Hello! Brittany and Tony Brown here, thank you for visiting our go fund me page! You are probably wondering why there is a picture of an egg with a Band-Aid and we will help explain with our story! As with any story it is easier to give a bit of background information before diving into the here and now. Back in 2013 Tony and I were thrilled when over the summer, after two months of trying to conceive, we saw two pink lines show on a pregnancy test. We were going to be parents! Nine months later we gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby boy. Looking back at that time if I knew what I know now I imagine we would have handled the experience differently but alas we cannot change the past. Unfortunately, our story takes a turn from this point on.
In May, 2014 we unexpectedly became pregnant with our second pregnancy. We had no reason to believe that things would turn out differently from our first pregnancy. When we hit 8 weeks I ended up miscarrying. As devastating as it was we were determined to try again as miscarriages are common (1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage). We got pregnant again October of 2014 and ended up miscarrying again around the 7 week mark. Again, determined to try, because there was nothing to say we couldn't have a successful pregnancy, we got pregnant again two more times in 2015. Both pregnancies ended at that 6-8 week mark. At this point, with four miscarriages within the past two years we decided to start fertility counseling.
I wish I could say this is where answers started to present themselves but unfortunately we spent the next 2.5 years from 2016 to spring of this year not even being able to get pregnant. And let me tell you when I say we tried everything in the book (kits, tests, apps, drinks, acupuncture, etc.), we tried everything. It was as if our bodies said now is not the time. At the beginning of this year we had made the decision to stop trying and just accept that we were not to have anymore children. We would enjoy life with the one blessing we had and thank God for bringing him into our lives. But you know what's funny about life? They mean it when they say expect the unexpected...
Here I was, March of this year, in the Urgent Care room as I felt pretty strongly I had a UTI. When the nurse came in she said you tested negative for a UTI, however you tested positive on a pregnancy test! Imagine our disbelief. After recurrent pregnancy loss and two years of infertility we felt like this was it, this was our time! It still saddens us to speak about it but unfortunately the fetus did not develop and we did end up miscarrying at the 8 week mark.
There are no words to describe this path of recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility that we have been on. To add to that all of our fertility testing has come back normal. We have "unexplained infertility and pregnancy loss". So at this point in our long, sometimes painful, journey we have reached the decision along with our fertility doctor that IVF is our answer. In order to increase our odds of a successful pregnancy this is our route.
For those of you that have stuck through this and read to this point, we appreciate you. Often it is not the fertility issues itself that burden a family, though they are tough and can downright suck. It is the financial cost of fertility treatments that are the burden. But we strongly believe that financial matters should not determine whether a family experience the joy of having a child. It is estimated that IVF cycles average around $15,000 (and it takes on average 3 cycles for a successful IVF). On top of that, the cost for fertility medications hormones on average estimate around $5-10,000. Total, couples look at an estimate of $60,000 for a successful IVF. Working in the banking industry I can tell you with confidence that most working middle class families do not have that kind of change available with easy access.
Here is where we ask for your help. Tony and I are passionate about having another child and short of us both getting second jobs (which we are still contemplating) we are asking friends, family and complete strangers to give a gift of kindness and help us achieve our dream to have a second child. 1 in 8 women suffer from infertility and like I mentioned earlier, 1 in 4 women suffer recurrent pregnancy loss. I happen to fall into both statistics, but I am more than a number and we will overcome those statistics. So we ask for help, from our community of friends and family, strangers, and others who have experienced this journey and walked the IVF path to donate. And If you can't spare the change, that is ok. We ask then for your prayers and good thoughts to keep us in mind for blessings and positive news as we take this next step on this fertility journey.
Lastly, like our broken egg picture, though we may not be able to conceive naturally, we have an option and that is more than nothing. Kindness is always free...for those women who struggle with these diseases every day I want you to know you are not alone. You have a voice and it matters to be heard. We are in this together as women and we are strong. Don't give up, don't lose hope, we've got this.
Tony, Brittany and Ethan Brown
- Pom Pom
- Louise Battaglia
- Anne Elish
- Jenn Solis
- Mary Miller
Fort Collins, CO