The Story of Nicholas and the Passion to Help Others
Our story begins like any other couple making the decision to start a family - our education, career, and finances were all in place. Never did it enter our mind that we'd have trouble conceiving a child. But after a year of concentrated efforts, our dreams were shattered and our emotional roller coaster ride began.
We were puzzled and confused. After all, this is an issue for “other people” isn't it? Wrong. We're a healthy and vibrant couple so that should count for something, shouldn't it? Wrong again. Our parents didn't have fertility issues so we should be OK, right? Wrong. When we realized we couldn't conceive, you may as well have told us we had cancer or some other type of disease. We felt robbed of a birthright, and helpless to do anything on our own to fix the problem.
After five attempts of IVF, we were thrilled and blessed when Nicholas was born. The emotional cost was huge as was the financial cost. Each time we wrote a cheque or put down our credit card, we counted our blessings that we were able to afford this, and wondered about the thousands of Canadians who may not have the resources.
This is why we have made it our personal mission to give back - our time and resources - to help those who cannot make their dream a reality. Through The Generations of Hope Fertility Assistance Fund, we will slowly but surely ensure everyone has the opportunity to share in the wonderful dream of having a child.
The Story of Sascha - The Light of Their Lives
Randy and I found each other late in life and, since we both wanted children, we started trying for a family right away. It never occurred to either of us that we might have problems conceiving. Time went by and no pregnancy, so my doctor referred us to the Regional Fertility Program.
The wait felt endless, but finally we received a call. After going through the tests we discovered that it would be next to impossible for us to get pregnant on our own. We consulted with Dr. Joseph O'Keane and decided that IVF was our best chance to have the family that we both wanted. We went through the entire procedure twice with no pregnancy. The fertility drugs certainly tested our relationship. We considered other options and began going through the adoption procedure.
As we proceeded through the adoption paperwork, we decided to have one last try with our three remaining frozen embryos. This was our first time on a frozen cycle and we understood that our chances for success were extremely low. We really didn't think that it would work. I even put my entry in for the Calgary marathon so that I would have something to work towards after the anticipated disappointment.
We were surprised and delighted when our last attempt worked and we became pregnant with our little girl. The pregnancy was wonderful with none of the morning sickness or complications. When Sascha joined our family, she became the light of our lives. Every day brings new discoveries and new joys. We always knew that we wanted to be parents but we didn't know the overwhelming love that envelopes your family and your relationship. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the clinic and staff, especially Dr. O'Keane, for giving us our little miracle.
The Story of Maxine and Jack - Twins Who Began Life as 8 and 9
A few years ago when we were trying to start a family, we experienced an entopic pregnancy. The end result was that one of my tubes was blocked and the other was ruptured. A few surgeries later we were told that the only way we could ever have children was to go through IVF or adopt. We were shattered at the possibility of not being able to have children. But we had some hope and that's when we started to learn more about IVF…
We signed up for IVF and started the process. It seemed like it took forever. I had acupuncture treatments, injected myself with needles and diligently took my meds. In June of 2004 two embryos were implanted and we anxiously waited for the results. We were given a picture of the two embryos which we affectionately named “8” and “9” - the stage they were at in reference to the number of cells. Both 8 and 9 took root, developed and our dreams were confirmed - we were going to have twins.
We could not imagine our lives without Jack and Maxine. We are so thankful every day to have such an incredible family. They bring us so much happiness.
The Story of Marisa and the Long Road Traveled
Our journey is something I look back on and oddly say, how amazing that we have come so far. We didn't want children right away, but it seemed once we started trying, we quickly ended up nowhere in the child department. I saw my family doctor, got a referral and thought how odd it was as everyone else just gets pregnant so easily. After consultations with the Regional Fertility Program doctors, we were classified as “unexplained”.
We completed three IUI's and realized that we needed to do more to have a family. We booked for an IVF and never looked back. I did one fresh cycle of IVF and was successful. I will never forget that moment…when I was told I was pregnant!
