Thursday, June 17, 2010

Unspeakable Kindness

This was supposed to be a different post.

I was going to talk about my visit to the RE and those three letters that I have been fearful to hear: IVF. It is time to think about moving on in our fertility treatments.

I was going to share my fears about the procedures (I'm a self-proclaimed wimp) but most of all, I was going to question whether or not we could even continue. You see, all treatments are out of pocket for us now - and as many of you well know, IVF is a big expense.

Yesterday, my colleague and I had lunch together. He and I work closely together and have done so for about three years. He's in his 50s, and Irish Boy and I have gotten to know him and his wife socially in our time working together. Because we work so closely, they both know what we're dealing with in the infertility world.

He and his wife have two grown sons. Wonderful young men who are off on their own now working and doing all the things young men should do.

But back to lunch. In short, he and his wife have offered Irish Boy and I a loan - no interest - to cover IVF. It's something that they have discussed and agree it's what they want to do. They know that we will pay them back as we can (and we would).

Internetz, what kept me from bawling through the rest of our lunch, I do not know. He asked me to think about it and, of course, discuss with Irish Boy. While he and his wife have not experienced infertility personally, they would like us to have all the opportunities that we can to become parents. They know, that with all IF treatments, there is no guarantee. But this, he said, gives us hope of what could be. I asked about his sons - not wanting to take anything from them - but was assured that they are able to do this and that there would be no affect to their sons.

As I type this, I continue to tear up at such an offer. This is money that they could no doubt use themselves to travel, renovate their home, buy a new car, you name it. But no, they want us to have access to it.

I tweeted about this yesterday and the overwhelming response was to take them up on their offer. This is a genuine offer - an offer from the heart with truly no strings attached.

What what you do?

50 comments:

The Boob Nazi said...

That is such a sweet offer.

I don't know if I'd be able to take it because I abhor borrowing money. That's just me personally. I hate that I owe money to banks for my student loans. ugh.

Whatever you do, good luck!

Jonelle said...

What a sweet offer from your friends.

DH and I would seriously have to discuss it - the Pros and the Cons of borrowing money from friends. Which program to choose (shared risk or whatever else). I think you also need to consider the emotional and physical sides of IVF.

Would you still be doing IVF if money were no object?

So much to think about. I hope you and Irish Boy decide what is best for both of you.

Crossed Fingers said...

Wow - what a wonderful gesture! I would take it and write them a letter truly laying out how much this means to you and Irish Boy. Hopefully their good deed results in a great gift!

Ana said...

I don't think I can tell you whether you and Irish Boy should or should not take the money.

All I can say is that you have to do what is best for you.

I know some people are iffy about IVF but that is my husband and I's last chance at us having a baby that I carried after IVF is adoption (for us). We are going to go through with IVF.

Therefore it is up to you and Irish Boy. Ask yourself what is best for you and Irish Boy.

Francie said...

That's a generous offer! I agree - talk it over with Irish Boy and think it through before accepting. You don't want money to get in the way of a great friendship.

callmemama said...

Wow, that's amazing! I'd say take it - but draw up a payback schedule that both you and they agree upon. Even if they aren't worried about you paying it back, it'll make things easier if everyone is on the same page as far as expectations (do they want a little bit at a time, several lump payments, etc). Take it from someone who's done personal loans before - the easiest ones are the ones that are laid out like real loans!
What amazing people to offer you something so wonderful :).

Heather said...

WOW! We are completely out of pocket so I understand and how much it sucks!!

IF I were take them up on it (which if it were ok with BigP, I totally would) I would only do it with a stipulation that there is a contract involved. When the payments will start, how much they will be, what penalties will be involved if payments are late...EVERYTHING. It is only fair to them to have something for their protection - not to say anything against you...it just keeps everyone honest and protects the friendship.

Kacy said...

That is a truly selfless offer they have made to you. What great people. If the money could help you I would certainly take them up on the offer. ALTHOUGH, for both your protection and theirs, I would definately PUT IT IN WRITING. That way everyone know what to expect and no one can get mad. Also if any changes or modifications are made to the agreement make sure they are noted and signed to. It really is the best way to keep friends!!

www.infertilityinstability.blogspot.com

Tillie said...

you have such an unbelievably amazing coworker!! It's so fabulous for you to be able to see how much you have touched THEIR lives in that he wants to do this to help you. I'm tearing up at the kindness of them! So fabulous. It's like they are your infertility godparents...amazing. I hope you guys are really considering it. I think it could be answered prayers since I know you were so stressed on being able to afford it. Just draw up a contract agreeing to payments...I think this is amazing.

zengirl said...

