2 Hopeful Hearts: DE IVF, Zlin CR

Hi there, 

I assume you arrived here via a link a friend or relative has shared with you, or perhaps you stumbled on it another way.  Regardless of how you got here, I thank you for taking the time to read on.  There is a lot more information about this than what you'll find here.  I've created a separate website (which is a work in progress, so please bear with me!) for this: 

https://ourhopefulhearts.wordpress.com 

It has been said that "A dream is a wish your heart makes."   Well, our dream is to be a mom and dad!  Sounds fairly simple and not too complicated, right?  We thought so too......but here we are......several years down the track......still dreaming.......and no closer to being a mom and dad than we were at the start.

So, who are we?  
I am Kristi and my husband is Christian.  I'm a native of Louisville, KY and I now reside in Australia (outside Melbourne).  Christian is an Aussie native.  We have been married almost 12 years and in that time we've tried everything to start our family, from "the old fashioned way", through multiple IVF cycles.  We completed our final cycle in January 2015 with our last 2 frozen embryos.  It goes without saying, that despite doing everything we possibly could, it was not successful.  That was the last roll of the dice with my eggs.  We are gutted, utterly devastated, but we're not ready to throw in the towel just yet.  

Why donor eggs?  
In short, the reason our IVFs did not work is almost entirely to do with the age of my eggs (and probably just some bad luck - we've both been checked and there isn't anything "wrong" with either of us).  I am 42.  In the grand scheme of things, that's not old (and how dare anyone suggest otherwise! Hmph!).  But when it comes down to reproduction, it's practically ancient!  Like the chicken eggs you buy in the shops, a womans eggs have a finite shelf life too.  It will vary from woman to woman, but statistically speaking, around age 40 is when they start to deteriorate and become non-viable.  That's not to say women can't/don't go on to have babies naturally over 40, but the odds are significantly lower for the vast majority.  At age 42 my odds of falling pregnant are less than 1%, and dropping by the day.  We have been advised that if we want to bring a child into the world together, we will need donor eggs to do this.  That's a devastating thing to hear, but when you want something so badly, you will take anything onboard.  I snatched it up like a rat with a tasty tidbit and went scurrying off to enjoy my little treat.

One problem:  Money.
We've gone through all of our savings (and then some) on fertility treatment, and now we need help raising the funds.  A donor egg IVF cycle in Australia costs $12-15,000 and entirely out of pocket (private and universal health care won't cover anything on it).  That cost doesn't include the ad-hoc expenses that arise (there are ALWAYS ad-hoc expenses when using medical technology to start a family!).   That's if you can even FIND a donor. (There is more on the website about this.) 

After weighing up pros and cons, we've decided that Donor Egg IVF in Zlin, Czech Republic (changed from Cape Town, South Africa) offers us the best shot at becoming parents.  DE IVF in CR is going to run approximately $5000, + travel and accommodation (although I am trying to narrow it down and save wherever we can.  It's amazing how resourceful one can become! plus we are using Qantas Frequent Flyer points to cover airfares as much as possible!).  Naturally we are devising a plan of attack, and I have begun to compile ways of saving money, and starting the nest for our donor egg(s).  Aside from typical saving, I'm looking at all manner of fund raising here.  I'm tapping into my creative side on this.  Crowd funding came from that, creative searches on how to raise funds (blame google!). 

Unless you have been in this situation, it's very hard to understand just how painful it is to try and fail month   after month......while watching your family, friends, neighbours and co-workers go on to have a baby, sometimes a second or even a third....and wonder when it will finally be your turn.  Every Christmas, Easter and Mother's Day is more sad than the last, and you utter the all too familiar "Maybe this time next year......" with a little less conviction.  After all, that's what you've been saying the last 4, 5, 7, 10 years.........birthdays are extremely hard for me.  Another reminder that I'm a year older, my arms still aching and my heart hurting with every childless beat.   These occasions have become nearly too painful to endure, and hold little joy.  For Christian, it's painful to endure ME during these times!  I want something he cannot give me.

I have been told on more than one occasion, "It could be worse."  They are right; it could be.  That doesn't make it less painful than it is.  I've also been told, "God has a plan for everyone and there is a reason for this."  Maybe so, and perhaps it's to become a mother via unconventional methods.  "Just adopt".  As if one can just pop down the local orphanage, browse the selection of children and go home with a child in one hand and Certificate of Parent in the other.  "Maybe some people weren't mean to be parents."  Maybe, but I'm not one of them.  I simply refuse to believe that.  "Look at all the holidays and fancy things you can have without kids!"  That's just stuff.  I can always go to Paris, and I can always have stuff.  I've been trying to fill this hole in my soul with stuff for as long as I can remember.  There is but one thing that will fill this hole, and that is a child.  I'd trade a winning lotto ticket for motherhood any day.  

It's a bitter pill to swallow, when you're not fertile.....that you cannot do what it is you were essentially built to do:  create and bring forth a new life.  All I have ever wanted to be is a mommy.  I am not even sad or embarrassed to say it's been my only true ambition in life.  And I would be a great mom, just as Christian would be a great dad.  
We are open to other pathways to parenthood, but our hearts still long to bring a child into the world together.   Australia doesn't have a domestic adoption program, and very few international program's, most of which have been closed or put on hold indefinitely.  Of course, we don't qualify anyway, due to our age and/or ethnicity.  So donor eggs is where it's at for us, and I'm so happy and excited the option is there!

If you're able to help, in any way at all, be it $5 or $50, we would be beyond grateful.  I hate doing this.  I hate asking for help for anything, and when money is involved?  Well, let's just say that as I tap the button that adds this to my Facebook I am filled with shame and sheepishness.   Creating this GoFundMe account has forced me to swallow the last of my pride, but my desperation is far greater than my pride ever was, even before infertility chipped it away.  

Please help Christian and I realise our dream.  Help us get to Zlin, Czech Republic so we can have a chance to bring home a baby and become a family of 3.  Maybe this time next year.......

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.  Even if you're not able to help with a donation, please, help by sharing this with others who might be able to.

Again, thank you, from the bottom of our hopeful hearts!  :)

xoxo
Kristi and Christian
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Organizer

Kristi Peterson 
Organizer
Wonyip VIC
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