Hi, my name is Erin and I fell in love with a man with cystic fibrosis. We met in 2009, married in 2013, and we knew we wanted to start a family as soon as we could. Because he was well-versed in his disease, my husband, RJ, told me from the beginning of our relationship that he knew he likely wouldn’t be able to have a baby naturally. In the summer of 2013, it was confirmed that he was infertile, and I also did not carry the cystic fibrosis gene. That meant we knew we would have to turn to IVF to fulfill our dreams of becoming parents.
In the fall of 2014, we took out a sizable loan and underwent a fresh round of IVF. We were both teachers at the time. Our monthly payments were over half of what our mortgage payments were, but it was worth it! Our fresh transfer resulted in a successful pregnancy and the birth of our daughter in June 2015. We had seven embryos that were classified as “great” to freeze. Life was good.
We were blessed that IVF worked the first time. We struggled with our loan, but we had a finite end date. We had originally wanted to have two children close in age, but because of the financial burden, we had to wait until the fall of 2019 – five years after we first did our first round of IVF. We talked to our clinic in the summer of 2019 and completed some testing while we fretted about taking out another loan (albeit smaller this time) and the financial burden it would cause. Then my husband got a new job with infertility coverage. This was a game changer! How freeing it was to not have our family size decided by income!
We completed our first frozen embryo transfer five years to the day after our fresh transfer. We were confident – it was like the universe had shown us this was meant to be and besides, it worked the first time, right? I did get pregnant from that transfer, but it was unfortunately a chemical pregnancy. Since then, we’ve had two more transfers that have failed, a cancelled cycle, and a fourth embryo lost after thaw. We may not have the financial toll this time around, but the emotional and physical toll has been incredible. We have three embryos remaining and are still clinging to hope that we will be able to complete our family when our clinic reopens.
IAmChangingTheConversation by being open and honest about our struggles. Most people don’t know much about IVF and infertility. I’ve been writing about what we’ve been going through and sharing it with as many people as I can. The support has been tremendous and has helped us through our darkest moments.