My husband and I met on the eve of my 30th birthday. We danced. We laughed. It felt like we knew each other for years. We talked the night away and in a moment of sincerity, Anthony told me that he was looking for his wife and mother of his kids. I would find out 18 months later at our reception that Anthony went home after we met and told his aunt that he found his bride. We married in October 2011 and immediately started to try to expand our family.
I knew that I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I was diagnosed when I was 22. I had un-functional cysts and was given birth control to regulate my periods. I was never told that PCOS was associated with infertility. So after a year of trying, Anthony and I decided to seek help. At first, I went to my primary care practitioner who referred me to my OB/GYN.
After reviewing my history, my OB/GYN diagnosed me with anovulation, and then she referred me to Shady Grove Fertility for further treatment. We scheduled a consultation and met with Dr. Timmreck. At the appointment, Dr. Timmreck was direct about our treatment options and helpful in guiding us in the right direction that worked for us. To get started, we needed to get the diagnostic testing out of the way to rule out any other causes of infertility. We underwent several tests during the summer of 2012. Anthony did his semen analysis, which came back with a healthy prognosis. On the other hand, I had bloodwork, ultrasounds, and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG).
In the end, PCOS and my weight were the main factors contributing to my not getting pregnant. We returned to Dr. Timmreck who outlined our options. We decided to go with Clomid and timed intercourse, which seemed less invasive. Our first round was in November 2012.
Our fertility journey
The first month of my fertility journey was not bad. I don’t think I thought it was going to be a challenge. It sounded easy enough. I had to take five pills to hopefully induce ovulation. It was the office visits every other day that was tiring. The bloodwork was daunting, especially since I have thin veins. By the end of the second week, I had to check hormone levels daily and finally, by days 16/17, I had a mature egg.
Despite the fear of needles and the concept of doing it yourself, the trigger shot was not that bad. But then it was time for the 2-week wait. I was very oblivious to this first round of treatment. Anthony and I thought this would be it and in two weeks we would be pregnant. The first beta test was negative and it brought us back to reality and in the office with Dr. Timmreck. This time we decided to continue with Clomid and start intrauterine insemination (IUI) in the second round. This continued for three more rounds.
By the end of the 5th round, I was exhausted and emotional. My weight gain increased. I felt defeated. Anthony was very supportive this entire time and we decided to take a break. During this time, I decided to reevaluate my hectic work and volunteer schedules and focus on simplifying my life. I quit my part-time job and minimized my extracurricular activities. I joined a weight loss program and lost 20 pounds. I felt rejuvenated and we decided to try again.
Returning for treatment
We returned to SGF in January 2014 in full force, this time deciding on injections and IUI. We had to do the diagnostic testing again, but we were pros by then! We started the 6th round in March. The daily injections became a necessary chore and going to the office almost daily during the second week was now a normal routine.
Unfortunately, the next two beta blood tests were negative and our motivation and passion were dwindling fast. Anthony has always been my cheerleader in this process and I leaned on him for strength, but for him, this 2-week wait was becoming tough and associated with disappointment. This time I had to dig down deep and help Anthony through. And what I found was a sense of resolve that refueled me and reminded me why we were on this journey. Despite the outcome, Anthony and I were going to make it through this life storm with God and our prayers. And then it happened. On our 8th round, our beta test was positive.
Working with Shady Grove Fertility
I love the Columbia office. The staff and nurses are amazing. They always welcomed me with open arms, a friendly smile, and encouraging words. They are there with you on this journey and riding it out until the end.
My pregnancy was great. I was considered high-risk, so I was monitored much more closely than others, but I stayed healthy and within my recommended weight gain. Anthony and I enjoyed this part of our lives knowing that we loved this child before he was ever conceived. And the day he was born, it was like our lives had truly started. Titus is an amazing boy. He has redefined our lives and captures our hearts every day with his laugh, smile, hugs, curiosity, and loving spirit.
My advice for future patients
Never settle. Keep going until you see the finish line. There will be hard times but remember to keep moving forward. And be receptive to other options. Know all your choices and then decide on what is best for your family.