S aumil and I have a wonderful marriage, so happy, so in love. We knew our next step was to have children, something we couldn’t wait to do. To be parents was a dream for both of us. We watched our nieces and nephews growing up, saw our friends having children, awed at babies in public. We knew we were ready to have children of our own. We took the necessary precautions before marriage since remaining “pure” was not only something our culture and religion expected but also society. I remember half-joking with my sister that when I was younger, I was scared of the repercussions of pre-marital sex, but when I actually wanted to get pregnant I couldn’t. It was extremely discouraging.
I first learned that something was wrong when I went for my annual physical with my primary care physician and she asked how long we had been actively trying to conceive. I replied to her that we had been trying for 1 year. She advised me, given my age, to go see a fertility specialist. At the time, I was 33 years old. She recommended Dr. Khan and Shady Grove Fertility and I immediately called and made an appointment for a consultation. Dr. Khan and the staff at Shady Grove Fertility were so helpful and hopeful.
Our First Appointment with Dr. Khan
Dr. Khan reassured me that he would do what he could to give us our happiness. We began our testing—bloodwork, HSG, semen analysis. Luckily Saumil’s results were all normal. My results, however, were not so normal. I was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve.
Women grow up believing they meet a boy, fall in love and get married, and then have babies. At the time I had no idea what my diagnosis really meant but the feeling of being broken was overwhelming. I began to think back to everything I had done, or not done. Did I do something wrong in life? Did starting birth control make this happen? Is there something more I should have done to take care of myself? I asked every single question possible. It was difficult for me to keep the faith and be hopeful.
We started with intrauterine insemination (IUI) and proceeded with three IUI cycles. By the third unsuccessful cycle I had lost all hope. I remember leaving that appointment in tears, almost inconsolable. It was a very emotionally trying time for us. When I learned it didn’t work, Saumil and I had to make a decision, where do we go from this point? The next step was in vitro fertilization (IVF). Since it was the end of the year, we decided to go on vacation for Thanksgiving and put our deposit after the New Year. Fate had a different idea. We were blessed to find out we were pregnant….naturally! We were ecstatic. 9 months later, we gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was the light of our lives, she was our world. We spent the best 9 months and 11 days with her. Our world shattered one day when our baby girl experienced a traumatic brain injury, one she did not recover from and we were forced to say good-bye to our sweet angel. There is no coming back from that kind of experience. Having hope of being blessed again didn’t exist.
When some of the grief subsided and we were mentally ready to try again, we did. We tried for 6 months, but given my previous diagnosis, we didn’t have a good feeling it would work. We had a follow up with Dr. Khan and updated our testing. Unfortunately things were getting worse for me and my eggs were aging and becoming poorer quality. We proceeded with three more IUI cycles, as we did the first time, but none were successful. After evaluating the financial options for IVF, we were accepted into the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program. We began medication and injections in preparation for our first retrieval. During our first retrieval, we retrieved nine eggs. For the first time, I had a glimmer of hope, though short lived. The three embryos that did fertilize did not survive beyond day 3. We took a short break to regroup....and pray….and went forward with a second retrieval. Again, we retrieved nine eggs but this time seven fertilized! We were thinking our prayers had been answered. We anxiously awaited our daily follow up phone call from Dr. Khan regarding how they were dividing. As of day 5, we had three viable embryos. He advised to transfer two and freeze the remaining one, which we did.
My husband, being a twin himself, immediately began wondering if we would have twins. I was just happy to have one of them implant. On Valentine’s Day I began home testing. Actually I took four tests! When the first one came out positive, I didn’t want to believe it. My first thought was our sweet angel sent us her sibling. My second thought was how grateful we were for Dr. Khan and Shady Grove Fertility for helping us fulfill our dream of having another baby.
Today our little girl is a thriving and active 8 month old. For future potential patients of SGF, I would tell them to not wait. If you’ve been trying to have a baby with little to no success, reach out to Shady Grove Fertility. You will get some of your questions answered. Never think you are broken or should have made better choices in life, these have nothing to do with it. Sometimes we just need a little help, and it’s never wrong to ask for it.