Never Give Up

A Great but Long Story from a Great but Long Journey

In one of our first appointments with Dr. Ripps at NewLIFE in Pensacola, I remember him repeating their slogan “perseverance produces parents.” I guess you could say our story is a testament to that.

Our medical journey towards parenthood actually started with ANOTHER fertility clinic, after trying on our own clearly wasn’t working. We reached out to a local clinic that took our insurance. I was 34 years old at the time and my husband was a few years older. After running tests, that doctor said we had male factor infertility and sent us to a “urologic specialist.” After months of working on this diagnosis, that doctor recommended surgery for my husband, then to wait six months or so “to see if things improved,” and then if they did not improve that our only option would be IVF. After learning of the costs associated with surgery and IVF, we were hesitant to move forward with THAT clinic. We had already experienced repeated problems with communication with the staff and difficulty getting appointments in a timely manner because things were often delegated out to other doctors. We decided we wanted a second opinion and reached out to NewLIFE. We did this knowning that the office did not participate with our medical insurance.

Our first contact with Dr. Ripps’ office was completely different than what we had experienced with the other clinic. The staff answered the phone, returned phone calls promptly, and scheduled our appointments right away. They were ALL friendly, smiles and laughter were common and they were easy to deal with. At our first consultation, Dr. Ripps had already reviewed our medical history and a had a plan of action. He was able to explain our options to us in an easy to understand and realistically hopeful manner. We were presented with the costs of IVF with NewLIFE, and even as a self-paying patient, the costs of care were comparable or less expensive than what we were going to pay with the other clinic that took our insurance. We made the decision to start IVF with Dr. Ripps.

As anyone who has been through IVF could tell you, the process is intense, involving multiple appointments that require good communication between the patient and the clinic. The staff at NewLIFE was wonderful and the IVF cycle went smoothly. When it came time for the transfer, we had one good quality “five day blastocyst” and a morula to transfer. We transferred both and were hopeful for a good outcome. Unfortunately, the blood pregnancy test was negative. Of course, we were extremely disappointed, but because Dr. Ripps and his staff had made the process as smooth as possible for us, we decided to go back. At our follow up appointment, Dr. Ripps was able to renew our hope of achieving a better result, and shared with us our second round of IVF would cost LESS than the first!

Since we had no frozen embryos, we went straight into the next available IVF cycle. There were a few tweaks made with the medication schedule for this second round, and the results at the time of egg collection were better. During this IVF cycle, we wound up with four blastocysts, two of which were better quality than the embryo we transferred the first time. We transferred one of those top quality embryos, froze the rest, and waited. Negative again. We were crushed. Our coordinator through NewLIFE was amazingly supportive. The next frozen embryo transfer cycle schedule had several important appointment dates that conflicted with plans we already had made and couldn’t change. She took everything into consideration and instead of just pushing us on to the following FET cycle another month down the road, she adjusted the dates of several appointments with the current schedule to get us in right away.

In our FET cycle, they defrosted and transferred two of our three frozen embryos. At our appointments, it felt like everyone on the NewLIFE staff was cheering us on and hoping with us for our success. Finally, we got the blood test results we had been waiting for – PREGNANT!!! The staff seemed almost as excited as we were. We got scheduled for our first ultrasound – but then I started bleeding and cramping. I just knew we were losing the baby. NewLIFE immediately got me in for a blood test and moved up the first ultrasound appointment. The blood test results looked hopeful, and at almost six weeks along we were able to see our baby’s heartbeat in their office for the very first time! That next May we welcomed our beautiful little boy into this world.

When our son was two years old, we were ready to grow our family, and there was no question as to which doctor we were going to see to transfer our final embryo. We were in the process of moving out of state, but knew we had to see Dr. Ripps before we left so that he could be the one to complete our final FET. He remembered us right away from the last time around, and our experience with him and his clinic was just as positive as it was the first time we had sought them out for treatment. Almost unbelievably, our last little embryo stuck! We are currently experiencing an uneventful pregnancy with our son’s baby brother!

