NCFF BOARD MEMBER
CEO, Golden Valley Bank
My story started in the late 1980’s when we first received the bad news that we were not going to be able to have kids the old fashioned way. It was barely 10 years since the world’s first test tube baby, Louise Brown, had been born in England so in-vitro fertilization wasn’t a topic widely discussed, as you might imagine. Learning about it was really an exploratory project! We did not know anyone who had ever done it and there wasn’t very much information or knowledge of the process available locally. We were very lucky that the Northern Nevada Fertility Clinic had recently opened an office in Sacramento.
After plenty of research and about a year’s time we decided to go ahead and go for it. One of the biggest decisions we had to make was the cost. A lot of money for someone just starting their career in banking. But we got lucky. I was working for Bank of America at the time and they were very progressive with their health care plans. They covered in-vitro fertilization! Still plenty of out of pocket expenses for a very expensive procedure, but the majority was going to be covered by insurance! What a relief.
Even though it was 26 years ago and I’m sure the technology is far better, from what I hear many of the same procedures are done in a similar manner today. But this is how early on in the process we were. We had some complications and had to have a procedure done at the University of San Francisco Medical Center. They were very serious about discussing the procedure with us and made us sign paperwork letting us know that what they were going to do had been done less than 100 times. Less than 100 times . . . ever . . . in the world. You can imagine how surprised and concerned we were. But it needed to be done to ensure the success of the pregnancy.
This past summer one of my test tube twin daughters got married. A lot of reflection about how we got here. Emotional reflection. All of the things that had to happen, had to line up perfectly for her to be born and for me, at that very moment to be walking her down the aisle. Back in 1991 that $13,000 in out of pocket expenses seemed like a huge amount of money (and it was!). But as I handed her off to her new Husband standing at the end of that aisle, I again recognized that it was the very best money I had ever spent.