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Megan & Cait
DIAGNOSIS: Unexplained infertility

We were engaged to be married in December of 2018. We knew we wanted children and that it wouldn’t happen "naturally" on our own, so we decided to start building our family the October before we got married.

We went to a different fertility center, and we did all of the pre-screening testing that needed to happen before starting IUI treatment, and we picked a sperm donor.

Selecting sperm was a wild process, and honestly, one that both my wife and I loved because it felt like our future baby was getting closer to being a reality but also found very stressful because we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to pick the "right" donor- whatever that even means!

What we wanted in a donor evolved, and we ended up with who we thought would be perfect. But, how much to buy?? If you've never bought sperm before, well, it sells like hotcakes if you choose specific donors, and we felt like we had to buy enough for all the "what ifs.” So, we purchased what we thought would certainly be enough, and we were ready to go!

Fast forward to after our wedding in December 2018 and honeymoon in February 2019; we were ready to start our first IUI in March 2019!

We were ecstatic (and also naive), thinking that we would get pregnant in the first or second round of IUI. Not the case. After two rounds with our first fertility clinic and not feeling optimistic about how the treatment plan was executed, we sought out Boston IVF.

This was the best decision we made during our fertility journey. We met with Dr. Cardone in Stoneham, and he immediately put our minds at ease. He added some medication to my cycles and some additional tracking to ensure we were catching my surge at the correct times.

His experience, expertise, and kind manner were such a welcome change from our previous doctor, and we felt like this was the place we needed to be. We completed four additional rounds of IUI with Dr. Cardone, none of which were successful.

The nurses in Waltham were extraordinary during my IUIs- so supportive, kind, and upbeat each time I went in for yet another IUI. After completing six IUIs total (and yes, paying for them all out of pocket because we hadn't yet "proved" infertility for insurance purposes), we moved on to IVF.

During our meeting with Dr. Cardone about IVF, he couldn't have been more positive. He was so sure that it would work and that nothing was telling him that we didn't have a great chance of getting pregnant. His line was something like- "you have to play the percentages."

It wasn't necessarily going to happen the first time, but over each round, the odds got better we'd have success. My first round of IVF was in October 2019. We successfully harvested five eggs, and three fertilized them. It was decided to transfer two day five embryos.

We waited (im)patiently for the two-week wait window, and then I went in for my blood test, and… nothing. Another unsuccessful round (in my mind). But, good ol’ Dr. Cardone was the voice of optimism once again. He said, “We now know that we can get your eggs to fertilize. And, we still have one that is frozen that looks ‘beautiful’”.

He suggested trying to do another fresh IVF cycle and, trusting him completely, we went for it! My second round of IVF was in December 2019. We successfully harvested four eggs and two fertilized them. So, once again, we went with transferring two days five embryos.

My transfer was on Christmas Eve. Dr. Kim Thornton was the doctor who did my transfer that day. I remember being SO grateful that Dr. Thornton and her team were working on Christmas Eve, helping us to grow our family potentially. We thanked them all profusely for being there on a day that they easily could have been with their own families. The IVF team is just so wonderful, and I was acutely reminded of this fact during this transfer.

We, once again, waited the two weeks and- AHHH!! PREGNANT! My HCG came back at 50, and I couldn’t believe it. It worked- our very own Christmas Miracle! I just thought that it would be smooth sailing from there on out. I had my positive pregnancy test. It worked! But now, as I quickly found out, we had to make sure it “stuck.”

I returned for my next blood test a few days later and found out that my HCG didn’t multiply the way that they like to see, and I had to come back in a few days for another test. Subsequent blood tests didn’t bring better news, and I was scheduled to go in for an ultrasound to see what was going on. It could have been everything from a miscarriage to an ectopic pregnancy to a very slow developer… only an ultrasound would give us more information. We were nervous and sad going into the ultrasound.

But, my favorite ultrasound tech at Dr. Cardone’s office made our ultrasound (side note- I forget her name, but she is seriously amazing, and if you need her name, I’ll call the office and find it out for you!). She told me that both embryos implanted and were in my uterus, but she couldn’t find a heartbeat in either. I was both shocked and devastated.

Of all the scenarios I had imagined, miscarrying twins was not one of them. I needed a D&C to remove the embryos and ensure that my uterus was clear to try again.

After all of this, Dr. Cardone was, once again, the picture of optimism. “Well, now we know you can get pregnant. We just need a healthy embryo to implant.” He also said that, given my profile, he expected it to take anywhere from 5-7 embryos for it to work, and we had tried 4. We had one frozen embryo left. He strongly urged us to use it for this round. During my third round of IVF, it was different. We used different medications, and it was much less invasive because we didn’t need to stimulate my follicles for an egg retrieval. No shots in the tummy or rear end. It felt like a much more relaxed cycle until...the coronavirus.

