Cory and I had dated in high school but things didn’t work out when he went away for college. I ended up in another relationship and had a little boy at just under 21 years old. Cory and I rekindled in August of 2011 and I knew instantly that he was the one I wanted to marry. Since my son’s father was not in our lives, Cory stepped up to the plate and took on the “daddy” role full force. We ended up engaged in June of 2013 and married June 14, 2014.
Growing our family
We knew we wanted to expand our family and immediately began trying. After trying for about a year and a half with no success, Cory and I realized there must be a problem. We decided to seek out testing at a local hospital where it was discovered I had a blocked Fallopian tube and severely diminished ovarian reserve of 0.08 (extremely low egg supply) at just 28 years old. The recommendation was in vitro fertilization and quickly, as my biological clock was ticking. Something in our hearts told us we needed a second opinion so we decided to schedule a consultation at Shady Grove Fertility in Harrisburg, PA after a friend highly recommended we go there. After doing my own research, I agreed that Shady Grove Fertility seemed like the perfect place for a second opinion as they are marked among the top fertility clinics in the United States.
I immediately fell in love with Dr. Roth who took the time to truly explain to us what was happening and what our options were. We decided to proceed with IVF as soon as possible with Shady Grove Fertility’s Shared Risk 100% Refund Program. I was scared to death, felt defeated, and very alone as having a child was something I always took for granted. I thought when I was ready for another child it would happen. Now we were faced with the emotional, physical, and financial burden of IVF.
Finding my strength
Fortunately for my husband and me, we had some knowledge of the medications and injection process as we are both in the medical field. We did the necessary education and ordered our medications. We were ready to get this show on the road! Let me tell you, it was a challenge. There were days I did not think I could emotionally take anymore but I reminded myself I needed to cry it out, and move forward. I refused to let infertility define me or make me bitter and instead decided to speak out about our journey. I truly found strength in talking about it rather than holding everything inside, and along the way, I had many people reach out to me saying that they had also been struggling. I joined an online support group that helped tremendously. Friends and family were there for me but just DID NOT UNDERSTAND what I was going through the way these ladies did.
Cory and I decided to take our treatments on full force. Our first fresh cycle was put on hold after realizing there was a significant amount of scar tissue in my uterus. Surgery was performed and the waiting game continued. The next month, we started IVF cycle #1. The shots themselves were not fun, but they were manageable. I chose to inject myself, rather than having my husband do it. I just felt more control that way, I suppose. The initial egg retrieval was slightly scary, going into it, as I was unsure what to expect but the Shady Grove Fertility team took away all my fears and made me feel 100% at ease. I had no pain associated with the procedure and things went as smoothly as could be expected. We had five eggs retrieved but on transfer day we got the devastating call that our embryos stopped growing and the transfer was canceled.
We immediately began fresh cycle #2 with a different medication protocol in hopes of stimulating more follicle growth. I ended up having only two measurable follicles so cycle number two was converted to an intrauterine insemination procedure instead of IVF, which ultimately ended in a negative pregnancy test.
Cycle #3 was pushed off a month due to cysts on my ovaries, so the following month we started again. The third cycle yielded only two eggs at the retrieval. I felt so discouraged but also tried hard to remain optimistic. After all, it only takes one, right? Dr. Roth agreed to let us do our embryo transfer on day #3 rather than #5 because of our prior history. The transfer process was an absolute breeze! I honestly felt like this was the easiest and most exciting part of the entire journey.
Miraculously, both eggs fertilized normally and continued to grow. On day 3, we transferred both embryos and 2 weeks later we got the positive pregnancy test we had been waiting on for 2 ½ years. And here he is. So perfect. So incredible. Our miracle child. And we owe it all to Shady Grove Fertility, Dr. Roth, Alyssa our RN, and the rest of the staff at Harrisburg and Rockville. Thank you all so incredibly much!
My advice to others struggling with infertility
If I could give any advice to those struggling with infertility it would be to remain optimistic and never, ever, EVER give up. It is okay to feel sorry for yourself on one of those days that just seems too incredibly difficult to bear, but the next day pick yourself back up and pull it together. The emotional journey is half the battle. Have a strong support system and do not be afraid to ask questions and look for support from your SGF staff. Miracles happen every day, and we are proof of it! <3