Giving birth is one of those things, like so many others, that we tend to take for granted like breathing and good health. I want to start by saying that both myself and my husband are not the type of people who like to ask for handouts for any reason. Starting this fundraiser was a very tough decision for fear of judgement and lack of support. One part of me says “Go for it. It’s worth the try.” The other part of me says “How dare you beg for help to have a baby?” I want to become a mother with every part of me. However, I just can’t help but to feel that it’s so unfair for me to attempt to make a case for why I am worthy to receive assistance. There are so many women (good women) that suffer from infertility. I think we all deserve to be mothers. Unfortunately, Michigan is not a state that is mandated for insurance to cover infertility expenses. Rather than explaining why we deserve your help, I will explain how we arrived at this point. Hopefully, my story (amongst others) will pull on your heart strings enough to compel you to donate or share our story to spread infertility awareness.
In 2011, I learned that I was pregnant for the first time. At about 5-6 weeks pregnant, I woke up in immense lower abdominal pain. As the day went on, the pain became unbearable and I could barely stand at all. I went to the restroom and saw blood in my underwear. I left work to go to the emergency room. To make a long story short, I was told that I had an ectopic pregnancy. I didn’t understand it completely but I knew that it wasn’t good news. I was then told that I had to undergo surgery right away or I would bleed internally and die. I was shocked, sad and frightened at the same time. I remember waking up in a daze and being informed that I lost one of my tubes.
I remember grieving internally and feeling like no one understood or really even cared. I would stare at my scars every day feeling angry, sad, defeated and ugly (referring to the three wounds on my stomach). I remember walking in stores and getting teary eyed when I passed baby products or when I saw other pregnant women. I didn’t want to be around women and their kids. I felt like I was robbed and most of all I felt alone through it all. It took a while, several years actually, for me to get to the point where the memories and sadness didn’t affect me as much.
Fast forward to October 2015, I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband was outside raking up leaves so I ran to the restroom to sneak and take the pregnancy test. I took the test and couldn’t believe it. So I took two more and they were all positive. You would think I would be excited right? Well I was petrified. I didn’t know if it was real. We were so happy. We thought it was our Thanksgiving and Christmas gift. We looked forward to such a blessed holiday season.
Sometime in November 2015, I remember going to the restroom and seeing light spotting. I grew worried and saw flashbacks from the years before. We decided to go to the doctor to get some reassurance. It was dejavu all over again. I remember the nurse coming back and forth in the room, moving the ultrasound tool to different areas and monitoring the screen intensely. I remember her calling the doctor. I remember the doctor telling me that it was ectopic. My husband didn’t understand but I knew the terminology all too well. As my husband asked probing questions to gain understanding, I knew that there wasn’t any hope. I knew the answers to his questions but I was too stunned to say anything. I knew exactly what was about to happen. As they moved me to another room to discuss the details. I looked away from my husband and cried to myself.
I felt defeated and depressed once again. We went from thinking that it would be difficult to conceive, to getting pregnant without trying, to having to abort just before Thanksgiving and being childless by Christmas. It was a sad year for us. Every year since then has been the same. I have good days and I have bad days.
My right tube was ruptured and removed completely. A radiologist also confirmed that my left tube is blocked. My fertility specialist stated that due to my tubes, IVF is the only option.
We've undergone several tests and now we are finally at the beginning stages of IVF. All fees have to be paid in full prior to the embryo transfer. Asking for help is by far the hardest decision that I've ever had to make. It took over a year for me to even get to this point per the suggestion of a close friend. I am afraid of being judged. However, my fear of not being a mother is worse than any other fear that I have. So I come humbly asking for your help in anyway. We make good money so we are not looking for handouts. We simply don't have $17,000-$20,000 laying around to give all at once, especially when their isn't a guarantee that it will work.
(This photo shows the moment at the doctor's office right before our first ultrasound. Sadly, this was also the same day that we were informed that the pregnancy had to be terminated.)
WHAT WE NEED
EXPENSE BREAKDOWN-1 IVF CYCLE
Cycle Management Fees-$975
Ultrasounds-$200 (8 estimated=$1600)
Bloodwork-$65 (18 estimated=$1170)
IVF lab Fees-$6500
Embryo Storage Fee-$500 per year
Total costs exceed well over the amount that we are asking for. We are only seeking assitance to help cover some of the expenses while we gather the rest.
(top portion of IVF fee sheet)
(letter from Fertility Specialist)
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT
Though funds are needed to continue with this process, money is not the end all of any situation. Traveling back and forth to appointments has taken an emotional toll on us. If we reach our financial goals, the emotional stress will remain...especially once we begin the treatments. We are asking that you keep us in your prayers and to lend us a thoughtful word whenever you feel it on your heart to do so.
(Our wedding day: one year before we were told our only option to conceive would be IVF.)