Hello! We are Johanna and Michael Hernandez and that is a picture of our babies, our embryos. We got married in May, 2011 and we've been trying to have a baby since June, 2012. We always knew we'd want kids right away, but we wanted to buy a home and get settled into a budget before we tried, so we decided to wait a year. We were so excited to start trying, and the women in my family have always gotten pregnant quickly, so we were sure we'd have no problems having a baby right away. We tried everything we could on our own, months of medicine, counting days, checking for ovulation, tests and doctor’s appointments, until we were finally referred to a specialist, an endocrinologist. We even tried special diets, and products rumored to help infertility. But nothing worked. They told us, with our combined issues, we wouldn't likely be able to have a baby on our own, nearly impossible; they said we would need a lot of help. They were right.
Or initial test results weren't terrible, and the endocrinologists were optimistic. They thought we should start with an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). They were confident that with the quality of our tests an IUI could be successful. IUI’s increase the odds of pregnancy from 1%-3%, with normal conception, to 5%-10%. They aren't terribly difficult procedures, mostly just time and medicine, money and waiting. The waiting is the hardest part emotionally, but the money is hardest part logistically. Our insurance doesn't cover infertility, so I got a second job and we set up a payment plan with the clinic. Three IUI's later, we still weren't pregnant. Each subsequent set of test results got worse. Michael’s sperm count, motility and morphology went down with each IUI; we found cysts on my ovaries, I was developing polyps from the treatments, and I had endometriosis. Our chances of conceiving with an IUI went down, significantly. Each month got more and more difficult. The doctors told me I needed to relax and minimize my stress. But how do you do that? At the doctor’s recommendation we scheduled an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). IVF is much more invasive than IUI’s and to prepare my body I needed shots every day. One shot in my stomach every morning and one shot in my butt every night, for weeks to months depending on the success of the IVF. The shots were painful to the point of limiting my ability to walk, sit and stand without pain, but it would all be worth it, if we got pregnant.
Just days before the IVF transfer, I was laid off from my job. IVF costs $10,000. After having gone through everything we had to get there, we just couldn’t cancel. It was a risk that was well worth taking and we got pregnant! Nothing could have made us happier! That picture of our embryos was now the first picture of our babies. For the best month of our lives we were parents and it seemed likely we would be blessed with twins! Then, at six weeks, we lost the babies. We were devastated, it's impossible to express such utterly complete heartbreak. They don't know what went wrong, just that they were gone. They were sorry, but sometimes this happens. And just like that, we weren't going to be parents anymore. After the miscarriage, the doctor suggested surgery for the endometriosis; he said it might decrease the chance of another miscarriage. The surgery was successful, but showed only mild endometriosis. Given the mildness of the endometriosis, the doctor wasn’t convinced it played a large role in the miscarriage. Once I had healed, the doctor said we should try a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). With this procedure, they use the “extra” embryos from the IVF. They told us we had to pay off the IVF before they would continue with FET, so we drained my retirement funds and paid them off and tried for FET. Sadly, we did not get pregnant. After that, we had exhausted all of our savings and we were out of money, $13,000 later.
We have enough “extra” embryos for two more FETs, just waiting for us. But we can't do anything without money. I've gotten a good job since then, and we want so badly to try again, but we just don't have the funds.
It is impossible to express what your help would mean to Michael and me. How can we possibly convey the gratitude of giving us a chance to have a baby? The gift of life is without equal in this world. There are no words, no actions, no amount of money that could ever repay your support and generosity. The only thing we could do is dedicate ourselves to being the best parents we can be, to having the most loved child anyone ever had. That we can guarantee.
What We Need & What You Get
We're trying to raise $5,000 to help pay for the medicine and costs of two FET procedures. Each FET costs between $1,500 and $2,000, combined with the medicine needed and the costs of monitoring; if we reach our goal we'll be able to cover much of our costs. If we get pregnant on our first FET, any additional money will be used for pregnancy and labor and delivery costs. All of the money we raise will go onto a medical card dedicated to paying for infertility, monitoring and pregnancy costs.
All we have to offer you for your help is our sincere gratitude, our fervent appreciation and our promise to be amazing and loving parents. We promise to keep you updated on our progress and share pictures of our beautiful and amazing children we know, thanks to you all, we'll have someday!
Every dollar makes a difference, and every dollar will be used to help cover infertility costs. Whether we reach our goal now or not, we will keep saving until we have enough and we will keep trying until we have a baby. Nothing is more important to us, and we will continue to do everything within our power to have a baby.
Every day we see and hear about people having kids 'by accident'. How lucky they are to have that ability, when people like my husband and I, who desperately want to have a family, have to struggle. We have worked to have a life we are proud to bring a child into, and we have so much love to give to them, if only we had the opportunity.
Other Ways You Can Help
We know times are tough for everyone. While every dollar counts, we also need help spreading the word about our campaign. The more people we reach, the better chance we have of attaining our goals. If you can share this with everyone you know, you'd be helping us immensely! Sharing this link on any and every social media outlet you have access to would be amazing.
Thank you all, for your time and support; you'll never know how much it means to us!