Eggstravaganza

For: Michelle Gaudiuso
Organizer: Eve Feinberg
Eggstravaganza (Michelle Gaudiuso)
$5,287
of $10,000 goal.
Raised by 72 donors
52% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Please help Michelle and John Gaudiuso raise money for infertility treatments so that they may make their dream of having a baby come true!

Welcome to my Fundraising Page-100% of your donations will go toward this wonderful cause. You can help Michelle and John Gaudiuso make their dreams come true.

Please come cheer me on as I run in Michelle & John's honor:

Libertyville IL Prairie State Marathon & Half Marathon
October 6, 2012
Independence Grove
16400 W. Buckley Road
Libertyville, IL 60048 http://allcommunityevents.com/fall_marathon/psm_home.html

***********UPDATE 8/2/12***********
These wonderful people have decided to join Dr. Feinberg and run in John and Michelle's honor.

Meet The Team:
Eve Feinberg
Stefanie Kulberg
Freddy Medina
John Gaudiuso
**************************************


I'd Like You To Meet Michelle and John Gaudiuso:
The Dream To Have A Family
Please help us make our dream come true. We have been dealing with infertility for over 3 years now and are seeking your help with all of the crazy medical expenses. For those of you fortunate enough not to have needed any help in getting pregnant, you may not realize how astronomically expensive these treatments are-there will be more details later on- please read on!

Our Story:

We were married on June 6, 2009 and immediately began our journey to start our family. We were ecstatic to start our lives together and to have children. Being a mom has always been my biggest dream and wish since I was a very young child. I have always had a deep love for children and have chosen a career to help children. John has always been a wonderful uncle and is amazing with children. We can't imagine living a life without children of our own. And having been through a major back surgery doesn't even begin to compare to the pain of infertility.

Trying on our own: First month, negative. Second month, negative. Each month was the same negative result for eight long months. We tried everything from ovulation kits to drinking crazy concoctions, to taking a vacation to relax and to have fun. After several wasted ovulation kits and pregnancy tests, we decided to seek help through my gynecologist.

After running the initial tests, John was diagnosed with a low sperm morphology (abnormal shape of sperm). Good swimmers, good numbers but just not the best shaped. The doctors suggested intrauterine insemination (IUI). We had heard of several success stories with this and were convinced it would be the answer to our prayers! After attempting this once through our gynecologist, we decided to move on to an infertility specialist, a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). After much poking and prodding and several more procedures, it was determined that my workup was relatively normal.

At this point we start taking several vitamins/supplements, trying different foods that supposedly help, and both started seeing an acupuncturist. We continued with 6 more IUI's (3 of which were with injectables). Using injectables with IUI is similar to using injectables for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). It required twice-daily injections to stimulate my ovaries to produce follicles, which hopefully contained eggs. The hormones used not only greatly affect your emotions (yes, this explains why I was so weepy and/or irritable and why it may have been difficult for me to attend your shower/party or why I may have missed) and your stability, but they also require very frequent monitoring daily or every other day lab draws and ultrasounds. Unfortunately all 6 of the additional IUIs ended with the same results, a negative pregnancy test. We had even risked the chance of having multiples by going through with an insemination when I had 8 mature follicles (when they typically would like a maximum of 2 for IUI). We were told that there was a high risk that we would need to perform selective reduction….which of course brought our hopes up so high thinking this was finally it, we would finally be pregnant. But that cycle ended like all the rest, as a failed cycle. With each failed cycle, we grieved, but we never gave up our hope.

Our next step was to move to IVF, which was a difficult step for us because it meant there was no going back after this and there was the fear of it being our last chance. The number of shots needed, the frequent monitoring, and the 4 times daily medication schedules needed for an IVF cycle are insane, but our end goal was to have a baby and we weren't about to let anything stop us. So, shot after shot, on a strictly timed schedule, we completed the first cycle feeling very positive. The 2-week wait after a transfer is agonizing. It is an incredible emotional rollercoaster, going from trying to be positive and hopeful, to suddenly dropping to feeling negative and hopeless within a matter of seconds- it is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Each dreaded phone call from the nurse to receive results makes your heart beat uncontrollably and always ended in a torrent of tears and all-encompasing heartbreak.

