Elizabeth's Uterus Transplant and IVF Fund

When I was 14 years old, I found out that I was born with Complete Infertility due to MRKH syndrome. This means I was born without a uterus or cervix. I have normal ovaries and fallopian tubes, just missing those two parts making it impossible for me to carry my own baby. I remember walking down the long hallway to the doctor's office with a nurse after having an abdominal and pelvic ultrasound at the OBGYN’s office. As I sat there alone,  just me and the doctor with my dad in the waiting room, I was given the diagnosis and was told that I would never be able to carry my own baby. In that moment I was devastated and completely heartbroken, and that’s a feeling that stayed with me for many years. Growing up as a small girl, I knew I wanted to be a mom and I always had my baby dolls within arm’s reach. On that day, I felt my dreams of motherhood were stripped away.

When Timmy and I started dating, I knew I would have to break the news to him - one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I told him somehow, someway that I wanted to be a mom to a biological child and that surrogacy was the only way to make that happen. From that moment, he’s supported that dream and said he would love me no matter what. I was lucky because God blessed me with two amazing children. Timmy has a son named TJ from a previous relationship, and shortly after we started dating, I adopted my 5-week-old nephew, Jayden. The boys are now 11 and 9, but my desire to have a biological child of my own has never gone away. In fact, the longer Timmy and I are together, the more everyone asks, “Are you two going to have a baby together?” If only they knew the story and our longing to do just that.

In 2012, when I was 20, I saw the first news articles about uterus transplant trials in Sweden. I love anything related to the medical field and was completely amazed that it was even a possibility - but thought, “Surely they will never do that in the US, right?” Well, I was wrong! In 2016, I was ecstatic when I saw Cleveland Clinic bring a uterus transplant trial to the United States, followed by Baylor and then Penn State. I reached out to all three hospitals for more information. They said that not only would I have to relocate to those cities, but I also didn’t meet the criteria based on my weight. In order to qualify, my BMI had to be under 30. I felt my dream slipping away.

Then last year in the middle of the pandemic, I started a nutrition-based program to help me lose weight, honestly, I just wanted to look and feel better and I was miserable. My goal was to be in the best shape I have been in by the time I reached 30. By October, I was 4 months into my weight loss program and had lost 80 pounds, when I ran across an article posted in one of my MRKH support groups. I was in shock when I read that UAB Hospital in Birmingham, AL was launching a uterus transplant program. I couldn’t believe that of all places Alabama was going to have a program and it would only be 3 and a half hours from home! That same week, I also hit a 30 BMI! I am absolutely amazed at how even the smallest of details were falling into place. 

Through November I kept checking the website for a link to fill out an application – but I never saw one. Finally, on December 9th I decided to call the number I found online and find out the details. They sent me several forms to fill out, which I had to submit along with my medical records. If I was a good fit, they would schedule a virtual interview for me to meet with the transplant surgeon.

On January 11th, the day before my 29th birthday, and after a few long weeks of waiting, the uterus transplant coordinator called me to say they had reviewed my records and wanted to schedule a virtual interview with me. That was definitely the best birthday present ever! The interview was set up for January 19th. I was so excited but so incredibly nervous. This is the one thing I have dreamed about every single day since 2012. This was a huge meeting for me - maybe the most important ever! 

During the hour-long interview with the transplant surgeon and the nurse coordinator, they asked me questions to get to know me and more about my life. The surgeon then explained the process of getting a uterus transplant. After the call, I talked to Timmy and then let the transplant coordinator know the next day that “We are in it for the next round!” The next step for their team was to present my case and medical records to the entire team of several doctors to see if they wanted me to go to Birmingham for an extensive medical evaluation. 

 After a few weeks of waiting which honestly felt like months, I got a call on Monday, February 8th telling me the team would be meeting late on Wednesday to talk about my case and make a decision. Those three days of waiting were definitely the hardest and I lost sleep just thinking about it. On Thursday morning, I got the call I was hoping for: the team unanimously decided to have me come to UAB for three days of testing. When I got off the phone, I had to go to the bathroom at work and wipe all the tears away. I never thought I would get that phone call – but I did - and we were onto the next step!

We headed up to Birmingham after work on March 1st and I remember multiple times during that car ride just looking over at Timmy and asking him “Babe, is this real life?!?!”  On the way to the appointment the next morning, the coordinator told me I was the first girl they brought in to be evaluated for the program, and the only girl from Alabama that had applied - how cool is that!?!?

The next three days were an AMAZING experience meeting the whole team, but it honestly still felt like a dream - was this really happening?!  I was truly honored to be able to have a long conversation with Dr. Porrett, the lead transplant surgeon about her passion behind uterus transplants. On the last day, we said our goodbyes and were told that the whole team of doctors would be meeting on April 6th to look over all my tests and decide if I would be listed for transplant.

We came home and counted down the days, which never went by fast enough. I was excited, nervous, anxious - just a big ball of emotion. This was my #1 lifelong dream - to be able to carry my own baby! I set a countdown on my phone screen and constantly reminded Timmy how many days were left until the big meeting.

 After a little over a month, we got the BEST phone call ever - the team of doctors said yes to moving me forward and listing me for transplant once I have viable embryos created. My dream is becoming a reality, but there are still a few more steps between then and now. 

Here are the details of what the near future will look like: 

- Multiple trips back and forth to Birmingham
- 10 or more days in Birmingham for IVF egg retrieval and embryo creation.
- After embryos are created, I’ll be listed for transplant.
- Once they have a donor that is a match, I will get the call for surgery.
- Around 6 months after surgery, they will transfer one of our embryos.
- I will carry the baby up to 37 weeks and then have a c-section.

Here's the other thing: to be a part of this program, I have to be a resident of Birmingham from the day I have surgery until we have our baby. We are picking up our lives, leaving jobs, family and friends. But we are doing all this to chase a dream - a BIG dream! We know that we can’t do this alone, and we don’t want to do this alone. We want you alongside of us every step of the way as we take this journey together. 

Here’s how you can help: 

- We need prayers and your encouragement - this is the biggest adventure we have ever taken. 

- We need your financial support to make this dream come to life, any amount no matter how small, makes this a reality.
UAB is covering all the medical costs estimated at $200,00 - 300,000 for the surgery and medications, which is amazing! But we are responsible for all IVF costs (around $20,000), all the OB appointments after getting pregnant, travel expenses and accommodations, relocation, and time off work.

We are so excited about being chosen for this opportunity. We are excited for the thousands of women just like me who will be impacted by our “yes” which will help advance medicine and make the impossible, possible. We know our story will inspire many people in the days to come.

 Thank you, guys, for taking the time to read our story. Thank you so much in advance for your support, whether it’s through prayers or your financial support. We are so excited about this next chapter in our lives and we can’t wait to meet our baby!

 To follow our journey, connect with me on Facebook (Elizabeth Goldman), Instagram (@liziscreative), or on our website www.goldmanbaby.com

Fundraising team (2)

Elizabeth Goldman
Raised $605 from 12 donations
Mobile, AL
Timmy Goldman
Team member
Raised $500 from 1 donation

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