Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Opportunity Costs

Our first round of IVF cost us about $12,000. For us, that is a lot of money. Considering that most couples can achieve a pregnancy for free, this makes for 12,000 painful reminders of the situation we are in. It's hard not to wonder what might have been ... instead of IVF you could afford to buy (revealing some interests of my wife and I along the way):

-$121,000 after 30 years (assumes 8% annual return on investment)
-3 7-day trips for two to all-inclusive Jamaican resort
-5 Precor Treadmills
-1/3 of a BMW 3-series
-1/3 annual tuition to top business school
-1/4 to 1 child via adoption (depending on cost of adoption, country, etc.)
-One hell of a shopping spree for my wife
-40 Cairn Terrier puppies
-Sell your house for even bigger loss
-2 sets of stainless steel kitchen appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher)
-Two rooms of Pottery Barn furniture
-5 50" High Definition plasma televisions
-12 Nintendo Wiis
-6 iMacs

I'm using my year end bonus and some of our savings to cover round 2, but to make up the difference we are making a number of other sacrifices. For starters we are going to defer purchase of new vehicles. I'm driving a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport, and my wife a 2004 Dodge Stratus. Both are decent vehicles that run well, but mine has over 100k miles on it and my wife's is pushing 40k. We could theoretically make it another 5 years before there is a need to purchase a new car. It would be nice to get something newer now, but we have financial realities to deal with.

We're continuing to max out our 401(k) and Roth IRAs. This slows down our rate of savings for other things, but in my book, these are absolutely essential investments that everyone should be making before anything else. Besides, we're young - we need to take advantage of these investments and the time we have between now and retirement to accrue some wealth ... and the fact that we are young gives us the privilege of time in achieving a pregnancy. The credit crunch, imploding housing market and (likely) impending recession are enough of a scare in the short run - I hate to think about those who are opting out of their 401(k) plans and foregoing all retirement savings in favor of covering short term expenditures, or to dig themselves out of the piles of debt they are in. You think things are bad now? Wait until all of these people who have opted out of retirement savings and have screwed themselves by taking on more debt than they can afford reach retirement and have nothing to fund their lifestyles ... there's another word that ends in "ession" that may be dusted off at that point in time. I hope to be living comfortably with my wife and child(ren) if / when that happens. Nothing elaborate ... just comfortable.

We're still Christmas shopping and trying to be generous in that regard - we have been blessed with great families, and want to ensure that we sacrifice nothing with them as they have been incredibly supportive throughout this process of infertility. I must say, however, that the expense of x-mas is a bit painful to endure, but we're looking forward to a nice Christmas with the families.

One week until we meet with Dr. M.


Daran said...

I stumbled across your blog looking for information on what can go wrong during the IVF process. I must be honest, I read your latest post and have decided to 'comment' off of that.

Typically I don't share much, especially since people tend to use information in their own special way, which can sometimes be self-serving; however, your post seems genuine and as a result, I am going to let my guard down, for a second.

I married my wife 5 years ago with the intention of having children of our own. She had a child earlier in her 20's, but her child has special needs and will be dependant for the rest of her life. That's ok, we will have more children so she can have companions as well as a support network beyond the years that my wife and I could possibly support her. Or so we thought...

My wife had some stomach pains which had her go in to check for kidney stones, what she came out with was knowledge that she was suffering from massive cysts. Ultimately, this was devastating, you go from trying to manage some abdominal discomfort to fighting for your life. A week later she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Skipping ahead 3 years, 2 reduction surgeries to remove the tumors, another surgery for a bi-lateral salpingio oopheromectomy and total abdominal hysteromectomy, 6 months of chemotherapy and endless visits to the oncologist for blood work, follow-ups and CT's we got to the point where we could sit down and think about life after cancer, having children!

My wife and I are in our mid-30's, I have never had a child of my own and after this experience I was not sure my wife would ever feel comfortable with someone having a child for us along with not using her eggs. Time, talking, and more time allowed for day 1 - a trip to the IVF clinic in San Diego.

Skipping ahead, again. I, as well, have count and morphology issues. But, the IVF clinic after wash, said, we were able to find 15 we could use. Amazing, to manually fertilize and not have to worry about my swimmers failing to do their thing.

Tomorrow is the harvest for us, I am very nervous and have no idea what will happen as luck has just not been on our side, maybe tides are changing?

I know you live far from California, so do I, but considering the amount of money that we have to put out, it may be an option for you to consider. Go where the technology for IVF is cutting edge, San Diego would be a good place to look. You may find that your investments are less risky.

Just a thought.

Sorry I am not as good a writer as you, I can only speak from the heat and I am not sure I was able to communicate in this post.


IVF - A Husband's Journey

Hekateris said...

Good luck, Daran!


Joe said...

Daran - that's an incredible story. I hope the harvest went well, and that your fortunes turn for the better in the next several days.

Some questions:

-Do you have a blog of your own? I'd be curious to track your progress ...
-How much does the ICSI cost out in San Diego? We would consider doing our procedure in another part of the country, but it would be difficult to juggle given my work schedule.

Our Dr. said that the sperm they used for our first round all had deformed heads. I wanted to ask "Why did you use them then?" According to my semen analysis, I have some normal ones kicking around in there somewhere ... isn't that the whole point of ICSI? The lab techs manually hunt these guys down under a microscope, as they did with you in pursuit of those 15 "honor students" ... I'm sure there's a good reason they used the ones they did, but it begs the question of why didn't they use normal ones? Were there none to be found?

Anyhow, my understanding is that the sperm have a lot more to do with the odds of success after implantation occurs (a step we didn't achieve) ...

Best of luck, thanks for the post - very inspiring. All the best to you and your wife.

IVF - CANCUN said...

Thanks for sharing a idea....Great post and informative
ivf cost