When Angela and I met in 2005 she would often talk about having a family, but I wasn’t really that interested. I suffered with endometriosis my entire life since I was a teenager, so I always thought I could not get pregnant. I figured if I looked at it that way I would have less of a chance of being disappointed.
A few hurdles
In 2011, I started to have the urge to have a baby, and of course, Angela was thrilled. Angela then began to have some challenges with her cycle and was being treated by her OB/GYN. Unfortunately, after several years, she eventually had a hysterectomy. It was a very tough decision and she was very depressed about it. She was getting older so that added to the decision as well.
At that point, I knew that our only chance to have a family would be through me. So the journey really began with so much excitement from both of us. That was soon hit with a roadblock, I had to lose some weight. Initially, we had a male physician and we decided he wasn’t a good fit for our comfort level. A few more years passed struggling with my weight loss journey.
I would encourage women dealing with weight challenges to research all available resources that would best help with their weight loss. Meet with your primary care provider (PCP) and get some recommendations and understand that what works for one person does not necessarily work for someone else. Establish small goals for you to reach and surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive of your goals.
Eventually, in late 2015, I was healthy enough to start the fertility process. We requested a female physician this time, and we were scheduled to be seen by Dr. Beall. She is an angel! The first day we met her, we knew we were in good hands. She reviewed my medical history and discussed our options. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) was the best option for us at the beginning. So the process began.
We wanted to make sure we selected a sperm donor that had many things in common with us. Education, hobbies, medical history, and other interests were high on our list of requirements. Although we are both short we wanted the donor to be tall so our child could have some height.
Treatment was very stressful throughout given the unknown outcome of each treatment. We were so anxious each time we had a treatment wondering if it would work this time and how long we would have to go through this.
Our first two treatment cycles were unsuccessful. We were very disappointed, stressed, and at one point wanted to give up. Dr. Beall was still encouraging us so she obtained authorization for in vitro fertilization (IVF) just in case we wanted to attempt that treatment option. Of course, that meant I would need to lose even more weight. I had been so overwhelmed with the weight loss requirements I did not think I had enough willpower for it.
So Angela and I talked and agreed to try one more IUI treatment with a change in the injections recommended by Dr. Beall. We managed to stay #SGFstrong because we both wanted it so bad and we didn’t want to give up after all the effort that had been put forth. Angela was very supportive and encouraging. Our faith and support from our church really helped us tremendously during this time.
Third time’s a charm
As we arrived for the third treatment we realized Dr. Beall would be our physician for that IUI procedure. We were thrilled! Angela was also able to be there for the insemination process this time around. We felt very lucky that day, 07/02/2016.
As weeks went by I was getting very anxious so I wanted to take a home pregnancy test on a Thursday morning. Angela was reluctant since we were scheduled for a beta blood draw appointment the upcoming Monday, but she honored my request. She assisted with the test and placed the stick in her bathroom and started doing something else. A few minutes later she ran into the bedroom and yelled, “we are pregnant!” We were overjoyed. We immediately called our Moms. The beta on Monday confirmed the pregnancy.
My pregnancy did not have many complications until towards the end when I could barely get around, but it was worth it. Our daughter was born on March 20, 2017.
We would encourage other couples to never give up on their dreams of being parents. Take a break from treatment if you need to, and utilize the therapy services available if necessary. Our therapy session was very helpful for us. There were many tears and I become depressed over the weight challenges, but eventually, I was able to push forward.
As a result, our life is now so full of joy every single day. We had a significant amount of support from family, friends, and coworkers and that made the days just a little easier. SGF provided the best services and treatment. We could not imagine going anywhere else.