October 3rd Update:
(If you are new to this page scroll down to "Our Story" for all the background information about our fundraising site.)
On June 15th, I posted my birthday wish for the world to see. It read, “Today is my 28th birthday. If given one wish, I’d wish to be a Mom.” It linked to this very site. It was a huge risk, one Sean and I had debated on sharing for awhile. However, within hours, we were flooded with support by hundreds of people, some of whom we had never even met. For so long, we had found ourselves scared to admit what we were facing. Looking back it almost seems silly to have kept our secret of infertility in for so long. Yes, some people were surprised, others sad, but overall we were fed back hope we had lost along the way.
We’ve kept pretty quiet the last couple of months, as our focus became all things IVF. We decided to keep the process to ourselves and not post publicly as we really didn’t know what to expect. Yes, the doctors warn you but until you’re in it, it’s just not the same. On July 12th, the medication began. (For those wondering, it was birth control first. Yes, crazy, I know! You think that maybe you need to find a new doctor as he prescribes you birth control to HAVE a child.) That soon ended and on July 26th, I began taking injections. I have a newfound appreciation for anyone that is diabetic or deals with injections on a daily basis. It is scary and difficult. I somehow managed to host my high school reunion July 29th & 30th all while dealing with this first week of injections. I didn’t have a glass of wine all weekend, I was basically falling asleep at the table, and the bruises on my stomach stayed away long enough to make it through the pool party. As August came around, new injections were added, all in my stomach. The pills per day began to increase by the week. With the injections and pills came the side effects. To be honest, I thought they’d be worse but I’m pretty sure I had a headache from the Lupron for a solid three weeks. I could also fall asleep while standing up. J Some of the injections I could do myself, but not all and my sweet husband, my “RN” sister Emily, and my friends Catherine, Katie and Maggie were always there to help out when needed. I am forever grateful to them. Seriously, there are no words.
The third week of August we celebrated our 4th Anniversary. No fancy getaway for us, just the two IVF procedures as well as bed rest and acupuncture. The day of the egg retrieval, 16 eggs were retrieved. You are probably thinking, “Oh my goodness! That’s way worse than Octomom!” We learned that that number quickly changes. Right away, the doctor knew two were unusable. From that point, only nine could be used for ICSI. (Yes, you can Google that if you’d like.) The following day, we had five embryos that fertilized. Then we were down to four and then down to three. It boggled our minds to go from 16 eggs to only three embryos. We just had to focus on what we had. August 20th came and it was time for the transfer. We knew two of our embryos were “textbook perfect.” Immediately, we thought it was the perfect scenario. Two would be put in that day and one would be used in the future. That day the transfer went great. The rest of the weekend was dedicated to resting and being afraid to move. Sadly, on Sunday, we learned that our last embryo did not make it and our only chance we had came from the embryos inside of me that very moment.
New injections began this same week, all in the butt. Yes, sorry to say it. If you committed to this journey with us, you are in it, awful details and all. :) With these injections came two weeks of waiting. Some moments were fine. Some moments it seemed like minutes took hours. We just wanted to know. Was all of this worth it? Could we share good news with all of you or would our doubts win and we’d be faced with more defeat? On September 2nd, after blood work and hours of waiting, THE phone call came. My hands were shaking. I could barely speak and of course Sean was out mowing the lawn and it took me forever to find him. After a few minutes of putting the nurse on hold, we found ourselves together in the dining room silently freaking out. This was it. Every appointment, bill, injection, pill, side effect…it all came to down to this. Within seconds, everything changed. Our 1% chance of conceiving turned into a 50% chance with IVF which turned into 100% pregnant!! Yes! The IVF worked!!
