Coronavirus Places Dreams of Starting a Family On Hold

Fertility treatments are among the medical procedures currently postponed

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It’s been more than a year since Jake and Alex Kauffman began trying to grow their family.

After attempts to do so on their own failed, they turned to intrauterine insemination. And when that ended in miscarriage, they poured their energy, hope and finances into IVF.

After enduring the necessary twice-daily shots, a litany of doctor’s appointments and successful egg retrieval, the Aledo couple could finally see a finish line in sight.

They had an embryo transfer scheduled for next week, which they hoped would finally result in a viable pregnancy.

“At this point we’ve invested all of our time and energy and finances into this, and I think we’re just hopeful that this will work for us and we can start a family,” said Alex Kauffman.

But then as the number of COVID-19 cases began to grow, they got a call from their doctor that the procedure was being put on an indefinite hold.

“For us, everything is a wait. You’re waiting for a cycle. You’re waiting for medication. You’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment. You’re waiting for the go-ahead to start something new. I’ve spent the whole last year waiting just to start our family, my husband and I,” said Kauffman. “You’re just hopeful it’s going to happen. And then to be told we’re now not able to do that, it’s really heartbreaking.”

Fertility treatments are among the non-emergency medical procedures doctors are postponing around the country to preserve personal protective equipment and minimize person to person contact.

Though the American Society for Reproductive Medicine hasn’t discouraged women from trying to get pregnant during this time, it has recommended doctors forgo starting new fertility treatments and cancel procedures like the Kauffmans’.

“It’s just more time that we’re without a family, more time that we aren’t able to grow our family, you know, in ways that we wanted,” said Kauffman.

For now though, Kauffman's focused on gratitude, knowing her embryos remain frozen and safe. She's also holding onto hope that no matter how long this journey is, she and her husband aren't traveling it alone.

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