IMG_0304Red Team: The Gantzs

Our Story, as told by Cris:

My law school roommate invited me up to DC to see an improv performance and I said “yes.” That night I laughed hysterically at the antics of my future husband, Patrick Gantz. We met for the first time after the show among a crowd of his friends and family. We had an instant connection. We went with a group to an after party where we spent hours laughing and talking and bonding over our shared love of The Simpsons. At the end of the night, Patrick tried to kiss me. I denied him. Three times. I had a boyfriend at the time, but for the next 1.5 years we stayed in touch through our mutual friend and became very good buddies. When we  finally found ourselves unattached we decided to take our friendship to the next level. We never looked back.

In May 2012 we started our journey to parenthood. We hadn’t been on hormonal birth control in many years so we basically just took the goalie out of the net and hoped for the best. We both come from huge, fertile families. We both have four siblings and we have very few family members and friends who have struggled to get pregnant. Brothers, sisters, cousins, extended family – they all use lines like “we got pregnant without even trying” and “I’ll get pregnant if he even looks at me.” Of course, we thought it would be just as easy for us. It wasn’t.

We tried for a year without success. It was frustrating, but we were trying to stay positive. We knew it wasn’t an uncommon amount of time.  We were concerned and frustrated, but not worried. We made lifestyle changes to increase our health and decrease our stress. I started juicing. We cut our drinking. I tried acupuncture. I wanted to do something more meaningful with my law degree so I quit my extremely stressful corporate law job to pursue non-profit work.

After 13 months of trying – months of temperature taking, ovulation test kits, vaginal fluid watching, and obsessive book reading – we had a positive pregnancy test. We were beyond thrilled. Three weeks later – one week before starting my new job – we lost the baby. I was 8 or 9 weeks along. It was devastating. We hadn’t told many people about the pregnancy, but we needed support in light of the miscarriage so we told our story to close friends and family. We heard so many positive stories of people who had lost a pregnancy only to find they were pregnant again within a few months. We kept hearing the same mantra – “Well, at least you know you can get pregnant.” Despite our sorrow, we felt hopeful.

After 6 additional months of trying without success, we decided to take it to the next level and go see a fertility doctor about our issues. We were both 34 at the time, and we started to get extremely nervous about hitting that 35 year mark without starting a family. We both dreamed of having at least two children, but that started to feel like a luxury we couldn’t afford. We were scared we wouldn’t be able to have one.

In May of 2013 we met Dr. Gianfortoni (better known as Dr. G.). He was wonderful.  Over the next several months we tried several different treatments. I was making trips to Dr. G’s office several times a week to get injections, track my ovulation through tests and ultrasounds. I was up in stirrups so much I had almost lost all modesty. We tried pills, weekly injections, daily injections, a hysterogram, and four inseminations. Nothing worked. We learned about IVF, its cost and the fact that our insurance – nor any insurance we could get – would not cover any portion of it. We felt like a baby was beyond our reach.

We have grown as a couple and our love is stronger than ever, but we so want to be parents and to start a family. We feel broken and the fix feels so far out of reach. We are working hard to save money, but it is an extremely slow and painful process.

When we learned about your program through a good friend we felt renewed hope. We are proud to live in a city with such an amazing charity program available to couples experiencing these types of challenges. We know the pain and shame of infertility and we want to tell other couples they are not alone; that they should not be ashamed; that they are not broken. We are thrilled and honored to share our story and to be part of your community of hopeful parents. Thank you for the opportunity to participate and get closer to our dream of becoming parents. Thank your for bringing this opportunity to Richmond. We can’t wait to see everyone at the race in April. Team Red is ready to run!