Patient Story

Katie & Tal

Immune System Disorders
Jeanne E. O’Brien, M.D.
Paul R. Shin, M.D.
Rockville, Maryland
Germantown, MD
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
It is still surreal to me that I am a mom of two adorable, funny and healthy baby boys after everything my husband I went through to have them. As they are about to turn one years old, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on our time with Shady Grove Fertility.

Coming to SGF

My husband and I both have an unusual medical history. I have type 1 diabetes and my husband was treated for a rare condition with chemotherapy-like drugs. Because of this, we knew our fertility journey may be a rocky one. After trying to get pregnant on our own for six months, my OB/GYN recommended that my husband and I run through a few fertility tests to make sure everything looked okay. My husband met with urologist, Dr. Paul Shin, and his results indicated that in vitro fertilization (IVF) was our only real chance of having biological children.
We had known that IVF might be a possibility for us when we initially began trying to have children, so having this confirmation was both exciting and nerve-wracking for me. I’m the type of person who needs to have a plan, and this felt like the first step in moving forward and making progress in our journey to become parents.

Starting treatment

We then met with Dr. O’Brien at SGF shortly after and we immediately felt hopeful. Based on my age and other factors, we felt good about our chances of getting pregnant.
When most people think about IVF, their first thoughts are about the shots and medications. Because I am living with type 1 diabetes, the physical stuff –injections, blood work, and monitoring – did not impact me as much as it may someone else without diabetes. I am used to being poked and prodded, so I was a little unfazed by that part of the process.
For me, the waiting game throughout the IVF process was by far the hardest part. You have to wait for your appointment, for monitoring, for the phone call with your instructions, and of course, the two-week wait to find out if it worked. The waiting and feeling like I had no real control over the situation was brutal and had much more of an impact on me than any of the physical components.
To make a long and hard story short, the first two, fresh cycles did not work. I honestly wanted to give up, but Dr. O’Brien was determined to figure this out for us. She read studies, met with other doctors, and developed a unique protocol to fit our needs. I truly believe that if it wasn’t for her truly fighting for us, I never would have become pregnant.
Between our second and third tries, we took some time off to relax and take the pressure off of ourselves. We got a puppy, went out on date nights, and tried to get back to the basics. In the back of my mind, I was still consumed with wanting to be a mom, especially as everyone around me seemed to get pregnant so easily. What really helped me get through this period was my husband’s unwavering, positive attitude and the support of the Shady Grove Fertility staff. They weren’t giving up on me, so I didn’t want to give up either.

Another try

On our third try, another fresh cycle, we transferred two perfect embryos and 13 days later, we got the news that we were VERY pregnant! A few weeks later, we saw our little boys’ heartbeats flickering for the first time, with Dr. O’Brien by our side.
It was surreal to finally get the news that I was pregnant. We had experienced so many disappointments, that it almost felt too good to be true. This feeling lasted through most of my pregnancy. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but ultrasound after ultrasound, there were my boys getting bigger and stronger. We welcomed them into the world on April 5, 2017, and life hasn’t been the same since.
Now our house is almost always a mess and in some degree of chaos, but these are the moments we hoped and prayed for during the year and a half of waiting and treatment. My heart may just burst one of these days from all of the love I have for the boys in my life.
If I could give any advice to future patients, it’s to keep trying. It feels impossible and you’ll want to give up, but your kids are waiting for you. Just stay hopeful, keep your head down, lean on your family and friends, and your number will eventually be called.


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Diagnosis and treatment

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Infertility terms
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Immune System Disorders

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Dr. Jeanne E. O’Brien
Rockville, Maryland location
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