On March 13th, our workplace closed, people were being told to stay home, and the world was seemingly shutting down around us. We were worried I wasn’t going to be able to get in for my next transfer, which was due to take place any day. On March 19, 2020, I was lucky enough to get in for my third embryo transfer. We had one frozen embryo left, and it was our last chance before having to start all over again. Dr. Thornton performed this transfer as well, and I felt like it was good luck that we had her again as our doctor for this procedure.

Two weeks after my transfer, I took a blood test, and I literally couldn’t believe my ears when the nurse, Maryanne, called me and told me I was pregnant again! My HCG was much higher than the last time, and it felt like she was just as excited to tell me the news as I was to hear it. By that point, the Stoneham office was closed, and I was going to Waltham for all my follow up blood tests and my ultrasound. I’ll never forget the first time I saw my baby on the ultrasound screen. Her heart beating, her little body developing. It was a miracle. A miracle that Boston IVF helped create.
A miracle my wife and I will always be eternally grateful for.

Throughout our entire fertility journey, we were never a novelty being the same sex couple. Everyone from the phlebotomist Claudine to Colleen in accounting, Dr. Cardone, Dr. Thornton, and all the nurses we met with always treated us with respect. We felt like our fertility struggle was just as valid as anyone else’s, regardless of why we needed reproductive medicine. We would recommend Boston IVF wholeheartedly to anyone looking to grow their family and needing medical intervention, especially those in same-sex couples. It was a safe and supportive experience from start to finish.

Barbara & Moises
DIAGNOSIS: Ectopic pregnancy

For years I was never able to open up about the heartbreaks, loss and struggles we went through. Now, with my heart SO FULL of love and happiness it makes opening up a bit easier. I want to share just a tiny bit of my story to give other women hope and to let them know that they are not alone.

In August of 2015 and in January of 2017 I lost 2 babies due to ectopic pregnancies. Something I never even heard of before in my life. An ectopic pregnancy is when the baby grows outside the uterus. In my case, my first was in my left tube.. Which was "dissolved" by a chemotherapy drug called Methotrexate. My second loss was in my right tube, which they also tried Methotrexate but one day later my tube had ruptured, I was internally bleeding, at risk for my own life and had emergency surgery. Both my baby and my right tube were removed.

Words will never do justice... All I can say is I have never in my life experienced such heartbreak and pain (emotional and physical). Pain inside and out, all over, for what seemed like an eternity. When I finally built up the strength and courage to move forward with our journey, I made my first IVF call in July 2017. From that day forward we started making our most beautiful dream a reality.

We feel so blessed, grateful and fortunate to have our little miracle.
Again, words will never be enough... All I do know is that it CANNOT rain forever. The storm WILL pass and the rainbow will be that much sweeter.

Jullieanne & Seol
DIAGNOSIS: NONE/Elective care

My wife and I knew we wanted to start our family directly after getting married. We wanted a "honeymoon baby" as they say. Being two brides in love, we needed just a touch, of help. We started the process at Boston IVF in the middle of wedding planning. To speak for the Boston IVF process - it was far less time consuming, less stressful, less expensive, and less overwhelming then wedding planning ever was.

We got off the plane from our honeymoon and had our first cycle try shortly after. All of our tests came back normal, but we did find out my uterus is "t-shaped." Our doctor encouraged us to move forward with several rounds, and regroup after a specific number of failed cycles if need be. Our treatment journey included three IUI rounds with donor sperm, including one medicated round. Our success story kicked off with a positive pregnancy test during our 3rd cycle, a few weeks before Christmas. I still have the saved voicemail from our Boston IVF nursing team sharing the good news, that our levels were increasing at a fast and wonderful rate. She outlined next steps and tests. She must make dozens of those calls each day - yet somehow, her voice was so filled with excitement and hope and care for our own journey.

The Boston IVF team made each step of the process clear, answering any nervous belly questions we had, truly making us feel like we were part of a larger family, picture, and plan for creating our own family. And with hopeful breath, our rainbow and glitter family would grow by one 9 months later.

Our journey, was a success story. Boston IVF team & Dr. Pang's entire team, from front desk staff, to scheduling team, to nurses, to social media folks, they were all pieces of the pie that made our Boston IVF story, our success story.

Now we have a bright, caring, fierce two and a half year old, who somehow wakes up each morning, with glitter in her hair. Ready to take on the world.

Sending glitter, love and baby dust for your own journey.

