Ladies, Please do not hide your husbands golf clubs. Birdies for Babies is an exciting program that helps families that deal with fertility problems fulfill their dreams for their families.
Birdies for Babies is also looking for corporate sponsors to promote the outing and for donations in cash and kind to help fund this program. Sleep and Health Journal is asking pharmaceutical companies who make fertility drugs to donate necessary medications for recipients of of this award to alow Birdies for Babies to help more deserving couples.
This is a match made in heaven. Golfers are helping to raise money to help young families that struggling with the emotional and economic stress of infertility. Brooke has agreed to let Sleep and Health Journal publish her touching story to help promote “BIRDIES FOR BABIES” and to help other couples dealing with similar health issues.
I know Brooke very well as she has worked in my dental practice, Delany Dental Care (www.delanydentalcare.com) for many years and I cannot imagine a more loving and deserving recipient for this award. I have seen her struggle through the highs and lows of the last few years. I hope this incredible program gives Brooke and Travis the child they so desprately seek.
Birdies for Babies is an annual golf outing hosted by Todd and Melissa Trader and sponsered by Illinois Fertility Centers. All proceeds from the outing will go to families that have to pay out of pocket for fertility treatments that can range up to $20,000.00 each time. By participating in this event, you will be helping a family answer their prayers of having a baby and starting a family, when otherwise it may be too expensive. To learn more about IVF and the costs associated with these treatments visit our Title Sponsor, Fertility Centers of Illinois at www.fcionline.com
Birdies for Babies will be hosting our 8th annual Golf Outing on Saturday September 24th, 2011 at Tamarack Golf Club. We are in need of sponsors and donations to help support our cause. By being a sponsor in this event you will be entitled to a Sponsor Plaque with your organizations name on it and being recognized on our website, in our program, and at the awards reception. We have many sponsorship opportunities, so please visit our website to view the entire sponsorship menu www.golfinvite.com/bfb. Donations can be made as monetary or non-monetary for raffle and contest prizes.
Any sponsorship or donation of any kind will be greatly appreciated to help our cause. For more information or questions please contact me @ 630-657-5700 X14, or [email protected]. You can also go directly to our website www.golfinvite.com/bfb to sponsor or donate on-line and learn more about our event.
Birdies for Babies is a 501C3 tax exempt organization. We thank you for your support of this great cause and helping make our outing a huge success!
BROOKE’S story follows:
When I stopped taking birth control over four years ago now I never dreamed that my life would become all consumed with having a child. My husband Travis and I assumed it would take a little while to get pregnant so we were having fun trying. No pressure, no ovulation monitors, no shots none of these things that have become staples in our lives. After four months of trying I became pregnant so I set up my first doctor’s appointment and began to do all the things a pregnant women does to keep her and her child healthy. The happy bliss known as pregnancy came to a screeching holt as I began to spot one Monday evening. I will never forget that day I can still remember the patient I was working on and the exact time that I knew deep down in my heart my world was changing. 4:23. I tried to stay calm but over the evening the bleeding became richer and heavier and I did the only thing a daughter in need knows to do and called my mother who is my very best friend in the whole entire world. The problem was she didn’t even know I was pregnant because we were planning on announcing our blessing at Christmas Eve service. We wanted to thank the lord for the best blessing ever and give my parents the best Christmas gift ever. My mom spoke with the nurses in the maternity ward she works at and they confirmed my worst fears I was miscarrying. The next day I went to the doctor and they gave me options of DNC or let nature take its course. I chose to let nature take its course and for the next week watched the life my husband I had created come out of my body. Christmas which is my favorite holiday came and went without any happiness or joy what so ever. Little did I know that I would never feel that level of happiness and joy or that I was about to embark on the hardest journey of my life. The journey of Infertility.
