Boy (18 yo) calls dibs on girl (16 yo) on her first day of work at the roller rink in Michigan. Boy and girl date. Boy and girl fall in love. Skip ahead 8 years.. boy and girl get married. Boy joins the Army, and girl lovingly follows to Kentucky. Boy deploys, girl waits. Boy gets home, and boy and girl decide to start a family. Army sends boy and girl to Germany. Boy and girl try.. and try.. and try.. AND TRY! Boy and girl seek help.. and try.. and try.. and try.. AND TRY! It has now been over 3 years since boy and girl have tried, and have had zero success.
Now for some more specifics: Sean came home from his 9 month deployment to Afghanistan in March, 2014. That is when we started really trying, like calendar tracking, strategical romatic nights, really trying. Prior to his deployment, there was never anything preventing a child. So while I cannot say we were "trying", we were at that point where we were not preventing.
Now if you know Sean and I, you know that we are the couple with no children that children tend to love, and we love them right back. To many of our friend's children, we are not just Sean and Jackie.. we are Uncle Sean and Aunt Jackie. We've even hosted sleep overs for no other reason than we love our friend's kids and want to have kiddos in our house. I even work at a daycare where I get to hug and love babies for a living (FYI probably not the easiest job to have when you are struggling to get pregnant, but I love it none the less). As a couple, we have always been around other people's children, and that has only made us want to have children of our own, more!!
After over a year of no success, I started seeing a fertility specialist in Germany, Dr. Kreig in Amberg in June, 2015. After numerous tests for the both of us, the results came back that we have no major complications. It has been noted that during my monthly cycle control tests, I rarely develop eggs on my right side, but that is not considered a complication because I develop well on my left. From there, I started hormone therapy in November, 2015.
The hormone therapy involved monthly cycle control check ups, hormone shots, and hormone supplements, oh and scheduled sex. Let me tell you, nothing spices up a marriage's sex life like scheduled sex ;)
After just over 1 year of doing the hormone therapy with zero results, I switched to a fertility vitamin that GNC offers that friends of ours had success with. We tried that for the recommended 3 months, and again, zero success.
During the 1 year of doing the hormone therapy, in August, 2016, Dr. Kreig decided to bring up the "next step" - that being IVF. He noted that with our zero success rate, and with us only getting older, that IVF was the next logical step.
I didn't feel like at that time last August we were ready to take that plunge, but now after the months, and years of shots, hormones, negative tests, "what if we are"s, dr.'s appointments, stress, tears, heart aches, the all around crazy emotional roller coaster... we are ready. I know that there are many couples out there that continue to try without IVF and have success, I just don't know that we can emotionally take it on anymore. To say we are emotionally drained of it all would be an understatment.
Quick definition of Stimulated IVF: I will be given hormones to over stimulate my natural growth of eggs. Idealy, I will produce anywhere between 10-15 eggs. These eggs will then be extracted, and fertilized with Sean's sperm via a petri dish. Then, 2 eggs will be implanted into my uterus. The remaining eggs will be frozen for future use on future cycles if needed.
We have been fortunate that our insurance has covered all fertility treatments up to this point, but Tri-Care will not cover any cost of IVF. Additionally, they will not cover any costs if I am hospitalized because of complications that many be caused from IVF. However, once a test comes back positive that I am pregnant, Tri-Care will cover hospital costs after that.
Since we have known about the possibility of IVF since last August, we have been able to save. Here in Germany, the cost of IVF is substaintially cheaper than in the states. We are looking at spending for the 1st cycle $5,500-$6,500, and an additional $1,200 for each cycle after that if needed for as long as our eggs last. In the states, IVF easily starts at $20,000!!! Needless to say, we are again fortunate that we are here in Germany.
Even though we do have a savings set up specifically for our IVF journey, we set up this GoFundMe account in hopes to raise money to offset the cost of what IVF with inevitably cost us. We are certainly hoping it will only be the $5,500-$6,500, but there is also the possibility of complications, and even the harsh reality that maybe only 2 eggs fertilize and then the pregnancy is not a success.. so we would have to start over.. completely over.. Long story short, IVF is not cheap no matter where you are. Oh, and I wish insurance helped.
The support we have had from our friends and family over the last few years has been overwhelmingly helpful. I honestly don't think I would have been able to emotionally make it up to this point without it. From messages, to Facebook comments, phone calls, hugs, all of it.. it has meant so much. My heart is just bursting right now with how much love I feel just thinking about it all.
If we are able to raise a portion of the cost of IVF from this account, it will only allow us to use our IVF savings as money towards our future baby (or babies ;).. they are implanting 2 eggs!!).
Sean and I both thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of the love and support you have shown us thus far. Without it, I don't think we could have made it to this point. We are the luckiest couple ever to know we have friends and family from around the world who care about us so much. And our future mini-me(s) are even luckier to be able to come into a world where they are already loved by so many.
- Jon Jeff MSG
- Mandy Pfeiffer
- Dana Santos
- Lorna, Jane, and Elaine
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