Family of five: becoming a parent through adoption and IVF

Erin and her husband starting trying for a baby in 2007, but after two years passed with no pregnancy, they decided it was time to visit a fertility doctor. Erin and her husband, Lou, were 33, and neither had any fertility issues that they were aware of.

After being evaluated by a physician at a local fertility center, they were relieved to hear that the doctor didn’t see any fertility issues. It appeared that Erin was ovulating, her husband had healthy sperm, and a pregnancy would be possible.

Yet they didn’t get pregnant. Over the next two years, the couple tried eight intrauterine inseminations (IUI), an in vitro fertilization (IVF) egg retrieval, and four embryo transfers with two different fertility doctors. Erin also pursued holistic methods such as acupuncture and ingesting herbs to boost her chances of pregnancy.

Still, Erin and her husband did not get pregnant.

During that time, they started the adoption process. Within a year, they were thrilled when they adopted a beautiful baby girl in 2011. Enjoying all of the special moments of parenthood, they decided to abandon treatment and focus on the new light in their lives.

As their daughter neared the age of one, they decided it was time to give her a brother or sister.

Visiting their third fertility doctor, they underwent testing and felt uncomfortable with the procedures their doctor was doing. The cause of their infertility remained undiagnosed. The doctors offered different theories, one being that the issues were genetic, which was why the embryos wouldn’t take.

The diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” was very difficult because there was never anything concrete to point to.

Deciding to give fertility treatment one last try, they made an appointment with Dr. Chris Sipe at Fertility Centers of Illinois.

During the first exam with Erin, Dr. Sipe found fertility issues that no one had ever mentioned before. Erin had polyps in her uterus that needed to be removed before starting treatment.

Hopeful that this was the answer they were looking for, Erin had her polyps removed, but remained cautiously optimistic.

Since she didn’t have any embryos from previous treatment, Erin underwent IVF egg retrieval, then fertilized her eggs with her husband’s sperm. She then had two embryos transferred to her uterus.

Two weeks later, she went in for a pregnancy test. When the results read positive, Erin felt that they must have the wrong person.

As much as she wanted to, she couldn’t believe that she was really pregnant.

Weeks later, when she saw her twin babies on the screen during an ultrasound, it finally began to feel real. After so many years, the babies she wanted were a part of her.

In late November, Liliana and Louis were born.

On the day of their birth, Grandma and Grandpa sat patiently in the waiting room for hours to meet them. The nurses finally snuck them in to meet Lily and Louie. Since that day, the twins have enjoyed being held often by their grandparents.

With the twins and their two-year-old daughter, Erin and her husband feel their family is complete. Erin is still amazed at their beautiful family, and can’t help but notice that little Lily has her nose, while Louie has her husband’s.

Erin had always heard the stories about people who adopt and then have kids, and to be one of the couples to experience this was amazing.

Erin encourages those still in fertility treatment not to give up, but to find support from others and not let go of their dream to have a family.

Need-to-know fertility resources and guidance

Diagnosis and treatment

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Causes of infertility
In vitro fertilization (IVF)

Receiving care

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Dr. Christopher Sipe
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