Six years ago, “infertility” was a word with no special meaning for me. I had a casual knowledge of advances in medical procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), artificial insemination, and even surrogacy. Still, these were words – shallow words that held no special meaning until they invaded my life, enveloped my family, and trapped us in a seemingly inescapable nightmare of frustration.
At that time, our 28-year-old daughter and her husband had everything a young, successful couple could want – good educations, promising careers, and a starter house with an empty bedroom waiting for a baby. First, there was the Clomid which produced a pregnancy, ending in miscarriage - a relatively common happening, according to statistics. Then there were the artificial insemination attempts followed by the IVF's, all successful, yet ending in miscarriages. There were tears, handwringing, and hope turning into despair. Finally, there was the realization: for our daughter to have a child, she and her husband would need a surrogate to carry the embryo they could produce.
Today, I cannot imagine a world without my three-year-old and six-month old granddaughters-- each born via a surrogate. I cannot picture my daughter not being able to play, laugh, and embrace her children and be the loving mother she has become.
The thought of seeing my daughter desperately wanting a child of her own, yet being unable to maintain a pregnancy was heartbreaking. I even felt guilt at my own ability to have had two relatively easy pregnancies. Life just did not seem fair and this is what led me to establish Baby Quest Foundation late in 2011.
After our daughter’s ordeal, I knew that what had worked so successfully for our family-- to be able to provide the financial support-- was not the norm. With the high cost of treatments for infertility, most of which is not covered by insurance, there are too many couples who have depleted their finances in hopes of building a family and are left with no money and, therefore, no hope to continue.
Baby Quest is a 501 c (3) charity which grants financial assistance to those who have medical insurance but are not covered for infertility procedures. Twice yearly (generally in May and November) all submissions are reviewed by our committee comprised of women’s health advocates, family formation attorneys, financial experts, and reproductive endocrinologists. Applications, which can be downloaded from our Website www.babyquestfoundation.org, must be in our hands by the deadline date.
Thus far, Baby Quest has awarded 13 grants. The first baby was born in Reno, Nev. last March, and we anticipate two more deliveries in November-- one in Little Rock, Ark. and the other in Portland, Ore. Several other recipients will undergo their procedure during the next few months so we hope for many more miracles to come.
Baby Quest is small but growing. Having recently been honored on August 14, 2013, by ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ, we are garnering recognition in the world of infertility.
However, to sustain the momentum Baby Quest Foundation has achieved, we need the help of individuals to donate. We welcome contributions both large and small via our Website or mail. Being a completely volunteer organization, we rely on you, each of you, whether you are struggling with infertility yourself or if you just cannot imagine being without your children or grandchildren.
Please join me in confronting an affliction which affects more than 7.3 million Americans yearly. I sincerely thank you.
Editor’s Note: Univfy Inc. is a partner of Baby Quest Foundation.