A message from Leonie Brooks…
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been maternal. Always a nurturer reaching out to and taking care of everyone: a parent recovering from serious illness, a struggling student or a heartbroken friend…I’m there. I have vivid memories of picking up my little sister as a baby when I was 7, and my brother when I was 11, taking them into my bed and soothing them so they would stop crying and go to sleep when my exhausted parents didn’t have the energy. The baby whisperer! I love babies and they love me. And so as I enter my late 40’’s today, I have one birthday wish. To conceive, carry and give birth to my own child. A baby (or babies) to love, raise, nurture. And since I have not yet met Mr. Right, my husband and life partner, I have worked with a wonderful medical team over the past several months in an attempt to manifest my lifelong heart’s desire to become a mommy.
Unfortunately, three intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedures with donor sperm from a sperm bank have been unsuccessful. And to add to this heartbreak, I have utilized all of my own savings since insurance companies will not pay to assist single women like me to have a baby. My next option is in vitro fertilization (IVF) which is even more costly as it is a much more complicated process involving the removal of my own eggs, using donor sperm to fertilize the eggs in a laboratory setting and then inserting them back in the uterus.
There are expensive medications, tests and procedures involved that will cost approximately $55,000.00 none of which will be covered by my health insurance. In the past I have resisted earnest pleas from my wonderful support system of friends, whom I affectionately call my sister and brother angels, to seek external funding (crowd funding) because I’m also incredibly proud and self-sufficient. I had to get real with myself and ask what do I want….to hold on to my pride or to hold my baby in my arms. Then, the choice was easy…baby wins, no contest.
I also had to get over my fears of others’ judgment, what people would think…and again imagining that precious baby growing inside of me, and me waddling down the hallway going to teach my class vanquished those fears. I hope to start my own foundation someday; to help other women like me to have the blessing of motherhood…no woman who truly desires to give birth to a child should have to live with the heartache of that unfulfilled desire. But for today, I am asking for your financial assistance to help me on this motherhood journey, so I can make my birthday wish come true.
If you are currently a graduate student in the psychology department at Towson University, or taking a class with me, I ask for your prayers and positive vibrations, but that you refrain from making any direct financial contributions to avoid any ethical conflicts. For everyone else, any amount will be greatly appreciated. From my heart to yours, thank you!