Josh and I began dating at the age of 18. We got married in 2009, at 25 years old. We always knew we wanted to have a baby. We didn’t think it would be so difficult. I had always been on birth control since the age of 14 to help control my hormone-induced migraines. I tried several birth control options including the pill, depo provera injection, and the ortho evra patch to balance the hormones.
At 22, my gynecologist at the time recommended that I get the Mirena IUD. He said that the hormones would be localized and it could be my ticket to control my headaches. Women who haven’t had children were not typically given the option of the IUD, since pelvic infections were more likely to occur.
Building our family
After our wedding, we decided it was time to begin our own little family, so I went and had the IUD removed. We tried for 1 year with no success. I tried charting my basal body temperature for the last 4 of those months but still, nothing was happening. The doctor kept telling us to be patient. I wasn’t satisfied with that.
I then changed gynecologists and had an HSG performed because the new doctor wanted to ensure my tubes were clear. The test came back that one tube was blocked and the other was clear. The doctor prescribed Clomid and told me that we had a chance for pregnancy every other month when the egg would travel down the clear tube.
After almost a year with no success, I was referred to a reproductive endocrinologist in Morgantown, West Virginia. I had laparoscopic surgery to see if the blocked tube could be opened and to check for endometriosis. When I woke up from surgery, I remember seeing my mom sitting there crying as she had to tell me that in fact both of my tubes were blocked and the doctor tried for over an hour to clear them with no success.
The doctor came over and told me that I would never be able to have a baby on my own without IVF. I went home and became severely depressed while researching the cost of IVF at the local fertility clinics near our home and their low success rates. That is until I came across Shady Grove Fertility and their life-saving Shared Risk 100% Refund Program!
My husband had just gotten a new job that allowed us to save for the cost of IVF for almost a year. We met with Dr. Bromer in the Frederick, MD office in 2013 to get a game plan going. In July of 2014, we started our first IVF cycle.
We live in Masontown, PA so I would drive 2.5 hours each way to the Frederick office. I did some of my monitoring at the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Morgantown, WV some days since it was closer and they would fax the results to Shady Grove Fertility. This really helped me with work and saving on gas. Every so often, Dr. Bromer wanted to see me in his office since he was my actual physician.
I couldn’t have asked for a better system during my IVF cycle. We were put on Follistem to stimulate the ovaries and then added Menopur and Repronex. I responded very well to these injections. Dr. Bromer then prescribed Ganirelix to prevent premature ovulation. Dr. Bromer, however, had to adjust my dosages over several days. I used Ovidrel as the trigger medication, which allowed my ovaries to release the eggs. On the day of retrieval, I was so nervous and shaky.
My husband was able to produce his sample in our hotel room to alleviate some of his anxiety. I could have killed him that day! Not literally! He was so nervous that he dropped the specimen cup on the floor after he deposited it and only had a little bit of his sample in the cup.
When we got to the Rockville office, I began to prepare for the procedure while my husband’s specimen was examined to see if enough sperm were produced to proceed. Right before I got sedated the embryologist technician came in and told my husband that he would definitely have to produce another sample that day. I remember crying and panicking thinking he wasn’t going to be able to produce while they were retrieving my eggs. Thankfully when I woke up, he told me that he was successful.
Following the retrieval, I then began taking progesterone suppositories to prepare my uterus for the transfer. I also took estradiol to help keep my uterine lining thick. The next day Dr. Bromer called and told us that we had eight great-looking embryos. Over the next few days, five of those embryos were thriving. We decided to transfer one embryo and froze the remaining four.
The longest two weeks
The two week wait felt like the longest two weeks of our lives. I ended up starting my menstrual cycle the morning of the blood pregnancy test so I knew I was going to get the dreaded call no one going through this wants. That afternoon, our nurse Betsy called with the bad news. We didn’t want to take time off before our next cycle and wanted to just jump right in. I was so depressed thinking none of the rounds would ever work and that we had the worst luck ever.
I ended up having to go back on birth control pills to regulate my cycle. At the end of October, we started the progesterone and estrogen again to help prepare my uterine lining for a frozen transfer. However, we had a problem getting my lining to thicken to at least 9 mm for a proper transfer. The only unfortunate thing during this round was the very expensive cost of the stimulating medications.
Dr. Bromer decided that we would stimulate my ovaries and mimic a fresh cycle just to thicken my lining. This time we wouldn’t be doing a retrieval. Once I did the trigger injection, my lining was ready to go. We did our second transfer of one of our frozen embryos.
This time the two week wait didn’t seem as bad because Thanksgiving was near. Our blood test was scheduled for the Monday after the holiday so we tried to just enjoy our time with family and friends. I went back to work after being on vacation for a few days when I got the blood test and the call that would change my life forever.
I saw Dr. Bromer’s office calling but couldn’t bring myself to answer the phone. I just let it go to voicemail. I actually made a coworker listen to the message with me because I was so nervous. I received the best news ever. I went out and bought two pregnancy tests just to see it for myself! I didn’t call my husband because I wanted to surprise him with the pregnancy test. He was just as excited as I was.
We now have a gorgeous, spunky little 1-year old that has brought nothing but joy to our lives. We never thought life could get any better but she shows us every day that it just gets better and better.
Working with Dr. Bromer and his team
Dr. Bromer and the Frederick office staff were absolutely amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. They were all so sincere and heartwarming from the receptionist to the nurses, to the lab technicians.
I would receive a call from my nurse Betsy daily to discuss my dosages. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would have made it through this process. It is actually Betsy who inspired me to pursue a new career path. I am a mental health case manager but will be starting nursing school and plan on working in a reproductive medicine office upon graduation.
My advice to others experiencing infertility
I would tell anyone who needs help to just trust Shady Grove Fertility with everything. They know what they are doing. Put your faith and trust into your doctor and nurses and pray and keep positive thoughts. Anyone going through this journey should know that miracles happen every day.
Shady Grove Fertility helps produce most of these miracles. I would advise anyone to get on Shady Grove Fertility website and call one of the patient liaisons and ask any questions because they are so helpful. Know that it is definitely a scary process but with the support of all of the staff and the knowledge of these physicians, you’re in the best place for a positive outcome.