Procreating Peacocks

I didn’t mention this in my last post, but Dr. GG said something during my conversation with her that I didn’t really think about in the moment. She said people are often surprised at the lengths they’ll go to to have a child.

Being friends with Scott for more than a decade before we started dating really cut down on a lot of the whole “just getting to know someone” junk. Plus, Scott’s fave hobby isn’t kayaking, so we were already on the right track. I mean, here was my bud, who I’ve known since we were wee early twenty-something babies working in local news, that I now get to make out with any time I want…well, sorta. Scott and I were long distance for pretty much the entire time we were dating. (Los Angeles to St. Pete, FL so not even a few hours drive away!) We got to see each other here and there thanks to his abundant frequent flier miles from flying all over America casting for Undercover Boss and my work trips to produce HSN concerts in Vegas or L.A. (Yep, the Home Shopping Network did concerts! Lionel Richie was my fave one with Jason Mraz being a close second!) I moved to Los Angeles two months after we were engaged, and we were married seven months later. Whew! Long distance is obviously not ideal for the physical side of a relationship, but it was great for super “deep” phone or FaceTime convos about all kinds of things. One of those conversations was about having children (or actually, child…even before RR said we’d only have one…harsh much?) and what that might look like for us in the future. We were on the same (possibly naive) page from the start. We would like to have one kid, and if that couldn’t happen naturally, then we wouldn’t pursue fertility treatments and use whatever money towards adopting. Then, NBCUniversal changed all of that.

NBC helped shape my childhood and adolescence (outside of TGIF on ABC)…at least for a little girl who wanted to grow up and work in TV. Blossom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Golden Girls, The Cosby Show (yea, yea…I know), A Different World, ALF, My Two Dads, 227 (Jackee!!!), Charles in Charge (ugh, another groan), and SAVED BY THE BELL (!!!!) were the fundamentals of my impressionable years! (Google: Oh, geez. Just all of them I guess? — Also, I didn’t just sit in front of a TV all the time btw – dance classes, piano lessons, took golf lessons for a hot second…we had a pool, bikes, lots of neighborhood kids to play outside with…no worries!) I’ve watched the TODAY show religiously since my early 20s and I love all things Willie Geist (Google: well, Willie Geist). My bachelorette party was themed “Saved by the Wedding Bell” (shout out to my little sister, party planning extraordinaire in the silly pic below).

I am an NBC junkie and also an employee now. While every job has its ups and downs, I truly pinch myself whenever I’m taking someone on a golf cart tour around the Universal lot or when the L.A. recruiting team heads to 30 Rock for our annual team offsite. It is a dream to work for a company I’ve admired since Zack Morris had his giant cell phone.

Here’s Scott and me (ok, mainly me) preppy-ing it out at The Max – Saved by the Bell pop-up here in L.A. See the theme here?!

Being an NBCU recruiter, we may know more about the company benefits than the average employee since we speak to them with candidates on a daily basis. I knew NBCU had fertility coverage, and a bit of what it was, plus I knew NBCU would also help with some adoption costs. I had no idea the extent of the fertility coverage though and how it would potentially reshape what Scott and I had initially decided as our plan for a kid.

I’m hesitant to write about this because I know not everyone has the same monetary access to fertility treatments that I found out Scott and I do, but I want to be as upfront on here as possible. I know many women/couples experience all the same medical stressors we are currently experiencing *plus* have all the additional money stressors on top of it. I know there are so many women/couples who have to make really tough decisions about fertility treatments based solely on money. I also know women/men/couples have to make equally tough decisions when it comes to the cost of adoption. It breaks my heart to think the dream of having a child may never come to fruition for some because adoption or fertility treatments are so expensive and so often both are not options you can explore within your company’s benefits. The world, and especially the United States, also needs to catch up on so many things when it comes to women’s health. Here’s a very simplified sentence for a very complicated conversation: Personally, I also think it’s completely gross affordable’ish (but, is it really?) healthcare is directly tied to your employer, but this isn’t a forum for “Jessica’s Political Views on Healthcare” so I won’t get into all that here. While I applaud the effort to make sure everyone has access to healthcare whether through their job or not, Scott and I had individual market insurance when I first moved to L.A. and it is neither affordable nor adequate coverage considering what you pay for it. I’ll vote, march, donate, volunteer, and continue to do whatever to help support the women’s causes I believe in with all my heart. What I want to acknowledge here is Scott and I are in a fortunate position at this point in time when many are not, we completely know it, and we do not take it for granted in the least. I also want the word to spread about NBCU’s fertility coverage so more companies add it to their benefits packages. As long as somewhat decent’ish health insurance is tied to our jobs, our respective companies should look at us less as numbers on a page and more as human beings with lives outside the company’s walls. Pipe dreams…

Insurance talk makes people’s eyes glaze over so I will keep it simple. NBCU’s fertility insurance covers a lot. We definitely have out-of-pocket costs too, but NBCU takes a significant financial burden off our shoulders when it comes to fertility. To me, it feels like we would be absolutely crazy to not pursue whatever fertility path we are told to follow because of NBCU’s coverage. I knew when I left Dr. GG’s office that the labs and clinics she works with might not be under NBCU’s “Center of Excellence” plan. A “Center of Excellence” is an NBCU-approved fertility clinic that meets significantly high standards when evaluated by NBCU. Well, I guess it’s technically all Comcast-approved (parent company), but I’m still going to write NBCU. A COE (Center of Excellence) has to have a substantial track record of success when it comes to all things fertility to be a member of NBCU’s plan. I called and received the download on all things fertility insurance and found out about the three COEs nearest to where we live. None were right around the corner, but my options were Pasadena, Encino (Wheezing the juice! Google: Encino Man. Wheeze the juice.), and Beverly Hills. I had a bit of time to do research but, if I’m completely honest because I was just overwhelmed with everything at that point, I didn’t really do that much research and I picked the one closest to us that didn’t involve getting on a freeway. Beverly Hills, that is…swimmin’ pools, movie stars… (Google: The Beverly Hillbillies. Opening credits.) We don’t live in Beverly Hills by any stretch…just so we are all on the same page.

Upon further research after picking my COE, I discovered our fertility path was going to cross with one of the most famous families in the world and supply Scott and me with endless jokes to ease the tension around whatever lies ahead…life in L.A. is bizarre sometimes, but I’ll save that for my next post.

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