When I was a little girl, grownups would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and my answer was always simple … I wanted to be a mom. On our first date, Brian asked me if I wanted children. I remember being so shocked he asked — but also wanted to play it cool and not seem so overly excited — so I simply responded with a “yes, but I am in no hurry,” even though on the inside I was praying Brian wanted a family just as bad as I did.
Brian and I were married in April 2019 and since Brian was in the process of completing his CPA certification, we agreed to wait about 5-6 months to officially start trying to conceive. We wanted to enjoy married life for a little bit of time but also realized we were both in our 30s and didn’t want to wait too long before growing our family.
After trying to conceive for about 6 months with no positive pregnancy test in sight, I felt something may be wrong. Having worked as an administrator in the obstetrics and gynecology department for years, I was exposed to many stories of infertility and decided there was no harm in reaching out to my former colleague and boss Dr. Tomer Singer. I knew he would always have my best interest at heart. I remembered countless miracle stories that happened because of Dr. Singer.
I was able to schedule a consultation with Dr. Singer at SGF New York’s Manhattan office at the beginning of March of 2020, but of course, that consultation was pushed back to late April as the world had changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At our first consultation, Dr. Singer was very optimistic and assured me I would become a mother. After my first official appointment in his office, he was able to quickly diagnose me with PCOS. After all the years of having symptoms, I couldn’t help but feel angry that I wasn’t aware of this diagnosis years before I was trying to grow my family.
We decided to try intrauterine insemination (IUI) as a first step. After 4 attempts, we had yet to receive a positive pregnancy test. I’ll never forget how hopeless and depressed I felt after our fourth attempt.
The night I found out the fourth attempt was unsuccessful was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Dr. Singer personally called me to tell me not to worry, and that we will have better luck in the new year. We decided to begin in vitro fertilization (IVF) the following month, and Dr. Singer was still extremely optimistic.
Dr. Singer and my nurse Marissa always gave me so much hope when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It felt like the worst nightmare of my life — like my dream of becoming a mother was so unreachable.
We began IVF in October 2020. We found out from that round that while I produce many eggs (most PCOS patients do), the quality of my eggs was not the greatest.
My first round of IVF gave us 1 healthy embryo. Unfortunately, the first transfer resulted in a chemical pregnancy, but Dr. Singer and Marissa remained so optimistic. The SGF team had seen so many dreams come true for women with PCOS that they always remained hopeful my dream of motherhood would be fulfilled. After a slight change in protocol, I decided to do 2 more rounds of IVF, which gave us 3 healthy embryos.
My second frozen embryo transfer (FET) was a success. I was excited to have a positive beta, but I remained extremely, cautiously optimistic. I heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time on my 35th birthday.
I owe it all to Dr. Singer and the rest of the SGF New York’s team. Dr. Singer, Marissa, and the SGF New York team were always in my corner and were so hopeful for me when I couldn’t be for myself. I never imagined that after years of working with Dr. Singer and seeing him help so many people like me, that I would become one of his most grateful patients. I’ll never forget how Dr. Singer treated me like family.
On the one hand, physically, my pregnancy was very easy. On the other hand, it was also filled with a lot of anxiety. I had a very large anterior placenta, so I didn’t feel the baby kick until I was 30 weeks and even after that I didn’t feel her consistently. I was in and out of triage, always checking on the baby to make sure she was okay. After infertility and loss, it is hard to trust all is okay!
I was scared the entire time until I held her in my arms.
When I finally held my daughter, Layla, in my arms, it felt surreal. I looked at her and it was all worth it.
I would do it 100 times again over and over. I still can’t believe she’s mine!
Since having Layla, Brian and I have learned a lot about being there for each other as a married couple. Infertility can make your relationship so much stronger, or it can break it. We had to really hold on to each other through that process.
The same goes for parenthood, we are learning that although we may disagree from time to time (and being sleep deprived doesn’t make it easier), we’re on the same team. We both fought so hard to have this baby girl and we are forever grateful!
As I hold my daughter Layla in my lap as I write this story, I want to tell fellow patients that you’re not alone. Infertility is the most isolating experience I have ever been through (and during a pandemic makes it even harder), but when you find a clinic and a doctor who is in your corner, it makes the process so much easier.
Starting your family may look different from how you imagined but know that you will come out of this so much stronger and so grateful for your miracle. Before IVF and infertility, I never thought I could go through something like this and come out on the other side, but I did and so can you.