Stephanie and Ezra
As a queer couple who does not have sperm in our relationship, we have encountered a significant amount of medical, psychological, and spiritual barriers to starting our family building journey. Miraculously, the first time we tried to get pregnant (via IUI), Stephanie conceived. It truly felt like a basheret (meant-to-be) moment. Sadly, Stephanie miscarried at 10 weeks, and ended up in the hospital for an emergency D&C. To say the least, that loss was traumatic and has characterized our fertility journey ever since. Following that, we completed five rounds of IUI, all of which were unsuccessful. Although Stephanie is not diagnosed with infertility or any medical issues that would pose a barrier to a successful pregnancy, because we only have one shot each month to get pregnant, it felt like the odds are stacked against us. That reality combined with the internalized sense of homophobia, grief, and longing has made our journey a very painful and complex one. We are now at the point where IVF is our last option to build a family.
The Jewish United Fund Path to Parenthood Grant is a bright light for us on what has been a dark road thus far. Although we are blessed with resources to seek such innovative medical interventions, the cost of IVF treatments are staggeringly high for any couple. Without this financial support, our journey to parenthood would, at the very least, cause major pressure on our lives, and at the very most, would cause our journey to come to an early close. Nobody should start their family having incurred such massive financial strain. Our hope is to start our family from a place of strength rather than deficit, and this grant is helping us get there.