At the End of Our Rope – Then…Hope!
There are so many details to this story, but I’ll try to keep them at a minimum! We started trying to have a baby in July of 2007, decided to go to an RE in January of 2008 because I was having irregular cycles. The experience there was awful! They herded people through like cattle: if you didn’t respond to clomid immediately, they pushed you to IUI; had you do this a few billion times, then pushed you to IVF, usually without a clear diagnosis. They treated everyone the same…try clomid for 6 months, do IUI for 6 tries, then IVF. It was devoid of emotion or concern, it was methodical in a bad way and obviously quite lucrative.
After suffering a miscarriage while being treated there, having a d&c, where the doctor didn’t even talk to my husband afterwards to let him know I was ok, and then waiting for two hours for my follow up appointment, we had enough. We walked away with a few words, since it’s not a good idea to have poor bedside manner with a doctor’s wife. It was heart crushing and we felt there was no hope, as that RE was the only one around and highly recommended. We then worked with our OB exclusively and suffered another loss. Both losses were in the first trimester, after a heartbeat had been seen, which is supposedly so much safer of a time.
No one had any answers for us, pathology never revealed abnormalities. We were lost, crushed, and had no idea what to do next. We decided to pursue adoption, domestically, and privately found a birthmother, who after thousands of dollars and 25 weeks of our lives planning for a baby turned out to be a scam artist, yep, another loss. This coupled with prodding from friends who had also lost babies sent us in search of a new RE, as we had relocated for my husband’s work. After much research we decided on Dr. Saleh and the Sher Institute. From my first meeting with Dr. Saleh, things were completely different. He did not try to talk over my head. He answered questions honestly, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
He had a plan and that plan was not…try clomid for 6 months, then IUI, then IVF. His plan was to get to the root of our problem, find the issue, and effectively treat that issue. So many vials of blood later the issue was located. I have elevated Natural Killer Cells, which is basically like an autoimmune issue where your body attacks a fetus.
We talked to him and he was candid about our options, told us we would need to do IVF, which we weren’t anticipating, and that we could treat the NK cells with intralipids. He answered all of our questions thoroughly and without patronizing. He was honest about our odds, clear about our plan of action, and confident in this treatment plan. Throughout all of this his staff was AMAZING!!!! From Tammy and Amanda who work the front and compassionately handled my emotional breakdowns, to Karen who talked us through the finances, and Heather, my nurse who basically held my hand through it all. There was also Jane, who administered my intralipids, the phlebotomists who drew my blood without bruising me (the ones at my previous RE made me look like a heroin addict), and the embryologist who gave us updates constantly and were honest and supportive!
It truly brings tears to my eyes to think about all of the love we were shown there. Dr. Saleh cares about making miracles happen for his patients, not making money or boosting his own ego. SIRM Dallas was and is one of my favorite places ever! I tell people often what a blessing they were in our lives and will be as we have 6 frozen embryos to use still! If you are without hope, if you feel you’re at the end of your rope, if you think that no one else can help you or will help you, try the Sher Institute, you will find a completely different experience there! Now, we are a happy family of three, hoping to make it more one day…
God’s will won’t take you where His grace won’t protect you.
Thank you to Dr. Saleh and all the staff at SIRM Dallas for our miracle girl who arrived two weeks ago today! Healthy and happy! We are in love and very grateful for the help of SIRM!