The day before Mother’s Day a Facebook friend posted a picture of her and her husband out for dinner with another couple with the hashtags #infertilitysucks and #ttccommunity. So many feelings rushed through my head when I saw this photo. I was happy that they were making the best of a bad situation. I felt heartbroken that they’ve been trying so hard for a baby and have nothing to show for it. I was curious about how long they’ve been trying and what medications/procedures/tests/doctors have been evolved in the equation.
I actually started to send her a Facebook message a couple times. I kept deleting it and starting over, and eventually I just deleted it and signed out. What was I going to say? Sorry this sucks so much, I’ve been there too? I really didn’t know if there was anything I could do or say to make anything better for her. After all, there is nothing worse that being a mom without a child on Mother’s Day.
Last year my husband’s mother was begging us to visit Mother’s Day weekend and I just couldn’t. I really didn’t want to spend the whole weekend making a big deal about Mother’s Day when I wanted nothing more than a baby but couldn’t get pregnant. I don’t think anything could’ve made me feel better other than taking my mind completely off of it.
Since this was the first I had heard of her infertility I was surprised when the very next day they posted a GoFund Me link. I have to admit I have very mixed feelings about crowdfunding such things. On one hand, you’re not forcing anyone to do anything. It seems a little harmless to post a link and let people choose if they want to contribute or not. Some other people I’ve known have begged for money for other situations and then turned angry when people chose not to donate, which I feel is crass.
I certainly understand the struggle to pay for infertility treatments, especially in the US where only a fraction of states require any sort of mandatory infertility insurance coverage. I personally have fought with my insurance company to pay their portion of doctor’s appointments and medications, which in itself was pitiful coverage. Ours was 50% up to $4,000 (lifetime limit) which we all know is a drop in the bucket with infertility treatment costs.
On the other hand, there are so many things that I feel, and a lot of people do, are inappropriate to ask for money for. I need to have a roof over my head but I wouldn’t ask all my friends and family to chip in on a downpayment for a house, for example. We lived in apartments until we were able to save enough for a downpayment ourselves. We have a child now and could really use a bigger house but we’ll make what we have do until we can afford a bigger home. When my car needs a repair I either pay for it with my savings or put the repair on my credit card and pay it off as I can. I fully realize these are not exactly the same as having a baby but the general rule applies. Perhaps it is Midwestern values were you are just expected to work hard and save for what you want, even if that means overtime, cutting back on other expenses, and possibly even financing it.
I have to admit when we were considering our next steps in our journey to have a baby and thought we were getting to the point of either IVF or adoption I considered crowdfunding. But to honest, I feel like you are really opening your life up to a lot of scrutiny when you ask others for money. Like last year we decided on three more months of Clomid before going on to the next step.
The first month we took a short, inexpensive vacation because TTC is stressful and it takes a toll on your body and your marriage, or at least it did on mine. I truly felt we deserved to take a few days away from our responsibilities. At the same time, how was I going to ask other people for money to have a baby when I just got back from vacation? It seemed in poor taste, so if we didn’t get pregnant in those few months we’d have to wait until we could pay for it or borrow the money ourselves.
Likewise, I find it in poor taste to drive a BMW, take dance lessons, go out for fancy dinners, and then ask someone else to pay for you to have a baby. Is it fair you’re going through this? Absolutely not. But a lot of people have infertility and frankly life isn’t fair. I would much more happily contribute to someone else’s dreams of having a family if I felt they were willing to cut back on their own expenses.
Am I the only one that feels this way? I’m wondering what the etiquette on something like this is?