Unpacking our Backpack

This blog chronicles our personal experience which comes with its own quirks of challenges and advantages.

Note: This post will be occasionally updated to reflect our current status. Feel free to reach out if you have questions about a previous version. Most recent update: November 2014.

I want to explicitly acknowledge some of the ways this process is easier for us than for some others. It doesn’t make it “less” of an experience that I have these things easier, but I need to remember to be mindful of how we have it differently than other people.

I’ve focused on fertility-related advantages in this post, but we have others I’m glossing over (we’re white, middle-class upbringing, post-secondary/graduate-level educated, and English-as-a-first-language speakers (in Canada), just for starters).

Family structure

We are a cis heterosexual married couple. The system was invented for us; consent forms that name the male partner “husband” are correct for us and no one has questions about how we are going to mix our genetic material. We are the default. Not only does this open more doors for us from a biological point of view, it makes the process much easier to navigate psychologically when we easily fit into a doctor’s, technician’s, or therapy group’s idea of what a couple struggling with fertility looks like (indeed, that we are even a couple and not an individual patient).


Money is not a barrier to treatment for us. While we may need to delay the plans we had for our savings, that is nothing compared to needing to ask for help or even having to stop because we can’t afford it. We even have some help since a portion of our medication costs are covered by our supplemental health insurance. Whatever the specialists prescribe, we have the means to try. That freedom is rare and amazing and probably the biggest factor which puts our experiences apart from others’.

Additionally, in both provinces we’ve lived in, most tests are covered under our public health plans so the diagnostic stage amounts to under $1000.


We are both able-bodied and have no chronic health problems. Fertility is our only concern at this point and we have no preexisting conditions that are contraindicated with any treatments that may be prescribed.

Urban Setting

In both cities where we’ve needed specialists, we’ve had access via public transit in under 45 minutes to full-service clinics. We’ve also been able to afford other transportation for time-sensitive appointments (again demonstrating our financial and accessibility freedom).


Although we struggle with the fact that we are behind in our own timetable for the future, medical science has over a decade to work with before it gives up on us. We may never reach our original goal of four children but all the experts believe we have sufficient time to create at least one biological child. If we decide not to continue or if we exhaust the biological route, being younger offers us a possible advantage in the adoption process too, if only in the form of time before we feel too old to be parents.

Scheduling Freedom

I am currently working as a homemaker and my husband’s job not only provides flexibility in work hours but also paid time off for appointments. Generally, we can take any appointment that is scheduled for us without worrying about losing pay or making up time (and generally feeling unreliable when I can’t even predict which days I’d need off, since my cycles are just irregular enough to make interventions complicated).

I welcome feedback on this list from anyone, whether you have spotted something within my posts I haven’t caught or if you know me personally and can think of something that might not even show up explicitly on the blog.

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