Daniel and I were married out of college and we had always dreamed of having a family. We wanted to be married for a few years to enjoy married life and to be who we wanted to be before we had babies. We traveled and went on some great vacations and led mission trips to Japan and Brazil. We really lived life!
We started trying to have a baby after 3 years of marriage. We tried for a year on our own, knowing it might take a little bit, however, we didn't worry too much. After a year of trying to conceive, my OB tested me and told me I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and put me on Clomid. I did 6 months on Clomid, but we didn't have any luck. My OB then referred us to a fertility center in TN, where we lived. We had high hopes to conceive after our first appointment.
We were tested at the fertility clinic and everything looked good. We started with intrauterine insemination (IUI). We were thrilled because we had lots of excellent swimmers each time we tried, and it was the closest we had gotten to maybe getting pregnant. All four rounds of IUI were negative. We were told it was time for in vitro fertilization (IVF). We had more testing done and found out that I have a layer of protection around my eggs that fights away sperm. So, we would need intracytoplasmic sperm infection (ICSI) done on our eggs—where the embryologist inserts a healthy sperm into the egg. We began raising money to go forward with our first round of IVF. We had three viable embryos. We decided to transfer two embryos and freeze the other, just in case. We got pregnant, but it was deemed a chemical pregnancy. Our second round of IVF resulted in the same. We were devastated. We had exhausted all of our options and came away with nothing but heartache.
Discovering Shady Grove Fertility
I reached out to a lady who is now one of my dearest friends, who told me about Shady Grove Fertility and their Shared Risk 100% Refund Program. If you do not have a baby at the end of six fresh cycles and as many frozen cycles that you have embryos for, you get your money back! This was a no-brainer for us! Our clinic here didn't have any kind of program like this and seemed to treat us like just another money making endeavor, instead of being invested in us getting pregnant. We did the first couple of monitoring visits at our clinic in town, but once we were getting to the everyday monitoring, we flew up to Washington, D.C. and stayed until our egg retrieval and embryo transfer.
We started at Shady Grove Fertility in January of 2015 and went through a round of IVF. During our IVF process we did daily injections and oral medications. I was able to do the smaller injections myself, but once we got to the bigger intramuscular ones, that job went to my amazing husband! He was my biggest supporter through all of this, and when things would seem to be just "too much" he was right there, telling me that we could do this. It definitely helped having a great team of people there to help us along the way. Dr. Chang and his staff were AMAZING. They were always there to answer any questions and help us. They were invested in getting us to the end of this journey with healthy baby/babies.
During treatment, I found out that I needed surgery to remove a fluid-filled tube, so I had this done and then we went ahead with the frozen embryo transfer. We ended up transferring 2 beautiful embryos.
The Call We’ve Waited For
The 2 week wait was so long! I tried to fill my days with visits from friends, and light work; we own a bakery, and so I was able to do a few weddings with the help of a dear friend, to keep my mind off of the waiting. During the wait, I was feeling good, with slight twinges here and there, and I just kept praying it was our embryos settling in for the next 9 months. I was able to go to a friend, who is a doctor, and she did my bloodwork for my pregnancy test, and we got the lab results the next day. As soon as they came in, she texted me the results and my HCG levels were off the charts! It was so surreal to know we were pregnant and possibly pregnant with twins. Dr. Chang called within the next hour after he got the results and congratulated us!
We got pregnant and were overjoyed to learn that they both had implanted and we were having twins! A boy and a girl! Our twins were born at 36 weeks and were absolutely perfect in every way. They are our greatest joy!
Advice to Other SGF Patients
Our road to parenthood was long and tiring, but keep going if this is truly something you desire. Align yourself with people who understand. Unless you've walked this scary road, you don't fully understand and know what to say to others. It's ok to cry and it's ok to fall apart when things don't go as you planned or hoped— just don't stay there. Pick yourself up and keep going. It is worth every needle and pain!