Sharing Your Future Family Experience - Lauren & Natalie
Meet Future Family members Lauren and Natalie from Stockbridge, Georgia. Lauren is the co-director of a local preschool and the financial controller at her church. Natalie has been a teacher and sports coach for over 19 years. With Natalie by her side, Lauren underwent 3 cycles of IUI and 1 cycle of IVF. Lauren is now pregnant with a baby girl!
What made you decide that Future Family was the right option for you?
Lauren: There were three financing companies we were looking into, and we immediately nixed one because they didn't do any medication coverage. They would give you money, but you couldn't use it for medications and those are a major expense in this process. So I was looking at you guys and another one and probably what got me was Ryan (Fertility Finance Specialist) who is on the front lines. We just filled out the simple pre-approval application to see what we could possibly get. Immediately, that night he reached out and introduced himself ‘I’m with Future Family. I would like to talk to you guys more and let you know about what we can offer you.’ That other company, I didn't hear anything from them and it seems like more of a straight up loan, and that's it. Because they don't specialize in fertility loans.
I think Ryan got me big time. In our call with him, he went over everything. It just made complete sense to go with the company who specializes in this. Plus, he gave us background on your founder, and that the majority of people who work for Future Family have had some type of personal experience with infertility. It seemed like, ‘Well, if you've been through it, then you know. You're probably gonna get much better customer service because they understand exactly what you're going through.’
Natalie: Yeah, we had a really great conversation with Ryan. I think the whole package makes sense, but he really brought us in. It's the people in your company. They really drive this and are all the moving parts of everything like ordering stuff and staying on top of everything. Ryan, that night, was super nice and took his time talking to us. When you personalize things like that you're gonna get people to want to work with you.
Lauren: Especially because we had no education until now. We knew we needed a loan, but the only kind of loan we've ever needed before was a car loan. So it's a little bit different, right? So just being there to provide that education that we needed, we were sold.
Did you consider using another type of loan or credit card?
Lauren: Yeah, we had thought about getting a personal loan and previously had some credit card debt that we had recently got out of. I was not getting back into that. While it wasn't a lot, we weren’t doing it again because it used to drive me absolutely insane. So after getting that debt paid off we said, this is not something we want to do again. We didn't even know that fertility loans were out there. We were thinking more along the lines of a personal loan through our credit union or something like that. So we started realizing that there were other things that we could do. That fertility loan was the only other option that we were going to look into.
We are faith-based people and doing this process was more financially stressing. We prayed about it a lot and it felt like God was going to lead us down the right path, and it was like right after that, Future Family came into the picture. Ryan went over what we would qualify for, what we could get, all of our documents, what we would be paying monthly. And when we heard that number, it was like that's it. We can totally do this, we can pay over that some months so that just solidified everything.
Natalie: It was just a seamless process and the numbers added up. So it just made sense. It was like everything just aligned and when it lines up like that you just want to go with that.
How was your experience with Future Family?
Lauren: It's been nothing but wonderful. One of the greatest services is that you're gonna have a fertility coach available to you while you're going through this process, and I can remember looking at Natalie and asking ‘why would we need one?’ Because we had such great nurses that were so responsive to us at the clinic. So we were just like, ‘Oh well, okay, you know, that's a perk we’ll probably never use but alright, thanks for letting us know.’ Yeah, but our opinion changed on that real quick after we met with Laura and we had our call with her.
Laura is fantastic and has a wonderful personality and she's hilarious! We text like we're friends, I said, ‘you could either win an Oscar or you truly do care about your patients!’ Because I mean, she is so dedicated to what she does. And there were so many times that she would remind me, ‘Okay? Let me know how your appointment goes today,’ Before I even said it, I knew I was on her schedule and everything. Some of those questions you don't want to feel like you are bugging your nurses, but you've got things going on in your mind that you forgot to ask. And we always knew that we could reach out to her and ask her anything. And she gave us so much advice and just eased our minds about so many different things. You know, we're pregnant now so we're kind of off of her schedule but she says we can keep in touch, so we're really happy about that. And using MDR as the pharmacy, our fertility clinic actually is a partner with them as well. So we got a bigger discount being RBA patients and Future Family members. The fact that you all are linked up with MDR pharmacy, we don't have to worry about anything; the bill is paid, everything is just seamless. You guys thought about everything.
Natalie: Just every little part that goes along with your company makes sense. Laura became like part of our family. And this journey is such an important part of our life to a child. The fact that we had someone like Laura is a huge selling point. If I could push that even more for people, that alone is priceless. It really is really priceless and while we reached out to our clinic for certain things, honestly, Laura was on speed dial with Lauren. As far as texting wise, when we would receive news about certain things, appointments, and we got the pregnancy news, Laura was one of the first people we reached out to. We thought about our parents, of course and our family, but then it was Laura. That just shows you how meaningful that relationship is. Obviously it's her, but it's y'all. Y'all invest in the right people in the right place. And you really know how this is an important journey. You probably have tons of clients but you make it feel like it's about us and that is how a good company is run.
What makes the fertility coaches at Future Family different?
Lauren: You don't realize you need it until it's there. You've automatically had somebody that becomes your biggest cheerleader and your Google anytime you have a question. She was so knowledgeable about anything and everything we asked her about. Even when we had a question about finance, which I realize we weren’t supposed to ask about, she would get the answer for us. You notice there were no limits to what she could find out and convey for us. There was never a time where she said ‘Oh actually that's the billing department and you can follow this link to get there.’ She made us comfortable and we trusted her right off the bat and it eased our minds through every single appointment. We loved the honesty. We loved the peace of mind that she provided. And just knowing that she was in our corner cheering for us on every single thing.
