Carlos and I met in our freshman and sophomore years of High School. I knew from the moment I met him that I would love him, and we were meant to be together. We were together for eight years before marrying each other on our dating anniversary in 2012.
Trying to conceive
Two years after getting married, we decided to begin trying for children. Two months in, I had an annual checkup with my OB/GYN and told her that since being married, there had not been on any form of contraceptive and we still had never been pregnant. She suggested I have a transvaginal ultrasound done to see what might be going on, if anything. She also suggested that Carlos have a semen analysis done so that we can pinpoint any issue between the two of us.
My test results showed that I had a very minor form of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and I was given the medication, Metformin, to help regulate it. Unfortunately, Carlos’ test results came back showing that he doesn’t produce any sperm, medically known as Azoospermia. The doctors were unable to determine the cause of this, which was the most frustrating part of all.
Before coming to Shady Grove Fertility, my husband underwent surgery to try and locate any viable sperm, even if there were only a few to use for IVF treatment. Two weeks after surgery, the results came back, and again, there were none.
Coming to SGF
We were sent to SGF by my husband’s primary doctor to discuss our options. At that point, besides adoption which we could not afford, our only option was to use donor sperm and try to conceive with a natural cycle and IUI. This was extremely hard for Carlos to accept. I’ve always worked in the childcare field and found it easy to love any and all children. Although it was a rough time for us, we both decided to use the donor sperm bank provided to us through Shady Grove Fertility. We selected the donor of our choice and were excited to begin treatment to create the family we had always dreamed of.
The staff at SGF was always encouraging and there to answer all of my questions. They made me feel like they were fighting for us every step of the way. We also had great support from our family and friends during that time!
The treatment process was not very difficult for me. Luckily, my results always came back looking good and my body seemed to be on a very strict monthly cycle. The hardest part of the treatment was, of course, the two-week wait. I followed the instructions of my doctor and did not take any at-home pregnancy tests to avoid the possibility of getting a false positive.
It took us four months to conceive our daughter. The three negative tests were hard BUT we never gave up hope! I didn’t care how many times it took. We would have a family. SGF and Dr. Mottla always gave us hope.
Our SGF miracle
Our daughter, Charlotte Everly, was born on Valentine’s Day, weighing 6lbs 12oz and 19.25in long! She had a full head of long hair and was absolutely perfect!
Having worked in childcare for over a decade, I knew a lot about babies but not too much about being a mom. Charlotte was born lip and tongue-tied which caused her to need a frenectomy done at 13 days old. She could not latch to me at all without a nipple shield and could barely latch to a bottle or pacifier. It was HARD. Being a mom is the hardest, yet most rewarding and fun job I have ever had! I would do it all over again a million times.
Our story is not over! When our daughter was 18 months old, we decided to try again to give her a baby brother or sister. We underwent our first IUI for baby number two and got pregnant right away! We were so happy that it happened so quickly and felt relieved that we didn’t have to go through negative tests before having another sweet baby. Sadly, two months later the pregnancy ended, and we took a few months to get through the holidays and our daughter’s second birthday. I was assured that I had done nothing to cause this and it was just nature’s way of telling me that something wasn’t right. It was difficult but after all we had been through as a couple, we knew we could do anything! We have decided to begin trying for our rainbow baby and are back with SGF for help!
Advice to future patients
I was able to stay strong through everything by following the guidance of the SGF staff and talking things through with my husband, family, and friends. I also read a lot about other people who had gone through the same thing. We actually know a couple who had almost the exact experience as us! It was nice for my husband to be able to talk to a friend who had the same diagnosis and emotional struggles, and still ended up with two beautiful twins.
Something Dr. Mottla told me in one of our first meetings was, “the least important part of being a parent is the genetics” and that couldn’t be truer. Carlos loves our daughter unconditionally and helps me raise her and make decisions for her. He was hesitant at first about submitting our story, but after we talked it over, we both really wanted someone else out there to read it. There is someone out there who needs to read this.
Don’t ever let anything get in the way of your dreams! Having children and being a Mommy was always my DREAM as corny as that may sound. Most kids were thinking of being doctors, veterinarians, lawyers, teachers. And I wanted to be a Mom, always.
Stay calm and know that SGF is there to help you every step of the way! You will have your dream family!