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.
Boston IVF was our second clinic. The first one we went to refused to do anything unless I lost 60 pounds.
I lost 30 on my own and they still wouldn't do anything and charged us for every procedure, even a 10 minute phone call. We decided to leave after 2 years.
When we met Dr. Lannon we felt like he really listened to us. We tried the first cycle in July 2014. Due to complications we retrieved 7 eggs, 4 fertilized and 2 made it to day 5. My hormones were incredibly high though and for safety, we decided to freeze the 2 embryos we had left. We did a frozen transfer in October, 2014 (it took until then for my body to go back to normal) but unfortunately it didn't work. That was one of the hardest days we'd been through. We waited until June 2015 and tried another frozen transfer with our last embryo. Much to our surprise and excitement, it worked and we're blessed with our beautiful baby girl on March 23.
We now have an 8 year old daughter who has been the light of our lives.
At the time, I didn't know anyone going through the fertility treatment process and have since been very vocal about that and available to anyone who wants to talk about it.
I think about Boston IVF all the time and am so grateful for the gift they gave me. The staff was awesome, very friendly, patient, informative.
It was a true miracle for us!!
Our story to and through the IVF process is a little more uncommon than most.
My husband and I found out after getting married in November, 2013 that he and I were both carriers of the Cystic Fibrosis gene mutation DF508. This is both the most common as well as most severe CF gene mutation. This meant if we tried and conceived naturally, we had a 1 in 4 chance that our child would have Cystic Fibrosis of the most severe type. I grew up knowing that both of my maternal aunts died from CF and that it is a disease that tore my family apart.
After consulting with my OB, she recommended IVF with PGD to help us achieve a healthy pregnancy with the ultimate goal of a child that would have a greatly reduced chance of not having Cystic Fibrosis. I, at the time, had no idea such an option was even available.
My husband and I ultimately decided that the most incredible gift that we could ever gift our child with, would be the gift of a healthy life, free from CF. Through our faith, God and our incredible team at Boston IVF, we achieved just that and welcomed our healthy, Cystic Fibrosis free daughter, Addison Grace September 6, 2015.
Like many other couples, we felt that when we were ready to start our family, it would just happen.
We never anticipated the stress and heartache that would plague us as we tried to become parents. After trying on our own for about a year without success, we sought the help of Dr. Brian Berger.
He was recommended to us through several other couples and friends. He and his staff always treated us with kindness and professionalism. We went through a total of six cycles--three IUI's and three cycles of IVF.
We were beginning to get extremely discouraged, but each time, Dr. Berger would tweak our protocol and keep doing everything possible for us to have a successful outcome.
On our third cycle of IVF, we were lucky enough to discover we were having twins!! On November 27, 2011, our boys, Jack and Liam were born and we were overjoyed to become their parents!!
And then, just before Jack and Liam turned one, we were thrilled to discover that I was pregnant naturally - with twin GIRLS!!! On June 5, 2013, we were blessed with two more beautiful babies - Lillian and Mallory!
Though the journey was difficult at times, it was worth every minute and we are so grateful for our beautiful family!
The result of our first frozen embryo transfer is our beautiful 20 month old daughter, Leonora!
And I am currently 35 weeks pregnant after our second frozen embryo transfer. We feel very fortunate to have had such great success with IVF and frozen embryo transfers.
My husband and I had been actively trying without success.
We visited my OB/GYN and after a few tests found out that my tubes were not viable for some reason. It was unknown how or why this had happened.
I was referred to Dr. Kim Thornton and following successful treatment, we had our first son a little over 2.5 yrs ago.
We had 4 frozen embryos so we tried for our second child. As I mentioned, we experienced 3 unsuccessful cycles before we got lucky on cycle #4.
All my life I knew I wanted to be a mommy. When I met my husband, who had the same dream to have a family, I never would have guessed this would be our journey.
There were many tears and a few laughs (especially for my husbands tests) but through it all I was so grateful for the Boston IVF doctors and nurses because I was not just a patient but a person with a dream.
My infertility journey is an enormous part of my life and even now I wonder what it would be like just to "get" pregnant without assistance!
