I laugh when people ask how Joshua and I ‘met.’ I’m pretty sure I was aware of him a lot longer than he was of me because I was in the same grade as his younger brother. I even watched Joshua play football for our High School growing up. Of course, he was oblivious to who I was, as he was several classes above me. Such is life! But the funny thing about life is, sometimes it all comes around. Joshua and I had several mutual friends and would occasionally run into each other at get-togethers. We really ‘met’ and got to know each other better after he and I began working at a movie rental store. When he found out I was in the same class as his younger brother, I thought we wouldn’t go anywhere because he thought the age difference was ‘weird.’ However, we began dating and never looked back! Joshua and I were married in 2012 and were looking forward to starting a family of our own.
The beginning of our fertility journey
My husband had a son from a previous relationship and we were very excited to give him a brother or sister. Unfortunately, we tried for over a year to become pregnant with no success. We originally went to a nearby Medical Center and were very disappointed as they diagnosed me with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and stated there was no way I was going to be able to get pregnant, and if I did, it would likely be an unsafe pregnancy. We were heartbroken and thought that our journey was over. It took a lot of time to ‘bounce back’ from that devastating news and we took some time to re-evaluate and consider options available to us.
After speaking to a friend, I called and made an appointment with a doctor at a different local Hospital. He was amazing and tried to help my husband and I navigate through infertility. Although we couldn’t get pregnant, we felt as though there was some hope. When we continued trying for two more years without success, it was time for us to seek further help.
Coming to SGF
Our doctor referred us to Shady Grove Fertility. My husband and I felt that we needed to take a small break before going to SGF to give my body time to recuperate from all the previous treatment, so we scheduled a consultation in January 2017. We met with Dr. Roth at the Harrisburg – Camp Hill office and we were blown away by the staff, facility, and how caring and compassionate everyone was. A woman named Caitie was assigned to me as my Patient Representative and she completely changed my life. She was the first person I met that made me feel completely comfortable and truly made me feel as though pregnancy was going to be a reality for us. Dr. Roth, my nurse Tracey, and Caitie were constantly in touch with me to see how I was doing and to answer any questions.
Going through treatment
I was diagnosed with PCOS and began the process of treatment. My husband and I participated in timed intercourse cycles and treatment through medication. I was placed on Progesterone to induce a period, and then Femara to encourage egg stimulation. Unfortunately, my eggs were stimulated but would not mature to a big enough size to be viable for pregnancy. We continued on the same course, but also added Follistem following Femara to help my eggs mature. It was a very tough time for us. All of the different medications, the strict schedule we needed to be on and all of the injections were awful. Joshua was a trooper through it all, giving me the injections I needed because I couldn’t do it to myself. Much to our surprise, the medication worked! We finally saw some progress. Although we were very excited, now the issue of ovulation presented itself. We felt like we were taking one step forward and two steps back.
When trying to find a solution for my inability to ovulate, it was also discovered that I had uterine polyps that were blocking any potential eggs from progressing from my Fallopian tubes to my uterus. I had to have surgery to remove the polyps before continuing with fertility treatment. Following the surgery, Ovidrell was added to the medication that I was already taking to encourage ovulation. It seemed like everything was working and everything was in place for this to finally happen! My husband and I were very excited but were ultimately disappointed that the cycle was not a success. We were asked to try another cycle with all the same medication but told that this would be the last cycle of timed intercourse, as it was our fourth attempt. My husband and I were very anxious because we knew we couldn’t afford IVF and this was our last chance. Every ultrasound with negative results, every disappointing call was devastating but Dr. Roth, Tracey and Caitie were all there every step of the way and despite being nervous, we finally got the answer that we were waiting for.
The good news!
After 4 years of trying, I was finally pregnant! I got the call from Dr. Roth personally in October 2017. The staff at SGF guided me through PCOS, infertility, numerous failed attempts, and the first 8 weeks of my pregnancy with such kindness, care, and compassion, I don’t know what I would have done without them. I remember crying when I was referred back to my hospital because it meant that I would no longer be seeing ‘my team’ and wouldn’t be going to SGF appointments anymore. The transition back to my previous OB/GYN was flawless and they all asked to be kept up-to-date throughout the remainder of my pregnancy.
My baby girl
Our daughter, Presley, was born in June and she is absolutely perfect. I continue to stay in contact with Dr. Roth, Tracey and Caitie and recently took Presley to visit the facility so she could meet those who helped us make this miracle a reality. I now have a beautiful baby girl and can’t express how grateful I am to everyone at SGF who helped my husband and I throughout our journey. Having my daughter, and finally becoming a mother is nothing short of a miracle and the answer to an infinite amount of prayer. Every tear, every failed cycle, all of the medication was all worth it to be able to hold her in our arms, to have her smile at us, to snuggle with her at night. I’m finally a mom, which is something I’ve waited my whole life to be and never thought would be possible. She’s my living proof that miracles do and can happen. It’s hard now to look back at everything we went through, and remember how much pain and sadness we experienced in those 4 years of waiting, trying and failing. But one look from our daughter is all it takes for me to forget all of that. I would do it all over just to be afforded the opportunity and blessing to be her mom.
Advice to future patients
I know what some of you are thinking and it is ok. I was the one reading testimonials over a year ago thinking, ‘yeah, it’s great it happened for them but it’s not likely for me.’ What do I want you to know? It is possible! Don’t lose hope! It can happen! We were told that we were never going to get pregnant from the first facility that we went to–99% probability that it would NEVER happen. The staff at SGF are some of the best people you will ever meet and will be there every step of the way to help you through your infertility journey. Take advantage of the staff that is assigned to you. They are more than willing to be a sounding board for you and are there for your questions, worries or concerns. They took that 1% chance that we were given, gave us hope, and our miracle happened. The best advice I can offer is don’t give up. If the desire is there to be a parent, don’t give up on your dream. Even if someone has told you no, and that it’s highly unlikely, go for what you want. If we had given up when we were told no, we never would have enjoyed our now 2-month-old, beautiful baby girl.