Family Stories

Sarah and Sean

Picture of 2023 Grantee couple on wedding day

Sean and I met in 2018. I think what initially drew us to each other was the closeness we shared with our immediate families. We are both the middle child and have siblings with children whom we absolutely adore. Having met later in life, the conversation of marriage and children came up early. We both knew that in the very near future we would like to start a family of our own.

In September 2021, we got married and seriously started trying to get pregnant. After eight months with no success, my PCP recommended we meet with a reproductive endocrinologist since we were both 40+. Unfortunately, I had recently switched to Sean’s insurance not knowing the situation we would be in and found out it did not cover the cost of fertility treatment. We had to wait until January 2023 when I could enroll in my company’s insurance, providing a lifetime max of one round of IVF.

We completed our first round of IVF in May 2023 yielding two embryos with only one making it to the blastocyst stage. The (1) embryo was biopsied and sent for genetic testing. We held our breath for three weeks only to be given the news that it did not pass the genetic testing. In July 2023, we completed a second round of IVF, yielding only three follicles; the cycle was canceled and it was decided IUI was our next best option. IUI did not go as planned and were left trying to figure out our next steps. With the lifetime max for fertility treatment exhausted, we knew our only option was to take out a loan to cover the costs of either another round of IVF or donor eggs.

We found out about the Chicago Coalition for Family Building and applied for a grant, not imagining in our wildest dreams that we would be selected. We know the odds are against us due to our age, but this grant has given us hope that we can continue to try to have a baby and build the family that we dream of. We are so grateful!

Sarah and Sean are recipients of a Family Building Financial Grant.