For Stephanie Nevin-McCoy, considering the high-tech route of IVF to have a baby brought a mixed bag of emotions.
Her husband, Patrick, had a vasectomy following the birth of his two children from a previous marriage. So when the 30-something Stephanie and Patrick married and were ready to have their own children, they knowingly headed straight for a urologist with great expectations.
Fortunately, the specialist wondered aloud why the couple hadn’t already consulted Shady Grove Fertility. He explained how a vasectomy reversal would push their baby-making efforts back by almost a year of recovery time, and there were still no guarantees that surgery would result in the return of Patrick’s fertility.
“I was literally calling Shady Grove Fertility’s office from the elevator on the way out of the urology clinic,” Stephanie recalls with laughter. “I was so ready to be a mom!”
Still, as the advertising executive for Nesting Magazine, an Annapolis-based publication that provides local resources for current and would-be moms, Stephanie says that she was a little reticent about the process of creating a baby in a lab.
“It can be kind of scary, the whole medical thing,” says Stephanie, who describes herself and the publication for which she works as “crunchy” in a nod to a holistic, natural living approach.
Besides her own sideward glance at assisted reproductive technology, some family members furrowed their brows a bit at first learning of the couple’s method of family building. “I explained to them that if I wanted to have a baby with this man I love, then this was going to be how we managed it.”
After Stephanie proceeded through the initial diagnostic testing, Dr. Gilbert Mottla of Shady Grove Fertility’s Annapolis office guided the couple to one of SGFC’s partner urologist who would enable Patrick to become a father again. They did so by way of testicular aspiration, a technique that essentially circumvents vasectomy and goes straight to the testicle for sperm. Stephanie reports her husband, who had always wanted a bigger family, was fully on board with the efforts required.
“We felt very positive about this working,” she says. “We knew nothing was standing in our way that we couldn’t get around with help, and everyone at Shady Grove Fertility treated us like family.”
The couple’s confidence was shaken a bit, though, when their first two IVF cycles resulted in early miscarriages. At that point, Dr. Mottla recommended they take a break from the treatments and rejuvenate themselves with a vacation together.
“That was the best thing he could’ve done for us,” Stephanie now says. “We learned prior to our trip that I have a clotting disorder that often causes early pregnancy loss, but it’s treatable. So by the time we came back from vacation, we were stress free, ready to try again and take the recommended steps to avoid another miscarriage.”
For her third IVF cycle, Stephanie not only followed the simple aspirin/blood thinner therapy prescribed to combat her blood clotting issues, but she changed her diet and incorporated acupuncture to help her through the cycle. Both she and Patrick knew how lucky they were, and felt positive that their infertility was treatable.
“When we arrived for appointments at Shady Grove Fertility,” Stephanie remembers, “we tried to share our sense of teamwork with the staff and to put out positive vibes. I never believed we wouldn’t finally be pregnant, especially since the medical staff there has seen so many patients with so much success.”
Now, Stephanie is joyfully awaiting the birth of twin girls, due later this year. Even before her current pregnancy success, working at Nesting had actually been a benefit rather than a reminder of what she didn’t have. She’s enjoyed having ready access to the resources that she now uses as a new mom-to-be.
“I would tell anyone not to hesitate going through with IVF,” she beams. “Once I realized that this was our answer, I released my worries about going high-tech and just rolled with the process toward our babies.”