Our answers to many questions we’ve already been asked. Don’t find the answer you’re looking for- just give us a shout.
- So, when are the two of you going to have a baby?
- What is In Vitro Fertilization?
- What is ICSI?
- Why the Web site?
- How did you come up with the cost of $20,000?
- Why not adopt?
- Why not wait a few years to start having kids?
- When did you know there was a problem?
- So, what’s the deal? Why can’t you have a baby?
- How did you choose your fertility doctor?
- How does this site help other IVF couples?
- Is my donation tax deductible?
- How do I know you’re not out buying hot dogs and fishing poles with all the donations?
- Can I use information found on your site?
- How do I donate?
- Are you involved with any charitable organizations?
- What about your insurance coverage for IVF?
- What’s going to happen to BabyOrBust once you’ve reached your goal?
- I also want to start a similar blog to raise money for my IVF expenses. How did you get started? Did it work? Any advice you can offer?
So, when are the two of you going to have a baby?
April 26, 2010!! We were so blessed to have a successful IVF attempt in August 2009 and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little girl.
We used to tell everyone it sucked when they asked, because it did. We’d paint these big fake smiles and pretend we’re indifferent when it comes to this baby thing. But now we’ll tell anyone who will listen that we are in fact pregnant and it feels really good to be able to do so.
What is In Vitro Fertilization?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a technique in which egg cells are fertilized outside the woman’s body. IVF is a major treatment in infertility where other methods of achieving conception have failed.
What is ICSI?
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg; this procedure is most commonly used to overcome male infertility problems.
This is the procedure we used.
- We knew we needed a fast and easy way to raise the $20,000. We thought this would be a medium that would allow us to get our cause noticed, be interactive and provide some insight for other couples.
- If you’ve ever been through IVF yourself, you know that the resources available are usually very textbook, and don’t offer a lot of tell-it-like-it-is insight. We wanted to offer that insight.
How did you come up with the cost of $20,000?
As we’ve quickly learned, no two infertility stories are alike. Which means, no two bills are alike. There are so many variables involved that play into the cost.
The estimate we were given by our doctor’s office was $15,200- for ONE round of IVF (that’s assuming it works the first try).
We figured by aiming to raise $20,000, we could cover the estimate, plus any unexpected costs. Also, the money raised on this site will be taxed AND PayPal and Amazon.com each take 2.9% + $0.30 of every payment processed… this will cover that.
Our final bill, all expenses accounted for, was right at about $20,000.
Why not adopt?
This is something we’ve given a lot of discussion to. And someday we hope to adopt. We feel like we have to at least give this baby a try first, so that we don’t ever look back and regret it. Both of our families have been on both sides of adoption- it is a beautiful, selfless act and one day we hope to bring home a perfect child of our own that way.
Why not wait a few years to start having kids?
Boy, were we lucky we started thinking about this when we did (in 2004). We are in our prime years for conception, especially when it comes to the health and viability of egg and sperm. By the time we turn 30, our chances will have dramatically dropped. And 40? The chances are even slimmer.
When we first started trying, we were just excited about the prospect of being young parents. Now, we know that mother nature is working against us, and we’re doing all we can to beat that race.
Our advice? Start thinking about your own parental desires and fertility before it’s too late.
When did you know there was a problem?
We’d been trying to conceive for 17 months (a lot of that time had been both active and non-active pursuits) and things just weren’t adding up. Brandi comes from VERY fertile stock, I mean, impressive fertility here folks!
I finally asked my family practice doctor, Dr. H, during a regular visit if he thought there might be trouble. Dr. H suggested I start monitoring my ovulation via BBT (Basal Body Temperature). Five months later I returned with ovulation charts that proved my ovulation was on track. That’s when the attention turned toward Shelton.
So, what’s the deal? Why can’t you have a baby?
Well, since we’re in the sharing circle… we are in the 25% of infertile couples that suffer from male-factor infertility. This means, the source of our troubles lies with Shelton. His first semen analysis came back with a count of zero. Dr. H told us the lab tech asked him if it were a post-vasectomy sample. That’s when we knew there was a bit of a problem.
Shelton went through a series of, um, interesting exams and tests and they found that he basically has a natural vasectomy. The Vas Deferens, which carries the sperm out of the testicles never developed into an open tube, it’s just a solid mass. So the little boogers have no escape, they’re forever trapped. And there is no way to fix it.
After blood work to determine his FSH level, it showed that he most likely produces quality sperm. But until he has the surgery in which they go in and remove a sample, we won’t know for sure.
We did Shelton’s MESA surgery in summer 2009 and were able to acquire viable sperm.
How did you choose your fertility doctor?
Choosing our fertility doctor, or reproductive endocrinologist (RE) (you’re going to learn some BIG words folks!), was kind of a simple process.
Without leaving the state, or town, there were really only two doctors available to us, and one of which came highly recommended by a friend who had recently given birth to her son via IVF. That is how we came to use Dr. T. We couldn’t have been any happier with our doctor, nurses and clinic staff as a whole. For such a trying and intimate time, they helped to ease the pressures, stress and insecurities.
