Our story begins 24 years ago in 1989, when I was born. I was born with VATER association, a syndrome which has multiple complications. With the help and support of my family, I grew up and faced the challenges that came with VATER head on. Until I was 16, I thought I had moved on from all the medical complications that I had been plagued with throughout my young life.
When I was around 15/16 years old I started to have excruciating pain in my pelvic area. The pain would come out of nowhere and knock me down. I would cry and shake and curl up in a ball. I tried any type of medicine or pain reliever and nothing would help. The pain was unbearable. I had been dealing with it for a few months when one day I was at my then boyfriend, now husband's house. I told him I had to go home because I could tell the pain was about to get worse and I needed to be alone. I made it out the door and burst out in tears. He took me home and laid with me while I was paralyzed with pain, screaming. His mom decided it was time to take me to the emergency room; and that's when our real journey began. After some tests and ultrasounds, many doctors appointments and a surgery later: a painful diagnosis, along with an even more painful outcome. I was born without a cervix and two uteri. I also had endometriosis which had been causing the pain. I woke up from the surgery; 16, with a partial hysterectomy. This means that I still have my ovaries but nothing else. My boyfriend (and now husband), family and friends were all there to cheer me on through my recovery time and healing. Little did I know the real pain would come later.
Fast forward 8 years. My then boyfriend has become my wonderful, amazing, loving husband. He is a United States Marine and I am finishing my teaching credential for Special Education Early Childhood. We have a puppy named Sunshine and are loving every minute of it. Our next step is to have a beautiful baby. This is where the pain comes in of not being able to provide that myself. My husband and I have known all along that we would have to travel this road and will gladly do so to add to our family. Unfortunately, before we can even begin to think about all the joys of parenthood, we must figure out how to finance creating our beautiful baby. Paying off student loans and our wedding has pushed back our ability to have a baby as soon as we would hope for. It took us a long time to come to the decision to ask for financial help, but it has become our only option as of late.
A friend I have known my whole life has offered to be our gestational carrier and we are forever thankful. The cost of a gestational carrier incorporates many facets; hormonal medication for myself as well as the carrier, IVF costs, legal bills, medical screenings, an agency fee, insurance fee, and so much more. The insurance we have right now does not cover anything, except for possibly my hormone treatment. It will all have to come out of pocket. We are saving as much as we can and are figuring out ways to fundraise; car washes, anything. Our total goal reflects the amount that we have calculated it will cost to get us to our baby and any single amount helps, even a dollar!
Words will never be able to describe the thanks we have for your donation. We are forever grateful. Thank you so much again; whether you took the time to read, share, email or donate to our story. We cannot wait to start this journey!
xoxo Giuliana, Liam and Sunshine
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