My personal fertility journey started over 15 years ago. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but as some who’d be in a relationship with a woman, I knew starting a family was going to look a little different. After years of being childless not by choice, failing to meet someone who was ready to start a family, and even beginning my path as a single mother by choice, I finally met my love, my wife, Meghan.
Almost five years ago, Meghan and I made the choice to start trying, and it’s been a difficult journey ever since. After over a year of referrals, tests, and setbacks we finally began with IUIs. Sadly, all six IUIs failed. At this point we were deep into the pandemic and there was a worldwide shortage of donor sperm. We put our name on waiting lists for donors and continued our journey trying 16 ICIs over 8 cycles.
In 2021, our dreams came true and we finally had a positive pregnancy test! It was a rough first trimester with pregnancy sickness but we couldn’t be happier to be starting our family. At our anatomy scan we received the worst news: our baby’s heart had stopped beating. Our son, James, was delivered at 20 weeks two days later. The days and months that followed were some of the hardest of our lives.
We quickly jumped back into trying. Each month that we saw another negative pregnancy test became harder and harder. Having no drug benefits for IVF we continued trying ICI for almost another year. After more than 16 additional ICIs over another 8 cycles, we were overjoyed to be pregnant again.
The joy was short lived when we found out the pregnancy was not progressing well and we lost our second baby at 8 weeks.
With no formal diagnosis, we started a journey of many tests and emotional healing. Everything looked “normal” and we were given the green light to continue.
This year we’ve completed more testing, more cycles of ICI and we each completed a round of IVF. Unfortunately, Meghan’s IVF was cancelled prior to egg retrieval and my IVF yielded only two embryos of which a live transfer was not successful. We’re now heading into another round of IVF in the hope of getting more embryos and a chance to bring home a baby.
The cost of infertility and loss has been both financially and emotionally draining. We were unsure what the future would look like and if we would be able to try again.
The Fertility Friends Foundation Grant has given us hope—hope we almost lost—and the chance to keep trying. We are thankful for all the work the foundation does to spread awareness about infertility and advocating for more financial and other supports. We are so honoured to receive a grant and will be forever grateful.
Jessica & Meghan