4 Years of Heartbreak Before Meeting Dr. Tortoriello

27 Nov

My IVF Journey

“My story began over 4 years ago when my husband and I decided to try to start our family. After a few IUI cycles, we considered ourselves extremely fortunate to become pregnant with our first baby. Things were going great until our 16 week appointment where we were told our baby had a very rare condition and he would not survive. Words cannot begin to express the devastation my husband and I felt. We lost that baby boy at 17wk3d and the date still haunts my memory.

After several more failed IUI cycles, we made the decision to move on to IVF. In my first IVF cycle, we were completely stunned to find out that once again, we had very rare luck- but this time it was good news! I got pregnant with triplets (identical twins and a single). We had a magical few weeks preparing for what we thought it would be like to be the parents of 3 tiny babies. Well, after 8 weeks our luck ran short and we lost all 3 babies at once due to a very large subchorionic hematoma (blood clot). At this point, I was beginning to think my luck would never work in our favor ever again. Many months and cycles later, I became pregnant again only to have yet another miscarriage by the 8 week point.

By the advice of my doctor, we spent the following year in search of a gestational surrogate. Ultimately, the lining of my uterus was so thin that my doctor did not believe it would ever repair. It took many months to come to terms with the fact that another woman would do for me what I could not. Finally after several months and two surrogate agencies, we got in touch with someone who I like to call, superwoman. We quickly bonded and shared stories, knowing that we were about to form a bond that few women could understand. Well, unfortunately we then went through two cycles together that did not work out. As luck would have it, her uterine lining was worse than mine…of all things!

At the time, I was part of an online community of local women experiencing infertility. I developed a large following of women who walked the road with me. Based on recommendations I received from that forum, I called up SIRM for a consult with Dr. Tortoriello in the NY office. The receptionist told me it would take 10 weeks to get in for a consult but after some pleading she found there was a cancellation for two days later. My husband and I went, and I was honestly unsure of what I hoped for at this point. I felt so beaten down but I knew that somebody…maybe even ME.. had to get pregnant with my baby. Dr. Tortoriello performed a sonogram and said in the blink of an eye that he could help me get and stay pregnant. With what little hope and faith we had left, I put my emotions (and ovaries!) in the hands of Dr.Tortoriello. Today, just one year after starting that final IVF cycle, I am sitting beside my son, Jonah Natan. He is the light of my world, and every single time I look at him I am reminded of the brilliance and faith Dr.Tortoriello had that he could make our dreams come true. After telling myself for so long that I wouldn’t even be the one to carry our baby, I woke up every morning until 39wk3d so grateful for each breath I took as a pregnant expectant mother. He is truly the baby worth waiting for.

I always say how grateful I am for our son, so thankful that I could scream it from the rooftop, and it seems this just may be my opportunity to do so. I would love to inspire hope in those still on this devastating road.”

-Jaclyn Lichtenstein

2 Comments

  • gail says:

    Hello my sister has had this very similar issue…she has had ivf and has had 3 different miscarriages. What was done by the doctor to help you stay pregnant?

    • Geoffrey Sher says:

      Please go to the home page of IVFauthority.com. When you get there look for a “search bar” in the upper right hand column. Then type in “Recurrent Pregnancy loss (RPL)”, click and this will take you to all the relevant articles I posted there.

      Geoff Sher

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