Liz & Matt’s Rainbow Baby
Liz & Matt’s Rainbow Baby
158Days to go
Liz Churchill is organizing this fundraiser.
For those who don’t know our story, my husband, Matt, and I went to high school together and reconnected 20 years later in the summer of 2020. Matt was worried I wouldn’t want to date him because he had known fertility issues so had never been able to have his own children, and was guilted and blamed by his ex for it. My journey on the other hand, had been very different. I’d waited till I was 30 to start trying and had gotten pregnant on my very first attempt. I had the sweetest and strongest little boy, a heart warrior, born with a fatal congenital heart defect known as HLHS. Tragically, my son, Sebastian, died in July of 2016 at the age of 4, while awaiting a heart transplant. I was pregnant (again, on my first attempt), just a month along at the time, and lost the baby the week before Sebastian’s funeral from the grief and devastation.
After child loss or miscarriage, the baby born following the loss is often referred to as a “rainbow baby,” as they bring hope, light, and healing after a dark time. Knowing how important it was for me to have my rainbow baby, and truly wanting to have children himself, Matt and I immediately got testing done to see if there was any medical intervention that would help us have a family. We were told that we were great candidates for a procedure called an IUI. The wait was long to see the fertility specialist and testing took time too, so we tried to conceive naturally with timed cycles for about 10 months before starting medicated IUI treatments right after I turned 40. After 12 IUIs over about 2 years, which led to one early miscarriage on Mother’s Day of 2022, plus countless more tests, we finally accepted the fact that we needed to take our treatments to the “next level”. That meant full IVF, so we switched to a highly ranked clinic 2 hours away in Portland, as the older I get, the fewer quality eggs I have, as happens naturally for women as we age, especially after 40. So this summer we began all the heavy medications, countless shots, and monitoring and procedures that go along with an IVF cycle, which includes an egg retrieval surgery, fertilizing the eggs in the lab, then genetically testing them for chromosomal issues, and finally weeks later placing the embryo in just the right spot, in hopes it will implant. We had only 6 eggs retrieved (which is fewer than the doctor expected), and by the end of the process, we had just one embryo viable for transfer in October. It had possible chromosomal issues, which meant we had a higher chance of it not implanting or else miscarrying early in my first trimester, but the doctor urged us to go ahead and try it. We literally and metaphorically had all our eggs in one basket! Sadly, I did miscarry.
We now have to repeat the whole IVF process again, and as soon as possible before I run out of eggs, since I’m 42 now and it takes a minimum of 4 months from the start of meds to the transfer. We’ll likely begin again in January. Our insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatments. In the last 3 years, we’ve spent all the money we set aside from the sale of Matt’s old house for treatments, plus everything we had in savings and CDs for a total of over $45,000. Another round of IVF will cost an additional $26,000+
We tried fostering last year, it was stressful and heartbreaking. Adoption, even from other countries, costs the same as IVF, but takes even longer usually. None of which will bring me the healing I know having another child of my own, will provide for my broken soul or relieve the guilt and PTSD Matt has from 15 years of infertility. No child will ever replace Sebastian, but I know deep down how much joy a rainbow baby will bring to me and Matt, so we’ll keep going and keep the faith. Please send us prayers for strength and peace and all the healthy baby vibes and good juju you’ve got!