Monday, 21 September 2015

Infertility: why I'm glad I live in New Zealand

There are many reasons I'm glad I live in New Zealand - though today, the weather is not one of them! But these are the infertility/no kidding reasons why I'm glad I live here:
  1. IVF/assisted reproduction here is regulated, protecting both the child and the mother from unscrupulous operators.
  2. IVF is publicly funded for two cycles (provided you’re under 40 years of age, and transfer only one embryo), which isn’t as generous as Australia or Canada or many European countries, but is still much more generous than so many other countries in the world (including of course  US).
  3. New Zealand is not a religious country, so we don’t have quite the same emphasis on church and family that throws up a lot of situations causing pain for others.
  4. Our first female Prime Minister had children, but our second didn’t, and it really wasn’t much of an issue (unlike the misogyny and vitriol that rained down on No Kidding Julia Gillard in Australia), reflecting perhaps a society that is (relatively) open to difference.
  5. We have a social welfare system that, although it isn’t particularly well-funded, will still provide care for us in illness or our old age if we need it.
And last, but certainly not least,
  1. We don’t have baby showers.


21 comments:

  1. Wow, no baby showers! As if I didn't have enough reasons for wanting to live there! ;)

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  2. Not a religious country..what a wonderful place is New Zealand. No doubt it is peaceful. In my part of the world, religion is so high on the order that it comes in the way of living life peacefully.

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  3. New Zealand sounds like my kind of place! I also love Julia Gillard. An Aussie friend turned me on to her a couple of years ago and that woman is tough as nails. Also, no baby showers sounds like heaven. Also, not being a religious country has a particular appeal too.

    Here in the US it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. If you don't have kids people look down on you. If you utilize ART to get pregnant people look down on you. But then again, a certain political party seems hell bent on taking women's reproductive rights back a century or so...

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  4. We have many of the same reasons/items here in Finland. Baby showers didn't used to be known, but in recent years more and more are following example from the US.

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  5. Wow - no baby showers! And no religion sounds like another plus. All it seems to be doing of late is complicate lives.

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  6. New Zealand sounds like a great place; not religious AND no baby showers!? Wow.

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  7. WAIT, no baby showers?!? Amazing!!

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  8. Re: #2, each Canadian province (there are 10 of them) is responsible for its own health care, including policies for IVF & other fertility treatments. There are only a very few provinces that provide some funding of IVF treatment. Quebec had a comparatively generous program a few years ago, but it proved to be far more popular than expected and last year, the government made a move to significantly scale it back. The Ontario government has been promising to fund fertility treatment for years, and made it part of their election campaign last year (they won), but so far, there hasn't been any progress on the issue, and their proposal would only cover one IVF cycle with a single embryo transfer. And I believe Manitoba offers a tax credit that covers some of the costs. That's about it.

    http://www.conceive.ca/2014/12/10/ivf-funding-in-canada-a-changing-landscape/

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-proposes-to-pay-for-in-vitro-fertilization-1.2605403

    When we were doing IUIs (some 14 years ago now), the IUI procedure itself was covered by our provincial health insurance, including all RE visits, ultrasounds & bloodwork -- but we paid $350 for the sperm wash. (??!) The drugs were not covered. I had a lifetime maximum of $1500 fertility drug coverage through my supplementary workplace health insurance plan. Of course, I blew through that in less than a week, doing injectables. I can't imagine it's any better now.

    I am definitely jealous of your lack of baby showers...! ;)

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    1. Thanks for the clarification, Loribeth. It must be very frustrating to find that where you live in the country determines whether you get assisted reproduction/IVF access or not. It's essentially a postcode lottery - I know this happens in the UK too.

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    2. Here's a (non) progress update on the Ontario government's IVF promises from this weekend's Globe & Mail:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/couples-left-in-limbo-as-they-await-ontario-ivf-funding-decision/article26552433/

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  9. Good reasons. Though we don't have baby showers either. I've never been to one. It's a cultural thing; we only have naming ceremonies after the baby is here.

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  10. Hey... wait a second... I just Googled New Zealand and Baby Showers and hundreds of sites popped up (http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/articles/baby-shower-ideas/). Maybe they're having them on a different part of the island?

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    1. I would note that all those sites are business sites - in the same way that Valentine's Day and more recently Halloween were for years promoted by businesses (florists/costume places etc) long before NZers began to adopt them, I suspect the same is happening with baby showers. (Cursing the spread of certain aspects of US culture!)

      I've never heard of anyone having one here - none of my friends and family have had one, and I've never heard of my younger friends and family or any younger colleagues having them or attending them. They certainly aren't common, though may be creeping into the culture. It is customary to give a gift, but usually after the baby is born.

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  11. New Zealand sounds amazing! Countrywide IVF funding, even if only for two cycles, is incredible. And no public judgment for not having kids AND no religious bent in government? SOLD.

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    1. OK. I wouldn't say there's no public judgement for not having kids. Just that it may be less than you experience in the UK or very conservative societies!

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  12. Yep, no IVF coverage in our province. One cycle of IVF drugs is now about $5K - $6K. Lovely, eh? I know a cousin who lives in New Zealand. Really, no baby showers?! Wow.

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  13. You guys don't have baby showers? That sounds like heaven to me.

    Despite my moaning about our government, I do have to agree with you there that they are generous when it comes to what you can get back for ivf cycles (at the moment anyway).

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  14. Since I never tried IVF here, I don't know how it goes. I haven't been invited to any baby showers here, either, so I don't think it exists here. I'm also glad that living here means that people don't pry too much on our private lives (that consists of breeding/the lack of) whereas if I lived in Indo, we'd definitely get more pain triggers/bombs as breeding (or the lack of) is one of the acceptable chit-chat topics.

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  15. To many more of these posts and you might have a lot of new friends living near you, Mali! Oh, and that No Kidding old folks home we discussed? Definitely planning a New Zealand location for that!!

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  16. It can be so easy to forget the positive sides of where we live. Australia will cover multiple IVF yes, but not much of the cost is actually covered- unlike most other procedures it has a maximum cost cap (about a third to half the cost is covered).
    Baby showers are a growing thing here but I think it is the result of US media

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