Michelle and Sam’s happily ever after started in 2013 as did their painful and expensive infertility journey. Due to a lack of mandated insurance coverage in Maine, they have paid for all their treatment out-of-pocket. After four failed IUI’s, they made the decision to move onto IVF.
They financed their first cycle with a loan and credit cards, and this brought them the most joyous news of a pregnancy. Sadly, this resulted in a miscarriage after seeing their baby’s heartbeat. They were devastated and did not think they could try again financially, but they could not accept that their journey to parenthood had ended.
They began exploring all family building options. The next step in their journey was international IVF which is typically less expensive and included extensive testing prior to the cycle to rule out any other conditions contributing to infertility and pregnancy loss, two egg retrievals and PGS testing. Michelle transferred 2 PGS tested embryos and lost the pregnancy shortly after returning home from Spain. They were left with the loan from their first IVF cycle, a depletion of their savings, extensive credit card debt…and no baby.
They continued to explore all options, not giving up on their dream of having a baby despite all the obstacles. They decided to pursue an IVF assurance program using donor eggs which would have a much higher success rate and would come with a money back guarantee if there was no baby in the end. Michelle and Sam knew this is how they were going to get their long-awaited baby, but they struggled with the decision of how to afford this program. The price tag was steep: $42,000. This led to the difficult decision of opening up about their struggle and asking for help from family, friends, and their community.
They started a GoFundMe page and felt that if they were going to ask for help, they also had a responsibility to advocate for awareness and change in order to be a part of reducing the stigma of infertility. Michelle was interviewed for an online magazine article about the cost of treatment, participated in an online infertility story project, advocated for mandated insurance coverage with local politicians, submitted a request for insurance coverage with her employer, and Sam and Michelle were interviewed by a local news station.
They are working to educate, advocate, and be a support to others who are also going through this heartbreaking journey. With much love and support, they are more than half way to their financial goal of affording the IVF assurance program and hope to be able to get started with treatment as soon as possible.