Faith, Hope and Love are the Cornerstones for This Determined Couple
When her mother-in-law, Sandra, suddenly died in January 2013, Jennifer Gaubert lost not only her husband’s mother, but her biggest supporter, the one woman whose love and prayers meant so much to her during her and husband Matthew’s years-long journey with infertility. “She was like a mom to me, not a mother-in-law,” says Jennifer. “She went to so many doctors’ appointments with me over these last few years and when she wasn’t able to accompany me, she was waiting by the phone to hear what the doctor had said. She always prayed for me, she would tell me.”
Married in 2009 after dating for five years, Jennifer and Matt always knew they wanted to be parents. “So much in love!” is Jennifer’s description of her relationship with Matthew. Both born and raised in Thibodaux surrounded by their family and friends, they are godparents to five of their nine nieces and nephews. But even with all the love they have for their family, they knew they needed a child of their own to fill the empty feeling in their own hearts and home. They had so much love that they wanted to share.
But they weren’t prepared for the years of disappointment and heartbreak on their journey to be called “Mommy” and “Daddy.” Over the years, Jennifer has lost two pregnancies, taken fertility medications, undergone exploratory surgery, tried intrauterine insemination, and seen doctor after doctor in their quest for a baby to call their own. With their finances drained along with Matt’s decision to go back to school in hopes of getting a better job as an electrical technician, the Gauberts are feeling the hopelessness of their situation. And at age 32, Jennifer knows her fertility clock is ticking away.
“At times we have been so ready to just give up, especially seeing so many of our family and friends having babies and not us. But, then that is not on our list of options. My husband is my rock. We are determined to become parents!” says Jennifer.
That determination brought the couple to the office of Dr. John Storment, a reproductive endocrinologist in Lafayette. After trying intrauterine insemination that was unsuccessful, they discussed the option of in vitro fertilization as a better chance of becoming pregnant. They made an appointment to start the process, not knowing what would happen next or even how they would afford it. And that’s when Matthew’s mother, Sandra, passed away at the age of 66. Devastated, Jennifer cancelled the appointment to give them time to grieve, think, spend time with their family and try to understand what God wanted them to do.
“We know God and Mom didn’t want us to give up,” says Jennifer. Throughout the year that followed Sandra’s death, Jennifer and Matt continued to talk often about their options and how happy it would have made his mom to have seen them pregnant. That’s when they heard about the Gift of Hope program offered through Dr. Storment’s office that awards a free in vitro fertilization cycle to one couple each year who medically, emotionally and financially deserves the chance to conceive. The couple saw it as a sign from Mom to not give up.
Jennifer and Matt applied for the Gift of Hope, praying this was God’s will and still determined to get through this together. Calling on family and friends to write letters on their behalf to the Gift of Hope selection committee, they submitted their application and waited. To their incredible joy, they were picked by the committee as the recipients of the Gift of Hope 2014. “If Mom were here today, I know she would have sent a letter,” says Jennifer. “Thank you Mom for sending us signs not to give up and for all the support and encouragement through the years. We are still determined and still full of faith, hope and love.”
The Gauberts completed their in vitro fertilization procedure in the fall of 2014 and unfortunately did not conceive.
The Gift of Hope is offered once a year in the spring with applications typically available to download from our website beginning in March of each year. For questions about the Gift of Hope, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org