• Lizzie Hessek

Buns in the Oven Part 5: Kids are Expensive

Updated: Aug 4


Hello! Happy New Year! Welcome back to Queer Martha and, specifically, Buns in the Oven! We're still keeping on keeping on with this whole baby-making party.


When Rachel and I initially began our child-creating mission back on New Years Day 2014, we were a little baffled by the lack of pertinent information describing the process. There are loads of sites dedicated to the TTC (Trying to Conceive) community, but I found a lot of it to be more geared toward emotional support for folks already in the thick of it rather than basic factual information for people just trying to figure out what this whole thing was going to take. Some of my early questions that the internet didn’t seem to want to answer were:

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – can I even get pregnant?

What is the process step-by-step?

When do I buy sperm? Where do I buy sperm? How does the sperm get to my fertility doctor? Sperm is so mysterious.

What is the actual insemination process like?

How much will this fucking cost?

I’m confident that these are pretty common questions when you are starting out since we’ve been asked the same ones by two different couples since I started writing Buns in the Oven. Perhaps one reason it is hard to find answers to the questions is because the answers are all so personal. My PCOS won’t, in theory, stop me from getting pregnant, but that doesn’t mean yours is as benign. The process step-by-step depends on how you choose to go about the business of getting pregnant. That said, I think it’s nice to have a peek at someone else’s experience in order to build your own expectations. I’m certain that queer answers to these questions have already been addressed by loads of small time blog s across the world wide web that are impossible to find via a Google search, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to add one more perspective to that pile in the corner of the internet.

So today we will talk about that last question up there: how much is this going to cost? The price of pregnancy depends on a whole bunch of things; most notably is your insurance plan. We have friends who have insurance that covered everything but the sperm. We have friends whose insurance covered 6 rounds of IVF (which can run around $20,000 in the USA) for free. My insurance is not that. My insurance covered all the diagnostic procedures that were involved in seeing if I was theoretically fertile enough to make a baby happen. This included a hospital visit for a hysterosalpingogram, a bunch of drugs, and all the initial doctor visits. The moment we began actual insemination rounds, the insurance stopped covering me completely.

So we started paying the fertility doctor out of pocket. If you are in the same insurance situation as I am, the price your fertility doctor asks you to pay will obviously also change your budget. The amount of sperm you buy (if you are going the sperm-buying route) and where you buy it from will also alter your financials. The amount of drugs you need, the ovulation tests you end up buying, the train tickets to get to the specialty pharmacy… it will all add up differently for you.


Here’s our financial breakdown: 6 months of sperm from the Sperm Bank of California: $4,329 Insemination Cycle: $1,200 Drugs to stimulate follicle growth in my ovaries: $11 Syringe of medicine to force ovulation: $100 Monthly price of insemination: $1,311

After two rounds of IUI (Intrauterine insemination – for those who haven’t lost hours of their lives on TTC forums, that’s when the sperm is place directly in your uterus), we’ve spent $6,951.00.

This is not including the aforementioned train rides to the pharmacy, ovulation kits, and prenatal pills I am taking because it makes me feel like I am accomplishing something when I feel helpless.

Thank goodness for credit cards, amirite? I just keep thinking about all those reward points we’re racking up. I maintain that if we aren’t pregnant by the time our babymooniversary rolls around we get to go on another babymoon. That’s the rule, right?

I’ll update it as we continue doing this thing, but if you are searching for a rough estimate of how much two months of IUI will cost, I hope this helps!

#BunsintheOven #Kids #QueerFamily

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