Beginning a long fertility journey
Kimberly and her husband wed in 2015 and knew that they wanted to have children as soon as possible. They never thought that IVF, or in vitro fertilization, and our Nashville fertility center would be part of their story. But when Kimberly was diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis, she knew she may have trouble conceiving. She was right.
After two and a half years of trying, they realized that they needed additional support and tried two IUI cycles, or intrauterine insemination, under the care of Kimberly’s gynecologist. Unfortunately, both tries were unsuccessful. The next step was visiting our Nashville fertility clinic. As Kimberly says, “It was scary thinking about doing IVF because all I knew about it was what I’d seen in movies and on television.”
Starting IVF at Nashville Fertility Center
They made an appointment with Dr. George Hill. He told them that IVF was likely their best option. However, he gave them the choice of trying another IUI. When the IUI did not work, they started their first IVF cycle. “Having to give myself a shot in my abdomen is an experience I’ll never forget. I had to remind myself what the end goal was, which made it easier,” Kimberly said.
The cycle culminated in the retrieval of 16 eggs, which Kimberly remembers as being a low number. She’d been following the fertility blogs of various women, some of which had over 30 eggs retrieved.
“The experience of waiting to hear how many of our fertilized eggs were healthy was very nerve-wracking,” Kimberly said. However, they soon received the good news that 12 embryos were viable. They were overjoyed and relieved to the point of tears.
Shortly after the egg retrieval, Kimberly and her husband moved forward with a fresh embryo transfer. “Over the two weeks between the transfer and pregnancy test at NFC, I was told not to take at-home pregnancy tests, but I broke that rule and drove myself crazy thinking I possibly saw a faint line indicating pregnancy. But after I received blood work, I learned I wasn’t pregnant. I was devastated. I thought IVF was the end all be all and would always work,” Kimberly said. However, knowing that they still had 11 healthy embryos gave them hope.
Additional testing to uncover the root fertility challenges
A few months later they did a frozen cycle. This time, Kimberly abstained from at-home pregnancy tests, but had a feeling she wasn’t pregnant. Our Nashville fertility clinic soon confirmed this. “I started thinking about going the adoption route, but after meeting with Dr. Hill and our nurse, we determined that I needed more tests. Everything appeared to be fine, but something was obviously preventing pregnancy,” Kimberly said.
That’s when they decided to try an ERA, or endometrial receptivity analysis, which tests the receptivity of the uterine lining. For this test, Kimberly had to do a mock IVF cycle. However, instead of retrieving eggs, they biopsied a portion of her uterine lining at the end of the cycle. The first test determined that she was pre-receptive, meaning that they needed to repeat the test. They finally learned that Kimberly likely needed an extra day on progesterone before the embryo transfer.
After a six-month gap between Kimberly’s second and third transfer, she and her husband decided to transfer two embryos through a frozen cycle. “I again broke the rule of taking pregnancy tests during the two-week wait. I probably took over 20 tests. This time, both the at-home pregnancy tests and blood work showed that I was pregnant,” Kimberly reported. At her first ultrasound, the tech said that IVF had worked and there were two babies developing.
Kimberly had an easy twin pregnancy, free of complications. In May 2018, she gave birth to her little girl Monroe and little boy Cade. Both babies are healthy and thriving.
Guidance for other hopeful parents
“You have to have a support system. My husband was my biggest support system. More than anyone, he knew how I was feeling because he was also going through it. I told my family, but I don’t think they fully understood because they weren’t experiencing it first hand,” Kimberly said.
She also recommends joining IVF support groups on Facebook, saying that they were incredibly beneficial during her fertility journey, as the women could relate to what she was going through.
When asked about her experience with our team, Kimberly said, “I could always tell that the team at Nashville Fertility Center cared and weren’t going to give up on me. They were determined to figure out what was going on and were incredibly encouraging.”
Contact us for more information about the leading-edge IVF services at our Nashville fertility clinic.