Thursday, 31 January 2013

How much does it cost to fall pregnant?

After my recent splurge on pregnancy tests, I've been wondering how much the pregnancy business is worth these days? I know the weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry but surely the baby industry is too. I’ve done a quick calculation of what it has cost me so far and it’s starting to add up!

As women trying to conceive, we surround ourselves with vitamins, pills, ovulation prediction kits, thermometers, sperm-friendly gel and pregnancy tests. I don’t know about you, but I have a collection of all of this paraphernalia in my medicine cabinet. Then, there’s blood tests to check for progesterone and a variety of other things. I came off the pill in May 2012 so I’ve been consuming these various products in one way or another for 9 months . So lets see where my money is going.

Blackmores Pregnancy Gold - $24 per bottle          $96
Folic acid - $6 per bottle                                             $6
Calcium tablets - $22 per bottle                                 $44
Doctor visits - $35 per visit                                         $140                                                     
Blood tests                                                                    $130
Maybe Baby sperm gel - $18 per box of 6                $90
Pregnancy kits - Various costs                                   $128
Ovulation/pregnancy kit - $17                                      $17
Ovulation tests  (given to me)
Fertility program (cost to date)                                    $225

TOTAL APPROX. COST                                           $876.

Guaranteed, $876 isn’t a lot of money and yes, I buy these things by choice. There are plenty of people who fall pregnant without having to spend a cent, but there are also a lot of people facing much greater financial burdens than this with IVF and other such procedures so I’m certainly not complaining about it. My point for debate is why do we choose to spend our money on these things?

I think we’ve been conditioned to believe that unless we take and/or use all of these things, we won't fall pregnant. The pharmaceutical industry has done a stellar job on praying on our anxiety. I can put my hand up as someone who fell pregnant without ever having taken my temperature or peeing on a stick. None of these things actually guarantee a pregnancy so what we are really paying for is the pretence of peace of mind. I say pretence because we lull ourselves into a false sense of security that as long as something tells us we are ovulating, than we must be! However, I don't really see women enjoying much peace if they don't fall pregnant as a result!

As I mentioned a few days ago, I think we are becoming more and more stressed by over-stimulating ourselves with all these tools. And I recently realised I was one of them. I reached the stage where I was carrying my I-pad around with me everywhere so I could put a symptom into my pregnancy tracker the minute I felt it! I realised that wasn't a healthy approach so I've stopped tracking all together. I do believe we would enjoy a much calmer and less stressful process if we weren’t exposed to the impacts of this new technological world. Our Mothers didn’t have access to all of this and they still fell pregnant - they just relied on their own bodies to tell them what was going on.  

My Mother told me she fell pregnant with the three of us as soon as she stopped taking the pill. She was in her early 20s, and the pill wasn’t very strong in those days, but she said she would notice symptoms, wonder if she was pregnant, but just had to wait until her period was 2 weeks late to go to the doctors. She didn’t stand in the supermarket wondering what test to buy. She didn’t have some magical place to go to see what her symptoms meant. She didn’t have little bits of plastic to pee on to tell her when she was ovulating!  

I’ve decided to use the same approach moving forward - no Google, no online forums, no temperature taking and most importantly, no pregnancy tests until the period is late. Basically, if my Mother didn't do it or have access to it, than neither will I! However, there are some exclusions to this rule. Given my Mother fell pregnant between 20 and 24, we need to add some buffering in for me given I'm 37. So I will continue to stay on my homoeopathic fertility program and I've decided if I'm not pregnant within 2 cycles of that, I will go and see a fertility specialist.

I remain secure in the knowledge that my second baby will come along when he/she is ready. In my impatient moments, I repeat my message – “You come along whenever you’re ready because I’m ready for you.” However, I’m quite sure that the cost of achieving that baby will be significantly more than $876. But whatever the cost, I'll be happy to pay it!
Image by moomsabuy
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