My husband Kevin and I met while I was in college, and we married about 2 years later when I was 21. At first, having children was not something we thought about. We knew we’d probably have kids, but we weren’t in any rush. We decided to wait 5 years before having children, but then 5 years turned into almost 10 years.
In the meantime, we both worked hard to save up for a new home and started a nest egg so we would eventually be financially ready for a child. I earned my master’s degree and started my career as a behavior analyst, and Kevin worked at a dairy.
When I turned 30, we decided it was a good time to start trying to have children. We thought that would be plenty of time to have a child before I got too old, or at least my idea of what’s too old. At first, we didn’t really try, I just stopped taking birth control and I got pregnant very soon after that.
I miscarried at about 10 weeks and had to undergo an emergency D&C.
We tried again after getting the okay from the doctor after the miscarriage. We would continue to try for a year with no luck. I read somewhere that after a year, it was probably a good idea to see a fertility specialist. I talked to my gynecologist, and she referred me to a small fertility practice near my home. After several tests, I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
Treating unexplained infertility
I went to a fertility center where they attempted to find a cause for my infertility. I had a sonohysterogram, which showed some abnormalities. The doctor then did a hysteroscopy, in which several polyps were removed. The doctor thought that was the issue causing infertility, so we proceeded to the next step, Clomid and IUIs.
After two unsuccessful IUIs with Clomid, we moved to injectibles, and I had two additional unsuccessful IUIs. The doctor allowed me to decide if I’d like to try a third IUI with injectibles or if we should move to the next level, which was in vitro fertilization (IVF).
At this point in treatment, we weren’t sure we wanted to try IVF. The cost was a huge factor, and we had just paid for four unsuccessful IUIs. We were quickly using up our nest egg, which was supposed to be used for the baby after he or she arrived, not before.
We were close to giving up at this point; I was mentally exhausted. I drove myself crazy during the two week wait after each IUI, but each time we got a negative test result, it was heartbreaking. I began looking into adoption, because that seemed more certain than doing IVF. After talking it through with Kevin, though, we decided since we’d come this far, we should at least try IVF.
When we made the decision to go ahead and try IVF, I had every intention of staying with my current fertility center for treatment. The fertility center offered shared risk but said I was not a candidate because my BMI was too high. So I would have to pay for the procedure out-of-pocket, without any assurance that it would work.
It was around this time that I saw an ad on Facebook for a Shady Grove Fertility informational session at a nearby hotel. I thought it couldn’t hurt to check it out, just to see if there were any other options. At the session, Dr. Munabi was there.
He presented well and seemed super knowledgeable. I had a good feeling about Shady Grove Fertility at that point. I had an even better feeling after I spoke to one of the representatives afterward, and she said I met the requirements for their Shared Risk program.
We weren’t overly optimistic that the first IVF attempt would be successful, given our history of unsuccessful IUIs, so the Shared Risk option relieved some of the pressure and stress we were feeling. At the initial consult, I knew Shady Grove Fertility was where I should be. Every procedural detail was explained, as well as financial options.
We got all the required testing done, as well as an HSG, and everything looked good to get started. We were nervous but excited, as we felt this was our best shot at having a baby of our own. Initially, I was overwhelmed with the number of injectibles I needed to take, as well as the number of appointments I needed to go to for bloodwork and ultrasounds to monitor my egg growth.
On the day of the egg retrieval, I was relieved to hear that they were able to retrieve eight mature eggs. I was anxious to see whether any of the eggs would fertilize (they used ICSI, as they thought my egg wall might be too thick, thus causing infertility). I had a day 5 transfer of the only two embryos that survived.
The wait was excruciating, but well worth it because we finally got our positive test! It wasn’t until the second trimester when I finally felt like I could breathe, given my history of miscarriage. We gave birth to a healthy baby boy after our first attempt at IVF!
The whole time I was undergoing IVF treatment the staff at SGF were wonderful. The nurses were very thorough with their explanations of how to prepare and inject the medications, and I always got precise instructions on what dosages and medications I should be taking each day. Dr. Munabi and the nurses were very supportive, and I understood what needed to be done each step of the way. Everyone was amazing at SGF, and I was so happy with my team. I’m thrilled we made the switch to SGF. I only wish we had gone sooner.
Our prayers have been answered, and we’re thrilled to have our healthy baby boy. I love every minute of being a mom. I have started going back to work part-time so that I’m able to spend most of the day with my son. The difficulty we faced in getting to this point has only made us appreciate being parents so much more.
Advice for future patients
Don’t give up. It seems impossible and hopeless at times, but it can happen. SGF was instrumental in making our dreams come true. We were very close to throwing our hands up, but I’m so glad we decided to stick with it and keep trying.