Thank you for taking the time to find out a litle bit more about our needs!
My husband Thomas and I have been struggling with the ability to expand our family. Not only have we experienced issues with natural conception, we have also been through an entire round of IVF (Invitro fertilization) treatments with no success. We want nothing more than to be parents, but at this point, we are not sure if we can afford it.
Here is a little bit more information on our journey...
Our Journey began...
...7 years ago in California. We had an amazing courtship that allowed us to explore the deepest parts of Los Angeles; whether it was at Howard Hughes Plaza, catching a movie or on Skid Row, feeding and ministering to the homeless. On December 24, 2007, I proposed to Thomas. (For anyone who knows me, that is SO ME!)
We are a simple couple, with simple values and believe that extravagance is unnecessary. Keeping with this, I planned and executed our entire wedding on an $800 budget (dress included!). I made the centerpieces, invitations and, with the assistance of my mother-in-law, even made the cupcake tower!
The beginning of the end
We found out that we were pregnant 3 months before our wedding date and we were thrilled! This would be the first child for both of us, and we were on the road to marriage, so it was PERFECT! We were married on November 20, 2008, in the Beverly Hills, CA courthouse. We had a wonderful little ceremony of 23 people in a room with the capacity of 9! The reception was on the 2nd floor of the Chili's in historic Westwood, CA. We left for our honeymoon a few days later, set for the sights of Lake Tahoe, CA. This is where we got the news....
Houston, we have a problem.
It was on our honeymoon that I realized something wasn't quite right. At this time, I was 3 months pregnant and was spotting. The spotting continued the entire week of our honeymoon, so upon our return, I took a pregnancy test. It was negative. I WAS CRUSHED. I didn't know how to proceed with my life. We had planned for a baby, we made it three months. You make it three months, you make a registry, you are supposed to have a baby?!?!? When I went to the doctors, they could not tell me anything more than based upon "tests" they had performed, it was a spontaneous abortion. They gave me medication to induce a miscarriage.....worst week ever.
And then THIS happened.
The time following our miscarriage was really hard for us and our relationship. It's something that no one should ever have to experience but when you add it to a brand new marriage, it's even more tough to handle. After we were able to move past this heart ache, I began to have problems. I began to feel severe pain in my abdomen. Pains like I had never felt before. My periods became more intense over time and I feel like I was in the hospital every 3 months for something related to this. I saw doctor after doctor, with no resolution, no hope, no end to my misery in sight. Then we moved to Maryland and things got worse.
Adding insult to injury
Upon arrival to Maryland, we made an appointment at Mercy Medical Center with Dr. Barrueto, a gynecologist that specializes in reproductive disorders. That was the single best decision of my adult life this far. Dr. Barrueto was able to tell, just from his initial exam, that there was something VERY WRONG with me. After going to doctor after doctor in California, I thought it was all in my head, so it felt good to have someone verify that I was not going crazy! After tests, and scans, and needles, and probes, it was discovered that I had severe endometriosis with one tumor progressing past into stage 2 uterine cancer. Surgery in May 2012 removed all of that tumor-- as well as 5 inches of my rectum and 2 inches of my vagina. Not ideal, but I AM ALIVE.
The struggle continues...
Now that my health is in better shape than it was before, we are still having issues with conception. Earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to be able to undergo IVF. It was a scary and painful process that forced me to overcome a lot of fears; I think that was the only thing I got out of this process. Our two grade AA (the best you can have, and the most rare) never implanted. DEVISTATION, once again. After seeing even MORE specialists, and having even MORE tests done, we were told that my uterus may not be functional due to the massive scarring I have from the years of heavy bleeding and the surgery.
After experiencing more problems with my health in the last few months, we have gone back to Dr. Barrueto on December 6th, 2013. He ordered MORE tests, ultrasounds and MRI's. We have just left his office with HORRIBLE news. The very same treatment that could have blessed us with a child, is the very same treatment that may have caused my endometriosis to spread to BOTH my ovaries; I am now in Stage 4 Advanced Endometriosis. Now it's official- there is no longer a possibility of natural child bearing in my future; a FULL HYSTERECTEMY IS NEEDED.
No words can express the pain an devastation we are feeling as a family, but we are faithful, and know that God has bigger plans for our family.
This is where YOU come in!
We are very determined to have a family of our own, but it's unfortunate that those who cannot conceive on their own are forced to pay astonishing amounts of money to do what the rest of the world is blessed with for free. After the money we spent fo the IVF treatment, we find ourselves with no savings and facing another hurdle of adoption fees.
We are a humble couple who never ask for much, but are relying on the kindness of our friends, family and supporters like you to assist us with our latest dream. It has been such a hard road, we pray that you can find it in our hearts to give whatever you can to help us start our family. If you are not able to give, we would like to let you know that your prayers are enough! Knowing that you have taken the time to read our story is enough comfort that we are not alone in this tough time.
Thank you for sharing in our struggles, I hope our eventual story of success can be a testament to the generosity of others and an inspiration to many others in our same fight.