Back in March, I asked you for your opinions. We really loved the advice. If you want to look back at it you can check it out at: Please vote: Minnesota or Florida? Most of you agreed that if our infertility journey was over, we should go to Florida, and we agreed with you. Up until our failed IVF, we were leaning to Florida.
After much discussion we believe we have finalized our list.
So, without further ado ... here it is:
1. Civilian residency (Mayo Clinic)
2. Eglin Air Force Base (Northern Florida)
3. Southern Illinois
Some of you may be surprised, and in fact, as of about six weeks ago, I really thought #1 and #2 would be flip-flopped. Our three major reasons for trying to go to Florida: family, weather, and salary were huge and seemed to be over-riding our reasons for staying. We felt that we were choosing to stay because it was easy.
So what changed our mind? Very simply, our journey through infertility. Here are our reasons for choosing to stay:
- We originally thought we would wait until after our frozen transfer in September. However, then we found out JB had to make a decision by September 8th. We will not know if our next procedure has worked by then.
- We currently have Mayo Clinic insurance which pays 50% of our infertility costs. There is currently a huge debate in our country about whether insurance should cover infertility. My insurance will cover anything that is related to annovulation (my MRI on my pituitary etc.) but the fact that they cover 50% of baby-related treatments is more than a lot of woman currently have.
- If we leave, JB will make double the salary, however, if we stay, I will be able to continue working (even to a limited degree), and we will save a lot of money on infertility treatments. We feel like this would basically equal the pay difference he would have in Florida.
- If we go to a military base, we will have military insurance. Unfortunately there is no infertility center on any of the bases we could go to and the waiting list to get into the military's IF program is over two years long (and is located in San Antonio.) We are not even sure if military insurance covers this at all.
- If we have frozen embryos at Mayo, we will be "forced" to keep using Mayo Clinic but will have to pay double the price for every treatment and travel to do treatments.
- If our treatment in September was to work, we would be have one or two children under one month old when it was time to leave in June of next year. While we would be 9 hours from family if we went to Florida, that is quite a long way. Here, we have good friends that would be our support especially if we have multiples.
- We plan to continue to pursue infertility treatment for at least another year. However, as I have mentioned before, adoption is definitely in our future, we just aren't sure when. Mayo Clinic offers a $10,000 adoption credit if we choose to adopt. In addition to the $10,000 from Mayo, our government currently offers a $10,000 tax refund which would help us adopt at a relatively low cost. (The average cost of adoption is currently about $20,000 for a newborn but this varries greatly.)
- Staying in Rochester will limit the stress in our lives which is definitely important. We will live close to where JB works, he will not have to learn a "new system" when he starts residency, we will have friends close by (the Rays, hopefully the Jones etc.), and we will not have to move and prepare for everything associated with that.
If the military says yes, JB would enter the "civilian" match in March of 2007. Being as he is going in to Family Medicine, he feels pretty good about getting a spot at Mayo, however, we would actually have to have "back up" civilian choices. Maybe Miami? :)
So we have decided to request that the military will let us stay in Minnesota. We have been told by numerous people that due to my health issues, and the fact that JB's training would continue at such a prominent facility, we stand a good chance of getting our request. However, I definitely want to note that the "needs of the Air Force come first."
If the Air Force denies this request and sends us to Florida, while we would be slightly disappointed, we will not be devastated even slightly. Better weather, learning the Air Force "system" of medicine, being closer to family, more money etc. all intrigue us and offer positive aspects. Even Illinois would mean we would be less than 4 hours from our old stomping grounds in Kentucky/Tennessee and still six hours from our Chicago family. D.C. would promise an "adventurous" opportunity to live in our nation's capital, and with any of these locations, we would have the extra money to return to Mayo to continue treatment.
What would change our minds between now and September? Well, the only thing would probably be if the Lord blessed us with an unexpected pregnancy while not pursuing treatments -- a miracle of sorts. (We continue to believe this is possible!) Another thing that would cause us to change our mind would be peace. If the Lord was tugging us somewhere else, we would listen.
So, there it is. I ask that you pray with us that the Lord takes us where he knows it will be best, however, the morning after the Wilsons left, while we sat at our table by our big window, we both said at the same time that we felt that this was best. We hate the weather and we hate how far we are from family, however, we both feel that the peace of being able to continue dealing with my health and our hope to have a family at Mayo was worth those two things.
We wanted to tell our parents before I posted this on the blog, but now, it is out there. I don't think I will be posting any time soon that we have changed our minds. We both feel really good, and JB said he now has more time to get things done around our condo!
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Josh's song is currently at #10. Remember, you can vote every 24 hours. Would you vote again if you haven't lately? Let's get it #1!