As a happily married elementary school teacher and police officer, together for five years and married for two, we made the decision to start trying for a baby in 2011. Both of us had planned for a big family and looked forward to creating that.
I stopped taking the birth control pill in August and was surprisingly pregnant by the end of September. Nothing could have prepared us for the miscarriage we experienced a few weeks later. Initially, we were in shock and denial. At the time, the topic of ‘miscarriages’ was not socially acceptable to discuss. As weeks went by and after doctor appointments to check on my wellness, we considered it a fluke and continued to try.
Over the course of two years, I was pregnant two more times only to miscarry both. My OB/GYN referred me to Dr. Michael Edelstein at Shady Grove Fertility. We immediately pursued testing to find the issue. While our journey was a roller coaster ride, from the first time until the last visit with Dr. Edelstein, I was always at ease and was treated like family. Dr. Edelstein and his staff were gentle with us and always made me comfortable enough to discuss a very sensitive topic. I began blogging about my experience as telling our story was therapeutic, but also gave me a voice on the topic of infertility for other women to hear.
I became pregnant shortly after meeting with Dr. Edelstein but quickly realized it was an ectopic pregnancy. I miscarried shortly after. Although this fourth miscarriage was another blow, it was helpful in that we discovered that my fallopian tubes had deteriorated over the years and would have to be removed.
This meant the only way for me to carry a child would be to put total and complete faith into Dr. Edelstein and the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process.
After more research than either Mike or I ever did in college and a PowerPoint presentation to our families explaining what we needed to do, I had surgery in June 2014 and began the first round of IVF in November 2014.
We were able to collect 11 embryos on our first round of IVF, resulting in the decision to transfer two in January 2015. Shortly after, I was able to take a pregnancy test … it was positive.
For a couple who had previously experienced four miscarriages after a positive test, this really meant nothing to us. Every trip to the restroom was met with a held breath that I wouldn’t wipe red. Every twinge or cramp was met with fear that something was going wrong. The most fear was the every-other-day check-ins and blood work to ensure my hormones were rising.
After our first ultrasound with Dr. Edelstein, we discovered one embryo survived and was growing in the uterus successfully. I was released back to my OB/GYN. I can’t begin to express how difficult it was to move forward with care after SGF as we had grown so attached to the doctors and nursing staff. Luckily, because the journey to getting pregnant was such a roller coaster, I felt like my pregnancy was a breeze.
There aren’t any words to explain the feeling we had once we were finally able to hold Luke. It was almost disbelief that we actually had our own baby. It wasn’t until we were released from the hospital that we realized our new reality and while everything we had hoped for was happening, it was a shock to our systems. Not a day goes by I don’t thank God for giving us our only child and for the doctors he put in my path to make our dream come true.
Our fertility journey is one I will never forget. While it was the hardest part of my life, it made us stronger as a couple, cemented my faith in myself for overcoming trials, and made us more grateful for our son than we ever thought possible.
The best decision we ever made was to call Dr. Edelstein and move forward with the IVF process. If we had stopped trying or didn’t pursue alternate routes to having a baby because of finances, we wouldn’t know the joy we get to experience daily from Luke.
Make the phone call. Start the journey.
No matter the ending, I can say from experience that the highs in your story will far outweigh the lows.