Recipient Story – Kate
Lita and I met in summer 2009 and were only 20 and 23 but sparks were there from the start. At the time we met, Lita lived in Kansas and I lived in Dallas and somehow managed to convince her to move here. It was not long before we knew our connection was everlasting but we faced many legal obstacles since this was a time before marriage was recognized for all. Although we knew we would eventually find a way through the legal obstacles of marriage, we were more importantly discussing how we would grow our family.
There was never a question of IF we would have kids but when. Coming out to my family was very difficult, and one of the gut wrenching reassurances I made to my mom was that all of the dreams she wished for me would come true – nothing would change because my soul mate is a woman. Though our life looked a little different than others, I would still have a spouse who loved and adored me and we would make a beautiful family together.
Luckily, on June 25, 2016 all 50 states were required to recognize same sex marriage and Lita and I became legally married not long after. Once we settled into married life we set our eyes upon bringing our first baby into this world! I’ve grown up always wanting to carry a baby but I knew that being severely overweight would put me and baby at a very high risk for complications. I started making active efforts to improve my body for pregnancy and decided to have a weight loss surgery in summer 2016 and have lost upwards of 120lbs! Once my weight was stable, we started visiting our amazing Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Lowell Ku at Dallas IVF in Frisco, Texas.
We began the fun process of researching sperm banks and went through hundreds of sperm donors to choose who we would finally choose to play a genetic role in our child’s life. We ultimately chose someone who resembled Lita and who also had similar interests like an affinity for music and a love of the creative arts.
On April 21, 2017 we completed our first insemination and were thrilled at the thought that we could easily be one of those lucky same-sex couples on Instagram who magically gets pregnant on the first try! Spoiler alert – it was our first failed attempt. We tried another insemination in May, and again in June.
It was the third insemination in June that started to really wear us down. There was a close call with a DHL delivery driver who didn’t even attempt to deliver the 2 thousand dollars’ worth of refrigerated medications. Let’s just say I verbally took out some infertility frustration on him – hell hath no fury like a lady desperately trying to make a baby with refrigerated medications.
There were many times we sat in Dr. Ku’s office, with tears in our eyes asking what were we doing wrong. Did we need to switch donors? Done. Need to change meds? Done. Need to take a month off? Done. Repeat all tests and bloodwork? Done. I had unexplained infertility (a very special kind of hell) and there were no answers.
We completed another insemination in August, and again in October – both were very aggressive cycles which produced over 7 mature follicles. I will never forget the day I sat in Dr. Ku’s office as we were faced with the reality that IVF was likely our only chance to have a family, but completely out of reach because we could not afford it. This is the office visit Dr. Ku mentioned that we should apply for a Baby Quest Foundation grant to help pay for IVF.
All of the procedures we had done up to this point, including the donor sperm, were not covered by insurance and had been completely cash pay. I believe Dr. Ku coincidentally told us about Baby Quest just a mere 4 days before the next application deadline (no fault of his). This was our only shot! We magically pulled together all of the necessary paperwork and overnighted the application to Baby Quest Foundation in hopes that they would see the abundant love we had for each other and how desperately we wanted to share this with a child.
It was just into this New Year, and in the middle our 6th and final insemination attempt, when we learned we were awarded a Baby Quest Foundation grant! Money was the only obstacle between us and our self-pay IVF cycle and now the obstacle was resolved – thanks to the remarkable generosity of the Baby Quest Foundation!
We began our IVF cycle in the middle of January and were fortunate to have our egg retrieval on Valentine’s Day. Just 5 days later we were thrilled to learn we had 3 beautiful embryos to cryopreserve for future transfer! I would not be who I am today without this unexplained infertility struggle, but I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
As I sit here writing this, at nearly 5 weeks pregnant following our first frozen embryo transfer, I am so incredibly overwhelmed with gratitude for the Baby Quest Foundation for opening this amazing new chapter of our lives. Infertility does not discriminate. You may know that 1 in 8 couples will struggle with infertility, but to clarify – that is 1 in 8 of ALL couples. Without Dr. Ku and the Baby Quest Foundation we would still be waiting to one day bring a child into our family but now thankfully we know our Christmas will be extra magical this year!