This is a really personal process… go ahead and offer up any and all modesty as a sacrifice, because you’ll have not a shred left when this is over. That is why we understand the need to have a doctor you’re comfortable with. Had we not been this comfortable with Dr. T from the get-go, we definitely would have pursued other options.
How does this site help other IVF couples?
Oh man, it’s not obvious? By baring our souls… again, it’s that whole no modesty thing. When we first started our journey, the one thing I searched for was that “girlfriend’s” viewpoint of IVF and infertility. I/we wanted to know about the tears, heartache, days you want to pull your hair out, how your insides feel this dark emptiness every time you see a baby, what the shots are really like… we wanted to know the truth. But it wasn’t out there. And the guy’s perspective? Nonexistent.
Certainly article after article of Dr. Biology’s take on the situation is available, but nothing your best friend would tell you over a coffee or barrel of ice cream.
We’re offering our first-hand account of IVF- every emotion, doctor’s visit, dollar spent (and in our case raised). Every last dirty detail. And hopefully, someone else just like us, will stumble upon it and say “Hey! That’s how I feel!” And maybe be able to take away with them more information than they started with.
Is my donation tax deductible?
We aren’t accountants, but we’re pretty sure it’s not. And for your sake, we wish it were. Truth is, we’re paying taxes on all those donations, too. Unfortunately, we’re not a non-profit or charitable organization- just a husband and wife who desperately want a baby.
But, in our wild dreams, we hope this site really takes off. And like we’ve said on the site, if we’re left with extra money, we’ll share the wealth. And who knows, maybe then we can become an organization.
How do I know you’re not out buying hot dogs and fishing poles with all the donations?
Does a pinky swear cut it? We know you don’t know us, but we’re just honest like that. We promise that every last cent is going straight to our medical expenses. We’re clearly displaying every cent earned and every cent spent.
Can I use information found on your site?
BabyOrBust.com is protected under U.S. copyright laws. Any reproductions of any original content, ideas, images, logos, or any other proprietary information, etc. may only be done so with the written authorization by Brandi and/or Shelton Koskie. Otherwise, it’s considered plagiarism and theft, which we don’t think is very nice, and actions will be taken to have the duplicated content removed from your site or other media. Brandi and Shelton have worked very hard to personally write each and every word you see on this site and prefer to keep this incredibly personal, intimate and public account of their story right here on BabyOrBust.com.
In February 2010 we pulled the donation page down. The goal in starting BabyOrBust.com was to ask the generous people who visited our site to each donate $1, contributing toward the $20,000 we needed to do IVF. In August 2009 we did our IVF and paid for the services in full, both with donations and our own money, thus removing the need to continue receiving any donations. If donating to an infertility-related cause is something you would really like to do, we encourage you to offer your support at Resolve.org.
Are you involved with any charitable organizations?
We’re big fans of giving. We know we live a very blessed life and give appropriately wherever we can. Brandi has been mentoring a young girl since 2005, and she is now very much a part of our family. We’ve been involved, together or separately, with Special Olympics, Bowl for Kids Sake, United Way, Salvation Army, Kiva, DonorsChoose and many other charitable organizations and projects.
What about your insurance coverage for IVF?
Haha, you’re funny! No, seriously, our insurance only covers about $500 of our fertility treatment expenses. That was used at our first appointment… check please! Unfortunately, few states require insurance companies to cover fertility treatment. RESOLVE offers some great info regarding legislation on this topic.
Now, once Brandi’s got a bun, or two, in the oven, maternity coverage kicks in.
What’s going to happen to BabyOrBust once you’ve reached your goal?
It’s not going anywhere! We ended our fundraising efforts the summer of 2009 and continue to blog our pregnancy story and will continue to share as we make the transition to parenthood.
I also want to start a similar blog to raise money for my IVF expenses. How did you get started? Did it work? Any advice you can offer?
This is probably the most common question we receive. Our very frank and honest answer is always as follows:
1. We got started by throwing caution to the wind and hoping for the best. We reached out to a dear friend who runs a web development company and he generously designed, built and supported the site for us. It was important to have a very professionally-designed Web site.
2. We had a unique story. At the time we were a novelty, no one had ever done this and so the human interest story became quite appealing to major media outlets. We also had great personal and professional contacts in the PR/media community who were able to help us gain a lot of exposure quickly in Web, print, radio and television.
3. We think it worked. We were able to raise nearly $6,500 in three years, money that we were able to use to alleviate some of the financial burden of our $20,000 bill. We didn’t reach our financial goal, but we were able to tap into the fertility community and become a resource. We’ve received thousands of emails from couples in our shoes thanking us for our candidness, and we’ve been glad to be here for them.
4. Other advice? Don’t expect it to be the end-all, fix-all. Have a plan b. Be patient. Grow a thick skin, because not everyone will be fond of your idea. Be transparent. And remember to take it one day at a time.