After six months of trying to get pregnant and being disappointed month after month I returned to my OBGYN Dr. Heiberger to discuss options. After much discussion and testing I was diagnosed with PCOS. Dr. Heiberger suggested we try Clomid and HCG shots to speed the process along. So we did for six months and were unsuccessful. After trying for a year post miscarriage using various methods Dr. Heiberger suggested we see a fertility specialist. She gave us the name of two different fertility centers. As I look back it never occurred to me that I possibly couldn’t get pregnant. I just assumed that we would have to go about a different way than most people. We chose to go with the fertility specialists that were closest to our home for convience sake. We were uninformed and desperately wanting to fulfill our dreams of having a child. Our r initial consultation went well and the Dr. suggested Clomid with IUI. Upon leaving the consultation we were informed we had no fertility coverage under our medical plan and the fee would be $1500-$2000 out of pocket. We gladly agreed to pay the fee how can you put a price on your dreams? The day that we went in for our IUI the doctor performed the ultrasound stating that everything looked great that the round black space on the left ovary was where the egg had dropped. I started to cry not out of happiness but because the follicle was coming from the right ovary and I had a small cyst on the left ovary. The ultrasound tech had told me that the day before. At this point I realized I was not in the hands of an expert and had very little faith that this procedure would be successful. I was correct and devastated.
After taking some time to regroup and talk to several other couples who conceived through IVF we were confident that Fertility Centers of Illinois was the place we needed to be. I can not even explain the difference as soon as I walked through the door. We met with the most wonderful doctor who was caring and compassionate not cold and rigid. After much explanation about my condition (PCOS) she recommended some prescription medications to regulate my body as well as IVF. We discussed costs and knew it mean we would have to alter our lifestyles but what better could we spend our money on. I got a call from Dr. Beltose later that day stating that she forgot to mention a study for women with PCOS that she thought I might qualify for. This study would cut our costs for IVF in half. I thought god was blessing us with her as a doctor and the gift of a study. I felt very confident that all the signs were pointing towards a positive outcome. We started all the tests necessary prior to IVF and took a $15,000.00 loan from my retirement. We needed the money to pay off old and new treatments plus meds.
We were just waiting for all the test results to come back clear and start our IVF cycle when I got a call from Charlene (my nurse from FCI ) my heart sank. Dr.Beltose had said they would only call if there was an abnormality in the blood results. I answered the call voice and knees shaking. Charlene told me she had received my HCG results and they were 25. I said so what does that mean I was still a newbie at this point. She said you are pregnant and I fell to my knees and started to cry with elation. I said to her I can’t believe this what a miracle! She was trying to get a word in edge wise but my elation and tears of joys overpowered her sweet voice. Once I stopped all the jubilation she said I don’t want you to get too excited it’s very early and I want you to repeat another blood test in two days. Two days later I went in and repeated the blood test. As I was shopping with my mom and trying to pretend my life was normal I received yet another devastating phone call. My progesterone was extremely low .25 and she suspected I would miscarry in the next couple of days. Once again the medical professionals were not wrong. I did exactly that only this time they ordered a post miscarriage work up. I was diagnosed now with MTTHFR factor a blood clotting disorder. This disorder means that once the embryo attaches to your uterus the blood that goes through the capillaries is to thick to support the growth of the embryo and I would now need to take inject able blood thinners in my stomach after the IVF.
