The moment Deanna and I met and got to know each other we knew we wanted to have children. A year after we got married, we decided to start our fertility journey. We visited our primary care physician who quickly referred us to Shady Grove Fertility.
CREATING A TREATMENT PLAN
We made our appointment in Frederick with Dr Lauren Roth. Neither Deanna nor I had any knowledge of what was involved with the actual fertility process. Dr. Roth explained what tests were needed to get started. Initially, we were hoping to attempt to conceive with intrauterine insemination (IUI) first. IUI was financially the best option for us, but not medically.
After Dr. Roth reviewed the results of those tests, we realized quickly the best option was IVF because we were both older. This meant our financial responsibility was much greater than expected. We were referred to a financial counselor to explore the options available to us, including any benefits that were offered through insurance. Our insurance would not cover the IVF procedure, so we decided to get a personal loan to cover the costs. It was discouraging, but we made the decision to do IVF through SGF’s Shared Risk 100% Refund Program.
We picked a sperm donor by going to Fairfax Cryobank and exploring profiles online. We knew we wanted a bi-racial child to represent us so that’s what we started with first. We wanted someone African American and at least 6″0 tall. Nadine is 5″11 and Deanna is 5″8 so height was important to us. We researched the family history and after reviewing many profiles we chose one that we were most drawn to.
Our first cycle resulted in a miscarriage. After the miscarriage we felt really disappointment, but almost relieved because Dr. Roth went over the statistics of first IVF cycles and showed that many first cycles are not successful. What helped us remain #SGFstrong after the miscarriage was the constant support from Dr. Roth and our nurse, Abbie. They were very compassionate through all their emails and phone calls. Dr. Roth encouraged us to remain positive and we did. We weren’t going to let a miscarriage deter us from our goal of having children. We stayed positive because we knew in the end we would be successful.
We went forward with a second transfer. We weren’t really excited waiting for the results of our beta blood test. After the miscarriage, we were afraid to get our hopes up, but the blood results were positive! We quickly learned that getting pregnant wasn’t really the hard part.
It wasn’t until probably the fourth month that it started to sink in that this pregnancy might go full term. Because of our ages and treatment, there were more issues that we faced. We had to go to pediatric cardiologists and extra appointments at our OB/GYN just to make sure everything was going according to plan. We were just nervous all the time. I’m not sure we breathed throughout any appointment. Eight and half months later we welcomed our baby boy into the world.
As a couple, we discussed everything, asked lots of questions, and we remained positive, open-minded, and patient. After the successful transfer, we underwent two more cycles because we want more than one child, but unfortunately, only one egg could be frozen. We are going to take a couple months off to get some much needed rest and then we are going to begin again next year.
It’s a tough journey with all the appointments and testing, but we take a lot of mental breaks for ourselves so that we don’t become overwhelmed. We realize there are families on this journey and we now know how tough it can be. We also read a lot of posts and blogs from other patients’ experiences that helped us through with all the positive comments and we realize now just how lucky we truly are. Ask lots of questions, find a great support system, and remain positive and patient. We would encourage everyone on their fertility journey to stick with it because it will definitely be worth it in the end.