Women Who Inspire: Failure Was Not An Option

The following is the very first post of the new series, Women Who Inspire: The Story of You. Tammy Funston will be speaking to her struggles with infertility, the many obstacles that were overcome and how she was finally able to attain the ultimate goal – to have the family she always wished for. Her story is truly an inspiration to all women. Thank you for reading!


I always knew I wanted to have children. Some people embark on their journey to become a professional, spending years attaining that goal. Well, my dream was always to have a family.

10 years later our goal was achieved.

When I was growing up, we spent our summers at the cottage. I met my husband there when I was 15 years old, and for me it was love at first sight. From then on we dated on and off, had summer flings, and then he moved away for college. A few years later we ran into each other and it was as if no time had passed at all. We were engaged less than a year later.

We had our perfect wedding, went on our perfect honeymoon, hoping for the perfect honeymoon baby.

…Which didn’t happen.

Days passed. Months passed. Still nothing.

Fast-forward to a year later and we were still trying.  

After over a year of actively trying to conceive, we were referred to a Fertility Clinic. From the initial testing, we found out that we both had issues that were affecting our ability to get pregnant.

A (required) psychologist had said, “The stars were definitely not aligned for the two of you”. This was heartbreaking for us to hear at the time.

Looking back, I now know that he couldn’t have been more wrong.

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Our Journey Through Fertility Treatment

 

Artificial Insemination

Because of my husband’s low sperm count, we started our infertility treatment journey with artificial insemination. We completed six rounds with many combinations of medication, not to mention the countless ultrasounds, lab work and travel involved.  No matter how much we prayed, none of the inseminations worked. 

We became very frustrated, anxious and depressed; our emotional roller coaster was in full steam.  The Doctor then performed a Laparoscopy procedure to determine if the underlying reason to my infertility was due to endometriosis.  During the procedure it was determined that my both fallopian tubes were in fact blocked. 

 

In-Vitro Fertilization

Since the artificial inseminations were unsuccessful and there was no way for the sperm to reach an egg in my uterus, we decided to embark on the next step: In-vitro fertilization (IVF). The medication that I was on helped me produce a lot of eggs, but almost every single embryo that we created failed to reach blastocyst. 

Two embryos were transferred into my uterus, but unfortunately it did not result in a pregnancy.  We learned that the quality of my eggs was less than poor and the lining of my uterus was too thin even with medication to sustain a pregnancy.

Pregnancy was no longer an option for me.

Did we throw in the towel?

Hell no. 

Our dream was to have children, and we were going to do everything in our power to achieve it.

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IVF with Donor Sperm and Surrogate #1: My Sister

Our family was very aware and supportive of our infertility problems. After discussing what stage we were at with my sister, she graciously offered to complete a round of IVF and carry the embryos as a surrogate.  We chose to use donor sperm for our own personal reasons; we felt it would be better for my sister to carry a child for us with her eggs and a donor sperm, rather than her carry a child with her eggs and my husbands sperm.

We proceeded to browse hundreds of profiles seeking our ‘perfect’ sperm donor match. So with our ‘perfect’ donor sperm and my sister’s eggs, we attempted a round of IVF, which unfortunately ended in what the Doctor described as a “non-viable pregnancy”.

 

Embryos From Across Canada and Surrogate #2: My Mom

At this point we were sure all our options had been exhausted.  It was by chance that my husband’s brother and his wife had also experienced infertility issues.  After successful rounds of IVF, they had 3 beautiful and healthy children.  They had 2 precious embryos left and offered them to us. They were such a remarkable gift.  

They live in British Columbia, so once we figured out how to get the embryos silagra vs penegra across Canada we then needed to find a surrogate. Of course my then 56-year-old mother, who had been watching all of our struggles unfold, was anxiously waiting for this rare opportunity.

She asked us if this was something she could do, to become a surrogate at 56 years old.  

Absolutely!  

The Doctors gave her the clean bill of health and the go ahead.  If I haven’t already said what an amazing family we have, we undoubtedly do!  However, much to our dismay, this pregnancy was also unsuccessful.