Anthony
DIAGNOSIS: OTHER

Raised by a single mother, I was inspired by her strength and ability to be able to raise six of us on her own. She taught us that it is ok to be single and want to be a parent. That not everyone has to live the perfect fairy tale life. Being a single gay male, I once doubted being a parent. Not because I did not want it but I was not educated at the time on, ways I could make it happen. In my mid-twenties, a friend of mine became a surrogate for a gay couple. Being curious about the process, I asked many questions. She explained the IVF and surrogacy process to me and I immediately knew this was the process I wanted to go through some day. Once I turned thirty, I started researching clinics in my area that I could begin my journey. During this research, I discovered that there was only one IVF clinic in my area but they did not offer me the support I wanted. Due to this reason, I continued my search and found Boston IVF, which is an hour and a half drive from where I am. Still determined to become a father I decided to contact them. I was scheduled for my first appointment and was super excited. During the first appointment, I met Dr. Samuel Pang. He laid out everything for me, answered every question I had and made me feel confident that I could do this. He did not once make me feel judged for wanting a baby and being a single gay male. Shortly after the first appointment, I was connected with Ann Moegle, a nurse coordinator who was the absolute best. Communication with her was always easy, clear and punctual. She reinsured me that I made the right decision with choosing Boston IVF. Luckily, prior to even contacting Boston IVF I was able to find a surrogate. Her name is Cindy, the parent of a former student of mine. Cindy was my biggest supporter throughout this process. Cindy handled everything so well and was just as determined to make this happen as I was. In October 2018, we were ready for the transfer. Sadly, that first transfer was not successful. Discouraged and saddened I decided to take a break. In March of 2020, I was ready to try again. I had the second transfer on April 20, 2019. This time it was successful and I was blessed with my baby girl, Ariella on December 26, 2019. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I was very nervous being a single parent at first but after about the third month I was handling it like a pro. I feel so lucky and blessed to have been able to go through this process. I currently have two embryos frozen and am looking forward to trying again for my second baby soon. None of this would have been possible without the support that Boston IVF offers. They have changed my life and I am forever grateful.

Jessica & David
DIAGNOSIS: OTHER

I first came to see Dr. Sonia Elguero at Boston IVF's IVF fertility center in Albany after my OB/GYN said she was the best! So, l knew I needed to get in for a consult with her before I gave up hope. I thank God everyday for getting me in to see her.

My back story is that at a young age I was diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus, also known as a heart shaped uterus. Because of the shape, it lessens the room a baby has to grow. The dip in the heart is known as a septum. Sometimes it is vascular tissue and sometimes avascular, making it dangerous for the placenta to attach to.

When my husband and I were ready to start a family, I was told I didn’t need to worry about getting pregnant with this type of uterus. After about 6 months of trying, I got pregnant but I sadly had a miscarriage at about 6 weeks.

Although this wasn’t thought to be related to my uterus I still wanted some answers. The fertility doctor I saw (not Boston IVF just yet) did an MRI and said yes, I had a bicornuate uterus and no - it could not be repaired.

I was told to go ahead and try again. We got pregnant pretty quickly but sadly my daughter was born sleeping at 24 weeks due to a placental abruption. This was caused by the placenta attaching to the septum where there wasn’t enough blood flow to survive.

The heartbreak and devastation we endured was indescribable and something we will deal with everyday for the rest of our lives.  It was these high risk doctors that referred me to Dr. Elguero specifically. I was anxious and wanted answers.

From my first visit she was so warm and comforting and brought hope to such a devastating situation. She said there were several other tests we needed to run to determine if in fact my uterus was able to be repaired or not. After several months of testing and 2 surgeries later, Dr. Elguero was able to repair my uterus so that it was safe for me to try and conceive again.

I ended up having what is called a septate uterus (one that could be fixed) - not a bicornuate uterus like I had been told for so long.

The fact that she had such patience and took the time to explore every avenue to try and help me achieve my dream of being a mother is priceless and something I could never repay.

Fast forward to August 20, 2019. I delivered a healthy baby girl!  I thank God everyday for her.  My husband and I are so blessed. This little girl brings so much joy and light into our lives and we love her with all of our hearts.

None of this would be possible without Dr. Elguero and Boston IVF in Albany.

My husband and I are forever grateful.

Alyson
DIAGNOSIS: OTHER

In September 2016 my brother said to me, “What do you want out of life?”
I remember replying so quickly with, “I want a baby!”
The next day we talked to my mom and the journey to become a single mom by choice began!

I had my first IUI in December 2016. Which unfortunately resulted in a chemical pregnancy.

My 4th IUI was medicated in March of 2017 and I found out I was pregnant with twins! It ended up being a super rare heterotopic pregnancy. A baby in the tube and one in the uterus.

I went through a D & E and 2 methotrexate injections. Plus consistent monitoring of my HGC until my levels went to zero. I also had to take a 3 month hiatus because of the injections. I was beyond devasted, but my family and the nurses at Boston IVF made me feel like I could absolutely go on. The support they gave me was beyond anything I’ve ever seen. I was so lucky to have them!

