Financing Fertility Treatments

Postponing parenthood to gain our financial “footing”

My name is Kate. I was the typical “roving” 20-something – after graduating with my undergraduate degree and degree in teaching, I travelled to Asia, teaching English to finance my travels. Eventually I explored Africa, India, and the Middle East before returning to my home state when I was 25. I was ready to settle down in one place, get on with my career, find a partner, and start a family. Little did I know that it would take me a lot longer than expected to accomplish all those goals.

After a few more years of teaching I started my Masters degree part time. That led to a promotion from classroom teaching to being a Vice Principal. I met an awesome guy, Mark, who eventually became my husband. We lived in a fairly expensive city. Most of our money went to paying off student loans and basic living expenses. Even though we wanted to have kids, we didn’t want to have them before we were financially stable. My parents had me when they were 20 and I remembered how stressful it was for them to live paycheck to paycheck and to fall behind on their mortgage. Mark had also come from a family background where money was always tight, so he wasn’t prepared to bring a child into our lives until we could afford it.

Time ticked on and we both worked hard to pay off our student loans. We bought an apartment and eventually moved up to a small house. We worked on our careers, and on building our savings. That took the best part of 10 years. Before we knew it I was 37. I had heard that getting pregnant can be more difficult for women after 35. So after looking at our bank accounts and creating a new budget that involved my taking a maternity leave and working reduced hours, we decided we could finally do it and be comfortable at the same time.

Try we did, for an entire disappointing year. We were about to book an appointment with a fertility specialist and low and behold, I found out I was pregnant after 12 months of trying. Our beautiful baby girl Colette was born the year I turned 38. When Colette was 6 months old, we started talking about trying for another baby, given that I was going to be turning 39 in less than a year. It took 9 months of trying before becoming pregnant with our second daughter, Camille.

Now, 5 years later, we have two active, busy girls who make our lives hectic and chaotic, but full of love, laughter, and lots of fun. Don’t get me wrong – raising two busy girls and working full time can sometimes be overwhelming. We’re in our mid-40s and don’t have the energy we had when we were in our 20s. But we also don’t have the stresses of worrying about whether or not we can make our mortgage payment or pay for things like Colette’s braces. Am I glad that we waited until we were financially stable rather than having kids in our 20s and struggling like my parents? Most days. Do I look back and wish that we were financially stable sooner so that we could have had kids earlier and maybe I wouldn’t feel so tired? Sure. But given our circumstance, we made the decision that was right for us.

Share your thoughts on Kate and Mark’s story in the comments section below, or submit your own fertility story here.

Read a recent article on how more people are delaying parenthood to gain financial stability here. 

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