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Ruth & James' story

Ruth & James' story

Unexplained Infertility
Gilbert L. Mottla, M.D.
Annapolis, MD
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Baltimore, MD
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James and I met when I was 28 years old and feeling anxious to become a wife and mother. My biological clock was definitely ticking loudly. We got married when I was 30 but we decided to give our marriage at least a year before introducing a little one to the family. After a year we encountered some challenges that pushed our timeline for children further out. Finally we decided to start trying. After a year of trying (and numerous ovulation predictors) we called our insurance to see what was available to us. After completing the required fertility testing for insurance purposes, our insurance company referred us to Shady Grove Fertility.

Searching for Answers

The required testing that we went through did not reveal any problems and we were diagnosed with “unexplained infertility.” I never thought a diagnosis could be so confusing and non-descript. It almost felt more discouraging to not have an explanation, it made me feel like there wasn’t really a solution.

I then called Shady Grove Fertility and we met with Dr. Mottla and Jackie. Dr. Mottla reviewed our tests and really explained the process to us, walking us through every step. Our first line of treatment was IUI. We did 3 rounds with disappointing result. No pregnancy.

Moving to a New Treatment Plan

Dr. Mottla suggested moving forward with IVF. While I was disappointed with the failed IUIs, I was determined to exhaust all resources before giving up. The IVF process was rough. The injections were painful and the retrieval was scary but we found ways to deal with the pain and the fear. Throughout the injections I just kept cheering myself on, hopeful for positive results. I was confident that this would be the answer to our struggles. Dr. Mottla suggested transferring two embryos so I thought, “Ooh, we might have twins. How exciting!”

Unfortunately, my dreams were crushed. Our pregnancy test came back negative. This really damaged my attitude and we took a break to mourn the loss and try to re-focus. We spent much time praying and seeking guidance from friends and family.

Another disappointing aspect of our first IVF cycle not resulting in a pregnancy was that no embryos remained from the first cycle so we had to do the whole process again for cycle 2. The injections, retrieval, pain, all over again.

However, this time it was different. Cycle 2 of IVF resulted in a pregnancy…..with twins. This was a surprising result since this time we only transferred one embryo. That means it split. Woah! The Lord had His plans!

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Our Bundles of Joy

Praise the Lord we were finally blessed with two little bundles of joy. Our twin girls are now 10 months old and doing great. We never expected to have twins but we are overjoyed with the results of our years of desire and trying.


Throughout the process it was difficult to stay positive, especially with so few friends in our immediate circle who could understand our struggle. I was encouraged by the other patient stories and a book I found on Kindle from a woman who was also struggling with fertility challenges.

Dr. Mottla was one of the most attentive doctors I have dealt with. He explained the process very well to us and responded to my cues that we needed to wait before starting cycle 2. Jackie was amazing. She called me back numerous times to answer my many questions and concerns.

My Advice to Future Patients

To future patients I would say, don’t give up. It is hard to stay positive and optimistic through all of the highs and lows—especially the dreaded 2 week wait—but know that you are not alone in your struggle. Becoming a parent might end up being as difficult as the act of being a parent but this experience will make you appreciate that little life (or lives) so much more as a result. I urge you to pass along the encouragement and help to someone else with the same struggle.

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