hurts….A LOT….but it didn’t put us into debt or ruin us…it just pushed out retirement a bit….but it is worth it. I see no issues in helping others achieve the same goal. I know people that would be financially fine to have and raise a child…but not if it costs them $40k up front to do it…they just don’t have that kind of money lying around. It is not like I am donating to help someone who will then turn around and go on welfare. I consider it like a “pre-baby-shower” gift.

    Good luck on your August cycle. I truley hope you have great success with lots of snowbabies to add on to your family later.

    kd

    • Keiko says

      Kd, thanks for stopping by! We’re pumped about August – got a doc’s appointment tomorrow that I’m excited about as I get tons of blood drawn and discuss next steps.

      It’s amazing what is and is not covered by insurance; even here in Massachusetts, a mandated state. There’s still plenty that we’re paying out of pocket for. And it’s interesting that you note how this has impacted your retirement – I think so often, we’ve got these blinders on that only point us to the next 6 months or a year when we’re in treatment, and we forget to see the bigger financial picture. I feel like financial counseling is just as vital as mental health counseling while undergoing or considering treatment/adoption.

  8. says

    We’re just starting to figure out how much we’re willing to spend, knowing that someday we’ll have my student loan payments that will equal our house payment (when we have a house, eventually) to try to build our family from one kid to more. It’s heartbreaking to know that we probably will have no other biological children because of money, and yet to adopt costs so much too. I am glad that we’re setting a budget at the start because my heart really yearns for another biological kid. With no budget I’d spend too much for us to be financially solvent. Isn’t all of life selfish to some degree? We do what makes us happy and helps others, and if nobody had children, what happens to the world? I also like the idea of crowd-sourcing family building (although I too feel like IVF and adoption are morally equal and ought to be funded equally).

    • Keiko says

      Ms Future PharmaD, thanks for your comment. We’ve been budgeting like fiends and yet, it’s still hard to figure out how to make all the money work as things come down the pike for our forthcoming cycle. One week it’s “pay for this consult fee” but we still need to put gas in our cars and buy groceries… it’s a challenge sometimes. A totally panic-inducing challenge. We even did the same thing when we were engaged – we budgeted and saved like a boss. But that’s just a wedding, which is a very fun one night thing. This is a whole other animal, one with no guarantee of fun.

  9. says

    I’m not going to dissent here. I think your post is brilliant. And HOLY CRAP those numbers are scary.

    But I am going to offer some perspective, from the field of higher education. Which seems weird, but:

    Higher education used to be seen as a public good. Right? You get an education, you improve the economy, you do good for the world. Financial aid abounded. Slowly, over time, it’s become seen quite differently, as a private good. Now, if you want an education, you’re expected to pay for it.

    I think that there has been a parallel shift when it comes to family-building, too. Not that IVF was ever paid for by the community, but that children were seen as a public good … as part of the collective. It “took a village.” Now, I think children are seen as a private good. We see families on the news (and they’re almost always large ones) as insular entities. The Duggars, Nadya Suleman. The reaction is “YOU take care of those kids. They’re not my business.” I wonder if people see crowdfunding an adoption as more acceptable because there’s something “altruistic” about the adoptive parents … they’re taking care of a child that “wouldn’t otherwise have had a good home”? Or something?

    This is totally speculative on my part, but I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

    • Keiko says

      Justine, brilliant comment. And I agree – there are a lot of parallels to higher ed costs. In fact, as someone who worked in higher ed (and you still do, yes?), I actually think about whether or not to push my future kids to go to college. This is going off on a bit of a tangent, but – it’s my blog ,so I get to go off on tangents :)

      Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, I feel like college is a bit of a racket. I’m fortunate that I went to a state school with a tiny chunk of scholarship money and room & board costs knocked down b/c I was an RA. My student loans are relatively low compared to others. But there’s this Catch-22. For most jobs, you need your BA or BS. But college just isn’t for everyone – either not everyone is able to succeed to achieve those degrees or they get them, but by the time they’re out in the working force, they don’t have the value they once had 4 years earlier (says the BA in Communication Studies). I am grateful I went to college, yes – but I barely graduated. College was a poor fit for me. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t gone to get my Masters.

