“We met in junior high, 8th grade and we started dating 15 years old, 16 years old and we've been together ever since,” said Elizabeth Ray.
In 2009, the Ray family wanted to grow their family. They started trying to get pregnant.
'We were just very hopeful each month. You just keep thinking 'Oh, I won't be that person,'” said Elizabeth.
After many months of no results, the Rays decided to try in vitro fertilization.
In vitro, or IVF, is a procedure where a woman's eggs are collected and fertilized by sperm in a lab.
The fertilized eggs are then implanted back into the uterus.
According to the Ray family, this process isn't easy.
“You do a month of two different kinds of shots and we did those in my belly,” said Elizabeth.
“At first, it was tough. But then, after a while it was like 'roll out of bed at seven a.m., stick her with a needle and then start you day,” said Joseph Ray.
For some, however, IVF isn't an option.
Andrew and Kathy Davenport have been trying to start a family for five years.
“The one thing that kept coming up was this: Insurance will not cover infertility. That was our wall that we always hit,” said Andrew. “The cost of a family coming together and being parents is one night out together and a bottle of wine and a good movie. For us, it's $10,000.”
Kathy has a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome. She has 20 cysts on her ovaries and a tilted pelvic floor that prevent her from conceiving.
“I think that every woman, like especially after she gets married, she wants to start a family. She wants to be pregnant and have her own child,” said Kathy. “ I think not being able to provide that or give that to my husband was heart aching.”
“I've always grown up with the idea that it was the man's job to fix things. We fix the lawnmower when it's broke. We are under the sink with the screw driver. This isn't something on my end of things that I'm able to do,” said Andrew.
The Davenports aren't letting infertility stop them from being parents. The two have fostered nearly 13 children through DHS of Benton County.
“I walked into this with a selfish motive: I wanted to be a dad. I've now come out of this knowing it's not about me, it's about the children,” said Andrew.
“It's amazing to see when these kids come in and then when they leave and how much they flourish, how much they blossom,” said Kathy.
Although the couple loves fostering, their goal one day is to adopt.
For the Ray family, that dream came true through In vitro fertilization.
Asa Ray was born in October 2010.
Since then, the Rays welcomed another baby boy, Lawson.
IVF isn't always successful and for many, it's not an affordable option.
Whether it's through a medical procedure, fostering, or adoption, there's nothing like finally becoming 'Mom' and 'Dad.'
Are you dealing with infertility? There's help right here in Northwest Arkansas. Click here to find out more about the NWA Infertility Group.