After that, I had 3 failed IUI’s until moving forward with IVF.

My second and final round of IVF had 3 embryos make it to blastocysts and we were able to get them genetically tested. I ended up with one normal embryo which was a healthy baby girl!! In May 2, 2018 my daughter was transferred and the pregnancy journey began!

I enjoyed every single second of my pregnancy!! I absolutely loved it. My support system was amazing! Then after 2 years and 29 days of fertility treatments- on January 15, 2019, I had my beautiful daughter!

My life is now complete!!

Although, the journey alone to become a single mom by choice wasn’t always easy, I had the best support system anyone could ask for!

Audrey & Stacia
DIAGNOSIS: Unexplained infertility

My name is Audrey and my wife’s name is Stacia - we’ve been together for 10 years married for three. We had always discussed how we would love to be parents but thought it was such an expensive, out-of-reach dream for us. I also had an unexplained infertility diagnosis that followed me from a previous relationship where we had tried to conceive for three years. I recently started a new career at New Balance manufacturing and the winter of 2019. During my orientation when my HR manager was discussing the health benefits infertility coverage was brought up. This surely caught my attention and I questioned her about the coverage. She didn’t have all the details but could tell me just enough to give us some hope. From that moment on we set our eyes forward that we were going to do this, that we were going to try to have a child. The first thing that I had to do was get my body healthy, I had a very high BMI, so I needed to get that right first. I joined a gym and started eating healthier, I focused all my energy on that for about a year. I lost about 30 pounds which got me to a lower BMI that would make for a more successful chance of conceiving! I also joined a TTC support group for the LGBTQ community, reached out to a lesbian couple that conceived via IUI at my company. I also contacted several people who left reviews on the Boston IVF’s website. I was taking in as much information as I could about our upcoming journey. Our trying to conceive journey was put on hold for a short time while we bought our house. After we were all settled we finally did it, we made the call to Boston IVF the Portland center, and set up our first consultation. We went for our first consultation in January 2020, and we saw Dr. Ben Lannon. He was so comforting and reassuring to speak with. We found out my insurance would cover IUI 100% We set up an unmedicated and unmonitored cycle for our first round. I was so nervous but he reassured us we needed to start somewhere. I contacted my local OB and set up baseline cycle bloodwork and an HSG scan before we started our first cycle. We skipped my February cycle due to us not feeling quite ready then we started cycle day one in March. We chose our anonymous no option ID donor sperm From New England cryo-genic and had it sent to Boston IVF. They gave us free storage for 90 days. I had gotten my positive ovulation test on a weekend after work hours. I was nervous that we wouldn’t be able to try this cycle, but I reached out to Boston IVF and they got me right and the next morning. We had our first intrauterine insemination on March 19 of 2020. Two days prior to this my work had furloughed me and the country went into quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our emotions were all over the place trying to be so excited for our first chance at having a child but also so scared and nervous at the same time to see what was happening to the world. Two weeks later I took a pregnancy test and to our disbelief it was positive! We were ecstatic and overjoyed but trying not to celebrate too soon. We called Boston IVF to let them know of our positive pregnancy test and set up our first ultrasound. Our first ultrasound was on April 12, 2020. I had to go in alone, masked, and afraid of what would or wouldn’t be. Boston IVF was gracious enough to let us live video chat during this ultrasound where we saw one perfectly healthy little heartbeat at 171bpm. From this moment forward I had a very healthy pregnancy and birth. It was nerve-racking for a while going into appointments alone and not having my wife there experiencing many first moments of our daughter’s life. Pregnancy during a pandemic was hard and lonely but I was so fortunate that I was able to have my wife there during the birth. Our baby girl Andersyn Rae Evangeline was born December 9th, 2020 at 10:48 pm 6lbs2oz 20 inches long. Healthy as can be and 1 day before her due date. I am so grateful for the entire Boston IVF team because without them we wouldn’t have our little girl!

Roxanne & Wayne
DIAGNOSIS: OTHER

We got married in June 2017; by May of 2018, we chose to have a baby; knowing that we needed the help of a fertility specialist, we got on Google and were met with two options. I chose Boston IVF in Albany and made the call to set up our first appointment.

After a lot of blood work, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic testings, the results came back that my thyroid would be an issue. It took almost a year to get the meds appropriately adjusted to start looking at treatments for Amenorrhea. At that time, I choose to change employment for which changed my health insurance. We went from no coverage to IUI being covered after three failed rounds of Clomid cycles. After more testing, we started Clomid and all the monitoring that went along with it. Blood draws and ultrasounds every few days. Unfortunately, the Clomid did not work, no matter the dose. We ordered our meds and started our first IUI at the beginning of Covid!

