Today’s What It’s Like feature shares the real life look at what it takes for many people to attempt to start their family. I was introduced to Shannon a handful of weeks ago and have been so inspired by her strength and persistence in helping others find the funds to try for their family. I urge you to read her story and heart below, and also check out Nine 16 Designs as a wonderful way to give back to the infertility community.
(Pssst, we are even running a giveaway over on Instagram today – Friday, so hop on over and enter to win a gift certificate to Nine 16 Designs!)
Without further ado, here’s what it’s like to fund raise for fertility treatments!
Those are not the prices for a new car, or a down payment on a house, or even a super fancy vacation.
Those are the costs of infertility.
That is what some people have to pay just to try to have a baby.
Right now, there are only 15 states in the U.S. that require by law, for insurance companies to cover the cost of fertility treatments. That means that for those that aren’t lucky enough to live in one of those states, all that cash will most likely be coming out of pocket. I don’t know about you, but I sure as heck don’t have $20k in my piggy bank. Couples and individuals who are faced with the diagnosis of infertility are doing whatever is humanly possible to pay for their treatments, their medications, the procedures, doctors fees, and every little thing in between.
How?! Well, credit card companies love the infertile, that’s for sure. Mortgage companies too, because sure, let’s just take a second mortgage out on our house to pay for this. Have anything that’s super meaningful to you, but worth a lot of money? Might as well sell it, because you have to pay for your medications.
These are the lengths that some couples go through to have a family. The worst and absolute punch to the throat about all of this…you aren’t even guaranteed a child in the end of it all. Then what? You’re out of money, exhausted, and are literally back at square one. You just have like $30,000 in debt to pay off somehow.
My husband and I personally know the financial struggle of fertility treatments, as we were diagnosed with infertility in the Spring of 2017. We are one of the lucky ones to have coverage for most of our treatments, medications and procedures. However, we still get bills for what isn’t covered, and let me tell you, regardless of the amount, it still puts stress on us.
When I started Nine 16 Designs, all I wanted to do was have something to distract me from the stress of IVF, but I soon fell in love with what I was doing, and as we grew, I realized I wanted to do something that could not only make an impact, but also help out as many people as possible. I had gotten to know so many couples or individuals going through fertility treatments, mostly through social media. I had heard so many of their stories, and unfortunately even more of their struggles.
It was then that I decided to launch Project 1:8.
Project 1:8 was started with the goal of spreading awareness about the struggle of infertility. Every few weeks, we pick a couple or individual and share their story across social media. After two weeks, we donate a portion of our profits to the couple to help them offset the medical costs that come with this heartbreaking diagnosis. We also accept direct donations, which go right to the current couple.
Why 1:8? One in Eight people are diagnosed with infertility. Which means, most likely you know quite a few people who have been handed this card. I have spent a lot of time reaching out to so many different people, asking them to help us spread the word, share their story with us, and if possible, post pics of our stuff on their profiles. We have done several collaborations with well known Instagram accounts (the larger the following, the more people the word gets out to!) We host giveaways, guest write on blogs, and just do anything that will get the word out about our business, and what it is we are working so hard to do. We’ve reached out to the local news, newspapers, businesses, radio stations and more. None of them have responded, but I have faith that we will get through to them eventually. (I’m EXTREMELY persistent)!
We have only been doing these campaigns for a few months, but we’ve been able to raise around $3,000 for our applicants! We are always taking submissions, and we won’t ever turn you away! It is our hope to work with everybody who has applied. Although we may not be a super popular business, or have the ability to donate thousands to people who so desperately need it, we know that every little bit counts when you are trying to pay for your treatment and medications.
As we grow, it is our hope that we will reach so many more people; we don’t want anybody to ever feel alone in this process.
Shannon and her husband Matt own and run Nine 16 Designs. They make a point to come up with designs and styles that women and couples in the TTC (trying to conceive) community can relate to, and we want to do as much as we can to help out, and spread awareness. She lives in Oxford, Michigan, loves the Detroit Lions, country music, brewery hopping and her husband! Check out her shop here and follow her on Instagram at @nine16designs.
PPS – If you’re ever looking for a devotional on living life while in a waiting season, check out the devotional I co-authored called ‘In the Wait’!
PPPS – Check out the other contributions from this series, including What It’s Like: to experience multiple IVF cycles, raise a child with special needs, use an egg donor, be a DIY-er and home style blogger , be a NICU nurse, Live fully in singleness while still hoping for marriage, suffer with endometriosis. experience depression, start a company, have a micro preemie, lose a parent, be childless not by choice, have a spouse with a chronic illness, and live overseas. Stay tuned for many other amazing topics to come every Tuesday and Friday here!