“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off”
I was revisiting today a podcast that I did last year with Laura Coleman from Family Money Coaching. It’s such a great episode! (Listen to the full episode at the bottom of the page) One of the stories I touched on was the time a new Dr. really made me mad.
My husband and I had been doing fertility treatments for years at this point, and had a successful IUI, but it ended in a miscarriage. I was desperately wanting answers about why I might have lost the pregnancy, and what we needed to do moving forward. We went to consult this new, highly recommended, doctor to get his thoughts.
He was very blunt to say the least. He questioned why we hadn’t done IVF yet.
“Because it’s an insane amount of money, and we don’t have $20,000 to spend” I told him.
He told me it was strange that I was worried about the cost. He said in his experience, the husbands were usually the ones concerned about money. Very rarely did women come in and say the money for IVF was what was stopping them.
I blamed my hyper focus on my degree in finance, and told him I wasn’t much of a gambler. The truth is, my husband was fine with the cost of IVF. I was the one who was stressed about gambling our life savings on a chance at motherhood.
So there we were, talking about money to this wealthy doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona.
He openly discussed being rich, and complained a little about his ungrateful kids. Then he started reminiscing about his days as a poor medical school student, when he and his wife would go to garage sales and buy clothes for their children.
He said he genuinely missed it.
In that same conversation, he also told me that he felt like there was “something bigger” going on with me. That there was a sort of “cosmic reason” for my struggles with infertility.
I was so annoyed. I was in the middle of the darkest time of my life, the most stressed I had ever been. There was this Dr. telling me I “shouldn’t be stressed about money, being poor was more fun anyway, and that was all happening for a reason”. Who was he to give me a “silver lining”?
Once I calmed down, I started to consider what he had said. It was so strange to me that a rich Dr. would nostalgically reminisce about being poor. That he, as a man of science, felt there was a spiritual reason for my struggles. I started to consider “What if he’s right? What if this “money stress” has nothing to do with money? What else could it be about?”
When I walked out of that consultation, I was pretty pissed off with him.
It took me 5 years to realize he was right.
After a multitude of experiences, painful and triumphant, including paying cash for IVF, using the same skills to pay off $50K worth of debt, then building our savings back up, I started to realize that he was right. My resistance to paying for IVF hadn’t been about the money at all.
The truth is,
Money issues are never about money.
Money has no inherent meaning. A pile of money, sitting in a room by itself, doesn’t mean anything. You could shut the door, never see it again, and no one would know the difference.
We give money it’s meaning. What it represents to us, how we think of it, what it symbolizes…that is where the true power lies.
Eventually I realized, for me, it was about control. Which is really common with my clients as well. During fertility struggles, you can’t control what is going on with your body. You can’t control if the IUI or IVF will work.
It can also represent hope. That money you are so stressed about spending, is your hope. For me, it wasn’t really about gambling $20,000 worth of money for a chance at motherhood. It was about gambling all of my hope. We would only have one chance at IVF. It would be take everything we had. Thoughts like “What if I spend all this money and it’s for nothing? What if I don’t ever become a mother? How can I live with that?” were the thoughts that really kept me up at night.
If you’re stressed about money right now, ask yourself these questions:
“If this wasn’t about money, what else could it be about? What does money symbolize to you? What meaning are you attaching to it?”
It’s really important to get to the root cause. Once you do, you can do the work to move forward and feel better quickly.
It’s always interesting how many clients I have that either have the money for IVF, or live in countries that pay for fertility treatments.
Those clients are just as stressed about finances as my American clients who are paying out of pocket. Which just reaffirms to me, it’s never REALLY about the money.
When you consider what else your money stress could be, what comes up for you?
If you need help figuring it out, or deciding what steps you need to take to address the underlying issue, let me know. That’s what I do as a The Fertility Finance Coach! Fill out a few quick questions HERE to get a free 20 minute call. AND don’t forget to get your FREE copy of “15 Crazy Ways to Make Money for IVF” plus my number one visual savings tool!
Full Episode Here: Does Your Money Personality Say Yes to IVF?