Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Six Bucks for a Dozen Clucks!"

I’ll give $100 to anyone who knows where I got the title of this entry (please note, offer not legally binding). Actually, it’s a quote from the original miniseries “V,” from back in 1983. In it, a street hood named Elias (played by Michael Wright), takes advantage of the booming black market brought about by the alien invasion and starts trafficking in eggs and other staple products. This, of course, is before the tragic death of his brother turns Elias’s life around, and he joins the resistance.

But, this entry is not about seminal TV shows from my slightly geeky childhood (even though I was, and am, obsessed with “V”). No, it just happens that this is the quote that kept running through my head when I found out the price for egg donation through Donor Egg Bank USA. All I can say is, I wish we were talking about six bucks. But the reality is far, far different. Yesterday, I made a transfer of $48,000.00 to DEB USA for the chance to get pregnant through egg donation. And, hey, that was a discount because I did wire transfer. Otherwise, it would have been $50,500.00.

So, what does this obscene amount of money get me? Well, one way or another, it should get me a baby. Here’s how it works. As part of the Assured Refund Plan, I pay this boatload of money up front, but it gives me up to six cycles of IVF using egg donation. If at the end of those six cycles, I don’t leave the hospital with a healthy baby, then I get my money back. The advantage there, is that, if I don’t end up being able to have a baby of my own, then I can use that money for adoption. So, one way or another, this $48K should result in a child.

The sticking point is that, if the egg donation works the first time, I’ll have basically paid about 2 ½ times more for this than if I had just paid for a single cycle. That’s a lot of money that I could use for other things – like health insurance, medication, etc. But, what choice did I really have? Given my history, I can’t count on it working the first time. It could still take multiple cycles. If we get to three cycles, then I come out ahead financially. Not that I want it to go to three cycles. Also, if I had gone with the single cycle, there would have been no refund. If it didn’t work, I would have just been out the money. So, I’m trying to take Keith’s advice, which was, “If it works the first time and you have a baby, you’ll be too happy to care about the extra money.”

Too true. I told Keith that it was a good thing that I know I really want this, or that money transfer would have been really painful! In fact, maybe that’s the true test. When I found out how much it would be, it never once occurred to me not to move forward with the process. Never once did I say, “This is too much money. It’s not worth it. I should just stop.” Yeah, it’s a lot of money. But it’s totally worth it. And I won’t stop until I have a baby. And I swear, when the kid is giving me grief as a teenager, I won’t say, “Do you know how much money it cost me to even have you?! Show a little gratitude and respect!” I won’t. I swear.

Of course, all this means nearly depleting the last of my financial resources from Mom and Dad, so the big move is now upon me. I’ve made some decisions in that area as well – in part of necessity, and in part based on desire. Financially, I’m not going to be able to keep this place past the fall, now that I’ve forked over the $48K for the egg donation. I’ve made contact with my old realtor about putting it on the market in about a month. But, because I’m not working full-time, I would have trouble getting a mortgage (had a long talk with my current mortgage broker about it). I would net enough from the sale of this place to buy a bigger, less expensive place in Westchester or Riverdale outright, but that would not leave me enough money to live off of while I raise my baby.

Now, I’ve said from the beginning that being home with my baby is not something I’m willing to sacrifice if I don’t have to. And, if I plan well, then I don’t have to. Mom and Dad have given me the wherewithal to make this work. I just have to get creative. So, I’m going to sell this place and rent a house in Westchester for a couple of years. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of renting because you don’t build equity, and you basically have nothing to show for it at the end. But, there are times when renting is a good short-term solution, and this is one of them. Renting allows me to retain the bulk of what I net from the sale of this place and invest it. It also gives me the freedom to make another decision in a couple of years about where I want to live once I have my baby. I know enough to know that I can’t make a decision on a more permanent home for my child until I actually have that child.

It would probably also make sense not to choose a more permanent home until I know for sure where I will be working when I make the transition back to full-time work. And, yes, on one level I do mean where in New York. If I get a teaching job closer to (or in) the City, I’ll want to live closer to the City. But, if I get a teaching job further north, I might consider living further outside the City – not too far, mind you. I’m just talking Northern Westchester or Putnam.

But there is also the possibility that I might relocate again. A part of me would like to go back to England, but there is a bit of a “Been there, done that” aspect to going back there. I think I want something different. A strong part of me has always felt a pull toward Southern California, particularly the LA area. That’s mostly because of my desire to write for film and TV. Being closer to the industry hub might help those pursuits. But there’s also the weather to consider. These Northeast winters take their toll (this one was relentless). Sun, palm trees and beaches year-round has a definite appeal.

Would I live there permanently? Who knows? I don’t do permanent anymore. Permanent went out the window when I lost Mom and Dad. So did my concept of what “home” means. There’s really no reason for me not to pick up and move to wherever I want to. If I have my child and my dogs, then what am I leaving behind? Yes, I’m leaving behind Keith – and he would be the main reason to consider not relocating. But, we don’t see each other all that often, since he lives an hour and a half away, and it’s not like I wouldn’t come back to NY for visits, and to go to Friends Lake (which would be the other reason not to relocate). And, since he works from home, there’s always the possibility of his coming out to California to visit me.

At any rate, that whole discussion is pointless right now, as I won’t be moving to the left coast for at least two years, if at all. But, it’s kind of nice to plan. It’s an amusing exercise, as I know full well what happens when I try to plan things! All I know right now is that my half-dozen clucks (not even a dozen!) will ship to RMA on Monday. When I get back from hanging with the fishermen in Oklahoma, visiting the family in Tampa, and cruising the Caribbean for my long-awaited Spring Break, then it’s go time again!