Before she was even old enough to really know where babies came
from, Katie Davis thought she'd lost her chance to be a mom when
she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was 12.
It was a secret she guarded closely. Then she met Patrick
her sophomore year in college and fell in love. They wanted
children, but they knew it wouldn't be easy.
"My dream was just to have a pregnancy, go through labor,
experience that part of womanhood since my womanhood got taken away
so young," says Davis, of Bolingbrook.
But after two failed cycles of in vitro fertilization using
donor eggs, the couple found themselves out of eggs and out of
money to start the process over again with a new donor. That's when
a woman who read her blog
stepped forward out of an act of kindness to donate her eggs free
to the couple.
Their baby girls, Avery and Hannah, were born in July.
Davis believes the girls will grow up with kindness in their
"I think because I came from a place where I didn't think
it could ever really happen and seeing what I have now, I still
pinch myself thinking this is my family. I love it,"
Now through the sleep deprivation, she and Patrick
recently talked about trying again in a year or so. They have four
"Miracles happen every day," Davis says. "I
get to see my two miracles smiling back at me every morning. I know
that it does get hard and sad, but take that energy and push
through it. When you get your babies, all of the pain and suffering
is a blur. You don't remember the details, all you remember is the
Like Davis, Katie O'Brien, of Wadsworth, never gave up
hope of being a mom. Diagnosed with uterine fibroids, she knew
getting pregnant would be difficult, if not impossible.
After she married in July 2009, she and her husband
started trying right away for the family they dreamed
"I always had a glimmer of hope that maybe it would work
out and I would get pregnant myself," she
Through Dr. Angeline Beltsos and the Fertility Centers of
Illinois, they went through four rounds of IVF. When that didn't
work, Beltsos helped them find a surrogate.
Erin and Jack were born in July.
O'Brien took a year off from teaching first grade to spend
every moment with her babies. She particularly enjoys their morning
She says she wouldn't change a thing. "They're
Her advice to other woman dealing with infertility: Be
your own advocate, get as much information as you can, get multiple
opinions and connect with women who have gone through similar
experiences. When the other women she met got pregnant, she says,
it gave her hope.
"I think hope is so powerful. You can never take that
away," says Beltsos, medical director of Fertility
Centers of Illinois.
One in five couples experiences infertility, she
With research and developing science, the ability to
strengthen weak eggs and sperm is on the horizon, she says, helping
more couples realize their dreams of a family.
"There are many ways to have a family and sometimes it
works in a very easy way. (These couples) show you sometimes in
order to have your family, there are unique ways to get
there," Beltsos says.
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.
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