We are Sante and Melody Harrah. We have been married for 10 years. When we first got married we agreed to wait 2 years to start a family. I always had a feeling that becoming pregnant may not be easy for me. I made an appointment with my OB/Gyn to discuss these things. We did some lab work and an ultrasound. I was diagnosed with PCOS.
A year later we still hadn’t had a positive pregnancy test. I decided we would maybe need some extra help to achieve pregnancy. I made another appointment with the doctor.
I’ll never forget the day I was told that I have infertility. I’m usually very outspoken and don’t hesitate to ask questions. That day I simply said thank you and left the doctors office.
I remember sitting in my car, telling myself that just because I’ve never had a positive pregnancy test, it doesn’t mean I’m infertile. But as much as I told myself this, I knew it was true. I met all the criteria needed to make the diagnosis.
At this point I shut down. I knew insurance would not pay for me to see a specialist and financially speaking we were not in a place that we could afford this. I pretended I was ok with not ever having a child of my own. I figured the more I told myself I’d be ok that eventually I’d be ok.
I prayed a lot. But frankly I was angry with God. My whole life I dreamt of being a mom. That’s it. That’s all I wanted, and I couldn’t have it. But I knew it wasn’t Gods fault. And it wasn’t my fault or my husbands fault. Infertility is a medical diagnosis. Unfortunately the insurance world doesn’t think it’s an important medical diagnosis.
Around 2016, we were in a much better place financially speaking so I began researching fertility clinics. My mind was blown. Many of these clinics offer referrals to financial advisors and loan programs. They know that the majority of the couples that walk in there are desperate, they also know that most of them will have insurance that will flat out refuse to pay for anything their clinic offers. I wasn’t sure how to proceed with these clinics because no one really talks about infertility and what steps we need to take. Life happened and I once again put having a family on the back burner.
In January of 2020 I made up my mind. This is it. Our time. Our year. I was going to do everything I could to create our family.
Of course, it has not been easy. Every step of the way I’ve wondered how much things will cost. Procedures, medications, labs, etc.
Trying to conceive is hard enough. There have been studies that show that stress directly impacts our bodies ability to conceive. Imagine having the stress of trying to conceive along with knowing that you will probably have to spend thousands of dollars to achieve this. It’s terrifying and it’s not fair.
Shortly after starting our journey this year, I told Sante that whether we get our baby or not, I was going to fight for all the women and couples that go through this. I was going to figure out how I could make Tennessee a state that requires fertility coverage. I told him that something good has to come of this. He has been 100% supportive of me. No one should ever have to go through being diagnosed with infertility and feel like that’s the end of their journey because there’s no way they can afford the specialist.
So I turned to the internet to help me figure out how to get in touch with the people that make these decisions. The internet did not help me, at all. But I didn’t give up.
I recently found Tennessee Fertility Advocates and y’all, I have found my people!! These women and men have a passion just like mine! They are exactly what I was looking for! Thankfully they have the answers the internet didn’t give me! They have allowed me to be a part of this movement and I couldn’t be more excited.
The journey has not ended for Sante and I. We are still hopeful to build our family.
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