By Tia Gendusa
Hello and welcome lovely readers! I am so, so happy you took a few minutes out of your busy day to connect with me here at Fertility Bridge! My name is Tia and I am a former IVF warrior that writes over at ForeverOrchard.
My path to motherhood closed in late 2017, after unsuccessfully going through four egg retrievals, three transfers, and suffering two miscarriages. We fought and failed for five years, and I spoke frankly about our lives and our decision moving forward in THISPOST.
I wouldn’t wish infertility on my worst enemy, but I am here, standing and thriving, even though life is shaping up a bit differently than I had planned.
These days I speak to spread awareness about the ups and downs of infertility, not only in the thick of treatments an uncertainty, but for everything that comes afterward, whether you find success or not.
One of the top issues about fertility treatments for our family included our finances and insurance coverage. Did you know that only 15 states currently offer some formof infertility coverage? I live in IL, one of the covered states, but even I work for a company that was exempt from this type of coverage, forcing me to branch out and buy my own individual insurance. I thank my lucky stars every day that we had the coverage we had. Even so, we spent roughly $30,000 out of pocket, and while that number may be shocking to see, it fell somewhere in the middle of the (very wide) spectrum of financial woes associated with these types of treatments.
This year, Resolve’s theme is Flip the Script, and it’s offering a chance for people like me to level the playing field when it comes to breaking down barriers with family-building. This week in particular is NIAW, or National Infertility Awareness Week. It’s our week to band together and fight for the justice we deserve. We deserve better insurance coverage, more affordable treatment options, less discrimination, more empathy and more education for the masses.
Infertility doesn’t just affect the person or people trying to grow their family. All facets of their lives take a hit. Our friends and family may not know about our struggles, and if they do, they don’t know what to say when faced with such a heavy topic. Our careers are constantly taking a back seat to appointments and procedures. Financial woes hit heavy on our emotions and our wallets. To think that it takes the equivalent of the child’s college fund just to have a child in the first place, is daunting. A complete lack of infertility insurance coverage or state-to-state exemptions leave us scraping money together via loans or fundraisers for something that comes so easily to others.
There are MILLIONS of us. Don’t believe me? Start a conversation with your friends and I could bet good money (maybe enough for another round of IVF?) that you know at least one other person who has, or is, struggling to conceive and resorted to fertility treatments.
Our goal is simple. To fulfill our lives in the best way we know how. We want to nurture and raise little miracles of our own that will eventually be thriving adults. The love we have for these babies that don’t exist yet is paramount. And yet, so many of us are bashed for our way of thinking or forced to close this chapter of our lives because we simply cannot afford it.
I urge you to use your voice. I urge you to use your social media platforms. Write the letters. Send the emails. Speak up and help lift up this community. It’s time to Flip the Script.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments that are on your mind. Let’s do better together.
Tia is a Vlogger and Writer at Forever Orchard. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and English Bulldog. She started her journey to parenthood in 2012 and quickly realized it wasn’t as easy as her Health teacher once told her. She and her husband are both autosomal recessive carriers of a genetic condition called MCAD, therefore, IVF was the only option to eliminate this disease from their future children. After four egg retrievals, three transfers, and suffering through two miscarriages, she closed the door to motherhood in late 2017. These days she speaks openly about her struggles with grief and cultivating happiness no matter what life has to offer.