Finally! We finally had answers as to why I was having difficulty getting pregnant and sustaining a pregnancy. We were finally on the right path and had everything figured out before this IVF cycle so there was nothing standing in our way of conceiving through IVF. Wrong again after having to postpone treatment due to the miscarriage we had one AA embryo transferred that did not implant. I had emotional break down. My life was in shambles. My husband and I didn’t even know each other anymore, I was trying to cope with a loss that seemed like a death of my closest relative and left with a feeling of complete hopelessness. I had lost all hope and had spiraled into a point where I didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. God forbid I saw a pregnant women or a baby the tears just started to flow like a river. I had no control over my emotions or feeling like my life was never going to be blessed with a child. My husband couldn’t help me no matter how hard he tried. He knew how to support me when we were going through all our treatments but now he was dealing with his own emotions and women who he had never seen lose her strength or determination in any matter was a broken and defeated individual. I am always a happy and fun loving individual who keeps persevering even when it seems like all the chips are down. I had nothing else to give. I sought counseling and Travis and my counselor suggested I give my body a break from all the stress, hormones and doctor appointments. Let my body try to find its own normal again at this point I had been undergoing some kind of hormone therapy for a year and two months. The only positive that even remotely kept me going was that we had two frozen embryos. I wanted to transfer them right away but my husband firmly believed my body needed a break, my emotional state wasn’t right and we needed to be husband and wife again. He looked me straight in the eye across from dinner and asked me a series of question that stuck with me, when was the last time we made love? When was the last time we had a conversation other than talking about how were going to get pregnant or where we are in your cycle or what shot you have to took. Brooke I need my wife back I feel like I don’t even know you anymore. There is no us right now. I was so caught up in trying to get pregnant I forgot that there was a man I loved who was giving all he could give and getting nothing back from his wife because she was to busy trying to get pregnant. I knew at that point we needed to take a break. So for four months we reconnected made love not had sex because it was day such and such or two pink lines on the ovulation tester were going off. We reconnected and lived again in a normal world that people who don’t have this cross to bear live in everyday. It was great and I always knew we had another chance with our frozen embryos so I still had hope that our dream of being parents would be fulfilled.
On Christmas Travis came to me and said I think we are ready to transfer our embryos. So I called Dr. Beltose and asked if there was anything else we could do to increase our chances of this treatment being successful. She suggested the only test that hadn’t been done was a laparoscopy. It would give me a fresh lining and rule out for certain there were no abnormalities in my uterus. We had that procedure done in Jan under twilight which by the way I hate going under. It always makes me so nervous. We were under way with our treatment when my husband got startling news he had been let go by his company due to downsizing. We had to make a decision weather to cancel our cycle or continue on and hope god had a plan for us. They say stress plays a huge role in conception but I had my faith but lets be honest I was still deep down worrying where our life would go from here. He after all carried our medical insurance. We could cobra so onward and upward we continued prepping my body for the transfer. We decided to transfer both embryos to increase our chances of conception. When we first started this adventure my husband said, ”NO Twins” now he was saying I don’t care how many we get just make sure they are healthy and my wife is safe. It’s amazing how this journey can change you and your outlook on life. I just knew this time it was going to work after all we would be getting the results on my 33rd birthday. I was wrong again. Even after all the unsuccessful attempts it really never occurred to me that this time wouldn’t work. Everything was so positive. Embryos were good quality, it was easier on my body, my husband and I were in a good place so when Charlene called to tell me I was not pregnant I had no idea what that phone call would do to my life. I though I went through an emotional devastation before no this time was even worse. Not only was going through all the hopelessness and emotional devastation yet again this time I turned my back on god which had been the one thing I had never done. I stopped going to church I started having a glass of wine every night and quit working out. I just simply did not care. Worst yet my husband was unemployed we were living on my salary as a dental hygienist and his unemployment. There was absolutely no money for any more treatments at all. We were already struggling to pay our bills. As I saw it we were never going to have a child. EVER! After going to our post transfer consultation with Dr. Beltose she suggested my husband and I talk to the counselor that they have on staff. They provide this service free of charge to their patients. They are a wonderful fertility clinic. We went to counseling and I slowly began to repair my shattered heart it wasn’t even broken it was shattered. The counselor once again encouraged my husband and I to reconnect even if it was just over a burger and a beer. There was always money for that even on the tightest budgets. She addressed me trying to dull my pain with alcohol and said it is a very dangerous path to go down especially given my family history. My younger sister is an alcoholic who has been in and out of rehab for the past five years. She discussed at length the stresses fertility puts on a marriage and opened up my eyes to the fact that partner was feeling loss too it wasn’t just all about me and how I was feeling.