Marisa has changed our lives in many ways. She has brought more love than can be described into our lives and home. She is a brilliant little girl with a huge personality. I am Mama because of her. Marisa is everything I could have hoped for, yet I never could have imagined. She helps us look at the world with wonder and excitement. We love her with all our hearts. I thank all involved for her being here.
Sometimes people you meet ask you “when are you having another child?”, I still get tensed up and think of the road we traveled - if they only knew.
The Story of Thomas, Emily and Daniel and Finding Success in Calgary
Our story began in 1984. When I was told because of medical reasons I could not have children, I was devastated! I thought my future would include a family. In 1991, I married the most wonderful man who was willing to spend the rest of his life with me, no matter what the cards held.
We started to research the IVF program, and were told that I was a good candidate. At that time, the success rate was only 10 to 15 percent. Being from Winnipeg, the IVF program was not available in our province. Our first two attempts were in Toronto, and both failed miserably.
In 1993, Stuart was offered a company transfer to Calgary. Because of the IVF program at Foothills Hospital, we accepted and moved to Calgary. It took three more attempts, and a lot of tears, but with Dr. Greene and the remarkable staff we were successful.
Our first son Thomas was born and that was the most special moment of my life. I can still close my eyes and go back to that day, and know it was all worthwhile. We made our last attempt a year later, and were blessed with Emily and Daniel. Our lifelong dream was fulfilled, and we will be forever grateful to all the wonderful staff at the IVF program.
The Story of Anjali and Devin - “Twins” Born in Different Countries
Like most women, I had always assumed that, when I was ready to try, having a child would just happen. But it didn't.
We went through two rounds of artificial insemination and two IVF cycles - each with anxiety, rampant uncontrollable hope, followed by the despair that accompanies the news of failure.
A short time later, friends in India knew of a little girl due to be born who would be given up for adoption. Were we interested? We were. One night we received a call telling us our little girl had been born. We cried, we danced. We named her Anjali Deva, our angel from far away.
During the process of sponsorship and immigration for Anjali, we learned more than we ever wish we had to about the laws in Canada, Alberta, India and internationally. And we learned that there are more obstacles and hindrances than there are avenues for help. The more we tried, the more people we spoke to, the more our hopes of bringing Anjali home to us diminished.
Time crawled by with little progress. Anjali was growing up to become a toddler in the safe hands of my father and mother in India. Through every obstacle, against all hope and odds, my father persevered with bureaucrats, lawyers, and Canadian officials determined to keep the promise he made to me before he left for India. “I will bring her and place her in your lap, no matter what!” he had vowed.
In June 2004, we had one final IVF opportunity left to us. I was now just going through the motions, just seeing the process through to the end with no expectations. The transfer took place on my birthday. The next phone call I received from the clinic was stunning. I was pregnant!!!!!!
Then just a week before my due date, my father phoned with the news that he had finally managed to get Anjali, now 18 months old, a permanent resident visa to come to Canada. They were coming home.
We could not believe what we were hearing. Soon, we would have not just one, but two children - twins of different sort. And as if to make the point very clear, just a few hours later that very night, I went into labour. I had my beautiful baby boy, Devin Charles Singh. Five weeks later, Anjali arrived with my Dad, who kept his promise and placed her in my lap.
We now have two angels. One from far away and one from what is truly magic. Both needed help getting to us. Both found it. We are grateful to their helpers and are truly blessed.
The Story of Leila
My husband and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl nearly two years ago. We waited four years with many procedures and medications to conceive through a Frozen Embryo Transfer. Our lives were changed forever, filled with joy and love on the day Leila was born. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for the experience of this life-changing event. It was all worth it!
Today we are on the same path and in the process of doing another Frozen Embryo Transfer. Thank you to those who make these miracles possible!
The Story of Sage - And Her “Big” Role as a “Little” Sister
Our story begins with the birth of our first child, Kiah. From the moment she could express herself she demonstrated the need to love and care for others. Whether it was a stuffed animal or a ladybug, her need to share her love was obvious to all. We knew immediately she needed a sibling. We became pregnant only to loose the baby at 11 weeks. After many attempts to become pregnant again we were unsuccessful. This is where our journey began with the Regional Fertility Program. The clinic gave us hope. The road wasn't easy. It was filled with joy and disappointment for two very emotional years. Then one day our dreams came true. Sage was born on October 18, 2004.
