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
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.