Fortune Favors the Brave Session ~ Melissa & Donavin

I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to start my new passion project with!! Melissa emailed me to share she and Donavin’s story and her sweet heart and personality just jumped off the screen at me. Aside from the fact these two were willing to trek down to Chicago from Minnesota for this session – was the fact that the date of the session was Donavin’s birthday!! That just screamed “meant to be” to me!!

To give you a little bit of background – here is an excerpt from Melissa’s first email to me:

My name is Melissa and my husbands name is Donavin. We started our journey about 5 1/2 years ago. We got married in August 2011 and took our honeymoon in November and were excited to make the decision to start our family just a few short months after! Needless to say it wasn’t as straightforward as we thought! … (After trying naturally together for a while) we tried IUIs and had 3 failed attempts at that. After kind of feeling stuck and not knowing what else to do we tried different doctors and specialists who recommended IVF – but the only thing holding us back was how scary the cost was. We knew we needed to save for that direction, so we took some “time off” from trying and have been saving for IVF. We decided that was enough saving we just needed to go for it! Just a few months ago we decided to take the IVF journey. We are from Minnesota and our insurance here doesn’t cover anything with the ugly infertility word. My insurance company has actually said they consider any infertility treatments as elective.
We spent a lot of time looking into different areas and countries to have the procedure done. We just weren’t sold that we had to do the process in Minnesota! We fell in love with the Barbados Fertility Center and have been working with them to get everything going! They are so amazing there and they have a very high success rate and the cost is so much better for us!

And so Melissa and Donavin are about to start this process in the next few weeks and I don’t think there is a better way to start this journey than with their little Chicago get away together. These two have hearts of gold and said in their email to me: “We are trying to remember (there is) no shame in what we are going through and if we can put anything out there for people to relate to or open it up for any questions we would love to have that and just support your project any way we can!!”

I just loved that and am so happy that their story can be a light for others going through this as well. After having heard their story and meeting them for the session – I can tell you that these two are an incredibly inspiring couple. The way they make each other smile and laugh – and the positive attitude they’ve kept through all of this is nothing short of amazing! They are truly such beautiful souls and I can’t wait to follow along on their journey because they are going to be the best parents together when this is all said and done.

Here is a look at their session – you can’t help but be inspired seeing these two together!


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Seriously – are they not the sweetest together?! MY GOODNESS. Ah! Please join me in wishing these two all the best on their journey!! XOXO


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Did you know that only 15 out of 50 states have a mandate in places that REQUIRES insurance companies cover infertility treatments? And even those that require it don’t necessarily include coverage for IVF or they may have other loopholes to the law that makes it so couples can still be denied coverage. Isn’t that crazy? In Melissa & Donavin’s case – Minnesota has no laws in place that require insurance companies cover infertility treatments and they actually passed a law that specifies that medical assistance shall not provide coverage for fertility drugs when specifically used to enhance fertility. (Source)

When they inquired about IVF they were quoted roughly $24,000 and that was for the procedure alone. Needing to freeze any embryos was additional, and meds ran $3,000 to $3,500 a cycle. On top of that – the nearest clinics to their home were 2 to 2.5 hours away. When you figure you need to go in for monitoring nearly every day during your cycle – that is not even feasible for most people to attempt! And beyond all of that – most clinics require you to pay in full before beginning anything, and few have payment plans, but you need to go through a lengthy application process to try to get approved for it.

I find that is probably the number one thing about infertility that people seem to be unaware of unless they have had to deal with it themselves – is the insurance laws surrounding it! James and I were SO fortunate to live in a state with some of the best coverage and best doctors in the country. You can read more about how your state ranks on their fertility scorecard on Resolve’s website HERE.

If you have any questions or need support on your own infertility journey – please do not hesitate to reach out to me. xoxo

**Stay tuned for when I announce the next date for our next Fortune Favors the Brave Giveaway!

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!