We are poor, young, college students. How the heck have we been able to afford infertility treatments? Well, our house hasn’t been the only miracle in our lives.
This was my fortune I got recently and I think it’s my first fortune cookie that has been dead on! But I think that star has been watching over us for a while.
We’ve been incredibly blessed financially throughout our marriage. These are the little day to day miracles I’m going to talk about today. Again, maybe each occurrence in and of itself isn’t that significant to an outside, but to us, all of them have been heaven sent.
Jason’s current job kind of came to us by accident. Jason had been unexpectedly let go from his previous job, which was a little terrifying for us. At the time I was in my final year at BYU and only working part time. My pay check alone definitely wasn’t going to be enough. We scraped through a couple months of Jason being unemployed and no prospects of a new job. Jason’s friend was aware of our situation and offered him a job at his company. It was a sales position at a software company which didn’t sound super appealing but it was a job. If Jason hated it, he could always keep looking for something else. Well, nearly two years later, Jason is still at that job. He makes quite a bit through commissions and it seems that he always makes the most sales right as we need some extra income. They’ve been extremely accommodating of Jason’s school schedule and that has been a huge blessing. Jason has also been able to do a little traveling at this job, which has been super fun for him. Last year Jason left the country for the first time to go to a convention in Australia!
His bosses have also been so kind and understanding with our IVF process and have made it clear that Jason can take time off for the appointments and procedures we need to have and they’ll work with him. Jason’s previous job would not have been able to give him this same amount of flexibility. When he had been let go, we were extremely confused and frustrated. Of course, we couldn’t see where we were heading; that job was great for us in the short-term but the Big Guy Upstairs wanted to take care of us long-term.
Shortly after Jason’s change in jobs, life threw another curveball at us and I was diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis. How was this disability going to affect me? MS is different with every patient and there is no way to predict how it will affect the individual. Would I feel healthy more often than not or was a wheelchair just around the corner? How quickly would it advance? I was 23, much too young to be worrying about this. How would it affect my relationship with Jason? And our future kids? How were we going to afford the medications, MRIs, and other treatments? These were just some of the questions that were constantly on my mind. I was overwhelmed.
I didn’t find all the answers to those questions (and some still can’t be answered to this day) but we were immediately shown how we could afford my medication. The medicine I started with was one of the “cheapest” MS meds. One month’s supply would only cost us….$20,000. Gulp. Ya. But good news, my insurance would cover most of it! And bring it down to…$6,000. A month. I was absolutely flabbergasted. No way could we afford that! Luckily, my medication had a financial support program that I qualified for. It made it so I would never have to pay more than $50 a month! Okay, we could do that. But it gets better. Even though I was only paying the $50 a month, the financial program was still essentially covering the $6,000 my insurance required. So not only did this financial support program pay for my deductible in one month, but a couple months in, it paid for my out of pocket maximum for the entire year and I no longer even had to pay the $50. This was absolutely incredible. That first year with my MS I had trips to the hospital, countless doctors appointments, lab work, IV therapy, and several MRIs. All of that was paid for and taken care of. It even covered my non-MS healthcare, like OB visits and some of our original infertility treatment. I was on that medication for a couple of years and every year the cost of my healthcare was covered. This took one burden off our shoulders immediately.
I could see how we were blessed with my medication coverage, but of course that didn’t make me giddy that I had this disease. For me (and with many MS patients) stress brings out the worst kinds of flare ups with my MS. During my final semester at college I was so stressed out that some of the symptoms I faced everyday were struggling with walking, feeling my legs in general, and extreme fatigue that made me feel like I had been hit by a train. I was miserable. I loved my major, Advertising, but I knew that it was a stressful field. It would always be fast paced with a constants flow of client meetings, presentations, and late nights to meet deadlines. Considering that I hoped to only be in the field 2-5 years before being a stay at home mom, I decided that for me personally the strain to my health wouldn’t be worth it. Jason was fully supportive of anything I wanted to do, of course! After some soul searching and praying, I strongly felt that I needed to look for a job that would be low stress. And I found one!
I got a job releasing medical records at a local clinic. I like it quite a bit! It is routine enough that I don’t get overwhelmed or stressed out but also has enough variety that things don’t get monotonous. I have great coworkers and I too have been lucky enough to have a boss who is understanding with the IVF and MS and all my doctor appointments. At times I have second guessed my decision to not pursue Advertising and using my degree, which would have resulted in a higher paying job, but my health has been so much better that most of the time I know I made the right choice.
When our IVF transfer didn’t go as expected and we discussed doing the micro-disscetion TESE I really questioned if I should’ve gone into advertising. The cost of IVF was already so high and we’d only gotten the money we needed through our loan. It had been exactly the right amount for the IVF but the micro-dissection would add at least another $6,000 plus medications. How on earth were we going to come up with that in just a couple of months? Maybe if I had taken a higher paying job this would’ve been easier. I was really upset with myself. Jason, being the optimist that he is, kept reminding me all the benefits of my choice and assured me that we’d figure something out.
Well, we’re still scrambling to find the cash, but opportunities for us to make more money have been falling into our laps! Jason does live sound and lately he’s been getting more gigs. Anything he earns with that can go straight into savings. At my job, we have an unusual situation where a new office that joined our clinic has only been using paper charts instead of electronic charts. All those paper charts need to be scanned and digitized. There are shelves and shelves of charts that need to be scanned, so for now you can do overtime (at time and a half!) by scanning charts.That’s not something I do with my job position but the supervisors knew I was interested in anything I could do to get more hours so they opened the overtime to anyone in the department. That has been a huge blessing! I hate going in to work early but anytime I’m able to get my hiney out of bed and come in early I can make extra money. I try to remind myself that this is for the Baby! This is even my alarm clock right now:
My 3 year old nephew helped me with this. He’s saying “Baby Knoell says wake up Mommy”. Who can say no to that cute little voice? It’s a lot harder to hit snooze when I pretend it’s my baby asking me to help get him/her here!
And if the overtime wasn’t enough, our office got an unexpected increase cost of living raise! When I got hired my boss informed me that this was an annual possibility but to not count on it because there hadn’t been one in years. Well we got one this year, completely out of the blue, and it’s the biggest increase my boss has ever seen them done. I teared up a little bit when she called me in and informed me what my new pay was going to be. It may not be a big deal to some people, but it’s huge to us. And the timing is amazing. I got the raise shortly after our decision to move forward with the micro-dissection despite the cost and it just proves to us that when you have faith in Heavenly Father, He really will make the impossible possible.
We have been blessed in so many ways. I’ve just talked about the “big” ones here, but there are so many other things that bring me and Jason to our knees in gratitude. We feel very loved. We are overwhelmed by the response we’ve seen in our gofundme and our blog. So many of you have asked how you can help financially or emotionally or in anyway possible, with many people letting us know we’ve been in their thoughts and prayers. Thank you thank you thank you!!! Consider these miracles as a direct result to those prayers. We do! We are so glad we decided to go public with our infertility story because it has given us such an incredible support system. We can’t imagine doing this by ourselves and everyday we thank our lucky stars that we can feel your love and prayers.