James and I met the summer before college when we were 17 years old. We met through my cousin and became friends. In our early twenties, we casually dated but due to long distance, it didn’t last. We lost touch but would pop into each other’s lives sporadically. We made it back to each other in our early thirties and discovered that neither of us had ever really stopped loving each other and we were married within a year and a half.
We started trying for a baby right away and we were successful at getting pregnant quickly, but sadly lost our baby at seven weeks. We had a blighted ovum. It was devastating but I had been through a miscarriage before in a previous marriage and knew this was a red flag.
I wasted no time in contacting Shady Grove Fertility’s Annapolis location. Two of my best friends had already been through the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process with SGF and I knew this was where we were meant to be.
Undergoing testing was daunting but I felt hopeful during that process that we would find answers and solutions. My initial testing came back great, and nothing stood out. My husband had good counts but low morphology. Dr. Chason gave us great supplements for egg and sperm health and felt confident starting us with intrauterine insemination (IUI). So, in December of 2020, we had our first IUI the day after Christmas. Again, I was hopeful this was it. We excitedly were pregnant again after the new year but cautious as my hCG was low.
The rollercoaster that came next was a difficult time. What felt like weeks of blood draws and ultrasounds confirmed our fear that this was an ectopic pregnancy. It was devastating, but Dr. Chason was so caring and attentive as we went through it. I’m grateful for how diligent the SGF care team was and we were able to resolve the ectopic with medication.
My husband and I took a needed break to reconnect, and I sought out a therapist that dealt with infertility. We took our time for self-care but I was not defeated. In April we did more in-depth testing and determined that there were clotting and autoimmune factors at play.
Dr. Chason held our hand as she guided us to IVF and a medication protocol. I was nervous but drew strength from the SGF support community online and my best friends that had been through the process.
I was excited and each appointment was one step closer to our goal.
I had a fresh transfer in May but it did not take. I feel like my body has been through so much it needed a little more rest. I had two more embryos on ice that were untested and due to my history, we were allowed to transfer both. We had our FET on July 7, 2021. I went on a beach vacation the next day to relax and have fun.
Five days later the line I was looking for showed up.
I was cautiously excited. Nine days later I was overjoyed when my first beta was over 600. After each appointment, we held our breath, but to see a heartbeat for the first time ever after so many pregnancies was indescribable.
Our sweet baby girl, our triple rainbow, Emerson James came into the world March 6, 2022, at 37 weeks. She was a little six-pound peanut and a 36-hour labor, but one look at her made every tear I had shed worth it. She is the best thing I will ever do with my life and knowing how hard we fight for her makes her that much sweeter.
We are excited to go back to SGF this spring to try for our second baby. For the others going through this journey, it is a rollercoaster of emotions, but SGF cares about their patients. The doctors and nurses root for you and remember you. I had complete trust in my doctor, and she listened to my wants and concerns. It was challenging and there will be highs and lows but if you reach the finish line it will be worth every minute. Good luck.