Patient Story

Chrissy & Steve

Secondary Infertility
Jeffrey L. McKeeby, M.D.
Annapolis, Maryland
Towson, Maryland
Dover, DE
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
When I met Steve, I already knew he couldn’t have children, but I loved him anyway and we started our lives together. After a few years, we talked about adoption, as I really wanted to be a mom. I finally asked him to go see a fertility specialist with me.
Steve thought he couldn’t have children because of samples and biopsies done by his urologist years ago. I’m stubborn and kept pushing, since I knew science had come a long way in the last 10 years. We started out seeing a reproductive specialist in our area. After a semen analysis, he determined we would need to use donor sperm because there simply wasn’t enough to work with. We had anticipated this answer and decided to proceed. However, things changed when I switched jobs and my new insurance required me to see Maryland doctors. So, I did some research, found Shady Grove Fertility, and made an appointment.

Meeting Dr. Mckeeby

I remember going in for our consult with Dr. McKeeby and telling him our plan to use donor sperm. He looked over the results from our former doctor and said, “Why are you going to use a donor?” We told him we had to because there wasn’t enough sperm. I’ll never forget Dr. McKeeby’s next words, “I only need ONE.” My hopes soared. We made plans to start the in vitro fertilization (IVF)process, but I hardly remembered what was said because I couldn’t believe there was a possibility of having a child of our own. I left that appointment on a high I had never known before. Everyone cautioned me not to get my hopes up. I tried, but it didn’t matter. I was still ecstatic! We started the treatment process by completing all of our fertility testing and Dr. McKeeby created our IVF protocol.

Starting IVF

Our protocol was to start birth control pills, then move to the stimulation injections with a transfer sometime around August, so I would hopefully be due around May and not miss too much of the school year.
Appointments, shots, tests, appointments, shots, and more tests. Thankfully, I was off work for the summer because it was hard. I’m afraid of needles, so Steve did all the shots for me. Sometimes I would cry and Steve would apologize, but we knew we were doing this for a reason. I remember driving back and forth to Annapolis several times a week to check my levels and make sure my follicles were growing. As I was doing all this, my husband was having semen analyses done with the hopes we could freeze some sperm to ensure we had plenty.
Every time, we got the call the next day that nothing could be frozen. We were nervous but held out hope. Finally, I went to my last follicle check appointment and got my instructions to trigger. They were going to do an egg retrieval on June 8th. The day before, Steve provided a semen sample and they called that afternoon to tell us what we dreaded to hear–there was nothing to freeze and he would do another sample in the morning at the time of my retrieval. We were so excited to be on the eve of my egg retrieval but so afraid something might go wrong.
In the morning, we arrived at SGF super early for the retrieval. I was a nervous, teary-eyed wreck, but I was hopeful. The retrieval was so quick! I remember going back, getting up on this saddle-type bed and the next thing I knew, I was in recovery with Steve.
The next tears were the happy ones because we got 24 mature eggs, which meant 24 chances for a baby of our own! We excitedly drove home, but then got the phone call that they could fertilize 6 eggs with the sample Steve provided. I remember feeling like I had been punched in the gut–24 down to 6?! Steve reminded me that 6 is better than nothing and we had to have faith. He was right, so I continued to pray and stay strong.

Transfer day

We were back in Towson on June 13th for transfer day. Dr. McKeeby came in and explained the process of transferring the most viable embryo. Unfortunately, only one other embryo had made it to day 5.
We were nervous, but the transfer process was so cool! We made an appointment for our 10-day pregnancy beta blood test and headed home. The next day, they called to let us know the remaining embryo hadn’t made it through the night. I was so careful and took my medicines religiously. Ten days seemed like forever as we waited for the beta test.

Our miracle

Finally, the day came and we drove to Annapolis. I’ll never forget that little potato on the screen with a heartbeat. That was our baby! Steve was nervous though. He said anything can happen and we just needed to get through the first trimester. I understood he didn’t want to get his hopes up, as he had been told for 13 years this would never happen. We had a couple more appointments to watch our baby grow and see baby’s strong heartbeat. Each time we were happy, but I still had to get through the first trimester. Get through the first trimester I did, and the second, and the third.
I remember the big day when we graduated from SGF and began seeing an OB/GYN. I missed SGF the whole pregnancy. The level of care at SGF was truly amazing. Our OB/GYN care was fine, but it still wasn’t the same. We were getting married on October 7th and wanted to do a gender reveal at the wedding.
We found out on October 4th we were having a baby boy (don’t tell my bridesmaids, I told them we didn’t know). I went into labor on February 24, 2018 and my beautiful, healthy baby boy arrived on February 25th.
As I hold him everyday, I thank G-d that I changed jobs and what seemed to be a major inconvenience in having to switch doctors and move my care to Maryland turned into nothing short of a miracle. Shady Grove Fertility and Dr. McKeeby made the impossible into reality. We were once told we had a 4% chance of having a baby. Our 4% chance is here and he is so worth it. We had truly stumbled upon a miracle when we came to Shady Grove Fertility.
Thank you SGF, Stacey, and Dr. McKeeby and everyone else who contributed to our care. We are forever grateful.

Advice to my SGF sisters

I went through IVF with my husband and felt support from family members, but no one knew anything about infertility. I had done my research but was by no means an expert. I was just determined. My advice would be to stay focused on the goal. I knew I wanted to be a mom and I was willing to do anything in my power to achieve that. I changed everything I could that would be beneficial; diet, habits, plans, etc.
Focus on your goal, control what you can, change anything you can that will better support your cycle, talk to people about it, share your triumphs and trials, ask questions, take your medicine, have faith and pray. I prayed more in the last year and a half than ever in my whole life.
Also, while you’re going through it, take pictures and document your journey. I wish I had photographed random points in time throughout our journey so I could share them with our baby boy when he’s older, or with family and friends who are interested in the process. The journey can be hard, mentally and physically. Many times I cried and felt so weak.
Now, I realize those tears were giving my body and mind a break from being strong for both myself and my husband. Remember, take time for yourself and take care of yourself. Whatever you do, whatever your struggles, don’t ever put yourself down.
Don’t feel like you aren’t good enough or strong enough. Don’t be ashamed of your struggles. There is no shame in going through struggles to achieve your dreams. Keep the faith, be positive and know that your hard work and hard times will pay off in the end.


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In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Secondary infertility

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