Its so heartening to hear that there are still such kind and selfless people in the world. But personally, I have a really big issue about financial ties with friends, whether it be lending or borrowing. I don't think it's a really good idea-the guilt and obligation multiplies 100 times when friends are involved. If IVF doesn't work, you'll likely experience even more stress (as opposed to borrowing from someone you have no emotional ties with), which you don't already need because you know these people and see them everyday.

From what I've learned recently from my doc, I've also started telling anybody who cares to listen that the most important thing to address is egg and sperm quality first. For IVF to work you HAVE TO start off with good quality eggs and sperm. IVF only guarantees the meeting of sperm with egg, but it doesn't do anything for strong implantation and viability of pregnancy. These come under egg/sperm qualilty issues. As far as I know acupuncture and TCM is the only known method that can help. I've heard it time and time again how IVF docs gush about fantastic egg quality after the woman has undergone TCM, as opposed to the poor eggs they've been retrieving prior to that. I'd say that you're better off investing some money in getting egg/sperm to improve and then thinking about IVF later. With good eggs, sperm and a womb you should even be able to conceive naturally, or with IUI. My TCM doc specializes in fertility and so many of his patients have gotten pregnant naturally with his help, even after they failed with IVF and IUI. So don't give up. You just have to attack the problem intelligently. Anyway, this is my opinion. I wish you luck on deciding. This is a tough and tricky issue!

Sara said...

Um, take the money. Seriously. Take it, have a baby, pay them back. Maybe name the child for them. Just kidding. But if you want this, then this offer is a blessing, one that may not come back around if you don't. Take the gift....

Angie said...

Wow, that is incredibly generous. No advice here, just hugs and sympathy for you as you contemplate this next big step and how to handle it. Good luck.

Ernie said...

What a wonderful offer! It is a hard decision to take a loan from friends or family. I recently had to do so because of a major loss on our house. No matter what you decide, it is truly touching and wonderful that they even offered!

Marla Z said...

That's so amazing, FC! I ditto what Jonelle said, as well as some of the others. A pro's and con's list. It's hard to take money from people, at least it would be hard for me. But they seemed to have discussed it and really want to do it for you guys. I'm sure you've already put a ton of thought into this, already. Good luck with whatever you decide!

Dana said...

How utterly amazing! You are certainly blessed with his friendship!

Amber said...

I would do it (but insist on a promissory note just so everyone's on the same page). What an amazing thing for your friend to offer! I even teared up reading this. :)

Kristin said...

It is truly an offer from the heart. Take them up on it and resolve to pay it forward some day.

Busted Kate said...

Sometimes I'm truly humbled by the kindness that surprises you out of nowhere. I think your heart will tell you the right thing to do... but this definitely feels like some sort of divine intervention!

Stephanie said...

What a sweet gesture. If its really from the heart and you and Irish Boy feel good about taking it, I say go for it. As an older couple around my parents age, I think they mean it. They want to help you and they care about you. If they didn't have the means, they wouldn't have offered.

lis said...

i agree that it is an offer that comes directly from the heart. and i know if i made someone an offer like that i would be devastated if they refused. it looks like your kids will have some extra built in grandparents :)

also, i was terrified of IVF and for no good reason. the needles are tiny and barely hurt. the medicine stings but it takes a little squirt and you're done. by the time we finally got to IVF we were so happy to finally be making our babies we would do anything. our first IVF was truly an amazing time where we celebrated each other and our love. if we can't make babies the old fashioned way, we were certainly going to enjoy it the way we could *shrug* i hope it is as pleasant for you.

and good luck with your decision
xoxo
lis

Pregnant Yuppy said...

What a sweet, sweet couple. Our parents didn't even offer to help us with the IVF costs (although they may have if we asked). If you do decide to take them up on their offer (and it sounds like they are sincere in offering) I would write up a repayment schedule.

Best of luck to you and Irish Boy with your decision.

lowfatlady said...

Wow, what a nice thing for them to do. I don't know what I would do in that situation. I wish you the best in whatever decision you choose.

Jem said...

Wow, I felt my heart swell reading the words you typed, reading of your friends' amazing generosity. They know the joy of parenthood and want to help you achieve this, too.

Can't tell you to accept or not. Only you can answer this. No matter what, you have amazing friends.

inBetween said...

