ANDERSON — Stephanie Fertucci can’t help but just let the tears well up in her eyes. She’s never wanted something so badly, and the last year and a half has been a roller coaster of emotions, optimism and disappointment.
Every time she gets a glimmer of hope for the future of her family, anxiety and doubt temporarily consume her.
“It’s so overwhelming,” she said. “I cry a lot.”
She and her husband are facing fertility issues, making their dreams of being parents seem impossible. But now the couple – along with friends and family – is looking toward an unlikely savior: Etsy.
Fertucci and her sister are selling crafts on the marketplace website to raise money for fertility treatments. The sisters spend hours each week working on burp cloths, paper quilling projects, glass yard art and various other crafts to sell.
Stephanie said the In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) package she and her husband, Matt Fertucci, are getting costs about $30,000.
“I was crafting every night,” she said, “but I know I can’t do $30,000 worth.”
After marrying in June 2012, the Fertuccis started trying for a baby right away. A little less than a year later, Stephanie said she had a feeling there was a problem.
“I just knew,” she said. “We should have been pregnant.”
The Anderson couple went to a fertility clinic and discovered Matt’s sperm count – and their chances of conceiving naturally – is low.
“(Finding out) was surreal,” Matt said. “Maybe I’m still in a little bit of denial. It hasn’t hit home.”
The doctors said their best bet to have a baby is through adoption or IVF, and when they found out adopting could cost just as much as fertility treatments, they decided to try for a biological child.
Dr. Bradford Bopp, a reproductive endocrinologist at Midwest Fertility in Carmel, said 1 in 5 couples aged younger than 35 have fertility issues. An additional 25 percent have issues conceiving after already having one child.