      One of the reasons I left higher ed altogether was because I knew how much my students were paying to attend (or rather, their parents) and I’m sorry, but I just didn’t see the academic or student life returns that warranted paying over $50K a year for. A lot of them were buying the “prestige” that came with the university name, and not a whole lot of value more than that.

      So, to bring this tangent back to the topic at hand… choosing to go to college is just as “personal and optional” as seeking fertility treatments, I guess.

      Here’s the thing about adoption, and this is not a very PC thing to say, but I feel it needs to be said. I hate how adoptive parents are automatically granted this White Knight status because it’s like they’ve come in on their white stallion to save the Oh So Poor Unwanted Children of the World. Yes, it’s altruistic, but it’s a means to an end. Adoption doesn’t “cure” infertility – it merely ends childlessness. And I’m not adoption-bashing here either – it’s a family-building option that isn’t off our table, either. But if I have a medical condition that can be resolved with medical treatment, I want to try that first. And if I can’t afford said medical treatment, what makes me any different from the kid with leukemia or my uncle-in-law who needed a liver transplant? Why is asking for others to help me treat my medical condition less altruistic than adoption?

      I dunno. Now I’m ranting. But I think you’re right – I think people see adoption and thus adoptive parents as a more worthy charitable cause in that light.

  10. Hallie says

    I’m so over uninformed jerks having their say , Jezebel obviously isn’t very informed

    • Keiko says

      Jezebel is usually a great site for commentary on issues important to women. But sometimes, sometimes they throw these pieces out of left field that make me want to bash my head on the desk.

  11. Gailcanoe says

    I agree that infertility and family-building ventures are expensive. And, for many people, the cost is prohibitive. For us, we decided before we even started down the infertility road that we would draw a line in terms of the costs involved to build our family medically. Since our insurance doesn’t cover any treatments, the cost line was reached very early. I think that in the 3 years that we were TTC, our total out-of-pocket cost was $1,500. I know that is not a large number, but I wasn’t willing to put my body and health at risk for huge amounts of money when nothing was guaranteed. We are now looking into adoption, but we haven’t made a decision yet. For us, the costs involved in adoption are less risky.

    With that being said, I don’t feel that kickstarter is an appropriate place for any medical procedure to be listed and crowd-funded and that includes infertility and family-building ventures. The purpose of Kickstarter is to get funds to start a business or put a product out in the market. A child is not a product. And, neither is chemotherapy, plastic surgery or any other medical procedure. While I don’t mind contributing to help if I feel moved to do so, there are proper venues for such things and Kickstarter is not it.

    • Keiko says

      Gailcanoe, you raise great points. The interesting thing is, you an’t use Kickstarter anyway – they prohibit using it to raise funds for medical procedures. It’s places like IndieGoGo where you’re starting to see these kinds of campaigns – a lot more flexibility with their TOS. I think it’s interesting to leverage a platform like IndieGoGo to do this – and there are other sites dedicated to raising funds for medical treatment (I remember seeing a page from a fellow blogger who was raising funds for a boy with leukemia). I just don’t see the difference b/t creating an IndieGoGo campaign for an IVF cycle or putting a PayPal Donate button on your sidebar for the same thing – the great thing about IndieGoGo is how they’ve got WAY more sophisticated backend integration to manage the funds and how they’re distributed. Plus, I feel like it adds legitimacy to the campaign rather than just throwing up a donate button.

      That’s just my opinion, of course, and you’re welcome to disagree. I guess the thing that I take issue with in the Jez piece is the implication that we’re “annoying” for asking for help at all, no matter what the platform.

  12. says

    Would I crowdfund my fertility treatment if i needed to? Yes, why not. Would there folks who would donate and some who wouldn’t? Yes, of course. This is the land of opportunity, so why not try in every way i can to give myself the best opportunity to get what i need and want. I’m not breaking the law, i am respectful of my own choice and others, so what’s the problem.

    AND then the most important part- If i’m willing to make myself open and vulnerable by sharing my story and understand the implications of this, then again why not?

