When we first got pregnant with our second child, we were full of hope. When we miscarried, we fought to maintain it. We were hopeful through an ectopic pregnancy, 4 miscarriages, multiple egg retrievals, failed transfers, countless waiting rooms and sleepless nights, and needles, needles, needles. We held tight to hope for our first child, for each other. For the son who tried so hard and said goodbye before we could say hello. We nurtured hope through four years of infertility, stoked it through five rounds of IVF, cried, and laughed and prayed to keep it alive in our hearts. It tested our courage more than we could’ve ever imagined. And finally, the impossible became possible. Our miracle baby, Margot Hope, came into this world happy and as healthy as can be. After all, hope prevails.
How did your boston ivf physician and nursing team help to make your journey a success?
We had been with another clinic for 3 and 1/2 years before coming to Boston IVF. What I truly appreciated in Dr. Berger, and what I think sets Boston IVF apart, was his individualized approach to treatment. We came to Dr. Berger with quite the history of treatment and I was surprised and equally impressed that at our first meeting he had throughly reviewed every detail of our previous cycles and proposed a game plan to change our protocol in hope of getting better quality embryos (which we did). Dr. Berger personally reviews all of his patients daily blood draws/ultrasounds himself and makes every call in terms of medications during the IVF process. I found this to be unique in my experience, and I truly believe it contributed to our ultimate success.
Did anyone/anything else help you through your infertility journey?
I couldn't have gotten through this process without two crucial elements. The first is the community of women I found on an app called Kindara. Kindara can be used to track your cycles when you're trying to conceive. To be honest, at first I didn't think I'd ever use the community aspect. Share intimate details about my menstrual cycle and uterine lining? No way! However, one day I took to the community forum to ask a question and next thing I know it, I developed a bond with a group of amazing 5 women - all at different stages of trying to grow their families. These women understood me like none of my other friends could who hadn't experienced infertility. We all became cheerleaders for each other as we went through our unique journeys - through miscarriage, IVF, adoption and pregnancy. I formed bonds with these women that will last a lifetime. The other person who truly got me through this journey was my husband, Brian. I don't know how he did it, but despite his own pain through this process, he picked up the pieces when the lows of our journey broke me down. He remained positive and reminded me all of the time how good we had it despite all of this because we had each other.
What were some highs or lows of your treatment(s)? What is unique/different about your story?
The lowest point in our journey resulted from our 2nd round of IVF. We were overjoyed to have gotten pregnant after 2 rounds of IVF and saw the baby's heartbeat at 6 weeks. We thought we had finally closed our infertility chapter. I went in for a routine ultrasound at 9 weeks. My husband had a work commitment so I went to the appointment alone - but really wasn't nervous because we thought we were "in the clear". Sadly, I found out our little boy's heart had stopped beating. I will never forget that ultrasound room or the doctor who had to deliver the heartbreaking news.
The high point of our journey was having our first daughter (age 5) reveal to us what the gender of our baby was. After our final round of IVF, when we thought it was "safe", the NP at Boston IVF wrote down the gender of our baby and put it in an envelope. We took it home and had our daughter open it and read it out loud so she would be the first person to know if she was going to have a brother or sister.
While both of these memories will forever be etched in my mind and heart, I do think the feelings of devastation and grief from our "low point" will fade over time, and replaced by all of our future "high points" to come.
What advice do you have for other struggling with infertility?
The biggest piece of advice I have for other struggling with infertility is to remind yourself that if you want to grow your family, you will. It may not be the exact way you envisioned, but with the advances of modern science and all of the various ways available to now to expand your family, it CAN be done. Failed infertility treatments are so discouraging and it's easily to get into the mindset of "well if one/two/three rounds of IUI/IVF didn't work - it will never work". You have to remind yourself that this is not true. Some will have success after just one round, but many don't. And many DO eventually have success. In my experience, the hardest aspects of our infertility journey was not the shots, drugs, blood draws or procedures. The hardest part was the waiting - waiting in between cycles, waiting for insurance approvals and of course the 2 week wait. It's truly a lesson in patience (of which I've historically had very little!). Another piece of advice is to find a way that works for you to mentally deal with all of the "waiting". Make plans to do something fun (either by yourself or with others) during your rounds, join a yoga class that meets weekly or schedule regular acupuncture or massage appointments to look forward to. You'd be surprised how even little things can help break up the "waiting" time and serve as a welcome distraction.
Tell us about your experience with boston ivf
I can only say good things about working with Boston IVF. From Theresa, the loveliest phlebotomist in the Quincy location, to Lindsey, Dr. Berger's nurse, to the many doctors and nurses I encountered at both the Quincy and Waltham locations - I was treated with respect, empathy and the utmost professionalism. Given their size I was initially worried about being "just a number", but I can honestly say this was not the case. Patients, including me, come to Boston IVF during a very trying time in their life. I am forever grateful for the way in which I was treated by each member of the Boston IVF team.