Conor and I met in college and have been together for over 10 years. We married in 2016 and since then we’ve supported each other through changing careers, graduate degrees, and cross country moves. Conor is in marketing, and I work for a children’s hospital as a nurse practitioner.
Prior to trying to conceive, I had two ectopic pregnancies; one in 2018 and one in 2019. Our ectopic pregnancy in 2018 resulted in an emergency surgery to remove my fallopian tube. Our ectopic in 2019 scarred my remaining tube, which was removed in 2020. When we decided we were ready to start our family, we were so hopeful. We assumed that the ectopics were a fluke and that now without the tubes all we needed was to put an embryo in the right place. We had our first egg retrieval in February 2022.
Ultimately after 4 unsuccessful frozen embryo transfers (FETs) with euploid embryos at our previous practice, we knew we needed a second opinion. Each failed transfer was another heartbreak. The infertility community is a close-knit one, and when I asked for recommendations, I kept hearing about Shady Grove Fertility.
Our first meeting with Dr. Schumacher told me it would be different. She reviewed our case, talked about the data with us, and explained her reasoning behind treatment options. We felt like care team partners as opposed to the traditional doctor/patient relationship. Our nurse Colleen kept us sane when we were navigating insurance and uncertainty, and she always rooted for us.
When our 5th embryo transfer failed, Dr. Schumacher sat with Conor and me in our grief, but she also planned what to do next. She explained that I might have had adenomyosis based on my failed euploid transfers and my history of ectopic pregnancy. She recommended two months of Lupron followed by another FET. At this point, Conor and I were losing hope and exhausted. But Dr. Schumacher remained patient and positive with us. She believed in my ability to get and stay pregnant.
Lupron was tough. Chemical menopause is no joke, and the hot flashes really kept me on my toes. However, I marked the calendar each day as one day closer to transfer. By the time February 6, 2022, rolled around, I was ready and finally excited about our odds again. On February 16, 2022 I got the call from Colleen saying my blood test was positive. It was the best day of our treatment journey aside from graduation day.
On November 5, 2023, our beautiful, healthy son Graeme Thomas was born, and it was the happiest day of our lives. He’s worth every single blood draw, ultrasound, procedure, and transfer.
I would tell future patients to find a physician who they trust to guide them through this process, who doesn’t treat them like a number, and who advocates for them just as fiercely as they advocate for themselves. Find a team whose goal is to make your dream of having a child a reality.