As some of you may already know, my sister, Jennifer and her husband, Cory, have been on a long journey of trying to have a baby. Over the past ten years, they have faced many challenges with unexplained infertility but have not given up. At this point, they have done everything possible to try and conceive on their own, but due to Jenn’s health issues, their next best option is IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). For those who have not experienced infertility or watched someone close to you go through it, it is an extremely emotional, painful, and at times a seemingly hopeless process. As her sister and best friend, there is a strong desire in me to give them what they have been dreaming of for so long. My wish is to help them financially, but I can’t do this alone. That is why I am asking for your help.
Cory and Jenn are some of the most loving, caring, and giving people I know. I’m sure those that know them have plenty of stories to attest to that. With their consent, I wanted to share their story for you to see what has brought them to the point of pursuing IVF. Cory and Jenn got married in June of 2009 and knew from the start they wanted to have kids together. Jenn was blessed to gain a son, Evan, who was 3 years old when they got married. As the first grandson and nephew, he has brought so much joy to our whole family. Not too long after they got married, Jenn was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) as well as a genetic defect of the MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) gene. They went to a fertility specialist who had prescribed two medications (Clomid and Metformin) for her to take that were supposed to be a good combo for someone with her diagnosis that was trying to get pregnant. At this time, Jenn was overweight and was also told that if she would lose weight, her chances of getting pregnant would be increased. For many years, she would try to lose weight through different diet and workout plans with little to no weight loss only to find out that her genetic condition was working against her; making it very challenging to lose weight. She contemplated having gastric bypass surgery for quite some time, however, Cory was concerned with all of the risks that came along with it and didn’t want her to have the procedure done. At this point, she continued trying to lose weight on her own despite the difficulty and persisted taking the medications recommended by the fertility specialist.
After several years with no luck getting pregnant, Jenn and Cory decided to revisit the thought of gastric bypass and decided to meet with a bariatric surgeon to get more information. During that consultation, they were told that most patients have a much higher chance of getting pregnant after having the surgery and losing the weight, so they decided that it was worth the risks. Jenn had the surgery in 2015 and within two weeks she began having serious complications. She was hospitalized more times then we can even count, had pancreatitis multiple times, had to have her stomach stretched out eight times, had gallstones and kidney stones, her intestines twisting, a hernia, a hole in her intestines, blood sugar issues, gall bladder removed, and many of these complications she still experiences to this day. However, she lost a total of 150 pounds and was hopeful this would make a difference as she tried to get pregnant.
They had to wait one year from the surgery before she could get pregnant, so as soon she got the okay, they decided to see a fertility specialist again. Once more, they did more rounds of Clomid and was going into the office multiple times a week for blood work, ultrasounds, etc. At this time, they had also done IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) while on Clomid; unfortunately, without success. After getting another negative test, they were feeling defeated and decided to take a step back from the fertility treatments and get another opinion.
A few months later Cory and Jenn found another fertility specialist that they met with and started the testing all over. This doctor said that her PCOS was no longer a factor and all of her and Cory’s test results came back normal. At this point, the doctor diagnosed Jenn with “unexplained infertility”. The doctor said that she was still a candidate for the IUI; however, Jenn and Cory decided to put their money towards IVF since the chances of conception are much higher, rather than continue putting money towards something they had already tried. With regard to Jenn’s genetic defect, they sought out genetic counseling and were told that it should not affect her fertility, however, it will make it more difficult of a process.
Due to age and Jenn’s genetic disorder, time is not on their side. As you probably know, IVF is expensive and is not covered by most insurance companies. Therefore, I am asking for help on behalf of them from our family and friends. I know this is a very difficult time for everyone and understand that we are asking for a lot, but I fully believe in the power of prayer and when people come together big things can happen. Any amount is helpful and will make a difference. Please also keep Cory and Jenn in your prayers as they begin the IVF journey. We know that their road ahead will have a lot of ups and downs, but we also know that God has a plan for their lives and we trust in that plan whole-heartedly.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read their story. On behalf of Cory and Jenn and our family, we appreciate all of the prayers, support, and financial contributions more than you know.
- Brandy Harris
- stephanie carlton
- Sarah Pederson
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