I’ll never forget that moment in Dr. Greenhouse’s office in Fair Oaks, after three failed IUI cycles, when he looked at us and said, “we need to try IVF.” That was in 2010. We decided to take a break for about a year to just recoup mentally and physically after the IUI cycles. We returned in the fall of 2011 for our first fresh IVF cycle. That decision turned out to be the best decision we ever made, giving us three of our four beautiful daughters, and now with a fourth SGF baby on the way.
Right before Thanksgiving 2011, we found out we were pregnant with our daughter, Grace, through our first IVF cycle. From that cycle, we had ended up with six viable embryos, so at the time of our transfer, we had the other five embryos frozen.
Grace was born on July 28, 2012. When she was 11 weeks old, we returned to SGF to ask Dr. Greenhouse about the process of a frozen embryo transfer (FET). Pretty sure he thought we were crazy for coming in so soon (but in all honesty she was a perfect baby). Since he explained I would have to stop breastfeeding in order to start the cycle, we decided to wait until Grace turned one and was weaned.
To our shock, a week after she turned one, we found out we were pregnant on our own. Our “surprise daughter,” Callie, was born in April 2014. We then returned in August 2015 for our first FET cycle, which resulted in our daughter, Millie, born in May 2016.
Growing Our Family with SGF as an Out of State Patient
When Millie was 3 months old, we moved our family to Texas, but kept our embryos with SGF and remained a patient of Dr. Greenhouse’s. SGF and Dr. Greenhouse worked with us seamlessly for our second FET cycle, even though we were remote. My OB/GYN and local fertility practice in Dallas executed all his orders and we flew back to Virginia in November 2017 for the actual embryo transfer.
That transfer resulted in our fourth daughter, Maggie, born July 30, 2018. Her birth was especially bittersweet for us as we were in the hospital having her when we learned of Dr. Greenhouse’s passing, which had happened 2 days earlier on our first daughter’s 6th birthday. We are forever grateful to SGF and Dr. Greenhouse and the contribution he made to give us our beautiful family.
As of Fall 2017, our single fresh IVF cycle has blessed us with a 100 percent success rate in transfers (one fresh, and two frozen) and healthy pregnancies and deliveries. Three years later, our family moved back to the Northern Virginia region and we felt it was the right time to grow our family again. This latest transfer was sentimental. The last time we saw Dr. Greenhouse, he told me, “See ya when you’re ready for the next one!” It makes me tear up every time I think of it, yet we know we are under excellent care with Dr. Paulette Browne at our familiar Fair Oaks location.
Learning we were pregnant again was exciting – we are ready for this next adventure and can’t wait to meet this baby. We decided that we’ll be SGF patients until all our embryos have been transferred. 2021 will mark a decade we’ve been with SGF and every experience, doctor, nurse, and staffer we have worked with has been outstanding.
SGF has worked with us every step of the way and we have always felt completely confident in their advice and treatment plan. IVF turned out to be the difference maker for us and having embryos to freeze has been significantly less invasive (and less costly) than a fresh cycle.
How Freezing Embryos Can Change Your Life Too
To anyone at the beginning of their infertility journey, I’d like to say, “I see you. I know you. I’ve been there. And it sucks. It sucks bad. Infertility will always be a part of your story, even if you are blessed with children. A verse that gave me significant strength through our journey and the incapacitating pain of infertility was this: ‘Hope deferred makes one sick at heart. But, a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. -Proverbs 13:12.’”
If you are reading this, I highly recommend becoming an SGF patient. I will tell you; they are your greatest advocates. You will not have a better team in your corner than them.
-Bekah & Chris Bartley
Editorial update: Bekah and Chris Bartley are actively building their family. This story was originally published in November 2019, and has been updated as of December 2020.
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