Kelsey and I had scheduled consultation appointments with two different groups — SGF and another local practice. We thought it’d be best to get a feel for both (the doctor, their process, and the cost) and then decide which would be the best fit for us.
Luckily, the SGF consultation was first. After our initial meeting with Dr. Budinetz (more like after the first 5 minutes of talking with her) we knew where we wanted to be. We felt so confident that we canceled the other consultation appointment, and the rest is history!
SGF far exceeded our expectations. From the compassion and care to patience and knowledge — Dr. B, the PA’s, nurses, medical assistants, phlebotomists, etc. were wonderful to us. They were the best! We have recommended SGF to several of our friends and hope they have the same outcome we had!
We decided Reciprocal IVF was best for us and our future family. For us, this was the perfect decision as we both wanted to be equally involved in the next chapter. Kelsey and I went through the egg retrieval process within the same month. Kelsey’s eggs were retrieved about 2 weeks before mine (Sara). It was exhausting, exciting, overwhelming, and also frustrating at times — as you can imagine, giving each other hormone shots (for what felt like months on end) was no easy feat.
Kelsey works in the field of Medicine, and I work in Education so not only was I thankful for the helpful videos provided by SGF on how to handle the needles and give injections, but I was extremely grateful to have Kelsey there to guide me.
We did our best to make the most of the situation while still hoping we’d never have to go through the retrieval process again. Kelsey and I would often talk about what our first baby would look like (Sara or the donor), what his future holds, and what we think each of our parenting styles looked like. We’d replay different scenarios together to see how we’d handle the situation. We learned a lot about each other by doing this! Looking back, I am actually proud of us and our resiliency to “power through.”
At the time, mixing the meds, giving the shots, etc. was definitely unpleasant, but we would do it all over to have Jackson. We found out Kelsey was pregnant on October 20, 2022, and she delivered our son 5-weeks early on May 21, 2023.
Welcoming Jackson into the world was a little stressful. Kelsey developed preeclampsia when she was 34 weeks, and Jackson was still in the breech position. A c-section was not in our traditional birth plan, and we thought we had another month to prepare for his arrival; but in the end, everything worked out the way it needed to. Jackson was born completely healthy just after midnight at the 35-week mark and did not require a NICU stay. Everything felt complete when he arrived and he was the most perfect little 5-pound baby we had ever seen. We couldn’t wait to get home and start our summer as a new family of 3!
Many people say that becoming a parent changes you but that might not be completely accurate. For us, it feels like we found a side of each other that has always been there — it’s just that we never met that side before. We each bring our own unique personality traits into parenting (Sara is more silly and energetic while Kelsey is more calm and serious). It helps to lean on each of our personality traits and strengths during these life-changing and exciting times — like most things in life, it’s all about balance.
It has been wonderful learning new ways to live our lives together and we’re beyond excited to see what our next journey looks like! SGF will always be a part of our story … and after our experience, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Since we want to have two children close in age, I’ve already scheduled to have an embryo transfer for November 2023, with the hopes of having a summer baby in 2024. I will be carrying Kelsey’s embryo.
Life has changed in so many ways and learning to balance our own needs, in addition to Jack’s needs, has been a challenge at points. We both work full-time and are typically very physically active. We have had to balance our own schedules to be able to still keep physically fit while taking care of a sedentary newborn. We are looking forward to getting him out in the jogging stroller in the next few months and begin chasing after him when he starts walking. As new parents, we hear it all of the time — but it’s true — we never knew how fast time could fly while just sitting still and looking at his beautiful face. Jackson has made our lives infinitely better.
Thanks to the wonderful people at SGF, along with the universe being on our side, our treatment journeys were overall beautiful. Although there were some difficult times on our journey, we were always surrounded by so much love, acceptance, and hope that we felt like we could get through anything.