After the heartache of the 1st failed fresh IVF cycle, we had an additional failed fresh IVF cycle and 1 failed frozen IVF cycle through our original RE. On the day of our transfer for our 2nd IVF cycle, our original RE had told us, as I was lying on the table, that he believed I now had an egg quality problem. This was the first time that we were made aware that my eggs were a problem, and I of course broke down in tears while he transferred two beautiful embryos, at a time that I should have been completely relaxed. After this experience, we decided it was time to move on to a new RE. We had several consults with different REs around IL and even in Colorado before we finally put our trust and faith in a much more compassionate physician at Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI).

We had a wonderful fresh 3rd fresh IVF cycle in February (this means we had great embryo formation and were able to transfer 3 day 5 blastocysts), through FCI, where everything seemed to be perfect, only to result in once again another negative pregnancy test. At this point we were definitely at the lowest of our lows. This whole process has been extremely difficult on both of John and me physically and emotionally, but with the support we have for one another and the support we have received from you, our friends and family, it has allowed us to remain focused to continue our journey and has somehow made our marriage grow stronger.

Our RE recommended moving on to donor eggs and donor sperm to attempt to increase our chances and to attempt to pinpoint the problem since we still did not have a confirmed diagnosis of what is causing the implantation failure. She also recommended Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) to test the embryos to ensure we are transferring genetically normal embryos. This was obviously a very difficult decision for us, but again, we are committed to doing everything in our power to become parents. Since every test thus far, including surgery (a hysteroscopy) and a uterine lining biopsy, has linked no evidence of my uterus being the issue, the next step is to transfer a genetically normal embryo to my uterus. If this, God forbid, results in a negative test once again, then we have to move on to a surrogate to make our dream come true.

In June, we had our final IVF cycle using my eggs, and this time a mix of John's sperm with donor sperm. We have biopsied those embryos and have them frozen currently. Both of my amazingly generous sisters (Lisa and Carmela) have offered to donate their eggs and to help in anyway possible. Despite being incredibly busy with 3 beautiful children and a full time job, my sister Carmela has completed the workup and will go through an egg retrieval in August. We will be forever grateful for her going through this unselfish difficult process for us.

In August, we will again use a mix of John's sperm with donor sperm to increase our chances. The embryos will be biopsied and then all embryos (from Carmela and from our June cycle) will be sent for analysis, PGS. Once the results are received, a genetically normal embryo(s) will be transferred to me and the difficult 2-week wait will begin once again!

The costs of these treatments are astronomical and are not fully covered by insurance. To give you an idea of some of the out of pocket costs (yep, this means we have to pay 100% of this from our pockets and not insurance): PGS= $6500 for 8 embryos (and an additional $275 for each additional embryo); medications= $5000; donor sperm=$2500; attorney contracts for egg donation= $1400; embryo freezing= $700 each time we freeze; and the list goes on and on.

So after trying everything from elevation to vacation to acupuncture to reiki to energy healing to crazy supplements to a witch doctor (don't laugh we are very desperate) to transferring a total of 9 embryos over 4 transfers, we have finally decided the time is right to give it our all with donor sperm and donor egg mixed in with ours to hopefully allow us to get off this rollercoaster of emotions that we have been on for over 3 years!

We would like to give a very special thank you to the amazing Dr. Eve Feinberg for thinking of us and for supporting us by running this half marathon! We are forever grateful to her!

How can you help us?
Pray for us.
We need God's intervention more than ever now. We know that science and technology are incredible and that they allow women like myself the option to have a family when they normally could not. But, science is nothing without God. Please pray that God will bless us and please pray for a miracle for us.

Donations. We cannot do this without some financial help. Even if you can only give $1, we would be forever grateful. That $1 might turn into a baby for us, which is the strongest desire in our hearts right now. If you cannot donate, we understand that, too, please say a prayer for us. We battled with deciding if we should ask for financial help. It makes us vulnerable to put our story out there, but at the end of the day, we cannot do it without help. So, we humbly ask for it.

