'Just don't give up': Portland family struggling with infertilit - KPTV - FOX 12

'Just don't give up': Portland family struggling with infertility gained hope from embryo donation

Posted: Updated: May 30, 2018 01:30 AM
(KPTV Image) (KPTV Image)
(KPTV Image) (KPTV Image)

Many couples feel the sadness of not being able to get pregnant on their own. But one Portland family is sharing their story of a different kind of adoption out there, which is helping families who have trouble conceiving. 

From the outside, Damon and Cindy Hatch look like any other happy family. But for people who know the couple, they also know getting here has been a journey, an often heartbreaking one. 

"We initially tried to start a family about five years ago when we got married and I had an ectopic pregnancy and lost my fallopian tube, and then had an infection from that surgery and lost the other one. So getting pregnant the normal way was not an option," Cindy Hatch said. 

It didn't get any easier from there. Two rounds of IVF with their own sperm and egg failed. 

"I just didn't want to give up," Cindy said. "I just knew to keep trying."

Enter Doctor John Hesla, Medical Director, at Oregon Reproductive Medicine

"It's becoming more common, although a lot of people don't know about it," Dr. Hesla said. 

He told the Hatch's about embryo donation, also referred to as embryo adoption by many hopeful parents. 

"Some patients who we help through the IVF process end up with more embryos than they actually need to complete their family, so the embryos are frozen and the patient who has these embryos has different options of what they want to do with the embryos, if they no longer need them," Dr. Hesla said. "And one of the options that we offer our patients, is the option of embryo donation."  

Cindy and Damon were able to look through profiles, with extensive medical history, and decide what donated embryos worked best for them. 

"It went back to like grandparents, great grandparents and so forth," Damon Hatch said. "So kind of got to know the whole person on paper."

Their first try though proved unsuccessful. 

"I did get pregnant, but it was a chemical pregnancy," Cindy said. 

Still not wanting to give up, they again picked a profile, one they said felt right as soon as they read it. 

"Well, we found out that she was pregnant on her birthday," Damon said. 

"I was excited but I guess guarded because we had been down the road before," Cindy said. "When I started feeling her move, I think that's when I really realized this is gonna happen." 

And you can guess exactly what happened next. Their daughter, Malia Hatch, was born April 23rd. 

"Very special," Cindy said. 

"I lost it at that point," Damon said. 

Like any new parents, the Hatch's are still learning to navigate through life with a newborn. 

"She has a little routine now where Cindy stays awake with her in the middle of the night and then I get up with her super early in the morning and stay up and let her sleep," Damon said. 

But they both just hope their little family is proof to others struggling with infertility that there's another option out there. 

"There's hope and sometimes your ideas of the ways things are supposed to happen don't always happen, but it's an amazing gift that somebody gave to us and being able to experience pregnancy and everything, we're bonded," Cindy said. "She's our daughter and I would keep trying." 

"Just don't give up," Damon said. 

Usually, embryo donation is done anonymously, but the Hatch's said they actually are in some contact with their donor. 

Doctors said embryo donation is usually less expensive than IVF or even domestic adoption. 

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