My body was not responding to the meds, so they were upped; more monitoring decided to up the meds again; that was it - my body started working, thinking everything was going well! We went in for another round of blood draws and ultrasound, thinking maybe we would be able to do our trigger shot and hope the IUI would be successful! But then - my body had over responded, and instead of 1 or 2 I follicles, I had 8+! I then had to choose to switch from IUI to IVF. Two days later, we went in for our egg retrieval. Like most couples doing treatment during covid, I was alone when I went in. My husband always came along and sat in the car, no matter the reason for my trip to the office. My retrieval went very well!

I had 18 embryos, that number drops to 9 three days later, and then by day six, when we went for our transfer, we have two embryos. We did one transfer and chose to freeze the second one. After ten days, we found out Our first transfer was successful; 2 days later, our second beta showed my HCG was rising as it should, and at six weeks, we suffered a miscarriage in June. By August, we did a FET with our last Embryo, we prayed n waited. The first beta came back good, the second beta raised as it should then we waited for our 6-week ultrasound. I had some spotting the day before and was mentally prepared for the same outcome as last. We went back had blood work and an ultrasound; the tech did measurements then showed me my baby and her little heartbeat. The tears that flowed so freely down my face were the happiest of tears I’ve ever shed! The rest of the pregnancy went very well; delivery was not what I expected, but we had a baby girl on May 3, 2021, at 9:41 pm, weighing in at 6lb 7oz 20.5 inches long. After a week in the NICU, we headed home with a healthy, happy Baby girl Mary-Elizabeth Jane. We are so in LOVE!

Nicole & Eric
DIAGNOSIS: Advanced age, Recurrent miscarriage, Fibroids, OTHER

Our Rainbow Baby

I started my journey through infertility long before I met my husband. When I was 24 years old, I became pregnant which resulted in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I was devastated. I was told by doctors, family, and friends it would happen again faster than you think. While my friends and family became pregnant around me, I didn't.

My husband and I got together in 2018, we decided to wait until after we got married to start trying to have a child. I knew it wouldn’t happen on our own, so our first appointment at another fertility clinic was two weeks after we got married. At this point, I was 37 and knew my chances were decreasing with each passing year. It was then I found out I had PCOS. We did one round of mini IVF which resulted in 5 eggs retrieved, 4 fertilized, and all made it to day 3. We decided to transfer our two best-looking embryos, and this failed. A friend of mine was also going through IVF and suggested Lovenox. The second transfer with my two last embryos using Lovenox was a success, but my HCG levels never went beyond 14. I spoke to the nurse about the possibilities and her response was, “we don’t know”. No, follow-up appointment was made, no additional testing. They just wanted to jump back in the saddle and start pumping me up with hormones again. This was unacceptable. I felt like just a number.

In late 2019, I decided we were switching clinics, and I’m so glad we did. One of the first steps is testing, all sorts of testing, and this is when I found out I had a blood clotting disorder called an antiphospholipid syndrome, and therefore why Lovenox made a difference with the second transfer. We decided to go full IVF this time, this resulted in 26 eggs retrieved, 23 matured, 21 fertilized with natural fertilization, 7 embryos made it to day 5, and 3 tested PGT-A normal. 4AA girl and boy, 4BB boy. We decided to transfer our girl first, 5 days later I found out I was pregnant and later confirmed by the clinic.

A few weeks into the pregnancy, I started to bleed heavily. I feared I lost her, I was then diagnosed with subchorionic hematoma and monitored for a bit. Every ultrasound I feared I wouldn’t see her little heart beating. I didn’t start to relax through the pregnancy until we made it halfway. At 30 weeks, Sam was breech and never flipped back, my c-section was scheduled for May 7th. Well, Sam had other plans, at 4:45 am on April 27th, I woke up feeling weird and felt a pop. My water broke. My little fighter was born later that morning at 9:24 am.

I remember thinking how I’ll never experience the surprise of becoming pregnant again, well Sam made sure her birth date was a surprise. Funny thing, my birthday also lands on the 27th and so does my sisters.

Davina & Barry
DIAGNOSIS: Endometriosis, Recurrent miscarriage, Male factor

Our story is long and heartbreaking, like anyone else going through infertility (no matter how long the journey).

We experienced multiple miscarriages, lacked insurance benefits for fertility diagnostics and treatment, struggled with family/friend/social relationships, and lost ourselves along the way.

We sought intervention from everything we could afford: counseling, less technical fertility treatments, surgeries, and avoided anything perceived to be a threat to fertility. Still, we were unsuccessful.

