Alexis Stewart IVF discussion gets ugly: Can you spend too much for a baby?

One of our regulars sent me a link to a People.com story she was reading about Alexis Stewart (Martha Stewart’s daughter who hosts “Whatever Radio” on Sirius.) After five years of extremely expensive IVF, Alexis has finally had a baby through a gestational surrogate.  She talks in the article about her struggle and how much she spent and the comments got nasty fast. Here’s the gist of the article.

From People.com:

“Getting Jude was lucky,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’m happy, but this has been rough.”

“And how: since deciding she was ready for a baby in her late 30s, Stewart, 45, has seen several doctors and at one point was spending up to $27,000 each month for IVF procedures and an additional $6,000 for medications…”

“ ‘This is my other job that I don’t talk about,’ says the host of the Sirius radio show Whatever with Alexis & Jennifer. ‘But if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford it and you have time, what’s the downside?’ ”

As we know from this blog, commenters can judgmental and quite quickly.  By the second comment it got ugly. Here is a sampling of the complaint and the defense:

“Wow, $33,000 each month?? For how many months?? So, I guess if you have the money you can just buy a baby.

I can’t imagine her daughter would like to hear about this when she’s older.

- Katie on June 7th, 2011”

“What a lovely picture. Motherhood agrees with her. I am happy for her. It isn’t your money so what do you care? Jude, for a girl, has grown on me.

- MaryAnne on June 7th, 2011”

“@Katie why??? she wanted a baby so badly she did whatever she could. When her daughter is older it will probably make her feel good to know her mother wanted her so desperately. Same goes with any adoption in my opinion. Those are lucky children to know you are loved and wanted and cared for.

I feel sorry for the children that are born into families “the old fashioned way” and have never been wanted they just exist.

BTW i know an awesome girl by the name of Jude.

- Becky on June 7th, 2011”

“She did not “buy” a baby. Due to a physical condition, she was unable to naturally conceive, but wanted to be a mother & enjoy raising a child. Yes, she is fortunate enough to have the $$ to have costly medical treatment. (jealous??) Keep your gloomy hostile take on life to yourself. p.s. Macy! I love shopping at your store!!!

- Jane on June 7th, 2011”

“If she can afford it, why not? I’m sure if a lot of us were able to afford over $25K in fertility treatments every month and we’ve been trying to get pregnant for years, it wouldn’t be an afterthought.

Congrats to Alexis and her new addition!

- veraroberts on June 7th, 2011”

“As someone who has gone through the IVF process, I find it extremely hard to believe that she was actually spending $33,000 each month on this procedure. Even if I hadn’t had insurance to cover something like this, it would’ve cost half that much! I’m glad everything worked out in the end for her though. It’s painful to want a child so badly and not be able to have one.

- Elizabeth on June 7th, 2011”

So what do you think: Just a troll on the blog trying to create drama or does she have a legitimate point? Can a family spend “too much” on IVF? Is IVF buying a baby? Is it none of anyone’s business and people can spend their money however they want?

The poster I agreed the most with was this lady that said how great Alexis look for being 45!!

“Beautiful picture, baby is so cute! But name Jude for such cutie baby girl hmmmmmmmmmm sounds too strong for a girl, in my opinion. And oh my god Alexis is 45 already!!!! And Martha’s going to be 70 this year (looked it up on Wikipedia hehe)! I think they both look really good!

- Elena on June 7th, 2011”

32 comments Add your comment

TallMom

June 10th, 2011
1:07 pm

I think it smacks of someone with jealousy/money envy issues.

I do have to agree with one of the commenters though…I know MANY people who have gone through IVF and other fertility treatments and NEVER did it come close to $33K/month…even without insurance. Either she got seriously ripped off or she exaggerated the cost for some reason.

Kat

June 10th, 2011
1:09 pm

Her money, her choice what to spend it on. That’s all.

Kat

June 10th, 2011
1:21 pm

This post is from the original “Kat.” :-)

If she has that amount of money to spend on a baby, then more power to her. I just cannot believe that it could cost that much money – I am shocked. Apparently, there are less costly avenues of IVF. The baby is beautiful and Alexis looks amazing!

bisnono

June 10th, 2011
1:27 pm

These people need to mind their own business. Infertility is painful enough to go through without people judging you for receiving TREATMENT for a MEDICAL CONDITION. Honestly, would you tell a cancer patient that they spent too much of their own money on treatments?? Didn’t think so!! The people making the negative comments should be ashamed. And the ones coming down on her for spending the money are probably the same people whose response would be “why doesn’t she JUST adopt?”. I’ve always found that to be a stupid question, the response to which should be “why don’t YOU just adopt?” I’m not sure why fertile people think it’s the duty of infertile people to adopt, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a child that is biologically yours and if you have the financial means to obtain the medical treatment necessary to get there, I have no problem with that. It’s easy for a fertile person to tell an infertile person to just do this or just do that, but until you’ve walked in their shoes and know how it feels to go to baby showers for 15 years while you’re dealing with infertility or living through the hell of multiple miscarriages, you have NO right to tell someone what they’re doing is wrong/irresponsible/whatever and you would do well to keep those thoughts to yourself.

