FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - April will mark Infertility Awareness Week.
Infertility isn’t the only barrier to some couples becoming parents. Money is a barrier, as well. The non-profit Baby Quest Foundation is providing help to those yearning to grow their family.
Chelsia and Brandon Ogletree are one of those Georgia families. The Forsyth couple met on a film set, with a story seemingly straight out of the movies.
But when it came time to start a family, the happy ending took some twists and turns along the way.
Doctors diagnosed Chelsia with PCOS, a type of hormone imbalance that causes infertility. She and Brandon decided to pursue assisted reproduction treatment.
In vitro fertilization — or IVF — comes with a high price tag.
"Georgia insurances don't have to cover IVF treatments or the medications or ultrasounds and all of the blood work," Chelsia explained.
There are charities for would-be parents to help cover the costs of fertility treatment. The Ogletrees applied to Baby Quest Foundation for help. The non-profit awards financial assistance to those who can’t afford IVF, gestational surrogacy and embryo donation.
"When we were accepted as grant recipients, I felt like this was our chance," Chelsia remembered.
The Ogletrees proceeded with treatment and Chelsia got pregnant, but they suffered a shattering loss. Their son, Atlas, was stillborn.
"I experienced a seizure in labor, and I delivered my boy and he was almost eight pounds — just a beautiful baby — but he was born still," she said.
They grieved heavily, Chelsia said, but they kept trying.
Since the first grant was awarded in March 2012, Baby Quest has granted more than $2.35 million.
The number of resulting babies: 127 and counting.
The Ogletrees’ daughter, Atlantis, now two, is one of those success stories.
Chelsia and Brandon Ogletree with their daughter, Atlantis.
Providing, her parents say, sunshine after a storm of multiple IVF rounds and the devastating loss of their son, born still due to an umbilical cord accident:
"Life is about obstacles. You've got to keep pushing through. And don't give up, no matter the circumstances," Brandon said.
This month, the non-profit plans to award at least 11 grants to new recipients.