    Comparing it to anything serves to further understanding of the issue, but there aren’t true comparisons. Let us, the fertility issue community, not be enraged by others who are trying to still work it out….. it serves only as a distraction.
    warmly
    Fenella

    • Keiko says

      Crowdfunding isn’t for everyone. Do you see my IndieGoGo campaign? You don’t, because it’s something I’m not necessarily comfortable with personally. That said, if there are others for whom crowdfunding is a worthwhile (and perhaps vitally necessary) tool, I say: go for it!

      I think there is a lot of rage w/in the infertility community because we’re constantly on the defensive from so many misconceptions and attitudes like those expressed in the Jezebel article. I’m a firm believer in channeling that rage into a teachable moment.

  13. Hallie says

    Just from her comment I don’t believe she has any idea about important women’s issues ,sorry but ivf is not like having a chin implant and has made many families achieve their goal of having a baby , me included … I can understand why you would want o bash our head on the desk …

  14. says

    We had an area on our blog where people could donate to our IUI and ultimately to IVF. Some of our friends donated– it wasn’t much in most cases but every penny helped. We cleared out our savings and used several thousand dollars from our parents. More than 25k easily, and we are fine with that because it worked on our 3rd attempt, but we struggle now. Like you said you pay for a CHANCE not a promise and that is HARD. We struggled with the decision because we were worried we wouldn’t be able to afford adoption. And if we decide we want more kids, we will pay for another chance. Like you said it is hard to pay for something that comes free to so many. Do these sites that Jezebal mentions allow you to donate for IVF because I’m gonna make a donation right this second!

  15. SurroInOn says

    Hi Keiko,
    I find the general population is clueless and harshly judgemental when it comes to infertility. Most people are able to conceive effortlessly and therefore take childbearing for granted. I am one of the lucky fertile women but I am angered just the same by the injustice of infertility. Wouldn’t it be lovely if fertilty were not arbitrary, but based on desire, maturity, parenting abilities, etc?
    Last year I delivered twins, acting as a gestational surrogate for an amazing sex couple. I am so proud and honoured to have helped a couple become a family of four. And just as I knew they would be, they are such good parents to those lucky babies.
    Throughout the journey however, I faced many ignorant comments from people who just didn’t understand. Then and now I do my best to educate and raise awareness. One day perhaps surrogacy along with all fertility treatments will be mainstream and acceptable…and of course, funded by OHIP! I will lobby the best I can. You have my support and my best wishes for a successful pregnancy!!

  16. Kimberly Sparkman says

    My name is Kimberly Sparkman and The interview I did with the New York Times sparked the Jezzebel article. I commented on the Jezzebel site in response to some of the more vulgar comments but alas my responses weren’t “Approved”. It took much deliberation to start a fundraiser, and even more to agree to the interview. Even though I was aware of the negative feedback regarding people assuming we “Expect” money, it still hurt. I agreed to the interview to shine light on Infertility and the costs of attaining what comes so easily to many others. I wanted to thank you for you well written and thought out article as it brings some positivity to the endless comments of my parenting abilities, my financial situation, my dignity, my “Tackiness” ect. I don’t view myself as selfish nor tacky, I suppose I just wish that others wouldn’t be so swift to judge and try to see my point of view. The Jezzebel article did nothing more than take quotes from my fundraiser and use them to mock my disease. The fundraiser was written from my heart and putting it out there publicly was far from easy… so to have a blogger be so blunt as to take quotes from my page, yet not allow me to respond to their article, seems unjust and cruel. Thank you again for the article,
    Kimberly Sparkman

  17. says

    This is interesting for sure. You could compare it to a lot of things, however I don’t think that anyone should judge the methods that you deem good for yourself. It seems like this is another attempt from the media to put people head to head in a debate that is judgmental and pointless. I just wish we could all support each other in whatever they choose to do.

  18. says

    Wow, reading this caused such a visceral response in me. I feel like crying and throwing up. IVF is…. a cute chin job? Seriously?! Hope to blog on this sometimes soon, and I’ll be sure to reference your blog post here, Keiko.

  19. says

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  20. says

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  21. says

    I loved this article! I could realte to almost the entire thing. I have heard the plastic surgery comment before and it just makes me sick that someone can actually think that. I know in Ohio Infertility is dumped into the same catagory as Plastic surgery by insurance companies. I was told that by the financial coordinator at the hospital we were going through. It’s disgusting.