we always knew babies were expensive we didn't realize that started before there was even a baby
Here we are again. Brian and I finalizing our monthly budget to get us through the next year and project into the following 4. I knew when we decided to start working on a family that money would be a topic that would come up a lot because babies aren't cheap. That's pretty common knowledge. What we didn't realize was that our budget would include paying for items BEFORE a baby graced the presence of my uterus.
I'm not just talking IVF
If you're planning to have a baby now or ever and are also a fun, type-A personality like yours truly, this post is for you...and your bank account. To make this post a little more fun and because my brain is still in Google Sheets mode, I decided to break up the baby-creating expenses based on our own timeline of what we added to our budget over the last 2 years. Enjoy!
Item(s): Prenatal vitamins!
Additional Costs: $8-???/month
Advice: Prenatal vitamins are a phenomenal investment in your future baby's health along with your own. There are so many varieties out there ranging in price that this can fit ANY budget. Plus, some taste pretty amazing (I'm looking at you Olly prenatal)!
Advice: From a financial viewpoint, I DO NOT recommend going this route right off the bat. It was totally the stress of trying to conceive that threw me into this purchase. I also convinced myself that it would save us money in the long run on things like ovulation test strips...more on that soon. However, if you really love data and want to "learn" your cycle, this is great but a BBT thermometer will do the same thing with just a little extra work.
Item(s): Ovulation test strips; Pre-Seed; Pregnancy tests
Advice: Honestly, it's like eating a box of chocolate covered pretzels. Once you start down that rabbit hole, you're gone! My best advice and hardest to follow is to buy the cheapest ovulation tests online, only buy pregnancy tests when you're officially late, never before, and pre-seed is only necessary if you KNOW that is an issue in the bedroom. Desperation does a lot of things to a person, especially when riding the rollercoaster of hope and defeat each cycle of trying for a baby. It took me about 20 months to follow my own advice on these items.
Additional Costs: $0-??? depending on your insurance coverage (for us: $10 co-pay each visit)
Advice: After 1 year of trying when under the age of 35, it's recommended to see a fertility specialist if you haven't gotten pregnant or sustained a pregnancy. This one is usually less of a financial barrier rather an emotional one. Do this. It's important to truly know what's happening with the reproductive health of you and your spouse and to have some answer, even if it's unexplained.
Additional Costs: $0-??? depending on your insurance coverage (for us: $740 per IUI x 3)
Advice: The "fast track" to pregnancy for couples with unexplained infertility per current Fertility Specialist practice is to complete 3 rounds of IUI with medication plus a trigger shot. This includes using ovulation test strips almost daily for the first half of your cycle, going in for sonograms to monitor follicle size/amount, paying for medications (regular and speciality pharmacy meds), semen analysis/cleaning, and the actual insemination procedure. Plan to miss some work on short notice and that the chances of getting pregnant are only SLIGHTLY better, but not by much. I recommend 1-2 rounds if you're paying out of pocket. Don't let this get your hopes so high that you go broke.
Additional Costs: None
Advice: After 2 years of trying, I decided to stop everything except the prenatal vitamin. Remember, this is a stressful process and sometimes doing all the extra things only makes it worse. When it comes to most things, knowledge is power, but I learned with trying to have a baby, knowledge hurt me more than it helped me. Be cognizant of your mental and emotional health in this journey. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is go back to where it all began and TRUST until you're financially ready for the next step, whatever and whenever that may be. Just like my timeline is not your timeline, my journey is not yours. Keep listening and advocating for what you NEED, not just what you want.
#adventureinspiresadventure + adventure coach
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