You are not alone
This story includes an array of emotions including hope, excitement, frustration, despair and encouragement – please don’t be discouraged because this story is also about gratitude, love and the power of people.
Nine years ago I had the opportunity to marry my best friend and high school sweet heart. We have been together a total of sixteen years and had our lives planned. My husband and I knew we wanted to finish college, start a career, build a house and one day have a family (and in that order which sounded easy enough!)
We began marking things off of our “to do” list when a few years ago we really started thinking about expanding our family. We were now in our 30’s and knew time was only going to go by faster and faster. But 2 years into the process of trying to conceive our hope turned to frustration and then to despair. Why not me? Why not us? What’s wrong? We decided to have a conversation with my OB/GYN who referred us to see Dr. Ripps and his team in Pensacola, FL. A new adventure! My husband and I took the leap and jumped into a process we knew nothing about – infertility. From the first phone call, Jasmine at the front desk was kind, caring and alleviated our anxiety and worry. Through the ultrasounds, tests and blood draws, the staff continued to guide us through the process answering questions while treating us like family. Following the diagnosis, Dr. Ripps shared with us that we were in the “unexplained” category for infertility – both my husband and I were healthy separately and there was no clear reason why we were having difficulties conceiving. Dr. Ripps spent extraordinary time with us sharing and explaining our options – IUI and IVF. He also shared that perhaps there could be something that the ultrasounds are not picking up that he would be able to fix through laparoscopy surgery. After weighing the options carefully, we wanted to exhaust diagnostic options first and to decided to have the surgery.
On the day of the surgery, I was nervous and scared; however, reflecting back on the entire experience – I had nothing to be worried about. In fact, the evening post-surgery I was able to walk around freely in my house and was back at work the next morning. It was painless and simple.
Following the surgery, the team recommended that my husband and I take a few months to discuss our fertility options and allow the surgery to perhaps be the difference maker in helping us to conceive. So we did.
Two months following the surgery, my husband and I decided to take a vacation – and guess what?! Four weeks after our trip, we received the best news – we were pregnant and scheduled to be due in early 2017.
My message to couples who are trying to conceive and feeling alone and frustrated is just this…you are not alone. 1 in 8 couples experience trouble in trying to conceive. The best thing you can do for yourself is help better understand the “why” and understand how you can be fully supported through the process. Our story is our own with our own outcome. I have friends and colleagues who have also experienced the pain of infertility and have children because of the help and support of IVF and Dr. Ripps and his team.
To all reading this story, don’t underestimate the difference of working beside a team of experts who’s purpose and mission is to escort patients from the ambiguity and frustration of infertility, to successful pregnancy and parenthood, in the most gentle and cost-effective manner possible.
It made a difference for us and it can for you too!
I Always Knew I’d Become a Mother
Throughout my whole life, I always knew that one of my “for sure” life experiences was to become a mother. I also knew I wanted to be a baby nurse. Motherhood and babies were parts of who I am. But what I did not know was that part of life would be complicated by surprises.
Several months before graduating with a nursing bachelors degree in 2012, one of my friends studying ultrasound, “practiced” on me and found a big, 12 centimeter, ovarian cyst. Wasting no time, my doctor found high levels of cancer markers. I had to have it removed at UAB in Birmingham, and it required a big incision, not the easy way. Fortunately, it was not cancer and I went on my merry way.
I never questioned my fertility but after 3 years TTC (Trying To Conceive) with my husband and no pregnancy, I discovered my tubes were blocked and that possibly my uterus was abnormal shaped. I just didn’t want to hear it or believe it and I almost ran away!
My ObGyn was not prepared to help, so I took matters into my own hands to find NewLIFE searching the Internet. What a difference and a great feeling, with the NewLIFE Team, I felt like they were all there to help me through this. I had courage again and they helped me keep my eyes on the goal!
With everyone’s help, doing IVF was a breeze, much easier than I imagined and I got my BFP (Big Fat Positive). What helped most for me was “letting go” of my fears and just TRUSTING the folks who were there to help me. Leaving my anxieties at the door, allowed me to really listen to what they were saying to me.
I am so happy I found NewLIFE. I wonder how many women out there give up or, worse, never make the call because they have not seen the “true specialists”. That’s why I am sharing our story now, even though I’m only 10 weeks along (see my ultrasound picture). If you’re reading this, and haven’t yet made the step up to REI (Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility), do it, and do it NOW! Don’t wait another month. You will feel the difference.
Perseverance Produces Parents
My spouse and I fell in love in 2004, got married in 2008, and began trying to start a family shortly thereafter while living in Washington State. Two years later, at age 32 and without a conception, we were concerned about our fertility. The initial testing made it apparent that we were unable to easily conceive on our own. We opted to try the simple approaches first. When a first IUI was unsuccessful, we tried again and conceived a pregnancy that was short-lived…and so were our spirits. Seven IUI’s later, still nothing. It was early 2014 and we found ourselves moving from Washington State to Pensacola, FL. We wanted to give IVF a shot, but were worried about the costs and now, we were both 35 years old. The IUI route just did not make sense anymore. Every negative pregnancy test, month after month while doing IUIs was killing our motivation and making us feel helpless…”burn out” was close. We decided to go for it and called New Leaders.
We had learned about “NewLIFE” in Pensacola and one visit to their website helped us make the decision. We read some testimonials and realized that we were one couple out of hundreds who are experiencing varying fertility issues that have prevented them from getting pregnant. Our first office visit at “NewLIFE” was reassuring. Dr. Ripps explained why we were experiencing so much difficulty. He explained how much IVF was different from what we have been doing. After bringing our testing up to date, Dr. Ripps was able to pinpoint the likely culprit, as well as highlight some factors that we had in our favor. And the costs in Pensacola were nowhere close to what we had read on the Internet or seen in Washington. We were very confident that our chances of becoming a family were going to be much improved with IVF and NewLIFE.
We decided to move forward. We tried to avoid getting our hopes up, but this was likely going to be our last attempt. The experience and the results were astounding. Despite my age, we ended up with four embryos and put two back. We returned to the clinic seven days later to find that we had two heartbeats! We were both ecstatic. Our son and daughter were born on April 9th, 2015 and we have the staff at New Leaders to thank for both of them.
– Duane & Leanna Wheeler