Hope is Our Anchor: An IVF Fund

Raised: $20,100.00
Goal: $20,000.00

Created by

Tara Holmes Williams

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A Mother's Story December 17, 2012 is a day I will never forget. How could I? It is the day I brought my precious son into the light. To share my story with you, I have to go further bac... more


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Created by Tara Holmes Williams on July 28, 2013

A Mother's Story
December 17, 2012 is a day I will never forget. How could I? It is the day I brought my precious son into the light. To share my story with you, I have to go further back in time to December 12, the day the world stopped...
My 38-week appointment was pushed back about a half hour from 8:45 to 9:15 because of a change in the doctor's schedule. I was feeling lucky to have my mom with me; she had arrived on the 8th to stay until late January or February to help me while my husband was still away on assignment with the Navy. We arrived at the office and did the usual chat with the doctor as we prepared for my check-up. I remained worried about the nagging cough I had developed which was especially problematic at night, and reported the baby's movements were slowing down (the doctor attributed this to the decreasing amount of room he had in the womb as his due date drew nearer). Warm gel was applied to my swollen belly, the Doppler wandered across the gel...silence. "Do you remember where we caught the heartbeat last week?" asked the doctor. "Not exactly," I said, shakily.

I was sent into the waiting room until the ultrasound tech could finish up with another patient. I was horrified. I knew. Somewhere deep inside of me, I knew. And within 10 minutes, my deepest, darkest fears were confirmed. After 38 weeks of a healthy pregnancy, my son did not have a heartbeat. My precious miracle...he was gone. I remember very little after looking at the tear-stained face of the ultrasound tech (who just one week ago had cheerfully chatted with me about how healthy my baby looked) as she slowly shook her head no to the doctor. My mom stared at the screen in silence as I lied there on the exam table staring at the ceiling barely illuminated by the glow of the machines. A Red Cross call was made to my husband's command. My mom and I left in silence. I walked like a zombie through the waiting room filled with expectant women. Was this really happening? Could it be true?

My husband called knowing something wasn't right; his command was sending leaders to his room to speak with him. I shared our nightmare.

Later that night, my father arrived. By the next morning, my husband was strapped to a pallet in a cargo plane and on his 15 hour journey home. He arrived Friday morning at 2 am.
Originally, I was scheduled to report to the hospital Friday at 7 am, but we desperately wanted more time to talk, mourn, and plan. In order to be attended by my own doctor, who would be out of town during the weekend, our only option was Monday, December 17. I had to go to the hospital Friday night for blood work to make sure waiting was a viable option for us. The results were good; we agreed to wait the extra days. They were days filled with grief. I moaned and wailed. My family held me. I vowed not to be angry, bitter, or blame God.

Monday morning came. We (my husband, my parents, and I) headed to the hospital. More blood work. Cytotec. Waiting. Quiet chatting. Unbelievably, a sense of overwhelming calm and peace. From what I know now, we were being lifted in prayer by many, many people; it made all the difference between a doomsday and a beautiful, yet tragic day for all of us. Especially me.
The doctor suggested heavy pain meds to make it through the delivery, yet somehow, I wanted to stick to my original birth plan which included no epidural. Taking the physical pain away would not lessen the pain in my heart. I used an "om" or humming breath to make it through contractions, with the idea that a pleasant hum would release endorphins to lessen the pain. When active labor began, the humming breath joined with a moaning wail as I struggled to deliver my sweet angel into the world.

At 6:39 pm, Rowan Christopher arrived; 7 lbs. 5.8 oz. and 19 inches long. Button nose. Dark hair. Perfect little lips, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. A gorgeous baby boy. I held him close. I kissed his forehead, his nose, his lips, his hands. For hours we fawned over him, his sweetness, his innocence. His daddy held him close and cried upon his soft cheeks. His nana and papa held him; they were so proud, yet so heartbroken. The cause of our son's death was determined to be due to a double nuchal cord; his umbilical cord was tight to the point of full compression. We were told we won the "bad luck lottery."

Our precious miracle. Our sweet, sweet boy. We love you so, so, so very much.

My dear friend said in a lovely email, "You will mourn your beautiful child. You and C. brought him into your womb and his life has been cut terribly short. You are a mother. You can do this. Even this. You can labor and sweat and cry and moan and bear his small body into the light. You can do this. And you will honor him all the days of your life."
She was right.

December 17, 2012 is a day I will never forget. How could I? It is the day I brought my precious son into the light.

The idea to raise money for another chance at IVF came from my close friend, Leah. After a pep-talk from her I asked Chris, "Do you think we could get 20,000 people to give us $1?" He was a little thrown off. "Well...maybe? But we don't know 20,000 people." And he's right, we certainly don't! I said, "What if 4,000 people gave us $5, or 2,000 people gave us $10, or 1,000 people gave us $20?" He got a little look of interest (I could see the wheels a turnin') and said, "Hmmmm, we might know 1,000 people."

