To follow is our family story and timeline in brief. A year and a half ago, my own daughter was born and diagnosed, unexpectedly at birth, with Down Syndrome and a major heart defect. Upon blood testing to confirm her diagnosis, and multiple blood panels from myself and my husband, Taylor, it was found that I carry a rare gene mutation that effects my 14th and 21st chromosome called Translocation that, oftentimes, causes Down Syndrome and many other chromosome abnormalities that lead to miscarriage or still birth. During this time, Madison and Augie were planning their own wedding and selflessly put themselves and their wants aside to become an enormous support to our family. They did anything from buy us memoirs by parents of special needs children to provide us with hope to organize a community fundraiser that would fund our travels and expenses to Boston, Massachusetts where our daughter’s heart could be repaired. Because of their help, we were able to have a seamless time during our stay in Boston, and we did not have to worry about a penny.
Next, it was recommended that my parents be tested for the same gene that I carried because either this gene could have resulted from spontaneous mutation (just me), or it could have been passed from a parent. Right before Augie and Maddie’s nuptials, my mother tested positive for the same gene, so next in line was Augie, and in our family fashion, he found out that he carried the gene as well. Augie and Madison discussed the outcomes and soon agreed that they would still press on and try naturally to become parents, despite the chances of suffering loss and/or the possibility of conceiving a child with special needs—what a testament to their character and love of ALL people, and what a story of a couple that is more than deserving to become parents.
During this same time, Madison got off of birth control in hopes of expanding their family soon after marriage. In getting off of birth control, Madison began to have symptoms of a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). In many women, this prevents ovulation. At this point, Maddie and Augie had two things pitting against them in their journey to become parents. After several blood panels, a confirmation of Madison’s diagnosis, and some very painful side effect-provoking medication, Madison was now proudly ovulating. After many months of trying and still no success, Madison’s OBGYN recommended that Augie have a semen analysis performed in order to make sure everything was typical and “working.” At this point, Madison was ovulating, and they were both eager and still trying to become parents, but they were having no success. To make a long story short, after two analyses and a consultation with a Fertility Specialist, there was not one single sperm, which confirmed that Augie ALSO had a condition called Azoospermia, meaning absence of sperm.
After numerous tearful breakdowns, bills from troubleshooting-procedures, continuous bad news, and now, over a year of “trying” under their belt, Madison and Augie, have decided to propel on and take the most aggressive approaches in expanding their family. They are desperate for children, and will not let go of their hopes and dreams of becoming parents. I can say that I know from firsthand experience of witnessing their interactions with children over the years, my daughter Louie in particular, that they will make the World’s GREATEST parents. I am so confident when I say that. I always say, “if something happens to my husband and I, Aunt Madison and Uncle Froggie are new Momma and Daddy!” I more than trust them with the care of our own child in the case that anything happen to us. On most days, my child wants her Aunt Maddie over anyone else. Madison truly has a God-given-gift with children, and she is, in short, our family baby-whisperer. She was made to be a parent!
My plan is to go to the ends of the earth to help them in their journey, whether it be for venting and hugs, to accompaniment to support groups, for research of procedures and medical terms, or for help in the endeavor of fundraising. Selfishly, I want for Louie to experience the joy of a cousin to grow up with to protect her and do cousin-stuff with, and selflessly, I want more than anything, for Augie and Madison to know and experience, firsthand, the love and joy I experience, daily, from being able to watch my own daughter learn and grow.
Most recently, Madison and Augie have learned that there still MIGHT MAYBE be a chance of them becoming biological parents. Soon, Augie will have a testicle biopsy to see if there are ANY sperm present at all, and in what we assume will be the first of many instances, insurance has decreed that they will not cover this very pricey procedure, despite their usually reliable insurance policy. After speaking with a fertility specialist, In vitro fertilization (IVF) will be their only possible means of having a biological child because of both of their medical conditions. IVF is a procedure used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child where Madison’s mature eggs would be collected (retrieved) from her ovaries and fertilized by the sperm (that we pray Augie has) in a lab. If the testicle biopsy provides positive results, a new testicle biopsy will be performed to retrieve the sperm and the process will begin. If there are no sperm, then Madison and Augie have several other options they will discuss and decide amongst for their next steps. Other possible options include, but aren’t limited to IVF with sperm donor, embryo donor, or they have even mentioned being open to the avenue of adoption. The options previously mentioned can range anywhere from $15K- $40k. In any case, their insurance will not cover anything flagged and labeled “infertility” or “adoption” and all expenses will need to be paid up front in full. I have already witnessed the medical bills beginning to flood in, and I don’t want money to be the hindrance in them having to wait even one more day for their dream to come true. I want to pay it forward and help them any way I can. Join me in pledging to support them by donating what you can to their journey, even if the donation is minimal. I know since the release of their blog, many people have come forward and asked what they can do to participate and help. Please know we are grateful for EVERY PENNY RAISED. I know and have hope that at the end of all of this, we will all be able to share the joy of a sweet little angel-baby, and our love for him OR her will be EVEN SWEETER because of the journey that all of us walked with Madison and Augie.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, the biopsy proved that there is no way that Augie can have a biological child, so Augie and Madison have decided to pursue sperm donation. There are pros and cons to this. Obviously the con is that Augie cannot have a child, BUT the perk is that with sperm donation, the cost will most likely be less because they can do IUI! I have updated the goal to match that of a roung of IUI. :)
Here is the direct link to Madison and Augie’s Infertility blog so you can follow and gain updates and insight from their personal voice and perspective:
The Pursuit of Parenthood
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