A couple who took out personal loans in a bid to fund $98,000 on IVF finally have their dream family after welcoming their miracle twins.
Ashley Howard-Heimbuch, 34, and her husband, Alex Heimbuch, 35, from Detroit, took out personal loans and held dozens of fundraising events over the last three years to fund the thousands they have spent on IVF.
After a year of trying to get pregnant on their own, Ashley and Alex first sought help in January 2018 where they discovered that both of Ashley’s Fallopian tubes were blocked and were given a zero per cent chance of naturally conceiving.
Ashley Howard-Heimbuch, 34, and husband, Alex Heimbuch, 35, have welcomed miracle twins after taking out $98,000 in personal loans to pay for six rounds of IVF
After years of trying to conceive, the couple have finally have their dream family – having been told by doctors in 2018 that they had a zero per cent chance of conceiving naturally
But in 2019 the couple were over the moon when their sixth round of IVF worked and they welcomed their twin boys in June 2020 – River Heimbuch, weighing 5lbs 11oz and Brooks Heimbuch, weighing 5lbs 2oz.
Ashley said: ‘Over the past nearly three years we have accumulated medical bills of around $75,000 by trying to become parents, as we had next to no insurance coverage.
‘We had taken out around $20,000 in loans to help us with the costs of our medical bills and achieve our dream of starting a family, the rest was paid with cash, that we raised by holding fundraisers, and credit cards.
‘After going through the first few rounds of IVF, I became a pro when it came to all the physical effects. I got used to the tiredness, nausea and pain from the shots.
After a year of trying to get pregnant on their own, the couple was told that both of Ashley’s Fallopian tubes were blocked so they turned to IVF and conceived twins River and Brooks
Ashley, pictured with her husband and their twins, said she ‘became a pro when it came to all the physical effects’ of IVF and quickly got use to ‘tiredness, nausea and pain from the shots’
During their penultimate round of IVF, after four previous unsuccessful attempts, their doctor discovered a benign tumor on Ashley’s uterus and they had to abandon their fifth IVF attempt
‘The mental effects were more difficult than the physical side.
‘I become really disconnected and I was just going through the motions of the process that I had been through over and over again.’
During their penultimate round of IVF, after four previous unsuccessful attempts, the couple’s doctor discovered a benign tumor on Ashley’s uterus.
As a result of this, their fifth round of IVF had to be abandoned halfway through.
‘I then had to have surgery which removed 50 per cent of the tumor and I was on medication for almost two months to minimize the tumor further,’ Ashley said.
The couple began their sixth and final round of IVF in October last year and it was successful. To their disbelief, they found out that they were pregnant with twins
After discovering the tumor, Ashley had to have surgery which removed 50 per cent of the tumor and she was on medication for almost two months
After the surgery, Ashley changed her mindset and went back to IVF, determined to remain positive about conceiving – and it was that final sixth round that proved successful
‘I was in complete shock when they found it, I felt so defeated.
‘I thought to myself, what else can go wrong?
‘I could not believe that it had been overlooked so many times before, because the doctor at the time told us it had been there and growing for a while.
‘I had a pity party for a few days, I was constantly thinking that if this was found before we could have been successful earlier and saved so much money.
‘But I had to change my mindset, I had to think that this could be the answer to the problems. I was a lot more hopeful and positive after that.’
Ashley and Alex were stunned when they were told they had conceived twins River and Brooks who were born in June 2020 weighing 5lbs 11oz and 5lbs 2oz, respectively
Despite being over the moon to have conceived finally, Ashley had a terrible pregnancy and ended up needing lifesaving surgery at 14 weeks
Ashley was in was in hospital for almost a month after the surgery because she developed a number of complications including Group B Strep and E-coli
The couple began their sixth and final round of IVF in October last year and it was successful. To their disbelief, they found out that they were pregnant with twins.
‘We were so thrilled after everything we had been through; I was so relieved that we had finally done it.
‘We were not just going to have one baby, we were having two. I could not believe it.
‘I ended up having a really terrible pregnancy. I had to have lifesaving surgery at 14 weeks after being diagnosed with a very rare pregnancy condition called Incarcerated Uterus.
After she returned home, Ashley was on bedrest and developed severe anxiety and PTSD for the rest of my pregnancy
Ashley is pictured having an IVF shot administered by Alex while the couple were trying to get pregnant
Ashley(right) and Alex with their children River and Brooks, who they ‘love fiercely’ after years of trying to conceive
Ashley says she is now struggling with post-natal depression but is taking it one day at a time
‘I was in hospital for almost a month after the surgery because I developed complications like Group B Strep and E-coli.
‘After I returned home I was on bedrest and developed severe anxiety and PTSD for the rest of my pregnancy.‘
‘Because of the condition we were told to brace ourselves as we would probably lose the twins. Luckily that did not happen.
‘On June 19 2020 I had a C-section, and my twin boys were born, Brooks and River. We love them so much and we feel so grateful to have them here with us.
‘Now that River and Brooks are here, I am struggling with post-natal depression.
‘There are good days and bad days but I am doing the best I can and loving my boys fiercly.’