Scott and I met while traveling for business in June of 2010. His company had him doing frequent trips between DC and Chicago and I was traveling to Chicago on a quick overnight stay. We hit it off immediately as “seat mates” on the plane ride in, and even discovered we had some mutual friends in the DC area.
We met for a joint happy hour upon returning from our business trips and then things took off from there. Scott proposed that September and though it was a short courtship, neither of us had any doubt we had found our soul mate and best friend. We were married in the summer of 2011 and, although already in our mid-30s, we thought we’d wait a bit before starting a family.
In fact, we were so sure of this, that we adopted a puppy within hours of returning from our honeymoon! We figured that training and caring for this small creature would occupy us for a while and agreed we wouldn’t even “start” trying for a baby until January of that following year.
When January 2012 rolled in, however, it was like an alarm went off. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was have a baby. We tried that month, then the month after, and then winter turned to spring–all the while we were still “trying.” It stopped being fun and felt like work and our excitement turned to stress. It was putting a strain on both of us and not at all how we wanted things to be.
Given our ages, our OBGYN recommended we consider fertility treatment. Because we had the financial wherewithal and because by that point we were getting anxious and frustrated, we decided to begin exploring this option right away. In May, we took the first step, but with another fertility center. Things felt rushed there, and our visits with the physician were brief and clinical.
When we went through the testing and found that our infertility was “unexplained.” We felt even more disconnected from them and more frustrated about our unmet desire to have a baby. We were craving something “more” and when we heard the commercial for Shady Grove Fertility on the radio one day, we decided to switch practices immediately.
Arriving at SGF
Once we met with Dr. Greenhouse and his nurse Anne at the Shady Grove Fertility Fair Oaks office, we knew we had chosen correctly. Our first visit was like meeting with family members. We discussed our histories, the results of prior testing, and a treatment plan. Given our ages, and our desire to move quickly, Dr. Greenhouse recommended we go straight to IVF and we agreed.
As we began the process, I was a little nervous about all the details involved. Anne and the others on staff, however, appreciated my anxiety and did all they could to put me and Scott at ease. They explained in great detail how the shots would work and the very specific timing of all the steps involved.
We even participated in a class they held for all the couples beginning the steps at the same time. This was especially comforting because we could see the faces of those going through the same thing as we were and knowing we were all learning about the journey together made things easier. In other words, we weren’t the only ones on a learning curve!
Anne also gave us plenty of materials to review, some web links and videos to learn more about administering the shots, and her vow to help us every step. She was true to that, and the counsel all the staff provided about the shots was excellent. I can’t say the shots didn’t hurt (they sure did!) or that it wasn’t difficult at times to make sure we administered them at the same time each day (that was often rough given our work and travel schedules), but we knew how important it was to get it right and we didn’t want to take any chances or miss following any of the instructions. Overall, while the shots hurt at the time, I didn’t have any other side effects or any anxiety as a result of all the support Shady Grove Fertility gave us. They gave us the map, and we followed the route!
We had seven strong amazing embryos as a result of the IVF. We were beyond excited to hear this, and even more excited to hear that the first transfer resulted in pregnancy. I can remember very clearly getting the phone call from Anne that day while I was in my office to inform me the blood test showed I was pregnant. Scott knew we’d likely hear any minute but we agreed I’d tell him the news in person.
It was quite a challenge to remain quiet all day while working and to withhold the wonderful news from him, but that night when he picked me up from the metro station, it was an amazing experience to run to him with the news. I am sure my fellow commuters were curious about all the commotion and tears of joy and I’ll never forget how tight he hugged me on the street corner!
Dr. Greenhouse and Anne had me continue on some medication to support the pregnancy for a number of weeks following the news, and the rest of my pregnancy was healthy and safe. We ended up, however, moving to the Midwest when I was entering my third trimester.
We delivered our baby there and were blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby girl in the spring of 2013.
Planning for baby #2
We froze our embryos and came back from our home in the Midwest in the fall of 2014 for baby #2. This time, since we were a plane ride away, we flew back to the DC area for our transfer. During the steps of this process, I was traveling more for my job, and it was a bit more challenging to do the shots. I even had to have someone come to my hotel room at the airport and while on the road to administer the shots while I was in different cities! That was a bit odd for sure, but I was more relaxed knowing how the steps progressed and what to expect along the way.
Fortunately, as was the case with our first baby, the embryo “took” with just one transfer, and a few weeks after, Anne called to tell us the news. Coincidentally, I was in DC for business and I took her call in a random conference room in the office building I was working in that day. This time, I couldn’t wait to tell Scott since I wasn’t flying home until that night, so I told him by phone in a hushed whisper.
He whooped for joy on the other end from the privacy of his car and I was glad someone could burst out with all the excitement we both were feeling. We were simply thrilled that our toddler would be a big sister and that our family would be complete. As luck would have it, our jobs kept us on the move again, and this time, during my second trimester, we relocated even further from DC. In the summer of 2015, our second beautiful daughter arrived.
Today, our girls are nearly 3 and 5 months old respectfully and they are absolutely gorgeous. Each was born at over 8 pounds and they have been thriving since!
Our experience at Shady Grove Fertility could not have been better. Every time we interacted with Anne or Dr. Greenhouse we were met with warmth, professionalism, and true kindness. They had the utmost integrity in their work and we really felt like they had our best interest at heart. I am sure I called Anne a thousand times with questions but she always called me back right away, was patient and friendly, and never ever let me feel like I was silly or bothering her.
That meant the world to both of us and we could not have been more grateful for her assistance and support.
My advice to other patients
Everyone says to be patient, stay calm, and try to relax but it is so very hard. For us, the decision to take the steps toward IVF was a no-brainer. We knew time was working against us and that our priority was to have children. We also knew selecting Shady Grove Fertility was the right choice after our previous encounters with the competition.
I would highly recommend consultation with Shady Grove Fertility as early as possible in your journey. While we know not everyone has the means to pay for rounds of IVF, but if at all possible, save some heartbreak and time and please consider this option.