Cost of Reproducing in the 21st Century

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Documenting our personal financial journey.

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Beside the mental toll, being in TTC (Trying to Conceive) mode can drain financial resources if one isn’t careful. Falling trap to expensive prenatals and herbal scams seems common place among the groups we’ve joined. It’s sickening that someone would create a “supplement” line or online “class” to “fix” couple’s infertility when they’re not medical professionals and data based. Think of the “30 day diet to fertility cleanse” type bull shit being pushed on Instagram and YouTube.

All that to say…

2024 baby announcement with cute smiley sun and yellow rainbow with piggy bank

Cost of TTC (13 cycles)

At home sperm testing$80
At home pregnancy/ovulation testing $105
Doctor visits and lab testing$270
Prenatal Vitamins and scientifically significant ayurveda fertility medicine $677
Total Paid after sales tax$1,132
Time eclipsed 12 months/13 cycles

As it is, we’ve had our NIPT testing, two office visits and first two ultrasounds. The next appointment is in a little more than a week where we will meet our OB for the first time, the prior visits were completed by the clinic’s midwife. The clinic set up is interesting because it’s a hospital clinic but with various offices in the area the OBs and midwifes attend. Medical costs will luckily be covered through my State employee insurance. This benefit year had $0 copays for prenatal care as well as Labor & Delivery. Be it as it may, I still applied to Medicaid the minute we found out. Over 40% of American babies are born on this insurance. It definitely adds to our piece of mind to know we won’t face catastrophic medical bills.

Which leads into how well timed our move was, no matter the financial sacrifice of those few months or the mental toll of living on only my one income. If we hadn’t made the move, we wouldn’t have qualified for the additional insurance coverage. This is because the program is State run while subject to Federal rules and oversight. Moving from a Red to Blue state makes a HUGE difference on the quality of care, coverage, and income limits. While we may be half way to FIRE and saving/investing what we can, we still qualify in our new State for this assistance and I’m all about using resources available to us after starving with no assistance for so long a decade ago!

Medical Costs To Date (15 weeks)

Type of BillBilledOut of Pocket Cost
Doctor visits$1,102$0
Lab testing$3,073 (+NIPT bill is pending)$0
Medical Devices (Breast pump)$249$0
Total Paid after sales tax$6,737$0
Time elapsed 15 weeks

Needless to say, we’re lucky to not have to pay any medical bills. However, I’m sure something will pop up eventually that’s not covered and when it does, we’ll have to negotiate the bill down. The beauty of American healthcare is every bill can be talked down at least 60-70% if not more. In the case of hospital billing, it’s so, so, important to audit everything because they do and may often make billing mistakes. No reason to pay for something you never received! (It’s also billing fraud! Report that crap.)

Cost of pregnancy + baby stuff

We learned a long time ago when we got married not to rely on friends or family for anything. We invited 70 people, mostly family, and only my parents and one sibling showed up. Everyone else who said they’d be there didn’t show up and we almost didn’t have enough witnesses to get married. My husband’s family didn’t care enough to even acknowledge the wedding. A cousin who I sent $80 the year prior for their wedding sent $50 to us so there was that. Of course “friends” showed up to the after party, who wouldn’t? There was alcohol and cake after all. Needless to say I’m still salty because they all showed who they really were that day.

Life tip: show up when you say you will!
Diapers (cloth)$135
Travel Changing Pad$10
Pregnancy Pillow$30
Electrolyte Supplement$55
Maternity Clothing$50
Post Partum$22

Not so bad! We scored enough cloth diapers to last to potty training and clothing to last through 9 months depending on how fast baby grows. I also just found out today that the trip I booked and had to cancel in February was refundable. The agent told me it wasn’t but when I clicked on the credit page today it had a “request refund” button. We’ll be getting back a refund of $463.40 which we can use to compensate for what we’ve already paid or towards the high ticket items we’ll be purchasing during holiday sales.

Cost of large ticket items still needed

Car Seat$140
Diaper Bag$30
Bottle Sanitizer$69
Rocker/Walker + play mat$90

While the cost of having a baby adds up, there’s luckily easy ways to help offset some of the expenses. One is by participating in No Spend Challenges to help build up a fund. Another is buying used from places like the marketplace. Some municipalities also hold county sales where venders and people can bring the items they no longer use to be resold. Garage sales and facebook groups can have great finds too. Otherwise, utilizing holiday sales to get the largest discount of the year on new items simple makes sense. It would be unscrupulous not to take advantage of the season.

We do want to note that while we’re tracking cost, it’s not the end of the world if we spend more or less. This baby has been built into our budget for years now. However, we’re also not going overboard with buying any of the junk society says we “need”. A lot of the cost estimates to raise a child are overblown due to the consumerism mindset (keeping up with the Jones’s of the world). There’s a difference between needs and wants.

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