After much debate, Jon and I decided to use this site to raise funds to help us realize our dream of having a family. This road has been a long, hard, journey and has definitely taken longer than I ever would have expected. It's heartbreaking to yearn for something that seems like it would be so easy to attain. But, as you may have experienced, sometimes you take things for granted, and sometimes you never know what you'll miss until it's gone"”or never had at all.
We did get pregnant once. It was not planned but we had not been preventing for over two years at this point. We were so excited and thankful--we could not keep the news in. Obviously you can predict how that ended. One day, I was in Ultrasound with obvious fetal heart movement...a week later there was no heartbeat to be found and no additional growth.
Customarily, military doctors want you to wait a year before they refer you for fertility testing. I convinced the doctors to push it through. After all, I was 32 (34 now) already and time is ticking. Fast forward through all the poking and prodding, deposits and waiting...My preliminary results pretty much came back normal. I was suspected of endometriosis but the tests were too invasive at this point. Jon's however did not. His analysis came back with extremely low count (less than 2 million) and low motility, two bad signs. We met with Dr. Sher, an IVF specialist here in Las Vegas. He ordered additional tests for me that Tricare would pay for, which all came back in the normal range. There were still a few tests that I would need to do, but they weren't covered by our insurance. We were told that with Jon's extremely low count IVF was the only option. When we got the price tag for IVF, we got discouraged and honestly had to take a few steps back.
Months went by...I had read so many books on Fertility Awareness I felt like I could teach a class. I was temping, charting, changing both of our diets, greatly reducing alcohol intake, making Jon take all these vitamins:Still nothing. I joined an online support group and one-by-one, each of my "friends" ended up pregnant and my heart broke a little each time. I wanted to be happy for them but it seemed like everywhere I looked--on base, at the grocery store, online, on TV., were reminders of what we weren't able to accomplish.
We decided that we would try and find a donor. The price tag was just too much and we wanted to be able to still provide a life for the child. We were able to find one and I got pregnant first try. We were so excited! It had worked the first time! We felt so blessed, and lucky. However, it was short lived and it ended pretty much the same as the first. Needless to say we were devastated. But, we were determined to try again. Our donor, however, was going through a great personal loss and could not.
At this point, what could we do?
I called Dr. Sher's office and got scheduled for the remainder of the tests to be accomplished. He wanted to retest Jon as well to decide if a course of Clomid was necessary for 3 months before the procedure. We were surprised with the results came back. Jon's count had gone up 900% to 18 million! It could have been the lab on base, Jon's physical activity or anything. 18 million is still considered low, and his motility was still low but it was still good news. My results however were not so good. I have high natural killer cells, which basically means my body kills the embryo and stops it from growing. My ovarian reserve came back low as well, which means that my egg reserve is going down. All of these are easy fixes...but for a price. With the medication and the Dr. Sher's expertise, he feels that we have a very high chance.
We are doing everything that we can. We sold our house to pay off as much debt as we could. We are saving everything we can but we still need help. We would love to be able go through everything to do with parenthood. I want the morning sickness, crazy cravings and stretch marks. We want to watch my belly grow, my swollen feet massaged at night, and decorate a nursery. Give us the sleepless nights, sticky hands and Cheerios all over the floor. We want the teaching of ABC's, 1-2-3s and eventually how to drive. We want the laughter, craft-days and movie nights; trick-or-treating, the Tooth Fairy and silly family Christmas cards. We want to experience the soccer games and music lessons--or whatever their hobby turns out to be. It's so painful to know that we may never get to experience any of this.
Thank you for reading our story. We appreciate and are grateful for any help you can give us. Hopefully we will be able to be on our way to be parents soon!
Anna & Jonathan
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