Prior to becoming parents to two amazing little humans, my wife and I were the quintessential dog-parent people. About a year before we embarked on our journey with Boston IVF, we had officially made the decision that we wanted to add children to our mix, but we weren’t sure which route we were going to take. After a lot of research into adoption vs IUI, and a conversation with my wife’s endocrinologist about Type 1 Diabetes and pregnancy, we made the decision that we would attempt having our own, and that I would be the one to carry.
In November of 2019, we found our sperm donor through Seattle Sperm Bank. Initially we were going to attempt the process on our own at home, but after a little more research and a lot of questions, we scheduled an intake appointment with Boston IVF at the Syracuse center.
From day one the staff were absolutely incredible. Anna at the front desk immediately made us feel welcome and it meant so much that every time we called, as soon as she answered the phone, it was like connecting with an old friend. Abby was wonderfully attentive and answered all of our financial questions and helped walk us through the crazy bureaucracy of insurance.
While we had initially started with another doctor, the world shut down in March of 2020, just as we were having all of our initial lab work and imaging done to complete our first IUI. Boston IVF stayed in touch though and continued to update us with regards to when we might be able to begin.
In April of 2020 we got a call from Dr. Bove who had taken over our case. She had gone through my lab work and discovered that based upon my AMH and FSH levels, I was presenting with Diminished Ovarian Reserve. She explained everything with an incredible balance of deep knowledge and understanding and compassion, and it was determined that IVF would be a more productive course of action.
Boston IVF was incredibly thorough with giving us all of the information that IVF entailed. From learning modules that explained what was happening and how it was happening, to phone calls and emails with the nurses, we always felt like our questions were addressed. And throughout the stim process, the ultrasound technicians, phlebotomists, and nurses were warm, engaging, comforting, respectful, and friendly.
On the day of the egg retrieval, because of COVID restrictions, my wife was not allowed to go into the building with me. After the procedure, Dr. Bove made it a point to go out to the parking lot to introduce herself to my wife and let her know how the whole process had gone. We were all a little amazed that despite the DOR diagnosis, they had retrieved 8 eggs, 7 of which were mature. Of those 7, all 7 fertilized and 3 embryos made it to day 5 and were frozen.
On the day of our transfer, Dr. Penzias flew in. Despite that being the first time meeting him, he was efficient but warm.
After the dreaded two week wait, we were informed our transfer was successful and our beta numbers had more than doubled. Around the five and a half week mark however, I began to experience a fair amount of bleeding and we prepared ourselves for the worst. I called BIVF and they told me to come in right away. As soon as I walked into the clinic, Maureen- one of the ultrasound technicians was waiting for me. She immediately just gave me a hug and walked me back to the ultrasound room. She also told me to call my wife and have her come in from the parking lot, just in case. As we waited to hear what we had been dreading, Maureen found a heartbeat. She called in Molly, our PA who confirmed everything was alright. Molly and Maureen demonstrated an extraordinary amount of care, empathy, and sensitivity in what was an extremely harrowing and vulnerable moment. Ultimately, we were a little heartbroken when we were discharged into the care of my regular obgyn because BIVF had truly come to feel like a family. And thanks to the expertise and astounding work of the team, our beautiful daughter was born at the end of April 2021.
Knowing we had two embryos left, we decided to take a shot in the dark and see if we could replicate our success. Our amazing son was born at the beginning of November 2022.
How did your boston ivf physician and nursing team help to make your journey a success?
Dr. Erica Bove, Molly Greco, Maureen, Gretchen, Abby, Anna, and our amazing nurses were all beyond wonderful.
What were some highs or lows of your treatment(s)? What is unique/different about your story?
Our ultimate “high” was working with the amazing BIVF team in Syracuse. My low would be 10+ weeks of shots, but if you asked my wife she would say that because we had undergone IVF throughout the pandemic, she wasn’t able to be physically present in many of the appointments.
What advice do you have for other struggling with infertility?
Assisted reproduction in any form can at times feel like an incredibly intrusive and grueling process. It highlights just how much is out of your control and lends itself to the ultimate “hurry up and wait” experience. It’s so important to ground yourself in what you know to be true, surround yourself with a support system and allow yourself the time and space to grieve the letting go of a different reality if AR isn’t what you expected to endure. However, it is also the only opportunity to actually be fully aware and present of the moment of conception and the literal spark that ends up creating life.
Our kids’ “first pictures” are the embryo pictures provided on transfer day, and we have the privilege to be able to say that we know our daughter entered like a firework, whereas our son’s cellular debut was much more passive. Those personalities have remained consistent.