My husband and I were high school sweethearts and have been married for 4 years. We discussed having children while we were on a mini-vacation in May 2015 for our one-year anniversary and decided after our late honeymoon in January 2016, I would go off birth control and if we got pregnant, we would be happy. You are never fully ready to have kids, but we knew we were ready because we were happy with where we were in our jobs and our marriage. We both had stable jobs and a roof over our heads, so we were ready to start trying.
Trying to conceive
I had been on birth control since the age of 13 because of how irregular my cycles were. The doctor never did any testing to find a proper diagnosis and just put me on the medicine. When I finally went off the pill at the age of 25, I had no idea my cycles would go back to being irregular.
My OB/GYN told me to wait 3 months after coming off birth control to see if my body would regulate itself and unfortunately, it didn’t. They tried putting me on progesterone in May 2017 to jumpstart my body and it did not work. By September, I had tried 3 rounds of progesterone to get my body regulated and nothing was working. I decided to take an ovulation test every morning and discovered that I was not ovulating. My husband and I decided to wait three more months to see if we could miraculously get pregnant, but we didn’t. After a year of trying to conceive, we started to talk about seeing a specialist and we were referred to Shady Grove Fertility by two friends who had also been SGF patients.
Switching to a fertility specialist
Meeting with a fertility specialist was a little nerve-racking, but Dr. Sasson and the whole Chesterbrook office made me feel so at ease from the moment I walked in the door. My first appointment was difficult, as I had to go by myself because my husband had to have his wisdom teeth out 2 days before the appointment. Even though I had to go by myself, I was so comfortable with Dr. Sasson. He listened to my symptoms and then told me what he believed was causing the issues. He even drew pictures as an aid to show what he believed was happening. It was so easy to go home and discuss it with my husband showing the little drawings that Dr. Sasson had given me. The fertility testing was fairly simple, which included ultrasounds, a test to see if my fallopian tubes were unblocked and blood work.
The testing came back and I was diagnosed with PCOS. Being put on birth control masked my PCOS symptoms for 12 years. After meeting with Dr. Sasson and discussing our options, we decided to start with an IUI with letrozole and injections.
Going through treatment was a little intimidating at first. I started with letrozole and a trigger shot. The thought of giving myself a shot was the scariest thing I could imagine. When I got the first shot in the mail, I actually broke down and started bawling. I wasn’t sure I could do it. With the support and encouragement of my husband, I overcame the fear of giving myself a shot. When it came time for the shots, I just kept telling myself it is something I had to do if I wanted to have a baby and I had to do everything I could to make that dream a reality. I felt #SGFstrong.
After the first IUI failed, we added FSH shots to help my eggs mature. We were extremely fortunate that our second IUI was successful.
The day I found out I was pregnant was Good Friday 2017. I had actually cheated and taken a home pregnancy test and it was positive. I went into the office for the blood test and they called me a few hours later and told me that I was in fact pregnant. I had so many emotions; ecstatic, nervous, and grateful just to name a few. I actually kept it a secret from my husband until we got home from work and surprised him with the news. This was especially hard, as we work in the same corporate building and he came down to see what the news was since he knew I was getting the results back.
I loved being pregnant. I had some minor high blood pressure towards the end of the pregnancy, but it was nothing that a little rest couldn’t help. There was nothing that I couldn’t do, including a day trip to Ocean City, New Jersey, and walking around the King Of Prussia Mall for 3 hours the day before I went into labor.
I gave birth on December 12, 2017, to the best Christmas gift we could ever hope for; a beautiful, healthy, baby boy named Austin.
Being a mom is amazing! They really are telling the truth when they say your life changes forever the moment that little miracle is placed in your arms. It is definitely an adjustment, but it is so worth it for all of the amazing memories, being able to watch him grow and see his personality come out. It is astonishing to look at him and think my body was able to create this precious little boy.
Advice to other patients
I would tell future patients to stay positive and always remember that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. We are forever grateful to Dr. Sasson, our nurse Erica and the entire Chesterbrook office.
It is going to seem scary and intimidating at first, but it really is worth all of the tears shed and nights spent awake worrying. It is even incredible to realize how #SGFstrong you can be when you need to be. If you are thinking about starting treatment, it doesn’t hurt to just go talk to a doctor about what your options would be and find out more about the process. That is what my husband and I did and it is one of the best decisions we have ever made.