Ben and I (Stacy) have been together for over 4 years now. We got married October 7, 2012 and like most couples, planned on having a family. We have a unique and strong relationship and want nothing more than to join the journey of parenthood together.
We have been on quite a journey since December of 2013, when we were first diagnosed with infertility. The first specialist we saw really had us down and feeling hopeless. I won't dwell on the negatives of that experience, but rather, I will tell you it is what brought me to start doing a TON of research of my own. I had been told by several doctors that they believe I had endometriosis. Neither told me what it was or how it could be affecting my life and my fertility. Turns out, it affects a lot!! I began to research endometriosis (endo for short) and talking to people in support groups online that have it as well. I learned so much that no doctors ever bothered to explain to me. After a long, through search of endo specialists, I found one that has an AMAZING reputation in Milwaukee, WI. I met with her last week and she had a lot to tell me.
1. There's no way to 100% diagnose endo without surgery by she is extremely confident that I have it based on my history, symptoms, and tests thus far.
2. Removing endo with excision surgery not only improves quality of life because symptoms diminish after, but it also improves fertility!!
This specialist is also an RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist, which is commonly referred to as a fertility specialist). She was a bit appalled that IVF was suggested for us without having the "full picture" of what's going on with my body.
I will be having excision surgery on June 24th. At our follow up appointment, the RE will give us her suggestion (based on what she finds) as to what step to take next towards having a baby. It is possible that she will still recommend IVF but the surgery will improve the chances of IVF being successful. She may recommend something more conservative. But regardless of what she suggests, all fertility treatments, along with medications, cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Luckily, our insurance is covering my surgery. Although it will improve my fertility, it is a medical condition, therefore they cannot deny coverage. Anything after that will not be covered. Even with coverage, there will be a great amount of out-of-pocket expense. So, fundraiser is still on! If you can afford to contribute, every tiny little bit helps. We, of course, are also working and saving but with me having to be out of work for a while, it is hard to put much aside right now. If you cannot afford to donate money but still wish to help, I am having a fundraising garage sale around the end of summer. If you have any items sitting around your home that you would be willing to donate to us, we would also greatly appreciate that! So far we have some really great items from some really great friends!
So that's pretty much where we are right now. I will post an update in about a month, after surgery. In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you want to talk about this or have any questions. I've become very comfortable discussing our journey. It took some time, but I know we have nothing to be embarassed or ashamed of and there are so many people who go through this alone, in silence. Raising awareness of infertiltiy as well as endometriosis has become a very important part of my life!
We thank you for even taking the time to read this and thank you in advance for any type of donation you may be considering.
Stacy (and Ben)