My name is Jana Fults, and my husband’s name is Brandon. We have been married since September of 2015 and live in Nashville, TN and suffer from male and female factor infertility. We decided prior to getting married that we wanted to try to have a baby as soon as possible after we got married. Month after month we were not pregnant, but we decided that we just had not given it enough time. I went to the OB for my annual check-up May of 2017 and told her that we had been trying to get pregnant for almost 2 years with no luck. She did a lot of test and determined that I have PCOS.
Then, the beginning of 2018 we decided to try some medicated cycles with Clomid and still no luck. We were then told we needed to see a fertility specialist where they discovered from my husband’s semen analysis that zero sperm were found. We were both heartbroken. The Doctor suggested we see a urologist for further help. The urologist gave us two options. We could do exploratory surgery that we would have to pay for out of pocket due to it not being covered by insurance. He said the surgery would be painful and cost around 30k. The other option was to do a sperm aspiration procedure, which again was out of pocket and would cost 7k. Brandon had the procedure September 2019. Thankfully, they were able to find sperm and freeze it for IVF.
Not long after his procedure, we were ready to move forward with IVF. After a lot of thought and consideration, we decided that would need to take out a loan on our home to pay for it, so that we could expand out family. Which is exactly what we did. In November 2019, we had our retrieval where only two embryos made it to day 5. Unfortunately, neither transfer took. We were devastated, so we decided to take a break and figure out what our next steps would be since we did not have any more embryos to transfer.
Everything shutdown March of 2020 due to the pandemic which gave us even more time to decide what we wanted to do to expand our family. We decided in July 2020 that we would do another egg retrieval. This time we were able to freeze four embryos. The first frozen embryo transfer was September 2020. I started taking pregnancy test right away because I just knew that this was the one, and I was pregnant. Only five days after my transfer my pregnancy test was positive. I could not wait to tell the world. We were finally pregnant!!! I went to my clinic and they confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. I went back every other day to make sure my HCG levels were increasing correctly. Everything looked perfect. We told our parents and siblings the amazing news on September 26, 2020 which happened to be our 5-year wedding anniversary. Everyone was so excited, especially my daughter. She was so excited to finally get to be a big sister. On October 1, 2020, all our excitement ended abruptly. I went to the bathroom, and there was something wrong. We went to the doctor for bloodwork and later that afternoon I received a call. My nurse told me that my HCG had dropped. I was having a miscarriage.
After some much-needed time to grieve and process, we decided that we would do another transfer in early 2021. We had our frozen embryo transfer 2/12/2021. Shortly after, I found out that I was pregnant. We decided not to tell anyone this time until we saw a heartbeat. I went to my clinic for bloodwork every other day to check my HCG levels. Everything looked great. We went for our first ultrasound at 6 weeks 2 days and their it was…. We saw a heartbeat! The doctor said everything looked great with baby, and to come back in two weeks for another ultrasound. We told our parents and daughter that we were having a baby. Everyone was so happy. On March 19, 2021, at 7 weeks 5 days pregnant I woke up at 3:00AM and noticed I was bleeding, so we decided to go to the emergency room. When we got to the ER, they did an ultrasound and said that baby looked great and had a strong heartbeat. The doctor said that I had a sub chronic hemorrhage, and to follow-up with my clinic. I was not too concerned since SCH are very common in IVF pregnancies.
However, when I got home from the emergency room something still did not feel right. We went to our fertility clinic and discovered that we had lost the baby.
Here we are, still grieving our 2nd loss, and trying to figure out our next steps…yet again. A loss is hard for anyone to process, but I feel that due to the large costs of each procedure and transfer this has been even more difficult. Financially, Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically DRAINING. My husband and I both have good jobs. I work for the State of Tennessee and he works at a small printing company. We have good insurance, especially with me being a state employee. When we started this process, we never imagined that none of it would be covered by insurance. Having a family should not be this hard. Having a family should not be optional for insurance. Infertility is a disease just like anything else.
My husband and I both work full time we are raising our daughter and our nephew. We should not have to look at getting another job to pay for infertility treatment. I love my job. Sadly, I feel like our only options are looking at changing jobs or moving states, just to receive infertility coverage. I have looked at getting a 2nd job at Starbucks and working 20 hours a week, so we can pursue family building. If I had a 2nd job, I would be working 60 hours a week while caring for 2 children and a household. How can we expect women and men to do this? Infertility is not something that someone chooses. It was not a choice to have infertility and it should not be a choice for insurance to help with treatment. We have spent over 50k out of pocket trying to have a baby, and we will have to spend more in the future. We were very lucky to be able to take out a loan on our home; however, not everyone can do so. No one should have to take out a loan or max out credit cards just to start a family.
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