IVF Take 2: Our Goal to Baby Canole
IVF Take 2: Our Goal to Baby Canole
28Days to go
Cristen Canole is organizing this fundraiser.
Thank you for clicking on our story. We’re hoping this with help provide a means of support for our friends and family who have asked how they could help. Donate or please share our journey if only to spread awareness of the thousands struggling with infertility.
Early on in 2020, Weston and I were on vacation for our 2nd wedding anniversary when we made the decision to grow our family. What better time to start trying then while on vacation?! Well, things shifted quickly upon returning home in March. The Covid-19 pandemic shut the country down, and although we continued to make life as normal as possible and continue to try, our world was about to change. During the next year, we had countless exams and multiple blood draws, 3 failed IUI cycles, and on top of that I was having increasingly painful periods which actually led to a decline in my quality of life. Missing work because I couldn’t function on my cycle.
After our tests came back “normal”, our fertility doctor diagnosed us with the dreaded unexplained infertility. I turned to social media to see if anyone else was going through something similar. That’s where I learned about the infertility community and found a possible answer to our infertility and my debilitating pain.
I was surgically diagnosed with stage 3 Endometriosis July of 2022. For those who don’t know what this is; it’s when cells similar to the inside lining or the uterus are found growing outside of it on other organs and the abdominal walls. I actually had endo on my upper abdomen near my lungs.
Although surgery is reported to help, it’s by no means a cure. I still suffer from extreme pain with cycles and other whole body issues.
We kept trying naturally after my surgery in hopes we’d be able to have a baby on our own but our worst fears started to become reality and the anxiety of running out of time was creeping in. We found a new Reproductive Specialist who explained that doing IVF was going to be our best and only real chance at having a healthy baby. Knowing our insurance doesn’t pay a single dime towards fertility treatments, we had to prepare ourselves not only financially but emotionally. But before we could even start the IVF process, I was suddenly and very unexpectedly, laid off from my job due to the dissolve of my position. We reluctantly put IVF on hold in hopes that everything would work out soon.
Maybe it was the economy, bad timing, or my confidence but to our surprise, several months (almost an entire year) went by with no luck in my search. As we began to feel the effects of our financial loss, we made difficult decisions like selling one of our cars, making personal sacrifices, limiting what we bought on our weekly groceries run, and came very close to putting our home up for sale.
A full year had eventually passed making it August 2023 when fortunately, a family friend reached out to offer me a virtual part-time position! Being a bit more stable, we leaped into that first round of IVF a month later. Expectations were too high though because we were quickly heartbroken to learn half of my eggs were degenerate or non-viable (empty cells), three never made it to day 5 (blastocyst stage) and the two remaining embryos tested very abnormal. So abnormal that it would have led to a miscarriage or a still birth.
Needless to say, we need to start over and pay out of pocket for another round of IVF. To put it in perspective for some; medication alone can cost anywhere from $3k to $8k and our first round cost $5,000 in medicine.
The most precious and expensive thing in this world is time. With me having turned 31 and Weston, 32 this past November, I’m hoping we can enjoy our lives and those special moments as husband and wife but still find a way to afford having our baby in our arms a little sooner than what we originally planned. This choice of when to have a child or even how, has been taken away and we just want to cherish the next 30 years with a child of our own!
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Our goal with this fundraiser is to provide our friends and families an opportunity to support us in a way that could be so impactful. Donate however much your heart desires or share our story with others to spread awareness about infertility and endometriosis.