Help me become a first time mom
Help me become a first time mom
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Nakeisha Jackson is organizing this fundraiser.
As many of you know, Will and I have been struggling with recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility over the past three years. Toward the end of 2018, we decided we were ready to start our family. We have both always wanted children and I KNOW without a doubt that Will is going to make the best Papa one day! After 9 months of negatives, we finally had a positive test! We were, of course, so excited but I eventually miscarried in August 2019. It was one of the hardest things we’d walked through up to that point. Our hearts were completely shattered and I was carrying a lot of guilt for not being able to sustain the pregnancy. After taking a few months to heal both mentally and physically, we decided to try again and had another positive test in February 2020! We were cautiously optimistic this time, but we ultimately lost our second pregnancy in March. I was devastated and incredibly discouraged. Grief engulfed me and I had a very hard time simply showing up to my own life.
After taking some time to heal from our second miscarriage, we began trying again. This time, we had months and months of NO. It would be another year of negatives before I admitted to myself that we were indeed dealing with infertility. Because I had been pregnant twice before, I had a hard time letting myself admit this very real fact – we needed help. After lots of therapy to help me navigate the pain and confusion, I finally allowed myself to say “I’m struggling with infertility” and then started seeking out more answers with my doctors. My OB ran a few tests and noted that my egg count was pretty low. Not ideal for TTC-ers and unusual for my age! She referred us to our wonderful fertility doctor in the summer of 2021 when things started to get real.
Cue a slew of blood tests, labs, and ultrasounds… We discussed IUI, or Intrauterine Insemination, and started planning to take this route. Again, I was cautiously optimistic and started to allow myself to believe that this would work right away and I’d be pregnant in a month or two! I started the first round of meds but after completing them and having the follow-up ultrasound, my doctor found that I didn’t respond well at all. What was supposed to happen really just…didn’t. He was also concerned about some other findings during the ultrasound and because of this, I was scheduled for a diagnostic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy.
I finally had this surgery at the end of October 2021 and was given lifechanging news: I was diagnosed with a rare genetic uterine condition called Unicornuate Uterus, meaning I was born with only half my uterus (the right side) and subsequently, just my right fallopian tube (also only one kidney, a common side effect of the condition!). Only 1 in 4,000 women are diagnosed with UU. People with UU have a much higher chance of recurrent miscarriage and/or preterm labor because of the size of the uterus. My doctor also identified concerns with my ovaries – they are much smaller than they should be and, particularly, my left ovary is very, very high (almost to the bottom of my ribcage! He said this is the highest ovary he’s ever seen. I said put me on your wall of fame !). Because of the location of my left ovary, we aren’t sure if it will even produce eggs, so I am essentially working with one ovary that is not in great condition. The phrase “not quite menopausal, but…” was used to describe them, which is not the phrase you want to hear when you’re 29 and trying to conceive.
After receiving my diagnosis and processing for a few days (aka: lots of tears and googling), we had an IVF consultation with my doctor. Taking everything into consideration, my doctor strongly encouraged us to start banking eggs as soon as possible. Because I likely won’t produce as many eggs each cycle, we will do multiple retrieval cycles to increase our store. Each retrieval process will last around 3 weeks and a new cycle will take place every two months, so we will go through this process for around 6 months before we do the first transfer. This will also give us the opportunity to have more kids in the future, which is a concern with my condition. We are currently scheduled to start egg retrieval at the beginning of January 2022!
Of course, the cost of IVF is astronomical and we will have no coverage for any part of the process from our insurance. We are budgeting around $30,000 currently, but anticipate the total cost to be over this amount. The $30,000 includes all three retrieval cycles, genetic testing (very important in our case because of my uterine condition), and the IVF medication. To help us pay for this and hopefully start our family, we are launching a few fundraisers. Every cent of the proceeds from our campaign will go straight to our IVF fund.
We are so, so hopeful that the IVF process will allow us to have the family we’ve always dreamed of. Thanks so much for reading our story and even if you can’t give, please consider sharing our fundraiser so we can reach as many as possible <3 we are so grateful for all of the love and support we’ve received thus far on our journey and can’t wait to see where this leads! (Hopefully to Baby Bradley!)