Wow. What wonderful people. You and Irish boy need to sit down and work out a realistic repayment plan, put it in writing, accept the wonderful loan, and START TREATMENT. Really. I so wish that I had moved on to ivf earlier, as your chances of success are higher the younger you are. I just had my transfer of two embryos today and I feel more hopeful than ever. The process has been seriously intense, but extremely do-able. Yes there are no guarantees, but a 30% chance is worth the world to me right now. I guess the question to ask yourself is how much is it worth it to know you tried everything that you could? This wonderful couple clearly thinks its worth a lot. Wow. They are inspiring. You could name your kid after them!!!

Charla (SHar-la) said...

My husband and I are starting the IVF process and will do the procedure in August.

We have had many offers to help and I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND how hard it is to accept the offers.

But heres how I like to think of it. I have a friend who, when I try to turn down offers of kindness from her, she says to me, "You're not really going to steal my blessing are you?"

That got me thinking and I realized she is absolutely right! Think about when you really, really want to help someone out. It doesn't have to be monetarily, but maybe you want to cook them dinner or keep their kids so they can have a date night; whatever it is, when they decline your offer because they won't humble themselves and accept the help, you feel a little let down. Because all you want to do is help your friend.

God commands we give and help others. So, if we give, we should also accept the gifts of others, or we essentially are not allowing them to do what God has commanded them to.

This has made it easier for me to accept help, especially when it comes to our infertility. My parents have helped us tremendously and we are so thankful. But I remember when they first offered I said, "No" and then when we finally did accept, I was SOBBING, in complete tears...not because I was so grateful (which I was), but more so because I was ashamed of needing and then accepting help.

I also want to say that God answers our prayers in ways we can't even begin to fathom. ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM ABOVE...and this is a GOOD THING. Just think, someday you will pay it forward in one way or another and that makes Him so happy and proud!

Know I check up on your blog weekly and pray for peace, joy and discernment for you in this crazy infertility journey!

Jenn said...

Wow, how amazing! I think that if you and Irish Boy decide to persue it, you should get something in writing, to protect everyone. However, what an amazing, thoughtful gift.

Suzie-Q T-Pie said...

Wow, what an amazing gift!

EB said...

Freaking amazing. I'm so glad to hear there are still people with such generous, loving hearts.

I'm not big into advice so I'll just say that whatever you choose will be the right thing for you.

Suz said...

That is so awesome!! What amazing people to make that offer!! If you think that you and your hubby can pay back the money in a fairly timely fashion, and it wouldn't do damage to your relationship with them to owe them money, I'd say go for it!! I'm sure they just want you to experience the same joys that they have had!! Good luck with whatever you choose! :)

-K said...

I would name a kid after one of them and then pay them back ASAP.

Fran said...

Oh my what an offer! I'm in tears here. I think it genuinely came from their heart and you should accept it. Oh my friend, this is like having all the Christmas at once. What an opportunity for you to move forward on this darn hard road. Thinking of you and Irish Boy.

jensays said...

I just don' tknow if I would be able to do borrow the money from them. It would be very tempting


(whatwouldjendo.com)

TeeJay said...

I don't know what I would do. I know that I feel bad for borrowing money from my parents. But I also know that when I turn their help down, they seem sad.

I see this as an incredible opportunity for you and Irish Boy. It's a tough call and you will know what feels right.

I got all teary eyed reading this post. It's amazing how kind and generous people can still be in this day and age.

Katie said...

What a gracious and generous offer. I don't know if I would be able to take it, and I certainly can't tell you what choice is right for you. But I do agree with the previous comments: if you decide to pursue this, please get it in writing. I know this person is your friend and I am sure he is trustworthy, but anything can happen.

Best of luck. I'm anxious to hear what you decide.

subfertilefrugalista said...

I think this will be a serious decision that the two of you have to make, and if it were me, I know it would be a really hard one. I have a hard time borrowing anything even from my sister, let alone money. However, you didn't ask for this...they have clearly put a lot of thought into it and believe that helping you would be a good use of their money.

I am a professional fundraiser, so I probably have a different perspective than most. I meet and see people all the time who give their money to worthy causes, things they are passionate about, things that they think will make a difference. But EVERY person who gives will tell you that they GET more in return. They haven't entered into this decision with haste. I like to think that when J and I are older, this is exactly how we will use our philanthropic dollars. It really is about changing someone's life and offering something to you that they know will come back to them tenfold. They obviously feel comfortable that you are good for paying the money back and it sounds to me like you have just touched them in some way, and they realize that money is the only thing (okay, we all know not the ONLY thing) keeping you from your dream of being parents. If they can help, I say let them!

Best of luck with this tough decision. What a sweet gesture!!

Beautiful Mess said...