You can also mail donations to:
John and Michelle Gaudiuso
213 Glengarry Drive, Unit 212
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

As an added bonus, if we reach our goal, John will run the half marathon as well, in a speedo!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 14, 2012

Posted on September 14, 2012

We have extremely devastating, depressing news to share. On 8/22 we transferred a genetically normal male embryo that was from my egg and John's sperm. Everything looked absolutely perfect. We had our first pregnancy test on 8/31 and for the first time in our lives we had a positive pregnancy test. We were beyond ecstatic and couldn't believe we were finally going to be parents! And with our own egg and sperm, an absolute miracle!! I had read one story several months ago about a couple that had a very similar scenario to us. They also, after several failed cycles, transferred a genetically normal embryo and finally became pregnant and had their baby boy. I kept holding on to this story and hoping that ours would be the same. We were convinced this was it and we were going to have a healthy baby boy in May. My hcg levels continued to rise appropriately over the past 2 weeks. Today I should be 6 weeks and 1 day pregnant. We went for our first ultrasound on Wednesday and were so excited to see something finally. Unfortunately the ultrasound tech told us that there was an empty gestational sac, when there should be a yolk sac present. Our hearts shattered into a million pieces. The nurse didn't believe it and had us do a 3D ultrasound. On the 3D ultrasound, the tech noted a possible yolk sac and tried to give us hope that it is early and we should come back next week. Our doctor had us come back today (Friday) and unfortunately there is still only a gestational sac. This is apparently called a blighted ovum. So eventually I will either miscarry on my own, have to take medications for the miscarriage to occur, or have a D&C. I cannot even believe that this is happening to us. After everything that we have been through, why in the world would this happen on top of it all?! I have asked if we could recheck on Monday since I have heard of the rare stories where the yolk sac appeared later. She is allowing me to do so, but is not hopeful that this will be the case. She in fact told me that I might actually start bleeding/miscarrying this weekend. Moving forward the next step is to either attempt IVIG or IV intralipids to attempt to thwart my immune system from attacking my embryo (in case that is even the problem) or move forward with a surrogate (which we will never be able to afford). The roller coaster of infertility has once again left us beyond heartbroken and devastated. 


Posted on August 24, 2012

Posted on August 24, 2012

So the PGS results were in yesterday. 5 of the 7 embryos biopsied were chromosomally normal. 1 of the 2 from February with John's sperm was normal and was transferred to me on Wednesday. The 1 with John's sperm from June is normal and 3 of the 4 with donor sperm are normal. So it appears that our egg/sperm quality may not be as poor as previously thought?! 

I am upset now feeling that this may never happen. I know that this is exactly what they are trying to tease out, but this is not what I thought they would find!! I thought they would find maybe 1-2 normal embryos and the rest would be abnormal, explaining the fact that we never even had a positive pregnancy test after transferring 9 embryos! And was praying that we would finally be miraculously pregnant!! I have always wanted nothing more than to carry my own child, as does every other woman in this world, I'm sure, but oddly I did not care if it was not my egg or John's sperm or our embryo. Sadly, the next step if this transfer does not work, will be using a surrogate, which we would never be able to afford. 

I know that I need to have hope and faith that somehow this cycle is different and will end in a viable pregnancy, but it is just so hard after everything we have been through. 

So we need your positive vibes, thoughts, prayers, and support more than ever! Please continue to pray for the implantation of this beautiful little normal embryo that was transferred to me on Wednesday!! 

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support!! 

Posted on August 24, 2012

Posted on August 24, 2012

So the PGS results were in yesterday. 5 of the 7 embryos biopsied were chromosomally normal. 1 of the 2 from February with John's sperm was normal and was transferred to me on Wednesday. The 1 with John's sperm from June is normal and 3 of the 4 with donor sperm are normal. So it appears that our egg/sperm quality may not be as poor as previously thought?! 

I am upset now feeling that this may never happen. I know that this is exactly what they are trying to tease out, but this is not what I thought they would find!! I thought they would find maybe 1-2 normal embryos and the rest would be abnormal, explaining the fact that we never even had a positive pregnancy test after transferring 9 embryos! And was praying that we would finally be miraculously pregnant!! I have always wanted nothing more than to carry my own child, as does every other woman in this world, I'm sure, but oddly I did not care if it was not my egg or John's sperm or our embryo. Sadly, the next step if this transfer does not work, will be using a surrogate, which we would never be able to afford. 

I know that I need to have hope and faith that somehow this cycle is different and will end in a viable pregnancy, but it is just so hard after everything we have been through. 

So we need your positive vibes, thoughts, prayers, and support more than ever! Please continue to pray for the implantation of this beautiful little normal embryo that was transferred to me on Wednesday!! 

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support!! 

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