Natalie: There's so much you can find on Google but you end up getting more confused because there's so much information. You can call your fertility clinic but you may have to send them a message, and ours was great and we're very thankful for that, but maybe they'll have to get back to us. But it is not like they're going to call us back, they might send us a message. With Laura, she was like ‘anything you need.’ People don't realize that when you go through something that costs a lot of money and is so emotionally and physically draining as it is– all that stuff is so much easier when you have someone like Laura. Knowing that she was relieved about all the questions and whatnot– that is huge and you cannot put a price on that.
Lauren: I can't tell you how many times I reached out to her, sending her a text knowing that it was late and wouldn't expect to hear back from her until the morning. I get the automated response back. And not 10 minutes later, she had sent me a text back. So, she truly was there any time I needed her, within reason. Laura became part of our family. And I love the relationship that we have. I love that she allows us to keep it open and we can still chat with her and send her updates. She says that's one of the best parts of her job.
Natalie: Another thing that you all do really well, that people don't understand, is all the moving parts that go along with her fertility. As far as, this calls for this direction and another thing a different direction; you all make all these directions go into a one one lane way and it's so easy. And so when you do something like that and you make things easy for people that have enough going on in their life. And you make this process seamless, whether it be with ordering the medication, or the moving parts of the funds. It just all works together and that cohesiveness that you have with the company and in adding in Laura, it just makes sense and it just works. For people that go to another company that only says, ‘Here's your money. Good luck. Figure it out,’ you are completely missing out on a company that really invests in their patients and really cares. Yeah, it takes a lot of the responsibility off of us, having to do our research and figure out all this stuff because y'all have already done it all. It would be one thing if you promised something and you couldn't deliver. But from the get-go we have found out that on every single turn, everything that Ryan said has come to fruition. So everything has been as it was promised and as it was stated, nothing was oversold. Every expectation that we could have had was met and exceeded and I mean Laura's fantastic but you, Future Family as a whole, is just fantastic.
Did you encounter any barriers along the way?
Natalie: Being a same sex couple, I think things could be easier. There are still barriers like insurance and that sucks and it hurts. We are legally married now, and I'm very thankful for that, but there are so many more of us who are married that want to have children and can't. And things are made more difficult when you could make it a little bit easier, because you're making it easier for heterosexual couples. Hopefully more ground will open up on that avenue.
What advice would you give to others going through this process?
Lauren: It's much easier to go through if you have faith. The doctors can give you all the stats, they can give you all the percentages, but you just have to know that everybody's case is completely individualized. You've got to take everything as it comes. We took the mindset of not taking everything to heart. Not taking it personally. We were going to keep doing what we needed to do and keep a positive mindset, taking each day as it comes and keep pushing forward. And that's really what we did. We just took it one day at a time. I mean three failed IUIs before IVF, is not fun and midway through that, I had a night where I felt like a failure, you know? I am doing everything that I'm supposed to be doing and this is not working. We had to have a conversation and Natalie said ‘it's not you, you're not doing anything wrong, don't feel that way.” You just have to take it as it comes, because when one door closes, another door opens. Just don't give up. If this is truly your dream, don't stop until you don't have any more options or it isn't safe. Just don't give up.
Natalie: Be open to options, as far as everything because it's such an important journey, whether you're heterosexual or homosexual or by yourself. Just be open to the options and really dive into the avenues of your due diligence. Look at the whole picture and not because this company says this is cheaper to go with them. You get what you pay for. Keep your mind open. This is an important journey so you're not going to put your child, or your wife, or your spouse, or your partner into any situation you wouldn't want to be in. You wouldn't buy a car that wasn't safe for you to be in. So why would you, in such an important journey like this, put your money and time into a company that you didn't know was going to be 100% in it with you.. Take the resources, utilize them, understand them, ask questions when you need to, be okay with what life brings at you. Be open minded about things.
We had some setbacks but now we are so blessed to be pregnant. Take it as it comes and invest in what you're going to do, which is having a child. Invest in the right people that are going to support you.
What is something that you learn, whether it's about yourself, the process or your partner throughout this whole process?
Lauren: I have learned so much about the female body through this experience. We both feel like we've taken a class in health and anatomy. Everybody knows where babies come from, but this process is a learning process; every little thing that goes into it has been truly just eye opening and it's miraculous. When people say childbirth is a miracle, it truly is, because the way science has come along, different drugs can manipulate your body to behave the way that it does and everything line up the right way. I know it's been done for quite a while but it's still mind-blowing to me. That was one of the really cool things about this whole process is just learning because it's such a specialty subject. Unless you're involved in it, you don't know all the moving parts and that learning has been mind-blowing to me.
Natalie: I've learned I can school people on information that I've gotten from this process. Another thing I've learned is that just because you have one support base, doesn't mean that more support bases aren’t needed. The more support you have, the better, and the quality of the support is important. We have our parents and people like them, that are important, but with all of the moving parts involved in fertility treatment, you may need professional support. You do need a lot of support with something as big as this.
Lauren: We both learned to include a select few people, even if they were in our inner circle, in this journey. But I think we realized that we truly have more support than we thought we did. We grew up in the Deep South, both of our parents had issues with our sexuality and we go to a Methodist church. Atlanta is a different ball game than here. We are a whole lot more open down here than we used to be but family was a big barrier for a long time. And going through this journey has really opened our eyes that we do have more support than we thought. We have a lot of friends who are just over the moon excited for us, and telling us y'all are going to be amazing moms, and we can't wait. And one of the truly amazing things that have come out of this besides the fact that both of our parents are really excited now, so that's great too. This whole process has brought us closer with a lot of different people. And it's just great because our friends, and we have all different kinds of friends, and they’ve united all around this one thing and it's been really great.
Congratulations and thank you Lauren and Natalie for sharing your story with us.
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