What a beautiful offer from some very beautiful people. If I were in your position, I would feel the same way. Wanting to take it but not wanting too at the same time. But also I think if I were them, I wouldn't offer if I didn't want to help you out. And they TRULY want to help you out. I, personally, think it would be OK to take them up on their offer.
*HUGS*

jrs said...

That is a difficult decision. If I did accept the money I would do what the others have suggested--have a contract, etc.

That was a very kind of them to offer to help you.

Melissa said...

You're lucky to have such caring friends. Having a written agreement sounds attractive to me. It saves you the hassle of assumptions gone wrong down the road.

Chelle (hanwayink) said...

wow. what an amazing offer. If you and Irish Boy feel you will be able to accept this gift, then by all means do it.

Best of luck!

mommyinwaiting said...

What an awesome offer and for me it would be more about the friendship that this kind of offer represents than the actual money.

Both hubby and I cannot handle owing money, it was HUGE step for us when we recently bought a car with a loan, we tend towards if you can't afford it you can't have it, but when it come to my TTC not sure that rule would stick if we found we couldn't afford it anymore. I don't envy you your decision, but whatever you decide what a friendship to treasure.

B. said...

I can't remember if you've mentioned where you live, but before you tackle IVF on your own I need to mention what I learned abgout health insurance. It could save you a ton of money...

If you live in a state where fertility coverage is mandated, your own health insurance may be excluded from the mandate as mine was. I was able to purchase individual coverage for under $500/month, with a $2,000 deductible after which everything was covered in full. It was a pricey policy, but the deductible was relatively low and once I'd paid the $2K, I didn't have to shell out a dime (aside from the monthly premium). All-told, our two IVF procedures, including expensive donor sperm, cost us less than $7,000. A single procedure, without an insurance company to negotiate our rates, would have cost more than $20,000.

So, I suggest exploring insurance options before making your decision. You may still need the loan to pay for insurance, but it'll save you a ton of money in the long run. And that way, if (God forbid) it doesn't work on the first try, you'll be able to try again.

minname said...

wow! this is so amazing... I can't even imagine the roller coster you are probably both on as you weigh the pros and cons of this decision.

one side of me screams YES of course take it but the other side is apprehensive about accepting such an offer. What if the first IVF doesn't work would they give you more money (maybe I don't know enough about IVF though so that's could just be my own ignorance on the subject)

I think you need to step back and just trust your gut on this one. Maybe figure out how long it would take you to pay back the funds... maybe having them co-sign a loan instead of giving you the money? there are so many angles to this.

I know you both will make the right choice for what works for you and this couple who've offered to help. I do love what Charla had to say about turning down offers of kindness and stealing the chance to give... wonderfully put Charla!

Stacie said...

Such a sweet and generous offer! I agree that you need to just go with your gut on how to proceed. I bet you will make the best decision for yourself, and your friends. Hugs!

MAK-now said...

I don't know if I'd be able to take a loan of any kind. Not because I wouldn't want to but because I'm a pathological DIY'er, but that's a story for another post.

HOWEVER, I'm positively BLOWN AWAY by the kindness of your friends. It's amazing and wonderful and beyond beautiful that they would make such a selfless offer to you and your husband.

Honestly, if I were you, I'd consider it.

Just my 2-cents. Good luck and best wishes, whatever you decide.

MAK
ICLW #125

Lu said...

Wow - an incredibly thoughtful gesture and a sign of the truest friendship. I'd say go for it, if you think you could pay it back within a year or two, and give them payments along the way, as a bit of "insurance."

Another option may be just borrowing a portion of the costs, if possible.

liberalgranolagirl said...

Personally yes, I would take them up on the offer. I would come up with a payment plan and put it in writing so that they would know that we had a plan to pay them back.

What an amazing, wonderful offer from them!

Sarah said...

Hearing things like this just about restore my faith in mankind. Or at least some of it.

BonnieAnn said...

Just found your blog....we have a lot in common. I am starting my first round of IVF this month-fingers crossed...

Take the money. This isn't like your borrowing money for a new car or something, this is life changing, this may define your life and who you are as a person. I would take the money.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I haven't been by in a while... I'm sorry. This is truly an amazing sitution. I'm not sure what I would do. It's an incredible offer, and one not to be taken lightly. My experience tho, is that when money is involved, there tends to be strings. If you and Irish boy are comfortable with it, then I say go for it, but you might want to have some documentation about repayment and the like.

(Sorry, I didn't mean to make my comment a downer... it's just that I've seen friendships destroyed over money issues)

Kahla said...

Apparently you found an angel on Earth! That is awesome, hope this is a success!

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