“I believe you need to have faith and never give up on your dreams, because anything worth having is worth fighting for.”
For those couples experiencing fertility struggles in starting a family, don’t give up. It may take ten years, but don’t give up on your dreams of a family – even when we are not sure what God’s plan is, He most certainly has a plan for you. We just have to have faith, believe in the desires of our heart, and never falter in holding on, because anything worth having is worth fighting for. And know that there are so many other women out there who have experienced something similar. Know that you are not alone.
My husband Toby and I met in October 2002. We began dating, got engaged and then married in June 2005. I was so excited to be a wife and eventually a mother, but I was still working on my bachelor’s degree so we decided to wait a few years before we started trying to get pregnant. Being both from large families, we knew we wanted children and thought it would just happen when we were ready. How naïve we were. We never imagined our journey to parenthood would take 8 years.
About three years into our marriage, Toby and I decided the timing was right to start trying for a baby. After six months of trying and still no positive pregnancy test, I was disappointed and upset. But then in January 2009 I found out I was pregnant. I was so excited! I called my husband and he was in shock. He kept asking if I was sure, if the doctor was sure and then got really quiet. Later, he told me, “I realized it wasn’t just us anymore – there was going to be someone else to take care of. It was overwhelming.” Of course, two days later, he was shopping online for swing sets. But this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and further disappointment. By July 2009, I was again pregnant. When we realized I was miscarrying again, I asked my OB/GYN for a referral to a fertility specialist. He handed me Dr. Storment’s card and told me “this guy is the best.”
I called his office the next day and made an appointment. Dr. Storment immediately put us at ease. His mannerisms, “bedside manner” and even his sense of humor reassured me that we had chosen the right person to help us in this journey. He told us “we can get you pregnant. It just may take some time.” That was the understatement of the decade! We did bloodwork, a hysterosalpingogram and started our journey with the best Reproductive Endocrinologist ever!
“It was difficult to deal with the plethora of feelings that came along with miscarriages and the difficulties we experienced with infertility.”
We started out on Clomid to regulate and induce my ovulation. After three rounds and no pregnancy, Toby and I decided to take a few of months off and just focus on our relationship as a couple. Over the next 5 years, we would try IUI and we would have 7 more pregnancies, 5 ending in miscarriage and 2 ectopic pregnancies. Through all of the different treatments we attempted, I always got pregnant in between treatments. Even though Dr. Storment would start me on prometrium right away, I would continue to miscarry. I was distraught and had days and months where I found it difficult to attend baby showers for friends and family. I do remember one pregnancy – one of my best friends was pregnant. I planned a baby shower for her and found out the day of that I was miscarrying. It was difficult to say the least. There was a time period where I would tell people that I didn’t want children. But deep down, I did. I yearned to be a mother. It was difficult to deal with the plethora of feelings that came along with miscarriages and the difficulties we experienced with infertility. I wasn’t “woman” enough, I was broken. I even told my husband to find someone else who could give him children.
In July 2014, we found out we were pregnant again. It was my tenth pregnancy. We were so hopeful that this was it. Because I had a previous ectopic pregnancy, I had an ultrasound right after I found out I was pregnant. They couldn’t rule out an ectopic pregnancy so I continued to be monitored by my OB/GYN and Dr. Storment. On a Wednesday, I went to work, feeling fatigued and cramping a bit, but figured that was just the pregnancy hormones. By that evening, I was lying in bed, covered in sweat with terrible abdominal pain. I woke throughout the night, in pain, nauseated and so weak I could barely get out of bed. By By 6:30am, I called Dr. Storment’s office and spoke with the doctor on call who sent me straight to the ER. Dr. Storment met me there and discovered that this pregnancy was again ectopic and had caused my right fallopian tube to rupture and I was bleeding internally. He performed surgery to remove my tube that morning.
Toby and I met with Dr. Storment a month after my surgery. He spoke with us about my medical history and the treatments that hadn’t worked. With the added complication of only one fallopian tube, he told us our best chance of getting pregnant was IVF with PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) testing. He felt we would have the best chance at a successful pregnancy if we did a single embryo transfer.
In October 2014, we underwent our egg retrieval and fertilization and ended up with three embryos. They were all biopsied using PGD. We received the results back in late October. Two of the embryos were normal, one was missing a chromosome. We scheduled our embryo transfer for early December 2014 and began the medication regimen necessary for the transfer.
The next two weeks of waiting to take a pregnancy test seemed interminable. After taking the test I went home and waited and then Dr. Storment called. He said “I have your results. You’re….” Then he cut out. I said “what?!” and he yelled “YOU’RE PREGNANT!” It was the best news!
We welcomed our son, Ian James, on August 25, 2015. A lot of our family was waiting in the hallway as we were rolled out of recovery. If you can imagine being rolled down the hall on a stretcher and seeing about 25 people waiting to see your baby – it was overwhelming and heart-warming all at the same time. Everyone was so excited to see him and hold him. Watching my parents and my husband hold him was worth all of the pain and heartbreak. He is the light of our lives and we owe that all to Dr. Storment and his staff. He is now 14 months old and is absolutely perfect.
Throughout this entire journey, we had a lot of family and friends questioning why we continued to see Dr. Storment when we weren’t getting pregnant. Why not go to another doctor in New Orleans or Houston? My answer was simple. We would have to start all over again. And there is no guarantee those doctors could do anything differently that would result in a successful pregnancy. Plus, Dr. Storment is one of the most caring, understanding doctors I have ever met and he is invested in his patients – in their failures and successes. He and his staff made me feel so at ease and made me believe it was possible on days when I felt getting pregnant and carrying to term was an insurmountable task.