BATON ROUGE - Many couples can't wait to welcome a new bundle of joy into the world, but for some, it's not so easy. They spend staggering amounts of money on treatments since they can't conceive on their own, but there's no guarantee the pricey procedures will work.
News 2's Kylie Dixon spoke with two couples who were hoping and praying for the same joy of parenthood with very different stories and outcomes.
William and Mary Claire Stickle's twins were born hours apart. Eliza was born on December 23rd; her brother Bennett a day later on Christmas Eve, but the way the babies came into the world was anything but natural. The couple struggled to conceive for three years.
"We did a year of treatment of unsuccessful IUI's," Mary Claire explains. "Then we were just drained. Emotionally, physically, financially; we were done. We needed a break."
They got a break and a blessing from family and friends who set up a GoFundMe site to raise money to help the couple go through In vitro fertilization, or IVF.
It's a procedue where doctors collect eggs and sprem, combine them, and insert them into the woman's uterus. Mary Claire's body didn't respond to the pre-treatment, so they tried intrauterine insemination (IUI) one more time.
"Two weeks later, I was pregnant," Mary Claire says. "We were a few months shy of trying for three years, and then the first ultrasound we went to, there were two heartbeats."
The Stickle's aren't alone in their struggle to conceive. It's estimated as many as 1 in 6 couples trying to have a baby have the same problem.
"The most common single cause of infertility is a problem with the husband's sperm count," Dr. John Storment says. Other causes of infertility include diet, exercise and unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking.
"A lot of alcohol, and in Louisiana we have to define that; Some people think that drinking a 6-pack a night is normal. It is not normal," Dr. Storment says. "Excess alcohol from both the wife and husband defintely decreases success rate."
Fertility treatment isn't right for everyone. When Cary and Tyler Koch found out they had fertility problems, they weren't comfortable going through procedues. Instead, they chose adoption.
"If you have the desire to become a parent, there is a way you can figure that out," Cary says.
Eleven months later, they had a new born baby girl named Isabella in their arms.
"It's just a surreal difference," Tyler says. "We went from being heartbroken to being overjoyed."
Watch the video for more on the Stickle and Koch's emotional journeys.