Baby Sage entered the world not only as a beautiful baby but more importantly, as a sister and a brilliant point of light. As a baby sister, she's given her sister Kiah someone to be a "big sister" to, someone to play with, and someone to travel the world with. As time passes and we're no longer around, they'll always have each other, and will know that they're never alone in the world. Beyond being a sister, we know she's quietly changed the lives of so many by giving other couples a ray of hope and giving doctors the power of another successful statistic.
The Story of Logan, Caden, Kendra, Spencer and Jacey - A Miracle Family Courtesy of IVF
Our story is a story of miracle births - one after the other. After four years of many difficult fertility procedures, Logan was born in 1999 - a successful birth on a fresh IVF cycle. While our embryos were of poor quality and no one expected success, four were implanted and one successfully took. We got our first baby!
Caden was born on Remembrance Day in 2001 after more years of difficult fertility procedures, frozen IVF's, and a very complicated ectopic pregnancy. Again, we were successful with a fresh cycle of IVF - again, four embryos were transferred (still poor quality). It worked yet again. One baby!
We decided to try for a third. Our triplets, Kendra, Spencer and Jacey were born on Stampede Parade Day in 2003! We went on the IVF waiting list early, to allow for more years of failures in trying for third baby. The quality of embryos improved slightly, so we only needed to transfer three embryos this time to attempt success. Three for three! On the first attempt!
Truly a miracle success story. And thus we have our terrific family thanks to the RFP Clinic, Dr. Calvin Greene, and IVF!
The Story of Andy - A Miracle Courtesy of the Regional Fertility Clinic
As two people working on their careers, we kept putting off the topic of having children. We knew in the back of our minds we would like to have a family one day, but focusing on our careers, changing jobs, and moving frequently didn't allow us to take on the responsibility of a dog, let alone a child. Then we settled in Calgary and were determined to put down roots. One of us chose to work part-time, we bought a house, got a dog and were ready for the baby.
The first six months went by, then a year, then another year. We began the roller coaster ride of the month-to-month obsessing over how to make it happen and why it wasn't working. We began to think it wasn't meant to be and wondered if we could live full lives without children. Then we found a couple that shared their IVF experience and the story of their three children, which led us to the Regional Fertility Clinic.
Our first meeting was overwhelming but gave us the confidence that we were in the right place. The terrific doctors and staff guided us through each step of the process. In our case, we proceeded through all the less invasive procedures until IVF became our last option. We were very fortunate to become pregnant after our first IVF attempt.
Throughout all the tests and all of the procedures, we never found out what why we couldn't become pregnant. We just couldn't. Sometimes when you have to work harder for something you appreciate it more. Andy is an amazing and cherished gift that we celebrate everyday - a gift that would never have been without the RFC.
The Story of Jack, Dane and Tor - Active Boys in an Active Family
Our “unique and personal journey” is probably like many others I'm sure. We struggled with infertility for a few years while we tried to maintain and manage our work/play lives. We pursued outdoor passions. I raced ultramarathons and looking back I think the driving force behind signing up for a one-hundred mile mountain run was the underlying hope that I would be pregnant and not have to run that far.
It never really worked. I ended up having to run a lot of races and when I got tired and my toenails stopped growing back I decided it was time to get serious about fertility. After being referred to the clinic, we tried IUI three times and were never successful. It was a pretty grumpy time. After a cancelled IVF cycle due to over stimulation and a lot of tears, we were successful with our first retrieval and transfer. Our little miracle baby Jack was born and our lives changed forever. He became the center of our universe and athletics and careers took a back seat (for a while).
When Jack was two we decided to thaw out some embryos to transfer. Our first two attempts were unsuccessful but the third resulted in “the brothers.” Our twins - Dane and Tor - are just super amazing babies. My father termed them the "happiness boys" as they have always been, since birth, smiling and giggling.
