GRABILL, Ind. (WANE) – Infertility is an issue millions of couples face across the United States. It can be caused by a man or a woman.
A Grabill couple shared their journey to being parents, as the husband suffers from infertility.
Although not talked about often, according to the Cleveland Clinic, 10% of all men in the United States attempting to conceive suffer from infertility.
“You never, ever dream of the guy, or in my mind, I never thought I’d have an issue being able to have kids. You know, I was crushed at first. Because I could see my wife, and not being able to give her the thing she really wanted,” said Craig Nickols.
Craig said he had moments where he felt embarrassed about being infertile. However, those feelings have subsided.
The Nickols didn’t know if being surrounded by their children on the couch of their home would ever be a possibility. Craig and Kristin married in 2010, and shortly after wanted to start a family.
The couple says they always had desires to adopt. Craig’s infertility led them down the path to adopting Xavier in 2015. The couple fed him in the hospital, and took him home from there.
A few years later, the five year old is in kindergarten learning how to spell. But before then, Kristin and Craig wanted him to become a big brother.
“We wanted him to have a sibling. And what does that look like? And how are we going to do that? And so we started kind of going down the road of embryo adoption,” said Kristin.
The Nickols enlisted help from the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The center stores remaining embryos from couples that went through in vitro fertilization.
Couples can then adopt the remaining embryos.
“My wife wanted to be able to experience pregnancy. We thought this would be an incredible option for us,” said Craig.
“Yeah, it’s basically carrying your adopted baby. So, that was kind of interesting to us. We didn’t know what that looked like, or how it worked, or anything like that at first,” explained Kristin.
The Nickols selected embryos and received the transfer. The first transfer ended in a miscarriage. The couple tried again, becoming pregnant with twins. However, by the 9-week ultrasound both of their hearts stopped beating.
With support from their friends and family and receiving a grant to continue their journey, the Nickols became pregnant with Stella in the fall of 2019.
Stella’s embryo was frozen for 6 years prior to the transfer.
“Along the way there was just the lord showing us, “Keep going.” And you know, I’m so glad we didn’t give up, because she wouldn’t be here now. Is that right,” said Kristin.
Kristin and Craig took photos of the newborn surrounded by hormone treatments and medication to make it possible. Stella arrived early, but she’s now a chatty 4 month old.
To learn more about infertility in the United States, click here.
To learn more about the National Embryo Donation Center, click here.