When do you plan to have kids? When will you have kids? You guy aren’t getting any younger you know. There go that dreadful question and statement. I hear it all the time. I have some friends, not so close friends as well as a few acquainted people who either are curious or simply loves to pry. I understand their curiosity, but some people just don’t seem to get it that there are certain topics (such as infertility) that people are not comfortable to talk about. I mean, some people just can’t take a hint – if my answer is always the same such as “someday” if not soon or in god’s time. Somehow my reply always warrants another statement “prioritizing your career is great, but having kids would make a great difference!”.
… like I am not aware. I’m not or to be exact, we are not stupid. Why wouldn’t we want to have kids while we are still in our prime? My husband and I have been with each other for quite some time now. We do want kids. It’s not like we ruled out growing our family but just so happens, we have our challenges.
It’s just tiring. Absolutely draining. When my Mama asked how come we don’t have any yet, I tried to explain what infertility is. So my mama said, we will pray for it. That God works in mysterious ways, and there’s nothing impossible with him. While I understand what she means, I felt like praying alone just won’t be enough to create our miracle. Bless her heart, I wish I have as much faith as she does. Then other family members started asking questions – and when we give out the same answer as we always do, their reply is that we should see a doctor or who is the problem. I am simply out of words.
What is infertility? It’s simple. It’s the inability to conceive children or carry a pregnancy to full term. Its is, however, treatable by a medical professional.
What are the treatment options available? Medication, Insemination, and IVF or In Vitro Fertilization.
Check out this article by UCLA Health: ❝ Infertility: Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis ❞
What the majority don’t understand is that those who are suffering infertility, it doesn’t only affect them emotionally and psychologically, it is also financially challenging. Truth be told, challenging is an absolute understatement. It’s a battle. Some get away with just meds. A few who only needed insemination. There’s a handful who gets lucky only to need one round of IVF (but this method is already costly), but what about those who needed to keep going? Mortifying and heartbreaking.
Ever since my husband and I explored all the options, we were faced with numerous challenges. We started looking into infertility treatments years back. But working for the military had us dangling in between different countries and what not. While he was stationed in South Korea, we started seeing doctors. We had to set everything aside when we had to face other family challenges. When we’ve decided it is time to resume our journey, we immediately started the process. We were then surprised to find out that our “best option” is the IVF route.
consider reading this editorial: ❝ The Cost of IVF: 4 Things I Learned While Battling Infertility ❞
What is IVF? IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is the process of manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. One fertilization occurs, the embryo will be transferred back to the uterus.
On average, IVF cost of a basic IVF cycle in the U.S ranges from about $12,000 – $15,000. Although some insurance companies cover IVF, often they don’t. – IHR.com – IVF Costs, In Vitro Fertilization Costs (accessed January 1, 2017).
Since we’re a military family, our insurance is Tricare. To cut the long sob-story short, Tricare does not cover IVF, not even IUI’s. While that is frustrating, there are Military Treatment Facilities* that offer IVF medical training programs. This means certain procedures have limited coverage. Overall, military families who participate still have to pay out of pocket and will be responsible for all costs.
I’ve posted my queries in the support group for military spouses in our area. Then I proceeded to search if anyone else has a post similar to mine. All the while, swallowing my pride and embarrassment to have to post about our “personal issue.” as it’s not easy to simply let the cat out of the bag. Even more, putting your business out there to complete strangers.
Like a blessing, I came across someone’s post about Reproductive Medicine Associates of NJ and their Helping Heroes Build Families program.
Right away, I looked up Reproductive Medicine Associates of NJ. They established the “Helping Heroes Build Families” program in 2012 which provides ONE complimentary IVF cycle. This program is dedicated to helping New Jersey-based active duty military personnel and their spouses. You can only imagine how happy we are at this point to be living in New Jersey!
While the IVF cycle is complimentary, this does NOT include medications, anesthesia, genetic testing, screening, acupuncture, oocyte donation, etc. We didn’t even bother wondering about the rest. We scheduled an appointment right away. Since my husband is retiring this year from the Air Force, we want to try and grow our family while he is still in the military. Time is ticking.
If you’re a resident of New Jersey, currently active duty (or spouse) and are looking into growing your family with IVF, I highly suggest looking up RMANJ. In fact, they recently announced that the program would continue into 2017 – now in its fifth year.
read the announcement here: ❝ RMANJ Announces 5th Year Of ‘Helping Heroes Build Families Program ❞
For those of you who are interested in IVF treatments but are not residents of New Jersey, feel free to look up the following ***Military Treatment Facilities that offers IVF procedures.
» Wilford Hall, Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas
» Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI
» Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
» Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA
» Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA
I’ll be sharing more updates in regards to our journey. Feel free to follow along, and if you have any questions, you can message me directly or use the comment box below.