I was told by a friend at the beginning of our journey to know at what time to call it quits. I didn’t know what that looked like.  I couldn’t imagine calling it quits on the one thing my husband and I so desired – a child – to have a family. 

 

We are not quitters.

The Beginning Of Our New Life: Adoption

In the back of our minds we had always pondered the thought of adoption.  During our long journey through fertility treatment, we had heard so many stories that made us hesitant to go this route:

“It could take years to get a child!”

“If you think you will get a child under the age of 5 you are dreaming!”

“ All the children that end up in care have major issues.”

I am here to tell you that all of those MYTHS are not true. 

The moment you're ready to quit is usually right before a miracle happens. (1)

 

A Beautiful Baby Girl to Call Our Own

We completed the required approval process. I will admit that it was very intrusive, but of course necessary for the sake of both the children in foster care and families looking to adopt.

Once we were approved it was only three brief months before we received the call for a six-month-old baby girl.  

A healthy baby girl.  

We were over the moon with excitement!  

From the first moment that we got to hold her it was true love. We had an instant bond, and she fit into our family perfectly!

 

A Sibling, To Make Our Lives Complete

Once the adoption was finalized 14 months later (which is very short for adoption standards), we updated our profile and began the adoption process all over again. We were hoping for the same luck with our daughter, but this time it was taking longer.

We were beginning to reach the point of asking ourselves, “is this the point when we should call it quits? We have a beautiful daughter already….” After a very difficult discussion, my husband and I decided it might be time to close this chapter of our lives.

However, fate had a different plan for us. One week later we got the call from the adoption agency for another beautiful six-month-old baby girl who was just as healthy and happy as our daughter.

It was love at first sight again – it felt like we all were meant to be together.  

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Find The Courage To Reach Your Destiny

Now, as we wait for our second daughter’s adoption to become finalized, we are in a place where we have strived to be for the last 10 years.  

10 YEARS!

But we have our family now, and that is all that matters.  

Although the struggles and pains were very real, we wouldn’t change a single moment, for our difficult path ultimately led us to our two amazing, beautiful, healthy and happy little girls.  

Our journey hasn’t been easy — emotionally or financially — but it worked out in the end. When I was going through all of this, I had really wished that I had someone to relate to and to know that we were not alone, so I wanted to share my story with all of you.

I truly believe that if you have a great partner, open communication, the courage to keep getting up after every moment you feel like you have been knocked down and a network of amazing family and friends like we did… “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” (Walt Disney).

 – Tammy Funston, Mother of two

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them


If you would to stay up-to-date on this new series, Women Who Inspire: The Story of You, you can do so by subscribing via email and following The Mama Nurse on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Thank you everyone for the ongoing support — especially with this project. It is very close to my heart.

zzzzzzzzz

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

TheMamaNurse

Hi! I am a Registered Nurse on a unit that encompasses labour and delivery, postpartum, medical, surgical and palliative care in a rural hospital in Ontario, Canada. I am a mom of two and am passionate about women's rights, mom and infant care, parenting and nursing. I hope to create an educational, entertaining and highly relatable resource for women around the world. Thanks for stopping by! Xo, The Mama Nurse

24 thoughts on “Women Who Inspire: Failure Was Not An Option

  • May 6, 2016 at 7:26 am
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    Tori….I loved your first series on your own family. I think this next series will be just as wonderful…Tammy’s mom…Pat

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  • May 6, 2016 at 8:15 am
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    Tammy I admire your strength and that you never gave up or lost hope. It’s truly an inspiration to hear stories like this. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  • May 7, 2016 at 9:37 am
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    I think the stars were definitely aligned for you to be parents because you never gave up and now have 2 wonderful children. Such an empowering story

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  • May 7, 2016 at 10:38 am
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    So beautiful. My mother also had endometriosis and couldn’t carry her own children. They ended up adopting me and 3 other girls. My two older sisters and myself were adopted when we were days old and my younger sister was adopted at 8 after being a foster child with us for two years. None of us have ever felt like we didn’t belong. I’ve never had any insecurities about being adopted. Our family has always been close.

