I spent over $100,000 on IVF treatments. Eventually, one of my sisters donated her eggs, and the other was my surrogate.

I spent over $100,000 on IVF treatments. Eventually, one of my sisters donated her eggs, and the other was my surrogate.
  • Jaclyn Fieberg and her husband, Greg, longed for a baby. But they had complex fertility issues.

  • One of Fieberg's sisters stepped up as an egg donor. The other became their surrogate.

  • The couple's dream to become parents came true in February 2024 when their daughter was born.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Jacyln Fieberg. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Seconds after our baby started to cry as she was lifted free by the doctor, my sister, Stephanie, who'd just delivered her by C-section, shouted from the operating table.

"Jaclyn, you're a mom!" she said.

My husband, Greg, and I sobbed with joy. We'd finally become parents. Our daughter was a miracle after five years of heartache caused by infertility.

They say that it takes a village to raise a child. In our case, it took a family to create one. Stephanie, 41, stepped up as our surrogate, while Meredith, another of my sisters, was our egg donor.

Greg and I got married in October 2018. I was 33, and he was 39 at the time. We knew we wanted a family and tried for a baby almost immediately.

Unfortunately, it didn't happen naturally. We went for tests in 2019 that showed that Greg's sperm wasn't the best quality. We underwent IUI, which didn't work, before moving on to IVF.

I had a disorder that was linked to major fertility and heart problems

I got pregnant during our first round in March 2020. I wasn't expecting it to happen so fast. We were delighted.

However, at my 12-week ultrasound, they couldn't detect a heartbeat. It was supposed to be a happy day. But it was horrible. I needed a D&C.

We had extensive genetic testing before the next round of IVF. The geneticists discovered that I had Mosaic Turner syndrome, a chromosomal condition that occurs randomly.

We were shocked. Typically, those with Mosaic Turner syndrome are short. I'm 5ft 9in tall. However, the disorder was linked to major fertility and heart problems.

A mom holding her baby with a.fireplace behind them.
Jaclyn Feiberg with her three-month-old baby, Emersyn.Courtesy of Jaclyn Fieberg

I was later diagnosed with endometriosis and had multiple procedures in 2022. One of my fallopian tubes was removed.

Still, we did a total of six more rounds of IVF. I was having constant injections. We got our hopes up twice. But, first, it was a chemical pregnancy and then an early miscarriage.

It took a huge toll mentally. It affected our marriage. Greg works as a firefighter. He's a fixer, but he couldn't do anything to fix this for me — and for us. "I think we should stop," he told me at one point.

He was trying to protect me, but it wasn't the right answer. Traveling and getting another dog wasn't going to fulfill our desire to have kids.

We began to think about donor eggs from a stranger. But we're a very close family — Stephanie, Meredith, and my youngest sister, Samantha, lived through every high and low of our IVF journey.

My sisters' selflessness made our dreams come true

They wanted to help in any way they could. The genetic piece was important to me. Meredith, a mom of twins, put herself forward as our donor. Stephanie, who has two kids, and Samantha did the same.

We ruled out Samantha because she didn't already have children. Our fertility specialist decided Meredith was the better candidate. She was six years younger than Stephanie.

The retrieval of the eggs was successful. They were fertilized with Greg's sperm. Then, in December 2022, the doctor transferred one of the embryos into my uterus. Sadly, I didn't get pregnant.

But we didn't give up. Stephanie volunteered to be our surrogate, and we said yes. It was another selfless act by one of my sisters. Our decision was supported by David Berck, a high-risk maternal and fetal medicine doctor at Northwell Health in Westchester, New York.

Three sisters sitting on a bench
The sisters had always been closeCourtesy of Jaclyn Fieberg

A second embryo was transferred to Stephanie. It took. Greg and I were super cautious, but at last, we were pregnant. We figured out that it had cost us around $100,00 in medical fees to get to that stage. But it was worth every cent. I accompanied Stephanie to every pre-natal appointment. It felt so real seeing Emersyn on the scans; it was as if I was carrying her myself.

She was safely delivered on February 1st this year, weighing 7 pounds and 15 ounces. Greg, my mom, Barbara, and I were in the operating room with Stephanie. We cried hysterically.

Meredith and Stephanie presented us with the most special gift in the world. We're so lucky and grateful to them for Emersyn.

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