Sarah and Dave married in July 2012 and started trying for a baby immediately. They thought by December they would be able to make one of those cute pregnancy announcements that everyone sees around the holidays. Infertility never crossed their minds. Now, six years later, no insurance coverage for any fertility treatments, tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket spent, they are still going and still hoping.
Their journey started with Clomid and initial testing which lead to a diagnostic laparoscopy to look at the severity of Sarah’s endometriosis. The endo was not severe, so they did five IUI’s. All of those failed. After that, Sarah was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and the IVF journey began. For two years, everything they did centered around IVF.
Simple things like planning to go to a baseball game had to be thought through because “where they would do their injections?” (Dave had to give Sarah her injection in a parking deck at the baseball stadium). They sold their house so they would have enough to pay for IVF. They missed parts of friend’s weddings because they had to sneak away to do an injection. Dave is an elementary school teacher and soccer coach which means that working appointments around that schedule is not easy. They put their life on hold because of the hope that IVF would bring them their miracle baby. In those two years they did three egg retrievals, transferred seven embryos, and had two miscarriages. No baby. The latest diagnoses is poor egg quality.
The options are to go with an egg donor or explore embryo donation. They have chosen to explore the embryo donation path. Sarah says, “Infertility is the hardest thing we have ever been through. We have had our hearts broken and shed countless tears, but we are lucky. It is has brought us closer and made us stronger. However, more importantly, we are lucky because we were able to afford treatments. Expensive treatments that insurance would not cover.”
Sarah and Dave have been public with their friends and family about their journey. Their hope is that by sharing their story, other people will feel less alone. They feel strongly that awareness is important. Asking someone when they are going to have children can be devastating for someone diagnosed with infertility. This is a medical condition and they want people to understand that. It is also important for people to be aware of the costs involved. Telling someone to “just adopt” or “just do IVF” is one of the most unhelpful and unrealistic suggestions people make when they find out someone is infertile. Those are expensive options and in many cases cost prohibitive for people. Sarah and Dave are still in the early stages of exploring embryo donation and are remaining hopeful that this will be their path to a baby.