The fertility doctor is very optimistic about our chances to conceive through IVF again. I am extremely healthy and have an excellent ovarian reserve; the doctor has said I am not a typical 42 year old when it comes to my fertility. Because of my age, however, we have a limited time frame to achieve our dream of having a living child before pursuing other options. It would take us approximately 2-2.5 years to save the amount we need to continue our journey. Although we have good insurance, it does NOT cover fertility treatment or medications required. Our attempts (6 IUIs, 2 IVFs,1 FET, and 3 medicated "natural" cycles) have all been self-funded, and as you may or may not know, it is quite expensive. We do not have any major credit cards; in fact, we have ZERO credit card debt. I have a student loan debt on which I pay $100 per month. Because we chose to be buried one day next to our son, we pay $800 per month for our adjoining resting places (it is an interest-free payment). We own one car (over 10 years old), and we use standard cell phones (not smartphones). We are very frugal with our money and follow a strict budget.

We would like to make 2 pledges about the money we receive through this donation site: first, this money will ONLY be used for our fertility treatments and the medications required for them; second, ALL unused funds at the end of our journey (if we are successful or are told we can no longer continue) will be RE-DONATED to another couple with similar needs.
We thank you for taking the time to read our story and for considering our fund.

Warm regards,
Tara and Christopher

Have Questions? Contact the organizer of this campaign now:


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I have been following your story from almost the beginning and pray daily for you . I love that you include all of us on your journey. And with your lastest news I pray that a Christmas blessing will bring you much comfort and joy. Will continue to pray for you and Chris and look forward to more good news. God Bless

posted by Denise Piechowicz 4 months ago

May the love and light of the universe and the grace of god protect your beautiful " PERFECT" embryo's.....Sending Reiki energy coming your way for a beautiful healthy baby.

posted by Tanja Duff 5 months ago

Thrilled to see your goal was reached. Best of luck from here on! May God bless you!

posted by Keith Callahan 5 months ago

Just happen to stubble across your story, sending prayers

posted by Danielle Herzer 5 months ago

We are sending prayers and good vibes your way. We went through 4 years of infertility, Ivf and a miscarriage. Finally, on our 5th Ivf (with the help of an egg donor ) we conceived our twins. Although they arrived 10 weeks early, they are perfect! We give thanks for them everyday, and still can't believe they are ours. The journey is awful but the reward is sweet! Love, Amy and Brian

posted by Amy Newman 5 months ago

I pray that you reach your goal your story was very moving, touching, and compelling. I don't know if 20,000 people will read your story yet let me be 1 to donate a 1$. I hope you reach your goal.

posted by LovingLife GettingIn 5 months ago

Just saw your story on Guiliana's page!!! Sending Blessings and Prayers your way today and always!

posted by Heather Cellucci 6 months ago

Tara and Chris, I saw your story on my FB feed via Giulliana Rancic too. I know how difficult that silent doctor's visit can be. It happened to me at 16 weeks. It was supposed to be the first time hearing our baby's heartbeat. Then I had a babyless ultrasound at 5 weeks, on our 2nd try. I am sending a donation your way from Toronto. Keep the faith and hope. Your rainbow baby will come! Ours did, and today is his first birthday! I will be thinking of you, and praying for a successful IVF treatment for you. Stay strong!

posted by Vanessa Roberts-Rios 6 months ago

I have been following your story and am so happy your visit to CO last week went well. I had to laugh a little at your post on the dreary weather and wanting to snuggle up. "You actually have seasons!"...I'm jealous. It is still hotter than Hades for us in Las Vegas. Spring and fall last for about 1 week. We get launched instantly from Hot to Cold and Cold to Hot here in the desert. I appreciate the vivid colors of nature. I grew up in California and I had no idea, how much of its beauty and color are muted by smog. When driving across the US for the first time at age 19, I arrived in Niagra Falls. The colors of flowers and trees were so vivid and beautiful I started to cry.......Enjoy the fall dear and have a nice day.

posted by Tanja Duff 7 months ago

Your story is incredibly hard to believe. I admire you and your husband's bravery and courage. Amazing. I will do my best to support - and spread this story. Will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

posted by CherryLove Cruz 7 months ago

Your story continues to inspire and draw readers I am glad that I too am able to follow your journey . As I look forward to your continued updates. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers

posted by Denise Piechowicz 7 months ago

Guilliana Rancic just shared your link that I posted :) how amazing is that?!!! Praying for you guys!!!!

posted by Cassie Jelinski 7 months ago

I just wanted to say you are so brave to bear your story to the world. You not only went through the pain and heartache of infertility but you lost your precious miracle after 38 weeks. This is heartbreaking. I too know about loss and the struggle of infertility. 5 iuis, 2ivfs, 2 losses..we were lucky when our miracle arrived on July. Continue to fight for your miracle.. We still carry debt of our IVF but I would be happy to contribute to yours! I also have leftover meds that are unopened if you need them! I know medication cost thousands of dollars if it is not covered. I can be reached at jfazzina@aol.com. Thank Guiliana Rancic for posting your story. More people need to discuss IVF and it should be covered under insurance plans. My blog. Our story... Wishfulbabybump@wordpress.com Good luck and may he be your little angel in heaven who will hand pick you precious miracle baby

posted by Janine Fazzina Boudo 7 months ago

Came across your story just now because Giuliana Rancic shared this link on her Facebook page. I am so sorry for you heartbreak, but am hopeful for your future! God has wonderful things planned for you!