I hear of people planning exactly when they are going to have their children and I sit makes me think about my own experiences, Sometimes it happens for them and and other times, when months pass, nothing happens. You truly never can predict anything.
My husband, the people of Boston IVF, and most importantly my faith got me through those very dark days.
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.
My husband and I tried for almost 2 years without ever getting pregnant. We contacted Boston IVF after a friend had success with them.
We met with Dr. Lannon, who developed a plan. We were self pay and didn't have to follow an insurance company's plan. We tried two cycles of IUI which resulted in no pregnancies.
Both of us were heartbroken. We had no real infertility diagnosis and no results.
We decided to take some time focus on something else (we bought & remodeled a house) - and then in June, 2012 we met with Dr. Lannon.
We decided to pursue the mini IVF embryo transfer. We transferred two embryos. One was a grade 5 one a grade 8.
I also used fertility acupuncture for the 6 weeks before, many times the week of my retrieval & transfer - and a few times a week over the following 2 weeks.
Both embryos "took" and we had a set a fraternal twins at 34 weeks.
Maxwell & Zoey! They are healthy, energetic 3 year old's now! I can't say enough positive about the Portland, Maine crew!!
After 2+ years for trying on our own and then after being turned away by a different fertility clinic, we found Dr Bayer. The road was long.
There was often no reason that our embryos didn't implant, but with support at Boston IVF and 7 cycles, we we finally blessed with healthy, beautiful twins!
On October 28, 2008 all of our hopes and dreams came true!
Being parents has changed our lives and we know everyday how lucky we are to have our kids and to have found Dr. Bayer and Boston IVF.
We were blessed with twin boys - now 4.5 years old! Even 4 years later, I still find myself in disbelief that I am lucky enough to have these wonderful children.
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.
After years of trying and fertility treatment we finally became pregnant with our oldest son.
A year after his birth we went back into treatment and I became pregnant with twins in our first round of IVF!
My oldest is 6 and the twins are 5!
Worth the journey!
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. ❤
I always knew it would be very difficult to get pregnant, so I met with Dr. Zimon before my husband and I wanted to start trying to get a baseline and discuss what treatment would look like.
A few months later we started our journey. This took many months, many cycles where we monitored, took blood and tried to get everything to align correctly. Our last cycle before moving on to IVF was in November of 2015.
We did it just to get to the next step and try once again. I decided not to monitor and just try to time things right since I had had so many monitored cycles previously.
I went in to get blood work the Monday after Thanksgiving, with the thought that it would once again be negative and just a necessary test that would confirm this.
To my surprise it was positive! I immediately called my mother to tell her, crying and in disbelief. I told my husband that night and the long journey of pregnancy began!
It was not an easy pregnancy, but everything progressed very well and very healthy. We chose not to learn the gender of the baby until birth.
On August 15th I delivered a healthy baby boy weighing in at 8.2lbs and 19 inches long. We named him Archer and he is coming up on 2 months old now and is such an amazing baby!
We were married 13 years and tried for 13 years to have our son.
We started in 1995. We did two IVF cycles in 2008 and our son was born December, 2008!
Lots of injections with timed cycles IUI's and time where we needed to take a break.
Our son has brought us so much joy to us!
Our infertility journey started in 2010.
For our first child we did four rounds of Clomid (with a chemical pregnancy) and finally one successful IUI.
For our second child we did six rounds of IUI, two months of not responding to medications, one month of birth control pills, one fresh embryo transfer with a chemical pregnancy, and finally the frozen embryo transfer that worked.
For the third baby, my frozen embryo transfer worked on the first attempt.
We tried to conceive on our own for about a year and half.
We decided to contact Boston IVF to see what was going on. We had a diagnosis of unexplained infertility and decided to go with IVF.
We started our journey in November, 2015 and had a successful first transfer in December, 2015.
In 2016, our daughter, Maeve Lynne was born, 6lbs 4oz.
I am so very grateful to everyone at Boston IVF.
We look forward to speaking with you, and will be in touch as soon as possible!