Fertility Answers - Helping Build Families

Gift of Hope IUI Grant 2021 – Amber & Laura

Lafayette area couple chosen to receive Gift of Hope IUI Grant 2021

Gift of Hope IUI GrantAmber and Laura Hebert, of Maurice, LA, were chosen to receive the Gift of Hope IUI Grant 2021. The award gives them the chance to build their family through the gift of a free intrauterine insemination.

Amber and Laura decided two years ago in December 2019 that 2020 was going to be their year. After being together for eight years and married since 2018, they had finally decided to start their family. Being a same-sex couple, they knew getting pregnant was not going to be conventional. They would need help from a fertility clinic to make it happen. The couple called Fertility Answers, went to their consultation and walked out excited about a future with a child in it.

They immediately began preparations to find a suitable sperm donor for intrauterine inseminations and returned in January 2020 to do their first insemination on Amber. Unfortunately, Amber didn’t get pregnant from this cycle, so they returned in February ready again, only to find out that Amber had a large cyst and the insemination would need to be cancelled.

Pandemic shutdowns put their family building plans on hold

Amber and Laura were disappointed, but still hopeful feeling these two cycles were just a bump in the road, and they had more time. Then March 2020 came and the world abruptly stopped with the coronavirus pandemic. Shutdowns started and they immediately knew this was the end of their very exciting journey, at least for a short while.

Laura is a fourth generation rice and crawfish farmer in Maurice, LA, working alongside her father. Although they farm year-round, the financial side of farming is very stressful. For most, to be a farmer means taking out large loans at the beginning of every year to cover all their living expenses, as well as repairs for all equipment and every expense that goes into farming. The loans must be paid back at the end of every year, so any extra money made throughout the year needs to be saved to take into account the unpredictability of Mother Nature. They never know what the year will have in store for them.

From March through December 2020, while they waited to see what the farming year yielded, Amber and Laura saved their money and talked about what the future would look like. While 2020 turned out not to be their year, like most everyone else in the world, surely 2021 would be it. They returned to Fertility Answers after the first of the year and began preparations for another insemination in March. Then they got the most exciting news of their lives, Amber was pregnant! While her first blood test looked fine, the follow up test two days later showed some concern. Her numbers were not doubling.

An ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening for the mother

The next few days seemed the longest as they waited for more test results. But tests ultimately revealed that Amber’s pregnancy was ectopic and they would need to end the pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies happen when possible blockage in the fallopian tube causes the embryo to implant there rather than in the uterus. This situation is life threatening for the mother if the pregnancy is allowed to continue and eventually ruptures.

“Laura and I understand that even though the outcome may not have been what we wanted, there is always tomorrow,” says Amber as she reflected on the last few months. “We love harder, hold one another up, enjoy the small things in life, and take nothing for granted. We know that this experience does not mean it is the end of our journey.”