It’s difficult to even type that. I get teary-eyed just thinking about the number of people who helped us get here. If you have helped us in any way at all, THANK YOU. We cannot say it enough. Your donations have allowed us to do something we never thought we could. Your prayers and support have lifted us in our weakest moments. Our dream of becoming parents is becoming a reality. On Wednesday, October 5th, I will be nine weeks pregnant. Some may even think this update has come too soon. We aren’t even through the first trimester. Why tell everyone? Everyone helped this happen for us, that’s why. We want everyone to know that the IVF they contributed to worked. We know we are not in the clear yet. In all honesty, the last couple of weeks have been filled with some complications due to subchorionic hematoma. We were pretty sure we miscarried a couple weeks ago because of it. It was a terrifying day of defeat. The doubt crept up and happiness was replaced with tears. However, it was followed by the first time we heard our baby’s heartbeat. J So, yes Baby Haley is a fighter. He or she is holding on. Keep the prayers coming as these next few weeks are crucial. My body needs to heal and Baby Haley needs to keep growing strong and healthy!
This update is way longer than anticipated but I guess this is just a glimpse at our life the last few months. We don’t have the normal story of how we conceived our first child, but we do have a miracle story, one that involves hundreds of people from all over. So, thank you forever and always. We’ll never be able to say it enough.
Sean & Jessica
PS – I’ll try to add some photos and even a video in the days to come. There is a pretty great video from the day we shared the news with my family. It was my Mom’s 60th Birthday and we got to tell her she’s going to be a 1st time Grandma! J
I met my husband when I was 16. He knew we'd end up together. I, on the other hand, thought that high school sweethearts only got married in the movies. I ran away and he ran after. Man, am I glad he did. Twelve years later, he is my best friend, my husband, and hopefully the father of my children. That is, if one day, we can have them. Right now, we are going on three years of trying to have a baby. A couple weeks ago, our doctor told us we only have a 1% chance of conceiving naturally. Although that thought is tough to swallow, we are not giving up. We have tried "not preventing" and "trying" and ovulation kits and fertility drugs and more ultrasounds than I can count. There has been blood work and procedures and lots and lots of pregnancy tests that always say the same thing, "not pregnant." Month after month our lives are filled with defeat and yet somehow through it all we remain hopeful. We believe we were meant to be parents and we know this will all be worth it. With the help of an amazing group of doctors, we now have the opportunity to do in vetro fertilization, more commonly known as IVF. We are beyond ready to start this process, but since our insurance does not cover the cost of infertility, finances are holding us back. Although the outcome is uncertain and the journey may be difficult, we are inviting our friends, family, and those who feel led to support us to be part of our "Baby Haley Journey!"
Sean and I have gone back and forth discussing if it was a "good idea" to post this information online and let the world into this personal and difficult journey we've been on. There are pros and cons that always come up. For starters, there is not a guarantee. This procedure might not work. In addition, many people in our lives will be shocked to hear this has been going on for almost three years. We hope this will not change the way they treat us and that they will feel comfortable talking about this with us. We must prepare ourselves for the questions and comments that will come, many of which we have dodged by facing these difficulties with only a few close friends, coworkers and family members. All that to say, we can NOT do this without you. The deeper we get into this, the harder it is to pretend like life is great. If we say no to dinner invites to save money, we want you to know why we are saving money. If my attitude is awful and I look sleep deprived, I want you to know it's the side effects of my fertility medicine. However, after much thought and prayer, we know the pros outweigh the cons. Sharing our story with you, could result in two things. With your help, we could become pregnant and have a child! I think I have to repeat that because that thought in itself is overwhelming for us. We could have a child! :) And secondly, if there are any couples reading this that are facing the challenges of infertility, we hope this gives them the courage to speak up, to reach out, to fight! Overall, this is a scary thing for us to admit and if there are others dealing with this too, we'd love to hear from you! If our story can help one other couple, we will have found our purpose in all of this.
What We Need: $16,405
Breakdown of Expenses for 1 IVF Treatment:
- Cycle Stimulation & Monitoring $2192
- Surgery (includes Anesthesia, Egg Retrieval, & Ultrasounds) $1925
- Laboratory Embryology (Oocyte Identification, Insemination, Oocyte/Embryo Culture) $4125
- Laboratory Andrology $300
- Embryo Transfer $1175
- ICSI $1500
- Trial Transfer $260
- Embryo Storage $400
- Fertility Medication for 1 IVF Treatment $4000
- Labwork $1500