We can't imagine a life without all the boys. They are our whole world and everything else, including first place finishes, pale in comparison.
The Story of Levi and the “Soon to be Born” Twins
Our struggle with infertility began in 2000. We tried to have children after we were married for four years, knowing right from the time we met we wanted to be parents. We started to question why I wasn't pregnant after a year…I was healthy, fairly young - and yet to our dismay nothing was happening.
By 2002, I was going through the gamut of testing: HSG, blood work and was then put on Clomid. That fall we started the first of three Intrauterine (IUI) cycles. All of which were unsuccessful. In 2002 I found out that I had endometriosis. Over the next couple of months following surgery, we tried IUI's. We were happily surprised on St.Patrick's day when we found out that our 5th IUI was successful. But the euphoria quickly turned to sadness when I suffered a miscarriage a month later. That fall we decided to try IVF.
During the course of our IVF cycle we came close to having to be cancelled due to OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimilation Syndrome) but with the careful guidance of the RFP we went ahead and had two embryos transferred. Throughout this cycle I used acupuncture before and right after our transfer. Two weeks later we found out that our first IVF cycle was successful. Through the monitoring of the RFP and Dr.O'Keane we were blessed with our son that following May.
Everyday we look into our son's eyes and feel absolutely blessed to have in our lives. A year and a half later we decided to start trying again - which meant going back to the RFP for a frozen IVF cycle. Again we decided to put two embryos back. To our amazement, two weeks later we were pregnant with twins! We felt that we were blessed to be parents to Levi, but to have two more children is a dream come true.
Our motto has always been, “Out of everything bad, there is something good” and we believe we are reaping those rewards now.
The Story of Sophia and Elijah - A Valentine Gift Truly From the Heart
We began our struggle with infertility right after we were married in 2000. My husband was a paraplegic for 15 years and as a result had low sperm count and motility. We tried IUI for three months and then moved on to IVF. We went through five courses of IVF - three fresh and two frozen.
After our first four failed attempts we had only four embryos left and were feeling burnt out by the whole process - financially, physically and especially, emotionally. We decided to put IVF aside for the time being and go through the adoption process. During the year we pursued adoption, we were matched up twice with birth mothers and selected as the adoptive parents, only to have them change their minds. More heartbreak.
We decided to try IVF one last time to use up our remaining embryos. We were not very hopeful, since our embryos had not been great quality all along, plus this would be a frozen cycle that would have less chance of success than a fresh cycle.
To our shock and joy we found out we were pregnant with twins just before Valentine's Day!!! Our life has changed in more ways than we could have imagined and we are thankful every day for our wonderful blessings.
The Story of Makenna - Joy at the End of a Long Dark Tunnel
When my husband and I married, we knew that having children would be a challenge. He is older than I am, has two grown children and had a vasectomy. Shortly after our wedding, we asked for a referral to the Regional Fertility Program - we knew would never get pregnant naturally.
After trying IUI first, my worst fears were realized. Not only did we have the obstacle of my husband's infertility but cycle after failed or cancelled cycle quickly showed that I too had fertility issues. I suffered from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and did not have the mature follicles needed to complete an IUI cycle. Finally we talked about the option of IVF.
Once again I felt some hope as we were told that PCOS was not contraindicated with IVF and would even prove helpful in achieving a good number of follicles. Due to our circumstances we had to access every service available - PESA, Assisted Hatching and ICSI. The time and costs are at times insurmountable, but it was worth it if we got the result we wanted - a healthy baby.
I was scared, nervous and feared the worst. We transferred two embryos and nine months later our beautiful daughter, Makenna was born.
The pregnancy was not without struggle, emotionally and physically, however it was all worth it when that beautiful baby was placed in my arms. Makenna is now 3 years old and is the joy of our life. In fact, she is the joy of many people's life and is so treasured. This journey was a difficult one, emotionally trying and stressful, financially a challenge, but the result in the end was priceless.