A Prayer Answered
Dr. Saleh Brings Twins For This Happy Couple
My husband, Barry and I were married in 2001 and like most couples, we thought that getting pregnant would be easy. We thought it would just be the next step after getting married. Little did we know what a journey lay ahead of us. After a year of marriage, Barry and I decided to start trying for a baby and because we are no spring chickens. Or I guess I was, but Barry wasn’t, I was 29 and Barry was 38. So we wanted to go ahead and start our family.
After a few months of trying I began to think that maybe something was wrong, but I ignored it thinking, we are both normal and it is just taking a little longer than we expected. Well, after a year of trying with no success, we decided move on from our regular Ob/Gyn to a fertility specialist and take a more aggressive approach. We were excited to finally be moving forward with things. Our doctor was very optimistic and told us all of these options we could try and we were really looking forward to things working out. He recommend that after some routine blood work and testing on the hubby, we jump right into IUI’s; so that is what we did.
Since our blood work came back normal and Barry’s testing was all normal, we were very optimistic. Our first IUI was in 2003 and it worked! Or so we thought. I remembered how excited I was to see the little pink line on the pregnancy test. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a chemical pregnancy. We were really upset, but thought, this is only our first try so we will try again. After a month or so went by, we tried another IUI and it too failed. We were so upset and began to realize that pregnancy was not going to be easy for us. We took some time off and in early 2004 we decided to try again. Our doctor recommended a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy to make sure that my tubes were open and that there were no other problems. That surgery went great and they found nothing to be wrong. My tubes were open and everything was fine. If everything is fine, then why isn’t anything working? Our doctor determined that we had ‘unexplained infertility.
In early 2005, we decided to try IUI yet again. This time, the doctor wanted to boost our chances and so I took Clomid this particular cycle. We were again, really optimistic and just knew this would work. Well, good news! The IUI worked! Praise the Lord! We were so excited, yet still a little scared because it was early. But things were going great until about 5 1/2 weeks. Around 5 1/2 weeks, I started bleeding but then it stopped. I contacted the nurse and she said it could be implantation bleeding and not to worry unless it continued. Well, it stopped and so I thought, everything was fine again. The next couple of weeks were uneventful. At our 8 week appointment, the doctor came in and did an ultrasound and once he started looking at the screen he got really quiet and said, “This doesn’t look right.” He told us that I had a blighted ovum. There was a sac there but nothing inside the sac and definitely no heartbeat! All I remember of that day is my body going numb and being completely devastated. Barry just held me and we both cried in the exam room. I was scheduled for a D & C the very next day. After the D & C, our doctor did chromosome analysis both on Barry and I to determine if maybe we had some abnormality that caused the miscarriage/blighted ovum. That blood work all came back normal. We were relieved that all was normal, but still discouraged because we still had no answers! Our doctor just encouraged us to keep trying IUI and that sooner or later, it would work.
At this point in our fertility journey, we began thinking that maybe God didn’t want us to have our own child. This was an extremely hard thing for me to accept. We thought, maybe God wants us to adopt a child.
In mid-2005, we both decided to try IUI one last time. We decided that if this didn’t work, then we would be done with all of this. Well, our 4th and final IUI try failed. This was the ultimate devastation and we decided to not pursue any other means of fertility treatments.
After a few months went by, we began feeling more open to adoption and met several friends who were in the process of adopting due to fertility issues. In late October, 2005, my husband and I were invited by some friends of ours to attend an infertility/adoption seminar in Houston, Texas. We thought this would give us a great opportunity to get more information about adoption. I remember us praying on the way down to Houston, “God, if there is any other direction you want us to go in, please reveal that to us this weekend.
At the seminar we sat at a table with our friends along with two ladies dressed up in navy suits with name tags reading ‘Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine.’ At first, I didn?t want to approach them because after all, we had made up our mind to adopt and that is the decision that we had gone with. During the breakout sessions, we went to visit all of the booths set up in the convention hall. Among the booths, there were many on adoption, and fertility treatments. We went to a lot of them and the finally ended up at the last booth, ‘Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine.’ There, the two ladies (Rene and Karen) that were previously sitting at our table began sharing their incredible stories of how they went from infertility to having babies! All due to going to the Sher Institute! They even told me that the Sher Institute was opening a clinic in Dallas on November 1st which happened to be right down the street from my job! Also on top of that, Dr. Saleh, who was the new medical director at the Dallas clinic was there at the seminar and was speaking in a breakout session! We were completely blown away! God had answered our prayer that we prayed on the way down to the seminar. At the seminar we got to sit down and eat lunch with Dr. Saleh and ask him every question that no other doctor ever had the time to answer. We left the seminar with a feeling of hope for what the future would hold.
When we got back to Dallas, I immediately called Rene and Karen and set up my first appointment with Dr. Saleh. Dr. Saleh determined that our issue was probably egg quality so IVF was the only way to go for us. My experience with Dr. Saleh and SIRM Dallas was incredible and like no other doctor’s office I had ever been to. They are extremely interested and caring and want you to be successful just as bad as you do! Barry and I felt very confident that Dr. Saleh knew exactly what he was doing and we just knew this would work! We started the stim medications in January 2006 and were on our way. At our retrieval, Dr. Saleh got 40 eggs and of those 16 fertilized and of those 16 we got down to 3. We were little nervous, but still optimistic. Of the 3 embryos, 2 were really great and 1 was so so. Dr. Saleh ended up transferring all 3 of them. Well, guess what? My first beta was 193!! We were pregnant! My betas just kept going up from there too.
At our first sonogram, Dr. Saleh informed us that there was not 1, but 2 babies!! We were having twins!! Unbelievable! Dr. Saleh let us hear the heartbeats and I think both of us nearly fainted when we heard them. How amazing! And to think we wanted to adopt!
Thank you so much to Dr. Saleh and everyone at SIRM Dallas!! You guys are great! And a special thanks to Rene and Karen who first introduced us to SIRM down in Houston. Looking back on everything we have been through, it was so tough on us, but it was all very worth it.