They say money can’t buy happiness. Not sure who “they” are – but I can tell you with 100% certainty – “they” are wrong. This is not a personal finance thread. If you are here for stock advice – you can skip this one.
When I wake up tomorrow morning, my little girl Holland will be 3 years old, although her story starts long before that.
It was about, 9 years ago, my wife and I started trying to start a family. I remember we had other friends starting families around the same time and I thought it would be super cool that our kids would grow up together. One by one, they started popping out kids, while we kept “plugging away”. Don’t get me wrong – this part was fun 😉
After about 4-5 years of trying, with no luck, we began all the standard tests. Luckily we live in Canada, so the bloodwork, and “other” tests were free. You know…the one’s where I had to to go into a dark little room with a magazine….
So although the tests were all covered by our provincial health plan- what followed was not. We were diagnosed with “unexplained infertility”. This basically means everything looks good – but for whatever reason making babies doesn’t seem to be working for us. The first procedure was called IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). If you want all the fun details of what this entails…look it up. You don’t want to hear my details about what magazine choices they had in that room…..We ended up trying this at least twice (may have been 3 times…I honestly can’t remember). I believe this procedure was about $800 or $900 per try.
After a few tries, again – with no luck- we were told the next option/best bet would be IVF(in vitro fertilization). If you thought the IUI was expensive…hold on to your hat. IVF costs between $7500-10,000 where I live. In order to do IVF, you also are mandated to meet with a therapist as a couple first to discuss the obvious relationship stresses as well as the potential financial stress. We agreed – even though talking about my feelings is definitely not something I was comfortable with. IVF is when they take my sperm, and my wifes egg, and actually inject the sperm into the egg, and then plant it inside of her….it’s actually a pretty unbelievable procedure.
We tried IVF, and it failed. It was absolutely devastating, and on top of the pure shitiness of the situation, as a financial minded person, it’s also hard to not think about how I just wasted ten thousand dollars for “nothing”.
After some discussion, and saving, we decided we would try IVF one more time. We even discussed adoption (in the case it didn’t work). I still remember when we got the news that the IVF worked – I didn’t believe them. I was super nervous, expecting the worst. It wasn’t until I heard the heartbeat and saw the ultrasound that it started to become real.
Emergency C section aside – everything went fine during the pregnancy, and we were greeted by a beautiful (albeit massive) little girl. She was just shy of 10 pounds and had the most amazing blue eyes (which she has kept to this day).
I don’t really have a point to this story, except to say – Holland is living proof that money can buy happiness. (Best $20,000 I ever spent). We were fortunate enough to be in a position that we could afford to spend the money – but I know a lot of people are not. I also know the stress this put on us, and can only imagine how hard it must be for some other couples. Some places I believe have IVF covered by insurance, or their country (we had a tax credit – although I think the credit has since been bumped from 20-50%).
For anyone struggling with infertility, I know – it sucks. It’s stressful, it’s expensive, and although we got lucky – I know that is not always the case. If anyone out there ever needs to chat – or has any questions about the process – feel free to reach out to me.
One of the most fucked up parts of this story, is that about a year and a bit after we had our miracle, science, test tube baby….I got a message from my wife at work, telling me she was pregnant AGAIN!. NO IVF, No IUI, just a good ol’ fashioned pregnancy. We always thought we’d want a second child, but assumed we’d be waiting and eventually save up for IVF again and hope it worked.
*Cue the Seinfeld Reference*
Anyways, I guess the point of this post is just to say Happy 3rd Birthday Holland. You are the best!