Since we started fundraising for IVF and notified our friends and family about our plans, we've started to get some more questions about the process and why we've decided to go this route. Which is great! In fact I enjoy telling my close family and friends what we're going through and what our plans are. I feel like they are showing a genuine interest in a very large part of my life that I usually don't talk about. So that's a very positive thing and I welcome their questions and support.
On the flip side though, I feel like certain people might be holding back their questions. Maybe they don't want to pry or seem nosy. Or maybe they are so unsure about IVF they don't even know what questions to ask. So I thought maybe I could sum up some of the questions I've gotten so far and my responses to each.
1) Why do you need IVF?
Well, long story short, we only have a 3% chance of ever conceiving on our own (if you want more details just click on "Our Infertility Timeline" on the menu bar). After 3 years of trying, we are ready to have a baby. It's been very difficult waiting so long to start a family. And both Daniel and I are willing to do anything to make that dream come true. Unfortunately, IVF seems to be the best option.
We did not make this decision lightly. In fact it took us a long time to even consider IVF as an option. But we've had 3 fertility specialists and 1 urologist tell us that IVF would be our best chance of having a baby, so we listened.
2) Why don't you just adopt?
Adoption isn't for everyone. Just because we're having difficulty getting pregnant, doesn't mean we are equipped to adopt a child. In fact, adoption is more expensive than IVF (it can cost $20,000 or more). We could do fostering, but the ultimate goal of the foster care system is to reunite families, so we would be caring for a child that might eventually go back to his or her biological parents. I think that would be very difficult for us. Plus, Daniel and I want to have a biological child. I think that is a totally normal desire that most people have. And I want to share that experience with my husband.
3) Why are you fundraising?
No one has actually asked me this, but I have a feeling some people are wondering about it. The cost of a fresh IVF cycle will be close to $15,000. That's a lot of money. Daniel and I have already spent close to $10,000 in the last 3 years with all of the fertility testing, 3 surgeries, monitoring, and IUI. Because of this, we have close to depleted our savings. But we're not fundraising for the full $15,000. Daniel and I are working hard to save over half of that amount on our own. And we are fundraising for the rest.
Some people might think "well if you can't afford IVF, can you afford a baby?" YES! First of all, most parents don't make the decision on whether or not to have a baby on whether they can afford one or not. And in our case, we could afford it. We just prefer to have a baby and not be thousands of dollars in debt. That's why we're fundraising, in hopes that we won't have to take out any loans for fertility treatment.
4) Isn't IVF like playing God?
I think most people already have an opinion on this that is based on their personal faith and relationship with God. So I'll just tell you what I believe. IVF is not guaranteed. Although it gives us a very good chance, sometimes it just doesn't work. I still believe that God has to breath life into the embryo and if it's not meant to be, then pregnancy won't occur. And I feel that God is leading us down this journey for a reason. I believe that Daniel and I are meant to be parents, in one form or another, and I feel like IVF is the right thing for us to do.
5) What will you do if it doesn't work the first time?
We hope that we have several embryos after the first IVF attempt that are healthy enough to freeze. If that's the case, we can do a frozen IVF cycle (also known as a FET) which costs significantly less. So there will be options for us if the first IVF cycle fails. We would also hope to use this option to have a 2nd child down the road.
6) What will you do with the money you've raised if you get pregnant naturally before your IVF?
If this happened, it would be a miracle! But I have thought about it, and I would return the money to all of the donors. If the donors refused the money or listed themselves as anonymous, I would pay it forward and give to another couple in need.
This has been a long, difficult journey, and we need the continued support from our family and friends to get through it. And I think it's important to use this experience to educate others about infertility and hopefully erase some of the stigma that surrounds IVF. I hope this post clears up some of the questions that people have about why we've made this decision. If you want more details about what an IVF cycle entails, please click here.