We can’t thank Dr. Ripps and all of his staff enough for their support and assistance with helping us navigate through and conquer infertility. This clinic treated us like family, and with God’s blessing, helped us achieve our dream of having children. I would definitely recommend Dr. Ripps and NewLIFE to anyone who is experiencing fertility issues who wants a doctor who is invested in not just the process, but also in seeing their patient achieve their goals.

-CM

Worth it all…

Today as I finish my very last injection, reflecting on our nearly 5 year journey to a family, I am incredibly grateful – Grateful to the Lord, grateful to Dr. Ripps and staff at New LIFE, and grateful to friends and family who have prayed for and supported us in so many ways.

These two beautiful girls are worth it. Worth …

– every shot
– every pill
– every patch
– every procedure
– every blood draw
– every hard truth
– every disappointment
– every doubt
– every criticism
– every doctors’ visit
– every pain
– every dollar
– every tear
– every prayer
– every hope

They are simply – Worth. It. All.

If you are facing infertility – whether from advanced age like me or from some other cause – know that there is hope and there are so many possibilities for medical help today. Deciding to seek assistance from Dr. Ripps gave strong legs to my prayers and provided an avenue for bringing our greatest blessings!! Dr Ripps’ honesty and compassion helped us quickly select the appropriate protocol for treatment and allowed us to proceed without unnecessary delay. The entire staff is your constant support during the process – celebrating your successes and sharing in your disappointments. It was such a pleasure taking this journey with them!

-Keri & Joe

Eternally grateful…

My husband and I had been trying to grow our family since 2019. We were successful a few months after but, unfortunately, that was short lived. We decided to try a fertility clinic a year later and NewLIFE came highly recommended by friends and my primary doctor. We had a few appointments and Dr. Ripps provided us with different routes to get to our first pregnancy. We chose what we knew would be the best option for us and after the treatment, we found out we were successful! 

It was a journey but, the amount of support the staff at NewLIFE showed us made it better and I know we would have still been trying to conceive without their help. We are eternally grateful for them end the dedication they put into their patients. We are now 21 weeks along and baby is very feisty!

-Anonymous

The journey may not always be easy, but the destination makes the trip endurable…

Our journey began 5 years ago with a quick first conception without help, but an early pregnancy loss. We accepted that this heart-wrenching experience was not uncommon, and felt sure we would become pregnant again very quickly, with no need for help. But after two unsuccessful years, we realized we needed help and sought it from NewLIFE. We received very detailed care, and as a healthcare professional myself, I truly appreciated that aspect. Dr. Ripps doesn’t miss details and after our evaluation, our infertility was “unexplained”. Yes, I made eggs and had lots; my husband had good sperm, and despite a prior fibroid surgery many years earlier, my tubes were open. I was 31 years young and we had tried the simple options. What we needed was some direction, guidance.

My husband and I were ready to make progress, moving forward with IVF, our expectations for success were high, but our journey wasn’t to be an easy one. Despite many eggs and good quality embryos, THREE transfers did not succeed. This felt like defeat, and I was overwhelmed. Emotionally, psychologically, I needed a rest. For about 7 months I wasn’t myself. I felt lost and couldn’t make the decision to try again, despite an inconsolable drive and passion to become a mother, to grow our family. My husband stayed strong for me, and we wouldn’t give up. Those feelings kept us going, and I hope whoever is reading this, continues to the end.

We followed up with Dr. Ripps, who shared his optimism and insights. He shared that the “science” of fertility was constantly advancing and he had learned of some new approaches at an international meeting he attended that winter. We completed a few more tests and proceeded to our 4th attempt with a few tweaks… and IT WORKED! After years of frustration, self-doubt, pregnancy loss, despair, and strength we didn’t know we had, we finally welcomed our miracle, our baby girl! She is the greatest joy of our lives! We are so grateful to Dr. Ripps and the team at NewLIFE… always professional, optimistic, hopeful, supportive, and determined to help.

If you’ve read to the end, I hope you understand that the journey may not always be easy, but the destination makes the trip endurable.

Advice: Don’t give in to setbacks, and don’t give up on your dreams!

– Anonymous