Military couple holds onto hope for a child of their own…
Cris and Christina were both enlisted in the US Air Force when they met during deployment training in 2010. Christina was on her way to Iraq, Cris was headed to Afghanistan. During their 7 month long tours, they fell in love, via video calls, emails and texts. After returning safely, they began to discuss their future together; growing deeper in their walk with Christ, marriage, adventure, and of course, their mutual desire to raise a family together; in 2012 they were married.
Sadly, they learned that having a family isn’t always that easy, in their case the only option they have for biological children is IVF, and sadly, the cost isn’t covered by military medical; they need $9,000 by April 2018!
In hopes that you will find it in your hearts to help them out, they’ve opened up to share their story...
Once Cris and I realized we wanted to spend our lives together, we began discussing what that would look like for us. Cris asked me how I felt about staying home to care for our home, and our children, and though I’d never considered this before, it suddenly filled me with such a joy and excitement. We were going to get married and start a family, my heart was so full of happiness!
Family is greatly important to the both of us, we wanted LOTS of children. Cris makes me laugh when he jokes about having his own football team or rag-tag band of pick-pockets. We’re both very adventurous people and would love to share our spirit of exploration with our children. Cris is a big kid at heart, and our friends’ children are always drawn to him. I know he will make an amazing father! For the last 5 years, I’ve wanted so badly to give him a child and I admit, to see what a little “us” would look like and act like.
One year into our marriage, we started “trying” for a baby. We weren’t really paying attention to ovulation times, after-all how hard can it be to get pregnant? Two years went by and we both became a bit concerned. About this time, it seemed that everyone around us was having babies, and though we were filled with happiness for them, our empty arms began to feel more weighted and our hearts ached more and more for children of our own. I cried out to God asking Him to please bless us with a child.
For me, anxiety set in, and I began to ask these questions of myself, “was this my fault?”, “If I go to the doctor will I be told I can’t have children?”. Since so much time had passed and I was becoming concerned about my age, I went in for a check-up. We breathed a sigh of relief when we were told everything was “normal” and to just keep trying. After several more months of not becoming pregnant, we were referred to an infertility doctor.
Year 4 was probably the hardest year for us. I had to go through a painful HSG procedure, which answered questions, yet produced even more concerns. Additional procedures needed to be performed in order to find out what was going on, and to find out if we had hope for the family of our dreams. Cris had been tested by a specialist and was given a clean bill of health, so it was decided that I needed investigative surgery to seek out the cause of our infertility.
A friend, as well as a nurse we met, gave us much hope and assurance that after this surgery we would be on the road to conceiving, and we were both filled with hope. I went into surgery for a hysteroscopy, when I awoke, even in my stupor, I knew that Cris had not been given good news. Medicated and in physical pain, I cried my heart raw as the Doctor explained that one of my fallopian tubes was diseased and had been removed. In addition, the remaining tube was so damaged by endometriosis that it was not able to function. I cannot fully express the level of devastation that we felt. We had gone into this surgery full of hope, and afterward received news that we could not conceive; our hearts were crushed. This truly hit us both so hard, yet we clung to each other and to God, knowing that He has a plan for us.
After a few weeks of discussing adoption, fostering, IVF, etc…, and dealing with the emotional pain, we finally decided to talk to our Doctor about IVF. We were thrilled to find out it was a real viable option for us, but we were also informed that IVF was not covered by Air Force medical, and that it is VERY expensive.
For hours Cris and I soaked up the information on IVF; the chances of it working, complications, concerns, the cost...everything. Having taken in all the facts and prayed about it, we told our doctor that we wanted in on the next cycle in April 2018!
Cris and I left that appointment hopeful and rejuvenated. We are getting extra healthy, talking baby names and treating this like a fresh start. We are in this full-heartedly, and so excited to see what God will do in and through us! We’ve had such wonderful support through all this from both sides of our family. Cris, is a very private person, and was hesitant to put our story and our hearts out there for everyone to see. However, his Mom wanted to help by getting the page started in hopes that others may help with this burden. We still can't understand why total strangers would help us out, but we know that God has a plan for us, and we feel in our hearts that He wants us to try everything we possibly can. If you choose to support us, ANY amount is a huge blessing. But most of all, please pray for a miracle for us!
In addition, we want to be totally transparent with all of you regarding our IVF. Factoring in “normal” miscarriage rates, our ages, and IVF, we have a 42% chance to successfully bring home a baby on our first try (not withstanding miracles!). We will freeze a second egg, and have the opportunity to try a second time, which increases our chances to 51%. The cost for our first IVF will be $7,200. The cost for our second IVF it will be $1,800. So, all in all, we are talking about $9,000….and that’s BEFORE diapers!
May God bless you!
Cris and Christina Charest
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