Cancer Took My Ovaries, IVF Gave Me Twins

Why do you want to share your story?
To inspire others. I would love to give at least an ounce of hope to others who were told this would be impossible or very slim chance of working for them. Since childhood, I was always told, you may never have children and I had to learn to cope with that for a decade.

What led you to Fertility Centers of Illinois?
There was a Fertility Centers of Illinois location near my home in Naperville. The reviews were positive and I felt that I would have a good experience there. I grew very close to the staff there; they became family. They saw my highs and my lows.

What was your infertility diagnosis?
I had ovarian cancer when I was 12 years old and had to have my ovaries removed. I started IVF using donor eggs when I began treatment.

Which Fertility Centers of Illinois Physician(s) treated you?
Dr. Meike L. Uhler

What were your experiences with your physician(s)?
I had a positive experience with my physician. However, during my time at Fertility Centers of Illinois, I feel like I worked closely with several of the physicians. Dr. Uhler was my primary, but I did have the pleasure of working with many of the other physicians on IVF days.

What infertility treatment(s) did you undergo?
Medications, IVF with donor egg, hysteroscopy

What helped you get through treatment physically and emotionally?
I did do acupuncture and couples yoga at Pulling Down the Moon to help with coping with stress and to help my uterine lining grow. My family was my biggest support system. I also found support on an online forum with other women who were in cycle at the same time as I was. Even though they were strangers (virtually) I still felt I could talk openly about my inner thoughts, fears, and joys with women who fully understood what I was going through.

Financially, we were hit hard as we did not have insurance coverage, so we found financial support through Birdies for Babies who helped us raise money for our infertility expenses. I did write a live blog simultaneously as I went through treatment. It was a way for me to write down my inner thoughts and feel “heard”. I did publish it online as I had news to share. I hoped it would touch at least one person who maybe needed to stumble across it for support just to not feel so alone in this infertility bubble.

Why did you trust Fertility Centers of Illinois?
Fertility Centers of Illinois was like my second family. It was instant to me. As much as I hated being pricked and prodded, I enjoyed seeing my ladies at the office. Even though it took me 3 cycles, I had the best people around to celebrate with me!

What did you wish you knew before you started infertility treatments?
When I first started treatment, I thought the financial implications would be the hardest part. It was hard, but the emotional turmoil is indescribable and exponentially worse. For all my life, I was the patient: cancer. That happened to just me. However, IVF affected me and my best friend (husband). It is hard to watch your best friend suffer/grieve. Cancer, I was able to handle it because I did not need to watch anybody go through it. It is going to be one of the life curveballs you were warned about. It is going to be hard, but so worth it.

Do you have any words of hope or inspiration for others?
Do not take ‘no’ for an answer. Keep moving forward. Find a way to take the next step. Sometimes the family you once dreamed about does not come in the traditional/conventional way, but the family you have in the end is better than the dream you had before. I promise you this! Also, keep checking in on your partner. We all deal with infertility so differently and our needs/wants through this treatment aren’t always very clear.

Please tell us about your little miracle.
I have twin girls now!! They are both 6 and in the first grade. Avery is a leader and is a reading machine. She is competitive, strong, and smart. She is going to move mountains. Hannah is my creative girl. She has an imagination that has no end. She can create such amazing things. She is my dreamer. Also, has a major obsession with all things cats.

Both of my girls are social butterflies and make friends everywhere they go. They both are compassionate and love with all they have always and that makes a momma’s heart so proud. :)

Katie’s story was featured in Chicago Parent Magazine. Click here to view the article. Read her blog here.