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Edmonton woman makes bath bombs to pay for IVF treatment

By Admin User on December 13, 2019

One in six couples in Canada struggle with fertility. Amanda and Aaron Butt are one of those six.

Married in 2014, the Butt’s have been struggling to conceive a baby ever since. Amanda realized something was wrong in 2016.

Amanda and Aaron Butt

Amanda suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which means she ovulates inconsistently, making it hard for her to get pregnant. The Butt’s decided that they needed help if they wanted to create a family. So, they started in vitro fertilization (IVF).

During IVF, the woman’s eggs are extracted and combined with sperm manually in a laboratory dish. After, the embryos are transferred to the uterus and if successful, the woman will be pregnant.

“We did a lot of rounds, a lot,” says Amanda. “The third one worked, and we got pregnant. And then, we found out at 11 weeks we lost it and it was gone.”

Although scared, the Butt’s decided two months after this loss to try again… And, it worked. In January of 2018, they found out that Amanda was four weeks pregnant. However, they suffered another loss just two weeks later, because Amanda had miscarried.

“The hardest part of this process for me has been the underlying issue isn’t with my body, which has left me pretty much powerless and unable to do anything about it,” says Aaron. “I’m a husband, we want to help and fix things. With something that makes that 100% impossible is a harsh reality.”

Not only has this journey of trying to create a family cost the Butt’s emotionally, but is also financially impacting them as well.

In Alberta, rounds of IVF treatment can cost anywhere from $10,000 – $15,000 dollars, and for most people who are like Amanda and Aaron, this is not cheap. This is why Amanda started her new business, Bath Bombs for Babies. And, through selling her bath bombs, she was able to pay for one-third of her next round of IVF treatment.

This time, the Butt’s would receive treatment in Prague because the Royal Alex Fertility Clinic closed in 2018. Now, there are only private fertility clinics in Edmonton and because of this, the Butt’s decided that it’s most cost-efficient to travel to Prague for their next round of IVF.

“If you’re going to spend that money, like $50,000 worth, might as well get a vacations worth,” says Amanda.

They spent a month in Europe bouncing from appointment to appointment, hoping that this round of IVF would be the one that works. For the first part of their trip, Amanda had to take a prescription for Letrozole, to trigger her ovaries to ovulate so the doctors could remove the eggs to begin fertilization.

With a needle, doctors poke each follicle and suck the microscopic eggs out from each side. The follicle that the eggs grow in are no bigger than the size of a grape. Going into her surgery, Amanda had 14 eggs. Four of her eggs made it through the fertilization process on the first night, but only two made it to the last day. Placed back inside of her body, these two eggs were Amanda and Aaron’s hope for creating a family.

A few days after her surgery, Amanda took her pregnancy test; negative.

While in Prague, Amanda and Aaron vlogged their trip and decided to share their IVF journey experience with the world on their YouTube channel: MyLifeMyWay. As of right now, they have 1.79k subscribers and Amanda says that she finds comfort knowing she has all of these people who are going through the same thing as her and Aaron, and is grateful for the support.

“While it’s been a challenge, our fertility journey has helped us to become closer, more supportive and more understanding of one another, and has offered us a shared experience that most couples will never have,” says Aaron.

After returning home from Prague, a couple months later Amanda found out that she was pregnant for the third time. Like her previous pregnancy, she found out that she was pregnant at four weeks. Sadly, history repeated itself and she lost another baby at six weeks.

Feeling defeated, the Butt’s decided that they needed a break and decided to stop trying, just for a little bit.

Amanda put a lot of her focus into her bath bomb business. She started attending markets, and she saw her business begin to grow bigger and bigger. She even began making handmade soap which is helping her business blossom even more.

Amanda sells her bath bombs for $5 a bomb, or five bombs for $20. The bath bombs come in a variety of scents and shapes.

Like her bath bombs, Amanda is also creating unique bars of soap which she sells for $10 a bar.

And, despite the past unsuccessful pregnancy results, the Butt’s are not ready to give up just yet. “I’m feeling a lot better,” says Amanda. “So I’m going to go back to my doctor – we’re going to try again.”

The Butt’s are planning to travel back to Prague in the spring for another round of IVF.

EVERYTHING by jaylenehollohan



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