    Reply
  • May 7, 2016 at 1:29 pm
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    What a wonderful story of courage! This woman is a true warrior. I hope her story will inspire women who are going through the same issues to never give up. Infertility and the struggle to have a family is a difficult battle, but there’s hope out there. Happy Mother’s Day to Tammy!
    Fabiola at wonderfabi.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • May 8, 2016 at 2:37 am
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    What in inspirational story – and to think those little girls would be waiting for you the whole time, what a lucky pair and a lovely family xx #KCACOLS

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  • May 8, 2016 at 2:53 am
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    This truly is an inspiring story one that shows as long as you’re willing to work for your dreams that they can come true. Also that they might not come about exactly as you had hoped but with determination anything is possible. I’m so glad that Tammy and her husband’s dream finally came true!xx #KCACOLS

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  • May 8, 2016 at 4:32 am
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    Oh this is a truly beautiful story and it’s yours to own – how wonderful – a gorgeous uplifting read – those lucky girls to have you #KCACOL

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  • May 8, 2016 at 9:07 am
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    Wow what a journey! I have also had a bumpy road to parenthood, although very different to this one, and ended up having a baby through IVF with donor sperm. At the time it seemed like such a big deal and so unusual (I’m a single mum by choice), but now I have him I am just the same as any other parent. Congratulations on your lovely family. #KCACOLS
    Single Mum Speaks recently posted…Why I Am Happy To Be A Single MotherMy Profile

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  • May 8, 2016 at 1:16 pm
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    Wow! This is such an emotional and inspiring story! It’s true that miracles happen just when you’re ready to give up. You just have to keep pushing through the hard times. Tammy, thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m so happy that you have such a wonderful family now! And Tori, I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series!
    Samantha @ Momma Wants Java recently posted…The One Gift Moms Really WantMy Profile

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  • May 8, 2016 at 3:51 pm
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    What a beautiful story of resilience and courage and determination. How wonderful that you now have your daughters. And it sounds like you have an amazing supportive family. A lovely read. #KCACOLS

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    • May 11, 2016 at 8:08 am
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      Yes Tammy does have an amazing family. Truly inspirational 😀 thanks for stopping by xx

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  • May 9, 2016 at 3:14 pm
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    What a fab idea for a series I really love it. What an emotional post I can on,y imagine the roller coaster your must have been on. I am so pleased to read that it ended happily. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you can come back again next Sunday xx
    Tammymum recently posted…Blogging – 6 months in. My Profile

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    • May 11, 2016 at 8:06 am
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      Thanks for reading Tammy’s story – I hope that the inspirational stories will continue 😀

      Reply
  • May 10, 2016 at 4:01 pm
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    Wow, what a story. I’m so pleased that there was a (very) happy ending for this family, after waiting for so long. x #KCACOLS

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    • May 11, 2016 at 8:04 am
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      Thanks so much for reading, Madeline! It was a long, hard story for them but their perseverance paid off! 😀

      Reply
  • May 10, 2016 at 8:38 pm
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    Thank you so much for sharing such an important and persona post! While this is not a journey I had to take, there are so many who do and for them, their family, and friends understanding how hard this road can be at moments is so important! #KCACOLS

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    • May 11, 2016 at 8:03 am
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      Definitely. I’m so glad Tammy shared her story so that people can become more aware of the struggles some parents have starting their families.

      Reply
  • May 11, 2016 at 3:13 am
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    Wow what an inspirational story – I love how you never gave up hope or lost sight of why you took the long journey together. And to have a beautiful healthy baby girl at the end – I was so happy to read a happy ending. #KCACOLS

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    • May 11, 2016 at 8:02 am
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      I know, Tammy and her husband are such inspirations to all of us. I am lucky to have her as a friend.

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  • May 12, 2016 at 7:15 am
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    This was amazing to read and so heartbraking and heart-warming at the same time! It’s truly amazing that you have beautiful children at the end of this road. The fact that you and your husband have come together and fought it through together rather than breaking apart. Your story is truly amazing and an inspiration. You had amazing levels of fight in you. I hope you that you continue to have that and to be kept together.
    Conflicted Orange recently posted…How Cats Can Save Your Marriage*My Profile

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