Here are notes from the networking event we held in Austin, Texas, in March 2010.
A big topic was the “can I afford it?” dilemma raised by one of the Thinkers. Several Moms chimed in with insight. One newly pregnant Dallas woman pointed out that many medical insurance policies in Texas don’t cover maternity — which amazed me — and that she was proactive about asking her doctor about every fertility cost to expect but still got surprised with expenses that had never been listed. Insight #1: We concurred that telling your clinic that you are paying out of pocket, with cash, can lead to discounted prices and avoidance of some automatic procedures.
One woman who spent a lot of money, time and energy trying to conceive warned Tryers to have a goal in mind: I’ll spend this much, then try something new. If you don’t set a jump-off point, she said, you can get into a vicious cycle of “just one more.”
Many women in the room are looking for creative solutions to leave the corporate world, as I did, in order to have a more flexible work life with child. Read more about that, and other tips from the event, here.
Local SMC coordinator Sheri offered to help our guests from San Antonio and Dallas find more women on this path in their more conservative areas.
Thanks to California Cryobank sponsorship, our three-hour afternoon session started off with a great lunch at the Barton Resort & Spa, where we got acquainted. We adjourned to the next room for more intense conversation as a group. Time went quickly as 25 of us talked about our fears, challenges and the practicalities of the Choice Mom journey.
After the event, a few of us went to the great Moonshine Grill in downtown Austin and cruised 6th Street (not too much cruising though, one of us was quite pregnant :-). Thanks to sponsorship funding from the local Stress Reduction Clinic, our meal was largely paid for.
Overnight guests took advantage of the $100 spa gift certificates offered to them by California Cryobank, which has enabled Choice Moms to gather in so many places over the past few years.
Originally I had envisioned the Austin gathering as a group of perhaps 12; it surpassed my expectations by doubling in size. Even with a small group, not all shopping for sperm, CCB is always on board, investing in the quality and integrity of these events. I always appreciate their support, which has allowed me to do so much more than I would otherwise be able to do with the community.
Our first Choice Moms weekend retreat had more local participants than overnight guests, but it was a fun model.