Finally, we moved to MA and found a way to afford the care we needed to overcome our infertility. We found Dr. Brian Berger at Boston IVF and our lives changed for the better (their names are Bella and Brennan).

After our journey ended, I committed myself to helping others access timely and appropriate care for their infertility. I lobbied for infertility legislation in New England and Nationally. I've helped change policy related to infertility benefits by working with legislators, employers and insurers. Seeing how one voice could make all the difference, I developed a nonprofit, Fertility Within Reach, which educates and provides tools to help people effectively advocate for fertility health benefits. The past years of pain, found it's purpose in the ability to help others.

Our success story, like anyone's story, has a ripple effect. Boston IVF and Dr. Berger, didn't just help develop a family, but a tireless advocate.

Kristen & Nathan
DIAGNOSIS: Male factor

I will never forget the day my husband got the results of his semen anaysis.

He texted me while at work saying we needed to talk later.

Being as anxious as I am, told him that he couldn’t do that to me. I needed to know right then and there what was going on. Then the text came through.

“It’s me. I’m the problem. There was nothing. Zero sperm.” I audibly gasped at lunch with my colleagues. I waited until I was alone to let the tears flow by myself at my desk.

Even with this diagnosis, I knew we were meant to be parents. I immediately
got in problem solving mode. I wanted more answers and a plan.

That's when I called Dr. Kristen Wright’s office.

I got an appointment the next week and we were off on our journey! Another more thorough semen analysis revealed a small amount of sperm. Three thousand to be exact.

That was the most wonderful news I had ever heard.

Dr. Wright suggested my husband freeze several samples, have several tests to see if she could determine the cause and start me on the process toward an IVF cycle with ICSI. A biological child for us was still possible! After we both went through many tests it was determined that my husband had a y-chromosome Microdeletion that caused his sperm count to be very low and even non-existent at times.

But there was hope.

I started my cycle the middle of May, 2017. I went in for my retrieval as my husband gave his fresh sample. We retrieved 15 eggs (not bad for a 34 year old), but Nathan’s sample was without sperm.

After thawing the two vials of frozen sperm and a 6 hour search for sperm by the amazing Boston IVF embryologists, they found enough to fertilize 11 of them. 3 of which were successful.

We scheduled a day 3 transfer of the two best quality embryos and prayed that the third embryo made it to blastocyst-level so that it could be frozen.

7 days later, on a Thursday, I saw the most amazing (and faint) second pink line on a pregnancy test. I was in shock and so thrilled! That Sunday I started spotting - and even though the following day my hcg levels were good I knew something was wrong. My hcg levels were over 100 on Monday and down to 10 by Wednesday.

I was no longer pregnant. Two weeks later I got the email from the embryology team that our last embryo had made it to a AA quality blastocyst and was frozen. On September 15th my husband went in for a testicular extraction procedure to see if we could get more sperm. The doctor searched for two hours and found nothing.

We were putting all of our hope for a biological family on the one last embryo we had frozen. Four days later, I went in for my frozen transfer.

I was hold the embryo thawed beautifully and my transfer was perfect!

On May 19th, exactly 8 months later TO THE DAY, I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy!

We are so grateful to everyone at Boston IVF for making our dream of a family come true!

Bryony & Ryan
DIAGNOSIS: Endometriosis, Unexplained infertility

Ryan and I got married in 2011. Ryan had a wonderful son from a previous relationship who was five at the time.

We wanted to wait to have a baby until our new family was more stable and finances were better.

I had always had cramping and irregular, heavy periods so went to my OB/GYN for answers about that. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2009 and had surgery to get some of it removed.

This stuck in the back of my mind after my marriage but I figured I was still young (26) so there wasn't much to worry about.

In 2013, we decided to officially start trying to get pregnant. We didn't do anything special, just waited to see.

My periods were irregular, though, so I went through literally hundreds of pregnancy tests, and never saw that double blue line. My OB/GYN prescribed Clomid for 3 months in June of 2013 (because of my history with endo). I never ovulated.

In January, 2014 my OB/GYN referred me to Dr. Alison Zimon.

The first appointment, I met her nurse, Karen - and burst into tears. It was really hard to think I couldn't get pregnant on my own. I felt terrible. Like I wasn't a woman.

I was embarrassed and I felt awful for my husband, who had had a child so easily before he was married to me. Karen gave me Kleenex and a hug and told me it would be OK. She really put me at ease.

Dr. Zimon was the same way. She was wonderful. She agreed to skip IUD's since I had had trouble ovulating with Clomid and we went right to IVF.

It took me 6 months to get my baseline blood work because my hormones were so out of control and my cycles were so irregular.

I finally got my baseline blood work completed and we started prepping for our fresh cycle. I was so excited and optimistic.

