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Claudia and I have been together for a total of 5yrs (as of this January). We got married in 2019 and after our wedding we began talking about growing our family and wanting to start the process soon after that. Then covid-19 hit and we had to postpone our plans due to the circumstances. We spoke to our family doctor to get a referral to start with a fertility clinic that was close to us.  

 We got into that clinic shortly after the doctor’s referral approximately January 2021. 

Looking for a sperm donor that we both felt a connection with was a long process. After that, we bought sperm samples. Claudia and I needed to decide which type of transfer we would like to do. We wanted to do IVF but it was too expensive for us, so we went with IUI, to begin with. 

Claudia did an IUI and it was unsuccessful. The next month we tried another IUI, but again it was unsuccessful. After that, some things happened with the clinic that we did not feel comfortable going there anymore. We felt we were given a standard plan to follow instead of a personalized journey. At this point, Claudia’s body was drained and we were both mentally exhausted. 

We decided to go with another clinic suggested by our family doctor for many reasons. When we switched to the other clinic it took months for them to send all our health information/records and also, and we had to deal with the sperm samples transfer to the new clinic.

When we finally got everything in order with the new clinic, we felt a lot better, and that they really did care about our journey. After the first attempt, we felt really good about it, after the IUI insemination we thought Claudia might be having slight signs of pregnancy. (Even our animals were acting extra cuddly towards her). We were happy assuming she was. However, after the 2 weeks Claudia did blood work and it said negative. We were both very sad and disappointed, especially because we thought she was for sure. It was just another let down. We wanted to try again right away; however, we got a couple cycles cancelled. After a couple months, we tried our fourth IUI which was unsuccessful again. At that point, we had to buy more sperm (again, try and find someone who connected to both of us) which this time was even harder to do because sperm banks had a very low stock due to the covid crisis and most donors had a waiting list. After some weeks, we found a donor with availability. 

Finally, we were able to try again. That one failed too. At this point, we were really feeling all types of emotions. Question ourselves why it is not working, what is happening, etc. 

We knew that IVF is a more successful procedure with less chance of miscarriage and other options that are really important to both of us. We really wanted to start the IVF process, but again the expense of that was still negative. 

We are friends with a gay male couple (the boys) that we reconnected with recently, and they themselves are trying to also start a family. We spend a lot of time with them and have the same values, beliefs, and are very connected emotionally. We all really care about each other and support each other.  We all had a chat one night and decided that we all want to be able to help our families grow and build a family community with them. 

They offer to donate their sperm in hopes of having more opportunities for a successful pregnancy. Later that day, we discussed the possibility of helping them by being their surrogate since they already had frozen embryos and were waiting for a surrogate to come into their lives. The boys were extremely happy with our offer and accepted it right away.

Claudia and I were extremely happy and felt so good knowing that our future kids would grow up knowing and being a part of their donors’ life, which was very important for us. The boys felt the same about surrogacy. We talked about how we would all have the kids grow up as “cousins” and spend lots of time together.

We spoke with lawyers, counsellors, and doctors to get all the approvals and written agreements, to get the process started. 

In the meantime, we all tried an at-home ICI (twice). Both of those attempts were unsuccessful. 

Claudia will be carrying the boys’ baby and I will be carrying our baby (mine, and Claudia’s). 

Now we are ready and feel very much prepared for the IVF journey as both of us (Sarah and Claudia) will be going through pregnancy together! 

Claudia and I have been working extra hours and even extra shifts at work to try to afford the IVF. Trying to save as much as we can but are still able to go on date nights. But since hearing the great/amazing news that fertility friends selected us as grant recipients we are even more ecstatic and over the moon excited to start our journey and have less stress about money which was a big concern for us. 

We cannot thank Fertility Friends Foundation enough for their generosity and kindness.