Erik and Anna met in February 2001, as 21-year-olds working at Macy’s. They have been together ever since. In February 2005, they were married in a tiny chapel just big enough to fit their parents and siblings, and of course, the couple. They discussed their children before they were married. Erik is the dad you would want for your children. Anna has always been a mom since she was a little girl. She is the mom without children. She has said “that lifelong dream would test us in every way imaginable, and push us to rely on the foundation of our marriage more than we could have ever prepared for.”
They have blinked their eyes and are in their thirties and still no baby. So, they decided to seek professional help.
After years of tests, changes in diet, addition of supplements and vitamins, acupuncture, nutritionists, physician and naturopathic visits, they did everything imaginable to get closer to an answer, only to receive a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility." While it was almost worse to have no specific diagnosis, they both felt hopeful in knowing there wasn’t any reason they couldn’t get pregnant. Wi th that hope, they began preparing for their first IUI. After three unsuccessful attempts, and many tears, their doctor explained that their next step was IVF. Before that could happen, they needed to meet with the financial consultant. Seeing the amounts add up as they went through the cost of treatment options and medication left them both numb, and they spent the next year feeling paralyzed. The financial costs associated with IVF left them feeling like they had to explore other avenues. It came down to “if only we do this” or “what about that.”
In July 2015, Anna and Erik took a leap of faith, and Anna accepted an incredible job offer in Georgia. Together they made the enormous decision to leave the life they had always known in Washington State, packed up their car and their three dogs, and began the journey south. Soon after, they both felt greater balance in life with Anna’s new job and a fresh start. Their focus was on getting pregnant. The paralysis was subsiding, and they began attending IVF seminars to gather information and weigh their options in pursuit of having a family.
What they didn’t know was on that day in March 2016, while they sat through the seminar and toured the facility at Georgia Reproductive Specialists (GRS), was that Anna was already pregnant. Test after test showed “positive.” It was really happening. After 10+ years of trying to conceive, Anna and Erik were finally going to be parents! They felt they should wait 10-12 weeks to clear the “safe” mark, but it was impossible to contain their excitement. They couldn’t help but to talk about “Baby Appleseed” and watch week to week as the pregnancy apps on their phones told them what new and exciting things were developing!
Quickly, Anna was experiencing irregular symptoms so her OB-GYN had them come in for a 6-week ultrasound. Doctors couldn’t see anything, and yet her HCG levels (indicating pregnancy) continued to rise appropriately. The physician and technician were certain she was in fact pregnant. Weeks went by and things continued to deteriorate. The ultrasounds were not showing anything, and eventually the doctor shared with the couple the most unbearable news. Anna must have miscarried. Yet, the HCG levels continued to rise appropriately.
It felt like years had gone by, until finally, after daily blood work, despite Anna’s lack of symptoms or appearance of anything on an ultrasound, their doctor was concerned that she was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor sent her to the emergency room to receive methotrexate injections. On that fateful day, the ultrasound technician was finally able to see a golf-ball-sized embryo in her left fallopian tube. It was the first time in all those weeks that Anna and Erik actually knew what was going on.
By the time Anna experienced any pain from the ectopic pregnancy, it was May 3, she walked out of a meeting and collapsed in pain. As it happened, her fallopian tube had ruptured and blood was leaking into her abdomen. Anna was taken to the emergency room, where just before she went into surgery, she was asked to sign her name as a “mother” for the very first time. (This continues to break my heart.) She was giving up the rights to the remains of what would have been her and Erik’s child. This type of pain could only be unimaginable.
To top it all off, Anna woke up from losing her baby only to learn she had a fallopian tube removed. The pain and hurt will never fully go away, but there is still an open opportunity for Erik &nd Anna to conceive now that she has recovered physically.
THE LAST CHANCE
Based on Anna’s age and the likelihood of another ectopic pregnancy, Dr. Perloe of GRS has recommended that they move forward with IVF as soon as possible. He feels strongly that they are good candidates for a successful pregnancy, and at this point they are emotionally ready. The only thing standing between them and the next step is the ability to fully fund the treatment. They are doing everything they can to make this happen.
While both Anna and Erik understand that IVF is not a guarantee of a live birth, it is their best chance at experiencing the miracle of life, and they are ready to take that chance. Since Anna and Erik would never ask for help, her friends and family are pursuing every option we can to help them make that possible. There is not enough space to write about them to explain their kindness, generosity, all-around beautiful people. They are the most inspiring couple, who make everyone around them better!!
Anna was just recognized through the Seattle Sea Hawkers Booster Club as The Sea Hawker of The Year for all the wonderful events, donations, and volunteerism that she and Erik guided our Georgia Sea Hawkers chapter. We were able to accomplish amazing things TOGETHER!
Anna is the mom you didn’t have but wished you did! Erik is the dad the world needs! Please let’s not allow funding to be the reason they are unable to make this last attempt to conceive a child!
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
We are under a time constraint because Anna’s numbers are plummeting daily. The best and only chance is NOW, as soon as possible. Yesterday would have been best. If I could pay the entire amount, it would have been done already. I know I am not alone in that feeling.
If we could all come together and donate what we can, we can help make a miracle come to pass. Without the funding there is no chance for this beautiful couple to bring a beautiful Peterson baby into this world.
I ask you to consider donating whatever you can!!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lindsay Urquhart or me.
Thank you in advance for your generosity !!
Lindsay Urquhart Angela Nicosia
[email redacted] [email redacted]
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