Big decision! Career Advancement or Fertility Treatments?

Recently, my husband and I were faced with a very big decision.  Although we’ve been TTC for several years, we’d never gotten close to even considering IVF until about a month ago.  After several failed, monitored clomid cycles and 2 failed IUIs, we took a 2 month break from fertility treatments over the summer to mentally and physically rehab and agreed to not talk about fertility treatments (although we did agree to take some natural fertility supplements over the summer – from GNC – I’ll write more about this product later).  

Finally, after 2 very quiet months of not talking about what we really wanted to talk about most, we started seeing a new RE and undergoing a few additional test and a monitored cycle to try and get out of this unexplained infertility category. They thought I may have hypothyroidism (nope!) or Endometriosis due to painful periods (still do not know for sure).  Finally, we had our long awaited results debrief with our RE, and he gave us an estimated 85% chance of success with IVF (at $10K plus meds I was able to secure for less than $2500 through Avella Speciality Pharmacy! Isn’t this low?!) or about a 5-10% chance with doing another injectable/combo IUI (at about $4K/month due to injectable med cost vs. just Femara or Clomid).  Immediately, we decided that IVF seemed like the only logical option with those odds, albeit these are only an estimate with no guarantees.  We scheduled our nurse consult and IVF seminar with the embryologist for the following Wednesday to get the ball rolling.  

The same day, I also received a call from a recruiter about my dream job!  Well, this job required a bit of travel, but was an executive level position in the industry I want to be in and comes with a huge pay increase – pretty dreamy for a 29 year old.  I met with the 3rd party recruiter and he wanted to schedule me with the president of the company for, you guessed it, the same day as my IVF seminar and nurse consult.  I almost turned down the interview, and then subsequently contemplated cancelling the interview up until the very last minute.  The interview went better than I could have wished for and he offered me the job on the spot with a very tempting pay package.  I expressed my extreme gratitude for the opportunity, and told him I’d need some time to think about it over the next week.  After the interview, I drove across town to the IVF clinic for the consult and seminar.  How could I be SO EXCITED about both options?!  How could I even consider taking this job when what I’ve desparately wanted and pursued for the last 3 years (a child) is finally, hopefully right at my fingertips!?  Do I even know what I want out of life?! 

Well, despite all good economical sense, I declined the job and chose to instead invest more money into fertility treatments rather than make nearly twice as much money in the next year.  I’m really money smart, huh? 😉  

My older sister who is an OB GYN surgeon and working mom of 2 boys, encouraged me to read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which I found to be an interesting read for working moms and moms to be who are in leadership positions (although it did not convince me I could or wanted to “do it all”). My husband and I had made our decision.  At the end of the day, at the end of our life, what is more valuable?  Wealth or a legacy?

Sure, we can probably have both eventually, but we’ll have to find another route.  The wealth part is definitely going to come second to the legacy part for me.  I am very much at peace with the decision, and was very open and honest when I turned down the position.  I told him I had chosen to pursue a life-changing decision to start a family at this time in my life, but that I would love to have discussions with him regarding future openings on his team.  He was very receptive to revisiting in the future, and respected my decision and honesty.  

Well, the good news is I also talked to my current boss, and they are making a new position for me that will actually be a nice promotion as well as a move to a direct contributor position (rather than my very stressful job managing a team of 6).  More money, less stress, no responsibility for others, and also a dream of mine to obtain this particular job title/role. I proposed it and they were completely on board.  I am very comforted that although I turned down a seemingly much better position, I was able to be real with my boss and the executives at my company, and they moved mountains to support me and keep me here in this next chapter in life (fingers crossed I’m able to begin that chapter soon!).

Isn’t God’s timing funny?  I found this particularly odd yet also perfect timing for God to present me with these opportunities.  If I’d been offered the job 2 months ago, I would have accepted it in a heartbeat and just rode out the natural approach to fertility – wait and see, because at the time I thought we’d exhausted our resources and energy for treatments.  So grateful for His perfect timing, and I pray that a child from this upcoming IVF cycle is in His plan for us.  

Have you had to make big, confusing career decisions related to your pursuit of fertility treatments?

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7 thoughts on “Big decision! Career Advancement or Fertility Treatments?

  1. I can absolutely empathize with being pulled between advancing your career and wanting a family. It feels impossible to be fully committed to both. I think that “leaning in” can apply to any and all goals you have in your life and at this point in time you’ve chosen to “lean in” the most to being a mother. Wishing you loads of success both in your desire for a family and in your career.

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  2. I just made a huge career move in the midst of all of this. I started looking at what my life was going to be like in a few years when I actually HAVE a baby, and realized that it wasn’t the right place for me. So after 4 1/2 years, I quit. You have to make the decision that is best for you, and it seems like you have. Good luck with your IVF journey!!

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    • Good for you! Thanks for commenting. Yes, I think it’s important for our infertility journey to make sure we’re in the right place for it all to happen. The downside might be the what if this doesn’t happen part, but I know that we will all find a way to make it happen. For me, if IVF turns out to be a dead-end, then I am open to foster and adoption. I’ve definitely got to have a good worklife balance for that to happen and at the end of the day, if will make me happier regardless of my parental status..

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  3. The cool thing is that you now know what you are capable of and that others see you in that role. 🙂 Sounds like you have worked hard to get where you are and others see it too. Now you can focus on family and let work advances come later. 🙂 I love it. And congrats on the offer and promotion at your current job!

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    • I think she appreciated Susan’s perspective on the issue. I do see my sister as a super woman type of mom because she’s juggled a pregnancy and newborn during medical school and residency, and also later while managing her own clinic. If you asked her, she’s probably strongly disagreem and tell you about all the guilt and the dark times associated with trying to do it all. I think she and I both struggle with the idea of “having it all” and would become stay at home moms in a heart beat, but she likes to encourage me to consider my options. The book did not convince me at all, but I still appreciated her perspective. I’ll share the article with my sister. Thanks for sharing with me!

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