Life began to function on a much healthier level for both of us. My husband got a job, It wasn’t ideal as he would be working nights which meant we would be ships passing in the night but we would have medical insurance and I prayed that it would have fertility coverage. Which is funny because I was still very angry with god and still wasn’t going to church. I could not even begin to understand how someone who supposedly loved me such much could give me such heartache and pain. After three months we got our benefits package no fertility coverage. Our deteriorating financial situation had changed our lifestyle completely and now my hours were starting to be shortened due to lack of patients. We were struggling to pay our bills and the loan we took out for our fertility treatments. So I went back to waitressing and picked up another day at another office that was looking for a dental hygienist. Currently, I work at three different dental offices and then work two nights a week at the restaurant. Our salaries allow us to pay our bills put money in savings but waitressing allows us to save for more treatments. It will be awhile before we have enough money to undergo IVF again but at least we are working towards our goal. If I didn’t waitress we would have to wait much longer. I felt like at least once again we were working towards making our dream come true. Life was looking up we were saving for IVF and my husband actually got put back on the day shift.
The spring and summer of 2010 came and went. I was sill pursing anything that someone had said worked for them. I tried acupuncture, mucinex, herbal fertility supplements, internal myofacial release. I even went as far as seeing a Mexican women who people who my husband worked with called the witch doctor. Boy was that an experience we didn’t even speak the same language and I had no idea what she was doing. After trying naturally for six more months we went back to trying Clomid and HCG at my Ob’s office. After two months my period was late. I don’t get too excited about this because my periods vary in length. After day forty I called my OB office who wanted a blood draw. The next day she called with the results. I said, “I know the HCG came back negative.” She responded that actually it’s positive. I have grown accustom to what comes next so instead of letting immediate joy overwhelm me I waited. Here it came again the numbers aren’t great we want to repeat HCG every other day to make sure they are doubling like they should. I called my husband with the happy news. He wouldn’t even recognize the pregnancy until we were sure it was viable. I told him God wouldn’t take another child from us. I had restored my faith months earlier. I don’t think he could face another let down himself. It was his way of protecting himself.
The numbers doubled on the first blood draw. I went every other day and the HCG slowly climbed but never doubled. My nurse remained positive yet warned that it didn’t look good. Ten days later I was in the ultrasound room with my mom where they saw a sac but nothing in it. This confirmed it would not be a viable pregnancy. I had what I though was a miscarriage but HCG continued to climb so they gave me methotrexate. Followed by blood draws every other day. My veins couldn’t take any more and they collapsed. Luckily my HCG was at a low enough level that they didn’t need any more blood draws. I don’t have to tell you what came next. The same cycle of depression, destruction on faith and helplessness ensued. Back to counseling only this time I was more determined than ever to get back on treatments as soon as I could. It took two months and we did two more rounds of Clomid when Dr. Heiberger came into the ultrasound room. “I can’t keep giving you false hope. This treatment is not working for you” she said. I know you guys have done everything within your power and financial means to try and get pregnant. I have a friend at FCI. I want to call her and see if she can help you. I have the doctors that go above and beyond for their patients. I would love to believe that it’s only me but I know they care about all their patients as deeply as they care about me. Dr. Heiberger called in a favor to Dr. Feinberg at FCI. We met with Dr. Feinberg and she suggested we try inject able stimulation with IUI. She advised us that IVF was our best option but she knew we could not afford that. The injectables and IUI would increase our chances of getting pregnant without a huge expense. She was willing to donate meds and discount fees to help us out. We have decided to use some our fertility savings for this treatment. Once again unsuccessful..
I have learned to be realistic none of this has worked and we will most likely need to pursue IVF. So I have written this memoir asking for a gift no one could ever put an emotional or monetary value on. I realize there are angles like your foundation out there willing to help desperate souls like myself achieve their dreams.
When I sat down to write our story my initial thought was that there are no words powerful enough to describe the amount of pain, stress and destruction this condition can cause in a person’s life. Then I remembered that the person reading this has been there and lived this journey. Hopefully, they are going home to their miracles and hugging them as tightly as their arms will let them. I can only ask that you bless us with the same chance at creating a miracle.
If we are not chosen our lives will go on and maybe someday our situation will change but the one thing I know will not change is that I have a marriage that can survive the lowest of lows. I may not be blessed with a child but I am blessed with husband who loves me unconditionally. Some people never know the kind of love and support I have received from my husband. So at the end of the day I am blessed and can only hold onto the fact that someday we will be able to share this kind of love with a child.