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IVF Success with a Life Foundation Grant

Why do you want to share your story?
My husband and I went through both the IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) processes multiple times and the only people we could rely on was each other. We didn’t want to burden anyone else with all the details when it was hard enough to answer everyday normal questions of why we didn’t have any children yet. The stress and anxiety of keeping our infertility struggles private weighed heavily on my mind. I want people to know they are not alone. We found the support of the Kevin J. Lederer Life Foundation and the support of the team at Fertility Centers of Illinois so helpful in navigating this process. I am grateful for the support I received and would like to help other couples out there that are struggling to know there is always hope. Never stop believing!

What was your infertility diagnosis?
We got married 10 years ago and were actively trying for nine years without success. I was diagnosed with PCOS by Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron in 2013.

What fertility treatment did you undergo?
After the suggestion from my OBGYN, we spoke with Dr. Lederer at Fertility Center of Illinois and did two rounds of Clomid. We then took a break and returned for treatment in 2014 with Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron and completed three rounds of IUI and two rounds of IVF within the past four years.

What helped you get through treatment?
When we did the IUI and first round of IVF, we kept it to ourselves. The process itself is very stressful, and not being able to talk about it just enhances the stress. So when we did the last round of IVF, we opened up to our close friends and family for support knowing that we needed it. The positivity of prayer and sharing our hopes and struggles with infertility to close friends and family helped us get through. My husband was very involved in the process and helped me with an every shot every step of the way. He was always reminding me that we’re in this together no matter what the outcome

Can you tell us about your little miracle?
Our final journey towards having a family started in 2017 after a consultation with Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron, she suggested we apply for a Life Grant through the Life Foundation. After much consideration, we decided to give it one final try.

We had such struggles putting words to paper and were very close to not applying at all, as I didn’t think our story was impactful enough and maybe other families with a higher chance of success would be chosen over us. My husband’s sister who has been a part of our journey since the beginning decided that this opportunity was too important to pass up and she wrote our Life Grant letter on our behalf. We submitted our application on the final day and that is when my husband and I decided that no matter what we received back from the foundation, we would find a way to proceed with one final round of IVF. I received an email a weeks later explaining that we were not chosen. It was heartbreaking to hear, but our minds were already made up that we would still try.

I turned 40 in February and this was really our last chance. The Life Foundation has been very near and dear to my heart and has helped me through tough times. In September, I supported the foundation by walking in the ‘Run for Life’ 5K with my husband and some friends. I thought that still supporting others through their journey and struggles would ultimately help me stay positive about our own experience.

In November, three months after receiving the letter that we were not chosen, I received another email explaining that I was a potential candidate for a round of IVF that recently became available. We were thrilled to receive the news that we had been chosen after all. I couldn’t believe it, my heart filled with joy and nervousness all at the same time. I started my final round of IVF in early January of 2018, my retrieval took place in late January, and I had a three-day transfer with three viable embryos. The Life Foundation has done so much for us that when we were approached to do a radio interview on WBBM-FM about the Life Foundation, even though the implantation was complete and we didn’t know if we were pregnant yet, we agreed to share our story. The interview aired on February 12th and we received a phone call the same day…John and I are pregnant and expecting in October 20th, 2018!

Why did you trust Fertility Centers of Illinois?
They were positive and encouraging with my first consultation. I knew I could trust them on this journey. I built a great relationship with my nurse.

Which physician treated you and what were your experiences with him/her?
Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron had faith and wanted me to never give up. She took her time, listened to all our concerns and gave us impeccable advice. The doctor, nurses, and staff were nothing but encouraging.

What words of hope do you have for others?
Don’t hesitate on finding out if you have fertility issues. Don’t be scared to ask a lot questions and have a support group that you trust. The process is a difficult long road, but try to remember that the end result is all worth it.