My name is Heather Finch. My husband, Cameron, and I got married in July 2016. We didn’t immediately try to start growing our family. Cameron was actually the one who convinced me we were ready in November of 2017. We were both young and healthy so we thought in no time we would be welcoming a new member to our little family. After a year of trying I finally decided to reach out to a specialist to see if there was any reason we were not conceiving. In April of 2019 we had our first visit with Dr. Amelia Bailey at the Fertility Associates of Memphis. After a few more months of tests we were told there was absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be able to get pregnant on our own. We were diagnosed with unexplained infertility and decided to move forward with our first round of IUI. Unfortunately, my body didn’t respond well to the medication on our first try so we didn’t get to go through with the procedure. On our second and third IUI attempts my body responded much better to the medications, but they were both unsuccessful. In October of 2019 we were ready to move forward to IVF.
We did our first egg retrieval the following month and despite receiving 17 eggs, we finished the process with only two genetically normal embryos. The numbers weren’t great, but we were excited we had two tries to start our family.
In January of 2020 we did our first transfer and were told the amazing news that I was finally pregnant. I will always remember exactly where we were when we got the news. It felt like everything we had been working towards the past two years was finally happening. Unfortunately, only two days later we were told that my HCG levels were dropping and I was experiencing what they call a “chemical pregnancy”. Although it’s a strange term it is actually just a very early miscarriage. Getting that news completely broke both of our hearts. I could not wrap my mind around how I could be pregnant one day and the next day I wasn’t.
We decided to try again and our next transfer was scheduled for March of 2020. When the Coronavirus pandemic hit we were told we had to cancel that plan. We were finally able to transfer our last precious embryo in June of 2020. We again were told I was pregnant and this time my numbers looked great. Due to the virus our clinic was not allowing patients to have a guest with them for any visits so I went to our first ultrasound alone. I was anxious but excited to finally see our little, growing baby. Instead I was told the worst possible news that they couldn’t find a heart beat. We had suffered another miscarriage and no one could give us any answers as to why.
Since July we have been going through testing to try to find out what is causing our miscarriages. We have decided to wait until 2021 to give ourselves a mental and physical break before moving forward with another egg retrieval. I wouldn’t wish the pain we have been through on anyone. However I am, at times, thankful for the journey we have taken together. We know now more than ever that our love and our marriage is incredibly strong.
We have some insurance coverage for fertility through Cameron’s work, which is more than many couples, but even with the coverage we have spent over $20,000 of our own money trying to achieve our dream of building a family. We know that in the coming months and years we will have many more medical bills related to infertility. That is why we are advocating for legislation to be passed in Tennessee (and hopefully nationwide) which requires fertility treatments to be covered by insurance companies. The process of doing IVF is stressful enough on its own without the added financial burden. No one should have to give up on their dream to have a baby due to financial reasons.
Cameron and I will never forget our two little babies that we never got to meet. We are incredibly hopeful for our future and are trying to take it all one day at a time!
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