This is going to be a difficult topic to write about.  But it’s been on my mind a lot that I really want to get it all out.  

My husband switched jobs a little over a year ago.  His previous company provided excellent health insurance that covered for almost everything 100%, except for fertility.  Anything fertility related was not covered.  When he switched to his current job at a large corporation, we were very pleasantly surprised that there is a $10,000 lifetime maximum for fertility treatments.  I was secretly hoping that we wouldn’t need to utilize this benefit.  It was a good-to-know kind of thing and I tucked it in the back of my mind.

Fast forward to March this year.  We started seeing reproductive endocrinologists and discovered that all the visits with these specialists so far including ultrasounds and the lab work that is ordered have been paid for under our general insurance.  Our fertility lifetime maximum had not been deducted until we actually started our first IVF.  I started to realize how blessed we are with the amount of coverage that we have so that we haven’t had to dip too much into our designated funds for IVF.  

Most recently my husband has been miserable at his job.  There has been a lot of changes in his group.  His manager suddenly assigned him the task of overseeing the whole project and for him to put the whole system together.  This wasn’t his job before so he has a lot to learn.  Not only does he have to learn fast, he also has to battle getting results from his group mates who are less than cooperative.  On top of that, he has to commute about an hour each way to work.  He used to take the train but because of potential transit strikes the past two months, he opted for driving instead of purchasing a monthly train pass.  Since his work has been so frustrating, he has been thinking about switching jobs.  He began to speak with recruiters and has found leads for job openings that interest him.

Last weekend was a testing time between us.  We started talking about the possibility of a job change.  He wants to work for a startup company with fewer people that would provide more room for growth.  If he can find a company doing what he enjoys doing, then he won’t mind working extra time on his job.  There is a lead for a small company that is located a bit closer to home than his current job.  The founder is really interested in him.  They met up twice already.  

When Bob shared this with me, my fear crept in.  We are in the middle of an IVF cycle that has been paid for by his insurance.  I know that this fertility coverage won’t last forever as we are definitely going to use up the whole lifetime maximum if we indeed do a transfer.  But it’s not only the fertility coverage that I like.  I also like the fact that even after the fertility coverage is over, visits to an RE including blood work and ultrasounds will still be covered under our general health insurance.  We also have the fringe benefits of chiropractic care, acupuncture, and counseling.  They are all covered.  If/When I get pregnant, all the prenatal ultrasounds, visits with the OB/GYN, and the hospital visit are largely covered.  We only have to pay a small copayment.  And currently our complication is the potential laparoscopic surgery to remove the uterine fibroid.  I am 99% sure that this will be covered under the general insurance. My fear is that the new health insurance that is provided through a new job at a startup company will not even begin to compare to what we have right now.

Bob was angry and hurt that the first thing I thought of was the health insurance that we may lose.  He thought that I cared more about our insurance coverage than his happiness and wellbeing as an individual.  This led to “robust discussions” throughout the weekend about the best decision to make.  I admit that I allowed myself to be fearful of the unknown and the future, a future that may not provide us with the comfortable cushion that we currently have with his work health insurance.  This fear is so crippling.  At the same time, it pains me to see Bob suffer so much.  We prayed and prayed for a clear direction.  I have been praying for God to allow me to have faith in Him that He will provide.  I want to have peace with whatever decision that we will make.  I would love to be the one that supports my husband’s decision no matter what he does.  And it hurts me for him to think that I didn’t care about his feelings and his unhappiness.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night pondering about all of the above.  How does one strike a balance between being a supportive spouse and providing another perspective of the situation without making the other person feel judged?  How does one speak with love and openness without hurting the other person’s feelings?  Marriage is hard work.  It’s even harder when the relationship is complicated by the inadequate feelings of infertility, dissatisfaction at jobs, the need to provide for your loved ones, and finances.  All of these make the road tougher.  Sooner or later we will find a solution to all this.  The worst financially will be that we’ll have to pay out of pocket for many things that are covered right now.  The amount of money that we have saved is finite.  If we spend the money on something, then we’ll have less money to do more cycles.  Again, I am letting my fear speak.  I just hope and pray that I will not let this crippling fear take over me and that we will have the faith that God will guide us to the right path.  


16 thoughts on “Woes

      • Ik what u mean. We actually were in a simular situation while we did ivf. My husband works over an hour away and another job opportunity came up although ended up falling through but he really wanted to take it which would have cost us our fertility insurance. It is scary. I hope it all turns out well for you guys.


  1. Even though I’m in Cali, my husband’s insurance and company are out of Minnesota where we have excellent coverage like what you described. When my husband was thinking of switching jobs last year I was terrified. We had similar discussions. He ended up staying at his current job, but the fear remains. What if his company changes plans? What if he gets laid off? People would always tell me I have “plenty of time” when it came to fertility despite my struggles. What they didn’t or don’t understand is that it’s faaaar more complicated than that – financially and emotionally. You and Bob will find the right solution though. I’m sure of it!


    • Thanks Steph. What you said helps me to know that I am not the only person thinking the way I have been thinking. All the stress about insurance and money does something to my body. It is not good. But thanks! I am sure we’ll find a solution too.


  2. We’ve had similar discussions whenever M is unhappy with work. It’s a legitimate issue! Our coverage doesn’t give us anything for IVF itself, but we have almost 100% drug coverage which is nothing to sneeze at. At the very least, could Bob have a talk with his possible new employer about this issue and see if there’s anything they’d be willing to do if he switched over?


    • Yup. Drug coverage is a big deal. Somehow I thought that IVF was a covered service in Canada… I am wrong! If Bob’s interview ever comes to that point, I’m sure we can ask about insurance coverage and stuff like that.


  3. You captured so well how hard it can be to balance infertility treatment with other needs, both our own and our partners’. Infertility finds its way into every corner of our lives, doesn’t it? Good luck to you and Bob in continuing these discussions–it sounds like you’re doing a great job already!


    • Yeah… everything in life. From when we’re going to take time off, to not being to go out to dinner because of trigger shot, to making a decision about job switch. Everything.


  4. We have similar health insurance but have now used it up. We joked about my husband staying there because of it but that’s not really why he stays. He isn’t paid “market value” but he has a really good work environment and a terrific boss. We’ve watched friends change jobs and companies and it seems they trade one issue for another. Don’t like your hours? Work less over here and we “promise” it will be better. Want more money? Welcome! Just don’t expect to ever see your family. We’ve sacrificed potential income for a happy husband because a happy husband makes me a happy wife.


    • I totally get it. I would love to have a happy husband who loves his job. That will make our quality of life so much better. I am hoping and praying one day that that will happen. Maybe we really need to do what he wants to do: move to a smaller town and have a simpler life.


  5. Oh Isabelle, I’m sorry that you have to deal with all this on top of everything else. Bob is probably being defensive because he’s knows it is a factor but is so unhappy because he doesn’t want to consider it. But I think with a start up there will be some flexibility; maybe ask fo a signing bonus to offset the worse insurance. Or if COBRA is possible, maybe the new place can pay for COBRA for a year? I hope that Bob gets the job and that it comes with great insurance–the best of both worlds! Good luck.


  6. Yes, this is certainly one of those situations when marriage gets real. It can be so, so tough…such a fight to stay in it together and not retreat to your respective corners. I know that Andrew and I have triumphed in tough circumstances, and under the pressure of other equally tough circumstances, we have crumbled. My prayer for you is that this situation will show you just how resilient you are as individuals and as a team.


  7. Pingback: An Unexpected Trip | In Quest of a Binky Moongee

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