Chris

June 10th, 2011
1:42 pm

Good grief…..I am so tired of people posting such negative sentiments about every stickin’ article on the web. So many people are so quick to judge/condemn/belittle every thing. Walk a mile folks, walk a mile and then see how you feel. I wish her the best….this little one was obviously wanted and the cost is immaterial in the end.

So what if she spent $33k a month on IVF!!! When you want to be a parent you will pay anything. I adopted my daughter 2 years ago and trust me every agency is different in their pricing so I am sure the IVF docs are the same way. Not all of us can have a child the old fashioned way (oh if it were only that easy). We have to pay. Does it feel like we are buying a child? Honestly, sometimes it does BUT this is the avenue planned for me by God. I had to pay for the services rendered (smile).

jarvis

June 10th, 2011
1:45 pm

What’s wrong with buying a baby?

shaggy

June 10th, 2011
2:06 pm

It’s her money.
She can easily spend that much, or more, money on useless things like drugs, running for congress, building a rocketship in her back yard, running for senate, digging a huge hole, filling the huge hole back up, running for govenor, searching for alien life beyond Buford highway, running for vice-president, resurrecting the “Edsel” brand, running for president, buying lottery tickets, contributing to political parties, having The Rolling Stones play at your birthday…wait that would be way cool and priceless.

Ellen

June 10th, 2011
2:08 pm

Nothing better than a WANTED child. Unfortunately, not all of us are so lucky.

Becky

June 10th, 2011
2:16 pm

I don’t have any issues with her spending that much money if she had it to spend..There are a lot of worse things that she could of spent it on..I’m happy for her that she finally has the child that she has been wanting…

@shaggy..Yeah, having the Rolling Stones play at your birthday party would be cool..Saw a t-shirt last night that I’m going to order for my sister (4 yrs. older than me) it says..I may be old, but I got to see all of the good bands..

catlady

June 10th, 2011
2:19 pm

It is her money, and presumably none of us are financing her desire to have a child. This gets a giant MYOB unless she expects the rest of us to pay for it (a la octomom).

Hopefully the surrogate was 100% and didn’t have any qualms. That is what would worry me.

And, as for the name, will the baby be called “Jood’ or “Judy”? not our business, either.

catlady

June 10th, 2011
2:20 pm

Becky, where did you see it? I want one!

Becky

June 10th, 2011
2:23 pm

@catlady..In a magazine that came in the mail..I will get teh info and get it sent to you..

catlady

June 10th, 2011
2:25 pm

I haven’t heard anything about this, but hopefully there is a father in the story, too? And he is just as thrilled?

catlady

June 10th, 2011
2:30 pm

She sure got her figure back quickly! (chuckle)

Hannah

June 10th, 2011
2:34 pm

I, personally, do not believe in IVF, and believe if you’re going to spend a ton of money to have a baby then you should put that money toward adoption for a child that is already in the world.

RJ

June 10th, 2011
2:40 pm

I have mixed feelings about this, but ultimately it’s her life. I just think that there are so many kids waiting to be adopted, I can’t fathom putting myself through what she did. I also don’t agree with women choosing to be single moms, if this is the case. But since the kid is here and healthy, good luck to her.

bisnono

June 10th, 2011
2:45 pm

@ Hannah and RJ – if you’re concerned about the kids waiting to be adopted, then by all means, feel free to adopt them yourselves and give them a wonderful home. No one is stopping you.

light

June 10th, 2011
2:47 pm

Let God will be done thru this blog http://lightoftheearth.blogspot.com/

Hannah

June 10th, 2011
2:48 pm

I’m 22 and not yet married, I’m waiting for my boyfriend to graduate from college. With all of the concern over whether Alexis is a single mother or not, I figure that’s the answer you want. But then yes, once we’ve been married a couple years, we plan on starting the adoption process. Thank you.

Big Daddy

June 10th, 2011
2:52 pm

@ jarvis,

Nothing wrong with buying babies. Heck, I sell them all the time. Got a 2 for 1 special right now too! Sorry, twins are NOT guaranteed. Meet me outside Grady near the dumpsters…..and bring cash!!

Becky

June 10th, 2011
3:16 pm

@Hannah..Good luck with that one..Based on the people that I know that have adopted, plan on being a Mom when you are about 30…

@catlady..Yes, she did, but Pink didn’t..Pink is the only “celeb” that I’ve seen pics of after the birth that still looked as if she was about 3-4 months pregnant..

