Dan and Alice’s Success Thru Invitrofertalization (IVF)

I had wondered if they had ever tried IVF. After pondering for months whether I should mind my business or chance digging up her painful past, my wanting to help, got the best of me. I brought it up one day, and she said they had thought about it, but didn’t know whether it was right, or even how to persue it. One of the struggles that they were faced with, was old beliefs and traditions of his family. Some of his family believed that any child conceived with any additional assistance, was not “a child of God”. Some believed that if a couple wasn’t able to get pregnant on their own, they were not supposed to have any children. Dan and Alice had the opportunity to choose whether they needed those same beliefs, or whether they wanted to create their own.

The gift that there may be another chance, and the desire to desperately become a mother, gave her another glimpse of hope. She inquisitively and hesitantly asked me about the process and how it all worked. I gave her some information, and numbers to local IVF centers. I remember asking her about it a few weeks later, and she said that she had put in calls and left messages, but hadn’t heard back from anybody yet. I wanted to call the IVF center up that very second, but didn’t want to interfere in Dan and Alice’s life and cause more heartache, if it was not something that would work for them. Being a nurse, I realized the importance of being assertive with the medical profession and explained that to her. I told her to keep calling until she got an answer, and not to give up if it was something that she wanted.

After several months of trying, thru the grace of God and the support of their families, Dan and Alice were able to conceive for the first time. She was not only pregnant, but was pregnant with twin girls. She was only able to carry them for 29 weeks, and absolutely loved every minute of the pregnancy. She was more than grateful to have them here and healthy, but felt that the pregnancy ended way to soon. She was just starting to feel them move and after having them, was terrified that she may never get to experience it again.

They are now a month away from being three years old, and are more amazing than ever!!!

Dyllan Empryss & Dani Nevaeh

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Trusting/Surrendering

It was very hard for me to relax and know that God would handle everything, but I continually fought my crazys about it. I decided at the beginning, that if things didn’t go smooth, God wasn’t in control. There were several time that I struggled with discerning whether we were supposed to stop because things were getting so complicated, or if I just needed to remember that God would handle it. I just had to be willing to give it to Him. Over and over again.

With still lots of work on my part and a tremendous amount of help from God, throughout the next month, most of the problems seemed to work themselves out.

Dr. Draper’s letter to the courts: Once Dr. Draper finally got all of Alice’s records, he was able to spent sometime and write up the letter we needed to continue our process. Bless his heart, he gave the courts exactly what they wanted, knowing that it was in God’s hands. He was willing to take Alice as a patient if she got pregnant, and monitor the entire pregnancy.

Danny’s health insurance: Our attorney was able to do the correct research, and because Alice wasn’t actually receiving assistance (it was directly for lil’ Danny), she could still be a surrogate mother without cancelling Medicaid for her daughter, Danny. Yay!

Egg Retrieval: We were still very concerned about how the egg retrieval would go and whether my heart would be able to handle it. I decided that if by some miracle all the other blocks could resolve themselves, then God was still with us on this and my heart would be fine with the egg retrieval. It was one of the last steps in the process, so we had some time to come up with the extra money for it.

Six-week eval and court appearance: As steps started to unfold, we got closer and closer to the court date. I was still upset about all of us having to appear in court. We all had to take work off, and I felt like it was such a burden on Dan & Alice. I kept praying about it and asking God to continue opening up the way for things to go smoothly. He was doing such an amazing job!
Well, about a month into the legal process, my attorney called me up and said, “I’m about to give you the best news you’ve heard all year. I have never heard of this judge doing this, and I’m personally still in shock. She is waving the court appearance AND the six-week, child protective service, in-house evaluation!!!” I couldn’t believe what a relief I felt. Thank you God!! AGAIN

Can we start?: Because the six-week eval was waved and everything else finally started to fall into place, I immediately called up the nurse that we were working with at the infertility center to see if we were too late to start the medication process. She was alarmed because she didn’t think we could pull it off in time, and she let me know that we had only a few days left before it would have been too late. There were still a few things we had to do, but she was comfortable starting us, assuming they could be handled shortly.

Finances: As for the finances, we were very much trusting, that God would show us a way for it to be possible.

And MORE Weaving Between Stipulations….

Alice and I were also supposed to start our medications according to her cycle, but we didn’t know if everything would clear in time. I was very anxious to begin the actual process. I felt like I was in a never-ending battle, and wondered if we would ever start the invitro-surrogacy process.

The egg retrieval process, if we could even get that far, is typically a simple procedure that can be done right in the office. Because of my heart, I would have to be in the hospital operating room completely put out with several staff members (cardiac anesthesiologist, surgeon, nurses, and someone to control my pacemaker). The bill that came with that was outrageous, about $5,000!!! My insurance wouldn’t cover a penny of it because it was infertility related, and we had to have the money up front.

Financially, we were starting to question whether we could really pull it off. At the beginning, we had plan what resources we could pull the money from, but all the additional fees that we weren’t expecting, were adding up very fast. The legal fees alone were $5,000. Everytime we had to do lab work and screenings, they would add about $500 per person, and we all had to do them about every two weeks at first. The psychological consult was $1,000. The medication to just get started was about $3,000.

All this never even guaranteed a baby or a pregnancy, and it was only a ONE shot deal. We had one chance to get it right. It became such a gigantic project. It felt like a business deal, and I felt like I was losing. Most of the time I forgot what it was that I was even working towards, that the goal had anything to do with having a baby. I was very caught up in the regimen. It felt so mechanical…..It felt so wrong:(

Weaving Between Stipulations

For about a month, it felt like we were being pulled in way too many directions at the same time. We would take one step with the infertility center, then have to take one step in the legal process, and then back to a lab or test or screening. Back and forth, back and forth, and dead-lines and time sensitive things all over the place. I needed to be more than one person, and I felt like everything was weighing on me to line everything up perfectly.

There were several places in the process that problems would arise and damn near stop the whole thing. Just to mention a few:

The courts needed a letter from our OB/GYN, stating that in his professional opinion, Alice could carry a baby without posing health problems to her or the baby. He didn’t know her or her previous pregnancy, and didn’t have any of her records. He only knew that she delivered her twins at 29 weeks. He was hesitant.
Trying to get Dr. Draper all of her records from her previous pregnancy and delivery, was more than a challenge. The office would say that they sent all the records, a week would go by, and I would stress and wonder why Dr. Draper hadn’t written the letter, cuz he knew we needed it by a certain date. When I called his office, they would say they didn’t receive anything, or they only received part. We did this back and forth about five times until the dead-line came and went. I wanted to drive wherever the hell her records were, and knock some sense into the people down there. I was furious! I’m not sure when or even how all the records finally made it down to Dr. Draper’s office, but thank God they did!

Another legality, was that the surrogate mother could not be receiving any assistance from the state or government. Alice’s smallest preemie was on Medicaid because of how small she was at birth. The paperwork that had to be researched and reviewed just for that was unbelievable. I didn’t know which way it was going to go. She was very close to having to cancel Medicaid (health insurance for her daughter). I didn’t want to make Alice change anything so permanent for the sake of my dreams. I was ready to stop the process completely….

Once our attorney was assigned a judge for us, he warned us that that judge was very particular and would require all four of us to appear in court. Also she would require child protective services to do a six-week, in-house monitoring of us with our families. It would have put us out another month, several hundred dollars, and invasion of privacy beyond belief. That’s what they do to couples who are planning to adopt a child, and some judges require it with surrogacy as well. I couldn’t believe that they could do that to us! We just want our OWN baby!!! GOOD HELL!!!