In October, 2014 I started injections. I was terrified to give myself a shot, but let me tell you, I got over that quickly. My ovaries were so bloated and I felt like a beached whale but I kept the optimism going, knowing that this was my only chance for a baby.

In late October, I had my retrieval and the doctor managed to get 5 good embryos. Three days later, I went for implantation. Then....the two week wait.

It was terrible. I swore I wouldn't get a home pregnancy test and I didn't. The day came for my blood work and Karen called with my results.

Anything over 25 was pregnant. I was 29. I was pregnant. But, Karen warned me, my numbers were low. I'd have to get re-tested in two days. The next check, my numbers were still low but had risen enough that it seemed to be a good sign. I told everyone. I told my parents, my siblings, coworkers, friends etc. I was ecstatic.

Two weeks later, I was feeling off. It was a Sunday and my husband was bringing my stepson home. I went to the bathroom and saw blood in my underwear. I immediately called Karen who told me to go get blood the next morning.

I remember my husband was home from work with me when we got the call. My HCG levels weren't high enough. It was not a viable pregnancy. I was devastated.

All of my hard work and sticking myself with needles and bloating was for nothing. I felt as though a piece of me had died. Even sitting here writing this, I still get sad for that loss.

I told my husband that day that I was done. I wasn't doing it again.

Two weeks later we went to see Dr. Zimon. Of course, I cried as we discussed my miscarriage. She urged me to try again using one of the frozen embryos we had. I agreed that I would try one more time, but that was it.

On January 19, 2015 we went for a frozen embryo implant. The prep was so easy! No shots, no bloating. It was a breeze. Then another two week wait.

On the day of my blood test we got hit with 3 feet of snow. The labs, naturally, were closed. I had one home pregnancy test left, so i figured "what the heck." I waited my five minutes, looked down and burst into tears. There they were. Two, bold blue lines. I was pregnant.

When I finally got my blood work done, my HCG levels were so high, we thought it could be twins (one embryo split after implantation). 41 weeks later, and I gave birth to the most amazing baby, Quinten.

My husband and I joke that he's so advanced (in many ways) because he was frozen for 3 months.

Julie & Eric
DIAGNOSIS: Unexplained infertility

After 3.5 years of trying to conceive, I scheduled a doctor appointment to see why my husband and I were not getting pregnant. We first went to my OBGYN who performed different tests on both myself and my husband. Both of our tests came back normal, so the doctor recommended proceeding with an IUI. We scheduled this procedure and continued to do so three times without any success. After the third failed IUI, our doctor referred us to a fertility clinic. Of course, not knowing anything about fertility challenges and IVF, I started to do some research on my own as I patiently awaited our first appointment. We met with the doctor who explained the process.

A few weeks later, I found myself standing in our kitchen every morning before work, icing and numbing my stomach, combining vials and poking myself with a needle. I remember driving to work and thinking to myself, what is going on? What am I doing? Why am I doing this? All I could think about is the end of the day, going home and having to do it all over again… like clockwork! I pulled out the meds from my new designated drawer in the fridge, take an ice pack out from the freezer, mix the vials and pull the syringe. For about 10 days, this was my morning and night routine. It was all I could think about (besides from the morning blood withdrawals, which occurred every morning at 6:30am on my way to work). Then came the phone call the day before the retrieval… the HCG "DA-DUM" shot! In the beginning we weren’t sure of what to expect during the egg retrieval, but we learned quickly by round 3! My husband travels for work so if he happened to be away, there were times he booked a last minute flight or drove hours to be home for the retrieval. This continued for 5 rounds.

At one point my doctor (at the time) even told us while sitting across from him at his desk, the words no women ever wants to hear, "you may want to consider an egg donor", since we have had five unsuccessful cycles. We sat in his office discussing what this would entail, the financial details, the process, etc. The emotions that I encountered at that moment, I cannot put into words. HEARTBROKEN does not even come close! As a woman who has always loved children and could not imagine my life without them, I was destroyed by this suggestion. I don’t think there is anything wrong with an egg donor. It was just a shock that I wasn’t able to create MY OWN. Not to mention the financial burden and stress of going down that path. I went home and buried myself in my bed for two days. I wasn’t able to speak to family members, so my husband called them to update them of this new development.

After taking a break from IVF, I was told about Dr. Cardone, a "miracle" doctor! Well, his office location was bit of a stretch from my home and office, but I made him and his visits my priority in life! And if no one was STILL providing me a scientific reason after test, after test, as to why I wasn’t conceiving, well, I WASN'T giving up!! Dr. Cardone did a test on my ovaries which wasn’t performed in the past, and luckily it came back fine. We started a cycle which caused me to have over-hyper stimulation of the ovaries so I couldn’t do the egg retrieval. We then waited and did cycle #7, and IT WORKED!!!! As you can imagine, we were ecstatic! We held our breath for the next 13 weeks and cried tears of joy every day. Fast forward 36 weeks where baby Logan decided to arrive 4 weeks early! We spent Christmas morning 2014 at Newton Wellesley hospital and Logan arrived on December 26. He spent three weeks in the special care nursery where he was given the absolute BEST care in the world. I was there every day from 6:00 am until 11:00 pm just cuddling, loving and feeding my boy!

