Asking for Help – Victoria’s Story
by Victoria Salerno
1. Getting pregnant on our own
2. Getting pregnant through the use of fertility medications
3. Getting pregnant through IUI or IVF
If these options fail or we reach a point where we have decided it’s enough, then we have to consider:
1. Going through genetic testing to determine if there is a genetic issue
2. Getting pregnant with the help of an egg donor (friend or unknown)
3. Surrogacy- private or through a friend
On top of all of the emotional, physical, and spiritual considerations with all of these options, we also must consider the financial implications of our decision. We may qualify for studies and assistance with fertility treatments, but we could still be looking at out-of-pocket expenses ranging from $10,000-$15,000. Surrogacy in my part of the state is in the $70,000-$80,000 range when you add in all of the legal, medical, and agency fees. If we needed to use an egg donor, we would be looking at between $15,000-$20,000, depending upon the agencies compensation to the donor. A private adoption is upwards of $40,000 and adoption through the Foster care system is only several hundred dollars- but I will do a whole separate post of adoption through Foster care and the considerations that need to be made in that case.
As you can see, all of the options are, at the least, the same as a down payment on a home, at the most, buying 2 new cars. The biggest issue with every option above is that there is no guarantee. Only adoption guarantees us we will end up with a child, but there is no guarantee on time frame, it could be years.
Jason and I want to eventually purchase a home, travel, and have money to raise a family comfortably. We don’t need to be rich, buy the best clothes or the biggest home, or go on lavish vacations- we just want to be comfortable. I still have student loan debt, he has credit card debt, and we have the expenses of daily living just like anyone else. The thought of doubling or tripling that debt is terrifying. What will it mean for the rest of our future?
As you might imagine, having a conversation about so many what-if’s adds a lot of pressure and stress to an already difficult situation. I mentioned before my husband and I handle our losses so differently, and it is blatantly obvious when we discuss what comes next. While I am more reserved and trying to see the big picture, he is very focused on the bottom-line of having a family at any cost. I want a family at any cost too, I would give up anything for it, but I know we have to be smart about how we do this too.
We have been having a hard time talking about these things and getting on the same page, so much so, we are butting heads at every turn when it comes to what is next. We have made the decision to seek out a counselor to help us communicate in a way that is effective. I love my husband dearly and he loves me too and we have no other issues. We are very much on the same page about everything else, we can finish each other’s sentences, order off a menu for each other, and we are very much happy in every other aspect of our lives together. We just know that we both handle this journey very differently and have decided to seek out help now before the situation gets too overwhelming. It’s really hard to admit we are going to a counselor. Of the select people who know what we are doing, several have asked if we are getting divorced or have said we should just work it out ourselves and that we shouldn’t need help. It’s almost like they view us as “damaged” now that we are having someone else help us work out our communication issue.
They are wrong. Seeking out a counselor and admitting you are at a crossroads too big for you to work through alone takes courage and bravery. It takes two people who are willing to admit there is a gap and are dedicated enough to want to fix it. It takes two people who are strong and who love each other enough to do whatever it takes. I have been to a counselor before, after my first miscarriage, and I can tell you from experience that counseling can be life-altering. Counseling opens you up to new ways of thought, it helps you understand yourself and your emotions, and it helps you to express those emotions and build an arsenal of tools you can use to tackle anything that stands in your way. Counseling makes you a stronger.
I know this has been a lot of information, but I want you to know you are not alone in this. If you are going towards fertility treatments, adoption, surrogacy, or egg donation, you may run into these same issues and conversations. You may need to ask for outside help- and that is okay! Seek the help you need so you can keep moving forward in a positive and healthy way. You deserve to be happy. You are already stronger than so many other people who have never faced the challenge of infertility, but it’s important to build a strong back-up you can fall back on when the road gets rough.
Our journey to starting a family is like the ocean- so vast and deep and scary, but filled with so many beautiful and inspiring gifts from God. You have to dive-in and put your trust in God. In the end, it will all be as it should, you just have to keep your faith.