Please help a disabled veteran start a family.
Please help a disabled veteran start a family.
11Days to go
Cheyenne Levesque is organizing this fundraiser.
t is with great humility that I write this.
I responsibly held off on becoming pregnant until I found the one person I thought would cherish having a family as much as I did. Enter my knight in shining armor, Dan. Love for us was easy, but his PTSD from being a solider made things hard. We worked through it all, though, and came out stronger. We married in 2017, bought a house in 2018, and then decided it was time for me to go off the pill.
So, I did. And nothing happened. No period. No ovulation. Nothing. I went to the doctor after 3 months and he said it was probably because I had been on birth control for over 15 years and it was going to take a little bit for things to get back into rhythm. I said, could I have trouble getting pregnant. He said if I went a year without a period, then we’d have to worry.
Well, I did. I had a tiny one maybe twice. I was peeing on sticks constantly to try to find out when I was ovulating. But nothing was making sense. After some research, I got in touch with a top rated fertility doctor in Boston and set up some blood tests. With those tests alone, my doctor told me I had premature ovarian failure.
Premature ovarian failure. Failure. That’s all I heard. I was a failure. My body couldn’t do the ONE thing it was meant to. Have babies. There was a chance though, donor eggs. The idea was almost out of the question at first. I wanted MY babies. Not a strangers. It was like my husband knocked up some random woman and I was carrying it.
But the thought of never having a baby swallowed those fears up and I acquiesced.
For anyone that has gone through this adventure (hell), they might be familiar with Progyny, the fertility health insurance that some companies offer their employees. It sounded great at first until you realize that the plan is a life time plan, it doesn’t reset at the beginning of each year. It works with a convoluted pie system. You start with 1 “pie.” Each part of fertility treatment takes up a piece of that pie. Fertilization of an egg takes up half the pie. Transferring an embryo takes up 1/4 of the pie, and testing chromosomes of the embryo takes up another 1/4 pie. So right there, that is one single cycle of IVF covered.
IVF seldomly works the first attempt, so given one chance put more pressure on the success. Also, this didn’t include the donor eggs. And you only get 1 pie in your life. Unless that pie doesn’t result in a pregnancy. In which case you get 1 additional pie. Donor eggs take up one full pie. And since we didn’t get a pregnancy from just having eggs, we got our second pie, but that was the life allowance.
Picking an egg donor is like a dating website. You see everything about the donor, from their education to nationality, to what their siblings did as jobs, as well as photos of the donor as children and adults. I am half Greek and it was important to me to find a donor that had similar lineage. Unfortunately, in America, there are so few Greek donors. I found one and immediately secured a lot of 7 eggs. The doctor I had at the time wanted 10 eggs, but the lots of eggs at this bank only went up to 7 and to pay for eggs out of pocket was $16,500. My husband being 100 % disabled from the war and I can only work so much overtime, this was out of the question.
The day came where they would inseminate the eggs with my husbands sperm and I bounced and laughed my way through work all morning waiting to hear the results. I got the call and ran out to the hallway to hear the good news, but what I heard took my breath away. The eggs didn’t fertilize. Not one. There was something wrong with them. The lab could write a report to the egg bank and see if we could get a replacement cohort, but we’d have to wait and see.
I went back out on the floor and explained the terrible news to my friends and was doubled over, almost wretching. If we didn’t get a replacement cohort, we’d never be able to have a child. We can’t afford $16,500 for a CHANCE to get pregnant.
We thought things were working out again when we found out they would replace the cohort, but I had to pick a new donor. This takes forever cause you have to obsessively watch the website and immediately email the person you’re talking to about the donor you want because first come first serve. So I’m up at 1 am looking at donors and frantically emailing my contact.
Finally just picked someone who had 7 eggs. She wasn’t my first choice but I couldn’t wait any longer.
Long story short, 5 eggs survived the thaw, 3 were fertilized and only 1 was viable. We tried to keep hope that all we needed was ONE, just one.
We had our transfer and held our breaths to find it didn’t work. Our “Elliott,” named after Dan’s best friend that died in Afghanistan, didn’t want to stay with me.
My husband was devastated and all I could do besides cry was look at other fertility clinics. Trying again in the states would cost us around $50,000 for 1 more try. So I googled where in the world to get it done and Greece came up. This was perfect. I could have a Greek donor and it was so much more affordable.
Once we had our initial phone consultation, we both felt so much better. This clinic did more testing to find out what could be causing the embryo not to stick. We did a hysteroscopy and cut my uterus into a better shape and discovered I had an infection and my flora wasn’t what it should be. We both went on antibiotics and probiotics. We already has so much more hope.
We had 3 embryos and we transferred the 2 best and with all the hope and love in the world we waited to hear good news, but none came.
To go back to Greece and try again for our last embryo will cost us around $10,000. This includes the flights, lodging, the transfer, the money I lose from not working, and boarding our dogs.
Another $10,000 for us to get more eggs from a donor and fertilize them.
I feel awful asking for anything, especially money, and especially since this is something I should be able to do myself.
I always wanted a family when I was younger and as I grew up realized it as more than just having kids. I’ve come to see it as a continuance of life, a stage that offsets aging and death. I’ve come to see having children as a way to honor God.
Please consider helping us do this. Please help us bring a soul into this world to make it a better place.