Love, Hope and Overcoming Infertility

Originally from Indiana, Ashlie’s story begins with love and a shared dream of starting a family. After fatefully meeting her future husband at a Cubs game and marrying in 2019, they eagerly anticipated welcoming a little one into their lives, not realizing the complex path that lay ahead.

The biological clock was ticking, and the couple found themselves faced with the unanticipated hurdle of infertility. Realizing they needed assistance to conceive led them to seek out fertility specialists, a journey that brought them to the doors of the Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI). Unlike their experience with a previous clinic, FCI felt welcoming from the start, providing a ray of light amidst the storm they were weathering.

Navigating Infertility Treatment During Uncertain Times

The journey through infertility treatments is inherently challenging, but Ashlie’s experience was further complicated by the advent of COVID-19. Consultations shifted to virtual appointments, making the process feel more distant and impeding the development of personal connections with her healthcare team. Despite these hurdles, their doctor, Dr. Jane Nani, guided them through every step with patience and understanding, balancing compassion with candor.

Fertility testing could not pinpoint a single reason why they weren’t conceiving, which made choosing a path forward more fraught with uncertainty. “They didn’t really have one reason as to why [we couldn’t get pregnant]. We were given the option that we could keep trying and there were other avenues to go down,” Ashlie recalled. Ultimately, they decided to pursue IVF to give them the best chance of growing their family.

Though she was excited to be taking the next step toward parenthood, Ashlie’s initiation into IVF was marked by the physical and emotional toll of the treatments. Reflecting on the experience, Ashlie spoke candidly about the stress induced by the rigorous schedule of medications and monitoring appointments, a testament to the hidden struggles faced by many on their journey to parenthood. Yet, amidst these trials, Ashlie found an unwavering source of support in her nurse, Jen, who became her lifeline to Dr. Nani and a comforting presence when the emotional weight of the process became too much to bear.

Each successful cycle, each egg retrieval, represented a beacon of hope amidst the uncertainty. Unfortunately, though, Ashlie’s path was not without its heartaches. The journey involved three embryo transfers, the first leading to a miscarriage and the second unsuccessful. To overcome the challenges of her journey, Ashlie found solace in celebrating the small victories. She shared, “We thought it went well the first time and it didn’t. It was a blow. Moving on from that, each little piece of the IVF process was a win. You go in and you’re like okay I’m going to get through this cycle. Then you did the egg retrieval and you got ‘X’ number of eggs and that’s another win. You have to break it up. You can’t put all the weight on the win being your baby at the end every little piece is a win.”

From Heartache to Happiness: Celebrating a New Arrival After Infertility

Ashlie and her husband’s persistence was rewarded during their third cycle with a positive pregnancy test. When Ashlie achieved another pregnancy, her initial feelings were a mix of overwhelming joy and anxiety. Emotions ebbed as the pregnancy progressed and the reality of becoming a parent settled in. The birth of her child marked the culmination of her arduous journey—a moment of indescribable relief and happiness.

The moment Ashlie held her baby for the first time, she knew that every tear shed, every doubt faced, and every obstacle overcome had led her to this precious life. The memory of her baby’s birth flooded back, with Ashlie vividly recalling the intense feeling of relief when she heard her baby cry, “I took a breath. I remember I was running out of breath. Everything worked out how it was supposed to.”

Today, as Ashlie watches her child grow, she is reminded of the incredible journey that led to this moment. Each day with her daughter is a gift—a testament to the strength, hope, and love that carried her through the darkest times. “Every day is different,” she exclaimed. “She’s one and a half now and not a day goes by that you don’t remember how much it took to get her here. But you just know that she was meant to be and that everything you did is for a reason.”

Today, as Ashlie watches her child grow, she is reminded of the incredible journey that led to this moment. Each day with her daughter is a gift—a testament to the strength, hope, and love that carried her through the darkest times. “Every day is different,” she exclaimed.

As Ashlie navigated the highs and lows of IVF, she discovered an inner strength she never knew she possessed. With every injection, every ultrasound, and every moment of uncertainty, she grew more resilient. The path to motherhood taught her the value of patience, the importance of self-care, and the strength that lies in vulnerability.

Throughout her journey, the emotional support from loved ones helped Ashlie persevere. She also found solace in an online support group, a community of individuals who understood the unique pain of infertility and the complex emotions it entangles. This network of empathy and understanding provided her with a safe space to express her fears, celebrate her victories, and, most importantly, feel understood.

For those embarking on their own fertility journey, Ashlie advises to, “Stay positive and hopeful, and remember that every step you take is a step closer to your dreams. Trust in your medical team and their expertise, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek additional support if needed. Keep the faith, stay strong, and know that you have the strength to navigate this journey.”

Ashlie’s story serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder that even in the face of uncertainty, resilience and perseverance can lead to the most profound joy.