posted by Larisa Christensen 7 months ago

Tara and Chris, I truly feel your pain. Prayers for you and your family as you go down the IVF road again. Please read our story: http://esadler7.blogspot.com/2 012/10/about-us.html

posted by Elisia Sadler 7 months ago

Hi Tara, I was curious if you had looked into using Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) for IVF or if you really trust your local clinic? I have many many friends who have gotten pregnant over 40 and CCRM is ranked the top in the world for IVF - they take all of the patients once they have failed elsewhere. I got my precious miracle from them as well. I am lucky that I live local to the clinic in South Denver but most of the people coming there are coming from elsewhere in the country and even the world. Let me know if you want more info. Good luck to you guys!

posted by Mary Mendelsberg 8 months ago

Oops....sohypo@yahoo.com or find me on Facebook.

posted by Stephanie Oltman 8 months ago

Someone shared your link on Facebook. I'm a consultant for Scentsy and thirty-one. If you are interested I will do a fundraiser for you. 25% of sales donated. Email me at sohyp@yahoo.com. Hope everything works out for you!

posted by Stephanie Oltman 8 months ago

Over $300 now! Will continue to campaign !

posted by Jodi Adkins 8 months ago

Dear Tara and Chris, I feel your pain and cried uncontrolably after reading your story. I too suffered from infertility for many years and finally did seek the help from an Infertility Doctor that I was refered to by my OBGN Doctor. Luckily my medical insurance did pay for part of my IVF treatment but not any of the medicine. I was able to buy left over medication from his former patients and my husband drove clear to Mexico to buy the rest. The medicine in Mexico is made by the same and only pharmaceutical company but sold for about half the cost compared to the US price. My first attempt at IVF proceedure was successful and I gave birth to an adorable little girl. When she turned two years old we wanted to have another baby so we attempted it again but my body too was older and I required twice the amount of medicine than the first IVF proceedure which caused our out of pocket expences way up. After taking the meds and preparing for the day we were suppose to have the IVF proceedure we decided to drive down to a hotel close to the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles so that we could make sure we could be there at 7:00 am. During the night my Husband became very sick and was experiencing the signs of a Heart Attack. I had to call 911 to summon the Paramedics to examine my husband. They came with the Fire Department too. I was sort of embarrassed because they probably thought all the wrong things. They told my husband after they ran their tests that they couldn't find anything wrong and offered to take him to the hospital but we were going there anyways so we just left a little earlier than scheduled. When we arrived at the hospital we lold them his symptoms and they immediately gave him Nitroglycerin for symptoms of a heart attack. They determined that he wasn't having a heart attack, he was just suffering exhaustion from working so hard during the week prior to us going through the IVF proceedure. Due to the fact that they gave him the Nitrglycerin when we first came to ER, he was not able to donate sperm for the IVF proceedure! I called my doctor and he came right down to the hospital and told me we would have to cancel the proceedure. My heart just dropped and I bursted out in tears. He assured me that we could start up as soon as two months from then. We agreed and had to start all over with the medications, which he prescribed an even higher dose of. I was able to go through it all over again and was blessed with not only one baby but twins!!!! We were so excited we could hardly wait til their birth. Fortunately I was able to carry the to 38 weeks when I then had a planned cesarean delivery. My twin daughters just celebrated their 16th Birthday and my older daughter will be 20 in about 2 weeks. I pray that you two will have many blessings to come and be proud parents. I want to donate as soon as I am able but until then I will definately keep you in my prayers.

posted by Sandy Camp 8 months ago

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Recent Donations (539)

$20,100 raised by 539 people in 8 months.

Glamour Shots


Scott and Sharon Mynsberge

5 months ago


Continued thoughts and prayers to you all!!

Share the Year


Tiffiney Gray

5 months ago


“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” Tara and Chris, you are an inspiration to many! I love you both.



Cathy St. George

5 months ago


Hoping & praying that all goes well for you both and that you are holding your "hope" baby in your arms very soon!!!!!

Santa's Helper


Aquidneck Honey

5 months ago


I intend on being there to see cards being written, steps being taken and love being shared!

Santa's Helper


Bodi Mackay / Bill and Wendy Holt

5 months ago


Love, prayers and hope to you.



Rebecca Wilfing

5 months ago


All my love 💙

Join our team!


Rebecca-Omar Ramos

5 months ago


I CAN believe your progress and in such a little time! You two seem to be so loving and have a wonderful support group/system around you! I'm not sure how much total we have donated to you both, (if we qualify for any of your awesome prize packages..) but it is our blessing to you both & that you both can experience IVF Again and praying it all is His will for this cycle to be a BFP! Thanks for allowing us to share your journey over this webpage and even better...over fb. So glad I found you on here! God bless you both and I hope this small amount of a donation gets ya one step closer to FULL FUNDS being met!



Danielle Isom

5 months ago


I'm just so excited for you guys! You're almost there!!! Wow!




5 months ago



Julie H

5 months ago


Your story is touching, and I truly hope that you reach your goal.


1-10 of 539 donations


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