Patient Odyssey - Expecting Soon

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Patient Odyssey - Expecting Soon

July 20, 2006

For my husband Matthew and me, hard work had always paid off. We had led successful professional careers, thanks to our diligence and work ethic. We approached having a child the same way but, to our dismay, we were unable to conceive for over two years. When it came to finding a fertility solution, I had been pretty resistant to assisted reproductive technology (ART). I'm a firm believer in natural approaches such as herbs and acupuncture and favored them as a pregnancy solution as opposed to medical intervention. Yet, we were running out of options. I was going to turn 40 years old. Time wasn't on our side.

Overcoming infertility was an emotionally draining ordeal for my husband and me. Thankfully, we weren't in it alone. Friends and family were very understanding of our plight. In fact, my brother and his wife were also trying to become parents. However, with some friends who had children, it was difficult to convey the physical and emotional challenges we were going through. After all, parents who hadn't experienced delays in conceiving couldn't relate to our journey. We were happy for our friends who had children but did wonder to ourselves, “Why weren't we yet blessed with a child?”

Ultimately, my husband and I decided to pursue ART.  My OB/GYN encouraged me to contact Dr. Givens at Pacific Fertility Center (PFC). We were anxious, hopeful, and curious about the opportunities available to us at PFC. At the same time, we knew we were going to be in for an emotional roller coaster. Dr. Givens was fabulous. She was straightforward and medically professional in her approach. She was also compassionate about our endless array of questions and emotional highs and lows.

Although there was initial disappointment after two unsuccessful IUI attempts, it was short-lived. After just six short months, we moved on to IVF, and became pregnant on our first try. We were happy with this news but tempered our enthusiasm, as we weren't sure if the baby would make it through the first trimester. Our happiness turned into pure elation after the amniocentesis, as we then knew for sure that our baby was healthy.

I can't say enough about the caring and responsive team at PFC. From the administrative support staff, to the financial/accounting staff, to the training crew, to the nurses, to the doctors, everyone took great care in addressing our individual concerns. I also sought Dr. Givens' attention in asking her to put me in touch with a patient who had successfully conceived through ART. I was in constant contact with this patient throughout my cycles and her insight was invaluable. She helped me understand the journey to pregnancy and gave me emotional support.

We are now huge advocates of ART – especially for couples who have tried for some time to get pregnant. Nevertheless, I do feel that the holistic approach of taking herbs and acupuncture was helpful in preparing my body for pregnancy. Our advice to those trying to conceive is to seek advice/treatment from PFC, work with the staff to learn what the medical reality is for you and/or your partner, and then move forward. I also think it would be helpful for couples to speak directly with other couples who have pursued infertility treatment, so that they know they are not alone.

The journey to pregnancy has made us realize that we must be collaborative and supportive of each other's feelings. If I could give some additional advice to couples and individuals dealing with infertility, it would be to have open and honest communication with your partner, friends and family. This can be very cathartic.

Today, we feel that we are prepared to be the best parents ever. We want to create the most loving and supportive atmosphere possible for the child we are expecting, regardless of how difficult being a new parent might be. Certainly parenthood won't be easy but the joy we'll experience as parents will more than make up for it. The baby is due in mid-March, and, as you can imagine, we feel blessed and elated!

-- Felicia (Names were changed at the author's request.)

Postscript: Matthew and Felicia have a new member to their family. On March 6, 2006 Felicia gave birth to a happy, healthy Baby Maria. Congratulations!