Hannah

June 10th, 2011
3:41 pm

Haha, yeah, maybe we should just go ahead and start it the day we get married.

bisnono

June 10th, 2011
5:02 pm

@ Hannah – In addition, many adoption agencies look at income, home/lifestyle, health of both parents, etc. when considering your “fitness” as a potential parent, so unless you both have good jobs right out of college, then it may or may not be possible for you to start the process immediately if you want an infant, and Becky’s right-it’s NOT a quick process and after years of waiting and thousands of dollars, there are couples who end up with broken hearts and still no children, so with adoption there are no guarantees of success either. If you don’t mind an older child who may have special needs ranging from health/developmental disabilities to mental health issues, you may have more luck adopting from within the foster care system. My parents did that when I was 13 and our family grew by 2 when we adopted my youngest brother and my sister (I also have a middle brother who is my biological brother). But to do that, they had to be foster parents for two years, go through classes, etc. to be certified by the state as “fit” parents, then go to court and through that process. It wasn’t quick, nor inexpensive, but they wanted to have more kids. My little brother was 5 when we adopted him and could barely speak a complete sentence, and my sister was 6 and was used to being the one in-charge of the 3 younger kids in the foster home she’d been living in. Neither of them knew what pancakes or scrambled eggs were, had never had new clothes, couldn’t remember if they’d every had a birthday cake. I remember just feeling so fortunate to have had my parents when I compared my life to where my new brother and sister came from, and just thought my parents were angels for wanting to adopt them. Adoption can be a wonderful thing, but it’s not for everyone, and if it’s a choice that works for you and you want to go that direction, just go into it knowing that you’re in for a ride that will probably take you to unexpected places of both joy and heartache, with no guarantees.

Shannon

June 10th, 2011
5:10 pm

As someone who is currently pregnant with an IVF baby, I say good for her! And yes, there are clinics out there that charge that much. Especially if she was going to a fertility center that catered to the privacy of celebs. The negativity comes from people who are 1) ignorant about what the IVF process entails (as I once was) or 2) jealous that someone has that kind of money to spend. I bought my baby and am proud of it. Otherwise, my husband and I would never have a child of our own.

1sus

June 10th, 2011
6:54 pm

I also have 2 children from a variety of fertility treatments. We considered adoption and researched both avenues and chose what was best for our family. She probably didn’t do IVF EVERY month at $33,000 a pop, but yes, it could have cost that much. If she has the money and chooses to spend it on that . . .more power to her. I’m sure this child will be cherished and well taken care of. Isn’t that what we would want for every child? Everyone should have the option to choose the old fashioned way, adoption or fertility treatments to add to their family if they wish. Sadly, some of us only have the latter 2 as a choice. Good for her! And as for being a single parent . … if she has the means to care for this child who was wanted so much, it will be much better off than so many children in 1 or 2 parent families who were not chosen. No one else’s business, in my opinion.

Jeff

June 10th, 2011
7:19 pm

You are correct that it’s their money. But at some point you should ask if God really wants you to have kids. I would just wash it away as “I love you and will be with you, but it seems kids aren’t meant for us”.

mom2alex&max

June 10th, 2011
7:42 pm

I’m just annoyed at people that say “why don’t you adopt” like it’s that freakin easy. Adoption costs THOUSANDS of dollars. Probably WAY more than any IVF treatment.

catlady

June 10th, 2011
7:53 pm

Becky, she didn’t actually CARRY the baby (in her heart i am sure she did) so that she looks so fit should be no surprise. I was being TIC. I am guessing, with no bags under her eyes, she probably has quite a bit of help to cut out those pesky middle of the night feedings and other parts of what the rest of us experience.

bisnono

June 10th, 2011
9:03 pm

@ Jeff – oh, OK, so God decided that SHE was unworthy and should be infertile, but yet the same God blesses a crack addict with 8 kids? REALLY, THAT’S what you think?

So, by your argument, someone who is ill should not seek treatment but just resign themselves to it being God’s will that they be sick? Or maybe someone who is poor should just accept that it’s God’s will that they be poor and not try to better their situation? Should anyone facing a tough situation just bury their head in the sand and accept it as God’s will?

djm_NC

June 11th, 2011
9:11 am

becky i want that tee shirt too!!! thats great!

jan

June 11th, 2011
4:40 pm

We have our noses way too far into other people’s business. So what!!! She spent a huge sum of money on IVF. It wasn’t MY money, so it isn’t MY business.

ChrisA

June 12th, 2011
1:15 pm

Everyone’s the expert on someone else’s life and bank account. News flash – for some of the more complicated conditions the fertility docs will charge more. They are in the business to produce high success rates to attract more patients. So if you have a complicated condition with slim results, they will charge more to make-up for the “impact” to the clinic numbers. After 1 unsuccessful IVF round, my doc charged $75K for the next round (insurance only covered ($7K).