Before having children, we wanted to enjoy the adventures of marriage together. We did lots of fun activities including: traveling to Greece, Hawaii, Peru, Mexico, etc; attending theater and dance productions, concerts, sporting events, and more. It wasn’t until a few years into our marriage that we decided to try for a family. A year quickly came and went and we still were not pregnant.
We had friends who had trouble getting pregnant and came to Shady Grove Fertility and had great success. But not all our friends were so fortunate, some did have to try several times, and some of them were using all their savings so that was stressful for them too.
We decided to do some research on our own and visited the Shady Grove Fertility website to learn more about their statistics, the financial programs, treatment, and other information that confirmed this was the place we would start our journey.
Our First Appointment
We called and made our first appointment with Dr. Sagoskin in the Rockville, MD office. The first step of the process was the prescreening/fertility-work-up to determine a diagnosis. During the prescreening they found a cyst on Miryam’s right ovary, which was extremely stressful. That March, she had surgery. The cyst and her entire right ovary were removed because it was cancerous. She had 2 weeks of recovery at home followed by 3 months of follow-up tests to make sure the cancer cells had not returned.
Once Miryam recovered from the surgery, we began discussing treatment options. Because of her age, Dr. Sagoskin wasn’t sure that getting pregnant with her own eggs would be possible, but we decided to give IUI a try first. After a failed cycle with IUI, Dr. Sagoskin suggested that we consider donor egg treatment. While biologically speaking, the DNA would come from the egg donor, we really wanted children, so moving forward with donor egg treatment seemed like the right next step. But it was a difficult reality to face, especially for my wife who is Latina. The stereotype is that Latinas are extremely fertile; so this news played with her perception of her identity. But after lots of crying, practicing hot yoga, and talking it over in a support group, she came to the realization that she was still healthy and could still do IVF with donor egg treatment.
In selecting a donor, we wanted things to move quickly so we chose a donor that had already been selected by one or two other families. We elected to participate in the Shared Donor Egg 1:3 Program. The donor(s) in the database we selected had no predetermination for any serious conditions/diseases, but what was important to us was finding a child that looked similar to us. Since we’re both of color (I’m African-American and Miryam is Peruvian) we wanted to have a child that resembled us. Once we selected our donor, things began to move forward.
After selecting the donor, Miryam began injections to prepare for the embryo transfer. While the shots were not so pleasant for my wife, it was worth it for our future family. Miryam continued to persevere and remained positive throughout the process.
Embryo Transfer Day
It was finally time for our first embryo transfer. We were optimistic and hopeful and continued to remain positive throughout. After a long 2 week wait, we got the news that we were pregnant on the first try! 9 months later our son Myles was born in June 2015. Truly, it was an emotional and blessed day that we so looked forward to and were so happy he had arrived. We had finally become parents! It was such a joy to hold our newborn son and share our mutual love for him; and of course start the fun, great process of fostering his development. Miryam felt our son Myles maybe saved her life since she might not have been aware of the advanced case of ovarian cancer.
Returning to Shady Grove Fertility for Another Child
We were so blessed to have Myles, but we weren’t ready to stop there. We decided to come back to Shady Grove Fertility to give Myles a sibling. The process was similar the second time since we knew what to expect. The process went a bit faster since we didn’t need to repeat all of the prescreening tests. We ended up not being able to use the same donor we used with Myles, so we selected someone new and kept moving forward. Luckily, we didn’t have trouble finding all the qualities in someone else as we wanted a donor of Spanish/Latino decent both times around. We felt very fortunate that we were in a financial position that allowed us to come back a second time and continue to grow our family.
Miryam had her second transfer and to our surprise, 2 weeks later we went in for our checkup and received the surprising, great news that we were pregnant with twins! In November 2016, our twin girls Simone and Isabella were born. All of our children our happy and healthy and we feel so incredibly fortunate and blessed. We now have our 2+ children family we so fervently wanted! It was such a joy to have our hopes and dreams realized!
Advice to Future Patients
My advice to future patients is to be very patient, stay relaxed, and enjoy the process as much as you can. If insurance doesn't primarily take care of the cost, definitely save up for the process or find reasonable medical loans (and also remember that you may qualify for a nice deduction on your tax bill in April from the payments)! Obviously every family’s financial situation is different, but we feel very fortunate that we were able to participate in the Shared Donor Egg Program and were successful both times on the first try. I encourage others to consider some of Shady Grove Fertility’s financial options.
It was great working with Dr. Sagoskin and his team. We were lucky that Dr. Sagoskin was so direct (which at times was hard to handle) but he got right to the point regarding IUI, and didn’t let us waste time or money down the road when he saw no positive result, and therefore steered us toward something that we would have success with. The entire team, especially the nurses, were very communicative during the process explaining all of the details and questions that came up. The Rockville location was also ideal for my wife, as it was 10 minutes from her office. We would highly recommend Shady Grove Fertility to anyone and know that you will be in great hands throughout the entire process.