doug & jesse share their personal story and struggle with infertility
In 2013, after trying for a year, Doug & Jesse were unable to get pregnant. Jesse had a sinking feeling that something was wrong. So they went to the doctor and discovered they both had issues which left them with less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant. They felt blindsided and so naive to think they’d get pregnant right away. It felt like everyone around them seemed to get pregnant as soon as they started trying. And it just did not turn out like that for Doug & Jesse. The first doctor they went to tested Doug and the results actually scanned at zero. Then four days later, they found out the test was faulty and it was an admin error. It was such a rollercoaster ride. Next, Jesse got tested and discovered she also had complications and had low ovarian reserve, which basically means her eggs are old.
So they did one IUI treatment and one IVF treatment. These treatments typically cost anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000. So after spending $25,000, they only had one egg instead of the typical 25 -30 eggs. Even though they only had one egg, the doctors implanted it, but it was unsuccessful. This experience was excruciating both emotionally and financially. During this season, their sweet friends did a fundraiser that helped raise $25,000. However, this added to their feelings of shame. It wasn’t like their friends made them feel this way still, but still it felt like they were somehow letting these friends down. Personally, they felt such heartbreaking disappointment and then also felt as if they were disappointing their community.
It was a heartbreaking season, not just once but over and over again. It seemed like this was something nobody talks about. And when either Jesse or Doug brought it up, it was uncomfortable to speak about….. especially for Doug. This sent them into a season of extreme isolation and the more they struggled as a couple to get pregnant, the more isolated they became.
A turning point came when they decided to bring up these conversations that felt very taboo and realized others were holding back trying to prevent further pain. Instead of isolation they chose sharing, and immediately received an overwhelming response. They noticed that to the amount that they shared was the amount that they were cared for as a coupl
Doug & Jesse wondered why there were not more organizations to support people struggling through infertility. One in eight couples struggle to grow their family. One in five pregnancies end in miscarriage. When it is a struggle to grow your family, and you have to wait 12 months before even seeing a fertility doctor. So there are people all over the spectrum.
The idea is that all of these stories are so unique but they’re all uniquely knitted together. The kids that are coming out of infertility in a way are uniquely brought into the world, whether through a treatment plan or through adoption, all of the children are unique. All of the community is unique. And then even what they are doing, bringing people together and uniting people feels like kind of knitting everyone together. So the idea of uniquely knitting people came together. Over the years because they had been so open about their story other couples struggling began to reach out. Doug & Jesse were searching for a way to bless these couples and provide tangible comfort. So they came up with the idea to provide four significant items: a blanket, a mug, a candle, and a piece of chocolate. Jesse wrote a note with an explanation of the significance of each item. Then the idea developed into wanting others to be able to send a basket to anyone struggling with infertility.
These humble beginnings started with a feeling that other people want to be able to support the ones they know going through infertility in a special way. Now this has expanded into other resources including support groups, counseling referrals and the Uniquely Knitted Box. Uniquely Knitted is dedicated to healing the traumas of infertility and end the isolation that is associated with struggling to get pregnant. If you or someone you know is struggling through infertility please check out their many resources.
One of the ways Doug & Jesse found hope and healing was in community at Eastside. Listening to messages like these from Gene, if you’d like to take a few minutes to watch this video below. We’d also love to invite you to join us online or in person this weekend. Before you come, wondering what to expect? Find out more at Plan Your Visit.