Operation Baby Pants

From her sister:  Kristen was born to be a mom.  From the time she could start thinking about having kids, she wanted them.  She took babysitting jobs, worked in daycare, just to be around children.  She found the guy she wanted to start her family with, got married, and started their journey, knowing that with PCOS, it could be difficult, if not impossible.  I have watched her do everything her doctor has said for the past two years with no luck yet.  She has mostly kept this journey to herself with the exception of close family and friends, because she couldn't bear everyone wondering when it would happen.  I've watched their hearts break every time they received a negative test result after an IUI.  Recently my sister started a group on facebook, thinking some of her friends might have been through the same thing and could offer support, ideas, doctors and who knows.  The outpouring of love she received in the first day was absolutely amazing.  Then, one of her friends, who had struggled to have a child suggested a go fund me page.  Kristen is not the kind of person to ask for help, and definitely not financial help.  All she wanted was support and love.  She was greatful that her friends cared so much, but she wouldn't dream of asking people to donate money to help her have a child...but you know what?  Some more of those amazing friends, who had also struggled to have a child and knew what she was going through decided to do it for her... and here we are, and I thank them so much.  Here is her story:

By Kristen:  I was diagnosed with PCOS in my teens so I thought I was prepared for all of this. Nope!  I warned Randy about a month into our relationship that I would probably have trouble having children... he married me anyway. =) We started going to our fertility doctor right away when we started trying because we knew we would need help. After a bunch of tests (p.s. Hysterosalpingograms are the DEVIL. And I've had THREE.) they found polyps. I had surgery in March 2013 to remove polyps and while they were in there they found a septum so they repaired that too. I'm now the proud owner of a "pretty uterus". =)- In June 2013 we did our first round of clomid. I refused to do an IUI the first round. I told them I didn't want them to take away one chance to try things the semi-normal way. No dice. Second round of clomid didn't work so we switched to Gonal-F injections. We've had six, count 'em, six IUIs thus far after that initial natural-but-not-really attempt. We did four on Gonal-F and the last two have been on Letrozole. Pretty much anything that I've been told to do, I have done. I've lost 75 pounds in six months, I bought super-powered (super-expensive!) CoQ10 vitamins for me and Conception vitamins for Randy , I've been doing acupuncture for months, I drank raspberry leaf tea, I've been on pre-natals for a year and a half, Randy takes folic acid. And that's only some of it.

Full disclosure: We live paycheck to paycheck and have still spent $7k up to this point, and that is with insurance covering IUI. My doctor is telling us that IVF is our best chance, but our insurance does not cover IVF. We went  to an info session at an adoption agency to research all of our options since we have gotten to a point where the doctor says IUIs are pointless for us. If we do anything we would have to try to borrow money and pay it back for years. The thought of making five years of payments on something that didn't work conflicts with the logical side of my brain. Adoption makes more sense for us, but part of my heart isn't ready to give up on a chance at a biological child. We're not sure if IVF or adoption are even an option for us financially, but if it is it's one or the other. This decision has been tearing me up for months. Right now we're still hoping to find a way to attempt more IUIs, we're filling out grant paperwork for both IVF and adoption, and we're prepping for an adoption home study. We're throwing everything we can at this dream and seeing what sticks. It's all we can do.

Being a mom is all I've ever really wanted in life, and Randy can't wait to be a dad. We tried to be responsible and do things properly... waiting until we felt financially secure enough to bring a child into the world. Randy gave up his dream job of owning his own lanscaping business for the steady paycheck of the postal service. We've worked incredibly hard on clearing up debt (almost there!!).  And now that we feel we can do this, it turns out I'm getting too old for these procedures to work. Unfortunately we just don't have the $17,000 for IVF nor the $20,000 for adoption. We are hoping to raise a bit of it to help us out, while we continue to save, fundraise and apply for grants. For IVF the total is due up-front, and while the bulk of the adoption money isn't due until you are matched with a child that could happen at any time and we would have to be prepared. We are reaching out to those we love to see if they can help in even the smallest way. It would change our lives, and mean the world to us for Baby-Pants to have a whole bunch of Fairy Godparents!!! =)

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Kristen Hayes Van Dine 
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