Recipient Story – Erika
Our journey to having a baby has been beyond what we ever imagined. I was only 26 years old when my husband and I started “trying” so I naively thought it would happen right away, that was the case for all my friends, but as months went by I started to worry.
I happened to have an appointment with my OBGYN a few months into it, so I discussed my concerns with her. Fast forward and we were being transferred to a specialist, a Reproductive Endocrinologist. After what felt like a million tests later (oh and THOUSANDS of dollars because fertility treatment is not covered by most insurances, regardless of the fact that we have a great PPO plan) we found ourselves in our RE’s office being told that not only was I having issues ovulating, but we were both carries of Cystic Fibrosis.
This broke me. I never imagined myself dealing with depression, but this definitely took me there. On top of suggesting we try doing IVF, our Reproductive Endocrinologist was now suggesting we do IVF with PGD testing, adding on an additional $6,000 + dollars to our approximately $25,000 bill. If you are not familiar with PGD testing, it stands for, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). It is a procedure used prior to implantation to help identify genetic defects within embryos. To test 5 embyros cost about $6,000 dollars, with an additional $1,000 for every embryo after that.
As we started our journey there were many ups and downs;it was a rollercoaster to say the least, one I wish to never ride again. After spending about $50,000 out of pocket, and still not getting anywhere, I decided there had to be a way to find help. With a quick Google search I came across Baby Quest, an amazing foundation that provides financial assistance through fertility grants. What stood out the most to me was that they did not require you to fall within a certain financial bracket, and they were open to any circumstance. This was important to me because while both my husband and I have great jobs, spending $50,000 out of pocket is not easy for anyone, and I believe everyone deserves help if they need it.
Finding Baby Quest has been God sent, for reasons beyond the funds. On our final and only successful IVF (after 2 failed), Baby Quest helped with the costs of PGD testing. We ultimately ended up with 15 embryos, totaling about $16,000 for testing. Beyond that, we were introduced to the most incredible community. Instantly, I felt the strength of the women that surrounded me, I knew I wasn’t alone and did not have to go through this silently.
After 2 failed embryo transfers, 1 fresh and 1 frozen, I started to feel hopeless again. Every time I felt alone, I reached out to the Baby Quest group and immediately felt stronger. Finally, on our 3rd transfer we got a positive pregnancy! We are over the moon and so thankful to finally have our prayers answered, but after 3 of the most painful years of my life, I still struggled to wrap my ahead around the fact that this is really happening.
I have struggled with believing that is possible that something positive is happening for us, and have held my breath in fear that this would be like everything that happened to us in the years before, leaving us heartbroken. I have continued to rely on the Baby Quest community to get me through these emotions. Within minutes of sharing my feelings on our group chat, I had an out pouring of messages lifting me up, group members sharing their similar stories and once again reminding me I was not alone.
We all have a different path with fertility treatments and through pregnancy but one thing I know of all the people I have met along the way, with each of their unique stories, there is a unparalleled strength and sense of perseverance amongst them all. If I could say anything to someone going through the pain of “infertility”, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We are a special kind, we know what it’s like to face adversity and yet our desires for a family are so strong, we forge ahead anyways. Regardless of the pain, I count myself lucky to be apart such a resilient group of individuals!