For 33-year-old Sarah Wong, there’s nothing like being a mom.

“There's an unconditional love that you have just never experienced before,” Wong said about her 19-month-old daughter, Ryn. “I look at her, and she's absolutely perfect.”

Wong and her husband, Jeremy Wong, have big dreams for their family. They recently purchased 5 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they plan to move and raise four children, three goldendoodles, and goats and chickens.

“I want to fill up the house,” Sarah said.

Achieving this dream has been more challenging than they expected.

Although it’s a personal story, the Wongs are sharing their experience because many couples face obstacles to building their family. About 1 in 4 women of childbearing age who haven’t already been pregnant have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Wongs want these women to feel less alone — and realize that there may be help available.

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Joy. Then heartbreak.

Sarah and Jeremy have been together since 2010 and have been married since 2014. They live in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, where Jeremy is a software engineer and Sarah is a dental hygienist and serves in the Air Force Reserves.

To their delight, in 2022 Sarah got pregnant. It was an easy pregnancy, ending in a healthy baby — a little girl they call “Ryn,” short for Kathryn.

Six months later, the Wongs began trying for another baby. This time, their experience was harder. Sarah got pregnant, twice, but both pregnancies ended in miscarriages.

In June 2023, Sarah got pregnant again.

“After all the early miscarriages, it was really hard to even say I was pregnant and be excited,” Sarah said. “When I was finally getting to the point of telling people because I couldn't hide it anymore, I was still very reserved with it.”

Still, everything appeared to be going well.

When Sarah was at 20 weeks, the couple traveled to Tennessee to look at a possible piece of property for their growing family. While they were there, Sarah started bleeding.

Doctors at a local medical center found that her cervix was dilated and her membranes were ruptured, meaning the risk of infection and preterm delivery was high. It was too late for an emergency procedure called “rescue cerclage” to hopefully close the cervix, delay delivery, and allow the baby more time to grow.

That day, she had a little boy they named Hundley.

“Since he was 20 weeks, he was too young to go to the NICU or for them to try any life-preserving measures,” Sarah said. Hospital staff wrapped Hundley in a blanket and hat and made molds of his handprints for the family. Heartbroken, the Wongs went home without buying the land. And without their son.

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