My husband, Chase, and I tried for a year to get pregnant before seeking help. Based on past surgical procedures, we had suspected there may be an issue trying to conceive. In 2016, we came to Shady Grove Fertility after Chase was diagnosed with absence of the vas deferens, which occurs in males when the tubes that carry sperm out of the testes fail to develop properly.
We were told that the only way to conceive would be with the help of IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). We were in our early 30’s, overwhelmed by the need to go in this direction in order to start a family.
Counting our blessings
However, we were lucky our first time because, after one egg retrieval and one fresh embryo transfer, we were pregnant! We then went on to have our son. I think most people would count their blessings with one, and we certainly did but also longed for our son to have a sibling.
We thought we would get just as lucky the second time around. The difference this time was a separate medical issue where I had to have both of my fallopian tubes removed. So, not only did my husband have an absence of his vas deferens, but I didn’t have either of my tubes.
After egg retrieval, we had six embryos. Woohoo! However, after our first fresh transfer, we suffered a miscarriage. We were devastated but were told given our age and past success, this should work for us. We had our second transfer, and this time, it was a frozen embryo transfer (FET). I was pregnant, but we quickly learned when my HCG levels dropped that it was a chemical pregnancy. We tried a third and fourth time, which resulted in two more chemical pregnancies.
Just as we were losing hope, Dr. Sasson advised us to have an endometrial receptivity analysis (ERA) and move forward with another egg retrieval but this time, test the embryos with PGS testing. How could I possibly need the ERA test? I was pregnant with IVF and ICSI before and never had that done. And why would I need PGS if I already had a healthy little boy without genetic testing?
When you continue to have losses, something isn’t right. I knew I really needed to listen to Dr. Sasson and move forward with the testing. I’m glad I did! I learned through the ERA that I required 23 more hours of progesterone prior to transfer. This means my implantation window for embryo transfer wasn’t the standard, and I needed meds for just a bit longer. I also ended up with seven embryos with my second egg retrieval and after testing, only three were chromosomally normal. We transferred one of the normal embryos and I am now 16 weeks pregnant!
Our experience with SGF
Had I not done that testing, I could still be going through losses, and to be honest, I likely would’ve given up. This journey is not easy, but the team at Shady Grove Fertility has been there for us every step of the way.
I can’t say enough positive things about Dr. Sasson. He is, by far, my favorite doctor. He is direct, and it may not have always been what I wanted to hear, but it really helped me make informed decisions. He also has a really great sense of humor and during the not-so-fun times, he was able to provide some lightness to the situation and we had some good laughs.
Every time my husband and I look at our son, we are reminded that this little miracle happened thanks to Shady Grove Fertility and it can happen again. Dr. Sasson and the SGF team kept us positive. After all, they are the experts, and my husband and I believed them when they told us this could happen for us again. The science behind it all is absolutely amazing. Although there will never be a 100% guarantee, the testing that is now available really helps you get closer to the answers when trying to learn the “why” behind infertility struggles.
Trust your medical team and take advantage of all testing so you can get closer to having a little baby or in my case, two!