I met my husband when I was in sixth grade, and he was in eighth grade. We both knew we were going to end up together. After years of running into each other, dating, and then getting engaged, we finally tied the knot in 2018, after a nine-year engagement!
Our infertility journey began after a miscarriage in 2018. After years of painful periods, painful intercourse, and pain using the restroom, I decided to speak with a reproductive endocrinologist.
I felt like I should not be experiencing this level of pain and trouble getting pregnant, and with a recommendation of a friend, I tried my first fertility center. I received a diagnosis of stage four endometriosis, had a laparoscopy, and attempted four rounds of intrauterine inseminations (IUIs).
With no success, we went for a second opinion.
I searched for other doctors in the area and stumbled upon Shady Grove Fertility. Dr. Sasson had many positive reviews, and I decided to book a consult.
I brought all my previous records and had a conversation with Dr. Sasson. He spent the first half going through the documents and results with me, mostly noting things on his plain white piece of paper.
After jotting things down, he let me know I would need in vitro fertilization (IVF) to be able to have a baby. No beating around the bush, and straight to the point, but in a very caring way.
He explained by going over the physical images of previous ultrasounds with me, bloodwork, the report of my laparoscopy, and the multiple attempts of IUIs along with the previous HSG, that IVF would be the only way to get pregnant.
He explained conception and where he thinks my body couldn’t connect the sperm and egg. He was very thorough, referred to evidence-based information, processes, and procedures, and simplified a process I was very scared of.
He relayed this information to me in a way I understood and that went very far for me. I enjoyed his open demeanor and ability to ask as many questions as possible without him making me feel ignorant or rushed. This was new for me!
But I faced the facts and had to figure out a way to be able to afford treatment. At the time, my current job didn’t have any fertility benefits, so I placed IVF on the back burner and researched companies that cover IVF but came up empty-handed with being able to have a flexible schedule.
After two years, and going through a pandemic, I knew I couldn’t be a server forever and be able to afford IVF.
Cue a job posting for Shady Grove Fertility! I said to myself, why don’t I just apply, and see what happens? I knew what being a patient is all about, the highs and super LOWS, I am very friendly, and I love to be surrounded by people of all different cultures and backgrounds and family definitions.
I got the job!!! I wound up feeling supported and felt like my family has grown by 100s, even 1,000s of members! After getting the job and learning the job of a patient service representative and then watching these women come in, I decided to take the extremely scary plunge into an IVF cycle.
I’ve seen 100s of women come in every day, multiple times a week even and if they can do it, I can do it!
It was amazing having that bond with these warriors. Through all their journeys and now my own, I was able to be an ear and hand and even share a hug with these women.
This ignited bravery I never knew I had.
The shots were scary and the hardest part for me to wrap my head around but after the first night of injections, my husband and I grew into a routine, and even a deeper love I didn’t know was possible. We would make jokes and laugh about the IVF process.
Laughter was our way through all the pain, physically, emotionally, and mentally. It was time for our egg retrieval and being scared was an understatement. We had our retrieval during covid, so he had to wait in the car while I walked in by myself even though I knew everyone there. I knew our MA, our RNs, and to my surprise a brand-new nurse anesthetist and panic was all over my face.
Our team at SGF in Chesterbrook calmed me down. They took their time to explain everything I thought I already knew. They were gentle and kind, and respectful of the process I had to go through. I was nervous to hear the results: Did I have any eggs? Were they mature? Did they fertilize? Do we have embryos?
We ended up with embryos that were able to be frozen! We were shocked! We were excited! But then we fell back into darkness. What if something happens? What if they don’t make it? What if our transfer fails?
It is such an emotional roller coaster you cannot prepare for. But this is the life of a person, or family going through the process! We are all the same. No matter where we come from, or where we are in life, we all have this to process and go through.
We were able to go through a transfer a few months after our retrieval. We transferred in April, and we got a positive blood test! We were excited! We were in tears! But we were so scared to breathe.
We have been this far on our own before. What will be different this time?
The only thing I had was the miracles I witnessed on a day-to-day basis.
I have seen patients be successful here! I have seen the doctors, the embryologists, the andrologists, the nurses, the MAs, and the receptionist work so hard to be a key part of our patients’ journeys. I was ready for this. We were ready for this.
Fast forward to our last ultrasound at SGF. It was bittersweet. I really wish we could take our doctors to our OB/GYN, and then deliver our babies! It was a surreal moment in our lives, having our baby in our arms. Adelina was born on Nov 30, 2021, all thanks to every single person at SGF and every single patient. Everyone had a role, no one bigger than others. That was life-changing for me. I got to know everyone that helped my daughter become our family. That will never leave my side.
Dr. Sasson was very reassuring during this time. He was kind, compassionate, respectful, and his bedside manner is unlike any I have ever seen. This is rare in today’s medicine. I am so grateful for what he has done for me and our family. Thank you for all the hours you put in, every day, even on “your days off” which I’m convinced you never have a day off!
Dr. Schumacher and nurse practitioner Elyse were also such warm wonderful providers. They have answered AT LEAST 1,000 questions from me! You ladies are so important to the values SGF stands for. You work tirelessly every day and have the biggest smiles on your face. Thank you so much for all of our conversations.
The nurses, surgical and clinic, Nikki who was my nurse, did such an amazing job explaining everything back to me and helped me go through the process. The role your personal nurse plays in your treatment is so important. They will call you; they will message you back, and they even try so hard to work around your schedule with communication preferences. They try so hard to have an answer for you, and if they don’t, they will find it! They work so hard serving as your front-line personal warrior buddy. They truly care about your journey, and it shows. Tip: give them time to call/message you back! They are always trying to find out the answers and help you!
The embryology team is the hardest working team I have ever met. Their leaders are strong women and work incredibly hard. Their coworkers are dedicated to the process. They are the ladies behind the eggs/embryos and are your first-ever babysitters, that says so much!!
The andrology/endocrinology team are so good at their jobs. They are responsible for getting your results to your doctors, and nurses and without them, it would fall apart. These women are the most down-to-earth people out there. Thank you, ladies!
The MAs/PCCs draw your blood and set up the rooms and help the doctors with so much! They always made the draws less painful and more fun. I can’t thank them enough, esp Kayla! You guys rock!
The receptionists greet you with sincere smiles. They see you more than anyone else in the practice. These ladies love to hear from you, they help get you to the right place, and are so organized.
I hope you can see how each role and person at SGF serves a purpose to help you grow your family. Through the hard times, and through the best times, this fertility center is unlike anywhere I have been and had the pleasure of working for. The passion is there, you can feel it as soon as you walk in. Thank you, one million times, for our sweet Adelina. She will always know where she came from. Thank you will never be enough.