A married couple who have endured a brutal 13-year struggle to conceive a child are now set to welcome twins via a surrogate, just months after adopting their first baby.
Lindsay Vargas, 35, and her husband Brian, 37, of Omaha, Nebraska, have gone through 15 miscarriages, three failed adoptions, two surrogacy attempts and an ectopic pregnancy in their quest to become parents.
The pair, who got married in 2005, have spent their life savings on their dream, cashing in their retirement accounts and stock portfolios, and ultimately spending $500,000 trying to start a family.
"When we started trying, I figured it would take a few months to get pregnant," Lindsay told Yahoo.
But after trying to conceive naturally for a year and a half without results, Lindsay, who owns a hair salon, and Brian, went to their OB-GYN, who prescribed fertility medication for Lindsay, the MailOnline reported.
She said she eventually developed a cyst the size of a softball on her ovaries, due to increasing doses and inadequate monitoring. Lindsay underwent surgery to remove the cyst, after which she and Brian began looking into artificial insemination.
"I kept getting pregnant, but I'd miscarry each time after about eight weeks," Lindsay said of the five-year process. "We'd hear the baby's heartbeat at our first ultrasound, but at the next appointment there would be no heartbeat."
After their first four pregnancy losses, the couple stopped telling other people they were expecting, leaving Lindsay feeling like she was living a double life.
Despite the heart-wrenching experiences, Lindsay didn't give up and told herself, as she recounted to WOWT: "I know in my heart at one point I would love to be a mum. I don't care how it happens."
The couple experienced 15 miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy before their doctor said they needed to "give up" and recommended Lindsay start birth control.
At one point, Brian was diagnosed with a genetic condition that can often lead to miscarriages.
Having had no luck with artificial insemination, the pair started looking into surrogacy when Lindsay's sister, Kelly O'Toole, volunteered to carry their child.
Lindsay had declined the offer in the past because she didn't want to "burden" her sister, who has three children of her own, but she eventually accepted the offer.
But as they began the artificial insemination process, it turned out that Kelly had a benign tumour the size of a grapefruit inside of her body. Doctors removed it and also had to take out one of her ovaries.
The family then went through with the insemination, using Kelly's egg and sperm from a donor. After four rounds, however, Kelly was still not pregnant.
Brian and Lindsay didn't give up and created a Go Fund Me page to find another surrogate. Their campaign gained attention, and the couple eventually received a message from a woman asking whether they would consider adopting her unborn child.
They were hesitant at first, having experienced so many disappointments, but met with her and decided to go through with the adoption. Their first child, a baby girl named Henley, was born last month, on October 15.
"I cried like an absolute baby. Absolutely sobbing," Lindsay recounted.