This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 8 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.

Episode 81: Egg Freezing: Asking Your Partner to Split the Cost

We talk about this quite often, infertility impacts 1 in 8 with 1/3 of that reason being female factor, 1/3 male factor, and 1/3 combined or unexplained. What we don’t talk about often, is how when it comes to egg freezing, the financial burden typically falls entirely on the female.

In today’s episode, copywriter Kelsey Formost discusses her decision to ask her boyfriend to contribute financially should she decide to preserve her fertility. But not only did Kelsey have that difficult conversation with her partner – she opened up to the world when she shared her story.

Kelsey’s story was met with both overwhelming gratitude and judgmental, hurtful comments. But she chose to look at the positive. By sharing her story, she’s able to show others they’re not alone and help people broach this topic with their partner.

Guests: Kelsey Formost, Copywriter, and Infertility Advocate

Host: Dan Bulger

You can find Kelsey’s story in Glamour, here.

For more information visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility.

Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at thisisinfertility@progyny.com.

Here are some highlights from this episode:

Approaching the Subject
7:42 – 9:28

Dan Bulger: It’s a conversation that many women out there have likely thought about having with their boyfriends, but maybe weren’t sure about how to go about it.

Kelsey Formost: It started out as a conversation just about planning for a family in general and a relationship timeline. We’ve had the conversation, and have been together not quite two years. And we’re pretty darn sure we are each other’s people and that engagement and marriage is in the future. But we also knew that having children is a much bigger decision and a lot more responsibility and was going to be a couple of years down the line for both of us. And so, in talking about that relationship timeline, the conversation turned to fertility and freezing my eggs because like I said, I’m in my early 30s, and while it’s not to a point where it’s like, I have to freeze my eggs. It’s one of those things where you just you need to find out as much information as you can before you make a decision at that magnitude. So as we’re talking, and I’m telling him things that I think are common knowledge, because I talk about egg freezing a lot with my friends, my female friends who are also in their early 30s or late 20s. And as I’m talking to him, I’m realizing he has zero idea about any of this. And he’s a very wonderful, open, receptive, woke young man. So, our conversation was extremely pleasant.

The High Cost of Treatment
12:06 – 13:36

Kelsey Formost: It’s a socio-economic issue as much as it is a gender issue. And it’s not really something that we’re talking about. And I think that cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Dan Bulger: It’s is cuckoo for cocoa puffs! So let’s get into it.

Kelsey Formost: I do not have insurance coverage that will help me with any sort of fertility treatment. So that means as a legally single female, who has spent a decade out of college building a career, I have my own business. I am debt free, and I have this small nest egg that I’ve been saving with the spot of thinking, okay, that’s for maybe a house someday or to invest in my business and it’s modest, but I’m very proud of it. Now, I’m faced with this situation in my early 30s – Do I now deplete myself of everything I’ve saved over the past decade, and potentially go into debt to freeze eggs I might not even use? So that’s why I took the conversation to my boyfriend, who is very, very likely that we will end up married and planning for a family eventually. And he agrees with me that that price tag is pretty ridiculous for one person to have to take care of themselves.

Vulnerability on a Public Stage
16:06 – 20:47

Dan Bulger: I want to give Kelsey a special shout out here for not only having this conversation with her boyfriend, but also for writing about it for the entire world to read, it’s a vulnerable thing to put yourself out there, especially on the internet.

Kelsey Formost: So when the Glamour piece came out, I was much more nervous than I thought that I was going to be, even though I’m an open book, even though I love talking about hard things, and especially if I have an element of mental health. I also knew that people have very intense beliefs about fertility planning, and family planning. And that’s great. Everybody should have their own opinion. And absolutely, they’re entitled to that. No one’s opinion is the right way. It’s just about what’s right for you. So, knowing that I was talking about it this subject in general, made me nervous. And when the Glamour article officially came out, the overwhelming reaction was one of gratitude. And it was so moving. These women were coming to me, total strangers with these deeply intense personal stories, and what I realized was this article was doing exactly what I had set out to do, which is to help people feel heard. And not alone. And that’s the beauty of sharing vulnerability.

Dan Bulger: The Internet brings people together. But unfortunately, it can also be an ugly place sometimes.

Kelsey Formost: I’ll tell ya, I literally had to go throw up after I read a handful of those comments. I was being called a gold digger. I was being shamed for my personal choice of how I wanted to plan for a family. I was being called names that I won’t repeat. My physical appearance was being criticized which was crazy because there wasn’t even a picture of me in the article. It was absolutely devastating. And of course, my initial reaction was, I wish I’d never written it, I wish I’ve never shared this, people are horrible, and you know, downward spiral depression for like, a couple of days. But then the messages of positivity kept pouring in from other avenues. And I realized that those are the people who are important. That change is so much greater and have so much more value than people whose minds I was never going to change in the first place. That really helped me get through what potentially could have set me back quite a lot.

Host

Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children. 

Guests

Kelsey Formost, Copywriter and Infertility Advocate

Kelsey Formost is a copywriting expert and mental health advocate who helps entrepreneurs learn to write words that sell. She’s been featured in Business Insider, Glamour, Refinery29, Boss Babe & more.

Kelsey’s easy-to-understand copywriting courses have helped take struggling businesses to six figures and beyond, but that’s not really what’s important. Kelsey’s mission is to de-mystify the process of communicating with an online audience, helping entrepreneurs feel empowered and inspired every time they need to write or speak about their business (and also, yeah, make more money in the process).

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Jahzzar
Track: Family Tree
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/
Track: Clap Your Hands
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Kai Engel
Track: Brand New World
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: All the Answers
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Track: Sad Miramba Planet
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Track: The Secret to Growing Up
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Track: Completely Lost
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Meydan
Track: Underwater
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/