I praise Dr. Cardone and all of the nurses at Boston IVF and Newton Wellesley Hospital!
Today, we are thankful and blessed to have a very spunky, healthy, beyond happy almost three year-old boy!

Kayla & Zach
DIAGNOSIS: Endometriosis

Right after my husband and I got married in 2012, we decided we wanted to start a family. But, after what seemed like forever of trying on our own with home ovulation tests, it soon hit us that we were getting nowhere.

We began our infertility journey with Coastal Women's Healthcare in Scarborough with Dr. Dawson. She ran the routine blood tests and ultrasound to check my ovaries, and we even participated in an HSG test, to check on my Fallopian tubes.

To our surprise, all of my tests were normal. Although this was good news, it was frustrating not having any answers, and trying to fix something when we didn't even know what was broken was like working in the dark.

Thankfully, Dr. Dawson was open and willing to let us try a few different methods anyway. We did a couple rounds of Clomid and then Femara to jump start my ovaries, and we even combined these medications with a few IUI procedures. I don't even remember how many of those that we did, but it felt like a lot! Sadly, we continued to come up empty-handed.

It wasn't until many, many months later, when I convinced Dr. Dawson to give me a laparoscopy. It was my last hope at figuring out what was wrong, when we discovered I have endometriosis on both ovaries and also my uterus. She was able to remove what I had during my surgery, and we were encouraged to continue trying to conceive after, but once again, it didn't seem to be working.

Finally, I was referred to Boston IVF.

At this point, I had been so frustrated from my body "failing" me time and time again, that I had worked my way up to 260 pounds by the time I met with Dr. Lannon at the South Portland fertility clinic.

Upon meeting him, he was very welcoming and informative, despite my obvious weight issues.

After our initial meeting with Dr. Lannon, it was basically "crunch time" for my husband and I. Because IVF isn't cheap, we began the saving process. While my husband worked overtime and I picked up another part time job on the side, I also began to work on myself to increase our chances of IVF working.

The following year, 2014, when Zach and I had finally saved up enough money to go ahead with the procedure, I had lost 130 pounds (all through exercise and clean eating).

I was determined and we were ready!

And so began our IVF journey. We started off by doing three rounds of the "mini IVF," but after finding that my ovaries were not responding at all, Dr. Lannon suggested that we try the full IVF instead.

In December of 2014, I participated in my first full round of IVF. Thankfully, my body responded better than it had with the previous, weaker, medications. 17 eggs were retrieved during my cycle, and although only 2 survived, we transferred one and froze the remainder.

I got extremely lucky because our first cycle of IVF stuck, and it was December 26th of that year, via blood test, that Zach and I found out we were expecting our first child.

To this day, it still blows my mind that this actually happened.

Because Dr. Lannon did not give up on me, because he was willing and open to my suggestions, I am now a mother. I cannot thank the staff at Boston IVF enough for that gift, and I am forever grateful to them.

Stephanie & Neil
DIAGNOSIS: Male factor

Neil and I were just like many other couples, happily married and ready to start a family. After months of actively trying with no success we decided to get further testing.

We never anticipated the long, hard, emotional road that was ahead of us. After months of tests on myself and husband it was discovered that Neil had congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens but plenty of healthy sperm internally. This occurs in males when the tubes that carry sperm fail to develop properly.

He had major surgery to try to correct the problem. We were told we may or may not be able to conceive naturally after surgery and that it was best to start the IVF process.

We were referred to Boston IVF by a lovely couple who had gone through the process and had twins. We teamed up with Dr. Bayer and started our IVF journey. After our first meeting with him, we knew we were going to become parents. He was very reassuring and always had a positive attitude.

Our first 2 transfers were unsuccessful, and in the moments of hearing this news it was very painful, but we pushed through the pain and emotions and kept trying. Our third transfer was a frozen transfer with 2 embryos.

This time we were pregnant! We welcomed our beautiful daughter May 23, 2014.

Nine months later, to our surprise we found out were were pregnant again. My husbands surgery had worked after all and we welcomed our son October 5, 2015.

Two beautiful babies born under 2 years apart, never would I have imagined this would be our story.

We could not have done it without the help of Dr. Bayer and the wonderful staff at Boston IVF. We will be forever grateful for our most precious gifts. ❤

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